Dating as a Single Mama

 

I can’t believe I’m writing this post. But I am. It was of course my plan to be married til death do us part but the way we were going the death part was going to be quicker than anticipated and it wasn’t going to be me. So my marriage ended and now I’m out ‘chere in these dating streets. At times I’m living my best life, and then other times I’m like WTAF (what the absolute f___ ) but those are the times that taught me the rules I now date by.

I’ll be honest it’s not easy as a woman of 41 with FOUR kids to date. And because of the type of man I choose to date my pool to select from is shallow. AF. Like I just recently broadened my age range because the men just weren’t making the cut. So let me share my rules for dating and why. But let me give you a disclaimer first – these are MY RULES! I am only explaining what I believe and do and in no way do I a) care if you like them or not b) are trying to make you date like I do. I mean you could but everything ain’t for everybody. AND I’m being very brief because men do find me on the internet all the time and I can’t give them the whole dang playbook!

I meet the majority of men I date online. Thru dating apps mostly. Men approach me in public but not any that I would like to talk to. I usually look a hot mess and then they want to ask for my number. This is a red flag ladies!!! I know you think it’s flattering that he approached you while you were tore up from the floor up but almost all the time that means he’s a dusty (a man who doesn’t mean you any good) and approached you because you looked low maintenance, easy and he could get the most from you for the least. Free game. Thank me later. Before we get into my rules let me say this. I truly believe I am the prize. It was not easy for me to come to terms with thinking that way but through a very difficult journey of self discovery and love I truly feel like I am that prize to any man I may date. It’s not conceit, it’s not arrogance, it’s a mindset you need to have in order to not get played, mistreated, mislead, used and/or abused. Also if I don’t think this way about myself NOONE else will. NOBODY! I put me first. Periodt. I do not subscribe to the idea that women should put themselves last. There is absolutely no honor in being a martyr. Also before you began dating, make sure you create and live a life you enjoy already on your own. Make sure you are happy with you. A man should add to your happiness and life, not be the center of it (you should be the center next to God if you’re wondering).

Bathroom selfie

Let’s get into my Dating Guidebook!

  1. The #1 thing I do when I date and really everyday is I embrace my femininity. This is really a new concept for me and other women especially black women. We have been made out to be strong worker bees instead of the queens we are in my opinion. Therefore I put a lot of thought into how I function as a woman. This wasn’t easy and I still struggle sometimes because I am a single mother and head of my household so that causes me to operate in my masculine energy a lot. It’s hard to make the shift from being the action taker or doer, making decisions, being direct to letting go of control and being present, letting a man lead, and not revealing too much of myself too soon (we’ll talk about this more later). I practice being soft, vulnerable, thoughtful (but not overly emotional) and being able to receive instead of do. Let me give you an example: In this dating atmosphere some women initiate contact, ask men out, & simply do too much. I don’t. I’m out here being and receiving lol. I let men initiate most contact, I let them plan dates (yes I let them know what I like), I let them do the texting and calling and I receive it and reciprocate. Does this always work, lol no but if it doesn’t those aren’t the men I want to date anyway. Most men that I have dated don’t mind this, in fact they enjoy being in charge, leading, and putting in some work to get my attention. I had a guy I am currently dating tell me last night, don’t give me anything, men don’t want things easy, let me put in some work. AND I SHALL! LOL. If a man is interested he will do what he has to in order to get to know you. And if he doesn’t well…you get the picture.
  2. Be Mysterious aka stop talking so much! – I used to have the tendency to tell everything about myself way too soon and way too much. One thing people like when being around each other is to enjoy the company and feel good during the experience. Telling all your business doesn’t accomplish this. It’s been said women use 20,000 words a day compared to men who use about 7,000. WE CAN TALK. But you need to learn to limit that when you first begin dating someone. First of all you don’t know this man (shout out to KeKe Palmer). Second you need to leave some things to the imagination. Let a man wonder about you, let him figure out some things about you (stop giving him the playbook ladies because some men will use it against you for their own personal gain). It makes you interesting and a challenge. If you want to gab with someone call your girlfriends!
  3. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket – This is a touchy subject because it’s not something as women we are used to but let me tell you, men do this. They do it well actually. Date multiple people. Key word is date tho. Now I know you are grown but I wouldn’t suggest giving out your cookies to every man you date but hey do you sis.  Just be careful. Me personally I usually date multiple men until one connection becomes stronger than the rest. Dating several people allows me not to emotionally bond with someone I shouldn’t too fast, gives me options (because we know some men are not consistent and will drop off the face of the earth lol) and also helps me know what I don’t want and what I do in the next man I commit to. I don’t make it a secret that I date multiple people but it isn’t something I shout out either. If the subject comes up I do let them know I date. And I leave it at that.
  4. I don’t pre-date – Again another touchy subject. I will always say do what works best for you ladies. But it takes a lot of effort and work to get myself together & get kids fed and settled before I go anywhere. So it won’t be for a drink or a coffee. If you want to date me we can do an activity, have brunch, lunch or dinner but I will not let you test me out to see if you think I am worth an actual date. This whole pre-date thing irks my soul because I honestly don’t see anything wrong with a man asking a woman on a proper date. And before you say I am out here getting free meals like I said, I spend my time and energy getting beautiful, blocking out the stressors of the day to show up and be present and have good time so if I don’t believe I am worth a meal or whatever then I’m not. And I also get the argument what if we don’t have chemistry. Sometimes that happens and I have made a friend. I can honestly say none of my dates have been bad (because we have a conversation beforehand which is what some of ya’ll are missing as well) even if we don’t have a love connection.
  5. Go slow – My last tip is to take your TIME! Stop giving yourself away so quickly! Date, talk, get to know each other and don’t hop in the bed! Yes, I have become more old-fashioned in my later years and I am letting you know for me, I keep the cookies in the jar. Until I am in a committed relationship, I do not have sex. Before I give someone MY BODY he has to have earned it and deserved it and as women in a world where sex is given away so freely I can tell you a lot of men respect and appreciate this. And the men that don’t weren’t looking for a relationship anyway and I am glad to know that sooner than later. Transparent moment – I have been on the other end where things happened too quickly and I was disappointed it. In the end I had to realize that I only had myself to blame because if I would have set standards and boundaries and took my time I would have known that person didn’t deserve me. I am going to say this always, People in particular men since that is who we are talking about here, only do what you allow. Period. So set your standards and keep them. Yes it can get lonely but that is why you always have life of your own you love and live.

