All Articles Tagged "relationships"
When love is new, it leaves you saying “my bad” a lot to friends and family who feel left hanging. All of those hormones that leave you dangerously in love are great for your heart and your new relationship. But they’re terrible for everything else.
During those first few crazy months, we are not ourselves. We neglect our friends, don’t have time to call our family members like we said we would, and spend a good deal of time in the bedroom under the covers. Sometimes love even makes you get on your own nerves.
But most of us are guilty of getting a little lax, so there’s no need to feel too bad about it. Just politely ask your loved ones for a pass on these behaviors brought upon by a new relationship and promise to pay it forward the next time someone else loses their mind over a wonderful new love.
No woman is the same. Some of us had our first kiss in kindergarten; others didn’t have their first kiss until they were getting their pigtails pulled. Many girls developed in middle school and a few were almost on their way to college before finally seeing substantial changes.
Things happen for women at different speeds, and when it comes to relationships, things are no different. Whether it’s because we take more time to find the one or could care less about where he may be hiding, we are all on a different timetable.
Women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And thank goodness that in this beautiful world, not all of us are created equal. And some of us are created to stay single longer than others (and sometimes, for the long term).
Women Who Refuse to Settle
You know what you’re looking for in love (and in life and your career), and you refuse to waste your time with anyone who doesn’t live up to your standards.
Are you good with money? Are you sure? Because there’s a new study that suggests that most of us are not as good with money as we think — especially when we’re in love.
When you’re single, counting coupons, signing up for deals, and cooking at home might be part of your savings strategy. But as it turns out, when most of us fall in love, our wallets get just as overwhelmed as our hearts. And the strangest part? Most of us don’t even realize it.
Check out these ways love makes you bad with money to see the ways we all get fiscally funny when it comes to matters of the heart. The real question? Will this make us change our spending habits? (Um…probably not.)
Between the appetizers, drinks and main courses, men and women drop major coins in an attempt to wine and dine prospective partners. And don’t forget about dessert.
Behind closed doors, women whisper to each other about intuition. We say that we have the power to feel the molecules change in a room, and we know when our children are somewhere they shouldn’t be. Our hearts have ears attuned to the dishonesties of silence. This intuition, which I believe rises from somewhere ancient and divine, keeps us safe. Maybe it’s our direct communication with God.
The problem is, however, we misuse it.
Abusing our intuition manifests in two ways. First, we sometimes ignore the still small voice that beckons us toward something better. Secondly, and more often overlooked, we mistake our personal fears and biases as intuition. We use our judgments about things we don’t understand and pretend our “gut” told us to steer clear.
When talking to my best friend over drinks, she confessed feeling a deep level of calm at the pace of her new relationship. She was going super slow, but her new boyfriend worried that she was holding back. The thing was, he wasn’t exactly a new man in her life. She was in a new relationship with an old lover.
“I don’t know if I’m being guarded or trusting my gut,” she says. “I hope I’m not closed off to love.”
The friend in me wanted to shake her. I wanted to tell her that she needed to trust herself. I knew their history, and I wanted to tell her that her pacing was fine, but deep down inside, I realized that I had my own questions about my intuition. In an effort to be a bit wiser than I was the day before, I find myself slower to act, and I frequently wonder if my discretion is good sense or if I’m not open to new possibilities. I couldn’t give her advice that I couldn’t stand behind, so I just listened. But I was left wondering, how can we tell the difference between our intuition and our caution? It’s an ongoing experiment for me, but here are a few ways I try to keep myself honest:
I journal. A friend of mine is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for many years. When rereading his old journals, he discovered that he’d written that he was an alcoholic almost a year before he found himself in recovery. “My journal was the only place I could be honest,” he’d said. I find this is true for myself as well. Our minds are so chaotic that honest thoughts get mixed in with the noise. If we can find ways to get our thoughts out, we’re more able to see the difference.
I ask friends to listen. Sometimes, when I’m confused, I ask a friend to listen to me and repeat back what she’s hearing. Now, this doesn’t mean your friend is going to give you advice or tell you what she would do. That’s not what you need. He or she is simply meant to listen to you while you rant, and then report back what they’ve heard you say. Often, our words in someone else’s mouth can bring us clarity. “Oh sh*t,” we think as our friends tell us what they’ve heard. “Did I really say that?”
I pray on it. I’m not an overwhelmingly religious person, but I cannot think of a single time when I’ve asked God for guidance and didn’t receive some insight. I am able to live more openly than most because I truly believe that life won’t let me go too far down a path that is ultimately not for me. Granted, this is a two-way street. I try to live my life righteously and do the best for everyone I meet, but ultimately, I can live a little more openly because I know that I don’t walk through this life alone.
Only my friend knows if she’s holding back out of fear or intuition, but when I find myself holding back in the name of emotional danger, I like to remember that I am the descendant of those who survived. I come from a lineage of strong and powerful people, and carry the genes of the strongest of the strong. So often, our caution does a disservice to this strength. We protect ourselves as if we’re more fragile than we are. In the end, only you can decide when something is safe, but my hope is that we can all get closer to our intuition and further away from guardedness so we can love and live more freely every day.
Patia Braithwaite is a New York City-based relationship writer. You can follow her ridiculous tales of love, life, and travel on her personal blog, Men, Myself, and God. She also tweets and ‘grams whenever the mood strikes her @pdotbrathw8.
Keith Sweat said it best: “There’s a right and a wrong way to love somebody.” But when disagreements arise and things get sour, do you find yourself in a screaming match, throwing shots at each other only to leave things just as angry as you were when the argument began, if not more? Do you keep fighting about the same subject over and over again just to leave things unresolved yet again? I mean, you both said what you needed to say, got everything off of your chest, but why has nothing changed? As James Baldwin said, “How much time do you need for your progress?”
What if I told you there was a proper way to argue that didn’t require the both of you to sit on a colorless couch in a therapist’s office? What if there was a way you could still get your point across without raising your blood pressure? Arguing doesn’t always have to result in awkward silence and cold tension. It can bring you closer and increase intimacy in your relationship–when done right.
Choose Your Words Wisely
Temporary words can have a lasting effect on someone even if you decide to apologize later. Be respectful to one another and remember that the point of arguing is to address a disagreement. Therefore, the things that are said should be constructive, not destructive to the other person’s emotional, physical and mental state. Be mindful of what comes out of your mouth. Intimacy is about being empathetic to your partner. You can say what you need to say while still keeping in mind the thoughts and feelings of the other person.
Open Up Your Mind
You’re having a disagreement with your partner and your primary objective is to get your partner to see your point. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when you get to a place where you’re pushing your thoughts while being shut off to the views of the other person, it becomes a problem and does the opposite of creating an open and safe space for communication. Intimacy is about closeness. When you aren’t open to hearing your partner, you create distance. You set the tone for that person to not be able to express themselves without feeling attacked. The main goal you want to achieve is to close out an argument or disagreement feeling like you’ve accomplished something and have tightened the bond between you and your significant other and increased understanding.
Stay On Point
Of course, you love them, but you didn’t like something in particular that they did. You have different views on an important issue that’s affecting the both of you but during your venting session you resort to attacking them, attacking their character and addressing things irrelevant to the matter at hand. It’s no wonder you keep having the same arguments repeatedly. When you do that, nothing gets solved. Stay on topic.
For most, this is a challenge that requires some stretching, but to forgive is growth. Discussing, solving and then forgiving is hitting reset and refreshing your relationship. It’s saying from this point on we are wiping the slate clean again and continuing on our walk with a new purpose and a fresh perspective.
Kiss And Make Up
After an argument, you can tell if the issue has been resolved or not. You can just feel it. If you walk away with the same uneasy feelings, chances are nothing got resolved and it’s still planted deep and fresh in your mind, but with time you convinced yourself that you would get over it. Honestly, you won’t. It’s just been tucked away only to surface at a later date when triggered. When you and bae have been fussing and you can walk away smiling, touching and you feel the endorphins because you feel like you’ve finally gotten over a hump, that’s how you know it was an effective argument. Kissing and making up will be effortless and you’ll want to be close to your partner.
