Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Importance of Dating
“Are you dating yet?” I asked my friend Kim. She’d just broken up with her common law husband of 20 years. (I’d say she left him about 19 years too late, but that’s another post.)
She looked at me with a smirk and said, “Uh yeah. Dating. Whatever you want to call it.”
In effect this meant, “If you consider having sex and watching movies on my couch ‘dating’, then yes I am dating.”
Uhm no. I consider that ‘married’ - or selling yourself WAY too short.
Why do so many Black women laugh at the term “dating” as if it’s a luxury that they don’t deserve? Have BW been mislead into thinking that Black men won’t ask a woman out on an *official* date? Are BW only interested in BM who don’t respect BW enough to go through the very important formality of asking them out on a date?
But I don’t want to go on any dates!
Really? Why not? Are we so conditioned to not date that we actually welcome the absence of dating?
I just want to chill at his crib, have some drinks, watch some movies, and laugh and talk.
I think doing this when you first meet a man does a disservice to a potential relationship.
When we allow a man to date and court us (before the Henndog and Blockbuster nights begin) this establishes a tangible level of respect from day one. A man can not help but feel that a woman who expects to be courted is a woman of value. A woman who knows she is worthy of being planned for (men have to plan dates) appears more valuable - and more of a catch (he has to put in a little work) - to a man. Her self image is higher. Her expectations are higher. Her self esteem is higher. Simply put, she's a valuable quality. Those who have more to offer expect more in a potential mate.
A woman who only expects and wants a man to chill at the house with her, subconsciously says, "This is good enough for me. I don't expect or give more." This is fine if you want to play with men and truly don't want anything more substantial, but if you ever decide to get a real man who has something real to offer, you're going to have to switch it up and experience the formality of dating.
Dating allows you to see the guy in different settings, around different people. You can’t adequately gauge a man’s character if you just chill at his crib all the time. I’ve known women (self included) who have fallen in love with a man in the house, only to discover, later, that he’s someone she wouldn’t want to ever take out in public. Enter: Big Problem.
Dating makes a man feel more like a man and a woman feel more like a woman. Having a man pick you up (or meet you out for safety), open the door for you, dress up for you, and show you a great night on the town just adds a certain something to any blossoming relationship. A certain undefinable ingredient that both women and men need.
If you are a fully grown woman and your (new) man can not afford dinner and a movie or any random cheap date, he aint ready. A man of integrity and self respect will WAIT until he has a little money to take you out. It is not about the money, but about what the money and courting represents to a real man. Not to a boy -- but to a real man. If a man is 35 years old without the means to take you out, you must ask yourself: “What has he been doing all these years? Is he not taking care of his business at ALL?” If not… why do you want him? What does that say about your own self respect?
Note: I searched Google and Yahoo repeatedly for "black couples dining" and only came up with 2 pictures, kinda. When I searched "black couples" I ran into bed shots or downright porn. When I searched "couples dining" I ran into ONLY white couples in restaurants. There are plenty of those pictures out there. And hey, I didn't want to include yet another picture of Michelle and Barack Obama in this post. I come from a family where BM actually date and court black women, so I know we have more than Barack to represent how real men do things.