Create the Ideal Man. I’ll Wait.

by Janelle Harris

I guess it was supposed to be some sort of consolation, maybe even a compliment. A male friend with whom I had batted flirtations back and forth during our periods of singleness got engaged. Up until then, I hadn’t even known he was seriously involved with anyone. You know, a man can reach a certain age, hit his target income or professional goal, decide he’s ready to get married and have options at his mercy. Women don’t seem to have that luxury. We have to reflect and hope and wait and pray and self-evaluate and read Steve Harvey books and get hooked up and go on retreats and meditate and all kinds of stuff to prepare ourselves for the journey into holy matrimony. It’s quite a contrast in gender dynamics. But that’s another topic for another blog post for another day.

Anyway, to avoid being a homewrecking skank—the kind I would probably pelt with condemnation in an editorialized rant so, more specifically, to avoid being a hypocritical homewrecking skank—I told him we probably should stop talking and texting, just to be on the safe side. He agreed. But he there there’d me with this time-honored atta girl for single women: “You’re wife material,” he soothed, even though I certainly wasn’t digging for it. “If I wasn’t off the market, I’d marry you.” How reassuring, I thought. I chuckled into my bowl of cookies ‘n’ cream and life somehow went on.

What is interesting is despite the fact I’ve never been proposed to, I regularly hear that I’m “wife material” almost as much as someone asks me why I’m still single, which leaves me baffled about what these general parameters even are since those two statements sort of cancel each other out. If these inquiring minds can compartmentalize my personality and my personhood into qualities that ostensibly make me ripe for broom-jumping—can I cook? Check. Keep a clean house? Check. Reasonably intelligent? Check—then it seems questions about my marital status shouldn’t be aimed at me. And honestly, the older I get, I care just a little bit less. Just let me adopt a kid like I always planned to do, buy a turn-of-the-century fixer-upper home and live the dream, sans the mister by my side. He’s late to the party anyway.

Still, as I spin and twirl through my adventures in singleness, I find that what I don’t like gives me even more clarity into what I do appreciate. The mental picture of Mr. Right has been crystallized by run-ins with Mr. Is He Serious?, Mr. He Thinks More Highly of Himself Than I Do, Mr. His Mama Fell Down on Her J-O-B and Mr. He’s Nice But He Ain’t It.

“The One,” if there is such a thing, would be intelligent with a smart-alecky wit, equipped to feed that sapiosexual side of me with stimulating conversation while also able to crack snarky jokes and fun. He’d be progressive and an open-minded pro-womanist, but a man’s man at the same damn time. Family would be important to him, his and mine and the one we’d build together, and he’d be spiritually grounded. Not a Bible-beating zealot (Lord knows I’m too much of a loose cannon for one of those), but a man who has his own active relationship with God and who regularly harnesses the power of prayer. There are other things too, of course, but those are the heavy hitters.

Fine-tuning my vision has given me ample opportunity to know what I don’t want:

1. The guy who has Wonder Woman expectations

2. The guy who’s more groomed and coiffed than I am

3. The guy who doesn’t hold doors or offer seats to ladies in a waiting room or on public transportation

4. The guy who wears those little man ties when he’s out jogging or working out in public (scratch that—even owning them in general is a problem)

5. The guy who gets pedicures, especially with polish

6. The guy who kisses his pit bull on the mouth or treats his golden retriever like his girlfriend

7. The guy who doesn’t take an interest in what I do or what I’m interested in (that part out of “Brown Sugar” when Kelby didn’t read Sidney’s writing rang so true for me)

8. The guy who tends to be braggy or pretentious

9. A guy who has a newborn, infant or toddler because I know, from firsthand experience, he needs time to iron out his stuff with his child’s mother, especially if the baby is a product of their previous, still-smoldering relationship

10. The guy who treats waiters and bell hops like brown stuff on the bottom of his shoe

11. The guy who doesn’t like to admit he’s wrong and gets all in his feelings when he’s presented with information that proves he’s off base and still refuses to concede

