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?
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
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
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:
You want me flawless
You want me patient and sweet
You want me willing
You want my honesty
You want me to be
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
You want something that you’re not, willing
Expecting me to be loyal
Expecting me to be faithful
You want something that you’re not, willing
--Willing (interlude) by Jill Scott
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.
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?
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.