Afua’s Guest Blog

I’m Too Old for this

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I’ve heard the likes of this tweet verbalized A LOT lately. In relation to games, lies, flip flopping, and the general indecisiveness that can come with dating, the consensus has been:

“I’m [just] too old for this [behavior]”.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed about this statement is that nothing really has changed of the ‘(dating) game’ per se, just their our participation in it. I say ‘our’ because I can proudly add myself to that list of statement makers.
Indeed, I have my own ‘I’m too old for this’ story that I would like to tell on this here fine beautiful Monday in Accra. So let’s begin, shall we…
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03c9b5ead512b42c56c386b566e87039I met a guy a few months ago, who I immediately took a liking to. We started off slow but steady, developing a good
friendship and genuine enjoyment of one another’s company. The mutual attraction was growing and if I’m honest with myself it was the first time in a long time that I could see myself being with someone in a meaningful way long term, or as Amma put it one day, “Wow, you *really* like him, eh?”. *Shrug* I did. And this, you can say is a very hard thing to come by for me, hence her bewilderment. In any case, it would appear that just as things were beginning to grow roots the tree was abruptly and quite frankly, incomprehensibly uprooted. Yes… he ghosted.
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I feel like for the remainder of this story my words won’t give due justice to what happened, so how about I let someone else tell the story for me? Because when a male tweeter so graciously tells the story of mine and millions of other women so eloquently as was done on the twittersphere a couple weeks, you gotta let him do it. He (Mr. Nonprophet_) even graciously added in the opaque portions of the other (man’s) side of the story, which so often gets left out when I we women write retell rant. I must say that I love when men do mansplaining of dating, because it validates that we women aren’t crazy in some of the things we say, and it allows stories to be told without people pointing accusatory fingers at something the woman (supposedly) did wrong, or without them taking on an accusatory tone that the woman is telling the story from a bitter angle. So thank you, @Nonprophet_ . **Read to the end, RR – it’s a good read:)
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I realize I am getting too old to be a ghost buster. No more time to be out here trying to chase the wind. And I am glad that @Nonprophet_  has shifted the onus of this struggle.

Let me know your thoughts! Did @Nonprophet_ just tell your recent (or not-so recent) story? Men, is this accurate?

Maybe it’s time to get my swirl on

As we get older and (hopefully) become more self aware, we start questioning some belief systems that we’ve held on to for seemingly no reason. And this can’t be more true than my feelings for white men, well let me say ‘non-black’ men.

.             .            .

Like it is in many aspects of my life, when it rains, it generally pours, and the idea of being open to non-black men has been pouring down like Accra torrential rains.

Comments far and wide:

Sometimes Afua you have to just choose happiness, even if it comes in a different package pigment.

Sometimes you can’t wait for the black man to get their act together, there’s too few of them to choose from.” See interesting clip from the show Being Mary Jane on why even the ‘good’ brothers can be problematic. But I digress, let’s keep going…

“For what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to have to cast your net wider, and by wider I mean… Non-Ghanaian, scratch that, non-African, scratch that, I mean non-black.”

…hmmm that’s awkward.

So you don’t think I can get my ‘unassuming thoughtful gentleman, progressive in thought about gender roles in the house, Jesus-loving, Bawse in the board room but isn’t afraid to let me shine and is supportive’ man in the same pigment as I?

*Long Deep Sigh*

.             .            .

If we take a little trip down memory lane,  pre-college era, I was all about non-black men. Blame it on my surroundings (much of that time was spent growing up in Canada… eh), but there just weren’t many black men period. Think about having five black kids in my school at one point, two being me and my sistren sigh. Now add in having a connection to them. So to say it was slim pickings would be the understatement of the century. Moving to the US in the middle of high school and then going to college in the US opened my eyes to a whole new world: Black men ‘like me’! As in coming from a similar background… Whether African or not, they had similar family values and educational consciousness. Eureka, I had struck gold! However, as time has gone by I’m realizing this pool of men are still… Just. Men. And that ‘gold’ still needs refining.

