Guest Blogger, Theory & Essay

The Man in Her Head: A Barrier or Motivation to Be Better (Part 1 of 2)

No relationship is just comprised of two people. If you’re in a relationship, I bet you thought it was just you and the other person you’re dating. It turns out that there are fifty-leven people inside the relationship. Here’s a discussion about some of those people, from two people who have been there.

A “He Said”/”She Said” Analysis on Dating, Love and Relationships
By Rahiel Tesfamariam (Urban Cusp) and Panama Jackson (Very Smart Brothas)

Warning: This ain’t politically correct; this might offend our personal connects

The Man in Her Head

Rahiel: As a woman, do you have The MITH (Man In The Head) Syndrome? Diagnosis is made when you realize (or are repeatedly told) that you’re madly in love with and dating a man you’ve never actually met (no, not Idris Elba), but the Weird Science figment of your imagination you crafted out of snippets of your favorite movies, songs, books, sermons, and romantic stories. You know who I’m talking about – the Ossie to your Ruby, the Clyde to your Bonnie, and the Barack to your Michelle. The man who has 24.5 items out of the 25 on your front and back list.

The MITH is a manufactured ideal that feeds into unrealistic fantasies of what love and marriage are all about. Where did The MITH come from? This varies based on a multitude of factors – family, class, culture, environment, education, religion, values, etc. Some might argue that he’s a manifestation of the father figure that was or wasn’t in the picture during childhood. Others would say that he’s an aggregate of every man ever encountered in life. Why is it difficult to be cured of The MITH? Because denial has become viral and old habits die hard.

At the age of 30, I know now that The MITH is not our fault. I instead blame Jem (I was never big on Barbie) for convincing us that we can be the star of our own shows as our supportive partners stand in the sidelines catering to our every need. I fault Dirty Dancing for leading us to believe that Nobody-Puts-Baby-In-The-Corner men with checkered pasts best know how to sweep good girls off of their feet.  Beyond pop culture (R&B, Hip-Hop, and The Notebook particularly), I also point the finger at Black churches and our sista-girls.

Those influences combined lead so many of us to believe that one man can and should embody all of the following traits all of the time: protective/ sensitive, spontaneous/ calculated, charismatic/ humble, passionate/ laid back, sensual/ reserved, spiritual/ grounded , serious/ silly, feminist/ a man’s man, and faithful/ desired-by-all-other-women-on-earth. We end up believing that the knight in shining armor we read about in Disney books (or saw in Tyler Perry films) may make a special appearance in not only our classrooms, corporate offices, and churches, but perhaps even in the clubs and hoods of America. While millions of women remain unaffected by The MITH, I’m convinced that this plague has become pandemic, crossing all racial, cultural and class boundaries.

The Man He Ain’t

Panama: For all of the great things that men bring to the table – the table, for instance – one of our biggest faults in relationships is our resistance to change unless it’s on our own terms. Of course, it would be easier if our women didn’t constantly view us through the paradigm of the man in her head and expect him to show up instead of the man she’s dating, but that’s just the price of doing business. But change is a part of life. It’s a part of growing. So we tend to stand in our own way by constantly reminding, and simultaneously pissing off our women by telling them who we ain’t. Which is the lose-lose for everybody.

“Baby, you knew when we met I didn’t pick up my socks. Why are you complaining now? I’m not a clean dude.” Or “I’m not the call you all day guy.” Or “I’m not the guy who is going to be that sympathetic ear. I’m a fixer, not a listener! Period.” That last one is a big problem. But it seems like men, as a species, like to change and evolve on our own time and of our own doing. I mean, we want our woman to be the same woman we fell in love with, why can’t I be the same too? Why do we have to do all this changing? I ain’t that dude anyway. I’m me. And I’m gonna stay me. Stupidity, thy name is single man.

The funny thing is that there’s a long held secret amongst most men. We actually want to be the man our women want us to be. For one, it would make our lives easier (or so we think…and actually so SHE thinks), and two, we realize we could be better men. But it’s hard being yourself, by yourself, for so long successfully and then having to completely uproot who you are to make somebody else happy, especially when that person seems to go so far to point out your flaws as opposed to what you do right. It’s all in the delivery. We’d be more inclined to make some of those changes if it didn’t feel like our every move was an affront to your sanity, peace on Earth, and goodwill towards men. Real talk. The Civil War claimed a lot of lives, why bring it home and let it claim our relationship? The answer can’t ALWAYS be, “well if you’d just do xyz…” can it?

The Woman She Thinks She Is

Rahiel: Worse than believing that The MITH exists is believing that we deserve him. This is where we must be brutally honest with ourselves. If there really was a man alive who embodied the creativity of Langston Hughes, the charisma of Malcolm X, the brilliance of DuBois, the enterprise of Reginald Lewis, the athleticism of Jordan, the passion of Tupac, the looks of Denzel, and the moral perfection and self-sacrifice of Jesus, then what in the world would he want with you and I? Even on our best days – we’re no match for The MITH.

But there’s a woman who is, and that’s “the ideal woman” that so many of us convince ourselves that we are. Truth be told, we can possess a lot of non-negotiables, but still wrestle with basics such as an understanding and love of self, trust and communication. While we would all like to think that we’re the “sure you can spend this weekend kicking it with your boys without worrying about me” type, the reality is that a lot of us seek constant validation from our lovers. And as Panama Jackson (perhaps inspired by his church going days) says, “It’s not a man’s job to make you whole.” In short, what a man says and does should never define who you are in the relationship.

Who She Is For Real For Real

Panama: It’s funny. If a woman tells a man who he really is (i.e. lazy, inconsiderate, selfish, etc.), he’s just supposed to take it, acknowledge it (because she can’t be wrong), fix it, and make her happy. But if a man tells a woman about herself, it’s akin to kicking her down a flight of stairs. “How could he? That’s not me!” Plus she hasn’t consulted her homegirls who will likely tell her that she’s not a nag or a complainer or overly negative or passive aggressive or rude or a malcontent and hard to be around. Of course, she’ll never get the truth because the people that don’t like her for those reasons have removed themselves from her life anyway.

So she’s surrounded by a bunch of people who are just like her and who also don’t see it as a problem. Everybody else is the problem. Most people are intimately familiar with who they think they are, but when faced with the truth, it’s hard to acknowledge. You ever notice in most movies that it’s the men who have the come to Jesus “I’m gonna do right” moments? Women are always fine just the way that they are. Yeah. Bull malarkey. Most women aren’t the image they portray themselves to be. Most women are the exact opposite of who they proclaim to be. Put simply: if she tells you she’d never do it, she’s going to do it as soon as she gets home. So long as nobody’s looking. Women are the living manifestation of plausible deniability.

Do you agree or disagree? Have these people been in your relationships?

******
Rahiel Tesfamariam is the Founder / Editorial Director of UrbanCusp.com, a cutting-edge online life.style magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. In her spare time, she thinks, dreams, believes and loves deeply. You can follow her on Twitter at @RahielT. Follow Urban Cusp at @UrbanCusp and LIKE Urban Cusp on their Facebook fan page.

*******

Check for Part 2 of this series on UrbanCusp.com tomorrow!

Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • Iamnotakata

    Interesting post and I can agree with the person in your head theory…..
    SN:Am I the only one getting the basic HTML version?

    • Malik

      No, you’re not the only one getting basic HTML.

    • naturalista88

      No, I’m getting that version as well.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      me too. this site decided on this day to not let us be great at all. much to my chagrin. i hate when i have to hang with my chagrin.

      • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

        We’ll work through it… just back to basics :)

  • Malik

    A good portion of this is already along my thought process. Rahiel’s second part being the one thing that I opine/whine about the most. If someone was really the perfect man/woman, why would they chose you other everything else? One thing I observe a lot from women is that they want the men to be attracted to them based on the reasons they would hypothetically be attracted to themselves if they were a man. I can’t quite wrap my head around that line of thinking. Men have been brought up in a completely different life than yours, why in the world would you expect random people to hold the exact same values and virtues you have about yourself just because they make you want to slide your panties into their briefcase with your number on them?

    • Todd

      Exactly. The problem is that the threshold for a man dating a woman is simply lower than for a woman dating a man. The key word here is DATE. This doesn’t mean that a dude will wife a chick that doesn’t meet certain standards. That said, he’ll be around long enough for some draws and the occasional family get-together.

      If we as men decided to date women we only considered wife material, a lot of women would have to come to Jesus en masse. That said, men tend to be so desperate to get that thang-a-thang wet (or at least inside a condom that gets wet) that we’ll put up with crap that we know we wouldn’t take from anyone serious, present company included. Of course, the women don’t know the deal, or at least have enough peen in their life that they can lie to themselves around their flaws. After all, if their flaws were so bad, why are Tyrone, Ray-Ray and Raysheen hollering at her, right?

      Simply put, men lie to get some, and we end up hurting the women in the long term. Perhaps we need to just not hump these chicks. Our things are helping them to ignore their things. :)

      • 51/50

        Good points. Is makeup a lie? How about weave? Fake eyelashes? Fake tits? Colored non prescription contacts? Do women lie to catch men? Probably men and women are not very genuine about what they really believe, want etc. and lie to create an image that serves interests someone else may have cooked up for us.

      • Come On People

        That reminds me of a blog post about Kris Humpries ex-girlfriend. She said that KH said she looked better than kim k, and that they were only famous because of the sex tape…lol. The only thing is, he married kim k and not her… Men will say anything to get the draws. Not saying that the girl was not cute, but Kim K is cuter.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      “One thing I observe a lot from women is that they want the men to be attracted to them based on the reasons they would hypothetically be attracted to themselves if they were a man. I can’t quite wrap my head around that line of thinking. ”

      Women, in general, are a tad narcisstic. It increases the longer we take relationship or dating advice from our girls who have dating and relationship struggles too. We are good at self-deception. We will find flaws in a woman that many men find beautiful and point those out in face of his compliment of her. But we won’t call each other on our shyt that keeps us in sluggish dating and relationships. What single woman is going to call out her girlfriend holding out for a strong athletic man when she never goes to the gym where they are and says she hates to exercise, bike ride, rock climb?

      • 51/50

        Word. & you have two xx chromosomes?

      • Justmetheguy

        Wow. Between Todd and A Woman’s Eyes I don’t need to say anything else. For a while I thought I was the delusional one out here for noticing this epidemic of delusional women and men with low standards just to have quantity of sex. It’s f*ckin things up for all of us. Especially the women who are being rented and lied to in order to assuage their egos and enable them. It causes them to miss out on guys who really like them as ppl (flaws and all) from even getting the chance with them. Everything’s off balance when ppl (of both genders) aren’t being honest with themselves or with others when it comes to character and attractiveness (physically and otherwise). Good points Todd and A Woman’s Eyes

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      “One thing I observe a lot from women is that they want the men to be attracted to them based on the reasons they would hypothetically be attracted to themselves if they were a man.”

      i think that’s absolutely right. thing is, no matter how often you tell women that aint’ what matters, its like they just refuse to acknowledge this. no wonder the terrorists keep winning.

    • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

      I think there’s tremendous value in someone pointing out strengths you didn’t know you had. Some of the greatest compliments come from someone identifying a positive attribute in you that you had always overlooked. It’s okay for them to place greater emphasis on one thing over the other – I would just never want someone to completely be blind to something that is at the core of who I am.

  • Lola’s Mambo

    @Iamnotakata – I’m getting plain html too. This site just doesn’t let the content be great.

    I would honestly like to know how to approach a man when you (as a female partner) have an issue. This site gives plenty of examples about women who are really abrasive in their approach “you need to do x,y,z…” but no concrete examples about what the right approach is.

