Category: Black Relationships

I Want The Perfect Man, But Would He Want Me?

As I think about the type of man that I want to be with and the qualities I would like for him to have, I wonder whether or not I have the qualities that he would want. I do believe that just about every woman has some wifely qualities in her but are they the right ones? I would love to not have a “perfect man” but I man who is “perfect for me”, even though I’m not perfect.

I want a man who is –

Good with money: As the potential head of my household I want a man who is responsible with his own finances. I want a man who knows how to make money and protect the income that we have together. I want a man who not just saves money but is also financially savvy even though I’ve had my share of money problems.

Able to fix stuff: A man who knows how to fix things is sexy. Fix the toilet, change my flat tire, own a toolbox, anything – I like it! I believe that a man should know how to repair things but as a woman I’m not so good at housekeeping. I don’t like to clean & only do it out of necessity. I know a woman should be domesticated but cleaning isn’t really my forte.

Interesting: I am strongly attracted to a man that I find interesting & intellectually stimulating. And even though I’m pretty good at holding up my end of the conversation, when it comes right down to it I’m not always very exciting.

Attractive: I like men who are polished and well put together. Now, I don’t want him spending more time in the mirror than I do, but I think it is important to look as good as you feel.  I like a dapper looking dude even though I’m not always looking my best every time I leave the house.

A good listener: What woman doesn’t like a man who listens? Yes, I know we women talk a lot but it’s great to be with someone who is an active listener. But as much as I talk, I don’t always like to pay attention. I get bored when the conversation isn’t interesting enough.

Romantic: What woman doesn’t like a little romance? I expect a little romance every now & again, but I’m not very romantic myself. Why you ask? I’ve always thought romance should primarily fall on the man so that’s never really something I’ve put too much effort into.

Sane: There are a lot of weirdo’s out there so it’s not easy to find & connect with somebody who is not crazy! I am moody but I chalk that up to being a woman. J

Even tempered: I don’t want a man with a bad temper or someone that I have to argue with all the time.  I have my own attitude but I chalk that up to being a Black woman. J

A Gentleman: I like a man that opens my door (actually, that’s a requirement) & gives me compliments, even though I’m not always lady-like. For example, I talk about my menstrual cycle sometimes and have been known to put my feet up on the dashboard when I’m sitting on the passenger side.

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Shouldn’t My Future Mother-In-Law Kiss Up To Me?

Sometimes I think about what my mother-in-law will be like. Will she & I get along? Will I like her? Will I call her “mom” or by another name? (Hopefully not something that rhymes with witch) Will she teach me the family recipes or back me up when she knows that her son & I have been arguing? Will she be proud to call me her daughter-in-law? Will she & I hang out together and talk often? Or will I despise her and complain to my girlfriends about her? Maybe I’ll dread the holidays when & if I come to visit. Maybe she and I will be complete opposites or worse yet, she’ll think I’m not good enough for her precious son. Whatever the case may be I know that once I get married, I’ll have to deal with (or put up with) not only his entire family but also his mother.

Of course, if my mother-in-law (MIL for short) & I don’t get along I would think that it would greatly affect my relationship with my husband, especially if he’s close to his mother. I wouldn’t want him to be stuck in the middle but that just may end up being the case. Who should a husband side with – his mother or his wife? I say his wife, because according to the Bible, “…shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” (Gen 2:24) Plus we all know the saying: Happy wife = Happy life. Not to mention as his wife I am the one that is committing to him for the remainder of my life, sticking by his side through sickness, times of poverty, bearing & raising his children and will be there for him when he puts his mother in the grave. Yes, that’s morbid I know but that’s all a part of being a wife. So with that said, if I happen to have a MIL that I don’t get along with wouldn’t it be in her best interest to make a special effort to get along with me?

Just think about – if I knew that someone had the power of possibly putting me in a senior home once I got older or letting me move in with them instead, I would try my best to be on that person’s good side. If I knew that someone else was largely responsible for my child’s happiness and my grandchildren’s wellbeing, I would do everything in my power to build a good relationship with that person, especially being as the elder. Sure, there needs to be mutual respect between me & my MIL, and deference on my end since this is the woman that created the man I love & have pledged my life to be with. But don’t think that just because I tolerate you that I like you because those are two totally different feelings.

Until I get married or have children of my own that one day get married, I won’t know what it’s like to have a mother-in-law or to be one. Hopefully I’ll have a good relationship with my own mother-in-law but if not, I may have to prepare to not have a relationship with her at all.

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ISO: Head of Household

My parents have been married for over 30 years. Correction: My biological parents have been married for over 30 years. Although their marriage hasn’t been perfect and I’m sure there were times when one or both of them wanted to call it quits, they were committed to their marriage. They were committed to their commitment. And that’s exactly what I want in my mate.

