Love Letters: Waiting on The Man

Fall is fast approaching, which means temperatures soon will be dipping.

You know what else that means? The annual Boo Season!

Y’all know Boo Season – the weather gets cold so everyone starts grabbing cuddle buddies (i.e., “booing up”) to ride out those nippy nights.

Before your new Boo Thang turns into The Swamp Thing, you might wanna run your concerns by me.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Why is it when men are finally ready for a relationship they expect you to jump because they are finally ready?


Wanna really irritate my feminist wifey? Just use the phrase “let the man be the man.”

For those who aren’t well-versed in somewhat-chauvinist dialect, let me break it down (to the very last compound).

We’ve discussed gender roles ad nauseam in this very space. Those roles, usually defined by society and generations-old traditions, range from chivalrous things like men opening doors for women and contentious things like men opening their wallet on dates. In many ways, “letting the man be the man” pretty much means letting the man have the final say in all matters except birthing babies and housework. You wimmens can take care of that.

Relationships fall under this mindset too. Nearly every woman I know (especially Southern women) are taught to let the man lead the way in a budding relationship. He makes the first move and the woman follows. That’s how it is. And if that works for you, I ain’t knocking it. My grandparents have been married well over 60 years and that’s what their relationship was built on.

So, if a man has been taught that the relationship begins when he says so, why wouldn’t he expect you to jump when he finally gets ready to settle down? Especially if you’ve been patiently putting up with his indecisiveness for Lord knows how long. It’s almost unfair to get mad at a guy when this is what he’s been taught and what women, unwittingly, helped foster.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not defending wishy-washy brothers who lead on women while they play the field. If that’s the case, it’s up to the woman to put her foot down, or upside dude’s head.

There’s nothing worse than an unbalanced relationship, and in some cases, y’all are like a baby on a see-saw with Precious. We’re human so no relationship will ever be perfectly balanced, but there has to be a some sort of give and take. Before the wifey and I became an official couple, I allowed her to work out some kinks from her past relationships before dragging that baggage into ours. I didn’t say issue a stupid ultimatum I stole from an R&B song (“Getttt riiiiiiight or getttttt gooooooone!”) or demand that she date me because I’m Da Man and I was ready – we communicated (yeah, THAT thing again…) came to a consensus and then came together.

I’m not saying your guy is wrong for waiting until he’s ready to start relationship. In fact I commend him. I certainly hope he would wait until he’s fully able to commit before taking the plunge. I’m just saying things shouldn’t be one-sided, the way society has structured things to be. Talk things out and make sure you’re working toward the same goal. Don’t wait around for the “man to be the man” – speak up and “be the woman.”


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