HOW MANY MORE FROGS TO PRINCE CHARMING?!

28 Mar Prince Charming Frog

OR, are you just too darn picky?…

I recently participated in a blog talk show panel, entitled “Black Love: The Problem We Have Finding It and Keeping It” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/intheknow/2014/02/06/black-love-the-problems-we-face-finding-it-and-keeping-it. Follow the link for the full panel discussion.

We discussed several issues surrounding single black professional women and the issue most have with finding someone who is equally yoked. I realize this issue has no color, but it seems as though black professional women seem to have a harder time finding a mate than their counterparts of a different race and/or nationality.

A point was made that overall there are less people getting married and this issue appears to be magnified in the black community; where there is an obvious decline in black love and black marriage. The panel was presented with 3 primary issues: 1) the marriage pool of quality black men interested in black women, 2) the economically independent black women who have placed themselves out of the market and 3) the school theory that as black women climb higher in their education, the pool of black men thins out because there are more black women in college than black men. I personally back the economically independent women theory that some women who have attained a certain level of education and success in their career have become too picky in what they desire in a man. I strongly believe in a woman having standards when it comes to what type of man she desires, however, I do believe that some things are mere wants and not necessarily must-haves in a man. I devote a chapter in my book, No Longer a Bridesmaid! to “The Infamous List” that single women have and go into detail about wants and needs versus must-haves.

The List Chapter image

What are your thoughts?

 

ASK TERRY

17 Mar Terry Cato

March 17, 2014

Dear Terry,

What are your thoughts on a woman making more than her man?

-Primary Breadwinner

Dear Primary Breadwinner,

I have no issue with a woman making more income than her man; but then again, I am a woman. This question is highly personal and the best person to ask is a man as their answers will vary based on several factors including their level of self-esteem, how they value money and if it is tied to self-worth, and their view on gender and roles.

I do have a perspective on this issue, since I know of situations where the wife makes more than the husband; and know that for some marriages and relationships this is indeed an issue when the woman makes more money than the man. Modern Day career women have the privilege of being more educated and having more vocation opportunities available to them than women did 50 years ago; and now, more woman than ever work outside the home which has resulted in a vast number of women who have excelled in their career and has resulted in them making just as much as and in many cases more than their spouse. I have witnessed instances where men have publically stated that they do not have an issue with their wife making more money than they do, however, behind closed doors the sentiment is quite different. I actually switched up the AskTerry segment this week and led the Twitter discussion last Thursday to assess people’s general view on this subject. The discussion in summation was that some men do have a problem with their partner making more money than they do because of 1) traditional views of the male being the primary breadwinner, 2) male ego, and 3) men being intimidated by a woman who can provide for herself. There are some things a woman can do to ensure that she does not make her partner feel inferior if she does make more money than he. The first and most important is that she does not belittle his salary or efforts as a provider of the household. Second, the spouse that handles the finances should be the one who is more knowledgeable and responsible in the area of finances and not necessarily the one who makes the most money; in other words, roles in the house or for the family should not be determined by who makes the most money. Finally, the wife should never ever use that fact that she makes more money as a “one up” on her husband insinuating or stating that she is in fact the one holding the house down.

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions. If you have a relationship question or dilemma, email it to ask@terrycato.com

Link

He’s Just Not That into You!

11 Mar

He’s Just Not That into You!

In a new relationship? Wondering if you’re “the one”?

ASK TERRY

6 Mar Terry Cato

March 6, 2014

Dear Terry,

Recently I saw a friend of mine husband casually socializing and having lunch with a woman in the park. A time or two, I thought I saw him lean over close to her. My initial thought was to go over and speak to him and introduce myself to the woman but I didn’t; so he has no idea that I was in the area at that time and saw him. Should I tell my friend?

