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What I Learned From Oprah's Advice About Attracting Your Best Partner
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

What I Learned From Oprah's Advice About Attracting Your Best Partner

Oprah said a word.

Love & Relationships

Chile, I've been through it! This dating game has got me tiiiied. I feel like I've tried everything to move into my next long-term relationship since my divorce nearly four years ago: from meeting people at networking events, meetup groups, through friends, and eventually humbling myself enough to try these so-called dating apps, I've done it all, but to no avail.

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I even entertained the idea of dating someone from my very distant past, but what I quickly realized is that going backwards in the dating world is essentially a recipe for disaster and reignited heartbreak. Inevitably, I found myself settling for the very things that I said I would NEVER do when I first stepped into the dating scene, but there I was, doing just that.

The amount of times I've encountered damn near every modern dating term--from ghosting, breadcrumbing and being benched--is only eclipsed by the number of times I've felt that the dating world is just not for me. In this big city filled with men who have as many options as they have routes to work, we as women have found ourselves doing the courting. Who has time for that? If you're single and looking, I'm sure you can relate.

And just like that, three years of effort seemed to have breezed by.

I am of a particular age, and while I do have kids, I would love to have another. Two of those things automatically drop me off the radar of many eligible bachelors that already have "the ideal woman" picked out in their heads. When I'm trying to figure things out in my life, I find myself in the rabbit hole of the internet: googling away, trying to understand why I do certain things, why the men that come and go in my life do what they do, how to recover from ghosting...all the things.

While in this rabbit hole, I came across a clip of my mentor-in-my-head Oprah trying to give me some amazing dating advice. She said that being single is "the best time" to do just about anything, even "drop it like it's hot". Auntie recently told E! News:

"It's the best time where you get to make yourself the lover, the friend, the companion, the nurturer, the supporter that you would want. It's the best time...you need to go through that 'oh, oh, oh, I'm dating him, I'm dating him...oh that's good...drop it like it's hot', all that. And then you need a period where you just come down to yourself: that's what you need. And then, when you are ready, HE WILL SHOW UP."

Truth is, this message came right on time. I had just cleaned out my roster, contemplating my next move.

Did I want to get back into the endless swiping game, try something new like speed dating, or finally give that guy a chance even if I know deep down it's not what I want? Thanks to Oprah, I am reminded that I've done all of these things already, but I still wasn't ready to meet the man of my dreams. Maybe it's actually time for me to court to myself. Maybe it's time for me to just sit back, work on all the loose ends that I'm still trying to tie up personally and professionally and learn to just be alone.

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If I'm being totally honest, I can say that the reasons why I feel like I've been chasing an unrealistic idea of a relationship are two-fold. On one hand, I saw my ex move on so quickly that not only did it take me by surprise, but I felt like I deserved to move on, too. On the other hand, there is this overwhelming fear of being alone for the rest of my life like many of the women in my family.

However, my fear of being alone is different than being lonely.

I am lonely, but being alone is a much scarier proposition, for me. I've always pictured myself growing old with my best friend, and while I am now much more willing to grow through the loneliness, the mere thought of being alone forever is terrifying.

So, right now, I am willing to continue to work on myself. I have a list of things I need to do just for me that no one else can do for me. And while I've finally healed from the upheaval of divorce, I am still figuring out who I am, who I want to be, and how I'm going to get there.

I've decided to become the love I want to attract.

And while the last three years was the beginning of this process, I know I still have some work to do because I deserve A LOT of love. Deep down I am a hopeless romantic, filled with dreams of fairytales and happily ever afters. But the reality is, once I have worked through all the kinks of my own life and find complete contentment in who I have come to be, then and only then will I be ready for that relationship of my dreams. This is simply the law of attraction at work. I am a big believer in manifestation and universal laws, but clearly the missing piece is my full commitment to these truths.

So, in the meantime, I'll be here working towards my goals, being the best mother I can be, loving on my friends and shining my crown. And when I am ready, "HE WILL SHOW UP!" I'm claiming it!

Related Stories:

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  • It's Okay to Be Single - Read More

Featured photo by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Tisha Campbell Opens Up About Finding Herself Again After Divorce

Tisha Campbell has a new show on Netflix called Uncoupled which stars Neil Patrick Harris as his character learns to rebuild his life after a breakup with his long-term partner. While Tisha’s character may not be going through a breakup, the veteran actress has had a similar experience in real life. The Martin star divorced the L.A.’s Finest star Duane Martin after 22 years of marriage and 27 years together in total. Soon after the divorce was finalized, Tisha claimed that Duane left her with $7 to her name but now she is in the restoration phase of her life.

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Black Women, We Deserve More

When the NYT posted an article this week about the recent marriage of a Black woman VP of a multi-billion-dollar company and a Black man who took her on a first date at the parking lot of a Popeyes, the reaction on social media was swift and polarizing. The two met on Hinge and had their parking lot rendezvous after he’d canceled their first two dates. When the groom posted a photo from their wedding on social media, he bragged about how he never had “pressure” to take her on “any fancy dates or expensive restaurants.”

It’s worth reading on your own to get the full breadth of all the foolery that transpired. But the Twitter discourse it inspired on what could lead a successful Black woman to accept lower than bare minimum in pursuit of a relationship and marriage, made me think of the years of messaging that Black women receive about how our standards are too high and what we have to “bring to the table” in order to be "worthy" of what society has deemed is the ultimate showing of our worth: a marriage to a man.

That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

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Featured image: Getty Images

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