Girl’s Best Friend: Could Your Words Be Keeping The Men Away?
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One of my favorite songs is “Independent” by the rapper Webbie. It’s a bit outside of my usual musical taste, but the hook is so catchy. He talks about an independent woman who can take care of herself and makes it clear he’s attracted to these self-sufficient women. As well, I’m a big champion of women being independent. However, the other day while watching Iyanla Vanzant’s new show, Fix My Life, I had a bit of an epiphany – maybe women should change their language about needing a man.

You see, I’ve had countless conversations with many of my single sister-friends and have often heard statements like, “I don’t need a man, but I want one.” During a recent show, one of the audience members said the same thing to Vanzant and was quickly corrected. Vanzant said, “You do need a man, so stop saying you don’t.” She then went on to explain how the sentiment around that statement might be blocking the woman and other women from finding a man. Honestly, I had never thought about it that way. But you must admit, she made a valid point.

People of faith often say that God always takes care of our needs, yet, sometimes, not our wants. True, many independent women don’t need a man to take care of their material things. But I don’t believe that is the nexus of the male-female relationship. The symbiotic relationship between a man and a woman (the love!) is the basis of the relationship, not merely the caretaking. And, for that, ladies, you do need a man. A restructuring of your language not only guides your words, but your actions too – especially if you are someone who prays or believes in the power of intention.

It completely revolutionized my thinking about relationships in general. We all need love from others, and when we acknowledge that with intention, then we are setting ourselves up to receive it. By saying you don’t need something you are already handicapping your ability to receive it, even if you want it. The origin of the often repeated “I don’t need a man” line is rooted in a resistance to being vulnerable, and therefore, needy. There is no foul in being vulnerable because romantic relationships require vulnerability on both sides.

I shared my discovery with a group of my single sister-friends who, at first, were resistant to the premise. But as we discussed it more, the truth of the notion became clearer to all of them. We went through various ways that their language about not needing a man had affected not only their thinking, but also their behavior. We all recounted instances during dating or relationships where we’d given the impression that we didn’t need someone else in our lives. It sends the wrong message to your partner or potential partner – no one wants to be with someone who doesn’t need them.

With that said, I still don’t believe in the concept of ‘better half.’ We are all whole beings who need other whole beings in relationships. You are enough by yourself, but in love you do need a man. How has your language about dating or relationships adversely affected your actions?


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