by Sequoia Houston
It’s amazing how sometimes a simple statement can hit you in such a way that it becomes profound…as if there’s some special secret shared between you and your consciousness…that happened to me today. While watching a video on zebras (don’t ask lol) I heard the narrator make a statement that moved me in such a way I simply felt that it would be selfish not to share…particularly with my single [ ie. non-married] sisters out there. The statement was this:
“Female cheetahs usually won’t have kittens unless a potential father can chase her for several DAYS in a long series of foot races.”
Now, I know you’re probably thinking “okay, this chick is nuts,” but allow me to explain. Take a moment to think about the last time you were courted. I know that’s laughable these days, but seriously…think about what happened the last time a guy really tried to express sincere interest in you. Now think about how you responded. It goes without saying that the times when a gentleman caller would come to your house, meet your parents, take you out on a nice date, bring you home and the highlight of the night was a kiss on the cheek, are far gone. Today, having sex on a first date, or shortly thereafter, is becoming an increasingly common experience. Now I’m not here to lecture you on whether or not sex is an acceptable practice outside of marriage. That’s between you and your maker; however, I will discuss a few brief examples of how, in my humble opinion, we can work towards having more fulfilling romantic relationships.
The advice I normally get as a woman is “You’re so awesome; he just sucks. You should leave him.” Rather than focusing on what “he’s” doing wrong, my advice to you [and myself] focuses on what we as women can do differently.
1.) Be interested in the one who wants to “chase” you.
Until recently, I’ve had a tendency to fall head over heels for guys who cared absolutely nothing about me. For a while it seemed that the worse a guy treated me, the harder I fell for him. I guess I figured if I just loved him hard enough, he’d eventually love me back. Interestingly enough there was always some amazing guy around whose constant attempts to show me how special I was went completely unnoticed. “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” I said…”He’s just not my type”…”He’s too nice/young/tall/short/skinny/fat/etc…” You name it, I’ve probably said it. Sound familiar?
One day, one of my mother’s male friends gave me a bit of advice that took me years to understand. “Don’t like the guy you like; like the guy who likes you.” I thought he was some batty old man until I experienced the difference for myself. The thing is, you can be the most amazing woman in the world, but a guy knows what he wants…and if you think that he doesn’t know what he wants, or he’s afraid to commit, I’m sorry sis, but it’s probably just that he doesn’t truly want you. He may have fun with you or think you’re “cool people” but if he’s not showing you that he wants a future with you, it’s probably because he doesn’t see one with you. He’s likely just waiting around until someone better comes along. I know that is harsh, but it’s real.
If the female cheetah ignored the advances of the male that was trying to vie for her attention, and instead waited for that hunky cheetah that she thought was cute but wasn’t really into her, she’d wind up becoming a lonely old cat lady (sorry, had to! Lol). I don’t want that for any of us…so let’s make a vow to ourselves that rather than wasting time on guys who could live without us, we’ll start paying attention to the ones who don’t want to.
2.) Allow yourself to be “chased.”
“Equality” is a word that gets thrown around so cavalierly when dealing with male/female relationships. In fact, I’m reminded of an episode of Golden Girls when Blanche spoke on the topic with one of her dates. After saying he wanted to treat her like his equal she laughed heartily and replied “Your equal? I don’t want to be treated like your equal. I want to be treated much better than you.”
To me, this is the right attitude to have when approaching a relationship. Know your worth. Not saying that you shouldn’t treat the man well, but allow him to be a man and in doing so, treat you like a woman. Yes, you can open your own door. You can pump your own gas. You can open your own jars, pay your own bills and do a myriad of things that you don’t need a man for…but realize, when a man is seeking to do these things for you, he’s not trying to undermine your ability, he’s trying to compliment it. Consequently, you should also be very cautious of a man who’s not willing to do these things for you. A man who truly cares about you wants to make your life easier.
So many times we run men off with our “independent woman” machismo act. I know you may have told yourself that they’re just intimidated by your degrees, titles and ability to provide for yourself, but in all honesty and sincerity, if a man wanted to have a “pissing contest” at home, he’d date one of his boys. This isn’t to say that you should not be proud of your accomplishments, but in being proud of what you’ve already accomplished, don’t take away his opportunity to show you what he’s seeking to accomplish, with you. Men show their love by their actions. They’re hardwired to provide for you and when you take that away from them, they don’t understand the point of being with you. Once that happens, the relationship is over, even if it hasn’t yet begun.
3.) Don’t have “kittens” unless the potential father is willing to go the distance with you…
With 72% of African American children being born out of wedlock, this is probably the most important point I hope you take from this message. So many times a man shows us a little attention and we reward him with our bodies. A lot of men won’t even date a female that’s not sexually active, so if you’re going to be in Rome you have to do as the Romans do, right? You’ve got to be in the game to win it, don’t you? No. Having sex is not a game. The decision to have sex or not is a very personal decision and there are both spiritual and physical consequences tied to your decision. While it would be highly unrealistic to think that my message will stop you from having sex, I hope that it will at least make you more cautious of whom you allow to be a “potential father.”
I fought tooth and nail this week with someone who says that women are the reason there are so many children being born out-of-wedlock; that their decision to sleep around with “no good men” is why 68% of children are raised in a household without a father. I disagree. I think there are a number of factors that contribute to that statistic…All in all, he and I do agree on one point. As women, the consequences of sex typically affect us a lot harder than they do men. While sex may be a fun past time for two consenting adults, it’s vital that we protect ourselves. Remember that ANY time you lay with someone, you run the risk of contracting an STD or getting pregnant. The only "method" that's 100% safe is abstinence. Therefore, take a little advice from lady cheetah: Don’t have sex with a man who’s not willing to go the distance with you. The men who are willing to go the distance with you will respect you for your decision, and the one’s who don’t won’t stick around…..and let’s be honest, we’re better off without them anyway.
That’s it. I hope you don’t take this message as me thinking that I have all of the answers, because I absolutely do not. I do hope, however, that this message helps at least one woman. I hope it shows you the value that you have and it gives you the courage to demand that a man show you that he’s willing to go the distance with you. I hope that it leads to a successful relationship built on mutual respect and adoration…and I hope that it gives a woman in a relationship that isn’t for her the strength to stand up and realize that you deserve better, even if it means being single for a little while longer.