In my conversations about relationships between men and women, I’ve begun to notice that this generation’s struggles in gaining, maintaining, and cultivating healthy relationships is fraught with all kinds of pressure summed up in two kinds:
1) The pressure to succeed (and in this case, win or gain the love of the person we desire)
2) The pressure to conform to the norms and expectations of community/culture we live in
Reading these posts gave me in inside peek into the challenges that single men encounter in their quest to meet a good woman, with a specific depiction of how the application of shallow standards cause upwardly mobile women to hastily dismiss men as potential partners because of their focus on the material (status, income, power position) over the substantial (loyalty, fidelity, integrity,diligence, compassion). As a result, they miss out on the very meaningful, affirming relationships that they desire.
What I find depressing in this assessment is that the very dismissal of eligible mates by these women is continued among the same group of overlooked men in their response to such rejection. They don’t re-examine the basis of their attraction to this “type” of woman(or even notice they keep chasing the same type of woman). They don’t even question the criteria used to characterize this archetype. Nope. They simply voice their frustrations being “left out” of the running, and add another level of strict scrutiny in their search criteria, as the realization that looks aren’t enough kicks in. She must have “character”. As a result, the plain Janes and diamonds in the rough who are either a) not as accomplished their well-educated sisters b) not as physically attractive are even more left out.
The end result, unfortunately, is the same: Both sides misunderstand their needs, mis-communicate their desires, misconstrue the needs of the other, and as a result, completely miss each other. A man can have several negative experiences with upwardly mobile Black women desiring someone “on their level”, and from then on, he will always think that “on my level”=money,power and status. After that, he will continually dismiss that particular type of woman and continue his search for good character, missing the truth: that until his understanding and judgment of good character goes beyond appearances, his search will even become more difficult.
I wish that this was the only time I’ve observed this scenario, but another comes to mind as well:
Christians dating is much like high school. The more physically attractive and visible you are in ministry, the larger your group of admirers(fan club) is. The bulk of singles in that community are asking out the most attractive and visible ones, which causes the subject of such attention to suffer from a shortened attention span and a comparison shopping habit. As a result, they’re constantly holding out for something better because of the variety of attention and interest they receive. Any person that has an interest and isn’t fawning all over them for attention will be easily deterred because they mistake the existence of a fan club as proof of their inability to settle for one person.
I am reminded of this scene from Something’s Gotta Give, in which the mother, sister, daughter, and the subject of her May-December romance are sitting at the table eating dinner. The sister, a Women’s Studies professor is attempting to explain the dynamic:
“This is really fascinating, what’s going on at this table. Let’s take you and Erica. You’ve been around the block a few times. What are you, around 60? 63. Fantastic! Never married, which as we know, if you were a woman, would be a curse. You’d be an old maid, a spinster. Blah, blah, blah. So instead of pitying you, they write an article about you. Celebrate your never marrying. You’re elusive and ungetable, a real catch. Then, there’s my gorgeous sister here. Look at her. She is so accomplished. Most successful female playwright since who? Lillian Hellmann? She’s over 50, divorced, and she sits in night after night after night because available guys her age want something-forgive me, they want somebody that looks like Marin. The over-50 dating scene is geared towards men leaving older women out. And as a result, the women become more and more productive and therefore, more and more interesting. Which, in turn, makes them even less desirable because as we all know, men- especially older men- are threatened and afraid of productive, interesting women. It is just so clear! Single older women as a demographic are about as fucked a group as can ever exist.”
Are there any scenarios that you’ve experienced or observed where two people completely missed each other?
Colossians 1:10 AMP
That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and [a]desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, [b]acquaintance, and recognition].