We have been conditioned to believe that if it’s too easy, it isn’t for us. Especially when it comes to love.

Although Frederick Douglass was correct in his assertion, “Without struggle there is no progress,” you cannot absolve yourself of the choice to leave if your relationship is no longer serving you.

We are taught to glamorize the struggle, even at the expense of our own joy. While many argue that the ups and downs is what makes love “true,” we, America—hell, the world for that matter—take our willingness not to give up to the next level.

We romanticize Love Jones, when in reality, Nina went out with Hollywood (Darius’ boy) while they were on break, and Darius’ stubbornness costed him Nina’s absence for an entire year.

We push the agenda displayed in Love & Basketball, when in fact, Quincy was a jerk who gave Monica a hard time. Not to mention, he left the woman he was slated to marry—remember Tyra Banks, anyone?—for Monica after making her think she had lost his heart forever. But I digress.

We must come to understand the difference between “giving up” and “letting go.” The latter has the capacity to bring you peace, while the former has no place in your vocabulary.

Sometimes the grass is actually greener on the other side and that ex who did you bogus should remain an ex. Sometimes your happy ending does lie in the new person you need to give a chance. Just sayin’.

We have been conditioned to glamorize BS. No other way to say it. But perhaps reminding you that you do not need to stay with someone who repeatedly takes you for granted or makes you his or her punching bag does not mean “giving up.”

Love doesn’t make you do crazy things. Hope and fear does (shrugs).

True love isn’t abuse. It isn’t constant tears. It isn’t begging someone to be with you or not trusting that he or she sees your magnificence. In addition to having a true love of self, it is simply understanding the difference between someone who is taking you for granted and someone who is having a rough day. It is knowing who you can see yourself experiencing all that life has to offer with versus someone who is meant to be temporary.

You deserve joy, even if it goes against what society has taught us, especially when it comes to love. And guess what? Leaving a mate isn’t starting over. It’s picking up where you left off in this journey of life with a fresh pair of eyes. Grant yourself the gift of vision.