An Asian Reviews Mulan: The Live-Action One

An Asian Reviews Mulan: The Live-Action One

As an Asian person who lives in America, I am always excited to see big-screen movies that come out with an Asian-led cast.  Representation matters because minorities should be able to see themselves as leads in movies.  When there is little representation and we are sidelined as sidekicks, we see that our narratives are not as measured as important as others are.  When Mulan was announced, many that I knew were excited about the prospect of a live-action movie with characters that looked like them.  We can actually see ourselves in them as Doua Moua is of Hmong descent.  Simply based on this, this movie helps to celebrate who we are and how we fit into the realm of American movies.  However, the movie falls flat of actually empowering Asians through its narrative.

The movie itself lacks candor, strong relationships, and character growth.  They decide not to include any humor, songs, and magicality in the movie, leaving behind a mostly dramatic movie that lacks any of the charms of the original.  And to add insult to injury, they do not develop Mulan or her relationships with anyone, leaving the audience to not care for her struggle.  In the new movie, she is already a force to be reckoned with at a young age and must shed her lies to reveal her true self, meaning there was no character development.  We do not see her overcome anything and there is no dramatic weight to the film because we are never made to feel as if she has a strong relationship with the romantic lead or her father.  Even the coterie of soldiers do not feel like a band of friends because they do not do anything together.  Although all the actors were Asian, behind the scenes, many of the decisions were made by a mostly White crew, which I felt did not do the movie justice.

The movie had four White writers, and this may have been a reason why the movie didn’t have a strong Asian feel to it.  Does every ethnic movie need to have an ethnic writer behind it?  No, but if there are four writers, why is not at least one Asian?  I think the writers failed to really embellish on what an Asian fantasy movie could be.  They did away with the ancestors and Mushu of the original, but opted for a phoenix that only Mulan could see instead, which held little cultural significance.  There is a lot of wonderful mysticism that is deeply embedded in many Asian cultures and none of this was brought out.  Instead, we got a white-washed version of honor, family, and truth.  The music that is supposed to imbue us with feeling is painfully non-Asian, showing that this movie was really made by White people for White people.  When the writers, the costume designer, the music composer, most of the producers, and the director are all white in a movie that is supposed to celebrate Asianess , how can I see myself in it?

The New White Americans Are Proud

The New White Americans Are Proud

There’s a new breed of White Americans in town who do not want to be labeled as racists and are also zealously proud of their whiteness.  America has come to terms with a new landscape since the shootings by police of George Floyd in Minnesota and Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, resulting in days of rioting, protesting, and destruction.  All these acts then further divide the nation as we try grapple with what we perceive is right and wrong and ardently argue for our rights.  What has emerged is a new set of White Americans who may condemn the shootings, but still wholeheartedly support the police, condemn the ensuing violence, and also refute the movement of Black people, who are trying to change things.  In the landscape of the Midwest of Minnesota nice, how is that the these very people who smile at strangers can’t have compassion for the minorities who are being killed in their backyard?  What is happening in the heartland that race relations and communication between the police and the community have broken down?  Well, the New Proud American may assert that the fault lies with the criminals and those who break laws and not anyone else.

While the Midwest is supposed to be known for being overly nice, is that what minorities have encountered?  I have heard stories of New Yorkers who are unused to the ways of the Midwest, where we say hello to strangers in the street and hold doors for others.  This is mostly true for most of the Midwest, but there is also another layer when you are a minority.  As a minority, I’ve been told to go back to my own country, mocked for speaking my own language, and physically threatened all for being Asian.  When I relate this to my white counterparts, they believe me, but some of them do not believe it is a prevalent or systematic issue.  As most of them have grown up in a mostly white community, they have never encountered what it means to be “other” so they can only rely on what they hear and if they do not have many minority acquaintances, the voices in their community will not be as diverse.  Instead, they rely on Fox News talking points and listen to Black Republicans such as Candace Owen, using her words so that they are speaking through a minority and they do not feel as if they are treading over other minorities because a Black woman said so.

