by Monique "Deep Inside" Hughes
Be careful what you ask for, and be specific
On my knees, I prayed. Over and over again. "Please GOD, send me a good man - a man that will be there for me and my children - a man that will love me and want to take care of me - someone that I can count on. If you do this, I will not ask you for nothing else."
As you can tell, I was quite a disillusioned soul. If anyone had the answers, I figured GOD did. Then maybe again, maybe I was being punished somehow. Maybe GOD made the decision to cut me off from love and happiness. Perhaps I will never ever have love in my life again.
I had put my heart at risk so many times, and in doing so, making myself vulnerable to all sorts of prey. After getting my heart broken over and over again, I decided that I would no longer incorporate my heart or my feelings into another living and breathing man. I felt it was a bother to invest myself in that way. Basically, my philosophy was almost like DMX - what a nigga want from a sista? I gave you, you gave me - I blazed you, you blazed me. I gave you what you gave me, boo - a nut. It was becoming painfully obvious that was all my brothas where capable of giving - just a nut. So why give them more than they give me? Why not play the game they play? Why can't I be a playa playa? Why can't I incorporate the booty call policy? So I decided that in order to safeguard my heart, I would become a playa. Playas would come in my life, not knowing that they too were being played. It was an interesting game to play with interesting characters. Yes! Interesting is definitely good word for it.
There were several men that came in and out of my life. After turning 30, my sexual appetite was "over the top". I had become insatiable. And after a while, men just became objects to me. (just like I had been with them in the past). I enjoyed them, they enjoyed me. We enjoyed each other. It was all good. Some would say, well without love, your life is truly empty. That may be true. But for me, by eliminating that complicated emotion from my life, my life was rid of any pain and heartache. My heart was safe from all harm. And that was my goal. That was my only objective. So let the playa games continue.
Then came along this man. He wasn't the type of guy that I would have had interest in. I mean - I had enjoyed the company of very handsome, sculptured bodies or men with a special flair, style, and charisma. He didn't fall in any of those categories. Not saying that I was a supermodel of any type, but I held my own. However, with this man, there was no physical attraction, but he was a gentleman, and that sort of captivated me to go out with him. And besides, being a playa - I didn't see nothing wrong with adding another dinner date to my list of things to do. Especially at the time I met him - for I was about to relocate to another city. I didn't think I had anything to lose by seeing him. I figured I wouldn't be seeing him any more anyway. So why not enjoy some decent conversation, free dinner, free drinks - there's no harm in that.
But we did end up seeing each other - consistently before I moved away. Despite the lack of physical chemistry, I managed to become comfortable within his company. He was very nurturing and caring, and I just found myself engrossed in that. It felt good that someone gave half a damn about me. He was a widower, and was raising two children alone. He was a responsible man, and he took care of home. That's a quality that I felt was (and is) lacking in our brothas today. I respected him right off the bat. He had been through a lot, and he was still overcoming a lot of pain in his life. He was very needy, but I think he fell heavily into me as a way to heal his heart, and remove his pain. And well, I suppose in the beginning I grew attached to him because he was a breath of fresh air to me. It felt good to breathe again, I suppose.
As I mentioned though, there was no physical chemistry, at least for me, it wasn't - which made it difficult to respond to him sexually He couldn't please me sexually or intimately. He primarily tried to please me orally. (A skill that he wins hands down - no doubt). But beyond that, sex wasn't completely pleasurable. I think he knew that, and was willing to accept that, and I convinced myself that I could live without the intense sexual pleasures that I had grown accustomed to throughout the years. I had made the decision that I would not let sex play a role in the relationship - because he was a good man, and that became more important to me than his sexual prowess. So when it came to sex, if I could get around it, I would. If I couldn't, I would have to pretend. I mean, I had a man that cared about me - my thoughts, my goals, my stableness, my children - he cared about all of that. He nurtured me, and was there for me, whenever I wanted him or needed him to be. Even after I moved away to another city, he was only a phone call away. I could always count on him, and I knew that was a rarity. So, his qualities outweighed the quality of our sexual relationship, or lack of a sexual relationship. I convinced myself that I could live with that.
Then he asked me to marry him. And all the panic buttons were pushed. What to do…what to do? I knew deep in my heart that I wasn't in love with him, and I knew I probably wouldn't be. My girlfriends, my mother, my grandmother were all telling me that I could grow to love him, because of how good he was too me. Can you grow to love someone? Can you make yourself feel passion in a passionless relationship? I don't know. Maybe. Don't get me wrong, he was a very affectionate man, but I couldn't share the same level of passion that he shared with me, which made intimacy more work than what it should be. No matter how good he was too me, I began struggling with intimacy issues, and I found myself pushing him away -- hurting him (something I didn't want to do to him). I didn't want to bring pain to his life, for he had already been through so much. I didn't want to be the next person in line to throw that harpoon through his heart, and wreck his life. So, I suppose I did have some affection for him, because I felt like I couldn't desert him. So when he asked me to marry him, I impulsively but reluctantly said that I would. I mean, perhaps things could get better. Maybe I could grow to love him the way a woman should love her man. I mean, I would be taken care of, and I knew he would do all he could to make me happy. Why not? I can do this. Right?
But the longer I would stay, the more I was losing myself, compromising myself, giving up what has always been a big part of who I am - and that was pure intimacy. Even though for the most part, we got along, and we share several things in common in regards to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness - there was always this missing piece - a part of a relationship that was empty - at least for me. Finally, one day, he wanted to know why I was putting distance between us, and I shared with him my feelings. And despite my concerns, he felt that he could turn things around, and that he could be all that I wanted him to be. He didn't want to walk away. Nothing I said mattered. He shared the views of my friends and family by saying that I would grow to love him, if I just allowed it to happen. He would continue to do things for me, trying to prove to me that he was good for me. I felt stuck, I didn't know what to do. I mean, this man had been there for me when I needed him, and I could count on him - I couldn't turn away or run away - I felt obligated to stay at that point. And not obligated in the sense that some women stay with men that they don't really love. Some stay because the men are abusive, and they are afraid to leave. I was afraid to leave because he did love me, not that he hurt me or would hurt me. Definitely a different twist, don't you think?
On a daily basis, I received proposal after proposal along with descriptions on how good life would be if I were to marry him. It was to a point that, the pressure was too much, and I begged him to back off, and give me some space - a phrase that most men don't welcome too often. "Space to do what?" he asks me. "Space to figure out what I really want.", I would reply. And even though he agreed to give me space, he still was determined to remain a constant fixture in my life.
One day as I was grocery shopping, a handsome stranger walked up to me. I think I saw him before he saw me, but I went on as if he wasn't there. But I saw that twinkle in his eye. The clothes he wore, the way he walked and carried himself -- I was definitely impressed. And then to my pleasant surprise, this handsome stranger made his presence known. I was thrilled -- actually excited. In fact, delighted to meet his acquaintance. His smile could warm a winter day. And when he shook my hand - Man oh man - the energy..the vibe that I felt was incredible He asked for my digits and I gladly gave him mine. Because I definitely wanted to spend some time with the handsome stranger. And it was in that meeting that I realized just how much I was really missing in my life - that passion, that desire for a man, the way your heart flutters when you think of him. That's what I was missing. I found myself thinking about this handsome stranger all the time. The desires that I had decided to bury - all those amorous feelings that I was incapable of feeling, came bursting through, almost uncontainable.
I pushed my fiancé (I guess that what he was) away, and distanced myself more and more from him. Not because of the handsome stranger, but because I realized that perhaps all the things that I thought I could live without - well, I can't live without. I want a man that I can live with, that I can love with, that I can be free with, that I can be me with, that I can feel with, that I can grow with, that I can feel complete with. I'm not saying that the handsome stranger could give me that, but it's because of him that I realized that I shouldn't allow myself to settle. Even when my girlfriend and her man came down to visit me, I found myself completely envious of the obvious affection they had for one another, and I knew at that point that I had to make some life altering decisions. I mean, I shouldn't allow myself to settle because it's comfortable, but because it feels right. I wouldn't tell my children to do that, so why am I doing it?
So, now my quest continues. And my prayers continue. But now I know, to be careful for what I ask for, and I will be specific the next time around.