All Articles Tagged "finding love"
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.
I won’t say that all good things come to those who wait — because honestly, sometimes they don’t. But I will say that a solid, long-lasting relationship won’t come to those who force it. So, are you impatient when it comes to finding love? Read and see.
About two years ago, I found myself back on the market and learning how to date in this day and age. I had grown used to having someone by my side for the last six years that I didn’t know how to be alone; I didn’t know how to be single. I had also fallen in love with the freedom that comes with being single, so when I decided I was finally ready to get back out there, I didn’t know how to do so while still enjoying the freedoms of singlehood. So I started to go out with my friends with the intent of meeting prospects, but after a week or two of dating, I wasn’t impressed with any of them. I was extremely picky and was wondering why I just couldn’t find someone that “fit.”
I had adopted a carefree black girl attitude and men started to see me as a little too carefree in a sense, someone they could only have fun with. I was pleasant and exciting for a while, but when it came to getting serious, I was too much to handle or they just weren’t looking for labels. It was a cycle that continued until I realized one thing. I am a firm believer in the saying, “He’ll do as much as you allow him to do” when it comes to dating and building a relationship with someone.
I often think about my love life and the types of men I attract. Deep down, I want something real, but I seem to be attracting guys who are just looking for a good time. I started to wonder, why can’t it be both? Why can’t I have a good time with a guy who is also looking to take things to the next level? Am I doing something wrong to attract these wishy-washy guys? I realized that it was because I really wasn’t taking myself or the list of standards I had set seriously. Therefore, I was letting men come into my life only to waste my time and bolt when it was time to step up.
Some people would argue that setting standards lessens the chances of finding someone for you, but would you embark on a road trip with no directions as to where you’re going? Standards are the GPS that will help you decide on which direction to go in with someone. Here I was, asking for a man who had himself together, steady job, established, nice dresser, old-fashioned when it came to dating and for someone who was genuinely interested in getting to know me on a serious level. But I was also being careless, enjoying my freedoms as a single woman with no actual intention of wanting to commit, or at least that’s what my actions showed.
I came across a quote that read, “How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” Here I had this list of standards for someone else, but I didn’t even believe in them for myself. When you are honest with yourself, and you are up front with what you want from the beginning, it leaves room to weed out those who aren’t real and will make room for those who are ready to step up. Setting goals doesn’t have to be as complicated or unrealistic as most make it seem.
With that being said, standards should address fundamental needs, not resemble a Christmas wish list. Sometimes we get carried away and start asking for someone who has a specific kind of car, a certain amount of money, and a whole host of other mundane things, but when all those material things run out or get damaged, what’s going to sustain your relationship? Furthermore, how much of what you’re asking for do you actually possess yourself? Not saying you aren’t allowed to have your wants but think about how your standards address the most important needs that you have. There should be a clear differentiation between wants and needs.
Remember, when talking about standards, this is a conversation that sets the foundation for the direction of your relationship. They should be made clear from the start and you should also practice what you’re preaching. If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else will waste their time trying to.
Finding true love is something a good majority of people want to do in their lifetimes. However, that task isn’t always easy and, despite reports on the shortage of men or the increase in divorce rates, sometimes we’re our worst enemy in this endeavor. Here are some reasons you can’t find love, and what you can do about it.
Back in January, I decided it was a new year, and I would revisit my search for love. While everyone else was writing down their resolutions and goals for the year, a friend suggested that I write down all the qualities I wanted in a man. So I got to it. I wrote down everything that I wanted and not the superficial stuff like money, cars–you know, things that I would work for and get myself. I wanted things deeper than surface junk. I was looking for someone to spiritually connect with, someone to learn from and grow with. So I wrote down my list of qualities, spoke them into the atmosphere, and drilled them into my mind.
Things went downhill from there.
For most women, we have a list of standards that we would like to see come to fruition in a man. But then again, we also don’t know what we want until we actually get it, so the list is constantly changing. In my case, I started to realize that I give love, at first sight, a whole new meaning. I tend to fall too soon and easily for a part of someone before I get to know the whole them. What’s crazy is at 25, I find myself single, but with a full list of men in my corner. I’ve either gotten tired of them, or they just weren’t for me according to my standards. I was trying to create a voodoo man who didn’t exist in real life. You see, I was falling in love with specific qualities and traits and then allowing myself to catapult head over heels in a short time frame. But when reality set in and I noticed some things I didn’t like, I was easing my way out the door.
