Loving Other Things other than Love…

6 04 2011

Admin note: For the next few weeks, I will only be doing one post a week on the blog. My goal will be to post on Wednesdays, instead of my typical Mon/Thurs format. I will update when I’m able to change back to the 2 posts a week format. In the meantime…

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A couple weeks ago, Ms. Marche posted a quote on her Facebook status that caught my attention; so much so that I had to look it up and find the article and the context in which it was given.

“I don’t ever want to have to depend on a relationship. I think it’s a really hard thing to find love. It’s beautiful. Nothing can match it. But I want to make sure that I find other things in life that I love besides…love.” ~ Rihanna in Vogue Magazine

Like Ms. Marche admitted, Rih Rih isn’t necessarily someone who I find myself quoting. Not that she’s a dumb girl or anything (I don’t know her…), I just kind of put her in the same vein as other entertainers I enjoy strictly for their entertainment factor (Beyonce’, anyone?).

But when I read the quote, I could immediately relate and it reminded me of so many conversations I’ve had recently of wanting/needing/desiring to find that balance between love and……… everything else. I’m not saying I don’t love love. I’m an admitted hopeless pessimistic romantic, but I find that as a young woman, the expectation is that I should be searching for love… other desires be d*mned.

And I just don’t buy it. Sure, I get the idea that succeeding in everything else and not finding someone to share it with can be empty and lonely. But honestly, I think the other way can be just as lonely.

For years, I’ve strived to be the type of girl and now woman who maintains her friendships, her priorities, and her goals even while in a relationship. Have I always succeeded in not losing myself in a relationship? No. But I don’t think any of my friends would say I disappeared when I had a man in my life romantically. (I hope they wouldn’t, at least…) And I think that when I do see women give up everything for love, I’m saddened for them. I don’t find it romantic. I find it disheartening… because I think,” geez, is that what it takes? Does it really take giving up all your dreams and goals just so you can say you have a man at home?” And then luckily, I see quotes like Rihanna’s and I’m instantly reminded that no, it’s not what it takes. That’s not what it has to be like for you.

And yet, to be such a simple quote – it truly resonated with me, and I get the sense that a lot of other women felt the same way. So why is that? Why is it such a struggle for us to keep our balances when it comes to enjoying love and enjoying other things that so many women have to discuss the idea of even having a balance? I mean, if it were easy, there would be no discussions, right? If it were easy, we’d all be bi-winning like Charlie Sheen. And if it were easy, Rihanna wouldn’t have made that statement in relation to why she broke up with her boyfriend. She clearly felt as if she was losing her balance. There were things she wanted to do, outside of being in a relationship.

I’m the same way. When I sit down and think about all that I want to do (and trust me, I could go on for hours about my dreams and the things I’m striving toward), as much as finding my love is a part of that – it could never be the whole thing. That just wouldn’t fulfill me.

What do you all think about the quote? Does it seem like a bunch of malarkey, even taking the quoter out of the equation? Or are you like Ms. Marche and I, nodding your head in total agreement?

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7 responses

6 04 2011
aminalovely

This quote definitely resonates with me. Its hard to believe a 23 year old could reflect like that, but then again she’s been through a lot and seems to have grown/ matured from it. Also sounds like she came out with some emotional baggage.

Similarly, I struggle between longing to settle down and being afraid of being tied down, and losing my independence. Its a struggle. I think a lot of women have lost themselves in unhealthy relationships to the point they no longer recognized themselves, and come out of the other side vowing not to let that happen again and echoing the sentiments in that quote, you know?

7 04 2011
dbaham

You know what? I think you may be onto something here with your assessment. I didn’t think about it before, but I can see how having lost yourself (myself) in an unhealthy relationship before could make you that much more determined to keep a “particular balance.” It kind of reminds me of the movie, Eat Pray Love, which I just recently saw. A large portion of the plot is her seeking to find a “balance” in her life… searching for things other than love to love, so she’s not as you said – losing her independence.

Incidentally, I also agree with you about Rihanna. When I first read it, my reaction was “wow, that’s exactly how I feel,” and then suddenly, “wow, she must have really lost herself before.” I could be reading too much into it, but I definitely got the sense that she was almost saying, “Before I allow myself to go there again, to depend on a relationship again, I’d give it all up.” And that’s kind of in essence what I think she was saying when she said this as her reason for breaking up with Matt K. It’s liberating, but also kind of sad at the same time.

7 04 2011
Veronica

Um, YES. To everything. And I second aminalovely’s motion that women who lose themselves in someone else — and actually regain themselves afterward — are ACUTELY aware of the importance of loving your own life. Because I have that story too. Ever since finally picked up my head and got the fuck out of dodge, I’ve been on high alert to make sure I never get lost like that again.

MMMPH! There are some people I need to preach this too… but of course they ain’t listenin’…. 😦

7 04 2011
dbaham

Can I like your entire comment, Veronica?? No…. okay, well then I’ll just co-sign excitedly 🙂

11 04 2011
S Dot Lyphe

OK, I’ll be the token male i usually am here….lol. I kept trying to read the quote waiting for it to resonate with me like it did with y’all. After all, these things usually do because, come close, lemme tell you a secret: men have feelings too (lol!). But this time, it just didn’t move me in the same way. I generally think when I was going through my period of “finding myself,” I was very much NOT trying to find any one else. If anything, I lost a piece of me in the end of the relationship, not in the duration of it. When it was going and it was good, I was myself because I knew myself. Of course I learned and grew a lot and I’m not same person now that I was then, but my whole goal in it was to have what *I* wanted and what *we* wanted, because experiences be damned, I still believe I can have it all. Because like you said, you don’t wanna win your awards and go home to a microwave dinner, right?

But honestly, I can never say that I lost myself completely in a relationship though. I just did relationship things. Is this another thing to add to my ever-growing “we’re just different damnit” list? lol

13 04 2011
dbaham

Yeah, I don’t think anyone on here would say that men don’t have feelings. I’ve had my fair share of being shoulders for guy friends of mine… BUT I think that this quote in particular is something that will have a greater chance of resonating with women (not all women, mind you… but many). And I think part of that is because guys don’t tend to have the same pressures of balancing love and “other things” as women do. If a guy is focused on other things, he just doesn’t get into a relationship… so the desire to be balanced doesn’t come up. Whereas, I think a lot of women find themselves on the defense if they say that love is not their end all, be all goal. Am I making sense or just rambling?

Either way, I’m not all that surprised that the quote didn’t resonate with you, although I do think that you don’t have to have lost yourself in a relationship to understand it. It just becomes that much more poignant if you have.

20 04 2011
The Gradual Fall Away vs the Abrupt Ending… « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] okay, you surmise. You’re a busy person who often has to juggle her priorities and desires, so it’s fair to reason, he’s busy as well. Or something happened (although that’s […]

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