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Single Awareness Day Isn’t For Everyone

In Hate, Love, Relationships on February 14, 2011 at 11:10 am
 written by Sway

V-Day is about more than gifts!/bostonherald.com

It’s that time of year folks. Valentine’s Day aka “Single Awareness Day”. Today is the day people around the country will fall into one of these categories. They will:

  •  hate the fact that they don’t have a valentine (or hate Valentine’s Day) so they purposely wear all black and boycott the day and all of its red and pink glitter glory
  • hate the day because they do have a valentine and have been given the duty of  planning the “perfect” romantic day that their significant other won’t forget
  • love the day because they have a valentine and are the recipient of this “perfect” romantic day
  • feel neutral about the day and may or may not have a valentine, but don’t really care because they are treating today like a regular day

I am proud to say that I fall into the last category. I’m also proud to say that I going forward, I am choosing to be in this category every year. I’m not necessarily boycotting Valentine’s Day, I am boycotting what seems to be presented as the most significant part of the day according to flower, card, and chocolate companies alike: the gifting.

I can admit that a lot of single women see this day as the day that points out their relationship status and some don’t like to be reminded of it. The thought of going out on this night with a group of single girlfriends just to be surrounded by lovebirds over populating restaurants and walking down the street hand in hand with PDA on blast, is enough to make them want to stay home. But trust me, this day is a lot harder for people in a relationship. Well, I should say this day can be a lot more stressful. It seems society has made this day especially for the men to prove their undying love and commitment to their S.O. For some its redemption day–the day for them to attempt to  make up for any wrongdoing over the past year.

For others, it’s just another day to browse through Yelp looking for reservations to the highest Zagat rated pricy restaurant, have flowers shipped to their love’s office on last minute, and shell out big bucks giving them a gift that tops last year’s.

And for women in relationships, they hold some responsibility so it seems. Victoria’s Secret stores nationwide probably expect some of their biggest sales around this day as females look for body sprays and lotions with the  words “enchanting” or “sexy” in the title, and scour the racks for the perfect lingerie (or lingeree as I call it) to show off to their man.

Okay, okay, so when it comes to the gender roles on V-Day, maybe I’m generalizing here. But either way, I have come to the conclusion that I, nor my boyfriend, will play a part in any of it. Why you ask? This is all due to a book I read called Waiter’s Rant. This book, written by an anonymous ex-waiter, detailed the ups and downs that he encountered while working at an upscale NYC restaurant. One chapter in particular about Valentine’s Day made me realize something that I think I’ve always felt. Why celebrate a day with my loved one just because the card companies told me so? Why should we fall into yearly gifting and planning of elaborate affairs just because on this same day others are doing it?  Isn’t that what anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas are for? I guess I feel like for males or females, Valentine’s Day is a just another day to compete against yourself. What kind of gift can you buy for your S.O. this year that will be better than the last? What kind of night can top all the past V-Day’s?

This isn’t a bitter rant everyone, it’s me realizing that I don’t need to be sucked into society’s idea of what this day should be about. I’m just not buying the hype (no pun intended). On this day, I will enjoy myself just by spending quality time with my significant other, and that is a gift good enough for me!

How do you all feel about Valentine’s Day? Yay or nay to celebrating it?

Empathy & Sympathy Revisited

In Emotions, Love, Relationships on February 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

written by Swag

Homeless man, Tokyo.

Image via Wikipedia

Sympathy

Situation: Seeing a homeless person that is asking for money on the street while in the dead of winter.

Reaction: You think to yourself. “Wow, I would hate to be in their situation.” You understand the magnitude of the situation in terms of suffering, but you understand it from your own perspective.

Sympathy is the art of understanding the circumstances of someone else’s pain from your own perspective. You are outside looking in, seeing how the pain came to be and realizing its magnitude for the person suffering through it.

Sympathy involves understanding someone’s situation and then imagining your own thoughts, feelings, and actions during those particular circumstances. You can tell when you are sympathizing because most of your thoughts/statements will start with “If that were me…” or ‘if I were in that situation…”

 

Adult Simba from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Image via Wikipedia

Empathy

Situation: Mufasa (Simba’s father in the Lion King) falls off a cliff and perishes.

Reaction: You shed a few tears because you understand the feeling of intense loss.

People mistake sympathy with empathy because they unconsciously parallel the thought of being in someone’s situation with the thought actually being that person while in a particular situation.

If  sympathy is the art of understanding someone’s circumstances, then empathy is the art of understanding someone’s pain. Their emotions and feelings become real as you experience them as your own.

In a relationship, empathy is of much more use than sympathy. When you only sympathize with your partner’s struggles, you end up trying to impose your own will and logic on the situation. It’s a subtle invalidation of their feelings. Sympathy is a relationship killer because it belittles and overlooks the emotions behind the circumstances.

Empathy on the other hand, promotes forgiveness, acceptance and appreciation, all of which help to nourish a relationship. Learn to understand your partners emotions by experiencing them as they have. Appreciating your partner’s heart makes loving him or her that much easier.

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Breaking Up Takes Courage

In Love on September 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

 written by Sway

When it comes to break ups, there is no easy way to go through them. Depending on how much you and your partner are emotionally invested in your relationship, a break up could be one of the hardest things you will ever have to go through.

I have been both the initiator of break ups as well as the recipient, in my past experiences, and let me tell you, neither is easy to handle. Of course, the times where I was the recipient were hard periods of my love life. I still wanted to be in those relationships and felt like somewhere along the line I had failed as a girlfriend. There were many times where I felt like I was the reason for the break up. I would beat myself up for things not working out and took things personally. But at the end of the day I had to realize that sometimes it’s not about me. Sometimes you can do any and everything to keep a relationship together but it all comes down to being compatible with the needs and wants of the person you are with. If what you need and want out of a relationship doesn’t match the needs and wants of your partner, then it’s inevitable that the relationship won’t last.

Initiating a break up was sometimes a hurdle for me as well. But I found that the situations where I was an “Initiator of Want” were easier than those where I was an “Initiator of Need”. 

Let’s break these two types down:

Initiator of  Want– This is when you realize you no longer want to be with the person you’ve invested your time with.  It could be for a variety of reasons such as not being compatible, lack of desire, wanting to play the field, etc. So you want to get out of the relationship. If the break up isn’t mutual, it can be seen as you getting the upper hand out of the situation, because you’re getting your way. But being the initiator of a break up, isn’t always peaches and cream. You still have to have the courage to break the news to your partner and there is no easy way to do that.

Initiator of Need– This is exemplified in those instances where the initiator of a break up needs to get out of the relationship for various reasons. Between the two, this initiator has it harder when it comes to the break up, because they still have the desire to be with their partner but circumstances have made it hard for them to continue on with the relationship. Examples of some circumstances are:

  • long distance making the relationship hard to maintain
  • finding out your partner is a cheater
  • partner is physically or emotionally abusive
  • partner is withdrawn from the relationship

These examples are not limited, as there are several other instances that can be used to describe a situation for an Initiator of Need. Breaking up with one of my exes while being an Initiator of Need was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Since the desire to be with him was still present and going strong, it was easy for me to rationalize why we should still be together. Even though our relationship had got to a point where there were more negatives than positives, through rationalization, I found a way to dismiss the negatives in my mind so that the positives would prevail. 

The truth was, these positive points of the relationship that I let trump the negatives, were of the past. The negatives were of the present. Essentially, I was lying to myself just to continue to invest in a relationship that was already crumbling. I was very much holding on to something that had dissipated. This only brought me more emotional turmoil. Luckily I was blessed to not have been in an abusive situation as holding onto a relationship like that is a very life threatening, dangerous thing to do.

