What To Do When You’re Bad At Love

When we are children, we play all sorts of games. Usually, we are trained to think about who we are supposed to be and what we will want in our lifetime. In the 90s, I remember boys playing with their Hotwheels, Playstations and, well, just being boys. As for us girls, it was an entirely different world. My cousins loved their baby dolls, constantly caring for them, burping them, and one of my cousins even tried to breastfeed her doll (she was too prepared). Many girls were given toys that prepared us to think about children, having our own family, cooking with our Easybake Ovens, cleaning up the house and so many other homemaker responsibilities that were “gender appropriate”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Easybake Oven, my small kitchen and my Malibu Barie with her huge mansion and cars, but I never really thought about those things as me actually wanting those responsibilities in the real world. My main focus was never to be a mom. Instead, I wanted to become a wife.

I recall at the age of 6 being so infatuated with a boy named Sedrick. In kindergarten, most people might have a quick kiss, and that was it. I wanted to marry him. To this day, I’m not quite sure why either; he wasn’t the smartest kid out of the bunch. Yet, somehow, I knew from Kindergarten until 2nd Grade, I wanted to be with him. That’s where it all started for me. I didn’t realize until later in life that this would become a pattern throughout my dating life; wanting marriage is just something I always knew I needed.

Thinking back to why this is, I recall watching all of the Disney movies; if you know Disney movies, then you know the traditional story of the princess falling in love with either a prince or, somehow, falling head over heels for a guy that really didn’t measure up to them at all. If anything, he wasn’t good enough for her. She settled for potential, which, until the last few years in Disney History, has always been the case. After constantly watching movies such as “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Pocahontas”, “Peter Pan”, “The Aristocats”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Need I go any further, because I can), I was programmed, like so many girls, to want true love in its purest form. Coined as ‘True Love’, I knew at the earliest age that I was supposed to be with that special someone that wanted to love every essence of me and to then ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Well, for me, that just isn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always been told that I would be a great wife, one of the best in some people’s opinions. Either way, the more the world evolves, the more we as humans also evolve. Men change the type of women they want to build a family with, which makes it more difficult for any Black woman to find a good husband of any race (yes, we are stereotyped to the highest degree and aren’t given anything for what we sacrifice). As men find reasons to not commit in this day of age, I find it hard and also hurtful for a man to want me to be patient with him, hurt my heart in every aching way, and somehow, find someone else to magically propose to and marry. I constantly ask myself, “What am I doing wrong?”. After getting into so many awful and draining relationships, complications, situationships, and even Netflix and chills, I began wondering this year if it’s just me. Maybe I suck at love, and maybe there is no one out there for me at all. Will I die alone? Will I ever be given the same and more love than I have willingly and easily given to others in my past, and even present? As you get older and you realize that everyone else is married happily with a beautiful family and kids, you begin to wonder how can you finally get your ‘Happily Ever After’.

To start my journey, I had to evaluate why I want to be married. When I thought about it, I realized that, just like in all of the romantic movies, I don’t want to be alone, or the only one at the Thanksgiving Dinner without someone special. After all of the years of taking care of men, I decided that I wasn’t lonely enough to settle anymore, so just needing anybody wasn’t the issue. Further, into my meditation, I thought about whether I truly want….the engagement, wedding, shopping, romance, or the actual ups and downs of a real marriage. For decades, I have ordered all the wedding catalogs, visited wedding shows, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched “Say Yes to the Dress”. A few years ago, I noticed that I was more in love with the process of a wedding. Picking the rings, decorations, finding the best dress and planning the reception was all I ever thought about. I was so infatuated with weddings, I even bought a wedding dress for whenever I become so lucky to be asked for a hand in marriage. I was completely a girl wishing on a star, looking at the material things. Love, however, isn’t just about material gifts. It requires more effort, time, and selflessness.

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Now in my late 20s, it is clear that I no longer care about the wedding as much. I actually want a partner in crime, a ‘We’ and not just a ‘Us’. I want an unbreakable bond, a union, the love of my life that was made just for me. Pretty much, I digressed and progressed at the same time to what Disney has taught me in movies — find someone that will love you eternally. If you’re one of the lucky gals that became married and actually love their husbands, congrats! If not, welcome to the club of women that think they’re doing it all wrong. Truth is, it’s probably not you at all that’s the issue. We just haven’t found that person for us yet!

Out of everyone out here, believe me, child, I know how tiring and treacherous the dating world can be. Making sure that the guy or gal isn’t a jerk, a player, or a dangerous killer. After that, we go through the stage of what I like to call ‘The Butterfly Effect’, where we go through the nervous and quickly falling for the person. That’s where we usually become trapped in a cycle of accepting any guy, instead of even knowing that there is someone out there that will treat us better. If you pass this phase, then you jump right into making sure that you don’t move too fast, don’t have quick intimacy, and become soul ties with the person. Keeping count of the days per what Steve Harvey said for sex, paying for the first date, but wondering when he’ll pull out his wallet in the next month. and figuring out when he’ll commit to us. Trust, I know how it goes, because I’ve lived it on and off for the past 13 years. It’s a tragedy of emotions, constant phone checking and even self-doubt at times. Then you see him find someone that he magically loves all over Facebook, posing in photos with her that he wouldn’t even consider taking with you and proposing to her just after six months. Hell, this has happened so much to me, I considered just jumping into any relationship and having a baby that I might not be ready for. This, however my friends, is not healthy.

So we think we’re not worthy of love because of it all. We’re left miserable and bitter from heartbreaks, downing glass after glass of wine, bitching to our girlfriends about how we’re single, independent and how the sex toys give us everything we need that a man can give. This is self-sabotage, something that those with a big heart have a tough time breaking. Constantly being in the same thought cycle is not benefiting you at all. If anything, it just makes us want to drink our lives away. There is a cure for all of this. Ready for it?

The cure simply is…Faith, Hope, and Love. I know, we all have heard this plenty of times from the bible or just on a piece of jewelry. It’s the truth though, Faith, Hope, and Love are the keys to stop being so bad at love. Have faith that you are the best person that you can be for yourself, and that the right person that appreciates you will also love you for your personality and your overall being. Hope that when the time does come for you to love the best person fit for you, you will be emotionally and mentally stable to not self-sabotage yourself and your choices. We all have our own sins, but believe me, when the right person loves you, you’ll want to be prepared for love. You don’t want to push them away constantly because of your past (I do this so much, I literally run away from each good situation). Finally, Love yourself. Literally babe…love yourself. You are amazing, beautiful, inspiring, talented, and a gift to the world. There is only one of you that was and will ever be created, and someone needs you out there to just be yourself. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. It never fails. (1 Corin 13:7). Even if you’re not spiritual, love is a power that heals all wounds that time cannot heal. You are worth it, so love yourself.

You’re not bad at love at all. It’s not your fault. He or she wasn’t good for you my love. That doesn’t mean that you should punish yourself for it. You’re not going through this alone, because so many of us are going through this every day. When the time does come, and you will know and won’t even question it, make sure you ring a small bell at me for your wedding. It’ll be a celebration of us finally getting what we wanted from childhood, only we’re stronger and have faith that our partner is the best one for us, hope that even though the worst days, they will be there right by our side, and love the process of the engagement, relationship, and marriage.

Love U Always Homegurls and Homeboys.

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