When I was a teenager I thought that at this stage in my life, I would have already met my future husband. I thought we sould probably be in a two-year relationship already, with a plan to get married once I turned 27 – four years to date seemed like a fair space of time to get to know someone.
Okay so let’s fast forward to my reality. I’m a 25-year-old single black female. I am a journalist with an awesome career ahead of me. I’m a feminist, I am outspoken, I am an extrovert and I love spending time with my friends having those deep meaningful conversations about our lives, men, our goals, men, the usual day-to-day girl stuff and did I mention, men? I know you get it.
It’s funny. When you reach my age something weird happens around you. Women’s standards for a partner start to change and the advice you’re given by older women and even your own friends starts to take a different direction. At this point in my life I’d prefer not to date a man with a child for example. One of my friends said: “Friend. At our age you can’t be so picky.”
Suddenly, you’re not allowed to dream and you’re not allowed to have a list of non-negotiables because honey there ain’t enough men out there for you to be goin’ on talmbou’ standards and all that bullshit.
Oh shit. How did we get here? How did we get to the point where a man who cheats is the norm and you just need to be strong and live with it? When did we get to the point where we tell each other the: “all men are dogs honey, you just need to know which dog you love enough to train” bullshit advice?
Are men telling each other this? Are they telling each other to just be strong because “these hoes ain’t loyal out there dawg so you just need to know if she yo’ ride or die”. If anything men do not compromise when it comes to cheating. They are the last to forgive that.
(Side note: I don’t really know why I’m switching to the American slang but I think it gives the effect of how ridiculous we have become).
I’ve put up with quite a bit in my short existence but I’ve gotten to the point where enough is really just enough. I’m taking out my list again and I’m not settling for what’s “good-enough for now”. The problem with us is our inability to see beyond what’s instantly gratifying. The rest of my life is a very long time and settling for what’s nice now will bite me in the ass in a few years when I’m married to a man who doesn’t share my feminist ideals. A man who doesn’t want me to work when the children come or a man who won’t read with me before we go to bed at night. In about 40 years, the sex won’t matter but the conversations will and companionship will be all we have.
I always tell people that I’m chasing unicorns. One of my friends joked on Twitter one night and said I need to lay of the drugs. My future husband is a unicorn because the way I see it, everyone around me tells me he doesn’t exist but like a little girl who escapes into her imaginary world with her imaginary friend from time to time, I have seen a unicorn and I have breathed the same air as him for a few minutes so I know he exists and I’m going to spend eternity with him. Unlike most people who love to proclaim that they see life for what it is because they are realists or whatever, I’m actually happy to live in my little bubble. I’m happier for it. I’m an idealist and my faith in humanity just keeps me going. So I’m going to keep chasing unicorns until I get my happily ever after.