He leads me on and now wants to be friends? I wish he could see it.

My heart is beating like a thousand drums, and my stomach is joining the rhythm.

I haven’t seen my stomach move this much since I was 7 months pregnant.

Only now, the kicks are not those of an unborn child, but those of an unrealized passion. A dream deferred if you will.

I didn’t know I was praying for my demise

“Please bless this, God! I love him”

I just knew that if I prayed a little harder, a little louder, that I would convince God to give me what I wanted.

And He did just that, only it was packaged in heartbreak; a gift I had no choice but to accept.

That’s the treacherous cost of disobedience.

Everything started perfectly

I met him in 2015. I was fresh out of college and, even more, apparent now, fresh out of common sense.

In my defense, everything started perfectly.

He was a gentleman.

He picked me up for our first date accompanied by bright, multicolored flowers and freshly baked cupcakes (he knew of my almost unhealthy obsession with cupcakes).

Thing Were Spicy

His beard was moisturized, and he dressed like a respectable young man.

And, oh, did we have the best conversations.

We would spend hours on the phone and, in person, we talked as if we’d known each other for years.

We shared common goals and interests but had just enough differences to make things spicy. This man had me at hello.

He leads me on and now wants to be friends

This pseudo fairytale went on for about 9 months before I started to get suspicious.

Now, I’ve never been the type of woman to ask that infamous “What are we?” question, but after months of being pregnant with hopes of a relationship, I felt it was time to deliver.

So I asked…

And after months of us having the time of our lives together, he replied with, “We’re just friends.” He leads me on and now wants to be friends???

I wasn’t satisfied with that

I moved on. He moved on.

But he came back. I thought this was some random act of fate. Let’s face it. I thought about him often, and I missed him dearly.

What I didn’t know is that my biggest mistake was disguised as my biggest opportunity; my chance at love.

Needless to say, I was wrong.

I ignored the red flags

I saw a meme on Facebook that said, “My spirit animal must be a bull because I, too, run headfirst into red flags.” I’ve never felt so targeted in my life.

I didn’t just run into the red flags.

I made a mad dash for them as if I were training for an Olympic medal. The signs were clear as day.

There were two major lies that only a fool could ignore.

I was the fool

I caught him in two major lies.

He lied about his age. Instead of being three years older than me, he was ten.

He lied about his children.

Instead of having no children, he had two. Talk about being livid. I ignored him for the better part of a month before I made a critical mistake.

False forgiveness

What I failed to realize at the time was that forgiveness, while required, does not equate to reconciliation. I could forgive him and absolutely leave him in the slums where he belonged.

Unfortunately, the false forgiveness turned into reconciliation, which led to me walking in a parade of red flags akin to a United Nations festival.

The parade went on for over a year before concluding at the dead-end of heartbreak.

And I allowed this to happen…

So what am I rambling for you ask?

Honestly, writing this is part of my healing process.

It’s helping me to push through the pain and to own up to my role in the situation.

It is easy for me to point the finger at the man who hurt me.

Should I only blame him for leading me on and at lastly wanting to friends?

What about the part I played in all this?

It’s much more difficult to hold myself accountable for ignoring every sign meant to protect me in the end.

And after all of this, I still dare to love again.

Only this time, I’ll seek clarity and truth before I seek someone’s heart. This time, I won’t be looking outwardly for love.

Because love will begin within me.