Check On Your Strong (Single) Friend

Not long ago there was a Huffington Post article with the title Don’t Forget To Check On Your Strong Friend. After a series of events, this blog post was inspired by that article.

A few weeks ago I was having a really bad week. There were some things that were out of my control and everything was coming at me at the same time.

Within 48 hours of each other, two friends reached out. Both were folks I hadn’t talked to in a while and said I was either on their mind or showed up in a dream. One thing is for sure, that week, I really needed a friend and a reminder that God sees my hurt and will send people to check in on me.

There was a particular day that week that was really hard. I don’t usually let myself cry but in-between both conversations I cried. I mean it was an ugly mess up your makeup kind-of cry.

I’m really good at putting things up on the shelf and leaving them there until I’m ready to deal. But one day, sometimes years later, I’ll break down and cry.

I had a conversation with a friend about what it’s like to be single and not have someone lay eyes on you everyday. There have been times when I’m really going through it and I call 3 friends and no one answers. With no fault on their parts, everyone is busy, what happens when I really need someone and can’t find anyone to share with? People assume that when you’re single, you’re just out living your life when in reality, you could be at home in a puddle of tears.

This is why the title of this post is check on your strong (single) friend. We need to know there’s someone out there thinking about us, praying for us, and checking in on us. Lay eyes on us and make sure we’re ok. Even those of us who are “strong” get weak and could really use a friend.

Happy Waiting.

What Waiting Has Taught Me

Waiting has taught me to look deeper and be more critical about my choices while dating. In years past, my attraction to men was mostly physical. Now that I’ve spent more time thinking about what I want long term, I’m taking my time and really getting to know the person I’m dating. 

Not long ago, I did an exercise with a counselor. I wrote down the names of guys I had dated/been in a relationship with and wrote down what I liked about them and what attracted me to them. What I didn’t spend enough time on were the things I didn’t like. 

So, this weekend I’m going to write 3 names, what attracted me to them, what I liked and disliked and see if I can find any patterns. Then, I’ll take this knowledge along with what I’ve learned about myself  – including what I’ve done to attract these kinds of men – and decide what I need to do to attract a different kind of man. 

Will you do this exercise with me? It shouldn’t take long. The first time I did it, it was helpful. Now that I’ve had a longer stretch of dating the same person it will be interesting to see how (and if) my dating pattern has changed. 

Feel free to share what you learned! I’m hoping to break some chains and do a new thing in my dating life. I hope you are too.

Happy Waiting!

A Time and a Season

Last week I bought 2 mangos. I LOVE mangos and I planned on eating them, at different times, for dessert. I guess fruit isn’t what most people would deem a dessert but it is for me.

I felt the first mango and I thought it was ripe enough to eat. Well…after cutting it and attempting to peel back the skin, it wasn’t. I was super disappointed but had 1 more mango left.

So a couple of days later, I felt up the second mango and attempted to eat it. It was so hard y’all. I couldn’t believe I had done the same thing TWICE! And wasted two perfectly good mangos smh!

Later on that week, I bought another mango. I took my time selecting it and made sure it was close to being ready to eat. I even waited another day or two. Then, when I was ready to eat it, I checked it again and decided to give it another day.

Finally, it was ready to eat and it was DELICIOUS! I am SO glad I waited.

I know me. Sometimes I rush to get to the end. I want that mango, that job, that boo and I’ll try to make a determination before it’s time. Do you do this as well? Or are you waiting patiently for the right time and the right season?

I believe God takes us through waiting periods. He has to work somethings out in us. While it is annoying to have to wait and watch and wait, sometimes it’s just not the right time.

I threw away two perfectly good mangos because I didn’t want to wait. I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it and ended up having to start all over.

I could have had 3 mangos by now smh.

So I implore you to wait. Wait for the right time, wait for the right season, wait until you have all of the facts or as many as you can get. Wait until you’re sure. Don’t rush it but also don’t move too slow. If you rush it, it may not be ready, you may not have all of the facts and you may have to throw it away. If you wait too long the opportunity might pass you by.

We’re in the middle of wedding season and I know the tendency for some is to push something further than it needs to go to get to the desired end. Don’t be that girl or guy. Wait. Take your time and make the very best decision.

There is a time and a season for EVERYTHING. Wait for your time and your season.

Happy Waiting!

Who You Gonna Eat With?

Tonight while talking to my 3-year-old niece she asked, “who you gonna eat with?” I was a little taken aback so I asked her to repeat what she said.

Just as lively as ever she again said “WHO YOU GONNA EAT WITH!?!?”

You see, I was at home and attempting to get off of the phone to have dinner. She didn’t understand that I could be eating alone since she eats with at least 2 people every time she sits down for a meal.

I asked her if it was ok for me to eat alone and she said “No, you have to eat with someone.”

