All Articles Tagged "relationship"

When You Get Into A Relationship Do Your Friendships Have To Change?

April 8th, 2016 - By Erica R. Williams
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Corbis Images

Corbis Images

“You’re acting funny now since you have a boyfriend,” one of my closest friends joked. Well, actually, I knew that she was partly serious but attempted just to laugh it off as a joke. I laughed too before casually defending myself, trying to make light of the situation.

It had only been a few weeks since I had denounced my single status and gotten into my first committed relationship in years, and already some of my friends were mentioning that they hoped things wouldn’t change within our friendship. I too had once doled out such jokes and statements, wondering what would be different once one of my girls had found her way into a relationship while I was still wandering around as a single woman. And although I knew deep down that little would change now that I had a partner (I’m not like that), despite my friends’ so-called jokes, I couldn’t help but think of women who were in much more serious relationships or even married. Did their friendships have to change as a result of their relationship status? If the majority of their friends were single (like mine), did it, in turn, affect their bonds?

While ‘F men, get money’ has never really been the overlying theme for my friend circle, we certainly do as single girls do when we aren’t hitched. From our conversations to our outings where we hope to meet eligible men, most of my friends and I have had the single life in common for the majority of our friendship. So with me going out less and staying in more, I guess it makes sense that my circle would be skeptical.

For my friend who mentioned that I may have changed, she was referring to the fact that we were speaking less often. Because we are miles away, we would usually try to talk on the phone every day. However, once I got in a relationship, we began talking on the phone a little less, though we still averaged about four or five days a week.

On the flipside, one of my other friends who recently got into a relationship admits that she now goes out less. She says that because she has a man she chooses to spend time with him on the weekends instead of going on ‘girls’ outings’ like she used to. However, she still ensures that she spends time with friends, at least, one weekend out of the month. She says that it’s not difficult to balance her friends and her boyfriend because there is an understanding. The reality is, when you get into a relationship, certain things will change, and that’s just a fact. However, it doesn’t mean your friendships have to suffer.

While I think the dynamics of such associations may be altered, the bond shouldn’t be broken when it comes to genuine friendships. Sure, your conversations may differ, and your outings may become somewhat infrequent, but if your friend is really your friend, there should be an understanding when it comes to being there for one another. And at the core of things, the commitment to the friendship should remain the same.

Ladies, what do you think? What has been your experience with friendships once your relationship status changed?

Could Your Date Be Intimidated By You?

April 4th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Have you ever started flirting with someone and flat-out wondered, “What’s wrong with this guy?”

Meaning, things seemed like they were going great and then, nothing? Instead of asking you for your phone number, he just gave you an awkward goodbye hug and walked away, even though you thought the sparks were still flying.

Or maybe you’re dealing with the guy you thought you were going to get along with, but suddenly he’s copped an attitude, and you’re struggling to figure out why.

It’s hard to know what’s going on in any man’s mind at a given time. But if you’re left wondering what’s going on and what went wrong after a first date you thought went well, you never know–it could be a sign that he’s intimidated by you.

Have you noticed these signs? Did you give the guy a second chance? Or did you move on to a man with a little more confidence?

Is Tameka The Surgeon Stupid for Marrying Keith The Sneaker Store Manager?

March 21st, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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It seems like every few months we get ourselves worked up into a tizzy by a question which only seeks to make Black women feel more insecure about not doing enough to support the brothers; when in fact, we are already doing too much…

Here is the set-up:(courtesy of The Shade Room‘s Instagram feed):

#Roommates what would you do? via: @shadekinge

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

 

Why is this so bothersome?

Well, for one, it’s really an unfair question. Sure the meme ends by asking, “Ladies if you were Tameka or fellas, if you were Keith, could you play that role?” But what the question is really asking us to do is judge Tameka. And Tameka’s friends.

More specifically, why do we need to know how Tameka’s friends feel about their relationship? What is the relevancy in that? And what about what Keith’s friends say about their arrangement? What can we ascertain about him from that one friend who might feel he “ain’t acting like a man” or his friend who is like, “Dude you straight came up…she got an equally rich sister?”

By even mentioning what her friends think, we are kind of telling the readers that this bit of information should have some effect on how we draw our conclusions.

And since society has a long history of perverting friendships between women – this is particularly true of relationships between Black women (ahem Oprah and Gayle) – our internalized biases will tell us that the “fault” will lie somewhere within the behavior, beliefs and opinions of all of the theoretical women involved. Because women need to mind their own business and find a man of their own. And because they are bitter and jealous and trying to make Tameka jealous and bitter too.

