Is It All Out of My System?

Recently, I was posed the question, “Have you done everything you wanted to do as a single woman?”  I answered confidently, “yes.”  It wasn’t until long after the conversation was over as the question still lingered as I begin to really dissect both the question and my response.  I was baffled because I wondered why I, in all of my relationships, had never been asked that question before.  Moreover, I wondered why I, in all of my genius, have never thought to pose this question before now.  If I had stopped to ask this before, I am positive I would have saved myself a lot of time and heartache— but then again, I wouldn’t have been able to answer “yes.”
Initially when asked, flash frames of everything I have done passed quickly before me.  I’ve done a lot.  I even reflected when my friend read an excerpt from The Single Girl’s Manifesta stating that you should go on 20 no-strings-attached dates before settling down….or something to that regard.  I have dated plenty, a few times over that number.  I was even lucky to fall in love a few times.  I was blessed to have my heart broken because it was that pain that facilitated my growth.  I have had more than enough experiences to know exactly what I want, and more important, what I need.  I have travelled both domestically and internationally.  I have witnessed and now know my own strength and resiliency.  I have lived with others and have lived on my own.  But, I wondered, if that was enough…
People undervalue the benefits of being single.  There is no checking in, no explanations, no accountability… I realized I was being childish.  I have to check in and be responsible in every other facet of my life.  I am held accountable for everything I do or omit- professionally, academically, spiritually, and financially.   Why should relationships be an exception?
However, as the question continued to haunt me, I thought more about the things I haven’t done.  The list is endless.  Then I concluded I was asking myself the wrong question.  The real question is, “What have you not done that you don’t want or can’t do within the confines of this relationship?” I replied out loud to myself, “Nothing.”

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I Didn’t Want to Know Her Name

I told him I didn’t ever want to know her name.  Her is his ex.  I explained that in this case, less is more.  The less I know, the better.  You see before, I wanted to know it all – name, pictures, how often they communicated, etc.  It may have been the beginning of the end for my last relationships.  It was then when I lost control of our present worrying about his past.
As women, better known as detectives, it is easy to become completely consumed in wanting to know everything about any woman that may even think about every wanting to come close to your man.  It becomes a full time job.  Conversations with your man turn into interrogation sessions.  It is a red-flag of insecurity that I used to wave.  It is almost like there is a training course for insecure women to train insecure women on how to be more insecure.
Men are much different in that most time, and within reason, they could care less about their woman’s past.  Most times, a man’s confidence after he gets the girl is unmovable.  However, I still decided I will limit my conversations about my past escapades.  It is not that I have anything to hide, but because like me, I want him to focus on us and not my past.  It is a delicate balance being an open book yet exercising discretion.  But the reward is that despite our pasts, we can focus our energy on building our future.

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