Post-Valentine’s Edition: How to Keep a Man (Late Post)

In this photo, a woman argues with a man. Photo from Guy Stuff Counseling.

Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago, who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913 . Check out The Reeders Block Podcast and subscribe there to hear more.

This post-Valentine’s Day, in this age of information where social media dominates, the percentage of Black men and Black women cohabitating is at what some say is an all-time low. Many Black women ask, “Where are the good Black men?” They exist, but getting them and keeping them is a task in and of its own, from what a successful Black professor/grammar school professor/teacher told me.

This is not to be taken as a comment on all Black men or all Black women, to be clear. My friend, we’ll call him Greg, has been in a decade-long relationship but is contemplating leaving his wife. Of the many reasons, he cites poor communication on her part and lack of submissiveness.

… the average Black successful man’s road… to success has been filled with unimaginable trials.

Black men, as Black women, have dealt with/deal with indescribable social barriers. For the average Black successful man, be he a lawyer or barber, his road to success has been filled with unimaginable trials. He has figuratively had to fight for everything in his life. As my friend Greg notes, the last thing he wants is conflict at home.

The above stated, Greg says, “I’m tired of arguing. I just want peace.” His wife holds a master degree as he does, but for all of her education, Greg believes she is a poor communicator. For example, when he initially suggested they leave the state together for career opportunities, she said yes. When the time came, she refused.

In this photo, a woman waves a man off. Photo from Bauce Magazine.

Furthermore, Greg explained his view of what he meant by “submissive”. “For any successful business to run, you need a sole CEO. Two people can’t be in charge at the same time. There has to be a tiebreaker of sorts. When there’s an important decision to be made and we don’t agree, I want her to trust in me that I will make the right decisions for us.”

“There’s nothing wrong with an independent woman,” Greg says. “The problem is when independence is used as leverage to treat or talk to a man any kind of way.” As he and some other men see it, he says, the word “independent” has been weaponized. It is sometimes used as a euphemism, signaling a woman has no respect for a person she’s dating because she doesn’t need that person.

My independence doesn’t make me believe I can disrespect a woman.”

As Greg notes, “I have a car, house and two great careers. I’m independent, but I still treat my woman with the utmost respect. My independence doesn’t make me believe I can disrespect a woman.”

This is a photo of a Black man accused of crack cocaine possession. Photo from News10 ABC.

Due to the crack era, over-prosecution of Black men and other social issues, many Black men have been benched, to a degree, in society. In the absence of the Black man, some Black women have had to do it all: Go to school, take care of the kids and house and work. Being the most educated group in America, Black women have worked hard to earn their way in this country, even though they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

Because of this, some Black women have a different experience in life than their white counterparts. Having to shoulder the burden of life so long alone, some Black women are tougher. Greg contends “they wear their independence like a suit of armor: it’s as much for protection as it can be for show.”

Where are the good men?

Constantly, the question “Where are the good men at?” is thrown around on social media. But Greg, like some other men, ask, “What is considered to be a good man?” Greg is employed, educated and faithful, but he feels his wife treats him as she would any guy she’s in a relationship with.

Still, in this 21st Century, we have seen gender roles flip; women are no longer expected to be housewives who set aside their own dreams and aspirations. Therefore, many of them expect something different than their grandparents did in the past.

Screenshot from social media.

In the above screenshot, the person posting it asserts the logic that it is fine to disrespect someone because this person has materialistic possessions. I once read somewhere to judge a person not by how they treat their superiors but how they treat their perceived inferiors. How someone treats someone who they think doesn’t have any social importance shows their true character.

[Some women] display an attitude that will turn most “good men” away, Greg contends.

So, the person who posted that screenshot believes financial stability gives them the right to treat men badly. Their financial stability has made them believe a man has no value. In another lifetime, the man was the expected-breadwinner. These days, if a woman is the breadwinner and she believes men can help only in that way, she may not see the other values in men.

Therefore, when she dates, she may display an attitude that will turn most “good men” away, Greg contends. He says, “Some women create force fields against good men and wonder where they are. Ladies, don’t be those women.”

In this photo, a man and woman smile and dance. Photo from iStock.

That acknowledged, you have to be real with yourself. Would you date a man with kids, and how many kids do you have? Do you view men as more than a “provider”? What do you expect from a relationship, and what are you willing to bring? Being real with yourself and who you are may be the only ways to keep a man.

Show your a man that you value him. Be nice. Smile. Keep your heart open. Don’t fall for your usual type. If you do those things, you’ll be the woman a good man loves, values and cherishes forever.

Subscribe and share. Be sure to leave a comment or question. Thanks for reading.

Published by Professor J

Professor J is a professor, author, poet and screenwriter.

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