The dangers of a dating list

The ‘problem’

Last year I met up with an old friend of mine. Our annual how do you dos. She’s lovely but perpetually single to the point where I look like a Karkrash with my limited dating. We (naturally) got talking about the dating world and she flung herself onto the table dramatically and started complaining about the lack of real options out there and how none of them are close to her dating list.

As someone who has been single for nearly 5 years now I was a little perplexed. It’s not hard to find a date. It’s hard to find a date you want to date more than once or who isn’t violent / crazy/ in a relationship already/ depressed/ angry/ loss/ still wants to fuck around / wallowing about their ex. And yet she said she couldn’t find a single first date? I asked her if she was on the apps and the websites. She nodded sadly and said she had tried everything.

Backtrack: My friend is attractive. According to her could stand to lose a few stone as she hates her body and is probably a tad prone to the histrionics but, generally she’s a good sort. I ask her about what she wants and thus began the list.

The Longest List

30 minutes later she has finally finished describing her perfect man. A mix of a character from Power (not Omari Hardwick so I quickly didn’t know who she was talking about), someone from a soap I don’t watch (I want to say Hollyoaks but it could be Eastenders or Corrie or Emmerdale. As you can see I wasn’t really engaged) and 2 or 3 of her ex boyfriends plus her Uncle which I tried not to react to but found kind of weird. I’ve met her Uncle. He’s a dick.

When she took a rare breath I tried to break it down to her. She wanted a bad boy who treated her well but would kill for her. She also wanted someone financially stable, good looking, tall (she’s short so I don’t get this) conscious but not militant or hotep, older than her but by no more than 3 to 5 years, slim and in shape but not a gym slut…I forget the rest. I know there were things around diet, health, wealth and family. Oh, he had to be a particular tribe from Nigeria which I’d never heard of.

The Solution

So you want a unicorn? Fine. Don’t date. Just post an advert or tell all of your aunties to start the search. They’ll find you someone sharp, sharp! I know my aunties have a whole whatsapp group about the single women in the family.

But she didn’t want to do this. I asked her about what she was bringing to the date or relationship and she looked at me like I was cray.  After a paus she regaled me with this fantasy dude and,  I realised that what she’s saying is that she had put up so many hurdles to dating that she didn’t really have to and she could blame the pool. Hello! This woman was single-handedly cockblocking herself. I wanted to tell her to chill with the prescriptive man and just enjoy meeting new people. But she wasn’t about that. I gently raised the whole diet idea again and she made a dig about me being brutal.  She insisted that I agree with her that the dating pool is dire and that we were both going to die alone. Erm, nah Chica. You’re on your own with that malarkey. I’m alright thanks Jill.

The Reality

I realised the dangers of a list. This isn’t visualisation and the law of attraction anymore. You are literally taking yourself off the market. You become undateable because you can’t bloody shake the fact that he doesn’t look like your celebrity crush or he left his hairline in 2010. It means you don’t have to focus on any of the flaws or faults you have and instead can pick at him. It also hit me that I didn’t want to do the misery loves company thing with her anymore so when she called me this year for our catchup I wasn’t available. I told her I was on a date.  I don’t want her negativity bringing me down. And who knows what’s around the corner?

Right I’m off to write my own dating list and forcing myself to get back out there. This Single Black Female shit scares me.

© Chelsea Black 2020

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