Sunday, January 31, 2010

All I Want is A Good Man

I was browsing through a blog that I follow and one of the posts posed the question, "What does it mean to be a good man?". I mean, it's common to hear a woman complaining about how there are no good men around, or how all they want to find is a good man. But what does that really mean?

"Good" is one of those relevative terms, so what I think is good may not be good to some one else. I've never really said that I wanted a "good man" though, I do want a man who is honest, committed, funny, intelligent, kind, and driven. Many of those characteristics make up what many would think is a good person period. However; I think what most of us, when we say we want a good man, are really saying we want a man who will do as we want him to.

We want someone who is going to be the Prince Charming we always read and dreamed about. He would come sweep us off our feet and be ready to commit exactly when we we're ready. Unfortunately though, like ourselves, no one is perfect. So when we start talking about finding a "good man", we need to keep that in mind. And at the same time we need to be good women! How're you going to find your ideal mate, if you're all messed up and rotten inside. The right person, will come at the right time and sometimes that isn't until you've gotten yourself together and well...right! Maybe that's what I should start saying... I'm looking for the RIGHT man for me. I think that's much more identifiable than "good".

What do you all think? Is there a such this a good man? If so, where are they since it seems like so many women can't find them?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

5 No-no's He Just Can't Stand

Recently I took a survey amongst some of my closest male friends, asking them what they felt were some things a woman could say or do that would make them doing an about face. I narrowed their responses down to "The 5 No-no's".

1. She only wants you for what you can do for her
Ladies, it's our nature to look for a man who can protect and provide for us. But let's not overemphasize the "provide" element. Particularly around this age, many guys are still trying to find their niche and build up their empire. If they see you're more interested in getting in their financial benefits than getting to know them for who they are... you may surely get dismissed.

2. Shady sexual history
Had or have an STD or two? Got more than a few skeletons hanging in that closet? I had a couple guys tell me that a woman with a shaky sexual history is a definite no no. Sometimes we may think men care a lot less about our sexual pasts because of their own "adventures". Call it a double standard but unfortunately we should be used to that by now.

3. She hates men
As women in the dating game, we've all had our share of heartbreaks and headaches but honestly, no man that you're currently dating wants to hear about all your issues with men. He doesn't need nor want to know about how you think all men are dogs/liars/cheaters etc. More than likely he'll start wondering if you hate men so much, what are you doing with him?

4. You don't know how to let a man be a man
Sometimes we need to throw all that independent mumbo jumbo to the side. Men like to feel needed. He doesn't want to know that you can do everything on your own and don't need him for anything. If you can do it all on your own, what are you trying to keep him around for? Let him pay for dinner without you offering, open the door for you, take command every once in a while. I think it helps to show that you trust him to do right by you.

5. Trying to change a man
I don't even think there's a need to elaborate on this one. Men don't like to be changed and more than likely, you won't be able to change them. So if he's not what you want, move on and find it.

What are other dealbreakers fellas?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Waiting Game: When He Won't Change His Mind

This post is specifically geared to the ladies. Since I am a woman I spend a lot of time thinking about the things we do that are counterproductive to our happiness. One thing I have noticed is the willingness we have to subject ourselves to what I refer to as, "the waiting game". I'm guilty of this myself, so I'm definitely not pointing fingers here.

One example of the waiting game is when you like a guy, and he likes you, and you all decide you're going to date. So you date...and you date, and you date for months. And those months turn into a year and that year grows into a year and a half and so on. And still you are just dating. I don't know one woman who would merely date a guy that she genuinely was interested in and not want to make things official. I've heard women who are in this dating game say things like, "He says he doesn't want a girlfriend and even though I want him to be my boyfriend, I'm fine with us just dating." 4 words ladies: STOP LYING TO YOURSELVES!!

I was in exactly this type of situation a couple years ago. I can definitely say I was never 100% okay with after spending over 6 months dating, just being the woman he's dating. And you know what happened after that extended period of dating? He stopped dating me and a couple weeks later made someone else his girlfriend. I'm not trying to say that that is what is going to happen, but I have heard more than a couple stories about women who were waiting in the wings for their man to propose and instead they ended up breaking up and a mere couple months later their ex ends up engaged to someone else!

