Dr. Boyce: A Quick Thought on Why You Can’t “Find a Good Man/Woman”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

When I hear people say, "I can’t find a good man/woman," that statement makes me think. I believe the stmt is more of a reflection of you being less interested in being with someone who is good for your long-term well-being than being with the person who gives you instant gratification (even horribly bad mates can make us feel oh so good).

Therefore, the difference is no more confusing than the way overweight people pass up healthy food so they can find the greasy, sweet dishes that tingle their taste buds. When that person says, "I can’t find healthy food," they are actually saying "I can’t find any healthy food that tastes as good as this cheeseburger, so I am going to just keep eating at McDonald’s." Until the person makes a conscious decision to make the sacrifices necessary to eat healthy food, they are always going to experience the ups and downs that come with a lifetime of grease and fat.

My thinking on the issue?  Understanding yourself and finding a way to navigate the fickle and powerful balance between what you want and what you need can take you a long way.  So, whether you are a 300 pound man seeking to get the body of an athlete, a comedian trying to get your first big break or a saddened soul with a consistently broken heart, most of us know when unhealthy choices have served to poison our lives and our bodies.

When we make bad choices and the consequences come home to roost, we cannot look at the world as the cause of our personal failures.  There is also a tremendous amount of accountability that must come from within.  Blaming the world for your disappointment is  like traveling down a road with no end.  But when you do get to the end of that road, you find that it started and ended inside of YOU.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 




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13 responses to “Dr. Boyce: A Quick Thought on Why You Can’t “Find a Good Man/Woman”

  1. Lorna

    I had this conversation with a woman today. I said there were a lot of good men but women sometimes are looking in the wrong place and/or their expectations are not realistic. I had friends state that s
    they “would never date a man who was riding the bus” ; an “uneducated man”; one who doesn’t drive a fancy car or have loads of money. I told them good…more men for me to date then.

  2. WizardG

    The level of insanity of every individual plays a major role in how they handle the nuances of their lives. Some of us have special abilities that others don’t have. I’ve spoken to a few friends who have the capability to leave all the past adversities and indiscretions of their lives in the back of their minds and treat them as if they don’t exist. If everyone were mentally able to do that then there would be a lot less tragedy and death in the world. Yet how can some people watch as their whole family is murdered, their town destroyed, and their neighbors driven out of the country and still be able to put that in the deep corridors of their minds and move on?

    I’ve tried to explain this dilemma to two of the people aforementioned, as they couldn’t understand why others couldn’t do what they are able to do! I tried to make them see that we are all different in our minds and that is why we respond and maintain negative input and past tragedies differently. I then began trying to figure out what makes my friends able to do that very special mental thing that they can do. The variables between the two of them were so phenomenally different that I decided the best way to sum it up is that only a small percentage are able to do what they do, but vast numbers of people are not able to. Not only are most unable to leave past indiscretions buried and move on, but some are so mentally twisted by insurmountable painful issues of mind that they respond in a multitude of negative and even violent ways including suicide and homicide.

    We can suggest that a man who has watched his family murdered and neighbors run out of the country to simply put those mental pains, anguish, and anger away and move on, but if his mind isn’t equipped to do so nothing short of medication will placate him!

    As for relationships. There are a great number of reasons why two people cannot live together. The differences in nature vs nurture issues, the varying levels of maturity, the varying traditions, or lack there of, the socioeconomic pressures and variances, the inability to be honest and truthful (which finds it’s basis in a social structure that thrives on lies and deceit), and so on. The variations between two people let alone male and female are astronomical and although this social-structure (with its basis in religion), dictates monogamy, those factors are not as practical in this evolving high-tech scientific burgeoning society as some would hope. Keep in mind that humans are mammals first, and civil creatures as a side. We must actually be directed, forced, and threatened with abuse to encourage civility!
    One of the main reasons religion is indoctrinated into the mainline of social consciousness is to entice us into civility by either dangling a carrot of happiness and heaven in front of people or frightening them with the threat of a burning infinity!

    The human male’s bio psychological DNA signatures control their drives for sexual desire, but man made rules and laws are designed to curb the aggressive drives. These man made rules and laws account for much of the mental frustrations of men. Men are also mentally wired to destroy and kill, but some evolved to perfect and broaden the level of pillage, rape, destruction and acquisition and as you can see, no amount of man made civil/ religious laws and rules has stunted this drive.

    Men are not wired to be sexual monogamist but, in this culture we have been forced to keep trying, usually with a multitude of negative and futile results! In this culture we are living a pseudo-fantasy lifestyle which is not fair to ourselves, and the results of our inability to follow the model set up for us are obvious, but alas. Here, we live in great fantasy and denial! And of course we are all insane human animals!

  3. Nichole

    Hello, I’d like to share my story. Only this past week I came out of a one year hiatus from personal relationships and from sex. I decided to engage in a relationship with a prominent man, very handsome, sharp dresser, intelligent and appeared to be humble. He’s 47 years and I’m 35 years. Of course, I was single and he said he was too, however, that appeared not to be the case. BAGGAGE. We talked about everything and I mean everything, including our prior relationships and the effect they had on us. Well, he wasn’t telling the truth. The very night after our first date, I saw that he was on a social network ranting about an ex. I COULD NOT believe it! He said he was over it, he said he was the type to walk away and keep it moving. I did not think in our conversation that there were any alarms as we BOTH spoke on our past as I said. Anyway, I was livid and I asked him about it—through text. He told me he had an issue with his ex calling him about some craziness and for me to don’t worry about it, it had nothing to do with me. I saw down the line throughout the friends postings that he suddenly was going to remain single for a long time. I then was HURT! I mean HURT! People were telling him what type of women fit him best and that he should wait on God, someone even offer to get him a hookup! This man spent many conversations with me, and we talked about wanting to be in a relationship and hoping to be compatible and how when we met, that I reminded him of himself. We talked about how we would get to know one another. NOW suddenly he was single in public and in a relationship in private. I understand his being a public figure and I told him that. I knew my place; I wasn’t and am not craving for the spotlight. I was willing to not purposefully put myself in the spotlight just being satisfied with the public knowing he was IN a relationship was fine with me. But I wasn’t aware that I had to completely pretend I didn’t exist in his life. Then here comes my friend with all kinds of I told you so stories and check this and check with her and how he heard things about this man being a womanizer. I was crushed! I AM crushed! Can I say he used me for sex? No. Surely he could get that anywhere but it could’ve been the thrill of the chase for something fresh. BUT I did tell him beforehand that because I had been attracted to him for so long, seeing him on television and all, that I more than likely would want to have sex with him just to get that “rock” off and then we would proceed with the relationship on other levels. He agreed. I’m not one for slighting my tongue to address my issues, needs, and/or wants. SINGLE was the word in our days of conversation. We flirted so much, we decided to meet sooner than later. I had many other men come on to me over the last year; I didn’t even bat an eye. So here I was now and because of his actions, I became very angry, or so I thought. I asked him not to call me because I didn’t want to feel his vibrations affect me any longer (I am an Empath/Clairsentient). I did not make him aware of this; I just told him that I can read people, which sounds common without being weird. I really liked him, my body vibrated at his home ( I asked him if he had electronics vibrating somewhere, I’m glad he didn’t catch on to that!) which happens when I’m comfortable and it put me right to sleep. Twice. His place was harmonized and full of colors that tasted so good they warmed my heart and my womanhood. There was a painting on the wall, in which the lady seemed so alive and I swore she did a little smile. I was mesmerized. Apparently that was his favorite painting throughout the apartment. We talked and laughed, listened to jazz when we made “love”, which happened a few times. We ate very good lasagna for lunch from the local pizzeria and he still managed to handle his business and focus on me at the same time. He asked that I massage his back with my fingertips, so I added a little heat to the process, though I want him to feel my electric. Which is why I kept socks on but I couldn’t keep gloves on now could I? lololol..that would’ve been weird to explain. He was comfortable and I was content. After all that, I didn’t know how I could be angry with him, he did everything so peaceful and with thoroughness. I suddenly realized this evening, that some of his emotions had transferred to me because I was focused on him; which happens to empaths, especially with they touch someone or something. While I did not want him to hurt, I didn’t want to hurt either. I thought about maybe giving him the benefit of the doubt in recognizing that as much as people say they can get past something or someone so fast, they really would have to be stone-cold. After all, it took ME almost a year. So I want to apologize to him and I want to move forward with our relationship probably without the sex though, just all the things we did besides that was fulfilling for me, and being in his home made me feel confident and sexy ;o). His words helped too. I can officially say I’ve grown into quite the women to be feeling this way. I take responsibilty for my negative response and though some of it may have come from him, it is I who acted out. He did say I was blowing things out of proportion. I miss his vibration and do want to hear his voice again. I never believed in love at first sight but I think I’ve found in love in his vibration.

