I Wanna Be Down…The Problem With Sacrificing Your Own Comfort (And Interests) To Keep Your Man Happy
If you tuned in for an early episode of Oxygen’s Find Me My Man, you may have caught the familiar face of Angela “Myammee” Pitts who was once a contestant on the VH1 favorite, Flavor of Love. Angela clearly wanted a thug and made sure she participated in the activities of the rough and rugged to attract one, like making it rain in the strip club and going to the bar to tune in into the latest playoff game. Now I’m not saying there aren’t women who legitimately enjoy things that guys typically do, but I hate to see women work so hard to appear down for the cause when they’re actually only sacrificing their own comfort just to get a man.
It’s one thing if you actually know Lebron James’s free throw percentage or can lose a day playing Halo, but your relationship shouldn’t be a research project. Be authentic. I get annoyed when I see women perpetrating how much they love the strip club or buying the local Modell’s out with team paraphenalia in an effort to be both their man’s homie and lover. I know people like to subscribe to the popular cliché that the best relationships start off between friends, but I’m sorry, I don’t want to be my man’s “boy.”
I believe that the best relationships are comfortably balanced between platonic and purely sexual. I don’t want to fart in front of my man and laugh like it’s the funniest thing since a Kevin Hart special. I don’t want to be known as that girl who can drink the whole crew under the table or is cool with casual sex when I know damn well I want a commitment. Maybe it’s just me, but I need relationship roles that are clearly defined. That doesn’t mean you have to ban him from the booty bar or throw a fit every time he wants to have a night with the guys, but you don’t have to go running for your stack of singles so you can make it rain beside your man either, especially if you know in your heart you’re just not into it, but just want to keep your man happy.
It reminds me of this bar my sister said she would go to sometimes for happy hour. Most of the year it would be dead and she would go there, along with some faithful football fans, to show their love for the Philadelphia Eagles whether they were flying high or crashing and fumbling. But once they were on a winning streak, no woman within an eight-mile radius was going to pass on going hard in the green paint. As the bar began to fill with men, the women followed, even if they thought a running back was some kind of remix to the MC Hammer dance. There they were, fairweather fans decked out in their Eagles gear, but more concerned with keeping a man than keeping score.
I’ll be honest: Football bores the hell out of me. And while I don’t necessarily care about my man making it rain in the club, you’ll probably catch me under an umbrella. Taking turns making strippers twerk for tips isn’t exactly my idea of romance. It’s funny to me when friends tell me, “But the tricks are impressive,” to which I reply, “Cirque du Soleil ain’t half bad either. Plus an added bonus: No stripper sweat and drink minimums.”
Long gone are the middle school days of pretending you really liked basketball, when all you wanted to do is see your lanky big-headed boyfriend run up and down the court. Any man worth having will like you for you, even if that means you would rather give yourself a pedicure and watch LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) than pick out car parts. Be mindful of what you’re looking to attract. I’m not saying all men want a girl whose main priorities are bubblegum lip gloss and Yorkie pups, but there’s no need for you to commit Miami Heat stats to memory if you really don’t want to; he has friends for that. It’s one thing to take an active interest in each other’s lives, but trust me, men will still like you without you having to go out of your way to be the “down girlfriend.” Kudos to the ladies who are truly about that life, but if you’re frauding it up, the only one you’re hurting is yourself. You don’t have to force yourself to be uncomfortable to find or keep a man. Being “one of the boys” is overrated. Feminists everywhere will give me the side-eye, but sometimes what a man really wants is someone who smells good and has soft hands, and hopefully he’ll have a girlfriend for that.
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.