Turns out, overtipping the waitstaff doesn't impress me.
Anyone who's living this dating life right now in their late 20s/early 30s will tell you it's hard out here. And I do mean hard.
Being a young urban professional living in the city makes it down right unbearable. You know what, tack on the fact that you're a woman too and it may be impossible.
Sure, you can find a man to share time with here and there, but what about space? Your insecurities. Your highs. Your lows, family life and new beginnings? Looking for someone right now in this day and age is very hard. With so many things at our fingertips that are supposed to help us navigate through this so-called thing we say is life, it has now backfired and become a distraction.
I dated a millionaire last year, and trust me when I tell you that it was not the bee's knees. No, I didn't go out deliberately looking at check stubs, but I did figure I'd go a different route in the dating pool.
Instead of dating the dreamer or "man with the potential," I specifically sought out men who were established in their own right who didn't need any motivation from me to make themselves feel better.
Enter Alex. Or as I liked to call him, A. Rod. A hedge fund guy I had met on Plenty Of Fish whose story checked out from beginning to end (I work in an industry where we can find out anything about anyone with the snap of a finger). A Mexican immigrant who crossed over the border with his mother and older sister as an infant.
His mother put herself through school with the help of welfare to be a scholar graduating from an Ivy League school. A. Rod not only graduated from Harvard and Georgetown, but served in the military, became prominent in politics AND did all of this while raising a son on his own with full parental custody.
Crazy story, yet I was intrigued and inspired.
Our first date was at my favorite Cuban restaurant outside of the city. It's not cheap and homeboy spared no expenses. Whatever he saw on the menu, he ordered. We were surrounded by a plethora of food and drinks. You would've thought it was a party for 10.
I was polishing off my plate while he only took five bites. Literally five bites.
The waiter came and asked me if he could take my plate. I obliged and then A. Rod asked for the check. The waiter asked if he wanted to box up any food and he looked him dead in his face and said, "No."
How are you just gonna waste all that food like that?! Good ass food, too!
But the bill came and not only did he pay, but HE PAID. I'm pretty sure everyone in that whole establishment, from the waiters to every single busboy, made their night once we left. That's when I knew that he wasn't like the others I had previously dated before.
But did it turn me on? Not really. He wasted a lot of food. And I pay attention to actions.
But still, I decided to go with the flow and see if there was more depth to him than stocks and money markets and politics. Sadly, the weeks that followed didn't do anything but make me like him less and less. He called everyday, and intellectual conversations soon turned into what felt like him seeking validation for all his accomplishments.
Or worse: him trying to make me feel inferior because I didn't graduate from an Ivy League school or had no desire to indulge in conversation about things like the Spanish Inquisition. So why did I continue talking to him for as long as I did?
Obviously, for superficial reasons. Any other woman would have been happy as hell to be wined and dined by a millionaire. And honestly, I figured if I tried to stick it out, it would have paid off for me in the long run and I would develop romantic feelings for him eventually. But I couldn't.
Without some sort of emotional connection or substance to him that made me say, "Damn, you're the man I want to be with," I couldn't bring myself to date him any longer.
His actions annoyed me. Overtipping the waitstaff just to show me what you can do. Pretending to be upset because I would pick up my own tab for Starbucks because he was late. Hell, he was late a few times. Name dropping politicians and celebrities (some of which I already knew personally) just because of the line of work I do.
So abruptly, I just stopped seeing him. I stopped seeing an Ivy league educated, political, handsome, money-hungry man because my energy said, "Run, bitch. Run."
And it's been one of the most adult and proudest moments of my life. In that moment I stopped listening to the voices in my head that were telling me to settle for something that brought no type of fulfillment to my life.
I put it out of my head that I was pushing 30 and still single. I put it out of my head that while everyone else was getting married and having babies while I was still going home to a bed alone.
I put it out of my head that many women would have fallen for an opportunity to be with one of DC's finest. I put it out of my head that I was walking away from someone who could provide me with things people would steal and kill for.
And I started putting into my head that I was the master of my own success and the creator of my own happiness. Someone else's accolades didn't mean I was less-than, and their status didn't mean I wasn't worthy of getting what I want in my own right.
I busted my ass to get to where I am today and I did it without needing a man with funds to get me there. And I'm well on my way to obtaining more.
The feeling I was missing from A. Rod was the emotional state to want him. He had everything written on paper, but energy doesn't lie. My spirit didn't lie. And I could no longer lie to myself just for the sake of having a man.
I walked away from a millionaire unapologetically with my head held high and happiness in my heart.
I hope he found a woman to make him happy and give him the validation he needed. But for me, I walked away knowing that dating for status wasn't for me. And because of the place I'm right now in my life, I'm thankful that I did.
This article was originally published at Blacker And Bolder. Reprinted with permission from the author.