  4. msadvice

    While I do not believe god made men to be faitful to one woman, my issue is that, it is harder to find someone with your similar interest. We are living in times were, drugs, prison, bi sexual ways,(down low) are taking away a lot of good potential mates. I am a divorced woman, (since 2003) was dating a guy for 2 years, but broke that off, because he had no kids, and was not social with my son. Was in a relationship with another guy for 7 months, and that ended cause he owed the IRS and student loans, and was in default since 1980’s, his finances scared me. My standards are simple, if you have kids, be in their life, work 40 hrs a week, (even at Mcdonalds), communicate, have goals,don’t play games, and care about your future.

  5. Vandellish

    With all due respect Dr. Watkins I feel that you and the ‘people’ you refer to are oversimplifying things a bit. In their case the statement ‘I can’t find a good man/woman’ is off-base because we ALL know good men/women but they may not be FOR US for whatever reasons. They should say ‘I’ve yet to find the RIGHT man/woman for me.’ As far as how your belief was framed I’m sure you know that every ‘bad’ relationship isn’t necessarily ‘McDonald’s’ (clearly and completely unhealthy). It’s true that we should be leery and trust our instincts but in the beginning of relationships people put up fronts and often just go along to get along. When the real person finally rears their head that’s usually when the inevitable incompatibility sets in. A person may even be trustworthy and loving but they simply don’t do it for you. I don’t think it’s fair to either of you to let things drag on. Some people actually ARE just unlucky in love and they may feel forced to either make a choice to settle or not. The concept of settling can look a lot like reality simply setting in so another question is ‘is settling a good or bad thing?
    Even though I do believe that there is someone out there for all of us it doesn’t necessarily mean we will find them. Though the responsibility is ultimately up to us it is still easy for a lifelong bachelor like me to understand a man or woman who refuses to settle. I’ve noticed over the years that long term happily married couples often have difficulty understanding how hard it is to find a great wife/husband and just how lucky they really are.

  6. jenkinsk

    A young brother that works for me told me a crazy story the other day. He and a young lady he recently met went on a dinner date. While on the date, the young lady kept texting during their conversation. He, being a young brother raised old school, stopped talking and politely waited for her to finish texting. She took notice, apologized, and put smart phone away.

    A few minutes later he noticed she was acting, as he called it, fidgety. He was about to ask her if she was alright, but before he could say a word she apologized and took her smart phone out of her purse. She apologized again, and then began to text with someone…

    He called the waiter over, asked for the check, paid for their dinner, excused himself from the table, and drove himself home (she drove herself).

    The young lady is not happy. Evidently she called him on his cell phone the next day to complain about his mistreatment of her. She honestly believes he was rude and not very understanding. He stated he didn’t bother trying to defend himself…he just let he say what she had to say wished her luck with her future.

    Later that same day his female friend that introduced him to the young lady called him to cut him a new one. She couldn’t believe he mistreated her friend, etc., etc.. He told me he was blown away that his friend (they have known each other since college) would assume he mistreated her friend. Then she dropped the bomb on him. She informed him that she and her other girlfriends all discussed the matter and all agreed he needs to change…as in realize it ain’t all about him. He was pissed, and hurt but he didn’t retaliate.

    My point of sharing this mess – Some of you females suffer group psychosis. You screw up…refuse to take responsibility and be held accountable for your own attitude, behavior, and character…you blame everyone else for your own faults…and have the audacity to share one sided (biased) stories to with your girlfriends (pity parties) in an effort to be reassured that you are an OK human being…it was that no good man who did this to me. Keep on with your bad self and see how far you get with that madness.

    Men do crazy stuff to…I am talking things that some females do at this moment.

    I suggest women raise their expectations — not lower them. Any man worth his weight should be able to present to you his life plan…a blueprint for how he will get from point A to point B. It should be required of any man to present a solid life plan to any woman he wants to be with. If not…so long, goodbye, wish you luck. Make sure he able to show YOU evidence that he is working his plan. Any fool can talk about big dreams. Who cares about dreams…is he putting in work to make his dreams come true?

    If a man is able to present to you a well-engineered life plan…you have 2 choices; (1) get on board, or (2) don’t get on board. If you accept him, and his plan…then you bring what you have to offer to the plan as an enhancement. I do not suggest you don’t live your dreams. What I am suggesting is that only one plan can be implemented. If your dreams and ambitions do not fit into the plan he put on the table…well, he maybe the right man, but the wrong man for you.

    Lastly, the list some of you women use to judge whether or not a man is worthy of your love and affection needs to be thrown out. Any man earning an honest living and taking care of his responsibilities is worthy of love and respect. Besides…where a man (as opposed to a male) is today is not necessarily where he will end up.


  7. I agree with you to a point. Sometimes the environment that we are in does not lend itself to what we want. If you find yourself living in a community and at a work location where there not many available black men…you could be stuck. I really love the brothers, however, I don’t see them where I live or work. Although, I’ve never said that I can’t find a good man…it’s just difficult.

    My plan is to find an NAACP or SCLC group and get involved. Since I am in Texas, I have joined the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats (I’ve yet to see an available black man). Being a 50+ woman makes it that much more difficult too. Yeah, you can do self examination, which I think is important, but sometimes the men just are not there! (Might have to start looking at ‘the other man’.

  8. Bernie

    People particularly women need to read Michelle Obama’s story. Most sisters I know would have past up on the Barack that Michelle “met”. He from what I understand worked “under” her and drove a car he paid like 600 bucks for. Sister’s number one problem to me is they fail to look for potential and want everything already set. Also many of them want things they themselves don’t have. For example, many of them want a man that has a 6 pack and a 6 figure income while she herself weighs in at over 200 and they are working at McDonalds. No one wants to work at anything anymore. Before some of you respond and jump down my throat let me say this. I’m speaking from experience. I’ve been married 17 years(18 this July). I’m 43 with 2 children. Neither of us had nothing. All we had to give was love. I really wasn’t concerned with her credit score or where she worked. I was looking to build something with someone. Women need to understand something about men. We aren’t as stupid as women think we are. Yea, we admit that we look for looks…but we also look for women that have something going for themselves now. It is too hard now to just grab a nice looking woman up that has nothing. Many of them don’t have a clue as to how to appreciate money or wealth because they didn’t have to earn it. What many of you sisters need to do is stop trying to listen to women that have been married less than 2 years if they are married at all. Talk to women that have been married 30 years. I know it’s old school but it still works. Other divorced or single women can’t tell you anything about how to keep your own man. The other thing is decide what you really “need” and not what you “want”. I tell my own daughter everyday that if a man approaches you in his early 20’s or so and is driving a 2012 or 2011 BMW or Lexus…run like hell the other way. His priorties are screwed up. You get with a man like that you will be in big trouble. When it comes time for you to get your hair fixed(60 or 70 bucks), he will give you all kinds of reasons why you should wait. In the mean time, he is somewhere ordering new rims for his car or sending the car through 40 dollar car washes. The point is his wordly possessions will always come before you. Case in point: I will go balistic if my wife or daughter go without getting their hair done. That is mandatory here. If someone does without, it is me and if need be my son. So it’s real simple ladies. Change your so called standards and you will start seeing there are plenty of men out here. You are stepping over them everyday.

