Sex & the Single Mom: Learning to Love Again

learning-to-love-again(Single Mom Club: SingleBlackMom.wordpress.com) – Cupid has been tracking me on a GPS for years. Six and a half years to be exact, which is exactly how long I’ve been celibate. I managed to outsmart, outwit and outlast his clever antics until recently when his upgraded bow and arrow landed directly in my heart as if it had a homing device.

While he made a direct hit to my heart, Cupid missed my head so while my heart is leaning toward allowing myself to feel and experience the love and comfort of a man, my head ain’t going for it. It’s been a pretty serious fight going on internally for me since I met “Mr. No Backing Down.”

In just about every way, “Mr. No Backing Down” got my number. I’ve tried everything I know to give him the slip but it’s just been so darn hard. One day, I was surfing through YouTube and a song by the amazing R&B group, Kindred the Family Soul “Far Away,” came on. I hadn’t heard it in years but for some reason it was like exactly what I had been feeling but suppressing. So, I called up “Mr. No Backing Down” and arranged what I thought would be a booty call with a very, very limited engagement if you know what I mean.

But it backfired and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to his house or how many times he has cooked me dinner.

In fact, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve actually caught myself looking at his photo when I wasn’t even planning to see him. For the most part, I try to text him because it’s less personal but sometimes I pick up the phone and call him. His voice is so erotic.

So when I heard that the group was coming to a town near me, I leapt at the chance to hear them sing in person for the first time. It was a game changer. The funniest part of all is “Mr. No Backing Down” actually looks just like the singer for the group, which I hadn’t realized until I was looking through old photos of Fatin to post online. Thankfully, “Mr. No Backing Down” works in the entertainment industry and the movie he was working on was wrapping that night so he got off a little later than we’d hoped. I invited another friend because after I thought about it I would have spent two hours in a dark, sexy club sipping drinks and swaying to the sexiest couple in the music business.  Instead, I watched the sexy concert with “Mr. Good Enough for Right Now” and traded text messages with “Mr. No Backing Down.”

Why am I working so hard to keep “Mr. Not Backing Down” at arm’s length? It’s simple: I like him which scares me and excites me and scares me some more. When you’ve been hurt, it’s really hard to let your guard down and allow love to come back into your life. Just ask the men who have tried to love a single mom. They will tell you it’s like a battle, a constant fight. But for some men, it’s worth it. Here’s a quick quiz to fight out if you’ve built your wall to high and a few tips on how to let love in again.

During a recent interview with Mama Kindred” Aja from the amazing R&B group, “Kindred the Family Soul,” I asked her “How do you keep that man looking at you the way that he does.” She smiled and said without missing a beat, “We fought for this. We fight for this. Everyone counted us out. We trusted love. We took the risk. We ran our own race. You’ll figure it out.”

The lyrics of Kindred the Family Soul’s most popular tracks “Stars” chronicles just how far the couple has come. In fact, the lyrics say it best: “So many times you could have walked away but I didn’t have to say a word to convince you to say cause you know and I know that this thing is real so our love grows deeper and deeper still. Each day I watch you  things like this:

  1. Decide if you want a booty call, sex buddy or a meaningful relationship: Be honest with yourself from the beginning. Then be honest with him. If you’re looking to get married, don’t settle for a boyfriend. If he’s not looking for anything serious, don’t settle for that if you want to get married. Being honest up front helps prevent a lot of problems.
  2. Treat yourself to the spa but don’t go crazy: I intentionally haven’t been buying makeup or going to get my hair done. I haven’t purchased sexy lingerie or even bothered to look nice when I see “Mr. No Backing Down.” I figure, why should I treat him like a boyfriend or a husband when I’m not sure that’s what I want. Plus, this way if he likes me without makeup he’ll freak when I get all guzzied up. Have you ever seen a couple walking down the street holding hands and notice that men go on dates in jeans and a tee shirt and women will have on a beautiful dress and strappy sandles? Well, I’m taking a page from the man book: I’m being as comfortable as possible. If the time comes that “Mr. No Backing Down” wears me down and I actually come over with high heels, make up, a dress and perfume, I’m in big trouble and likely getting married. Besides, I’m just going to shower as soon as I get to his house anyway. Why waste an outfit? But if you’ve got some  cave woman look going on it wouldn’t hurt you to go to the spa and get things tightened up.
  3. Let him do mostof the work: Men should like a woman more. It sounds dumb but gender roles matter. If you like him more, it feels needy and suffocating to men. If he likes you more, works harder to see you than you do to see him, he feels like he’s on a quest to win you over and wear you down. I’m not saying play games with him because hopefully you’re striving for a grown and sexy relationship. I’m just saying, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a man’s interest by letting him “earn your love.”

