Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

WRONG-PERSONIn 1983 Galway Kinnell won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. I’ve read a few of his collections in awe. I ran across these words from him and it really touched me.

I’ve written so many pieces about love and how right and wrong it can be. Mr. Kinnell’s words actually make a lot of sense to me. I love the line:  “If you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.”

I’ve often written the words, we attract who we are. You may have been in relationships where you totally grew to hate or severely despise the other person. Why?  Because some of that very behavior we despise in another person is within us. We attract and are attracted to people who cause us to take a deeper look at ourselves. I’ve always maintained that God put certain men (and people) in my life to teach me some valuable lessons.  If you take the time to sit back and think on past relationships with honesty, you’ll realize that person showed you things about yourself that you needed to know.  It may have been painful but the lesson was there to learn.  For me, that’s what Mr. Kinnell means by wrong in some complimentary way.

In loving someone else we can only give what we have. Period! We can’t give them what we don’t have. We also can’t be for them what they aren’t.  The bible refers to it as being unevenly yoked.  I refer to it as loving equally. When it’s not equal there will always be someone who has more power. There will be someone who gives more.  The only place that leads — is to resentment.  So how do you know if you’re in an equal loving relationship?

When you know within your heart that everything you have and can do, your partner already has and can do for him or herself. 

No one comes without static cling.  We’re all flawed.  It’s literally impossible to find someone who has every single thing we desire in life.  I guess the idea in this piece from Mr. Kinnell is accurate, we find that special person who is wrong for us in just the right way and our scars fall in love.  If done with an open heart and complete honesty, we heal those scars through love.

What do his words mean to you? Please share.

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steve

I don’t have daughters but I do have nieces and young women I mentor.  This quote by talk show host Steve Harvey is exactly what every young woman should be told over and over until it sinks in.

Young girls/women today have tons of peer pressure and the media telling them they have to dress provocative to get attention from a man.

perception
Caption reads:  “Just because you dress like a Slut doesn’t mean you’re a slut.  And just because I act like a rapist doesn’t mean I’m a Rapist.”

Often I see young girls and ask, “How did her mother let her out of the house like that?”

prom-dress

This photo is tagged “Prom dress”  Prom dresses didn’t look like this when I went to the prom.  It’s unfortunate that young girls are starting to dress this way at a very early age.  Mothers, talk to your daughters. Fathers, talk to your daughters.   It’s important for young women to have healthy self-esteem.

DON’T SHOW ALL YOUR GOODS!

lOVE-DESERVE

A mentor once said to me, “You attract what you are!”   It was mind-blowing for me. I’d had a few failed relationships that I had a hard time reconciling in my 20s. Why? Why did he hurt me? What did I do?  The things I really didn’t like about myself were being mirrored in the relationships I was having.   To make a long story short – I grew from those experiences.  I learned to stop asking why and wondering for months on end what I did wrong.  It’s really a matter of self esteem. As my self esteem grew stronger, because let’s face it, your 20s are the biggest learning curve of your life, my needs, desires and wants grew stronger.

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil but I do hold firm to his phrase, “We teach people how to treat us.”  If you’re in a  no-win relationship step back and do some analysis.   The only reason you’re staying is because you’ve subconsciously convinced yourself  it’s what you deserve. It must be! You’re still in it but you’re still miserable waiting for things to change.  It might sound like a cliche but there is truth in: The only person you can change is you!  

If you subconsciously don’t believe that you deserve BETTER, you won’t get it.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in.”

Happy Valentines Day

single-status

For those of you who have never heard of  Atlantic Starr or their 1985 hit song Secret Lovers, let me introduce it to you. The reason the song shot to #3 on the US charts and was certified Gold – and continues to be a hit on the R & B charts is a testament to the state of the martial/love relationship and the topic of this post. Get a cup of coffee, or a coke, this is going to be a long one.

When two people stand before God and witnesses; profess marriage vows, they usually mean it. The idea of infidelity never enters their minds. To have and to hold from this day forward…yada.. yada.. yada.  In some marriages, years and sometimes months later, the breakdown happens. This becomes a volatile time. Whatever the excuse, “it’s cheaper to keep her,” “I’m staying because of my children,” “I don’t have the strength to start over,” or “It’s complicated.”

