Stop Telling Me We Can Still Be Friends — That’s Not Your Decision To Make

Why is it that so many guys think it’s okay to hurt us, then assure us that it’s fine because “we can still be friends“? It’s like it never even occurs to them that we might not want the same thing with someone who literally just broke our heart. I may care about you, but this is why it’s not your place to decide whether or not we should stay friends after what you did:

  1. You hurt me, not the other way around. Love may be a battlefield, but just because you’ve offered up a peace treaty doesn’t mean I have to sign it. You gave up your right to determine the status of our friendship when you left me broken, bleeding, and alone to nurse the very wounds you gave me.
  2. I don’t know if I still want you in my life. You gave me a lot to think about when you decided to end what we had. It’s not that I don’t care about you; it wouldn’t hurt this badly if I didn’t. But now that things have ended, I have to look out for my emotional well-being. Even though you might be able to hang out with me and not feel anything, you need to respect that I might not feel the same way.
  3. Real friends don’t treat me the way you did. You have a lot of nerve to be the one to suggest we stay friends after crushing my heart. You don’t just get to screw someone over and decide that you still want to maintain a friendship with them. I have a lot of friends, and exactly zero of them would ever pull off the manipulative jerk that you did. Brush up on the definition of the word “friendship,” then ask yourself if you think you deserve it from me.
  4. You gave me up. Accept the consequences. It’s incredibly entitled of you to want to throw me away, but not enough to keep me out of your life for real. If you don’t want me anymore, that’s fine, but you have to accept all that entails. Having me completely out of your life may not be what you want, but the end of what we had wasn’t what I wanted, either. I’m dealing with your choice, now you have to deal with mine.
  5. Friendship shouldn’t be a consolation prize. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have the friends that I do. But when you bring up the idea of us being friends, I feel like I’m settling for less than I want. Friendship is supposed to bring you happiness, not sorrow. If I were to stay friends with you, I’d feel like I was surviving on scraps rather than eating at a five-star restaurant.
  6. I can’t be kept on a leash. I’m not your pet that you can let out and jerk back at will. If you want to set me free, I need to be the one to decide how much distance I want from you and for how long I want to maintain it. When you ended things with me, you essentially shooed me away. Now, you don’t get to decide that you want me closer than I want to be.
  7. What kind of friendship are you hoping for? Do you expect us to be able to just hang out and have it not be even a little awkward? Because if so, that would be a mistake. At least right now, any kind of a friendship we could try to maintain would be uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. We have too much of a past to try to let it go right off the bat like that.
  8. I need some time without you in my life. Maybe I’ll be ready to strike up a friendship with you eventually, but I need a while for you to get out of sight and out of mind. Perhaps in a few months I’ll be ready to be your friend again, but for now, I need some time to emotionally disconnect from you.
  9. If you’re trying to make me feel better, it’s not working. I know you’re trying to be nice because you know how much this hurts, but it’s not doing me any favors. Breaking up with me and telling me that we can still be friends is like hearing a crappy cover of your favorite song: you still get something you love, but not in the way you wanted it. If you really want to help me, stop asking me to keep in touch and just leave me alone to deal with this cold-turkey.
  10. You and I both know it would never work out. Just like our relationship (apparently), any friendship we’d try to maintain would be destined to fail. You can pretend all you want that we’d make great BFFs, but it’s painfully obvious that feelings would get in the way and sabotage our “platonic” relationship.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.