I follow a gentleman on Facebook. He is a lovely writer, and I have been inspired on more than one occasion by his thoughts and expression of love for his family. Today was no different. He wrote a well-meaning piece about settling. For me, it was like a cautionary tale to women: Don’t let every day blessings pass you by only to look back and realize you could have had it all. This is a beautiful sentiment, but is it really the truth? I kept asking myself does he really know what it takes for a woman to get to the point where she says I will not accept less than I deserve. Does he know the magnitude of what she may have endured already? Does he understand what life lessons have taught her about accepting less? Can he imagine what she’d been through, before she reached those words and found the courage to say I deserve better. Will there ever be a time when the world respects what a woman says she needs? Many of us have loved without caution, with hope, without judgement, with the belief that something beautiful can be born if we just love with all that we are and give our best. We have been in relationships where we have supported the vision of Black love, community, and family only to be left, lied to, and forced to begin again and again with less than we had before.
I need someone to speak openly about the dangers of settling. Many of us have had to learn the hard way. We elected experience over wisdom, because of this reoccurring proverb that says women have to sacrifice themselves in order to experience and sustain love. We are conditioned to accept the unthinkable all under the guise of understanding or being down. At some point you get tired of laying down so someone else can stand on your back. There is danger in being receptive to less than you deserve.
The educated career woman is the new scape goat. Her expectations are too high. She wants a man to jump through hoops to gain her affection. She’s looking for a six pack, with six figures, driving a 640 class Mercedes. The truth that many men seem to escape is that the “educated career minded woman” can be submissive, loving, and open to building a life with a partner that’s willing to build with her. Yet, over time men teach these women that their education and career are the catalyst that give rise to their insecurity, fear, distance, and sometimes abuse. It can be bothersome and unsettling when the truth surfaces and he lashes out. It is hard to love a man that can’t love you back, because he feels by his own standards that he is not enough.
Let’s not evade the option of men that have been incarcerated. My opinion is that this is a personal choice. This is not a situation that comes without pros and cons. There are plenty of men that have gotten into trouble, and turned their lives around making significant strides in their communities and in their families. On the flip side…some of these jokers have girlfriends and wives that have held them down for YEARS, but he chooses to play the field when he gets out. Some of them are stuck at the ages that their incarceration began. “I know women who said they would never date or marry an ex felon…” Faith Harris Green gave an ex felon a second chance and he killed her four children. Society dragged her, said she was a stupid woman and a bad mother and that Black women need to make better choices. Is there a check list when deciding to date a man from prison? It feels like you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
To speak honestly, women are willing to accept less far more often than they are not. They have learned to quiet their intuition, to enter fruitless situations for the sake of operating in the norm of dysfunction, but I need some one to speak about the danger. Someone please tell these women that they can be happy and healthy, but loving some one who is not can compromise your overall well-being. Tell her that once she begins to settle in one area of her life, she will settle in others and it is not easy to stop. Let them know that when they deny what they know to be truth, she diminishes the trust she has in herself (and God), which will impact her ability to make choices. Settling sows seeds of regret. Who she is and who she is meant to be will be deterred. TELL HER, that her spirit will be restless the longer she stays on a course not meant for her. Tell them that just because you decided to settle does not mean he will. There are no guarantees with settling. Let her know that accepting less than you deserve is akin to a Kevorkian experience; she will be participating in her own demise, but this is more of an emotional and spiritual suffocation that smothers what she needs to be herself. WARN HER OF THE DANGERS. Then look into the eyes of a woman you love and tell her to accept less than she deserves. Say it out loud…I love you, but I want you to accept less then you deserve…settle…
TC Mattison ~ Single And Settling (single is the new black)