Growing up, I felt robbed by life because I never had a brother. I shouldn’t say “growing up” because to this day I still wish I had one. But sometimes, when I think about the experience of one of my friends who does have a male sibling, I wonder if life didn’t rob me after all.
My friend is 34, single and for the sake of privacy, we’ll call her Candace. When Candace was in her twenties, she was with a guy for about five years whom her parents didn’t approve of. Since their breakup, she’s been in one other semi-serious relationship and has gone on a few dates. She wants to be in a serious relationship and get married soon, but can’t figure out why it’s so hard for her to meet guys and get into a relationship that is going somewhere. I can’t figure out why she is having trouble finding someone either, but lately I’ve been suspecting that her brothers – one older and one younger – have something to do with it. Why? Let’s take for example what I call The Starbucks Incident.
A few months ago, Candace went to Starbucks to have coffee with an older couple from our church. When she was walking in, there was a nice-looking man standing near the door who smiled at her and said hello. She smiled back and went inside. After leaving Starbucks more than an hour later, there was a note on her car: “I saw you and thought you were pretty. Maybe we can talk or go out to dinner sometime. [Name] [Phone number]”. She was surprised by the note and pretty positive it was from the gentleman who standing by the door because he would have saw her get out of her car before she walked in.
When she recanted the story and asked what I thought, I told her that the note was sweet and that she should call him or text him. When she told her brothers about the note, they were totally against her contacting him. They said he was a creeper and possibly dangerous considering he didn’t have the “courage” to talk to her face-to-face. They felt that she should want a guy who would approach her and not hide behind a note. My theory was that he may have intended to talk to her to her face but when he saw her with the couple from church he assumed she was with her parents. There aren’t too many men that will approach a woman while she is out with her mom and dad. I felt that the note was his way of making a move without embarrassing her — or himself. Besides, what’s the harm in texting him?
In the end, she decided not to text him, so her brothers won out, but in my opinion, Candace was the real loser.
Ever since then, I’ve been noticing more and more instances where her well-intentioned brothers have discouraged her from potential guys she could be dating. It seems like every time she mentions a guy, they’ve got an opinion. He’s too young. He’s too old. He’s not Black. He doesn’t make enough money. He approached you incorrectly. When I mentioned to her that I know a doctor who is single, her brother – who knows him too – commented, “Can’t say for sure, but I think he might be gay.”
I don’t want to meddle in Candace’s brother/sister relationship — especially considering I may not completely understand because I don’t have a brother of my own — but I don’t see why she won’t just ignore her brothers’ opinions, no matter how well-meaning they might be and just date whomever she wants. It’s one thing for her, as a woman, to have an extensive “list” and thus have her own extreme pickiness to overcome but it’s quite another to have her brothers adding to her list and thus disqualifying every man on the planet.
What’s ridiculous is that after her brothers are done playing Superman and saving her from the big, bad guys out there who just aren’t good enough for their sweet, fragile sister, they’re going home and snuggling up to their wives and Candace is going home alone.
It’s nice that Candace’s brothers care about her and that they’re so protective of her and don’t want her to be hurt. However, from my vantage point, their objections are shallow perceptions and not based on what truly matters when picking a partner to be in a successful relationship with. How can you just write every single person off without even trying to get to know them? Every guy can’t be bad!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that women ignore the warnings from their brothers (and sisters) who have their best interest at heart. Sometimes others can see things that we can’t see. But sometimes we also have to take a chance on love and make decisions for ourselves and forget what everyone else — even our siblings– thinks. Sometimes a woman has to quit consulting people who would obviously rather see her alone than in a great relationship that started because her man dared to leave a nice, handwritten note on her car.
What do you think? Have you ever experienced someone (sibling or other) who seemed to object to every guy you even think you might like?