Giving It Up: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Men, typically, want one thing.  Sex.  It is the common denominator that binds race, hue, religion, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic background.  Well, it is true.  So it is a refreshing to a woman when a man comes along and wants MORE than that one thing. You know, these are the men that actually care about your well being, your interests, and your feelings.  But upon first glance they all look the same.  The men that care dress the same as the ones who don’t care at all.  Both types of men go to the same restaurants, have memberships at the same gym, and get their hair cut at the same barber shop.  So I can’t necessarily say I am upset with the woman that decided she was going to wait…no, not wait until she was married but waited until she was sure to which group he belonged.
Contrarily, the infamous 90-day rule of thumb seems ridiculous both in theory and practical application.  A preset time limit, regardless of circumstance,  seems like a recipe for disaster and disappointment.  Moreover, it makes your body and those intimate interactions, a prize that can be won after a simple and basic challenge of merely waiting.  I am infinitely more than that.
So that begs the question, “how soon is too soon to have sex?”  This question is applicable to both men and women.  For the men, how do you separate the hoes from the wives based on how easily the goods were obtained?  And for the women, how do determine a man’s true intentions without making him wait?  If you make him wait too long do you risk losing him altogether?  Well, if he will leave because you want to be sure you can go ahead and scratch his name off the list.
I’m going to jump out there and say most men, even those that sincerely care about a woman, will not play a 90-day waiting game.  However, a man that cares about you will wait until you are ready, whether that is 2 weeks down the line or until you are married.  Maybe it is beyond caring if he waits until you are married because that is a special and rare love.
I do believe it is the woman’s responsibility to take value in her own body and make sure the man is worth her time and her most inner self.  The man should show as much enthusiasm about outdoor activities as he does with indoor activities.  He should invest in your well being.  He should encourage your best.  I know some may say, it is just sex and not that serious.  But your body, man or woman should not be a free-for-all festival where anybody can have access.  A good male friend of mine always says that because a woman has exactly what a man wants she has the power.  Some admittedly abuse that power; however, the tragic cases are those that don’t know they even have any power.  Well, knowledge is also power.  And getting to know someone takes time and effort.  So until we both know each other, whenever that time comes, that is how long it will take.

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Loving the Pieces

Even the smartest of women can find themselves in the most bizarre and unhealthy situations with men.  There are sometimes situations where all of the knowledge is overshadowed by passion and stupidity.   If they are lucky, they get out before too much damage is done. However, sometimes the magnitude of the folly is not comprehended until the damage is near catastrophic and the heart is broken and her spirit is in pieces.  The most tragic cases are when damage is done and spirits are broken due to no fault of her own…
I am no exception.  I am not exempt from the folly on my part nor the damage forced upon me due to no fault of my own.
I love being back in D.C.  The dating pool has gone from 1 to 100 seemingly overnight.  There are the new and the old, all moving forward in their respective directions.  But I would be lying if I denied that something was missing.  Or maybe there is just much more there- more time elapsed, more stresses, more damage.  All I know is I feel a disconnect where there once was passion and, at times, love.  This unusual disconnect had been so heavy on my heart I reached out to a few people to find a possible reason and solution.
Two things said spoke to my spirit.  One, my best friend of 26 years reasoned that subconsciously I know the men that I am dating are not what I want long term and as such my heart won’t let me become emotionally involved.  She, though not a professional therapist, counseled that my detachment with men was a defense mechanism to prevent further damage.  My mind was now in control, and as a smart woman I did know that while these men are great, they are not great for me.
However, I still had a looming fear that when Mr. Great For Me came along that I would no longer know how to love that man.  I worried/worry about if I am capable of just trusting and put all of my fears of being hurt behind me as to not sabotage a good thing.  I wondered/wonder if I will even be able to recognize a good thing when I saw him because some of my heart is still in pieces.
All of these fears were at the forefront of my mind, when the one that hurt me most called.  Most women in my position would have just ignored the call but like love, forgiveness too, requires action.  In the mist of explaining to him how I was adjusting to being back in D.C., he asked how I was really doing and handling life.  So I begin to explain to him these fears and he immediately understood his role in some of the damaged caused.  And he said the second thing that spoke to my spirit.  He said, “I know it is hard, but don’t over-concern yourself with the how and the whys.  The right man for you will leave no doubt if you should trust him.  He will take the time to make his motives transparent.  And don’t deny yourself something real trying to pull it all together first.  You are still a diamond, and the right man for you will love the pieces.”

