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Relationship Status Not A Reflection of Your Individual Value

If you survived your mid- to late-twenties without going to a lot of weddings, and you are in your 30’s, you better guard your loins and brace yourself like Braveheart and his crew.

I’m starting to get a bunch of save-the-dates, as some of my dear friends (mostly male though…but that’s a whole other post) are finally making their way to the altar.

I’m very happy for my friends. Most of the folks I know getting married over the next two years are folks who have been in very long-term relationships. They’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, they’ve been able to watch each other change and grow, they’ve had serious battles and challenges, and they’ve decided to keep on choosing each other for the rest of their lives. It’s really beautiful. I’ll probably shed a tear because I know the behind-the-scenes stories. These couples haven’t always had the fairy tale, and for that reason, them making the conscious effort to choose each other over and over again, every day for the rest of their lives, is what makes these new unions magical. They put real thought into the huge life decision they are making. And for that, I applaud them and can be confident in their futures and really relish the celebrations.

But I had a thought as I was talking to a friend. It’s nothing new that a lot of women place their value on being proposed to. Simply being asked elevates them.

And I’ve even had the thought that being asked was in direct correlation to my value.

I had even said on a number of occasions, the reason I’ve kept my engagement ring is because it was physical proof that “someone loved me that much, someone wanted me to be his wife.”

Well, I’ll have to tell myself now after about four years of healing that in the illustrious and oh so truthful words of Brandy, almost doesn’t count.

I understand now that simply getting “chose” as my southern friends would call it, isn’t a reflection of your value. There are so many amazing single people who are amazing, period. If they got married tomorrow, they’d be amazing. If they were single forever, they would still be amazing. There are people who are just really great at being a human. They do it well, regardless of being involved romantically. And I do believe in my heart, because they’ve been so excellent at being a human, they will attract an equally amazing human, decide to be together and save the world by creating more awesome humans.

In my biostats class, we talk about independent and dependent factors. If an independent variable changes, the dependent variables are studied to see how much the independent variable effects them.

I think of marriage, relationships etc., as independent variables. They can change the other dependent variables about you, but those dependent variables you always had, your intellect, your ability to care for other people… you get the picture.

So for people thinking getting selected by someone makes you better than all of the other “pitiful” single people (something must be wrong with them) out there, or if single people believe married people or people in a relationship are “better” you’ve got it completely wrong.

Maybe I need to do another post about something that’s taken me a long time to figure out. I kept wondering why some people never got married or why they are still single. I’m learning it’s a bunch of things.

You know yourself too well to settle, even if it means turning down people who seem to be really amazing (on paper, or physically).

You trust how you feel first, even if it makes no sense to other people.

You know that you can be selfish sometimes and you’re just not ready to share anything, your space, your food, your time, your life…

You still have big decisions that you want to make and only want to have yourself to consider. Do you want to move to another country? Do you want to change jobs? Do you want to buy a house or sell it? Do you want to take out $60,000 in student loans to go get a degree? Do you want to take a significant pay cut for a dream job?

Do you just want to opt out sometimes? Being single gives you the space and freedom to say fuck it and it doesn’t affect anyone else but you. Want to take a few days off and go away? Book the ticket, you’re gone. Want to call in sick? You aren’t squirreling away days just in case a kid gets strep, you can take your mental health day and not slave to make it up. Wanna stay in your sweatpants all day and eat pho? No one is going to tell you no in your own house. Compromise isn’t something you have to consider in the single life. Doing you is not only allowed, but encouraged.

Entering into a relationship can make you a better person, because that person can bring out the best in you or challenge you to be your best self, but you’re relationship status alone doesn’t make you better than anyone else, especially those who aren’t attached.

Entering into a relationship is just a mutual decision between two people. Let’s be together! Ok! Whooo hoo! So is getting engaged and getting married. Let’s make this thing legal! Ok! Whoo hoo!! It’s the decision to choose each other for an undetermined amount of time, based on if you want to continue the relationship or if one of the parties expires. (Singing Fantasia’s Free Yourself, or Mahalia Jackson’s Upper Room) That’s it.

So people in love, even though you feel like it, you didn’t cure cancer, or create wrinkle-free clothing or the cronut.

You were simply able to match hearts at the right time and right place, which is quite a feat, but not one to place you on a perch.

Single people wanting to be in a relationship. Take some inventory of the luxuries and freedoms you currently have in your season of single and be that excellent human. Because it will sustain you when it’s time to really dig in, compromise, love and give freely to your future love.

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Love and Caution

Some folks say that they fall in love too easily.
I’ve never had that problem.
In fact, I’m usually not the first to say I love you.
I warn anyone in danger of loving me not to be offended if I don’t say it first, but know when I do say it, I mean it.
There was only one time, I was fighting myself not to let it slip from my lips, and that was in my last relationship. I waited to let him say it first, so I can say it back.
Anyone who falls in love with me too quickly, I look at them with a side-eye. I just have to. I have difficulty believing them. I also feel like folks who are quick to fall, are just as quick to hate you. I’ve seen that happen too. A recent guy went from wanting to tell his mother about me, future children and thanking God for me on Facebook, to being hurtful and saying he had to take me in small doses, or calling me indignant because I dared to speak my mind. So there’s another side.
I don’t have self-esteem nor do I think not I’m lovable, however, if you’re too quick to pull the love trigger, you worry me as a potential love. It makes me think you don’t put a lot of thought into things and are too emotionally driven and that scares me.
So I think I’ve decided that I need to be with a person who is cool with the pace in which I fall in love and won’t see my need for caution and time as an insult.
Because once I’m there, there’s no turning back. I’ve made the conscious decision to be all in. Hurrah. You’ve got me.
I have difficulty with people who want me to speed up that process, or believe that the pace in which I fall for someone is in direct correlation with how I feel about them.
Should it take me years to fall in love? No, I don’t think so.
Is it measured in hours or months or a specific number of dates? No. It isn’t.
What makes me fall in love with a person is a series of moments in which both people are vulnerable, honest and where I’ve felt completely safe and like myself.
Moments of truth, moments of unbridled silliness, confiding in each other, that means something to me. Those moments help my feelings grow. In my opinion, cultivating intimacy does take time. And when those moments start adding up, then that’s when I feel like I could be falling and I allow myself to.
The quickest way to scare me off is to go into instant couple mode. This means introducing me to family and friends or any people you consider important without telling me or giving me a warning.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than people gushing about what a great couple you are, before you’ve even declared yourself a couple. It’s also very uncomfortable when people really start asking about your future together when you don’t know. Sir, ma’am, I don’t know if I’m going to be talking to this person next week… and my date has only himself to blame.
So I don’t like folks jumping the gun and ambushing me like that.
Those are just more disappointed people if it doesn’t work out. I’m clearly the bad guy. Because here was this guy so proud of me and saying how great I am, and here I am like, he’s cool. It’s still early. I’ve found friends and family don’t want to hear that.
I’m also very private. I want us to enjoy our bubble for as long as we can before we let outsiders remotely close. We’re getting us together, our message, our pace and stride together as a couple. Once again everyone understanding pacing helps the message you convey to the public and all those people you want me to meet. You pull the trigger too soon and someone asks me the wrong question, everyone will feel awkward.
Don’t make too many plans including me too far in advance. Take things one at a time. Besides, I may have already made my own plans that I could have prepaid for, now you’re looking crazy. Or we could have some epic fight in which I ether you and we never speak again.
I’m methodical about entering relationships. I will weigh the pros and cons and read all kinds of articles and take quizzes and look at astrological signs and listening to my inner voice.
So should we go aimlessly into the dark for an infinite amount of time? No. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are wasting time, yet, I can’t operate so quickly, that I’m not considering my doubts or instincts about a person.

One friend thinks I truly haven’t let go of the past.

I’m not worried about the past. Am I affected by it? Yes, certainly. The future, however, has me in knots. Making decisions that involve other people and their feelings if I’m not all in? That concerns me. I feel responsible for that.

I’ve also found out a few other things about myself. I’m uncomfortable if a man spends a lot of money on me. And I value my freedom and independence over everything, way more than I ever realized.

