Why Having Standards And Waiting To Be Saved By A Man Aren’t The Same Thing

31 comments
February 15, 2013 ‐ By Toya Sharee

 

“College-educated, six pack abs, and works in a career that requires a collared shirt and tie.” Whether it’s after a series of hell dates, another Valentine’s Day spent resenting romance and any warm-blooded mammal with pheromones, or allowing the vapors of a steamy shirtless sex scene with Michael Ealy video cloud your head, all women will at some point find themselves either mentally or physically jotting down a list of things they want in a man, especially when repeatedly being confronted with what you don’t want.

As broad or specific as that list may be, I think it’s healthy to know what you are seeking in a man.  Knowing what you want may not necessarily be the key to finding your very own Dr. Morehouse Man pushing a Mercedes Benz, but it will at least get you in the neighborhood.  Having standards is important because as the wise Malcolm X once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Of course that saying had nothing to do with dating, but the adage works.

Somewhere along the way though, some women convinced themselves that having standards meant waiting for the first intelligent, attractive and financially stable man to come along and sweep them off of their Steve Maddens and carry them straight to a life spent between shopping malls and spas.  It started to make less and less of a difference if that man was considerate, kind or respectful. Unfortunately, these same women thought it somehow made them better than women holding down the guy working part-time security to pay their child support, because at least they had “standards.”

The conflict I found with many women as of late is that they are confusing having standards with wanting to be saved.  Most of us want a man to match our fly.  Having someone on or at least close to your level financially, mentally and emotionally won’t make a relationship perfect, but damn if it doesn’t make it a little easier.  There are less arguments about who’s paying for what, less pettiness and immaturity and less room for resentment and competition.  Ideally, we would like to think love solves all these problems, but most women over the age of 21 know that real relationships are about more than those magical butterflies you get whenever he calls you, “Bae” (which I hate by the way, but ironically still use).

But let’s be real, are the standards you have more about wanting a man who’s your equal, or wanting someone who will do all the work for your life that you’re not willing to? How many times have I witnessed a woman making some contradictory statement like, “I need a man who can buy me nice things and afford to be able to take us to expensive restaurants,” when meanwhile they are living check to check and completely content with a minimum wage salary? Trust and believe that if what you really want is to be saved, there’s no shortage of caped crusaders waiting to fly in and upgrade you, but be honest about it.  So often, women are walking around talking about how “classy” they are, mistaking the standards they think they have with what is really some kind of “Things I’m Not Willing to Do In My Own Life” wish list.

I’m not throwing shade at the housewives or the stay-at-home moms who are in marriages or relationships where they have come to a mutual agreement with their partner about the roles they both play.  For example, a few months ago, when rapper Drake made a haphazard comment that Vanessa Bryant shouldn’t be entitled to a large divorce settlement because she “wasn’t with Kobe shooting in the gym,” she promptly responded, “I don’t need to be in the gym. I’m raising our daughters, signing checks and taking care of everything else that pertains to our home life.” And honestly, if that’s okay with Kobe, it’s okay with me.  What I’m referring to are the thirsty Joe Camels parading their unjustified standards right through all of the good men that were, are one, digit short of the salary requirements of the relationship.  Maybe he didn’t attend an Ivy League University, but does he make you laugh, stick up for you when it comes to his momma, work hard every day and know that being adventurous on a date is about more than choosing the Netflix movie with subtitles?  Then consider yourself blessed.

I want to repeat that I’m not suggesting women settle for any less than what they want, but if you are constantly complaining about being lonely due to the lack of good men, it might just be that you’re lacking good judgment. That doesn’t mean date a guy whose biggest problem is getting Hot Cheetoes’ dust from in between his Xbox controller buttons, but if no man is meeting your standards, said standards might be unrealistic.  Stop lying to yourself that you’re intimidating or that there are just no decent men in your city, because the truth could be that you’re actually just difficult and pretentious, even worse if you can’t even bring the things you claim you want to the table yourself. Save the capes for the comics.  If a superhero is what you want then it’s time to admit that you’re really looking to be saved, not seduced.  Meanwhile, for those of us who want a “real” man, it’s time to get realistic and understand that checklists are for The Fresh Grocer, not your love life.

Toya Sharee is a community health  educator  and   parenting education coordinator who has a passion  for helping  young women  build  their self-esteem and make  well-informed choices  about their sexual  health. She  also  advocates for women’s  reproductive rights and blogs about  everything  from  beauty to love  and relationships. Follow her on Twitter   @TheTrueTSharee or visit  her blog Bullets  and  Blessings .

 

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  • Is It 5:00 Yet?

    When it comes to morals and ethics I won’t settle, but finances are negotiable as long as he makes enough money to support a family. Otherwise, he will have to step his paper game up lol.

    Women need to seek men who are financially responsible as oppose to a man who just makes a lot financially. It doesn’t matter if a man is wealthy, if he is irresponsible with his money than it will be futile. That is an important quality when seeking a husband. This also applied to men seeking wives.

    • Is It 5:00 Yet?

      “then”

      “applies”

      • Drew Smith

        Learning. I like it.

    • Stanley 001

      Don’t you think you’re contradicting yourself? Or am I not understanding you correctly here?

      You said finance is negotiable (but only) as long as he makes enough money to support a family. Otherwise, he will have to step his paper game up. How is this any different than saying you’re not settling for a man that doesn’t make a lot of money?

      • Is It 5:00 Yet?

        You are misunderstanding my comment. A man doesn’t have to be rich, but he needs to make enough money to at least support a family. If he doesn’t make enough money to at least support a family, then he would have to step it up. As long as it’s enough to pay the bills I’m fine.

