All Articles Tagged "relationship"
By Cassandra Guerrier For YourTango
“I didn’t think you’d want to know.”
This was how my boyfriend of three years told me that he was leaving me for a different girl. A white girl.
In spite of all of the laughter and secrets we had breathed to each other in the night, he had been lying to his entire family about who I was and what I meant to him. Why? Because he was embarrassed of my dark skin. As a Muslim man coming from a strict religious family, he was afraid of their disapproval and so figured the easiest solution was just to leave me for a woman with Blake Lively’s complexion. I don’t know what was worse: The fact that I was blindsided by this or that all of his whispered reassurances over the years that his parents would love me had meant nothing. He had to make a clean cut from me and he had to do it without thought for how it would make me feel.
When I first met Harvey, I fell in love with his eyes and his skin before I fell for him. Even though ours wasn’t a groundbreaking love story, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how we met at the beginning of the semester. Sitting at the back of the classroom, I remember laughing in his face when he tripped over his own feet and landed headfirst in the seat next to me. He made a look of indignation that turned into what I’d come to know as his signature smirk, and then jumped smoothly into conversation as if he hadn’t just made a tremendous fool of himself. After that, we ran into each other at every turn. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about the way that he carried himself across a room that made me want to get to know him. Maybe it was his shy smile or his penchant for sarcasm, but just like that, I stumbled into his love headfirst and with abandon.
From the stories he shared with me, I knew that Harvey came from a small Egyptian family who practiced Islam. He confided in me that he didn’t really consider himself that religious and would often get frustrated pretending to be just to appease his mother. I loved hearing him speak about his family’s culture and the customs that they followed. Being of Haitian descent (with a tight knit Catholic family of my own), I couldn’t say that I shared the same struggle as him, but I understood what it meant to feel so disconnected from what was supposed to be your identity. Growing up, I was subject to a running joke among my friends that I would marry someone outside of my nationality and race because I always had crushes on guys who were not black. It eventually started to catch on to the point that my classmates teased me constantly, making comments like, “Cassandra probably wishes she was a white girl with the way she’s chasing after those white boys!” and “Why can’t you like someone in your own race for once?” I hated their bullying, and so stopped confiding in them (and really anyone else) about my romantic interests for years. Those days I felt like I was drowning.
Continue reading about this relationship at YourTango.com
Could the ship be going down without you knowing it? Here are a few surprising habits that can ruin a marriage.
Letting Him Do the Chores
When men do “feminine” chores around the house, like dishes and dusting, they have sex with their partners 1.5 times less a week. When men stick to masculine chores, they have more frequent and better sex with their partners. Go figure.
By Christine Dunn-Cunningham, From YourTango
Great relationships are made and broken in how you treat each other every day. It’s the simple things—your attitude, how you deal with conflict, and what your focus is on that will ultimately keep you together or push you apart. Building a life with another woman means learning how to share your life with her, and how to create a deep and meaningful relationship that allows both of you to grow and evolve as people. Avoiding actions that create drama and negativity in your relationship is crucial to creating lasting love.
5 Bad Habits that Ruin Great Relationships
Bad Habit #1: Worrying About What Other People Think
Everyone wants and needs different things in their relationships. Don’t get caught up in what other people want or what your friends are doing. Concentrate on creating a relationship with your partner that works for the both of you.
Bad Habit #2: Letting Your Ego Get in the Way
One of the biggest relationship mistakes is getting caught up in trying to be right in an argument. When you’re focusing on proving your partner wrong and getting them to acknowledge that you’re right, you lose sight of what you’re really trying to do—resolve a problem. Drop your ego, and instead focus on creating a space where each of you can share your concerns over the issue. Work as a team to find a solution that makes sense for the both of you.
Read more about making love last at YourTango.com
Trust me, you need to read this article. Why? Because I was that needy girl. Fine on the first date, content if I was not that into him, but as soon as I liked him I fell apart. I did not know what to say, how to behave and bit by bit that gorgeous guy smiling across from me would disappear.
To make matters worse, the more I would not hear from him, the more I would blow up his phone asking him where he was, what he doing, when he wanted to meet. I know I am not the only one who does this, so if I am talking to you, my hope is that this article can give you some insight.
You Are Too Agreeable?
When we really like someone, we want them to like us back. We become vulnerable and become ultra-agreeable with that person. He likes football, but you absolutely hate it. Three dates later you are hanging on his every word and you agree to go to a football match with him. Now, at the game you are the most miserable person there.
The smart confident women he asked out has now turned into the worse company he has ever experienced and your handsome man has disappeared. He has sensed your need to be agreeable and his attraction level plummeted. Men like women, who have their own opinions, interests, and hobbies. This leads me to the next point…
Dropping Everything For A Man
It’s Friday night and you have agreed to have a wine and cheese night in with your girlfriends and you told your mother you would call at 7 p.m. Brad calls at 6:50 p.m. asking you out at 7:30 p.m. A little short notice, but you forgive him anyway. You laugh at his jokes, listen to all his excuses as to why he could not call you earlier in the week and then you agree that you will be ready to meet him at the local bar.
On your way there, you text your mum saying you can’t make the call tonight and you send a mass text to your friends that this great guy wants to see you and the only night he is free is tonight. Are you coming across as needy? I think so! And now, because of your neediness his respect and attraction for you has plummeted. Ouch!
The most important part of dating is his ability to follow-up in between dates. Your job is to sit on your fingers while he is thinking sweet thoughts about what a great time he had with that confident brunette until he calls back. That means you! You don’t need to play games, you don’t need to hint to him that it has been four days since you spoke, and you don’t need to remind him it has been a week since you last saw each other.
Men do what they want and if he wants you, he will make the effort. All you have to do is mirror his actions by answering the phone when he calls as your happy, positive, “I have altogether” self. Men like to win you over. Needy girls put words in his mouth, stalk his Facebook page, and are jealous of every girl he mentions. Sit back, relax, and let that boy work for you. You will be gracefully rewarded.
Read more about dating at YourTango.com
Can you really tell a man everything on your mind — even the not-so-pretty stuff? And can it bring you closer together? Yes … as long as you know these critical elements about how to communicate with him first.
Has a man ever told you of some plans he had to hang out with his friends, or travel somewhere by himself for whatever reason, and you pretended to be perfectly okay with it because you didn’t want to seem “needy?”
But then later, when he came back … BAM!
All those hurt, angry feelings came out, he withdrew, and then there’s a wedge between the two of you. You might conclude that you can’t be honest with a man, when in reality a little tweaking in terms of timing and delivery can make all the difference …
Stop Avoiding The Issue And Start Speaking Up
Here’s something you may not know about men, or even agree with, but it’s true …
A man absolutely wants you to be honest and straightforward with him.
This is what men like so much about the way they can communicate with each other. And, in fact, it drives them nuts when you aren’t open and direct.
If they are planning something that you don’t agree with, they want you to let them know at the start — as soon as possible — before it becomes a bigger issue or concern.
Here’s the beauty of telling a man what you think early on: it allows you to communicate in a way that’s less combative and negative than it would be if you were to have it fester in your mind for a while.
Read more about honesty at YourTango.com
If we don’t like what we see when we look in the mirror, we don’t try to paint something different or paste collage on the mirror to change what we see. We understand the mirror is a reflection, so we change ourselves, what we are wearing, how our hair is arranged, our makeup and our clothes. However when we don’t like our reflection from our life, we try to change the mirror, our life on the outside, rather than change what is being reflected, our inner state of being.
I love the movie Buck, the documentary about Buck Branaman, the man who was the inspiration for the both the book and the movie Horse Whisperer. Buck also served as Robert Redford’s coach on the movie set. In real life he teaches horse owners and riders how to get what they want from their horses. The key is not about changing the horse, because the horse is just the rider or horse owner’s mirror. It is about changing the where the rider is ‘coming from,’ their state of being as expressed in their own behavior. The horse is simple intimately relating too and reflecting back what is going on inside and being expressed by the person. The horse is responding perfectly to what it is receiving.
The horse is like the rest of life. What is happening in our life is responding perfectly to what is happening inside of us, just like the mirror showing us what we look like. Life, like the horse, is showing us how we are being inside of ourselves.
An amazing life-changing, empowering adventure begins when we realize this intimaterelationship with life responding to us, to our inner being, our energy, emotions and thoughts. Many people who attend Buck Branaman’s horse clinics become converts to an exciting new relational way of working with horses.
Similarly, when we discover the power of our creative inner life and begin to experience how life is deeply responsive to our inner state of being and reflects it back to us. We stop feeling like we are on the receiving end of the stick, struggling to get what we want in our life on the outside. We stop trying to paint on the mirror, or beating the horse into submitting to our will. Life becomes exciting, empowering, deeply intriguing and much, much easier. It is all about intimate relationship, our own intimate inner relationship with life.
When we begin to realize this, we no longer need to suffer the bad relationship, the crappy job, the stresses that overwhelm us. We now have a choice. We begin to look inside to what is really happening there. What is the habituated knee-jerk inner choice we are making, that is so painful both inside and outside? When we identify that choice — THAT is a huge win. We have identified the real source of our pain. From there we just need to find the inner choice that feels good. That is the choice that will effect a new outer reflection that also feels good, one much more to our liking, both as we experience it first of all inside our self and therefore as it is reflected back to us on the outside.
Instead of believing that the feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, the sense of loss, defeat, confusion are solely due to the circumstances of life, we can begin to see how those life circumstances are largely a reflection of our beliefs, our false perceptions, the inner state of being we are choosing to hold onto inside of ourselves. As we look inward and become aware of those unconscious painful beliefs that we are choosing to entertain inside, we are now able to make a different choice. When we change that choice, when we make a kinder choice for ourselves, we will feel an inner shift and like the horse, life will also feel that shift and respond to it and reflect that kindness back to us.
Read more about changing relationships at YourTango.com
From Single Black Male
Don’t you always enjoy attending events where your friends are celebrating something? Whether it’s a birthday, job promotion, job creation, newborn baby, engagement, etc. you will create a new connection with someone. Recently, I caught up with a good buddy of mine, and the conversation inspired me to share.
He recalled supporting a group of friends who were celebrating an anniversary. After doing his normal meet and greet conversations, someone had his attention, but she didn’t have his. They exchanged numbers, he walked her home, and he called it a night.
What ensued were weeks and weeks of endless text messages back-and-forth, and back-and-forth again. Having merely met within the confinements of a mutual friends celebratory event, they had gone on for an even longer time without seeing each other again. When you’re young and free, you get to the point quickly. Like the eternal line from Puff Daddy, “Why don’t my friends…meet your friends…and we can be friends.” LOL!
They go on for days and do nothing but text. She never called him and he never called her. He even forgot what her voice sounded like! It was very strange hearing the story, because how else would you know that someone else is really into you unless they talk to you on a consistent basis. Consistent text messages, from my perspective, do not hold the same weight or importance as consistent phone calls and conversations. Is that a guy thing? Fellas, do you agree or disagree?
After that initial meeting, they only met up once more, and it was for a “limited” time. His description of “limited” was thirty minutes. They caught up, of course, talked about the inconsistent New York weather, what the rest of our week looked like. What followed was another long duration of text messages and never a face-to-face interaction.
Read more about texting relationships at SingleBlackMale.org
Pregnancy is an exciting time! With the all the changes and anticipation, it can be hard to maintain your regular life, much less your sex life. Fortunately, your love life doesn’t have to slow down during pregnancy. In fact, sex during pregnancy can bring you and your partner closer together.
Don’t believe me? That’s ok. I have 10 tips to tell you otherwise!
Here are 10 tips for keeping a healthy sex life when you’re pregnant:
1. Don’t be afraid to have sex if you want to.
For most women, sex is perfectly safe during all trimesters of a normal pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about sex while you are pregnant.
2. Try something new.
Many women experience an increased sex drive as they enter their second trimester, which can be a great time to experiment with different positions or adding a little kink to the mix. Check out this blog post for some great information on safe kink during pregnancy.
3. Make sure you are comfortable.
Your body goes through a lot of changes during your pregnancy. Positions or touching that you enjoyed before may suddenly cause irritation or discomfort while you are pregnant. Be sure to talk to your partner about anything that feels uncomfortable, so you and your partner enjoy your time in the bedroom.
4. Be intimate.
If sex doesn’t feel good, there are lots of other ways you can still remain intimate with your partner. Kissing, cuddling, sensual massages or hugging brings you and your partner closer together and can help fulfill your sexual desires even if you don’t feel like having intercourse. Receiving oral sex can offer release without the discomfort from penetration and often due to the increase in sensitivity can feel more pleasurable than before.
5. Find the best positions.
Know which sex positions work best for the different stages of your pregnancy. Missionary and other positions where you are lying on your back can be uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses, and can even be unsafe after the fourth month of pregnancy, because they put pressure on major blood vessels. Avoid putting weight and pressure on your abdomen by using positions like woman on top, spooning, or side by side. Experiment and find what works best for you and your partner. This doesn’t have to be a chore, it really can be exciting! Consider using this as a chance to have adventurous sex on a different piece of furniture or in a new room of your house.
Read more tips at HelloBeautiful.com
For a long time, I felt out of touch with my body and myself. I hated my dark chocolate complexion, the way I looked and everything about myself. I even hated sex because I never thought anybody could think someone who looked like me was sexy.
Then my friend invited me to a pole fitness class two years ago. Everybody knows me to be conservative. Doing something like this isn’t “me!” I was reluctant but I went and it changed EVERYTHING! Now I feel sexy and beautiful. My body is fit and toned, I feel in control of myself and I love who I see in the mirror. My friends even say I move differently.
With my new attitude I met a new man. He is very successful and says that one day he wants me to be his wife. We’ve been dating for almost 2 months. The problem is that the thing that most turns me on to myself turns him off. He says he can’t see any wife of his as a pole dancer or “pole ho,” his words.
He knows that I work in a bank and I’m not a pole dancer; this is just the workout I prefer. He goes to the gym everyday so I don’t see the difference. No one sees me except the 7 or 8 other women in my class. I invited him to come see me dance. I said I would rent a private studio so he can see what I’m doing but he said no.
He said that I need to choose and if I’m going to be serious with him I need to find another way to work out ASAP. He feels that any woman who gets with him needs to uphold a certain image. I think the truth is he finds it a little threatening. He always wants to know who was there, what I did, etc. For the last couple of weeks, I had to lie and say I was doing zumba. Nothing against zumba but I really feel a healing connection with pole fitness.
Am I bugging? Should I just give up the dumb pole fitness classes for my man? Is pole dancing something shameful for a wife? Pole fitness is like my therapy. He doesn’t know that this sexy, new me that’s been turning him out in the bedroom is a benefit of my pole classes.
By the way, thank you so much for the advice you give. I have been reading your Intimacy Interventions for a long time — but never thought I would be writing in. I am too embarrassed to talk to anybody else about this. Help!
Read Abiola’s response at Essence.com
Have you ever tried to convince a man to do more in your relationship, only to see him pull further away from you? There’s a smart way to communicate with a man and motivate him to invest in your relationship — without any convincing at all.
When you’re frustrated that you’re doing more than your fair share in a relationship, do you feel the need to take action and try to talk the man you’re with into giving more? Sure you do — most women react the same way. And you don’t need me to tell you that most men will resist your efforts.
That’s because of something I call “the convincer”. When you try to talk a man into doing what you want, he will naturally become “the resister”. It’s human nature.
Your convincing is a turn off for him, because he’ll feel like he’s being forced rather than making his own decision to invest in the relationship. If you really want to get a man to start putting in more effort, memorize these three key elements.
COMMUNICATION SECRET #1: Truly Listen
In order for a man to respect your feelings and needs, he needs to feel safe to share his true feelings with you. And the way to do that is to show him you’re not just venting your feelings but rather truly interested in what he has to say.
Men — just like women — need to feel like it’s okay to have their feelings, and that they will be heard and respected. And when they realize their partner isn’t really listening or interested in who they truly are or how they truly feel, they will start to shut off bit by bit.
So, approach difficult conversations with a spirit of negotiation. Understand that he has his own reasons for feeling the way he does, and listen with the intent of reaching an agreement that pleases both of you. This kind of listening makes a man feel most comfortable to open up and respond with a deeper level of thought, care and honesty.
Read more about communication at YourTango.com