Wednesday, April 2, 2014

History and How NOT to Keep Repeating It

Getting to know someone is very hard and time consuming. In the beginning, everyone is tempted to judge a person by their own past experiences…this goes for both men and women. We all have past experiences we use to predict events in our daily lives. We know if we leave toast in the toaster too long it will burn and if we don’t take a jacket with us we may be cold later at night. We can prepare for these things by timing the toast right and being prepared for the weather but you can’t use your past experiences to determine how someone else should behave or react to situations.

I have met some pretty crummy guys but I have met many more who were caring and ended up being great friends.  The thing I have learned from them is that they too have had terrible experiences with women. Some have been cheated on multiple times by their ex-wives, have been abused physically and emotionally, have been taken for granted, and have been used to the point of even raising a child that was not theirs.  Sometimes men will treat you badly because their ex was horrible to them or because they don’t know how to properly treat a woman. Maybe they didn’t have a father at home, their mother didn’t demand respect from their father or her boyfriends, or their father didn’t treat their mother properly.

Let me tell you a story. I dated a guy a little over ten years ago. He was very attractive and we got along pretty well. We were both in our twenties and a little hot headed but, for the most part we were compatible. We both had children when we were young and we grew up in the same area. Our families even knew one another. We spent a lot of time together but as time went on I noticed it was difficult to reach him and I was suspicious that he was seeing someone else. I soon learned he was seeing other people although he assured me he was not. Of course, I was furious. I cried, vowed to be single, and I even decided that I wouldn’t date any more black men! But, my reaction was totally wrong. Why? Because what he was doing wasn’t about me. It wasn’t because I was lacking something, it wasn’t because he was black, and it wasn’t because he wanted to hurt and/or destroy me. He was doing it because it was what he knew.  While we were dating his father died. His parents were in their 60’s and had been married for nearly 40 years.  His father had several children by several different women outside of the marriage, I believe there were three. They ALL were welcomed to his home and they all called his wife “mom”.  His mother never left his father and she endured the hurt quietly. After his father passing and his mother grieving for a while, she began to voice how unhappy she was and how poorly his father treated her. He had NEVER heard his mother speak ill of his father before. To him, this was what I woman should be able to endure because his mother could and did.

I know another woman whose husband had children outside of her marriage as well. Even as an elderly woman she told her children and even her grandchildren that they should always have someone else on the side. As their parent her children believed this until they were old enough to realize she was just masking her hurt.  They had ruined some relationships early on because they believe this was the correct way to behave.

My point is (yes, there is actually a point) everyone has a past that influences how they react to their present situations. If you always make things about you, how you’ve failed, how you aren’t enough, and feel self-pity…you will never experience happiness. Being enough by yourself, remaining calm, discussing family with your date will give you some insight and help you understand some of their behavior. By no means am I saying that you should tolerate lying or cheating. However, I am saying dragging their family issues with you on to your next prospect isn’t productive.  To say all men cheat, all men or no good etc. because of someone else’s upbringing is counterproductive. Let them keep those issues within their families and move on to creating more positive experiences and relationships.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why you keep attracting losers

I know you keep asking yourself, "Why do I keep attracting losers?" I often hear women say all men are no good, they all have issues, they all cheat, etc. But from personal experience, I can assure you this isn't the case. I will admit at one point in my life I was a serial dater. I wanted to live my 20's to the fullest. I took every experience for what it was, I enjoyed the outings, vacations, the great people I met, and the many hilarious dating stories I collected to share with my friends. By dating and meeting different types of people and taking the time to get to know myself, I have a good handle on what will and what will not work for me.

The reason you keep attracting losers is you. It's not everyone else. You have to set boundaries on what you will and will not accept. You have to take your time to get to know people before allowing them to be a part of your everyday life and giving them a long term place in your future. Don't let your biological clock possibly running out set you up for a lifetime of unhappiness. Take your time with the people you meet and learn whether you can trust them or not.

I have found for me it generally takes around six weeks before I get to know someone well enough to decide if they are worth keeping around or not. I know some who say 90 days but I am a little quicker at making up my mind. In six weeks, you should be able to gauge a person's habits, interests, how they engage with their families and their work ethic. Pay close attention and do not brush any warning signs off. This period of time is very short in comparison to what you could end up dealing with if you make the wrong decision and decide to enter into a relationship with this person.

I am not married but I have not met any losers in the last ten years or so. I have to admit, you're going to do a lot of things in your early 20's because you just don't have the experience to know any better. What I consider a "loser" is someone who is consistently unemployed, a moocher, on drugs, a cheater, an abuser, and just a plain old disrespectful jerk.

Here are some of my deal breakers and please feel free to comment if you disagree with any of them.

1. Unemployed/Not Working. Yes, I know the job market is tough right now but he should be doing SOMETHING. If he's not at a 9 to 5 because he was laid off, looking for a job should be his full-time job. If he can't find a full-time job he should be freelancing, starting his own business, attending school to learn something new. Depending on your location in the country this can be hard and I understand but I will say that if a man doesn't have any income, he shouldn't be pursuing a mate. Being able to provide for himself should be his top priority. This is a deal breaker.

2. Not taking care of his kids. Guess what, if they came from him and he's not interested in them or spending time with them, he's not going to take good care of you. He will definitely not take care of your kids if you decide to procreate. You are not special. A real man will be a father, despite any issues he may have with his ex.

3. He doesn't like his mother. If a man doesn't love his mother this is a huge red flag. Unless he has been to counseling and therapy for years, you are going to have a serious problem with him.

4. He's still married. Yes, I had to list this although it should be very obvious. I don't care if he is separated or has been separated for ten years. If you meet a man and he says he is! Do not become his friend, do not go out to dinner with him, nothing. Keep that spot open for a single man. There are plenty out there. He needs to take care of that situation first and get divorced before he starts something with you.

5. He is constantly lying. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. If he continues to lie, even if it's about little things...let it go.

6. A bad temper. If within the first six weeks you have any type of screaming match, please let it go. The first six months should be so happy with hiccups that you should be wondering where he's been all your life, not a headache.

You need to walk away from all of these things. You don't give him a second chance, you don't work on him with it, you run. Life is short and if you are looking for a long-term mate for a healthy relationship, don't waste your time on men with these issues. Don't take on additional responsibilities when there are PLENTY of men out there who do not have these issues.

Next to identify your issues, not theirs!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Loneliness and Happiness

You are the only person responsible for your happiness, no one else. Once you learn how to be happy by yourself you will attract someone that will compliment you, not complete you.

Loneliness, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. If you don't have enough friends with similar interests for men to date, these are some questions you should ask yourself:

1) Do the activities I engage in promote meeting someone of similar interest? I have spoken with several women who engage in activities that are not conducive to meeting a mate but who claim to be lonely and wanting a long-term relationship. If you are deceiving those around you, not being honest with yourself, and not behaving as if you want a monogamous, committed relationship it's not going to happen! Stop being an attention whore and seeking constant affirmations. Love yourself, decide what it is that you want, and stop participating in the activities and associating with the people that won't get you there.

2)Would I want to be with someone like me? If you are constantly nagging, complaining, whining, cursing people out, throwing temper tantrums, who wants you? Acting like a lady goes a long way.

3) Am I selfless or selfish? I know I have said this before but being selfless is what keeps relationships together and is what will make you and a future partner happy. Instead of saying I want I want I want, trying asking what you have to offer to enhance another's life. I am not saying be a doormat but do realize it's not all about you all the time.

This is off topic but I want to add if you are dating someone....let him watch the game! Stop calling and demanding time while he's watching sports. I asked a few guys this week about women calling during sports. I love football and basketball during the playoffs. I don't want to talk on the phone or text while I am watching. I answer the phone or text someone back saying I am watching the game and they continue to conversation. I am watching the game means I will talk to you later...good bye! He will love you for it...I promise.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Business and Relationships

You may have heard this many times before that you need to be careful who you associate with because it will impact your business and your drive to succeed. I want to tell you first hand it is true! It’s not enough to surround yourself with others who share your drive and ambition to succeed but you also have to choose those same qualities in your mate. 

I have dated all types of men, of all races, and in all stations of life. I will tell you that when I am around those who are passionate about their jobs or running a business, it has a trickle down affect. I am pretty ambitious on my own but when around others who are ambitious and focused, I am even better!  Some people will require a lot of your time, create a lot of drama, are self-centered, and would rather you show them attention than make money or do what makes you truly happy.

Here are the warning signs of the people you should avoid:

  •  People who call, text, and or e-mail you incessantly
  • People are possessive
  • People who express their feelings for you too early
  • People who don’t have their own place and want to move in with you

These people are trying to get close to you and who want something from you. They are not about how they can enhance your life but how you can enhance theirs. They will say all the right things but having them close to you will only hinder your success. In order to succeed, you need to be around someone with similar values to your own. Anyone else will simply hinder your progress; keep you from being the person you desire to be.
As women it’s only natural to want to help and nurture but trust me, you will be better off getting a pet or volunteering. Don’t put your time into someone that won’t increase your value!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Insecure Black Woman

The Insecure Black Woman


Being single for the past several years, by choice I might add, I have had to withstand the backlash of many relationships gone wrong. I know every break up story has two sides, but I am going to speak from the one I see. Many men have experiences with women who try to pressure them into marriage and children. There are women who actually talk about these things early in a relationship, before they know if they are compatible. Some meet women who don’t respect them and cheat on them because they are fearful of the possibility of being hurt. A lot of men talk about the strong black woman they meet who is mean and tries to dominate the relationship, making him feel less than a man.

I really don’t get it, or maybe I do.

Our society is one that is completely selfish, where many feel entitled just because they were born. I want to know what makes one feel as though they are entitled to another person’s life, their time, and the things they have worked hard for just because they want it. If you are not enhancing a person’s quality of life, you have no business being part of it. If you are causing drama, arguing, and constantly making demands, those are not attractive qualities and you should seek to make yourself a better person before engaging in a relationship with another. You by yourself should be enough. Being alone does not equal being lonely.

I know Steve Harvey wrote a book for women on how to deal with men. I have seen some of its points and I am not in total agreement with all of them.  My philosophy on life is more of an Eastern/Buddhist philosophy where I try to consider the needs and wants of others before my own. I find that I have more peace of mind this way. I try to practice selflessness: the art of putting the feelings of others before yours. In addition to selflessness, there is unconditional love. Unconditional love is when you love others regardless of their situation, what they have done, or what they may have done to you. The only person you can control in this life is you. There are always going to be situations that arise which are challenging, that is life and that is uncontrollable. People are people, and they will do things that may cause you hurt and pain because of their own life experiences. You have to accept them for who they are and decide if they have a place in your life or not--you cannot change someone who does not want to change.  If you consider how you are making another person feel and also how that other person may be feeling before you act or react, you will find that life becomes easier for you. When someone snaps at you, instead of snapping back and asking what you did to deserve that behavior and using expletives, simply ask “What’s wrong?” Many times other people’s behavior is not about you, so it is wrong to take it personal and allow it to upset you.

Before you enter into any long-term relationship, you have to be happy and love yourself. You have to know what you do and don’t want, be happy with the direction in which your life is headed, and be able to be happy even when your significant other isn’t around. If that means having friends and family to do things with, having hobbies that interest you, or performing some sort of community services then do that. Wanting a man to be around all the time is way too much pressure. Basically, get a life.

Let’s go back to my beginning points. The marriage and children talk. Men are providers. Talking to a man about providing for you and a child, which is what you do when you talk about marriage and children, will be scary to any man within the first few dates. It’s ok to ask a man if he sees being married or having children in his future if that’s what you want but nothing more. As women, we have a tendency to fantasize about what our life will look like when we meet a man. Women have to keep in mind that this is indeed just a fantasy! You love the idea of him but not him, because you don’t know him yet. He is most likely just trying to have a good time and get to know you. Honestly, I think a lot of black men are waiting to see if you are going to act crazy or not.  Try to relax and enjoy the moment.  Enjoy your dinner dates and your talks. It may work out and it may not. If not, chances are you will learn something about yourself, your business, or life itself. Chalk it up to experience.

If a man doesn’t want you, let him go. There are plenty of men out there and one who will love you in return. Don’t spend too much time sulking. There is no need to change who you are, especially if you are happy with yourself, to keep a man. Let him find his match and wish him well. Love him so much that you want him to be happy even if it isn’t with you. A girlfriend of mine actually told me how to get over a broken heart quickly. What she advised was that I write down all the things that made the relationship not a good one and focus on those.  We have a tendency to focus on all the good when people are gone. You will remember the good in time but for the sake of sparing others from your moping I recommend the list, it works!  Don’t call him, text him, stalk him, or throw a tantrum. It may hurt but as the old adage goes: time heals all wounds.

Let a man be a man. If you make more money than he does, or you own a home and he doesn’t…so what! Those things are material. Don’t remind him of it every time you have an argument. If he is a productive citizen, loves his job, and can take care of basic needs that’s all that should matter. In many areas, especially in the city, it will take both people working to run a household. If you live together, support him however you can. When he is around you he should feel like a king and any worries he has should be left outside. A man that you disrespect and belittle won’t be yours for long. There are plenty of women out there who will make him feel like a man and your relationship will be short-lived.

Don’t cheat; it does nothing for your character. If you’re afraid of commitment just admit it but don’t waste other people’s time and emotions.  Giving your all shows people who you really are. If you can’t do that, you aren’t ready for a commitment. If you are cheating because you don’t trust him, and you don’t trust any men…get a therapist. You aren’t ready for a commitment.

Jumping off my soap box now but feel free to comment…I’ll be here to respond.