Tag Archives: Dating

Today’s Word is… STEAK

It was around this time last summer… 

“So how’s Tequila?” 

“Um, she’s good, but we’re… not.” 

“Oh. Ok”

My sister continued to fix up around the kitchen and mind her black ass business. But she, like our mother, was easy to read and right now she was judging the hell out of me.  I tried to make a case for myself, but the verdict was rendered.  I had gone from being in back to back long term relationships to now, well she couldn’t even keep up with them. Here today, gone tomorrow.  I got similar grief from friends, because that’s what happens when you’re single for a minute, it can’t be all of their fault,  it has to be the common denominator.  Maybe you’re not picking up on the red flags, or maybe you are looking too hard for them. 

 In relationships, we often don’t know when to hold them or when to fold them but refuse to acknowledge maybe we just aren’t good at this game.  No one thinks they’re as bad at dating as they are, just as they don’t think they are bad drivers or average cooks at best.  Men aren’t trying to hear their steak is trash.  Never mind it keeps coming out wrong and you were the only one manning the grill. 

At first,  it was rare steak.  Cold and mushy sorely disappointing.  No one likes rare steak, it’s gross and anyone who does eat it is like 2 steps from cannibalism (fight me). You didn’t purposely make rare steak, you went on one date… But they wore red; this feels too romantic.  Then they put their phone face down which clearly means they have something to hide,and had the temerity to ask what you did, so now they are after your paper… You got to run.  You just put the steak on the grill but the fire is too hot, you snatch it off… And it’s raw as hell. It don’t even look close to done.  What was you tripping about? You should’ve let it cook a little longer, but you panicked and ruined what could’ve been a fine steak.  

You learned your lesson, don’t bail too soon, and you get a new steak.  Like most people who don’t know how to cook, this time you cook on the highest setting because hotter means faster, duh.  After a few dates, the beginning of this relationship is very intense, very affectionate, a lot unearned feelings are professed.  It’s been a 8 weeks but “you’re in love”.  You’re just sure about this.  On the outside, your steak looks cooked to perfection.  In reality, it’s only been 4 minutes.  You take your steak and slice into it and the inside is still very much rare.  This is just as bad at super sketchy gold digger rare steak girl.  Once again, a good steak ruined. 

You take a minute to reflect… What is going on?  You know you know how to cook steak, you’ve had great steak before.  Medium well just the way like you like it. At least it was…but you thought it could use a wee bit more browning so you threw it back on the grill.  Then it got well done, technically ruined but edible.  Others around you say, hey maybe that steak is done but what do they know,  you just keep it on.  You didn’t mean for it to be well done but to save your ego you claim it was done purposely.  So then the steak is burnt and unsalvageable.  It’s the relationship you held on to for too long even when you knew it was probably done. You thought maybe you just needed a break, or you gave an ultimatum or you even took a major step forward and just hoped they would too.  You think things could go back to the way they was when it was good but much like that steak it doesn’t work in reverse.  The longer you hold on the worst it gets until someone finally does something unforgivable when in reality it should’ve been over long before you got there.  With that in the back of your mind, you’re a lot more cautious than you would be otherwise.  So worried about burning you barely let it cook at all… Like that’s any better. 

I think about my situation presently and how an early hiccup probably would’ve sent me running for the door but in fear of once again eating rare steak,  I decided to let it cook a little longer.  Time will tell if I actually got it right this time, all I can do is cook the way I know how and hope for the best.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… EXCLUSIVE 

So once upon a time not long ago,  I was on a date with someone, let’s call her… Stacy, and we ran into a friend of hers.  They chopped it up for a second and then she introduced me, this is… *cue Jeopardy theme* “Tristan” I interjected to move this along because I don’t do awkward.  Two revelations came from this; first, she ain’t even bang with this friend of hers in the first place (why do women do this) and secondly, it was the first time she had to actually think about who the hell I was to her.  We had been kicking it for a few months, saw each other often, she even picked up a check… basically, we went together.  Or so she assumed.  She not so subtly brought it up at dinner, “next time you can just say you’re my boyfriend… Or boo…or lover…maybe bodyguard (she realized the hole she dug and recovered quickly, I liked that about her).  We decided I was her unpaid escort/spades intern and swept that “what are we” under the rug. We practically went together and that was good enough. Except… It wasn’t.  I liked someone else actually, I would later end up with that person.  Stacy never asked, I never told.  She just assumed I wasn’t interested in someone else, that was her fault.  Wasn’t like we were exclusive.  

Karma would get me back for that one, as I found myself on the wrong side of an assumed relationship.  Once again, technically she didn’t do anything wrong I never asked, she never told.  (But a WHOLE boyfriend, B. How you fail to mention you got a whole nigga. Not a date, not a hookup, an entire relationship *inhales* *exhales*).  The lesson here could be to never assume, always ask and don’t put all your eggs in one basket because no one else is.  This game cold, diversify your bonds. 2-3 years ago, Today’s word would be Assume. 

But I’m #damnnear30 now, so today’s word is exclusive.  Everyone has a basic understanding of how dating and relationships work, yet when it comes time to be accountable everyone turns into Jeff Sessions.  Asking for exclusivity has become a necessary step in the courting process, but we can all be real with ourselves for a second… It’s bullshit.  If you have to ask someone to stop dating other people, break up with their boyfriend, not sleep with an ex while you’re out of town (this didn’t happen to me it was on a Netflix show), chances are they aren’t that sure about YOU in the first place.  We operate under our free will, not titles.  We do things for the people we like, love, desire regardless of what they are to us, so why do we act as if we need to be told first when it’s convenient?  Are you a Sim? 
Are we at a point where a relationship is some big step in life?  Is this like how we created an upper middle class because the actual middle class is broke? The word “boyfriend” doesn’t sound serious but now it’s practically an engagement.  I panicked at the idea of Stacy calling me her boyfriend as if I wasn’t damn near her boyfriend.  Or is it because boyfriend engenders some level of accountability that a “bae” doesn’t.  We all the security of a relationship, with none of the responsibility of one.  So much so, we’ve extracted this whole concept of exclusivity, because you got to earn the right of me giving up options. Or something.  What do you call someone who isn’t your boyfriend but you’re dating exclusively? (Denial.) 

I knew at that dinner what Stacy wanted and I could’ve cleared the roster and made it real but I didn’t want to and I knew it then.  I did break it off not long after that.  The one I ended up with never asked were we exclusive and if she did my answer would’ve been of course because I wanted her and I’m an adult who knows how things work.  

-Stan-

  

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Today’s Word is… STANDARDS

[Editors Note: Issa throwback…well, with a director’s cut.]


Attractive. Educated. Independent. Sweet. Confident. Compassionate.
(I just described most of my exes. Hell, I just described me.) 

Minimal baggage. Career. Non smoker. Social or not Drinker. Been in long term relationship. Classy.
(Still got most of my exes, a few eliminated, i’m still there)

Knows how to cook. Hair stays done. Always groomed. Puts it down in the sheets. Sense of style.  Body’s stacked.
(Still got some of my exes…no self respecting man will call themselves stacked, that’s where I bow out.)

5’9 and under. In shape.  Knows how to defer to a man. No trust issues. Diversified interests. Mentally stimulating. Great chemistry.
(I’m hearing chatter…now who do I think I am, what am I bringing to the table)

Low maintenance. Good with hanging out at home. Understands discretion.  Can make lasagna. Open minded in the bedroom. Wants kids. Fiscally responsible.
(This negreaux think he Idris or something…)

Standards are funny, as are the people love/hate them. No one ever has issue with standards unless it inconveniences them.  I don’t care that if you’re only chasing 6’4 lightskinned dudes you’re going to miss out on great guys, I care that I’m not 6’4 or lightskinned and I will never be, therefore I’m not invited to that table.  I didn’t want to sit there but now that I can’t, suddenly I want to sit there?  For who, for what? My list was very p.c, however if I got my mac on (You ever read something you wrote years ago and roll your eyes at how lame you were…this was one of those times) and said I want an exotic chick, hourglass figure, all natural…sistas would come for my head.  Reason #1, they’ll be damned if I don’t want them even if they don’t want me cuz…principality. Reason #2, who the hell am I to have such strong demands.

As you get older, and still single suddenly your standards are too blame.  The Beast could’ve let Belle just go have brunch with her girls and they would’ve told her that he’s tall AND has a whole castle, dont. block. ya. blessings. and she’d probably go right back.  Men don’t get it nearly as hard, I can probably hand wring myself to loneliness until at least 33.  Men aren’t told they are being unreasonable, or they are expecting perfection even when they are.  I have a homeboy who for the most part splurges on instajawns and to my knowledge never had an actual girlfriend.  I’m sure his mama might ask, but no one else cares.

