If you read the Open Letter to My Sister or know me, you know that I LOVE music from the 80’s and 90’s! One of my all time favorite songs is “I Wonder If I Take You Home” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. I listen to that song now, and I think, “Wow, they were onto something with this one!” Every sentiment expressed in this song has surfaced in the minds of women at critical points in getting to know a man (i.e. I wonder if I share myself with you, will you still be interested? Or–I really like you, but I’m not sure if you like me as much as I like you!). For me, the most authentic and relatable verse is, “I want it just as much as you do. But will you still keep in touch?” I hit on this in The Haunt of Horny. Let’s face it…I’m human. Soooooo, chances are if the chemistry is there, my hormones are raging right alongside my interests. However, given that I try to keep the bigger picture in mind, in those moments, I am intentional about trusting the process. This serves as an internal check for me. Even if my hormones are still percolating.
I thoroughly appreciate the validation of women’s concerns expressed through the lyrics of this song. There was a point in my life when I chose to ignore my concerns in dating relationships because I felt that raising them would cause the person I was dating to leave. I used to be extremely fearful of men rejecting me. I, in turn, was complicit in the mistreatment I endured. And while it felt horrible to remain silent as I was being taken advantage of, it still beat the alternative (at least in my mind).
Ultimately in this song, Lisa Lisa sings, ” Your love is…No Good!” Sadly, there were many times I knew a man’s love was no good but I figured, “If only I can make him see that I really am worth keeping around, we’ll be good!” I thought for some reason I could convince men to love me, and if I was successful, I wouldn’t be hurt or rejected. It pains me to think about the heartache I could have spared myself had I processed what was actually presented to me (not my ideal or some fantasy) and then made informed decisions.
Some would say I didn’t know my worth. And I don’t disagree with that. I think there’s a little more to it though.
As women, we are naturally wired to be receivers. We crave love and security. My brother told me something when I was maybe 19 or 20 that rocked my world.
He essentially said, “Women believe whatever they want to believe. You can know that a man is not for you, yet you create these narratives (or fantasies) in your minds and become fixated on them.”
He continued, “I can promise a woman something and have no intentions on following through, but just because I said it, that will be good enough!”
I was so offended and so embarrassed at the same time. I hated to admit it, but he was right!
Later on my brother offered, “You don’t always have to do something to know how it will turn out!”
I reflect on his words often when I am either getting to know someone or in a dating relationship. If my instincts are telling me there’s reason not to proceed, I won’t! Each time I’ve gone against this, I have regretted it. And if all signals are a go, I will frequently take an inventory of how much of what I’m feeling toward the person is true versus what I’m fantasizing.
Lisa Lisa declaring that man’s love was no good is such a proud moment for me every time I listen to this song. It feels so empowering and liberating! It’s as if she realized in that moment that she required more than he was willing to give her, and she was more than ok with cutting her losses. I would love to see more of us being empowered in this way.