All Articles Tagged "love"

Is Online Dating Toxic?: One Woman’s Journey To Finding Love

September 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango
My aunt was the first person I had heard of who did online dating; you know, back in the day when it was still scary stuff and something only the “desperate” would do. She was also the first, last, and only person I ever knew who tried her hand at the dating personals in the newspaper, too. These two facts about my aunt always disturbed me, and I think, because of it, I’ve never seen online dating as anything but an absolute plague on the community, and something to forever avoid.

I have been on two dating sites in my life. Once, for a couple months for a work-related story; and another time, because my best friend begged me to join. That latter site happened to be OKCupid. His whole reason for me joining was so I could endorse him with a good review (I’m not sure if they still even do that, it’s been so long!), so I figured I had nothing to lose, because I wasn’t looking for anything to gain. I was just simply being forced into something so he could look better to all the hot gay men on OKCupid in New York City. I also thought that if we were both on there, commiserating about how awful a place it was, he’d erase his profile and move on to a place where harassment was monitored better.

I took one evening after work to put up my profile, pick out the best photos of myself that I have that actually didn’t include a beer bottle in my mouth or a scowl on my face, then wrote my endorsement for him. Afterward, I sat on the couch and waited for about 20 minutes to see if anyone looked at my profile or sent me a message. When no one did, I shrugged and went out instead.

When I got home I checked my profile. I was really excited for some reason! I was venturing into a world I had only heard of and it was strange and wonderful and … OMG, did that guy just send me a message asking me if I “swallow?” I was appalled. I had heard the horror stories, but less than two hours into my OKCupid experiment, my blowjob techniques were being questioned and I felt gross. I felt the same way I do when a commenter gets way too personal or tells me to kill myself over something controversial I’ve written. It’s like it doesn’t hurt you, per se, because that person means nothing to you, but it sort of shakes you that this is how people in the world behave. I’d question if they were raised by wolves, but a child raised by wolves would at least have manners and respect.

I noticed I had a couple more messages, but decided I’d spare myself before bed. Those messages weren’t going anywhere.

I didn’t check it again until later the next day, and saw 18 messages. A couple were from the, um, “gentleman,” who questioned whether or not I swallowed, with some lovely commentary on how I’m a prude, among other things and delightful expletives, while all strung together with misspelled words and holes where punctuation should have been. Along with him there was a message from a guy telling me I was ugly and my nose was big. Not exactly what you want to hear from a stranger, but oh well! I was more concerned with the fact that he had time out of his day to legit troll me, as opposed to find love, as I assumed was his reason for being there in the first place. There were a couple nice messages along the lines of, “You look like a cool girl. Tell me about yourself,” but I didn’t respond. It wasn’t that I was totally against the idea; I did, after all, sign up for the site, although my intentions for doing so were completely unrelated to getting a date.

Read more about this online dating experience at YourTango.com

My Boyfriend Can’t Get Over My Sexual Past, Should We Break Up?

September 18th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Em & Lo, From YourTango

Dear Em & Lo,

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year now. We have known one another three total years. In the beginning of our friendship, I treated him like a best friend, and told him quite a bit about my sexual past with ex-boyfriends. It severely affected him and bruised his ego. I never had a clue that I hurt him so badly until he told me his feelings.

We have since started to (try) and repair the damage that I did, and I have made it a point to try and nullify it. But he is still severely affected by what happened and to be honest, after quite a few months, I am wondering when he will come around. I have made a point to boost his ego. Tell him he is the best in bed, that he is very attractive, etc. He still finds himself in whirlwinds of depression and he thinks back on that time period of when he was in the friend zone. What can I do to pull him out… or can I at all?

Read their answer at YourTango.com 

Why Casual Sex Doesn’t Make Men Commit

September 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Michael Hollan, From YourTango

A female colleague of mine keeps describing herself, quite proudly, as a slut, and bragging about all no-strings-attached sex she has with guys … but then desperately tries to make each of those guys her boyfriend and gets hurt. Here’s why that method isn’t working.

Dear girl that works in my office that describes herself as a slut,

No, you’re not a slut. Stop saying that.

I think that however you want to live your life, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, is fine: go for it! When it comes to slut shaming, it’s a horrible thing to try to make someone feel ashamed for their choices. If a girl or guy wants to have a certain type of sex life, then let them. If you don’t like it, then just don’t sleep with those people. As long as they’re neither hurting nor deceiving anyone, then let them do their thing. It doesn’t matter.

