Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Disclaimer: I am not a relationship expert by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, I can offer cautionary tales of what NOT to do. However, folks keep asking for my opinion so here goes…

Apparently, we're having Relationship week on BnB. So, in this episode of Ask a Bougie Chick, I'll answer a few letters from my readers who think I know what I'm talking about. I probably don't but what I will do is shoot straight and tell you what I would do. I've abbreviated the names for confidentiality.

Dear OneChele,

My boyfriend says I am too stuck up and bougie so he is leaving. Says he cannot afford my "foolishness". Just because I have standards in the way I live my life, does that make me stuck up and bougie? Granted, going in I realized that he is more street than uptown but I thought those differences could be overcome. I let him move in with me so he could get himself together after being laid off. I suggested that he use some of the time off to take classes, maybe pick up a certificate or two. He said I was pushing him to be something he isn't. From there, everything I did was questioned. He was upset at the brand of groceries I got (complained I spent too much), asked me why I needed to buy things (shoes, clothes) and became for lack of a better term, quarrelsome. I attributed this to him losing his job and all of the money in the house being mine. Even though I haven't made it seem like it, he's really a nice guy. Should I fight for him? Just asking for your opinion since I read your blog and you know your way around the bougie lifestyle.

Thanks! Sincerely, J.I.C.

Dear J.I.C.,

I guess I'll take this point by point. Stuck up and bougie are not necessarily the same thing. You can be one (either) without the other. If you have high standards and can afford to maintain them, I don't see anything wrong with that. Now when you say your man is "street" are we talking "can handle himself in the hood street" or "has a parole officer on speed dial street"? If he is straight outta Compton and you are straight outta Martha's Vineyard; that's more of a bridge than a stepping stone to cross if you catch my meaning. Both can be done but one takes longer.

A quick pause for the cause here: OneChele does not believe in the shacking. Letting a man move in with you is always a tricky situation. I understand you did it for financial reasons but sharing a space with someone is serious business. Things (such as finances, personal habits, what the future holds) suddenly have be taken into account.

Let me see if I understand: you are making all the money and paying all of the bills, but he is concerned with your spending? Does this mean that your money is now community property money? Is that what he means by "foolishness"?

Okay, in tough economic times I understand why you are trying very hard to be a ride-or-die chick for your man. Ask yourself this, if the tables were turned and you had no job, no money and a "quarrelsome" attitude – would he do the same for you? If so, ride it out. Of course the fact that he has decided to leave takes a lot of the decision making out of your hands. So one last question, when you ask if you should fight for him? What would you do differently to get him to stay? And is it worth it?

Not sure I really answered your question or gave you more to think about. Hope I helped and thanks for visiting Black 'n Bougie.

Dear OneChele,

I am losing my boyfriend of two years to a bougie b*tch. No offense. She's not a b*tch because she's bougie but because she's going after a man that she knows is taken. She takes him places (Aruba) and buys him things (Rolex) that I can't afford to. I look better but she has more education and a better job. I don't know how to fight on her level? I mean in five years I can probably match her crib for crib and degree to degree but I'm losing him now. He is not even bothering to hide the evidence of his cheating anymore. Any advice for a sister trying to get there but not to lose everything in the meantime?

From a bougie in training, AP

Dear AP,

No offense taken, b*tch comes in all flavors including bougie. K I have to make a quick joke though and say I'm not sure how bougie she is if she's coming out the pocket like that for a man (aruba and rolex, wtf?). Okay, here's my opinion:

First and foremost let me say, you do NOT want a man that you have to BUY to keep. He saw something in you to begin with when he knew you did not have the car, the crib, the paper. This sounds cliché but you really do want a man to want you for YOU.

Second thing you need to know is that OneChele does not believe in fighting over a man. Your relationship is between you and him. Her station in life has nothing to do with it. A man cannot be stolen away; he goes where he wants to go. Some may disagree but I feel the ultimate decision to stray sits with he who strays not she who he strays with.

