To the person I’ll love next:

Thrillers make me anxious. Horrors make me terrified.

I overly empathize with fictional characters. I will cry in almost every movie we watch.

Father/Daughter scenarios will always be especially hard.

I will touch you in public constantly. On your arm; the bend of your elbow, the small of your back–holding your hand, grazing my thumb across your palm.

I will touch you in private excessively. I will want you close to me obnoxiously.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night crying. It happens mostly in Augusts and Novembers. Sometimes it hits me at random times throughout the day.

It will never be your job to make me happier. It will never be your burden to collect each of my tears.

Sometimes work will make me agitated. Sometimes work will make me cry. I don’t want you to fix anything; just to hold me until I remember who I am. Until I remember the reasons of what I do.

Sometimes you’ll want to pay for me. Sometimes you’ll have a biological desire to provide. I have a psychological need to be independent. To decline. To not forgo my individuality; to not forget myself. To not become a girl that I used to be to a person I used to love.

Sometimes I’ll cancel dates. Sometimes I’ll be too tired; too sad. Sometimes I’ll hate myself too much to show myself to you. Sometimes there will be nothing you can do.

Sometimes I will talk about you to my friends. Sometimes I will reference you in social media. Sometimes I will ask for advice on our issues in private, to the other people I love the most. But I promise to remember that a relationship is between two people. I will promise that I will never speak poorly of you on a public forum. That I will respect you enough to remember the sanctity of your name.

I will promise to understand the line of your privacy; even when it is mixed with mine.

I can’t promise you that I’ll look the same as the day we met.

My weight will fluctuate. My makeup routine will change. My skin will break out. My hair will be shiny one day, and unruly the next. But I promise I will always make the effort. I promise to spend the extra hours before dates–to spend the extra time on the romance.

I promise to show you that just because I am yours and you are mine–I will never stop trying for the reaction on your face when we first met. For the reaction when you first held me in your arms and discovered there was never anybody else.

I can’t promise you that I’ll be happy all the time.

I can’t promise you that I’ll never be cranky or agitated or unreasonable.

But I can promise to never raise my voice. To never say hurtful things for validation or importance. To always be honest with my intentions; to never ask you a question I cannot handle the answer to.

I can’t promise you that I’ll never have men in my life.

I have four brothers. I have multiple guy friends. I have a male audience. I will have men who make advances.

But I will only ever have one you. Only one person who can ever see me in my most private. Only one person who can ever have me in my most primal. Only one person who ever receives my intimacy; my most trusted secrets, my most embarrassing, offensive thoughts.

Only one person who will ever have a response to their advances.

This is not a promise. It is a fact; a hardwired stipulation of my being.

I can’t promise you a forever.

I can’t promise to like you unconditionally.

If one day, we wake up and find ourselves apart; I will promise you I would have tried my hardest to avoid it. I will promise you I’ll never forget you. The things you will have eventually taught me; the feelings you eventually showed me.

I will promise you I’ll never allow the bad days to influence the good ones.

I will promise to remember the journey, regardless of the destination. To never rescind the love that had already occurred; the residual love that will always linger.

I will promise to always want the best for you, even when it’s not the best for me. I will promise to not intentionally hurt you, to try my hardest to not unintentionally hurt you.

I will promise you–that my love for you, regardless of being a memory or a constant, will always mean you have someone in your corner.

If five years or ten years after we have moved apart, and you find yourself lost at 4am–I will remind you of the things I remembered, the person I had loved.

If five years or ten years we have found ourselves alone without each other, but still severely in love–I will promise to close my eyes, and find my way to you.

—  Jenny Vu