It’s Friday night and you’re stuck at the house watching another bootleg movie on Netflix. You look at your phone… no new notifications. So you say to yourself, “I’m so bored. I wonder what (insert man’s name here) is doing.” You text Rodney, the fool who lied about having a girlfriend; or Jeremy, the boy who only texts you at 2 am to “kick it,” or your ex who will never act right for longer than a week. After you text so and so out of boredom, he comes over and you hang out. It feels so good to finally have some company! Someone to laugh with, talk about random things with, and maybe even cuddle with. You’re so excited that he’s over there, and it’s been a while, so of course you get the D! The next morning (or shortly afterwards), he’s gone. Now what?
Use your alone time to focus on yourself. You don’t have to be “boo’d up” all the time.
If you’re one of those rare women who can have sex without getting attached, that's awesome I guess... Just be safe… For the rest of us, sex = crazy, irrational feelings. So for the next few days you get mad at Rodney because he didn’t text you again like he promised. You stay up late waiting for Jeremy to call you again, but he doesn’t, or you’re stressing out because your ex said he still loves you but he’s too “busy” to hang out again. Yeah, you had a great Friday night, but you spend the rest of the week upset about someone who only wanted to smash. This has happened to the best of us. I would be bored out of my mind, and call an available guy to kick it with (usually an ex so my body count wouldn’t go up. SMH), and for the next week or so I would be going crazy trying to figure out why he hasn’t talked to me since our “amazing” night. I quickly found out that it’s not worth it. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be “bored” every night of the week than deal with emotions and bullshit. I told that to one of my friends recently. She basically said she’s bored, so she would rather go back to her no good ex than be alone. No ma’am! Sure, you’ll have a date on Friday (if you call Netflix and chill a date), but you’ll have a headache the other six days! Use your alone time to focus on yourself. You don’t have to be “boo’d up” all the time. Next time you get bored, don’t call that guy. Go to the gym, check up on a friend or family member, cook a meal, pray… I don’t care! Just do something YOU want to do that doesn’t involve the headaches/heartaches of a man...
You and your guy have been dating for a few months now and everything is perfect! You laugh at each other’s corny jokes, you can talk to each other about anything, and you’ve met all of his friends (who love you, btw). There’s just one problem… you’re not official yet. At first, it doesn’t bother you. I mean, you’re still getting to know each other; it’s only been a few months. When you really start to think about it, it doesn’t make any sense. He’s at your house 5 nights out of the week, you go to church together, you even met his mom. Once. By accident, but it counts! But he just can’t put a title on it. One day, after torturing yourself about this situation for weeks, you casually bring the topic up in conversation. “Hey babe,” you say gently. “I know we’ve been kicking it for a while and I just want to know, what are we?” or something like that. If you’re lucky, your man will say something like “We’re together. Everyone knows you’re my girl.” Aww… That’s awesome! The rest of us get some type of bullshit response such as:
“Why you ask?”
“Does it matter? You know how I feel about you.”
“I’m with you right now. That should tell you something.”
If this has happened to you, you are in a dark place known as relationship purgatory. If it sounds awful, that’s because it is. Some people believe that purgatory is a place where mediocre souls go after life. It’s not hell, but it sure ain’t heaven. It’s limbo—eternally stuck between the fiery pit and paradise. You’re probably thinking it’s not that bad, right? But imagine your friends are in this exclusive party, living it up VIP style, and you just watch helplessly through a window because you can’t get in… That’s spiritual purgatory.
Now relationship purgatory is the same concept. You’re not single, but you sure aren’t in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong if you’re just having fun and DON’T WANT a commitment. The problems start when you’re stuck here, but want a title. It doesn’t help when you see your friends in public relationships, getting married, etc. and you still don’t know if you can post a pic of your man as your #MCM… Men have been putting women in limbo forever! It’s the female version of the friend zone (Yikes!). Everything starts out wonderful—you’re going out on dates, kicking it, and hanging out for months—then you realize he hasn’t made it official yet. What do you do??
I’ll tell you what NOT to do… DO NOT play the passive aggressive role. Dropping hints and playing wifey won’t work. I used to think that if I showed a man how much I cared he would see how great I was and make me his girl… HA! That’s not how life works. There are some rare cases where women have escaped purgatory and went on to live a happy life with the guy. If you ask me, if a guy doesn’t make a commitment after a few months, you should probably leave him alone; but if you’re keeping hope alive, here are some things you can do to make purgatory a little less frustrating.
1. Continue to live your life.
Keep doing whatever you did before you met the guy. Work extra hours, study more, exercise, make plans with your girlfriends… anything. Just make sure he knows that you have an active life and will NOT cancel plans for him (He’s not your BF, btw)
2. Date other people.
DISCLAIMER: I do not encourage sleeping around. I’d advise you not to have sex with purgatory guy, but if you are, please don’t spread your legs to others!
Yes, date. If your guy is keeping his options open, why shouldn’t you? Plus, you might meet Mr. Perfect in the process! Also, he’ll begin to see that you’re a catch and can be snatched up at any moment.
3. Express your feelings.
Let the guy know from the beginning that you want a real relationship and ask him what his long-term goals are. Honest communication will save you a lot of trouble. Avoid giving ultimatums though because he’ll definitely run in the opposite direction.
4. Never settle.
If you want a relationship and he clearly doesn’t, just leave. You can’t change his mind no matter how generous, nurturing, or sexy you are. Don’t let him distract you from your true soulmate. If you want different things, just let it go quickly.
I wish someone gave me this advice years ago. Trust me, purgatory is not nearly as fun as a genuine relationship with someone who is ready for commitment. As the old saying goes,
Whitney is currently an exhausted teacher, a loving daughter, an annoying little sister, and a devoted wife. :-)