The Cycle of Relationship Bondage: Bitterness, Imitational Love, and Paying Dues You Can’t Afford

Many women stay in unhealthy relationships because they have been brainwashed to believe that paying dues is required for love. But when did being loved require being treated like sh-t first? Does paying dues make a now incompatible person somehow compatible later?


By: Amanda Niles

I get the whole relationship scenario better now as a married woman. Perhaps it’s because I’ve matured, figured out who I am, let go of some nasty old habits, and learned how to be content with myself. I haven’t exhaled or written off black men, but I’ve grown and realized finally that most of my relationship troubles were because of…me.

Through a series of repeated bad decisions and an addiction to the wrong types of men, although mistreated and lied to, at some point after the lessons have been learned, a woman does bear some responsibilities.

The problem lies in the unfortunate fact that most of us believe that we must pay some sort of dues to land love, when love shouldn’t unfairly require so much of one person, and so less of the other.

I can’t take all the credit in my growth, however. 

I’m pretty sure all of my horrid relationships have much to do with the good relationship and marriage I’m in now. Yeah, sometimes it takes a bad thing to see a good thing a mile away, when before a good thing was a little boring and mistaken for merely a friend when up close and personal. And I’m quite sure any stable and mature human being can understand that our mistakes play a role in our pending blessings. But it’s way too easy to confuse painful and necessary lessons with paying unnecessary dues with the most unnecessary people. To put it short and sweet, too many of us may feel we’re just paying our much needed dues, but in reality, we’re just wasting our time “re-learning” the same exact lessons.

We know that the relationship we tried to work on for three years just wasn’t meant to be, but when we see that ex-douche-bag/boyfriend make it work with the other girl who we swear isn’t all that cute, there’s a sense of resentment that he somehow made it work with…someone so basic.

I mean seriously, we have the degree, successful career, impeccable wardrobe, we’re gorgeous with a sick body, we throw down in the kitchen, dealt his bullsh-t for two years…and then he puts a ring on the chick that has half our credentials and only tolerated his dusty behind for 6 months?

It’s not so much love as it is a sense of entitlement.

Immediately, we get salty. We paid our dues, and she just came along at the right time. The time when he finally decided to grow up and commit after he wouldn’t commit to us. In most cases, he hasn’t really changed, but the change in his relationship status is enough to blur our memory on just why he ain’t all that to begin with.

Yeah it hurts just as badly as it did when we ended things and finally managed to walk away. But we can’t forget that somewhere inside of what could have been is still what ISN’T and WILL NEVER BE. And that’s just it:

Paying dues can’t turn the wrong man into the right one. Relationships aren’t easy, but none one of us were created to stay in relationships that were always meant to be short term. Staying where you shouldn’t be is unhealthy, disastrous, and the quickest way to misery .

It’s easy to forget what we have been through when we’re still trying to get somewhere, but there’s just no pay off for the woman still paying her dues in her mid 20s.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

YOU MAY LIKE