Trevor and I "met" via Tinder and he initiated conversation because I never do on those type of apps.
Why is that?
I like the man to be the initiator and it kind of speaks to what they would be like in a relationship. I like people to take initiative. So if someone doesn't message me first, I'm like, 'Ok, they're lazy.' or 'They expect women to reach out to them.' Which I don't really like. It's not knocking if you like to do it but that's just not my steelo.
So this is November of 2016. We talked on the app for a while and then he asked for my number. I gave him my number and he gave me his. I accidentally called him but he didn't answer and then I texted 'Oh I didn't mean to call you. This is Ariel.'
So we talked for a long time, maybe not everyday but every week. Actually, I was home so that’s why we didn’t get to meet up until probably January because of Thanksgiving and then I went home for Christmas. So in January we went to a hockey game, which was really nice. That was his idea and I’d never been to one so it was really cool. Actually, the hockey game was in December. It was at Barclays so we went to Applebee’s after and had drinks and hung out. Then we went our separate ways, there was no kiss or anything, just talked. It was really good conversation.
The second time, we went to some Adidas event which was really cool. It was like industry people. He’s a photographer. Fabolous was there and performed. It was at Webster Hall. Just a really fun environment. There was a lot of people he knew there but he introduced me to everyone, which I liked.
I had known that he was unemployed. I don’t know how long.
When did he tell you that?
Probably over text. Quickly because you know, you ask people what they do and stuff.
How did that make you feel when he told you that?
I knew he was a creative so I kind of feel a little leeway with that. You know it’s hard out here for a creative and doing stuff if you’re a freelance photographer. It’s difficult. He started up his own company and then it went into someone else’s hands. So I thought you know 'Whatever, he obviously has enough money to keep an apartment.' He had roommates but still, he had to pay a portion so he was doing alright. Alright enough.
I wasn’t really that concerned. I guess I really don’t understand how difficult it is to find jobs. I personally have never had that difficulty. I understand that it can be a difficult thing here in the city but I’ve not experienced that; so in my mind, I thought, ‘He’s a creative too so he’ll find something.’ ]
One time I was actually applying for a job in Brooklyn and I’m never in Brooklyn because I live in Harlem. And he lives in Brooklyn so I let him know ‘Hey I have this interview that’s going to be in Brooklyn and we should link up after.’ And he was like, ‘Oh yeah cool. That sounds good. I’m going to get a haircut but I’ll let you know when I’m done.’ So, after my interview, I was hanging around. I was like, ‘Well, I’ll wait a little while to hear back.’ ‘I’ll go to Shake Shack and do some shopping.’ Girl, I was waiting for like two hours. I texted him like, ‘Hey, are you done? Are we going to meet up?’ And didn’t get a text back. So I was like, ‘Alright I’m headed home.’ Because it takes an hour to get back and I’m not just going to be hanging around in Brooklyn all night with no plans.
Then he texted me the next day saying, ‘Sorry I got caught up at the barber.’ And that should have been a key indication but you know everyone gets one. But then it happened again. The second time, he was going to be in Harlem. And I was like ‘Ok, let me know when you’re going to be around and we can meet up.’ And he was like ‘Ok cool.’ And then I didn’t hear anything. And I’m not going to press you. If you say we should meet up or if I initiate something, that’s the most I’m going to do. I’m not going to hound you to meet up. So he didn’t say anything and I was like, ‘Alright cool.’ And then the next day he apologized.
We actually finally did meet up. I was like, ‘Hey, we should meet up.’ He was talking about his money situation was funny and that was kind of his hesitation in us doing things. And I was like, ‘That’s fine. I’ll get us this time.’ Because he got the hockey tickets and he took us to this event and bought everything both times. So I was like, ‘I can pay for us to do whatever we do.’ We decided to go to IHop. We had breakfast one day and I paid for it. He seemed really grateful. I was like, ‘No problem.’ It was actually really nice that’s when he prayed over the breakfast. Great interaction. And then after that, we would still text. This is probably early January when we went out. He would text maybe once a week like, ‘Hey what’s going on?’ ‘What are you up to?’ and I would do the same.
And then one time I texted him in February like, ‘Am I going to see you again?’ Because he didn’t make any plans. I’m like, ‘I just want to know, should I continue to waste my time?’ What should I do? He was like, ‘Oh of course. I’ve just been broke.’ I was like, ‘I figured that’s what it was but we don’t have to spend money. I tell people this all the time my love languages are physical touch and quality time. You don’t have to spend money on me, it’s not gifts. I just want to be around the person that I enjoy being around. And so I was like, ‘I don’t have to be wined and dined. He was like, ‘Oh you know thanks, I appreciate you.’ Then nothing.
Then he texted me on Valentine’s Day.
Like, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Boo.’ And I was like “Thanks, Happy Valentine’s Day to you.’
And then it was nothing.
Girl, you know niggas love to use that terminology but you ain’t serious. Anyway, then I texted him in March like ‘Hey, how are you?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, it’s so funny. I definitely thought about you today.’ But you didn’t text. He was like, ‘I’m ok. How are you?’ And I was like, ‘I’m doing well. You came across my mind too so I wanted to say hey.’ Then he sent a smiley face. And then I said, ‘So what have you been up to? How have you been feeling?’ And this was in March of this year. And that was all I heard from him. He never responded back.
So I was like cool. You know, people go through things, whatever. But I don’t have to go through that with you. And I told you that you don’t need to spend money and you’re not taking enough initiative to say ‘Let’s go to a park.’ ‘Let’s walk around.’ I don’t have time to be creative and think of those things if you’re not going to do it.
Cut to maybe around March, April I started talking to, texting communicating with this guy I went to middle and high school with. And I just really wasn’t thinking about him [Trevor]. We started talking a lot and then we started talking every day. And just really was not thinking about Trevor. But you know they say whenever you move on, something about niggas’ antennae start to go up. Like, ‘Ok well she’s investing her time or a lot of her time in someone else but he had also been lurking on Instagram, viewing my stories, liking my stuff but not communicating. I don’t understand that. I don’t get that.
He texted me this past Saturday saying ‘How have you been?’ From March to August. I saw the text message and I was like ‘Wow!’ I wasn’t going to respond at all but I had discussions about being honest and not sparing anyone’s feelings, which I tend to do. I can be really cold and mean if I don’t know you at all. But if I’ve talked to you, understand your struggles, listened to your sob stories, I feel compassion. I wasn’t going to say anything because I didn’t want it to go into a conversation where I had to be mean. But I talked to people and decided that I should have a response and it should be honest. So I responded back, like 9 hours later. ‘I’m doing well. How have you been? You fell off.’ That was 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and he texted back Sunday morning.
He said, ‘Good Morning/Sorry I definitely passed out. Yeah, I definitely did.’ And that’s in reference to falling off. And in reference to me asking how he’s been, he says, ‘Things have been things on my end.’ And I’ve not responded and I won’t respond because I just cannot stand that at all. And I think that is so rude to be so inconsiderate of someone’s time. Like if you don’t want to speak to somebody or you’re going through something, let them know. And I already knew your situation a little bit, maybe not the extent of what you were going through so just be considerate. And I’ve also, with that other guy that I was talking to, the one who went to Howard..
Oooh. Umm hmm
He did the same thing.
So I’m definitely all about the ‘fool me once’ and then maybe even twice if I care enough but after that, I’m just not… I can’t. I don’t like my time wasted. I don’t like putting energy into things where it’s not reciprocated. I was gonna say that I was ruined by my only serious relationship. But not ruined I think I was taught something and I grew a lot in that way, to not let my time be wasted. Because my time is super precious. I’m already focusing on so many things with work and my life. And I’m just a really happy person, life is so great. I have very, very, very, very few complaints so I don’t need any of that negative energy. I’m not going to sit and think about what someone’s doing as they’re not responding to me and not thinking about me. So when you don’t communicate with me, it’s like you’re dead to me. Don’t do that to me because then you just will not exist. Because that is so rude to me.
And I can’t say that I’ve never ghosted someone. And here’s what I mean by that like if I’ve been on Tinder or Soul Swipe or something and someone says something crazy, I just won’t respond. And that’s it. But I don’t know you, I’ve never seen you in person. I don’t owe you anything. But with Trevor, I know you, I’ve been on dates with you, I’ve paid for a date with you and that doesn’t mean you owe me anything but that was a kindness that I extended. I didn’t have to do it. And you don’t even give me the respect to say, ‘Hey I’m going through something and I don’t think this is the right time. I’ll hit you up when things are better and if you’re still available or free, maybe we can link up.’ I would respect that so much.
But you just don’t say anything? And my question was how are you doing? Like, I really wanted to be like, ‘Is your mental state great because you’re unemployed and I know how Black men feel about that.
So I wanted to be like ‘Are you cool? Are you Gucci?’ Is really what I was asking. And I don’t hear a response, I’m like ‘Aight cool.’
