Greetings all! I pray that you’ve been having an eventful spring and that your sinuses and allergies haven’t been much of a nuisance. I wish I could say the same, but I won’t dwell on that. Today I choose to discuss new beginnings in our personal lives. The title of this post is “Don’t Let Me Hit You”, which I hear all of the time in my new kickboxing class. You see it’s the mantra of one of the instructors/trainers that forces me to keep my hands up as I am executing moves. I’ve done kickboxing before so I’m quite used to the direction that she’s giving me however I still hear it in class as I get a little fatigued and want to drop by hands a bit. The reason I chose it as a title today is because oftentimes in our personal lives because of things we’ve encountered in the past, we already have our guards up as a defense mechanism.

I’ve come to the realization that in dating, although I don’t have real baggage like an ex-husband, children, baby’s fathers or major stumbling blocks, I do have slight baggage like trust issues and allowing myself to be vulnerable. That allowing myself to be vulnerable is the biggest issue. I mean society alone tells me as a black woman I have to be strong and that I shouldn’t be successful while my family has always made me be strong, independent and demanded nothing but success. Those realizations alone have contributed to my reluctance to let my guard down and be potentially hindered by being hurt by the opposite sex. I know that I should be open to letting someone love and care for me but it’s hard with the state of dating in this day and age. It’s sometimes a full-time job trying to determine if a person is truly genuine.

The Reality

I have a specific prayer to God when it comes to finding love: Heavenly Father, send me someone who is a reflection of me, send me someone who fears you, who’s handsome, ambitious, adventurous, caring, loving and someone who I can explore with. Dear Lord, please send me someone with no children but if he is a father, make it to no more than two with one baby mother. Amen.

Yes, that is my prayer, my daily prayer. My specifics are methodical. I want someone that I can have fun with and that I actually enjoy. Too often, I see couples who are just going through the motions, they don’t even like one another. I want someone that I’m attracted to and that I crave, ambitious like me, because what’s better than one millionaire? Two. Caring and loving are important because a relationship should be complete with two givers, neither should be a taker and if I wake up one day and I couldn’t explore, it’s no reason for me to still be taking up space on this planet. I would love a male version of myself because the love that I give to my friends and family is limitless so imagine if I had someone who was a reflection of me. It’s funny because my mother always says “Ashley’s going to wind up with either a white guy or an old man”, it’s ironic because she knows me but she doesn’t know me as much as she thinks she does. White guy, possibly, I’m not knocking that, but he must fit into those categories that I’ve prayed to God about. Also, older men, I don’t see it happening unless he fits into those categories as well because quite simply some of them are so set in their ways that adventure is way out of the question. I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that no one knows what’s best for me but me and God.

The Unexpected

Social media and the internet has hurt dating so badly over the years that it’s sometimes impossible to even get guys to come up to you. You can be out with your friends looking as fine as you could possibly muster, make eye contact with a guy and he just looks at you. Literally. He just looks at you. If you’re lucky, they’ll smile, but it’s like they’re waiting on you to make a move. A lot of women make the move, I am ashamed to say that 9 times out of 10, I just don’t. I have my reasons, some of which I’m not exactly proud of, but hell I’m a woman. Sue me. A few weeks ago, I was out with my line sister/friend and a guy came up to me. A handsome guy. A young, handsome, guy. A young, handsome, chocolate, guy. A young, handsome, chocolate, single guy with no children. I literally almost whipped my neck around to make sure there wasn’t a light-skinned woman behind me that he was actually talking to. If you know me personally, you’d know my shock stems from the fact that I’m chocolate and usually I’m the light-skinned magnet as it pertains to black men. The light brights always find me. Well whenever men find me. Needless to say, the day was dope.

My Reality

So fast-forward weeks later, I’ve gotten acquainted with the young man and I like him. But wait, don’t tell him that. See, you see where that vulnerability and always having my guard up thing rears it’s ugly head. Sometimes I am deathly afraid of wasting time or becoming one of those bitter women that are serial daters and always coming up short. I know that I’m not in kickboxing class and I’ve got to let my guard down, but some habits are hard to break. I had to even catch my crazy ass last week when I was struggling to tell him that I wanted to see him again. Like really Ashley, really? Why is it so much easier for me to tell my homegirl that I miss her but not a guy that appears to be the literal embodiment of what I’ve been wanting. Well it’s simple, I don’t want to be hit. Metaphorically speaking, I don’t want to be clobbered but I can do the clobbering. Isn’t that disheartening? That is what dating has subjected me to doing, constantly with my guard up. Sometimes it’s exhausting. Well I pledge to do better and even if me and the chocolate Adonis don’t make it. I’ll be alright and continue with my prayer all the while allowing God to fight these dating battles for me.

SMOOCHES!

It’s been three years since I lost one of the best friends I ever had. Truth be told, he taught me how to put my hands up a lot. He and I could talk about our relationship issues together and come up with ways to deal with some of the issues to diminish the pain. But the pain of missing him never gets easier, I just learn to deal with it more. This month, on Mother’s Day, I did what I always do, I honored his mother, she sent me thanks. I am thankful for the thanks, but I don’t do it for that. I do it because I had a real, caring and supportive friend and that never dies even when we’re no longer here. So as I always say, Rest in love, EJ. I’m learning to let that guard down more because I know you’re watching out for me up there.

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