Your standards represent you, your priorities, your traits, your aspirations.  It shows if you’re looking to just be treated good, f cked right, or want an actual relationship.  It shows your self confidence and what you believe you bring to the table.  Women say that men are constantly pestering them to lower their standards to accommodate them; I’m actually the opposite, show me you demand all that.  This goes both ways, you can’t be all over the club scene and social media and then demand someone who isn’t all over the club scene and social media.  You can’t demand a woman who’s cultured when all you watch is sports and action movies.  You can’t demand a man with his own place and a car when you staying at a homegirl’s and working part time.  I mean you can demand but spoiler alert, it won’t work out well for you.  Those independent, ambitious people you seek…well, they want other independent ambitious people.
There has to be some accountability for who you choose to let into your life, who you expect to come into your life and how they’re treated when they’re there.  The time spent on people who aren’t on “your level” adds up. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, my phone just full of women who I know weren’t what I was looking for, but #Ihaveneeds.  I can’t be taken seriously if I’m not taking my own standards seriously.  I know what I want and I’m not settling for less (maybe a few things, the lasagna game is non negotiable tho), in the meantime I #minuswhale use my time as productively as possible so I become the offer she can’t refuse.
-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FLIGHT


The “fight or flight response” is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.  You could say the same applies to our overall well being, particularly in dating. Your relationship hits a snag, do you fight or flight?  I feel like the generations before fought; adversity just came with the territory.   We all know of the old married couple who damn near hate each other and now they’ve been married 50 years because who wants to start over even after 10.  Then of course there was the whole women couldn’t work, don’t want to leave the kids, cost of divorce, etc so they just rode the wave of a decision they made at 18 years old and waited for the other to just die already.   The pickings were slim and when you had one you kept it.  Abuse, affairs, aloofness, alcoholism  (alliteration for the win) you rode it out.
These days, having seen what they went through we are flightier than ever. We stay in airplane mode.  It’s easy to move on when every single person in a 30 mile radius is right there in an app.  (Or further than that; if you’re into that kinda thing) Is it an overcorrection?  Perhaps.  Dating has become fundamentally flawed because everyone has one foot out the door because they won’t be the ones looking like BooBoo the fool.  We’ve gone from slim pickings to option overload.  We’re casually moving on the next one and effectively not learning anything. Where’s the incentive to?  I learned recently some women won’t even save your number until you prove yourself.  A contact, B?  We are so dismissive about dating that it’s like why do we even bother?  Or is it we are just really careful.  We hook up, explore options and when we’ve had our fun we turn around and then settle down with no regrets.  Maybe we need a word for the stage when you are dating but are fairly certain you haven’t found your forever worth fighting for.

 My fight was the skrongest.  I fell hard and fast and turned a blind eye to things that I probably knew better to.  Now, it’s a fight to even want to fight.  I’d become a pragmatist, we probably won’t get married so this is just borrowed time anyway.  It wasn’t even that I didn’t care for these women I just couldn’t disabuse myself of the inevitable.  I’m an INFJ, I project and shit.  It wasn’t fair to them (even though I’m pretty accurate with these things), the magic 8 ball in my head told me this wasn’t going to last and I acted accordingly.  Now because of me, she is pretty much over geminis, dark skin, beards, accountants, and dudes with blogs.  So she’s cold to them and they take it our on the next girl. It’s the circle of strife.  

Maybe one day we’ll reach that middle ground where you aren’t hanging on to a dead end relationship but also aren’t blocking numbers because you haven’t spoke in a few days.  Where real feelings aren’t being hidden by passive aggressive memes and being yasssssed by the same home girls who are eyeball emoji’ng his pictures.  I used to be patient, I used to be persistent and even I have to catch myself from sinking the whole island when I’m peeved.  I’ve stayed too long in situations and probably gave up too easily on others. The former likely the cause of the latter.  You fight and get your ass whooped your instinct is probably flight the next time.  And flight is the safest way to go if you never want to be hurt, but it’s also means you’ll never win either.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… COOL


Boy meets Girl. Boy likes Girl. Boy wants to get to know Girl a little better. Girl starts off talking about her love of motorcycles (Boy is afraid of them, still a thug tho), she casually mentions how she’s watching a comic book movie or sports when he hits her up.   Boy and Girl have a lot in common*, she’s a tomboy who also loves, heels, makeup and dresses. Ironically enough, Girl actually doesn’t like to go out, Girl wants to hang out have sex, eat pizza and laugh at bad movies. Boy really likes Girl, but he’s not necessarily looking for a relationship just yet. Girl understands*, she doesn’t trip off of titles anyway.  If its meant to be, it’ll be….

