To a lot of women—especially black women—I may as well be wearing a t-shirt that says, “I’m weak and desperate.” for all that the last portion of that statement was worth. I’m sure that right now you’re thinking, “What the hell kind of woman worth a bag of Fritos walks around talking about she wants a man. I don’t need nor want a man. I’m an independent woman! ::cue Beyonce::.”
While I don’t subscribe to the notion, I can completely understand it. With all the ridiculous and never ending narrative surrounding black women’s chances at marriage and men’s—specifically black men’s—apparent lack of desire to choose us as life partners, many of us [women] have pushed back against that rhetoric by vehemently asserting, in both actions and words, that we can do just fine by our damn selves. We are graduating college in record breaking numbers (and have been since the 90’s), we’re starting businesses and breaking glass ceilings and all while shouting, “Hell no! I will not straighten my hair!” at the top of our lungs. I applaud ALL of that. Because frankly, I think black women are the strongest, most beautiful women on the planet. Why shouldn’t we be demanding that other folks get with the program? You WILL watch this throne. It’s that simple.
That said, I don’t believe that wanting to be in a relationship negates any of that. Note that I said want. The same way I want a puppy (I really do) or this bad ass pair of Giuseppe sandals I saw the other day at Bergdorf’s. I don’t need either one of those items. They don’t shape my identity or determine my self-worth. Nor will not having them break me. But admitting that I do, in fact, want them doesn’t make me lonely or materialistic any more than wanting a companion makes me weak or desperate.
There is only some 1% of the human population who can thrive without companionship. (Probably the same 1% that feels the need to keep butting their noses into the goings ons of black women’s love lives.) Where is the weakness in admitting that you want what you’re hardwired to want? I personally don’t believe that there is any. But before you go jumping to conclusions about what you think I mean, hear me out. I’m not talking about wanting something so badly that you’ll lower yourself to the depths of Love and Hip Hop to get it. The same way I had to pass on those Guiseppe’s because I have things like RENT to pay or accept that I won’t be getting a puppy any time soon because law school has made me its b****, I will—without a moment’s hesitation—pass on a man trained in the Stevie J. School of Foolery. It’s never that serious. EVER.
But I personally don’t see the value in sitting on the phone at night with my girls trying to convince myself that I don’t want someone to share the special moments in my life with. We could get bogged down in the fact that I have amazing friends and an awesome support system who take great joy in sharing those moments with me, but the truth of the matter is…I’m still allowed to want more. I’m often frustrated with the eye rolls and deep sighs I get from friends when I make mention of wanting a companion. Only to have them come to me days later with the question of, “What are we doing this weekend? Where’s a good place to meet men?” Weren’t you JUST rolling your eyes at me less than 48 hours ago? Could it be because we all want the same thing? VERY LIKELY. Mind you, relationships and companionship look different to different people. What I want may not be the winning recipe for someone else and vice versa, but I truly don’t see the benefit in pretending that you don’t want ANYTHING. If that’s truly your position, then by all means, get your Oprah on honey (keep in mind that even Oprah has a boo), but if what you want is to share your life with someone special, then by all means…do that too! And you can still be fierce and bold and independent while wanting it.
I plan to have it all in life. The career, the kids, and the fine ass man to go along with it. And simply put…I can’t ever get what I want if I don’t ask for it first.