Arguing with your companion doesn’t have to be a screaming match, and it doesn’t mean that your entire relationship is in jeopardy and that this is the end. It could, in fact, be a cry for more intimacy and understanding in your relationship. That’s why making it count and being effective utilizing your conflict resolution skills is important.
First impressions are everything. And whether we meet him on Tinder or at a work conference, we all have big expectations on a first date. After all, you could be meeting the man of your dreams, or at least your next main cuffing season squeeze.
So when it comes to first date high hopes, these are the signs we’re all looking for to let us know that he has potential. They’re what we’re all hoping happens between appetizers and dessert — and it’s hard to imagine scheduling a second date without them.
Do you have first date moves that you always look out for? Let us know what they are in the comment section and what you do when they just aren’t there. Would you give a man missing these qualities a second chance with another date? Or do you have a zero-tolerance policy when he doesn’t display your list of first-date musts?
I’m heading out for drinks with my cousin when she turns to her man and says, “If he gets out of hand, go ahead and spank him.” She’s referring to her four-year-old son. I’m a little surprised because she’s been dating this guy less than a year. When I ask her if she thinks it’s a good idea to let him spank her kid she doesn’t see the problem.
“If I’m gone, my son needs to know that he’s got to listen or he’s going to get popped,” she says, a little defensively.
I leave it alone. But later, I’m definitely thinking about it.
On one hand, I see what she means. It’s kinda old school in the sense that people used to take responsibility for other people’s kids. Family members had the right to pop you if they saw you getting out of hand, and even neighbors could snatch you up, and drag you home to mama. Teachers had, and in many places still do, have the right to take physical action. Corporal punishment is alive and well, especially in the South. Let’s face it, not everyone was mad when the Spring Valley High police officer flung the young female student to the ground last year. “Kids today have a problem with authority,” they say.
But the flip side of that is you’re putting a lot of trust in a person, in this case, a boyfriend. How long have you known him? Does he have a temper? What’s his experience with kids? And what if you break up and get a new man, is he going to be able to hit him too? Sadly, it doesn’t always end well. Tragic stories surface everyday about boyfriends who injure, and sometimes kill, a woman’s kid. Men can have a heavy hand, and when it’s not their child, they may lack patience or feel they have to over compensate to show that they have the upper hand. Kids are quick to scream, “I don’t have to listen to you; you’re not my daddy!”
So what’s an acceptable way to discipline that won’t create bigger problems?
I call up Dr. Jane Fort, one of my go-to psychologists, to see what advice she may have because I want to make sure my cousin is doing the right thing.
She says, “The real question is what is being communicated to the child in a spanking no matter who does it?
Let me first start off by saying this isn’t the 1950s. If a woman wants to stay at home and raise her children, it’s because she chooses to do so. But more and more women are out here running things. According to an article in Fortune magazine, a new report finds that the number of women-owned firms grew 1.5 times the national average, and Black women blow that number away. According to an article published by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Black women hold a significant edge over Black men in almost every facet of higher education. Black women currently earn about two-thirds of all African-American bachelor’s degree awards, 70 percent of all master’s degrees, and more than 60 percent of all doctorates. Black women also hold a majority of all African-American enrollments in law, medical, and dental schools. I say all that to say that women, especially Black women, have made some incredible strides in our professional lives. We are able to choose the paths we wish to follow and make quite a splash, but why doesn’t this same power trickle over into our dating lives? I mean yeah, we can walk up to a guy and get his number, ask him out on a couple of dates, have a few sleepovers, etc., but we generally aren’t the ones who initiate a commitment or marriage. Statistics even show that educated Black women are less likely to marry because of our social and economic standing.
