BG Romance Report: Relationship Ramblings

21 May

The last several weeks have been rather busy (both work and home life). I’ve been helping my sister prepare and move to her own spot. Hip, Hip, Hooray  for solitude! Over the past month or so I’ve been considering a few things as it relates to romance and BGs.

For starters, I’ve had an email debate with a couple of friends (their stats:  one black male, married, 30s transplant; and one female, divorced and now dating, 40s, DC  native) after sending them this article. What can I say I like to spark convo …   Now I could relate to the article after having lived in NYC for nearly 5 years and also I think it applies to my experience as a native of the Washington DC Metro area (P.G. County to be exact).  The author of the article framed his experience as “big city” dating.

My female friend had this to say via Iphone:

… lemme tell ya what I’m agreeing with….the same truth that our grandmamma’s been telling us since the beginning of time – no one buys the cow if u giving away free milk. Maaaaaaan, if women just realized that we have the power. So long as we accept crap, that’s what we’ll get. Once we as women realize our self worth, our value and ummmm yeah, what’s between ur legs doesn’t qualify u as ‘special’, these men would step their game up. But I have no hope; for this would require women to all get on the same page and work together, and we all know that ain’t happening. So….this leaves us right where we are, calling someone a ‘good man’ if he says please and thank u. Sigh.

I was devastated by her “no-hope” comment but I definitely empathize with the sentiment.  It’s as if all women have to band together and agree not to accept any ole’ treatment just for the sake of male attention/affection.  Sorta like how members of a company agree to go on strike demanding better working conditions as they all hope and pray that no scabs will cross the picket line. So enter the No Commitment. No Cutty Campaign started by the creators of the blog Around the Way Curls.  Both women currently reside in NYC and are surely familiar with dating in the big apple. Side bar: I did not personally sign off on the term “cutty” as a synonym for coitus. Ewwww!   Why do black folk refer to the closest experience between two people as cut, hit, smash, bang, beat, and so on and so forth. But I digress. Here’s what the ladies propose.

Hmm … interesting right?

And I must say what the two women are suggesting  is nothing new, my girlfriends and I have had this convo countless times but to publicly suggest that all women conform to my particular way of being (currently/today/this second) is something entirely different and short-sighted. And furthermore, I refuse to believe that all men must be forced into commitment. The next Audrey Chapman Show will be discussing What Makes Men Commit (my short answer:  um nothing, themselves). Men aren’t like cattle to be herded around here and there and they aren’t mindless drones who need to be told what to do and how to do it and how to think and/or be. Men do what they friggin’ want to do. I mean we all do right? But the No Committment, No Cutty Campaign and The Truth About New York: How Big City Dating “Corrupts” Single Men article claim otherwise. Why must the actions of men be laid at the feet of women?

Let the [relationship] market play out as they say with capitalism. Those seeking immediate sex with no strings attached (whether male or female) will surely find such and that is their right. And let’s not ignore the  fact that meaningful, committed relationships can and do emerge from one-night stands. I’m not suggesting it’s the ideal foundation for engendering healthy, committed relationships but it does and can happen. I mean maybe dude caught be on a particularly horny day and it was therefore his lucky day. 🙂 I’m just saying …

We live in a society where people are free to do as they please. Yes I do recognize that one sister’s willingness to satiate her sexual desires more quickly than I would prefer to does generally speaking affect the relationship market. However, on the individual level one must realize that this hypothetical “hit-it-and-quit-it” guy ain’t what I’m checking for anyway. We’re like two ships passing in the night never destined to meet (thankfully). He’s on his journey and I’m on mine. Homegirl can have the J. Coles of the world for all I care. He’s soooo not my type.

The girls from Around the Way Curls received the following anonymous response which I thought was rather accurate.

Does any one else find this a little judgey? By all means, go ahead and practice whatever you think is better for your own personal life but don’t put down other women and assume they have low self esteem because they give it up faster. Some people just want to get laid. Its not our responsibility as women to come together and have the same morals you want us to have, people are different and they have different beliefs and morals, some can have casual sex some can’t and frankly who anyone sleeps with is none of your business or mine.
Sex does not make my self worth, “giving it up” does not mean people don’t respect themselves, but if it does not make you feel good then people shouldn’t do it. Also why are other women being held responsible for men’s douchiness? What year is this? This whole thing just enforces slut-shaming. Do YOU and what makes you comfortable, give it up when YOU are sure he’s worthy, every other woman can go ahead and do their own ISH.

