Reader Submission: Unconditional Love Is A Bust
In a world full of “ride or dies,” who’s really riding? Women are expected to just be there. Through the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, we stay loyal. We’re supposed to be consistent and selfless and do it all with sex appeal and a smile. In a world full of fairytale expectations and social media-influenced realities, freely giving out unconditional love is cruel and unusual punishment. Here are five reasons why:
- You just might put up with way too much bull***t.
Naturally, everyone makes mistakes. In the infamous words of Hov, “Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t.” But when your other half’s mistakes become a regular habit, it may be time to reevaluate. Being a young woman navigating the dating world can be tricky. We’re constantly taught that we need to prove ourselves, show our worth, and walk it like we talk it. If someone messes up we’re supposed to be the bigger person – forgive, forget, and sometimes make up for what wasn’t even our issue in the first place. Constantly making excuses for bae’s behavior not only enables their games, but also causes you to play yourself in the long run.
- Reciprocation, anyone?
Every good turn deserves another. We know this, but we don’t always follow it. Now, we’re not talking about petty tit-for-tats and listing out every little thing you’ve done for someone. But what is needed is some sort of relationship ROI. Whether it’s as small as texts returned in a timely manner or as big as a fancy b-day trip, random acts of kindness go a long way when you’re trying to build with that special someone. We’re so used to accepting the bare minimum that we don’t often set the ground rules for more. You don’t get rewarded for the basics, boo! If it feels off, it probably is. Whether it’s time, money, respect, or all of the above and then some, pouring yourself out and not getting any sort of refill can’t last long. Listen to your intuition when it tells you that you’re not receiving the same level of investment you’re constantly putting forth.
- Guilt trips galore, sis.
Have you ever known you were right, yet at the end of the convo you felt worse off than before? Letting someone guilt trip you for what you know to be true is another side effect of “holding down” a man who just ain’t ready to be held. Compromise is one thing; feeling used, manipulated, or plain ole confused after you try to make your viewpoint known is never OK. Shifting the blame until you’re feeling like the crazy one is a played out tactic, but it’s still happening and it’s just as effective when sent to the ever-present lover on the other side of wrong. Be open to reason but remain steadfast in your convictions. Your happiness depends on it!
- If you knew now, what you’ll know then…
Hindsight is 20/20, period. However, that doesn’t mean you have to render yourself blind to the issues at hand. Having periodic disagreements is normal; being in full-blown screaming matches every other day is not. Time is the most precious resource we have and it can’t be bargained or snatched back. Wasting your valuable time on a relationship that no longer serves you doesn’t only dim your light, it sets the precedent for how you allow yourself to be treated in that situation and beyond. You know that you’re smart, loyal, capable, and one heck of a catch – why let yourself succumb to a love story that’s anything less than beautiful? Every time you think about going back or settling for a love that’s less than what you’re worth, think about having to explain the backtracks to your future self. What would you say to your best friend if she was in your place? Your daughter? The worst deal you can make is one in which you sell yourself short. Take the initiative to make sure you’re having your own back first and foremost.
- Love shouldn’t be just another 4 letter word.
What’s love got to do, got to do with it? A whole lot! Between far off #relationshipgoals and situationships running rampant, we’ve become desensitized to what love is really supposed to feel like. Corny or not, every queen deserves authentic butterflies and any man should know that you just existing in your full essence is innate Black girl magic! If and when you’re ready, manifest the kind of love you want to give and receive. True love is powerful, it is dual-serving, and it is purposeful. It doesn’t feel like guilt, misplaced judgment or constant, unrelenting pain. Let’s be real, each and every day isn’t going to be gold, glitter, and rainbows, but realize that you have the potential to get pretty-damn-close. Love is one helluva drug; make sure your supplier is legit.
Brittany Johnson is the creator of codeREDD&co. and works in community marketing and content creation in the Bay Area. Passionate about authenticity in wellness and self care, her writing is heavily inspired by the peaks and pitfalls that come as the result of being a black woman working to manifest her purpose.