Y’awl know I’m dating again. It’s light, fun, and I actually have a few suitors I entertain.
For the first time, I’m actively a serial dater. Before, I would give it a half ass try, end up being in a relationship before it’s solidified, and it would eventually blow up.
These days, I’m sticking to my guns. I want to learn the deepest part of someone, before there’s a commitment. I gotta make sure we have capacity for each other.
In the past, I had a habit of not letting my boundaries be known. I was simply scared to speak up. I would be met with resistance or some type of ‘punishment’ that it became a tug-of-war and exhausting. I found myself bending and compromising so much of myself to make him comfortable that I became resentful, spiteful, and depleted.
So, to avoid hearing or feeling his wrath, I would suck it up and act like nothing was wrong, when I was literally dying on the inside because my emotional needs were being ignored.
Consequently, not saying anythang allowed me to sign unspoken contracts that when I did voice my concern, we ultimately ended up not making it.
While I am dating a few people, I have one particular friend that I enjoy a lot. It’s nothing deep but he gives me the mental stimulation I need. We talk everyday, just about all day. We’re two adults enjoying life and building a legit friendship.
Even as emotionally intelligent and compassionate as he is, homeboy did something to cross me and triggered an old wound that I’m still healing from. This wasn’t intentional but he did it and hurt my feelings.
As a result, for about two days, I kinda had a lil attitude with him. I was dry as hell and would go in and out. I even blocked him for like six hours cuz I was mad. When all I had to do was state the facts; tell him why I felt the way I did; and define the boundary.
But, fear set in. If I say something, he ain’t gon’ like me anymore, or he’s get ghost. I was scared to speak up for myself, which is not really who I am.
If you know me, I always let my feelings be known. But, when it comes to men that I have a connection with, I’m hesitant on being vocal. But, I spoke with my friend, who reminded me that I just needed to tell him my boundary. If he didn’t honor it, then that’s on him. He ain’t have to like it or even agree. But, I needed to draw the line to protect my happiness.
So, when I saw him, I opened the conversation like I normally do. I was real calm and made sure I used words to let him know I wasn’t on any BS but I needed him to consider my feelings.
I essentially told him that I didn’t have the capacity to deal with XYZ & I needed him to do XYZ so I wouldn’t be triggered. I’m still working through thangs and what he was doing ain’t helping. While he has nothing to do with the cause of the trigger, he is agitating the hell out of that hurt place.
He stated he understood and he had the capacity to honor my feelings and to allow space for me to be who I am, as it related to this situation. In fact, he already knew I felt some kind of way and he was trying to rectify the situation, in his own way, or so he thought.
He already knew this but put forth little effort to change it because it wasn’t required. Had I not said anything, it would’ve been another cycle of BS. Even the most compassionate nigga, won’t do what he knows to do sometimes, which is why you gotta let what you require be known.
It was an easy conversation. There was no yelling, back & forth, or unreasonable expectations made. We actually spoke about it, ate, and spent some time laughing and talking, before taking it in. He didn’t even question why I made the request. I was given what I asked for—consideration and empathy.
This taught me that as you are healing, the Universe will test you. This is the first situation I’ve had to speak up for myself, since I’ve been single and I’m glad I did.
I almost cut the man off. But, honestly, the lessons don’t change; the people do. I figured this was something we could talk through and not end a budding friendship over. Either way, I gotta implement my boundaries. It wasn’t even that serious but I didn’t want to address the situation because of fear. I’m glad I did.
I was also reminded why I need someone who has a certain level of emotional intelligence and compassion. Ain’t no way ‘round it. These are thangs that cannot be taught at 30+. You either have it or not. I am so glad he isn’t a mean ass. The conversation would’ve went another way.
I recognized my behaviors that occurred, when I was triggered and I was honest. Ain’t no need of ignoring it or being mum. However I feel will come out anyway—words or my actions.
So, let dating be a practice field where you learn how to love yourself, reinforce boundaries, and, most importantly, protect your peace.
It ain’t all about having multiple people so you won’t get attached. We gotta learn how to communicate & the dating world is our practice field. This is a simple lesson in love and life.