Leaving the Dating Failures in 2015

We are less than a day away from 2016. Wow. The year really flew by.

But honestly, I’m ready for next year. 2015 was an extension of 2014: a year of lessons and growth. I really learned a lot in every aspect of my life.

Especially when it comes to relationships.

I am a firm believer that each relationship or opportunity is the prerequisite to the next relationship or opportunity. I also believe that running into the same scenarios or people over and over can mean that the lesson wasn’t learned the first time.

After my breakup, I joined Tinder. Though I had been out of the dating game for two years, I realized that the tricks hadn’t changed. New platform, old bull. I think I navigated it pretty well because I recognized certain traits early on.

That can be easier said than done.

To truly leave the dating failures from 2015 and previous years behind as we approach 2016, one has to be steadfast, headstrong, and focused.

It’s sooooo easy to slip back into old behaviors so you have to be dedicated to a better dating life. The mistakes you’ve made before can no longer be acceptable.

To create a better dating environment, you need to be cognizant of your preferences and experiences. Start by getting a pen and notebook. You will need to visualize this, sis.

Jot down your preferred traits you want in a significant other.

Should he have a great sense of humor? Have a good relationship with his family? Love to cook? Own a car? Work a full-time job? Consider these things and more. Try to focus more on the non-physical traits, too.

Write down your absolute no’s.

You need to know what you will not tolerate by any means. Get as detailed as possible. Think about if he has everything else together BUT this one thing. Is it a deal breaker? If so, write it down. Don’t be afraid.

List the guys you’ve dated/talked to recently and why it didn’t work out.

Example:

  • James – was too busy
  • Kelvin – didn’t want to commit
  • Marcus – got his ex pregnant

When you’re done with the list, examine why it ended. If James was too busy, what does busy entail? Is he working and in school? Was he hanging out with his friends more than you? How deep did the relationship get with Kelvin before he said he didn’t want to be exclusive? How did Marcus stumble back into his ex’s path? Were you aware of this? How did you find out that she was expecting?

Think back to when y’all first met and when y’all started talking. How did he approach you? Who requested the first date? Where did y’all go? When did things start getting sour? What was the first thing you noticed? Who ended the relationship? How long did you stay after things started going badly?

Write all of this down. Take notes. When we were in school, we took notes whenever the teacher taught us something new. This is no different. The “class” we are focused on now is The Criticism of [Your Name]’s Relationships and we’re trying to pass to the next grade.

Study your notes.

In your reflection, you should be able to recognize a few red flags. Most relationship failures and break-ups can be predicted early on. Look over your notes several times and add more whenever you remember something new. Go back and add to your preferred traits and absolute no’s. It’s your dating history — you know yourself best.

And go forward into 2016 smarter and wiser.

Listen. Dating is a trial-and-error activity. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. Just try to make better dating decisions by eliminating f-boys earlier in the game. I believe that right guy will come along at the right time — you both are just preparing yourselves for each other now. Because when he does come, you’ll be able to appreciate him so much more then.

But in the meantime, good luck, sis.

The ProBAEte: Social Media’s Relationship Revealer

About six weeks ago, your homegirl went dark. Well, not completely, but sometimes it would take her longer to respond to your texts. And she wasn’t anywhere to be found during prime live-tweeting hours. Occasionally, you’d see a hint of life as she posted ambiguous photos on Facebook. You knew she was alive though. I mean, who else would be playing music under her Spotify account?

And then it happened.

One day, she posts a photo on Instagram with a Beyonce lyric as the caption. The picture that accompanies the caption, however, is of her and some guy. Maybe you know him or maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter. After weeks and possibly months of low-key dating, she’s debuted him to the world as her boo thang.

It’s probaete season, y’all.

Similar to the process in which Greek-hopefuls emerge as members of their respective organization during their coming out show, showcasing your significant other on Instagram, Facebook, or the like is a big deal. It usually means the two of you have progressed in your courtship to the point where you are ready to announce to the world that you are legitimately a couple. No talking, no testing the waters. This is for real. That’s bae.

However, declaring your #him on the social webs could bring unsolicited attention to your accounts. If he’s fine or is social media popular, you might get a few lurkers and submessagers. And of course, someone has to tell y’alls exes that you’re chose now. The petty love to wallow. But it’s not all bad. Your close friends would celebrate this new step, especially if they have boos too. (Read: double dates!) And if he’s mature and well-balanced, he will know how to respond to any inappropriate comments if they occur.

So get ready. The next few weeks are sure to reveal many that have graduated beyond the stay low and build stage. And if your probaete is around the corner, I hope you’re ready for everything that comes next. But more than anything, congrats, sis! Welcome to the chose life!

How to Get Out of the Talking Stage

One of the worst things about dating is when you get in that comfortable lull with someone. You know, when you start texting each other back and forth, enjoying Netflix and chilling, and basking in being boo’d up. This stage, better known as the talking stage, can get you caught up and stuck if you’re not careful.

But don’t fear.

You can get out of the talking stage if you’ve been there for a while.

Beware, sis. This could get ugly.

To get out of the talking stage, you need to do the following three things:

1. Know what you’re going to say.

What do you want from this? A relationship, timeline, or commitment? Take into consideration how long you two have known each other, starting dating, emotional connections, etc. Remember the benefits of you being in his life and how valuable you are.

2. Honestly and boldly talk to your bae.

Preferably in person. Doing this over text messages can lead to delayed responses, third-party input, and losing control of the conversation. When you talk to him, don’t waver. Stand firm on your demands.

3. Be prepared to walk away single.

If he stutters, makes an excuse about wanting to get to know each other or not rushing into things, end it. Especially if you’ve been talking for over two months. Nothing good will come from this.

An indecisive or emotionally immature boo-friend will continue to string you along until you get tired. You’re worth more than that, sis. But who knows. He might find this conversation as the perfect time to evaluate what a gem he has in his life.

Either way, good luck!