Home Advice Right vs Wrong: Black, White, and How We Poorly Assess Our Failed Relationships

Right vs Wrong: Black, White, and How We Poorly Assess Our Failed Relationships

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Admin Notes: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

If you’re in the New York area this Valentine’s Day you should come out to The Bachelor Party, a Valentine’s Day mixer at Gild Hall in Manhattan.

If you came here expecting a Valentine’s Day post, I suggest you check out Streetz Valentine’s Day Advice or you can read my post over on BadOnlineDates.com, A Man’s POV: How it Makes Me Feel When… She Expects a Romantic Valentine’s Day. This concludes the extent of my Valentine’s Day pandering.

It's not that women are complex but relatively speaking...

A number of women have criticized myself and other male bloggers for not taking men to task more often on this site and abroad. These criticisms are not without merit, because generally speaking, they are correct. I hope to use today to explain why this phenomenon may occur. As a commenter on this website said before (paraphrasing), men know how to be men; women know how to date men.

Streetz already discussed the fact that A Man’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter to Women, so I won’t rehash that subject. It is difficult for me to “challenge” men on dating when I really have no idea how to date men, pause. I’m serious.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates

In other words, it is easier for me to advise women on the type of men you should avoid, especially since I’ve been that man before, than it is for me to tell men how to act. Isn’t that his father’s job? Further, all I really have to go on is the one-sided and undoubtedly biased accusations of women who are frustrated by the actions of particular men when there are three-sides to every story: his, hers, and the truth. Granted, many of these men’s actions should legitimately frustrate women. Ironically, the simplest solution involves leaving that particular man and finding a man more aligned with what you claim you desire. However, most women don’t want to leave. They want to know how to make the man they like/Love act like the man they want. This is ridiculous but it explains a lot.

Many misunderstandings arise because men and women date differently. Men tend to find a woman they want to be with and they accept her as she is (in fact, they hope she doesn’t change); whereas, some women seem content to find a man they can see themselves with and then focus on making him into the man she actually wants. Instead of making things easier and finding a man that is already the man you want, it seems you prefer to find the man that could be the man you want after you get through changing him. This may be partially attributed to the fact that when dating men do the majority of the approaching.

A lot of the contention between men and women in regards to discussions on relationships is the fact that both waste energy focusing on who is right and who is wrong. This flawed approach attempts to simplify relationships to mere black and white analysis, whereby one party is clearly always wrong and one party is always right; therefore, one party is always the victim of the other. This is stupid.

Unless you believe successful relationships are driven by one partner; inversely, in failure, there will never be one partner who is completely without fault. Too often we award ourselves too much personal credit for successful relationships and assign too much blame to others for failed relationships. In actuality, when a relationship ends no one partner is completely wrong or completely right. Even if that were true – and it isn’t – what would it matter if you never understand or care to understand why they acted wrongly or rightly towards you?

Therefore, when I am explaining why men act a certain way – selfish, inconsiderate, or otherwise – I am not excusing their actions. This seems to be a huge misunderstanding on the part of a large number of readers. I am not excusing the action, I am attempting to explain why I believe the action occurred, the motivation behind the action and the (possibly flawed) justification the man may have used (or will use) to explain his actions. In the end, perhaps you can use this to have a better understanding and strategy for avoiding or finding a man like him again. On the flip side, if you continue to entertain unqualified applicants, it won’t matter what I tell you or him.

The majority of protests come from women and with good reason. Some women look at posts and seem to say to themselves, “I would not act that way, so since I would not act that way, acting that way is clearly wrong.” You are correctly incorrect. Sites like this would not exists if men and women thought exactly the same way. It is in the chasm between black and white where the grey-areas cause huge divides between men and women’s views and opinions. For me to assume a man/woman randomly wronged you without provocation or justification would mean I would have to assume: 1) you’re perfect or 2) they’re evil. I sincerely doubt either is true.

Specific to dating, I am never out to make excuses for men because that would imply I believe men share no fault. Of course, if you – man or woman – believe you have no influence on what happens to you as a result of the actions of others be it through your actions, your acceptance, or your complacency, then I will disagree 11 times out of 10, because while it may not be your fault, it is clearly your problem. Lastly, sometimes it’s no one’s fault because no one did anything wrong. Sometimes sh*t just doesn’t work out because sh*t just wasn’t mean to be, the end.

