I have to be completely honest. I don’t have much to write about. What happens when you have built an audience who wants to hear all about your dating life and dating foolery and you reach a point when you have made a conscious decision not to share that information? We knew the day would come. I couldn’t be a Serial Dater forever folks! There comes a time when even a Serial Dater makes the conscious choice to no longer serial date or perhaps they meet someone with potential and want to hold that feeling close to them and keep it private just between the person and you. I guess you can say its growth. I guess you can say after two years of bringing you the full Tea on my dating life and relationship status… or lack thereof, I have finally reached a point where I am tapped out. And don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I will no longer write. And it is not a bad thing at all. In the next few weeks this site will take a turn in a different direction… which is a great thing! But what I can say is 2015 is taking a turn in a different direction and it feels good. I am happy. I recognize happiness is a conscious choice. I made the decision to choose happiness years ago and it was the best decision I ever made.
The journey to get here was a long one. If someone told me at the age of 25 I would experience all that I have gone through in the last few years I would have laughed at them. And not just a “ha-ha” laugh. But one of those guttural laughs that come from your core, where you are laughing so damn hard you can’t breathe. If someone told me I would get married, and six months into the marriage discover it was a MAJOR mistake, go through a 1 ½ bitter divorce battle, and uproot my life. I wouldn’t have believed it. If someone would have told me in order to get to where I am today I would be shaken to the core, my life would be uprooted, and everything I thought I wanted was indeed not even close to want I needed I would have literally passed out.
But now, years later I recognize that was all part of the journey I had to take to discover me. To discover who I really was. When I was in the midst of the storm it was painful, it was scary, and it was hurtful. It did not feel safe. I had no idea that at the end I would experience the rainbow after the storm. But you see, in order for a rainbow to appear, you have to go through a storm. An unexpected sun will shine and the rainbow will be created. But that is impossible without the storm beforehand.
And I went through the storm. And I survived it. And let me be very clear. It wasn’t fun; it wasn’t enlightening at the time. It fucking SUCKED! And I was not truly happy. To the outside world I appeared to be happy. I would get accolades about how “How well I was handling the divorce… How strong I am… How you have managed to get through this shit with dignity and grace.” But when I got home and it was just me all by myself. I couldn’t go five minutes without crying. I would find myself balled up in a corner on the floor crying uncontrollably. My only saving grace was I had to go to work and during those hours I had to keep it together and put on a great façade to the public. But as soon as I would close the door to my car, the tears would fall uncontrollably.
I’m not exactly sure where I am going with this. I guess I have spent the last 2 years writing this blog talking so much about my strength. But for some reason, I feel the need to be completely transparent and let someone out there know my strength didn’t come easy and it didn’t happen overnight. Perhaps there is someone out there who is in the midst of the storm and needs to read about how what it REALLY means to get through it. And pretending that “I am every woman…” isn’t what that person needs to hear right now. Perhaps it’s time to be transparent and be vulnerable and let someone know that the journey isn’t easy. But you WILL get to your destination called happiness.
And once you get to that destination, there comes a point where you believe you are truly okay. You have made it. You even have you “PR” spin on what to tell people about your failed marriage or relationship. Your “3 minute elevator” chat… The “long story short” version. And let me tell you. I perfected all of those things. So much that I recently realized I spent so much time healing and so much time protecting my heart from getting broken again, that it had been a long time since I allowed myself to be vulnerable. And no, it had nothing to do with not being over the ex. That ship sailed years ago and I was able to bring myself the closure I needed to end the book. I wish him nothing but the best and I reached the feeling of indifference years ago. And if you are a loyal reader to this blog you know my biggest goal in life is to never take a wrong turn to Bitterville or a detour to Cynicism. In all of my effort to stay the right course on my journey, I forgot one important thing as you open yourself up to love again… Vulnerability. Allowing yourself to open your heart and let love in is something that can pretty fucking scary after being hurt or years of disappointment. And it doesn’t mean you are not open to the possibility, but you also have to be open to the gamble of allowing your heart to be open to receive love. I have no idea where Vulnerability got a bad rap. Or why some women think that being “strong” means not being Vulnerable. Especially a lot of us sistahs. But it is the total opposite. Interestingly enough for a lot of us it might be a subconscious defense mechanism. However, I believe the very last piece of my healing journey, the last hill I had to climb was to finally allow myself to be vulnerable and not wear the mask of strength to hide the fear of pain.
Happy New Year! I made it through the holidays unscathed and feeling really good. I know it’s been a while since I have posted. But I’m baaaaaaacccckkkk!!!! I must admit, I have missed you guys! And a part of me feels like I have left you hanging for far too long. But hey, a sista needed a break and some time to regroup and refresh. And as I have always said, I am not going to write a bunch of bullshit just to fill time. I want to make sure I am bringing you all things worthy of reading.
With the holiday season comes a lot of parties, mixers, and over all hanging out to close out the year. And you know how I have a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out), so the holidays are very dangerous for someone with my condition. In my own defense there were a few events/parties I missed out on. Okay, maybe just one… but I’m really trying to get better with that in the New Year.
Prior to making that semi-resolution I found myself double and sometimes tripled booked some evenings during the holiday. It’s LA and unlike most areas of the country where you are fighting the snow and freezing cold temperature. Here in LA we are still rocking open toed booties and we complain when the temperature hits 50 degrees. So it makes it easy for hanging out during the holidays.
