Real Talk w/Terry (formerly Relationships-411)

Bridging the Extrovert-Introvert Gap

By: Lisa Betz

My son and his girlfriend have worked through many differences: ethnic, cultural, and geographic, among others. But the one that seems to challenge them the most is their very different temperaments. She is extroverted. He is introverted.

As an introvert myself, I understand my son’s tendencies, but to his extroverted girlfriend, he can seem insensitive and frustrating. What causes such misunderstandings? The fact that introverts and extroverts come into the relationship with different basic needs, leading to different expectations. Expectations their partner may not understand. At all.

Understanding our different energy requirements

I believe grasping the energy issue may be the number-one key to improving introvert-extrovert relationships. An introvert expends energy while relating to people and needs solitude to recharge. Extroverts are the opposite. They need people-time in order to gain energy. Read more…

Do Strong Women Intimidate Men?

I recently moderated a male panel which consisted of single, very eligible bachelors and the question or old adage came up, “do strong women intimidate men?” Inter-racial couple-2

Several women felt like they were having a hard time connecting with or simply meeting men who were on their level economically, socially and culturally. One of the male panel members brought up an interesting point, in summation, he stated that the “strong ‘black’ woman” persona was overrated and in many situations was a façade or cover-up for what really is insecurity. Your thoughts?

Be on the look-out for the full male panel discussion which will post in a couple of weeks on Relationships-411. Or Catch the Male Panel episode on Real Talk w/ Terry, Comcast 15 at 5:00 p.m. Sunday evenings in the Bay Area.

The Sad State of Relationships

WeddingBandsThe past several days have been interesting as it relates to relationships. I have been tagged to and asked for my opinion on the popular “fake boy/girlfriend app”, the 40-year old woman who married herself, and the text message relationship trend. Every time I hear about something different, outlandish or odd, I think, “well that’s about as far as it goes” then I hear about something else that pushes the envelope. I always say that everything is not for everybody and variety is nice. However, with the recent trends in relationships, I honestly don’t know where we as a society are going. Read more…

Should More Black Women Try Something New?

“Stop Struggling with Shantionique…”

Inter-racial couple

I recently saw this picture posted on Facebook that caused a lot of stir and some interesting dialogue across the Internet. Most all of the women who commented about the picture expressed their disdain and were highly offended. The guys who responded had varying opinions, some felt like the picture was either an exaggeration or not purely accurate and others totally agreed with the sentiment.

First off, I personally think the picture is shallow, immature, and superficial. It is a simple statement that in my opinion is rooted in self-hate. True love has no color and those who are mature in their thinking tend to be attracted to someone who shares the same interest as they do, however, to dismiss a person of the same race simply because of their race is shameful.

Inter-racial couple-2

Aside from my personal feelings and motivated by this image, I pose the question, why don’t more black women cross over and date men of other races? This question reminds me of the movie “Something New” where a black socialite falls in love with a white man. Initially she is not attracted to him and attempts to go along with a plan to set her up with a more suitable companion who is also black. In short, the black man who she dreamed of having and thought she wanted sparked absolutely no romantic interest in her; and ironically the white man who she initially was not interested in, she soon realized she was actually attracted to.

The lesson in this is that sometimes we think we know what we want – we get it, and soon realize that it does absolutely nothing for us. On the other hand, trying something new and doing something different may just surprise you.

college students_2

What are your thoughts, why don’t more black women date and marry outside of their race?

 

Is There Such a Thing as Marrying Down?

During a blog talk panel that I recently participated in the question was posed, “is there such a thing as marrying down?” [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/intheknow/2014/02/06/black-love-the-problems-we-face-finding-it-and-keeping-it] My answer was, “it depends on the person and what their definition of marrying down is.” For some people, marrying down might mean that they are in a white collar career and marry someone who is a blue collar worker; or for others this could mean, they attended an Ivy League institution and their partner attended a state university. I shared my own experience of when I was in my twenties, had just received my Bachelor’s degree and was having a difficult time finding someone who I felt was a compatible dating choice. My Pastor at the time, shared with and enlightened me that there was nothing wrong with me dating someone who may be a blue collar worker that did not have a degree if they were a hard working, driven individual that was equally yoked with me in other ways, primarily spiritually. I took his advice to heart and grew by leaps and bounds that day.

Career Woman_4 blue collar worker

Research shows that women are entering and graduating from college at a much faster pace than their male counterparts; especially among Hispanics and Blacks. An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center shows in 1994, 63% of high school female graduates and 61% of high school male graduates were enrolled in college in the fall following their graduation. In 2012, the percentage of female high school graduates enrolled in college right after high school had increased to 71%, but remained unchanged at 61% for males. The Hispanic community saw a similar pattern; in 1994 of both male and female graduates about half enrolled in college in the fall; and in 2012, enrollment in college increased for both Hispanic men and women, but the female enrollment increased by 13% over males. The percentages for Black high school graduates in 1994 showed that 56% of male graduates and 48% of black female graduates enrolled in college right after high school graduation; however in 2012, enrollment for black males in college right after graduation was 57% and 69% for black females; black females saw a 12% increase over black males. There is a concrete trend of more females entering college right after high school graduation than males. For full analysis click: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/06/womens-college-enrollment-gains-leave-men-behind/ Has this pattern caused women to consider marrying down?

As we age and marriage is being considered, the whole marrying down phenomenon is a bit more complicated. Whether or not the other person has the same level of education may not be as important as if we have commonalities and are compatible. More than anything, I believe not just women, but men desire to marry someone they enjoy being around and enjoy doing things with; and I doubt if level of education or lack of will preempt this.

What are your thoughts is there such a thing as marrying down?

 

HOW MANY MORE FROGS TO PRINCE CHARMING?!

OR, are you just too darn picky?…

I recently participated in a blog talk show panel, entitled “Black Love: The Problem We Have Finding It and Keeping It” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/intheknow/2014/02/06/black-love-the-problems-we-face-finding-it-and-keeping-it. Follow the link for the full panel discussion.

We discussed several issues surrounding single black professional women and the issue most have with finding someone who is equally yoked. I realize this issue has no color, but it seems as though black professional women seem to have a harder time finding a mate than their counterparts of a different race and/or nationality.

A point was made that overall there are less people getting married and this issue appears to be magnified in the black community; where there is an obvious decline in black love and black marriage. The panel was presented with 3 primary issues: 1) the marriage pool of quality black men interested in black women, 2) the economically independent black women who have placed themselves out of the market and 3) the school theory that as black women climb higher in their education, the pool of black men thins out because there are more black women in college than black men. I personally back the economically independent women theory that some women who have attained a certain level of education and success in their career have become too picky in what they desire in a man. I strongly believe in a woman having standards when it comes to what type of man she desires, however, I do believe that some things are mere wants and not necessarily must-haves in a man. I devote a chapter in my book, No Longer a Bridesmaid! to “The Infamous List” that single women have and go into detail about wants and needs versus must-haves.

The List Chapter image

What are your thoughts?

 

Why Buy the Cow When You Get the Milk Free?!

A couple of months ago I was watching a reality show where one of the cast mates revealed that after being in a long term relationship for over 10 years that she and her companion finally married only to get a divorce and go their separate ways after 2 years of marriage. One of the friends asked, “why did they wait so long to get married.” I don’t remember how she responded, because at that point the thought that flooded my mind was something my grandmother told me years ago about men, “why buy the cow, when you get the milk FREE?” Meaning, why would a man marry you if he is getting what he wants from you without any type of marriage commitment. Wow! I didn’t fully understand what she was saying until I was much older and found myself in one of those on again, then off again type of relationships with a man who had major problems committing.

Unhappy couple-2

I would often hear statements like, “I know I want to be with you, I’m just not ready for marriage” or “what’s wrong with what we have, why rush into marriage?” Sounds familiar? I’m sure I wasn’t the only single female who heard lines like this from a commitment phobic man. At some point like me, you get fed up with all the empty lines and are faced with a major decision, 1) do I stay the course and see if this man will marry me? Or 2) do I cut my losses now and move on with my life? For me, I chose the latter.

Time is precious and we can never regain wasted years where we stayed in a relationship far longer than we should have. A man knows early on if he has long or short term plans for you – he just may not communicate his intentions to you. Don’t be somebody’s in-between time and in the mean-time girlfriend that they are simply passing time with. You may just find that you wasted precious years giving away your goods to a man who is all of a sudden READY to marry, just not to you.

Happy Couple-3

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