I had no idea this was a term until this year. Starter bae, girlfriend or boyfriend is a term used for people who serve as the “come up person” to their mate but not long after their mate has reached a certain level in maturity, life experience, career or other life goal, the relationship doesn’t go past where they are and there’s a breakup.
That person goes to on to marry the next person they date and—many times without fail—it’s within a short amount of time compared to what the starter bae went through.
To most this looks so unfair. To others it’s a case of things not working out. But when feelings are involved and time and resources have been spent, you can’t help but look at what happened and the signs you may have overlooked.
These factors show the difference between being recognized as a spouse and as a starter partner: respect, intention, commitment, communication, a PLAN.
For my fellow singles that have been waiting a while for God’s will to unfold in our love lives, we can easily be tempted to settle for less or give way too much too soon. This is a thin line because honestly it’s tricky. You have to balance vulnerability with guarding your heart. You have godly wisdom and risks of faith. You have opportunities to help your significant other but to an extent on your discretion.
I’m all about helping people but there should be a boundary set so that they don’t take advantage of you and so you don’t feel slighted. Here’s an example of that. If your date, boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly hitting you up for money and they are not actively working, have an understanding why they aren’t.
Hard times come, people go to school, but…y’all ain’t married. You’re not financially obligated to support another person that you’re only dating or talking to. They should have their own or working towards it, because what were they doing before you came into the picture? I don’t want to say never help them, I’m saying as you are advised to guard your heart, be mindful of your resources, especially if this is a new relationship and you’re not 100% sure they are the person you are going to marry.
Another more valuable resource is time. If you don’t want to be someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend for 4 years, let it be known in the beginning. Some women for instance can get real resentful for having wasted X amount of years with a man, acting like they are his wife, who ended up marrying someone else. This concept was eloquently expressed recently by blogger Candice Benbow. That may be the case but the truth is you allowed the time to pass. You’re an active member in your relationship; you can move on or stay—it’s always a choice that belongs to you.
“Black Women: it needs to take more than ‘potential’ to play wifey. We have to place more value on our bodies and our time.” –Chrissie
To prevent from being in the dating/courting stage longer than you want, be clear and honest about what you’re in this relationship for. That way you can both be on the same page and realistically assess your abilities to marry at a certain time. And with a faith perspective, always keep Jesus in the center of your relationship. He can truly give you clarity, peace and assurance on your relationship and where it’s headed.
So there is a thin line to being perceived as a spouse or a starter bae; don’t let emotions and assumptions blur the line for you. Be prayerful and date with purpose.
What are your thoughts? Please share below!
PS. I saw this really cute book at a store last night and would definitely gift it to future hubby. It’s written out for the most part, but you fill in the blanks with your own thoughts and feelings about the person the book is for because, you know, #TeamSpoilBae, lol.
Great gift idea for a birthday, anniversary, engagement, etc. Click Here to see more pages and order a copy.