The Rules of Engagement Vol. 1 – What Men Fear Most… and why you may not want to pressure him

 

 

 

Been a long time coming since The Dating Scene started. In fact the first post was in 2008…2008!!!! There have been countless stories, lessons, and most of all debates on the everlasting quandary of love, like, and dating.  But at this point in my life (and most of my peers’ lives), engagement and marriage is the new frontier. Not to say that we have solved the scene of dating, but one way or another we trudged our way through it and ended up with someone significant or, at bare minimum, we have a better sense of ourselves and what we want. As such, our current endeavor is to understand the rules of engagement and from there the road of marriage.  So follow along…

What Men Fear Most.

This post serves to enlighten as to why men delay true commitment, aka engagement/marriage.  I base this mostly on first hand experience. However, as I’ve shared these prevailing thoughts with men, from strangers to inner circle friends, the reactions are always the same, “YOOOO…that’s exactly how I feel,” “Preach on…,”or “wow, you’re right.”  So I think I’m on to something.

What women want:

If you are a woman in the 28-34 range or older, chances are you are not about wasting time.  It’s a luxury you can’t afford. Not only biologically, but you also are exhausted with putting effort into a relationship only to see it go nowhere.  You want longevity, consistency, and a future.  If you have been dating someone for three months you start to think, “okay where is this going?” Around six months you think it may be time to meet the close friends. After a year of dating maybe it’s time to “meet the parents” (*cue Gaylord Focker). Every six months after that you think, “Does he even know my ring size?” or “I’m ready for the next level, what’s the deal?”

And who could blame you if the relationship is going swell.  You two love each other.  You make him better. He makes you better. You’ve met his friends and he has met yours. You met his parents. You’ve left your mark in his place (i.e., toothbrush and feminine products) so if he were to invite a woman over she’d know that he has a girl (BTW…y’all ain’t slick.)  But, seriously, what’s the hold up on taking it to the next level? I’ll tell you.

Here are a couple of things going on in his head:

1. Exiting the dating scene for a man is like a legendary professional athlete retiring from the game he was born and bred to play. It’s not that easy.

Most know that Father Time has caught up to them; they’re not as young as they used to be and it is time to leave the game in their mind. But in their heart, they think they can still perform at top levels and think that the game needs them. Think Derek Jeter.

For a man, the dating scene is an arena where he, in his own mind at least, is a living legend.  The opportunity to score is endless and he needs to continue scoring as often as he wants. It is a thrill, a challenge he was socialized to embrace, one that is much more difficult to leave than we think. Why do you think we have bachelor parties?  It’s similar to what Derek Jeter’s retirement tour is this year. He goes from stadium to stadium and gets a standing ovation from the crowd and even gifts from the opposing team, all celebrating his contribution to and departure from the game. As a man, the departure from the dating scene is quite similar. And our boys know it and are compelled to celebrate it. But deep down, he still may want to hold on to it.

2. Progressing from “In a Relationship” to engaged for a man is like getting a promotion. Sure—we’re excited about all of the additional benefits, but with promotions come new on-the-job pressures and responsibilities. Are we really ready?

Here are the two biggest pressures men feel:

a. “I now have to provide for someone other than myself”

b. “I feel the need to protect my family”

Although there are blurred lines (*Robin Thicke voice) between gender roles now more than ever before, innately most men are still driven to provide and protect. I’m telling you, the feeling is REAL and for men who don’t take the time to mentally prepare for it, they will run right in the other direction.  Because think about it: for much of our lives we are being taken care of (thanks mom ), then we finally figure out how to take care of ourselves (thanks Food Network). NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, there is someone else’s life who we are responsible for?  Wait Wait WAIITTT…. you mean to tell me that now I have TO DIE FIRST??  Like… if there is a noise in the middle of the night, I’m now deemed the noise checker and probably first dier?  NAH… you mean to tell me that if she loses her job, I have to work like a Jamaican and find three jobs like Oliver so we don’t get thrown out onto the street. (I’m Jamaican btw.) OH, if there is enough food for only one person, she gets it? (but I’m still hungry.)

YES. YES. AND YES. Sh*t gets real! (‘Till death do yall part… might I add)

This is why most men may fight against any pressure to commit, especially regarding ENGAGEMENT (which really means MARRIAGE). He just might not be ready to take this on yet. It’s like getting a promotion you aren’t prepared for. The position where not only are you responsible for the lives of the people on your team, but the success or failure of your entire business. Instead of getting answers from a manager, you are now responsible for providing the answers.

Until a man finds his “soul mate” and RECOGNIZES it wholeheartedly (this is key), he will probably avoid any conversation about marriage, engagement, kids, or anything else that reminds him of the pressures he is probably not ready to overcome.  Think about it this way: wouldn’t you rather a man who approaches engagement willing and ready, as opposed to one who simply gave in to your constant sometimes subtle/sometimes overt/sometimes from your parents/sometimes from his parents/sometimes from grandparents, pressure to get engaged.

Give him Time and Space (for my Lance Drummonds fans), and continue to show him that you ARE the one. He will start to tackle each fear one by one, and if he doesn’t then keep it moving.  *Deuces. But honestly, it takes time; it’s not an overnight process.  Support him through it because let’s face it, since most women embrace lifetime commitment fearlessly, you’re clearly the stronger gender and we men need you.

 

LD. Out.

 

 

 

 

Family Vacation

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Stowe, Vermont is my new home away from home. Quiet, serene, and simply rejuvenating. A connection to the simple life that blends nature, people, and food in a way that makes you forget any if not all of your cares. I can never get enough of it. And the fact that my family joined me this year took my annual visit to this haven to a completely new level. Hiking, StoweFlake Ballon festival, toasts, and laughs. Great times were had.

LD

Artist to watch for: Banks

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MY GOODNESS! It’s been awhile since I’ve fallen in love with new music, but here we go again. I’ve listened to “Warm Water” by the L.A. native, Banks (@hernameisbanks), about a thousand times in the past few weeks. I figured instead of selfishly satisfying my addiction, I would be better served to share this musical wealth with you. Her sultry, endearing, and emotional vocals will have you wishing it would rain to accompany the clearly soothing, musical magic she has put together..   Enjoy. Also “Brain” is MY ISHT! #GetUSome

Kara Walker’s – “A Subtlety”

Kara Walker’s “Sugar Sphinx” evokes powerful, confident, and resilient tones of black women and simultaneously reminds us of how their bodies were/are objectified and caricatured during slavery and unfortuantely still present day.

30 for 30… Self Reflection

 

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Good evening.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve spoken to you all, but rest assured that since the last blog post I have been speaking to myself…a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be talking to y’all, but hear me out.  A lot has happened in the past few years that has changed the trajectory of where I see myself or at least where I thought I did, because to be honest after taking this new  journey towards the “safe route,” I’ve essentially ended up right back where I started.  Although now with a companion and much tougher skin, it seems that I tried to make it work a different way and God, the powers that be, my destiny, my purpose, the universe all laughed and allowed me to journey around in a complete circle; back to who I am to the bone and who I am suppose to be. Let’s talk about the downsides:

Downsides:

  1. It seems I’ve lost a few years.
  2. I’ve lost momentum.
  3. Running in place felt like the norm.
  4. I succeeded and am succeeding in other fields but felt as though something was and is missing.
  5. Building a foundation for someone else’s dream was what I was really doing.
  6. I was lost, mentally, quite often.
  7. Waking up every morning feeling like you’re not doing what you’re meant to do can be exhausting.
  8. I listened to people WAY too often
  9. I didn’t trust myself enough
  10. Too much talk and not enough do

 

Upsides:

11. I’ve found my better half. — We’ll save this conversation for a later date.

12. This break has given me needed perspective

13. I’ve found a day job that I absolutely love. (people, culture, benefits.)

14. I realize more and more that change is constant, important, and difficult

15. I also realize that fighting your purpose is foolish and a losing battle.

16. I have to fulfill my purpose one way or another or it will be taken away from me and I’ll live in destiny purgatory. (who the hell wants that?)

17. The level of “I don’t give a F*CK” about other people’s opinion is on an ultimate high. *

*(Sidenote: Will I ask for advice? Will I take it? Of course.  But if there comes a moment when I feel, to the core of my bones and the depth of my soul that I should go another way, I’m listening to me.)

It’s best when you can be honest with yourself because at that point, at least the experts say, you have taken the first step.  Well, experts here I am, taking the first step. I must acknowledge the truth, something I’ve been hiding for so long…ultimately when I think about it I was afraid of who I could have become. I was fearful of success. I saw it in the distant future and thought, “wait a minute… hol’ up *Big Sean Voice*, I might actually get there” and cowered. I may have also lost stamina, but at the end of it all I took a music career break.

So what now.  Well, I’ll be honest I don’t know long term, but right now, for the next few years I plan to finish a few new projects.  The window seems open and I’m going to jump out and fly along side the wind of faith.  I don’t know how, where, when, or who, BUT I KNOW WHY.  It is because every morning since I reached out to you all through the majesty of song and the medium of LDMBLOG all I could and still can think about is, “why aren’t you singing…reaching out to those who need reaching out to?” “Lancelot Adrian Drummonds jr… you are not fulfilling your purpose on this earth…figure it out!” And I’ve seen it countless times, from friends and idols who I aspire to be and whom inspire me, When there is a will there is a way. Believe without a shadow of a doubt that you are great and you will achieve your dreams.

But as Denzel said, “So the desire you have, that itch that you have to be whatever it is you want to be … that itch, that desire for good is God’s proof to you sent already to indicate that it’s yours. You already have it. Claim it.”  So as I venture into this new decade of life there are a few things I’d like to do more of.  If you want to take this as advice, go right ahead, but ultimately these are building blocks I need to execute more. In doing so, I hope and pray that at the end of it all I have fulfilled my living purpose and make a contribution to society that is everlasting.

 

18. Enjoy the moments in between

19. Celebrate the small wins

20. NEVER take a friendship for granted…EVER

21. Pray and meditate more often

22. No drinking more than two days/nights in a row

23. Never let them see me sweat (Life is always good)

24. Keep goals, visions, and pursuits private.

25. Stop being so hard on myself (unproductive…you are doing well and are living an amazing life)

26. Let go of the past (get. over. it.)

27.  Call and visit family every week

28. Protect my happiness.

29. Hone my talents, never lose them, always use them

30. Fear…embrace it and use it to my advantage. It creates courage.

 

Under Construction,

 

Lance Drummonds