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’ve Got a Great Personality!”

These are the words that were spoken to me yesterday by a co-worker before she stated she couldn’t understand why I’m still single.  I love her to life, she’s funny, and we play off of each other ALL DAY.  But almost of the blue yesterday, she made mention that she was talking to her husband (lovely man) about me this past weekend during their discussion of relationships.

But in addition to my having a “great personality”, apparently I’m too picky.  These words are like hearing, “You’re pretty-for a big girl.”  I immediately responded and told her that I’m not picky-I’m selective, and I’m not going to be a relationship with someone just because.  My last ex-boyfriend (I used that word VERY loosely) couldn’t understand that (that’s why he’s an ex), but maybe my co-worker will.  Not that it’s really any of her business.  I know she means well, but I’ve (somewhat) gotten to a place where I am truly happy working on Elle and am ok with being single.

Sure there are days where I desire the love and affection of a mate.  But I’m not willing to compromise myself to get it.  And just because I’m in my 30s doesn’t mean I’m going to start accepting any old thing that comes my way because I feel like time is running out.  When things like that happen, we make our situations MUCH worse.  And at times we end of not only disrupting our lives but also the lives of others.

So, in short, if you know someone who is single, just let them live.  If they are interested in you searching for someone for them or want to discuss their love life (or lack thereof), they’ll let you know.

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!

 

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.

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!

Just Say No

Over the years, I have been in numerous weddings.  I have so enjoyed celebrating my friends as they decide to embark on their journey to become wives.  Most recently, I will be in a wedding this weekend.  And even though the bride and I haven’t known each other long, she and I made a real connection.  I often refer to her as the little sister I never had.  We have a lot in common, hang out on a pretty regular basis, and now we are neighbors.  I definitely learn from her and her groom, and I hope that they learn from me.

Not to sound too cliche’, but when you get a number of women together, things don’t always work out the way you want them to.  Now, I have prided myself on not getting caught up in the petty/insignificant/crazy things that groups of women sometimes get themselves into.  I’m pretty good about letting things roll off my back.  Not to mention that I don’t have those type of women in the circles.

But let me back up and offer some sage advice.  When someone asks you to be in their wedding, it’s MUCH more than just buying a dress (or renting a tux) and standing next to your ace while she/he exchanges vows.  It’s a time AND financial commitment.  At minimum, in addition to your dress and shoes, you’re also going to have to chip in for a bachelorette party and/or bridal shower.  And with the way society is now, the bride may want to do a trip.  And it is the one time (aside from you being married and/or having children) that you have to be unselfish and put someone else before you. Like you can’t complain, can’t whine, can’t say you don’t like your dress/hair/nails. Why?  Because it’s not about you!

In addition to you being unselfish, you have to put up.  Not put up or shut up-just put up.  Celebrating the bride isn’t cheap.  Not only do you have to budget for your dress/shoes/jewelry, you will most likely have to get a hotel room/airfare ticket and contribute to her bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Not only do you shower the bride with gifts, but you also have to support her last days as a “free” woman.  When you don’t contribute, you put undo pressure on the other members of the bridal party.  Let me tell you a story…(don’t worry, it’s short)

A few years back, I was my cousin’s Maid of Honor at her wedding. Her bachelorette party and bridal shower took place over one weekend in Atlanta.  Why?  She was the only person that lived there, and everyone was traveling to attend.  Out of 8 bridesmaids, only 1 contributed to her weekend, which consisted of dinner, clubbing, drinks, bridal shower, and dance class.  I never told my cousin.  And even though she and my aunt offered to contribute, I didn’t take their money.  Why?  Because it’s her day and she shouldn’t have to worry about that.  And that wasn’t her job.  Her job was to enjoy being celebrated with no worries.

With the wedding I’m going to be in this weekend, I won’t go into too many details.  I’ll just say one person still owes me money for events that have taken place and another told me that she can’t contribute anymore (we have one last event scheduled with the bride and groom) as she is in a wedding next weekend as well and is tapped out.

All of these instances have told me that I need to learn to say “No”.  From now on, if a family member/friend/loved one/soror asks me to be in her wedding, I’m going to decline.  And it’s not because I don’t love them; it’s because not everyone in the wedding party realizes the commitment that she is agreeing to.  And just because someone didn’t plan properly (or because they’re a slacker) does not mean that I should make undo sacrifices. I’m not here to take care of grown people.

Now, I’ll admit that this blog may not be the best way to communicate that, but….yeah, it is the best way to communicate this.  Because I’m here to share my story.  And I feel that people who are involved in my life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) unofficially sign up to become a part of that story.  It is never my intent to embarrass or call out folks; I don’t name names-that’s messy.

Oh, and my own wedding (when that day comes)?  I’ll be on a beach somewhere with my boo and our parents. The few people that I have shared this with in the last 12 hours think I’m crazy, and I’ll change my mind.  Not to mention it totally goes against the next to last line in this post.  The older you get, you realize what’s really important.  And me stressing over somebody else’s wedding because people can’t contribute is not at the top of my list of priorities.

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!