Ladies, y’all have been sold a vision of the relationship world that is framed like its a game- complete with good guys and bad guys, with villains and victims. And as long as you buy into that vision you will buy lots of books but you’ll never get the understanding you are seeking. I don’t dislike Steve Harvey. Frankly I’m glad he is successful. The more legitimate black mass media fixtures we have the better. But that “Think Like a Man” bullshit really got on my nerves. The fact that it was made into not one, but TWO movies let’s you know what it was really all about. The fact that they were cornball comedies shines an even brighter light on the gravity of the material. It was a hustle and the joke was on the women that bought it because the movie wasn’t even that funny.
But all of that is ok when people see the enterprise for what it is. But if some woman out there was really needing some useful insights and you are a comedian charging her 15 bucks for a book to help her and then 20 bucks to make visual gags about the book, fuck you now and in the hereafter.
As a general proposition I think all of those “fix your relationship/romantic status” books are bullshit. It is not that there is no useful information in there, its that mostly the information is what women already know instinctively. They have just been conned into forgetting it, ignoring it and then into paying somebody else to help them find what has been there all along. Well take it from me here and now, my experience and expertise in this area will match up with anybody’s out there and I can give you what you need short and sweet like a morning quickie. And I am not trying to sell you anything or preen around on television like some self-styled relationship guru.
I’ll give you valuable insight and actionable intel for free for the simple reason that you visit my blog or my site and I appreciate it. I want you to be happy in handling yours because we need more happy people in the world. Reading my stuff should be helpful and this is a place where I know I can help. That’s it. And I’ll spare you the details of how I know so much so very well. Just trust me- please.
When my first born daughter turned 18 and was entering the adult world- brand new to dating and heading off to college- I wrote her a detailed letter about how to handle herself in four basic parts. The idea was that she was about to be away from me for the first time and I wanted her to have my words in writing on hand so that anytime she might need my voice but didn’t necessarily want to discuss her personal situation with me, she’d have me there. I also gave it to her because life is funny sometimes and we never know when we might be communicating with somebody for the last time and if anything were to happen to me I wanted her to have something from me that I knew would hold up over time. This is a summary of what I told my child and I hope it is helpful to you as well. My simple message was as follows:
It Really Is All About You: Never ever forget that. When you are engaging in relationships your first responsibility is to yourself. Be who you want to be and know what you want to do- and dig the fact that you may change a little bit now and then. Making sure that you are cool with what you are doing and with whom you are doing it is paramount. If that checks out, then just make sure that whoever you are with understands that as well. As much as you may enjoy his company, even love or respect him, you are in the relationship for YOU first. If it isn’t about you, then you shouldn’t be in it.
If your pleasure derives from bringing gratification to him then that is terrific, but if it is not reciprocal you are volunteering to pay a very high price for lessons that you can get right here free of charge. He may be a great guy but if he has an issue with you feeling that way, just clear the space he is in as soon as it is convenient for you to do so. Your relationship with YOU is the one that really matters. Don’t ruin that one over somebody passing through.
Relationships Are For Fun: It is amazing how easily we can lose track of this one. If your relationship is no longer fun, get the hell out and don’t look back. The whole point of spending time with somebody is because you enjoy doing it- its fun for you.
If it turns into a chore or a bore, then you are not having fun. And what’s worse, you COULD be having fun someplace else with somebody else or even by yourself- yet for some crazy reason, you are throwing good energy and time into a relationship that is drudgery. If you are married with children and have to build a life that you both have ownership in, then it is more than appropriate to ride out rough patches- for a time. But if you don’t have any entanglement that looks like a family then your approach should be simple: You can have bad days and stressful days without any help from him. If he can’t bring the fun and joy you need from him, then he can’t bring himself at all.
Don’t Let Other People’s Problems Become Your Problems: This is a big one and it is pretty much the epicenter of the “reality tv” genre. The amount of time and energy people spend worrying about and fighting over other people’s problems is absolutely astonishing and equally absurd. But that’s their problem: Don’t YOU fall for the bullshit. Just know that men will dump their mess on you as much as you let them for reasons that really don’t matter. What matters is that his own house is in disarray and if you have him running around in yours, then yours will be in disarray sooner than later.
Just politely decline to hear about or discuss his baby-momma drama and see if he self-corrects. If not, fade to black on his ass. You will have enough problems of your own trying to reach your own goals without being weighted down with his issues. Being a kind person and a good listener is as far as you go with that. His problems are HIS to solve and he needs to solve them at home and not bring them to yours.
You Alone Are Enough: As much as you may desire a relationship, you have to understand that you don’t need it to be complete or to be whole. There will always be plenty of opportunity to socialize but it may or may not be in the stars for you to be with someone formally all of the time- or even most of the time. You cannot control what happens with other people but you can totally control what goes on with you. So whatever you do, make sure that you can strip it all away, be naked, be alone and be ENOUGH.
I am telling you that you are because God made you but you have to verify and validate that for yourself.
So there you have it. Despite all of the dramatic posturing of so many books, tv shows and seminars, it really is this simple. But this isn’t sexy because there really are no villains and victims here. At bottom the relationship rat race is really just grown people doing what they do, trying to live and enjoy their lives. These four points don’t guarantee any particular result but they do guarantee you will be sane and self-aware no matter what may come your way. And that guarantee is my gift to you. Good luck and Godspeed, ladies.