All Articles Tagged "happy"
He Might Be A Good Man, But He’s Not The Man For You: Why If A Relationship Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Force It!
“Girl, he’s a good man….you better stick with him.”
“He’s a great catch…”
“He’s going to make a great husband…”
“Girl you better do what you can to keep him!”
How many of us have heard one of, if not all of the quotes listed from friends and family? How many of us have forced ourselves to stay in a relationship where we weren’t happy because someone else thought the man we were involved with was a great catch? Or how often have we convinced ourselves to stay in a relationship we weren’t so happy in because the man we were involved with was indeed a good man, but he wasn’t the good man that we should have been with? I recall several of the relationships I remained in being with men that were indeed good guys, but I wasn’t happy in those relationships.
I wasn’t happy because I often felt that there was something missing within the relationship, but I stayed because at that time in my life, I didn’t want to be single, and I didn’t want to let go of a good man. At that particular time in life I didn’t see the value in being a single woman. I didn’t view my single life as the blessing that it is, but rather saw it as a burden that I would have to bear. Now that I think about it, I sacrificed my personal happiness for personified happiness; and was it worth it? Not at all. Oftentimes we as women force ourselves to remain in relationships with men because we fear being alone, we think that we won’t find anyone as good, or we think that there is a shortage of good men to have happy, healthy and productive relationships with, when the fact is that none of these things are true.
There are so many great men in the world to have relationships with, but we have the tendency to hold on to one we think is good for us, and our fears won’t allow us to see that. Forcing ourselves to remain in relationships that don’t make us happy only limits who we are, it puts a hold on the relationships we deserve and it stifles our internal happiness and it is not worth it! Why isn’t it worth it? Because happiness is something that should be valued and every woman deserves to be happy in or out of a relationship. Over the years I learned that just because someone else thinks a man is a good man, it does not mean that he is the good man made for me. I often listened to my friends and family when it came to men and dating, and they would encourage me to date a guy they felt had great husband qualities and whom they thought would be a great match for me, or to stay in a relationship they thought was good from face value. I even remember a few of them saying ‘don’t mess this one up!’ While their intentions were good, I should have listened more to my instincts in regard to what made me happy in a relationship, rather than forcing myself to stay in a relationship that made everyone else happy. Now that I think about it, I didn’t really know what made me happy because I was so focused on having a relationship rather than enjoying my single life. Having a relationship is something that everyone desires, but being happy is something that everyone deserves and that should not be sacrificed. Ladies, if a relationship you’re involved in does not enlighten you mentally, uplift you spiritually, and balance you emotionally then walk away from it because it does not fit you, so don’t force it. How many relationships have you forced yourself to stay in? Did they really make you happy?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Dear Single Sistas,
I am writing this letter to all of my Single Sistas who rung in the New Year as a single mother, divorcee, widow, or a simply fabulous unattached single woman. I am writing this letter to continue to encourage you on this journey of greatness we call the single life. This letter is not the “new year, new you” speech that we often hear at the beginning of a New Year that’s supposed to motivate us to change things in our lives, but this letter is designed to encourage you to embrace or continue embracing the single life, and not to spend a majority of this year seeking a man and relationship. I encourage you to continue to embrace being single because it is a fabulous journey and way of life that we often take for granted. How do we often take this time for granted? By spending a majority of the time looking for a man and a relationship of course. What we as single women often fail to realize is that our time as single women is not purposed for us to spend most of it looking for a relationship. It has a distinct purpose for our lives and the lives of those who surround us.
This time spent being single is one of the most valuable times in our adult lives. Why? Because this is the time where we can get to know who we are, and who we were created to be. This is the time where we build and establish our self-worth and discover what makes us happy without compromise. Now don’t get me wrong, being involved in a loving relationship is a wonderful thing that everyone should experience, but relationships don’t necessarily make you happy. True happiness comes from within from an individual knowing their self-worth, and what better time in life is there to spend with yourself other than your time of singleness?
Single Sistas, I encourage you to spend this year in focus of a fabulous season of singleness, and not allow your focus to be solely on having a relationship. I know this is not an easy thing to do, especially after some friends and family members got engaged or married over the past holiday season…and of course with the most romantic day of the year right around the corner. I know it’s not easy seeing couples together on date night, and you are out with your girls on yet another girl’s night, and I know how deep the desire for a relationship can go. I know it’s hard, but I encourage you to look into this time of your life and embrace the beauty that it is because being single is something that should be celebrated, not overlooked and upset over.
Just think about it, when you’re married, you’ll have the rest of your life to be focused on someone else, until death do you part (hopefully), so take this time in your life to live it up and learn about yourself, because once you’re in a relationship things will change…hopefully in a positive way though. As I close this letter I say to all of my Single Sistas, spend this time in your life focusing on your purpose, and wait patiently for the mate that is on his way. How patient should you be and how long should you wait? Until the one you deserve finds you in his season of singleness. Remember ladies, it’s not your job to seek, but it is your job to be sought after, and how do you position yourself to be found? Get busy focusing, moving and living in your purpose as a single woman. Wait on the relationship you deserve, and embrace this wonderful journey. You are worth the wait, and so is the man waiting for you. Celebrate this New Year by celebrating you and all that you are!
Sincerely Your Single Sista,
LizLiz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Relationships are designed for two people to get to know each other, to add value to each other’s lives, to fulfill a distinct purpose, and to bring an equal amount of happiness to each other. Many times, when women are in a relationship, they have the tendency to act and do things differently. For instance, when a woman is in a fresh relationship, she tends to clean her home more (some women, not all), she buys more lingerie, she makes home cooked meals or at least tries to, so on and so on. Not only does a woman’s habits change, but her attitude changes. She seems happier and friendlier, and there is a certain glow about her that wasn’t there before her newfound relationship. Why is that? Why is it that so many women are the best person they are, or only their happiest, when they are in a relationship? Why is it that some women can only be happy when they have a man in their lives?
There are many opinions and answers to these questions, but the one reason many women are only happy when they are in a relationship is because they are not happy with who they are and they believe they can only be happy and complete when they are with a man. And the reason many women are not happy with who they are is because they don’t know who they are as an individual, and they have not found their purpose. Another reason women are only happy when they are in a relationship is because they are looking at other relationships from face value; meaning they are looking at the happy pictures and the happy couples who are out enjoying each other, and not looking into the relationship and the work that goes into it. What many women often fail to realize is that a happy man as an individual wants to be with a woman who is happy before he comes into her life so she can add a unique sense of happiness to his own life. There are a number of women who believe they can only experience a true sense of happiness when they are in a relationship and this is just not true.
Why isn’t this true? Because happiness and joy come from within and that happiness and joy is discovered when it is searched for and fulfilled by an individual who is seeking it within who they are and were created to be. Now don’t get me wrong, relationships are great, and they do and should bring about a new sense of happiness for both people; but the truth of the matter is that a relationship is not the end all, be all of happiness. They take work from two whole and happy individuals who know their worth and know what makes them happy before they commit to each other. If one person in a relationship depends solely on the other person for happiness, then that can add pressure to the other person in the relationship and in turn can make them unhappy. I’ve witnessed a number of women who were happy being who they were, only to change into a different woman when they were in a relationship to make the men they were with happy so they would stay with them.
This was absolutely unbelievable because I always thought that these women were strong-willed and happy with who they were and being single…that is until a man came around. I couldn’t understand why they changed several things about them for the sake of saving a relationship that may or may not end in marriage. And then I figured it out. They changed to please the men they were with because they feared being alone, and rather than standing firm on who they were and loving themselves, they changed in an instant. Unfortunately, many unmarried women live with the fear of being alone for the remainder of their lives. They fear they will never experience true love, or have children, or get married; but what I wish a lot of unmarried women would realize is that there is nothing wrong with being single!
Being single has its advantages and disadvantages, just the same as being married or being involved in a committed relationship does. Both aspects have their ups and downs, but at least when you’re single you can be who you are and spend more time learning who you are before you jump into a relationship and turn into someone else, to please someone else. As I stated previously, relationships are great, and they do and should bring new happiness into one’s life…but at what cost?