So how does someone who is still very much in love, find the courage to leave any relationship circumstance listed above and be an Initiator of Need? It can be done if they were to answer these questions:

Are you more invested than your partner?

Has your partner done anything to you that has compromised the relationship?

Is your relationship stressing you out more than making you happy? This can coincide with another question….

Do the positives of the relationship live in the past and are the negatives of the present?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then ask yourself this one last question:

 

How much do you value yourself?

 

Loving someone who isn’t showing you love back (not just telling you they love you) is counterproductive to your life. Remember that you have goals and dreams you want to aspire to, and  the dead weight of a horrible or dangerous relationship should never be compatible with those wants and needs. Don’t use your love for this other person, or your hope that the situation will change, as the excuse (yes I said excuse) for being with them! If you want to stick around to see if things can change, then do it from afar….like from outside the relationship.

Stop investing in them and start investing in YOU. Invest in your feelings, esteem, sanity or anything else you think may have fallen by the waist side while being in this relationship. Remember that you deserve to be happy. Being an Initiator of Need takes a boatload of courage and strength and is so much easier said than done. But as long as you value yourself, your needs and your desires, you will realize that it can be done.

 

If you, or anyone you know is being physically abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

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Relationship Desperation

In Courting, Love on September 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

written by Sway

 

 

Meeting someone who enjoys you as much as you do them, has time for you, and is ultra compatible with you sounds like a dream right? While, these factors are needed for any successful relationship, they can also be signs that the person you are dating has relationship desperation. So how can you tell if the qualities of the person you’re seeing stem from desperation? Check out the acronym for DESPERATION below for a better understanding:

Determined to find Mr./Mrs. Right by yesterday – This person has one mission in mind and that mission is to find a significant other. They are on the hunt for this person much like they would search for a job!

Eager to have a significant other, even if that person isn’t very compatible – Once this person starts dating you, they try to dismiss all red flags (look here and here for examples) or anything that would show them that they aren’t compatible with you. If they do acknowledge any flags, they will justify them because they want to believe that you are right for them, despite knowing deep down inside that you aren’t.

Spends excessive amounts of money on youThey may buy you expensive gifts or want to take you on romantic vacations early on in the relationship or while you are still in the dating stage. They use material items as a distraction to try to lure you in, emotionally. This in turn shows that they are trying to over compensate for the relationship. They use these gifts as a substitute for any genuine emotional attachment from you.

Something's definitely not right if you receive a car after a month of dating!

Presumptuous with actions – They will assume everything means something because they want it to. Going on a couple dates to them means that sooner rather than later you’ll want to enter a relationship with them, when all along you could just be trying to get to know them and have a good time. They also take anything you say and twist it to mean whatever they want it mean. Example:

You say: “I liked hanging out with you, we should do it again soon.”

They think: “He/she really likes me, maybe I should make it official soon.” (Okay this may be a stretch, but you get the idea)

Excessive dater – This person’s little black book is bursting at the seams with numbers and everyone in it is someone who either is a “prospect” or someone they may have tried to take things further with in the past. No sooner than when they are coming home from a first date are they trying to schedule date #2, 3, and 4. Once they realize the person they are seeing doesn’t want to take things further they are on to the next one.

Relentlessly tries to keep in touch with you – And oftentimes they do it at inappropriate times. They may call, first thing in the morning, consistently to have a conversation. Or they call/text excessively, multiple times a day, to talk to you or to “check on you”. This is also a sign of insecurity so beware.

Aggressive behavior – They will stress how much they like or care for you early in the relationship and impose those feelings on you (Heaven forbid they tell you that they love you before your 4th date!) They see no reason to wait to meet your family or for you to wait to meet theirs. They may seem pushy or controlling when it comes to your emotions and feelings.  They not only want to be included in your social circle, but in all aspects of your life.

Thirsty for a companionship – This person becomes attached to you very quickly. They thrive off your companionship early on in dating and want to see you everyday. They want you to adjust their schedule so that it always includes you and expect you to do the same.

Insistent on making long-term plans prematurely – They suggest doing things that long-term couples do, like going on trips alone (Bed and Breakfast weekend getaways anyone?), always going on romantic fancy dinners, or even you spending the night with them upon first dating. They are so quick to jump into relationship mode with you that they may subconsciously and automatically start thinking you guys are already in a relationship and will begin to treat you like they would a bf or gf.

Overly nice and a people pleaser – They agree with you on everything, not only to avoid argument, but because they believe it will make you like them more. They don’t want any conflicts to develop so that it seems you are both compatible with each other.

Needy of your time and emotions –  They always want to see you. And on the emotional front, you always seem to find them asking you how you feel about them or the relationship. Insecurity drives their need for consistent reassurance about your feelings for them.

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Being Respected

In Love, Relationships on August 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

written by Swag

“I’m over it. We’re done. I’m sick.”

If you are a closet Jersey Shore feen like me then you recognize those three short sentences. Sammi “Sweetheart” goes out of her way to make statements concerning her digest and unwillingness to continue her relationship with Ron. But in the same minute, she will take care of him in all his glorious, drunken stupor. These two are in desperate need of a high dosage, Love|Hate|Relate  (L|H|R) regimen. 

Sam and Ron’s relationship is a cycle of highs and lows, but neither one of them knows how to relate to the other in a healthy manner. I realize they are young and will try to refrain from judging their characters, especially since I can see that a relationship on a reality television show is designed for drama and probably destined for failure. We will only look at their actions.

Everybody in that house knew how strange Sam’s expression of love was. Why did she go out of her way to be hurt by this guy? Why couldn’t she see what everybody else did? Well, for starters, it is a mark of insecurity. In healthy relationships, Love’s resulting feelings don’t trump disrespect. The desire to love someone else should never trump the requirement to love yourself and loving yourself means demanding a baseline of respect…consistent respect. Both Sam and Ronnie have faults and below are some of their most glaring issues explained with past L|H|R articles:

Sam

I Can’t Read Your F’ing Mind – “I suck at tests. That’s why I didn’t go to college. (Ron’s commentary)” Sam tests Ron constantly. She expects him to know how to please her while communicating the exact opposite of her desires. It was not unreasonable to expect him to spend some alone time with her. However, it was unreasonable for her to be upset that he went to the club after she said it was cool. She expected him know better by reading her mind. That’s just an argument waiting to happen.

Holding on to That Thread of Hope – Ron is nowhere near as emotionally invested as Sammi is. After a dramatic, unsuccessful relationship in the first season, she decided to subject herself to the same problems, all over again. Her desire to salvage that decaying thread of hope places her heart in harm’s way once more and it’s up to her to decide to let it go. Ron is looking for something he wants, an easy cuddle. Sam is looking for something she needs, a sense of emotional security. This is the real root of the issue.

Relationship Negotiations – Sammi got swindled. She now owns a garbage relationship and won’t let herself give it up. Since they have history, that means this time around involves a re-negotiation. The terms of the contract should be modified so Sammi can be happier and more satisfied with her purchase but she is all bark and no bite. She is not willing to play hardball and demand Ron treat her like a girlfriend if he wants all the benefits. The relationship is not on her terms, so in the end, Ron can and will do whatever he wants.

Ron

Grass is Greener – It’s obvious Ron wanted to roam. He wanted to enjoy his time in Miami as a single guy. But what he saw was the opportunity to have his cake and eat it too. He realized he could go hard at the club and still come home to Sam. He would get drunk to have an alibi  (I don’t remember) and he would get pissed off every time Sammi and him went out together so he could feel justified (Look how bitchy she is, I don’t deserve this). Not being completely invested changed the way he valued her as a person.

The Cookie Jar – It’s really selfish for Ron to treat Sam like he actually wants to be a responsible mate. She mistakenly puts her heart in his care and he injures it over and over again because he never wanted her heart, he only wanted to smoosh (cuddle/spoon) on command, which is just the Jersey Shore way of saying he wants the cookies (physical intimacy) without the cookie jar (commitment). Deep down he probably knows this, but since the relationship is on his terms, he benefits from the fiasco.

Couple

I Love it When You Yell at Me – Ron and Sam truly do need healthier conflict resolution skills. Their biggest mistake was believing that the conflict could be swept under the rug and they could go back to cuddling again. It’s fine to no longer be angry in the moment but that doesn’t mean the conflict is over. The conflict is over when the rules of the road are enforced. If you establish a boundary (I don’t like it when you do this), you have to also establish a consequence (If you keep doing it, this is what will happen). Sammi never invoked/enforced proper penalties and Ron knew she never would. It’s like a mother telling her child to stop jumping on the couch and the child defiantly saying “Make Me.” Instead of making him, she just repeats her request with more force.

True Love – Love can not be summed up in three words. While it does have associated feelings, True Love is a choice and an action. Ron never loved Sam because he never acted like it, but the real power lies with Sammi. Who’s going to love someone who doesn’t know how to love their self. It’s not that she didn’t deserve it, but if you don’t believe you should get a better deal, you’ll sign the first crappy contract that comes your way. The person who sold you this rust bucket of a relationship is only going to do the bare minimum required to keep you from selling it or sending it to the junkyard.

I wish I could say Ron and Sammi are the exception, but we all know we have had relationships that mimicked some of their dysfunction. Relationships are never about how much we feel for our significant others. They are about how much we are willing to do for them. No feeling lasts forever, even the heart-pounding elation we connect with love. Even though you can feel love, you can’t expect to always feel loving. It must be a choice. Let us allow Sam and Ronnie’s plight to be a quick lesson in establishing healthy relationships as we await the next episode with guilty anticipation.

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True Love

In Intimacy, Love, Relationships on July 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I have to say, I would love to be like the Huxtables. I wonder how they would classify their love. How would you classify yours?

Falling in Love – Have you ever had a dream where you feel like you are falling? After you jerk awake, there is always that moment where you make sure you’re ok. When you fall, you feel out of control. It’s an unnerving experience. ‘Falling in love’ is so aptly named because you get the same sense of losing or having no control. Falling in love refers to the overwhelming feelings that occur when your hormones kick in. Falling in love is the gateway to the other types of love. It’s the growing pains of love.

Infatuous Love – The ‘I need you around all the time’ love. You just can’t get enough of the other person. You want to spend every waking moment with them and it physically hurts to be away from them. The person becomes a chorus that plays in your head on a never-ending loop. You can’t remove it and you probably don’t want to.

Passionate Love – The never-ending flame. The burning desire to touch, kiss, and “love” someone. Passionate love is akin to infatuous love except that it embodies a deep physical desire. Rather than missing them while they are away, you miss how they make you feel physically when they are close. Many times passionate love and infatuous love go hand in hand, but for our purposes here, we will distinguish passionate love as physically oriented. When you ‘fall in love’, many times, what you are dealing with is the overwhelming physical desire of passionate love plus the deep emotional longing of infatuous love.

Romantic love – Here love is more about intimacy than passion. While passion exists, romantic love is based on trust and comfort more than desire and want. You know romantic love is in effect when you feel elated by being in the other persons presence. Rather than giving you a fix like passionate love, romantic love tends to put you at peace. Romantic love creates that ‘all is well with the world in this moment’ feeling. Romance is born out of emotional intimacy. It is nourished when two people believe they can be secure with each other. Being secure means you can provide support and be vulnerable in the same instant.

Familial Love – Love you feel for your family and friends. This love is usually unconditional and/or reciprocal.  It’s either or because sometimes we love family that isn’t very loving in return. It is usually both with friends because we tend to choose friends that support us in times of needs, guide us in times of turmoil, and advise us when we are up to no good. There is always less pressure to be perfect in familial love than in other types of love. It’s easy to love friends and family because most times you already feel accepted.

True Love  – Here love exists in a recipricol, beautiful balance. In order for true love to exist, there must be mutually acknowledged commitment. The partners involved have to consistently value the other person. To love anyone is to place value in them. When your valuing process wanes and dips in intensity it’s you, falling out of love. But it is a decision and not happenstance. True love doesn’t just happen. It is planted by your emotions, nourished by your actions, and harvested with appreciation. True love dies without continuous gardening. 

Perfect Love – This is true love’s goal. I am not sure it is attainable because it is difficult to love anyone, all the time, perfectly. I differentiate between true love and perfect love because I believe the former is a process by which we seek to attain the latter. In order for me to perfectly love, I have to be aware of everyone I come in contact with. I have to be aware of their real needs and their real motivations. If love is to be truly unconditional, than it can not be conditioned upon a specific person. I need to love everyone, including myself.  It is necessary to note that I would manifest love in a different manner to different people . Perfect love exists even when there is no reciprocal commitment from others. I don’t need you to love me in order for me to love you. I will just love you in a different form so that I am still able to love myself.

Perfect love is having a loving nature. On the other hand, true love is having a committed, loving relationship. The first speaks of every action you take, period. The second speaks of every action you take towards a specific person. I think while perfect love is an ideal, true love is a decision. Every other type of love are events along the way. You can be truly in love with someone and still experience the other types of love. True love does not mean a lack of passion or romance. 

So the real question to ask is “Have I decided to truly love my partner now that I have fallen in love with them”.

 Swag 

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She Asked Me to Marry Her!

In Love, Relationships on July 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

 Recently, it dawned on me how powerful cultural institutions are. If I were to ask a group of women, all in long-term serious relationships, how many of them were comfortable proposing marriage to their significant others, what would be the outcome? I’m going to go all-in and bet a good 75% of the women there would say no to outright proposal. Is this because of the fantasy of having him propose? Is it because they wouldn’t want to force a guy to marry them if he doesn’t want to? Why the uncomfortability with women proposing marriage?

Supposedly, women in western society weren’t first given the right to propose until Scotland passed a law in 1228. The story goes that, before it became law, the opportunity was only available on one day every 4 years. February 29th. Yes, that’s right. Females could propose on a day that only existed during leap year. Craziness, right? 

Ladies, what if a few years pass by while you are in a serious relationshp with someone? Are you not committed? Have you not played the role of wifey for a while now? Isn’t it time to move up a notch and get promoted to actual wife status? Why continue to wait? 

By now, you have probably made up your mind as to whether you want him to be your husband, right? So why can’t you ask? I wonder if it’s because the story of the woman asking a man to marry her just isn’t as romantic. In that light, marriage proposals seem to be for the attention and applause given when they are retold in fairytale fashion. Marriage proposals seem to carry more significance as stories (with rings) than as actual events. 

I know I sound a little harsh and maybe a bit demeaning but let me explain. None of this is to say that the marriage propsoal isn’t important, but the proposal just acts as a facilitator. It facilitates an explicit acknowledgement of commitment. The proposal in and of itself carries no value. What it creates is important. If someone asked you to marry them, and you said no, there wouldn’t be any reason to celebrate. A more appropriate response would be: “Let’s just forget it eeeever happened.” Proposals are only good for the opportunity they provide. The opportunity to explicitly state or affirm your commitment to someone. 

Are women more likely to put forth an ultimatum about marriage than a proposal? Are they more likely to say “You better marry me” than to ask “Will you marry me”? Let’s chew on the below points for a bit: 

1) Before getting serious in a relationship, isn’t it good to have a sense of when (what age) the other person expects to get married. While waiting 3-6months before inquiry is probably a safe bet, any information is good information. So feel free to ask your partner when he feels he would be ready for marriage. If you wait till you are absolutely sure of your commitment to him, he will know you are referring to yourself when you bring the topic up so be mindful of waiting too late as well. He may end up feeling pressured into answering the question in a politically correct fashion. 

2) A mature couple has discussed this topic on multiple occasions by the time they hit the two year mark so if  you have gotten this far and are still avoiding it, it’s best to get it out in open as soon as possible. Most (I emphasize most) women have a deadline age, afterwhich, they want to be married. Most guys, on the other hand, have an threshold age, before which, they can not get married. For some guys that age is well into their forties and fifties. Wouldn’t it be nice to know this ahead of time?

3) What if your partner of a few years asked you to marry him and you said no? What if you decided that marriage wasn’t what you wanted at that time? What would you expect to happen? Are you saying that you aren’t ready for marriage just yet or that you don’t want to marry him? If you just weren’t ready, would you make him wait until you were? Would you even want him to wait? Would you have said yes because you felt pressured? 

If you are with someone you love and you have made up your marital mind. Then what’s wrong with asking him to marry you? If you marrying the man you love is truly about manifesting your committment and not about a story to tell, then propose to him and see where that gets you? 

 Swag 

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Go Make Me a Sam’ich, Woman!!

In Love, Relationships on July 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I have been noticing an unnerving trend as of late. I keep meeting women who are young, beautiful, ambitous, and charismatic. These very same women, with all of their wonderful talents and potential, would much rather be housewives. NOOOOOO!!!!

I’ll be honset, I don’t know everyone’s motivation. I also don’t want to minimize the work it requires to bear child and be a mother. But it still bothers me to no avail.

As a man, when I get married and have children, my motivation will be to keep them safe and to provide world-class experiences. I will always want to see my wife happy and without worry, but say I get married and have a decent income. What if my wife then decides to frolic around for a couple years before we have children?

Here in lies the problem, I am holding up my end of the bargin. I am providing security, safety and luxury. All things my wife deserves (along with the emotional requirements). But she isn’t holding up her end.

Two people enter into a relationship. Two complete individuals are necessary and like Hydrogen and Oxygen, two unique entities combine to create something neither resembled beforehand H2O. I wouldn’t want  to be with anyone that defined herself mainly by her relationship to me. That’s what bothers me. If my wife decided to be a housewife, then that’s cool.
Hopefully, she has a passion that she is pursuing wholeheartedly.
Hopefully, she is still engaged in life.
Hopefully, she is still maturing and seeking experiences.
Hopefully, she is continuing to learn about herself and how she relates to the world.
Hopefully, she continues to distinguish herself as the woman I was intially attracted to. 
Hopefully, the person I committed myself to was not a facade.

It’s not that being a housewife is something we should all look down upon. My mom (AKA Dr. Mommy) was a housewife for 20 some odd years. When she felt the time was right, she went back to school and back to work. Neither the academics, the job, or her role as a mother completely defined her. She was a mixed back of amazing. She held us down and kept things like this from happening:

So in the end it’s really about the way these women bring up their desire to be a housewife. Always non-provoked and with a tinge of “Oh I wish I didn’t have to work.” I question their motivation because it’s beginning to look like a few of them just want to live out a role in Real Housewives of <Insert City>.

Question: If you were a housewife and then something happens forcing you to support yourself because your husband is no longer in the picture, are you more likely to look for a new job or a new husband?

Hmmmmmm??

 Swag

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I Like You, I Love You Not

In Love, Relationships on July 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

joe-ks.com

There’s always one major hurdle to jump over while being in a long-term serious relationship. It’s the three magical words that seem to change everything…

I love you.

In half of the long-term relationships I’ve been, in I’ve been the first to say “I love you”. In the others, my boyfriends were the first. In that aspect, I believe this post applies to my ladies as well as the guys.

When you first realize that you love your significant other, the feeling can go from happiness and exhilaration, to panicky when you attempt to figure out if they feel the same way. You may second guess the feeling to see if it’s real and once you discover it is, you realize you have to deal with it accordingly.

In those instances when I realized I loved my boyfriends before the three words were exchanged, I tried to hold out on telling them for as long as I could  to see if they would say it to me first (okay, I admit to having a great amount of PRIDE). When it didn’t happen, I made the choice to tell them anyway.

I’m not saying this is the best way to go about it, but the benefit was that by the time I expressed how I felt, I was so sure of my feelings that I was able to say it with confidence. This was vital because saying those three words was not something I took lightly.

For me, it was a pivotal point in the relationship where I was telling my man, who I not only cared for immensely, that I was willing to be there for them through the thick of it. I was using those three words to say that I wanted to be there for them emotionally and mentally on a deeper level that is akin to unconditional love.

If you love your girlfriend or boyfriend and want to tell them, make sure you are confident in what you feel. Also ask yourself what loving them means to you? Once you tell them that you love them, telling them how you mean it will give them a good sense of where you stand.

If they don’t say it back right away, please don’t trip out. Think about it…maybe they are still figuring out how they feel and want to make sure they are comfortable before they make the big “L-word leap”. The worse thing you can do is pressuring them to say it back. This puts them in an uncomfortable position and besides, wouldn’t you want them to say it to you only if they truly felt the same way?

On the flip side, if you are on the receiving end of the L-word it may seem like you have it easy but, there is still room for error. The biggest mistake you could make when your boo says “I love you” is saying “I love you” back and not meaning it (that’s a pretty big lie)! Love isn’t just a noun, it’s a verb. So if you say you love someone you have to show them. Why put yourself through the trouble of faking an emotion?  Say it when you feel it. Your partner should understand.

Make sure you keep the lines of communication open with them about how you feel about them. Even if you aren’t ready to say “I love you”, you can still reassure them that you are with them for a reason. The day you are ready to tell them, they will be that much more appreciative of it.

Sway

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Forgiveness & Vindication

In Hate, Love on July 19, 2010 at 9:13 am



You know, Sway’s been speaking some truth about Emotional Baggage over on the Bag Lady post. It got me wondering though. Why is it so hard for people to love, let live and forgive.

Do you feel vindicated when you don’t forgive someone as if you are enacting some righteous punishment? Do you feel justified for hating the person who has wronged you?

Forgiveness is not reconciliation. You don’t have to make amends and you aren’t required to be friends. Forgiveness is also not forgetting what happened (that’s called psychological repression – like a backed up toilet, it will come back to haunt you).

What I mean is authentic, peace enducing  forgiveness. Some of us may even need to forgive ourselves as well. Below are three ways to help you stop emotionally prosecuting those who have wronged you and move forward with your life.

1) Reframe the situation – Bad things happen to everybody. It’s not  a matter of what happened but how you react. It may be difficult to do at first but try telling yourself it was meant to be this way. The Good and the Bad allowed you to refine what standards you can and cannot compromise.

2) Do You – Seriously, just DO YOU!! Stop worrying about past, present and future relationships. No person is completely defined by the interactions they have with others. Which means your worth isn’t completely based on having a significant others in your life. Many of us seek appreciation in others because it’s hard to value ourselves. Go try something you have never done before. Pursue a talent or hobby that has been waiting for some love. Don’t wait for the emotions to pass, make them pass by replacing them with better emotions.

3) Set Standards not Sentences – If you’ve been hurt, then most likely you will create standards and beliefs that will help you to avoid being hurt again. Smart and reasonable, I say. What you can’t do is make your standards a life sentence. If the next person that comes along doesn’t measure up to your standards when you meet them, most likely they never will. Stick to your guns and don’t sacrifice for the sake of ‘what-if”, ‘maybe’, or ‘they can change.’

Swag

Note – Forgiveness is just as necessary in a relationship as it is after one.

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