The Truth Behind Why You Still May Be Single

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Photo courtesy of chicagonow.com

Like many of my posts, this one was birthed out of a conversation. Really it was more like numerous conversations within a short amount of time that seemed to be going in this particular direction. I’ve noticed how many men and women fall into the trap of giving some false sense of hope through some imaginary list of characteristics that are supposed to guarantee someone a significant other or spouse. I’ve heard it many times before “if she just knew how to cook” or “if he just knew how to express his feelings” or “women need to know how to support a man” or “men need to know how to be attentive.” Nothing irritates me more than these blanket statements because unfortunately what nobody is willing to say is that there is no definite list of characteristics that will get you a significant other. When we make these kinds of statements we give people the false sense of security that if they just get these certain characteristics then they will be able to get the type of significant other they desire.

I promise I’m not here to be bitter. I’m simply trying to set some people free if you will from the way they have been programmed. I know people right now who are breaking their necks to try to embody these types of characteristics they were told a good man or woman are to have. Now on the surface there’s nothing wrong with trying to be a good man or woman. It doesn’t start to become a problem until you only want to be a good man or woman for the sake of getting a good man or woman. If you are trying to be better, you should simply do so for the sake of yourself. But if you are only working to try to get a future husband or wife, you are setting yourself up for failure. The truth of the matter is you can have all of the wonderful characteristics of a good man or woman. You can embody everything that so many people swear they want out of a significant other. Yet the ugly truth that no one is willing to tell you is that you can still remain single even if you possess all of these wonderful, great and praised qualities. Now I’m not trying to scare anyone or rain on anyone’s parade but I just want you to have the real-life understanding of how this thing works. Just work on yourself for a real reason which is the betterment of yourself and not the changing of your relationship status. No I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to want to be married or in a relationship with someone but it should not be your main focus. When you make that your main focus of changing it lends yourself to disappointment.

Let’s be honest, how many wonderful men and women have we seen with amazing qualities get left behind for people who don’t possess half of the qualities they had. Why is that you ask? Because those list of qualities don’t matter as much as you thought they did. The truth of the matter is these qualities are a good guide to go by but at the end of the day there are other things that sometimes take precedence. And there’s multiple reasons why someone may choose someone who doesn’t have the qualities they said were important. Honestly you’re wasting your time trying to figure out why someone would want to be with someone else who doesn’t possess qualities they said they wanted while you indeed have them.

So let me start with my ladies. Queens, we have to do better. We have to stop trying to convince men there is this imaginary guideline that they have to follow in order to get a good woman. We will sit there and tell the world on our social media pages how we need a good man who will treat a woman right and attend to her needs and comfort her. Yet in your status you forgot to mention the really nice guy who did everything you said you wanted. Yet it was just something about him that he didn’t make the cut and was moved over into the abyss that is the friend zone. No you forgot about that as you went on your social media rant complaining about how good men are hard to find. Is it that some of those qualities that you thought were so important actually come second when it’s not in a person that you actually want? Maybe it’s not the qualities that you desire but it’s the person. Sometimes the person you desire may not come with the qualities. I’m not here to bash you ladies I’m just here to basically tell you to stop complaining about a crisis that may not be a crisis at all. It may simply just boil down to you meet men that you just don’t like and that’s okay. It’s not the characteristics that are the cause of it. Be honest you’ve met some amazing men who had all the characteristics that you wanted but you didn’t want them. Let’s stop making ourselves look like hypocrites when we go on these long rants about things that men need when it really boils down to us having a better sense of what it is we need.

Kings don’t get too happy because I’m headed down your street. I have to be honest I need y’all to stop lying to these women. Y’all know most women who are single will eat every word you feed them in order to get a man. Some women will hang on to every word that comes out of a man’s mouth if it’s talking about getting her a husband. Y’all sit here and give imaginary instructions on how to get and keep a man. The thing is most of them have tried all of those things and still are single. Why? Because y’all know that it’s not whether she can cook, clean, or if she’s great in bed. You know it really just boils down to if you’re ready at the time she comes into your life to be able to dedicate yourself to her. Just like the Queen’s you all have convinced yourselves that it’s the characteristics that you fall for when really it is the person. See Kings you all are a different kind of creature because y’all can actually care about a woman and want to be with her and still go off and get with the next one. That is why you will have to truly be honest with women. They may not want to hear it and that’s their own personal issues if they don’t but they need to hear it. When you all give these list of characteristics you put your Queens in a position to end up hurt because they can’t understand how they did everything you asked and still ended up alone. See you have to understand Queens were placed on this earth created by the Almighty for the sake of supporting you. So when you tell them something you “need,” they’re going to do just that because it is in their nature. So be very careful when you are telling a woman what it is that you need and desire because if she is a true Queen she is going to do it. So if for any split second you think you may possibly still walk away from her, just be honest that the characteristics you speak of may not be enough to keep you.

