Relationship

HoliDating: Meeting The Family


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!  So while my post may be a little late since Christmas passed,  there are other holiday celebrations occurring, and of course New Year’s is right around the corner; therefore some of you may still find this post useful. I decided to compile a list of dating do’s and don’ts for men and women for meeting the family for the first time during the holidays. My do’s and don’ts may also be useful for anytime of the year. So here are a few tips I created to prepare you for….MEETING THE FAMILY (in my superhero voice).

Do’s and Dont’s

Research! Find out what you are walking into: I assume one should know this before meeting the family anyway, but just in case, be sure to know the dynamics of the relationship between your mate and family.  Is there tension with the entire family or maybe a specific relative?  It is good to know what to expect so there are not any surprises.  You never know, the cousin your mate is beefing with may show you shade.  Be prepared, but never get involved.  You can be vocal to your mate about the family squabble in a private setting, but don’t involve yourself if anything goes down at the dinner table.  It is not your place!  Now, you can help diffuse a situation or show support to your mate by a simple rub on their leg or hand, or by holding their hand .  These are little things you can do to show support without saying a word.

Be yourself!  Family members can point out bullshit in a heartbeat! The more you are yourself, the more receptive they may be to you.  With that said, you know you best, so be mindful if there are things you say or do that you may want to reserve for the first family meeting. For example, if you normally curse during conversations, don’t curse at all while talking to your mate’s family. Another example, if you are typically candid about your opinions, maybe now is not the time or place to dig in too deep, especially with topics of politics or social issues. Be yourself, but a little goes a long way in the first meeting of the family.

Don’t overdo it!  For example, it’s awesome that you’re a cook, but don’t overdo it by bringing the big pan of potato salad or macaroni and cheese.  Women are funny about their dishes, especially around the holidays.  My recommendation is if you absolutely feel you must contribute a dish, definitely do not let it be a staple dish.  Maybe bring a pound cake or carrot cake instead.  You can make a statement that you can cook, but don’t upstage the host or hostess.

Be independent!  There is nothing worse than being too clingy to your mate when meeting the family.  The family notices whether you will sit tight when your mate goes into another room or if you will follow the leader, so to speak.  It’s about being independent, but it is also about allowing the family to get to know you and vice versa.  Try to be comfortable, engage in conversation, and just be in the moment.  It goes back to being yourself.

If they ask, don’t tell!! This is for the family members who ask too many damn questions about your relationship. There is nothing wrong with sharing some fond memories of you and your mate, but don’t share too much about your relationship nuances and such. I’ve never had this happen to me too much personally, but I’ve stories about family members who ask questions to get a rise out of you. They want a reaction. Think carefully of the question being asked before answering. It’s almost like being in a celebrity interview where you have to decipher if you want to give details or be as vague as possible.

Who knew meeting the family for the first time would be so strategic, but it all depends on the family you’re dealing with. Some first meetings are easy going, while others are a process. Either way use your best judgement and you’ll be fine. Of course you’ll be nervous because that is to be expected, but don’t let the nerves control you. So for those meeting the family this holiday season, good luck, you’re gonna need it! Lol j/k ♥

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!

The Dating 3W’s – What Women Want


I hear it all too often that men do not know what women want, as if women are these foreign creatures that have such unrealistic expectations.  This couldn’t be farthest  from the truth.  I think men have such a hard time understanding women and our needs because they do not fathom what women have to endure.  Women are not foreign creatures, but we are emotional beings that deal with so many things a man could not possibly understand.  This is not to take away from what men go through, so fellas don’t get your boxers tied in knots! The purpose of this post is to solely address what women want.  I by no means represent the entire female population, but I would say generally this is what women want.  Fellas get ready to take notes…

Howt to keep a woman happy

What Women Really Want – Dating Do’s

Communication is key – yes women like to talk, so get over it.  We like to share our day, our thoughts, our hopes, and so much more with our mate.  Sometimes we like to vent to our mate; no feedback required.  All you have to do is be still for a moment and listen.  The more you listen daily, the shorter the conversations will be.

Show appreciation – In a world where women encounter inequalities, a little appreciation goes a long way.  Without naming the duties women have on a daily basis, I will just say, women do it all!! So is it too much to ask to show your women a little appreciation now and then?  It may seem cliché, but surprise her with flowers or whatever she likes, for no reason at all.  Plan a date night, buy her a mani and pedi, or just do something for your women that says “thank you!”

Make her feel special – I don’t care how much confidence a woman has, there is something special about your mate saying “you look beautiful today.” On average a women may get hit on or gawked at by another man at least 5 times a day…at least!!  Although they are told they look fine or maybe there are no words and a man just looks at her ass as she walks by, it is nice to hear sweet words from the one man she actually wants to hit on her and gawk at her.

Time is of the essence – A woman just wants to spend time with her man, and I’m talking quality time.  The week’s hustle and bustle may not cause for the time she may desire, so spend adequate time on your off days.  If in one month you can barely remember the last time you did something nice with her, you’re doing giving her what she wants; furthermore YOU should want to spend time with your woman.  Hellooooo!!!  Keep in mind, ‘time’ does not necessarily mean money, which means you do not have to spend a dime to spend time.  Whether its movie night or game night, it’s all about the time.

So this is it!  Fellas I’ve given you four basic things of what women really want and need.  Of course there may be more, especially depending on the woman you’re dealing with, but even the basics are not complicated.  So stop saying we are impossible to please!  We may have our moments, I won’t lie, but with these basics in mind you should be okay.  With that said, there will be a post in the near future about what women want/need during the time of the month.  It’s just one basic thing –  Don’t F*?k with her!!!  Haha!  Fellas by the time you read this post and the one soon to come, you will see just how simple women really are. 

How to keep a woman happy 2

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

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