There was a time when I thought Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now were one in the same.
That the next guy of interest who would be coming around the mountain just may be “the one” to climb it all the way to the top with a sista. That the next Godiva chocolate young brotha who just so happened to meet all of my criteria — Christian (but not super religious), intellectual with an artsy side (and a dash of street cred), confident with a sensitive side (but not too Drake-y), goal-driven with a solid plan of action (but still fun and spontaneous), family-oriented (but not a mama’s boy), and at least six feet tall (cause a shawty needs to feel protected in her 5-inch heels) — could be my future husband. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Because a lot of these dudes weren’t looking for any form of a commitment to begin with.
Before I proceed, allow me to break down the key differences between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now for y’all right quick:
- Mr. Right Now is a talker. Mr. Right is a doer. Mr. RN will tell you everything you wanna hear in order to get what he wants. Mr. R is a man of integrity and purpose who puts action behind his words.
- Mr. Right Now looks out for self. Mr. Right looks out for your best interest. If it doesn’t benefit him in some type of way, Mr. RN ain’t having it. Thus, he is very limited in what he does for you. Meanwhile, Mr. R will go out of his way to prove he truly cares about you and will do whatever it takes to make you happy.
- Mr. Right Now thinks short-term. Mr. Right thinks long-term. Mr. RN will take you home, but only to his bedroom — not to meet his mama. He is not looking for any type of commitment with longevity. However, Mr. R is — and again, he shows it through his actions.
- Mr. Right Now plays games. Mr. Right plays his cards correctly. Mr. RN will fill your head with a bunch of empty promises to get what he wants, and you’re never sure of how he feels about you. Mr. R will do his best to follow up and follow through every time, giving you clear, consistent reassurance through his actions.
- Mr. Right Now will stunt your growth. Mr. Right will cultivate it. One will distract you from your greater purpose while the other will encourage you to fulfill it.
Through plenty of trial and error — and heartbreak — I’ve learned that my biggest mistake was trying to turn Mr. Right Now into Mr. Right. That’s a no-no. It ain’t gon’ work, sis.
There was this one guy I kicked it with for a minute back in school. I was absolutely infatuated with this young man. He met all of my credentials, and then some. We hung out and had great conversations, were attracted to one another, and shared similar interests. I actually thought we we were perfect for one another, but Dude didn’t share my sentiments. He had no problem kicking it, but had no interest in committing (at least not to me). But instead of leaving the situation alone, I allowed myself to continue carrying on with this young man, settling for far less than what I really wanted. I hung onto every hint of affection he gave me as a sign of hope for a future together.
On top of that, I began doing things to try and win his affection. For instance, I knew he liked to watch animé and other weird adult cartoons like Adventure Time. So I did too. Anytime he would come over, I would turn it on or purposely bring it up in conversation to try and impress him. I figured if he could see that I was a weirdo just like him, he would know that we were meant to be together. I even surprised him by getting him tickets to one of his favorite rap artists’ concerts. I just knew I was gonna get promoted to wifey status after that one. He happily obliged, but I still didn’t get what I wanted.
It took Dude telling me flat-out that nothing was ever going to happen between us for me to finally wake up from my pipe dream and move on. It hurt, but I ultimately did it to myself. I had been seeking validation from a man who had shown no intentions of claiming me in the first place. I had long-term expectations for someone with a short-term purpose. I was trying to change a situation that was never, ever going to change.
I tried playing the victim role for a minute, but eventually I came to terms with the fact that I had set myself up to get played, and that Dude was just playing his part in all of it. I learned that rather than try to conform to a man’s interests, I should have been comfortable and confident in my own. Instead of settling and trying to change the situation, I should’ve chucked the deuces and waited until something much better came along.
I learned that Mr. Right Now can never be Mr. Right until he’s ready to man all the way up and be all the way down to play no games.