Tag Archives: RELATIONSHIP

DEFINING LOVE

Love is defined as: an intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something; and the list goes on.  

On some level, we all can identify something or someone that we love. I love my family; although I may not always like them; the love I genuinely feel for them is undeniable.  

Another thing I love are desserts; especially Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown. Even though, I hate what it does to my waistline and my conscience, I can’t deny that; when that microwaved chocolate cake with chocolate syrup center, drizzled with way too sweet white and dark chocolate, with the scoop of ice cream comes to my table; the outside world does not exist. From the first break of the cake as the chocolate oozes, and I try to repeatedly gather the perfect bite with just enough ice cream, to the final bite; I can undoubtedly say that I am in love; if only for 5 minutes. I can scream from the mountain top, the love I have for something that has probably, single handedly, been the cause of all the new diabetes diagnoses, since its inception. But telling someone I love them… Ugh! Can we just eat cake! 

I felt your love for me early on. Maybe it was how often we spoke; or the fact that you always wanted to be around me. But, from the very beginning, when you first laid eyes on me; and I was in a threesome with two other men; I didn’t have to be anyone but myself. Sure, you didn’t love me that night, but after our first few dates, I was certain you soon would. 

You said (actually texted) the words when I was going through a dark patch with my family. I knew you was going to say it before the message came through; and although it was great to know your true feelings; it did absolutely nothing to make the situation better. It just meant that you were going to be there for me, and that was enough.  

The last time I said I love you was in 2013. In 2012, I met my now ex-boyfriend. We had connected on the dating app Badoo; I was so confident that he was the one, and that there would never be another. So, within a month of us online dating, before we even met in person; he told me he loved me and I told him back. We dated for just over a year before the once strong and undying love I had for him actually died. When I finally ended the relationship; he told me that I never really loved him. Hmm? I was certain that I did, in fact, love him, at some point during our relationship. I looked back at our pictures and they looked like love. I though back to all the times I cried for him, (I cry very easily, so maybe that’s not the best example). When I looked at all that I had done for him during our relationship, I knew that I wouldn’t have done any of it, if I didn’t love him. So, what the fuck was he talking about? How could tell me, the feelings that I had for him were never real? Then, years later, it finally hit me… His love was not my love.  

My love isn’t the jump off a cliff, walk into the fire, sacrifice my life for you love; like his was. My love is practical yet whimsical. My love is stern, but it can also be pliable; it can be loud and it can be quiet, it can be suffocating and it can be distant. However, above all things, my love for another will never be stronger than the love I have for myself. I can love someone with all my might, but if that relationship no longer brings me joy, I have no problems walking away to be on my own.  

So, after him, I reserved the declaration; because if tomorrow comes and I want to go back into my shell; it’s important to know what we shared was real and it was love, even if it didn’t and/or doesn’t last forever.  

I was sitting at a jazz show, listening to the music being played. As the lady on the stage sang about love; it was in that moment I knew I loved you. It struck me as odd because I was at the performance to see one of my other partners perform; but, the thought of you ran through my mind and found a home in my heart. I started to get warm all over, it could’ve been the 3 drinks that I had; but then it happened again. When I was walking down the street talking to myself (as I sometimes do); Boom! There you were again. I tried to apply logic and reason, I picked the way I felt about you apart, I dissected it like a dead frog on a metal table, and it still came back – love.   

I could drive myself mad trying to define and break down what it means to be in love while polyamorous, but I just know I love how I feel now. The love that we share doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s, because we are not like everyone else. I simply want to live and love in this feeling for as long as we’re meant to. 

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?

People often have a difficult time understand the dynamics of a poly lifestyle choice. I don’t have all the answers; but, I attempt to break down what polyamory means for me.

I was, not so recently, asked if I still believed in love. I was asked, over drinks, by the man that was the main character in my I Blamed You story. It seemed to him, that with all my ups and downs that I had given up on the idea of love. This made me think… Did I actually give up on love? I knew I still desired a form of romantic love in my life; but, with all my ups and downs, felt it would never happen.  

Four years ago, I broke up with my last ex. I needed time to re-find myself; and fall back in love with who I was. I discovered all the things that made me happy. I re-bonded with my friends, my family, and eventually I started dating again. Dating kind of went like this: ghost, ghost, dick-pic; ghost, ghost, married man looking to cheat on his wife; ghost, pen-pal, bad sex; catfish, ghost, then good fling turned ghost; fuck-buddy, ghost, scam.  

During my pursuit to find “THE ONE” all I found was; much time wasted, half-ass conversations, and lots of hurt emotions. Then I asked myself; What was the driving force being my serial-dating? The answer was; I had set up a highly unrealistic timeline for love, based on the dreaded. biological clock. I wanted to be in a relationship by 32, engaged by 33, married by 34, and right when my birth control was done, at 35- Surprise! We’re pregnant! That was the plan. That fucked up plan had me ferociously swiping left and right, and going on date after date, until I was blue in the face and my fingers were numb.  

Why did I want a relationship so bad? Why did it matter so much to me, for me to be chosen by another? Was I not enough? I looked back at all of my former relationships where I was chosen, yet never truly happy. I used to be a serial-monogamist (relationship after relationship) and none of them ever fully satisfied me; maybe what I needed was time to explore. If I was being honest with myself, I was, only, happy about 60-70% of my relationships; the other time, I was Miserable, with capital “M”. There was always something that was missing. On the opposite end, there was always something that I was unable to give, and that in return made me feel less than. I never met a man that shared my hobbies and desires, and I never met a man I could really be myself with. For the better part of all my relationships I tried to fit into this perfect little image of what he wanted me to be. I tried being his everything and looking back- I hated it! 

I had always known that alternative love-sytles existed, I was simply hesitant to seek them out. So, tired with doing what, I was supposed to do, I decided to try and do what I wanted.  

I took it slow at first (or not- depending on who you ask); I claimed my position on non-monogamy, polyamory, and bisexual. I met M_Tinder, and shortly after I met R_Tinder. The connections I had with each man was dynamic in its own right. I was openly dating both men, they knew of each other, and jealousy wasn’t a factor. My conversations with M were light hearted, while my conversations with R were more dynamic. The yin and yang of the two fed my mind, but the direct consistent human connection was slightly missing. As I still craved human contact, some weeks it wasn’t enough. So, I thought; what would happen if I sought one more person of interest.  

It just so happened that, over the past few weeks, my romantic interests have doubled. With romantic walks, deep conversations, passionate kisses, amazing sex, and constant communication; I’m content with my current lifestyle choice. I don’t feel pulled in 15 different directions, like I thought I would, and I am able to take the time that I do have and spend it with the ones I choose. 

For the first time, in a very long time, (I can’t reiterate it enough) I am unapologetically, happily! 

With the variety of special people in my life; I can be: romantic, caring, funny, playful, serious, woke, witty, a princess and open. I can also be: a sex-goddess, submissive, an exhibitionist, and a total freak (You know, that one you wouldn’t bring home to meet your mother). 

I wasn’t able to answer the question then; but I can answer it now. I do believe in love. I just don’t believe in monogamous love for me (at least for the foreseeable future).  

That’s not to say I may never grow tired of this lifestyle. Who knows, maybe 4 years from now I’ll meet someone that will make me want to give it all up. We’d get married, I’d pop out a few babies, and we’d ride happily into the sunset. Sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade in our rocking chairs, watching our grandchildren play; I’ll reflect back on this time in my life with a warm heart. 

Or, I’ll remain in this lifestyle and continue to build beautiful meaningful, long-lasting connections with my partners. We’d attend each other’s weddings, and create unions of our own design. A blended host of families like no one has ever seen. We’d stake out real estate and build a community around our love, so our children would grow up knowing that love comes in many forms. We’d be together on holidays, birthdays, and graduations. We’d be there for each other as we grow old and no one would die alone; because we’d have an abundance of love between us all. 

I’m not sure what the future will look like, as I’m happy taking this one day at a time. The loves that I am experiencing are not, by any means, traditional; but they are the identity of love that I not only need but am also able to give.  

WHO I AM.

Being diagnosed with herpes, while on my road to peace; I forced myself to define (for me and only me) Who I am.

I am Carolyn. I am a black woman, of African American descent. I am 32 years old and my zodiac sign is a Gemini. I am an athlete: I exercise regularly, I run marathons, and I’ll be doing my first triathlon next month. I am an artist: I sing, dance, design, sew, I paint, and do computer graphics. I am a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, sister-in-law, etc. I am a great worker, listener, advice giver, and fantastic friend. I am a foodie and I am a person that enjoys delicious cocktails. I am friendly, bubbly, sarcastic at times, serious and/or uplifting when I know that it’s necessary. I am a critical and tactical thinker, and I am an avid planner. I am a free-spirit; that loves positive good energy. I am a lover of consensual love (in any form). I am sex positive, body positive, non-monogamous, polyamorous, and bi-sexual human being. Oh! I also have herpes.  

