This has become a little uncomfortable for me, not going to lie.
Last year, I was on a trip with a work friend, and blurted out: “I need to find me a (insert the name of my husband)!” Her response came after I told her stories of our courtship before we got engaged. I was flattered by her kind words, but I responded with, “Girl find the one for you.”
When I sat back and thought about what she said, I asked myself, “Have I become the #RelationshipGoals friend?” And then I immediately thought, “I don’t want that, no way. Don’t want that pressure.”
I felt the hypocrisy begin to rise. I’ve said this exact phrase to several friends before.
Girl I need to find me a husband like yours. Sis, does he have a brother, I need a man with his genes. And of course, I have said “I need to find me a … (insert a friends boyfriend/fiancé/husband name).
Did they feel the same pressure I felt? My guilt begins to pour in even more. I had no idea what it felt like to be on the other side of a compliment like that.
A couple of days passed, and her voice and phrase crept back into my mind. Instead of brushing it off, I sat and thought about it. Why am I uncomfortable with being an inspiration for others? Pressure, again, was my immediate answer.
“Pressure about what?” I ask myself. What type of pressure do I have when my friend says they admire my relationship? Is it the pressure of the relationship failing? Nope. Is it because I feel like I have an image to keep up with? Nope. What about my other half. Am I worried about what he will think when someone says that to him? Definitely not.
The answer finally comes to me. I shouldn’t be someone else’s #relationshipgoals; they should find their own goals. I stopped myself and thought, well what is wrong with that?
I blame social media for this one. I don’t remember when #RelationshipGoals became a well-known trending topic, but I remember seeing insta-quotes and captions about “not letting other people be your relationship goals, be your own goals”, and I am sure I said something like “YUP” after reading it. Not actually thinking I would ever be a person who would be included in the trend.
So I shifted my mind to think about why I should be comfortable with the admiration of my relationship. And within moments, I had a clear answer⏤It’s hard out here.
This is a familiar phrase. I’ve said it several times. My husband has heard it so much to the point where he can anticipate when I am going to say it, and usually says it for me.
This is what I mean.
Three years ago, I was single. My dating method of choice was app or online-based. It was the easiest and most convenient way to meet people, especially for someone who traveled 40% for work. And regardless of what you might think, just about every type of person is dating online.
The #1 question I always got was, “why are you single.” I’m sure I am not the only one. But my answer was always “because it’s hard out here”.
It’s hard out here for women, in general, when it comes to dating. As a Black woman, I felt like it was so much harder.
I’ve been called picky, bossy and a host of other things because I was very specific in what I was looking for, yet I had some of the simplest asks. Why should I have to settle when I know what I want? So I waited. I cried. I celebrated. I was in pain. I found joy. And I got exactly what I needed, wanted and deserved.
So yes, I want to be an inspiration to others. When you love yourself so much that you know you deserve the person who is made just for you. Because that is real love.
That is powerful. That is radiant. That is #RelationshipGoals.