All Articles Tagged "trust"

Here’s Why You Should Never Ignore Those Red Flags

August 7th, 2014 - By Liz Lampkin
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How many times have you been trying to get to know someone new, things are going well and you plan to move forward with them, taking the relationship to the next level. You are happy with them, but for some unnerving reason, you’re slightly hesitant about the relationship and you can’t quite figure out why. You know that feeling, it’s where your head tells you to go ahead, but your heart isn’t quite all the way there. Not only that, but you try your darnedest to convince yourself that all is well while ignoring your instincts–and then it happens. What you ask? That moment during the relationship when you say to yourself, “something told me I shouldn’t have…” or “I should have trusted my instincts.”

But at that point its too late. You’re either too invested to get up and walk away, or worse, your heart has already been shattered. And it’s all because you failed to follow your instincts and you ignored the red flags that were waiving at you about your mate and the relationship early on. Why is that? Why do we as adults with common sense ignore our hearts and gut feelings when it comes to the people we let into our lives? Why do we put ourselves in positions that can or could’ve easily been avoided if we stood firm on our standards, which are designed to help us avoid such pitfalls?

The answer is simple actually. We ignore our instincts and red flags because we desire love and relationships so much that we’re ready to throw caution, and our common sense, to the wind. Ignoring the red flags with anything or anyone can be detrimental to one’s emotional health. Doing so can get you caught up for way too long with someone you might end up wishing you never met. So how does someone pay attention to the red flags, but also address them with their mate? By keeping these three things in mind:

Before you listen to someone else, listen to yourself. I don’t know how many times I’ve sought the advice of other people when I should have trusted myself. While it is good and at times helpful to seek words of wisdom from others, there’s no wisdom like your own. Trust yourself, because after all, you’re the one in the relationship and you know what’s best for you.

If there’s anything about your mate that’s bothering you, talk to them about it right from the start. Many times, when there’s something about our partners that we’re not so sure about, we have the tendency to overlook or ignore it. For instance, the fact that he as an “ex” that you think is not quite an “ex” and it seems as if your mate talks to them more than you. If you’re feeling a certain way about this and it’s constantly nagging at you, don’t ignore it. Speak on it. Ask your mate about it, and not in a way as to accuse them of anything, but to ease your nerves and sustain your peace of mind. This doesn’t just apply for this specific scenario, but it applies to everything.

Always get a complete story and explanation with full details. I don’t know how many times I failed to ask questions to get a complete story from my partners simply because I didn’t want them to think that I didn’t trust them. Never let a stone go unturned when it comes to something you want to know, especially if the red flag is a-waving. You owe it to yourself to do so.

While it’s a good thing to be able to trust people, it’s better to trust yourself, because when the sun sets and the moon rises, it’s you that has to deal with either a broken heart, or a partner you would rather be without.

How many times have you ignored red flags in a relationship? How did things turn out for you?

Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin

Information Is A Privilege, Not A Right: When Should You Share Your Past In A Relationship?

August 1st, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Once a relationship is established, it can be hard to break from the norm.  However, in every relationship you have, there will inevitably be a power struggle of some sort.  Whether it’s a relationship that requires you to acknowledge an authority outside of yourself (like a parent, or boss), or a struggle to compromise with a significant other (where one might win and the other loses), the power struggle will remain.

But there’s a struggle that you might face that is going to be completely on you, and you have to either relent or stand your ground with it.  That battle is “information.”

When you’re a very nice and honest person this is going to be a continuous test, because people get very used to your honesty, and know that if asked, you’ll likely give them what they want.  Some people will use it against you, and in some cases might even demand to know things.  However, your information isn’t a privilege that everyone needs to have access to.

Now, I’m not saying to not be honest about important things like sexual history, but there are certain factors that should be examined when you’re about to give personal information.

1.)  How important is this information to them? – What I mean by that is, there are some people who will demand to know things about you when it won’t personally affect them.

As stated above, if the information is about sexual health with someone who you’re preparing to get busy with, that’s someone who deserves the entire truth.

If you’re in an abusive relationship and in the scuffle you make a mistake and pocket dial someone and they hear the melee, yeah, you should probably let them know and then seek help so you can get out of that situation.

