A couple of weeks ago, I came across a quote from writer and poet, Warsan Shire that spoke to me so profoundly, I had to do a quick Holy Ghost stomp after I read it.
It goes like this: “My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” I could relate. As an introvert, I’ve always enjoyed spending time by myself. Worrying about whether or not everyone around you is comfortable, if I’m talking too much or not enough is never an issue when you’re by yourself. You do what you want, how you want, when you want to do it. Now, I have friends and family who I enjoy being around; but the people who know me best,know that after a while, I need my “me time.” Being alone, keeps me in touch with God and myself, balanced. *In my best J Cole voice* IIII need that.
So perhaps, it would come as no surprise that my romantic relationships have been few and far between. I’d entertain boys, and later men, for a while before realizing that spending time with them wasn’t better than being by myself…not even close. So I’d drop them with a quickness and be done. Up until now, there’s been one man who being with was as good as or better than being by myself. But he was on some other stuff, and when I realized I was stressing myself about this guy, that it was no longer better than being alone, I was done with him too. And as the hurt slowly subsided, I began to remember just how fulfilling it was to be by myself again. Having gotten that back, jumping into another relationship was the furtherest thing from my mind. The men who were interested got shut down. One dude kept asking my friend about me. Eventually she had to tell him, “Prudence is just very particular about who she spends her time with.” I almost kissed her! I thought, she knows me, she really knows me. I wasn’t thinking about these menfolk… at all.
I wasn’t until this guy I met a year ago contacted me out of the blue. I remembered our encounter and how well we seemed to gel and so I decided, after a couple sincere “I can’t make its,” to see him. The only word I can use to describe our first date is lovely. Afterward, I even tweeted: “Well, that was lovely.” Because it truly was. The conversation flowed, with significant, non-awkward silences, he was cute, he made me laugh and was a gentleman. Aside from lovely, being around him, from the very first date, was refreshing.
But that feeling only lasted for a little bit.
The very next day, panic set in. As I was walking around the city, I started thinking about how if things went well, as they no doubt would, my time would no longer be my own. If I declined an invitation to go out with him because I wanted to have some “me time,” it would be considered rude, that I was no longer interested. Eventually, I went deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, I started imagining hypothetical scenarios, telling myself that now, I’d have to take someone else’s feelings into consideration. And I didn’t stop there. I thought, I don’t want to live here in New York for the rest of my life. I want to raise my kids somewhere else. I assumed, because we certainly hadn’t talked about this yet, that he wanted to stay here forever. And it would be a point of contention, an argument, a threat to our nonexistent relationship.