About singlelifenavigator

Just a single woman trying to find my way in this world, without compromising on the things I hold near and dear.

See Me: Defiantly Single

trailblazer? Me? No, Thank you.

Almost everything in my world seems to scream that marriage is the natural next phase of life. Do you understand where I’m coming from? To say I’m living this single life on my own terms would capture my sentiments perfectly. Trailblazer? Me? No, thank you. I just reject the notion that I can’t be happy at 30 if I don’t have a man.

In a recent conversation with a friend, we discussed our realities and why marriage is not on the table for me at the moment. Although my friend is married, our dialogue proved fruitful in getting to the root of this whole I’m-cool-with-not-being-married thing. By the way, I totally encourage you to have similar conversations with your married friends because it appears that they forget what life was like before someone put a ring on it. It’s not their fault; they just become blinded by love.

Lost in his eyes!

Probably the biggest reason I’m perfectly content being single until God decides to do something about it is because, real talk, the divorce rates these days are beyond nuts. How did we, as a society, get to the point where we are fine with marriages ending left and right for the most minor infraction?

Hear me clearly, fellow navigator, I am not saying any woman should stay in a marriage where some dude (because he’s not worthy to be called a “man”) abuses her in any way, shape, or form. I’m talking about relationships where we just wake up one day and decide we don’t want to be together. In my opinion, because I’m sharing life from my perspective, marriage is too sacred to be entered into lightly. If I’m going to stand before God, my family, and a bunch of friends to boldly declare that I’ll be with a man “until death do us part,” best believe I will work my hardest to honor those vows. On the flip side, if my husband ever steps out or abuses me in any way, shape, or form, best believe I’m gone without so much as a letter or text explaining my actions.

These men aren’t perfect, but they consistently consider their wives before they consider themselves.

— Ethleen Sawyerr

This brings me to my first point: marriage isn’t taken as seriously as days passed. In my book, Defiant! Redefining Singleness at 30+, I share about being a single woman navigating life and some of the issues I face regularly. I mention the topic of marriage because we’re sending the wrong message to younger generations. Order a copy from my website if you want to read more.

Now that we’ve got that shameless plug out of the way, let’s get back to the issue at hand. If I’m honest, after the initial feelings of joy of meeting a potential love interest wear off, my mind goes to figuring out if this is someone I want. Will he stay and fight for the relationship? I watch his character, pay attention to his words, and listen to hear the slightest hint of someone who is fickle, not serious, or untrustworthy. Am I being harsh? Probably. Do I care? No.

Got that right!

When you’ve grown up with the kind of models of husbands who fear God and strive to love their wives as Christ loves the Church as I have, you see what a godly man looks like. These men aren’t perfect, but they consistently consider their wives before they consider themselves. Sometimes that means the man swallows his pride to do something he doesn’t want to, and other times it means his wife coming back to him and apologizing for some action that was uncalled for.

Can I tell you something? I’ve been told in confidence by married friends that they were on the verge of divorce for reasons outside of infidelity and abuse, but both parties surrendered the union to God and sought counsel from qualified professionals. Why bring this up? Because I don’t know if this happens with younger people, which is why I’m concerned about the ridiculously high divorce rate.

Yes, there are many factors that contribute to a marriage dissolving, but we need to start talking about the challenges of marriage beforehand instead making it out to be this idealistic union. A marriage can never be perfect, no matter what those of us on the outside think, because it’s two imperfect people becoming one. Outside of the grace of God, there’s no way that combination ends in perfection. Let’s do ourselves a favor and stop looking to marriage to make our lives worth living.

‘Til death do us part.

Fellow navigator, I think we should end here for today. As I sit at my desk, I realize there’s so much more I’d like to say about the reasons behind choosing to be defiantly single. I think this will become a series to highlight some of the realities of how marriage looks to me, a single woman who has never been in that union. You may not always agree with my views, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are you as perplexed by the current divorce rate as I am? Let me know!

Not I: Man Hater?

One thing I’ve never understood is why people make the assumption that a woman who chooses to live her best single life hates men. Let’s get something straight: I am not a man hater. Men are great! They provide emotional stability and rational thinking when my hormones go crazy. They offer a different perspective concerning situations that I never in a million years would have considered. For these reasons (and more), I value the role of men in my life.

Just because I make the conscious decision not to enter into a relationship doesn’t mean I’m a man hater. I hate when people make this assumption because they peg me as someone I’m not. My choice to remain single doesn’t stem from a dislike of men; it’s because I don’t want to repeat past mistakes.

It happens…

Speaking to both sides of the divide, I think there needs to be some understanding. We never know another person’s story when it comes to relationships and past experiences. To assume I hate men because I’m not ready to walk down the aisle is a faux pas. I could have been abused, manipulated, or mistreated in other ways by a man. Believe me, the hurt and pain that that suffering awakens takes time to get over.

“Let’s get something straight: I am not a man hater.”

To the men, I ask you to be patient and kind. A woman with her guard up probably has stories upon stories to tell of when she allowed someone in and had her trust broken. I wish I could tell men that their willingness to walk alongside a woman through her pain and mess would do far more good than simply getting frustrated and giving up the chase.

To the women, I would tell you that not all men are the same. After coming out of a bad relationship, we often question our own judgment, find ourselves in the same predicament with a man who’s just as bad because we believe that’s the best we can do, or swear off men altogether. While it’s easy to remain guarded and expect a man to fight to show he really wants us, I’d say that path leads to even more pain. We can’t put everything on a man. Our healing doesn’t come from any one human being; it comes from God.

“Believe me, the hurt and pain that that suffering awakens takes time to get over.”

Before getting involved in a new relationship, I am a firm advocate of us taking time for serious introspection to learn about ourselves. Ask yourself some vital questions that will bring much clarity and allow you to honestly get to know yourself.

  • What about this man made him so attracted to you?
  • When were you happiest in the relationship?
  • What aspects of his character gave you cause to pause?
  • How many times did he offer genuine support?
  • How often did his words pierce you?
  • After the first incident, why didn’t you walk away?
  • Who did you go to for counsel about this man?
  • Was that confidant in a position to give you healthy relationship advice?
  • At any point, did you ever pray and ask God if He was pleased with the union?
  • Did you witness the fruit of this man’s relationship with God before dating?
  • How did you view your worth before dating this man?
  • How did you view your worth after the relationship ended?

That was a lot! Introspection is not a one-size-fits-all process. We all take in and analyze information differently. I think there’s great truth when they say we date the same men with different names. All I’m offering, fellow navigator, are some great starters to get you to begin noticing your patterns.

“Our healing doesn’t come from any one human being; it comes from God.”

Because of our environments growing up, family dynamics, and other factors, I believe we continue vicious cycles when we choose to go it alone. The beauty of our faith in God is that He never leaves us. Even when those around us fail to come through, our Father in heaven is always there.

Always.

Fellow navigator, don’t allow past hurts to keep you from future promises. We’re not men haters. We’re not bound by the pain of people who used and abused us. We are strong, brilliant, caring women who have much to offer the world. We grow from our less-than-stellar situations and move one step closer to being who God created us to be.

Have you ever been accused of being a man hater because of the stance you’ve taken when it comes to dating relationships? What have you learned about yourself regarding romantic relationships? I’d love to hear your story!

Dear Navigator, Can I Write My Own Love Story?

I secretly wish we were able to create the situations and circumstances surrounding when, where, and how we meet “the one.” I mean, after 30 years of being with myself, I have a pretty good idea of what I want and need in a significant other. Right? Probably not.

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned to identify the personalities that don’t mesh with mine. It’s true that some people just won’t ever get along, no matter how hard each party tries. Why? Because there are things about us that will never change.

With me, I know that I can only go so many days without working or doing something productive. My father recently reminded me of this during one of our conversations. Apparently, I had been complaining about how tired and inundated with work I was not too long ago. Now, with countries around the world combating the spread of coronavirus, my work has reduced significantly. As such, I have unexpectedly received much needed time to relax and recuperate.

Now, most people would probably welcome the break with arms wide open, right? Right! Not me. I mean, I spent the first 2-3 days in my home enjoying my own company and doing absolutely nothing. However, it’s now day six; I’m sick of not working.

