Two years ago, I was single. I was 30 years old. In single girl years, that’s about 42. By that time, I had dealt with the roller coaster of emotions that come with the territory when you’re a somewhat traditional woman who wants the whole husband, children, house by a certain age – an age that had long come and gone. I had been frustrated, content, angry, blissful, complacent, and frustrated again. I even wrote an emotional blog post about it. That was two years ago. That was when I decided to change my approach to finding love and commitment. Both/and, not either/or. Two years ago I was single. Today, I’m not.
Ok now wait. I’m not saying my approach got me a husband. I don’t know that it did. Maybe I would’ve met him regardless. I don’t know how God works. In miraculous ways I guess. I also don’t believe that what works for some works for others. So if you’re single and reading this, be ye advised that this may not be your playbook. Read with discernment. However, if you’re single and reading this, by ye also, as well, and in addition advised that herein lies a little bit of wisdom. I’ve been there, boo. I was there not too long ago and remember it vividly. I stand by everything you’re about to read in terms of approach. Annnnnnd now that you’ve accepted the terms of this warranty, feel free to read on. Take the parts that feel right and apply them to your life. Discard the rest.
I can’t remember when I changed my mind exactly. I do remember that the impetus for the switch was a series of conversations I had with a guy I was dating at the time. He was not the one but he was certainly God sent. Some of the ideas he shared with me worked themselves into my new approach: I had to search for love and commitment like I searched for a job. Not any ole job. Not something I’d merely accept. I mean that I had to search for love and commitment like an entrepreneur searches for her first investor. Like a performer searches for her agent. Like a Vice President searches for a CEO role. I had to look at the odds and defy them.
Love and commitment were no longer things I could expect to come to me passively. I could not reasonably expect to meet someone by happenstance. Could I meet my future husband at the grocery store on the sweets aisle and have the cutest “how I met your father” story? Sure. Was it likely? According to the inventory I saw on my weekly trips to Kroger, nah. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s came up short too and I fully expected them to produce an all-natural, gluten free, grass fed bae. But you know, even if I did meet a cute boy at the hot food bar, how likely was it that we shared the same interests? That we would have a similar vision for our lives? That we would bond over a shared value system or even laugh at the same jokes? Like I said, it could happen. But the chances were too slim for me to continue to rely on it.
So I stopped. I stopped counting on the universe to arrange a chance meeting with grass fed bae knowing that I had not done much more than wish for it. The universe responds to my energy. Little energy out, little energy in. I actually approach other parts of my life with high energy. If I want a thing that I recognize as not being easy to attain – being married seems to be one of those things these days – I pursue it with passion and intentionality. I go get what’s mine. And listen, I’m not a particularly aggressive person. I don’t ram my way into success. I do, however, politely and prayerfully go after what I want. That’s what I think it takes to have something I say I want. That’s what I think it takes to have anything extraordinary. Some of it is good timing and favor but a lot of it is plain ole hard work and persistence. If I say I want it, I have to do what it takes to get it – at least until what it takes isn’t worth having it.
I had to find love and commitment by positioning myself to be found. Y’all know the whole bible thing about the man being the one finding his wife and not the woman finding her husband? I’m not sure if that scripture was meant to be literal, but I knew for a fact that I couldn’t be the thirsty girl. I could not be too aggressive or overzealous because I might detract the very thing I wanted to attract. Also, I wasn’t thirsty. So there’s that. Tuh. I did have to be more strategic though. I rarely got hit on by (anyone . . . honestly . . . truthfully) men whom I’d earnestly consider for marriage, so how could I secure a bag that seemed elusive? What did that look like for me?
First, I prayed. As incessantly as that guy from the bad date talked, I prayed. And honestly, I needed to admit my desires to myself more than I think I needed God to hear me. I had to admit that I wanted a husband and, as much as I am all kinds of woman hear me roar, I would be saddened it I never got married. Not devastated or anything but saddened. That took some humility and honesty that I had not previously had. In addition to praying, I did other “active” things. If I heard my girlfriend talking about her single brother, I asked a few questions about him. If I heard of an event associated with things that interest me, I tried to be there. I was super active in my community and a member of several civic organizations. I went to church regularly. I gave Bumble and Tinder a sincere try. Even on those platforms, I talked myself into being more open. I went on a date with a guy who felt more like my brother. Had to friend-zone him. I talked on the phone with a guy who asked me why I didn’t wear a dress similar to one that he had seen my friend wearing because she looked good in it. I told him I would call him back and never spoke to him again. I sat in silence for a full ten minutes on a date with one guy because we had nothing in common. I counted down until the date finally ended, gave him a church hug, and kept it moving. I went out with a really attractive guy and watched in amazement how he got less and less attractive while he talked INCESSANTLY throughout the entire date. I ghosted him. I went out with a guy twelve years older than me. I went out with a hood dude. I went out with a guy who prayed for me but wouldn’t commit to me. Then, I went out with my husband.
All of a sudden, every mistake I made was ok. Every wrong step and bad decision led to this point. All the embarrassing, heartbreaking, confusing, and messy moments throughout my dating life became experiences upon which I had learned to be a better, more appreciative and thoughtful life partner. It’s like this. Every entrepreneur looks a little crazy until her idea pops off. Every starving artist is told to give it up until his art shows up in the Louvre. Then all of a sudden she’s a trailblazer, a pioneer. He’s a visionary. Their persistence was the determining factor. Their action in the face of stacked odds changed the trajectory of their lives. The same, I think, is true of love and commitment. You can simply wait for your turn or you can take it. Ultimately, everyone’s journey will be different but a change of perspective and approach can increase the odds or even make the journey more fun.
You know I almost always remind y’all that I don’t have life figured out. Like I said, maybe I would’ve met Christopher regardless of my mindset. Maybe none of this mattered. The thing is, maybe it did. So, I’m sharing. In case it helps anyone else. In case you at least find it amusing. My life, your entertainment J Let me know what you think of this approach!