Caribbean And The City – Quality Street Love

| May 8, 2011

Staff writer - Maria Costa

There comes a moment in every relationship when the dates and romantic walks no longer suffice and a girl wants to know exactly ‘where things are going’. Perhaps it’s after that all important third date, or right after you sleep with a man for the first time. Regardless of when it may be, this need in a relationship is imminent and it happens to the best of us.

Two months in to my relationship with Mr.Caribbean (D) and I had

the all consuming urge to ask him whether or not he was ‘my boyfriend’.

Sad Black Couple

It didn’t matter how affectionate he was or how loving his texts were or even that I had already met certain members of his family; I needed to hear it in words.

And what better moment to approach the subject than when the man’s driving on the motorway?

How is it that a look on a man’s face can give so much away in an instant? My heart sank as I realised his shifty gaze betrayed him.

”It’s not that I don’t want to commit, it’s just that I’m not sure that I’m ready”.

I knew what this meant; it was code for ‘I’m seeing other girls’. What else was there for me to do other than sto it back and spend the rest of the car journey staring outside the window…the sky suddenly portraying a welcome escape.

Alas, his charm proved to be stronger than my pain and I stuck with him in the hope that he – or something – would change; it was soon evident that the only aspect which evolved was time.

After several months had elapsed, I decided I had become enough of a permanent fixture in his life to warrant another round of ‘question time’. This time the answer was very different.

‘My mum and dad have both left me to fend for myself. How can I trust another person? And furthermore, why should I only accept love from one girl? I want as much love as I can get’

That’s the trouble with honesty; sometimes the lies are sweeter on the ears – and the heart.

But was D an isolated case, or were there many Caribbean children ,who were now Caribbean adults breaking girls’ hearts because of the neglect they endured in their former years?

It’s been noted that as a strategy for survival, Caribbean men and women commonly migrate to North America and the UK in an effort to better themselves leaving their children in the care of relatives and friends*

The Caribbean parent will typically believe that as long as their children’s financial well-being is taken care of, they are secure. There is therefore not much concern about the emotional and psychological well-being of the child* And so it is born, an adult with trust and commitment issues.

In my crestfallen state, my brain was still ticking enough to know that the man had a point. If his only source of love was to come from external people, then surely he should ensure that the external people were in abundance?

Then the old adage came to mind ”quality, not quantity” and I set about being D’s friend and companion instead of desperately seeking a label to satisfy society’s views.
Honesty? Check. Love? Check. Trust? Check. A good listener? Check.
Before long, D wanted me to meet his beloved uncle and as we drove to see him, it was I who was receiving the all important question;

”So, how would you feel about making this official? I think I’ve got all the love I’m going to need”

I smiled an honest smile. What else was there to do but to sit back and stare out of the window; the sky representing a realm of hope.

So what if sexual prowess was the norm in Caribbean culture? It doesn’t mean that all Caribbean men will perpetuate this behaviour indefinitely.

Like a river, culture has many sources (Mosterin, 1992) and after our biology we, as humans, will naturally adjust our behaviours to fit in with our environment – and I was D’s environment.

*Information taken from The Impact Of Caribbean Culture On The Outcome Of Therapy
by Karen A.P.McGibbon

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Category: Caribbean and the City, Sunshine Corner

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