Songs in the Key of Listening to Other Folks [A Post About Love and Such]

Beyoncé is pregnant with twins. As a relatively long-standing Beyhive member, I was, of course, overjoyed and ecstatic when my homie text me to go to her website. On it was a collection of maternity pics and pics from The Carters’ family albums. An ode to Jay-Z’s and Beyoncé’s love, if you will. Texts about the whole thing went something like this:

…because this is how PhD candidates type in their recreational time…

Aside from the incomplete sentences and overuse of punctuation, the phrase “Gahhhh love is so beautiful to look at” stuck out to me as soon as I typed it. Because it’s true, love is very beautiful to look at. Being in it is a different story.

Whatever do you mean, Bri? Are you saying loving someone is not just like in the movies? That every bad interaction doesn’t just work itself out because everyone wishes it would?



Yeah, girl. It’s real ‘outchea

Don’t get me wrong.

There’s something magical about having someone to call your own. Someone to go to the cookout with. An automatic plus one. There’s a hundred and one benefits to being bae’d up with the right one.

That being said, maintaining life and love and peace and happiness when a WHOLE OTHER HUMAN WHO YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER is involved gets dicey….to say the least. Likkkkeee if you thought hopping into a relationship was gonna make your life easier without no sacrifice or effort from you then boo…you are GRAVELY mistaken. GRAVELY.

Love is work.

Being in love requires attention and time and patience. The tricky part about it all is not that you have to accept another person, flaws and all. It’s the fact that you have to be willing to be understanding, patient, and/or thoughtful…even when you don’t feel like it. 


Right, it’s kinda gross.

Alas, the thing I’ve found that makes the hot mess of two people in love less of a utter and complete shot in the dark is communication.

Asking exactly for what you want. Telling bae exactly how you feel whether you think he or she will like what you have to say or not. That’s communication.

It’s crazy how much easier things flow when people talk to one another. Say what they mean, mean what they say. There are plenty of times where you and your partner will be on one accord through and through. It’ll be as if you can read each other’s minds even. Your communication is gonna be the audio version of this:



Then there are other times when it seems that everyone involved has lost their ability to say what they need without shouting or getting an attitude or hurting someone’s feelings. Those times are going to happen. You’re going to misunderstand each other, you’re going to get your feelings hurt, you’re going to misread a comment every now and again. It’s okay. The real test of communication is the ability to re-establish it once the connection has gone south. And believe me, some connections between you and bae are GOING TO GO SOUTH. That’s just the way we humans work.

Anyone can bare their soul and say how they really feel when tensions are high and all the damns are tossed out the window. Takes a smidge more maturity and courage to come back after the dust has settled and still be willing to be honest with your partner. A lot of times if you just say what you want, not what you think sounds best or sounds most polite, you can get the results you want.

You just gotta say it.

If you’re with the right one, they’ll listen and adjust. This also means when it’s time, you have to listen and adjust as well.

I’ll tell you what my professor told me, “Always extend grace.” Meaning that we should always expect the best intentions of people when we misunderstand them. Instead of jumping to conclusions, assuming they’re attacking you, and going on the defensive, try asking questions and gaining clarification before flying off the deep end. Now once you’ve established the other person is trying to come for your life then…


…but that’s for another post.

Work from love.

Stay strong in the struggle,

-Bri aka the one with Microsoft Word open in perpetuity bka the one attached to her planner

“My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants”– James 19:20

“Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.” ― W.E.B. Du Bois



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