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The Process Begins Now

September 27th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I understand women understand, but I don’t know to what extent.

This was the sentiment I felt after reading the comments on last week’s post, “So She Wants To Get Married”. A lot of the women who commented said they could understand what some men mean when they say they want to establish themselves before they get married, especially after I listed the laundry list of issues I have that prevent me from doing so. So for some, I’m glad I could clear things up, and for the others who still felt a woman can help a man overcome all of the things I listed, it’s been duly noted. But it still doesn’t make me any more comfortable with the idea of being a woman’s husband. And when I thought more about what I wrote last week, I realized I’m not even really prepared to be a woman’s boyfriend.

As most know, I’ve been single for two, going on three years. It’s been real. It’s been fun. It’s been revealing. I think where I’m at now is a point where I can see the benefit of having a good woman in my life. The freedom of being single has allowed me to do some great things I always wanted to do, and I can certainly continue to live like this, but who am I kidding? The consistency of one woman isn’t such a bad life.

The only problem is, me, which I kind of pointed out last week.

When I was writing Friday’s post, I wasn’t only trying to come to the defense of all those guys who tell their women they want to establish themselves before they get married. While I hope I did a somewhat good job of speaking on their behalf, the man for whom I was really speaking was me.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was too busy to be in a relationship. Then, a few days later, I wrote about how I was now at a place in my life where it was more important to have a girl friend, than a girlfriend. Can anyone else tell how self-reflective I am these days? When I read both posts, and the one I wrote on Friday, it kind of hit me that I need help, and not in some clinical way.

I need to help myself just become a better all around version of myself.

Whenever I write something a woman likes to read, she will say something like, “You’re growing up.” Whenever I write something a woman doesn’t like to read, she’ll say, “You need to grow up.” Men even do the same thing sometimes. They feel like being a new man is wiping away any evidence of being the man they used to be.

Well, I kind of like the man I am now and I hope some of those qualities stay with me as I journey into the man I become. But still, there are some things I want to improve on and I think it’s important for people to bear witness to these strides so they can better understand what other men might mean when they say they need to do the same thing. I don’t think I’m a spokesperson for all men, but I know I am a reflection of a lot of them. I also know I am single, and now more than ever, in a great position to establishing myself before any woman comes in my life on a full time basis.

If I were to list the assets I can bring into a relationship at this point, they would include the following:

Good laughs
Good home cooking
Good conversation
Good other things I won’t mention because my Mom is reading this

And that’s about it.

I honestly think I’m a great guy, but as I said last week, there’s a whole list of issues I have, and so today I want to take a step forward in changing those things. Why should I wait until a woman walks through my door to do such things?

Men really, really do mean it when they say they need to establish themselves before they settle down, and unfortunately so many men don’t reveal exactly what that means. They throw it out there and don’t interpret it for their woman or for anyone else. So then women are confused about the whole process. They think it’s some excuse for a man to be with more girls, or they think he’s just trying to save up enough money to get her the ring she wants, as I suggested last week.

Well, it’s actually about so much more.

Over the weekend, when I was thinking about what I wrote on Friday, and thinking about the things I can bring to a relationship now, I wrote another list. This, a list of areas in which I want to improve upon.

Home Improvement

So starting today, this blog is not only going to be focused on relationships with women, but also a better relationship with myself. I don’t know what that looks like exactly, but I do know this is THE PROCESS; a journey to not just finding the woman I want to be with, but finding the man I want to be for myself.

Since I started this blog, all these women ask me about what it means when a man has to establish himself before he gets married and in my answers, I realized I was projecting a process I had yet to undergo myself. Then I woke up one day last week, looked in the mirror and said to my reflection, “If you know what these men mean, why are you just telling it to people? Why aren’t you showing it too?”

So here is where it starts, people. The process begins now.

Categories: dating, guys, The Process, women Tags:
  • Maisha

    I’m looking forward to reading about your journey as you embark. Best of luck to you and the woman of your future!

  • Kae-Toya

    Good to see your journey of SELF DEVELOPMENT is beginning.

