“You would not build a house on a shaky foundation. Should not the same apply to a relationship?”. That thought kept running through my mind while watching the beginning of this week’s episode of “Being Mary Jane” on BET.  I watched as the relationship between lead character, Mary Jane and her live-in, married but “getting a divorce”, boyfriend unraveled. But who didn’t see this coming?

The boyfriend, Andre, is consumed with guilt over leaving his family. We’ve seen his compassion for his children, and particularly for his wife, who is devastated with the fact that her husband is in love with another woman. Mary Jane is overwhelmed with her own guilt. In fact, she is keeping the relationship a secret from most of her friends and her family. Mary Jane is also conflicted because she loves Andre and her biological clock is ticking. But while she wants a man and children of her own, she didn’t want to get it like this. Yet here she is.

This is what can happen, ladies, when we are desperate not to be Single. We lie to ourselves. We mute that voice of reason in our heads and we abandon what we know is right because we don’t want to be alone. We convince ourselves that relationship, we had no business getting into in the first place, can go the distance. We could find out early on that he is married, physically or emotionally abusive, untrustworthy, not really that into you, overly possessive or jealous, financially unstable, abuses alcohol or drugs, addicted to gambling, etc… yet we still move forward. We tell ourselves that because we care about him, he cares about us and that being in a dysfunctional relationship can’t be worse than being alone. Right? And if we, like Mary Jane, want children too, what can be worse than being alone AND childless?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to have someone to share your life with. And it is natural to mourn that absence. But you have to love yourself enough not to let those feelings dictate your life. You have to learn to love yourself enough not to settle. You have to love yourself enough to put yourself first.

For you bleeding hearts that convince yourselves that  ‘he could change’,  let me say this. It is unlikely, but possible, that he could change. But if you are in a dysfunctional relationship waiting for him to transition, chances are that process is going to disrupt your balance by bringing tremendous stress to your life.  And is that what you deserve? If you do think that is what you deserve, then you don’t really love or respect yourself.

This week we saw Mary Jane finally confess her affair to her mother. Her mother simply said, “Cry about it tonight, because tomorrow you know what you have to do”. And in the morning, Mary Jane did what she knew she had to do.  She had to let that man go and will hopefully learn how to live a fulfilled life with or without a man. It can be done.