I’ve spent the last four years fighting with myself, fighting for myself, loving myself out of darkness making life changes for myself. It’s been about me. Giving myself over to a man or a family freaks me out. It makes me question everything about the natural next step of partnering up. The pressure to choose the right man who understands that… and coming to the realization that there might not be a man who does, that’s when the claustrophobia sets in.

I’ve been asked over and over what I want. By so many people. It’s been easy to say I don’t know. And it’s lazy.

What I ultimately want is a great, healthy, relationship where I know it feels right in my spirit and where I don’t feel trapped, or that I lost myself or I settled out of some awful fear. I want a love that feels like freedom, that embraces my independent spirit and somehow it works.

Self Awareness and Sight

I told a friend earlier today that the most important thing that you can bring to a relationship with you that’s just as important as love and compassion and forgiveness and flexibility is self-awareness.

Folks have often said if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else. And it’s very, very true, but even in addition to that, you can’t really love others if you have a distorted and unrealistic view of who you are, what your strengths and your limitations are.

You have to know these things about yourself, so you can establish expectations… what the people you love can expect from you and how you react to things. That way, they can choose if they can deal with you or not.

When we really practice accurate self-awareness it’s like going to the eye doctor and finding out you need glasses. Sometimes, there’s stuff about yourself that you just can’t see. You have to get help from others, and you personally have to do what needs to be done to help you adjust for your deficiencies. You are always going to have blind spots if you don’t wear glasses, but at least you know exactly what they are and you adjust for them.

To me, that’s self-awareness in a neat little bow.

People who don’t want to be self-aware are like the folks who know they can’t see, but either don’t want to get glasses because it reminds them of a weakness or they are just stubborn, or they don’t realize just how beneficial they are.

A good example is the first time I wore my glasses, I was shocked that I could see so well. Shocked at how far I could look and at how small the writing was I was able to read on signs. But it also showed me how close I had to be to larger signs to see them well.

Self-awareness does the same thing. That’s why we have to work on this and be honest with ourselves and the people we love. It allows us to help us teach the ones we love how to love us better.

After 30, “I Don’t Know Why I Love Him/Her” is no longer an acceptable answer

I’ve had yet another conversation with a friend facing an internal struggle to allow a man she knows isn’t really good for her to continue to stay in her life and take up her brainspace, heart space and energy.

So, I asked her. Why? Why him? Why do you believe you love him?

She replied, “I don’t know why.”

I told her she better figure it out.

I said right then and there, it was almost cute in our early 20s to say we just loved someone because we felt it. But 9 times out of 10, what we were feeling back then might have been everything else but love, or simplified versions of it that our tiny brains could process at the time.

I hate to take the glamour and wonder out of love because it is one of the most powerful and inspiring and amazing things we have to hold on to during our existence. I don’t poo pooh it by any means. However, if you are a grown woman and you can’t make a list of the reasons why you love your significant other, I’m worried for you. “I just do.” Is not enough.

I’m afraid that I’ll come off really judgemental by saying that’s a lazy ass answer, so I’ll stand in my truth and be a bit judgy.

Those answers are lazy. It requires nothing of you but to simply feel and it certainly requires nothing of the other person except they breathe.

The more I think about the people I love, I find it’s actually quite easy to articulate why I love them and what makes them so special to me.

There are some people in my life who know how to make me laugh. Some people who make me look at myself and strive to be a better human being. Some people make me feel safe. Some people make me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to because they believe I can. Some people remind me to take care of myself. Some people give me the safe place to be vulnerable to cry or be angry.

Like I said. The list goes on and on. I’m not in some mystical haze about my feelings for the people I love. It’s clear and it can be articulated. As we get older, we should get some clarity. We shouldn’t use love as a crutch to be lazy about our relationships and hope they succeed on automatic pilot.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, like an annual review at a job, or report card time for school, we live in a world were assessments help us decide if we are achieving goals, moving along at a proper rate, and even helping us figure out what is a good fit for us and what’s not, what we’re good at and where we need a little more help. It doesn’t hurt to look at our performance in relationships as well as the performance of others. Trust your boss doesn’t write in your review, “Eh, I don’t know, we just like her.”

Should you treat the people in your life like a check list? Should you be constantly evaluating them? Absolutely not. But taking serious inventory from time to time about your relationships can prove fruitful.

So if you can’t come up with one good reason why you love the person you love, dig a little deeper. I’m sure you’ll find one. You should want to find one.

Untitled Love Poem #325

The purest kinds of love are the ones that most don’t understand but spend lifetimes trying to figure out and define.
Love has to be figured out.
I say no.
Love has to be lived.
Love has to have some tears shed on it’s behalf.
Love has to be fought for.
Love can be felt. Love must be felt.
But love also has to be maintained and nurtured.
Love is discovery.
Love is compromise when compromise looks like it is the least desirable option.
Love is allowing one’s self to see with new eyes and to keep growing.
Love allows room to grow. After all love is patient.
Love is realizing how far you’ve come and the celebration of the strength it took to get there. Together.
Love is an agreement spoken and unspoken to stay, to support, to give, to listen, to laugh, to not judge, but if by chance you do judge, you will forgive and be forgiven. After all love is kind and keeps no record of wrong.
Love can be staying up all night talking about absolutely nothing.
Or standing still together not saying a word.
It’s a hand to hold at a time you needed it most but was too ashamed to ask but you hoped that they just knew you needed them. And they did.
It’s words of truth.
It’s a soul’s light that reflects off of you that illuminates an entire room, twice as bright.
It’s sacred secrets shared.
It’s feeling like you are at home and you are safe.
It’s a glimpse of Heaven on Earth manifested in man.
It’s a powerful force that humbles you.
Love will order your steps.
Real love does not have to be loud and boastful but its presence will not be ignored.
You will respect love.

If you love without fear, you will feel divinity.
I don’t need anyone to tell me how to love and especially how to love you, I know how to do that myself. I trust myself. I trust you.
And to love you as deeply as I do, it doesn’t require anyone to understand the particulars of how we love specifically.

It simply requires us two.

Knowing What You Want Simplifies Your Life, The End?

After having a conversation with a dear friend recently, who I had to catch up on my ex-fiance’s visit (I know that was a million years ago (August) she was overseas), exasperated, I told her, while I had the butterflies and feelings were flying from the both of us hither and yon, the dream was over.

Reality set in that he was not serious about even trying to repair our friendship out of whatever fears and issues and excuses he has. “He is unable.”

She burst out into uncontrollable laughter. I had to wait a good five minutes for her to stop cackling and snorting. I guess I sounded just tired of it all. And I was. Over two and a half years of healing is exhausting.

“What did I say? I mean it’s true. He is incapable of giving me what it is I know I need. He just can’t do it. He is unable, therefore, I can’t.”

So, when a dreamy guy I went out on a date with recently and I had a wonderful text conversation about men and women, I found myself stating very clearly what I expect from a man.

I kind of surprised myself with how clear, and honestly simple it was.

Ah, yes. He kicked off the convo by saying that he, like most men are simple.

And I said, eh. I don’t know about that.

So he clarified that most men want simple things from women, like the innate things that women do well.

Once again, I needed him to clarify. Because some things that may be considered traditionally female are not innate in all women. Some things are learned.

But I knew at the root of it all he meant nurturing. I quickly asked another male friend what his answer was, and he also said nurturing.

And by the time I looked at my phone again, dreamboat aka Renniassance (I think that will be his name since he is well versed in the arts and intellectual things) said he was referring to the nurturing nature of women.

Then he turned the question to me about men and women.

I basically said that women do have an innate ability to provide comfort and create safe emotional spaces for their loved ones to enter and be vulnerable and that I found it ridiculously sexy when a man and woman get to a certain point in their relationship where the man can privately be vulnerable with his woman and go back out and face the world.

As for men, I said that men SHOULD have an innate DESIRE to work hard, to be responsible and to do whatever it takes to take care of himself and his family. And he SHOULD follow up with that desire with action, because wanting to do something and doing it are two totally different things. There are a lot of men sitting around, unemployed and wanting to work, but they may have stipulations on where they will work and for what amount of money. There may be men who WANT to support and take care of their children, but they loose steam due to whatever circumstances.

So what separates penis owners from the real men, in my opinion is the desire that is so strong, action is not optional, it’s the law. It’s life. It’s breathing. The kind of man who does what he has to do, even if it’s something he doesn’t want to or feel like doing, because he knows the result of his actions for himself and his family is worth far more than his pride.

He knows the cost of selfishness or laziness is something he and his family cannot afford.

But what sent me into overdrive in the conversation was a point that he made. He agrees men and women should share responsibilities and should be hard workers and that’s not just for men alone.

However, he pointed out that men and women are built physically different to serve certain purposes and it’s a good thing.

“If neither of us lift weights, I’ll still be stronger than you. No matter which wants to feed a child, your body will be more efficient in providing that.”

And in that moment, while I consider myself to align with feminist values, I wasn’t mad at his argument at all.

Earlier in the conversation he asked me if I was simple or complicated.

So approached the answer by saying this.

“If you are lazy and you don’t take the time to really get to know me, I’ll appear complicated. The more you learn, the more eager you are to learn, it will gradually get easier.”

The problem with deciding what we want is winning the war within ourselves between what we know we want and what we think we should want or when it comes to partners adjusting what we know we want because we know that person isn’t it, but trying to make it fit anyway.

Is my ex fine?

Yes.

If he showed up now, I’d let him hit. I just would.

Is he smart and funny? Sure.

Does he know how to let go and love me properly?

Nope.

It’s just that simple. The end.

I created the scenarios that IF he did this, or changed that, I could live with it and that it would be enough. People do this all the time to justify the presence of certain people in their lives.

Even saying the words “He is UNABLE” a few times that night gave me more strength and resolve to let it go, the more I said it. Each time the reality of the situation was raining down on me, but I wasn’t crying, I didn’t feel a hole in my heart. I didn’t die and it actually felt good.

So, “He is UNABLE, therefore I CAN’T” has become a mantra for me, an affirmation.

I deserved to be loved the way I need to be loved and that can’t be compromised or changed. I’m built to be loved a certain way, I’m already wired. And as much as I wanted to adjust it depending upon looks, education and money and charm, my wiring requires a certain kind of love whether or not the man has all of my preferences.

I’m not saying be immovable and impossible to date.

But there should be general things that the love of your life should believe in and then actually do, that aligns with what you want and need. Period.

Simple, right?

 

Look At Him, Now Look At Me…

Most of us have an overinflated ego when it comes to what we desire in a partner.

Should we settle? Heck no, but for all of the people who want very specific things or they want their partner to look a certain way, or have a certain level of intelligence or wealth or whatever, you need to break it down in the most simple way.

I use this as an example.

Say you are at a party of a mutual friend and your dream man/woman walks in.

Now you have an opportunity to chat with them and get them to find you at least interesting. What will you say to spark their interest?

Let’s help you out and say that this dream person already finds you physically attractive. But how do you really seal the deal? What do you have to say? What inspires you? What kinds of experiences have you had? What makes you happy? What are you good at? What do you care about?

Now let’s think about your dream person. What do you expect them to do for a living?

Now what do you do for a living? Do both of you enjoy what you do? Do you feel a sense of purpose? Are you both just chasing money?

What does that person look like? Are they well-dressed? Are they healthy and in good shape?

Hold up the mirror. Are you taking care of your body? Your hair, your skin? Do you feel good when you leave the house?

What is your dream person’s passions? What inspires them? What are their dreams and goals?

Now you. Do you have dreams and goals?

Does your dream person make things happen? Or does your dream person wait on others and just expect things to happen?

Do you make things happen?

Is your dream person a hard worker?

Are you a hard worker?

Does your dream person complain regularly?

Do you complain a lot?

Do you expect your dream person to be perfect everyday?

Can you be a perfect partner to your dream person everyday?

Will your dream person accept you for who you are on the days and nights you aren’t so dreamy?

And can you accept when your dream person acts like a nightmare sometimes?

You want your partner to be fiscally responsible, but are you?

Is your ideal person a loyal friend, honest, sympathetic?

Are you a loyal friend, honest, sympathetic?

You want a socially conscious and educated person, but what are you doing to expand your mind and how are you serving the community?

So my point is, the longer your list is for your potential partner, the longer your list needs your own self-improvement list needs to be.

One light cannot shine for two lights. But when two lights shine together the room is without a doubt brighter.

Everyone wants to be with someone they can be proud of. And for those of you swinging for the fences, if you met your ideal dream person today, be honest…

You as you are right now, could you even get their number?

And I love this song and I think it’s fitting. Mirrors. Justin Timberlake

Personal Bill of Rights: My Feelings Deserve Respect

So after thinking about a bunch of things this weekend including how I want and need to be loved, I also thought about my feelings and how people should and should not speak to me even if it is in the name of honesty.

So I thought to myself, I need to write down in my blog, a personal Bill of Rights to remind myself and reference it to others when folks start getting out of order when it comes to respecting me and my feelings.

It’s like raising a flag or hitting that buzzer from the board game Taboo when someone says a word on the card.

I have the right to digest what people say to me about me and interpret it how I interpret it because it’s about me. My initial reaction to what is said for better or worse is very real. Now if I’m upset by it, I have the right to be upset about it. If you know it’s going to upset me, be ready for me to be upset. If I say I don’t like what you said or I no longer want to talk about what you said, I have that right.

Why? Because even though I can be stubborn, I do need time to process what’s been said to me and I can either see where you are coming from or decide what you said was complete bullshit.

And once again, I’m allowed to do that. I’m allowed to feel what I feel. And I offer that to any of my friends and family. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL HOW YOU FEEL. DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE CHEAT YOU OUT OF THAT. YOU ARE FEELING WHAT YOU FEEL FOR A REASON AND IT MAY NOT EVEN BE ABOUT THEM, BUT YOU FEEL THE WAY YOU DO AND IT’S OK.

One of the things I detest is when people blame me for my feelings or say I’m too sensitive.

As a person who often chooses to suck it up, when I do express my feelings of discomfort, I am being brave, I am standing up for myself, I am standing in my truth. Respect that. Honor that.

Most of my good friends, during the rare times they offend me and the even rarer times when I speak up on it, they back up, they even apologize and they drop it. They don’t blame me, they don’t accuse me of being too sensitive or being all up in my feelings. They stop. Why? Because I established the boundary, I was clear and they respected it. I don’t have to yell. I don’t have to be nasty. But I am firm, there is a change in my voice that suggests this is serious. Stop.

I have one person in my life who defends their harsh words and turns it around on me claiming, that they can’t offer me any kind of criticism, because I always take it the wrong way when it comes from them.

I explained that they often come off judgemental and downright mean and while deep down I know they don’t mean anything nasty, they can be nasty and it’s off putting.

That person simply said, they have an opinion.

I believe that having an opinion does not give one carte blanche to be reckless. Period.

The thing that bothers me the most about this person is this discussion didn’t even stem from my recent relationship issues, which could be open to a lot of criticism and emotional finger wagging.

This was about my physical appearance.

It took me aback. But it wasn’t the first time this particular person said something about my hair, clothes or weight.

So this whole mini argument started from her hinting at her dislike for a certain article of clothing I wore a few years ago and I already shut her down and told her I saw where she was going and not to be nasty. And then it all began.

I decided when it came to this person, instead of sucking it up, I was going to have to retrain her on how I wanted to be treated. So I started speaking up more when she hurt my feelings. But she was always resistant to my speaking up and would minimize my feelings or dismiss them as me being sensitive.

I don’t know if some people have a problem with me asserting myself. I know who I am. I know what I look like and after gaining a few pounds and wearing my hair natural, I feel like I’m living my life with another level of honesty and challenging myself to be and live honestly. When someone compliments me now, I really relish it because I believe them because they are seeing me and it may not be popular or beautiful to you, but it’s me.

When certain friends don’t compliment me it makes me wonder. Does how I look make them feel uncomfortable? And why?

I’ve been on this kick. I’ve been praying about God helping me see first people’s light or lack thereof.

Everyone is a human being with faults and they are special and wonderful. But there are certain people who have a light in them, even when life is difficult or not going the way they’d hoped. I want to recognize those people and encourage them more regularly. I want to share kind words with them and I hope they do the same for me.

I particularly want to see this in my circle, which really isn’t hard and I want to see it in the man who is going to become my husband. I’ve decided I can’t compromise on that. And I think describing it as a light is more accurate than what I’ve been calling it before, “that thing” “that it factor” the “za za zoo.”

It’s simple. From my man, family and friends I want to feel loved, protected, nurtured and safe. I want to feel like the people in my life will allow me rest when I am weary and they got it. They got it until I get more strength and return to the game, so I can in turn help them when they are tired.

I need the people in my life to give me kind words and compliment me. It isn’t vain. I want people in my life to compliment me physically. Who doesn’t? I have no problem telling the people in my life they look beautiful or handsome. Because people need that. I don’t care what anyone says.

My feelings have value. So do yours.

I’m On One

After having a number of eye-opening experiences this week that required me to look at myself, my heart has been pulling me in strange, unexpected directions.

I was skyping with the youngin and enjoying it. He’s a sweetheart. I like this guy. He is 23, I like him and I’ve decided that’s going to be that. We will keep talking and maybe visit one another and it’s just going to be what it is.

I told him last night if he were six years older, it would be a no-brainer. He began to sulk. But it was my truth.

Speaking of truths. I reached out to my ex-fiance.

NUTS.

Yup. But I sent him an email and I had never been so clear. I let some things off my chest after having all of these discussions about supporting black men and about my own ego. And I apologized to him.

Did everyone just flip out? Yeah. I did apologize to him and I told him that I still prayed for him and his well being.

Several hours later he wrote me back. (I told him he did not have to)

He’s still a sad sack. Which is really unfortunate. He’s still struggling with his own issues and he said that I really did not have to apologize to him and that the breakdown in our relationship was still mostly his fault.

The funniest thing to me is his assumption of my happiness. He said he read between the lines and it seems I must have found someone who made me happy.

I laughed out loud on that.

Now, I won’t correct his ass, because hey, I just won’t. I’m single as a dollar bill, but he doesn’t need to know that.

So me being me, I responded this morning.

I told him I’ve had my share of lumps and some days I feel completely shitty. We all do. Life is quite difficult. From all of the self-help books, shows, the Bible and everything else, I’ve learned that adults have to design and maintain their happy.

As babies, someone can jangle keys in our face or play peek a boo and we are tickled. If someone “takes our nose” oh man, you can’t stop us from laughing.

But as we get older, learn somethings and struggle and fail and be disappointed, it takes a whole lot to make us “happy.”

We think having nice things or money will do it. Plenty of successful folks with a lot of stuff can tell you. They still aren’t happy. Just ask Kanye West. I’m just saying. He’s the unhappiest rich person ever. Always looking crazy.

So as we all go through this planet, we have to keep readjusting our idea of what makes us happy. Somethings get old, and then we have to find new things to spice it up.

I told my ex, that I’m experimenting with what makes me happy. Reading, writing, doing tee shirts, spending time with friends and family, traveling, cooking new things, volunteering, working out or doing active things.

You can’t be happy all of the time, that’s why happiness feels so frigging awesome when we  are happy. Happy is fleeting, just as much as pain and despair is. And just like we can stretch out our pity parties, we got to stretch out the happy moments too.

I told him he’s the one who has to forgive himself. I told him that he’s actually mastered the art of surviving terrible things in life, so now he has to learn how to be a liver (someone who is alive, not the organ).

I took this whole thing to the next level. My fingers were typing ahead of me and I invited him to visit. I told him there’s no catch and I don’t even want to talk about the past. I just want us to spend a day or two devoted to being happy doing things happy people do. I told him we could have ice cream and fly kites and pet puppies all day long. But the goal is to not think about anything else but being happy. We used to be pretty damn good at it.

Now whether he takes me up on it or not, hey that’s completely up to him. But I saw someone I loved and still love still hurting.

I’m not trying to solve his problems. I learned the first time around I can’t solve them. He has to do that work.

But for some reason, that’s what my heart told me to do. It’s nuts. But I have some perspective and I’m not afraid. Having a day of being silly and kind and loving to a hurting person in need, I don’t feel like I’m giving up something or a part of my soul. I feel like at this time in my life it’s the right thing to do.

Will it open a big ass can of worms if he comes?

Probably.

But I offered the invite from a genuine, and loving place and because I did that, God’s got it. I feel good about what I did. I actually feel lighter and better. I don’t even have a desire to take it back. Because I did the right thing, I know it came from my heart.

I know he’s difficult. I know he doesn’t trust people. I feel like if I offer him this opportunity to just let it go for a day or two, in a safe place, with someone who he knows cares about him, it could potentially help him. That’s all I want to do and then send his ass home.

Why Does Somebody Have to Die or Almost Die to Get A Ring Around Here?

It’s no secret.

I’ve been in a grumptastic mood as of late.

I recently had a discussion with a friend who is going through what I’ve gone through a couple of times, and that’s seeing a dude you had a relationship with propose and pop the question/get married to someone else.

So aside from the usual, “girl, it wasn’t meant to be and it’s ok.” Or, “Now he’s someone else’s problem, legally,” I don’t have much else to offer.

I hate, hate, HATE to say it, but in a number of cases, the man has gone through some form of emotional duress, or was in serious risk of losing the woman forever, or got her pregnant and felt he should do the right thing, or he’s questioning his own mortality after the death of a very close loved one and boom, the woman who is standing the closest at that moment of “clarity” that’s who he chooses.

And even more specifically, if that young man loses a parent or a parent becomes gravely ill, and he’s been in a fairly serious relationship with a woman, he’s going to put a ring on it.

I call it marriage roulette, or marriage musical chairs.

Life has spun certain men to the point that once the music stops, they’ve made up in their mind, now it’s time and whoever is standing there, they will get the crown.

You could have done everything right. You could have been an excellent girlfriend. You may have thought your breakup was mutual. But when you hear through the grapevine he is getting married or he already did it, there is a pain that soars through your chest.

It comes out of nowhere, and some chick who you are certain isn’t as awesome as you “won the prize.”

First of all, she didn’t win anything. She was at the right place at the right time. They could very well love one another, but you have to really ask yourself some questions when a man has been with you for a certain period of time, and either some kind of family tragedy struck or whatever.

I do think things happen to wake us up, to make us realize life is precious and so are the people we choose to love. But I will give a man a side-eye, if something as life-changing as illness or death of a loved one prompts my man to ask me to marry him. I’d stay with him and support him, but I wouldn’t rush the process or move up the date.

But here is the problem with these kind of proposals. It puts the woman in a difficult position. She’s finally getting what she wanted, but it’s under really stressful circumstances. Even if you want to tell your man to slow down, you don’t want to hurt him or offend him further. So women say yes. Meanwhile, their “special” moment still has a cloud of emotional panic all over it.

Asking a woman to marry you under emotional duress, is in my opinion, just like asking a woman to marry you while drunk.

Sure, your sentiment may be totally honest and as honest and raw as can be, but it shows that you weren’t brave enough to do it under regular, sane, stable circumstances.

Offering proposals under those circumstances is like lighting relationship dynamite. It’s unfair to both parties, really. Who wants to start off a life-long major decision that way? It’s cruel.

I’ve heard it straight from men. They felt lost, and they needed comfort and they realized how short life was and so they clung to a woman that they may not have necessarily wanted to marry before, but she was there.

She was there.

Even Steve Harvey, modern relationship guru… has mentioned that for whatever reason, men need to feel like they are about to lose out before they make a step and take the relationship to the next level.

I hate the whole game of jump, no you jump first.

Shit, take my hand and jump together.

I’m 31. There is no man in sight right now.

Oh yeah. Things with Lancelot have cooled considerably. We have decided to be friends.

All of that aside, I’m not going to be chosen, simply because I was there. I’m not a star on a mall or amusement park map.

So my friend feels like crap.

I’ve been there.

I got the news that an ex was getting married and I went running in 98 degree weather around my block.

I get it.

I see men, in long-term relationships, even living with their women (women who have been vocal about wanting to get married) and for a number of reasons they still won’t pull the trigger. They use the future tense with these women all of the time, they really can’t see themselves without these women, but nope. Won’t do it.

Why does someone have to die or almost die to get a lot of men down the aisle?

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