Over the weekend, I had brunch with a man who reminded me of a piece of stale, white bread. He was neither attractive nor unattractive, but was incredibly boring. I completely understood why he was single, but our conversation threw me into a state of panic because it made me think that maybe, just maybe, men might think that I am boring. Is that why I’m single? Does my personality suck to the point where I am not reminiscent of a living, breathing person, but of a stale piece of bread? I spent my early 20s unapologetically being dumb and having fun while spending my late 20s maturing in my career and my faith. Now, at 30-something, I know my self-worth and I know that I have something solid to bring to any table. I’ve always wanted to make sure I was a complete individual before investing myself into a serious relationship, but when I look around at the men who are left, I may be forced into settling for less than what I think I deserve. Dating in my 30s sucks for many reasons, but I am most annoyed by the expectations of men, people who lie about being in a happy relationship on social media, and the fact that by 30, we’ve all been scorned.
I am not the type of woman who has the patience to go out on a date with a loser just for a free meal, but I am always leery of the fact that if a man pays for the meal at the end of the night, he may be expecting to come to my house and rub on my booty afterwards. Whatever happened to taking a beautiful woman out on a date, and getting to know her mind before getting to know her body? Netflix and Chill is what happened, and I honestly cannot blame men because of some women who have chosen to lower their standards. I am all for the fight for women’s equality in the workplace and for us to be appreciated and valued, but I do not feel the need to act like, think like, feel like, or screw like a man in order to prove my worth to this world. I embrace my femininity, and although I can open my own doors and make my own money, I would love to date a man who understands the honor in providing security for his woman.
Social media has become a place where you can be anything you want to be if you know the best angles and filters that work for your face, or can repost inspiring status updates and captions that you know will receive a lot of likes (insert side-eye emoji). Of all the liars I know on Facebook who over-share, it is not the individuals who post pictures of themselves in Gucci and Louis Vuitton but live check-to-check who annoy me most; it is also not the individuals who unnecessarily and annoyingly use the boomerang feature in 90% of their Instagram video feed. The people who irk me most on Facebook are those who are fake-happy in their relationships because they force those of us who are single and dating to feel as if we are less-than. These fake-happy people neglect to mention the years and years of conflict, emotional abuse and infidelity that they had to endure before their partner finally decided to do right, since no one else would put up with their wrong for long. Being single can be lonely, but it is better than being pushed down a flight of stairs by a person who claims to love you. Dating sucks when you are constantly looking at fake-happy couples, but I want you to understand that these couples are 2 arguments away from permanently breaking up. All they have left is presenting a pretty picture on Facebook. I urge you to not play victim to their lies by blocking them completely, or by at least not liking or commenting on their content until they either don’t post at all, or become transparent about what love truly means.
Dating sucks in your 30s because we’ve all been tainted by the time we reach this age. Most of us have cheated on a significant other and have been cheated on. We’ve been burned, neglected, ignored and unappreciated. Is it even feasible to truly open your heart to all that love has to give when the experiences of life have taught you how foolish it can be to let your guard down? Love was easy for me when I was younger, but I’m not sure if my current caution comes from wisdom or hurt. Before I even go on a first date, I have to ask a myriad of questions to ensure that my feelings don’t get hurt by an omission of information: “Are you married?” “Are you separated?” “Have you ever been married?” “Is there a woman out there who thinks she is married to you?” “How long has it been since you’ve had sex with your baby’s mother?” Clearly, I have experienced falling for a man who is still attached to a situation and it was not fun. I know that I have learned from my experiences, but I hope that I am not scorned to the point that I can’t see the good in men anymore.
Even though dating at this stage of the game sucks, I have a date next Saturday with a 42-year-old divorcee named Earl. His name suggests that he wants a woman who irons and makes cornbread from scratch (I can, but I refuse), but you never know… Earl just might be the one to treat me like a queen (insert crying-laughing emoji)! Overall, I want to stand firm in my standards and values but I don’t want to become stale, and if my personality has to be compared to bread, I want to be warm, buttery King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls or the 5-cheese Texas Toast… anything else is completely unacceptable. I am not the most optimistic person when it comes to dating, but I still try. And maybe one day, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.