The bottom line here is really, when a man tells you he isn't ready for something that you wholeheartedly know you want, find the courage to walk away. If I have learned nothing else, when a man is ready, he will be all in and willing to take any plunge (whether it's making the move to girlfriend/boyfriend status, or deciding to pop the question). You can't convince someone that they want to be with you or marry you, and time more than likely will not push him closer to doing what you want. Haven't we all learned that you can't change a man!

To the men out there reading this, please don't be like these selfish guys in this situation. Men are just as guilty here. For the men that have been in this situation, what made you choose to keep stringing the woman along instead of walking away?

How many of you ladies have ever been in this situation? Or maybe still are?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Addicted to Sex

Not me sillies! But apparently Tiger Woods is. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, stories have been circulating about Tiger Woods checking himself into the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addictions center in Mississippi to be treated for sexual addiction. I didn't think twice about this initial but a conversation I had with my mother last night, got me thinkin

Society teaches us that men are sexually driven beings. They enjoy sex and have sex with multiple partners, with little to no scrutiny. Women on the other hand are supposed to be "virginal" even if they aren't. Let me explain. Even when a girl has had sex, aside from her closest friends, she isn't likely to make her sexcapades public knowledge. For we all know, if she did, most people would turn a judgemental eye and start calling her all types of hos, sluts, etc. Even in relationships; no man wants to think about his woman being with another man before him but most women hope their man has had some practice and knows what he's doing before crawling between her sheets. No matter how far we've come in equal rights for the sexes, double standards still exist.

Now back to the Tiger discussion.

Tiger had affairs with several women, okay, more than a dozen women over the course of his marriage and some before that. From waitresses, to bartenders, to porn stars and prostitutes. Tiger was sleeping with them all. What is it that pushes this situation beyond a man who couldn't keep it in his pants, to someone with a genuine problem? Some would argue that he doesn't have a problem at all, it's all just a great PR move (that was my mother's opinion).

It's not my place to determine whether Tiger has a sexual addiction or not but I defenitely think that people can be addicted to sex, just like people can be addicted to anything else that puts them in a blissful state. It would just be interesting to know how far does someone have to go for it to become an addiction? Humans naturally think about sex on a regular basis, on average 9 times a day (men 13 times a day, women a mere 5... not a surprise). What if you thought about having a drink or taking a drug that many times a day? You would have been in rehab a long time ago. So what makes someone a sex addict and not just someone who lacks self control and is thus over indulgant from time to time? Do you have to be sleeping with the bottom of the barrel, no offense to the porn stars and prostitutes out there, before someone says you have a problem? What if that's just the preference?

These are all just a bunch of questions, I'm sure there are no concrete answers but I'd like to see where you all weigh in on this issue.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Status: Unavailable

Wouldn't it be nice if potential mates came with warning labels?? Like... liar, cheater, momma's boy, has horrible credit. I need the males who come into my life to come with warning labels that tell me whether they are unavailable or not. And I'm not just referring to whether they have a girlfriend/wife but whether they are totally open and able to pursue a healthy relationship.

Please see exhibit A for a more detailed explaination of exactly what I mean:

Exhibit A
The closer to the BIG unavailable box, the more serious the foul. If you are "contracturally" unavailable, just plan 'ol leave me alone. This person's unavailibility is obvious; they have a girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband. Say adios to your other half, and then we can have a conversation. I've dealt with this guy one too many times and no matter which may you twist it, a bad taste will be left in your mouth after dealing with this one.
The emotionally unavaliable ones definitely give the most headaches. Half of me wanted to put them before the contracturally unavailable but cheating is just wrong no matter how you look at it. The emotionally unavailable person may say things like "it's not you, it's me" or "I just have to get me together"BUT at the same time try and keep you waiting in the wings until they work themselves out. In my opinion, this person knew they couldn't handle anything more serious then a couple rounds of "getting to know you", let alone a relationship, from the very beginning. The emotionally unavailable should be in solitude somewhere getting themselves together. That may sound harsh, but I've been here too and dealing with this guy is no joke. Talk about getting up to get let down.
And lastly we have the physically unavailable. This person is just a tease. You like them, they like you but they live hours away. Long story short, long distance relationships work for some but how often are they really worth the trouble? I'm not saying I would never do it but I think it would take meeting one outstanding individual for me to do so. I like the idea of being able to call the guy I'm interested in and have him be in my presence in less than 30 minutes.
At the end of the day, dealing with any of these situations can be frustrating, but I guess it's all a part of the fun of dating. Right?
Have any of you all encountered these different situations??
*This chart applies to both men and women

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Quarter Life Thing

Are you dissatisfied with your current profession?