Regardless, I am an advocate for personal accountability. We all know people who are convinced their Xs, The Man, The World and The Illuminati are all simultaneously co-conspiring against them and them alone, which is fine and their right but that is not a philosophy I can support. Telling yourself, “Well men/women do it, too” may make you feel better and sleep easier at night but such a simplistic ‘eye for an eye’ approach to life will only leave us all blind – as well as deaf and dumb. At minimum, maybe we should figure out how to keep history from repeating itself, which would mean focusing our remaining energies on understanding why an undesirable event occurred and how we can prevent it from happening again. Admittedly, this is far more difficult than simply blaming everyone else for our problems but like so many other decisions in life, the choice is yours.

Comment(40)

  1. " Men tend to find a woman they want to be with and they accept her as she is; whereas, women find a man they can see themselves with and then focus on making him into the man she wants."
    I never thought this was me…but I'm finding out more and more, that I do "settle" more than my male counterparts.
    I'm going out on a limb and blaming R&B music for this flaw. Listening to R&B you hear about keeping, holding on, being desperate for a man (any man). Where as Rap and Hip-Hop is all about leaving and find another (5 letter expletive).
    OK I'm joking, I'll raise my hand an take responsibility. I like this post, and just about any post that demands self reflection. Good job!
    My recent post Fool for you

    1. You're right! This post is all about self reflection. I think you made a great point when it comes to the different viewpoints in those two genres of music. They are both relaying two entirely different messages. The wild thing is that most people aren't even aware of it…or of the effects it may have.
      My recent post Embracing Who You TRULY Are

    1. I feel like men are taught that they should find the best of the best for them when they are looking for a woman. I feel like women are taught that while they should fine a good man that even a good man needs some work, has flaws is human. Therefore I feel some women take it to the extreme and think they can turn any potential man into the man they want/ upgrade instead of just cutting out the middle man and finding the man they want from the jump. ( again its not a great excuse but with time hopefully more women learn that when a man shows you who he is believe it either stay or go)

    2. My mom sat me down one say and said: your dad is a good guy but he's not perfect. He has things that I've had to fix but I love him. That's what you need in a man: a good heart that needs growth.
      Not sure if every mom has this talk with her daughters but it has impact. If women chose men like their fathers (knowingly, unknowingly) then they will try to find that good hearted man who is still in the process of growing up.
      Even more, I think its easier to accept and be with someone who's flawed because then you dont feel so encumbered by your own flaws.
      My recent post Welcome to the Jungle

    3. well as a woman, you can show a man his worth but add to it if it it authentic, no. If a man wanted to show me how to advance in a particular area that I am not utlizing to my fulliest potential, hell yeah I'd welcome to invitation to be upgraded. I wouldn't take it as though I am flawed because this has nothing to do with my worth, but the elevation of my attibutes.

  2. This is why critical analysis is a valued skill. People need to steer away from knee-jerk reactions and try to analyze and understand the intent of a post. Sometimes it's explicitly stated, but there will be glossing over poignant facts. Misunderstandings will happen, but some people seem intent on seeing everything through biased lenses that were coloured by unpleasant personal experiences. One can understand and see the reasoning behind certain actions without necessarily condoning them. It's one thing to disagree with an opinion, and quite another to discredit it altogether simply because it is contrary to one's beliefs regarding what should and shouldn't be.

    Accountability is severely lacking on all fronts, but it seems even more evident on women's end. Yes, we deserve respect and all that good stuff, but what message does it send when you settle for less? I can assure you that you are doing yourself no favours by rewarding negative behaviour, and that you are in fact reinforcing it. He is responsible for the negative behaviour in question, but you are not blameless if you choose to endure it. You are primarily responsible for your emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. Do not be upset when people point that out; it is a mere fact. As I've said before, it is easier for others to follow suit when you respect yourself by not entertaining any less than what you deserve.

    1. -_-… You didn't hear Dr. J when he said to chill with the mini-dissertations…

      Coming from one intellectual to another…

      Happy V-Day…

      1. It's really not my concern if a mere 10-15 sentences are too much for people to process. I don't get paid if anyone reads it, so I respond as I see fit.

        Happy Valentine's day.

    2. "it is easier for others to follow suit when you respect yourself by not entertaining any less than what you deserve." Well said Naija.

  3. Wisdom, I really enjoyed this post… I really really did… More than your prostitution post

    I believe in taking responsibility to the extreme… Even when it is not your fault… And it has accelerated my life tremendously… I am (almost) never stressed and/or never pressed…

    Other than that… Great post.

