Love is a Verb

It’s not surprising that too many women are confused as to what love really looks like. None of us realized as little girls the mountains we would have to climb as women in areas of life and love. By our mid-twenties, too many of us have experienced the pain of infidelity, men walking away from their children, rape, domestic violence, verbal abuse and heartbreak.  So I understand where women are coming from when they unconsciously end up angry, bitter, fed-up and having little faith in men.

I used to be one of those women who didn’t know if a healthy relationship was in the cards for me. I hadn’t witnessed it until later in life. And I certainly hadn’t experienced it. It was just easier to believe black men needed to get it together by throwing a pity party painting myself as the “good” black woman being hurt.  But the more I delved into self-reflection the more I realized my choices in men deserved more of the blame than what men end up doing in the relationship.

Fortunately for me, at the end of everything I had been through, was a great upstanding black man who gets it, who gets me. His love is something I would dream of, but thought was impossible.

That feeling of impossibility has been reemphasized daily by women on social networking sites or in blogs who feel “all black men ain’t shit.” I can’t stand on my imaginary pulpit preaching the danger of that mentality because I understand the place it’s coming from. But I am concerned with whether or not we are looking internally in order to take accountability for some of the pain we inflict upon ourselves.

By no means do brothers get a pass, but it’s much easier for me to try to reach the women than wagging my finger at the fellas. Some men have a host of issues that need to be worked out through therapy. Their actions- games, lies, deceit, kids out of wedlock, non-financial support of children- is not excusable. But do we truly not know the type of man we’re getting involved with up front? I believe people can be wolves in sheep’s clothing; however, even once we find out their true intentions we have to examine why we stay.

Why do women put up with crappy men only to then lament that black men are a crop of poop? Not all black men are representative of the sorry ones you’ve hand picked.

The root of the problem is self-love. We walk around with our hair done, nails done, everything did, but don’t really love who we are. The evidence of lack of self-love is shown through the people we allow ourselves to be intimate with.

Some of us are confused. I used to think that a man who is all, “Where you going? That dress is too short? Who’s going to be there?” meant he loved me. And any man who didn’t do that didn’t care. Somewhere in my brain a man’s control became synonymous with love. We are also notorious for believing a man loves us because he says so, ignoring all the many times his actions have proved otherwise.

Love is a verb. Love is a verb. Love is a verb!

You can feed me shit and tell me it’s chocolate. I know it’s still shit.

It pains me to see so many women dragging themselves through relationships that will eventually end, with lasting scars needing to be healed. Why don’t we know our worth? Men damn sure know theirs.

I’m starting to believe there are women who are masochists, or who love drama and dysfunction, but then tricks herself into blaming all men. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I want black women to experience the type of love that is unconditional, kind, supportive, honest, faithful, and everything else you want it to be. But first we must be able to recognize what love is. If anybody deserves it, it’s us.

  • Tricia

    Amen. Confidence and self-love would resolve so many of the issues we face on a regular basis.

  • Remember in school we're always taught women mature and hit puberty faster than men. And women are just mature, period. Perhaps that's part of the problem. We don't think we're as mature as women, look what we were taught.

    I think you could say it one more time. "Love is a verb."

    I think we all deserve love. Not just women but for the sake of your readers. Yes 😛 Y'all deserve love.

  • ToyaTowns

    I wish more of us knew how heavy the bags we carry are. I remember back when I was single. I didn't say derogatory things about men but I really did not want to be bothered. I didn't want children because I didn't want marriage. I didn't want relationships or relations (LOL). I watched my mother get DOGGED by my father. I did not have a real example of a healthy relationship so I did not want one at all. Then I realized I was not headed toward a life of peace. It is unnatural to avoid love. So I decided to pray for peace and for the wisdom to choose my mate wisely. Soon after I met my husband. In retrospect, I believe I was on an interview with God where the occupation was life partner. By cleansing myself of harsh feelings and baggage, I opened myself up to receive true love. Love is beautiful. It is accepting of imperfections (not mess). It is more than we can dream of.

    • writtenbyBene

      "Then I realized I was not headed toward a life of peace." You better TEACH Toya! Your comment is truly on point. I think you and Stephen were one of the first young couples that I witnessed that was "normal." Lol. Remember I used to ask you 101 questions? "So yall have never had a big blowout?" You would say, "no." And you were just always so positive about your love for him, your life and relationship, even before yall got married. Yall were an inspiration to me. It's funny now that women reach out to me and say they see my relationship w/my SO, see us tweet online or his blog posts about me, and they now have changed their negative perceptions of men. Funny how God will use you in situations you once believed impossible.

  • Excellent, excellent, excellent article!!! I think as women we do get caught up in the "woe is me" sob story. I use to think all men were bad because of the experiences I had in my early twenties. As I got older, I realized I need to take a step back and see what I am doing wrong. What are some of the things I am allowing men to do to me that I can control or avoid. I no longer fall into the "all black men are dogs" category and often redirect my female peers when they go on that tangent. I think, no I know good love is out there, you just have to make sure you are ready and available when it knocks on your door.
    On the flip side when we do have good love we are so scared and used to the bullshit that we do not even know how to handle the goodness. I know my best friend is a masochist because the situation she keeps going back to when she has a good man… whoo…
    We just need to know our self worth and expect the best because that's what we deserve.
    Once again very good article.

    • writtenbyBene

      Thank you so much. Oooh Stacy, you touched on something I wanted to put in the post and maybe I'll do a Part 2. This: "On the flip side when we do have good love we are so scared and used to the bullshit that we do not even know how to handle the goodness." You ain't never lied! I have to check myself daily. I am so used to expecting the worse or a man creeping that sometimes I'm so out of the pocket with my SO. I am fortunate enough that he understands where this is coming from. I want us as women to heal for the exact reason you mentioned. If a good man fell into some women's lap, they wouldn't know how to treat him because it's not the dysfunction they're used to. I'm glad you moved in the direction of seeing what you can change and you know love, true love, is out there. Thank you for reading!

  • @chela816

    I love that phrase: Love is a verb. We need to keep repeating that. I think that a lot of women feel like they have to be with someone, that having a partner proves their worth. So in their minds, a bad partner is still better than no partner at all. If only every woman would realize that she's whole all on her own and any man should add a bonus to that wholeness. Maybe it's that whole idea of your spouse being your "other half" that throws so many off, makes them not value themselves completely. We do not walk around as half a being until we partner up. And if we don't realize that, we'll accept almost anyone to "complete us" instead of waiting for the one who shows himself to be worth our time. Love is a verb.

  • I really enjoyed reading this