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Don’t force your partner to be an educator for the basic stuff (google shit), but you can ask them about the complicated parts. Decolonial love steps out of western heterosexuality, homosexuality, and queerness to form unique bonds between two people, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Decolonial love requires you to know the history of your lover, including their ancestors. Decolonial love also affirms our partner’s gender and spirit.

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Love is constructed by whiteness and colonial narratives to be many things, but decolonial love is not a Katie Perry song. If you regularly get into bad situations where your boundaries are being crossed or you are crossing your lover’s boundaries, step way the hell back. I often think because a relationship is not physically abusive, it’s alright for me to be really unhappy in them. I spent a year trapped in a back and forth relationship with a guy who said some terrible transphobic things to me while engaging in extreme emotional intimacy.

Love does not fix you, heal your past, resolve your insecurities, or lead you to violate your boundaries. If you are the kind of girl who checks your lovers/exes social media pages on a daily basis (I’m raising my hand), realize that this is not a function of love, but of trauma. He could be very loving and protective of me, but he did not see me as a “real woman”.

If you have ghosted, “taken space”, or whatever language you’ve used about your emotional withdrawal from intimacy, check yourself.

Being inside a decolonial love means being present. You don’t have to agree with them but you have to listen to them.

If you are dating a trans girl like me, you should probably google that shit first. It embraces our bodies as they are, whether this is brown or white, larger or smaller, and cis or trans.

One of the things I really loved about a recent partner was that he didn’t ask me any questions about being trans. Decolonial love is simply love as we are, broken and figuring it out together.

I’ve had to learn to check in with myself during sex (horrible but needed) but to also ask my partners to check in with me during sex (hand squeezing is a good trick). Walk together without needing to lock them to your body. Don’t try to find a lover who heals you but work to build a love that heals everyone. At its heart, decolonial love is actively creating a space for our histories as Indigenous/racialized survivors of colonization (we’re all survivors, babe) to be acknowledged within our relationships.

If you are dating an Indigenous/racialized person, you need to know the history. Decolonial love is an accountable love that reciprocates our beauty and wholeness as Indigenous/racialized peoples.

The more feminine I look, the more desirable I am to the male gaze and thus worthy of love.

If I’m not in full makeup, I hate on myself hardcore. Recently, however, I had face surgery and couldn’t wear makeup.

As much as the “love yourself first” is bullshit which ignores the lived violence of many Indigenous/racialized folks, there is some truth is understanding that love is not hard. No matter how much work you do, you can’t build decolonial love with a partner who is racist, transphobic, sexist, ablest, homophobic, etc.

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