(Side note: I’m not slut shaming this girl. I’m also not virgin shaming anyone else. When it comes to sex, have as much or as little as you want. I am ok with dumb shaming though, which I think is fine. People can be promiscuous if they want, but they shouldn’t be dumb. Dumb shaming is just fine. If a girl sleeps with a guy that she finds attractive even though she doesn’t want to marry him, she shouldn’t be shamed. Someone that’s walking around in public looking down at their phone instead of where they’re going and walks into a wall? Yes, that person should be shamed.)

So once again, back to my point, which is my female coworker: you’re not a slut. But you’re having sex in a dumb way, if that makes sense. You go out and pretend to be a self-proclaimed slut, just to get guys to pay attention to you. Which, if that was all you were looking for, would be a great plan. If all you wanted out of these guys was to get them to pay for your drinks, then this would be a great plan. I’d say “you go girl” and high five you.

The problem is, you tell guys that you aren’t looking for a boyfriend, just some fun, and then get mad at them when they don’t want to be your boyfriend. Which I think is totally unfair.

Read more about sex and relationship at YourTango.com

What Your Deal Breakers Say About You

September 16th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Jonathon Aslay, From YourTango

One of my clients, Leslie, has been divorced for five years and dating for two. She hasn’t been very successful with men so far, so she came to me.

She’s a beautiful redhead with blue eyes that twinkle and a killer sense of humor. She’s smart, together, and a great conversationalist.

But she rarely dates a man more than once.

Why, you may ask?

Leslie does not want a man with children (even if they’re grown), one who’s been married more than twice, or one who hasn’t been married before. She has dumped some good guys because of her standards. She’s inflexible and won’t discuss changing her mind.

Her reasoning?

She feels the kids would always come first, a man with two divorces under his belt can’t make a relationship work, and a never-married man doesn’t know how to commit.

So how many available men has she excluded with these ridiculous deal breakers?

90%?

95%?

Is Leslie using these conditions as a buffer to keep from getting hurt or a way to avoid intimacy? I think so. If she sets impossible standards that men cannot possibly meet, then she doesn’t have to worry about a relationship developing, and she doesn’t have to worry about a relationship ending and getting hurt.

Read more about dealbreakers at YourTango.com

“When He Kissed Me, I Felt Nothing.” How I Got Over My Ex-Boyfriend With Break-Up Sex

September 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango

After a breakup that almost destroyed me, I took to my bed for not just days but weeks. I wasn’t just broken, but whatever is the next step worse than that, horrifically devastated, might be the most accurate explanation of the state of my mind and heart. As with anyone who’s just experienced heartbreak, I was quite sure I wouldn’t recover.

Once I was able to get out of bed, I went through the motions of being alive, as one does after such a thing. I remembered my routine: Getting up every morning, brushing my teeth, showering, and then off to work. I was moving and breathing, but I was like walking dead. The pain was just unbearable.

But time passed and everyday I grew a little bit stronger. I moved to New York City, started a new beginning, and even began dating again. I felt like I had come full circle and he was just a distant memory; a memory I assumed, or rather hoped, I’d never see again. Then one night the unfathomable happened: I ran into him. Of all the bars in all the cities in the world, there he was. It turned out that he, too, had decided New York was the place to be.

My stomach dropped. I began to shake. I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me and I was pretty sure that I was going to throw up all over the floor, any neighboring person, and myself. It was going to be a projectile vomit; the kind that comes with extreme emotional distress. I grabbed my friend’s hand to steady myself as he came walking toward me. I could not believe he was walking toward me.

We exchanged pleasantries; I guess that’s what one would call them, and he asked about my family and I asked about his. I commented on the weather because it had been a hot summer and he commented on the length of my hair. I also ordered another drink, because, dammit, I needed one.

As I proceeded to get tipsier, the fear and nervousness began to melt. I was able to laugh and the comfort level we had between us was back again, although it had been almost two years. I realized, although I missed him and always would, I was in the process of moving on from him, despite the nausea and trembling earlier in the evening. I felt good, to be honest. So, when he asked me to go home with him, I did. Because OF COURSE, I did. I thought I could somehow prove even more to myself that I was over him and, in my mind, having sex seemed like the best way to really solidify that. Yes, at the time, it was a drunken idea, but some of the best decisions we make come out of a bottle of whiskey.

Read more about breakups at YourTango.com

The Best Way To Deal With A Narcissist

September 14th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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From YourTango

By: Lindsey Ellison

If you are related to, married to or divorced from a narcissist, then you know how difficult it is reason with them.

Narcissists are masters at manipulation. They are often intelligent and charming when you first meet them. In the beginning, you hold them to high esteem. They’re fully aware of this, of course, and they love to bask in your adulation. But once you catch on to their tactics and question behavior that is the opposite of their once-charming selves, they become deeply threatened. They will then paint themselves as a victim and you as their aggressor, expertly blaming you for the relationship’s demise and all other misfortunes in their life.

You, as the codependent, try to reason with him, change his mind, or challenge every verbal assault point-by-point in hopes that the narcissist snaps out of his irrational behavior.

Maybe this time he will understand, you think.

If I explain it to him this way, he will get it. He can’t be THAT close-minded; I’m going to tell him once more.

But the more you explain, the colder and more manipulative he becomes. He may talk to you like a child, as if you’re stupid. And you can’t even believe how a person can lack such empathy, so you explain more, trying harder and harder to make him “get it” — and the more you do that, the more it supports his narcissistic fantasies that he is better and smarter than anyone.

The constant attempts to explain or get some kind of emotional response with no return is what I call the “Narcissistic Vortex.” It’s a deep black hole that sucks you in, with no way out. And until you understand this, you are going to think you’re crazy and unloved — or worse, that you aren’t worthy of anyone else’s love, so you end up staying with this person or being alone forever.

If you are not married and are trying to end a relationship with a narcissist, then my expert advice is to have no contact with him. End the relationship cold-turkey, as if giving up a very bad addiction.

But what if you are divorcing a narcissist, or you must endure a co-parenting relationship long term? How do you manage the constant manipulation, even as you try to get on with your life? He might blame you for the smallest mistakes (thereby raising his own self-worth), or criticize you for everything you do with the kids. And because he is SO falsely mistaken, you write him a long email explaining your actions, or you become engaged in a long texting battle.

And thus, you enter the Narcissistic Vortex.

For the rest of the story and more from Lindsey, head over to YourTango.com

Would You Relocate To Another State For Your Boyfriend?

September 12th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Single Black Male

The older we get the more dimensions are entered into dating. It seems as if when you have all the answers the dating Gods change the questions. I’m a resident of Brooklyn, NY. One of if not the most expensive city to live in, in the United States. New York City is one of the most expensive places to live period. With this fact, many people are known to relocate. This most certainly can throw a monkey wrench in a current relationship or a prospective one.

For me, I know that I have no anxiety about being outside of New York. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled domestically a lot in my life. I’ve been up north a bit, I’ve done the west coast. I’ve spent countless times down south as well. I have always enjoyed New York above  all of these places. The issue is that the cost of living is so damn high here. Many people that are still here are mentally just as good as gone.

So I pose a few questions to you all today. Is someone who isn’t willing to relocate a deal breaker for you? Under what circumstances would you stay put for a person? Under what circumstance should a compromise be made? Some thought goes into each of these. I don’t think I would fully shut down relocating with someone. I certainly would have to be i some serious love to entertain the idea though. I love everything else my city offers me in terms of lifestyle and diversity. It’s an addictive feeling once you realize other states don’t possess that same vibe. Someone who would stay where they’re living for a partner I guess has been sold that it’s a good idea. Maybe they’re compromising for their loved one simply out of love. Of course there is a scenario when you should compromise.

Read more about dating long distance at SingleBlackMale.org

Why Do Men Love Complicated Women?

September 10th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Graham White, From YourTango

A woman is complicated for a very good reason: to separate the horny, needy and desperate guys from the one man who can uniquely love, adore and appreciate her. What men refer to as “Playing Games” is actually unconscious testing on the part of a woman. It’s so unconscious she doesn’t even realize that she’s doing it, but she is.

These tests are opportunities for a guy to begin to demonstrate that he’s “The One,” the man who is committed and focused on her above all others and will protect her, love her and be faithfully committed to her and only her.

Here’s a real life example of what this might actually look like:

A couple is out on a movie date. It’s late and it’s been snowing lightly while the movie was on. They came in different vehicles and parked on opposite sides of the parking lot and now they’re planning to head to a restaurant to continue their evening. When they realize they’re parked on opposite sides of the lot he offers to walk her to her car.

She says, “No, it’s fine. You’re parked on the other side of the lot. I’ll meet you at the restaurant in a few minutes.”
What he hears: “I appreciate you being gentlemen enough to offer, but I’m fine,” and so he hugs her and heads over to his car.
He just failed the test. Ironically, she might not even realize she’d given him the opportunity to demonstrate if he’s the kind of stand-up man she’s looking for. A better response could have been, “It’s no trouble, and you’re wearing heels in this snow. I’m happy to walk with you. I’ll get you to your car and then we can swing around and pick mine up. Besides, you’re going to need someone to brush the snow off your car while you warm it up.”

Not only would he have proven himself to be a gentleman, but they would have had an opportunity to create a little physical deliciousness while they walked arm in arm. The unconscious locks that she has around “Am I going to allow this guy access to my mind, body and soul?” have begun to open!

Read more about dating at YourTango.com 

Can A Hookup Lead To Marriage?

September 8th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Women’s Health, From YourTango

Think a one night stand could be marriage material? Well, maybe. According to a new report from the National Marriage Project, almost a third of married pairs were originally a hookup. The study recruited over a thousand adults between the ages of 18-34 in 2007 and 2008. Then they followed them over the course of five years, closely studying the 418 adults who got married within that time.

They found that 32 percent of married people reported that their relationship began as a hookup, although the meaning of “hookup” wasn’t clearly defined, so that could have been interpreted in a variety of ways. But interestingly, these people also reported lower marital quality than those who didn’t start as a fling.

Read more about hookups and marriage at YourTango.com 

Straight From His Mouth: Love Is Never An Excuse For Illogical Behavior

September 8th, 2014 - By RealGoesRight
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Love Is Never An Excuse

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I don’t watch Atlanta Exes. Not because I’m against reality TV, mostly because the show doesn’t interest me in the least bit. I said that to say, I’m writing about this Monyetta Shaw situation without having actually seen the scene that led to this prompt. I did happen to read Victoria Uwumarogie’s post on the matter, however, and came away wholly confused at what I’d read from her piece and what I saw in the comments section. In case you’re not aware, I’ll give you a quick breakdown. Monyetta Shaw is Ne-yo’s ex fiance who’s still living in Ne-yo’s house. During their engagement, they had two kids and a decision was made for her to burn her tubes so she can’t have anymore children. She now regrets the decision because they broke up. While I’ll stop just short of calling Monyetta Shaw an idiot, from what I’ve read about the situation, the decision she made doesn’t seem to be a smart one.

Time and time again, from now and until the last days of this planet, “love” will be the reason for many decisions people make. When a good decision is made based on love, all is right with the world. When a terrible decision is made based on love, it hurts with the force of a Mike Tyson right hook to the temple. I cannot fathom making a permanent decision based on something as temporary as love. It’s not in my DNA. Even if love were everlasting, at some point, logic is going to kick in and say “hey, idiot, you’re making a huge mistake. Snap out of it.” Take the last two sentences and apply it to this Monyetta and Ne-yo situation. In short, if I was her, there is no way in hell I’d have gotten a tubal ligation unless it was something I wanted to do.

With that said, I feel the same way about vasectomies as I do tubal ligations. Before completing this article, I did a quick Google search on male vasectomies and was surprised to see how little information there was available in terms of statistics. I did learn that women, at some point within the last 20 years, became three times more likely to get a permanent birth control procedure done than men, despite the fact the procedure is simpler and easier for men. I didn’t find any other information to know what to make of that behavior pattern, but if I had to fashion a guess, I’d say those situations probably mirrored something like Monyetta and Ne-Yo’s. Man and woman are together. Man and women have children. Someone decides the couple no longer wants to have children and the woman is off to the doctor. Love overrode logic — at least on the woman’s end.

A special note here for people who were extremely upset with Ne-yo. I know it’s fashionable to place blame on others while not taking personal responsibility, but what “happened” to Monyetta isn’t his fault. It’s 2014 and last I checked, there’s roughly ten billion ways to not have a child without doing something as extreme as a tubal ligation. Women also have rights and reproductive agency, so I’m not buying anything about this woman not having a choice in the matter. She made a decision thinking she was going to be married to Ne-yo and he didn’t marry her. Of course in hindsight it’s easy to say “well, if she married him this wouldn’t be an issue,” but that’s missing the point. Making permanent decisions about your body based on whims, feelings, “love,” or any other notion in which another party who won’t suffer any adverse consequences if the relationship fails, is a bad idea.

Peace.