You see that? I have herpes, but it is not who I am. 

Anyone who knows me, knows all the above; and until I decided to go public with my status, very few people knew that I had herpes. But, if they were asked to describe me, you’d get a mix of: she’s funny, she’s friendly, she’s bubbly, she’s a freak, and she likes to party. Never would you hear, “Carolyn is herpes”. 

For a long time, I was afraid to speak out about my status, for fear of what people would think and, of course, the dreaded STIGMA. The stigma that says ‘only people like this get herpes, or no one will want you if you have herpes, or people with herpes should just crawl under a rock and die’- yes there are people who say such thingsFor the most part; I always understood that herpes is something that I have; it is NOT who I am. However, it took me a few years to finally believe that to be true and to live in that reality.  

So, I write this post, with the hopes that it will reach the people that need it most. For those battling with self-love after their diagnosis, for those that feel ‘dirty’ or worthless, and for those that feel they will never find love or have casual sex again. I write this to tell you that: you are not dirty, you are still worthy of love, you will find love, and with the right person you may even find good casual sex again. The trick is, to do the self-work! 

When I was younger, I used to cut myself. Never deep, never a lot of blood, and never to kill myself; I only cut to feel and have control. I started having sex at 14, and at that age my mind didn’t process, what we now call, fuck-boy behavior. You know, when men tell you what you want to hear just to get the pussy. At that age, my mind thought that, if he’s having sex with me- he must really like me (silly rabbit!). Anyway, after countless lust-filled heartbreaks I yearned to have some control. I found that control in the form of cutting. When my mother read my diary and found out, she thought I was cutting school; (since black kids don’t cut their body). When she found out the truth, she did what she had to do; and put me in counseling. For this act (in addition to giving me life) I am forever grateful. My counselor (Ms. Antoinette Rodriguez) was a much-needed saving grace. She helped me from 14 all the way through high-school. She helped me navigate my feelings and establish my self-worth. She encouraged me to be the artist and positive spirit I was born to be. She helped me to know that other peoples’ opinions of me didn’t define me. She helped me to find and love me. After I left the program I would stop by and visit her. Then, one day, due to budget cuts the program was closed. I was sad but very pleased with what she had done for me.  

Fast forward a few years and toss in a herpes diagnosis, and a string of failed monogamous relationships, and I became a lost soul again. I didn’t go all the way back to square one, but I did question and doubt my identity. After my diagnosis; I was this girl who loved sex and was fantastic at it- now, who was I? Would anyone ever want me again? Who’s going to want a girl with herpes? Would I end up alone?  

Too scared to go out into the world I sat on the sidelines. I kept my diagnosis quiet until I got serious and then I would tell my partners, and to my surprise, they all stayed with me. The only problem with that was, Me.  

For all the boyfriends I had, post herpes, I was never fully happy. I always wanted something more; but, because of herpes and the fear of being alone, I stayed. This mentality though, isn’t just a herpes thing. Think of how many people stay in abusive relationships, or keep taking back cheaters, or stay for financial security. Staying for comfort isn’t uncommon; but leaving for peace of mind is necessary.  

It was after my billionth crying series with my (X-Files series) Fuck-boy of an ex where I finally said. “I refuse to be in a bad relationship & have herpes”. Since I can’t get rid of herpes, I had to get rid of the guy. 

The first step was to separate my sex from my identity. I was always this amazing human with great energy, but my fear of rejection caused me to be less than amazing. The next step was to take the time to complete me. You know the people that hop from relationship to relationship because they feel incomplete when single- we all do. I had to take the time to find the things that make me happy and whole, regardless if a man was in my life or not. That’s where exercise, marathons, and writing came in. I connected back with the people that I know would always be there for me; my family and friends. Once I became my 100% I only wanted to surround myself with people that would fill my cup over; not take from me to make them whole. I reconnected with my sexuality. I love sex, I always have loved sex. However, this time around, sex was a bonus not the grand prize. The grand prize is me: my energy, my advice, and my friendship.  