These are the things we tell women when we are trying to gaslight them out of following good advice or even listening to their own inner-voice, which might be telling them that their “bitter and jealous” girlfriends might have a point.

You know points like, why doesn’t Keith have ambitions beyond the bootleg version of Foot Locker? And why didn’t Keith contribute at least something to their wedding and honeymoon? Granted, he makes less than her, but $44,000 is more than enough to get a couple of decent first class seats to the Caribbean. I know people who have done it on less…

And what else do we know about Keith other than how much he “loves her?” Like, what’s his temperament like? Or his character? And is he a responsible human being in other ways?

And why do we pretend like for Black women, his love – and more importantly being married to “his love” – is supposed to be enough?

Let’s be honest here: it ain’t.

And don’t get me wrong: I believe that love can conquers all. And in theory, there is no reason why Tameka and Keith’s relationship can not work. But I also tend to believe that there are a lot of stubborn men who love their gender roles too.

More specifically, from this 2012 article in Jezebel:

A new study published in the online journal Sex Roles found that men who defined their masculinity in a more traditional way, i.e. suppressing tears at all cost, were more likely to fret about being out-earned by a girlfriend or spouse, which in turn led them to have more strained relationships. Guys who didn’t hold traditional views of masculinity gave a big shoulder-shrug to news that their lady partners made more money than they did, probably because relationships are canoes and everyone has to paddle, or some such nautical metaphor. The study surveyed 47 men in relationships with higher-earning women, asking them about the importance of the earnings gap in their relationship and about how it felt to have to ask their partners for some petty cash whenever they wanted to go to arcade with the other fellas. Not only were those non-macho guys more likely to be totally fine about making less than their wives or girlfriends, but they also tended to report of having healthier relationships, which makes sense considering that people who don’t stress about stupid shit like competitive paychecking tend to be easier to hang out with.”

And this is not to say that there are some women who don’t like their gender roles too (obviously, Tameka isn’t one of them). But it has also been my personal experience that men who felt some kind of way about their financial positions in life always found a way to bring strife into the relationship. And despite my best efforts, there was no way of loving them through their discomfort, which did not result in me getting myself hurt and/or in trouble also.

So yeah, while I appreciate the meme for getting us to challenge gender roles, I can’t also help but feel that this has less to do with us, and more to do with what all of the Keiths in the world thinks and feels about themselves.

So stop asking us.

Would You Stop Dating A Man Because You Can’t Stand The Way He Talks?

March 17th, 2016 - By Erica R. Williams
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Corbis

Corbis

Recently I had a revelation. My long list of pet peeves just might be keeping me single. From talking too loud to not talking loud enough, it’s the small things that usually annoy me when it comes to men I’m dating. While I know I’m far from perfect, these minor irritations are usually enough to turn me off. I have some nerve, right? Well, enter the latest small nuisance I’ve discovered about the newest man I’m dating. He’s funny, smart, and a gentleman. But I absolutely hate the way he talks. His accent (I won’t mention where he’s from as not to offend) in addition to his dialect, drives me crazy. He’s an awesome guy until he opens his mouth. But is his irritating voice reason enough for me to kick him to the curb?

Everyone has something about them that can be a turnoff to someone else. I get it. After complaining to a close friend about my revulsion to the way she speaks, she was quick to remind me that there’s probably something about me that he doesn’t find so swell as well. I concur. I am sure there are plenty of things about me that men aren’t particularly bragging to their boys about. However, we have to communicate to get to know one another better, and if his speech is a distraction, that could hinder us from being able to make that happen.

And then other annoyances are holding us back as well (including popping his toes too loud–who does that?!). And while I’ve tried to tell him how irritating some of the minor infractions are, when it comes to the big one, you can’t simply say to someone, “I can’t stand the sound of your voice.” That would just be cruel.

I understand wholeheartedly that many of my issues with him might seem picky and slightly immature to some. Sometimes I feel that I’m being petty about it all. I can even hear self-proclaimed relationship experts advising me to remember that his voice doesn’t determine his heart and that I shouldn’t eliminate a good man due to so-called minor issues, like speech. This could be true, but I also believe that a woman (or man) shouldn’t constantly be annoyed by many of their significant other’s actions. That’s a huge red flag. It’s unfair to both people in the relationship to pretend like you’re not. It’s not my job to try to change someone, and I agree that there are some things you simply have to ignore, if they are minor. But if you can’t ignore them, then what? Is there really an appropriate way to tell someone, it’s not you, it’s the sound of your voice that I can’t stand? You simply can’t, without it sounding brash and inconsiderate. So what is a woman to do? Would I be wrong to fly the coop over something like this?