Who are these Proud, white Americans and how did they get to be that way?  Proud Americans are almost exclusively Republicans and typically grew up in a society where they felt blamed for crimes they never committed.  They are made to feel as if it is their personal fault that slavery ravaged this country when their ancestors never owned slaves.  They feel as if they are losing out on opportunities to minorities through Affirmative Action and fear those that are invading their land.  They feel as if their rights are being taken away such as their guns, and they feel it is unfair that Black people can use the “N” word when they can’t.  Far-right news meida then uses these things to stoke fear and anger in them, urging them to agitate for change and to fight for their right to also be proud of who they are.  When they talk about white privilege, they are indignant and state that they were able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, so anyone else of any other race should be able to as well, ignoring systematic racism.  To counter systematic racism, some of them believe it simply does not exist, because if it did exist, they would have to reckon with how they have been helped because of it, and they simply can’t.

In a nut shell, Proud Americans do not think things are fair.  If Affirmative Action benefits minorities solely on the basis of their skin color, that is not fair to them, even though it is trying to correct years of oppression for minorities.  If they can’t say the “N” word, no one should be able to, even though Black people are taking aback a word that White people used as a slur.  If Black people are able to say they are proud of their skin color, they should also be able to say it, even though Black people have been told they are ugly just because of their skin color and White people have never been told the same thing.  Proud Americans are tired of being told to feel sorry for slavery, systematic racism, and more, so they now choose to not feel sorry and to not feel sorry, they must deny that racism is real.  They may believe me when I tell them about the things that have happened to me because they know who I am and would never be racist to me, but they cannot comprehend that this happens to the majority of minorities on a daily basis , which is also racist, but they do not see that.  They do not see it because they would never be racist to a minority, so they don’t think it applies to them, but when they deny systematic racism on a grander scale, it is racist. 

The new Proud Americans may never call you a slur or burn a cross in your yard, but they definitely do not fight for minorities if they cling on to the idea that they are being oppressed when others tell them racism is real.  To white people: you don’t have to feel guilty for any of these things.  They are not your doing and they do not mean your personal struggle is any less real than a minority’s struggle, but please do not continue to deny that systematic racism exists, because it hurts the very minority people who you claim are your friends.  To Black people: the majority of non-Black people who don’t fight for you do  not hate you.  The majority of them simply don’t care because it doesn’t affect them.  It is not hatred that is killing you but apathy.  It is sad to see other minorities who have experienced racism also deny your struggle because we simply aren’t Black.  The reality is that many non-Blacks care about the Black people they know and trust in their lives, but many of us do not care about Black people as a whole and that’s where the real problem is.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Why Everyone Loves Conspiracy Theories

Why Everyone Loves Conspiracy Theories

There are a proliferation of conspiracy out there from Pizzagate to the Sandy Hook mass shooting and even to the usefulness of vaccinations, but why do people keep buying into them?  History shows that we’ve always bought into them and even with the ability to fact-check via the internet at our fingertips, we will continue believing in far-fetched ideas.  In 68 AD, conspiracy theories abounded when the Roman emperor, Nero, committed suicide, with many believing he faked his own death and was still secretly alive.  And today, many people believe Tupac Shakur is alive and well somewhere despite pictures of his dead body on a slab.  Conspiracies have always been a part of who we are and we enjoy partaking in them because we feel as we are privy to something that is forbidden.  So why do we forgo logic to believe things that have no proof? 

