ADVICE/OPINION/RELATIONSHIPS

Marriage-Minded And Proud

I am newly single and excited to be dating again. Most of my friends hate dating, but I decided that I would be selective in the process and enjoy myself. Let me start by clarifying my definitions.

My definition of dating is just that…going on dates. Dating means dates, and a relationship is being exclusive with one man. Dating does not involve sex, but may involve kissing and definitely getting to know one another. I am not ashamed to say that I may date more than one man, but I don’t go on more than a few dates with any man unless I am really interested in being exclusive with him. I am a woman who dates with the intention to get into a serious relationship that will lead to marriage.

I am very independent, but I am also a little old fashioned. I am open to flirting with a man, greeting him and even introducing myself, but I believe that there is something wonderful, sexy and nice about a man pursuing me. I say let a man be a man. Now don’t get me wrong, I applaud the woman who walks up to a man, gives him her card, and even asks him out. That’s wonderful. I say more power to you. Do what works for you.

I have heard a lot of horror stories about dating from clients and friends. They meet a guy, he seems nice, and then he acts crazy while they are dating. Groping, being cheap, or even flirting with other women. I have to admit, I meet crazy men too. But I just don’t invite them in. When you see crazy coming, you are supposed to cross the street. I know that it is important to have a couple of conversations with someone you meet before going on a date, and actually listen to them when you are dating. People will show you who they are, if you pay attention. As I have gotten older, I have gotten a lot better at paying attention.

My relationships start with a “sit down,” an old fashioned-conversation about being exclusive (a conversation that I do not bring up). It’s like taking it back to grade school, remember that note…will you be my girlfriend with two boxes, check yes or no? My friends think I’m corny, but I have had very few nights crying myself to sleep believing that I am the one when I am not. I know when I am in an exclusive relationship. I do not play guessing games.

I have been blessed to have really good relationships, with only a couple of exceptions. I don’t believe that “there are no good men out there.” Since I don’t believe that, it is not my reality. I think as women, we want our man to be perfect. We are not willing to grow with a man, and truly work on a relationship. As black people, sometimes we may not always know how to communicate, and it takes work.

One thing I know for sure is that black love is beautiful, and I am willing to do what it takes to have it.

People often ask me why I am not married. I know that like a lot of women, I have probably spent too much time pursuing my education and my career. I also know that I have not always been clear or sure about what I wanted. Sometimes I have gotten involved with guys that I did not necessarily see a long term future with. I can also acknowledge that I had a lot of fear about marriage due to my parents’ split 10 years ago when I was in my 20s. I have now released my fears and stop using excuses.

I am now an active participant in the choosing process. I meet men at the supermarket, at bars, through friends, and heaven forbid, even online (something I thought I would never do). I say if you are truly open to love, you find joy in the process of dating and are open to love coming from any possibility. I am a single black female seeking a smart, handsome, honest, confident, financially responsible, self aware, single black male (there is nothing wrong with seeking, I keep my eyes open). Wish me luck.

ReNina Minter is a former elementary school teacher who followed her passion and earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Minter is now a Certified Life Coach. Check out her website at www.CoachReNina.com. Her editorials are exclusive to Urban Thought Collective.


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