Lastly, I took the moment to reclaim my sex-positive space. With this abundance of love and positive energy flowing through me and believing that monogamy may not be for me; I decided to dip my toe in the world of polyamory and non-monogamy. In doing so, I’ve been making the best connections, getting the best advice, honestly communicating with everyone in my life and, of course, having some of the best sex I’ve had in years. There’s a connection with my partners (sexual and non-sexual) that was missing before. Living in polyamory, I’m taking the time to build foundations that were often skipped over before. The openness in communicating and the ability to express my desires, with no fear of being judged is also very refreshing. 

Sure, from time to time, there are some rejections (which is fine). I know that not everyone will want to take the risk, but having those moments to educate potential partners/friends/acquaintances on how to remain herpes free, after they are no longer romantically interested in me, still feels good. I am aware that when I disclose and they are no longer interested, it only means they are declining herpes and not me; because, herpes is only what I have. It is not, who I am. 

The Significance Of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is great; but what about the other 364 days?

So, today is Valentine’s Day. I waited for Facebook to share with me my previous memories, hoping that there would be something good. Unfortunately, I discovered I didn’t post much over the years. In 2018- I posted nothing. In 2017- I posted about my disdain for Betsy DeVos, and my love for Beyoncé, and about the ‘90s show Ghostwriter (if you remember that show – you’re the real MVP). In 2016- It was cold as fuck, so I posted a meme of the weather also being single and another Beyoncé meme. In 2015 and 2014 I posted nothing (these were the years I was with my fuck-boy of an ex “The Ex Files”). And, in 2013 I posted a meme about my then boyfriend; the first meme was, “I have the WORLD’S MOST AMAZING BOYFRIEND! LOVE!!!!!!!” (He surprised me, at work, with an Edible Arrangement basket). The second meme, “When you know that you will never be alone on Valentine’s Day, ever again.” Looking back now- I realize that was one of the dumbest things I ever posted.  

I have been ‘alone’ for the last 4 Valentine’s days and I don’t want you to feel sad for me. After I broke up with my ex in 2015, (right before Valentine’s Day) I felt a sudden weight lift off my shoulders. I was truly happy to be single; not because, I just, wanted to be single; but because I no longer wanted to be with him and I knew that I would never be let down in such a way again.  

So, what is the significance of Valentine’s Day when you’re in a relationship vs. when you are single? 

I often hear people say that ‘everyday should feel like Valentine’s Day’. That’s a great aspiration; but the reality is that most relationships are not set up that way.  

I also hear a lot of people expect the full red-carpet treatment. (Proposals, flowers, candy, fancy dinner, etc.). This, too, is great, but what about the rest of the year? 364 days of chopped liver and one day of Surf & Turf… I don’t think so! 

Lastly, I notice, it has become a day of confirmations. In this era of just-chilling, bae, boo, and title-less sex-sationships; this is the one day all those people that want to know “what are we?” and they expect an answer TONIGHT! This, to me, is stupid people’s logic. If I want you to be my man, I’m not waiting for a certain date to confirm it. I’ll make it clear once I feel it and then you have 48 hours to give me your answer. (Cause consider this: if we’ve been seeing each other for months- if by now, you don’t know if you want to try and make this official, you probably never will. 

Do we allow our relationship to be basic as fuck all year around, waiting for our partner to pull out all the stops, and if they don’t- we walk away; or, if they do- we stay? On the other hand, if your partner is romantic to begin with, the person that sends you flowers (just because) or takes you out to dinner (just because); is there still an expectation for grand gestures if every day is a fairytale? Every couple is different and has to define what works for them. 

Take me and my friend Cat for example.

 In 2015, it was my first V-day with my fuck-boy ex and her first V-day with her- then guy she was dating, now husband. They had an established date night where they would go out, I believe once a week, and have a romantic evening. I, in my relationship, had no such thing. Fast forward to a year later, dates in my relationship were few and far between and eventually I broke up with him. My friend and her man were still going strong. When Valentine’s day came around, it was cold as fuck (single digits cold), I asked her what were their plans and she said they were staying in because it was too cold, and that it didn’t matter because they went out last week. They enjoyed a nice evening together and that was that. Fast forward to marriage, baby, and I another on the way; all while maintaining a certain level of romance.  

What I took from this was, you have to consider what this day means to you long before you bring a person into your life. You, also, should not revolve your entire relationship around this day; because it sets an unfair expectation on the person coming in, especially if you don’t make your expectations clear in the very beginning. 

