A couple of years ago I wrote a super honest post about the plus side of dating (if you haven’t read it yet, you should probably read it first).
A lot happened after I wrote that post.
#1. Women all over the world poured their souls into my inbox, telling me how similar my situation was to theirs.
#2. My ex sent me a super long email. To be honest, I never read the full thing because self-care.
#3. I spent the next two years trying to figure out what I was going to do next to build of that post.
But all things being fair, I don’t think I was ready to write the next iteration of that post…because I actually hadn’t been through anything yet. So yes the last two years have been crazy…and this morning I decided to not write one post…but many.
Crickets in The Club
To begin the story of the lack of confidence in my dating life, I have to take you back to my high school years in Ghana…more so towards the end of high school. This was around the age where night clubs were a thing we would go to. For hours the girls would get ready, lipgloss, hair done all of that. I would say I didn’t go out as much as I could have. Not because I wasn’t allowed ( I had the cool mom), or because I wasn’t the cool kid (my high school was not segregated by coolness, something I still appreciate), but simply because I hated having the reminder that I was fat.
See, in your growing years, the club becomes the place where you are exposed to the desire of the opposite sex. Call it validation, but that was the playing grounds for you to build your foundation of “I am beautiful, the boys want me”.
There was a club we would always go to called Tantra. It was an interesting vibe..a mix of hip hop and house music. Every time we would walk in, I would politely leave my confidence at the door, next to the bouncer who kind of almost didn’t let me in because I had slippers on. As I climbed the stairs to the balcony (the perfect vantage point to be seen and to see), I would always have this empty feeling waiting for the inevitable moment.
See, two things always happened. One, I would be approached first by guys. Two, I would never be approached…but left alone to be reminded of that. But lets examine the first one again.
***Back to the stairs***
As we would climb up, we knew that we would head to the bar…grab a juvenile drink and then hang out at the balcony. I would say I learned to read a man’s gaze during these years. Like clockwork they would look our way with the undeniable face of desire. They would whisper to each other and one of them would make a move. As the leader, or maybe spokesperson of the pack walked towards me. I would count them, and then count us…and then know. Taking a deep breath in, hoping that this time it may be different…
“What’s up with your friend. Is she single?”.
Moments like this were the foundation upon which I built my false sense of “I hate going out” “I hate clubs” “I hate being out late”. Literally just to avoid this.
I used high school as a base to illustrate this, but it happened all through college, post college, and even into my adult life. This is one of the reasons why you may always see me working at home on a Friday night, because I learned to do things that would help me avoid this level of disappointment. But if I dissect the issue, which I have been trying to do for years, It is no one’s fault. I can't blame the guys, I can't blame my girls, I can blame myself.
The truth is my emotions in the club were rooted in my unhealthy desire for acceptance as norm. The desire to fit in where I should have been proudly standing out.
At the end of the day, the unfortunate reality was that the club was a visual representation of the love-life narrative that all the African aunties painted for me. “No one will want you if you are fat”.
And so it began…
Stay Tuned For Part 2 – Why Am I here – Dating as proof of Possibility.
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