Sincerely,

Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

Your question sounds simple enough and pretty straight forward. To clear your conscience being that this is your friend’s husband, I say, yes tell her. You should not editorialize what you saw and draw any conclusions that could influence your friend’s thinking in any way. Simply tell her that you saw [name of her husband] having lunch in the park with someone; then allow her to handle or address the situation. She may have even known about the lunch and the person. The lady that your friend’s husband was having lunch with could very well have been a co-worker and they were discussing business. Or she could be a platonic friend or a relative. I strongly suggest that you not draw conclusions to what you saw in any shape form or fashion – looks can sometimes be very deceiving.

Yours truly,

Terry

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions. If you have a relationship question or dilemma, email it to ask@terrycato.com

ASK TERRY

26 Feb Terry Cato

February 26, 2014

Dear Terry,

How many chances do you give to a cheating spouse or an abusive spouse/significant other?

-Almost Fed-up

Dear Almost Fed-up,

Wow, there’s a saying that goes, “short and sweet” my spin on this cliché as it relates to your letter is that it is “short and bitter”. There is no right or wrong answer to your question since the answer will vary based on each individual situation. And it appears from your question that you may be asking for perhaps yourself and/or someone else because there are two parts to your question: 1) a cheating spouse OR 2) an abusive spouse/significant other.

Due to the sensitive nature of your questions, I will keep my answers brief. First of all, if you or someone you know is being physically assaulted, you/they should seek safety. I am not a domestic violence expert and suggest that help be sought out. As far as the infidelity is concerned, there are some women who cannot forgive a cheating partner and others who can move past it. That being said there is no magic number as to how many chances you give a cheating spouse – this answer will vary for each individual.

Finally, there have been previous posts to this blog about infidelity (http://terry411cato.com/?s=infidelity&submit=Search) and domestic violence (http://terry411cato.com/2011/09/23/what%e2%80%99s-love-go-to-do-with-it/). Please refer to these posts for additional information, resources, and encouragement.

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions. If you have a relationship question or dilemma, email it to ask@terrycato.com

ASK TERRY

14 Feb Terry Cato

February 14, 2014

Dear Terry,
Is it okay for a female to shower a male with gifts for Valentine’s Day or is this day strictly for females to receive gifts from a male? –Just Wondering

Dear Just Wondering,
There is no written rule regarding Valentine’s Day gift giving etiquette. The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery and has evolved into what it is today; showing love and appreciation for those special to you. Now-a-days parents give Valentine’s to their children, kids exchange simple Valentine’s at school and those with a romantic interest exchange gifts showing their love and appreciation for the other. As a matter of courtesy, I would say that a male and a female should exchange gifts. If the couple is unmarried and just dating, the gift exchange should be simple and inexpensive; the gift exchange for a married couple – well, the sky is the limit. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

valentines day pic-2

___________________________________________

Dear Terry,
I am currently dating the ex-boyfriend of an acquaintance from college. We graduated from the University almost 15 years ago and haven’t really kept in contact over the years; so we are not friends per se now, and were mere acquaintances in college. I have no problem with dating him, however, a couple of mutual friends are giving me a hard time, saying that I broke the “girlfriend code” by dating someone that one of our friends from college dated. What are your thoughts? Did I break the girlfriend code?
–Confused

Dear Confused,
You made a key point regarding the “girlfriend code” that you and this person were acquaintances, not close friends in college; also sounds like you two have mutual friends. That being understood, I personally do not feel that you broke the girlfriend code. On the other hand, had you and this individual been friends in college, my answer would obviously be different and a bit more complicated. For example, if a friend has dated a guy in the past, is he off limits forever? Even if the friend passes away, is her ex still off limits? What about high school ex-boyfriends, are they off limit as well? Regarding the latter, this will vary based on the friendship and my advice is to assess your friendship with someone before dating their ex, and ask them if they are comfortable with you dating an ex-boyfriend. You may find that you have to choose – don’t be surprised.

