What Every Strong Woman Needs from Her Mate

womens Needs

I believe that if you have the below four things in a relationship you have the foundation for a great union:

  1. Faith (God-based union)
  2. Integrity
  3. Financial Maturity
  4. Mental Compatibility

I saw this on Facebook the other day and did a quick praise dance. It captured everything I’ve ever said about identifying a great mate…

Subject: SELF WORTH (Very Deep!!!) In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question:

‘What kind of man are you looking for?’

She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye & asking,

‘Do you really want to know?’

Reluctantly, he said, ‘Yes. She began to expound, ‘As a woman in this day & age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for me that I can’t do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man… or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, ‘What can you bring to the table?’ The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought & stated,

‘I am not referring to money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.’

He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, & asked her to explain. She said, ‘I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation.

I don’t need a simple-minded man. I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked...believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.

I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don’t need a financial burden. I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.

I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man. I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God. I need someone whom I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy.

And by the way, I am not looking for him…He will find me. He will recognize himself in me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me.

God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can’t help a man if he can’t help himself. When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face.

He said,

‘You are asking a lot.’

She replied,

“I’m worth a lot”.

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Haven’t We All Been Mary Jane?

Why are people so upset about the TV show Being Mary Jane? She chose to exercise bad judgement. I’m not condoning her behavior but the reality is she is like a lot of American women.

The women who hate on her and the show are probably ashamed to admit that they identify with her so much. Not just the affair, but the struggle of being a professional woman, dealing with family issues. work, and relationships. I think Mary Jane is much more than a woman who was once involved with a married man. ‪#‎BeingMaryJane‬

What single woman has not dealt with a lot of the issues that Mary Jane Paul has (aside from the affair)?  She has a brother struggling with addiction, another making bad life choices that could surely affect his freedom and future, and a niece who doesn’t value herself with more kids than she can afford. Who can’t say they don’t see their family reflected somewhere in her story?

So contrary to popular belief, I do not think the show is about a home wrecker or a scandalous side chick. I do think it is about a woman seeking a love of her own to fulfill the vision she set for her life.

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What’s it Like to be with a Black Woman?…My First Solicitation in Frankfurt: The Serbian

So I get a call from Nicola, the Serbian here in Frankfurt. He asks if we can meet and I oblige. We meet close to downtown at a popular cafe chain.  We talk more about the car I want to purchase and he provides me some information on dealerships etc. I ordered sweet potato fries and water because I was starving and he order ginger ale.  We stay and chat for about an hour before he walks me across the street to the U-bahn station.

As we’re about to depart he confides that he wanted to be honest with me.  He asks what I thought about him, adding that he was curious to know how I felt about men seducing me.  Confused, I asked what he meant by seducing me. He stammered a bit before sharing that in this context he was referring to having sex.  He went on to say that he’s attracted to me, and that he think’s it a huge curiosity for European men to want to be with an African or African-American women, in particular, because the European women that the European men tend to date are physically much different. Black women have big butts and boobs and it’s enticing for him and other men like him to want to know what it’s like to be with a black women.

He asked me how men in America approach me or other women with the same intention. I said honestly, they’re usually not very upfront about their sexual intentions and will date a girl as long as it takes to get sex out of it.  It’s not always the case but it can be many times.  He asked me what my thoughts were on all of what he had asked and shared, hoping I wasn’t offended.

I assured him that I wasn’t offended, mainly because he was respectful, and I could understand his curiosity.  But I let him know that I wasn’t interested in being his science project or open to charity sex.  Maybe if I was 5 years younger I may have been down to test the waters. But at this point I’d rather not waste my time entertaining someone who has no intention of getting to know me or any intentions of building a real relationship.

We talked a bit more and I learned that ultimately he wanted to marry a woman like him, Serbian. I completely understood that. While I don’t know what my future holds I typically picture my husband to be a reflection of me.  In the sense that he’ll look like me and we’ll share the same understanding of what it means to be an African American.  So I understood his desire to marry a Serbian woman.  For many minorities, I think it not only is easier to date and marry someone with the same ethnic background, but it many cases is just who you happened to be most attracted to. The same goes for religious affiliation.

