All Articles Tagged "relationships"
I recently hung out with a group of girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I’d like to say that it’s because we’re all busy, but I suspect the main reason we don’t see each other often anymore is because I’m a married mother of a 19-month-old, and they are single and childless. Time is a luxury for me these days, so I was grateful to get the opportunity to catch up with my girls.
As usual, those ladies that were single lamented about their nonexistent relationship status. “Where were all the good guys?” “Why do they all live with their mama or have multiple baby mamas?” “How come they don’t have great jobs or make a lot of money?” I quietly sat there listening, not missing any of my single days. However, the more I listened, the more questions formulated in my head. “What constitutes as a great job?” “What is ‘a lot’ of money?” After all, those things are pretty relative, so I was curious to learn what types of guys they were attracting and why they felt these men weren’t good enough.
One friend said, “The doorman in my building asked me out on a date. Can you believe it? Like I’d date ‘the help’.” Suddenly, I began to understand why some of these women were still single.
“What’s wrong with the doorman?” I asked.
“Uh, he’s a doorman,” she responded, as if the answer was obvious.
I followed up by asking if it was just doormen she was against, or any man who was in a service/customer service type of job. After all, “the help” is not limited to doormen, maids, butlers, janitors or any other job that reminds her of “slavery” (her words, not mine). Service industries also include positions within sectors such as hospitality, sales, public health and any other position where your responsibility is to service or be of service to other people. But because those were still considered service industry jobs in a sense, were they too deemed not respectable? “Would she not date a man in any of those fields?” I thought to myself.
My friend told me that I wouldn’t understand because my husband works in radio–a glamorous gig in her opinion. However, I reminded her that he is also a truck driver and still drives trucks during the week when he’s not blessing the mic on the weekends. She seemed stunned, but I couldn’t tell if it was because she was surprised he was a truck driver or because I married him. In her mind, a corporate manager working in television has no business dating, let alone marrying, a man who gets dirty and drives trucks for a living. So, the question is: Does a man’s job really matter when determining if he’s Mr. Right or not?
I understand yhat some occupations can give you a glimpse into what type of characteristics a person has. For example, nurses can automatically be perceived as nurturing while teachers or nannies certainly must love children. And one would think that a person who works in a service industry likes dealing with and helping people. But for others, a job is just a job–a means to a paycheck and nothing more. I once dated a high school teacher who despised teenagers. I also dated a doctor who had no bedside manner and a cold personality. Sure, he could definitely heal you, but he was also a jerk. My best friend’s husband can be described as a ferocious, cut-throat attorney, but he’s a teddy bear at home with his family.
But don’t get me wrong, I realize that if a woman is interested in a man who is ambitious, responsible and has the ability to provide for himself or a family, his job might indicate to her if he has any of the attributes she’s looking for. Even still, his nine-to-five might only be a small indication of what type of person he is. That is, if you don’t do some investigating. Yes, he may be a doctor or a lawyer, but he might also be mired in debt because he doesn’t manage money well or has thousands of dollars in student loans. And some of the most well-off men that I’ve dated in the past were also super stingy. Just because a man has money doesn’t mean he wants to spend it on you or will even offer to.
On the flip side, however, I’ve dated men who made very modest salaries but would give you their last dollar and the shirt off their back if you needed it. Men who hold powerful positions and make a lot of money may be impressive, but their titles and bank accounts won’t tell you if they’d ever cheat on you or be nice to your mother. Certain jobs can’t inform you on whether or not he’d be a good husband or father–only going on an actual date where you can ask questions and get to know him can do that. If you’re the type of woman who dismisses a man because he delivers your packages, then you might be missing out on a great guy.
As my girlfriends wrapped up their dating rant, I reminded them that the type of man they want to date or marry may not come wrapped up in an Armani suit and carry a briefcase. He might get dirty, work for a non-profit, deliver packages for FedEx or even open doors for a living. At the end of the day, I think we all would love to come home to a man that loves his line of work and finds fulfillment in it–one who knows and is serving his purpose in life. A person’s job may not tell you anything really meaningful when it comes to talking about love and life, so next time you exchange smiles with ‘the help’, accept his offer for a date. You might surprise yourself.
There’s a lot to be said about a person, or a couple who decides to walk away from the normal routine of engaging in sexual intimacy in relationships and decides to practice celibacy. With all of the temptations through song lyrics, movies, television, and of course the all mighty Internet it’s easy to fall prey to sexual temptations. A few years ago, I made the unconscious choice to practice celibacy. I say unconscious because I hadn’t been actively dating anyone, and I’ve never been the type to randomly sleep around so going without wasn’t an issue. I also had no real intentions of not having sex before marriage. Why would I? There was no real reason too, and honestly speaking I enjoyed having sex! So why on earth would I deliberately give it up (no pun intended)? As time passed I did some soul-searching and reflecting about my past relationships, and I realized that each of them failed miserably because they were built on physical attraction and satisfying my sexual needs. So, I made up in my mind that, that way of thinking was no longer good enough for me.
After taking a deep look into my heart, I made the conscious decision to delve into the journey of practicing celibacy. However, before things were set in stone I had to be sure that my reasons were not superficial, and that I would be a stronger person as a result of doing this. So I thoroughly reviewed everything that was in my head and on my heart about celibacy; things like how do I tell a guy I’m dating that he’s not getting any? When do I tell him? How will he react towards me? Will he still be interested in me? How will I survive my urges? And most importantly, can I have a viable relationship without having sex? Plus, I had to consider what it truly meant to practice celibacy and seriously think about everything I would be giving up: no oral sex, no masturbation (not that I did it anyway), no toys, foreplay, nothing! I couldn’t engage in or have any sexual pleasure of any kind.
Naturally I had second, third, and fourth thoughts about what I was about to do, but after much deliberation and prayer I finally came to the conclusion that this was the right thing for me to do. I also discovered that not only was this a good decision for me, but a good one for my future husband. Why? Let’s think about it, what man wants a wife whose vagina is that of a revolving door? Putting a lock on my treasures is the least thing I can do for my future spouse, right? I mean after all, I’m already not a pure virgin so I can at least be a born again virgin in his eyes. I’ll admit, while thinking about my reasons for making this commitment I got nervous, and I trembled almost to the point of tears because I was unsure of what I was truly getting into. Then I further thought, “What if no man is willing to accept my decision? Will I die without ever having sex again?” As much as these questions and other thoughts plagued my mind, I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do at this point in my life no matter how much it frightened me.
I know this won’t be an easy course, but I have to remain positive, and stay committed to the choice I made. Besides, who knows what will come of this journey…one things for sure, it won’t be me anytime soon.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For?, a motivational speaker, and an advocate for single women to live their best single lives God’s way. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
“If she ain’t Mrs. Doubtfire, don’t hire her.” is something I’ve said to my nanny clad friends for years. I never understood the science behind the idea of hiring an attractive woman to take care of your kids, your home, and spend extra time around your husband when you’re not around. While the purpose of a nanny is to lend a helping hand around the house, sometimes that help is extended a little too far and things happen. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck recently filed for divorce due to an alleged affair between Affleck and the nanny. Ben and the nanny took their work relationship a little too far and Jen was not aware. While this wasn’t their only marital issue, it seems that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Betrayal at its finest, an affair between the nanny and the husband is like a punch in the gut. Most wives are oblivious to the fact that their hired help is doubling as their competition. While an affair can happen with anyone at any time, there is an unspoken “HANDS OFF THE HUSBAND” that comes with being hired as a nanny. Whether the husband is initiating the encounters or not, there is an invisible line that should never be crossed.
One has to put herself in the nanny’s shoes. She is basically filling in where the wife falls short. A lot of men feel that women are supposed to be able to do it all. Work, housework, and taking care of the kids should be second nature to a woman. Reality is, we are human. We can’t do everything. The extra help should come in the form of teamwork from the husband but sometimes, their workload is heavy too. Extra attention is needed in a variety of areas and sometimes the marriage department is included. When people in any relationship feel neglected or that they need more attention, they will seek it elsewhere.
The nanny steps in and does her thing to help the household run smoothly. The wife is relieved to have some assistance and “falls back” a bit. If the wife is a working mom, the nanny ends up spending a lot of time with the husband and kids. The nanny finds herself taking the kids to soccer games, dance classes, and even doctor’s appointments. Simple events like this can create a situation where a possible connection between the nanny and the husband cannot be ignored. While providing extra attention is part of her job, the nanny is put in a shitty situation if there are marital “attention” issues going on. Her job could easily be translated into something more if a person is feeling neglected.
