On many occasions, I have listened to my fellow black women rave about the kind of man they want in their life.
Modern day relationship goals have completely tainted the way we view relationships and the way we seek out partners.
If you search the hashtag on social media, you will find an endless ocean of memes that focus more on financial gains than emotional.
People Don’t Always Have It Together
Disclaimer: Yes, I know there are plenty of brothers already out there treating their women like the Queens they are. I salute them ALL, but this post isn’t necessarily about them.
Some women are fortunate enough to meet their man in his fully established era. But, whether we want to admit it or not, that just isn’t the narrative for a lot of black couples.
A lot of black women find themselves with men who are still in progress or maybe not quite progressing at all. If you got one of those, this is for you.
We have forgotten (or never learned) how to go through real stuff with real people. Social media will have you thinking you are stupid for struggling with a man or frown upon you for settling for something below your level.
The focus is so directed on what someone can bring to the table that we forgot how to just make a meal together.
Nowadays, we have checkpoints on what a man should have for him to be “ready” to start dealing with us. Ladies, you know the checkpoints:
- A Jay Oh Bee. Because we not opening our legs for a dude that can’t do anything for us right? Mama grandma, auntie, sister taught us better than that.
- A Car. And not no ugly, beat up hoopty. You need a Chevy or something to get entered into the game. If you have a muscle car, chances of getting the cookies just went up.
- A Place (That Is Not His Mama’s Place). It can be a sister or a friend, but you BETTER NOT be living with your mama.
- Kids. Preferably none. But if so, then one. But if two, they need the same mama cause we don’t want to deal with two baby mamas.
- A Super Ambitious Current Goal. Cause a girl need something to brag on when she talking about how amazing her man is to all the other women she know. I mean, our man gots to be working on the next big come up whether it be a promotion or idea. Power couples, eh?
- No Bullshit. He can’t come with any fuck ups and game playing etc. He can’t bring too much baggage or disrupt our aura too much. Uh Uh, that causes for immediate replacement.
The Me Mindset
Women can have a “Me Mindset” when it comes to our love life. We spend so much time worrying about what a man has upfront and what he can bring to the table for us.
What can he offer me? How can he benefit me? Can he provide “xyz” for me? Then, we just assume we already posses the tools, we need, to offer them something in return.
Now sis, I understand you worked hard for your bomb ass job and your impressive achievements. I understand you’re independent and can do this, that and the third by yourself.
But, that doesn’t automatically make you wifey material. A relationship is two sided and you have to be willing to bring your share to the table.
And, “your share”, does not mean sex and good looks. Yes, men definitely want sex and good looks, but they want more than that. They need more than that, hell, some need a lot more than that.
The Can’t Raise A Man Stigma
Nowadays, we have all of these song lyrics and memes about “not raising a man.” That’s not our job, right? Well, sometimes, it just may have to be.
Let’s take a moment to reflect:
More than 50% of black children grow up in a single parent household (for my fact checkers). A number of those families not only have the other parent absent from the household, but also absent from the child’s life altogether.
So, honestly, a good amount of black children in America aren’t being raised. Some of these kids are being looked after and kept alive, not nurtured or supported.
In addition to that, there’s also a lot of unaddressed trauma that takes place in the home, like rape, molestation and physical abuse. That trauma follows our children throughout their lives, often in secret.
Sadly, the first time some of our black youth encounter love, nurturing and acceptance is when they receive it from their first intimate partner.
That may be the first person to ever, truly make them feel “wanted.”Hence, looking for love in the wrong places. Double hence, INCREASED TEEN PREGNANCY RATES AMONG BLACK ADOLESCENT FEMALES.
Truth is, too many black children become parents before they become adults. Yet, we have this ugly stigma about not raising a man.
We are the last race that should be thinking that way. The reality is a lot of us are left out here trying to raise each other.
But, black women-Let me stop and ask you this: Do you have all of your shit together? Not only financially, but mentally? What about emotionally? Are you sound? Body, mind and spirit? Not necessarily.
Women Need “Raising” Too
A lot of black women struggle with emotional baggage from their childhoods and/or past relationships.
Some girls are left to take care of themselves, forcing them into the streets and forcing them to deal with men in a sexual manner before they’re ready.
By the time these women land upon a man that actually wants to love them, they are too broken to receive it. They haven’t learned to love, they’ve learned to survive.
By this time, they view men as a means to an end, therefore, they measure a man’s worth by how much he can or can’t offer to her.
She wants someone to take care of her because she probably hasn’t had that before and it’s likely no one taught her to take care of herself.
So, again ladies, I ask: Do you have all your shit together? Or do you need some raising too?
We Do Too Much
Ladies, what I am about to say next may come off to you as offensive, but I had to realize this myself: We do too much when it comes to our black men.
Think about it, the black man has it harder than any other man on earth, yet, we want him to have his whole life together before approaching us.
I mean, if he isn’t curing cancer while paying for our nails, then he isn’t good enough for us.
But, do you ever take time to realize – they don’t have the same advantages in life that we do.
As women, we are catered to by society. If someone sees us walking on the side of the road in the heat, they will pull over and offer us a ride. But, not a black man, his ass can walk.
Some of us care for children, allowing us to get public assistance if we need it. Men usually aren’t recipients of public assistance.
A woman can get by on nothing for a long time because there will always be someone willing to provide for her. Damsel in distress doesn’t really play in the favor of men. Men don’t get provided for, they do the providing.
The Struggle Isn’t New
You ever look at old slave movies and see how powerless the black men were back then? During that time, a relationship between a black man and a black woman meant absolutely nothing.
During slavery, brothers stood by and watched their wives and daughters get beaten, raped and abused. They were incapable of protecting their families, some being forced to stand by while their children were sold off in auctions.
The Jim Crow era had black men helplessly witnessing their sons being hung from trees, the War on Drugs locked up more than half the community.
Black men have been emasculated from day one in this country. Ironically, society has succeeded at emasculating them to the black woman as well.
The struggles we share today are no different from the struggles our ancestors shared before, just in a different format.
All through history we see our black women standing by the men, but nowadays, we’d prefer to toot our noses up at them and their manual labored jobs.
What Has Replaced Love?
We have allowed a celebrity image to take the place of what a good, hardworking black man looks like.
The media has done enough mental corruption of our men. There is an image that black male success comes in some form of artist or athlete.
Money, cars and hoes apparently means you’ve made it. As a side effect of that, women focus heavily on being idolized as a sex symbol.
Everyone wants to live the high life. People spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to go from rags to riches. Apparently, rags to not rags isn’t as lit.
Who has time to struggle when your’re trying to be everybody’s Woman Crush Wednesday?
These days, we frown upon having to make sacrifices for a man’s shortcomings because the next man is ready to offer us the world right now.
But sometimes, Mr. Right Now isn’t Mr. Right.
Learn To Survive The Struggles In Your Relationships
Start thinking about what y’all could have together.
You have to learn how to struggle with him. You have to realize it doesn’t matter how much you had before him or what you could have without him.
The bottom line is if you love that man and you want to be with him, then you may need to come down to his side instead of walking ahead of him.
You don’t need to dumb yourself down or degrade yourself to do it. It doesn’t make you any less.
It just means you’re willing to be a partner to someone who is a few steps behind where you may be.
You have to stop thinking about what you could have and start thinking about what y’all could have together.
Real Love Experiences Rough Times
There is truth in the belief that real love stands the test of times.
Materialistic relationship goals are the reason so many marriages fail. People establish themselves, then go out and find someone to partner with.
It all boils down to people not getting to know one another for who they are, but instead, for what they have. Or better yet – who they are while they have what they have.
But if he lost everything today and it meant you losing everything, could you tough it out with him?
People get halfway through their marriages to find that they don’t know how to work together when some real life struggles turn up – and BOOM! Divorce.
No One Said A Long Lasting Relationship Would Be Easy
Now, listen, you might constantly see signs of him not being where you need him to be. It is going to drive the living hell out of you and you will fight with him about it. You will fight with yourself even more.
You might feel like you are selling yourself short, that you can do better or have better. And you probably can, with another person, in another relationship.
The problem is we don’t want another person and another relationship. We want that headache that has stolen our heart.
And there is nothing wrong with that. If you love him, stand by him through the struggles. But, try not to discourage him in the process.
Learn to Accept and Be Patient
Focusing on the negatives will discourage him and make him feel like he isn’t good enough for your standards.
Highlighting his flaws and throwing his shortcomings in his face will make him resent you as a person and reconsider you as his partner.
Though you may only be trying to push him to do what needs to be done, often times, the constant pressure can be a little much.
Imagine trying to get your life together with someone constantly judging your every move. It’s not a comfortable feeling.
No one deserves to be belittled or emasculated for where they are in the process of progress.
Know It’s Okay To Help Mold Him
Accept that he may need some guidance. If he doesn’t know how to do something, don’t criticize him, show him. If you don’t know how to do it, learn together.
He may be a fully grown man physically, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is fully grown emotionally and/or mentally.
There is so much a man won’t understand until he becomes responsible for himself and for a family of his own.
And it’s okay to help shape him into what he needs to be. That’s your man.
Try molding him without fear that he is going to run off and be a great man for someone else. Believe in him. The two of you will be a team.
BUT, Don’t Be Dumb. Choose A Man Who Is Actually Trying
You will know a man who is worth your efforts.
Now, I am not saying to coddle a grown man and disregard his flaws and errors. Not every man deserves your time, energy or patience.
Some men aren’t ready to develop and if they aren’t, you should leave them alone. They may still have some stuff to get out of their systems first.
You will know a man who is worth your efforts. He will be adaptable and he will be there by your side.
He may be lagging in some areas and causing some extra headaches, but he will be there to help get y’all through it, together.
A man worth your patience will do his part by loving and supporting you in return.
Real Relationship Goals
Relationships nowadays don’t come unconditionally, but instead, with more conditions being added everyday.
Don’t allow the media and #RelationshipGoals to taint your mind on what black love looks like and has always looked like. It ain’t all fancy cars, trip sponsoring and rain making.
The majority of these men are out here trying to make something out of nothing. Black love often looks like hard work because it is.
Stop measuring our black men’s worth by materialistic things. Understand his development process and the challenges he too may be facing.
Just stick with one another, grow and build together.
I will leave you with this. Let go of your pride black women. We know we know our worth, but we need to make sure our men know theirs too.