I Refuse to Accept Less Than What I Bring to the Table

Dating in your 30s is frustrating as fuck!?! Why, as a straight, educated, black woman in my 30s, am I expected to accept less from a man than what I bring to the table?

Storytime!

I met a guy on OkCupid. Let's call him Jean. Jean is dark, tall(er than me), attractive, 30-something black man. On the dating site, he seemed nice, thoughtful, and truly interested in getting to know me and dating (with the intention of developing a romantic relationship). Jean didn’t seem crazy and most importantly did not display any fuck boy tendencies. He was attentive and communicative without being thirsty or overbearing. So, when h

e asked for my number, I gave it to him and we began to get to know each other offsite, in the "real world". 

However, as we talked more, I noticed a few things that irked me about 

Jean

Number One! He didn’t go to college. 

I understand that a college education is not the only measure of success and drive, but I did not get a feeling that he was on a career path. An electrician is on a career path because that type of work requires training, skill building, and certification (and they get paid well for the time and effort they put into their craft). Jean seemed more on a job path. And, again I know that not everyone has the freedom, drive, or resources to forgo a paying job to pursue their dream career. I myself am not working in dream career, but I am on the path. I am building networks and developing applicable skills for my dream career. But, again I know everyone's journey is different, some people's paths are short, some people's path are long, and some people's paths are crooked.  Thus, in an effort to keep an open mind, I pushed aside my feelings about his lack of a college degree. The important thing was he was employed and was able to support himself.

Number Two! He is Catholic and it is important to him. 

Religion is a touchy subject (along with politics). Somehow, we got on the subject of him being Catholic. I informed him that I was also Catholic. Jean thought this was great because he assumed that we would have no religion or faith-based issues. I immediately disagreed.  Being born and raised Catholic does not play an important role in my life. I am more spiritual than religious. I believe in God and in living a life that is as moral and caring as possible.  I disagree with the Catholic Church on several major issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, priests being men only,  to name a few. Because I am not religious, I am weary of men who place religion high on their relationship priority list-- you know, the type of men who state that they are looking for a "Godly woman". I don't know what that means and I really don't want to know. But, in the case of Jean, he seemed to be okay with my views on religion, and he even shared a few of my views on the Catholic Church. 

Then, it happened. The deal breaker! He asked me what I was looking for in a man. 

I told him. I am looking for a man who is educated, career driven, and open-minded, loves traveling, eating good food, drinking strong drinks, and trying new things. Most importantly, I am looking for a man who is interested in building a relationship based on friendship, love, laughs, communication, and respect. 

His response: Do you think that you are expecting too much??? 

What in the entire FUCK!!! I told him: No, I know what I need to be happy in a relationship. I am not expecting less from a man than what I bring to the table. 

After I said this, Jean continued to press me about my relationship needs. He said that he is looking for a woman who is nice, respectful, family-oriented, and educated. Jean told me that I am expecting too much that may put stress on a relationship. I was flabbergasted and a bit annoyed. 

My list is not long. This is not a

"What Chilli Wants"

list. (Remember that show where Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC fame was looking for a husband but he had to fulfill a long checklist of requirements, including not smoking, not drinking, not eating pork, not having more than two baby mamas, and being fine with a six pack and a big penis.) 

I am not looking for a man that fits 50 things on a must-have list. I am looking for love and happiness in a relationship, not contentment. I would rather be single than be in a relationship in which I am expected to lower my standards and push aside my wants, my desires, and my needs all in the name of having a man. 

I do not need a man. I want a life partner who is also my best friend, lover, protector, co-parent, cheerleader, and ride-or-die. I am willing to comprise on my preferences on height, race, age, body type, income, musical taste, and family background. 

But, I am not willing to accept less than what I need, want, and deserve.

With all that said, I end with this message to the all the "Jean's" out there:

Boy Bye!

Lemme Get This Off My Chest: These Dudes Ain't Loyal

You want me flawless

You want me patient and sweet

You want me willing

You want my honesty

You want me to be

Appreciative

Respect your space

Ignore your fears

You want spontaneity

A good girl and a freak

You want loyalty

You want something that you’re not, willing

To be

You want something that you’re not, willing

To be

Expecting me to be loyal

Expecting me to be faithful

You want something that you’re not, willing

To be

--Willing (interlude) by Jill Scott 

Why Guys Pull Away: The Rubber Band Effect

If you have been following my blog, you know that your girl Toya T is living single and looking for love. And so far, I have not had the best of luck. My most recent dating endeavor did not end as happily as I hoped. And, it seemed like I should have seen it coming. He likes to play disappearing acts...and I do not.

Somehow...I don't know...maybe the love gods got tired of watching (and laughing) at my pitiful attempt at finding love and decided to help me out a bit. Regardless of how or why it happened, I came across this Youtube video by Jenny Delish (from Real World Ex-plosion fame) that gave one of the best dating analogies I have heard. It gave me a bit of insight on some of my dating flaws.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

F#ck Relationship Goals, These Are Life Goals

I am so tired of women posting pictures of men and their girlfriends/wives hugged up on a beach or posing for Instagram and then hash tagging them as their "relationship goals." You know what I am talking about it. Okay. There are on a beach. Okay they look cute together. But what does this say about their relationship. I like cute lovey pictures too, but give me something "real".

When I saw this scene below in the movie Creed (2015), I immediately hash tagged it (in my head) as my "life goals". You can keep your staged, strolling down the beach couples pictures. Give me a relationship in which my man is helping me untangle my hair as we speak about life. Yes, Jesus! What are your relationship/life goals?


http://isaacoscar.tumblr.com/post/135913985948/so-my-plan-has-always-just-been-to-do-what-i-love

My Heart's Soundtrack

I started off this blog talking very candidly about my love life, and my current journey of dating in my 30s (which sucks). If you know me off this blog, then you have probably heard the tales about my romantic-comedy/sex-in-the-city/Shonda-Rhimes-show love life. Ever since I discovered boys, and they discovered me, my love life has been far from dull.

Toya T loved the boys. And, when I was younger, I was like a wild horse, constantly seeking, running from one thrill, one sensation to the next. Having a boyfriend did not stop me from flirting or basking in the attention of another guy because I loved the feeling of being desired/loved/wanted/pursued. I craved that feeling, that intense yearning for new sensations. That is how I saw love and relationships. I enjoyed the ebb and flow of meeting a guy, flirting, exchanging numbers, talking, hanging out, making out, having sex, dating, and moving on to next guy/experience/sensation. I fell in love. I fell in lust. I got my heartbroken. I broke hearts and hurt feelings. I cried. I yelled. I forgave. I gave second and third chances. I loved hard. I learned, and I loved again.

As I have gotten older, my thoughts on love and relationships have changed. Mr. Wrong For Me (remember him from "

My Mother Doesn't Want Me To Marry 'My Father'

") chased me down and bridled my wandering spirit. Unfortunately, he had no intentions of riding me. He liked having me in his stable and I allowed myself to wander in and out of his stable for over 10 years. But that saga is a story for another day (if you are interested in how it began and how it ended).

In between all of these moments, I had great music providing the soundtrack to my heart. The songs I posted below are my heart's top 10. When I couldn't express how I felt, these songs said it all. Each one represents a different moment in my heart's journey, whether they were one of my great loves, torrid affairs, and/or wrenching heartbreaks.

Sit back and take a journey through my heart (they are in no particular order).

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Mr. O...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Jersey...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Mr. Wrong For Me...

Dedicating this song to Jersey

***Happy Birthday to Mr. Wrong For Me***

Make Yourself A Priority and Not An Option

You may think that the Maya Angelou quote in the picture below is common sense. But, I will be honest, since admission is the first step in recovery...Hello, my name is Toya T and I am a recovering undercover overlover (points if you know the cultural reference). No matter how much book smarts that I have, when comes to matters of the heart I am an idiot. Remember Mr. WFM. He was a major recipient of over a decade of Toya T's brand of love, affection, and adoration. I willingly gave him 100% of me in hopes that he would love me, care about me, or treat me the way that I wanted and deserved. Unfortunately (but really fortunately, in hindsight), that never happened. I got 25% at best. (Plus tears, jealousy, and a burning desire to bust all of the windows out of his car). As much as I wanted him to give me 100%, he was never going to give me it because you can't force/convince/pressure someone into giving you more than they have or want to give. 

The only person that I

need

to give a 100% to is myself. When you make yourself a priority, it becomes harder to accept being only an option to those you let into your life and heart.  

My Mother Doesn't Want Me to Marry "My Father"

Do girls really marry their fathers?

This morning my mother came into my room and told me about something she learned last night during an episode of the OWN hit show "Iyanla- Fix My Life." Girls tend to marry men who are similar to their fathers. Though she thought that she was sharing some new information, I surprised her with my confession that not only did I know already this idea but I had already identified it in my dating decisions. Upon hearing this, my mother declared, "No wonder you can't find anyone (to be in a relationship with), you are looking for your father and he is not real."

Um...what? My father is definitely real. My mother dated him for several years and created me with him. When I dug a little deeper, I found that my mother meant that looking for a man that has similar qualities and characteristics as my father is an unrealistic goal, like searching for a mythical creature that you may get sightings of but will never find. Unfortunately (for my mother), again, I had to burst her concerned motherly bubble and let her know that "my father" is real and I was in a very long, complicated relationship with him from college until 2013.

