Brothaly Advice, To Sistas

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"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm surrounded by women, young, old, single, divorced, happy, bitter. They all have something in common. None of them have a significant romantic relationship in their lives, nor do they seem to have the slightest inkling of how to achieve and maintain one. These women meet men all the time and rarely get excited about them. Yet, when excitement does find their heart, a rush of over zealous emotions and actions lead to a relationship built on intimacy not interest. What these beautiful, intelligent women end up with is an on again off again lover rather than a soul mate, or the speed with which they want to move pushes their potential Mr. Right, right out the door. So how do these ladies deal with the aftermath? They go through phases of really casual relationships, followed by bouts of celibacy. They read books, join churches, write, become very goal oriented and focus on themselves. But deep down, that need to find a life partner, to really know love and even to start a family of their own, never diminishes. 

There is no blueprint for love. However, I've seen enough sistas make the wrong moves so often that I think it's time I shared a little advice and shed a little light on the situation. I'm going to offer a few tips that won't guarantee love, but will definitely put you on the path to finding something new, if not significant. Mind you, there are exceptions to every rule, but if you play by these rules, you'll significantly increase your success rate. 

1) NEVER DATE STRANGERS

Never ever date strangers. I don't care how great they seem or how good they look, do yourself a favor, don't do it. Here's the thing about a stranger, all you know about him is what he tells you. That's putting a huge amount of trust into someone for absolutely no reason. Trust is not a starting point, it's a destination. The minute you start dating a stranger, you make trust a starting point, thus setting yourself up to be lied to. Here is a simple dating rule. Only date people you know OR people who come with a reference. This gives you the advantage. By knowing the person, or knowing someone who knows the person you're dating, it gives you the opportunity to gather more information about the person than they may even be ready to reveal. It gives you the chance to think about all the things you've experienced with this person, or heard about them. Now you have a knowledge base to begin from. It also helps if the person you're dating has to be accountable of his actions to someone besides you. This is the beauty of meeting people through your friends. Common friends create a situation where, the person can't just treat you any ole kind of way. Treating you bad could affect not only what you think of them, but what his friends think of them as well. Also, it helps the vetting process. If people you respect, can recommend someone they respect, all this mutual respect will drift over into your potential relationship. Once again, it doesn't guarantee love, but it will alleviate wasted time with someone absolutely wrong for you. 

Also, if you want to increase your dating pool, don't go out and meet more men. Go out and meet more women with male friends. Your female friends make the perfect buffer between you and what's out there. 

2) EMBRACE PATIENCE

Your friends are married and have houses, and kids. So the f*ck what! Excuse my French, but trying to "keep up with the Jones's" is a perfect recipe for disaster. Life and the changes life brings comes to us in due time. So don't go throwing all your standards and expectations out the window in a rush to find any ole man. 

You know that man showing you some interest. Well, I'm not sure if he's Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong. But one thing I am definitely sure of, he wants to tap that ass! And that's all he will want UNLESS you give him a reason to want more with you. Men are very skeptical of things that come too easy to them. Let me repeat this. MEN ARE VERY SKEPTICAL OF THINGS THAT COME TOO EASY TO THEM. So if you really want him to stick around, take your time to REALLY get to know him, and allow him to really get to know you before you start giving way too much of yourself. 

As men, all our lives we have been told that women fit into two categories. The ones you just sleep with and the ones who are worthy of relationships and commitments. Terrible lesson, yet this is the lesson we've been given. Very promiscuous women often find themselves surrounded by male attention, yet that kind of attention is rarely long term. As we get older and people get more in touch with their sexuality, the lines between the ones you marry and the ones you sleep with blur. However, what doesn't blur is the reality that a man must have a certain amount of respect for you and who you are to maintain a loving relationship with you. Often times a woman meets a man and quickly starts sleeping with him, cooking for him, and in many ways taking good care of him, yet he won't commit. You know the old adage, if you can get the milk for free, then why buy the cow? It's true. So if you want to go giving away unearned milk, cool. Just know if you're doing it, it's not necessarily the way to a substantive relationship.

Learn to show yourself the same level of patience you have given so many bad relationships. Take your time with yourself. Be forgiving of your mistakes. Put no time constraints on your happiness and well being. And when you do find a spark with someone, resist the urge to let your mind go zooming past the second date down the aisle towards the preacher. Desperate thoughts lead to desperate actions. Sure, the ticking clock is real. But at a certain point all you can do is put yourself in the best possible situation to embrace love. What you can't do is make love embrace you back.

3) KNOW YOUR POWER

Women, you have no idea just how much power you have. From here on out, know this if you don't know anything, you are worth a million dollars to someone. So act the part.

a) Never chase a man. Remember, you're worth a million bucks, what man wouldn't chase after a million bucks? Initially, if he wants to see you, let him come to you. The minute you put yourself in a situation where you are running behind him, chasing him down, flying to see him, driving to his place at his whim when he hasn't even shown you he's willing to do the same for you--in his eyes, your value diminishes.

b) Invest wisely. Every relationship, no matter how deep or casual is an investment, an investment of you. What defines a good investment is the returns you see on that investment. If you make a small investment of yourself and you see small returns, that's considered a conservative investment. But if you start making risky investments, mind, body, soul, and the only returns are pain and heartache, that's a great way to become emotionally bankrupt. If you value your worth, and understand your power, always invest conservatively. Take your time and learn all about what you're investing in. See how risky or stable of an investment it is before you go investing more and more of yourself. 

c) Be specific. Not only are you powerful, the power of words is real. You all have standards, and beyond that, you all know what you want. Yet when you go speaking to the universe, you make really general statements like, "I just want a good man." And bam, you meet a good man. He just happens to be a good man with bad credit and four kids. See, the universe gave you exactly what you asked for, but you weren't specific. So become more specific. Also, know what you REALLY want. Don't say, "I want a handsome man", when you really want a man who won't cheat on you. The universe is listening to your thoughts and your words. Embrace your power, and speak into existence your reality.

4) BE HAPPY

Your happiness is not dependent on a romantic relationship. Focus all your energy on being a happy well rounded person. Happy energy resonates with people and is one of the most magnetic forces on Earth. We all want to be around people who seem like they are carefree and enjoying life, not those drowning in misery. Our worlds get really small when we only focus on our personal problems. When we focus on our blessings and the potential of what's to come, our worlds suddenly seem enormous and very exciting. The best chance you'll ever have of being happy WITH someone, is by first learning how to be happy alone.

Good luck sistas. One luv.

sidenote: Quit taking advice from your bitter female friends. Find an objective male confidant you trust, who isn't trying to date you and take your men issues to him.