My friend Bevy told me the other day that one of the reasons she loves me is because I am a romantic; the die-hard optimist who always thinks that love is around the corner. She is partially correct. I am the hopeless romantic, which sometimes gets me in over my head because I like to think people say what they mean and mean what they say, which as we know, isn’t always the case, especially when dating. I am the romantic in that no geographical region is off limits to me. I’ve dated a guy in Brazil and a few in Paris, and English was not their first language. The language barrier is more often than not, not a problem for me, because that fosters self-censorship. For a person like me, who tends to speak her mind perhaps too much in a relationship, this is a good thing, because it makes me think about what I’m going to say before I open my mouth. Still, with all of these things that I know about myself, somehow I can’t seem to get it right. There’s a viral video called “What Black Men Think; Marriage Negotiations.” In the video, the woman rattles off way too many familiar criteria that she needs in a (Black) man: “He must have integrity, make six figures, have good credit… take charge and lead his household, that is, until I disagree and then you must hand over your b@)#s and give them to me because I am a strong, professional “womanist.” I laughed because if this doesn’t sound like me (and half of my single friends), I don’t know what does! Which brings me to present day. One thing I know for sure is that men like peace. They want you to fall in line with their program, and let them be the man. Which, if we’re dating, isn’t a problem for me, until, like the Black woman in the video, “I disagree.” And that’s when the castration begins. It rarely comes in the form of verbal castigation, but it is more likely to take the form of “immature” (yes, those were his actual words) “I want it now and if I can’t have it now, then you are not the man for me and goodbye, we don’t need to talk” behavior. Patience is sometimes an elusive virtue for me. We all have our issues, but at some point, we have to take stock of ourselves and recognize what the “strong professional womanist” in us may do to cause the “shortage” of interested Black men. But does that strong, professional womanist in us really want a man that we can boss around and run all over? The answer is a resounding NO. I tend to equate a man doing what I want when I want, with care. That isn’t the case; the two couldn’t be more mutually exclusive. And I know this in theory and in practice, yet sometimes revert to the 8-year-old girl, who wants it now, and “get to stepping if you can’t give it to me now,” because there is someone who will. Which completes the vicious circle (of one).