Don't let the difficulty of dating allow you to settle for less than you deserve.
My friend, celebrity blogger and personality B.Scott, tweeted this yesterday: “If you spend too long holding on to the one who treats you like an option, [you] will miss finding someone who treats you like a priority.” It was so on point that I told him I had to write about it. A simple concept, but time and time again I see many of my friends settling for the role of “an option.”
The Twitter quote took me back about a year when I was sitting at lunch with one of my sister-friends. She is an awesome person, but has always felt “average.” In a city like New York that is full of exceptional people, it can be even more profound if you’ve always felt like someone in the middle. I get it! I think she’s wrong about herself, but still I understand.
She’d been dating this guy for a year when we had our lunch last year. Dating is difficult everywhere. In New York City, multiply the level of difficulty times ten. So, my sister-friend was happy to be dating a man with a solid job, handsome enough, and with all of his teeth. Yes, it’s that hard in the “Big Apple.” With that said, I could sense that she wasn’t completely happy.
“Where do you see the relationship going, started talking about marriage yet?” I asked. She shook her head, “No.” I asked if she even saw herself marrying him. “We’ve never discussed it. Every time I bring it up, he changes the subject and says not to push him,” she sadly replied. Red flag! First, her reaction to my question told me more than her words. Second, I truly believe that the great majority of men who’ve found their wife know within the first year and begin to discuss marriage pretty quickly.
I must have opened Pandora’s Box because she started spilling her frustrated guts. Basically, the guy was typically unresponsive to her and her needs. They’d stopped actually going out on dates about six months into the relationship. Now, she would cook for him, he’d come over, they’d have sex and he’d leave in the morning. And, he broke the cardinal rule (well, she let him). He would consistently call the day of and sometimes the evening of, when he wanted to “chill” with her.
“If someone is calling you the day of to make plans with you, rest-assured you are just an option,” I said. A year into the relationship this shouldn’t have been happening. If he couldn’t keep up the courting and romance for a year, then there was no hope for the future. And, if there’s no hope for the future, there was really no point. My sister-friend heard me, however, I could tell she didn’t hear me.
It made me sad because I could sense the fear and helplessness she felt. It was becoming that hard for an intelligent Black woman to find a man. And, for all intents and purposes, this guy was a “good man.” But, just because he was a “good man” didn’t mean he was good for her. Moreover, she clearly was not a priority in his life and there probably wasn’t anything she could do to change it. So, I told her to let him go.
“Easier said than done! As much as I want more, I definitely don’t want to be lonely every night. I want SOMEbody in my life," she explained. I retorted, “So, you’ll just settle for any ol’ thing to have SOMEbody?” I went on to explain that while she was settling for option status, there was a guy out there waiting to upgrade her. Sticking around with this guy because he was SOMEbody might just be blocking her from the man that was to be her true blessing.
My sister-friend continued to date the dude for a few more months. Fast forward to last week and we met to catch up and gossip. Plus, she had some great news for me – she was engaged. I knew she’d been dating a new guy who by all of our friends’ accounts was terrific. “You were a hundred percent correct! I was so desperate for a man that I’d allowed myself to take a back seat position.” And, she went on to describe the difference with her fiancé. He made her a priority in every sense of the word. She was completely happy and excited.
We’ve all been there... dating someone who you know is “just not that into you” and has not made you a priority in their life. Don’t let the difficulty of dating allow you to settle for less than you deserve. No matter who you are, we deserve to be in the pole position in our lover’s life. Wasting your time on someone who does not put you in that place may be getting in the way of you finding someone who will. Just say to yourself, I deserve to be a priority, not an option!