For the past few days, I’ve been wrestling with myself, trying to figure out a way to start this topic. Whenever I talk about matters of my heart, it’s always difficult. I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for hours, trying to paint this topic in a manner that will pull you in and inspire you to read. But much like the music of this generation, I’m going to bypass the subtle shit and just give you what’s on my mind. Is that alright? Cool. Now let’s begin . . . . . .
“How do you know if he/she is the one?”
Before your mind starts racing, let me say from the jump that I’m not looking to pop the question any time soon. This question came to my doorstep courtesy of one of my oldest and dearest friends (we’ll call Shawn). About two or three months ago, Shawn called and informed me that he finally proposed to his long time girlfriend (whom we’ll call Ashley). Now normally whenever anyone tells me they are getting hitched, I get nervous. Why you ask? Because most singles don’t truly know the person they are marrying. They don’t know their partner’s credit standing. They don’t know if this person wants more kids in the future. They are just geeked about going down the aisle for all their friends and family to see. However, having met Ashley and knowing how much she and Shawn compliment each other, I was elated at the news! There was no quibble from me about how long it took Shawn to pop the question. There was no interrogation as to how much money/debt she was bringing in. The only thing left for me to say was . . . . .
“Congratulations fam! When is the wedding?”
After he gave me the particulars about the nuptials, Shawn posed an inquiry of his own . . . . . .
“So tell me Mike, when do you know that she’s the one?”
Hmmmmm. Now seeing that I’m still single, I gave the only suitable response I could think of . . . .
“I really don’t know Shawn. Seems that I was off my first time around! God’s gonna have to write her name in the clouds in order for me to go through that again!”
And while we laughed about my answer, it made me think about my recent dating failures (deep, deep sigh). The women that I believed to be “the one”, weren’t exactly it. I began to search through my mental archives, remembering all the countless hours and paychecks that I invested in love. After rescuing my heart from the “sunken place” two years ago, I focused my energy into my writing, my kids, and work. Between the three, alone time was at a premium. There was no time to give attention to my emotions. My mind convinced me that all was well in the world until I got the email requesting my tux and shoe size a few days ago. . . . .
So What’s The Answer?
So a few days ago, I decided to search myself and try to figure out the answer. I mean since I’m dating, shouldn’t I know what I want? Once I began to dig, I realized that I wasn’t better than anyone else looking for the next iPhone or Samsung upgrade! I noticed that I had restrained myself from permitting someone to love me . . . . simply because I was afraid. Yeah, I believed I was ready, but I was cutting people off for anything! We all have our issues, but I was petty with it. Like if she didn’t have edges. Or if she didn’t like cartoons. Or if she didn’t cook (well that’s real but you get my drift right?). My heart held up a mirror, reminding me of all the people my age that have passed this year. I always promised myself that when it’s my time to go, that my lover/best friend would be there to see me to the other side.
Now I’ve always imagined that the next Mrs. Dock would be this visually stunning masterpiece that would put all others to shame! My eyes would only see her. But today as I share my beliefs, I know that to be false. I’ve always told people to find what is good for your soul, but I never thought that applied to me. I still believed that if I found that perfect being, then I would be set! She would be the talk of the town whenever we would go out. I would beam with pride whenever other brothers checked her out because she was mine. In fact, she would be my muse, inspiring the greatest love songs, poems, and novels. But as I rolled back my dating history, I’ve already dated women that rivaled Halle Berry on several occasions! The fact of the matter is, time brings about a change. Those perky melons that I adore may sag over time. That perfect apple bottom may become a watermelon. What if she falls ill and that vivacious woman I first met now depends on me to bathe and feed her? What’s left then?
While I continued to search for an answer, I remembered a conversation that I had with a classmate earlier in the week. She was absolutely disgusted with the older couples on television having affairs. She wrote the following post:
“First being Mary Jane, and now Greenleaf . . . .Senior citizens are breaking their (tv) marriage vows! Infidelity at that age . . . .what’s the point?”
Now many of her online friends found no issue with it, but I could understand her pain. Why be in a marriage with someone for over twenty years who is just gonna leave you when they find an upgrade? That’s no way to live! Who wants to be on the clock every two years when the contractual agreement runs out and they are hyping up the newer version of you? I wouldn’t want that. And then it hit me . . . .
“I want a woman who won’t give up on me”
A lot of singles that I run into are quitters. (Yeah, I said it!) We don’t want to tough things out. We don’t want to put forth the effort. We want everything to come easy. Kinda like my son in his accelerated math class. You see, my son is gifted when it comes to math. He picks up on concepts quickly. So when this year rolled around, he found himself in a difficult space. He was having to learn at a rapid pace, having to take a test every three days (according to him). No doubt, it presented a challenge for my eighth grader. He wasn’t used to completing math homework at home. In previous years, he could complete it during school or on the bus coming home. In order to stay on top of his work this year, he’s required to do the extra practice and the homework. When things became more than what he was accustomed to doing, he decided he wasn’t going to complete the homework and fail out the class. In his mind, if he made a poor semester grade, the school would have no choice but to place him in the regular math class. Homeboy even told the teacher that he didn’t want to be in the class and that I was responsible for him being there! You know that didn’t sit well with me!
So what happened? I went to the school and met with my son and his teacher. We looked at my son’s grades and made a game plan. I told my son that leaving the class was not an option because he was capable of doing the work. He just needed to put forth the effort. My mini me had become lazy and I wasn’t going to allow that. Not on my watch! So his teacher agreed to provide assistance every Thursday morning before school and I would find a tutor for those lessons that I couldn’t help him with myself. My son had to accept the challenge and make it work. The teacher and I both told my son that we weren’t going to give up on him. The job would be for him to do the work and limit the distractions. To make my point go over, I put him on restriction from his cell phone so that he could get his focus back. So far, so good . . . . .
I shared that to say that I want a woman who won’t give up on me like I refused to give up on my son. So if I lose my job, she’s right there. If her body or career goals change, I won’t think less of her. I will continue to make her feel sexy, because she is. She will be my best friend. I’ll listen to her work problems. I will go to aerobic classes with her so that I don’t die prematurely. She will encourage me to keep going. Even when I don’t want to write. Even when I’ve lost my confidence to sing. She will be . . . . . . . my Thursday Lady . . . . .
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman