All Articles Tagged "love and relationships"
Girl meets guy. Guy meets girl. They “hook up” for a sexual encounter. Guy never calls girl again — unless he wants to hook up. Girl feels abandoned and used. Sound familiar? This is just one example of the “consequences” of a casual sexual relationship. Rarely do these random indiscretions ever turn into more than a few nights of sex. Nevertheless, many people are finding “comfort” in, or settling for, casual sexcapades.
Now of course what happens between two consenting adults should not be up for discussion or debate, however I caution all of us to think twice about the unintended consequences of casual sex.
Given the fact that sex, casual or not, involves an intimate exchange of energy, one should take into consideration the ramifications of engaging in the horizontal mambo. Casual sex does not come without risk. In fact, some studies show that casual sex is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Reports indicate that people are often left emotionally distressed, physically jeopardized, spiritually conflicted, legally frustrated, financially burdened and socially destroyed by so called “casual” physical engagements. In addition, many times casual encounters happen under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances. While under the influence, people make choices that they would not usually make when sober. In addition, people are not able to give “informed consent.” When they awake in the morning, often times alone, sober with a hangover; it’s all bad and they are left to deal with the fallout of their sexual tryst. Some ramifications of the fallout include:
- Feeling emotionally empty. Casual sexual encounters can sometimes have lasting effects which may include the inability of a person to form strong emotional bonds of love, intimacy, attachment and/or trust. Often people settle for casual sex because they are longing to have a connection with someone, however, after a casual sexual encounter they are left feeling emptier than before the encounter.
- Your body’s physically jeopardized. There is always the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and unintended pregnancy whenever a person has sex. Even though condoms and dental dams are considered effective, when used consistently and correctly there is always a chance for failure, especially if there is alcohol or some other substance involved. In addition, if there have been multiple casual sexual encounters with the same person, comfort levels begin to disappear and so does the likelihood of using a condom. The question you must ultimately ask yourself is, is this one casual encounter worth the consequence and repercussions that might follow?
- You’re spiritually conflicted. When two people have sex, there is an exchange of energy. Hormones are released into the blood stream that help bond people together. In addition, when it comes to sexual intercourse, the receiving partner literally receives something inside of their body. For people who may be practicing celibacy or who were raised to believe that sex before marriage is wrong, a slip up of casual sex may cause them to question their morals and values. Consider the fact that there is no exclusivity, you never know who else they might be having sex with, and every time you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with as well and that energy, and sometimes STIs, transfers from person to person. Be responsible for your sexual health.
- You’re legally frustrated. If you fall victim to your hormones and wind up conceiving you may end up a “friend of the court.” The process of establishing paternity can be frustrating and takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. Now you must deal with potentially missing work, late child support payments, garnishment, legal fees, and destroyed relationships; all because you were blinded by sex. Unfortunately, many times the one who is truly the casualty of this one night stand is the child because oftentimes the parents cannot seem to work things out in a mature manner.
- You’re financially burdened. Let us say for example in this moment of passion, for whatever reason, you fail to practice safer sex. And as a result, you end up pregnant or getting someone pregnant or get infected with a sexually transmitted infection. Now, you are taking care of a baby, you did not want or plan for, paying for treatment for an STI, child support payment, court cost, time of work, another mouth to feed, the list goes on.
- You’re socially destroyed. Often time people who engage in casual sex, especially women, develop a negative reputation. This reputation has a tendency to follow you and even may prevent someone from taking you seriously or seeing you as “relationship material.” Additionally, if one or both parties are married, the havoc on the spouse(s) and any children involved can be very detrimental and leave a lasting negative impact on all parties involved.
I’m not saying that people should not engage in casual sex. However, I am saying that if one should decide to partake in a casual moment of pure unadulterated bliss, then they should be well aware of the potential risk so that they can make an informed decision. It is important to think with our head and not with our hormones because at the end of the day, that five or ten minutes of pleasure may not be worth the orgasm.
Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, www.drtamaragriffin.com or www.projectcreatesafe.com.
The old adage goes “It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” Well, tell that to anyone who has had their heartbroken. While some of us are able to channel the emotional setback in positive ways, many of us take a slightly different approach. So in the spirit of encouraging rising above (and not going to jail) we bring you 15 ways not to handle a break-up.
My dating drought was finally over. I had found a guy that I enjoyed talking to and hanging out with, and even better is that we shared so much in common. Unfortunately, we had too much in common. His flaws were shockingly similar to mine, and while you would think this would make us relate to each other better, there was one flaw that I just couldn’t tolerate. He was moody. And while I know that every person comes with a set of inadequacies, moodiness is one trait that I cannot handle, specifically in a man.
Unfortunately, life is full of double standards when it comes to men and women, and most times it seems that women get the shorter end of the stick. Men are able to get away with much more, simply because of their gender, but women are bound by society’s standards of what it means to be a ‘lady’. Now, usually I am an advocate for battling double standards, but I stand firm in the fact that I don’t think men are allowed to be me. Yes, I said allowed. Sure, men are human too (I guess), but moodiness is usually something that is associated with women, specifically during hormonal changes that men don’t have. So in my opinion, they’re not allowed a ‘moody pass’, one that we’re given a few days out of a month.
I’m sure no one is writing ‘moody’ in their list of desirable traits in a mate, but most men probably assume that occasional moodiness accompanies every woman. Hello! That’s why the term “PMS-ing” is real. But let’s be clear, this sometimes offensive verb is designated for women only.
My new guy was extremely nice and funny. We clicked and totally connected. He was consistent with this attitude for the first few weeks, but then when I got to know him, I started seeing the real him. The one that would randomly creep out of his personality sporadically and then go away just as fast as it came.
Initially, I thought he was just not feeling me anymore and didn’t know how to say it, but it was confusing because he wanted to hang out and talk to me often. Finally, he decided to confide in me. He said that many of his relationships in the past didn’t last because women complained about his moodiness. He also said that because we shared the same zodiac sign (Capricorn), he was sure I would understand. He was wrong–I didn’t.
Men are usually thought to be more stable in their emotions, at least with things other than relationships. So the ‘one minute you’re happy, 10 minutes later you’re sad and want to be left alone’ attitude coming consistently from a man threw me for a loop; and needless to say I wasn’t feeling him. Translation: I wasn’t feeling my guy anymore and my dating drought was back on.
Some may say I missed out on a possible love connection, but I think I saved myself a lot of emotional drama. If he can’t figure out what do with his own emotions, I most certainly couldn’t trust him with mine.
Ladies, have you ever dated a moody man and how was your experience? Is ‘moodiness’ something you won’t tolerate either?
Some women love to run down their credentials after achieving some level of success, and many times it’s usually after asking the infamous question, “why am I single?”
Some of us equate college degrees, material gains, and superficial qualities to “the ideal wife” and we automatically assume that men should be jumping over fences to ‘holla’ at us. But seriously, when it comes to relationships, does this matter to him as much as you really think it does? Is what you’re offering really what a man wants in a relationship?
I have plenty of friends who hold multiple degrees, they’re successful in their careers, and many of them are attractive and keep their bodies healthy. Yet and still, the majority of them are single. This could partly have to do with the fact that the more a woman achieves, the more she expects from her man. And there isn’t anything totally wrong with that. However, when she relies solely on what she has instead of who she is, that could be a problem.
While men may initially be attracted to beauty and success, I can bet both of my master’s degrees that neither of those things can keep him around. So ladies, besides your beauty and all of your educational accolades, what are you really bringing to the table in a relationship? And is it enough to keep you and your man happy?
Relationships are about compromise, consideration, and teamwork, all of the things that brings you closer to a person. Most men want their woman to be a friend, a lover, and someone they can trust. And believe me, none of those traits can be taught in an undergraduate course or in professional development training.
Comforting a man and knowing just the right words to say when he’s down on his luck is something a woman can bring to the table that a man can’t offer himself. Knowing how or when to cook his favorite meal (if cooking is your thing), is what some men consider an asset. Or more importantly, being resourceful and knowing how to help out if either of you get in a financial bind.
Most men expect to be providers, and while having a woman who can take care of herself should be appealing to a real man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he considers it an asset to his life. Sure you make your own money, pay your bills on time, and have a resume that puts most men to shame, but honestly what does that have to do with him? That is unless he’s looking to live off of you of course, and we all know that we don’t want a man like that!
So ladies, before you throw out a long list of accomplishments, credit scores, and salaries when thinking of what you can bring to the table in a relationship, take a minute to think of those things that cannot be bought, earned, or achieved by doing an excessive amount of squats.
Now, ask yourself again, what do you bring to the table in a relationship?
You know who has no problem getting and keeping a man? Evelyn Lozada.
The woman, whose frosty stare could turn even the most warm-blooded heart cold and who has scrapped with and thrown under the bus almost every single cast member of Basketball Wives Miami can’t seem to keep the menfolk away. They love her enough to want to date her. They love her enough to put a ring on it. They love her enough to put a baby in it too.