One of the most recent conspiracy theories is the Save the Children movement that is spreading like wildfire on the internet and in the hearts of parents everywhere with little regard to the truth.  The conspiracy theory states that there is a cabal of powerful individuals who are abducting and trafficking our children into sex-slavery.  That would be enough to strike fear into any mother, but where is the proof?  While any child can be targeted by traffickers, research has shown that abductors actually target children with increased vulnerabilities such as those who are runaways, those who have experienced previous sexual abuse or rape, or those who have been stigmatized by their family.  However, when you bring up these facts, those who ardently argue against you say it doesn’t matter because children are still being trafficked.  While it is true that this is happening, the likelihood that this will happen to your child are slim, but it doesn’t stop people from protecting the conspiracy theory.

When confronted with statistics such as an estimated 460,000 children are reported missing every year and 49% are kidnappings by family members, 27% are by acquaintances, and 27% are by strangers, those who strongly believe in the validity of the conspiracy theories then attack the other side and accuse them of not caring about the children who are kidnapped.  In actuality, they are now living in fear of something that will most likely never happen.  Fear-mongering can lead to devastating outcomes as a recent post advocated for not wearing masks during the pandemic in order to protect children against trafficking.  Children are more at risk of being molested by family members than they are to be abducted and sold into sexual slavery.  These are facts.  The issue is that when you argue with someone who believes in a conspiracy theory, they don’t deal in facts.  They deal in emotions.  And people believe in their emotions over actual facts because they feel so strongly about then.  They may feel so strongly that they may break into a pizza store with a gun demanding to see the children.  Facts are nuggets of truth, but rather or not people believe them is something different.  Their beliefs are predicated on how they feel about the situation, not actual facts.  If they feel strongly, they will ignore facts to bolster their cause.

We love conspiracy theories not because we are uneducated, but because we choose to ignore facts.  Conspiracy theories allow us to take up the perceived mantle of a cause that we feel strongly about.  We believe it because belief is not about facts, but ideas.  If you can believe in God without any proof, you can see how others may believe in conspiracy theories without proof.  When we live in a society where we feel as if we have little power and no voice, the idea of a conspiracy theory lends credence to our small voice that echoes in a chamber.  When we find others like us, we feel as if we are a movement because we may have no real agency in our lives.  This gives us the courage to advocate for change for things that don’t exist.  In the end, it makes us feel powerful.  We feel as if we are in on a big secret that others are not aware of and we are privileged because of it.  We forgo facts because they risk toppling our house of cards. 

So how does one go about disarming these conspiracy theories if the believers are ready to pounce on you?  With compassion.  If you come with facts, they will try to shout over you and become indignant in their rage, but if you move with kindness, it dispels their ideas of who the opposition is.  Compassion cannot be shown in every situation, but when you can, it will make a big difference in your interactions with people who choose to remain misinformed.

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

https://www.missingkids.org/theissues/trafficking

https://globalmissingkids.org/awareness/missing-children-statistics/#:~:text=In%20the%20United%20States%2C%20an,a%20snapshot%20of%20the%20problem.

https://www.parents.com/kids/safety/stranger-safety/child-abduction-facts/

Why We Hate the Other Woman

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If you’ve ever been cheated on, you know how painful that feels to have the one person you’ve entrusted your life secrets and commitments to simply just throw it all way for a fling.  If you’ve ever went through it, you know how deep the rage runs for what they did to you, but some of us transfer that rage from our boyfriend/husband to the other woman.  Are we allowed to be angry at them?  Of course we should be angry at them if they knew the person they were seeing had a mate, but we should never be angrier at them than we are at our own mate.  They are not the ones who agreed to be in a relationship with us and were supposed to honor the terms of that agreement.  They weren’t the ones that lied to us day in and day out and continued on as if nothing happened.  The other woman is not responsible for keeping our relationship afloat, so why do we blame her as if she were?

We ask why women can be such homewreckers and whores when we don’t ask why our men can’t be faithful to us.  We wonder why women are so often scapegoated except when we’re the ones doing it.  Then, we ask why our fellow women don’t have standards when we should in fact be wondering where our standards are.  If we allow men to continually cheat on us and continually blame women, how do we view ourselves?  We are both victims and abusers at the same time while we don’t demand that men are held to the same standards.  This is not an issue of the patriarchy holding us down, but something that we as women must deal with ourselves.

