All Articles Tagged "relationships"
We all go through a dry spell from time to time. But there are some good reasons to go out there and get your groove back. These consequences of not having sex (including the DIY kind) might surprise you.
I’ve heard of slut-shaming, fat-shaming, gay-shaming and most other shaming pertaining to race, ethnicity and size, but more recently, I stumbled across the new term, “single-shaming” in Cosmopolitan and I thought, is this really a thing?
Hey Aunt Kathy, it’s cool. And you too, mom and dad. You guys can’t be blamed for asking me if I’m dating someone when I’m home for the holidays. It’s just what you do. But, hey friend-of-a-friend at the bar who dropped a major shame bomb on me the other night. Not. Cool. We were chatting in a group when I revealed I was a Tinder-less single person. “What?” she squeed. “But how do you meet guys? You’re just not dating?” Bartender, pour me another! Usually, singles are left to defend themselves while passing the potatoes at Thanksgiving, but my bar encounter was more biting: I was single-shamed by a peer.
Has anyone else found themselves in this situation where you often feel like you have to answer to people or explain yourself for being single? The more I read the article, the more I realized that single-shaming really isn’t anything new. This isn’t some new phenomena or theory that just surfaced. Someone just took something that many of us have experienced and gave it a name. I often have to explain to friends and family that in my mid-20s, I’m not in a steady relationship because I am working on my career, or making grand plans to travel, or I just don’t want to settle for anybody for the sake of not being by myself.
How many of you have found yourselves excluded from many conversations with committed, engaged, or married friends because you’re riding solo? How many of you have had to ask for a plus one when attending an event that requires a “RSVP” because your friend decided you didn’t have a suitable partner? How many of you have had your friends come down on you for the way you choose to date or not date? How many of you have received an invite to hang with your friend, but found yourself third wheeling it when their boo decided to make a guest appearance, only to be told how fun it would be if you could find someone so you all could double date?
According to Cosmopolitan and Dr. Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out, single-shaming comes from thinking that if you follow the prescribed path and get married (or at least commit), you’ll be happier. If you don’t go that route, in turn, people won’t understand and presume that you’re blocking your own happiness.
Well, I call bull—t. Who’s to say you can’t be happy being single? I’m happy with my friends, my career, my freedom and exploring life and I don’t need to be committed to anyone to have all those things. A man, woman or any person you choose to be your significant other should be an enhancement to your already complete life. They shouldn’t be there to compensate for something lacking. So I’ll enjoy my life in my carefree single bubble, and when I meet a man worthy enough of my time, we can enjoy the life we’ve built as individuals, together.
So when you find yourself at the center of these questions at grandma’s house on Thanksgiving, or when you find yourself at the singles table feeling like your whole life has been exposed, just remember one thing: You don’t owe anybody anything, let alone an explanation for your love life.
Does the family that make out together stay together? Some of these super close celebrity family members certainly seem to think so.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner
Would you ever suck on your sister’s tongue? Because apparently Kylie thought that was cute.
It’s not until you break up that you truly realize how many digital memories you share with your ex—or how frequently he updates his Facebook page. And honestly speaking, when you’re suffering from the post-breakup blues, the last thing you want to be doing is having an emotional breakdown in your job’s cafeteria because you decided to check Facebook during your lunch break. Of course, the obvious solution to this problem would be to unfriend and block your former lover on all social networking outlets, but this brash move isn’t for everyone and can be especially traumatizing to both parties when the split was amicable in nature.
Thankfully for those of us who are still crazy enough to take chances on love, Facebook’s user experience division team is always looking for new ways to improve the social media platform. Thursday, they introduced a new feature that will allow users to limit and manage how they interact with their exes.
According to Facebook Product Manager Kelly Winters, members of the site will be prompted to take advantage of the new “Take A Break” feature once they change their status from “In A Relationship” to “Single.”
How it works:
• Users will “see less of a former partner’s name and profile picture around Facebook without having to unfriend or block them. Their posts won’t show up in News Feed, and their name won’t be suggested when people write a new message or tag friends in photos.”
