As I was riding the subway on my morning commute, I came across a meme that spoke about what a “good woman” was; with the hashtag #rideordie.
After rolling my eyes and scrolling past it, I saw another one that touched on the same subject.
I’d heard my girlfriends refer to me as a “ride or die” in countless good and bad situations; it was kind of like a term of endearment. I was the friend who could be the voice of reason… and chaos if necessary. But the memes I read were not talking about sisterhood or bonding, they were naïve and degrading.
What does a ride or die relationship look like?
Based on the memes, if your man cheats on you or takes you for granted you should stay with him – because if you really loved him you would understand that all men cheat. Now I’ll admit that they were exaggerated, and most men and women do not think like this, but a lot of them do. I found this problematic because unconditional love should only be reserved for yourself and your offspring.
I am all for learning and growing with a man, but allowing someone to take you for granted and break your heart doesn’t show love or loyalty. It shows a lack of self-love.
As I continued to reflect on the term, it made me think of my own relationships and situation ships. I recalled all of the times I allowed someone to take me for granted; by cheating on me, not fully committing or using me. I realized that I had been a ride or die because that is what I thought a good woman was supposed to be. It had been subconsciously indoctrinated in me since I was a little girl.
I saw my mom put up with my Dad’s misgivings, and assumed that this was the way things were. It wasn’t until I spoke to my mother about my heartbreaks that I understood I was not my mother, and she had endured far more than I knew. My mother is a good woman, but she wasted so many years with my father and was never truly happy because she was a ride or die to the wrong man.
I would have followed in her footsteps if I hadn’t realized that no matter how good of a woman I was, I could no longer be naïve to the fact that I wasn’t receiving the kind of love I deserved. I was giving my love and energy to men when they didn’t do anything to deserve it. And by never holding them accountable, I allowed them to think it was okay to mistreat me.
When I started to have more confidence and self-love, I realized that I did not have to put up with cheaters and men who could not match my effort; because the love I had for myself would not allow me to.
I am a “Ride or Die” no longer and I am okay with that.
Like myself, most millennial women are not “Ride or Dies”. We are now fighting fire with fire. We are walking away from 5 and 10-year relationships, and moving on. We are no longer staying because of love and stability.
Tina Turner may have said it first: “What’s love got to do with it?”
But Sza said it best: “What’s done is done.”
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