The wait is sexy | Yvonne Orji | TEDxWilmingtonSalon


Translator: Peter van de Ven
Reviewer: Mile Živković You cannot date until you get married. Yeah, that was the only dating advice that I got for my very strict
immigrant Nigerian parents when at 16, I asked them if I could date
like all my other American friends. And all I got back was: “Yvonne, you cannot date
until you get married.” What does that even mean, guys? Guys … How can I get married if I never date? And more importantly,
how can I have sex if I never date? But what my father managed to do
in that very short sentence, other than utterly confuse me, is instill the fear of God
and his belt in my life. So I decided, you know what,
when I turn 18, I’m gonna be an adult. Okay? I’m going to be an adult. And I can make adult decisions,
and I don’t need permission to date because I’m going to be 18. Also, when I turn 18,
I’m going to get married. I’m going to have sex. Yep, that’s what I’ll do,
I’m gonna have sex when I turn 18. I had it all planned out, y’all. I was going to have rosepetals, I was going to have candles, a waterbed, if I was lucky, and Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work”
was going to be playing in the background. Yes! Because “Love & Basketball”
is my favorite movie. (Laughter) But when I got to high school,
all the girls kind of crushed my dreams. They were, like, “Um, Yvonne, your expectations are way too high
for your first time. You should be lucky if you get
the back seat of some guy’s car, or the basement apartment
in some dude’s mama’s house.” What? Do you see my face? That was not the will
of Jesus for my life. That was not going to be what I told
my daughter about my majestic first time. So I waited. I was like, “I can wait.”
I waited it out, and sure – Because I was never one
to buckle under peer pressure, but year after year, I slowly realized that I was becoming
the only member of the V-club. That’s cool. That’s cool because by my senior year,
I hadn’t even identified my accomplice. That’s right! He was a black and Puertorican papi: “Hola mija, tú eres latino.
Pero tú sabes …” (Laughter) He was a freak, too! I was, like, “Look at Jesus;
he cometh to.” (Laughter) I was, like, this wait
is going to be worth it. And I told him the game,
and I was checking, alright, I’m 17. Okay, I got a couple more months
to my 18th birthday; it’s going down. Candles, water bed, (Laughter) rose petals … Like, I laid it down. I thought
he was down for the count. I thought he was down for it. Until my freshman year of college, 17 with about three or four months
left to go to my 18th birthday, and I realized that there were other girls who did not have
the same timeline as I did. And they projected their offer to him, and he and he took them up on their offer. And that’s cool, because I said,
“You know what, Yvonne? You are in college; I am sure there’s a pretty young thing
who has work study, so he can afford these rose petals
that you’re looking for, and whose roommate
goes home on the weekends, so you can get your set of sheets girl. And then, life has a funny way
of interrupting your plans because one faithful Thursday, a friend of mine invited me
to a campus Bible study. You know, I love Jesus;
he cool, why not? Let’s go. I got to the Bible study,
and there was this beautiful minister, she was a med student, and she talked about how she was 25
and waiting until marriage to have sex. Hold up. What? Time out.
Jesus, what happened? Who hurt her? I don’t understand. Why would anybody do this?
This is unacceptable. Mmm, what? I’m not here for this.
This is not why I came. (Laughter) And I sat there
with my arms crossed, like, “This? No. I don’t … This is not
the will of Jesus for my life.” And as I listened, though, she talked about just how much
God was so important to her, and he had done so much for her that this ask was not a big deal
in the grand scheme of things. I was, like, “Okay, what else you got?” And then she kept talking, and her passion for Christ
was really intriguing because she called God “daddy.” I’ve never had heard anybody
call him “daddy.” Like, that was very intimate
and very personal. So I found myself
going like this, to like this. And by the time I knew it, y’all,
I’ve been bamboozled by Jesus. (Laughter) I got saved at 17. I told him I was going to wait till 18,
and he swooped in at 17, and now: 33. Still waiting; we are still waiting. It’s all good, though. I don’t mind the wait – Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers) I don’t mind the wait, but my parents
are singing a different tune now. (Laughter) When I remind them of their once
sound dating advice, what I get back is: “Yvonne, time waits for nobody. You are no longer a spring chicken;
you are ripe for marriage.” ‘Ripe,’ that’s what they call me,
guys. Like I’m a mango. (Laughter) I love this other one: “Yvonne, I went to church today,