We ultimately agreed that we’d likely not see each other again but I was happy to have met him and understand his perspective of interracial dating, and curiosity about black women.  Luckily he was respectful about it, as I’m sure that is not always the case with other people I may meet.

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“Your Skin is Not Like Mine”

One day last week I stopped at a nearby travel agency. I wanted to see if they could find me a good deal for my upcoming trip to Italy.  I walked in and sat down in front of the other available agent as there was a gentleman occupying the other agent’s desk. I explained to the agent what I was looking for.

We chatted briefly before she got up to find a brochure.  I smiled at the gentleman sitting who was being helped by the other agent, and said “Hi”.  But he turned his head without responding. I started to get indignant because I was frustrated that Germans rarely speak back, after I greet them.  I had been told and forewarned about their temperament but thought surely they can’t all be that snobbish to not speak when spoken to.  I wanted to say hello to him again in an even louder voice than before just to ensure that he had heard me.  Surely he would respond this time.

My agent returned and I ultimately decided to ignore him. He left about 5 minutes later. And I left about 10 minutes  later.  As I’m crossing the street I see him approaching me on his bicycle.  He stops me and asks if I speak German. I replied “ein bisschen” “only a little”.  Then he asks if I spoke English, when he clearly heard me speaking English to the travel agent. But I responded positively. So he proceeded to ask me if I had time to talk over coffee.

In my mind I’m thinking “Is this the same guy who just snubbed me 20 minutes ago?”  Clearly, I was confused.  So I agreed to go to the cafe across the street.  As he locked up his bike he begins with the questions…

Him: Are you African?
Me: No
Him: Are you Haitian?
Me: No
Him: Are you Brazilian?
Me: No
Him: Dominican?
Me: I’m American
Him: Afro… American?

With every negative response I supplied him, he grew more and more confused. We sat down and I explained to him that I’m American, yes, African-American.  He then asks where my parents are from.  I said America so he proceeds to ask about my grandparents. Yup they’re American too.  I explained that at least 4 or 5 generations of my parents are all American.  But of course he follows that with “So where in Africa is your family originally from” I said to be honest I couldn’t tell you.  (I spared him the details of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a little to heavy for me after work and over coffee at the cafe.)

Finally, it was my turn to ask the questions.  I found out that he was a Serbian living in Germany named Nicola. (It sounds really sexy when says it, compared to how it looks on the screen. )  Then I asked why he ignored me when I greeted him in the travel agency. His response was that it is atypical for Germans to speak to people they don’t know.  “But you’re not German”, I say.  And he gives me a sly smile.   He went on about how he doesn’t like German women, because they’re “hearts are cold” and his people i.e. the Serbs (is that even politically correct –the Serbs) are not like that.

I ordered a cappuccino and he ordered water.  And then we start talking about race, and color, and interracial relationships. He said it was an uncommon thing in Germany, but I disagree. I see a lot of black, mostly African, women with white, European men. Additionally, Germany has a huge U.S. military population and a great percentage of military families are biracial especially ones living overseas. So I see a lot of biracial couples and children here in Germany.  I have only seen one biracial couple where the woman was black here in Germany and the man was white.

I asked him if he had ever dated a black girl or an African girls to which he replied that he hadn’t but would like to. Adding that it’s not easy to meet them. I said for starters you can speak back, if they speak to you. He attempted to gauge my interest in dating white guys, I told him that I don’t discriminate.

He noticed the tattoo on my arm and touched it, asking if I had only one.  Then he rubbed my arm and hand, stating that “It’s so nice…your skin is beautiful, not like mine”.  As he’s rubbing his skin and rubbing mine trying to compare, I assure him that there really is no difference. But he rubbing, turned into a petting, so I removed my hand from the table. I’m nobody’s pet!

After paying for our beverages we left and began walking. He looked older but not too old, so I asked him his age.  His response was, “How old do I look?” Everyone knows that that response really means  “I’m older than I think you’ll care to entertain” OR “I’m younger than I want to share with you”.  I knew it was the former and he finally told me that he was 40-years old.  I told him my age, right before telling him that we needed to part ways. (I didn’t want him knowing where I lived, so I didn’t want to get too close to my house/neighborhood).   He asked for my number and I obliged but giving him the spelling of my name was a chore.  I spelled it in English AND in German and finally he got it right but not before pointing to signs that contained the letters in my name.  I guess I shouldn’t complain his English was way better than my German.

