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The Game

h   It’s Saturday night. You’ve got on your tightest pants or shortest dress. Your high heels, dangling earrings, and Mac lip gloss. You and your girlfriends ride together, and within thirty, you arrive at your destination. The club. And as a woman, what do you expect when you first step in? Wack lines. Whomp whomp.

Now granted, I haven’t been out clubbing with my girls in a while. Matter of fact, I have even fallen asleep in a couple because it’s not my thing anymore. But I can guarantee one thing without even having to step back into one- there’s going to be a lot of drunk men with no game.  So fellas, if you do anything on this list… STOP IT IMMEDIATELY!

1. “Hey ma.” For starters, I am not your ma, boo, boo thang, sweet thang, girl, or any other variation. Secondly, you are men. Please have some manners before stepping up on somebody. And lastly, if you don’t know my name and you substitute it with “ma,” it wasn’t meant to be.

2. “Lemme holla at chu.” No.

3. “Why you look so mean?” This line should not be a one size fits all type of deal. You hear this all the time. If you want to say something, bring some substance to the conversation. But think about it for a minute. If you were walking through a crowded, funky room and getting bumped constantly and your feet stepped on or even have a drink spilled on them, you would be frowning too. Or if you’re on a mission, for example, headed to the bar or the bathroom, sometimes you aren’t aware of your facial expressions. So fellas, I’m gonna tell you a little secret. This line is tired and annoying. So stop it!

4. “You can’t have friends?” Are you kidding me? Say the shoe was on the other foot. Say I hook up with my new club friend and we end up in a relationship. Would you be okay with me getting new club “friends?” Hell no! You’re selfish.

5. The nonverbal grab. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to say anything, but instead I’ll just grab your arm, butt, breast, or whatever. I had one guy that was bold enough to jump on my back after I ignored him grabbing my arm and the back of my shirt. This is just totally unacceptable on all levels. Why are you touching me? What do you want? Get your hands off me. All pop into my head when I see or experience this. This is definitely not a turn on. Don’t touch me. Moving on.

6. The stare. This is just creepy. I know you guys are just trying to see if you can catch a woman’s eye, but damn. Didn’t your mama teach you that staring is rude? Staring in any situation is weird and uncomfortable, but add the dark and an active atmosphere to the mix. I’m gonna just think that you’re plain ole crazy or a stalker.

Do you have any weak lines that you can add?

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To Be or Not To Be With

couple3   Recently, I’ve had a couple of conversations with a few of friends of mine in regards to dating. Now granted, I am no longer dating, but it is still an interesting topic to discuss. The topic of choice was basically compromise. When you are just stepping into the dating world, you have a couple of things on your wish list that you want in your partner. A few years later, that list grows and grows. When you hit the mid to late twenties, that list becomes damn near impossible for anybody to match (I know that I’m not just talking about the ladies here). If you are still single in your thirties, suddenly, one or two things fall off. Those one or two things are called compromises.

Now, the question is…why can’t I have what I want or why shouldn’t I get exactly what I want? Because, sometimes our standards are set too high. Not to say that you shouldn’t set the bar somewhere. I’m just pointing out that maybe you shouldn’t shoot for the stars and expect perfection.

A week or two ago, (of course I can’t remember who voted and where) on the internet there was a post about the “Perfect Man.” About two thousand women voted, and this fifty-year-old, slightly pudgy man with an accent was the result. They described the type of hair and eyes, what he did for a living, etc., but what they mainly described was physical attributes. (And for the record, the picture I saw of the man was not attractive.) But, just physical attributes and how a person makes money does not make the man.  What if you meet a gorgeous doctor who beats on you? Fine + a well-respected profession≠ does not always mean a good person at heart.

The point is, there is no cookie-cutter perfect guy, but there is a perfect person for each one of us. What’s best for me is not going to be best for you. Sometimes you have to compromise to get that custom made person. And what you choose to compromise is your business, whether it be your religious beliefs, children are already in the picture, their marital status (and I’m talking divorced, single, or maybe separated)- you get the picture. Your “perfect” man or woman could be out there right now that you’re overlooking because they don’t make $100,000 per year or because they don’t own a Bentley. Sometimes we have to give up a lil something to fully achieve and appreciate happiness.

Actin Brand New

bubbly   It’s the beginning of a brand new year. If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking, “2013- that’s going to be MY year.” New beginnings, fresh start, clean slate. When you think of January 1st, we automatically start thinking of a list of resolutions that we know full well that aren’t gonna make it past January. So what can we do instead? Instead develop short term and long term goals and maybe even a timeline to help you help yourself. {If you literally moaned and groaned about me asking you to do “too much work,” read this article to its entirety first and then decide your fate:)}

 

What is the point of all this?

