I recently came across the Karrueche Tran exclusive interview with Iyanla Vanzant and it caused me to really think about our young ladies and their unhealthy relationships. I am not even sure if this young lady really understands what love is suppose to feel like. Were the lessons she was taught about love incorrect or did she abandon those teachings and make decisions about love based on something else. Emotions, money, a fairytale, maybe?
Her conversation with Iyanla made me think about my own daughters, one 18 and the other 11. While I know we all have or will experience some form of heartbreak, I want to at least provide my girls with tools on being smart and bold in relationships. As a parent, we often want to protect our children from the world, but it isn’t realistic. We have to teach them what we know about love and pray they take heed and seek love accordingly.
When it comes to matters of the heart, people sometimes lose sight of their own needs and make excuses for staying in relationships that don’t love them back. I get it, there are certain types of people that peak our curiosity. What girl isn’t excited about that bad boy? Or what young man isn’t attracted to the hot girl in school, who loves the attention, but pays him no mind? Popularity, a lack of self-esteem and peer pressure all play roles in how our young people show up in relationships. It was the same for most of us growing up. The bad boy was appealing to me as well, but I also knew when those bad boys couldn’t deliver what they promised, or provided what I requested, it was time to move on. We must teach our children how to love, what love should feel like and what love is not. It begins within. In order to protect our girls from unhealthy relationships, we must be honest, listen attentively and teach them:
Love yourself first and foremost. Know your worth and carry yourself like you do. When you love you, everything about you, you won’t be as willing to accept someone into your life who doesn’t value you. Love yourself enough to walk away. Know that you deserve the best; we owe that to ourselves.
Observe behaviors and believe what you see. I love the phrase, “when people show you who they are, believe them”. It’s easy to say what sounds good, but a person’s behavior will always reflect how they truly feel. Don’t ignore red flags.
Trust your instinct, always. If you don’t feel loved, or something doesn’t feel quite right, it usually isn’t. Make smart decisions, even when they are tough decisions, that honor you.
Don’t make excuses for your partner. You shouldn’t love your partner more than they love themselves. Thinking they just need your love, even though they treat you like crap, is a self-love sin. Don’t do that to yourself. Love you, first and stronger.
Don’t think you can save or change your partner. If change is needed, they have to want to make those changes for themselves. If they aren’t willing to change on their own, they aren’t deserving of your love.
Young love can be so challenging. Sometimes our young bolder sisters don’t realize that we were also young once, and that our job is to protect them. They will make their own love decisions, but we must instill in them what our relationship mistakes have taught us and hope they won’t make the same ones.