Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution

James Brown’s hit song was titled, “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.” After hearing dating stories from single women, it seems to be an accepted declaration. Issues women deal with nowadays is mind-boggling. But, I get it. Why? I have been there. I’ve been “her” afraid to be herself because he may not like it. I’ve been “her” who dumb downed my spirituality to make him more comfortable (Thank you, Alex, for reminding me of this). I have been “her,” who despite how inferior he makes me feel (in fact, constantly question myself now), I keep him around because, at least, I’m not alone.

I interviewed single and married women of diverse backgrounds, ages, etc to craft the top 10 Common struggles of dating in 2015 and the top 10 qualities of husbands during the dating process. I wanted that single woman waiting for her husband to know she is not alone. Also, to provide a list of habits as a guide in recognizing the “real” thing.

Top Ten Struggles of Dating in 2015

1. Not Feeling Attractive Enough: You feel overweight, too dark, too skinny, too pale or to this, not enough that, and the list goes on. When you see women with a certain look getting the most attention from men, it is easy to believe you aren’t attractive enough.
2. Giving too much of yourself too soon: When you like him, you want to give him your all.

“It is difficult to find a balance between how much is too much, or how soon is too soon.” – C. Banks Fort Worth

3. Men don’t want to bring anything to the table nowadays: Women are constantly approached by men who have no car, no job, living with their mama, have multiple kids, multiple baby mamas, just plain baggage.
4. Men don’t want to work for you anymore (take you on a date, etc.): The famous line, “Netflix and Chill” comes to mind. There is a new dating rule. You go on a pre-date (Coffeehouse, park, somewhere that doesn’t allude to an actual date). I don’t know if it is a way of saying without saying, “I do not want to spend my money on you unless I think you’re attractive enough.” However, shouldn’t the pre-date be the conversation you had on the phone beforehand?
5. Men want to act like your boyfriend, without the title/commitment: He takes you out, is intimate with you, and perhaps, you even met his mama. However, he makes a point to remind you when you get too comfortable you’re just friends. And, he keep you from walking away by affirming the possibility of a relationship when HE believes you are both ready.
6. Men aren’t being honest about what they want (morals, values, or just flat out lying): You’re talking for weeks now. Things are great and the amazing conversation. However, the relationship begins to get serious and suddenly,  he flips. “What happened to the man I’ve been dating for the last few weeks/months?”
7. Feeling the pressure to have sex:  He claims he has to test it out to see if you two are physically compatible first. *insert side eye*

8. Once they get what they want, they change:  He was so sweet; he told you, he could see this being long-term. You have sex. Immediately, his pattern changes. He used to call you every morning before work and now he barely picks up. And when you do hang out or talk, he is standoffish. You are probably thinking it’s just you right about now.
9. The only men interested are the ones you don’t like, and the ones you do like are not interested in you: He posses the qualities you want in a man. He’d make a great husband and father, but no matter how hard you try, you just don’t see him like that. Conversely, you love everything about him, you seem to be compatible in every way, but he hasn’t made a move and/or doesn’t seem interested in a relationship WITH YOU.
10. Just tired of being single: When will it be my turn?

“I see my peers getting married and having a family or they may just be dating or it’s the simply the fact I want those things and can’t have them because the time is not appointed yet.” – E. Green, Texas

Top 10 Behaviors and Qualities your Husband will Exhibit While Dating.

I asked married women who are in HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS (that’s important) what made their husband different and created a list of behaviors your husband will exhibit while dating. There were numerous qualities I had to leave out. Perhaps, a future blog post in the making.

1. You won’t have to guess how he feels about you: He will make his intentions known. You won’t doubt or question his desire for you.

“He pursued me and made it known that he wanted more than just a friendship with me.” – A. Willoughby, Maryland

2.When you argue, you will never feel it is the end: This was big for me. I remember every time I argued with a man, it was over soon after. With my husband, it never felt like that.

3. You won’t have to change who you are or feel you must work for his love: He will love you for you. There is nothing you can do (gain weight, get sick) that will change how he feels.

