Monday, December 26, 2011

So You Say You Wanna Get Married, Aye?

I've recently decided that love isn't a good enough reason to marry someone. I'll go so far as to say that love alone, is actually a bad reason to think you should be married to someone. You can love a lot of people in a lifetime, even love a couple of them at the same time but when you decide to marry someone; I believe that should only happen once with one person so it's definitely not something to be taken lightly.

As I've been giving a lot of thought about my future as it pertains to dating, I've spent quite a bit of that time thinking about marriage and what it means to me. We're living in a society now where women (and some men as well) seem to be more enamored with the idea of getting married than actually being married. For Christ's sake, celebs are out here making 70 million dollars off of corporately sponsored shotgun weddings while viewers sit back and watch from the comfort of their own homes. Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor franchise nuke the whole courting process. Women dream of their wedding day and start plotting on colors and bridal party participants before an engagement ring is even purchased. But while I hear tons of talk about diamond karat weights, indoor vs outdoor receptions, buffet vs set menu; there isn't nearly as much excitement when I hear talk about what happens when the "I Do's" are said and the honeymoon is over. You know, when that whole "til death do us part" part takes effect.

If more people realized juuuuust how serious marriage was, I'm pretty sure the divorce rate would go down. The age of marriage would also probably go up and the rate at which people were getting married would probably also decline. And why is that? Because folks might actually start to look past the glamour associated with the wedding day and being able to say you're someone's wife, and actually think what they're really signing up for.

Marriage is so romanticized, and while there is much about marriage that is indeed romantic, a lot of it is about business as well. You can be in a relationship with someone forever and not legally marry them; people do it all the time. So what is the benefit of marrying someone? I'd say it's the security that comes along with it; both mental and financial. Being able to share health benefit coverage, having someone to come home to and to come home to you every night. Having someone to start a family and build an empire with. Not just someone to cuddle next to cold nights and make a million and one Facebook albums with.

Having heard quite a few stories lately about men who are married or are engaged who choose to be unfaithful has also made me step back at analyze modern day marriage. And from that I drew this conclusion: nobody has to get married. This isn't 1911, where people would label you certifiably crazy and un-useful in society if you were over the age of 25 and single. So if you have no intention of being faithful, maybe marriage isn't for you. And honestly, that's okay. As I've gotten older, I've discovered that traditional marriage isn't for everyone and it probably never was but when society says you either get married or you become the equivalent of a leper, get married is what you do. With that said, it's damn near 2012, don't get married because you feel pressured to or because your friends are doing it. Marriage isn't a trend to hop on while it's hot and hop off of when the thrill dies down.

I've been in love before and thought I could see my future with that person in it. But when I looked at the basic things that were important to me, not being able to trust him kept coming to the forefront of our relationship. Some may say, "that's something you could work past" but would you honestly go into business with someone you couldn't trust? Truth is, that you could, but who wants to look over their shoulder every 5 seconds because they don't know when moves may be being made unbeknownst to them that could damage and cripple that partnership? Marriage is a business, love is it's collateral.

Now don't get me wrong, none of this is to say that I don't want to get married and be married in the legal, traditional sense, because the June Cleaver in me definitely does and I will. But I want to get married when I know it's right and when a mate has been revealed to me with whom I am equally yoked. And by that I don't mean we make the same amount of money, come from similar backgrounds and have the same education achievements. What I do mean is that he also realizes that marriage is not a game. It's not all chocolate, roses, sex and Valentine's Day everyday. It's hard work, dirty work. We will have arguments, we will butt heads, but we will also know how important it is that we work things out. How important it is that we share the same vision for our future family. Love is a vital attribute for marriage, but so is trust, commitment, patience, honesty and more tactical things like knowing how to handle our money and being ambitious.

But then again, I'm not married, not even close. So what do I know right? ;-)

A Year In Review

2011 is almost over! Can you believe it? Because I surely can't. This year was a tough one and I will honestly say I wouldn't do it again for the life of me. Let's take a quick glance at my year in review:

I laughed a lot. I cried. I fell in like. I fell out of like... hard. I quit a job. I started a new one. I got depressed, really depressed. I lost 15 pounds. I made mistakes. I meditated. I gave up on pointless sex; make that all sex. I took a sabbatical from dating. I fasted. I opened my heart to God. I found a church & pastor I really enjoy. I started making turbans. I eliminated the majority of my debt. I almost jumped out of a plane. I got my passport. I gained new friends. I lost old ones. I strengthened existing bonds. I read. I wrote. I lived...

As I enter into a new year, I'm not going to make bottomless promises to myself about what I will accomplish and set goals without a concrete plan of action. But what I will do is continue to be thankful for all of my many blessings and promise to continue to grow in love & light. To laugh. To love and be the best possible me for Him.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!! Happy Kwanzaa!
Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some Love For the Fellas

Being a blogger myself, I must admit... I LOVE reading blogs! I could seriously sit and read them all day. Blogs about love & life, blogs about fashion, blogs about food. You name it, I'd probably at least take a gander at it if it's a blog. With that said, I've come across some pretty awesome blogs from the male point of view and of course, as women, we always love to hear what the guys have to say. Especially since we think they spend all their time thinking about sports, women & sex :0)

With that said, here's a list of some of my fav blogs from the fellas about well, women, love & sex(duh!):

Very Smart Brothas - Their wit is unparalleled. Especially Panama. I'm guaranteed a side splitting laugh at least twice before the end of all his posts. If you see this, tweet me ;0) . We all know I love a witty man.

Until I Get Married - I think of Jozen, this blog's author, like the Drake of the male blogging world. And I'm a Drake fan, so that's not an insult. He's candid and not afraid to show his emotional side when doing so. And as a fellow HBCU alum, I gotta give props where due.

Black Girls Are Easy - This is a newer find for me, thanks to Twitter. The posts are honest, gritty and humorous at times. I can't say that I've come across a blog from the male POV that speaks more directly to the 20somethings generation. I'll also admit that a post or two that I've read here have made me get in my feelings, which is good, because sometimes we all need a reality check. Oh, don't read this one at work. Guaranteed a NSFW pic or two is destined to pop up on your screen  lol.

Bereolaesque - This one isn't exactly a blog, but Mr. Enitan Bereola II does write for several media outlets including Edge Magazine, Soul & The Examiner. He's also written a book focused on male chivalry and reviving the 21st century gentleman, Bereolaesque. Word on the streets(the web) is he's now working on one for the ladies. If you find yourself wanting even more of Bereola's tips for the modern day gentleman, follow him on Twitter, @Bereolaesque #pleasantries .

The Urban Gent - Here's a non-relationship focused resource. Take an interest in men's fashion? This is a great blog to check out. The layout is easy to follow and every post is thorough and well put together. There's celebrity inspiration, wardrobe & grooming tips, and even a history lesson or two.

That's all I have for now. Any of my readers have a blog written by a black male that they want to share? I'm always looking for a new distraction :0)