This past Sunday at church, I ran into an old acquaintance of mine (who we’ll call Sheniqua). I hadn’t seen Sheniqua since my daughter left for college. So of course after service, we caught up. Sheniqua stated that she was newly divorced and (to my surprise) ready to date again. Now if you know me, you know I hit her with the side eye. Of course she laughed it off, but I was dead serious. I told her that I didn’t know too many divorcees that would be ready to hit the stroll after they were forced to move out of their home. Her rebuttal to me was a similar one:
“Michael I’ve been cheated on, used, and abused. What else can life throw at me? I don’t fear a damn thing!”
It was at this point that I knew my sister was truly lost.
“Sheniqua, you gonna sit up here and tell me that you are ready for another man to come into your life? Are you ready to compromise again so soon?
“I do that already. I got kids remember?”
“Yeah, but it ain’t that easy Sheniqua . . .”
Compromising; It Ain’t That Easy
Imagine another person longing for your time when it’s already limited. Another person yearning for you to spend your hard earned duckets on them to go to places that you may not want to go. Sadly, the longer you are by yourself, the more you become unwilling to compromise your time or funds. I can’t front, when my divorce was final, I became very selfish. I found myself easing in and out of bedrooms to fulfill my needs. If by chance I satisfied my lover’s needs, that was a bonus. But trust me when I say, it was all about me. I wasn’t about to concede on anything. When I fell into a relationship, I was still unwilling to bargain. I was happy staying at home watching television or going to the movies. Outside of that, good luck! I wasn’t budging! It took me a few years to get over myself. I began to realize that if I wanted love, I had to change my self-centered thinking. I had to learn to compromise and be willing to step outside of my comfort zone. If I didn’t, I would continue to be alone.
I could see that Sheniqua still wasn’t feeling me so I used the example of my girl Angie. Now me and Angie are cool but we can never be together. Never. Why? Because she’s selfish and she doesn’t want to change. Angie can have her pick of any man she chooses because she’s just that fine (36, 24, 42). Dealing with Angie, I found out that she didn’t want a man, she wanted a simp! You see, Angie wants the good morning texts daily without having to return the favor. She wants to be treated to extravagant eateries every weekend but wouldn’t bother to boil a brother a hot dog! She wants a man to listen to her problems but could care less about his day. Hell, she doesn’t even care if her man gets off as long as she gets hers!
“Well Mike, that’s what you get for messing with those lazy chicks. I’m not lazy”
“Sheniqua, I think you missed the point dear”
“Like I said, I can let my man watch a football game even though I don’t like it. Hell that’s what my phone is for!”
“Sheniqua . . .”
“I used to do that with Ronnie all the time. He would watch the game and I would be on my phone texting my girls or playing Dropwords. Too bad that ninja didn’t appreciate me when I was there. He’s gonna miss me . . .”
Let The Past Be the Past, Sugah . . . . .
Now keep in mind that Sheniqua is newly divorced (like last week!!). When I asked if she had forgiven her ex for the cheating and abuse, she said “absolutely”. I scratched my head because it takes time to jump back into dating after being in the confines of an unfruitful marriage for so long. Having another person walk into your heart is a delicate process. Truth be told, the process is much more delicate than we care to acknowledge. Many singles pretend to be Superman or Wonder Woman in dealing with heartbreak. None of us are impervious to pain. We only hurt others when we don’t take time to heal. No matter what the media tells you, everyone has baggage. If you haven’t made peace with your past, your exes will end up haunting you.
Do you all remember that episode from A Different World where Whitley was seeing Dwayne’s face on every person? That’s how it is when you don’t make peace. For me, the spirit of my ex was heavy. Heaveee! Any woman that I attempted to date, I saw her. Any dime piece I endeavored to be intimate with, I saw her. For the life of me I couldn’t shake her. Even though she did me wrong like a Keith Sweat song, I was standing there hoping that she would come back. I had pictures of her that I refused to delete from my phone. I had movies and other items I refused to throw away because I wanted her back. It took me over a year to shake her ghost off me. So yes, I had to delete the pictures. Yes, I had to have the tattoo removed. I couldn’t go into another long term relationship with my ex’s name on my back . . .
“So you had old girl name tattooed on you? Man, she had you whipped!”
“Maybe, but don’t you still have Ronnie’s name tattooed on your arm?”
“Well . . . yeah . . . but he made the decision to leave me! I didn’t leave him! But you know, I’m moving on like Pastor said. This is the year of transition and transformation for me. I’m leaving him in the dust like you left old girl”
“Sheniqua you’re still not getting the point dear. . .”
“Michael why do you have to turn this conversation into a Dr. Phil session? I was trying to be all positive when I came over to speak to you. Now you’re talking about I’m not ready?! But I am! I am ready for my future. I’m just waiting on Nas to notice me . . . . . . ”
Now we all talk about wanting to be in a fairy tale relationship. We all want to be Barack and Michelle right? We fantasize about that love that last until our dying days. That love that won’t allow us to continue when our spouse has passed away. So why is it that we continue this backwards theology of dating people that don’t compliment us? I sit and watch a great deal of single ladies date guys who front like they’re Big Willies and single men who woo females that like to show off their big . . . . . . you get where I’m going. Singles refuse to date others that actually meet most of the standards on the checklist. It’s similar to applying for a job as a fry cook at a fast food joint when you have a Master’s. Yes, the fry cook job pays but you’ve gone through the trouble of staying in school to obtain this degree. Why would you settle? What are you afraid of?
There is a phenomenon going on where people will ask you out, then (due to fear more or less) stand you up. For example, I was scheduled to go out with this professor a few weeks ago. She talked about her love for live music and asked me to join her in listening to one of her favorite bands. I consented and we scheduled a date for that Friday night. Friday night comes and guess what? She calls an hour before the show and states that she is unable to get away. I understand that things happen so I gave her a pass and we rescheduled for the next day. Mind you, I didn’t ask for the date to be the next day but she did. Sooooooooooo, an hour prior to our meeting, the professor tells me that she is getting a late start and she would be thirty minutes late. She stated that she would wait for me outside of the theater. Okay. So I arrived at the theater at our agreed time. Seeing that I must have been early, I sat and waited near the door for thirty minutes. I called and texted to see what the hold up was. There was no response. I walked back to my car and waited there for a few more moments before calling it a night. As I sat in the car, I’m thinking that the professor may have been in an accident. No way could she have just stood me up! Not with all the daily calls, texts, and face timing! Couldn’t be . . . right? Well, there was no call from the professor for the remainder of the night. I texted her the next evening just to make sure that she was okay. I finally got a response from my runaway date stating that she was in so much pain the other night that she just fell asleep. Really love? Then my educated mistress asked for yet another date??? I laughed from a healthy place before I hung up the phone. . . .
“Michael, are you sure you’re not just picking the wrong women? I feel like “Hard Knock Life” should be playing while you tell your stories”
“Sheniqua, that wasn’t the point . . . . “
“What’s the point? That I’m not ready?”
“Well I think I am. And I bet them ladies that read your sex stories will agree with me too!”
“You think so huh?”
So since Sheniqua put it out there, do you all think that she is ready for a relationship? Was I on point with what I told her? Is there a set amount of time she should give herself to heal before she begins to date again?
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman