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Real Life Stories
By: Melissa Asante
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From one over 30 something sister to another, it seems that we will be left on the shelves because we do not conform to certain courting codes. I saw a friend’s Facebook status the other day, stating that women who were single in their 30’s are “unmanageable” to date as they are less obedient and defy the codes of conduct (whatever that entails). Throughout the course of the day numerous angry women left their comments defending the rights of all singletons out there. I knew that this was

However, it got me thinking about my single status, and whether part of the reason I was still ‘seeking’ (or rather ‘desperately seeking’) was because I myself was portraying the negative attributes of a 30something Independent Single Woman. In these days of modernism, feminism and freedom of speech, are women still supposed to play the needy, meek- and- mild role to bag a man?  
The following day after reading my friend’s status and questioning my own behaviour as a singleton - I received a call from a guy that I had recently met, and been on a date with the week before. He was calling to arrange a second date. At first I was hesitant, as to be honest - I wasn’t sure whether we had a lot in common. In addition, being brutally frank - the desire to want to jump him whilst we spoke over candlelight dinner was lacking (normally an indication that there is, or in this case not, physical chemistry brewing on my part).  I considered his date proposal - and on the empty window of ‘nothingness’ in the way of other potential dates I agreed to meet.
We met in my local pub that Friday, where I was already enjoying a glass of red with my colleagues and was mid-way in conversation when he showed up.  I introduced him to the table and went to the bar to get him a drink (another sign of being an independent woman maybe?).  On my return he was in conversation with a girl from my office - so I proceeded to finish my earlier conversation with two of my male colleagues.  It was only after finishing laughing (maybe too loudly) at the punch-line of a joke, that I turned and realised he was staring at me with an angry glare. He walked over to me and hissed “don’t bother finishing your drink, we’re going now”.  I looked at him - horrified, as he proceeded to take a hold of my arm to hurry me along.  I followed him outside confused, and at that moment still single as far as I knew; I was clueless as to why I was suddenly in some bizarre domestic. When we got outside - I asked why on earth  he had behaved in such a way.  His defensive reply was that I should have stood next to him when he was chatting with my colleague, not gone to the bar to get him a drink, and in fact it was his job to offer me a drink. Furthermore- I shouldn’t have continued the conversation with the two guys I have worked with for over 3 years, as in his words ‘it was disrespectful’.  
I stared at him in disbelief, struggling to see reason in his logic.  I was about to apologise but stopped myself, as infact I wasn’t sorry for behaving as I normally would for the sake of someone that was not my boyfriend, my fiancé or my husband.  He then went on to tell me that he thought I was too ‘new age and liberal’ and possibly that I had been single too long to understand certain codes of conduct’…   My mind scrolled back to my friend’s Facebook status - I was the ‘unmanageable’ to date woman, but actually there was nothing ‘unmanageable’ about my behaviour.
Had I behaved in the manner ‘date guy’ would have liked me to, I would have not been true to myself and would have felt uncomfortable keeping up the pretence just to make him feel like he had me under control and that he had the upper hand (there definitely wasn’t any power struggle coming from my end).
Going back to my friends Facebook status, I could only conclude that in his quest for love - he was dating women that he had no control of, and was going for the wrong ones, which is all it boils down to. It’s not an age thing it’s simply compatibility (or lack of).  
I suggested to ’date guy’ we part ways as clearly we had nothing in common, and I was not willing to change my personality for any man let alone someone I had only been on one date with. He still insisted that he take me home, but I stood firm and hailed a cab for one (good riddance).
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