I love black men. That’s a fact. It doesn’t change even though this country consistently portrays them in a negative light. The world tries to tear them down, but I won’t. I’m not perfect and I didn’t always use my tongue to build these Kings up in the past. I do believe that as young women we’ve underestimated how much power truly lied in our words at some point. Even when a man puts on an act like he isn’t listening – he might actually be. When you give him advice and he does the opposite – it doesn’t necessarily mean that he didn’t take what you had to say into consideration.
I didn’t always think this way. I used to talk AT men instead of TO them. I didn’t nurture them. I wasn’t sensitive to how hard this world was on them because I was raised to believe in the justice system. These days I know better. Supporting your King mentally and emotionally doesn’t always have to be a super deep or complex ritual. Try using these phrases on him.
I’m proud of you. Men have hang ups just too. They wonder if they’re good enough. And who doesn’t want their achievements celebrated? It’s not just about the huge victories. The small ones count as well. The guy I’m now seeing (we’ll call him Maybach) had a medical appointment and he wasn’t satisfied with the doctor’s assessment. I’d previously told him that he needed to be his own advocate for his health. Without any probing from me he made another appointment to get a second opinion! For a man it’s a big step in the right direction. And yes I told him I was proud!
What do you think? As women when something is wrong we tend to go into all the details of how we feel and why life just sucks sooo bad. But a man’s natural instinct is to solve the problem. Your King wants to help you. So let him! The next time you’re faced with a dilemma (even if it’s as small as which color to put on your accent wall) ask him what he thinks. It’ll make him feel wonderful to know that you care about what he has to say.
How can I help? A good man carries his share of burdens. Instead of being outspoken about it they’ll internalize what they feel and not ask for assistance. The thing is, everyone reacts to stress differently. You might think he needs a massage and a fancy dinner when what he’d prefer is a day of uninterrupted sleep. Asking how you can help shows that you’re open to giving your King what he really needs instead of assuming and doing what you think is best.
You look/smell amazing/sexy/great. I’m a bit of a creep. There, I admit it. I snap photos of people when they aren’t looking among other things that I dare not admit on this here post. A couple of weeks ago Maybach and I did a wine and cheese tasting at Talk of the Table. We were running late so I told him I’d meet him outside instead of having him come to the door. He didn’t know it at first but I watched him groom himself and spray on cologne before getting out of his car. I made sure to let him know how good he looked and smelled! Later he said “I did all this…making sure I smell good and stuff, for you.” See, men are sentimental too. Let him know that you notice him.
I won’t tell anyone. Every relationship has its secrets. There are topics that you’ll discuss with your King that he doesn’t want anyone else to know about. It might be a tiny miracle that he even told you a particular thing. Us women dish some details about our love lives during girl night – it’s just what we do! But before you do, think about your King and remember that people don’t need details. Saying this simple statement to your King and actually honoring it builds his trust in you as a cornerstone. Over time he’ll be more comfortable coming to you about sensitive subjects without fear because he knows that his reputation and his masculinity is covered by you.
You always know just what to say. This goes back to the fact that men are natural problem solvers. As your King gets more in tune with you he’ll be able to give input without you having to ask “what do you think?” I battle with anxiety and I know that feeling of peace that washes over you when a person says something comforting at just the right moment. Let your King know when he speaks to your spirit and he will continue to do it.
I appreciate you. I say this one often to my family and friends. “You” is the most important part of the statement. This is deeper than saying “I appreciate what you did for me.” It’s not about what you can get out of a person it’s about recognizing what makes them, them! Have you ever felt undervalued? Ever felt like those around you don’t understand how much effort you really give them? Your King has these same feelings. If no one else in the world lets him know how important he is, you definitely should!
I believe in you. I think every single person faces self-doubt at some point. It’s human nature to have a goal and think “I’m not sure if I can do this.” Believe it or not, the people around us can actually see the greatness within us before we fully see it ourselves. This includes leeches and opportunists so beware! Anyway…knowing that there’s at least one person who has limitless faith in them is a motivator for our Kings to continue pushing forward.
I support you. This is a few paces ahead of “I believe in you.” Supporting your King means that you’re willing to play an active role in whatever he’s doing. If he’s been working a lot of overtime to snag a promotion at work, I support you can be translated as…you won’t complain about not having enough quality time with him. If your King has a plan to save a significant amount of money to buy a home, car or whatever his heart desires, I support you can be translated as…you coming up with creative date night ideas that cost little to no money. Support is an action word.
Get some rest. Please, please please urge your Black King to do this. I can’t help but think about the oppression that black people face overall and how magnified the lasting effects have been on our men. Here’s some of the things they have to do or deal with based on the pressures of society: not wear their in locs, watch sports, show no emotion, be a provider, have huge penises, be supportive to their women, protect their families, dress nice, have a banging body (which will always be subjective), be told that they’re dead beat dads (even when they’re actively trying to be in their child’s life. It’s more common than you think), be told that something’s wrong with them because they have a close relationship with their mother…should I go on? I mean, I could but I don’t even want to. Our Black Kings need us to help them understand that they don’t have to be everything to everyone at every moment. Tell that man to relax, sis. And he might not even know HOW to do it. Again, help him.
If you’re already telling your King these things I salute you! I’m not judging you if you aren’t. But today is a perfect day to start. I know you might be thinking “What about me Candace? I’m a Black Queen and deserve to be treated like one!” I agree wholeheartedly! But this post isn’t about us. Each person in a relationship should focus more on what they’re supposed to be doing and less on what their partner isn’t doing. Personal opinion. Above all – be genuine in whatever you choose to say to your King.
THE MAN’S PERSPECTIVE
I wanted this post to be balanced so I asked Maybach the following question: what’s something that a woman you’re romantically involved with say to lift your spirits? He had no idea that I was writing this blog post at the time. His answer was very simple but tied into a lot of the phrases that I gave above.
He said that the main thing is to make a man feel like you’re checking in on him. Little messages like “are you okay?” go a great distance with a man. He pointed out that a lot men grew up without a dad and come from a household with a single mother. For these men, having a woman in his life that looks out for him is even more important than someone who was reared in a traditional family. He pointed out that men are naturally distrusting so they don’t always do the emotional things that us women deeply crave. So having a woman that doesn’t mind initiating the display of care with a kind word or message to let him know he’s on her mind is valued. His last point was that men must feel needed and wanted. He said women need to stop the independent shit (mentality) because it’s a turn off.
Well said Maybach!
What do you think? Are my views too old fashioned? Do you think the words you speak to your King really make a difference?
Until next time…