Job apps and Movie Credits
In another thought-provoking session with my therapist the other day, she posed the question:
Why do you feel like you aren’t ready to date again?
If I’m honest with myself, I really don’t know why. Could it be because the days of my 20-year-old self are long gone, and it just isn’t as fun as it used to be? Maybe it’s because, as a woman on my mid to late 30’s (Geez, when did that happen), I know what I want and I’m not willing to compromise for the sake of being lonely. Or, perhaps it’s because I’ve had my fill of playboys, players, man whore’s, commitment-phobes and men who just can’t get rid of their “side chicks” and I’d just assume be by myself before I put myself in a position where I could potentially get hurt again.
Putting yourself out there isn’t easy. Trying to find the right mate can be compared to trying to find your dream job. You submit your “application” by giving the other person your phone number and hope to get that call and get that first date. Once get it, you’re are all excited, with butterflies in your tummy, and then you sit through dates almost like you sit through a job interview:
Where are you from?
Do you have any kids?
What are your interest?
Have you ever been to jail?
Are you willing to relocate?
Then you list through your credentials: I have this degree, I went to this school, I graduated from this college and was in that sorority. And your special skills: I like to cook, travel, photography and live music. I enjoy working out, dancing, reading, long walks in the park, spending time with family. You submit your references, better known as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. After a couple months of going through the “review period” or dating, you hope that lands you the position of Girlfriend. Then, after several months to years of dating, vacations, meeting their friends, parents and getting to know their family, full filling all job requirements, you are either terminated and break up or Congratulations! You have been promoted to Wifey…if you’re lucky! If terminated, however, you are stuck wondering what you did wrong? Everything was going so well, and suddenly, you’ve been let go and there’s some other girl in your position. After all the time, effort, energy, heart and soul you put into this job…er, relationship, you’ve been replaced?! Now you have to pick yourself up, learn from the last one and get back into the game. Find someone else to give your number to, hope for the call, the first date blah, blah, blah. It’s exhausting! Is it really worth it?! After going through years of the same routine, you kinda just want to draw unemployment for a while, then go into your own business and take care of yourself! Ah…the single life.
Yes, I know, I sound like a bitter woman who has shut down her heart and sworn off men. “Little Miss Independent” doesn’t need a man because she can take care of herself. I might as well turn in my “hetero-card” and put in my application to play for the other team, right? Not exactly. You see, I am a hopeless romantic, one of a dying breed in today’s time. After years of just having a good time, playing the field, clubbing with my girls and kicking it with me homeboys, at this age, I just want to find someone who I can have fun with, have great conversation, get affectionate with and every now and then get my socks knocked off in the bed room. I’ve seen the Rom-Com’s where the girl has sworn off men and all of a sudden she finds Mr. Perfect in the grocery store who treats her like a queen and even after the tearful breakup, he wins her back in the end with some grand gesture. She’s finally rewarded for all of her efforts and after all those bad breakups and douche bag ex-boyfriends, they marry by the end credits…to an upbeat, feel good pop song of course. Where’s my grand gesture? My end credit wedding? Where’s my reward?
See, ladies we have been through…it….ALL! Some more than others, but it’s been a journey nonetheless. Then there’s the “curve ball” that life throws you. The time in your life that really makes you think if going into another relationship is really something that you want to consider right now. My curve ball came on June 26, 2015, when I was told that I have Cancer. A rare form of it called NET Cancer to be exact. On top of all the usual dating politics that a person usually has to endure, let’s throw in the fact that in addition to this relationship with me, you are going to have to support me as I go through this fight. Some people don’t do well with the “C” word and run as soon as they are confronted with it. Others may stick around but then decide that this is way too much and bail after a few months. Do I really want to put myself through that? The older we get, the more baggage, issues, and drama we potentially bring into a relationship. Am I willing to take on another person’s stuff too? What if after letting down my guard, we STILL end up going our separate ways. When did all of this get so hard?
We might be a little jaded, but deep down we all want that end credit happy ending! A movie about a girl who swears off dating, buys a couple cats and lives her life alone, who wants to see that? More importantly, who wants to LIVE like that? Not me. So, let’s get back to the question: Why do you feel like you aren’t ready to date yet? Because I don’t want to just “date” anymore. I’ve had my late nights, and hook ups played the field and even had a boyfriend or two. But, I want to build something with someone. I want to be in a relationship that I know is going somewhere, with a man who is done playing games and has cut loose all of his side chicks. I want to be taken seriously instead of being someone that you kick it with until you find wifey and I’m willing to wait until that time comes.
Deciding to date again can be a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I don’t want to get so comfortable in the single life that I shut the door to any possibilities of me meeting someone. But I think this break I’m taking if good for me right now. It’s been three and a half years since my last attempt at a relationship and I learned a lot from it. I moved from a major city back to my home town so that I could be closer to family as I get better and used to my new normal. I’ve gotten back on my feet, moved into my own apartment, started school online and even gotten a job. It’s a very different life than I had in Charlotte, but it’s working for me right now. Maybe I will feel better about dating once I have made the move back to Charlotte, and the dating scene is different. But I do know that I am happy with taking my time and finding out EXACTLY who I am and loving myself before trying to love someone else. I’ll have my end credit wedding and throw my bouquet in the air at the crescendo of an upbeat feel good pop song. We all will. We just have to be ready to take that leap….or to submit that application, however you want to look at it 😉