  4. I’m a huge advocate of taking responsibility. Which is why I never feel sorry for the women who whine and cry about being cheated on and such. Especially if the had broken up, then got back together with that same dude. It’s your fault you’re in this situation. You should’ve learned the first time he cheated on you. It’s like sticking your hand in the fire for the first time. You get burned. Okay, lesson learned. But if you stick your hand in the fire again expecting to get different results, don’t look for any sympathy when you get burned again.

    No matter how hard you try. Fire is going to be fire. It won’t change. YOU have to be the one to learn to stop sticking your hand in the f*cking fire. If your ex, Chester McCheaterson, was unfaithful the first time you dated, chances are nothing has changed. Move on. Stay away from the fire.

  5. "A number of women have criticized myself and other male bloggers for not taking men to task more often on this site and abroad. These criticisms are not without merit, because generally speaking, they are correct."

    This is just false at this site. Granted there are people who just refuse to read anything I write, I've always tried to maintain a 50/50 balance with posts that were either about female or male malfeasance. Even prior to my shift in subject areas that I discussed. The problem is, people do not read what does not apply to them. The other problem is at a very basic level, if something doesn't upset you or make you happy or have any effect on you, you're likely to never notice it ever happened.

    I'd challenge someone to prove me wrong on this, but since i've asked this several times and nobody cares to do anything but respond to the comment and say how they are "so sure," nothing's come out of it.

    As it pertains to me, despite what you hate or love about me, if you take a minute and think about it you know that Dr. J has some strong opinions about the way women and men act. I've never condoned any malfeasance or lacked the ability to hold both sides equally accountable. As I continue to say, the problem with all of this is that men are talking to men about women, and women are talking to women, and NO ONE is talking to each other in any productive manner…. hence why we are where we are. It's that simple.

  6. Great post. I think A lot of women would prosper of they looked at what part they could have played in the downfall of a relationship. Again just because you played apart doesn’t mean your a horrible person it could just mean you allowed a few things to happen that shouldn’t have been tolerated.

    I feel like theres 3 groups 1)ppl/ women that take no self responsibility 2) women that take all the responsibility hers and his and internalized the actions he’s done and lets it chip away at herself esteem and 3) women who understand the part the played , take responsibility , looks for solutions not to be in the same predicament and understands that while she played a part she can not control a mans actions and that what he done does not determine her value.

    1. Sidenote: Both sexes are actual lacking in the taking personal responsibility area people in general rather point fingers than take a good look in the mirror.

  7. You don’t like it? Leave. It’s so simple. And easy. If you dont quit that man as soon as he does something you dont like then you deserve it. Forgiveness, hope, belief that humans have control over their behavior and can change are all folly. Stupid, childish, weak. Everything is a deal breaker, or else you have no.srlf worth. You’re putting up with it so you don’t believe you deserve better. The man who will never hurt or disappoint you is waiting around the corner to ask you to marry him as soon as you dump the loser you’re with.

    Fairy tales are nice.

        1. the actual content I like how she used sarcasm to make a point as well. Naija you know say I be smarter than that lol nawao

  8. I grew up sorta running from home to home. Never really had either of my parents in my life the way a person would want them to be. I was a straight A student but I had really bad behavioral issues even up until I graduated high school (with a 4.5 GPA) and then I just got violent. Reckless. Majority of my years after high school were spent with violent groups of people and I couldn't even really go to college because I was so bored and confrontational with my professors (shout out to UCLA). So i just spent my time with my reckless, violent guy friends. Never dated or anything and that's not to say I didn't try to test the waters (and that's not say the first time I had weed and the first time I had alcohol I didnt get curious about the opposite sex) but I genuinely was just quiet and motherly around them.

    1. Helping them get dressed. Advising their relationships and how they should be with their females. Giving them advice on life in general. Needless to say when I met someone who wanted to take care of me I had to deal with those years of my life and the emotional toll. I regret them. I judge myself. I've experienced a lot. Death. Violence. A broken home. I held it in and blamed myself for it so it's hard for me to sit still and be like "I love you".

      I like the chart used in today's post because a man to me is someone who gets all that stuff for a female and needs a drink after the fact. Just on a personal level even if a male did all that for me and put it inside the house I picked out I would still likely feel way too, weathered, to be a woman about it.

  9. Good post, WIM….couldn't of said it better myself.

    This right here, though, needs to be read 50-11 more times by people:

    " I am not excusing the action, I am attempting to explain why I believe the action occurred, the motivation behind the action and the (possibly flawed) justification the man may have used (or will use) to explain his actions."

