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Soooo, Black Women Can’t Find Good Men? Oh Really?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, YourBlackBloggers.net

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky high ratings from the black community:  The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man.   I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw on this show.  Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1)  Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian?  If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end?  Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men:  One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere.  Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected, have no trouble finding suitable mates.  Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.

Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for:  perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment.  It’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only;  a lot of brothers simply play the field and allow you to buy an emotional lottery ticket, hoping that you’ll be the one he selects in the end.  You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money.  If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class that explains all the subtleties and challenges of making a relationship work (not just the counseling you get from your pastor).  A relationship is not about a mate fulfilling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations.  The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself togiving more.  Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return:  that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them.  This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment.  Some of the women these  ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention to them, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male in her life:  the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship.  What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster.  If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children.  He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious.  I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!”  What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together.  The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another.  So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively.  In fact, you’re not searching for a mate, you may be actually looking for a pimp.  Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis.  What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman.  So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man?   A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence and also expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated.   It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader.  A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case.  Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).

A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported.   While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex:  Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.”  They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable.  It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her.  The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women:  My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet.  But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive.  If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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26 Responses to Soooo, Black Women Can’t Find Good Men? Oh Really?

  1. BBRxPress Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I must confess that these little pearls of wisdom you’ve dropped remind me of conversations I used to have with my mother when I was growing up. Sadly though, I didn’t listen This contributed to many ruined relationships in my life, because I wanted to have things my way. I watched older housewives tend to the needs of their mates, and I can remember saying I would never do that! She’s crazy!! Doesn’t she know better? Well, those crazy ladies were smart enough to manage their home and family and reaped the benefit of having a spouse cater to their every need in a long relationship. A wise woman buildeth her home, but she can’t do so trying to be the man. I believe that teaching young girls how to be a lady and keepers of the home is a lost art, that we should try ro get back to stabilize the home and fortify a relationship.

  2. MingusJenkins Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Thank you Dr. Watkins for speaking the truth. Both men and women need to realize that  love is a kind of marketplace, where all of us at some point in our lives have been in search of the richest, best looking, nicest, smartest person who will settle for us. However, your soul mate is a needle in a haystack and, you might die single if you wait forever for him or her to show up, so all of us have to trade off value against time and, at some point, set up house with the best person we’ve found so far.

    Marriage is a promise to spend the rest of your life with someone, to bring up children together, to forgo opportunities to be with someone else.  And there’s an inherent problem with any promise, which is that a hypothetical rational agent may find it in his of her interest to break the promise.  The problem is, how do you guarantee that the promise is credible?

    Since you have to set up house with the best person you can find by a given time, by the law of averages, someone better is bound to show up in the future, the only question is when?  Perhaps Tyrese or Beyonce will move into the apartment next door and be momentarily available.  At that point, a perfectly rational agent would drop you like a hot potato.  On the other hand, since you are also a rational agent in this hypothetical scenario, you could have anticipated that and, you would never have agreed to the promise in the first place, anticipating that it would be in the interest of the other party to break it sooner or later.

  3. Brian Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Some how we need to get this out to young women every where! All women not just successful women can help build relationships. Men are very simple, but the kews they get from women are setting the table for failed relationships.

  4. Jessica Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Can’t say I agree with you on #6. So he makes me feel beautiful and in exchange he gets to be a king and a leader? Nah. I’d rather skip that. If I believe I’m beautiful I don’t need constant validation of that. If he thinks he’s the man, he should need me to tell him that. Either way I don’t need someone to lead me.

  5. Jessica Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    shouldn’t* need me to tell him that.

  6. Poetee Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you! Finally someone who has some sense (lol)on the subject. People taking advice form other people who are more messed up than they are is what is happening with all these catchy phrased movies and celebrities who try to validate themselves through antoher human being instead fo looking inthe mirror and being at minimum decent people who toehr people do not mind hanging around.
    Dang, you are so rihgt-two people who are great people will do things for each other because that inside of them and its good to do nice things for people and even more so for the person who sleeps next to you and is your “partner” in life”. People need to stop trying to represent a relationship to the world and manifest a good one for each other. I never thought it was hard to maintain a relationship when you are compatible, the ones that are not compatable are the ones that take work to maintain and men and women need to stop taking on projects in others and have enough balls to realize while getting to know a person that its not going to work inthe long run before tryingto be a psychologist.
    Another woman would probably think I was silly rubbing my husbands feet when they were hurting even after he fell asleep, but when he woke up and was like you are still rubbing my feet and I said yes, I was nto tired yet-he kind of felt a bit special, but thats me and he still remembers that. For women, I would recommend working on yourself and being kind period. Good men are not hard to find, they just are smart enough to want a good woman!

  7. Bernie Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I think sisters have to understand some basic things and start telling themselves the truth and stop listening to other women that can’t hold on to a man. They give each other advice and most of the people giving it don’t know anything because they weren’t taught anything. I watched and talked to people that have been married 25 and 35 years. I wouldnt take everything a man that has been divorced 3 times as the gospel. He obviously has some problems. I’ll be married 18 years in July and I can tell you this. My number one piece of advice is to look for men that you can instill love in. Stop trying to find a man that is going to take care of you. People like to say a relationship is 50/50. I say it’s a 100/100. When you live with a spouse like you live with a roomate it will never work. What I mean by that is this. I know too many people that live with “This is my account and that’s yours”…..”Can I borrow 300 to get brakes put on my car”. No, In my house it’s all or nothing…meaning If I got it you got it and vice versa. All accounts have both of our names on them. Sisters want to know “How tall is he”….”Does he have a 770 beacon?” “What kind of car does he drive”…none of that is love. Once you get with a man that you think is the one you soon find out that Yea…he’s 6’4 but now that means you have to shop in the big and tall all the time…or order an extra large couch or he eats like a horse…yea…he has a 770 beacon but he’s selfish as hell which means you’ll never get to enjoy very much of his credit line…and then you find out that the 2012 Lexus that he has is more important to him than you and that’s why you couldn’t get 60 dollars to get your hair fixed but he found 2000 for new rims. I have told my daughter that any man she runs across in his early years driving around in high profile cars to run like hell the other way. Their priorities are generally screwed up and you are just asking for trouble. Not all but most of them. What Black man do you know that is in his 20′s or even early 30′s that works everyday can afford a 2012 lexus or BMW? When i say afford, I don’t just mean the 550 dollar car payment and the 220 insurance….I mean the mainteance(450 dollar headlight…the 350 oil change) and things of that nature. For those of you who have fathers…talk to them. A real father will always tell you exactly what’s up with men. If youd don’t find a woman or couple that has been married 30 or 40 years. They are older but what you do to stay married hasn’t changed. My number 1 piece of advice is take a serious inventory of yourself before deciding what you want. If you want a man that is 6’4 and built…are you curvy and in shape? You want a man with a 770 beacon? What is your beacon? You want a man that makes 6 figures….What is your income? Now…none of this should matter when looking for love so you need to try to decide if you are looking for love or a business partner. I play a lot of Tennis and a lot of the black women and men for that matter that I hear complaining they are complaining about they can’t find a man or woman that has this and that then when i look at them, many of them don’t even have what they are looking for and that’s why they are catching hell finding one that does. I’m so glad that when I met my wife neither of us had nothing. The last thing is start young looking for potential mates. Many sisters spend all their younger years establishing a career and that’s fine. The problem is when they get 37 or 38 they then look back and see that having their own job with a 6 figure income isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. So now they are looking for mates…All the 40 year old guys have the attitude of screw getting married at this point. The older men get the less likely they are to commit. i haven’t read Steve’s book but if that’s not in there…that’s a free piece of advice for you sisters.lol We are set in our ways at that point and very few men at 53 want to be running behind a 13 year old son. I personally think that women that are in their 40′s and looking for men to settle down with….it’s going to be hard. There are some out there but it’s going to be hard so you better make sure your ducks are in a row because there are 20 other women out there looking for the exact same thing.

  8. ICDATRUTH Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Wow, this is so true!

    I often hear some women bitch and moan about there are no good blackmen available, but many of these women I have known since high school and they cosistantly chased the “Alpha Male” some were left with kids but all were left with broken hearts. Fast forward 10-20 years with their physical attributes gone, and cursing the same men that they chased throughout their youth.

    I remember one brother that the females often mocked and ignored in high school is know a successful businessman with a very nice wife who happens to be white and is looked upon with disdain by alot of sisters. the truth of the matter is that that white girl seen the potential in him of him being a good mate and stuck with him.

    • Bernie Reply

      April 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Damn…that’s going to hurt but I’ve seen that myself. That’s because many of their value systems are screwed up. They want the men with fast cars and men that other women want. Then they wonder why he got 4 baby momas…then as you said 10 or 20 years later they are cursing black men in general…saying…”where are all the good black men”…newsflash…Look down…yea, the men you stepped over to get to the ones that are now locked up or dead…..bad credit and everything else. What they haven’t figured out yet is they control everything from ground zero and they make the wrong choices. Once they figure that out and start looking for the right attributes, some of the 70 percent of sisters that aren’t married will be. It’s simple, stop giving yourselvs to thugs and criminals and then expecting good brothers to come back and raise the thugs kids. They want their own kids. It’s really that simple.

