Many of you know that I am a college professor who is incredibly passionate about shaping the minds and lives of my students so that they may become good, moral, socially-conscious citizens of the world. I teach in the communication studies discipline and have had ample opportunity to teach my “swagged out” late-teen-and-early -20something students about self-discovery, goal-setting and how to engage in their relational lives. However, nothing makes for a better lecture or a richer discussion than if I broach the topic of male-female relationships.
It could be an intro to Baxter’s relationship dialectics theory or the social constructs surrounding a man’s desire to “compete” and a woman’s desire to “negotiate” and they’re instantly more awake than I’ve ever seen them! Hands are raising, eyes are rolling and mouths are salivating over the prospect of L-O-V-E.
I figured it out, though. These kinds of topics are always such a “hit” with my students because, frankly, there ISN’T a class about love offered on any college campus in America. And, why not?
So, I’m with them. I’ve had it! Someone’s gonna teach me about love, even if I have to pay them to do it. (The going rate for a per-credit-hour at the university I teach is about $450. Somewhat reasonable, compared to the $1,000 I dished out at NYU. The savages.)
Anyway, I really thought about this and I’ve come up with six reasons that I (and every woman in America) need(s) to go to school for love.
1. My Poor Female Models
I’m not knocking any one of the women in my life but from the Tami Roman-type on Basketball Wives to the Jamaican “lickle but she tallawah” women in my family, I’ve not received the best education on submission. I was taught to resist, to challenge and to upbraid a man. I was taught that I can do “bad” all by myself. I learned by watching the women around me that I can do anything a man can do and, most times, do it better. However, in order for me to be successful in a marriage for the rest of my life, I have to learn to concede a point, to let a man do what makes him happy, to allow him the right to make decisions (even if I think they’re not the best). Sheesh! These less-than-desirable behaviors are gonna have to be unlearned.
2. My Female Brain and Biology
So, I’m just now figuring out in my 30s that God made men and women differently. This starts at reproductive organs, but doesn’t stop there. Studies have found women may have better verbal memory and social cognition and men’s brains have more connections within hemispheres to optimize motor spatial skills. He has more fun doing athletic activities with his boys and I have more fun having brunch with my girls. But, why do I keep wanting him to do all of these female activities and expecting him to like it?
Now, Ragini Verma, an associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania medical school, says a woman’s brain is more connected between hemispheres to combine analytical and intuitive thinking. So, that female intuition I have, a man just doesn’t.
I seriously need to learn how to talk and interact with a man without faulting him for being one.
3. American Marriages End in Divorce
So, I reside in a country where about half of the marriages that start out deliriously happy at the altar actually come to a halt in a vicious court case at the end of four years. Celebrity marriages are even worse. Brangelina and Kimye, you have got me “smhing” all day.
So, why should I think that my marriage is going to be any different? The odds, quite frankly, are not in my favor.
4. I Need a Cheat Sheet to Study for the Test
Whenever I give a final exam in my class, I teach the concepts throughout the entire semester then, just before the final exam, I offer my students a study sheet as well as an in-class review of the test concepts.
How is it that you think I’m going to be ready for forever in marriage with a measly 3-week pre-marital counseling class?
No, sir. I need a cheat sheet. That means, I need something to reference when times get hard. And, of course, the religious folks are going to say the Bible. However, the Bible isn’t explicit concerning modern-day struggles like baby mama drama or pornography or Facebook friends who wanna be more. What do I do when these issues surface?
5. Doctors Go to Medical School. Lawyers go to Law School. Wives should go to….
If doctors and lawyers study and train for years before they ever put a scalpel to human flesh or represent an alleged murderer in court, then how long should partners study before they can be trusted with someone’s heart? I’m talking about life or death matters here, just the same. The Proverbs say to guard one’s heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Then, I should just start making myself vulnerable and asking someone else to do the same without having even learned how to treat them? What the *%@*?
6. Churches Spend No Time on this AT ALL
I’ve talked about this one before. But, let me say again how disappointed I have been with churches in preparing young adults for marriage. They are so eager to marry couples off because that ensures that they’ll be out of Satan’s path of “sexual temptation.” However, when these couples run into serious problems in their marriage a few years down the road, then you try to apply bandages to the wounds? I believe in prevention. It’s why I eat healthy foods now so I don’t need a gastric bypass later. Some churches may have vibrant marriage ministries but no training for pre-wives or pre-husbands. This is a recipe for disaster. This is why you have so many “super-Christian, tongue-talking, preach-me-happy guys” and “prayer warrior, devil-chasing, Bible-believing” women who know diddly-squat about how to keep a spouse happy.
I hope I wasn’t too graphic. But, these are my thoughts and I’m sticking to ‘em. I know I and many of my friends would be great spouses, if only we were taught some of the principles of partner L-O-V-E. If not, don’t be too surprised when your friend calls you up next year and says, “Marriage is just not what I thought it would be. I think I want a div-.”
What if there were a course that could teach you all of the principles to finding a mate, keeping a mate and living a happy, fulfilling life? Would you take it? Guess what? I enrolled in it and it's changing my love life for the better. It's called Ready for Forever taught by life coach and relationship expert Tobi Atte. It's your call but we all know what happens to those who register late. They get stuck with the 8 a.m. class and the professor everyone hates. This just happens to be your life. Take control of it.
TIffani Knowles is the managing editor and founder of NEWD Magazine. Her hope is to become as "newd" as possible on a daily by embracing truth, authenticity and socio-spiritual awareness. She is bi-vocational as she is the owner of two businesses and a professor of Communication at Barry University in Miami, Florida. She is also the co-author of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant.