Good Men Still Exist

I feel as though this needs to be reiterated time and time again. There are still good women out there also, but that's another article for another day. 

As an African American female interacting on social media, watching and listening to today's music, and breaking bread with my fellow millennials, it's hard to believe that good men still exist in today's society. Saying the term "good men" is pretty broad, so let me break it down in the terms I am speaking of relative to my thoughts and this article.

Although "good men" casts a wide net in terms of race, culture, and beliefs, I am narrowing it down to black men. It's a constant topic of conversation between females on every platform. I believe I'm hitting it close in my description of what a good man is, so ladies correct me if i'm wrong and feel free to add. A good man is someone who sees value within himself and wants a woman to mirror that. Someone who believes in commitment and is strong and confident in what he needs from his woman in order to help the relationship grow. Someone who is honest, strong, dependable, and mature. Everyone makes mistakes, it's how you handle the responsibility that separates a boy from a man. The problem with this description is that women feel it sounds good in theory, but ceases to exist in the black community.

There are many reasons why there seems to be a disconnect in the belief of the existence of good black men. Sometimes, as a woman, we require too much of a man; our expectations of him are higher than the standards we have yet to achieve ourselves. Sometimes the best things in life require patience. As a woman we are constantly reminded that our biological clock is ticking away and that we are limited in time and age to conceive. Culturally, we are silently castrated if you reach a certain age without a man on your arm. With constant internal and external pressures, we tend to settle permanently for partners that were made to only be temporary. This  helps perpetuate anger towards men in our daughters, nieces, grand-daughters, etc. towards men. No matter what screen your eyes fall on, women are striving to be clones of Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, or any other silicone female who black men seem to be drooling over. In an effort to regain the affection black women feel neglected of, they too are seeking silicone body parts and skin bleaching in the hopes of attracting a mate who will be good to them and stay. It's a sad world for a little girl to grow up in.

But I refuse to believe that good black men don't exist. Even the ones who seem to enjoy constantly playing with emotions can be good men who do what they want to do because a woman allows it. I know men who are trustworthy, honest, and are seeking the same in a female. As humans, we all have our hang ups, so compromise is a big part of the ball game. What are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to put up with? What are you seeking in a man that can be identified as a need and not a want? Are we taking the time to see what's beyond the surface? Are we passing along the belief that there are no good men, so every man is seen as a glass half empty? Are you seeking a godly man in a club?

People have the potential to be who they desire to be. If you, as a man, feel you are or could be a good man, then be that and set the example for friends and future generations. As a woman, know what you are bringing to the table and refuse to settle for anything less than what you feel you deserve, while keeping an open mind to who God may be bringing into your life. It's important that we pay attention to what society is leading us to believe about black men and black women and our relationships with another. Keep the hope alive.


Where Can One Find Peace?

Earlier in the day, I wrote a status asking my real and ghost friends one simple question; "Where Can One Find Peace?"

After reading countless Facebook statuses of anger and frustration due and projected positive words with the hope that they will confirm happiness, it made me realize we were all looking for the same thing. To be at peace is to be happy, grateful, content despite chaos, etc. But how many of us really have that? How do we get to this majestic place in our minds and hearts? What can calm the stormy sea of life we are all roughing through?

The answers I received to my Facebook question ranged from a place (Jamaica), to speaking with God in a quiet moment or believing in what God says in the Bible about finding peace in Him. To me, the answers seemed to give a destination, which makes sense seeing that I asked "where" peace can be found. But how? How does one find peace? Is the journey to peace more important than the destination of peace?

I wish I had the answers, but I am unsure myself. We are all individuals, dealing with separate issues. This requires different methods of finding peace. Sometimes, we stay stagnant because we may not believe that there is a place of peace for us. However, I do know one thing to be true. In order to find peace for oneself, you ultimately have to look within.  It's a crutch that admittedly, many of us avoid doing. What is causing the disruption in your life? Why are you sad? Angry? Hurt? Frustrated? Yes, in relation to being human, we may be resistant to change, therefore turning a blind eye to what needs to be changed to avoid the emotions that come with it.  Whatever the reason, addressing what is happening to yourself within, will help you find the peace you are looking for externally. 

Prayer helps, because you are communing with God about how you are feeling. Meditation, exercise, there are different solutions to finding what you desire. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer to finding peace. Only hope and suggestions.

What do you do to find your peace?

