There is that now iconic moment in Sex in the City where Charlotte York has her hissy fit and announces “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted! Where is he?” And we all know who she is talking about. The One, Prince Charming, Mr. Right, otherwise known as the mythical creature that is somehow the puzzle piece that clicks perfectly into the contours of your life. Yeah that guy. Let’s just say I’ve been having a Charlotte moment.
After an extended dating hiatus to get my career together and recover from a bad breakup with two really close friends, I decided that I was finally whole, healed, and happy enough to start meeting new people. I did what experts (and a psychic I met in Austin) suggested. I made a list of what I wanted…a long list actually, perhaps a manifesto is a more accurate description.
I modeled this visioning process after what I used to manifest my house. During the search for my very first house I made my list of must haves: 2 bedrooms, large windows with good light, a large kitchen, and a deck. Then I added things I didn’t need but wanted like a fireplace and space for the garden I’d like to have one day and storage space. I put it all on my vision board and then connected with an awesome realtor who helped me discern my price range and then used a computer program to draw a map of the parts of the city I wanted to live in so that if anything in my range came available we would be notified. Then I got to work with my prayer partners. I did meditations not so much on how the house would look and all its accoutrements, but in how I would feel in my house. I wanted a sanctuary, someplace safe, peaceful, surrounded by other people of color. A place that was spacious, but didn’t feel too big. Someplace I could have space for good parties, and an extra room where friends could come and stay and have their own space.
My vision was super clear. Yet still I proceeded to see some terrible houses. There was the house with pink carpet, like Pepto Bismo pink, or the place that used to be a nursing home and stank of urine and was definitely haunted…I mean like gives you the chills poltergeist haunted. There was one house where the owners had clearly gone to home depot and attempted to build their own addition. When I looked up at the ceiling it became evident that they had forgot to remove the gutters. Yes, the gutters of the roof were on the inside of the house. At this point I turned to Wendy, my realtor, and said I think I need to explain to you again what kind of house I’m going to buy because this ain’t it.
Wendy was eternally optimistic. She told me over and over again that in my price range I might need to consider a fixer upper. And how many times have I been told the same thing by my friends on my search for a good man. At “my age” I’m told it’s time for me to get realistic as if there is some kind of statute of limitations on getting what you want in a relationship. After 30, you just better take what you can get. Not all men are perfect, people tell me. Even Barack Obama was a smoker when Michelle met him. People tell me I have to think of men as fixer uppers. Is he someone you can grow into? In my 20s I might have been okay with dating a man who was just starting out in his career and still growing into his life plan, but 20 has come and long gone and I need something move in ready.
I need a man who knows who he is, has his shit together and can get over his own insecurities enough to be with me as I come into my own. But instead what I have been getting are men like those crappy houses. There was the one last week who picked me up for our first date in a minivan with a baby on board sign in the back then looked at me surprised when I asked him if he had kids. My eyes widened a bit and I rephrased the question because I could see him fixing his mouth to lie to me: “How many kids do you have?” 1 he answered sheepishly and actually asked me how I knew he had kids. Within three questions, I had discerned that he was the father of a one and half year old by a woman who he was still in a relationship with. Yup. Date over. I contemplated asking him to turn around right then and there, but he had bought me a ticket to the Timbers/ Sounders game (our local soccer grudge match) and I wanted to see the game so I went, but it didn’t get any better. Not when we met up with his friends who made so much noise that security game and threatened to kick them out, not when one of his drunk friends told me if I ever wanted to have sex with him he would do it right (I swear I am not making this up) just minutes after his other friend had offered us the use of his daughters to be the flower girls at our wedding because he had a good feeling about me.
To my credit, I was classy. No one got punched in the face (though I was tempted) and I even refrained from the incredulous royal cussout when at the end he asked me when he could see me again. I simply thanked him for the ticket and told him that it would not be possible. But when I got home I was mad as hell. I was mad at the Universe. THIS IS NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR! Neither the man, nor the experience were worthy of what I deserve.
Shortly after Wendy took me to see the house with the gutters on the inside, I had a temper tantrum. I told her point blank that if this was all I could afford, I would just wait to get a house because there was no way in hell I was living in a place like that. Then because I was irritated I made her show me two houses not on our list because I just wanted to see something worth seeing to take the bad taste out of my mouth. The first house wasn’t so great, but the second house was lovely. It had been freshly painted and recently remodeled. There was a fireplace, a cute front porch, large back porch. As I walked from front to back beneath the 9ft ceilings I witnessed the manifestation of my vision board.
“It’s probably not in your price range,” she warned me, but whether or not I could afford it was not the point. I had seen something worth seeing. Because it wasn’t on our list, Wendy wasn’t able to get all the information right away, but an hour after she got home, she called me to tell me, that it was just barely out of my range. “Make an offer!” she practically shrieked. I did. That was two years ago and my house is absolutely the sanctuary I prayed for.
As for my breakthrough, I realized that just like in that process, I am choosing to stand in my highest good. I want a man who is spiritual, grounded, honest, intelligent, and most importantly one that is right for me and if that means I have to be by myself for longer than I had hoped, well then luckily I am in good company. I refuse to buy into scarcity and lack. I don’t need a whole bunch of men, just one. A partner is such an important part of your life, that like a home, it’s really not something you want to settle for. Sure, he may have his quirks, but the foundation needs to be solid.
A few days after that ridiculous waste of time date, I found myself sitting out in the parking lot of a church I used to go to preparing myself for an emotional experience. A friend of mine passed away last week. It was all very unexpected, so much so that she had been signed up to sing at the talent show. One of our mutual friends decided he would sing in her stead so I went to honor him, but as soon as I got inside I heard a beautiful voice. As I got closer I saw that voice was coming from a gorgeous brother. I was early so all the talent were still doing sound checks, but all I could think of was “Who is that?!”
I found my friend and it turns out they knew each other. My friend introduced us and from the first hug I thought…oh. This is what this is supposed to be like. I’m not saying he’s the one or anything like that, but from moment one, I knew he was a cut above any man I’d dated recently. As we chatted, I was mentally checking off my list: single, no kids-but likes and wants kids, in my age range, well-traveled, spiritual, funny, kind, smart…the list goes on. I don’t know if it will go anywhere. I have lived long enough to know my life doesn’t always come through with the Disney epic happy ending, but meeting him clarified for me that there are men worth dating out there. And a man like him is well worth the wait.
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