By now, many of us have heard the story of Barack and Michelle on a dinner date. Apparently, they went to one of the finest restaurants and the owner, noticing the President and First Lady, came over to their table to make their acquaintance. “A pleasure to meet you Mr. President,” he said shaking hands. Then he looks at the First Lady with admiration. “Michelle. You look amazing. Great to see you again.”  She smiles and then he leaves the table.  Curious, Barack asks Michelle if the owner was an old friend of hers.  “He and I used to date years ago. Before I met you,” she replied. “Wow,” the President continued. “And to think, if things had worked out, you would be co-owner of this fabulous restaurant.”  Michelle shook her head. “No. If things had worked out, he would be President.”

It makes you crack a smile, and then in the back of your mind, you ask yourself if it was really she who made him.  But Obama had a B.A. from Columbia and was on his way to a law degree from Harvard before he even met Michelle, so perhaps they made each other. Perhaps, all of his potential was there all along, stored away in a vault when Michelle came and released it with her feminine charm, powerful influence, and knowing just what to say and when to say it.

A lot of men are afraid of commitment. Not the “let’s go steady and move in together” kind of commitment. Some are afraid of that too. But most men under 40 are afraid of the “put a ring on it, let’s get married and have babies” kind of commitment.  They want to accomplish something first. They want to sow their wild oats, live their best life, travel the world, sleep with dozens of beautiful women before they settle down, trade in their condo for a house with a picket fence, a Golden Retriever, and perfunctory sex.

A lot of men want to wait until they’re ready.

And considering Shaquille O’Neal’s recent divulgence of his infidelities, maybe more of them should. Shaq’s book, “Shaq Uncut” reveals his thoughts on an athlete’s privilege to cheat and his unreadiness to be a one-woman man.  And although it is good for a man to admit his temptation to play in the street, his desire to dedicate himself to his work and not his woman, and his frequent bouts of selfishness, it is much better to admit these things before marriage and not after.

But in all of their “waiting” to get ready, could men be missing out on what a committed woman could contribute to their life?  It’s like waiting to eat but nothing is cooking.  Many men will never be ready to settle down until they meet the woman who makes them want to. The promotion they are waiting for that puts them over the six-figure mark, and in a fitting position to raise a family, may only come when they have a partner to encourage them in all of the right ways, to bounce ideas off of on a Saturday morning after sex, or on a Thursday night before it. The affirmation they need to feel adequate can only come from someone who genuinely has their best interests in mind, and that’s often not a frequently changing bedmate.

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  • Peter

    Real men don’t marry. What kind of fool would I look like laying up under one of these feminist BLACK chicks, that don’t ever want to cook me a meal, never want to take care of me, not even going to make my life easy.

    I say to all my dudes, enjoy life, don’t fall for the marriage trap. It’s horrible, and at the end of the day you’re going to wind up with an overweight nag that can’t comprehend the word ‘submit.’ Don’t ever get with a woman that won’t submit, cuz all you gonna get is a headache!!!!

    • Nina

      Peter, I feel sorry that you never had a good, gracious black woman in your life, you’ve really missed out and sound completely bitter and angry about it, I hope you don’t give up, but if you do, just know that you can go and find a woman who isn’t black and she just might agree with you on everything and never learn how to develop a backbone, but just know that she is lying to you as well as trying to satisfy and confirm your warped views on black women, trust me, I have white cousins and know Asian women who date black men, they still see you as a monkey at the end of the day, and a sista will still be there to rub your nappy head….aint that something?!?!?

      Quiet as it’s kept, women feel apprehension towards marriage as well, especially with these guys out here who are still stuck on women being totally 100% submissive, what do you want a wife or a crash test dummy? Marriage does not equal ownership.

  • Ketta

    The institution of marriage is that of the prescence of a cockroach, it will never die. In the Black community it is on shaky ground, which is a problem because the bonds that people need to thrive successfully in society are weakened or non existent. I think marriage gives men obligatory ties to form a bond to his offspring along with his wife. I don’t understand why men are abandoning their responsibilities and losing the opportunity to hone what could potentially become our future President.

    Lets face it, we all need social bonds to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I think marriage is the ultimate bond. Some people realize this much later than others and if the innocent lives of children are at stake, it is an unfortunate problem that produces the social problems in communities.

  • simplyme

    I’m in med school and I find it interesting that the few married folks seem happier and less stressed despite the fact that they clearly have more on their plates than the rest of us..it seems they go home to a rejuvenating and renewing environment while the rest of us go home to spoiled cheese in the fridge and unpaid electric bills (or maybe thats just me…) Anyway, I think its great that the societal stigma for not getting married is all but gone, so the folks that are truly anti-marriage (or just bitter) don’t feel forced into a marrying and ruining things for those that are genuinely interested in being happily married. Imagine marrying a guy who is fully expecting his wife to be a competitor rather than an ally and a drain rather than support…I can see how that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • E.M.S.

    I do personally believe that being committed to one person for the long haul is much more fulfilling for both sexes than just jumping in bed with as many people as possible. You are able to connect on so many other levels aside from sex. Support is a very important factor in our lives, and I think the support you get from your significant other is the most important.

    This article highlights the upside of marriage, which is empowering each other with your love and support. If only all the other strings attached to civil union didn’t taint its purity.

  • TW

    Huh??? Of course a female will write STUFF (I almost said crap) like this and cite examples and limited research done by other females….the men I talk to say that a lot of women are running around talking about they want to settle down but when they are faced with the reality, they back off…they get those small puppy dogs to become their companion and they get comfortable and don’t show affection and appreciation for the man in their life. They cite the bible when it comes to infidelity but when it comes to honoring verses that state that the man is the head of the home…they play death ears…The fact is NO ONE should have to make the case for marriage (men or women)…if two people find each other and they seem to know that this person comes with a lot of baggage but would still love to spend the rest of their life with them and share mutual happiness…then fine…if not, oh well…