Home Advice Why Men Need Women with a Future and a Past: Deciding to Take Care of the Damaged Girl

Why Men Need Women with a Future and a Past: Deciding to Take Care of the Damaged Girl

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“You can have a brand new Honda Accord, or a used Maserati, that’s a decision that you’ll have to make for yourself.”

I meet a lot of women.  And I don’t just mean a lot of women, I mean a LOT of women.  That comes with the territory of being a blogger, women notice me out and they approach me and almost as soon as they tell me they read my blog, they want to hear my thoughts on something.  This means that I’ve met some women who aren’t experienced at all in dating, and then some who have Brett Favre-like dating histories.  (For those who might miss the sports reference, Favre is a guy who played football for twenty years.)  I meet some women who are trying to shed the “good girl” reputation that they have, and I meet women who are trying to shed the “bad girl” reputation that they have acquired over the years.  At some point, I sat down and started thinking to myself, what is the best way to really express my thoughts and feelings about what was going on?  How do you balance the urge to break out into song?

“Know you’ve been hurt by someone else, I can tell by the way you carry yourself.  If you let me, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll take care of you.”

The reality, however, how hard of a reality to accept is that most men don’t want to take care of women.  They will take an inexperienced woman who has never had any significant relationships in her life, before they’ll take a woman who’s been through some heartbreak in her life.  For most men, it comes down to knowing that they can’t deal with the bags and scars that woman has.  When you think about a woman who has been abused, (and not just physically, but mentally or emotionally too), it’s hard to deal with the side effects from that abuse.  Men will have to deal with paranoia from women because in their past, they had a man who cheated on them right up under their nose.  Men will have to deal with body consciousness from their women because in their past, they had a man who never told them they were beautiful.  Men will have to deal with anger issues from women because in their past, they had a man who didn’t know how to effectively communicate and screaming and shouting was the way they communicated with each other.

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And not every man is man enough to deal with that.

I was talking to a friend about my theory here and I asked him if he ever purchased or wanted to purchase a pet.  I asked him if he thought that he would buy his pet from a breeder, or rescue a pet that was abused, or unwanted.  Then I said this, “You see that’s the thing, we’d all like to think we have a heart and we would be willing to rescue a pet, but we’re not sure we can deal with the effects of the abuse.  There are habits that have been instilled in those pets that will be difficult to change.  That’s exactly, how men feel about the damaged girl.”  If you rescue a pet that’s been pampered too much by its previous owner, that pet is going to need a lot of attention.  If you rescue a pet who was fighting for its life every day, that pet is going to sometimes have flashbacks of fighting for their life.

There was this girl I knew who men found it increasingly difficult to date because as a child, one day, her parents just packed up and left her.  They had their battle with addiction and chose it over her.  This girl had extreme abandonment issues.  She wouldn’t let men take care of her, she never relied on anyone, so no one felt like they were needed in her life.  Any man dating her would have to deal with this part of her.  It was surely difficult, but there was nothing she could do to change that.  However, for some men, it was much too much for them to deal with.

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That’s an extreme example, but you know the practical application of this, and the real reason why we’re here today is this right here.  There’s a girl who made some bad decisions with putting her heart in the hands of men who only wanted a pretty face or sex and after the thrill was gone, left them.  There’s a girl who was taken advantage of by men and maybe she made some personal mistakes too, but now she’s ready for a healthy, meaningful and loving relationship.  She has the same chance of finding a boyfriend as someone catching a cab from Manhattan to the Bronx at 3AM.  But why?  Personally, I love this lyric;

 “I like a woman with a future and a past, a little attitude problem all good it’ll make the sh*t last. Don’t make it too easy girl, don’t take it too fast. Yeah, that’s it, right there, that’s it.”

That’s my opinion. I don’t mind a woman who might have been through some things in her past, who hasn’t?  Doesn’t that make her stronger?  Isn’t that strength going to help your relationship last when it gets tough?  Well, in addition to the habits and the baggage that will come with dating these women, men think about what people will think of them and their relationship.  One of your boys will tell you, “She’s a nice girl. Smash that, pass that, don’t wife that.” I never really understood this, and then again, my dating history shows it.  I’ve dated some great women.  Mainly, because I dated them in the present, I didn’t date their past, and I was trying to affect our future.  But I can’t convince men to do the same, and that’s okay, I think that a lot of men will miss out, but I’m hoping that in time we all find peace in our hearts.

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What about you guys? Do you think sometimes we enslave people to their past?  Things they can’t change.  On the flip side, is someone not having any past really a good thing?  I’m sure if you’ve ever dated an inexperienced person you can attest, one should think about that.  Let’s converse.  Cheers.

