Cute white guy + I did catch up this past weekend, but it took only 2 minutes for me to see that nothing good would come of us hanging out. This man decided to tell me about all of his problems with his ex-girlfriend…while checking me out.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. A few months ago, I briefly dated a guy who, upon our first meeting, told me about his tragic childhood. I didn’t run; instead, I held his hand. Later, he told me that I was the first woman he allowed to come near him in years, and when I held his hand, he felt like he was healed.
I know. That might be the cheesiest thing you and I have ever heard, ever. We parted ways soon after that.
Last year, another guy constantly mentioned his ex-girlfriend, and told me about the problems they had. I was happy to help. My little brother always said I was like Olivia Pope. Whenever there’s a problem, I’m like:
It’s no surprise, then, that Western Mass is full of men who stumble out of relationships and then come find me. I can be really loving. I talk a lot but I’m also an excellent listener, and I happen to know how to make a guy feel like a million bucks after we’re finished talking. But I quickly realized that these men were emotionally benefitting from relatively new dating relationships. And I was getting nothing out of it.
Now, if you’ve been with someone a few years, it’s normal to go through a rough time and encourage them, lift their spirits up, and generally be ride or die. But on the first date? Or the third? My name isn’t Iyanla Vazant, and I can’t Fix Your Life.
Unlike Olivia Pope and Iyanla Vazant, I’m not being compensated–either financially, or emotionally, for the work I’m putting into solving your problems. As one of my good friends always said: fix yourself first + then come find me. I’ve learned that my problem solving skills need to be resolved for serious relationships. We can talk about your day, you can complain about work, or your car trouble, but I can’t be in your corner to help you fix your life. Black women are always, ALWAYS expected to solve everybody’s problems. I’m beginning to resent the expectation that we will problem solve for those who don’t really love us, or those who aren’t paying us to do so. What does that say about how we are valued by others?
I found that the more I helped a guy out of a rough spot, the farther they run once they’re healed and fixed up. True story. Unless you’ve been with a man for a long time, they’re not looking for you to come in and rescue them. Nah. Instead, they metaphorically lean on my 36Cs, cry their hearts out, and then pretend that their crisis never happened. They turn around and help some woman who needs to be rescued, and forget about the one who helped them heal emotionally.
I’ve always known this truth; it was just difficult for me to detect the pattern in my dating life. I don’t ever date guys for long stretches of time. Once I figure out that we won’t get married, I shut everything down. So I listened to the problems of men because I cared, and offered to help because I always want to be a good friend.
But no more.
Cute white guy is cool. We can chop it up for hours talking about any and everything. This weekend, we spoke briefly, but he managed to give me a detailed history of when his ex defriended, and then re-friended him on Facebook (in between complimenting me on how good I looked). Inwardly I rolled my eyes and tacked on a smile.
“You know they say if you’re still friends with your ex on Facebook, you’re not really over her,” I made sure my smile was wide, my tone loaded down with a ton of sugar.
“But I am!…Maybe I’ll see you on Wednesday? We always run into each other at that coffeeshop…”
I smiled, and walked away.
But mentally I was like:
be protective of your heart,