However, if someone is trying to pry into an issue that the only benefit to them is the information itself, that’s when you have to start contemplating if it’s necessary for them to know.

2.)  Are you prepared to relive this? – Piggybacking off of the first point, sometimes people are so interested in knowing what’s going on, and wanting an answer just to have it that they might not realize how insensitive they are to your feelings.

The act of giving someone information can be very mentally straining, especially if the information that they want is connected to something that you might not be ready to talk about.

Granted, people might not know, but the important thing is, you know what lies beneath the surface of this coveted tidbit.  If revealing it is going to make you face an iceberg of emotion that you weren’t ready to  face, then don’t face it until you are ready.

3.)  Is there an advantage to telling them this?  – Now, I’m going to be honest here.  There are moments that we might have to hear the truth about our lives and our decisions, even if we don’t want to.  Living in dysfunction is one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself, and ignoring that dysfunction can hurt you in the long run.

Sometimes an outside party can see this clearer than we can, so they might ask for information to get a better assessment on whether or not they can help.

With that being said, try and figure out if there is an advantage to being transparent with them.  If you could benefit by getting assistance, then that might be a good reason to divulge.  But if it’s only going to leave you emotionally raw, exposed, and still in the same place, then give it some thought if that’s the direction you want to go down.

The important thing with all of these situations is that you ultimately have the power.  If someone is demanding to know something just for the sake of knowing it is when you should exercise your agency to decide if you want to let them in.  Just because someone is in your life, doesn’t mean that their need to know things should overpower your own sensibilities, and that’s a power struggle that’s worth fighting for.

Don’t Wanna Be A Player No More: 4 Signs He’s Ready To Stop Playing Games

July 11th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From Single Black Male 

I found myself watching Boomerang over this past holiday weekend. It’s one of my favorite flicks. This time around the experience was a bit different. Something tells me the Taylor Port had something to do with that, but I digress.  I noticed something towards the end of the movie. Angela (Halle Berry) was hurt. She no longer wanted to associate with Marcus (Eddie). He cheated and she was hurt.  Once Eddie realized he simply didn’t connect with Jacqueline the way he did with Angela it all sunk in.

I know many women reading this right now are saying “well that’s what ya get!” I agree with you all fully. But in  most situations like this there’s always the “conversation” that follows. We all know there’s got to be a talk one way or another. So Marcus finally finds his way to Angela. They speak face to face which I will forever feel how things should be done. If not face to face then on the phone. Back to the story. Angela admits to Marcus that she knows they share a real love but that she’s simply scared to try again.

It’s in that moment that I thought that was strong of her to admit. What was even stronger was that she did take him back. We assume that things went well after that as the movie ended. We all have hurt people and we all have been hurt. That was really the whole concept of Boomerang.

It gets real in the field, and trust isn’t easy to come by. So after being hurt how do we know who to trust again?

Read more on trust at SingleBlackMale.org

How Snooping Helped Me Fall In Love

June 2nd, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From YourTango 

Dealing with breakups had never been my strong suit. The second I started seeing someone one, I’d start fantasizing about how I’d get out. Things shifted by time I hit my late 20s, when, instead of just imagining my exit strategies, I actually started planning and executing on them.

Of course, this was a defense mechanism — a byproduct of commitment phobia — carefully crafted to protect me from heartbreak. I knew that at the first whiff of smoke, I could simply follow the evacuation instructions that I had practiced over and over in my head, and — poof! — crisis averted.

 

Compounding this clever exit strategy I’d concocted was the fact that I had an intense fear of settling down (yep, women feel that too). I was convinced that I’d be inviting into my life the kind of vulnerability I’d always dreaded — and that the same partner year after year would eventually stagnate my personality. My solution was to keep one high-heeled boot dangling just outside the door at all times.

 

Then I was met with a new challenge that arrived in form of a man named Jonathan.

 

Jonathan was a nice guy, which made me all the more suspicious. Moreover, he wanted the real thing — marriage, commitment, stability, old-fashioned love — which like a spray of DEET, made me want to fly as far away as possible.

 

Somehow, I resisted the urge to sabotage the whole thing. Before I knew it, we’d been dating for a year. Ever the cynic, I kept searching for a sign that he was a fraud. Could he actually be a moral, loyal guy who was good-looking, in his thirties and single? Was it possible that he loved going to musical theater yet never missed a boxing match? Did he have nothing more than the garden variety of problems that I could handle? Also, could I talk him out of singing in that barbershop quartet?

 

Even though we had moved in together, my fortress was still up. Whenever things got a little rough, I’d scroll through the old numbers on my phone and think, No matter what, the coke addict guy will take me back, right? Maybe even the puppeteer. Call it pessimistic, paranoid, pathological — or see it as I did: An intelligent approach based on experience. Why set yourself up for a whole new disappointment when you can be disappointed in a way that’s familiar?

Can you relate to this exit strategy? Read on at YourTango.com 

Men Reveal What They Think Of Scorned Women

May 30th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From Single Black Male

Everybody goes through things in their life and there’s no telling how they’ll come out of it. The pain that comes from heartbreak or disappointment cannot be captured in words. We have power though. We have the power to find peace and heal ourselves. And when we don’t find that we end up scorned. This is my blog today, what happens when you’re scorned.

1. You alienate friends with your constant negativity – No one likes to be around the person who is always theorizing with why relationships don’t last. Or telling people why they know that deep down all men are trash, or women for that matter. People who are scorned will bring up just about anything to get their point across and it always leads to negativity.

2. Your social media becomes depressing – Have you noticed that your scorned friends social media looks like death? They’re always ranting about how great they are but humanity is not. It’s just silly. They never realize that while people are reading this they’re also thinking to themselves; who hurt you?

3. You take it out on other people – The next person you date will have to deal with you constantly suspecting they might be just like the last. That will weigh heavy. Nobody wants to be subjected to snooping of any sort, they don’t want constant questioning, they don’t want to deal with it. They want you to handle your own issues before you get in the relationship.

4. You become an ugly person on the inside – Yes, while your outside may be beautiful it bleeds through that you’re not all together there anymore. Some of the most prettiest people do the ugliest things. And trust, i’ve met several people who would think that the person they’re dating is gorgeous but they’re personality is stinky.

Read more about men and their thoughts on scorned women at SingleBlackMale.org

The Reason Why He Didn’t Call After The First Date

May 29th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From YourTango

The date is great. The kiss that follows is even better. You’re all smiles as you go your separate ways, but then….nothin’. No phone call. No text message. Handsome McSmiles just vanished into thin air. He must have been faking his interest. Right…? 

Read more about navigating dating at YourTango.com 

How I Left An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

May 22nd, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From YourTango

Never is there physical abuse without emotional abuse, but unfortunately the reverse isn’t always true. During my first job as a therapist with a domestic violence organization, more than one of my clients said that they actually prefer the physical violence to the emotional violence, because at least physical bruises heal. Of course, it is more difficult to realize if your relationship is emotionally abusive than if it is physically abusive. Physical attacks are impossible to ignore, but verbal and emotional ones are harder to identify.

I can relate to this because I was also in an emotionally abusive relationship and it never occurred to me that that’s what it was until years later. I didn’t have a good enough sense of what behavior I should tolerate and what boundaries I should set, and so I didn’t know I was being abused.

My boyfriend and I were smart, attractive and well-educated. But no matter what my life looked like on the outside, I desperately wanted to be loved and so I endured him ignoring me and treating me like I didn’t even matter. I wasn’t good enough to be invited to his brother’s wedding even though we had been together for two years, but I was good enough for sex whenever he would visit. There was no reason for him to change his behavior because he got everything he wanted, when he wanted it. The harsh reality I have to face was that I let him get away with it every time.

 

I was lucky that he never proposed and that our lives diverged naturally. I don’t think I would have been able to see the destructive pattern I was part of without distance and time. It took me a couple of more years, and a hard break-up with a man I did want to marry to see what I needed to do in order to be in a healthy, loving relationship. There is a reason for the expression, “no one else can love you until you love yourself.”

Read more about this woman’s relationship at YourTango.com 

I Proposed To My Boyfriend, He Said No! Am I Wasting My Time With Him?

April 25th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From Essence 

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I’m a 33-year-old female and I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years now. I moved in with him after the first year, and now I’m ready to take the relationship to the next level. I got tired of waiting for the next step, so I proposed to him. The first time I did it he laughed, but it was after the first year, so I waited. The second time, he gave me some reasons why we couldn’t get married. (One reason was because I asked him.) I don’t want to be the eternal girlfriend, so I’m thinking of leaving him. Am I moving too fast or am I wasting my time? Please help!

Signed,

Anonymous

Read Dr. Sherry’s response at Essence.com 

Just Throw It In The Bag! The Do’s And Don’ts Of Commitment

April 15th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From YourTango

While an initial spark is all it takes for a man to ask you out and crave you sexually, there needs to be something more for him to want to commit to you exclusively. He needs to feel that he can’t wait to make you his and that he can’t stand the thought of you being with anyone else.

Rather than having “the talk” or giving him ultimatums, wouldn’t it be great if you could create that feeling so that he is the one asking you for a commitment? You can if you practice these simple steps:

1. DON’T keep bringing up the “commitment” discussion.
When you feel anxious or worried about where your relationship is headed, it’s hard to resist wanting to know what he’s thinking.

But constantly trying to talk with him about commitment feels stressful to him and will only make him dig in his heels and retreat — even if he was on the verge of committing all on his own. So, no matter how much you’re dying to know what he’s thinking, resist the temptation to bring up this tender topic.

2. DON’T try convincing him
The more you try to make a case for how great you are as a couple, the more he feels cornered and manipulated. Your reasoning feels like criticism to him and makes him unable to share his true feelings.  That’s certainly not the vibe you want to create in a loving relationship.

A man falls in love when he feels like he can make you happy by being himself and sharing the deepest parts of who he is. By rejecting those parts, you make him feel wrong and cause him to protect his true feelings — and his heart — from connecting with yours.

3. DO share your good feelings
When you feel good with a man, let him know! By opening up and sharing your feelings, you allow him to connect to you and the positive experience you are sharing. It makes him feel good that he makes you feel good, and he’ll want more of that good stuff.

As you continue to lay a stronger foundation of positive feelings, it’s only natural that he will see you as a necessary and beautiful part of his life — and he’ll want to make sure you stay in it.

Read more about commitment at YourTango.com 

Why Mean Girls Finish First When Dating

April 15th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From Hello Beautiful

We all know the cliche, “Nice guys finish last,” but what about us? Nice girls finish after way after nice guys. Think about it. There’s books dedicated to men loving witches with a capital B. When women are apathetic, no-nonsense and could care less about what people think often serves as a challenge for men and we all know that men love challenges.

Nice women who are loyal, supportive and just want honesty and respect in return usually get the short end of the stick. I know because I’ve been all of these things to men and have seen my stick get shorter and shorter.

Somewhere along the way, romantic and genuinely sweet gestures have become annoyances and expected, so they are never truly appreciated. Love cannot be bought or earned. The receiver of the nice treatment does not always feel love for the giver. In fact, they may feel manipulated, burdened or just ungrateful.

A few years ago, I met this adorable guy named Gavin. He was tall, smart, funny, ridiculously sweet and attentive. I thought I’d hit the jackpot. One night, Gavin wanted to hang out, but I explained to him that I was going to be celebrating my friend’s birthday at a local restaurant.

Gain sighed heavily, “And after?”

His desperation was adorable in the first couple of weeks. He loved spending time with me and was never shy to vocalize that. But after the hearts and stars in my eyes began to fade, I became increasingly irritated by his urgency. “After, I don’t know. It’s Lisa’s birthday, so we’ll probably be out,” I rolled my eyes. “I have to go babe. I’ll call you when I’m done.” I hung up, ready to complain to my girlfriends about how thirsty Gavin was becoming.

“I can’t believe you’re complaining about your boyfriend wanting to spend time with you. Why are you even with him?” One of my girlfriends challenged my disdain.

Continue this story about being nice in relationships at HelloBeautiful.com