and I lit five candles for you. Yes, maybe Jesus will see one of them (Laughter) and send you a husband.” So who needs Tinder? You’ve got a candle lighting African mama. Okay.
(Laughter) That’s how this game works. But I don’t really –
I don’t mind the wait. Because, here’s the thing about it,
like, I joke around a lot, but what the wait does
is weed out the riff-raffs. A lot of people think the wait is actually
keeping me from my prince charming, but what the wait actually does
is keep me away from these dudes: “But what do you mean by commitment,
though. Like, commitment commitment?” Yeah, I don’t have time
for the foolishness, y’all. And so, for me, if you ask
do I want to have sex? Of course I do! Like today, like right now,
if you’re here, like, let me know … (Laughter) But that’s just a short comfort, right? And sometimes you’ve got to
sacrifice short term comforts to get long-term
quality relationships that I want. Yeah, that’s my face,
that’s the short term comfort look. Like, it ain’t always sexy,
y’all, but it is sexy. And so … So for me right now at 33, the wait is powerful,
it’s discipline, it’s focus, it keeps the main thing
the main thing. And I know some of you
are all listening, like, “Boy, Yvonne, this sounds really good, however, I’m not about this way
into marriage life. Umm, so … you got anything else for me?” I do, I do. I’m not here trying
to sell to you, “Oh, wait for marriage.” My 17-year-old self
is right there with you, like, “Please stop talking right now, please.” But here are some things that I do feel that you
can wait for in a relationship. I feel like every relationship has things
that are important that you can wait for. And so, I’m going to give you five things. One, wait on the person
who sees you for you and loves you regardless. Because here’s the real: (whispers) we’ve all got issues, y’all. Like I don’t think I had issues,
I mean, look at me. Ha! I’m amazing … (Laughter) On the surface, there was no, like,
seven-year relationship that left me hurt, drinking red wine on a Thursday,
and eating popcorn like Olivia Pope, but we have issues. And it wasn’t until a fight
with a friend of mine that let me know, like, I’ve got some some deep childhood issues
that I don’t even know about. That’s the thing about wounds: you don’t know you have them
until they’re scratched, and then you realize
the scab is still fresh. So, I had to dig deep, I had to dig deep,
and I had to unearth some ugly. But I believe that there is somebody
that is willing to get ugly with you, down in the mud,
and work on getting healed, his own healing or her own healing,
on your own journey to getting healed. So y’all can do it together. Don’t judge somebody else’s process
because you’re in a process as well. Number two, wait on the one
who sees value in what you value. When you meet me,
you know three things off the bat: I love to laugh; I love being Nigerian –
my people, where are you, there? (Cheers) and I love Jesus. If you spent a bit
more time with me, you know I’m a giver,
I’m a connector of people, I’m an encourager. I went on a date one time with this guy who was, like, “Yvonne, I just think that, in every relationship
we need to compromise.” Okay, I can compromise on what movie we see
in the movie theater, y’all. I can compromise on whether or not
we eat Chinese or Indian, today. But a core value … What are we talking about? I’m not talking about, like, y’all, this dude likes Snickers bars
and I like Babe Ruth, that’s not it. Okay? I’m talking core values. And I looked at him and I said- and of course that was his sales pitch
to get me to try and sleep with him – and I said, “Babe, it’s cool if we don’t
value the same things; we’re just not gonna make it.” See, I don’t get mad
if somebody doesn’t like me for me, you’re just not the one for me. (Applause) Number three,
wait on purpose and not in fear. We all know the divorce rate
in America is 50%, and then you throw in
the retention rate in colleges, and then black women –
the incarceration rate in black men, and blah blah blah blah blah … It’s all set in fear; it’s all set to make you feel like,
“You ain’t never gonna make it, boo.” (Laughter) But I don’t subscribe to that.
Because, what is fear? And guys, you guys get it too;
you guys get: these girls ain’t loyal …. Really? Are we not? Are we not? I don’t subscribe to fear
because what is fear? F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. That’s what that is; it’s not real. I believe in faith. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for
and evidence of things not seen. One deals in the negative,
another one deals in the positive. I choose to look for the positive. And here’s the thing, Jay-Z says,
“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” That’s cool. You can have your numbers; I’ve got a different set
of numbers: 7.5 billion! That’s how many people
are on planet Earth. 7.5 billion. You mean to tell me that with 7.5 billion, there is one dude –
one dude has to have my name on him. Okay, I don’t know where he at; I may not have even
