Cocktails… Confessions… And Concessions?
Before I revamped my site, I figured I would give my readers one last dating epiphany, lesson, observation for old time’s sake. Enjoy!
Unlike most college students who spent their time sowing their royal oats and kicking it. I met my college sweetheart my second day of college and I was with him until six months after graduation. Yes… I was booed up my entire 4 years of college! Did you think I was always a serial dater?! LOL! I do not regret this decision for one second. My college sweetheart was a great guy and he set the bar high for what I expected out of my relationships and dating. And I won’t go into details regarding the break up but I have nothing but great things to say about him. He is one of the coolest guys I know. I look back on those times fondly.
Do you remember those days before you had major baggage, divorces, kids, heartbreaks, and disappointments? I miss those days of innocence. Those days where the only expectation you had about dating was a good outcome. Those days when both of you came with a clean slate? Can we have a moment of silence as we reminisce about those days… Woosa….
Because I had such a great first experience with my first true love, when we broke up I was new to the single scene. Since I hadn’t experienced the ups and downs of dating while at Hampton University, I ended having a late start to the game. I was no longer a college student dating with the security of being on campus. I was now officially living in Los Angeles, and dating. It was exciting. It was also very convenient. To be honest, I was BROKE back then! I was pursuing acting and my funds weren’t just low, they were non-existent. I went on dates so I could eat and drink. I know I am not the only woman who was guilty of this back in their twenties. I am just woman enough to admit it. LOL! However, my expectations were high and I didn’t put up with a lot of shit. I generally believed that most guys were decent until proven foolish.
In my twenties I had a laundry list of what I expected from a guy. What I would and would not settle for. Some of the things on my list (mind you the total number of things on the list added up to be 52) included:
- No kids/ baby mommas
- Must have a career
- Must kiss with his eyes closed (don’t judge my 20’s ignorance)
- Must wear a suit to work (I know major side eye)
- Must be over 6’3
- Must have college degree
- No roommates
Then I got married to a man that fit “the list” and we already know how that ended. Then you take time to re-evaluate the bullshit you had on the list. Just because someone seems great on paper does not mean that they are great for you. You also realize relationships aren’t based on a list, but instead on things that are important to you, your non-negotiables. And clearly with life things that were important to me changed and I had a better understanding of what I needed out of relationships.
- Must be a good communicator
- Must be honest/loyal
- Must love unconditionally
- Must be spiritual not religious
- If he has children should be from a former marriage or not have multiple baby mammas
- Should have had a significant relationship/marriage at some point
- Supportive of my career and aspirations
- Is a team player
I also learned you can’t be married to the list. You have to make concessions from time to time and be open. As you continue to date things are very different when you hit your 30’s/40’s. And a lot of it is because you are no longer college kids navigating relationships on campus… Or a young 20 year old dating fresh out of college, here’s an exercise… Sit with a group of ladies in their 20’s and hear their experiences and thoughts about dating. You will certainly see a lot of yourself in them. There is a certain amount of them thinking they know it all. They will even try to guide you on what to do when it comes to dating. And you have to embrace it with love. Remember what you were like in your 20’s. It’s not a dig on my younger loyal readers. It’s just a reality.
The fact is as you get older things change and you have to make allowances in order to be open. Life experiences force you to have to look at things differently. You are no longer married to a list. Instead you try to be open, and learn from your experiences. You begin to make concessions. You go with the “feeling” the “connection” the “strong vibe” you feel with a man. And trust me, it is so damn refreshing to meet a man and realize that those feelings you thought were buried deep down inside or even the “connection” you have heard others speak of but after one dating disaster after another you feel like that feeling is not in your DNA, so when you meet a man, and he literally sweeps you off your feet. He opens you up to become vulnerable and feel safe with him. He looks you in your eyes and you feel as though he is staring into your soul. When his phone number flashes on the screen you find yourself smiling in the same way you did when you were a young college student without baggage. You allow your walls to come down. Because you have finally connected with someone in a way that is so refreshing! Can I get an AMEM ladies?!
One of two things happen, you realize that this is IT! You have finally connected with a man on a level that feels so grown. It is unlike anything you have ever experienced. It feels so invigorating. It’s the holy grail of dating. And isn’t that the best feeling? Experiencing meeting your true soulmate for all the right reasons.
But then there is the other side… You think that you have met a man who is grown and honest. Interestingly enough men are very “honest” these days about their various situations and what they have going on in their life. I suspect some men use the “blatant honesty” to cover themselves for all the bullshit they have going on. It is their way of alleviating their guilt for being shady as hell! And it’s easy to be seduced by the “brutal honesty.” So much so, you begin to make major concessions for the foolery. “Honesty” is a seductive foreplay when you have a man who is everything you ever dreamt of. You begin to make concessions for the bullshit. You put aside your needs and desires because he is being “honest.” He tells you everything that is going on in his life. All the craziness and the bullshit, it serves as a way to cover his bases. And because the bullshit is under the guise of “I’m just being honest.” You begin to make concessions. You begin to second guess all of the shit that you are looking for and what is important in a relationship because you are blinded by “the honesty” and suddenly you can find yourself scrambled in the middle of some bullshit. When you hit a certain age in Singledom it is so easy to start putting aside things that are important to you. You think that you are being unreasonable. Hell… you even have folks around who tell you need to let go of certain expectations. Here’s the famous line “How has that worked for you so far?” And you are left sitting in a dizzy state wondering… “Am I expecting too much? I am no longer the college freshman; I am a grown ass woman and I need to make more concessions.” And while I completely agree that you cannot be married to a list of expectations… I also do not want my members of Singledom who are in their 30’s and 40’s to think that they should let go of their core values when it comes to dating. It is so damn tempting to do so. You can meet a man who fits all of your physical, mental, emotional criteria but at the end of the day isn’t available and is feeding you bullshit “honesty” to make himself feel better and alleviate his own damn guilt so he can say, “I was HONEST with her about my situation.”
