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Author Archives: That Girl

About That Girl

I'm a single, black female, writing about my experiences with relationships, dating, and the often treacherous path between those two things.

A Lost Condom and the Resultant Celibacy Vow

DISCLAIMER: The title of this blog is as descriptive as possible to give you fair warning to not read further if you don’t want/can’t handle the details. If you’d prefer not to read about losing a condom, please look at the top of your screen and find either the ‘x’ to the right or the back arrow to the left…then use it.LostCondom

Before I can begin sharing the lost (read: untold) stories from 2012, I have to tell this one. The blog posts to follow this one (of other untold 2012 stories) will make most sense only if this story is told first. In fact, I think my posts last year were so non-existant because I didn’t want to tell this story. Luckily, I’ve gotten over that. So here goes.

It was late 2011, I was planning to spend an evening with HLF, and had every intention on that evening ending in sex. As planned, we ended up in bed together. About five minutes in (ha! did you catch that double entendre?) he pulled out and announced that the condom had slipped off. Hmmm, well where is it? The condom was nowhere to be found. It was lost…inside me. Sparing you the details of searching for the condom, you really just need to know that it was not found that evening. Of course this killed the mood. I wished HLF goodbye and he headed out. I went to bed frustrated and worried, but assuming that the condom would eventually tire of playing hide and seek and work its way out of my body.

Fast forward two days and the condom had yet to reveal itself. So, I did what what was natural – I googled my situation. Luckily, there are plenty of women who apparently have this issue, and I found a nice article from Cosmo Magazine telling me how to properly fish for lost condoms. Following Cosmo’s sage advice, I retrieved the lost condom, flushed it, and headed straight to my local drug store to retrieve my Plan B pill. As I paid for the pill, I commented on expensiveness to the pharmacist, a mother of 3. She looked at me and said “Trust me, it’s cheaper than actually having a child.” I agreed and went home to prevent the possibility of mothering HLF’s child.

Fifty bucks, one pill, and a glass of water later, I sent HLF a text message: It sure is expensive not having your babies. His reply: Hunh? I told him that I’d finally found the condom on day 3 (and thank God for that! You only have 72 hours to take Plan B and have it work). He expressed surprise that it took so long. I replied by telling him that I had no intention on having sex again anytime soon. He replied with respectful understanding.

Although HLF probably thought I meant no sex with him anytime soon, I eventually came to realize that I just meant no sex. Period. Losing that condom really made me consider the thought of whether there was a man whose child I’d be willing to have out of wedlock. And the answer to that is a simple no. I enjoy sex when it’s with the right person, but the title of “right person for sex” has not yet in my life also aligned with the title of “right person for life partnership”. The thought of potentially being pregnant with HLF’s child was quite terrifying for me. I always enjoy spending time with him. We have a great time hanging out and have never had any arguments in 15 years of knowing each other. I enjoy snuggling up to him, kissing him, and sex with him. Yet, I can’t imagine trying to build a life with him. I think part of the reason why we get along is because our relationship is casual and easygoing. I’m not sure we’d like each other as much if our relationship was complicated with a pregnancy or an official title. So, I took a step back from HLF and sex before entering 2012.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Celibacy Vow, Reflection

 

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The Official 2012 Recap

Even though my posts have been non-existent the past few months, I’m going to continue this tradition of closing out the year with a recap and a resolution. I began 2012 be resolving: In 2012, I will not entertain advances from men who are emotionally unavailable…and I vow to guard my heart above all else. I’m proud to report that I accomplished that goal. The unfortunate (depending on your view on these topics) part is that I accomplished it by strapping on an imaginary chastity belt, avoiding communication with previous offenders, and pretty much becoming a social recluse. That stated, I would also like to announce that this behavior just won’t work in the long run and it shan’t accompany me into the new year.

So…here goes nothing: [hand over heart] In 2013, I will continue to guard my heart, especially in the presence of emotionally unavailable men, but I will actively date and engage in the pursuit of relationship happiness.

I will likely begin 2013 with blogs of all the tomfoolery I neglected to write about as this year progressed, including my tactics for maintaining the 2012 resolution; my jaunt into online “dating”; and my calculated, yet unintentional, sexless streak that turned into a celibacy vow (recently broken).

 

Tips for Avoiding Phone Calls

This post comes by request of my bestie, Summer. If there are people in your life whose phone calls you want to avoid, I have a few tips…read on.

Quite a few women, including myself, use code words when saving some men’s phone numbers in their cell phones. The codes are a way to signal calls that you don’t want to answer. I’ve heard of different codes, but I use two: DA and Caution.

