Tag Archives: relationships

Saw another post that reminded me of this one. Guess it’s on other people’s minds too.

yetdoimarvel

Holding HandsLet me say first that I am a lover of love, regardless of race, and I am in no way attempting to submit language that divides or offends. Nor am I trying to change minds. I just have questions, nagging ones, so this title may be a bit of a misnomer because I don’t really have questions about interracial relationships as a whole. I myself have participated in, daydreamed about, and enjoyed them. And I have found interracial relationships to be dreadfully similar to same-race ones. My questions though are about Black professional athletes. And as another disclaimer, my goal is not to discredit other races of women as reasonable and qualified mates. I just want to know why dating women who aren’t Black seems to be such a status symbol.

My question stems more from a place of hurt than of mere curiosity because I notice that more often…

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What’s Wrong With My Social Circle?

So, according to Paul Brunson, when we get older “our social circles begin to shrink and the dating process becomes more challenging.” This makes a  lot of sense, but I am only nearing twenty-five, so what the heck is wrong with my social circle?! Although I play a lot of roles, I meet very few new people, especially not new guys. This is sad, but I don’t think I am the normal case, so I am going to take a moment to introspect and diagnose my own problem areas. Maybe this will be helpful to some of the other weirdoes out there like me (I doubt it).

  • Problem Area #1: Über-Coyness
    So, I’m so pressed to be coy that sometimes my slight diversion of the eye becomes an eye-roll and my grin is a snub. You won’t even get a hello unless you come up off one first.
  • Problem Area #2: Oh So Routine
    I go to the same places ALL THE TIME. And they are all in the same area. Granted, there is a nice pool to choose from in this area, but so far, no bites. But my desire to save gas and my irritability when I can’t find my way around prevent me from making any quick fixes to this one.
  • Problem Area #3: Not So Routine
    If I have been going to the same place for a while, and, all of a sudden, a guy who also frequents that place seems to be interested, I will avoid it altogether. Weird, right? But my nerves can’t handle the awkwardness of getting to know someone while I’m on my routine. A rare occurrence the other day might cure me from this one though (I really like that place and he was fine enough to endure the awkwardness).
  • Problem Area #4: I’M MUCH TOO COOL FOR THIS!
    Getting down those first three was such a dig, and truth be told, I think I’m too awesome to try to figure out what’s wrong with me. In fact, I really just thought it might be entertaining to share some of my own weird quirks; no real solution was ever intended. There is so much dating advice out there, but sometimes I am not convinced that it is really that deep. I marvel at how complicated we make this whole dating thing though…

Paul Brunson excerpt from Essence Magazine May 2012 issue.

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Romantic Comedies vs. Male Advice

I’m certain that there is nothing novel to the notion that romantic comedies are completely unrealistic, but after conversing with an uber-manly friend of mine and watching Something Borrowed in the same day, I realize what a complete set-up watching these films can be. I discovered what a complete set-up listening to my uber-manly friend can be, too. Here are a few of the contrasts I found between the two experiences.

"Something Borrowed"

  • How men pursue: According to my friend (and I have heard this before), when a man wants something, he pursues it. So, if a man isn’t chasing, more than likely he doesn’t want it. According the film, men can go years without ever addressing or pursuing their love. So, women should assume that even if he isn’t saying so or showing it, he could actually love you.
    My issue with this-If I were to believe the film, I could spend my life trying to read between the   lines without ever paying attention to what a guy is really saying (or not saying). Living like this would clearly be emotionally draining and overall disappointing. If I listen to my friend, then I should assume that every man knows exactly how to express himself and that every man is super simple to get.
  • How men handle emotions: Also according to my friend, I and other women approach getting to know someone with far too many emotions. Men don’t feel when dating; they just observe. According to the film, men are as emotionally unbalanced as women are, and one can expect to see any range of emotion at any time from men.
    My issue with this- By no means do I think that men are raging lunatics like we are, but I refuse to believe that there is not one ounce of emotion involved when a man is getting to know a woman. Men might get over things sooner, but there are emotions tied to wanting to get to know someone more or wanting to be around someone.
  • How men choose: And lastly, according to my friend, men make a choice about a woman based on how well she matches his needs and preferences. According to the film, men make choices completely contrary to their needs or preferences out of convenience.
    My issue with this- If I consider my friend’s point of view to be at all accurate, then I should assume that men know exactly what they want, apparently far better than women do. I am not so naive to take this point of view. However, the latter would make me feel hopeless. Consider: if a man does settle for you, it’s because you were his convenient mistake. I am not so cynical as to adhere to this point of view either.

