Editorial Opinion

Terminal Bachelor: I Have An Open Mind, But A Closed Heart

Although my path in life has led me to believe that there is a peaceful resolve in the number "ONE", a dear friend wrote me and asked my personal advice on how I perceived her failing relationship and her inability to find a companion worthy of her love.  Although I was flattered that she would lean to my understanding, I had to think carefully about how I would respond.  You see, I have resigned myself to the idea that I will forever be a "terminal bachelor".  I have decided that relationships are not for everyone and some people - like myself - are better off single.

Nevertheless, I wondered how my words could help in a situation that I have eluded for almost a decade.  Still, I found the wherewithal to render the following answer:

"Don't blame yourself...  Don't give up on love...

Sadly, most men do not mature until they reach their thirties. Even then, their level of maturity is determined by their experiences; the things that they have been exposed to, their accepted reactions, and the limitations set upon them by their conditions. If they have been coddled through life and allowed to shirk responsibilities, then they will mature at an even slower pace.

Manhood is not determined by how many children you can father, how many women you can abuse, or the size of your physical extensions. But rather, manhood is the mental capacity to accept responsibilities, financially support those decisions on your own, raise and protect a family, serve as a leader by example and, most importantly, being able to humble yourself before God.

Men are no longer being raised by men, so they are accepting the wrong definitions of manhood.  Society has ripped apart the traditional family by telling our women that they are better off on their own - accepting government assistance as long as they kick the man out of the household.   Society further deceives us by showing us images of young men dressing and acting inappropriately, committing crimes, and being sexually promiscuous.   This feeds into the crippled psyche of the already broken male who, then, further emulates these false depictions of "manhood" as a way of gaining social acceptance.

Children who are subject to this environment grow up with a distorted perception of "family" as they are taught to believe that the family is anchored by the strength of the woman rather than the guidance, tutelage, and teachings of a strong male.

As for dating in today's world: Do not bury your heart. Instead, just learn to make choices based on your morals - not your naked eye.

You are right to protect your heart, but do not deny the world the love that God has placed within you.   If you don't like the choices at WalMart, go to Target. Find yourself a broader social circle with men who have outlived their stereotypes. Place yourself in plain site for the man who is already accomplished and more deserving of a woman of your caliber. Start making yourself available at high-end functions and much more mature (mentally and physically) men.    Stop looking for love in night clubs or dating sites.  Avail yourself at events where you would like to (eventually) be taken to WITH your mate.  Undoubtedly, he is already there waiting to meet you.  And, if he is, it is more likely that his experiences are of the caliber that you require and he is more suited to create the lifestyle you desire.  

Love is out there - it just isn't always easy to find...   Keep being the woman you are... God has greater blessings in store for you."

Discarded Heart

by Sean C. Robinson, July 2012

OK, I will admit it.

But, I do so with great disdain:

“I am afraid to fall in love again.

I have been hurt; I have known pain.”

So, I enter into each new venture

With my heart hidden far behind great walls.

I allow only a few to enter my inner circle

But, even fewer to gain my all.

I know it isn’t fair to me or you.

I suspect you’d think the same.

But, I am more cautious than I am carefree

And, in love, I find no gain.

So, I will live my days observing others

And feeling nothing more than lust;

Fleeting moments of heart-filled emotion

Causing no one pain, in need of no one's trust.

Being single is not for everyone.  And, for those who choose to constantly engage in matters of the heart, there must be a core of inner strength that is rooted deeply enough in Faith to understand that each relationship is a building block toward happiness.  If your current situation does not yield the results that you had wished for, you must take it upon yourself to evaluate and re-evaluate your goals when dating.

Courtship is about learning the other person and, simultaneously,  making yourself mentally available to be explored as well.  Relationships are emotionally-laced contracts that must have a clear goal (end) in mind.  Before engaging a potential mate in this emotional volley, you must be willing to become vulnerable to disappointments.  Begin the initial conversations with a checklist of the things that are important (and unimportant) to you.  In essence, you must leave nothing to question.

Rather than taking in a movie or tagging along with friends on a first date, consider an intimate evening that depends on conversation rather than external distractions.  Share your list of intricacies and allow time to hear and digest those of your potential mate.  Do you have a long-term financial plan?  How do you plan to achieve those goals?  What is your ideal vacation?   What is your family's medical history?  Do you have/like children?  Don't be judgmental, but compare these responses to your long-term goals and step away from the idea that you can change someone else to fit into your world.  Ignore the physical attraction long enough to see the person for who they are instead of what they (might) be capable of offering. 