So these are some of my dating guidelines. These are things that work for me and protect me and my heart from the BS. Is it perfect, no. Sometimes I’m human, and my judgement isn’t always the best but I can say having standards and sticking to them has helped me not waste my time and end up with a broken heart. It also protects my children from the BS which is my #1 job as mama. But don’t get it twisted, one day these kids will grow up, leave and have their own lives so make sure you have one too! I know I do!

Love Ricki

 

She’s Basic: 5 Reasons I’m okay with being Basic

It’s okay to be basic

So I had planned another outfit for this post but last minute I had to pick something else. I couldn’t bring myself to wear much less promote anything from a company that obviously doesn’t want my coins and as a mother of a black son I’m just not here for it. So anyway I really had no idea what I wanted to wear and went to the mall for some inspiration. While browsing the clearance racks I found this gray duster and figured this would work with my favorite skinny jeans and a white shirt. But then it hit me! This outfit is so BASIC. No one will be excited about seeing these pics. I was on the verge of picking something else out, spending coins I shouldn’t when I said to myself this is a cute outfit. Why would I spend money I didn’t need to spend in order to impress anyone? I’m sorry that’s just not what a Seasoned Woman does. So instead I bought it and styled it (if you can even call it that) for the blog. I’m okay with being basic. And here are some reasons why:

  1. Being Basic keeps my coins in my purse- When we try to impress people (people that don’t really care anyway) by being the flashiest or most extra, we are normally spending money we may not even have. Believe me ladies I know, I know. I’ve been the one with the designer bag and high heels trying to be the epitome of the Trina song we know so well. It didn’t do anything but leave me with no money to put in that purse and bad knees. As I’ve gotten more seasoned I’ve become okay with wearing basics. And this doesn’t just apply to clothes. It can happen when you try to be flashy and “front” as we used to say by being at every event knowing full well your gas light in your car is on or trying to keep up with Jones’ and having every cable channel, NBA league pass AND NFL ticket when no one humanly possible even has time to watch all that stuff much less pay for it! Hell I don’t even want cable anymore. I’ll Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and chill any night. Or read a book (or listen to one).
  2. Being Basic helps me stay in my own lane-A big part of being better (my word for 2018 -see the post here) is to focus on my strengths and improve upon my weaknesses and being basic helps me focus on that. When you’re not try to do all things and be everything and everywhere you learn to focus on what you love and what’s important. Suddenly losing so many loved ones last year helped me regain focus on truly living my life, discovering my passion and loving the ones I’m with.
  3. Being Basic keeps me drama free-Nothing to see here cause I’m basic. When you give them nothing to talk about, there’s nothing to talk about. I’ll just stay over here making my moves in silence. Thanks.
  4. Being Basic makes me unbothered- I don’t let too many things, people or situations bother me anymore. As a seasoned woman I have learned what is and what isn’t worth my time and energy. Sometimes that means being quiet, forgiving the offense and moving on to other things. I’ve also learned that worrying solves nothing and prayer solves everything. Saying just pray about it may be the most basic response someone can give when an issue arises but who can argue that prayer doesn’t work? I’ll wait.
  5. Being Basic gets ish done- When you’re in your own lane, got a few dollars in that basic bag and you’re drama free and unbothered you get finish things. Honestly if I was trying to do the most, this blog post wouldn’t have gotten done. I think we all spend a little too much time on elaborate ideas instead of just executing simple plans, step by step. I always believe the mantra, progress is better than perfection. And who really wants to be fabulous but not moving forward in life. Not saying you shouldn’t present your best but just don’t get caught up that nothing is accomplished. Rather than trying to be the perfect most original blogger ever (in my opinion there is really no original idea only an original you!) I’ll just be basic and live my best life!

Love Ricki

Just say…Nope!

AirBrush_20170718173830

As usual I am late to the graphic tee party. I had been on the look out for a graphic tee I liked ever since I saw this post here. I really wanted to showcase how you can dress a simple tee up or down. You know I am all about stretching your wardrobe and your money. I think I achieved that with these two looks. For the first look I paired my tee with simple jeans and my gold sandals. Let me tell you something about me. I am not a fan of silver on myself. It looks pretty on other people but for me gold tones are usually my preference. It’s all about taking what you love and making it work for you when it comes to style. You don’t have to wear something you may not like simply because it looks good on other people or it’s trendy. I would wear this look anywhere, with the kids doing activities, shopping or even a simple movie date. And because the shirt was only $6 I wouldn’t even feel bad about messing it up lol.

AirBrush_20170718201738
T-shirt: Forever 21 Jeans: Fashion Nova Sandals: Shein

AirBrush_20170718200628AirBrush_20170718200511

For my second look I paired my graphic tee with a pencil skirt and heels. I have to say I was feeling this look. I loved how simple and easy it was to put together but I still felt stylish and chic. The heels added a pop of color as well as my lippie. I would wear this look to happy hour with the girls or a date night out to dinner.

AirBrush_20170719065816
Skirt: Asos, old similar here Shoes: Shoedazzle

AirBrush_20170718203159AirBrush_20170718201146AirBrush_20170718201640

When I saw this shirt it also spoke to me lol. My kids say this is my favorite word but it’s funny because I didn’t always know how to say no. I didn’t realize that there was power for me in saying no, and when I said yes to things I didn’t want to do or have I gave up control. How many times have we as women ran ourselves ragged trying to get things done we never really wanted to do in the first place? *Raises hand* I’ve spent my money (don’t co-sign that loan girl!), my resources and most importantly my time (which you cannot replace) all because I was afraid to say no. I was a people pleaser and I didn’t want someone to not like me because I didn’t want to do what they asked me to. I feared rejection, plain and simple. I had to recognize that it wasn’t my business if people were mad at me because their requests or demands didn’t fit in my agenda. I had to learn if people didn’t want to be my friend or apart of my life because I said no to them then their love or friendship was conditional and I don’t need that anyway. Who wants to always live up to conditions and standards other people place on them and never be able to be human and make mistakes? I realized I had to do what was best for me and learning to say no freed me up for people and activities that benefited my life and guided me toward my purpose. I am not saying don’t do things for people or loved ones but what I am saying is to do those things because you want to and out of love (how many times have we’ve done things we don’t want to and ended up half assing and frustrating ourselves?) Take care of you and regain back your control and time, money, etc. Say no and mean it (be firm but polite and you owe no one any explanations!) And if you still are not sure how to say no, get this t-shirt and just point!

AirBrush_20170718200434

Love Ricki