I responded to a tweet regarding Black women's standards in relationships and the effect these standards were having on their ability to find lasting relationships. Personally, I don't think it's the *actual* standards that are causing the problem---but more so the *perception* that these standards are unreasonable. I said just that in response to the tweet, but in less than 140 characters (including spaces).
Before I "go in" on how I really feel about this, I feel I should let you know what my expectations are in a partner...and while I can't control your feelings, please note before you comment that this is *my* list...and I'm perfectly (more than) *ok* with being single forever. So, here goes...
1) He must have a relationship with God. I will also accept more spiritual rather than religious but he must believe in a higher power...and he cannot be Jewish, Catholic, Seven Day Adventist or Muslim. Not that there is anything wrong with people who practice these religions, but based on my own personal beliefs--we can't create a whole family unit.
2) He must be black...or have at least 1 black parent. I am personally uncomfortable with dating outside of my race. I don't think my family would care nor do I think my friends would either...and I have friends that have and do date outside of their race and seem happy, but it's just not for me.
3) A legal source of income---It doesn't have to be one that makes him a lot of money but it needs to be work that he is proud of and passionate about, and if not, he should have a plan to get the job he is proud of and passionate about.
4) An education or a reason why not---This one throws people for a loop. I realize that college is not for everybody, so if you didn't go to college, there needs to be reason why---military, sports, whatever.
5) Close to his family
6) A plan for the future...like a real, live plan.
7) An ability to make me laugh every day...not LOL every day, but I need at least a giggle. Humor is important.
8) A good heart
9) Clean shoes (and hands and nails)---those are his feet and hands...if he can't take care of them, he probably won't take care of me either. *shrug*
10) A desire for kids---at least 2.
11) He must be reasonably good looking---which for me includes, at least 5'8", a nice smile, dressed appropriately for the occassion and some sort of evidence that he has seen a gym in the past 90 days.
Now, according to this article, the standards of Black women are causing them to miss out on good relationships with good, black men. Based on the evidence this article provided there are some men who because of the economy are working at job simply to make money (that is the job they have isn't a job they would have picked otherwise) or are unemployed---and when they tell women what they do (or don't do) the women are no longer interested in them. Other comments to the original tweet included, "women only care about money or the car or the house he has" and "this guy had bad credit and his girl left him" and "money isn't everything".
I have always said that every "good" man isn't "good" for everybody. I have met many black men who were "good" on paper---but weren't right for me. For example, I don't care how much money you have or what kind of car you drive---but if I don't desire you physically, it's not going to work. On the flip side, if you live with your mom and have 5 kids and can't pay your child support and have to hold your cousin's car to run to the store but you could be a super model, I don't want you either. Not because you don't have it all---but you don't have it all together. I can't be with someone who's life is not organized...and I'm not going to apologize for that.
Would I date a guy who didn't have a job? Yes---but having done it, I'm not going to date you without a job for an extended period of time. Would I date a guy who didn't have a lot of money? Yes...money isn't everything and for the most part, everything I want/need out of life I can get or already have on my own. Would I marry a guy without a job? No...because I believe that you need to be stable to get married. My idea of stable means we both have incomes. Would I date a guy who had a service job (like the UPS guy)? Yes. Would I date a guy who had kids already? Yes...and would consider marrying him *if* he takes care of them properly (and my idea of properly means you pay your child support on time and have a relationship with your children). I don't think my expectations are too high...at all. I don't have anything on my list (except for height) that I can't offer to my partner. But, when I meet men---they hear that I am college educated, have at least two jobs at a time (sometimes 3), that I'm back in school for my third degree, drive a nice car (that's in my own name) and live by myself (in a nice apartment) they *assume* that I'm not going to be interested in the fact that they have a roommate and work at FedEx and have 2 kids and have never been to college because they went into the military. They pretty much dismiss *me* based on my story before giving me a chance to accept them based on theirs.
Now, are there some women who only care about money and status? Of course. Likewise, there are some men who care only about looks and/or sex. How many guys do you know (be honest) that have stepped out on their average looking girlfriend who cooked, cleaned, worked hard and held them down for a girl who bad a big ass? Or a nice rack? Or (said she) gave great head? But probably has a couple of outside kids and can't cook and her house looks like a tornado hit it. Guys have unrealistic expectations for women most of them time---and keep that same mentality until they are ready to settle down. Only then does the size of girl's backside become less important than her ability to raise your kids. I also believe the same is true for most women. When all you want to do is date---maybe a man's bank account is what's important. But when you're ready to get married you learn that money doesn't matter as much as his work ethic and love for *you*. Are there women who say they are ready to settle down and get married that care more about what you make and drive than your heart? Of course. Just like there are men who promise you the world until you sleep with him...and he bounces.
At the end of the day, it's not about expectations...it's about finding someone who is on the same page as you and ready for and wants the same things as you. If you, as a man or woman, is ready to find a person to be married to, don't believe the hype. People are more than willing to tell you what you want to hear to get what they want. So, if you're the manager at Moe's and she leaves you, drink in hand at the club because you don't make six figures, she wasn't the girl for you...at least not today. And if you're the girl with the less than ample behind who guys pass over, don't worry---those skills in the kitchen will pay off. But, if you're a girl waiting on a rich man to take care of you...or a guy who wants a girl to blow him because the sun came up, please stay inside so those of us who mean well can find each other without you in the way.