Face it, men take Hollywood’s version of romance just as heartily as women do. And who can blame them? They are constantly being bombarded by macho men who stop at absolutely nothing to “get the girl.” The advice they hear from every person willing to give advice is “don’t give up on her.” Go to her workplace, send her flowers, break up her wedding, stalk her every night until she finally realizes in a moment of epic proportions, pouring rain, starlight, and tears that oh my goodness you are the only one that’s ever been there for me, in a totally not creepy way at all, I’m so in love with you, come make sweet love to me until we die together in my bed at the age of 100 in a blaze of glory.
Sometimes it’s okay to let her go. More often than not, that doesn’t happen. Sure, sometimes on rare occasions, it does, but this is real life. Maybe we’re so obsessed with the “friend zone” that we’ve over-glorified stories in which those poor, underestimated Romeos win. We’ve created a subculture of men who don’t take “no” for an answer, which not only causes prolonged heartbreak for those men, but often perpetuates rape culture and doesn’t end well for either party involved.
Boys, the best advice I can give you is this: sometimes, it’s okay to let her go. I understand, you’re in love and maybe next week she’ll be into you, but the thing is that next week, she won’t. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth.
It may sound sad, but it’s actually a hopeful message. If you let go of her, you free yourself up to find someone who can be what she doesn’t want to be. You can find someone who wants to kiss you until you’re both breathless and sees stars and fireworks every time. You can find that love that everyone is looking for. Don’t waste all of your time fixating on someone who doesn’t want it. Trust me.
I started dating someone a year ago because I didn’t want to be alone. I had just started my first semester of college, I was fresh out of a bad relationship, and I wasn’t used to dating around. I was always used to being someone’s “girl.” I was having fun being myself and learning how to date for real when He caught sight of me. He was awkward and nerdy, but we had a lot in common. I told him right off the bat that I didn’t want to date steady. I wanted to have fun. He didn’t want to have fun. He wanted a white picket fence and babies and me, pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen to kiss him on the cheek when he got home from a bland nine to five office job. He wanted “all of me, forever, every day” or however that stupid quote from The Notebook goes. That’s what He wanted. I wanted all of that too, but I wanted it when I was ready for it. I wanted it with someone who wasn’t Him. He took my blunt “I just want to have fun” as a “please never give up on dating me, I need you. I’m just being stupid right now” when it clearly wasn’t.
He called me every night. He texted me all day, even when we had nothing to talk about. He invited me over every chance he got. Eventually, all of the boys I had been casually seeing broke it off or disappeared or lost interest. They dropped like flies until the only one left was Him. Still weakened from my history of hating loneliness, He wore me down until I decided it wouldn’t hurt to date the guy that didn’t want to give up on me. In a way, that was almost romantic. And He took to the hills, proclaiming his triumph over the dreaded “friend zone.” A week later, he told me he loved me in a Taco Bell parking lot and I almost threw up. Like a cornered cat facing a hose, I told him he didn’t. He didn’t love me. He didn’t know me. I didn’t know him. And I DEFINITELY didn’t love him. Three months later, he wore me down again. I guess I loved him. I mean, what else was I supposed to feel? He was the one who never gave up. He never let go. Two more months later, when he asked me to marry him, I swallowed my vomit a second time and said yes. Maybe it was his puppy dog eyes or the fact that I couldn’t break his heart even though I wanted to punch a hole through the Chili’s restaurant window and run to Mexico just to get away from him. I mean, if we just kept being together, maybe the love would one day appear. I mean, he was the boy who never gave up. He never let go.
Almost a year later, I did what I didn’t want to do then and broke his heart. I didn’t love him. I barely knew him. I just kept holding on because he was the one who never gave up. He never let go. And I thought maybe that would translate into love somewhere, but my math was a little bit majorly off. I tortured and hurt myself and caused both of us pain because I couldn’t hurt the boy who never gave up. I didn’t want to hurt the boy who didn’t let go. The point that I’m trying to make here is that, first of all, I’m sorry to Him. I never meant to hurt him. Maybe if I had just been more blunt, he may have gotten the message. Second of all, if he had just given up on the girl who clearly didn’t want to be with him, he would’ve spared himself a lot of heartbreak. He would’ve gotten the picket fence, the babies, the everything with someone who wanted it just as badly as he did. I hope he does one day. All of this pain and sadness, this whole crazy mess could have been avoided.
Sometimes it’s okay to give her up. Sometimes it’s better in the long run. When you look back on that girl in a month, five months, a year, ten years, you’ll realize you were so much happier without her. Love hurts. But giving her up might be the best way to spare yourself a lot more hurt. Trust me.