5 Signs You’re Being Desperate

by Janelle Harris

I typically don’t care for the goings-on in Celebrityville. Who’s dating who, who’s laying up in whose bed, who’s shacking up behind the scenes of X reality TV show or scripted melodrama. It’s all too exhausting to keep up with, especially considering my own life is full of enough what-the-what?! moments to fuel a few blog posts a day. But I’ve noticed J. Lo and Halle Berry always seem to have themselves a boo. Always. And it’s pretty obvious it’s not necessarily a cavalier matter of choice, but that they’re two of those women who actually think they need a man. Maybe to be validated, maybe to chase away the lonely, maybe to keep them from feeling things they may not be ready to emotionally confront.

Whatever’s at the root of their perpetual partner-dom, neither one of them like spending too much time alone, as demonstrated by a string of disposable relationships with romantic shelf lives that redefine the on-to-the-next-one spirit. You can’t really fault the guys for volunteering themselves to be the newest additions to the Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry Collections and grabbing quick rides on the 15-minute celebrity gravy train. When opportunity knocked, they answered and hit paydirt in the process. Ka-ching.

One of the most dangerous fears that swirls around in the minds of many women — too many women — is the fear of being man-less. “Single” might as well be a transmissible disease because it’s frantically avoided and keeps them stocked with either an endless supply of dudes or the same ol’ dud who has proved himself unworthy year after year after year. Either way, he’s not the most glimmering example of upstanding manliness, but he fits the bill out of necessity because he’s got the biological qualifications and physical accoutrements to boot. With no chance to go into the next relationship refreshed and renewed because there’s just not enough time, compulsive man-seekers sacrifice a lot for the sake of having a warm body in their beds or a new beau by their sides.

Trouble is, most of these ladies don’t recognize their addiction to that new boo euphoria or the reliance on having a man at their disposal. And so it goes on unchecked for ages, all the while chipping at their self-worth and, sometimes, their personal health and safety. Still, there are signs, indications a woman is more crazy about the idea of a man than the man himself. Nothing personal against the boy toys who will continue to parade in and out of J. Lo and Halle’s lives. It’s just that even more empowering than landing a man is learning how to live without one. At least for a little while.

How can you tell if you’re desperate just to have a man?

You’re constantly defending him from your family and friends (or not telling them the whole truth about your situation).
Suddenly, the people around you can become purveyors of wisdom and pick up on some points about your love life you’d never see because, you know, you’re too busy living it. But even if they do you the favor of presenting their findings, you dismiss the cold, hard facts because you don’t want to have undeniable justification to cut your dude loose and end up single. Better to make your loved ones feel like they’re crazy than accept that your man may not be the good thing you’ve worked exceedingly hard to make him out to be.

You regularly let his inconsideration and indiscretions slide.  
He cusses at your kids, he rolls his eyes at your mama, he breaks promises to you with a systemic regularity. You, in turn, apologize for problems you didn’t create or shoulder responsibility for issues that aren’t yours. He gets away with it all because he knows, just like you know, that you are too afraid to rock the boat and risk his leaving than to cut his fool tail loose and hand him his walking papers in a hand basket.

You’re always making excuses for him. 
I’ve known women obviously getting beat down by their men on a regular basis and others who’ve been mollywhopped by rants and raves about their worthlessness. But they still find a reason to defend their man’s honor — not only because they’re conditioned to put him on a pedestal, but because they’re so scared of him, they’d rather pardon the behavior than confront the obvious fact that he’s not worth the emotional and mental investment. Just to have a man.

You haven’t been single longer than a week in your whole adult life.

Some experts say it takes two years to bounce back fully from a previous relationship, maybe longer depending on the circumstances of the situation and the emotional condition of the folks doing the bouncing back. But one thing’s for sure: If you have to recall periods in your life according to the man you were with at the time, a la Bryson when you graduated from college or Tyjuan when you bought your first new car, that might be a sign you’ve spent too much time up under a dude. How can you get to know yourself if you’re always splitting time with a guy? Then again, that might be one of the reasons why.

