Many young women who are not in committed relationships, desire to be in one, or will one day in the future. Whether it’s right now, or 5 to 10 years from now, most women long for commitment.

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Then there are women who are not technically in committed relationships, but actually are in committed relationships; by themselves. How is this possible?

Scenario: You and this guy start texting and hanging out for awhile (sex or no sex), and you “catch feelings” for one another, and might even think you love each other. Things are going great. You begin to think that what you two have going on could grow into more; perhaps, a committed relationship. But something happens. You realize his feelings may not be as strong as yours. He becomes distant, and doesn’t talk to you as much. It almost seems like he’s no longer interested in you. But, you’re confused because things were just going so well. All of a sudden, he drops these words on you the way Beyonce dropped Lemonade on the universe: “I don’t want a relationship, right now.” And he follows up with, “Let’s just be friends.”

You hear him, but you’re not listening. Somehow “I don’t want a relationship” gets lost in the sauce of your feelings and the only two words you hear are “right now”. Although you don’t quite understand why this is happening, you agree to be “just friends”, because you don’t want to lose him completely, and know in your heart that he’ll eventually come around.

Is that you?

If it is, I can relate because the waiting woman is me, too.

Repeatedly, I’ve thought, “He’s just not ready yet”.. “He’s young, and just wants to have fun”…”You don’t need to be tied down anyway, just focus on you.”

Or, my personal favorite, “you’re a ‘good girl,’ and ‘wifey material’ tends to scare guys away.”

This all could very well be true, but the truest statement is what he said to me before I made up all of these BS excuses in my head as to why he doesn’t want a relationship. I’m going to go ahead and jump the gun mid-post: “I don’t want a relationship right now”= I don’t want you. He was honest from the start.

I’ve waited, and I’ve settled. Understand that you have been settling if he’s told you he wants to be “just friends”, and you’ve agreed just to satisfy his desires. For one, it’s never that easy to flip the switch of your feelings on and off. He may want to stay friends, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically ready to oblige. What about what you want? Does that even matter?

By verbally agreeing to be his friend, but failing to mentally and emotionally follow through, I’ve been not only lying to myself, but playing myself too. You might think you can view him as any other guy friend, but you still get those butterflies every time you see him. Once in awhile you share deep conversations about your interests, and just about anything going on in your life that you wouldn’t normally discuss with anyone else. But at the same time, you’d rather be talking about your futures laid up under him while watching The Notebook.

While he’s having fun (and we ALL know what “fun” means), you are blocking that blessing who just walked past on the way to class and called you beautiful, all because you’re anticipating the potential (non-existent) future when homeboy runs back into your arms. That curve could have been your cure! Or, lately you’ve been feeling like you’ve lost your groove; your juice. Guys don’t approach you like they used to, and you’re wondering why he’s been able to have fun with other girls, but you’re at home feeding your feelings with Netflix and Pink Moscato. Guys sense that you are holding on to something; that you’ve been dealing with something you can’t shake. You might be completely single, but because your heart is with someone else, he doesn’t even want to bother.

You are stuck, with your life on pause, waiting on this man because you know deep in your heart that he’ll eventually change his mind. Why? Because you love him and he loves you.

But, is this really love? You find yourself singing the “reciprocity” line in Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” at the top of your lungs because you’re obviously not getting any, right?

Love may have it’s ups and downs, but no where in love are there sleepless nights, pillows drenched in tears, random blockings on social media, drunk texts to which you might or might not receive responses, or ignored feelings.

At this point, you don’t understand why it hurts so much, but it does. And you want it to end, but you don’t want to lose him either. You know if you tell him you can’t be friends, he’ll find a way to make you stay, and if he doesn’t beg you to stay, it hurts even more because it seems as if he never cared.

Or, if you do walk away, you feel like something’s missing when he’s gone. He has become part of your daily routine. He sends you some dope ass music randomly, or checks on you to see how you’re doing, and vice versa. You feel like he’s your safe haven, or your diary, and he listens to you because he loves you. You know that if you decide to walk away, the fantasy future you’ve painted in your mind could very well be erased, and you’ll have to start over.

When I say this, I’m preaching to you, but I’m talking to myself: Start over. Your new beginning is long overdue.

This post is not to tell you to abruptly drop that man for whom you might be waiting.  I realize it will never be that simple. I’m writing to encourage you to alter your predicament, and to remind you of the power you possess over YOU; power over your happiness, sanity, and life. The same time and energy you put into thinking about him, texting him, crying over him, praying for him, is the same amount of effort you could be depositing into your own well-being. Imagine if you poured that love you have for him into your own life, your passions, your family, your hobbies, your hair, skin and nails! Don’t spend time re-posting broken-hearted girl quotes on Instagram, or convincing Snapchat you’re living a perfect life. Build that life you envision for yourself.

And when love does find you, it will be real and rewarding, because it’s what you deserve.

True Story:

A couple of years ago, I was at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, heading back to Hampton for school. I hopped onto the moving walkway and moved to the side (because I didn’t really want to go) and made way for others rushing to their gates. I began to reminisce about high school days and times with my friends back home, and daydreamed about all that is in Atlanta waiting for me. Thoughts of finishing college, moving away, and starting my new life rushed through my mind. Next thing I know, I hear a man say “Watch out!” I almost fell flat on my face at the end of the walkway because I wasn’t paying attention to what was ahead of me, which could have resulted in an injury, broken belongings, or ever worse, a missed flight.  I gathered myself, headed to my gate, walked on to the plane, and didn’t look back.

To the waiting woman, you have a life to live, and you can’t look back.

Seasons change, life goes on, and everything will be okay. Don’t miss your flight.

Xo, mjb

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