That Time I Was Told To Fall Back On Dating And Let A Man Find Me
I recently came across a snippet of a vlog from one of my fave Nigerian actresses. It had to do with a response to a viewer question about her being single, to which she replied, “yes, I am single and available.” Her exact stance was that while she was single and available, she was not “single and searching.” She further backed up her position by quoting Proverbs 18:22, stating, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and attains favor from the lord.” The rhetoric here being that the man, as the seeker, once settled on whom he wants to marry has found a “good thing” and she, in this case, would be the good thing.
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I forwarded the video to a few friends to get their thoughts. The more liberal ones thought it was preposterous, while the more religious of the group felt very strongly about it, even going so far as to hint that perhaps I “cool off on the dating sites for a bit” so that my husband can find me.
I get it. It’s not my job to find a man, I need to allow myself to be found — which is really the Christian way of saying get chose. However, as a single woman, I’ve done my fair share of waiting around and being available for men to approach me. Hasn’t always worked out in my favor. Because while I make it apparent that I’m single and very available, there’s no real-life purification filter as a buffer for all of the seasoned debris New York City has to offer in the form of men. I’m not interested in just anyone floating in my space, offering the opportunity to be the “good thing” in his life. And these days, one has to be very careful about saying “no” to potential suitors, lest I end up followed home or assaulted (shout out to fragile male egos).
Women are given lots of advice (usually by men who have no business doing so) on how to get a man and what we should do to even get their attention. Some say to relax and “let a man be a man” and approach you first. More modern approaches encourage women to make the first advance. I don’t buy into either school of thought exclusively. There’s no one size fits all approach to dating. The notion that I need to “sit pretty” and wait for a man to approach the bench, reads very damsel in distress in an antiquated Tarzan and Jane kind of way. It further feeds the notion of the trophy wife trope, of which I am not a fan. Quite simply, it’s just a bit anti-feminist.
Dating, with whatever intention your end game is, is very much a two-person, real-life, interactive experience. I don’t think its fair to men or women to sit and wait on another person to approach first because of some societal norm that says “men ought to.” I do, however, believe in being an active participant in your life, and that includes your dating life. While I do recognize the good intention behind “he who finds a wife, finds a good thing,” there’s also the saying that the Lord helps those who help themselves. My motto is, “If you see something, say something.”
I don’t believe sitting pretty while waiting for men to approach you is any real guarantee of a happy ending. A study by okay cupid shows that women who make the first move increase their dating chances overall. The same survey shows that women are twice as likely to get a response when we initiate contact. I like those odds. Now this is not to say one party or the other need to do all the heavy lifting, but as a woman who finds someone attractive, the least I can do is let them know and hope that interest will be reciprocated. I don’t play ball, but I will shoot my shot.
It’s summer in the city, I’m single and very available. I fully intend to pay a compliment and smile to a deserving man whose caught my attention and go forth in dating glory. I do believe I am a good thing, and that my husband will find me. I may just have to say hello first, and that’s okay. After all, the Bible does say “Seek and Ye shall find,” (Matthew 7:7) and I’m all for doing the Lords work.