So, seemingly boy hit the jackpot; the attractive, low maintenance unicorn!  Or as it was explained in Gone (head and get that divorce,) Girl, the cool girl.  The description of the cool girl illustrates what dating has become, courting for men has been reduced to mere availability while the women respond in kind with acquiescence.  The cool girl has tainted the already shallow dating pool, with expectations and bars so low you could trip on them.  There has been pushback against the cool girl, largely from women who are challenging women to be better, expect better, have some dignity; you don’t have to hide yourself to get chose. Sound advice that I hope works because, I am soooo sick of the “cool girl” too.

I’m actually turned off by the cool girl.  I’m Prince Akeem to the bullshit.  For starters,  its blatant manipulation.  Play it cool, wait for him to fall and then unload a bunch of repressed feelings.  The Steve Harveyisms would lead you to believe that once you trick a man into loving you, you straight.  (He’s also 3 times divorced so clearly results vary).  I date to know who you are and you’re simply trying to be what you think I want.  I’m/it’s not that deep.  Akeem was at least a prince, I’m just a guy with a beard and a 401k.  Ultimately, for the white readers who didn’t see Coming to America  Akeem went for (the lightest woman in the movie because this was 1988) the woman who wasn’t a doormat. The Boy from the beginning? Ended up dating someone else. Because we all know how it goes with the “cool girl ” she takes on more and more resentment in lieu of accountability and then suddenly showing up places uninvited because you need to talk, or faking your own death and framing him for murder (stupid movie) seems perfectly rational because how dare you ain’t lose all this self respect for no reason. 

All that to say, for who, for what?  I can lie on a resume,  charm in an interview but eventually the time will come where I have to prove I’m proficient in Excel.  As will the time when women who adjust all try ear standards for a man, gets one and now they stuck in a Sportscenter and chill, dating without labels, texting sporadically, picking up checks, never get jealous ass relationship.  Are there women who are genuinely down for it? Sure (And apparently they all exist on Twitter).   But the majority?  They are 3 “its cool”s away from staging a murder.  Stay woke.

-Stan- 

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Today’s Word is… UNCHOSE

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The first time I came home from work to an empty apartment, realizing I was the one who didn’t take chicken out to thaw; because no one else lives here anymore

SO, this is life now?

The first time I stumbled into said empty apartment from drunken shenanigans, fell out on my bed fully dressed, spread out and was like…

So, THIS is life now?

The first time I had to buy condoms declined plans because I wasn’t trying to go alone

So, this IS life now?

The first time I got the thanks but no thanks text not long after a few dates I thought went fairly well…

So, this is LIFE now?

(Quick aside: She even spelled my name wrong in said curve text, no respeck on my name…It wasn’t even like I was that into her but it was the like the first time I got curved in like a good 6 years, I hope she falls down steps. On principle.  Just kidding. Mostly.)

Chilling at a family function, seeing my immediate family all with their respective spouses/baes and there I was with a phone and a drink realizing that EYE was the single one.

So, this is life NOW

See, I’m just a bachelor *Ginuwine voice*.  By happenstance. I’m not grinding, working on me, taking myself off the market because someone auntie told me that love comes when I least expect it so technically I’m not looking yet I am still looking with one eye (No Fetty). I’m single because I am, and I don’t need any of the excuses single people use to say to the(ir blogs)mselves that they are good with being single.  

I’m also not tripping off being single; besides no one wants to hear the siren of the young, iight looking and unchose.  Hell, even I hate it. Even so I typically get the same platitudes of “psssh you’re young”, “one day”, or “this could be us but you playing”.  They would be correct but I’m not trying to hear that either. 

Single has its highs and lows and it seems in this day and age, you gotta pick a side and roll with it.  Whether its the person who is always miserable about being unchose or the one who swears pizza, porn and Netflix is all they need in life…they are equally annoying. They both would fare better  somewhere in the middle, where you’re not throwing yourself at anything yet still leaving the house looking like you remotely care. I like to think I’m in that middle largely with some days I’m feeling more column A or B, that’s just how life works. 

