Guest Writers

I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You: A Guest Post by Julie Davidoski

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and, no doubt, some of you are feeling bummed out. Like maybe your boyfriend gave you a pencil for Valentine’s day. Yeah, that happened to me once, too. Jules of Go Jules Go is here to offer a little perspective on love, and she explains — without bitterness — how all the loving we do is worth it in the end. If you aren’t already following Jules, you should. A humorist, known for being downright hilarious, Jules shares another side of herself today. Tweet with Jules at @JulieDavidoski.

• • •

• I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You •

I was 18 years old when my life began.

One summer day, after the Y2K dust settled, an auburn-haired woman walked into the local book store where I worked. Jenn. The new hire. Nearly half a foot shorter than me, her sundress flapped against ivory legs as she took the new hardcovers to the front of the shop.

We were fast friends, chatting in between placing orders and ringing up customers.

“You were maaaade for retail,” she teased, quoting one of our recent patrons.

Jenn. Indeed.
Jenn. Indeed.

I rolled my eyes. I’d taken the full-time job at the book store at 16, the same year I earned my GED. I was taking classes at the local community college, my sights set on screenwriting. Bullied for glasses, braces, a few spare chins and a penchant for white tights, I was eventually home schooled. I sometimes wondered if ‘old soul’ really meant ‘late bloomer.’

Jenn regaled me with sordid tales of her past: Running away from home, men calling in the middle of the night begging for forgiveness, operatic dreams dashed, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

“You need a little fun in your life,” she said one night as we sipped Sangria at a local bar. At 24, she was five years older than me and knew all the places with the most lenient carding policies.

A little fun in my life.
A little fun in my life.

One month before my 19th birthday, Jenn and I took our shoes off in the mud room of her parents’ colonial and walked into the small, outdated kitchen, like we’d done many times before. We were surrounded by blue painted cabinets and faded wallpaper. Despite its age, everything in the house was spotless.

And there he was.

“Nej,” he greeted (“Jen” spelled backwards), his deep voice rumbling with affection.

The figure sitting at the small round table, munching away on carrot and celery sticks, shared Jenn’s fair skin and self-proclaimed ‘large Irish noggin,’ but had much darker brown hair and eyes. Goodbye Justin Timberlake, hello…

“Dan, this is Jules. Jules, Dan.”

Jenn’s twin brother. The apple of her eye. He grinned widely, eyes sparkling.

In addition to sharing physical similarities with his twin, Dan shared Jenn’s intelligence, musical ability and sense of humor. He’d graduated two years earlier with a degree in Psychology, but his true passion was film, giving us plenty in common. He had a serious girlfriend, but she didn’t like his friends, which meant every time I saw him, he was alone.

And suddenly he was everywhere. The next time we met, we talked for over an hour. The third time, he sprung up and gave me a giant bear hug. His solid frame pressed against me, and I lost my breath. I’d never been held like that.

That same night, he stopped me from leaving.

We stood in the laundry room of a friend’s house, chatting for a few minutes about music. When, it was time for me to go, Dan stepped forward to circle my waist with his arms.

“You give good hugs,” I murmured.

He gave a throaty chuckle and squeezed me even more tightly.

Over the following months, the conversations and hugs grew longer. And longer. But he never made a pass, and I was sure I was imagining things.

Finally, I emailed Dan. “I think there’s something between us,” I wrote, heart racing. “You’re completely amazing, and I wish you all the best life has to offer,” I went on. “I’m just afraid -and my ultimate point lies here- that you won’t realize when it’s being offered to you.”

I wrote that on a Thursday.

On Sunday, Dan replied, explaining his lack of response indicated “slight discomfort” because, while he enjoyed my company just as much, it was in “a different way.” He ended by saying he hoped that we could “continue to chill.”

I was devastated. Humiliated. Yet some part of me wasn’t willing to accept his words. I was sure if I waited long enough, and tried hard enough, I’d get the thing I wanted most.

Six months later, standing outside his parents’ house, Dan kissed me.

“I thought it was all in my head,” I breathed.

“It’s not,” he replied, brown eyes blazing. He held me and stared into my eyes, like he always did.

“I tried to figure out if I just wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough or funny enough,” I gushed. The words were out before I could censor them, and I didn’t care.

“That’s ridiculous,” he reassured me.

The following year was speckled with more kisses, a couple of midnight confessions, and an endless series of marathon hugs. He loved me, and said I was one of his best friends, but he was never ready to leave his girlfriend and accept all I was willing to give.

Before I knew it, I was 21 and begging Dan not to leave a party.

He did.

And that was the moment.

The moment I decided to let myself fall in love with someone else. Someone I’d known a long time. Someone who, as it turns out, loved me back.

That man is my now husband.


Jenn once told me, when I finally confessed how I felt about her brother, “Your loving Dan has a purpose, if only to make you see how much you deserve in love.”

And she was right. I never would have known how to appreciate all I have now if it wasn’t for all I didn’t have then. I finally realized love was easy. Simple. Happy.

Any time people talk about their most embarrassing moments, I think of that email I sent to Dan, confessing my feelings. I cringe. I blush. I bury my head in my hands.

But part of me loves that girl who didn’t get the guy. Because at least she tried.

Have you ever waited too long for love?

tweet us @juliedavidoski & @rasjacobson

88 thoughts on “I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You: A Guest Post by Julie Davidoski

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me (hey do you have any of those Milano cookies left?) and your kind intro, Renee! I’m really honored to have the chance to finally share this story!

  2. Jules! Thank you for being here today. I think most women crush on a few guys for too long before we realize *facepalm* um, he probably ain’t the one. Thank you for writing about your #SoWrong moment, which ultimately turns into a #SoRight moment. Hey. Pssst. Whatever happened to Jenn’s twin? Did he ever marry his girlfriend? Or what?

    1. Renee, I CAN FINALLY COMMENT! OMG. This whole day was like having a fuzzy, little puppy in front of me that I couldn’t pet. The “reply” button was missing! MISSING! I could type the comment and then…cry.

      Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words.

      So Dan stayed with that girl for another few years, and then started dating the girl he’s with now. I feel that’s all I’m at liberty to say in the blogosphere; I’VE ALREADY SAID TOO MUCH. 😉

  3. Major props to you Jules for having the courage to make the first move AND speak your heart! Think what might be now if you hadn’t. You are SO right: rejected or not, now or years later…”at least she tried.” Seriously, is there a manual “Love For Dummies” in book stores? You’ll never experience it unless you’ve jumped….several times. 😉 Wonderful story.

    1. I bet there IS a Love for Dummies. But I’ve been too busy reading Blogging for Dummies 😉

      Thank you so much. When I wrote this I kept thinking: Dang, I’m not sure I’d have the guts to ever do that again! But I really, really hope I would.

  4. Yeah, I already follow Jules. In every way possible . . . especially if it’s to Delaware. 😉

    Great story, Jules. And I can say that I have been there as well. The embarassing unrequited love story is all too well known to me. But I believe that everyone needs one of those, so they know the real thing when they finally encounter it. That’s what happened when I finally met MY hubs. There was love from both sides and it felt good. And right.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Jules. Wonderful story.

    1. Ha! ONE MORE WEEK, Ninja Snaps!!

      Now Misty, you know by saying that, you HAVE to write about this – now I’m dying to know your story!

      Thank you so much. I was ::whispers:: pretty nervous about letting this one take its first baby steps in the blogosphere.

  5. I forever loved a boy who was always a little out of reach. Not TOTALLY out of reach – because he was in my bed often enough. But out of REACH…yanno? But eventually I moved away and then he went to jail and then he followed me across a few provinces and then I loved him again and he moved in and then I DIDN’T love him and he went away.
    But I will NEVER not love Jules. EVER.

    1. Tee hee DITTO!!! And holy crap. Wow. Now THAT’S got memoir / blog post written all over it! I do have to give Dan credit for not taking advantage of me. Except emotionally. LOL

  6. How sweet and painful! My heart was pounding along with you when you sent that email. I have had those unrequited crushes on guys who just wanted to be friends, and I’ve been on the receiving end of them, too. As others have said, I think that’s part of finding out who you are and who is really, really right for you.

    1. Oh gawd, Peggles, my heart still pounds every time I think about it. I know it’s not funny-embarrassing, but it REALLY is one of my MOST, MOST (did I say MOST?) embarrassing moments.

      P.S. – You heartbreaker. I’ve only been on the receiving end once, I think, and it ruled. I don’t care what anyone says – having the upper hand is DEFINITELY the way to go. 😉

  7. Wow Jules! What you shared was really moving. I had an epiphany like that in my younger years. It was when my boyfriend of several years told me he could put me on a train tomorrow and never think about me again. I decided to look elsewhere too.

    1. Holy crimoli! I don’t even know the guy, but I kind of want to tie him to tracks 29 and let the local train show him a good time. Woot woot! Is that wrong? What these men do to our young hearts. Why do we let them do it? *weep* ????

    2. Thank you! And WOW. Wow. Yeah. That would… that would be the moment.

      But sometimes I feel the need to thank people like that – because they made awesome people like you who they are today!

