Love and relationship advice is everywhere when you’re first married but even before you’re thinking about marriage people want to give you advice and a lot of it is terrible or incomplete.

People love to give relationship advice. Even people who have never had a healthy relationship that lasted longer than 90 days wanna tell you what you should be doing. This impulse to offer advice only increases when people find out that I am a newlywed. I think this must be rooted in patriarchy because I am sure hubby is not getting the same level of feedback. Every tip offered is not trash but about 70% of it is and I want to list for you all the truly bad relationship I have ever received and why I found it problematic. This is just part 1 cause once I surveyed the black girl group chat, the list got SUPER long. 

Love is unconditional. This is the marker of immature love but doesn’t it sound nice? Now I truly believe in for rich, poorer, sickness and health to death do us part but there are still conditions. The relationship has to be healthy and both people have to be working to keep it going. I do not believe that you should expect a conditions free relationship from another fully grown adult. Conditions are boundaries that you need to keep it the relationship healthy. Those conditions should be respect, honor, honesty, support, etc. The conditions are whats happening on the inside of you both to keep it going.

Opposites Attract. Raise your hand if you thought this was true! *Raises everything* This is a flat out lie for the most part. In order for a romantic relationship to work, you have to be the same on a lot of things. I am not talking about how you look, hobbies, social habits, money, etc. I am talking about the big stuff like Values! What is important to you?

Personal example: A friend of mind is a full-on church girl. I mean she barely misses a Sunday, speaks in “The lord saids…” and values her personal religion more than anything in her life. She likes to have fun and get loose but the core of her is deeply religious.  She kept dating people who were “open to religion” because she was afraid she wouldn’t find a person like her… someone who is fun, open-minded, accepting of others but loves the lord too. None of these people worked out because in the end their “open to it” was not real. She has finally relized that in order for her to feel completely whole in a relationship (enough for marriage), she needs to find her same. This is a value.

You can have separate hobbies, you can have different approaches to life but you must be the same on things that are central to your identity. Are you family oriented? Do you want kids? Is educational background important to you? How important is peace in your home, I know a lot of folks addicted to drama?

Anything around being a “Ride or Die Chic”. Nope. I feel like there has been a revelation on this on twitter so I will not belabor the point. It’s a lie. Ride or Die Chic seems to only apply to women and I am not here for it.  #Thatsall The only man to ever Ride or Die is Papoose. If you can get to mutual Ride or Die, I am open to it but otherwise… I’ll ride trauma-free.

You have to cook and clean to keep a man. Again, Nope. I saw the Amara Le Negra’s post on cleaning your man’s apartment. I have a better idea, partner with another full grown and responsible adult and you won’t have to be the maid only for him to still leave you. Stay true to the things you enjoy and he will do the same.

Personally, I have to admit, (because someone that knows me is rolling their eyes right now) I am domestic as hell. It bucks all my feminist feelings but I get personal satisfaction from cooking and cleaning, truly. I am a true auntie…house dress, music playing and elbows deep in some cleaning supplies or cookbook. But Bae enjoying my weekend pastime is a byproduct, not a focus and he definitely helps out.

Marry someone who loves you a more than you love him. This was told to me by an older woman and at first, I felt like sis had the keys to the streets. But, now that I have sat on this while, its super manipulative and how exactly can you measure another person’s love level? I think a better piece of advice is to marry a person who puts as much work into the relationship as you do. 

Relationships are 50/50. Relationships are 110/110 in effort and fairness is not gonna happen all the time. Sometimes you will feel like is 70/30, other times it feels like 40/60 because life happens and sometimes you become the person who needs more support and other times the roles reverse. If you are committed to giving 110% to it, that means even when you have moments of taking more than you can give you are still trying to show up for them in a way that shows respect, appreciation and mutual care.

He should be paying all the bills and your money should just be your money. This can be true for someone but I have never been this kind of girl. I like being a contributor because, like my cooking for you, pitching in feels like a love offering. We are in this together and we are in the same income bracket. Plus, women outlive men and I want an active roll in the household finances and the only way I know to get a true vote is to contribute. (I also watch way too many lifetime movies where the women have no idea whats happening with the family money and the man gets in trouble, now they are all in court or on the run). 

Sidenote, If you are the type to keep your money and spend his… KIDDOS! I have met these women, they can spot a high earner from across the room. It’s a gift I do not possess and I give props to those of Y’all with the skill. No shade here. 

People Change. NOPE! This is where we get tricked into staying with a man because you believe he can be something else later. We are done with build-a-bear men, sis. Whatever his pattern is, that is who he is. I do think people can evolve if they have the will to do so but you cannot implant WILL. Evolving is making small changes that make a big impact like… going from paying a little more than the minimum balance on your credit card each month to paying it off month to month. You were still paying it, you just upgraded your thinking.  A great celebrity example is that Ciara and Future moment where she thought he would be different cause she was “better” and she finally had to level up to Russell.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and relationships yield lots of hindsight advice but before you go taking it as gospel, we have to dissect it fully.  I have so much more to share but honestly, we were getting a little long.

Stay tuned for Part 2. And I want to hear about your worst relationship advice in the comments below.

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Written by Lisa Necole

Happy Marketer |Feminista |Crazy Dog Lady| Funny Girl in Frock and Fro| Zora the Explorer| NPR Junkie| All Charm, Wit & Jazz Hands

4 comments

  1. I don’t have any advice to add. I just wanted to say that this is a great post.

    I recently broke up with my BF of 4 years. He admitted that he could be a little selfish when we first met. This translated into not taking me out or buying me things. We spent most of tv and talking. I foolishly accepted it because he was very affectionate and emotionally supportive.

    He eventually began to get lazy in this regard, and acted completely inappropriately when my dad passed of cancer, emphasizing his own needs (of physical intimacy and “quality” time), declining my invite to the funeral (because — even though I witnessed him going to funerals — funerals made him “uncomfortable”), and then not offering me the most basic condolences that even strangers has been offering me.

    I realized that I had settled for less than what I thought I deserved and was then getting even less than I settled for. I told him that things between us were not good, did not look like they would get better, and that we were better off going our separate ways. He said that it’s not what he wanted, but “accepted” it.

    I’m now in the position where I’m focusing on getting my finances, career, and self-esteem in tip-top condition. Dating in the near future is not on my mind, but I’ve learned some of the points you made the hard way. When I am ready to date, I want to take these things and go into a relationship with a healthy state of mind, healthy boundaries… basically make choices that are wise and coming from a clear and healthy space.

    Thanks again,
    -D

    1. Sorry to hear about that but I agree with you intentional breaks are needed. Gather your head and heart for a second before diving into something else. Wish you all the best, D.

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