Posts Tagged ‘successful black men’

Boyce Watkins: Why Black Women Can’t Find a Man

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky high ratings from the black community: The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man. I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw on this show. Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1) Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian? If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end? Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men: One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere. Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected, have no trouble finding suitable mates. Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.

Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for: perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment. It’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only; a lot of brothers simply play the field and allow you to buy an emotional lottery ticket, hoping that you’ll be the one he selects in the end. You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money. If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class that explains all the subtleties and challenges of making a relationship work (not just the counseling you get from your pastor). A relationship is not about a mate fulfilling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations. The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself togiving more. Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return: that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them. This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment. Some of the women these ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention to them, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male in her life: the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship. What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster. If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children. He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious. I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!” What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together. The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another. So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively. In fact, you’re not searching for a mate, you may be actually looking for a pimp. Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis. What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman. So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man? A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence and also expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated. It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader. A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case. Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).

A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported. While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex: Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.” They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable. It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her. The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women: My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet. But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive. If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Do We Sometimes Seek Out Abusive and Disappointing Relationships?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

In the video below, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses ask whether or not many African Americans are using the wrong formula to build their relationships.(The audio on my end has an echo but is still audible).

Originally posted at Your Black World.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker: How to Have a Happy Marriage

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Check out this interview that Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker did with essence.com. I love seeing marriage work and I love it even more when the happy couples share their “secret to success”. Enjoy!

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Why you should love a “hoe”, b*tch or “chicken head”

Monday, February 6th, 2012

When a woman has been raised in a home and, maybe, also a society that has minimized her, marginalized her and also disrespected and disregarded her, she may not realize that it has been repeatedly suggested to her that she is somehow inferior and the expectations that have been set for her life fall far below the potential that exists in her. She may not realize that she has bought into a lie.

You may know these women. They buy into the lie for different reasons. Among those reasons are religious beliefs that have been taken out of context or completely distorted. Some buy into the lie because their limited environment has only shown them one “reality” and in that reality all they see is evidence of their lack of power and their lack of significance. Some others have been brutally beaten (verbally, mentally and/or physically) and they have endured that treatment for so long that it is next to impossible to imagine that they could be valued, loved and respected. For some, what they have endured is more subtle and less recognizable; they are just overlooked or talked over, talked down to or ignored.

What these women do not see is the truth of WHO they are and who they were Created to be. You might ask: Who are they?

They are children of GOD.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

The next time you see one of these women, don’t laugh at her ignorance or “backward thinking” or call her a “hoe”, b*tch or chicken-head. Instead, look beyond WHAT she has become and instead see her for WHO she is. If you see her for WHO she is, how can you not love her?

Walter “BlackBond” Cobb: What Men Like in Women

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Do You have the time is an age old pick up line that is hardly used in this manner any longer, but I think I will start using it when getting to know a woman. Today, women are in the work force accomplishing more than they ever have and many often have to juggle running a home and a family on their own. I commend them for this, but so often they are not making time for life. To me, there are very few traits that are as attractive as a woman having a zest for life. But where has that zest gone??? I hear about women who hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and roll out the bed in just enough time to get dressed and head for work. No breakfast being made. Many just grab some junk in the morning as they hit the drive through for their morning coffee. An even worse phenomenon happens in the evening. Women are saying they don’t have enough time to cook dinner for themselves or their kids as they are putting extra hours in at the office and are too tired to cook when they get home. So take out it is, or even worse, fast food drive through.

Okay, we know this and now you are asking what does this have to do with male/female relationships. When a man starts thinking that he wants to get to know a woman seriously, he considers a lot of things. To me, a woman who cannot seem to carve out enough time in her daily routine for herself, will have you competing for time with her. Even if she likes you! Now I am all for earning your attention but if we have to compete with life we will lose every time. Women always say men have short attention spans and this is a sure fire way to lose our attention. It is endearing to me when I hear a woman telling me how she makes time to hit the gym and take care of herself. It makes me think she will also make the time to take care of me. Right or wrong this is how we think. Read the rest here.

What Men Need To Know About the Independent Woman

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

What We Need To Know About the Independent Woman
By Guest Blogger: Walter Cobb

Man fears what he doesn’t understand. Women and children do too, but perhaps more so, men. We now live in an ever evolving time. Women, to the dismay of some, have moved out of their traditional roles in the home and into various roles outside of it. This change in roles has brought about a change in relationships. Women are now asserting their power and dominance in the fields of entertainment, politics, sports and even love and relationships. This scares many of men and have lead some men to cry foul. We like to be in control in the relationship. Well at least think we are.LOL. Women are singing of their independence and sporting the “I don’t need a man to do for me attitude.” I do believe those who run around screaming and singing the mantras don’t fully have a grasp on what it truly means to be independent. But that’s not the purpose of the writing. I am writing to school the men.

Fellas, just because a woman may be independent by her actions does not mean she wants to operate as such. It is just that she is at a point in her life where she is truly capable of providing the trinkets and bobbles for themselves. This does not mean that they do not appreciate a showing of your affection for them with a trinket or two. Regardless of how independent she may say or appear to be a woman feels that she should not have to step our of the car on a cold day to pump gas when you are with her. I know, I know you are saying if she is so independent this would not and should not be an issue. But do not let her independence block the chivalry that they so desire to be shown. Chivalry makes them feel special for even a brief moment. It reminds her that she is the lady and ultimately, that YOU are the man.

