I have been thinking a lot about gender roles in relationships. I’m beginning to understand through conversations with others in my field that gender roles are even more important in relationships than I originally thought.
Think about it. If a woman can do anything and everything without me, then what does she really need me for—other than a “jump off?” Whether it’s because of the typical challenges facing black men or a growing female-empowered society, today’s black women have been conditioned and encouraged to be capable and prepared to take care of themselves. In theory, that’s not a bad idea.
Theoretically, every woman—and man—should be self-sufficient (if not, at least striving to be). She should be able to provide for herself, cook for herself, care for herself, right? But if you can do everything for yourself, then you really, REALLY don’t need a man.
Yes, you probably don’t need the presence of another person to have a good life. But I personally believe there are three really solid arguments as to why a life mate can enhance your life:
The first point is leadership. Even the strongest of women can appreciate a strong man by her side—a man who takes ownership and leadership in a relationship. I have yet to meet a married woman who doesn’t appreciate her husband’s leadership.
Leadership isn’t about imposing someone’s will on you or trying to totally change your life into a pseudo-dictatorship. Leadership in relationships is about finding a comfort level with your mate, where she trusts your decision making and being a servant to your woman to make things happen for her.
Our best example of leadership is Christ. During His time on earth, He was a servant. As men, we should look to that example of leadership to add the right kind of value to a woman’s life in that area.
Consider the sense of security that kind of leadership brings to your life, knowing that there is another person who cares enough to look out for your best interests.
Life is difficult. Even success is not easy. There will be times when we need to vent, we need a shoulder to lean on and we need someone to celebrate our wins with. As men, we should want to be there for our mates in every way possible.
We want to support her in her challenges and celebrate her wins. We also want to walk with our mate day to day and add balance to her life. Companionship brings balance to our minds and hearts—a balance that we can’t get alone.
I know we hear that women are our “help mates,” and that’s true. For example, I’m sure you all have heard the idiom: “Behind every good man is a good woman.”
Well, it’s also true that women need our support. Yes, they can use our help in tangible ways for things like replacing a light bulb, taking out the trash, carrying the groceries, co-parenting the children and entertaining her physically. All of that is true, but they need our psychological and spiritual support as well.
Studies have shown married couples are less likely to have stress than singles. So a mate isn’t necessarily needed to support you in everyday tasks. But having someone to share your burdens and back you up can ease your individual pressure when the realities of life strike.
Women need to know someone has their back. Women want to know that you are committed. Ladies want to feel like they are your priority.
Some might define a “need” as an essential, meaning you can’t survive without it. As many of you can probably attest, there are many women who have successfully navigated through life without the help of a man.
But you can also define a “need” as something that is very important, meaning it’s non-essential but extremely valuable. And in this case, I believe that ladies need leadership, companionship and support.
BMWK, give us your thoughts? Can you truly have it all without a man?