“I’m not ready for a romantic relationship, but I really want to be your friend. I like spending time with you. You’re funny, and … I I want to be friends…”

He trailed off as I walked farther and farther ahead of him on 59th Street.

I spunaround and locked eyes with him, our emotional distance as visible as the pavement between us.

“No, I don’t want to be your friend. We were never friends, and we are not friends now.”

He looked taken aback, as if he wasn’t expecting me to stand up for myself.

It was as if he expected me to just lingeraround for him while he floundered, continuing to dump me and un-dump me as I patiently waited for him to figure it all out.

It was as if he thought he could just keepcalling all the shots, and I’d go along as thecool girl, agreeing towhatever he suggested because I’m admittedly low-maintenance.

But, I held my gaze unwaveringly, staring him dead in the eye. Low-maintenance does notmean doormat.

“I think I’m going to headhome now,” he said.

“Good because I’m going home, too.”

With that, I turned around, hailed a cab and never looked back.For a brief moment in the taxi, I thought the tears were going to flow.

I thought I might wallow in what might have been and what almost was. But, the tears never came, and I didn’t grieve.

Instead, I followed my instinct. I blocked his number, unfollowed him on Instagram, removed him on Snapchat and unfriended him on Facebook.

I had a clean slate, a clear mind and a full heart.

I was free from the bullsh*t and the games.

I was releasedfrom the whiplash and confusion.

I didn’t have to hear any more curated lines that were surely fed to every girl that came before me and to each one who will follow.

I felt relief coursing through my body more than anything else.

Maybe he had truly been a nice guy.

Maybe the connection I felt wasn’t all in my head, and the signs that pulledus together like a magnetic force weren’ta mistake.

But if that’s true, then he’s a coward. In my eyes, that’s equally as bad as a liar, if not worse.

The con artist lies to get into your bed.

He’s smooth and suave, and he says all the right things. He convinces you the emotions you think he’s feeling are authentic, but it’s all just an act to get his dick wet.

Sometimes, it works, and sometimes, it doesn’t. But in due time, the con artist always revealshis true colors.

The coward, however, is far more dangerous because he lies to get into your heart.

He finds himself a little spot, dead-center, and plants his roots, allowing himself to grow in each direction.

The roots stretch deeper, and the feelings blossom upward.

He doesn’t stroke your ego; he strokes your heart.

He’s afraid of his own emotional shadow, and he’s skittish and fearful of human connection, vulnerability and love.

He means the words he’s saying as they exit his mouth and enter your ears.

Until he doesn’t.

One morning, he’ll wake up and realize he’s basically in a relationship.

You may or may not have the title, but for all intents and purposes, the two of you arecommitted to one another to some degree.

That realization will suddenly knock on your door with all the fear, insecurities and baggage from past relationships, and he will thendemote you from “babe” to “just friends” overnight.

He’ll blame it on work, a quick timeline or all the changes happening in his life, but each one is apatheticexcuse.

Life never stops changing, and people never stop evolving.

If we stalled every relationship because of change, none of us would everfind love, friendship or anything that resides in-between.

Admittingyou have feelings for someone who has zero bearing on your ability to carve out your place in the world should not affect youtaking a certain career path, following yourcreative passions or spending time raging at a music festival.

It is simply expressingyou care about another person and what happens to him or her.

Relationships aren’t a jail sentence.

A relationshipis simply supporting another person, giving him or her space when he or she needs it, enjoying his or her company and liking the person you are when you’re with him or her.

Romantic and platonic bonds require the same amount of care, so any line cowards feed you about their hearts not being ready is moot if they have at leastone friend.

The ability to give and receive love openly and unapologetically is the greatest talent we as humans possess.

But if someone can’t give you the unabashed respect and care you deserve, move on.

Block his number, unfollow his Instagram, remove his Snapchat and unfriend him on Facebook because emotional purgatory is boring.

It hinders everything the world has to offer.

It dims colors, blurs lines, silences music and hardens our hearts. It transformslife from technicolor to greyscale.

Space isn’t the problem. Time isn’t the problem. Silence isn’t the problem.

He the coward is the problem because deciphering feelings isn’trocket science.

Emotionsdon’t need to be analyzed like data. Your brain and your heart don’t speak the same language, so juststop thinking

Go with your intuition, and give into your desires.

People won’tgive you what you want in life if you don’t ask, and if they say no when you do, then it wasn’t meant to be.

Attempting to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped will only result in you banging your head against a virtual wall.

Sever your ties, and free your spirit.

He will either figure it out or he won’t, but it is out of your hands.Until he does, you can’ttrust himwith your body or your heart.

Emotional cowardsare toxic, and you need to protect your energy before you protect theirs.

That early Friday morning, standing on the corner of 59th and Lexington, may have been the last time I’ll ever see him, and that’s okay.

It’s not my job to pat a coward on the back and tell him that hiding from his fears, from uncomfortable situations and from the unknown is a productive way to go through life because it’s not.

He said he was just looking out for himself, but I was looking out for myself.

I didn’t want to be his friend, and I still don’t want to be his friend.

We were never friends, and we never will be.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/dating/emotional-cowards-relationship/1241666/