Women: Over-Emotional or Under-Valued?

BY: - 1 Mar '13 | Marriage

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single black woman

One day I was speaking with a woman about the dating game and she had plenty to say about being disappointed by men, black men, as she is African American and they are her preference for dating. When I asked her why she cited a specific example and gave me way more detail than I asked for or expected. The following is what she explained to me:

On Monday He [her current man] called her up at work to make plans for Friday — a dinner date.

She got very excited and began planning from the moment they hung up.

On Tuesday, She planned out her outfit: shoes, nails, and began deciding on what was She going to do with her hair by Friday.

On Wednesday, She was skipping lunch to go to the mall (maybe not even the one near her job) to pick up something to wear maybe a new top, maybe an accessory or two, and of course new shoes…

I interjected: “And you’ve got to call your girlfriends to let them know you’re going out.”

She countered: “Honey, I did that as soon as I got off the phone with Him on Monday.”

I decided to remain silent for the remainder of the lecture.

Wednesday came and went in a blur and Thursday was oddly quiet.

Because She had high hopes for Friday she called on Thursday night just to make sure things were still happening — just to be on the safe side. Most wait until the day of…

He didn’t really recall making plans for Friday, or at least not serious ones. Something else came up, maybe His money wasn’t right. Who knows? Either way it’s not going to happen and He was hardly contrite about it, not to the degree that she would expect considering She had been anticipating spending time with Him all week.

She became “emotional.”

He insisted it was no big deal. It’s just dinner. They can go any day, another day, another time. He probably thought he was calming her down but he was only making matters worse.

Then She got angry and started saying things She normally wouldn’t say to someone She really liked and really wanted to spend time with. She’s cursing too.

He said, “You see that’s why I can’t deal with you…you gotta make a big deal out of everything.” He went on to admonish her for Her attitude and Her mouth.

But He didn’t know about the week She spent investing in the few hours she expected to have with Him away from the hustle and bustle of the work week — the rat race that keeps most of us prisoners, the worry and anxiety of bills and the unknown impending future or whatever it may be. It was to be time well spent, spending it with Him.

For Him, it was just dinner.

Then She told me, remaining ever so cool and collected but now with fire in her eyes, “Then We [women] get slammed for being “emotional” (she puts up her index and middle fingers of both hands to mimic quotation marks), especially Black Women, and so many of us are stupid enough to accept the blame for something you’ve (men) caused. And you all go on about your business and move on while we’re sitting around somewhere blaming ourselves for being this way.

I sat there with my mouth hanging open. In a flash, I remember at least 6 times I’ve done the same thing.

And then the light bulb lights up so bright above my head it explodes.

I told her: “What you’re speaking of is an emotional investment versus just being emotionally reactive.”

“Preach,” She responded, seeing that I’ve turned to the page that she is on.

I continued “So you guys get ‘emotional’ after investing your emotions into something and being disappointed…you’re investing in an emotional [I pause to find the words] letdown. And no man would ever invest money into something and remain calm when they lose money, so why should women be any different when it comes to their investments?”

“You are so lucky I’m not charging for this session,” She said with a smile.

I laughed but I wasn’t sure how much truth was in her joke. I instantly feel the levity and the power that comes with enlightenment. In less than fifteen minutes a complete stranger I met at a networking event gave me the keys to understanding nearly every other woman walking the face of the Earth and specifically, my wife.

When I first wrote about this on my blog nearly three years ago, many of the comments, from men and women alike, spoke to the fact that it wasn’t this unsuspecting guy’s fault that this woman went way off the deep end with her plans and then blamed him once it didn’t work out. And of course, the above scenario doesn’t apply to all women or men, but it created a very healthy debate around dating, expectations and most importantly, communication. And it wasn’t only singles who spoke out on this. Married people who believe in the benefits of dating their spouses had plenty to say as well.

BMWK — What do you think? Using the example described above or examples from your own experiences, what needs to be done and/or done better to build love, not strife, between women and men in relationships?

About the author

Eric Payne

http://www.makesmewannaholler.com

Named a Top 50 Dad Blogger in 2011 by Cision Media & awarded Top 50 Dad Blog in 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, Eric writes about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between on his blog MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He speaks around the country about social media and blogging. He is the author of "DAD: As Easy As A, B, C!" and is a regular on CNN's Headline News station and the Jennifer Keitt show on KISS 104.1 FM Atlanta.

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11 WordPress comments on “Women: Over-Emotional or Under-Valued?

  1. Superwife

    First, why does dinner with this particular guy mean so much? Really? Second, when she found out he didn’t have it on his calendar on THURSDAY, that would have given me a whole day to find somebody else to impress with my new outfit. Women go on a date or two with a “decent” guy and all of a sudden he becomes their everything. Before I got married – I had a man in every city and two in my hometown (I was not sleeping with them – but I was enjoying their company – lunch, dinner, drinks, conversation, events etc). That way, no one person became some “date obsession” that I needed to worry about if it didn’t work out. Act like a lady, think like a man, keep your options open (and your legs closed).

