Throughout the history of modern dating and relationships, the power and significance of a ‘romantic grand gesture’ has been pounded into the heads of women in books, rom-coms, and basically every medium in which love stories are told. Guy meets girl, guy messes up, guy does over-the-top thing to win girl back, and girl decides to forgive. You know the drill.
But I’m tired of that narrative. It’s bullshit. Just because Offset carted 2,000 roses onstage this weekend during Cardi B’s performance doesn’t mean she should take him back. He cheated, remember? But even beyond his original transgression, I’m pissed about his public display—Cardi should be, too. And it looks like she is. As you can see in the video, Cardi looked genuinely taken aback—and mad—when Offset hopped on stage.
Here’s why she’s right to be angry. Offset’s attempt at a grand gesture is actually just plain manipulative. By surprising her onstage while she was trying to do her job, he not only disrespected her, but every person in the audience who paid to see her perform. Imagine if your ex walked into your office to urge you to take him/her back in front of all your coworkers? You’d probably be 1) humiliated and 2) really angry. It’d be an act designed to catch you off guard, sweep you off your feet, and make you question your original decision to dump his ass—all disguised as romance.
There seems to be a recurring theme of men brazenly interrupting the accomplishments of women. Remember when that guy went viral for proposing in the middle of his girlfriend’s first marathon? Twitter was not pleased. Or when that other guy got tons of internet hate for proposing on the day of his girlfriend’s graduation? Offset just added another chapter to the book of men who encroached on women’s space, who couldn’t wait just ONE second. What’s worse about Offset’s move, of course, is that he stole Cardi’s spotlight to demand forgiveness.
In case Offset’s recent social media hadn’t already you tipped you off, his actions this weekend pretty much confirm that he’s unwilling to accept his role in the downfall of his relationship with Cardi. A source told Us Weekly that Offset is ‘bothered’ she won’t take him back, as if he’s entitled to her forgiveness.
And that’s what peeves me the most. If you fuck up by, say, cheating on someone you’re married to, take some time to reflect on your own actions instead of humiliating the woman you love in front of a crowd. Sit down, shut up, and think about how you got here in the first place. Cardi takes her career seriously. No one, not even the father of her child, is allowed to demand she pause what she’s doing and give him another chance at that exact second.
Please remember you get to define the terms of your forgiveness, your love, and most importantly, your hard-earned stage time. Two thousand roses, be damned.
This post originally appeared on cosmopolitan.com
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