The 30&Over Project: The Dating Manifesto, Rules For Men Who Want To Date the Single Ladies of the World in 2012

By Kellea Tibbs

First, let me state that this is not an indictment on men and it’s not a hate letter.  On the contrary, it’s a love letter of sorts to commemorate Valentine’s Day, my present to you, the men, a letter of encouragement and a call to arms for men to step up to the plate when it comes to relationships with women. it’s a chance for one single Black woman, me,  to say what many of my female colleagues would like to say out loud, but are always afraid to because we feel like we will be labeled as a “man-hater” or a “femi-nazi”, or any other negative stereotype that is put upon women who are vocal about the state of relationships today. This is a chance to be a voice to express our true feelings regarding the “dating scene” today. It’s not that some of you are not good men or don’t have the ability to maintain relationships, it’s just that some of you, don’t have any idea what it takes to “court” a woman today and for some reason, some of you, don’t think you have to do any work to get to know a woman and how to stay in her good graces before relationships go to the next level.

Men, If you are over 30, here’s a clue —  your player days are (should be) over. You are too old to be dating 20 year olds, you are no longer in college, nor should you be patrolling the 21 and over clubs for women. There are plenty of beautiful forward thinking women your age, but guess what? You, men,  have to act your age! And time is ticking, most men will need someone to cook for them and take care of them when they get older (and don’t get it twisted, this is not our only role men) but why not begin the process of searching for a mate now (while some of you are still semi-good looking).. And yes, i said mate! The end product of all of these dating shenanigans should be marriage, after all that is what God put us, man and woman, on earth to do, mate (not to co-habitate or in street lingo, shacking up; not to pro-create all willy nilly without 2 parents who love each other who want to genuinely take care of a child until 18; not to be out here having sex just to be having it with no end result of a true relationship — our society today has it all backwards). And men, contrary to the macho “single forever” demeanor you want everyone to think you want, most of you need to stop fronting because most of you want a permanent or long term relationship, you just don’t want to look like a punk and admit it.

The whole process of dating and meeting people is getting ridiculous and if only some men would step up to call an end to most of the mess, we would be in a better place. And men, here’s a secret, women do want you to take charge, most of us can’t wait for the chance NOT to have to run everything (we are in charge of  and in control of every aspect of our daily single lives; we go to work where some of us are supervisors or oversee many projects; we are in charge of running our households, taking care of children, taking out the garbage, car care, bills, etc. — most of these tasks we would gladly give up or share for a good dating relationship) For once, most women would like a dating life where a man steps up and takes the reigns of the date and says, “I got you” , and do it all with no drama.

So, I took a moment to draw up this “dating manifesto” because, men, you (especially those of you well into your thirties)  need to get back to really dating and “courting” us, meaning, there is no “wham bam thank you ma’am”, there are  no  booty calls, no calling women “shawty” or “boo”; etc. – no, those are not the titles we want. Yes, we want the title of Girlfriend and then Wife, in that order, and please don’t take forever making it happen! Period. And we are  no longer the Destiny’s Child “Independent Women” and TLC “No Scrubs” 90s era of women you are used to dealing with.  Women in our thirties, in 2012,  want to be courted the old fashioned way. Men, you do have 1) to get to know us, 2) tell the truth, and 3) follow through and follow up. If you remember these three tenants of dating the 30-something woman in 2012, then you just might be okay.

So here’s the list of DON’Ts (because honestly, most of you men know exactly what to DO, you just don’t want to follow through and admit it, some of you are lazy and want us women to do all of the work) because heaven forbid, relationships and dating would take alot of your time and would take work and unfortunately, relationships don’t necessarily make life easy (you poor babies), but hopefully, if you are willing to put the time in, relationships with us will make your life only better, and in the words of my girl Beyonce, we will definitely upgrade you . So read the list, consider your options, start asking us on real dates, and get over yourselves! Please!

The Dating Manifesto – Rules For Dating Single Women In 2012
1)Don’t Be An  “almost 40 Year  Old Aspiring Rapper or Athlete/Facebook Founder Wannabe” (Be an aspiring worker). It’s simple. Most women want a man with a set of goals, ambitions, and the hopes of not being in the same position in life they are in today, 10 years from now.

2)Be Honest (girlfriend, no job, multiple children) –  “Never Worked”, “Consulting”, or “I Own My Own Business” is not that same as Laid Off. In this recession, men who have been laid off, had a job at one point and are consistently job searching, we can understand and  women are smart enough to know the difference. Additionally, no one will support you in your plight more than a good woman, however, If you are a man who has never worked in your life please don’t look at smart women in our thirties to take care of you. We may have been dumb in our twenties but we have wisened up. And “Consulting” means you have some expertise that others want to pay you for and you are bringing home a regular paycheck from long or short term projects.  “Consulting” does not mean that you share your random knowledge with others, kick it and hobnob with the who’s-who living the good life without getting paid. And “I Own My Own Business” means you have filed for an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc. so that your “business idea” has become legitimate and usually business owners are putting in well above 40 hours a week, getting their hustle on (and this takes time – a woman doesn’t want to date anyone looking for a get rich scheme).  And in the end, if you lack the skills to really own your own business or to do consulting, please don’t think you are dating any of us because we can see through the BS a mile away.

3)Married Men – Please Remove Yourself From The Dating Equation (but please DO help your single male friends find someone like us) – Here’s the rule, if you are married, you are no longer eligible to date women who you are not married to. Period.

4)Don’t Take/Give Phone/Email/Follow up, etc. – If you really don’t plan to call/talk/ or most importantly date. In other words, please don’t waste our time. We know that some of you are into the challenge of seeing how many numbers, etc. you can collect, but while that may have been cute in your twenties, it’s no longer an attractive tactic in your thirties and it’s downright rude and disrespectful to waste a woman’s time meeting her, asking her for her private information and then never following through to contact her.

5)Find Out The Definition of a Date so you can actually take us on one (ask your friends, coworkers, your old player uncle, somebody!) – Now, we will cut some of you a break here. We realize that some of you men have never been the dating type, have never known what it means to take a woman to dinner or to the movies.  But here’s a clue, it’s not that hard. If you can plan an outing with your boys, planning a date is no different. And contrary to popular demand, most women are simple.  We don’t necessarily need fancy restaurants or expensive horse-drawn carriage rides in the city, but we do need you to at least think about it. Most men have many valuable resources like mothers, sisters, co-workers, other male friends at your disposal so please ask them for some tips.  It will pay off for you in the end.

6)Don’t Be A Cheap Date (If you can’t afford to take a women out for dinner, even to Applebee’s for the 2 for $20 special, then please get it out of your mind that you should or could expect something from her, especially not sex,  after the first date or any time soon thereafter) if you can’t at least take a woman out, away from her house. And if you are over thirty, the old “movie night” at your place is NOT a date. I repeat it is NOT a date so don’t event try it. No woman nowadays wants to go back to a man’s place on the first, second, or third dates for that matter because, unfortunately, there are way too many crazy people out there.

7)And NO women don’t want to plan the date, we want you, the  man, to choose the time/location/date wihout us having to lift a brain cell to even contemplate a plan. For once, I dont want to hear ” where do you want to eat?” and we don’t want to go back and forth with three or four rounds of that discussion. Dude. just pick a place. And for the record, most women WILL tell or text a girlfriend about exactly where you are taking her on a date because, again, (review rule #6, there are way too many crazy people out there).

8)Be Thankful Some Women Even Would Consider Going Out With You – no offense men, but contrary to what many of you believe, your were not her first pick, some of you are like #4 or #5 on the list; when women start letting some of the many “requirements/criteria” they’re looking for go, some of y’all start looking good

9) The Stripper/Halle Berry/Pamela Anderson Delusion – Men, most women are not strippers and most of us don’t have the upper body strength to lift ourselves up on a stripper pole, nor do we want to (no matter what T-Pain told you in his 50 songs about strippers). And on the flip side most women don’t look like Halle Berry or have jugs like Pamela Anderson, so please stop looking for these women when you meet us because believe me, neither one of them want most of y’all anyway! We take you for what you look like (and most of you look nothing like Denzel Washington, George Clooney, or any of the finely chiseled athletes we watch on TV) so please come back from the “un-reality” you have been living and and realize that most women are just regular beautiful, and will never look like a stripper, Halle Berry, or Pamela Anderson (and if we did, we wouldn’t be dating you. LOL)

10)Most Women Are NOTLooking For A Baller – Contrary to popular demand, most women just want a regular dude (with all of his teeth) who possesses some basic honest qualities of being hardworking (please try to have some skills at fixing things with your hands), goal-oriented, ambitious, taking care of his responsibilities, and fun. You don’t have to be rich and if we get rich together, so be it. But honestly, most of us just want to be comfortable. Now many of you men get caught up with these so called “gold-digging” women and somehow you act like you didn’t know she was this way when you met her, she burns you and now you hold what she did against every other woman you date when your family and friends tried to tell you not to date her in the first place (but all you saw was boobs – Wait, was she a stripper? LOL)


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