There’s an old poker adage that was immortalized by Kenny Rogers in “The Gambler” that I think should be applied to any and all relationships. Kenny Rogers, who possibly is a lyrical genius – at least my grandma thinks so – sings, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right. You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.” I realize that good ol’ Kenny is talking about a poker game, but he’s kind of spot on here. Isn’t he?
Half of the trouble I’ve experienced in relationships is simply not knowing when to “fold ‘em” and call it a day. Yeah, you’re probably out the $10 buy-in, but it’s a small loss in comparison to a broken heart. You lost that week, or month of time but you didn’t go all in on some guy just to find he’s bluffing. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Because we all have that little shred of hope for something to change, but listen – if your gut is telling you to walk away, just do it.
I know it’s hard, but you deserve better and loving yourself enough to say “enough” feels a lot better than a warm body on a lonely night. I know this from experience. Before I met my boyfriend Stephen, I was basically in a one-sided situation with a boy that lasted way past it’s due date. What happened in the end was embarrassing and awful for all parties involved. I still get mad at myself for not walking away when I knew I should have, for answering texts and calls despite my better judgement. Because boys will do that, you know. If they think they still have you on the hook, they will just keep you there until they need you again. It’s awful and disgusting, and I want everyone reading this to understand that the only way off of that hook is yourself. You are the only one standing in the way of your happiness.
Let’s talk about my friend Lauren for a second. She’s a reader who told me this HORROR story about a boy standing her up on her 21st birthday. She was angry and probably confused. She thought things had been going well, after all. She had every right to be upset. So when he texted her three months later apologizing for “being out of town for two months” she let him have it…and by let him have it, she never responded to the text.
I think we should all take a minute and really think about ourselves and our self control. Lauren could have easily sent him a slew of “F” bombs, and I know she wanted to, but what’s the use? Letting him know he hurt you, so what? It just gives him license to continue the conversation. Lauren walked away from this dud of a guy and never heard from him again, as we all should when the time comes to decide if someone is worth the anger, or resentment, or just worth our time.
Honestly? Every relationship is a gamble, you just have to know how to play your hand. You have to know which hands to throw away, and which ones you’re going to take a risk on. I don’t bet often anymore, but I don’t know…I think I ended up doing okay.
Molly is a senior journalism/English major at a school you haven’t heard of in a state you haven’t heard of. She’s obsessed with Chandler Bing, English bulldogs, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @gwacamolly, or check out her website accordingtomolly.com