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Category Archives: Reflection

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).

 

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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He has a crush on me…now what?

This post seems so appropriate following “the talk.” Earlier this month, I mentioned that I’d been learning to be more open in my dating profile. So here’s the deal:

I met this man while out shopping. He approached me in the store, told me how beautiful I was, and that he was new to town. Here is this young, black man, not my type but easy enough on the eyes, complimentary, and up front with his intentions and baggage. In a twenty minute conversation, we learned each others’ back stories and found commonalities between ourselves. He left with my phone number and I left cautious, yet flattered. It was like some oddly awkward and exciting version of speed dating. After that, I went two days without hearing from him. Then, on a random Tuesday afternoon, while at work my office phone rang. I answered, and he said “This is Dominic. I don’t want you to think I’m a stalker or anything, but I couldn’t read my own handwriting [chuckles]. You were right that your name is very unique. I was able to find your contact information at work right away.” After a conversation that felt like a second date, and giving him my phone number again, we made plans for dinner later than evening. Fast forward 5 movie nights, 3 Dominic-cooked meals, 3 outings with my friends, 2 dessert nights, 2 quickies, 1 sleep over, and 4 weeks later…and this man tells me that he has a crush on me. Rather than being flattered, I was caught off guard and reacted with sarcasm and a tinge of jealousy.

So now, you’re probably trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with a crush. The answer to that lies in the details I’ve left out–the most important of which is his girlfriend. Yes, you read correctly. He has a girlfriend. She lives several states away, which leaves his free time completely open to court me and whomever else his heart desires. The girlfriend wasn’t a dealbreaker for me upon meeting him, because he was forthcoming with his relationship status and direct in telling me that the relationship was rocky. His subsequent behavior led me to believe that everything he’d told me originally was true. Then came a weekend when we were both planning to travel–I was taking a family vacation and he was planning a mini-road trip. As I drove to the airport, he and I were on the phone discussing our respective weekend plans. In the midst of that discussion…

Dom: Well you know Kaye is coming this weekend.

Me: Who?

Dom: Kaye.

Me: Ray?

Dom: Kaye.

Me: Who is Ray?

Dom: You know, the girl from [insert hometown here].

Me: [thinking: Girl?! Maybe he didn’t just say Ray…Did he say Kaye? From ____? Oh hell naw…his girlfiriend?]Don’t act like I know her name. We never talk about her. I thought you were going to [next state over] this weekend.

Dom: I am. I’m off until Tuesday.

That was a wake up call for me. First off, “the girl from home” is not the same thing as “my girlfriend.” Secondly, a girlfriend who is coming to visit you, and for whom you are taking vacation days, is not the same thing as the other half of a relationship that’s on the rocks. Suddenly, I realized that I had found myself right back in the place that I didn’t want to be–as a wedge in the middle of an otherwise functional(?) relationship.

Since that day, I’ve attempted to bow out of the contest for his attention and affection. We talk a lot less, but we still see each other frequently enough (i.e. 2 weeks, 2 movie nights, 1 Dom-cooked meal, 2 outings with my friends, and 1 dessert night have happened since I made the decision to fall back). It’s a little difficult to shake him, because (as previously mentioned) he’s new to town and I’m his first-friend-in-a-new-place-crutch. I’ve introduced him to people, but he would rather hold onto his crutch (me) than strike out on his own. For example, when people invite him places, rather than just responding, he checks with me to see if I’m planning to go first. It’s odd…but anyway back to the story: So…when he looked me in my eye and announced his “crush” two nights ago, it sounded more like tired game to me than flattery. That tends to happen when I listen with one ear focused on reality. Here’s how that went…

Dom: I can’t help it that I have a crush on you. I like you. I like seeing you. Have you noticed that I only come out places when you’re around? I come because I hope that I’ll get to see you. I have a crush on you.

Me: Well Im crushable.

Dom: That you are.

Me: Yep. Crushable. Just not datable.

Dom: What do you mean? I think you’re datable. I’d date you.

Me: That’s a moot point. You have a girlfriend.

Dom: Who I’m clearly not worried about. I like you. You’re pretty…

Me: Well thank you

Dom: …and you have a good heart.

Me: I *do* have a good heart…

Dom:  I can tell that. I watch you.

