“You don’t need a man because you’re your own man!”
“I can’t do nothin’ for you”.
“Why do black women take so much from their men before they leave?”
Which is it then? Are black women too independent in a relationship or are we too accommodating? Make up your mind! With dating and relationships, some of us may not have a specific ‘type’ or know exactly what we are looking for in a guy. Sure, things like fidelity and friendship go hand in hand with intimacy and wanting to be wanted. But beyond that, some of us don’t know what ‘Mr. Right’ will look like.
What we do know, is what we DON’T want in a relationship. Lies, infidelity, coming last on his list, just to start off with a few. These invisible markers we have in our minds helps us to recognize red flags and warning signs when we see them. And like Halle Berry said on Oprah – take a flag as a flag ladies! They help you to weed out and ward off people who don’t have the best intentions for you and who don’t love you the way you know you deserve to be loved. To be completely honest, some of us would much rather be the picky one than a thirsty “pick me”.These invisible markers we have in our minds helps us to recognize red flags and warning signs when we see them. Click To Tweet
Now, “pick me” is a term that’s come from Twitter. It’s a type of woman that will do anything and everything to “keep” a man. They will wear blonde wigs because they know their man likes that (cough cough, Tamar). They will invite other women into their bedroom because their partner wants to try something different. Or, they will even describe something as crazy as “respectful cheating” and create a crazy-as-heck-guide for how the “main chick” and “side chick” should interact. I mean, come on!
What’s really scary, is that more of us than not are starting to have a “pick me” mindset. If I were to tell you that there was a beautiful and successful black woman who had never walked down the aisle before, I’m sure you would say “Oh, well, it’s only a matter of time”. But what if I were to reveal that she’s over the age of 50.
Hit the brakes.
“It’s over for her, over 50?! What’s wrong with her? What is her deal with men? She should be lucky to get what she can now”. If any of those thoughts crossed your mind, then you are on your way to becoming a “pick me”. If you ever believed it when people said that black women were less likely to be married, then you are also on that slippery slope.
As young girls, we’re taught to make ourselves smaller, play on your most attractive qualities, be emotionally sound, be submissive, don’t ruffle any feathers, don’t ask questions and forgive easily. Someone can hurt you, disrespect you and humiliate you – but it’s okay. You’re supposed to be a “ride or die” and a “strong black woman”.
There are so many conflicting narratives about black women. Half the time we are over sexualized sirens who do nothing but have babies and live off welfare. The other half of us are uptight ice queens with high powered careers, our own car, and house who don’t need a man.
But, as an adult, you come to realize that you were being groomed to complement your partner to be HIS shadow instead of your own person. Every decision you have ever made, you were forced to think about what your future husband may think of you.
- Don’t go out too much because your husband won’t want you dancing with other men.
- Don’t have sex before marriage because then you’ll be damaged goods – keep that “body count” low.
- Don’t go for a high-powered career, either way, you’ll have to give it up when the kids come.
- Don’t argue too much, no-one likes a loud mouth.
Just over and over and over again.
Have you ever asked yourself: what do I want? What do I need? Am I getting what I want or need right now in this relationship? If it were to carry on the exact way it is right now, will I be happy?Have you ever asked yourself: what do I want? What do I need? Am I getting what I want or need right now in this relationship? If it were to carry on the exact way it is right now, will I be happy? Click To Tweet
Many of us who go through this have positive and confident black role models in our lives – both women and men – but at times, they weren’t giving the best example of what building a partnership was. The women were often groomed in the same way we were, to take things on at their expense. And, this is also how women are shockingly expected to function in everyday life.
When it was revealed that Pastor John Gray’s wife had “sacrificed the last eight years” of her life for the mess that he brought into the marriage, it lit a fire under a lot of black women. Same script, different cast. We saw or mothers and grandmothers tiptoeing around their men, blending into the background and being the silent strong pillar of our families.
And it’s not just them, the young women of our generation are being affected too. Can you believe that in the 21st century, there are young black women who are taking online classes for their boyfriends, helping them to land jobs and build careers? Tyler Perry’s “Acrimony” starring our girl Taraji was a perfect example of that! Women today are still with men in the face of infidelity, disrespect, illegitimate children, utter disregard, emotional and physical abuse – all for #relationshipgoals.Women today are still with men in the face of infidelity, disrespect, illegitimate children, utter disregard, emotional and physical abuse – all for #relationshipgoals. Click To Tweet
Our culture romanticizes all of this. We applaud men like Jay-Z and Kevin Hart for fessing up to the devastation they’ve inflicted upon their wives and call it “growth” and “maturity”. We lower our expectations and whisper “Well if Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce – what hope do we have?” We let our hearts get absolutely shredded just for the ability to say “Yeah, I got a man”. Yep, you do. You’ve also got his lies, disrespect, other women, other children and a body full of pain.
You may find my other post helpful: Let Go And Move Forward
But, that’s cool (!).
“Struggle love” is not okay. You do not have to go through a Future to get a Russell. “Going through it” is not a rite of passage for a loving and healthy relationship. Yes, there will be ups and downs but sacrificing yourself should not be a part of it.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments, please!