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Previously on The Root After Dark, I told you about my ill-fated dalliance with a man I dubbed “Mr. Big.” It started off beautifully, trended toward being something good, then crashed and burned at the end.

I spared you most of the sordid details because, to be honest, I just didn’t have the bandwidth to go into all that was discovered to be wrong there—but believe me, there was a lot wrong there.

This is not to say that everything that went wrong was on his end; I accept my blame for where I went left with that experience as well. And it is exactly at this point that I find myself—in medias res.

“In the middle of things” is the perfect description for where I am in my dating life. In the aftermath of the whirlwind romance, I’m more contemplative than I am anything else. I haven’t wanted for social invitations from men, but I have suffered from a lack of interest in them.

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I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am over men, but I am not as inclined to say yes to dates and “hangouts” at this time. I recognize that this is a byproduct of what happened with my last experience, and I have discussed it at great length with my therapist. We have come to the conclusion that I am working on creating greater and stronger boundaries for myself first before engaging with anyone else.

And this is how Momo gets her groove back, so to speak.

I still love the “comfort” of a man, if you get my meaning. All the things I enjoy about men are still there within me, but there are a lot of things I don’t enjoy from them, and it is those things that I need a clearer understanding of before I am able to translate them for anyone else.

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Because it is the translation of those boundaries that is important. There is an importance in making them clearly defined so that there is no misunderstanding.

With every experience comes a new lesson or 10. We can enumerate all the bad parts, or we can focus on the knowledge we gain from the experience—I prefer to do the latter.

Mr. Big crossed a lot of boundaries with me, and it is that part of the experience that bothered me the most—so it is that part of the experience that I am learning from the most.

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I know that I don’t want to have that kind of experience again, so I am making concrete promises to myself and mapping out ways to keep them before I move on to anyone else.

There are other smaller changes that I am making within myself for myself. Tempering expectations is a big one. I saw someone on Twitter say that “expectations are disappointments and resentments waiting to happen.” I can see how I made that a truism in my last experience, but there is something to be said for having realistic expectations that have been defined beforehand—and that is an important part of the process.

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So where do I go from here?

I’m still not sure exactly. I’m am a work in progress, and so is my dating life. It’s a developing journey and not a destination. I’m just continuing along the path until I reach my next stop.

In the meantime, I’m still the same me I always was. Nothing about my spirit has changed.

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I’m still enjoying the journey and the things I am learning about myself as I move along.

I titled this post “Return of the Mack,” but the truth is, the Mack never left.

She just evolved and got wiser.