All Articles Tagged "dating"

Is Online Dating Toxic?: One Woman’s Journey To Finding Love

September 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango
My aunt was the first person I had heard of who did online dating; you know, back in the day when it was still scary stuff and something only the “desperate” would do. She was also the first, last, and only person I ever knew who tried her hand at the dating personals in the newspaper, too. These two facts about my aunt always disturbed me, and I think, because of it, I’ve never seen online dating as anything but an absolute plague on the community, and something to forever avoid.

I have been on two dating sites in my life. Once, for a couple months for a work-related story; and another time, because my best friend begged me to join. That latter site happened to be OKCupid. His whole reason for me joining was so I could endorse him with a good review (I’m not sure if they still even do that, it’s been so long!), so I figured I had nothing to lose, because I wasn’t looking for anything to gain. I was just simply being forced into something so he could look better to all the hot gay men on OKCupid in New York City. I also thought that if we were both on there, commiserating about how awful a place it was, he’d erase his profile and move on to a place where harassment was monitored better.

I took one evening after work to put up my profile, pick out the best photos of myself that I have that actually didn’t include a beer bottle in my mouth or a scowl on my face, then wrote my endorsement for him. Afterward, I sat on the couch and waited for about 20 minutes to see if anyone looked at my profile or sent me a message. When no one did, I shrugged and went out instead.

When I got home I checked my profile. I was really excited for some reason! I was venturing into a world I had only heard of and it was strange and wonderful and … OMG, did that guy just send me a message asking me if I “swallow?” I was appalled. I had heard the horror stories, but less than two hours into my OKCupid experiment, my blowjob techniques were being questioned and I felt gross. I felt the same way I do when a commenter gets way too personal or tells me to kill myself over something controversial I’ve written. It’s like it doesn’t hurt you, per se, because that person means nothing to you, but it sort of shakes you that this is how people in the world behave. I’d question if they were raised by wolves, but a child raised by wolves would at least have manners and respect.

I noticed I had a couple more messages, but decided I’d spare myself before bed. Those messages weren’t going anywhere.

I didn’t check it again until later the next day, and saw 18 messages. A couple were from the, um, “gentleman,” who questioned whether or not I swallowed, with some lovely commentary on how I’m a prude, among other things and delightful expletives, while all strung together with misspelled words and holes where punctuation should have been. Along with him there was a message from a guy telling me I was ugly and my nose was big. Not exactly what you want to hear from a stranger, but oh well! I was more concerned with the fact that he had time out of his day to legit troll me, as opposed to find love, as I assumed was his reason for being there in the first place. There were a couple nice messages along the lines of, “You look like a cool girl. Tell me about yourself,” but I didn’t respond. It wasn’t that I was totally against the idea; I did, after all, sign up for the site, although my intentions for doing so were completely unrelated to getting a date.

Read more about this online dating experience at YourTango.com

The First Date v. The 40th: 7 Things That Change When You Get Comfortable

September 19th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Get Comfortable With A Man

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It’s amazing the difference a few dates make. Once upon a time — i.e. in the beginning of a relationship –getting ready for a date meant an appointment to the spa and a trip to the mall. But once you move past the lust phase and start getting comfortable, all that prep and concern for impressing your man tends to go right out the window.

15 Things Single People Are Sick Of Hearing

September 19th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Whether you’re loving the single life or desperately seeking someone, these are the the phrases that all single people are sick of hearing.

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He’s Out There

Unless you can physically point to his location, please spare single people this particular pep talk.

My Boyfriend Can’t Get Over My Sexual Past, Should We Break Up?

September 18th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Em & Lo, From YourTango

Dear Em & Lo,

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year now. We have known one another three total years. In the beginning of our friendship, I treated him like a best friend, and told him quite a bit about my sexual past with ex-boyfriends. It severely affected him and bruised his ego. I never had a clue that I hurt him so badly until he told me his feelings.

We have since started to (try) and repair the damage that I did, and I have made it a point to try and nullify it. But he is still severely affected by what happened and to be honest, after quite a few months, I am wondering when he will come around. I have made a point to boost his ego. Tell him he is the best in bed, that he is very attractive, etc. He still finds himself in whirlwinds of depression and he thinks back on that time period of when he was in the friend zone. What can I do to pull him out… or can I at all?

Read their answer at YourTango.com 

Why Casual Sex Doesn’t Make Men Commit

September 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Michael Hollan, From YourTango

A female colleague of mine keeps describing herself, quite proudly, as a slut, and bragging about all no-strings-attached sex she has with guys … but then desperately tries to make each of those guys her boyfriend and gets hurt. Here’s why that method isn’t working.

Dear girl that works in my office that describes herself as a slut,

No, you’re not a slut. Stop saying that.

I think that however you want to live your life, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, is fine: go for it! When it comes to slut shaming, it’s a horrible thing to try to make someone feel ashamed for their choices. If a girl or guy wants to have a certain type of sex life, then let them. If you don’t like it, then just don’t sleep with those people. As long as they’re neither hurting nor deceiving anyone, then let them do their thing. It doesn’t matter.

(Side note: I’m not slut shaming this girl. I’m also not virgin shaming anyone else. When it comes to sex, have as much or as little as you want. I am ok with dumb shaming though, which I think is fine. People can be promiscuous if they want, but they shouldn’t be dumb. Dumb shaming is just fine. If a girl sleeps with a guy that she finds attractive even though she doesn’t want to marry him, she shouldn’t be shamed. Someone that’s walking around in public looking down at their phone instead of where they’re going and walks into a wall? Yes, that person should be shamed.)

So once again, back to my point, which is my female coworker: you’re not a slut. But you’re having sex in a dumb way, if that makes sense. You go out and pretend to be a self-proclaimed slut, just to get guys to pay attention to you. Which, if that was all you were looking for, would be a great plan. If all you wanted out of these guys was to get them to pay for your drinks, then this would be a great plan. I’d say “you go girl” and high five you.

The problem is, you tell guys that you aren’t looking for a boyfriend, just some fun, and then get mad at them when they don’t want to be your boyfriend. Which I think is totally unfair.

Read more about sex and relationship at YourTango.com

Hey Madame: I Didn’t Know He Had A Girlfriend. Am I Stupid?

September 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hey Madame: I Didn't Know He Had A Girlfriend. Am I Stupid?

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Hey Madame,

When I was 14 I fell in love with a guy and we broke up two years later. I can say that it was true love because I’m 26 now and I’ve thought about him all along, up until we reconnected and I found out during our time apart he did six years of jail time. Our feelings for each other came back full speed and things were good — for a minute. After a while I just started to feel a little bit of distance from him, so I questioned him about it and he chalked it up to just getting out of jail. Meanwhile we’re going on dates, he was at my place all the time, and we even talked about him moving in together (he was in a halfway house). So I sent him a text one day telling him how I’m so happy he’s back in my life and he calls and proceeds to tell me how much he loves me, and that how he doesn’t want to hurt me like the other guys and that has a girlfriend who, apparently he met when he was in jail. I know I may look stupid to some folks but I am seriously crushed. All the history we have and all those nights of reminiscing, how good the sex was — when he told me he was in love with me I kind of believed him. Now I’m confused, hurt and mad. I’m trying to be alright. I’ve been working out tough for the last three days and I’m going keep it up. I’m picking up extra shifts at work, trying to reach out to friends — anything to get my mind off of him. I deleted his number and I think I’m going to message him on Facebook and ask him to lose all contact with me. I just want him out of my system, but I still feel like I love him. I’m still mad and sad, but damn am I stupid or what? By the way, I don’t seek or go after guys from jail; it’s just that I thought about him all the time when we were separated.

Brande: You’re not stupid. The scenario you described happens to women everyday – with otherwise upstanding men who’ve never set foot in a jail cell. The issue here is this man’s choice to be dishonest. He misled you and it’s not your fault. In fact, you should give yourself credit because you noticed the signs (his distance) and you addressed it. Unfortunately, the excuse he provided for his behavior at the time (having just gotten out of jail) was not the truth, nor was there any way, from what you’ve told us, that you would’ve known otherwise. Be proud of yourself for not tolerating his dishonesty and knowing that, even though you may still love him, he’s not someone you need to be with. So, yes, I encourage you to cut all ties because you deserve better. Don’t fault yourself giving him a chance. Everyone reminisces on their first love from time to time and wonders what could have been. The truth, though, is that most times, as you found out, the fantasy is much nicer than the reality. Let this guy and what you shared together at one time go and spend your energy on attracting men who won’t take advantage of your generosity, nor disrespect you by carrying on simultaneous relationships with other women.

Jazmine: I wouldn’t call you stupid. I would say that you just got caught up in a bad situation. It happens to the best of us. I’m sorry that you’re hurting and I realize that the emotions that you’re feeling right now are really intense. I think it’s great that you’re making productive attempts at keeping yourself busy instead of sitting around sulking. I wish that I had some profound advice for you, but the truth of the matter is that only time will heal this wound. Well, of course, it depends on what you do with this time, but you seem to be on the right track. Continue to work on yourself. Perhaps picking up a new hobby would also help you to keep busy.

If you can, avoid wracking your brain trying to figure out what went wrong. At the end of the day, you probably never will and honestly, at this point it doesn’t even matter. This person does not truly care about or love you or he wouldn’t have put you in the situation that he put you in. Also, I don’t think that it’s a good idea for you to reach out to him and tell him to “lose all contact with you” if you have already ended things with him. Show him that you’re done through your actions. Messaging him will only open the door for further dialogue.

I know that you’re hurting and no, the feelings that you have for him won’t go away overnight, but I promise that you’ll feel better in time. And once you are feeling back to your old self, it may be a good time to think how you can avoid winding up in a similar situation.

Victoria: I don’t think you’re stupid. I think you loved him and you don’t know exactly how to move forward. But if he told you he has a girlfriend, you REALLY need to move on. From personal experience I can say that the best way to really do this is to purge him from your life, which you have been trying to do. However, don’t hit him up on Facebook telling him to never reach out to you again–that would actually make him reach back out in response and part of me thinks that’s what you want. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

We’ve all been hurt by people we are in love with and I think you’re doing a good job of focusing on other things to get your mind off of him. Keep up with that and focus on you. When you’re ready, get back out there and meet new people. But as for this particular man, it doesn’t sound like he’s worth your time or your tears.

PS: Please be sure to get tested if you didn’t ask him to get tested before engaging in intercourse since he was with another woman behind your back. A lady literally got on a city bus I was riding on one day in tears telling anyone who will listen that the man she loved who had just come out of jail was cheating on her. She had just found out that he was not only sleeping with her, but quite a few other people–both men and women. Be safe.

Veronica: No, you’re not stupid. You fell in love with someone who wasn’t right. And you’re not alone. If you ask and look around, you’ll find plenty of these stories. Honestly, it’s a good thing you found all of this out before you decided to move in with him.

I think what you’re doing–removing all of his contact information from your phone and social media networks– is a good thing. If it were me, I wouldn’t even send a Facebook message because it could read as an attempt to speak to him, even if the exchange won’t be pleasant. You don’t need him to remove you. YOU remove him. And really, really stick to that. Because there’s a 95 percent chance that homeboy will come sniffing back around. And when he does, send that fool to voicemail, ignore the texts and delete the DMs and Facebook messages. He’s already shown you he can’t be trusted.

You might have to fake it for a while but keep reminding yourself that you’re done and deserve better because you do. Just like everything difficult in life, it’ll take time to get over this dude. But one day you’ll look up and realize you don’t care like you used to and you’re taking care of yourself instead of worrying about him. And that’s a great feeling.

Lauren: You’re not stupid at all. It’s okay to still love him and want to slap him at the same damn time. Your emotions never define your intelligence, common sense, or the outcomes of your life goals. Ultimately they test you and you seem to be doing a great job of passing those tests. You’ve reached out to others to communicate how you feel and you’re working out the anger at the best place- the gym! Since this incident happened only a few day ago, give yourself time to be upset and don’t place a timeline for you to get over it. Learn what you can from this because it will help you to bypass dating red flags in the future. Also, don’t put so much weight on the history, sex life, or intimacy you shared with him. Put more weight on his character and actions. Ask yourself: Why did he put himself in this situation? You’ll begin to have clarity and assess who he is and who you are as individuals instead of shifting blame.

