Summer is about to be reckless AF. I foresee people acting as if they have never been outside before. With that said, I'm ducking and dodging because I'm not a messy bish. And I don't like messy situations. I am never one to create some mess or be in some mess either. But these dudes will surely have you in some shit you never wanted to be in if you let them. I wish men would understand the more transparent they are about how they're moving in these streets, they're less inclined to get caught up. And they would be more inclined to get the box without the drama.
Let's be real, they would be less likely to waste a woman's time by stating what it is and what the fuck it's not. But instead, these dudes want to roll the dice and end up hurting multiple women in the process. And I'm the type that doesn't need to feel like I'm being courted or wined and dined if I am just keeping it casual with someone.
A few months ago, I was caught up in some type of entanglement and I didn't even know it. I had met this guy who I thought was dope AF. Those words don't come out of my mouth too often. It takes a lot for me to say someone is dope, let alone for someone to keep my attention. I'm a Sagittarius – I'm attracted to highly unique people because "average" just doesn't do it for me. I feel deeply, and there is so much depth to my waters. And if I allow my softness to be seen, it says a lot about how I hold you. I had a good time with the guy I had met.
I looked forward to seeing him again too. But if I had known what his situation was, I would have moved so differently. I wasn't given the option to choose what I wanted to do because dudes stay fumbling their words when asked the question, "Are you seeing anyone"? or "Are you dating anyone right now?" In the end, I was disappointed, and he went about his business leaving me to question the connection I thought we had with no explanation. But I have come to understand the universe puts people in your life for a reason and removes them with reason too.
After I took the time to process my feelings about what had happened, he fumbled, not me. How things played out was disheartening, but it probably saved me from a situationship I was not meant to be a part of. I have to thank the universe for that and the lessons that came with it.
As this pandemic slowly comes to an end, we're outside and we're ready to play. Here are nine rules to casual dating every woman should know this summer.
1. Be Honest About Your Dating StatusAnimated GIF Giphy
What men (and some women) don't realize is that by not being straight up from the get-go about their dating status, they fuck up the whole damn play. By the time they say what it is, it's too late. Someone already catches feelings, or someone gets hurt. Save yourself the drama and be transparent about your dating status. Let homeboy know you're dating openly or seeing different people. And if he tells you he's dating other people, you need to be OK with it.
If you can't be OK with it, casual dating isn't for you. And if he doesn't state what his dating status is, always assume he's dating other women.
In my dating experience, I have had only two guys respect me enough to be direct about what they wanted with me. And I have always appreciated them for letting me decide if I wanted to be involved with them or not. I am still really good friends with one of the two guys today. That's the homie for life.
2. Ask The Right Questions
Some men don't like when women ask "too many questions," but one thing about me is I'm going to ask your business. Especially, if you fail to be transparent with me. Because it's my feelings and my vagina on the line. And I hate finding out things later. It's my number one pet peeve. The issue is women aren't asking men the right questions when it comes to casual dating or casual sex at all. I used to be this way, but after recent events, not no more. Don't just ask if homeboy is dating someone. Nah, bruh.
Ask questions like, "Is there anyone that would be hurt, if they saw us together?", "Is there anyone that perceives they are in a relationship with you? Watch his body language. Listen to see if he gives you a vague answer. If he fumbles his words or avoids the question, take that as your answer. If he can't give you a simple yes, no, or explain his situation, there it is. We're grown, there is no need for mixed messages. Until a man makes it clear he wants to be exclusive with you, please unapologetically do you. There are to be no fucks given. And you don't owe anyone an explanation for how you move in these streets.
3. Know What You Want
Sis, you can't be out in these streets if you don't know what you want. This is where it can get messy too. You can end up hurting yourself by looking for something in someone who isn't going to give it to you. You have to move consciously by knowing what you want. Are you out here just trying to meet new people? Are you just wanting to have fun? Are you just wanting good sex? Are you dating with intention? Are you looking for a partner? Are you dating to marry?
Figure out what it is you want in the season that you are in and unapologetically go after it. In my situation, he and I were cool. We knew we were energetically connected. After being so closed off for so long, I was open to seeing what kind of connection we had. In the words of Kehlani, "It was good until it wasn't good." But I guess I was meant to experience him in the way that I did. I have no regrets. My heart is full of gold and my love is pure magic.
4. Don’t Forget About Boundaries
After you figure out what you want, don't forget about setting boundaries. Don't be afraid to do this. There is a fine line between just being cool with homeboy and getting too personal with him. Create boundaries for yourself, so you don't catch feelings or get attached.
You're not his sounding board, confidant, or therapist. And don't think you're special because he chooses to tell you all his personal issues. Sis, you are not fixing anyone this summer. You are out here to experience and live.
Boundaries in casual dating or casual sex can look like limiting how often you speak to each other or how often you see each other. It could also look like engaging in only surface-level conversations and not asking each other too many personal questions too. So, if the question doesn't concern what y'all have established, don't ask. Save yourself the headache and the heartache.
5. Clear Out Your Baggage
If you're still emotionally attached to an old relationship or haven't healed from a past lover, you don't need to be outside. I'm sorry sis. But I am speaking from my own experience. What you need to do is get all the way uncomfortable with yourself and process your feelings. This is the only way you will be able to heal and be able to move forward with your life. I'm not saying you can't be in these streets, just don't go adding a man to the mix.
Do all the things that make you happy this summer. Explore all the things you are in the season you are in. But don't think moving on to the next guy who catches your attention will heal you. It won't. This is called avoidance. Your unhealed relationship trauma will still be there after he leaves. And will continue to linger and carry over to your next relationship until you choose yourself.
6. Self-Awareness and Emotional DevelopmentI Am Enough Self Awareness GIF by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Giphy
Consciousness is key. If you're still struggling with self-awareness and achieving emotional stability, then the streets are not for you. One thing you need to understand in casual dating is that how a man behaves is a reflection of him, not you. You cannot take everything he does personally. But you can learn to control your reaction to his behavior. For example, ghosting and inconsistency. When this happens, don't give him a pass, just keep it moving.
Women also need to pay attention to their own patterns and behaviors. We need to be able to emotionally check ourselves by understanding our own reactions in our dating life.
For example, some of us constantly get in our feelings when a date cancels or things don't go as planned. I mean, why waste good energy by being upset? If this happens to you quite often in your dating life, where you have no control over your emotions, shift to focusing on more self-work and less dating.
7. Have An Exit Strategybasketball wives goodbye GIF by VH1 Giphy
Stay away from toxic situations at all costs. I know the dick might be amazing, and he might come across as amazing, but no dick is worth toxic energy in your life. You have to remember sex is an energy exchange. Any human interaction is an energy exchange and can create internal chaos in the body and manifest as disorder in your life. Trust me, you don't want that. Don't be afraid to cut him off at the first sign of toxic behavior.
When I say toxic, I mean the first sign of disrespect, narcissism, and abuse of any form. Feel free to block homeboy too if he is acting out of pocket. I almost fell victim to a situation like this too. Homeboy was fine AF, and there were a few red flags. But I thought to myself he would be fun to chill with. Thankfully, my homegirl snatched me up real quick. She saved me from a situation that I didn't need to be in. She knew that's not what I wanted or deserved.
8. Understand That STDs Are Real
Safe sex is great sex. I don't know which hip-hop artist wrote this lyric, but I'm here for it. Don't trust every man's penis to be a clean one. Most men don't care about their health, let alone their sexual health until they have a reason too. These men are brave out in these streets. And since most men aren't upfront about their dating situation, don't think you're the only one he's having sex with or spending time with either.
Nowadays, no one is truly single anymore. We got all kinds of situations going on. Protect yourself by practicing safe sex.
If this means that you and he both get tested before you engage in any sexual acts, do it. If that means you have to create some kind of agreement or understanding between each other, do that too. We value well-protected vaginas over here. But also, be upfront if you're having sex with multiple partners too. And you have the right to ask him about his sexual partners too because again, it's your vagina. As awkward or uncomfortable as these conversations are, they still need to be had.
I say all these things so you can protect your heart out in these streets. Watch for the red flags and the yellow flags too. Energy doesn't lie, you'll know if something is off. Don't let these men play you. Don't let yourself be caught up in some mess you're not supposed to be in. Don't let these dudes dictate how you move in these streets either. And at any rate, always choose yourself first.
As for me, I'm going to keep glowing and keep moving. Summer is mine. I've taken the time to heal, and it's time for me to live my best life. All I want to do is create endless memories. I want to pour into life the way life has poured into me. I'm going to stay outside and do my thing. But I mean it when I tell these men don't bother me if they're with the shit. Because if he fumbles me, there is no me coming back.
You see the material. It's my energy, aura, and my spirit.
Sis, I'm living this summer. Are you?
Featured image by Dean Mitchell/Getty Images