Today I had a conversation with my dad about me being single. If you know my dad you know he is quiet and funny. He has never had anything to say about my relationships. He has intervened only once but that was because my life was in danger, but that is a whole other blog. So today when I went to hangout with my dad he did something that was unlike him. He asked me who I was dating? My response is was my usual, “No one” and he answered with his unusual, “Why not?”… well that is a good question. I am not really sure of the answer so my dad proceeded to ask me why I was not with guys I had previously dated. And lets just say I was surprised by my dads insight into my dating life. Though he had not said anything apparently he was listening and watching.
So he asked about Curtis*, whom my dad has never met. He has just heard his name. I explained that I was always going to see him but he never came to see me. I was always having to ask him to fit me into schedule and most times I came up short. Though I loved our connection and time together, I just didn’t feel like I was really important to him. Basically he could take or leave the time we spent together. My dad surmised that I was in a one sided relationship and told me that we were better as friends because I would never be high on his priority list. It took me about a year to see this and when I asked my dad why he felt this way about someone he had never met he explained, “Men know what they want. They might say they are confused but they know whether or not they want to spend quality time with someone or are just passing time with someone, and he was just passing time with you. And you are better than that”.
He then asked about Marcus*, whom my dad and my extended family has met. I explained that I had held out hope that we would get back together but it has been five years and it’s still fractured in a lot of ways. My dad asked “isn’t he younger than you?” ..Yes sir…”so he is out there thinking there is something better and younger”… I can’t answer that, but maybe. “no I am telling you, that is what it is”, “he will come back and tell you that he misses you and that he made a mistake, don’t enter into that situation again lightly. Pray about it, because men tend to keep looking when they think they can keep coming back”. My dads words slapped me because of a conversation I had with Marcus recently. I had gotten my heart all amped up just to be put in check by my mind when reality and romance did not align. The more my dad talked, “he seems like a good guy. I know he cares for you. Just think he has some growing up to do and because of that I do not want you to waste time waiting in that situation”, the more I sat in awe of my dad’s assessments of my relationships and his vocalizing his wants for me.
He then asked about Damon* whom I had been with for most of my life. My response to his question was, “I cannot do that again”. I had spent half of my life waiting on someone to see me as worthy to marry. Just plan something. Pick a date. Where are we going to do this? What are the colors you like? Who is going to cater it? Want to just go to the courthouse? I got no answers to these questions. I squandered my twenties waiting on this man to want me. My dad cut me off to tell me, “He loved you”. As I sat with a confused look on my face my dad laughed and said, “The way he knew how to love you”. Still confused, he continued ‘As men, we love the way we know how to love. Which does not mean we know how to love you, how to show you love, how to be in love with you, or what love means to you. But that does not mean we do not love you. It may come across wrong but that doesn’t mean it is not genuine”. So I had to know, so I asked. “so not wanting to spend time with me, treating me like I was invisible when we were around his family, avoiding questions about marriage, hanging out with your boys all the time, etc was his way of showing love?” My dad continued to laugh at me, “No, none of that was about love, that was about complacency and comfort. He didn’t think you were ever going to leave. So why did he need to do something different. For a long time I didn’t think you were going to leave. Apparently God had to intervene for you to see things differently”. I had to know so I finally asked, “why didn’t you say anything”. With a smirk on his face he said, “its not my life. I don’t know what makes you happy. I can’t walk in your shoes. When you and your sister became of age your mother and I said we will support unless they ask us to intervene or unless we are concerned with your safety”.
In that minute I understood why neither of parents ever said much about my relationships…it was because they we listening and watching everything. My dad then asked me, “So now that you are in your forties, what are you looking for because I want to meet the man who is going to take care of my daughter when I am not here”. That statement struck me. If you read the blog you know my dad recently had a stroke. And by God’s grace and mercy, he is still with us. He must of seen the stricken look on my face, “now do not run out looking for a man because of this, I want you to be happy and find someone who is going to love you like I love your mom. Not some boy in a man’s body who likes what you can do for him. And stop taking care of everyone and ask someone to take care of you”. I had to laugh because I had been thinking recently that maybe I am projecting that I do not need a man and that is why I cannot find my match. So I asked my dad what he meant by that statement and he replied, “we raised you to be independent because we knew that you would have to be strong to keep moving from place to place. But independence does not mean you do not need anyone it simply means that if you have to make it, you can. You tend to take care of others and shun their want to take care of you. Mind you I do not think you have met the man God created for you because the guys you have dated have looked to you to take care of them and that I do not like. But that is the role you have become comfortable in and that needs to change now. Men like to be needed and you don’t need them and they feel that. So you need to find a balance in your life where you will allow your want to someone to be seen as need. Men are simple creatures we do not require actual need just the perception of it” We both laughed and I had to give my dad a high five on that one.
So what my dad was saying is that he raised me to be strong and independent but not to the point to that I am in this life alone. Strength and independence are qualities not ways of life. I want and need companionship, physical contact, and above all else LOVE to make this life what God intended it to be, WHOLE!
I left my parents house today in deep thought about what I want in a man and out of life at this point. I really want my mate to meet my father and my father to approve of my mate because my dad was the first man to show me what real love looked like… and I would really love him to see that I have followed his lead and found it. So from this blog to God’s ears then to my door step.. shall he come.. my partner, my friend, my love, my mate!
My first relationship conversation with my dad… at age 41.. told you #chapter41 was going to be epic.
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