  • Sinnamon

    Why do you assume that a good woman in your life wouldn’t help you achieve those things you desire for yourself faster? I think sometimes what it takes is a woman to help a man come to completion. It sounds cliche but in a lot of ways, it’s true. If you’re walking towards progress and she is walking towards progress, might as well walk together and have some good conversation along the way. #Imjustsayin’

  • AS

    Well said. Establishment is definitely a process. Unfortunately, a lot of us (men) don’t start the process UNTIL we meet a woman that makes us think about it. We all definitely need to do a better job taking care of ourselves–and we should want to do it for us, first and foremost (which is not to say that we can’t be moved to change by other people).


  • Anike Love

    LOL @ self-defense. In a sense, I guess that kind of falls in line with health, cuz if you’re looking like Gak, you can’t fight back…not that you look like Gak or anything lol. Good luck! This should be interesting!

  • B. Pierre

    Amazing! I commend you for declaring that you want a better relationship with yourself. Too many people are fixated on fixing relationships with others and always seem to fall short because they forget to resolve things within themselves first. Real change begins from within and permeates to those relationships around you. I can’t wait to read more on THE PROCESS!

  • taurusitalia

    Excellent Jozen!

    From a woman’s perspective I believe it becomes difficult after some time to distinguish which guys are being sincere (like you are, but still frustrating all the same) & which ones are way behind. So like you mentioned, women feel the urge to “step up” and help “him.” Sometimes it can appear that men just lack the sense of urgency. & let’s face it…women, not by choice, have time constraints. I applaud you & respect a person who is upfront & honest. All the same, there are great women, who recognize a great man, who has to wait for “him” to go through a “process.” Women have to “go through a process, ” but appears can multi-task better. LOL. I think you are at a stage where you need to find that balance. You have to figure out how to balance it all, grow as an individual & if in a relationship, be able to grow together as a couple.

  • Aisha

    Great post!! I am beginning to understand now…just one question, what do you mean by self-defense?

  • AJ

    A woman can help a man establish himself. I don’t doubt that for a second. But as a man (at least in my case) it is important that I establish myself without the help of my lady. It falls into the inherent protector and provider role within us. A man cannot adequately protect his lady and provide for his lady until he is fully established. This is why I plan to remain single until I am established.

  • Keia

    Glad you are going to let us all in on your journey of self-improvement! It will definitely be a fun ride!

  • MadScientist7

    you pose some interesting points. people in general need to work on themselves before they try to get in a relationship or get married and be the best them they can be first.

  • MadScientist7

    no speaking for jozen (only for myself). there are some things that a man needs to work on himself without the help of a woman. these things could be a hindrance to a relationship if she were to try to assist him.

  • Kady

    This has to be one of my favorite post, well written and so relevant. I know your writting from a man’s point of view but this post was so much greater than that. We all need to do some self evaluation every once in a while. 4 Thumbs Up!!!!

  • LCT

    Great post!!

    I did however already have an opinion somewhat formed by the time i finished the second paragraph. I think there is a great deal of validity to your thoughts and logic about establishing yourself. But to be honest, I don’t think that there is an actual point of establishment, just like there is not point of success. Preparation like success is a process. Every day is an opportunity to prepare, grow and evolve. The process doesn’t ever come to abrupt jolt, but I think there are some pivotal points of clarity and revelation along the way. Maybe it’s more of a revelation of significant growth and maturity to say that you think you’re ready to take on the GIGANTUOUS ( dont know if this is really a word but i’m thinking the size of the enter solar system) challenge of being in a committed relationship and eventually becoming a husband and father. Even if you were a black belt in karate, had a bank account like Warren Buffet, had travelled the world twice and were a tri-athlete, you would still eventually be faced with a situation(s) in your marriage where you would feel somewhat inadequate. If these were the factors that determined success for marriages, rich, healthy and worldly people would have a divorce rate somewhere around 0. My assumption would be the opposite though, that these folx are often either the first to get divorced, or in extremely unhappy and unhealthy marriages.

    No one is ever really fully prepared to merge their hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions and livelihood with another person. That process is the antithesis of what our culture grooms us to be: inherently individualistic and self-sufficient. That’s where the God factor comes in, through strength faith and a spiritual foundation….

    To put it in a sentence, it’s less about being established and more about where you are in your process of growth, and being in love and meeting someone that compells you to want to step up (and step out of a comfort zone of one’s self) to the lifelong challenge of loving someone and something more than you love yourself……..just my few cents.


  • Kady

    I don’t think a man should need a woman to get his shit together, sure we can do alot more together than alone. But if a man needs me to get his credit straight, to tell him when to go to the gym and what to eat, etc, it would be like having a child. I don’t need him to be a VP but he should be able to hold himself down. Plus that’s riding a thin line on the “going into a relationship with the intent to fix a man” issue.

  • AlesiaMichelle

    “Self-Defense” lol tee hee …
    “THE PROCESS; a journey to not just finding the woman I want to be with, but finding the man I want to be for myself.”
    this is something you said.

  • Jay

    i LOVE this. Self Evaluation is key, and I’m not sure many people understand this. Good luck and many Blessings to you!

  • Violet

    Sounds good! Interesting, necessary turn.

  • Sinnamon


    You are right. There are some things men (and women) need to work on alone. But not everything. I’ve just learned that if we wait to be perfect before allowing ourselves to be in a relationship, then it will never happen. And the same goes for finding a mate who is perfect. It just won’t happen. There are some things (key word is some) that we can only perfect once we are in a relationship because we have another set of eyes and ears for encouragement. If the argument is that Jozen, or you, is not ready to settle down, then that’s fine. But I just don’t like the idea of waiting until everything is in order to begin living life with someone by your side.

  • Sinnamon

    You speak the truth! God knows I don’t want a man that I have to treat like my son. The man should definitely want to get his shit together on his own without me riding him. I’m just talking about much simpler things. I know for myself, I always wanted to be healthy but didn’t really know how to until I was with a guy who showed me how to eat and how to cook. I’ve had insecurity issues in the past and it was a relationship that was truly genuine that helped me get past those insecurities. I think relationships can be beneficial in that way because other people can lend us something that we can’t give ourselves.

  • Sinnamon


  • BoomShots

    I am not a big fan of the self help culture but having read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, one thing that changed my perception was the belief that change starts from the inside out. So having a better relationship with yourself would in my thinking be the first place to begin before embarking on being anyone’s BF or husband.

    To the women who keep thinking they can make any man better than he wants to be, I SMDH!!

    You can assist him or direct but you cannot make him want or do things that he has no aspirations or ambition to accomplish. The crazy house and divorce courts are littered with the shell of women who tried and failed on those saintly endeavors. Just because you got picked don’t mean your the right fit, thats why sport teams trade players all the time.

    Men and women have to start understanding that it all starts and ends with them. We can recruit others to share into our dream but its still up to you to make it happen. We have to stop looking outside of ourselves for something external to change our circumstances. To paraphrase “be the change you want”. Until we can embrace that sort of thinking we will be forever stuck in a place where we allow others to determine whats right or best for us.

    So I will do my best to be the man I want to be so that I can be with my woman without any second thoughts.

  • leressa

    I am looking forward to seeing what THE PROCESS looks like. Don’t be surprised if the process becomes A MOVEMENT. I think alot of people out there.. myself included could certainly use a little improvement. Being newly single I have my days where I really enjoy my singleness and others where it seems like some sort of purgatory. I think today I will start working on my list of things I can do in the meantime to become the me I would want to date, the me I would like to settle down with. Thanks Jozen!!

  • TOP 5

    Just fall into it… Don’t look… Just roll with the punches and enjoy the ride… because its not what you always expect but the result can be great when you catch it just right…

    relationships are like surfing its all about catching the right wave and seizing the moment.

    The hardest thing for a guy, especially if you are use to playing the field, is when you realize you might have someone worth giving up all other women for… its a humbling experience.

  • Mighty B

    Awesome post today, Jozen! Thank you for providing insight into yourself and for being a reflection of (and an unofficial spokesman for) other men 🙂 I’m excited to hear how your “Process” goes.

    There were, however, two major points made by @taurusitalia that I hope you (and other men embarking on this journey) keep in mind:
    1.) let’s face it…women, not by choice, have time constraints. (and)
    2.) Women have to “go through a process,” but appears can multi-task better…. I think you are at a stage where you need to find that balance.

    At the end of the day, a relationship (i.e., the main objective) involves TWO people. Please don’t get so absorbed in “establishing” yourself that it because a crutch/barrier, thereby preventing you from committing at all.

  • CourtyJ

    Really happy to hear this seeing how my comment directly touched on it. The amounts of awesome your going to reach for realizing and making the choice to work on it are indescribable. I look forward to it FOR you. 🙂

  • MadScientist7


    “I’ve just learned that if we wait to be perfect before allowing ourselves to be in a relationship, then it will never happen.”

    i know i will never be perfect and i surely don’t want a woman who is even close to it. i want a woman who’s flaws i can love.

  • Netreia

    “The Process” is something myself and a couple girl friends started last fall. Simple, yet profound we decided it was more important to work on being the woman our future, potential, undiscovered man (Husband) would want in his life….This is much easier than constantly looking, wanting, wishing for Mr. Right to come along…

  • Danni

    Gotta listen to what dude is saying and accept it for what it is. Nobody knows a man quite like himself, and if he feels a need to embark on a journey like this on his own, PLEASE get out of his way and let him handle business! Seriously, I would much rather a guy tell me point-blank-period that he is in a stage in his life that requires he not even attempt to be in a serious relationship than to allow me to involve my feelings and hurt me on his road to becoming a better man. Hi-five, Jozen…

  • Nadira Rae

    A word of advice to some of you out there: I don’t think this ‘process’ (for any of us…man or woman) is about readying ourselves to be ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ for whoever we might meet in the future. In my opinion it’s about being whole and happy with yourself and what’s going on in your life. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you were ‘working on you’ simply to find or be ready for a relationship. How about doing it just to have balance, peace of mind, and to become a better person for YOU.

    I thought I’d be married by 25, with 2 kids by 30 (I’m 30 now), but things don’t always work out the way we envision or plan. Thank God they didn’t though! I wouldn’t have been ready for that then…and honestly right now, I’m still not. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time to improve things in your life or just to progress and mature as a person (SOLELY for yourself). If more people took the time to do that, when they did enter into relationships (and subsequently get married), I think the success rates would be higher and people would be more genuinely happy with each other. Just something to think about.

  • superwoman

    nice. you’re growing up… 😉

  • SB

    Hi, Jozen! I’m a faithful reader and 1st time commenter. Congrats on making great strides towards becoming the man you want to be.I get where your’re coming from. ‘And for what it’s worth, these days, a lot of women feel the same way. I have a long list of things I’d like to accomplish for myself before I feel “established” enough for a relationship. The difference is, while I feel that way, if the right person came along, I wouldn’t run through my list in my mind and let him just walk out of my life. I’d get over myself and let him know I’m a work in progress with goals I haven’t met yet. I’d ask him to help me get there and to be patient with me, as I’d be patient with him. My reasoning is that, the timing will never be just right.The list will just keep growing b/c you will constantly want to be better (as you should). I know the story all too well. Same thing my ex told me. Did I understand, yes, that’s why I let him go. So, I get it, I just don’t like it. Just my thoughts though… No man will ever reach his greatest potential without the help of a woman. Why? It’s Biblical. That’s why God created Eve. It is not good for a man to be alone… But I digress. Love your blog!!!

  • Nadia

    ….good other things I won’t mention because my mom is reading…lol Josen well its a good thing u never met my mom, she’s a bit..outspoken. But I dig the way you put it 🙂

  • booboonotthefool

    *cues up man in the mirror*

  • ruby

    indeed. great post. a couple of years back, a man asked me to be in a relationship with him. but he really wasn’t ready. maybe i wasnt either. but in the end things definitely went poorly, a couple times. we stayed friends in some sense. but the reality of it is… he tried to work on his process with me.. but there were definitely some things he needed to do and wanted to do for himself… i hope now he’ll take the time to do them alone… before entering another relationship…

  • Cristina

    I’m starting to feel that you are living the male version of my life. Seriously.

