I promised to write this post a while ago but my thoughts wouldn’t align. I already know this one will be real vulnerable for me. I promised to write about the intimate conversation that I had with my mentor. Although I will share some things, others I will keep to myself for obvious reasons. I had this conversation with her more than a week ago and I just couldn’t figure out how to write this out.
I couldn’t get my thoughts together to make this post come full circle in my mind before typing. I still haven’t been able to do so; so let’s wing it 😊
We all know how I despise the dating scene right now. That’s for sure not a secret. Let’s be clear, I enjoy a good hot girl summer but I am NOT for the streets! I’m trying to be in the house before the street lights come on. Anywho, I met my mentor for breakfast one morning. I haven’t seen her in more than a year, definitely before COVID.
She asked me how dating was going because, well, the people know ya girl is not for the streets. I told her my concerns and how my friends share the same sentiments. Some of these guys just don’t date anymore. Every once in a while you might find one who will actually plan a date and do the reservations but mostly from what I hear that’s not happening. She literally sat across from me, looked me right in my face and told me, well why don’t you plan the date? Excuse me what ma’am?! You would like me to do what? You mean me… you want me as the woman to plan the first date. What part of the game is this?! And when did married women start giving out this atrocious advice?
Guess what? Married women definitely give out this advice. Very often. I’m pretty sure my married cousin gave me this same advice in July. Of course I didn’t do it; I’m hard headed. My other married mentor I met with in the middle of august said the same thing. But here’s the thing, married women aren’t speaking on large platforms to give this advice out. Culture would have us to believe that we are the prize and the man is supposed to do this, and do that.. and if he doesn’t… girl pack ya stuff and run because you deserve better. If he won’t, the next man will! Isn’t that what culture says? Isn’t that all over social media. We’ve been brainwashed.
Culture would have us to believe everything comes in a pretty bow and if it doesn’t, move on. No one stays planted to do the work anymore. That definitely has been my problem. I had this false narrative that sir you have to come in the complete packaging. I don’t want to assemble. Here’s another gem she shared. She said everyone comes with baggage. Being married is finding your person to keep helping you unpack your baggage. She repacks it sometimes and her husband is right beside her unpacking it. I’m sure she does the same for him. Yup, I had this thing all wrong. Don’t call me for advice. I’m trying to figure it out too LOL
For the past couple of weeks, actually a couple of months, I’ve been in a transition in my life. I haven’t felt grounded. I’ve felt an increase in my anxious thoughts. Fast forward, I concluded that my anxious thoughts were tied to friendships and dating. I was talking to my mentor about this guy I was dating and how things were more challenging than I was willing to sign up for. We talked things through and she helped me look at the big picture. She stated, this guy is in your life for a reason and you have to ask God to show you why.
In the meantime, I have been following a trauma therapist on TikTok (somymomsatherapist) and she has great content. She talks about anxious thoughts and how things are uncomfortable in the beginning of dating someone. She helped me realize that I was having anxiety because my body was holding onto pain from past experiences. To be transparent, when I would text or call this guy and wouldnt hear back for hours, my body was going into protective mode. My brain would run negative scenarios and my body would believe that to be true. She (the therapist) explained how our body holds on to trauma history. So if in the past, a guy was unfaithful, you will fill in the trauma history at this moment. (This does not mean you arent over your past relationship either). This is exactly what I was doing. So she talks about regulating your body. You have to recognize that overly thinking about it wont help so you have to engage your brain elsewhere.
This has definitely been quite a challenge for me. I’ve noticed that lately one sign of discomfort and I am out. When people talking about fight, flight or freeze I am taking the flight every single time. I also like this therapist content because she is realistic. She talks about how everything isnt black and white. I love that because it sure isnt. Most people will post on social media to run at the first sign of a red flag. There are usually a ton of people in the comments sayin YASS sis! Thats RIGHT! They know what they are doing! In actuality, running at the first sign of discomfort is actually a trauma response.
Im pretty impulsive at the beginning of dating until I feel security and honestly that takes time. I’ve done some things and said some things that I should have thought through. Because my anxiety says NAH WE OUT, RUN! But Im learning to stop and give it time. I have to train my mind to look at the whole picture and not just the solo situation. To see if I feel the same way two days later. Most times I dont. To come full circle, he’s in my life because I needed to heal this part of me.
Have you seen that Tik Tok that says “That was the best idea I ever had” then 2 seconds later it says ” That was the worst idea I ever had!” Thats exactly what moving far away from home can feel like. Its definitely a roller coaster ride. There is this meme that everyone is posting on social media; encouraging to move away and it will be the best decision of your life. Well that’s a tad overzealous. It may not feel like that at first. Moving to a new city is challenging. The hardest part is leaving your support system. I moved away from home 5 years a ago (Not counting college). I would have anxious thoughts about what if my car breaks down, who will I call? What if I get into an accident, how am I going to figure that out?
One of the biggest adjustments is trying to get a positive social life. Who do you hang out with after work? Or on the weekends? Its hard to make friends as an adult. Everyone is having this struggle. When I first moved, I felt so out of place. I was beyond ready to have local friends. I started going to meet ups. This was trial and error in itself. Although I met other women at happy hours and the movies, I didn’t necessarily find anyone that I connected with. We struggled to have common passions and interest. Our personalities didnt click. Most of my local friends came from work. That’s where I found my tribe. We clearly already had work in common so there was a connection there. I would say, be patient and creative. Look up organizations in your area that might interest you. What about your local alumni chapter? I also volunteered as a troop leader for Girl Scouts and met a friend there.
I didnt feel like I made the right decision until I started making permanent changes for myself. Once I found a church home that I loved, I felt more grounded. Its something about a great church with great people that gives me balance and peace.
Also, my family and friends from out of town came to visit me often. This helped with the transition. But lets be clear, there are many days where I questioned did I make the right decision. I would come home from work and go right to sleep on the couch. This came up in my therapy session one day. She told me I was probably had functional depression at the time. I had no idea. Couldnt even recognize it. It took about a year for me to get used to the adjustment.
If you are deciding to move, go into it with realistic expectations. Its not easy, but it may be worth it.
There’s this saying going around. Date em all sis. I get it. The women just want to level the playing field with the men. I truly understand. To a certain point, I agree, you should date them all. But Im also practical and realistic. My question is, who exactly are you dating? Because I like to date men who are in my league. I like to date with intention. So when I add those factors, I just cant date them all. At the beginning, it makes sense. Maybe the first 2-3 months you are dating multiple people. Eventually, I would think you would start making some cuts. At this prime age, why keep people around who you dont want to build and grow with. This guy said he was talking to multiple women but most of them are annoying. Excuse me what sir? Why keep annoying women around? To say you have a roster? I dont get it . Furthermore, don’t keep people around for place holders. That’s how people get hurt.
If I’m dating multiple people past 3 month, eventually someone is going to take the number one spot. Then I will get annoyed when the other person calls because what do you want? LOL That’s why it’s important to be honest and just let people go. I have literally read desperate text messages from women begging men to spend time with them. If you know you dont see any type of future with them, just say that. We dont give people enough credit. The person will respect you more for your honesty. Unfortunately, its a dog eat dog world out here for these and women are sticking around for a lot of stuff. That’s another story for another day.
Back to my point, if you are dating with intention, then Im not sure how date em all sis will play out. I dont have the answers Sway, I just know what works for me. Typically I know by the second date if I can keep you around or not. Otherwise, lets not waste each others time.
I usually list my emergency contact as my sister or my best friend. In my mind it would be my husband by now but we know how that story went. Its not just my story. I love sharing my friends stories. It makes me feel like less of an outlier. It allows you to understand the common themes that take place. My brother drove 2 hours to mount my TVs. Probably should have been my husband. My friend had a nail in her tire. Her dad took her car to go get it fixed. She said she would have preferred it to be her husband. My friend said she was looking up someone to hang her curtains. She said she would have preferred it to be her husband.
I see and hear men say there arent quality women to date. I dont want to hear it. Miss me with the non sense. From where Im standing, there are too many quality women to go around. I was discussing with the girls about how we were taught to just do this the right way. Dont worry about a husband. Dont worry about a man. We all graduated college. Most of us have masters degrees. Some of us have doctorate degrees. We are at the height of our careers. Everyone makes at least 60k and even more. No children. Own place and can financially support ourselves. Emotionally intelligent. Beautiful. Well traveled. Selfless. Did I already mention no children? So nope I dont want to hear that there arent quality women. We did it right. We did it how our Moms and Aunts told us to do it. So why does it feel like its at a disadvantage? My friend said sometimes it feels like a disadvantage that we dont just turn a blind eye to the games and BS in dating. She’s right. As soon as we see a couple red flags, we cant stick around. Clearly the number of men vs women is already unbalanced. Then when you add in your preferences and standards, the options get fewer and fewer.
My aunts and uncles seem to have healthy marriages these days. But I know from the stories, it wasnt always like that. My aunts had to deal with a lot to get there. I asked my uncle when do men get it together and stop playing games. He literally looked at me and said around age 40 with a straight face. 40. He said 40. Nah I dont even have it in me to twirl my fingers for the next 8 years. * Big Eye Roll*
Lets have a round table discussion on who is raising these men shall we? We are #OverIt in 2021.