I hope that this message can be received in love because it truly comes from a place of sincerity. I’m just tired of seeing my brothers and sisters hurting because they can’t make sense of why they are still single. All I’m basically saying is there is no sense to it. We are steadily trying to answer something that is beyond comprehension. Either way we have to stop lying to ourselves or lying to the people who come into our lives whether it be purposely or unconsciously. We have to be honest with ourselves and those around us that there is no guaranteed answer of how to get the person you will spend the rest of your life with. This is why it is such a risk to enter into the realm of love because you never know what someone else may do. Just know that it’s not you and you have done nothing wrong other than believe the hype that has been given to so many of us for so many years. You just have to work on yourself with the intent of being content with who you are. I can’t promise you that someone’s going to come into your life tomorrow and I can’t promise you that they’re going to be everything that you ever dreamed of. I can tell you that if you work on you for the sake of you while waiting on them, it makes the wait just a little less hard to deal with. And I can promise you that you have the power to rearrange your thinking to keep you from another heartache based on these notions.

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How Long Should You Date Before Getting Married?

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Courtesy of atlantablackstar.com

Last night my mother and I engaged in some late night girl talk. During this discussion the topic of marriage came up as it usually does in these conversations. One of the things we addressed was the time it should take a couple to get married. I’ve had this discussion numerous times with numerous people. I’ve read about it in blogs, articles, books and everything in between. I’ve seen various time lengths that vary from months to years that supposedly ensure a strong marriage. I’m just going to put this out there now, I don’t believe in a time table for dating. Dating is a fairly new concept in society and is too complex to quantify. You have to go with what feels right for you in my opinion. Some things I feel can’t be bogged down by rules and for me, dating is one of those things. What I will say is I believe there are some things more important than the time you date that impacts your marriage.

I believe an important factor to a good marriage is understanding what you need from your mate in marriage. You can date for 20 years, but if you don’t know what you’re getting into with saying “I do” those 20 years were just time to get to know each other. Speaking of getting to know each other, I think this concept gets too much attention at times. Listen, the person you meet today is not who you will know a year from now. People evolve and change. You will be getting to know your spouse for the rest of your life. So don’t say things like “are you sure you two know enough about each other to get married?” As I stated if you know what you need from your spouse, you know what to look for in someone to assist in fulfilling a marriage. For example, if you are trying to fill a position in your company, you’re going to need to understand what the role entails so you can adequately seek out those qualities in people interviewing. You know what questions to ask, what personality traits to look for, the experience needed in order to fill this position. The better you know the position the better fit you can find to fill it. Not the better you know the person. Now yes, some people will come in your life and say all the right things to make you believe they can fill the position. “Yeah I can cook” or “I’m very romantic” or “No I’ve never cheated before.” We’ve all heard or have even told bold face lies because we read the job description and learned what we needed to say in order to get the job. The beauty is, if you are paying attention and are smart, you would put that probationary period in place to see if a person is capable of delivering what they say they can. Unfortunately some of y’all have been in probationary periods for 5-10 years but that’s none of my business. Either way, it boils down to do you know what you are looking for?

It is equally important that you know what marriage is. Too many people struggle in marriages not because they feel like they didn’t know who they married or they didn’t date long enough, but because they didn’t know what marriage entailed. Their expectations were off. They thought every day would feel like a honeymoon and that the only argument they would ever have would be over who loved the other person more. Some people get married and get slapped in the face with the harsh reality that marriage is not always good days. Of course your good days should outweigh the bad but bad ones will come. Your spouse will get on your nerves. You are taking two people who have their own individual ways of living, bringing them together and having to compromise on doing things their way. It is not that simple. “I make spaghetti this way” “I wash my clothes like this” “I put the toilet paper on the roll a certain way” “I only use the dish washer” “I don’t eat left overs” “I sleep with the tv on” and the list goes on. My point is if you go into marriage thinking your spouse is about to just adapt to how you live and you get to keep it your way you are sadly mistaken. There is constant compromise on a daily basis. Marriage is a selfless covenant. If you are not ready to abandon the “I” for the “we,” then your dating length won’t help you at all.

Lastly you have to decide you are willing to make it work. Anybody who knows me knows I say this all the time. It doesn’t matter how long you have known each other or dated. If you are not prepared to make your marriage work every day you are in it, then that time you’ve been dating was in vain. Note, there may be some days you are ready to give up on your marriage. It’s not that marriage is just that hard, but LIFE is hard sometimes and it can hurt your marriage. The key is, you never act on your urge to quit, and you never allow both of you to want to quit at the same time. That is why you have to marry someone who compliments you. Those moments they are weary, you’re pushing to hold on. When you’re ready to give up, they are keeping you motivated. Nonetheless, you both have to want to make it work. There isn’t a time period on that. If after three months you feel that this person is the best for the position and they have passed the probationary period,  then by all means move forward if that is what both of you desire. Just be sure that you know what you are getting into is the most important part.

