All Articles Tagged "dating"
By Cassandra Guerrier For YourTango
“I didn’t think you’d want to know.”
This was how my boyfriend of three years told me that he was leaving me for a different girl. A white girl.
In spite of all of the laughter and secrets we had breathed to each other in the night, he had been lying to his entire family about who I was and what I meant to him. Why? Because he was embarrassed of my dark skin. As a Muslim man coming from a strict religious family, he was afraid of their disapproval and so figured the easiest solution was just to leave me for a woman with Blake Lively’s complexion. I don’t know what was worse: The fact that I was blindsided by this or that all of his whispered reassurances over the years that his parents would love me had meant nothing. He had to make a clean cut from me and he had to do it without thought for how it would make me feel.
When I first met Harvey, I fell in love with his eyes and his skin before I fell for him. Even though ours wasn’t a groundbreaking love story, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how we met at the beginning of the semester. Sitting at the back of the classroom, I remember laughing in his face when he tripped over his own feet and landed headfirst in the seat next to me. He made a look of indignation that turned into what I’d come to know as his signature smirk, and then jumped smoothly into conversation as if he hadn’t just made a tremendous fool of himself. After that, we ran into each other at every turn. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about the way that he carried himself across a room that made me want to get to know him. Maybe it was his shy smile or his penchant for sarcasm, but just like that, I stumbled into his love headfirst and with abandon.
From the stories he shared with me, I knew that Harvey came from a small Egyptian family who practiced Islam. He confided in me that he didn’t really consider himself that religious and would often get frustrated pretending to be just to appease his mother. I loved hearing him speak about his family’s culture and the customs that they followed. Being of Haitian descent (with a tight knit Catholic family of my own), I couldn’t say that I shared the same struggle as him, but I understood what it meant to feel so disconnected from what was supposed to be your identity. Growing up, I was subject to a running joke among my friends that I would marry someone outside of my nationality and race because I always had crushes on guys who were not black. It eventually started to catch on to the point that my classmates teased me constantly, making comments like, “Cassandra probably wishes she was a white girl with the way she’s chasing after those white boys!” and “Why can’t you like someone in your own race for once?” I hated their bullying, and so stopped confiding in them (and really anyone else) about my romantic interests for years. Those days I felt like I was drowning.
Continue reading about this relationship at YourTango.com
We receive a ton of Facebook messages from readers who have questions about life and love, and though we’ve allowed the boys to give out their fair share of advice on MN, we thought it was time readers here from us ladies. So, we bring you “Hey Madame,” our new advice column featuring each MadameNoire editors’ take on reader questions, giving you a wide range of perspectives on topics like you’d get from any good group of girlfriends. Read, enjoy, and if you have a question, email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I need your help. I think I love this man but when we meet he only asks for sex. Does this man love me?
Jazmine: No, he made his intentions pretty clear up front and his actions have already done the talking. You’d be selling yourself short to move forward with him expecting anything other than that.
Lauren: His actions show he’s only interested in a physical relationship at the moment. If this is something you want, enjoy yourself. If not, it would be best not to engage in any sexual activity with him and even diminish communication. If you’re looking for love, pursue the activities that make you feel good about yourself and you’ll find the man who’s the right fit for you.
Veronica: I think the only person who could answer that is the man in question. But, if I had to make an educated guess, the fact that you said he only asks for sex leads me to say no. I have a question you should ask yourself and it might put the relationship into perspective, why do you feel comfortable asking a third party whether or not a man loves you more than the man himself? It seems like you don’t even trust him enough to make your feelings known or inquire about his. If he does love you, he’s not doing an excellent job of showing you.
Victoria: How long have you all been involved? If it hasn’t been long, I would say no, that man doesn’t love you. But if you met a while ago and he seems like a really good person and he treats you well, you never know– he could really care for you and just have a voracious sexual appetite. But if after sex or outside of the sex he barely calls, doesn’t treat you all that well and seems like a player, you’re dealing with a one-sided fling.
We all desire a happy and fulfilling relationship. You know, that partner who is our perfect half who can help bring out the best in us.
Unfortunately for many of us, we have been exposed to so many unhealthy and less-than-fulfilling relationships in our lives that we don’t know what a truly healthy relationship even looks and/or feels like.
Here are 10 characteristics of a vibrantly healthy relationship:
1. Both partners know that they are responsible for their own individual happiness. Many people unfortunately fall into the bad habit of believing and expecting that our partner is meant to be our source of all happiness, love and fulfillment in our lives. However, in a truly vibrant and healthy relationship, neither partner expects the other to be the source of all their happiness in life. Both people know and understand that they themselves are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. They each know that they are there to support and help one another, but they both know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves.
2. Neither person is really trying to control or “fix” the other person. If one person is more of a procrastinator while the other always gets their work done early, the other person isn’t going to try to “fix” them by pushing them to get their work done early in a healthy relationship. Both people respect one another’s differences. One doesn’t try to force the other to change or be anything different then themselves.
The reality is that nobody wants to be changed or fixed — especially if it’s unsolicited! If the person really truly wants to change, then they will ask for help on their own terms and in their own way. Change isn’t going to happen through nagging or force.
3. The relationship is balanced. No one person has any more power over decisions made as a couple than the other. Both people have an equal say and have equal control over decisions made and both equally respect each other as a different and unique human being.
Now, it may be that the decisions made are different for each person. Such as, one person is more focused on interior decorations while the other is more focused on finances because it better highlights each person’s strengths. But aggregately, everything is 50-50.
4. Conflicts are dealt with head-on and then dropped. In a heathy relationship, conflicts aren’t a deal breaker. Just because a conflict happens, it doesn’t signal that it’s time to just check out and move on to something else. Rather, the conflict is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow. Both sides openly share their feelings and views honestly and with respect.
Conflict is accepted as a natural part of life and any frustrations are dealt with early rather than repressed and brought back up time and time again.
Read more about relationships at YourTango.com
Before we get too far into this conversation let’s remember that people shouldn’t feel the pressure of societal norms to make decisions in their personal lives. I’ve met several men and women who aren’t married and don’t desire to be married at any point in their life. I think I speak for everyone when I say that people who don’t want to be married should stay away from all people who do want to get married.
That won’t stop confusion from mounting over trying to reach a level of understanding around marriage in relationships, though. Most people don’t want to waste their time and, sadly, most people aren’t forthright with their longterm relationship plans. There are several people who end up dating a man for years only to find out in the end he doesn’t see her as the one for him long term. Many of these women wish they could’ve found this out early on and never wasted their time, but the reality is these men typically leave signs. And, truthfully, it’s not that hard to see them.
Many women put themselves in positions where they don’t want to see certain behavior for what it is or trust peoples words, but I can save you some time and heartache. If a man never mentions marriage, he isn’t interested in it. If he never mentions marriage with you, he isn’t interested in marrying you.
Despite the simplicity of those statements, people still tell lies and their actions almost never line up. If you’ve found yourself in a situation as such, here are three signs he’s not interested in marriage:
- He chooses quantity, but not quality as it pertains to you – He may spend a lot of time with you. He may spend a lot of money on you. However, he’s reluctant to give you the genuine interactions that lead you to believe he wants you to be a part of his inner circle. He doesn’t introduce you to his close friends, he hasn’t introduced you to his family, and/or he doesn’t spend important days with you.
- He still considers it “you and him” and not “us.” – One of the easiest ways to tell whether he’s planning for a future together is to pay attention to the way he words things. Anybody can talk a good game but they always slip up. I know for a fact that most men can’t keep a charade going forever. Sooner or later, either in his words or his actions, you realize there is no “us,” it’s just two individuals choosing to spend time together. It is at this point that you should bail as soon as possible.
- He still keeps secrets – If he’s still reluctant to let you into his private space then he’s not planning on ever marrying you. A few things I think truly builds the foundation of a marriage is truth, honesty and openness. These secrets may not even affect you or hurt your feelings but what they do is draw your attention to the fact that he has them. It may be things that he tells you he only feels comfortable sharing with his immediate family or closest friends but if he’s planning on marrying you, that’s part of his responsibility. (Full disclosure: There are several men who marry women and continue to keep secrets anyway; I’m just offering up a sign that he may not even try and marry you.)
All in all, you’ll have to make your own decisions. You’ll have to judge a man’s character and actions for yourself. You also may come to the conclusion that he isn’t’ trying to marry you and you’re perfectly okay with that. However, if you’re dating for purpose and you’re not getting what you want out of the situation then you should move on expeditiously. Don’t waste too much time in a flawed relationship that you know will never give you what you truly want. You’re better off moving on than staying in a relationship and trying to convince someone to do something they really don’t want to do.
Are you one of those women who think you’re totally awesome, yet can’t seem to understand why people – particularly men – don’t talk to you? After all, you consider yourself to be social, and you may think you put yourself out there – but men don’t seem to look your way to say hello, let alone ask you out.
Could it be the way you dress? Do you think you’re too pretty? What could be the problem? Sometimes the aura we give off has more to do with our inner spirit and happiness rather than our physical appearance – so women who depend solely on their looks are left baffled as to why men don’t come sweep them off their feet. Or maybe you’re giving off some sort of energy that is in no way indicative of who you really are. If you’re confused as to why men tend to stay away from you, it could be because you’re sending one of these “stand back” signals that keeps him from coming your way.
From Single Black Male
This is certainly a predicament many have been in. The above quote references Trey simply being greedy. That’s why the track is coined “Cake.” Today’s post isn’t about cheating for cheating sake. Today’s post is about my thoughts on our responsibilities in relationships. We can force someone to cheat on us. To say that someone “deserves” that happening to them is harsh. But is it still a true statement? I say let’s see.
For starters, I’d like to say that I believe you can cheat on someone you love. Most of those cases I really feel are in consequence. They’re in consequence of something the other partner was lacking. These could be a myriad of things. The partner could have cheated. The partner could’ve been abusive. The partner simply could’ve been negligent for way too long. The list goes on. But cheating many times can be a consequence to these things. I think it could be analogous to parenting in a way. Many parents who have troubled children might send them to boarding school. They might kick them out of the house. But at some point or another that parent is looking for the opportunity to gain some control back. Of course you love your child. At the same time you’re trying to find a way to stop your hurt.Not all times are those measures the right ones. We make the wrong choices all the time. Life is all about figuring it out.
We give ourselves a better chance of fidelity by tending to our partners.
We have to hold ourselves accountable. Recognizing we have the potential to push someone to cheat should always have us on our toes. By no means do I think we’ll be perfect. But it’s important to want to be the best version of yourself for someone. If you lose sight of that then your loved one could lose sight of you.
Some people would say that if you have an urge to cheat then you should just leave who you’re with. If this were a utopia then that would always be the case. It’s not and it isn’t always that easy. Take Kirk (pictured above) from Love And Hip Hop for instance. He’s married to a southern rapper named Rasheeda. Their marriage hasn’t been perfect. Kirk has been pretty absent emotionally from what I’ve watched. He wasn’t supportive during his wife’s pregnancy. He even cheated on his wife during her pregnancy. He cited the fact that she told him to “do him” in her anger. He knew it wasn’t a free pass. But his continued ignorance led him to make his decision. Rasheeda on the other hand never cheated on him despite this. But as far as I can see it, she had all rights to do him dirty. But so much was at stake for her. They built a life together, there’s money and children involved. It probably wasn’t worth it to her in that circumstance.
Read more about SingleBlackMale.org
Our brains have two emotional systems that work simultaneously; males seem to use one system more and females seem to use the other system more. As men reach puberty, their emotional empathy is not the same as a woman’s and that boundary is there to prevent men from being influenced by others. Whereas women take into account what others think of them, men do so less, and this makes men seem less empathetic.
Men have had to, for the purpose of survival, do what they think is best and act on it without waiting for others approval. Women’s survival at a primitave level depends on others as a group process, and therefore they developed more empathy towards each other. As men and women age, the gap of this emotional thinking seems to change in many ways. While men, as they age, become more aware of others emotions, women become less dependent on the approval of others, especially after children are no longer young and dependent on them. As men age, they begin to want the emotional intimacy of their wives, but are not used to expressing it in words or emotions on their face.
Developing healthy communication with your spouse is one way to bridge the gap between the two of you. Understanding that just because a person does not always respond the same way emotionally as you do, that does not mean that they don’t feel it. For a woman, learning to ask more direct questions to her husband about what she may need or want will help him get the job done without having to try and figure out the meaning behind the question. Men get confused and frustrated with women because women are sometimes not direct and think that a man should know what they want. The truth is that unless women tell most men what you want, their brains are not wired to pick up on those subtle ques like a girlfriend or sister may sense. Listening to men having conversations with each other can give women a clue as to how direct they are with one another; when they want something, they don’t beat around the bush.
Read more about the science behind about emotions at YourTango.com
You caught his eye across the room, but what makes him turn back? Jackie Black, PhD, author of “Meeting Your Match” says that there are a few key things every guy instantly notices when he meets a girl. Maximize your assets and make sure you don’t let him miss out on a good thing.
Cut Down the Crew
Going out in a big group can be intimidating. The perfect number? Three. That way your wing women can keep each other company while you two flirt away.
Does your boyfriend have a little more growing up to do? If he’s anything like the men on this list, it could be time for him to drink a tall glass of grow-up quick.
He Still Think He’s Going to Be A Rapper
Not that you’ve ever seen him log any studio time. But it is his number one excuse for not going back to school.
By XoJane, For YourTango
One time, when I was 17, I broke my boyfriend’s pen*s.
We had been cooped up for days in his mother’s basement which had a kitchenette and a bathroom and a TV, so we saw no reason to leave. This was summer in East LA, so the sounds that floated in our window were of chickens and barking dogs and car alarms. One time, there was a foot chase that we watched cautiously out his bedroom window, the tottering, overweight policeman tripping down the ravine with his flashlight, the person he was chasing already lost in the dark.
In the midst of this, we were two quasi-intellectual weirdos, content to read poetry, eat peanut butter sandwiches, and screw each other’s brains out. Which is what we had been doing for a full 72 hours before I broke his pen*s.As to how it actually happened, I am still unclear. My experience was this: It was the middle of the night. I had taken my contacts out, so I was almost entirely blind. The room was dark.
Read more abot this incident at YourTango.com