The “Home Girl Syndrome”

For the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to this guy on and off, nothing serious just attempting to get to know him. What’s interesting about this interaction is we were introduced through a mutual friend as two people he felt had a lot in common and would hit it off. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for the situation because by now, I’m used to off the wall dating experiences. I mean as a woman dating in this century, I literally feel like I have seen it all. From men hiding wives and girlfriends in bat caves portraying themselves as single, to wanting to benefit off your successes, to even trying to get to know you just to sell you a product. Without restraint and uninhibited, in 4 years, it’s been 1,460 days, 30,063 hours, and 2,103,795 minutes of straight up bullshit.

But still I entertained it, because I’m trying to be open to love.

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a hip hop head. It’s like the cloth I wear that is the gift and the curse. So of course, this interaction started off as such. Two music heads engaged in invariable conversation about our favorite rappers, childhood memories, and adult love for the culture we know as hip hop. Obviously, music is and will always be good energy. I’m a believer that good energy brings good vibes with good people. At this moment, I was vibing with someone I felt I had much in common with, which in these times is very rare. He also was a creative, which was important to me as an expressive and natural creative. Check “number 2” I proclaimed to myself. Girl, this could be going somewhere. Could it be that after all of the, “aw hell nah’s”, and “is this negro serious” moments, I finally connected with someone who I can stand talking to longer than my favorite 3 minute record?

Continuing on, I noticed our interactions were very sporadic, at times even inconsistent. There were times where I felt really connected and excited to attain more from this man, and there were times where our conversations were more lukewarm than a 30 minute old shower. I coached myself through it, “don’t trip, just let it flow”, “don’t get in your feelings”, “don’t overthink this”. You know what I mean, those scenarios as women we tend to create in our minds when there aren’t clear and concise intentions and expectations dwelling. I summonds myself to not address these issues early on because I didn’t want to appear to be needy, clingy, or pressed.

Oh boy, the home girl syndrome has arrived.

You know the home girl syndrome? The syndrome where you don’t want to appear to be like the “other girls”. That, “I’m so cool”, “I won’t sweat you”, “I’m not thinking about you, but thinking LIKE you” demeanor. That, “I’m too admissible to text you first”, “I’m too nonchalant to actually care”, “I’m too guarded to tell you how I really feel” cause aint…nobody…thinking…about….you….child. Yeah, that bullshit’. I play the role well like I’ve been in rehearsal for it all my life.

What the home girl syndrome really is, is fear of rejection. Fear of going through the motions of two people that have to communicate about things that make them uncomfortable with one another. The bigger issue is, some people have made communication seem like a chore. Women feel bad about communicating because communication has been re-labeled as a women being farcical. If you communicate about something out the gate, it can be perceived as you bringing up issues “too soon”. If you wait to communicate your issues later on, it can be received as “why are you just now transmitting your feelings?”. It’s a lose/lose culutre at times.

The homegirl syndrome also creates a disconnect romantically. Women who suffer from this are too busy trying to seem unaffected that they end up losing affection. Affection is the formula to any romantic interaction between two people. You both can talk about your favorite things all day, but he’s still a man sis. Affection is critical. If you lose that, you’ve lost him.

Back to Brown Sugar. After a bunch of inconsistency and constant disappearing, I was leary of getting to know him further or spend time with him. But again, trying not to overthink it, I gave in.

We finally decided after a few weeks to meet up and go on a date. I was late. Not on purpose, but not a good impression initially. Our date was “cool”, the kind of cool where it’s a mix between “damn, I want to spend more time with this fine chocolate specimen” and, “I can’t wait to kick it with the homie again”. In otherwords, I didn’t feel the romantic vibe because there was no set up for it. We essentially had spent so much time focused on friendship vibes, that neither one of us tried to venture out to get past that friendship gate. I knew that eventually unless there was some type of commencement in romance, this was going no where.

Even with this, all I could remember thinking to myself was, I wish I had told him prior to this date how much I was looking forward to finally spending time with him. I thought about it all day for weeks, imagined how I would replay our first date to people in the future, and instead of me saying it, my pride vanquished me.

A few days after our date, we engaged in casual conversation as usual, but I could never force myself to go there romantically because I just didn’t feel desired in that manner. The headline “he’s just not that into you, sis” scrolled across my brain like a marquee constantly. The marquee sped up when he disappeared again for a final time. Trying to wrap my head around it, I continued on with home girl syndrome. Creating scenarios in my head constantly re-writting the narratives and the ending. “Was it your weight?”, “Did he not find you attractive?”, “Is he seeing someone else?”, “Did you say something that turned him off?”, all the shit I could’ve just picked up the phone and easily asked him myself, but I stayed silent, because home girls don’t show their feelings.

The last exhbition was me posting a photo of myself declaring my insecurities. Was that the final straw? He text me. “I want you to know, your weight and height wasn’t the reason”. He continued on manifesting that I was beautiful and to be confident in myself. That he never had a problem with how I looked, in fact he thought I looked good. You would think I would feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right? Like the man that could have potentially been my homie and my lover, said he was attracted to me. Blaze the golden horns from the angels in heavens, this is good news!

I was actually insulted.

It felt like a pitty party. A ploy, a con, a game to make me feel better about him rejecting me. I rationalized with myself, “sir, I don’t need you to tell me to be confident and to love my beautiful self, I need you to tell me why you disappeared”, ” I need you….to be honest with me” . He did not.

The next day, I reasoned with myself to force the conversation both of us were avoiding. I didn’t ask him, but rather told him I knew he was not interested but maturely wanted him to be honest because our friendship was compromised because of it. I got the feeling, it didn’t bother him much. He told me he didn’t want me to think that my appearance was the issue, but rather that he didn’t feel any romantic vibes from me, just friendship vibes.

There it was, what I had already known from inception would happen. And like the home girl I am, I cooly, respected it.

As the day went on, I thought more about it. Imagine a world where you meet someone who you have a great friendship connection with, and it’s too much of a friendship. I laughed it off. In my visionary head, I thought the opposite. I realized that some people really can only see that glass half empty. In my world, a friendship leads to romance, which leads to love. Some people in my opinion are so focused on the romantic connection that they end up in relationships with people who just don’t “get them”. I’ll take a homie I can later call my muse over anything. I need that friendship vibe, I need you to be that melody over the perfect beat first, then I can give you my entire heart. Give.. me… that.. bestfriend love.

To all the home girls…keep being yourself, but be open to vulnerability, be open to letting your guard down, communicate how you feel and don’t feel embarassed for it. But most of all just be open to that true homie, unapologetic, romance filled, around the way girl.. love. It’s coming sis.

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