All Articles Tagged "dating"

3 Way You Keep Sabotaging Your Love Life

September 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Charles J. Orlando, From YourTango

Love is challenging enough to find without self-defeating behaviors. As such, many women can’t find a successful relationship and they become their own worst enemy. After discussing the issues with over 250 women on Facebook, many were awakened to their own behaviors and how they were subconsciously destroying their chances for love. If you’re a woman, here are the top three ways you stop yourself from finding the relationship you deserve:

1. You put your ex on a pedestal
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After a breakup, we tend to look at our exes as perfect. We look past the issues that caused the breakup and remember only the good parts of a relationship. Even worse, we don’t see our own contributions to how the relationship failed. This rose-colored glasses viewpoint can have a detrimental effect on future relationships for a number of reasons:

  • You think, “No one will ever be like him.” You compare future romantic interests to the good parts of your past relationship. As a result, you search for and find all the flaws in the new guy, and talk yourself out of discovering someone new.
  • No self-reflection or transition past the relationship. By mentally staying in a past relationship, you limit yourself for the future. You subconsciously stay stagnant in the hopes that he might return and you’ll be back together.
  • You think, “Nothing like my first love.” Even established relationships can be affected by an ex long past. If you still hold a candle for a first love, instead of investing in your present with a current partner, you can sabotage your relationship. You’ll struggle with unnecessary arguments, tension and disconnection because you’ll keep your current partner at arm’s length emotionally.


Read more about how women sabotage their love lives at YourTango.com 

How Women Make Themselves Unhappy In Relationships

August 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Single Black Male 

Once a relationship begins, her apartment has never seen day without the Swiffer, and she is the only woman who not only is aware of “Steak and BJ” day, but celebrates it with the enthusiasm as a child on Christmas morning. On top of that, she is oh so easy doing. She has noticed that you never opened the car door for her and occasionally break plans–maybe after football/basketball/baseball/foosball season is over, she tells herself, you will become more attentive.

After a few trysts together, you wake up to see half her makeup smeared in the pillow, and a clip in weave track stuck to the sheets. You drag yourself into the kitchen with sleep in your eye hoping she can still at least appeal to your stomach, but she never actually learned how to use that waffle iron proudly displayed on the counter top. You really don’t mean to, but you furl your eyebrows and mumble something when you see half the woman he met standing in front of you, the other half of her face and hair still in bed, and first time, don’t smell bacon frying. Now, the rest of this scene plays out according to what type of woman you are dealing with: she may say “sorry” and in turn make you feel like a slave driver, or she may just begin making hot grits with an ominous grin.

Nothing remains constant, no one is who they say they are or who want to be at every given moment, any snide comment in that situation can read as judgment. However, please keep in mind that you are a complete a**hole–you may be victim of bamboozlement.

It would be irresponsible to make that statement without quickly touching upon the fact that women and girls are victims too. We have been taught by society and Mattel what it means to be the perfect woman. Even in this progressive era, many women still internalize varying ideologies of what we think men want. “The ideal woman…is perhaps so far above the reality of women’s lives that women themselves will continue to struggle and struggle but never attain it” concludes Jennifer Holt, author of “The Ideal Woman”. Consequently, before you have to opportunity tell her she’s desirable without having to be a Barbie/Nicki Minaj hybrid, she already is afraid you’ll find out she’s not.

Read more about relationship issues at SingleBlackMale.org 

Hey Madame: Every Time My Boyfriend Messes Up I Want To Go Back To My Ex

August 27th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Hey Madame,

In my previous relationship, I was madly and unconditionally in love with my boyfriend. We meant the world to each other but I felt he didn’t trust me. When I confronted him, he would say it’s because he is jealous. Despite all the issues we had, we were in love with each other and I never imagined us breaking up. But one day, one of my distant uncles discouraged me from dating my boyfriend because he apparently was not from a good home. This really hurt me but I took it to heart and decided to look at all the negatives and pulled out. I’m now in a different relationship but I’m still in love with my ex. Every time my current boyfriend fails it makes me think of my ex. I really love my ex but my current boyfriend is so good to. Should I go back to my ex despite what my uncle said or should I continue loving to my current boyfriend ?

Jazmine: You should truly get to the root of why you broke up with your ex-boyfriend. Was it solely based on the things that your uncle brought to your attention or was it that he did not trust you? Only after you get to the root of that will you be able to accurately assess whether or not you should go back to your ex-boyfriend. What will make things different this time around? Has he changed at all?

