I haven't been in a committed relationship in nearly nine years. And it's not for lack of opportunity. Since appearing on a reality show two years ago, I've met more women than I did in all my years prior to being in the spotlight. Well-known models, entertainers and professionals see me and think, I can start something with him. I tell them that I don't have time because of my busy work schedule--I run a publishing company and a Web site. But it's really because I've seen too many failed relationships to think one will ever work for me.
My last serious relationship really scared me. My ex and I had an immediate connection. It was electric, true love at first sight. We were engulfed in each other for almost a year. Then suddenly we started to argue about our future as a couple. We didn't see eye to eye on anything anymore. I still don't understand how we went from being a loving couple to hating each other, but we did.
After we broke up, I was nervous and really scared. I began to question if relationships were really for me. How could I be so into a woman, and she so into me, so much that we are like one person, and then it's just over? How could I make someone go from loving me to not being able to stand me anymore? I reasoned that if this is what love and relationships do to people, then I don't want to be a part of that.
Since I don't have any intention of pursuing a relationship, I don't waste women's time. Awhile ago, I met this woman who I really thought I could be with. She was a great girl, and I knew she would be a good wife. I really liked her, but I knew it wasn't going anywhere. I lied and told her that I wasn't that into her. The truth is, I didn't want to take the chance of ruining a good friendship by getting closer to her. She said she understood and didn't pursue anything with me after that. Thankfully, we're still friends.
As I've gotten older, I've tried to convince myself to give relationships another try. I want to believe that a couple can get together and live happily ever after. Every time I start to think that way, something happens around me that reinforces my belief that relationships don't work. Lately my biggest problem has been that women are more concerned with the title of "girlfriend" or "wife" than they are with the man who makes it happen. They aren't necessarily looking at a guy's character; they're looking at his job, crib and car. When I meet a woman, I could be thoughtless or inconsiderate, but when she hears that I am single with no kids and a good job, she wants to get to know me anyway. I dated one woman who, just two weeks after meeting me, was texting me to tell me how much she liked me. Then she invited me to meet her parents, and she wanted us to take a trip together. She was trying to take me from zero to 60 in two weeks and she didn't even know me!
Right now, I just have friends. I think things change for the worse as soon as you put a title on the time you spend together. But not labeling what we're doing can be a problem, too. After a few dates, most women want to know, "Where are we going with this?" I tell them, "I've known you two weeks. We're going to the movies or Ruby Tuesday." I've been in plenty of arguments because a woman is getting too emotionally aggressive and she gets mad when I pull back from her. It’s not personal; I just know the relationship isn’t going anywhere. Shying away from relationships has left me with a void. Sometimes I get lonely because I don’t have a special woman in my life, but I think being lonely for a spell is better than the possibility of being miserable for a lifetime.
Dashawn Taylor is the author of Kissed by the Devil (Next Level).