Not Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Why I Refuse to Play the Relationship Game
Me, Myself and I
Long ago and far away when I was in my 20’s and 30’s my Aunts on both my mother’s and father’s side were on my back about being married despite the fact that nearly all of them were either divorced or separated. I can still hear their voices, “Deborah you need to learn how to cook so you can get a husband.” All my Aunts on both sides were good cooks yet none were with their husbands! It got to the point that when my maternal grandmother Hattie Banks passed away in 1990 the aunt my grandmother had lived with introduced me to my grandmother’s Pastor as my 31 year old single niece from New York. This caused my grandmother’s Pastor great concern and he asked to speak to me privately. He began to question me concerning my singleness. After a while I figured out he was trying to ascertain as to whether or not I was a lesbian! I assured him that No I was not gay just had not met the right person. Now over twenty years later I realize his fears and opinions reflect a lot about people born and raised in the 1900’s within the confines of rigid Baptist teachings.
Fast forward to 2007 when my abuser finally left me and I finally felt free to confide in certain females whom I thought were my friends. I found that to be a big mistake. Women often don’t support other women who have been through the wringer. Too much Blame the Victim mentality out there. Then there is the other side of the coin with women pushing newly single women back into the shark infested waters of the dating game. Amazing how many insensitive and snarky comments I received about either not wanting to date or taking a break from dating.
I’ve had close friends yell and scream at me for my decision not to date. As a result I’ve had to ask these girlfriends not to bring up that topic. All the while I listen to them whine, moan, bitch and complain about what the latest boyfriend is doing to them. These women imagine there is a Mr. Right for everyone or that I’d want that person. They’ve bought into the mentality that a Woman is not complete without a man. They are brainwashed with that fantasy of John and Martha running to each other’s open arms on white sand beaches or in a meadow filled with fragrant flowers and four leaf clovers.
I do not lack male attention. As one of my supervisors at work likes to say, Ms. Palmer you have many admirers. Trust me when I say I wish many of them would find some other woman to admire. Whether on the job or in my neighborhood I’m always polite and mannerly but I always keep things platonic and on the friends side of the relationship spectrum.
I do admit that since the break-up with my ex- and during the few times I’ve dated since then I’ve engaged in battles of self-hatred self-destruction. I was participating in an online group for Domestic Violence Survivors. I was really saddened to see how emotionally bankrupt many of the women were.
Because so many years have passed since I was delivered from my Ex- I was able to be a source of encouragement to women still suffering. A few Friended me or Subscribe to my page and my goal is to offer strategies towards wholeness yet still revealing my struggles and vulnerabilities. Being an Overcomer or Victorious does not mean you’re not going to have bad times but you’d do not dwell within those bad episodes.
No matter how many compliments I receive about how much I have to offer a man and how beautiful and wonderful I am that does nothing for my inner healing. Sounds like I have nothing to offer outside of being with a guy.
Those remarks may or may not be true but that type thinking is missing the point and counter-productive. No matter how well-meaning or well intentioned those remarks may be THE POINT IS, I’m Not Ready and it may be months or years before I am ready. Right now for me the relationship waltz is an emotionally crippling dance. Also I want to concentrate on Me, Myself and I. I’m not to the point where I’m ready to make an investment in a relationship. I Love being an Autonomous, Free and Independent Woman.
Oh yes for those wondering if I still have a sex drive the answer is Yes but menopause has put a damper on it and I no longer feel compelled to satisfy that urge. Truthfully most days I’m just not interested in sex and for the times I am I learned to control myself. Also I made the decision to remain celibate and there are few if any men who can make me change my mind.
My life is not the Black remake of Eat, Pray, Love but more like Having our Say by the Delaney Sisters. The Joys of Singlehood. Can’t even tell you how many miserable married women I know. Constant refrain of, DeBorah I wish I was single like you! Proof that marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be.
And yes I’ve read all the relationship books written by men on what women are doing wrong and how they can better please the men they want in their lives or who are currently in their lives. While other women frantically put desperate profiles on various on-line dating services, engage in speed-dating at the local recreation center, join the singles ministry at church or buy tickets and expensive clothes for silly singles cruises, I’ll be at home comfortable chilling with a good book and drinking a Smirnoff Ice.