For those of us who are single and searching for "the one", and have been single and searching, we have come to the crossroad. The crossroad that begets a line of questioning about the experience of successful dating from “What am I doing wrong?” “Is it me?” “God did you tell him to not call me back?” “Did I miss the love of my life ?”
We, single and ready to mingle girls, come to these crossroads because for some of us, our search for true love has come up empty-handed and unfruitful. Basically, we’ve tried everything under the sun and it does not work, at least for me. I am highly aware of varying methods that have been deemed successful in other friends' lives to change their relationship status to taken, dating, or bare minimum – we went out. For many of us, like myself, who have been single and in this parched dry land for ages, we have a heightened sense of awareness of new and old methodologies to find your next beau or life partner. Here's a few...
Wait, he’ll approach you:
Nah, this is why we are here.
2. Online dating: as though there is a huge uptick in outstanding men online (eyeroll)
or in the words of Ebony Janice Facebook post
3. Just work on yourself. Find your purpose, and he’ll come.
WHAT DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS LAST DECADE!
I know myself, love myself, and been in a relationship with myself faithfully for the past 15 years. We good. We have self-care Sundays. We are in tuned with our spirit. We go for long walks. We talk to Jesus on the regular. We have goals in mind outside of a man. We don’t need anymore of us time. We know who we are!
So this led to the next suggestion: SHOOT YOUR SHOT!
My first response was, who me?
LOL…Do you know who I am? I am woman. I am Queen. I am Michelle Obama, my momma, Beyonce, Oprah, and my first lady - all wrapped in one. I am a catch!
A single catch…that’s parched in this weary dry land.
So I humbled myself, and I explored this “shooting the shot.”
The idea of shooting your shot is, if I find someone I’m interested in, I initiate conversation, I show interest, or I, as a woman, do the initial leg work.
By this definition, I actually shoot my shot, and shoot often. I initiate conversation. I allow my smile to linger. I engage flirtatiously. I pay compliments about his scent, his stature, even his presentation, or anything that may spike my interest. But let’s be clear, I only shoot when it’s convenient. I don’t go out of my way or force anything- conversations, relationships, or ponytails.
So when there’s a chance, opportunity, and potential with a new beau, I will flirt, converse, compliment, and extend invitations to coffee or large gathering with friends. I do this because relationships are great regardless! Relationships may not develop into a romantic interest but knowing good people is what makes life awesome! Additionally, men need cues as well. They need to know is she open to conversation? Does she have a man? Is she safe to approach or engage?
But I don’t consider that shooting your shot.
This is how I define “shooting your shot."
Shooting your shot: The initial request to go on a one-on-one formal date where some level of romance is the intent.
That, my friends, is what I’ll never do!
Coffee, Yup! 👍🏾
Invite you over for a get together? Sure! 👍🏾
Ask if he wants to grab lunch, No prob! 👍🏾
But asking him on a date, NEVER EVER! 🙅🏾♀️ I’m not even asking for his number to call him!
If you can not pick up what I’m laying down, read between my flirty lines, then I don’t think we are for one another. If you don’t understand that I am flirting with you when I give you extra attention, allow my eyes to linger, or invite you out to something after the party , you ain’t checking for me.
I’ve seen men who are literally waiting with baited breath for an opening for a specific woman they are interested in- an open seat at the table, an opportunity to make her laugh, an excuse to contact her, heck, for her just to breathe in the right direction! I believe when a man is interested in a woman, the need to “make it plain” diminishes. If after a few encounters with my engaging chit chat, intellectual conversation, contagious laugh, or intriguing personality doesn’t spark SOMETHING for you, then you’re just not that into to me. The key phrase is "after an encounter." It’s not about making my intent extremely clear or wooing a man so he really really knows I'm interested. He has to be interested as well. It has to be mutual. And when it is mutual, men have enough sense, to go after what they want. I don’t have to flag you down or direct you to date me. If he’s interested enough (keyword: enough), he’ll find a way.
Which leads to number 2…
2. I want to date a certain type of man. This man is intentional and purposeful in searching for a life partner, not haphazardly dating.
A certain level of maturity is required for this type of man. There are specific qualities this type of man wants in a life partner that can be hard to come by. When this type of man sees those qualities or when there’s a possibility she could be the one, he doesn’t sit back and wait. He goes after it. He goes after it because he knows the value of good partner. He knows how the right partner will not only add value to all parts of his being but will create the necessary space for the cultivation for his mind, body, and spirit. If he can’t recognize the “good” in me after a few encounters – I ain’t it. I’m not flagging you down or laying myself out like an entrée. If he’s interested enough, he’ll find a way.
3. I am still the prize, the ultimate prize.
I am the rib you are missing. I am the one who will protect your heart, pray for you, allow you to be the most vulnerable, the one that will ride with you until. I am still the prize in a way that I am a Queen in solitude, that nations are birthed through me. I am still the marvel that life flows through and is sustain by me. I am the being that can affect your conversation with God yet I am weaker vessel. God said, you weren't good without me and I don't lord this over. I just know my value. This is why I will not shoot my shot. When a man sees pieces of these characteristics in me, he honors it and values it. And with anything else a human places high value on, the approach to obtain it is different. You don’t wait for that, you go get it. If he’s interested enough, he’ll find a way.
4. Bonus: Because I like it! I loooove when a man takes the lead and asks me on a date! I maybe looking too deep into this, which I tend to do, but there’s something great, caring, and thoughtful about a man asking you out on a real date. There’s something about the courage a man has when he seriously wants to spend time with you. It shows his ability to plan, provide, and lead albeit small.
Now, ladies and gents, please understand, this is my approach and my approach only. It is tailored to the more mature man. PLEASE NOTE: My approach does not mean “shooting your shot” is wrong. It’s just not for me and doesn’t align with the type of man I want or the relationship I desire. Dating for hook ups or short-term relationships is not success in my book. A healthy friendship, extended network, or marriage is success. And full disclosure: I’m still as single as them come!
So check back in 5 years and see if I feel the same…lol