Of course he sent me a good morning text the following day, but managed to spell my name wrong.  I’ll never understand why people insist on spelling your name wrong when they send you a Facebook message or an email at work when my name is clearly in the address. It’s annoying as hell.

Subscribe to my blog and click here for Part II, the follow-up meeting with the Serbian.

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Does the Lack of Respect, Responsibility, and Recourse Correlate to Absentee Fathers?

Father’s Day recently passed and with that holiday usually comes comparisons of the roles of mothers and fathers. But particularly the overwhelming scrutiny of the absence of many men who have fathered children (at least in the biological sense).

Mothers in our society are very often celebrated, but fathers on the other hand don’t receive nearly as much praise or recognition on the same level. But when we observe a standup father doing a decent job, we tend to overcompensate as if him being a father is some amazing feat. And not something generally expected of him. I’m not saying that fathers should not be celebrated but just that we should uphold the fathers to a standard similar to that of mothers.

It’s no secret that America is plagued with a disproportionate number of families living without a “present” father than those who have a two-parent (male and female) household. I think that has a lot to do with our society in how women are portrayed in media. I’ve written on that topic previously.  While this isn’t the only reason for the imbalance, it certain is a contributing factor. But that’s not to wholly blame women for their actions but equally to share in the blame are the men who perpetuate it.

If we think about the Baby Boomers’ parents, we typically think of two-parent households and marriages that really meant “til death do you part” but somewhere in the last half-century or so, things changed.

Many of my friends close to my age have parents that never married. So somewhere between my grandparents’ generation and my parents’ generation, family values, family make-up, and family dynamic seem to have drastically changed.

After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that 3 reasons or any combination of them are behind the increase in the number of absentee fathers. They are:

  • Lack of Respect
  • Lack of Responsibility
  • Lack of Recourse

Absent Fathers:

Create imbalance in the home
Impact the child’s self-esteem
Can promote the seeking of affection from outside sources.

In my humble opinion, I think that men who knowingly father children but choose not to participate and help raise their children, often feel no responsibility to the child or the mother. Which in some cases stemmed from a lack of respect for the woman/mother. And because there aren’t strong measures in place for any recourse for absent fathers this cycle continues.

This post is geared mostly towards parents that had a short-term relationship prior to the child’s conception. That’s not to say that the children of married folks don’t suffer from some of the same issues.

Respect

Respect is generally earned, so it’s rare to truly respect someone you’ve known for only a few hours. In cases of one-night-stands and relations with those you don’t know very well, you do yourself a huge disservice by not refraining from engaging in intimate acts at least until both parties are a bit invested.

Here’s where I put a bit of the blame on the woman since in most cases that’s where the respect issue begins.

People can only do what you allow them to. So in those intimate moments–if the woman had respected herself in that moment to refrain from engaging in that act, the man would have no choice but to do the same.

This is more of a combination of the media portraying women who put themselves on display in a disrespectful manner and women and men who condone and perpetuate that.

In the end, us women must do a better job of respecting ourselves if we expect for men to do the same. Because a man who respects a woman who bore his child would never want for that woman or the child to suffer or do without because of his lack of participation.

Responsibility

Responsibility means being accountable for your actions. Meaning every action causes a reaction. If your actions contributed to an unfavorable outcome, it is still attributable to you and therefore need to take ownership of it. It is cowardly to run and hide from things you are held responsible for. (Children, debt, taxes etc.)

Studies show that the non-existence of a committed relationship significantly increases the chances that the male will be less likely to be a contributing parent to the subsequent child.

If a man has no obligation to a woman (such is the case in any committed relationship) he is much less likely to be around once a child is born. He feels no responsibility or commitment to the mother and therefore no responsibility to the child.