Do you find yourself feeling confused about the direction your life is headed in?

Have you ever felt like maybe you should have stayed in school just a couple more years so you could have more time to figure things out?

Are many of your friends getting engaged, and having babies, while you sit at home twiddling your thumbs wondering if you missed the memo?? (Okay, maybe that's just me)

If the answer to any or all of these questions is a firm "hell yea", you may just be suffering from the quarter life crisis.

From what I have both observed and experienced myself, it seems like this quarter life experience begins a couple months after graduating from college and lasts until the late 20s/30. When we all graduated from college it was like, "finally I'm free!!". You were gainfully employed, moving out on your own and paying all your own bills. Coming and going as you pleased.... living the life of a full blown adult. Then as the months rolled by and being a slave to the 9-5 (or 8-6 like myself) and watching your money get flushed down the toilet everytime you paid bills, you noticed the stress and anxiety begin to build. All of a sudden, life wasn't only about having fun and doing enough just to get by, like it was while you were in school. There were real responsibilities and expectations. Not going to work could equal not getting paid or even losing your job, unlike during college, when not going to class just meant having to get the notes from someone else.

I think the most difficult aspect of the quarter life crisis is adjusting to real life. I always said for as long as I could remember, that I never wanted to grow up. Even as a kid, when all my friends and my own younger brother constantly proclaimed that they couldn't wait until they grew up, I disagreed. Even then I knew that growing up, especially in it's initial stages, sucks. Yes, it's fun at times but it is also a lot of hard work and headaches.

If I polled my friends today, I couldn't rally 5 people together who were content with where they are in life; it seems as if everyone is in search of "the something better". But what if that something better doesn't exist? Is part of being an adult, coming to terms with the fact that you won't always be satisfied with your life but that you have to make the best with what you've got? Honestly, I hope not but we will all see.

Finding love at this point in life is difficult because of the reasons I mentioned above. Everyone is in search of "the something better" and while we are searching for that, we don't make the time to give most people the serious time of day. We're so busy moving and shaking and trying to figure ourselves out that we don't have the patience to nurture and shape a relationship with another 20 something into something viable. Even if we actually like that person! I know we've all heard that you need to have yourself together before you can build with someone else. But what about the idea of building together? Life will never be perfect. He will never be perfect, she will never be perfect, and YOU will never be perfect.

Maybe if we all came to terms with that idea, we could be just a liiiiittle bit more relaxed about this quarter life thing.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

7 Guys I Couldn't Date

I was thinking about my expectations and preferences in guys the other day and came up with a list of "7 guys I couldn't date". Some of these are more light-hearted than the others, but all of them can be deal breakers when it comes to dating me.

1. The insecure guy

I honestly cannot spend all of my time trying to get you to feel better about yourself. I know first-hand what it's like to have low self-esteem but if I've already told you how great, and wonderufl I think you are and you still want to be down on yourself all the time; I won't be the one sticking around to keep picking you up.

2. The guy everybody loves

I've been in this situation before and honestly it's just annoying to be dating the guy that everybody knows and loves. I don't consider myself the jealous type but when you can't go anywhere and not have someone(especially women) he knows approach you, it just gets under the skin a little.

3. The liar

I think this is pretty self-explanitory.

4. Mr. Undependable

There's nothing that I hate more than when someone says they will do something or be somewhere and they fall through. I live by the belief that if you don't want to do something, say so from the beginning. Don't tell me "yes" when I ask you to do something for me, just because you think that's what I want to hear.

5. The Smoker

If you want to put your health at risk, by all means be my guest, but don't think I'm going to stick around for it. I'm an asmathic and I think smoking stinks. End of story.

6. Mr. Egostistical

There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness. When that line is crossed, it's definitely annoying. Don't get me wrong, I love a man who's sure of himself and oozes confidence but when it goes overboard, please stay away.

7. Mr. "I Don't Eat the Swine"

This one is more playful than the others, but it's still "important" to me. Everybody who knows me, knows I have a serious love affair with pork and all that can be done with it. If you're constantly telling me I shouldn't be eating pork because of xyz, it's just not going to work out. Let's just say, "if you don't eat the swine, you can't get my time" lol.

Am I being too picky here??? Maybe, but a girl's gotta have standards, right?

**UPDATE** What are some dealbreakers for the rest of you out there??

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Baby Clause

So I was going to write an indepth post about a tooootally different topic, but an experience I had tonight made me change focus.

I went out to happy hour with an ex co-worker of mine and I must say, surprisingly enough the male to female ratio was pretty decent. One of the guys attending struck up a conversation with me and we chatted on and off for most of the evening.

He was older than me, definitely a plus, especially after the conversation with my girlfriends the other night. In our conversation we covered everything from where we worked to where we were from, you know the basics. While talking about home, I mentioned my niece(a.k.a. the love of my life) and that's when he dropped the bomb. He has a child, a pre-teen daughter. Now, I'm not one to judge and my response wasn't a negative one, but I must have had some type of unsatisfactory look on my face because we didn't share too many more words after that.

After leaving the event I really starting thinking about something: if I end up deciding I want to date older men, it is very likely that some of them may have a child or even children. I mean I love my niece, but Lord knows I couldn't be a mother figure to anyone right now. Especially not a pre-teen, everybody knows that kids at that age can be difficult. And I'm not trying to have to restrain myself from laying hands on someone else's child lol.

Maybe I'm thinking too much, or maybe not. Is it shallow to discount someone based on a factor like having a child? Not that that's what I did but it's something to think about...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Cheating the New Black??

**These are actual ads that ran on the back page of my morning paper. And yes, this website is very real

I'm sure we all know someone or a few someonessss, who have either cheated or been cheated on. In some instances, we have been the ones doing the cheating. I pass no judgement on that, we all have our faults. What I don't get is those who cheat with absolutely no remorse. I've been seriously approached a couple times by men who were either in a relationship or married.

Here's how the story goes:
About a year ago I was approached by a man on the train who was interested in the book I was reading. I believe it may have actually been Steve Harvey's book, but I digress. It was odd at first to have someone approach me during the morning commute, when most people are either listening to their ipods or trying their damndest just to wake up. He wasn't physically my type, but after going back and forth via e-mail for a while I said hey, why not give this guy a chance. He and I go out to a cutw little restaurant and after a couple drinks we start discussing what I'm looking for. After having just having dealt with a dramatic situation with the last guy I was talking to, the #1 quality I was looking for was honesty.

Well, this and all the grey goose must have given him the courage to admit to me that he was actually married and had been for a mere 8 months. Are you kidding me?? Oh, but it only gets better. After coming clean about his marital status he goes on to explain that we can still have "fun" together. I think at this point I my mouth must have dropped wide open. A few moments earlier you told me you were married, and now you expect me to say yes to the idea of being your side hustle. He even explained that we could not only continue to go out on dates, but also go away on trips! Needless to say when he called me after that date, I didn't pick up or return his call. The worst part of it all is that there are many women who would have taken this success man up on his offer.
While this is just one experience, I have also had several men in supposedly committed relationships continue to pursue me, even though they knew I was fully aware of the fact that they have girlfriends. What is it that causes already involved men to come after me? Do I have a "choose me, I'm a homewrecker" stamp on my forehead that I don't know about??

What is it that causes people to resort to cheating? I've heard it all; from "she doesn't make me happy" to "what if she's not the one for me?" Then break up with her! Do you both a favor and stop being so damn selfish. I can honestly say, especially after my experiences, that I'd rather my boyfriend/man/husband would be honest and just leave me or actually sit and talk to me about what is going on, rather than go outside our union and look for his solutions in someone else.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friendly Advice

Yesterday I met up with two of my good friends from college. I luv these girls, and haven't seen them in the same place together in a year and a half. Naturally as the evening progressed, our conversation turned to relationships.

All three of us are single; however, they made it very clear to me that they are single by choice not by force. Me... not so much lol. They even went on to tell me that in a mere 2 weeks they can have me boo'd up with a man of my choice if I enroll in their dating bootcamp. I was amused, but curious as well to hear what this hypothetical bootcamp was all about. Both of my friends are quite the Southern Belles, and I kindly reminded them that dating in NYC is totally different from dating in the South. There must be like 10 educated single women to every 1 comparable man in NYC. And unlike many men I've come across up here, men in the South generally have very little reservation about settling down at a relatively young age.

My girlfriends had two key pieces of advice for me from their bootcamp: 1. be willing to date men of different races. 2. date older men. Essentially, broaden my horizons. I never considered myself to be closeminded. I mean my requirements are pretty standard: smart, attractive, ambitious, honest, and funny(you HAVE to be able to make me laugh, no ifs and or buts). I have never set parameters on age or race but I naturally have my preferences. I would honestly rather end up marrying a man who is the same race as I am... that doesn't mean I wouldn't consider dating outside my race though. It would just take a lot for me to do so.

Dating older men is definitely something I have considered. I always felt that I was mature for my age. I like to have fun but I don't have much patience for nonsence. I know what I'm looking for from a guy and find it hard to compromise, especially if I've taken a genuine interest in someone. That alone makes it difficult for me to date guys my age. I find that many men in their mid-20s are focused on achieving career goals and having fun and find it hard or are unwilling to juggle that with the idea of a relationship. Don't get me wrong though, just because a man is older doesn't mean his head is on any straighter. After having gone on dates with two 30-somethings who turned out to be cheaters(those stories are definitely coming down the pipeline), I realized that a man who doesn't want to "behave" isn't going to behave, no matter how old he is.

Whether I will adopt either of these tidbits of advice, I haven't decided yet. The older man idea, doesn't sound half bad though ;o)

What do you all think??

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lovers & Friends

How important is it for men and women to be friends before they take it to the next step?

I spent my lazy Sunday afternoon watching one of my favorite moives; Brown Sugar. For those who may not have seen it, it's the tale of two childhood friends who eventually grew a part, having moved to opposite coasts. By the time they reunite, the main male character, Dre', is planning to get married to his girlfriend of a few months while his best friend Sydney, who is visibly jealous, settles into her new life having moved from LA to NYC. Sydney also falls for a basketball player who she evetually gets engaged to. Long story short, Dre' and Sydney come to learn that they can lean on each other for support, more so than on their significant others, and their friendship turns into romance.

I've heard so many times that you should be friends first before you make the leap to lover. Apparently such relationships are more successful. I truly don't know if that is the case or not, but it kind of makes sense. I would think that the person I want to end up with as my life partner would be my best friend, some one that I'm not just legally bound too but that I would rather be around more than anyone else I know. However, it seems like so many of us jump head first into relationship mode and we forget to really get to know the person we claim to be interested in.

What about those people that we already know? You know, those "just friends" that you have of the opposite sex? Would you date any of them? Like really think about it. I know most of my male friends have come about because they were guys who at one point tried to be more than just my friend but for one reason or another we (or maybe just me), decided we should stay in the friend zone. I've actually had one of my good guy friends tell me that men and women can't simply be friends. After I asked him to elaborate, he went on to explain that guys do not see women as friends... women they associate themselves with are either someone they want or wanted to date/bed or already have. Is this true guys? With the way many guys I know think, this probably is the truth. Honestly why would a guy take the time to get to know a woman if he didn't at least have some sort of attraction to her, even if he just likes the way she looks?

Maybe I have guy friends that if I reeeeally thought about it, I should have given an honest chance. That friend that makes me laugh, keeps it one hundred, is honest, dependable, and ambitious ... 2010 may just be a year for firsts.

Share your thoughts!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Food For Thought

While having drinks with some of my fabulous friends today it was only natural that the conversation eventually turned to relationships and finding the one. Out of the 4 ladies at the table, only one of us is in a relationship, excuse me, marriage. While discussing everything from interracial dating, to the effect a bad experience can have on your outlook, my married friend brought up an interesting point of view.