– Dr. J

Independent of my work here at SingleBlackMale.org, many of you know that I’ve done an amazing amount of work over at ThisIsTheDream.com.  Well, we started working on a project in April of last year and then upon my unexpected retirement from relationship writing we shelved the project.  Good material can’t stay on the shelf forever, so after some persuading, I got back in the writer’s studio and published this book.  After all it was just a bunch of guys letting loose in the name of Ratchet Music.  It features myself, Nova Giovanni (ThisIsTheDream.com), NC17 (Black Girls Are Easy), Rahim the Dream (ThisIsTheDream.com) and The Guy (We found him in a ditch called the comments section of SBM.org).  All that said, please take an opportunity to download and read, ThisIsTheDream.com’s Guide to Jumpoffs 101.

Comment(70)

  1. I dont like the label of 'damaged". Women are not cars, or products. We are human beings who have been through things, just as men have. Treating a woman like she is a PERSON and then dealing with her from that perspective is a great way to start. Jugding her (in a good OR bad way) from her past is unfair. Deal with her as a person, an equal, from jump ..get to know her for her and who she is WITH YOU, see if that works….and roll from there. You, know, the adult way to do it. 🙂

    1. That is almost a completely fairy tale, hopeless romantic, this is a future cheesy movie script for a blockbuster hit expectation but that's exactly how it turns out when a guy takes that approach. And is strong enough to withstand the subsequent emotional torrent of "omgthankyouihurticantbelieve…imsoupsethowcouldyoulove…thisiswhatiwantoutoflifeidontdeserveomgimessedup…im sleepy. Hey you're sexy."

      From the social perspective though that will never happen because the person has a fairytale relationship and a bit of an edge which in a social setting equates to dominance. It's hard to try to get to know someone when you're jealous or scoffing. Saying "don't judge me" doesn't mean people are going to excuse their reactions to what is perceived as dominance for the sake of treating you like a human being with feelings. You think? Or maybe people will sorta give a little space and try to understand?

    2. Jas: "I dont like the label of 'damaged".

      Is there another term that you would like to suggest for women (or men) that clearly have had suffered physical or mental abuse in the past and have unresolved issues?

      1. Hugh how bout people…..we all have a past and are "damaged" That's life. Even Jesus Christ had a "hard knock life" check out the passion of the Christ and read the bible and it's very clear.
        Men have serious issues too…..the mama's boys, the pretty boys who are spoiled and used to getting their way, the playa's, the men with emotional issues, men who are very abusive, especially physically, men who are very controlling and very jealous. Women have a lot to deal with when it comes to dating men as well. The reality is there are no absolutely perfect people. Folks out here looking for perfection and who are waaaaaaaaaay too extremely picky will probably be single for life because they will never be satisfied and are far too out of touch with reality.
        Most everyone has unresolved issues because rarely are your issues addressed when your a kid. I know a guy who was molested as a child at the time I was in school with him which was 1st and 2nd grade. It was a rumor that floated around the neighborhood but he never admitted to it or talked about it. He had serious anger management issues then and even to this day he has serious trust issues and hides behind this male bravado. Most of us will be hard pressed to get past our emotional issues because they are never really "nipped in the bud" at the time they are happening. Many folks will deal with serious childhood issues all of their lives and may never get past them or get over them…..just learn to live with them. This is the very reason I majored in psychology in and wanted to be a child psychologist. It's a well known fact that many of the emotional issues people have as adults started when they were children. They are still having those issues because as children they never received the therapy, counseling and help they needed to get past them and become emotionally healthy adults.

        1. So my point is everyone has a "past" and some type of emotional issues..we've all been through some sh**. Some more serious than others. So anyone man or woman seeking a perfectly emotionally healthy and sane person with no emotional issues whatsoever and no hangups will never ever find that person because they just don't exist.
          Instead of always wanting everything in life to be easy breezy how bout we learn how to effectively deal with the rough stuff and learn some things so we can grow and be better as human beings.
          Plus if you never ever in life deal with any major sh** and go through hard times, (with or without) somebody else where does your spiritual, emotional, mental, and intellectual growth come from?
          You can have a damn near perfect relationship with a damn near perfect person and have a child with a deformity or some type of mental disability or handicap…..what then…? You will have to deal with the emotional ups and downs of having a disabled child.
          Plus the fact that someone may start out seemingly perfectly mentally healthy and during your relationship things happen to them that cause them to be unstable……like the death of a parent or child/children, multiple miscarriages, and/or extreme difficulty conceiving.
          Men recognize that during the course of your life with someone major sh** can happen to change a person and cause them to come undone and you end up seeing a side of them you never knew existed. Unfortunately many times it's situations like these that cause a relationship to unravel, break down and end because folks can't handle it and walk away.
          And yeah that's easy and painless……but how about trying to see if you can handle it and take the pain and seeing things thru and trying to deal with the hard sh**. You may be surprised at how great things can turn out and how much better and stronger it can make you as a person if you can learn to ride out the storms of life.

      2. It's not necessarily the word damaged that makes it offensive. It's the fact that you're talking about us like we're not humans. If you're blessed enough to live a full life, you're going to face a little heartache, people are going to hurt you, they're going to take advantage of you and your trust, and you'll probably end up hurting people too. As human beings we've all been through things so to label a woman a damaged good is just so typical of our patriarchal society. Men who have issues with pasts probably have a past of their own they don't want to deal with and that's their business. But don't demean women and give them inhumane labels to compensate for your immaturity.

      3. …My personal issue with the word "damaged" is that it connotes that a damaged person is unworthy of love or that their value is somehow diminished because of the things they may have been through. There is no excuse for allowing negative past experiences to dictate your future, but experience is personal. No one chooses to be a victim, but remaining a victim is most definitely a choice. Being your daddies pin cushion or having a mother who preferred crack to loving you (I'm being dramatic, but you never EVER know someones story) is not stuff that you can go through unscathed. If I am taking steps to NOT live in that moment, and NOT let that define my entire existence; f*ck the man who calls me damaged. F*ck the man who tells me I am not worthy of HIS love because I've been hurt in ways I didn't ask for. Granted, I'm not advocating for men to be Captain Save Em's nor am I saying that every woman who has been guilty of bad "behavior" of making bad decisions had a traumatic past. But if you are willing to write someone off, without knowing their story then F*CK YOU.

        I am damaged. Am I a whole person, yes. Do I have some scars, yes. Do I choose to carry those bags with me, hell no. It's crippling. And I CHOOSE not to live like that.

      4. I think everyone that replied to my comment misinterpreted what I wrote.

        The point isn't people don't deserve love, but that emotional damage is real. Just because you don't like the term doesn't mean the actual emotional issues that people have go away. If you would like a more sensitve word to describe the very real phenomenon that the pain that people go through exists and affects their current relationships, feel free to suggest it.

        Toni: "But if you are willing to write someone off, without knowing their story then F*CK YOU."

        LOL! Yes, you are damaged. I suppose your damage is why you are reading things that aren't there.

  2. I don't think it's a bad thing to date a woman with a past…we all have one. I do have a problem with the idea that because of that past, they can't change their behavior to one that's healthy, and conducive to actually having a healthy relationship. You're now venturing into the idea of victimization…and that's no good for anyone..

  3. No one has come thru life unscathed. We've all been damaged in some way or another. You either deal with that hurt/scar(s) in a healthy way, a semi-healthy way, or you don't deal with it at all…which isn't healthy. Thats why its all about finding someone with crap you can handle or tolerate…and not love or like them any less.

    I think we enslave folks to their past if they don't prove they've left their past in the past. The only thing you should bring to the present from your past is wisdom. I think inexperienced folks are a bit more naive and judgmental. For those with colorful pasts, finding common ground with inexperienced folks can prove to be a difficult task.

  4. Its said that where we are right now in life is the sum total of all our yesterdays. I agree that we should all be treated as persons, not items brought, sold or traded..We all have the ability to be resilient from whatever damage is in our past. Some take longer than others. The key in dealing with a damaged woman or man comes down to dealing with good, honest communication. The damage will reveal itself when as Chris Rock says "the representative has left, and the real person has appeared"..The issue(s) have to brought to light, and should be dealt with in a manner best suitable for both parties. I've dated women who have kept good for nothing guys in their lives…Once this information was brought to my attention, I questioned these women on their need to keep garbage around, and these women were unable to find the answers within themselves, so I chose to move on..The human being has this strange defect where they are attracted to that which rejects them and treats them poorly..The decision on how long to put up with the damage is one full of strife.

    1. Well said Vzzy….
      Reminds me of someone i dated recently. You see, Im a black male who lives in London. I met this very pretty fair skinned black girl in her mid 20's. I went straight for her cause i liked what I saw and wanted to explore more. We got talking on the phone and went out for a few dates, in no time she was my Lady. Few months down the line I noticed some strange behaviors in her; she's a very pretty girl but doesn't quite see her self as pretty, She was too introverted, didn't have friends…not even one. When we hung out nobody called her phone to say hi except her Mum and Brother who live overseas, More alarming was the fact that she ignored some calls that came through her phone. She didn't let her phone ring out loud, she'd put it on silence mode. I only met a female cousin of her's once by error.

      I soon expressed how i felt about those strange behaviors, and in defense she said that was the kind of person she was. She didn't have one single picture on her face-book page… I thought that was very strange. I did go in hard on her one day by demanding to know what the hell was going on. Then she broke down and started crying. She told me somethings about her; she said her uncle took her virginity when she was young and repeatedly have sex with her for some time. She tried telling her mum but her mum did not listen. Her mum was a single parent.

      Regardless of all she told me I decided to give her chance and Love her. But as much as I tried I didn't trust her enough cause of her creepy nature. She still didn't receive phone calls when she was with me then one day she forgot her phone at my apartment and I went through her text messages. I saw some messages and demanded answers to some questions I asked her….she didn't say much so i lost it for her. Also, we were not very compatible….she was too quiet for me when we were alone together.