Can I be honest? I’ve been eating alone for a long time. I’m ready to eat with someone.

January and February were, in some ways, transformational for me. I realized I was filling my singleness void by adding extra responsibilities and opportunities. It was easier to digest a lack of dates if I was working towards a particular life goal – be it education, career, or other personal goals.

Ultimately, I wasn’t prioritizing it. I wasn’t prioritizing meeting someone. It seemed pointless. I can count the number of dates I have been on in the last several years and still have fingers left.  I was ok with keeping the same routine and seeing what happens but I realized the only way I can make something happen is to put myself out there.

So I started varying the places and events I go to. I started going to brunch on weekends alone – this was a tip given to me by an older woman. I started switching up my routine and in someways yeah, I met some guys. I didn’t meet THE guy but I met and was asked out by some. This didn’t amount to anything but I am giving it a shot.

I don’t want to eat alone and as my niece said, it’s “not ok to eat alone” (well… it is but you get my point). So she promised she would keep an eye out for someone I can eat with and while she’s on the look out, I’ll be putting my best foot forward. So the next time she asks WHO YOU GONNA EAT WITH? I can give her a name.

Happy Waiting!

 

Valentine’s Day Victory

It’s the end of Valentine’s Day and it was better than I imagined!

At church on Sunday, the Pastor said a sex therapist would be talking about singles and sex on Tuesday (today). I was a little skeptical and planned on eating ice cream and reading into Valentine’s night but I decided to go. I’m so glad I did.

Here are some of takeaways…

Assistant Lead Pastor Larry Paige gave us these little bits of wisdom –

First, you must know your purpose. You have to know you well. Know what you will and won’t do and exactly what you’re looking for. I spoke about this in an earlier blog post. You can find it here.

He also said to be patient. You should spend more time preparing than dating. This was in response to a question about how long is too long to wait for a proposal. This spoke volumes to me since I haven’t been in a serious/committed relationship in 4+ years. I feel like I’m overdue but hey, I want to be ready when the time comes.

He also spoke about permission. While I don’t remember everything he said regarding this, the message was to investigate. Don’t fall for potential. Oftentimes potential is just that, potential. Trust me when I say I’ve dated potential and he never changes!

If you want to learn more about Larry Paige you can find his bio and information about the here. If you’re not in the area, there’s a live stream! Watch it from your living room. It was a great way to end Valentine’s Day.

Have a good night!

Alone But Not Lonely (Most Of The Time)

Last week I had a range of emotions. I was starting to feel like I couldn’t catch a break.

Then, I learned that I did well on my yearly evaluation at work! I was so excited and thankful. That morning I knew something important was going to happen and that God was preparing me.  All of the songs I listened to that morning were about victory. The order of the songs was perfect. I left the house feeling strong!

After learning I did well, I decided I wanted to celebrate. This is always a tough one for me since more often than not, I celebrate in private. But this time, I wanted someone to be there to help me celebrate and there was no one.

Now  yeah, I could have called someone and tried to meet up to have a celebratory drink but sometimes you want to do those things with a significant other. I haven’t celebrated something with a boo since…….. I don’t even know.

While I know you have to play the cards you’re dealt,  and be thankful for what you have, it doesn’t take away the fact that celebrating with, spending time with, and being held by a significant other…… is nice.

One of my students asked me if it was ok to be and live alone and I told him it is possible to be alone but not lonely. But honestly, this single life can be quite lonely. What’s the solution? Fill it with friends and experiences. Usually when I feel this way, I haven’t properly planned outings with my friends. I’m setting up a few things now.

But most of the time I’m good. It is possible to be alone but not lonely.

Being lonely is not a death sentence, it won’t last always. It’s an opportunity to reflect and draw near to God because He’s always there. Maybe that’s the point. To direct your attention back to the One who will never leave you. While it’s difficult, there’s one thing I know for sure.  This feeling  shall pass.

Have a blessed week!

The Road Less Traveled

Tonight I was reminded of part of the reason I decided to wait. While watching Love by the 10th Date, Kelly Rowland’s character said something I could relate to.

Whenever  I’m in a relationship that ends, it’s difficult for me to get back into the dating scene. I’ve never been the type of person to date someone and then immediately move on. There is always a period of time where I need space. It could be 3 months of space or a year of space but it takes me awhile to rebound especially if we had sex. Especially.

I no longer want to feel that kind of emotional tie. I spoke to an older woman recently and she said that if I find someone who is emotionally mature then sex doesn’t have to be out of the question. While I understand that, I can’t waste any time getting to know someone, only to take it to that level and find out later that it isn’t going to work out. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, burned it. Done.

I’m not into playing games with my emotions or my body. So I’ll wait. Waiting requires less stress, less heartache, and way more time to devote to myself. If the guy I meet doesn’t want to wait, he can kick rocks. The end.