Now before you prejudge and say oh this is about to be about men bashing, its not. Its me sharing our stories collectively. Somehow we are seeing some common themes in these new age men and we dont like it. Lets list some common denominators.
Consistency -I don’t necessarily hear my guys friends complain that women are inconsistent but that is for some reason these men struggle in this area. Dont start anything you cant maintain. This guy told me I dont tell him good morning. You know why I dont? Cause I cant maintain it! Im not a morning person but I can for sure say goodnight. Dont call me every day for months and then randomly I dont hear from you. Dont introduce me to a vibe you cant maintain.
Emotional Intelligence– This one is rough. Men dont spend enough time developing in this area. Its not only about showing or expressing emotion. One of the biggest components is self awareness. Most men arent self aware. Especially when it comes to relationships and dating. They have put so much focus on building their career that this becomes a large area of weakness. You aren’t aware that your over indulgence in drinking, smoking or sex is avoidance for your problems and issues. Emotional intelligence means you know how to communicate effectively. There’s is this meme going around that says “time passed its not an apology”. I for sure know that this is directed towards men. Men will not communicate for days at a time and think things are supposed to go back to normal. How about learning how to communicate to overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Low Effort- If I hear one more man make the excuse that he is busy Im going to swipe a table. Everyone is busy. We are adults. Grow up. People make time for who and what they want. The “Im busy” excuse is old and tiring. Most of my friends are really low maintenance. This guy took my friend to watch the planes take off. Cheap, easy, intimate and low maintenance. That’s it. Its the low effort that takes me right on out of here.
Those are the major themes for now. Im sure there will be Part 2. Stay turned.
I seriously do the most. I didn’t learn this about myself until recently. Have you seen that meme that says “I dont like how I act when I like somebody.” That is definitely me. This year I’ve learned a hard lesson of staying true to who I am. This mantra does come with some cons. Staying true to who you are can also bring about some hurt. Nope, no one talks about that part. Story time of course…
I am a giver. I always have been a giver. My mom was a giver. I learned that from her. Any time she thought a person would love something, she would for sure buy it. Man, this has come to my detriment in some situations. For instance, last year, I was dating this guy. I love to get stuff for the man I’m interested in. *insert big eye roll here* Im annoyed with myself. Anyway, birthdays and holidays are a big deal for me. It’s always weird buying stuff for someone at the beginning. You cant go too hard because you arent at the level but you feel like you have to do something right? Well I just bought a couple small but thoughtful things. Chileee why in the world would I do that? Homeboy started acting up literally on his birthday. Acted up so bad, I had to just drop his gifts off. I should have just bought a dollar store card and called it a day!
I have a couple friends who feel that same. We are just givers. I have a guy friend who goes all out for the person he is interested in. I don’t ever get those type LOL. But again, sometimes it comes with disappointment. I get excited to get a person a gift. Especially if its thoughtful. Lets jump to present day. I bought this guy a gift for Father’s Day. I remember him showing me his favorite picture of his kids. So for the gift, I got the picture put on a dog tag for him. Man I thought the gift was superb. I checked with all of my guy friends. They said oh he’s going to love it, thats dope. This dude literally said “Oh thank you for the gift.” That’s it and that’s all. Welp after two lessons, I think I’m done on the gift giving. Clearly the guys I choose don’t appreciate it.
It will be fun they said! I dont know if you have been in this dating scene the last couple of years but its not as fun as you would imagine. This is not only my opinion but the opinion of most of my friends. Maybe dating in our younger years was easier but when you are dating with intention, this comes as a challenge. I dont have the girlfriends who are just dating men to get a free meal. We dont do that. Power to those who do but that’s not us. We can afford to feed ourselves. Honestly. My girlfriends and I are looking for men to have fun with, share experiences and build a genuine connection. Sounds easy but it has been everything but easy.
Lets use some examples shall we?? I will change all names to make sure all identities are protected. Ashley went on a date with a guy. They matched on a dating app. This guy showed up and didnt have any teeth. He literally didnt have any teeth!! Like seriously. Now before you go judging asking how did she miss this? Who at this tender age is thinking someone doesnt have teeth! Lets move on.
Jackie went on two dates with a guy. After the second date, she felt pretty comfortable to invite him in her house for a glass of wine. As they are sitting on the couch talking, he takes her shoe off and attempts to put her big toe in his mouth! This is the second date. Yup.