When you enter a dating-ship set the standard high; in doing so, when things, become more relaxed (as relationships often do) you won’t find yourself at a disadvantage. You may start at dinners out 2-3 nights a week and that may decrease to 1-2 a week- this is not the end of the world; but that depends on you. However, if you know you prefer 2-3 nights and for whatever the reason, you let 1 night be the starting point (and I can guarantee that, over time, it will become no nights); you will have no one to blame but yourself.  So, to avoid being in a less than happy relationship down the line, set the tone from the beginning.  

I have spent the last 4 V-Days a single woman. Last year I was looking for a new job; so, I was probably home working on my portfolio. The year before that I think I celebrated with friends for a birthday; and beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is that- I did not wait for a phone call that would never come. I didn’t wait for flowers that were never sent. I didn’t wait for a card and chocolates that I would never receive and, I didn’t wait for a romantic date that would never happen. I watched whatever movie I wanted. I went to the restaurant I wanted. I had sex with whomever and however I wanted, and I loved every minute of it. 

Over the years I have become extremely comfortable and happy being single. Sure, I would like to make a flip-a-gram of my perfect relationship; and I’d like to be one of those obnoxious couples that people want to poison. I know that down the line I want to be a wife and have a family- someday. But I know I don’t want that right now. I don’t want to give up on my freedom, and on a certain level I find it unfair to subject an unknowing victim to the clusterfuck of a life that I choose to lead. Between work, blog writing, novel writing, marathon training, triathlon training, juggling time with my family and friends; a relationship ship would drive me over the deep end.  

One day, when I’ve completed most of my goals, I’ll be ready for a relationship (of my liking) and I’ll be one of those obnoxious couples. But that day is not today. This morning I took a run class and after I leave work, I’ll be heading to meet with fellow writers; we’ll drink some wine, eat some chocolate, write, and share some sexy stories. And that is how I will spend my Valentine’s Day this year.  

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! 

THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

ex that never left-01

In the beginning of the New Year I disabled and deleted all my online dating apps. I went cold turkey; I cut them all off. As I write this post, I am 15 days sober, and I realized that I over-estimated the number of horrible stories I had. Now I am faced with the question- Where do I want this blog to go? There a still a healthy amount of dating mishaps I will divulge but the topic of this post is essential to fully understand the upcoming stories. This post of extreme open-vulnerability IS LONG BUT NECESSARY. I will explain how I emerged from the flames and entered into a world of self-love and self-discovery, that I might not have otherwise experienced, had it not been for the below. So, I hope that at the conclusion of this post; you take a moment to be open and honest with yourself and start to change your mind about all that you thought you knew.  

I lost my virginity at the age of fourteen. I wasn’t in love or anything, I just thought the guy was cute and I wanted to get it over with. After that, I had a string of high-school boyfriends (at which time, dating for a month was the emotional equivalent of being married). I was never the girl your mother warned you about- because I would travel far and wide to do my dirt. Armed with thick bottle-cap glasses and my Catholic school uniform- no one could detect my true-sexual identity. In my late teens and during college I had a few flings here and there. After a long-term break up, that rocked me to my core (stay tuned for that one), I took a few months off from dating and then I met HIM- the one that would become THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

We connected on BlackPlanet.com. He was educated, handsome, and he demonstrated a genuine interest for me and my likes. He was a stark contrast to the men I had dated and slept with before; he put a smile on my face and I never felt so secure. We would joke together, laugh together, and one day he even met my mom. It wasn’t official introduction, but it meant a lot that he joked with her, rather than evade conversation. When he took me out for my birthday; I wore a dress that I made and he complimented me on it, which made me feel very good. All was going well, until it wasn’t. After about 5 months of perfection he became unreachable, and we started seeing each other less and less. Eventually after two weeks of him pulling away, I sent him a message- I guess you no longer have interest. Wish you all the best. I concluded that he had started seeing someone else, so I left it alone. 

Two weeks later he popped back into my life- but not in a way I could see coming…  

It wasn’t the horror show you find online when you google; mine was much like a mosquito bite, which was why it didn’t cause for alarm at first. But when nothing aided in easing the discomfort, I showed my mom (a RN) and her friend and I went to my GYN. A week later, when my doctor finally confirmed my suspicions, my response was: “For all the years that I’ve been fucking- it’s the time that I’m in a committed relationship that I get herpes? YOU’VE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME!” Yes; He gifted me with Genital Herpes Type 2. WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK!!!!! My young mind, in its early twenties, could not understand how this could’ve happened. I was doing everything right: I asked him all the questions: When was his last test? What were his results? -He assured me everything was fine. We used protection (condoms) and I know I wasn’t fucking anyone else; so why me, why now, and how?  

Through my research I discovered the following: He very well, may not have known he had it prior to me. Why? You ask. How could he not know? You ask. Well here’s your answer. 

1- People can be carriers and never have symptoms of the virus. So, people who never have an outbreak will automatically assume that they don’t have herpes, and yet, may pass it on to their partners.  

2- Doctors don’t willingly include herpes testing. On a medical scale of diseases and viruses in the world- herpes is at the bottom of the list. I can remember getting tested, for years, and not once was herpes ever included. Sure, they tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis; because if left untreated these could actually lead to cancer, infertility, and/or death. But, herpes- NOPE! So, since one has to specifically ask for it; and, (back to point 1) if you have no symptoms- why would you. 

3- It’s everywhere. Another major reason why doctors don’t test for herpes is because 80% (every site will indicate a different number) of the population is living with or has had some form of the herpes virus. For example, if you ever had chicken pox – that’s a strain of herpes; if you get older and develop shingles – that too is a strain of the herpes virus. The blisters people call cold sores is also a strain of the herpes virus. The only difference is the strain, stigma, and location of the outbreak. People with oral herpes aka cold sores (commonly HSV1, but can also be HSV2) don’t go around telling everyone about it; they live their life, kiss and date and be merry. However, people with genital herpes (whether Type 1 or Type 2) are expected to disclose. There is a reason there’s a rise in Genital Herpes Type 1 cases. Ever got head or ate pussy from a someone? Well- there you go. 

4- And lastly, he simply could have neglected to inform me. As horrible as that idea may seem – it’s just as much a possibility as the above are. I eventually had to take responsibility for my actions and my decision to take his word as truth. But, take it a step further…

Think about it- Did you ever had a one-night-stand? Did you ever meet a person and have sex (intercourse or oral) that night? Did you ask the person you were dating when they were tested last? Did you go and get tested together, just to be sure? Did you abstain from sex the required 3-6 months it takes your body to build antibodies once a virus is detected? Do you always use condoms (not just for intercourse, but for oral as well)? Do you follow your partner everywhere they go, to make sure they are being faithful? If you answer no to any of the above, you too, could have found yourself in my situation. You were just lucky not to. 

The occurrences of my outbreaks (1-2 a year) were as annoying as random mosquito bites. So, even though I wish I didn’t have this- I still consider myself lucky. The worst part of this virus is THE STIGMA attached to it. The idea that people would think you’re dirty (I take 3 showers a day sometimes), or a slut (I prefer the term sexually-free) is more painful and always in the background of my mind.

During the many years and conversations, I’ve had with thousands of people I can confirm that, there is no direct relation between sexuality and herpes. I met people who were born with herpes or contracted it from sharing a beverage with a parent or friend. I met virgins that were gifted by their first partner, women and men that were gifted by their cheating spouses, people who were victims of rape and/or sexual assault, people that could count on one hand their partners and acquired their gift, and people that fell in love with a positive person and made the decision to stay with them. I also know sex workers and porn stars (with hundreds and thousands of partners) that are herpes negative. Herpes does not care who you are, how sexual you are, your nationality, religion, salary, etc. It simply does not care and having this virus does not change who a person is. 

So, after the initial wave of devastation passed, I confided in a close group of friends, one of which had a history of cold-sores (Oral Herpes) and asked her how she dated with the virus. I didn’t run into conversations exposing my diagnosis, but I told my partners on a ‘need to know’ basis and it worked, for years. When I would enter relationships, I would tell my partners and, luckily, they were all accepting. The fear that often lurked in the back of my mind: What’s he going to think? Will he hate me? Will he break up with me? Was always put at ease the moment he said ‘It’s ok. I still want to be with you. Thank you for telling me. And, “This doesn’t change how I feel about you”. I was lucky to have met men that were accepting of my status; and to this date, I have been successful in never transmitting my virus to a partner.  

