Dating Vs. Relationships
The year 2016 was one for my personal dating record book. I was in a relationship for nine months. That didn’t work out, but it was the longest relationship I have ever had. I had a long distance flame I had been talking to on and off for four years. We finally met face-to-face last year. Our time together lasted 24 hours. But hey, she flew in from Amsterdam. International game achievement unlocked.
After my nine-month relationship break up, I reacquainted myself with all the dating apps. I have found that you hit waves of success on dating apps at different times of the year. The winter season into the new year until Valentine’s day is usually a eco-rich time for women who are “trying this online dating thing one more time.”
I found Tinder to be satisfactory. Also, I downloaded Meld, a dating app for black professionals. MY GOD! I finally tapped into a dating demographic where I was valued and a hot commodity. Mind you, I am civil engineer working for a Fortune 100 company. I have my own place, a nice car, I am physically fit, and I have a Yorkie (showing my sensitivity). My success, my intellect and uniqueness worked for me. I talked to and dated a lot of women to close out the year. I don’t care to brag or number them. I’m leading to a revealing point. I became overloaded with so much dating and not having a real connection with anyone. I realized that I was in a toxic dating cycle. I hadn’t healed from my last relationship. I was trying to find the next relationship to flex on my ex.
My only gripe with the women that I was dating was that they were doing the same thing. None of us had healed properly from past experiences. So there were a lot of abrupt fights about gender differences and negative stereotypes. There were a lot of personal attacks instead of trusting and being vulnerable. I decided to opt out of dating so I could practice self-love and care. I wanted to be a better person. I didn’t want to be broken man looking for someone to fix me.
I also realized that my spending was unchecked and out of control. I firmly believe that if you don’t want to spend money to date, then don’t date. However, in relationships, couples have greater purposes for their money such as travel or buying a home. They will find ways to save more money, instead of spending it.
I wanted a real relationship. I was not over the past relationship. It honestly took me over three months, a severe asthma attack, a two-day hospital stay, a and a melodramatic holiday season for me to be ready to move on. During this time, my best friend, who I have entitled my Relationship Sponsor, introduced me to a woman who she described as “drama free.” By introduced, I mean she gave me her picture and cell phone number. I texted her, and the first two weeks consisted of texting “How’s your day?”, phone calls and video chats. We had the one simple thing that makes a relationship work, being mindful.
Our first date was out of the ordinary. We had already established a deep connection through our phone conversations. The first date was more of a face-to-face confirmation. During our date, we made a commitment to each other that I will always remember and cherish. We both had relationship work to do, and we wanted to do it with each other.
We have kept that commitment for over three months now. We’ve discussed feelings of moving too fast. Life has taken matters into its own hands. All the qualities that I listed earlier that I thought made me a prime bachelor, life taught me that they don’t mean shit. Last December, I suffered the worst asthma attack I have ever experienced. I hadn’t had an asthma attack in 13 years. I left my job to rush home and take my rescue inhaler. The inhaler failed and I slipped into a panic attack, then respiratory failure. I had to call 9–1–1. An ambulance came and rushed me to the hospital. Within 45 minutes, I was relieved of my attack and my breathing relaxed. However, there were other health complications that were ultimately the result of me not taking care of my body. I was dehydrated and I had a viral infection. I was admitted and kept for two days. During my hospital stay, three people came to visit me. My mom, my sister, and my girlfriend (the “drama free” one, keep up). It was intense for her and I told her that this was the worst from me she would have to experience. She took me home from the hospital and we had Thai food. She was there for me in my worst time.
So my health failed me. Check! Life, what about my career?
My current struggle is that I am being let go from the Fortune 100 company that I was boasting about earlier. I noticed an uptick in my dating matches once I was hired by this company. I was living the good life. I won’t get into the details of my departure. I won’t go into any assertions of injustice. I’m just going to say that I am devastated by this news. I haven’t experienced so much uncertainty in my life in such a short span of time. My girlfriend has been there though all of this. When I told her my job was letting me go, she said, “We are going to get through this.” She said, “We.”
As I laid in bed with her this late Sunday morning, I told her, “This is the most vulnerable I have been with anyone.”
I couldn’t say that to someone I was just dating.