  9. Brenda Carter Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Wow. Who should we listen to Steve or Dr. Boyce? Dr. Boyce thinks maybe we should go out and buy a relationship book, yet he also gives his theory on what is happening. I think there will be some that will listen to Steve, no matter whether he is a comedian or not, some will listen to Dr. Boyce and some will not.

  10. Miles410 Reply

    April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    These women out here now, who have never had relationships with their Dad’s don’t have a clue what a good man is. They want the non church going, unemployed, pants hanging off their buts, father of many children by many women, kind of men. Did I leave out still living with their moms?
    I have asked women out for dinner, i’m talking just dinner, a free meal and the concept of this just goes right over their heads. It’s sad.

  11. mmdccbslm Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 2:23 am

    steve harvey? he’s a comedian! Oh well, the entertainment industry is self-referential, even if they are idiots.

  12. Peach Pie Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 2:50 am

    thanks for article. I am not an angry Black woman, but I’ve not seen these “good, stick with their woman no matter her success and your failure” men. I am bothered that I haven’t met a good man, who has a vision and a plan and the tools to implement those plans. I was a meal ticket for some and catered to them, but they were never consistent in catering back. Well, if I allowed him to control and manipulate me, I could gain his affection and catering, but otherwise, not a chance…even after getting married. I built as much of the proverbial house as possible, but it takes both parties being willing to work on a relationship…you can’t be married by yourself. So, I am waiting for the “GOOD MAN”… I do believe he’s there…somewhere. If I am an enabler and the REAL issue, I hope I find out SOONER than later.

  13. s'ann Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 3:25 am

    I have a lot of respect for brothers who love and respect sisters. However, in developing healthy and loving relationships, compatibility, honesty, communication, and quality time are essential, and once the relationship becomes solidified, a commitment is in order. In addition to the advice that you have provided, I would add that couples, once married, should also invest in maintaining their marriage as well. And as Kem says in, one of my favorite songs, “If it’s Love,” “…have a little faith and pray for this love; If it’s love… it’ll last a lifetime… If it’s love, it last forever.”

  14. PK Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Why does a BW have to limit herself to a BM? As BM certainly do NOT limit themselves to BW! Billions of men on the planet, all you need is one and most def does not have to be Black.

    BW…date outside the race! Stop waiting around for someone who may never arrive! Just VET all men the same: choose CHARACTER not color!

    Lets stop being in denial, shall we? With high school drop outs, jailbirds, homothugs and mama’s boys YES there are scant “good” BM.

    Thus, Sistas do what you gotta do: SWIRL.

    And remember -BM been swirling longer than a minute! Don’t allow them to try to keep you on the plantation!

    All those myths about “good black men being mocked” Please!! Stop the bullshit.

    • bernie Reply

      April 29, 2012 at 12:15 am

      You don’t have to limit yourself, but I can tell you this. It doesn’t matter what race of men you choose if your mentality is jacked up. White men aren’t any different than Black men. They aren’t into taking care of bad @$$ kids that some woman had from some thug that’s now locked up. Men of all races have figured out that the numbers are in their favor. Why should we take on some other man’s baggage when we can find women that have their $hit together. If sisters change what they are looking for they won’t have to look further than their nose and in their own community. Many of the same brothers that you are talking about that are swirling…are the same brothers that asked sisters out in their early 20′s but he wasn’t hip enough or didn’t drive the right kind of car… You can’t wait til you’ve had 3 kids and picked up 50 pounds and now you need dental insurance to come back to the same men you once stepped over to date the “jail birds” you mentioned. You need to take that mentality that you have in your 40′s and use it in your 20′s. The men don’t change…it’s the mentality in which sisters look men that is the problem. You can look in other races of men but you will have the same result if you don’t change your way of thinking.

    • Chris Reply

      April 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Before you reaffirm the consistent “liberal white media” stereotypes, I’d caution you to research your history. “BM have been down with the swirl longer”… try again, there were Black Women during slavery voluntarily “giving it up” to the “massa” and permanently relegating themselves to the role of mistress.

      Before you try to accuse me of blaming problems on Black Women, I have no qualms with my sisters outside of the mentality that I consistently see on a regular basis. I love my sisters with no equivocations and thus could not see my life without one, however concerning your perspective, it does caution one such as me from interacting with sisters such as you.

  15. Ash Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I agree we should take advice from a relationship expert and not a comedian.

