“Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me? Why you bother me when you know you got a woman?”

This is for you, if you can relate. This is for the girls who get bothered by a man when he knows he doesn’t really want you. SZA made an album for girls like me who know this feeling all too well.

I never knew what this was really like until I grew into myself—as an adult and learned to recognize the signs. I just stopped seeing these things as something cute.

There was a man who I knew very closely. We spoke in “more than friendly” terms on numerous occasions. We just never acted on it – I was either in a relationship or he was in one. However, this never stopped our attraction, I guess.

I knew he wasn’t shit when he did this. At the time, I either didn’t want to accept it or I just thought “oh well” because I wasn’t shit yet either. So, I became comfortable with the way we treated each other; I was stupid.

We played this game for two years. He would have a girlfriend, but flirt with me. I had a boyfriend, but I thought about the “what ifs” when I saw him. The game is addicting because it’s the pandora’s box. You’ll never know what could happen, but you’d probably love the ride.

I knew a relationship between us could never work, though. With men like this, it’s very simple: the way you got them, is the way you’ll lose them. You can’t be with them and fully trust them because you know they probably have someone they’re also letting know “you could have me if you wanted me” on the side. I have too much pride to allow someone to bring out my insecurities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident in myself, but I also know that their ex was probably very confident too, probably all the way until she saw the signs of him playing the field. If I can’t even start trusting you, there’s not much room for growth. But, damn. It’s fun to dream about the thought.

When we were both single, nothing would happen. He may hit me up once, and I would fall for it. But then nothing. He was a ghost.. and I was played.

Just when I was out, he brought me right back in. He would hit me up to do something. He would say “we talked” to his friends if they asked, and my naivetĂ© let me believe he wanted something real. He fed me good lies and licked his lips and that was it – I bought it. Every time. I had to learn that he didn’t really want me, he was just bored.

I guess that’s the underlying hurt in the whole situation: figuring out that there are girls who men want to date/marry and then there are the girls who they see as the ones they just want to mess with but never take serious.. and you fell into the latter.

“Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me?”

I feel those words in my chest and I think of him. I got comfortable with the fact that he just couldn’t put me down like I couldn’t put him down. It was like getting a new, fresh, cute toy.

He never really wanted me. He wanted the thought of me for the fact that it was a good mystery, the idea and possibilities that came with us being together, and the fact that I was forbidden fruit when we were in relationships.

It’s a toxic cycle. I played along. I had to grow into the person I am now to realize that I deserve better. I’m only now realizing my mistakes, accepting them, and growing from it. That’s really all you can do after the fact.

So here, this is for you, if you can relate. I was you, too, once upon a time. Thank you SZA.

P.S. If you’re a man who just wants to waste someone’s time, next time, just leave them alone. Let them learn this lesson another way.