When I come home at night I’m usually greeted by four eggshell-colored walls, the incessant chiming of my ADT system and the sweet smell of vanilla breeze scented Glade Plug-Ins. That’s it. In case you’re missing the point, I’m 31-years-old, single and sick of these lame behind dudes. If you’ve followed Steve Harvey (he’s been on Oprah, CNN and a host of other outlets talking about dating issues in the Black community) my singleness may not be such a shocker, but this may take you aback: I don’t have a shortage of suitors. As of recent my roster–the name my girlfriends and I have given to the list of the date-able men that we interact with–runneth over. My issue is simple: men admire me but they don’t love me. Thesaurus.com lists “companionless” as a synonym for lonesome, how apropos (I’m shedding a single tear, lol). I say that because I have the best girlfriends money can buy, and a family I know I can truly depend on but I still feel a huge void because if something major happens in my life I have no one to call–or spoon with. Now, some would say, “How are you contributing to this situation?” I say, “Stop blaming the damn victim!” (Sorry, I’m a little hostile). But here’s why. Every man I’ve seriously dated for a prolonged period of time has professed his love for me and honestly, I’m not surprised. I’m by no means cocky but I am confident enough to say I’m a good person and I’m willing to try. That said, whenever tough times arise my Mr. Wonderfuls have all fallen apart. It’s not for lack of communication (I’m very good at expressing my needs and compromising) or that they have another girlfriend (I’m not nave, but I’m also not paranoid). I attribute it to a lot of Black men not fully understanding the definition of love. True love–even with a mate–is selfless. I’m not looking for a Superman but I do want someone who’s willing to prioritize my needs ahead of his wants–at least occasionally. In addition, I find that many men think because I’m competent and capable that I don’t need or want him around–even when I express otherwise. For example, when my mother died my most recent ex at the time–who proclaimed he wanted to reconcile–couldn’t bring himself to come to my house or talk to me on the phone. After I called him on it he eventually admitted that it was too much for him handle, but he knew I was alright. Oh, really. Where dey do dat at? In all honestly, I think the men who’ve said they love me really wanted to relay something more like this: “Tee, I think you’re a smart and insightful woman. You’re so strong and resilient. I wish I could be a bit more like that at times–think it will rub off? In some ways you remind me of a mother. But you’re cool and kind of crass, so if you were a dude you’d be my best homie. However you do have a vagina and wear a size four, so I want to tap that. I’m confused.” Not a great sell but at least it’s honest. My mentor once told me that I “present well.” When it comes to men, I truly feel like I’m being punished for my ability to survive and thrive. I come from a socio-economic group where hysteria and weakness are a luxury. That said I am honest and open about my vulnerability. In addition, I know I am by no means perfect. I also know that love is a waiting game. You may have all the right things in place but you still have to exercise patience until the good Lord blesses you. Despite it all, I find myself in a constant struggle to present my whole self in a way that’s forthcoming but not intimidating. I want a confident man who knows his absence won’t make me crumble but his presence will help me flourish. I don’t mind being admired by many, as long as I’m truly loved by one. Ladies, I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. What do you think?
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