So why do we blame the other woman and not our men?  In cases where we actually leave our men, we understand the relationship is no longer tenable, but for those of us who chose to stay, we sometimes shift the blame to the other woman so that we don’t have to blame our husband or boyfriend.  Because if we do, we would have to reckon with actually doing something about our pain and anger towards him, and that may mean leaving him, so we don’t blame him.  Instead, we blame an easy target who is not in our home everyday and whom we see every morning when we wake up so that we can continue living with them.  And what happens to this misplaced anger and pain?  Not only do we end up hating a woman that has no relation to us, but we invite the anger and pain into our household, creating an uneasy tension that our children can feel.

Can we stay with a person who has cheated?  Of course we can, but that requires a great deal of work.  We must work through our own hurt and pain, forgive the other person, and have assurances for the future, but if we falter on any of those steps, the hurt and anger never subsides.  It is always there like a cancer to remind us of what happened to us.  If we can overcome it, we can go on to experience a healthy and loving relationship, but if we cannot, it would be best to sever ties and move on.  And some of us are not yet ready to move on, but we also can’t deal with the pain, so we shift the blame and focus our energy on the other woman.  If we can learn to forgive the ones who cheated on us, why can’t we learn to forgive the one he cheated on us with?  For the only one who is getting destroyed by all the anger is ourselves in the end.

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

Why Do Black People Riot?

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I’ve heard this question by many people who aren’t Black.  Why are Black people rioting?  Why are they destroying their own neighborhoods?  How do they think this is going to help change anything?  It’s not going to help change anything.  Rioting is not about effecting change.  That is what the protesters are trying to do.  The Protesters of BLM are trying to bring about change because they are tired of systematic racism and abuse by the police.  So why riot?  What does rioting accomplish?  In the eyes of those who are non-Black, rioting diminishes the message of the protesters and even invalidates their claims because they view rioting as illegal and unwarranted.

Rioting is not relegated only to Black people though.   White people have used riots as well.  On March 5, 1770, a crowd armed with clubs formed to protest about a British soldier not paying a bill that later resulted in the death of Crispus Attucks and which later became known as the Boston Massacre.  On December 16, 1773, people who were fed up with paying taxes to the King dumped a shipment of tea into the bay dressed as Native Americans.  Rioting by any other name such as a rebellion, revolt, or civil unrest is still an act of speaking up against injustices.  And yet, when White people riot after their team has won the Superbowl, no one condemns a whole race or even the football team, but when Black people protest and riot, it invalidates the entire reason for their struggle.  Perhaps it is because some of us do not want to listen to them that we we simply ignore their struggles.

We then say that they have no right to destroy property that is not theirs.  That it is illegal to loot and take down statues and as such, we will no longer listen to their protests because the rioting has tainted it.  But White people have killed Blacks in the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921 and the Rosewood Massacre in 1923 and yet, it is still Black people who we view as violent and dangerous.  When it is convenient, we use certain narratives to fuel carefully crafted ideas we have of others and that isn’t fair.  And still, we ask ‘why do they riot?’  What does it accomplish?  Once again, it accomplishes nothing because rioting is not about calling for action.  Protesting calls for action.  Black rioting is simply a reaction.

After Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on April 4,1968, multiple riots happened throughout the United States, taking place in cities such as Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, and Kansas City.  It was a reaction to the murder of a beloved leader who could no longer lead them.  It was about the pain and sorrow they had carried for decades and the anger they felt for what had happened.  After 4 officers were acquitted of charges for excessive force against Rodney King on April 29, 1992, Los Angeles erupted in riots because Black residents were enraged over the continual treatment of their kind by police and how the system worked against them but did work for the very police who trampled upon their rights.

Black rioting has never been about demanding change.  Black rioting is a reaction of raw emotions that have always been bubbling beneath the surface and has erupted because of further injustices.  So to answer your question, no, rioting by Black people does not accomplish anything, but what it does do is lay bare the emotional pain of a people who have been mistreated for hundreds of years because non-Blacks refuse to acknowledge their plights and dismiss their concerns because they feel as if Black people aren’t broaching them in a way that is valid.

Photo by Maan Limburg on Unsplash

 

Who is responsible for watering this plant?

So we have this plant in our office that is rigged up with a water bottle to self-water when needed.  It got moved to my window and I let it be known that it was not my job to take care of this plant and I washed my hands of it.  Over the last few months, it has slowly been dying and withering away, but when I look at it, the water bottle is half full, so I thought that it was fine.  Still, I said it’s not my problem because I already said I refused to take care of it.  Last week, the dying leaves littered the floor around me and I was forced to clean it up.  I thought that the water bottle may be faulty and poured water into the pot and when I did, the soil soaked it up and the water bottle started to actually leak out water.  I realized then that the soil was so dry that the bottle couldn’t even properly work.  I feel this is a good analogy for what’s happening right now in our country.  We never said that it was our personal responsibility to take care of police brutality and racism against Black people, so we didn’t.  It happened, but it was just there and we didn’t acknowledge it until it started dying on our very doorsteps.  And when we looked into the issue, we started to realize that we were blaming Black people for not growing when it was really the system that was failing them.  Perhaps we can stop refusing to acknowledge the root of the problem and what lies underneath because it actually does affect all of us.

George Floyd’s Death and Riots will Change Nothing

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On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed after police were called to an alleged forging incident at a store in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Almost immediately, everyone in America began watching the video shot by bystanders and were horrified when George stopped breathing under the weight of 3 Minnesota police officers and another one that stood by controlling the crowd.  I felt terrified as I watched the police officers callously kneel on top of him, instructing him to get in the car, and then admonishing him for not being able to.  Because of this, they said he was not complying with their commands and continued to cut off his air supply.  And finally, the moment came when George stopped moving and you could see that the officers did not care if he lived or died.  What came in the aftermath of his death was outrage, fear, and calls for change.  Inevitably, the rioting came and with them came discourse that we as a nation could not agree with.

Some have said that the rioting is overshadowing George’s death and undermine the calls for change, but those people must also realize that rioting after a Black person has been killed by police is a part of American history.  For those that agree with it, rioting means that Black people are trying to be heard and taking back the power from the police and government by instilling the same fear they feel on them.  They want them to feel as helpless as they did.  For those that disagree, it means that the destruction is destroying homes and livelihoods while putting actual lives at risk.  Although both sides may not see eye to eye, both are contending with real fear and to minimize either side means that the other won’t listen.  If they don’t listen, there can be no real change because change is needed by the majority.

Tamir Rice was killed in 2014.  Philando Castille was killed in 2016.  Eric Garner was killed in 2014.  All were unarmed and killed by police and multiple peaceful protests erupted to agitate for change, and yet in 2020, there is still no change.  Why is that?  We can train police better, have better techniques, and have more body cams, but it is still not preventing any deaths.  In truth, any protests peaceful or otherwise will not change the status quo, but protest is still vital because it is an expression of the human psyche.  They protest to be treated equally, and to be treated equally, we must change laws and society so that we can be closer to equality.  We need opportunities for those who are poor and minorities to have an equal footing.  We need school districts equally funded and affordable higher education.  We need more social safety nets for all families who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, or abuse.  We need affordable medical and mental health care so that we can live.  And to get these things, we must stop gerrymandering, Super PACs, and stop all corruption in our government.  And to have that, we must get ordinary people to care and the truth is that most of us just don’t care enough.

