LOOKING FOR LOVE
There’s so many questions that pop into my mind when I think about what it takes to have a lasting relationship. I spend a lot of time reading books and blogs. I’ve learned a lot from them. However, I don’t think I give enough credit to my experiences. Most often, it’s my failed relationships that can show me very specifically what doesn’t work and then I can use that information to grow and get better.
Growing up, I didn’t have many examples of healthy, happy relationships. And even still, the relationships I’d want to model mine after are far, few and in between. I’m hoping that this changes as I expand my circle of friends. But, I wanted to share some of my experiences of types of people and characteristics that didn’t work from me. Maybe you can use them. So here they are!
But first: I’m a bit of a unique person. I’m from the ghetto, but I’m not ghetto. I’m very proud to be African-American, and I love a lot of parts of Black culture, however, I like a lot of other cultures too. I like nice things but I know they don’t make the person. I’m very intelligent, however, my knowledge cannot be attributed to a fancy school. To a lot of people that know me, I don’t necessarily fit into one group per se. I like Rock music. I don’t eat fried chicken. I don’t drink Kool-Aid. But I will wear a grill, or have baby hairs that I set-up with gel and an old toothbrush. I will eat red beans and rice. I speak proper English on most occasions, and take pride in just about everything I do. And this is not to place myself on a pedestal or beneath one, but to give you a glimpse of what kind of person I am, so that as I tell these stories below, you’ll understand why certain kinds of people didn’t blend well with me.
Thugs are a young girl with daddy issues’ best friend. They understand the struggle of broken family. They understand how to hustle (sometimes), they make love to you very good, they have the gift of gab, they usually have a sense of being down to earth and they can be very fun and adventurous. The appeal here is that they need to be nurtured. You want to keep them safe and on a narrow path unless you’re 100% okay with their lifestyle. I never have been okay with the lifestyle, but I noticed a lot that I was attracted to this type of guy. It was the attention, and the round-the-way-attitude that got me. Not all “thugs” fit this description, just the ones that either my friends or I have dated.
Thugs are dangerous. Just by associating with them, depending on what they’re into, it can be life threatening. If they’re selling drugs and they’re doing big things, the risk is even worse. And when they’re doing small things, the risk isn’t really worth it. In the end, I personally don’t want to spend my life with someone who never gets their license and registration clear. Or someone who needs to put things in my name. Or someone who’s likely to go to prison or get killed. This is definitely judgmental, but it’s coming from a relationship perspective. I can love you and be cool with you outside of that, but I’m not going to start a family and marry into a lifestyle that I don’t agree with. So for me, Thugs are a NO.
The only thing worse than a thug, is a square. A square is a man that essentially has no life experiences and is naive and oblivious to the real world. He falls head-over-heels instantly and uncontrollably gives without good reason or sound judgement. It’s a turn off not because he’s a “nice guy” but because the grounds for which he gives don’t really have much to do with you, but more to do with his impulsiveness, lack of self control and naiveté. Squares that pretend they know what’s up are even worse.
What has always happened with squares, which when I say that word I immediately think of a guy with a sweater around his neck, a polo shirt and some checkered shorts, (Carlton Banks? LOL) is that these guys are never as square as they seem. The allure with them is that they’re so pure, and so genuinely in love with you, that they’d never hurt you. This is the farthest from the truth. The square will crush you! And it will catch you by complete surprise. You may never see it coming, but it can happen. For whatever reason, squares tend to hide their deep, dark secrets and desires. And it’s very possible that the whole thing is a sad act. Keep in mind, these are my experiences and don’t speak for all “squares.”
So anyone wet behind the ears and annoyingly unexperienced or coy, I don’t trust them.
The Pity Party:
Nothing ever goes right for the pity party. Oh, he wrecked his car. Then he got robbed. Then his apartment caught fire. Then he got fired from his job. Then he lost his winning lottery ticket. You want to wrap your arms around him and make it all go away. His relationships with everyone are all messed up. He can’t seem to catch a break. He is essentially bad luck. But you are blinded by the fact that much of what happens to him is his own fault, because he’s such an amazing person around you….. in the beginning.