    I think men are overly sensitive when certain negative things are highlighted. I concede that all people are. But being nice and taking baby steps doesn’t necessarily achieve the desired result… In fact, after months of nice and pleasant versions all I have is wasted time, patience, and breath.

    Why is it that women have to put up with everything a man does or dance around real issues to spare his feelings?

    • Malik

      You don’t HAVE to do anything love. The site is written by men, so biases about how we would like to be treated will always be present even when we attempt to be even handed. But to answer, he will live if you hurt his feelings in one instance. We’re not fine china that once we fall on the floor and get damaged, we’re now worthless.

    • Todd

      Well, the feelings sparing is a human thing. It isn’t about men or women.

      Real talk though, the best way to approach issues is to say it in as clear, dispassionate way as possible. Women tend to bring up issues in two circumstances. One, they’ll be pissed off that you did something dumb, and then they’ll throw the sink at you. So wait…because I showed up 15 minutes late home I’m a flirting-a$$ ninja who’s bad with money? On the flip side, women will be so afraid to look the slightest bit aggressive that they’ll only be passive-aggressive about it.

      The vast majority of dudes would rather just have you lay it out there. Women will try so often to use your issues as a weapon against your feelings that there’s more heat and light in the process.

    • 51/50

      “This site gives plenty of examples about women who are really abrasive in their approach “you need to do x,y,z… but no concrete examples about what the right approach is.” Lola’s Mambo

      One size relationship models don’t fit all. (matrimony, monagomy) Nor does one approach to voicing and inspiring change. Maybe the spirit with which you approach someone could genuinely be from a place that is not mostly demanding and soaked in a sense of entitlement and a passive agressive energy of; “I got my shit together better than you.” (shaming, guilt etc.)

    • 51/50

      Words are only a small part of communication. 90% of communication is non-verbal. check for “meaning” & “energy.”

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      “Why is it that women have to put up with everything a man does or dance around real issues to spare his feelings?”

      Therein lies a possible problem, this belief.

      No one said women have to dance around real issues or spare his feelings. This belief can be a barrier.

      Feeling you have wasted time, patience and breath is another barrier.

      One has to be excited/intrigued/care about the other person in some way to want to engage with them in anything.

      • Lola’s Mambo

        I simply posed a question, doesn’t mean it’s a belief of mine.

        Feeling like I’ve wasted patience, breath and time IS a barrier. Part of it is frustration that the issues have reached a stalemate, despite my excitement/intrigue/care (to use your words) about the other person. If I don’t see excitement, intrigue, and care on my partner’s end, what good are all of my efforts? I could be intrigued until I’m blue in the face and that won’t help if both parties aren’t willing to work toward a resolution.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Well allow me to attempt to give you an example of the right approach.

      Approach how you’d want him to.

      Sounds simple right? one of women’s greatest needs in life is understanding. you all want to be understood above all else, b/c if we understood, then we wouldn’t do the sh*t or we’d try to make you happy, right? So how come when we do something you all don’t agree with, you come with the 1-2 emotional punch and kick in the nuts. its never in a non-pissed way. it’s always what we’re doing wrong as opposed to, “help me understand what you were thinking here, jim bob.” <—thats what you want from us, but we never get that same courtesy.

      Not that we’re all even good at it. But if you do something we dont understand I think most of us will at least listen, partly for entertainment value, partly because we love you and have no choice. it seems like most women want all discussions witih their man about their issues to be even keeled democratic and level headed. thats what you want, bring it to your man like that and see what happens.

    • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

      My friend and her husband have this understanding that if one of them upsets the other – their code phrase is “Can I tell you something?” When that is said, they know to prepare to hear something that may not feel good but the guards are down because it’s safe space. It’s said in love and not chastisement. They also allow each other the freedom to say “No, you can’t tell me something right now. Now is not a good time for me to hear it.”

      Not saying that everyone should adopt this technique (nor that everyone is as diplomatic in their relationships) but at its core this example reflects a pre-established way to communicate disappointments and frustrations. It also reflects a partnership committed to doing whatever it takes to stay together. If leaving is always an option that’s on the table, then of course there will be immense sensitivity about everything that is said.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Excellent! The coolest couples I know (sexing/dating/married) use different variations of this method. They genuinely admire, respect and want to understand the other person’s p.o.v. and protect the relationship.

