Dating in the City: ‘It’s not you…it’s me’

Valentine’s Day is here already and no doubt a couple of days or months prior to this day some poor soul out there received these devastating words : it’s not you, it’s me. 

This has got to be one of the most dreaded phrases to have ever been uttered, alongside the ‘we need to talk’ speech.

This declaration thought to be the biggest cop out ever is the quickest get out of jail free card. The let’s leave on a clean slate argument.

‘It’s not you, it’s me’ aims to soothe the recipient of the message and reassure them that they are truly not at fault. However the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ statement is just plain mean and wrong on so many levels. It just serves to absolve the person uttering it of any guilt, blame or wrongdoing and make the recipient feel like utter crap.

If you have ever received this speech then you know how demoralising it can be. It knocks the wind out of your sails. You start to question and second guess everything you have ever done or said in the relationship. It puts the whole onus on you to figure out why the relationship is ending. That, yes, it is you. You are to blame for this failure.

Not only have you been unceremoniously dumped but you have also received the Judas kiss. The blue screen of death.  A flawless victory in the form of those little 5 words: ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.  What a back handed slap in the face!

The ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ comes with its own pity party. A bitter pill to swallow. But once the dust settles, things start to become clearer. You really do start to understand that it really isn’t you but them. Their inability to make you happy or work with you to try and make the relationship work isn’t a reflection of you. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we hope or want. Sometimes the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ saves us from further heartbreak and a tidal wave of mistakes.

Like Beyoncé said ‘Thank God I found the good in goodbye.’

Those 5 little words :it’s not you, it’s me’ might just turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever heard.

Dating in the City: The Game

 

This post has been long overdue please see part 1 here.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a star in my very own Awkward Black girl dating show.  I feel like I’m living in the Truman show and all the story lines and plot holes (of which there are many) are being controlled by some super producer who never wants its main star to be happy.

My dating life has been haphazard to say the least with more abrupt ends than smooth beginnings. I’m an awkward dater; I’m not one for dull chitchats and banal introductions and the hundred and one random questions that come at you fast. I like to get straight to the point instead of beating around the bush. I’m very upfront about what I’m looking for and if it’s not for you then kindly step away from my space.

But alas dating comes with its own set of rules and regulations and I’m just finally learning how to play the game.

Here are a few tips that I have learnt during this journey:

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – A lot of people have mastered this a long time ago but for most of us this is still a work in progress. It is hard to multi-task and multi-date a lot of people but it is absolutely necessary. I have been guilty in the past of dumping all my fishes back into the sea to hone in on one specific catch only to have the sly creature wriggle away from the net, leaving me with zero. I’d like to think that I have now become a better fisherman but I’m still learning about all the different baits to ensnare different fishes. Like I said work-in-progress.
  • Date with a purpose – This is a must! It is important to know what your end goal is. Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of this process? If your goal is find a life partner then say so. Speak or forever hold your peace. If you are just going about dating all willy nilly without an aim or without any idea of your intention, then you’ll forever meet disappointment.
  • Dating apps are your friends – I can’t believe that I’ve actually just typed this but yeah it’s 2016 and prince charming is not going to just come galloping on his horse to sweep you off your feet. You have to go and seek him out! Previously, I had been so vehemently against online dating that any mention of it would ensure that my friends would get a swift side-eye from me but now I’m singing a different tune. In this fast paced world that we live in, it’s very hard to find the time to meet someone and sometimes you need an intermediary to help you on your merry way. This is where Tinder, PoF, Bumble etc. come in. It’s time to broaden those horizons ladies and gents.
  • Dating is not a dirty word – To me the word ‘dating’ carried negative connotation. If you told someone ‘oh we’re just dating’ they looked at you as if you were loose or crazy. How dare you not tie down this man instantly and make him yours? You got to laugh at the preconceived notions we all hold about people and their lives.  However, as I have grown up I have begun to redefine dating. Dating is a great way of meeting different people. It is a great way for you learn your likes and dislikes. It allows you to weed out the bad apples and sow fruitful seeds. You have to put yourself out there in order to find someone. And yes this may entail dating multiple people until you find the one you most connect with. Own up to your dating life! P.S. please note that I said dating and not sleeping, the two are not mutually exclusive.
  • Do you! – Do not be afraid to take a break from it all and just do you. Take your time. Life is a journey not a destination. We constantly receive unnecessary pressure from outside influences, trying to dictate to us that you have to do X, Y and Z by this age and that; it’s all complete nonsense!!! I felt such intense pressure from friends and family about my lack of husband that I started to feel inadequate and started to feel lost, all because I didn’t have a partner.  I have a good job, qualifications, paying all my damn bills and yet this didn’t seem like an accomplishment to society. But as my girl Chimamanda put it best ‘never speak of marriage as an achievement’. We do not define ourselves by having a husband/boyfriend but rather we define ourselves through our beliefs, our values, and the footprints that we will leave on this earth.

Take your time and enjoy discovering yourself. You’re not in competition with anyone and if you don’t find what you are looking for then that’s ok too. Date yourself first and the rest will fall into place.

love