The Ones Who Get Away

In many ways, initial attraction is the best part of a relationship. You make eye contact with that smoky “I’m already yours” look, your hair raises every time she says hi, and the unknown possibilities are like the most powerful non-narcotic you’ve ever experienced. Before long, you’re already imagining the two of you in a relationship; you being the archetype of a good man, her being a Jedi in the streets and a Sith in the sheets, all of that good stuff. You start to talk more and you think that you just may have struck gold. But then you broach the subject of getting to know him or her on a more personal level, and everything goes to hell. She has a man, or he’s a “rapper,” or worst of all: they’re not interested in you that way. Now you’re left with all kinds of emotions and no outlet except for your hand or your battery-operated friend.

I used to react by imagining myself doing so much better than her in life, and crossing paths again in all my glory. I would pull up alongside her at the light in my imaginary black Dodge Charger SRT-8 with the music on blast, and look over to see her and lil-whatever (all rappers have lil in their names now) on their way to one of his shows in a Toyota Corolla with three spare donuts on it. Or my favorite imaginary scenario: her calling me up out the blue after he just left her for a thicker Snicker and me telling her, “You had the chance, but I am no longer hiring.” It was my standard coping method after rejection, to imagine her as the Portland Trailblazers, who coulda drafted Michael Jordan but instead picked Sam Bowie (who, you may ask? Exactly).

But as my game has evolved, so has my understanding of how and why people choose who they do. I used to think that women didn’t know how to pick fruit. Then I realized that I’m not the only ripe one hanging from the tree. Despite the statistics, there are scores of eligible Black Men out there, some of whom have just as much – if not more – of the same qualities I do. And while none of them will be Jontae Muthafuckin Grace, complete with grey hair, scholarly mind and orgasmic stroke game, everyone has their own qualities which make them attractive in their own way. And that train of thought led me to yet another discovery.

Just because a man and a woman are both “good ones” does not mean that they’re right for each other. Oftentimes in our pursuit to find someone to take to the next level, we overlook some glaring personality traits that can cause even more heartache down the road. A person may be attractive, educated and financially sound, but if you’re a homebody like me and they are a club/concert/event-goer, eventually you will clash. Either you’re too boring for them or they’re too ‘out there’ for you. It doesn’t make anyone more right, its just that the matchup is not ideal. Lifestyle compatibility is as important as physical and mental harmony, and some people can spot it much earlier on than others.

If you really like someone, then you care about their well-being. And if you care about their well-being, then you want them to be happy, even if its not with you. It’s the most painful but yet the most altruistic thing you can do for a person, letting them have the freedom to choose you, and being happy for them if they don’t. I always tell a woman: there is no pressure from me. Free to come, free to stay, free to leave. Also, your perspective may be wrong; it may be that they are not right for YOU, not you for them. Sometimes you gotta be selfish when it comes to love. The Bible says, “Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Don’t get somebody just to be able to say you have someone, you may be doing yourself a huge disservice.

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where a person could have picked you for their team but didn’t, don’t be hurt. Wish them well on the journey that we are all seeking, and move forward knowing that you shouldn’t have to do circus tricks just to get (or keep) a person interested in you. If it ain’t mutual, it ain’t nuthin. As much as I love the idea of being in love, I love myself more, and I don’t want nobody who don’t want me. I would rather see her happy with lil-whatsisname, financing his rap dreams and popping out babies like a gumball machine.

Some people don’t know how to pick fruit. Then again, some of them do.

Grace

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. you know not many people think like this. For the most part, people go into relationships for various reasons and sometimes it isn’t for love…sometimes they want someone who can financially support their dreams and love may have nothing to do with it. Some are in it for the sex, some are in it just so that they don’t feel “lonely”. Some enter in for the right reasons but with the wrong people, and some people fail to see that what they have right in front of them is really in fact a good thing until they leave it for the next wrong thing because they seemingly package the perks of the relationship better when really, it’s all bubble wrap. As you said, people have got to learn to love themselves first before loving someone and it takes a lot of heart and soul searching to reach a level where you can handle maturely and appreciate to love someone altruistically without any agendas on the side and choose to allow them to hopefully choose to love you back in return. Not all wishes come true but not are dreams get unanswered either. Some people wait for a long time until its mutual but I think that to some degree it’s easy to survey who’s in it for the long run and who isn’t with just a few encounters asking the right questions. i don’t know if I’ve trailed off topic (cuz I know I talk too much lol) but this is a great post Jontae.

    stay blessed in your love journey.
    Sherline 😀

    1. Jontae Grace says:

      That is Soooo true Miss Sherline! With all of the complexities of matchmaking, its nothing short of a blessing from God to find a person who activates something on the inside of you. And yes, both men and women will get carried away with outer appearances. We have to get back to our roots as African people: communal. I used to only want a woman to be into me and me only, but i learned that by doing that, I was actually clipping her wings and caging her. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but as you said, being a complete person helps a person walk away with their head high. Cheers Queen : )

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