Sunday, December 30, 2007

Professor Tracey's Top Ten Rules To Combat The Black Women's Marriage Crisis In 2008

I offer these not-exactly-simple-to-follow rules from the bottom of my heart. Call it tough love if you want to. Don't get mad if you think I'm hitting a little to close to home, change your behavior. Be honest with yourself, if you have been violating the rules, stop it! If you have a girlfriend or family member violating the rules, tell them to stop it! Do not support their bad behavior. No more excuses. If you want love, do right! We keep making it harder on ourselves and each other by engaging in the same negative behaviors in our most intimate relationships and then tearing our hearts out because things didn't work out.

I have never been a woman very interested in marriage, but I do enjoy being in love and in a relationship. I can completely understand each and every sister that longs for a family of her own. I have put men, particularly black men on the shelf for a long minute because I didn't have room in my life for the drama, but in 2008, I intend to get back in the "love game" with a renewed vigor. Take these rules as a collective from my own personal experience in my own life, the experiences of my female friends, sorors, female family and church members, and very public incidents from other black women in your wild and wacky black community.

Help End The Marriage Crisis - The Ladies Rules

1) Stop Lying! Tell the truth about your age, your weight, your education, your hair weave, your jacked-up credit, your over-bearing mama, and how many kids you have. I am sick and tired of women whining about being loved for "the real me" and then watch them lie through their teeth about EVERYTHING they really are. If you can't trust someone enough to tell them the truth about yourself, you have clearly have not found the right person for you! And lying by omission is still lying! I can guarantee, any secret you're keeping or any lie you tell is going to eventually come to light!

2) Don't Get Involved With Committed Folk! A married man is exactly that, a married man, that's it, that's all. No excuses! Run! Men with girlfriends are off limits as well. No excuses! Run! Men who claim to be single and have a female "roommate" need to be checked and double-checked for possible commitments. If you are too frightened or unskilled to discover a man's marital or relationship status, hire a detective and have him run his credit and do a criminal background check as well. Cover all the bases!!!

3) Stop Wasting Folks Time! Don't give your number to a brotha you don't really like or are not interested in. You are making it harder for the next sista that might actually like that fool you are stringing along! Don't go out on dates because you hungry, want to see the latest Tyler Perry movie, or you're just plain bored. Put your efforts into folks you really dig and want to spend your valuable time with!

4) Dating and Sex is not a monetary transaction! Your ass is not an ATM, stop acting like it is. Don't exchange sexual favors to pay your rent, pay your bills, or to get your hair and nails done. Whenever I hear black women complaining "how did that brother think I was going to have sex with him because he bought somebody's dinner?" I always think, you did! Dating is a mutual act of personal engagement, it is not an opportunity to improve your financial situation.

5) Stop Being Mammy! Don't let no man drive your car, use your computer, eat your food, watch your cable, stay at your crib, use your AAA card, talk on your cellphone, use your washer and dryer, use your credit card, and under no circumstances DO NOT CO-SIGN for anything or LOAN MONEY! You are not the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or the Fred Jordan Mission, its not your responsibility to "mother" or "take care" of the individual you are dating! And never, never ever put any man's needs or wants, before those of yourself and your children!

6) Don't Make Compromises! That is compromises you can't or won't live with just to have a man in your life. If you like going to church, dating a man that doesn't like church, could be a problem. If you are a family-oriented person and the man you dating is not, that is never going to work! If you like reading, movies, and travel and you met a man that doesn't read, go to movies or travel, maybe you should leave him alone. And a golden gem from my own mother, "Dump any man that does not celebrate birthdays or holidays!"

7) Make No Excuses For Abuses! Anytime a man gets abusive; emotionally, verbally, or physically, IT'S OVER! Get Out! Yesterday! It's going to happen again, you cannot change him!I do not want to read about another black woman being assaulted, raped, or murdered by an abusive partner in 2008!

8) Relationships Are Hard! Having a boyfriend can be difficult, I imagine having a husband requires the patience of Job! Any relationship is going to require hard work on your part. So, stop acting like a relationship or marriage will be the savior of your life, its just something else you going to have to work hard to maintain like a career.

9)Be More Sisterly! Stop being consumed with finding a man or being with the man you're with. Build and maintain your friendships with your girlfriends. Men rarely dump their buddies even when they have girlfriends or wives. Yet, black women vanish on their girlfriends in a second when a man is around. And I don't mean "girl, you'll find a man too" support, but keeping up with them and their lives regularly, not after your relationship breaks up!

10) Be Independent! Being truly independent is not just paying your own bills and taking care of yourself, it means finding something to do - by yourself and for yourself! Do something different, do something you have never done before. Stop whining and get involved. Volunteer! Go to the gym! Plan a trip! Use your brain! Read a book! Go the museum! Go back to school! I am shocked at the number of black women that cannot entertain themselves or do absolutely anything by themselves. It's your life, live it! There is no guarantee that you will ever have a man of your own. Don't waste valuable time waiting!


Akilah December 31, 2007 at 12:24 AM  

You got me running around in circles full of glee!

I know there are some repercussions for the "marriage crisis" but we are too general in the causes. There are many reasons why people aren't married.

1. Some Black women are gay.
2. Some Black women dont want to get married. Whether its natural or not I find myself in this category right now. Its not that I dont want to get married I just know now isn't the time. (Working on me and I'm honest enough that I'm selfish with my goals and time).
3. Some women make the decision to hold off.
4. Some make the decision and don't know by the choices they've made that they have made the decision.
5. Some women aren't marriage material.

And everything I just said goes for men too. Like you said--its not a man or woman thing.

Many people lack interpersonal relationship skills. People dont like to give and compromise. People aren't honest. People don't talk about what is important in marriages BEFORE they get married.

