Written by Zamara Perri
When a black woman falls in love with another woman, especially for the first time, it can be completely magical. She makes our heart skip a beat, our palms sweaty, puts butterflies in our stomach and makes our panties wet. We can’t stop thinking about her, wanting her and dreaming about your future together.
Maybe she is the one. Maybe she’s not. Lesbians are famous for falling in love quickly and trying to build something out of nothing. And we black lesbian queens are no different.
But for real though, just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t mean you have to build a life together.
Sometimes we say yes to relationships, circumstances and situations without truly weighing the costs.
At first we think we can handle/settle for a less-than-ideal situation, but as time goes by, we realize that we’re not happy.
What Are You Getting Out of the Relationship?
Sometimes we hope and pray that things (or maybe she) will change, but the truth is that the only person you can change is yourself.
I truly believe that before getting into or getting out of a relationship, all black lesbians should ask themselves, what they are getting out of the relationship.
I’m so serious. All romantic relationships have a pay off. My partner taught me a really important lesson early in our relationship. Although she is a truly kind, spirit-driven woman who loves people, before she gets involved in anything, she always asks herself, “What am I getting out of this?”
The question is important, she reasons, because if you’re not getting what you want, then what motivation do you truly have in continuing to pursue this thing? This question can relate to any relationship, business opportunity, volunteer of social activity. I know it sounds crazy and selfish, but hear me out.
My partner taught me that even if the only thing you get from a situation is a good feeling, it has to be something valuable to you.
Everything has a cost and a pay off so know your worth.
The Real Reasons We Stay
So with that in mind, let’s be honest. Some people claim that they get into relationships because they just love this other person and can’t live without them.
That might be true, but if we are truly honest most people are in relationships for a combination of the following reasons:
- She makes you feel good
- She’s really good in bed
- Y’all are pretty together
- You like the attention she gives you
- She’s your companion/best friend
- A built in cuddle buddy
- Someone to split the bills with
- She makes you feel good
- Someone to raise children with
- A status symbol/ being in relationship makes you desirable in the eyes of your community
- She brings out the best in you
- You like taking care of her because (you feel powerful, strong, important etc., etc.)
You Get What You Accept
It may seem obvious that when you’re in a bad relationship, you should just leave. But it’s just not that easy. Even though we don’t think we consciously sign up for being treated like crap, far too many of us put up with lovers who:
- Lie, cheat and manipulate
- Are financially irresponsible
- Are unreliable
- Never apologize
- Talks to us out of the side of her neck
- Blames, instead of taking responsibility for her bad behavior
- Makes us cry
Is that what we truly want? If it’s not and we’re still hanging around, then there is an even deeper reason why we’re choosing to remain in that relationship.
We stay because there is something about that shitty relationship that fills a basic need.
And queen, only you know what that need is. Could it be because you think that you’ll never find someone to “love” you again? Are you afraid of being alone? Are you afraid of losing her income? Do you have a lease together and it’s too much of a hassle to untangle it all? Are you comfortable with being unhappy? Do you believe that this is all you deserve? Or do you truly believe that she is the one and that she will change?
Saying yes to any of those questions means you’re staying because you think you need that person’s love, company, money, property, etc.
If these things are what you’re getting from your relationship, then it won’t matter to you if your partner is showing you in many different ways that you are not valuable to her and that you are not a priority because you won’t leave. No judgment here. I’ve been there and done it myself.
I remember being in a relationship where we argued and fought all the time. Most of our arguments stemmed from her being extremely insensitive, which led to me being even more insecure. Even after letting the relationship go, I found myself crying over her. When I got real with myself and dug deep down inside, I discovered that I still wanted the relationship because I was lonely and liked her attention.
I was embarrassed. Here I was this strong, independent black woman who needed this woman’s negative attention to validate me. But it was the ugly truth. Knowing that truth made me understand why this dysfunctional relationship was important to me.
How to Get What You Want
Ladies, it’s really simple, if you are not getting what you want from your relationship, there really is no reason to stay. Celebrating your 20th anniversary is hardly an accomplishment if you spent 19 of those years being disrespected and abused.
Many of us think that because we love someone that we need to stick around and deal with their crap to prove how much we love them. Actually real love is the opposite. If you truly love someone, you demand that they do better and you demand that they treat you better. Treating you well is the price she must pay to be in your life.
The relationship you have is the relationship you settle for.
If you are not getting something really valuable out of a relationship and you don’t want to leave, then you need to re-negotiate. Have the conversation. Express yourself. Use your words. Stand up for yourself because you, my dear, are worth it.
Queen, your partner doesn’t have all the power. A strong woman doesn’t complain or threaten to leave; a strong woman takes action.
The time you spend stressing over her bullshit is the time you could spend working on other goals, being your own best friend, buying your own property, supporting and taking care of yourself. And when you’re ready, you will demand better or move on. It was hard, but I did it and I know you can too.