Unfortunately, coming from a two-parent home seems to be a rarity these days (especially within the African American community and there are various reasons for that, all of which will have to go into another posting). Because of this it seems that a lot of men are not equipped for marriage, let alone to be a good husband or father. Now of course, there are some exceptions to this rule (President Barack Obama, for instance) but for the most part in order to be a good leader, you need a good example of leadership.

Sure, it’s nice to have a strong male example around like a grandfather or an uncle. But an example is not the same as the real thing. That’s like saying a substitute teacher is just as good as a regular teacher. While both might be good at teaching, it is always best for the students to have their full time teacher in the classroom.

Now don’t think I’m saying that having a bad father in the home is better than no father at all. But the argument for having a bad father in the home is that you can at least see what not to do. In other words, you are able to see how to overcome adversity when the strife is right in front of you. People always say that it’s not healthy for children to see their parents argue. But if you’ve never seen your mother & father argue and then make up, how can you possibly know how to handle arguments as the head of your own household? Yes, you don’t have to see an argument to know how to handle one, but it’s always better to learn by example rather than by trial & error.

Men like to think that they have so much to lose when they get married. But as a woman I have to give up a lot as well, particularly letting a man take over my household. I want a man who knows what he is doing. And if a man has never seen an example of how to lead how can I trust that he will know how to lead our household?

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When Is It Time To Give Up On Love?

I know that you can fall in love at any time during your life, but what if that time never comes?

Can you really go your entire life without meeting “the one?” Some would argue that everyone gets at least one chance at love but may miss out for one reason or another (for instance, the timing just wasn’t right, etc.). Is it possible that we can have true love right in front of us and not realize? Or perhaps we just rationalize that it was never really love to begin with.

I’m not sold on the idea that you need to be in love to have a successful marriage (that’ll be another post, for another day). But I am starting to wonder whether or not it’s worth holding out for love to get married. I think that marriage is more about compatibility than anything else. So if I meet someone that I’m completely compatible with but don’t love why wouldn’t I consider marrying that person? I can’t tell the future (of course), but I’m willing to bet that it’ll be a lot easier to find someone that I’m compatible with versus someone that I truly love.

So with that line of thinking, I sometimes wonder if it’s best to just give up on finding love. Plus, everyone wasn’t meant to be married. There are more women on this earth than men and from what I hear it gets harder to meet someone the older you get. With all of these things working against women, maybe it is a waste of time to think that we’ll find true love.

Now, I’m not saying I’m ready to crawl into a cave just yet but in the back of my mind I wonder if I’m wasting my time hoping for something that will never come…..

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Single Black Woman: Not Desperate But Definitely Picky

This past weekend I attended a party where I saw a lot of my old classmates from grade school. It was a good catching up with them since I hadn’t seen most of them since Kindergarten, which for me was over two decades ago. And even though we were all the same age most of my old classmates were married or had children or both, which led them to ask me why I was still unmarried with no children. I gave them the response that I always give: “I just haven’t found Mr. Right yet.” One of my more outspoken classmates (who is married with 2 kids of his own) looked me up & down and quickly told me that my problem was probably that I was “too picky for my own good”. But how can anyone be too picky when it comes to marriage?

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?

The conversation with my classmate got me to thinking – am I too picky? Maybe I just don’t recognize it. Could I be unwilling to see that the things I desire in a husband are not reasonable after all? Maybe I need to re-evaluate my needs & just stick with the things that are deal breakers. Should I reconsider what’s important to me & pursue a relationship with someone who is a good man even though they don’t have everything that I want or need in a relationship? Older women always advise me to focus on the important qualities in a man like good character, honesty, open communication, trust & whether or not he’ll be a good father to our children but I want to know when does attraction and chemistry come into play? When do romance and a sense of humor come into play? I know that those qualities aren’t what keep a marriage together but they do account for a lot in a relationship, especially during the rough times. If I have to deal with someone that I’m not attracted to (intellectually, spiritually or emotionally) then it makes dealing with that person a lot more difficult. Don’t get me wrong – integrity, trust and good character are all great things to have but if there’s no attraction then what good does it do?

THE LIST

Yes, I have requirements of certain characteristics that I am looking for in a mate. Unfortunately, I have yet to find all of these characteristics in one man but that’s the real reason for me being single. A lot of us women were told to have a list of qualities that we would like in a mate and to be very specific with this list. I wrote my list out and ended up with about 20 qualities that I’d like in a husband. Some people have told me that this list is too long but I contend that while not all of these qualities are mandatory, they are what I truly desire in a mate and are all important to me. Of course, it is still up to me to exercise good judgment with which qualities are most important to me.

You’re probably wondering what’s on my list. I won’t write out everything but some of the more important qualities include a Christian man who will be faithful, has a sense of humor, thoughtful and active in his community (or at least productive in society outside of work). I honestly don’t think that these things are too much to ask for. There are other qualities on my list such as physical features and the like, but those are mostly preferences (i.e. – complexion, height, build, etc). I was talking to an acquaintance one day (a recently married man in his 40’s) about my “list” and he told me that most of the things I’m looking for are realistic, but there were a few qualities that he deemed unrealistic. He reasoned that in this day in age, and with the age range of men I’m interested in (ages 35-45) it would be very difficult for me to find exactly what I want so I should remove certain qualities from my list. I didn’t want to get into it with him but I took what he said with a grain of salt (basically ignored him completely). The things that I want in a husband may seem unreasonable to someone else but to me they are not. Besides, how can someone else tell me what’s important to me?

A lot of my male friends tell me to get rid of my list, but the funny thing is that they all have their own list. Sure, it may not be written out like mine but it’s all in their head. Every man knows exactly what he wants in a woman and won’t settle until he gets what he’s looking for (which is part of the reason why men stay single for so long). No one ever complains that a man is being picky so why I should be concerned with that label?

IF I’M SO PICKY I MUST HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO OFFER

I always hear that men are allowed to be picky because they have more options. Since women are starting to make more money & become more accomplished than their male counterparts there are fewer successful men to choose from. Therefore women can’t afford to be as picky as men. Although there is some truth to that, I don’t believe that I need to have a shorter list just to get a husband. Everything that I want in a man I have to offer. I want a man who is a Christian, I am a Christian. I want a man with an education, I have a college degree. And the list goes on & on. I am not a millionaire; therefore I wouldn’t expect to be with a millionaire (although it would be nice, Lol!). My point is this: I would never ask for something that I don’t have to offer myself.

AM I MISSING OUT?

Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on my future husband because I’m holding on to a list that may or may not be realistic. I also wonder if my list should be shortened or maybe even retired.  Maybe I am too picky for my own good. But I am content to remain single until most of the items on my list can be checked off.

Besides, with so many divorces in this country people just don’t seem to be picky enough.

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Yes, I Am Using You (After All, Dating Is Practice For Marriage)

Isn’t dating just “practice” for the real thing – marriage? According to Wikipedia, dating is defined as a form of courtship consisting of social activities between two people with the aim of each assessing the others suitability as a partner & is usually a pre-cursor to marriage. Dating is an opportunity to meet and get to know different types of people. The purpose of dating is to learn who & what it is you really like in a person. Dating should expand your view of what you find attractive in a potential mate. You can observe, notice and get to know different types of people and possibly discover things about yourself that you may have never known before. You can monitor your feelings & reactions, to different personalities and character traits as you meet different people.

Dating lets you practice how to relate to people of the opposite sex. If you need to learn how to open up and talk about yourself, your feelings, and your wants, practice it in dating. If you need to learn how to confront others and deal with conflict, practice it in dating. Or maybe you need to learn how to listen to others, and be less self-centered. Dating is a place where you can improve upon your own faults as well.

I see dating as a wonderful time to find out about myself. To find out how I need to change myself to attract the mate I am looking for. Dating is give and take. Dating is a time to show others what being treated well looks like. I use dating as an opportunity to love and serve others so that when it is time for me to get married, I will be well equipped to love & serve my husband.

Dating is a place to find a mate by experiencing, learning, and growing. But until that time comes, you can learn about what it is you like and don’t like, and best of all have fun.

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Should I Respect An Engagement?: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

I have a serious crush on somebody who doesn’t know I exist. Although he’s not engaged, I think he is dating someone that he may be seriously interested in. If that relationship leads to an  engagement, I wonder if I’d have the guts to intervene & let him know how much I like him. I mean, after all, it isn’t over until the wedding, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t encourage women to break up relationships to satisfy their own selfish desires but I do believe that if you have an earnest interest in a man and honestly believes that there is a substantial reason for a relationship with him to prosper, then I think that you should go for it! I mean, you never know what can happen, especially if that turns out to be the right person for you (and for him!).

I wonder how many women have the guts to stand up to a man in a committed relationship that they don’t think is frutiful. Why am I so afraid to go beyond traditional boundaries to fight for a man that I know (or at least think) would have a better shot with me?  Again, I’m not saying anyone should break up a happy home. Once a man is married he’s definitely out of bounds & off limits, but until then I think if a woman has a real chance with a man she should at least put her feelings out there. I fantasize about running into my secret crush & the things I would say to him. Even though he may or may not have a girlfriend, I believe that I should step up should the opportunity presents itself.

After all, wouldn’t you want someone to intervene in your relationship if it was in your best interest?