Even moving to the continent now. One would think I would have struck even more gold, particularly among the returnee crowd, but Lord only knows what’s been our My Experience. So the million dollar question becomes ‘what happens if what you’re looking for ISN’T looking for you?’ Whether it’s because they’re already married, they don’t actually exist, or are attracted to a different type of woman (white women, less career-oriented women, more traditional women, younger women? [slot in any and everything else I’m not]). Welt, if you’re not the person the person you’re looking for is looking for then perhaps it could be time to change what you’re looking for *shrug*. And I think we singles have heard this general piece of advice several times over (particularly as we inch closer and closer to 30). However, I think we’ve always assumed this means scaling down on the character asks, and not changing the color of a person’s outside shell.

.             .            .

I love black men. And if y’all have any doubts from my posts, let me say it again: I. Love. Black. Men. I don’t think there’s anything more sexy than a strong black man taking care of his business, loving his family and serving his God. However, if *that* man isn’t checking for me, maybe it’s time I switch out the packaging and maybe get my swirl on! eyes-emoji cheese

Now there are so many considerations while making this sort of declaration (publicly).
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First off: I must admit I do not even know the first thing about being with a white man Raise-Your-Hand. Yes yes, I’ve had this conversation with a few ppl in the last few weeks, and the first response is ‘duh men are men, it’s the same as being with a black man’, but hold up one minute. Hold on. It’s NOT the same. Can me and a white guy talk about the same stuff, freely? Listen to the same things, go the same places… freely? Hmmm, honestly speaking I don’t even know anything about the initial step: how do you flirt with a white man? And I know y’all are laughing (or completely side-eying me), but I’m dead serious. How do I know if a white man is flirting with me?!? *eyes look left, eyes look right* I mean I’ve met white guys that I found attractive inside and out, but I never really knew what they thought of me. It’s more so because every positive vibe I get from a non-black man is cataloged as friends-vibe. Maybe it’s because my eyes aren’t even open to the possibility that a white man would be checking for me mixed with a combination of me not putting out (non-verbal) vibes that I’m into white men.

And this is all just real talk, RR.

Some other serious considerations include: ‘How do I know it’s not a weird black girl fetish thing that’s going on?’ point Remember, I live in Africa and the pool from which you’re working with in terms of white men generally goes as follows: “the short term contractor; the short term or (sometimes weird) long term development type- who lives a transient lifestyle…” Overall there’s a general ‘passing through’ or I’m a little-off vibe I get with them here. You don’t just get your regular ol’ guy living and working in Africa, but I just happen to be white- vibe. no offense.

Another consideration is family and culture. And I’m not talking about mine, because Praise the Almighty on High that I have a progressive family who even for the majority of my life thought I would end up with a white boy. They don’t see any issue with marrying outside of ones race. However, it’s the general culture here that poses issues. One, when you see a mixed race couple in these parts, with the woman being black, it’s a certain type of relationship… Of more the transactional nature than true ”mutual’ love. Secondly, I’m outsider. And I’ve been fighting it forever ‘me y3 ghanaiani!’*, but I’ve now come to terms with it that I. am. culturally. an. outsider. Even though my name is Afua, my default thought process is not that of a typical Ghanaian. As such, I’ve desired to marry someone who isn’t a complete outsider like me. It’s stupid and probably childish, but I’m just being real…. Sue me.

I’m not sure if y’all watched the Being Mary Jane season 3 finale [Spoiler Alert Ahead]. However, when she breaks up with her white boyfriend, she says the ultra real words of: “I don’t want to have to explain everything to you.” And that is so real. And for me we’re not just talking about ‘black issues’, we’re talking of the African/Ghanaian ones too. I remember a few Christmases ago we were at a family friend’s place and their daughter, a woman with a very similar profile to me, had brought home her white husband. Cool. He was chill. We had no issues with him as he tried his best to welcome all aspects of our Ghanaian culture. But I distinctly remember a conversation everyone was having in the living room one day and I remember every few seconds she having to whisper some subtle explanation of what was going on. It’s whenever I think about that, that I’m just like…

… I… Just…

…  …  ….  I…  … Just

                                              Can’t.

Chale… Me sef**… Half the time I’M the outsider needing explaining of why this is rude in Ghana; why we have to do this as protocol, even though it makes no God awful sense; why respect and traditionalism is more important than efficiency or doing the most logical thing… #butthatsnoneofmybusiness …
So to now come bring you an outsider into my plight. …I …Just… can’t… *deep sigh*
I mean is it wrong to want to be with someone who doesn’t need explaining along with me?

I think I’ll stop things here for now. I want to know if y’all have any thoughts for me, RR. Do you agree with anything I’ve said, or do you have advice on how all my insignificant items of concern are probably holding back my entire quest for true love? Or perhaps you want to tell me that I should move to Europe, which apparently is the new mecca for black girls wanting good white men… and I’m not joking, see here, here, and here.

*Translation of twi phrase: I’m Ghanaian

**Translation of pigeon phrase: Me myself

That moment you realize you’re down with the swirl- I love this clip from Facebook.

 

September [Take a man on a date month] was an utter fail – Afua’s Version

Read Amma’s experience HERE.


I didn’t even want to recount the failures of the last month, but they were so triumphant and true that I couldn’t let y’all miss out on the goodies.

. . .

Am: ‘We have to do it.’

Af: ‘Do what?’

Am: ‘September, take a man on a date month.’

Af: ‘Is that a thing? …Like movember when men don’t shave their faces?’

Am: ‘I dunno. But we have to do it. It’ll be a fun challenge, and we have a ton of events this month so there will be plenty of opportunities to meet people. And then we can blog about it. Write about what it feels like to be on the other side- the anxieties/ fears of doing the asking.’

Af: ‘Ok… Do it for the blog fun challenge.’

. . .

Alrighty so context is set. And by the title you already know how things ended. So let’s get into the meat- the deets.

Welllllll, Amma didn’t do anything. And by anything, I mean not one ask and I don’t believe even one attempt at finding someone to ask, but please Amma chime in if I dey lie bad. Ahem.

For me, I dunno whether to laugh or cry. I did go on a …thing. I dunno what to call it, because it occurred in the strangest of circumstances. I was asked by a friend to take him on a date. However, the date ended with him inquiring who and who would be a good fit for me, and why I wasn’t dating them. #confused? Ya, so was I. But I don’t want to discuss the colossal fail that was that date thing. What I’m here to discuss is the utter fail that was every other attempt to go on a date in September.

I met 4 new guys over the last month who I got along with upon first meet. See definition of got along with: good/interesting conversation with just the right amount of flirtation. You’d think four is a hefty number, and you would be right. It can be is already difficult to find people interesting in these parts, so 4 in a month is a HEFTY number. But watch the bait and switch played on me: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS MARRIED! Whether they mentioned wifey or not in the conversation (3 did), whether wifey lived in Ghana or not (2 did not), whether they wore a ring or not (2 did not), whether they were overtly availing themselves to an affair or just having an overly friendly conversation which I just couldn’t pick up on (2 definitely definitely were the former), it didn’t matter because at the end of the day THEY WERE ALL MARRIED. And for the simple fact that being married is a non starter for me, we can confidently say that September was indeed a fail.

Aside from the fact that I’m more about trying to be the right person versus actively looking for the right person these days, this was still kind of a useful exercise. At the very least, it taught me I need to work on my married man-(ra)dar lol… And more importantly, it taught me that if you don’t go out, you won’t meet people. And that’s some biblical Rhema right there, huh? But seriously, in the last month I’ve gone out to more house parties, weddings, birthday parties and other get togethers than I have in a while, and I”ve realized ‘hey, guess what? I don’t know every newly landed or been-here-for-a-minute Ghanaian in Accra’.

If you’re just in your house expecting to meet new people, that’s not a winning strategy, my dears. I mean I do believe oldladyin miracles, but if the Spirit hasn’t led you to stay at home and knit scarfs, welt then it’s time to get off the couch and get out more. And I’m not talking about clubbing… I’m talking about events where you can actually speak with people in a chill (sober) manner. So I guess not all was lost for this experiment, y’all can take this small piece of advice from the failures of last month.

So cheers to the freakn’ month of September!
September

Treat Her Like A Lady: Chivalry isn’t dead, but am I killing it slowly?