Why You're Wrong If You're Not Selfish

Growing up in the Nigerian culture (and as I have repeated in other articles), you are constantly pressed with the idea that you should always do good in life. Doing good in life is heavily laced with the principle and ideology of giving alms; in other words, helping people whenever you possibly can with whatever you can give. In order to maintain my faith and generally wanting to be a good person, I would constantly have the words bubble floating in my conscience, popping themselves in bursts of reminders when people came to me for help. To me, this was my sanctifying forgiveness in the world of sin that I regularly partake in. As I crawled older, I lost myself in a world of giving, never learning to receive gracefully, if at all.

Let me explain.

When you are pushed to continue giving according to your religious, cultural, and familial beliefs, you are constantly rejecting the urge to protect "self." Being selfish is kindly placed on the back burner in a world of wanted need from those around you. After years of attempting to submit my all to those I loved, I felt the emptiness one encounters when they realize they are the only one left in a dark room with a struggling flicker-flame in a lamp; I knew for sure that I barely had any light to give to myself. 

Yes, Giving to others is commendable, attractive, and it feels damn good. But when you are giving you're all, the results are worse than not having anything to leave for yourself. You become conscious of the fact that you have become a stranger to yourself.

What color do you truly like? What do you truly believe in? Who are you? Paying attention to others needs leaves you bereft of your own wants and desires.

It's important to realize that you are also someone who needs attention and nurturing. Taking the time to be somewhat selfish allows you to understand yourself. You are able to heal from fresh and past hurts, and have direction towards the future. Sometimes you have to say no. At times, you may need to shut your phone off, and just chill by yourself. Attempt experiences that will help you learn more of who you are as a person, beyond giving alms. Find and focus on what makes you happy, and live that! It goes without saying that the most important human in your life should be you; take care of self. Who else will know your wants, needs, and desires better than you? How else can you pour from an empty cup? It's okay to give to yourself, because you may be the one in need of whatever support you are looking for. Focus on you when you need the time to do so, so that your foundation is solid for whomever may come along to lean on it. 

It may be wrong to be selfish, but it's even worse to deprive yourself of the same care you use to tend to everyone else. 

Zaddy vs. Daddy

It isn't even summer yet, but there is plenty of boo-loving in the air! I'm here for all the catcalls and eye checks men are receiving from women who are confident to know what they want! Before the sun truly comes out to play, we all need to sit down, drink this tea, and discuss a topic that's been laying on my spirit after many conversations.

Zaddy vs. Daddy

Ladies! *insert shadow shouting emoji here* Let's discuss!

I've had conversations with both men and women about the meanings and differences between "Zaddy" and "Daddy" and when they apply. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you as a woman what they usually mean and why there needs to be a difference.

I think it would be best to begin with Zaddy. Zaddy is equivalent to "bae," only with a stronger sexual distinction. Zaddy is who you see when he's out in these streets with a fresh cut and some mean gray sweats on. Zaddy is SEXY. Sexy in a way that every female knows she would go just a little harder in the bed if he's there. The attraction is real and perhaps overwhelming if you're trying to keep it kosher. Zaddy is that dude that all your friends know about. He could be the friend that you wish was more. The reason he is Zaddy is because there are things about him that you may not have found attractive in other men, but he wears it exceptionally well. People. Most of all. Zaddy is potential. 

Ladies, I can hear the hand claps going off around the room. Nothing turns a woman on more than potential in a man. Zaddy's potential could be his ambition in his career, the potential prowess in between the sheets, what his beliefs are; it really depends on what your personal tastes are. Sometimes Zaddy can help you figure out what those are without you even realizing it. You can have more than one Zaddy, and they're the best to flirt with.

Daddy. And no, this does not refer to male who assisted in creating you or raising you.

I've found that Daddy is more relative to two different situations: someone who is putting it down in the bedroom on all levels, or your partner in a relationship that nurtures that relationship. Daddy in the bedroom is a great lover. He learns your body, and takes time in giving it pleasure. He could be one of the best lovers you've ever had, and satisfaction is a guarantee when you link up. But don't get it twisted, that name must be earned in the bedroom. Some of you men think you can tell a woman to call you Daddy and that's all it takes. If you want the title, work for it.

Daddy takes care of home. He makes sure his affairs are in order, that his partner is good, and that they are building a strong foundation. Daddy is what women call a "a real man," you know, the ones we swear don't exist. He could even be the one if things work out.

The main lesson here is to realize that there is a difference. A lot of the difference is based on the potential of who Zaddy is, and if he can blossom into Daddy with said proven potential. 

Be honest with these dudes out here, but most importantly be honest with yourself on if Zaddy or Daddy is what you need in your life!



