“I should be praying for better things, instead of praying for a man who don’t give a fuck about me.” –K. Michelle
As women, we are conditioned to love hard, nurture others, and support those we love through heaven and hell. And while these are some of our strongest qualities, they are also weapons we use to defeat ourselves when we are unable to properly filter out those who don’t deserve our love and devotion. To prevent this from happening, we have to learn that there are levels to this love stuff. Too often we go from 0 to 10 in weeks only to later realize the person we are giving our all to isn’t reciprocating. We find ourselves empty vessels because while we’ve poured out our all, they haven’t given us anything in return.
In my early twenties, I found myself in this very place. I so desperately wanted to experience love that I loved a man, not because he deserved my love, but in hopes that he would love me back. I was loving hard, I was loving completely, yet I had never been emptier in my life. And instead of realizing he was undeserving, instead of recognizing that he was either unwilling or unable to receive and return my love, instead of walking away and saving my love for someone else, I began to question my worth. Why was I unlovable? What was I doing wrong? Was I not cute enough? Not vulnerable enough? Not supportive enough? Or not sexually pleasing him enough? And in an effort to fix whatever it was I was “not doing right,” I gave more, I did more, I loved more…because I was convinced that would make him love me back…but in the end, I simply lost more.
Ladies, we have to stop loving out of a place of desperation. Too many women are choosing to love undeserving men because we are desperate for love and we desire to feel chosen. We have to begin valuing ourselves so we can quickly filter these men out and save something as sacred as love for only those who are able and willing to return it to us.
Throughout my early twenties, I hated hearing people say, “You have to learn to love yourself first.” As insulting as it was to have them assume I didn’t love myself, I was even more offended and disgusted by the idea that I wouldn’t be able to immediately experience the love I’d longed for because I first had to learn to love and value Kia. For that reason alone, I rebelled against this advice, and it took me much longer than it should have to learn to love me.
Once I did learn to love and value myself, I received my love filter, and now I no longer jump from 0 to 10 in relationships. Because I now know how great and wonderful of a person I am, I look to see if my potential partner recognizes my worth. I don’t waste time trying to convince a man that I’m worthy of his love or that I will make a great partner. If he can’t recognize something so basic, it’s best we both move on. I refuse to ever waste a moment loving a man so I can experience love. Now I chose to love because he sees my worth and I see his too.
K. Michelle’s “Sometimes” sums up how I felt in my early twenties. At that time, I thought the heartache would literally kill, but now I thank God for that journey. So much growth came from that place of pain. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if those years weren’t a part of my journey.
Read about Erika Parrish’s journey to loving herself in the blog series, The Recovery.