Random thoughts on young love, domestic violence and that Rihanna interview
Ah, first love. Mine lasted… and lingered… off and on… through the bulk of my 20s. And as that last sentence may have indicated, yes, there was much drama. But, if you had asked me about that person when I was 24, I would have given you all of those corny cliches like “love of my life,” “soul mate,” “best friend,” etc. and there’s a 50/50 chance I would have started sniveling at some point. (Excuse me while I gag at the corniness that was me.)
A quick look through my journals from that time and it’s all there. All the angst, intensity, disappointment, melodrama etc. because what I didn’t realize, or rather, what I failed to fully accept at the time was that the object of my affection and undying devotion just didn’t return that level of affection and devotion to me.
In all honesty, it wasn’t that he wasn’t into me…he just wasn’t that into me. And I’m not even mad. He just wasn’t The One (or rather, one of The Ones if you’re like me and believe there’s more than one person out there for everyone,) That’s all… and thank GOD.
Anyway, the only reason I’m even daring to divulge any of this sappy chapter in my life is because when I watched Rihanna’s interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter Sunday night, it reminded me of those days. Except, there’s one very important factor that separates Rihanna’s story from mine – domestic violence.
Even though I’m not a fan of her music, I couldn’t help but feel empathy and concern for her when she confessed her eternal love for Chris Brown. From the moment Oprah brought up the subject and Rihanna almost immediately burst into tears, it was clear that everything I suspected since that fateful Grammy night in 2009 was true. She was still in love with him. Bless her heart.
I’m concerned because trying to get over someone is hard enough, especially during those early, turbulent 20s. Then, to have all those lovey dovey feelings entangled in the reality that this same person you adore beat the crap out of you – and, in her case, for the whole wide world to see – has got to be unimaginably difficult to come to terms with at such a young age.
Clearly, Rihanna’s trying to reconcile it in her head and heart as best as anyone in her circumstances could. (They’re ‘friends.’) And I commend her for what appeared to be a display of genuine honesty and sincerity. However, to all of the millions of other girls and women going through this, please remember this is not the way love goes. Young love usually doesn’t last forever, but most importantly it’s never, EVER supposed to physically hurt you. Never.
Now, look, I’m just some single chick with no man to give anybody, so my advice on love and relationships likely wouldn’t rank up there with Dr. Phil and ‘nem in value… And I know it’s probably hard not to just shove the bad stuff into the far corners of your mind and mentally marinate on the good stuff… We’ve all done that at some point or another. After all, that’s what fantasies are made of.
But trust me, you can and will get past this.
Again, there’s nothing romantic about being physically, mentally or verbally abused. He’s not The One (Or one of The Ones, if you’re like me and believe there’s more than one person out there for everyone.)
Look, no relationship is perfect and, yeah, I may not be an expert, but after watching my parents still make it work after nearly 40 years of marriage, one thing I do know is that real love never entails physical violence. I can’t fathom my mom or dad ever physically striking one another for any reason.And none of us should ever have to contend with that kind of reality, no matter how special that special someone is.