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).
Let’s get into my Dating Guidebook!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
I am going to make this post short and sweet. As a mother of four I do thoroughly enjoy Mother’s Day. I even bought this dress specifically to celebrate the holiday but as I have become more seasoned and experienced life changes I now understand that Mother’s Day can be a hurtful holiday for some. Of course celebrate the mothers in your life or your own motherhood but keep in mind our sisters who may be experiencing a not so good time. As we approach Mother’s Day I want us to remember these things.
Illustration is by Marie Andrews via Instagram
Also, be sure to remember to be sensitive to those who may have lost the people that celebrated them as mothers (i.e. spouse).
Just remember even if it means nothing to you, it may mean everything to them.
When I first started my blog all I heard about was finding your niche and identifying your target audience. You had to know who you were speaking to and who you were serving. I really had no idea who that was. I knew I loved fashion and makeup and everything associated with those things. I knew I was a woman of a certain age and I could no longer relate to younger women who were showing more than I cared to show anymore. I settled on blogging for women who were my age and enjoyed the things I loved and who wanted to see what I saw. But eventually that wasn’t enough for me anymore. Fashion is awesome and where would I be without concealer but I wanted to cover topics that were relevant to me and possibly to other women who looked like me.
I wanted to represent for the ladies that are in that weird place in life (at least it was weird for me) where you are getting older but you are not old! You still have so much life to live and share but you can now do it with more confidence because life experiences have taught you valuable lessons. I was stuck on how to describe this woman when my good friend Sheena (who I actually met through Instagram follow her @she_is_fab) told me you are not getting old you are just becoming seasoned. Thank you Sheena because I took this word and as you know I ran with it! I think it is the perfect word to describe where I am in life as well as other ladies in my audience. What does it mean to be a seasoned woman? My definition is a woman who has not just survived but conquered all those things that life tends to throw at us like hurt, pain and loss. Even though those experiences (which we tend to collect as we age) can be hard those experiances are necessary and help to sprinkle us with wisdom, perseverance, strength and that certain je ne sais quoi! Shoot that description right there makes me proud to be a seasoned woman! I mean who really wants to be bland anyway?
I decided at the request of my fellow seasoned sisters to create merchandise geared for us. My first venture into this scary new world is a graphic tee. I love T-shirts like the next person but I am careful about what I broadcast across my chest. For instance, I love trap music just like the next mother of teenagers, but I don’t want a T-shirt that says TRAP QUEEN. I wanted a T-shirt that was fun but at the same time expressed my pride in being a Seasoned Woman. I designed two shirts so far that I felt expressed and I hope you like them. Of course, these are samples and the final edit will be a little different (and better quality, I am figuring all this out as I go!) but I am uber proud of what I have came up with. So be on the lookout in the future for these and more! (Hint: sign up for email so you can get updates on the launch, pre sale information and discount codes. Do it now!)
Are you a seasoned woman? Does the definition describe you? Also what do you think of the shirts, would you buy and wear one? Let me know in the comments!
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
I love fashion because it is mostly just recycling what we used to wear before! Right now trends from the 90s are hot and one trend I wanted to try was the ruffle sweater.
If you have looked lately tops and blouses these past few seasons have been all about adding feminine details whether it’s just a touch or boldly. I decided to just go with a touch but after styling this sweater I think I may be ready for the bold! Ruffle sweaters have been seen in all the online fashion sites and brick and mortar retailers. I took a gamble and picked this one up online from Forever 21 in a size large here. It was a gamble that paid off because I was afraid it would not be the best quality considering the price. I was also afraid I wouldn’t fit it properly due to my larger chest. I am happy to say the material is great, not thin but not too thick for Houston’s “fall” weather. And this is from Forever 21’s contemporary line which runs a little larger so it fit just right. I will say I have a long torso and I am y’all so it was ALMOST cropped so I made sure to wear my Fashion Nova high waisted jeans. Are you loving all the ruffles and bell sleeves being featured on blouses this season? Do you remember this trend from the 90s?
I am loving it!!! (well the updated version!)
And for all who have asked for details about my hair on my social media pages it’s a half wig which I purchased here. And here is a link for the video I followed to achieve this style. Thank you for the compliments! And if you would like to see a video or blog post about my wigs and why and how I wear them let me know in the comments below because I would be happy to make one1