I’m dating again!!!
Wait. That didn’t come out quite as expected. I said it anyway.
See, I have not dated much in the past year. I use the term dating loosely to mean, actually going out to meet people at a restaurant or coffee shop, and not simply chatting on social media. Why was I not dating? Yes, I still look like fine wine! Yes, I still have an awesome personality! Yes, I get catcalls a lot! But jokes aside, here’s the real story: I just took time off the scene to reflect on my life, to date myself, to master the art of not going mad from loneliness, to learn how to be alone and not lonely and just basically to sink into my celibacy journey. Oh, also, try dating while on this (celibacy) journey. Tell me how that goes for you. It’s almost impossible y’all!
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this. I’ll tell you. A few days ago, I asked on my WhatsApp status how many people would like to read about dating mature women and surprisingly received some replies from people who were interested! Y’all know I’m no expert, right? No? I’m not sure if I’m even this woman but I know enough of them to write about it. Also, I have help writing it so it’s not entirely all my advice.
The disclaimer(s) :
- I’m no expert on issues of relationships
- This is not a dating manual, it’s based purely on life experiences and hence could yield different results in different circumstances
Let us proceed.
Dating has become difficult these days. A friend told me that now people “just talk”. I’ve even come across situations where someone was asked if they were dating and they said, “I’m currently talking to someone”. Suffice to say, it’s a rocky uphill drive. It’s like trying to get a spike from a porcupine; the higher chances are that someone will get hurt, badly even, before anything really good or worthwhile comes out of it.
So, here are a few things that I think the men out there, who want to date, court and (eventually) marry need to know:
- Women are not always complicated. Stop trying to decipher her actions! If she’s mature woman, she’s done playing games and she’s done trying to get her man to read her mind. So, what does she do instead? She becomes painfully honest. It’s usually painful for you, the hearer of the message, and often even for her depending on how you respond to what she has to say. A good and open-minded and mature woman will often give thought to what she says to a man she cares for before she speaks up. She will often toil over her tone and wording and gestures and the ambience of a room before she delivers a hard message – especially about your flaws or those difficult must-have conversations like money and family and religion and sex (where applicable). Expect honesty from this girl because she’s been through a whole lot and she means well.
- Communicate! I don’t know how much I need to emphasize on this but COMMUNICATE! Now, if you’re dating a mature woman, it’s not a competition about who texts who first, or how many times you call or text and bla bla bla! It’s just about creating time for each other. I always say, we make time for what matters to us.
*soak in that point for a minute*
I know you expect me to say that she’ll understand you’re busy, or that you’re working for your future together, or that running a business is hard and time-consuming, or that she must know how ambitious you are, or that you are making up for all that time you’re not spending together by taking care of stuff (read: spending that money on her)… Whichever excuse you give as to why you can’t spare actual clock time, even on your lunch or bathroom break to check in, when it isn’t after 9 p.m… A day has 1440 minutes guys. I mean, she often only needs about 30-60 minutes from your 24 hour day. Is that too much to ask?
- Embrace vulnerability. The thing about laying yourself bare, opening yourself up so that the person you’re interested in can see right through you, the thing about it is that it’s scary. That’s why we’d rather hide our real selves from the world. We’re afraid of getting hurt. It’s a natural human response. It’s basic self-preservation. And if you’ve been an adult in the world long enough, you’ve been hurt. You’ve liked someone who didn’t like you back. Someone you didn’t like “that way” has left you feeling guilty. You’ve found love and lost it.
So as a man dating a mature woman, you’ll need to be able to bare your soul to her. In spite of the blows that life has dealt you both. Be open and honest. Talk instead of running off to have a few drinks at your local. Fight the urge to yell or bully or manipulate. And also be prepared to call her out when you catch her doing the same things: running away from uncomfortable conversations, retreating because she’s afraid you’ll also leave, yelling or crying or throwing a fit to divert attention from the real issues and to shift blame.
Brothers, for those of you considering marriage, consider this: the rest of your life is a looong time. It only makes sense to make the most of your relationship if it’s for life – a committed and intentional investment. So how better to do this than to be your real selves around each other, while compromising for your partner’s sake? Granted, trust take time, but practice over time will help you learn to be real and honest and, as a result, happier together.
- Invest yourself. You see how you put in the work in your business or at the office? That’s how intentional you should be about a relationship. Forget to take care of the little things and they’ll pile up and create a crack in the dam.
The challenge for many of us is to show up, heart-on-sleeve without any of the shiny distraction like money and expensive gifts. What are you offering outside of “stuff”? Do you make time to talk? How do you behave when you’re both upset at each other or about a situation? How do you deal with a clash of major principles? What rules do you have about weekends/weeknights?
The funny thing is that deciding between lazy weekends spent indoors and meeting up occasionally for a quick weeknight catch up is a delicate balance. It depends a lot on available time and resources, personal preference, work and holiday schedules, etc.
However, open communication covers this issue well. Which is why we cannot talk enough in a relationship – any relationship, and not just the romantic kind. There’s always so much to learn.
- Consistency. So, you know how it’s said actions speak louder than words? I absolutely agree with this statement. For this woman, the mature woman, you don’t have to keep telling her that you love her if your actions state otherwise. For her, you say something and you follow through, that’s how you keep her. Be consistent. If you love her, you will be kind with your words, your actions will be thoughtful, you will apologize and work on ensuring you don’t repeat offenses. One mark of the marks of maturity is progress and growth and reformation. Also, prove yourself to be trustworthy. Never give her a reason to doubt your intentions or your actions. This woman wants someone who is intentional and very clear about their feelings and their actions have to show it.
Basically, these are just a few things that I think are important and need to dictate an exclusive committed relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, just because it’s serious, does not mean that it’s boring. Have fun, do fun things and enjoy the journey.
This blog post is written with the immense help of my beautiful vulnerability partner @Sharon Ogugu. You can check out her amazing writing Here . Oh, and you should definitely check out her Instagram page; trust me you’ll be wowed and hungry too. Check it out Here.
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It’s a wrap!
Thank you for stopping by 🙂