12. The guy who doesn’t like to lose to a girl

13. The guy who litters

14. The guy who has to think too long about the dates of his kids’ birthdays or how old the children even are (deadbeat alert), and the guy who rolls up to holler but doesn’t acknowledge my own child beside me

15. The guy who readily bashes his ex-girlfriend, his baby mama or any other used-to-be

I may be decidedly too rascally to get married anyway, but I think every woman who even entertains the thought should have a clear idea of what she does and doesn’t like, not just the easy stuff about what he looks like and how he puts it down. Those things certainly warrant some kind of reflection because she should be consistently attracted to the dude. But it’s the digging deeper into the habits that drive her crazy, the qualities that grate her nerves and the expectations that would weigh her down that make her conscious of the standards she sets for herself. Just in case, in a weak moment, she starts settling for less.

Folks will try to make her feel like she’s being picky, especially as a gal careens into her 30s and then her mid-30s and then, God forbid, her 40s and mid-40s and hasn’t yet had that magical piece of finger candy slipped onto her hand. But most of us aren’t nearly as desperate as statistics and relationship experts think we should be. I’m real about mine. I’m flawed. I’m a single mama. I’m short and stocky and have a spare tire. And I have the audacity to have standards.

  • Ask_ME

    “Women don’t seem to have that luxury. We have to reflect and hope and wait and pray and self-evaluate and read Steve Harvey books and get hooked up and go on retreats and meditate and all kinds of stuff to prepare ourselves for the journey into holy matrimony.”

    The biggest lie ever told. The world is FULL of men. If you insist on focusing your attention on one very small group (in this case I’m assuming African American men) don’t be surprise when you keep coming up with the short end of the stick.

    Next, I do think some folks on this site need to be a little bit more practical with their demands for a ring. The reality is if you are a SINGLE MOTHER you are going to have a harder time finding a mate. No amount of shaming is going to make a black man (if that’s your only cup of tea) who is not feeling it take on your ready-made family.

    But again, the world is FULL of men. Get out there and meet them.

  • Silent Whispers

    This is an honest article of the romantic life and options of MOST mid 30′s, over 40 year old black women (even if they’re not a baby mama). I don’t know what’s more baffling. The amount of black women in their 20′s, who want to get married, and think they can wait until their mid 30′s and 40′s to find a husband and still attract the same type of men NOW chasing them or these black single over 40 year olds telling 20 somethings how great their over 40′s single life is and how easy it is to find a husband later in life. We know the truth.

    The Ideal man for black women? Successful, smart, good looking, fun compassionate who’ll “just have to accept me as I am.” Yeah, I’ll wait.”

  • JP

    Really, I think this posting is honest and on point. The quote ask_me used is actually the key problem here and not being addressed, regardless of the ethnicity the single women has a preference for. If men spent more time confronting their emotions and issues, like they expect us to have done — lest we be labelled crazy/co-dependent/immature, there would be many more healthy relationships and marriages. Unfortunately this self-evaluation is deemed as “women’s work” so even though there are tons of men out there, most of them are still in denial about their issues and preparedness to honestly be “all in” and do the work to keep a relationship thriving. Men expect us to pay bills, handle our B.I., be emotionally stable, self-aware and have spent significant time working on ourselves and dealing with our “men issues”. Why shouldn’t we expect the same?

    Will say I am also proud of the author for cutting off a relationship that some may view as harmless if sex isn’t involved. Those kind of “friends” often become emotional affairs and threaten the integrity of a monogamous relationship. I just wish more men would be the ones to recognize and initiate the break, instead of maintaining these flirtatious connections and possibly hurting both their partner and the “other” women.

  • isolde3

    “2. The guy who’s more groomed and coiffed than I am
    5. The guy who gets pedicures, especially with polish”

    @Janelle, India-Jewel, others

    All you hypocritical chicks going on about not getting with dudes who wear eye-liner and groom excessively know damn well you would try to push up on Aqualad if he was coming your way.

    http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/1999/tumblrmbenw0jfor1ryje3v.jpg

    Don’t front ;) (LOL)

  • JN

    Some of these are rational. Number 1 is ridiculous, Numbers 2 and 5 tend to be traits of a metrosexual, and nobody has time for a man that can’t treat people right (numbers 8, 10, 15). The only one that I felt fell on the nit-picky side was #13. I think a man can learn how to not be a litterbug, just as a woman can learn how to be a better cook.

    I think as you get older, you learn what you need to have in a relationship and what you absolutely can not put up with. For example, I commend the author for even contemplating having a relationship with a man who has kids. In-laws are enough for me, I do not need baby mamas and extra kids. I do not like the idea of “sharing” my man, even over kids. There are some other things would be nice-to-haves but I can live without.

  • __A

    Yea. I agree with having standards, but people have to let some things go and be realistic. He may not be six feet tall. Heck he may be shorter than you. He may not be college educated. Some women live in Disney World. They chase after unavailable men and waste their time with unavailable men. I remember the author wrote a story about her long time boyfriend never proposing. Women need to stop thinking men think like them. If a man wants you and wants to marry you, he wouldn’t wait years and years. If a man tells you up front that he’s not ready for a relationship, believe him. Women try to turn these FWB relationships with unavailable men into relationships and start thinking of these men as their future husbands which usually ends with them being hurt.

    Single mothers have to bring a lot to the table to overcome a ready made family. Good conversation, good looks and in shape, and a good attitude put you ahead of many single women but you can’t have big character flaws that you don’t work on and expect a man to just take you as you are.

    I do agree with the author about having standards. There are just some things in life that people are supposed to do and just because a woman is 30 years old or has a kid does not mean you should settle for anything.

    I saw that ABC Sherri Shepard special about BW being single and the Oprah special as well. Many of those women needed to work on themselves a lot. In the ABC special, many of the women in the audience were overweight. Some of them expected a man to be just as spiritual as them. They had height expectations too.

    I think it’s okay for AA women to date other black men or outside their race, but some of them need to set some standards, and stop dealing with unavailable AA men. If you don’t have some standards when it comes to what you will accept from an AA man, then you will probably screw up with other non-AA men.

    I thought most of the author’s wants were okay. I’m sure men have a lot of wants out of women. I can already see the men flocking to this article to say what they want in a woman and how BW have none of these things and shouldn’t be picky.

  • Ms. Information

    I think that the problem that black people have right now is that we have soooo many expectations, some of them are legitimate..some are not…and come off silly. This is probably why we find many races of other women married, I see them with short men, men and women who aren’t that attractive physically – I am not telling people to go and marry Nosferatu but damn, there has to be some wiggle room somewhere. None of us are perfect yet we set this standard of perfection that probably no one can live up to. Maybe someone will have an extra 20 lbs or not be making that much money – in the grand scheme of life…people lose weight and make more money…I have been proposed to 3 different times and decided to say no at the time because of career decisions…do I regret it, no, but I deal with it and know that the person that I may marry will not have his 24 year old body anymore and his hairline may be a little iffy. And I think I am ok with that…now..lol

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    LOL @ Nosferatu..but um yeah, my thing is I have to be attracted to the person and then there has to be shared values, and sound character. I have been proposed to as well a time or two but by people I did not want or even deal with in that manner.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    I have agree here!

  • Pseudonym

    You think #1 is ridiculous? Perhaps you’ve never seen the downside of those “Wonder Woman” expectation.

    I have a rep of being “so cool” among men and those who have dated me in the past usually asked me out after a year or more of romanticizing me and putting me on this very high pedestal. Then we start dating and they think I’m Wonder Woman and- as awesome as I am- I am not that fictional character. As WW, you are expected to always be strong, and never express an emotion other than happiness or horniness. I’ve had my emotional stability taken for granted and had to endure some tortuous circumstances and- when I brought up the issue later on- was met with surprised b/c they thought I lived in some alternate universe where nothing bothers me. Luckily, some were able to humanize me after that, but I DEFINITELY don’t want a man who thinks I’m going to be WW. I put enough pressure on myself to be as great as I can be; I need my human shortcomings to be met with understanding and support from my significant other and not with their obvious disappointment.

    Just sharing my experience.

  • Pseudonym

    …or do you mean a man that wants a woman to be Wonder Woman is ridiculous?

    It most definitely is. Especially b/c those men demanding such are not Superman.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    “The guy who wears those little man ties when he’s out jogging or working out in public (scratch that—even owning them in general is a problem).”
    Does anyone have a link to these? I have no idea what they are.

    I liked the article, and I agree that you have to know what you want, yet be willing to give and take a little to find/get who you want. There are a lot of frogs out there, but you have to be clear and stand strong about what you will and will not accept from a mate. If you ask, he/she doesn’t give you what you need, move on. They can’t change and aren’t going to change for you. They’ve grown up knowing what they know and doing what they do. In the meantime, it never hurts to continue working on yourself. You never know where that prince will be.

  • AM

    Looking forward to Tonton’s reply to this…..and by the way wasup ma Haitian broda!

  • __A

    This is true. I think many white women do marry men that they are attracted to though, so I will talk about Asian women. Some of them believe that marriage is not about love. It is about security and they are set on finding not a good looking man but a man who is capable of being a good father that offers security and has good character. Smart and calculating women will offer up their beauty and looks to get this security. They might even overlook cheating.

    I think Western women have grown up watching Disney princess movies and movies like The Notebook, and we think all of us will have an amazing love that will last a lifetime with an over six feet tall man who makes really good money and is really attractive. I think it should be somewhere in between but leaning a little more towards the Asian model. Women nowadays date and marry for love rather than security. A lucky woman will hopefully have both, but love goes away especially that romance novel love. Can you trust and depend on this man? Will he be a good father? Don’t respond to what a man says or how he makes you feel. What does he do? Does he treat you well? Do his actions show that he loves you or is he just saying “I love you” and good in bed but does he string you along and make you feel like crap? Women too often think drama and pain in relationships is love.

    I think many Western women are into finding a good looking guy. They hook up with the good looking guy and then hope all the good things come with him. If not, they think they can change him.

    But I think it is very difficult to just get over looks. Men are attracted to good looking women, but people try to make women out to be shallow for liking good looking men. I think women like good looking men almost just as much as men like beautiful women. In the past though, women were dependent on men, so they had to push their desires aside. Maybe the advice shouldn’t be get over looks, but don’t excuse bad behavior from good looking men and include men who you would normally not date in your pool. But I see many white and Asian women with men who are on the same level looks wise as them.

  • Treece

    I just think its about priorities. Everyone should have standards. No one should accept less than they reasonably deserve. I’m not talking about superficial stuff like height or the car they drive. I’m talking about the things that matter (spirituality, education, manners, interests, hobbies, drug/alcohol use or abuse, children, ideas about marriage, etc.). Of course what you consider physically attractive is what draws you to a person in the first place (i mean, you like what you like) but having standards other than what is physical, is important. I don’t care how old you are or how many kids you have. I have never ever seen a relationship where the woman has lowered her standards ( the important ones) and the relationship turned out well. Never. Kudos to the author for realizing that.

    And to all of those that have made comments about how women over a certain age or have children need to be “realistic” as if they should settle for less than they would be happy with: that is unfair and untrue. Everyone deserves happiness and lots of women over 40 or who have kids find it with wonderful men. I would just encourage our Black ladies to keep that race/ethnicity door open. The man of your dreams that will give you all you need and want may not be Black…..keep your options open ; )

  • paul

    My only interest in this discussion is countering the distorted notions of manhood that shallow messages like this implant in the minds of more impressionable men.

    This is a software upgrade of the “da good black man” program.