“He showed me what real love truly is, means and how it truly feels. Not what the world calls love, but the love God adds to a union truly ordained by Him.” –  R. Doucet, Fort Worth, TX

4. You won’t feel ashamed of who you are and what you like (hobbies, quirks, family, friends, that extra toe on your right foot):  He will appreciate and encourage ALL of you. He will tolerate what he doesn’t like. Most of all, you won’t have to dumb down your spirituality, your intelligence, and your accomplishments to make him comfortable. He will celebrate them.
5. He will boost your self-worth: Have you heard women contest, when they are around their man, they feel like the most beautiful woman in the world? You will feel beautiful on your worse day.

6. He will genuinely care about all of you (well-being, emotions, goals): He will be concerned about the internal parts of you too. You can share your deepest feelings and he will care even if it seems futile.

“When we would talk he would always ask, how I was. He would always ask how I was feeling, what’s on my mind… how this situation makes me feel?” – K. Feaster Maryland

7. He will respect your wishes to wait till marriage: No elaborations need on this one.

8. He will desire to take care of you in every way: Spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Plain and simple.

“When dating, ask yourself is this relationship my BEST YES physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally?”- J. Flowers, Texas

9. His qualities and character will speak for themselves: You won’t have to make excuses for him. I’m reminded of the time when I was dating someone. I found myself boasting his good qualities, hoping no one paid attention to the poor ones.

10. It will be peaceful and natural: There will be arguments, disagreements, and hiccups, but it will be a healthy balance and not toxic.

“We shared the same sense of humor. By the end of the night (first date), we already had inside jokes. After the first date, we were inseparable. I knew by the end of the week, we would be long term.” –  A. Dye, Texas

Woman to Woman, what we face when it comes to dating is our fault. Not all of it, but we must take responsibility for our part. Growing up, I heard the saying, “you have to teach a man how to treat you.”  If we want men to change, we need to change. We, as women need to revert to being firm with what we want. If they are not willing to provide those needs and desire, we must be woman enough to walk away. Let’s go back to raising those standards.

With that being said, every married woman who contributed to this blog can attest there are still great men out there. When you meet him, you won’t remember or care about the ones who walked away. Women have more power then we give ourselves credit. James Brown proclaimed, “This is a man’s world.” However, he followed up with this, “But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman.”

I hope this helps and feel free to comment below.

With much love,

Ebby LeBlanc

P.S. I have received so much feedback from women on dating I have decided to break this up into multiple blog post. Subscribe if you liked to receive alerts on new post. Don’t forget to like my page on facebook : )

P.S.S. Thank you to all the women who contributed. I definitely couldn’t have written this without your input, Destiny Oribabhor (https://destinyiyere.wordpress.com/ ), Eunique Loggins, Kendra Feaster, Shaina Eden Thomas, AlexandraWilloughby, Jordan Flowers (http://www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com/), Catrina Banks, Sherika Thomas, Jessica Bowers, Adrian Caston Dye, Rachel Doucet, Jessica Coleman, Jessica Brown, Tiffany Johnson, Queen Evans

Don’t Be Limited by “Their” Perception

I gained wisdom yesterday through a wise friend. She reminded me how often we limit God, not with our perceptions, but the perceptions and opinions of others. We allow “their” lessor thinking to taint our possibilities. Ralph Emerson once said, “there is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide.” It is not meant for you to think and be like everyone else. What makes a person great is his individuality. Not everyone will comprehend what God has purposed for you, thus the beauty in taming one’s tongue and the wisdom in withholding. Do everyone a favor today and remember the dream you had that someone told you was too big. Do yourself and the world a favor and GO AFTER IT!

-Ebby

EMMY FOR ALL

I woke up this morning thinking I need to write another blog this week. I wasn’t sure what I’d write. Then, I go online and find out that Viola Davis made history by being the first black woman to win Best Actress in a Drama series!!!! I know some may think it is shameful we are celebrating this; after all, it should be the norm nowadays to see actresses of diverse cultures winning an Emmy. Reality is, it is not. I am one to admit that America and the Entertainment Industry have come a long way (I say this with a grain of salt) when it comes to diversity on prime-time television. We think of Scandal, Being MaryJane, and Empire. However, the fact we still have to celebrate the “first ever African American to….” means we still have ways to go. After tears shed for this momentous moment for women of color, I thought about the little black girls who get to experience something I never had growing up. They get to see a woman that looks like them in a lead role on prime time television. More importantly, they get to see her win an award previously only allotted to women who looked a certain way; women who looked nothing like me.

