A lot of people, particularly women, repeatedly say this to me: "I can't believe an accomplished, attractive, intelligent brother like you is still single, and you must be lying about not having any kids, at your age because..."

They also assume that because I don't maintain long-lasting relationships, that there must be something wrong with me like the old stereotypical lables, "He must be gay,' or "Yeah, he's crazy," or my personal favorite, which isn't true, "He must be a mama's boy," and the one label I hate the most, "Yeah, he's a player."

I'm single, first of all, because my professional and educational resposibilities come first. Secondly, I'm single because, in the pursuit of following my career and continuing my education, it is hard to find someone that not only understands the importance of pursuing a two-fold goal, they usually are too selfish or short-sighted to see the importance of completing a long-term goal.

Most importantly, which is the reason why I wrote this discussion, I want to maintain my romantic viability, which means, I'm not going to comprimise my integrity and standards just to follow the crowd. I'm not going to linger in a relationship with a woman, just to have someone in my life, when I know our wants and needs do not coincide.

I also will not involve myself with a woman to the point of bringing a child into this world out of wedlock--This is what I mean by staying romantically viable. Now, don't think that I frown upon people that do have children out of wedlock--to each is his or her own--if the opportunity presented itself that I came to fall in love with a woman that had children, then, so be it but that's another topic in itself.

What is most important to me is having a woman in my life that is equally yoked all the way down the line. In that same effort, I cannot expect to want the best when I am not the best myself, which I believe is what I am--the best--and getting better everyday. Maintaining romantic viability, especially when you are a man, ensures that the opportunity of love and happiness with the right woman will always be an option.
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A man with conviction, integrity, and who lives life on his own terms is a jewel. Go on 'head and be that diamond, my brother. Too many people settle for cubic zirconia - and some are not savvy enough to tell the difference.

Stay true to yourself because you alone can chart your path. From what I can discern from your writings, you are on the right path. I admire your strength, conviction, and courage.
Thank you for your sincerity, Sandye--your words are much appreciated, particularly in a time where doing the wrong thing is rewarded more than doing the right thing, at least by the socialogically inferior of society.

Oshun, you, too, are right--too many of us black people lack the courage to be themselves. Logic is often thrown out of the window in favor of following the crowd and what is popular instead of what works best for the individual.

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