Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –
Are you thirsty and drinking from muddy water? I have been asked by a few women who are raising daughters, and are concerned about their daughter’s choices in men to revisit the topic of dating, as I have done many times in the past.
I believe society has a way of pressuring young girls and women into toxic relationships, and many don’t take the time to examine what a man may bring into their lives, either the pros or the cons.
Sometimes, the only way we may be able to learn the appropriate lessons is by making mistakes, even if it means ignoring the wisdom others may be trying to share with us.
We all may think we know what looks good to us, feels good to us, and gives us the appearance of making us happy.
However, if he is unemployed, lives at home with his parents, and needs your car because he doesn’t have one, RUN!!!
If he has children by a variety of women, and shows no signs of supporting them, RUN!!!
If he needs you to pick up the tab or split the check when you’re out on a date, RUN!!! If he is educated, that is a good sign, but it’s not as important as his work ethic, his ability to hold a job, and his demonstration that he can handle his responsibilities.
If he drinks too much, RUN!!!
If he uses drugs, and finds the need to use them as a crutch, RUN!!!!
If he looks into your eyes, and tells you repeatedly how much he needs you, believe him, and RUN!!! If he is not a God-fearing man, or doesn’t practice some form of spirituality, RUN!!!
It does not matter if his God is Jehovah, Allah, Jah, or otherwise. It does not matter if he is not familiar with ALL the prophets. What’s important is that his journey in life has shown him he is NOT God, and that he concedes to the belief that we did not create ourselves. But, if your religious backgrounds differ, and he does not respect your beliefs, RUN!!!
Integrity and character is what you should be in search of in a man, not how well he gets the job done in the bedroom. All men do well in bed, to some extent, but not all who stand over a toilet to use the bathroom are worthy of you. As a Queen, you should not settle for anything less than a King.
And, a court jester just won’t do.
If you have children, you should be more than careful about whom, and what, you expose your kids to. A man who mistreats his own children is not going to treat yours any better.
In this day and age, you HAVE to take the time to investigate a man’s background, for you and your children’s safety, at the very least.
A search for his name on a sexual predator website in your state, or the state he may have once lived in, might save you lots of heart ache in the end. An online search may also reveal his criminal past, if he has one.
I personally have nothing against a young black man who may have landed in prison at one time, but I have big problems with the ones who try to conceal that fact. Everyone is entitled to second chances, and I know plenty of ex-offenders who’ve found their way into positivity, and become major contributors to society. Many have become scholars, lawyers, doctors and Indian chiefs because they learned the hard way how to put the childish things aside.
And, please believe, if a man mistreats his mother, RUN!!! If a man mistreats, or does not have healthy relationships with his sisters, RUN!!!
Investigate how the last relationship he was in ended. Ask questions.
If he has a history of violence in his DNA, RUN!!! Don’t believe that if he hit one woman, he won’t do the same to you, given the right set of circumstances. Too many women are hiding the assaults they are enduring in their own homes. Many feel they are stuck in those situations, and they don’t know how to escape the resident bully they may be living with.
Women are not on this planet to be abused, and if you know someone who is being abused, there are plenty of programs and agencies out here to help any woman who feels she is trapped by domestic abuse.
Ladies, know your value.
Don’t let your single status force you into a relationship you may regret for the rest of your lives.
Investigate your choices thoroughly. A real man does not need your money, your car, or to live with you.
And, pay attention to any man who is attempting to sweep you off your feet with his words.
His actions should speak louder.
Personally, I know of too many women who have fallen head over heels in lust, and wound up victimizing themselves before they realized they’d made a serious error in judgment. It’s very hard to admit later on that you may have made a bad choice or a mistake.
Pride may also get in the way sometimes, as well as the need to keep up with the Joneses. Don’t let that be you.
The advice I’ve often given to those who’ve asked me for dating advice is, be patient, and wait on God. You don’t have to go looking for Mr. Right, God will deliver him to you.
The club is also not the place to go shopping. Most guys who hang in bars looking for a one-night stand are seldom husband material.
And, if they are, chances are they’ve already gotten married, and they’re only looking for one thing, which is not a solid relationship.
There are TONS of responsible, goal-oriented kings out there who are looking for Queens.
However, if you are tied down with one that is perpetrating a fraud, then you will never meet one of them.
Then, we have the down-low brothers. Yeah, some of them live in Rochester too.
They are the freaks of the week, the ones who fear coming out of that closet they live in.
However, sadly, many of them may be exposing themselves, and their women, to STD’s like HIV.
Be careful, ladies. Always know your audience.
I ‘m not trying to make anyone paranoid, I’m just keeping it real.
Just because you are thirsty, that does not mean you have to drink from muddy water.