I’ve always wondered why it feels like Black women must struggle for love. It feels written in my DNA—predestined to always struggle, and if you didn’t struggle, the love you finally did get wasn’t real.
It’s a generational curse, really. My mother and grandmothers all struggled. Does that mean I will too? When I think about it, I’ve never actually seen real healthy romantic love or felt it. My mother struggled, her mother, and so on.
We all share stories. We sit around the table and tell stories of our ex-lovers, boyfriends, and husbands, and we laugh till tears come out of our eyes. Believe me, humor helps get through the pain, but in the silence, you can feel the regret, strain, hurt, and longing for a love that’s easy.
Why do we always have to be so strong? Why do we have to be meek, loud, bold, strong, and soft for love? Why do we have to be everything? Why can’t Black women just be? I often ask myself, if all the women in my lineage struggled and begged for love, am I predestined to too? It feels that way most of the time. Sometimes I feel as though I can be the one who breaks the curse for us, but then again, why should I think I am more worthy than the women who came before me? Why do I believe I could be the one that love finds and comes easy for when they couldn’t find it?
I long for a love that’s easy. A love that picks me and never stops until we run out of time. I don’t want to think twice about it. I don’t want to beg. I want to be soft. I feel like Black women never get to be soft. Softness gets you hurt time and time again. Softness will make you beg for love that you feel you don’t even deserve in the first place.
We get criticized for being “rough” or “not feminine enough,” and that’s because we saw what happened to our mothers and grandmothers. There has never been a space created for us to be soft. My mother and grandmothers taught me to be strong and independent. They meant well, but being strong and independent made me cold and cynical, and it left no room for softness.
I long for days when I can be my softest most feminine self. But it feels as if there’s not enough self-love in the world to make me feel soft again. It feels as if while I was trying to avoid heartache, I’ve created it on my own.