“You will get played, sis!”

Reading Time: 5 mins

Ramata: I can’t believe this. That &%#@? played me!

Binette: Are you surprised though, sis? You saw all the signs coming…

Ramata: You’re right, I can’t even lie. But still! I had it under control.

Binette: There’s no such thing, girl. You try to control too much.

Ramata: Damn, when do we get to the part where you comfort me?

Binette: Oh, my bad haha! You know you my girl. I just hate that this happened after how much we talked about it. This dating game ain’t no joke.

Ramata: Well, that’s the first problem. Why is it a game in the first place?

Binette: And that’s your first problem – not knowing it’s a game. Girl, stop playing.

Ramata: It’s not that. It’s just… I gave everything to this relationship and I still got played.

Binette: Listen, there’s a million ways this could have gone. And a good majority of the scenarios would have probably left you in the same position. It’s inevitable for that first heartbreak.

Ramata: It doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Binette: I know, baby. But you got me and we gon get through this together! I got you!

So, this probably resonated with you to some degree. Without even knowing why Ramata is heartbroken, a good number of us women (and men) have “been there, done that.” We’ve had that traumatizing heartbreak that plays a pivotal role in our future relationships and outlook on life. And nothing is more memorable than that first heartbreak — that physical pain in your chest that prevents you from enjoying your food, being social, or even engaging in self care sometimes. Side note: shoutout to the Binette’s in our lives that help us navigate these challenging times.

The harsh reality is that dating is risky. When you decided to date, you also take on a number of possibilities: the possibility that you could fall madly in love with someone who reciprocates; the possibility that you could get your heart shredded into a million pieces; the possibility that your partner will love you tenderly in the beginning then turn into a monster once you’re settled in the relationship; the possibility that you, or your partner, might die and leave the other alone; the possibility that you would want to start a family with the love of your life but can’t and that might cause a drift in your relationship. The possibilities are truly endless and you won’t know what’s to come…until it’s right in front of you. That’s scary.

This fear of the unknown (or sometimes known for those of us that have experienced it before) is debilitating for some. It stops them in their tracks when it comes to pursuing love because it’s just too risky. But let me tell you this: you will get played, sis. No matter what route you choose, life has a way of teaching you certain lessons and I for one truly believe in Prophet Muhammad’s teaching “the pages have dried and the pens have been lifted” (Hadith 19). What’s meant to be for you has been written long ago so there’s no need to live in fear. I repeat, you will get played, no doubt. But there are beautiful lessons buried within those less than pleasant experiences in our lives. There’s no shame in “getting played” because it speaks more to the person doing the playing than the one “getting played.” Deceitful and hurtful people will eventually show their true colors so there’s absolutely no need to dwell on their immature behavior; what matters is that mandatory COMEBACK!

The comeback:

When you do get played – I can’t say it enough because you will – be sure to take the time to feel. It’s needed to be just be human and acknowledge what happened to you. Feel the salt. Feel the embarrassment. Feel the anger. Process your emotions and when you’re done, get back up and try again. Coming from a hopeless romantic, I can tell you there’s a doubly sweet feeling when you’ve been in the trenches and finally get it right. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing that the pain wasn’t in vain. That your past doesn’t define your future – it just influences it. We can’t erase the past and pretend it never happened. That would be dangerous because then we’re at risk of committing the same mistakes. We actually need to embrace that fear, pain, embarrassment, and anger and turn them into lessons. Get smarter about how you invest your feelings/time and try again. Make a comeback.

Now, there’s a way to make a comeback in my mind. Have you ever seen a woman go through a traumatic breakup and cut her hair? Or change up her style completely. Or change her inner circle? Or just change the way she walks? Yeah, that’s because she’s leveled up. She’s made a concerted effort to move on from the experience that hurt her. She’s decided to give it another shot and I think that’s beautiful. That’s the beauty in living – harnessing the possibilities and facing life head on!

The title of this piece was taken from a friend of mine who said this in relation to giving other young girls advice. I lowkey felt attacked when she said it because I was like “well damn, just read me why don’t you haha!” But it’s so true. It’s just the way it is and we can’t do anything but be smart and aware about it. Accepting that getting your heart broken or bruised is just part of life makes you more equipped to deal with it when it happens. I saw a post on Instagram about how getting your first heartbreak early on is actually better so your future relationships can benefit from the lessons learned – and so your heart won’t ever get broken as badly again. While I agree with the first part of that statement, I don’t think getting your heart broken early makes future heartbreaks less painful. I think it just makes you understand what you’re experiencing better. But because love is all about risks, I have to say that it doesn’t make future heartbreaks any less painful. There are high school sweethearts who experience heartbreak at 50 and it hurts just as badly as the 18 year old experiencing it for the first time. There is someone who experienced a heartbreak at 22 and again at 38 and it all hurt equally bad. That’s just the way it is.

As always with pieces like this, I like to solicit personal stories from fellow women brave enough to share so here we go.

Story Time

The question options were: (1) Have you ever had your heart broken? (2) If so, what did you learn from it? (3) How old were you? (4) What would you tell your younger self?

Woman 1: I would tell myself that it’s okay – the guy was ugly anyways!

Woman 2: Learn who someone is before you fall in love/get attached. I am still learning because I’m hardheaded.

Woman 3: Be straightforward with the person you are dealing with and be on the same page. The reason why I said be straight forward and on the same page is : sometimes we meet someone and we like them right on and failed to sit down and have a talk with them. You end up falling for a person who didn’t know what he wants or what he looking for but decided to go with the flow. Now here you are dealing with someone who has no feelings for you but wants you and won’t leave you. You can’t ask questions because you are afraid to mess things up now that you are comfortable having him around. Meanwhile, he is looking at the one he really wants and trying to get with her. My advice to my younger self would be : be upfront, let the person know how you feel and what you want. Be true to your feelings. From the beginning let the other person know, if they can’t deal with it let them go and you won’t go through the pain and the anger and the depression of losing someone who wasn’t holding on to you at all.

Woman 4: I would tell my younger self that the best thing you can do is just start and not overthink things.

Woman 5: Don’t trust a single soul. &%#@? ain’t loyal. I was 21.

Woman 6: I have been heartbroken 3 times in life.

Man 1: I would tell my younger self to have patience and not stress out.

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