DA stands for “don’t answer”, and it is a designation for people who I never want to speak to again ever in life (like forever ever). I save it in front of a persons name. For instance, DA-John Doe. This allows me to keep the person’s name attached to their phone number. I’ve heard of people who just save multiple numbers in their phone as Don’t Answer. However, if you have 6 different people all saved in your phone the same way, you don’t know which one is attempting to contact you. If you don’t want to talk to them I suppose not knowing who is calling doesn’t really matter, but I prefer to know. Thus, I opt for the DA-[insert name here] method.

Caution is used very similarly to DA but it means something different. I save it in front of a person’s name (example: Caution-Douglas Yardley). When someone’s phone number is saved with a caution tag, it means that I have probably had some emotionally-taxing or less than pleasant exchange with this person in the past. A simple disagreement or argument isn’t enough for someone to be placed into the caution zone. When someone gets placed in the caution zone, they are just a few steps away from being deginated as a DA. I am allowed to answer calls from people who have been placed in the caution zone. However, when I see a caution zone phone number come across my phone, it is a signal to me to do 2 things: (1) pause and take a quick moment to reflect on whether or not I am capable of having a civil conversation with this person right now, and (2) prepare to approach the conversation with an awareness that this person has been relegated to the edge of the friend zone and has some work to do if they want to breach the barrier of the caution zone.

These are the two categories I use–keeping it to two makes for an easy coding scheme. I know that other people have different ways of categorizing. Rather than code words, my sister (Imani) used to have a personalized ringtone saved to certain phone numbers. When someone called who she did not want to speak to, her phone would play her own voice saying, “Imani, whatever you do, do not pick up this phone right now!” It was comical to hear, but probably a good tactic. There are definitely times when the ringtone method could have saved me from undue stress. If your call log can benefit from developing a method of identifying the people to avoid, I recommend playing around with different techniques and seeing what works best for you.

For the curious, here are the answers to what I imagine will be FAQs on this post:

1. Why don’t you just delete phone numbers you don’t want? Deleting phone numbers is not effective if there are people who I want to avoid that are actively calling my phone. Unfortunately, phones do not work the same as facebook. If I de-friend someone by deleting their number, they can still contact me. If I do not have the number saved, I am at risk of anwering a phone call or text message from someone I’m attempting to avoid.

2. Why don’t you just tell people to stop calling you? In my experience, it’s not that simple with persistent men. Even when I say that I am no longer interested in communicating with or seeing them, they continue to contact me. I should mention, however, that most of my DAs and Cautions are people who, at least at this point, call or text every blue moon.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Why Some Men Never Learn

Here’s the scene: Brian (a friend) and I were on a road trip. I’m on my phone. His phone rings, a female’s face pops up on the screen, and he answers. Some time later we both get off the phone and the following conversation ensues.

Brian: I don’t understand you women.
 
Me: What are you talking about?
 
Brian: [scoffs] Calling me talking about another man.
 
Me: Hunh?
 
Brian: I don’t understand y’all. She called me to ask me about her relationship with somebody else. I don’t care nothing about that dude.
 
Me: Okay.
 
Brian: You can’t call me asking about somebody else when you still call me sometimes to tell me you miss me, you want me to come visit, and all that stuff.
 

This conversation went on for a while until, he hit me with the purpose of this blog…

Brian: I mean, as far as I’m concerned, until a woman gets married, I am the only man she has ever been with.
 
Me: Whaaat?!??
 
Brian: …or until she has a baby. [pauses] Nah, not even a baby. Until she gets married. I don’t want to think about her with some other man. Yep, until a woman gets married I am the only one.
 

There’s a lesson in this conversation. As nonsensical as Brian’s foolishness sounded to me, it gave me a clear view into the often twisted male mind. According to Brian’s rule, he will always and forever have an opening with any and every woman in his past, until marriage do them part. Unless some other man stakes an official public claim to her, he will believe that he has a chance to rekindle whatever relationship they once shared.

I have often wondered why some man who I haven’t spoken to, been nice to, or responded to in a length of time (sometimes months, sometimes years) would waste time (both his and mine) by contacting me and attempting to (re)connect. And this answers my question…probably because he’s too damn dumb to realize that he has no chance. Thus, it does no good to be rude or dismissive in hopes that he will catch a clue. The only way some men will leave is if you marry. And here I sit eternally single and apparently an option for any and every man with whom I ever spent time.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Dating, Marriage

 

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Why Unavailable Men are Attractive

Although I’ve sworn off unavailable men and have done a damn good job of keeping to that vow (even in the face of extreme temptation), I have a confession…

The longer I remain single, the conference mistress position becomes more and more attractive. It’s perfectly suited to meet my busy schedule and mutually beneficial. Here are all the perks of being someone’s conference mistress:

(1) Time. You don’t have to worry about a man being around regularly, drawing on your time, emotions, and energy when you clearly have other things to be doing. Likewise, he doesn’t have to worry about you contacting him when he is with his wife/girlfriend/fiance/family.