Now going back to the idea of big-cities being detrimental to the type of dating that fosters commitment, does this means that smaller towns are better for women seeking a committed partner? I don’t know, I’ve never lived in one other than while in college and that tree bore no fruit.  I will say that my experience in the DMV has been rather challenging. I have not seriously dated (seriously meaning more than six months) a guy from my area since my first boyfriend and we met while I was in undergrad (nope he did not attend my school). Now I will admit that I have not been one to pursue men but I’m trying to be more proactive. However, all the men that I have encountered recently who actually do spark my interest are spoken for. Surprise, surprise. I was invited to a happy hour recently and it was table of six women to one man — so not encouraging.  Frankly, every time I go out I feel as though I’m surrounded by women. During water-cooler talk with a coworker, we both shared how we had younger sisters move recently and neither had guys (family, friends, or otherwise) around to help them with the move. She mentioned that on a recent show, Wendy Williams asked the question if men were going out of style.  Um, yeah they appear to be.

My married transplant friend had this to offer “I’m surprised if anyone gets bunned up, if they’re looking for love male or female. DC attracts the cream of the crop. So you have folks feeling as though they are settling. All my childhood friends back home [Richmond, VA] are either married, in long-terms or getting divorced.” So do I need to move to Richmond? (lol)  In her article Is Marriage for White People? Joy Jones examines black people and marriage within the DMV landscape.  Six years ago when the article was published Jones had never married.

According to Jones:

My observation is that black women in their twenties and early thirties want to marry and commit at a time when black men their age are more likely to enjoy playing the field. As the woman realizes that a good marriage may not be as possible or sustainable as she would like, her focus turns to having a baby, or possibly improving her job status, perhaps by returning to school or investing more energy in her career.

As men mature, and begin to recognize the benefits of having a roost and roots (and to feel the consequences of their risky bachelor behavior), they are more willing to marry and settle down. By this time, however, many of their female peers are satisfied with the lives they have constructed and are less likely to settle for marriage to a man who doesn’t bring much to the table. Indeed, he may bring too much to the table: children and their mothers from previous relationships, limited earning power, and the fallout from years of drug use, poor health care, sexual promiscuity. In other words, for the circumspect black woman, marriage may not be a business deal that offers sufficient return on investment.

Helena Andrews author of Bitch is the New Blackhas apparently had a different experience and has publicly proclaimed that she is getting married. You go girl? I’m not sure if she’s a DMV native but she currently resides in Washington, DC. Although I applaud her positive outlook I am hopeful that I’ll have a life partner but I’m not certain. It’s not something that I consider a guarantee as it is not solely up to me.  I have friends married and single who consider(ed) “wifedom” inevitable. I remember a good friend from undergrad share, “I know it will happen for me.” Really?  Are you blackmailing the unsuspecting black male? Are you putting a gun to his head as you escort him to the altar? What gives? But she was also the type to window shop for engagement rings online; my girl had a plan.  I’ve had another coworker tell me that she knows we’ll both be married, no better yet — all of her currently single friends will marry. In fact, she predicted that we’d both be in relationships by the end of last summer but I regret to report that our “name-it-and-claim-it” couplings still reside in ether.  And she’s definitely a go-getter — one who puts herself out there a whole lot more than I do. She’s proactive, approaches men, constantly out and about, presents “enticing bait” etc. and so on, and so forth.  But yet in still we share the same status — single and desiring a commitment.

I like how one woman Joy Jones interviewed put it, “If it weren’t for the intangibles, the allure of the lovey-dovey stuff, I wouldn’t have gotten married. The benefits of marriage are his character and his caring. If not for that, why bother?”

Amen to that … if not for that, why bother?

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One Response to “BG Romance Report: Relationship Ramblings”

  1. Shay May 22, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I saw the No Cutty Campaign and viewed it as nothing new. I’ll have to check out this Single Black Male article before I comment further.

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