I'm a career woman who's striving to be committed to someone... Forever. Nothing like the relationships I've had in the past. You know, the kind where you think you're in love because you're doing "in love" things. Since my last official relationship ended in March of 2012, I have been struggling with trying to figure out who I am and what I want. The clear answer is there, but as a natural investigator I have a tendency to constantly search for more. That's my problem... and problems need to be fixed. So, I fixed it.
The first step was getting rid of my list.
It was my protection; my way of avoiding another heartbreak and maintaining power. No man could enter into my space unless I allowed him to; unless he met all of my requirements and fit the detailed description(s). Unless he was the "perfect match". That was foolish. Turns out, I actually wasn't protecting myself. I was preventing myself from freely exploring and possibly meeting someone who I could be compatible with.
Back to the (materialistic) list.
As women, we seek to find (or wait for) the ideal man, and in the process we may be overlooking the REAL man. Although dating has never been easy for me, I tried it. It was awkward, but I tried it. The key was opening myself up and not automatically going into situations expecting anything specific. Sometimes, conversations are just meant to be conversations. Sometimes hanging out really means hanging out. This lasted consistently for a couple months (giggles).
In all honesty, dating is a waste of time to me. If there's no initial attraction and no immediate signs of compatibility, then why just "go with the flow"? I followed my heart and I... just... waited. Then, I met someone. Before you get all excited for me, you should know my history. I have a love pattern. We all do. I meet someone and (solely based on attraction and interests) I become infatuated with the idea of what it could be. For me, this is not a good thing. My three strikes are already gone. However, he is different. Different is so subjective, but in order to maintain some sense of privacy I'm attempting to be discreet. Basically, if I were still being led by my list, he wouldn't have a chance. Surprisingly, we are compatible and we met under interesting circumstances, when I was least expecting it. I was just in the #write place at the #write time :)
When selecting a mate or accepting someone's commitment offer, it's important to be understanding. Understand that he/she is not obligated to change for you. This is why most committed relationships fail. We start noticing things that irk us; things that could be detrimental to the growth of the relationship... but we have choices and we choose how to handle the particular "flaw". A sure way to find out if someone sincerely loves you: when they change on their own.
"The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou
The above mentioned rant now brings me to my actual point: Marriage. LAWD. I was once told (by a man) that a man will know if he wants to marry a woman within the first 30 days.
Say what now?
Of course I couldn't/can't comprehend this because I'm not a man. I guess it's true. I also guess it's true that when a man proclaims that you're "wifey material", he just might mean it. Again, being the investigator that I am, I searched for a convincing definition of "wifey material". There isn't one. Just like the word "different", it's subjective because every man doesn't want the same thing in a woman/wife.
From Beyoncé's "Flawless"
"Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important."
While every other woman is stuck on repeating the lines "bow down b^t*#s" and "I woke up like dis", I'm stuck on repeating this excerpt from Nigerian Writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I listened to it over and over again and it forced me to question if marriage is something that I truly want. Should I get married JUST because I'm a woman?
"Why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don't teach boys the same?"
Then, my thoughts got deeper. I'll have to change my last name: my identity. To some women, that's not an issue. However, for a career woman, it's a major one. Remember, I'm a career woman who's striving to be committed to someone... Forever. So how do I prepare myself for THAT? I now have a brand to represent.
What about hyphenating? This option has been discussed on social media sites numerous times. A few of those times, I was bold enough to get involved. Apparently, some (earlier today I said most) men are turned off by that. A woman who is willing to change her name for a man is exemplifying how much she loves him. It's his gift in the union. The woman who prefers to keep her maiden name and not introduce herself as "Mrs. (insert his last name here)" is selfish, according to some of those men.
Likewise, when a woman takes on a man's last name, she now belongs to him. They become one. She is no longer who she once was. Her old family, friends, associates and colleagues will already be familiar with her before the transition. So what's the BIG deal? I'm glad you asked!
A woman spends her entire life dreaming about her wedding day, marrying the man of her dreams, having his kids and living happily ever after. What happens in the meantime in between time while she's in search of her purpose and pretending to live life like it's golden? Multiple breakups. A fistful of tears. Forgetting. Forgiving. Moving on and STILL hoping for that fairytale to come true.
My literary Mama just told me that marriage is for grown folks and I'm still in the process of growing. So how can I be sure that marriage is for me? I definitely won't rely on a "wifey material" compliment. I'll rely on his nonstop effort to show me how much he cares, how gentle he is when he touches me, his ability to control his anger when a small argument ensues, his patience level, his genuine support, the way he smiles in embarrassment when I catch him "admiring my beauty", his desire to lead, his unwavering faith... in God and in us.
If I get that "this is it" feeling and it refuses to go away, I just hope fear doesn't creep in when it's time to say "I do"... I want to be married, but if it's not for me, I'll still be a career woman who's striving to be committed to someone who wants to be committed to me... FOREVER. Sadly, that's just the way it is.
*Cue John Legend*
*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*