All Articles Tagged "relationships"
We all have that one person in our circle, that one family member, or that one acquaintance who just knows how to keep us in our past. They bring up old relationships, and it’s like making an old wound bleed again. But what happens when that one person is actually a large group of meddlesome people questioning you about your past experiences with the opposite sex?
Meagan Good’s love life has been a favorite topic of conversation ever since she decided to be with DeVon Franklin. Her decision to forgo sex and date a man of the cloth left many wondering what that would mean for the image she was branded with as a sex symbol. Some even feared that it would tarnish his image as a preacher. However, these past couple of years have been a significant time of transition for Good, especially in the public eye. She has successfully made the transformation from a sex symbol to a preacher’s wife and with her inspiring marriage to Franklin, they have catapulted their celebrity status into a platform to spread a message on the importance of waiting until marriage to be intimate. The month of February has been an extremely lucrative one for the couple with the release of their book The Wait, and with the promotion of the book came loads of guest appearances on radio shows and television talk shows.
In a sex-driven society where it’s pretty much flaunted everywhere, there’s a sense of shock and interest that comes from the couple sharing their struggles and the journey that’s led up to their success. On countless radio shows and television interviews, the pair talked about celibacy, their sexual relationship, and past relationships. In a few of these interviews with both Good and Franklin, she was asked a series of questions about the men she dealt with in her past. Nothing about what she learned from those situations, but rather, inquiring minds wanted to know about which famous men she bedded. People wanted to know if rumors were true that she had slept with certain men, and the line of questions left me wondering, should people have to answer for their sexual past when they’ve already moved on to someone new?
I thought that it was distasteful for others to expect such an explanation from her, especially to inquire about her sexual past as her husband sat right next to her. Your past is your past for a reason, and once you’ve made the decision to close certain chapters of your life and move forward, there’s no need to revisit them. If you and your partner have a clear understanding of each other and are accepting, then that’s all that matters.
With that being said, I think it is important to have conversations with your partner about your past. Discussing your past relationships with them can help you identify problematic patterns, it can give them insight into who you are and how you love, it encourages trust and open communication, and can help you really get closure as you take the next steps in your relationship with your current companion. These conversations are only important and necessary with your partner, not everyone else. Therefore, I thought that it was pointless for Good to even try to formulate a response to those types of questions. The woman has moved on, and created and worked for a life that makes her happy. So if you ask me, the past is now irrelevant–and none of your business.
In a perfect world, everyone would feel comfortable enough to ask for what they want from the first time they hop in the sack with someone. But the “everything you’re doing wrong” conversation can be a tough one to have when you haven’t been dating that long. What’s much easier? Asking him to have a seat in the “bad at sex” section of your phone book and never calling him again.
But if you do meet a guy who you’re willing to go over some hurdles with, it doesn’t have to be “awkward conversation” or “no more conversation at all.” Try these ways to improve common performance flaws without pointing the finger at where he’s falling short. Just a few of these ego-sparing tips may be just what you need to keep things as passionate in the bedroom as they are everywhere else.
Have any more tips and tricks to make him better in bed while sparing his feelings? Let us know in the comment section!
I’ve always been the “I need some space from you” type of person. Whenever I feel like someone is bringing a wave of negativity into my life, I distance myself from them.
Until they call.
And then I pick up and I’m back to dealing with them and doing my best not to let their moods and behaviors affect me. I don’t know what it is, but I struggle with the idea of giving people the boot from my life completely. Like, look you dead in the face when I see you and say nothing extraction. Or when you ask why you haven’t heard from me, I say, “You know why” and walk away type of elimination.
But it seems like something a lot of people are doing, or, at least, pretending they’re doing more and more these days. Whether it’s someone telling folks to cut off their shi–y boyfriends at the drop of a dime, individuals cutting off toxic cousins, or the pastor telling my congregation that we need to cut some folks loose in order to be our best selves, the answer to questions of how to deal with people who consistently disappoint us or do us wrong nowadays is to be rid of them altogether.
In church on Sunday, I was reminded that cutting people off will help one learn how to live lightly, because in a sermon about how to be a more positive person, my pastor declared that “Positive people always avoid negative people.”