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    Water seeks its own level. I have single friends who laminate about how there are no good men or they are all dating white women etc. What many of them won’t stop, reflect, and deal with their own shortcomings and overall feelings of inadequacy that subconsciously has them dating the 2-3 baby momma having, chronically non or under employed, aspiring 45 year old rappers over and over again. I never had a problem meeting nice young men who had something going for themselves. It wasn’t a matter of him not having basic adult shyt like a job/career, and his finances in order, it was more our personalities didn’t click.

    Unfortunately, who you allow into your world is a reflection on you. There’s no two ways about it.

  • Cogito

    From my perspective that’s one of the problems in even trying to dialogue about this issue with sisters. The minute a contrarian perspective is made, it is almost always immediately followed with the “they do it too” refutation or deflection, with the exchange quickly degenerating into a circular argument. I am always left bereft by this reasoning. because as a man, my needs, wants and expectations have nothing to do with what women are doing. They are organic and specific to me as an individual and as a man. My duties, responsibilities, cultural and societal expectations are distinct from those of women, and thus, any attempt to parallel my situation to hers is misguided.

    Though in this current cultural dispensation, the romantic market conditions are very favorable to me as a man due to the excessive supply side inventory, however, back in the day when there was more moral constraints governing female behavior, restricting available romantic supply, I adjusted my methodology to the social requisites that the markets demanded in order to secure my desired ends; no moaning or crying about egality, just securing my wants and needs. It’s okay if a woman values her solitude and independence and is unwilling to make the efforts necessary to secure and sustain a healthy relationship, but I wish they would stop it with that “paucity of good bm ” refrain. Because no matter the romantic market conditions, there are somethings that never change and that transcends time and one of them is, when a woman inspires a man to the heights of love and devotion….he will render unto her his love and devotion, it’s just that nowadays, she has to inspire a bit more than in the past because all of the background noise and confusion.

  • ieshapatterson

    i agree with this.the problem is,most women DON’T have standards,so most of them go for anything that breathing.

    • Nope

      I think most can’t get who/want they actually want, then they go for “anything that breathing”. My question still is why aren’t they getting what they want, because it is out there.

      • Chris

        A lot of people, men and women, go for what they think they want. Not what makes sense or is actually good for them. They like shiny wrapping paper and big bows. There need not be anything of substance in the box.

      • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

        Don’t most men have the ideal women in their mind of who would just light up their world. Some model/video vixen or what have you. The odds are the vast majority of those men ain’t gonna be able to pull her. So they settle for what’s in the realm of what they can pull, or they up their status and their paper in the hopes that will give them a better shot at the women they really want. Same way with women, at least it should be.

        • QueenOfLife

          I agree. I often feel like most men these days want a big huge vixen booty with a 1 cm waist, and nothing else matters. That is the end all be all of women to some money. Annoying.

          • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

            No different than MOST women preferring their partner have better than average income and means. Trust me if a woman can pull two men that are exactly the same except for money wise, homegirl is going for the dude with more money 99 time out of 100 and there is nothing wrong with that granted you can actually get it.

      • ieshapatterson

        depends,because it’s out there for THEM,it doesn’t mean that the men are chasing feel the same way.

    • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

      I agree in part. Most women do have standards in their minds of the type of man they will deal with, however, due to feelings of inadequacy they compromise them.

  • Nope

    A man can be himself better than he can be the imaginary man you have floating around in your heads.

  • Nope

    Great article. Good work and great message.

    And ladies there are “good” and “eligible” men out there, the question is why aren’t you able to get or keep these men?

    • ReShay

      “Just because he’s a good guy, doesn’t mean he’s good for you” Let’s allow that to marinate. In this microwave society we sometimes fail to thoroughly get to know each other, men and women alike, and the same question can be asked in reverse, Why aren’t these men able to keep “good and eligible” women?

      • ieshapatterson

        yep.one too many men,are quick to call out women or give advice,when they themselves should be following it.

      • Stanley 001

        If any of all these good men are not good for you, what does that make you?

        • Nope

          **crickets**

          Most women can’t or won’t answer that. Sums up my previous point even better.

        • Chris

          Not saying all good men are not good for you. Just that every good guy you come across is the person you are meant to be with. I met a good guy, he wasn’t right for me because we had different views on important issues. I met another good guy and he is great for me. We see eye to eye on a lot of the same things and we handle conflict differently. A good guy can’t be the only qualification.

      • Nope

        I don’t think men complain nearly as much as women about ‘not being able to find anyone’.

        • puhleesa

          That’s because Woman have made it so easy for them not to make any kind of commitment . Not until Men realize how shallow and unsatisfying numerous relationships are will they stop to find a mate ( …and some never will evolve to that level ).

          • Nope

            The only woman a man owes anything to is his WIFE and mother. And daughter too. Dating is just that….dating.

          • Nope

            This assumes he’s even SUPPOSED make a commitment to a particular woman. Sounds a lot like trying to decide FOR him.

        • ieshapatterson

          no,because men have their chose to women who have no standards.when you have women like that,then why do right?

          • Drew Smith

            Again. In English.

          • Drew Smith

            Again. In English.

      • Nope

        “Just because he’s a good guy, doesn’t mean he’s good for you”

        Even this saying has a spin on it that basically says ‘he wasn’t for me’, when maybe a woman isn’t good for HIM. I say it time and time again, women don’t have a monopoly on romantic choices.

        There’s a lot of women (most) that think of themselves of being so incredibly awesome but slept in a cold bed on Valentine’s Day because the “good” men (there’s plenty of them) disagreed with that.

        • Chris

          Maybe they aren’t good for each other or good together.