  10. I believe in taking personal responsibility. I also believe that people constantly shouting at someone coming to them with a real problem and asking for advice to take the responsibility can make anyone defensive, even the many people who, like me, agree that taking responsibility is important. So I believe that most people have a problem with the "attack" approach that most people take in giving advice, which often includes accusing the "victim" of wrongdoing just for getting got. I believe then, that the problem is not asking for advice or giving it, but in the WORDING. I think a lot more people could use a LOT MORE diplomacy, especially when more and more of our communication with each other is words-only discourse. But I'm one of the few people who can admit when I come to someone from a state of vulnerability, asking for advice, the last thing I want to hear is that it's my fault, even if it partially is.

    1. That happens to me a lot.

      I used to travel around to participate in these underground fight clubs of sorts. I was really good at it I never lost a fight so I got cocky and told about the fight clubs. And then I got beat out of it. Two hits to the head from a baseball bat all I remember about it are the burns and scars and surgeries and broken bones. Those were my only true relationships and especially as a female it's hard for me to be in a position where there's a positive influence in my life and then I want it to work so I have to ask people for advice.

      So I'm sort of like, off.

      1. I chose that life because all my familial relationships were centered around domestic violence and it seemed common sense to me to become a fighter. But then the crowds I grew accustomed to a lot of my friends died, a lot of the people I associated myself with died and even within my extended family there were a lot of deaths so I never actually developed a set of social skills not based on offense and defense. I literally fought people to pay for college and then I dropped out because I got injured sooo it's hard for me to have to:

        A. Try to enter a normal, cordial social setting with a proper mentality and wing my interactions.
        B. Explain why my social etiquette is so off prior to me unknowingly saying something offensive which is excessively vulnerable.
        C. Outright ask a stranger to answer my incredibly personal questions about their own relationships and sounding so naive it seems condescending and sarcastic. Knowing I'm gonna get yelled at.

  11. I'm all for accountability when its shared. But, after you hold yourself accountable, do better. Don't just give off "that's just what I/we do". Own it. Fix it. That's for men and women.

    I'm all for conversation with folks who simply share thoughts and opinions w/o feeling the need to be a shock-jock…being rude and contrary for kicks. I mean, I understand that I shouldn't take it personally…cause its your personality to be sorta jerkish…but I've got to be in the mood to deal with it…which I'm not the majority of the time.

    Good post, WIM…

  12. I completely agree with the idea of accountability. However, I think sometimes it's the easy way out to say that women do this to themselves by accepting BS behavior from men, that we should be like men and go straight for what we want instead of someone we can see ourselves with and then turn him into a renovation project.

    Having lately adopted the no BS-policy I have saved myself a lot of heartache and wasted time. Reflecting on my past behavior in these kinds of situations I started wondering why women usually put up with this and hope to "change" the potential man to THE man. Discussing with my girl friends I realized it's more complex that personal accountability for your own well-being. Sure in the end it's a choice.

    But like Justlissen said, she was told to overlook a man's flaws and help him better himself. Growing up we're told to compromise (settle?) in general. Boys will be boys, but girls are expected to sit around quietly (NOT easy if you were a wild child like me). To avoid the feminist tirade that isn't really my cup of tea anyway, I'm just saying that even if it ultimately is a choice you make, it might be harder to identify that it is and actually make that choice if it goes against what you've been taught for years and years.
    My recent post Single male behavior on Valentine’s day, US vs Sweden

  13. ” Men tend to find a woman they want to be with and they accept her as she is; whereas, women find a man they can see themselves with and then focus on making him into the man she wants… This may be partially attributed to the fact that when dating men do the majority of the approaching.”

    Actually, the majority of the problem IS that men do the majority of the approaching. men FIND, women CHOOSE from the men that are approaching her. Since the odds are pretty low that the men approaching encompass ALL the qualities of the man she WANTS, she just pick the one closest to it and the “morphing process” begins.

    Now, the SECOND problem (that no one talks about because, well, you like having female readers) is honestly, VERY few women actually take the time to ask ourselves the question of whether the man we want would even be looking for a woman like US. Be honest. I believe WIM was genetically engineered by someone who had obviously met me before & discussed my preferences, but er… I haven’t been into working out for the last 2 years, so I just don’t believe I would be the type of woman he’s checking for 🙂

    But seriously, how many 5’2″ 180 lb females you know living in an apartment with a roommate taking the subway to her dead-end job INSIST that her man be a 6ft tall demi-god with a house, car, career AND swag?

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