    If this catches on the more is easily influenced males among us will soon be calling themselves -

    “da ideal black man”.

    Notice that, as usual, there’s no reference to a man’s capacity for ethical behaviour in this definition of ideal man, only that a man pander to a woman’s sense of entitlement to chivalry – which is why wise men will ignore it and continue to be our flawed selves.

    As for who gets proposed to or doesn’t to get proposed to or why

    who cares?

  • Pseudonym

    I was thinking that should have ben “manties” as in “man panties” but it wasn’t spell checked.

  • LMO85

    Yes JP, your comment is spot on! I truly believe that if more men would mature and again, be held accountable for their own faults, the nature of relationships would change for the better-across the board, not just in black relationships.

    That would also require women to set boundaries for themselves, about what they will and won’t accept from men. Until that changes, we will be having these conversations into perpetuity…well some of us will. Personally, I will be out there enjoying and living my life in the meantime.

  • Lady P

    @ Ask _ME “The reality is if you are a SINGLE MOTHER you are going to have a harder time finding a mate” ~ this is true.

    When I was dating, I would come across some men who didn’t embrace my son and some men who did. One area in which I remained consistent with and refused to steer away from was trying to make it work with a man who did NOT want to involve your child/children. During that time, I would make it clear that “we” were a package. I hope single mothers don’t become so desperate (even though it’s hard) to just date anybody (accept in their circle) and neglect their children. They just have to wait just like I had to. It is so much better being with a man who loves your child as much as he loves you. The children can feel that rejection as well.. Great advice!!!

  • Pseudonym

    I prefer not to have a vision of an “ideal man” when I don’t have a boyfriend. When I meet someone that I would like to pursue a relationship with, then I add in the compromises and work-arounds that would make our relationship “ideal” and then, I guess that would make him the ideal man. I’m pretty flexible, though, so I can work with introverts, extroverts, macho men, less macho men, tall men, short men…I’d just approach happiness with each type of man with a different technique.

  • http://www.ohsuperstar.tumblr.com Courtney J

    I don’t see a problem with having expectations for your spouse as along as they don’t exceed the expectations you have of yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

  • __A

    Really? I find this whole anti-chivalry thing funny. The average woman does not expect a man to open a car door for her, and I don’t see men pulling out chairs for their dates at restaurants. Many women also go Dutch on dates. So what are you all doing for women that is so out of your way? What is this entitlement to chivalry? Simply opening a door? Good God! Don’t open the doors if it’s such a big deal.

    You would think women are demanding you give up your seats like Rosa Parks and jump in front of bullets or let the women and children go first the way you all complain about chivalry. Chivalry is basic courtesy directed at women. A man who refuses to show common courtesy to a woman he dates is usually a red flag for other things.

    And notice the author mentions what she DOESN’T want in a man. I don’t know ethical behavior and “goodness” just seem to be things that are understood wants.

    People are constantly talking about what men want in a woman and how women should change to be more like what men want, but when women start talking about what they desire in a man, people come around saying “but what about the ‘goodness’ tho”? If a woman doesn’t understand that an ideal man should be “good” in a moral sense, then it’s no hope. I highly doubt the author or many of the rest of us don’t understand or recognize “goodness” in men. If women don’t understand what makes a man “good” in the moral sense, then they are lost.

    The good catch article was about what men need in addition to their “goodness” to be a good catch. This article was about the things that may not have anything to do with your “goodness” that may take away from you being considered a good catch or ideal man. As I have said countless times before, an ideal man or a good catch or a perfect man is not the same thing as a “good” man. From these articles, it should be apparent that many people don’t think “goodness” is all that is needed in a partner to make a relationship work. And if a man doesn’t know the difference between being “good” and being a good catch and reads our comments and thinks that he should drop his ethics and moral “goodness,” then he’s probably an idiot.

