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Are Romantic Relationships Just Power Struggles? [Diary of the Undateable]


My friend Bernard called me on Tuesday night, almost in tears. His girlfriend of six months, Tierra, was threatening to break up with him. Though they’ve only been official for a while, they’ve been through so much – including promise rings and pregnancy scares.

He called me out of desperation trying to find a way to get her back. He was seriously going out of his mind. Bernard explained to me that it was the first time he was in a situation where his girl called the shots and not him. He was used to having control and being the person to end things if need be. It was total role reversal for him and it threw him for a loop.

My older friends always bragged about the mysterious, feminine power that we naturally possess, but I never understood them. And then when I interviewed Kenya a few months back, she told me that she “hooked” her husband with it. Even my big sister (in my head, duh) Beyoncé brags that her persuasion can build a nation.

Yeah, I’ve never been in a “real” relationship – but from the outside looking in, I think that there’s an understood balance of power when it comes to them. It’s a quiet understanding that either makes or breaks a bond.

Carlos pulled me by a string for nearly six months because the power was in his hands. I overheard myself explaining my situation to someone the other day and wanted to slap myself.

“I think that he isn’t interested anymore, but he won’t let me let him go. Whenever I try to end things, he stops me and wants to make it work. I just don’t get it!”

Wait. Hold up. “He won’t let me let him go?” Why should he be in charge of that?

A dictionary definition of relationship is, “the way in which two or more concepts, objects or people are connected, or the state of being connected.” It doesn’t specify who decides what or who’s responsible for ending it. In a perfect world, mutuality would be ideal. But is it reality? IDK. That page is still blank in my book.

CollegeCandy ladies and gents, let me know: how do you determine who has the power in your relationships?

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.
[Image Via. auremar / ShutterStock]

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.