We All Need Love

Recently a friend of mine had a frightening interaction with a guy she liked. They had been friends for a while, and she felt like he cared about her. He did the one thing almost guaranteed to get any good girl to look longingly in the eyes of a guy, just the way they want her to. He gave her attention. He helped her with homework, texted her a lot, and talked to her about real things. He would brush her thigh with his hand, just enough to make her scared he might want more and scared that she might want more too.

Now my friend, like many girls, cares about everyone that comes into her life. Her heart is big and she genuinely wants the best for people, even if they don’t deserve it. She would help this guy with his homework, hang out with him, and respond to his emotions, making sure he felt validated. She wondered, for a long time, if there was something more than a friendship developing. Then he blindsided her.

Drunk on a Thursday night, he sat with my friend as she soberly attempted to edit his paper. He began to raise his voice at her, to let out what seemed like pent up emotion on her, and to talk crudely about her friends to her. He asked where her hot friends were, told her the truth was that she was a mean person and he just wanted to give it right back to her. Then he would stumble towards her, asking her to come get drunk with him. The whole situation left her scared and uncomfortable. She said she never wanted to feel the way he made her feel again.

She came to my room visibly shaken, wanting someone to calm her down. My roommate, my friend, and I immediately found ourselves trying to make excuses.

“Maybe there is something else going on with him,” we said. “He probably said all those things because he was drunk,” we tried to justify. But we also realized that for someone to say all those things, they had to have been thinking them before. We also realized that he doesn’t deserve excuses just because he was drunk or just because he’s a college boy. Truthfully, she deserved to be treated better than that, and there’s not an excuse.

“I care about him so much, and I just thought he cared about me too,” my friend told me in a defeated manner. I told her I understood, but also that she is not a bottomless pit of kindness.

You cannot give away kindness and love freely if you are not receiving it in return. The relationships you are in cannot be one sided, because they will always end up destroying the person that is doing all of the emotional heavy lifting. We all need to receive love in order to give it. Women often feel it is their job to take care of men, to be there for them, to shower them in kindness and forgiveness. But we’re all human, and women need that too.