I'm A Married Woman & I Need A Do-Over Of My Single Days
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I'm A Married Woman & I Need A Do-Over Of My Single Days


I didn't notice it while I was spending the summer abroad in London. Or even during tailgates, kickbacks, and hazy nights in New Orleans with my favorite girlfriends, but I was always searching.

We dressed up and went out to get "chose".

Fingers crossed as we walked across uneven parking lots in uncomfortable heels. Hopes focused on bumping into a Mr. Right who would ease the pain of the last failed relationship.

Thinking back on it, we were in our best days. We were vibrant 20-somethings who were going places fast. Yet we missed the full essence of our beautiful journey wishing for what we thought was better.

Tears. There were always tears. Maybe not from all of us at once, but at least from one of us.

At any given time, one of us was wondering when he would call or why he was inconsistent. One of us had caught him in another lie or pulled up on him doing something he shouldn't.

We were constantly putting ourselves through a cycle of frustration – mad that we couldn't force grown men to act right, sad when we gained enough dignity to leave, lonely when they were gone, and relapsing for the warmth of a body next to ours.

The cycle of longing was never-ending.

I suppose we were resilient. Putting ourselves back together again after every letdown. Always encouraging each other not to give up on love. But, nonetheless, there was this feeling that we were missing out – long gazes at happy couples as we wondered what that felt like.

We spent all this time fearful that we would never know. Afraid that we might one day turn into Mary Jane from the TV show. None of us would admit it at the time, but it was obsessive – this thought that life would be complete with a man.

Yet, all around us were opportunities to be complete within ourselves.

At age 27, I finally got the memo that there was more to life than wishing it away. I realized that I was pretty damn bomb without a man to validate me.

In one of my proudest moments, I sat down and wrote a letter to my future husband. I promised to live my best life until he manifested into my world. I vowed physical fitness, travel, spiritual growth, prosperity, and wholeness within myself. I released the stress of forcing relationships and got serious about falling in love with me.

As soon as I wholeheartedly placed my focus on being the best I could be for me, my husband came along.

It was the most ironic thing I've witnessed in my life. I couldn't ask for a better partner. He is strong, loving, and emotionally available. With him, I can be my true and authentic self. He motivates me to match his ambition and encourages me to be the best version of myself. It's everything I was hoping for way back then.

But if I'm honest, when I reflect over my single days, it's a little embarrassing. I spent most of them wishing to be married. Eventually, God granted me my heart's desire. And although I am thankful for my husband, I realize that wishing my life away was a great misuse of my time.

Instead, I should've capitalized on the opportunity to throw myself into my dreams with all my might while I had no responsibility or obligation to consider the needs and wants of someone else. I'm still growing and thriving, but I often think about how much more I could've accomplished with a different mindset.

Hindsight is 20/20, but if I could get a do-over of my single days, I'd enjoy sleepovers with my friends that didn't include hour-long convos about some guy, go to Italy without worrying that it is too romantic for a single person, and take risks on passionate ideas that sound crazy to the outside world. If you do it right, marriage is amazing, but that doesn't negate the hard work and sacrifice that comes along with it.

While you're single you should splurge, see the world, enjoy sporadic girls' trips, workout like crazy, read so much that your eyes hurt, date around without expectations, and do the things that scare you.

More than that, I challenge you to be free.

Cherish this season in your life. Stop losing yourself in the idea of love and find yourself through experiences that make you better.

Besides, when you do all these things, the right type of love will come.

Featured image by Getty Images

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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