The Dating Game
At one point in time, I had a long list of characteristics I wanted my boyfriend/future husband to possess. Here is a short version of what I can recall my list being:
At least 5ft 10in (he has to be taller than I am with heels)
Of Black Descent
‘Average Body’ type or better but not hella buff
Healthy Hygiene (scent and grooming)
Has at least 2 Degrees
Makes my Salary or Better
No Attachments to an ex
Doesn’t Smoke Cigarettes or use Narcotics
Has Great Credit
Law Abiding Citizen
I found myself glancing over this list from time to time feeling confident in wanting what I desired simply because I knew that closed mouths don’t get fed... point, blank, period! On another note, this list was developed by a young girl, me, who took advice from singles and barely had any dating experience of her own, not that their advice is trash. This list was developed from a figment of my imagination opposed to what I would later learn was perhaps shallow and possibly, unrealistic.
I chose to discard this list in… I believe it was 2016… after discussing dating relationships one evening with my friends from grad school. Everyone sitting at the table with me was in some type of relationship except two of us. We were all women who represented different types and stages of relationships. One person was a newlywed, someone else was newly divorced and dating, the other was engaged after about a year of courtship, another was in a lesbian relationship, and the final was in a long term relationship. Some of these ladies shared that they too had a list at some point though the partner they chose was not based on the physicality or specifications they dreamt up but happened to be someone who became their best friend and simultaneously, their lover. Their relationships were not results of following rules or expectations that other people had for them or for courtship in general. Each of their relationships and journeys to love were unique and worked for them.
When discarding my list, I chose to replace it with a new one. Instead of listing characteristics, qualities, hygiene, and many other things I presumed I could not live with, I chose to write a list of what I cannot live without. I chose to create a list of qualities I want my spouse and father of our children to possess, which is a man who is:
Fun, Witty, & Adventurous
Faithful, Supportive, & Honest
A Go-getter & Financially Responsible
Healthy & has Great Sex
I tucked this list into my Bible and chose to allow God to have his way. I believe that those things spoken about in The Secret are true. I make sure to speak on and pray about those things I want for myself in life as well as for my future family. I also knew that to gain clarity on what I do and do not want in a man or from a dating relationship, I would have to… go out & date!
Just the thought of it can be Ex-Fxn-hausting bruh
I decided to push myself to go out, get to know guys, and enjoy the process of dating opposed to getting a guys’ number and banking on things between him and I to go from strangers to friends ASAP! It’s not as if I have a Genie who can make my husband arrive without having to put any work in, unfortunately. Not all of us have it ‘that easy’ where we marry our first crush. Besides, Genie did say he couldn’t make people fall in love, so that’s that.
As of 2020, I’ve been single for approximately four years and have been in this dating market since. My luck with meeting Mr. Right at the right time has not struck and I just can’t figure out why this is. I’ve had several conversations with both male and woman friends attempting to grasp an understanding of why I’m still single and failing to have a successful dating experience that leads to courtship. A common response is, “Girl! Dating is the Fxn Ghetto.” Is it really?
What is dating and how does one go about doing it the right way? I’ve read books such as, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Think Like a Man”, and “The Wait”. I read 44% of “Men Don’t Love Women Like You” but I couldn’t get past some of the examples of a high sadity woman that G.L. Lambert’s was painting a picture of.
When asked about my dating life, I tend to give a blank stare. There’s literally nothing exciting going on over here. I feel that I’ve been putting myself out there both in person and on dating apps but love has not taken its course. I’ve reevaluated my perspective and even let loose of caring for what others may expect for me to have regarding my own courtship … still no luck!
In an effort to obtain real-life examples from men who have surpassed dating and are currently in the Courting/Relationship phase, I created a questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. I decided to create this survey on a whim and trusted 3 men with their feedback. Below is data I’ve collected from persons A, B, and C.
1. How did you meet your partner?
a. Mutual friends
b. Mutual friends
c. On Social Media
2. How long did you know your current partner prior to becoming significant other?
a. 1 to 1.5 years
b. 0 to 5 months
c. 0 to 5 months
3. Were you “looking for a relationship” prior to choosing to be with your current partner?
a. Not at all
b. Yes, I wanted to be in a relationship
c. Not at all
4. What did you feel you needed prior to having a significant other?
a. A solid Friendship with her prior to considering romance
b. To reach a specified goal I had set for myself
c. Time to myself
5. How would you define the premise of your relationship prior to making things official?
a. Friends and Dating
6. What about your partner led you to commit to having a relationship with him/her?
a. Her being attractive, funny, kind, and good sex
b. Her morals and her caring heart
c. The emotions were genuine and I could sense something different about her compared to others in my prior dating history
7. Which below describes your relationship type?
8. How long have you been with your current partner?
a. A year and 8 months
b. Three and a half years
c. 3 years
9. What is the highlight of your current relationship?
a. Being quarantined with her lol
b. I get to spend another day with her
c. Picking each other up when the other is down and just not giving up on one another even through the hard times that would’ve ended the relationship.
Their feedback was eye-opening for me and was very plain and simple. Prior to obtaining these results, I assumed that perhaps there was something that I was doing incorrectly when getting to know guys and dating that warranted me to remain single af. My takeaway is that there really is no blueprint. Just like no men or women are exactly alike, the same holds true for people’s journeys from dating to courtship and beyond.
Yes, dating is the ghetto but it’s up to you if you’re going to make it out.