I wonder why so many of us—men and women—want and expect just-add-water relationships. It’s like we expect to apply a filter and then voilà.
Truth be told, I met my partner when I was unemployed. It’s something that we reminisce on and laugh about at times. I exaggerate and tell her that I upgraded her from the slums of Frederick, Maryland (She didn’t live in a slum. It can’t be a slum with a Wegman’s close by.) and she is quick to remind me that she “downgraded” to come live with me in my apartment in Northern Virginia. Whatever, yo.
I’m not naïve to think that social media “got the dating (relationship/smash-ship/I-don’t-know-our-status) game all f’d up” either because the responsibility does not fall at the feet of insentient technology. Social media didn’t create relationships and it, by itself, won’t upend them. The onus is on us. Before social media existed, we harbored the same selfishness and fear that we see propagated on the average social feed and that is “Yass’d” in social circles of women over brunch and glad-handed by men among other men wherever we do that sort of thing.
“My next man gotta make more money than me”.
“I only like ____ chicks (body type)”.
“I don’t want no broke n*gga”.
“She can’t have no kids”.
“He gotta be just like my Daddy”.
“His credit score gotta be 700+”.
“Her feet gotta be cute”.
“I need variety”.
“She gotta cook and clean just like my Momma used to do”.
Why, though? Whatever happened to building together? You know, helping one another. We can take turns cooking and cleaning. We both can exercise together. We can worship God and pray together. We can read books together. We can save money together. We can even take continuing education classes together, too, if that’s what’s necessary to achieve our goals. Just imagine the net worth that two people with a shared vision and who are committed to becoming the best version of themselves can create together. Everybody has relationship goals, but many of us have little to no relationship work ethic. Contrary to foolish belief, relationships take work. Show me a relationship that “woke up like this” and I’ll show you one that went to bed ashy.
Life in and of itself has a built-in ebb and flow. It just is what it is. However, life (real life) is beautiful.
I admire people--young and old--who’ve been in committed, healthy relationships that span decades regardless of the number of zeros in their bank account, the zip code they live in, the number of stamps in their passport book, or the way they look physically.
Our relationship has its idiosyncrasies. We’ve been through growing pains and at one point we considered moving on, even. It was because of me, not her. Yet we remain committed to our agreement which we renew daily. I’m simply grateful for God’s grace, mercy, and my partner’s love.
Waking up with my breath smelling like “All my life I had to fight” and my abs looking like Krispy Kreme is alright with me because I know I have some Scope in the bathroom and I am still loved.
I mean, what do I have to complain about?
That’s relationship goals.