Bye Bye Struggle Love.

By Brandon Jamil

In the age of modern feminism, LGBT rights, women’s rights, and the ending of the male patriarchy––we’re finding ourselves disgusted at the thought of a struggle love relationship. We’ve seen it in the Hollywood movies, we’ve seen it with our parents, and grandparents. Now we’re reclaiming, redefining our romantic relationship models. In-fact there’s Youtube channels dedicated to assisting women with “leveling up” and “saying no to struggle love.” Often times, these women are called gold diggers—which their ridiculed for no longer settling for a man; with a hope a dream, but choosing to marry and create families with men whom are financially stable. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have some men professing how irate they are, because women and or feminine gay men have raised their standards and refuse to settle for their mediocre dates, and lifestyle. Needless-to-say we just don’t want to be: “bobbie the builders” or “pick-mishas” of the world. Most of us can recall a time or perhaps a friend that we know that consistently selects men that they’re having to build up. Talk about exhausting and down right demeaning!

But, what exactly do we mean when we state level up? The dancer, model, and singer Ciara shares with us how she leveled up in her song level up. 

Leveling up means as feminine beings we can choose to create our own businesses, brands, and we can create our own lifestyle. With expanding these different aspects of our lives—we do so without the help of a man that can’t provide. We can do this, because we choose and honor ourselves, and not wait for the white knight to come and rescue us from our life circumstances. Leveling up means that most men whom can’t provide or protect look at us with distain, envy, hatred. In their eyes, we’re modern feminist who hate men and our agenda is to obliterate them. Which is absurd, because we’re looking at the long term goals of relationships and marriage. We’re not operating out of our twenty one year old version of ourselves. 

These men who choose to not take on their role as protector and provider can’t understand why we’ve lost respect for them. We’re not interested in having less than we deserve. The same men who refer to the leveled up woman or gay man as a gold digger—are the same men that end up paying for our time and attention at the end of the day, and complain that we won’t engage with them sexually. 

Interestingly enough… Men that are financially stable tend to do what it takes to secure us, because these men understand the golden rule: My time is money! Men that are of this caliber understand that dating is a marathon and not a sprint. Every date to the financially stable man is an investment, and doesn’t raise a brow when we don’t sleep with him on the first date. Also, financially stable men have a DESIRE to make us the Queen of his castle. He doesn’t want us to work harder than him. because naturally he’d feel emasculated. This is not to say that roles can’t be reversed, and we can’t create our own set of rules pertaining to relationship dynamics. But let’s be honest here…There has to be a balance of masculinity and femininity. I am a full time writer, I’m an author and I have multiple streams of income. Exactly what can I do with a man that has nothing to offer my life? Fuck the coffee dates and leave that for the pick misha’s of the world. 

I believe that as feminine beings, we must align ourselves with masculinity. Not out of obligation to gender roles or tradition, but balancing the polar energies. I have witnessed a girlfriend or one of my gay friends that align themselves with another person that isn’t clear on core identity, or their role within the relationship model. In-turn my friends at the time would become highly aggressive, angry and bitter, because they’d have to take on the masculine role. They’d have to provide financial stability and do the whole fifty-fifty deal. I can’t tell you how miserable the entire relationship would be (outside looking in). The only time I’ve seen role reversal truly work and withstand the test of time; was when both parties understood their roles and had no issues with taking on those characteristics. To further elaborate: My girlfriend preferred to be the bread winner and her husband preferred to be at home with the children. In this instance—It worked out for them, and they could equally benefit from the dynamic. It wasn’t a friend who was truly feminine in nature—taking on her husbands role. Matter of fact, most of my friends that experienced taking on a less than desirable role are now divorced ( which isn’t uncommon). Call me shallow, but doesn’t it suck when you watch your girlfriend; that is married, and has a supportive husband—travel the world, create multiple businesses, and not stress over money? (which is why she’s happily married). Of course it does!

The problem is, society instructs us that we’re to love someone without conditions, and anything that has conditions or boundaries makes us monstrous. Which is sad, because I could NEVER tell my daughter to marry a man of little means, and just simply love him and everything else will somehow work it’s way out. In the 1920’s we as a collective could say that, because women weren’t expected to exceed the male counterpart. Which meant that women had to not only become selective, women didn’t have a choice. Gay men at the time weren’t public with their sexuality, so most remained hidden or fled to Paris.

Let’s be practical and critically honest for one moment. When we choose struggle love, we’re not just giving up five star restaurants, shopping, vacationing. That’s foolish to believe that. We’re giving up a stable environment for our children, and extended families. We’re giving up our life for the overly romanticized ideal of love, and we end up paying the price, because we’re told it’s wrong to choose a loving man that’s financially stable. 

The last time I checked…Love doesn’t pay the bills. In-fact it doesn’t pay for our children’s college tuition, it doesn’t set us up for our retirement and it sure doesn’t pay for a comfortable lifestyle. 

Having self worth and a healthy self esteem doesn’t permit us to co-create a life with someone who can’t meet our standards, and I find it disgusting we tell younger women and gay men to forget about finances and only choose love. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed, states that the paradigm of marriage has changed significantly since the 1920’s. It was in the 1920’s that marriage become more of a feeling union vs a union that made sense financially. Which both have their perks. However, when we observe the divorce rate, which is usually over finances—it’s alarming. We understand that the institution of marriage was always a business agreement of sorts, where both families benefited off of the marriage. This had more to do with the awareness that feelings are fickle and guess what? They change A LOT! 

Now I am not urging anyone to NOT follow their hearts. I am urging women and gay men to follow their hearts, and take their damn heads with them! And who says you can’t find love and have financial stability within a relationship, marriage? This shaming tactic has not only made younger women and gay men feel isolated and guilty, but it has made this fantasy of love become prominent. Anyone who shames us, and manipulates us into thinking that we’re obligated to just accept mediocrity doesn’t have our best interest at heart. As taboo as it is to say this, I say no to struggle love, and any man that’s financially incapable doesn’t love me or our children. More importantly he doesn’t love himself.

On that note ladies, 

Let’s take our glass and cheers to no more struggle love. 

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