True Love, Maybe Not For Nasty/Mean People.

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( I  spend a lot of time talking about what it takes for black men to be decent.  Sometimes, brothers think I am picking on them, but that’s not the case.  So, to balance things out, I thought I would take a second to speak about the ladies, although this thought applies in both directions.

I hear from a lot of decent men who have trouble meeting kind, loving and considerate women.  This is the untold story in the black dating pool, since the nice guy isn’t always the one who’s in your face and dating five women at the same time.  But as much as the narrative tends to be one that focuses on how pathetic the brothers are (yes, some of us are not relationship-ready on any level), the fact is that quite a few black women are not prepared to work for the very thing that they desire.

Here’s one tip that might help you (male or female):  The art of being nice can really go a long way in a relationship.  I’m not talking about being nice with conditions, if the person treats you a certain way or if you feel that you’re  getting what you want.  I’m talking about being nice because you are a nice person.  I have this conversation with my daughters on a regular basis, because watching them grow up as teenagers made me aware of just how nasty, catty and toxic some black women can be toward one another.  This can create a condition where frowns are more likely than smiles and “mean mugging” becomes an Olympic sport.

I honestly tell my girls that they can be firm, independent women, while at the same time, allowing men to see them as the kind of pleasant, loving creatures that they would look forward to coming home to everyday.  Of course, there are women who don’t want to hear a man say this, interpreting my words to exude some sort of anti-feminist desire to dominate the spirit of independent womanhood.  But I remain committed to sharing the truth:  Few decent men I know are interested in dealing with a mean, nasty, untrusting person who nags him until his hair falls out and seeks to emasculate him at every turn.   He certainly isn’t going to be interested in locking himself into a lifelong marital contract where that woman can leave him and take half his stuff so she can be with another man.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that there appear to be no mean people on the planet.   Everyone wants to believe that their heart is pure and that they only show their ugly side when they’ve been forced to do so.  It’s the world that made you mad, and not something inherent in who you are.  Some of the most vile people I’ve ever met will gladly say that they are only mean because they have to be that way in order to cover the soft layers of a damaged, loving soul.  Honestly, a lot of criminals, murderers and child molesters are quick to say the same thing: “I hurt others because I was a victim myself,” ignoring any personal accountability for their actions and outcomes, yet always wondering why no one wants to trust them with their heart.

While we all go through our disappointments in life, we must take responsibility for our actions toward other people.  We can’t control what others do to us, but we do have complete control over how we respond.  So, if your relationship has ever had you thinking about busting out someone’s windows, kicking them in the face, or cussing out their closest relatives, you must realize that it was a personal decision to absorb and then release the poison that came to corrupt your soul. It will also be you who pays the long-term price for the bitterness by staying in “why me?” mode as you wonder why no one will spend more than a few minutes in your presence before moving on to a more pleasant situation.  Those are the facts, deal with it.

My personal thought? If you didn’t grow up witnessing healthy, stable relationships up close, and your current relationships aren’t working, you might want to read a book or two on the topic….and NOT one telling you to think like a man or how to get over on the opposite sex. Most decent men I know don’t want to date another dude and if you go into a relationship prepared for war, you’ll either get more war or peace through submission and dominance (i.e. dating a pushover who doesn’t respond to your abusive disposition).

The same way that making a woman feel beautiful and loved will convince her to sleep  with a man, making a man feel strong and supported will make him want to commit to you.   If both parties don’t have the ability to truly submit to the person they love, then the relationship is going to go nowhere.  Our broken families have, unfortunately, reduced many African American relationships to pissing contests between the wannabe playa who doesn’t want to take responsibility and the “strong black woman” who refuses to acquiesce to a man on any level.  As a result, they get together just long enough to make a baby and then part ways so that their child can grow up in a situation that continues the cycle of broken relationships.

Unhealthy people tend to attract other unhealthy people, and two unhealthy people can’t form a healthy partnership. Chad and Evelyn serve as Exhibit A.   Before you can have a healthy relationship with another person, you must first form a healthy relationship with yourself.  In life, you will almost always either get what you give or get what you’re subconsciously looking for, so if you’re always getting the wrong things, the answers to your dilemma may lie inside.

The bottom line is simple:  To have good relationships, be a truly good person and seek out a truly good partner.  Also, prepare to submit yourself to the situation, thus doing everything in your power to make the other person happy with the hope that (because you chose a good partner), they are going to do the same thing for you.  Good love is just like a good business partnership:  Both sides invest, both sides work their butt off, both sides take risks and both sides get rewarded.  Don’t expect someone to partner with you in business or in love if you’re only thinking about what you’ll get but not thinking just as carefully about what you’re willing to give that suits the needs and specifications of your partner (yes, catering to your partner makes you an irreplaceable partner).

Finally, remember that, no matter what life puts you through, there is something beautiful about a woman who knows how to be nice. So, frown less and smile more, letting your light shine brightly. Always put your best foot forward and others will surely do the same.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit