I feel like it’s no secret that we as women are often portrayed as strong. For better or for worse, as a culture we have been through insane adversity, yet manage to still keep our heads on straight, maintain families and obtain steadily rising success in our professional endeavors as well. Though slowly but surely I feel like we are learning that the jig is up and that we know that we can’t always handle the weight of the world, I still think that sometimes in our relationships we can confuse being strong for actually being difficult.
Now before you get all up in arms with me, just hear me out. I am all about being an independent woman that can take care of herself if she needs to and all that great stuff girl power is made of. But I can also see how some of that mentality can make adjusting to a partnership a task. I see all these memes floating around about the man it takes to love a strong woman, but I honestly feel like most often they’re posted by women who for lack of a better phrasing, kind of hate everything. Or at least that’s what they like to outwardly portray. (I don’t know, see me in the comments if you think I’m wrong.)
Our strength is a necessity. But being difficult is not cute. I often see people revere their idiosyncrasies and bad habits as they troll for the person who is going to want to put up with that instead of thinking about how in some ways they may need to grow. Don’t get me wrong, we are who we are, but I also believe that part of our purpose here is to become the most refined versions of ourselves. Yes we want a significant other that will be patient with us, but let me tell you, they shouldn’t have to endure bad attitude abuse to be with you.
Click to Tweet/// I believe a part of our purpose is to become the most refined versions of ourselves.
And do we ever take the time to think about it the other way around? Are we prepared to love a man that is touting, “Take me as I am!” I don’t want to compromise, I want to go out when I feel like it or whatever it may be? We often want our partners to be the best versions of themselves but don’t want to make those adjustments on our end.
We all have to put up with things. That’s clear. But just know and understand that it’s a two-way street. As much as we feel like we put up with, our counterparts are putting up with some things to be with us as well. From my own personal experience, I know that sometimes I can be a bit much. I have a hard time not being in control and that has been something I really had to work on. My mentality couldn’t be, I just need a man who will let me control everything. As nice as it is to have our way all the time, that’s just not how it works when you enter into relationship with another person. Yes I can handle a lot on my own, but when I decided to live in tandem with another person, I had to relinquish some of that need for control. Who really wants to have to be strong and in charge all the time?
I like that in my relationship, I can let my hair down. There aren’t too many places in this world that you can as a black woman. We are constantly trying to prove ourselves at work, we are constantly working to protect ourselves in society and reinforce our own beauty because it’s rarely found in the mainstream, among many other things. My relationship is the one place that I want to leave the strong moniker at the door, only to use when necessary. And I may be forward to say this, but I am sure some of you may want that too, but just aren’t sure how.
Click to Tweet /// My relationship is the one place that I want to leave the strong moniker at the door.
I think about the relationships that we have as examples. Most of us either come from households where our mothers had to be strong because they were all we had. Or we come from backgrounds where we had two parents but there seemed to be a bit of a power struggle where it never seemed like our mothers let their hair down a bit and showed their more vulnerable sides.
Strength is revered. It’s part of what makes us one of the most resilient cultures in the world. I would never take that away from us. But I think that occasionally we can take some time to reevaluate how we use that strength in our relationships. Are we trying to overpower? Are we being unyielding? Are we targeting our strengths in the right place or just being completely unreasonable about what our partners should have to accept from us?
Recently, this idea of gentleness has been a reoccurring theme settling into my spirit. We don’t think of it often as strength but it really is. Whether you think it’s true or not and there are exceptions to EVERY rule, but for the most part, our partners want to be able to see our gentle side some times. I pray that when you find the right one, you know how to let your guard down and find strength in your vulnerability instead of the tough exterior you have to put on for everyone else. Ask yourself, are you confusing having a difficult personality for strength?
What do you think? Am I completely off here or do you think that sometimes we can come off so strong that it is uninviting?