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Imagine this. There’s debris everywhere, your car’s ablaze, and you manage to crawl out of the wreckage alive. Your jaw drops in complete shock.

“What just happened?!”

You were driving around without coverage and never in the history of everdom did you think that this would happen to you. You naively thought you were invincible,  safeguarded from calamity and misfortune. But who’s going to insulate you from the painful aftermath of the collision now? Without insurance, the answer is no damn body.

This is how I see relationships – you could be on cruise control at first, everything’s all fine and dandy, and then WHAM, things take a turn for the worst and there lies your mangled heart begging to be resuscitated from the impact.

But what you might be wondering is what is the “insurance” for relationships? Male friends, of course.

You know, the guys in your life that, if you lie to yourself enough, you can convince yourself (and your partner) that they’re not remotely interested in you. And they would never – oh, not in a million years – try anything with you, even if circumstances were different.

But let’s be honest, most male friends – no, not all, but most – are waiting for the opportune moment to shoot their shot with you.

I use that to my advantage.

I always wave off my male friends as former schoolmates with a platonic bond too crystallized to melt into romance or, ha, the ever-so-popular, “He’s like a brother to me.” But in the back of my mind, I know that they may one day serve the purpose of being my “next,” prompting bystanders to say, “Damn, she moved on from you quick, man! Savage.

But how, you may wonder, does one have male friends as “insurance” without poking holes in one’s faithlessness in the relationship?

You don’t need to overstep any boundaries to keep a male friend in your back pocket. You conduct yourself as you would any platonic friendship if you’re committed to someone else – keep a healthy distance so as to not give ‘em any ideas, but still keep regular contact to maintain the friendship.

Most male friends, in return, respect my relationship because they claim to be a “friend” so, you know, a lot of ’em try not to blow their cover. But once I tell them that it’s all over, they put on their lil’ fake sympathy show, “Aw, that’s too bad,” while low-key thinking, “Finally! This is my chance!” Whether they become a shoulder to lean on or my next lover, male friends make the perfect safety net when crap hits the fan.

What can I say? I love being one of “those people” that, after just a few weeks of ending it, I’m not in a corner sniveling like a wimp, moping over the past – heck no, I’ve moved on to someone else without sparing one useless tear.

And if I can be completely honest with you, while most people might use their “insurance” as a way to distract themselves from heartache or to thwart loneliness, I use male friends to foster moments like these:

My best friend: Oh hey, Tim! How’s it goin’?

My ex: Alright, I guess. How’s Kim? She’s gained a little weight, hasn’t she? Got bags under her eyes from all the crying, right? Lookin’ all frazzled and rough?

My best friend: Oh, Kim? She’s dating someone else now. She looks happy to me.

Pow! Right in the nuts.

Agonizing over a failed relationship has never done me good, but shuffling over to a new potential love interest – even if I’m fakin’ it ’til I make it – reminds me that there’s plenty more stars in the sky that shine brighter than the one I had.

No, I don’t expect all my relationships to go south, but just like a car, I’d like to know I’m “covered” in case things go kablooey.

Don’t judge me!

Kimberly Gedeon, founder of The Melody of Melanin, is a content creator with nearly 2,000 professional articles published online about everything from beauty and business to politics and pop culture. You can say hello to her on Instagram or Twitter – she doesn’t bite!

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