First, my disclaimer! What I'm about to write is not a generalisation of all men. Nor is what I'm about to write the experience of all women. Now, let me be honest... what you are about to read is my dating experience.
THE BARBERSHOP SCHOOL 'OF RELATIONSHIPS'!
I was raised playing with Barbie and Ken. And although I defaced my barbie dolls (I had an assortment of different shades of brown felt tip pens around the house, of which I used to make black Barbie and black Ken - proof that I had a healthy identity as a young girl...thanks mum). I grew to love, Love and read the 'Love is' book range. Actually, I still have my first 'Love is' book. Published in 1971 and written by Kim Casali, this book was actual the second love in my life (my mother was my first). It was the first item I cherished, loved and adored. In fact I should frame it! The book is so special, it beautifully outlines the 'verb' of love. You know, the things we DO in a loving relationship...to show your partner that you care, that they' re your one and only, that for only them, you would swim the deepest seas and climb the highest mountains just to make them happy. Thank you Kim Casali for giving me the dilemma I now face.
So with this foundation of what 'Love is', I, as with many other young woman kept falling head over heels for men...boys, who's schooling on love was delivered by conversations in the barbershop whilst waiting to get their hair cut. Now this here... what I am about to critically analyse... is slightly disheartening AND confusing for us woman WHO as a child expected the Cinderella wedding, to a black knight who wore mental Armour.
Take a look what the Barbershop 'School of Relationships' teaches:
- NEVER tell a women you love her, she will start to take you for granted and cheat on you
- NEVER eat or drink from a new woman, she might put 'juju' in your food
- DON'T commit to the relationship, until you have tried a range of women and / or (which ever comes first) you are loosing your 'appeal or swag', are getting old, fat or 'run down looking'.
- DON'T get into regular pattern's of going out, to prevent attachment from occurring
- DON'T admit you and her are in a relationship - always call yourself 'just friends'
- DON'T take photo's of you and 'your friend' together. Hide you face by looking away from the camera
- DO keep her coming back for more, be nice but unavailable (do that and she'll be begging to see you and then she'll be like putty in your hands)
- DO share some of your fears with her, opening up will make her think, you think, she's special
- IF you see her get too clingy or you start falling in love with her, detach yourself immediatley by making yourself unavailable, seeing someone else will help this process.
- DON'T let her put comments on your social media, she has to respect your boundaries
- UNDER NO circumstances do you celebrate valentines, birthdays or Christmas with her, however you are free to accept gifts from her during these times (or any other time)
- Remember! being mean keeps them keen - put her down every now and then, making her insecure, this will make her need you more. Then she'll be like putty in your hands
- Women should be happy that they have been given the honour of being in your presence, why commit! What else could they possibly want. Women should be grateful with just seeing you.
Need I go on?
The above Barbershop 'School of Relationships' is the current mindset of many men in urban communities. Now where this mindset stems from, I'm not going to get into now (this blog is long enough)? Some may say slavery (yes slavery), some may say the movies or hip hop music videos, some may even say it derives from the gang cultures prevalent on our streets. *Sigh*
Now compare this barbershop 'rhetoric' with my 1970's 'Love is' book reading foundation
- Love is when you won't leave his beside (when he's sick)
- Love is hitting the road together
- Love is wearing his biker jacket
- Love is enjoying the simple things in life together
- Love is taking on her problems as well as your own
- Love is when your differences make no difference
- Love is taking one day at a time
- Love is having someone to lean on in a crisis
- Love is telling her she's beautiful without her makeup
- Love is helping him overcome his shyness
- Love is a dedication
- Love is all about communication
- Love is saving on the budget by making your own
Need I go on?
In this new age of 'linking' and with men's (or should I say boys) weird and premeditated ways of looking at the 'initiation of relationships', where does 'real love' stand?
Is it no longer important? or do women simply have to wait for the men of their generation to mature (later on in life than expected). And with women's naivety and often powerless voice in correcting such warped mindsets (btw the warped mindsets can actually be a thesis on mental health issues in relationships), I ask!!! What do women do whilst they wait for their man to turn from frog to prince?
Wait, wait, wait....hold on a second I know what women do, we either become baby momma's, career chasers or lesbians, that's what we do and in return we leave no room for foolishness....
... or the MATURE MAN that finally lets go of the Barbershop 'School of Relationships' mindset and enrolls into the world of 'normal' 'balanced' and 'healthy' thought processes.
It's a tricky situation and definitely one to talk about with the young people in our families. We call this food...no school for thought.
xxx take care out there (because sometimes it feels like we are at war.. with dumb ways of thinking in our community)
With Love...Elen B x
I walk with a note pad because typing in my phone does not compare to writing my thoughts, insights and epiphany's in ink.