“Dry crumbs in peace are better than a full meal with strife.”Proverbs 17:1, International Standard Version
Have you ever made the rookie mistake of reconnecting with someone only to quickly discover why you left them in the dust in the first place?
That was me recently. A guy I dated briefly in college found me and, after a heartfelt apology, floated the idea of rekindling a platonic friendship. Against my better judgment, I was open to it.
Within a week and a half, my life was threatened to be once again steeped in what Iyanla Vanzant would likely call “wahala (the Yoruba word for ‘trouble’) and foolishness.” Somehow, I was facing an inquisition for grabbing a slice of pizza all because he failed-no, he chose-to not tell his girlfriend what he was up to. By whatever logic she was using, somehow she believed I was liable for his convenient omission that I in no way encouraged nor supported. Her problem was with him, yet here I was caught in the middle of what is obviously a pattern of mistrust and dishonesty that was present in their relationship long before I re-entered the picture.
In retrospect, I get the feeling he was trying to charm his way into making me an escape hatch for his “dysfunctional relationship (his words).” I also get the feeling that he thought he was still dealing with the early 20s-version of me that he had dated way back when. That was the version of me who was endlessly forgiving and would endure all forms of nonsense for the sake of maintaining a relationship. That version of me was highly insecure, way too accommodating, and had the false mindset that I had to suffer through the results of other’s stupidity in order to be considered a “good friend.”
Bless his heart. He grossly overestimated how charming he was and his actual value in my life, which is a life that I was already thoroughly enjoying in his absence. Romantically speaking, I didn’t want his ass then, and I certainly don’t want his ass now. These words were among the initial statements I made to his face, lest he thought he stood a chance.
He also miscalculated just how quickly I would gladly (and permanently) jettison him from my life once again without losing a wink of sleep. Once my razor-thin patience hit its limit, I told him that clearly he is the same exasperating, chaotic person I left behind, and informed both of them that his presence in my life is far more aggravation that it would ever be worth. All parties have since been blocked, and whatever aftermath that came of this is their problem to solve.
So, here are a few takeaways from my brief blunder:
- If you don’t respect the boundaries in your relationship, leave and find someone with boundaries that you will actually adhere to rather than cause your partner undue strife because you’re being selfish.
- If you’re fighting to defend a relationship with someone who is clearly beneath your caliber and that you obviously can’t trust, then I can safely say that you lack self-esteem. Get some, or stay miserable at your own peril.
- Your insecurities are just that: yours. Stop projecting your problems and get help. Pray and see a therapist, beloved.
- Never sacrifice your peace for companionship.
- Time only changes people who are actually open to growth.
So, I will sip my coffee in peace and nurture the friendships that promise to be a source of joy, fun, strength, and peace in my life, and vice-versa.
As for them? I wish them the absolute best. But also: stay away from me.