Kim Porter Diddy
Lil Kim/Faith Biggie
Nivea Lil Wayne
All relationships we’ve seen go back and forth. Relationships where love was supposedly professed, but never enough to stop the eventual break-up, just as a reason for the even more eventual return. But these relationships don’t just happen in celebrities’ lives. We see them in our friends’ lives, our families, maybe even our own.
Being the complete opposite of Agape love: unconditional love, I define asterisk love as not good enough love. As a now self-professed pessimistic hopeless romantic, there was a time when my definition of love was clear. It was that thing between two people (relationship love, that is) that made those people want to sacrifice things to be with that person. It was that something that made any other man or woman disappear in your eyes or that feeling that the other person’s happiness made you happy. I knew it wasn’t all rosy, but I felt like anything that came with it was worth it, and the poem that I felt exemplified this feeling was Nikki Giovanni’s Resignation.
“No matter how powerful and real your feelings may be for someone, if that person cannot fully and honestly return them and therefore actively love you back, these feelings mean nothing.” ~ He’s Just Not that into You
While you can see what the author is trying to say in the book, and understanding that he’s taking a very hard stance to shake some folks up, it still presents a HIGHLY negative view of love. And my view point wasn’t completely negative, as I still believed in this quote from the movie, A Lot Like Love: “If you’re not willing to sound stupid, you don’t deserve to be in love,” understanding that often your pride could stop you from being with the person you love.
So I thought recently, how could these 2 very different thoughts on love be in the same person? Well, maybe it’s because there isnt just one type of love. I know we tend to think of love as only one way, but maybe there isnt only one way. Maybe, there’s love in the traditional sense, and then there’s love that’s just not good enough.
This is where my theory on asterisk love comes in. In all those celebrity relationships I mentioned in the beginning, the main similarity was that those people couldn’t stay apart. Something kept bringing them back together. They loved each other, they said. Now normally, most of us would dismiss that comment. That’s not love, we would say. He can’t love her and still cheat on her like that or still treat her like that, but what we really mean is that he doesn’t LOVE HER ENOUGH to not do those things.
And that’s asterisk love: when you love someone enough that the idea of losing them hurts you, but you don’t love them enough to do what you would need to do to keep them. You don’t love them enough to make the sacrifices for them, but it pains you to not have them in your life. That’s selfish love. It’s “all about me” love. It’s asterisk love… and as Veronica and my mom and my friends would say, “you deserve better than that.”
It took me awhile to realize this, that someone could love you and it not be good enough. But when you think about it, we’ve been making songs about it for awhile now. Donnell Jones’s “Where I wanna be,” and 112’s “I’m a player,” are perfect examples of men not wanting to lose that person, but not willing to make it work. My friends and I spent so much of our time discrediting those feelings, we never stopped to understand that they’re real and they’re prevalent… and if you find yourself in that situation where someone loves you, but not enough, it can be one of the hardest things to get out of.
Ask Kim Porter.