On the flip side, there are some nanny’s that see the wife’s lack of attention as an opportunity to snag a wealthy side slide. They purposely take on certain families and make themselves available to the husbands to reap the benefits. In these situations, the man is considered the victim because they were preyed upon by the nanny. Penis control is important and some men have none. There are some husbands who would check any kind of flirtatious behavior at the door. Then there are others who take those advances and feed their own ego. If they lack attention from their wife, they compensate with the attention from the nanny. They play right into their hands and get sucked in. Emotions are hard to control especially if there are existing issues.
In any case, a husband’s adulterous relationship with the nanny is an absolute disrespect. To have relations with a woman that was trusted to come into the home and help with the family is hard to overcome. Trusting a partner after any infidelity is tough to do. When the cheating happens right under someone’s nose in their home, that has to hurt 10 times more. There are situations where people have stayed together after a nanny romp while other women couldn’t run out the door fast enough. While these kinds of situations can’t be prevented, it is important to go over the expectations of the nanny before she is hired. If necessary, have that conversation with the husband present so that everyone understands what their role is. Include the husband in the interview and hire process. If you see he is paying more attention to the candidate’s looks than her abilities, she’s probably not the best person for the job. If all else fails, hire a Manny. Male nannies are becoming increasingly popular and seem to be an option for some. Problem with that is, women cheat too.
Think you’ve found Mr. Right Now? You might want to think again. We have 14 surprising reasons to think twice before choosing your next partner for a roll in the hay.
The dating game has definitely changed. Ideas for dates have become less and less thoughtful while dating, in general, has grown more complicated. You can thank all the various apps and websites for that.
Men are still buzzing about whether or not spending $200 for a date is too much, and women are wondering if someone who spends less, much less at that, is worth their time. In the place of such pricey outings, “Netflix and chill” has become the latest trending topic. It is code for “let’s hook up” while Netflix plays in the background. Picking you up in the evening, opening the door for you, and going somewhere nice dates have become somewhat antiquated. People are settling for late-night rendezvouses, Netflix, or “Can I come over and chill?” We settle for these things because of our basic need to be wanted, but more so because it’s convenient and requires less effort. We give all types of reasons as to why we can’t seem to make love work for us or take the time to build a relationship, including the classic excuse that “we’re too busy.” And by “busy” we most likely mean that we’re trying to build our careers, finish school, handle day-to-day responsibilities, or find different opportunities to make money. But are these legit reasons to settle for lazy dating relationships? What happened to the old-fashioned type of dating where you actually got to know someone, spent hours talking, planning dates, and letting time take you to the next level?
Some have chosen to live by the guidelines of cuffing season all year long. Find the right contenders, date them just long enough to keep yourself warm and entertained, but short enough to not have to spend loads of money, meet family and friends, and establish real feelings for one another. It’s easier to crash at someone’s place, order Chinese takeout and watch a movie on Netflix until you two fall asleep. It’s effortless. It’s easy to meet up for a nightcap and late night tryst between the sheets than to make dinner reservations, find a nice outfit and have a night out on the town.
The bar has been set extremely low. People are refusing to think outside the box and would rather get instant gratification as opposed to putting in the time and effort with someone. We’ve become a free generation that has taken the bull by the horns, and we’re creating the life we want. This includes the freedom to date multiple people and explore the social scene as we please. Some might even look at building real relationships as a distraction to their lifestyle. I mean, aside from laziness, wanting to get off real quick, and narrow-mindedness, there are some legitimate reasons as to why some would rather not place effort into dating. It’s usually because they are still trying to figure themselves out.
It is important to know what you want for yourself before you can articulate those expectations to someone else, and it makes no sense wasting someone else’s time and emotions if you can’t. Or your own. As a woman whose had the pleasure of growing up around long-lasting and stable relationships, I long to meet a man who believes I’m worth the time and effort. I pray for the day I meet someone who wants to wine and dine me and saves the “Netflix and chill” for a rainy day. Or at least until they’ve taken me out, learned the basics of me, and made a real effort.
