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Stop! In The Name Of Love

Dating & Relationships / April 13, 2015

If you’re still with him because you’re convinced he’s going to change or that things will get better if you just “stick it out”, then you need to stop.

I mean it.

Just. Stop!

Stop thinking that once y’all get married, he’ll stop cheating on you.  Stop thinking that if you lose 20 pounds, he’ll stop insulting you.  Stop thinking that if you have his baby, he’ll leave his wife and marry you.  Stop thinking that with a little more time, he’ll stop taking you for granted.  Stop it.

STOP IT!

I don’t know how, why or when we women got bamboozled into thinking that we have the power to change any man.  Who first told us that lie?  And when did we start believing it?

You can’t change a man, ever!

Do men change?  Yes, they do.  Do some men even change because of a woman?  I’m sure some do.  But when men change, it’s because they want to change.  Men change when they feel like changing.  Women don’t change men.  Men change themselves.

So stop trying so hard to change the man you’re with and go out and find the right man for you!  Stop settling for less than what you deserve in the hopes that it’ll get better, because it won’t.

I know, I know.  That’s easier said than done.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  I even have the T-shirt and the travel mug.

stop in the name 2

But for real.  As women, we have got to do better when it comes this.  We’ve got to realize that the only way to get the right love is to first love ourselves enough to accept nothing less than what we really want.  We have to stop settling for the first guy who gives us attention or calls us pretty or turns us out in bed.  We have to stop putting up with disrespectful treatment just so that we can say we have a man.

In fact, we have got to stop convincing ourselves that having a piece of a man is better than having no man at all!  I wholeheartedly challenge that notion, if for no other reason than that piece of a man may be standing in the way of the real man you’re supposed to have!

It all comes down to self-love, Sisters.  The more you love yourself, the less willing you’ll be to put up with bullshit.  Because when you truly love yourself, then the notion of being single isn’t so bad at all.  In fact, when you love yourself enough, being single is far more preferable to being with someone who isn’t right!

Now I know some of you are thinking that I’m being too harsh.  Some may even think I’m not considering the women with men who are still growing and learning, etc.  I need to cut the brothers a little slack, you say.  Some guys need you to hang with them while they figure their lives out and get the stuff together.

Bullshit!

I’ve got nothing against the man who’s actively working on bettering himself and his situation.  In fact, I’m not even talking about those men!  I’m not talking about the guy who’s working, going to school and doing all he can do to make a better life for himself.

I’m talking about the dude who SAYS he’s working on bettering himself, but is really just laying around YOUR house, eating YOUR food, using YOUR electricity, and driving YOUR car while you’re out humping 40-50 hours a week to put food on the table.

Now, if he’s doing that, but spending most of the day online looking for work or taking classes; and when you come home, dinner is cooked, the house is clean and he’s treating you like a queen; and he’s taken your car to have it serviced, washed and detailed … than I have no problem with that.  But look closely.  Is that what he’s really doing?

Because if you have to come home and cook, clean and take care of his triflin’ ass, then Houston, we have a problem!  This dude isn’t the one you stay with while he’s on the “come up”, because this dude will bring you down.  This is the dude who will sap your youth, drain your dreams and leave you with nothing but a wrecked car, bad credit and quite possibly an STD.

And I’m not just talking about guys with no ambition, either.  I’m talking about guys who cheat on you, disrespect you, don’t support you, constantly insult you and flat out won’t ever marry you.  I’m talking about the ones who never call when they say they’re going to call, and when they do call it’s for a Booty Call.  I’m talking about the ones you only hear from after 2:00 a.m. when they’re drunk.  I’m talking about the ones who borrow your car, your credit card, and your laptop, but never offer to pay for gas or a bill.  I’m talking about the ones you cook for but never buy you any groceries.

Ladies, you deserve so much better than that!

I know that leaving any relationship is hard, even ones that suck.  But for the sake of your future happiness, I implore you to do it.  Get out!  Leave him!

Yes, it’s rough out here alone.  But when you love yourself enough, being single doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely.  When you love yourself enough, being single is a gift that you give yourself until the RIGHT one comes along.

Happy and healthy black young woman relaxing with open arms outdoors

Here are some steps you can take right now to rid yourself of your toxic, unhealthy relationship:

  1. Be honest with yourself. Evaluate your relationship realistically.  Is it a balanced relationship, where your needs are being met as often as your partner’s?  Do you feel loved, honored and respected?  Are your dreams supported?  Are you physically and emotionally safe in this relationship?
  2. Do an honest appraisal of what you bring to the relationship. What do you bring to the table?  You’ll probably be surprised by how much value you add to your relationship.
  3. Remind yourself, at least two or three times a day, why you deserve only the very best in your life. If you have to, look in the mirror and recite affirmations about your strengths, gifts and beauty.
  4. Start treating yourself the way you want others to treat you. Treat your body like the temple it is.  Treat your spirit well every day.  Purge your life of all things and people that would harm your temple and your spirit.
  5. Stop accepting bullshit. Plain and simple.  You don’t have to accept bullshit, so you shouldn’t accept bullshit.
  6. Review, revise and revamp your own goals and dreams. Make a dream board if you have to.  But, actively start working towards making your dreams your reality TODAY.

These six steps will help you construct the life you want and deserve, even if it means getting rid of some dead weight in the form of bad relationships.  If you focus on only accepting the very best for yourself because you honestly feel that’s what you deserve, good things will start to happen in your life.

And you do deserve good things.

 






Janice Fuller-Roberts
Janice Fuller-Roberts is a freelance writer, novelist and blogger living in the metropolitan Detroit area. She has a popular advice column called “Ask Janice” at SuzyKnew a site dedicated to the sexual health and pleasure for women of color, with an emphasis on women from the African diaspora. Janice’s thought-provoking essays on subjects such as domestic violence, depression, mental health awareness, and race have also been featured in The Sexy Single Mommy, For Harriet, emPower Magazine, DAME Magazine, Salon, and Corset. She also writes under a pseudonym with a growing legion of fans.




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2 Comments

on April 13, 2015

Sing it sista’! It’s easy to fall into comfortable habits – which include a bad man. But just like dieting, getting rid of a bad man takes time and can be paintul. But, self-love will set you free.

on April 14, 2015

As a man, I can honestly say that you are not being hard on men. In my dating experiences I’ve met some women who have been with the type of men you described, they are jaded and guarded and sometimes….bitter. Women really do have power. When men realize that they can’t get any play, they will step their game up. Plus I have daughters and I want them to avoid these men like they have the plague. Thank you.



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