Early last year, something very special happened. As many of you read my last post Mine back in February, you all learned some of my deepest and most personal feelings regarding love and relationships. It was after writing that post, becoming 100% comfortable with being single for the first time in a long time, and really starting to enjoy myself that someone special came into my life. He literally came out of nowhere. He was almost everything I could want in a guy and he totally hit me really hard and took me by surprise (see: “Sharkeisha”). I felt like he was God’s personal gift to me.

Everything was fine at first. The laughs. The talks. The times we ate at various restaurants. The play fights. The drives around the Southside with his arm wrapped around mine. The kisses that made my heart race and made me sit back and realize that yes, I am actually kissing someone (something I had never done before). The various times I felt comforted and safe when I rested my head on his shoulder or chest as he gently stroked my hair. However, a change started to happen.

After a while, I started noticing some things, including how different we were. He wanted a lot of things out in the open; I wanted to keep things more reserved and private. He wanted to go out to other places more; I was fine with how things were. He was a bit clingy; I’m not very clingy at all (perhaps if this had been two years ago or more, things would be slightly different regarding this particular). It also didn’t help that during this time, I had a bunch of other things happening (i.e. Grandmother being hospitalized and having an emergency heart procedure, my mom being hospitalized for a bronchial infection and pneumonia, sorting through other personal issues, etc.). Being an only child, I am depended on to do a lot of things for my family, especially my mother and grandmother. I also have lots of friends. With people having graduations, randomly coming back into town to visit, and a long list of other things, I am like Kelly Price. I’m booked.

His schedule wasn’t always the most clear either. Between being a church musician, working in the bakery of a grocery store, and baking gourmet baked goods on the side for people, he had his own thing going on as well. However, this is one thing I enjoyed about him in the beginning. He had his life and I had mine. There wasn’t a sign that there was going to be a dependence on the other person for happiness and to create a life. Unfortunately, he didn’t have anywhere near the same amount of friends I have, so I guess part of him wanted me to always be his source of entertainment.

I guess the accumulation of everything made me irritated and want to just be alone a bit more. Despite trying to work through some things, it just seemed that no matter what, a common ground couldn’t be reached without one of us suffering. I hung in there for as long as I could, but ultimately, I realized that it wouldn’t work. I became a bit more distant and he could sense that. He broke things off before I could and we went our separate ways.

 

In my experience with this relationship, I learned some key things:

1. Although relationships can be great and I’m built for one, they aren’t necessarily what I need and want at this point in my life. I’m happier being single. I don’t have to worry about anyone, I can come and go as I please, and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Besides I’m an Aquarius. I like having my freedom. I saw a quote on Instagram recently that practically summarized my feelings at this point about relationships: “Relationships are like garage sales. From a distance, they look interesting. But once you get to them, you realize they have a lot of stuff that you just don’t need.” Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t become cynical or given up on love. I’m still open to it. I’m just good for now.

 

2.  I realized yet once again I rushed into things a bit too fast. One thing about me is when something starts off great and an instant connection is made, I get this vision of the kind of relationship I think we’ll have and work to make it happen immediately. I’m a pretty straightforward person. I don’t like to keep things lingering on any longer than needed. Despite learning to let certain things happen and not be so aggressive when it comes to forming friendships or relationships in the last few years, I jumped at the chance to keep things going and claim what I thought I wanted. “Why keep going for so long if just about everything you have is right there?,” I thought. I thought I had gotten over doing this, but I guess I still have some ways to go. I should have just dated him a bit longer and realized that we were better off being friends.

 

3. Don’t be afraid to walk away from something that no longer serves you. I was watching some reruns of Oprah’s “Master Class” one Sunday night. Simon Cowell, former American Idol judge and co-creator of the show, was talking about his experiences during this episode and before I knew it, I found myself taking notes in my notebook. Towards the end of his episode, Cowell said something where I knew God was speaking to me. It was no coincidence that in the midst of me having mixed feelings about this relationship that was no longer working and having different signs thrown at me that I should break it off, this episode of “Master Class” comes on and I see/hear Cowell say this simple, but profound statement. He said, “I asked a very successful guy what is the best advice you can give me and he said, ‘Simon, always know when to leave the fair.’” He went on to elaborate a bit more and then said, “Something inside you says, ‘You know what? It’s time to go.’” It all goes back to that saying that goes, “Don’t be afraid to walk away from something that no longer serves you.”

 

4. Relationships are expensive. Of course, they’re what you make them and I knew this going in as I had observed my other friends who are or had been in relationships. However, like the old saying goes, it’s one thing to see something, but it’s another thing to experience it for yourself. Money was already tight when I met him and now that I was officially with him, it was tighter than two boobs in a push up bra.

 

5. Don’t feel guilty for changing your mind. I felt like a fool because I told people about him and how things were great and then here I am breaking up with him only a couple of months later. In my mind, people think that when I make life decisions like those, they expect for them to last because I’m serious about my things and I tend to be careful about different moves that I make. I didn’t want to look like one of those people who change relationships like one changes their underwear and rant and rave about each one as if they’re “the one.” I also felt like I had slapped God in the face once again. I prayed about it. I talked about it. I wrote a blog post about it. I wrote a personal letter to Him and put it in my Bible (but that was a few years ago). And just when He finally delivers what I want again, I don’t want it? I know He must be wearing a neck brace from shaking His head at me so many times. My guardian angel probably stays face palming. And all of my family members, family friends, and associates who have gone on to Heaven before me must be laid out on fluffy, white clouds as if they had just seen an episode of Scandal. I think I’ll have Shonda Rhimes and Tyler Perry collaborate and write the screenplay for my autobiographical movie entitled For Colored Boys Who Can Handle Every Blessing They Get Except for Love.

Being back in the single life has afforded me the opportunity to focus on myself, my family, and my friends. I’m excited for everything that’s ahead and at peace knowing that what’s meant to be will naturally take its course.

Your Brother in the Livin’ Like Maya Movement,

Herbert

About The Author

Herbert is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and currently resides in Chicago. When not doing consulting work, he enjoys writing, reading, volunteering, music, and television, among other things.