Let me first debrief you on my dear friend. The only guy she has seriously dated is her now husband. This November will make 10 years of them being together, and at the ripe old age of 23, that is FOREVER! Because of that reason, I often jokingly remind her that her opinion on being single is totally irrelevant because she knows nothing about it.

During our conversation she shared her theory on why she thinks some of her friends are single. She finds that those female friends who come from a two-parent household are for the most part single, and that the reason being is the insurmountable list of expectations they have for the men they hope to one day share the rest of their lives with. These expectations are formed as a result of the experiences we had while growing up watching our own parents. Is it now our fault for wanting what we saw our whole lives?

My friend went on to explain that her friends who came from "broken"* homes for the most part are in relationships; is this because their expectations are limited due to there being no basis for them to measure by?OR: I look at it this way, in life you either become what you know or you try your hardest to work against it. This makes sense in the case of those coming from "broken" situations. Those individuals will either try their hardest to be everything their parents were not or they can fall prey to cycles of brokenness (ie. generations of teen moms and dead beat dads).

Judging by my friend's theory, are women and even men from healthy 2-parent households destined to be disadvantaged because of their possibly jaded life experiences?

I don't have a conclusion to this, just more and more questions. Hopefully as I continue on this journey the answers will begin to roll in but until then I'd love to hear your responses/thoughts on this.

*I hate using the word broken, it just sounds so negative. If someone has a better way for me to describe it, please let me know!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Me - Raw

I'm 24 yrs. old. and have spent all but 6 months of my life terribly* single. If you're assuming that I feel depressed, sad, or angry about this, you're wrong. If anything, I'm perplexed. Sure I've spent a little time being angry and attending meetings with the man-hater club, I think every woman has at one time or another.

There has even a period of time when I blamed myself for my single-tude. Maybe I was too shy, too mean, too sassy... who knows? But I've run through the gamut trying to figure out why I have spent so much time riding solo. The truth is, I still don't know the answer! And maybe there actually isn't an answer, it could all be about the timing, my location, anything.

My curiosity with this subject, prompted me to ask my guy friends (some of them ex-more than friends) what kept them from pursuing something more serious with me, and the responses have ranged from "you're too passive" and "you were too good for me" to the standard "it's not you, it's me". Regardless of the response my frustrations surrounding my singleness have not been quelled. I will come out and admit that I honestly don't like serial dating or being single, not one bit.

Meeting people can be fun, but constantly getting to know people, investing your time and feelings in someone, only to end up back at square one just becomes taxing on my emotions. And because I am an adult, I can also admit that dating often entails sex and for the most part I don't like kissing people I hardly know, let alone entertaining the idea of allowing them into my bed or crawling into theirs all willy nilly.

Maybe, juuuust maybe writing and hearing the feedback from others on the way I view myself and the way men and women relate to one another, will help me come to understand "me" just a little bit better.

*I only used the term "terribly" when referring to single bc it is my belief that you are single until married. I don't care how long yall have been together. I'm not saying being single is terrible, it can be lonely, but terrible by no means.

The Way We Were

A new decade is upon us and with the arrival of 2010, I have come to one definite conclusion: things between men and women will never be the same.

Say bye-bye to the days when boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy marries girl, they have 2.5 kids and a house with the picket fence and live happily ever after... just like that. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, hey, I even know some of these people. However, your chances of falling into that small group are getting slimmer by the nano second.

Don't take my realism for negativity, hell, that life was a dream I envisioned for myself for the most part of my life. Anybody who knows me forreal, knows that I'm actually a hopeless romantic. However, it wasn't until I graduated from college and moved out on my own that I realized I would be up for more of a challenge. I've been told that the challenge of finding love is part of the game; too bad playing isn't always fun. Don't get me wrong, there are those(both men and women) who enjoy this challenge... thrive off of it even. I mean, all animals enjoy a good hunt every now and then :o)

In this new venture of mine, I want to share with whomever is out there reading, my take on the journey on the road to lust, love, and the happily ever after. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I plan to!!

*For my friends/associates/ex lovers and the like who may read my memoirs and see yourselves in these stories, don't be mad! It only means you were on my mind :o)