I was recently putting together a note for our readers about bad boys: why we choose them, why they are drawn to good girls, etc.  After I put the article to bed, I was prompted to take one of those ubiquitous quizzes via Facebook, this one titled: What 80’s Anthem Are You?  Every now and then my curiosity is peaked by one of these surveys that makes a general guess at who you are based on what shoe you would wear or where you like to vacation, but rarely do I take them, and it would be even more rare for me to post the results, but what Salt-N-Pepa idolizing, door knocker wearing, Roxanne Shante quoting, self-respecting Brooklyn girl of the 80’s could resist knowing which hip hop anthem they personified?  My results: Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody“.  Yep, I got the original pop princess dancing around in multi colored tutu’s,exaggerated hair fashion, and ultra-bright leggings–more who I am now than who I was then, so points for random quiz accuracy.

The results of the survey were followed with an embed of the video that I watched while infectiously dancing in my seat, but listened to more intently than I ever had.  This party anthem was actually the lonely girl anthem.  Whitney was singing words that many people, self included, have said when faced with lonely nights (and empty beds).  Sure, the daytime keeps you busy, you’re focused on all of the things you have going on in your life, you’re thoroughly satisfied with your career and you’re better than apt socially but those damn nights….when the night falls my lonely heart calls.  

So as my adult self became more acquainted with the meaning of the lyrics (or my interpretation), I found that my article about bad boys was much less of a necessity, I had the answer.  Let’s face it, Whitney had her infatuation with a self proclaimed “bad boy” but her stated truth was that it was driven by her own internal bad girl, the self that A&R, branding, and carefully coiffed hair can mask but not repair.  It’s not that bad boys are drawn to us or us to them; it’s that we stop working on ourselves and begin focusing on what we want or need from others during the love seeking stage.  We make the process of self improvement less significant while we pick a match, unfortunately we’re picking a match for an unfinished or even a broken product without realizing it.  We may as well publish the worst singles ad ever written: Seeking the splintered saucer to my cracked teacup.

When we go into a process of selection based on our immediate needs, we fall easily.  Like Whitney, you’re trying to figure out how to chase your blues away so you send out a primal search party that is looking to check off certain boxes: tall, dark, handsome, etc.  It’s not just the average girl with a 9 to 5 that’s falling prey to her short list of desires, you can turn on your television and see it from reality stars to political standouts.  Our primary needs are so trivial that any man could be a match, and while most aren’t, we miss it, because in the early stages when you are driven by the lizard brain you become “dickmatized” (thank you Jill Scott), you (think) you’re in love and (you have) lost your senses.  

Sooner or Later the fever ends and I wind up feeling down; when you end the process of picking you before you pick a partner the satisfaction is short lived.  It’s present, but short-lived.  You dance over and over again with the wrong partners trying to find someone that you are in sync with.   At first you live in the moment of a heated tango, twirling sensuously, legs entwined, cheeks pressed closely together, mouths hovering in whispered exchanges—sounds sexy, right?  Then you transition to a more stable pattern of ups and downs, some days are a well timed Chicago style two step and other days you’re hard core Krumping, until the imbalance becomes too much and the fever ends.  

This could have all been avoided if you would have run from what I call “the lonely”.  The lonely hovers during the quiet hours. The hours when you could be learning a new skill or hobby or the time that you could be using to meditate or focus on other means of self improvement becomes clouded by the mental rundown of what you don’t have.  When your best girlfriend mentions that she is taking a much needed vacation with her husband, you allow the lonely to force you to sift through your contact list for that fling who’s number you should have gotten rid of a long time ago.  The lonely clouds your view of the options that singularity provides to do the small things like, travel solo–picking what you want to do and when you want to do it without consulting a group or the big things like, career changes/decisions–something that many women (and men) say is greatly impacted by their marital status.  The lonely is guilty of a lot of poor choices and missed opportunity.

Just picture the other side, the side that includes “picking you before you pick him”.  The fever wouldn’t end, we wouldn’t wind up feeling down, we wouldn’t lose our senses if we went in to dating situations with personal knowledge of self, a feeling of solitary completion and an understanding that we will never pick perfection just a perfect complement to exactly who we are in that moment.  If you’re mature, wise and ready when the fever ends, you’ll find something else to be hot about.

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