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Sway’s Sound Off: Leaving My Friends for My Boyfriend?

In Relationships, Sound Off on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 am
 written by Sway

Myyyy girlfriends....there through thick and thin..."

Let me tell you right off the bat, that I am sounding off about myself.  

I am guilty.  


Of what, you ask? It’s hard to admit, but for the purpose of the post I will tell you.  

I am guilty of forgetting about my girlfriends sometimes.  

Yes it is inevitable, that once someone gets into a relationship, they will hang out with their friends a bit less than before (well sometimes).  Instead of having to divide their time to just work/school, family, extracurriculars/responsibilities, and friends, they now have to add their significant other in the mix which. And this usually results in less time allotted to one of the other areas.  

And for me, that area is my friends. I’ve realized over the years that I have a pattern of getting into a relationship and hanging out with and/or calling my girls significantly less than before being attached. It’s not like I cut all ties to them or ignore them, but sometimes I will “think about going” to something they invited me to just in case something  my boyfriend wants to do comes up. I know, I know, it’s no bueno…  

What I’ve noticed is that while this trend happens to both genders (admit it guys, you know you’ve had that feeling of wanting to spend all your free time with your new girl because they excite you and make you feel all giddy inside), females tend to fall victim to it more often.  

When females are single, we attach ourselves to our friends and live for girls nights out at the club. We shop, get mani’s and pedi’s together, plan lunch and dinner dates, and go to happy hours galore.  

Lauren, Audrina, and Lo always carve out "she-time" for each other/

Then all of a sudden we get a boyfriend and BOOM!…girl-time is now diminished to meeting up when we “have the time”.  

Guys are a different story. Example-when guys are single, they go clubbing, watch ESPN with the boys, play their PS3, and play ball. But what happens when they get a girlfriend?  

Guys always have time in their schedules for "he-time"

They go clubbing, watch ESPN with the boys, play their PS3, and play ball, lol.  

From my experiences, nothing really changes too drastically. I’ve noticed that guys don’t seem to place their friends on the back burner as much as women do once they get into a relationship. I’ve had this conversation with a few of my girlfriends and they all agreed.  

Sadly, I have been guilty of this. And some of my friends have been guilty as well. You ladies may be guilty of it and don’t even realize it (The times when I discover that I hang out with my boyfriend’s friends more than my own is when I think about this).  

But I guess the question is, what is it about getting into relationships that causes us females to detach ourselves from our true blue friends?   

Your girls have always been there for you. They took you out for an all night drinking binge to forget your nasty boss when you got laid off. They were the ones to throw you a surprise party for your birthday. They let you borrow their favorite formal dress when you had nothing to wear for a last-minute gala invite. And when that guy who occupied all your old girl-time for months broke up with you, your friends were at your doorstep with kleenex on hand and shoulders to cry on.  

My own true girlfriends have done so much for me. And while I cherish them, sometimes I feel like I fail to show it. I never want to be that girl who my friends think has “disappeared off the face of the earth” just because I have a man. I never want my friends to feel like they can’t come to me with a problem because I’ll be too busy for them.  

I refuse to be a "friend" like Heidi Montag!

There is a way to balance my-time (time with myself), we-time (time with my boyfriend), and she-time (time with my girls). I am definitely better at it than I was before.  But I’m going to have to take notes from my boyfriend and other males in relationships on this one, and imitate what they do. After all, if they can balance he-time and we-time successfully, then there is no reason why I can’t either.


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.


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.


Leading People On

In Attraction, Hate on September 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

 written by Sway

But what? you REALLY love him?/

Let’s keep it real ladies and gentlemen, it is cool to know when someone likes you. Finding out that someone thinks about you or wants you makes you feel good inside and can instantly boost your ego. But what you do when you discover someone has taken more interest in you than you have in them is important. You can do one of two options:

1) be an adult about the situation and express to the person how you really feel.

2) choose to lead them on with actions that don’t match your feelings.

Some may look at these two options as lose-lose situations.  Depending on the depth of their feelings for you, doing numero uno can cause unwanted drama and tension between you two. And doing the second option only digs you into a deep hole of deceit that you will have to find a way out of later.

So which one seems like the lesser of two evils…..Hhmmmm?

Clearly the answer is number 1. If you are in this sort of situation first ask yourself why you are leading this person on? Based on my experiences, there were only two reasons why I’ve done this in the past.

The first reason was I was bored with my dating life. There have been several occasions where I wasn’t really thrilled with my rotation of Time Fillers so I felt the need to add guys to the roster that really didn’t serve me any purpose but paying me attention.

The second and more likely reason, was because I was hurt. Hurt people hurt people, and most times I was hurting because I was still getting over a past relationship/break up. I’ve realized that the more hurt I was, the more likely I was to lead someone new in my life on, to fill the void and my broken heart.

