“You don’t need a man. You want one. And when you’re an established woman, you get the right to be picky and choose exactly what you want”
– a strong black woman, reality check via phone call, 2017
Since entering this draining yet entertaining realm of singledom, the greatest advice I’ve been given was that above. If there is one thing that being single has taught me, it is this: men are to me what I allow them to be. Think on that for a second.There is one thing that being single has taught me: men are to me what I allow them to be. Click To Tweet
Guy or girl, in this dating game we have all stuck around one too many times with a person, waiting for them to get it together because “benefit of the doubt” was too real that day. I would wait around for a guy to get his schedule and thoughts in order to “choose me”, not realizing that I held all power of choice. I’ve fallen victim to my own blind emotional ties to good looks and sometimes even great taste in music. Damn you trap soul genre. I’ve let personal style woo me and hoards of excuses slide. But a couple weeks ago there was a mental shift. I’m now twenty-four years of age (happy belated birthday to me). I pay my own bills. I work a 9 to 5 and still find time for my creative endeavors. Masters degree attained as of May. In other words, I bring some decent goods to the table. I mean, my cooking needs work but hey, we all fall short of Auntie’s glory from time to time. I may not have it all together but I have every right to be picky for myself. I am young and by no means ready to put a ring on it or start a family, but I do know what I want and there are just a few things that are not up for debate.
I have no time to raise a man. I am not here to remind you of your daily tasks or beg you to have a sense of ambition. I can not put time and energy into nagging someone more than likely older than me in cleaning up after himself or begging him to have “adult conversations” with me. Also, a man who is self-aware is key. Being around someone who actively listens and shows a sense of empathy is what life lacks for many of us. Knowing his strengths and consistently working to improve his weaknesses is quite attractive. He may not have all the answers but that is okay simply because he is a man who doesn’t force his opinion on me and is a believer of perspective. I refuse to be manipulated into doing things I don’t want to or feeling ways I know I shouldn’t in order to stroke an ego or keep a lover. I can no longer stand to give more of myself than a person is giving in return and abuse of any kind is intolerable. And I just can’t forget a relationship with God (whatever that may look like to him).
These are just a few of the many things on my list. I could go on and on (good hygiene, valuing family, sense of humor,
etc.) but you get it. I have dealt with enough foolishness and I’m the only one to blame because I didn’t set mental boundaries for myself… but in the words of the great Maxine Waters, I’m reclaiming my time.
Today’s Keyword: steadfast (adj): resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
Dating isn’t about falling in love with the person who has it all together with a nice car and things, rather enjoying life with a person who knows who he is, where he wants to be, and actually, has the desire to do all in his power to get there. I’m not looking for Mr. Perfect because I know he’s non-existent. But there are just values I hold true to myself and I refuse to settle on. Dating is your time to figure out the things you like and dislike in a partner. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to get to know yourself more. Date with intent. Date with an open mind. Hell, date for fun. But date knowing your non-negotiables, in the beginning, to make it an easier journey in the long run.
My laughter, my peace of mind, my sanity is not up for debate. Yours shouldn’t be either. You don’t need a partner. You desire one.
stop negotiating ya non-negotiables. reclaim your time.