      I don't mind a girl with a past, I just got to know what I'm getting into. I don't want a woman with no past either, there just got to be a balance.

      1. What country was this girl from? Maybe it's because she's from a different culture than you are that she was exhibiting such behavior. What's considered decent in one culture may be described as appalling by another in a set of a relationship. I don't know i'm just guessing…

  5. I know some men who have specifically stated that they would not deal with a woman who was molested or sexually abused in the past. Maybe they didn't feel they were equipped to handle a woman who had been through such traumatic experiences and that's their prerogative.

    However, when speaking in terms of a man with "a past," most women would be advised to leave him be. Why the double standard?

    Furthermore, I also feel it would be good to refrain from referring to women as "damaged goods" because it does essentially turn the woman into an object that sounds as if it can be discarded, or that she is no longer lovable or wife material because she has been hurt or abused in the past.
    My recent post A Few Good Men

  6. What about the women who want to live a fast life when they're young, chasing after all the "it" men, wanting to be in the urban "limelight", sleeping around and club hopping? Now they're getting older and they see their "good girl" friends starting to settle down, get married, and have kids now they want the same thing. But the "good girl" always used discretion with the men she dealt with, sure they aren't fully protected and could have run into some bumps along the way but they weren't "damaged" because they hopped in every negro car who looked like they had money. Since today's thing is song lyrics, Wale's song w/ Rihanna "Contemplate" touches on my point. In the first verse he speaks on saving a "bad girl" and being a good boyfriend but she kept playing him to the left to be apart of the urban limelight scene. Now she getting older the same things she thought were cool at 19 aren't at 24. "But five years from now I bet she see/ When the club gets played/ The things you crave are no longer escapes/ And now you longing for dates/ You want a husband, but no one has a cape" Me personally I just don't want a girl who didn't use discretion when she was young and hoed out but now all of a sudden she wants to pull her draws up and puts some pearls on to get a husband. Maybe it because I'm 24 and not seasoned in this dating game but like Jay said "Once a good girls gone bad she's gone forever"

  7. Lmao, boy, you need therapy. No, really, I get your point, and I see the “somebody hurt me” between the lines. That’s why I stick with the tenderoni boys. Nice and fresh, optimistic attitude, open to love. But I have a whole bunch of drooling aspiring Captain Save a Heaux hovering around me 24/7. I kid you not. Can’t stand those creepy mofos. Tell them they dont want a women with a past. Please. Do me a solid, man.

  8. lol @ there being nothing to say because of the remarkable accuracy.

    Damaged girls make good pets once you get them beyond what they've been through. A lot of guys won't know what they want from relationships until they see another man's woman and majority of the time she's been through quite a bit. On a personal level I didn't get my first hug until I was twenty years old and even then, I was so used to getting hit I didn't know what to do until he yelled at me for being so distant. Even now I still have to deep breath it when people get close to me or talk to me a certain way. Every time I'm in a social setting I'm essentially winging every interpersonal interaction and swallowing defensive, fearful, angry reactions. That's cool on the internet. That's embarrassing in someone's real life.

  9. And not even embarrassing it's lonely. Some damage people LOOK abused. They flinch. They look tired and stressed. You can just look at them and tell they're cowering. Some damage people are emotion hoarders and protect themselves. In my case, I look like a dangerous wild animal with a glint of maliciousness in my eyes. So I just don't talk. Which is creepy to be honest. You ever been to someone's house and they have a trained attack dog that is always tense?

    Well, shout out to SBM.org for taking the edge off…

  10. While there are men who would rather not deal with a woman with a past, there are also others who are more than willing but find that the woman makes its very difficult for them. There are many women who (knowingly or unknowingly) punish the current man in their lives for the sins of someone from their past. So at the same time that many men need to step up to the plate and be man enough to handle a woman with a history, many women need to learn travel lighter and leave a few of those “bags” behind.

    1. "So at the same time that many men need to step up to the plate and be man enough to handle a woman with a history"

      The smartest thing a person can do is avoid unnecessary responsibility…

      For people who probably have not dated a damaged woman, you sure have good advice for the single men round here.

      1. “Unnecessary responsibility”… Hmmm. Not sitting right with me. I think we would all benefit a lot more in our relationships if we took a less selfish approach. Instead of continuing to assess them on the basis of how can this person/relationship benefit ME, we can start asking what exactly am I bringing to the table. That way we stop looking at potential mates the same way we look at property (asset vs. liability). You know, since we are indeed human beings after all.

