Love Is Not a Guessing Game…

If there is one thing I’ve learned (or relearned) recently, it is that love is not vague or ambiguous.  We have all been there where we are trying to figure what someone’s words or actions really means.  Women are especially prone to dissect every word of a text or tweet to find some latent, underlying deep profession of love- that 99% of the time is not there.
When you like someone it is easy, for both men and women, to create their own fantasies about a relationship that can have absolutely nothing to do with reality.  For example, if a lady goes out on a date with a man twice, he may say that she is his girlfriend when in reality, she is not.  Women often take the activities immediately before and immediately after a sexual encounter to mean more than the just sex it is.  Anything done right around that time span is just a mean to get sex and get more sex, it is not a relationship nor the foundation for one.  Then there are often the gray lines of friendship and sex where you can love a person as a friend and love the sex but doesn’t mean that one is in love with you or wants to go beyond the parameter of a friendship.  But as emotional creatures, as a defense mechanism and to justify our unsupported impulses to garner love, we hang on to the belief that there is more just if—the time was right, or he was single, or I tried a little harder, or I was a little smaller, or a little freakier. Or (my favorite) “I don’t even want a relationship” claim.   While some may not want a relationship, it is the ones that state that sentiment that yet do very “relationshipy” things in order to prove they are in fact relationship material.
Love, however, is not a guessing game.  It is very clear about its identity and goes through every effort to make it known to its intended recipient.  Love is full of the “good mornings” and “how is your days.”  It is the listening. digesting, and recalling.  It is caring enough to be moved into action.  Love is transparent and it is available.  Love is never too busy to return calls, texts, or emails.  Love prefers to see you over a call and a call over a text.  It is personal.  Love is not a subtle hint or a hidden code.  And while it can be shown in countless ways depending on the individual, it will always be an effort outside of your normal comfort zone.  It makes sure it leaves with no question about what it is and what its purpose is.  It is kinda obvious.

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Wanted: A Househusband

Welcome to another edition of Light Fridays…

I have been fixated with the notion of a househusband for a while now. While I am not a fan of the Real Housewives series, it seemed to the revive the housewife movement making such lifestyle trendy and desired.  What took some thousands of years to accomplish in the feminist movement for social equality was all undone within a year or so. Contrarily, I am not opposed to the need and desire to be a housewife for its intended purposes of providing a supportive and stable home for your children and family rather than the to spend the day shopping and doing “lunch” with other “housewives.”
It is for the intended purposes of the original concept to provide a supportive home to our family that leads me to desire a househusband.  A househusband will cook, clean, pick up the kids, go over homework, and manage the household. What will I be doing?? Well, I will be working of course.  I also want to go to school.  And there is, of course, having the babies. I think that notion alone warrants a househusband, right?
I am open-minded, though, progressive even.  I don’t mind him having a home-based business or working from home as long as he can balance the needs of the family. I mean the common goal is to raise brilliant and productive children that will in turn lead their people and country to greatness.  Why can’t the man play a prominent role in that goal…at least until I get a Dr. in front of my name?

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I Like My Men… Ready

Ready and Prepared- or so I thought...

I once said, “I like my men, like my entrée at my favorite restaurant, ready and prepared by time they make it to my table or I am sending it back!” I meant it.  I mean it.  However, at the time, I was referring to the superficial- his style, his career and making him a good fit for me.

It was out of my frustration in “preparing” my previous boyfriend that the statement had derived.  He, like most men his age, was rough around the edges.  He hadn’t quite found his own style yet.  He lacked focus on things important to him.  He was good to me, but me being my helpful self was always suggesting ways for him to improve.  This is clearly why we didn’t last.  However, I did leave a positive imprint on his life, and he did for me as well.  But in months and years after, he begin to evolve into what I thought was the perfect man for me.  The one I “prepared” for me all along.  I was wrong.
As time passed, I said I no longer wanted to go through that draining grooming process.  I wanted my next man “to be ready.”  The statement in itself is not foolish; in fact, it is practical.  It was my definition of “ready” that was erroneous.  It wasn’t until the last six months or so that “ready” begin to take on an entire new connotation for me.  Ready, for me, is now more of a mindset, rather than a destination.  I’ve realize the thing that separates the exceptional from the ordinary is that the exceptional are always in route to the next point.  There is no settling or extended complacency but always willing to be the driving force in their own progression- spiritually, financially, emotionally.  Ready is willing and capable of accepting your significant other’s well being as your own.
I’m so glad I came to that realization months ago because I may have missed this.  I would have been focusing on the insignificant and unwilling to put forth the small effort toward my own readiness.  What I am fortunate to have now is a heart of eternal readiness prepared by life and designed specifically for me.  There is a stark difference in the present in the past.  In what I have learned is that hearts cannot be groomed.

Thanks to everyone that has made this 100th post possible!!

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Things I Can’t Do for the First 10 Dates

At one point in time, I used to be a huge movie buff.  I loved to watch movies.  It wasn’t until recently, when friends begin to ask me if I had seen one movie or another that I realized that I am tragically behind on my movie game.  I think I’ve been to the movies twice this year and maybe twice last year, and actually I have probably been the movies less than 10 times in the last 3 or so years.  I told you- tragic.  After I thought about it, I realized that the reason I haven’t been to the movies that often is because that is a relationship outing and not a dating outing- at least for me.
When you are in a relationship, you can go to the movies whenever because you have spent and are spending time outside of the movies to really get know each other.  However, when you are dating, the movies don’t provide an atmosphere to get to know someone better.  You can’t talk to each other, you can’t see each other, and you can’t build experiences with one another.  It is a terrible and lazy date idea.  So for me, I say no movies for the first 10 dates.  Here are a few other things I refuse to do in the first 10 dates:
1)        Double Date. People are generally still trying to prove something in the first few months of dating and when that is coupled with another couple, it can easily turn into an unnecessary competition to out-“love” the other couple.   Men try to outdo men and women try to receive the most validation.  Or the other couple can be super argumentative and make the other couple feel completely uncomfortable.  Either way, I want no parts early on in dating.
2)        Meet the Parents. It’s just too soon.
3)        Go to Church Together. I know, I know but hear me out.  If it is your church and you are actively involved, it is like meeting the family if not worse.  It just opens up endless assumptions and expectations.  The only exception I have if we go to a church that neither of us attends.
4)        Work Out Together. I think people underestimate how intimate working out together can be.  It can easily expose all of your physical shortcomings in the daylight.  Then there is the sweating, exhaustion, and overall raggedness that comes after a good work out.  For instance, last night I was doing a 25-minute Ab-Ripper X video.   After which, I was laid out on the floor for the next hour.  I don’t want to look like a punk in front of my date.

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Checking the Expiration Date- It’s Time for You to Go

Have you ever went to your refrigerator for some milk and found the milk all chunky and almost in a solid form?  It seemed only a couple of days ago, it was fine and still drinkable.  Now the milk is expired, spoiled, and smelly. Absolutely grossed out, you wonder why you hadn’t noticed it earlier.  Like milk, relationships can go way past their expiration date.

When was the last time you smelled your relationship?

Women often prolong an expired relationship because they are fearful of being alone.  Men usually stay too long beacause of convenience or misplaced obligation.  A relationship can easily go months, or tragically years, before you are able to realize that it is way past its expiration date.  And like milk, the longer you hold on to something that is no longer good, the worst the clean-up becomes.  It is best to catch it early, cut your losses, and not continue to pour your resources into a spoiled, beyond-repair relationship.
Please understand there is a huge difference between normal and healthy disagreements versus toxic and dysfunctional relationships.  And sometimes it is hard to decipher between the two when you think you are in love and are still in the relationships.  From the outside looking in, or in hindsight, the lines are perfectly clear.  This list is for those still inside a spoiled relationship and blinded to the lines.
1)        Cheating. Cheating is really so commonplace nowadays that no one is ever shocked or disappointed by infidelity anymore.  Well, that is only true if you are not in that relationship.  When you are the one being cheated on, it is the worst.  And while men are often the ones most associated with cheating, women cheat as well and, well, much better.  However, cheating is a direction reflection of lack of maturity and focus on what you really want.  Even worse, and the reason why you might as well leave, is that it destroys trust.  Trust is the most critical ingredient in a relationship.  It is the thing that separates friends from foes.  And without trust, you end up treating the one supposedly love like a stranger.
2)        Fighting. There is a huge difference between arguing and fighting.  If you are no longer able to use your words to effectively communicate how you feel and thus have resorted to a physical expression of your disdain, then it is time to go.  Hitting is a huge tell-tell sign of an unhealthy relationship.  And let’s be clear, women hitting on men are just as wrong.   There are no passes because you are probably not injuring him.  If you can’t talk about it, keep it moving.  Additionally, verbal abuse is real as well.  If you are constantly feeling less than when you are around someone, then why be with that person?  Relationships are intended to build up each other, not destroy.
3)        Complete Dependency. You pay the bills, you cook, you clean, you have the only car, and you work.  They do nothing. They contribute nothing.  They have nothing.  If a person is a continuous source of complete depletion of everything you have worked for then that person needs to go.  With the exception of someone being in school,  there is no reason to be in a relationship with someone that leeches off your love and drains your resources.
Break-ups are hard but there is life beyond that man or woman.  Wasting valuable, nonrenewable time is tragic.  Every now and then, you must put your emotions aside, and look at your relationship as if your best friend was in your shoes.  Is it a relationship you would want them to leave?  If so, then you must make that critical step toward your own happiness.

What a Toxic Relationship Looks Like 101

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Recipe for Disaster

…you know, I was thinking more about Fantasia and how this entire situation could have been avoided.  Dude was married, separated, and claimed he was never going back to his wife.  Yet and still, Fantasia still ends up single, distraught, and facing a lawsuit from the wife…
Some men do put on guises and pretend to be all you need.  However, some men wave their caution tags loud and proud, and we women decide to ignore them or feel like you will be immune from heartache. Women are often in the kitchen preparing their own recipe for disaster.  I’ve been there.  Sometimes the signs are blurry and the lines are vague.  I’m here to help out.  Here are the men to avoid.
1) The married ones. The separated ones.  The ones that live with their girl whether they claim they are not together anymore.  The ones you can’t get in touch with after 10pm because they are with their main girl.  Sidelining is only cute for but so long.  You can’t be a sideline and want the main’s attention and respect.  You don’t want to be a sideline, then don’t participate in sideline activities.  Simple.
2) The ones that don’t care of their kids. There are some dudes (and women) that will tell you they have kids but they ALWAYS have time for you. You see the dude all the time but he doesn’t EVER have his kids- EVER??  I completely understand not wanting to introduce the kids to randoms but if you have been with a guy for months on end and he has never had the kid then that, my dear, is a red flag.  If he doesn’t take care of his responsibilities how is he going to commit to someone else?
3) The ones that can’t hold a job. It doesn’t matter as much what he does as much as how well he does it.  If he has a track record of getting fired or quitting a job every 2 months, he probably can’t commit to you either.  If he always runs away when he a challenge comes up at work he will do the same to you.
4) The ones that nothing is EVER their fault. We all know people that bad things continuously seem to happen to them but it is NEVER their fault. EVER??  Men that don’t accept responsibility for the things that they can control are weak.  Leave them alone.  And by doing so, you too take control of your actions and stop being the victim in every relationship.

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The Break-Up Survival Kit: The Fantasia Edition

I just read Fantasia’s sad story on People.com.  The singer, who tried and failed to commit suicide, was giving further insight to her situation saying she was tired of being hurt and done wrong over and over again.  Damn.  I mean we can all grasp that constant and repetitive heartache will take its toll on your spirit, but it is all about how you deal with the disappointment and pain. Fantasia in mind, I decided to create a Break Up Survival Kit, a little break-up cocktail if you will, to help you get over any man.  Hopefully that way you won’t feel the need to check out because of any dude that obviously was never worth your time from jump.  So here we go.
1) Ice Cream– It is so cliché but that is because it works.  Food brings comfort.  But it is a short temporary fix that you can’t over indulge in because you have to keep your figure to get the next man.
2) Beyonce- No one injects self-esteem, I don’t need a man-dom , and overall woman’s power more than Beyonce. Also dancing to all the songs is the perfect exercise to increase endorphins that will not only make you look better but feel better too!
3) Any Tyler Perry Movie– Nothing says ‘men ain’t bout nothing’ quite like a Tyler Perry movie. It is just always comforting to know no matter how bad you had it, a woman in a Tyler Perry movie had it 100 times worse. Plus there is always a “coming to Jesus” ending that renews faith that the feeling is only temporary.
4) New Dress- In a long term relationship it is easy to find yourself in a rut and no longer putting forth your best. A new dress, verses your comfortable sweats and tee, always has a way of making you feel fancy again.
5) New Shoes: Again cliché but it is a fact women walk much different in heels vs. flats.  Your head is up high, shoulders are back, a little more pep in that step.  All of which are ingredients to not only ‘faking it until you make it’ but to get the attention of the rebound guy.

Sending this one out to Fantasia!

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Talking to Your Man: Achieving the Desired Results

Welcome to another edition of Light Fridays

Overnight, the news footage of Antoine “Hide Yo Wife, Hide Yo Kids” Dodson went viral.  Everyone’s timeline was full of quotes and links to the video.  One husband went as far to make a picture of Antoine Dodson his profile picture.  I actually laughed when I saw it, but his wife didn’t think it was the most appropriate picture to represent him and in essence represent her and their family, which is completely understandable.  Her public approach to the situation was unlike anything I have ever seen a black woman ever do.
She simply said, “When people check my profile and it’s says married to “Mr. such & such”, your new profile pic is displayed.  Something to think about…”
Her approach was much different than my lifelong approach of “I’ma need for you do x, y, and z.”  I have seen many other women do it before me and it seemed effective enough.  Well, until resentment of being spoken to like a child set in and right before he left… That in mind, I felt it was necessary to create a quick guide for women to translate what they want to how they should say it to achieve the desired results with his manhood in tack.

What You Want to Say

What You Should Say

If you go out one more night to kick it with your boys while I sit home with the kids, it will be a problem
“Oh you are going out with your friends again tonight? No problem, “Kids, your daddy wants to take you out tonight with his friends.’  Babe, I will have the kids stuff together so they will be ready to go with you.”
Damn, I know I asked you take out the trash yesterday
He says,” Hey babe, you seen my keys.” You reply,” Um yeah I did.  I think your house key is at the bottom of the trash can and your car key is in the outside trash bin. I think.”
Stop leaving your dirty dishes all over the place.
“Hey dear, I’ve noticed you are always too tired to take your dishes to the kitchen after you eat, so I looked into hiring a (male) housekeeper and he will be approximately $350 per week. I figured that would be more important than your golf membership.”
If you play one more video game I am throwing that system out of the window.
“I know you really like that game, but I really wanted to spend some times with you this evening.  And afterward we can stop by game store to see if they have anything new you many want.“
Get off that couch and come help me with these groceries.  You wanna eat right?
“Hey hun, I am leaving the grocery store and headed home.  I stocked up and got your favorites.  You mind meeting me outside in a few minutes to bring everything inside the house?

Hey, I am still a novice at this new form of communication.

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Walking the Walk

When I first started this blog, I was writing just for me.  I had no idea that anyone would care to read it.  But as people begin to read it (thank you all so much), I held myself to one standard- that I will always write for me.  For the most part, I have maintained that standard.  The most intimate blogs has served as a love letter to me, from me, to remind me where I no longer wanted to be and more important, where I wanted to go – forward.
In these posts, I have touched on everything that I have learned about my past relationships that have shaped who I am today.  I have also tried to negate the superficial and focus on the things that are really important to me and things I feel like should really be at the foundation of any friendship or relationship.  However, sometimes superficiality lives closer to the surface in our real lives than they do just in theories or ideas.  For instance, the size of the ring, the house, and the cars, or the profession, or education begins to come into play, but I have to remind myself they are not the things that make a relationship a loving one.  However, sometimes we get caught up in the appearance of things and for some that is okay.  But for me, I have never been that person where those superficial things matter.  Nor do I judge or think I am too good for something or someone because I am not by far.  All of which is easy to write or say, it is slightly harder to walk the walk that I written to myself within these posts.  Had I not written these posts, I may have missed it and settled for the superficial to maintain appearances instead of taking these steps in the right direction.

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All of You

Everyday we enter arenas where we are forced to leave a piece of us at the door. At work, we are requested to leave our personal lives and our beliefs.  At church, we are shunned if we bring our shortcomings and our weaknesses.  Even with some friendships, we find it easier to leave out certain aspects of who we are to avoid conflict and discord.  In this world, where the most adaptable do the best, it is a great challenge to find someone who allows you to bring all of you, all of the time.
In relationships, it is easy to change pieces of who you are without noticing. It can be anything from the way you speak all the way to religion in an effort maintain or build a relationship.  Some changes a new person brings are great and needed. Other times, you don’t realize the damage until you look up and no longer recognize yourself.  In the latter, the changes so gradual you don’t even know where to start to begin to find yourself again.
Then there are times where someone holds you to such a high and impossible standard, in an effort to maintain this pedestal you repress everything that come naturally.  In essence, you are no longer a human responding to stimuli but a programmed machine going through the mechanics of life void of true emotion.
It is then is a prized gift when you find one that allows you to bring all of your successes and failures, love and laughter, hurt and weaknesses, your God and your craziness into the private sanctuary of a relationship.  In this sanctuary, there is no judgment.  There is only light to see you for exactly who you are- the essence of your being.  The sole responsibility to ensure that essence is preserved, balanced, and grows in the betterment of its purpose.  The only requirement is that you promise to do the same.

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