Confession, I love reading blogs run by mainly men like Very Smart Brothas, Single Black Male and Naked With Socks On. I always leave these sites with an a’ha moment feeling like I’m in on the secret world of how men think. However, one of my absolute favorite male blogs has to be Black Girls Are Easy. Yes, yes I know the title of the site is extremely misleading and sort of degrading. Still, the posts are always brutally honest, leaving me either wanting more, extremely upset, but always thinking.
Last week, a few of my male friends were passing this article around like it was the newly added 11th commandment.
“This makes me want to be single,” one married friend said. “Wow, this is so real, wish I had read it earlier,” an engaged friend responded. “He touched on everything in the article, I know a lot of men who feel like this, but would never say it to the women in their lives,” another guy friend stated.
The article entitled “Don’t Put A Ring On It,” dives into the rarely discussed topic of men settling down and marrying their women because it’s the “right” thing to do and not necessarily because they want too. Although I agreed with mostly everything in the piece, it still left me feeling a bit duped. I shuttered at the thought of women around the world (including a few of my friends), who are in long-term relationships, thinking they’re so lucky because they’ve “found the one,” yet in reality the man isn’t exactly feeling the same way. How selfish. The author of the viral article even went so far as to compare forced relationships to basketball star Lebron James failed attempt at getting a championship ring and pointed out the fact that women will NOT say no if you ask for their hand in marriage.
“Long time relationships have men feeling like Lebron James in the 4th quarter. We know everyone around us is waiting for us to make that shot, but we don’t want to take it. We’re not confident and it shows, so when we force ourselves to marry and it doesn’t work out, it’s like Bron missing that jump shot– we blame everyone around us. We as men don’t have to marry anyone we don’t want to marry. Marriage is such a big step that you have to be selfish. I have a friend who recently got separated, he knew he didn’t want to marry that woman, but because of that full court pressure she and her family put on him he said, ‘I might as well, ain’t nothing else popping right now.’ It’s time to stop going ‘might as well’ and start waiting for, ‘Damn, I want this girl forever ever.’ Trust me; it’s a totally different feeling. I want every man to aim for what he wants, not what is easiest to attain. You can fake being content for a few years but eventually you’re going to start creeping with shorty that’s more your speed or start hanging with your homeboys every night instead of rushing home to the wife and kids. First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes marriage counseling because your dumb ass skipped the first step. If you don’t want her, don’t put a ring on it.”
Duh! I found myself shouting at the computer screen. Haven’t men been getting the same lecture that women have been getting from their mothers, grandmothers, and aunties since coming of age? Have some men missed out on the profound advice that you’re never supposed to settle?
“Don’t dim your light just to be walking around with someone on your arm, don’t you ever do that!” media maven Oprah Winfrey publically informed a heartbroken Serena Williams a few years ago. Although I’ve heard this message my entire adult life, it took on a different meaning when Oprah said it to Serena. Perhaps it was because one powerful woman was saying it to another powerful woman, but it’s a quote that I’m sure I’ll never forget. So often women are told to go after their dream mate and find someone who compliments them. Are men not being told the same thing?
It’s disheartening to think that any woman is out there “catering” to her man as the article pointed out, thinking she’s doing what she needs to do to keep him happy and the fire burning in their relationship, and in actuality, he doesn’t really want to be with her: he’s just “comfortable.” Wait a minute, what? And yes I know some women are just as guilty for staying in relationships or even marriages because it’s easy and not necessarily due to complete happiness. Whatever the case, it reminded me of how significant honesty is, and how much time is wasted when you’re not completely honest with the person you love or think you love.
Here’s a thought, let’s stop fooling each other. Fellas, if you don’t want to marry us, don’t string us a long, don’t bring the topic of marriage up, and certainly don’t ask us to marry you if it’s not whole heartedly what you want. Ladies unless you know for sure that it’s love with no boundaries, no walls, no fears, no pressure, and not an ounce of hesitancy — don’t you dare say yes.