Black Relationships : Going The Same Direction?

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by Mike Ramey, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    GOING THE SAME DIRECTION?

    Brothers, I might as well warn you up front, this WILL happen to you.
    It may be on your job.
    It may be in your house of worship.
    It may be in a restaurant.
    You will hear some single sister utter the following phrase:
    “I can’t find a good man!”
    Now, before you start laughing, keep in mind that far too many single women have had their heads filled with Ebony, Essence, Cosmo, or any one of the other media offerings that appear in the mainstream. They have been ‘conditioned’ to believe that there is NO hope in finding a man that they can call their own.
    And, some of these single sisters go to CHURCH every Sunday!
    Of course, many of these same sisters are guilty of the same sins as some members of the brotherhood. THEY won’t commit. THEY won’t stop running the streets. THEY won’t marry ‘their baby’s daddy’; as to do this would cause them to lose their ‘bitter buddies’!
    So, the next time you hear those word uttered, use this column as a reference.
    The Old School way is still the best way! Meaning that, in order for a meaningful relationship to take place, a MAN must find a WOMAN. NOT the other way around.
    Think I’m crazy? Read On! You might just find YOUR sanity in our time together this month!

    ONE EVENING IN THE RAMEY HOUSEHOLD:
    One evening, just for grins, my wife and I decided to ‘surf’ a few of the dating and relationship shows currently offered on the various television stations. Keep in mind that we grew up in the era that featured ‘The Dating Game’ and ‘The Newlywed Game’. Shows that were not only funny, but also classy.
    After about the fourth entry, we both realized that the funny and classy days of such programming were looooong gone. Forever replaced by a nightly display of desperation, debauchery, and downright cruelty. All for the consumption of a national, and in some cases, an international audience.
    I’m not going to mention the particular names of the shows; but I will provide a little commentary to some of the situations and results I observed on a few of them:
    *One show had a couple that was tired of each other. They weren’t married. They whined and complained about what one wouldn’t do for the other. The host then set each of them up with a ‘dream’ date with a person who would do all kinds of things to ‘please’ the complaining person. Needless to say, the couples had to hold up signs to indicate whether they would stay with the person they had; or move on with the new person.
    *Another show had several women competing for the attention of one man, or several men competing for the attention of one woman. Of course, just about everything was filed on videotape, so the viewers could ‘experience’ being out with the crowd as the center of attention started ‘firing’ members of the group until they got that ‘dream’ person.
    *Another show was TRULY tragic! Several women dating two men. You followed the cameras and microphones to ‘hear’ the date and the lines used. At the end of this particular evening, the two men picked one of the three women, and fired the other two. However, the three women rejected BOTH of the guys, after their ‘night’ on the town, deciding that they would rather be by themselves.

    A VIDEO RECORD OF YOUR FAILURE:
    Brothers, if there is one thing that being ‘Old School’ has taught me, is that failure at romance is only temporary, but videotape is FOREVER! Many of these shows have in their legal agreements the fact that while they may pay for a night on the town with the women you may meet through their show, they control the rights and the tape.
    Remember the TV show ‘Candid Camera’? They STILL feature footage shot years ago of people doing dumb things in set-up situations. I mean they have a forever record of people, some of whom may be dead, permanently identified as doing something dumb.
    The LAST thing on earth I would want to do (and, keep in mind that I am happily married) is for some producer to be digging around in his vault and trotting out a failure of mine on the dating scene from years ago. Especially for my wife to see, on national television! Even worse: How would YOU like someone, or a group of someone’s, to provide play-by-play as to WHY you failed, and run the failure, time and time again, for studio audience grins and giggles.
    If someone is that desperate to get a date, they DESERVE what they get!

    POWER DATING:
    But I’m only halfway through my column, and have yet to address another dating innovation I have heard about called: ‘Power Dating’. Basically, this takes place in larger cities. A clearinghouse service of some type takes in the dating preference information, and the singles ‘meet’ with their ‘matches’ for eight to ten minutes, a la ‘Job Fair’ conditions. The singles take notes, and let the organizers know whom they would like to spend more time getting to know--based on that brief ‘dating interview’.
    It’s bad enough getting rejected by several companies for a job; but getting rejected by several women for a relationship--in the SAME room--would drive even the stoutest of men to seek therapy and medication.

