Tonight, I’m wondering.

I’m wondering when and if I’ll ever find him.

I’ve dated for a while now. I’ve dated the lawyer. The medical student. The businessman. I’ve dated the Romanian lecturer. The Spanish professor. The R&B star.

I’m tired. And I’m too young to be tired. But I am. I am tired of feeling like my quality, my exclusivity, the very essence of myself, is being shared with men who are neither deserving, nor enticing. With each meal that I share, each movie that I sit through, and each coffee I sip, I feel like I am giving a small piece of myself to the young suitor who sits across the table, beside me in the theater, or on the adjacent couch at Starbucks. With each conversation, I feel like I am sharing some piece of myself with a man who is neither deserving of my time, nor of the access he is granted into my soul for that brief window spent together.

I never really believed in dating. I thought it was too conventional; inorganic, really. I didn’t believe in going out with someone just to “give him a chance.” No. I thought that dating, at least in my sense of the term, should be thoughtless. As in, you should meet someone in the grocery store and, amidst inspecting the tomatoes, he cracks a joke and you both smile. And you never have to question whether or not you want to go on a date with him because by the time he asks, after a series of pleasantries and easy banter, you just know you do. And so you say “yes.” Not only do you say yes, but you look forward to it. You enjoy the time it takes to select your outfit, to turn around in the mirror, and to call your closest friend for wardrobe advice.

I would like to call this ‘The Thoughtless Date”—the one you don’t have to decide whether or not to accept. The one whose sheer possibility fills you with unbridled excitement. Pure. Positive. Energy.

It has been ages since I’ve been on a Thoughtless Date. Worse, it’s been ages since I’ve been excited about someone. In fact, it’s only happened once. And I remember those days well: talking for hours about everything and nothing at the same time; feeling like he could anticipate my next thought. He matched the same principles, mores, and self-righteousness that defined my youth. And yet, he challenged me. In a way that no other peer ever has. He was able to take my best thought to the next level, adding perspective that I had neither considered, nor did I feel I could have conceived of on my own. And that’s where his partnership mattered. He complimented me. He stretched me. He was kind and loving. Protective and fierce. He exemplified, in my mind, the epitome of gentle strength.

He was the only boyfriend I have never had to work with. My mind was on cruise control when I was with him. I never had to work to be polite with him, as I have with many other dates, pretending to listen as they droned on and on about topics about which I didn’t care to hear. With him I did, genuinely, care. What he thought was interesting, I, naturally and of my own accord, also found interesting. With everyone else since him, I have had to politely listen as egomaniacs methodically stroked their own ego, simply wanting an audience to listen through pursed lips and furtive nods. I’ve had to attend events that I, quite frankly, could have died a happier person never having attended. I’ve had to smile politely as potential suitors made references to a future that I, in my own head, knew would never exist.

Yet I have neither seen those qualities nor felt that synergy since, and am left wondering if I ever will. So, after all the years, dates, and coffees in between, I wonder if I will ever again find a man who excites me. A man who, at the sight of his number on my phone, makes me smile like a freshman in college. A man who, upon hearing the sound of his voice on the other line, makes me feel reassured just knowing he’s there.

So I am hereby reinstating the dating embargo. Because when the date doesn’t work out, I inevitably blame myself.  “I should have been more discriminating before hand,” I tell myself, claiming that I could have saved myself the last three excruciating hours of mindless pleasantries and eye-gouging boredom.

Worse, with each underwhelming suitor, I begin to question my own worth. I wonder if he is all I’m worth, or all that I will ever have access to.  “What am I doing,” I ask myself, “to make this underwhelming creature sitting across from me think that we, in some misaligned universe, would ever be compatible? Are there fine men out there who are passing me up? Are they just ‘not that into’ me? Am I not hot enough? Not kind enough? Not smart enough?”

So, to prevent this insecurity build-up, it’s back to the basics for me. Old School. I will no longer go out on dates to be polite, nor will I go on dates because I am lonely and talk myself into “giving the guy a chance.” No. Not again.

Instead, I’m waiting. And no one knows better than me how unsettling it is to wait. You just wait until someone, well . . . “finds you.” And although this may be hard, I fear that the alternative may be worse. Because with each potential suitor to whom I give a small piece of my time, energy, and attention, he inevitably takes a piece of my heart; so that when I meet Mr. Man, I fear I won’t have anything left.

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  • Tim

    Her problem is that she thinks the men are the problem. Keep on turning down all these men who aren’t “good enough”. Keep waiting for Mr. Perfect. You deserve your future. Just don’t complain and place blame on men.

    • J

      You sound bitter dude

    • Tim


      Bitter about what? Do you know many women would love to date, just once, a lawyer, medical student, businessman, Romanian lecturer, Spanish professor, R&B star, ect, ect, ect….. They all couldn’t have been bums. It’s obvious this woman is self absorbed spoiled princess. Father time will likely, correct that. We see these type of women all the time. Multiple dates weekly, a new man every other month and then you see them in their 30’s and 40’s never married looking for a husband.

      I ain’t bitter about ish. Just don’t blame men for not having a husband and no prospects of one, later in life.

    • Lola

      @Tim. It’s “etc” and not “ect.” Learn how to spell in your bitterness.

    • EST. 1986

      On one hand, women are told to choose ‘better men’, but then on the other, women are told to not pass up men who they would not normally date.

    • Tim

      @ EST. 1986

      Better? Did you read that list of men who she thought didn’t deserve to sit across the table from her?

    • Jess

      @Tim, I don’t think that it was about feeling that the men did not “deserve” to sit across from her. As though she were some queen who could not deign to be bothered. Instead, I think the author’s point was that she felt no inherent connection with any of these men. No spark, no magic, no lasting interest. They may all be perfectly nice men–it was simply obvious that none was the right man for her. That connection, that something “special” is elusive and all too rare.

    • Purple Rain

      @Tim This isn’t about whether or not a man is “good enough” for her! She is looking for the mind-body-spirit connection and bond that made her fall head over heels for the last boyfriend she had. She has not found it in any of her most recent suitors, so she is re-evaluating her methods. Lose the bitterness. It’s not a good look….

    • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

      @ Jess exactly, “nice” does not necessarily = right, as in the right individual for her.

    • Tim

      @Jesse/Purple Rain

      I’m called bitter but where are you bitter police when these 30’s and 40 somethings who had multiple men chasing them in their 20’s are now complaining, loudly, about no “good” men? You see by then all of that something special, mind, body, spirit and soul mate deal breaker check list doesn’t seem so important and has been paired down to just a “compatible good man”. lol

      Not bitter, just pointing out their convenient amnesia and hypocrisy of their flawed short term logic. Own it.

    • JaeBee

      ITA EST.1986. In addition to that, women are told to live their lives, not focus on finding a spouse, and then someone will come along when they least expect it. On the other hand, single women who are “living their lives” and who are not “focused on finding a spouse” are told that they are still single because they’re not “putting themselves out there” and proactively looking. So essentially we’re dayumed if we do and dayumed if we don’t.

    • thinkpink

      @TIm She’s a Harvard Graduate and Fulbright Scholar. Not a self absorbed princess. I think she’ll be ok.

    • Neda

      Please can everyone ignore Tim
      He didn’t understand the article at all

    • Kay

      Tim, a woman is not dating a man’s profession. She’s dating HIM. So what she’s dated a lawyer, rap star, etc. Truth be told, I’ve dated quite a few of the type of guys she lists. Just because a guy is a lawyer, doesn’t mean he’s the one. Sometimes you just don’t connect. I don’t think she was saying they were problems with those guys, just that she didn’t feel that connection, and because of that, fears that she will never have it with anyone. Believe me, when you feel that connection with someone, you’ll know it. It’s a feeling that I had. It was like an electric current every time I looked at my husband, and he’s not perfect but he’s the ONE. THAT’S what she’s looking for I think.

    • mr.vicious


      Stop having semantic disputes over misspelling. Argue his claims not his typos….shm

      @Tim arguing with some of these women is like giving medicine to a dead person.

    • Old TImer

      I think they actually hate male opinions regardless of what they are saying. Is this site women’s only or something? because we certainly don’t have open hostility towards women on majority male sites, women are often a breath of fresh air amidst all the testosterone. I see open hostility to anyone (male) disagreeing with the authors, even the most concise, legitimate arguments. Seriously we are all trolls according to a front page article here? If so we still find humor in the lashing out, hypocrisy, ad hominem and strawman attacks. Oh the Irrational Black Women meme ideas you can get from this site. *shivers with glee* Like someone mentioned above we’ll be alright, its you guys penning countless articles about “where the good men at” and then attacking them we they offer some advice as to how to attract them.

    • angelmills

      you’re not bitter you just don’t want to waste your time any longer

    • Stanley

      This is her problem!

  • JaeBee

    I feel like I’ve read this article before…last year perhaps? I throw no shade in saying that, it’s just that I remember reading the article for the first time and wishing that I too could one day experience a “thoughtless date”. Wishing you the best of luck in your search. Hoping that we both meet someone someday soon.

    • Mae

      You have…this was written in 2010. It is not original content.

    • Bosslady

      Yes, I remember reading this article also.
      It’s a great piece.

  • Jess

    I can relate… I can definitely relate. Hope you find him.

  • Mahogany

    I’m in the same boat. It doesn’t matter how well established the man is, if he is not of great character and that there’s little compability it’s just not going to work. Dating can be though but you have to be patient in finding the right one. It will be worth it in the end.

    • Stanley

      When somebody can’t find someone compatible with ‘hem, this person has only self to blame for that. Not the opposing sex. It sounds like the writer want to put the blame on the men for not being able to find what she wants.

  • Robin

    Well said. I agree with this article all the way.