traveled to where he’s from. Show of hands: has anybody
ever here been to Wichita, Kansas? Exactly. My boo might be
in Wichita, Kansas. (Laughter) Y’all know? And we’re not even –
we’re just dealing with one state. Has anyone been to every county in … in Pennsylvania, or in Maryland, or – No! So there’s a whole wide world out there, and we’re not even
factoring in international – Who’s been to New Zealand? Exactly!
Go to New Zealand. Your boo may be
waiting for you in seat 32b; that’s all I’m trying to tell you. So, tickets to Wichita,
Kansas, just went up. You’re welcome. (Laughter) Number four, wait on the one
who makes you a priority. We’ve all heard it said that people make time
for what’s important to them, and I believe that. Late last year I was
getting to know this guy, he started off really good; they all do. (Laughter) Started off really good, I felt like we had
a really good connection, and after a while,
I realized that my communication was not getting reciprocated
at the same rate that I desired. So I take a step back because, again,
I don’t have to beg anybody to like me, because I like me. So I just wanted to show you – This was our last text message
because this is what I do, I use you as a reference on my TEDTalk. January 4th, he says,
“Can I call you later?” I say, “Yeah, sure.” January 22nd? (Laughter) We’re going to wait 18 days? And then he says, “It’s not because of negligence,
because you’ve surely been on my mind.” I don’t need anybody thinking about me. I don’t need anybody
thinking about me without actions. Because here’s what I think about.
I think about cleaning my room; I do. Um, phew! Here’s what I don’t do,
I don’t clean my room. Here’s who’s not impressed
with me thinking about them: my dirty floors, okay? So I don’t, I don’t – I’m happy that you thought about me, but without follow-through
we’re not gonna make it. And my angel says, when people
show you who they are, believe them. So, I appreciate your effort, but clearly I’m not
a priority in your life, and that’s cool because I believe
that there is somebody who make me and keep me their priority
and bring balance in your life. (Applause) Furthermore, you’re waiting
18 days to get back to me, but your Instagram is poppin’! (Laughter) Why, your snapchat is lit, but the same phone, you’re double tapping,
and you can’t call me? Cool, cool, cool. (Laughter) So, let’s not excuse unexcusable behavior; you are a priority, and you’re worth somebody
who will put you at the top of their list. Now, that’s not to be mistaken
for being ridiculous, and wanting somebody
to capitalize somebody’s time. You have to have balance
and have a well-rounded life yourself. Number five, wait on the one
who meets your standards. Here’s the thing about standards. They’re yours. They’re yours to set as high or as low – A lot of times when you hear single women,
you hear this said about them: “Maybe you’re still single
because your standards are way too high.” I don’t know who talks like that,
but that’s just in my mind. (Laughter) Or “Maybe you’re sitting over here
because you’re just so picky.” So? Standards are yours
to set as high or as low – and sometimes people
who can’t meet your standards feel the need to diminish them. When I was in high school and told my friends that my first time
I wanted rose petals and candles, and they told me that
no one’s gonna meet that. Yeah, of course, no 15-year-old who’s
unemployed and emotionally underdeveloped is going to meet that, (Laughter) but I’m not looking
to be with a 15-year-old. That’s okay. So you have to know your own standards,
and you have to set them for yourself. I play a character named Molly,
on HBO, Insecure – (Cheers) thank you – and she’s been accused
of being real bad and boujee, being accused of being a little shallow, because she said she didn’t want to be with another character
who didn’t go to college. And she’s a corporate attorney. Hey, listen, that’s your prerogative. I just don’t think
that it’s fair to tell someone that they can’t have
the preferences that they want. If they choose to have
different preferences, that’s okay too. That’s the beauty of life:
we have choices. So, as long as you’re ordering off a menu that you can also prepare
with your own ingredients, knock yourself out, boo. But what I will say is, I can’t tell you how long
you’re gonna have to wait for this majestic perfect relationship, but I can tell you
that the wait does not disappoint. Remember the minister that I met
when she was 25? Well, at 34 she got married
to that handsome young man, and he’s 6 4′, holds an MBA,
works in corporate America, they have two lovely babies, and at 40, she’s expecting her third. So, the wait doesn’t disappoint. So whoever you are that’s in here
that’s holding on to hope, I say hope against all hope. And fight the good fight,
run the race, and keep the faith. It is worth it, and it is sexy. (Cheers) (Applause)