The point is to shoot for something. To give yourself direction and purpose. Nobody wants to feel defeated or to walk around and not have a purpose. There’s no better feeling than feeling like you’ve achieved something. A lot of times when we make New Year’s resolutions, we do it verbally. But with goals, these need to be written down and followed step by step. Last year, I wrote a blog about vision boards. These are very much acceptable too. Anything to get your mind and body moving towards success.

 Aren’t goals just like resolutions?

Yes and no. Goals can be things that you want to change or improve, but they are also there to hold you accountable. Accountability is so important. That’s your motivation. You put it in writing, so now you have to back it up. Resolutions, on the other hand, can be broken and forgotten within two weeks.

What am I supposed to do with these goals?

Write them out. Be specific as possible but don’t have too many. Too many goals are just like too many rules in the classroom- overwhelming. Create two or three goals and write out measurable steps to get there. Imagine what it would look like if you accomplished your goals and work backwards, if that helps. After you have written out your goals, you need to display them somewhere; somewhere where you can see them all the time. I recently read somewhere that if other people see what you’re working towards, they might hold you accountable too and maybe even check in every now and then to see if you are still on track.

What do you mean by timeline?

Draw up a timeline of when you want your goals met. For short term goals, maybe goal one can be achieved in three months. After that is out of the way, maybe you can write in goal two for the following month, and so on. For long term goals, you could perhaps make a One Year, Five Year, Ten Year spreadsheet instead. Either way, your timeline needs to be visible so that you can see if you’re on track.

Ladies and gentlemen, just look at this as a blueprint of your future and take it from there. You can’t complain about not getting what you want if you sit back and wait for it to come your way. Sometimes you just gotta go out there and get it yourself. Good luck!

Simplicity

simple   Do most women like jewelry? Absolutely. Do most men like nice cars? Sure. But there are some things that don’t cost a thing but are very meaningful. It’s the simple things, ladies and gentlemen, that lets your mate know that you’re still interested, that you care and love them, and that is the glue that holds your relationship together. Below is a list of things that won’t lead you to the poor house and could bring a smile to your significant other’s face.

+ Smile- Seeing a smile on your loved one’s face is usually contagious (unless it looks sneaky). An easy way to brighten up your day.

+ Favorite picture- Another way to better your mood is to gaze at your favorite picture. Whether it’s a picture of you two together or even a picture of the sun setting over the ocean. Your favorite visions bring pleasant memories.

+ Hug and kiss- Sometimes there’s nothing better than coming home after a long day (or a rough day) and getting a bear hug and a nice kiss.

+ Doing something without being asked- Taking the initiative or doing something without being reminded or nagged about it is appreciative. There are some people who like to nag, but most people would rather not waste their breath reminding you over and over to do something. Please save your partner some time and energy by just taking care of it.

+Text- It used to be that you would send a Thinking of You card or letter. Now a simple, “I love you” or “Thinking of you” text would suffice.

+ Phone Call- Sometimes calling just to say hi or hearing your mate’s voice is just good enough.

+ Cleaning up after yourself- You won’t fully appreciate this one until you walk into an area that you just know is going to be messy and it’s not. Your boo did his/her part by handling their business. Bravo.

What are some of your simple things?

It’s Time

  I am long overdue for this… here comes a three-parter. This is a topic that we can all relate to at one time or another- break ups. We’re going to start this series off with knowing when to break off a relationship. Yes, break ups are hard to do (sometimes) and a lot of times, you have to really hit that point of no return before you can totally call it quits. But there are certain situations that make breaking up simple. Below are the top eight reasons why a couple should break up (not in any particular order). Feel free to add some of your own in the comments section.

1. Disrespect: This could come in all kind of forms ranging from putting your dirty feet on a table (with or without shoes on), to cussing you out, to cheating, to humiliating you in front of people, to staying out all night or coming in whenever.

2. Abuse: This is for either you (male or female) and/or your children. You need to get out, especially when children are involved because their safety comes first. You cannot imagine what children go through when they witness abuse or are abused themselves. So if there are any victims of domestic violence with children who are reading this, if you don’t do it for yourself, please do it for your children and get out!

3. Not in love/ No purpose: I’ve been in plenty of useless relationships. I know it sounds trifling, but there was a point in my life where I needed something to do. Did those relationships last? No. Some longer than others, but was I mentally or emotionally attached? Not a chance. You get to a point where you have to grow up and treat yourself better than that. If your relationship is not leading to something, then what is the purpose (unless you and your mate do not want to get married)?

4. You don’t like who you’re with: Now granted, there may be times where you don’t like each other, but if you don’t like your mate on ANY day of the week…there’s a problem.

5. More cons than pros: When you start feeling that itch to move on from a relationship, make a pros and cons list. If that list is twenty to one, favoring the cons…there’s a problem. And if those cons aren’t fixable, keep it pushing.

6. Lack of trust: When you lose trust, there’s no love. End of story.

7. Lack of appreciation: Everyone likes to feel appreciated and what’s wrong with letting that person know? The problem is sometimes we neglect to say or better yet show our appreciation to one another then we start taking them for granted or pushing them away. It’s the pushing away that makes it easier to leave.

8. Take advantage: Everybody has a part in a relationship, but if one person is doing their share and part of yours, why should they stay? I’m a firm believer in an equal partnership and if you can’t get with that, you’ve gotta go.

When is Enough Enough?

  Everyone has their own tolerance level when it comes to relationships. Some people leave as soon as they hit a rough patch. Some people stay and weather way too many storms. And some know when enough is enough. But what about those who stay a lot longer than their shelf life? Tonight, I want to talk about a semi-sensitive subject of domestic violence. I say “semi-sensitive” because there are some of us who know someone who is or has gotten abused, is an abuser themselves or knows of an abuser, or simply has strong views on the subject.

For starters, when the topic of abuse is brought up, many people assume that there was a physical confrontation. But ‘abuse’ is much more than that. There are four main types of abuse in relationships:

1. Physical- hitting, pushing, slapping, biting, throwing objects

2. Sexual- rape, forcing foreign objects onto/into a non consenting person, underage, exploitation

3. Emotional/mental- intimidation, cause psychological trauma (ex. depression, anxiety), isolation

4. Verbal- insults, constant put-downs (alone and in front of others)/degrading

Most people say “Why doesn’t (s)he just leave them?” Or “They must like getting mistreated.” I was one of those people, and mostly still am, but I learned a little bit about the other side of the story. I had this one class in grad school- I can’t remember the name of it, but I can remember the teacher and the classroom. My professor was also a therapist and she talked off and on about this client she had who was in an abusive marriage. She worked with her for years and became frustrated with the lack of progress the client was making. One day, the client told my teacher that she might as well stay. My teacher couldn’t believe it and neither could the class. She stated that she didn’t want to leave for fear of being killed. She went on to explain that either way, he could kill her- if she stayed, he could beat her to death, or if she left, he could find her and kill her for leaving. So she reasoned that she would rather stay because she learned her husband’s moods and what pushed his buttons, and she tried to prevent whatever she could to keep him happy. For some reason, this concept stayed with me for at least seven years (and counting).

There are other motives as to why victims stay. “Because I still love him”, staying for the children, they attract abusers (each person they date abuses them one way or another), or they have been brainwashed (of course people who get abused don’t know that they’ve been brainwashed, but outsiders know). Self-blame and feelings of loss of control lead most victims to make excuses for their abusers and to stay in this type of relationship.

So if you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, encourage them to seek help, especially if children are involved. Victims have an incredible journey ahead of them by working through the feelings of inadequacy, self-blame, and shame. And most importantly, be supportive and try not to judge. Sometimes it isn’t always a ‘get up and walk out’ type of situation.

Real Love

  Do you believe in love at first sight? And I am talking love not lust. I have had this conversation with numerous people and I have maintained my position… absolutely not! Now granted, I am not here to tell you whether you should or should not believe in it, it’s just my opinion. In general, I think that ‘love at first sight’ is garbage. So, let me tell you why.

For starters, for lack of better terms, I “bloom” late. Meaning, I cannot and have not ever fallen in love within a month of time. I need to have known, been around, and dated you for months before I can even form those types of thoughts. Here, time is of the essence. I need that time to build feelings, to build trust, and to build a relationship. With ‘love at first sight’, there’s literally no time to get to know a person. You could be locking eyes with a serial killer, but guess what? You didn’t take that time to get to know his homicidal tendencies.

Next, let’s look at “the look.” When you are giving someone “the eye”, it does not automatically mean, “I love you and I want to be with you for the rest of my life.” Please. That look means,’ I’m interested. Come over here and talk to me.” The only time when that look means more is in the movies or on television. How many times have you seen a character’s eyes bug out as huge red hearts with their mouths gaped open? So for the people who actually believe in this, is that how ya’ll really look? I’m just curious.

And lastly, there are times when your mind separates from your actions and your heart. For example, your mind says no, your heart is indecisive, and your body allows you to go home with a stranger since you’re feeling frisky. So in this case, how can you tell wholeheartedly that you are truly feeling love and not lust when you see the man or woman of your dreams (or so you think)? What if you begin dating the person you supposedly fell in love with and find out that they are married, they are really ugly inside, they are abusive (abusers are charmers), and so on. Then what? Would you stay because you fell in love? “He or she was so perfect, what happened?” Or would you doubt that your original feelings were really love?

I would like to take the time to invite all of the readers who truly believe in love at first sight to share why they believe in it. C’mon…don’t be shy;)