The Queen of Soul Was on to Something…

March 25, 2011 at 1:28 am (Dating is Fun, Somewhat Serious) (, , , , , , , )

Photo courtesy of Sukanto Debnath on Flickr

Ladies, we need to talk.

Some of you are acting in a way that is hurting your sistahs. Big time.

It’s all about respect. Yes, that same R-E-S-P-E-C-T that Aretha sang about in the 1960s. Except, some of you aren’t demanding the respect that is owed to you. And it’s making it pretty rough on the rest of us.

When I first jumped back into the dating pool, I hadn’t been actively looking for love for about 7 years. I figured it would be similar to the last time, when I would go on a couple of winner-dates, and then hit it somewhat lucky and meet a man I could stand to be around for more than an hour at a time. And he would court me, like guys do when they have enough respect for you to actually try to let you know they might care.

Was I wrong.

Apparently, a lot of you are putting up with a ridiculous amount of crap, just in the name of not being lonely. Because the guys out there seem a little, no, make that a LOT, surprised each time I’ve called them on their crap.

And what “crap” am I talking about? To be fair, I must admit, I am very high maintenance…I am talking about a man having enough respect for me to refrain from discussing his oh-so-average manhood until I’ve known him for more than 10 minutes. I am talking about not lying about something major, such as your age, or the fact your marriage actually failed once were convicted of securities fraud. I’m talking about basic manners, where you call someone if you have to cancel on plans, rather than blowing someone off altogether.

I’m talking about seeing me as a successful, intelligent woman, not a pair of boobs. I’m talking about dressing in more than a ratty T-shirt with your oil-stained flannel from 1983 the first time we meet. Out in public. Not in your garage.

I’m talking about something as simple as holding the door open for me, not because you want to get into my pants, but because it’s who you were raised to be: someone who is man enough to still respect a woman.

But back to you, ladies. You know who you are. The one who says it’s OK that he calls only once or twice a month for the booty call that leaves you feeling like crap the next day. The one who ignores the fact that pokes fun at your weight, or your family, or your clothing, during the first date, because it’s better to feel small and be with someone than be alone, right? The one who makes excuses for why he is treating you like an afterthought (the truth on that one? He treats you like an afterthought because you let him).

Ladies, you may not expect respect. That’s your choice. But you’re ruining it for the rest of us who have an ounce of self-respect left. You making it seem as if it’s OK to treat a woman like a piece of meat, like a toy. Because you enable this ridiculously bad behavior every time you agree to see him again, every time you let him off the hook for his thoughtlessness, every time you demean yourself for the sake of being in a “relationship”.

So, ladies, please do me a favor. Do all of us self-respecting women a favor. Look at yourself in the mirror. Really look at yourself. And I want you to repeat to yourself, over and over again, until you believe it: “You are worthy of respect. You deserve to be treated better. You will not allow him to diminish your self-worth.”

Once you believe the message, send it loud and clear to those men who want you to accept their crappy behavior. Make it known that you deserve everything Aretha was singing about. Don’t accept anything less.

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