Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are the “Mistress” and the “Jump-off” the New “Wifey”?

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor JDenise

Not too long ago, the “wifey” was a coveted title by many women in relationships. Why? I’m still not quite sure. See, the “wifey” was the woman a man cared deeply about. She was his “ride or die,” the woman he introduced to his boys and the fam. “Wifey” had all the potential to be this man’s wife; but she wasn’t. This is perfectly fine if you have no desires of being married; but, so many women with hopes of being married found themselves stuck in “wifey” territory. At least this was uniquely their domain. Nowadays, women are fine being some man’s side piece. You know that phrase “a piece of a man is better than no man at all”? Well, far too many women believe this and are willing to share a man than to have one of their own.

Recently, I had a conversation with my mom about women in “desperate situations.” Well, actually it was about desperate women. This conversation was sparked after I read an article that attempted to sum up why numbers of black women are single, (like black women are some kind of static being with a one stop fix for them all). The male writer argued that black women are single because their standards are too high. (Like setting standards is a bad thing.) This notion is hilarious to me, because I know several black women that settle for being the “jump-off” or the “mistress” just so they can say they have a man.

Some people may believe the “jump-off” and “mistress” are one in the same. I distinguish them in two ways. First, both married and single men can have “jump-offs” but only married men can have “mistresses”. Second, the “jump-off” is a woman that a man messes around with on the side. There is no emotional connection on his part. She may be emotionally invested, but for him it’s purely physical. On the other hand, the “mistress” is the woman a married man has a full-on affair with; he is physically and somewhat emotionally involved with her. Whether the man is emotionally involved with the woman or not isn’t the point. I’ve heard women say they don’t want to be in a relationship, so they have no problem being the “mistress” or the “jump-off.” For them, it’s more a thing of convenience. If you say so. But I know women that are stuck in these situations and won’t come out for fear of being alone. So I ask, is it the new standard to settle as the “jump-off” or the “mistress” just to have a piece of a man? For countless women, the answer is yes.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh, I can't believe someone said that there are so many single black women b/c their standards are too high. I believe the complete opposite. I guarantee you that there would be less single women if they stopped settling for these desperate situations.

    I have only been in one relationship that lasted over a year and that was with my husband. My friends used to tease me about jumping from guy to guy, but I've always felt that if a relationship wasn't going the way I wanted it to be going, then I should move on. I HATE wasting time, but I see so many other black women doing this in the kind of situations that you've mentioned above.

    Just about every married black woman I know has gotten a proposal within two years. I say decide what you want and then if that's not happening in your current relationship MOVE ON. Seriously there are SO many men out there. The numbers are on our side. We just have to be better about getting out of these desperate situations or just not getting in them in the first place.

    My only regret from my dating life is that I stayed with one ex three months past when I should have moved on. Yes, I'm upset that I didn't get out at 9 months instead of 12. I'm pissed that I wasted my time.

    Anyway, I believe the real problem is that black women are often not encouraged to adopt standards and stick to them. We are forever being accused of being too picky, but I think this is purely men trying to get over. I guarantee that if black women were MORE picky, then there wouldn't be so many single ones right now.

    If I were Oprah, I would challenge every black woman to set standards and actively date ONLY within those standards for 2 years. I think you'd be surprised how many of those women would find themselves with rings by the end of that challenge -- if that's what they truly wanted.

    That's all.

    P.S. - How often are white women told their standards are too high? We need to stop with that ish.

    P.S.S. - We also need to work on actively promoting self-esteem within our young woman. The situation is SO dire right now.