If you've been following pop culture lately, you are aware of rapper Saweetie and Quavo's breakup and more recently, self-proclaimed relationship expert Derrick Jaxn being accused of (and later admitting to) cheating on his wife. While neither of these situations are mine or anyone else's business, I think it's important to note a teachable lesson when one arises. I'll start with my own story.
A few years ago, I penned an article urging people to stop making others their relationship goals. I included myself in the mix as I was newly married and cringed every time someone commented, #goals under my pictures. It wasn't that I thought people shouldn't aspire to marriage or getting to be married to their best friend, it was that I was aware that like any marriage, mine was not perfect and the people commenting were virtually strangers to the ins and outs of our relationship.
Similar to how people see a woman like Saweetie being gifted with expensive bags, cars and trips, and immediately become envious, or begin wishing they had her relationship. The truth is, what we see on Instagram or in the media is not necessarily the truth. Not the whole truth anyway.
We are viewing clips, sometimes carefully orchestrated, edited and Facetuned highlight reels into someone else's life. We rarely see the lows, the depression, the bad days. We don't see the infidelity, the abuse, and don't always hear the horror stories.
Instead, we place people on pedestals. The danger in doing that, in marking relationships as your goals, is that you have no idea what is taking place in that relationship. Do you want a man who is outwardly affectionate but physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually abusive in private? Are you looking for someone who buys you everything your heart desires but cheats on you and exposes you to diseases or brings home an outside baby? Do you aspire to have a man who looks good on your arm but treats you like dirt and puts you down every chance he gets?
Of course, we all want a happy ending. We want a couple to look up to and say, "See, they made it, we can too." We want to root for love, for black love. We want to see a woman truly loved and adored by her man because then we know it's possible for us too. We want the fairy tale, we want to know that the love story between Darius and Nina kept going, we want to know that true love exists. So we look for it in others. We root for the beautiful couples in the spotlight and ask what were their prayers. How can I too find the man of my dreams?
It's beautiful for us to want this for others and ourselves but rarely do we know exactly what we are asking for.
I believe in the power of prayer and manifestation. I believe that we can truly speak things into existence and because of this, I try to be very careful with the things I say. While it's beautiful to want the man of your dreams, make sure that's what you are making your goals: the man of YOUR dreams, not someone else's. Before we get heartbroken again because you placed another celebrity couple on your endless goals list, how about we make some real goals? Write out a list of what you want in a man without comparing him to another man. Simply think of things you want and need in a partner, and in a relationship, and write it down.
Remember, no man, woman, or relationship is perfect. While it can be fun to root for celebrities and their love lives, may we always remember to never idolize any man, woman or relationship.
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Featured image via Giphy