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How to Love a Black Woman
By Dr. Ronn Elmore

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 How to Love a Black Woman

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How to Love a Black Woman
By Dr. Ronn Elmore
ISBN: 0446675105
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help

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Chapter Excerpt from: How to Love a Black Woman , by Dr. Ronn Elmore


No, this is not "one of those books." Contrary to what images a quick glance at the title may stir, THE BOOK YOU ARE NOW HOLDING IS DEFINITELY NOT ABOUT:

Loving Black women with wisdom, sensitivity, and skillfulness is what this book is all about. It's focused on the near limitless power you have to give and get the very best--spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally--in your relationship with her.

Make no mistake. Loving another person, any other person, is a job. It's a profoundly appealing job and one that many of us take quite seriously. But it is a job. And as is the case with any job you are working to excel at, discovering ways to do it even more capably, and to get even greater results, is the goal. The quality of your love, and your effectiveness at expressing it to the Black woman in your life (or the one on her way), is one of the key measures of our manhood.

The fact that you are reading this book suggests to me that you have much in common with countless men I have met through my counseling practice, seminars, and on radio and television talk shows, in addition to the men who have written me since the release of my earlier book, How to Love a Black Man.

I find them to be, like me, men who already love Black women and who have every intention of continuing to. They are both married and single men, brash but sincere young upstarts, and brothers who have been on the job for much longer than a hot minute. What they have in common is that they have become tired of all the drama that surrounds Black male-female relationships -the finger-pointing back and forth, the mistrust and hostility that divides us along gender lines, and, of course, the statistics that are constantly trotted out to dramatize the hopeless state of affairs that supposedly exists between Black men and women.

In spite of it all, they are men who are captivated by the best of Black women's strength and dignity, and the infinite ways in which their beauty is manifest. They continue to feel honored by the admiration, respect, and support that their women have lavished upon them. And they are men who are still wholly committed to contributing powerfully and meaningfully to her life as well.

Men do that best when they are sure they know the answer to this fundamental question: "What exactly does she want and need from me?" The pages ahead provide the answers to that question. And when you are armed with clear answers, deeper satisfaction in love is available to both of you.

When I say "love," I'm talking about a balanced and deliberate commitment to another person, one that is demonstrated by action. Action that benefits your mate without discounting yourself. Action that is caring, creative, and consistent, without being self-devaluing, manipulative, or self-centered.

And when I say "satisfaction," I mean the abiding contentment and confidence that result from committing to love someone, being loved in return, and knowing and doing the actions that most effectively demonstrate that love. That's the job, and for men, deep satisfaction comes from doing it extremely well.

This book will tell you what women say they need and want from us-but it will also explain it, and, most importantly, apply it in the "language of men," which is:

Women have not always known exactly how to get their points across to their men, with the kind of directness and clarity that helps unlock our highest intentions and our most determined efforts. We hear them, but we can't swear we always understand what they want, why they want it, and what they want us to do about it. And if you don't understand that, even when you're willing to give it, you're very likely to miss the mark anyway.

Men need answers. We need them so we can, draw conclusions, so we can feel confident that we understand, and, ultimately, so that we can perform effectively. Since you were a little boy, you wanted answers. When something was broken, you wanted to know how to fix it. If something was working just fine, you wanted to know why it was, and what you could do to make it work even better. Men don't ever want to be left in the dark, without answers about anything that we've got to deal with. That's especially true when it comes to our love lives.

Men are inherently possessors of the characteristics and inclinations of a conqueror-adventurer. You are not the sort to rise to a challenge or set sail on a course without first observing, analyzing, and assessing what you are trying to do and what obstacles stand in the way of getting it done--excellently. Having solid facts--in advance--is what men want, and probably always will.

Straight facts are the basis of your confidence. When you are confident, you get all kinds of good things done. Men treasure the sense of empowerment that comes from confidence. Having the facts helps us to get it.

Think about it. When you are engaged in any endeavor in which your confidence level is high, your commitment level tends to be high as well. Conversely, when you aren't confident that you know enough, or have enough of what you need to excel, your commitment can easily wane. That's because for you, commitment is a direct by-product of confidence.

If you're a man who ever did, does now, or ever will love a Black woman, you have probably already heard more than you wanted to hear about what they expect of the men in their lives, how hard a time they've had getting it, and how angry they are about it. Black women, no longer willing to settle for vague hopes of love's "payday, someday are challenging the men in their lives to offer a more sensitive, demonstrative, consistent love that delivers as promised. After hearing women's requests, demands, complaints, and criticisms, some men have begun to believe that Black women are never satisfied, and never will be. But if you believe that, before long you could get the idea that it's not even worth it to try. And if it's not worth it to try or to try again and again-then attempting to apply the advice you'll find here will be an exercise in futility. All pain and no gain.

But we men must also take responsibility for the ways we have indeed flunked. All of us, at one time or another, have been guilty of giving less than love's best to some Black woman, or several. For a multitude of reasons, some simple, others very complex, we have displayed everything from self-seeking, self-protecting, and self-justifying to short attention spans, poor discipline, broken promises, and the tendency to drift. Of course you know men who are more guilty of these offenses than are you. But all of us have, at some time or another, compromised ourselves and blown it. And too often, rather than acknowledge it, and repent of our offense against her, we have responded with defensiveness, blame, or utter silence. All of these have wounded our women and misrepresented our highest intentions.

But How to Love a Black Woman is not merely a critique of what's wrong with us in love. It is a celebration of what's right with us, and how to make it better than ever.

Nothing you'll read here is meant to imply that Black men and women are plagued with certain unconquerable psychological, behavioral, or relational dysfunctions that are only found in our race and culture. I have not written with that erroneous belief in mind, and I caution you not to read it with that in mind either. The fact is, getting and keeping a meaningful and mutually satisfying love relationship is no easier or harder for Black folk than anybody else.

But even our best skills can stand to be sharpened. Though they may seem to have stood the test of time, our most brilliant insights about the opposite sex can always be polished to a yet higher gleam. This book will further sharpen your skills in reading the heart of your woman-not just hearing her words, or observing her behavior and reacting to it. I suspect that often, when we don't have the fullest understanding of what's in their hearts, we miss our women's deepest needs of us, and respond only to what we think they mean, which may be far different from what they actually meant. Everything you'll find ahead is designed to help you know, not think, assume, hope, or guess, but know.

For too long, too many of us have secretly held the belief that women are the more qualified experts on loving. If we are honest, we'll admit that we often tend to take our cues from them, assuming that, when it comes to matters of the heart, women are always the ones who know the "right" way.

That belief is responsible for our style of loving becoming reduced to finding out what they think we ought to be doing and doing it just that way (or at least something that we think will look like it to them). Even when it "works" (meaning our women liked it, and they let us know they did), we have eventually come away strangely dissatisfied. We are haunted by the uneasy suspicion that, if we're just dancing to her music, then she's got our noses wide open!

Maybe it was woven into our masculine souls at creation. Or perhaps it's the legacy handed down to us from our tribesmen forefathers. But the fact is, men rise to their highest levels of excellence in any endeavor--especially love--based on definitions, standards, and models of functioning that have been established by other men. Men empower men. Literally or symbolically, we have each stood as one man amongst a million men, and have been challenged to recommit to a standard of integrity and excellence that includes how we love our women.

How to Love a Black Woman is written by a man, for men. It is, of course, appreciative of what our women are asking of us and needing from us. But it is no less appreciative of what you need and how you feel, think, and function, and what it takes for you to remain true to yourself.

Simply put, if you act on the no-nonsense, practical advice found here, not only will your understanding of Black women and your love for them grow, but you will grow personally, as well.

I promise no magic formula or "one-size-fits-all" solutions here, but you should expect these practical principles to work, and to work well.

I'm sure they will, if you will.

Excerpted from How to Love a Black Woman , by Dr. Ronn Elmore . Copyright (c) by Dr. Ronn Elmore . Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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