My story starts at my high school best friends front door; a “should have been fleeing” moment that still resonates with me today. As I was entering the door, my friend’s dad greeted me as usual, and then said “Brent, don’t be captain save a hoe.” There was no explanation, no further comments, nothing. He just went right back into his room and watched 24. Needless to say, I was baffled. What would have made him say this? How did my friend describe my relationship to his dad- how did he describe me?
At the time I was 16. I was in my first “real” relationship. The kind you describe to people when talking about love in your college dorm room at 3 am. It was my first love, and I was heading to hell in a hand basket. But instead of a hand basket, I was headed to hell in a knock off Gucci purse. It was the kind of relationship where my allotted 300 text a month were used up in week. The kind where my whole weekends were dedicated to spending time with her, because curfews aren’t a real thing right? The kind where I was late to another best friend’s graduation, because I just had to see her. And I drove him there.
But, why? Why did I dedicate all this time to her? Surely I was receiving all the same attention back.
She got into a bad car accident and subsequently couldn’t finish school that year. Her senior year. I was supposed to be with her that night, but on the one night I choose friends over… well. So I spent the rest of our relationship trying to be there whenever I could. We were growing apart because I was trying to fix what I felt was my mistake. She wanted less to do with me because of what I had let happen to her. I felt guilt. She felt resentment. By the end of it, did either of us feel love?
There is much more to that story, but relationships since have taught me a few things. People must grow organically and you should try to love them the way they are, and the person that they will become.
When you fall in love with someone, you want to do everything for them. You want to share in their joy, you want shield their pain. You want to cook, clean, motivate, inspire, you want to be their everything. Your mind focuses solely on them. You want to help them find a job. You want to help them get into/finish school. You want to lend them some rent money because times get tough. You have poured so much into this relationship, but if it’s not reciprocated- you feel alone. You feel betrayed. So you try harder to make them love you like you love them, but does it work? You spiral. You’re just seeking the connection you’ve lost, but when you see them how do they feel? Not everyone expresses love in the same way. Are you lost in translation?
You’ve lost yourself. But, that’s because there is a fallacy in romance. You loved someone more than you loved yourself. Did they pour as much into you, as you did for them? Did you pour anything in for yourself? Are they growing with you, or are you building them up? Hell, are you being built up?
But what does it mean “Don’t be captain save a hoe?” It’s really not as harsh as it sounds. The basic message has already been deciphered for you in J Cole’s “No Role Modelz.” The chorus echoes “don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.” One meaning is don’t get involved with a person who is more interested in material gain, than the relationship as a whole. But in my case, we have to look at it as if I were in an unbalanced relationship. I’m a Libra, and my sign is a scale. If you keep dropping items on your side of the scale, and your partner isn’t adding enough, your relationship is unbalanced. That is true even if they are adding something, but it doesn’t feel equivalent to what you are adding. But, that’s a story for another time.
Don’t be captain save a hoe, because by the time you have figured out your relationship is unbalanced, you’re already going down with the ship.
Read more about Brent here.