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I have some things I want to say. 

Amidst the manic and mayhem that has plagued these United States, there has also been an air of discomfort over the personal lives of many people. What should we call it? An entanglement?

Now as hilarious as Jada made that word, it seems many of us came face-to-face with our pointless, aimless, non-purpose serving relationships. Be that with family members, old friends, FWB or bad habits — they had to go.

So, as America broke up with Trump (and Melania will probably follow), there’s a theme and we have to stick to it. This year has been a pinnacle for staring keenly and boldly into the face of toxicity, then removing it. This has been a year of new definitions from old cliches, making the words ring truer and truer. Don’t believe me? Try this on for size.

1. You’re entitled to how you feel, but it ain’t always about you.

Many of you either heard your grandma or mother while reading that, but that’s the truth. There’s nothing harsh about it. The human experience is based on a series of events designed to evolve us. Evolution requires pressure and conflict. People will not move on your time nor will they cater to your triggers. Not to say people don’t care about you, but there are bigger things and certain respects have to be earned. You have to 100% know where you stand in situations to avoid that heartache.

2. Everybody is not your friend.

The definition of friend is not interchangeable. This means the person you’ve chosen to extend yourself to platonically, who has done the same, will not switch up on you or put you in compromising positions. Your friend will not talk about you behind your back, gossip about you, leave you in your darkest moments, nor defame your character.

Your “lil’ friend” that you’ve been having raw sex with for a nice lil’ minute — who lies to you and disrespects you? Definitely not your friend. Shawty that you’ve known for years, but has no regard for how she speaks to people? Also not a friend. Anybody that doesn’t add legitimate value, be it reliance, support or genuine laughter after a rough day, isn’t someone you should heavily consider a friend.

3. Love don’t pay the bills.

This is my personal favorite.

Until you are faced with some legitimate responsibilities or you’ve met someone who is willing to work and grow with you, don’t settle for love. It is a loaded word and in its purity requires a lot of work. If you have no foundation, haven’t faced your childhood traumas or are overall problematic, avoid dating exclusively and seriously.

The first question you’re met with as an adult pursuing relationships is, “What do you bring to the table?” Not always out loud, but both parties are definitely on the lookout. No matter how great of a person you may be, your heart won’t feed the nation your person is trying to build.

While it’s half the battle, ambition, innovation and work ethic go a long way. Love makes a home, but doesn’t bring the bag — and you can’t lock in with someone else when you’re not locked in yourself.

Lastly, love yourself or nobody will.

Self-love, accountability and mental health awareness are all on the rise. Please make sure your vision is in tune with the stars, player, and be safe.