“Handyman’s Dream”

When I was looking to buy a house, I was all over the place. I liked the architecture of older places, but the amenities of the newer ones. With the older places that I saw, I often had to build into my home purchase budget the estimated costs of items that needed to be updated or repaired. I also had to have the *vision* to see past what was there in front of me, to see what it was going to look like when it was all said and done.

Being near-sighted as I am, I ended up buying new construction (with architecture flava lacking.) I used to say that I usually don’t date fixer-uppers, so I guess it follows that I didn’t want to move into one either.

nice view, but no flava

the view's cool, but no flava

Single women everywhere (who have standards) have undoubtedly heard some variation of this line — you’re too critical/harsh/have too high standards; you should learn to just work with a brotha. I don’t know if men are told that they need to work with a sista so I can’t speak on that.

Well, just like there’s a difference between redecorating and a gut-renovation, some people fail to understand the difference between working with someone, and trying to completely reconstruct a person.

One guy that I used to go out with here in DC used to tell me the best stories about his exes. (I realize those stories should have been inappropriate but they were so funny that I always liked to hear them!) He once told me about an ex-girlfriend that he’d dated for a long time. Over the course of years she helped him get his credit together, taught him how to save money, helped him get a new job – basically got him up to speed on being a grown man. And he was so grateful for her for it.

Eventually, however, he ended up wanting to date someone else because he wanted to date someone who could appreciate him as he currently was and appreciate how far along he’d come without having actually witnessed the transformation. Seeing and being around that girlfriend was a constant reminder to him of the dude he used to be before he got his stuff together.

I realize that is just one man’s story but ladies and gents, I think it happens all the time. Now granted, I don’t know if she held it over him and reminded him that “remember – you weren’t worth a dayum before I got a-hold of you.”  That would suck and I truly hope that wasn’t the case. I think it’s perfectly ok to acknowledge that someone has helped you out in life, and then peace out without feeling obligated to continue dating them. It’s the circle of life! Each one, teach one and all that jazz. And who knows? He didn’t specify how they ended things, and maybe it was she who didn’t want to have the memory of his less than glorious days clouding her perception of who he currently was.

the circle of life!

the circle of life!

For every person doesn’t mind or even prefers dating people who “need a little TLC”, there are many others who just want someone who already has the basics of life together. To each his own and trust me – I’m not one to judge. Do you. I’ve dated people like that and maybe I was (am?) one of those people, or would date one in the future?

When the jig is up and the person has their stuff together, just know that things may work out with the improved person…or they could peace out for a clean slate with someone else. You never know. These are the chances we take out here in this dating jungle. Remember – circle of life!  🙂

Content copyright © Samee on Everything (2009).

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9 Comments

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9 responses to ““Handyman’s Dream”

  1. sameeoneverything

    Dr. K – my sentiments exactly!

  2. Dr. Kaitlyn

    I’m jumping in a little late to this conversation, but I wanted to add my 2 cents. I think “working with a brotha” isn’t about “fixing” him, but more about compromising. My last boyfriend (who I dated for 3 1/2 years) made considerably less money than me, was divoriced and had a child. None of those things factored into what I would consider my ideal guy, however, because he was a really thoughtful, funny, creative and generally good guy, I was willing to “work with him.” It wasn’t about me trying to fix him, it was about me deciding which characteristics were most important to me and which I would be willing to compromise on. I was either going to take him as he was or move on to someone else. Once people reach a certain age, they can’t really be fixed because they are who they are. Plus, who wants to try and raise a grown man or woman? I don’t want to fix you and I don’t want you to try and fix me. I want you to look at me with all my faults and decide if I’m someone you can work with and I’m going to do the same with you. So, to me, working with someone is figuring out what things are non-negotiable/deal breakers (i.e. fiscally irresponsible, abusive, disrespectful, dishonest, etc.) and which things you can work with (has children, noisy eater, bad gift giver, etc.).