And yet, in my efforts to avoid confrontation and not hurt people’s feelings, I still maintain association with individuals I’ve known for years I can’t really stand to be around. Former friends. We hang out occasionally and therefore, I don’t cut them off completely. You know, they’re the “doses” type of people. They can be quite the pain, but because I only have to encounter them but every once in a while, I play nice.
Don’t get me wrong, though. When someone is trying to bring me down, I will do what I need to. Like with the ex-boyfriend who disrespected me in public in college and didn’t hear from me for almost a year–when he tried to hit me up on Facebook asking to be friends again. I politely said we needed to move on with our lives and do so in separate directions. But, you see? I couldn’t even avoid sending a response!
And then there was the girl who was my ride-or-die friend freshman year of college who spread a lie about me and tried to make a move on my boyfriend. I vowed to never speak to her again. That, I was successful with.
But that’s about it. Blame it on my preoccupation with trying to forgive most people and be civil. Something about making a concentrated effort to avoid a person for the rest of my life seems like too much work. So aside from my ex, homegirl from college, and my former BFF (who cut me off first), I’ve tried to put on a smile and be somewhat cordial, even around people who do the waltz on my last nerve.
But, again, based on stories I’ve written on this site and read dealing with friendships, romantic relationships, and familial relationships, more and more people are saying they don’t have time for the shenanigans and will cut off anyone who can’t get it together. Even their own parents and siblings.
So, I do wonder, for you “It ain’t nothing to cut that b—h off” folks, when is it necessary to remove someone from your life completely? And I’m not talking about, I stopped talking to him/her for a little while and then we worked things out years later. I’m talking about I decided I don’t want to hear from or see you again because you’re toxic to my existence.
How do you go about it? Do you tell them you’re done or do you just stop responding to their calls and messages? Do you delete them from your phone?
And what do you do when you see these people in public? If they’re family, how do you deal when you encounter the relative that you’ve cast off of your island?
I’m intrigued by this (Cleary. I wrote a post about it.). So, please, do share your experiences.
After so many years of getting it wrong with so many people concerning dating, I decided to take myself off of the market and really focus on preparing for the life that I wanted. I had to get myself in order career wise, I had to patch up some holes in my finances, and I needed to finish up a couple of manuscripts I’d been sitting on for over a year. More than anything, I needed to allow myself time to heal from all of the emotional and mental exhaustion I had put myself through by dealing with men who had no intention of taking me seriously. I realized that even in the midst of all the partying I did, the good times, the flings, the tequila and the late nights and early mornings, I was lonely. And despite wanting to date seriously and work towards a sincere commitment with someone, I wasn’t even prepared. So with a boatload of lessons learned, I locked myself in a cave of personal development and that’s where he found me.
He laid it all out on the table for me and rather than seeing me as this sexual, free-spirited, wild child, he saw me in my purest form. I hadn’t realized how much of my self-worth was based on how big of a social life I had, how many friends I made, and having a calendar with every weekend booked to be somewhere clubbing it up. It was a front to my loneliness. So when he told me he wanted to work towards a marriage, I panicked a little because I didn’t even know how to be a girlfriend despite the fact I believed I had a lot of love to give. I panicked even more when he said that he was holding off on having sex in relationships.
It wasn’t a big deal to me at first because since I had taken a break from dating prior to meeting him, sex had also come to a halt. But in reality, it was a big deal because I had gotten used to sex being an expectation when you’re in a relationship. I was a bit hesitant at his suggestion that we wait, but then something ironic happened. I got an email for a free course offered on Essence.com called “The Wait 101: Discovering Lasting Love Through Celibacy.” I thought why not? The short course is facilitated by married couple DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good, and they take you through a series of short videos and surveys and quizzes to help you reflect on your dating patterns and to help prepare yourself for such a covenant. In such a short period of time, I’ve discovered some very helpful gems. Some might seem elementary, but I realized that the older we get the harder it is to go back to the basics.
