Last night my girls and I – my friends not my daughters – were sitting in the car talking about our relationships. Out of the three of us, two of us are married. Of course, with us all being different people we shared different stories. It was interesting to hear everything from what we’ve struggled with to how we love and deal with things. It was more interesting to hear how the one that isn’t married isn’t even rushing marriage which is difficult for so many women. But out of everything we talked about I never thought to ask either of them, “Do you have a plan?”

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We all want love which I think is something that’s naturally wanted. It’s as if it’s implanted into us so we have to have it. We get into these relationships – and some lead to marriage – with the hopes that they’ll last forever. The hope of that everlasting love can sometimes be the problem because we don’t have a plan outside of the relationship working. We bank on that love keeping us whole and helping us fulfill things we can actually do ourselves, so we’re lost when it’s over. Sure, you may still love them but now that you guys have separated what’s your next step?

Do you have a place to live outside of the space y’all shared? Do you have money of your own or a source of income? Do you have your own vehicle? Do you know anything outside of what you did while with them? I know many are answering those questions with something like, “Duh” or “Why wouldn’t I?” and to those I applaud you. HOWEVER, there are those who don’t know or even have a life aside from that relationship. No, it’s not because they “didn’t know better” or “are stupid” or any other judgmental opinion you have to give. It’s because they never thought they’d have to live without that person.

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Get real, how many people do you really know in love that have separate everything? There’s so much joint this and co-sign that because nobody thinks about life after that person. And don’t get me wrong I’m NOT saying don’t help your significant other, but I am saying REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF WHILE IN A RELATINSHIP TOO. Many of us get too wrapped up and invest our all in them which is why we have nothing when it’s all over. Not even a damn compliment. You crowd your mind when you think about “Us” and only “Us”. I can understand it because it is easy, and I do know from experience.

Until recently I had never heard a woman say she has a way to make ends meet if she and her husband were to separate. Listening to her actually blew my mind because as crazy as it sounds, I could hear the love she has for him in her voice, but I also heard that, “I have to take care of me too” in her voice. There are plenty of women who are afraid to put themselves first – believe it or not – because of their men. There are men who want women to solely depend on them yet complain about those women depending on them. They want that control, they need that control, they can’t see the relationship lasting without that control. And when you’re in love you see no wrong because… you can’t see life aside from with them.

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As a stay-at-home mom I definitely wish I had thought of a plan beforehand, but I don’t think it’s ever too late to start acknowledging myself and the possibilities. I am someone who put my spouse before me – even early way, way, way before marriage. And it was a mistake because I stopped taking care of me to take care of him. Around May of last year – 2018 – I found myself, my confidence, my worth, but I still hadn’t thought of a plan. Now, knowing that I matter to me again and not needing anyone’s validation to want better for myself I’m creating a plan. Just like I’ll say for myself I’ll say for you…. HAVING A PLAN DOESN’T MEAN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WON’T WORK. It simply means that you acknowledge the possibilities, you matter to yourself, and know that you need to be ready for whatever your reality could turn into, PERIOD. It’s okay to love someone but don’t forget to love yourself and lookout for yourself as well.

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P.S. I know it can be the opposite way around. There are rare cases where the man loves the woman more, but I can’t speak from that side of life. Women do invest a lot forgetting about themselves.

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