  9. Nowadays when it comes to finding someone people are just too selfish ,its always what can i get out of this or ,whats in it for me mentality ,also its about being realistic too many people have their head in fairy tale or soap opera stupidness.

  10. bernie

    Yes you are correct. I hear too many women talking about he has to have a, b c and none of them have to do with the man loving them. They all point back to materal things. The problem for many sisters though is the fact that men are steeping up what they are looking for because they realize having an arm piece on your arm isn’t going to pay any bills when the the glitter fades. So these sisters out here that are doing admin jobs for 29 and 32k thinking they are getting ready to land some brother from Harvard making 6 figures are sadly mistakened. It’s not going to happen…get your heads out of the clouds and stop looking over the men that work sanitation that may even make more than you.

  11. absolutely true

    i am a straight man, and meeting women for me has become so difficult today. i am in my late fifties now, and had been married at one time. she cheated on me, and i never cheated on her. i was a very caring and loving husband at the time, and i had know reason to cheat on her because i loved her very much. now that i am alone and single again, it is very hard to meet a woman that can be committed to just one man. it seems many women today need a variety of different men to please them to keep them happy, instead of just being with one man. decent women are sure hard to meet, especially in these times today.

  12. Nichole

    Im spirituality evolved and I really do love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I love God. However, I find that men(and people in general but lets stay focused) are lying on their love for God. I meet them, and at some point (usually in the beginning, to match plus for plus) they say, “I go to church” or “I read the bible”.

    I personally do not go to church as none Ive entered since a child ever preached the gospel of Jesus. I always denied what people said about God and Jesus and made note that I would be dealt with when one or the other came for me (I endured much punishment for years for that).

    Now at 35, single, four children, low income, I am found and Christ grows in me. I confirmed my suspicisions from younger years based on people NOT receiving this news to kindly in the present(even the most GODLY of the women I know) that they were lying and do not know the love of Christ and they taught their sons lies, some of them are my friends and associates.

    Ive realized these men seem to know only two things, they say, “The bible says the woman is to be submissive!” and, “Solomon had a thousand wives!” Using this bible to.make excuses to step on a womans neck and make excuses to cheat?! All ABUSE and lack of respect for my beliefs and for spreading selfish lies. Moving forward.

    I find myself wanting a person who has no shame in his love for God and is ABLE to express that, and he is able to have discussion about verse and christ in us. That he understands the consequences for mocking Gods word and the living love in me and him. I simply want him to know that whatever we do, the living life will reflect that back, good and bad.

    Life seems hard on us because it shows us what we did will come back, good and bad. Ive done my share of bad, and I face it and deal with it, some take a little longer to deal with but I dont put it off on anyone. He has to have that same ability; I will not take responsibilty for his sins. I will not be his mother, or attack his baby momma for him. We really have to face our own sins and move forward.

    There is also much good Ive done and do. We can move forward, make plans, solve problems and pray to God for another chance. Again, my physical still dwells in sin but christ grows in me. I request a man who is living from the inside out, simply. It is with all mutual respect and action. Im looking for my soulmate.


    it is certainly very hard for the good men and the good women to connect with one another today. the times have changed, and so have the women. women did not have the high paying jobs that they have today, and now many of them think that they are all that. so many women now have that, SHIT DON’T STINK OF AN ATTITUDE, and are very hard to start a CONVERSATION WITH. since many of the women now are like this, sure it will be very difficult for us good straight men that do want to meet a good woman now. we really can’t blame ourselves, since many of the women today have become SO VERY NASTY. all i ever want out of life was to meet the right woman for me and have a family that i would have wanted. it seems that GOD makes certain men and women to connect with one another, and certain men and women like us, NOT SO LUCKY. what makes these people so VERY LUCKY, AND NOT US? i am no DIFFERENT than they are, and would have certainly wanted a life, like they have. i do not want to be ALONE for the remaining years of my life, that would be very sad for me. the problem today also, there are so many LESBIANS NOW. women seem to be going for other women now, VERY DISGUSTING. many women nowadays are even leaving their husbands for another woman, instead of staying with their men. so many GARBAGE WOMEN, out there now than ever before. what a WASTE OF HUMANITY that they have become.

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