Sometimes, if you can observe someone long enough from your interactions with them you can assess their “responsibleness”. Do they pay their bills on time, do they respect others, do they abide by rules and laws, are the respectful of time etc. These won’t be a 100% determining factor but you’ll get a sense of who they are. But in a lot of cases, if the person is generally a responsible person and they become “a ghost” after the pregnancy/birth of the child, then chances are the real reason he left was sheer fear. Perhaps fear of not being a good father, fear of not being able to financial support another individual, fear of all the changes that will surely come with a child and a million other fears. Expecting mothers have many of these same fears for themselves and their child. So this doesn’t excuse the father.

Recourse

Seemingly the only recourse that a mother has to tie the child to the father is financial child support. Child support can be a deterrent for fathers to be active parents for two main reasons. The first is that they feel that their obligation is met because of his financial contribution. The second is that they resent the mother so much for garnishing their wages or altering their lifestyle financially that they punish the mother (and ultimately–really, the child) by not spending time or actively engaging with the child. Additionally, they also may not feel any obligation to pay child support, knowing that there are many men who never pay and have commonly not been persecuted for it.

Therefore, if a man has no respect for the child’s mother, lack of responsibility for the child he created, and feels there is no real recourse that forces him to take an active role, then what motivation does he really have to do the right thing?

Most importantly I think that if men who knowingly father children would just be real MEN by adding value to their child’s life. Make that child a priority it’ll be so much more rewarding than imaginable. That fear that most expecting parents have should not deter anyone from doing what is right. For fathers who currently have children and are not participating, step up! You’d be surprise how being a father can positively affect your life and the child’s. Children are a blessing not a burden!

The bottom-line is that you will never really know if someone will stick around after a pregnancy. But you can do what is in your power to give yourself and your child the best possible chance to have a fulfilling relationship with both parents and the family live that he/she deserves.

 

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Have You Dumped Friends For a New Beau?

Guilty As Charged

Yup! I’ve been that friend that neglected or bailed on my friends after beginning a new romantic relationship.  I hate to admit it but it happened.

A few years back I was knee-deep in a new relationship. We saw each other every day and ironically we lived in different states and about 1.5 hours away from each other. It was an intensive relationship to say the least. A few months into it, I made plans to hang out with a friend out-of-state. I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. But I hadn’t considered that my boyfriend at the time would want to tag along. I mean at some point you need your girl time.  Well this caused a major fight for my boyfriend and I. Ultimately, I blew off my friend to bring the peace back to my relationship.

Well, my friend wasn’t having that. She put me right in my place. For starters, my long-term friends and I all are of the school of thought that you don’t dump your friends for a man.  So after months of not  of spending time with my friends and keeping my word on commitments, she had had enough. She flat-out told me that what I was doing was wrong and that I needed to re-evaluate who I was and what I was becoming based on the behavior she had observed since I had entered this new relationship.

Now this conversation could have gone a few different ways. But because I know my friends and their true intentions, I knew there wasn’t shade being thrown behind her confronting me on my recent behavior.  So luckily for me this wasn’t the end of a long-term friendship. I heeded what she said and recognized the truth in her words.

I was slightly hurt and disappointed in myself. Because I had discarded my relationship with my friends and family for a guy that wasn’t respectful of the relationships I had built before I ever knew his name. It wasn’t right and because my friends and I had always had conversations about women who “got ghost” once they got a man, I couldn’t believe that I had become one of them. I vowed then that I would never do that to any of my friends or family again.

I think there are situations when it might be time to get new friends or distance yourself from old ones. But this wasn’t one of those situations.

I’ve lived by the quote that:

“If you get into a relationship & drop all your friends…don’t expect them to be there when the relationship ends…”

And that holds true for both males and females. Ultimately, I think it is extremely important to value your friendships and relationships. If you outgrow a person, make it known that it’s not about your new relationship but that you perhaps don’t find the same things interesting as you once did. And the bond you once shared isn’t as strong as it had been.  People change, and the people in  your life don’t always change at the same rate or grow in the same direction you see for yourself. But if you are honest with yourself and the company you keep, you can avoid a nasty break up with your friends and family.

More importantly, if your new boo is keeping you from your friends and family, it could be jealousy or insecurities. Either way those need to be addressed immediately.  If they can’t respect your friends and family enough to feel comfortable with you spending time apart and with your loved ones, that person is probably not the one for you.

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