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Do You Love Me?

“Do you love me?” used to be one of my favorite questions to ask…daily.  Well, maybe not daily, but often…too often.  In my prior relationships, I had grown accustomed to hearing “I love you” every day, multiple times a day to the point I thought it was mandatory in relationships.  I was wrong.
In my earlier relationships, I was young therefore my relationships had limitations.  Prior to going to college, all dating was under the supervision of my parents.  And well, they made sure I had everything I needed therefore I never to had to depend on a man to meet my basic needs.   Even early in college, I had a wonderful boyfriend that frequently sacrificed on my behalf, but still my parents were my primary providers and as such my parents made sure I had everything I needed.  Even the visiting in these relationships was limited to house and dorm curfews.  So maybe the constant verbal confirmation of love may have been more warranted because of the parameters of youthful relationships.
When I entered a relationship, as a semi self-sufficient adult, I was perplexed as to why this man rarely said he loved me.  I don’t want to exaggerate it because my memory may be foggy.  I’m sure he told me loved me once a week or so, but it wasn’t the constant after every phone conversation, all day, every day affirmations.  Well, for one, we were usually together, so honestly there wasn’t much need for phone conversations.  However, in his presence, the roles were very clear.  He was the man and I was the lady, and as such, my daily needs were met by him.  And I am not just talking about financially, but my overall well-being was important to him and therefore he responded accordingly.  Things are so much easier to see in retrospect.  Sadly, at the time, his lack of verbal confirmation made me constantly question the ifs and whys of his love.
Strangely, enough my parents rarely say they love me too.  They rarely say we are proud of you because they expect greatness without excuse.  But they have and continue to make countless sacrifices on my behalf…and my prolonged educational endeavors.  And when I visit them at their work, all of their co-workers say how much they talk about me and how proud they are of me.  The co-workers ask me about my latest occurrences or projects as my parents have usually raved about me to them.  I would say that makes me feel even more special from hearing it from my parents themselves.  While I can think of an infinite amount of sacrifices made, there was this one day when my world crashed.  I was in D.C. and they were in Dallas.  I made one phone call full of tears, and they were in D.C within 12 hours.  You see, my parents don’t have to tell me they love me because I have absolutely no doubt that they do.  Their love is fully ingrained into my mind, my heart, and my spirit.  Their love is who I am.
I decided to take this same thought process in my, now adult, relationships.  I deafen my ears to words to heighten my vision to be truly receptive to the feeling of being loved.   No longer, do I need the constant verbal confirmation of what I already know.  I completely understand that love is an action verb and not a verb of being.  The “I love you” is in what they do.

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Fear of Doing Better…Than You

How some men date minus the cameras...

Men are often stigmatized with the label of fearing commitment.  As they go from relationship to relationship, girl to girl, it is all in search for the best.  It is not saying that that the current girl is not the best, but how can he be sure?  So perhaps, subconsciously, there is a method to cheating, the randoms, and overall lack of commitment to one that seemingly is a good fit.

In my observations, men do not have any problem committing.  They commit to their favorite teams, to their favorite shows, video games, pastimes, hobbies, academics, careers, family, friends, pets, organizations, so on and so forth.  The only place where there is inconsistency in their ability to commit is in relationships.  So the fear of commitment is no longer a viable claim and must be ruled out.  So what is it? It has to be something.
I have concluded that men do completely understand the gravity of marriage and the commitment it requires.  In understanding that gravity, creates the fear of doing better, well, than you.  It is a hard pill to swallow when you realize that all of the girls in between and after were because he was not convinced that you were the best for him.  And once you remove your feelings from the equation, on a basic level, it makes sense.  Everyone likes to sample the options before making a final selection.  However, sometimes a man does all of that sampling to decide on his earlier option.  But after all of that sampling, he might be surprised to learn that he is no longer what is best for you.

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The Boyfriend with the Absent Father

Once upon a time I said wouldn’t ever date a guy whose father was not an active part in his life again.  While I have strayed from that premise a few times since then, I still believe my theory behind my statement, for the most part, still holds true.
My theory, based on my experiences up to that point, was that men without an active father do not have a constant example of how a man should treat a woman.  In my experiences, up to that point, I found myself fighting for the things that should have been a given.  The things I was asking, in regards to chivalry, compromise, sacrifice, and effective communication, were foreign to them in the realm of relationships.  These were non-issues in my relationships with men that did have an active father, and even more so when that father was in the home.
As I have grown older, I can look back and attribute some of the shortcomings for boyfriends with absent fathers simply to immaturity.  Perhaps their maturity was delayed due to an absent father.  It is both possible and plausible.  However, I have discovered the greatest hindrance of a man learning how to properly love a woman is due to lack of exposure of such.  It doesn’t need to be from his father, for even that can be a piss poor example, but the example has to come from someone he admires.  I say the boyfriend must admire this person first because that is the only way another man’s actions can hold any value to the boyfriend to even desire to be better than he is.  But this can go from wonderful to tragic, entrepreneur to dope boy, depending on the example. Nonetheless, a positive an example needs to be there, and it should be his father.  Tragically, more often than not, that is not the case within our communities.  And from that respect, I am glad my theory was a little off-base because it provides hope in an otherwise catastrophic situation.  There is hope, and even the expectation, that cycles will be broken and new, more excellent principles will be established.
I have since dated men that have defied these odds and matured into better men, fathers, and significant others without the example from their fathers.  And I tell you, where it may take a little longer and be a little harder for them to get there, when they are there, they are steadfast in their journey to be better men than their absent fathers.  And after a while, defying odds and exceeding expectations becomes commonplace for him.  He is then the example, not only for his children, but for his communities.

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Making My Way

Life is full of choices.  There are the right choices and the wrong ones. It is usually those decisions that we put the least amount of energy in that most critically define us a person.  It is those well-planned choices that make us ordinary.  Some find safety in ordinary; however, I find security in knowing I towed the lines of my limits in an effort, no matter how futile, to be better than I am.
You would think as you get older, the more decisions you make, the easier the decision making process would be.  The confusion is not in what is right and wrong because that line is thick and undeniable.  However, the ambiguity comes if right is always the right decision to make or if it is even desired that I go right.  Some of the world’s greatest inventors, artists, and leaders were great because they did not follow the norm or standard protocol.  There is a time to go left, and deter from the path laid before you to in fact create a new, better path and to reach new, uncharted destinations.
So when is right right and when is right wrong?   I would be lying if I said I knew the answer to that question.  In the meantime, until clarity arrives, I will continue to do what feels right in my heart and in my spirit in an effort to create my own right.  I have no desires to live in the shadows of others that came before me’s right.  I know where the paved trails lead to – complacency.  I have no desire to be there, complacent, because that doesn’t feel right to me.  So I packed my hiking boots prepared to go off course to follow my intuition knowing the path will leave scratches, bruises, and at times be a brutal adventure.  But I will take pride knowing that is all mine- the successes and the failures.  I will sleep well knowing that I tested and realized my potential.  I will smile knowing that my gifts were used.  And the only contentment will come in knowing that my boundaries were expanded and I defined my own right.

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His Walk

Life has no problem giving everyone its fair share of challenges.  While I believe life is beautiful journey full of more joys than sorrows, some days are just difficult to say the least.  During certain periods of time, one can be stripped of hope and become physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.  It is difficult enough to continue on this journey hopeless, and fatal to walk with no faith in something bigger than man.  As a fervent believer in Christ, it is important to me that my significant other shares that same belief.
Don’t get me wrong, I have dated and loved some non-Christians. Actually, in my experiences, they have treated me better than Christians as they were more focused on being an overall good person rather than using religion as a scapegoat for continuously falling short. And while I deeply appreciate these men and the positive impact they have had on my life, it is detrimental for me to leave so much of myself outside the relationship.  Therefore, in order to make sure I never lose essence of my existence, I need someone walking in the same direction as me- towards Christ.  In his walk, he will encourage me, remind me, and support my own walk whenever life strikes a blow and I feel like I am losing my way.  And I promise to do the same.

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The Gamble: An Open Letter to Him

Sometimes, I just need a break.  It is not that I am not interested in you or don’t think you are wonderful; I just need some time away to better myself.  You, men, are a distraction that right now I can’t afford to have. You, men, can easily take time off to pursue your academic and professional endeavors, but I, a woman, receive the side-eye when I say right now that last thing on my mind is dating.  No, I am not jaded or bitter.  I am merely not interested…at least not right now…I can’t right now.
I am past the point in my life where I am dating for the sake of dating, so when I date, I will date with purpose.  I already know the type of men I am attracted to which is the same type of men I attract: the ambitious.  Well actually anyone can be ambitious, but I have a tendency to fall in love with the ones that have ambition and actively pursue their dreams.   These men that steal my heart will inevitably become the leaders that shape our world for the better.
But I have to ensure I have some things to of my own to bring to the table.  My profound thoughts, my accomplishments, my realized potential, my satisfaction are all things I want…no, that I need to bring to the table in my next relationship.  And now, I am lacking in some areas.  So despite of my love for you, I don’t think it is fair to you or to me to put myself in a situation where resentment may grow and fester.  I know you are thinking, we can do this together. We probably could or there is the slight chance that my dreams may get lost in the shuffle of life and love.  I can’t let that happen again.  Time is too precious and too sparse.  Subsequently, I will be over here working, writing, schooling, and achieving until I am satisfied with what I bring to the table of excellence.  I will do this until success no longer feels like the grind but routine.  In the meantime, I will be having the time of life.  I will do everything I want to do.  I will invite you along and vice versa, but the feelings, emotions, and commitment will be left at the coat check.  And I can only pray that you, Mr. Perfect for Me, will still be there when I am ready to go with you.

Trickin’, Sponsorships, & Taking Care: The Breakdown

A good friend at frontfree always says “it is indeed still trickin’ if you got it, even more so.”  Truer words have never been spoken.  But how do you draw the fine lines between what is trickin’, sponsorship, and simply taking good care of your woman?  I got the breakdown.
Trickin’: It is trickin’ if a man is spending  exorbitant amounts of money on a woman and getting little to nothing in return.  This woman may or may not be having sex with you but that doesn’t matter to the man because he is mostly in it for the enjoyment and/or attractiveness of her company.  The most distinguishing of factors are a lack of any kind of relationship and the woman has little to no respect for the man.  The man may also have little to no respect for the woman.  But respect is not a factor, only money and the things his money can buy are important to her.
Sponsorship: Well, sponsors donate to make an event happen or better.  In exchange for running a marathon, or hosting a charity gala, or promoting a cause companies will graciously donate money and services in exchange for involvement and advertisement.  Similarly, women who have sponsors are exchanging services for goods or goods for services.  I’m not calling anyone a ho or anything, I am just saying you have to be doing something to be sponsored.  Even if the interests and rewards are lopsided, both parties must gain something of value, otherwise please refer to trickin.
Taking Care of a Woman: Whereas any ole body will do for the previous categories, she only accepts gifts from one man.  They are in a committed relationship and love and respect each other.  He is willing to do anything for her because she is willing to do anything for him.  She has proven and established her worth and he recognizes it.  Any woman can have a dude trickin or get a sponsor, but it takes a special lady to have the only man she respects and loves make sure that he gives her the best of whatever he has.

She’s Single for the Night

Not all women use sex to audition for a relationship. Some women see sex as just sex. There are no emotions involved on their end. There are no phone calls the next day or the next week. As of matter, of fact these women don’t even call but reduce all communication to text -time, date, and place. She wants no hugs, no elongated kisses, and no lingering. And no, these women don’t deserve the label of whore just because they know exactly what they want and the exact means to get it.

The prey for tonight has been spot. The lure begins.

Some women enjoy the game- the chase, the lure, and the catch. And no, they are not bitter and lashing out vaginally, they just don’t desire the headache of a relationship. They are simply wired differently, like Sex in the City’s Samantha. Like the leading cast would suggest, the odds of finding a woman capable of getting in and keep it moving is probably 1 out of 4. Most will become emotionally invested on some level. And while most men dream of finding women capable of recreational sex, these same men are often crushed when they find out they are only prey caught in her trap.
Some women are jaded and are lashing out vaginally. They were hurt one too many times and now are numb to it all. They use sex to band-aid emotional, physical, and psychological scars. It is a quick fix for these women like a drug, alcohol, or shopping. However, their lack of emotion is not by choice, they simply have no more emotions to give.
Some women are just cheating. These women may be in love or not, but they are certainly bored with their home life…and their man. Like men, some women cheat just to see how long they can go before getting caught. It is an adrindinle rush to these thrill-chasers. While it is an affair, it is only a physical one void of any emotional or love. And if by some chance, she gets caught by messing with a crazy stalker dude, this is the defense she will give- the same one her last boyfriend gave her.