        I can’t speak from experience in the sense of dating a “damaged girl”…. But I may or may not be considered “damaged” myself based on some of the things I’ve been through in past relationships. Ijs

      2. What a shocking lack of compassion! If you are lucky enough to find a beautiful woman, and she asks you to fight with her/ for her to help her overcome her past pain, I hope you come up with a better response than "that's not my responsibility". Not for her sake, because God will surly take care of her. But for your sake! Someday, you're going to need someone too take care of you, my friend….and Karma is a damaged bitch.
        My recent post Being Hard to Get: The Do's and Don'ts of Dating

      3. What a shocking lack of compassion! If you are lucky enough to find a beautiful woman, and she asks you to fight with her/ for her to help her overcome her past pain, I hope you come up with a better response than "that's not my responsibility". Not for her sake, because God will surly take care of her. But for your sake! Someday, you're going to need someone too take care of you, my friend….and Karma is a damaged bitch.

    2. Great point Babes…..I know many many men who have and will date a damaged woman. I'm kinda shocked and surprised at how a fine and sexy azz woman can pull practically any man and keep him for a good minute. I know men who have dated, been in relationships and had babies with and married women who have had serious drug problems and who are bipolar and a whole bunch of other stuff…..but they first got with the woman because she looked good, and as they got to know her they saw some good things in her personality that they liked. So men lets be real…….yall get caught up because in the very beginning many of yall, (not all but a hell of a lot) don't put much time, energy and effort, into getting to know the womans personality and who she is to see if she is emotionally damaged and how much. It's not til your with her for a minute that you see different sides of her that you didn't know were there at first cause you were too busy lookin at what a fat azz she got, nice shape, exotic looking, tig ole biddies, pretty face, etc etc etc.
      Like how men talk about Halle Berry being crazy……..whatever she is though men will still get wit her crazy azz…..so what does that say about them………?

      1. It just means she's attractive enough to get in the door. Of course she isn't keeping them so it doesn't count for much. It's not what you can get, but what you can keep.

  11. What about the women who want to live a fast life when they're young, chasing after all the "it" men, wanting to be in the urban "limelight", sleeping around and club hopping? Now they're getting older and they see their "good girl" friends starting to settle down, get married, and have kids now they want the same thing. But the "good girl" always used discretion with the men she dealt with, sure they aren't fully protected and could have ran into some bumps along the way but they weren't "damaged" because they hopped in every negro car who looked like they had money. Since today's thing is song lyrics, Wale's song w/ Rihanna "Contemplate" touches on my point. In the first verse he speaks on saving a "bad girl" and being a good boyfriend but she kept playing him to the left to be apart of the urban limelight scene. Now she getting older the same things she thought were cool at 19 aren't at 24. "But five years from now I bet she see/ When the club gets played/ The things you crave are no longer escapes/ And now you longing for dates/ You want a husband, but no one has a cape" Me personally I just don't want a girl that didn't use discretion when she was young and hoed out but now all of a sudden she wants to pull her draws up and puts some pearls on to get a husband. Maybe it because I'm 24 and not seasoned in this dating game but like Jay said "Once a good girls gone bad she's gone forever"

  12. I think as men, if you can find a woman who lacks damage/baggage, go for her…

    Other than that… It is the responsibility of those damaged girls to find their complement in the dating market or, make themselves whole and then get with their complement.

    1. Adonis hon you will NEVER find a woman who lacks damage/baggage…..some have a lighter load and can carry and handle our baggage better than others.
      NOBODY is without any type of stress, complications, and problems in our lives. The main differences are that some of us are stronger and better equipped to handle our stress and complications, while others cannot handle their stress and complications and are a bit weaker emotionally.
      Hell if anything men are weaker emotionally though stronger physically and women are stronger emotionally, though weaker physically. Men typically have a much much much harder time dealing with emotional issues and stress than women do.

      1. I agree. Seriously, it's through the trials and tribulations in life that teaches a person what is important to them. I'm more cautious about those who don't really have a past. There isn't a track record proving their strength, intelligence, common sense, self worth, etc.

        Anyone can be strong, happy and healthy when nothing has happened. But it's when sh*t has hit the fan where you see someone's true colors. I agree that men have a significantly harder time getting over the past. I mean, look at the amount of male serial killers out there going postal over an argument, or because the mother didn't give them the attention they felt like they needed.

        I have a past, I've been through some serious sh*t. While it was hard going through it, learning about myself, forgiving myself and others, I must say that's probably the number one reason why I am so confident. I have proved TO MYSELF that I was capable of overcoming any issue or problem in my life. It also taught me not to be so judgmental about others because as that saying goes, "Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future." If others want to hold my past or what I've been through against me, then it tells me more about them than it does me.

        Adversity doesn't build character. It simply reveals it.

      2. Yeah, there are women out thee who aren’t damaged. You are speaking out of turn. Damaged women made choices & got stuck with a jerk & didn’t learn their lesson fast enough. Only two female responses here aren’t knee-jerk reactions. But that is exactly why damaged women are horrible to deal with. They always know something they could never know, they never listen or accept anybody else experience unless it fits with their own & any man speaking in a manner similar to their own is completely wrong. Bitter/jaded/damaged women are the ultimate hypocrites. And men should step up & sacrifice personal happiness because the woman made poor decisions hand over fist? Get real.

