I’m back in the dating world. Not that I ever left! LOL What I mean is that I’m back on Tinder after almost half a year of not being on it. And I’m trying to put myself in situations where I could meet guys that I’d be interested in dating. So that’s what I mean by “back in the dating world.” (Go ahead, laugh.)
Part of me is excited. I sort of like the idea of being in a relationship (as long as it is with the right person). A month ago, I was excited about dating. I thought, even if I date a few duds here and there, at least it would mean I’m out there and one step closer to finding a true partner in this world. Right?
Well, unfortunately, time has passed and some things have happened that has gotten me a little down about dating.
Lately, I’ve witnessed some relationship aspects that hasn’t given me hope in finding the right man for me. I’ve heard statements by men or seen them do things that don’t make me feel very optimistic about the dating pool.
Let me explain.
Within the past few months, I’ve heard some men make comments or do things that have revealed their beliefs on women and women in relationships and these comments and actions don’t make me happy. I absolutely respect different couples and their relationships, but from what I’ve witnessed, I feel like I’m the black sheep of the dating world.
I don’t really want to go into specifics but basically these things I’ve experienced have shown me that there are a lot of men that wouldn’t like me very much because of how I view women and women in relationships. See, I believe that a relationship is a partnership. I want a man to see me as his true equal. I’m tired of old, misogynistic viewpoints that claim that I “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do certain things as a woman in a relationship.
Now granted many of these men that have said these things would probably argue with me, “I do see my wife/girlfriend as my equal. My relationship is a partnership.” And I’m sure they believe that. However, the things they have said, prove otherwise.
Granted, I know that there are men out there that would see me as their true equal and would be absolutely comfortable with me living my lifestyle but it’s hard to remember that. For instance, I’ve “dated” (in quotes because I don’t want to have to explain long term vs. short term definitions of dating) not one, but TWO, different men who wanted to be my “guides” in life. They wanted to guide me toward “becoming the woman I’m meant to be” (as one said) or guide me toward success. I don’t need a guide. What am I, a child?
A man isn’t supposed to guide me on anything, especially not a man I’m dating or married to. That isn’t their job. You’re not my guidebook. If anything, God wrote my guidebook and I sure as hell know how to read, so please, step aside.
I’ve dated other guys who vehemently disagree with my interest in moving periodically around the world to live or I’ve had men make very rude comments about “how I’ll have to stop traveling alone or with friends” when I do get in a relationship. Why? I want to ask them, does my want to travel alone or with someone else besides the guy I’m dating or married to, demean him in anyway? Threaten his manhood?
Mostly though, I wonder if I will ever find a guy who sees me as his equal. Who doesn’t want to “guide” me; who just wants to experience my journey in life while I experience his journey in life.
And then there is the fact that I live in a predominately Christian state. I absolutely love and respect religion. It’s basic principles are wonderful! I’ve heard of many couples who come from different faiths who have married and live happily regardless of their religious differences.
However, I once dated a guy who had a problem with our religious differences… years after we were dating! All of a sudden, he’s asking me to adhere to a religion, to go to church even though I’ve chosen not to go to church. It wasn’t until others starting pressuring and questioning my religious beliefs to him that it suddenly became a problem in our relationship and that isn’t something I want to repeat.
What if I find and fall in love with another Christian boy and we decide to get married and the pastor that does our wedding wants to read Ephesians 5:22: “22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”
I deplore this quote.
You may say, “Well, Alex, they always read Ephesians 5:26 after that”: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[ her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Ephesians 5:26 is a beautiful passage, but “love” and “submit” are two vastly different words with vastly different meanings and I just can’t agree with the word “submit.” So now I wonder if I should just not go on dates with guys who are really into their religion, religions that see the role of women in a way that is very different than the way I see a “woman’s role”? By not going out with these guys, will I be denying myself a great opportunity? Am I pre-judging them?
My biggest fear is that I will fall in love with someone– I’ll fall so hard and will be blinded by love or lust until it’s too late and I’m married and I realize that the guy I’m in love with believes that because I’m a woman I should do this or shouldn’t do that due to their personal beliefs or religious convictions. I don’t want to be a caged bird that sings.
These are my biggest worries about dating. I try to remain positive but sometimes it can be discouraging. I’ve met a few guys that seem to be like what I’m looking for, but unfortunately, they weren’t the guy for me for some reason or another. So I know they are out there. I guess all that I can do is just keep dating, share myself and my views, see if we match, and never stay quiet on the type of woman I am and will be in a relationship.
It just may take some time.
Then again the woman that read my palm in New Orleans a few weeks ago told me that I’d meet him in my early-thirties.
Only five or so years…
Which must be right, because I’ve been back on Tinder for one week and not one match.
But that’s another blog for another time.
Featured Photo (Caged Bird) By Hamed Masoumi
(Note: I understand that relationships are very complicated and that not men are all the same. I know that not all men in the South are the same. I know that not all Christian men are the same. I understand this. With this blog I’m just trying to convey the fears of an independent woman who is dating and the concerns that I, and many other women, may have when meeting and dating men).