Dating & Relationships

Other Side of the Game

“Don’t worry, baby. I know there’s confusion. God’s gonna see us through yeah…”

I love the tune and the soulful crooning of a lovedrunk Badu, but when I break down the lyrics (i.e. overanalyze), I wonder why so many of us women end up on the other side of an ugly game. I know she’s talking about the drug game in the song, but I’m using my blogtistic license here.

It’s an epidemic. Woman meets man. Man turns on game. Woman falls for game. Man reveals that he’s playing and blames woman for falling because she should’ve known better. Woman sticks around dissatisfied, disgruntled, and disillusioned hoping for the impossible. Yeah, I know women run game too, so guys, apply accordingly.

So, ladies & gents, where do we go wrong when we meet a potential love? I could write ten steps to choosing the wrong person to love, which I’m TOTALLY qualified to do… Or I could just let Badu do the talking.

“It ain’t that he don’t have education cuz I was right there at his graduation.”

So, he’s got an education? He gets some respect for that. He works hard? That’s even better! But is he demonstrating what he’s learned at whatever level of education he’s attained? Potential is never good enough. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those educated snobs who only talks to men with the degree qualifications that meet or exceed my own. I tend to find many highly-educated men… well, boring. But nothing’s worse than a flirty brother with poor spelling, poor grammar and a lot to say. We all get those messages on Facebook that are hard to decipher. “You used to look good in high school but now you still do too.” Yeah, that’s in my inbox. I have yet to reply.

“But it’s me and baby that he hurts.”

So he loves you so much that he keeps doing what hurts you and hurts the kids too? Let me guess. He’s either doing it for you or he can’t help it. Badu needs to read “The Doormat People.” She’s an accessory to her own victimization, and the children will only resent her later.

“Because I tell him right, he thinks I’m wrong. But our love is strong.”

Sorry, Badu. Even the good ones don’t want to know when they’re wrong. That’s just the nature of a man. Even my six-year old son has to always be right. If he puts his underwear on backwards, he’ll argue with me even though he can’t find a way to pee straight. But there is a way to let a man know when things are starting to sour… that’s another blog for another day.

“Gave me the life that I came to live.”

What the heck? No, he didn’t. JESUS did that! Get your priorities straight…

“Pressure’s on me, but the seed is grown. I can’t make it on my own.”

A real man will always take the pressure OFF, and he’ll never take your power away by planting seeds of insecurity. God gave man authority, but the woman has power. Wield it wisely, ladies. Never give away what God has given you!

Let’s backtrack to when Erykah first met this fella. At some point she knew that he had some other stuff going on and decided  to roll the dice anyway.  Why would anyone ignore the obvious signs? Well, loneliness can get the best of us. But one thing is certain; desperation landed our beloved Badu in another bad relationship. (And when I say Badu, I mean krazy me and maybe krazy you too…) Not too long thereafter, she’s telling her boo that he needs to call Tyrone…

So how do we keep ourselves on the other side of the game? If we want love, do we have to play along? I will admit I’ve gone out with people that I didn’t really like for boredom’s sake. One guy (who’s reading from his iPad) posted on Facebook that a certain woman (me) was making him rethink his game. Just that admission has disqualified him from having a chance at spending anymore time with me. (Angry text ensuing…)

I’ve discovered a few tactics to maintaining a “game-free” life. So here goes. If you meet someone and think you might be interested…

  1. Listen for what he wants. I like to know what a man ultimately wants from a relationship. Some day (not any time soon), I’d like to be married again. If he never wants to be married, then we don’t have the same aspiration, and I’ll end up wasting my time if I continue with him. People tend to be more honest early on because the stakes are low. Believe a person when they tell you or show you who they are.
  2. Listen for how he wants it. You want to know what his religious and moral beliefs are, but other convictions matter too. Life perspective is a HUGE consideration for me. For example, I subscribe to the “Life is short, so do it right the first time” way of living. I can’t be with someone who subscribes to the “Life is short, so live it up at all costs” way of living. Judgments aside, it just doesn’t work.
  3. Listen to how much he’s saying. Does he talk too much? One of my associates talks so much that he just bores me to tears. He’s a sweet guy, but boring! Does he talk too little? Ummm… did you call me so I could listen to you watch the basketball game? I have better things to do… like talk to myself. Does he do a disappearing act and a random check-up to make sure you don’t forget him? Play along for fun, but don’t get sucked in… LOL!
  4. Listen to what he’s NOT saying. Recently a fella asked me what I’d heard about him because I didn’t seem to be interested. My response: “What have you done that you don’t want me to know about?” Oh… and there’s the guy who has options. What he’s not saying is that if I don’t give him what he wants, he can get it elsewhere. My response: “Use your options. Not me…”
  5. Listen! That means be quiet!  Smile outside and scream inside. Think critically, but don’t breathe a word of it. Instead, ask a follow-up question. And don’t tell him too much about your personal convictions up front. Guys with weak game always play the “me too” game. If I say that I’m a Christian, he says “Oh yeah? Me too!”

With all of that said, there is hope for those us want the real thing. There’s no need to settle for a silly player and then ask God to bless our mess. Eventually Badu had to put Tyrone out, but only after suffering more damage than any person should sustain.

I won’t say that my transition to this point was quick or even easy. I won’t even say that where I am now is all that much fun. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date that I’ve truly enjoyed. But what I can say is that I’m not lonely, and I enjoy possessing my soul. And when the time comes for my future husband to enter my life, I will be ready because I kept myself on the other side of very dirty and damaging game.

For those of you struggling, my heart goes out to you… Here’s some encouragement from a more positive and empowering song.

I’m coming out of krazy and taking all the broken-hearted Badus with me…
Your cyber-sister,
Alana
  • love it ,, looking forward to more