So, this life is now… I can have 3 dates in a week or barely leave the house. I can leave town to turn up for a couple days just cause.  I can see a cute baby on the train and it fuck up my day.  I can redeem some of these birthday dinner offers.  I can finally see what is so special about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  I can see if a LDR is worth the hassle.  I can look in her eyes and see all the possibilities. I can hear her favorite song and wonder if she’s well.  I can join an online dating site for longer than 3 hours.  I can check my lease and see if I can get a puppy. I can chat up the girl at happy hour or I can lurk her timeline for subtweets.  I can just live my life, essentially. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FIRST

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So its date night.  Now I won’t lie and say men put nearly as much into getting in formation for a first date but some work is put in.  After a line up, few wardrobe changes, a run to the store because I wore this in that picture I sent, now I’m gonna look like I don’t have clothes, then shopping for new cologne (because I mean I’m already here), getting back and fretting over glasses, earrings and watches and a taking a shot to get the edge off, I’m ready.  Well no I’m not, but its like 7:42 and I told her 8.  I get there at 8 exactly and she’s standing outside, she sees me she smiles and while my head said “wow” my mouth said “so you been out here long” (stupid question she told me she was finding parking like 3 minutes prior , she let it slide or I was just overthinking things…that’s kinda a thing I do.)  So have dinner and drinks at this jazz bar (terrible idea because while was hoping for some demure raspy r&b singer, I got a quartet with a trombone player who seemed to hit a crescendo every time I had something to say…I have beef with all trombones now.  You too, Trombone Shorty dont let me catch you in these streets).  So yada yada yada date goes well, I walk her to her car, kiss on the cheek goodnight, sidewalk lights up as I leave

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So now let’s heel up, reel up, bring it back, come rewind. A different date night, same Usher slide, outfit choosing, I meet her at the restaurant.  We eat, drink, walk to car, this time its a kiss and a “So…my roommate is staying out tonight”.  A tale of two dates.  I have probably had more “first dates” like Date B, although recently there’s been more Date A.   However, there has been a clear link between the separate dates that even I am stunned I missed….Date A’s are women I met in person, and B’s online.

Now, is this about to be some Steve Harveyish dialogue on these women and their sexuality? Of course not. Yall know better.  What I find interesting is the idea that women I meet online feel more like they “know” me.  While technically a first date, they are more or less culminations.  I’ve met women who were in love before we met, some who are and haven’t…yet if we met at Target I don’t think it’s that simple.  Essentially, game done changed.  Date A I met at a New Years Eve party, attended largely by mutual friends we’ve known for years.  We actually was at the same function before, we knew eachother before we knew it.   Date B I met on (only Godsisters can’t judge me) Instagram, she happened to move here for school and I figured hey why not.  We text a bit before the move but lets just say, her bout it bout itness was a pleasant surprise.  Maybe I’m just really naive sometimes,  I really be thinking we going to dinner, reservations made and all that.

I guess what’s interesting about it all is the idea that we are increasingly more comfortable online.  In an age where 1/3 men conveniently don’t know the difference between courting and street harassment, maybe going down in the DMs is the safer route. (Although I’m certain unsolicited dickture guy and “ay red shirt” guy are the same person at the very least, cousins).  Online IS comfortable, we log on the same apps and websites every day, talk to the same people, you develop rapports, friendships. I could probably provide a reference for an online acquaintance before I can a coworker.  (Sidenote dont list me as a reference, I don’t know you B).  It’s easy to lose sight that the people on the other side of the keyboard is STILL a stranger, you may interact daily and still not know their real age or name.  Stay woke and ish. 

Personally,  there’s something about the traditional route I prefer.   I like nervous first dates.  The pressure of making conversation with a stranger and intriguing her enough to get a number in real time (or 3 weeks later).  There’s a beauty in the process that is sometimes lost when all the spoilers are online.  Or maybe I’m lost in the sauce, lost in the game trying to woo strangers when I can just see someone swipe right and know my foot is in the door.  Work smarter not harder.  But of course, as heavily as I use social media, its very plausible I end up marrying a follower anyway. (So if you reading this, hey boo). 

-Stan-

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