Heartbreak sucks. Let me be the first to say that it doesn’t feel good.
In fact, it feels awful. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d say that it feels like the removal of your wisdom teeth – all four of them. Like heartbreak, that’s an excruciating pain that you can’t describe unless you’ve been through it.
But as someone who knows what it means to be “friendzoned,” I’ve learned that this is a type of heartbreak too. Though heartbreak is something that we all try to avoid, it is an inevitable experience for some of us in our pursuit for love.
By: Erika Hunter
I thought heartbreak was devastating with a claimed partner. I don’t mean to make light of how hard this is, but I believe that heartache also comes when the person you take interest in was almost yours. This kind of heartache is fairly different in that you start to question whether his request to be “just friends” implies your inability to please him romantically. Allow me to explain.
Heartbreak has the ability to rip us apart. If we’re not careful, it can cause us to think less of ourselves or believe that we’re not equipped for love. And putting us in the friendzone after a “relationship trial-run” only leaves us feeling worse.
To all of my ladies who have been placed in (or are currently in) the friendzone, this is for you. It is my hope that you can clearly see your options: either accept being just the friend if this is enough for you, or—move on from the potential relationship.
Heartbreak only thrives on the energy you give it. I challenge you to wrestle with the emotions associated to being friendzoned. Afterwards, hold yourself accountable to do things differently. For me, doing things differently looked like coming to terms with our friendship and being okay with it, not acting like a girlfriend, and most importantly, guarding my heart. But before we go there, let’s jump into how you might be feeling.
Chances are, you were pursuing a relationship with someone who, for whatever reason, decided to call a quits on what I like to call “the situationship.” You two never got to the finish line — a committed relationship — because they decided to back out on you mid-race. They might have gotten cold feet or lost interest in you altogether. Regardless of their reason, it may leave you hopeless.
All of a sudden, you fall into the self-doubt game:
What did I do wrong? What did I NOT do right? Did I not affirm him enough? Did I speak too loosely about his flaws? Do I just have too many flaws?
You wrestle with these questions day in and day out. You somehow think that the answers to these questions might help you to understand why he didn’t commit. After all, you treated him the way that a girlfriend does. In response, he told you of his feelings for you. They weren’t as deep as yours were for him, but that was good enough for you.
He constantly reminded you of the potential he saw in you. Time and time again, he’d say things like, “I’m not going anywhere,” or “You mean so much to me.” But, your interpretations of what those messages meant were incorrect.
He may not have said those things because of his feelings for you (even if he might have felt them). He said them because of the kind of friend you are.
But friendship isn’t the only thing you want. And it sure isn’t the only thing he hinted at. You desired the commitment, the relationship posts, and the cute little dates that you see on your social feeds all too often. But, the reality is you may never receive any of those — from him.
I remember the day that I accepted this truth. I was on the phone with a mutual friend of ours. As tears started to roll down my face, she encouraged me to look on the bright side. She said,
You don’t lose your worth in the friendzone; sometimes the friendzone is where it ought to stay for the betterment of both individuals.
She was right. I didn’t receive it well in the moment, but it eventually became digestible. She then went on to say that there are lessons to be learned in every situation we encounter. Though I desired the commitment, there were characteristics about him that I didn’t necessarily want in a forever partner. I knew that I deserved more the moment he said, “Don’t settle for me…there’s better out there for you.”
And there it was. The truth. The hard, but desperately-necessary-to-hear truth.
If you’re anything like me, you might be saying, “but he showed up for me.” Whenever you needed him, he’d be right there willing to help out in whatever way he could.
You thought that if you played your cards right and waited around for him, he would soon recognize that you’re the one he’s been looking for this whole time. So, you continue to make yourself readily available.
Every chance you got, you made mention of the two of you. You were hopeful that he’d speed things along and grant you the title that you were “acting like.” I mean, he was doing all of what the boyfriend title permitted too, right?
He didn’t commit.
Read about how to spot and avoid a commitment-phobe.
You spent your time with someone who treated you as if you were more than a friend, only to find out that that’s all they want to be.
“I just want to be friends.”
Don’t know if you’re an option or a priority in your relationship? Read this article here.
I know the kind of pain that surfaces after hearing those words. However, I must tell you (like our friend told me that day) that friendship is a beautiful thing. If the person you were trying to move things along with was truly your friend from the beginning, it might be worth it to maintain the friendship. The intimate feelings can very well make this harder to do.
However, I’ve come to learn in my own experience that there’s something special about being a man’s friend.
I acknowledge that my guy friend might not see the prize of being more than just a friend to me, but I’m learning from him (as he is from me). You reap the benefit of getting to know what men are like, how they think, and that their actions express a lot about how they feel for you. Like myself, you learn things about your male friend that you may not like (and will not tolerate in the next relationship pursuit).
Now, I’m not telling you to maintain a friendship with a guy who wasn’t your friend to begin with. Chances are, if the relationship pursuit was destructive, it will transfer over in the friendship. However, if the friendship was healthy, it might be worth sticking around for.
Thinking about dating? Learn about the 5 conscious dating tips from Coach Kevin Anthony Johnson.
But, whatever decision you make (whether you want to remain his friend or not), you have to make the conscious decision of getting up and trying love again. Elsewhere.
He might not have made you his. And you may never have that committed relationship with your desirable friend.
But there are some things in life that we have no control over.
Instead of focusing our attention on what’s out of our control, it’s time that we focus on what’s in our control. Choose how to respond to your heartbreak.
Remember, you are stronger than any heartache! Never fail to get back up again, ladies.
How do you deal with heartbreak? Tell us in the comments down below!