There I sat–happy, anxious, and shocked all at the same time. In the driver seat to my left was my homeboy who I grew up with.
“You’re a GROWN ASS MAN now,” I joked. “You got the family-sized SUV, good-paying job, apartment with your girlfriend and a dog! What’s next?”
He laughed, took a deep breath and said, “Honestly man, I’m saving up for a ring.”
Oh. F#ck No!
I would say I was surprised, but not really. Since high school we all knew what Tyson needed in his life to be content. Good food, good movies, relaxation and a few other adult requests I’d rather not mention. Anyway, it was a short list. And after my first visit to his new place and kickin’ it with him and his girlfriend, I can honestly say that Brotha is H-A-P-P-Y.
Naturally, I had to ask an important question (stolen from the movie, I Love You, Man), “So, is she the one, or just the next one?” Asking someone to consider if their significant other is “Mr(s) Right-For-Now” can be taken offensively, but the question warrants serious reflection.
“She’s the one bro. We have a great time together, our families like each other and she treats me right. I’m good.” His voice carried an air of confidence. It was a wholesome “good.”
Though he is the first of my tight friends to be that close to considering marriage, I must admit, it is kind of unsettling to know that we are at the age where weddings are no longer unrealistic. In my daily conversations, I realize that plenty of people aren’t into “playing games” anymore. They want serious relationships. Understandable. I agree. I agree agree…
But how do I know if the girl I’m dating is right? How do I know that I will be satisfied? How do I know that I’m not settling? Help me understand!
She would be a great wife…to someone else. I’m just not physically attracted to her, enough. I mean, what if I wake up next to her and think, “ehhh…she’s aiiiiiiiiiight?” Am I Shallow Hal? What would I think if she felt that way about me?!?!
I’d think she needs an eye exam! Our chemistry can be good, but to sustain a healthy relationship there needs to be a certain level of physical attraction. How do I know where the limit is in the looks department?
She doesn’t motivate me to grow. She’s happy to have me just the way I am. Sounds nice, but I want a woman who inspires me to be a better man for her. A King for his Queen. If she doesn’t expect more from me, will she ever get more from me? A good friend once told me, “What you put up with, you end up with.” Am I settling by dating a woman whom I know does not command my full potential?
Her past is questionable. We’ve all done things we don’t want to admit. Well, she admitted it, and now, I can’t take it! For us men, this could be a number of things, i.e: “You got how many bodies!?!?!” or “You did that to your ‘best friend’?” or “Are you like that every time you get drunk?” Yes, people can change, but their history of behavior can give some insight into their decision-making ability. Let’s face it, if they cheated in all of their previous relationships, what makes you so sure it won’t happen to you? What does their record tell you? Am I settling by moving forward even though her past has me skeptical?
As always, you have to know what you like. This comes from experiencing life by yourself and with different people. Honest self-reflection is key. Take time to understand what you like, don’t like, and why. The more you study, the more ready you will be when Mr(s) Right does come along. I’m still exploring. But the more I look into the people around me, and not just at them, the more I understand who I need in my life to keep me H-A-P-P-Y.