When you love what you do…

What was the point of that tangent? Simply to say that, no matter how hard I try to change certain aspects of my character and personality, I know who I am and the things about myself that remain the same. With that, as much as I’d love to write my own love story, I really don’t have a firm handle on love and relationships to be able to do it well.

If things were left up to me, I would meet my future spouse while travelling abroad somewhere. I’d be carrying on with my schedule for that day, going from one client appointment to another. In a brief moment of providence, he’d see me walking briskly through the crowd and everything in his world would stop. By happenstance, he’d find out that we had some mutual acquaintances in the city and ask them to introduce us. When we met for the first time, I wouldn’t be particularly impressed and wouldn’t want to know him as anything more than a friend. After some time getting to know each other, he’d finally take the plunge and divulge his true feelings. (Naturally, by this time, I would’ve already developed feelings for him.) From that moment on, our relationship would shift to being more intentional to see if we are God’s best for each other.

Nothing but laughs

Alas, this is but a dream. Back to reality, I continue living my life. I don’t spend much time fanatisizing about this mystery man and how we’ll meet. No, thoughts of him only awaken in moments when I need to remind myself that he is out there somewhere waiting for me. Although I long to be a wife and mother, I don’t know if I’d want to write my love story. There’s beauty in the mystery of not knowing how things will unfold.

What if he and I have already met? What if we totally missed each other years ago because neither of us were ready? What if the next time we meet there’ll be fireworks, a string orchestra, and the works? I like not knowing because I’m not living for a particular moment or waiting for a specific sign.

Facts.

Fellow Navigator, there is great temptation in wanting to write your love story and know exactly when the love of your life is going to show up. Is this something you struggle with? Do you find yourself anxiously wanting to know when it’s going to happen? Tell me about it!

Ready or Not: Money Management Matters – Exercising Caution

Debt. The four-letter word that seems to have many of us bound in a never-ending cycle of monthly payments and interest accumulation. You may find yourself in debt because you needed to pay for one (or multiple) college degrees or certification programs to obtain a more lucrative financial and career opportunity. Another possibility is that debt came crashing at your door when your car suddenly broke down, a loved one without health insurance unexpectedly fell ill, or credit cards became your best friends because overnight your expenses were more than the money you were bringing home.

Whatever the reason, fellow navigator, I’m sure you can relate to the overwhelming feeling of being in debt. While this is a situation a host of us may find ourselves in, we don’t have to stay in that place. There are a plethora of debt management programs and financial advising companies out there that can assist in sorting out money issues. Fellow navigator, wisdom says to exercise a great amount of caution before using one of these programs or services. When it comes to money management, a company or individual’s credibility and reputation should be vetted and held in the highest regard. If you have even a slight suspicion that the business or representative is not being completely forthright about products, services, or processes, you have every right to walk away.

Something’s not right here

It seems this is something we don’t talk about enough, so I’m going to bring it up here. There are a lot of scammers out there; people have no problem taking your money because you failed to do your due diligence. What does “due diligence” look like? It’s verifying the company or individual’s information through various means. No, due diligence is not just making sure the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages are up and running. No, it is not only about going to the website and seeing how visually appealing it is. Due diligence involves reading customer reviews across multiple platforms. The business may have reviews on the company website, but you take it a step further to see if there are reviews or comments about services on their social media pages as well. Platforms like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) also allow you to read what others have to say about their experience with a company.

After you’ve found the review pages, what should you do? Read what others have to say. If I see a company with mostly five stars, I almost always immediately bypass the high reviews to read the one and two-star ratings. Check to see if there’s a common theme regarding the justification for others giving such low reviews. If nearly every one or two-star rating has to do with the company’s employees providing poor customer service, that is something you should not take lightly. A financial advising company is run by people telling you how best to manage your money. If those individuals are unable to deliver good customer service, I’d think twice about allowing them anywhere near my money.

Taking my money anywhere but here

Due diligence also involves finding out about the company’s specific products, services, and processes, then comparing them to their competitors. I don’t think we do this enough. Maybe it requires more time than we’re willing to put in? Whatever the reason, we must do better in this area. Money management companies are vying for your business. Some offer better packages than others because they understand that they have to make themselves stand out in order to make you their customer. It is your right to tell one company that you want to shop around to see if you can find value elsewhere.

Now, finding value is not always about getting the lowest quote. (Remember, you get what you pay for.) If three out of four businesses charge roughly $1,000 for a service and you find one that only costs $400, don’t do it. That $600 discrepancy could be due to a lack of experience, expertise, or just flat-out incompetence. We don’t always have to learn the hard way (by having our hard-earned money stolen from us) that being able to research market value for a service or product is an asset. If you don’t have the funds to pay the going rate, it may be best to wait and minimize the chances of being cheated.

Too many times we, as women, are scammed and conned by people when it comes to money management matters because our ignorance gets the best of us. Ignorance is not about our intellectual level; it’s about information we don’t know. At the end of the day, information is the best commodity. The most effective way for us to become more financially savvy is by educating ourselves about these debt management companies before spending a dime.

Did you like the post? Is money management something you want to discuss further? Let’s keep the conversation going! What have you learned by practicing due diligence? Leave your comments below!

See Me: A Terrible Case of Insecurity

Insecurity is like a plague

It takes a woman who is truly self-aware to admit to having bouts of insecurity every once in a while. You know who she is. You see her all the time. She walks around with her head held high; she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. When she enters a room, all eyes shift to her because she commands attention everywhere she goes. Everyone wants to know her opinion because they value her contribution. Based on what you see, this woman has it all together. She’s a boss babe who slays at everything she does. Not only are her outfits and hair are always on point, but she’s poised and articulate.

Get it, girl!

By all accounts, she is who every woman aspires to be in life. Yet, she carries a secret that, if exposed, would make her appear just as real as the rest of us. This woman, the one we idolize and want to emulate, has moments where her mental health crumbles. Out of nowhere, after weeks and months of living her best life, a word or comment causes her to spiral into a state of insecurity. She suddenly begins to grow silent and secludes herself into a corner. When asked for her opinion, she stumbles over finding the right words. Something about her is off; she’s not who you’re used to seeing. She calls everything into question because she wonders if any of it was ever real.

It takes a woman who is truly self-aware to admit to having bouts of insecurity every once in a while.

— Ethleen Sawyerr

Insecurity is that annoying whisper that you’re not good enough. It’s the loud voice blaring words of self-doubt and disappointment. Insecurity can break even the toughest woman and make her feel like she is not enough. Its impact can be so strong that is causes her to throw her hands up in the air and give up on everything she’s ever worked for. She dare not speak to anyone about her thoughts of insecurity – how she questions almost every decision she makes – because then the world will know that she’s not who she presents herself to be.

When lies are louder than the truth

Although this woman doesn’t exist, there are pieces of her in all of us. I see myself in her when I step back or hide my brilliance and talents to appear less threatening. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been told that I’m intimating. This notion had absolutely nothing to do with me; rather, it had everything to do with how that individual viewed herself compared to me. While I never asked this person to try to be like me, she felt the need to do this. At the end of the day, she revealed her own insecurities when she disclosed her disdain for me. Little did she know that projecting her insecurities onto me led me down my own rabbit hole of lies and untruths.

The thing about insecurity is that it can go both ways. Oftentimes, the one who feels insecure switches up her behavior so suddenly or severely that it’s quite obvious to others (including the one who unknowingly caused the offense). Eventually, that individual becomes uncomfortable and exhibits her own form of insecurity. The cycle will continue until we put an end to it.

It ends today

Fellow navigator, are you guilty of projecting your insecurities onto another? If you could go back, how would you handle the situation differently? Leave a comment below!

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Not I: Thinking of Settling?

There’s something to be said for being a single woman in her 30’s in 2020. Unlike some little girls, I didn’t spend too much time fantasizing about a dream wedding or fairytale life with a husband, house, and picket fence. In my younger years, I just assumed marriage would find its way to me during college or immediately after. I watched the romcoms about how two random strangers met in the most unexpected way, fell in love, then walked down the aisle shortly after their chance encounter. It happened in the movies; I knew that was the kind of story I wanted.

“It wasn’t until marriage took away one of us that we picked our heads up out our books to see the world had continued spinning.”

