We always welcome reader questions, comments, and feedback here at SBM. You can check out our SBM Mail series here for past submissions, and you can submit your own inquiries using the Contact Us page. Today’s reader asks:

Hey Single Black Male first off I like the site keep it up. To start off I am choosing to be abstinent, I am doing that because I am trying to develop who I am and add more to my character and definition to my life. There is a saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” I really believe this to the core, since I am still young (22) I attract young acting men regardless of the age. Lately I have been attracting all kinds of black men on the spectrum. From thugs to business men and so on. When I tell them I want to be friends and network and that I’m not on that with them. And that I’m trying to work on me; they have the same reaction, they either ignore it and keep trying or make a run for it. I guess what I am trying to ask is that why with men is abstinence frowned upon or considered “Old Fashioned.” Why can’t there be a medium why does it have to be are you F**king or Not? Feel Me?

Abstinence

First off, thank you for the compliments on the site. Always appreciated. Before I begin, I’d like to commend your choice to be abstinent while you work on yourself, especially at such a young age. I agree with your quote, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” It’s good that you’re reaching this conclusion at a young age and I wish you the best of luck on your journey. I hope you remain steadfast and strong. I say that because of this line: And that I’m trying to work on me; they have the same reaction, they either ignore it and keep trying or make a run for it.

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I’m not sure how long you’ve chosen to be abstinent, but I can say if you’re going to seriously remain abstinent as an opportunity for personal growth, then you have to fully embrace the reason why you’re remaining abstinent. Otherwise, quite frankly, some good looking guy on paper will come along and derail you from your plans because he has a cute smile, speaks well, and promises you he’s different – and he very well might be, but that’s not the point.

What many women (and some men) get wrong about being abstinent is the fact that they (allegedly) make the decision for themselves but then get upset or stray from that path because others won’t accept your decision. This doesn’t make sense. If you’re being abstinent for you, then it should never matter what others think. They can either respect your decision or walk, but you should not change for them, because that wasn’t the reason you committed to abstinence in the first place. If it is, then you’re already going about your decision wrong. In other words, you should have the strength to stick by your choice in the face of adversity because it’s about you and no one else.

Using an objective example, if you wanted a job that paid $50,000 and a job comes along and offered you $30,000 would you take it? I doubt it. Because they already haven’t met your standard. You should have the same view on dating. If you’ve set a minimum standard for yourself then others should rise up to your standard. You shouldn’t lower yourself to theirs. I say all this to say, before I can answer you question, you must honestly embrace why you’re making this decision. If it’s for yourself, then that’s all that should matter. If you’re making this choice based on the actions of others, I’m sorry, but you are likely setting yourself up to fail from the very beginning.

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I guess what I am trying to ask is that why with men is abstinence frowned upon or considered “Old Fashioned.” Why can’t there be a medium why does it have to be are you F**king or Not? Feel Me?

I’m going to be blunt. Abstinence is considered “old fashioned” because it is old fashioned. However, there is nothing wrong with that. There would arguably be a lot less that ails the world if we kept pursuing old fashioned ideals. As I said before, this is really beside the point. Old fashioned or not, if you’ve made the choice to be abstinent then the man should respect your decision. If he can’t then you should give him his walking papers. It really is that simple. If you desire a certain traits in a man, and he can’t offer them to you – even if he is a good man in all other areas – is he really the man for you? My answer, is “no.” Therefore, if you lose a good man who is not your ideal man, have you really lost anything at all? Again, my answer is, “no.”

Why can’t there be a medium why does it have to be are you F**king or Not?

Frankly, this is simply how many men think. There is no medium with some men. Again, the point of your abstinence shouldn’t be to entertain men who can’t respect your decision, because it is a personal decision that should be reached irrespective of men.

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I do believe there are men out there who will respect your decision to wait. However, this is not all men. It’s even possible that most men won’t respect your decision. My question is do you want any man in your life or do you want the right men in your life? If the latter, then it shouldn’t matter how many of the wrong leave if the right men stay. For instance, if a 1,000 wrong men come and go and 1 right man stays, I feel like you won. Conversely, if you entertain a 1,000 wrong men and lose the 1 right man as a result, I feel like you lost. While abstinent, and in general, this is the attitude you should have and I think it’ll make things easier overall. During this commitment, remember you’re not looking to keep every man in your life, only the right men. I’m not saying it’ll be easy but doing the right thing rarely is.

1) Readers, have any of you ever committed to being abstinent in the past or currently? 2) What are some of the difficulties you face and how do/did you overcome them? 3) What additional tips or advice would you offer? 4) Fellas, would you ever date or befriend an abstinent woman? Why or why not? As men, what advice would you offer her?