Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Happy Tuesday people!
I neglected to mention I was taking the day off from blogging yesterday - so sorry about that! I just needed a day to relax...but I'm back!
So I was catching up with an old friend recently - seeing where we were in each other's lives since the last time we spoke. I asked about her love life and she asked about mine.
Friend: "What's up with _________ ?"
Me: "He's okay, I guess...haven't really spoken to him."
Friend: "But I thought you two were getting along?"
Me: "We were, did...for a while. But he's pretty much Black History now."
Friend: "Well, what about __________, you know...the cute one?"
Me: "Black History too...he was nice, and he's still cool...but I had to keep it moving."
Friend: "You sure don't waste any time do you?"
She hit the nail on the head - I don't waste any time. I don't like my time wasted, and I don't like to waste any one else's. I have no problem getting to know someone, slowly. But there's a difference between taking your time feeling someone out and getting to know them...and wasting time.
I've found that the older I get, the more I know what I want...and the less time I waste in getting it. That is true in several areas of my life - whether it's my career, my weight loss goals...and more importantly, my relationships. If there is no connection, then we can be friends. I'm not gonna wait around to see if one develops. We're either feeling each other or we're not. And I'm not talking about a simple physical connection. That's the easiest to detect. It's either there or it's not.
But what I'm talking about a real connection. Mental, emotional, spiritual. Do we want the same things? Are we on the same path? Am I a rebound? Are you sure you're really "available." Are you truly "single?" Are you just trying to "get yourself right?" I ask all of these questions directly - and often. I pull no punches. And if the answers aren't in alignment with mine, then it's time to keep it moving. Plain and simple.
We all know when someone is into us. We know when someone genuinely likes us. In my 20's, I could entertain several guys at a time, because I wasn't interested in settling down. So that meant I kept a few stragglers around here and there to hang out with if I wanted company - even if I knew I wasn't really that into them, or vice versa. They'd re-appear every few months like clockwork - and I kept my steadies in rotation.
Now, I don't have time.
Now, don't get me wrong...that doesn't mean I love 'em and leave 'em - or chew them up and spit them out. Just because a man doesn't want what I want, or there is no love connection, doesn't mean we can't be friends or that I'll never speak to him again. Quite the opposite actually. I have A LOT of male friends who are all great guys.
But there'll be no sex. No late night booty calls. No, "Let me come check you real quick" text messages. We're cool, and that's it. Don't pretend to want more, or have your cake and eat it too...because you'd just be wasting both of our time. If there is no romantic future - then save the "sexting" for someone who wants that.
A time waster isn’t just someone who doesn’t show up or call when they say they will - that's the easy one to spot. The ones I'm wary of are the ones who talk a good game when it's time to "come lay up" - but when you talk about your feelings or what they want for the future - they are “not sure” or are “confused.” At my age, it’s really quite simple to figure out - you either like someone and want to see where it goes or want it to work out - or you don’t. I'm not suggesting you lay it all out on the line in the initial stages of a relationship - like the first 3 months. But after 6 months to a year, you know...or at least you have an idea.
The biggest time waster is the one who is only dating you to sort themselves out - either after a divorce or coming out of a long term/bad relationship. And as sure as the leaves will turn colors, when they are “better” - they're ready to move on. This could be called a rebound, and unfortunately we have all been there. The trick now is to recognize when you ARE the rebound so that you can keep it moving...or at least keep that person at arm's length. And if you're using someone else, you need to be honest with yourself about it and determine if it's fair to waste someone else's time. It's not cool to be selfish.
As our conversation went on, I told her it wasn't about being "mean" when it comes to dating. Like I said...at my age, I've just become very good at analyzing the situation and seeing what it really is vs. what I want it to be. It's always best to have a sense of humor when it comes to dating, and to have fun and to not take things personally - but it's equally important to read the signs, in between the lines and to not waste anyone's time either. If you're not sure, then here are some things I've learned on how to avoid, or be careful when dealing with time wasters:
Don't put all your eggs in one basket - date different people. At the same time.
Never put yourself out for a first or new date.
Never travel too far to meet someone consistently - especially if you're the only one doing it.
Take everything that is said with a pinch of salt until you find the truth.
Don’t get your expectations up - set out to have fun and that's it.
Take what a person says as truth - not what you want to hear.
You can't change anyone.
If their behavior is inconsistent, or they don't call or show up when they say they will - keep it moving.
If they wasted your time once, they'll do it again for as long as you allow it.
If they're not truly "single" or are "in between relationships" (whatever that means) - then RUN.
If they "just" broke up with their ex - be careful. And keep your options open.
Feel free to add more.
You will go through some frogs before your prince(ss) arrives, so that's to be expected. If you know what you want in a relationship, make sure the person you're spending the majority of your time with wants the same thing. If they don't, then don't spend the majority of your time with them - it's that simple. I'm not saying don't be friends or hang out. Just limit your time (and emotions) with them. If your relationship didn’t go as planned, then shake it off - and on to the next one. Put it down as a life experience or putting in the leg work. The more you date, the more you'll know what you want...and don't want. If the person you've just met isn't walking the same path - don't go down theirs...stick to your own. Life is too short to be wandering around aimlessly wondering what's going on - and my time is precious. Once it's gone, you can't get it back...so spend it wisely...and with the right person.