Real Stories

a waste of time

Never before have I been so extremely bothered by a phrase.

“Waste of time.”

As if every moment we have spent together has been for nothing unless it turns into a lifetime together.

Every laugh, every touch, every enlightening conversation about childhood traumas, revelations, conflict resolution, new and diverse interests.

All child’s play if we don’t get married.

You “wasted your time” loving me.

When you brought me flowers on my birthday, woke me up from a nap with a kiss on the forehead, was that a means to an end? What end were you hoping for?

I am not a product, I am a process. There is no ending in which I belong to you.

I felt our time ending, and I loved you too much to allow it to become messy. I loved you too much to lie about my changing feelings.

I never wasted my time learning that you don’t respond well to tough love. Or understanding how you process and take on responsibility. It wasn’t a waste of time when I used part of my day to write notes to you, nor were the countless eight-hour drives back and forth to see you wasteful. I did not waste learning to cook your favorite recipes, or editing your papers. I didn’t waste watching you perform, having meals with your family, or getting rowdy with your friends. I didn’t waste lazy mornings in bed with you, nor late nights.

I left, yes. My desire for a partner evaporated and the desire to look inward took over yet again. I am not sorry that I was truthful and communicative. I am not sorry that I spent so much time with you.

No moment with you was ever a waste. No moment spent giving and receiving love is ever a waste. In fact, it’s one of the least wasteful ways to spend your time.

So after all of this, how dare you tell me that you feel as if you “wasted your time” loving me. As if we did not change and grow together. As if putting in your hours making me happy means nothing if I do not stay hanging on your arm, or one step behind you, or acting as the romantic interest in your action film of a life.

I am angry, yes, but even more I am crushed that anyone could think spreading love to be a waste of time.

What are you here for?

by Charlotte King

I like to read and write and better myself and make the lives of my loved ones easier and happier. My career passion is marine and wildlife conservation. I’ve been a zookeeper, teacher, water quality tester, nanny, peace corps volunteer, yoga studio worker, bartender...basically, a bunch of stuff except a writer.


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