The person who always has problems they can’t solve on their own will eventually without even trying, pass their problems onto you. You will inherit them by association and from being open hearted. You can’t love anyone out of pity. When you constantly feel sorry for him, you have to ask yourself, why you want to help and what is it you like? For me, that person has to go work out his life and come back when his problems are at a minimum. A relationship is not meant to rescue someone from all their pain. It’s meant to love an equal and to receive that love simply out of the plain desire to do so.
Mr. Needy is a lot like The Pity Party, except in his case, he can’t survive without your help. He wants to borrow money. He needs a ride. He’s trying to spend the night, not because he misses you, but because he has nowhere else to go. He needs inspiration because he doesn’t have it coming from within. He needs to use your computer, your car, your recording studio, your cell phone charger, etc. He calls you in all situations that require rescuing. He’s a drag. Neediness is not an appealing quality in any adult relationship. In fact, I feel like needing someone on the level of survival on a non-stop basis is unacceptable. It should be reserved for clutch situations. Like, once you’ve exhausted all options and this is not a common thing for you, but an emergency came up and you can’t get the help or support from anywhere else, that’s when it’s okay to ask. Then the person you’re asking is much more likely to willingly help. But anytime a person exhausts the help from someone, they’re selfish & inconsiderate. It’s also a form of laziness. We don’t work hard everyday to be a crutch that people can stand on so that they don’t have to go get their own. We work hard to take care of ourselves and to be able to help those that we love when they NEED it.
Goodbye Mr. Needy. Sayonara!
He’s too cool for shoes. Slick tongue. Dresses fly. Phone stays face down OR he has two phones, one that he keeps in the house and the other one that stays in the car. What he tells you and how he acts don’t ever line up all the way. He has moves. Kisses real good. He might be packing down there…But you know in your heart, he’s not true. You know he doesn’t mean those words. No one has to tell you. You’re not that silly. You KNOW! He’s sly. He idolizes multiple women. He doesn’t praise the idea of monogamy. He may flat out tell you he never wants to get married or that relationships are not for him. He’s all words. There are those days or long hours that you can’t reach him. Maybe you’re together for a few days and then he disappears off the face of the earth. When you go to his place, you find someone else’s earrings, lip gloss, curling iron, feminine products, hair, tank top, undergarments…
Don’t fall for it. You know it’s all hard D & bubble gum.
Mr. I’m Not Ready For A Relationship:
This is simple. This guy wants to have sex with you. If by some random magical occurrence he decides he likes you more than that, AFTERWARDS, he may consider the idea of dating you seriously. It’ll only be because it’s convenient and not because he actually chooses you. The allure here is obvious. You want to be the woman that can change his mind. You wish to be the exception to the rule. You want to take his mentality and conquer it. But you won’t. And if you were gonna be that person, he wouldn’t run this weak game on you. He’d come to you ready for a real relationship. If you try to change his mind, you’ve already lost. You’re 50% caught in his web. This man either knows he doesn’t deserve you, truly can not give you a fair relationship OR he’s genuinely not that interested but has the very strong and burning desire to have sex with you still. You’d be a notch in the belt at best. But, any man that tells you he’s not ready when you know you are and you know that’s what you’d want, RUN. Run fast, hard, long, and don’t you ever, ever turn back. If you’re okay being the occasional toss up, eat your heart out. Otherwise, grab a comfy pair of Nike’s. Simple enough?
Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde:
This guy is the equivalent of walking on eggshells. Dating him is hoping you don’t accidentally light a gigantic fire that no one can put out. Not the kind of fire that makes love feel good. The kind of fire that will burn down the whole city and destroy everything in it’s path beyond repair. He has a very painful past. He either hasn’t gotten through it, or he can not get through it. He doesn’t control his moods. He can be happy and kind in one instance and an evil monster in the next. He’s emotionally abusive. You are addicted to the good side of him because it is so magnificent. But when Hulk comes out, there’s no where to hide.
This person is going to take you on an emotional roller coaster that will never ever end until they find a way to have a better sense of control of self. It’s not something you can love away. It’s not something you can cure. It has to come from within them. If you try to fix it, you will risk killing your own spirit which is something almost impossible to get back.
