Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Girl, Quit Lyin!

In my previous post, I mentioned the latest stat that stopped me in my tracks. Didn't see it? Here it goes:

45% of black women say getting married is very important

Before I could even finish the rest of the article, my response was, we women have GOT to stop lying to ourselves. I find it hard to believe that only 45% of women find marriage to be very important. As I stated before, I'm not saying that we should all be running around like chickens with our heads cut off obsessing over marriage, but only 45%?? That definitely surprised me. And so did some of the quotes from women who arebsuccessful and single that were interviewed as a part of the article.

"Love, the comedian, who also is single, says there is no point focusing on what she doesn’t have. “A lot of people say you’re going to be lonely. No, you will adjust,” Love says, adding that she enjoys her life, which includes partying and going on cruises, without anyone accompanying her."

"Nika Beamon, a television news producer in New York who turned 40 last year, likes to say, “I didn’t work this hard to get married.” She imagined that she would have a husband and children by now but is satisfied with how things have turned out."

"Smith, the 21-year-old University of Maryland senior, says many of her female friends are reluctant to express the truth about their love lives. “You have these driven black women here,” Smith says, “and sometimes . . . you really don’t want to talk about, ‘Oh, I haven’t had a boyfriend since high school.’ It makes you seem weak.”

I'll admit, I side-eye every woman who utters the phrase, "I'm single and even if I never get married, that's okay because I'm fine being alone. I've got a good job, a house, etc etc etc" or any variation of that phrase. And you know why? You don't mean it!

Some of us have gotten so used to being turned down and turned away by men that we've built up a defense mechanism that automatically regurgitates that line every time someone asks us about being single. And I get it, I get tired of being asked about my singletude as well. But you will never catch me saying I'm okay with the idea of winding up alone, because I'm not. And I won't lie to you nor myself about that. 

How many of us have opinions close to the one shared by the 21 year old college student? That we feel weak or less than because you're unattached? And don't lie because it's okay if you do. But the truth is, just as we have power in our professional lives, we have just as much power in our personal lives. No, you can't make a man fall in love & marry you but you can make yourself emotionally available to men and be for real about what you really want in a relationship. Too often we're forgetting how much power we really do have as women. And because we don't recognize that power we end up cowering in a corner with all of our other successful, single-and-don't-really-wanna be girlfriends pretending not to care.

Long story short, being honest about what your really want out of life is the first step to getting what you really want out of it. Think, there for you will be ladies :0)

And quit lying! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Will We Always Be a Statistic?

Feast your eyes on The Washington Post's latest article on the state on the black woman:

Survey Paints Portrait of Black Women in America

Go ahead... take a look. It's not nearly as daunting as previous articles. The story which basically summarizes the most striking points from an 800 person survey, is the first in a series of articles on the current state of the black woman in America. Apparently, the Post has found out that all black women aren't angry after all nor are we kitchen bound mammies. Well looky there. All hints of cynicism aside, the article presented some interesting findings and brought to the forefront some very pertinent issues.

Nearly 3/4s of black women think now think it is a good time to be black in America
There are more than 900,000 businesses in America that are owned by black women
67% of black women describe themselves as having high self esteem
67% of single black women would be willing to marry outside of the race
63% of women said it was acceptable to have a child without being married
As of 2008, only 9% of black women married outside of the race; compared to nearly 20% of black men
45% of black women say getting married is very important


Wait what? Only 45%? Seeing as this is a relationship centered blog, all of those other stats are great, awesome even, it's about time black women are looked at as being the dynamic beings we are, however that last stat stopped me in my tracks. Marriage is only important to 45% of us? I'm not saying everybody has to want to get married or else you aint sh*t, eh, okay maybe I am. But what I really want to know is am I the only one shocked that less that half of black women out here find marriage to be important? And while marriage is important to only 45% of black women, 63% are a-okay with having children without being married. And the black family continues to be on the decline. Hmmmmm... interesting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Call Me in 6 Months

A couple weeks ago, I'm out at the bar with a few friends. As the night progresses a man comes over to the bar that they're familiar with and proceeds to chat them up. As a break comes into their conversation one of the guys I know slides his phone over to me with a message about this man's interest in talking to me. My only typed out response is: tell him I'm dating Jesus.

As jokingly as I meant that, I realized I was 100% serious.

If you've read my last couple posts, you already know that I'm on a break from dating. I needed some "me" time as well as time to assess my situation and realize what I want and need out of life. When I started this dating break, there was no concrete end date for it, I just figured I would know when it was time to give dating another try. However, over the holiday I gave my dating sabbatical a deadline. What is it you ask? May 1st, I say. That will mark 6 months of no dating. Six whole months of voluntarily giving up all romantic engagements with men. No dates, no cuddle sessions, no late night chats, no nada.

Why 6 months? For one, I needed to give myself a deadline. I don't normally do well with open ended situations of any kind, so I needed the structure that having a beginning and an end to this provides. Secondly, a great sister-friend, who's on a similar journey, recommended the book Your Knight in Shining Armor: Discovering Your Lifelong Love by P.B. Wilson for me to read. And in this book, the author recommends a 6 month dating sabbatical in order to get to know yourself (according to her, it takes 6 months to really get to know someone; yourself included apparently). Let me just tell you all that this book is amazing. It's faith based, so if you don't have any religion, as the old folks say, trust me, this is not the book for you.

Aside from on Twitter, I hadn't really said too much about this topic, mostly because nobody ever wants to believe me when I tell them what I'm doing; especially guys. Their response is pretty uniform across the board, "uhhh, but why?". And of course I get comments about how the last guy must have really done me wrong for me to want to take this type of break. Truth is, sure, things didn't turn out favorably in previous situations, but I found more fault with the way I responded to being hurt than with the hurt that was actually done.

What's really surprising and both humors & saddens me a bit is the surprised and damn near shocked responses I get from my girl friends. For some reason it boggles people's minds that I could elect to stop dating for half a year and just focus on myself. One of my friends even went so far as to ask me, "Since you aren't dating, what do you do with all that free time?". Huh? Is dating supposed to be that much of a focal point in my life at this age? So much so, that since I'm not dating, I must be sitting around being superhuman and twiddling my thumbs in boredom?

What I gather is that most women's approach to dating is to date, date & date some more until they finally "strike it rich" and come across the man of their dreams. Well, that approach never worked for me and most often it did nothing more than spiral me into a state of vexation; hence why taking this break to regroup makes a lot of sense for me. I'd honestly recommend that more women try this approach. If you're single and don't want to be, maaaaybe it's time to stop trying the same thing time and time again expecting to obtain a different outcome. What's the definition of insanity? Hmmmm...

The most difficult aspect I've pondered on this journey, is what do I do if & when I meet a man who takes interest in me? Do I abandon my goal of abstaining from dating to see if something promising could happen? Absolutely not! That would defeat the purpose. Hopefully guys who approach me won't take it personal when I say, call me after May 1st. But if they do, so what? This time things are about me, not them.