All Articles Tagged "dating"
I don’t subscribe to the phrase “falling in love.” While it can and is used to describe developing strong feelings for a person, place, or thing, what we typically associate love with is an action. How can one verb into a verb? Also, love isn’t involuntary, it’s a choice.
How can you “fall” into something when you clearly have made a choice to do so?
Lately, I have been thinking about the phenomena of “falling in love with potential” (See? It sounds sexier than “making an informed decision to love unconditionally with potential”). There is nothing sadder than wasted talent. It’s disappointing to see someone who has all the makings of something phenomenal, but they get in their own way and it doesn’t work out.
Both parties involved aren’t wrong. The person who “falls in love” isn’t trying to change someone, or living in a fantasy world, nor are they thinking idealistically. That person has generally assessed and accepted their object of affection as is and wants the best for them. The other person with all of the potential may have baggage they haven’t learned to live with (no matter what anyone tells you, you can’t get rid of emotional baggage. People accept it and eventually forget it’s there), lack experience, and/or a plethora of other scenarios and experiences that make up their current worldview.
When people first meet and eventually decide to date, they put their best foot forward. To some extent, everyone puts on a front as if they have their life together because they want to appeal to the other person. Everyone wants to be liked and as a result, attempt to entrance the other with things they have in common. People like people who like the things that they like. Quite simply, the first conversations and early few dates are simply asking questions and talking in circles until both parties find something in common before moving toward a common goal.
Eventually, the real person begins to slowly seep in and we all have to make a choice on whether or not this is something to continue pursuing or not. No one is perfect, and often seeing your potential partner’s imperfections feels as if you are looking in a mirror. We see ourselves and want to continue to invest in the person and they reciprocate. We meet people in the middle because it’s a demonstration of “we can make each other better.”
Unfortunately, things don’t always pan out the way that we planned. When it comes to “falling in love with potential,” meeting people where they’re at eventually gets exhausting. It becomes burdensome to keep celebrating the small victories like big wins. Eventually, we have all had to make another choice because we can’t keep throwing parties for getting a 65 and barely passing. We have all been both sides of this proverbial coin.
The truth is that we always “fall in love with potential.” The beginning period of dating and relationships are filled with endless possibilities of what we have long-coveted, and have recently found, can become. However, people aren’t equally yoked. Some progress, others rise to the occasion, and some just can’t or don’t. It’s all well and good because everything is a learning experience to bring to the table upon meeting someone else.
Long after things ended with an ex-girlfriend and we became friends, I once joked with her, telling her she was a legend amongst my friends. Our relationship was Ross and Rachel from “Friends” on steroids while and a severe caffeine addiction. To some extent, the drama was part of the fun. We just never seemed to get it right. We would try, fight, back off, try again, and repeat the cycle. I think that we both were in love with the each other’s potential. It would be very easy for me to say that she had growing up to do. But the truth is we both did. Things may not have worked out between us and the goals we both had, we achieved…we just made each other better for someone else.
With the exception of one woman who was already in a long-term relationship, no one that I have dated in the past five years is tied down, engaged or married. To me it seems none of them are ready for commitment. If they aren’t ready…then I must not be either.
With brightened eyes of anticipation, my friends almost always ask me, “What’s new?” And my reply is always an entertaining story to tell about my dating life with ironic plot twists. As much as they like reading or hearing about them, I have to admit, I love to tell them. Even if or when relationships fail, my logic is that it’s good for business because I have something new to write about.
I started blogging about my adventures as a single father almost four years ago. In time, my creative outlet evolved from a hobby to a lifestyle. It was as if on an unconscious level, I began to seek and attract what I was looking for: an ever-revolving cast of characters and story arcs that make for great content. To some extent, I have literally penned my world into existence.
A friend, fellow writer, and single parent, recently said to me that I turn darkness into adventure. Why? Until I hit it off with the right person, I might as well be entertained by the journey. Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” would have been a terrible tale had Santiago woke up and found the treasure that was right under him. All of the people, including Fatima, made the trek from Spain to Egypt and back worthwhile. There is no appreciation for what God, the universe, or whatever you believe in, has in store without the journey. In life, without context there is no purpose.
My twenties were rough. By 26, I had been practically married to my college girlfriend who had severe depression and took on a hefty portion of her class work as well as my own, had a child with her, watched the love of my life succumb to cancer while my mother battled and survived, and triumphantly endured custody cases for my daughter in two states. I didn’t have the typical experience that most of my friends and peers did. They now, after getting most of their wildness out of their system, are beginning to settle down.
With all that I’ve endured, I think this is the reason that I am quite content with reveling in the perpetual cycle of dramatic anecdotes that are my life. I’m making up for lost time.
I truly do want to settle down with someone much sooner than later. However, I think that life has been throwing me episode after episode of adventure so that when I do meet the right person, I will have no regrets. I will feel as if I left no stones unturned and gotten “the madness” out of my system. When in doubt, the first step to change is acceptance, right?
Many of my friends don’t seem to comprehend the construct that is my paradigm. I have been told in some capacity or another, you need to get your life together or you need to heal from some things. I have accepted my past and only look back to give context to my present or what’s coming around the bend.
Here’s my response: “You’re [insert age between 27-34; because everyone older “gets it”]. At this age, you’re telling me I need to settle down…been there, done that. Courtship isn’t some ideal to me; it’s applied knowledge. I have already put out into the universe what I want, so when it comes, it will be at the right time.”
Until then, I’m just going to keep chronicling my adventures.
Millennials make dating a group activity. From helping friends swipe left or right to sharing post-date details and advice in group chats, close friends pretty much know everything about each other’s dating history, habits, and partners. So, to help your friend meet someone new while at the same time possibly scoring your own romantic connection, Tinder has launched Tinder Social. This new app feature allows people to arrange nights out between groups of friends.
In a blog post describing the new platform, a Tinder rep stated the following:
Tinder has always been about getting you out of the house to meet someone new. But sometimes you want more than a party of two. Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew, and your two crews have an amazing time together. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way, a good night out with your friends becomes something better. That’s why we’re launching Tinder Social, a new platform that helps you plan your night out. For this launch, we’ve made changes to the feature to deliver a more real-time experience. People can see who’s going out tonight, what they’re up to, and plan their night, easily and efficiently—all on Tinder Social. if you want to go out, invite friends to join your group, then swipe and match with other groups nearby who are also going out.
The post goes on to explain that if you’re looking for plans (and potential dates), you can invite friends to join the group you create. Once you’ve done that, you swipe to match with other groups who are planning to hang out nearby.
But first things first: In order to use Tinder Social, you have to unlock it in the Tinder app. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to see which friends have unlocked it as well. Afterward, you can create said group, and together, explore other groups to be matched with. An example of this can be seen below:
Just remember, at noon the next day, your group and matches will disappear. (Tinder even claims that your Uber may also turn into a pumpkin. #Jokes) But before it does, be sure to plan another night out with your friends and those new potential boo thangs. Or better yet, start scoping the Tinder scene for a new group to hang with.
Tinder Social is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Will you be trying Tinder Social ?
As the saying goes, “You only get one mother.” But when you fall in love with a man with children, you fall in love with his children, too. And at some point, when things get serious, there has to be room to evolve from being more than just dad’s “friend.”
Every woman who has ever shared her time and love with kids who aren’t her own has had to play substitute mom at one time or another. And while there’s no joy like the kind children bring, sometimes stepping in as a stepparent, when you haven’t officially been made one (by marriage) can be a struggle.
When you encounter these tough situations, how do you navigate your way through? Have you ever dated a guy whose children weren’t so fond of you?