    MAN-SHARING:
    I’ve seen this next one written about in the mainstream press, and on the web. The subject of ‘man-sharing’. Whereby two--or more--otherwise ‘sane’ women get their information from the world (instead of the WORD), and ‘share’ a man--be he single, or married!
    Now, I’m not a Ph.D, but I KNOW that this prescription spells TROUBLE! Just read over the exploits of David and Solomon. Sharing does not mean caring. As a matter of fact, it means: “I’m too STUPID to do it the right way!”

    FEAR AND LAZINESS:
    So, why do singles put up with such mess to find someone? Two immediate reasons come to mind:
    *FEAR: Brothers, don’t be fooled by this one. A lot of single men (just like single women) are afraid to enjoy being single. The mainstream press, along with a host of magazines, books, and articles serve as excellent manipulators of fear.
    For some reason, we have been ‘led’ to believe that everyone ‘needs’ to be married to be truly ‘whole’. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, marriage is desirable, but it takes MORE work to maintain and grow a marriage than it does to grow you as an individual.
    *LAZINESS: This is another subtle snake in the garden. If you trust someone else to ‘pick’ for you, in terms of finding a future wife, that lets you out of the responsibility to ‘improve’ yourself to ‘be’ the right, future husband! Thus, if you DO have a problem with your character that needs to be addressed, you’ll never know it if you have someone else to do your shopping at the ‘dating bazaar’ for you.
    Don’t shout me down when I’m on a roll!
    So, what DO you do, should you want to date? The first thing one should do is to stay away from these dating shows, period. They make lousy reference points!

    CATERING TO MAKE ONE DISSATISFIED:
    One thing I have noticed from ALL of the dating and relationship shows on the air; the average person is NOT represented. MANY of the participants look like they have stepped off of the runways of New York, Paris, or London. I mean buffed, stuffed, and ready! Right hair, right build, and the right on! Sorry, but that leaves out a firm majority of the singles that I know--including myself when I WAS single!
    Now, I’m not a ‘relationship guru’, nor do I play one in the mainstream press. But I am realistic enough to know that one of the reasons why things are ‘out of whack’ on the dating scene in the present is that men and women of today have forgotten what brought their parents--and grandparents together as couples in years past. I’ll share a few points, as we wrap up the column for this month:
    *Are you BOTH going the same direction? Legitimate question here. Why date someone who does not share your faith, your beliefs, or your pre-marital views? Brothers, let’s be honest here. There are a LOT of women on the prowl for one-night stands. Even some who go to church on Sundays. LUST is not LOVE with a different spelling! Don’t YOU become a statistic to someone who wants to ‘get their roll on’, rather than keep their character in place!
    *You have to ‘discover’ her! No, it’s not the woman’s job to walk up to you, initiate conversation, ask you out, pay for the evening, and drop you off at your place. That’s man’s work, period! Woman’s Lib and the Sexual Revolution have robbed women of the opportunity to be sought after, cherished, and protected! In the quest to be ‘equal’ (another misnomer) many women have sacrificed their womanhood. It’s good to be the Queen, provided you have a King seeking your attention! Brothers, be a King, and you won’t get rooked by a Pawn!
    *Lastly, the hyphen issue! Should you clear the first two issues, there is another ‘acid test’ to see if your date could be your mate. Where does she stand on taking YOUR name in marriage? I know I’m going to get mail on this point, but its true, true, true. A woman who wants to put a hyphen in her married name is one who has one eye on the altar (just to impress her friends by finally getting married); and another eye on divorce court (so you can help her with the alimony and child support from your paycheck for her ‘true’ love when she gets ‘tired’ of you)! A woman willing to hyphenate her name after marriage is like a hand grenade with the pin pulled; you DON’T know when she is going to go off--but there WILL be a lot of ‘collateral damage’ when she does!
    Brothers, if YOU work on YOU, when you do find her--if it is meant to be, it WILL be. Meanwhile, take the time to enjoy your singleness. Don’t let anyone push, drag, or shame you into marriage. Singleness is a gift, just like marriage. Only you can determine the contents of your package. Don’t let some ‘slicksters’ with a TV camera and a night on the town rob you of who you are. Failures come, and failures go; but whom YOU are is what counts when all is said and done. Married OR Single.
    And the brotherhood said: AMEN!

    Mike Ramey is the author of ‘The Manhood Line’. A syndicated, monthly column written for men from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective. Emails welcome to [email protected]. (C) 2002 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications (4).
     
  2. Nia Maishani

    Nia Maishani Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I enjoyed reading this column

    I thought it would be appropriate to complete my post from "Am I Too Picky?" under this thread. Text of post follows:

    As a gentleman who is happily married Mike Ramey, could I ask if you compromised any when selecting your wife? Or did you find exactly what you were looking for in a wife?

    I had this discussion last night with a good friend, and I admitted to her that I am somewhat apprehensive that I might wind up settling for the wrong man. If I just settle for a man I simply "like a lot", or who I think is "a good man", even though I do not feel we are a match, I'm going to be constantly reminded whenever I am around men I dig A LOT, that the one I settled with does not measure up to the others.

    I know some very, very nice gentlemen who show a lot of interest. Problem is, there are a few things I really don't care for about them.

    Mike, when you stated in "Am I Too Picky?" that

    , I immediately thought of one gentleman friend. (scary)

    We'll call him "Darren". Admittedly, although I feel so cruel for thinking this, I thought to myself after reading that comment of yours, "I hope Darren is not the one". Not because I don't like him, but because I think a certain other brother would be better for me (though he's much further away geographically). And not only that, but Darren falls into at least one category of men I prefer NOT to be with (ex-military, that is). He sometimes mispronounces basic terms, which sort of bothers me, though it is not major, and we clash big time on our religious views. Another thing is he has only been divorced for like a year, and I feel as though he's simply trying to hurry and get back into a relationship.

    Is it asking too much to want someone who believes in what you believe in, enjoys what you enjoy, is open-minded, and shares some or most of your passions?
    (I composed this prior to reading your article, and you have answered my questions to some extent).
     
  3. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You're Right--It IS Scary!

    Nia: I've known single women (and single men) who go 'chicken' when faced with the reality that the person God may have for them doesn't 'fill' every column on their 'perfect mate' list.

    Had a female acquaintence who met a brother who was just coming off a 'nasty' divorce. Relationships (and I include friendship here) take WORK! Not too many people want to WORK at a relationship, they 'expect' it to work when they start it, and find out too late that they had far too much work ahead than they were willing to put in.

    Needless to say, this relationship did NOT work out!

    Think of a relationship this way. Let's say that you found a natural diamond in the middle of a field. In order to bring that stone up to market specs, you have to clean it, polish it, and carefully sand off and chip off those things that would rob it of its beauty.

    In the Bible, Boaz WAS a man of wealth BEFORE he met Ruth. But, it was Ruth's honesty and character that helped Boaz be all he could be. She 'completed' him.

    In my first marriage:eek: WE were both 'young and stupid'. No training, no wisdom, and certainly a healthy fear of being alone. Ten years down the road, even though we were together, we were alone. That 'cleaving', that 'watching out for' each other never took place, because we did NOT start as friends, looking out for one another:( In my present marriage, this is NOT the case:heart: . We started as friends, and have continued to let our friendship grow as our love has grown:love: . I am able to testify that my wife is my best friend, right after Christ! She has 'completed' me, and I have 'covered' her.

    Now, we 'both' know where home is...and home is a place of joy, NOT a place of pain.

    Hope I made sense, and thanks for stopping by. Tell all your web buddies that we are open for business here, and a new sheriff is in town:cool:

    Mike Ramey
     
  4. Nia Maishani

    Nia Maishani Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That made plenty of sense!

    And I thank you for sharing your sage advice, Mike Ramey. Each time I read one of your pieces of advice, I get something out of it.

    One thing I must mention however, is that if we are supposed to take a mate who needs "work", and then work to make the relationship grow, would that not be the same thing as selecting a mate whom you plan to "change" to some extent? Or is it o.k. to want to "change" them if the changes are minor and can be feasibly and relatively simply changed?

    Thank you in advance for your perspective.

    Nia M
     
  5. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Never, Never, Never!

    One of the MAJOR problems in a relationship is when one person tries to 'change' the other!

    My advice...DON'T DO IT! For, in trying to change that person, you will 'process out' the very qualities that you liked about them in the first place.

    Let's say, as a man, you met a woman that you found to be a 'closet drinker'. Can the brother change her? NO! She must either change herself, or the relationship can't go on!

    Oh, yes...DON'T try to 'rescue' anyone! They may drag you down with them! THAT'S why the Bible advises NOT to be 'unequally yoked!' The 'rescuer' will often turn out to be a 'fatality' by trying to 'save someone' from themselves.

    Just enjoy each other; WARTS and all!

    Mike Ramey
     
  6. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    sho ya right and i've been through dis all before
    u can't change a person
     
  7. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Compromise?

    Almost 'skipped' by this one for Nia....

    No, Nia, I didn't compromise with my standards for my present wife. We were BOTH going the same direction! We had a good laugh at the 'lists' that we had made over what constituted a 'sucessful' match after we had gotten married...and found that God had given us MORE than what we expected!

    Lists are ONLY as good as the people who make them, and stick with them! It's kind of like 'New Years Resolutions'. How many make 'those' lists, and stick to them? Not taking into account that 'reality' has a way of creeping into any list that we may make?

    Also, a list denies God a chance to work. As soon as I took my hands off of my 'list', God presented me with my beautiful bride!

    Oh, sure, the work continues. I am far from perfect, as she will atest, and I could say the same for her. BUT, she was more than I asked for...and this is the way God is. If you stick with HIS lists, you will be BLESSED on his time table.

    By the way, I have read Ruth...and I love how God took the neighborhood outsider and grafted her into the roayl line with Boaz. But Ruth's success came from her listening to Naomi. The problem with many, many, single sisters is that they WON'T find a Naomi...an upright, older woman, who can 'school them' in the ways of womanhood.

    And, I trust you have read Esther! It is also a wonderful book, where Esther was 'schooled' by an upright relative by the name of Mordecai...who, as a man, told his niece that she did have a duty and a destiny to 'watch out' for her husband, and her people.

    Never 'blast over' the advice you can get from the 'upright'.

    One more thing...my wife and I met through the personal ads! Those are GREAT ways to meet folks. If you state what you want, just like if you are specific in prayer, the answer will be specific. Just be who you are, and let God fill in the blanks.

    PS Rich...you are RIGHT on it my brother! I'm gonna sign that guestbook soon.

    Mike Ramey
     
  8. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Almost Forgot...

    In the Book of Esther, Queen Vashti was 'fired' by her King because she disrespected him...and did it in front of other royalty.

    Sisters, if you disrespect us, especially in front of the rest of the 'tribe', don't be too shocked to find a 'pink slip' from your man!

    Now, having said that, let me say this...

    Abigail was married to a DOG of a man when she met David. Nabal was a mean, drunken brother. Abigail didn't disrespect him, nor complain about him on Oprah, nor do a 'tell all' book. She just continued to be the upright wife that she was born to be. When King David came along, Abigail took his arrival to Nabal...and God CHOKED THAT BROTHER OUT!

    Moral to the story brothers, If you DOG her, God is going to take it up with Y-O-U! And, the end result WON'T be pretty for you!

    Now, We have it in black and white.

    Mike Ramey
     
  9. Nia Maishani

    Nia Maishani Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    *applause*

    Brother Mike, your testimony is just getting more and more interesting, the more I read. I cannot believe you met this gem of a Sista through the personal ads! And have made it for 11 (count them,) 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 years!!!

    Talk about a fairytale hookup! *mesmerized*
     
  10. Nia Maishani

    Nia Maishani Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    But one more thing...

    I am doing everything I can think of to be (and become--working on improvement in doing so) the best I can be as a person. Therefore, I am confused about why it seems so difficult to find my Soulmate. I meet Brothers who come close, but there are always characteristics about them that I really would rather not deal with for the longterm.

    I am not working on self-improvement for "a man", but for myself. Yet, it would be nice if my Soulmate were to just happen to grace me with his presence while I'm on my Mission.

    I will say that I do stay quite busy, and have very little time for socializing and what not, which is why I escape to cyberspace during some of my free time. I also feel overwhelmed sometimes by being in the company of so many people all day long with what I do. But I don't seem to be around Brothers who fit my ideal of a mate.

    You mentioned that a man and woman should not be unequally yoked. Yet, we always hear folk say that we must be flexible in what we ask for in a mate. I hear folk say that it is not good to have someone exactly like oneself. Yet the Brothers I enjoy interacting with most are those who are on the same page as me! Few Brothers I meet are on exactly the same page. And those who are tend to be either married or twice my age or difficult to reach because of geographic distance. For these reasons, I have to often question my self as to whether I may be turning down men who might "work" out regardless of the doubts and reservations I have about them. At the same time however, I feel strongly against compromising my standards, and feel strongly that I should trust my intuition.

    I don't ask for more than I am willing to give, and I am willing to even make changes within reason, to accomodate my ideal mate.
     
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