As for your current boyfriend, I believe that you have him in a very unfair position. For one, you’re constantly comparing him to your ex-boyfriend and honestly, you don’t seem to be very into him. If you’re willing to leave him for someone else, then you should probably ask yourself whether or not you actually love him in the first place.

I’m not sure how much time passed between your last relationship and your current, but perhaps you should spend some time alone so that you are able to truly sort things out and figure out what you want to do with a clear head.

Veronica: Your letter makes me think you’re imagining your past relationship to be better than what it really was. You said you loved your ex unconditionally but the trust issues, more than your uncle’s “he’s not from a good home” analysis, let you know it was time to bounce. Trust issues aren’t problems you can gloss over. Even if you love someone, not trusting that person–or him not trusting you– can doom your relationship. Which is exactly what happened to you before. You need to figure out if you’re really satisfied with your current boyfriend. Do you only think about your ex when your current man messes up? If you decide to leave your current guy, I wouldn’t suggest going back to your ex, simply because it might not be the fairy tale you imagined.

Lauren: It appears you do not trust your own instincts. Your uncle or whomever should not have the power to direct the course of your relationship — especially an uncle who you consider to be a distant relative. Also, your uncle does not know your significant other in the same capacity as you do. I think for the moment, it would be best for you not to go back to your ex. He doesn’t know how to trust a partner because he has jealousy issues. That factor will not produce a healthy relationship. As for your current boyfriend, I do not think it is fair to be with him if you do not love him and if you constantly compare him to your ex-boyfriend.

Victoria: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. While you say your uncle played a big role in your decision to leave your ex, you’re an adult and you knew your ex better than anyone. Chances are you had your reasons for wanting to move on and did just that. But it does seem that you still have deep feelings for your ex. In my opinion before you try to rekindle an old flame, make sure you wouldn’t be walking back into the same situation that made you leave in the first place. And the jealousy sounds like it was a big problem for you guys. And if you do want to be with your ex, have respect enough for your new man to be honest with him about what you’re feeling  and leave before you try to get that old thing back. If he’s been good to you he deserves that much.

Brande: Don’t go back to your ex and seriously consider whether you want to be with your current partner. We all have a tendency to look back on past relationships with rose-tinted glasses and wonder “what if,” but when we do so, we’re usually omitting all the negative issues that caused the relationship to end. Jealousy is not a small issue to deal with. Something besides your uncle told you to leave your ex alone — your intuition — and it seems you were right to follow it. As for the current man, are you really happy with him or was he just a rebound after breaking up with your ex? Every time a man falters you shouldn’t want to throw in the towel and go back to someone else unless you truly feel unfulfilled. It may be a good time for you to spend some time alone figuring out what you really want.

 

How My Vibrator Ruined My Marriage

August 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By The Stir, From YourTango 

As someone who writes about sex and love for a living, I have heard a lot of advice on how to keep the passion alive over the years. One of the first things almost every sex expert will say is that you should continue to masturbate. It seems counter-intuitive, right?

If you are pleasing yourself, why would you need someone else? Au contraire, they say. In this case, it’s more about the feelings masturbation conjures. If you have a little pleasure, so they say, you will want more.

I say: It’s hooey.

Why? Because the fact is, when you satisfy yourself, you ARE satisfied. Full stop. This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

Nothing Wrong With It

Now, don’t get me wrong. Masturbation is a healthy activity for women. It teaches us how to find our own pleasure and ALL women should have a vibrator (or 10) in their nightstand. But, there’s also something to be said for the old adage: “good things come to those who wait.” And yes, that pun was intended. Times 1,000. Because they do.

I know this first hand (oh the puns, they are too easy!) as I gave up the use of my vibrator for a couple months and the results have been astounding. At first it happened by accident. We just became so insanely busy and I was never alone. The only times I even felt any sexual urges were when I was actually in the presence of my husband. So I started saving up my mojo.

Read this woman’s entire story on marriage and sex at YourTango.com 

Straight From His Mouth: The Curious Case Of Dating Men Based On Potential

August 25th, 2014 - By RealGoesRight
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Potential can be one of the most dangerous things to depend on in a relationship. Time and again it seems women have gone out on a limb for men they liked who might not have had it all together, simply because she saw the potential for him to eventually have it all together. Life is unpredictable and can be filled with more curves than Amber Rose in a pair of black leggings. While this isn’t the appropriate time to discuss the economic challenges of black folks in general and black men in particular, it’s not unreasonable for a woman to want a man who’s able to handle his financial, as well as his emotional, health. Self-sufficiency is sexy, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a man who can add to what a woman already brings to the table. With that said, dating a man full of potential isn’t necessarily a bad idea,  but it would behoove women to do a better job of determining what a man’s potential is and if she’s willing to stick with him if he doesn’t fully live up to it.

