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Why I Won’t Settle for “Struggle” Love

I'm not settling.

I'm not settling for crumbs.

I'm not settling for half-ass efforts.

I'm not settling until a man decides that I'm worth it.

I'm not waiting.

I'm not hoping he realizes my worth.

I'm not going to suffer to prove to a man that I'm worthy of his love.

Because if I suffer for his love, do I really love myself?

Too many times, women settle for the pieces of men. We wait for them to explore their options on OUR time. We wait for them to get the career on our time. But they don't give us the same courtesy. They will fuck up, fall back, do them, and sometimes even step on your heart and expect you to sustain the trauma. Most black women have been conditioned to accept "struggle" love. When in all honesty, love should be effortless. It should be as easy as riding a bike. Of course, some areas on the journey may be harder to trudge through, but that's any aspect of life. However, it shouldn't require a woman exhausting herself mentally, spiritually, and physically to gain love. Women shouldn't have to crawl through the mud to get the love and then juggle balls in the rain to keep it. Staying through the cheating, indecisiveness, uncertainty, the broke days, and days of him figuring out his potential doesn't make us any more solid than if we didn't. Besides, why does our loyalty have to be proven in tears and the amount of trauma he dishes out? We deserve to be loved without "proving" ourselves.

Past experiences have taught me that I'm not going to endure trauma to prove to a man that I'm "the one." I'm not going to allow him to place blame on his lack. I don't want to have to suffer through trauma to show someone that I care. I'm more than just an afterthought, a placeholder, or a time filler. I'm a top-tier package, and I wanted to be handled with care. I'm not willing to unpack extensive baggage from another address due to his male ego. Any man that genuinely cares for me will dedicate the time to unpacking himself because I'm doing the same. I'm not saying that I desire someone with no baggage, but I want someone willing to do the work to free himself of it. It's not fair for me to come healed, only to be left to unpack his shit. Black women are expected to love him until he's whole or the man you want him to be. Yet, in the process of that, he's breaking down the woman you need to be. We already sacrifice so much to prove ourselves in this society—why should I have to do it with the person I love?

I want to be loved right the first time. I want to be loved without hesitation. Am I saying that we won't mess up at times—NO. I'm saying I don't want to consistently keep crying about his mistakes or questioning myself each time he makes one. There is beauty in the struggle, but I don't plan to struggle because he fails to see the beauty of my whole self. I'm actively saying no to struggle love and to the guys who think that's their best.


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