We can't confuse someone as not being a good man or woman simply because they aren't the one for us. I know many good Black men but I don't want to marry them. Our personalities don't mesh but that doesn't make him or me any less of a good person.

I don't want to break out the anthropology book but a significant portion of the world doesn't participate in one man-one woman for life relationships right?

And a lot of time is spent talking about the now but this didn't start with the young generation. We are products of what happened before we were born in most cases. We're talking about the next generation not valuing marriage--this generation doesn't.

And how do you make people (not those who dont want to marry) see the value of marrying over living together or dating for life?

What the heck have I said? I'm rambling I think. But when its all said and done its much more than "no good Black men" or "Black women are too picky".

Akilah December 31, 2007 at 12:24 AM  

Oh and I'm logged in under my wordpress account but this is Symphony.

SheCodes December 31, 2007 at 3:36 AM  

I completely cosign, especially to #10. And I will add a few of my own:

11. Immediately stop dating any man if you have not met any of his friends within a 6 week time frame.

12. Trust your instincts for 50%, and YOUR FAMILY'S instincts 50% about this guy.

13. Check his references. Are all of his ex-girlfriends "Crazy"? Then be highly suspicious that they were DRIVEN crazy.

14. Ask to talk to an ex girlfriend of his before doing anything that you might regret with him. If NONE of his girlfriends are still friends with him, then LOOK OUT.


16. Take your physical fitness seriously. (I'm preaching to myself here)

17. Forget about finding him in church. It ain't happening, unless you belong to a megachurch or something.

18. Love your life. Feed your heart. Self actualize so that you can be content by yourself, just in case.

Randi523 December 31, 2007 at 9:14 AM  

I like this post a lot and the comments attached to it. I've just decided that I'm not even looking for marriage or even a relationship anymore, for a while. I enjoy the hobbies and interests I have, and I want to be ready (in all aspects of the word) when the RIGHT man for ME comes along. I have truly turned it over to God and His plan for me. I let myself be too depressed about it for too long; now, I feel...FREE!
(Sorry if it sounds corny or cliche, but it's how I feel)

CW December 31, 2007 at 10:30 AM  

Amen...Black women, Lets BE THE CHANGE in 2008! Have a Prosperous One!


Tami December 31, 2007 at 12:17 PM  

Yes, yes, YES! You need to print this out and blanket every beauty salon, church bulletin board and major thoroughfare with it.

I might add:

Stop clinging to irretrievably broken relationships just to have a man.

Too many of us spend years trying to fix men and relationships that can't be fixed. If you are with the wrong one, there will be no room for the right one when he comes along.

g-e-m2001 December 31, 2007 at 12:20 PM  

As I am guilty of violating several of the rule on the list. I am curious as to WHY women do this because I know alot of folks, including myself who do.

That being said i want to applaud professor tracey for providing tips for those of us who desire to be married.

Megan December 31, 2007 at 12:31 PM  

Loved this post!

As a certain bald-headed talk show host who works for Oprah would say, "You teach people how to treat you."

Too many women forget that.

Happy New Year,

MO December 31, 2007 at 1:31 PM  

Very good advice. As a married woman, I know I've fallen short on #9 and #10. My goal is to work on those things in 2008. Happy New Year!!

Randi523 December 31, 2007 at 2:33 PM  

Professor Tracey:

Would you mind if I shared this wonderful post with a couple of my single girlfriends? And/or printed it out? Wanted to ask first...

Professor Tracey December 31, 2007 at 9:27 PM  

Thanks Ladies!!! This subject will be revisited often on the other blogs. Please feel free to print and share, just tell them where you got it from. Reading all these new suggestions - we might need to publish a book!

shasa December 31, 2007 at 10:47 PM  

Love the rules Professor Tracey. When is the book coming out? Thanks for sharing and I will be passing along. Much needed advice for the sistas.

msladydeborah January 1, 2008 at 9:53 AM  

I love this post!

I would like to add a little more to it.

Stop driving your sistah/friends crazy when you do break up with Mr. Wrong! Especially when all of your friends know that it is just a temporary departure on your part.

I have a good friend who drive us nuts when she breaks up with the usual buttholes that she is attracted to. I get no pleasure in seeing anyone that I care about being hurt. But there comes a time when keeping it real means that you own up to the facts. A poor choice is just that~it can be corrected, but if you opt not to do so~don't get on everyone else's nerves with your lack of courage to handle your personal business! Get yourself a blog or a personal journal and rant there! Let a sistah who needs her rest~remain undisturbed!

Kudos to you professor tracey for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it. I plan to direct one of my sistahs here. She needs a reality check. I believe this will help her out.

tasha212 January 1, 2008 at 11:23 AM  

Funny and true post. Most of these rules r common sense, however many women break them. Im personally trying to work on developing myself to become the woman I've always wanted to be so when the right man comes along I'll be prepared. I will forward the rules to some of my friends who are looking to get married.

rikyrah January 1, 2008 at 6:08 PM  

Very good rules. Not only from the OP, but in the replies too.

Kymberly January 2, 2008 at 1:04 PM  

Great advice and sage responses as well. I don't have enough paper to print all the good stuff from these blogs. :)

Penni Brown January 2, 2008 at 4:32 PM  

I LOVE this list. I'm sending it to my girlfriends. We also need to remember the hierarchy of communication (link: I'm tired of seeing my sisters playing themselves when we should be winning this game.


Seattle Slim January 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM  

You REALLY need to print this and throw this from the top of the buildings because this right here is truth. And by this I mean the entire post. I like this post already so I'm adding you to my blogroll!! Keep up the good work. A lot of sisters need to hear this!!

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