It’s hard to care when all these millionaires can buy and sell congressmen and big business can write new laws at will.  How can the average person take part in change if they have no idea where to start?  We can start by not hating each other.  If we can stop hating each other long enough to agree on a different future, we can bring about change because we must realize it is our indifference that is killing Black people.  However, if we ourselves are not Black, we care a little less.  It’s natural to have an affinity for those like us because even babies are proven to choose someone that has the same choices as them.  What isn’t natural is letting the killing continue.  We must speak out, but at the same time, we cannot tell the other side they are completely wrong, for when we do that, we end up alienating them and lose them even further to the other side.

I myself am Hmong and with the Hmong officer who stood watch during George Floyd’s murder, there have been strong opinions on what should happen to him.  My people are mostly outraged that some of their business and homes are being destroyed and they are being targeted for hate because of the Hmong officer.  While I may not agree with some of their sentiments, I can’t discount them either.  Their fear is palpable and very real, but so are the fears that Black people face every day.  All I can do is advocate for what I think is right while still respecting their wishes, because if I don’t, they will stop listening.  Whether you are White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native, or anything else, you will usually feel more strongly for your own kind, but we must also try to understand each other for we are all in this together.  We are not all on the same footing, but we can try to listen to each other because we need them more than we think.

Photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash

Should Women Lower Their Standards?

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We get conflicting messages as women as when to lower our standards and when not to.  Sometimes, as little girls, we are told that we are princesses who must never give up and hold out for our knight in shining armor, so that’s what we do, passing up other choices along the way until we meet this imagined savior.  Other times, we are told we shouldn’t be so picky and to accept what comes our way, leading to disastrous consequences.  Because of these mixed messages, it can be hard to know what should really happen.  The truth is that we should do both.  When it comes to our expectations of a partner and relationship, we should lower our expectations if someone doesn’t quite fit the mold of who we were expecting.  If we hold out for that knight on a white horse all of our lives, we may be waiting a long time.  The truth is that most of us have some emotional baggage and/or hang-ups from our childhoods that define who we are, so that means no one is perfect and it will be hard to find someone that is. We are all persons who are constantly learning, coping with past hurt, and  hoping for a better outcome.

However, when it comes to our standards for how we should be treated by a partner and in a relationship, we should never lower those standards.  We most hold steadfast to our beliefs in how we should be treated and never expect less.  When we do lower them, we do not know it, but we are agreeing to a contract where the other person sees that less is expected of them and may treat us worse.  The worst part of this is that as young women, most of us do not know what standards we should be holding, so we blindly go through relationships until we figure out what we like and don’t like and what we can accept and what we can’t.  As parents, it is crucial to instill standards in all of our children at a young age to help them through their journey.  This starts with having standards for yourself and what you are willing to do with your own life.

Above all else, it is the standards that we set for ourselves that should matter more than anything else.  If we can’t even live up to our own standards, how can we expect someone else to live up to them?  And if we fall, we must learn to forgive ourselves as well, because many women are trapped in a cycle of guilt and remorse that doesn’t allow them to move on.  So what standards should we have for ourselves?  They can be as simple as watching how we speak about others and how we treat them.  When we can achieve our own standards, we will begin to understand how we allow others to treat us.  If we see ourselves as worthy, we know we should be treated as such.  Not all of us are looking for a mate, but if we are, we must remember to lower our standards in regards to what we expect them to be, but never in terms of how they treat us.

Photo by Jared Subia on Unsplash

 

Ladies, Stop Mothering Your Boyfriends

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Recently, I was discussing online the topic of handling a boyfriend or husband who isn’t motivated to succeed.  Multiple women saw it as their duty to try to reform their better halves and strongly encourage them to change their lives for the better because they wanted the unit as a whole to succeed.  However, most of these women didn’t realize that when they overstep the boundary of simply encouraging their boyfriends to actively trying to get them to move on, they are no longer treating their boyfriends as a partner but a child.  When women can’t accept that their mates don’t want anything more and are content at where they are after years and years of trying to persuade them, they are wasting their time, patience, and the relationship in the feat.  Does this mean we should never encourage our partners?  Absolutely not.  We should always encourage them to be and do better, but what we want is different than what we expect.  If we want better for our spouses, that is one thing, but to expect better means we are in for a world of hurt when they don’t live up to our expectations.

