Even as I'm writing this letter, I'm not sure that I'll ever publish it. The pain is still new, and I don't know how I'll feel days, or even weeks, from now. What I do know is that you hurt me.

Before you, there had only been one other. It was my first relationship, and it was with someone that was a friend, just like you. We dated, but I didn't have strong enough feelings to continue. He was in love with me, but I wasn't in love with him. But unlike you, I took the other's feelings into consideration. When I broke up with my first boyfriend, it hurt me as much as it hurt him. I didn't have feelings for him, but I didn't want to crush him. It was painful for a while, but we're OK now. We're still able to be friends because we understand each other's feelings.

And then you came along. We had been friends before you asked me out for coffee. I was pleasantly surprised because I hadn't had any idea that you were even interested in me. So we got coffee, and then we spent more time together, and then I realized that I liked you. I liked you a lot. I liked you so much that it took me by surprise, because I had never liked anyone that much. It's extremely hard for me to put myself out there when I like someone, but I was willing to for you.

I met your family, I was friends with your brother, and I loved your mom. We didn't get to spend time together constantly because we're both busy, but I was OK with that. I stayed up late waiting for you to text me back, I called you when I was bored at work, and I spent time finding the perfect little gift for you while I was on vacation.

And then you broke up with me. We were sitting in your car, and it was the first time I had been able to see you in a few weeks. I was about to show you pictures from my vacation when you looked at me and said, “I can't date." You went on to say that you had been in too many relationships that ended badly, causing you to lose a good friend. You said that you didn't want me to be upset, but how could I not be?

I had put myself out there for you and had been willing to open up, and I just got rejected. I thought back to how my previous relationship had ended, and it was similar — one person just didn't have the feelings for the other. But here's where it was different: while I took the other's feelings into consideration, you didn't. I had done everything I could not to crush him, while all you cared about was yourself. You said that you wanted to remain friends, but how could I be friends with someone who played with my emotions so carelessly?

Maybe one day we will be friends, but not right now. I'm sorry, but I'm going to need some time. I want to repair our friendship one day, but I will always be guarded. I was willing to give you my heart, but you didn't want it, and I won't make that mistake with you again.