    Grown behind men know the difference between “good man” and “ideal man.” If some impressionable young man is reading our comments, then I hope his education system has prepared him well enough to put two and two together and come to the same conclusion. If these men and women don’t know how to separate the two, then maybe they aren’t ready for dating or many other things in life that require thinking.

  • JN

    yes, I meant that a man that wants a woman to be Wonder Woman is ridiculous. I was wondering what you were getting at as I read your first comment, lol

  • Chillyroad

    We need to remember we are dealing with human beings and not super humans. Have respect and consideration for eachothers humanity. People are generally good.

  • AM

    Paul,

    You are saying something worth hearing……….I just did not understand the “no reference to a man’s capacity for ethical behavior in this definition of ideal man”

    Why are you being dismissive on proposals? I want a ring, so do all the Clutchettes-ANNNNNNNNND, I’m joking before ya’ll start writing dissertations of independence.

    Please expound.

  • Lady P

    Oh no ma’am! During my dating days, that was a [complete] NO-NO! This is also one of the reasons; I would not hesitate to bring up the subject. If there were any objections, it was cool with me. And it was perfectly understandable.

  • D

    I’ve asked women for their personal improvement lists and never…I mean NEVER….is it longer than the shopping lists they create for men, leading one to believe that they’re more concerned with finding/molding a man into ABC rather than molding and improving themselves. They can boil the type of woman they want to be down to 10 things but the list for a man is never shorter than 25 to 50 (I once saw a 100-item list…for real). I’m not even discussing the frivolous, completely unimportant things that populate said lists, which also often feature items that are completely contradictory. But, hey, women want it all.

    I wasn’t planning to address the author’s list directly but…..a guy who gets pedicures is disqualified? Seriously? I don’t get them so maybe I don’t understand, but what insurmountable character flaw does that represent?

  • Mike

    “….a man can reach a certain age, hit his target income or professional goal, decide he’s ready to get married and have options…Women don’t seem to have that luxury.”

    Isn’t that how it’s suppose to be? Why? Because that’s what attracts most women who want to get married. It shows he’s stable, and a potential good provider, and father material. A man usually reaches that threshold around 30.

    The solution? Stop trying to act like men. Take advantage of your options while they’re most available. A women degree, career, house and car doesn’t mean much to a man who also has those things. He’d rather have an above average to attractive, good to great body, friendly woman with a degree just starting out (mid to late tweenties). Instead of an older, frumpy looking, overweight 35 or 40 year old woman. Why do you think there are so many women of other races, with a career and multiple degrees in the gym everyday? That’s what their men want. This is basic relationship 101 ladies.

  • paul

    @African Mami

    chuckles

    No AM – I wouldn’t want to be independent from a woman, if by independent you mean – never be in a committed relationship with a woman.

    I just don’t want women telling men what kind of men we should aspire to be – except perhaps to encourage simple ethical principles that both men and women might want to be guided by, eg –

    do unto others . . .

    respect the Earth, the Environment and all other Living Things.

    Seek harmony and equality between the sexes, including in those areas when men are treated unfavourably.

    Fight for social equality and justice.

    Promote Peace, have Compassion.

    Love without conditions.

    etc etc

    We can only go by the things we all say we want, and perhaps if we promoted these values over the shallow ones being proposed in this piece and in comments, it might be a little bit easier to find what we’re really looking for in our SOs.

  • paul

    lol

    Funny and good post too

    But you take em a lil too seriously.

  • Oversea_Honeybee

    Lord … it’s enough to make your head hurt. Between the books, articles and advice coming from every direction… I’ve just decided to focus on me and ensure my house is in order first b/f I invite any “company” over.

    Guess I’ve thrown up the white flag. I don’t have any lists but I do have standards that will be maintained (and he should have some as well). Let love find me. I agree you have to get out there and mingle (which I do when I have time) but we are way to focused on “our expectations” now adays to even go out and have fun anymore. Perhaps that’s the problem.

  • D

    Wish I could give you more than one thumbs up. Well said.

