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In answer to the

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Preface:  this is probably the main reason why I got my "voice" back.  This idea isn't solely a case of perception; the glass being half empty or half full is semantics at the moment.  More relevant is what's in the glass, and whether I want to drink what's in it.

 

Yes, I'm considering throwing in the towel on dating, relationships, marriage, partnership and happily-ever-after, completely.  I've been considering it for quite a while, actually.

A bit of background:  When I was 37-ish, I had a frank conversation with my older, wizened gynecologist, about my fibroids.  One of the tumors was inoperable via less invasive procedures, and he recommended a hysterectomy.  I was holding out the hope that the guy I was, er, boning on the regular, would pony up to commitment, so I could use 1 last egg to have another child.  2 years later, when that didn't happen, I held an emotional funeral internally for my unused eggs.  I mourned them for a long time, thought a lot about missed opportunities and whether or not the decision to hold on to my uterus was wise, given my statistics:  single (never married), black, woman, parent, resident of Atlanta.  The odds were never exactly stacked in my favor.

What the heck does all that have to do with dating, exactly?:  I have that exact same feeling again.  The mourning feeling.  The odds not being stacked in my favor feeling.  Compounded with the feeling that I haven't enjoyed "dating" in this century.  The funeral hymn is playing in the background, but wait I'm jumping ahead...

I'm Not Feeling You

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The idea of dating has lost its appeal:  It has become more chore than fun. The same stats that suggested I probably wouldn't have another child seem to suggest that I should settle.  Compromise.  Lower my standards.  Drink what's in the glass being presented to me - if I buy into statistics that is.  Or, if I buy into what men, black men specifically (can't speak to others, since I don't date them) are presenting me with.

A few recent cases in point:

  • The brother who refuses to "date" because he "doesn't want to waste money getting to know me".  He'd rather get to know me by putting his proverbial feet on my proverbial couch (double entendre intended).
  • The brothas completely lacking creativity, inspiration or even thought in their approach.  Typically, the approach is: "Hey, I'm not busy so if you're not busy, maybe you can come up with something for us to do?  Just watch the budget"

  • The brothas looking for instant-
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    relationships:  men who "claim" they want to settle down either the instant they lay eyes on me, or when they realize I fit their mold of the "significant other" they're looking for.  They have a square hole...I'm a bit round, but I guess I look like I might fit...
  • The brothas looking for someone to upgrade them:  'nuff said
  • The brothas looking to upgrade themselves:  you're a solid 5 on a scale of 1-10. but as a single, black man of a certain age, with a job, all your teeth and a health plan, you're looking to date outside your weight class.  I get that.  But that does not get you a dime, unless you're willing to pay for it.  And that doesn't ensure that I'm going to date a 2, because the odds are against me.  I don't care how many 2s try this logic.
  • The brothas lacking in social graces, the brothas lacking in manners/etiquette, the brothas, the brothas, the brothas...

I don't mean to let women off the hook (them being "thirsty" and "doing the most" and all).  And I have, at times, been that exact woman.  But it's the brothas I date, and the brothas are presenting me with the glass that's full of, frankly, shyt.  I simply have lost the taste for it.

Don't get it twisted:  I love black men, still.  But I am losing the desire to date one, in any way, shape or form.

And on relationships:  I haven't had one in over 14 years.  Next topic...

African American couple sunset engagement port...

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So, what to do?:  I have thought about this, prayed, slept, worried, talked to a counselor, talked to friends and have read (and continue to read) self-help and relationship books.  Not the Steve Harvey kind either.

I'm attending a webinar with a clinical psychologist about dating black men later this week, and hope to pose this as a question.

But seriously, and this question isn't rhetorical - what do you do when you're ready to give up?  When the funeral hymn is playing in the background, and the idea (body) is laid out on the casket, ready for viewing?  Is it at this point you call a doctor for a cure?

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author's note: I really should take a break from discussion boards, because they color my vision of dating, relationships and men, greatly. But I like debate - hence my absence. But I digress...

Numerous postings, debates, discussions later....and I'm feeling like my already suppressed libido is dissipating in the wind, like smoke.

I don't know how to put this one eloquently or succinctly, so I'll just ramble along. Bear with me.

I want a man that wants me. Period.

So much of what I read finds me (as in me, the black woman) lacking. I'm too stubborn, too expressive, too aggressive, too shallow, too materialistic, too strong, too vocal about my strengths, too independent, too vocal about my independence, too big, too black focused, too ambitious, too manipulative, to the detriment of black men....yeah, I've said it before, here - It's not my fault and I'm not the enemy. But...all I keep hearing, reading, and the feedback I'm getting is....

Black men aren't feeling me (a black woman) exactly as I am.

What I'm hearing is: my standards are too high. I focus on materialistic things instead of the content of a man's character. I fire men for the slightest, most trivial infraction. I mean, I could go on. I need to change if I want to get the relationship I deserve.

What I'm not hearing is that black men actually want, me.

I get no brownie points for anything. Not my character, because this is deemed lacking (I'm shallow). Not my appearance, because there are always more attractive women in the world, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not for my accomplishments, because men claim they don't care about anything I've accomplished. So what am I left with? I should appear to be "fun" and "happy" and then maybe - a black man will want me?

This brother, this generic black man, who (by their own definition/description) cannot live up to my "unreasonable" standards, isn't attractive. There's nothing remotely noble, or desirable about a male who, instead of striving to rise above their current circumstances or past experiences - chooses to, consistently and rather vocally, ask his mate to lower her expectations. These brothers find themselves, wanting. Then because of their self-analysis, self-reflection and their perception of my standards, they feel that they are "lacking" - and thus attack me and use their analysis to move on to a woman who has no standards. If my dream is to build a relationship foundation,by choosing a mate that is a reflection of those qualities that I value most about myself, who is this black man that's basically taking a dump on my dream? And why would I want that black man?

There's this study that was mentioned in a NY Times article, regarding women's sexual desires and the things that stimulate women. It's a long read,, but a good one. According to the article, one doctor in the field goes so far as to hook the nether region up to instruments that measure moistness (o_O) and genital responses, then gauges the effect certain stimuli has on a woman's arousal. One of the (somewhat) surprising findings? Women respond to being desired. Even in watching porn, when the act portrays the woman as desirable, or strongly attractive to the man in the movie, so that he acts as though he wants the woman strongly - women watching this become aroused.

And this explains why I'm feeling like my mojo has left the building. Who wants to be constantly bombarded, particularly by the object of your desire specifically, with the message that they're not desirable? Insufficient? Defective? Damaged? Given all that I've read, debated, discussed, etc - I'm more than a little surprised that I'm not trying to date interractially. Because I don't see THEM throwing me under the bus on a regular basis.

I want a man who is appreciative of more than my bigg butt and my smile. I want a man who can express that he admires all of me: my complexity, my intelligence, my strength, my ambition, my sex appeal, my resiliance, my passion, my accomplishments, my compassion, my spirituality, my morals, and my values. And everything about me that he has yet to know, but actually wants to discover.

I want a black man, but more importantly - a man that desires me. All of me.

Dating PSA #15: o_O rlly?

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author's note: this started as a tweet, but warrants more than 140 chars.

So, I met a guy. An attractive, employed, reasonably sane guy who seemed keenly interested. Interested enough, in fact, to spend 5+ minutes convincing me that I should take his number, despite the fact that I told him I'm not dating (more on that later).

We chatted on occasion, both before and after my trip to Switzerland. General stuff, work, marital status, kids, etc. Nothing heavy, but with my trip and subsequent illness, we never got past small pleasantries. But I was still curious. I called him this weekend to let him know I'd finally recovered enough to actually go on the date he'd talked me into.

Why did this guy ask me: "can we kick it at the place where we met?"

The place in question?

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I can't with this dude.


What the f*ck would we do? Would he buy me a 20 oz soda and a Slim Jim? Would we share casual repartee while splitting a bag of Fritos? Would he then buy me a coupla gallons of gas, and send me on my way? Da hell?

Okay, let me be really honest. I'm honestly feeling like I can't with ANY dude. The level of bullshyt has gotten too high. From the dudes asking me to split a $20 tab (that I felt some kind of way about and posted accordingly), to the guys that don't even make it to this page, being so completely full of shyt that I deem un-blog-worthy, or too crazily out there that you won't believe they really happened. Like the guy that asked me to prove that I liked him by giving him head on the first date. OR the guy who after a 45 minute interview where he bombarded me with questions (literally a barrage of question after question without allowing me to interject: What are my politics? religion? educational background? career aspirations? last sexual partners?) declared that I'm worthy of another date. Or the 50-11 guys who ask me out on meet & greets.

Does any of that seem like fun? And, without giving details on their appearance or resume, does that seem remotely appealling?

I'm a healthy, red-bloody, 99% heterosexual (there was that one awesome unrequited girl crush in college...), african-american woman, reasonably intelligent, moderately cultured, relatively open-minded. And I've gotta say...

I keep telling myself this is the last straw, and I'm out. And someone convinces me NOT to throw in the towel. So, I give another guy a shot, and he f*cks up more than the last guy did.

I mean, it's a slippery, downhill slope. After that last bit - I'm scared to meet the next bad date.

So, this is it, hm? Really? This is what dating in our community consists of? Someone please, tell me this is rock bottom, cause I don't want to know what's next.

I'm SO done.