  • http://enterknight.blogspot.com/ Misty Knight

    Put simply: if she tells you she’d never do it, she’s going to do it as soon as she gets home. So long as nobody’s looking. Women are the living manifestation of plausible deniability

    *Deep Sigh*
    I am getting so much bitterness here…

    So what I am to ascertain from this groundbreaking dialogue, is that women are not only totally unrealistic and in denial about the men they have, but also the men they deserve, AND the women they REALLY are.
    Jesus Christ, between Champs bemoaning of orgasms and this yet again less than glowing depiction of women as irrational, creatures totally devoid of the capabilities of self-reflection and compromise, I’m beginning to wonder why y’all even fux with the fairer sex, not saying you should switch teams, but maybe sit this game out.

    Maybe because I am keenly aware of my own ain’t shytness qualities I cannot relate to these women of which you all speak, maybe because in my own life I see my friends and family accept their husbands for the loud, crass, sometimes irresponsible, video gaming mofos, they are, and have long since given up on the fantasies of this Denzel/Jesus/2Pac combo bout 4 score and 4 kids ago, I find this whole “revelation” to be negro internet fodder, and the basis for the infallible “Denzel Principle” but I realize the world is much bigger than my meager sliver of personal experiences, So I will just watch and observe the happenings, ….Yuuuup.

    • Lola’s Mambo

      @Misty Knight –

      I’m totally with you. I’m surrounded by women with realistic expectations. Women who accept their partners and work through issues, often even ::gasps:: compromising.

      It’s unfair to make all women out to be some emotionally unstable, irrational beings with unrealistic and unachievable expectations.

      According to VSB, 55% of women have unrealistic expectations and are single/ bitter as a result, 30% of us are supporting ain’t ish men, 10% of us are lezzies, and 5% are not attractive enough to pursue (or are relatives).

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        you said it not me. lol.

        here’s the thing, i’m glad you know all of these women with realistic expectations. i really am. maybe that’s why they are the ones with partners. them ninjas learned how to play with other people a long time ago. and honestly, i do believe thats what it all comes down to, knowing how to play well with others to achieve a common goal. for men and women.

        i ALSO thought we were past the point of having to specifically state in EVERY sentence that this does no pertain to ALL women, but i may be mistaken.

        • bryant

          On the realistic women You THINK you have female friends that have realistic expectations…TIL THEY GET IN A RELATIONSHIP!!! I have seen women give the most sage advice to their girlfriends on how to treat their man…and THAN DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE in their own situation?!?

    • Iamnotakata

      I am totally on board with your statements, I was a little taken back by the websites basicness (if that’s a word) to fully grasp the content I was reading in the original. But after going back and reading it, I find your response appropriate.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        what do you mean by websites’s basicness? i’m a man, please expound. we’re slow.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Admittedly, this dialogue was more women-centric than man-centric. I realized that even when it was being written.

      Oh, and btw, azz, your sarcasm is duly noted. I thought we had love. anyway, i want to ask you to do something for me. and i mean this seriously. remove your apparent “diamond status” self from the thought process and think about the majority of women that you’ve come across or counseled or whatever.

      and let me caveat by saying that, again, i reazlie this is more of a women-issue-centric discussion here, but even amongst my family, women i know (without judgement) a lot of the problems and issues that i have witnessed and have had to personally deal with via this site from emails, texts, etc comes from a certain “it’s not me, it’s him” mentality. now, i also think that most of you all who go that route actually know what you’re getting into but also expect him to have made some sort of difference or changed for you.

      be clear, men suck. i know this. we can be some inconsiderate bastards. i’m a man. i know i can be inconsiderate – unintentionally even – and i’m working on that. but i do feel like most men do indeed end up just having to deal with whatever gets thrown our way. we’re all smooth brothas and cool ninjas until we end up in a relationship and then all of a sudden we just cant do right. there has to be some sort of disconnect there, right?

