Don't Thank Him For Not Cheating On You

Don't Thank Him For Not Cheating On You

Don't Applaud A Fish For Swimming

It is a sad fact in today’s world that cheating is a common occurrence. While I know that cheating can happen in any type of relationship, it is statistically more common for men to cheat on women. As a woman, the only perspective I can speak from is that of a woman in a relationship with a man. But, please know that I understand women are just as capable of cheating as men, and that the act does not only occur in heterosexual relationships.

However, the act of cheating itself is not the focus here. For a while now, I’ve been disturbed by most of the things I see on social media, especially posts in regard to the way men treat the women they are in relationships with. While I can appreciate a joke now and again and understand that social media should not be taken so seriously, I fear for the minds of young women in relationships.

One post that struck me, and consequently inspired (and titled) this article was in regards to a man’s loyalty. It was a tweet of a gif of Beyoncé dancing with the caption “when you go through his phone and see that he’s been loyal.” Thankfully, somebody had the sense to quote the tweet with the response of “don’t applaud a fish for swimming.” As if to say, don’t praise somebody for doing something that they simply should have been doing in the first place. Why should you thank him for not talking to other women? Why should he be praised for being loyal? Why should he be thanked for being a respectful human being? Why do we expect anything different?

What scares me, though, is that there are more posts applauding the fish for swimming than not. There are more posts, more girls that are praising boys/men for just simply acting in a respectful way in a relationship. There are far too many tweets gifs/memes, celebrating “when he calls you back when he said he would” or “when you’ve been dating for a few months and he hasn’t cheated,” as if to make it seem as though these acts are unheard of and that men need to be thanked for going above and beyond by doing them. What is even scarier is that there are young women who believe this. I am not sure where exactly this notion stems from; that there needs be praise and celebration for men when they act like respectful partners. I can assume though, that most of it comes from being mistreated for so long. This asks a whole other question in regards to what has happened to relationships, love and respect. However, I believe there is something that young women in these type of relationships or agreeing with these posts on social media need to hear.

Do not thank a man for not cheating on you. Do not thank him for not lying to you. Do not thank him for being nice to you. Do not thank him for being loyal. Do not thank him for acting how a partner is expected to act in a relationship. Do not thank him for treating you like a human being. Do not applaud a fish for swimming.

Collectively as women, we need to stop accepting this behavior from men. By praising them for simply treating us like humans, we make it seem as though it is a special occasion when they do so. Once this is established, it portrays the notion that it is therefore okay to treat us in the opposite way, as long as there are times when they are loyal, call us back, or are respectful. This is so wrong and fosters completely unhealthy relationships and standards between men and women.

By no means do I believe that all men treat women like this or feel as though they should be praised for their expressions of respect. However, I do believe that more young women need to understand that if they find themselves in a situation where they are indeed praising their boyfriend/husband for not cheating, they need to reevaluate the way that they see themselves and the way that they see their partner. We cannot keep making men feel as though they are doing us a favor by being loyal, respectful, loving partners. There is no need to thank a man for simply treating a woman like a human being. We do not need to applaud fish for swimming.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.


The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.


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