Earlier this week I settled in to watch one of my usual reality television guilty pleasures Why Am I Still Single. In the show matchmaker Siggy Flicker works with hopeless singles in hopes of finding out why they’re still single. Hence the show’s title. On the latest episode Siggy works with a young African American woman named Ebony who is searching for the perfect Prince Jamal…not Prince Charming. Princess Ebony has even created a vision board with all the requirements her prince must have. What’s on her list you ask? Well amongst other things, Prince Jamal must be gainfully employed, making over $80K (but that’s negotiable based on his benefits package….yes she said that), cultured, well traveled, have no children and prepared to be the sole bread winner once (and after) she is with child. Siggy tried to tell Ebony that while she did deserve the best, maybe she needs to be willing to negotiate on some of her ‘must haves.’

To illustrate her point Siggy dressed Ebony up like Cinderella and presented her with a bevy of potential Prince Jamals for her to choose from. She then proceeded to have Princess Ebony read from her list of requirements and every time a prince didn’t stack up he was to relinquish his crown and walk away. Needless to say at the end Princess Ebony was left without her prince because none of the men could fully measure up. Even when Siggy hooked her up with a seemingly great guy, Ebony’s list and relationship walls kept her from connecting. By the end of the show Ebony was still determined to find the Prince Jamal of her dreams no matter how unrealistic her requirements may seem to others.

It got me to thinking, is Prince Jamal even a possible reality? Is Ebony being unrealistic or would she simply be settling by refusing to compromise on her list? Let’s be honest, no woman wants a loser, but is it realistic to demand your potential mate have an $80K plus salary whether or not you’re pulling one yourself? What if the field he works in and loves doesn’t command that kind of salary? Is it fair to say he has to look like a mash up of Barack Obama and Shemar Moore when clearly, unless they’re related, he will never achieve anything near that in the looks department? It’s perfectly fine to have standards and demand a certain level of treatment, but when do requirements go from simply having standards to idealizing a fantasy? Every woman wants a Prince Jamal just like every man wants their Cinderella, but just because a man doesn’t have an $80K salary doesn’t mean he isn’t worth building with. None of us are perfect; we don’t come out the womb ready made like Pillsbury biscuits. Part of a relationship, in my opinion, is having a partner that complements you, not completes you. Your other half should be weak where you’re strong and be able to help, push and support you in creating the person you envision. If my potential Prince Jamal came to me today making $45K, barring any glaring red flags, I would give him a chance because he could very well be working towards something more financially rewarding. No passport? Maybe I can be the one to give him the little push he needs to begin exploring the world….together.

Am I a smart, wonderful, amazing woman that deserves the moon and the stars? Yes, but I’m not ready made. I’m still learning and growing and won’t stop until the Lord takes me home, and I have to accept the fact that my man will most likely be the same way. I want a Prince Jamal and no I don’t believe that I should settle, but I am willing to negotiate, because perfect princes only exist in fairy tales, the perfectly imperfect man (and love) I want is very much real.

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  • redrobin27

    Ebonie – do you, honey. It kills me how women, especially black women, are taken to task for daring to have standards. Despite how your segments were edited, I thought you spoke on some important values beyond the money and looks, like family oriented, compassionate, empathetic to your needs, etc. The only thing I’d recommend, similar to Kim’s point, is to expand your candidate pool to attractive men across the racial/ethnic/nationality spectrum. Because unfortunately, you might be hard-pressed to find a man who is black, shares the values you’re looking for, and most importantly – WANTS to be married. A man who shares your values might not be black, and I would hope the shared values are more important than a Common or President Obama package.

    Oh wait – one more thing, I’d advise women like Ebonie NOT to advertise their standards to just anyone – because too many people will try and take you down a peg by stating things like, “That’s why so many women are single/what are YOU bringing to the table/your expectations are too high/you’re too picky.” You can have your list, and mentally eliminate non-prospects, all the time with a smile on your face and keep it moving. No need to inform men you’ve yet to be impressed – let them impress you or not, and go from there. :) I did like the “easy to please, hard to impress” perspective, though.

    In any case, I liked you on the show, even though I thought it did you a disservice for the sake of drah-ma. I mean, when someone like that O’Neal guy, whether authentic or played up for the cameras, is given a “redemption” edit, and he was basically the same potty-mouthed, leering guy from the beginning of the show, you know something in the milk ain’t clean.

    • You know Redrobin, it’s good to know there are folks out there that do see through the hype and actually listened to the bit of depth they did present of me. I’m hopeful to think there are many more women who actually saw nothing wrong with what I’ve said but for fear of the same ridicule they fly under the radar and hold their standards just as high! Here! Here!

      My good girlfriend reminded me just yesterday, my standards aren’t “high”, some women are just more flexible than I am. So with that said, I’m sure the men and women who balk at a list or my standards, probably wouldn’t be attracted to anyone like me or looking for a man I desire anyway.

      And yes, I’m open. I do have my preferences and gravitate towards them but II’m well aware the pool may not be very large.

      Believe you me, the men who step up to my plate know the deal- with or without this show. Men who get it, get it. Those men usually desire the same level of all which we’ve shared above, from their women.

      Thanks for the support! Woot! Woot!

    • isolde

      Ebonie, you looked really pretty on the show. Where do you shop?

    • @isolde…..I typically shop at Nordstrom Rack, Loehmann’s, Syms and Banana Republic. For the show it was a mash up of all of the above but mostly the magic one of my best girlfriends and stylist, Jocelynn Jacobs of Jacobs and Stewart. Email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to connect you to her!

    • Golden Silence

      Ebonie, I wanted to jump in and say thank you for saying “no!” to that tragic ponytail they tried to put in your hair (in that deleted scene from your episode that’s been floating around). Those twin stylists have no fashion sense nor common sense.

  • CaramelBeauty

    wow, even if she did find a Prince Jamal making 80k or more, what does that mean? Just because he makes it doesn’t mean he keeps it! Case in point, there is a lockout going on now in the NBA and those guys make millions, but some of them are looking for other ways to sustain themselves right now. Really?!?!?!? They make millions and don’t have a nest egg? So perhaps Princess should ask for a man who is responsible where money and salary is concerned. Oh and I guess him being a good father means nothing because she did not even mention that.

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