My partner began his pursuit of me in the fall semester of my junior year during my undergraduate studies. After leaving a chemistry lecture, I stopped to grab Starbucks with a friend before retreating to my dorm to squeeze in a nap before lab later that afternoon. We purchased our ice-cold, sugary-sweet drinks and moved to the outside balcony, relieved to feel a hearty breeze amid intense humidity.
While scanning the area for a place to rest, I noticed a man sitting and studying; for some reason, he felt familiar. Haven’t I seen his face before? Haven’t I felt this attraction to this very man from a distance at some other time? Looking at him and smiling, I cocked my head to the side and racked my brain for some recollection of him and was pleased to see that he was smiling broadly and looking intently at me as well. He stood up from where he was reading and started moving towards me. I felt bold and beautiful, so I turned up the wattage of my smile and took a few steps in his direction as well. When we spoke, it mirrored our non-verbal communication moments earlier.
“I feel like we’ve met before. Do we know each other?”
“Yeah, I feel that too. Did I see you at an event a couple weekends ago?”
“No, I don’t think that was me. Wow, that’s strange. I really feel like we’ve met before”.
We went back and forth like this, amusedly, for a while. I learned a bit about his PhD research and shared that I was looking forward to attending a Zumba class that evening. We exchanged numbers then parted ways warmly; he had an exam in an hour.
The following week, he asked me on a date and I happily obliged. That was several months ago. These days, I contentedly pat myself on the back for deciding to dance my eyes at him on that Starbucks balcony on a muggy August afternoon.
He was serious in speech and in deed about pursuing me from Day 1, and I respect him deeply for his consistency. As our connection deepened, he spoke frankly about the future he planned for us. One day, he casually mentioned that he would like to cover my financial needs fully. We were on a walk, and I remember doing a literal double-take. From our time together, I knew that he was protective of me and that he was a giver by nature. However, I did not see that coming at all and was caught off-guard.
Exuding extreme competence was high on my list of priorities. Moreover, I grappled with a fear of placing myself in a position to be dependent on a man. So much so that my body clenched up immediately upon hearing his words. My reaction was truly visceral; my bootyhole tightened, my chest suddenly felt heavy and my eyes narrowed with a swiftness. Suspicion and fear oozed from my pores. Namely, I was contending with the fear of losing my autonomy and decision-making ability if I became a “kept” woman.
How did I respond? I fought him on it. Taking a strong stance, I made it clear that I wanted to work and make my own money and that I certainly did not, under any circumstances, want him to cover my bills. What on earth would I be bringing to the relationship if I failed to contribute just as much as he did financially?
Good God in Heaven. Since then, I have come to realize that this was a major mistake on my part. In refusing his offer to protect and provide for me in this way, I created unnecessary discomfort. I myself was incredibly uncomfortable, although I could not put my finger on exactly why at the time. He was also visibly uncomfortable as I stated my case. In that moment, it was as though I thrust my palm out to block his thoughtful and sacrificial gift, effectively stopping him from moving closer to me.
In my next post, I plan to discuss the steps I took to understand my own discomfort at being provided for by a man who cherishes me.
Please share your thoughts and your dating stories with me in the comments below! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sondra is pursuing her Masters in Geoscience and Statistics.She nurses a special place in her heart for the art of storytelling and has never once passed up an opportunity to dance.