First, the negatives. Dating a man with potential can be problematic if a woman isn’t able to see past it. Potential can blind a woman to some of the red flags that warn this might not be good partner in the long run. Many men, and people in general, are “on their way.” It can take years for a man to build the proper foundation necessary and many women are fine with working with a man who is working on himself (more on this later). The problem comes then, when women see the potential in men they may not see in themselves. While a man might be smart, charming, and have a plan or two about what he wants to do with his life, he still has to walk through those steps. Women should understand that simply having a plan isn’t enough. Goals without plans are simply dreams and if a man has the potential to do everything he says he wants to do but takes no (or very little) actual steps to achieve those goals, it’s very unlikely he’ll ever get to the finish line. Women often get trapped in these types of situations because it’s also very likely she’s been trying to help him realize his goals and has not only taken an active interest in supporting, but also investing. It’s like working on a slot machine for three hours and never winning much, only for the next person to come in and pull the lever to end up a millionaire. Women get trapped pulling on that same lever because they don’t want someone else to benefit from all the hard work they’ve already put in.

Now for the positive. I mentioned earlier that women like working with men who are working on themselves. The thing is, if a man has the potential to do great things and is actively working to achieve those great things, that suggests a much more stable situation. As a woman, if you can see a man with potential doing the necessary work to make himself into whomever it is he wants to be, there’s a higher chance he’ll be able to fully realize his goals. Potential by itself means nothing as, at some point, one still has to be able to prove they can do whatever they have the potential to do. Seeing a person realize their goals and aspirations is a beautiful thing and I’m sure many women would love to have a hand in a man’s success as women are naturally helpful and take great pride in having great men. Dating a man with  potential who is actually doing something to actualize his potential is what makes this kind of man worthwhile.

I could probably write all day about the pros and cons of potential but here’s the best way to sum it up: Potential means nothing. Potential shouldn’t be judged in a vacuum and it shouldn’t be the only reason to date a man. If a man isn’t doing anything to live up to his potential, it’s an absolutely worthless trait to own. It’s a much smarter decision to date a man who not only has potential, but is actually doing something to realize it.

Peace.

What I Learned From My Boyfriend Sexually Humiliating Me

August 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Carolyn Castiglia, From YourTango 

“You’ve gotta shave your as*hole if you want me to lick it.” It was one of the most absurd things I’d ever heard, and such a loaded statement! A guy I was dating just casually tossed that grenade out one afternoon after we’d finished “making love. His words exploded into the air next to my ears, and I was knocked off balance from the boom. Like a soldier under seige in a movie about war, time slowed for me and I went deaf while my vision blurred. In a cacophony of simultaneous thoughts colliding I tried to decode what I’d just heard. I have to shave my what? Why? Do people shave that? Is that a thing? Wait, and you want to do what to it now? Lick it? Why I am getting procedural preparation commands when this is the first time the idea of the procedure has been brought to the table? Am I even interested in this procedure? Why are YOU interested in this procedure? What the hell is happening here?! Fall back! FALL BACK!

I’m sure what I finally stammered out was, “Oh. Okay?” Because what do you say to that sort of thing? Especially when you’re not expecting it? This was after he told me that I should wax my virgin pubes and cajoled me into taking a shower with him by telling me, “Get your fat a*s in here,” and then smacked my wet butt. His domineering attitude had initially come across to me as sexy, but was slowly morphing into something toxic. I ended up playing the incident off by saying, “You know, I’m not sure if I’m ready to go there, but I’ll think about it.” (For the record: My salad remains untossed.)

 Until about the past 2 years or so, I haven’t been great at setting boundaries with people who are invasive. I grew up in an authoritarian household where I wasn’t allowed to assert myself, so I learned to accommodate abusive behavior. I replicated that dynamic in many relationships (as one does), and I thought a certain amount of swagger in a man was hot. Here’s the problem: it is. Even though I’m now really conscious of having healthy relationships with everyone in my life (family, friends, co-workers, and lovahs), there is no denying that a well-adjusted man who uses his machismo in the right ways at the right time is a major turn-on. But there’s a fine line between hot swagger and sexual humiliation. Keep him on the side that makes you feel good.


