Men will live up (or down) to the standards people hold them to. As long as the popular image of black men is as irresponsible "players" and users (i.e. overgrown children), or "thugs", then that's mostly what you're going to get. You can't control what society expects of black men, but you CAN control the standards to which you will hold any men in your life. Hold them to high standards not because you're a demanding shrew, but because you know they are capable of great things and you want to see them hit their potential. Don't settle for second best when you know they're better than that.
This applies to any man, regardless of his race or color. He has the capability of being stable and responsible, loving, strong, loyal, a good provider, friend, companion, lover, husband, and father.
In addition to the standards to which you hold a man in your life, you must likewise hold yourself to high standards. If you act like you're worthless and cheap, that's how he's going to treat you. You expect him to be a gem of a man - but you are a prize yourself. If you want him to be a masculine gentleman who behaves chivalrously, you need to do your part and be a feminine lady who gives him the opportunity to BE chivalrous (e.g. wait for him to get the door for you, then acknowledge his politeness and thank him with a smile and a sweet "thank you")
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