  3. La Luz

    So relevant…

  4. Bob Kratchet

    Wow, fixer-upper… new construction. I wonder if it’s wrong to set up viewings for homes with a real estate agent…. say 10 to 20 homes in a month. We’d visit, walk throughout each property trying to get a feel for the place and the good thing, the agent should have a history what we’d like to know about it. Is it wrong to do that with people? Ok, 10 to 20 dates in a month might seem plenty, but people don’t come with a resume or bio of themselves. And if they do it’s only their highlights. Do you say in interviews that you get to a comfortable point with an employer and take 2 hour lunches? Do you tell them that you’ll be using all of their facilities to help get your home/side business off the ground? Things about you that the other doesn’t really get to know untill you’re knee deep. Hope everyone isn’t lost. Let’s just show who we are so we don’t waste our time and anothers. Know who you are before you try to get to know someone else. Know what you want but damn sure know what you can offer. Just because you helped someone doesn’t make you better than them either. And it’s not help if you’re looking for something in return.

    ey… i can only speak for me

  5. i think we need to keep in mind that noone is completely has it together. everyone needs some work. sometimes, we are so focused on what we don’t want that we are blinded and miss out on that someone special. i also believe that we feel we have so much more to offer someone else than they have to offer us. there is a special person for everyone, however if i spend most of your time looking for their faults, i will miss out on what is special about them. i consider myself a super confident person and there is nothing wrong with that. i should not lower my standards, but that ideal person i have in my head might not be the person i am meant to be with. we are here to help each other, so what is wrong with being with someone that will help make me a better person? the person that i helped might have made me more patient, giving and kind person.

  6. Samsonite

    @ Mamba. I understand where you are coming from b/c alot of people are stuck in a permanant state of adolescense. Some people are in denial about this while others fully embrace their second childhood. I hear all the time that women should “work with a brother”, sounds good. But, what about you? I think most people have an over-inflated sense of self-worth. I’m sure your flaws might not seem as bad, b/c they’re your flaws and you’ve had them for a while and you are comfortable with them and so are your friends. Try this, make a list of your flaws, and look for someone with those same flaws (or similar). Together you help each other. The only down side of this exercise is that most people won’t truly admit their flaws or are not in touch with themselves enough to understand their flaws.

  7. *black mamba*

    I am always being told I am tooooo picky. I may be selective, but its because I learn from each of my experiences and I know what I want. I know I don’t have it ALL together, but I at least need someone who has the basics – like knowing how to treat a lady, and take care of himself. I am willing to work with a brother if he needs it, and he will hopefully be willing to work with me, but this is not Be-A-Man Training Camp. Maybe if I was a teen, or in my early 20’s I could help build a man, but I think there comes a time when you decide you need to be a fully functional adult. I’m far from perfect, but I know where I want to be and will get there with or without someone’s assistance. No one is perfect and we all should be constantly growing instead of going in circles (or backwards!) You should know/learn how much you as an individual can handle and are willing to put up with. It can be a great experience to grow with someone, but hopefully you don’t grow apart or resent one another. And its true, Samee, I never hear men tell eachother, “you need to work with that sister,” but I ALWAYS hear people say that women should stop being so picky and “work with a brother, lower your standards.” Hmmmm….

  8. Samsonite

    I think mr whammy has said all that needs to be said.

  9. Mr. Whammy

    Very good post and very relevant. So relevant that I actually had a similar conversation with a female co-worker yesterday. She is single and wants to find the “perfect” man. I told her that’s an oxymoron (sp?). They don’t exist. Work with a brotha! Perhaps you can take find a Caddy and throw some rims on it, redo the interior, etc. and BAM…it’s as nice as a Benz.

    Truth is, everyone needs a little fixin’. I know my wife helped me grow in ways, and I helped her grow in different ways. You just need to make sure that mutual fixing is going on. As long as you are both “projects” (we all are) that need some fixin’ and you grow together, things will be fine. The issues in relationships arise when one person is a MAJOR project, which causes the other person to constantly “be on the job.”

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