For the first time in what seems like a very long time I am not actively dating anyone. Wow, feels weird. Well not really. I have achieved some mental clarity (took long enough). I had wanted to take a dating fast for some time now because I felt I was at a point where I was dating without purpose. What do I mean by that? Well I was just dating guys to just to go out fun. It was an activity that mainly filled up my nights and weekends. At first glance, I had a feeling that I wouldn’ t be completely interested in these men, because they did not measure up to someone who I would see myself with on a long-term basis. At second glance, they still did not seem that way either.
In came my dating fast. Why was it so difficult to take a dating fast? Well, because there are men everywhere. Chances are if you are single, then you will eventually come across a man to ask you out. When asked out for dinner or a movie, I would say yes. That yes was on the hopes that I would get meaningful conversation, or a good laugh, but no it never turned out that way. Suddenly dating, just became a waste of precious time. The experience was more pain than pleasure.
Since my dating fast, my life is feeling more refreshed than ever. I feel surrounded by positive energy, and positive thoughts. I’m at a point of happy with purpose.
Accomplishment as a result of my dating fast:
I have lost 7-8 pounds. A quick decrease in movie popcorn, eating out at restaurants, and late night appetizers does wonders for your diet. I have also been able to stick to a regular workout routine, no interruptions, or over exhaustion.
I am all caught up on my work, most times I am even finished early. No minor distractions of text messages or phone calls to attend to
I no longer feel obligated to do things like go out on dates, when I really don’t want to.
I have been able to spend more time with my friends, no thinking about ways to split hours in the day.
I am learning to incorporate a regular sleep pattern into my life. Who knew 8 hours of sleep could make a world of difference in the morning.
I have also been able to develop ideas that have been sitting in my head. I have time! This is great!
Finally, I have been able to think about and, admit to myself the qualities that I truly desire in a man. I have realized the type of man who I want in my life and who I should share my time with. I no longer have to spend time, dating just to date. I can date just the men who truly have the potential to be more than just a first date.
The concept of Miss Independent is one that is quickly becoming a misconstrued notion to many men. It seems to have transformed from the idea that women can be liberated to get the most out of life with or without a man, to one of men feeling that an independent woman does not want a man, and would rather be alone at night. How did that happen?
Well a few weeks ago Tyrese was ever so kind, and gave his input in a message for independent women. Check it out here:
Thank you Tyrese, I’m sure we all really needed to hear that (yeah not really). However, you did inspire me to clear a few things up for men who may like yourself, not truly understand the wants and needs of an independent woman.
I previously wrote the blog Miss Independent: Gift or Cruse, which questions if men are intimated by an independent woman. A man may feel inferior if he thinks that a woman does not need him. He will question himself, by asking “what can I do for her?” However that should not be the issue. Let me clear up a few misconceptions, and maybe men who think similar to Tyrese will have a new perspective of what it means to be miss independent.
For a woman to say she is independent, it no way also means “I don’t want a man”, or “I don’t need a man to do anything for me”, or “I would rather stay at home with my dog”. Of course independent women want and need a man. To be an independent woman, is to be a woman who is not defined by a man. A man is in her life to make her better, she will only allow men to enter her life who will make her better. An independent woman wants a man who will respect her and truly understand her worth. She is independent because she is not going to date just any type of man. She will not allow a man to disrespect her, or treat her any kind of way because he thinks that she needs him.
When a man is with an independent woman, he knows that she does not need him so she can be his dependent, however, she wants him to be apart of her life. She wants to be able to depend on him, and makes that choice knowing that she can also be just fine without him. She wants him to be a man, do the things that real men do. Protect her, love her, take care of her and the family, because sometimes even independent women get tired of depending on only themselves.
When black men feel that the independent black woman is synonymous for “sistas with an attitude”, it sends the message out that black men aren’t listening, or recognizing the needs of black women. Sure we have our own job, pay our own bills, and can take care of ourselves without a man in our life, but yes we do want a man in our lives. We want that emotional connection to a man who is understanding of the hardships of the independent woman. The attitude that you may see is not purposely there to scare you away, it is there to protect us from men who are not capable of handling the challenge of being with an independent woman.
So to Tyrese, or other man who feels they have a message for independent women, listen closely. An independent woman wants to be loved by a man, an independent woman wants a partner, an independent woman has needs and expectations for a relationship. If you as a man are not able to fulfill those needs, those expectations, and cannot step up and be a real man, then yes, you will feel that this woman wants to be alone. In actuality she does not want to be alone, she is just more than you can handle. In that case you have to be man enough to admit that you just are not ready to be in a relationship with Miss Independent.
Recently I was having a conversation with a male friend about his most recent relationship. According to him, he had just gotten out of a 3 year “ship”. Yeah “ship”. I asked him to elaborate on what exactly was a “ship”. He proceed to explain that a “ship”, was kind of like a relationship, but not exactly a relationship. No commitments, no demands, no expectations, basically no relationship. A “ship”. My definition of a “ship”: A friendShip with benefits, but don’t expect too much more because you are not in an actual relationShip. Think of it as dating extended, or relationship limbo.
Before the whole concept of the relationship hits its death bed, I want to make an effort to try to save it while it is still on life support. I’m going to target this one towards women. I will agree with Steve Harvey on this one point: women, we have the control as to what we want from the relationship with a man. We set the expectations of what this relationship will be, if you have no expectations, sadly you will get nothing in return. With the acceptance of an undefined relationship, you will eventually set yourself up for disappointment, and anger. Women, if you want an actual relationship, lets start by not accepting the “ship”.
To be in an undefined “ship” for 3 years is a long time. Women will eventually want more. Reality check time: no one is ever really happy being the side chick, the baby mamma hanging on to her baby daddy who has a new girlfriend, or a wifey but never a wife. Women we may stay in that “ship”, on the hopes that it may turn into a relationship. After 3 years, you can almost be certain that you will not get that relationship that you want. As women we are emotional creatures who look for connections. So if choose to stay in that “ship” now, don’t be surprised by the disappointment you may face later.
The good news: If you are in a ship, you can jump off at any time you are ready. The “ship” can also be avoided all together.
Ways to avoid getting stuck on the “ship”
When you meet a man who appears to be your next possible Mr. Right, state your expectations. Make them clear. If a relationship is what you want, let him know that you are looking for a relationship. A real relationship, you don’t want to just “kick it”, and you don’t want a “ship”. If he doesn’t want a relationship be prepared to walk away, if you don’t walk, you may find yourself smooth sailing on his ship.
If your possible Mr. Right says, “I want a relationship, but I need time to really get to know you”. Fine take that. Give him and yourself time to decide if you two are compatible for a committed relationship. Date him, you should even date other people if you want to weigh your options. However, make sure you have a timeline. Use your best instincts, and make your timeline is one that you are comfortable with. If you say to yourself, and to him, I need to know if we are ready for commitment in three months, make sure you check back in three months to see if he is ready for a committed relationship. If you overlook the check back stage then you will be on that ship to the land of confusion, questioning what you two are doing. If he is not ready for that relationship that you want, then be ready to walk. There are other men who will give you the relationship that you want.
If you find yourself on the “ship”, but you are having a good time. (this is a hard one) In the moment it may not seem so bad, it may even be fun. Ask yourself are you looking for fun right now or, are you looking for a relationship for the long run. Think about the direction that you want this ship to go. Jump in the captain’s seat and take control. Again if you want a relationship, say so! This guy may be a good guy for you and may be boyfriend material, tell him you want a commitment. If nothing is said, nothing new will be done.
Men will only treat a women in a way that she allows herself to be treated. If you accept crap, you will get crap. If you hold yourself to a higher standard, then you will get a higher standard. When a man wants to be with you, you will know it. So when you know what you want, don’t settle for less than that. If a real RELATIONSHIP is what you what, don’t start it off by hoping on that SHIP.
Today in entertainment news it was announced that Kim Kardashian and her short-term husband Kris Humphries are getting divorced. Is anyone really shocked by this? Probably not (well apparently Kris is). Yet, the end of such a highly publicized relationship does lead some discussion about a more important topic: When you say yes to marrying someone, are you saying yes to the wedding, or yes to the actual marriage?
Kim and Kris were married 72 days. Wow only 72 days! Seasons last longer than that. They were a match made in reality T.V. heaven, maybe that was problem number one. Reality T.V. is not real life. When the cameras stop rolling, and the checks stop coming, you are actually stuck with a real person. The person that millions of people watched you say you were ready to spend the rest of your life with. Not the rest of the summer with. Marriage vows are supposedly said for a reason. For better or worse, until death do us part right? That is for real in real life.
The point of this post is not to attack Kim and Kris for their decisions on their relationship. A lot of blame is being put on Kim for the whole wedding extravaganza, but Kris is an adult (even though he appeared a bit immature at times), he knew what he was walking into, he chose to keep walking. Nobody has ever offered to pay me millions of dollars to watch me get married, maybe if someone did I might just get married and divorced real quick too. I wonder if the sanctity of marriage has turned into a downgraded concept, that is easily replaced with the freedom of divorce. Is marriage really just a piece of paper with no meaning?
With age comes responsibility. I know a few married couples, I also know people who have been married and are now divorced. A wedding is an exciting time for a woman. It starts from the moment of engagement. The ring! Most girls grow up dreaming of the fairy tale wedding. Once the ring is placed, you can start planning your childhood fantasy, with flowers, poofy dress and all. For some planning a wedding is a stressful time, but to make the fairy tale perfect stress must be involved.
One thing that I have come to realize it is easy to get married. I know I have said this before, anyone can get married. But getting married to the right person, and making the marriage work is the truly the hard part. The work should not start after the wedding is over, and the flowers have died. The work actually starts way before that. Before the engagement ring is even put on the women’s finger, both people should have a basic understanding that this marriage is going to be work. If either of you think otherwise, well then you may be filing for divorce in 72 days.
A wedding starts with a wedding planner. A marriage starts with communication. Communication should have started from day one. Okay, so maybe you were late with that communication thing, but it should have started way before the day of your dream wedding. In my work, I both love and hate doing marriage counseling. It is great to work with a couple that is at least agreeing to work on their marriage, but it is difficult to teach people to communicate when they never have felt comfortable communicating before. Love should not hurt, and neither should communication, so proper communication takes a lot of work.
When I have counseled women who are in intimate relationships, they often tell me they are afraid to communicate with their partner. I have heard many times, “if I tell him this, then he may leave me”. When I hear that I immediately think, well if you don’t tell him, then your relationship is based on a lie. When you lie to yourself, eventually the truth starts to eat you up mentally and physically.
A relationship also involves making expectations clear. If you have fear in expressing your expectations, say to yourself, “is this the type of marriage that I really want to enter into?” Before the wedding, have the conversation about the expectations for your new family. Talk about where the both of you want to live, do the both of you want kids, how important is contact with the in-laws, everything down to the subject of pets. If it is a topic to importance for you, say it to your partner. Your partner may not agree with you, but then at least you can have that conversation before the wedding.
Also, don’t go into a marriage with hope that the other person will eventually change their mind, or you can make them change their mind on something. That rarely is possible, and you will set yourself up for disappointment if you have that expectation. If they tell you straight up what they want or expect from the beginning, take that as a fact. You then have the choice to accept it or move on.
I can understand why Kim Kardashian may have been quick to want to marry. It was a fabulous wedding after all. She got to play princess for a day, and she was living every young girl’s fantasy of Cinderella marrying her Prince. Kim just turned 31, so the pressure from herself, her family, and society, to get married and start a family must hit at full speed (that feeling is one that I do actually know about). She has said that she wants a family; how do you start a family? With a husband! Whether it was well thought out or not, Kris was the man with the ring, so he got the role of husband. Kim is a beautiful girl, so no matter what happens she will have no trouble finding a man. However, next time now that she has had the dream wedding, she will take a little more time and plan an actual vision for the marriage.
If your marriage lasts less than 90 days do you have to return all the wedding gifts?
After nearly two weeks, I finally returned to Bikram yoga today. Painful is an understatement for the appropriate word to describe that experience. By the start of the floor series I was ready to go back home and crawl myself back in my bed. A missed week of Bikram, is like starting your first hot yoga class over again. On my travels east, I did go with my friend to a Bikram Yoga class in Virgina, however the experience was nothing like the Honolulu Bikram experience. Ahhh, another reason to love Honolulu 🙂
As I attempted my 90 minute moving meditation in the very hot room, my mind started to wander. Well my mind always wanders, nothing new.
But today my wandering brought me to thoughts about soul mates. Do they really exist, or is the idea of a soul mate a piece of fiction that can be comparable to Walt Disney fairy tale?
If this blog by some random chance of fate gone wild ever turned into a book, turned movie, my movie would not be your typical love story, or romantic comedy like so many other single girl goes on a random adventure to find a new life kind of movie. My movie would be more like a cynical comedy. Somewhat like Juno. Dry humor, with an unpredictable ending that is still unwritten.
If my life were fit for true Hollywood fashion it would go something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, then randomly meet a gorgeous, charming man in a way that involves some form of irony, he falls in love with my quirks, flaws, and amazing personality. We spend an endless amount of time together, we have the all too predictable conflict over a meaningless topic, eventually get back together because we realize this is what the universe wants. The ending: we drive pass the ocean into the sunset. In movie world, I would have met my soul mate by now, or at least someone who I thought was my soul mate for the time being.
However, in reality, my life works something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, make a ton of crazy friends, engage in life threatening adventures just to see if I survive, go to work everyday but love my job, and sit around thinking about what my next life challenge will be. Hmm that may not be interesting enough for the big screen. In my movie world, I will not stumble upon Mr. Perfect one day, who I eventually realize is the one I have been looking for all my life ( how cheesy does that sound anyway?)
But I am starting to wonder, do soul mates actually exist. Some married people have said, I knew I had met “the one” the moment I laid eyes them, is that real? Or, do people just say things like that because it sounds like love? Personally, I don’t think I would know my soul mate if he actually did come and save my life because I was about to get by a bus (just saying). I am not sure if ever in my life have I just laid eyes on someone, and knew he was “the one”. I think I have actually fallen in love by accident, it just happens over time. Obviously I haven’t yet met my soul mate.
Since I have decided that I would not make a good career military wife, I doubt my soul mate is on the island of Oahu. Maybe he is on Maui? Or, maybe not. Since there are so many people in the world, maybe we all get a pick of three or four soul mates. Fate would have us only meet one anyway there would be no conflict later in life. Perhaps my soul mate is in another state, he could actually be in New York and I just missed him. I could do some more traveling in case my soul mate is in another country. However, if fate brings us together than I really don’t have to look for him right? He will just pop out of the sky one day by some random coincidence. That sounds about right. I am not searching for “the one”. I will just stay still and let life happen.
To anyone who has found their soul mate, how did you know it was that person? And more importantly are they everything you expected they would be?
I was recently browsing through profiles on match.com and one gentleman’s headline was “Looking for love in all the wrong places”. I wondered to myself why would he put that as his match headline. Was he being honest about his bad experiences with love? Or did he really think since everything else was wrong match.com would be the right place to find love? Anyway this headline turned on a light in my head and I thought, I am very much guilty of that too! I can say that one flaw that I have is that I look for long in all of the wrong places. So my next question is how do I fix that? How am I supposed to know which place is the right place?
Now when I say I look for love in all of the wrong places I don’t always mean in the literal sense. Some instances I look for love in the wrong type of guy. The guy I like just because he is gorgeous, the guy who is emotionally unavailable, the guy who is just looking for sex real quick, the guy who is only focused on himself and no one else, or the guy with the baggage.
I rarely go out to club or hit the bar scene looking for love. Looking for love with the presence of excessive alcohol can lead to a not so good outcome (speaking from experience). So, if I am at the club the intention is just to have a good time with friends not to meet my husband. Unless by some weirdness of the universe all rules are broken, the stars are aligned in perfect form, then I may just meet Mr. Forever, at the club. Not holding my breath for that to happen.
Love in all the wrong places. Love has to do with timing, right place, right time, right? Or maybe not, maybe it is sheer luck. Just happens one day, blindsides you while you are not even looking.
I wonder is there ever a right place to look for love? Once a male friend told me to stop looking. I poorly tried to convince him that I wasn’t looking, I was just browsing every once in a while. Yeah he didn’t buy that. He said “stop looking”. My next thought was, “if I don’t look then how will I know when I found it?”.
Thinking back some of the places where I have looked for love may have defiantly been the wrong place. Let’s see, the gym, hiking, at the auto shop while my car was getting fixed, at the mall, or even on the NYC subway! Hey cute guys have been at all these places, and since they were cute I gave them my number thinking that there may be a small chance we would have a connection. EPIC FAIL! Nothing came from any of those situations, not even heartache, actually more like a headache.
At the present moment I am taking a break from “looking” for love. Since I keep going to the wrong place, I first have to figure out where the right place would be then continue my search. I am having a focus shift back to what I can control, myself! So where is the right place to find love? Well stay tuned, because when I reach that place I will be sure to let you know!