To all the boys I loved before…

“Ronnie, Bobby, Rickie, and Mike…”

Okay, so not them, but you surely didn’t think I was gonna give you real names right? Besides #NE4Life… all six or no mas, none of that RBRM foolishness.

Sorry, I got carried away… but back to the lecture at hand…

Nobody told us that little rock head boy we thought we were gonna one day make little rockhead kids with was not the one. Our Mother tolerated our “little friend” knowing full well he was likely the first or third in a long line of little, medium, and eventually big friends that would attempt to woo us into relationships that would end. Relationships that were supposed to end, for most of us who didn’t end up marrying our prom date. The end of those relationships, though devastating at the time, were actually the experiences that would one day lead us to the one. A series of dating couplets that would both get harder and easier, as we matured and hopefully gained needed wisdom. A journey, if you are anything like me, you could have done without were it not necessary to arrive at the grand finalé. In the words of the modern day I Dream of Jeannie, Ariana Grande, “Thank you, Next…”

I’m not talking about the love or lust or intense care for another person; the emotion of a relationship. We talk about that enough. Instead, I wanna talk just a bit about the experience of loving and losing… and still being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are beyond the age by which you THOUGHT you’d be happily forever betrothed.

Ronnie was your high school/college sweetheart. He was family, but he couldn’t handle your growth. You married Bobby. You divorced Bobby. Rickie was wonderful… at first. He treated you like a Queen…but he already had a Queen. Epic fail. Mike was familiar and comfortable, fun and spontaneous. But Mike was noncommittal. Those are not the kind of relationships God would prepare for us, no matter how deeply we feel for an individual. God commands the man who findeth a good thing to love her as God loves him… and that’s with unconditional, continuous, and dedicated commitment. You didn’t love to lose. You lost, to be loved. I’ll repeat it…You didn’t love to lose. You lost, to be loved.

All this time you thought you liked the members of the boy bands and really you needed a solo act. But you see, all of that was the set up YOU needed to get to your come up. That’s the thing with love & relationships at this age in this age, everyone is on social media with rings, white dresses, newborns, honeymoons, and #baegoals. So we tend to compare ourselves with those images… but that is their path, not yours. You couldn’t walk their path and get to your perfect destination. Instead, tis the season for realizing how much better you will be for the man God made for you now that the boys are…

So how do we really move past those encounters and see them as the very important opportunities to learn how to love and be loved, to communicate and comprehend, to partner with another to do life together? What you feel is a result of your experience. As relationships perish, remind yourself of the actual experience -the actions, promises, broken promises truths, untruths, consistency, and growth, or lack thereof. We can’t continue to sit only in the stew of our emotions and not be honest about what was really going on. I mean no matter how great Rickie seemed to treat you, he dishonored you, disrespected you, and lied to you… he had a whole wife for the love of all that is holy. He was an ass. Mourn him if you must, but mourn him in the way you would any donkey. Briefly.

After all, it is your reaction to those experiences that are the true hallmark of your readiness for the mate of your dreams. When we profess after a heart pause, that we don’t need a man… well, chances are you will be single until you reverse that mantra. Be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with being single. However, for humans, life is a series of relationships with other people, and most of us, if we are honest, want to spend part, if not all, of our adult lives living in tandem with another. We want the continuous support, companionship, and peace that having someone you care for deeply, and whose face you want to see, by our sides. So professing that we hate men… that’s not the jump off.

Being fearful or hesitant to open up to others is not the way to the light either. Instead, after we have given ourselves time and space to heal… from both our actions and theirs… we must open ourselves up and be receptive. We have to be available and show up in our availability. As much as we might like this scenario, Mr. Right is probably not going to ring your doorbell while you are binge watching Fuller House. OutKast put it best… you need to get up, get out, and get something. In this case, something might just be that human jungle gym of a chocolate drop you have been waiting for, that God planted in that space, place, and time… just for you boo.

Phone a friend. Eat some Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch. Have a good cry or two. Get a new hairstyle, exercise the pain away, and get extra fine… because God is trying to tell you something. He is the cutter of zeroes, and the force behind the hero that will come along, let you take your cape off, and get this excited when your fine ass walks into a room …

How does that feel?!???

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