_________________

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to this column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions

ASK TERRY

4 Feb Terry Cato

February 4, 2014

Dear Terry,

This situation does not involve me personally, I’m kind of on the outside looking in; and am trying to give some sound advice to someone I care about. My brother has been dating his babies mamma for several years, they have an on-again – off-again kind of relationship; and he has been a live-in boyfriend when they are together. Their relationship has gotten to a crossroad where she wants them to get married and my brother is not interested in getting married at all. This young lady has hinted at asking my brother to marry her since he has not initiated a marriage proposal himself. She has been hanging on waiting for him to propose for years now – it’s obvious he has no plans to ask – at least not anytime soon. I’m screaming inside, “leave him, JUST leave him!” I want to tell her this, but I don’t want to overstep my boundaries or strain the relationship that I have with my brother.

-Frustrated On-looker

Dear Frustrated On-looker,

Wow! I can see you literally, throwing up your hands and yelling, “LEAVE HIM!” All jokes aside, for those on the outside, looking in and trying to understand the dynamics of someone else’s relationship can be quite complicated since we never know all the details of someone else’s relationship business. However, you mentioned several key points that I will address: 1) that your brother and this lady have been dating off and on for several years now. This sounds as if this relationship is “home” for one if not the both of them; meaning, when something better comes along, I will explore that option; and if that relationship does not work out, I know I can always come back to you. How unfair is this? Who wants to be someone’s in the meantime, in between time type of partner? My answer is, no one with a healthy self-esteem; 2) another point you made, that your brother and this lady have children together. This could very well fuel the on-again status of their relationship. Perhaps they are trying to make it work for the sake of the children. They should be careful of trying to force a relationship that perhaps neither of them really wants for the sake of the kids. In the long-run this could backfire – imagine the resentment the person would feel knowing that they only stayed around in a toxic relationship for the children. For some people they are better apart and their children grow up seeing their parents actually co-parent and get along instead of viewing two people live together in dysfunction just because and harbor resentment; and 3) that this woman has hinted at asking your brother to marry her since he appears to have no intention of asking anytime soon. This I see as problematic as well. Tradition aside, the very essence of a man is to seek and conquer. Men love a chase. A woman asking a man to marry her may sound forward thinking and in line with the times, but I guarantee you that any real man would not want his woman asking him for his hand in marriage. I do believe men still want the duty of asking for a woman’s hand in marriage.

_______________________________________________________

Dear Terry,

I am married and I have a secret bank account that my husband has no knowledge of. I’ve had this account since before we were married, there is a significant amount of money in this account – several thousand dollars and I sometimes feel bad about having this secret stash, mainly when things get tight around the house. I am tempted to tell him about the money but always come to my senses before I spill the beans because my mom told me that I should always have some money put aside for a rainy day that my husband does not know about. I feel bad keeping this secret from him, however, I do feel empowered knowing that I have money put away “just in case.” Do you think I should tell him about my secret stash? Why or Why not?

-My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool

Dear My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool,

You are not alone; many women, me included have received this advice from well meaning women in our lives. I understand the concept, however, I do not agree with the “secret” part. Being a woman, I get having a “just in case” stash. Some may ask, what is a “just in case” stash; “just in case” my husband loses the good sense that God gave him and decides to leave me, I will have money to help with my transition. That being said, I do have an account that my husband does not have access to, but he knows I have the account. This account that I maintain is the one that was my main checking when I was single. I can so relate to your dilemma, because I had this same issue prior to getting married. I made the decision to tell my husband about the account, he did not agree with me having it, but understood my position. I simply did/do not want to put my total financial trust in a man, especially being that I was single and self-sufficient for so long. Additionally, I have flashbacks of that scene in the book and movie “Waiting to Exhale” when Bernadette went to the bank and she couldn’t access the joint accounts. I cannot tell you what to do; however, I believe you already know what to do. First of all, do some soul searching and come to terms with why exactly are you maintaining a “secret” account; then discuss your feelings with your husband – be open and honest. In this situation, communication is critical – there is a much deeper issue than keeping a secret bank account.

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog. You may submit your question or relationship dilemma to ask@terrycato.com for the chance to be one of the featured questions of the week.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions

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