Authentic Men’s Voices on Marriage and Romantic Relationships
By Armon R. Perry
The start of the new year is a time for reflection. We simultaneously look back at the previous twelve months while anticipating what’s on the horizon. For many people, the state of their romantic relationship can be a significant part of their reflection. Ideally, there are lessons learned from earlier experiences that can inform their future decisions. Alliteratively speaking, perhaps past is prologue.
This proved to be the case for several of the men in my recently published book, Black Love Matters. In sharing their stories, many of them revealed that the people they were romantically involved with were women from their past with whom they had reconnected after a period of time where they were not in contact.
For one man, social media reconnected him with a grade school friend after they went their separate ways for college. In another case, two former co-workers struck up a romance when they found each other after they both moved to a new city. In both of these relationships, the couples were in in their 20s or early 30s. However, these platonic turned romantic relationships were not limited by age. Even a pair of 50-year-olds decided to become romantically involved after having been friends decades earlier. In this case, both had been married and divorced before moving back to town to help care for their aging parents.
In each of these situations, the key to the success of the romantic relationship was that it was built on a foundation of friendship. In this way, the bedrock of trust, respect and transparency could be used as scaffolding to support the weight of the highs and lows that are characteristic of all romantic relationships but come to define and demolish those that only have a nice facade.
So as the calendar turns to 2021, many of you are reflecting on your love life and wondering what’s next. For those who are open to and looking for a new relationship, it may be that looking up an old friend is the start of a new romance. In other words, as several of the men in Black Love Matters found, it may be that the future is already behind you.
Stay tuned for more biweekly blog posts covering topics that are addressed in Black Love Matters, as well as topics that you identify as important in the comment section. As we move this dialogue forward, we will continue to examine these issues, culminating in a virtual town hall meeting featuring presentations, a panel discussion, interviews, and an interactive conversation related to Black love, marriage and romantic relationships. The town hall is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm (EST).
I hope that you will respond to the blog posts and join me for the town hall. You can register by clicking here https://www.fathersincorporated.com/moynihan-institute/.
Armon R. Perry, Ph.D., is professor in the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-852-3234.
To order a copy of Black Love Matters, click here. Use the code LEX30AUTH20 at checkout for a 30% discount.