Here’s some ways to allow yourself to fall in love again:

  1. Establish a Safety Word: When “Mr. No Backing Down” does things that freak me out emotionally I get scared and start sabatoging the relationship. He comes off as the grumpy man who doesn’t like people in his space and is probably a little more than a bit of a germ-a-phobe. So imagine how that factors into dating. The first time I went to his house it was like “Don’t sit there. Don’t touch that. Here use this towel to sit on. I don’t like people to sit on my couch in clothes they had on outside.” Since I was there strictly for sex, I didn’t mind taking a shower immediately and slipping on one of his t-shirts. But now he’s like completely relaxing with me in his space, he cooks for me and even fed me the other day with his fork…and then ate after me. When a borderline germaphobe doing these things means they are really comfortable with you in their space but if you’re the run-away bride type, it’s also overwhelming. So just to remind him of the arrangement, I brought my own food. I tried to sit somewhere that I thought would annoy him. I just tried to change the dynamics so it could feel less like we’re dating. He says he doesn’t want to be in a serious relationship anyone right now he seems confused because he’s doing things that signal otherwise. If anything I’m the one trying to keep things like a feather but he’s applying pressure so I’m seriously considering having “The Talk” with him and establishing a safety word to alert him when I feel he’s crossing the line from lover to boyfriend.
  2. Don’t Back Down from an Argument: I woke up the other day at “Mr. No Backing Down’s” and realized I had started my period. I realized it when the sheets looked like a crime scene. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a few drops. It looked like Dexter had been there. He was in the shower mumbling about us running late and needing to leave in 10 minutes no matter what. His place is pretty small because it’s New York City. But the oddest thing is his bathroom and kitchen are right next to each other. I was going to try to get something to clean it up but when he heard me coming he was like, “I need my space.” So, I panicked. I had a short window to handle the situation. I decided to treat it like I would if my child wet the bed and I was going to lose my job if I was late. So I removed the fitted sheet – only to discover it went through to the mattress. I knew it was not the best decision but I flipped the mattress because I’d rather him be mad at me than get fired from his job and be mad at me. We’re talking about a germaphobe here. Once a drop of his own semen got on the bed as he was taking off his condom and he nearly freaked out. So imagine him witnessing the crime scene on his mattress. I decided to make the bed as I do every time I’m there and then take the sheets to the laundry mat to wash. I also decided to purchase a new of sheets for him…but to tell him later that day when I came back to clean it. I put the sheet in my bad and when he came out of the bathroom, I raced in to freshen myself up. I know we had like two minutes to spare but I couldn’t leave the way I was. I usually go from his house straight to my gym to get my work out in and shower and change clothes. I love the routine actually. But as we sat in the car and he’s sharing personal things with me,  I ended up feeling like I had completed a sheet heist and instantly felt bad once I was out of the car. Eventually, he got to a place at work where he could call me for a few minutes between takes. I wasted no time and just blurted it out. His reaction through me. He was pissed (I expected that) but he was like I’m disgusted. I don’t want to see you anymore. CLICK. Then he called back and said, “Oh and you’re buying me a new comforter set.” I was like…what?! I get it. You’re a germaphobe (not exactly my problem) and I’m trying to rock with you on that because a clean man is a very good thing. But his reaction was over the top, crossed a line and I felt a bit cruel. I refused to back down. A couple of days later, he reached out and apologized. Surviving an argument and personal quirks makes a relationship more solid. It also gives both people a chance to set boundries and readjust expectations. Before I go there again (because duh! of course I am. The sex is stupendous!) I’ll be sure to have my own rules. He’s gotta lighten up on the germaphobe stuff and I’ll be more forthcoming. Besides, what woman doesn’t want the chance to buy the sheets the man she’s digging sleeps on? Most romantic arguments are stupid and over stupid things but surviving them is the true test of the relationship.
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