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No, Your Standards Aren’t Too High: Settling For Crumbs Will Leave You Starved

Her Voice

You know what? I come to you today not as a professional on relationships but as an extraordinary single woman with a huge celebrity crush on SZA and mid-twenties dating experience. I was quite happy to see the discussion following a video posted on my mothership's Instagram where the R&B superstar was seen commenting on relationships, expectations, and entitlement. She shared in this dated video that if she doesn't hear from a man that she is seeing for days, she chooses to put her ego aside and focus on his positive attributes as she waits for a response:

"If someone doesn't text me back in like a day and a half. Like if I don't hear from a dude that I've been talking to consistently in like two days, the normal ego-based me would be like, 'What are you doing? You don't care about me. Like, you don't think this is rude?' But it's like, no, I think this is rude. I miss him. I want to be talked to. But does this change the fact - what do I know of him? He's expressed the fact that he likes me, he's expressed he thinks I'm beautiful, he's expressed he's thinking of me. What else do I know about him? He's ambitious and work-oriented...
"Chances are, he's probably just busy or has a lot on his mind, wait a couple of days. Then he ends up hitting you anyway later on. But the entitlement of feeling like, 'This n*gga got 15 minutes...' Things like that, that's what kills relationships or what kills your joy in life because you're expecting too much."

Admittedly, at first, I was shocked to see my melanin queen speak such words, but that changed to gratitude when I realized I was watching a woman who inspires me so much be open-minded and open-hearted enough to share her experiences of her love life at the time. That is what makes her songs "Drew Barrymore" and "The Weekend" so relatable because, at one point or another, even if only in our heads, we have all been that girl that thought less of ourselves and therefore settled for less. The video itself seemed to be a testament to how much SZA has grown into the goddess that we see today, and it made me proud to see the same girl in the video who is confusing having standards with entitlement now singing, "I left a n*gga on read cuz' I felt like it."

If she likes it, I love it. Personally however, I am a woman that gets off on daily communication with someone I am dating so, following the virality of the conversation, I like many women were left questioning if our expectations in dating are too high? I even asked myself if the fact that I had dating standards meant that I was entitled.

Ultimately, I decided the answer to those questions is a resounding hell no. We are more than entitled to our own individual standards. In fact, that's the point of having standards. We live in a world where you can literally send voice messages when you don't have time to hold a conversation and if a man thinks I'm going to take him seriously communicating with me like it's 2005 on AIM chat messenger waiting for him to come home and log in for days, he got me f*cked up!

I haven't always been this sure about myself though, and sometimes I still have my moments of self-doubt. If you are unsure if your standards are too high, try pondering these questions:

What is it that you truly want to find in a relationship at this very moment?

This is crucial because sometimes we catch ourselves in a season when our bodies are screaming for some d*ck, while our heart wants us to be cuddled at night, and our minds know we still have some healing to do. The clearer you are about what type of relationship you want to enter into your life, the easier it is to manifest and to look across the table at that fine, educated, and charming young man to size him up and put him through the vetting process.

Most importantly, the more you know what you really want out of a relationship, the easier it is to communicate them as your expectations early on and a man can either meet them or be weeded out if he doesn't.

You are not entitled to every man treating you the way you desire to be treated, but you are entitled to date until you find one who does.

What truly scares you about asking for/expressing your expectations?

I ask this because I have more often than not been that girl that would play nice, be easy-going, and sell myself short in situations in an attempt to not be difficult because I was so afraid of rejection and abandonment. Thinking that my desires to be treated with high regards would send a man running for the hills, I'd become the 'homie lover friend' before I expressed my desire to be treated like the queen that I am. It all stems from the lack of confidence that I struggle with. Figure out your fears around expressing your desires and work on strengthening yourself by understanding you are worthy of the same love you try to give to everyone else.

What are you undervaluing about him and overvaluing about yourself?

I believe when you start listing the great qualities in a man as if he is the latest model of a vacuum cleaner, it's not even about him, it's about you bargaining with that gut feeling you are having, which is: "I desire more than he has shown me he is willing to give at this point, and this is unhealthy."

You don't have to settle for less than you deserve, no matter how fine and driven he is, there is a lil' baby out there that is going to listen, boo! His potential to be great does not outweigh your right to have your greatness valued and appreciated.

You are the prize.

Do you believe that a man whose love you don’t have to hustle for exists?

One of my favorite writers (who is also a contributor for this site) Shellie R. Warren recently made a point that "an unsure man is a dangerous man" and I think an uncertain woman is a danger to herself because if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. If you do not believe you are worthy of a love that will not have you tossing and turning at night with your cell phone by your pillowcase, or typing up long ass paragraphs, deleting them, and then typing them again, that's the biggest issue of them all that will lead you to struggle love.

There is too much love out here to be settling for knock-offs.

Let this be the last year that you wonder if you are good enough or asking too much from a man, and instead, focus on if he is good enough and doing enough to deserve the love you have to give.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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