If you’re anything like me (if you’re reading this blog, that’s very likely), you’re probably a fan of Issa Rae’s Insecure. You get cozy every Sunday night to watch Issa, Molly and Lawrence put on the greatest imitation of life for young, black millennials as they attempt to navigate the fuckery of being a 20-30 something in Season 2. Their relationships, mistakes, mishaps, careers and situationships are all too relatable. Lately, there’s been one central theme that has stood out to me: the “perfect” relationship...or not so much. In a world where social media is undefeated, I often see statuses and memes that make demands about how your partner should treat you. Some of it is true, but most of it is unrealistic.
On the “Hella Shook” episode, Molly finds out that her father cheated on her mother and despite being hurt, her mom decided to stay in their marriage. Needless to say, Molly completely overreacted. She was devastated because she idolized her parents’ marriage. If we’re being honest, most of us do. I was having a conversation about men with a close friend and as we were talking she said, “They don’t make men like our fathers anymore.” I laughed and agreed, but after some thought, I think my view has shifted slightly. My grandparents have been married for almost 39 years. That’s a long ass time. My grandfather is my idol. In my opinion, he’s the perfect man (I’m also super spoiled and a daddy’s girl, so that explains that.) He does no wrong in my eyes and every man I’ve ever seriously considered has had huge shoes to fill….which is probably why I’m not married today, BUT I said all of that to say this: while my DaDa might be perfect in my eyes, who was he when he was my age? Was he the 70s version of a “fuck boy”? Probably. Did it take him some time, mistakes, and lessons to become a better man, husband, and father? I’m sure of it. I might not have been there to witness it, but I’m certain there are no perfect men. Yet, 39 years later, he’s still married, happy, healthy and my blueprint for what I want my future husband to resemble. So, in my opinion, there are still men out there that are just like our fathers. They’re just not in that space yet.
You know what our problem is, millennials? We are the “microwave” generation. We like it quick. We want it fast. We want the most in the least amount of time. Life doesn’t work like that. We have to learn, grow and figure out the best way to navigate through shit without losing an arm or your edges. We don’t give each other, or ourselves, enough time to work through things. When things get hard or seem to not be working out, we simply quit. We give up. We call relationships illusions and insist that “love” does not exist. We are slow to forgive and even look at others crazy when they forgive those that hurt them. Now, before we get too deep, I’m not saying continually forgive a nigga for treating you like shit. I’m saying that as human beings, we are often trash. We lie, we cheat, we scheme and we scam. We’re not perfect in any department. Yet, God forgives us still. He loves us still, even when we don’t love ourselves enough to be better. So, what do we lose in forgiving each other?
Molly’s momma dropped a gem when she said, “I just knew that he made me feel good more than he hurt me.” Does it sound stupid? Yeah, kinda. Is it an accurate scale for gauging what a person’s purpose is in your life? Yeah, kinda. Getting hurt by another human is inevitable, but does this person do more good than bullshit? If the BS outweighs the benefit, then….maybe kick rocks. If not, try to work through it. I hope that one day, maybe 25 years or so from now, my daughter looks at her dad and says “They don’t make men like my daddy anymore,” and while both her father and I will know all the fuckery and mistakes it took to make him into that man, all she’ll see is the finished product of a man that had go through some things to grow up and the woman who helped him get there.
Relationships are hard y’all. Really fucking hard. You either want to kiss the other person or stab them in the throat. There is no in between. There’s nothing easy about trying to protect your heart, while also handing it over to another person. You will have good days. You will have bad days. You will have “I’m not talking to your ass for 3 days because you make me sick” days. Just know, that all of that pressure comes with a great reward. We are not going to be 20-somethings forever. Do the work.
Until next time, stay beautiful and protect your magic...