It was easy to continue living while waiting for the man of my dreams to magically appear. After all, I wasn’t the only single person in my social circle in those days. In fact, my single female friends and I felt empowered to continue pursuing our individual dreams because we had each other to count on for motivation and encouragement. It wasn’t until marriage took away one of us that we picked our heads up out our books to see the world had continued spinning. I don’t intend to make marriage sound like a grim ending to an otherwise happy life. No. Instead, I use those words because, as we later learned, that particular friend’s marriage ended up robbing her of years she can never get back.

Learning from mistakes.

My dear friend said “I do” to a man, who cheated on her even before they were married, out of a sense of duty to family members. The entire trajectory of her life changed the day she married a man who never cared about her dreams, goals, or aspirations. I wish I could go back and scream even louder in my friend’s ear about the visible red flags of her then boyfriend. I wish I would have been strong enough to tell her that her family got it wrong, even at the risk of losing our friendship. Sadly, I didn’t.

My friend’s marriage ended not too long after it started, and she is now a single mom struggling to make ends meet. The young, vibrant college grad with a world of possibilities in front of her now has a new reality filled with studying late at night, taking care of her child, and working several jobs to put food on the table and keep the lights on. If this is your reality, dear navigator, I don’t mean to condemn. Life’s circumstances often place us in positions where we are helpless or feel as though we are. I commend my friend for doing what she needs to do for her family. I applaud her for continuing down her path to obtaining higher education in the face of adversity.

When I think about settling for the next man who rolls up in a Jaguar wearing a three-piece suit and uttering sweet nothings, I think of my friend. The unraveling of her marriage was inevitable. Those of us in her social circle knew he didn’t appreciate or deserve her. She valued education. He cared about looking like he was a million bucks. She enjoyed going out to social gatherings filled with art and culture. His idea of a good time was going to the club or drinking. She dreamed of traveling to foreign lands and speaking other languages. He was perfectly fine staying in his little corner of the world until the day he died (with occasional trips to the land of his ancestors). I didn’t realize it then, but I see now that my friend settled big time for this man. She cast her plans aside to be with him, and it ended up being a terrible decision.

“Those of us in her social circle knew he didn’t appreciate or deserve her.”

What does “settling” look like? It can take on different forms for each of us. For me, it’s choosing to be with someone who doesn’t love children. It’s saying “I do” to a man who would rather sit in front of a TV all day than spend quality time with his wife and children. For me, “settling” is picking a man who has no interest in other languages, cultures, or people.

Not settling.

Think about the things that matter the most to you. Now, think about the complete opposite of those things. When you entertain a potential partner who is the absolute opposite of all that matters most to you in the world, you’re settling. Don’t get me wrong, there is such a thing as compromise. That’s when you and your partner meet halfway or intentionally makes sacrifices for the other. I don’t care for American football. However, if the man I wanted to marry was a diehard football fan who wanted to share his passion with me, I’d suck it up and sit with him to watch a few games. This is true compromise.

If truth be told, I’ve thought about throwing in the towel and dating just any man. However, I just can’t get myself to do it. Fellow navigator, if there are attributes and things you truly desire in your spouse, don’t give up on meeting someone with them. I am a firm believer that God really does give us the desires of our hearts. He’s done it for so many before us, so we must trust that He can do it for us.

If you’ve considered settling, what prevented you from going through with it? If you did settle, what did you learn about yourself from the experience? Share your thoughts with our community!

Dear Navigator, I’m Not Who He Really Wants

It’s taken me quite some time to realize that Christian men are capable of putting up fronts and playing the game when it comes to relationships. Growing up in the church, we’ve all subconsciously mastered the lingo, dress, and behavioral patterns that can fool anyone. We know when to shout, how long to praise break, and what to say to sound uber spiritual. The problem, I think, is that we’ve gotten so good at these social cues that we’ve thrown sincerity and honesty out the window.

If this sounds like a harsh critique, it’s because it is. There’s a phenomenon happening with men in the church where they say they want a godly woman, yet they pursue everyone but the woman they claim to desire. Let’s be clear: I am speaking from my experience. These are statements made based on those I know and see. This may not apply to everyone. However, we cannot pretend that this doesn’t happen in the church; it does.

Here’s a classic example. A man who is extremely vocal about his faith (otherwise labeled “sold out” or “on fire for God”) makes it widely known that he desires a woman who is a prayer warrior, saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. This woman needs to love God more than she loves herself and be willing to enter the ministry because that is where he’s headed. Does he sound familiar? Do you know this kind of man? Read on.

Preach, pastor-in-training

One day, you notice this man’s demeanor has changed. He’s not as vocal about the qualities he seeks in a wife, and he’s most definitely not singing the same tune about wanting an ultra-virtuous woman. Instead, his thinking comes across as being more liberal. He has become open to the idea of being with someone who is seemingly striving to be a good, God-fearing woman. Suddenly, it’s okay if she has flaws and imperfections because only Jesus is perfect.

After some time of setting the stage, this same man begins bringing around a “friend” and introducing her to people in the church. He speaks of her desire to know God more and how she’s really digging deep into her Word. You’re no fool; you know what it is. This woman being presented to you is the one this man desires. He switched up because he sought the freedom to pursue her without judgment because she is not the kind of woman he preached about wanting for so long.

The man from this elaborate example doesn’t exist. He does, but he’s not one particular man. The bigger message is that good men in the church are becoming few and far in between. As a result, just like in the world, men in the church have the ability to say and do almost anything they want when it comes to relationships. They can preach about wanting Rachel, Mary, or Esther. When it comes down to it, though, they switch up and pursue Bathsheba, Jezebel, or Delilah.

Jennifer, Lisa, Anna, Maricel, Marissa, etc.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a man pursuing a woman because he finds her attractive. In fact, physical attraction is one of the fundamental basics of any relationship. There is a problem with men going on and on about how they want meek, humble, and godly women when they turn around and date individuals who are the complete opposite.

He wants to have his cake and eat it.

I’m not a hater. We (the church) need to openly call Christian men out on their hypocrisy. As a Christian woman, if I began dating a “good” man who wasn’t in the church, people would have something to say about me left and right. But if a man chooses to date a woman who wasn’t active in the church community, those same people are silent.

Here’s my message to men in the church. Men, if you prefer a certain type of woman who is not me, that is okay. However, keep the touting about your so-called “wholesome, God-fearing woman” to a minimum because I’m not really who you want.

What do you think, Navigator? I am overthinking? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Ready or Not: Cooking

“Your single years should be the time when you prepare yourself for marriage.” Fellow Navigator, have you heard something like this before? I call rubbish. My single years should be the time I prepare myself for life. It’s as if being a wife is solely about doing domestic work; it’s not.

While I disagree with the notion that my time right now must be devoted to learning how to cook, clean, and fold fitted sheets, I believe that adulting requires basic knowledge of these things. Let’s take cooking, for example. As an African woman, I didn’t really learn how to cook my traditional food until undergrad; it was embarrassing. There was a guy who basically told me I was his perfect woman, except I had the fatal flaw of not knowing how to cook cassava leaves, potato leaves, peanut butter stew, and the full gamut of Sierra Leonean dishes. At the time, I used his rubbish statement as fuel for my fire and became determined to learn how to cook my country’s cuisine.

In hindsight, I think back and laugh (that’s what I should’ve done in his face). Seriously, cooking is something just about anyone can learn. Unless you’re planning on competing for a Michelin star or becoming a top chef, learning the basics of boiling, frying, and sautéing is not that difficult. This man acted as if I couldn’t spend some time in the kitchen with my mother or numerous aunties to learn the art of cooking from them.

Good to the last scoop

If a man ever has the audacity to tell you to your face that you’re not wife material because you can’t cook, you politely remind him that cooking is a learned skill. Instead of complaining, he could gift you a few lessons to ignite a passion for it. Better yet, he could accompany you to those classes and you both could have a fun date night.

What happened to the guy from undergrad? Well, I ended up cooking a Sierra Leonean dish for him one day, and he loved it. It’s too bad I was over him by that point (I only did it to prove I was capable).

