All Articles Tagged "romance"
Do you have a hunch you like your girlfriend more than she likes you? Perhaps, that she doesn’t like you at all and is using you because she is lonely, wants attention, wants to make other people jealous or even wants your money? Here are signs the woman you are with doesn’t really care about you, and might be using you!
You’re scheming about the way, place and time you’ll finally tell him you want to be more than friends. You’re fantasizing about the way he’ll respond. To you, it will be a big, explosive, game-changing reveal! Meanwhile, he already knew months ago you liked him…surprise! Here’s how he knows.
With every tech advancement, something is gained but something is lost. You can say that, in a way, our relationships have suffered because of technology. Although social media has helped to speed up dating and courting processess, it certainly has taken its toll on actual relationships. If you’re in a stable relationship right now, chances are that it is probably being a little drained by distractions. In order to get things back in balance, it’s time to take a break. Here are ways your relationship could be improved if you just took one week off from tweets, texts and anything with pressable buttons.
Kissing can be one of the most romantic forms of physical intimacy that can be shared between a couple. There are those Hollywood love story kind of kisses than can take your breath away and leave you with butterflies. There are those cute little smooches that are snuck in during public outings or those extremely passionate kisses that leave you wanting more. Oh, but there is another side to kissing that doesn’t seem to be discussed often enough. Those kisses that have you praying that they’ll quickly end and praying that they never happen again! We know you know the types of kisses we’re talking about. Check out this list of kisses that are everything but romantic.
I am truly surprised by the number of men who are interested in engaging women romantically without actually going through the bother of dating them. This confuses me. To whom may I speak to determine when exactly this became appropriate? I’m not sure how or why men have been able to slide right past the dating/courtship phase into express boo status, but it behooves me to inform all who care to listen that you certainly cannot date me without first dating me. That’s right, there will be no exclusivity, giving of titles, nor partaking in any activities that lovers do without real tangible dates. No. Exceptions.
Let me provide some context. While I absolutely adore my chick clique, I really enjoy forging friendships with men. I like to keep a tight circle of both male and female companions with whom I can both enjoy life and commiserate over its disappointments. Unlike most men, not every relationship I start with the opposite sex begins with the notion that I am attracted to a man and want to “see what’s up.” The vast majority of the time, I’m simply thinking he seems cool, I’d like to hang out, might be fun—very similarly to when I meet a woman who seems interesting. I will say though that there are times when friendship is absolutely what I’m pursuing but I’m also slightly open to the possibility of something romantic.
When the latter is true, and I haven’t quite decided whether I’m more interested in a platonic or romantic endeavor, what a guy says and does is essential. Listen, if we agree to meet for coffee and a guy doesn’t attempt to pay, if he doesn’t call or text in a manner that leaves no doubt that he wants me to consider him an option, and if he doesn’t actually make plans to see me or find ways to be in my presence, I assume he wants to be a friend…not a romantic interest. There is therefore no more thought on my part about whether he might be an interesting romantic option; I follow his lead and place him in the friend zone.
Just like there are things that a woman can do that men often interpret as indicators that she is not giving them a green light and that she instead wants to make them her new BFF, there are things that a man can do that communicate the same thing to women.
Can we all agree that there are just things that men do when they are truly interested in women? When a man wants a woman, he doesn’t want to do the things that friends do; he makes it crystal clear that he wants to be her man. When a woman manages to disrupt the cool of a man and capture his attention, he wants to SEE hear; he wants to HEAR her voice; he wants to IMPRESS her and he will gladly spend both his time and money. If a man sends random text messages but doesn’t call, if he doesn’t make plans, if he lets a woman pay their first time out, she should assume that he wants to be friends—because that’s not what men who don’t want to be friends do, in my experience at least.
Men, realize that if you are interested in a woman at any level and are doing any of the above, you are sending out friend vibes. If you don’t want to be friends, stop this now. And women, if there is a man that you are interested in who is doing any of the above, friend zone him immediately!
There’s this come over and chill pandemic that is sweeping the nation. Somehow men are finding a way to finagle this scenario into faux romances, and sometimes full-blown relationships…and women are letting them. This must stop. I’ll come over and chill with you, no doubt. Sometimes I just want to lay back and watch the game, but if you are just getting to know me and all you want to do is chill…you’re the homie, not an option. If you’ve been doing all the things that pals do and none of the things that men who want to be set apart from the masses do, your actions cement you in the “friend” zone and keep you from advancing to “put me in, coach” territory.
I have literally shaken my head at my “friends,” who after doing nothing but friendly things start to look at me romantically, increase the length of their hugs, want to cuddle when we’re chilling, inquire about the men I’m dating, and send me late night messages about how I should “swing through.” Nah son. I don’t do those things with my friends and in order to be more than my friend, you’ve got to properly date me.
You can’t just fall into relationship. It’s been my experience that women fare much better in relationships when the man of the relationship is slightly more into the woman than she is into him. And, men seem to be all around more excited about women that they had to actually expend effort to win over. It’s just wise for women to require men to actually take the time to date them before settling into relationship. Sheez, in the words of Kanye “make it more harder, make [him] put some work in.”
This moving folks from the friend lane directly to HOV boo express lanes without properly traversing those lanes of traffic that separate the two is bound to cause accidents. I cannot support.
What say you? Where do you stand on the issue?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
Has a love interest ever made a move on you that left you thinking “Aw hell, I know he didn’t just do that!” or maybe “Aw, that was cute. Corny, but cute.” There’s a fine line between what is considered romantic and what is considered corny. What a person deems as romantic or cheesy is their prerogative and unique to their own individual perspective; however, for humor’s sake, check out some of these gestures that are meant to be romantic but don’t always come off that way.
Newsweek once claimed that a single woman over 40 years old had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than she did of getting married. 20 years later they retracted this story.
Elated is the only word to accurately describe the emotion that came over me when my very vibrant and fabulous 50+ year old aunt announced to our family that she would be getting married for the first time in her life this fall. While some looked at her skeptically as if she had certainly lost her mind, I couldn’t keep from smiling. It was the outward reflection of my heart, which I was sure was doing back flips and leaping for joy inside of my chest. My grandmother gave birth to nine children, so I’ve been blessed with a host of loving, motherly and nurturing aunts. However, this aunt in particular devoted most of her life to being the backbone of our family and helping those in the community. Prison ministries, local shelter programs, implementing programs for New York’s elderly, and so on. She cared for my grandmother throughout much of the latter part of her life, practically moved in when my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2007, and has been nothing short of a second mother to my cousins, as well as my brother and I our entire lives. I’d always wondered how a person could devote so much of their life to others. This is why I was particularly over the moon when I learned of her engagement. She’d been single most of her life, but deep down inside, even when I was the chatty and opinionated little girl that she dressed up in poofy dresses, white lace stockings with frilly white socks and dragged to Sunday school each week, I always secretly wished she would find a love of her own.
Many women reach a point in their lives where they feel like their better years are behind them and they’ve experienced all of the good that is going to come especially when it comes to love. This simply is not true. An increasing number of men and women seem to be stumbling across their Mr. or Mrs. Right a little later in life. These “late-blooming” relationships even seem to come with some extra perks. In a 2009 interview with the US News and World Report, Washington Post columnist and author, Abigail Trafford, discussed those perks. Some of which included:
- “You already have a love story inside you.”
- “You have a kind of confidence that comes with experience. You are freer to define the kind of life you want to lead.”
- “You put a premium not on scoring with someone, but on connecting with someone and being who you really are.”
Some other benefits to finding love later in life include:
- No longer having the pressure of racing against a biological clock.
- Many (not all) people are financially secure at this stage in life.
- Many experts suggest that being in a loving and committed relationship is not only beneficial to ones mental and emotional health, but can even extend a person’s life.
Society leads us to believe that it’s all downhill over 50 (love life included). Hell, they sometimes make you feel that if you haven’t walked down the aisle by 35 and started a family, you were probably going to be a spinster. This however, is a fallacy. There is so much more to be felt, learned and experienced. Many things in life will discontinue with time. Love, however, knows no expiration date. In the words of Frank Sinatra, “Love isn’t just for the young.”
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- Are We As A People Really Better Off Now Than Four Years Ago?
- Nene Has Some Much-Needed Advice For Evelyn: “Be Quiet”
- I Used To Love Her: The Search For The Next Lauryn
You’re a successful, accomplished, attractive, stylish black woman. Yet, you have major man problems. Are economics to blame?