Whatever the reason for your cheating on your partner, it’s a no win situation. I’ve talked to more women than men about this problem. So guys, forgive me if you feel left out of this post but there is a pattern with women that I feel needs addressing. Statistically, more men initiate infidelity than women because frankly, I think it’s easier for men to pull it off.

Ladies, listen to me. If you are involved with someone else’ husband the statistics are against his leaving his wife for you. Of the men who leave their wives, very few settle on the mistress and if you’re one of the rare ones naïve enough to believe he has chosen you, beware – he was cheating on her when he got you.

“I didn’t know he was married until I fell in love with him.”

If I had a twenty dollar bill for every time I’ve heard that line. It happened to me once. His name was Steve. I was in college and he detailed my MG Midget. I had never seen a man as fine as Steve. I was in my 20’s and his smile melted me. It started with a drink and then dinner and then another dinner and a movie and more drinks, and the next thing you know…Jed’s a millionaire! It took about three months before I realized things weren’t adding up. He’d show up at my house at all hours of the night and he’d never stay the entire night. He’d tell me, “I have an early morning job to do.” My calls would be abruptly ended, “I’ll call you back” – click! He always had the perfect excuses and my stupid ass would fall for all of them. He finally had to come clean, telling me that his marriage had been over for years and how much he loved me and I had done more for him in three months than his wife had done their entire marriage. I dropped him like third period French! That was my first and last experience with a married man. I’m too selfish to share.

CHEATING

No one likes to be cheated on. It hurts like hell. If you are in a relationship and think you’re being cheated on, please get out! Whether you’re the wife, the girlfriend, or a live-in, you are with a man who cheats. It’s his problem. Stop blaming yourself. When your self-esteem is tied up in another person you set yourself up for failure. People cheat in relationships for various reasons, habit, convenience, curiosity, and because they think they can get away with it. It’s not because of something that is wrong with you. I’ve sat for hours with women beating themselves up. “I have gained a lot of weight in the last year.” “I really don’t fix myself up as much as I use to.”

Secondly, ladies, STOP BLAMING HER! There is nothing more pitiful than to see two women compete for the affections of a cheater. In the case of the married man, if he really wanted to leave his wife he would. He’s doing exactly what he wants to do. It’s working so why should he stop? Often times when an affair is discovered by a woman she immediately blames the other woman. Calling the phone numbers you find in his pocket, writing down the mileage on his car, checking his cell phone and cell phone bill. You’re out with your girlfriend like Cagney & Lacey, tracking the woman down to threaten her to stay away from your man. Really? All of that madness is tied to your self esteem. If you’re spending countless hours tracking a man’s whereabouts, why are you with him?

Stop thinking he’s different with her than he is with you. Men are pretty simple. They don’t change from woman to woman. The women may be different but he’s still the same. If he calls you Boo, he may be calling her Boo as well just so he doesn’t slip up.

Stop thinking he’s getting something different from her than he’s getting from you. Women have this habit of assuming the sex at home must not be good, or there is no communication or understanding, which are all things he’s told you and you’ve bought, hook, line and sinker. Nine times out of ten, he’s getting good sex from both of you. Yes, having his cake, dessert and seconds.

I’ve been cheated on when I thought everything was going fine.  Unfortunately, it happens.

Let me just close by saying, if you happen to be a cheater, male or female, have enough decency for yourself and the other person to be safe about it. I know a woman who cannot have children to this day because of some disease her husband brought home.

Chris Rock received a lot of flack in one of his comedy routines when he made the comment:


“Men are only as faithful as their options!”

What do you think?

I’ve tried the online dating thing. I’m happy to say, I don’t miss it! While I’ll admit I’ve met some nice guys online, many profiles I viewed I simply sat back and laughed, right before I hit the delete key on my keyboard.

After awhile it became a job in itself. I remember telling my girlfriend, “I can’t get with the bullshit being tossed around on these on-line dating sites?” Let me share some of my experiences with you and then let’s compare notes.