Like I said, cooking is something anyone can do; cooking well is a skill that is acquired after serious practice. Let’s be real: eating out all the time is expensive, unhealthy, and inconvenient at times. I mean, even if I order in, I have to pay for delivery, tip the delivery person, know what I want ahead of time so it’s at my door before I get home, or wait in line at the restaurant for other people to figure out their lives and what to order. I can’t. Over the years, however, I’ve learned some very basic dishes that are quick, easy, and won’t break the bank.

Noodles, veggies, oil, and you’re good to go

Here are three of my go-to non-African dishes:

  • Garlic in oil
  • Meat and stew
  • Quesadilla

For the Navigators who are amateur or professional chefs, what are some quick, relatively easy recipes you can share with our community?

See Me: For the Record

Not Gonna Beg for Your Time and Attention

It was not ok for him to beg to be inserted into my life and interrupt my regular flow only to neglect me by withholding his time and attention once I allowed him in.

— Ethleen Sawyerr

I’ve often heard it said that men enjoy the chase when it comes to relationships. A man will put every shred of effort into pursuing a woman until she acquiesces to giving him a chance. Once she no longer becomes a prize to win and her heart is committed to him, he settles into his usual routine and the grand gestures end. As a result, some women prolong the chase to ensure that the man puts in enough work and doesn’t get lazy in the pursuit.

While many of the modern dating guides and relationship gurus encourage women to flip the script and take back control of this all-too-common behavior, I just don’t have the time and energy to spend hours and days on end going out of my way to make a man think I’m not interested when I really am. More than that, I skip the dance and let a man know some of my basic expectations once I develop interest because I know who I am and what I want at this point in life. Some men complain that women are difficult to read and never say what they mean, yet so many guys fail to listen attentively even when we state our requests. Here’s my unofficial rule: I make my wishes and desires known once. If no change is made, I give my heart permission to drift.

Time to move on

Recently, I met a man I was only slightly attracted to. In complete honesty, this man would have never even crossed my radar as a potential romantic interest because he didn’t come anywhere close to being someone I would consider myself compatible with. However, I was open to seeing where things would go because he seemed sincere in his pursuit. We came to a point where the amount of effort he placed in maintaining consistent communication significantly dwindled, so I told him in a very frank manner just how I felt. He appeared to receive my concerns in the moment, but his later actions communicated something completely different.

In a span of one week, I went from being open to giving this man a chance to allowing him to fall several rungs down my priority ladder. It was not ok for him to beg to be inserted into my life and interrupt my regular flow only to neglect me by withholding his time and attention once I allowed him in. I was fine doing my own thing before he came along, and I won’t play his little mind games. Whether he realizes it or not, that’s what they are. Men who completely give up the chase to keep a woman’s heart after she’s opened it to him cause a woman to quickly wake up and realize that they are undeserving of her love.

If you think you deserve better, it’s probably because you do.

My loyalty and devotion come at a high price: a man’s time and attention. I don’t need costly gifts or empty words and promises in a romantic relationship; I only long to feel like an important part of a man’s life. If he has time to faithfully go to the gym and hang out with his bros, then he is more than capable of giving me at least 30 minutes of his undivided attention daily. Period.

What do you think about the value of your time and attention? Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Share your thoughts below!

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Hello, Navigator

Welcome to our online community for those of us navigating single life after 30.

Growing up in the church, I’ve learned a thing or two about expectations and how to comport myself. I’ve also learned that the place riddled with imperfect people serving a perfect God doesn’t always get it right.

Why start another online community?

  • Not all experiences are the same.
  • Instead of bashing the church, let’s provide space to air our grievances and offer solutions.
  • None of us are alone in navigating our singleness in a society that tells us where we should be at a specific stage in life.
  • The journey is more fun with a few friends along for the ride.

What will we talk about?

  • Career
  • Church Life
  • Dating
  • Faith
  • God
  • Identity
  • Relationships

If you’re wondering what sparked all of this, check out my book. We have one life to live, and it’s our duty to make it a good one. Granted, some days are better than others; that’s life. Your story is different from mine, but we often experience similar situations that bind us together.

Whether you’re divorced, separated, or have never been kissed, you can find a safe space here. As women, we can truly gain strength from one another. Are you ready to go on this journey together, Navigator? Let’s do it!