All Articles Tagged "liz lampkin"
The Drama You Want, is the Drama You Won’t Get! How To Handle The Negative Reaction Negative People Want To Get Out Of You
Do men really desire a drama free relationship, even if the relationship is casual? Or, do men like drama from women on a certain level? A few years ago, I was blessed with one of the smallest and greatest gifts known to mankind by giving birth to my son. Not only was I blessed with this gift, but I was given a long-awaited title of mom. While I was blessed with the gift of my son and the privileged title of mom, I also had the burden of encountering confusion, unnecessary drama and a lack of respect from the father of my child. From the day my son was born, his father constantly did and said things that infuriated me, brought me to tears and damaged my self-esteem. He would always try his best to break me down, rather than lift me up. Oftentimes I wondered why he would do such a thing, especially now that I had given birth to our child (because of course everything was fine before our son was born). Then I finally realized that he wanted a drama filled reaction out of me so he could say that he had a typical “baby mamma” that came with the expected drama. Once I realized what he was doing, I stepped back and told myself that I would not react foolishly (not that I ever did) to any of his negative comments or actions towards me and our child because I realized that I could not waste my precious time reacting to him and wasting energy when I had a child to care for. I decided that I would be stern with him, but I would no longer be attitudinal or irate with him. I also realized that the more I responded to him negatively, the more mental power I gave him over me. So after consciously deciding to stop reacting negatively to his actions and feeding into him, my life became more peaceful; and to my surprise, he was more enraged and upset with my positive actions or non-reactions. He eventually figured out that I was not going to react out of pocket towards him anymore, so he stopped for a while. To this day, he still tries to get a rise out of me, but his antics don’t work.
After I realized that my son’s father wanted a drama-filled relationship, I thought to myself…WHY? Why would any man want a relationship with a woman that is a 24/7 headache? Then I realized that unfortunately, this is what some men want because they get a rise out of it and they just like women with a little extra fire in their bones. I also came to the sad conclusion that some men are simply used to having relationships with women who like to perform dramatically because it is what they are used to. Now, some women may say that the men they are involved in relationships with make them behave in a certain manner. This may be true to some extent because oftentimes, when something doesn’t go the way it was anticipated, we allow our emotions to get the best of us, and we instantly react without thinking. However, it is always better to walk away from a person and a situation before you allow it to get the best of you. My relationship with my son’s father taught me some valuable lessons, but the most valuable lesson I learned is not to allow someone to take me out of my character as a woman. This lesson is a simple, commonsense one that is known, but it is often overlooked and not applied. With learning this lesson, I also had to learn how to put aside my ego and control my emotions. Putting aside my ego and controlling my emotions allowed me to listen to the person and filter through what they were saying and how they were reacting, giving me the advantage when I responded because I gathered all information needed to render a calm, intelligent response…which in turn angered them, insulted their pride, or caused them to back down and apologize. How and why do I put aside my ego and control my emotions? I pray and ask God to show me how He wants me to handle situations, and every time I do He shows me. The drama my son’s father wanted out of me was something I refused to give him. In fact, the drama that anyone wants me to give them is something I refuse to give because a moment of drama is not worth me laying aside the woman I am. What would it prove? Nothing. How would I benefit from it? I wouldn’t. Is it worth it? Not at all. Maintaining your character is worth more than a moment of ego driven drama. Let it go and let God.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
A while ago I attended a party with a few friends and co-workers. While everyone was dancing, eating and drinking, I sat down next to one of my friends and we began to chat about the atmosphere. As we chatted and gazed around the room, we noticed something a little odd. We noticed that a mutual associate of ours was wrapped in a very intimate embrace with her main male squeeze…nothing too peculiar about that, but what was odd was that while we observed her intimately embracing her main squeeze, we also saw the man she was dating on the side standing next to them, watching them as they embraced; and not only that, during the embrace, she gazed into the male “Misteress’” eyes and he smiled at her. When this moment ended, they all stood there talking and laughing as if they were all best friends.
Now this may not seem strange to some, but it was to my friend and I who were observing this scene, because both men seemed aware that she was being intimately involved with both of them. Again, this may not seem too out of the ordinary for some, but ladies what I want to know is, is it okay for a woman to have her main squeeze and her side dish get along, especially when they both know about her relationship with them both?
Some may say yes, as long as both men know where they stand, and they aren’t disrespectful to each other, which is a very valid point; but how respectful is it knowing that the woman they are involved with is intimately involved with someone else? And you know who he is! Personally, I think this is disrespectful to both men, and the woman. Why? Because both men deserve to be with one woman who will engage in a healthy, monogamous relationship with them, and give them all of the attention they need (if that’s what they want). It also shows disrespectful actions from the woman. How? Because as a woman, she should have more respect for her man and herself, and should respect the relationship she is involved in. Now I know many of you may be thinking, but men do this all the time and no one seems to have a problem with it! While this may be true, what we fail to realize is that some mistresses do struggle with being the other woman; but they keep their struggle inside.
Relationships are hard to maintain with two people involved, and when there is a third or even fourth party involved, things can really get crazy because of the emotional attachments that can occur. It is my personal belief that it is not cool for a woman to have her main squeeze and her side dish get a long, or even know each other at all, because as I stated previously, it’s disrespectful to the men involved and the relationship(s). Even if the men involved are okay with knowing each other and knowing their position, you never know what they are saying about the woman behind her back to each other, and other men. The art of discretion is a gift that is a part of a woman’s natural being. Practicing discretion as a woman is a must, especially when it comes to our intimate affairs and our relationships. If you have a main squeeze and a side dish, or you’re just seeing multiple guys at one time, keep them separate for your own self-respect, and for the sake of the self-respect of the men involved. Even if they don’t care, you should because showing and giving a man the respect they deserve in any type of relationship will make you a better woman and them a better man.
Ladies do you think it’s cool for a woman to have their main squeeze and their side dish know each other?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
A few years ago, I was invited to attend a promotional event that focused on African-American authors and relationships. The atmosphere was filled with laughter, intriguing conversation, and a number of single, attractive men and women. At about 9:30 p.m., an extremely handsome gentleman walked through the doors of the venue with his business partner and took a seat just as I was getting ready to speak about my book. Shortly after my presentation, the event ended and instantly turned into a “mix and mingle” networking session. As all of the authors and attendees engaged in conversation, I started gathering my things to head home.
Before I could finish putting my things away, the handsome gentleman made his way over to me and began what was his form of flattery. He began the conversation very casually and smoothly by complimenting my presentation and the concept of my book. He then shifted the conversation toward discussing several marketing strategies with me. Before long, we exchanged information. Shortly after our initial conversation, I contacted him to gather more information about marketing; and then soon after that we were emailing, calling, and texting each other almost every day to discuss everything but marketing. We repeated this pattern for about two to three weeks, and before I knew it, we were in an intense relationship. During the beginning stages of our relationship I was on the path of starting my writing career, so there were a number of events I was invited to attend to speak, book signings and invitations to provide commentary or other articles for various magazines, etc. So of course, while all of these wonderful things were happening to me, I shared them with my new significant other. Initially, he celebrated with me, but as more doors opened for me in my professional career, he seemed to be happy, but he expressed it differently.
While my then-mate congratulated me on my small victories, he would say things like, ‘Let me see what writing I can do for this magazine,’ or ‘you know how I do things…I spend my evening with stars and meeting all sorts of people,’ so on and so on. It also seemed as though every time I shared something with him, he would say what he was going to do next, or what he was planning to do. Initially, this didn’t bother me because I simply thought he was sharing his small victories and plans with me, but as time went on and he consistently mentioned all of his victories to me, I noticed how his attitude towards my success changed. He suddenly became disinterested in hearing about my accomplishments (not that I shared all of them or threw them in his face), if he couldn’t make it to an event he wouldn’t ask me how things went, and if he did ask about the event he would say things that were demeaning and discouraging. As I started noticing these changes, I thought I was being overly sensitive to the fact that he wasn’t as interested and excited about my small victories as I was, so I gave it some more time and more observation of his character; and sure enough I was right…he was trying to compete with me.
Did he openly admit that we were in a competition…no; but the signs were all there. He wouldn’t celebrate with me as much, nor would he even try to motivate me as he once did, amongst other things. I initally thought to myself, maybe he’s intimidated by me, or maybe he just wants to focus in more on his career because as my career grew, I noticed that he worked hard at getting his career off the ground and stable. Who knows? But at that time in my life I felt as though I was involved in a miniature battle of the sexes, and I hope this never happens again because when I’m in a relationship, I want to motivate my mate to do better and support him wholeheartedly, but I want and deserve the same in return. I once heard someone say that some men are intimidated by strong or successful women, and I often thought that that was the case with my then mate; but then I realized that if a man is truly a man he will not be intimidated by any woman. Whether he is as successful as she is or not, if he is a real man he will be secure in who he is and who he’s not, what he has and what he doesn’t.
How may relationships have you been involved in that turned into a competition?
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.
A date is a meeting between two individuals who may or may not have been previously acquainted, coming together for the purpose of getting to know each other. Dating is the process of continual encounters between two people for the purpose of furthering their knowledge of one another to see if they are compatible with each other for a potential relationship. These definitions make dates and the whole dating process sound pretty simple, right? So then why is dating so complicated?
I believe dating is complicated because people don’t have similar goals in mind when going through this process, and people make more of a first date and dating than what it really is–a simple meeting or meetings to get to know someone on a different level. People have the tendency to make more of casual dating than what it really is because some get caught up in focusing on whether or not the person is ‘the one’ and what they can potentially bring to the table, rather than enjoying the person for who they are and enjoying the dating experience as a whole.
Now I know the whole purpose of dating is to get to know someone to see if there is potential there for a relationship, but honestly, when a person is primarily focused on having a relationship, then they make the dating experience complicated for both parties. How and why does this happen? This happens because people miss the steps of effectively communicating about their hopes and expectations and are half scared to come straight out and say that they would like to soon move forward to being involved in an actual monogamous relationship. People often confuse dating and monogamous relationships because during the dating process, many fail to communicate whether or not they are dating each other exclusively, with the purpose of moving forward in monogamy, or if they are dating other people…especially when the dating experience becomes physically or emotionally intense. When two people are involved in a dating relationship and they start feeling each other, they somehow miss the step of both parties agreeing to be exclusive and end up in a semi-relationship without proper communication, and when this happens, individual expectations and goals change for one if not both people, and that’s where things start to get complicated. What people should do when dating someone familiar or new is take their time and enjoy the person for who they are and not focus so much on if they will walk down the aisle with them in holy matrimony.
One should also realize that just because they are dating someone, that does not mean that you are the only person that THAT individual may be dating, especially if the two of you have not mutually agreed to see each other exclusively. Many times when people discover that they really like someone they are dating, they want to pursue a relationship with them, but the other person involved may not want the same thing, thus leading to hurt feelings and bruised emotions-especially if and when things become physical. That’s why when you’re involved in the process of dating, don’t just limit yourself to one person. Dating is a fun experience that should be taken serious, but somewhat lightly at the same time. It is the process of getting to know someone, but it is also a process of elimination, and if you are focusing solely on one person, you have automatically eliminated and alienated yourself from one aspect of dating. Dating is a wonderful thing when mature people have effective communication and truly take the time to get to know each other for who they are for a simple or greater purpose. Take things slow while dating, know what your intentions are with someone, know their intentions with you, be clear about the expectations, explore your options and take your time…
Have you ever confused casual dating for a monogamous relationship?
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.
“We attract hearts by the qualities we display; we retain them by the qualities we possess; and we destroy them by the qualities we fail to display.” -Liz Lampkin
It was a hot Fourth of July holiday; my son and I were invited to a barbecue for fun and fellowship at a close friend’s home. While the meal was being prepared, my son’s godmother and I were engaging in conversation when the doorbell rang. As my son’s godmother walked toward the door, she stated that it was probably her stepson outside, because he comes to dine with them often. Initially, I didn’t think anything of her comments until he walked over the threshold of the door. This young man was one of the finest beings of God’s creation I had laid eyes on in quite some time, and my first thoughts about him were, Umm, Umm, Umm …(I’ll keep the rest to myself). Then I took a deep breath without anyone noticing to clear the thoughts that were moving about in my head. When the young man walked in, he spoke to everyone, and then my son’s godmother introduced him to me. He said hello, and I responded with the same greeting. He then went outside to join his father. When Mr. Physical Attraction walked past, my eyes followed him, and I intricately observed his every move until he disappeared. When he left the room, I had this feeling of anxiousness and passion to get to know him. But then, I realized that I only wanted to know him because of his outer appearance, and my only concerns were his physique and how I could benefit from it.
The quote above makes a powerful statement. It suggests that we initially draw someone’s attention, emotions and affections by the things we do, we keep someone’s interest with the qualities we have within, and we can destroy a relationship in its entirety by the qualities that are lacking within. It made me think to ask myself, as a woman, what qualities do I display to attract someone’s attention? What qualities retain my attention? What initially attracts me to someone, and what holds my attention? An attraction is to draw by appealing to the emotional, physical attributes, or senses by stimulating interest. It is to arouse or compel that interest, admiration, or the attention of someone by various actions, intellect, or appearance that appeal to the human senses.
There are many types of attractions that exist that include but aren’t limited too: cognitive, emotional, sexual, physical, and spiritual. A cognitive attraction is the compelling interest in someone’s intellect. It is being drawn to the way someone thinks, the philosophies they live by, and/or their points of view about life. This attraction comes from introducing, sharing, and discussing new ideas and thoughts regarding different aspects of life. It brings forth new ways of thinking and points of view of life to someone, which in turn draws the attraction to unfamiliar, fresh, and exciting ideas. An emotional attraction is an egotistical attraction that allows someone to be drawn to an emotion that is lacking in someone else’s life. This attraction seeks to fulfill the emotion that is lacking within someone else to assist him or her in moving forward from a disturbing emotional experience. While seeking to fulfill an emotion lacking in someone else, the person may be subconsciously seeking emotional fulfillment for him or herself. Emotional attractions often lead people to go into the heroine or hero syndrome, which is an egotistical syndrome that leads people to believe they can save and rescue someone else through emotionally-led actions. A sexual attraction is stimulation on the basis of sexual desires. It derives from a physical attraction that is often enhanced by sexually led conversations, sexual gestures, and sexual thoughts. It is also being drawn to someone after engaging in sexual activities. A physical attraction is appealing to the outer exterior of one’s fleshly being and material possessions. It derives from what a person observes with physical eyes and often what someone hears and feels. Sexual and physical attractions go hand in hand. A spiritual attraction is being drawn to the godly and God-ward attitude someone displays, as well as the biblical principles one lives by. This attraction is derived from viewing a person’s walk in discipleship and relationship with God.
While many people have experienced one of these attractions, I’m curious to know what draws and holds one’s attention. It seems as though the strongest of all attractions is physical, because people react to what they see, especially if they like what they see; but how many times has a physical attraction turned into a bad experience? Meaning, how many times has a physically attractive person turned you off because of their attitude, demeanor, so on and so on? And in turn, how many times have you been attracted to someone who is not so physically attractive, but has a heart of gold, and the spirit of an angel? There are many reasons why people are drawn to someone, too many to name, but some primary reasons people are drawn to someone is because they are curious about them, they want to know more about who they are, they may have common interests with them, or they are compelled to assist them emotionally. Whatever the reasons people are attracted to someone, the fact remains that something within someone else taps into the curiosity of another person which leads them to want to get to know them better. Attraction stimulates and peeks the initial curiosity of someone, but which attraction is stronger, and which attraction actually keeps you interested?
Which attractions lead your relationships? Which attraction is the focal point for building your relationships?
Dear Single Sistas,
I’m writing this letter to my Single Sistas who are searching for soul mates, in search of marriage, and those who are settling for a common law commitment. I’m writing to all of my Single Sistas searching for someone to settle down with to encourage you to cease your search for a man/husband because as a single woman it is not your job to seek and search for a mate, but it is your job to be sought. Now I know many of you may be thinking, why is it not my job to search for my husband…doesn’t the saying go, “Seek and you will find…”? Yes that is what this saying says, but it is also said that when a man finds a wife he finds a good thing, and what that means is 1. It is a man’s job to search for a life mate, 2. When a man does find his wife it is a good thing for his life. So Sistas, there is no need to stress out about finding a husband because your husband is in search of you…but are you a woman who is ready to be found by your husband, or by a boyfriend?
Single Sistas who are searching , I urge and encourage you to cease your search for your soul mate, and search within to see if you are marriage material, and deeply ponder and examine your motives for marriage. I urge you to look within the book of life to see what it means to be an unmarried woman serving her purpose first, and then search for what it means to be a wife.
So many times we get caught up in wanting companionship…you know, someone to come home to, someone to cuddle up with, someone to talk to and share with, someone to build with, someone to go to couples retreats with, so forth and so on and all of these feelings are normal and natural. But I urge and encourage you to see if you have the characteristics of a wife as an individual first before you say you want to be married, because the reality of it is, is that most women simply want a wedding, and don’t completely understand the commitment, selflessness, and sacrificial love of being married.