Let's call this guy Mr. WFM (wrong for me). Me and Mr. WFM met early freshmen year of college. He was charismatic, intelligent, and attractive. There was a spark between us, an immediate attraction. I remember telling my ABC (ace boon coon...her words not mine) Aisha about him and how I had never been attracted to someone like him before. We felt like kindred spirits that were meant to be in each other's lives in some way. What I didn't see coming was the role he would play in my life. The moment that our friendship moved to being more than just friends, the story of me and Mr. WFM became my friends' favorite drama-filled soap opera (or maybe more like their favorite telenovela) storyline. There were fun nights of clubbing and early morning breakfasts, cooking for each other, wide smiles, laughs, tears, love, hate, breaks, reunions, moves, shared meals, steamy sex scenes, driving lessons, girlfriends, boyfriends, yelling, sneaking around, sleepovers, shopping trips, long talks, heart to hearts, family dinners, late-night text messages, cross-country video calls, thoughts of throwing bricks through windows, and friendship.

It was a relationship. And, it was not until the beginning of the end that I realized why I couldn't shake Mr. WFM. He is my father. He is Caribbean, smart, driven, charismatic, funny, fun to be around, the life of the party, outspoken, confident, generous, cooks the yummiest food at the drop of dime, and makes a good drink. That is my father and that is Mr. WFM. No matter how many times Mr. WFM made me cry or how long I stopped talking to him, I could not let me go. I felt that I had to forgive him. I had to check in on him. I had to keep in touch. And I do because I feel connected to him. I spent my entire 20s loving and hating this man. The year I turned 30 I realized that I had to stop. We had to stop. Like the closing of the beautifully written Jill Scott song "

Cross My Mind

" says: "the reality honestly is you were never good for me and I was never good for you. I just remember what we used to do."

With all that said, I say to my mother, my friends, and you lovely readers, don't worry about me. I am not trying to marry "my father." Even if I was, I don't see it as a problem. My father is a great man, but maybe he was not the right man for my mother. And, that is okay because from their relationship I was born. As for my Mr. Wrong For Me, I wish him nothing but the best as he grows and matures into the man I hope he can be. I love him and I will always love him. I learned a lot about myself and love (and other things) from my relationship with him. And, I am still growing, still learning, and still searching for my Mr. Right (For Me).

Dating in your 30s is like...

Dating in your 30s (in Boston) (as a black woman) (with multiple degrees) (with a preference for black men) sucks. At 32, I find myself in a weird place in my life. I am too old to just be "having fun" with someone. And I am too young to be desperate. I have to be deliberate about my dating. Focused. No more playing games. God, biology, and my mother have made it very clear that I can't wait around for future partner to find me. I gotta be proactive in this day and age, if I wanna get married and have dem babies "all" of my friends seem to be popping out these days (according to my mother). Can't be the last girl standing on the dance floor without a partner with whom I can dance through life.

Finding a man. A black man (with a college education and a career) ( and no kids) (and not a fuck boy) is hard. They are either married, in a relationship, short, not ready to commit, not interested in black women, looking for side chick (or two), or asshole. And if you happen to find one that is single, he is the hottest commodity out there (and he knows it). You are competing with your best friends, enemies, cousins, sisters, and gold diggers with pretty faces, thick bodies, and no sense in their heads.

With all that said, I have been proactive in my search for love. I have gone on dates. I have let friends set me up. I have approached guys at bars. I have given my number to guys that I have met at work, school, and at social events. I have minded my social circle for "great guys" I overlooked or placed in the friend zone. I have dived into online dating --Match, OkCupid, BlackPeopleMeet, Tinder, Meld, and How About We. In some of these scenarios, I met some nice guys, went on a few dates, got to know them, and imagined what a relationship with them would be like. In other scenarios, I met some weirdos, freaks, and fuck boys who had nothing to offer me but a free meal and a funny story for my friends to chuckle over.

Since I turned 30, I have tried to be more open with guys. When I was in my 20s, I was afraid of saying anything about what I was thinking or feeing, unless asked directly, for fear of scaring a guy away. After too many tears, angry texts, thoughts of throwing bricks through car windows, and liquor-fueled screaming and crying (in public), I have learned that I just have to say what I feel. I don't have time for games and beating around the bush. Guys are not mind readers---forget what your parents told you about actions speaking louder than words. Words can be pretty loud. "I like you and want to pursue a relationship with you" is a very clear and bold statement. It cuts out much of the frustration, hurt feelings, and wasted energy. Plus, I have too many things to do in my life than to be acting out a Tyler Perry play with any man that does not want to be with me.