Being Friend Zoned Is My Relationship Karma
I knew he had me when I started daydreaming about him every day.
My mind started wandering to that fantasy world where I go shopping with his mom and visualize how my first name looks with his last. I'm a talk-on-the-phone kinda girl, but I was actually excited to see his name pop up on my iPhone screen and chit-chat for hours via text. I’m a complete sucker for romance and can spew poems from Love Jones at a moment’s notice, but these feelings blindsided me. For months, I wasn't necessarily the one to get caught up in the rapture of love. In fact, before this out-of-nowhere crush, I opted for treating guys like play things.
You see, once enough hurt from past relationships piles up, your heart becomes icy.
To cope, I buried myself in that coldness, using men only for sexual enjoyment and attention.
No guy was ever more than emotional tinkering, and I'd mastered banishing them to the friend zone if they wanted anything serious. Men who truly cared about me were tossed into my petty spin cycle of late night texts (out of sheer boredom I'm sure) and read receipts. Somewhere inside I knew it was wrong to toy with men’s emotions, but I felt equally detached and empowered by my lack of caring. I was in a space where I couldn’t get hurt, and I bathed in Rihanna's "Needed Me" attitude.
[Tweet ""I buried myself in that coldness, using men only for sexual enjoyment and attention.”"]
Then, here was this guy who grabbed my attention out of the blue. This feeling of being wholeheartedly interested in someone was a little foreign to me. This felt different. He felt different. And for the first time in months, I wanted more.
We'd been friends for years before these butterflies began fluttering. From day one, I was (and probably still am) completely in awe of the man he was, is and will become. He is ambitious, driven, well-dressed, kind, intellectual and understanding. He's from the South, loves his mama, and a die-hard family guy with a great sense of humor. We discuss black literature, politics, encourage one another in our careers, shit-talk about LeBron and Steph Curry and dish out our opposing opinions about Cam Newton. I am open with him, vulnerable and honest. With him, I find myself swallowing my pride and fear of loving someone. There's only one problem:
He wants to remain as we are—just friends--and nothing more.
When he revealed this to me, for the first time in awhile, I was hurt. I assume it was the same pang of disappointment the guys in my dating history felt when I shut down any possibility of a relationship. He wasn't some random f*ckboy who set out to shatter my feelings. In fact, he was upfront, honest and considerate when he stuck a pin in the future I'd daydreamed about. Because of his emotional maturity, I realized that I should have extended the same courtesy to every guy I ever toyed with.
Instead, my cold, hard lesson came in the form of falling for this perfect guy who is currently falling for his perfect girl. After swallowing several spoonfuls of the medicine I’d been serving up for months, I now know the cat-and-mouse games are all nonsensical when you know exactly what and who you want.
Nowadays, I try to be just as forthcoming since I've experienced the pain of the other side. The bitterness that once allowed me to hurt others so recklessly has faded, and I'm emotionally ready for something honest, healthy and true.
[Tweet "I'm falling for this perfect guy who is currently falling for his perfect girl."]
Can I give him all the credit for my new outlook? Not entirely. But my situation with him was a major wake-up call: Karma's a bad b*tch and her vengeance is swift. Life will teach you what you need to know about love in due time, and you just have to take the Ls that come.
So, here I am writing you live from the friend zone licking my wounds. I'm not only humbled by the experience, but I'm also healing because of it. Even if I'd never get to call him my man, he's in my life for a reason. And if his friendship is all I can afford, I'll happily take it and the lessons that come with it.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Though it is a year-long must for many, coffee hits different as the seasons change and the weather grows cooler. Similarly, a fall nail trend you're bound to see everywhere this season is latte nails. Just like sipping on a warm, comforting latte during the crisp autumn days, latte nails are all about providing those cozy vibes. Think earthy tones like creamy beige, caramel, and deep and soft browns or nudes with a touch of warmth.
Versatile and complementary of the warmer tones typical of the turn of the season, latte nails are a fabulous choice to embrace the sweater weather.
Latte Nail Design Ideas
Keep scrolling for different ways to rock latte nails this season.
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