“I come across too much material on “how to make a man want you,” “how to make a man commit,” “how to make a man finally pop the question,” “how to make a man take you seriously,” “how to get into a man’s emotions.” And I laugh. My dear fellow women, enough! Do not busy yourselves with such things! Instead, fall in love with yourself!” – C. JoyBell C. By Dawn Onley
When I was 9 years old, my godmother introduced me to Doritos and female empowerment, one spring afternoon. We were munching away when Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” came on the radio. She jumped up and started singing, and the next thing I knew, I was right up with her and we were both dancing and belting out the tune, with our makeshift hand microphones and our female solidarity firmly in place.
I was too young to fully grasp what I was singing. But it was clear that my godmother, who is also my aunt, was really feeling the words of the song, in only the way that a person who had experienced heartbreak, and who had survived it, could.
As I grew older, and as I learned what that song was about, the memory of that day stuck with me. It would later become somewhat of an anthem of my own heartbreak and survival. Even more than that, it came to symbolize how strong we women are, despite the crap we sometimes have to go through.
I come from a lineage of strong females, and I was taught early on how to do a lot of things for myself so that a good man would be an asset to me, a 50-50 partner, and not a life vest. Contrary to the theme of many fairytales, I don’t need a man to save me – except for the good man above. I desire companionship. I desire intimacy. I desire the family unit. I desire love.
But, I have learned that I don’t need him like I need air, water and food to survive, and he doesn’t need me. Instead, I want him. What a powerful thing for us women, the ability to not just be chosen by a man, but to also choose what’s best for us. The ability to say no, and to say yes! I once helped to start a Single’s Ministry at a church with these thoughts in mind. We ladies would be there for each other, but we would also take part in activities that would give us a chance at meeting that special guy.
Through this, I realized that some single women are waiting to be happy. While they are waiting for love, they are waiting to love themselves. Some are caught up in the notion that they need a man, and that if and when this man arrives, they will be complete. Even when you point out to them that this means that they are not complete right now, they’ll admit that they are not. They’ll say they are lonely and unfulfilled. Their happiness is contingent upon some external factor that is usually out of their control.
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship, I find it sad that some women have such a negative view of being single. Rather than use the time to invest in themselves, some would rather keep time with a no-good man, because as some old folks use to say “half a man is better than no man at all.”
And then when that half a man leaves, because he was only there halfway to begin with, they complain about it.
Love yourself right now, at this stage of your life. Treat yourself kind. Do things that uplift your spirit. The truth is if you can’t be happy by yourself, you can’t be truly happy with someone else. True joy must come from within. It must always come from within.