If you're a member of a Greek letter organization, you know that it's a part of your life until death. People that aren't Greek may not understand, but with Black Greek letter organizations, the bond is real, it's tight, and we don't take it for granted.
My college was a PWI (predominantly white institution) and the campus didn't have the largest population of "us", so our sororities and fraternities created a community of Black togetherness that we didn't take lightly. If you can believe it, men take Greek life even more seriously.
My Ex, let's just call him Victor, is in my brother fraternity, and we fell in love way before we even dated. I used to call it a modern day love story. After graduation, although we had been dating for years, I found myself feeling like the other woman in the relationship, playing the mistress to his main.
No matter what, it seemed like he would constantly choose his fraternity over me. For example, while we were briefly in an long distance relationship, If I wanted to fly out to see him, I had to make sure it wasn't during specific times when he was with his frat brothers or when conventions were happening. Now, that bothered me, but I tried to be understanding because his love for his frat mirrored the forever love I held in my heart for my sorority. But at what age is enough, enough?
I could count the number of times he chose his frat over me in some way, shape, or form on two hands, but I always empathized. It was the woman in me. However, when he chose his frat over me this last time, I knew something had to give. I had to reevaluate my love life, and fast. Let me tell you the story.
It was time once again for one of us to make that dreaded trek across country to see one another. Sadly, it was my turn. Don't get me wrong, I completely wanted to see him. That dick appointment was LONG overdue, but I was growing tired of not living in the same state as my partner, and had begun to make this apparent to him. Good ole Victor is a fighter though, and his plans for us always seem to trump mine. So, I agreed to come see him.
One day, I got a Facetime call from Victor asking which weekend we had agreed for me to come see him. I gleefully reminded him of the weekend we'd chosen together and he grew quiet. I asked what was wrong as he avoided eye contact and said he'd tell me soon. I quickly grew weary of that weak ass response and demanded the truth.
He said, "That's the weekend before a Frat convention, and I need to be ready for that. They only come every two years. You can come another weekend, just not that one,". I was flabbergasted. Now, if I'm overreacting ladies, call me out, but my ears heard, "My convention is more important than you."
I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing. I told him I'd think about it.
For the next few days, I went on talking to him as if nothing had changed, but the anger was growing within me. I had to reveal my true feelings about the situation. I came to the conclusion that Victor needed to be held accountable for his actions. He was blatantly choosing his fraternity over my happiness, and something had to be done. This is when things got worse.
When I explained how I felt about constantly coming second to him, instead of understanding my feelings, Victor got defensive, assuring me that I'd heard him wrong, that his plan was better, and that he wouldn't agree to change any dates or cancel his plans with his frat brothers. He exclaimed, "I have better plans for this, just trust me. I need to go to this convention. I'm not missing it."
Victor drew the lines around his boundaries involving his fraternity and wasn't allowing anyone to cross, not even me. I couldn't take it anymore. I realized in the heat of that argument that I deserved a man that wouldn't treat me like this. Call it paranoia, or a woman's intuition, either way, I knew it wasn't right! Enough was enough.
At this point, there was nothing I could do other than refuse to come, which led to the ultimate demise of our relationship. Since my feelings weren't at the very least being acknowledged, I never went to visit him and we lost contact over some time. F*ck him and his dick. I'd rather be alone and happy than together and resentful. The lesson I learned here ladies was to always choose yourself, even when your partner chooses not to.
During the tear-filled nights that followed after we stopped speaking, it dawned on me that I had nothing to lose but myself if I didn't pay attention. Was I ever truly a priority if he was so quickly able to give me up? What did I truly mean to this man if he so easily chose a fraternity over me? Not a damn thing. I resolved that I'd never choose anyone before myself again, and if you've been in a similar situation ladies, I'm here to tell you, choosing you is so much better than any other choice you could make.
I want you to choose you.
That process goes deeper than feeling a hunch and deciding to follow it. Making this choice will be harder and will involve listening to your instincts, becoming familiar with the way you think and react to things, and learning how to trust the decisions you make. Know that your choices have a higher purpose.
After I chose myself, I never looked back. Make a commitment to choose you, every damn time.
*Editor's Note: To clarify, a photo was originally used on this post of a couple that are indeed married in real life. This article is not in any way a reflection of that couple's marriage.