I can’t stress enough, stop putting time limits on a made up concept by society. Back in the day people would date for a few months, sometimes weeks and got married and stayed together for 50, 60 and 70 years. As times progress we keep adding all this extra time to dating and how long it should take place before getting married. That’s why you should wait to date until you’re ready to get married. Not date someone until you’re ready. We’re not meant to be in the dating process long. Either way the time in which you dated does not determine the quality of your marriage. Only your understanding of your spouse’s role, the understanding of marriage itself and the willingness to make it work can do that. So do not let time hold you captive when love is supposed to be a freeing concept. Do what your heart truly desires and prepare for the work those desires require.

The Disney Effect Part 2

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After having a discussion with a co-worker about the first part of this post, I decided to go ahead and make a part two. He gave me insightful feedback that made me realize there is more to this subject than what I stated previously. You can see the original post HERE. I wanted to make sure I touched on as many points as possible because this has a major impact on many of us today.

A key factor I did not mention in the original post is prince charming. Ladies we all know prince charming. You know the guy that has the perfect bone structure, an amazing smile and the body of a Greek God. You may giggle but truth be told too many women have been looking for prince charming and haven’t even realized it. You keep wondering why you don’t like anyone who approaches you, not realizing you are expecting a person created by the hands of cartoonist. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fine brothers walking across this earth. I’m saying do not fall in love with that image alone.

Then there is the kissing of the frog. I’m not going to say I’m completely mad at this concept. I like the idea that sometimes you have to be willing to look past your shallow wants in order to end up with your heart’s desires. The problem is, how many frogs have women been kissing their whole lives in hopes they would end up with a prince charming? You keep kissing and they keep remaining the same. You can’t fall for every man that promises he will become the prince charming you desire if only you would do (insert compromise here). If you are willing to love the frog to get the prince, good for you. Just make sure you have gotten enough evidence to back up his claims of who he says he is.

Another symptom of the Disney Effect is that it has caused some women to think that a man is supposed to jump through hurdles to be with her. I’ll be honest, I still find myself wanting a man to slay dragons, climb up castle walls and defeat evil forces to be with me too. I’m not saying a man is not supposed to put in work for a woman because he indeed is supposed to do so. What I’m saying is there is an extent to which a woman can become irrational in the expectations she has when it comes to what a man should do for her. You want him to jump through every hoop possible to prove himself because you saw too many movies growing up that told you he should. “Well Aladdin fought Jafar for princess Jasmine.” Are you a princess Jasmine? Do you exude your sense of majesty? Does your presence demand respect? Can you be versatile enough to be amongst royalty but humble enough to walk with peasants? You cannot expect for a man to do things if you are not being the type of woman who deserves them.

But I have to get on my fellas because Disney messed y’all up too. Disney made you all believe that if you jump through all the hoops long enough, you can get her and then stop putting in work. See because Disney didn’t show you that you have to put in work to keep the happily ever after, you assumed that a man didn’t put in any more work once the movie went off. The reality though is there is no ending to your movie. When you say “I do” the movie is just starting for you. So that is not the time to stop putting in effort, but instead the time to increase how much you give. Do not stop showing her how much you care. Do not stop doing all of the amazing things you did to get her. Always remind her how special she is to you and that you worked to get her for a reason, which was to keep her.

I won’t completely get on Disney. As I stated previously I love Disney movies. There is one movie I feel conveys a great message and no one really talks about it, and that is Beauty and the Beast. Here you have a man who had a bad experience which causes him to be a beastly form of his former self. Everyone is constantly reminding him that if he doesn’t fall in love soon he will be this way (alone) forever. Then one day, a woman stumbles upon him. Due to his circumstances he pays her no mind because he is still bitter about his situation. One day though, he reaches to his inner self and starts to realize that she may indeed be the one. She too was able to see past what he had become and saw his inner self. She loved him in spite of. Her love for him is what eventually releases him from the beastly person he had become. Her love helped to save him from himself. Now this, this is a love story. This is also more of what you may actually see happening. There was no love at first sight, there was no birds chirping and he didn’t defeat an evil witch. She simply loved him in spite of his flaws and in turn he learned to love again. Yes, it is still extremely cheesy but I can appreciate the deeper lesson. You don’t always know immediately when you meet but when you can look past yourself, you may realize you have found someone special. Many times we meet people and they are negatively impacted by past hurts. They push people away because they can’t believe anyone could ever love them for them. But the love of someone who sees with their heart, could be exactly what they need to remember what love feels like.

Disney may have messed some of us up but they did get some things right. Either way we have to learn to get out of the fantasy of what we created out of these beautiful tales. By all means if a fairytale is what you desire than go ahead, but do not let a fairytale be the standard for what you will accept. As I stated last time, fairytales are created to be whatever you choose them to be. Just remember that no matter how fairytale like your story is, both of you have to put in work to maintain it. My hope is that the Disney kid in us all, gets the fairytale love we always desired in the way Disney didn’t even know was possible. I also hope that we put in the effort it takes to make it last so we can all live happily ever after. *Cues glitter, fireworks and “when you wish upon a star”*