Dating Don’ts

#Lemonade: The Many Layers of WOMAN


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Lemonade.

Layers.

Love.

Liberation.

Last night, April 23, 2016, a movement occurred.  While some call it feminism, I simply call it truth.  Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade” was what we can assume to be her truth, but it displayed the truth of many women.  Beyonce is not the first woman to address women’s truth, however she is the first to do it in this way; an artistic form; a visualization of the many layers of women and some of the issues women go through.  So let us give credit where credit is due; thank you Beyonce for this piece of art!  Truth is the movement; it is a movement of truth.  A women’s truth.  Furthermore, a Black woman’s truth.  It is not about a woman scorned or the angry Black woman!!  (I had to put exclamation points behind that one)  Again, it is not about a woman scorned or the angry Black woman!!  It is about the emotions of a Black woman and the many layers of why such emotions exist.  The emotions of pain, doubt, love and liberation, to name a few.  It’s Black Girl Magic!!

“Lemonade” simply put is Beyonce telling the world Jay-Z cheated and the perfect love story of Jay and Bey is not so perfect after all.  LOL on that!!  Quite the contrary, Beyonce is sharing with the world, especially the young black girls and Black women, we all go through some of the same experiences when it comes to love.  Love in the form of relationships and love in the form of self.  One could argue that is one in the same.  It’s a struggle, it is a fight, and you are not alone.  THAT is simply put what “Lemonade” is about.  Everyone will not understand the transparency and the message.  Those who do not understand may not have reached such layers because it is all about layers.  And let’s be clear this has nothing to do with whether or not you like Beyonce as an artist.  It is about understanding the message, in a nutshell LOVE IS DEEP!  But didn’t we already know this?  Well as a woman you evolve over time and began to see things differently.  As you grow you see and feel the woman’s plight, and then eventually realize rather than a plight it is a power like no other.  Maaaaan!!!  Let me just say it was so refreshing to see and hear someone say the things I’ve felt as of late.

I loved the transparency of “Lemonade,” so let me be transparent.  As a newly married woman in my early 30’s the pressures have been overwhelming.  I’ve been struggling some months now with understanding my place as a woman, a married woman, and prayerfully a mother in the future.  I’ve questioned, am I doing enough for myself personally and professionally; am I doing enough to be a good wife; am I doing enough to prepare for motherhood; will I be a good mother; am I making him happy; most importantly am I making Him happy?  As a Virgo I am already overly analytical, but these lingering feeling and thoughts feel different.  I am in a moment of fear and doubt.  It wasn’t something I could put into words, so I think this is why I was so touched by “Lemonade” because it was put into words for me.  Damn.  For those who do not understand, it is far from playing victim (people like to throw that around a lot), rather it is a process of understanding the pressures, or as I like to call, the root of evil.  Male-bashing??  If the truth is infidelity, then how is it male-bashing?  Rather there is a level of respect for a man who was unfaithful, eventually accountable, and in the end supports his woman who chooses to share her story.   That shows a man whose love for his woman (WIFE) is greater than his pride.  Ya’ll don’t hear me though (lol).  Back to my initial point, the pressures can kill you if you let them.  Women have to look to their faith of course, but it is also necessary for women to look to other women to get through.  We are a powerful being.  So if you get it, you know this movement of truth, “Lemonade,” was deeper than Beyonce the entertainer.  It was an artist, a woman, expressing and sharing her truth and the truth of so many women; Intuition; Denial, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness, Accountability, Reformation, Forgiveness, Resurrection, and Redemption.  “My torturer [LOVE] became my remedy” – love of self and love of companionship.  #Lemonade  

Powerball: Why I Didn’t Want My Spouse To Win


So now that the Powerball pandemonium is over, I can finally say what I’ve been thinking for so long.  No your eyes have not mislead you; you read the title correctly, I would not want my spouse to win Powerball.  Okay maybe it’s not that I don’t want him to win, but honestly I’d be a little fearful if he won.  Why fearful you ask?  Fearful because 1.5 billion dollars is a lot of money for an instant come-up.  I am fearful he would not know how to act and similarly I don’t know how I would act.  It is unfortunate, but reality is that money changes people; it changes people’s concept of what they need vs. what they want.  This change in people’s concept, in my opinion, is plain and simple GREED!  It is this change I refer to, that would make me fearful if my spouse won Powerball.

I know, I know, some of you may think I am absolutely crazy!!  So often I hear people say what they would or would not do if they won or inherited such a substantial amount of money.  Let’s be honest though, people have absolutely NO IDEA what they would do with 1.5 billion dollars!  If you say you would pay off your family’s debt or buy a mansion for your 2-3 person household, then that is why I say people have NO IDEA what they would do with 1.5 billion dollars.  According to ABC News, it is suggested for winners to first get a money management team and avoid making large purchases for at least six months to a year.  So if you plan to pay off your family’s debt or put a gold toilet in that new mansion, for example, then you’ll be broke before you know it. My belief is that until you are in it, you can’t speak on it.  Similarly, until you are in it, you don’t know how you will react to it.  Will you become a pompous jerk or someone who spends frivolously?  Will you lose the value of hard work and the simple life?  Or maybe it’s the flip side, maybe you’ll be smart with your earnings, yet charitable.  Maybe you understand that money is a benefit and not a guarantee of happiness.  So positives can occur from the inheritance of Powerball winnings, but you can’t fault me for being fearful.

As I mentioned previously, I am not only fearful of how my spouse will react to such large earnings, I too would be fearful of my actions.  As it is now I am no expert in money management, so I know if I won 1.5 billion dollars I wouldn’t have a clue of how to manage it.  My husband chuckled when I told him I didn’t want him to win Powerball.  I too chuckled when he said he would give me some of the Powerball winnings if he won.  Ha! That’s marital property now!!! Lol!  But seriously we love each other and I truly cannot imagine either one of us allowing money to distract our beliefs and family values.  However, I am always thinking ahead and considering the worst case scenario so c’est la vie.  I’m sure my thoughts may be rare, but I guess it doesn’t matter anyway since we didn’t win!  This is not the first Powerball and it will not be the last; I’ll root for my hubby on the next one lol.

 

RealiTea: Don’t Be Mad At The Happily Married Housewife Of Atlanta


Last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta was quite entertaining in typical Housewives fashion.  The episode had fashion (tacky or cute is left to be determined), instigation (Kenya as always is messy), and a meltdown (poor Kim just couldn’t get it together).  While the premise of last night’s episode did not venture far from what Housewives show is about, there was one theme that is fairly new.  The theme is Kim Fields and her happy marriage.  It is rare to see a happy marriage portrayed on The Real Housewives of anything, or at least a marriage that is not plagued with divorce or infidelity rumors.  It was quite refreshing for me, a newly married woman, to see a married woman who desired to be with her husband.  As for the flack that she received, I did not quite appreciate that.

Yes Kim was annoying with her crying spells and she may have some social issues to work on, but her heart was in the right place.  I am all for a girl’s trip and letting loose with the girls every now and then, but I think the issue for Kim was that she was on a girl’s trip with women who did notreal-housewives-of-atlanta-kim-fields relate to her situation.  Kim’s situation is a married woman with children, while the girls are single, married with marital issues, or married and pregnant.  Although they are all in different places in life, does that mean they cannot hang out?  Absolutely not, but for someone like Kim who is obviously devoted to her marriage and family, it may be uncomfortable to gallivant with strangers, especially men, take body shots, and be shady toward each other.  I get that piece of it.  I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of just sitting at the bar and not socializing or not at least trying to mingle with the girls and enjoy herself.

So while I may not have done things exactly the way Kim did or go into random spurts of tears, I understand how the outing may have been uncomfortable and not relatable for Kim.  Of course Kenya and some of the other ladies, with the exception of Cynthia and Phaedra, may not understand Kim being homesick, but I would not necessarily judge her for it.  I would agree that The Real Housewives of Atlanta may not be the place for Kim if she doesn’t allow herself to open up just a little, but it is lovely to see a happily married woman strong in her convictions on marriage.

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Ladies Take Back Your Power: Dating Do!


Honesty.  Honesty is what everyone says they want when dating.  More specifically, women gripe about men not being dishonest in what they want; short-term and long-term relationship goals.  But ladies let’s be honest with ourselves, we don’t always tell men what we want.  We’ve all been through situationships that linger longer than necessary because we are afraid to be honest with ourselves and our mate, in hopes that one day everything will work itself out.  This is plain and simple bullshit!!  Ladies let’s stop fooling ourselves and stop being fearful to tell these men what we want!!  What is a ‘situationship’ you ask?  A situationship is when you are in a dating pattern, which means there is consistency in spending time with someone whom you are dating.  It is almost like being in a relationship, but it has not yet been established and thus you just have a situation.  Here is a brief example:

The Situationship:

Greg and Trisha have been dating for six months.  Both Greg and Trisha have been consistent in their dating routine, spending up to 4-5 nights together and most weekends.  They generally get along and have in-depth conversations about their lives.  Greg and Trisha eventually discuss their past relationships.  Greg explains his past relationship ended because the arguments increased and they grew apart.  Trisha says her ex-boyfriend cheated and she felt like she was in a relationship alone.  In the situationship, both Greg and Trisha are content.  Greg is happy because he and Trisha get along, they do not argue.  Trisha is happy because Greg makes her happy with his consistency and he has not given her a reason to distrust him.  Things are fine until time catches up to them, well more so Trisha, because now they are almost seven months in and she wants to know where this is going for them.  When asked, Greg says “he’s good” and  enjoys the time they spend together.  For Trisha this means, Greg needs more time before getting into a relationship, so she needs to be patient.  Trisha, on the other hand, does not tell Greg she is into him, enjoys the time they spend together, and wants a relationship with him; instead she goes with the flow.  By month eight there have been a few changes to their situationship because Trisha believes Greg is dating someone else.  Although he is still consistent with Trisha, she knows he sometimes spends time with another woman.  But she can’t be upset or confront Greg about this other woman because technically they are not in a relationship right??  They are simply in a situationship.  Here is where Trisha being upfront about what she wants is vital.  Just as Trisha needed to hear Greg’s thoughts about the future of their situationship, Greg too needed to hear what Trisha desired for their future.  It would have then become clear to Greg that Trisha did not want to continue with the situationship and rather wants a relationship.  This does not mean Trisha would get the feedback she wants, but at least both parties are clear on what each other desires.

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Trisha is guilty of doing what so many women do in dating; go with the flow.  I have a few theories of why women make this mistake.  One of my theories is actually fact because when I did it (back in my dating days), it was because I told the man what I thought he wanted to hear; NOTHING (lol).  I thought keeping my mouth shut was a good thing and I did not want to be that woman who nagged about being in a relationship.  A huge Dating Don’t!  My other theory is that some women are fearful of the response they will get back from the men.  It is the fear of the unknown; what if he shuts the whole situationship down and then there is NO chance of a relationship.  Another huge Dating Don’t!  Fear is the common denominator for these two theories mentioned and it is most likely the reason for the many other theories that exist.  Ladies it is time to take back our power!!  Why are we leaving the development of relationships up to men??  Listen to what your “man” is saying; if he’s saying give him time, then give him time; if you want to!  If he says he is not interested in a relationship and you are, then leave his butt alone!  If he says he’s not sure of what he wants for the future right now, then give yourself a timeframe of when you need to move on and if necessary, MOVE ON!  Whatever the situation, there is a solution; a solution that you can control based on what you want.  Believe me, these men are going to tell you exactly what they want and they’re not going to change simply because you keep quiet and decided to go with the flow.  Ladies be honest with men and most importantly, be honest with yourself!!  A huge Dating Do!

From Taboo 2 to I Do…The Countdown Begins!!!


Almost a year ago I shared one of the most amazing life experiences with you…the day I became engaged to the love of my life.  As you can imagine I have been super busy since then, which attributes to the lack of posts.  I can’t begin to tell you how appreciative I am of the new and old faithful followers who continue to comment and share how they miss my posts. 🙂  So definitely I wanted to take the time to share with you that today is the one month mark of my wedding date.  I couldn’t be more excited and anxious to embark on this new journey in my life!

It is hard to imagine I started this blog almost 5 years ago as a frustrated single woman tired and bored with the dating scene.  I used this format to share my personal dating experiences and as a forum to discuss general dating and relationship topics.  Although I’m no longer that frustrated single woman tired and bored with the dating scene, I still have opinions about the single-life and dating.  Now I’ll be able to share marital experiences and have open discussions about married life.  So no worries, the blog will continue and I have plans in the works for some changes in the future.  Stay tuned!  As always I love to hear from guest writers and I’d love to post your dating and relationship experiences.

Thanks for rockin with me yall!! 