I am an advocate for women’s rights. More than that, I am dedicated to the cause of raising self-awareness and self-esteem in all women, especially women of color. It is essential for women of all nationalities to know their worth. When we fight for the rights of women of color, we are fighting for the rights of all women. It will be a beautiful time in history when little girls of Asian, Arab, African, Anglo, Native American, Russian, etc. can turn on the television and see women in lead roles who look just like them.

-Ebby

*Shout out to Shaina for the title! : )

I turned 30, this is what I learned in my 20’s!

I turned “the dirty 30” on Sunday! Whoop Whoop! It was undeniably a momentous occasion and not just because it was my 30th. It was momentous because it was the first birthday that I can honestly say, the wishes I’d made at my previous birthdays while blowing out the candles on the cake had come true. Many people cannot say that at 30. Truth be told, my generation is rather delayed when it comes to being independent from our parents and being pretty much an adult, but that’s for another blog. I am so thankful to God for that experience. For me, thirty marks not only an ending to the years in my twenties, but a new beginning as well. I feel real grown woman right now; something I didn’t feel in my twenties. In addition, I feel like I know myself so much more and that is an incredible feeling in itself. So, here’s my list of 30 things I’ve learned while in my twenties.

 

 

 

1.       It is okay not to know everything – Give yourself some time; Geesh, you’re in your twenties!

 

2.       Think less and live more- this is for the people like me that live in their heads and forget to live outside of their own thoughts.

 

3.       Piggybacking off of number two, don’t let anyone put you in a box eitherIf you are awkward, or “different” own it!

 

4.       Do what makes you happyThis is your life!

 

5.       Just because you’re not very good at it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it/ go after itPeople aren’t great due to mere talent; most often they had to practice a lot to master their craft. Do you know how many people God used who weren’t qualified?!

 

6.       Don’t be afraid to make mistakesThere are a lot of things I wanted to do that I didn’t because I thought it was a slim chance I’d succeed at it. In addition, there were things I accomplished because I took risk.

 

7.       Learn from your mistakes

 

8.       You’re probably going to date someone, look back and think, “what the hell was I thinking?”

 

9.       You’re going to do some things you never thought you’d do and think to yourself, “why did I do that?” 

 

10.   True friends are not afraid to tell you about yourself.

 

11.   Accept people for who they are This is a big one!

 

12.   Be yourself even if people don’t like it

 

13.   Life isn’t fair A LOT of times Keeping fighting and don’t lose faith

 

14.   Don’t be afraid to date – Notice I said date, not sleep around. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!!

 

15.   Don’t date the potential of a person, date the person you cannot date a playa’ and expect him to miraculously turn faithful

 

16.    You cannot change people so don’t try!

 

17.   Do things for people without always expecting something in return

 

18.   Don’t be so hard on yourself You’re still learning yourself

 

19.   Its not that serious – It may feel like it while you are in it but the world is not over

 

20.   Don’t do it just because everyone else is doing it, do it cause you want to – this goes for going to college, marriage, babies, career. Create your own lane

 

21.   Don’t forget to have fun while you are trying to figure it all out – I spent way too much time being down and out because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life

 

22.   Travel before the marriage and kids I wish I would have listened to this advice sooner

 

23.   Build long lasting friendships with the same-sex they are essential in many ways even after marriage

 

24.   Learn to love yourself outside of the opinion of others. Someone shouldn’t have to tell you you’re beauty for you to know it

 

25.   Learn to enjoy your own company

 

26.   Don’t wait around for a man/woman, continue to live your life

 

27.   There a big change your friend circle will change in two ways by end of your twenties different set of people, smaller circle

 

28.   Do not compare yourself to others!!!!  –Unless it is mechanism for growth. For example, I aspire to be a bestselling novelist like Toni Morrison someday.

 

29.   Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself especially at your job you don’t have to be disrespectful, but it is not okay to let people run over you

 

30.   Don’t obsess over a timeline I’m a perfectionist and this was the biggest struggle.

 

There’s more that I could add. Let me know what you have learned or are still learning in your twenties!

 

 

 

-Ebby Lane