For The First Time, I’m More Focused On Finding A Tribe Than A Boyfriend

I don’t think there’s ever been another season of my life when I wasn’t on the hunt for a boyfriend. These days, I’m so much more focused on my personal and professional development that I’m looking to build my network of amazing female friends instead. I’m currently learning to live my best life and I want to explore than with other vibrant women rather than feeling like I’m nothing without a guy.

  1. I’m not set in my career. Outside of my 40-hour work week, I’m a grad student and take additional courses on top of that. I’m hustling in silence to create a business and I really hate having to explain that to well-meaning but nosy people, let alone a guy I’m seeing. My tribe totally gets it because they’re trying to create more freedom in their lives as well, but a guy looking to settle down probably isn’t up for such a progressive lifestyle.
  2. I’m not yet set in my living arrangement. My lease is up next summer and I’m thinking my next step will be a Tiny House. The chances of me finding land near where I live now are slim, so I’m up for moving nearly anywhere across the country. The friendships I’m making can be maintained through the distance but a fresh dating relationship probably won’t sustain the move.
  3. ‘Tis the season to be selfish. In all honesty, I’m not dating right now because I don’t need a partner influencing my decisions. I need to live and spend and work and save in ways that make sense to me and align with my goals and values. I’m committed to sacrificing a lot to achieve some major milestones and I want more cheerleaders, not a teammate.
  4. Dating is expensive. Whenever possible, I try to treat my guy by footing the bill, but date nights add up and I’m not accounting for that in my current budget. I’m not one for Netflix and Chill with a date, but girlfriends are easy. You don’t have to do extra grocery shopping or try to impress them. They’re cool with walking or going on a bike ride after work, drinking cheap wine, or me putting the phone or speaker while I drive or clean the house.
  5. You can easily cut off a friendship but breakups are complicated. In this racial climate, it’s hard to find a guy of any race who doesn’t have misconceptions about Black women. When a friend posts something on social media that I find blatantly ignorant and racist or otherwise offensive, I can unfollow her and stop asking her to hang out. Finding out the guy you’re dating has some values and philosophies that don’t translate to a respect and acceptance of diversity, well, that just sucks (and it’s not all that uncommon).
  6. You have different friends for different reasons and seasons and I’m not looking for a catch-all. I have my girlfriends I ask for podcast and book recommendations for personal development, women I catch up with over brunch, and my $5 movie dates. But for the first time in my life, what I’m not looking for at this moment is someone to be all of those things and more.
  7. I’m wanting more adventurous friendships. I want to rekindle connections with old high school and college friends as well as create new ones with adventurous women who love to attend and travel and be outdoors. Those new experiences can totally change the dynamic of a relationship and I have a hard enough time not being emotionally intimate too fast; what I don’t need is a misattribution of arousal where I think I’m falling for someone just because my adrenaline is high at that moment.
  8. I love to learn from and support other women. I’m in this season where I’m not listening to podcasts, purchasing books or courses, or clicking on ads by men. If I can find a girl boss producing the same kind of content, that’s where my time and money is going. My social media is littered with ads of white men trying to teach me financial freedom, leadership, life coaching, etc. and although I’m always curious about how they got to where they’re at, I’d rather do more research to find a woman who can teach me the same skills and mindset while she makes some extra cash and builds her empire.
Jasmine is a freelance writer living in the Midwest. Her hobbies include solo international travel, hiking, and reading.