On Being Addicted To Unrequited Love: Let Him Go, Sis
It’s another Valentine’s Day. You’ve tried your best to forget that it was coming up---you didn’t want to get your hopes up. You didn’t bother mentioning it to him because maybe he’s trying to surprise you. He hasn’t told you to make any plans but you a bought a dress, got waxed, got a mani/pedi and made a makeup appointment anyway, just in case. I mean, if you’re going to be out with him on the national holiday of love, you’re going to look your best. Who knows, he may even put you in his IG story (you know he’s hella private so posting a picture would have too many people in his “business”). After last year’s disappointment, he owes you one. But, somehow, in all of this premature excitement, there is a small nagging voice inside of you that won’t stop asking, “why would today be any different?”----if you’ve been his sometime “situation” since day one, why would he change his tune now?
He won’t. He never will.
You can mount up with wings like an eagle and this man still would not commit to you on any real level because he doesn’t want to, sis. And you’re spending the most precious resource that any of us have---time---on someone who wishes that just once you’d be unavailable when he calls (texts) you in the middle of night to see if “u up?”. You’re wasting your tears on someone who’s never even taken you out on a date in public because you’re convinced that love takes “work” and you’re just showing him that you are ready to do what’s required. Listen, he doesn’t care. He’s known from day one that he had no intention on being with you in any real way outside of a bedroom. And there’s something in you that knows this too. But the sensible part of you is being drowned out by the part that lives for the drama of unrequited love. You see, unrequited love has been fed to us as a necessary evil that just comes with the job of trying finding your soulmate. Songs, movies, books---they all say the same thing: you must be made to feel absolutely terrible by the person you love before you can ride into the sunset on your horse-drawn carriage. Issa lie. And we all buy it. We star in our own little melodramas behind people we know will never treat us the way we deserve because it feels grown up. We want to solemnly drink wine and listen to the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack in our pajamas while we wait for him to call because it’s what grown women do when they’re hurting. We subtweet, post our most attractive photos and have the most fun possible on our Snapchats in an effort to make a man feel “a way” who has no feelings for us at all. Rinse and repeat. And we keep this going not because we love this man so much but because we become addicted to the attention we receive from being unlucky in love.
“What? You’re saying I like to be played?”
That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Now, I am not saying that he’s right to play you but I am saying that you’re holding the playbook and agreeing to stay in the game anyway. You know too much about who he is and what he’ll do to you to not put a definitive end to this mess but you don’t. You’re addicted to the dance. You get high off of his rejection and love to feel his lies course through your veins. You knew when you ordered that dress a month ago that you’d end up not wearing it tonight but you bought it anyway. I bet you even told your friend, “I’m going to be so mad if I spend this money on this dress and he doesn’t even take me out”---your friend rolled her eyes on the other side of the phone because she knows…and you do too. You’re playing Russian roulette with your heart and pretending to be mad when you end up with a bullet to the chest. This isn’t love. This is dependency. You don’t know who you are without “relationship” drama. You are the perfect girl who no man appreciates. The girl who can cook, stays fit, is successful, is beautiful and yet always falls for the wrong guy. This is the story you’ve written for yourself and the identity that you’ve gotten used to. But none of it is true. What is true is that you’re afraid to be alone so rather than getting comfortable in your own silence---you are willing to put up with any crumbs you’re given. What is true is that you believe that all of the things you’ve accomplished are mute if you don’t have a man too. What is true is that you fear you won’t have anything to keep the attention on you if you’re not bleeding out once a week for a man who doesn’t love you. What is true is that you’re scared the love you actually want is not available to you so you tell yourself that every relationship has a problem so why start all over from the beginning with someone new? What is true is until you own that unrequited love is not love at all---you’ll be at home with your freshly painted nails, freshly whipped hair, brand new dress and broken heart for years to come. You’ll be the bridge and never the destination for every man with time on his hands to ruin a good woman and it’ll be no one’s fault but your own. You’ll end up exactly how you’ve feared…lonely. And it won’t be because you don’t have a partner--- it’ll be because you’ve lost all of yourself in the process.
Block his number today, sis. It ain’t worth the wait.
Buy Iman’s book “on breakups and beginnings” here.