Many women now enter relationships owning their own house. This is a great thing. Though she is capable of buying her own house she still WANTS you to be able to come over and deal with that scary mouse she saw scurrying across her kitchen floor. If you are handy with the tools, she still appreciates you getting under that sink to fix that leak. And if you aren’t she still likes for you to get under there and look like you know what you are doing.

A woman who is truly independent and secure in her independence will never stand in the way of a man who understands his role as the man. She DOES NOT WANT to take the lead in deciding on what to do on the date. Even though her bank account says she is able to wine and dine you, she still desires that from a man. An independent woman doesn’t want to have to remind you that she is capable of doing for herself and possibly doing for you if need be. She doesn’t want to HAVE TO TELL YOU that she still needs looking out and protection. She is just independent enough to move on if her desires aren’t met.

So men, I warn you to steer clear of the women who walk around screaming at the top of their lungs that they are independent and can do for themselves. For they are trying to convince themselves of this. But a woman who is secure in her independence has a desire to be with a man. They no longer have the NEED to be with or defined by one.

Mindful Mornings: Happy and Grateful

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

If you find yourself feeling down, sad and sorry for yourself, you have probably shifted your focus from what you DO have to what you DON’T have. Sometimes “happiness” is just about shifting your focus. Just be mindful of what you’re focused on and you’ll be amazed at how often you have to SHIFT. If you get in the habit of shifting your focus from what you DON’T have to what you DO have, you’ll be amazed at the results! This is how you begin to live a life of GRATITUDE.

Grateful people are “happy” people and ungrateful people are unhappy people. It really is that simple. What do you choose-gratitude and happiness or complaining and unhappiness?

I choose Gratitude.

Mindful Mornings: Do Black people complain too much?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about President Obama supposedly chastising black people for complaining too much and it got me thinking about an experience I had not too long ago.

Recently, I was standing outside of another faculty member’s office, at the college, engaged in a conversation with two colleagues who are both “African American”. The colleague whose office I was standing by was a “white” male who then stepped out of his office, locked it and then walked away. A few minutes later he comes back and then as he is unlocking his office he apologizes to me for locking his office and insists that he normally locks his office and is not locking it because I’m “black”. He goes on to tell me that he hopes that I’m not offended that he locked his office. My response was “No, not at all.”

Now, I have to admit, I found the whole experience very weird! I then began to think: Do “black” people complain so much that now we have “white” people walking on eggshells and hoping that they don’t do or say anything that may be construed as racist? Was the President right to, so called, chastise “black” people for complaining? Let me know what you think.

Oprah packs a lunch to work every day, say Gayle King and Stedman Graham

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I just watched a two hour Gayle King show special dedicated to a celebration of Oprah’s exit from the Oprah Winfrey Show. During the show, one of the guests interviewed was Oprah’s long time life partner, Stedman Graham. They reminisced about the Oprah Winfrey Show’s many highs and even higher highs over the past 25 years.

What stood out to me the most was when they laughed about how, right up until her last day of “work”, Oprah packed a lunch. Gayle joked that most people don’t know how frugal Oprah really is. Right there and there, I had an “Aha! Moment”. Wealthy people, like Oprah, don’t get wealthy by frivolously spending their money; they get wealthy by making good financial decisions even with such seemingly trivial things as spending money on lunch everyday instead of just packing a lunch.
Imagine if for 25 years, you took $5 to $10 everyday and put it in a savings account and never touched it. With conservative calculations, that amounts to about $50,000! And that is without calculating interest… Food for thought- right?

I’m really going to miss seeing Oprah every week day at 4pm but what I’ll miss even more is the little “Aha! Moments” such as the one I got today even without her there.

Here is my declaration: Every time I have the thought to buy lunch at work, I’ll take $7 and throw it into my savings account. What’s your declaration? Let me know at nomalanga@successfulblackwoman.com Here’s to the next 25 years!

Jealousy and Envy on Facebook

Friday, April 8th, 2011

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Recently I caught a bit of the Gayle King Show and she shared a few interesting survey results. Apparently the most annoying thing to Facebook users is people who get on Facebook and complain-no surprise there; who doesn’t want to flee from Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers? What I thought was very interesting though was that apparently Facebook users are also annoyed by people who talk too much about their “seemingly perfect lives”-really?

Let’s get really honest, today…The last time that you heard another person talking about something really, really great happening in their life, how did you feel? What about if what was going great in their lives was the exact thing that you were experiencing depressing levels of failure in?

I’ll start; I felt awful! In fact, I felt like waiting for them in dark alley and them beating that smug grin off of their face! I’ll also say this; that was a very long time ago. Nowadays, other people’s good or great news makes me giggle with glee. I tend to experience other people’s victories as if they were mine.

The reason why I can celebrate other people’s victories with them is that I am confident that I am living a life of abundance and I believe that all of us can. When you live a life of abundance, you realize that other people’s successes and victories take absolutely nothing from you. I look at other people’s success as proof of what is possible for all of us. I have had times in my life when my circumstances were so full of despair that I just couldn’t imagine that they would change and my saving grace was hearing other people talk about how their lives were great even though they had, at some point, been beaten down by their circumstances.

So, if you’re one of those people who feels annoyed when you hear about someone’s “seemingly perfect life” you may have to consider that what you’re calling annoyance may just be the green eyed twins, jealousy and envy. You know who they are; Jealousy is the one who says “my insecurity leads me to believe that I may lose you if…” and envy is the twin that says “I want what you have but I’d rather be angry at you for having it than focus on getting my own…” The cure, my friends, is simple; decide what you want out of life and go for it! Once you get on this path, there is no room for the green eyed twins. You’ll be so busy working on building your dreams that there won’t be any room for them!

Selah