• DeAara Lewis

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The Dating Down Syndrome – An Independent Woman’s Memoir on Clipping Her Wings to be Loved…Part I

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Dating down. We all have done it. We all have silenced that little voice inside of us when we’ve connected with a guy (or girl) who we knew just wasn’t on our level. I don’t mean higher or lower, but we just weren’t speaking the same language. We hung in there anyway, hoping that one day our words, wants and desires would no longer be lost in translation. But learning sooner or later that we should have listened and heeded the warning of that little voice from the very beginning.

The other day I watched an episode of Sex and the City. This was the episode when Carrie was dating Berger and she received a very nice advance on her book while he was met with the fate of being dropped by the very same publisher.

Carrie tried, throughout the episode, to downplay her success so Berger wouldn’t feel inferior or insecure. For a hot second, it seemed that Berger had some awareness about himself when he confessed, “I don’t want to be that guy.” However, in the end, he fully became that guy, you know the one, intimidated by a woman’s success and broke up with Carrie via a post it note.

I remember thinking when I first watched this episode, “Too bad, if Carrie knew Berger was going to dump her anyway, she could have spent that time celebrating her achievements.”

However, the other night when I watched that same episode, my attitude wasn’t so matter-of-fact. I actually felt sad because I’ve lived a little more since Carrie’s ill-fated relationship with Berger first debuted to single women around the world.

I know what it feels like to play it small and downplay success so others won’t feel intimidated. This is actually something I’m aggressively working through with my Life Coach. Sometimes I feel sad when I think about how much further I would be in my life, in my career, in my peace if I wasn’t trying to hold someone else up.

It seems so cliche’ because damn near every single woman who is successful echoes a similar verdict – success is kryptonite to a woman’s relationship. However, I wonder do women who are successful in their careers somewhat aid in Cupid not being on their side.

Only being able to speak for myself, I can say that I recently discovered that I unconsciously dated “down” with a few of my past relationships. Now before anyone gets offended thinking that I am implying that I’m somehow more valuable or carry more worth than the next person, that’s not what I mean. What I am saying is, I have dated men who were not as evolved as I was in terms of their career, their thought process and their emotional literacy – three things that are very important to me.

In the past, I’ve put myself in some risky situations, clipped my wings just to be accepted and wanted but in the end, I always woke up to the post it note left by a Berger saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t. Please don’t hate me.”

I really don’t know what the answer is. Dating older men, dating men in other states, the theories go on and on. What I do know and can certainly attest to because I lived it is – compromising core values is NEVER EVER a good idea. Every time I did it, I got fucked over. Every single time.

I’m a very liberal woman, but I also grew up in the south and have some traditional roots that were planted deep in me. There are just some things, I cannot live without when it comes to romantic relationships. For instance, a man opening the door for me, especially on our first date is important. The last time I went out on a date and remained in a relationship with a man who did not open the car door, he turned out to be a bitter, selfish, narcissistic asshole who blamed everyone else for his problems. When he didn’t open the car door for me, a red flag immediately went up, but I chose to ignore it.

Click Here for Part II

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