Fast forward some more years- I had concluded that, if the man really liked me, and was ok with getting to get to know me before trying to have sex, my disclosure conversation (DC) would go over much better. This worked out great; until I broke up with my last ex (The Ex Files) and started dating again. After him It was obvious that I was in a very new world of dating and I was totally clueless to the rules of the game.  

Long gone were the days of conversation; everyone wanted to ask me my favorite position. So long was the idea of meeting up for a first date; everyone wanted to send me dick-pics and get a confirmation of sex. Hell, even the corny guys were playing the fast game. How the hell was I going to manage my newly found sexually-free identity with my status? Would I be outcasted as a leper? Would I be forced into celibacy? I didn’t like the idea of either. I could limit my dating pool to people in my similar situation, but I never liked limits and the people on those sites were just as bad as other online dating apps. So, I took a chance and I figured the only way to discover what would happen, would be to dive right in; and I’ll admit what I found was quite empowering, and I hope you stay tuned for more.

I love my mom! But…

Now, I know this sounds bad but let me assure you. My mom and I have, quite possibly, the best relationship a mother and daughter can have. She is my best friend, my proudest supporter, and my strongest shoulder to lean on whenever I am feeling down. All of my friends love the relationship that my mom and I have and I wouldn’t trade her for all the money in the world.

With that being said: I love my mom; but… every day I scroll through instagram and/or facebook and I double tap random pictures. Pictures of people that I know very well, once knew a long while ago, may have never met and/or will probably never meet. It’s all fun and games until I scroll across that one post: the post of that one friend, whose face is grinning from cheek to cheek, with their hand exposed, showing an engagement ring, with an “I said yes” comment. Naturally and with true feelings of satisfaction for my friend that has finally found a person to walk the journey of life with, I do what everyone else does. I like the post and write a “congratulations” with all the random emojis that follow. Sometimes, I’ll even tap on their page and just look back at some of their happy love-filled images and smile and wish them all the luck on their journey forward together. Then, the bitter thought begins to creep up in the back of my throat as the reality sets in; I will, again, be attending another wedding with my mom as my date.

Like I said, I love my mom with all my heart but for the past two of my friend’s weddings I have attended, she has been my date. We ride in the Uber to the venues, talk and laugh with all the other wedding guests and eat all the lovely food and cake and have a blast. But, when the couple would has their first dance I watch them embrace, sway from side to side, look into one another’s eyes, and I long for that same moment. When they call for all the other couples to join them I always, naturally sit it out. I would look on as man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman embraced and silently think when will that happen for me? I would run out of fingers and toes ten times over if I actually sat down and listed all the men that have entered my life with the hope of a relationship that never truly manifested.

I am 31 years old. I have been single for almost three years and as pessimistic as it sounds, I do not see my status changing any time soon. The dating world that I once knew no longer exists, the butterflies I once got in anticipation for a first date never happens. Hell! Even just a request for an actual date is, for me, comes as often as the solar eclipse.

“Make Dating Great Again” that’s a slogan that should go on a hat!

My mother’s friend’s daughter just got engaged. She’s in her mid twenties and I am eternally happy for them. But I know when its time to RSVP, as this is a family friend, my mother will probably take my father as her date and I will be that, ever awkward, third wheel. The saving grace this time around is, luckily the wedding is in 2019 and under normal circumstances, that would be enough time for any attractive woman to: meet a nice man, woo him with charm and wit, and hope that he will eventually see what all her family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances see – “that she is actually an awesome individual”. He would take the initiative to secure a relationship and her affections and they would spend the year getting to know each other and when it was time for her to send in her RSVP she would actually have a plus one.

But, with today’s lack of romance, in my experience. I’m more likely to win the jackpot or be struck by lightening before I meet a man that actually, simply, wants to go on a date. No man that I encounter even wants to go on a date with me. The conversations start of G-rated and often makes an abrupt left turn for X. This often leaves me wondering; “did I say something that insinuated that was what I really wanted”, do they try this every woman, or is it me? Are the signals I’m sending through the Internet getting crossed or misread? Are they coming out on the other end translating to “I’m a hoe, don’t take me seriously, I only want to play around?”

After almost three years of the same scenarios playing out exactly the same way. I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I’m doing in this new era of dating.

How awesome it would be to meet a man, have him fall in love (or like) with my personality and have the passion to be with me and only me, we would continue to grow as a couple and I could have a couples dance with Man-X holding me closely, swaying to the music, and holding my hand through the ceremony. That would be very awesome indeed.

February 24th, 2018