My friend Brandy was dating a guy. The third date he goes to her house. She asked him what movie did he want to watch. This guy says Pinocchio. Yup no typo. It is the year 2021 and he is well into his 30s and suggest Pinocchio as a movie. Yes she watched it because she said she hadn’t seen it but girl! I should have warned you, that wasn’t it sis. Of course that didn’t work out.
Sometimes you find yourself going on date after date after date with men and it gets beyond exhausting. You have to weed out the weirdos and weed out the guys who just want to have sex. Ill share a personal story. I went on two dates with this guy. He was ok. I was still trying to fill him out. It wasn’t deep chemistry or anything. We had not kissed. Barely touched. The second date, he asked me “What’s the craziest thing you ever said during sex?” Excuse me what sir? Nothing about our interaction should have suggested he should feel comfortable asking that. Nope he didnt make it.
Some of my married friends say they wish they could date again. Ma’am no you do not. This aint what you want.
There has been an outpouring of information and support for people healing their past traumas. I absolutely love it! Time and time again, I see post about people working to break generational curses. Just dont post about it. Be about it. Lets get personal. Although people describe me as a private person, if you ask me, I will give you a straight truthful answer. No matter the subject. That’s how healing works. Its my truth and once I have healed from it, its nothing you can say or do to bring that pain back to me.
Back to the story. While growing up, I always saw my mom with a man. I didnt know how detrimental it was when I was younger of course. But as an adult, I can unpack it. So my mom and my biological father had a toxic relationship. One of the worst I have ever seen in my life. After she broke free of him (and I mean that literally) she stayed with a man. She had an abusive relationship with my bio dad. It really damaged her self worth. Being with a man validated her whole being. I was beyond annoyed by it. When she had a new slick, (got that from my pastor lol) home girl was ALL IN every single time. These men became priority. Somehow and some way these men would still cash out. We had every thing from these men. I was getting gifts galore. They were even buying me pets. One thing I will say, I never went to these men houses. My mom didnt play that. If you were going to play her game, you were going to play by her rules and on her court.
I remember one particular guy. He was a long haul bus driver. You remember back in the day when large families would rent the charter buses for their family reunions or trips? That’s what he did. He had a trip to six flags he was doing for a family and he got me and my mom free tickets. Listen the lady was good ok. It didnt matter. I still hated all these men. They were occupying my moms time. A lot of her time. And I was beyond sick of it.
I saw a glimpse of me going down this path as a teenager. Honey I was boy crazy. Thinking back now, it was bad. Although I wasnt sexual, I literally kept a dude in rotation. Im glad I grew out of that. As an adult, I work really hard to be careful of the men I allow in my space. After every break up, I take time to be by myself. I am intentional about defining my worth in other things. My career, my goals, my family, my spiritual life, my friends and the list goes on. Its not always easy. It takes a strong support system. Reassurance doesnt always have to come from a man. I have the best hype men and women in my life. They keep me grounded. Sending you all encouragement and strength to keep breaking chains. Adulting is rough sometimes. You got this!
I’ve had my share of tough break ups. But as I get older, things arent as black and white as they used to be. When I was younger, I could walk away from a relationship and not even think about looking back. My cut-off game was REAL. Now, things arent that easy. My friends and I have had countless of conversations about when should you be patient and when should you let go.
We talk to each other about weighing the pros and cons. Finding compatible people seems to be extremely difficult these days. Yeah, you could go on countless of dates but that gets old. And fast. In my time of singleness, I started to get annoyed sitting on the other side of a table with a guy and Im thinking WTF is he even talking about. Or what is he looking at because his eye contact is horrible. BORING.
That brings me back so our discussion of how do you make the decision of being patient with someone verses just letting them go. One of my friends has a really good connection with a guy. The conversation is awesome. It flows freely. The connection is there. Boom. The drive to push each other is there. Jackpot. They have fun and can share intimate details. That’s also a win. So what’s the problem?! BABY! These men have commitment issues. You can check all the boxes and still find that something is missing. So should she walk away or stick around and be patient for him to get it together? Walking away may be easy for you to say unless your heart is involved.
Here is my take. I don’t have all of the answers but I know for sure my peace means the world to me. If you are disrupting my peace, then I cannot wait. Losing sleep, feeling unsure of myself and all the rest that goes with that AHT AHT. Gotta go.
Also I have to step back and assess the internal work you are doing. I ask myself, what am I waiting for you to do? Where is the goal mark and what does it look like? Is that something I want to wait for you to do? Or are you just stringing me along with no real end goal? After asking and answering these questions, things become more clear.
Regardless, you can talk to your friends to get their opinions until you are blue in the face. But let me tell you, when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough. Your heart will scream, its time to go.