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As I mature, I am finding that there are some things that I need to be deliberate about doing and being, and sometimes this means proactively (re)teaching myself to…well… do and be. One of these such things is ‘Being a Lady’.

Yes, you read right.

For the most part, I think I can safely assume that it is pressed upon most women, myself included, that a man will only treat you how you carry yourself. And it’s not that I’ve ever carried myself UN-lady like, but I have never proactively embraced the title. I don’t think I’m alone in this quasi-struggle either. I am a woman. Yes. I am a female. Yes. I am a lady. Hmm…sure?

Last week, Amma’s boyfriend took me to dinner (Amma, you like that😉 ). When the check came, he confidently reached for the bill while I turned around to grab my purse – this was my first time meeting him and I didn’t want to assume anything. As I reached for my credit card, I made a light joke about whether we were going to do this ‘the African way’ or ‘the American way.‘ Given that he had already put his card in the sleeve and on the edge of the table by the time I turned around, I already knew what way we were doing this; however, for kicks I wanted to continue the conversation (for all I knew it could have been an opportunity to write a blog  a learning moment for me). Interestingly, Amma’s boyfriend was visibly confused at my query when I posed it, so I elaborated… ‘You know the African way means a man pays and the American way connotes ‘splitting the check’. My assumption here was that his confusion lay with which definition was being assigned to which label. However, the look of confusion still lingered on his face following my explanation, so this is where I became confused… that is until he calmly explained to me,

‘Afua, there’s only one way, and that is the gentleman way. The gentleman way, my friend, transcends culture and continents.’

Boom.

Well looky there, my new friend taking me to school.

So of course I had to relay this information back to Amma. ‘Your dude’s correct, abi.’ As we spoke about the incident, I openly told her that even though tumblr_lxha9imnHz1r91fqbo1_500we attribute paying as a cultural norm for African men, in Ghana I don’t assume a man will pay (outside of a first date situation), to which she responded… ‘Really? Ghana has spoiled me, I always assume a man will pay. I don’t even pretend to reach for my wallet anymore. If I even think that there may be a slight hint of ‘American-style’ behavior, I will literally shame you into paying [because you will actually have to open your mouth and say something to get me to contribute].

Saa**, is that how women are rolling these days? Shaming men into chivalry? Hmm… But then what’s wrong with me… Why am I not demanding/expecting such behavior AND why isn’t chivalry the default behavior for guys towards me?

The more I thought through this, the more I saw things as a self fulfilling prophesy. Cyclical behavior which begins and ends with me expecting men not to pay (somewhere in between is me giving off an aura of ‘I’ll pay for {take care of} myself, because God forbid you thought I was ‘one of those girls’).

Sadly, this isn’t a new thing for me. I have a distinct memory of getting on a campus bus during my second year of college, and it was packed. When I got on the bus, a guy friend of mine was seated and asked if I wanted his seat. I said no [in some witty feminist leaning- 21st century I don’t need a man kinda way]. The experience is quite etched in my memory, not because of the utterly horrified ‘I feel so sorry for you (and your way of thinking)’ look my friend gave me, but because to this very day I don’t fully understand why I said no. I really don’t. < So then this is the part I play in the cyclical behavior. But there’s more…

Within the last year, I went to dinner with a guy friend and I remember when I inquired why we were splitting the check when he invited me to dinner, he said: ‘Afua, you make more than me and you’re not one of those girls that cares about these things’ < Here we see another component of the circle… really one that isn’t even initiated by me.

Another male friend this year had the courtesy to ask me, ‘Afua, would you be offended if I paid?’ Noting that he didn’t want to assume I was a certain type of girl [one who likes to pay] and unintentionally offend me by paying. But if this guy had to ask, then there must be a look, an attitude, an aura that I am putting out which makes a man’s default with me be: ‘she likes to fly solo’. <This is probably the last in the construction of the never ending circle.

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Amma and I at AIM last year

So around and around the merry-go-round we go. My behavior> ‘His’ behavior> My attitude/aura (and what I believe should be). And there are many more stories to fill in this cycle.

