I realize that this may not reach as many eyes as I would hope. But, I think it is my duty as a spokeswoman for the Single Black Girl Club to make this known.
We don't want your advice.
I know. It may seem like we do. It may seem like we are longing for confirmation that we are ACTUALLY good people. That we aren't as screwed as our past relationships have proved. I know it may seem like we're hoping for someone to give us a formula that, if followed, will lead Prince Charming to our tower in the sky (wrong fairytale? Eh...*shrugs*).
Here's what happens:
We spend most of our time enjoying our single lives. Vacations, girls nights, freedom to come and go as we please. But sometimes, when we have a crappy day or when our tummy hurts, or when we find ourselves at a friend's party and we're the only ones NOT coupled up...we want to find bae.
This doesn't mean that we're lonely or desperate or in need of your advice. It just means that we want a significant other.
Now, I've been single for some time now. And I've had my fair share of failed relationships (or situationships - I know, I have my own issues to deal with) but one thing I learned from all of that: there is no real way to do it. So stop trying to tell us that. Stop trying to give us the handbook on dating and marriage because it doesn't exist.
Most of us are strong women who have been through enough pain and heartache to last us a lifetime and quite honestly, throwing your advice about patience at us doesn't heal that. In fact, it makes it worse.
I'm a solution-oriented person. So, here are a few things you can do instead of offer advice:
listen. Most of the time we just need an ear. Just be attentive and caring.
understand. Or at least act like you do - even if you don't.
suggest. Now, I don't mean this in the, "have you tried dating outside of your race" way. I mean, if you have a cute friend (that you didn't used to "talk" to) hook a sista up! Shoot. Just make sure he has his teeth and a job.
pour a glass. Got wine? Go ahead and break out the glasses and pour up. Sometimes a good ole venting session ain't complete without a bottle (or two) of Malbec or Pinot.
validate her. You know your girlfriend. You know she's gonna be pouring out her insecurities and probably pointing the finger of shame at herself for the many failed relationships. Help her out. Let her know that we all make mistakes and that doesn't make her a bad person or destined to be single forever.
be honest. After you validate her, it's okay to tell her when she's wrong. This isn't advice - this is accountability. Sometimes, we can play victim. Especially after so many failed relationships. It's okay to say, "you probably didn't have to curse out his mama at Sunday dinner" because you're probably right about that.
Single women - especially Black single women - are tired of the "single girl" advice. Let me be honest with you. I know you think that it's the best advice you've ever given, but it doesn't work.
We're still very single.