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. There's waiting and then there's wasting. Vyonne would be 35 now. Fertility starts dropping off big time at this age. Don't waste the opportunity to have a family because of a romanticised view of virginity.

  2. She gave some good examples at the end (her minister). There are lots of bad ones as well – many you tube videos about it as well. Also after the age of 35 the statistical possibility of having genetic defects in babies rises very sharply – across all races. So balance your wait. Remember that the key reason for disappointment is inordinate self estimation

  3. She let it out! She came across so genuine, like she's waiting for someone with these top notch character qualities. But then she said "he's 6'4""…height is the most important thing to her. Then "he has an MBA" he has to make great money…"she's having her 3rd kid at 40"…the risk to the child for women having kids 35+ is off the charts. Autism, down syndrome, prematuare birth, infant diabetes. Just a selfish move to have children so late in life.

  4. "7.5 Billion people, 1 has to have my name on it…" LOL Thanks for the perspective, God Bless you! 🙂

    "Wait on the One who meets your standards." <3

  5. Wow! She is beautiful, funny and smart. She will find the right man for her as much as I hope to! <3

  6. "Let's not excuse inexcusable behavior. You are a priority and you are worth somebody who will put you at the top of their list."

  7. Eu amo esse TED, tenho salvo numa playlist e já perdi as contas de quantas vezes vi. Obrigada, Yvonne! 💜

  8. Bawling 😭 literally needed this reminder!! You’re beautiful, thanks for being a gorgeous Jesus-loving woman that isn’t afraid to wait for what’s good and not just easy.

  9. Loved this! I'm 20 and still waiting till marriage ♥️! But seriously How is she not married she's gorgeous 😍!

  10. Sometimes standards we set for other people might be hurtful and they may be only our projections. We should fall in love with people and not their jobs or looks

  11. Damn woman … I really appreciate you… Just spoke out what my soul needed at this very moment.. love love .. 🙂

  12. Your life may very well be what you want to be and there is no harm in that. That meek, humble, God fearing man you feel that will respect you, will not pursue you. You must be pro active and choose. For example, loose the late model car and get something that requires a little masculine intervention and see which beau goes the extra mile for you. The best most enduring relationships are those initiated by an intelligent woman.

  13. Okay she had me dying when she mentioned the song This Woman’s Work 😂 the audience did not get reference to Love and Basketball 🤦🏻‍♀️

  14. Things you should accomplish in your 20s!!
    – Get a car
    – Start a career
    – Buy a place
    – Invest in increasing income
    – Lose your v-card if you haven't already.
    – Find your purpose
    – Build a plan and retirement
    – Practice dating

  15. Alright, i get it, your moral is to have high standards about your partner. Me too… But what worldwide issue is this solving? Ted talks have slipped a long way from the great beginning they had……

  16. My God!!!
    All I can say is more young people need to hear this. Pls guys, share the link on your social media timeline. Get this good news out there!

  17. My boo is in India. And we've been together for 4 yrs, infact tomorrow is our 4th yr anniversary. We haven't met in person yet, but he's the ABSOLUTE MOST AMAZING MAN IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE !!! He's taught me Sooo much in waiting. I didn't wanna wait when we first met, but he's incredibly patient & I've learned a heck of a lot waiting for him.

  18. I love this woman. She's Amazing!! I applaud her. God bless her and I hope that her Man finds her and bring her to the Altar one day.

  19. I'm 27 and embarking on the journey of celibacy. This video is encouraging me to continue the good fight.

  20. She lost me when joking about being bible bashed and beaten with a belt, and of course assuming we are all christians- its not funny She is no role model for anything👎🏽

  21. You are not better or worst because wait. It’s your life do whatever you want. Everybody is unique, don’t let society tell what you have to do!

  22. Tbh do what you're comfortable with and acknowledge how things go.
    Never be afraid to be honest with a person you're dating let em know how you feel so they won't miss interrupt what you want or need.

  23. When I was younger I thought it was the norm to wait until you where married.
    I am not angry at the world, I am just disappointed.

  24. Girl I love the message. I am a born again "V" because I step my standards higher than before, after my "D" lol Thank you for the message.

  25. Don't dim your light to make someone else comfortable. This is one smart, beautiful, strong lady. I wish more women (and men) felt and behaved this way. We spend so much time in our lives trying to please others, we do not honor our own divinity and dignity, and we lower our standards because we feel pressure to conform. She has a lot to offer her partner. He would be one blessed man. I hope he shows up soon. Ladies and gentlemen, don't fall for sweet talk and online scammers, believe only what you see. Actions do speak louder than words. Amen. God bless.

  26. I have been celibate for 19 yrs. I had a son & realised I AM asexual! I wanted to be a nun when I was little. Now I realise I'm simply cerebral, not physical. I won a math/sci scholarship to college at 8yrs old. I wanted to be a nun but music happened

  27. I have an aunty that is 65 years old and still waiting on Jesus to deliver her a husband. With that being said YVONNE; you may want to lower your standards.

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