And you can really believe that you won’t find better. Or the connection you have with this man is something that you will never experience again. Would you believe there are women out here that are actually begging men to stay with them? And accepting CRUMBS?! They will be in a relationship with a man who CLEARLY does not have the same strong feelings for them and think they can fuck them, feed them, and force them into the relationship they want. Talk about poster women for low self esteem! And they are fucking it up for the rest of us who actually have standards and expectations. When you let a man know what works for you they are thrown off because they have been able to get away with running shit with other women who allow them to just shit on them. Note to these women: Get standards and stop fucking it up for women who actually have self esteem and standards. Begging a man to stay with you is not going to make him love you or decide to be in a committed relationship with you! I am not coming from a place of judgment but concern. I get so frustrated with men who have been allowed to get away with treating women any old way, that when they finally meet a woman who isn’t willing to put up with taking crumbs they don’t know how to handle it. To all you nosy men out there reading this blog who actually have the audacity to ask a woman to compromise who they are and their needs for your own selfishness, ask yourself this question: Would you want your mother, sister, or daughters to make concessions that compromise who they are? I didn’t think so. So why expect that of woman you are pursuing? Just a little food for thought…. There I go digressing…
There comes a point when older seasoned 30+ women have to have a heart to heart with their inner younger 20+ college woman and have a meeting of the minds. While I know I will not ever have the experience of my college sweetheart at this stage of my life due to circumstances, baggage, and life I do know that I have experienced what it feels like to have pure love, support, real honesty that isn’t a mask for some bullshit. I also know that in life you will have to make a certain amount of concessions but that does not mean you have to dishonor who you are and compromise your values.
In order to have true love you do not have to compromise what is important to you. Or make some allowances for some bullshit because a man is “honest” about his situation. Don’t let the honesty blind you to the reality of what he is actually saying and the situation. Just because a man is “HONEST” does not mean he isn’t still full of shit. And please don’t get me wrong. This is not a bitter woman rant. But I want to make sure you don’t fall into the seduction of honesty where you become blinded by the reality and the man’s actions. That’s what really tells you the truth, his ACTIONS! If his words and actions aren’t matching up… well there you have it! That’s your answer.
At the end of the day I find we are thrown tests to see if we are really ready to “trust” the process and have “faith” that what we are looking for is coming and the “patience” to wait for what is right. I never want any of you to beg for a man to give you a chance. Or even worse wait on a man to make up his mind that he is ready to pursue you wholeheartedly without any doubt. Your needs and desires when it comes to dating are important to maintain. I challenge you to dig deep within and find that untarnished, unmarked, open and optimistic young girl in you that had a clean slate and believed in love to reacquaint themselves with the woman you are today. I believe the marriage of the two moments in time will give you a better perspective and understanding of you who you are today and lead you in the direction where you can be open, make concessions, but not compromise on what is important to you.
Sometimes walking away from a situation is harder than realizing the situation is not for you especially when your head and your heart are not in alignment. It is really hard! And deeply disappointing to realize who you thought someone was, is not at all who they really are. You question if all of the things he said, the feelings he said he felt for you, was just a lie or an act. You even question, how you allowed yourself to once again fall for the okie doke. You think you had learned from past mistakes and can shift through the bullshit. You even get mad at yourself for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and let your walls down. It fucking SUCKS!!!!! The road less traveled is not an easy one to take, especially after years and years of being disappointed. Especially when you think you have met a man that is IT. Walking away is so hard. But you have to teach a man how to treat you. And you also have to look at who he truly is not who you thought he was, what you wanted him to be, or the idea of how you thought the outcome would be. Sometimes you have to walk away and be strong in the fact that if it is meant to be it will be. If he is right for you he will return and be better than what you had already established or you will be open and cleared to meet the man who really is IT. If you find yourself making concessions that is not honoring who you are or compromising the core of what you need. You have to be willing to walk away. And trust me, I know it isn’t easy. Especially as you get older and have kissed a lot of frogs. However, that’s when you pour yourself a cocktail, you confess to the reality of the situation, and you promise yourself you will not make concessions that compromise the core of who you are as a woman. I’ll leave you with this. My girlfriend once told me God does not come from a place of No. He will answer you with one of three things:
- Not now
- I have something better for you….
If you truly have faith and allow yourself to trust the process and know what is for you is for you. You will not have to make a bunch of concessions. And my goodness, it will be worth the journey.