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We often hear women talk about the difference between not needing a man but wanting a man. And they usually speak from the perspective of having all of their ducks in a row: being on top of their game and men needing to step up, essentially having all of the power in the relationship. Some women also talk about not wanting to have to raise or mother a grown ass man. From this perspective, they are usually speaking of having a domestic or financial advantage above the men they date because those men are usually in need of someone to cook, clean, dress or provide for them.

When women have the upper hand, they tend to rub it in men’s faces by reminding us of how independent they are, touting the fact that they have their own money, pay their own bills, have their own car, etc. Men are usually unimpressed by this because they expect you to have these things as an adult since men are expected to have all of these things for themselves. The reason men are usually impressed by women who can cook and clean is that many men severely lack these skills. Women are generally not impressed that men have their own because it’s expected.

However, the same way men call women overly independent, there are men who know how to be domestic and run households.

My mother and my grandmother taught me to cook, clean and sew so that when I went to college I could survive and live in the same conditions I was accustomed to at home. My mother also noted it was important that I learn these things in the event I got a woman who couldn’t or wouldn’t, and so that I could get in the habit of helping. While in college and for a while after college, I rarely had homeboys who knew how to be domestic. And many of the women I would meet weren’t good at any of these things either. But the women I met who knew how to be domestic or were accustomed to always fulfilling that role for men were some of the hardest people to date. They usually resented those domestic skills.  

I consulted with a few other men with domestic skills who had similar dating experiences to find out what the problem was. This is what we boiled it down to:

When we were young, our egos were too big so we rubbed our domestic skills in women’s faces because we would often feel like, what can you do for me that I can’t do for myself (except sex)?

The women we dated often had not much more to offer once their special skill that always impressed other men was no longer needed. They were hard to date because they didn’t know what else to offer or what else should be of value. They resented us because we had invaded their space and now they were made to feel inadequate.

I had a friend in college named Dave who was one of the few straight men I knew that could braid and style his own hair. This is during the time when Mario’s “Braid My Hair” was hot on the radio and women were touting their hair braiding skills as if it were a wifey skill. I remember a young lady breaking up with him because she felt unneeded. Most of the brothers I spoke with who had domestic skills had similar stories.

The point is, fiercely independent people (men and women) often have a hard time dating because we don’t need anyone for anything.

That can become a threat to many people because fulfilling a need is a big part of what they bring to the table and they don’t just want to be essentially a sex toy. When we rub our own skills in people’s faces we strip them of their power.

When we are uniquely skilled or overqualified in the dating world, we have to learn how to value the things that are most important.

Things like support, encouragement, affection, reliability and honesty prove that there’s more than one way to provide and people bring more to the table than just what they can do for us. Men often have conversations about how nearly impossible it is to satisfy women and keep up with what they really want. It’s weird that women don’t wish to take care of a man but can feel inadequate if it appears like they can’t or don’t have to. Apparently, no one likes it when the shoe is on the other foot.

Written By: Johnny Brownlee II  

Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath

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