One Saturday in particular, I was exhausted but had already committed to going to a two different holiday parties. And one thing about me, when I give you my word, my word is Bon. One Holiday party was at a friend of mine and his wife’s house. It was in the hills and very grown and sexy. It was my close circle of friends. There was laughter, great food, great ambiance, and plenty of eggnog that I couldn’t drink because I knew I had to make it to another party later that evening. Just as I was finally settling in, it was time for me to leave. Although I was really enjoying myself I still decided to head out to the other party which was a birthday party for a friend of a friend. I didn’t know any of the people that were going to be there outside of my mentor and her friend that I had just met when we went to a Pilates class together. Her friend mentioned she was having a birthday/holiday party. She also said that she never has enough women there because her husband always invites more of his friends. Naturally my ears perked up. A party with more men than women? That is unheard of; I was thinking perhaps God was sending me an early Christmas gift. With that motivation I left the party I was already at having a great time to high tail my ass to Pasadena. After all, it is good to step outside of your comfort zone. Although deep down inside, I really wanted to stay where I was with my close group of friends but I had to practice what I preach. Lots of times you get stuck in your comfort zone and do not venture out to see what else is out there.
After a thirty minute drive I found myself walking into a full on house party, complete with a DJ and a full crowd of people on the dance floor in the living room. There is nothing more awkward than walking into a party late and where you know absolutely no one there. But I was feeling real good. My hair was on point, I had on a killer little black dress, and I had finally found the perfect shade of red lip gloss for the holiday season. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t the shit at the moment. You know those times when you just feel really good about yourself. I’m not being arrogant but I was just having one of those moments. Even if no one else saw it, I felt it.
I went into the kitchen to drop off my bottle of wine and was scanning the room for my mentor or her friend throwing the party. The house was quite big. Then I finally spotted the birthday girl. I was so relieved to see her. She walked towards me, and I lifted my hand up to wave at her. Just as I opened my lips to say “Hey girl” was when I felt gravity leave from below me. I didn’t realize she had a sunken in living room and there was a step. It happened in slow motion, my feet literally slipped from below me and my black ass fell!!! It wasn’t a trip. It was a full on “bust yo’ ass” fall to the ground. And I am 5’8 and my brand new heeled booties had me standing at a good 6’1. And it wasn’t a graceful fall. As I was falling I found myself reaching to grab the birthday girl and almost brought her down with me! It was one of the moments when I swear the music screeched to a halt and there was silence. Once I finally hit the carpet with a loud crash. I looked up and saw the birthday girl shake her head in disbelief at me, and a few other members of the party looking over like, “Is he okay? Who is that? Damn!” I didn’t know what to do. But like I always say, it’s not about how you fall it’s about how you get back up. So I hopped up and tried to play it off, “I’m here!” At that moment I felt a tap on my shoulder and there was my mentor with her husband (whom I had never met before… what a great first impression.. Oh God!). They were on the dance floor and witnessed the whole thing! I was mortified. I am a klutz. I always have been inclined to trip over my own size 11 feet. But it had been a while since this had happened.
My mentor: Are you okay?
Me: Well, I’m here! (I was still trying to play it off and laugh it off).
My mentor: this is my husband.
Mentor’s husband: Nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot of great things about you.
(I couldn’t’ tell if he was trying to clown me or not)
Me: Thanks! Nice to meet you too. If you two will excuse me, I need to find the ladies room.
My mentor pointed me in the direction of the ladies room. And I slowly walked up the step I hadn’t even noticed before. I tried to ignore the pain in my knee from the fall. The last thing I needed was to not only be the dumb ass who busted my ass in the middle of the dance floor. But to add to the resume I had to limp out would have really sent me over the edge. I went to the ladies room and gather myself together. How in the hell could I play this off? It’s one thing if this happened with my close friends. We could all have a good laugh. Suddenly the confidence I felt when I walked into the party was a mere fourth of what it was. I looked at myself in the mirror and started laughing. What else could I do but laugh? I also made the executive decision to hightail my ass out of the party. After all, I had no idea how I was going to be able to play that off. And I certainly didn’t want to have to explain myself all night and try to play off the fact that I had fallen and busted my ass in the middle of the party. I walked out of the bathroom and snuck out of the house. I made sure to look down the whole time to ensure there weren’t any hidden steps lurking around the corner.
I sent a text to my mentor:
Girl I snuck out. I can’t believe I fell. Let’s connect in the new year!
I’m so sorry that happened to you. But I wish you would have stayed.
I got in my car and went right back to the party with my close friends. I was welcomed back with open arms and laughter when I told them what happened. I sat down relaxed and had the glass of egg nog I wanted to have in the beginning of the evening.
When I got home that night I realized that my FOMO (fear of missing out) condition had gotten out of control. Why didn’t I just stay put where I was and enjoy the evening instead of leaving to go to the other party in the first place?! It took me falling and busting my ass to realize that while you should be open, explore new things, and step out of your comfort zone, there also comes a point when you need to just breathe and take life in. When you are single it is easy to find yourself constantly searching for that someone or something that you can miss out on what is right in front of you, waiting for you to just take the time to stop and notice it. Between work, networking, friends, family, and passion projects you can find yourself just on the go and doing THE most. And it took me falling to realize, I need to sit my ass down somewhere and just breathe and take a damn break. And that’s exactly what I did during the rest of the holiday. I relaxed, regrouped and realized that what is right for me will come when it is time. And more than likely it is going to come from somewhere I least expect in a package that I never thought it would be in. But I have made the conscious choice to slow down and finally treat my FOMO. After all FOMO is really just another way of saying you’re always looking for something/someone bigger and better. And there comes a point in life where you have to recognize what you need is right there if you take the time to actually see it. I will not go through 2015 with any Fears, including the fear of missing out. Instead I will go into this New Year with Faith to know that what is for me is for me and patience to wait for what is right without fear. And finally the wisdom to always look down before I walk! Cheers to 2015!
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!