Are Love And Affection Enough To Sustain A Long Term Relationship?

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I came across a meme, posted by a black woman, that read:

“there’s still women out here that don’t want anything from a man. Not money, materialistic things, nothing…Nothing but trust, love, support, and lotssssss of affection. I’m her. She is me. I’m one of those women.”

This meme has been shared approximately 86,000 times, with many black women echoing these same sentiments of not wanting or needing anything but love from a man.

In addition to that men were encouraging these comments saying it’s rare to find a woman who isn’t a “gold-digger.” And as I read these comments, I was completely taken aback that there were so many women who take this stance of not needing anything from a man, and by the number of men who agree.

There was once a time where men proudly supported their families as it was the expectation of society for them to do so. When did this shift happen? When did it become admirable or a badge of honor to not want anything but love from your partner?

 

Men, at least on social media, certainly aren’t shy about their list of demands for what they think a wife should bring to the table. So why are we so uncomfortable doing the same thing? A life partner is supposed to be just that- a life partner. And as wonderful and enchanting as love is, it is not enough to sustain a long-term relationship or marriage.

You see, building a life with someone does require love and trust, but it also requires financial support, stability, retirement plans, saving money, supporting one another’s business ventures, good credit, and consistent income.

However, it seems as if the message that women now have and share, both on and off of social media, is that these are not things that should be considered nor expected when choosing a mate or life partner.

Instead, many women are saying “I can take care of myself, I’m independent, I don’t need a man, I’m self-sufficient,” while the men who are hearing this message are using it as a pass to be mediocre at best, to the women whom are strong enough to bear their children and then get back to business (word to Beyonce).

Being the strong believer in black girl magic that I am, I know just how overwhelmingly capable we are of strength, resilience, and superheroism. However, we can still wear capes and proudly say that we deserve better from our relationships.

Let’s stop this narrative y’all. The narrative that in order to be seen as a good woman, we must lower our standards or require nothing but love from a man so that we are not mislabeled as gold-diggers.

Let’s stop this narrative that we must bear the brunt of the entire relationship and the burden of provision must rest solely on us.

I see many posts about what a “wifey type” is, but who is talking about what makes a good quality husband? I’m sure that the answer to what makes a good husband may vary based on who we ask, but here are some things I believe a man who truly loves you will do.

1. A man who loves you will support you in any way that he can.
2. A man who loves you will meet the standards that you set for him.
3. A man who loves you will not be comfortable with you carrying the emotional, spiritual, or financial weight of the relationship on your shoulders, but will look for ways to make your life easier.
4. A man who loves you will be your partner in every sense of the word.

But it is up to each woman to decide what kind of man she will and will not accept into her life.

I am challenging you to allow yourself to ask for more. Don’t settle for the bare minimum but instead, recognize that it is okay to have standards, it is okay to desire someone who matches your ambition and your drive, and it’s okay to dismiss any man who questions your character or true intentions, for expecting greatness out of him.

Adjust your crowns and shine on my sisters.

Love and Light!

Nicole Benton, MA, CLC

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