Dating can take a toll.
I’m in my late 20s, and it seems like all of the good ones are already taken. All I am left with are bums with no ambition that live with their moms, have baby mama drama, are highly insecure, don’t have any stability, and don’t have any potential for being a quality man. Had I known that this would be the crop from which I would pick, I would have done a lot more “thot shit” in my college years.
The pickings were slim, and the crop was not even worth harvesting. It was draining to go through the motions of dating just for it to result in a waste of time and a wasted pump of NARS foundation. After the umpteenth failed date, it just all seemed to frustrating. My breaking point came in the form of Daniel*.
Daniel came out of nowhere. (Sidenote: I say this a lot about men, but it’s true. I don’t look for them, and they always see me first.) It was phantasmaghorical! He told me that he was gonna be my future bae when we had our first conversation, and I laughed at his attempt to run game. He said he was serious. I rolled my eyes at his attempt to spit game and kept it moving.
We had our first date. He was so dreamy, so handsome. so polite, so soft-spoken, such a gentleman, so swagged out, so intellectual, so mellow, such a man. I was giddy like a school girl, and couldn’t stop smiling and giggling after I got home. My cheeks were hurting from cheesing so hard.
Although I was excited about the possibilities, he scared the shit out of me.
Being vulnerable is a struggle for me. especially after wasting so much time on lames. I just didn’t know what he was doing here, how he got here, what his purpose was in my life, and how long he would be here. I was filled with so much nervous energy because of him. Everything about him was so genuine and kind and calm. I just kept thinking the worst. Something had to be wrong with him because he was too good to be true. Something bad must have been about to happen because everything was too perfect. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but I was willing to let my guard down a bit.
But things continued to go well. I was smitten by it all. Every inch of him. The way his hands touched and caressed me. The way his kiss was so passionate. The way he was so soft spoken about it all. The way he knew what he liked. He had me thinking about changing my player ways! I had three other dudes in my rotation. Seriously though, I didn’t know how he found me, but I was glad he did. I didn’t know where he came from, but I was glad he was there now. He was right on time and when I expected the least.
I have a lot of energy to put out into this world as triple fire sign (Aries sun, Sagittarius moon, Leo rising), but he gave me a bit more balance because he was mellow. He was so caring and so nurturing. He checked on me everyday when I travelled without him to Miami, and made me pray with him at the airport before I left. He was praying man! Maybe I got everything I asked for and needed in a caramel-colored package.
Fast forward a few months.
I was not ready. He set me up 😂. He came over one night with the romantic Spotify playlist, and was ready to eat the box and get cuffed. He asked to make it official. We discussed expectations in detail, and I told him I was scared. He said he understood. He explained that there would be some ups and downs, but questioned how we could appreciate the ups without the downs. I asked what he wanted and he said me. I told him I wanted respect and honesty. He said he already gives me that. True. #FutureBae turned into #PresentBae. Sealed with a kiss – on both sets of lips.
And two weeks later, I got ghosted.
Ghosting is a normal part of today’s dating world. I am a regular ghoster, and I have been ghosted. For the uninitiated, ghosting occurs when someone decides to ignore and avoid all contact with a dating partner. No responses to phone calls or texts, it is saying “I’m just not interested” without actually saying it.
All it takes is one red flag for me to place someone’s texts on “Do Not Disturb.” (Edit: I just learned that putting someone on “Do Not Disturb” is called moonlighting.) Better yet, the block contact status.
I have good ghosting etiquette, or at least I think so. My ghosting usually occurs before the first date. This is when I’m getting an idea of a person. When they reveal parts of themselves that are dealbreakers, there’s no need for me to waste a pump of NARS foundation for a date with a lame. Let me just cut my losses now. I would not ghost someone who I have been regularly dating for a while. But if I’ve known a man for less than a month, all bets are off.
When Daniel ghosted me, I was a mixed bag of emotions and overthinking everything. I had not learned my lesson about Gemini men, I guess. I was in denial for a few days. I would check my phone in the middle of the night and all throughout the day to see if I missed his call or text, knowing good and well that my ringer was on and I wouldn’t miss the sound. There was no way I got ghosted by him. There was an excuse – no matter how poor – and he was going to eventually attempt to come back. I would hear him out, cuss him out, and wrap myself in his strong arms. Shame, but true. Maybe he got murdered? Maybe he got arrested?
I cried the ugly cry on day three. Multiple times. I was hurt. I was weary. I was a bit angry, but not enraged. I understood why someone would want to bust some windows out of a car. That shit would cause temporary relief, but I would never.
Someone I trusted took advantage of my vulnerability after I put my pride aside, opened up to him, and told him I was afraid. As soon as I took down those walls, he took a piece of me and ghosted. I didn’t understand. Was it all a game? Did he ever care? Was he honest about anything at all?
Yes, I was going through it. I wanted to fast forward to a point where the pain was more bearable. I had to take it minute by minute, then hour by hour, then day by day. Lauryn Hill couldn’t even make me feel better. I tried K. Michelle, too. Sevyn Streeter’s “B.A.N.S.” and Kehlani’s “Niggas” brought a bit of peace but not enough to stop the tears and ease the pain. I knew I would be okay, but I didn’t know when and I wished it was right then.
I couldn’t recall how I got through in the past. This one felt a bit different anyway. It was more painful than any of the others if I recalled correctly. Maybe because I was older. Maybe because I really wanted it to work. Maybe because he came out of nowhere when I was about to take a break from men and it felt like he would be here for a while, and all the signs said it was meant to be. He showed up when I least expected him and when I really needed him. I thought his timing was impeccable. Maybe because I was over putting myself out there and I thought this could have been the last time I had to do it. Now I was seeing that it was not. Now I had to decide if I ever wanted to try again or if I should just say fuck it.
Daniel was the breaking point. My God, I didn’t want to be the bitter black woman that couldn’t trust anyone and was too hard and too broken and too angry. That shit was for the birds, and I needed discernment or else I would turn into that person. I needed a break.
I blocked every man’s number that I had in my phone except for his. I couldn’t bear to part with the text messages. I reread them all. Nothing set off a flag of what was to come. A week later I built up the strength to delete the texts and his number; I couldn’t block him. Baby steps.
I stopped flirting with men, stopped returning their advances. I started reading more, focusing on my health, and finances. I travelled more. I cleared my mind, adjusted my perspective on relationships, and accepted relationship failures that were and were not my fault. I had been losing friends to marriage and pregnancies, so I spent time alone and in my own thoughts – addressing my fears. I fasted from social media, internet, and Netflix. I focused on passing the CPA exam and advancing my accounting career.
Daniel* – Name changed for privacy