Categories
Relationships

The Detox: A Word (For Men) On Loving Before Losing

For better or worse. In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. When we talk about love, we often acknowledge the rocky roads and rollercoaster rides necessary to make things work. We’re in love with love, whether it’s the forever relationship or “for as long as we can have it.” And in love with love and loss. And in love with the pursuit of getting back lost love.

The latter was on full display last week when Sage the Gemini posted a since deleted message for ex-girlfriend Jordin Sparks [1]. On the heels of a breakup that quickly made the rounds on entertainment and gossip sites, Sage begged Sparks for one more chance, while reminiscing on better days.

“Can’t sit here and act industry like this s–t don’t hurt me,” he wrote. “You the only girl I can call at 3 in the morning and you’ll answer no problem. You the only girl that can wake up out of a dead sleep and get me some water because I was coughing in my sleep the only girl that loves me the way you were supposed to.”

The rapper hinted at being jealous during the course of the relationship and lamented not being able to spend time with Sparks on Valentine’s Day.

“Lol it kinda reminds me of the picture of the little lady standing in front of the hulk and being the only one that can calm him down that’s you ya know? But yea this s–t is crazy i just wanna tell you I’m still being a good boy just incase you come to your senses. Valentine’s Day was supposed to be a special day I wanted that to be our anniversary because it’s your grandparents and maybe we could’ve double dated remember? Please call me back I just want like a hug and a kiss or something. Sincerely Dominic Wynn Woods.”

It’s safe to say Sparks did indeed come to her senses. She removed all traces of the pair’s ten month relationship from her social media profiles. But, the plea for another chance garnered both empathy and sympathy from fans. In the days following the open and unsolicited declaration, both men and women expressed support for Sage and blitzed Sparks’ social media spaces with pleas to take back her heart-broken ex.

If the gossip publications are correct, the Gemini stepped out on the American Idol singer and got another woman pregnant. Even if that isn’t true, the transgression was big enough for Sparks to cease all contact. Strangers’ pleas of support aren’t likely to sway her.

I don’t know Sage, but I know his words. I know them well. They are the melodies crooned by R&B singers, serving as the soundtrack of men desperate to get back in a woman’s good graces.

I don’t know Sage, but I know his words. I know them well. They are the melodies crooned by R&B singers, serving as the soundtrack of men desperate to get back in a woman’s good graces. They are the hot sixteens of emcees who weave together tales of dragging their down ass chicks to hell and back before realizing he had a good thing all along. They are the words of me and my boys from days long past after realizing we messed up.

The sympathies afforded to Sage are also familiar. If you look closely enough, it’s the implicit endorsement of the idea that “boys will be boys” and women should be here for us through the often self-inflicted and preventable lows. The thought even the most egregious transgressions can be remedied with an apology.

The problem with this is evident. If we always allow boys to be boys, boys have zero incentive to become men. Contrary to popular belief, all men don’t cheat. Two people having a conversation without arguing or saying hurtful things isn’t a sign of passion the same way being jealous and controlling is not a signal of caring. Anyone acting as if dysfunction is normal is an invitation to consume toxic relationships. Sparks wasn’t having it. We’d be wise to follow her lead.

Unless you’re dealing with a sociopath, the “boys will be boys” boys trapped in men’s bodies are often (but not always) fully aware they’re doing wrong. They just choose to do them anyway. Most men know that cheating is wrong or that saying hurtful things is hurtful.

I’ve often said dating isn’t a team sport but if we’re serious about doing this marriage or partner thing properly, the detox effort has to be a community project.

Unless you’re dealing with a sociopath, the “boys will be boys” boys trapped in men’s bodies are often (but not always) fully aware they’re doing wrong. They just choose to do them anyway. Most men know that cheating is wrong or that saying hurtful things is hurtful.

(This may be the point in our essay when you’re tempted to say, “But women do it, too.” I would remind you that I am not a woman and there’s plenty of writing for women by women [and men]. This is not that.)

Detoxing means recognizing some of our favorite jams are problematic for a vision of healthy love. It doesn’t mean we stop listening, but it does mean we offer careful critique.

It also means we stop aiding our boys in the destruction of their relationships. It’s telling your man to go home if he’s trying to act single. His tricking off today leads to crying in the car about losing her tomorrow. Because we almost always get caught.

The detox means being expressive before it’s time to say you’re sorry. I’ve seen plenty of men with emotions locked down tighter than the Pentagon turn into Shakespeare when she’s ready to walk away. We have to stop encouraging women to take back men whose actions have done nothing to warrant a second, third or fourth chance. Lastly, the detox means we put most of the effort we use trying to get her back into making sure we don’t have to get her back to begin with.


[1] Sage The Gemini Makes Instagram Plea to Ex Jordin Sparks, Delivers ‘I’ll Keep Loving You’

By AJ Springer

AJ Springer is a writer, communications pro, nerd and nomad. Stomping competition is his hobby and job. You can find him on the Internets discussing current events, combat sports, pop culture and the finer points of pro wrestling. When not doing that, he can be found searching for a new home for his written words.