Throughout my dating experiences, the pickings have been slim when it comes to finding someone who’s on the same level as I am regarding investing in education and career advancement. But even when found, I’ve learned that it is ultimately he who decides how far our relationship goes and whether a commitment is made by initiating it. I’ve learned that I can choose a guy and he may be “The One” of my dreams, but unless he decides I’m his “One,” the entire thing is null and void. So regardless of what the statistics say, and what I’ve experienced, I decided to survey a few guys of different ages and relationship statuses to see what it means for them to choose “The One” and what factors go into deciding to go forth and commit.
“For me it was totally different,” said a 31 -year-old married man who relied on his faith and waited for God to show him the woman he needed in his life. “I prayed and was like ‘God I’m tired of trial and error (even though it takes trial and error to better your understanding on certain aspects of a relationship),’ but I told God to give me a sign. Surely, as I kept my promise, so did He and when He delivered her, I just knew it based on what I saw from afar, it was something like no other. So it’s like something inside just lets you know she’s ‘The One.’ Every woman you date isn’t the one, so you only get the sign once, and when you do, follow it!”
“My girlfriend recognizes the strengths in me that I can’t recognize myself,” said a 25-year-old man who said he found “The One” as soon as he met his encouraging and passionate girlfriend. “She taught me how to love and be more considerate just by treating me that way. She demands excellence and is nagging, but I know it’s to push me. I appreciate that even though I get mad at times. I know it takes some people a good amount of time to find out whether they’ve found the right one or not and that’s fine, but I pretty much knew as soon as I met her.”
“A woman is worth the commitment if she shares the same values as you, and if you both are along the same path to be better mentally,” said a 26-year-old guy who believed that you know you’ve met “The One” when they make you want to do better and be a greater person. “Most importantly, you both make each other better in all areas of life. In my situation, I spent two years single and during that time, it became crystal clear to me what I wanted in a woman and where her head needed to be and to no surprise the moment I met my current girlfriend, and we had a conversation, I just knew it. We’re both finance professionals, and she’s my partner in crime. We host financial literacy workshops together, plan together, everything together.”
Another guy, 30, said it’s all about a feeling. “A person worth a commitment is a woman who can make you feel the way the sun does on warm spring mornings. That feeling of peace, a sense of serenity. It is a person who understands how to reciprocate. That love is equal and should be given only to them, that wish to give it without request. A person that is the right fit. Who can keep her cool, control her emotions and doesn’t push your buttons. There is something about having a woman you can count on that makes you feel invincible. There is no feeling like it.”
A 40-year-old man said that it took a bit more for him. Like bringing a child in the world together.
“Honestly, it took her having my first child for me to know she was ‘The One.’ I knew beforehand but I really knew afterwards. She’s a medical professional and at the time I met her, I was still trying to get my life together and she was patient with me, she pushed me to get different licenses and certifications and now everything I do is for her and my little family.”
Sometimes, ladies, “The One” is watching you, waiting for the right moment to make a move. “I had been watching her for a while via social media, admiring her from a distance because I just knew if I approached her, I had to have myself together first,” said another man, 35. “I could tell she wasn’t with the nonsense. She appeared to be so free-spirited, strong, people loved her and I knew I had to step correct. It took me a year to finally talk to her. It was the best decision I made. She pushes me out of my anti-social box. I’ve lived in my city all my life and never knew half the things were there until she showed me around and she ain’t even from here! She’s so calm during arguments and just wants to talk things out. She pushes me to advance in my career because for a while I was settled and unhappy. She’s goofy, and we have a good balance.”
And the last guy, 29, knew he found his “One” based on the way she would go out of her way to make him happy. “I quit my job working in education a few years ago to pursue a career in music. It takes up most of my time because of studio sessions and producing for people that I can’t really see her as much as I would like. One day she surprised me with a home studio in her house so that way I could work on my music there.”
Sometimes when describing the person you believe to be “The One,” it becomes more abstract than concrete. We think we want one thing and then are swept off of our feet by another. And many of the men I spoke to were attracted to women who pushed them to be better, and to do better. To come correct, both in their approach and in their professional lives. Whatever way the story unfolds, it’s nice to see when men are stepping up and laying the foundation for their love lives and to know what exactly many of them are looking for. The more you know…
Because I love social media…The goal is to throw in my two pennies based on what people post via memes.
