Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Caught in a Bad Romance.....

“We ain’t goin steady…we just be fuckin round?"
Okay, I love offensive gangsta rap as much as the next ATL transplant. But this song makes my skin hurt, and my cuticles itch. I googled the lyrics last night and he actually said, “I love pussy, but I don’t love these women.” Wtf?  Like, is that even possible??? I hate it. All of it. The song, the premise, the misguided women that like it!
Some are going to say, I’m over reacting. They will say it’s just a song to them. I say it’s far more than that; it’s a lifestyle. How do I know? Because about 75% of the people I know are living it. I have been in my relationship for a little over a year now and I have absolutely no regrets about not being single. Because from what I can see, this song is perfect summary of what it means to be single in this city in this day and time. Now while I can count the number of happy couples I know on one hand with fingers left over, the story is much different for my single friends- many of whom are currently “just kicking it” with somebody.

I also know because, I lived it myself. I was single for about 3 years before I met my current partner. I dated a few girls, most of which I slept with. But I never made a commitment to them. I couldn’t bring myself to do it because what I observed about them was not the type of energy I wanted to have in my life long term. Some were too loud, bossy, or slutty. Others too quiet, too passive. And some were just a lot of fun. What surprised me was the fact that all these girls knew what I wanted in a partner. They knew that I wanted a committed relationship. So they also had to know that I didn’t think they were worth me making that commitment. Yet they stayed. In my life and in my bed. Later, they were hurt that when I did settle down, it wasn’t with them.
People are always surprised when they hear the story of how my half-wife and I met. It’s a cute lil story. Here is a short summary. We met online. We dated for 2 months before I asked her (formally) to be my girlfriend.  We spent the next year, getting to know each other. Courting each other, old school. I’m talking flowers, candy, love notes, opening doors and so on. The reason it was so easy to make a choice in two months with her that I evaded making for 3 years with the others was because the woman she was…was the woman they were all trying to be. She was kind, caring, and gentle. But she was also assertive and deliberate. Her manner, the way she carried herself let me know that I couldn’t pull that mess around and don’t commit shit with her. So we did things differently.  What we didn’t do -is hop in the sack immediately. What we didn’t do -is disrespect each other by sleeping with other women once we became intimate with each other. What we still haven’t done- is move in together. And what we don’t do is publish the gory details of our relationship for the world to see.  Why?  Two reasons: 1. Because we respect ourselves and each other. 2. Because we are adults.
And these, in my opinion, are the exact same reasons why this “we ain’t going steady” business needs to cease for ladies of a certain age and maturity level. Now let me say this, I am NOT by any means saying that everyone over 25 should get into a bad relationship just because society says they should. SMH. No, not saying that at all. I’m not even saying that everyone is cut out for a relationship. What I am saying is that the desire for companionship is real. We all want it. So when picking a companion make sure you do so in a fashion that celebrates you and the other person. If you decide that you don’t want that companionship to be exclusive, you don’t get to act surprised when your cut buddy doesn’t dust off his/her right knee for you. You don’t get to be insecure when he/she doesn’t return your phone calls or treats you poorly. And you don’t get to act crazy when any of the aforementioned happens for the world to see, i.e. on Facebook or twitter. You know why? Well the obvious reason is because you treat people how to treat you, but beneath all that is the fact that being a grown woman requires responsibility.
I always see people talking about how strong woman don’t take no shit from nobody. How she don’t need nobody to love her. I dismiss this most times because I know this bad ass attitude and faulty logic is really a defense mechanism. Plus, I know that it midst of this rhetoric Miss Boss Bitch is getting hit and quit by some random cut buddy who won’t even take her in public. That shit hurts, I’m sure. But when people have no commitment to you, they oftentimes have no loyalty…no obligation.
Relationships are built on trust and it’s hard to trust someone when you don’t know where they are sleeping at night. Beyond that real intimacy and good sex for that matter require one to be exposed and vulnerable; to reveal the parts of yourself that you hold closest to you. I don’t care how strong you think you are, full disclosure like that requires some degree of security. And you just can’t get that if you have even inkling that your partner is sharing similar experiences with someone else. That’s why you and “special friend” only sleep together in dark rooms, after long nights of strong drinks. Your spirit won’t allow you to connect with someone on that level when you don’t feel secure. *shrugging shoulders* I know some don’t like it but it’s true. Intimacy, passion, and Commitment all go hand in hand.
I felt this topic was relevant for my quarterlifers because the at crux of the quarterlife crisis is the issue of worth.  As we struggle to create ourselves, professionally and spiritually we are also struggling to socially identify. Now is the time you should feel the most comfortable in your skin. Buuuut this is not always the case. Hence the word crisis. What oftentimes happens is the opposite. Quarterlifers, especially us girls, start to realize we are not as skinny as we were 5 years ago. Our hair doest grow as fast. And if you’re like me, you notice this little protrusion emerge between your nether regions and your belly button. My mom called it a pooch. And while I know this is my body’s way of preparing for childbirth…to me, it s just a fat ass stomach!  My point is when your confidence should be strongest it gets weak. And while wondering if anyone notices all these new additions to your body, you simultaneously notice how hot and fine all the younger girls are. At the end of this negative self talk, it may be harder for you to see the wealth of your worth. So you make excuses and settle for what you can get.
My straight friends say they settle because a lot of the men in our age group are already taken…either legally (by marriage or engagement) or socially (by baby mama drama). The lesbians say they settle because women in our age group are just deciding to be gay for real. So it takes longer to find who is done bidding and is ready to buy. These reasons or any variation of reasons could provide insight into why people settle for tenuous ties with each other. But, honestly it’s not good enough. Because let me be crystal clear, you are damn fool, if you think that your sex is going to keep somebody. It just won’t happen. You have to take responsibility for the relationships that you allow you develop or to continue. Beyond that if you know in your heart that your current partner is NOT what you want in the long run. WHHHHHHYYYYY are you still with them. Addicted to the pain, the sex, the money, the tragic predictability?  I know its hard to walk away…but you have to. You deserve a loving, fulfilling relationship. But if you never assert yourself and ask for it, you won’t get one.
 A good man or woman will never commit to someone who allows themselves to be abused. Allowing oneself to be mistreated is tear stained arrow pointing directly at low self esteem.  Low self esteem, leads to insecurity which grows up to be anger and violence.
So here is my advice. Stop it. Stop this sex without substance bs. Stop this “caught in a bad romance” garbage. Stop settling. Stop the excuses. You have enough to worry about than trying to resuscitate a relationship that has been on life support for its duration. Or trying to prove your worth to someone who would rather not see it.
A good relationship shouldn’t make you, but a bad one can break you all the way down!
You don’t have to settle for being a pencil sharpener (lezzies) or a hot dog bun (straights). (Pun totally intended). I think you deserve more.
Do you?


  1. Preach it sis!! I just read THEE ENTIRE thing to Ja net.

  2. Hot Dog Bun is hilarious to me. But to more serious thoughts. I believe that much of our drive to be in a relationship is the misnomer that we will be alone. And who wants to be "alone"? But as I get older my patience gets thinner so Im really intrigued by folks who can stay around just because they want someone in their bed. Not that I aint never been in the situation, but at this point it doesnt seem like a real viable option. I cant imagine rasing lil Tams and Idris' (yes as in elba) with some man who I honestly felt like I settled for. Yes settle for a job because you need to pay rent, settle for a car because you just need to get to work, but dont settle on your heart.