Don’t drink with men who are unsure about you.
Don’t ask him what he’s doing on a Friday night and suggest that you two grab a few drinks at the bar. Don’t order a whiskey to sip on slowly while you study his face and try and figure out what the hell is going on in his mind and in his heart.
Don’t get drunk with men who don’t want to commit to you.
Don’t flirt with him over two or three rounds. Don’t let him make you feel seen and important for a night when you mean nothing the next morning. Don’t let him tell you how funny you are and don’t feel like this will make him love you because it won’t. Don’t give him new laugh lines and reasons to stay up past midnight. Don’t be his option when he’s always your choice.
Don’t order Ubers with men who only see you as temporary.
Don’t let the lines between”maybe” and “one day” blur as you nuzzle your way into his arms while you wait for it to come. Don’t let this make you feel safe just because it’s freezing and he’s keeping you warm. Don’t ignore that sinking feeling in your stomach that tells you to let go and don’t hold his hand in the backseat as you both get driven back to his apartment.
Don’t go home with men thinking it will change anything.
Don’t kick off your shoes and look for a beer in his fridge. Don’t drink it while you figure out what to do next. Don’t pretend you want to watch a scary movie. Don’t say you’re tired too and don’t crawl into his bed thinking things won’t escalate because lately they always do.
Don’t kiss men who don’t want you.
Don’t put words and promises in his mouth just because his lips are dancing with yours and you want it to mean something. It doesn’t. Don’t think that things have changed because he’s holding you and rubbing your arm gingerly at 2 a.m. Don’t pretend you’re being anything other than reckless.
Don’t fall asleep next to men who don’t notice when you leave in the morning.
Don’t carefully tiptoe around his room, gathering your things and trying to be as quiet as possible so you don’t wake him. Don’t go and hug him when he does stir and he tells you to drive safely. Don’t think this means he’ll think about you later.
But most importantly, don’t fall in love with men who whisper, “Maybe.” Because maybe does not mean one day. It means nothing.
It means nothing at all.