I don’t believe that the measure of a successful relationship is that it lasted a lifetime. And I don’t believe that a relationship that ended was a “waste.” Necessarily.
But I’m fairly sure The Pedant prioritizes relationships lower than almost everything else in life and only wants to be in relationships where he’s never inconvenienced even the tiniest bit and basically just lives his life however he feels like it. Not that a relationship should feel like a chore or kill all the fun in your life, but if you want to be with someone there are gonna be times when you do things you’d maybe rather not, because they need you to. And vice-versa.
He likes helping people with tech support, so he helped me with tech support. He likes going out to eat and going to movies, so he took me to dinner and movies. But he doesn’t like to feel rushed or pressured to adhere to deadlines, so me asking him to maybe try not to be hours late all the goddamned time was too much. And despite enjoying my company he’ll still put all his errands ahead of seeing me. He’ll put puttering around the house ahead of seeing me. If he has a week of brutally long shifts at work, he won’t see me because he’s too exhausted (which I do understand) – but he’ll go see live music if someone he likes is performing.
And on some level I think I knew all of this. I knew that the relationship was only working because I was treading carefully; minimizing myself; studiously avoiding putting myself in a position where he’d have to choose between me and, well, anything, because I knew his choice would break my heart. And in the meantime, he took up so much room in my thoughts that I think it kept me from fully putting myself out there and seeking a deep relationship with someone who would prioritize me.
I believe The Pedant loves me as much as he’s capable of loving anyone. I just don’t think that’s enough for me. And it’s somewhat difficult right now not to think of my time with him as a waste. I settled for so much less than I actually wanted and I let that stunted, limited relationship get in the way of me forming others.