Well, we just finished your first visit here since our breakup. Saying goodbye on Wednesday felt more like a real breakup than what we did over the phone back in May; it’s a struggle to hold back the tears. Giving you up is really going to be hard because as noted here, our monogamous relationship was very close to ideal. While I’m sorry I don’t have my whole heart to give you, what we have is still pretty darn good, even though we’re not dating exclusively anymore. We have a lot of wonderful history, and my feelings for you have not changed since I requested my freedom. So is it any wonder that I’d still want you to visit and continue sharing the way we did while going steady? I wish not to sacrifice the heart you’ve given me. But I understand why you might think this necessary.
I care deeply for you, [Emmy]. So I worry that you’re alone in the world since you have far fewer people to help you succeed than I did at your age. I enjoy offering you the same sort of help and love that I had when I was starting out. I suppose it’s my way of “fathering the daughter” I never had. Helping you, validates me; it makes me feel useful and that I can make a positive difference to someone. I’m paying the universe back in part for all the goodness it’s given me over the years. This is my way of passing on the love, or paying forward.
Before you, I had little of this, and doubted my ability to love selflessly; indeed, I could be very selfish as a young adult. But when you needed me, I rose to the challenge with greater capacity than I’d ever seen in myself before. You showed me that I’m not overly selfish, and that I can put the needs of others first when appropriate. You helped me grow a genuine and deep desire to make another happy. I learned from you how to love in giving and caring ways; ways that emphasize less the filling of my needs, and more the meeting of someone else’s. Being with you made it clear that by doing for a lover, I’m fulfilling some of my deepest longings as well. You drove home the point that selfless love is actually a selfish idea. E.g.: I wanted to do for you so I could be happy too.
While I still feel that true love is first selfish, and then selfless, you taught that the selfless part plays a bigger role in love than I’d ever imagined before. So you established firmly in my mind that I have a good heart and that I can, with less hardship than I ever expected, do some real good in the world.
I often feared dying without ever having learned to be selfless. But I carry this burden no more thanks to you, [Emmy]. Now, whenever death comes, I’ll have a clear conscience. My grandparents would be proud because if they were alive today, because I think they’d enjoy seeing me pass to you a little of what they gave to me. You would be worthy of receiving every bit of love they offered me, and I’ll forever be glad that over the past five years, I could show you a little of what Gram and Pap Jewell were all about. So with all that said, yes. Part of me wants to be kind to you and hopefully now, you have some idea why.
Thus, you were right a few days back when you said that I pity you. I do. You said though, that you didn’t want pity. But this sort of pity has some goodness to it! I pity you because I love you; not because I deem you of lesser value or less capable. My compassion stems from the extra hardship you’ve experienced, and will continue to experience. I recognize this in you; just my grandparents saw it in me. They wanted to make the journey a little less painful for me, just as I do for you. They pitied me, and I’m a far better person for that kindness today. I realize that you have it tough as a vision-impaired person because I’ve had it tough too for, to a lesser degree, the same reason. While I haven’t the power to remove all your obstacles, I do wish to ease your difficulties where I can. I believe you have great potential and that you’ll begin realizing it when you get connected with a bunch of truly compassionate people like Marsha and Mike et al; people who will gladly help you determine and then achieve your goals.
While some might describe what we have as a mere “friendship with benefits,” you know as do I, that it’s so much more. My desire to be there for you is deeper than just sexual, as I trust that this letter shows. You’ve helped me to be less lonely, and I’ve helped you to get on in the world. Perhaps what we have is more symbiotic than romantic. Nonetheless though, it benefits us both. So I had hoped that you’d continue benefiting me until I got into my dream relationship, and in return, I’d benefit you by helping you get where you most need to go. But I guess such an arrangement would just be delaying the inevitable. I fear that we will eventually grow apart.
Now this part of what I feel for you is admittedly, a bit selfish. Until the best women for me appear if they ever do at all, I’m happy with a lady who is 95 percent better than no one; I’m happy with you [Emmy]. The thought of going back to the years of loneliness before you came into my life, terrifies me. You’re the first person that proved that an all-or-nothing approach to relationships may not be the best way to operate; especially when the choice is either being 95 percent happy, or 100 percent lonely, without any female companionship whatsoever. Indeed people can be very good associates, though not ideal lovers. Yet I know this would be painful for you, to witness me pursuing other women. So maybe it’s wrong for me to suggest that you hang with me until my dream girl arrives. If you feel so, then I understand. Perhaps I have used you. But if so, it was for no other selfish gain than to quell my loneliness, see you smile, and to prove my own abilities to be selfless. Is that really so bad?
- Avoid Distracting Compassion
- Compassion, Empathy, Pity
- Compassion Questing
- Cruel Better Judgement
- Dating Blind Men
- Dating Blind Women
- Defending Pity-Gets-Love Idea
- Enthusiastically Compassionate Love
- Getting Love By Seeking Pity
- I Love You Emmy
- Love Born From Pity
- Pity-Born Love
- Seeking Pity
- Seeking Pity, Getting Love
- Seeking Pity to Get Love
- Weather, Pity, Liars, Weight