Clocking in.

Whew, this'll be fun. I’m writing for the Faithful Black Men Association now. That means my voice will serve as representation for all of those identifying with my race and gender every time I click submit on a post. That’s a lot of pressure. What if y’all think I’m trash? That means every other Black Man could suffer from generalizations due to the opinions I share. On the flip side, I can paint a vivid picture of us that many do not see or may not want to accept because their accepted truth is better in their minds. All of that to say, I’ve gotta really go about this right. So let me clock in.

I'm not perfect. Remember that. You won't be able to forget it because I'm going to repeat it pretty often. It's key. So as much as you may want to resort to calling me or the way I think trash, keep an open mind and just keep reading. Everyone’s reality is different after all, yes?

Dating is something, man. The idea of forever never accounts for the way people change over the course of a relationship. People legit change every 7 years. We change as individuals, the dynamics of relationships change, and sometimes distance between people changes. Not everyone is equipped to deal with change. The couples that are, they last. People think because they love each other, they’re meant to last. It’s a sad misconception.

We put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves early on when it comes to love. The folks who "date to marry," which I totally respect, frighten me the most. Sure, I've had women in my life who to this day I think could have been my ideal life partner if circumstances were different. However, for me it's hard as hell to go into a relationship with that mindset. I know some folk who have been in a relationship longer than someone people who are married have even known each other.

I think the older I get the less I subscribe to the idea of love at first sight. Nah, I'm gonna figure you out...even if you’re bad and I can see us making beautiful children who go on to become some of the most influential people this world has seen. You think that dream of mine is enough to overlook your attitude or dislike of Drake?!?!? Sweetheart, please.

Also, to be very honest, a lot of my relationships have come together due to initial lust and an emotional bond coming after the fact. Marriage isn't on my mind when I'm hitting DMs. Does that make me wrong? Someone would probably say yes. Again, I'm not perfect. At the end of the day, the assumption is men don’t want anything serious anyways. I just do me.

I'm excited to write for this platform, though, because too often the Black Man has his ideals, beliefs, or ways he goes about dating forced onto him. People believe what they see in the media and on Twitter more than our own word, thus we don't even bother opening up sometimes because what we say falls on deaf ears. Fellas, we aren't innocent though. We sometimes force our ideas of women onto them without hearing them out. The biggest disconnect I see between men and women is due to communication.

Legit, most things can be solved with that. We assume before we really try and know someone’s perspective. There’s so much to learn and gain through conversation I’ve come to learn. Unfortunately, not everyone operates that way and truthfully not everyone wants to communicate. It's exhausting. I've been there and though it may have lead to some unfavorable results, I can't force myself to do something I don't want to do. I'm not perfect.

This introductory piece is a little all over the place, and it won't be the last piece that incorporates multiple angles. For me, it's all about self-awareness and being honest with yourself. You will more than likely fail at every interpersonal interaction with the opposite sex if you don't understand yourself, take responsibility for your emotions/reactions to things, and truthfully tell yourself what things are. Honesty is freedom. There’s a sense of being unchained and unrestrained in being honest with yourself and others. You go through life with so much more peace.

It's an acquired talent and I'm working on it every day. I've hurt people in the process. I'm not perfect. I just try to clock in every day and be a little better than the day before, so whenever the queen actually destined for me comes I will be ready for her. In every way. No pressure, ready and willing to communicate everything I feel and not seeking anything in her that I don’t already have.

That’s another issue with dating. A lot of us are broken beyond our recognition. Being incomplete, we often subconsciously or knowingly seek something that will complete us. Nobody can love you like you. Nobody will love you exactly the way you want to. Hell, someone might love you too much and open your eyes to how the love they give to you over themselves directly mirrors the love you seek in others rather than yourself. Projection is such a real thing. So many of us act out of character because of our insecurities that eat away at us, combined with another person’s inability to fix what isn’t their responsibility. Self-awareness is the first step, but self-sufficiency is the goal. It has to be worked at, and it is a foundation of relationships that is very slept on.

This year, I’m all about being selfish and finding new things about myself to like every day. The more I love myself and embrace my flaws, the less I seek someone else to compensate for them. I remember the days my parents would tell me “Armon, you don’t have to like or date every girl just because she’s cute or you get along.” I’d dismiss it and took it as insults back in the day, but boy do I get it now. I’m too experienced now to be rushing into things without considering the outcomes and fallout. I’m too strong to be seeking someone to fulfill things I can for myself. That’s why when wifey comes around, it’s truly lit because she won’t have any pieces to pick up. I look forward to that day in 2053.

Agree with me? Disagree? Wanna hit the DMs for healthy conversation? @armizzle_ on Twitter and @armonsadler on Instagram. Let’s talk.

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