As the Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST director, it was impressed upon my spirit to share a message with our ladies not yet married. I shared this message with others last year and it seems our society’s view on dating, relationships and singleness compels me to revisit the the subject. So brace yourselves for my direct “keeping it 100″ gut check, and hopefully the message allows you to be okay with who you are, right where you’re at in life.
Some time ago, a man remarked, “What’s wrong with her?” with regard to a mid-thirties woman not yet married and without children. I almost came unglued. What did he mean by that?? Is he insinuating she is abnormal or defected? I myself am 37, not yet married and no children. This is my choice and that of many women younger and older. I’ve lived purposefully, fulfilling and pursuing career, educational and personal goals. Yes, I’ve dated several men without them “putting a ring on it” but none were right for me, nor was I best for them. I do believe in marriage and welcome it. I do believe God has been preparing me to receive that special man.
I’ve wasted little time on men who would inevitably be unproductive for my future, just for the sake of having a man on my arm. I haven’t given myself to a slew of casual relationships, as otherwise encouraged by our society. Surely, if our society values healthy relationships, they would educate on the spiritual consequences of “settling” for what you shouldn’t. If I have no plans of bringing you along on the journey, I’m not giving you my body or hand in marriage to silence the ticking biological clock. If my eggs expire, then so be it. Why is it that a man and children has to define my ‘normal’? Why does society still equate our ‘success’ to the 1950’s status of women married with children and the white picket fence?
Women who know their worth don’t question such choices. Men, if you find yourself single at this moment perhaps you’re short on good character, integrity and valor—values that makes a real man’s life worth sharing in. So instead of you asking what’s wrong with her, I should ask, “What’s wrong with you?”
Today’s young women are challenged daily by “what’s normal” in relationships, and living as healthy, productive sexual beings. Our society values adultery, pornography, swinging and everything in between—but a woman who wants to wait and marry the right man, forsaking all fools, is considered abnormal, odd. I don’t get it. I’m taking a stand for our single women to encourage them to love their bodies, love their lives and know they are successful—with or without the man and children.
When you know your identity and your worth, you won’t settle for less. I’ve nearly removed the word “dating” from my vocabulary and have replaced with “getting to know him.” Nor do I update my Facebook status each week to indicate “In a Relationship.” I need time to determine certain elements worthy of a man becoming a special partner in my life. Take time to get to know someone. Time also helps you understand your shortcomings better and how to improve. Allow enough time to ensure his words consistently mirror his actions. He can only “fake the funk” for so long before true colors appear.
Those who have young daughters or know other single women, don’t let society identify her. Please remind her “what’s right with her.”
Nicole D. Hayes desires that girls understand their worth and know their identity. Nicole is the Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Director whereby she communicates the activities, goals, messages, mission and vision of this women’s leadership division. Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST was inspired based on Nicole’s passion to empower and restore women through a global platform in partnership with the talents of other women who share the same passion, varying talents and embody the L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST core leadership traits. In addition to this role, alongside her brother, Nicole is also the co-founder of Pieces of Life, LLC a media relations consultancy based in Washington, D.C. Operating with a company and personal mantra of “making an investment in people,” she serves nonprofit organizations and small businesses desiring media visibility, but lack in-house expertise or budget to hire a full-service agency. She also has a background in broadcast journalism and uses that outlet to address issues for homeless persons and other disenfranchised women, individuals.