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.