That’s why finding “the one” isn’t a huge priority. Yes, I work to make sure I’m reading when said person comes along. Yes, I try to make sure I’m aware so I don’t miss said person. (I’m not sure you can miss “the one” if that’s what they are, and you if you do maybe they aren’t or there’s more than one.) Yes, I want love and all those things, but finding men is not really what I do. Don’t think it’s my job. Men find, women choose. But there is a lot of work in waiting. A lot that takes place before I get to choosing.

I feel like I spend a lot of my dating life paying for the mistakes of the women before me.

It doesn’t always come out in the beginning, but eventually I find out about a cheater or indifferent lover. At some point the huge fight where she listed all of the reasons he “ain’t shit” is recounted, and I see the hurt. I see the pain. Some times it’s not even the women he’s dated, but the other women in his life with whom he has had serious problems. The distance starts to make sense. His hesitance starts to make sense. The issues start to make sense.

At some point it clicks: It’s not about me.

People have ish they have to deal with and I can’t put a time constraint on their process. Just like when I’m recovering from a heart break or need space to figure out my wants and needs, it’s not about the dude who is pursuing at the time. He can be great, but if I’m not ready, I’m just not ready. And there’s nothing he can do to change that. Hell sometimes it’s not even that deep. It could just be a bad day or a packed schedule. The point is that it’s about me and where I am. The other point is folks have options. The choices are respect my process or leave.

My real focus is not becoming jaded.

I’m a person who gives a lot. I’m a person who is open and nurturing by default. I’m constantly growing and I have to make sure I don’t let another person’s issues and actions stunt my growth. I like to say “Don’t let his actions keep you from getting your Proverbs 31 on.” In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded of past hurts. Everyone seemed to come back at once, and there was a lot for me to deal with. I had a conversation with My Boy and told him I wasn’t built for it. Wasn’t sure how many more times I could open myself up, get hurt, and then bounce back. Wasn’t sure how many more times I could be “great and amazing,” but not enough. No doubt it’s hard not to say “eff dudes.” It’s hard not to say “well, two can play that game.” But really it’s never worth it. Once you’re in the space of game playing, trying to get over, or just being way too guarded, it’s really hard to come out.

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