All Articles Tagged "relationship"

Turn-Offs Men Rarely Tell Women They Have

July 28th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

When it comes to certain relationship issues, from the ones that sound petty to the ones could really turn a relationship upside down, everyone has an awkward time talking about them. But if one’s behavior changes due to issues you didn’t know you both were having, that leaves one wondering: What’s behind the silence?

Some pet peeves find a comfortable spot beneath the rug they’ve been swept under. Others grow to be the elephant in the room that’s behind all of the little arguments you’ve been having or the distance he’s been giving you — even if he never fesses up to the reason. From your hair choices to how much more you make, things that you assume aren’t that deep could be a turnoff for your partner.

If one of these relationship issues might be in the way, you will most likely have to bring them up before they become problems with a capital “P,” because chances are, he won’t.

Can You Really Pursue A Relationship And A Dream At The Same Time?

July 18th, 2016 - By Nicole Breeden
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Our twenties have long been dubbed the “selfish years.” I’m not sure who decided to declare how one should spend these monumental nine years, but it’s provided the excuse for much heartbreak, confusion and regret. Since the inception of my college years, I was taught that this decade-long period should be solely focused on myself. Wise friends encouraged me to live according to the laws of Nikki, throw my heart and soul into pursuing dreams and have fun trying on a few men (as if they’re outfits in a store). All recommendations that, at the time, I completely engaged in.

Two weeks ago I received an early morning phone call from my best friend. Considering the fact that it was 9 am and our normal communications ensue within texting walls, I had a feeling that this call wasn’t the average “check in.”

I answered at my desk with a whispering “hello.”

“Hey girl, do you have a minute?” she responded. Naturally I thought the worst. Who died? I nervously scanned potential victims in my head before uttering the confirmation she needed to continue.

“I need you to sit down, I have something to tell you.”

The last time someone demanded I take a seat it was to reveal painful news (or just opposition to one of my many Beyonce rants). But being at work, this wasn’t the time or the place for the latter, and I was sure my friend knew that.

After a few deep breaths, I assured her that I was sitting.

” So I want to tell you something that may be shocking. I left New York.”

“Excuse me?”

Let me brief you on this friend before moving any further. My friend was a brilliant, budding producer here in New York. She’s worked for a major network for a few years, produced rewarding content and up until recently, appeared to be happy. In one year she met a great guy, fell in love and they had just planted their feet in a new swanky Brooklyn apartment. Though the trajectory of her life seemed ideal to anyone standing on the outside, internally she was yearning to break free; a feeling too many of us New Yorkers often empathize with. We dream of getting up and leaving this soul-draining place behind, but are held down by reality and all that comes with it.

Continuing our phone conversation she reminded me of how depressed she had been and how her search for purpose became all-consuming. She spoke briefly of moving to California in the past as a stepping stone towards her producer/director dreams, but considering all that New York was providing her, that dream didn’t seem urgent.

Any friend would have been stunned, sad or possibly angered by this news, but somehow my spirit smiled for her. She left us all behind in pursuit of something greater… herself. Such an act of courage was to be admired. Even if it carried dramatic undertones and required abandoning her friends, family and relationship all on a whim.

When a friend makes such a sudden and unexpected change for their greater good, it forces you to self-check a few things. Too often I’ve yearned after someone else’s life moment, unappreciative of my own. I’m in a loving relationship, supportive family surrounds me, and though I’m not all the way together yet (because, who is?) I’m growing as a human. I have nothing to escape from.

Many twenty-somethings are faced with an ultimatum: relationship vs dreams — as if the two are mutually exclusive. We’re all open to getting bit by the success bug, but swatting away the love bug once it comes? That’s never an easy choice. But is it even possible to achieve career success while enjoying great personal success in your relationship? That’s a question I’ve been pondering for quite some time. My friend left her boyfriend behind with a two-day notice. Though it wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, she’s adamant that it was a necessary, although difficult, decision for her future. And she didn’t want anyone having weight in her choice; the secret worked. My friend is now out in California capturing every moment (pictorially) of her “happy life.” Where does that leave him? Picking up the pieces she left behind.