  • Mike

    How soon into the relationship are you recommending women introduce men to their kids?

  • D

    lol..you’re right.

  • FOREAL

    ewwww… i am so sick of what women need to do.. i know plenty of married women who have personality issues, weight problems, short hair dark skin. i really believe there is no formula for who gets married- some people just happen to get hitched some dont’. i’m not listening to steve harvey, peoples dumb but ideas, i’m not doing squat to get a man, i aint even trying- i’ve seen plenty men about NOTHING, no job, no goals, children from different mamas , get married which makes me believe they have a wife because they are a MAN and nothing else is going for them but they are part of the MALE species.
    and the writer of this post has the right to have standards on who she wants to marry. alot of dudes i know when drop a woman over the most mundane things, like i found out her hair wasnt real and i dont want her to be my girl..
    all this crap about woman need to do to get a man is just that CRAP!!!

  • Apple

    With the divorce and cheating statistics and the slim pickings they got out here I have prepared to die alone. Sure love would be great but seems unreal .

  • cabugs

    “I’m real about mine. I’m flawed. I’m a single mama. I’m short and stocky and have a spare tire. And I have the audacity to have standards.”
    I LOVE IT. The word “audacity” here sums it all up. I swear, Black American women are the most confident women in the world and it has always inspired me as young woman who moved to the U.S. at a young age. It annoys me when people act like any person w/ any perceivable kind of flaw does not have the “audacity”, like you said, to have certain expectations of other people in life. Like you’re too average/ugly, too short, too tall, too American, too black, too country, too this, too that to expect to be treated in such and such way or receive such and such.
    Love your confidence Ms. Harris! And stay confident, all my fellow women!

  • cabugs

    It does seem unreal doesn’t it? But all things are possible. With me to be sure, I say all things are possible with God. Hang in there.

  • beks

    lol @ the pedicures comment.
    the list thing: you could(should) date different (types of?) women….that’s wack.

  • Whatever

    Forget about standards….find someone you are compatible with that you love, who loves you for you and make it work. Why is everyone getting caught up with “standards” like you’re hiring an employee? This is the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with and maybe start a family with. Yes, everyone has “expectations” but it shouldn’t be an ongoing conversation with 2 or 3 articles a week covering the same topic. Let it go already people. Find someone who meets your expectations that you are compatible with. When you find the one that you love and can’t live without, a lot of minor details and superficial stuff you thought you needed will go right out the window. Stop obsessing and let nature take it’s course.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Basically! Everybody should have expectations/standards of not only for themselves but what they want in a mate. The key is being realistic and compromising for example what if the author meets her ideal man but he is the guy who gets a pedicure with polish….are you going to let that man go over some paint?! To me that would be silly and worth a compromise. You can expect all you want but that doesn’t mean you are going to get…and if you do get it it is not always going to be exactly like how you envisioned, reality has a way of surprising us.

  • justanotheropinion

    Nothing wrong with having standards – EVERYONE should have them. Expectations are another animal. Hard for some folk to realize what is a reasonable/realistic standard vs. what is pie in the sky expectations(won’t address as this is a whole other discussion).

    Give everyone a first look and go from there. Most happily, long term married folks will tell you that the person they are with wasn’t “visually their ideal” or what they would have first considered their “perfect match”. They took their time and learned about the other person. Your standards list should be short and sweet – this is only the really important make or break kind of stuff (kids, money, religion, morals, etc.). After that, be open. Listen to your head and your heart. You might be pleasantly surprised. On your way to finding the right partner, you might discover something new about yourself, something new about other people or something that you need to work on.

    Remember, what’s important in life is the journey — not the destination.

  • YeahRight2011

    I like the idea of knowing what you don’t want versus what you do want. Takes the pressure off. My husband asked my what I wanted in a man back when we started dating, I told him “I have no idea, lets see what you got”. Doesn’t give them a script and keeps things honest. I was none of things on his list, go figure.

