From TV screens to real life experiences, we’re all familiar with the storyline in which a strong, beautiful women gets her heart broken by the guy who’s “just not ready for a relationship.” And while I started to write this piece as an open-ended letter to the asshole of a man who can so selfishly engage in relationship-like behaviors only to break things off when she asks to be serious… I’m going to speak to the women who keep allowing themselves to fall for that asshole instead.
There are two things I want to acknowledge before I go any further. 1) I’m not saying that it’s 100% your fault that your heart was broken and 2) Almost all of us have been exactly where you are right now. So don’t worry, I’m not here to read you, girl, but I will tell you that it’s time to stand up for yourself. If he isn’t ready to make you his woman, then he’s not the man for you. Say it loud and say it proud, girlfriend—I’m not going to be your almost girl.
All too often do we, as women, give so much of ourselves to the man we are interested in because we’re trying to prove ourselves—assuring him that we can be everything we think he wants in a woman like that’ll be enough to make him choose you. The more I date, the more I’ve learned that men are so damn simple that it really is just a matter of wanting to be committed to someone or not for them.
There’s a reason why he was able to give the girl he dated after you the relationship he wouldn’t give you and the harsh reality of that is because he wanted to. Sure, there are contributing factors usually, but very rarely (at least this is what my male best friend told me) do they choose another girl because of how “you” she isn’t. It’s not because she’s prettier than you. It’s not because she cooks better than you. It’s a feeling, a change, a desire to be better for that particular woman and to commit to her and only her.
The truth isn’t always pretty ladies, but I feel like if we could accept this more, we would see ourselves on the other end of it instead of always wondering why some guy chose another woman over you. This is why I always say, ask for clarity. Stop being a girlfriend to the guy who won’t make you one. Stop acting like a wife to the man who doesn’t think y’all are ready to take things to the next level. You’ve got to learn to be more cutthroat about your heart. Always remember that people will treat you the way you allow them to.
Of course, I’m not saying go on one date with a guy and then force him to make a decision on whether or not you guys are in a relationship, but know how to act accordingly to whatever stage of dating that you’re in. If you’re in the beginning stages, try not to spend the night with him and vice versa. See each other on outings and dates. The more time you spend at home with him the more likely you are to start up some of those girlfriend-like behaviors too soon.
When you guys get to a point where you’re ready to take things to the next level, make sure you get the clarity you need. *TIP: If you have to ask “what are we?”, I’d abort mission as quickly as possible. If you’re not even sure what you guys are, he isn’t reciprocating the actions you should be receiving from a guy who is genuinely interested in you.*
And when it’s time to have the conversation about dating exclusively, do it with confidence, girl. Hold your head up high and let him know that you’re not going to be his almost girl. Please be clear, I’m not telling you to force him to say yes, but I do want you to let him know that almost isn’t going to cut it. Even if he says no, don’t lose that confidence. You are enough and the right man will come along—and when he does, there’s no way in hell he’d let you be an almost girl.
This article was originally written by Editor-in-chief of Prime Fifty-Two, Isis Nezbeth, and can also be seen on Thought Catalog.