The (Not So Great) Compromise

Compromise:  “a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial.”

Dang, Merriam-Webster.  That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?  (Though I’m certain advocates for the Virginia Plan would side with you.)

I like the simple definition better:  “a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute.”

The key word in that definition?  Each.  Each person gives up something.  Not one, but each.

I met someone who by all accounts was exactly what I wanted.  Handsome.  Intelligent.  Successful.  Wonderful listener.  Socially conscious.  Empathetic.  Great teeth (don’t judge me, as everyone has their preferences and this is one of mine).  But there was a teeny, tiny catch…

He was into open dating.

And, well…I’m…not.

It’s fine if others want to have open relationships, but I’m just not that kinda gal.  Call me prissy, prudish, old-fashioned, unrealistic, whatever you want–it’s just not for me.  I’m the type of person who goes all in when I commit to something, so that’s what I want in return.  I’m also an only child, so sharing isn’t my strong suit (again, don’t judge me, as everyone has their flaws and this is one of mine).

So when he mentioned the subject with me, I listened to his rationale.  I heard him out. I let him explain what it all meant and how he practiced it. (All the while hearing my intuition screaming, “Girl!  What.  Are.  You.  Thinking?!?  This is not your lane!  Don’t go there!  This is not what you want!”)

And yet…I said I’d think about it.  I honestly considered being one of many, even though my heart disagreed.  This man was 80% what I needed him to be.  I could live without that 20%, right? No one’s perfect.  I was willing to compromise.  That’s what adults are supposed to do–compromise!  Each person gives up something for the greater good.

…But that wasn’t what was happening.  Each person wasn’t giving up something.  I was giving up something, and something I really, really  want:  Monogamy.  Faithfulness.  A one-and-only kind of love.

I don’t think that kind of love is impossible.  I’ve seen it happen and I know it can happen for me.  But it surely won’t if I keep doing this fake ass “compromising.”

I told him every man in my life (until recently) has let me down.  They abandoned me.  They decided that some one or something else was more important than me.  I do not want that any more.  I refuse to commit someone who is not willing to give everything, because that’s what I’m willing to give.  I will not be second best.

I deserve someone who will make me their one.  Their only.

So we decided it wasn’t going to work out.  He’s a great person; I won’t cross the street or cuss his ass out if I ever see him again.  He’s just not the one for me.

I was in my feelings a little bit after our decision to part ways and stumbled across this gem that reaffirmed I was taking the best action for my life.

Here’s to falling in love for the right reason and finding someone to share me…with me.

Ashley in Tinder-land

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I must be mad, y’all.  Sunday night, I did something I swore I’d never do again…

I got back on Tinder.

Now, my previous Tinder experiences have been lackluster at best.  (Yes, at BEST.)  Some of the men I’ve had the displeasure of meeting include:

…the one who asked me (before we’d ever met) if I liked to give head.

…the one who (after a pretty great date) disappeared for five months, then tried to come back into my life only to be too busy to spend time with me.

…the one who (again, before we’d ever met) called me damaged because I refused to cosign on his claim that he was the best thing that ever happened to me EVEN THOUGH I HAD NEVER MET HIM.  He claimed I was “choosing a Buick over a Bentley” (whatever that means).

…the one who sexually harassed me, then bashed Black women (a.k.a. women who look just like me) on Facebook.

…the one who had a girlfriend the entire time we were dating.  His girlfriend actually contacted me to find out the details of our relationship.

Y’all can see why Tinder-land wasn’t a place I wanted to stay for an extended period of time.

But because I’m optimistic–or a glutton for punishment, I’m not quite sure–I’ve decided to give it another try because I want to find love.  My last relationship was pretty terrible.  My Tinder experiences weren’t much better.  But through it all, I’ve learned a few things:

  • Distancing myself from toxic people is okay.  In fact, it is necessary for my personal sanity.
  • I don’t owe anyone anything.  A man doesn’t deserve a date, an explanation, or a minute of my time just because he decided to speak to me.
  • I shouldn’t settle for just anyone.  The man God has for me will be all I need him to be.
  • High standards yield high results. Holding myself to a higher standard (and expecting the same from the men I interact with) will help me weed out the ones who don’t deserve me.
  • Self-love is a prerequisite to a loving relationship.  In the words of one of my role models, RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
  • I am worthy of unconditional love.

So with all of those lessons learned, I’m ready to head back to Tinder-land.  Lewis Carroll said it better than I ever could:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

Here we go…

The Realness: An Open Letter to RuPaul and Bob the Drag Queen

My queens!

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting both of you at DragCon in Los Angeles. When I say I got my ENTIRE life, I mean just that–y’all slayed me and brought me back…only to slay me again! You may have forgotten our interaction, so let me jog your memories:

Bob–I stood in line for almost two hours to meet you on Saturday. Taylor, one of your assistants, assured me I would get through the line before you left at 4:30. I may have told him we would engage in fisticuffs if that turned out not to be true (I’m blaming my hangriness for that statement). You told me I was beautiful (which I am still gagging over). I said you would be my perfect husband because you’re just like me…you then introduced me to your brother and suggested that might be a better match. You signed my merchandise, we took two photos, and I promised to burn World of Wonder to the ground if you didn’t win (and I’m still mostly serious about that). I still can’t believe how gracious you were. 

Purse first!

Ru–you and I met toward the end of the day Saturday. I had to take a moment when I saw you sitting behind that desk–I clutched my invisible pearls and audibly ordered myself to get it together. Your voice was heavenly; your suit the perfect shade of pink. You complimented my makeup (something I’m still reeling over!) and we chatted about products. You said you heard a touch of my southern accent…which I admitted comes out in extremely emotional situations. You hugged me. I cried when I left and swore that I could die right then and consider my life well-lived. Complete. 

Pure joy!


Y’all are everything I’m too scared to be. You refuse to let the opinions of others block your greatness. You won’t allow your own thoughts of self-doubt to keep you from the success you rightful deserve. 

Y’all are everything I know I am but won’t show. You make people laugh. You command rooms, stages. You knew you were destined to be performers and you took your rightful place in the spotlight. You choose to personify strong Black women when society screams a Black woman is the worst thing to be. 

But I think the realness is what I appreciate most. You are yourselves, all the time. You don’t apologize for who you are. Even when you take on a character, your personality shines through. 

Thank you for inspiring me to be myself, without apology. Thank you for the realness. 

Always,

Ashley (@DeepCurvesAhead)