What It's Like Dating As A Navajo Woman
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As A Navajo Woman, I Can Never Casually Date And That's Totally Fine

A Navajo girl's resolution to dating - don't do it jini.

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shoes by a river
Taishiana Tsosie

I am that convinced at 19-years-old I can never have a relationship. This is why I am convinced.

My priorities include school, family, faith, and friends. Almost exactly in that order too. I go to college about 3 plane rides across the country. That is not cheap, nor is it easy. If my family cannot simply visit me, then there is no way a supposed boyfriend would either. My family, as mentioned previously, do not condone dating at this point in my life. It is also hard for them to share me with people who are not family.

I'm not kidding.

1. My Navajo culture

I grew up traditionally with a delicate balance of Catholicism. Both do not condone the idea of "dating."

My maternal grandparents are against it because they believe that I don't need a relationship at this time in my life. I should be a single, successful, college girl, which I am.

But frankly, I don't think a relationship would change my determination to finish my goals. In my mind, I can balance a relationship and school because school is my priority. However, I do see where they're coming from.

Traditionally, there is no such thing as dating, but there is a type of courtship that happens where a male's family will approach the female's family and offer Navajo forms of wealth for the chance to marry the female. Therefore, courtship leads to marriage.

There is no casual "it's complicated" or "we'll see where this goes" options. For Navajos, if you want to be romantic with someone, the goal is marriage.

And in my youth, I promised my beloved grandmother that that was what I would give her if I ever brought a male on our family's sacred land. The issue is that no one my age seriously wants marriage.

Hell, anyone is lucky to have a relationship last longer than nine months.

2. Fear

My fear of getting to know someone on the deepest level: Who wants to get to know and be a part of my crazy life?? Last I checked, guys want a summary of my life with some "benefits" (i.e. sex). Seriously, I kid you not, guys have approached me with the simple intent of only having sex.

I'm not here for that yaazh. If one wants the privilege to call themselves my boyfriend, they better know my embarrassing family nicknames, that I love any type of hot chip with a fiery red passion, that I like to chill 95% of the time, and that my school comes above them.

There are more deep and personal things, but I ain't about to air my dirty laundry on the internet.

3. The idea of a person

In my opinion, people like the idea of being with me rather than actually liking me. Not to flex on some of y'all, but I know I'm a catch.

I know my worth as a person and that is all I need to say. For my past "relationships," they liked that I was "a good girl" with dreams and goals.

They liked that I cared about what they did when they were small and got stuck between the door and screen door. They liked when I got shy and awkward after random compliment attacks. They liked that I seemed to have it all figured out (sike! I really don't).

They liked that they could tell their mothers and close friends that I'm wifey material, but I wanted them to show me why they thought that about me.

I wanted them to plan the dates. I wanted them to get after me if I was procrastinating. I wanted them to accept what I couldn't give but know how much I wanted to. They liked the idea of me, not the reality of me.

4. I have daddy issues

My relationship with my father is complicated and messy. For someone to know the full extent of it means I trust them a lot. However, it is because of those daddy issues that it is difficult for me to open up and be comfortable with males. No offense to the males, but y'all are snakes at some point and I have a fear of snakes, so I avoid them.

5. My location

At home, I am about an hour to two hours away from grocery stores and friends. Meaning no one wants to drive that long to see me and only hang out with my mom and my little sister.

I have no car. It should also be noted that it is rare for my closest friends to come visit me at home too. So if you add the distance at home plus the distance at school, you get a lot of gas money to spend and can't afford. You don't even know the struggle.

6. My priorities

School, family, faith, and friends. Almost exactly in that order too. I go to college about three plane rides across the country. That is not cheap, nor is it easy.

If my family cannot visit me, then there is no way a supposed boyfriend would either. My family, as mentioned previously, do not condone dating at this point in my life.It is also hard for them to share me with people who are not family.

I'm not kidding. If I get to hang out with my best friend (who is like another grandchild to my grandmother), I'm required to tell EVERYONE who I am with. I gotta alert my mom, grandma, aunts, sisters, and uncles if I will be gone for more than two hours.

My friends and dear homies will be hurt if I chose a guy over them in any way. I will get shade if I had time to give to a male rather than spend time with them; I will be scolded and sad for a while. Plus, whoever can accept all of this – you get a cookie and my number because damn... you're a keeper.

I'm trying to accept all of this as well. No one ever told me that if I wanted to find someone for the long-term, that this is what they choose to take on as well.

Damn, it's a lot – no wonder I'm single.

Yet, at the end of this somewhat long list of reasons, I'm reminded that one day it will be worth it. At 19 years young, why is there a desire to be in a relationship? I blame social media.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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