What happens when you get a group of single, married, and divorced ladies together for some great wine and conversation about dating and relationships… An amazing time. Here are some pictures from my very first Cocktails and Confessions event.
For more more photos from this event, check out my Facebook Page and Like It: https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsOfASerialDaterInLa
Photos By: AhjeiNicole Photography
I know I said I was taking a dating break. That lasted for an entire 2 ½ weeks. What can I say? I’m a sucker. You can’t keep a sistah down for the count for too damn long! LOL! And I didn’t go looking for a date. It just crept up on me. I was having a late night in the office last week and to my surprise I got a phone call from “Joseph.” I met “Joseph months ago at a Grammy Event. I didn’t really think much of it when I gave him my business card. I was networking and we happened to be standing next to each other at the bar and he struck up a conversation. Did I mention the Grammy’s were in February? It is now October. So we are talking a good eight months later! Eight fucking months and he just decided to call?! Really?
Joseph: I know you probably don’t remember me. We met at that Grammy event a while back.
Me: I remember you. How have you been?
Joseph: I’ve been great. How about you?
Me: Since I last saw you, I got married, had 2.5 children…
Joseph: I know it’s been a while and I was taking a chance calling you. I was working on finishing up my doctorate and I just graduated a few weeks ago and now have more time on my hands.
Joseph: Thank you. Are you busy this weekend?
I knew I had decided to take a break. But I was slightly intrigued and even more so bored. I needed to get back in the dating scene to hone my skills. It’s easy to get rusty if you don’t get out there for too long. From what I remember “Joseph” was a decent looking guy. And we shared a mutual friend so he came with references.
Me: I’m free Sunday afternoon.
Joseph: Okay. Cool. I’ll text you a spot Sunday morning for us to meet up. Let’s say 2pm?
Me: See you then.
On Sunday I found myself pulling up to Mi Piace in Old Pasadena. And there was “Joseph.” He was a little older than I remembered… actually A LOT older. Now anyone who is a loyal reader to my blog knows I have a tendency to date men who are slightly older than me. I just like a man with a little bit of experience and salt and pepper hair around the temples. But I recently came to the conclusion that 47 which is ten years older than me is my age limit. Looking at “Joseph” he had to be a good 50 years old! A handsome 50 years old, but definitely older. I was suddenly relieved it was an afternoon date. I could easily be in and out.
He pulled out my chair for me… you know men who are older are old school gentleman. That was a plus. I immediately started thinking about women I knew in the late 40’s/early 50’s that I could hook him up with. I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and the conversation ensued. “Joseph” was a father of 3 boys. His oldest son was 32 years old. Yep…I said it… 32 years old…also known as 5 years younger than me. He had 2 granddaughters. And come to find out “Joseph” was 53 years old! And since he had just gotten his doctorate in Spiritual Philosophy he was the “authority” on every topic under the sun. He talked about his life story growing up in the projects and making his way out to become a successful Scientist. His life story was quite interesting. I was impressed and moved by his story. But it was a LONG story considering there were five decades to cover.
Then we got on the topic of religion. I could have sworn religion and politics were two topics to avoid on a first date. I could appreciate that he considered himself to be spiritual and not religious. I had major issues with “religious” judgmental, hypocritical people. I had experienced being part of a church first family and heard how they spoke about their congregants and preached one thing and lived a completely different way Monday-Saturday. I knew I could never be in another situation like that. Don’t get me wrong, it is important that my man is Christian but I also know it was equally important he was a spiritual person not a dogmatic religious type. There I go digressing…
My point was, “Joseph” went on a long diatribe about… well I don’t remember exactly what it was about because I tuned out after the first 6 minutes of the his monologue. I started doing what I normally did when I tuned out. I started thinking about my grocery list for the week, what color I was going to paint my room, my outfits for my upcoming homecoming weekend at my Alma Matter. I didn’t realize I had completely tuned out until “Joseph” chimed in.
Joseph: Did you want to order dessert?
Me: Oh no. I am full. Besides today isn’t my cheat day.
Joseph: Cheat day?
ME: Yeah. I try to watch what I eat. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to think about it.
Joseph: When would that be?
Me: Probably when I’m pregnant. I won’t eat like crazy but at least I won’t have to worry about sucking in.
This was a conversation I would normally NEVER have with a man I was interested in. But since I had already decided I was putting “Joseph” in the friend category I wasn’t concerned about impressing him. Also, I knew since he had grandkids already he certainly wasn’t interested in having any more children. It was my easy way out.
Joseph: You want kids?
Me: Of course! I can’t wait to be a mom one day.
Joseph: How many?
Me: Probably two.
Joseph: But you’re 37 years old. The only way you could have kids is through scientific technology. You’re too old to have them naturally.
Me: Excuse me?
Joseph: I’m just stating the scientific facts. You’re up there in age and you probably will have to go the IVF route to have kids. You don’t have many viable eggs left.
Me: That’s not true. What are you talking about?
Joseph: It is true. It’s just science. Each year you are losing eggs. And the eggs you have are probably not good eggs. Women who have kids at your age go have to go to fertility specialist. I guess I have to think about whether or not I want more kids if I am going to date you.
I couldn’t believe this guy! I couldn’t believe he actually said that with a straight face. I realized I was out with the guy who thought he knew everything because he had just gotten his doctorate! Perhaps this was the bullshit he fed to insecure woman so he could convince them not to have any more kids. I had to remind myself “Joseph” and I shared a mutual friend. So I didn’t want to go off on him and risk putting our friend in an awkward situation. I also knew I would more than likely run into him again and I didn’t want shit to get weird. That’s the highs and lows of dating someone where you both share a mutual friend. If shit works out GREAT, but if not, you have to be cognizant of all parties involved. This was part of my dating growth. Back in my heyday, I wouldn’t have given a damn. I would have walked the fuck out and kept it moving. But now that I was wiser and had more dating “maturity” (I say that sarcastically) I was doing things different.
Me: Well, Joseph. I think you’re a nice guy. But I think you and I are at two different places in life. You are winding down and I am just beginning to enter a certain stage of my life that you have obviously graduated from.
I know that was a settle Read. What can I say? My old bitch habits are hard to shake.
Joseph: You’re probably right.
Me: But thanks for a great lunch. And I will see you around.
He stood up and gave me a hug. And a walked out of the restaurant and got in my car.
I could have fallen for this settle manipulation and general overall ignorance. As a matter of fact, to be perfectly honest, although I know I want kids eventually, I am enjoying my life right now. For me, I can’t even think about having children until I meet the man who will ultimately be my husband. That’s my personal choice and I do not knock women who decide to do it on their own. That is their personal choice. I thank God every single day I did not have children with my ex-husband. My guardian angels were looking out for me! I was grateful I would have my future children with the right man… my soul mate.
In recent years, I have been around women where it has been difficult for them to conceive. I see the pain in their eyes and the heartache of the uncertainty of knowing if they will one day experience what it is like to rub their pregnant bellies and give birth to their biological children. And these are women who would make amazing mothers. And it is pretty fucking scary thought. Ironically, we spend most of our 20’s avoiding getting pregnant. And being “responsible” and taking the necessary precautions to make sure we do not “slip” up. And then when you are ready. You want it to happen immediately. And for some people it ain’t easy. And that is so unfortunate.
I recently had the reassurance that I in fact had a young uterus and plenty of healthy eggs. So my baby making days weren’t behind me. As a matter of fact I knew I had some time on the clock. I was relieved. It was nice to know my clock and my ambitions were on the same page. And suddenly the sun was shining brighter and a wave of calm came over me. I was one of the lucky ones.
However, “Joseph’s” statement had my brain scrambled. Is this the new thing some men are doing? Making women feel insecure about their child bearing years? Is this why so many women of a certain age start freaking out about their biological clock and then make bad dating decisions based on the fear that their time is running out? Now that I am a certain age why were certain people attempting to make my biological clock tick faster than it needed to? Why did I feel the need to fit into someone else’s box. Before I got the reassuring news of my fertility, I was freaking out. Although my life is great where it is, I had begun to think about the future. The “what ifs” the “Worse case scenarios” the “Oh shit, time is ticking.”
Thank goodness I knew I was okay. And why wouldn’t I be? When I thought about it, women like Halle Berry, Kim Fields, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Nia Long, Celene Dion, Tina Fey, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, and Madonna had given birth to their own biological children in their 40’s! And let’s take this to real life non celebrities. My mentor gave birth to her first child when she was 43 years old. So why was I allowing other’s people’s issues and biological clocks to effective my view of my own baby making years?
Being single and in your 30’s is fun, exhilarating, and freeing, but it is also stressful and can really knock you down at times. We have enough to worry about so why put extra shit on our plates worrying about the biological clock? I realized there are so many women out there who have allowed this worry and concern to dominate how they approach dating where it isn’t even fun anymore because they are dating out of desperation instead of enjoyment. And I believe some men perpetuate this insecurity by making dumb ass statements similar to “Joseph’s”. And we actually believe that shit and are buying into the foolery.
Don’t get me wrong, there does come a point in a woman’s life where they do need to consider their birthing/motherhood options. Time stops for no one. And it is a reality that women of a certain age have to deal with. But cross that bridge when you get to it! In the meantime do NOT let anyone dictate your clock. And by all means do not let your fear of the unknown push you into dating desperation. Think back to how it was when you were dating in your 20’s. There was a certain amount of freedom you had because you knew you had options. If you saw shit that wasn’t right, you kept it moving. Why does that have to change when you hit your 30’s? Why do you suddenly feel the need to settle for some bullshit because you are scared you won’t get shit? IT’s time to reclaim your own timing and remember who you are and what you are bringing to the table. All will work itself out. Just allow yourself to enjoy the process and date freely without fear. After all, that’s the beauty of dating in your 30’s in up. Been there, done that, learned the lesson, and are fully open to the journey.
She’s baaaaack! It feels good to come out of the dating darkness into the light and feel hopefulness again. I try to learn a lesson with each dating experience I have. So what did my last dating experience teach me? Well… Hmmmm… I learned that I can still feel for someone and get excited about a potential relationship. I learned that it’s okay to take a chance and let your walls down. Although the potential relationship turned out sour as a lemon I can make Lemonade knowing that the part of me that wants to give love is still alive and well. My goodness, the man who ends up worthy enough to truly experience that from me is going to be one happy man! And I’m actually excited about giving my love to someone worthy. I promised myself that I would not let this experience take away from my true soul mate. There I go digressing…
Most importantly I learned as much as I am open for a relationship and excited about the possibility of forever with someone. Being by myself and happy is far better than being in a relationship where someone isn’t honoring who I am and where my needs aren’t being fulfilled. I could have stayed married if I thought that was all I could get. There are MAJOR benefits to being single and happy than settling for some bullshit! I am once again embracing my Singledom and enjoying dating myself again. I have made the conscious choice to take a dating break for a while until I meet someone worthwhile to change that. And I am not doing the bitter woman bitch rant, “I don’t need a man.” Hell, we all need men. And there is nothing wrong with saying that. That doesn’t make you any less of a woman or any less independent. I am simply enjoying Me while I wait for the right WE circumstance.
Perhaps I am not the only person who has decided to go on a dating break. Well, maybe I shouldn’t call it a dating break, but instead I will call it taking a self discovery moment. Here’s how I am spending my time:
Taking ME out on fabulous dates. Once a week I have vowed to take myself to a nice restaurant or try a new wine at a great bar and enjoy sitting there by myself. And when I say sitting by myself, that doesn’t mean distracting myself with my iPad or going through Facebook and Instagram on my iPhone. Nope! I am staying in the moment and just enjoying being out by myself. I have said this before, if you can’t date yourself how in the world are you going to know how to date someone else?!
Revising my vision board. I realized I hadn’t updated my vision board since 2012. A lot has changed n the last 2 years. My needs, wants, and desires have grown into something bigger and more specific. So I am taking the time to focus on the board and not rush through it. Each night this week I have dedicated to spending time in my meditation room updating my vision board.
Revise your list of what you are looking for in a relationship. I guess that could also be part of your vision board.
Refocus on my passion projects. My friends have been informed I am no longer available weekend days because I am focusing all of my energy on my passion projects. (more to come on that)
Spend time around happily married couples and people who are in loving new relationships. There is something so precious about being around a couple who is passionately in love with each other and experiencing the highs of new found love. And there is also something endearing about being around married couples who are still friends with each other and have a solid foundation. It’s important to surround yourself around what you are ultimately looking for. It lets you know it’s possible. And it’s always nice to see it in action as a reminder.
Spend time bonding with loved ones. Whether it’s a random phone call, having them over for dinner, or sending them a card. Reach out to family members. It’s easy to get lost in this shuffle we call life. One of my favorite quotes, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were big things.”
Last and certainly not least enjoy your ME time. There is something so wonderful about coming home to peace and quiet, blasting Bravo TV, walking around your house in the nude, eating breakfast for dinner, sleeping in the middle of the bed, and coming and going as you please, and living your life on your own terms. That doesn’t mean you don’t want a relationship, but there is something to be said about having time to yourself and enjoying it.
Even a self proclaimed serial dater has to decide to wait on what’s right instead of spending time I will never get back. It’s time to get back to the basics. Don’t worry; I have an entire dating rolodex I can reach into for tales of foolery from past dates. But for now, this Serial Dater in taking a much needed dating break!
My loyal readers know, I do not discuss who I am currently dating. I do this for several reasons:
Reason Number One: If he happens to be a little nosey and decide to read my blog I do not want him to know I have written about the details of our relationship. And go running for the hills. I already acknowledge it takes a special kind of a man with extra confidence and security to consider dating a woman who writes a relationship blog. It actually takes a lot of courage! I have often wrestled with the decision to keep going with the blog or shut the site down because I worry that it could scare my potential soul mate off. But then I realize the man who I end up with is going to have to understand writing is my passion and this blog is the starting point of something greater (big things are coming to fruition!). On a side note, I am looking forward to the day I can rename this blog Confessions of a FORMER Serial Dater in LA. I can’t wait to annoy my readers with stories about my MAN! And how wonderful he is! Seriously, that will make an even better blog. But until that day happens I will continue to write about my dating foolery on my journey to meet him. There I go digressing….
Reason Number Two: There are some things I believe in reserving for my intimate circle of friends. And to my loyal readers- don’t take offense to this. I pour out my heart and soul to you on these posts. But there are some things I do not want floating in cyber space. Some things should be reserved for private conversations.
Reason Number Three: If things work out with me and the guy there are certain things about our relationship that will be left between just the two of us. You’ve seen it before, and I have longed for it for years, those couples that have a secret language that just the two of them speak, things that only the two of them know. How can you create that when you are telling every single detail to the world.
When people find out that I write a dating blog one of the first questions I get is, “Do you let the guys know you write a blog?” This question is usually asked one of two ways 1) in utter fascination and excitement or 2) complete and total disgust. I get it, folks either think I am brilliant or an absolute fool to write so candidly about dates. Again, this all comes with the territory of being a dating blogger. I usually tell a man by the first or second date that I am a dating blogger. As my loyal readers know, it is very rare I actually give a guy a second date because I know by the first date if I see it going anywhere. Or they show their ass so badly on the first date I rather pluck my eyebrows out one by one than go out with them again. I am at a point in my life where I am DWP (dating with purpose). I refuse to waste my time on fools. So if I give a guy a second date, then I like to let him know about the blog. Besides, if they Google me there I am in full color with the link to my blog! Go figure! I don’t make it a big deal. It’s very matter of fact. Usually, when you’re getting to know someone the topic of hobbies and passion projects will always come up. So typically here’s how the conversation will go:
Guy: What do you like to do outside of work?
Me: Well, I write a dating blog?
Guy: (head tilt) Really?
Me: It’s kind of like Sex and the City Meets LA from an African American female perspective.
Guy: Interesting… You’re not going to write about me are you?
Me: Don’t give me anything to write about!
It’s short and simple and to the point. And it’s honest. This very conversation came up with a guy I was dating. But he asked that I not write about him in the blog (there was an entire back story to how it came up in conversation but I won’t even comment on that hater). And I gave him my word that regardless of what happened with us, I would not write about him in my blog. And I am a woman of my word. Since I promised him that I wouldn’t write about him I have to honor my word. Not because I give a shit about him but because I believe in being a woman of my word. However, I didn’t say I wouldn’t write about what I personally learned from the experience.
And with that I bring to you today’s #MondayMemo. The timing of this question/topic from my loyal reader came at the perfect time. And since I am officially back to 100% after being the in depths of a dating depression I figured I would clue my readers on what was going on with me since one of my followers was having a similar experience. You are not alone ladies… You are not alone!!!
What about emotionally unavailable men? Guys that go from one relationship to another looking for something to fill a void in their lives that they never will an hurting people in the process…
That’s a hard one. The problem with the emotionally unavailable man is the Emotional Yo-Yo effect that occurs. Things start off great. He is doing everything and anything it takes to be with you. The phone calls are endless. There is a connection: mental, emotional, physical, etc. You start feeling things you have never felt before. You start to let your wall down and really allow yourself to let someone in. And for a lot of us 30 something women it’s a feeling that we haven’t experienced in a long time. And finally you let the wall down. You decide to go with it. You’re tired of testing out how cold the water is with your big toe and you decide to go ahead, take a chance and jump in and then that’s when it happens. He pulls back, the calls start become less often. You feel the distance. It is palpable. All of those amazing texts you were getting lessen. The amount of time you were spending together dwindles and then you go into full panic mode. You call your girlfriends and they are all trying to talk you off the ledge and figure out what going on. SO the tactic you resort to is to pull back as well. The second you pull back and mimic his behavior, then the phone calls start again and the interest is heightened and then you feel like you have reached a mutual ground. You think to yourself, “I was tripping. I was clearly over reacting. We ARE on the same page after all. How could I have doubted this man?” So you let your guards down and then a few weeks later the same think happens. He starts acting strange. This time you decide I’m a grown ass woman. Why should I reach out to friends when I can contact the source directly? So you have a grown woman conversation…
You: Is everything cool?
Him: Of course. Why do you ask?
You: I just sense that you are detaching. Just want to make sure all is well and we are still on the same page.
Him: Of course.
So you let it go and pull back a little and the same thing keeps happening. You pull back he returns you push forward he runs.
Does this scenario sound familiar? If you are a single woman in your 30’s… Actually even if you are now married this scenario should sound familiar. It’s happened to the best of us when dating. However, we each have a choice. At this age you know when you are in a situation with an emotionally unavailable man. However, knowledge is power and experience is the strength. When you see this happening and feel it and you have tried and you are still getting the Yo-Yo effect that’s when you know it’s time to roll. I know it’s hard because feelings are there. But you can NOT waste your time and pretty on a man who just doesn’t have the emotionally capacity to handle it. It doesn’t make him an asshole… well actually it does. But you have the choice to leave the situation.
I know women who have put up with this shit for YEARS. As much as I love Sex and the City it has given women a false hope that their personal “Mr. Big” will eventually change his mind and they will end up together. Don’t forget, Carrie waited 10 years for Mr. Big. 10 fucking years! She went through him marrying someone else, having an affair with her, standing her up at the alter, and years of the Yo-Yo effect before he finally decided to marry her. Ain’t nobody got time for that! So my advice when you are dealing with the Emotionally Unavailable man is to run run run as fast as you can! Don’t subscribe t the idea that you won’t meet anybody else where you “have that same chemistry.” Don’t hold on thinking he will change.\
Furthermore, when you do decide to move on, make it a clean break. Do NOT under any circumstances remain friends with him. That’s a trap! You will find yourself still talking to him and possibly being intimate with him and that hope will return and you will be right back at square one. My typical break up rule is when I decide to be done with a man I am done. He doesn’t get the added benefit of us being friends.
Lastly, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t beat up on yourself for decisions you have made. WE have ALL been there. The difference is the amount of time we have spent in that Yo-Yo cycle. You must believe that the right guy is out there for you. You also can not hold back with the next man because of what the emotionally unavailable man did or didn’t do. Don’t let the current guy pay for the past asshole’s mistakes. I know I sounded pessimistic and hopeless over my last few blogs. Dating can sometimes get the best of us. And I know it can get so tiring hoping and wishing for something and getting nothing in return. But dealing with a man who doesn’t have the emotional capacity to honor who you are is a red flag and you are worth so much more. Time to cut that string and let the Yo-Yo fall into the ditch!