Well, I can barely contain myself it’s FEBRUARY!!!
My birthday month YOo-HoO, TiffyTalks birth month & lovey love day aka Valentine’s Day. Shout out to Black History Month too!
Actually, Valentine’s Day isn’t one of those holidays that I lose my mind over. Yes, lately — I really really like a GOOD piece of chocolate, not those weird gushy random mystery chocolates, but that chocolate that makes you stand still and savor the moment. Yummy, wow. I also, love all the great attempts at loving more that you can see IF you look around you this week. Seriously, today, I saw a guy in Bloomingdales handing the clerk his plastic payment. I hope she loves her new bag, whoever she is!
Whether you like the holiday or not, Valentine’s Day reminds us to consider LOVE, more. But really, shouldn’t love be a daily exercise?!
Well, recently, I read a blog post about a sister that took self-love to the highest degree by marrying herself, “Doing too much? Single at 40, Woman Decides to Marry Herself.”
Honestly, I was a little dumbfounded. Like, wait, Can she marry herself? Of course, not legally! Yesss, I was tripping for a few. The cool thing is, that sister’s outward act of wedding thyself, caused me to think about my singleness, and the many single women I know, some who are frustrated like a caged bat, a few who still don’t get why they’re single, and others who are feeling the liberating fabulousness that can come from being single, and exploring life as God would have it.
Since singleness and dating can get touchy, I decided to call on my Relationship Coach & Matchmaker friend, Julie Wadley to help me navigate this dating game, diversity and how self-love fits into the equation?!
I asked Julie a series of questions, and chimed in where I couldn’t help myself. I hope you feel compelled to keep this conversation going too…
[TT] What’s going on out here in the dating world? What trends are you seeing? What’s working and what’s absolutely flopping? What about the sister who married herself?
[JW] Unfortunately, we are living in the age of Tinder; quick and superficial. Everyone is claiming to want love that lasts a lifetime, but many have absolutely no patience when it comes to finding and creating it.
I’m not sure what led this woman to marry herself. She made a pact with herself to be married by 40, but I’m left wondering: What did she actually DO to ensure she’d be married by then? What effort did she make to determine who her ideal partner was? What places did she go where that ideal partner congregates, and what did she do to make herself desirable and approachable to that person?
I find it interesting that she went through all of that trouble to “marry herself.” Was it more for her or a spectacle for other people? Did she learn anything new about herself and why she isn’t married? Was she any better off when the party was over? These are questions I’d love the answer to.
There is not one thing that is working or flopping.
Methods of finding love totally depend on the individual, their lifestyle, and what their goals are. Online dating sites may be perfectly suited to someone looking for something fun and casual, while others like to go the traditional route of meeting someone through a friend, church, or network.
Above all else, the best thing that “works” is understanding yourself; who you are, what you want, WHO you want, and what you will and will not accept in life and in a relationship.
One cannot possibly hope to find love if they cannot find it in themselves first.
[TT] As you’ve worked with female clients is there a common thread that stands out, any pros or cons?
[JW] I still do work with women as clients, although mostly through date and relationship coaching. I also take on women as matchmaking clients on a case by case basis, but here are the pros and cons:
Pros: Women don’t tend to be as fixated on looks as men are. This is not to say that they don’t desire attractive men, however, it is not a hard limit like it is for men. In general, if the man has similar values, a great personality, and decent looking, women will at least give the man a chance!
Cons: The supply/demand ratio is not in the woman’s favor, especially women in their 30’s and 40’s. There are an over-abundance of women who are looking for the same type of man. Attractive, successful men of a comparable lifestyle who seek marriage and children. Men at this age either are not ready to be settled down (because of the abundance of eligible women) or they are looking for highly attractive younger women who want to have children.
[TT] Okay, ladies –I wish I could say looks don’t matter to me, they do. But, so does his character, our compatibility and our collective purpose.
[TT] Recently, a married African American male in his early 40’s said to me, “If you’re an African American woman and desire to marry brown, it’ll take a miracle for that to happen?!” Your thoughts on this comment?
[JW] I’m not surprised at the comment, but it still saddens me. Unfortunately, based on PewResearchCenter, the 2010 US Census statistics show that 24% of African American men will marry outside of his race compared to African American women at just 9%. The 24% tended to have higher education and income levels. This trend does not seem to be going down anytime soon.
There is a definite school of thought that African American women are viewed as less attractive than our Caucasian, Asian, and Latina counterparts.
Being a brown skinned woman myself, I obviously disagree, however, you’ve got to ask yourself: Whose responsibility is it to dispel that stereotype? We, as African American women, have an opportunity to not only show our value as mothers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and businesswomen, but as WOMEN as well. It starts and ends with us.
[TT] Julie, I totally agree with you on the vast beauty that exists amongst brown women. However, since we live in a world that heavily lifts up whiter skinned people, the damage that it causes to the psyche and self-esteem of many brown people is gigantic and systemic. It is my belief, Brown women have nothing to prove, only to love ourselves as God loves us, and allow that love to flow through to others.
“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” -Malcolm X”
[TT] Do you think there’s a bit of hysteria out here to marry a brown man due to the unfavorable statistics?
[JW] Hysteria, no. Do I think that African American women feel an obligation to marry a brown man? Yes. It is completely acceptable to see an African American man with a woman of another race, but not vice versa. There seems to be more of a burden on the African American woman to be the rock of the community. I don’t know, maybe because women alone have the power to give birth to the future generations, be it black, white, yellow, or brown.
[TT] What can women do to remain confident and comfortable as a single that desires to be married?
[JW] The number one thing that a woman can do is to understand her worth as a human being first. Engaging and stepping into your life purpose is critical to being confident in your own skin.
Once you have determined why you were put on this earth, and begin to align your thoughts, beliefs, and actions towards it, the “Law of Attraction” will bring people in your life (and remove others from it) in a way that you never would imagine.
Single women also need to know what their relationship requirements, needs, and wants are.
Requirements are things that you can and cannot live without (either it’s there or it’s not). Needs are things that you have to have, but can be negotiated (meaning, you work with your partner to get them). Wants are things that you WISH you had, but are truly not important in the grand scheme of things. Using this hierarchy when it comes to deciding who to sort in and out of your life can be powerful. It also keeps you from wasting precious time with people who don’t deserve your attention in the first place.
[TT] Do you have anything else to add that you think would be helpful to share?
[JW] I think the biggest issue I see is that women are too afraid to make and effort. When I speak to women who say they want to be married and ask them, What actions have they actually taken to be married?
Most draw a blank.
Many women have been taught, one way or another that we should wait for the man (or God) to show up and make all the effort. So, they wait and wait and wait….then look up years later wondering why nothing has materialized.
Sitting in an ivory tower waiting for your prince to appear may have worked in the past, but we don’t live in simple times anymore. Just like with our career, our health, or our lives, women must take the initiative and do the work in order to see the results. If you don’t know how or what to do, that’s totally okay. There are resources out there to help you, you just need to ask.
[TT] I know there’s a few ladies reading this like: What does she mean by waiting around?! Just so you know, I’m definitely one of those women who’s waiting, but my waiting is active and intentional. If you are doing the personal development work or whatever God is leading you to do behind the scenes, to equip you to be a wife, then trust the process. You will know when it’s time for you to be more social.
We decided to continue this conversation in another post…
Sorry to cut it short, but Julie and I realized there’s much more to share. We really want to map out some smart resources to ensure that you are clear and confident in your singleness, and smart at dating.
If you have any questions or need help, please comment below and tune in for the part two to this article.
Julie, Thank you so much for contributing!
With Love, Julie &…