5 Things That Men Need to Learn: Blog / by Shanelle Gabriel

Dear handsome, driven, perfect-in-every-way-except-one Brotha,

Get over it...

This is the message I want to tell the last three guys I dated. Each had different reasons, but they all led me to the same conclusion: a lot of guys need to man-up and mature when it comes to relationships. I'm not saying get over your drama so you can be with me. That would be petty of me...besides, all that drama left a bad taste in my mouth and now I don't want you. I just see such greatness in each of you; if you could only learn these 5 things:

1) Being in a relationship doesn't mean you're on lockdown:
Unless you decide to date the crazy White chick from Obsessed, in most cases, your manhood won't automatically combust the moment you decide to settle down with wifey. You're not losing a part of yourself; it's called maturing.

2) You are not the only one risking being hurt:
I know it's hard to think outside of your own feelings and experiences. I know Kerry-Ann from the 3rd grade really broke your heart when she quit you for James during recess. Of course you NEVER want to feel that way again. How about more recently: you had your heart handed to you on a platter by a woman who didn't deserve you in the first place. She couldn't see how wonderful and devoted you were to her, and she took you for granted. She was the first woman you opened up to, your first love...blah blah blah. Face it, sweety, we've all been there. Women are prepped to have a broken heart from the time they can read a 160-page Sweet Valley High novel. We're told to expect men to only want us for our bodies, to reject our minds, and to not expect real commitment. Still we love. We get hurt, too. I'm sorry you had to go through it, but the game of love is high risk, high reward. There's no room for self-pity or wallowing in your wounds. You've gotten over hurt in the past; you can get over it now. Man-up...Eat some cookie dough ice cream, call the guys up, have a good cry, then move on to the next deserving person. Hey, it works for us women.

3) You don't have to wait till you've "Made It" to date someone seriously:
Many men think that every goal needs to be reached and set before they can commit to a woman. There are many of us who love the idea of holding their man down as he pursues his (realistic) passion. One guy told me, "I want to wait till I can provide for my woman." I asked him, "Provide what? I pay my own bills, I have a job, and a place to live. What are you supposed to provide for me?" Silence. We can talk about "providing" when we start talking about moving in together and marriage. Even then, we both would be contributing to the household. Any smart woman would invest in a man who may be busy now but is working for a better future for themselves (which later would mean the two of you). If she tells you to choose between your career and her, she's not the one. Maybe she's not doing enough with her own life & career to understand what it means to have a vision. Find a woman with her own goals and a lil loyalty, and you'll be the ultimate power couple. Think Barack and Michelle minus FOX News. 

4) Karma exists but don't will it to happen:
So you were a ho in college, maybe even last year. Sadly, us women are taught to expect our men to have gone thru that phase. We're over it, and we (want to) believe that that's not who you are now. Still, you're paranoid it's gonna bite you in the butt eventually. "She MUST be cheating on me cause that's what I would've done." Stop letting your insecurities get the best of you or lack of self-trust cause you to push the woman that loves you away.

5) You can't expect me to treat you like my man if you aren't my man:
Jay-Z tried to pull that card on "Best of Me Remix"-

"That's high school, making me chase you around for weeks...have an affair, act like an adult for once."

Nah, Hov. If you want it then you need to put a ring on it. In general, I'm not obligated to satisfy any desire or make any major sacrifices for someone who hasn't shown me that they're going to be around longer than Mya's career. Who I am minus the physical should be enough to determine if a commitment could happen in the future. I don't need to play "wife" for you to decide if you want to wife me up. That leads feelings of being led on and foul play when after 5 months you say, "Eh, it was fun, but I think I'm gonna play house somewhere else." Ask any cook, sampling usually leaves you without an appetite.