What I Learned About Love from Eartha Kitt
Must we compromise for love?
Every so often, I come across self help gems online and it’s always such a treat. I’m always looking for the next inspirational piece that’s going to resonate with me, remain with me, and kick me in the pants to make meaningful changes in my life, especially my love life. And I feel that in the case of dating and relationship advice, a message that is simple and impactful will always go further than the endless speculative bullet pointed articles that try to explain some variation of why does he act this way?
So, imagine my delight when I found this video of Eartha Kitt stating some wisdom I had never heard, but will likely stay with me forever:
Eartha: “A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned, not to compromise for. And I love relationships, I think they’re fantastically wonderful, I think they’re great. I think there’s nothing in the world more beautiful than falling in love. But falling in love for the right reasons. Falling in love for the right purpose. Falling in love. Falling in love. When you fall in love, what is there to compromise about?”
Interviewer: “Isn’t love a union between two people? Or does Eartha fall in love with herself?”
Eartha: “I think, if you want to think about it in terms of analyzing, yes. I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me, with me.”
The first time I heard this, I sat in silence for a few minutes fully soaking it in. In a culture that glorifies struggle love and ride or dies, could this have been the advice I was missing out on for so long? Wasn’t love supposed to be grueling? Weren’t relationships more about how I felt about my partner, rather than how I felt about myself? The wisdom says no.
“I want someone to share me, with me.”
In that moment, I realized that up until that moment of my life, I had used relationships to distract me from myself and my crippling self-doubt. Relationships were my way of taking on a project that gave me a sense of importance. But the project I was taking on was building up the man in my life, rather than building up myself. I wondered to myself, how many years had this self-neglect gone on? How could I find someone who genuinely loved me for who I was, if I refused to become better acquainted with my own self?
So thank you Eartha, thank you for feeding my soul. You’ve given me a lot to chew on and set me on a journey of discovering the person who will be loved, partnered or unpartnered, from this point onward.