Why do so many traditionally successful black men fail in relationships or have problems connecting with women?
As black men, our self-worth is gauged based on what we make, the value we bring etc. Because biologically, we are programmed by nature to be instinctively hunters and providers in our families.
This sets the male species on a path of chasing external validation and accomplishment in the form of a good career, a big house and whatever else it may be..
So then one day he wakes up, wonders why he still feels miserable after “having it all”.
His relationship may be falling apart or perhaps he can’t find/start or even maintain a stable one to begin with, or even worse he can’t account to himself what he wants to achieve in a relationship besides sex and the occasional company…
1. As black men, we don’t work on our inner-selves enough.
Truly defining your purpose, your passion, your path, what you would do even if you weren’t getting paid. There is nothing more powerful than a completely unfiltered and uncensored inventory of your life to determine the direction you are headed to. What trajectory should you be headed to, have you called out yourself on your stuff? Have you faced your innermost demons and taken a deep-dive and figured a way to overcome them? Have you been honest with yourself as a black man? About what has been holding you back from showing up with absolute power in the world?
Have you reflected on your path and determined if you chose it because it brings you joy or just because you thought it was what you were supposed to do. All of those questions and more begin to lead us inwards and help determine what truly sets our souls on fire.
2. Blocking emotions and vulnerabilities
Our black societies are notorious for discouraging men from showing emotions or vulnerabilities. This, in turn, prevents black men from connecting deeply with women, as a result, black relationships fall apart easily. Nobody is advocating black men to the breakdown into a puddle of tears, but allowing ourselves to show and express emotion is a fundamental piece of being fully formed human beings.
No matter how strong, or cool or successful we still all have wants and needs desires fears, a full range of human experience. Being stone-faced and expressionless may be helpful in the boardroom during negotiations with some corporate sharks, but pushes people further away in your personal life.
3. We are not building friendships with other black men
There have been a variety of articles in recent times highlighting one of the biggest threats to men is loneliness- not just from women though. A lack of male friendships is preventing us from connecting with others in a way that we cannot simply expect from the women in our lives. It’s unfair and unrealistic to expect our wives/girlfriends to be all things to us. And vice versa male friendships allow us to rotate to others on a fundamental level and share challenges they will understand and empathize with. We can seek support and issue without feeling embarrassed.
The decline of male friendships among black men has an additional weight and stress on to our intimate relationships-we carry our stress home from work and lay at the bedroom. As black men, we need to start bonding and be a little more open with one another. It is easy to find groups of women reaching out and supporting each other, and they are all better off because of it.
4. We should learn from that model of friendship
We fill our inner voids with all kind of wrong things, what’s left when we can’t build strong intimate relationship or friendships? Stuff, stuff is there more work, more money, cars, watches, you name it. Things that should enhance an already enriched life, the frosting on the cake the decorations on the Christmas tree, but when these material things are expected to fill the gap of true connection and emotional fulfillment, there is simply never enough and the cycle repeats.
5. We are simply not happy by ourselves
Not everyone wants to be in a relationship not everyone wants to get married, we are each free to choose and make our own decisions on how to live our life. There is countless number of times when we want to get started in a relationship, and then further down the road, we feel we were not ready for one, why? Filling the gaps in our lives with material things is not only a downfall; sometimes we try to fill it in with another person. Relationships bring happiness, they bring companionship, and they bring joy and love, a teammate in
But cannot make a partial person complete. A man who has not developed his confidence and self-worth to the point where he is perfectly happy being single will bring insecurities and baggage into a relationship and expect his partner to fix them. It is neither her job nor her responsibility to make you whole it is yours.
But the bottom line is that as a black man if you can’t lie in bed at night and be happy with the person you are, you will never be happy with what you own.
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