      • nillalatte

        May I? Oh, I just feel like adding to this so much!

        “we’re all smooth brothas and cool ninjas until we end up in a relationship and then all of a sudden we just cant do right. there has to be some sort of disconnect there, right?”

        Yeah, there sure is! You’re smooth brothas and cool ninjas until AFTER you’re in the relationship. Then some brothas go all neanderthal on a girl and do cave man shyt. Now, I ain’t saying all, but you know the men I’m talkin about. The ones that play the smooth operator and then wham… where’d that cool dude go? Oh, he’s demanding me to do what?! Has he lost his mofoin mind?

        Here is the deal on expectations: do not have any and you won’t be disappointed with what you got! I actually told this to a male friend of mine who had this UNREALISTIC expectation of relationships. What he described could never be achieved in ONE woman (guess that’s why he’s a hoe).

        At any rate, I described him like a kid at a carnival; He sees the bright lights, hears the sounds, smells the delicious aromas and believes that when he goes into the carnival that it is going to be the greatest experience he’s ever had because he has the highest of expectations. However, when he comes out he’s upset and bitter because it wasn’t what he expected. If you go into a relationship enjoying it for what it is instead of what you expect it to be, you’ll be a whole lot better and will appreciate the experience more.

    • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

      I feel I’m about as pro-black-woman as it gets and understand your frustrations about this post. I wanted to write this because we ALWAYS hear about women who accept good-for-nothing brothers fearing that it’ll be forever until another one comes along. But there is another reality – those of us who hold an image of what we want so tightly that it becomes difficult to appreciate what’s right in front of us. Not universal but it exists and should be named. It doesn’t mean that all Black women lack self-awareness or are extreme idealists; it speaks to what a handful may be experiencing w/o even knowing it. And yes, of course, there is also the reality of realistic, understanding, patient sisters who have learned to strike the balance. I think many, many of us have been on different ends of these extremes at different points in life.

  • AI

    This is a human thing. Men want the model type chick who can cook like a chef, freak like a porn star, and play ball/video games with them. Women want the Prince Charming with bad boy sensibilities. (Adjust as you will to remove the heteronormative assumptions). We want whatever media tells us is the ideal and we believe we can have it all. (Hopefully) we grow up and realize no person can be everything we want but find the person who makes us so happy we’re willing to deal with their flaws (and who is willing to deal with ours). *shrug*

    • 51/50

      “(Hopefully) we grow up and realize no person can be everything we want…” AI Interesting.

      “but find the person who makes us so happy we’re willing to deal with their flaws (and who is willing to deal with ours). *shrug*” AI

      Settling for the previous is a bad notion in popular thought especially for more women than men but in practice women settle because unicorns dont exist. The thinking & principles which underly keep the anxiety and expectations high and many times with no self knowledge & understanding of their own inadequacy. If we understood then we could recognize that what we despise and condemn in others also reside in us and essentially we are convicting ourselves.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I think that would be a good exercise for anybody entering into a relationship. both ninjas lay out their expectations…BEFORE any beef happens. and then see how much of it aligns there. most peole get to those convos after somebody’s pissed the other off…and usually its the dude pissing off his girl.

      of course, dealing with flaws requires the ability to acknowledge them.

      • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

        Ditto on above comment from Panama!

        • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

          But now that I think about – how realistic is it to think that they 1) know what they truly expect/hope for 2) will be honest with themselves about it and 3)honest with you. It’s like what LBoogie said: those who lack conscience will lie to themselves, everyday people lie to God so what makes you think they won’t lie to you too?

  • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

    The Man in my head has gotten simpler and simpler the more time goes on and the more I realize who I am and being able to differentiate between what I want and what I need. From ages five to fifteen he was this thing, an idea; he was perfect and thought I was perfect for being imperfect. Around 16 I realized that you never fall in love with perfect people, and perfect people (sadly? thankfully?) don’t exist. For a few years I gave up on the idea of perfection and the man in my head became a dark, brooding, mysterious type. And now, at 21, he’s the simplest he’s ever been; he’s just a man that wants to be with me who is patient and sincere, kind and willing to show me a little attention a lot of the time.