We live in a society chock-full of the quick and easy. We want quick meals, quick weight loss results, quick education. We want to alleviate the amount of effort we have to put into things. We want to get paid more money to do less work. You get the point. But with quick meals, you’ll be hungry again sooner; with quick weight loss results, you’ll find yourself struggling to keep it off because you don’t know how to properly maintain. With quick education, you’re only brushing the surface and risk missing out on important details. Such is the case when it comes to building a relationship with someone.
We want the reward first as an incentive to do the work later. I used to be that way. Sex was instant gratification, but it’s no foundation to build a relationship upon. I couldn’t understand why people would want or should deny their natural desires. However, I soon realized that I was often left wondering why guys didn’t want a relationship with me, but wanted the fun that came with being with me. Meagan Good talked about how waiting weeds out what’s not supposed to be so that you can focus on what is meant to be a lot faster. A lot of the damage that we experience emotionally and that we’re still trying to recover from is often rooted in sex or hasty relationships with someone who wasn’t meant for us. Franklin also suggests waiting because rather than spending weeks, months and sometimes even years with someone who wasn’t meant for you, you’ll be able to see them clearly for who they are sooner.
Getting Below the Surface
“Do I love you? Do I lust for you?” Those are just the beginning lines of “Bonita Applebum,” but these are questions we can find answers to faster when remaining celibate while dating. It allows you the clarity to make better decisions not just with your partner, but in your individual life as well. There’s so much more beneath the surface of a person and by choosing to wait you’ll gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your partner. You’ll be able to fully understand and experience the entirety of love without uncertainty. You’ll figure out if you even like this person and vice versa without the haziness of a sexual relationship. Franklin talks about how so much of men’s values are tied up in their sexual lives and that when you’re in a relationship, with it comes an unspoken expectation that you’re supposed to have sex.
Mind Over Matter
Temptation is all around us. It’s in the music we listen to, it’s in the shows we watch, it’s in those romance novels we lose ourselves, in and there’s literally no escaping it. Choosing to wait is more than just an action, it’s also a mindset, and Franklin and Good both shared some tools on having the mind to wait that I’ve tried to put into practice:
- Pray about it.
- Find a support system. Even though the two of you have each other, it’s great to have a support system of the same sex who can identify with the struggles of being a man or woman in waiting.
- Cut off toxic friends and change your scenery. Most of my friends are as artsy as I am, but nights out with them often ended in sexually-charged nightclubs, throwing back shots of Brandy, grinding and inhaling massive amounts of hookah. I love them dearly, but I knew that couldn’t be my scene much longer.
- Create a statement of purpose and share it with your partner. As a writer and educator, I have a million things going on in my day and if I don’t write them down and have a tangible reminder, I’m liable to forget. So during this process, when things get tough and you find yourself on the verge of slipping, having that physical reminder will help you remember why you started.
Woman In Waiting
It was very interesting to hear Meagan share her journey of living in the limelight and being labeled a sex symbol to embarking on this journey. Often times, when we find ourselves in a web of sex and partying, there’s guilt that we leave with. Even though it’s fun in that moment, the guilt is there followed by feelings of unworthiness. She expressed that your self-worth is your power and the way in which you control your life. Rather than making it a goal to find a man, set goals for yourself. Figure out what makes you excited and find your passion. Develop discipline by starting a fitness routine, learn financial responsibility, pray and meditate, serve your community and just be your best self. He will find you. And no, that doesn’t mean if you don’t do all these things he won’t find you. And there’s a chance that yes, you might even find him.
Standards Of Dating While Waiting
It is important to set some boundaries when dating while waiting. Set your intentions from the beginning, evaluate them constantly and tap into your discernment. Franklin explained that by waiting, we are giving people time to show themselves and to figure out if they are really prepared to share in this experience with you. Learn their dating patterns, their dating past, identify any negative patterns, and learn their type. REMEMBER, you have the power to choose exactly what you want and if they aren’t it, then feel free to walk away.
Plan double dates or group outings with friends. This allows each of you to see each other in different elements and you can observe how they interact with their friends and your own. It is important to control your environment and lessen the amount of alone time in intimate places.
Overall, I loved the course because it gave me the clarity and confirmation that I needed. I love how the program is for those who are single, those who are dating, and also for those who are married and looking for a fresh perspective. I think that even if you aren’t planning on being celibate and have no desire to do so, it will still give you tips on developing a healthy relationship with anyone, period. As I said, some of these things seem a bit elementary while reading, but when you’re in a relationship, you find that it’s not as simple to communicate your feelings, it’s not as simple to reach a common ground on things you don’t agree on, it’s not as simple to abstain, and it’s not as simple to plan a life together. But Franklin and Good are great examples that if someone wants a future with you, they are going to be open and committed to sharing these experiences and walk alongside you.
The other day I was scrolling through “Facebook Memories,” you know the app that curates your posts and statuses from today’s date in years past. It’s easily one of the best features on the site. Everything I was seeing made me smile and reminisce, until I stumbled across something that induced a cringe.
It was a status where I tagged or mentioned my former boo thang. I cringed mostly because I didn’t talk about our relationship publicly. Mostly because it was so loosely defined for us that I didn’t feel comfortable putting it out there for the people, knowing that there would be questions, comments and prying dips into our business. Plus, when you break up to make up and then break up again, it’s hard to keep a consistent posting schedule that wouldn’t indicate that there are problems in paradise. So, I was scared. The last thing I want in life is to look like a fool, on social media or in real life.
But on this day, years ago, after homeboy put in a bit of a request for a shoutout, I wrote a Facebook status including his name. It was years ago, but thanks to memories, it popped right back up, making me cringe.
I think it was with this failed relationship in mind that I was so hesitant to put my new, current, infinitely more stable one on social media. I didn’t want questions. I didn’t want to cringe if it didn’t work out. And I didn’t want to look like a fool. I had never readily admitted these things to myself. It was just a feeling, a sense that I had, that I may or may not have been able to articulate if asked.
Little did I know, my mother would be the one to do just that.
I texted her a picture of my boyfriend and I and she was so inspired that, without my permission, she posted it on her Facebook page. She was dead wrong. After I had my sister log into her account to delete it, I told her how wrong she was, that it wasn’t her place to do that. She wasn’t trying to hear me.
“Girl, get off my phone talking crazy.”
“Moooom,” I pleaded, “I haven’t even posted a picture of us yet.”
And then she asked me a very simple question that caused me to examine myself.
“Why haven’t you?”
That’s when I realized that while I absolutely didn’t want my mom to be posting my business, there was really no legitimate reason why I hadn’t. Different dude, different relationship. No reason to be hesitant.
But I can’t lie. A part of me remembered cousins and associates who had put entirely too much of their relationship business on social media early, only to find that the relationship fizzled. And what were once happy, optimistic, romantic, “my boo is better than your boo” statuses turned into embittered, single and salty, messy breakup posts.
I thought of Ciara posting her N for Nayvadius tattoo and calling him her king. And especially her interview with Brides magazine. And we all know how that turned out. It was embarrassing. We were embarrassed for her.
Then again, I’m sure Ciara felt sure about her relationship. Particularly after Future proposed to her…and got her pregnant, whichever came first.
So, much like relationships themselves, it’s a gamble either way. You do it…or don’t do it and hope for the best.
When you feel comfortable sharing your relationship on social media?
(As told to Veronica Wells)
Our breakup was so 21st century. It didn’t happen over the telephone but instead, over Skype. And after five years and a couple of “breaks” before, the brief speech he delivered, after a full two hours of conversation, just left me feeling numb. I did everything short of shrug. I simply said “Ok Kenneth.”
He, at times shockingly honest, said, “I thought you would be more…hurt by all of this.”
I told him I was too tired to be hurt. We said goodbye and closed my computer screen.
A month later, I saw that he had a new girlfriend. Obviously a pretty serious one as she was spending the holidays with his family. A family I had come to know and love over the years. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there was some overlap. But like I said, I was just over it. There was no need to confront, get upset or rehash. What was done was done. And that’s exactly what we were. He just might not have been completely honest about the reasons why.
