I was out for lunch with a girlfriend of mine today. We were catching up and we got to the topic of men and relationships. We celebrated the joy of one of our fabulous sisters who has met an amazing guy and although I haven’t met him – I have spoken with him and my girl has definitely met her man.
We were comparing notes on conversations that we’ve both experienced directly and indirectly. Basically we’ve heard the reasons why some men at 35 were prepared to remain single.
“Black women are just too demanding.”
“Black women are just too ambitious”
“We’re not interested/prepared/ready to take on the responsibility of a relationship and all the things is brings.”
“Black women are on a higher level than me and as I can’t reach her then I know I’m not good enough for her so why bother trying. I’ll have to consider widening my options and date outside my race.”
“For most black women, there’s nothing really that I can give her.”
I’ve been hearing this stuff and more from black men in their 30s and 40s and put it down to all the cultural and social issues that we may have as offspring of first & second generation immigrants to the UK. However, I’m growing increasingly worried that I keep hearing this from twentysomethings. I just can’t believe it! I thought that my generation and older as products of the feminist movement of the 1960s to late 1970s were basically dealing with the shift of women’s changing place in society and it’s impact on our environment.
But to hear both black and white people in their twenties giving up on finding a partner… I go crazy and then get concerned. Why why why are we thinking this way? When I was in my twenties I was out dating different guys and had the odd relationship with hope that I would find the right one. These young people aren’t even dating! What happened in 15 years?
My girlfriend and I were talking about a mutual friend and she said something that I’ve heard before and doesn’t completely surprise me.
“Desiree doesn’t need a man”, our mutual friend said “With all she has going for her and because of who she is she won’t need one”.
I laughed, probably out of slight surprise but we questioned what our mutual friend meant by me not needing a man. I’ve heard it’s the general consensus that successful, ambitious women find it hard to meet and settle with a man that they can converse, learn, share, build, grow, love and level with. I know a few women that have broken that “rule”. However, with so many men telling women (including myself) that they won’t find a man who’d love them the way they want, what does that do for womenfolk? What do we do? Become resentful, bitter, angry, enter promiscuous relationships with no promise of any deeper connection, become celibate or seek alternative relationships?
And what of our brothers? I’d really like you to ask me what I want/need before assuming what I need and what I don’t. Yes I’m successful in my own right, I’m happy and my life is without drama and like most women, I expect 2 things – respect and love. The fundamentals. I understand that the definition of love is different for everybody. But if it’s way too different, I won’t try to change you, we’ll just have to agree to disagree and move on. If we agree to agree, well let’s grow from there.
But truly, let’s open the dialogue for us to air what’s truly bugging us about each other, maybe we’ll understand each other better. Well that’s what I’d hope for.