My cousin once told me that I take people on an interview, instead of a first date.  I said, in return, "Shouldn't we all?" I have to like you before I can love you.  And, I'd rather know everything up front as opposed to finding things out the wrong time.  In order to avoid confusion or regret, it is necessary to explore a person's mental capacity and long-term goals from the onset.

Ask questions about their past, their intent, their three and five year goals, their family life, and even their past loves.  If there are "red flags" at the onset, you have an opportunity to circumvent heartache.  But remember, if you choose to remain engaged in a battle of the hearts, you must be prepared for the pitfalls that you may or may not have prepared yourself for...

But, then again, this is just ONE Man's Opinion... You are entitled to your own...

Women Don’t See What Men Actually Want

I am fortunate enough to work in an office filled with beautiful women.  They hail from the coasts of Africa, Haiti, the Bahamas and almost every major city within these United States.  Every day is an international parade of beauty - but, their beauty is so much more than what meets the eye.
When I was a child, my older brother told me to always acknowledge any change in a woman's appearance, any enhancement to her profile, and every smell and color that will bring blush to her cheeks.  According to Larry, "Women take the extra time each day to do something worthy of your attention.  If you fail to notice, you have done yourself a disservice."

My brother passed away in 2006, but he lives on in the words and actions with which I choose to interact with others each day.

Today, I am a firm believer that every woman is beautiful.  Women hold the cradle of life in their stride and each one has the ability to control the palpitations of any man's heart with a simple glance in their direction.  They are mystical, magical, and yet, mysterious; intriguing in every way.   You see, no two are alike and therefore; women are to be treasured for their differences rather than measured by their similarities.

In saying that, I had to encourage a co-worker one day because she insisted that she was gaining weight.  I told her she was beautiful just as she was. She turned to me and said, "I don't believe you.  You say that to every woman."  I agreed with her and then, I expounded.

"Every woman has a value that differs from the next. A "good man" isn't looking for the woman with the perfect shape, the perfect hair, and the perfect libido.  Although each or all of these things could be an asset, they are not the qualities that a real man uses when he is searching for a "good woman" to call his own.  A truly "good man" wants to know that you can engage his mind and challenge him to want to achieve more.  In essence, you have to be able to arouse his intellect as well as his loins..."

You see, a good man is looking for a mate that knows when to push and when to be a support.   She must be both an anchor that grounds him and the rudder that guides him.  This quality cannot be measured in calories or by the inches that surround your waist, but rather in the authenticity of your words and the genuine nature of your actions.

Your actions - more than your external beauty - determine your worth.  Your appearance is external, but a man looks for a "good woman" who possesses internal qualities on which he can depend.  It is more important to a "good man" if you know how to stroke his ego more so than provide a good romp on the sack.  You have to know when to yield and when to submit.  You also must know when to lead without diminishing his strengths or character.  A perfect mare does more than "look good" on a man's arm.  She is not an accessory; she completes him in every way  

Do we look at the physique as well?  Of course. 

If you aren't taking care of your self, then it is unlikely that you can support a healthy relationship.  However, we don't always look for a perfect size - just perfect confidence.  Can you "shake what your momma gave you" and do so with so much swag that it makes me want to get to know what motivates you?  Sometimes confidence is the most attractive feature any woman could ever possess.  If you only concern yourself with the physical aspects of your appearance, so will the man you attract.  If you want a complete package,  you must present yourself as one as well.

Just like you want a strong warrior at your side;men want a complimentary mate.  Each 'ying' requires a 'yang'.  So, rather than pile on make-up, sew in yards of hair, and diet until we can see the original rib that was taken from Adam, women should realize that some men would rather engage your mind and fall in love with the intellect that makes you unique.  Some look for those qualities that cannot be purchased on a shelf or  contoured in the gym.  Some seek the perfect woman - not always the perfect frame.

My coworker smiled at me and said, "Thank you."  Although she still laughed and said she felt fat, she didn't project the same illusion of rejection in her words.  This time, she smiled and said, "Well, in that case, I believe you... I am beautiful... But, I am still going to the gym after work!"  To which I replied, "That's fine - just know that I already see something beautiful... You are just putting it in a different frame."

But, alas, this is just ONE Man's Opinion... What is yours?