Editor’s Note: Zoe is off this weekend so what follows is by Ayinde Howell
In my lifetime, I’ve been Mr. “Right Now” for a long time–most of my 20’s to be exact–and it was by design. I wanted to focus on my career and not let anything, like oh I don’t know–commitment, get in the way. I tell you I had it down to a science. I could get through several weeks of great sex with no commitment! Then it would start to get a little awkward and the questions would come; “soooooo what are we doing?” This would come up usually as pillow talk. I would pull out my patented joke, compliment and avoid answer routine. It went like this: “What are we doing? Well I’m refracting, and you, you’re just glowing. I’m about to go cook us some food.” Passionate kiss, hop up take shower etc.
The only problem with this strategy is:
A. You have to keep new jokes coming which can be hard on its own.
B. The more you avoid the question, the tougher the room gets.
That usually bought me time until the 3-4 month mark, aka time to get out! But not before “the talk.” Ultimately, it would boil down to the woman saying “I’m trying to be with you” and me explaining that I’m moving to another city for career reasons (this happened 3 times) or say I’m not ready for “all that.” And that would be pretty much that. I was being honest.
Fast forward to present day, I’m in the dating pool again and looking for a magnificent woman to make some vegan babies with and whom do I run into? Me! Or at least an unrecognizable version of me in the form of an amazing woman. Our relationship, or “friendship,” ran an almost paralleled course to my past encounters. Save one unrecognizable difference that only hindsight revealed, I was now in the position of the female. I was told upfront that she wanted to be ”friends” and if something else happens “we’ll see” (honesty). I thought to myself, “well that’s what she wants now. But just wait until I show her how great, funny and smart I am as a person. If that doesn’t work I’ll just rock her world in the bed I mean who can say no to all that?”
Again, the clarity of hindsight, it reminded me of a technique used on me, the best way to describe it is after I said no all I want is “friendship,” women would try to eff me into submission. But I always politely refused any further commitment and thanked them for a funky ride, as Prince would say. I was also the first to break up with past partners–an amazing record actually. I know what you’re thinking and my answer is, yes I have issues and that’s between my therapist and I.
Therapy is expensive, but Karma is a motherfucker. I’m still trying to figure out how I didn’t see this coming. I was too busy with my plan, probably. I waited until she had experienced 80% of what I was working with (you always leave some room for some “wow.”) I was even exclusively seeing her and I put it out there. I said, “So I’m trying to be with you,” and her response was “I’m not ready for all that.” The extra sentence “why do we need titles anyway?” was verbatim from the Ayinde playbook. She went on to say “but we can still be friends” (Ayinde speak: We can still have sex.) I didn’t really listen to what was said and heard “there is still a chance.” Then, a saying I’ve heard my sisters toss around a lot played in my head: “If you give em the milk for free they will never have to buy the cow.” Then I finally got it. I felt like, well a girl. Specifically, one of the women in my past who I let play herself while I was being honest. To be fair to me, I’m past that era in my life and before this experience I had no idea I was still giving off Mr. Right Now vibes. So I’m… er.. working on it.
Since the woman in this piece is probably reading this, I’m not mad at you, you’re right I was not ready. But it all was quite funny. To me.