  8. You were such a brave soul to bare your heart like that to Dan. I love your vulnerability and do believe it served you well in the end. But it’s easier to see for you than for myself. I have several Dans in my history – the ones I hung on to for too long (or exactly the right amount of time!) and who needed me to read between the lines because they were too chicken shit to be honest. I’ve also been Dan in a few relationships so I know both sides. Ugh. And yay to be past all that! Wonderful essay, Jules. Thank you!

    1. Thank YOU! It is a shame it can take so long to see what’s obvious to others. I am genuinely grateful for this experience, because not only did it help show me what ‘true’ love is, I feel like it may have saved me from some other relationship mistakes that I wasn’t equipped for. If that makes sense – being hung up on Dan kept me in this safe, little bubble until I was ready for the real deal!

  9. Yes, yes, yes: “Love was easy. Simple. Happy.” It took me too long to realize that, too, Jules. But now I’m with Mr. Rache and love is GRAND. You also made me think of my ninth grade crush Mark. I loved him with all the love in my fourteen-year-old heart. He took me to prom but dumped me a week later to go out with my older, more sophisticated friend, Devastated doesn’t even describe it. I cried so hard and for so long that my eyelids were five times their normal size.

    This was beautifully written. I like the ending the best. 🙂

    And Renzzzz, love this segment–and this post was perfect for it! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Rache! Thank you so much. Mr. Rache is definitely twuuuuu wuuuuuv (okay that’s Princess Bride, you got that, right?) material. You two make me happy.

      As much as it sucked being the chubby dork my entire childhood, I think it wound up saving me from a LOT of heartache.

    1. B, I can only assume you’re referring to Dan, and the wreckage he now feels he left behind by making the foolish, fumbling mistake of rejecting me.

      I totally agree.

    1. Thanks so much, Joan! This is a condensed version of something I wrote several years ago, and I don’t think there were enough tissues in the WORLD to absorb all the tears I shed while writing it! But of course, it’s got a happy ending 😉

  10. Loved the post Jules! Wow, I’m so glad though you found your love and happiness! I keep telling myself that all these heartbreaks and things I’ve been through is going to be worth it one day and that I’ll get my happy ending soon enough! 🙂

  11. Oh Jules, I love this post. You’re such a darling and I’m very glad you were able to let go and move on! Life offers up so many lessons, but we have to be able to step back a bit to see them. What if you had not done that? What if you had clung on? Think of what you’d be missing!

  12. JD, this was absolutely touching and perfectly told! And you know already that I’ve been there! I felt like I was right alongside you every step of the way. You are so right, it’s those past loves we missed out on that help guide us to bigger and better things and (hopefully) more truer love. I love your wedding photo, it’s sheer happiness. What a fantasic post, perfect this Valentine’s Day Week (that’s right, I’m making it a week-long thing…need more pampering and chocolate and wine…)

    1. Thank you so much, DP! It’s funny how these stories can be so scary to share, even though you KNOW, much like with unwanted facial hair (what? No, I never wrote about that! How insulting!), everyone has had the same experience 😉

      Now the real question is: Do you have any chocolate wine left?

  13. Dang, Jules! I teared up a bit over this. Great post and a brilliant conclusion to come to after all of it. I’ve been in the same boat, waiting around for a guy so it really struck a chord with me. You really do appreciate loving someone and being loved so much more after a bout of unrequited love. Your wedding photo is awesome, had me smiling. Thanks for sharing this, perfect timing with Valentine’s Day. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Audrey! It’s kind of blowing my mind that every. Single. Commenter here has had a Dan, if not many Dans. Is no one spared?!?! *shakes fist at the heavens* Well, apparently it’s a prerequisite for ‘happily ever after’!

  14. Haven’t we all had some Dan in our lives??? I have and it can be really humiliating when we proclaim our interest only to have them turn away from us. Good thing I married a Danny! There’s not one Dan in him. Danny is his real name!

    1. It certainly sounds like it, Susie! I really think our past relationships / unrequited loves make us who we are, so that we’re ready for the real deal when it comes along. I also think the ‘right’ relationships make us much better people – more confident, positive and grounded, so we’re ready for future challenges and opportunities.

      Signed, Julie Davidoski, self-help guru, life coach & chipmunk enthusiast

      1. Hahaha! Love your job title. Ironically, yesterday there was an episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” on this very subject. They each had someone on “the hook” and they were on someone’s hook. They were pretty hilarious triangles…

  15. Beautiful post, Jules. “Before I knew it, I was 21 and begging Dan not to leave a party. He did. And that was the moment.”
    Man, oh man, that part made my stomach turn a little–it reminded me of my “Dan’s” (unfortunately plural). So well written, thanks for sharing this part of your story–so many of us can relate!

    1. Thank you so much, Rian! I feel for you – I’m not sure I was ‘built’ to handle more than one Dan in my life! I wish fewer women could relate, but then my story wouldn’t be so awesome. ha ha ha Sorry. Had to.

  16. Lovely story nicely written! And only slightly cringe-worthy… we’ve all been there! This guest posting thing of Renee’s is turning out rather nicely. And then there’ll be me come July. Oh well…she’ll have a good thing while it lasts. 😉

    1. Thanks so much! I know, this one seems less cringe-worthy because everyone can relate, but dang, it is without a doubt one of my most head-slapping moments. I suppose it could have been worse. I could have sent another email just like it [to him] a year later. Oh wait. I did that, too.

      I can’t wait to read your post this summer!

  17. Kudos for having the guts to tell him how you felt. Otherwise, this brave, bittersweet post might have been about the regrets you had from that time you met a great guy and were too scared to let him know!

  18. Dan, Dan the heartbreak Man. We’ve all survived one or two (or say, seven). I am not sure I would have had the guts to put my feelings out there – and I admire the courage that took. No restraining orders were needed -right? And look at you and Le Pep there on that happiest of days. Things turn out they way they should, don’t you think?

    1. I really do think things work out for the best, Katy! Of course, since Jenn is still my BFF, things get a little weird since I’m not allowed within 250 feet of her brother…

  19. Here that “thud?” That’s the sound of me, falling at Jules’ feet. God, I love this. Love you. Love that your saw and tried and utimately, though not in the way or place you’d imagined, found love. This is a PERFECT Valentine’s Day story! Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Thoughtsy! My fingers and toes are crossed, but I think that’s completely unnecessary for someone as lovely as you. (I swear that isn’t just the second L.I.T. talking.)

  20. Waited too long? If memory serves me I was the first to pounce. However, I did wait too long — forever — for the out of my league fellows, or those I perceived to be so. If you ever watched, or will admit to watching, The Big Bang Theory, I would be your female Raj, not in brains Dept. In tongue tied Dept.

    Haven’t posted here in ages, looks like you lot have fun.

    1. Darlin:

      I LOVE The Big Bang Theory, are you kidding? And I’m glad to be RASJ instead of Raj, poor kid. He needs to get shnockered before he can chat it up with the ladies.Like you, I haven’t been there in ages, but I remember it. I remember crushing too hard on the wrong boy. Ugh. So embarrassing. I’m so glad that Jules shared her story here — because haven’t we all had a Dan in our life? That guy who pays out just enough line to make us believe we might be able to fly one day? I’m so glad you stopped by, A!

    2. “…or those I perceived to be so.” It’s so funny what time can do to our perceptions. Any of those characters on The Big Bang Theory would have seemed like pariahs in high school, in terms of dating. And then… bring it, Sheldon!

  21. What a fabulous and well told story. I suspect we all have those moments, you handled yours better than many of us. Thankfully your ‘waited to long’ ended with a wonderful lesson of the heart and a gift in the end, the right prince.

    1. Thank you so much, Val! This is one of those stories that, ironically, I felt like I kept trying to tell ‘perfectly,’ so it was really cathartic to finally let it go.

  22. Jules, this story was beautiful! Brings tears to my eyes, in fact. The night I met my husband was interesting in that my ex-boyfriend, whom I still loved, was performing with his band. He was in town from another city where he lived and I thought a nostalgic hook-up was surely underway as his band was intending to crash at my apartment for the night. After they finished playing their gig, my ex-boyfriend wanted me to stick around and go to another bar with him. I knew there was a high possibility we’d get back together as the hinting and talking that we might was all leading up to that night. But, dammit, he never made me happy. In fact, he made me unhappy. So I went with my friend Tracy to another bar and left him there with his bandies and my house key. “Don’t wait up, and help yourself to any food before you leave tomorrow.” It was liberating. Not kidding, that night I met my husband. In the bar where I went with my friend Tracy. I didn’t know him but had run into him at a restaurant before. We hit it off instantly and he’s never made me anything but happy. Two months after meeting we were planning for the rest of our lives.

    Sorry for the novel. I just can’t tell you how much I love this story you shared and how much it speaks to my own experience.

    1. Nnng, there is no greater thrill / compliment than getting a ‘novel’ comment (pun TOTES intended) from you! This is an incredible story… though I suspect no lesser beginnings from the couple who exchange such epic works of art.

      Thank you so much. That really, really means a lot to me coming from you.

  23. Feels warm! I sense courage n strength, like this story! I almost feel not like when I thought U married to Dan, then I realized U in love & married with another person that’s really appreciate U 🙂 Greetings

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