Lately we have been unable to escape the media’s infatuation with celebrity domestic violence, spousal infidelity and the deaths of now two NFL players.
My own experiences sprinkled with what I observe in the media and in real life have led me to believe we are a generation confused about the true meaning of love. It wouldn’t be so bad if our confusion was only hurting the two fools individuals involved. But the state of us being perplexed is hurting others, in some cases leading to death. It is time we open our eyes and minds to recognize what love truly looks like, how it sounds and feels before the damage is irreversible.
We all have our definitions of what love is supposed to be. In actuality we have no idea about the concept of love when it comes to loving one another in intimate relationships. For me true love is exactly what the Word tells us it is (1 Corinthians 13 4-8). As humans it is impossible to possess these attributes at all times, but if we uphold these principles in our relationships and marriages there would be far fewer Shaq & Shaunie’s, Tiger Woods & Elin’s, Chris Henry & Loleini’s and Chris Brown & Rihanna’s.
Knowing absolutely nothing about the everyday lives of celebrities besides what the propaganda media outlets feed us, we all have our opinions about the debacles of celebs. And 2009 has been a hell of a year for “love triangles”, blows thrown, cheating husbands and NFL deaths caused by spousal/girlfriend disputes.
Besides being celebrities, the commonality I see prevalent in each one of these cases is their misinterpretation of love.
Rihanna & Chris Brown’s story reigned the longest with their silence, Chris being banned from award shows, them getting back together, court appearances, Orders of Protection, apology tapes, more silence, new music, interviews, marketing, PR, new videos and albums released. Damn. Not that their story holds precedence over the others, but for me their story hit home.
Here you had a beautiful young Pop icon and handsome young R&B star joining forces in what we all thought was a cute star couple. Out of nowhere reports of Chris Brown beating Rihanna were leaked and people couldn’t believe it. We all quickly jumped to our conclusions, filling in the blanks, hoping it was all a dream.
Women immediately chimed in with their: “I would never let a man hit me” speeches; and men quickly presumed “Rihanna hit him, she deserved what she got.” Whether or not we agreed with what occurred, one thing we didn’t like was their silence, leaving us to only assume and concoct our own versions of how it all went down.
All of a sudden domestic violence was put on the forefront of the media’s agenda with no real solution for the 1, 510,000 women who have reported domestic abuse. When Rihanna finally agreed to the interview all I kept thinking were two things: how much I felt everything this girl was saying and where was my interview?
Considering myself a strong woman I never really talked or wrote about what happened to me in 2006. People are so judgmental they immediately want to place women who have been physically abused either in the weak victim or stupid category-I. Am. Neither. More than ever I finally felt Rihanna. She was sharing with the world what I once felt in my own situation and what so many other women feel, but suffer with everyday. Only we are not celebrities so our stories don’t make 20/20.
Although I respect Diane Sawyers as a journalist, I wondered why in this story and all the others no one was talking about the real issue.
How can this be love?
The truth is it is not real love. It may be a strong infatuation, lust, like or even “obsession” as Rihanna called it, but it’s not love. So many of us get so caught up in the idea of having someone that we trick ourselves into believing our partner loves us. And just because your man is not beating you doesn’t mean it’s love either.
As women we put up with so much and for what? Our self-esteem, expectations & standards are so low that half of us wouldn’t recognize real love if it was spelled out for us. True love is not controlling, jealous, insecure, unsupportive, demanding, always right, argumentative, disrespectful and unfaithful. So why is it we call relationships that possesses these characteristics love?
Recently I’ve found myself reevaluating what it is I subconsciously think I deserve and what love truly is.
I implore all of the aforementioned couples do the same. Whether you are a man or a woman reevaluate what you consider love before it’s too late. Love is stronger than any addiction. And this ill posing as love has gotten far too many people hurt and killed this year alone. Love should not be dangerous nor should it ever cause death. Ladies if you’ve had to shed so many tears on this one person that your well has run dry, baby girl it’s not love.
I don’t know Chris Henry’s situation or the outcome for his fiancée, children and family. I can only pray that they now find peace in this time of bereavement.
But let our generation please take heed to all the signs God has given us this year and not continue to be a legion of fools in “love.”