        1. I am sorry, but not all women that have baggage is because of the decisions that they have made. somethings are and were thrusted on them, i.e. sexually, emotionally and physically abused people that occured when they were children and they had no control over their environment. It is hard to find women that do not fit into this category, especially in black america. Now many times because of this socialization they continue to make bad choices. However, you do have a responsibility to yourself and those that you love to try to fix yourself so that you love easier and be easier to love. Most people ignore the benefit of couseling.

          I myself am a damaged woman. However, I have learned to work through my issues.

        2. And I am a woman who has dated "damaged men and damaged women". It helps to know what that pain is stemming from. But ultimately if they know where it comes from, and they still continue on with those self damaging patterns, they may in fact be too far gone. If you don't love them enough to get through it then you gotta let it go. Sometimes it is more of a burden than a blessing, but you have to know when to let go of the reigns. I have learned over time it is better to be honest about what and why you choose to leave so that they learn from their mistakes. Over time they become less and less of a burden and more of a blessing in everyones life. I've watched people grow past their pasts. It's not fair to be judged on it when it is all over and no longer a part of who you are in the present. I may have helped mold you into the present day individual, but it is not who you are. And some of those same people who will continue to judge you on things that no longer exist in your life more than likely have not been saints by any means.

  13. I may get blasted for this but I love the "pet" analogy. Having owned pets that I received as babies from a breeder and having adopted pets out of the system, there is a distinct and definitive difference. When you are raising a pet from a breeder it has been given every opportunity to develop and grow and has been weaned from it's mother properly. An animal in the system, may have been abandoned, has trust issues, weaned too early so it never learns to control its bladder in the house and all sorts of issues that only a white person with a lot of money would tolerate. That's my 2 cents and I will stick to it.

    1. I've been a pet owner most of my life and I'm familiar with the differences–some feel the similarly about foster children. Yes there are issues one must overcome, but I'm glad someone takes the time and has the patience to do so. not sure about "only a white person with money" but… ok.

      I just will not be okay with analogizing women in relationships to pets. can't do it…
      My recent post I Will Always Love You…

  14. Lets be real, what person, male or female, doesn't have a past? Good luck finding that person. For the ones who would rather an unexperienced girl with no heart ache or difficulties in life to overcome have fun with her. Surely you're the one wou would probably be picking her up via metro card and going to the tuesday night $5 movie special as a date, because clearly you guys are young and immature. And lack of experience begets lack of experience.
    You should always date someone in the present. If the pasts controls one present then that person has to deal withthat issue on their own. More power to the ones who want to mend a broken wing, but who has time for that. But you surely shouldnt crucify one for their pasts especially if they have moved mountains to get over them… Infact that person could teach you something.
    My recent post The HPDL's "Can Someone Get This Celebrity a Stylist!" Campaign (Alicia Keys)

  15. My sister was divorced by the time she was 22 (I think that's right) and I remember my mom telling me that she didn't think she'd ever find a dude who wanted her because of it. I think a lot of women may feel that way so when a dude does come around, they're a bit suspect of his motives. Though not romantically, I've experienced heartbreak and I know that it has had it's effects on my relationship. I think everybody has experienced just a little bit of heartbreak sometime in their lif, it's hard not to carry that into your relationships but I think it's part of what makes you you. Good post Doc.

  16. It's definitely food for thought….quite frankly I'm still thinking…though I understand the issues a past brings to any present situation, I am 100% rooted in the belief that one doesn't have to be what they were. That's BS! You only damaged if you allow yourself to stay in the wreck. The truth of the matter is you can change. Of course you're no Marty McFly, but the effects of a past situation don't have to be eternal. At some point, man or woman, you gotta take some responsibility for your actions–what you have done and/or believe after the fact–and move the eff forward. I know, I know, I sound a little harsh, but really if you wanna stay there–where ever there may be–that's your choice not mine. Now if you are willing to recognize and you wanna move forward I don't mind being supportive.
    My recent post I Do

  17. Men don't really have to do anything but play their role in the game. I mean a guy has to develop confidence, has to develop conversational skills, has to learn to perform in bed, has to learn how to read non-verbal cues from women etc, if he doesn't learn that he doesn't get women or he doesn't get the women he wants. There's not a collection of women who are willing to offer "p*ssy welfare" to guys who have no game.

    The role women have to play in the game of relationships is making good choices in the men they decide to give their bodies or hearts to, and bringing as little baggage to the table as possible. If they eff that up though, according to the author, they deserve "relationship welfare"…why is that? If there is no option for men who don't master their purpose in relationships, why should there be an option for girls who didn't master their own purpose in a relationship? Saying that women who have no baggage, should have the same access to desirable men as women with a lot of baggage, shows disregard for women who are actually happy and self-sufficient.

  18. I guess my post from yesterday just didn't go right. Anyway, all I said was I think some women don't feel like they can find a dude after they've been "damaged" so when one comes along they side-eye and question his motives. My sister was divorced at 22 and was afraid she'd never find anybody who'd want her after that.