A few years ago, my best friend Naya got engaged to her current husband and a friend of mine had a complete meltdown. Instead of saying she was happy for Naya, she instead said that it wasn’t fair and that she couldn’t be happy for Naya because she hadn’t been proposed to, yet.
During this brief conversation, several red flags were raised and I side-eyed her ’til my eyes hurt. And although I understand engagements, weddings and babies can trigger people to become depressed or grief-stricken, these events happen constantly in my family and circle of friends, so I never understood people who remain in a rut or angry at others for their life milestones. Until now.
New York City Psychotherapist Katherine Schafler told Glamour : “It’s very common, not just with an engagement, but with seeing a baby—even if you’re not in a relationship—or seeing somebody who just landed some sort of milestone. I call them ‘adulthood stamps.’ They trigger the desires and the wants that you have but, for whatever reason, might not have realized yet.”
Schafler also noted that people, especially women, shouldn’t judge themselves for feeling initial emotions of jealousy. “Reactions are emotionally reflexive things that we don’t do on purpose. If someone threw something at you, you’d have a physical reflex of dodging it,” she explained. So to work through your emotions when you learn someone has reached a milestone, Schafler recommends you “give yourself some space” before criticizing your thoughts. She also also notes that your reaction serves as a personal reminder that you want to achieve similar goals and that’s a good thing. Your reaction may also be a sign to you to make changes in your own life. This may mean that you need to end the relationship with your current partner, go back to school or stop holding off from family planning.
Although I do agree with Dr. Schafler’s advice, I believe some Miserable Marys may skew it to justify being selfish haters.
Do you agree and how have you handled friends getting engaged (or reaching any other milestone) before you?
A breakup may feel like the necessary end to a relationship, but when the dust has settled and you feel like you’re having a change of heart, what do you do?
Some love stories deserve to come to an end, but backsliding isn’t always a bad idea. If you’re thinking about going back for the following reasons, it could be a sign that this breakup was just the end of a chapter, not the whole tale.
But no one deserves unlimited chances to do better. If you keep encountering the same problems over and over again, it might be time to take that broken record off of the player.
You Broke up to Maintain Your Image
It’s happened to everyone. You were mad in the moment and badmouthed him to anyone who would listen. Now that everyone is glad that you broke up, you’ve changed your mind. But we’ve all been there, and the awkwardness of explaining your change of heart shouldn’t keep you from happiness.
“I trust algorithms. I mean, who doesn’t like data driven results free of nonsensical human biases? I know I do! Online dating therefore seems like the most logical and natural course of action in my pursuit of a suitable partner.” I wrote these words on my blog at the start of my online dating journey in late 2014. Since then, my attitude towards online dating has changed quite considerably, finally culminating in me calling it quits. How come? Well, here are a few of my top reasons for why I quit online dating:
- It’s too time consuming
Finding a decent person to date through an online platform is a numbers game that requires patience. I grossly underestimated the amount of time necessary to actively date online, and probably should have heeded my own advice when I wrote:
For all of the efficiency and conveniences that online dating brings, there is still a fair bit of required effort on your part. Take for instance the amount of time it takes to:
a) set-up your profile;
b) read through other people’s profiles;
c) respond and/or send messages; and
d) set up in-person dates with your matches.
As you can see, it’s a lot! I highly suggest that you examine your commitments and realistically evaluate whether you have the time to meaningfully date online.
To make matters worse, the longer I stayed online the more I noticed that the compatibility/match scores are pretty much BS. Very rarely did a high compatibility score translate into genuine interest or chemistry once the messaging got going. Online dating started to feel like finding a cool and worthwhile person was basically a crapshoot.
- I Got tired of having the same conversations
What are your hobbies? Do you have siblings? What do you do for work? Trudging through the let’s-get-to-know-each-other conversations reminded me of job networking events: more often than not, a lot is said but nothing useful is gained. After a while, talking about my background and listening to other people talk about their backgrounds over and over again became more of a chore than something that I looked forward to. All the conversations started to sound like: blah blah blah blah blah… It’s exhausting.
All that glitters is not gold. There’s no place that this is more true than in online dating. I get that people naturally want to put their best foot forward on their dating profiles, but sometimes what’s presented online is a far cry from reality (borderline fraudulent in some cases). It’s not just physical looks that are over embellished from time to time, but also things like career or even living arrangements (dudes still living with the parents on the low). It sucks to get excited about a person based of the pack of lies they’ve called a profile, only to be let down once the truth is revealed. I became worn out and overly skeptical as a result of experiencing this type disappointment repeatedly.
- I actually kind of like being single
Perhaps it’s through my online dating that I came to this realization, or maybe online dating didn’t work out for me because I subconsciously sabotaged my own efforts. Whatever the case, deleting my Tinder account and deactivating my OKCupid and Match accounts was such a relief. I’ve officially been out of the online dating game for a few months and I’m so glad to have my evenings and weekends back! It turns out that I’m my own favorite date. It’s safe to say that I’m not actively seeking a partner but my heart remains open should the right opportunity present itself. In the meantime I’ll be getting on with my sexy single life!
I don’t regret trying online dating and I still encourage those who are hellbent on finding a partner and have the stamina and willpower to match, to go for it. Because you will never know unless you try.
Have you ever met a guy you were interested in building a relationship with and everything was going good until he did that one thing or said that one comment that just turned you all the way off? It makes you wish you had some more insight into the way men’s minds operate. Like, what was he thinking when he sent you that unwarranted d–k picture? Why did he think it was okay to not text you back for days? Fellas, there are just some things that you do and say that we, the womenfolk, would really appreciate if you didn’t.
I’ve written about this briefly before but I feel it bears repeating, mostly because this theme, this question keeps showing up in my life. And it irks the hell out of me. Last year, when I asked a serious question about handing your man money so it appears that he is the one paying, I also told a story of the time my boyfriend and I went into the bodega to buy snacks. For those of you who missed it, my boyfriend was making a decision about the type of chips he wanted. And was taking a long time. I was getting a little annoyed about it. And since the cashier knew that I was going to be the one getting the bill (If you want to call the cost of chips and juice, a bill.) for the items, he said that since I was the one paying, he should get what I suggested.
Another time, in that same bodega, I can’t remember if it was before or after this incident, but another cashier, when I pulled out my card, made some comment about my paying. I told him, “It’s just snacks. He pays for me all the time. It’s okay.”
He then went into a speech about how he gets down in his relationship.
“I never let my woman pay for anything. Nothing. I pay for everything.”
I just raised my eyebrows.
Then, this past weekend. My boyfriend and I went to breakfast. He paid. Several hours later, he suggested we get some escovitch fish from this small Jamaican buffet in Brooklyn. After the server boxed the food, another man rang us up. My boyfriend handed him his debit card. Before he could run it, I remembered that he had paid for breakfast. I told the cashier, “Oh, use this card,” handing him mine instead.
You might assume that this was the end of the conversation. But it was not. The cashier looked genuinely confused, still holding my boyfriend’s card in his hand.
“But I have a card right here already.”
“I know but I want you to use this one.”
My boyfriend extended his hand then, saying “I’m not going to argue with her.”
He held the card a second longer before he took mine.
Given those three different experiences in less than a calendar year, needless to say I was and still am irritated by all of this.
As I said back in November, one of my life’s pet peeves is people trying to count or speak on what I should do with MY money. But even deeper than that I just wasn’t raised to let a man pay for everything. There have been examples in my own family where the man, the breadwinner, the footer of every bill utilized that position to exercise near tyrannical control in the relationship. And I don’t even believe a person needs to be morally bereft or stuck in the 1950’s to behave like this. Most of it is just human nature. If you’re paying, the other person’s opinion about the way things are done ultimately doesn’t hold that much weight. If you want to splurge or save, it’s your money and therefore your choice. Because at the end of the day, when it’s time to put up or shut up, the other person doesn’t have anything to contribute.
I was also taught that in the beginning of a dating relationship, you should at least offer to pay (for your half) of a meal or outing because you don’t want the man to expect something you’re not willing to give (I’m talking sex.), simply because he dropped some money on you. People only spend money when they expect to get something in return. And if your company and conversation aren’t worth the cost of the date, in his opinion, you don’t want him hounding you afterward.
But more than that, it’s just about fairness.
I like, love and care about my man. I want us to be able to see one another as often as possible. And I don’t want that not to be an option because he’s paid for every breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, gas, parking, rental car, ticket and all other activities since we’ve known each other. It’s not fair. I work and I want women to be treated with equality in this society.
Furthermore, it’s not a problem for us, in our relationship. And while I won’t tell anyone else how to behave or handle their money in their situations, I wish people, specifically these men who don’t know me, would fall back and mind their business.
I was recently watching My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC, and Whitney Thorne, the lovable subject of the show, was going through it on Wednesday’s episode. Her boyfriend, Lennie Alehat, was being very distant. How distant? Well, despite calling and texting him multiple times during the day, he could go almost the entire length of it without getting back to her. In one particular situation, Thorne had to drive by his home to get to her internship at a morning radio show, leaving the house at 3 a.m. When she passed his place, she didn’t see his car. When she called him to see what was going on, she didn’t get a response — for the entire morning. It took Thorne going back to his house, knocking on his door (while covering the peephole) for him to come out and explain what was going on. His reasoning? Well, he said that he’s not cheating, nor is he not into her anymore. Instead, he apologized for the fact that she worried unnecessarily, and claimed that he’s not the type of person who needs a whole lot of communication to be happy in a relationship. He’s not alone in this way of thinking.
I have a girlfriend who has been dating a guy for a couple of months now, and she’s pretty frustrated with how lax he can be when it comes to returning her phone calls. Sometimes she will call him and instead of calling back, he will message her. When she texts him, sometimes it takes him hours to respond to her. And when he responds quickly, his messages are missing a lot of the enthusiasm that she, herself, is so used to displaying. According to her, he’s good to her for the most part, but his indifference when it comes to touching base gives her the feeling that he’s really not interested in taking their budding relationship seriously.
Still, she doesn’t believe that it’s something worth parting ways over, though it can be incredibly frustrating (and stressful considering that sometimes she worries that something has happened to him when he goes all MIA communication-wise). So what is a girl to do when the guy she’s dating likes her, but doesn’t like the idea of being “checked on” (as he calls it) when it comes to correspondence? And what do you do when you’ve talked to them about it and they still leave you hanging?
I don’t know what other people base their relationship on, but for me, communication is everything. No one wants to be running after a grown person to ensure that nothing serious has happened when all it takes is a quick reply to let people know you’re okay. And I get it: not everybody is the “Let’s talk for hours!” kind of person. I know I’m not. Most grown folks are quite busy, and the best they can do at times is send a quick message as a reply. But when you rarely if ever send a message or drop a line to let someone know that you’re thinking of them, and then you barely respond to their attempts to get in touch with you unless you have or want to make plans with them, it’s hard for someone, like my friend, to not take such things personally. I know long-term relationships have moments where all the newness wears off and folks aren’t interested in doing the most over the phone. In fact, a touch base message here and there throughout the day works just fine for some. But these two are in the early stages of things. Plus, when you know that your behavior makes your partner feel left for dead or unwanted, it would be nice to at least attempt to make a better effort. Because being in a relationship is all about making an effort and keeping other people’s feelings in mind to show that you care. If you don’t want to be bothered because you claim you “don’t need all that,” then you might want to figure out if you need to be in a relationship altogether…
But as always, that’st just my opinion. What say you? Is she being petty, or is he being inconsiderate?