If your man is already accepting stuff from her and going places with her, he's already gone. I repeat: if he is supposed to be in a relationship with you yet goes to Aruba with some other chick, he is not your man anymore. Let me go one step further and say sure, it's his prerogative to see something else he likes and go after it but he has to reconcile his relationship with you first. Otherwise we call that having your cake and eating it too. Relationship FAIL.

Personally I think he's disrespecting you in a way that is tough to get past but I never underestimate the depth of women's love, dedication and devotion to their man coupled with their capacity to forgive and forget. So, if you really still want this guy in your life, you're going to have to give him a CHOOSE OR LOSE option point blank. Fact three, I hate ultimatums except when you have no other choice. You can't go on as is not only is it tacky; it's potentially dangerous physically if you don't know how intimate he is with someone who is not you.

I would ask this of you, do not be so anxious to hang on to this guy that you lose your way on your own path. All jokes aside, your focus is taking care of you. Losing him does not mean you are losing "everything." He is a piece of your puzzle, not the whole picture. Hope I helped and thanks for visiting Black 'n Bougie.

So what do you think? Anything you would say to these two young ladies? Anything you think I left out, should not have said? Help the ladies out, sometimes it takes a village ya'll.


SBChitownChick said...

You are kinder and gentler than I, my friend. I would have told both of those brothers to KICK ROCKS.

Reads4Pleasure said...

I agree with SBC. Man #1 should have never been allowed to move in with her. If they weren't dating, where would he go when times got hard? Well that's where he needs to go right now. If they're arguing about what she spends her money on when they're just dating, imagine the foolishness that will ensue if they get married. And yes, I said HER money. There's no ring on anyone's finger and no joint custody of the bank account.

Brother #2 did that girl a favor. He saved her from paying his bills and getting his nails "did" down the line. She should send the other woman a thank you letter.

Bailey said...

Co-signing with Reads and SBC... next!

glamah16 said...

Great advice to these women.And how s someone gon a move in if they are not paying the bilss. NOPE!

Citizen Ojo said...

This is better than Dear Abby or is it Abbey? Where were these women when I graduated from college? ..ha...ha...Semi-Joking.

More letters please!!!!

DatDudeinCali said...

I admire Girl #1 for trying to help a brother out. She is taking one for the team, maybe he'll have her back next go round.

Anonymous said...

Where can I send in my Dear OneChele question?

natural nubian said...

nowadays so many ppl confuse involvement with commitment. just 'cause a woman and a man are involve doesn't mean they are also committed to each other. bravo chele.

True2me said...

I agree w both responses..the first scenario, I believe she did make a mistake in letting him live with her..and to b honest..most men's egos are affected when their woman is taking care of them..but he has no right to question her about HER money he doesnt earn..I think she should drop him..sorry

scenario 2..you are right..no one can be stolen..he wants to go w that woman. Further..he aint your man if he spending time like that w another woman..dump him quick.

Anonymous said...

Dear AP,

I am sorry girl, but you cannot be serious!!! Let me explain something to you. A woman cannot steal a man away even if she knows that he is with someone else. If he can be stolen away then he is NOT, I repeat, NOT your man!!! That man (if you can call him that) has a mind of his own and he makes his own decisions. It was him who made the decision to go to Aruba with her and accept her Rolex. This man is obviously not worth it if he cannot afford to buy and do these things on his own (with his own money) and he is not in love with you. He is not even in love with the other women. He is in love with himself and what he can get out of women. I believe that what you are doing to yourself is mentally and physically damaging. You should not have to ask the question whether or not you should fight for him because you lost the fight a long time ago when he accepted her first gift. It is obvious that the man has no respect for you as a person never mind as his girlfriend because (as you have said) he is not even hiding the fact that he is cheating on you anymore. Perhaps, you should seek some counseling because you are honestly delusional if you think that this man will ever be yours. I know that my advice can be blunt, but you may have some self-esteem issues that you need addressed because no woman should allow a man to treat them like this. A real man would respect you, love you for you, remain faithful and never accept gifts or trips from another woman. I know that there are not many men like this out there and this is the reason why most intelligent, independent women settle, but this is not justifiable. We must rise above and set limits and standards for ourselves.
Girl, please end this “thing” that you have going with him (because it is not a relationship) and it is VERY unhealthy.



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