You reason, “Well, it’s better than being alone.”  
He’s cheated, he’s lazy but breathing, and lays a pretty good piece of pipe, so you opt to make it work with him instead of running the risk of staying drenched in singleness like the rest of us in that 42 percent. But sweetie pie, I’ll take single over settling any time. I think we all should. Even J. Lo and Halle.

  • Isis

    I dont see anything wrong with a woman wanting to be in a relationship and recognzing that they dont have a lifetime to have kids. Being single is a curse unless u wanna be single. I envy women that are never single

  • Cree

    But the point is, having a terrible or barely qualifying man can’t be better than having no man at all. Women that are never single have their own problems to deal with, and the fact that they keep changing men shows that it isn’t all roses and romance.

    I actually think it could be wrong for a woman to be with a man solely because she wants kids. Even if she is willing to raise them as a single mom, why make a lifetime commitment with someone JUST because they’re there?

    I think in a past life, I could agree with the idea of being envious of a woman who isn’t LONELY. You can still be lonely with a man that is not right for you.

  • Rose Vie

    The only thing Halle Berry and J.lo have in common is that they’re both LEOS!
    In love with love. Think Whitney Houston…

  • Purple Rain

    I have to agree that unless you really want to be singe, being single sucks. Of course, I don’t think shacking up with a loser is the solution. For me I just try to find ways to stay busy and get out and meet people. Liquor works too :)

  • Tami

    Purple Rain…you are funny! You are right being single can suck…I enjoyed my single years, but I enjoy moreso being in a relationship & I have settled just for companionship but I went in with my eyes wide open because I do recognize that having the wrong person in your life can bring down your standard of living also…

  • iQgraphics

    if you had a hobby or a goal you are passionate in pursuing, being single would not suck.

  • Ann


    Food for thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mizzraynay Renee Aisha

    i agree with this to an extent – it’s kind of important to keep certain details of your relationship to yourself because too often, do we let outside forces influence and ruin something that might be a rough patch.

    and the single thing could go both ways – you could be considered desperate for a man because you haven’t had a man for years because dudes recognized you were a stage 5 clinger.

  • Nie

    @Cree: “Women that are never single have their own problems to deal with, and the fact that they keep changing men shows that it isn’t all roses and romance.”

    First, just because a woman is never single does not indicate she has “problems” she needs to deal with. This last year is the longest I’ve been single and that was by choice not because I was working out any issues.

    Second, the fact that I kept changing men showed I decided I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore for whatever reason.

    I am no happier single than I am with someone because I am happy with myself regardless. I’ve never needed a man to make me feel any more whole than I already do and I never will.

  • omfg

    i know a diabetic man in his 60s who is loud and sometimes has difficulties walking because his feet hurt who would like me to be desperate.

  • iQgraphics

    “i agree with this to an extent – it’s kind of important to keep certain details of your relationship to yourself because too often, do we let outside forces influence and ruin something that might be a rough patch.”

    ^this^ +1

  • Keiko

    I would assume being single sucks for those who get their validation from men.

  • iQgraphics

    @keiko – nods in agreement

  • Erin

    Good point Keiko!

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    How soon I forgot the audience of this magazine but I’ll bite. lol Hobbies and goals are great and necessary, but hobbies and goals don’t comfort you when you have a bad day and you can’t cuddle with them at night. But whatever lmaoo

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Bingo Keiko! I mean sure it can get lonely and can get kind of boring especially when all your friends are paired up but I wouldn’t exactly say it sucks. I would question the person on what’s they do different when they are in a relationship that they don’t do when you are single. If your life sucks while single, then it should suck why you are paired up too unless you are morphing into this different person or solely relaying on the other person to provide you relief. (And when the person leaves it’s back to your life sucking ).

  • Cree

    @ Nie Whoa, whoa, whoa. What did you think my comment was implying? That women who go through relationships-in general-have problems? Well, sorry, but PEOPLE in general have problems. Ever heard of that saying “The grass may be greener, but the water bill is higher?” I was simply trying to reply to Isis’ comment, which led me to believe she thought women who always have a man are happily floating through one relationship to the next. I dig the fact that you say you are happy with yourself regardless of your relationship status, which is a very valid point and one I agree with wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter if you are single or with a million men, if YOU are not happy with YOURSELF, no one else can make you happy. Again, what I was trying to point out to Isis is that being with a man doesn’t guarantee happiness so I’m not sure why should envy any woman simply based on them always having a man around.

  • iQgraphics

    it depends on what your hobbies and goals consist of.
    mine comfort me after a long day ;)

  • Isis

    You all are rock being single rocks!!! Yes my hobbies cuddle me at night. Why on earth would i want companionship. Im a modern woman i dont need no man. I’ll be single forever so the feminists wont think Im weak. I can do it all. Change tires, raise kids alone while climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. What on earth was I thinking??? Pardon my antiquated ways

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    * are right

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami


    Girl STAND YOR GROUND and don’t be shaken. if you want a cuddle bunny that’s a-okay! I stand in solidarity with you, although I do not subscribe to that notion.

  • PeterPan

    How does a normal and healthy human desire for association and intimacy with someone of the other sex get turned into a dysfunctionality?
    ooh – she always got a man, she must be weak.
    come again?
    What kinda bass ackwardness is it to say that someone who enjoys the company of the other sex and is effortlessly to able attract it – is desperate?
    Some women enjoy a man’s company for no other reason than they enjoy man’s company
    God Bless em.
    Men like em back because they’re nice.

    What – jealous?

    Get some nice

  • CharmingCharli

    WOW. You know as a women who has always had a man, this is true. The problem is not having a realtionships it willing to take anything to have a relationship. I think in the few months ive been single the greatest joy is just hanging out with yourself and being secure just doing you. It was hard to sleep alone.. bla bla bla .. but make sure your reasons are healthy. And the kids part .. Id rather never be married or have kids than settle down with misery for the rest of my life.

  • http://beautyinbaltimore.blogspot.com BeautyinBaltimore

    Who? James from Philly?

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    There are times I wish I were in a relationship and times I thank the Lord that I am not. It varies … but I remember very well being involved with a brother “just because” and I totally regretted it. Imagine lying next to someone and still feeling lonely and dissatisfied. Always fussing and wishing the “lightbulb” in his head would come on sometime. Exhausting and not worth it. Most men can smell desperation a mile away and you can best believe they will take advantage of it. Please don’t be that chick.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Hey ma … I think what we’re getting at is … don’t look for your peace and happiness in a man/relationship. The grass ain’t always greener. Those who are booed up … still have problems. Men come and go and relationships can run their course. Find your your happiness before he comes along.

  • Toni Childs

    I am loving being single right now. People who say being single sucks must not have an option. There is a difference from being single and being lonely. I am single, but far from lonely. I live a colorful life, full of wonderful people and celebrate it every day. Women who HAVE to be boo’ed up with someone on the regular, need to find out why they are desperate. There could be a number of reasons – sense of self worth, validation, or simply a lack of self love. What puzzles me about Halle Berry and J LO, is I have never seen them with any women friends. That should tell you something right there. And if you’re a woman who has NO friends, I would run from you.

  • Medusa

    Yeah, this is really it…. I enjoyed being single when I was single… but now I find myself on the losing end of a broken engagement (yeah, he broke it off, not me). I’m sure there will be a time when I like my single life again, but not now…. because I don’t want to be single, I want to be with the man who promised to build a life with me.

  • OSHH

    Girl get out of my head!!!! I totally and whole heartedly agree.
    IT’s got to be right or nothing at all, not right as in perfect but right as in for me and me for him, meaning we are able to suffer one another’s shortcomings and still love the other which is what true compatibility is. I have been doing the nothing for quite a few years now, can’t do fillers.

  • freebee33

    I completely agree.

  • omfg

    lol. nooooo.

  • JC

    Like Childs stated, there is a difference between being single and being lonely. I loved my singlehood. I’ve had long-term relationships most my life and on two occasions had the pleasure of living the single life. Just entered into a relationship but prior to that, I was single for 2yrs. I had a great support system of friends…most being couples. IMO, everyone should be single at some point during their adult life…you will be surprise at how being single would enrich your life. Its something one needs to experience…

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    Being single is easy, having and maintaining a healthy fulfilling relationship requires effort. Some folks are loners by default, that is the state of being most comfortable for them and some folks require companionship because that is the state of being most comfortable to them. I believe one is not superior to the other and people should live the life that best meets their emotional and physical needs. It would seem some women invest a lot of time making other women feel less than for whatever reason. What is with the desire to have others conform to how you believe things should be?

    Usually it is done under the mantle of “I care” but if you really do care why don’t you just support whatever choices they make and wish them well?
    Women always ask why men never seem to want other men to account for their bad behavior. But the truth is most times we just don’t think we should tell other men how to live their lives unless they ask for our input and also if they are grown enough to make certain choices in life they are also grown enough to deal with the consequences. The old “sow the wind, reap the whirlwind” philosophy.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Boom! You hit it on the head. I have a pretty good life and have little time to focus on being single. That’s the difference. It’s wonderful to have a man … when it’s the right one at the right time. Until then … I’m going to live it up!!!!

  • Overseas_honeybee

    @OSHH Twinzies!!! lol. I agree. “Fillers” are forbidden round’ these parts. I’ll not waste up by good years fooling with a loser. No ma’am. Too fly for that ish.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    Exactly!!! let me live my life how I see fit. Who said anything about desperate? I don’t want just anyone just because he’s there. I want a quality which is hard to find. These hear me roar chicks crack me up. Do you!! I thought feminism was all about women having choices. if being single is the next thing since sliced bread for you that’s just great. Being single isn’t that for everyone. Why do you care?? lmaoo its funny because I used to work with a girl who had a boyfriend but was basically single. She partied like it was no tomorrow in South beach every weekend. Now they have broken up and she’s at home wishing she had a relationship. lmaoo I don’t know but this modernism has these women thinking you can be 50 and have a child. Some women recognize there is a deadline. jeez

  • Stanley

    One of the biggest double standards out there is around the definition of DESPERATION for both sexes. It as if anybody can define the word to fits whatever message he/she has.

  • Purple Rain

    I’m sorry about your situation, Medusa. I hope you two can either work it out or that you can heal and move on. Some very insightful comments up here; although I maintain plenty of hobbies, get out often, and have never needed another person to feel validated. The issue for me is 1) sexual frustration and 2) unfulfilled desire for intimacy. I rest my case. Now pass me my martini….

  • Betty Write

    And not every woman wants to have children.

  • Christina

    My heart hurts for you. I’ve never been engaged, but I know the feeling of someone you love leaving.

    You’ll meet someone better. Just be selfish for awhile and please don’t let it get you down:-D All we have is our light.

  • http://gravatar.com/opheliasgrave Owl


    I am wondering why you mentioned all the stereotypes of feminism..I don`t think anyone`s feminism really looks like that. But I understand what you mean by mentioning feminism. There is this idea that feminists should be strong, independent and okay with being single. I think at the end of the day, people are struck by your comment about its sucking to be single because they are assuming that you don`t like your own company. Do you think this is true? Are you the type of person who needs to be with someone to be happy with yourself? I think people should have asked these questions before jumping to conclusions.

    I’m single right now and as much I enjoy most aspects of it, sometimes I wish I had someone to be my one and only and vice versa. However, my quality of life doesn’t rise SIGNIFICANTLY when I’m with someone because I enjoy my own company, I have hobbies and ambitions I am pursuing and don’t really NEED much self care that involves social interaction. Not everyone is life me, though.

    But I think your attitude only becomes problematic when you are in relationships just to fill the void, which I’m sure isn’t happening.

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