She is not to be trifled with. She has been forged through the burning sands of struggle, adversity, oppression and discrimination. She has had to fight for everything she achieved—socially, politically, sexually, economically, relationally and parentally. Who is she?
She is a Strong Black Woman
This state of instability and strife has required her to evolve into a fiercely self-sufficient woman, wielding the control and power she’s amassed over the years for her own betterment. (no, I’m not hating on black men, I’m just chronicling the plight of many black women.)
Therefore, if you, sir, are trying to win the heart of a strong black woman, you cannot be afraid of her. She, who is in an everlasting fight to secure her place on the food chain, will eat you alive.
Singer/songwriter Jill Scott echoed the sentiments my wife of 18 years, BerNadette, shared with me in the beginning of our marriage. “Don’t be scared of me. If you’re scared of me, I will eat you. I’m not kidding. So there’s no point in me dating someone that’s afraid of me because I can walk all over you. And who wants that?” Scott asked of the Breakfast Club radio show in a 2013 interview.
All strong black women know what she means. But for the fellas, whose eyebrows are bent, let me explain. Over the decades, black women have attained education, money, influence and power. They no longer require the traditional role or resources of a man. In fact, they are now the ones exercising their option to determine what role men will have in their lives.
So, a strong black woman requires a man who’s not intimidated by her beauty, education, money, influence or power. And he’s not scared to share his thoughts and feelings with her because he knows whatever he says will add value to her life. For any man who wants to step to Jill Scott (or any strong black woman) your life experiences and confidence must be a worthy complement to hers.
If you ain’t comin’ correct (with an adequate level of knowledge, wisdom, love and overall sophistication) and you are intimidated by her accumulations, then the control and power she’s amassed (and the skill with which she wields it) will…eat…you…alive! And you, sir, will have no role in her life. So how does a man win the heart of a strong black woman? He needs to do these three tips:
1. Have Your Stuff Together
You’ve got to have your stuff together or at least be close to getting it together. What I mean is, the bare minimums must be in place: job, residence and vehicle. You also must have some long-term goals and some valid short-term plans to reach them. Your faith must exist, and you must be pursuing it further. You’ve got to check these boxes to get on the radar of a strong black woman.
And notice, I didn’t say how much money you have to have. Yes, money is good. But a strong, independent black woman will have enough money to buy herself anything she wants.
2. Listen More Than You Talk
When a man is intimidated by a woman, he will likely try to go on an all-out, self-promotion campaign. He may think by constantly talking about himself and all the qualities she should love in him, he will validate himself in her eyes. But this strategy often backfires, making him look weak, egotistical, competitive or shallow. Instead, win her over not by your resume (which she’ll read into anyway), but by your genuine interest in her. And, of course, you only get to know more about her by listening to her.
The key to listening more than you talk is to find out:
- what things are important to her
- what are her fears and concerns
- how do those fears and concerns influence her decision making
- what does she like vs. love
- what does she dislike vs. hate
- what are her goals and how does she pursue them
- how have her past relationships affected her expectations for future relationships
I could go on, but you get the picture.
3. Add Value to Her Life
From the information you gather listening, now you can add value to her life by helping, supporting and encouraging her in the areas of her interest. And you can use that same information in motivating, challenging and holding her accountable in the areas in which she struggles. Listen intently in order to identify where your life experiences and skillsets can add the most value. This way, when you talk, you are saying something of great value to her.
The tricky part about this is doing it without getting slammed in the “friend zone.” I’ve found if you maintain a little mysteriousness about yourself, it keeps her interested in wanting to find out more (hence, my second point about listening more). Also, do the unexpected. Say the unexpected. Be creative.
This combination of 1) having your stuff together, 2) listening more than you talk and 3) adding value, will give you the best chance to win the heart of a strong black woman.
BMWK, do you agree? If you’re a strong black woman, in what ways can a man keep your attention and win your heart. If you’re a man, how have you won over your strong black woman?
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