Expect more from relationships

Hello, Rattlers. I pray this column finds you in good spirits. It’s been a long time since I’ve graced these pages. I’m glad to be back.

Not too long ago, I read a Sex on the Hill column that advocated keeping relationships undefined and not expecting too much from them. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought living in la-la land was a good thing.

Allow me to break it down.

There is a young woman I know of through a friend. She is a very intelligent sister, works hard and is extremely caring.

Unfortunately, my sister woman is currently involved in an abusive relationship. The idiot she’s with doesn’t physically abuse her, but somehow I think that would be less painful than what she’s going through. For the umpteenth time, this sister has caught a sexually transmitted disease from this guy. She said she would leave him, but for the umpteenth time she has stayed.

I’m not that close to this sister, but I can’t begin to explain to you how much this hurts my heart.

My sister woman does not love herself. As a result, she does not expect too much out of relationships. She is with someone who constantly manipulates her and lies to her. He makes her feel responsible and guilty for being the recipient of his diseases. He tells her not to question him because she’s the one carrying around the STDs.

She can’t even ask him to use protection. He’s made it very clear that he doesn’t like condoms. Apparently the feeling is not as good for him. Despite the urging of her friends, she does not bring up the subject with him and allows him to ravage her body. I know condoms are not 100 percent effective, but they help.

I remember her saying she wanted to abstain from sex after the second or third STD, but he loves sex too much, so she couldn’t. This guy may not be knocking her out with blows, but he’s destroying her body and her future.

Worse, she is allowing him to do so.

She thinks he loves her because no matter how many times he has sex with someone else he sticks around. It saddens me that this is anybody’s idea of love.

Ladies, please love yourselves. Understand the way men treat you is a direct reflection of your expectations or lack thereof. You should not be giving any man the best you’ve got while getting nothing in return.

Sex is sex, not love. Demand respect from your partners. Protect your health. Love yourself enough to not gamble with your body. A man who loves you is concerned with your well-being. He would not do anything to harm you.

Sisters, love is joy. It is happiness. Love does not hurt physically or emotionally.

If you’re involved in an abusive relationship, seek help. There is no shame in that. Surround yourself with people who care about you. You are worth all the love in the world.

Accept nothing less.

Augustine Rho, 22, is a senior broadcast journalism student from Fort Lauderdale. She can be reached at rhoblaze@aol.com.