say, “OK. We’re not really compatible.”
Cecilia: You are dating to get to know somebody. When I was younger, you met a guy and you were just with him. You didn’t veer off to Peter, Paul and Johnny. Now it’s different, but it feels OK because there’s no commitment. I had to open myself up to online dating even though it had a bad stigma. But it was just another vehicle to meet people.
Tracy: Date with no expectations. I’ve learned that you can hit it off with someone, have the same interests and want the same things, but that chemistry isn’t there. I’ve had love connections in which he ended up wanting to get with other women. That didn’t make him a bad guy; it just didn’t make him the guy for me.
On married men:
Tracy: I meet nice guys all the time. You don’t know if they’re gay or married. And I do question it. What I learned—the hard way—is if they say they’re going through a divorce, you really have to ask if they’ve filed for a divorce. I get hit on by more married men than single men. I believe they get away with it a lot because they don’t hide that they’re married.
Erin: I think a lot of women say, “He’s a good man. He might be married, but he’s coming out of this. I better hold on.”
Tracy: They say, “I’ll just settle for this.”
On how quickly sex comes into play:
Krystal: Guys think it’s OK to bring it up on the first date. It’s a turnoff. So you’re not trying to get to know me?
Tracy: A lot of times, it’s a test to see who you are.
Erin: I’ve met guys who can have whoever because of their status. Then there are certain guys who think you look good but really want to get to know you. For some, it might be game. But I have met several lately who are not just trying to get in my pants.
Tracy: I had a guy who got upset or frustrated [when I didn’t say yes to his advances]. I attributed it to what he was used to. I think it made him respect me a bit more because he wanted to stay in the relationship. If we go there, it will happen organically. There’s not a time frame. It’s not the Think Like a Man scenario.
Erin: I think women can be assertive. If you meet somebody, you’re kicking it and it happens, then it happens. I don’t judge anybody for saying you have to wait this long or put it all on the guy because sometimes it’s not the guy.
Cecilia: Sometimes women want it.
On single-parent dating:
Tracy: I don’t think there’s a formula. You have to listen to your gut, know what type of person you’re dealing with and how he’s going to interact with your children. Children are going to feed off your happiness. If you’re happy, they’re happy.
Kia: [I do] a lot of daytime dating or I date when my son is away for the weekend. Every guy I date doesn’t need to meet my son. It’s my job to make sure my son respects me and doesn’t see different men in and out of the house. With most guys, it increases their respect for me because I guess it shows that I have values and standards.
Tracy: Someone has more of an advantage when he has children, and I can really hone in on what type of father he is. Are you the father who sees his child once a month and that’s OK with you? That’s not a good sign that you want to be there for my children.
On marriage pressure:
Kia: When I graduated from college, it wasn’t, “You’re graduating. What job are you going to have?” It was, “You’re not getting married? What are you going to do?” So I found myself trying to make a relationship work that shouldn’t have ever been. And it was the worst two years of my life.
Erin: Nobody’s asking, “Have you found your purpose? Are you giving to people? Are you loving people? What service are you doing?” It’s, “When are you getting a white dress and walking down the aisle? When are you getting a house and having 2.5 kids?” [Ever since I was young,] it’s been coming from everywhere. Women have been programmed for so long that we really have to be deprogrammed.
On faith, hope and purpose:
Krystal: I do believe in marriage. Spiritually, I want God to say, “Hey, that’s your boo!” and put it together. I don’t want it to be forced or superficial.
Erin: I would love to have children. If I get married, that would be great. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to be like, “Oh God, there’s something wrong with me.” I think a lot