Women have been wired to be nurturers and to love unconditionally and that is the definition of what a mother does.  Mothers nurture their children and love them unconditionally so that when girls grow up to be women, they somehow think that is how they should love their boyfriends, but that is not the case.  When women do this, they relegate their spouses to the role of children and become increasingly disillusioned with the relationship, thinking that they are always doing more than their fair share when in fact they are taking on more than they should, causing them to despise the other.  Every non-parental relationship should be based on conditional love and clear boundaries.  As women, we tend to lose who we are in helping others and in the end, we resent those that we help if we don’t practice self-care.  When we enter into relationships, we must be aware of the rules of the relationship and how we are willing to help our mates.

Oftentimes, we as women do not really know what we want out of a mate until we date a few men and understand what it is that we want.  At that point, we may already be with someone that we aren’t willing to leave and realize that they are not as ambitious as we’d like.  So what do we do?  We constantly encourage them.  We go out of our way to remind them of things they have to do to better themselves.  We seek out opportunities for them that they may not have sought.  We do this because we want to shape them into the man we want them to be, but have we ever accepted them for who they are?  If your boyfriend is receptive to your advice, that is great, but if he is unwilling to change after many years, he will only see your advice as nagging and resent you for not accepting him.  What is at risk of being hurt here is not our futures, but our expectations.  We may have expected too much out of someone who has always told us who they were, but we refused to listen.  Instead, we saw them for who they could be and remained for that reason.

So how do you stop mothering your boyfriend?  Rein in your own expectations of him and the relationship.  Your wants and needs are important and if they are important enough that he can’t meet them, perhaps you are not in the right relationship.  Sometimes, we as women blame our boyfriends for not growing, when in fact we had the choice to leave all along.  Oftentimes, people only change when they are forced to, so we see many exes blossoming into who we’ve always wanted them to be afterwards, but that change must come at the price of us leaving.  What if you are committed to staying?  Have a frank discussion with him and what you want for him.  If he doesn’t agree, you must honor his wishes; for to simply bulldoze over his wishes and blindly continue on your quest to push him towards greatness is quite like that of an overzealous mother.  And yet, we don’t see it that way.  We see it as love, but love is not pushing someone to do what they don’t want to do.  You may have good intentions, but if he doesn’t see that, it doesn’t matter.

When you rein in your own expectations, there will be less disappointment and grief on your end.  You will spend less time worrying about if he is doing the right thing and more time on enjoying the relationship.  Remember that the more duties you take on in a relationship, the more you will mentally suffer, so lessen your burden if there is nothing you can do to control the situation.  I had an ex who constantly woke up late for his job and I didn’t make it my job to wake him up on time.  His mother chastised me for not doing it as I lived with him and I retorted that I was not his mother.  She immediately sat back and realized the importance of my words.  If it wasn’t my duty to wake him up in the morning, I didn’t have to worry about him getting to work on time.  If it was my duty, I would’ve been very upset every morning.  I let it be known that I refused to mother him in this way and it was his responsibility to get up in time for work.  There were definitely other issues that led to the end our relationship, but in this small way, I refused to be his mother and agreed only to be his partner.

It may sting to try to only be their partner because so much of what happens in their life affects us, but we must realize what we are giving up to try to mother them.  We are giving up our time, piece of mind, and patience.  Then, we will have less patience for other areas in our lives.  In the end, we are really just adjusting our expectations and setting boundaries that we never knew to establish because we’ve always felt as if it were our duty to do these things.  A partner complements you and we may want certain things from them, but we should never expect them if the person has already told us they cannot do those things.  And above all else, if our needs are not being met, we must answer to ourselves before we do to them.

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