Let me start off by saying yes, I am quoting Brandy’s “Almost Doesn’t Count.” Y’all, I am so tired of dating almost doesn’t counts. Actually, no, I’m fed up. When I say “almost doesn’t counts,” I’m referring to the type that has so much potential. The type that almost can reach the bar but still fails to fully grasp the value of my worth. The type that seems great on paper but in reality are not all they’ve been hyped up to be. The type that says one thing and then lacks the appropriate actions to correlate with their words. The type I have to question whether they’re thinking of me or if they share the same feelings. I mean honestly, is it that hard to be emotionally available and communicate your thoughts and feelings? Gosh! The type who is comfortable having meaningless ties and leading people on with false narratives and deceptive motives. The same type who will sit with you face to face and seem ever-present in conversations, connection, time, and space, however, presents the opposite when they’re not in your presence. And let’s not forget the type who expects you to wait forever for them to be ready for the next step. At this point, just stay away from me if you’re not fully into me or fully ready to commit to something other than yourself. I don’t love or like mediocrely. I’m capable of holding myself to a higher standard, intentionally. Why should I accept anything else in return?

“Almost made you love me
Almost made you cry
Almost made you happy, baby
Didn’t I didn’t I
You almost had me thinking
You were turned around
But everybody knows
Almost doesn’t count”

I accept the blame I have in building and reinforcing these behaviors as well because, in all honesty, it’s not all just their fault. Now, I talk a lot of good stuff but in all honesty, I’m often too nice to men and definitely too accepting of their inconsistent behaviors. I have a huge heart and need to remember that if I allow men to do as they please, I’ll be easily run over and later attempting to manage and maneuver around concerns that I should have addressed the first time the concern arose. I’m guilty of overextending myself. I put out way more than some men are qualified to give in return. I get easily excited and overly eager when dating someone I thoroughly enjoy and feel connected to. I frequently neglect to stand my ground when it comes to my boundaries, which serve as the pillars of protection for my feelings and emotions. I tend to let the smallest of things go, things that annoy the crap out of the inner workings of my soul. This has always been me trying to not be clingy, or me trying to convince myself that things just aren’t that big of a deal. Occasionally, this is me attempting to fulfill their needs, wants, and desires, neglecting to fulfill my own needs. I find myself lessening my frustration and retreating into music, in attempts to stop my mind from overthinking. I used to think overthinking made me insecure, screw the man that told me that, but now I realize that overthinking isn’t a fault but often my strength. Hell, sometimes me overthinking is a direct response from being left questioning too long, confused on what things are or where they’re going. Overthinking is often my gut telling me that something isn’t right or that the current feeling is abnormal and unsuitable to my standards. 

“Almost heard you saying
You were finally free
What was always missing for you, baby
You’d found it in me
But you can’t get to heaven
Half off the ground
Everybody knows
Almost doesn’t count”

I feel like over time I’ve diminished how stern I am, which tends to happen when I have deeper feelings for someone. At one point in my life, I used to be really rough on me. There was no commitment and there was no catching feelings and craving intimacy. I wasn’t capable of articulating deeper feelings, as I didn’t want to start arguments or appear emotional. I made myself become silent, walking on eggshells to avoid altercations. I shied away from being too vulnerable, believing it would backfire on me. These are all things I learned from being in an emotionally abusive relationship (which is another conversation for another day). I’m not that person anymore. I’m fully capable of expressing myself. I’m not afraid to tell a man what I want from him or how I want it. The thing I’m working on now is how lenient I tend to be. Instead of maintaining footing on my boundaries, I release the reins too quickly, catching myself accepting the smallest of inconsistencies. I’ve always heard the saying, you have to teach a man how to treat you because they don’t come prepared. Well, what I’ve also learned to be true is that you can’t teach the unwilling. Maybe all this time I’ve been doing the one thing I was taught not to do, settling. I’ve been settling for half a*** love and commitment, telling myself that I’m this open and understanding person. Really, it was just me making excuses for behavior that people should know not to do. I guess you can’t expect everyone to know how to communicate effectively though, huh? The funny thing is, even with what I stated above, I am still unafraid to let go and try. I still give my all despite my past. So of course I am going to expect the same to be done in return. I do not think that is too much to ask at all. 

“I can’t keep on lovin’ you
One foot outside the door
I hear a funny hesitation
Of a heart that’s never really sure
Can’t keep on tryin’
If you’re looking for more
Than all that I could give you
Than what you came here for”

Okay, so boom, you are not crazy for overthinking. You are not crazy about being skeptical, nor are you crazy for wanting better. You’re not too emotional and you are definitely not being too much or doing the most. It’s okay that you have been hurt in the past and it is okay if you want the person you’re dating to be better than your past. I’ve learned about myself that I’m usually not skeptical of my current situation unless that person has done something to make me question their actions, this could possibly be true for you as well. If you find yourself being tired of your almost doesn’t counts, reflect on if and how you are reinforcing their behavior. Remind yourself of your worth and that you are a freaking gem! Like me, you deserve the world and nothing else, all of us do! “But everybody knows, almost doesn’t count.” I personally need to remind myself of this more and it’s okay if you need to as well, we’re not perfect. Start telling people that their almost doesn’t count; hold them accountable. It needs to be all or nothing. Teach people that they need to either give you their best or nothing at all. It’s completely okay to say, you’re almost just isn’t good enough. Stand strong for yourself and protect your feeling, emotions, and peace at all costs. If only wanting the best is too much for someone else to handle, then they have to bounce! Remember that!

“Maybe you’ll be sorry
Maybe you’ll be cold
Maybe you’ll come running back, baby
From the cruel cruel world
Almost convince me
You’re gonna stick around
But everybody knows
Almost doesn’t count”

Personally, nobody’s almost is good enough for me. I deserve the world and I shouldn’t have to lessen my beliefs and expectations; settling. I feel like saying this out loud sounds a bit snooty but I’m serious when I say I know my worth. I am a gem! I’m worth much more than a man that can’t communicate his feelings. I’m worth more than a man that can’t give me his all. I’m worth more than a man who doesn’t realize his almost is nowhere near what I deserve. I’m worth more, period. Better yet, I deserve more! I’ve worked too hard on myself and come too far to just settle for lazy love. It’s me that’s choosing for you to be in my space, not you choosing me. Don’t ever misinterpret me putting you before other men as if you’re doing something special because it’s all me. My choice, my voice, my time, and my commitment. Like Brandy said, “Gonna find me somebody. Not afraid to let go. Want a no doubt, be there kind of man.” You are going to mess around and miss out on something good because your eyes fail to see my beauty in its entirety. My energy is too good, too positive, and too pure to be stressed over a man. You’re just simply too consistently inconsistent for me. Like Martin always says, “Get the steppin!” Respectfully, disrespectfully, your almost just doesn’t count. 

“So maybe I’ll be here
Maybe I’ll see ya around
That’s the way it goes
Almost doesn’t count” 🥀

Brandy. “Almost Doesn’t Count.” Never Say Never. Atlantic Records, 1998.