The Habitual Liar:
You’ve caught him in 100 white lies. He hid your toothbrush and your slippers that you leave at his place. He said he was at Mike’s and then Mike came over and not knowing the lie, said he hasn’t seen him in weeks. He’s similar to the player but nowhere near as smooth. He’s essentially a square player. Boooooo! This combo sucks because he’s so bad at lying, but he continues to do it because the lies are so small that he gets away with it. He’s the tortoise and the the player is the hare. He still wins the race moving at a snails pace. One white lie here. One white lie there. And before you know it, you step back and realize he never tells the truth. The allure here is that the lies become a vicious game. You want to outsmart him and catch him. You want to believe him. But you know he’s a liar. Can’t trust this guy. Let him go.
The Spoiled Rotten Brat:
This guy is 1 of 3 things. 1.) He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and truly believes all people are meant to serve him and his every whim. 2.) He grew up with nothing and acquired everything from gaming people and now feels entitled to whatever he wants. Or 3.) He’s attractive and women have always catered to him so he never had to be cool. There’s no allure here. Once I find out that you’re a spoiled brat its over.
And last but not least:
The popular guys can definitely be cool. However, on most occasions, their options are far more vast than that of a regular person. They usually have more money and more connections. They can afford to impress you. They can fly you out places and do all the things you wish Mr. Needy could do for you. But in most cases (not all) you’re easily replaceable. The allure here is that you can be seen with them. Their reputation can engulf you and you can be now associated with their fame and their vibe. This excites you because you know they have many options. You’re excited by this lifestyle. And it lures you in. By all means if you happen to meet a nice guy that happens to be a celebrity, roll with it. But my experiences show that this is rare. Even with my wavy light-skinned or mixed friends, celebs switch them out like old clothes on most occasion. It’s rare that it lasts. That’s all I’m saying. And most women that want to date celebs, want to date the idea of them. They want to be validated and seen as cool by others. They want those perks. They’re not truly interested in that person and wouldn’t think twice of them if they weren’t “famous.”
SO! Here’s what I learned about myself! I never paid much attention to whether or not a person had good character, morals, good family structure, good relationships with friends that have been around for years, how they manage money, core values, common interests that will carry us for a lifetime or even something as simple as if they’re nice! I was thinking moreso if they were nice looking. Which helps, but it ain’t everything. I had to understand that part of the reason why I attracted so many shallow men is because I was shallow. I dated a lot of men because I needed them. I couldn’t take care of myself and I wanted to be spoiled and paid attention to because I never had that from my own father. I learned that I can’t have relationships out of necessity. That’s the recipe for disaster. It’s gotta be pure. I have to be able to carry my own weight and vice versa. It seemed mean to me to diss someone because of what they did or didn’t have. But, relationships are all about what we want. We’re allowed to make judgments on who we choose to live our lives with. Otherwise, we could all just pick one and marry it.
I got stuck with Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hide when I didn’t know who I was myself. The thugs gave me excitement and fun. Mr. Needy made me feel needed. The celebrity vouched for me and validated me when I didn’t necessarily feel cool. The spoiled brat showed me that I was a spoiled brat. The habitual liar, showed me that I didn’t have great discernment and that my attraction to people could be fickle. Mr. I’m not ready for a relationship showed me that I was ready, and that I was emotionally capable and deserving of much more than a flimsy maybe, after sex. The pity party gave me inner strength and showed me to carry my own problems and solve them on my own. The player made me challenge my ideas of monogamy and refine them so that I was clear on what that meant for me and why. The square showed me that thugs ain’t the only bad guys and that just cause someone isn’t “hood” doesn’t mean they’re “good.” Anyone from any background can hurt me. I didn’t always know that.
I learned that a man has to want me a little bit more than I want him. The relationship can’t be my idea alone. I can’t be trying to convince him of anything or sell him on the idea of how dope I am, or how amazing we could be. Essentially those are all perfect ways to fail. Both people should be emotionally, mentally and financially stable enough to carry their own weight. Both people should enjoy each other as friends first. And both people should create their own rules out of pure desire to be together and not out of pity, necessity or fear of failure or fear of never finding what they truly want. All in all, all my experiences helped me and shaped me and showed me who I am and most importantly who I am not. There’s no book that could’ve outlined for me what I attracted, what I liked and why, and then given me the lessons I needed to learn to grow onward. Only my personal experiences have done that.
I may never figure love out, but I will always examine my choices and see where I’m falling short so that I can grow from them. If any of this helps you on your journey for ever-lasting love, please use it. Otherwise, ignore.
Thank you for reading! The Sultry Movement project is almost ready!