  • alldawg

    How can an imperfect woman have a test for the perfect man. In other words, how can an imperfect person make an imperfect test for another imperfect person and expect perfect results.

    Its more like woman dont know what a good man looks like, if she did she would approach him, in this “i can do everything a man can culture”.

    The reason I as a man look at these test with a side eye is, no man is going to love a woman based on what he does for her. A man is not suppose to be grateful or fall in love with a woman for pleasing a woman.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    we aren’t that small of a group. not as small as the group that doesn’t litter or doesn’t mind losing the girl. Who doesn’t mind losing the girl? That ish hurts.

  • Nathaniel Brunson JR.

    Hi,
    I hope your day is great. Please explain.Do you have a high boyfriend turn-over rate? Does flexibility connect with stability?

    Thanks,

  • http://www.facebook.com/RogueFiccer Cheryl Hopper

    Amen! This is exactly how I, an ‘old maid’ at thirty-three, look at marriage and singleness. Thank you for saying what so many of us single women have been thinking.

  • alldawg

    With that attitude you’re not going to get married, all the happy couples i see are not trying to emulate another couple or using their experience as if it defines all, they are just being themselves.

    The happiest couples that ever existed have never been newer versions of another couple. You should not think about the Obama’s and say ” Oh, they are like this couple here, mix with that couple there. I say no, the Obama’s are the Obama’s they are themselves. Those who you mentioned are themselves as well as you, group think aka sista-hood never did any relationship any good although it may feel good for the moment it wears off fast and then you’ll be back for another feel good moment.

    My advice is to not have a check list and create what it is you do best that layers on to what he does best and try to mend a relationship out of that.

  • http://twitter.com/0oIAMSHEo0 IAMSHE (@0oIAMSHEo0)

    I think you are entitled to anything that you are. If you are successful, smart, funny, open-minded then you are entitled to that. I actually believe that you’ll attract that. Everyone can have opinions on what they believe they deserve. Does that mean they’ll get it? Not necessarily.

    I personally wouldn’t deal with a man that had children since I don’t. I wouldn’t deal with a man that wanted a wonder woman, since I’m not. But then the only real standard I have is that someone meet me where I am (and I’m quite happy with who has stepped up).

    Quick sidebar: If you’re only ever open to a dating a black man then you simply miss out on other opportunities to love. I’m not saying I don’t like black men. My father is black and IS married to my mother. Black men like him are fewer and farther between. BW have to open up a bit to other races. Regardless of what the media says, most men would like companionship and a deep intimate relationship. Most men enjoy loving another person. But, ladies, please know that in a world with billions of people it is less and less likely that the man you end up with will be from the same color family as you.

    In sum, ladies, you can have all these lists and standards,etc but no man is going to date a woman who is asking for something she can’t afford. And the ones that are interested are the ones you better run from. Their interest often comes with chains attached.

  • http://twitter.com/0oIAMSHEo0 IAMSHE (@0oIAMSHEo0)

    The thing I think is wrong with this statement is that by setting expectations without first having cleared certain standards you set yourself up for disappointment. By having a (reasonable/realistic) standard you set a bar. Men who can’t pass the bar won’t breach relevance. Men who do are welcome to get to know you and you them. Having standards sets the stage for BUILDING expectations and keeps the field level.

    The key here though is that everyone needs to be grown enough to know what they want/need and the maturity to recognize the difference.

  • http://differentnorm.wordpress.com differentnorm

    *insert slow clap to this…..all of it!*

Latest Stories

Sexism Causes Inequality, Not A Woman’s Lack Of Confidence

by

The President & Vice President Took The Best Selfie Ever

by

Arrest Warrant Issued For ‘RHOA’ Star Porsha Williams

by

College Board to Revamp Vocab Section of SAT

by
More in opinion, Relationships
alicia-jet-magazine
Alicia Keys Strikes Back at “Homewrecker” Rumors

Should you just date until he puts a ring on it?
Should You Just Date Until He Puts a Ring On It?

Close