    As for my role in all of it, the creation of this man, it comes from understanding more who I am right now than who I want to be. Right now, I’m a girl who needs to be treated more gently than I was in the past, and I need to learn to trust myself fully before trusting other people. That being said, as I evolve, the man in my head evolves too, but not in the monster man (when a woman mashes up celebrities and men she’s met into this impossible standard) kind of way, but more in a general characteristic sort of way.

    In general, I agree that for some the man in the head is an excuse to not try with average joes, and to not go out and risk being hurt. And for others, it’s more of a lighthouse for when we find ourselves falling with guys not remotely what we say or think we need or want.

    …and now I feel incredibly long-winded. *walks off*

    • Lola’s Mambo

      “As for my role in all of it, the creation of this man, it comes from understanding more who I am right now than who I want to be… as I evolve, the man in my head evolves too… in a general characteristic sort of way.”

      ***snaps fingers wildly***

  • Lola’s Mambo

    Who She Is For Real For Real

    @Panama – I don’t fully agree with this. Don’t rag on homegirls. Most women have at least one good friend that will tell it like it is. But if the girl is looking for someone to validate her own feelings, it doesn’t matter if there’s a whole gang of girls giving solid advice – she’ll listen to that one chick who validates her logic. Men do it too. There was at least one homie who warned you not to get back with your crazy baby momma… Two stabbings later, you finally come ’round.

    “So she’s surrounded by a bunch of people who are just like her and who also don’t see it as a problem. Everybody else is the problem.”

    How do men not follow this too (generally speaking): He doesn’t cook. His friends don’t cook. They don’t see this as a problem. WOMEN should cook. WOMEN don’t cook. THEY [WOMEN] are the problem.

    For the record, I do think women don’t handle criticism in the best way… men don’t either, they just react to it in a different way… only because they’re faced with it so often they’re used to dealing with it.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Cooking is not a good example because it is not a personality trait nor is it a limited perception.

      Its just an ability.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Hmm…so here’s where i disagree with your disagreeance, but its more in practice. if you have a homegirl who tells you better but you never follow the advice then it doesnt matter. except, when is that chick ever gonna acknowledge that she knows better. maybe it happens more than i think. men on the other hand, we KNOW when we’re doing something stupid. well, most of us that read…we just do stupid cost-benefit analyses in our head and make bad decisions. but dont believe we dont know its a bad decision. we know. we just dumb. hell, i wrote a post called, “yo, men can be real dumb sometimes, yo” about that.

      and while men don’t always handle criticism well – we’re definitely as sensitive – we still have to learn how to manage it (hopefully). b/c is we showed you how we did feel we’d be b*tching up. so we either just internalize or find a coping mechanism. i dont think most of you all will ever believe anythign we think is jacked up. UNLESS we say it AFTER you’ve had that realization on your own. no shot, just my experience.

  • Namia

    ..interesting take..the evidence of most hetro relationships will show that women put up with a lot..which translates into they hook up and go for the long haul with mean who in general polite society would not be spouse worthy. So i cant really be of that women in general are looking this Mr perfect or assume that there is one.

    For one am not perfect and do not expect my dude to be though i have my limits and do not expect to get with some one lacking(in my perception) and expect them to change for me,people generally change for them selves and me assuming i can tell some one to be something else..is stretching it. The only MEN I try to encourage positive change are my younger brothers, otherwise i dont care..

