The Trouble With Love 

I’m at that stage of my teenage years that demands more sweatpants than it does cocktail dresses. It’s cool though, I’m not complaining. I’m that girl that suggests coffee or dinner but you and her both know she’s lying.

During this stage of self inflicted solitude I’ve learnt that binge watching is the only way to watch a TV show. Don’t get me wrong slowly meandering through OITNB an episode or two a night with my better (?) half is delightful but I’m the sort of gal that likes to cut to the chase- or in this case the life altering yet fictional plot twist.

Spoiler alert this entire post has been inspired by the episode in season one of Insecure where Issa cheats on Lawrence. More spoilers this is her boyfriend of five years who admittedly is being less than amazing- but my girl Issa really shook my moral highground with this move.

The whole first season I was sitting in my pajamas with my Afro out loving the black girl bliss set before me. I adored that these women and that this series wasn’t just apart of the pop culture phenomenon that plays into the boujee angry black girl stereotype.

These women were strong and funny and sassy, yes- but they were nervous and unsure and vulnerable as well. Hopefully you can imagine how heartbroken I was when Issa slipped up. Not only did she slip up on a grand scale it almost felt like the narrative was set in a way that we, the lonely girls with big hair on the couch were supposed to empathise with her decision? (?????)

This begs the question, or rather I beg the question. Are we entitled to react so dramatically when love doesn’t go our way? Is Lawerence really the worst in the world because he is having a rough (lengthy) period? I would never ever cheat on Lawrence, or a real person for that matter- but would I feel it valid to leave a commitment I didn’t initially sign up for?

I’ve stated before that it’s against my nature to work in absolutes. I am however slowly learning that what we are taught as little girls does not set us up to be emotionally prepared lovers. Love is not a whirlwind fairytale where your Prince Charming is the perfect man everyday. Sometimes the Lawrence you fell in love with doesn’t show up.

Sometimes he’s tired or unwell or just a down right prick and that’s okay because you aren’t the perfect Issa either. I want to love someone completely, for everything they have to offer even if I have to learn new ways of loving.

I am not a damsel in distress I don’t want to be saved or swept off my feet. I want a reliable, loyal, earnest love. I want a love that pays bills first then checks to see if we can eat out. I want a love that spends time with my little brother. I want a love that can tolerate my ability to cry over the RSPCA add. You know what happens when you’re swept off of your feet? You’re unbalanced.

Relationships are butterflies and date nights, first kisses, meeting his family and cuddles and all of the sappy shit Nicholas Sparks can think of. It’s also trying not to correct him when he gets the context of a word wrong, pretending to care when the Broncos lose. It’s fighting over an un-ironed shirt, insisting it’s a worthy argument and following a footy code you have no bloody clue about purely because he plays.

I love him when he buys me roses and when he buys me dinner. The grand and public gestures are super cool. When he makes me a cup of tea though or he’s mowing the lawn and minding his business. When he waits for me to finish my chapter before he turns the light off. That’s when I know for sure I can work in absolutes. No amount of mediocrety allows a shady move like Issa pulled.

Love is completely and utterly underwhelming some times. If you truly love him though you won’t mind that Lawrence doesn’t always want to go to that new art exhibition or the lavender farm or even to dinner with your friends- I can write my own fairytale, let’s just finish Orange is the New Black before I’m twenty.

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