I wanted longevity, something stable and comfortable, and when I finally found that I lost myself in it for six years. In love and planning a life with someone, but having no idea of who I was. I wanted a creative and artistic guy who understood my lifestyle, and when I got that, I fell in love within the first month. Within the first three months, we were having conversations that people who’ve been together for three years weren’t even having. Things got serious between us really quickly, but as time went on I realized I wasn’t able to handle his baggage like I thought I could. It was emotionally taxing and he just wouldn’t let me in.
One thing I’ve realized is that hurt changes people. You either become cold and closed off to the idea of love or you’re left wide open, vulnerable and wearing your heart on your sleeve. My heart was on my exposed on my sleeve and in the midst of not wanting to be lonely and desiring love, I didn’t realize I was neglecting the one person who I needed to be loving on the most: myself. I also learned that there were two important factors needed in my life that I was missing, and that was time and patience.
I have since learned that there are ways to take things slow. And by taking things slowly, I mean to actually date and get to know someone before allowing the big emotions to get involved. Here a few tips.
Establish a clear foundation
Just to be clear, it is important to know that love won’t happen overnight. A relationship won’t successfully come into form overnight. Allow yourself some time to get to know this person. Establish a clear understanding of what you’re looking. If you want something serious, be upfront about that. I’ve learned that the most common line we use is “Well, I’m not looking for anything serious, but if it happens I’m not opposed to it.” It’s our safety net, but it’s a corny safety net. Just be real. If you are looking for something serious, say that. If not, then say that as well. We can’t predict the future, but having a clear understanding of our paths is important when it comes to navigating the dating world before we end up falling head over heels for any and every guy.
Hang out with him in different settings
People act a different way in different places. People react to things differently depending on where they’re at and who they’re with, so getting that well-rounded view into their social lives is important. You might not like how they handle conflict or how they speak to people, and that will definitely keep you from falling in love too fast. I once dated a guy who was very rude to employees at places where he was was being serviced, including at restaurants and in checkout lines.
Check them out on social media
In the world of social media, you can create any life or story for yourself and fool anyone who doesn’t know you. But I believe that nothing is a lie. What you post says a lot about how you think and what you’re into. If you’re always posting pictures of yourself with a drink, I’m going to assume you drink a lot. It’s the same assumption with cigarettes, weed, and other things. Even though I don’t think our lifestyles have to be the exact same, they should agree or at least complement each other.
Take off the detective hat and let life happen
If you’re looking for something to go wrong, it most likely will. Once the nitpicking starts, everything becomes a problem. You’ll spend so much time looking for what’s wrong with a guy and what you don’t like about them to the point where you won’t be able to appreciate what’s right.
“Love is not going to come knocking on your door,” you tell your boy Lee, who says that he wants to find Wifey this year, but is putting forth zero effort. Well, he is on Match.com, but it’s been so long since he logged into his account that he forgot his password. What does he expect?
“Listen, I feel like if it’s meant to happen, it will. You can’t force something like that.”
You get off the phone unable to shake this heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Lee has been one of your best friends for over a decade and sometimes you worry about him. The last time ya’ll hung out the grey hairs in his beard were sprouting out like daffodils in Spring, and yet he’s clinging to this idea that if love is meant to be, it will happen. How do you tell him it doesn’t happen like that? You gotta put in the work.
It’s something you had to figure out when you were single some 12 years ago and dating dudes that wouldn’t last longer than the time it took to fry an egg. It became a running joke between you and your roommate at the time because she never got to meet any of them before they were gone.
One day you decided enough was enough and threw yourself into therapy where you discovered that daddy issues, the biggest cliché known to wo-man, was killing your relationships.
Once they were resolved, in walked the love you wanted in a man that was everything you were looking for. For you, finding love means sowing the seeds necessary to prepare the space. A friend sees it much simpler. “It’s like finding a job,” he says. “If you’re broke, want to eat, have shelter, and live like a normal human being, you don’t sit and wait for a job. You seek it out.” Amen.
And though you want to call Lee back and tell him that he needs to get off his butt if he really wants to find his wife, the truth is he probably wouldn’t hear you anyway because you’re always telling him something. If anything, you’ll get a few people to confirm what you know and then get back to him.
Hmmmm….you saw recently that one of your Facebook friends just celebrated ten years with her man.
Was she looking for love or did it find her?
Jennifer says that she and her husband started as friends. He owned a restaurant that she would go to all the time and one day he said, “Why don’t we date?” She says it was a comfortable fit and such a departure from the guys she was used to dating in the past. Before he showed up, she was leaving a DJ career that she had built over seven years, but was burnt out and unhealthy.
“He made me feel so loved and taken care of. I fell in love more and more.”
“That’s a great story,” you tell her, “But what did you do to bring it on? Weren’t you looking?”
“No. I wasn’t thinking about finding love.”
Okay. Surely, she’s the exception to the rule. Maybe she hit the relationship lotto.
A friend was telling you the other day that another friend you know is now in a relationship. Like you back in the day, she was single for a long time. You’re willing to bet she did something to break out of the single box.
“I found love when I was in a position to receive it,” says Jamie.
You knew it! “So how did you get into a position to receive it?” you ask.
“I can’t credit myself. I believe God changed my mind.”
What Say You?
“I wasn’t aware that I was placing my standards on God. It was really me telling God who to send me instead of me allowing him to choose. Once this mindset shifted, I organically became attracted to different types. At that point, I believe love found me.”
Say it ain’t so. So she wasn’t looking for love either?
Ok. Let’s think about this…one person saying that love found them, you can dismiss. But two? The chance that they’re lying in order to prove Lee right–that you don’t have to look for love–is slim to none.
So what does this mean about what you thought you knew?
Well, you don’t know everything. There’s more than one road to Rome and probably even more to relationship bliss. Perhaps Lee has the right idea and chilling out about it is all he needs. At any rate, it wouldn’t be the first time love found somebody.
We make our lists, create our dream boards and pray to God to send us the man of our dreams. But, very rarely do we stop and ask ourselves whether or not we meet Mr. Right’s requirements…The truth is, you are what you attract so if you want to date the man of your dreams you have to become the woman of his.
Today, I challenge you to answer this question: WOULD YOU DATE YOU?
I mean think about it, if you put your best and worst attributes on paper- how do you add up?
Consider these four questions to find out:
Are you over your ex?
Rule no. 1 in dating: don’t move on to the next until you’re REALLY over your ex. If someone mentions his name, are you instantly angry? Does it bring up bad emotions? If you answered yes, you’re not over him just yet and until you’ve fully healed from that hurt. You absolutely CANNOT expect a successful relationship if you’re still upset with your ex and if you sweep those emotions under the rug, they’ll eventually come out anyway.
How you can fix it: Get to the bottom of the problem by facing the baggage head on. What lesson can you learn from the previous relationship? What positivity can you take away from your ex? Once you can come to terms with something you actually gained from the relationship, you’re better able to see the blessing in it and release the baggage.
Are you mentally prepared to date?
Whether you want to admit it or not, dating takes mental willpower. You have so many new things to consider now that you’re dating someone! Are you ready to share your secrets? Are you ready to consider someone else’s emotions and preferences when you make decisions? If not, take the time you need to prepare for the transition.
How you can fix it: Think back to the best relationship you’ve ever had. How was your life different at that time than it is now as a single woman? Think about the lifestyle changes that you’d have to make in order to return to a relationship. If you’re not ready for a smooth transition, take a moment to write out a few things you can start doing NOW to prepare for the transition. What attitude adjustments need to be made? What hang ups do you need to let go?
Are you spiritually aligned?
When your spiritual life is aligned with your physical life, success is inevitable. When you find yourself easily stressed or angered, there’s a good chance you’re not spiritually aligned. In order to really be able to give your all to a relationship, you must first be giving your all to yourself.
How you can fix it: MEDITATE! Sitting quietly and tuning out from the daily stresses and worries of like will do wonders for your spirit! Just 10 minutes of silence each day can add tremendous value to your life!
Do you look your best?
Men are visual! Have you been taking care of your physical body and putting effort into your physical appearance? Be honest, have you let yourself go or are you making an effort to maintain your figure and dress your best? One of the biggest complaints men have about black women is that we don’t workout and take care of our bodies enough. Don’t fall into that statistic.
How you can fit ix: Look at yourself in the mirror and find three ways that you can physically improve. Whether it’s a little belly pudge or the unibrow you’re growing, there’s always a way to improve. Even if there’s nothing “wrong” something can always get better! One easy way to step your game up physically is by trying a new shade of lipstick, new hairstyle or new pair of stilettos and watch how fast you start feeling sexier!
Whether you’d date yourself at this moment or not, it’s never too late to make the changes you need to become your best self. Remember, you attract who you are- so become better and you’ll begin attracting better!
“I guess I’m too independent,” says Trish, a 25 year-old dental assistant when you ask her why she’s single. “I have my own mind, I pay for my own things. Guys don’t like that. They want a woman who’s needy.” Really? Wouldn’t a guy want a woman who can take care of herself? But clearly her experience is her experience so is it possible that an independent woman can’t find love?
“I love a woman who is secure in herself and her abilities. Someone who don’t call me as soon as I leave the house,” says your friend Lee. “The problem with a lot of these so called ‘independent women’ is they don’t know how to be vulnerable. And they always wanna be right.”
He says that men are ultra-competitive and the last thing they want is to come home to a competitive woman. They just won’t come home like a lot of men he knows.
Talk about been there…. Some of your biggest arguments have revolved around your need to be right. Once you argued with a boyfriend for telling you not to plug a wire into a wall socket with wet hands. Nobody’s saying he wasn’t right but who did he think he was? Your daddy? You didn’t grow up with a daddy and you weren’t looking for one. And vulnerability? What does that even look like? Growing up with a single mom who was responsible for everything left little time for vulnerability. In fact, you saw her cry once and it freaked you out. Not mom. Your rock…star.
So really, Lee’s right, but the truth is even independent women need love. You asked Trish ultimately what she’s looking for in a relationship and she said someone that she can count on and communicate with.
Ok. So how is she going to get it?
First, it starts with listening. A man isn’t always out to steal your independence. Sometimes what he’s saying is common sense. Hello, wet hands in the wall socket! So be open to listen.
Second, accept that you’re not always right. It just seems that way because you’re alone. Isn’t everybody the smartest with no one else around?
Three, drop that ‘Independent Woman’ label. It went out with Destiny’s Child. Even Beyoncé calls herself Mrs. Carter. It’s about acknowledging that you’d like a man and the only reason you do everything yourself is because you have to.
Get that straight Miss Independent and you have just quadrupled your chances of finding love. Good luck and do let us know how it works out!
Lord knows it can be hard to find love out here in these streets. And when you find it, chances are you won’t be so willing to give it up. But what if the object of your affection is closely related to you? No, not your second cousin. What if he’s your brother?
I know. It’s never really a good time to talk about incest but this is exactly what happened to Adriana, a 39-year-old Brazilian woman and her 37-year-old husband Leandro.
According to the Daily Mail, Adriana and Leandro have been together for seven years and have a six year old daughter.
The couple, who wish to maintain their privacy and won’t reveal their surnames, spent their lives trying to locate their birth mothers after having been abandoned when they were still babies.
They were told that both of their mothers were called Maria but the name is so common, they didn’t think much of it.
Adriana hadn’t seen her mother since she was one, when she left her to be raised by her father. And Leandro learned at eight years old that his mother had abandoned him and the woman who had raised him was actually his stepmother.
Leandro stayed in the same town in which he was born, in Sao Paulo, in southeast Brazil. But Adriana moved around, working as a housemaid. She was married for 15 years and had three children.
But when her marriage came to an end, she moved back home where she met and fell in love with Leandro. Shortly after, the couple moved in together.
The two continued their quests to find their mothers.
Last month, Adriana contacted a local radio station to ask for help. And this week she and her mother were reunited on air.
During the program, “The Time Is Now,” which specializes in finding lost relatives, Adriana’s mother revealed she also had a son who didn’t know her, named Leandro. And eventually, it became clear that Adriana’s husband and her mother’s son are the same person.
Adriana wept on the radio as she told her mother:
“I don’t believe that you’re telling me this. Leandro is my husband.”
By the end of the interview, it seemed that Adriana had already made her decision about what she was going to do in terms of her relationship.
“Now I’m scared to go home and find out that Leandro doesn’t want me anymore. I love him so much.”
Yesterday, Adriana and Leandro, who never married legally, have said that they are going to stay together despite learning that they are brother and sister.
“Only death is going to separate us. All this happened because God wanted it to happen. Of course it would have been different if we had known all this before, but we didn’t and we fell in love. We thought it was funny that both our mothers had the same name, but it is a common name so we just thought it was a coincidence. At first we were really knocked by it all but we had a family meeting and told everyone that we are going to stay husband and wife, whatever anyone might think. We have so many plans together, nothing’s going to break us up, nothing.”
Adriana and Leandro both say that they don’t blame their mother for leaving them and have spoken with her several times and plan to meet up soon.
Inside the story, The Daily Mail, included a table containing information about genetic sexual attraction. They write:
A phenomenon called genetic sexual attraction can occur when estranged relatives meet for the first time as adults.
Feelings of intense intimacy can be confused as the brain struggles to associate each other as family.
When families grow up together, an inherent taboo is created which desensitizes them to sexual attraction.
It is known as the Westermarck effect but is missing from relatives who do not know each other.
This is tragic right?
Arguably, having those abandonment issues, growing up without a mother, at least on Adriana’s part, the potential of losing Leandro may feel even more grave.
And while I would hate to be placed in that situation, I can’t help but ask myself what I would do in that same predicament. I just don’t know if things would ever be the same romantically knowing that dude was my brother. And I would like to think I would be content knowing that he would always be in my life and I would always love him, just not romantically or sexually anymore. But then again, I’ve never fallen in love with a man only to learn later he’s family… What would you do– or what do you think you would do if you were Adriana?
I have been experiencing a love drought lately. Which I am sure, you must know, means daily mood swings that tend to drive those closest to me bonkers. My friends are fed up and wish they had the remedy for my ailment but alas! It’s up to me to dig myself out of this particular hole.
One sunny afternoon at work, I found myself scouring the internet for information that would help settle my chaotic nerves. I ended up on an enlightening article, courtesy of Forbes that displayed the top cities in the States afflicted with the virus of LOVE.
Apparently, I am perfectly situated because New York City came in 2nd, right behind D.C, that surprisingly, garnered the No. 1 spot for finding and falling in love. Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, San Francisco, CA, Charlotte, NC, Denver, CO, and Seattle, WA all followed suit.
In all honesty, if I had to guess which cities would make the cut, I would have most likely cited more than half of the ones that made the list. They are all culturally diverse stations, bursting with opportunities and would obviously provide the perfect backdrop to a summertime romance. So why am I still searching?
I live in NYC, and I have endured my share of dating rituals but yet I have still come up empty. I have friends who are located in LA and San Francisco, and they are also singing the same tune. We were all convinced that once we set up shop, finding Mr. Right would be the least of our worries. But perhaps we were a little too quick with our assumptions. I can only speak for myself when I say that I totally romanticized the idea of living in The Big Apple. It seemed like a no brainer that I would find a willing contender in a sea of moving options nestled on an island declared as the “melting pot” of America.
It took me almost a decade to understand the mechanics behind a thriving cosmopolitan. New York City is a galaxy comprised of debutantes, socialites and families overflowing with old money. These are the people that get first dibs on eligible bachelors. Gals like me get the leftovers, and that usually translates into desperately hungry married men, uncharismatic weaklings, and guys who are searching for Kate Upton lookalikes. So, basically you have to be prepared to work overtime just so snag a decent date, and then accept the fact that you may not be good enough to make it to the next round which usually includes an invitation to The Hamptons (New York’s version of a summer resort) – if you are lucky.
You are actually better off avoiding the big city action because after all that excitement, you are still waking up alone on Sunday mornings. I think that Forbes got it wrong! I truly believe that the more obscure venues provide a promising forecast. I imagine that if I moved to Oregon, or New Orleans or even Austin, TX, I would be amazed at how many times I am able to fall in love. After pounding the pavement without any realized results, I am wondering if it might be worth it to pack up and settle in a town where the guys are readily eager to make me feel like the special girl I know I am.
If you are willing to move for a job, why not make that same sacrifice for love?