Recently in relationships Category

author's note: feel free to play this with the rhythm only version of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" playing in the background. Go get it...I'll wait...

young-black-couple1.jpg... the more I think about dating, relationships and what I want, the more I think...

I want someone who wants me.

I started writing this with the thought "I don't want to be objectified anymore" firmly in my mind, but that comes off really negative. Even if it is accurate. My lovelife is a series of unfortunate events, but one commonality is that the men I've dated love/like PART of me. As an object. But not all of me. The cute part. Or the smart part. Or the sexy part. But not always all of the above. Objects, not the totality. And I don't want to be objectified anymore.

However, even as that's true - I don't want to be negative.

So here's what I'm positive about.

I want someone who wants me. All of me. Good, bad & ugly. I want someone who wants me sexually, but also wants the intelligent me. The me who analyzes almost anything/everything. The me who pays way too much attention to detail, and still manages to see the big picture. The one that makes change in their head when she checks out at the grocery store.


The snoring me. The me who likes to stay up/out late and sleep late on weekends. The me who thinks she's sexy in your old holey t-shirts me. The me that volunteers because she's blessed and feels that service is our duty. The me who believes in community and the "talented tenth". The me that has a tattoo on. her. neck.

I want someone who wants the me that cannot make grits to save her life. And the me that likes Marvel Comic books. And the me that thinks chitlins are disgusting - even if he personally eats chitlins. He has to understand that I will never learn how to make them for him. But I will make him salmon croquettes, even tho I don't eat them. And my salmon croquettes are pretty awesome.

He has to like the sensitive me. The me that cries every time I watch Shug sing "God is Trying to Gell You Something" to her father in "The Color Purple". Or tweaks the thighs of fat babies. And routes for the underdog.

'nuff said. #truth #life #scandal #love #beaut...
I want someone who appreciates the driven me.
The one who's really competitive and ambitious, but not at the detriment of her "circle". He has to be comfortable that I don't want to compete with him. He has to know he's "in" that circle. And not get freaked out if/when my driven side rears its competitive head. And he has to like the me that drives > 30mph OVER the speed limit. At least enough to tell her to slow the hell down ' cause he want to love her for a whiiiile.

I could go on, but you get it right? I am c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d. And imperfect. And more than just a phat ass, an education, a decent job and a hoopty. I'm more than an addiction to fashion, a penchant for reality TV shows and a healthy addiction to Kerri Washington's lips.

I'm more than just a pretty face. More than just an icon to be idolized from afar. And I need that someone to know THAT in his bones and love all of that. Or at least have an appreciation for the parts of me that aren't easy to like. I'm human. Imperfect.

And constantly evolving. People change. When he signs up for "me" I need him to also understand that "me" is an ever-evolving entity. He has to want that too.

Because ...see...that's what I want. I don't want to fall head over heels for a monolith.

I want...him. Someone awesome. Human. Imperfect. And deserving of my penchant for X-Men, Norma Kamali, passport stamps, Goodwill runs, RHOA and $5 matinees at AMC.

Yes, I want someone that wants me.

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dating, the remix

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Yes, I totally said I was giving up on dating. Wanna hear it?  Here it go:  http://sagaciously.net/blogs/archives/2011/10/the-dating-fina.html 


So what happened after that?:  I was done.  Done! - I say. My mind was made up, to enjoy life without a "man".   Black men specifically, since that's my preference and I had no desire to find "Something New".  So, my mission was to enjoy doing the things I most enjoyed doing:  loving life, enjoying life, laughing, socializing and having a good time.  Man free...or at least man "lite" - I didn't hate men so we could hang out, have a good time, but no dating and no hopes of anything meaningful. 

And I did exactly that - nights out on the town, house parties, football games, etc.  No animosity, no hard feelings.  Just having fun and being happy.  There was an occasional tug on my heartstrings, but otherwise - I was good.


badu-mirror-1024x682.jpgAnd then a funny thing happened on my way to throwing the towel in:  I prayed Not hard, not wearily, not out of frustration or negativity.  I prayed from a place of seeking discernment, for God to simply guide me.  Show me his will.  And to give me some comfort that the decision I'd made was the "right one".  I prayed for guidance, because all the self-help books, dating advice, blogs, and well-meaning advice from friends wasn't giving me any comfort about the frustration I felt.  And because there's a time when you have to self-reflect, and know that it's time to turn to Him.

You know what happened then?  He sent me a good man.  Good men, actually.  Yes, plural.  They didn't exactly rain down from the sky.  Hell, they were right under my nose. 


Me, give dating advice?:  I was talking with a good girlfriend of mine about dating, her frustration with men who do, quite honestly, the least.  The statistics being against black women & black relationships, how many men are playing their options, how we - as reasonable adults - actually understand this and don't fault them for this.  We also talked about our "lists" & standards, about chivalry and our wants, and about what we bring to the table.  It was a good convo, so I figured I'd share the highlights in the hopes that maybe other folks will get some positivity from it.  And note that sometimes these ideas - they don't come from me.  Sometimes I'm just a channel so that He can speak through me....

On "lists" and standards:  I don't think women's standards are too high.  Or low.  I think sometimes our standards can be off, or a bit left of what we actually need.  My take on standards:  I need a person that's a reflection of the qualities I love the most about myself, and who enhances my flaws.  There are qualities about myself that I actually adore. my wisdom/experience, my drive, my wit, my intuition, my emotional intelligence.  There are qualities I don't like as much:  my messiness and analytical-ness.  I need someone who reflects List A, and offsets List B.  ;-)


young-black-couple1.jpgEqually yoked:  Is about so much more than spirituality.  It's about character, and personality and values.  Morals, values and goals also - these are much more important than education, income, financial stability, his six-pack, his sex-game, et. al.  When I think about "happily ever after" and the rest of our lives together - those things won't matter much.  Money comes & goes.  Education doesn't matter as much as emotional intelligence. His six-pack will eventually turn into a keg. 


Positivity anyone?:  The glass wasn't half full or half empty really - it was completely full - I just needed help figuring out what it was full with. I'm not going to pull out The Secret, but you know when you speak negativity, you manifest the things you speak about, right?  So my frustration was drawing the exact type of man I didn't want to me. My attitude toward dating needed to change. I had to find my own happiness/fulfillment in the process.  If that doesn't make the case for maintaining a positive attitude, I don't know what will...lol.


English: Logo Connecting Emotional Intelligence

Image via Wikipedia

Any other "revelations" about those good black men?:  People will show you with their actions exactly who they are - as long as you let them. Let - as in allow.  You have to give them the opportunity though.  So - I reached out to one "good black man" that I'd dismissed and realized that I dismissed a few of them for various & somewhat petty reasons before properly giving them a chance.  A chance to show me, through their actions.  Funny how when you pray on something and ask God to guide you, the results happen pretty darn immediately =)

I'm once again enjoying the journey.  And I hope you are too.  And if you aren't...prayer works. ?


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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

Image via Wikipedia

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-
    16.06.MMM.WDC.16oct95

    Image by ElvertBarnes via Flickr

    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...

Image by Ryan Smith Photography via Flickr

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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