Settle

#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: #RHOA… More Like Desperate Housewife


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The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) is back!!  If you watched the show last season, you noticed there have been a few cast changes; Sheree is back, well at least temporarily; Claudia is now an extra at Kenya’s product launch party; Kim Fields, is a new addition and so far sweet and comical; Nene is gone, for now (I think the cat is out of the bag that she will return in a dramatic fashion); and last but not least Porsha has reclaimed her peach as a housewife.  So there have been a few changes, good changes, with the exception of an absent Nene because let’s be real, she is the Real Housewives of Atlanta!  This tea is not about the cast changes so much, but rather one cast member in particular.  Now that Porsha Williams is back as a main peach, we’re seeing a lot more of her business ventures and personal life.  It is her personal life that brings me to this discussion because there has been quite a bit of gossip about Porsha’s new boyfriend, Buffalo Bills player Duke Williams.  I don’t know if they are still dating since the show was taped months ago, but their budding romance as it is portrayed on the show, has a lot of spectators talking.

In a nutshell the tea is that Porsha is dating a man who is speculated to be either gay or bisexual.  I’ll be honest, when I first caught a glimpse of Mr. Duke Williams on the show with Porsha, I immediately thought he was gay.  I won’t go in detail as to why I thought so, but I will say there was just something about him that prompted me to think he was not a straight man.  Since the first episode where viewers were introduced to RHOA-Star-Porsha-Williams-Confirms-Split-from-NFL-Player-Duke-Williams-54974-212Mr. Duke Williams, recent episodes show gossip headlines of Mr. Duke (my new nickname for him) in a sexual encounter with transgender model.  Talk about tea!!  What could one make of this revelation??  Well apparently for Porsha, such gossip does not seem to bother her, at least for now.  Some headlines insinuate the rendezvous happened while Porsha and Mr. Duke were dating, but the truth is I don’t think anyone truly knows when it happened or for that matter if it is true.  That is neither here nor there.  What immediately crossed my mind with this tea is whether or not I could date a man who had been with a transgender woman.  Personally this would be a deal-breaker for me; I would not be comfortable to move forward with dating someone knowing this information upfront or discovering it through the course of our courtship.  What are your thoughts on this tea?  Could you date someone who had been in a sexual encounter or relationship with a transgender?

In addition to the transgender news, another awkward scene was the going away party for Mr. Duke.  Porsha seemed so desperate to fast forward her relationship with Mr. Duke.  The comments Porsha made to the ladies about her plans for Mr. Duke, rather than with Mr. Duke was Erica-dixon-new-man-duke-williams-1004-4interesting.  There did not seem to be a connection with Mr. Duke himself, but rather a connection with the idea that they were ready to move forward, buy a house, and have babies.  Whaaat????  It was one thing to throw a going away party for your bae, but to use it as an opportunity for him to meet your family, without him being prepared, is just a desperate act.  The look on Mr. Duke’s face was priceless as Porsha guided him from one family member and friend to another.  The party has less to do with him going away, and more to do with Porsha showing off her new boo.  I thought Mr. Duke handled himself the best way he could because it had to be a tough predicament to be in.  What would you do?  How would you handle being thrown into a situation of “meet the parents?”

Share your thoughts or experiences related to this week’s RealiTea.   would 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

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 😉        

Dating Don’t: Don’t Be Thirsty!


Being in the single-life can sometimes be lonely. (Any single person who says differently is telling a lie!) It’s only natural for a single person going through a “lonely phase” to subconsciously act out in desperation. I’m giving some single folks the benefit of the doubt because there are singles who consciously act out in desperation. Either way they are being thirsty. ‘Thirsty’ is slang to describe one’s recklessness, haste, or eagerness for something. For the purposes of this post, ‘thirsty’ is the eagerness for companionship or sex. In dating, being ‘thirsty’ is a big FAIL! I know, because as I describe in the post “It’s Not Always What It Seems,” I was a bit thirsty. To my benefit, thank goodness, I did not act on my hasty thoughts. (Who knew I’d get so excited over a good conversation with man? FAIL!) In dating, the person being thirsted after becomes agitated and annoyed by the one who thirsts. (I hope I didn’t lose you.) There is only one reason for the person being thirsted after, to put up with the one who thirsts. (More confusion, I know lol.) The one reason is this:

He or she can get what they want from someone who is thirsty: A woman dealing with a thirsty man knows that he will be available at her beckon call, and he will probably do whatever or most of what she wants him to do. A man dealing with a thirsty woman knows he can tell her anything, and she’ll probably put up with his BS. He also knows he has an easier chance at having sex with a thirsty woman.

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Embrace Love, Dont’ Fall Victim To It


I’ve seen it all too often where a woman who has big dreams for her future, puts her plans on hold when she begins a new relationship. Of course men fall victim to the monster too. The monster is called LOVE. They say love makes you do crazy things (LUST too), and apparently it also makes you forget; forget about YOU. In my late teens and early twenties I was a victim of “love.” I put my focus on my boyfriend, instead of on the goals I’d set for myself. The relationship was new, so he and I were together all the time. The more time I spent with my man, the less time I focused on myself. At the time I was in school, and although I attended classes, my focus was elsewhere. I’d hang out with my boyfriend after school, go home to quickly “study,” then it was phone time with my boyfriend. There was obviously too much focus on him. I could blame my actions on my youth, but I know grown women and men who are victims of new “love.” I know someone (31 years old) who when he is single, talks about going back to school for his Bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in Engineering. Almost immediately after being smitten with a woman, his focus changes from moving forward to being stagnate. He’ll suddenly decides he doesn’t have time for school because he has to work overtime at his job to afford lavish dates for his new girlfriend. His focus gets lost in the sauce, if you know what I mean (again lust). It’s frustrating to see this pattern among women and men (especially grown women and men), which led me to ask why we lose focus of self in new relationships, and what is the solution to being a victor and not a victim of love.

As I previously mentioned, age has nothing to do with being a victim of love. A lack of self-esteem plays a major role in why people revert their attention to their partner, rather than themselves. During my experience, I know I had low self-esteem. I thought if I wasn’t available to my boyfriend, I would lose him. I knew there were plenty of fish in the sea that were willing to catch his bait, so I made sure to give him my undivided attention. Previous to that relationship I took pride in being a good student, but the pride in my schoolwork dissipated once I found “love.” Low self-esteem is the same reason why my acquaintance abruptly changes his plans for college. I can time his actions perfectly. When he’s newly single, he’s ambitious and motivated to pursue his dream, but as soon as he gets into a relationship, he derails his dreams. His low self-esteem is largely in part to him feeling obligated to financially support his girlfriend. He is most likely fearful that if he doesn’t appear financially stable, he will lose the girlfriend. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he is fearful to go back to school at his age, but it’s clear he fears the inability to find a woman who is accepting of his low income and his college objectives at 31 years old. It is sad, but true, that low self-esteem is the silent trigger to an unhealthy relationship. It is an unhealthy and imbalanced relationship when both parties don’t have individual goals. A relationship is only healthy and balanced when the individual goals come together, and a couple motivates one another to achieve their aspirations. Before this can happen, each person within the relationship has to recognize their worth and love themselves first!

In previous posts I’ve discussed the importance of self-love, and honestly it is the only solution. If you don’t have confidence and love for yourself, then everything you say and do will exude low self-esteem. Don’t take single life for granted. Use that time to reflect on relationship patterns, your direction in life, or lack thereof. It’s easy to boost the ego, especially coming out of a bad relationship, by making empty promises to yourself such as “I’m going back to school” or “I’m going to start a business.” However, the instant someone shows you attention, you’re back where you started. It’s easy to get motivated once a relationship has ended, but it’s harder to maintain that motivation once a new relationship has began, especially with low self-esteem. You may have to refocus some aspects of your life when entering into a relationship, but don’t lose focus! Embrace love, but don’t fall victim to it (lust too;))…Dating Do and Dating Don’t!