Dating after 30 is easy. It’s like riding a bike. But the bike is on fire. And the ground is on fire. Everything is on fire. Because you are in HELL.
After my Mom went out on short term disability due to her Parkinson’s she spent a lot of time watching daytime television. Steve Harvey was one of her favorites. She would always give me dating advice from her takeaways she learned from his show. I should look for a good man at church, be confident but not too confident, don’t talk so much, let him do “man things”and never, never go dutch. She even bought me a copy of his book, Act Like a Lady, Think like a Man, with the hope that I would in fact act like a lady, settle down, and find a damn man.
If you are a woman dating today than you are familiar with the way in which it can feel totally effed up. I’m what you call a Xennial. I’m right on the cusp on being a Gen Xer and a Millennial, so I grew up with technology and computers but the internet was dial up and the mobile phones were as big as my face. I remember the days when the only way to go on a date was to ask someone for their number and USE IT because online dating didn’t exist yet and you might not ever see that person again. Consequently, the more we advance, the harder it becomes. Dating apps abound as well as the half-ass efforts of “netflix and chill” (Seriously dudes, get it together).
When my mother gave me the Steve Harvey book I was actually pleasantly surprised. In it, Steve offers sound advice about the mindset of a man while pointing out what we, as women, need to recognize as signs that someone may not be worth our time. More importantly, how to know if he is ready, willing and able to be your partner and participate in a healthy committed relationship…assuming that’s what you’re in the market for.
During this time my Mother just couldn’t quite wrap her head around the fact that I was still single, in my mid-thirties, after a failed engagement (See previous post “My Life After Bacon”). She would get really invested in a new guy when I would tell her about a date, like she was ready to meet the family and marry me off. Oh! He’s an accountant, she’d say…Oh he has an MBA from Wharton, just go on one more date with him Beth! She was very into the ones who looked good on paper. Nevermind he wore white tube socks, lived in his parents basement, and was into CosPlay… true story. While she was my biggest cheerleader, my Mother was also often my biggest critic, and she could not imagine why some amazing man hadn’t snatched me up yet, which now I can appreciate.
Have you ever heard the phrase “she has a bad picker” ? That was me. Shady guys, taken guys, emotionally unavailable guys, egotistical, narcissistic, materialistic guys…I found em’ all. Or at least, it felt like I did. During my final days with her we had a lot of one-way conversations as she was not always able to respond. I would talk, she would listen. On her deathbed I asked my Mother: Please, send me a great love. Who else would I ask? She was the expert. She knew me better than anyone else and she had all those tidbits from Steve. I trusted her. I still trust her and I knew that she was going to be able to see things I could not.
Call me crazy but I am here to tell you that my mother sent me THE GREATEST LOVE OF MY LIFE. Of course, as the universe would have it, it wasn’t in the packaging I expected. He was older, divorced, and had four full grown sons by the time he met me. A younger, less wise, distracted, not living her best life Beth would probably have walked right by. Luckily, I didn’t. I was immediately attracted to Eric and we had a natural chemistry. Date one he met my sister and as he sat across from me at a local hipster bar looking so handsome and stylish in his green military jacket with a matching hat, we talked like we had know each other for years. He made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world and at no point did I feel like I had to tone it down or dim my light. There were so many qualities about him that won me over, his maturity, his work ethic, his self-respect and he of course he picked up the check like the perfect gentlemen he continues to be.
Looking back all I can think is: My mom mother effin did it! She is better than Steve Harvey she is the ultimate matchmaker and she should be giving allllll the tips. Although I hated her advice when she was still alive I know now that she sent me my love, and that this love was exactly what I needed. Ladies, I know the dating scene can be rough, and not everyone has a superfly guardian angel up there like my mother (AKA “The General”) but I can tell you that you are worth the wait for whatever it is your dreaming for.
Love, Lashes and Lipstick,