So, I have this friend....
No, really. She and her boyfriend broke up last year. They remained "friends" for a while, and although she said she was fine with that, I knew better. I've been there. Friends with benefits is a perfectly sound concept - as long as neither of you have feelings beyond friendship. They'd dated, even lived together, and she still had feelings for him - so I knew this was going to end badly.
It kept going - until he started seeing someone else. Then it got ugly. He's still dating the other woman - but calls my friend now and again - and she answers. When he's not around - she gets upset. She cries. Her heart breaks. Just the other day, she was hurt; crying because he said to her, "Leave me the f*** alone. Got it?" The next day, she tells me, "It's okay. He invited me over. Everything's okay again."
Okay?! Someone speaks to you that way and it's okay? Not in my book. Sure it's nice to have something familiar. It's hard to let go when you really love someone; no one wants to let go of hope. Once you let go and walk away, you're admitting that it's really over - and you're faced with moving forward on your own. It almost feels safer to just settle - even if it's only to avoid being scared.
At some point, you do have to ask yourself - where's the benefit to you? Sadness, anger and fear are not benefits. Letting someone make you cry, feel bad about yourself, or be someone you don't want to be is no way to live. The great thing about hope is that it's all yours. Once you admit that something won't work - you're free to hope for something better.
Eventually, you have to admit that you're better off hoping for something real, rather than just settling for something at all.
Have you been in this situation? What advice would you give my friend?