How many of you have ever compromised yourself for a relationship? Do you find your happiness in a man and a man only? Are you happiest when you’re in or out of a relationship?
Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Some lessons don’t come to you immediately—some come to you as a memory or a sudden understanding of an event from your past. Often, as you progress toward better relationships, things become clear to you about a relationship that took place five years ago! So, while not all of these things happened to me firsthand this year (I don’t get around the block that much!), some event or person came into my life in 2012 that shed light on events from my past, and finally showed me the lesson from experiences which until recently were just meaningless pain. Maybe as you go into the new year, you too can turn some of your painful memories into helpful lessons.
I’m sure you’ve read just about enough articles on why black women are single and never will get married to make you want to shut off your computer and stop your magazine subscriptions. There’s enough random statistics and surveys out there about our lives and personal business, and a majority of the time, it comes from non-black women. If you’re gullible enough, you’ll probably take all of these stories and more to heart and start panicking, but if you’re not, you’re probably just tired of it all. That’s probably why we decided to come up with this list of misconceptions about all black women when it comes to dating and why we’re single that need to be rid of. Feel free to add more way down below and let people know they need to stop worrying about you and yours.
We’re trying to get hooked up with any and everybody
Thanks, but no thanks. Whether it’s through your friends who mean well or a parent who is worried about the lack of grandbabies running around their home, some people assume that you’ll be a perfect match with the first guy they find who has a decent smile, decent style and decent credit. However, they totally ignore all the glaring signs that this fella is not your type. If folks run across a man they know you’ll have so much in common with, cool. But the whole idea that we’re so desperate nowadays to take and deal with anything isn’t cool. We’re not all out in these streets wishing and praying and hoping for the first man with a pulse who smiles in our direction.
I know what you’re thinking right now. “Of course, I’m ready for a relationship. It’s what I’ve been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I can get one started!”
Well, I’m certainly not arguing that you want a real relationship. I’m asking if you’re ready for a real relationship. That one’s tough to answer, because it entails really looking at yourself and your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in a real, open, and honest way. And that’s never easy.
One thing I can tell you is that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that spot where all I could think about was how I so wanted a real relationship, with all of the affection, understanding, support and love that comes with it. And that’s when I asked myself this very same question and I realized that I didn’t like the answer. I had some major changing to do. So how do you know if you’re ready for a relationship before you start one with either the wrong guy or Mr. Right at the wrong time?
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It’s possible to be plus-size and healthy, and a recent poll on African American women from the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation is proving that there’s more than one form of healthiness.
Although black women polled in the survey were heavier than their white counterparts, their self-esteem was notably higher. About 66 percent of black women who were considered overweight or obese by government standards had high self-esteem, compared with just 41 percent of average-size or thin white women, which is a major plus for mental health.
High self-esteem wasn’t rooted in denial about the effects of obesity on one’s physical health either. Ninety percent of black women in the survey said living a healthy lifestyle is very important to them, coming before religion, career, marriage, and other priorities. The finding that two-thirds of these women eat at fast-food restaurants at least once a week, and just more than half cook dinner at home on a regular basis, seems to contradict the desire to live healthy, but the look of a healthy body to black women varies greatly, a write-up of the study showed.
Joseph Neil, a full-time trainer and certified nutritionist in Washington DC, said black women usually come to him with a body-mass index of 29, which he attributes to work demands that lead to eating fast food and less exercise. White women on the other hand typically have a BMI of 22 or 23.
White women “are self-conscious about the numbers. They say I want to weigh 110, 115, 120,” he said. But black women “give me sizes — 6, 8, 10, 12.
“White women are not coming to a trainer saying I want to be a 12. Every white woman who wants to work out and train wants to be petite, petite, no curves, no hips, no butt, nothing, just toned.”
For most, that’s not surprising. Despite the images we’re bombarded with on a regular basis, the lack of black women on runways and in magazines may actually be saving our self-esteem, some said. According to Heather Hausenblas, a University of Florida professor of exercise physiology, Black women “are just not comparing themselves to these white models.”
We are catching on to the high rates of obesity in our community and the negative effects that being overweight can have on our physical health, though, as writer Michaela Angela Davis pointed out.
“We’re not saying its super fly to be super fat. We’ve never said that,” Davis notes, but unlike in white culture, “black women are not criminalized for it.”
Do you think black women are finally figuring out how to balance love for their full-figured bodies with the need to be physically healthy?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Do you remember what life was like before you cared what people you would never interact with on a daily basis in person were doing every waking minute? It’s hard to remember, but it’s likely you weren’t comparing your life to there’s—because honestly you had no idea what they were up to.
Author Daniel Gulati, a blogger for Harvard Business Review, says all that TMI information shared online is creating a subconscious “ranking” among friends when we compare someone’s online “status” to our real lives.
“Facebook is making us unhappy by making everyone else look really, really happy,” he says.
The social networking site also leads to a loss of productivity in work and leisure and can negatively affect close, in-person relationships.
“Meeting up in person, you get a much richer connection versus a video chat or a text-based chat. It’s cannibalizing the offline interaction. That’s what’s worrying to me — the future prospect of Facebook conversations and video calls as opposed to meeting up at the local coffee shop,” he says.
“Facebook is bringing down a lot of people’s daily sense of well-being.”
So how can you fix it? By setting aside a daily time to visit Facebook and taking one day off per week. You should also get rid of all those apps on your mobile phone and “strengthen real-world relationships,” he says.
I think it’s much easier to set aside time to look at Facebook than Twitter because of the constant updates, but every time I’ve even tried to take a break from the site, like clockwork I would get a text message from a friend asking, “did you see such and such’s status?” I think we’re stuck with the Internet monster we’ve created.
Do you find yourself comparing your real life to the “lives” of your Facebook friends? Do you feel like Facebook limits your productivity and hurts your real-life relationships?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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You may have caught Rashana A. Hooks brutally honest article, Things You Should Never Apologize For. Still, I suspect that many of you still have your bags packed and ready to go for your daily guilt trip and are undeservingly beating yourselves up for all the things that make you fierce and fabulous. Apologies are used for the recognition and remorse of a wrongdoing, but more often than not, you’re only living your life the best way you know how, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Here are 10 more things that you can save your apologies for:
1. Being educated/Conscious of grammar.
I’ve noticed how easily offended people become when I correct them on a fact that they’ve quoted incorrectly or point out that they’ve used the wrong “you’re” in a Facebook status update. Instantly, I’m attacked with loaded gratitude like, “Thank you, grammar police.” In my opinion, friends don’t let friends stay confident in ignorance. You can be helpful without being insulting. While there’s certainly a time and place to be more laid back and relaxed with your language, you’ll be thanking me and my thesaurus before you print out a thousand business cards labeled, “Thank you for you’re business.” (Microsoft Word weeps.)
If a television show is based around plus-size women accepting, if not loving their bodies, does it send the wrong message to overweight women? If you ask different people, the answer is yes. A television show like TLC’s new series “Big Hot” does nothing for full-figured women but make them think it’s okay to teeter over a size 20, when they should be working to lose some of the weight. Why? Because society says it’s not a good look to be a proud big girl.
While watching the entertainment show “The Insider” last night, I got a preview of the new reality series “Big Hot.” It seemed very cute, like the plus-size version of “Sex and the City,” still set in New York City, but with women of all shades living it up as big girls in the big city. The show looks to showcase their experiences with dating, modeling, and dealing with the discrimination of people who aren’t so accepting. It looked both entertaining and endearing–a win win. But not more than a minute after the preview played on “The Insider,” co-host Kevin Frazier made the statement that while he could appreciate the idea of the show, he was wondering if it was sending a bad message: telling women who are actually at an unhealthy weight to learn to enjoy their weight and rock it, rather than take care of it for health’s sake. While I understood what he was trying to say, it also came out sounding sort of…well, jackass-ish. Why? His tone showed that he didn’t seem pleased or amused by the show at all (Debbie Downer, much?) and because, well, aren’t there already like 80,000 shows centered around overweight people being told to lose weight?