My name is Sheriden and I am a recovering serial monogamist.
The dictionary defines serial monogamy as “the practice of engaging in a succession of monogamous sexual relationships." Personally, I defined serial monogamy as not being able to recall the last time I spent more than a year being single, becoming fatigued by dating multiple people, finding myself instantly committed, partaking in my fair share of “right now" relationships, and staying in them long past their expiration dates. But there was one problem.
Dating multiple people exhausted me.
As a serial monogamist, it was hard for me to wrap my head around dating more than one guy at a time. I was used to meeting guys and working really hard to dead the relationships that were just filler so that my focus was truly on one man and only one man at a time. But after some trial and error, I realized that that was a rhythm I no longer wanted to dance to in my romantic pursuits. In my mid-twenties, I wanted to do things differently than I had in my late teens and early twenties.
Since then, I've learned that in my former life, I was approaching dating all wrong. I was giving my exclusivity away too quickly (to men that only kinda sorta deserved it – let's be real), and that should be earned. So, how did a recovering serial monogamist say goodbye to her old ways in favor of new more favorable habits? Well, she said hello to creating and maintaining a roster.
A dating roster to be exact.
And while your dating roster doesn't need to reflect as many bodies as a sports team, it does need to come equipped with a few players that reflect a lineup of potential baes vying for the role of leading man in your life. They need to work, they need to audition, and they need to be consistent with those efforts – otherwise, they can take the bench – or get traded for a better player.
If you need some direction for the kind of guys that make up an ideal team to help your romantic life flourish, here are four guys that deserve a spot on your roster.
The Guy Who Wants to Pick Your Brain
He is the guy that challenges your way of thinking and isn't afraid to exchange ideas or motivate you to pursue a passion you didn't think possible. He has his shit together and prioritizes the mental connection above all else and whenever you're with him, he makes sure to make love to mind over matter.
I love the guy that can pick my brain and arouse my mental. You're able to take my time and enjoy the conversations that last for hours about his plans to dominate the world with his different business ventures and ultimately live a life that inspires him as much as the dollar signs. Likewise, the debates your different perspectives spur on politics, black culture, and male and female dynamics over glasses of red wine prove to be the only stimulation you need.
Get you a bae that is socially and culturally aware of the world around him and put each other on in the process.
The Guy Who Can Meet You on a Creative Tip
He is the guy that knows where to indulge in the best local live shows and the guy that doesn't mind accompanying you as your plus-one to art exhibit openings because he had his eye on the Eventbrite ticket too. He likes mid-afternoon trips to the museum on Sundays, listening to Solange on vinyl, and has an appreciation for all things artistic – especially taking pictures of graffiti and murals around the city. He's all about opening your eyes to the beauty of things.
I love a guy that can match me in my for-pleasure reading and that he has an affinity for poetry, admiring the way they are strung together and the cadence they create. As a creative, he will appreciate what your creative side brings to the design of things and encourage you to pursue your art and hone your talents, without having the slightest idea how erotic an act it is that he cares to understand you so intimately.
Get you a bae that does something for your spirit by meeting you on your wavelength in such a way.
The Guy Who Is Mr. Nice Guy
He is the guy who follows up and shows up emotionally and with his presence. He makes sure to hit you with that “good morning" text every morning, and if not, is quick to send you a “good afternoon" text to make up for it. He asks you how you are and is consistent about being the man that is the bright spot of your day, and does so again, and again, and again.
If you squint too hard, the nice guy could place himself squarely and firmly in the friend zone without either of you even looking, but he should be cherished. Everything about how you want to be treated comes second nature to him so there's no need to talk about it or ask for more. I love this guy because he never fails at feeling like home. The security you feel is unmatched. He shows up, he gives you chaste kisses every time you meet and before you part ways, he takes you out to that spot you mentioned weeks prior, and brings you flowers just because.
Get you a bae that reaffirms the reality that you are never too much for the right one.
The Guy Who is Strictly Physical
He is the guy that dips his head in the valley between your thighs and works his magic with his tongue until your gentle river has become a waterfall before looking back up at you and saying, “I'm still hungry baby, can I have some more?"
As with all of my suggestions, this guy is optional – but depending on where you are in your sexual journey – you may or may not decide to keep him on the line. However, a strictly physical guy comes in handy with compartmentalizing. If he's the guy that you're rubbing against while taking the time to get to know the guys you're serious about, chances are, you don't see any real potential here – friendship or otherwise – so it becomes a safe space to be sexually expressive while you navigate your other relationships and take your time figuring out what you want without being confused by sex too soon with guys you see more of a future with.
Get you a bae that helps you unlock your wanton side and leaves you always panting for more.
And The Woman that Deserves to Have it All
This is for you.
The important thing to remember when dating is that people eliminate themselves.
If one guy acts up, flag on the play, and he can ride the bench for a minute or the whole season. You don't have to feel like you need to make a list and check it twice to make sure that the guy you're with is checking off boxes. That's the power of having options and a dating roster provides that.
The purpose of dating is to maintain relationships with people you feel compatible with long-term. That can only be achieved through trial and error. No one you encounter should be viewed instantly as “the one," but hopefully with time, you will have a better understanding of what your one looks like. You are the creator of the romantic life you want to lead so take charge of the souls that you allow to occupy your space and make cuts accordingly.
Always remember that your exclusivity should be earned. That is how you win at dating and this is how you create a high quality love life.
Who has earned a spot on your dating roster? Let me know in the comments down below.