Tonight, I found myself sitting with one of my best friends, watching some of our favorite old school R&B videos and talking about our own romantic situations. The “Bad Habits” video by Maxwell affected me in particular. It got me to thinking about some of my own bad habits concerning women and the memorable ones that I’d encountered. Women that had fundamentally altered my heart and how I felt about love:
- The woman that I couldn’t let go of. Not that she’d ever done much to show that she appreciated or deserved me anyway.
- The woman that wouldn’t let go of me. Not that I knew a damn thing about appreciating her anyway. I didn’t even miss her until I figured out what I’d lost.
- The woman that brought every bit of hurt to the surface that she could ring out of me…but I just I kept going back for more until I felt humiliated.
- The woman that acted like she didn’t have any damn feelings and yet, still I sat, waiting on something to appear that wasn’t there, then punished her for not being who I wanted her to be…even though she never lied to me about what she didn’t have to offer.
- The woman that got away, simply because I was too afraid to ask her to stay.
- The woman I kept trying to save because playing Captain Save-A-Hoe was easier than pursuing someone who was content saving themselves.
- The woman that offered me everything I ever said I wanted, but I just didn’t want it from her.
I suppose if I could say anything about me at age 29, it’s that I’m coming to understand many of the mistakes I made with women in my past. I get why I dated those women or pursued them. I understand what I saw in them and I even get what they saw, or didn’t see, in me. And here’s what I can tell you about myself:
- I know my worth and I’m not interested in being with anyone that takes away from it.
- I know the worth of a good woman and I’m beginning to recognize them when I see them.
- I’m finally getting to a place where I’m not afraid to go after what I want, and not just because it’s enticing, but because she has the potential to be GOOD for me.
- I’m okay with being alone until I find a good woman. I have no interest in being with someone, just so I’m not alone with myself and my thoughts.
- But most importantly, I finally understand why a good woman is worth waiting on. Why it’s okay to take my time and work on nurturing it. Why it’s okay to give her space to get herself together. Why it’s okay to give us time to figure out if we really have what it takes, not only as lovers, but as friends.
All around me, I see lesbians, especially studs, in dead-end relationship after dead-end relationship. And U-Haul situation after U-Haul situation. Studs are 50 years old in the club, wearing Ed Hardy and chasing after young girls that don’t know a damn thing about a healthy relationship. Some of these girls haven’t even lived long enough to have been treated nice. So often, there is a love disconnect in our community. I suppose I could go on and on about how gays “not having the same rights as straights” keeps us from achieving the same sense of normalcy they have, but hell, my straight friends are sometimes doing just as bad. And I suppose I could blame it on technology and the immediacy of our current culture, where nobody wants to wait on anything or is willing to work harder than a keystroke to achieve an answer…but hell, who really wants to get rid of Google and calculators?
So maybe, since whatever social issues we have aren’t going anywhere just yet, the answer is just to be more responsible about love. To aspire to be the best that you can be for yourself and your woman. To WANT to be better now, so that you are an even better wife (or however you choose to commit), later. And I’m thinking that before you can get there, you have to be willing to contemplate the women that have come before. To explore the interactions that, for better or worse, have helped shape you into the woman you are now. Then you have to be honest about your part in how it all has turned out. Then you have to be willing to forgive your own stupidity.
Because if you can’t grow from where you came, well, how can you find the woman that you can spend the rest of your life with? And how can you possibly make her stay?
Am I really ready for love? I hope so. I’m trying to be.