    Personally i like a man who is truly kind and gives me loads of attention..am a giver so cant get with non givers

    • Todd

      I think women lie to themselves a lot, then realizing how they got caught out there, double down to keep the lie alive. I think that’s how women get caught up with ain’t-sh1t men. First, a dude has to lie to the woman enough to validate the woman’s own feelings. Once that happens, a guy can get away with just about anything, yet the woman will try to go back to when dude was blowing smoke up her butt. This hardly absolves the dude, but it does mean the woman at some point has to be an adult and recognize things for what they are, not what they want them to be.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I’m with Todd on this one. you all do put up with a lot. bc to leave that dude would be an acknowledgement that you spent all your time with the wrong man. and who wants to do that. a dude will be able to say, she jsut wasnt the one for me…i’m not convinced most women feel that their failed (if it has to have a term) were because it wasnt the right person…he or she just didnt work hard enough.

      but you are right. people do change for themselves when they see they need to. but a lot of men can be made to see that when they fuck up. now, how quickly he makes that change…lol….well that could be anybody’s guess. and i know women can and do too, but it usually ends up being under egregious circumstances.

      i’ve had VERY candid relationships with women that i know who have told me straight up that they weren’t perfect, but they do feel that in their relationships, they brought what they needed and the men dropped the ball. and while it would be easy to paint those women as unrealistic or delusionsal, they’re not unique in that regard.

  • 51/50

    Patching together attributes from different people to create an “ideal” companion model may be only the surface issue. The principle working below it, is that “righteously,” only one person (soulmate husband, wife) is supposed to be responsible for & provide all of your intimate, sexual, emotional needs etc. maybe this one relationship model (monagomy, matrimony) doesn’t fit all. Society also teaches us that we are not complete without this 1 person.Living long enough teaches us that 1 person has never provided all the things we need or want in one person for a lifetime. We should try applying the same (sole source) principle, with the same fervor as we do romantic relationships with other needs like work, food etc. Well whatever you believe or do I hope that’s working out for you.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i tend to agree though i do believe in monogamy, matrimony. we’ve written on this site before about whether it makes sense or not.

      but we’re taught that’s how we should do things. us humans, so irrational.

      • 51/50

        I believe in monagomy & matrimony too. But I’m the silly Negro that also believes that one relationship model doesn’t fit everyone & too many people may be trying to force fit this One approved model. A mind is a terrible thing to copy & paste.

    • http://www.urbancusp.com Rahiel

      I understand the logic that no one person can meet all of one’s needs but aren’t monogamy/marriage beneficial in that they can overcome human insecurities and jealousies associated with the “freedom” to do whatever you please. Some argue monogamy doesn’t make sense from a biological stand point but isn’t there immense value in having a lifelong partner vs. always having to “prey and hunt”? There’s a loneliness that comes with playing the field that marriage can also do away with.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    “one of our biggest faults in relationships is our resistance to change unless it’s on our own terms.”

    This is right here is so true. Too often you hear of stories of men and women who lose themselves just to be with this person. Where’s the happy medium to judge that yes I’ve matured / grown in my ways,likes, tastes, etc. and who gets to judge measure said growth?

    If there was a manual that explained how one can continue to evolve and co-exist with his / her partner it would be a best seller.

    • Todd

      To be fair, not all evolution within a person can co-exist. People change, and that’s OK. However there needs to be a mature way to either accept the changes or move on with your life. Sadly, ego has a way to sabotaging that.

    • 51/50

      Although others can be an influence, example etc., LASTING & more SUSTAINABLE personal change comes under our own terms, NOT to satisfy anothers desires, request, needs. “When people grow different, people grow divided.” Bill Cosby I don’t think this means that one or the other person is necessarily growing wrong.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      If there was a manual that explained how one can continue to evolve and co-exist with his / her partner it would be a best seller.

      you know, the reason why i think that most relationship books are just good reads and dont really bridge any gaps is because they take the human nature out. common sense makes so much sense until you try to practice it and get worried about “losing” in regards to your partner. then again, if you get to the point where you’re worried about losing in any way shape or form, then you’re already lost.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Common sense and pride will jack you up in a relationship. Why does it seem like not utilizing your common sense helps too keep your relationship winning; I don’t know about you but I’ve done a slew of non-common sense things in the name of luv). Then pride taps you on the shoulder and says what the …..you slippin man. Game over after that.

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        That losing business….pride Is a hell of a drug