Continue reading this story on YourTango.com 

“Your Captions Be Deep, But You Shallow As A Puddle” Reasons Why Men Avoid Cuffing Season

August 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Single Black Male 

We are one weekend away from Labor Day. That’s right it’s all over. The fun that we had from Spring until now is ending. Soon the trees will change from green to brown. Galoshes will replace sandals. Boyfriend sweaters will replace summer dresses. And, rooftop rendezvouses will all but cease to exist. As the seasons change in the direction of cooler temperatures it comes to everyone’s attention that they should start thinking about who they will be hibernating with this winter. There may a small chance for a autumn tryst but that’s risky because that can still leave you lonely in the colder winter months.

Who am I kidding? Avoid getting cuffed at all costs! I’ve been saying this for years!

Although many people believe that Cuffing Season is a good thing, I’ve always thought it was the absolute worst thing that ever happens in dating. Everybody temporarily lowers their standards almost as though they have a relationship amnesty week and ends up shacking up with a person that they probably would never give the time of day otherwise. You waste anywhere from 3 to 6 months of someone’s precious time in a pseudo-relationship that really doesn’t exist because it’s only a cuffing* relationship.

* – That means that you are not really in a relationship. Do not expect to meet each other’s friends and family, do not expect a key, do not expect priority over existing plans, invitations to weddings, really great sex (you know the type that comes with a commitment that you’re going to stick around), and should either of you find another “cuff” that you want to join… there’s no penalty. Your relationship is basically a month-to-month lease.

Continue reading why you should avoid cuffing season at SingleBlackMale.org 

Break The Cycle: How To Stop Dating The Same Kind Of Man

August 21st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Deborah Chelette-Wilson, From YourTango 

I grew up desperately seeking love, kindness and guidance from parents who were unable to meet my emotional needs. It is not pleasant to admit that, but it is true. It is also true that I transferred that desperate neediness as a young adult into relationships with men who couldn’t meet my emotional needs either. I’ve often said, “Men have been a big disappointment to me.” That is true too. After not being able to endure the pain of those disappointing experiences, I began to wake up to the common denominator in those relationships — me. What was it about me that kept me thinking I was getting the pizza I ordered only to keep having the wrong one delivered?

I dug deep into the depths of my heart and soul and found a treasure buried there. I’ve learned many things I hope will be helpful to others in these difficulties and I’d like to share some of my findings with you.

 

  • You are not responsible for other people’s behaviors; you are only responsible for your own. As children, we think we are the center of the universe and that our actions affect how everyone else feels.  It doesn’t help when adults tell children that they make them feel a certain way. For instance, one of my mother’s famous sayings was, “You kids are going to make me go crazy.” I have yet to counsel a child or adult who does not blame him or her self for the behavior of the people who hurt them. The double whammy of this is that you are trying to solve a puzzle you can’t (the other person) and not solving the one you can (yourself).
  • Change happens when we reconnect with our hearts and our inner intuition. It’s obvious to see how my confusion at that young time in my life guided my decisions. As I look back on that, I feel sad for the seventeen-year-old girl I was. My relationship with my family was so fractured, but I still sought it out with a different person.
  • We can’t walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but we don’t have to judge their path. When we understand our own journey, we realize judging another’s is foolish. As I accept myself, I feel angry yet understanding for how we continue to treat others. I just know that it isn’t sustainable. Women stay in abusive relationships for complex reasons. But as a culture we continue to judge them, condemn them, and find reasons to not help them. Woman judge themselves harshly too. I know how much I was judging myself from those same beliefs. It was not helpful. We are better than this. Each women needs to come to her own conclusions. However, how much more quickly would I have come to my conclusions if I had a compassionate caring counselor, coach or friends to help me realize my value and worth as a human being? I eventually began to get there and it gave me the courage and strength to leave. But that was only the beginning of my journey.

Read how to stop dating the same person at YourTango.com 

 

15 Dating Mistakes You Don’t Bounce Back From

August 21st, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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No matter how desperate you are for a relationship, or even just a second date, never forgive these things. But also be aware there are plenty of ways you could mess up too! Here are 15 dating mistakes you can never come back from.

The Love Is Good But Is It Good To You?: 15 Celebrities Who Should Get Out Now

August 21st, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Have you ever loved someone who was all the way wrong for you? These celebrities are sacrificing their careers, their families and their happiness for the ones they love. So their fans are saying “get out now” and things will get better.

Phaedra Parks

Are you team #Phaedra’sdivorce? Is marriage still supposed to last forever if he’s a twice convicted felon and suspected cheater?