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I had been in an unhappy and abusive relationship for three years when we met. Chris & I felt an inexplicable spark. Our connection was so strong that we felt like we were alone in a crowded room. We would simultaneously call and text each other and seemed to be able to read each other’s minds. I broke up with my boyfriend of three years and moved jobs/cities to be on my own and see if Chris & I could make it work. I needed time to heal from my broken relationship (and he had major commitment issues) so we were non-exclusively dating for over a year when he finally asked me to be his girlfriend at a concert in Atlanta. I cried and said yes.

Ten days later he slept with another girl who had been on his rotation before we became exclusive. I found out because he came to my house to tell me he had jumped the gun in Atlanta and wasn’t ready to be in relationship. He left then invited me to his house to talk more. I drove an hour to his house to find him washing his sheets. I had just washed his sheets two nights prior so I asked if he had been with someone else. He said he fucked up and was so afraid of commitment– something I was well aware of. I stayed with him that night and we cried together and held each other and made it to the morning in each other’s arms. He said he wanted to try to make this work if I would give him a chance.

We spent the holidays together. Christmas Day was spent in each other’s arms. We didn’t see or talk to anyone else that day. At night we made salmon and rice and fell asleep under a heap of blankets. I thought that we were making this work. I told him to come to me if he was feeling any fear or doubts. He said he was all in, I was his oasis from the storms of life, all he cared about was losing me. Then three days before my birthday he got quiet during the normal texting we would engage in during the day. I asked what was wrong, he said nothing. I asked again, he said he was good. On the third ask he said he just didn’t think commitment was possible for him.

“It’s simple not in me”.

I almost drove off the road. I said it was over and he said “I know.”

He refused my calls and didn’t answer me for two entire days. He said he needed space to get this thoughts in order because his head was spinning. He ignored his brother who told me he didn’t understand what was going on. When he finally called me the day before my birthday, Chris said he didn’t have the words. I told him I worried he would regret this ending and he said, “who says I already don’t regret it.”

He called me on my birthday as the night was winding down. He said he wanted to call me all day but didn’t think I wanted to hear from him. He said today was hard. I ended the conversation after ten minutes, reminding him I had some of his things and he had some of mine.

My heart aches. I want to help him fix his commitment issues because I know we could continue to build something beautiful and strong. But I can’t keep putting myself through this pain and I can’t be the one to fix him. My heart has not caught up with my head. My head thinks it’s over but my heart wants to do anything possible to keep him safe next to me.

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