“I want somebody

to walk up behind me,
And kiss me on my neck,

and breathe on my neck.

Been such a long time,
I forgot that I was fine.
Just kiss me on my neck,

and breathe on my neck.”
–Erykah Badu

“I’m tired of building. I’m ready to see the fruits of my labor.”

My friend tossed her mane of curls back in frustration, eyes rolling upward.

“It’s tiring, you know? I love what I do, and I’m doing well. I’m not trying to get married or live with anyone. But still, it’d be nice, when I come home from grinding, if I could just…lay my head on someone’s chest. Just lie there. I can’t help but think that knowing that I had that—that support, and stability—would make all the difference, you know?”

Yes, I do know, all too well. And since my adorable, seriously accomplished and successful friend is at least seven years my junior, I wanted to be able to tell her that it gets better—you know, from up here on my lofty perch in “You-Can-Have-It-All Land”.

But that hasn’t been my experience—at least, not yet. So, all I could do was grin wryly, take a sip of my rosé and say, with sincerest empathy:

“Girl, you know I know.”

I mean, how do you think I got the inspiration for this damned blog?

In case I haven’t already made it abundantly clear *wink*: For the most part, I love my life, thus far. There have been considerable high and (very) low points; but the film version would still likely look like a cross between Sex and the City and a modern-day Mahogany’(“Me! Mahogany!” *twirl*).

Yeah, I admit it: I’m a quintessential—and possibly, now clichéd—sexy, single, city girl. I’m well connected, but comfortable in my solitude, with enough achievements under my belt to feel more than satisfied with myself—and my relationship status—on most days.

But I too, am still building. I’m still grinding, still reaching, still searching, and, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes wondering how satisfied I’ll ultimately be if a stable and successful relationship is the one accomplishment that eludes me. To quote the inimitable Billy Dee Williams in the aforementioned Mahogany, what if it’s actually true (God forbid) that: “Success is nothing, without someone you love to share it with”?

Granted, I have an incredible family and an abundance of wonderful friends, all of whom are the best cheerleaders and support system a girl could ask for, but…

What about that elusive chest? You know, the one I could be laying my head on at the end of a long day/week/trip/project/life? Where’s my Billy Dee? (No, really: Where he at? Lando Calrissian could totally still get it.)

So, that brings us back to…right where we left off. Me, online, looking for some facsimile of love—or at the very least, being able to say I made a concerted effort.

Lemme tell you, this could easily become a full-time job—with no pay or benefits. I’ve had to impose some structure, so that I semi-artfully manage the rest of my life. Here’s how my days are shaping up, seven weeks in:

Tinder: 30 min./day

Bumble: 15 min./day (or until I get depressed looking at—but not matching with—all of those fine-ass men)

eHarmony: *sigh* I’m trying, y’all. But like a clingy-ass boyfriend, the more they approach, the more I retreat. I’m trying to breathe through it…for about 20 minutes a day (that’s all I can currently stand).

Blogging: 1-3 hours, depending on how many distractions I allow myself/how much I procrastinate.

Dating: This week’s been light, as I’ve cut some dead weight and am exploring new prospects. “The Bro/Beau” is still maintaining a presence, though, and may make an appearance before week’s end.

Working: Let’s just say, thank God I’m a freelancer, because this would be damned near impossible for me with a 9-5.

Still on the fence about whether Match, OkCupid, CoffeeMeetsBagel or HowAboutWe will also be graced by my presence (I kid, I kid—kind of). I’ve given myself until the end of the week to decide, so stay tuned. (Update: my bestie just forwarded me MeetMindful.com. Clearly, she thinks I’m far more esoteric, conscious and—as she put it—“crunchy” than I might actually be. Or, she just thinks I’m special, and deserving of the same. Yeah, let’s go with that.)

But, let’s also not rule out a good, old-fashioned “meet cute,” which is exactly what happened in Harlem last night.

Since I tend to only visit Harlem seasonally—or on special occasions—it’s a wonder I was even up there at all, since it’s a bit of a hike from my Brooklyn hood. But some of my favorite people in the world—including said bestie—live there, so I’ve been known to slap on some lipstick and a pair of heels to make an appearance uptown. Last night, the worthy occasion was a dear friend’s book signing, so my attendance—in heels—was non-negotiable.

As expected, the crowd was gorgeous, glamorous, and…primarily girls and gay men, so romance wasn’t exactly on my agenda. But I kissed the requisite cheeks, had a drink, a few photo ops, and after an hour or so, was off into the night with a gaggle of my girls, headed for one of our favorites, The Cecil.

As other defectors from the signing rolled in, we held court at the bar, catching up over cocktails and collard greens, and (loudly) cracking each other up, as usual. I was so wrapped up in the conversation (including showing my friends the Abercrombie & Fitch dating app that is Bumble), that I didn’t even notice the smooth and studious-looking gent who’d taken up residence at the end of the bar…

That is, until the aroma of the lamb shank he’d ordered came wafting my way (What can I say? Cocktails make you hungry—for more than collard greens.). Loosened up by my “Thai 75”, I commented on it, only to watch him request a share plate and slice off a piece for me to taste.

Generosity, Sir, will get you everywhere. The lady likes her lamb.

He admitted to overhearing our conversation (how could he not?), much of which referenced this blog. Not missing a beat, he quickly checked it out on his phone (God, help me). Holding his own among four wise and wily women for the next half-hour or so, he proved to be both engaging and entertaining, having had his own share of online experience (he too, is on Tinder), and being relatively new to New York. He was quite interesting; and age-appropriate, as it turns out.

So, we exchanged numbers. In fact, we’re texting now, so I gotta go. See you tomorrow.

  • Maurice Thompson

    That’s the way it should always happen – sharing woes with the woes until you meet the whoas…

  • mojilove

    Wait… I have to find out that that start of something may become a something on your blog? Seriously? I’m making faces!

    • Mai

      Umm…right now, I’m not sure if it’s the start of something, or just a passing moment, but you were THERE, so…what are you talking about?

  • Rah One Love

    Keep going and stay in love with yourself. Treat yourself kindly and gently and that’ll set the template for how your match is going to treat you.

    I’m still suggesting swapping Bumble and eHarmony out for Coffee and OkCupid. Time is more important than money but you can squeeze Bumble and/or eHarmony back into rotation in a couple of weeks if, at that time, you feel they might still be worth it.

    (I get the feeling that if Bumble and eHarmony were actual men, you would have switched them out by now. 🙂 )

    Either way thanks again for your presentation of online dating from a woman’s perspective.

  • Bella DeLeon

    Can’t wait to hear more about this guy!!

About the author

Who me? I'm just your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow a cup of sugar? But seriously: I'm a musician, model, writer, all-around creative and devoted auntie. Like you, I'm just out here in the universe, trying to make it happen...whatever that is.