Why I Don’t Compete in Love

Rae Bio Pic 2013

In the past couple of years I’ve watched friends, former lovers and exes alike choose people to boo up with and partner up with. Some I’ve been surprised by, others made sense to me. Real talk, it doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day. If you like it, I love it.

I could ask why someone chooses one person over another person but I don’t think there’s any real rhyme or reason. It’s like asking why one person’s voice sounds like a warm and lovely lullaby while another person’s voice sounds like nails against a chalkboard.

I just don’t think we have a choice in the matter.

I’ve read recently you can change what you’re attracted to – or rather who. I would beg to say the change of what or who you’re attracted to would mean I would have to change too.

*cue crickets, side-eyes and deep sighs

I also don’t think we can change or affect it when someone flat out doesn’t want us or chooses someone else over us. So why is it that we try so damn hard? Many of us work so hard to get people to notice us who could give a negative 75 fucks about us. I’ve been guilty of it in years past.

I mean, I see sisters change up everything in order to attract a guy. Not to say (r)evolution of self shouldn’t occur but it should be out of choice and not because we’re trying to attract someone specifically. But I mean making all of these changes before he marries or even commits to us. Is there a point? I mean, is it helping?

Here’s the thing, if I changed for every single brother that said he wanted me thinner, thicker, darker, with straight hair, or with my hair curly or with it in an afro. if I kept my mouth shut when I thought I needed to speak up, if I became the passive person some people would’ve had me to be – then I’m sure this blog wouldn’t exist. I’m sure the Rae as my closest family and friends know me wouldn’t be who she is. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t get married to a brother years ago. I didn’t want to be trapped in a life that was too small for me. Not that I think marriage traps us. It’s our attempt to conform and fit into a small space of someone else’s desires while simultaneously ignoring our own that traps us. I’ve done all the above over the years.

It suddenly came to me years ago, I don’t compete when it comes to love. Either someone loves me or they don’t. There will be no coercion from this end.

By the way, in the choosing process, have you ever noticed there’s no rhyme or reason to it? It may not have anything to do with how I look versus how she looks. In fact I may think I look better – come on, you know we’ve all done that before when some dude chooses another chick over us. We give her the once-over about 15 times looking for the flaws and why he chose her. She could have three kids, no kids, a house, or be virtually homeless, her own hair or be a weave mistress. Who knows? Maybe you wear make-up and she doesn’t Maybe she’s tall and thin and you’re petite and thick. No one knows. And I’m just talking about the characteristics we can see. It has nothing to do with personality or how she relates to him. She could be a banshee and screaming all the time. Maybe the drama moves him? Chile if I haven’t see anything else in my time, I’ve seen what I think are mis-matched couples. I’ve also noticed some people choose up to their level of comfort or drama or lack thereof.

In other words, it really doesn’t have anything to do with you. I mean, it could be you – but when you’ve been all the you that you could be and the best version of yourself? That’s all folks. Game is over and it’s time to start a new season. I’ve spent some nights and months over my years wondering why a man did something or other – or didn’t do it. All I can say is to ask him. Half the time, most people don’t even know where their choices come from. I say respect whatever choice has been presented. Don’t get too mad about it. People choose what’s best for them. Just because they didn’t choose you doesn’t mean you’re not the best. It just means there’s possibly someone of a better fit for you elsewhere. I’m hoping you don’t waste your time getting all caught up because you think the person is making some sort of statement about you.

Let that idea go.

There’s no need for competition. The only person I’m competing against is myself. Possibly even the Rae who God designed and I fight against from day to day. Compete against yourself – to be better than a few months ago, a few years ago. That’s the only race we should be running.

Rae(gan) Mathis is a DC-based writer and blogger, originally from Detroit, MI by way of Birmingham, AL, and writes the inspirational lifestyle blog From Rae With Love [where this piece was originally posted]. She has been a waitress, a bartender, a corporate trainer, worked in retail, worked in medical labs and worked in legal departments – not many jobs left unturned.

Above all she is a lover of God, a daughter, a friend, a God-mother, an amateur chef, a wine enthusiast and a writer. With equal doses of wit, love, truth and soul she writes about her life experiences in hopes to leave the world around her a better place than she found it. An imperfect but strong supporter of love and service, she encourages people to be nice, mind their manners and do right by other people.

Along the road of life she’s found a love for God, an uncanny ability to never meet a stranger, the foresight to see the writing on the wall and learned the art of the story.

She is a woman who believes everything can be fixed with prayer, a lot of love, the right words, a fabulous home cooked meal, a glass of wine and a renewing piece of literature. This process should be on repeat as needed.

One Comment on “Why I Don’t Compete in Love”

  1. I was stopped at the “Just because they didn’t choose you doesn’t mean you’re not the best”. That really hits me how we could look at the breakup in a positive light. :). Me too think that our partner or spouse shouldn’t be our center of Universe. And they’re not there to complete us. We’re still ourselves, only with someone else. Great post btw.