But to be honest, it’s been a struggle to get past his voice, but I’m not completely over getting to know him. I hope that either my pet peeves with him will go away or simply won’t matter as much because his personality and big heart (and good looks) will shine through.

Everyone has their list of non-negotiables when it comes to relationships. Some women won’t date a man who doesn’t share their same religious or spiritual beliefs. Others may require a person to be gainfully employed with good credit. Having values and morals in dating is important and not choosing to compromise them is necessary; but what about the things that don’t interfere with your morals, but simply annoy you? How do you proceed?

This problem may seem minor to many, but could you do it? Could you date someone whose speech simply annoys you?

10 Reasons Your First Date Should Be A Lunch Date

March 3rd, 2016 - By M A
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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

First dates are never easy. There is a ton of pressure to make sure that your first impression isn’t a total bust and that you put your best foot forward. And while the knee-jerk reaction might be to have your potential boo plan a romantic dinner and a night out on the town, we here at MadameNoire have a slightly different perspective. Instead of a candlelit dinner, why not consider a midday meal? Here’s why a first date lunch is definitely the way to go.

Less Pressure

Probably the most obvious benefit of opting for a more casual lunch date is the lessening of those first-date jitters. Instead of feeling like the pressure is on over a romantic dinner, a lunch date will feel far more laid back and easy-going. Plus you won’t be surrounded by other couples who could be piling on the PDA and making your first date more uncomfortable.

Survey Says People Are Looking For More Love, Less Sex–Are You?

February 24th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

This new crop of young adults has been dubbed “The Hookup Generation” for their willingness to embrace and redefine dating culture in a casual way. Hookup culture can simply be defined as the acceptance of sexual encounters such as one-night stands that focus purely on sexual gratification without a traditional commitment. There have been loads of articles and think pieces dedicated to blaming the surge of mobile dating apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish for people’s sudden casualness. There has also been a boatload of written material and documentaries based on “Netflix and Chill,” which has gained so much speed that consumer companies have started to market their products for Netflix and chilling.

However, one of the cool things about learning about a burgeoning part of culture is the different perceptions we can get on similar things. A great example would be a new study based on this flourishing generation and hookup culture in general. According to it, more people are actually holding off on sex in the hopes of finding love. The idea of abstinence and celibacy, which were once controversial topics that caused debates, are now becoming a trending topic. Celebs like Terry Crews and his wife, Ciara and Russell Wilson, and DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good are celebrating the benefits of waiting on love and halting sex in the hopes of building a deeper connection. It’s evident that it’s catching on with a lot of young people who are dating. The more I scroll through my Twitter timeline and Instagram feed, I see more and more couples embracing a courtship, and more engagements happening. I’ve even done a complete 180 in my personal life when it comes to dating.

For the last 10 years, dating app and site OkCupid has been collecting data based on their subscribers. In the aforementioned study, A Digital Decade: Sex conducted by OkCupid, they found that when asked whether or not they would have sex on the first date, 50 percent of respondents said no versus the 31 percent who said no in 2005. When asked if they would have a sex-driven friendship over a long-term commitment, 61 percent chose a long-term commitment. People were found to be 19 percent less likely to consider sleeping with someone on the first date compared to 10 years ago, with significant drops in every gender and orientation. Only one in four straight women said “yes” compared to almost 50 percent in 2005, and we see the biggest drop in gay men (-26 percent).

The study revealed that even though casual sex was less accessible 10 years ago when compared to today with all of the dating apps and location signals right in our smartphones, people are making the decision to be less hasty to jump in the sack for a casual rendezvous. Dating culture is constantly evolving and even though most of the participants rated sex as being a very important aspect of their relationship with their significant other, they also acknowledged that it wasn’t enough to build a relationship off of or base one around.

Perhaps this whole hookup culture and Netflix and Chill fling thing was just a phase? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out in the next 10 years… 

How Would You Feel If A Man Made You Wait 90 Days Before Spending Money On You?

January 9th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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On Friday’s (Jan. 8) episode of The Real, the outspoken co-hosts discussed a new meme that’s surfaced on social media dubbed the “new” male 90-day rule.

Apparently, the rule is that a man has to wait 90 days before spending money on you, similar to the “how many months do you wait until giving it up” question that many women ponder while testing the waters of a new relationship. Interesting, right? However, we’re not too sure just how “new” this rule is, as it’s been joked about before. But all jokes aside, the ladies of The Real, of course, kept it real about the “new male 90-day rule” during that episode’s session of Girl Chat.

With varying perspectives, Loni Love sounded off saying that women nor men shouldn’t hold the rule to high standards and just go dutch on dates; while Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry shared their experience with holding off on sex until marriage. Adrienne Bailon wasn’t too interested in the rule, saying that going dutch on every date like your bro’s isn’t the move. Guest host Bevy Smith offered her opinion on the rule as well, saying men should employ the rule of speaking with a woman (over the phone) four or five times before deciding to take her out to dinner.

In regards to the women pulling the 90-day rule, I myself have used it one time and one time only. I soon realized after that relationship flopped that it honestly doesn’t matter how long you wait to engage in sex in terms of a “better” or “long-lasting” relationship. Sidebar: I waited for five months and the relationship ended on month ten, so there’s no guarantee. If you’re into someone and it’s mutual on both ends, why not? Now, will I hop in bed with someone after the first or third date? No.

I, like any other woman on the dating scene, like to be courted, but then again I’m also not putting myself on a time constraint. When you have something like that looming in the back of your mind, I feel like the relationship becomes a waiting game that can make you forget you’re supposed to be having fun, not worrying about how long you should hold out. So, would I feel some type of way about a man putting me on a 90-day rule? Hell yes! Isn’t that what courting is about? Maybe I’m a bit traditional with that sense, but I do believe guys should pay for dates regardless– no 90-day rule over here!

All in all, the ladies came to the consensus that you can’t put a price on your flower. What are your thoughts? Watch the video above and chime in the comments below.

Things You Should Know About A Man Before You Get Serious

December 4th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

How much should you really know about a man before you give him your heart? Love wants to trust everyone, but your heart will thank you later if you use your head now.

From First Crush To Your First One: Loves You Never Get Over

November 25th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

While our readers were all contemplating whether or not it was possible to emotionally move on from your baby daddy, we thought about the other loves in our lives we’ll probably never get over. Did we miss any of yours?

Khloe Kardashian: The Epitome Of A Ride-Or-Die Chick

October 26th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

I wish Lamar Odom a speedy recovery. Sincerely.

Still, I have questions. I specifically have a question about love. Or, should I say, how we choose to love.

I have loved some dudes. Some of it was healthy love. Most of it was not. I have loved some dudes who treated me badly. I have loved some dudes who lied and cheated. I have loved some dudes who did not respect me in the least.

But even I, in my most unhealthy of love moments, do not think I could run back and stick by the side of a man who was found unconscious from drugs inside of a brothel.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not heartless. I would definitely see him in the hospital. I would also send him flowers, cookies and pray for him. Heck,  I might even help with medical decisions and contribute a few dollars to the cause.

But the divorce, which had been over two years in the making, would go on as scheduled.

And it has nothing to do with whether or not I love him anymore. But as some of us who have labored too long in unhealthy relationships already know, you need to consider your own well-being, and more importantly, your own happiness.

So, this is me hypothetically trying to get out of that situation. And I am trying to go to therapy to figure out my co-dependency issues and what was I hoping to gain for myself by attempting to fix an already troubled man. I am also trying to set and live by the boundaries I created.

I am sure that is what I would do. I am almost certain of it. Well…it is what I envisioned I would do at least.

It’s hard to know for sure, especially when society itself seems to hold special reverence for being a ride-or-die chick. Or should I say some ride-or-die chicks. Some ride-or-die chicks are just dismissed as stupid. And others get to be Khloe Kardashian.

And let’s not get it twisted: For all her wealth, fame and, ahem, prestige, Khloe Kardashian is the epitome of a ride-or-die chick.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

Odom’s recent overdose is just the latest in a long line of troubles, including numerous reports of partying with strippers, infidelity, drug binges and failed rehab attempts. The situation had gotten so bad that Kardashian decided to pull the plug on a reality television show that had been centered around their marriage. She said she did it so that she could “support” her husband as he worked on getting his basketball career back on track.

During the couple’s hiatus from television, they would break up and make up several times throughout the course of their relationship. Although all signs pointed to a divorce, Kardashian told People magazine back in 2012: “I’m a modern girl, but you should put your husband first,” she says. “I like to think divorce is not an option.”

But shortly after a video surfaced, which showed the former Dallas Maverick rapping about using drugs and having several mistresses, Kardashian decided to file for divorce.

As far as the world was concerned, Kardashian had finally sobered up. And it certainly appeared like she had moved on. Not only had she lost weight, changed her hair color and added some extra “accessories,” but she had been linked to a number of eligible bachelors, including French Montana and James Harden.

That was until a couple of weeks ago, when once again, her “husband” found himself in trouble. The same kind of trouble that he had been getting into repeatedly during their marriage. Instead of taking his latest relapse as a sign that she had made the right decision by getting out of that hole and moving on with her life, Kardashian decided to dig deeper. She not only rushed to join him by his bedside, but she also decided to, once again, work on her marriage.

Let’s say this together: Ride or die.

Perhaps it is true that love conquers all and that sometimes we have to weather the storm. That is what we learn about relationships from the fairy tales, romance novels, and our religious teachings. But the reality is that most women (and men) usually don’t always fare too well in these type of ride-or-die circumstances. In many instances, a woman can easily find themselves broke, heartbroken, mentally ill, disease-infested, in jail or even dead.

A great read on the consequences of being a ride-or-die chick is the essay entitled “What Happened to Kiesha?” which first ran on the website Ride or Die Project, a site dedicated to demystifying the trials and tribulations of women who stay in toxic relationships.

As the title suggests, in the essay, writer Amanda Parris breaks down the tragic life of the Kiesha character from the 1998 Hip-Hop film Belly. Although she is a fictional character, Kiesha has become sort of a symbol of not only steadfast loyalty, but also a type of beauty, which was missing from the “light-made-basically-white, surgically enhanced, highly photo-shopped images of beauty paraded with little disruption in today’s Hip Hop scene.”

But as Parris notes, this admiration we have for Kiesha never really translates into actual concern for her well-being. In spite of all of her beauty and faithfulness, Kiesha spends a good portion of the film monitoring the whereabouts of her philandering and ephebophile boyfriend, Tommy. She also physically fights and is brutalized by a home intruder who is after her boyfriend. And finally, she defends herself against the FBI after Tommy locks her up in jail for refusing to snitch on her boyfriend who has now flown the coup.

As Parris notes about this twisted admiration we have for Kiesha:

Absent are the images of her fighting for her life, in the moment left to pay for the decisions made by her lover. What happened to Keisha? What happens to a woman who is repeatedly betrayed, abandoned, incarcerated and assaulted? What happens to a woman who puts her lover at the center of her world when that lover leaves? What happens to a woman who does not have homegirls or support systems that can build her up when the world tries to break her down? What happens to a woman who loves someone that is targeted by the state and in turn becomes the state’s target? What happens to a woman who has learned how to fight for someone else but has no one to fight for her?

You can almost say the same thing about Kardashian.

The most interesting aspect of her toxic relationship to Odom is how well-received it has been by the mainstream. Unlike the lottery winner who was vilified and dragged throughout social media for spending her money bailing her drug-dealing boyfriend out of prison, Kardashian is painted almost angelically for going back and helping Odom on his road to recovery. Of course, some have speculated that her sudden benevolence is all for the sake of money and possibly ratings.

While that might be true, nowhere in any of this criticism is there any concern about the actual prudence of being devoted to a man who is troubled, and as a result of his troubles, does her harm.

And this is not to say that I think we should go around belittling women who opt to ride hard for their relationships. And while I truly believe Kardashian is setting herself up for a world of hurt, the truth is she is much more protected (emotionally, financially and spiritually) than the average Kiesha would be in similar circumstances. But I do think the Kardashian’s public relations machine and the media are both masking some pretty regressive values and ideas around this idea that love conquers all.

And I also feel like we should be conscious of the narrative that continue to tell women that the only way to be a good woman in a relationship, as well as in life, is to be a dedicated dumping ground for a man’s wayward seeds, sins and lack of self-esteem.

After all, what could she have seen in Odom in this latest incident, which led her to believe him to be a better man? And no, almost dying doesn’t count.

I wish both Odom and Kardashian well. But I do believe that his demons are deeper than his drug addiction. And truthfully, so are hers.