• Necole Renee Sharnell

Let him bite your neck!

Submitted by Guest Writer: Elexio Baillou

The average single woman I know (Christian or otherwise) embodies kindness, humor, and commitment. She is disciplined and focused in a myriad of ventures and does all she can to show herself to be exceptional. Whether in her 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s she embodies strength and resilience that is to be admired and idolized. Therefore, the quandary becomes why is it that such extraordinary individuals are SINGLE? Why is it that such women struggle to engage in a healthy, dynamic, and hopefully life-lasting partnership? Why is it that women of color, particularly Christian women are unable to meet suitors?

Simply put, I believe that the society and by extension the Church establishes an expectation within the hearts of women relationally that it works simultaneously to defeat. In other words, Godly women are conditioned to seek in a man what the overarching culture represses in them. In essence, women are often single because the emotionally intelligent, financially independent, relationally monogamous, educationally matriculated and spiritually mature man she yearns for, no longer exists.

As I continue our discourse I deem it necessary at this juncture to ensure that the conglomerate of exceptional female luminaries who will read this piece are made aware of two crucial factors that affect the quality of their potential counterparts. That is, "no man is an island"; by this I mean that men are impacted and shaped by the nature of the world in which they find themselves and their resulting response to it. Secondly, dreams and desires are nebulous entities which exist within our psyche but are often deeply detached from reality. The Situation I have discovered from personal experience and at times humorous observations that very many of the members of the fraternal society (both within and without the walls of the Church) struggle to communicate the depth and breadth of their feelings. Emotional self awareness is not a skill encouraged within our hyper-masculine, testosterone-driven Caribbean Christian climate. And while most women I encounter desire to connect with men who showcase a measure of vulnerability and affection, are punished for such displays deeming it characteristically "soft", "sissy-ish", "punk-like", and so forth. This results in a cadre of men who mature into adulthood with a severe disconnect from the plurality of emotions they carry. Even more they possess limited capacity to communicate such truths to themselves, their peers, or potentially a future intimate partner.

While women are often nurtured to be caring, such expressions when displayed through men outside of the pursuit of sex, is deemed dysfunctional and often met with suspicion. Thus, by the time our boys become 7 years old they are directly and indirectly conditioned to become the kind of men who fit easily into our present cadre of emotionally out of touch, stoic figures that women are now left to choose mates from.

To make matters, some women even praise this kind of state in a man and if engaged with such a one, they suffer the repercussions thereof. That is, they are left to loving a man who will do little to attend to her psychological well-being because doing so is beyond his capacity.

The Solution The concern then becomes what should women do in such situations. Herein is where I believe that women need to quickly ascertain the psychological state of the men around them. They should pay attention to and engage him with the intention not of or for a more intimate relationship but rather emotional wellness. I believe that single women, especially those within the church need to ignore the noise made by the their ticking maternal clocks and the surrounding pressure of society to "settle down" and instead develop a capacity to recognize the signs of depression, anxiety, anger and other negative forces in (often) silent operation within the men around them. Doing so will serve to simultaneously protect them from what amounts to an increasing number of men who they would do better to "just be friends" with and enable them to wisely direct more viable partners in the direction of the therapeutic aid needed. Or at the very least it will help them to safeguard themselves with the men they so choose to court, date, and marry while serving as a kind of interim emotional support (not handicap) with the intent of him maturing into the kind of man who is deserving of her confidence. Be advised that I do not believe it is the responsibility of any woman to pander to or cuddle any man. However, I do believe that if women would seek to engage a man that is emotionally capable of investing into her, that she should recognize that typically such a skill is likely underdeveloped within the psychological arsenal of many men. It is hidden under the veneer of bravado, grunts, head nods, and uncomfortable postures as they attempt to maintain their status as "real men".

And it is THAT MAN, that man who is whole that deserves the right to caress her soul, to experience her vulnerability, to sink his metaphorical teeth into the deepest parts of herself.


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