I think, at our cores, no matter how jaded and cynical and bitter and burned we might claim to be — we’re optimists. We like to believe in love and happily ever after, and we like to believe that something is out there waiting for us. And so that is why we hold onto the could have beens, and all of the futures we painted in our heads but were never brave enough to admit. It’s hard to reconcile the fact that maybe, deep down, the way to get what we wanted was just to have The Talk with the other person before the cut-and-run. And that’s on us, and will ever be.
When you’re given cute words and quiet moments together, it’s very easy to see that inch and take a mile, but unless you follow through and ask for what you want to receive, you can’t blame anyone else when you’re not given it. But at the very least, if we are all constantly floundering through these almost-relationships together — because after all, it seems like everyone these days has an almost in their history — we can collectively learn, and be a little braver, and say what we want next time. Because after all, we’re optimists. We have to believe in love to survive. There will always be a next time, if only we can lick our wounds and find the courage within ourselves to try again.