It’s no new phenomena that black women and love are two interacting variables. Of which love is one in which many people believe that black women can’t successfully obtain. Black women, being the epitome of forgiveness and love, are characterized as being under deserving by not only other races but by black men. [ Sidebar: yes I will argue this because without a doubt in the most uncomfortable circumstances black women rise to the occasion to do the hard thing. This does not take away from those that act immature or let their emotions get the best of them. ]

But why is that?

What makes the way in which we look for love any different for anyone else?

Us, as young black girls were taught that we were never going to find perfection in a male counterpart. And that we have to find a man with potential, as a means of building and shaping him to be what we see them as through years of tough love, the endurance of bullshit and age. We have focused on building qualities thus seeing him be more than the untrustworthy, ingenuine and possibly emotionally inept man that he may be. Now, this has a lot to do with our understanding of relationships and the things we learned about them as children. Some of which are dysfunctional elements of relationship; such as improper communication skill, unsustainable expectations on relationships, as well as actions of codependency on a partner.

But the real question is why are we looking for potential. Is it because we are looking to be a half of a whole, or is it a conscious decision to not value our own worth enough to expect nothing less that\n the best? We idolize couples like Ciara and Russell Wilson, Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert, as relationship goals. Now their black love is something to strive for because of it something that we don’t see every day. Although, what should be the real goal is the self-realization of worth that these black women understand about themselves before they found their happy endings. They embraced themselves, their flaws and understood that they were worth more than what most men were offering. And not only did they acknowledge their worth, their men seen and embraced them for who they were, in their entirety. Thus these beautiful examples of black love were able to manifest. But the true black love to be envious of is that of self-love.

We as black women forget way too often that we have to love ourselves before anyone else can love us. Simply defined by the laws of attraction; the energy we put out is the same energy we will receive in every aspect of our lives. In saying that, the reciprocated love that black women yearn for is the love that grows with self-reflection, self-worth, and trust. A lot of the time we fall into a continuous circle of repetitive people and actions because we don’t trust ourselves to make them the best decisions when dating or even see our own value in comparison to our partners. Failing to realize that we are worth more than the bare minimum of affection, communication, and emotional engagement. Each an aspect that feeds the way in which we individually need to feel love. Relationships like plants need to be nurtured yet can’t grow if the soil isn’t a fertilized properly.

“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.”

Tracee Ellis Ross