Limits

#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  

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!

I’s Married Now!!!


August 2015 my life changed and the journey of married-life began.  I transitioned from Ms. to Mrs. in what seemed like 30 minutes (at least the ceremony part), but it definitely is a long-term change.  It has been three months since I married the love of my life and the question I am often asked now is, “How’s married life?”  What a question!!  I never really know how to answer that question.  I don’t mind the question at all, but sometimes the response I get after my answer is sometimes annoying.  If I say married-life is great, I may get the response “well you’re still in the honeymoon phase.”  I sometimes try to beat them to the punch and say married life is work but worth it, and I’ll get the response of “It is only the beginning; it is A LOT of work, sacrifice…,” blah blah blah.  So because of the feedback which has mostly been negative or alarming, unfortunately, I just say it’s great and move on.  Sometimes the responses are meant to be funny or typical 96d789f342e3bca5c138679ad5ec5772.600xmarriage banter which I too am guilty of, but then there are those who should not inflict their marital experience on me and mine (damnit! LoL). I am not one to shy away from relationship or marital advice, so that is not the issue at all.  However, I do not particularly like it when people are negative rather than constructive; if they have to give any feedback at all.  But I digress and I take it with a grain of salt.  I understand where the question stems from because I too have been guilty of asking questions or saying cliché statements in response to life events.  For example, I’ve asked couples when baby #1 or #2 are coming, which I since learned is a no-no and that is another conversation in itself, but for me it was just something to say.  However, let’s discuss it; is married-life really different from the committed relationship life?

Absolutely there is a difference, which prior to marriage I didn’t think there would be.  I always valued marriage and knew I wanted that to be the next step for me with the right person.  However, after being with someone for years, I thought marriage would be the same in regards to the transition.  However, marriage is like being a part of an organization, a prestigious organization.  It is an organization where different rules apply, it’s a title of the highest order, and more importantly an oath that was taken before God is to be upheld.  My husband and I were together 3 years before taking our vows and I thought it would be the same as we transitioned into married life, but it does feel different.  For me personally I had to make a few changes after getting married.  The first being changing my name.  I took my husband’s name and I will admit it was quite emotional.  For 31 years I was a ‘Middleton’ and now I took on a new name; a new identity of sorts.  I had to change my license, bank accounts, and get used to saying my new name.  Don’t get me wrong, I say my new name with pride and excitement, but the process of the name change was just that, a process.  In addition to a new name, my priorities changed because the rules of sorts have changed.

I take the vows I took before God very seriously, so yes my priorities have changed.  My relationship was a priority  previous to marriage, but marriage changes the dynamics.  I am now a WIFE!  That is a big deal and I am proud to have this title.  Maybe that should be my answer the next time someone asks me “How’s married life?”  I will respond, I AM A WIFE!! Lol!  I love being a part of the married “organization” and of course there is work involved, but what in life does not require work?  If you want success, you have to work for it.  Therefore, if you want a successful marriage, you have to work for it.  So how’s married life?  In a nutshell married-life is an honor, a lot of work, and a great “organization” to be a part of…with the right person of course!

Whether you are newly married or have been married for quite a while, please share your experiences and advice.  I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below or email me at thedating3ds@gmail.com.  Guest writers are also welcome!

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

A Letter To My Son’s Mother…


A Letter to My Son’s Mother…
 
If I said I wish I never met you, that wouldn’t be totally accurate.  If we had never crossed paths that day in September 7 years ago, then I wouldn’t have come to know the most precious gift I have ever been given, my son.  I do wish however, that I never knew and could easily forget this evil, malicious, vindictive, stop at nothing to hurt me, woman you have become.  Never would I have imagined that it would come to this; us “fighting” over something that you know is so dear to me and I that I though was dear to you.  Yet you lead this charge and have me doing something unimaginable; having to prove in court the type of father I have always been and that you and so many others know that I have been.  
I was the father who stayed at home for almost 2 years to take care of our son.  The father who changed diapers, fed him around the clock so you could get some sleep, never missed a doctor’s appointment, fixed breakfast and lunch for his daycare so we could save money.  I taught him things, helped with homework and projects, and took him to and from school.  I even regularly brought him to your job so you could spend time with him on your lunch break or so you could take him around to your coworkers.  You NEVER had to worry about the care our son was getting.  Up until you put me out, that was the way it had been.  All of a sudden it is like none of this ever happened and I have gone from being an “excellent father” to a “freeloading, irresponsible, “deadbeat” in a matter of months.  How???  Why???  I haven’t even been able to understand it yet.  
Yes our marriage didn’t work and I have long accepted and made peace with the part I played in that.  I have to live with the fact that I failed as a husband, at keeping the family together and for the broken promises, hopes, plans, etc.  But I have not failed as a father to my son.  I understand your hurt, anger, disappointment, and I can’t apologize enough.  But it has absolutely nothing to do with our son or the things I have done for him and with him up to this point.  I have always played a MAJOR role in his life and you know that.  But this is your way to make me hurt as much as you do.  Forget husband and wife, this is mother and father, and I’ll never understand how a mother could slander and defame a father who has done nothing but be there and provide for his son as best I could.  My son and I have a bond which it is well-known you have always been jealous of, and that is mind-boggling.  
All the fathers who aren’t there for their kids for whatever reason, and I have always been there and this is what I get???  You can’t hurt me anymore than you already have just by your words in your petition alone.  Forget the ACS allegation, sending the police to my house under false pretenses, making it difficult for me to see my son. The things you wrote BURN because you and everybody else know that it is the furthest thing from the truth.  Those words attempt to obliterate what I have done as a father and I know the place from which those words came.  I never expected this from the woman I was once married to, and everyone is blindsided by your actions.  People who had a relationship with you be it my parents, sister, brother, grandmother, friends, and neighbors are dumbfounded by the things you continuously do to attempt to alienate me from my son.  
I don’t expect an apology from you, as that time has come and probably gone for me to even accept one, but I should never say never.  You have put me through so much with regards to my son and I guess your reasoning would be that I put you through so much during our marriage.  But was it really that bad to warrant what you have become???  Yes I was “consistently inconsistent” but I was always consistent with the love, care, time, and attention that I gave our son and that’s what it should continue to be about, regardless of how we ended up…
 
Troy

The Dating Bubble: Are You In One??


How many of you put yourself in a little dating bubble?  If you don’t know what a dating bubble is, or if you are in one, allow me to explain.  You know you’re in a dating bubble when…

(You say)

  • “I only date older men or women”
  • “I only date men/women my age”
  • “I’m looking for a southern man/woman”

You get the point!  As you know my posts derive from personal experience or the experience of others, so this particular post is due to a recent conversation with an acquaintance.  The conversation was about attracting younger men.  The single 35 year old woman, whom I will call “Jasmine,” prefers dating men her age or older.  

However, younger men.  It was the ‘thought’ that bothered her.  “What can a young man do for me?”  “What could we possibly have in common?”  “If we have kids it will be awkward because I’ll be in my 40’s and he’ll just be in his 30’s.”  Apparently thoughts were running rapid in Jasmine’s mind, and as she said them aloud, I had deja vu.  I used to rationalize who I was going to date and why it would or would not work out, well before the date.  I put myself in a dating bubble, and Jasmine is doing the same.recently she is attracting men in the 25-29 year-old range.  While for some people this may not be an issue, I understood her concern.  I too once had an issue with dating 

Sometimes we have to stop over-thinking the dating scene and just do it.  Who knows what a 35 year-old woman and a 27 year-old man have in common, but Jasmine will never know if she doesn’t try.  And pleeeassseee ladies let’s stop marrying a man and having their children before we have the first date!!!  (We are all guilty of doing that , especially the ladies.)  What if the 27 year-old has more to offer than a 40 year-old?  I experienced this first-hand.  I too used to put myself in a dating bubble until I met the love of my life.  I always said “I only date older men.”  If you read some old posts from 2011, I mention this often.  I put myself in a bubble of dating older men because I had a couple experiences dating older men who were chivalrous and ambitious.  YAY!!  No, that’s what I thought I wanted, but I wanted so much more.  Then in one night I meet a younger man who is chivalrous, ambitious, family oriented, funny, and FOINE among other things!  What’s more interesting is that night I really stepped out my dating bubble because I approached him!!  Sometimes we have to stop saying what we don’t want and who we won’t date, and step out of our dating bubble aka the comfort zone.  Get out of the bubble and step into something new!  So “Jasmine” I hope you read this and give a 27, 35, and even a 45 year-old a chance!! #DatingDo!

      Applies in dating and other areas of life 😉        

I’m Single and I Mingle…Alone!


(Not a pic from the event, but it paints the picture)

In a recent post (Looking For: Single Female w/ No Kids) I discussed my desire to meet a single woman with no kids (for friendship purposes of course). Now that I think about it, I prefer the SW w/0 kids to be at least 25 years old. I hate to discriminate, but honestly my idea of good time is probably different than that of an 18 or 21 year old. Anyway, my point is I put an ad out (so to speak) for someone who shared my same lifestyle. Although I have yet to meet this person(s), I decided to try something new and ‘mingle’ on my own. Last Sunday my friend invited me to his event, and immediately I hesitated because I didn’t have a friend available to come with me. The invitation was spontaneous, and I don’t have friends I can just ‘spring’ plans on. So my friend tried his best to reassure me the atmosphere would be fine, and I wouldn’t feel alone. His theory was I’d meet a male suitor and forget I was alone. I went back and forth for a while, and finally I agreed to attend my friend’s event…alone. Honestly the accountability factor actually pushed me to go to the event. Since I told my friend I was going, I had to go.

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