Jealousy, Pressure, and “Thots” Getting Wifed: A Look At Modern Marriage

Before I entered a serious relationship, I would get jealous of people around me who were in committed unions. Watching friends make out was upsetting, it would leave me feeling like a nothing more than a third wheel. I didn’t talk about it, I just felt the aching, almost pulsating discomfort that came with being around friends who appeared to be deeply in love. The emotion was embarrassing because I didn’t think that type of reaction lived in me. It honestly took me years to even realize that I was envious of their happiness, and I felt especially bad because these were people that I cared for.

“The accessibility that we have to people through social media and dating apps has increased the total availability to see things that make you jealous, [b]ut when it comes to that jealousy, or that comparison, it’s important to remember that you’re looking at what you perceive to be the truth.” –Amie Harwick, PhD, a marriage and family therapist for Refinery29

I’m around the age that people finish college and start getting serious jobs. With those degrees come high school and college sweethearts dropping down on one knee. I can’t tell you all how many of my old schoolmates have posted engagement photos (smile wide, hand flexed). Actually, I saw one this morning!

It can make you feel like marriage is a race, or a prize for being perfect. Just always know that romance is a part of the journey (for those who desire it), not the journey itself. But, jealousy, pressure, and for some, knowledge that “thots” are getting wifed up, makes it all so difficult.

“SHE A THOT THAT YOU CLAIM”

Over the summer, Beyoncé and Jay Z released their joint album, ‘EVERYTHING IS LOVE’. The project’s first single, “APESHIT”, was discussed in the weeks after its unveiling, due to its bountifully Black video and lyrics about wealth, justice for Black people, and romance. One of the standout lyrics was “she a thot that you claim”. Although the line was written by Migos, hearing that come out of Beyoncé’s mouth was affirming to some.

Wifing or “claiming thots” refers to entering a longterm relationship, or even marrying a woman with multiple sexual encounters under her belt. This is something that cis men and cis women look down on women for. The reasoning has to do with longstanding societal standards, ideas regarding sex work, and the tethering of a woman’s value to the amount of sex she has (or hasn’t) had. Engaging in anything other than casual sex with this type of woman is seen as a serious faux pas. But obviously, cis men do not endure any scrutiny for doing the same thing.

There are plenty of women who have either gotten married or gotten with a partner after being deemed a “thot”. Draya Michelle, Blac Chyna, and Erica Mena are a few of these women and they all keep themselves busy with relationships and business ventures. This baffles people because they see women who “hoe” as less than. But, you really shouldn’t put women down with such a harmful noun. It’s unnecessary. The use of the word “thot” has less to do with the person and more to do with you. As long as a person is engaging in consensual sex and paying attention to their health, you need not concern yourself. Honestly, you shouldn’t worry about what the next woman is doing with her body, period. All you can do is be who you are and make sure you’re happy with yourself.

Self-proclaimed “good girls” think they’re better than other women because they are financially independent, have no children and have a minimal amount of sexual partners, etc. That’s not true though. Any and everyone can find themselves in a serious relationship, no matter their past. It may be hard sometimes, but please just focus on what you’re doing. If you want your love life to form, just trust the process. Romance will come!

THE PRESSURE TO MARRY+ THE FEELING THAT YOU’RE INCOMPLETE WITHOUT A RING

My family didn’t constantly suggest that I get married or have children before I hit 35. But, seeds were planted and I still felt pressure to do both. If you grew up in Black church, talk of becoming a mother and a wife are inescapable, and the Bible holds married moms in high esteem. The pressure was also based on the above feelings that came from seeing my peers get hitched straight out of college. So all of that, plus the idea that women are simply waiting to be completed through marriage puts an under-discussed wight on me.

But even with this pressure, American young people as a whole aren’t allowing themselves to prioritize marriage over every other aspect of their lives. Psychology Today says that millennials aren’t rushing to the altar like their parents and grandparents.

“Marriage is for folks who are truly ready.”

“Marriage rates among this age group is down dramatically from just 35 years ago.”, writer Susan Pease Gadoua said. “They will not be pressured or shamed into getting married unless and until they choose to. Instead of “settling down,” the younger generation is choosing to focus on education and career first and then maybe head toward having committed relationships.” So take any guilt you may feel with a grain of salt – not all of your friends are getting married, even if it seems that way. Feel free to take time for yourself and learn and accomplish all that you desire before tying the knot.

Marriage is for folks who are truly ready. They showcase a withstanding relationship that has been unweathered by the storms life can bring. I don’t like the way that communities make women think that they’ve done something wrong because they’re single. There is financial, mental, and emotional fulfillment that can be achieved while you wait, if that’s the direction you choose.

WHAT DO DIAMOND RINGS SYMBOLIZE?

Getting a diamond ring motivates a portion of people. Even with the gemstone’s complex and violent history, the stone continues to be sought after for what it means. It quietly tells everyone your status. It can keep a less-bold cat caller at bay. A diamond ring shows that you have either arrived at the starting line of a lifelong commitment with your partner (engagement), or that you’ve experienced the high and lows relationships go through and stood tall. Either way, there are people who want (and get) diamond rings partially because of the ideas they are associated with.

Todd Gray for Nice Ice wrote, “When you..propose.., you create more than just a memorable moment; in all likelihood you invoke feelings of certainty in her subconscious brain. You have chosen her above all others, made a promise.., to be “the one” that she has dreamed of..Suffice to say that most women place a significant amount of importance on the implied promise of fidelity that accompanies a diamond engagement ring, and that it might be the ring on her finger that keeps her focused on the relationship when the relationship is challenged.”.

View this post on Instagram

S M A R T

A post shared by Zoë Kravitz (@zoeisabellakravitz) on

In October of 2018, actress/model Zoe Kravitz revealed that she is engaged.

Diamond rings are warmth. They can be the physical embodiment of a lifelong promise. Rings are reminders. They are accepted. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Gunderson’s Designer Fashion and Jewelry, they are of the most common type of engagement ring. Though millennials are on different pages regarding marriage, it is still agreed that rings are important and will hold a special significance for as long as possible.

At its best, marriage is the joining of two great people who love each another. It has the potential to be beautiful and can last a lifetime. I personally am excited about marrying my partner because I’m truly in love. But, I had to be patient. I didn’t quite get it on the first try, but that didn’t mean I was defective or that it wasn’t for me. Jealousy, worrying about others, and contorting because of pressure weren’t helpful to me. They were just ways for me to express deep inner longing and hurt my own feelings. I had to experience life, be single, and chase my dreams before I was ready to change my life in such a huge way. If marriage is what you seek, be cool. What’s meant for you will always find you!