From Taboo to “I Do”


It’s been almost 6 months since my last post, and I have so much to share.  My last post was about chivalry and how women contribute to its decline.  Well that post and many others referenced personal experiences and dating/relationship lessons learned.  Well just as I’ve shared my dating and relationship experiences in the past, I want to share with you now that I recently got ENGAGED!!!  I couldn’t be more happy to embark on this new journey in my life.  I remember when I first wrote about meeting my fiance (Single Men Without Baggage…They Do Exist!!!) and as much as I can say I knew something was different about him, the encounter was all in God’s plan.  So allow me to tell you about our love story since in the aforementioned post I only briefly discuss our meeting at the end of the post.  If you are not familiar with my dating experiences and advice, there is always a message or lesson to take away.  So here goes…

May 12, 2012 was a Saturday night, and after an eventful Friday night out with the girls, I was not in the mood to hang out again.  My friend Jasmine called ready to meet up with friends to hang out and after a little coercion, I decided to go.  The place was called Taboo 2 and the music was good, but the environment fell short.  No literally every man in the place seemed shorter than me (no offense but tall men are my preference) and a lot of them wanted to talk to me and my friend.  We had fun though, danced, drank, and chilled.  In the moment of a drink re-up and while a guy was talking my ear off, there he was.  He was a friend of the guy talking my ear off and he interjected a couple of times to hurry his friend along.  Little did he know, he was saving me, but what caught my attention more than anything was his smile.  During his interjections he made small talk and smiled here and there.  I’ll admit the smile got me and after his friend finally got out of my ear, I felt compelled to speak to him.  Now I never approach men so I can’t begin to tell you what came over me in that moment, but I calmly approached him and said “I really want to talk to you.”  Because his friend just tried to talk to me, it felt a little awkward, but I didn’t care.  He of course did not want to step on his friend’s toes, so a little while after he found me, said his PhotoGrid_1410757026623name was Cee and slid me his number to give him a call.

I called Cee the next day and we talked for hours.  It was the most refreshing conversation!!! Of course we got to know each other and went through the typical first encounter questions, where are you from; what do you do; how many siblings do you have; etc.  Aside from that the conversation was so much more and that was very important to me.  From that first conversation, the rest is history.  We connected on a deeper level and the next thing you know we were in a relationship, then living together, and introducing each other to family members.  It all happened so fast, but it felt so right.  A cousin of mine feared we were moving too fast and I would get hurt and I distinctly remember telling her I am so confident in my feelings that I’m okay if it doesn’t work out and I fall flat on my face!  I wasn’t naive, but I had faith because he brought something different to the table.  We strengthened each other in many ways.  In the early stages of our relationship Cee suffered the loss of his mother which I discussed in the post “Strength of a Woman…Breast Cancer Awareness.”  It was a very trying time to see the man I love suffer in such a way and no matter how I tried, I could not make the pain go away.  It was difficult and took time and healing, but the experience brought us closer and confirmed that we can get through the tough times.

In two years we had experienced the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly of a relationship.  Some of the experiences did not have to do with us as a couple, rather it was life lessons, individual growth, and healing.  I always knew Cee was the one, so as surprised as I was when he proposed on August 9, 2014, I was confident to say “YES!”  It was the most precious moment in my life thus far as he proposed to me in front of over 150 of my family members at my family reunion.  Family is so important to me and it was beautiful he made the moment so special for me.  I am truly happy and I cannot wait to become his Mrs.!!!  So my love story may be a bit taboo to some because I approached him and I called him first.  I went against the grain and played by MY rule book.  It is okay to follow your gut sometimes, but be realistic and prepare yourself if the outcome is not what you expected.  I can’t begin to explain to you how confident I felt that night and the days after we met, but it was a great feeling.  Now my cousin laughs and we reminisce about the conversations we had when I first told her about Cee and our budding relationship.  Sometimes you just know…and I knew it!!  

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(Don’t laugh at my ugly cry 🙂 )

Chivalry Is Not Dead, But Women Are Killing It!!


If you couldn’t tell from the title alone, I am going to be frank on the subject of chivalry.  Let me first define chivalry; a male moral or social code of courteous behavior to the female counterpart.  Chivalry is best described by such actions as men opening and holding doors for women, a man giving up his seat to a woman when necessary, or a man pulling out a woman’s chair as they prepare to dine.  Chivalry are the niceties that men do to show women respect.  So often I hear “chivalry is dead” or “chivalry is a dying trend.”  I disagree with the first complaint because chivalry is definitely not dead, however the latter statement is true because women (and men) are responsible for the decline of chivalry.  I am not putting much emphasis on the responsibility of men, particularly because women we are leaders and as of late we have become too passive in this area.  Ladies before you judge and berate me for my opinion, let’s think about this for a second.  How many times have you been out with a man and stepped aside to allow him to open the door for you?  How many times have you waited at the car door (doesn’t matter what door) to have the man open the door for you?  How many times have you played a role in being passive to chivalry?

See I can ask these questions because I was the independent woman opening my own doors or pulling out my own chairs.  I was the woman who was with a man who didn’t attempt to open doors for me, but I didn’t call him on it and I allowed it to become the norm.  I was passive to chivalry.  It’s not that I didn’t know what chivalry was; my father taught me this a long time ago!  I had gotten so comfortable with being independent that the chivalrous behavior of men was an after thought.  I got to the car door, I naturally opened it and got in the car.  I got to the door first, I naturally opened the door and walked in.  If we went grocery shopping, I naturally grabbed some bags before going in the house.  All these things were so natural to me, but they were taking away the responsibilities of the man.  I was not setting high expectations of how I wanted and ought to be treated.  I didn’t think chivalry was a big deal.  However it is a big deal, and it is especially important to establish this in the initial dating phase.  Ladies, men will only do what you allow them to do.  It takes a caring and respectful man to address things you allow him to get away with, otherwise, some men won’t say a word and have the mentality “if she doesn’t care, then why should I?”  As leaders it is our responsibility to be assertive about what we want and expect, and what we will not settle for!

Now the other side of the argument is that the lines of what is chivalrous has become distorted by the ‘hollering’ and ‘game-spitting.’ (Damn I sound old)  The previous argument was mainly about chivalry in dating and relationships; it’s about setting expectations.  Here I am talking about strangers who’ve made it hard for women to judge if a man is just being chivalrous or being a pervert.  Some men are just chivalrous by nature regardless if they know you or not, but then you have those men who have a motive.  I’ve experienced a man who happens to being walking ahead of me purposefully slow down so that he can open the door for me to look at my butt.  I can imagine fellas playing devils advocate and saying “well how do you know he was trying to cop a peek?”  Fellas if you don’t know anything about women, know that women know when a man is being sneaky, when he’s trying to catch a peek, and when he’s about to say something sleazy, “damn you look good” or “hey sexy.”  Women can tell that stuff from a mile away and men do not know how to be discreet!  So yes I understand why some women are leery of men and do not allow them to be chivalrous.  I’ve had to tell a creepy man to “go ahead” and I take the door myself and walk in behind him to avoid feeling like an object as I walk past.  So fellas, if you are trying to be chivalrous and get an annoyed look from a woman, don’t take it personal, just understand she is not sure what your motive is and she encounters a lot of bullshit from men on a daily basis.  There are a lot of men who spend time talking game and being disrespectful, which makes it a little difficult to discern when a man is just being a gentleman.

The moral of the story is, allowing a man to be chivalrous is not a weakness for women.  It is not about emasculating women, and rather it is a sign of respect.  Ladies we have to take ownership of our actions and we deserve to be treated with respect.  Forget about this new modern way of thinking, which we sometimes over-analyze the simplest things.  For god-sake when did opening a door become sexist?  I am not telling you to teach a man to be chivalrous, but I am suggesting to set your expectations high and sometimes show him what you deserve.  Don’t be so quick to walk in front of him to get to the door first.  Walk by his side and allow him to open the door, and politely stand there if he does not.  He’ll get the point, but if it takes him too long to get it, then that’s not your job to teach him.  I only know this because I had to be reminded of this in my relationship.  Anytime I dare reach for a door or car door handle to let myself in, my boyfriend says “Oh so you’re feeling independent today huh” and immediately I move my hand and step aside.  I remember one particular time when an older man watched my boyfriend open my car door, and the man said to him “It’s nice to see a young man opening the door for his lady.”  It’s not that young men are not chivalrous and do not know how to act, it’s that women have allowed them to get away with being less than chivalrous.  Oh yeah and ladies stop complaining about the lack of chivalry if you contribute to the decline.  Instead, join me in reviving this dying trend and making a conscious effort to expect more and not settle for less! #DatingDo