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Tag Archives: dating

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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A quick note on reaching mistress age

This mistress age thing comes up a lot in regular conversation for me. Usually I’m engaged in convo with a female who is describing all of the syptoms of mistress age, but does not yet have the proper terminology (mistress age) for it. The last conversation of this nature sent me to the internet to search for other information on women who have reached the age of mistress-dom.

Here’s what I found: X / 2 + 7.

This is apparently the mathematical formula men should use to determine the optimum age of their next mistress. In this case, X = the man’s age. As a note, if the man’s age is an odd number, he is directed to round down after dividing by 2. For those who have no desire to do these simple calculations themselves, there is a very nice chart provided which matches ages 22-55 with the proper age for their mistress (18-34).

Apparently, at 30 years old, I am fair game for men aged 46 or 47. It’s a little off from my experiences, as most of the married men who make passes at me at about 36-39 in age, and the single ones are either babies (clustering around age 22) or old enough to have fathered me (54+, divorced with children old enough to have resulted from the teenage pregnancy I never had).

Anyhoo, y’all should check out the chart. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, it’s at least entertaining.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Dating, Future Planning, Marriage

 

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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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