While striving for greatness, we’ve all encountered the fear that getting into a relationship will slow down the process, distract, and possibly cause us to become weak and unmotivated. There’s a common panic that our focus in chasing a personal dream will ultimately deter us from establishing successful relationships; that a relationship during this stage in our life will take us off course, while our competitors continue to reach new levels.

But why do we have to choose one over the other?

I have yet to ask my friend why the relationship she’s invested more than a year into didn’t require the same dedication she put toward her professional dreams. Why can’t her relationship goals and professional goals find a loving space in the same house? After all, our partners should be supportive, loving, understanding and complimentary to our dreams– not a distraction. In my own relationship, I’m experiencing the beauty of growing with a partner. We challenge those who believe a man or woman has to have it altogether before coming together. We still have a long list of professional, personal and united goals that we’re aiming to check off our list, but what’s beautiful is that we’re able to teach and learn from one another. My self-doubt is conquered by his confidence, my determination motivates his laziness at times, and sometimes we need that to not only further ourselves professionally, but personally. Can’t dreams be encompassing of both – or is one a required sacrifice?

Is This Petty? He Takes His Time To Respond To My Calls And Text Messages

July 15th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I was recently watching My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC, and Whitney Thorne, the lovable subject of the show, was going through it on Wednesday’s episode. Her boyfriend, Lennie Alehat, was being very distant. How distant? Well, despite calling and texting him multiple times during the day, he could go almost the entire length of it without getting back to her. In one particular situation, Thorne had to drive by his home to get to her internship at a morning radio show, leaving the house at 3 a.m. When she passed his place, she didn’t see his car. When she called him to see what was going on, she didn’t get a response — for the entire morning. It took Thorne going back to his house, knocking on his door (while covering the peephole) for him to come out and explain what was going on. His reasoning? Well, he said that he’s not cheating, nor is he not into her anymore. Instead, he apologized for the fact that she worried unnecessarily, and claimed that he’s not the type of person who needs a whole lot of communication to be happy in a relationship. He’s not alone in this way of thinking.

I have a girlfriend who has been dating a guy for a couple of months now, and she’s pretty frustrated with how lax he can be when it comes to returning her phone calls. Sometimes she will call him and instead of calling back, he will message her. When she texts him, sometimes it takes him hours to respond to her. And when he responds quickly, his messages are missing a lot of the enthusiasm that she, herself, is so used to displaying. According to her, he’s good to her for the most part, but his indifference when it comes to touching base gives her the feeling that he’s really not interested in taking their budding relationship seriously.

Still, she doesn’t believe that it’s something worth parting ways over, though it can be incredibly frustrating (and stressful considering that sometimes she worries that something has happened to him when he goes all MIA communication-wise). So what is a girl to do when the guy she’s dating likes her, but doesn’t like the idea of being “checked on” (as he calls it) when it comes to correspondence? And what do you do when you’ve talked to them about it and they still leave you hanging?

I don’t know what other people base their relationship on, but for me, communication is everything. No one wants to be running after a grown person to ensure that nothing serious has happened when all it takes is a quick reply to let people know you’re okay. And I get it: not everybody is the “Let’s talk for hours!” kind of person. I know I’m not. Most grown folks are quite busy, and the best they can do at times is send a quick message as a reply. But when you rarely if ever send a message or drop a line to let someone know that you’re thinking of them, and then you barely respond to their attempts to get in touch with you unless you have or want to make plans with them, it’s hard for someone, like my friend, to not take such things personally. I know long-term relationships have moments where all the newness wears off and folks aren’t interested in doing the most over the phone. In fact, a touch base message here and there throughout the day works just fine for some. But these two are in the early stages of things. Plus, when you know that your behavior makes your partner feel left for dead or unwanted, it would be nice to at least attempt to make a better effort. Because being in a relationship is all about making an effort and keeping other people’s feelings in mind to show that you care. If you don’t want to be bothered because you claim you “don’t need all that,” then you might want to figure out if you need to be in a relationship altogether…

But as always, that’st just my opinion. What say you? Is she being petty, or is he being inconsiderate?

Simple Ways To Stop All The Fussing And Fighting Going On In Your Relationship

July 6th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Every relationship goes through it: The two of you started arguing one day and it seems like you haven’t stopped. Setting the other person off is as easy as chewing too loudly. Suddenly everything gets on your nerves, you can’t remember the last time you had sex and things are looking bad.

But a bad relationship patch doesn’t have to mean the end. The trick is to choose the relationship over the fight. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but here are some surprisingly effective ways to do it.

Do you have a go-to move to set things right when you get into it with your partner? Share your techniques in the comment section.

Situations That Show You People’s True Colors

June 30th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

How did you end up being so close with the people in your circle? I’m sure there was a situation that put your relationship to the test or just brought you together. Whatever it was, you came out on the other side with a sense of trust and love for one another. You meet people all of the time, and while many seem like great individuals, it’s hard to say that you really know a person until you go through one of these complicated situations together.

It feels great when someone surprises you and shows you that your connection goes deeper than you initially thought. Unfortunately, not every relationship makes it through bumps in this road of life, and you quickly find out who’s a permanent acquaintance and who was just meant to be around for a season (make that a few seasons).

Have you ever gone through one of these situations and someone close to you showed you their true colors?

5 Ways Dating And Relationship Experts Say You Should Enjoy Being Single

June 7th, 2016 - By Alyssa Rachelle
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Being single brings a variety of emotions; from frustration due to the barrage of inquiries surrounding your relationship status to worrying if you’ll ever find ‘the one’.

Fortunately, relationship experts say that the single life should be a time of enjoyment and for self-discovery. In fact, sex and relationship expert Dr. Gabrielle Morrissey said, “Being single is when you live for yourself, not just by yourself. Being single should not mean being solely on a quest for love.”

Below are tips that can help you experience a healthy single life.

Travel

Try traveling alone. You’ll be able to set the tone on where you decide to stay, eat, and places to visit while in that specific location, without having to compromise. Kristen Newman, author of the travel memoir What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, thinks that people are afraid of looking like a loser while traveling alone. “It’s the same how people don’t want to eat dinner alone,” she said. “I think people are afraid of being lonely, of being scared, of looking like they didn’t have anybody.” Step out of your comfort zone and see the things you’ve always wanted to.

Treat yourself well

Like traveling, you don’t need to be in a relationship to have fun! Cook a nice brunch for yourself and grab a huge wine glass (like the one you use while watching Scandal), make a mimosa and enjoy yourself. Get massages and manicures and pedicures regularly, just for kicks. Go see a movie, by yourself, and actually indulge in popcorn, chocolate candy and a huge drink when you do. Whatever you decide to do, show yourself love. As Iyanla Vanzant put it, “Learn to appreciate quiet times alone with you. When you are alone, you can pamper yourself and be extravagant with yourself.”

Become financially literate

Making money is great and spending it freely while single is even better. However, becoming financially responsible and taking this time to truly figure out your financial goals can really be an asset in your future relationship. Jay Hurt, relationship coach and author of The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship, said that finances are often stressful in marriages and being prepared can help minimize tension. “Actually putting your expenses and income on paper forces you to think about where all of your money is going.” Hurt said. “It’s a great habit to start while single, which will help to build wealth (together) down the road. Make it a point to check your credit score and find ways to continually maximize your score.”

Be selfish

Sleep in the middle of the bed and spread out. In fact, fill the whole house with candles and flowers. Appreciate the space that you have and use it, while you have the chance. Also, explore career opportunities that might call for you to relocate. This is the time of no compromise or sharing so enjoy it. Bob Rosen, author of Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, believes it’s a necessity. “To be a healthy, grounded person, you need to be selfish,” Rosen said. “If you’re looking to a partner to fill your emotional needs, your relationship is vulnerable. The best relationships happen when two adults show up and enjoy each other.”

Figure out what you want

Relationship expert Susan Winter said that being single should be a beautiful and rich experience. We should get to figure out what we do and don’t want, and in the meantime, do what we want. “Our time is our own. We can go out with our friends or luxuriate in a movie (we like) at home. We have the rare opportunity to explore what we want, when we want and without constraint.”

This is the time for true self-reflection and self-development. After all, the more you learn about yourself and appreciate yourself, the more enriching your future relationship will be.

Is This Petty? He Tries To Make Me Feel Guilty About Losing Weight

May 27th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I’m a big follower of the A&E series, My 600-lb Life

I don’t necessarily enjoy watching the individuals featured struggle greatly with their weight as much as I like to see the progress they make to lose it for and following weight-loss surgery. A spinoff of the series has been made, a Where Are They Now? That program follows the same documented subjects as they adjust to life after losing hundreds of pounds, and the effort they make to drop a bit more weight so they can obtain skin-removal surgery. One of the women featured was able to lose more than half of her body weight with proper diet and exercise post-surgery, but in the process of losing that barrier to her happiness, she also had to lose her husband. He turned out not to be very supportive of her weight-loss endeavors. And this seems to be common, because not only have other individuals featured on the program divorced hindering spouses who couldn’t deal with their newfound independence, but many women have also shared their stories online about dealing with the same kind of negative partners.

Like one woman who said that because her husband prefers big women, he’s been against her attempts to lose weight. Keyword: “attempts.” With the lack of a proper support system, the woman consistently yo-yos.

“My husband is just so negative about me losing weight,” she said in her post. “He tries to sabotage my diets and make me feel guilty about losing weight. On various occasions, he has let me know that he has become less attracted to me. Usually when this happens I fall into a downward spiral of depression and I get so insecure I can hardly handle it. This is the point where everything I have worked so hard for completely goes to **** and I gain all the weight back and then some. I have told him that I want to be healthy and that I’m doing what I need to do for me to be happy, but he doesn’t seem to really care.”

The woman would actually go on to say that her husband is a fine partner in every aspect of their relationship–except for this very important part. So what is a girl to do when the person she loves doesn’t support her in one of the biggest goals she’s ever tried to reach in life?

Some women can make it work, it seems. Even Jennifer Hudson, who went from a size 16 to a size 6, said that her fiancé, David Otunga, had moments where he wasn’t thrilled about the changes that came with the difference in her size.

“He’s getting adjusted to it,” she told Jay Leno while visiting The Tonight Show in 2011. “He’s not really into change that much so he fusses at me like, ‘Why do you have to get all dressed up to go out and why can’t you just go out like you used to?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m a walking billboard now, honey!'”

But other women deal with a bit more negativity and decide to leave. As one woman stated in a comment on A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss:

“You know what’s sad…our mates are usually the first people to check us when we gain weight or fall off the wagon a little bit but when we start to do something about it, sadly we get punished for it. I was in a relationship (and I emphasis [sic] WAS) where my ex had conditions on my weight. If I didn’t lose blah blah blah he was going to leave me. Foolishly I worked towards “his” goal weight for me. When I was finally tired of his crap and lost the weight for myself then he had more issues. My theory is, if your mate can’t support you through good and bad it’s time to kick rocks.”

I can’t imagine putting in the work to reach a significant goal only to have one of the most important people in my life make a conscious effort to thwart my plans. In the case of the married woman, considering that she feels as though her husband is good to her in every other way, they may need some form of counseling (not just a quick conversation) to figure out why he can’t seem to support her. And if that doesn’t work, then I would say she needs to look out for self and split. Because not only is that guy, and individuals like him who sabotage the efforts of men and women trying to lose weight (likely because those people won’t need to depend on them as much for help and affirmation) messing with her emotions, but he’s messing with her health. That’s an even bigger no-no…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. Is this a petty problem they can work on?

 

When Being Petty In Real Life Backfires

May 23rd, 2016 - By Niki McGloster
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Corbis

Thanks to the future Angela Kardashian and her growing heir to the Kardashian’s reality TV empire, the game of being petty done changed. Since retaliating against the Kardashian-Jenner clan who stole her man in the form of an engagement to Rob Kardashian and a pregnancy, Blac Chyna has been front and center in this renowned trend of being petty. While she’s not the only pop culture figure mastering the art of pettiness, I guarantee she’s the most celebrated on Twitter and in group chats as of late. Hands down, this year can’t get any pettier, even if Janet Hubert made another silly video about things Will Smith did in the ’90s. And though, at times (for instance, online), being petty is quite hilarious, I’m here to tell you being petty in real life is just not cool. In fact, it’s downright problematic when you make pettiness a plus-one in your relationships.

From a social media standpoint, being petty is hilariously unifying. It brings Black Twitter together, garnering LOLs, thousands of RTs and shared screenshots within the squad. From every Beyoncé meme to the Michael Jordan crying face, the amount of pettiness flooding timelines is comedic gold, but the joke stops when you create a second, secret Twitter account to stalk your ex’s page after he blocks you. Just two years ago, I was on a similar diabolical mission to outpetty a few people who shall remain nameless. I spent too many hours seeking vengeance against f–kboys and people who simply breathed at me the wrong way, instead of just letting that hurt go. Not only did I think being the pettiest version of myself was cute (don’t judge me!), I was consumed by frivolous thoughts that, in many ways, paralyzed my relationships with everyone from my romantic partners to my business partners.

I’m not going to lie: it feels so damn good to be petty. At the time, I wondered why more people weren’t doing so. Why isn’t this more of a thing? Well, probably because treating people like they’re insignificant pawns in your get-back game has shameful consequences. For instance, you shouldn’t respond to your man not answering your call by using Beyoncé’s “Sorry” lyrics to subtweet him.

Trust me, I’m on no soapbox here. Show me anyone who says they’ve never done a petty act, and I’ll show you a liar. I haven’t met a woman yet who doesn’t possess equal, if not more, amounts of petty than a 50 Cent Instagram meme, myself included. It’s just that not everyone understands how unnecessary it is to dish out such cheap shots.

And truth be told, being petty drains you of your positive personal energy and isn’t worth how bad you can potentially make others feel. More often than not, it’s just a cover-up for hurt feelings. I’m pretty sure Blac Chyna would’ve rather talked things out and received an apology than to resort to complete petty infiltration into the Kardashian circle. And though her comeback isn’t any less funny, hopefully, she’ll pack away her future petty for her child’s sake.

So yeah, tweet away about being proudly petty. Shoot, it’s funnier if you pair your petty declaration with a gif. But don’t pull those shallow stunts into your real-life interactions with other people, because the only thing you’ll get in return is a boatload of drama.

Dating Lies That Are Tempting To Believe

May 12th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Corbis Images

We’ve all ended a relationship (or two) saying to ourselves, “Really, what was I thinking?” When it’s over and the feelings of love (or serious “like”) are gone, sometimes you feel like a completely different person. It’s because when we fall in love, we immediately put our rose-colored glasses on. They help us see the best in our partners. They aid us in seeing them in the best light — even when it’s clear that they are shrouded in dark negativity.

And sometimes we even lead ourselves astray before things get serious. Yes, it is true. Love can be complicated. This is especially true when we have trouble seeing the truth behind the following dating lies it’s always so tempting to believe.

Have you ever convinced yourself that these dating lies are true when you were hoping to make a lasting connection? Or do you believe some of them still are? Whether you disagree, have a story to tell, or want to add a few more dating lies that we’ve missed, we want to hear your story in the comment section.

Signs Things Are Moving Too Fast (And That They’ll End Just As Quickly)

May 4th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Corbis

When a relationship with a man teleports to the next level in no time flat, do you feel like things are meant to be? Or do you get a little nervous about what his intentions truly may be?

For women who are cautious when it comes to love, falling head over heels overnight isn’t your thing. And if it’s his, you have a few follow-up questions and concerns. And sometimes your feeling of it being too good to be true can be just that. Some men who get in close really quickly may be falling really fast — and some may fall out just as quickly.

If the new love interest in your life is displaying any of these signs, do you get the urge to look more closely at his love history or let yourself fall? He could be Mr. Right or just Mr. Right Now. What do you think? We’d love to hear your take down in the comment section.