But according to most folks, nobody wants a crazy witch of a woman. Men say they don’t like loud chicks or women who have no home-training. They’re not into girls that fight, throw tantrums or make crazy demands. Matter of fact, being a witch of a woman is the number one reason why single women aren’t married according to this widely-circulated article from 2011 by television writer Tracy McMillan:
You’re a B**ch
Here’s what I mean by b**ch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off. The deal is: most men just want to marry someone, who is nice to them…
And yet, Lozada and her behavior continue to defy the odds. And it is not just Lozada, as many other designated witches, both on television and in real life, have little problem attracting members of the opposite sex in spite of their b***hiness. Like those “associates” we have, who on paper should be considered undateable. And by “on paper,” I mean popular opinion, including those “Men Don’t Date/Marry These Type of Women” lists, written mostly by men (or at the very least from a male’s perspective), which have become so popular on the Internet as of late. On paper, homegirl is the epitome of the selfish, shallow, eye-rolling, uncultured, always-with-an-attitude type of woman that is supposed to be an instant turnoff. However, everywhere you guys go, and more importantly, no matter the caliber of male company you happen to be in, the menfolk always seem to gravitate towards her neck-rolling, eyebrow arching, nasty attitude and she-devil persona. Even more curious, they are not just interested in her for the night, but most times they stick around as boyfriends, and one or two (sometimes more) actually stay around to become husbands.
Meanwhile, you, the proverbial nice, polite and well-mannered girl, continue to leave that same meat market sausage free. Even with your even-keeled, compromising temperament, which all the boys like enough to call and burden you with their troubles but not enough to date, it is you (and not her), who still end up alone in your place, eating half-warm Lean Cuisine and watching marathons of Extreme Hoarders: Animal Edition on Netflix. You do all this while you continuously wait for the right one to come along and acknowledge your good girl ways. Around the sixth episode of watching animal control workers in Hazmat suits pull the umpteenth mange-having, one-eyed cat from some old lady’s ceiling, you begin to shake your head at the prospects of your life and ponder to yourself why being oh so nice and all the respectfulness has yet to pay off. Do men like just like mean girls more?
I haven’t read the full book, so I won’t co-sign it in its entirety, but this excerpt from Why Men Marry B***hes, which appeared on the “Today” show’s website, speaks to one of the reasons why I think this happens. According to Sherry Argov, the author of the book, while the so-called sage wisdom, usually given by well-meaning friends, family, clergy, and yes, magazine advice columnists, might instruct women to act like Cheshire Cat-smiling servant for men, the reality is that men are into women who have no fear in being themselves and more importantly, demanding whatever it is they want out of life. As for all the eager to please ladyfolk, they end up coming off as desperate. Argov writes:
“It’s human nature. Telling a woman to work harder to please is like telling a little kid to walk up to a schoolyard bully on the first day of school and say, “Here, take my lunch money. And you can have my cupcakes too. I’ll even throw in my lunchbox since you don’t have one.” Or, in a dating situation, “Here, take my body. And I made you a cake. Please be nice. Please marry me. I’ll even jack my butt up nice and high like they do in yoga. It’s so comfortable being upside down. Really. I just love it!”Just because a man sleeps with you doesn’t mean he’s thinking about the future. For him to think about forever, there has to be something he respects within you. Like a strong wit … and a strong mind.
In short, confidence. And it takes confidence to be a woman like Lozada. Folks tend to get it twisted and instantly think every woman who is obnoxious, demanding or uncaring about the general public’s perception of them are all grappling with low self-esteem. In some respects this is true, however, in some other instances, those women just tend to think very highly of themselves. And as with anyone who holds themselves to a certain regard, some b***hy mean girls are more likely to brim with the type of self-assurance needed to whitewash whatever character flaws they might have into something more interesting and alluring.
Now, I don’t say this as a way of leading all you good girls astray into believing that you must start hopping over tables and snatching folks up, a la Lozada, to snag a man. But rather, I say all this to cosign something that we always suspected to be true: h**s and witches stay winning. And they stay winning because they act like winners. Why shouldn’t they? Men, who it seems never have to grapple with worrying if their behaviors make them dateable, have been overselling their value for years…
I’m done dating, at least for a while. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. As cliché as that sounds, it pretty much sums up my attitude when it comes to romantic relationships. I’m exhausted from the disappointments that have plagued my dating life for the last few years; and mentally drained from all the mistakes I have made. I am officially taking a dating detox; and I truly believe that every woman can benefit by intentionally taking a break from dating at least once in our lives.
This isn’t my first attempt at a break and getting myself together (whatever that really means). In the past I’ve fallen short of my plans. I’ll declare to myself after a night of crying and a morning of sadness that I will not focus on being chosen by a man and instead work on my mental, physical, and emotional health. And I go hard at my plans…for at least a couple of hours or until the guy I’ve wanted to call me, actually calls (usually the one who prompted the crying and sadness). But seriously, this time is different.
I’ve heard “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Well, I’ve done the same thing over and over and sure enough I’ve reaped the exact same results.
I don’t want to appear as if I’m walking around planning weddings in my head or laying in bed all day dreaming of a honeymoon, but there are those instances, where in the back of my mind, I go out hoping to meet a guy. There are some times when I date a man and become consumed with the idea of him, instead of the actual person, simply because I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life.
Like many women, the older I get, the more worried I become about marriage. ‘Will it ever happen for me?’ is a question that often circulates through my mind, especially when I see friends walk down the aisle and start families.
While a dating detox seems a bit silly, at least it did to me at first, I realized that it really is a time to focus on me and not be consumed with a relationship. Let’s face it, relationships can be distractions, whether good or bad, nonetheless they’re distractions. So if you’ve noticed that men are your weakness, why not take a break from them to become stronger and more disciplined with your relationship skills? Basically, a break will allow you to focus on your shortcomings, but more importantly, teach you more discipline so that you can hopefully make better decisions involving relationships in the future.
So what exactly am I doing without during my dating detox? The answer is simple: men. No dates (which I hardly get a chance to do anyway because of my busy work schedule), no phone calls with guys of romantic interest, and more importantly, no attempts to rekindle old flames simply because I’m bored.
Again, I believe every woman can benefit from a dating detox every now and then. It’s simply a time to focus on you and to cleanse your mind, body and soul. How long you choose to do it or what specific things you choose to give up are all up to you, but do yourself and your future relationships a favor and invest time in yourself before investing it in someone else.
I’m currently in a relationship with a fella the age of my older sister. It has its perks and it has its bummer moments, but I think dating up in age is something that women should do at least once in life, even if it doesn’t turn into something serious. Dating an older man can teach you a lot, especially about yourself (and what you do and don’t want in a partner), but it’s not always the easiest of relationships. But then again, what relationship is ever easy? Just in case you’re thinking of getting serious with a fella quite a few years older or even decades older than you, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind before you get it crackin’.
For the slew of singles ready to trade in the solo life (cuffing season has started!), navigating the dating scene can be both thrilling and stressful when trying to find something real. With differing personalities, conflicting views and a sex-crazed society, it can be hard to find someone who’s compatible and wants more than just a fling. While it takes time to really know a person for sure, here’s a look at a few simple questions to ask on a first date so that you will know if your new “friend” is just another no-go, or if he has the potential to be something and someone special down the line.
Recently, I have been seriously thinking about marriage. No, I’m not talking about a wishful trip down the aisle, but the actual idea of marriage.
Since the days of my adolescence, particularly the young adult years, I’ve always wondered if the idea of marriage is even for me. Years ago, during one of our impromptu sister circles in college, I told some of my dorm mates that I have no intentions of getting married. I didn’t know how serious I was about this at the time, but I also knew that as my dorm mates would continuously gush over the whens and wheres of their future husbands and weddings, engagement rings and dresses, I would be thinking about other things–like traveling. Or becoming notable in some way: maybe through writing; perhaps through business. It wasn’t that I didn’t like men (because that’s where minds tend to go whenever a woman doesn’t say something pro-relationship). Some, who knew me back then, might say that I liked men a little too much – and hard – at times. But in the greater scheme of how I envisioned my life, I saw myself as more like a Oprah Winfrey and not a June Cleaver. And quite frankly, I wasn’t quite sure if that was something that most men could get down with – at least the ones I knew.
Although I am now well into my 30s, and no closer to world media domination, the men I know haven’t changed much over the years. And as such, I still carry the same reservations about marriage. Stories like this, or this, or even this one, do not help to assure me that I won’t find myself in a situation where I feel like my spirit would be contained or compromised in some way. I also find myself feeling like I would be in a situation where my partner, unable to contain me, would feel resentment over my unchained spirit and decide to become controlling. Or abusive? Or a tomcat? It does happen – at least based on the many stories I’ve heard from friends and strangers alike, as well as my own personal experiences.
“But that’s your problem. You are looking at submission the wrong way,” a male “friend” once told me. According to him, I was too opinionated and stubborn in my thoughts. I didn’t know how to let go of the reins of control so that a man could do what a man is supposed to do: take control and lead. “Submitting yourself to a man – the right man – allows you to free yourself of the burden of having to be strong all the time. You know, so that you can be happy.”
Except I never saw my independence as a burden. Nor do I believe that squelching my opinions and curtailing my thoughts would make me happier. That sort of behavior never once worked to my favor in my past. In fact, letting other people’s opinions and desires supersede my own wishes and thinking landed me in some peculiar places I hadn’t intended to be in. No. Life, being the best teacher of all, told me that it is best to speak up. And if it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it because odds are that it ain’t right.
On the other hand, having a life partnership with a guy would be nice. So maybe my male “friend” has a point? Maybe I am missing out on lots of undiscovered happiness all because I won’t submit and let go. And maybe all the uncomfortable pain I felt during those times of submitting my spirit needed to happen, like some sort of laborious test or birthing pains, which I need to go through to get to the real happiness…? And then my spirit animal appears through the white noise of Access Hollywood, by way of the New York Post, to vicariously tell my male friend to shut the hell up:
“Oprah Winfrey has revealed why she will never, ever marry her longtime partner Stedman — despite Tina Turner demanding she walk down the aisle. Oprah and Tina have been friends for years, with Oprah attending the singer’s wedding back in July. But the talk show queen says she has come to the conclusion that such a union is just not for her. When asked if she would leave earth as a “never-married” woman, Oprah made her feelings very clear. “Yes,” she told Access Hollywood. “Yeah, I think that’s my final answer.”
As to why she doesn’t see herself walking down the aisle, Oprah explains that she couldn’t be a wife because the term holds obligations she doesn’t feel capable of handling:
“I think it’s acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title ‘wife,’ I think there would be other expectations for what a wife is and what a wife does. First of all, you’ve got to come home sometimes.”
Some many insist that folks like Winfrey and I are too selfish for marriage. Maybe they might contend that we are too insecure or paranoid to take the plunge. And then there is the good argument to be made that perhaps I, in particular, have just gotten spoiled and used to the quiet and breadth of my own space that there is just no room for anyone else. All I know is that I value my freedom and my spirit fights too damn hard against any sort of containment for me to ignore it. So, until I meet a guy who is less interested in dominating me and more interested in loving me as I am, I guess like Winfrey, I will be never married. I guess it’s true that some women just really aren’t wifey material. And quite frankly, with how limited in scope some folks wish to define the roles of a wife, I’m okay with that.
There is no doubt in my mind that my ex-boyfriend loved me, but even love can be overshadowed by fear. His past was full of hurt and disappointment that brought a lot of unwanted emotions into our relationship. And honestly, in his defense, a few of those emotions were sparked because of me; but still, through our relationship I realized that men have baggage too and because they are usually more stubborn than and not as willing to open up as women (my opinion), there is nothing worse than trying to love a battered man.
When I was telling the truth, to him, I was lying. When I didn’t compliment him, apparently I didn’t think he was enough for me. In his head, I was like the women who had hurt him in the past. No matter what I did or didn’t do, I always felt the need to try to convince him that I was on his team. Man oh man, that was a job within itself. I grew tired of having to explain myself. His moods would jump from one to 10 in a matter of minutes. I was always walking on eggshells to appease him. I became drained attempting to show my love.
Everyone has some insecurities, but when they get in the way of someone loving you, chances are the relationship just won’t work. Basically, that person needs to get themselves together before someone else even thinks about trying to love them.
Being in a relationship with a man who has excessive emotional issues is like running in place–you get nowhere but still feel drained. And unless you are using him as a psychology project, there is no room for him in your life. Seriously.
I had to learn the hard way. After years…yes years…of being in the rollercoaster ride of a relationship with my ex, both of us realized that it wasn’t healthy. I came to the conclusion that I was wasting my time and energy and could possibly be missing out on something else. He realized that he had too many deeply rooted issues stemming from childhood and past relationships. As good as he looked on paper (great job, handsome, good credit score), he was a mess in real life. Although it took years, we eventually did what we both knew was best. We went our separate ways.
I might not be an advocate for dating a battered man, but at the same time, I’m not saying that you should immediately shun away someone with emotional issues. After all, everyone has them. What I am saying is that if his issues are preventing the two of you from moving forward in spite of your frequent efforts, then you should let it go. Allow him to get himself together, and then come back for you. If it’s meant to be it will be, but nothing is worst than forcing something when it’s not the right time. And trust me, if he’s not emotionally stable, it is not the right time.
Ladies, what do you think? Where do you draw the line in dating a man with emotional issues?