Tag: Marriage

Top 5 Reasons Why A Woman Should Never Propose

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I don’t think a woman should ever propose to a man. EVER. Of course, it does happen but that doesn’t make it right. It is true that men do most of the proposing, mainly out of tradition, but also because it makes the most sense. Just think about it – men need more time to figure things out in the relationship department so when they are finally ready they can propose without any hesitation.

There are many logical reasons why a woman should never be the one to ask a man to marry her. Here are just a few –

Because. – No explanation necessary

Embarrassment – Can you imagine telling all of your family, friends and even co-workers about your big plans to propose to your boyfriend only to be rejected by him? How embarrassing that must be! Grant it, a man could be embarrassed by the rejection as well, but there is something a little less ‘ladylike’ about facing a rejection of that magnitude.

Cost of the ring – Times may be changing, but men do still make more money than women and probably always will. So why should a woman bear the cost of an engagement ring when it doesn’t make financial sense for her? Purchasing a ring, even a wedding band, is a rather large investment and a woman shouldn’t be forced to make that investment until the day of the wedding.

Rejection – Being rejected sucks! And I’m pretty sure men don’t like it any more than we do, but the difference is that they are used to it. Think about it – they get rejected more times than not whenever they ask a woman out, try to get a second date, or even when they attempt to get a woman’s phone number. For some men, that could mean rejection on a daily basis (or at least weekly). Do they like it? No, but it’s something that they are used to & seem to handle a little bit better than women.

If he didn’t ask, he wasn’t ready – This should be quite obvious, but people don’t usually do something until they get good & ready to do it. The difference, though, between men & women when it comes to relationships and marriage is that women are usually ready first. Our nature is to nurture so desiring companionship and wanting to settle down comes natural to us at an earlier stage in life. For men, on the other hand, the desire to “nest” (settle down) is not their first inclination. (There are some guys that want to marry earlier in life, but that’s definitely not the norm) And there is no point in engaging a man with the whole “marriage talk” until he’s ready. If you do it too soon he’ll either reject you or at the very least feel pressured to say yes, which he may end up regretting. Men were born to be the aggressors, so why not let them be what they were created to be? No woman should take away his ability to decide when he’s ready to settle down.

Ladies, what do you think? Would you ever propose to a man? Under what circumstances? Men, how would you feel if your woman proposed to you? Do you know of any woman who has? What’s their story? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below –

Men, Stop Waiting So Long To Get Married!

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On no day will I understand why black men wait so long to get married. The US Census Bureau shows, on average, every other race, both men and women, get married between 26 and 29. But you wait till you’re nearly 31.

And for-real tho, who they countin’? Most of the single black men I know aren’t close to walking down nobody’s aisle.

Two of my close friends, who I’ll call Mr. Eastgate and Mr. Astrodome, are in their mid 40’s, single, no kids, and never married. They both want to get married.  But they haven’t found the right one yet.

Let me tell you a secret: finding the right one has nothing to do with her. It has everything to do with you. There are four things that transpire in a man’s life for him to make the decision to get married.

  1. Belief in Marriage. You must have a value system that believes the institution of marriage is something that’s good. This valuing began in your childhood, most likely from your family.
  2. Expectations. Your beliefs develop a set of expectations of the kind of woman that’s a perfect wife for you.
  3. Past Relationship Experiences. Your past relationship experiences clarify your expectations of what you want and what you don’t want in a wife.
  4. Preparation. According to your refined expectations, you know the kind of husband you want to be. For me, I wanted to be like Heathcliff Huxtable. However, when you where younger, you probably weren’t ‘ready yet’ to take on those Huxtable-like roles and responsibilities. So you took time to work on yourself, get your finances right, and eventually get rid of past relationship baggage/demons.

Here’s where you went wrong. Your expectation of married-life is one-sided. Yes, you’re willing to compromise, but your expectations are all about what you will get from your wife, not what your wife needs to get from you. You also waited to settle down after you completed the preparation stage.

The problem is…

Your expectation of the perfect wife, the woman you’ve painstakingly spent the last # of years preparing for doesn’t exist. You believe there’s someone out there that already meets your expectations of the perfect wife you’ve prepared for. But it is impossible to predict or forecast what your future wife will need you to give her. Why? Because she also went through her own 4-step process to get ready for marriage. And she also has expectations for the perfect husband, which is now your unexpected list of things she needs you to give her. But you didn’t prepare for some of the intricacies on her list. So instead of meeting those expectations, you disqualified her from ‘perfect wife’ status and moved on to the next one…hoping she’ll meet your expectations.

When I got married, I thought I was prepared. In order for us to make it work, and be happy, I had to learn how to communicate in a more caring manner, drive slower, become more patient because she takes longer to get ready, come home sooner because she gets tired quicker, be more affectionate…I could go on. Through 17 years of trial and error and give and take, I have handcrafted the perfect wife for me, the likes of which I could never find on the open market.

Mr. Eastgate, Mr. Astrodome, and my fellow black men, the perfect wife for you is not found, she is forged in marriage. All the things you want and don’t want in your perfect wife, you have to cultivate in her as your wife through the hard work of learning new communication skills, coping skills, adapting skills, etc.

I know you’ve done a lot to prepare yourself for marriage. But don’t confuse what it takes to get married…to what it takes to stay married. As a potential husband, know…every time the level of your relationship increases (i.e., from dating to engagement to marriage), the level of work you have to put in increases to perform at even the lowest levels of proficiency. By the time you reach the marriage level, you don’t settle down, you ramp up!

So fellas, reset your expectations, accept the unknown variables a woman will bring to your life, and stop waiting to find the perfect wife before you get married. Create her in marriage.

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*Originally published on BlackAndMarriedWithKids.

Hot and Cold, Cold and Hot

As a single woman in her early 30’s (okay, mid-thirties) it’s probably expected that I think about getting married and having a family all the time. After all, it’s about that time, right?! The problem is that I don’t always think about it. But there are plenty of days, weeks even, when I don’t think about any of that at all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some days that I do wonder about my “Mr.Right” – 

   What’s his name?                                When will I meet him?                          Where does he live?
Is he wondering about me?
                                                       What’s he like?                                     Does he even exist?

I think about what life will be like after I meet the man of my dreams. Will things be as good as I imagine them to be (or not)? Will I be able to settle down and focus my attention on other aspects of my life once I have that ‘special someone’? Will meeting him be as exhilarating as it is thinking about meeting him? I really feel like a large part of the excitement is just the thought of meeting someone special!

But then there are other days where I really couldn’t care less. Instead of thinking about a future mate or the possibility of getting married my attention is on other things like my career, education & growing spiritually. Sure, things can get lonely sometimes but that’s when I truly value my singleness. When I’m working on other projects, or out & about doing things I know I don’t have the time or attention to focus on another person, let alone cultivate a relationship with them. Dating can be a distraction. And distractions are not something I always welcome.

So yes, there are some days when “Mr. Right” is on my mind, but there are other days when I want “Mr. Right” to be “Mr. Later”.

Do you ever imagine what it would be like to meet the person of your dreams?! Do you think it’s more fun to think about meeting someone special or will it be more fun to actually be with that person? Share your thoughts in the comments section below –

dating

Have You Heard of a ‘Blind Date’? Well, How About a ‘Blind Marriage’?: Marriage At First Sight

One of the TV shows I’m addicted to is “Marriage At First Sight”. It’s a reality show following the life of 3 newly married couples as they journey through their wedding day, honeymoon & the subsequent merging of their lives. But what makes this show so different is that the husbands & the wives have never met before. That’s right – the first time they met each other was on their wedding day, at the altar!

The reason I like this show is because it represents marriage at its core. Originally, marriage had nothing to do with love. And I believe that even to this day, marriage should be more about compatibility than love/lust. Unfortunately, many people marry today for the wrong reasons, including love, when that’s not what always holds a marriage together. That can come & go and the mere feeling of love can fade. But when you allow the professionals to be in charge of your love life & make emotional decisions on a more objective basis, things can actually work out better that way!

I normally don’t write about television shows but I thought this experiment was so unique I just had to share my thoughts on each of the couples:

Jaclyn & Ryan R. – Jaclyn wasn’t initially attracted to her new husband when they first met. She thought he was pretty goofy, and although he is a little more laid back than she is, they slowly got to know one another over their honeymoon period. They live pretty far apart from each other but once they got a home together and “real life” started to settle in, Jaclyn became more attracted to Ryan (it also helped that they finally consummated the relationship). Their biggest problem is that Ryan is a “momma’s boy” and is getting very homesick even though he’s only been married about a month. You see, Ryan previously lived with his mother & young niece and has never really lived away from them before. Now that he’s married (which is what he wanted by signing up for this show), he’s having second thoughts. I really can’t blame Jaclyn for being turned off by a man who is missing his mommy. Perhaps at age 29, Ryan was just too young to get married.

