I was going to the highly-lauded, much-anticipated live performance of Sade. I couldn’t wait! I missed her the last time she was on tour, but I always said that if she ever came back that there was no way I was going to miss it. Well the time had come. I’d known about her coming to my area for a few months prior and I was talking to a potential suitor at the time. I was smitten with him and kept telling him how much I loved Sade in the hopes that he would get the hint and buy tickets. It didn’t matter that I’d only been talking to him for two weeks and that the concert was well over 6 months away. In my mind, it all made sense; Sade is for lovers and I was going to that concert with a man. Any man would do. Well, the potential in that suitor quickly dissipated, and I was left trying to find another placeholder for my anticipated concert.

I’d met a few guys in the months leading up to the concert but nothing panned out, so what was I going to do? None of my girlfriends could go and I dreaded going to the concert alone. It wasn’t just going to a concert alone that bothered me. I had gone to the Jill Scott (my home girl) and Maxwell’s (my future husband) concerts solo and easily considered them all the company I needed. But this was different; this was Sade.

When I listen to Sade’s music, I hear love. The highs, the lows, the in-betweens. I always picture myself with The One when I daydream to her music. My soul becomes blissful at the thought of finding my soul mate when I hear “Kiss of Life”; the passion burns within me when “Cherish the Day” plays; I writhe in anguish over love lost when she croons, “Is It a Crime.” The saxophone riffs and guitar strums sinuously intertwine with every fiber of my hopelessly romantic being.

Experience has led to come to grips with the fact that it was going to be a long, hard road to finding that special someone, but to not even have a fall guy to help me live out my fantasy was more than I could bear.

The date of the concert was a week away, and I could either go it alone or I could miss the chance of seeing an icon. So I took a deep breath, went online, and purchased the ticket. I announced to friends and family that I was going to the concert. They asked me who I was going with and I said that I was going solo. They were surprised and told me how brave I was (because, of course, it’s taboo for anyone to go anywhere by themselves). But they reminded me that I was, in fact, brave.

I have been single for most of my life. I’ve only had two short-lived relationships that I’d ended because I knew I was faking the funk and ultimately preferred to be alone. And that’s when it dawned on me … I couldn’t go to the concert with just anybody. I place the emotions that Sade’s music stirs within in me in a special place. A place where my love, hopes, fears, and strength reside — protected and safe. The best of me. That place is no longer privy to placeholders. I am waiting for The One.

I pop in my headphones, press play, and become immersed in the militant snare of “Soldier of Love”; the fighter in me marches strong to the beat. I’m still waiting for love to come and turn it all around, but until it does, I’m doing Sade single.

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