Elle’s World

So far, 2017 has been great!  I am officially in my mid-30s (and I’m totally ok with that!), I went on my second trip to California (even though it was for work), I attended the wedding of one of my best friends, I took my first international trip, AND I start graduate school in 3 weeks.

Travel is always fun!  And I told myself on my birthday that I wanted to travel internationally at least once a year from now until I can’t anymore.  So, for my first trip, I went to Cuba two weeks ago and had a ball!  Although I got sick (like really sick!), I still had a blast and am willing to go back!  The people, the culture, the city of Havana, and most of all, my girls, were just what I needed!  We were there for 5 days/4 nights, and it was long enough!  While I had a great time, I was more than ready to come home.  The process was easy (we got our stuff before the man on Pennsylvania Avenue made his announcement), and getting there and coming back were easy, despite the fact one of my friends almost got me detained because she wanted the customs agent to stamp her passport when were leaving. 😦 (Long story!) I learned about the country, got a nice tan, and brought back some great souvenirs.

My birthday this year was EPIC (though it didn’t start out that way).  I broke my phone, but I had a great 3 day celebration.  And Southern Cousin even came up to celebrate!

Most important, I start graduate school in less than 3 weeks.  I’m excited, nervous, apprehensive, all that good stuff that comes with taking on a new endeavor that is meant to add to my life in the future.

Lastly, my job is going swell. Though I’ve been given more responsibility (darn me for being so efficient!), I am also adding more to make me better.  I am sure this will make me more marketable and valuable at not only my current job but when I look for new positions after I finish graduate school.

So now that we are almost 3/4 of the way done with 2017, I am excited to see what else is in store for Elle.  Oh, and my love life?  The guy from this post is still around (WOW! Has he been around THAT long???), but it’s not what I want.  And I’m seriously considering ending that, for a number of reasons.  Maybe I’ll post about that later.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy these last days of summer.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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Dating Sucks!

I’m sure I’ve said this a MILLION times before.  And I still stand behind this statement.  I hate when you meet someone new and you have to figure each other out – your quirks, what makes him tick, what you like about him, WHY you like him, etc.  And of course I always say this to myself when someone new comes along and he doesn’t fit into this ideal that I have created.

So, as you guessed it, yes, I met someone new.  Actually, we met last year, texted for a few weeks, then stopped talking.  About a month ago, we ran into each other in these DC streets and have been going pretty steady ever since.  Until we weren’t.  Well, we kinda still are.  Actually, let me explain…

We are COMPLETE opposites!  He’s Northern. I’m Southern.  He’s spontaneous. I’m a planner.  He’s stoic.  I’m jovial.  He uses actions to let me know how he feels (about me).  I use my words to let him know how I feel (about him).  He does not use the word “dating”.  I want to be courted.

The first time we went out, he invited me out to brunch.  We talked for FIVE HOURS over small plates and mimosas.  But, it wasn’t a date. In his mind, using the term “date” presents certain expectations.  And since it wasn’t a date, we went dutch.

Because I still have problems reading men, even at 35, I talked to TyAnthony, who advised that this was not uncommon (to not use the word “date” when getting to know someone).  So, I put on my Big Girl 21st Century Dating Pants and opened myself up to getting to know this man.  So far, it really has been a pretty good experience.  He texts me every day (though I prefer phone calls), and we see each other at least once a week.  He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He challenges me. And yet, something’s missing.  He’s not pursuing me the way I want to be pursued. (That’s the first time I’ve been able to put my feelings into words. I know, shocker!)  And do I cut-off what could potentially be a great guy because he’s not chasing me the way I want to be chased?

There was a whole lot more I was prepared to share, but I think that next to last sentence pretty much sums up what I’m feeling.  I will say that earlier last week I shared with him that I felt that I was planning most of our…outings. He chuckled and said, “I didn’t know we were keeping count.” I gave him the side-eye.  He did hear me.  I worked late the next day, and the next thing I know, he sends me a text saying that he’s 5 minutes away from my job. Totally impromptu and we hung out for a bit.  I did appreciate that, it brought a smile to my face, and gave me warm fuzzies on the inside.

So, where am I now?  I don’t know.  Yesterday, I was ready to write ol’ boy off and be completely done.  Today, now that I’ve had time to re-assess and think about what has happened in this short time span?  I’m still willing to give him a chance, especially since I have been known to cut dudes off when they do one thing that I don’t like (I know; I should do better).  It may be my defense mechanism so I don’t get too close to anyone.  I am talking to TyAnthony tonight to get more clarification and some feedback.  If anyone knows me and appreciates my quirks, it’s him.

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

 

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.

Companion: Requested 

This weekend I hung out with a sorority sister of mine that I have not seen in AGES!  It was to the point that she had me paranoid and thinking I had done something to her because it had been so long since we’ve seen each other. She’s a few years younger than me and is engaged. I love her and her fiancée and their relationship.  They have the same goals and he has helped her realize some of her dreams.

As it typically goes when I catch up with a girlfriend that I haven’t seen in a long time, she asked me the predictable question-“So, are you seeing anyone?” Surprisingly Sadly Fortunately Hell, I just told her “no”.  After running down the last few guys that had my attention within the past year, I told her that “I really just want a partner. A companion. I don’t need a guy to spend money on me or buy me a house or get me things.  I can do that myself. I want a man who can be my support, someone that I can depend on, and who can be there during the rough times.  And I want to be the same for him.  And at the end of the day, we pool our resources together to get a bigger house and more resources to raise our family.  It would be  so much easier if guys got that.”

Her response? “Elle, that’s the perfect description of what a relationship is. (The companion piece)”

So, to the single men reading this, that’s really what women want. Well, that’s what this woman wants.  Sure, we need to date and communicate and do things together. And yes, I would love to get “just because” flowers or get taken out for a night out or just do something with just the two of us. But when it’s all said and done-you need to be working on making me a life partner.  The end.

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

I Should Have Stayed On My Hiatus

Awhile back a dude approached me.  He seemed nice, was attractive, and said all the right things.  Despite my reservations, we became official.  He talked a good game – he was older and divorced but stated he was tired of dating and wanted to re-marry.  And was open to having more children (he already has one).  So, I decided to be open and give a relationship with him a go.  After not hearing from him for 72 hours (yes I called and left a message), I decided that I was done and whatever we had was over.  Which apparently was on his mind as well, because he decided to tell me that I could date other people…via a text message.  (I swear I can’t make this stuff up.)  I feel like he took the coward’s way out.  He’s a man of a certain age, so he should at least have been ballsy enough to pick up the phone.  Yes, I understand that this may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was for me.  Despite the fact I let my guard down and opened up to this man, I told myself that 2016 was the Year of Elle.  No dating, no relationships-just focusing on myself and school.  They always say that love comes when you least expect it, and please believe I was not expecting this man to walk into my life.  However, I should have known to trust my gut.  And if that leads to others thinking I’m cynical, I don’t care.  I’d rather protect my heart than to look like a fool.

Oh, and the guy from this post….GREAT conversation last night!  Because long distance relationships have not worked for him in the past, he will not date me because we live 6 hours apart.  Which I’m totally ok with.  I said we could just be friends and that would be fine by me.  However… he ended the conversation with, “Good night, beautiful”.  I had to let him know that that was not acceptable; we’re not dating, and we’re just friends, so there’s no need to blur the lines with terms of endearment.

No more dating for Elle in 2016.  I mean it.  I am TOTALLY going to focus on me and getting my stuff together for school, my physical health, and my mental capacity.  I just don’t have the energy anymore to put into “potentials” that may not go anywhere.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

 

The Beginning of Something New

At the end of 2014, I met a guy.  We spoke, we laughed, we joked, but we didn’t take things seriously, and eventually, we stopped communicating.  Or maybe I didn’t take things seriously.  He was significantly younger than me, plus he lived 6 hours away.  Not to mention I wasn’t really focused on dating since I had way too much going on in other aspects of my life.  Fast forward 5 months, and we start talking again.  During the month of July we hangout for an extended amount of time.  What I thought might be awkward wasn’t.  It may have been the most comfortable I’ve felt with a man ever.  It was at that time, homeboy realized he was serious about me.  Like REALLY serious.  And as TyAnthony likes to accuse me of, I enjoyed the attention, I’ll admit.  And I have been known to date men because of how much they are in to me and not necessarily because I’m into them.  So, I had to think and reflect – did I like this guy?  If I did like him, was it genuine?  Or, once again, did I like him based on how much he liked me?  And, did I even want to like him?

I have been known to keep a wall up.  I thought this was something only I knew, but TyAnthony and Antonio  called me out on it. So, after awhile, I decided if homeboy was going to be serious, I was going to be serious, too. Let my guard down, be open and honest, and lay my cards on the table.  So I am slowly giving him all of me.

So far so good, although two potential things (well really one) almost put a halt on things.  Well, maybe they were more to serve as a distraction.  First, a few weeks ago, I met a man while I was out with my linesisters.  We struck up a conversation, exchanged numbers, and made plans to hang out.  We danced, and his parting words were, “I’m not looking to be your friend. I’m looking for my life partner.”  Well, seemed like I was batting 1000 because you all know I like to keep my options open.  Sad to say, after one outing, ol’ boy disappeared.  Honestly, it was probably for the best as he has one non-negotiable that is at the top of my list.  The second distraction was an old beau that called out of the random blue.  (I probably should change my phone number.)

In any event, I decided to be open.  I had to tell myself, “Elle, if this man is really into you, he’s telling you the right things, more importantly DOING the right things, give him a chance and be open.”  So, that’s what we’re doing.  Yes, I told him about this blog, but I doubt that he has read it yet.  (Just my luck he’ll read this post.)  Anyway, wish me luck.  I am excited to see what happens.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

I’m An Optimist

Earlier this week, I had a discussion with a co-worker that focused on relationships, but it wasn’t a conventional relationship talk, if that makes sense.

He (late 20’s, in a relationship) was stating how he was having a conversation with his sister, and she said that “there are no good black men left.  Most are taken, in jail, or gay”.  Well, let me back up.  I can’t remember if his sister in fact made that statement or if his sister said she heard another woman make that statement.  (My memory’s bad.)  In any event, I told him that I don’t subscribe to that notion.  First, I don’t want to think negatively, because I truly feel that when I do begin to develop a relationship, the thoughts I had pre-relationship will follow me once I get into a relationship.  And I do not want to enter that with negative thoughts.  Second of all, I know a lot of great black men-I’m related to some, and my friends married others.  Of course, I said people only show you what they want you to see, but from my point of view, these were men who loved their wives and children and took care of their families. (Yes, you have dudes who are jerks out there, but that’s not limited just to black men.) And I truly believe that there is a man out there that God has made just for me.  Not sure where he is yet, or if we’ve even met, but God made Eve for Adam, so I don’t think that He meant for us to be alone.  And by us, I mean my future husband and me.

(So…as I look back over my statements, I can see how some can seem negative…maybe we should call Elle a realist; I take a realistic view at things.  No one has time to sugarcoat stuff-I’m getting too old for that.  Maybe you can compare me to your 70 year old Aunt Edna, the lady who never bites her tongue and says EXACTLY what’s on her mind.  But I’ll still practice a little tact.  😉 )

I’ve always looked at things with the glass being half-full.  And I believe that thinking has boded well for me.  Even in situations that were not so great and where things seemed dire.  For all of my single people, men and women, who are out there and think that there are no good women or men, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  We just have to make sure that we can be a benefit to our mate when he finds us or when you find her.  Meaning, we have to make sure we are bringing our best selves to the table.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!