Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out with some friends of mine I hadn’t seen in a long time. I cherish these moments because as we get older and the responsibilities mount we naturally end up seeing less and less of each other. Anyway, as it usually does when the room is full of single or dating, but unmarried women, the conversation turns to men. Most of the women in the room have the same complaints about the men they’ve encountered:

“They’re not educated enough”

“Too much baby momma drama”

“Lazy and only makes time for his friends”

“Men aren’t romantic and never want to go on real dates”

The complaining could go on forever if I listed everything they mentioned, but you get the drift. So then they went from complaining about men to what it is they want. They ran down a very long, and sometimes asinine, list of requirements a man HAD to have in order to even be granted the “honor” of looking in their direction.

Must have a B.A. and preferably an M.A.

Must make $60k a year plus

Must have good credit

Must grease my scalp

Ok I threw that last one in, but again, you get the drift. As I listened to the list I realized that most of it was superficial. Their “good man” basically had to have money to be good enough for them, but what about the emotional side? Shouldn’t he also be a nurturer, a confidant, good communicator, etc? The next thing I noticed and the one that really had me giving them the side-eye was that some of them didn’t meet the requirements on their own damn list! How can you possibly require and demand that a man have good credit when you just moved back home with your mother because your car got repossessed, Amex was camped outside your apartment waiting for the minimum payment you haven’t made in six months and your credit is so shot that you can’t even get the free savings card from Stop & Shop. *True Story*

It’s unrealistic for you to ask that a man give so much and then dismiss him when he doesn’t meet your standards, when you’re not coming to the table even the bare minimum of what you’re asking for. What if the short version of a man’s list looked something like this; would they be able to meet the requirements?

  • Must have a B.A. & M.A.
  • Must be making $80k plus
  • Must have good credit
  • Must be able to keep a meticulously clean house
  • Must have a face like Nia Long and a body like Beyonce or Amber Rose
  • Must be able to deep throat on command like porn star vixen Beauty and tear up a pole like an ATL stripper with the rent due
  • Must be able to throw down in the kitchen like my momma which includes making everything from scratch and growing fresh herbs in the garden for seasoning
  • Must have REAL shoulder length hair. I don’t care if it came from the head of a real live girl in India, if it ain’t coming out your scalp and my baby can’t inherit it…it’s fake.

No damn way! All of them fail right off the bat because only one of them has real shoulder length hair and that’s because she’s Dominican. The rest of us are Lugo’s or Outré #2ing it up like a mother. Not even the smallest of us has a body like Amber Rose, only three of us can cook and ummm, $80k a year AND good credit, yea…next.

When I pointed this little tidbit out to them they started with the whole “Well I’m not perfect, but I’m working on it” speech, to which I replied “Well so is he!” Who’s to say he is not a work in progress also? Both people don’t have to come to the table 100% put together in order for the relationship to work. Now does this mean you should accept foolishness, hell no, but you should accept that like you, your potential mate might be a work in progress as well and dedicate yourself to not only growing as individuals, but as a couple. Is it that necessary to a relationship’s survival that a man/woman live up to a list or should lists just be thrown out? The debate on this issue went long into the night with me making very little headway on my point. In the end we just agreed to disagree on the issue.

Whatever your stance it is clear that many women and men are so focused on what the other has to offer that they never take the time to do a little self inventory. What I learned my friends is that we want it all without having to give just as much. We want our potential life partner to reach a standard that we ourselves, in one way or another, haven’t met. It goes without saying that standards should not be lowered to accommodate for someone else’s shortcomings, but the same standards we set for others and demand that they meet, should at least be met by us before we start dismissing others as unworthy.

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  • Mahogany

    It’s ok to have standards, I’m sure everybody does, but a list is not necessary. If you don’t possess the qualities that you are asking for in a mate than you have a problem.
    I had a friend who was dating someone who didn’t have a car and she was complaining about it. I told her “Well how about you get your driving license and buy your own car?” SMH! She eventually did. Ladies you have to be able to math demands you are asking of a man.

  • ThatChick

    If you can’t bring what you are asking for, that’s not good.

    But I think it’s wise to look for a mate that is more similar to you than not- if you meet or exceed the qualities that you desire in a mate, I don’t see what the issue is.

    Plus, does anyone REALLY think that these women’s lists ended with the items mentioned? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want an honest, kind, funny mate as well as some of the other items they mentioned (financially responsible, intelligent, etc.). Let’s be realistic- it all matters.

  • gmarie

    I have to agree with Isis. When black women settle for the unmotivated leeching baby making machine she’s “made bad choices in mates” and it is clearly “her fault” but let her request that a man has a stable job as a bare minimum and her standards are WAAAY too high for any man to live up too. funny how that works