Cue Aaliyah: “Dust yourself off and try again…”

Smart Guest Post week rolls on here in BougieLand. After yesterday's somewhat melancholy post, we're coming with the happy post today. A story of stepping back up to the plate and swinging for the fences and finally… FINALLY hitting a home run. Join me in showing some love to Tiffany in Houston. She isa charming, charismatic Texas chick newly engaged and newly unemployed (she did NOT see that one coming… damn economy). She blogs about the trials and tribulations on The Unemployed Bride. And just cause it's relevant, I've inserted a dance break before Tiffany's story: The lovely Aaliyah (RIP – Miss her still!) with Try Again from the Romeo Must Die Soundtrack:

Back to our program. Ms. Tiffany:

I was talking with a friend the other day and she was saying how she was excited that I was gonna blog this wedding planning thang and how I gave her hope that she could be married. And I do believe I have spoken to some of you in real life about how quickly my relationship moved. I met my fiancé in June 2009, we got engaged in December 2009 and the wedding is September 2010. That's pretty fast, at least for some.

And I hope that the fact that I'm getting married, at age 36, can be a testimony for some and give hope to others, especially with the bombardment of negative press that black women have been getting in the media as of late. (I realize that it's hard for ALL single women, when it comes to dating, for sure).

But the fact of the matter is: I was like many of my friends. I would date randoms and it wouldn't work out. The dude would look perfect on paper and be a complete asshole. I'm not a prude so there were probably some times that I probably slept with a man too soon and he got ghost. I was in a relationship with the same man, twice. (I am, OBVIOUSLY, a glutton for punishment.) I moved to Minnesota to be with a man without a ring, and then once I got there found out he didn't want to commit. I've been fortunate actually. I've dated some pretty decent dudes… they just weren't the dudes for me. Those who know me very well know that I have been very candid about my dating adventures and mis-adventures. Some of them were hilarious. Some of them were very painful. All of them were necessary.

I speed dated. I online dated. I asked my married friends for introductions. I got involved. I started going out by myself. I got my confidence up. I started working out. Didn't leave the house looking busted. I did all that. I tried to get busy living.

I would call my homegirls and cry. I would go to happy hour and bitch. I would pray. I would pray then cry. I joined the singles ministry at church. I journaled. Worked on my mental. Tried to get rid of the 'baggage'. Still tried to get busy living.

And yet, I would try again. Meet someone new. Date. Didn't work. Go through all the stages. Still was getting busy living. Notice a pattern there.

And yet, I would try again. Meet someone new.

I'm not a preachy chick. That's not my steelo. But the thing I really want to leave you with is this: You can't give up. If your heart's desire is to be married (not just a wedding), then you can't give up. You can't lock your feelings in a bottle, you can't withdraw from relationships. You may want to, but you can't. You have to keep trying, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Yet, you MUST try again.

I sat at my mom's kitchen table in May 2009, and told her that she needed to accept the fact that I was not going to get married. I told her that I had accepted it and evidently it was God's will too. She looked at me like I had two heads. She wasn't used to hearing me talk like that, like I was giving up. Like I was quitting. She said she didn't believe me. I met my fiancé the very next month. God has quite the sense of humor. Evidently, He didn't believe me either.

So, I'm getting married. To a man that I LOVE to bits and pieces. And who loves ME more than I know.

Because I tried. Yet again.

Okay gals and gents, you've heard Tiffany's tale and what say you… have a "try again" story to share? Words of encouragement and wisdom for Tiffany? Words of encouragement and wisdom for those of us trying again? Fellas, any of you feel ready to take the plunge? Any of you "already plunged" have words to share? Engagement stories? Basically – here's your chance to weigh in on engagement and marriage… whatcha got?