Attention Black Women: You Should Stop Trying to 'Get Chose'

Happy African American couple talking to each other at home. They are full of love toward each other.

Attention Black Women: You Should Stop Trying to 'Get Chose'

It’s time for some new relationship language.

Published January 19, 2017

“These chicks are trying to get chose.”

I was surprised and confused to hear these words come out of my friend's mouth on a Saturday night at a party. My married homeboy surveyed the abundance of cleavage and thighs on display in the D.C. bar and said, “These chicks are trying to get chose.”

While I’m sure people had probably been saying it for a while, it was my first time hearing that phrase, “get chose.” My reaction was immediate, visceral. My feminism didn’t dig the idea that he assumed these women were doing anything other than looking cute and having a good time, and furthermore, doing so in hopes of a potential male partner deciding she was worthy of his love (or at least his attention).

I soon began to hear it everywhere. And not just from men. In fact, after that first time, I’ve heard it almost exclusively from women. From hashtags on photos of brides-to-be to maid of honor toasts, variants of “I got chose!” has become the new “I’s married now!”

And each time I hear or read it, I cringe. But it’s not just feminism that makes me feel woogy. It’s personal experience. In my long, long dating career, I have more than once looked up and found myself spending time with a man who I thought was decent and cute. Each time, dude would try to lock me in (’cause I’m awesome). And because I wasn’t doing anything better, I’d say, “Sure, why not?” Not only did there never seem to be any real reason to say no, but I’d feel slightly guilty about the concept that I’d turn down a nice guy. Wasn’t he what I was supposed to want? But, inevitably, I’d look up, six months, a year, five years later and realize that I had built some semblance of a life with a man whom I didn’t actually envision living my life with. Simply because he chose me and I said, “OK.”

I understand that’s how lessons are learned in your 20s. You fall for the wrong folks to figure out what it feels like when you’re with the right one. But when I hear 30-something women talking about being chose — particularly with regard to marriage — it worries me. After being both married and divorced, one of the most important things I have come to know about relationships is that choosing cannot be one sided. It’s not enough that he wants you. You must want him. You must crave him. You must be called to him. That’s what will help get you through the trying times. A real relationship, whether than means marriage or otherwise building a life together long term, only works when you choose each other. Every. Single. Day.

Anything less, my dears, is settling for something less than what you deserve. That doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “getting chose,” huh? I want to see #WeChooseEachOther trending, to know that my close friends and random chicks on the internet alike are with partners who they really want, not need. That they didn’t settle out of loneliness. Or boredom. Or fear. Or lust. That women not only recognize their own power, but are also making the most out of it. Here’s to you choosing as well.

Written by Kenrya Rankin

(Photo: BraunS/Getty Images)

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