“How’s a girl like you still single? You’re so dope!” 

“I bet plenty of men are after you huh?” 

“You could probably have any man you wanted to couldn’t you?” 

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*rolls eyes* If I had to sit and recount or recall all of the times I’ve had conversations with men that revolve around those questions, I’d have to brew us some tea because we’d be here all night.

But anyway, I’ve found myself so disinterested in men and dating lately. The thought of going out on dates is exhausting and when I do agree to one, I immediately regret it and want to cancel on him. I find myself bored and put off by them and I’m sure they’re not boring at all, it’s just that I’ve already shut my mind off before anything has even begun.

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On the flipside, I’ve sat on my couch and watched The Holiday, three days in a row…well four if you count today and have swooned and made my self sick with giddy over the budding love between Jude Law’s and Cameron Diaz’s character (seriously why am I watching this everyday).

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I mean DEEP down somewhere in that heart of mines I’d like to be with someone genuine. I really would. I’d love to enjoy that infatuation phase that comes with new love. I’d love to build with someone. I’d love a romantic relationship where we’re also partners in everything, even in our careers. But, I don’t have the mental capacity for it right now. I really can’t wrap my brain around.

After some soul searching and talking to friends and even coming across a few inspirational articles, I figured out why I was having this problem. So when men ask me if I’m looking for a relationship right now, or if I want something serious, or even if I want to date, my answer is “No, I don’t want to.” So to better explain this reasoning, I put on my fake psychologist hat and let my nerd flag fly. So pay attention, there’s levels to this ish…

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So there was this Russian Jewish guy named Abraham Maslow right, who one day decided he was going to do some research on human motivation. He wanted to know what human needed in order to achieve our fullest potential. So he came up with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

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The chart begins at the bottom where our physiological needs such as food, water, rest and health are at the forefront. Once we achieve those basic things, we then move on to finding security and safety in our lives and so on until we reach that level of self-actualization…our fullest potential.

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I must say that sir Maslow was definitely on to something with his analysis and theories, but of course being me, my order is a tad bit different. So when I tell people that I’m not ready for a relationship here’s why:

Deja’s Hierarchy of Needs

Dej's Hierarchy of Needs

Some people believe that you don’t have to have it all together in order to have a successful and healthy relationship and while in some cases that may be true, I believe that my freedom has allowed me to unapologetically achieve some things I probably couldn’t in a relationship. Life is a never ending journey, so if I waited until I had it all the way together before I settled down I probably never will, so that’s not what my hierarchy is about…it’s about having something established for myself. It’s about leaving my own footprints in the sand. It’s about establishing Deja’s legacy. Granted, I will build with the man I get into a committed relationship with, but I’ll also have my own foundation to stand on my own two feet as well. So when people ask me how come I’m single or why don’t I want a relationship right now…it’s because my efforts and focus is elsewhere at the moment.

 

As some of you know, I offer a lot of commentary on dating and relationships particularly with Madame Noire as a women’s lifestyle writer. I pick up on trends, follow trends and try to predict new trends in the sex/dating/relationship culture. I published an article earlier last summer about Netflix & Chill and it’s relationship with the dating culture of this generation. I guess, thank the marketing Gods for good SEO skills because my article was picked up by a crew of UK filmmakers who were working on a short documentary about dating trends in the digital age. So we set up a Skype meeting, cameras and I offered my input on what I thought about the “trend.”

This morning, I received an email of the final product and I was completely amused by a lot of the other commentators. Check it out below.

It’s that time again, it’s holiday season and this is my second holiday season as a single woman, so you can imagine what they are like for me. I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve, not for the gifts, glitz and parties, but it’s the only period of time where there’s a high concentration of family, reflection and just some much needed quiet time to gather myself, but the one thing I don’t look forward to are the questions asking me when I’m getting married, when I’m gonna have kids, when am I going to settle down and meet someone. If I had the answers to those questions, I would be married already. It’s not like I want to be single, I just haven’t met anyone yet who I feel is worthy of my time. I haven’t met anyone yet that I feel I can built a life with. Also my focuses are elsewhere like career development and establishing myself as an individual so that I can actually concentrate on building with someone when I meet them.

I was on the train coming back from the city and I needed some reading material so I grabbed my usual copies of Cosmopolitan and Ebony and as I’m reading the first, I come across an article about single-shaming. Now I’ve heard of fat-shaming, slut-shaming, erc, but I thought is this a real thing? The more I read, the more it became real to me. The idea that someone could make you feel bad or ashamed for being single. The idea that if you don’t have a significant other than something is wrong with you. I learned that you can even be the reason that you feel ashamed for being single. For a period of time, I was used to being in a relationship, I was used to having a plus one and when I became single I thought FREEDOM! Summer came around and I did so much exploring, I had so much. I was in the city every weekend, I spent more time with my friends and family. Things were cool being a single and independent woman. I started building my brand and writing my book and I just so felt so inspired with this new-found freedom and lifestyle that I had adopted, but over time, it soon began to wear off. The desire to have someone resurfaced  a year and a half into being single. I had all these new opportunities, I had rebuilt this amazing lifestyle for myself, I was having all this fun, but I had no one to share any of it with except for my girls who are all in long-term committed relationship and one soon to be married. The dynamics of our sisterhood did shift a little when I found myself the odd girl out and searching. I felt I couldn’t share my dating tales with them without facing judgement or shame when they didn’t work out like I had hoped.

So is single-shaming a real thing? Yes, yes it is and the only thing I’m looking forward to this Thanksgiving is a plate full of my grandma’s collard greens, so please don’t ask me why I’m single and not married yet. Trust me, I’m working on it.