“Love is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably shit.”
~ Unknown ~
I just finished a romance novel about forbidden love. It took me back to a conversation with both my grandmothers when I was a teenager and before I even started dating. I was only fourteen, yet I was old enough to understand every word they told me.
Having both grown up during the Great Depression and been daughters of farmers, my grandmothers only had fifth-grade and seventh-grade educations, yet they were geniuses in common sense and street smarts!
As they sat together, sipping coffee and having just finished a card game, my maternal grandmother told me the story of how my grandfather cheated on her many times but only dropped the other woman in the end. She also told me how she ended up divorcing him. After she told me the story, these were her words:
“Never, ever have an affair with a married man because you only settle for second place when you do, sweetheart. You decrease your value as a woman when you go with another woman’s husband- you cheapen yourself. Wouldn’t you rather find your own husband and be his one and only?”
Naturally, my answer to that question was an emphatic “YES!”
“When a woman dates a married man, she decreases her worth as a woman- and she does it immensely. She is reduced to the lowest common denominator. She lives on the fantasy and false promise that the man will leave his wife for her. In most cases, he doesn’t. She only waits, with bated breath, wasting her valuable time on someone who doesn’t deserve her love let alone his wife’s. Philanderers don’t change. And if he does leave his wife and marries the mistress, he’ll only eventually cheat on her too. When you have an affair with a married man, you sell yourself short. You set yourself up for a huge letdown later. You deserve to have someone who isn’t already committed and who you can call your own.”
“That’s right.” My paternal grandmother agreed. Then she began to speak.
“And never ever throw herself at a man, or worse- crawl up behind someone who doesn’t want you. I see a lot of young girls in your age group doing this and the only thing it does is make them look desperate. And the guys they chase only get an ego rush from it, them sit back with the buddies and laugh at the girl behind her back. Now, I know you haven’t begun dating yet, but I want to let you know now, so that you’ll avoid these pitfalls when you do begin to date.”
As my paternal grandmother, a widow, spoke her words, I listened attentively and my maternal grandmother nodded in agreement as she looked at me with those beautiful, wide, but serious eyes.
Now before I go on, I realize that times have changed since I was a young girl and that I may offend a few “woke”people out there who may accuse me of using stereotypical gender roles and such. However, this is the conversation we had. So, for those of you who are thinking about sending me a flamer about how “politically incorrect” this post sounds and that I should be more “gender neutral,” do not!
Don’t waste both your time and mine by trying to “school” me on the unwritten rules of identity politics because I’m not interested! This post isn’t about identity politics.
What it is about is a conversation between me and my grandmothers thirty-five years ago, and how it positively impacted me. It’s also about knowing your worth as a person and the importance of self-value, which, sadly, is in short supply in people these days.
Getting back to the subject, my grandmothers sure knew what they were talking about. They were two of the smartest and socially savviest women I knew. God rest their souls, I considered them life-geniuses! They were both masters at human nature and the hidden motivations and intentions of people!
Our little talk really made an impression on me that day.
I never forgot that conversation and continued to live by it.
The small town I lived in back then was a very Peyton place. I can’t count the stories I’ve heard of the many local people who dabbled in such relationships. No wonder the vast majority of the people in Oakley, TN were such miserable and bitter souls.
My point to the above story is that no matter what relationship you choose, heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, you should always know your worth. You should value yourself enough not to even begin a relationship with someone who’s already taken. Know that there are always better options.
I say this not to judge anyone, but to convince them to see that they’re worth so much more than they think- more than being a side-partner to some creepy toad who doesn’t value women, (or some shameless strumpet who takes men for granted).
The same goes for men who have affairs with married women or settle for fem-toads who either don’t value them or who cheat on them. You must start treating yourselves better!
When you date someone who’s already in a marriage or committed relationship, you set yourself up to play second fiddle. To be okay with lapping up someone else’s sloppy seconds? Yuck! Why would you settle for that pathetic crap?
Here’s something else I’ll bet you haven’t thought of. If you have an affair with someone else’s romantic partner, you might as well be wearing their underwear! Egads!
If you don’t learn to value and be true to yourself, how do you expect a potential partner to value and be true to you?
You value yourself by getting absolutely clear on what you will not settle for and what you won’t tolerate. You value yourself by avoiding such partners who are known for cheating on their significant others. You also value yourself by avoiding any toxic person, commanding respect, and being selective of friends and even choosier of dating and romantic partners.
Know that you deserve so much more. You deserve to be one and only in someone’s life and that should be non-negotiable. Anything less than that is unacceptable!