I Swear I Love Them All

I don’t know what I want in a man.  I mean, I have a general idea of the characteristics and traits but no specific prototype of what I am looking for in a man.  Academically, you go through years and years of schooling just to acquire the basic skills to function in life and on primary jobs.  Then you go through additional schooling to give you field-specific training and knowledge, but still it is typically on a basic level.  More schooling usually helps one hone in a specific field of practice.  As such, I know exactly what I want to do career wise thanks to years of schooling and life experiences.
Contrarily, years and years in the school has dating has only left me more confused.  Continued education has only provided more beautiful and wonderful options so now it is too hard to choose.  You see in high school, I knew exactly who I wanted to marry.  He was a gentleman, smart, and funny. But then I got to college, and I met smarter, funnier, finer, and even more gentlemanly.  So I begin to date these guys to have fun learn exactly what I want in a man.  Then I get into the working world and meet all of these men that are brilliantly applying their education and making headway on their respective goals.  This would seem like a good problem to have, but the growth and diverseness of my networks have only left me bewildered and aimlessly dating.
I would like to think that once I found him, or rather he found me, that I would know for sure.  I would expect that the endless unknown possibilities wouldn’t matter anymore.  I would be happy if a sign of eternally contentment would appear.  And I would hope that all of years of dating would provide insight on this specific man and how to not only make it work but to make it flourish.

When I Knew It Was Love

You know on Fridays, we keep it Light.  Light Fridays.

Only children are most often associated with being selfish and stingy.  Maybe this is true in certain instances.  I know I don’t like sharing my clothes, shoes, soaps or sponges, but that is mostly for hygienic purposes.  Otherwise, I am pretty giving…at least to those in need and those I love.
One of my greatest joys is to give the gift of food.  I love to cook and bake and share good times over good food.  It is one the ways I express my love and appreciation for the value you add in my life.  It is “love” food.
Contrarily, don’t touch my plate.  It is completely off limits.  I am more than happy to make you another plate of your own, or if we are out to order another entrée of what you want long as your hand stays clear of my plate.  As a matter of fact, when people ask for “just a taste” I would much rather ask for an extra plate and place a ration on that plate than for your fork to invade my plate.
So I knew it was love when my blood didn’t boil with rage when he scooped his fingers into my plate to grab a fry. I didn’t even frown or roll my eyes or anything. I think I smiled.  I did.  I welcomed him into a world that was previously forbidden.  And whereas before I may have been uncertain of how much I liked him, now I was sure it was something more.  My reaction to my invaded plate was now the gauge of my affection toward him.  My guard had been let down, and I allowed him to peacefully enter.

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…And to Obey Him

This weekend I had the opportunity to finally watch the animated movie Up.  It was the tale of a man who marries his childhood sweetheart.  When his wife dies, he devotes the remainder of his life to fulfill her childhood dreams.  It was a beautiful depiction of lifelong devotion and commitment to love and a person. But how do you really know this is the person whom you are meant to share the rest of your life?
I begin to think about a conversation some friends and I had at a friend’s wedding some months ago. The conversation was centered around the more traditional vows that were exchanged during the ceremony. “..Do you take him be your lawful, wedded husband for as long as you both shall live, to love him, cherish him, honour him, comfort him, respect him, and to obey him according to God’s Law?” It had been years, at least ten, since I had heard the “and to obey him” included in the vows.  We, as women, have gotten away from those terms and detest the notion of being obedient and submissive to a man.
However, what if that was the tool for determining the man a woman should marry- one she would obey? Obedience over the years has gained a bad rep for no apparent reason.  Children used to obey their parents.  Employees used to obey their boss. Wives used to obey their husbands.  Then, when obedience was prominent, our communities were certainly better…
Obedience first requires respect which I can only imagine is useful, if not vital, in a marriage.  I would say, the next ingredient in obedience is trust.  Trust is often only associated with fidelity.  However, the greater need may be for a woman to trust her husband to make the best decisions for his family.  This trust in him is that he will put his needs and wants behind those of his family.  For me, this would be a solid indicator of husband material because I don’t think there are too many men that can match my brilliance.  You see, women often catch the details most men miss and add the compassion some men lack.  I am often forced to add a woman’s touch to ensure success of any project.  So a man that not only sees the big picture but pays attention to the details with delicacy and care distinguishes himself from the pack.  Such a man deserves those eternal and traditional vows of obedience.  He would in turn take the vow to be the devoted and committed husband of the movie Up.

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…In a Relationship and It’s Complicated

It never ceases to amaze me how open people are about their private life via social networking.  One day you are in a relationship, the next you are not.  I suppose some things occur overnight and the following day, you are “complicated.”  But what does this mean? You are kind of together, but you are kind of not? For teenagers and maybe sophomoric collegiate students this notion is both probable and plausible.  However, for hard-working, real life adults this notion is not only juvenile but tacky.  Tacky in a sense that a) you have it displayed on your page as part of what defines you b) that it pops up on my mini-feed, and c) the greatest crime, you settle for less.  So after pondering on this “it’s complicated” concept for a while, I thought of some reasons you thought your relationship may be complicated.
1)      The (S)EX- Factor– It has been mutually agreed that to be apart is best.  Yet, you can’t seem to stop those late night, early morning and mid-day visits. The chemistry is crazy. You feel like given that you have been through so much with this person AND the sex life is still in tack that you might be on the verge of getting back with your ex.  Unless something drastic happens outside of the sex, this is not the case.  The sex is good and well… good sex only begets more sex.  Your status should read single.
2)      The “Just Friends” Zone– The first person you call with good news. The first person you call after a bad day. The last person you talk to at night. You go out. You date. This is your favorite person to kick it with – to just chill. The chemistry is crazy. However, whenever it comes time to introduce this person, they are simply, “My friend….”, or you know, “the homie……”  Don’t look now, but you are in a relationship with the homie.   What is holding you back from the title of the fulfilled job description?  It is like doing CEO work with the job title clerk.  It is simply insufficient. If you are “the friend,” demand more. If you introduce them as “the friend”, step up!
3)      The Shouldn’t Be-ers- You fall in love with your ex’s best friend, your best friend’s sister, your sister’s ex, your boss or your employee or any relationship that ignores rules or principles such as social, religious, and/or political doctrines. Love sweeps in and leaves you at a loss.  Your relationship and love for this person is forced to be hidden from public view to avoid conflict and scrutiny.  Confront your obstacle with finesse and care. Be true to yourself.  Do not deny yourself the opportunity of something real due to someone else’s past. Work it out so that you can enjoy the relationship you may have.
The point is no matter where you find yourself, communication is the key to clarity.  Do not settle for less if you desire more.  Love has no complication, it simply is.

I’m the Reason His Phone is Locked

There was once a time, believe or not, he left his phone unlocked and unguarded for hours at a time while he played madden.  It was never an issue for either of us.  I don’t know what prompted me to check his phone the first time.  Maybe it was an inappropriate look when he was reading a message or a maybe a dismal of my feelings at the moment.   I don’t know if it was just learned behavior.
He was real open back then- would answer questions without any hesitation.  It was easy for him to love and trust.  He had no fears of being hurt or broken.  Words from someone he loved had never emasculated him.  He had never doubted his ability to be a man because it was never questioned or threatened before…before me.
I’m the reason you had to work so hard for him even though you were doing everything right.  You reminded him too much of me…and the pain that I accompanied.  I’m the reason he preferred the girls that required little to nothing to him for so long after me, and well, before you.
I’m also the reason he is patient with you.   He is slow to anger now.  You see, every issue you bring up now, I have already brought up.  I’ve already explained to him how regardless of his lack of understanding that feelings are to be respected within a relationship.  Yeah, we had that argument a many of time so that is no longer an issue for you.
He is a better communicator thanks to me as well.  He no longer bottles up his frustrations to protect his pride.  He knows that love requires action now.  He is thoughtful and considerate because I taught him that women need to be reassured they are loved  sometimes- well actually often.  I explained that, yes, even though you provide with no complaints, it is the little, smaller things that makes us smile.
So yes, his phone is locked now.  He thinks it is to avoid any unnecessary arguments.  But he is also a better man now.
You can thank me later.


It has been a minute…
I have made a few moves- some literally, some figuratively, all to get closer to my dreams.   It has been a beautiful journey.
On this journey of life, it is vital to have a person that believes in you.  I’ve always understood that much. It has always been family, friends, church members, teachers- those who you believe it is part of their duty and responsibility to believe, encourage, and aid in your personal aspirations.
As the journey of life continues, if you are doing right, you often get knocked down, disappointed, hurt, deceived, rejected.  If you are willing to try, you often lose before you succeed.  In a search for something, you often end up with nothing…or just regret.   As women, we often allow those disappointments, regrets, and hurts cloud the image in the mirror.   We find ourselves not reaching as far, not dreaming as big, not trying as hard, not expecting as much.
And if we are lucky on this journey, a man will come along, that not only loves us foggy-mirrored women, but wipes our mirrors.  He clears the obstructions so you can remember your limitless potential, your extraordinary dreams, and your lofty ambitions.   It is weird at first, an adjustment to say the least, having a man who seeks to build and not destroy.   But his patience with you adjusts your vision of yourself, helps to facilitate your personal and professionals goals, and aides your spiritual growth.   His love makes you remember what it was like to love before your first heartache.  His love heals.

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On Looking for Love…

It seems that everyone is preoccupied about one thing, a sentiment seemingly magnified in the south. You are probably thinking it is love, but it’s not.  It is validation through love.   It is easier for me to understand if it was love- to be on an endless pursuit of the purest form of love.  I mean that is noble. But to chop it up and reduce love and its pursuit to the superficiality of being validated exposes all inward insecurities.

Women often confuse the pursuit of love with the pursuit of validation through being loved.  Then they are often left with the bitterness of inadequacy after their quixotic efforts leave them unsuccessful and fruitless. No man, not feeling loved, and now defeat is a dangerous combination.

However, the key is often to refocus the goal to no longer searching for the outward validation but love itself.  Not the whimsical and romantic fantasies of never ever land, but the real and tangible relationships you have established over the years.  Love within families & friendships are the same components of love in romantic relationships.  The ones where you understand and appreciate differences, the ones that hold you accountable, and ones that celebrate victories and mourn defeat.   People are often conditioned at a young age to believe that romantic love is a huge leap from the hundreds of other loving relationships formed.  It has been the demise of relationships and marriages.  Two people looking for two different things or even worse, unable to define what they are looking for at all.  My standard is clear- a love that accepts, values, forgives, and believes. This will be my gauge, when love is comfortable and natural, holding no lavish pretense or conditions; if it resembles all the other proven examples of love, then that love shall be my own true love.

Ms. “love is accepting you as you are, yet seeing your unlimited potential at the same time”