Living in the Shadows: Your Life Shouldn’t Revolve Around Your Man

Never forsake your own dreams for his.

By: Amanda Anderson

I swear it’s like the Fourth of July fireworks. Highly anticipated, beautiful from a far and in theory, but scary and dangerous the closer you get to the lights. Every single woman with any hope of romance left will actively pursue love with a successful career in tow. She’s played her cards right, survived the drought in the form of pointless relationships with lackluster prospects, and each disappointment has led a step closer to the man of her dreams. And it took some work for a sister to land the jackpot of relationship bliss. You went through hell to get to your little piece of heaven on earth. It’s no doubt in your mind that you have found the real thing, you don’t even need fellas to so much as stare in your direction because your man is (in my best Martin Lawrence voice) “All Lat.” Doesn’t if feel good to meet your match? You’ve finally got someone to tackle the world with and you’ve been dreaming of the day that you would become the power couple you’ve secretly been envying all these years. But before you scratch off your checklist like the driven (and very organized) little diva you are, you’ve forgotten one thing: you can’t tackle the world together if you’re stuck in that good man’s shadow. Sister, are you still there? Success hasn’t seen you in a while since you’ve been clinging on so hard to his.

Now I expect to ruffle a few feathers, but it has to be said from one career driven woman to another. It’s amazing how we work so hard to become power players in our respective fields, and accomplish our dreams of success and happiness. We put love on hold until we nabbed the degrees, and purchased our first homes. We have started our own businesses while we went on the driest dates that even a few cocktails couldn’t save, and created the type of investment portfolio that even Warren Buffet himself would “Harlem shake” to.

But in the mist of all that success, we were really hoping love would somehow creep it’s trifling behind on in. A few broken hearts later, you’ve actually ran into a man that can stimulate you mentally, keep you satisfied physically, and engage you in the type of conversations that make you see yourself being with this man for a lifetime. You don’t mind being supportive to a good man because you know just like a good woman, he doesn’t come often.

And although supportive is good, needy is not. You were “I’m Every Woman” before he came along, and now you know every word to “You’re Everything to Me.” Now it’s nothing wrong with loving a man or being so deep in love that you’re sparkling all over for the world (and jealous girlfriends) to see, but you have put your entire life on hold to be his support team.

That’s a huge mistake that could cause you your identity.

While he’s chasing his dreams, you’re in the background cheering like this is high school all over again. Put the pom poms down. You need some serious self-reflection.

A power couple does not equate to one powerful go getter with a cheerleader in the shadow. Instead, it is composed of two powerful individuals that were a force to be reckon with before they even got together. But now that they have united, they are creating an empire based on the contributions of each individual.

Not only do you have pom poms from time to time, but he’s your biggest cheerleader too.

You see, real women don’t put their lives on hold because they finally have a good man. No, they have even more of a reason to chase their dreams because they have a good man.

To the real divas, a good man is like ammunition in the world that we plan to take over. We see ourselves on a throne, and when we look to our right, he’s there just as powerful. And together, we reign.

If you take any offense to this article, it’s probably because the truth hurts more than that paper cut you got from the days you used to chase paper and childhood dreams. Mediate on it. And you too will see that no radiant woman does anybody any good by sitting in the shadows.

Come out, come out wherever you are. You’ve got dreams to chase, and a good man who will run with you.

Put your running shoes back on.


  1. Okay, I love this to pieces! I am going through this now with a childhood friend. Her man is super successful and she's doing nothing with her own life. She was ambitious before she fell in love with this dude, and now her whole life is HIM. He's all she talks about on Facebook and in conversation, and it's totally pathetic to me. I have a good man also, but I haven't gotten lost in my happiness. Some women need to take heed to this article before they wake up 20 years later with nothing to show but a wedding ring.

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