Dear Black Girl: It’s Ok to Want More For Yourself


Dear Black Girl: It’s Ok to Want More For Yourself

Writer Sharde Iroa pens a love letter to Black women & encourages them to love themselves before seeking a partner.

Brenley writer Sharde Iroanya dives into the REAL love every Black woman should have: within herself.

Stop settling for dust.

In 2019 I decided to expeditiously take a break from dating and all things related to romantic relationships. I was tired of being disappointed; with men, being mistreated, lacking self-worth, and putting more into others than I did myself. Most importantly, I was wasting my time in “situations” that I knew did not add any source of value to my greatness. I took some time to reanalyze my life and the poor decisions I seemed to make with my partners’ choice. My friends have always pointed out my particular interest in “F-boys”; my track record of men, precisely the quality of men, is somewhat embarrassing. I even find myself still cringing when I look back upon some of the underwhelming man-boys I dealt with and, worst of all, the behaviors I willfully tolerated. I quickly figured that there was no sense in dwelling in the past. There was no way for me to reverse my decisions or time. 

Despite my outlook on these several negative experiences, I wasn’t necessarily mad. I wasn’t bitter, nor did I feel an urgency to write twenty-one pieces on why all men were trash impulsively. Perhaps that could be arguable for some people, but I wasn’t interested in making men my center point of attention yet again. Instead, and for the first time, I decided to focus on myself. Finally, I awakened; you can say I even had an epiphany when I realized that this entire time the only attention I desired was the attention I owed to myself. I owed it to myself to admit that I was valuable; I deserved more than I’d been settling for; I was no longer willing to compromise my emotional wellness for a man. My requirements had quickly graduated to ivy-league standards with no exceptions. I want my future man to be exemplary in every way possible, and guess what? I’m not sorry about it. 

I wish all Black women could adopt this mentality. I want Black women to understand that they are all queens worthy of receiving their heart’s desires for love, passion, and romance. I have to say it because I feel as if not enough of us know it. I honestly can’t fault some of my fellow Black women if they haven’t come to this revelation; we live in a society where we are hidden, underrepresented, disrespected, and unprotected. I guess Malcolm X said it best, right? Black women are taught from an early age that we are the ones who must earn the affection and love of others. We see this in the ways we may tweak our appearances or even change our voices as means of assimilating to the society we live in. It’s also the same way we are taught to reduce ourselves for men who can’t be bothered to catch up to where we already so highly stand. Black women aren’t allowed to have standards in this society. This generation seems weirdly obsessed with humbling Black women for desiring essential attributes in a romantic partner. Don’t you dare let anyone hear you say you want a six-figure earning man who’s emotionally available and not too bad to look at either! 

I could go on about the picket fence of burden people have tried to enclose upon Black women to keep us from crossing territories they think we’re unworthy of, but quite honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s no longer 1950; we are truly living in a new age where Black people, Black women, and girls have voices and free will to conquer our desires and create our movements. Black women, you no longer have to settle for anybody’s standard; it’s time to set your own! It’s time for you to expect more from your romantic partners and receive just as much accordingly. 

No more dwelling on a man’s “potential.” Nevermind his sweet words without action; those words hold no weight if his direct behavior towards you reflects the opposite. Let your God-given wisdom and discernment reveal a man’s intentionality. It’s never your responsibility to build a man up nor hold him down; his parts ought to be assembled before attempting to find a place in your life. Healing these men is not your responsibility. Many things constitute the inadequacy of a man’s ability to be a great partner and provider. Above all of these things, no man worth investing your energy into will cause you to feel yourself limiting yourself. Listen to your intuition; she will not fail you. 

Picture by: Outstanding Images
Couple: Jarnelle Jones & fiance DeAndre Tate

The beginning of transformation starts with honoring the needs of your inner woman. Visualize the man of your dreams and lay down your non-negotiables. A man that is for you will always meet you where you stand; no more arguing with anybody about what your love and emotional investment requires.