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If You Want A King You Gotta Know What A King Wants

When it comes to conversations, quotes and memes about relationships- particularly in the Black community- you tend to see a lot of references to men as “kings” and women as “queens”. And I get the reference. It’s meant to be used as an example of a certain standard of behaviour. An example of the caliper of man or woman you are. A king does this, a queen does that. It’s very unlikely that any of us actually descended from real Egyptian kings and queens. 1

If I’m being honest I think it’s kind of overused in the Black community, and I get a little tired of it sometimes. But like most things in the black relationship space, much of what’s said of what is said in the comparing of black men to kings vs black women to queens is one-sided double-speak, unfortunately.

Almost always, when you’re seeing the word king used in reference to a Black man it’s referring to how he should behave, what he does, how he treats his queen, how he runs his household; the list goes on. But you get the idea. Only a certain kind of man deserves the status of “king”, and it’s based entirely on his behavior in all areas.

It gets a little different when we start using the word queen in reference to Black women. It seems Black women, according to every male relationship expert with a platform, don’t have any requirement or any standard to measure up to in order to be a queen. Women just ARE queens, because they’re women. You never see anything talking about what queens do or how they should behave, how they treat their man, etc. You only hear how they should be treated and what they deserve.

Do you see the disconnect here? I keep putting this kind of stuff out there not because I’m some bitter black man who can’t get a good sister. I have an amazing woman in my life. And I do treat her like a queen. But I made her my queen because I saw queen behavior in her when I was dating her. I continue to treat her like a queen because she treats me like a king; not a servant. I couldn’t continue to treat my wife like a queen if she in turn treated me like a servant.

That’s the fundamental flaw in this whole “king and queen” comparison; at least as it’s used in conversations and advice about Black relationships. People are teaching women that a king should treat you like a queen, but nobody’s teaching you how a king should be treated.

If we’re going to keep using this reference we have to understand the true dynamic between how a king and a queen treat each other.

A queen’s relationship with her husband (her king) is different than the relationship she has with the people who bow and scrape and cater to her every whim. A real queen recognizes the status and position of her king and treats him accordingly. She respects his authority in the relationship and as the head of the “kingdom”. She is at his side at all times. She rules with him, not over him. She calms him, sooths him, helps him and advises him. She is his peace. And she in turn is treated like the queen she is.

A queen does not have that relationship with her servants. They bow and scrape and serve and cater to their queen and expect nothing in return. That’s the nature of their relationship and they understand that. That’s what a servant signs up for. It is NOT what a king signs up for.

Contrary to popular belief, a woman isn’t just automatically a queen, just like a man isn’t. If a man must reach a certain level to be considered a king then a woman must do so as well. In fact a woman doesn’t become a queen until a king marries her. And a king only marries a woman who exhibits queen behavior in the beginning. That’s how he knows she’s a woman worthy of that position in his life.

The trouble with most relationship advice in the Black community is that women are being taught that they deserve a “king/queen” relationship with a man while offering in exchange a “queen/servant” relationship. And if you’re showing me signs in the beginning that you expect a certain level of treatment from me but you don’t expect to give the same in return, then you are showing me something less than queen behavior. You’re showing me that you plan to be my queen while treating you treat me as your servant.

But listen, in the real world- our world- we don’t have servants at our beck and call. So while no man or woman will sign up to be someone’s servant, every good man will serve his woman.  Every good woman must do likewise in a loving, mutually beneficial relationship. There’s a difference between the two. And if you don’t understand that you may not be ready for the person you’re looking for.



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