My weekend has been filled with coaching kindergarten soccer and 9-10 year old baseball, so I was too tired to do due diligence (alliteration!) and write last night. Looking for last minute inspiration, I came across this little ditty from a friend of mine via my old phone.
A man will let a good woman walk by. Said good woman may not be the right woman for said man. The same goes for women letting a good man walk by. This is called dating. In 2016, there are more avenues for meeting people than ever. The laws of average suggest that most people we meet are not compatible. Generally speaking, we are initially attracted to the visual. Something about a person’s outward appearance draws us in. It may not be something as specific as eyes, hair, body type, pretty/handsome face, etc; it could be someone’s aura.
There are unconscious signs that we all give off that the other person recognizes and pays attention to. It’s science. If you look at animals outside of humans, you will notice that the male is usually more decorated to stand out from the pack for mating purposes: the lion’s long mane, the peacock’s feathers, the mallard duck with the blue face are some examples in nature. Female species usually make some kind of mating call or release a pheromone that let suitors know they are in heat and looking to mate.
Humans do things differently. Different cultures have varied ways of displaying and/or drawing in interest. When a woman is initially interested, her pupils dilate to draw in more light and there are ways that they will position themselves to engage…this is science.
After acknowledging a mutual interest, all species choose (with the exception of arranged marriages). In the wild, the female generally chooses the alpha male. Betas get chosen as well; but by other betas and neutered animals just stay in the friend zone. Humans are intellectual, so the initial draw wears off. At first, we love people who have things that are in common with our interests and overall outlook on life. It’s pleasing to our egos that someone is into the shit that we’re into. This all lets off a euphoric feeling that is chemical.
Dating is the process in which one is choosing not based on compatibility; but for companionship. We aren’t looking for a missing piece to our puzzle. We want someone who is their own entity that can be good company for the ride because we are social creatures. People who are often looking for a “fit” will find themselves in many “situationships” that are rooted in insecurity and temporarily fill a void aka infatuation. There are even sensations in this that are rooted in love…eros love. Eros love is the Greek concept of “intimate love,” or what most these days mistake for “real love.” It is defined as controlled by desires. It wants something and acts to satisfy that want. While it does have a place, this essentially is what we are feeling at the beginning of the dating process.
There are few things more irritating than being on the receiving end of a half-assed apology.
“I’m sorry you feel that way.”
“I’m sorry if you feel that I offended you.”
“I’m sorry but…”
Thankfully, researchers have discovered the secrets to apologizing effectively. According to Eureka Alert, a study—which was published in the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research and led by Roy Lewicki, professor emeritus of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business—suggests that there are six components to an apology, and the more elements you include, the more effective your apology will be. The components include:
1. Expression of regret
2. Explanation of what went wrong
3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
4. Declaration of repentance
5. Offer of repair
6. Request for forgiveness
“Apologies really do work, but you should make sure you hit as many of the six key components as possible,” Lewicki suggests.
Lewicki and his team conducted two separate experiments on 755 people to see how they would react to receiving apologies that contained anywhere from one to six of the aforementioned elements. Obviously, the apologies that included all of the components were the most well received; however, Lewicki discovered that all of the components are not equal.
“Our findings showed that the most important component is an acknowledgement of responsibility. Say it is your fault, that you made a mistake,” Lewicki said.
The second most important element was an offer of repair.
“One concern about apologies is that talk is cheap. But by saying, ‘I’ll fix what is wrong,’ you’re committing to take action to undo the damage,” he said.
Expression of regret, explanation of what went wrong and declaration of repentance were tied at number three. The least important component was a request for forgiveness. Apparently, you can either take or leave this one.
“That’s the one you can leave out if you have to,” Lewicki said.
According to Lewicki, when it comes to in-person apologies, emotion, body language, and tone play crucial roles as well.
“Clearly, things like eye contact and appropriate expression of sincerity are important when you give a face-to-face apology,” he said.