What Your Deal Breakers Say About You

September 16th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Jonathon Aslay, From YourTango

One of my clients, Leslie, has been divorced for five years and dating for two. She hasn’t been very successful with men so far, so she came to me.

She’s a beautiful redhead with blue eyes that twinkle and a killer sense of humor. She’s smart, together, and a great conversationalist.

But she rarely dates a man more than once.

Why, you may ask?

Leslie does not want a man with children (even if they’re grown), one who’s been married more than twice, or one who hasn’t been married before. She has dumped some good guys because of her standards. She’s inflexible and won’t discuss changing her mind.

Her reasoning?

She feels the kids would always come first, a man with two divorces under his belt can’t make a relationship work, and a never-married man doesn’t know how to commit.

So how many available men has she excluded with these ridiculous deal breakers?

90%?

95%?

Is Leslie using these conditions as a buffer to keep from getting hurt or a way to avoid intimacy? I think so. If she sets impossible standards that men cannot possibly meet, then she doesn’t have to worry about a relationship developing, and she doesn’t have to worry about a relationship ending and getting hurt.

Read more about dealbreakers at YourTango.com

So…My Grandfather Thinks My Sister Is The Reason I’m Still Single

September 16th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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My Sister Is The Reason I'm Still Single

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You know they say that parents and grandparents aren’t supposed to have favorites. But my sister and I are clearly my grandfather’s favorites. And that’s no shade to my cousins. I’m sure he’d like some of them more than us if we’d all spent equal amounts of time with him. It just so happens that we’re the ones who’ve been around him the most. He calls us his darlings. Which makes me smile with my heart.

But with all that love and affection comes worry and agitation. And at times, that’s been annoying. Like the time he saw my senior pictures and told me I needed to dress more conservatively, like my friend. Or right before I went off to college and he told me I needed to straighten my hair and take the ring out of my nose if I ever wanted to get a job.

I think I’ve successfully proven that showing a little skin, nappy hair and a nose ring won’t hold me back. But now, he’s directed his attention to making sure that my sister and I find husbands.

I think my grandfather has finally learned not to come to me with any more criticisms because I learned of his worry through my mother.

“You know your Big Daddy is really concerned about you and Vanessa getting married. He said that when sisters are as close as you two are, it’s hard for them to find love.”

Dang.

I knew my Big Daddy was probably comparing us to one set of sisters in particular. The Odd* Sisters, who as far as I knew, were in their seventies, dressed like twins, attended church faithfully every Sabbath and had never been married.

At first, I dismissed my grandfather’s concern; but several months and several signs later, I realize he might not have been so far off base.

The other day I watched a BuzzFeed video about weird things all couple’s argue about. And I could relate to quite a few of those scenarios because they reminded me of me and my sister. The laughter is real hearty and the reality slightly unsettling when you realize you and sister sometimes carry on like an old married couple.

Recently, my sister and I started re-watching old “Will and Grace” episodes. And there’s one episode where Grace realizes that she’s lost her zeal for dating and men because she’s so close to her roommate and best friend Will. And while I can say with absolute certainty that I would love to go out on a date with a decent guy, I can completely understand not wanting to introduce yourself to a new man, doing the work and research to find out if said man is crazy, misogynistic or dishonest when you literally have someone at home who you know, love, trust and can have an incredible time with.

Even if there’s no making out at the end of the night, dancing around the living room, laughing until we cry and watching nostalgic tv with my sister is quite awesome. So awesome in fact, it would be no small feat for a man, first meeting me, to top that.

So I do get where my grandfather was coming from. And I sincerely hope the very special relationship I share with my sister doesn’t turn into something dysfunctional, where we rely on each other for our every happiness.

But I don’t think it will. We both know what we want out of life. And anything we’ve wanted, really wanted, we’ve worked to get.

First, I know we both want to go on dates with charming, cute and quality men who are respectful and have full lips. We want fulfilling careers. We want to help people. Be women we can both be proud of. And we want marriage and babies.

I’ll be the first to tell anyone while I would never choose to raise a child by myself, at the end of the day, when I think  about my life as a whole, my legacy as a mother will be more important than my legacy as a wife.

And I believe it will happen. I don’t know how I’ll get there or when it will be but I see it for myself. And unlike Grace in that episode, I won’t attempt to cut my best friend off just to make sure I’m “putting myself out there” like I should. I don’t believe in forcing any type of relationship. They should be organic, happening when and as they’re supposed to. I don’t believe in strategically planting myself at any particular place or dressing a particular way  to find a man, will me get married and able to give my mother the grandbabies she wants.

So if my grandfather were to bring this worry to me personally, I would tell him he’s right. No man could ever even hope to break through the impenetrable bond my sister and I have formed. But if he’s right, and that’s the key, he won’t have to. We’ll just make room for him.

“When He Kissed Me, I Felt Nothing.” How I Got Over My Ex-Boyfriend With Break-Up Sex

September 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango

After a breakup that almost destroyed me, I took to my bed for not just days but weeks. I wasn’t just broken, but whatever is the next step worse than that, horrifically devastated, might be the most accurate explanation of the state of my mind and heart. As with anyone who’s just experienced heartbreak, I was quite sure I wouldn’t recover.

Once I was able to get out of bed, I went through the motions of being alive, as one does after such a thing. I remembered my routine: Getting up every morning, brushing my teeth, showering, and then off to work. I was moving and breathing, but I was like walking dead. The pain was just unbearable.

But time passed and everyday I grew a little bit stronger. I moved to New York City, started a new beginning, and even began dating again. I felt like I had come full circle and he was just a distant memory; a memory I assumed, or rather hoped, I’d never see again. Then one night the unfathomable happened: I ran into him. Of all the bars in all the cities in the world, there he was. It turned out that he, too, had decided New York was the place to be.

My stomach dropped. I began to shake. I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me and I was pretty sure that I was going to throw up all over the floor, any neighboring person, and myself. It was going to be a projectile vomit; the kind that comes with extreme emotional distress. I grabbed my friend’s hand to steady myself as he came walking toward me. I could not believe he was walking toward me.

We exchanged pleasantries; I guess that’s what one would call them, and he asked about my family and I asked about his. I commented on the weather because it had been a hot summer and he commented on the length of my hair. I also ordered another drink, because, dammit, I needed one.

As I proceeded to get tipsier, the fear and nervousness began to melt. I was able to laugh and the comfort level we had between us was back again, although it had been almost two years. I realized, although I missed him and always would, I was in the process of moving on from him, despite the nausea and trembling earlier in the evening. I felt good, to be honest. So, when he asked me to go home with him, I did. Because OF COURSE, I did. I thought I could somehow prove even more to myself that I was over him and, in my mind, having sex seemed like the best way to really solidify that. Yes, at the time, it was a drunken idea, but some of the best decisions we make come out of a bottle of whiskey.

Read more about breakups at YourTango.com

Would You Relocate To Another State For Your Boyfriend?

September 12th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Single Black Male

The older we get the more dimensions are entered into dating. It seems as if when you have all the answers the dating Gods change the questions. I’m a resident of Brooklyn, NY. One of if not the most expensive city to live in, in the United States. New York City is one of the most expensive places to live period. With this fact, many people are known to relocate. This most certainly can throw a monkey wrench in a current relationship or a prospective one.

For me, I know that I have no anxiety about being outside of New York. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled domestically a lot in my life. I’ve been up north a bit, I’ve done the west coast. I’ve spent countless times down south as well. I have always enjoyed New York above  all of these places. The issue is that the cost of living is so damn high here. Many people that are still here are mentally just as good as gone.

So I pose a few questions to you all today. Is someone who isn’t willing to relocate a deal breaker for you? Under what circumstances would you stay put for a person? Under what circumstance should a compromise be made? Some thought goes into each of these. I don’t think I would fully shut down relocating with someone. I certainly would have to be i some serious love to entertain the idea though. I love everything else my city offers me in terms of lifestyle and diversity. It’s an addictive feeling once you realize other states don’t possess that same vibe. Someone who would stay where they’re living for a partner I guess has been sold that it’s a good idea. Maybe they’re compromising for their loved one simply out of love. Of course there is a scenario when you should compromise.

Read more about dating long distance at SingleBlackMale.org