    Reply
    1. stephanieb

      Great advice, I wish that I dated more like that Superwife, but I must say, it’s hard to have a lot of options these days. I think many black women are just glad to have one option to go out on a date with, let alone several. It’s so hard out here in terms of dating and black men are continuing more and more to date outside the race, which is leaving us with fewer options. To find a good, trustworthy brother that you really like and have something in common with is getting harder these days and I think that’s why some women overreact when they are dating someone. I have been there, done that, so I know from experience, although I was never as bad as the lady in the article. She went overboard to me, as if going out on a date with this man was like the second coming or something, I mean, WTF, does she not have a life outside of this seeing this man. If he bailed on her go out with someone else, whether it be another guy, friends, or whomever, but having a meltdown over it is not worth it. Nowadays, you can’t take too many people’s words too seriously or you will get your feelings hurt all of the time, I know from experience. A man may ask you out on Monday, and may be taking someone else out by Friday, some folks are just like that, nothing you can do about it, but you CAN control how you respond and how you let it affect you.

      Reply
      1. Superwife

        @ Stephanie – you have to always keep your options open and even be open to hanging out with different races yourself. If you keep it light and don’t see every guy as a potential mate and instead, simply be willing to share the gifts and talents and personality each person brings you will enjoy their company with no expectations except to be accepted and respected. So date a bunch of guys, the nerd, the geek, the musician, the artist, the techno-bot, the professor, the athlete, the spritual guy, the intellectual, the activist, the politician, the homeboy (as long as he ain’t into anything illegal) the regular working man…date them all, sleep with none of them and you will be amazed at how much you grow as a person.

        Reply
  2. Krissy

    This has happened to me several times and you know what, I was pissed the first time, too. But to me, it says something about a man’s character. It says that #1 I’m not a high priority and maybe I was more invested in him than he was in me. #2 His lack of communication is a demonstration that he isn’t a man of his word. If he flakes on the first date, how many future dates/promises will he back out on? I mean really, why couldn’t he just be honest if the case was cold-feet or no money; whatever, be upfront with the person. #3 she should count her blessings, a flake doesn’t make a good partner.

    I’ve also been guilty of getting my hopes up to high. Keep in mind you’re dealing with human beings and they flake out. Maybe we as women need to manage our expectation and not buy a new outfit, shoes, tell everyone every time we get a date. That’s a bit much! Pick out one of the many outfits and shoes you already have and look the date as an opportunity to get to know someone new, not an audition. It may or may not work out, but whatever the outcome, I’m not blown off my base cause one man lacks integrity.

    Reply
  3. Whatevru1nt2b

    Like with most of the comments, I believe that communication is always key. I also agree that this particular situation is unfair to judge without hearing both sides. We have no idea if she thought it was more than it was, what his excuse was or how often she has been in the situation and whether she should have been in shock about the incident or not. However, I love the lightbulb moment because for me that is exactly right. Many people; not just women, invest their emotions into something only to find out the other person is not there (in the same emotional state). This leads back to the first part of my comment. We’ve got to stop assuming and being closed off. We have got to talk to one another. Now if she had asked him either on the spot or after work, what are we going to do, then he would have been left to answer that. There would have been no room for an “I forgot” on his part or over excitement (investment) on hers. This is truly the importance of getting to know someone and finding out if you are equally yoked. She would have known the possibility and had the option to accept it. He would have known how invested she was and if he was equally invested, he would have not taken the situation so lightly. This is a topic that I could speak on forever because of the multitude of variables which is why you can’t put any woman or man in a group category. But this situation, from the information provided can certainly be categorized as Lack of communication on the part of both people involved whether innocently or purposely.

    Reply
  4. Angel

    A male friend of mine once clued me in to the following… He told me that, when a man says, “I’ll call you back when I’m done..” Or anything similar – e.g. ‘when I get off of work,” ‘later on tonight,’ whatever… as soon as he hangs up the phone, he forgets that he even said it. That piece of advice ended a LOT of fights between me and my partner.

    When a man tells a woman he is going to do something, she takes it as his “word.” Apparently, he may not even remember he said it 5 minutes later, as soon as something else distracts him. Maybe women take things too seriously; men-not seriously enough.

    Reply
  5. Ms.

    Key sentence…..Those who anger you control you! Expect nothing from nobody if you’re just ‘dating’. I would have taken myself out that Friday night dancing, met some new folks, had a great time and called it night. We as women need to learn how to have fun by ‘ourselves’. No men, no girlfriends night out, just enjoying getting to know ourselves and our qualities. And once we enjoy and love ourselves, the ‘sting’ of feeling rejected or ‘emotional’ hurts less…..because we make ourselves happy regardless.

    Reply
    1. stephanieb

      I LOVE your comment Ms. and I am working on that. I find for myself, and I think for many people, it’s not easy just being by yourself and having fun without a boyfriend or friends coming along, but I think it’s important. I would love to have the guts, honestly, to just go out to a nice restaurant or club, by myself, and just have fun and meet some new and interesting people, but sometimes you feel a little self-conscious being out by yourself. I agree though, that when you can do this, rejection doesn’t bother you much because you already feel comfortable in your own skin.

      Reply
      1. Ms.

        Try going out by yourself stephanieb! It may seem awkward at first, but actually you open yourself up to meeting different interesting people. Some people come into your life for a season, others stay for a lifetime, and they all bring a learning experience whether good or bad. But it’s the way you respond to the lesson is what counts. I got my first passport a few years back and I’ve been traveling solo every since. And Baby, when I tell you I have the time of my life….LOL

        Reply
  6. Mrs. Jones

    @Superwife

    We’re birds of a feather. I did the same thing before I got married, Due to all of my friends chasing behind one single man for years and eventually getting their heart broken and nothing but wasted years to show for it. Also, your advice of not sleeping with them needs to be broadcast over the air waves, because once you have sex with them, there’s an emotional bond that the woman forms, but the man has gotten what he wants and it’s on to the next skirt.

    Reply

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