Struggle love. No. Not the R&B singer Jaheim's song. I'm talking about the common belief that women should lower their standards for men, expect and accept less, and be happy with unhealthy, unfulfilling relationships. Women in every country, society, and ethnic group are taught to lower their standards for men, so struggle love is familiar. But Black women are especially targeted and taught to think that they have a moral obligation to build up grown men, fix broken men, grade men on a curve, "work with a brotha," and be a man's "Proverbs 31 Ride or Die Chick" while accepting mediocrity and mistreatment.

I think it's high time for women to rethink what they've been told about struggle love, and personal relationships. It's time for us to be honest about how these ideas have hurt our lives and those of other women around us. It's time to eliminate old wives' tales, wishful thinking, fantasies, and false teachings about romance. Instead, we should take a different, common-sense approach to romantic relationships that is based on truth, facts, and evidence.

Know that this message isn't for everyone. Even though my goal is to help women improve their lives by improving their standards for themselves and men, some women will be offended by what I say and dig even deeper into struggle love. They will see my message as a judgment or an attack on them, their loved ones, their ideas about gender roles and marriage, their low expectations of men, and the men they keep picking as partners, even though it hurts them.

Instead of putting their energy into personal growth and development, they will argue against women having higher standards and insist that they should settle. This isn't because they think settling is suitable for women (they know it isn't), but because they feel guilty, and if other women settle, it makes them feel better about having low standards and being with low-quality men. Since they were little girls, they have been taught that it is normal and reasonable to date and marry men who cause them needless trouble, trauma, and setbacks for future generations. They have been told that giving the worst men a chance and sticking in relationships that aren't good for either person makes them better women than women who have higher standards and won't settle.

They have been taught, both verbally and in writing, through entertainment, art, and the actions of people in their lives, that "real love" is a constant fight and that "real women" go through pain and suffering to keep a man, stay married, and keep a broken family together. I'm here to tell the women open to it that it's a lie and they deserve better.

A healthy relationship isn't a constant battle; you don't have to give up your ideals or lower your standards to have a man around.

I strongly disagree with the idea of "struggle love," which says that women must lower themselves, put up with bad treatment, and date or marry men who don't meet their basic needs in order to be good, submissive, feminine, or show their worth to anyone. I think it's important for women to choose good guys who are financially stable, focused on marriage and family, disciplined, smart, educated, wise, kind, empathetic, affectionate, and take responsibility for what they do. The idea that there are no good men and that women have to settle for dysfunctional men, don't get along with them, or are missing a crucial part of healthy manhood is a lie.

I think it's important for women to break away from any social, cultural, religious, or political conditioning that tells them they should want less from men and be happy with cookie bits. I think it's important for women to realize they have the right to set high standards and criteria for choosing good guys. I think it's important for women to set high goals, cast a wide net, look for the best life offers, and carefully choose quality men for healthy, satisfying, and good relationships.

Just say no to love that makes you work, and say yes to love that makes you work.


♡ Date with the intention of starting a meaningful relationship with a man who has real promise.

♡ Reflect on your lessons learned from past relationships. Know when you’re being treated the right way vs. the wrong way in a new relationship.

♡ Give you the clarity and insight you need to push through any challenges and setbacks in your dating and personal life.

♡ Develop more confidence, self-worth, and self-love. (you attract people who view you in a similar light to how you view yourself, so if you don’t value, appreciate and respect yourself, neither will your partner)

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