  19. How many of you have a strong background in psychology? This is annoying. Speaking purely of opinions without research or study is ignorant. I don’t have time to educate you all. Suffice to say, nothing is absolute but you all seem dumber than not because of how you speak about what you don’t uniter without prefacing your ignorance responsibly. Sit with that for a moment. It is purely academic.

    1. It could be pretty ponderous trying to educate the masses.. but I still think it'd be unfair if you fail to pass knowledge to those who seek.
      "Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched" – U of Chicago

  20. The thing is, women my age have lived similar lives to the men my age. We've dated, we've played, we've been in and out of relationships. All those women that men have dealt with in their past are women who are probably currently looking for partners. We don't label a man damaged because he has lived a pretty full young adult life, we just call him a man. It sucks we are considered damaged for living and learning. I have dealt with a relationship where a man couldn't be confident in who I am because of decisions I've made in the past. It just opened my eyes to the fact he wasn't right for me, because I need a man who appreciates a woman with a future and a past. I've learned a lot from the past am I am happy to be able to tell my daughter first hand why to and not to do certain things, because mamma knows. I had a mom who knew nothing, just as nieve as ever. I teach her a lot of things about dating now.

  21. I would probably put my self in the category of these women (although at some level the pet analogy irks me). The thing is I didn't know I was so-called damaged until someone started doing things right, in effect, right by me. I think a lot of women are in the same boat. It's like someone offers you nice things, and politeness, even chivalry, because that's the way they were raised and the way they understand you are supposed to do things for a woman you are in to. I've been at the other end and dated truly damaged men, and at the end of the day had compensated for the crap other women had done by developing oversized egos. Outside of the slight trust issues, I'm a catch, just like a lot of damaged women. If you catch them on a good day with their hair, guard, walls, and arms down, and just a little vulnerability, you'd probably find someone you could kick it with.

  22. This is all fine and dandy until one day, u slip up and become "damaged" and no one wants YOU because of it.

    I get that not everyone believes they are equip to deal with certain issues. And its okay to be honest with yourself about that. But you also get what you give.

    Bottom line.

    We are ALL deserving of love.

  23. This one is a lot to digust…like cud it may it a second round…maybe I need to refer back to the damaged girl post..but at some point, haven't we all been contaminated by by the ills of some relationship? And if we have does that mean we will always be damaged goods? I cetainly hope not! Damaged only applies to those who continue to stay in the wreck. It's def a matter of choice to move beyond whatever BS we have experienced and come into a better place of clarity, hence experience is created and hopefully celebrated. Experience is supposed to a postive by product. And I think it may that, application of the new experience in a fresh way is what people are looking for in a potential mate of whatever degree. Men can be damaged goods too, now…just because oh girl broke you off at your whim and put up with your sih don't mean the next one will. But the bottom line is that if you moving in the right direct, I MIGHT support your in your change for the better. Why not? At some point everybody needs that someone to support them along the way.
    My recent post Moving

  24. You know, you have to live with the decisions you have made in your life. If you make decisions that cause someone not to want to deal with you in the future, those are the breaks. There are women who do not want to deal with the baggage that men have from previous relationships as well. Once a man is hurt or mistreated he can have alzheimers and not forget how he was hurt. But, I guess the difference in women and men is that women will take a chance. You know we always think we can change people (smile). Sounds to me like you have too much experience or too little. Sounds like another reason not to make a commitment.

  25. Anyone ever heard of KARMA? For every "damaged" girl you meet, there's a guy out there- who hurt her. Perhaps it wasn't you who hurt the particular girl you're with now…but can you honestly say you've never "led a girl on" or "left her after the thrill?" Can you honestly say you've treated the women in your life like they deserve- like queens? If you've done some "damage" in your past , then perhaps you owe a debt to our african american community. Perhaps you should man up – even thought it's hard, and show her something different. Maybe don't do it for yourself, maybe do it for her…maybe every relationship isn't about what you can get out of it….just maybe.
    My recent post Being Hard to Get: The Do's and Don'ts of Dating

  26. People come out of high school damaged or otherwise tainted/heartbroken/different. S good luck with finding the one NOT damaged.

  27. "Not man enough to deal with that?" I respect your opinion but there's a lot of things here that I disagree with. Everyone has a past but it's the person dealing with their past and own issues that's significant. That person has to handle it and truly understand themselves before entering into a relationship with someone else because "it takes two." A person and their pet is a totally different relationship than a couple. A couple is considered partners. You take care of each other. You hold hands. There are no crutches. I agree with your point of being able to handle their past because it's a part of them but one person cannot hold the relationship. "I" is not the relationship; "we" is. And before anyone mature enters into a relationship, they better have a grip on themselves before they invite anyone into their turbulent life expecting love and partnership.

