Usually, I shoot off a list of do’s or don’ts in regards to dating and relationships, but not today. Something more complex crossed my mind this afternoon and I decided to explore it. I’ve heard so often that anything worth having is worth fighting for, but I’m afraid we’ve grown to take that phrase a little too literally. Are we to expect that true love is prefaced by heartache and betrayal?
What are we fighting for?
I’ve been in relationships where I was fighting to be seen, heard, and/or prioritized over stupid crap AND women that supposedly “meant nothing”. I was a champion at fighting for my spot (and it pains me to type it and sit with that reality). I think that type of “fighting” is a characteristic of an insecure person—and I’ve always thought I was pretty secure in myself. Somewhere along the way, I attached myself to the message that love wasn’t supposed to be easy and fighting through the “hard times” would make the happy ending that much sweeter. (Bullsh*t) I fought for happy endings that never came and even wondered if I gave up too soon. Had I endured the heartache in the beginning only to give up just before my happy ending came? (I know, I know… pathetic reasoning, but I’m not alone.) A lot of women think like this—romanticizing the struggle to be properly loved.
Movies don’t help.
It’s probably no coincidence that a lot of women my age had “Baby Boy” listed as their favorite movie at some point in their life. For whatever reason, Jody and Yvette became the norm or dare I say “goals”. Yvette was willing to fight for her man beyond all of the ways he played and betrayed her. This man physically abused her and they glamorized it with an oral sex apology. Although I watched the movie in my formative years, that scene still irked me. I knew that Yvette was TRIPPIN (not just in love, but TRIPPIN). At that point I didn’t understand the desire to be wanted by one man in particular. It baffled me. As I got older, I understood Yvette a little more the first time I took my cheating boyfriend back.
Don’t get me wrong, taking him back went against everything I’d SAID I wouldn’t do, but I was hooked on this guy and didn’t want to think about not talking to him every day. He’d given me a level of affection that was unmatched (no matter what else it was paired with), and I thought I’d hit the lottery. Attention is a hell of a drug. He made me FEEL (word to Aretha Franklin). A few more offenses later I was looking in the mirror calling myself Yvette and reassuring myself that nothing worth having comes easy.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Jody was trash and Yvette should have leveled up. (I was waiting to use that.)
I knew deep down that there’s no way enduring cheating was part for the course, but somehow everyone assumes it comes with the territory. There are tons of movies, tv shows, reality shows, and public figures pushing this same message. According to them, cheating, abuse, etc. are growing pains and we must “weather the storm”.
Social media is the devil.
When Keyshia Ka’Oir married her longtime boyfriend Gucci Mane after he’d served time in prison, a meme surfaced everywhere saying how she’d endured cheating, his drug habit, etc. BEFORE he even set foot in prison and she stuck by him. She launched a business and bought him a Bentley (or one of those high-end cars) upon his release. Their argument was THAT’S why she deserved the ring and million-dollar wedding she received. There were literal debates under the post every time someone would post it because… logic. Are we really supposed to get taken through the ringer and back while proving our love on every turn? That’s a lot… and the tone of the meme was trash. I wrote it off as someone trolling, but there were people supporting his argument. AMAZING. There are really people that think like this.
So what if they’re right?
What if we ARE supposed to endure some hardship before getting to our happy ending? Could we even define what that hardship is and what’s the appropriate amount to endure? It all sounds like a slippery slope to me. In any event, I have rollover heartache from my past relationships and I’ve met my maximum endurance. Catch real feelings for me or catch these hands! (Just kidding… but for real.) Am I the only one that thinks this idea is ridiculous?