This blog is light on relationship content. There’s a reason for that…. I’ve been single since Obama’s first term (and I mean early in his first term!) Please don’t roll your eyes at my apparent independent Black woman pride because that isn’t what this it is.
I am an only child who is extremely comfortable in 11 years of singledom (is this a word? no, bitch it’s not but it remains in the final edit of this post) Over the past 11 years I’ve entertained some menfolk who’ve expressed interest and I’ve tried to shoot my shot. My shot is offffffffffff (as charming as I can be, my awkward makes Issa Rae on Insecure seem like Miss America) so I’ve binned the dating apps, and sliding in people’s DMs and am now just waiting for a man to burgle my home and discover me sleeping not-so-peacefully and fall in love with all of this. And 1,2,3 back in the room!
In spite of my acceptance of my spinster status, there is a huge part of me that wants to be in a relationship. I will admit that I am extremely cautious given my dubious romantic history and carnage I have witnessed in my friends and family’s love lives.
There’s no need to go back to the days of Methuselah but you’ll know from reading some of my other posts that in spite of my assertiveness, I have fallen short of advocating myself in the romance department. There was The Jamaican who cheated on me every chance he could get, the dude from Toronto who had more kids than the old woman who lived in the shoe except he never told me about them, and the fuck-boy (I never told you guys about him and while the eggplant was nice, I don’t want to reactivate my PTSD regaling you with tales of deceit). I was listening to the new and sinfully sweet podcast, Pandagasms, and she explored the relationships single women who are over 35 have with men and with themselves. It made me examine myself a bit closer and a near-entanglement I’d had.
I have never been overly confident about myself, my outward appearance or my accomplishments. If you ask me about my family, then I will tell without hesitation that my cousin Bobon licking an envelope was the best thing to happen to this world but I am cautious about hyping up myself, not wanting to sound or seem obnoxious. As a child I tested in higher percentiles than most and was acknowledged with presidential awards but to be honest, my parents and I put those accomplishments aside as I became an out of control teen and sought the romantic attention of boys and men.
In my (toxic and that was most of them) relationships, I suppressed any greatness in me to elevate the men I was with. There was a fear of abandonment if the attention was on me and what I had the potential to do. I forced myself to be a good cook, baker, and some other things (that I will leave to your imagination). There was never any discussion about my accomplishments in the workplace, my travels, my love for Carnival, my writing, my compassion for others, my mental health and needs, my ideas (of which I have many). There was never any interest in me outside of what I could do for them. I also put myself in considerable debt buying elaborate gifts and experiences for people who did not deserve them.
So here I am now, wisened based on the years of immense stupidity that I needed to go through and fully aware of what I can and will no longer do. I have become extremely (to a fault) cautious of who and what I allow in my life. And then…
Ping, ping I receive a notification from WhatsApp. It’s a man I met a few years back. We exchange cordial messages a few times a year about benign topics. Our messages become frequent, varied in topic, personal in nature and intensity. I’m interested and I think he is as well. There’s an intelligence to the conversation and a rhythm that I usually have with friends, which is attractive. But as time progresses, things change and it doesn’t feel as transparent as it was initially. There are patterns that I recognise and I am feeling like I am about to be the “Fat Kelly Price” on Catfish (if you don’t get this reference, firstly, reevaluate your life because Catfish is the trash reality you need to protect yourself and secondly, I suggest you google this immediately). I don’t like it. So I pull the brakes before I revert to a long dissolved self.