Yesterday at work, someone entered the restaurant who reminded me of a boy I know. Instantly, memories flooded my mind and I blinked back tears the rest of the evening. After loving this person for over four years, I have tried to distance myself from him. However, my hope has been to at least remain friends. Unfortunately, his promises to be there for me are rarely fulfilled.
My heart feels torn even though I thought that I was over this guy. Having your hopes dashed and love unrequited hurts worse than any physical pain. Because this issue is consuming most of my emotions and thoughts, I decided to blog about it. Different than most of my posts, today’s words will be a open letter to all men and boys concerning girls. It is especially for those who have girls as friends (or girlfriends) that struggle with mental, physical, or emotional health.
To every boy/men who is friends with a girl/women:
There are many things that I could write to you. For one thing, females can be difficult to understand so telling you more about them might be helpful. Or I could make points about how to treat women well, respect them, be sensitive, etc.
However, none of those are the reasons for this letter. Right now, I want to tell you a bit about what it means to be a friend and perhaps a support person as well. This is a complicated area with many different ways to care for each unique person. I only am highlighting one thing in this letter out of the many important elements of a friendship.
Here is the main point; if you say that you want to be her friend, mean it.
Do not promise what you cannot fulfill. Show up for important parts of her life to cheer her on. Surprise her by arriving at random moments when nothing exciting is happening just to let her know that you care. This does not need to be a huge time commitment but you should plan to spend some of your life with her. If you cannot be there in person, email her or call her. Honestly, even a short text is better than no communication.
If you cannot be there for her, then do not promise to do so. When you shower her with praise, tell her that you will be friends forever, and then desert her, you are hurting her worse than if you paid no attention to her in the first place. If you can only build her up when you are together but are not willing to make time for her in your life, then you might not be ready for a friendship. Time as well as effort is needed to be present for another person.
All people enjoy when others show them love and devotion. If a boy is kind to a girl, this endears him to her. However, this kindness can quickly turn sorrow if the guy promises things that he never follow through on or does not communicate with her often.
Depression, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and other such illnesses cause self-doubt, lack of confidence, and low self-esteem. People who struggle with these often fear that others are judging or hating them. Thus, if you give a woman with mental health problems hope and then shatter that by your actions, her worst fears are confirmed. Suddenly, she might believe that everyone is lying to her and that no one cares about her at all.
So please, keep your promises. Many boys have broken my heart because they promised but did not fulfill. This does not always mean romantically; you can damage a friend’s heart too. Please, before you start to say something, think about if you are willing to follow through. If you cannot, do not say that you will. Honestly, it will be less complicated for you and her in the end.