ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Men vs. Women: The Fight to End Being Single in the Queen City
The Great Love Debate: Why is Everyone Still Single?
Friday night I found myself sitting in the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square fully prepared to suck my teeth, roll my eyes, and pretty much denounce every possible reason about how to fix this problem of being single. I was also very prepared for this to be like any other open forum where the men accuse the women of not “acting right” and putting their Steve Harvey or Tyrese hats on to explain how to fix it and get a man.
I was in for a shock. As an African American educated woman in her ..well the age isn’t that important, but that has been single for several years, I assumed that the non-dating issue was a big problem among black singles. Why just black singles? Well, that’s all I can speak on based on my own experiences, but my single pals (both men and women) and I all have the same issue—no one is going on dates anymore. Why? Well I hoped to find the answer at the Great Love Debate.
Our fearless leader for the evening was moderator Brian Howie, and the panelists included Dr. Laurie Berzack of Carolinas Matchmaker; Darshana Hawks, “Dr. Dar,” WCCB News Rising Dating Specialist and Relationship Success Expert; Jarvis Holliday, Journalist, Blogger, and Charlotte Social Expert, Brian Howie, renowned Women’s Coach and author of How to Find Love in 60 Seconds; Wendy DeFeudis, author and personal branding expert; Ellen Smoak, Relationship Expert, Media Personality, and author of Breakups are a Bitch; Dominique Clark, Matchmaker & Relationship Coach; and Bridgette Wright, Style and Confidence Expert and Editor-in-Chief of CharlotteSTYLE magazine.
A good mixture of single, married, relationship experts and matchmakers to give us a good dose of reality.
Imagine my shock walking into this forum, and seeing a crowd of people of all different ethnicities among both the men and the women. Many were candid in their responses about the struggles they have had dating in Charlotte versus dating in other cities, and in some cases countries. One common issue seemed to be the fact that the men give up easily and have a fear of rejection. While the men claim they did not want a woman asking them out, they seemed to not really be able to explain why they don’t take the initiative to actively pursue a woman. On the flip side of that, I noticed that no one wanted to discuss the fact that women more often than not these days are the aggressive hunter that goes after her prey hoping to trap him into being more than just a jump-off but if they can’t reel in an engagement ring, then they settle for being whatever the man will have them as, even if it means being the side chick all for the sake of being able to say they aren‘t lonely and they have someone. Meanwhile, the men are still trying to figure out how to read a woman’s mind to determine if she’s interested.
I love making lists so here’s a quick recap of what I took away from the event :
1. Put the phone down and get off the couch. You can’t possibly meet THE ONE if you keep hiding behind text messages, keyboards, and cuddling on your couch with a boo named Netflix. You have to get out of the house and be sociable.
2. Women want to be pursued, not chased. Apparently, men don’t know the definition of that shocking word pursue, because one non-African American male audience member stood up to ask how you pursue someone. *blink* I think that alone is a sign that this is a problem that spans across ALL cultural lines.
3. Throw away the checklist. Women have checklists, and men don’t. I beg to differ, a lot of the men I know have lists that include wanting a woman with a big booty, little waist, and big boobs, but hey, a list is a list right?
4. No one is a mind reader. Don’t ASSume, because we all know what happens when you do that. So if you have questions, just ask. We should all be well past the age of playing the dating games, but for those that aren’t, just how long are you going to play them? Don’t be that girl or guy still in the club at 60 trying to find you a PYT.
5. Communicate. If you are having fun on a date, say it and if you want to go out again, say it. I wonder if it’s tacky to say “listen mofo you are twerk team dancing on my nerves so let’s just end this date right now, you don’t call me, and I certainly won’t call you ..have a good night?” Maybe that’s overkill but hey, sometimes it’s like that.
Ultimately, I walked away from this Great Love Debate with this, it’s not just one particular group that is having it rough navigating these dating waters, it’s everybody. We all need to take a woo-sah, breath, shake it off, and just have fun. All of these rules and regulations just to date aren’t really getting us anywhere but keeping score of who called who first, who pays for the date, who should text first, who should pursue, trying to figure out after how many dates you should have sex. Instead, we should all know who we are inside and out, learn what makes us happy and we’ll figure out what we need to compliment who we are.
As for the answer to why everyone is still single; who knows? In the process of getting to know yourself, and going out to meet new people, you just might stumble upon the right one.
Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as SoulTrain.com, Charlotte Vibe, Creative Loafing, Mosaic Magazine Charlotte, or her own websites, www.themofochronicles.com and www.conversationswithmeik.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @mofochronicles.