dating, love, relationships

The Starting Five

Looks like it’s gonna be one of those hot summers! How are you feeling, ladies and gents? Have you been dating smarter or are you still woefully flitting through the Prince Borings and Princess Annoyings, hoping they can fill your days?  I’m hoping it’s the former because this entry is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the novice dater. Hell, it’s not for everyone. If you haven’t quite mastered how to Attract with Confidence, Listen by Asking, Adjust Accordingly, and Keep your Options Open, I’d advise you to skip this or to keep dating until you master the steps. Dating is a sport, after all- which brings me to the Starting Five.

Let’s get into it.

I love basketball. I fell in love with the sport when I was about 5 years old during the Golden Era: when Michael Jordan reigned supreme and the New York Knicks were actually good. Basketball is like jazz music: unpredictable, at some points rhythmic, but always breathtaking. It gave me energy before I even knew what I was watching. Naturally, I’d find a way to integrate ball into dating, because why not?

If you know anything about basketball, you know that teams have a starting lineup or starting five. These are the guys that are usually the best players in their respective positions (if they’re healthy) on the court and typically get the most minutes (assuming no one is injured). When dating, I’ve suggested that you keep your options open so you don’t get attached to anyone too quickly. But each person or player, if you will, should serve a purpose. Remember, we’re not wasting time on duds anymore. These are the guys that have shown that they are respectful and cool to be around. Whether or not they’re your soulmate is left to be decided.

Shooting Guard: JR Smith, The Wildboy

This is the young bull. He’s usually hilarious, always down for a good time, and carefree. He’s also a thot. You don’t keep this one around for long because that’s not his style and you’re not silly. He’s got a short attention span so don’t even think about falling in love with this guy. You don’t talk to him every day because he’s entertaining others (as are you) but whenever you link up, it’s always FUN. He probably won’t be treating you to helicopter flights and Louboutins (unless he has JR’s pockets) but he’ll always be down to buy you a happy hour drink and an Applebees 2 for $20 dinner.

Small Forward: Lebron James, Mr. Confident

He’s talented. He’s good looking. He’s pretty much the whole package. But he’s a cocky SOB. As much as he thinks you’re supposed to stop, drop, and roll when he comes around- you don’t. And that mysteriously makes him like you more. His confidence may not even be based on anything substantial but let him tell it, he’s God’s gift to you. And you’d let him get away with it. But he’s not the one. Because in moments when you really need him, he doesn’t come through. You don’t get butterflies around him, even though he’s perfect on paper. You don’t talk to this guy everyday. You may not even speak every week. But just when he’s nearly faded into the recesses of your memory, he comes through with an amazing gesture. But be warned, if you ignore him too much, he won’t wait around. This is the guy who will likely throw a tantrum like you’ve never seen, begging for attention, and then disappear one last time until you find out he’s engaged to someone who worships him. You might be bitter about it but enjoy him.

Center: Chris Bosh, King Corn

King Corn spoils you to no end with everything you could want and he can afford. He may be a Senator, top attorney, or an amazing physician. Financially, he’s set. He’s intellectually stimulating and gets your mental gears spinning. But that’s pretty much all he’s got going. This may be the guy who was a friend for a while and you decided to start dating him for real. You’re not dating him just because he has money. He’s somewhat enjoyable to be around. But he’s King Corn for a reason: he’s corny. He may also not be your type physically so the sexual attraction is nearly nonexistent. While corny to you may not be corny to me, the point is he doesn’t exactly rev your engine. And that’s ok. Have a good time because he’s always willing to show you one.

Power Forward: Tim Duncan: The Veteran

He’s been around the longest. He knows you better than the rest of the others and he may very well be husband material. But he sometimes comes on too strong so you hold back a little because he may be a little too possessive for you. The Veteran does the dating thing. He treats you like a Queen. This is the man that likes you more than you like him. Some women go ahead and settle down with this man. But you don’t want to settle for someone just because he likes you. Your starting 5 likes you! You want to be with your first choice. Enter the Point Guard.

Point Guard: Steph Curry: The Humble MVP

You talk everyday. You joke around, hang out, and he may have even met your friends and family. You get butterflies when he comes around. He humbly let you know he was taking you seriously and you observed as his words matched his actions. This is the guy you really REALLY like. So why would I even suggest that you bother dating others? Because you need to pace yourself. When you meet your Point Guard, it can be both exciting and terrifying. You probably felt he was a keeper the moment you met him. But you can’t rush into things too quickly. Relationships aren’t for kicks and giggles. You need to make sure this guy is actually who he says he his and that is only revealed with time. And if you don’t have the discipline to take things slowly or at least at a moderate pace, you may be telling him your deepest secrets only to find out 2 weeks later that he’s still madly in love with his ex. Take heed, though. The PG is often the catch. At some point, you’ll have to open up and learn him. Slowly. And that’s where love can grow.

Having a Starting Five can be fun but it can also be draining. It can be a full time job managing all of those personalities. Personally, I haven’t been able to maintain a starting five in the truest sense since my college years. Someone inevitably falls by the wayside or gets tired of being ignored. Don’t feel as if you HAVE to casually date 5 men at a time. Sometimes 2 or 3 is enough. The team players I talked about above are discussed mostly tongue-in-cheek but the point is to date a variety of quality men while making sure they’re treating you the way you want to be treated. We all want our personal Point Guard to sweep us off our feet but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun during the process.

Peace & Love,


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