by Shavonta Arline, Contributing Writer
I’m not sure how it happened but it seems that in the past few years the love and the relationship market has been booming for those who have a word or two of sage advice for the single black woman and her “romantic woes.” Hardly a day goes by where my social media timelines aren’t full of quotes, status updates, books and webinars all aimed at helping us get a man, keep a man or dump a (no good) man. To be fair, I’ve written my share of articles on love and healthy relationships that I can only pray have blessed those who have read my work. However, while studying all of this (and I do truly study it) I am often struck by a few notions and questions, a few of which I’d like to share.
#1 Does She Really Need all of this Help?
There have been several published articles and other media which suggest that the black woman is helpless in love. She’s in dire need of help…wait, make that an intervention…because she isn’t getting married at the same rates as her non-black counterparts. And so it seems that when it comes to black relationships, the outlook on the possibility of a loving relationship for the black woman is downright depressing. We may see an article here or there for men or a few tweets on how to be a gentleman but not nearly as much attention is given to men as to women. Could it be that she is more receptive to guidance? Could it be the black woman has consumed the kool-aid and now thinks she’s as hopeless as society say? Or could it be that the black woman is actually much better off than what ‘they’ say- she’s just overwhelmed with the ‘help’ she is given?
#2 Man+Laptop+Photoshoot = Relationship Expert?
Now this is a point that I could sit and go in-depth but for the sake of your attention spans (and not stepping on too many toes) I’ll stay at the shallow end of the pool today. There are a lot of men out here who really do have a wealth of well-rounded, sound advice to share with women; some of whom I know personally and fully support. The men I know who give this sound advice have a credible basis- a degree in psychology or counseling, maintain the healthy marriages or relationships. They are genuinely interested in seeing the black woman grow and flourish in a healthy relationship. However, I also think there is an element that takes advantage of the father void left in many black women’s lives. They use that as a prime-time hustle opportunity. If he can gain her trust and respect, he can also gain her money with his books, conferences and whatever else he can sell so that she will feel empowered with tools to finally get herself a man. That’s not cool.
#3 Do You Really Wanna See Me In a Relationship?
I once read a tweet that said something like girlfriends shouldn’t regularly cook for their boyfriends. Huh? Three things came to mind: #1 My boyfriend who loves my cooking and the side-eye he’d give me if I declared I wasn’t cooking until he married me! #2 The fact that people have different “love languages” to communicate (give/receive) love. Who can tell me how to make MY man feel loved? Please! #3 The the content of his message came from a place of fear of vulnerability. Moral of the story: Guard your heart, use your head. Don’t let advice designed to keep you in a relationship have you losing the one you may have!
Now it’s your turn! What do you think about all of the attention that’s on the black female love experience? I want to hear from you! Happy Valentine’s Day!