9 years ago

I’m a “relationship girl.” I’ve had consistent long-term relationships since I was 12. I met my first love then and was with him for 3 years. I loved him as much as you could love anyone at that age. He was there during my early dating days where all we could do was watch videos on the couch in the living room.

Now I’m 32. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a few years. Mostly by choice. I can’t help but wonder if someday soon, when I’m ready to settle down, I’ll look back and feel like I’ve missed the boat. Or maybe I’ve completely missed “The One.”

I’d never known what it’s like not to be someone’s other half. And at times, other than the easy access to a familiar naked body, it hasn’t been that bad.

Oh, the familiar naked body. I’m not one to have casual sex with people that I don’t know. This obscene dynamic has turned me into a Monogamal-Serialist. Meaning that I am constantly with the same people. Not only with regards to sex, but also with dating.

When I know that I want good company to enjoy a new restaurant or a concert and my girlfriends aren’t available. I’ll call an old familiar friend. Normally, an ex, and we’ll go out on a date and if I want, end the night appropriately. Why don’t I just give it a serious go with one of them? That’s a different conversation for a different day. My current dating process has been ok and has fit into my busy days well. I tend to work long hours and I have a huge family that keep me busy with recitals, graduations, and different family events.

But every coin has two sides.

The adult in me has to evaluate whether this is hindering any new relationships that may develop. Clearly we’re not together for a reason. Actually a few reasons. So, what’s going to happen if my “friends” start their own relationships and are no longer available to me?

There are days that I miss the relationship stuff. I enjoy making up sexy date nights, games, scavenger hunts, and pulling out surprising new outfits. I also enjoy hosting couples dinner parties and traveling with a significant other. While I love all of those things and get just as much joy from them as the person that I’m doing it for, I don’t always want to go through all of this trouble for someone who I am not in a committed relationship with.

This has encouraged me to re-evaluate how I date. I don’t think that I’ve put the enough energy into getting to know someone new.

Don’t get me wrong. There have been times that I’ve stepped out of the box and have dated new people. Even if my gut told me to keep my number to myself.

This resulted in dating a guy who conveniently forgot to tell me about one of his kids that was born while he was married, but not by his ex-wife. A guy who was way too touchy feely and wanted to continuously hold my hand within 5 seconds of our first date. And lastly, there was the gentleman who thought that the words “I’ll call you back when I leave work,” meant that he should call me back at regular intervals just to say hello before I could even get home.

I have to be careful to keep a sharp eye on that fine line between settling and being open to new things.

Like most women, I have a short list of non-negotiables. They cannot have any of the following:

A wife

A girlfriend

A girl who thinks that she’s his girlfriend

A boyfriend

An-ex boyfriend

A guy that he used to date or sleep with, but he’s not really
considered or counted as a boyfriend

Lack of ambition

More hair products than I do

A closet that doesn’t have at least one suit to wear when appropriate

I’m also a big believer in chemistry. Either it’s there or it’s not. It’s not something that you can force or fake. I’ve been accused by my friends of not giving enough time for chemistry to develop.

But not in 2009! I’m ready to step out of the box. I’ll give a little more time for the chemistry to develop and we’ll see how it goes.

So the next challenge is, how do I meet new people? I’m not big on the club scene, but enjoy occasional lounges and restaurants. I loved the idea of 30 dates in 30 days that Essence Magazine covered last year. Maybe I’ll try something similar and have my family and friends join in on the fun.

Blushing Ladies Speak:
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