Black men just put a lot of weight on being the breadwinner because that’s what they’re taught. And it’s such a crazy thing because what they’re not taught in being emotional and having that capacity to read emotion and to express emotion, is what they’re taught in ‘You need to be the breadwinner,’ ‘You need to be the provider,’ ‘You need to have a roof over your head.’ ‘You need to bring this money in and make sure that your family is good’ and putting everything else to the wayside. So when they don’t have that one element, which, in the grand scheme of life, is nothing, they just lose their minds, literally. And think that they are not a whole person, when that’s just a fraction of living. And I know that’s what he was going through. But we weren’t even boyfriend and girlfriend, you don’t owe me a job. And I know you’ve had a job before.
But you know, it’s not just job stuff. When Black men feel inadequate, it just really changes things. He didn’t graduate from college and so I felt like that was a thing. Not an issue that he felt like, ‘Oh you’re better because you did.’ But just something that was another thing on his shoulders.
And when you’re down, it’s definitely something that pops to the forefront of your mind.
Like, ‘Maybe this is why I’m not getting these jobs.’ or whatever.
I don’t know. Like my nigga, I was even going and sending him creative jobs. You feel me?
Because I like to help people. And it doesn’t matter if you’re just a friend. I didn’t even...I liked him but I didn’t really, really like him. I was getting to like him. And if someone is looking for a job and I know how to find jobs pretty well so I was sending him links and stuff and you can’t even let me know how you’re doing? And then you want to pop up months later, talking about hey? No.
And he’s still looking at Instagram stories and stuff today!
I don’t look at his stuff, you feel me? If I see your Instagram story come up, I’ll pause the one before it early so you don’t see my name.
Laughs. My name is not going to come up!
Ok! I’m not checking for you because you were not checking for me.
Ok?! Period. Yeah I mean all of this could have been saved if he had just been honest about what it really was.
And now you want to be vague, ‘Things are things.’ Uhh what?
No. I deserve more than that.
Right. I don’t know what that means.
And at this point, I don’t care to figure it out.
Exactly. I’m not fishing for the definition at this point.
Yeah I’m just on to the next.
So, that’s that. I mean I wish him well. I want him to be happy but I just want it to not involve me. I’m done with that. I’m definitely a person who gives a lot of chances and has given them in the past but that chance bank is depleting.
I gave a lot of chances in my serious relationship. Lots of chances. And the guy that I was talking to that went to Howard, he got a few chances. I don’t have that much left.
Baggage is real. But to me, it’s not even about giving chances it’s about learning when you should extend yourself for people and when you should not. And some people just don’t deserve extensions. Like with your serious relationship, that’s fine. It was reciprocal. He did things for you too. But for these new niggas? No.
No. I don’t owe you anything. Girl. A mess.
And the kindness I do extend to you, I want reciprocated. And not on some ‘If you tryna be my man…’ Just on some human decency type stuff.
Right. Let me know what’s up. But that’s also another thing, some of these niggas love to be secretive. I don’t need to know how you plan to build. I don’t need to know none of that. I just want to know ‘I’m good. Thanks for checking in. I’m going through something.’ Or ‘I’m not going through something and I found a job.’
Or ‘Hey I’m not going to be able to talk to you for a while.’
Gurl, bye. But then he want to come around and you’re supposed to be ready and waiting. It’s unfortunate.
It’s not really. Everything happens for a reason, girl.
Not unfortunate for you. It’s unfortunate that someone of his age, grown men are still behaving like this. Like you can’t treat people like that. And you would think that people would have things figured out by this age and it’s just not true.
But some people love that out of the blue text. I don’t. They probably really get excited about that. But to me, it’s like ok, ignore.
Because you know what it means. You’re old enough to know what it means. Maybe if you were 19 maybe that would be something fun and exciting. Because I’ve been there when the ‘out of the blue’ text was inspiring. But then you grow up and it’s like ‘but what about consistency, though?’
Ok! But where ya ass was at?
Consistency is something they don’t teach women enough to expect and look for, from jump. You gotta get burned before you realize how important that is.
Yup. Isn’t that crazy?
I swear I want to teach a class of red flags and things to avoid in dating situations. And consistency has got to be top.
And non-negotiables. During my serious relationship in college, I wrote down my list of non-negotiables and I have that list in my phone and I just always refer to it. And if someone does something, I’m like ‘Ok, duly noted.’
Good for you. What’s on that list?
As of July 14, 2014
You ain’t got consistency on there…
And that’s an add.
Writing it right now. That’s so important. But to me, that’s a part of respect, you feel me?
But you know what. It’s crazy because... listen...growing up people would say ‘You want a man that respects you.’ But as a kid a teenager, you don’t know what the hell that means.
Yeah. That could be anything.
Because honestly, inconsistency doesn’t even read as disrespect to the untrained, immature mind. It’s not until you get older until you’re like, ‘No, no, no. That is disrespectful.’