I was recently having a conversation with a life long friend (14 years) and we were catching up with each other after a while of not speaking. We talked about work, life as adults, friendships and definitely love. He’s been in a committed relationship for a year and his girlfriend isn’t what he’s used to being with in terms of his dating history and patterns. It’s not unusual for adults at our age to start thinking about settling down. We find ourselves thinking about the roots we want to plant. Where we want to live, raise a family, and when we want to settle down and get married. He expressed to me that even though things have been going extremely well between them, he couldn’t see himself marrying her. He expressed that they have disagreements here and there, but they never argue. According to him, she’s really spiritual and conservative and traditional when it comes to dating so she has a no sex until marriage rule, and a no shacking up before marriage rule. Even with all of his doubts and skepticism, I pointed out to him that there must be a reason why he’s still there and that maybe she is exactly what he needs. Given his past dating history a year is a long time to go without sex and the old him would’ve been bolted.So I pointed out the fact that he’s still there means a lot that he’s not taking that into thought and he should.

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His dating pattern and history in women have never been good honestly and he knows that. He was a magnet for troubled women with lots of drama and poor self-esteem and although he might have believed it was exciting, they never lasted long or ended well. I asked him what exactly is he looking for? I mean let’s be real about love for a minute. If you’re sitting around waiting for some rainbows, sparks, fireworks, butterflies and explosions you’ll be waiting forever. The older we get, the less realistic that seems. Love becomes less of a teeny bopper movies or fictional romantic comedy. It’s real life. You start to think about the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you start to understand that the sparks, explosions, butterflies, and fireworks don’t happen all at once. They’re gradual build ups with each memory and milestone celebrated.

The older you become you realize that defining love is personal. How you choose to define it doesn’t have to be based on the special effects and the romanticism of movies or literature. It could be love found in a single right swipe on Tinder, love found at the bottom of a shot glass after a fun round of tequila, love found in the least expected, love found in a harmless Instagram DM…regardless, if it’s love that you’ve found forget the bullshit and be real with yourself.

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We run around with our list of demands, expectation and specifications of what we want. We want a man with a banging body, nice fashion sense, acceptable bank account and credit score, amazing career, nice car, someone who can afford a couple of vacations a year. Men search for a woman with flawless skin, hair, nails, feet, big booty/small waist, college degrees, etc. and there’s nothing wrong with wanting things, but could some of your requirements be the reason you’re missing out on the love that you NEED

I won’t lie I too had my shallow list of wants. I was stuck on the exterior and how good things would look to others which lead me down a path of surfaced dating situation…and I say situations because they weren’t relationships and I was stuck there with every guy I met. Surface, but he looked good. I was looking for those sparks and I figured whelp since it’s not here with this guy, I might as well just have fun either way.

That was until I got an unexpected DM from an unexpected guy in my life. We shared a common interest in music and things were harmless. There were no sparks on my end even though he did express interested in me. We talked for hours about music that we listened to that we swore no one else did. We thought we had gold. We talked about our families. We talked about work and the more conversations we had, the more I realized how much we had in common and how much I liked talking to him. I noticed the times we weren’t talking, I wished we were and I found myself checking my phone waiting for a text or phone call. He was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted in my shallow list of requirements, but when I tossed the list, he helped me see that he was what I needed.

My spark came later on at the crack of dawn when I sat up in my bed and realized I didn’t want to let him go. That I did feel deeply for him. I decided that I would define my own love story and forget all the tradition and the old fashioned. Forget the naysayers. Forget the skeptics. Forget the dudes who had their chance to step up, but didn’t. It was time to cut some dangling threads. I stopped chasing the wrong things and allowed the right one to find me. I decided to be real about love.

2 thoughts on “Teachable Moments | Getting Real About Love

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