Black & Single: Lessons from my ex

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    (NNPA)–For the last several weeks, I’ve been in this “living for the story” phase of my life. If I get into a situation that I feel has the makings of a captivatingly hilarious moment worthy to be shared, I just kind of lean into it. It’s been a fascinating journey.

    I know you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with anybody’s love life?”

    Well, my phone rang, and I noticed that it was “the one who needed to get away.” For the sake of the story, I decided to answer.

    He was in crisis mode – dealing with all kinds of personal issues that had him riddled with turmoil and reevaluating life. And, of course, “I’m the only person he felt like he could call.”

    It took everything inside of me not to say, “In your face” with a side of “that’s what you get” and hang up.

    But, for the sake of the story, I decided to let him carry on, and on…and on.

    vaughn.image

    Kenya Vaughn


    Just as he was bowing out of the conversation, I asked him if he would call me back tomorrow and return the favor by answering some questions about our history “for the sake of a story.”

    He said he would call back when he got off work and had a chance to unwind. I didn’t believe him, but the phone rang at 7:30 p.m. sharp.

    I told him I wouldn’t judge or make him out to be the villain. My only request was that he be brutally honest.

    Out of our conversation came what I believe are common mistakes made by women who decide to choose a particular man who doesn’t want to be chosen – well, at least not by you.

    It doesn’t fit, we force it. According to him, that was how he knew I wasn’t the one.

    “Even if you had never been in a functional relationship, I was on some [expletive] and you had to know it. The man that is for you – even if he messes up – has the intention of being the best man he possibly can towards you,” he said.

    “Unconditional love is cool, but setting boundaries and standing your ground will set the tone. You didn’t do that so I [expletive] you over. Even if he doesn’t grow to love you, he’ll respect you. You can’t have one without the other.”

    We’re delusional.Actually, I was quietly insane about it.

    “I knew if we tried, we would both end up miserable,” he said. “The fact that you moved forward knowing that you might eventually resent me made me resent you – and take you for granted. It felt like you were looking forward to me being a piece of [expletive] so you could throw it up in my face or hold me hostage due to guilt.”

    Guys want happily ever after too. But for them, there’s this catch that we never consider.

    When women are approached by what we see as “Prince Charming,” we fall head-first and start writing our fairytale. According to him, when most men start out with a woman that appears perfect, they think, “Okay, what’s the catch?” and start subconsciously self-sabotaging the relationship.

    “I either go in with the overwhelming fear of messing things up and end up messing it up, or I believe that she can’t be everything I’m looking for,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘She’s pretending – she’s a fake.’ And I mess it up.”

    We play make-believe in relationships. He says this is why he thinks women that sound too good to be true typically are.

    “A man likes a woman who has the same interests, hobbies, humor and all of that. A woman likes a man and then decides that she can grow to like whatever he likes,” he said.

    “It’s stupid. If you’re physically attracted to somebody, that’s fine. Handle that. But don’t think because you like the way he looks, his sense of humor, his intelligence – or whatever it is that attracts you to him – that you can play ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ as soul mates.”

    It’s not us, it’s him. “It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth,” he said. “If a woman loves a man, he could decide to be with you if he wanted to. Y’all make it easy to do. The only women who do that to men are usually gold diggers. If he decides to move on, consider yourself blessed – not broken.”

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