I had recently given up on the dating scene and thought the perfect man for me does not exist, but a late-night talk show with some real sistahs, “Tiny Tonight,” just turned all my thinking around. I realized that I was, and will be, forever single if I continue to accept any old thing and refuse to set real standards with the men that I choose.
I was once married to a man who made lots of money, and while I was financially secure, that mean old bastard made me a miserable wreck. After I was granted a divorce, my mission was to find someone who was just “nice” to me, and I did not care about his financial status.
Let’s just say, things have not been working out exactly as planned.
A couple of dead-end relationships post-divorce, and a little advice from some coworkers, inspired me to start an online dating experiment last year where I would go in search for my “Denzel Washington,” the code name I have given for the perfect man in my eyes.
I was a little excited at first, blogging while filling out the personality profiles, but sadly, I could never gather the courage to go out on a date with anyone from online.
Sorry, I work for a news station and I write about the “uglies and the crazies” all day long so I definitely DID NOT want to just give them an open invitation into my life.
So I guess we can identify my first problem: TRUST!
I am quick to give someone the “side-eye” and the “hmmm” if he asks about my kids too soon or tries to get close to them. Doesn’t…sit…right…with…me! There are too many pedophiles trying to hook up with single women just to get an alone moment with their little ones. Sad, but true, and women need to be on the lookout.
A man is dating me…not my children…and they are off-limits until I know you are the one.
I want a man who is sexy, confident, gainfully employed and ambitious. I hate a person who “settles,” then complains. I love a man who is as driven as I am.
Which leads to my second problem: I NEVER HAVE MUCH TIME!
I work hard all day, managing my duties at work and extra projects on the side (not to mention being a full-time mom) and all that can become a little time-consuming. Sometimes, I feel I hardly have any time for a social life at all, so when I do get someone to spend time with, I want it to mean something. With that being said, I don’t have time to waste on foolishness. But for the life of me, foolishness always seems to find its way into various cracks and corners in my life.
I have become something of a band-aid woman.
At first I would try and patch up any problems I saw and give excuses for a man who was “lacking” something. “Oh, it’s OK if he doesn’t make that much money; Oh, he’s probably just having hard times; Oh, he is just in a bad situation, but if I stick with him, it will be better in the end.”
The way you find them is the way they are, most likely, going to stay. I mean, I had a brother who started out OK (or at least I conveniently overlooked his shortcomings because of his “bigger” package) but when he started “poor-mouthing” me with every conversation, I knew it was time to drop his a$$ fast! I don’t smoke cigarettes and found myself being “asked” to pick up a pack one too many times, and the begging for gas money and food became a whole other issue prefaced by the “They messed my paycheck up this week,” excuse.
Yes, I admit, I had fallen off the turnip truck for a few months!
Then I would do the other band-aid thing, rip it off fast and move on without another call. When I decide to drop someone, I do it quickly, with no remorse. Once the jig is up, he’s out, and I am back on the single circuit again. Just makes it easier, I think, especially if he really did not have good intentions.
To sum it up, this is how it’s been the last few times around:
- A know-it-all man who thought it was his sole purpose in life to “teach” me the ways of the world. His self-proclaimed “brutal honesty” pointing out everything I needed to fix about myself, really just made me think, “Well, damn, does he like ANTYHING about me?” Hey, if I don’t feel it, it is time to go.
- A “playboy” with too many kids and not enough money who would, if he could, keep one hand inside my purse at all times. (Sorry Charlie, I have my own bills to pay.)
- A Muslim who thought he would make me one of his many concubines…after he scrubbed off my red lips, removed my hair extensions and added a few layers to my tight jeans and (plunging) V-neck shirts. (Yeah, like that was going to work.)
Hey, at least I tried to switch it up a bit and wasn’t too particular, right? Wrong! My all over the place choices show that I had no clear idea of what I wanted or what I was willing to accept.
I was watching the V-Day episode of “Tiny Tonight,” hosted by rapper T.I.’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle Harris, and guest panelists Trina, Tamar Braxton, Claudia Jordan and Shekinah Joe. And some things they said really sent chills up my spine. SET STANDARDS! It sounds simple enough, and we women think that is a no-brainer, but it’s something that many of us don’t do at all. If we did, we would not be wasting our time with some of the losers we end up with.
You teach people how to treat you. That is something we’ve heard our grandmothers say a million times, but somehow it continues to go in one ear and out the other. I found myself like panelist Claudia Jordan, saying money did not mean anything and I just wanted someone to be nice and to have great conversations with. She even said she did not care about being wined and dined, and even cooked for her men on the first dates.
Tiny, Tamar and Trina let it be known that ish was for the birds. The way you start, is the way you are going to finish, because men are different than women. If you give them no challenge and make them “want for nothing,” then they are never going to realize you for the gem that you are.
Men have a different way of thinking. They can, without even knowing it, take you for granted. If they don’t have to put forth any effort, then they won’t. Men like it simple and love to coast, but we can’t afford to let them slip. If you keep him on his toes and make him work for your love, then he will appreciate that love more. It is not about playing silly games, it is about showing that you are something worth going the extra mile for. Remember, the way you start is the way you finish.
At the end of that show, I decided it is time to go out and test the waters again. But this time, I have a different game plan. I am smart, very successful and have a lot to offer the lucky man that ends up with me and I am only giving myself to someone who really deserves me. If your stuff is not together, like Tamar said, “Maybe you are not ready to date me.” Let him go have other options and keep yours open.
Tiny has her Tip, and by golly, I am going to get “My Denzel.”
Thanks for the wakeup call, sistahs. 😉
Check out a recap of that inspiratational video, courtesy of VH1.
Don’t forget how it all began:
Click here to read Searching for Denzel Pt. 1: The online dating experiment
Click here to read Searching for Denzel Pt. 2: Goodbye ghosts of boyfriends past
Click here to read Searching for Denzel Part 3: Let’s Play Poker