Learning How to Distinguish Love From Manipulation

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

This ain't a gossip blog, so I don't like to dabble too much in pop culture; however, I'm big on learning from life experiences and there is definitely something to be learned from all the drama surrounding Cardi B and Offset's very, very...very public relationship.

Since I don't (care to) know the details of their situation, I'm not gonna attempt to formulate an opinion on the life choices of two individuals who have absolutely nothing to do with my life outside of pure entertainment. However, Offset's recent public displays of affection across social media -- along with the plethora of folk pressuring Cardi to "take him back" -- sheds light on a couple of things I'd like to address: 1) unwarranted opinions regarding other people's personal love lives and 2) the distinguishing factor between genuine acts of love and manipulative behavior. I'll start with number one:

Unwarranted opinions about other people's relationships In Cardi's case, we've seen numerous fans and celebrities flood her IG comments with desperate pleas to give her husband, Offset -- who allegedly cheated on her (again) -- another chance. Here's my take: none of this is any of y'all damn business.

I'm nowhere near celebrity status, but I do understand how irritating it is to receive unwarranted opinions from folk regarding your relationship, particularly after a break-up. Of course people are gonna question why you and your ex broke up (which, depending on the reason, can be a little invasive at times), but then you have the folk who do way too much with too little and try to convince y'all to get back together. Or worse, try to play cupid and hook y'all back up themselves. Y'all gotta chill.

I've learned the best way to deal with these people is by simply ignoring them, because you don't owe anyone an explanation about the decisions you make pertaining to your love life. I know that's more difficult for celebrities like Cardi B because her life is always on public display, but we bless God for comment-disabling features and block buttons. On to number two:

Distinguishing genuine acts of love from manipulative behavior

This one's a little trickier because honestly, many people confuse the two. I particularly struggled with this in a previous relationship. Dishonesty and a severe lack of trust resulted in an emotional rollercoaster of break-ups and make-ups (cues The Stylistics). We would argue to the point of exhaustion, break things off, and then one or two days later he'd woo me with some thoughtful, romantic gesture asking to work things out. In the beginning, it was cute. But over time, it became a super toxic pattern: fight, break up, apologize, make up, repeat. That's all we'd do.

At one point, I thought this was the way love worked. I figured if he didn't truly love me, he wouldn't be doing things to show me how sorry he was. But eventually I came to realize that these actions reflected manipulative behavior more so than genuine love. I realized that my emotions were meant to be protected, not played with. I realized that love is not repeat offenses followed by romantic gestures, but repentance followed by changed behavior.

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© 2019 by According to Kori