Me: …but you on the other hand…you’re more like an asshole. [sidebar: he really can be quite rude to people]

Dom: I know! But you balance me out…in so many ways. You’ve got a good heart. I’m an ass. You’re brown. I’m light-skinned…

That conversation was like a minature version of “the talk” for me. Though it didn’t lend me much clarity on where he stands, it helped me clarify where I stand. I’m not flattered by Dominic’s crush, and even if he were free to date me, I don’t think I am able to trust him in a monogamous relationship.  

Moving on. I’ve really got to figure out how to move out of this zone where people have crushes on me to a place where they actually want to (and are free to) date me. Once I get to datable, I’ll be looking for the road signs that point me towards marry-able. I’m trying to make moves out here!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Dating, Future Planning, Reflection

 

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Learning to be Open to All Possibilities

Summer 2011 has been an eye (and mind and heart) opener. As much as I would love to one day have a family all my own, I have been known to make the statement that I may never be married…and to believe it.

Somewhere along the years (maybe when I realized that I am the proud owner of a collection of bridesmaids dresses, maybe when I began quickly approaching my 3rd decade, possibly when I acknowledged the fact that my prospects are so dim that they leave me in the dark, or maybe when I recently entered my 3rd decade, I really can’t call it) I actually internalized the thought that a life of singledom may be what is intended for me. Though I hope and pray and pray some more that this is not the case, the version of me that I was in May 2011 did not believe those prayers could be effective.

So here’s what changed: I spent a summer being exposed to men who made me believe in the possibility of love and commitment. Some of these men are people with whom I spent time and some are men I’ve heard about through my girlfriends. The common thread in all of them is that they are grown up, eligible (imagine that! unattached men expressing interest in unattached women…novel, hunh?) black men who are educated, gainfully employed, and open to actually courting a woman. I clearly know that good(ish) men exist, but I was so shocked to actually finally run into them outside of my own social circle.

The result of my summer of overexposure: I’ve grown. I am practicing being completely open to entertaining conversation from eligble men who present themselves in a respectable manner. I’ve had some ‘getting to know you’ conversations and accepted some date invitations that a previous version of myself would not have even considered. I’m sure that I’ll be telling those stories soon and very soon.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Dating, Man Hunt, Marriage, Reflection

 

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Raised to be Single

Are black girls raised to be single?

I was watching last week’s episode of Toya, and there was a scene when Memphitz, Toya’s husband-to-be, and T-Pain were sitting around talking about marriage. T-Pain has apparently been happily married since he was 18 year old (2003)…who knew?! Anyhoo, T-Pain was cautioning Memphitz that marrying a black girl would mean less forgiveness and less leeway to eff up in the relationship (actually, he said one chance). Without hesitation, Memphitz made a comment that black girls were raised to be single and they both agreed on that point. Here are two young (late 20s) black men having a candid conversation…and, even as one of them embarks upon what he intends to be a lifelong relationship with a black woman, this is what they believe to be true. So, this is my question: are little black girls really raised to be single? Are we instilled with characteristics and survival mechanisms under the assumption that we will live life alone? I do not purport to have the answer to this question, but I do find it an interesting one to ponder.

As I look around me and notice that the ratio of married to unmarried black girls in my circle is about 50%, I know that some black women are successful in attaining un-single status. Yet, when I think about the environments in which lots of (if not most) black girls are raised, I can’t help but believe that this question holds some merit. Regardless of the usual factors thrown out as explanations (i.e., how many parents are in the home, the presence of a stable male figure in the home, socioeconomic status, family values, etc.), I think a majority of black children are exposed to a range of people/families that span the spectrum on all of those factors. Whether it’s our neighbors, our cousins, or classmates, our barbers/beauticians, or whomever, we get a chance to observe and learn about life  on each end of those spectrums. We see one-parent, two-parent, and no-parent households. We see the relationships that people have with their “real daddy”, step daddy, God daddy, mama’s boyfriend, and/or no one. We know the difference between people who live on section 8, those who live hood rich, those who make due, and those who are truly living large. My point: black kids are exposed to a lot. While I believe exposure is a good thing, I also believe there’s such a thing as too much exposure.

Maybe little black girls who are exposed to all the possibilities of how life’s path can lead to something other than marital bliss develop some combination of cautionary characteristics–independence, distrust, loquaciousness, loyalty, bitterness, promiscuity, etc.–that lead to singledom. Or maybe, just maybe, we develop characteristics so noble that only a select few men are able and willing to take the necessary steps to love us. I really don’t know. What do you think?

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Dating, Future Planning, Marriage, Reflection

 

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