    I too have been single for almost 3 years and been enjoying the freedom and liberties of not having that much responsibility to anyone but myself. I have also been feel a longing for male companionship that I realized was not a longing for a man, just the relaxed, laid-back comfortableness (is that a word?) that is so much more characteristic of the guys I know rather than the girls. Am I supposed to be a writer? I was considering it at one point.

    I think you have singled out the very important element in the whole “What does it mean when he says he wants to establish himself and not marry me yet?” My personal situation was that my significant other was saying he wanted to marry me, start a family, couldn’t wait til we lived together… BUT he was in a rut. He was unemployed, but that wasn’t the problem. His ambition was suffering. His ego was suffering. He was living at home, watching football and feeling sorry for himself… instead of: going to school, looking for different kind of work, enjoying all the free/low cost ways we could build our relationship when he had so much time. He was saying I want to marry you but I’m not established yet. I was feeling: You’re not trying to be established, how on earth can I marry/have babies with you??? When I read about that time in your life (when you were unemployed) it makes me remember the time when my man was in your shoes. It would have been such a blessing for him to have that insight. (If you are wondering how it turned out- we are not together. He had a baby less than a year after we broke up with a questionable girl. So much for soul mates right?)

    Seriously dude, your blog makes me think. Free therapy right here.

    Thank you.

  • Daree

    It’s great that you’re mature enough to allow yourself to come up with these lists and attributes during self-reflection. No doubt as you identify what you want and need for yourself, you can complement your partner when you are ready to settle down. Good stuff!

  • La Eve!

    Jozen, thank you for this post. I really like everything you write..but reading this particular blog I felt a sense of relief….mostly cuz i commented on a post you wrote recently about being tired of every one telling women what they need to do to please their man. The simple fact that you can express yourself this way puts you way above some men. Not every man can express what they feel….I applaud you…and I hope that I can meet a man as enlightened as you are and with your ability to communicte. I am looking forward to your journey! I also agree with you..that if a man says…I need to establish myself and I can’t be with you righ tnow…then the woman should believe him and decide whether to stay or go.

  • madeleine

    This is right!!!

  • sQUEAK

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post bruh. Growing consciously into manhood is a process, one that i am slowly learning to navigate as I’m turning 27. I read a book that said that masculinity and manhood can only be bestowed by other men. In other words, despite their best intentions, a woman will never be able to help a man become a man. It has to be by example, whether that example is present, physical or spiritual. Good post.

  • sQUEAK

    Oh, and I’m copying your list for my own personal process as well. I think you summed the categories up accurately.

  • Daniel E. Rodgers

    I think that the word “established” is a way out if you don’t want to get married at the present time. There are certain things that you need in order to prepare yourself for marriage but that varies from couple to couple, some may be finances for others it may be time. You never are the same person that you were the day before nor the day after. Marriage should help you not hinder you. I have read a lot of your blogs and to me they seem to be a bit to self indulgent and geared toward women and far from a true males opinion.

  • chris

    I am definitely in this boat. I’m 27, in a 5 year relationship, and live with my girlfriend. The next step is getting married. I honestly told her I would marry her right now if I was “established.” As a male I feel the obligation to be “the man” and provider. If we got married right now I wouldn’t be able to give her the story book wedding she dreams about, a house, or kids. If we got married we’d live the same exact life we’re living right now in a 1 bedroom apt. It’s not bad but it does not live up to my expectations of married life. She understands because we’re both in the same boat in our careers.

  • Nakedi

    Well done ol chap.

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  • AGirlNamedGoys

    LOL! Don’t be so hard on yourself Jozen, you weren’t hideous; whats more– they were probably more attracted to your personality. No need to decry or put down your former self, just celebrate the growth and progress you have come to achieve! Congratulations on a new you and best wishes for growth in the future!