So, let’s assume that these films were not created to imitate life, nor were they created to provide any pattern for realistic relationships. And let’s assume that although our male friends know a whole lot more about being a man than we do, they don’t know all there is to know about being human. But I marvel at how prone we are to make relationships like science.

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The Spark

You know that feeling you get when you first begin to get to know someone of the opposite sex? It’s the feeling when you overlook all reason and practicality and simply embrace the idea that God has seemingly answered your prayer and checked off every little box on your list of wants. You forget the bedtime and stay on the phone until 3am. You roll into work the next day in sleepy satisfaction of your blossoming romance. You smile more, and your co-workers notice, but you don’t tell them why because for now, you just want to keep this flicker to yourself, and besides, you wouldn’t want to jinx it. You roll out of the bed early on Sunday mornings met with text messages and missed calls, and as you hasten to reply, you rejoice and rest in the fact that your quick responses don’t make you seem desperate. This infatuation is mutual. You ask a few close friends some hypothetical questions like ” Could you see me with a…” or “What if I dated a…?” They give their dubious opinions, but their answers don’t matter anyway because you are far too smitten and far too removed from reality. You begin to imagine a future together with him. He fits in so well with your plans. Then, you hit the two week mark.

I marvel at how quickly the spark dies.

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Interracial Relationships

Holding HandsLet me say first that I am a lover of love, regardless of race, and I am in no way attempting to submit language that divides or offends. Nor am I trying to change minds. I just have questions, nagging ones, so this title may be a bit of a misnomer because I don’t really have questions about interracial relationships as a whole. I myself have participated in, daydreamed about, and enjoyed them. And I have found interracial relationships to be dreadfully similar to same-race ones. My questions though are about Black professional athletes. And as another disclaimer, my goal is not to discredit other races of women as reasonable and qualified mates. I just want to know why dating women who aren’t Black seems to be such a status symbol.

My question stems more from a place of hurt than of mere curiosity because I notice that more often than not when a Black male athlete reaches a place of success, there is woman on his arm who is not Black. If we all pretended to not see color, then perhaps this wouldn’t be startling at all, but since we’re being realistic, can we acknowledge that there is a bit of a formula here. I believe it looks something like this : Black male athlete+success=anything but a Black woman. And this formula sends a very disheartening message to Black women. Here we are, –well in order to avoid being too inclusive or exclusive, I will use myself as an example. Here I am, growing up around Black men, admiring Black men, and loving Black men. And here I am thinking that I will one day be the prize of one said Black man. But every time a Black male athlete chooses to overlook a Black woman, he tells her over and over again that she does not fit in with the image of success, that though she was great when he was broke, she is no longer suitable to a wealthy and successful man. How hurtful this is! And perhaps, I am taking things a little out of context, but I wonder how much of this is a figment of my imagination and how much of this is a case of deeply rooted rejection within the Black race.

Perhaps I lied–at least to myself. Maybe I really am trying to change minds. And maybe I’m not just hurt but annoyed at how insensitive this bold display of renunciation of Black women can be. Perhaps I thought that in 2011 Black women wouldn’t have to stomach feelings of being second best. Perhaps I thought Black men, even successful ones, saw Black women as valuable too.

I marvel at still how sensitive some racial wounds are.

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