Monthly Archives: May 2010

Why Can’t I Get Married, Too?

Yep, I’m back…again. This time by request.

I took a leave of absence because I was told by a few folks that my opinions and comments on certain topics swayed their thoughts of me. Honestly, I laughed at first at one individual in particular but then shortly thereafter became curious as to why and to what extent her thoughts had changed. Well, the answers I received made me laugh even more: “I never knew you were so shallow and judgmental. It made me think twice about opening up and being honest with you.” The contradiction in this statement baffled me. I wanted to point it out but I realized that I was speaking to a foolish person.

So, here lies the reason I’m back, posting my thoughts away for the world (27 or so people) to read and then – undoubtedly – pass judgment upon me for being honest. “B, why can’t I find a good man? Someone who will just act right and make me his wife? I mean, am I asking too much?”

Those words spilled from her mouth with such sincerity I proceeded to talk to this female friend of mine for about 45 minutes about our views on the topic. We both went on and on about why we thought dating and marriage between African-Americans suffer so much, why biological clocks with women and the emergence of financial success in men cause a disconnect between the two, even why interracial dating is more prominent now than ever witnessed before. She supported almost every bullet point with an ABC News special on this exact topic. I hadn’t seen the special at that time but I’ve heard the story a million times over. Successful Black woman has worked hard to furnish herself with this, that and the third but still can’t find the man of her dreams. What’s wrong with the Black Community? The conversation between the two of us started out a healthy one, but then I became bothered by some of the things I heard her say about Black men in general and why “we” can’t and won’t commit to “them”. “Well, since you’re such the relationship expert nowadays B, why don’t you spread the wealth of knowledge?” She meant this sarcastically but nevertheless, here ya go!

First of all, women – not just African-Americans – need to stop with the demands and the excuses you call reasons for having them. I have this, I have that. He should this, he should that. No one owes you jack. Putting labels and setting bars on men because of your accomplishments is just as shallow as him saying he won’t settle down because he wants to take advantage of his options. I have several female friends who I consider marriage material – women who’d make great wives and wonderful mothers – that are single, bouncing in and out of relationships to taking a break from dating to being smitten by the guy who calls and asks how her day was. There’s no problem with Black men. This isn’t an issue of Black men being incarcerated, you never considered them your “type” anyway. The graduation rate of Black men has absolutely nothing to do with it either. Ladies, it’s you!

Secondly, start treating the relationships you do have with more respect. No man enjoys dating someone that doesn’t show him that he’s appreciated and wanted. If ladies want to be treated like Princesses and Queens, I’d suggest you learn how to treat us men like Princes and Kings. If you don’t then you’re “hustling backwards”. It’s like having a “Filet Mignon appetite with a dollar menu bank account” or “expecting Crystal with a Boones Farm mind-state”. No one opens a bank account with $10 and then expects to withdraw $100 from the ATM afterwards. The same goes for a relationship. While you’re looking at him to do all the work in the relationship – expecting him to sweep you off your feet – he’s wondering when and why you don’t feel it’s necessary to do the same for him.

Lastly, learn how to let a man be a man. We’ve all seen it before: A woman arguing with a man who doesn’t want to argue with her. He tries to walk away from the situation but she just keeps forcing the issue. I sometimes try to predict how much time goes past before he leaves her, or worse, smacks her across her face. (I don’t condone hitting women – especially in situations like this – but you got to admit, sometimes you understand when it does happen.)

My grandfather has a 6th grade education but runs the family farm, has 15 children, 22 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and loved my grandmother ’til her last living day so education and wealth have nothing to do with a Black man’s ability to be a loving father and committed husband. If every Black man looked at his accomplishments and demanded that a woman meet those standards, he’d be labeled “unreasonable” or “selfish”. It’s similar to a prenuptial agreement, the same agreement most women who make less than their counterpart deems disrespectful when asked to sign. So stop patting yourself on the back and making senseless demands on the men you date and start putting emphasis on the important things that really matter. Would a Black man with a degree, 6 figure salary and a respectful financial portfolio that hates children, dogs and your friends be a sufficient candidate for marriage? If so, consider yourself a shallow, gold digging…you-know-what. Now take away the accomplishments and replace them with modest achievements but add the fact that he loves you, cherishes your children and treats your friends like his own…is he looking a little more promising now?

My advice to these unfortunate, beautiful, successful Black women of prominence who have been mistreated by society, are under-appreciated by men because of all of their accolades and can’t find a Black man to marry them would be to get a grip on life and stop looking to men to grant you a life you don’t know how to give yourself. Your relationships as boyfriend and girlfriend should serve as practice before marriage. So, learn from them. If you keep hearing you’re an insensitive bitch, well, who the hell wants to marry that? Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others, especially chicks on television shows like “Desperate Housewives of…”, “Basketball Wives” and anything Beyonce sings.

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