An Open Letter To Men Who String Women Along

Some men think they can toss our hearts around without paying for the damage. Even though it feels like we’re the ones getting the blunt end of the stick, men who play with our feelings are worse off than we are, because they’ll never stick with someone long enough to truly be happy. That’s why it’s time to say goodbye to the man who tried to string me along, and you should do the same. Here’s what I wish all the men who’ve made us wait for relationships that were never going to happen knew:

  1. We don’t want to get over you again. The worst part about getting strung along is that you’ll reenter our lives as soon as we’re finished getting over you. That’s why we need to put the cycle to an end. If we let you back in our life, we’re just giving you the opportunity to break our hearts again.
  2. We won’t let you ruin our chances at love. If we’re always thinking about how you might come back into our lives, we’re never going to start a serious relationship with a new man. We need to put the past in the past, so that we’re able to open our hearts up to new men—men who will actually treat us the way we deserve.
  3. You confuse the hell out of us. It would be better to be rejected from the start than to be strung along. Getting close to a relationship makes us wonder what the hell is wrong with us. Are you avoiding a relationship, because we’re not interesting enough? Not smart enough? Not sexy enough? It makes us doubt ourselves.
  4. We shouldn’t be your backup plan. We shouldn’t be the ones you call when you have nothing better to do. We aren’t a backup plan. We deserve to be your first choice. If we’re not, then just let us go.
  5. We can’t trust a word you say. We can’t believe you when you tell us how much you enjoy spending time with us, because if that were the truth, you’d be calling us more often. Your words don’t match up to what you tell us, so we assume you’re lying. And if you’re lying about one thing, you could be lying about everything.
  6. We wonder if you have a girlfriend. You pretend to like us, but you won’t commit, so it’s hard not to wonder if you have another girl in your life. After all, you treat us more like your side chick than your crush. If there’s another woman in your life, we don’t want to help you cheat.
  7. We need a relationship that’s not entirely online. We love talking to you, but a relationship via texting isn’t enough for us. We want to see you in person. If you won’t put in the time or effort to make plans with us, then how much can you really care about us?
  8. We don’t exist to stroke your ego. Making you feel better about yourself isn’t our sole purpose in life. We don’t want to be someone you flirt with, just so you can feel sexy again. It’s rude to ruin our lives to make your life a little brighter.
  9. We aren’t playthings. You shouldn’t call us gorgeous one day, and then drop out of our lives the next day. It’s unfair for you to go MIA after trying to get into our pants. It makes us wonder if we’re just sex objects to you.
  10. We won’t wait for you forever. Maybe you’re not ready for a serious relationship. Maybe you’re trying to avoid hurting us. It doesn’t matter why you’re trying to make us wait for a relationship. We can’t wait for you forever. We need to move on with our lives.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.