5 Guys Every Woman Needs To Keep Around

So in light of my argument that women and men can be friends, I've received responses from women about the type of men they have and keep as friends. After speaking with several women, I realized there is a pattern in the type of male friend that we have. From these conversations, I came up with five different guys every woman should have around them.

The Flirt

I know, I know. Some of you may be thinking that this treads on the friendship border into unknown territory, but it really doesn't have to! Sometimes it's great to have someone to flirt with. There is a mutual respect and understanding between him and you, that it doesn't need to be taken that far if both of you don't want it to. It's great to hear compliments and to give them with the physical appreciation lingering between you two. Who knows, maybe this friend is the one you'll end up with. They say it's better to be friends first right?

The Gay Bestie

It's 2017. If you don't have a gay best friend, then you're missing out! I LOVE my gay friends! They give the best dating advice, help you pick outfits, and even better, they're blunt, just like I like them! If you find a loyal friend, they will defend you to the end. You get to avoid all the female drama that can be overwhelming and unnecessary, while vibing with someone's energy you truly enjoy. They give the best compliments too!

The Big Brother

It's nice knowing that you have someone who loves you and is looking out for you. As a woman, yes, we can defend ourselves and handle our business, but to know you have a "big brother" just feels more settling. They also give great advice and can give you insight on the guy you're thinking of dealing with. You can vent to him, he can meet you for drinks, and ensure you get home safe without all the fuss of a typical "hook-up." These Big Brother types can learn how to treat a lady from the advice you give them. This relationship is beneficial to you both!

Mr. Fix-It

I have no clue how to put a bookshelf together. Nor do I know how to handle the tools that could help me to complete the task. This is where Mr. Fix-It comes in-the guy you always call to help you put up paintings, pick up heavy objects, and just do general labor that you need help with. What makes this guy interesting, is how happy he is to help! It's as if he enjoys that "superman" complex in helping a woman in need. I've seen men call their other friends together and tackle projects for a female. I find it hilarious, but also comforting that there is still chivalry, in some aspect, alive. 

The Party Guy

We all know that one guy who is at every FETE! He knows about every party, he was/is a party promoter, or just knows enough of them from all the parties he's gone to. I don't care what kind of female you are; You. Need. This. Man. In. Your. Life. (insert black girl hand clap between each word.) These are the ones who lift your spirit, who encourage you to get out of whatever funk you're in, and you are guaranteed to have a good time without feeling the pressure of hooking up with him. They know how to make you laugh, and you get to relax!

Now I know some male friends can take on several roles between these 5 descriptions. But it is worth it to fill every needed spot in your life with this kind of support! Try it and tell me I'm wrong!

Boy/Friend : Girl/Friend

It's the old age question. Can men and women be friends without being sexually attracted to each other?

I mean, serious friendship. No flirting, no sex; just a mutual respect for one another.

I've had this conversation with people ranging from different ages, male and female, and the answers seem to be relative depending on your sex. What I've found is that most men believe that it is impossible. Men and women cannot be friends without sexual attraction (to the point of acting on the attraction.) In fact, most men believe that if a woman has a male best friend, who is not gay, she either slept with him at some point or she wants to sleep with him. Based on the reactions I've seen, having a male best friend or male friends is a sore spot. Most men may feel insecure about themselves or their partners if she needs other testosterone around her. 

Women tend to feel that it's easy to be friends with a man without having to lay in bed with him. It's why we have such a strong skill in gently placing men we aren't attracted to in the dreaded "friend zone." Women who are selective tend to take their time in deciding who to have a situationship or a relationship with. You can't pressure them into sex, and trying to come on too strong can be a turn-off. I prefer to have male friends at times, just to be able to give a male perspective on situations where I may need advice.  Men also seem to require less upkeep when it comes to maintaining constant communication, and carry less drama. Unfortunately, if you are woman known to have male friends, the stigma of being a hoe is attached to you, without anyone even knowing what kind of relationship you carry with these men.  

Look. I believe men and women can be friends and mutually not cross that line. "Lovers and Friends" does not have to apply to every male/female friendship. But keep in mind what kind of woman you are dating. Sometimes the situation is flipped, and she really is sleeping with her friend(s). It's on you to decide what level of respect you are giving and receiving in a relationship. Trust should be the foundation. You should be able to meet her friends, both male and female, without wondering which ones she's slept with. This is why it is important to be open and honest with your partner in every situation. It's worse to hear it from outside the relationship.

Either way! Friends! How many of us have them?!