I’m a little late with this post but because of the incident I experienced the day after Valentine’s Day, I decided to post this because it’s important for us to raise our standards on the dating scene. Facebook was flooded with pictures of flowers, candy, and “I love you”. There was also drama due to a few women realizing they were not number one. Valentine’s and Sweetest Days are all about “love”. Ladies get dolled up for their men, cook special dinners while their men buy that special gift or propose to their lady love. As beautiful and romantic as it is, unfortunately, we as women tend to use this day as a barometer to test the strength of our relationships. Jokes about ‘side chicks’ aren’t without merit, which is why I want to encourage women –particularly single women like me—to uphold our standards by not succumbing to sharing a man.
I was at the grocery store the day after Valentine’s Day when I turned around and knocked a pack of berries off the shelf with my basket. As I picked them up, the produce employee rushed over to stop me and told me he’ll pick them up. A man standing nearby told me “don’t feel bad; in this store they really don’t mind helping you out.” He then proceeded to strike up a conversation about retail customer service. It was a decent conversation for the most part, but my antennae were up.
So, as I politely responded and attempted to extricate myself from him– while looking for my items, he continued to talk, making eye contact—you know the kind I’m talking about ladies—smiling and doing what men do, looking for an opening. The problem is that I’d seen him walk into the store with his wife ahead of me. My body language and responses were short and ‘closed’ but that did not seem to deter him from trying. He literally followed me around before his wife finally reined him in! As I picked out my ginger root, I heard him innocently explain to her that he was just telling me about how great the store was… and then he turned around and tried to pull me into a conversation with her. It was very uncomfortable and I felt bad for her.
It’s unfortunate because it left me with the impression that this wasn’t “his first Rodeo”. If I had given him any encouragement, we would’ve exchanged numbers and continued on with our day—right under his wife’s nose. As women, we have to understand that there are no winners in that situation. The belief that goes with being the “other woman” would be to think that as the other woman we’re more special than the wife! That we somehow, have much more to offer than she does. This is not true. The reality is that you will always be extra and unimportant. Sadly, along with being extra, you will have lost your own dignity and self-respect along with your integrity.
It is up to us to “cut off the head of the snake”. A man can’t cheat if he has no one to cheat with. I know that sounds like a generalized blanket statement but we have to love ourselves enough to “vet” the men we meet. I was able to go to bed (alone) that night knowing that I chose not to betray another woman’s marriage. I can look in the mirror and know that my integrity is still intact. I proved that I was worth more than the shame and low esteem he was attempting to bring into my head space. As a bonus, he was able to go home with his wife– foiled in his attempt to pick up a woman in the grocery store (well, this woman anyway).
Raising our standards as women allows us to draw a line in the sand. By drawing that line we display tremendous self-love and respect. We get to say that we would rather be alone than to enter a relationship that does not celebrate and honor us as an individual. We get to hold our heads a little higher because we haven’t allowed ourselves to sneak around making phone calls and planning meetings with a man who doesn’t respect and honor the woman he professes to care about –his own wife. In addition, we free our minds from the inevitable turmoil that is bound to follow—i.e. wondering if he’s being “faithful” to us. In raising our standards, we ensure that we are not the “side chick” –thereby subjecting ourselves to spending the week before Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) with another woman’s ‘man’.
I would like to encourage (and challenge) you to resist any man who is not 100% available to you. I believe that every life touches a life and that our actions affect more than our individual lives. As we encourage one another to wait for the man God has for us, I believe that we can slowing but surely dry up the vast pool of “potential” for men who are on the prowl for the “side woman”. You deserve better!
Bolder Sisters how have you protected yourself from an unavailable man?
Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture.