All Articles Tagged "courting"
If you checked out this week’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, you saw that Cynthia Bailey was too through with Kenya’s over the top reactions to her ex-boyfriend, Walter Jackson’s presence. In her most recent Bravo TV blog, the supermodel turned reality star explained why she felt it necessary to serve Kenya with some “tough love” and opened up about a time when she found herself in a one-sided relationship.
“I felt that Kenya really needed someone to help her see that she was so much bigger than the way she was dealing with Walter. I wanted to give her some tough girl power love, because it was really becoming painful to see her continuously become so undone over this man. I did not agree with how she was handling the issue, but I could relate to the situation and her pain,” expressed Cynthia.
She went on to reveal that when approaching Kenya, she was not coming from a malicious place, but from the place of a person who was once in a similar predicament.
“I have been a relationship where I was way more into a so called boyfriend than he was into me. I hung on his every word and convinced myself that I was in love. I called him three times a day and he called me three times a week! I convinced myself that he was the man of my dreams, and I only had eyes for him. He was handsome, fine, funny, rich, spiritual, and smart. We were even the same zodiac sign. Yes, he had me at hello! But guess what? He just wasn’t that into me! Don’t get me wrong, he was attracted to me, and when I did see him, we always had a great time together. However, it was not a mutual love connection. I connected, and he didn’t! I was in love with him, and he loved me. Not the same thing!
Of course I was in denial, because I was so in love, until my girlfriend sat me down one day. Ladies, you know when you are really into a man, it is hard to see any red flags because you choose to ignore them. Yes, love is truly blind. Sometimes it takes an outside person to observe the situation. My friend gave me the tough love talk that I wasn’t trying to hear, but I listened anyway. She told me that I deserved more than what this man was giving me and to never lower my standards to accommodate any man. I felt embarrassed and foolish, because I knew that I was better than that. I just lost myself, and that is a dangerous thing. I knew in my heart that my friend saw that this man did not want me the way that I wanted him. I’m not going to lie, it took a minute, but I did move on. It is important to know your worth and settle for nothing less. I have much to offer.”
What do you think of Cynthia’s advice?
If chivalry were a person, he’d be suffering from a terminal illness and gasping for his last breath. Back in medieval times, men gallantly displayed their courage, glory and honor before their love for all to see, chest puffed with pride.They spoke in sonnets to profess their love and didn’t hesitate to battle for their mate’s freedom. Okay, so my Game of Throne-esque analogy may be a bit over the top, but you get my drift. Most men today don’t appreciate doing the little things that add up big time when treating a woman like a lady (sometimes, ladies are guilty too). From opening and closing the car door to pulling out a chair for your lady, chivalry has withered away like Dr. Heiddegar’s rose. We’re talking respect and romance here people. And here are the reasons why it has dissolved in today’s society . . .
Opposites May Attract, But Does It Last? Why I’m A Skeptic Of The ‘Love Conquers All’ Philosophy And Dating Someone Of A Different Faith
I’ve always been oddly fearful of falling madly in love with a man who I am uncompromisingly incompatible with. You know, that crazy kind of love that makes you consider compromising your values and beliefs? The delusional love that makes you think that you can change a person. The passionate kind of love that makes you crazy enough to attempt to settle down with a man who makes it clear that monogamy isn’t his thing or pursue your life-long dream of becoming a devoted mother and wife with a man who doesn’t believe in marriage and hates children. Yeah, that head-over-heels, the-odds-aren’t-in-our-favor-but-we’re-going-to-try-to-make-it-work-anyway kind of love. While those may be the ingredients of what great love stories and Hollywood blockbusters are made of, I want no parts of that kind of story in my own life. When it comes to matters of the heart, my heart in particular, there are some chances that I’m just not willing to take.
I’d rather not be in so deep that I have to choose between the love of my life and my beliefs. I’d rather not have to fight with my future husband about what religion we’re going to raise our children because we practice different faiths. Relationships are difficult enough as it is. Why make them more difficult?
This is exactly why I knew I had to let him go. On paper he was great. He had a great job, a nice car, his own apartment, he was a college graduate. He was so funny; he made me laugh. He was very intellectual; he made me think. We could talk for hours on end. There was just one problem: he was a practicing Muslim and I am a practicing Christian; both of us were very grounded in our beliefs. He believed that this was something that we could work through, I didn’t. I could really begin to feel myself forming an attachment to him and it scared the living daylights out of me. So one day, I worked up the courage to end things. For some reason, I couldn’t find it in me to tell him the real reason why I was pulling away, which was that the mere thought of falling deeply in love with him and the possibility of someday having to choose between my faith and my heart made me feel like I was at the threshold of a panic attack. So instead, I gave him a bogus excuse about wanting to focus on school, my career and not needing any distractions. He of course, read between the lines and expressed his disappointment in my unwillingness to try.
Since then, we ironically seem to run into one another at the most random of places. He always jokes that it’s a sign that we were meant to be and I of course, laugh it off. I think about him every now and then, wondering if I was too hasty in my decision to sever ties, but I always come to the conclusion that I made the right decision. Watching the emotional turmoil that having children and/or being in a serious relationship with a person who has dramatically different beliefs or values can bring only seems to solidify those feelings. Take “Love & Hip Hop’s” Jen The Pen and Consequence for example, the constant tug-of-war over which holidays will be celebrated in their home or what traditions their son will be exposed to, will be a life-long battle, that will either end when one of them decides to convert, simply surrenders to the other or the child becomes of age to make his own decisions. In the end, no matter how it goes, there will eventually be a “winning” party and a “losing” party. While I’m sure there are plenty of couples who are able to find common ground, this is one fight that I simply do not wish to take on.
Have you ever dated a person with different religious beliefs?
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise.
Waiting To Be Approached By Mr. Right? Study Says Singles Are Frequently Missing Out On Love Connections In These Places
Dorothy Gambrell recently organized a fascinating infographic map for Psychology Today, which revealed the top places where men are less likely to approach women whom they find to be attractive. Nationwide, out of all of the places where women are told are great places to meet eligible men, the guys are falling head-over-heels for the beautiful strangers they encounter in Walmart of all places. Check out some of the other popular locations.
Florida: According to the graph, Walmart was shown to be the location where the highest percentage of missed love connections were reported.
New York: It was revealed that the subway was the most frequently cited location of missed love connections in the city that never sleeps.
California: The most popular missed connection hot spot in California is reported to be 24 hour fitness centers.
Chicago: Similar to New Yorkers, Chicagoans also reported to be missing connections on trains.
Georgia: Interestingly, the most frequent place where love connections are being missed is in passing cars.
Washington: Washington residents are missing connections on buses.
Texas: Walmart was shown to be the missed connection hot spot among Texans
Virginia: Virginia’s most popular location for missed connections was found to be the gym.
South Carolina: SC residents fail to make connections most frequently at football games.
Louisiana: Walmart is a frequent location for missed connections in Louisiana as well.
The graph also showed that Washington state has the highest number of women seeking men or other women, in addition to breaking down popular missed connection spots by age. 20 – 29-year-olds are missing one another in ice cream shops, 30 – 39-year-olds are missing out in bars and 40 – 49-year-olds are suprisingly missing one another at strip clubs and adult bookstores.
Didn’t see your state listed? Check out the graph below.
Whether it’s Trey Songz crooning he’s about to “Dive In” or Chris Brown moaning about how he’s going to make me “Wet The Bed,” I must be getting old and sensitive because love and hip-hop is a little too raw for me. Not even 5 years ago, I was attracted to men who were vulgar and explicit and thought those sweet, sensitive guys singing lullabies about walks in the park and candlelit dinners were clowns. But after years of blatant honesty, I find myself missing the days of middle school when a guy would send me a candy gram in class asking, “Will you go with me?”
A few months ago my colleagues and I decided that we needed some music to break up the monotony of our office days that are otherwise filled with calls from probation officers about parenting classes and random UPS diaper deliveries. With the help of Pandora, soon we had Marvin Gaye and Sade to serenade us through those long eight hours. We chose channels that we thought were “safe” for an office of women ranging from their early twenties to their late fifties. And by “safe” I mean we didn’t want to run the risk of Rihanna exclaiming, “I love it when you eat it,” in the event that a donor walked through the door. By choosing the Toni Braxton channel, I figured we were in the clear.
Nonetheless after a few times haul assing to my phone to change the channel when I heard the first few notes of “Neighbors Know My Name” drop, it hit me: There aren’t too many men singing about love anymore. Even back in the day our parents clearly knew exactly that Ronald Isley wasn’t just talking about a hug when he sang “I feel your love surrounding me” on “In Between the Sheets,” but it was a lot more subtle than, “Girl I like the way it opens up when you throw it back baby,” as Chris Brown sings on 2012. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have my random ratchet moments where a little wine and some Rick Ross “Diced Pineapples” or “She Will” by Lil’ Wayne doesn’t make me feel like the sexiest broad to ever sip Yellowtail on a Saturday. When it comes to raunch and romance, I like Chris Brown and Trey Songz because they “go there.” But sometimes I just want to fall back and hear a man tell me how beautiful I am, not how fat my a** is.
It’s not like thug love didn’t exist when I was a teen. Boys II Men might have been on bended knee begging to make love, but Jodeci didn’t hesitate to hump the stage and let us know that every freakin day they wanted to freak our bodies in every freakin way. A few years later even LL Cool J and Fabolous had their share of public displays of affection through singles like Hey Lover and Baby. There was a balance back then, but recently when I try to think of anyone mainstream that’s actually singing about love the only artist who comes to mind is Ne-yo and recently he seems to making more songs for the club than for couples. It’s no wonder why teens today can’t see anything beyond breaking headboards when it comes to relationships. Women are becoming the worst offenders. When did a man become soft or a sucker for being a gentleman? Any time a man reveals the slightest bit of sensitivity or emotion we are quick to label him as “soft” or “gay,”but don’t let him refer to us as “bitches” and we’re ready to swing on him…unless of course he’s a rapper and he’s telling us to drop down and get our eagle on. There’s nothing like a little fame and money to make the rules of the regular not apply. Even I must admit it’s been me on some occasions looking all silly and doe-eyed when a man tells me how “bad” I am or that I look like a video vixen. But on some level it’s sad that “I can tell that you’ve been practicin’” is seen as the ultimate form of flattery these days.
I think it’s great that people are talking so openly about sex especially when it comes to people not fearing they’ll be judged for what gender they choose to love or young people being able to ask questions without people assuming they are trying to make a pregnancy pact. But sometimes people being so TMI about their sexual intentions kills the mystery which as a result kills the mood. I think that’s why I enjoy Drake so much; he can just as easily hold his own surrounded by bouncing booties on a single like “Pop That” and then turn around and express how vulnerable he actually is on a song like “Hate Sleeping Alone.”
There’s time and place for passion, but as women we can’t wonder where the romance and respect went when any man who isn’t telling us to bend over and look back at him is considered a clown. Ladies if we want romance and candlelight, we have to think more about love than dropping it low and spreading it wide. Fellas, sometimes revealing what you want to stick and lick isn’t nearly as arousing as telling a woman that you just want to hold her. Romance and ratchet don’t mix and we don’t always want baby-making music as much as we want to boo love. The subtle art of flirting and courtship needs to be brought back not only to hip hop, but to relationships every where. That doesn’t have to mean cliched rose petals leading to the bedroom or Barry White and candlelight, but try being a little creative. I like it rough, but take a note from Otis Redding and try a little tenderness.
Can you think of any R&B artists who still sing about love?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
It was a couple of days before I had a really major assignment due; an assignment I’d been slaving over the entire semester. The one assignment that could determine my fate as a student at my university. I was totally freaking out. The professor whom I had to submit the assignment to was also the director of the Media & Communications department and although she only stood at about 5’2″, she was nothing short of intimidating with her vague directions and her blasé attitude.
“If Jesus decided to come back before I have to submit this assignment I wouldn’t even be mad,” I text him.
“Lol, you’ll be fine. You’re smart and hardworking. Plus, you put a lot of effort into this assignment,” he replied. He followed up that text with a very thoughtful prayer asking God to help me focus, remain calm, and carry out the task at hand. It was like something clicked in that moment. That little nudge wrapped in a blanket of encouragement, sealed with a prayer seemed to be exactly what I needed. I let out a deep sigh, shook myself off, relocated my “mojo” and got back to work. I completed my project not long after.
I reflected on our conversation later on that night and thought “So, this is what it feels like to find someone who actively, positively, and genuinely contributes to your life.” When I really got to thinking about it, he’s been that way for the entire five years we’ve been friends and the last five months that we’ve been something else. I made a mental note that if he wasn’t the one, I certainly wanted someone with similar characteristics.
We’re all aware that relationships can take on a slew of different characteristics. There are those toxic relationships where your significant other seems to bring out the “crazy” in you. There are those damaging relationships that seem to magnify your flaws and amplify your insecurities. Then, there are those relationships that uplift and inspire, and whether they work out or not, you’re a better person as a result of them.
It took me awhile to fully grasp this concept, but now that it has clicked, I wish I had learned it so much sooner. The concept that love should be more substantial than superficial. Your significant other should be able to do more than just give you butterflies, make you blush, and whisper sweet empty nothings. Those same lips that whisper sweet nothings should eventually be able to utter words of substance and reassurance in the midst of challenging times and of course, you should be capable of reciprocating. It is a concept that seems so basic and a characteristic that should be so common, yet is so frequently lacking and overlooked.
In an article featured on Psychology Today, Dr. Alice Boyes discusses ten ways in which your relationships could and should help an individual to grow as a person. Some of the points that she made included:
- Relationships that provide “practical support that allows you to pursue your personal goals.”
- Relationships that provide “emotional support that helps you persist with hard things.”
- Relationships that “help you learn to trust that another person will be dependable and emotionally available to you.”
I’m not suggesting that anyone should look to another person or a relationship to feel complete, because I definitely subscribe to the philosophy that a healthy relationship consists of two whole people, but what I am saying is that if a person isn’t contributing anything substantial to their partner’s life, then exactly what are they doing?
Do you believe that your relationships should help you to grow as a person?
Jazmine Denise is a freelance writer living in New York. Follow her on Twittter @jazminedenise
All photos are courtesy of ShutterStock
When it comes to dating and relationships, there are no rules. While traditional gender roles suggest that men should be the aggressors and approach a woman they’re interested in, women are becoming more bold in going after what they want – and getting it! Who says you have to wait for that cute guy you’ve made eye contact with to come over to you first? Go talk to him! Okay, okay, easier said than done, but you may be missing out on a number of dating possibilities simply because you’re shy, stubborn or afraid of rejection. Some men can be just as nervous and shy as women can, so help the guy out a bit and at least meet him half way. Not sure how to do that? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Since most women are firmly against approaching men, they don’t know the terrifying joy of walking up to a complete stranger and trying to convince them you are worthy of their time. To be successful in dating, a man must be a salesman, a public speaker, and a preacher. We have a small window of time to convince the woman of our dreams that we’re not just another man trying to get in her jeans. While the final outcome is usually seamless to the woman, there are in fact 5 very distinct steps to how men approach women.
Step 1: Spot your prey
If we’re lucky this happens as early in the process as possible. This gives us time to observe your style and grace. How many guys do you turn down before we arrive. Were you mean while doing it? How many drinks are these guys buying you? Are you getting sloppy? Are you carrying yourself like a lady in the streets or a freak in the sheets? How are you dressed? How does your face, breasts, hair, nails, legs, feet and shoes look?
Step 2: The Decision
Having answered all these questions and more we decide whether to approach or not. If we’re in a group, we might consult with our hype / wing man. His whole purpose is to convince us of the following: 1) we can successfully get your number; 2) tell us “that you ain’t that fine anyway”; 3) distract the least attractive girl in the group so she doesn’t hate on the rest of us having a good time. This is also known as “taking one for the team.” The conversation might go like this…
Guy 1: What do you think of that girl over there?
Guy 2: She’s fine.
Guy 1: She probably stuck up.
Guy 2: Only one way to find out.
Guy 1: Nah, I’ma chill.
Guy 2: So you’re going to be a punk?
Guy 1: *is forced to approach in order to prove he is not a punk*
Without a hype / wingman, you are left to hype / wingman yourself, a more difficult yet not impossible process. Usually this involves convincing yourself you’ve pulled finer or hype yourself into a confident fury, which often climaxes in a mental chorus of current ratchet popular song lyrics, like “TWO CHAINNSSSS, FOUR BRACELETS…”
Step 3: The Approach
There are few things more awkward on this Earth than walking across a crowded room to approach a woman. There’s no telling what will happen on the other end of that journey. You have no idea what kind of day or state of mind this strange woman is in. You might be the chalk outline on the opening credit of The First 48 simply because you caught the wrong woman on the wrong day. Conversely, she might kiss you in the mouth and lead you out of the club by the hand because you bought her a $1 amaretto sour and didn’t say anything too stupid in the first 15 minutes. You really never know. It’s that mysterious cycle of unknown that keeps strange men across the globe walking up to strange women across the world and forcing you to listen to our hopefully slightly less than moderately boring conversation. As a man, all you can do is hope for the best and expect the unexpected.
Step 4: The Game
The Game is the hardest and funniest part of being a man. No two women are alike. Some women like a courteous gentlemen while other women prefer a street tough thug that’ll ask them, “what that mouf do?” Because of this, a man has to skillfully dance through an obstacle course of unspoken social clues from the woman. If she has her Doctorate from Harvard in Political Science, then you have to be prepared to discuss the social ramification of the Romney/Paul versus Obama/Biden tickets in the upcoming election. On the other hand, if she failed kindergarden three times before becoming the first proud member of her family to obtain her GED, then you have to be be up to date on all the latest and most rachet VH1 reality shows and associated spin-offs. Plus, you MUST have a negative opinion on Stevie J’s relationship management skills. Whatever happens, your conversation has to remain uniquely adaptive to the woman on the other side of the conversation or you will fail. That’s the nature of the game. Successful men must learn to navigate the ever changing conversational landscape like Ricky’s alley-running skills in Boyz n the Hood – but, of course, hopefully with a better ending.
Step 5: Victory or Defeat
When it’s all said and done, there are only two inevitable outcomes: victory or defeat. A man’s objective is to impress and eventually part ways with some form of contact that will allow him to keep interviewing for a position in your life. Eventually fooling you into thinking he is the man of your dreams, until many many years after he has put a ring on it and you finally realize that he is just as lame and average as all those other men you passed up in the club in your youth. At least he keeps a roof over your head though.
This, my friends, is the burden of being a man. Every day, whether you realize it or not, some man has progressed through all these steps long before he walked over and opened with, “Excuse me, miss?” or he grabbed you romantically by the buttox while looking you deep into your eyes like a predator and connected with you on a carnal level that shames all the life lessons you learned growing up. The ends justify the means. No judgement here.
WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his formal training as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM and on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.
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Earlier this month, Marissa Ellis wrote a piece for MadameNoire called Dating Dynamics: When Should [Women] Start Paying for Dates? I was asked to provide the male perspective on women contributing financially when dating. I knew this would be a sensitive topic so I prayed on it first, then I came up with the following points of clarification.
What is the Status of the Relationship?
Establishing the status of the relationship is critical to any discussion pertaining to how much and if a man should pay. A simple breakdown might go as follows.
First Date: The man should pay.
Second Date: The man should pay but as Marissa mentioned, the woman can begin to chip in for smaller items. For example, if you go to the movies, you can offer to help pay for concession items. If you go to dinner, you can consider helping with the drinks or the tip. However, I think any offer should be genuine. If you don’t want to pay or don’t feel like that’s your role as a woman, then don’t bother offering for offering sake, since there is a very real possibility that he might take you up on your offer. He may refuse but you shouldn’t make the offer expecting him to refuse. It’s a date, not an SAT test.
Third Date or more: By the third date (or more), you should begin communicating some of your expectations with your person of interest. I know this “communicating” with the person you like idea is a crazy, but bear with me. Usually by the third date, you have an idea of your level of interest. You’ve already gone on two semi-awkward getting to you know you type dates and you’re probably transitioning into a dating rhythm. If you haven’t paid already, I believe a casual conversation about financial expectations can be discussed (among other things). You don’t invoke your inner Donald Trump and threaten to fire anyone who doesn’t meet your expectations, but I see no harm in discussing them, especially if you plan to continue dating. It’ll be easier to cope with disappointment on the third date than the third month/year.
If there’s one question that hasn’t been resolved amongst my friends in the many years that we’ve discussed the dynamics of dating, it’s this one: when should you offer to start contributing financially during the courting phase?
A couple of my friends believe that a woman should not chip in until she’s been dating someone for at least two months or are officially a couple. I, on the other hand, believe that a woman should offer to pay for part of the date (not fake offer, but really offer) by the third date. That’s what I believe. But what have I done in the past? I’ve offered even on the first date. If he gets dinner, I offer to buy a round of drinks. (More on that later).
The topic recently came up when my cousin mentioned that the guy she’s been seeing for a few months told her that it would be nice if she offered to pay for things from time to time, since she never offered. She didn’t take offense but didn’t realize it was an issue. Since she’s new to the post-college dating world, she said she didn’t know certain rules.
Considering that all my friends have different perspectives on this topic, I definitely would say there are no rules, although non-oblivious folks have clear opinions on the matter. Those two friends I mentioned previously, who believed in not paying during the initial dating phase, believe that they’re setting a certain standard of how they’d like to be treated. They see themselves as prizes to be won; women to be supremely courted. If they make it too easy for these men, then he would undermine their value. I get where they’re coming from. But I can’t feel it.
What if I knew by the second date that this was probably not going anywhere, but I agree to go out on a couple of more dates just to be sure? At that point, can I really justify not chipping in? My sense of empathy wouldn’t allow it. If he’s not going to win in the end (either via sex or a relationship) then I’d prefer he not invest in me so much.
On a more general level, what about just establishing a level of reciprocity. I’m not saying women should pay for every other date but just chip in here and there. If you go to dinner on the third date, you can offer to get the movie tickets. On a humane level, it just shows consideration. Judging from the experiences of all my friends, there’s no right or wrong way about it. Of course most men would tell you that they would appreciate the reciprocity, but from my observations, when a guy really is into a girl, he doesn’t seem to care at all that he’s picking up the tab so much.
What is your philosophy on this dating conundrum? When do you offer to chip in and what’s been your experience with these type of situations?
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