As February reaches an end and we enter the spring quarter, I’ve noticed that too many Black bruins struggle with cultivating healthy relationships.
Parental expectations, stereotypes pressuring black couples to have “that Jada and that Will love,” and influential traumas are all factors that contribute to the decline of hopeful, flourishing relationships. In response, I’ve compiled a list of general tips that may increase the probability of going beyond “the talking stage” with your next boo.
How to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship within the Black Community
1. Know what you want.
State your intentions with your significant other. I’ve heard my friends question their place with their “boo” too many times. I find that if both parties find themselves thinking, “What are we?” a discussion about how far you want the relationship to go is necessary.
2. Be willing to listen.
When I find myself repeating grievances or preferences without feeling that I am being listened to or validated, red flags immediately pop up. Listen to the wishes of others and be open to adjusting certain things. This does not mean compromising your core values or individuality to become something you are not.
3. Be respectful, trustworthy, and honest.
My parents used to tell me, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” I assure you, no one wants to be cheated on, humiliated, or lied to. Being truthful to yourself will benefit both parties. (And do not refer to women as “females” or “b*tches.)
If your past relationships, traumas (including race-based issues), or external circumstances are having an influence on your relationship, communicate with your partner in order to learn how to navigate those battles together (without hurting the other person).
Lastly, do not let the expectations of the media alter the way you love. It’s not all “Love and Basketball” (2000). Don’t let Twitter convince you that he’s cheating to make you a stronger woman, and do not worry about things you can’t fix. If you’re not getting reciprocated energy, take your talents elsewhere. Hopefully, these tips help you advance from buddy to boo this cuffing season.