  28. Even if a man finds a woman "without a past" you may unknowingly become that man who becomes her past and leaves her emotionally scarred. Not all women date complete jerks…sometimes it's "normal" guys who are completely oblivious about how damaging some of their well-meant actions are who leave the biggest scars. Just a thought.

  29. I find that men have a tendency to expect perfection when they themselves are imperfect. There's a tremendous difference to being with a woman who's been hurt in the past, lived, learned and moved on; than a woman who's been hurt and is stuck. Speaking as a woman who has been abused (physically and mentally) raped and abandoned, I can proudly say that each RELATIONSHIP, not fling, that I entered into afterwards, I entered focusing on that person, but also recognizing "red flags." For one thing, you can't treat a tragic past like a treasure. You gotta let that mess go, it happened, it ended, get it together and move on. It's easier said than done, but it can be done because I did it. I can't hold my past against anyone in my present or future. And to capitalize on that, I can look the man in the face who did those things to me and smile. Holding in hate only hurts yourself. So I have a past….does that mean I'm not a good woman. Absolutely not! I KNOW I'm a damn good woman. The things that I've gone through makes me cherish every moment my man calls me beautiful, or opens the door for me etc. Because I deserve it. Not because of what I've gone through, but because I'm just as good to him. Just because a woman is free from pain, doesn't mean she's a good woman. That means she's not experienced with dealing the hard times. Relationships aren't always sunshine and pixie dust. At the end of the day, I'd rather have a veteran on my team, than a rookie. Someone who knows how to deal with the pressure and stand tall through it, rather than collapse and question their abilities. It is no one's fault that a person had to endure hard times in their past. The fact of the matter is that in ANY relationship with ANY person, you both have to be adult enough to deal with the concept of a relationship. It has a hell of a lot more to do with than just what a person has gone through. That's just my opinion.

  30. I love it. We have all these relationship experts and the black family still is totally broken. Ohh well here is my dime and a nickel. Speaking about the male gender specifically black men and how we operate we generally know when we see so called damage goods or women that have been hurt in the past. The problem is men will either take advantage or nurture this relationship its completely up to that individual male and his perspective. Now come the hard part for women is identifying who you are dealing with. This in my opinion is a huge issue. The faster u identify or realize how this particular male view u the better and your damage meter so when u happen to come across the man who fit your design hopefully u haven't been too altered and can cultivate a healthy relationship. Peace

  31. Nice piece, really! I can agree with a lot of the angles taken. However "screaming and shouting was the way they communicated with each other.
    And not every man is man enough to deal with that", doesn't seem fair or appropriate for the topic. "not every MAN is MAN enough" is wrong in that judges a guy for what he chooses instead of "Taking Care of " a "Damaged" woman. One just may not want to spend time, money, and precious "Lifeforce" on such an unstable & un-guaranteed endeavor.

  32. Every woman has her moments.
    Moments of immaturity.
    Moments of jealousy and ignorance; of insecurity and discontentment.
    Moments of vulnerability.
    Moments of fragility and imperfection; of inconstancy and animosity.

    But when that woman finally becomes the woman she was designed to be, her beauty and conduct will be firm, exclusive, and unrivaled.
    And when you, as the prideful man you are, begin to look at her, and begin to fill up with regard, amazement, and admiration in seeing the grand woman she's become, that’s when it'll finally start to sink in that she made it without you…

    The key question that need be answered here is: Gentlemen, which one of us ladies is worth YOUR investment. This is not to say that there are women not worth the investment, because we all are. But reality is, not all of us will be worth the investment at that particular time in YOUR life.

    My mother always used to tell me that among the many responsibilities that come along with the position of being a man, are making sure to respect a woman as a mother, protect her as a daughter, and love her as a wife.

    So before choosing your investment gentlemen, consider those things… because you may not want to choose to invest right away if you are currently devoid of those funds.

  33. It's one thing to have a past; it's another thing to have that past look exactly like the present. I can agree with the " not wanting your past held against you", but I also have to say that I refuse to be penalized for your past as well. If you have enough sense to know your past shouldn't disqualify you, then please have enough sense to know I'm not responsible for your past nor should I be held responsible for it. I didn't have a say in what you chose to do then, so I'm not responsible for footing the bill.

  34. I think there are two different types of "damaged" – at least in my eyes. There is the damage that comes from your upbringing (like having a father in and out of your life, abuse by family members, loss of loved ones, health complications etc.) And then there is the damage in terms of dating (like dating the wrong men, being cheated on etc.) I believe the damage that comes from the "dating game" needs to be moved on from by the individual.

    A lot of the damage from childhood experience and loss runs so much deeper. I have found that people I have had a deep connection with, are people that experienced similar situations as myself in childhood. For example, I lost my dad at 11 and I met a guy who lost his mom when he was 13. We both have issues, lessons, tribulations that spawned from that experience. But because they were similar, we "get" eachother. We both handled things differently, but there's an opportunity to help eachother work things out and grow from it.

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