"He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not." - Malcolm Jones, The Daisy Oracle
Like every other woman, I am perplexed as to why this game, like many others must be played while in a relationship, and why we must engage in game playing at all. We are taught as young girls that when boys are mean to us, make fun of us, and ‘play’ with us in general, this is a sure tell sign that they like us. My question today though is, how do we know when these behaviors are no longer just ‘games’, but acts of immaturity and an apparent character flaw of carelessness and insensitivity? As we internalize these actions and assign these behaviors to the definition of ‘love’, we begin to accept these ideals, and even worse, we begin to ‘play along’ hoping that one day the childish games will end.
Well, I for one got tired of playing games that I never seemed to win, and furthermore I got tired of the cheaters (figuratively and literally) I was playing with.
So this brings me to the letter that I chose to write to my exes below. No, this letter is not to anyone in particular, and no, this letter is not used to throw shade. This letter is however, written from the heart of girls like me who have redeemed themselves from the worst heartbreaks, and is written to every man who just didn’t know when to throw in the towel and call it quits, as he chose to continually play games.
If I could go back, I wouldn’t. Yet, I do not regret what we had – I just would never want to go through it again. I would like to say that “without you I wouldn’t be who I am today”, but I do not believe that you deserve that much credit for my success. I would like to say though, without you I would not know what a good man is, nor would I know what it really means to love myself. I understand that we all make mistakes and that no one is perfect, however, I feel like this is where we begin disagree; you blatantly confused innocent mistakes, with blatant wrongdoings. I am no longer upset, and I understand that I cannot make you understand, but I just wanted to clarify.
Over the years I have questioned, reflected, and analyzed everything that took place, as well as my role in it. I have learned that you cannot control how people treat or speak to you initially, but you can control how you respond and how many times you allow those things to occur. I now have a better understanding of choices and consequences. I am fully aware of my worth and how I want to be treated, and what I will not tolerate.
I have learned that there is something about being a woman of my magnitude, something that makes me easy to love, difficult to deal with, but necessary to have. It’s the intensity of my speech and the smoothness of my words that can make a man believe in himself, yet know that I am not one to play with; it’s my intellect that can prompt him to think critically, yet makes him understand that I can stand alone; it’s the demeanor in which I carry myself as a woman that catches his eye, yet makes him see that his presence isn’t needed. See, the woman I have become is not a one that was made over night, nor can she be won over in just one night. I can understand that all of this may be perceived as difficult, but I never promised that it wouldn’t be – I only promised it would worth it.
This is not a letter to beg for your love, or garner your attention, but a letter to offer my forgiveness. I forgive you for all of the foul play, for dropping the ball, calling the wrong plays, and for not knowing the personnel of your team very well (calling in a substitute, when your star player had not missed a shot). I forgive you for wasting my talent and not seeing my potential. And furthermore, I forgive you for wasting my time. I am no longer mad or bitter, but I’d like to think that I am better.
Over the years I have prayed that you are made new and whole, so that the next time you choose to play a pick-up game, you don’t.
-As Told by HER, Hailey Elise