Anyway, by the time the spring rolled around Kenneth was reaching out to me via e-mail. He wanted to provide clarification. He said if I had any questions about the reasons why and how our relationship ended, he would be happy to answer them. I told him I didn’t have any questions. The reasons really didn’t matter. In my heart and in my mind I knew that there was overlap or at least inappropriate conversations and flirtation before our relationship was officially over. So I didn’t need his confirmation. I told him I wished him the best and even suggested that, out of respect for his new girlfriend, he stop talking to me. He said he had a conversation with new boo. There was an understanding that I would always be in his life, as a friend.
I thought, “I know you lyin!”
I typed: “That’s very selfish of you Kenneth. There’s a good chance that she, as your new girlfriend, doesn’t feel comfortable with you talking to your old one. And if you care about her, you shouldn’t want her to feel uncomfortable and insecure. We’ll always love each other but we don’t have to communicate anymore.”
And for a full year that did enough to keep him away. After that though, he did reach out to my family members, to tell them how much they’d meant in his life. It was heartfelt and sincere and my family appreciated it. A few weeks after that, he sent me a message saying much of the same. He also apologized for the way he handled things. Not explaining what those things were.
I accepted the apology.
A few months after that I learned that he and new boo were engaged.
My sister saw the news first and was worried about telling me, thinking I was going to have some type of breakdown about my loss love. I told her no. Everything was good. I was happy for him even and I hoped he could be better to her than he was to me.
In fact, I was so happy about the changes he’d made in several areas of his life that I felt compelled to tell him that I was proud of him. I checked with his mother first to make sure it was ok and then I sent him an e-mail telling him so. And that was it.
The two got married this past November and just last week, I got another message from Kenneth. He was reaching out to apologize again. He told me that had a dream about me and took that as a sign that he needed to reach out and apologize…again.
I thanked him again and told him that I’d already forgiven him and I wished him the best…again.
I ran all of this by my family members and my sister seems to think that he’s still apologizing, even now that he’s married, because he’s still holding on to some residual guilt. My brother seems to believe that he’s not entirely over me and is looking for any excuse to contact me. I don’t necessarily believe that’s the case. I would hope not. Plus, I think he’s happy with his wife.
Personally, I feel sorry for him that he can’t forgive himself. I think that it is an admirable quality to apologize when you do someone wrong as opposed to going on about your life. It shows growth. I just want him to forgive himself and let it be a lesson learned honestly.
He knows he didn’t behave as well as he should have. And even though he’s moved on in virtually every area of his life, the guilt is still plaguing him. If that’s not a cautionary tale, for men and women, to treat people properly, even in the midst of a breakup, I don’t know what is.
The official trailer for romantic comedy The Perfect Match is here, and from the looks of the two-minute trailer, it’s a must-see.
Produced by Queen Latifah, the film stars Terrence J, who recently left his E! News co-anchor position to focus on acting and producing, and singer/model Cassie as leads.
As the title hints, the film is based on the life of a bachelor named Charlie (played by Terrence J) who whole-heatedly believes that love and relationships are dead. Even after his sister (played by Paula Patton) tries to encourage him to find the one and settle down, it’s the last thing on his mind. Finally, after playing his player card for years on end, Charlie takes on a bet with his friends that he can find one woman and date for an entire month without falling in love.
Charlie then meets Eva (played by Cassie), and what he expected to be an easy and painless relationship, brings more than what he anticipated.
Amongst the film’s leads is a star-studded line up of cameos featuring Lauren London, Brandy, French Montana, Donald Faison, Dascha Polanco, Robin Givens and more.
A 31-year-old wife and mom is seeking advice because it seems that she and her husband of 7 years can’t see eye-to-eye. The woman, who we’ll call “Jackie,” is not unhappy with how her body has changed since she gave birth to her children and would like to have a breast augmentation and tummy tuck. However, her husband is against plastic surgery and is trying to discourage her from having the procedures done. Jackie explained in a Reddit post that she’s pretty healthy and has even lost all of the baby weight, but she believes that she won’t feel better about herself until she gets a little nip and a little tuck. Jackie explains:
Here’s the thing: I eat well, I am very active, and I gained less than 20 lbs including baby and all. I had my kids in my 30s and my body did not bounce back.. period. I have a flappy skin apron. I could not breastfeed for more than three months with either child, yet my breasts took the hit anyway. So I’ve got nipples that point down, too. I’m talking deflated balloon here.
That being said, my husband does believe in pornography where he enjoys the bodies of women that have clearly had some of the procedures I want. I want more attention from him than I get, and I want to feel good when I have it, rather than thinking about how I can feel my skin touching my other skin that never used to touch…
My pants ride down until my belly flap is visible beneath (or just the silhouette) my shirt. There is no “sexy underwear” for this very reason. I am unwilling to take my bra off during sex, which he complains about. I know surgery comes with scars, but I would take that and a tighter feel than what I’ve got.
I have a good job, hubby has a good job, and we don’t have a lot of debt. I went behind his back for a consultation and for what I want, I expect to pay about 7-10k. We gross more than that in a month. I don’t know how to get across to him that I am ashamed of my body now (yeah, yeah, earned her stripes, I know) and if he wants to have sex with the lights on ever again, we’ve got to do something about the state of the union over here.
His issues: He doesn’t want to spend the money. He thinks that once I have a procedure, there will be no end to procedures I want. Part of me also thinks that he will feel the need to make self-improvements too if I do, and he doesn’t want to have to deal with that.
My issues: I don’t enjoy sex anymore, and even just his touch is enough to make me feel ashamed rather than aroused. His “I love yous” and “I want yous” aren’t enough to make me feel, at 31, that I need to give up my dream of feeling beautiful. I love my kids and my body for what it has given me, but I feel used up and tossed aside. I have wants too.
What should she do?
Every woman, if she’s being completely honest, has the potential to be a jealous girlfriend. It’s just that for most of us, like the Hulk’s super powers, it just takes the right situation to bring it out of us.
Usually, that situation is a man who has proven that he can’t really be trusted, an ex who underestimated your truth-detecting abilities, or seriously suspicious social media activity that you know is shady–because you asked three of your best girlfriends.
If you’ve ever felt like a jealous girlfriend, been called a jealous girlfriend, or put the badge on yourself, join the club. And then join us while we laugh at these hilarious moments that every occasional or consistently jealous girlfriend can identify with.
These Kinds of Questions
That sounded like perfectly valid question at the time, but now you see how you could sound just a little crazy. But that’s still no reason not to bring him lunch to work from time to time.
The clapback heard around the world was Lisa Wu stepping out at her birthday celebration with Big Tigger on her arm. Miss Wu and Tigger have been friends for a long time, according to reports. However, the irony is that the two were photographed together just days after news broke that Tigger’s very recent ex-girlfriend, Keshia Knight-Pulliam, both secretly and swiftly married Miss Wu’s ex-husband, Ed Hartwell. Taking their friendship into consideration, there’s a good chance that the DJ would have been invited to Wu’s celebration whether Pulliam married Hartwell or not; however, we must admit that their timing was impeccable. And it’s likely that these two were hamming it up for the cameras simply because they could.
Although Tigger offered the new Mrs. Hartwell well wishes in her new marriage, we imagine that just like anyone who learned that their ex raced to the altar and married the next random she met, he felt some kind of way.
Whether intentional or not, Lisa and Tigger’s photo opp received mixed reviews. Some found it to be hilarious and praised the duo. Others pointed out the irony (read: pettiness) of it all. And then there were those who were apparently living vicariously through Tigger and the former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star. There was a similar response to the interesting relationship that appears to be blossoming between Blac Chyna and Robert Kardashian. As you may recall, Chyna’s ex reportedly ditched her for Rob’s little sister, Kylie Jenner. Chyna is an former friend of Rob’s sister, Kim Kardashian, and clearly, they don’t have the best relationship.
I won’t lie, I got a little bit of a chuckle from both of these situations. But all jokes aside, I’m wondering if there are folks who are really out here hatching revenge plots on their exes. I’ve always felt that the best “revenge” you can get on a former partner who did you wrong is to leave like a lady and live well. Taking subtle (or not-so-subtle) jabs to get points in the petty department only makes it look like you’re still holding on. It gives your ex the impression that they still have some sort of power over you. And perhaps, in a way, they do.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on getting back at an ex? Is it ever worth it?