This is a good time to review some of the lessons we’ve learned and how to continue putting new insights into action. At the very least, seeing behavior from its source in all it’s glory – and infamy – has been very useful.
People who need people. Our relationships fuel the quality and experiences of our lives. Why not have the best? I conceived of this series because the blog didn’t have one official category for discussing how men and women relate, and this is of course from the woman-supportive perspective. It was inadvertently called Vetting Men, but was too similar to another blog. Also, I know every woman isn’t focused on marriage, doesn’t date men and may not be single. We all need friends however and delving under the surface of unexamined feelings about men to root out negativity is important. Plus, since we’ve discussed the foul behavior of so many males I wanted to steer our focus towards building good relationships.
Some of the discussions across several blogs at the time of the original post were focused on defining “alpha males”. I shared a wonderful site written by an older gentlemen who tells women what they need to hear instead of what we think we know. Knowledge is power!
Doing mirror work is an actual practice for bolstering self-image. Can you look at yourself without inwardly cringing or criticizing yourself? We spend our entire lives with ourselves and every external relationship is influenced by the most important one we have: “Me, Myself and I“. Think of it as the non-secular Holy Trinity of self-esteem. Being feminine is always your primary strategy for being your best YOU.
There comes a time when we have to get off the sidelines and onto the playing field! To that end I jumped at the opportunity to discuss interracial dating options between white men and black women for Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten. See, I do practice what I “preach”.
Discussing interracial relationships again, I used a great interview with author Malcolm Gladwell who discusses his parents’ long-term marriage. Race, ethnicity and social class aside, it’s our personal values and common interests that sustain the most enduring relationships and are the only true measure of compatibility. Don’t limit yourself under any circumstance!
We started discussing certain personality traits that are more [and less] desirable. Often when we ask who and what a “good” man is, we have to start with some sort of template. There are many women who have solid examples to draw from, but many do not. Even for those who do, if they only see the best behavior how will they be prepared to deal with the less-than stellar behavior? Plus, no one is perfect and everything’s a negotiation. Some women still fall prey to sharks despite a careful upbringing. Everything isn’t set in stone. Again, this is about discernment.
Ah, this was a fun post. I used the marriage of Wills and Kate to illustrate how love and devotion are not things to make a mockery of. Some people thought they should have gotten married earlier into their relationship, but considering the pressures of being a royal and family dysfunction they did what worked best for them. It shows maturity to navigate through duty and personal desire.
We also learned how the future Queen had her social status elevated thanks to the intention and planning of her maternal grandmother, which continued with her mother’s positioning the family. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more and climbing the social ladder. Why throw oneself into an abyss of struggle when life offers so many opportunities? Life is complex. It is still a patriarchal society and women should use their not-so secret weapon of womanly charms to secure a brighter future for themselves and any children they may have. Why choose a scrub when you can be with a winner?
Since no relationship is 100% guaranteed anyway, why not bust the proverbial glass ceiling? You can still be a nice person and woman of substance with full ambition.
As this blog has more than one generation of readership, I wanted to make sure I specifically addressed younger women and girls. I’d personally love if more women had less complications in dealing with men and I hope these conversations help. I linked to a separate post I’d written about meeting a 16 year-old who was clearly devoted enough to his girlfriend that he got stuck in a snow drift while under-dressed trying to meet up with her. As someone who has felt jaded at times, it was so refreshing to be reminded of the purity of love.
I like to use real-life examples instead of just spouting “theories” and I think people do relate better to them. The divorce of Maria Shriver served as that backdrop, though it isn’t meant to focus on her as we were speculating on the aspects of what worked and didn’t work for her. Even those born into privilege have to navigate their way through life and its little (or BIG) hiccups. When we get an inkling of something we need to PAY attention to it!!
Using another pop culture reference, this time I turned to an episode from Season Three of Sex and the City. Carrie meets an arguably lovable loaf. He’s totally inappropriate for a sustainable relationship. That’s a speedbump for a younger woman in her teens and early twenties, but you don’t want to waste your time on someone like that in your thirties or beyond. At some point and time, you have to grow up. The guy in question may seemingly be harmless, but there could be a hidden air of cynicism indicative of disdain for women, especially if he can’t hold a job or a keep home. Hence the term man-child.
To say things got heated is an understatement, but I wasn’t the one squirming. This post also served to distinguish any naysayers who falsely presumed we were telling black women to only go for any random white male for relationships because he is white. No.
QUALITY. CALIBER. MATURITY. VALUES. These are non-negotiable. Apparently, thanks to my highlighting why YOU need to avoid this foolishness, the source post became one of the biggest for that blogger. Since, I don’t spend time convening in cesspools, I don’t frequent many of those sites anymore. People always reveal themselves eventually. This was a great moment where a John Mayer-type fake nice guy showed his DBR true colors. Avoid at all costs!
Also known as the post where I remind you that your behavior can drive away quality men. We like to think our actions don’t have unintended consequences, but part of the inconvenient truth is we are judged by our behavior. We have freedoms, but must still retain an air of mystery. Discretion is key.
Men in love share certain definable traits. Every person and relationship is different, but again certain standards are more common than not.
This was another example of recognizing varying degrees of quality when meeting men. Everyone without sociopathy has promise. Some people are only meant for a few steps as we continue our journey on to more compatible mates. Having a set of behaviors to compare and testing our reactions puts our values into practice beyond theory. We need real world experience. We need to date. We need to meet a variety of men. Not only can we learn to eliminate the ill-fitting types, but we can start to draw the better-fitting ones to us quicker.
We’ve had conversations that built a good foundation to act on. Now it’s time for Phase Two. What have you learned? What have you tested? What have you discovered works for you – and what doesn’t? Are you already sensing how your internal compass operates minus external distractions? What previous ideas have you completely discarded. Feel free to share aspects of your journey that have been most profound.
And….I hope you are out there DATING, not just tossing ideas around in your head waiting.
Coming next month and throughout 2012: EVAM #15 Don’t Be Fake!, #16 Tips For A Successful Date and more strategies for nurturing professional and non-romantic relationships.