I guess you can say that I’m (still) in that “kissing frogs” phase; dating aka “auditioning potential life partners”. When you romanticize the idea of being courted, it’s all pixie dust and glitter (getting dressed up to go out to enjoy a fine meal, go to Broadway shows, go out dancing, etc.). I’m thankful for all the good dates, but ummm rrrrrr uhhh – mama TIYAD.
Dating in your 30’s isn’t as easy breezy as it was when I was in my 20’s. In your 20’s (aka the “selfish years”) you’re able to waste time because your biological clock isn’t ticking and your peers are typically in your boat – single, starting their careers out, childless, and dating dude after dude just like you. However, shit goes 0 to 100 real quick (shout out to Drake) when you enter your 30’s and your peers start getting boo’d up. All of sudden you start seeing more and more engagement ring, wedding and pregnant belly posts on your Instagram feed then the haste sets in.
You want what your peers have because they appear to be happy and fulfilled. You start looking at your love life like “what da fuq?” then hit the dating scene with feverish tenacity. Dating is not longer fun because it’s more like a chore than a act of leisure. A sense of urgency (if you want to start a family) sets in and you start dating with a purpose. Your line of questioning changes on the first date. Your values change – having a “dude with swag” or a man that can “dress well” suddenly goes to the bottom of your list of non-negotiables because these trivial things won’t matter in the long run. All of a sudden you find yourself meeting prospective husbands and you’re like hmmm…. “I wonder how his credit is” / “I wonder what kind of a father he would be to our children”/ “I wonder how his relationship is with God”/ “I wonder if he’ll be there for me when I reveal my deepest and darkest vulnerabilities”/ “I wonder if he’s slow to anger and patient”/ “I wonder if he’ll pray with me when times are hard”/ I wonder if he’ll be a good role model for our children”/ “I wonder if we can form a strong friendship and become best friends before we take things to the bedroom”.
Height requirements and the level of attractiveness change. You no longer fixate on dudes being 6’0″ and over, 5’7″/5’8″ dudes start getting dates. Men with receding hairlines start getting play. Brothers with Metrocards start getting love (I bought this up because there was a time that I wouldn’t date a man unless he had a car – because I had one). Men with less than perfect style start getting love (hell, you can help him out). The point is your wants/desires in the opposite sex are a lot less shallow.
With all of that being said – that’s where I am. I’m still auditioning for the role of my husband and I feel like Charlotte in this bish… Le sigh. *exhales deeply*.
One of my recent prospects “Byron” (a kind gentleman with a lot of potential) initiated communication with me via Facebook. We shared several mutual friends (so it was easy for me to get insight from said friends on the character of this man). Eventually, we took our conversations off social media and conversed conventionally – via phone. Soon after, we went out on two separate occasions.
Both dates were cool (the first, dinner and dancing & the second, dinner and a movie) – I was pleased with the pace and saw potential in Byron. He was laid back, ambitious, creative, and had an entrepreneurial work ethic and focus – sounds good right? *Sighs again*. Things were all good until that night….
Leave it to me to propose a “fun” Q&A session when trying to get to know someone – whether platonic or romantically. I’ve always felt that an innocent, but full disclosure game of “questions” is a good way to get to know the other person. So, that’s what I did with Byron. We’d had a nice evening out and were jonsing on the phone before going to sleep in our respective apartments in the wee hours of the morning (because that’s what you do when you’re digging someone. You’re like “eff sleep, this dude is worth the sleep deprivation”).
I asked him for the top five things (in no particular order) that he wanted in his woman. To take the pressure off, I volunteered to go first:
(1) Lover of Travel (travel is my life and I would like to date and eventually marry someone that is as passionate about travel as I am) – (2) Supportive (I want to be with my rock – someone that will fuel me when my gas tank is running low, someone that will be my best friend, and someone that will be my biggest cheerleader) – (3) Good Communicator – (I grew up in a household of incessant arguing (because my parents didn’t know how to talk to each other). I learned from an early age that I did NOT want that in my relationship and how key good communication is. I don’t like arguing – it drains way too much of my energy. I’m big on solving a problem with civil communication in which both parties listen, speak without anger , and are respectful to each other) – (4) He’s Gotta Be Funny (I LOVE to laugh and crack jokes with everyone. To be able to do this with my mate is KEY. He doesn’t have to be Eddie Murphy funny, but he’s gotta be able to make me laugh), and – (5) Honesty (I don’t have time for games and/or lies. Give it to me straight no chaser and I will do my best to do the same while taking my significant other’s feelings into account).
Seems cool right? There are other things that I’d like, but these five things came to mind that night. Now him:
(1) She’s Got to Have a Love for Travel – (“oh shoot we’re 1 and 1”, I thought to myself) – (2) She’s Gotta Have a Mean Cuddle Game…..
I’m going to stop right there and let that marinate. This fool said “she has to have a mean ‘cuddle game’ “. A MEAN CUDDLE GAME B.
If you’re off the market and no longer dealing with the getting- to – know-him phase thank your God, lucky stars, or kiss your 4-leaf clover. “Word God, that’s what good in these streets? You sent me a foolio that tells me one of the top five most important things that he wants in his mate is someone with a mean cuddle game? ” – I thought to myself. #WhyMustICry?
I don’t remember the last two things, but they were superficial (his 3rd thing was for his mate to be sexually compatible with him). Things didn’t lead anywhere with Byron and I – not because of his quest for the meanest “cuddler” in the game, but because he wanted things that I didn’t want. I’m sure he’ll make someone very happy and she’ll keep him warm at night with her cuddle techniques.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I’m still kissing frogs in this dating game and taking the good with the bad (and I’m grateful for all of it). After all, each dating experience is leading me one step closer to my husband. When I meet him (as my sister would say), I’m going to slap the shit outta him and say “what took you so long”?
Until Next Time Friends!
~ Pennie Penz