"Said I'm so sick of love songs, so sad and slow, so why can't I turn off the radio?" - Ne-yo "So Sick"
I admit I'm a hopeless romantic. I have been all my life. It's a part of who I am. I've got it so bad that I've been planning my wedding for years, shit decades. And at this point in my life I'm realizing that this may not be very healthy for me. I am a single woman. I've been single for about 5 months and although I am very aware of why I choose to be single at this point in my life, the hard part is not constantly thinking about when my solitude will end.
This time alone was necessary. Since I was seventeen I had been in a relationship almost constantly with no break of more than a few weeks to a month. I allowed myself to continue on in relationships that were not good for me and to be with people that didn't deserve me. Before this self-induced solitude I was at the point where the thought of being by myself was a little frightening. I know what you're thinking, "Wow how ridiculous!" right? You're thinking, "What could lead a young intelligent black woman like you to have that mindset?"
I could say it was alot of things: my absent father, my constant reminder from the women in my life about how a man "completes" a family, I could even say it's sex; but in all reality I'm begining to believe the true culprit is... LOVE SONGS.
I turn my radio on each morning and I listen. I listen to the disc-jockeys talk and laugh, I listen to the news, sports, traffic, and weather, then it comes. Its like I hear the first note and it hits me like a ton of bricks; whether it's Robin Thicke telling me about his "Sweetest Love", or Usher describing what it feels like when you "Got It Bad". It doesn't matter if it's Fantasia's "When I See U" or Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" they all get me. They all make me feel like the odd man out. When I hear the music and analyze the lyrics as I always do I am left asking, "Why not me?, Why not now?" I so much want to be in a loving committed relationship with Eric Benet's lyrics but the problem is these lyrics are not real. These lyrics are idealized accounts of what someone's imagination believes love to be. I mean we've all had a good relationship before and can any of us really say that it was all good all the time? Of course not. Love is not a feeling. Love is an action that must be expressed everyday. Love is growing together, learning together, believing together, becoming better people together. Love is learning from your mistakes, granting amnesty as necessary, and seeing this imperfect person through the eyes of your heart. These qualities are the ones I'm searching for. Although the perfection is very pleasing to my ear and my heart, and it would be wonderful to bring my guy "sunshine on a cloudy day" I'd be ok with being his best friend. Because with a best friend I could understand us getting on each other's nerves sometimes, and having fights that don't mean break-ups. Being best friends, lovers, soulmates, partners, whatever you want to call it is about wanting what's best for that other person. It's not just about how that person may make you feel but about how you both choose to invest in each other's lives to make a better "Us".
Now that I realize these things about love songs, now that I can be single without losing my sanity, now that I can recognize what I want and deserve, and now that I am taking those steps to making myself a better person so that when I am presented with a prospective "best friend/partner" I can be the best me I can be; I can't promise that I'll stop listening to my favorite artists but what I will say is that the next time Al Green starts begging me to stay together, I'll try not to get so sappy and remind myself of this personal reflection.
Why can't I turn off the radio?
Until the next song plays...