But let’s forget about how much I make and my educational attainment for a second, because these things have no bearing on the definition of a lady. Ie. I know women who I went to grad school with who earn circles around me that I can emphatically say [a majority of] men would never allow them to pay for themselves. So clearly this is a much larger issue being represented through a small gesture of settling a check. Even for women who seemingly have ‘it’ all (whatever all means), there are men that view them in a different light than they view me. It’s a mindset difference of ‘I deserve to be treated like a lady’…. and  just because I can take care of myself doesn’t mean you should allow me to.

Case in pt: I ran my first half marathon at the end of September (whoop whoop) and something new to the Accra International Marathon (AIM) this year was bicycle escorts from the accra cyclist club. There weren’t enough cyclists to escort every half and full marathon runner, however somehow I received a personal escort for essentially the entire route. When the escort first came alongside me, instead of initially seeing it as a blessing, I went into my feelings: “Why are you cycling next to me? Aren’t there other runners you can escort- What you think I need an escort? I don’t look like a runner or that I can finish the race? Urgh.” Ya, I never said I was rational. In any case, I didn’t say anything and kept running. A quarter of the race in, he became my silent safety blanket- shielding me from (ignorant) drivers who didn’t want to stick to the inner lane, riding ahead of me on curves that had dangerous blind spots and telling me to run closer to the edge when appropriate. There was a time when he had to briefly leave my side and attend to an injured runner, and the whole time he was gone all I kept thinking was, ‘Blankie come back!’ lol😉 I do not know how I would have fared without him on the course, but what I do know is that it would not have been as smooth of a ride. Thus, being capable of taking care of myself on the course or paying the bill isn’t the point. For me, the real lesson here is letting go of control and allowing someone to take care of you. And this is mutual in a relationship, I’m just talking from the woman’s side (which happens to manifest itself in being treated like a lady).

Like I said earlier, men treat you like you carry yourself and how you demand to be treated. So this is more than the (fake) grab of the check or credit card, or the shaming of a man into paying, this is really what me, Afua is demanding/expecting and what I’m (re)teaching myself to receive graciously when it is given. We all know it’s a continual work in progress for me. But small small, I’ll get there. When he offers me that seat on the bus, I’ll take it now; when he wants to open the door or walk on the outside of me, I’ll allow it abi; when the cyclist wants to escort me, and me alone, I sure as hell won’t fight it … … externally.:)

** Ghanaian slang for ‘is that so?’

Hedging: Play Now, Pay Later

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“To protect (one’s investment or an investor) against loss by making balancing or compensating contracts or transactions.”

According to my Mac Spotlight dictionary.

A coward who’s scared to make a permanent decision on a woman.

According to Afua’s dictionary.

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Let’s get into this a little, because it’s one of the most annoying things known to a Woman. So… you meet a guy, he’s chill… hence why y’all start Chilling. And then in some distant, not-so distant future you find out: he’s definitely wifed up. And NOT in the sense that he’s actually said the I-do’s, but that he is near-married, near-engaged, near-co-habitating… near-COMMITTED (however you want to package it). So then the questions start flying, “Why in God’s name was he hanging out with me, with no mention of his “wifey”? ” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

Hedging. 

The art of protecting your prized asset (your arse heart) from an investment you’re not 100% sure will produce the future returns you once calculated thought. The art of diversifying your portfolio to see whether higher returns can be made elsewhere… because any half brain could tell you that going all in on something you’re not 100% sure of is just plain stupid, right?. . . Have you heard of counting your chickens before they hatch? (Usually in reference to a woman eagerly awaiting a proposal, which may or may not ever come). Well hedging is in essence not counting anything… at all.

I’ve heard enough stories of hedging now to know it like better than the back of my hand:

  • boy meets girl (or girls), who he is attracted to. Girl(s) could be new, girl(s) could be old, it’s equal opportunity.
  • boy begins to implicitly or explicitly, or both-ly (?), make moves. ie. inappropriate behavior for someone in a “committed” relationship. This can vary in degree, from acting oblivious or nonchalant about his current relationship’s future… to making propositions such as, “hey, how come you’ve never thought about us being together; we’d make a good pair.” … to outright physical cheating. Note: in all this, boy can disclose or conceal his current relationship, this is also equal opportunity.
  • boy then comes to his senses. And… full stop.