Jessica & Ryan D. – Jessica and Ryan probably have the most chemistry; they certainly wasted no time in consummating their union! They are, however, the youngest couple and don’t seem to be communicating all that well. Jessica doesn’t speak up for herself at all & Ryan has got a temper, a bad temper. Even during their arguments he has been totally disrespectful. Although the attraction is there, they seem to lack a solid foundation or even the desire to work together. Jessica also seems to cry over everything and seems really naïve to me. Ryan has some ‘outdated’ sense of what marriage is because he is always referencing the marriage of his deceased grandparent’s. He doesn’t seem to understand that what worked for two people raised in the 1920’s & 30’s won’t necessarily work in a marriage between two people raised in the 1980’s & 1990’s. I’m not so sure that this couple will end up staying together.

Davina & Sean – These 2 are the most mature couples on the show. Their relationship appears to be developing at a normal pace with minimal issues. Davina, however, pouts quite a bit and seems to only be concerned with her own feelings, and not her husband’s. Sean moved from New Jersey to Manhattan to be with her and has had issues adjusting. Instead of being there for him & understanding his apprehension, she nags him for not trying to adjust to New York faster. C’mon Davina!! Not to mention, they have yet to consummate their marriage, which I’m sure is adding to Sean’s stress. Sean is a good man (and a cute White boy too!) and I think if Davina doesn’t start appreciating him, he’ll leave her.

You may be wondering why marry someone you don’t know? Well, what makes this show so great is that each of the couples were ‘assigned’ to be married by professional counselors. There is relationship expert/Sociologist – Dr. Pepper Schwartz, clinical psychologist – Dr. Joseph Cilona, sexologist – Dr. Logan Levkoff and Chaplain Greg Epstein. These four experts paired six people together based on their likely compatibility. They were all interviewed, went through a thorough background check and even survived home visits from the experts. Although thousands of people auditioned for this show there were only 3 men & 3 women that stood out as most compatible. Religious beliefs, finances and family backgrounds were all taken into consideration. After weeks of interviewing, the individuals were brought to the altar for legally binding holy matrimony, where they met for the very first time. They have 6 weeks to figure out whether or not they want to stay together forever or get a divorce. It’s a very interesting “experiment” to say the least.

Do you watch this show? What do you think of the concept? Would you allow someone to set you up for a “blind marriage”? Please share in the comments section below –

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Six Dating Habits To Leave Behind In 2014

Do you find yourself looking back at a string of failed dates and short-lived relationships during 2014? Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your dating behavior. Oftentimes, clinging to bad habits is what holds us back from the things we desire most. Stop engaging in self-sabotage and rejuvenate your love life by ditching these six dating habits in 2015.

The Waiting Game

It’s a classic conundrum: How much time should you wait to reach out to that girl after you got her number? One day, two days, three days? The truth is that there are no rules when it comes to contacting the person you’re interested in. Playing the waiting game is so 2014. Why wait? That attractive stranger might not stick around for you to send him or her a text. If you saw sparks, you probably weren’t the only one. So don’t lose out on that chemistry by acting overly nonchalant.

The Eager Beaver

You finally get a call from that special someone and the two of you go out on that long-awaited date. Everything goes well, and you’re jumping at the chance to hang out again, but don’t accept that invitation too soon. Pump the brakes a little, we understand that it’s easy to get swept up in someone new. Be careful not to make yourself appear too available and run the risk of looking desperate. A little mystery goes a long way. While we’re not advising you to play hard to get, guys do love a little challenge, and appearing too eager can smother his interest. Whet his appetite and keep him coming back for more.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Dating is all about getting to know someone and sharing in each other’s passions. While it’s great to experience new things, don’t be too quick to toss out your interests to please the person you’re dating. Canceling on salsa night with your girls to attend his baseball practice is a slippery slope to isolation. Giving up the things you love may cause bitterness towards your significant other in the long run. Take time for yourself and your friends and be careful not to lose your sense of “self” in a new relationship.

Relying on Telepathy

Last time we checked, the secret to telepathy had not yet been discovered. Don’t rely on mind games or constantly keep your partner guessing. The surest way to let someone know how you feel is by using your words. Communication is key in any relationship, and discussing what feels wrong will definitely serve your interests better than punishing someone with the silent treatment.

Holding Grudges

While it’s always healthy to express yourself, refrain from bringing up sins of the past in the midst of every argument. If past slights have been forgiven, they should be forgotten as well. We’ve all made our share of mistakes and no one likes to be forced to relive theirs.

Quitting Too Soon

Many people ruin their chances of maintaining a good relationship by breaking things off at the first sign of trouble. Once problems start to surface, it’s easy to panic and take each difficulty as a sign that things “are not meant to be.” Exercising caution is vital; however, it is also important to remember that dating is all about taking chances with new experiences. Being intimate with someone means you voluntarily expose yourself to possibly getting hurt.  To quell the panic, remember that you are on this journey together and your significant other is also making him or herself vulnerable to you. While no one deserves unlimited second chances, you’re not doing yourself any favors by checking out too soon.

Leave these dating habits behind in 2014 for a chance to refresh your dating life. You could be well on your way to a happy, healthy relationship in the upcoming year.

Which of these bad dating habits are you guilty of?  

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*Originally published on What’s Your Price.

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband

Almost a decade ago, the writer Linda Hirshman exhorted ambitious women to marry men with less money or social capital than they had. In articles and her book, Get to Work, she told women that they should avoid ever taking on more than half of the housework or child care. How to do it? Either marry a man who is extremely committed to equality, or do what she says is the easier route and “marry down.” Hirshman explained in the American Prospect that such a choice is not “brutally strategic,” it’s just smart. “If you are devoted to your career goals and would like a man who will support that, you’re just doing what men throughout the ages have done: placing a safe bet.”

This was a highly controversial piece of advice at the time, but Hirshman might have been right. A new study of Harvard Business School graduates from HBS’s Robin Ely and Colleen Ammerman and Hunter College sociologist Pamela Stone shows that high-achieving women are not meeting the career goals they set for themselves in their 20s. It’s not because they’re “opting out” of the workforce when they have kids, but because they’re allowing their partners’ careers to take precedence over their own.

The study’s authors interviewed 25,000 men and women who graduated from Harvard Business School over the past several decades. The male graduates were much more likely to be in senior management positions and have more responsibility and more direct reports than their female peers. But why? It’s not because women are leaving the workforce en masse. The authors found, definitively, that the “opt-out” explanation is a myth. Among Gen X and baby boomers they surveyed, only 11 percent of women left the workforce to be full-time moms. That figure is lower for women of color—only 7 percent stopped working. The vast majority (74 percent) of Gen Xers, women who are currently 32-48 and in the prime of their child-rearing years, work full time, an average of 52 hours a week.

But while these women are still working, they are also making more unexpected sacrifices than their male classmates are. When they graduated, more than half of male HBS grads said they expected their careers would take precedence over their partners’. Only 7 percent of Gen X women and 3 percent of baby boomer women said they expected their careers to take precedence. Here’s what they did expect: The majority of women said they assumed they would have egalitarian marriages in which both spouses’ careers were taken equally seriously.

A lot of those women were wrong. About 40 percent of Gen X and boomer women said their spouses’ careers took priority over theirs, while only about 20 percent of them had planned on their careers taking a back seat. Compare that with the men: More than 70 percent of Gen X and boomer men say their careers are more important than their wives’. When you look at child care responsibilities, the numbers are starker. A full 86 percent of Gen X and boomer men said their wives take primary responsibility for child care, and the women agree: 65 percent of Gen X women and 72 percent of boomer women—all HBS grads, most of whom work—say they’re the ones who do most of the child care in their relationships.

Of course, marital arrangements aren’t the only force holding women back. Part of the reason these women aren’t advancing at the same rate as their male counterparts is that after they have kids, they get “mommy-tracked.” In many ways, they’re not considered management candidates anymore. “They may have been stigmatized for taking advantage of flex options or reduced schedules, passed over for high-profile assignments, or removed from projects they once led,” the authors note. Other studies support these findings, as they have shown that there is a real, substantial motherhood penalty that involves lower pay and fewer promotions for women with kids, because employers assume they will be less dedicated to their jobs (as do, we now know, their husbands).

But the personal piece of the female achievement gap puzzle is important, and it’s something that’s very difficult to shift. The study’s authors note that while millennial HBS grads are a little more egalitarian than their older peers, half of the youngest men still assume that their careers will take precedence, and two-thirds of them assume their spouses will do the majority of child care.

Based on these numbers, Hirshman suddenly seems prescient. Take a look at the current crop of female CEOs: A lot of them have husbands who don’t work. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns took a page out of Hirshman’s book and joked at a 2013 conference, “The secret [to success] is to marry someone 20 years older.” Her husband retired as she was hitting her career stride, allowing him to take primary responsibility for their kids. If becoming a CEO and having a family is what you desire, you might want to take that advice.

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*Article originally published on Slate.