Yesterday I received an e-vite to a sex toy party. I hadn’t attended one since I actually hosted one at my apartment several years ago. Because I was the host, I got to pick out several items as my gifts for giving up my space, time and inviting all my girlfriends who spent a grip on gadgets to pleasure themselves and their men…or women. So when I got this invitation I figured I could turn it down since I had already accumulated a treasure chest of goodies to turn to should I feel the need to “love” myself. That was until I wondered: “Where is my stash anyway?”
It’s been a while since I’ve needed to bust those babies out. When I started dating my now husband, sex toys were the last thing on my mind. Sex with him is amazing—to the point where I had packed all my toys up and put them in a box somewhere. I remember my husband finding them one day with this look on his face that read, “Really? This many?!” I explained to him the perks of being a host and that THAT was the reason why I had so many toys, when in fact, I probably would have bought all that stuff anyway. Hey, it was hard out here for a single woman in a drought who didn’t even have a cut buddy, let alone a man. Sometimes you just want to take the edge off and go to sleep. Don’t act like you’ve never had those same sentiments. It’s safe and you catch no feelings. Nothing was wrong with it, as far as I could tell.
Yet, somehow I got the feeling that he was jealous of my toys—even a bit offended that I still had them. I think he had thoughts of whether I was sneaking a buzz every now and then while we was at work or something, and even though I wasn’t, I didn’t think it should’ve been a big deal if I was. Now that I think of it, that was the last time I saw that box. Apparently, my lovely husband had gotten rid of my pleasure chest and kept it pushing.
Several of my girlfriends have stories similar to mine, explaining that their men were jealous or had a problem with them owning sex toys. They said their man felt threatened by the toys and that they should be the only “toy” their woman needed . And to an extent I agreed with that. I love and crave the physical intimacy and chemistry between two human beings. I love to feel the weight of a man on me. No toy can or could satisfy me in that way. Yet, there are some women who have confessed to me that they prefer their toy to their man. Ouch!
In some cases, a person can be great in every way but lack in the sex department. And for some, sex is everything. However, I have a friend who considers her man to be a total catch: sexy, smart, funny, driven, no kids, no drama. The only thing “wrong” with him is that his sex game isn’t as tight as she’d like it to be. Unlike the other men she’s dated, he doesn’t have a gazillion notches on his belt. Honestly, he probably hadn’t had a chance to perfect his long stroke while he was busy earning his doctorate degree and growing his business—the nerve of him! But to her that was no reason to give up on such a wonderful man, so she improvises and pleases herself when he’s not around, or she asks him to use her toys on her. And he has no problem with it. Sounds like a win-win situation.
But if you’re one of those women who is struggling with letting go of her toys or has a man who hates her special friend, you have to convince him that it’s just an aid, not a replacement of him. Tell him that no electronic device can take his place and invite him to join in on the fun with you. You can even take him toy shopping with you and choose one that you both would enjoy. Try one with a remote control where he gets to decide how far he’ll take you.
I can totally understand getting hooked on toys—men don’t vibrate and toys can get you there much faster than a man can most times. But a word of caution: Make sure you don’t get so dependent on using them that you forget how to have sex with an actual person. Sounds crazy but it can happen. Toys give you something different, but so does the connection you get skin-to-skin with another person. If you’re in a relationship and can’t give them up, make sure you’re using them to enhance your love life, not be your love life.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go RSVP to this pleasure party!
I enjoy being in a romantic relationship, but I hate dating. Dating, which to me is everything before a monogamous commitment, brings up all of my insecurities and control issues. I stress about everything I do and say, and how it will make me appear to the object of my affection. I’m convinced that I’ll be able to cleave him to my every will and am disappointed when, inevitably, that does not happen. And I obsess over every detail of early dates to figure out whether the man I’m seeing is marriage material or whether I should get rid of him and be alone. And dating while bipolar doesn’t make this any easier, leaving me prone to mood swings and deep depression when intense emotions are in play. But I’ve figured out a way to smooth out my rough dating edges so that I can act more like regular people. I’ve started cultivating more than one relationship at a time, what used to be called “playing the field” before the days of serial monogamy.
To be clear, I’m not using “playing the field” as a euphemism for “sleeping around.” I’m not really built for that, and I’ve found that having multiple sexual partners is detrimental to my mental well-being. But that’s a story for another time. Rather, playing the field for me means that I have more than one man in my life at a time, and each relationship provides me with a different emotional outlet. It’s my strategy to make dating while bipolar more like dating is for “regular” people. Right now, I count three men among my field of suitors and potential partners. First, there is the man I’ll call Richie.
A friend of a friend, Richie has been around for a couple of years. We’d hung out a bunch of times, always with other people, until one night we spent some time alone, and the mood shifted. You could probably call what we have a classic “friends with benefits” situation; we hang out and talk and have sex, but there’s no expectation of commitment. From a practical standpoint, it’s easy for me to manage this situation because while I like Richie, I know we’re not compatible when I think about things from a long-term standpoint.
Under ordinary circumstances, I’d probably become more connected to Richie than I should because he’s available to me, and because I’m one of those people who bonds through physical intimacy. Since I’m dating while bipolar, the situation also might trigger negative thoughts about my desirability as a mate. Or my willingness to settle for less than true love, and those feelings might manifest in some undesirable behavior. I still have those thoughts, but I counter them with positive self-talk and the help of Jerry, my long-distance flirtation with potential.
Jerry and I met on Facebook, and we frequently flirt online and have phone conversations that last for hours. My interactions with Jerry provide a distraction from any discomfort I have with Richie, and distractions are a valid therapeutic tool for negative emotions. Also, I actually like Jerry, and our conversations tend to move towards life issues and major topics like marriage and children. Unlike Richie, I see long-term potential with Jerry. If we lived in the same city, I’m pretty sure we’d be dating. But as it stands, Richie can give me the physical closeness that I won’t get from Jerry until we meet each other in the flesh and figure out what we’re doing. I used to feel tense and anxious about what would happen with Jerry, but having someone local to occupy my time is helpful in quelling those feelings.
The final man in my love interest trilogy is Joe, whom I met through an online dating site years ago. Joe is everything I’d like in a romantic partner, except for the fact that he’s a Republican, and I’m not. For that reason, we never went out. This year, I’ve seen him dozens of times at our local coffee shop, and we’ve started talking, exchanging contact info and chatting in person. He’s turned out to be more of a Moderate than a Conservative and I can respect that. Plus, he seemed intrigued when I mentioned that I’ve been writing about my mental illness, so perhaps there’s hope. Thankfully, I have some other prospects to keep me occupied and deter me from blowing up Joe’s Facebook with the dregs of my desperation. I’m going to play it cool, mock him for being a Republican in this presidential cycle and see how everything turns out.
Tracey Lloyd lives in Harlem, where she fights her cat for access to the keyboard. You can find more of her experiences living with bipolar disorder on her personal blog, My Polar Opposite.
How important is one’s outward appearance to you when it comes to the people you choose to date? Could you give someone who is legitimately struggling with their weight a chance?
There is one friend in my inner circle who everyone knows is single and looking for Mr. Right. Because we know this, we often try to set her up with the first cute or sane guy we see. Yes, I admit that I’m guilty of being one of those pseudo matchmakers. From the cute bartender at the lounge to the guy just chilling at the bar trying to enjoy a drink, my friends and I are quick to attempt to make a love connection happen. Yes, we need to do better.
But in the hopes of connecting her with someone we actually know and who has proven himself to be a pretty decent guy, my fiancé has tried to encourage my friend, *Ade, to give one particular guy a chance. He’s intelligent, has a good job and is very nice. The only problem is that Ade is not feeling him at all.
“He’s just not my type.”
Why? Because he’s a big guy. And when I say “big,” I don’t mean tall with a wide frame.
No. This guy is about 5’7″ and looks to be above 300-325 pounds. His weight is an issue at this point. Mainly because he has had (and still has) a few health problems that were brought on because of his obesity. One of the friends in my inner circle, a doctor, has even tried to sternly tell him to get it together. You know, tough love.
But this intelligent man with a good job and a nice personality is struggling to get the weight off, so all those great qualities and characteristics fail to shine through when you see him. This is the case for Ade. Despite his different attempts to get her to go on a date with him, she stalls. She won’t tell him why she can’t seem to make herself available, but she won’t outright shut him down either. He’s a good guy, so she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. Still, she’s not feeling him because she’s not physically attracted to him. At all. So try as he may, she won’t give him the time of day. This baffles our male friends, including my partner: “He’s a good dude! C’mon now. You have all this to say about the guys out here, but you won’t give my boy a chance! He would treat you right.” But it’s just not going to happen.
I can’t blame her. It’s easy to tell someone else that they should give a person a chance because you like them, but if the tables were turned, I know I would be dragging my feet too. While this guy is nice, it’s not as though his personality is so vibrant as to take precedence over his size. If it was, I honestly believe that Ade would budge and take him up on his offer to go out. But he’s soft-spoken and, at times, unassuming. Plus, you just can’t force chemistry that’s not there.
So no, I don’t think my friend is petty for failing to give this guy a chance because of his size. She’s not attracted to him, and it’s okay to have a preference when it comes to who you date–we all do. Besides, with this guy struggling with health issues because of his weight, I would say he has greater things to worry about than trying to get Ade to concede and go out with him…
But as always, that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is she petty for passing up on a good guy because he’s heavy? Or would you struggle to give him a chance too because of his weight?
The internet really is the gift that keeps on giving. It is where we are informed, entertained and in today’s case encouraged to question our convictions.
As I was scrolling down my Instagram timeline, I found this interesting Facebook post that Baller Alert had shared. Now, I don’t know if this woman is a real person or not; but it doesn’t matter, the discussion that followed this status update, is the takeaway.
See what she had to say below.
My first thought: Now, what part of the game is this? And I assumed that others would share a similar opinion. And most did. But there were a good handful of people who tended to agree with this woman. They thought that taking a woman away from her child, just so she can offer you some companionship for a night warranted a brotha coming up off some money for a sitter.
An interesting argument…except no woman should go on a date due to obligation. You go out with a man because you hope that you’ll have a good time with him. The expectation is that you’ll both benefit by being in each other’s company. In essence, he’s not paying for your time like an employer would an employee, he’s paying for the experience of sharing time with you. If you don’t want to go, a simple “no thank you” and not “Are you going to pay to take care of my kids?” will do.
While I appreciate men who pay for most dates, I also believe that the first ones should be relatively inexpensive. I’m talking coffee, walks in the park, drinks at the bar etc. You never know when the chemistry is going to be off. I’m not a man; but as a person who values money, I imagine that it would suck to find that not only do you not like the person you’ve made time for, but insult would be added to injury when you dropped $200 on a wack date. And now you want him to pay for childcare too? I don’t even like you?! And I’ve never met your kid.
The notion is ridiculous.
Your child is not a potential suitor’s responsibility, especially financially speaking. Again, there is no pressure to say yes to a man’s request to go out, so if you don’t think he’s worth the headache of getting a sitter, then decline.
A part of me feels like this was the woman’s real intention anyway. To dissuade that man in pursuing her further because she knew he would object to paying for a babysitter…because who does that?
Apparently, according to one of my co-workers, she’s heard of people who have done just that. They pay for a babysitter because the assumption is that services will be exchanged for that coin. I’m talking sex, for those who didn’t catch that.
But that sounds a helluva lot like prostitution, don’t it? I pay for your sitter, so you can bust it open? How romantic.
What I found particularly interesting was the mention of the father of homegirl’s child. She mentioned him as an attempt to brag about their shared standards. But actually, he just came off looking ridiculous as well.
Why in the world would you, as the father of the child who needs watching, be so quick to invite another man to pay for that? You want a stranger providing for your child? If she wanted to brag, she should have mentioned how the father of her child volunteered, with a quickness, to either watch their kid or at least come up off some money (maybe half) so she could find and pay for a quality sitter. After all, it’s his child who is in need. He wouldn’t be required to since a date is not an emergency, but it would be nice for a father to take this type of initiative.
Instead, he chose to rag another man for not taking responsibility for his child. And she cosigned that.
We’re living in some interesting times. While some of us women are out here fighting for equality, you have women who want men to do everything. He’s got to ask you out, pick you up, pay for dinner, take you home and now pay your a babysitter to watch a child he has no ties to, biological or otherwise. Cold world.
That’s just my opinion though. Do you believe a man should pay for a woman’s childcare if he plans on taking her out? Why or why not?