A rather predictable fable, no?

So what makes hedging different from cheating? I’m glad you asked. The important distinction between hedging and mere cheating is that we’re not talking about people who have been dating some few months to maybe a year or two. We’re talking about people who are going on damn near 10yrs (lol naw, but more like anything over 2-3yrs). When generally it’s time to start making moves towards a forever-type situation. For hedging to take place, it must be preceded by movement towards a deeper level of commitment.

girls abr3

GIrls are tired of relationship wahala

Interestingly, (as noted in my neatly bulleted synopsis) what I’ve seen from men who engage in hedging is that they end up marrying wifey anyways. Therefore, it all becomes just a lot of wahala to make them feel more confident in the decision their actions have basically already made- – please ask yourself, what have the last 5years been about then? If that 20% of her that you’re not sure of really makes you want to step out, but that 80% kept you in for 6yrs… chale chale girls abr3 paa**. This thing is just a waste of everyone involved’s time.

I’m guessing another question on your mind is: what happens on wifey’s end? …Welt, let’s first make the assumption that wifey actually knows hedging is upon her (sadly, for some women this is a big assumption… And understandably – I’ve been with you for five years, why wouldn’t I be secure in what we have?). So assuming she actually knows, then perhaps she weathers the storm and banks on the fact that her asset can keep the investor committed, or at the very least fend off other attractive investments long enough for the investor to surrender to come to his senses. Or perhaps she does some hedging herself, to hedge against the hedging… <?> dear God, my head actually hurts thinking about this. Really, I just don’t get it. After a said amount of time, haven’t y’all made a decision? You’re telling me in year 3, year 4… year 8 maybe, y’all didn’t stop to think ‘wait, why are we doing this again?’ Whatever happened to road maps before a journey begins? Or a compass even? *sigh*

I think my frustration lies in the fact that I’ve seen a few too many hedging situations of late. Maybe it’s always been there, and now I’m just at the age where those around me are the one’s actually involved in it. I know life blogger-image--1298430667is complicated- obviously it’s not a small task to have to pick someone to spend the rest of your life with, however to me… I think we get too hung up on the picking part sometimes. When the foundational things are solidified and you’ve picked (judging by your actions of being with this person for 10yrs already), then it shouldn’t be much to take that leap to the next level, no? Perhaps if we were less worried about the picking part, about getting someone who ticks more boxes than the last, about hedging against the hedging, then we could work on the stuff that actually matters… you know, the real hard work that comes afterwards (which will happen regardless of who the woman is). That daily grind of sacrificing oneself for another individual, which will still take place whether it’s Jackie from school or Abena from the next cubicle. I mean at some point you just pick. No hedging, no temporary backing out, and for God’s sake no hedging against the hedging. You just make a decision, and stick with it. *shrug*

**Girls are tired (of relationship wahala)

Engaged.

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aaa ya, not me. I know that’s what you were thinking, given my silence for the last few months. But no, the title refers to my friend’s ex.

You know that‘ ex, the one you always thought may would come back. That one that you can’t really put your finger on why ya’ll didn’t get your act together (simultaneously). The one that captured your heart and then went on to capture and permanently lock down another’s. Ya that one. He got engaged not too long ago and I had the privilege of producing the evidence.

. . .

“Afua, you up?”

{…I was, because somehow the wee hours of the morning are my friends}

“Si.”

“I just found out that XXXX is engaged. Can you stalk his Facebook page for me? I unfriended him.”

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{…hmmm… It’s in moments like these that one must assess your level of love for your friend. On one hand, you’re her ride or die… doing anything she would have need of you to do; on the other hand, you’re. her. ride. or. die., which calls for making tough decisions about things that could possibly bring her more harm than good}.

“Hun, you sure about this? I mean there is a reason you unfriended him, right?”

“I know, I just want to see what folks are saying and what the ring looks like.”

{Now that just sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me, but let’s be honest… i get it. I’ll most likely be in the exact same position within a year or so, and I know the fight of wanting to not want to know is a losing battle. Given the question of how I would want a friend to handle the situation for me, the answer was very simple…}

“Fine, here you go.”

What followed next was a flurry of screenshots of congratulatory messages; twin statuses professing love for ‘the only being in the world to fully understand me and love me like I deserve’, and him liking it so much that he “put a ring on it”…paired with a gazillion nods of approval. You know the drill.

“I hope it rains on their wedding day.”

My reaction on the other end, a childish smile marred by a cloud of silence… Some things just don’t need a response.

.

 

.

 

.

“You okay?”

“…ya, I think.”

“I mean I knew it was coming, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t just a slight bit hurt. I just thought…  ”

. . .

She didn’t need to finish the thought, because I knew.

I think what’s worse than not being with an ex anymore, is seeing them (seemingly) happily moved on while you haven’t quite yet. When no amounts of “You’re amazingIt’s his lossYou’ll find anotherThere’s a reason for everythingHe wasn’t the one for you” can mask the pain of flat out rejection. He didn’t pick you. Even if it was a blessing in disguise (even if you don’t want him anymore). It. still. sucks. that. he. didn’t. pick. you.

If you can remember this post some time back, specifically the article All the Single Ladies. There’s a story the author retells about her ex, which used to send shock waves to my system:

“After the worst of our breakup, we eventually found our way to a friendship so deep and sustaining that several years ago, when he got engaged, his fiancée suggested that I help him buy his wedding suit. As he and I toured through Manhattan’s men’s-wear ateliers, we enjoyed explaining to the confused tailors and salesclerks that no, no, we weren’t getting married. Isn’t life funny that way?

Wedding shopping? Really? Hmm… so how can one get from praying for rain to that Things_Finger_Pointing_UP?

Perhaps I’ll discuss that in another blog at a later date… But for now, I’ll say this- I know my friend well, and I know she’ll be fine. There will be a time when the hurt is gone hurts less and the ‘what ifs’ subside. The key is getting to a place where you recognize that even being single trumps being with someone that you’re not supposed to be with. And if there are regrets, it’s about accepting things (because sometimes you’ll never really know if you chose the right path), and learning from the situation and moving forward… in any way you can (even if that means deleting him from social media).

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Just in case you were wondering- Regarding my last post: I never called. He did, eventually. Just not in time for my interest to still be intact.

I’m not the most traditional girl, but… (First date protocol)

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I went on a date recently. It was one of those good ones, you know where you have good superficial (enough) banter that is still character revealing. A drink or two in a relaxed atmosphere… chill times all around.

However, when I didn’t hear from the guy within a few days I casually logged it under the ‘that’s life’ pile. It was cool, there was no harm done; I had a good time and if he didn’t want anything else, it is what it is.

But what is it exactly? Because I thought things went a certain way…

I shared the experience with a close friend in passing:

Me (AE): “I mean I’m not the most experienced dater, but I think I know when I’m on a date and the both of us are having a mutually good time.”

Friend (FD): “Did you call him?”

AE: ” I’m not your most traditional girl in any sense of the word, but there are some things related to the first date that must be on the man, I think. Following up initially after the date is one of them, no?”

Couple enjoying dinnerF1: “Honestly, I don’t see what’s wrong with calling him. It doesn’t even have to be a call, could be a text message to him to remind him that he has something there… and that you’re interested.”

AE: “I did the follow up thanks text saying that I had a nice time. Isn’t that enough?”

F1: “No. I’m referring to a day or two after. There’s no rule anywhere that says he has to call first. And Afua, strong woman like you, you’re not empowered enough to call him, that’s odd. ”

AE: “No, there isn’t a rule. But I think at the beginning of something, a man should set the tone. If I can’t even get a call after the first date, then that initial drive to be with me isn’t there. A guy doesn’t need reminding that I’m ‘there’ within a few days of a date.”

F1: “Well maybe he read your interest in him wrong. If you’re wondering why he hasn’t called, it means you wanted him to call, which means you’re interested. So call him and keep it light. You have nothing to lose.”

Hmmm… food. for. thought.

So RR should I have called? Are my arbitrary rules stopping me from being great?

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Find out what happened at the end of this post