(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 19 September 2010)
Twentieth century French author, Anaïs Nin, said, “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
It is no simple feat to find a man undaunted by a woman who unabashedly uses her brain. Women have long been taught to keep their thinking to a minimum if they want to attract a man. Conventional wisdom insists a woman should just look pretty and keep her mouth shut. I have never cared much for convention. It is petty society that cannot embrace feminine intelligence and drive.
Social infrastructures in patriarchal societies, as is standard throughout the world, have squeezed women into a very small box for centuries. No education, no civil rights, no political participation, no land ownership and no say in even whom she will marry. Only in the last century have women finally realised they are far too big for such a very small box.
However, although these established social parameters are changing rapidly to allow for the significant growth of women in every part of the community, there are sadly some men who want to beat women back into their submissive role. This is evidenced by the many domestic violence cases around the world. Just this week in Guyana, a husband murdered his wife when she attempted to leave him after putting up with his abusive ways for years.
So how is a woman to find a man who will not beat her? How can a woman determine which man is worthy of sharing a life full of love and adventure? Where can a woman look to find a man who welcomes her intellectual prowess as an asset toward building a successful future together? Does one look in a club? A church? At the work place?
If a woman is looking to get married – and not all women are – it takes keen senses, patience and a clear thinking head to find a man who is marriage material.
There are plenty of men who are worthy of a lasting relationship, but the loud, arrogant ones are usually the ones who catch a woman’s attention first – simply because those men refuse to go unseen or be unheard. That should be the first red flag to tell a woman to walk away. Rude boys are not marriage material – as Rihanna found out the hard way.
There are also some slick romancers who whisper all kinds of sweet nothings into a girl’s ear. Second red flag. Walk away, girl. Just walk away. Those Casanovas have had tons of practice and will think of you as no more than one more girl on whom they can practice.
I quoted the song, “Statistics,” by Lyfe Jennings in my last column entitled, “Why women do not want to get married anymore.” There are some additional lyrics – rules, in fact – in that song that I want to share to help women in choosing a good guy. This is just a song, but I like the perspective.
“Don’t be a booty call. If he don’t respect you girl he gon forget you girl.”
If a woman is just looking for a booty call, too – and both partners are responsibly practicing safe sex – then the relationship amicably ends when the sex ends. However, if a woman is looking for a partner with whom she can share her life, this rule is pertinent.
“If he’s in a relationship. If he will cheat on her that means he will cheat on you.”
This one should be instinctive, but sometimes women want to believe they are that special something that will make a cheater change his ways. Think hard. Is it worth the heartache if you are wrong, which you probably are? After a few of these types of relationships, women end up existing as nothing but a shell of a person who cannot trust even a real good man who would never harm her in any way. Protect yourself, girl. Protect your future relationships. Run from the cheater.
“Tell him that you’re celibate. And if he wants some of your goodies he gon have to work for it.”
This is a great way to filter out most of the “players.” After all, who likes to be played for a fool? If you are both looking to build a lasting relationship that will last a lifetime, waiting a while to initiate sex will only enhance the relationship experience. If the guy cannot wait, then think twice about how he views you and the relationship.
“Be the person you wanna find. Don’t be a nickel out here lookin’ for a dime.”
This one is my favourite. If you would not choose a guy who has had sex with half of Georgetown, then it would be wise to be the same type of person for whom you are looking. If you want a smart, hard-working individual who has a good head on his shoulders – then be a smart, hard-working individual who has a good head on her shoulders. And don’t ever hide your intellect just to appease a man’s ego.
My own advice, apart from what I have already stated, is to not be in a hurry. Take your time, rely on your gut feelings to guide you and in the meantime, enjoy life to its fullness. Travel, read, enjoy nature, work hard, build a good life for yourself – and if Mr. Right comes along to share that life, great. If not, you have already built something worthwhile all on your own. Enjoy it.