RSS

Category Archives: Marriage

Why Some Men Never Learn

Here’s the scene: Brian (a friend) and I were on a road trip. I’m on my phone. His phone rings, a female’s face pops up on the screen, and he answers. Some time later we both get off the phone and the following conversation ensues.

Brian: I don’t understand you women.
 
Me: What are you talking about?
 
Brian: [scoffs] Calling me talking about another man.
 
Me: Hunh?
 
Brian: I don’t understand y’all. She called me to ask me about her relationship with somebody else. I don’t care nothing about that dude.
 
Me: Okay.
 
Brian: You can’t call me asking about somebody else when you still call me sometimes to tell me you miss me, you want me to come visit, and all that stuff.
 

This conversation went on for a while until, he hit me with the purpose of this blog…

Brian: I mean, as far as I’m concerned, until a woman gets married, I am the only man she has ever been with.
 
Me: Whaaat?!??
 
Brian: …or until she has a baby. [pauses] Nah, not even a baby. Until she gets married. I don’t want to think about her with some other man. Yep, until a woman gets married I am the only one.
 

There’s a lesson in this conversation. As nonsensical as Brian’s foolishness sounded to me, it gave me a clear view into the often twisted male mind. According to Brian’s rule, he will always and forever have an opening with any and every woman in his past, until marriage do them part. Unless some other man stakes an official public claim to her, he will believe that he has a chance to rekindle whatever relationship they once shared.

I have often wondered why some man who I haven’t spoken to, been nice to, or responded to in a length of time (sometimes months, sometimes years) would waste time (both his and mine) by contacting me and attempting to (re)connect. And this answers my question…probably because he’s too damn dumb to realize that he has no chance. Thus, it does no good to be rude or dismissive in hopes that he will catch a clue. The only way some men will leave is if you marry. And here I sit eternally single and apparently an option for any and every man with whom I ever spent time.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Dating, Marriage

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Why Unavailable Men are Attractive

Although I’ve sworn off unavailable men and have done a damn good job of keeping to that vow (even in the face of extreme temptation), I have a confession…

The longer I remain single, the conference mistress position becomes more and more attractive. It’s perfectly suited to meet my busy schedule and mutually beneficial. Here are all the perks of being someone’s conference mistress:

(1) Time. You don’t have to worry about a man being around regularly, drawing on your time, emotions, and energy when you clearly have other things to be doing. Likewise, he doesn’t have to worry about you contacting him when he is with his wife/girlfriend/fiance/family.

(2) The Benefits Package. It’s guaranteed wining and dining, and possibly sex, in between conference commitments and during a time when you’re already on a semi-break/pseudo-vacation from your regular schedule.

(3) Experience. That wedding ring is like a 15 page CV detailing a man’s experience in wooing women. As a conference mistress, you have a guarantee that this man comes pre-trained (by his wife/girlfriend/fiance) to say and do the right things when in a romantic situation.

(4) The Ease of Termination. This man is married, and yet he’s willing to keep company with a woman who is not his wife in a high-stakes environment (one crawling with his colleagues and the adoring fans of his scholarship and work). Thus, he has good reason to keep your name out of his mouth and the streets. You can rest assured that there won’t be any awkward situations or fear of being slandered…even when those pesky morals kick up and you decide to terminate the “relationship”.

And this one is just a bonus, but…

(5) Community Service. There are apparently tons of married women out there who wish their man would have an affair. Yep, they actually wish their husbands who are so upstanding and faithful would do something exciting and non-boring like step out on their marriage. And what’s better – the conference mistress gets to shed her image as a closet whore and assume one of a Good Samaritan. I mean, if his wife is on board, who on Earth is left to judge you?

For clarification, yes, I agree that it’s sad that I’ve thought this through and can articulate reasons why unavailable men are such an attractive option. But, seriously, what could be better than a man who I’m attracted to and enjoy spending time with, who wants to blow time and money on me, but who I  don’t have to see or speak to on a regular basis?! You romantics would probably say that all of that in a man who you get to see and love is much better. I’m just not there yet, I suppose.

To the women who believe they have a good relationship and ask, “Why can’t you just go get your own man?” Here’s the answer: I could, but then he’d be around all the time. Your man is a good option because, at some point, he’s got to go back to you and leave me alone. It’s like watching people’s children – the highlight is often that I can engage with them on my schedule, and when I’m done I get to send them home.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Conference Season, Dating, Marriage

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Getting what you give

A wise and insightful friend left a comment on my last post that has been on my mind ever since I first read it. Here’s what she wrote:

Maybe you find your self attracting men who are already attached/ somewhat attached is because YOU are attached to something or someone else in your subconscious. Perhaps an old flame or old idea of love. You know we only attract what we put out… So what are you putting out in the universe?

I think it’s a great question…and it’s probably exactly the reason (other than being mistress age) why I attract an inordinate number of married men. I attract men who are unavailable because I am also unavailable. In addition to the several standing commitments I have on a weekly basis, I am attempting to both write a dissertation and search/apply for full-time jobs. My schedule operates on the academic calendar, and on the scholarly schedule of my field. At any given point in the year, I am researching, writing, and preparing to submit or present one or more conference proposals, conference presentations, conference papers, or journal manuscripts. The point: my time is over-committed and unavailable and I’m usually much more tired than I am interested in leisure activities and outings.

It’s really amazing that I meet any men at all given how much my social activities are built to overlap with my academic and professional life…but it’s also not surprising that most of the men I meet also lead ultra-committed lives. There is a key difference between these men and me: a large portion of their commitments are to women whom they married, while mine are to my professional life. But at the end of the day, I guess we’re both unavailable…and I get what I give.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Dating, Marriage, Reflection

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A quick note on reaching mistress age

This mistress age thing comes up a lot in regular conversation for me. Usually I’m engaged in convo with a female who is describing all of the syptoms of mistress age, but does not yet have the proper terminology (mistress age) for it. The last conversation of this nature sent me to the internet to search for other information on women who have reached the age of mistress-dom.

Here’s what I found: X / 2 + 7.

This is apparently the mathematical formula men should use to determine the optimum age of their next mistress. In this case, X = the man’s age. As a note, if the man’s age is an odd number, he is directed to round down after dividing by 2. For those who have no desire to do these simple calculations themselves, there is a very nice chart provided which matches ages 22-55 with the proper age for their mistress (18-34).

Apparently, at 30 years old, I am fair game for men aged 46 or 47. It’s a little off from my experiences, as most of the married men who make passes at me at about 36-39 in age, and the single ones are either babies (clustering around age 22) or old enough to have fathered me (54+, divorced with children old enough to have resulted from the teenage pregnancy I never had).

Anyhoo, y’all should check out the chart. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, it’s at least entertaining.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Dating, Future Planning, Marriage

 

Tags: , , ,

Learning to be Open to All Possibilities

Summer 2011 has been an eye (and mind and heart) opener. As much as I would love to one day have a family all my own, I have been known to make the statement that I may never be married…and to believe it.

Somewhere along the years (maybe when I realized that I am the proud owner of a collection of bridesmaids dresses, maybe when I began quickly approaching my 3rd decade, possibly when I acknowledged the fact that my prospects are so dim that they leave me in the dark, or maybe when I recently entered my 3rd decade, I really can’t call it) I actually internalized the thought that a life of singledom may be what is intended for me. Though I hope and pray and pray some more that this is not the case, the version of me that I was in May 2011 did not believe those prayers could be effective.

So here’s what changed: I spent a summer being exposed to men who made me believe in the possibility of love and commitment. Some of these men are people with whom I spent time and some are men I’ve heard about through my girlfriends. The common thread in all of them is that they are grown up, eligible (imagine that! unattached men expressing interest in unattached women…novel, hunh?) black men who are educated, gainfully employed, and open to actually courting a woman. I clearly know that good(ish) men exist, but I was so shocked to actually finally run into them outside of my own social circle.

The result of my summer of overexposure: I’ve grown. I am practicing being completely open to entertaining conversation from eligble men who present themselves in a respectable manner. I’ve had some ‘getting to know you’ conversations and accepted some date invitations that a previous version of myself would not have even considered. I’m sure that I’ll be telling those stories soon and very soon.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Dating, Man Hunt, Marriage, Reflection

 

Tags: , , , ,

Raised to be Single

Are black girls raised to be single?

I was watching last week’s episode of Toya, and there was a scene when Memphitz, Toya’s husband-to-be, and T-Pain were sitting around talking about marriage. T-Pain has apparently been happily married since he was 18 year old (2003)…who knew?! Anyhoo, T-Pain was cautioning Memphitz that marrying a black girl would mean less forgiveness and less leeway to eff up in the relationship (actually, he said one chance). Without hesitation, Memphitz made a comment that black girls were raised to be single and they both agreed on that point. Here are two young (late 20s) black men having a candid conversation…and, even as one of them embarks upon what he intends to be a lifelong relationship with a black woman, this is what they believe to be true. So, this is my question: are little black girls really raised to be single? Are we instilled with characteristics and survival mechanisms under the assumption that we will live life alone? I do not purport to have the answer to this question, but I do find it an interesting one to ponder.

As I look around me and notice that the ratio of married to unmarried black girls in my circle is about 50%, I know that some black women are successful in attaining un-single status. Yet, when I think about the environments in which lots of (if not most) black girls are raised, I can’t help but believe that this question holds some merit. Regardless of the usual factors thrown out as explanations (i.e., how many parents are in the home, the presence of a stable male figure in the home, socioeconomic status, family values, etc.), I think a majority of black children are exposed to a range of people/families that span the spectrum on all of those factors. Whether it’s our neighbors, our cousins, or classmates, our barbers/beauticians, or whomever, we get a chance to observe and learn about life  on each end of those spectrums. We see one-parent, two-parent, and no-parent households. We see the relationships that people have with their “real daddy”, step daddy, God daddy, mama’s boyfriend, and/or no one. We know the difference between people who live on section 8, those who live hood rich, those who make due, and those who are truly living large. My point: black kids are exposed to a lot. While I believe exposure is a good thing, I also believe there’s such a thing as too much exposure.

Maybe little black girls who are exposed to all the possibilities of how life’s path can lead to something other than marital bliss develop some combination of cautionary characteristics–independence, distrust, loquaciousness, loyalty, bitterness, promiscuity, etc.–that lead to singledom. Or maybe, just maybe, we develop characteristics so noble that only a select few men are able and willing to take the necessary steps to love us. I really don’t know. What do you think?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Dating, Future Planning, Marriage, Reflection

 

Tags: , , , ,