• There is also an option to “limit the photos, videos or status updates that a former partner will see.”
• Digital memories will no longer be a problem because with the click of a mouse, users can “edit who can see their past posts with a former partner and untag themselves from posts with that person.”
“This work is part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives,” Winters explained. “We hope these tools will help people end relationships on Facebook with greater ease, comfort and sense of control.”
Facebook began testing the new feature in the United States on Facebook Mobile Thursday. After collecting feedback, they expect to roll out the feature in other markets.
Although the Bible instructs both husbands and wives to submit to their spouses, the emphasis placed on wives being submissive is so heavy that we rarely discuss what a submissive husband even looks like.
In a recent interview with Ebony magazine, Nicki Minaj’s ex-partner, Safaree Samuels, discussed being a submissive boyfriend and what it takes to be in a relationship with a strong-willed woman.
“To be a submissive man, you have to have a submissive bone in your body,” Samuels said. “The relationship isn’t going to work out for the man who has a short fuse or can’t handle being told what to do. A lot of men look for women they can mold into what will fit into their lives, but you can’t do that with a strong-minded woman. If you’re going to be with her, you have to be okay with her running the show at times.”
All of this is interesting, considering that Safaree previously implied that disrespect was a primary cause for their split. However, the soon-to-be author was sure to mention that respect must be a crucial component for these pairings of strong women and submissive men to work.
“Sometimes a strong woman doesn’t know the difference between her man and an employee, especially when mixing business and pleasure. She has to know how to turn it off when it’s time to be the girlfriend or the wife,” he said.
“Respect is major in this type of relationship, so don’t just talk to your man any kind of way,” he continued. “Let a man be a man in terms of respecting his opinion and what he has to say. He also has insight and things to add to your vision.”
Of course, this sparks so many other questions. What does a submissive man look like? Does being submissive mean that he goes along with whatever his partner says? Biblically, husbands and wives are cautioned to submit to one another, which leads us to believe that in order to establish a healthy relationship, both parties would have to be willing to submit in one way or another. When the situation is as imbalanced as Nicki and Safaree’s appeared to be, the party doing all of the submitting will likely be disrespected and taken advantage of by the partner who assumes the dominant role.
What are your thoughts on Safaree’s comments? Would you want to be with a man who is submissive? What does a submissive man look like?
My best friend and I sat at a local bar recently, commiserating about relationships over a basket of honey BBQ wings.
Her issue is that she loves them, they hurt her, she stays because she doesn’t want to be alone until she can’t stay any longer and then moves on to the next one without a break in between. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
My issue is that I love them, they hurt me and I swear off men for unnatural lengths of time until I get the courage to try and fail again. Then it is: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
We both confide in each other how much we admire the others strength. She admires my willpower and strength to be alone. I admire her ability to love freely, regardless of the outcome.
But at the end of our conversation we both came the realization that our separate love lives were the product of the same coin: the loving men coin. And regardless of what path we choose, we will both have to learn to love in a way that is comfortable for us.
I mention this story because of there is an interesting debate happening online among women about relationships.
On one side is Team Mo’Nique who recently caused quite a stir with comments she made about marriage. More specifically, the “I hate skinny girls” turned thin mint comedian confirmed, once again, that she is in fact in an open marriage. And as she tells True Exclusives.com:
“The person that you stood up and you said ‘for better, for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer’ you took those vows in front of the universe. If you don’t live by them, then maybe you shouldn’t have taken them. And when you say ‘a pass to cheat’… see when you’re with your best friend and you say to your best friend ‘I’m having these feelings about this person, sexually and I wanna share it with you’.. when you’re best friends, you can have those open and honest conversations. Often times people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue and you say we’re just human beings and all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’. Now if you wanna go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you wanna sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not gon’ do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”
That’s an interesting perspective to say the least. And a bit refreshing, especially when compared to the many wives in denial about their husband’s own philandering eyes.
Still there is the other side of the debate, which is Team Shonda Rhimes. And earlier this week, the 45-year old queen of scripted series appeared on Oprah’s Super Sunday to remind folks of all the fun she is having not being married to the same peen for the rest of her life.
More specifically, she told Oprah:
“I’m one of those people, since I was 5, I could tell you I was going to have kids. I could tell you I was going to have three. I could tell you they were going to be girls,” she says. “But I have never wanted to get married. I never played bride. I was never interested. I don’t know what it is; I never wanted to get married.”
Again, nothing wrong with owning your own decision.
Yet for the last couple of days, I have watched women – married, single and in between – go to battle with each other over which woman has the best philosophy on relationships. There is one side who feels that Mo’Nique is dumb and insecure. And then there is the other side who thinks Shonda is just a bitter old hag.
Meanwhile I feel like both sides are wrong. Because honestly, there are many definitions of a healthy relationship.
While most people have already written Mo’Nique off as a woman with low self-esteem, what I actually see in her is a woman who still desires a relationship with a particular man, but has also let go of the idea of what a relationship is supposed to look like.
Call it having a lack of faith in all men, but there is also the reality that regardless of how well she cooks, cleans, screws, or caters to her man, he is going to do whatever is in his heart to do. She can wait forever for that one guy that will be all of the things everyone tells her she should have in a relationship. But as many of us know, that wait might be a very long time. And more importantly, that dream relationship may never come.
Like my best friend, some people are just not down for sleeping alone. So she takes her imperfect relationship and makes it work for her. He has friends on the side. She has friends on the side. And at the end of the day, they are each other’s best friend. And that bond is likely more important than what they do sexually with other people.
Her relationship may not be what most of us grew up dreaming about (certainly not my cup of tea), but neither is life in general. Plus, clearly she has other things happening in her life – including kids, her career and gym times, besides worrying about what her husband is doing.
On the flip side you have Rhimes who from a very young age just said, “bump this dream mess all together, I’m going to just do me. And him. And him. And yes Gawd, him too”
And you know what: ain’t nothing wrong with that either.
Point is, although both of these women exist on opposite sides of the relationship coin, both have come to the same conclusion. Neither want to feel owned. Neither is seeking validation through traditional values and expectations. Both are determined to do love on their own terms. And neither of them give a damn what we feel about it.
And as sad as both situations sound to some folks, particularly those judging from the outside, both women have figured out what many of us are still learning. Basically, sometimes letting go – or never feeding into – expectations can bring its own happiness and rewards.
Personally, as I get closer to middle age, I am starting to desire commitment less and companionship more. I can’t tell you for sure what that looks like, but I can tell you it involves separate places and spaces.
It may not be ideal for everyone, but as long as I am happy, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Marriage experts typically recommend that couples take some time to cool off before discussing an issue if they find that they’re too angry to constructively handle the situation in the moment. In those particular situations, temporary silence is probably the best option for the relationship. However, there are those who take this advice to extremes.
A concerned wife, who we’ll call “Tasha,” asked Reddit members for advice Thursday because she has found herself on the receiving end of the silent treatment for the last three months. Apparently, she and her husband, Rick, got into an argument of sorts, and he has been pretty much ignoring her ever since. The couple, both 28 years of age, met at work and maintained a long distance dating relationship for two years before they got married last December. After tying the knot last year, the couple continued to maintain a long distance relationship, but that is about to change because Tasha is set to move in with Rick next month. Tasha explains:
My husband, Rick and I work for the same company in different countries. We met through work, dated for about two years and got married December last year. Yes, we are still long distance but I will be moving to his country next month.
Rick sulks every time we argue. He stops talking to me for days, and our latest count is three months yesterday and I am this close to giving up. I keep asking him to talk, and he alternates between sending me one-word replies or completely ignoring me. Phone calls have completely stopped. I have told him multiple times that I have no intention of putting up with such childish behavior, but he continues and uses the excuse that he needs time to calm down after an argument.
While Tasha admits to having a short fuse, she feels that Rick’s behavior is totally unacceptable.
I am the explosive type. I yell and then calm down immediately. I get that he needs space. But weeks and months are too long for me. I can’t and don’t want to put up with that sh-t.
