Personal change begins within. Often we seek to change the minds and hearts of others without realizing that the heart and mindset of another person is based upon their personal experiences and what they have learned from their families and friends. Those experiences, whether good or bad, have shaped their perspective. Their personal perspective dictates their actions and reactions to situations and relationships. Any change that takes place in a person’s heart or mind therefore is the result of a personal choice made by that individual.
We all choose whether or not we want to have a successful relationship, or not. We choose whether or not we want to follow in the footsteps of those who had toxic relationships also. You are a product of your environment but you also have the power as an individual to overcome any circumstance that you may have encountered. If you come from a broken home, you do not have to create a broken home situation for your own children. If you had an absentee parent, you do not have to be absent from your children’s lives. If your parents divorced, you do not have to fear marriage, commitment or experience divorce in your own relationship. If your household was abusive, you do not have to be a victim or victimizer of abuse. You are not a slave to your past or that of your family. You are free. Free to make choices for yourself. You are free to be better than what you’ve seen, been taught or witnessed. You are free to make changes to improve your situation and provide a safer life for your children so that they will see a positive example that they can refer back to.
Statistically more than 70% of Black women in America are single, and approximately 40% of those women have never been married. However, more than 40% of Black men in America are also single and have never been married either. This means that just as many Black men as Black women have never been married. Why is that? Logically you could say that if the 40% of Black women and the 40% of Black men meet, they could get married. Maybe they just reside in different areas of the country so it’s a factor of distance more than anything else. Realistically it means that a large percentage Black men do not have the desire or goal to become married. This means that the 40% of single and never married Black women have to explore other options, such as crossing racial divides, in order to find a mate. And with there being an overabundance of single and desperate women willing to share a man for the sake of not feeling lonely, many men do not feel it necessary to commit to one woman when they can have a different woman everyday.
In my own dating experience I meet a lot of single Black men who “do not want a relationship”, don’t consider it a “priority” and do not want to be committed to just one woman. They are fearful of the possibilities of failure in their relationships because of their past experiences (marriages and divorces) and the situations in which they were raised (single parent homes without their fathers present), or they have so many women pursuing them that they feel they’d be “giving up” something (ego) in order to commit to just one woman. These men make a choice, regardless of it being conscious or subconscious. It’s sad, but true. It’s the reality of dating in the world we live in.
People are very cynical and negative about personal relationships. However, that negativity can be overcome through positive experiences and examples. In spite of some of the bad relationships I’ve had, I recall the ones that were healthy and positive. Those set an example and developed a standard for me as I move forward in life. The good relationships taught me that there is hope and the possibility of love. Those relationships reiterated to me that all men are not dogs, or trifling, or useless. Those relationships allowed me to value and respect my authentic self and understand what positive attributes I bring to a relationship. Those relationships also allowed me to improve myself as an individual and as a woman. I have made a choice that I will have a healthy and successful relationship. I have made a choice that I want to be married. I have made a choice that when the day comes, I will work to have the type of marriage I want and deserve. The only thing I’m missing is a like-minded and like-hearted man who also has the same desire, goals and resolve that I have.
To be continued…