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Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: “Dating Realities”

Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: Should You Date Someone Who is Separated?

Time is a funny thing.

We have a lot less of it than we think we do. That’s a mistake.

I was looking at Facebook the other day and perusing family pictures from my relatives in St. Louis. I saw my one cousin, and I do recall that he got a girl pregnant while in college at Missouri-Columbia, also known as Mizzou. He was about 20 or 21 when this happened. To make a long story short, I saw a picture of him holding a baby, and of course, I thought, “Wow—he’s having another kid!” But that was not the case. You see—that picture was his now 21-year-old son—who looks just like him—and he’s married with a young kid!

Where does the freaking time go? I’ve been so busy with my own life and affairs that it’s easy to lose track of those around you. I had no idea that an entire new generation spouted right beneath my nose.

Even the other day, I was hanging with friends I’ve known for a while, and one of the guys is now a grown man in his late thirties. We discussed doing a podcast from various lenses and perspectives; then he told me, “And Kerry—you can be the OG of the group—or the uncle with experience and insight!” He had no idea how much that hit me like a bag of bricks.

I’ve always been the youngest. I’ve always been seen as a young adult. And now I’m the OG? WTH?

My friends—time waits for no one. No one.

Some of you out there are waiting for the perfect match. I mean, PERFECT. I’m sorry to break the news. You might be waiting for something that does not exist.

This is especially true when you are single and 30 years of age and older. This is definitely the case when you’re over 40, and let’s not even talk about when we have jumped over the mid-century mark. We have baggage, regrets, pains, broken hearts, and many bad decisions we have made with the opposite sex. Some of us have had children with multiple partners, married numerous times, and somehow keep attracting emotionally unavailable people, which leads to the same destination: regret and loneliness.

So, what’s the purpose of this blog, and what am I saying?

I’m not suggesting you fill in the proverbial blank with just anyone. But you might find that the person you should be with might be someone you already know. Yep—that person that you’ve friend-zoned because they dated one of your friends back in high school, and you’re on the precipice of having grandkids now and still won’t consider that person.

Many of you are wrapped up in your possessions and can’t fathom getting married and possibly losing half of what you own. I will give anyone $100.00 if they can show me a hearse with a U-Haul attached to it—with all of the deceased person’s possessions going to be buried with them.

Steve Jobs died at 56. Many would say that it was too young to pass away. But before he died, he wrote a letter to the thousands of employees at Apple. He talked about adjusting to being rich, which many admired; he also recognized the things he missed out on that he discovered were priceless, such as true friendship, having someone to hold you and be vulnerable with, or raising children and spending quality time with them. One of the most brilliant minds of our lifetime regretted not living his life to the fullest, which had nothing to do with money.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you don’t have a lot of time to live. Don’t be so picky and discriminating that your quirks will cause you to miss out on true love that likely isn’t framed how you think it should be.

For some reason, we believe somebody will drop off the conveyor belt and right into our laps—unscathed from life. And even if that were true, they must deal with you, who is imperfect.

We get one shot at this. Don’t allow your ego and pride to keep you from experiencing true intimacy and what matters in life. Stop going out with shallow, materialistic people and find someone interested in your soul, not just your FICO score. Not that money and possessions aren’t necessary for this life, but the problem is that we often lead with material things and assess their relationship viability by virtue of what they own. It’s the silliest value system to determine one’s personal value based on their balance sheet.

Trust me—heed this. Reject all those games and what your friends think. Make your life incredible and find someone who can genuinely complement you in that pursuit. Which again, I believe, is someone you already know.

About the Author:

Kerry Neal is the founder and creator of Urban Birds & Bees, a social change movement and podcast that elevates the discussion regarding Black relationships including dating practices, mate selection, and self-awareness. Originally from Flint, Michigan by way of St. Louis, Kerry facilitates transparent conversations that addresses common misconceptions and belief systems that often govern dating practices in the Black community. Kerry studied Psychology at Cal State Fullerton, Leadership & Management/Organizational Development at University of La Verne, and is completing his Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership at Cal State San Bernardino.

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