I’ve been sitting back looking at this whole Chriannarueche love triangle come together and fall apart, and what I see are a bunch of immature adults playing kid games. They follow and unfollow each other on Twitter, Matt Kemp and Drake get pulled into the mix via Instagram likes whenever it seems Rihanna has something to prove to the torn Brown, and in the process reputations are built and hearts (and egos) get broken. The problem with playing head games is that they can escalate into situations that can do a lot of damage over what is usually in the end something very trivial. For example, I’m sure during that whole bar brawl that involved Chris Brown and Drake that Riri’s name was thrown around as ammo to hit some nerves. It happens everyday; if this were an episode of “The First 48,” Matt Kemp could easily be a gunshot victim, Chris Brown would be in a jail cell with nothing but his defeated ego to keep him company and Rihanna would be crying in an interrogation room with in front of some overweight detective about how “it wasn’t supposed to go this far.”
Maybe I’m being extreme, but women don’t realize how these shallow moments of insecurity and need for validation quickly grow into intense altercations. Although all the parties involved are technically adults, I’m reminded of my late teens when I’d call up my ex every time my boyfriend and I argued, knowing damn well I wasn’t interested, but just wanted to feel well…wanted. I get it. It’s harder to be the bigger person when you feel betrayed, belittled and embarrassed. It’s hard to not let your emotions dictate your actions and think logically when so many of your feelings are invested.
But think about it: What you are really accomplishing in the long run? When you make it difficult for the father of his kids to see his children and run back and forth to court knowing damn well he is doing the best he can financially and emotionally, but you feel some of way because he is dating someone new, who are you really hurting? When you try to make a violently dramatic relationship work and keep the cops on speed dial for “domestic” disputes knowing full well you will drop the charges, how seriously do you expect the law to take women whose lives are really at risk from abusive spouses? When you have no respect for a man’s feelings and simply call him up to keep you company whenever the man you really want leaves you high and dry after he uses you, how can you expect anyone to truly love and respect you?
It’s all about learning to live with and love yourself. When I see women play games like the ones it seems Rihanna plays with men, all I see is a woman who constantly needs company and validation. We have to find the courage and the honesty to say, “I’m hurt. I feel like an idiot,” instead of trying to cover the pain with subliminal Facebook status updates and profound Instagram quotes like, “Examine what you tolerate.” In the process of loving hard, but putting up a front of keeping your cool when it all falls apart the only one who ends up looking silly is you, because through all of those subliminal tweets and pictures of you partying and supposedly loving your life we all can see someone desperately trying to cover pain and rejection. There’s a certain class and sophistication that comes with being real or just not responding to drama at all. When rumors fly about Jay cheating, do you see Beyonce sub-tweeting other women? No, because she refuses to make her relationship entertainment for the viewing public trying to get through the boring hours of the workday. In return, hate her and her relationship all you want, but you any rumors about her relationship end up falling apart because she’s not giving you anything to speculate about. In fact, the times I respect Rihanna the most is when she’s vulnerable and honest, like during her Oprah interview. Because the truth is love and relationships are all about breaking down your ego, being hurt and played like a fool. You have to be vulnerable in order to ever feel joy, and that means feeling some pain. People can relate to that and understand that, but when you’re so busy trying to be the baddest b**ch that can easily move on and save face, you only end up looking like a loser at your own game.
So the next time you feel compelled to start an unnecessary argument with your man just to see how far he’ll go to prove his love, or Facebook beef with the new girlfriend who’s pretty talented and only guilty of loving the same deadbeat who is leading the both of you on, take a minute to think about what you’re really feeling. Is that anger really jealousy? Is that confidence as fleeting as the man who gives it you? Only then, when you’re able to identify and express what you’re truly going through, will you realize that there are no winners when it comes to playing love games. And that the only way to get what you want is to grow up, be honest and play fair.
Have you ever played “head games” to save face in a relationship?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator whelping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .