Married Couples For Jesus | Seriously Single

 

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It’s funny how the things you rebel against in your adolescence bite you in the butt when you grow up. For better or for worse, I have always been a person who felt sure of herself. I was always sure I wanted to get married.  It just felt like what you do. There is a song by Wale where he says he’s in his mid-twenties and still never been to a wedding. I grew up in the church I’ve been a flower girl at least 4 times and I’ve lost count of the number of weddings I’ve attended. I was born to a married couple and their circle of friends was married. I have three Uncles, one is single by choice and he’s not exactly bachelor of the year. I have two aunts and one is single. Singles are in the minority in my family.  Getting married is expected.

I grew up in a girl gets married environment. What I didn’t want was to marry a preacher or marry a guy from church. Nope, I was too cool and free spirited for that. I felt like a guy from church would have high religious expectations of me and I needed to be free. Why sign up for a race I know I couldn’t win. All I knew was that I cuss when I get angry, I wanted to move to New York City and dance in nightclubs.  Basically, I wanted to be Parker Posey in Party Girl.  A church guy would be against me and not for me.

Now that I’m a 31-year-old single mother to my 15-year-old daughter, I can describe myself as a former serial monogamist. I think Erykah Badu may have described me best as a “recovering undercover over-lover”. I have had my share of worldly men and I can honestly say there are times when I say, “I could have been in Married Couples for Jesus!”. Married Couples for Jesus was a group at my church.  I feel like the name is self-explanatory. It was an auxiliary for married couples. They would go out on group dates and even renew their vows as a group at times. It was basically activities for married couples because going to secular music concerts, the movies or night clubs was well frowned upon.

As a teenager, I was concerned about having a husband who would prohibit me from going to a Prince concert. I didn’t realize that my upbringing was shaping my expectations of my future partner. I grew up seeing men date women.  Single men took women on dates.  Married men took women on dates. It’s just what you did. They treated women well. Anything less would just be downright foolish. I witnessed men court women because they wanted to get married (ok this is a group of people abstaining from sex until marriage, or who at least want to give off the appearance of waiting).

I grew up in an environment where your partner was a reflection of you. If a man wasn’t taking good care of his wife it was a bad reflection on him. A man and his wife were one in the same so if his wife showed up to church looking bad he looked bad. It was a different sense of responsibility for men and women within their relationship.  It was more than just keeping up with appearances,  your spouse was a part of you.

With that being said, I haven’t been on many dates lately. To date a man with no concept of this environment is hard. I have a completely different view on how men should treat women. Some of the men who I have been in relationships with felt I had high, unattainable standards. Outside of church, there is the concept of a couple being two independent entities. You bring what you bring and I bring what I bring and we pick and chose what we share.

In today’s world, a woman must prove herself worthy of being married. It’s almost as if you have to be a man’s wife for a long time before he even considers marrying you.  Where in church it went without saying that the woman was good. Church men proved themselves worthy and stable enough to afford a wife. Lots of couples are happy to be together for long periods of time without being married, which is fine. I just know a lot of women who feel like they have to prove themselves worthy and get disappointed when the relationship doesn’t end in marriage. Which leads to this idea that every relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage is a failure. I don’t think that’s true.  I think failure is when a woman fails to acknowledge that she is single and refuses to audition for the part of the wife because it’s not a requirement.

In no way do I think “church couples” are perfect. No, I identified the cons of being a church couple before I saw the pros, not to mention you could be courted and well kept only to realize that you got married just to have socially acceptable sex and be divorced before your twenty-fifth birthday.

There is no safety zone for women who wish to be married. No magic formula or perfect audience to present yourself to. Married Couples for Jesus is just a moment of clarity that made me realize why I have different expectations than some of the men who I have dated. Being a badass at church camp made me feel like such a rebel but maybe I just had more questions than all of the other teenagers. My set of values isn’t as far from those in Married Couples for Jesus as I initially thought. (My 15-year-old self just screamed at that sentence!)

My fascination with the world was only met by the reality that there are pros and cons to every dating scenario. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, so no regrets. Maybe there is some guy out there who felt like a badass rebel at church camp too and has realized worldly women aren’t all they’re cracked up to be either. Maybe he’ll court me at the exact moment that he should in exactly the way he should. I won’t have high expectations at that point it will be shared values and not totally unrealistic. Although he won’t be able to take me to a Prince concert maybe we can go to The Roots Picnic and then go to church on Sunday. Clearly, I like churchmen more than I thought.

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I Don’t Like Good Morning Texts | Seriously Single

I feel like the title of my post is going to eliminate all chances of a guy texting me ever again. I’m ok with that.  It just means they didn’t read the entire blog post and I’m only interested in guys who like to scratch beyond the surface anyway. I don’t like good morning texts.  Let me be more clear, I really hate texts that only say GM. It makes me feel like I am on some guys distribution list of women that he sends salutations to in order maintain a certain level of communication, especially if we haven’t established a connection at all.

A good morning text from a guy that you have been dying to talk to is welcomed. I mean you have been anxiously awaiting communication from him, hell you’ve even had enough time to develop a crush. Under those circumstances, you may have even had a few brief encounters where you exchanged a word or two. A good morning text that derives from this situation is not what I am talking about.

Gather ‘Round I Gotta Story to Tell

By mere happenstance,  I followed some advice my best friend gave me. Which was to go where men go because the places that I like to frequent aren’t places where single men will be. My daughter’s best friend was having a birthday party at TGI Friday’s. All of the teenager’s at the party sat together and I figured it wouldn’t be cool for a mom to hang around so I decided to have a drink to soothe the uber hyper teenager I was about to have in an hours time.

I put in my order at the bar, ate, and drank by myself watching Zorn, being surprisingly entertained when I realized there were a lot of men at this bar eating alone. Most of them were watching a sporting event but alone none the less. I’m no stranger to eating alone but I’m not big on TGI Friday’s so this isn’t something that I would normally do. Just as soon as I realized that there may be hidden opportunities in mediocre dining experiences, I made eye contact with a man from across the bar and he smiled at me and I smiled back ( I mean it’s what you do when you realize you’ve made eye contact with a stranger). I immediately returned my attention to my drink then noticed he was headed straight for me.

I decided to be nice. I mean, I am writing a series about being single so I figured this would be good journalistic research. He approached me and said “I see you here all the time. ” I said, “No you don’t. I don’t come here often.” He laughs a little and then asks for my phone number. I obliged him and then he proceeded to ask me if I am single, well actually he didn’t ask am I single, he asked, “Ain’t nobody gonna be jumping out of the bushes on me, will they?” I let him know that I’m single. He said that he had just gotten off work and was having a drink and that he was interested. I laughed because, well his inflection was funny and a little forward, but I was willing to let it slide.  He said that he would text me and I said I honestly don’t text a lot but I’ll try to respond since I know you’ll be sending me a message.  We said a few more things and that was that.

The next morning I get a text from him, “Hey, did you at least lock me in?” I replied back to him and let him know that I had and that it was nice to hear from him and asked how he was. His reply, “I’m doing good BEAUTIFUL. How are you?” I said “I’m well.” His next text said “I are so BEAUTIFUL”. Although slightly redundant I thought it was a funny typo, I replied back, “Well it’s good you have high self esteem that’s a major key.” He didn’t text back for a while. I thought maybe my joke wasn’t well received. Eventually, he hit me back and let me know it was a typo.

The week went on and every morning a good morning text and every evening a good night text. Yet anytime I tried to stretch a conversation with him beyond salutations and compliments it fell on deaf ears and he returned back to his distribution list responses. I mean it was like trying to have a conversation with Tickle Me Elmo. This guy just could not get beyond his script and the funniest part was, he thought this was effective communication.

Hey, I’m no angel. I was picking up on what his was putting down. He was being robotic with the hopes of creating a generic enough level of communication to become at most a booty call. Every guy doesn’t have to be the one.  I was willing to entertain this guy or at the very least give him enough rope to hang himself so I played along. At this point, we’ve been texting for about two weeks. I’m not good at generic.  He would have been better off just asking for what he wanted. I might have said yes if I was feeling curious and generous. We graduate to phone calls  and he starts asking when will he see me again and I let him know that I was pretty swamped with work but I would be free in about a week. Finally after a week of trying to find the time to hang out I give this brother a day and a time. He gleefully agreed and seemed excited… as excited as you can be over Facebook Messenger.

The day comes and I confirmed, “Hey we are still on?” He replies, “yes we are still on”. With no more excited emojis, capital letters or exclamation points. I pretty much knew he was going to be a first hired, first fired situation and he would be terminated for a no call/no show. Just as I suspected I called maybe about an hour before to see where he wanted to meet and no answer. It was cool. It wasn’t like I was dressed or even prepared to leave my house in any way. I actually experienced a little relief.  I can’t image how bad his robotic game would have gotten over drinks.

Moral of the Story….I Still Don’t Like GM Texts

This guy didn’t know me. A hello at the bar isn’t enough for presumptuous greetings and persistent requests for meetings. If he couldn’t spark a witty conversation via text, Facebook Messenger or on the phone, this was headed nowhere anyway. This guy’s plot and character backstory were more predictable than Sanna Lathan in The Perfect Guy. It wasn’t the actual well wish of me to have a good morning it was the transparency of his end game. Oh, he did follow up with me the next day to tell me his mother was in the hospital. I just laughed and unfriended him on Facebook.  Maybe his mother was hospitalized I’m not sticking around to find out one way or the other.This guy probably has a girlfriend.

This is my second post for my series Seriously Single series. If you missed my first post in this series, be sure to check out Netflix is My Boyfriend. Expect to hear more about my adventures of being smart, busy and single. How’s your love life? Are you dating? Let me know in the comments below because I could use some dating inspiration.

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!