As dysfunctional love triangles unfold before our eyes on popular reality TV shows like “Love & Hip Hop” it’s so easy to quickly point a finger at bad boy behavior as the root of all evil.
But at a certain point, the narrative of victimhood that is so often bounced from woman to woman has to be exchanged for a story of responsibility. It’s time women start claiming ownership of the life and love they choose.
Although people like to think of love as intense thoughts, surging passion and fluttery butterflies, real love is defined and made clear through action and sacrifice. Think about it. Just saying “I feel so in love with you” means nothing without tangible proof that you are invested in the relationship.
So if we define love as an action that you must commit to, that means love is a choice.
Once love is viewed as a daily decision versus just feelings, the choice to continue to love someone becomes rooted in something so much deeper. The commitment to love someone who treats us terribly is a direct reflection of our self worth.
Imagine every man you engage with intimately as a mirror reflecting the light of your inner life.
How does it look? Gloomy? Bright? Hazy?
Now, I understand situations where we were bamboozled. You’re falling in love and suddenly the veil is lifted from your goggly eyes and you suddenly see a loser where you once saw a lover.
We’ve all been played.
But once a man’s character is revealed through frequent cheating, non-commitment and inconsistent behavior, it’s time to call the kettle black.
Continuing to engage with a man at that point is not about how you feel it’s about what you think you deserve. You have to ask yourself, why isn’t having a loyal, committed partner important to me?
I tell my girls all the time (after having to rebuke a couple f*ck boys myself), forget your feelings! When it comes to protecting your heart, you have to go with facts first: 1) Is he loyal? 2) Is he consistently kind? 3)Does he work to achieve his goals? 4) Does he have a spiritual life? (if this is important to you) 5) Do his words and actions match? (major key).
Once you make the decision to align your inner life with your outer life, getting caught up by a f*ck boy becomes less and less likely. There’s just sh*t you won’t allow because you know you’re worth more and can do better than this.
Here are just a couple of tips on how to recover after an episode of f*ckboyism.
F*ck Boy Rehab 101:
- Mourn. There is a little mini-emotional death that comes with realizing someone isn’t who you thought they were. And that’s okay. It’s going to hurt, and it’s going to suck. But it will get better.
- Talk to a therapist. They are equipped to help you trace where you got your idea of what love should look like and help you to enforce healthier habits.
- Pay attention to the red flags. This will help you tap out early before you are in way too deep.
- Pick accountability partners. Have your girl take your phone when you’re drunk. Practice spilling all your guts to your bestie versus sending him paragraph long texts as you get over him (been there). You will need your friends more than ever during this time.
- Take a break. After a relationship, taking time to truly love yourself will help you make better decisions in the future.
Any other tips? Here’s to choosing wisely.