You’re Bad For My Spirit

The older I have gotten, I have realized that, in dealing with the opposite sex, that it is of the utmost importance to take care of yourself first.  Not your man.  Not your woman. No one else but you. YOU.  If you allow them, people will suck the life out of you and take all of  you.  Why?  Because people are selfish as f*ck.

About two years ago, I met a guy (I’m sure I’ve referenced him here before; I just don’t feel like going back and linking previous posts) at an alumni event.  The first year passed without much incident. That second year…. We went on dates, we hung out, we laughed, things were good. Until they weren’t.  The last time he and I spoke in August, I told him that we should make a clean break, and if we see each other in the street, we say “What’s up?” and keep it moving.

Earlier this week, my phone rings.  I think it’s my eye doctor, so I answer. It’s this dude. (Huh????) He says he’s calling to find out if I’m going to a football game our alma mater is having later this month and that I crossed his mind and he thought about me.  I asked him if he remembered our last conversation, to which he replied yes.  This is then how the conversation went:

Me: If you remembered then I don’t think you would be calling me. 

Him: Why do you say that? 

Me: Because I told you that we should make a clean break.  But here you are calling me after three months.  A few weeks after our conversation, I told a friend of mine about you, and she was playing devil’s advocate.  She thought that maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt and that I didn’t make myself clear with what I wanted while we were dealing with each other.  

Him: OK.

Me: So that there is no confusion, I don’t like talking to you.  You’re bad for my spirit.

Him: Oh, that’s cryptic. 

Me: How so?  

Him: Uhhhhh…

Me: If you don’t understand, say so so that I can explain it to you. 

Him: I don’t understand. 

Me: Then I’ll explain it to you.  I’m in my 30s. I’m passed the point in my life where I’m dating just to date.   And I’m done going back and forth with you.  Over the past two years, it’s been up and down and sometimes we’re dating and sometimes we’re not. So we just need to cut our losses and keep it moving. 

Him: Ok.

Me: So, again, so that I can make it clear, I don’t want to be your friend.  You keep popping back up in my life and I’ve got way too much going on to try to figure out what you want from me every few months.  So you have fun with whatever you’re doing tonight, tomorrow, whenever. Bye.

Today, this post is for ladies in general.  Single ladies in particular. Those single ladies that have had to deal with men that take us for granted.  Those men that feel they can play with our emotions.  Those men that are sometime-y.  Those men that are non-committal. Those men that feel like they can treat us any ol’ type of way.  And think that we are going to stay around to put up with it. Take back yourself, ladies. Take back your strength. Take back your independence. Take back your courage. And let these men know that we’re not putting up with their sh*t anymore.  We deserve better.  And these boys that think they’re men are going to continue to treat us this way if we allow it.  So demand better.  Treat yourself better.  You deserve it.  Don’t let these boys mess with your spirit; they’re not worth it.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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I’m Over Being a Party of One

Last weekend I had my housewarming.  It was great having my friends over to celebrate my home.  I trust everyone had a great time.  Well, everyone DID have a great time, seeing as how much food was eaten and how many empty champagne bottles I put in the recycling bin.  But some things were missing.  I definitely wished the parentals had been here (Southern Dad will be in DC before the end of the year…he says).  But I wish I had a mate here.  A boo.  A steady love interest who could have stood by my side and wished me well on this new endeavor in my life.  Basically, I’m tired of being single.

I’m tired of wanting to go somewhere and trying to figure out a) which of my friends are single and want to go or b) which of my married/boo’ed up friends would go with me.  I want to be able to say, “Babe, let’s go to ______” and we go.  Alas, it’s been a LONG minute since that’s happened. For example, I want to go to the Redskins pre-season game when they play the Jaguars.  So my linesister is going with me.  I want to see Stevie Wonder in October at the Verizon Center.  Do I a) buy two tickets and hope I have a boo by then or b) (once again), ask a single friend to go with me?

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy my single life.  But it’s old.  Like really, really old.  I desire a friend, a lover, a prayer partner, a church attendee mate, and a gentleman all rolled into one.  Who belongs to me. And I belong to him.  Do you hear me, Lord???

Le sigh.  In any event, that’s where I am.  Being single’s not overrated, but it is played out.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Revamping My Dating Habits

Man and Woman Drinking at Bar

I have a friend, we’ll call her Michelle, who loves getting to know new people. When you talk to her, she’s so engaging that she makes you feel as if everything you said is the most interesting thing she’s ever heard. She’s confident, not cocky, and has the ridiculous ability to connect with people she just met. Not surprisingly, this girl has no problem in situations where she doesn’t know anyone. Her congeniality and charisma has gained her a great group of friends and helped her receive an offer for every job she’s ever interviewed for. But arguably more impressive, this girl has never had a bad first date.

I know.

Granted, it’s not like Michelle has a revolving door of men in and out of her life, but I would think even hitting 5-6 first dates and they’ve all been good is pretty damn impressive.

I have to admit, I held onto a little contempt for her since I’ve had my fair share of bad dates. But then I started thinking about some of the reasons she gave for why she thinks that they usually go so well, and admittedly, I realized there are a few things that I could be doing to make my dates better too.

One thing I learned I need to work on is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Everyone wants to put on their best impression during a first date. But there are plenty of things that could cause people to be off their game on a first date. Of course there are nerves, but sometimes, there are other things that might be making them uneasy. For example, my co-worker once told me that he had to leave a date early because he had horrible gas after eating a Fiber One bar. Apparently these things are no joke. There’s even a message board dedicated to the topic on My Fitness Pal, and the comments span over three years. The poor guy had no idea the bars caused such “unpleasant” side effects. He simply couldn’t stand it any longer, and had to cut the date short. His date left thinking he was a squirming weirdo and declined his invitation for a rain check.

When your date seems to be a little on edge (hopefully from nerves, not gas), Michelle says she’s tries to reassure them by saying something along the lines of “I was a little nervous but I’m having a great time!” or she compliments them on their restaurant choice or wardrobe.

And it’s not just Michelle that thinks it’s a smart idea.  A blogger over at “Adam and Eve” said that, “Most ladies will try and make an anxious date feel more comfortable,” in a recently shared dating guide for guys blog post. I tend to be more passive and I suppose I usually just absent-mindedly hope that the guy will make me feel more comfortable. I guess I figured that because he asked me out, he was confident and didn’t need reassurance. Now I’ll be more conscious about being just as complimentary to the guy as he is to me.

She also said that if her date’s nerves seem to be getting the best of them, she tries to take the reigns a little throughout the night. To engage her date, she asks them questions about things that they’re passionate about. She’ll also suggest something fun to do that won’t interrupt the night, like stopping for ice cream or popping into an interesting shop that they pass. Not only does it help take the pressure off of the other person, but it also gives you a sense of responsibility for having a good time throughout the night.

Finally Michelle said she always tries to keep an open mind. There are plenty of guys that turned out to be amazing once she got some one-on-one time with them. Even now she’s dating one such guy, and is still great friends with another. Obviously a lot of men and women are guilty of not giving the other the time of day if they don’t feel that “spark” right away. It seems like a waste of time when you don’t feel anything from the get go. But like the “Huffington Post” says, if you’re still single, it’s obvious that your past type hasn’t been working for you.” You’ll never know if there’s something better out there for you unless you give someone new a shot.

Maybe I won’t have a spotless dating record like Michelle, but by changing my own behavior, hopefully I’ll set myself up for some better first dates in the future.

lyf40

The One That Won’t Go Away

Some people cannot take a hint.  Guy A from this post is one of those people.

I didn’t go into details about all of the things wrong with this guy, so I’ll elaborate slightly.  He felt that I should cancel/change plans so we could go out.  He felt that I should respond to text messages IMMEDIATELY after he sent one.  He was jealous and insecure (oh, I think I mentioned that in my previous post).  After I didn’t respond to a text message quick enough on my way to church one Sunday, he sent a snarky reply.   That is when I told him to lose my number and have a nice life.  (Oh, he still sent me a message on G-Chat that afternoon; I quickly blocked him.)

That weekend is when DC was hit by Hurricane Sandy.  Two days later, he sent me a text to “check on me” and “make sure I was ok”, to which he got no response.  A week later, because I deleted his number, I answered a call from him.  He totally heard the shock in my voice.  After that call, I saved his number as DNA (Do Not Answer).

A year and a half later, he has popped back up.  A few months ago, he sent me a request to connect on LinkedIn.  And just this week he requested to follow me on Twitter (on my private account).  You would think that after not speaking with someone in almost two years and making it PAINFULLY obvious that you have no desire to speak with or be involved with a person, he would go on his merry little way…but alas, that is not the case in this situation.  In 2012, TyAnthony made sure to ask me if he knew where I lived, to which I was all too happy to state “no” and that he had never been to my house.

So what do you in this situation?  Do you continue to ignore this person that won’t go away?  Do you reach out and once again state to leave you alone?  (I won’t be doing that.)  On the flip side, what makes someone not go away?  What keeps making him reach out?  To see what I’m doing?  To try to make sure he stays in the forefront?  In any event, I wish he would crawl back into the hole he went in in 2012…and stay there.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

The Single Life

For the first time in a LONG time I have no potentials.  No one I’m dating.  No one I’m talking to.  No one.  It’s weird.  This is a new space for me.  And it’s been this way since February.  Being the serial dater I am (or at least used to be), it’s nothing for me to pick up the phone and call someone, or have someone call me, to go to dinner, catch a movie, see a play, whatever.   I wouldn’t say I crave attention from the opposite sex, but it’s nice to have.  Someone to flirt with.  Someone to hang out with.  Even if I knew the guy had no staying power, I can admit it was nice to feel attractive and wanted and to hang out with someone that wasn’t my homegirl.

Saturday night, after a fun-filled day of celebrating with friends at a housewarming, I got to my house and felt antsy.  It was still light out, was a gorgeous evening, and I didn’t want to spend another Saturday night at my house watching tv.  I had someone that I wanted to call, someone that no matter what I do I can’t get him out of my system.  And as much as my finger has been itching to dial his number, I have resisted the urge.  (YAY me!)  So, I called up two of my friends instead (really I called more but they were the ones that answered), and we headed out to enjoy dinner, cocktails, and cupcakes.  Of course, the conversation turned to how we were all single.  And how negroes ain’t ish (one of us just had a nasty break-up).  And we talked about how the craziest, meanest, rudest people always seem to find each other and stay together, while us nice folks finish last and keep meeting people who do us dirty. (To quote one of my friends, “The horrible people always seem to find each other.”) Even the young lady at the table next to ours chimed in her agreement.

But, at the end of the day, we all agreed that a man perfectly designed for each of us IS out there…and they are going to find us.  And even though we’ve experienced heartbreak, jerks, and a few lonely Saturday nights as of late, it’s not going to be that way forever.  Though I’m 30 something years old, I still have this fairy tale fantasy that the man for me is out there.  And he’s going to find me…while I’m still in my prime and can bear him some children after we walk down the aisle.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

He Hasn’t Called…Yet (An Update)

A hard head makes a soft behind…

After speaking with a good friend of mine, who has gotten married and had a baby within the last two years, I decided to follow-up on Jonathan.  Hey, following up with a potential suitor worked out great for her.  Anywho…

On Saturday, I called my groom-to-be friend-let’s call him Brad.  After getting the pleasantries out of the way, I asked Brad what was up with his friend Jonathan.   Brad had read last week’s post but had NO clue I was talking about his brunch.  (SMH, men…) Well, Brad said Jonathan was a good guy, and it was ironic that I called him because he and Jonathan had plans later that night.  So he had no problem asking Jonathan what he thought about me.  During our discussion, Brad mentioned we were ALL feeling happy during the brunch (there were unlimited mimosas, and our waitress may have been a little heavy handed) and that might be attributed to why Jonathan asked for my number-because we were all feeling a little friendly.  Possibly Jonathan hasn’t had a chance to call me due to a busy schedule. Or maybe he didn’t think of me in an “I’m interested” way but maybe in an “Elle is cool people” way.  I told Brad NOT to embarass me, which he assured me he would not do.  We even discussed doing a follow-up post, regardless of Jonathan’s response.  So I’m sure you all are wondering what happened…

Turns out, Jonathan is not interested in Elle; he got my number just to increase his contacts/make connections in DC, so is the reason Brad told me.  And I believe him.  Because if Jonathan WERE interested, he would have called a LONG time ago.  Oh, and he still hasn’t reached out.  But I’m ok with that.  Honestly, as I said to Brad during our conversation, my life is about to get so crazy now that I probably won’t have the time to seriously date anyone.

If, and that’s a BIG if, Jonathan calls, I’ll chat with him.  Besides, every girl needs someone that she can call on to be a Go To Guy.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

 

It’s Good for the Gander

Based on conversations I’ve had with my dad recently, I think I already know the answer.  Not because we’ve discussed this topic in particular but because we’ve discussed other things, and I believe those topics have given me the answer.  I’m one smart cookie.  🙂

We live in a patriarchal society.  Since the beginning of time, women have been thought of as the weaker, lesser gender.  Some women (and men) have been brought up and raised to believe that men are stronger, smarter, wiser, and just all around the better gender.  During the Feminist Movement until today, women have had to prove that we are just as good as, if not better than, men.  We have to prove we’re tougher, smarter, wiser.  But when it comes to relationships and dating, things get a little tricky.  In our professional careers, we have to be strong and tenacious.  In our personal lives, we have to be demure and ladylike.  But, we also have to show we don’t NEED a man.  That we can take care of ourselves.  What happens when we want companionship and someone to come home to and someone to encourage us?  It’s not always easy out in these streets for a single girl.  There may come a time where we have to weigh our options…see what’s out there.  So we may date two or three lads at once.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

“Anything you can do, I can do better! I can do anything better than you!”

I don’t remember what commercial that was from, but I do remember there was a guy and a girl having various competitions over…stuff.  Men have been known to date and pursue multiple women at the same time.  And women were taught to just sit back and wait until the man decided if he wanted you or not.  Well, as I have gotten older, I have decided that there is nothing wrong with a woman keeping her options open.  Meaning, if she wants to date multiple men at the same time, she should have at it!  Now, she should NOT have sex with all these people.  That’s way too much going on.  But, if she’s single, she should enjoy her single life-until one of her suitors decides he wants to be with her exclusively and have a relationship.  And that’s if she wants to be with him exclusively.  Now, IMHO, I don’t think she should volunteer this information to all of the men that she’s dating.  But if he asks her if she’s seeing anyone else, she should be honest.  A few years back, a guy that I had just started seeing, like on the first date, asked me if I was seeing anyone else.  I told him “yes”.  Then he proceeded to ask questions and wanted to know about ol’ boy.  I had to shut that down.  You’re getting to know ME-not the other dude I’m dating.

It also seems as if this phenomenon is a little…shall we say not accepted, when it comes to Black men.  I don’t like to generalize, but I’m sure if I took a poll-and they were honest-Black men would say they would not appreciate it or like it if the woman they were dating was seeing someone else, even if he were dating other women. 

But putting race aside, why is women dating multiple men not looked upon favorably?  Scroll back to the top of this post… Yep, that’s right.  We live in a patriarchal society.  Meaning everything is headed by, led by, and is about MEN!  What benefits the man-what makes the man feel comfortable-what is “better” for the man.  Well, in 2014 and this world of equality, I say if men can date multiple women until he finds The One, then women can, too.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!