Why is it that love will have us women settling for something that we swore we would never settle for?
The Teacher (KRS-One) once said it best- “…love is a very serious thing and if you don’t watch out, love’s gonna get’cha”. But never once did he, nor the greatest of poets in literature, mention love meant hating everything you became at it’s cost.
I’m going to talk exclusively to the ladies on this one. There’s some of us that from a young age have a strong sense of our inner-self and purpose. In other words, while there are those who use a certain age bracket to “find themselves”, there are also those of us who because of our upbringing, experiences, and/or the possession of an old soul are a few steps ahead mentally and spiritually in that area.
It’s come to my attention that not all men can fully understand a young, wise, strong, and confident woman. Unfortunately I, like a few other women out here, have come across those men and it’s a shame to say that at some point we’ve fell blindly in the deepest of their ditches like a damsel in distress.
Without getting too deep into it, let me tell you where I’m coming from. For two years I dealt with a man eight years older than I. I was 20, turning 21, when he came into my life. I’ll admit that I wasn’t fully into the man the first time we met, nor the second, nor the third, nor the fourth. But there was definitely something I dug about his chase and the recognition he had of my being, in the beginning that is.
I was enticed by the scars of experience this man bared, the way he presented himself to me and the world, and most importantly his strong demeanor that dominated mine (because a strong woman sometimes needs to feel like she‘s not the one wearing the pants all the time). Before I knew it, I subconsciously gave in, gave all of me in course of time.
In the midst of those two years, what attracted him of me soon became my greatest flaws in his eyes. The “it surprises me and I admire the maturity and wisdom you carry at your age”, became “nobody likes a know-it-all, you need to humble yourself”. When I began exuding pride in physical change and accomplishments it then became “you walk around like your s*** don’t stink”.
The “I love that you come from a traditional family of values” became “your asking for too much” when it came to simple principles of etiquette and respect. My ability to remain alert on certain faults within this bond quickly became labeled as “jealousy”. And for the win, for someone who I was initially introduced to at a show as a writer, and hip hop enthusiast who’s passion and ambition was an attracting factor, I can not fathom how that became “Be yourself, why don’t you focus on the cultures of your ethnic background instead of exalting theirs”. Wow! First thing’s first, I would never indefinitely put a man before my aspirations and love for hip hop. As cliché as it may sound, that bond is stronger than any bond I will ever have with someone else. Seems like a real f***** up situation, doesn’t it?
There was quite a few fall-outs just to continue falling back in. The prideful strong woman suddenly became feeble. She began to choose her words and spoken thoughts carefully in order to not be judged. She began to second guess just about everything. The expectation for loyalty became a leading trait, and that was easy on her behalf, but his perception of it came with a double standard. The wide smile that ranged from ear-to-ear often turned into mere trembling lips that tasted the salty residue of fallen tears. Wait a minute, she questioned herself, I give, and compromise, and what am I receiving in compensation for being a “good girl”? Nothing really. Being this weak is not me. I hated every aspect of it. I was losing myself for love.
Every encounter was no longer the same. There was no longer an existing connection there. With every look, I began to resent him for being the cause that dimmed my light a notch. I would sit there trying to be “proper” and in the back of my mind there was a voice asking what I was doing there beside him. I didn’t have the answer to it. I suppose it was the recollection of those early good times. The one’s with no pressure, no stress, no expectations, just a burning flame and acceptance.
There’s many faults within him that I could ramble about but I won’t because there is no need for another persons flaws to be the emphasize of my ego-boost. My conclusion of it all is it really wasn’t me at fault. It was the sense of inferiority that derived from a young-women like me that was the root of it. You see deep down I was a bit like him. There was a need for control, for power, strength, and having the upper-hand. But things get complicated when one person has an upper-hand on you and age and gender harshly reminds you that it isn’t a measurement of maturity and superiority.
I can’t reason why I lingered around that second year, but when it finally set in that at 23 I had to move forward, I took the purpose and ran with it. I wrote a four page letter one day that freed me from all prior restraints, and that was that. And on a side note, one must always keep in mind that the truth catches up to you eventually. That became the final ending of that growing chapter in my life.
Young ladies, what I came to find out was that a man who is truly for you will not be threatened at all by what you are made of. Being strong minded, independent, passionate about your dreams, respectful, and loving all at the same time with a sense of extreme pride in all of it should never be a problem.
In love, compromising is essential, however it doesn’t mean changing your entire being for the comfort of another person. I know that as women we romanticize love and the idea of finding and fighting for it, and love is indeed a beautiful thing, but we must all be aware when it comes to it.
When love enables your strengths to turn into weakness and you begin to lose yourself, that is not the kind of love you need. You must remember that the love you have for yourself and your own well-being is far most important and above anyone else’s needs and wants. You should never have to question whether you are too much to handle. Never have to accuse yourself of being too strong or too sensitive, or of caring too much. For the love that is mature and understanding and meant for you, you will be just right.
We’ve all been there ladies, so don’t fret. Keep a tight hold to your precious essence. You got years to come, and unconditional love finds us all in due time. Until then- “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem baby girl”– take a piece of advice from our girl Lauryn.
Don’t you take that burning fire within you for granted. You were given it for a reason. A reason that only belongs to you and for you. So, search within, find it, and execute. You have many things to accomplish before you allow that four letter word to be the event of your demise. Go get it, go-getter!