Guest Blogger – Erica Edwards
Being single for the past several years, by choice I might add, I have had to withstand the backlash of many relationships gone wrong. I know every break up story has two sides, but I am going to speak from the one I see. Many men have experiences with women who try to pressure them into marriage and children.
There are women who actually talk about these things early in a relationship, before they know if they are compatible. Some meet women who don’t respect them and cheat on them because they are fearful of the possibility of being hurt. A lot of men talk about the strong black woman they meet who is mean and tries to dominate the relationship, making him feel less than a man.
I really don’t get it, or maybe I do.
Our society is one that is completely selfish, where many feel entitled just because they were born. I want to know what makes one feel as though they are entitled to another person’s life, their time, and the things they have worked hard for just because they want it. If you are not enhancing a person’s quality of life, you have no business being part of it. If you are causing drama, arguing, and constantly making demands, those are not attractive qualities and you should seek to make yourself a better person before engaging in a relationship with another. You by yourself should be enough. Being alone does not equal being lonely.
I know Steve Harvey wrote a book for women on how to deal with men. I have seen some of its points and I am not in total agreement with all of them. My philosophy on life is more of an Eastern/Buddhist philosophy where I try to consider the needs and wants of others before my own. I find that I have more peace of mind this way. I try to practice selflessness: the art of putting the feelings of others before yours. In addition to selflessness, there is unconditional love. Unconditional love is when you love others regardless of their situation, what they have done, or what they may have done to you.
The only person you can control in this life is you. There are always going to be situations that arise which are challenging, that is life and that is uncontrollable. People are people, and they will do things that may cause you hurt and pain because of their own life experiences. You have to accept them for who they are and decide if they have a place in your life or not–you cannot change someone who does not want to change.
If you consider how you are making another person feel and also how that other person may be feeling before you act or react, you will find that life becomes easier for you. When someone snaps at you, instead of snapping back and asking what you did to deserve that behavior and using expletives, simply ask “What’s wrong?” Many times other people’s behavior is not about you, so it is wrong to take it personal and allow it to upset you.
Before you enter into any long-term relationship, you have to be happy and love yourself. You have to know what you do and don’t want, be happy with the direction in which your life is headed, and be able to be happy even when your significant other isn’t around. If that means having friends and family to do things with, having hobbies that interest you, or performing some sort of community services then do that. Wanting a man to be around all the time is way too much pressure. Basically, get a life.
Let’s go back to my beginning points. The marriage and children talk. Men are providers. Talking to a man about providing for you and a child, which is what you do when you talk about marriage and children, will be scary to any man within the first few dates. It’s ok to ask a man if he sees being married or having children in his future if that’s what you want but nothing more. As women, we have a tendency to fantasize about what our life will look like when we meet a man. Women have to keep in mind that this is indeed just a fantasy!
You love the idea of him but not him, because you don’t know him yet. He is most likely just trying to have a good time and get to know you. Honestly, I think a lot of black men are waiting to see if you are going to act crazy or not. Try to relax and enjoy the moment. Enjoy your dinner dates and your talks. It may work out and it may not. If not, chances are you will learn something about yourself, your business, or life itself. Chalk it up to experience.
If a man doesn’t want you, let him go. There are plenty of men out there and one who will love you in return. Don’t spend too much time sulking. There is no need to change who you are, especially if you are happy with yourself, to keep a man. Let him find his match and wish him well. Love him so much that you want him to be happy even if it isn’t with you.
A girlfriend of mine actually told me how to get over a broken heart quickly. What she advised was that I write down all the things that made the relationship not a good one and focus on those. We have a tendency to focus on all the good when people are gone. You will remember the good in time but for the sake of sparing others from your moping I recommend the list, it works! Don’t call him, text him, stalk him, or throw a tantrum. It may hurt but as the old adage goes: time heals all wounds.
Let a man be a man. If you make more money than he does, or you own a home and he doesn’t…so what! Those things are material. Don’t remind him of it every time you have an argument. If he is a productive citizen, loves his job, and can take care of basic needs that’s all that should matter. In many areas, especially in the city, it will take both people working to run a household. If you live together, support him however you can. When he is around you he should feel like a king and any worries he has should be left outside. A man that you disrespect and belittle won’t be yours for long. There are plenty of women out there who will make him feel like a man and your relationship will be short-lived.
Don’t cheat; it does nothing for your character. If you’re afraid of commitment just admit it but don’t waste other people’s time and emotions. Giving your all shows people who you really are. If you can’t do that, you aren’t ready for a commitment. If you are cheating because you don’t trust him, and you don’t trust any men…get a therapist. You aren’t ready for a commitment.