By Ilex Bien-Aime
Often times when I sit down to write, I think of my future children. I think about the things that I have gone through and how I see those situations much differently now. In life you really don’t get “do-overs” but if I could keep my children away from some of the unnecessary heartaches that I have faced, I will try my best to do so. Often times we think about the monetary fortune that we will leave them with. However, we neglect leaving them the fortune of wisdom itself.
I wish that I would have learned not to take dating so seriously at such an early age. Being raised by women, my view of dating differed from most men. I was not the kind of guy who believed in a lot of messing around. Sure I did it once or twice but for the most part, I was a serial monogamist. Now that I look back at it, it was crazy that I was always in love with somebody. From the movies I watched and stories I’d heard, I swear to you that I thought I would find my wife in high school or college and live happily ever after. I didn’t realize how unrealistic this scenario really was. As much as we think we know what we want out of life and relationships, as we mature we will look back and realize that our thoughts have changed several times. When we were 17-22 years old, what did we really know about anything? We barely knew what we wanted our major to be in college and yet we were trying to be in these life changing courtships!
I look back at my twenties and realize that I wasted so much time chasing after relationships that were doomed to fail. We were young and now out on our own. Unlike when we were in college, we now had apartments, cars, and money to spend. This should have been the most selfish time of our lives! Not in a malicious or hurtful way but we should have taken this time to truly discover who we really were and what we really wanted but what did I do? I complicated things by chasing after women that I had no business chasing after!
Whether we realize it or not, we try to grow up too fast. In many cases instead of us learning to grow on our own, we add unnecessary crutches and stumbling blocks to our lives. We barely know what we want while trying to cater to the needs of others. At that time we tried to play “adult house”, when we should have been trying to get our own house in order. We spent too many days and nights crying and moaning for people to whom we gave too much power and attention. Now these people are an after thought, yet the complications from those relationships still haunt us to this very day.
I still have friends who are serial monogamist. They cannot stand to be alone. They break up with one person and are moving them out just to help another person move in. Serial monogamists usually do not see the real issue. They are using others to fill a void that can never truly be filled by anyone else. Often times they don’t really want the person that they are dating, they just don’t want to be alone. It’s a destructive pattern -it’s like being hungry but deciding to snack on chips and cookies. They will never really satisfy you and they are hurting you more than they are helping you.
I am a true believer that we should date around and have fun while we are younger. That does not mean sleep around or whore around and maliciously play games with other people, but just go out and discover who you are and what you really want. More times than not, you will discover that your wants and likes will change drastically over time. Things that you thought were important, mean little to you now. Some of us should also practice being alone. We often ask God to show us our next step or to speak to us and then we never stay still or quiet long enough to hear Him speak. It’s great getting to know another person and finding the one to spend the rest of your days with but I will remind my children to be a little selfish and learn about themselves first.
My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC with my lovely wife. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations.