If You Can Fix A Car You Can Fix A Man
If you’re an avid tv watcher, I’m sure you’ve seen the popular HBO series “Insecure” which focuses on a black woman named Issa (Issa Rae) trying to navigate life, work, and relationships. The center of her story is her relationship with Lawrence (Jay Ellis) who she’s been dating for five years. During the course of their relationship, he has been unemployed for more than two years and basically living on the couch. From the outside looking in, any woman would have been fed up and left but things are not always easy as they seem.
What I respect about the show is that it has sparked some very intriguing conversations between men and women concerning what a couple should do when their significant other has fallen on hard times and lost all motivation. Not only was Issa unsatisfied with her own job, but she was dealing with a man who wasn’t motivated to find work. During the first season of “Insecure,” Lawrence wasn’t showing up to interviews, he forgot Issa’s birthday, and he generally wasn’t motivated to finish the technology app that he wanted to start. Issa was fed up, which led her to make some poor decisions and sparked a debate between men and women that is still going.
Getting a black man's (particularly a cis-gendered black man’s) perspective on this situation has been quite insightful, but not surprising. The majority of the black men I’ve spoken to have this idea that women in that situation should be able to stick it out and support their man even in the worst situations. What I slowly started to realize is that women are expected to stay in these toxic relationships because generationally that is what has always happened in black relationships. If a woman does decide to leave, she’s labeled as not being loyal and not holding down her man. Well, I am here to tell you to cast your fears aside because that ride or die life isn’t for everyone.
I know the narrative of women being the backbone for their man has been ingrained in us since birth, which in some aspects I agree with it but sometimes being the fixer, the supporter, and the encourager at the same time can wear you down. In Issa and Lawrence’s case, she had her own personal and professional issues to deal with, while coming home to a partner who wasn’t motivated. Who could blame her if wanted to leave?
I’m a firm believer that it’s okay for you not to be that girl. The one that fixes all of her man’s problems, who stays when he betrays her even when she’s been loyal to him, and to always build him up when he’s down. It’s okay to want someone who’s already got everything in order or who made sure to work on himself before committing to sharing their life with you. It’s also okay to demand more from your partner when they insist on giving you so little.
Black women may be super heroes but that doesn’t mean we don’t need someone to save us every once in awhile. It’s important that your significant other be there to pick you up when you’re down, to listen when you need an ear, and to wipe away tears you’re hurting. If you aren’t getting that in your relationship, don’t be afraid to leave for greener pastures.