(2) The Benefits Package. It’s guaranteed wining and dining, and possibly sex, in between conference commitments and during a time when you’re already on a semi-break/pseudo-vacation from your regular schedule.

(3) Experience. That wedding ring is like a 15 page CV detailing a man’s experience in wooing women. As a conference mistress, you have a guarantee that this man comes pre-trained (by his wife/girlfriend/fiance) to say and do the right things when in a romantic situation.

(4) The Ease of Termination. This man is married, and yet he’s willing to keep company with a woman who is not his wife in a high-stakes environment (one crawling with his colleagues and the adoring fans of his scholarship and work). Thus, he has good reason to keep your name out of his mouth and the streets. You can rest assured that there won’t be any awkward situations or fear of being slandered…even when those pesky morals kick up and you decide to terminate the “relationship”.

And this one is just a bonus, but…

(5) Community Service. There are apparently tons of married women out there who wish their man would have an affair. Yep, they actually wish their husbands who are so upstanding and faithful would do something exciting and non-boring like step out on their marriage. And what’s better – the conference mistress gets to shed her image as a closet whore and assume one of a Good Samaritan. I mean, if his wife is on board, who on Earth is left to judge you?

For clarification, yes, I agree that it’s sad that I’ve thought this through and can articulate reasons why unavailable men are such an attractive option. But, seriously, what could be better than a man who I’m attracted to and enjoy spending time with, who wants to blow time and money on me, but who I  don’t have to see or speak to on a regular basis?! You romantics would probably say that all of that in a man who you get to see and love is much better. I’m just not there yet, I suppose.

To the women who believe they have a good relationship and ask, “Why can’t you just go get your own man?” Here’s the answer: I could, but then he’d be around all the time. Your man is a good option because, at some point, he’s got to go back to you and leave me alone. It’s like watching people’s children – the highlight is often that I can engage with them on my schedule, and when I’m done I get to send them home.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Conference Season, Dating, Marriage

 

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Getting what you give

A wise and insightful friend left a comment on my last post that has been on my mind ever since I first read it. Here’s what she wrote:

Maybe you find your self attracting men who are already attached/ somewhat attached is because YOU are attached to something or someone else in your subconscious. Perhaps an old flame or old idea of love. You know we only attract what we put out… So what are you putting out in the universe?

I think it’s a great question…and it’s probably exactly the reason (other than being mistress age) why I attract an inordinate number of married men. I attract men who are unavailable because I am also unavailable. In addition to the several standing commitments I have on a weekly basis, I am attempting to both write a dissertation and search/apply for full-time jobs. My schedule operates on the academic calendar, and on the scholarly schedule of my field. At any given point in the year, I am researching, writing, and preparing to submit or present one or more conference proposals, conference presentations, conference papers, or journal manuscripts. The point: my time is over-committed and unavailable and I’m usually much more tired than I am interested in leisure activities and outings.

It’s really amazing that I meet any men at all given how much my social activities are built to overlap with my academic and professional life…but it’s also not surprising that most of the men I meet also lead ultra-committed lives. There is a key difference between these men and me: a large portion of their commitments are to women whom they married, while mine are to my professional life. But at the end of the day, I guess we’re both unavailable…and I get what I give.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Dating, Marriage, Reflection

 

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2012 and Beyond

I had to dig back in the SBF Chronicle archives to see how this blog began just over a year ago. It began with one posting that recapped my experiences with dating in 2010 and one that gave a 2011 relationship resolution. Since this is my extremely overdue first post of the year, I figure that I should start the same way.

Last year’s recap and resolution noted that I’d had a year of ineligible men. Reasons for ineligibility ranged from age (too young to too old) to personality flaws (clinginess, lying, etc.) to unavailable (married, etc.).Those reasons led to a relationship resolution to avoid men who were in any way romantically attached to another woman. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you know that I had mixed success with that effort. So, I’ve decided to revise that resolution for 2012.

[places right hand over heart] In 2012, I will not entertain advances from men who are emotionally unavailable…and I vow to guard my heart above all else.

I just hope that I can remind myself of this resolution when I’m in the thick of the year and presented with the opportunity to spend too much time hanging out with some cutie pie who is semi-attached to another woman. So, I’m off to a new(ish) year with new(ish) marching orders and a renewed commitment to avoiding dead-end situations. Hopefully this will lead to new and worthwhile stories to share.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Dating, New Year's Resolution, Reflection

 

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