music relationships

an open letter to bruno mars on healthy relationships

Dear Bruno, 

We don’t really know each other very well; you came on the scene singing “Girl, you’re amazing just the way you are,” and I pretty much wrote you off for telling me what I already know, but your latest album is much more my tune. It’s passionate and rockin’–two things you do really well. Locked Out of Heaven, easily your biggest hit off the album, is a great song. That is, until I really listened to your lyrics.
Unfortunately, you’re sending a message that’s totally off-key, and ultimately misguided. You sing “you’re sex takes me to paradise,” and I’m all, what a compliment, Bruno! But then you sing, “You make me feel like I’ve been locked out of heaven for too long.” Are you saying that exercising my right to consent is somehow stifling you? Are you questioning my boundaries? While your feelings of wanting something and not having it readily available must be frustrating, there’s absolutely a healthier way to express yourself. Ways that don’t make me feel guilty for saying no, which is called sexual coercion.

For instance, you could use an I-Statement to help me better understand where you’re coming from without making me responsible for your feelings. Something like “I felt rejected when you said you weren’t in the mood because I felt unattractive to you,” allows us both to talk about our feelings and intentions without stepping on each other’s toes.

Instead of having to defend my boundaries, I can address the way you feel and we can come to a healthy, happy, and respectful conclusion. Open communication takes me to paradise, Bruno. You should try singing about that on your next album to really hear the ladies swoon!

xo Nicole

This letter is a part of a series in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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