OUTDATED PICTURES – With technology of this millennium there is no excuse not to have a current picture on your profile. While I was online I posted current pictures of myself with the date plastered right on the bottom right hand corner of the picture. Each month I would post new pictures with new dates. I also posted several shots, i.e. a head shot, a full length shot where I was dressed for work and a casual shot in denim jeans. These full length shots of course were of me standing up.

I would be off line for awhile only to go back on and see the same men with the same pictures they were using about five years ago. Some of the photos have the audacity to have the date on them 2004, 2005, 2006 with a caption that reads, “I still look the same.” Are you kidding me? Use a webcam, a camera phone or a bonified camera, connect it to your USB and upload a damn picture. It’s not rocket science! Word of caution: Keep your shirt and pants on and stop posting those pictures of that pretty car sitting on 22’s. If you have to do that to attract a woman, you probably lack substance.  You know who you are!

I HAVE A HARD TIME TALKING ABOUT MYSELF! – The purpose of a dating profile is akin to a resume for employment. The idea is to get the employer to contact you for an interview. What’s the saying? “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When you say, “I have a hard time talking about myself,” what comes to my mind is RUN FOREST RUN! If you can’t express the basics about yourself, a relationship has zero chance. Who are you? What do you like? Do you have any goals? What are you looking for in a relationship? Do you want something stable or do you just desire to have sex? Then say so!

THE LAUNDRY LIST – You give yourself away when your profile consists of a list of demands. No overweight women, no women with nose rings, short hair, bleached hair, crazy hair, tattoos, menopausal…! Must have her own home, car, job and I don’t pay for dates, we split the cost, etc. etc. etc. What this says is that you’ve misjudged and been taken for a ride so you’ve put up these laundry lists hoping to escape the drama this time around. Again, my reaction is: RUN FOREST RUN! We’re all damaged in some way. You’ll mess around and miss out on Miss Right with all those demands.  Stop making every woman pay for the mistakes of one woman who by the way – you chose.

NO DRAMA – I truly get a kick out of the profile that reads: “I’m not into drama so if you’re bringing drama, pass up this profile.” This is usually the person that brings the drama. Again, you know who you are. Refer to the laundry list above.

MONEY TALKS AND BULLSHIT WALKS – Many dating sites offer services for free. If you choose the free route I believe you’re limited to the amount of contact you can have. If you’re serious about finding a connection take your debit card and key it in, pay the ten bucks or whatever it is to allow yourself full access. You say you want a relationship but you don’t want to come off the ten bucks for a membership. That’s real smart.

BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF – If you’re truly serious about finding an honest, loving relationship, do you boo! Be your 100% authentic self.  You can only fake it for so long. You will be found out.

How has your on-line dating experience been? (Those of you who have tried it) Inquiring minds definitely want to know.  I have several friends who have found the loves of their lives online. I will admit it’s a good way to meet people but it also has its flaws.  Please share.

COMING SOON – You’ve connected – Now What?
I have a few juicy stories to tell. Don’t miss it.

As I grow, I find myself requiring more space. My emotional well-being has become very important to me. At home, at work, as a consumer, taxpayer, mother, mate and a friend. I’m learning that just as I have CHOICES, those choices require certain guidelines, that is, in order to remain sane, as well as remain true to who I am as a person. Those guidelines have become my boundaries in life. In other words, where I will or will not allow another person to take me. It’s another CHOICE you can make in life.

In terms of relationships I must coin the favorite Dr. Phil phrase, “We teach people how to treat us”.

We have to be more up front and let people in on how we’re feeling. We especially need to start being more honest with ourselves about what behavior we will accept from others whose lives we share. If we don’t, we’re robbing ourselves and the person or persons we interact with on a daily basis.

We spend a great deal of time and energy discussing and worrying about everyone’s business except our own. Our family, our close friends. What they are doing, and what they are not doing, and the biggest of all…what they SHOULD be doing. The coworker and her personal problems…AGAIN! The company’s lack of enthusiasm about money or procedure. Your girlfriend’s “not good enough for my girl” man. Your brother’s new wife. The neighbor’s new car. Workplace favoritism. Come on people, we all have issues.

We fail to realize that people are who they are, good or bad. All of us are at different stages and experiences. We need to honor that and let go of the control issues.

Most of our stress is self-induced because we’ve failed to set boundaries. If your friend or family member is continuing to borrow money from you and not paying it back, you really must consider not repeating that mistake again. Don’t get mad and talk about it to everyone, except them. Let them know, “I’m sorry, but I can no longer loan money to you”. Learn the lesson and move on. If you’re in a dead-end relationship, stop and ask yourself what kind of boundaries did you set for your own happiness and self worth? Boundaries are really about self worth. Typically, the more you allow someone to mistreat you, the lower your self-esteem. Women and men alike have a hard time accepting this, but it’s a core truth.

If your relationship has split and gone back more than twice, boundaries is something you might want to look at. We are constantly (especially in new relationships) teaching our mates how to treat us. We really do have a say in our romantic/personal lives. Wake up! It’s a new day. We’re not setting enough boundaries. We tip toe around the truth for various reasons, mainly out of fear. Fear of not being accepted, not being liked, and not being loved.

“If I said what I was really feeling, that person might not like me”.

So we create illusions instead. We can’t keep the illusion up for long because it turns into frustration. The next thing you know…we’ve burst. We turn into “Sybil” or “Dr. Jekyl” and our mate says we’re crazy. Sounds like a boundary issue to me, what do you think? It’s not entirely their fault…you allowed the behavior to continue.

No one can do anything to you except that which you allow them to do.

If you continue to allow people to violate your space; your boundaries, you’re robbing one person…..you! You don’t have to be rude or hostile to have boundaries. You set them, practice them consciously, and not allow people to cross them. Let go of the fear! Stop saying yes, when you want to say “hell no”!

Maya Angelou said, “When you fail to place boundaries in your life, people inject themselves into places of your life where you don’t want them, and where they have no business being”.

Are you allowing people to “inject” themselves into your life where you don’t want them?

If so, I humbly suggest that you examine the boundaries in your life.

On my birthday a few years back, my boyfriend handed me a beautifully wrapped gift box.  Inside was a gorgeous diamond necklace but underneath the jewelry box was a CD called, “Year of the Gentleman.”  I was familiar with Ne-Yo but had not heard the song “Miss Independent”   When we got in the car from the restaurant he switched the mode to CD and there it was playing in all it’s glory.  On the freeway ride home I sat there intently listening.  He was smiling and singing along when I asked, “How long have you had this CD?”   He told me his best friend had played the song for him one night while they were working and told him, “That’s the kind of woman I want man.”  He reached over, grabbed my hand and with his million dollar smile said, “That’s the kind of woman I have.” At that moment I cried.  He said that he had played the song over and over because it represents exactly who I am as a woman.

So, I wanted to open for discussion the topic of being an independent woman.  Is it a blessing or is it a curse?  Over the years it’s been both for me.

I realize that we all need to feel needed; some more than others.  Men are taught from an early age to be protectors and providers. Some missed the lesson.  Little girls play with dolls and dream of marriage and the house with the white picked fence, two kids and a dog. Some women missed the lesson as well.

Should I be penalized from a loving relationship because I chose to carve out a comfortable life for myself? Should I date someone with less education or less stuff than I’ve acquired?  I have. It usually starts out great but after awhile it fizzled because the man was intimidated.  Some have gone as far as to say to me, “What do you need me for?”   Ouch !!  At one point I tried to tone it down then realized I was not being my authentic self.

I have talked to so many men and women about this independent issue.

A man wants a woman who is attractive, intelligent, and independent – to a point. They want a woman who is capable of cooking, cleaning and doing the “wifely” stuff even if the duties are shared.  They don’t mind that she earns a decent living. In some cases it’s a turn on. In other words, they want someone who is capable of taking care of herself, but not so capable that there is no need for him to be in her life.  How true it this?

I believe the basic rule is the same for men and women: People want to be with someone who is capable of meeting their needs, whatever those needs may be. They also want to be with someone for whom they bring some value to.

Ladies, if you believe you’re independent what EXACTLY does that mean to you?   What I’ve found is many women see independence differently.

Men, what are your feelings about an independent woman?

There is so much more for me to share on this topic but I wanted to save it for the discussion.

CAN WE DISCUSS IT?