  16. BeFayiza Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 6:08 am

    1st I have no problem with taking advice from a comedian but not necessarily from an adulterer/cheater. Has it gotten so bad we need to take a class to meet a good guy or know when we’ve met one or how to treat one? Maybe. Seems time to put common sense, communication & mutual respect back on the map. Maturity helps too(that help u get past the “alpha man”addiction. Trust we will be having these forums the next 20 yrs if we continue to buy into other ppls ideals of what a good relationship means for U. Define what U want & need for yr happiness(hey,that may change with time) Sometimes it’s Mr. right now until u both figure it out and sometimes Mr. right now IS simply the one. Thats how it’s worked for me any way

  17. anonymous Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Steve Harvey’s “think like a man” books and movies are a waste of time. The real problem is that most of the women on the dating scene are selfish, self-centered monsters. It is all about them and they are only interested in men who want to “bring it” ie. spend lots of money and “put on a show”.

    They have already rejectd the advice from their mothers and the other women in the family. And even after reading the Steve Harvey books, they still refuse to change.

    Of course, Steve Harvey is also making a bad situation worse. He is painting a picture that there are nothing but good women out there who only go to work and go to church. This is a flat out lie. Many of these women are “out of control”.

    And to add insult to injury, you have “out of control” women who were “out there” the night before and now telling the new brother he is on probation.

  18. Poetee Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    People need to be with other people just like them ( same personality disorders) , but they refuse to have someo e like the, so they pretend to be kind and lving and then when they think the person is hooked in the real them comes out. This is why it is so important to accept the reality of the real preon and not the fantasy. Just say, no thank you and keep it pushing.
    Steve Harvey is nt the authority on relationships. Some men and women did not have loving parents, so they are dysfunctional adults thinking because they are educated and appears to have it together they do, but they are messed up because getting along with someone is not hard to do when you are matched, but trying to get along with a personality disorder person is a lt of unfruitful work!
    Work on being the best of you, before trying to be with someone else and mess their life up. Mark 12:30-31. Ephesians 5:22-23 not Steve Harvey page…….l Enough said!

  19. Poetee Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    People need to be with other people just like them ( same personality disorders) , but they refuse to have someo e like the, so they pretend to be kind and lving and then when they think the person is hooked in the real them comes out. This is why it is so important to accept the reality of the real preon and not the fantasy. Just say, no thank you and keep it pushing.
    Steve Harvey is nt the authority on relationships. Some men and women did not have loving parents, so they are dysfunctional adults thinking because they are educated and appears to have it together they do, but they are messed up because getting along with someone is not hard to do when you are matched, but trying to get along with a personality disorder person is a lt of unfruitful work!
    Work on being the best of you, before trying to be with someone else and mess their life up. Mark 12:30-31. Ephesians 5:22-23 not Steve Harvey page…….l Enough said!

  20. leah Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Anonymous you sound bitter!! Get it together LOSER!!!

    • bernie Reply

      April 29, 2012 at 12:33 am

      Leah,

      ummmmm….I don’t know. I think there is some truth there. Not for 100 percent of single women…but a good portion of them. I have listen to a lot of them…they are selfish and never to stop to think as I said earlier. All the things they “want”, they don’t have….or many of them. They want a man with good credit and their credit is jacked. Men have always been accused of being shallow and to a large degree….we are but we admit it. I don’t think many women realize how shallow they are and it is thus causing them to suffer even more. Many men are okay with just having a “fwb” relationship. So if women are so into having a good loving relationship, why are worried about his wallet(you see how many celebs get divorced every year)…his height(and that translates to love how)….his credit score(again…how does that translate to love). Men aren’t as shallow as you women think. Gas is high as camel’s @$$ and the last thing a man wants is some woman that has all these wants and don’t have two nickels to rub together but steadily spending money. They are looking for women that can bring something to the table. Men have figured out that they can pretty much get sex anytime if they look in the right holes in the wall, but if you want to be wife material…be and act like wife material…meaning…don’t be some woman looking to spend every dime a man brings in…and don’t have 2 and 3 out of control kids……and please please…lose this 90 day rule unless you are willing to impose it on yourselves…meaning if you want him to wait..you wait….pay for your own movie…and your own food for 90 days. I haven’t heard one woman yet say…I’m going to impose the 90 day rule on both of us…it’s only imposed on men. Just think about what I’m saying. Men will be more abt to go for both of you being on a 90 day probation if he’s not buying concert tickets for 180 bucks(because he has to impress you and not look cheap by sitting in the nose bleed). Hell..he has bills just like you. So if the 90 day rule needs to be applied then apply it to both of you…otherwise..it needs to be a free frawl if you expect to be treated like a “wife” should….then you have to take care of your wifely duties. I know some of you women don’t want to hear that but I’m just relaying what I hear all my single bros complain about…..can I get a amen bros?lol

  21. BeFayiza Reply

    April 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Sounds like great advice to me Bernie. Continued luck in yr life & marriage.

  22. ICDATRUTH Reply

    April 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Very good advice

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