Interestingly enough, when Tasha mentions divorce, Rick doesn’t seem to be fazed at all.
I have told him that I want to leave if he continues this, and his only response was that he doesn’t want to get a divorce but if that’s what I want, then we can go through with it. NO, that’s not what I want. I want to talk to my husband, but I can’t get through to him.
Do you have advice for Tasha?
Just a few months ago, we were debating about how long sex should last. Now, the focus is on frequency.
According to Forbes, a new study published in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science—that was one of the largest to explore the correlation between sex and happiness—suggests that one is the magical number when it comes to how often happily married couples are getting busy in a 7-day span.
Researchers poured over responses submitted by 11,000 men and 14,000 men who participated in the General Social Survey between 1989 and 2012. What they found was that most established couples are doing the horizontal mambo once a week, and they’re satisfied. Additionally results suggest that adding a night or two of sex didn’t boost happiness. Interestingly, they found no link to gender, and this trend seems to apply to newlyweds as well as couples that have already passed the golden anniversary.
Since the study only focused on correlation, we should note that the results do no suggest that setting out to have sex once a week makes a couple happier. And apparently, not everyone is here for these findings. Famed sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer slammed the “silly study” on Twitter because “all couples are different.”
Instead of allowing this survey to rule your sex life, she recommends that couples be vocal with one another about their sexual expectations.
“Couples should talk about how often they want to have sex & then try to meet whatever goal they agree on,” she tweeted. “Communication is key.”
Couples should talk about how often they want to have sex & then try to meet whatever goal they agree on. Communication is key
— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) November 18, 2015
Can a f–kboy every change his f–kboy ways?
I ask this because of David Banner. The “Like A Pimp” and “Play” rapper now says he is ready to own up to his misogyny – well, sort of.
According to the Huffington Post:
During a recent appearance on Essence Live, Banner explained that his conversations with black women led him to understand that black women didn’t feel protected or wanted in their community. As a result, he wrote an open love letter to women through his latest single, “Marry Me.”
Banner also took responsibility for past actions — anyone remember “Play”? — and explained what he learned the most from having “Get Like Me,” a number one song in 2008.
“When I had the number one song — as far as hip-hop was concerned ‘Get Like Me’ with Chris Brown — I got a global peak [sic] at how America is portraying black men from America,” Banner explained. “And at that time, reality shows — as we know it now– first started to take off so for the most part, what people got from black men globally was rap videos and reality TV shows, and honestly, we looked like monkeys. But I wasn’t living what I was speaking for the most part – as far as the positive aspect of it.”
If you haven’t heard the song or seen the lyric video — particularly seen the video — you are truly missing out. “Marry Me” is a romantic little tune featuring Banner rapping about marriage over violins while a dude (also known as Rudy Currence) riffs and runs like Trey Songz. Not to be outdone, the video features a floating earth-shaped engagement ring over a spaced-out background, which is reminiscent of an old-school Myspace profile that could have belonged to a conscious “queen” named Empress-something.
I will admit: The song and video have some charm. I could see it being played at weddings and engagement parties all across Black America. And in some respects, I prefer it to most of what passes as R&B nowadays.
With that said, I fail to see how this song or Banner’s proclamation is meant to make Black women feel more protected and wanted in the community. Heck, I fail to see how this song or video has anything to do with Black women at all.
For one, there are the lyrics. In particular, the chorus:
They say I’m an urban myth
They say black men don’t exist
Prove them wrong, won’t you marry me? Marry me
And they say I’m nothing but a stat on sheets
But here I am on my bending knees
Prove them wrong, won’t you marry me? Marry me
So I’m asking every woman and girl
All over the world
If you wanna get married, you can marry me
I might be a little confused here, but is Banner, by way of Currence, suggesting that all women “and girls” marry him specifically, or that women and girls should marry men like him? Either way, it is pretty damn self-centered and presumptuous, as well as slightly creepy.
Not only are we once again putting the onus of “proving” the worth and value of Black men on the backs of Black women (“They say I’m an urban myth…prove them wrong”), but Banner wants us to do so with no assurances that he is actually ready for marriage.
I mean, what is being said in the lyrics that actually speaks to love for Black women and girls (again, yuck)? If anything, the lyrics read more like Black women are being used as shields to mask insecurity about what other people think of Black men and masculinity.
Not to mention the “every woman and girl…marry me” line sounds no less gross than the dudes who womanize, but claim to do so out of their love for women. You know, like a pimp?
But that is just the chorus.
In the first verse, we get a little more clarity on Banner’s new views about protecting and making the Black woman feel wanted in the community.
More specifically, he raps:
Baby, I can feel your pain, let me heal your pain
If you leave with me, you’ll never feel the same
I’ll steal a plane, fly over hills and plains
Reach in the clouds, even steal the rain
So a seed can grow, believe me and know
I’m a king, you’re a queen
I’ll leave you, no
Got you covered in the best gold
I know you see the threshold, come get carried
Let’s get married
And as you can read, Banner’s new views on women sound a lot like his old views of women.
What I mean is that Banner has been called out on many occasions for both policing and holding Black women to respectability standards he has even failed to live up to. More recently, it was comments he made on Twitter that got people riled up. He said, “If you want a man that respects the way you think then show more mind than a–. If you cater to the savage qualities of a man why are you surprised that he continues to be savage? That is how you got him.”
Again, the responsible party for a man’s “savage” behavior is women. Moreover, only certain women, particularly the conservative and the traditional, are deserving of respect. And the more women are “respectable,” which in this instance only means appearance as opposed to her character, the more a man would be willing to give her the courtesy of actually listening to what comes out of her mouth.
In “Marry Me,” Banner continues to promote the idea that respect for women can only come through traditional and conservative means. In particular, single women are in pain, and marriage to a man is how we “heal” a woman from pain.
Never mind that women in committed relationships, including some married ones, can also can be pained at the hands of their partners. And never mind that even a good marriage has never been a cure for sexual assault, street harassment, domestic abuse, a rapper calling a woman a “thot” or a “b–ch,” poor pay and other real-world pains that women experience.
That sort of introspection into “feeling a woman’s pain” would require more than a promise of “the best gold” and a free airplane ride to chase raindrops. Like actual advocacy on behalf of women.
It is important to note what Banner actually said during the interview with Essence. More specifically, the part when he talked about mending bonds between Black women and men, which he feels were broken only by slavery. Although Banner calls himself a Pan-Africanist, he points to the Rockefellers, the Kennedys and the Bushes – three families that have been marred by all sorts of domestic problems – as examples of strong families that Black folks should be emulating. By doing so, the only value Banner places on marriage is its alleged ability to create wealth and power.
He also said, “Me talking to so many women, they would always tell me just black women in general didn’t feel protected nor did they feel wanted. I said, especially in my career, I’ve done enough damage myself, so when I speak, no way am I criticizing other men and what they do in their music, but I have to sort of cleanse my soul and balance my vibrations out.”
While inviting Black women and girls around the world to apply for the job of his “queen” might be cleansing to his soul, the reality is that real empowerment of women comes from the very thing he is refusing to do. And that is talking to and calling out other brothers about their disrespect – even if it means falling on his sword and actually owning up to his first.
He also talked about how the song made his sister cry because she didn’t think there were Black men like him. And then he added, “So um, I hope that, you know, Black women especially support me.”
And there is it. It’s about Black women supporting his project and not necessarily about offering support to Black women.
It is hard to say for sure if Banner is playing off of the insecurity some Black women have about marriage just for spins and downloads. But it wouldn’t surprise me considering we have seen this sort of pandering before. Folks like Raheem DeVaughn, LL Cool J and Ne-Yo have made decent careers giving adulations and making hollow promises of respect to Black women.
But if he is serious, he is going to have to do more than this song to prove his love for us. Just because a f–kboy decides that he is now ready to settle down and marry does not mean he stops being a f–kboy. And if this ring for our “queens” is still wrapped up in counterrevolutionary and dangerous ideas about proper womanhood and everything that supposedly ails us, then he can keep it.