Last weekend my city, Houston, hosted the Final Four and the city was ablaze with all sorts of activities for everyone. I admit, I am not a sports fan, nor do I enjoy large crowed; however, I did venture into Discovery Green for the Kendrick Lamar concert because I am a fan of Kendrick’s music.
The temperature was somewhat cool Saturday (caveat, I consider any temperature below 80F chilly *lol*) and as such my attire was event and temperature appropriate for me (loose boyfriend jeans cuffed at the ankle, a crisp long sleeve white button shirt, cuffed at the sleeves, red loafers, hair in a pompadour and gold chunky accessories.)
My sister friend and I were standing in the back away from the extremely large crowd near the stage and at 7:15P exactly, Kendrick was at the mic going into his first song. I was bobbing my head to the beat and enjoying the show. Unbeknownst to me there were a few men standing behind us at a distance. One of the men approached me from my right side and gave a compliment in reference to my style. I thanked him and continued to take in the show. About an hour or so into Kendrick’s set, the same guy approached again, this time standing in front of me and began chatting. The conversation was casual, we spoke about Kendrick’s performance, life in the city, international travel to the Caribbean, our careers, etc.
He asked if I would like to accompany him one day to lunch and I said, ‘Sure.’ He asked for my phone number, but did not pull out his device or something to write with, which I thought was quite odd. When I asked him about it, he said he would remember it. At this time, I noticed his left hand was in his pocket and I asked,
Me: Are you married?
Me: No, I will not go to lunch with you.
Him: Why not?
Me: Because I do not go out with other women’s husbands.
I mentioned my attire because some erroneously believe it is the way a woman is dressed that is responsible for the way some men act. I was not in a skin tight short dress bent over in front of him slow wining, twerking or any of the other form of dance that apparently mesmerizes some men. But what it I were, do we have the expectation or have we accepted that men cannot and are not responsible for their behavior? I did not approach him and strike up a conversation with him. This man went out of his way to chat with me. I was unaware of his existence prior to him making it a point to speak to me on two different occasions. We are adults, so casual conversations while out is not an infraction, however, asking for a phone number and extending invitations as a married man is absolutely an infraction (well according to my values). We both know his intentions were not to become my mentor or platonic friend. Prior to ending this exchange, I said the following this him:
“I am sure your wife thinks you are a prize. However, you are doing a very poor job representing your coveted ‘WE’ space. Would you have approached me, initiated this conversation, asked for my number or extended the lunch invite if your wife were here? Sir, you are to represent her everywhere you go. You are to represent your marriage, every moment and in every situation. Do better. Be better. Be the prize she thinks you are.” And with that I turned around and walked away.
Perhaps it is time for some men to re-evaluate what they think marriage means. If you are not ready to be married or cannot or will not uphold the vows taken to honor, protect and nurture the relationship, then do not get married. Do not sell a woman a dream that you want and are capable of co-creating a married life filled with similar values if you do not or cannot.
***For Married/Committed Men***
If you have difficulty ascertaining appropriate and inappropriate behavior as it pertains to interacting with women always ask yourself the following BEFORE taking action:
1. Would I have this conversation in the presence of my significant other (S/O)?
2. Am I okay if my S/O were to view this text/email/social media exchange?
3. Would I engage in this activity in the presence of my S/O?
4. Would I be proud or ashamed if my S/O were to find out about ‘this?’
5. Is there any way my words or behavior with this individual could be viewed as inappropriate?
6. How would I feel if my S/O were to engage in this conversation or behavior with another man?
One of the WORST things is betrayal whether it is emotional, mental or physical because the sacred space has been permeated. Marriage should look very different than any of your other relationships although similar qualities are present (i.e. honesty, healthy communication, respect, etc). The scenario above ended because of MY VALUES and the way I choose to live MY life. I honor and respect love both mine and others. I live my life with very specific boundaries aligned with my values which are aligned with my highest good.
***For Single Women****
1. Love has not forgotten you.
2. Your love will NOT present as someone else’s husband or significant other (S/O).
3. You deserve a love of your own.
4. Stop entertaining married men! He is not available legally, emotionally, mentally or spiritually therefore you should not be physically (sexually) available for him.
5. Learn how to say no.
6. You are worthy!
Honor your relationship. Make the emotional well-being of your significant other a priority. If needed, assess and revise your values. Healthy relationships require emotionally healthy individuals. Love is a mature space…not for little boys or girls who are ‘playing’ adults. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS