Month: October 2011

Maybe Kim Kardashian Should Try an African Man: 8 Reasons to Date an African Man

By now you’ve probably heard the news: Kim K is getting a divorce after 72 days of marriage to Kris Humphries. It’s interesting that I wrote about Kim’s marriage to Kris just a few weeks ago, and how women should take note of how to get down the aisle within a decent amount of record time. Kim is famous for dating black men, and though these may be great guys, perhaps she’s not dating the right type of black man. Madamenoire recently listed eight reasons to date an African man: http://madamenoire.com/82252/8-reasons-to-date-an-african-man, and I think Kim should take note. I have to agree with the author of this article when they say that, “For some, the idea of dating an African man conjures up a lot of myths and fears like the image of the over-controlling man.” However, there ARE great African men out there; make sure to join www.bandeka.com to find some of them!

Below are snippets of the list. Enjoy!

1. They are chivalrous 

“It’s that simple. They have good manners and a strong sense of chivalry – something that is quickly eroding amongst all our home-grown American men… So don’t worry, he’ll for sure be a gentleman and pay for your first date, second date, etc. We know that sounds like common courtesy but these days, it’s no guarantee.”

2. They are the cream of the crop

“If you’re dating someone from Africa, most likely he went through a lot to make it [to the US] and that’s a testament to his work ethic and his sense of commitment for paving a better future for himself and his family. Hardworking? Check!”

3. They have a more balanced perspective

“Poverty and civil wars plague many countries in Africa, giving many a more balanced perspective on life than most Americans who are used to a certain, comfortable standard of living. A man who doesn’t take life for granted is someone who has his principles in order.”

4. You’d get to travel

“Chances are your potential African boo not only has family and friends back in his homeland, but also has folks all over the world like Dubai, London, Australia and Germany.”

5. They know how to cook

“They might have been spoiled by their moms [sisters, and aunts] growing up, but they sure paid close attention to [those] recipes growing up. So go ahead, enjoy his egusi, chicken yassa or pilau.”

6. They’re neat

“Okay, so I’m going off personal experience here but a lot of the men I know who were raised in Africa are super neat. Maybe that ties into the principle of not taking anything for granted, being resourceful, and being grateful for the things that hard-earned money can buy.”

7. Your children will get to learn a second language and be exposed to another culture

“Your future … children will get to be exposed to another culture and maybe also a new language by practicing with their father and spending summers with their paternal grandparents.”

8. You’ll inherit a big crazy fun family 

“It may be expensive to hold down a large family but lord knows big families are a lot of fun. Not only will you have a lot of in-laws to entertain over the holidays and many social functions to attend but your children will get to visit cousins all over the world.”

I find it quite interesting to read the comments at the end of this article. So, what are your reasons for dating African men?

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Is It Better to Be Alone, or to Settle?

I’ve been sent this article by a few people, and after reading it I still don’t know what to think. For those of you who haven’t seen Kate Bolick’s ‘All the Single Ladies’ article or some form of commentary about it, here’s a quick summary of her main point, as neatly provided by one of the co-founders of Bandeka:

“People go round looking for Mr. Right/ Ms. Perfect (often times getting out of relationships because “something doesn’t add up” or “it just doesn’t feel right” or some such without some real concrete issue and if concrete issue, often minor and reconcilable) especially in their mid to late 20s, early 30s. Then when they’re mature and older and lonelier (either divorced from the stud they married or the hot chick they went after and married within a year), they realize the nerd from back when they were 28 was really the best person… but then it’s too late.”

In essence, the grass isn’t always greener post-breakup. Bolick shares her own story in the piece as she speaks about her regret of breaking up with her boyfriend of 3 years at age 28 (for no good reason) – “he was (and remains) an exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind.” Explaining her behavior, Bolick says she had “two intangible yet undeniable convictions: something was missing; [and] I wasn’t ready to settle down.” But now hitting 40, she is realizing that that breakup could have been the biggest mistake of her life:

Today I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a “good enough” mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck. A decade ago, luck didn’t even cross my mind. I’d been in love before, and I’d be in love again. This wasn’t hubris so much as naïveté; I’d had serious, long-term boyfriends since my freshman year of high school, and simply couldn’t envision my life any differently.

In her article, Bolick explains that her story is not uncommon among women today. She attributes many reasons, including unrealistic expectations of marriage, and a desire for two incompatible states of being- autonomy and intimacy, among other things. She also discusses how men these days have more choices to choose from and this decreases their desire to commit:

“… the more successful a man is (or thinks he is), the less interested he is in commitment.”

She recalls her discussion regarding black men with Professor Richard Banks of ‘Is Marriage for White People?’:

“If you’re a successful black man in New York City, one of the most appealing and sought-after men around, your options are plentiful,” Banks told me. “Why marry if you don’t have to?” (Or, as he quotes one black man in his book, “If you have four quality women you’re dating and they’re in a rotation, who’s going to rush into a marriage?”)

She also points out that in 2010, The New York Times ran a much-discussed article chronicling this phenomenon among college-aged men. “If a guy is not getting what he wants, he can quickly and abruptly go to the next one, because there are so many [women available].”

The blame isn’t solely on men however, as the evolution of a woman’s freedom and independence has played a major role in this particular outcome. I’m not sure what to make of Bolick’s article, honestly. What do you think? Is settling the only alternative for women who desire to be married by a certain age? Before you start firing off, the ‘desire to be married by a certain age’ is key here. Take our poll below- even if you are a guy!

Where Are the Best Places to Meet People?

Two weeks ago I talked about the similarities between dating and looking for a job, and the first similarity was in regards to where to find a suitable mate: in places where you know others are looking. The article I referred to didn’t list where these places are, so I’m wondering where are the best places to meet people these days?

The Bandeka team has been hard at work adding new features that have JUST BEEN LAUNCHED! For those that don’t know where the idea for Bandeka arose from: while in business school, co-founders Tunde and Yaw found that their friends and colleagues were expressing their dissatisfaction with the traditional forms of meeting potential mates: bars and other social venues, pure chance?? So they thought it should be easier for like-minded Africans to meet!

Bandeka is an adaptation of the word Bandika, or ‘connect’ in Swahili. The site’s goal is to connect amazing Africans, who without a platform targeted towards them, may never meet.  On the site, you are allowed to search for members by African nationality, current residence, and other characteristics. You can also get relationship advice from members, attend our private social events (we’ve had one already and will be having one tonight), and find out who on the platform has a mutual interest in you. The site has now transitioned to invite-only so make sure to get your friends to invite you, or email us talktous@bandeka.com for more information.

For those of you wondering where to meet members of the opposite sex, Askmen.com counts down the top 10 ways to meet girls outside of bars: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/dating/top-10-ways-to-meet-girls-outside-of-bars.html … I honestly think the list is missing some of the obvious places like at a friends house or at church.

10. The Gym: “This is one of the easiest places to meet a woman if you play your cards right…A word of warning: Wait until she’s finished working out. Interrupting her while she’s running on the treadmill is not a good move and likely to get you shot down.”

9. The Grocery Store: “An exceptionally accessible place to pick up women, because there are so many things you can ask her about. “Have you tried these chocolate-coated gummy bears?” Or, “Do you know which aisle the pickles are in?” Not to mention, different supermarkets attract different types of women. There are the monster chains, the budget chains, the natural/organic indie stores or the monolith natural grocery chains. Know who you’re looking to attract, and then home in on them.”

8. Art Museum Parties: “Not only is it safe to assume she’s relatively well-cultured… but she is likely well-traveled, intelligent and unique. Most cities have a “First Friday,” which is a free party at one of the local art museums.”

7. Music Festival: “You already know she has excellent musical tastes, and you have an easy conversation starter: the band.”

6. Laundromat: “It takes at least half an hour to wash a load and another 45 minutes to dry it. In other words, you’ve got plenty of time to ‘work your charm’.”

5. Volunteering: “Even the most cynical of women will likely find a man who cares about saving the world sexy. When a guy can show his caring side (while still appearing masculine), it sets off a woman’s “awww” factor.”

4. The Shoe Store: “…guys can easily feign ignorance when it comes to dressing themselves. Choose two pairs of shoes you can’t decide between, and ask lady lovely for her opinion.”

3. Join a Class or Team: “A woman who joins a sports team is likely to be fun and outgoing and not afraid to get a little dirty. The bonus is you’ll get to know her over time as opposed to feeling pressured to hit on her ASAP.”

2. The Book Store: “This might be one of the most perfect places to meet a woman for the simple fact that many have a coffee shop, giving you a built-in date of sorts. Plus, you’ll get some insight into her psyche based on what she’s reading.”

1. In line, Any Line: “Think about it: Standing in line sucks. Especially if you’re at the return line at the electronics store after the holidays, the DMV, the post office, or any government office. When people are irritated, they need a sympathetic ear to vent their frustration… She’s got plenty of time and nowhere to go except two steps forward.

Poll [Results] Wednesday – 10/19/2011

Would You Date/Marry Someone Outside Your Race?*

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The results of this poll don’t really surprise me, but as me and one of the co-founders of Bandeka were discussing: people’s ‘stated preferences’ are usually different from reality. Although people are more and more okay with the ‘idea’ of interracial dating and marriage, this doesn’t mean that they are actually getting into interracial relationships; also, in terms of interracial relationships, not all are equal. Take a look at this recent BET article discussing this exact topic:

According to a new piece from NPR, almost 7.5 percent of all marriages in America are now interracial. But not all interracial relationships are created equally: As of 2010, just 0.3 percent of white men in marriages were married to Black women, and just 0.8 percent of white women in marriages were married to Black men. By contrast, 2.1 percent of white men in marriages were married to Asian or American Indian women, and 1.4 percent of married white women had an Asian or American Indian spouse…

It’s a strange fact that whites and Blacks just aren’t getting married to each other at significant rates, despite the fact that the vast majority of both — 84 percent of whites and 96 percent of Blacks — support the idea.

*The original poll was posted on September 26th, 2011: https://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/would-you-consider-interracial-dating-or-marriage/

What a Black Woman Has to Say About Submission… You Might Be Surprised.

I think one of the most dreaded words for an independent woman is ‘submit’. I don’t need to go into much detail as to why some independent women dread this word/concept within the context of a committed relationship, but I want you to take a look at the short video below and see how you feel about Shanel Cooper’s take on submission. Is there really power in being submissive as a woman?

In the clip below, the author of ‘Stilettos in the Kitchen’ lays out the traditional roles of women and men as follows:

Traditional roles of womanhood: taking care of home, cooking, taking care of your children, nurturing, teaching, loving, uplifting, taking care of your man.

Traditional roles of manhood: Protect, provide, conquer, be strong, provide a home for a woman to nurture and love.

Is there something to say about the traditional roles of men and women in a relationship, or have we moved past that in the 21st century? Can men and women have successful relationships with altered roles, or are the traditional roles just the way things are supposed to be?

A rhetorical question was posed in this BellaNaija article* that I thought I would pose to you as well: “How is it that after I have had the same job shift as my husband I am meant to come home to the cooking and cleaning and he comes home to the sofa and latest Manchester United scores?”

**Pay close attention to 2:08-3:17

* If the article doesn’t open at first, refresh the page.

Now that You’re a Grown-Up, it’s Time to Date Like One

If we were really honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that with age doesn’t always come wisdom. Every now and then we need to be reminded of proper dating etiquette, so I’m dropping off some reminders of how to act like an adult while dating. Madamenoire lays down the law with 6 love rules you SHOULD have learned in high school: http://madamenoire.com/68118/love-rules-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school

1. Telling Messy Friends Your Business

“Your friends are essential for both support and encouragement. When you were young and didn’t know better, you told ALL your friends EVERYTHING…  As an adult, you should know to be more selective about where you seek counsel. There are some friends that WILL tell your business and some that just give bad advice.”

2. Fighting over a Man (or Woman)

“Some slick pretty boy might have played you against another girl in high school, but why is this still happening now you’re grown?… It’s childish, crass and not what a confident, grown woman [or man] would do.”

3.  Blowing up his (her) phone 

“A grown woman knows that if a man is not answering his phone it’s for one of three reasons: 1) He’s busy 2)He doesn’t want to talk to you 3)He’s dead. Continuously calling his phone will not change any of the above conditions. All it does is make you look desperate and/or needy. If he doesn’t pick up, leave 1 message or 1 text. If he cares about you, he will call you back.” Same goes for her.

4. Trying To Purposefully Make Him Jealous 

“When you were in high school…you flirted with his friends and sent yourself flowers in homeroom. Now you’re an adult, you should know that all these games are immature and unnecessary. If a man loves you, you cannot get rid of him. If you need to trick him into paying attention to you, he’s not that into you.”

5. Being too Available 

“In high school, you may have left your homework undone and dissed your friends just to spend quality time with your boo. Now that you’re grown, you should know to keep your life balanced. Your entire existence shouldn’t revolve around your man [woman]. You should tend to your love life, but also value your friendships and take care of all your work obligations.”

                   6. Accepting Poor Manners

“In high school, you may have tolerated him rolling up and beeping the horn for a date. Maybe as a teenager you may have even thought it was OK for him to ignore you when he was around his friends. Now that you’re an adult, you should demand the proper respect from any man you spend time with. He should be a gentleman and show deference.” Likewise she should act like a lady and show respect.

So how do you fare? Do you think anything else is missing from this list? All I can say now is, ‘since we know better, we must do better.’

Should You Remain Friends With An Ex?

Given the success of my last music-inspired post, I had to do another one. This link http://bossip.com/463076/adele-forgives-ex-boyfriend-who-inspired-album-21-90210/ popped up on my twitter timeline the other day, and it got me thinking about how people deal with their exes. I’m pretty sure the majority of us could only wish to have an outcome such as Adele’s after a breakup. The 2-time grammy winner and dubbed ‘queen of pain’ has had tremendous success from her 2nd album, ‘21′: 10 million copies, #1 in 18 countries at one point. Most people know that it was a devastating breakup that served as inspiration for her award-winning album; with songs such as ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep‘, it is no wonder Adele has soared to the top of the charts. Not only is her voice timeless, but she has been able to convey such raw emotion in her songs about love and heartache.

Regarding her ex, Adele said recently in an interview, “We’re becoming friends again. It’s alright, I know what I’m doing. Enough time has gone by… He changed my life, I can’t deny that. The album helped me get over splitting up with [him]. It helped me forgive and I hope that he has forgiven himself.”

I’m wondering what you all think about it? When should you let an ex go for good and when should you remain friends? I thought it was interesting that bossip.com stated in their article: ” [with] 10 million album sold… why not forgive him?” To me, forgiveness and getting over a relationship is a very different thing than friendship, especially if your breakup wasn’t mutual (and in her case also pretty devastating). Friendship takes a lot more strength (and generally more time). In my experience, I don’t see very many people staying friends with their exes- and let me be clear here, I’m assuming friendship to be more than just the sporadic ‘hey, how’s it going, I hope you’re well’. However, if you are able to truly get over the person and remain friends, more power to you. Usually the true test comes when the other person moves on, how do you feel then?

So let me know, do you remain friends with your exes? Does it depend on whether the breakup was mutual or not? Or whether you hang in the same circles? Take our poll below.