What kind of love do you want?
***This post is a series of posts of dating and relationships. We are specifically looking for guest bloggers to talk about dating, love, and relationships from the point of view of women who 35+. Message us if you’re interested.***
The gifts of corona………… Yes, corona gave us time so that we could participate in the protests, but it also gave us something else: time to think about dating. So, I joined a FB group for physically active Black singles. Yall, I soooooooo need to leave the group because I’m so judgemental. When they post stuff, my first thought is usually, “Who is this simple?” Then, there are a couple of men in the group who personify the very definition of crass. Thankfully, I think most of them are a tad younger than I am; thus, I don’t have to seriously entertain, “What if ‘these people’ are what’s out there?” Aside from being Black, the only thing we seem to have in common is that we strongly prefer to date people who are physically active and who make health and fitness part of their lifestyle.
The beauty of being smug about this group is that it is forcing me to think about two things. First, “What do I want in a relationship?” Second, am I willing to meet somebody during a pandemic? The second question is easier and the answer is, “I don’t know leaning toward hell no”. If I met somebody and reallllllly enjoyed talking to them, the question would be whether they took social distancing as seriously as I do.
But chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile, that first question. The problem is that I don’t believe in fairtales; therefore, I have a tendency to negatively frame relationships as work. The last dude I dated left me feeling like love is a job wherein it’s my role to help make somebody whole and maybe I’ll get some sugar sometimes. It could’ve been self-fulfilling prophesy, so I’m working on my mindset. But I can’t deny that when I think “relationship”, I tend to think marriage, which makes me think “duty”….kinda like what it feels like once you get comfy in bed and you gotta get up to brush your teeth or pee. I just don’t want to feel obligated to have to do anything, especially on a regular basis. Think of it like this, I love to bake, but I rarely take requests because as soon as I have to a cake made by Sunday at 1pm, I resent making it. It’s weird, but I probably would’ve made a dessert anyway that day, but as soon as I feel like I have to do it, I get irritated. This might be a mental health problem…lol.
So, I decided to do something that I rarely do, which is to think about what I want in a relationship. Typically, I focus on whether I want one. But, lets say I wound up in one….. “Committ for what?” Seriously, aside from my “you gotta meet these criteria even for a coffee date deal-breakers”, I don’t have a criteria.
- Similar faith and faith practice
- Health conscious and active lifestyle
- No little kids (We will not debate this!)
- Long distance isn’t an option (1hour+ is long-distance, and we’re not debating this either!)
- Age matters (Age ain’t nothing but a number – the hell you say!)
Essentially, if you pass these five hurdles, I’ll meet you at the coffee house (I still hate the idea of getting dressed for Zoom). But aside from these things, and you’d probably be surprised at how hard these five things are (especially 2 and 3), it comes down to, “We’ll have to see”. I also believe that folks whose lists are too long are delusional. So, here’s my best attempt at a Love Top 10 checklist:
- Must enjoy learning – I need smart conversations and funny ones. If you can only do one or the other, we aint gone make it. Also, museums are a real date option…I’d rather a museum than a movie. One of my fantasies to have a shared relationship journal – I will nerd out on you….and if you can’t participate, I’m probably gonna cheat.
- Must not be clingy – I don’t want my relationship to be the focus of my social life. I want somebody to be part of it, not “it”.
- Be a planner – I work a lot and plan my social life b/c I like lots of different things. This is the only way to get it all in, so it’s a bonus, if you plan (WAAAAAY in advance), too.
- I’m not interested in open, polyamorous situations. So, if you want something casual or different than monogamy, I applaud your openness as long as you ain’t dating me.
- Someone who asks good questions instead of giving advice or telling me what to do. This, man-splaining, is probably the thing I hate most about dating. It’s like the dude tries to turn into your parent…..and if you’re doing “those things” with your parent, ya nasty!
- I like rituals and routines. Seriously, my idea of a great dating arrangement is that we have standing commitments…remember, I’m a planner, and this makes my life sooooo much easier. Every Sunday after church? I can do to that. Every Saturday morning, we work out together and then get/cook breakfast? I am down. You call me on Friday afternoon to go out on Friday night? I don’t know, especially, if I’ve already taken off my bra.
- I am not 420-friendly. If you smoke, even legal weed, I’m not happy. If you have cancer and need CBD, okay. But on a regular basis, numbing out is a fail for me. I’m okay with a couple of drinks sometimes, but regular heavy drinking is definitely a deal-breaker. Sidebar: do you ever outgrow smoking weed? I mean, does it ever just get old?
- I like to flirt. Do you? I want to be the reason you tilt your phone when you open your texts. Don’t open that in a meeting!
- Keep your word. If you say you’re going to meet me at 6pm, meet at 6pm. Don’t call me at 5:55pm talking about 7pm. If you said you’d pick up the items, get the items – don’t show up with the money when you said you’d get the items. Even if you think it’s a small thing, the more you fail to keep your word, the more I learn not to rely on you. If you are tempted to dismiss this as a small, petty thing, we’re probably not compatible.
- I like to set mutual relationship goals. What can I say? I like projects. Frankly, I believe a relationship ought to be more than just hanging out. Just think about what two people can accomplish if the goal means something to the both of them.
This list was hard to write until I decided to write from the vantage point of, “How can I let someone in my life, love them, and be fully present without feeling like they’re in my way or taking more from me than what I value in them?” This really is what I want from a relationship, and I think this list will help point me in that direction. What do you REALLY want?