VH-1 is premiering a new show called “Single Ladies” with LisaRaye and Stacey Dash, about a few single women living in Atlanta (think: a Black version of Sex in the City). I think I know a thing or two about that. Instead of getting into the (de)merits of the show (at least from the snippets I saw), I’d like to share some insights from some of my new “motivational speaker” friends about relationships, based on recent events I’ve attended, here in “the City.” (I received a good number of reactions the last time I gave some of my personal insights on the subject), and you may also want to check out one of my humorous personal dating stories.)
Waiting to Be Found by the One You Seek?
Speaker, author, and minister April Mason recently held her “Single No More: Position Yourself to Be Found” event, where she gave single women several tips on how to position themselves to be found. Many quote the scripture “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” as an excuse for not being approachable or accessible to men. April said, “You don’t have to sit and wait to be picked like a piece of cotton. You plan and strategize in so many other areas, like your career… why not love? Why would you just go with the flow on something so important? No one would tell you to just go with the flow to have a successful career! You have to position yourself on purpose–be conscious about it!”
Ruth (in the Bible) was positioned in the right place–she was in a place where Boaz could find her. April said it’s ok to approach a man, it’s all how you do it. Ruth positioned herself to find Boaz on purpose.
She mentioned how common it is for even beautiful, successful, rich women to be unfulfilled in their quest for love (cue the reality shows starring Brandy, LisaRaye, Kim Kardashian–who JUST got engaged, just to name a few). She then went into 17 different topics about love and relationships to inspire and challenge us to date differently.
At the end of the night, April challenged us to go out and meet 3 guys that week (just speak–exchanging numbers is not mandatory), and pay attention to our surroundings (i.e., opportunities). This reminds me of a strategy in a book by the Christian authors Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend called “Boundaries in Dating: Making Dating Work.” Sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zones and do something different to see different results.
(I Think) I Got Him… Now What?
I met my friend, author/speaker/counselor Jack A. Daniels at an event a few months ago. He hosted a call earlier this month called, “Are You His Freak, His Friend, or His Forever?” Jack talked about the fact that men, almost immediately after meeting a woman, put her in at least one of these categories. It’s up to women to find out which one it is… from the source (because it may not be what we think).
From Jack: “You can say, ‘Why am I single? Because I choose to be.’ But I’ve never heard a man say, ‘I don’t need a woman.’ It all comes down to choices, challenges, and chances. The reason for your singleness is because you’re hurting, healing, or hoping.”
Furthermore, he told us how to assess whether a man is ready for commitment by asking the following 5 questions:
- Has he lived? – Does he have comfort with self, identity (leads to higher intimacy)?
- Has he let go? – of his past? Is he emotionally available? If his past is present, he can’t focus on the future.
- Has he learned? – What does he value? What does he invest in? Does he deposit more than he withdraws? What are his qualities, character traits?
- Has he loved? – Selfishness is the direct opposite of love. Has he ever told someone he loved them without expecting anything in return? This means you can trust them because they have your best interests at heart?
- Has he led? – Go for the goals. Does he have a plan, strategies, and execute them? If he doesn’t know where he’s going, how can he lead you? If a man does not have a vision, you cannot shape him and develop that vision for him. He has to get it, and he can’t get it from you. Should you wait for a man to grow up and get on your level? No. Don’t settle because he won’t be able to provide for you, protect you, and be the man you need him to be.
Jack advised, “When you ask your man if you are his freak, his friend, or his forever, do it IN PERSON. Be quiet and wait for his answer in a non-threatening manner. Validate where you stand and what the relationship means. Then ask yourself what you really, really want. You women have so much power! We (men) need you more in their lives than ever before.”
And finally, “You’re ready to be in a relationship when you’re comfortable not being in one.”
So what do you think? Do you agree with April and Jack? Or do you have your own philosophy about love and dating? Let’s hear it!