According to ThyBlackMan.com, financial status — or the disparity between men and women in that status — could very well be the issue. While some men are cool with a woman who’s climbing the ladder and taking home a bigger paycheck in the process, there are other men who simply can’t take it.
“It’s mainly because of how we have been socialized to see ourselves as providers,” the site says to its male readers. ”We’ve been stripped of that role in a sense, not because women insist on being breadwinners, but because, in most cases, they didn’t have a choice!”
So, the article says, while ego is the problem for some men, for others, it comes back to bigger societal issues like the education gap (black women are getting college degrees at a higher rate than black men) and jobs (“We tend to be the first fired and the last hired; overall, American employers shy away from hiring black men”). Because the gender roles have changed, the relationship between black men and women, in general, has changed.
The question is: Where do we go from here? While ego can be a good thing in moderation, driving us to be better people, we can’t let it dictate how we operate in full. And, certainly, women aren’t going to slow down, nor should they be expected to. ThyBackMan suggests that we need to take another look at what we need and what we get from our romantic relationships. It’s not just about money. It’s about the various physical and emotional comforts men and women get from one another. And men need to realize that women have it hard out there too. One need only read some of the stories on Madame Noire about women in the workplace and at universities to know that there are continued struggles on both sides.
“[W]e need as black men to realize that – politics aside – our women do indeed need us, just like we need them,” the author says.
What do you think of this analysis of the tension between black men and women?
A few years ago a male friend of mine and I met for lunch. We were laughing, eating, and having a good time as friends, as usual when we met up. After a while we started a friendly debate/conversation about men, women, and relationships. We joked about the different experiences we had and laughed about the mistakes we made along the way. Before this conversation ended, we brought up the subject of men and women as friends, and how both men and women have the tendency to misinterpret friendly gestures.
He told me that he was often discouraged to help a woman with certain things for fear of her taking the gentleman gesture the wrong way. “Just because a man opens the door for you or helps you with your grocery bags does not mean that he wants to sleep with you or engage in a relationship with you,” he said. “It simply means he was being nice.”
He also stated that a lot of women confuse compassion for passion. This was a powerful and thought-provoking statement that led me to ask myself if I was guilty of this. It also led me to examine the meaning of both compassion and passion as they relate to relationships. Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for someone who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by the desire to alleviate such suffering. It is also the act of showing kindness with assistance. As it relates to relationships, passion is defined as a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling that can lead someone to fulfill desires led by the flesh; an instance or experience of love or strong sexual desire. While the meanings of the words have some similarities, they are very different.
Compassion leads someone to help someone else. It is the desire for someone else’s well-being and putting that desire into action. Passion is lust or the strong desire for someone for physical engagement for individual satisfaction. It is the urge to satisfy one’s own needs rather than helping someone else. However, the action of showing compassion can stir up feelings of passion. When someone renders a nice gesture or assists someone in a time of desperation, it can lead the mind to believe that this person has a romantic interest in them. These feelings can derive in women during the transition of relationships, a financial transition period, or a transition in self-esteem.
When self-esteem is low from a heart-wrenching relationship or a good relationship that ended abruptly, and someone new comes along and shows compassion to assist with the transition in a variety of ways, a vulnerable state of mind and fragility may come into play. This confusion and vulnerability can come into play because of inadequate self-confidence, in who we are as women, or the lack of knowledge in whom we are.
As women, it is important to know and understand the difference between compassion and passion when engaging in any type of relationship or encounter with men because we don’t want to mislead ourselves. On the other hand, the human ego can also be a factor in confusing compassion for passion. I remember a time when I was leaving the grocery store, and I saw a man looking at me. I wasn’t sure as to why he was watching me, so I started to think that he was interested in me.
I remember I started thinking to myself that I didn’t have time to stop and talk, nor did I feel like being bothered. As I headed to my car the man approached me, and I immediately put my guard up to reject any romantic advance he was planning. He says to me, “Can I help you with your bags?” I respond with yes. After he helps me place my bags in my car he says to me, “Have a good night!” and walks away. I thought to myself, What?!? To my egotistical surprise, the man wanted to help me place my bags in my car because he saw that I was alone and it was late at night. I quickly confused a nice gesture for a romantic advance. Inside I was so embarrassed, but that experience was the direct result of my ego taking over my common sense and confusing compassion for passion. As I stated previously, it is important to know the difference between compassion and passion especially when dealing with men because we don’t want to mislead ourselves into believing that a man wants a relationship with us, have sex, so on and so on. We must learn to take nice gestures for what they are and leave them at that because the bottom line is, if a man wants to be with you he’ll let you know. Let’s learn how to appreciate the gentlemen things men do and encourage them to do more!
How many times have you confused compassion for passion? What were the results?
Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
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The 2005 film Pride and Prejudice ends with Mr. Darcy striding across the dewy morning marshes, shirt unbuttoned to strategically expose chest hair, and taking his lady love (played by Keira Knightley) in his muscled arms. Such a florid ending is not to be found in Jane Austen’s novel. The characters of her books experience romance in a structured relationship within familiar bounds, “experienced not as a rupture or a break in one’s everyday life,” a far cry from the dime-novel romance that many modern fans look for in her work. Necking in the mist wasn’t in the playbook.
The rigidities and dignities of Austen’s world are a favorite example in Eva Illouz’s new book Why Love Hurts, as a reminder that our contemporary experience and understanding of courtship is very much embedded in our historical moment. Why Love Hurts is an in-depth analysis of the reasons our contemporary understanding of romance fails to satisfy so many of us. The book attempts to properly contextualize our unique experience of love, presenting a counter-narrative to simplistic psychological (“what’s wrong with me?”) and socio-biological (“men are just naturally like that”) explanations that dominate our modern understanding of romance.
Illouz argues that, today, love hurts in unique and unprecedented ways, which are shaped by larger social conditions. The book is also a critique of the self-help ideology, which tends to relentlessly shift the blame for love’s trials entirely onto the dysfunctional self.
As one particularly execrable source, The Rules, puts it, “Love is not actually something we get from outside ourselves.” That this understanding of human relationships is complete crap —humans cannot be severed from the values and judgments of their social settings—hasn’t prevented The Rules from selling 2 million copies. Illouz argues that this dominant love narrative is an indication of our society’s tendency to force every aspect of human experience into the straitjacket of individual responsibility. Self-help guides and pablum of the “love yourself before you can love others” variety burden you with the entire responsibility for a happy love life. Social context and the fact that we rely on others for recognition and validation are blissfully ignored.
“At the end of the 19th century, it was radical to claim that poverty was not the result of dubious morality or weak character, but of systemic economic exploitation,” Illouz writes. “[I]t is now urgent to claim that the failures of our private lives are not only the result of weak psyches but rather that the vagaries and miseries of our emotional life are shaped by institutional arrangements.” The fact that your OK Cupid account, for example, supplies endless access to potential partners both facilitates new encounters and relationships and changes the way you look at romance more generally. What does the virtual smorgasbord of foxy singles do to your ability to settle for a particular individual? This boy you are dating is pretty cute, but Stargazer88 is pretty cute AND likes Joy Division. Why not try him out instead?
Questions of choices, and the social forces that structure them, lie at the heart of Illouz’s analysis. The characters of Austen’s novels, say, are hyperaware of social standing and marrying outside one’s class is rare, and usually a sign of foolishness or villainy. A romantic partner should live up to moral codes and be thoroughly vetted by one’s family and close friends. Choosing a partner against the judgment of your circle is usually portrayed as a terrible mistake and the result is often profound social isolation.
By contrast, today’s sexual and romantic landscape has been flattened by democratic values, feminism, consumer culture, and the conquering value of sexiness, which reaches beyond race, class or moral codes. The individual is the only arbiter of romantic choice. Sure, we want our friends and family to like our significant others. But I’d guess that most people have friends whose partners are tolerated, at best; or siblings whose boyfriends are met with arched eyebrows and pitying smiles at the dinner table.
Why Love Hurts doesn’t argue for the superiority or restoration of bygone social mores. Few people openly hanker for the bad ol’ days of racial and social exclusivity. Outside of the fundamentalist Christian circles (which are generally no fun anyway), the decline of strict gender norms that restrict sexual freedom isn’t considered a tragedy. But Illouz isn’t making a their-way-bad/our-way-good dichotomy. She wants us to be aware of the profound disadvantages of our social realties too.