That is what I tell him when he treats me like I don’t matter. How can you be important to anyone who treats you like you aren’t important? “Him” is no one specific anymore. He could be anyone. The men blur together because despite their differences, they always turn out to be a slightly varying shade of the same color of trash. Even the so-called “good” ones.

I have been guilty of being stupid, of being romantic and gullible and soft…as usual. I shouldn’t be so surprised at myself. Truly, I shouldn’t. I should know me by now and know the kind of men I attract and have always attracted… the kind that I have always been attracted to. It’s like a long-running joke, but none of it is funny. Fuck boys always get the last laugh, don’t they?

I swerved out of my lane. I do that far too often, watch far too many romantic comedies and dramas with subtle happenings that bloom into heart shattering romances. I forgot for 10 seconds that this is the real world and that I have a long history of choosing the wrong men. For 5 minutes, I forgot that I was tired, that I had given up men for the 100th time this year, and that the likelihood of actually meeting someone who deserved me was very unlikely. I started dreaming.

I fantasized. I couldn’t help it. The idea of being in a functioning, well-balanced, and healthy relationship was too much of a draw for someone who doesn’t really know what that feels like. Then I remembered what happened the last time I fantasized and the last time I admitted to loving someone. I know I shouldn’t live in the past, so I don’t. I exist in the present but am hyper aware of my own history. When my triggers are tickled, I disengage. I do not expect anyone to change for me. I know that they never do. People do not change for “love”. They learn to hide the worst parts of themselves or temporarily behave in a more pleasing way until you are hopelessly addicted to the fantasy. By that time, you are caught in a world filled with dragons and ogres that your truest love always slays and true love’s kiss fixes everything…with a bandaid.

You are waiting for the wounds to open. Trauma often happens that way. You don’t know it yet, but I should know by now. You cannot change people; they have to volunteer to become better. I no longer ask people to change. I do not beg for attention or ask more than twice for anything. I can abandon people without ever leaving. Watering myself down feels natural to someone who has always been too much for others. So I ask for boundaries and lines and, as long as I am not pushed, I will not cross them. Playing pretend is one of my greatest talents. Pretending to be okay, pretending to be unfazed, acting like everything is fine, that I can truly just be friends with someone I saw so much more in, but…

I am tired. I know by now that my friendships always last longer and sexual relationships are always temporary and usually short-lived. Surely, it is better to build a long-lasting friendship than to recklessly pursue a romantic relationship that will be over in a few months. This is how I reason with myself: weighing relationships with time as the measurement because I am far too tired of temporary people. Even casual sex has felt empty knowing that I am allowing someone to use my body who doesn’t give a fuck about my soul.

I do not have the time or energy to fall for someone I cannot be sure of. I still want the big wedding and the wedding dress and a beautiful engagement ring of blue diamonds, or possible sapphires. I still have time to work out those kinks because I am still searching without really looking. I re-downloaded Tinder for the 20th time this year, deleted Badoo a couple weeks ago after only having it on my Galaxy Note for 3 days. It only took 3 days to remember why I was tired of men and their fakeness and fuckery. Even I, with my longstanding love for twerking and ballet and all things dance, get tired of the same two step with simple, boring men who never have anything interesting to say and are always focused on getting laid.

I was someone who enjoyed casual sex and reveled in the thrill of knowing someone intimately but never knowing who they were as a person, only seeing them as an object of desire, a human dildo, and as a person worthy of basic respect, but not me and certainly not my love. To be casually affectionate with men I had no real bonds with used to be freeing, but somehow men have learned to suck the enjoyment out of everything they touch.

So when a lost love texted me telling that he missed me and wanted to plan a trip together, I put him back in his lane. This is someone who has never been dependable, even when we lived in the same neighborhood. He’d come over, then have some “errands” to run (who the fuck even knows what he was doing), say he’d come back later, and never once did he come back. He was one of those niggas that when he says he’ll come over on Thursday, you go ahead and make other plans because you know you ain’t going to see him on Thursday and probably won’t for another couple of weeks, so when he texted me out of the blue saying that we should plan [another] trip (Did I forget to mention we started “planning” a trip a few months ago that never happened because we got into a fight about his unwillingness to promise me more than 7 days of dick and head?), I felt another piece of myself break.

It continues to amaze me how people who say they love you treat you. I rarely hear from this nigga so having him pop up out of the blue to drag me through some feelings I’ve been wishing dead set me the fuck off. I told him I’d rather continue being some girl he texts sometimes than continue letting him treat me like some in betweener girlfriend that he hits up whenever he’s single again. I’d rather mean nothing to him than settle for the worthless scraps he’s offering. It was him that first confessed to having feelings, that was years ago, and he has never stepped up to prove that he wasn’t lying or toying with me.

I will shove every inkling of romantic feelings into a tiny box and shove it under my bed before I re-open myself to someone with pretty words with no substance. Men do not care about the damage they are doing by being fickle. They do not understand what it means to be responsible for the way they handle women’s feelings. They will drain you, if you let them, if you do not understand what it feels like to be drained, and when you are empty, they will leave. They will abandon you when the sadness they planted creeps over your soul and into your eyes like a crawling vine, and they will blame it on you.

I am tired of the constant “What are you doing?” messages and the pointless small talk and the humorless and tasteless attempts to get me on my back. But men will try, they always do. Keeping in contact over long periods of time, convinced that they will wear you down and make you comfortable so they can get what they want from you. Even the ones you’ve already fucked and forgotten. They come crawling back, buttering you up by commenting horny thoughts on your selfies and talking about your cleavage. They blur together. A steaming pile of endless trash. I miss the feeling of falling in love, but then I remember that there will be no romance and craving dick is a sure way to get into a lot of stressful ass trouble. When I receive those “Can I come over?” texts, I have to remember that I’m just another hoe these niggas text sometimes. “Sometimes” being a euphenism for when they want to get their dicks wet. I remember my place, and it is not bumping hips with another man I’ll be trying to forget about in 3 months. Love is out there, somewhere, the kind that does not ask me to settle or change or be anyone other than who I am. It is not here right now, but I will find it.

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Maple Summers

Believes in freedom. Helping to bring openness to a sexually repressed country. Eradicating slut-shaming. Defending women of all walks. Encouraging explorative and healthy dating and relationships.

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