Dismantling the Fantasies

I've been a fan of Disney movies ever since I could remember. I’m particularly fond of the princesses as I’m sure a lot of women are. They’re beautiful, charming and always get their happily ever afters. As a child, I believed all of it. I ate up the notion of 90-minute romances for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even now, when I’m by myself, I can’t resist the urge to pour a glass of wine and watch a good romantic comedy.

When I started dating, I discovered it was nothing like the movies. At first it was awkward to communicate with the opposite sex, then it just became impossible. I would blame social media for driving a wedge between men and women; especially men and women of color, but historically, I don’t think we’ve ever been on the same page.

My previous relationships failed in part because I spent my life building up all of these expectations based on misinformation. In addition to fairytales just being, “tales”, men are also just not raised to be husbands, much less someone’s “Prince Charming.” As Jada and Will beautifully stated on Red Table Talk: every one comes into relationships with their own sets of trauma, but I sincerely believe our people and our families can make it through anything (just look at slavery). The lessons our women can take from romantic comedies and Disney movies however, is this - men only become Prince Charming for one single woman.

He will have to work for this woman, be challenged by this woman and be loved by this woman from near and far. He will have to make the choice on his own, without force or manipulation that this is the woman he wants to be committed to for the rest of his life. Then and only then, will he become open-minded and vulnerable enough to lay aside his own expectations, pride and trauma to start to become the man God intended for him to be. Until then, there is nothing you can do to make him “grow up” or be ready to be the man you deserve; that’s between him and God. Your job is to become the version of you, God intended you to be.

As anti-feminist as it may sound, it is not your job to chase after a man. It is not written anywhere that a woman should act like a wife to a man she isn’t married to. My advice from experience would be to stop preparing someone else’s husband; there’s a reason God calls us to keep our cookie on lock until marriage. The one worth your time, energy, love and “ride-or-die” spirit will profess his love and commit to serving God and showing up for you, don’t settle for anything less.

Put the work in by doing things you like to do and by making yourself interesting. If a man wants “space”, give it to him, but don’t wait on him when he goes. Once he gets himself together and only IF you feel good about where you are, where he is and only, IF you’re still available, would I encourage you to entertain the conversation but not a minute before. Know your worth Baby Girl; if this was the way of our ancestors who have been married 30+ years, why wouldn’t it be good enough for you.

BYOB

Raven Carey-James