At the end of the day, it all came down to me wanting attention. I wasn’t happy with my current dating situation and spending time with someone who was interested in me, made me feel better about it. But in actuality, once I realized someone felt more for me than I did them, there honestly wasn’t any good reason to keep them around because they would always expect more from the situation than I was willing to give. The mere act of us hanging out , came across as a sign that I liked them when it wasn’t the case. This was reason enough to consider letting them know the deal.  And when I actually did it, it was refreshing.

The cons: Yes, it was hard for me to have the conversation with the guy because it was difficult for me to figure out a way to let him know how I felt without coming across inconsiderate or mean. And yes, his feelings did get hurt. 

Here are the pros: I avoided hurting his feelings more, by having the conversation as soon as I realized how he felt. The conversation would have been ten times harder had I let it go on for too long. And eventually I would have had to find excuses for why I wouldn’t want to hang with him because it would have gotten to a point where I would be going through the motions. And probably the most beneficial pro would be that now that he knew where I stood, we could stop wasting time and use the time we were spending with each other to spend it with people who liked us just as much as we liked them.

So whenever you find yourself in this situation, just step up to the plate and tell them you only see them as a friend. If you’ve tried telling them how you feel based off actions alone and they still don’t get the hint, remember that this can be one of those situations where words speak louder than actions. In turn, you will really be saving yourself from a lot of unnecessary drama in the future. And if you feel bad about it,  just think of it as you doing a favor for both you and the other person. 🙂 


The Definition of a Time Filler

In Relationships on July 20, 2010 at 9:45 pm

"The Bachelor" Jake Pavelka & his conquests

You know when you are single and there are multiple people you are entertaining, playing the field with, or talking to? I’ve come up with a name for these people. These people you are juggling are your time fillers.

Ahh the time fillers…the fillers of time. The definition is pretty self explanatory. It’s someone of the opposite sex who you chill or hang out with, to help pass the time. Time fillers are multiple people you have in rotation between the post and pre-relationship period.

My friend and I used to have a running joke that we were “coaches” and each of our time fillers were “players” on our “team”. Just like each “player” plays a different position, each time filler serves their own purpose and time depending on what role they play for you. Here are the different kinds of time fillers I have come across:

The Conversationalist

This person is the one you can chat it up with. This is the easiest time filler to have without them living in your vicinity. The conversationalist can even be someone that lives in the next town over or across the country. This time filler can be much like a best friend in the way you both are like minded, can talk about a variety of topics (i.e. dreams, goals, wants, likes, dislikes, etc) and love each others’ conversation. You may even feel comfortable calling them up just to vent (sometimes about other time fillers, if you are really comfortable with them!). This person most likely provides the type of intellectual conversation you may be attracted to if nothing else.

The Hang Out Buddy

The Hang Out Buddy is simply that. This is a person who you may have some attraction to but things never get past the flirtation zone. The Hang Out Buddy is your personal “back up plan”–usually the one you can count on when the other time fillers aren’t available. You two go different places together that may look like dates to an outsider: movies, dinner, Six Flags, concerts, etc. You know you don’t have to try too hard around this person because you two have reached a certain comfort level with each other from hanging out so much.

The Cuddle Buddy aka The Sleepover Buddy

The Cuddle Buddy is one who you have more of a physical attraction to. You hang with this person like you would with the Hang Out Buddy but there is more of a chance that the night with them continues well after the outing. You feel comfortable being in their presence and your physical intimacy almost makes it seem like you two were in a relationship. Depending on the level of intimacy you two share, this person may be one notch away from being a Cut Buddy.

The Cut Buddy aka Mr. or Miss Overnight Bag

This may be the most well known type of Time Filler, most commonly known as “friend with benefits”. This is the person who you are the most sexually attracted to. The physical sparks between you and this person are electrifying. As a result, this person is probably called upon only when you have that “certain” physical need or desire. It has become regular practice to meet up with this them, overnight bag in tow and there are no surprises because they know the drill.

Because the Cuddle Buddy and Cut Buddy are so closely related, they could be the same person. Also out of all the types of time fillers, this is the one that has the highest chance of ending up in messy territory. Good boundaries will need to be declared before hand, just in case one person starts to expect more from the situation than the other (good boundaries are much definitely easier said than done).

But in all honesty, any one of these time fillers types can overlap into another. Your Cut Buddy could easily be your Conversationalist. Your Cuddle Buddy could mix the qualities of the Conversationalist and the Hang Out Buddy. On the flip side, your Cut Buddy could be just a Cut Buddy. Although, in my experiences I’ve found that the my time fillers usually served more than one purpose/category.

With that said, it’s beneficial to have more than one time filler. Depending on one person to be everything for you could lead a to situations where you catch heavy feelings and eventually want more of a commitment or relationship with them (or vice versa). And we all know there’s nothing worse than wanting someone when they only see you as a buddy. Remember the idea of having time fillers is not to play people and hurt feelings. The idea is that you are single, secure, and NOT looking for a relationship. You just want to enjoy time spent with people that are compatible with you in different ways.

Ladies and gentlemen, in a perfect situation, you would have a complete “team” with every “position” filled. When you are dating, there is nothing wrong with having different people to be entertained by until you are ready for a relationship and meet the person that can be everything you want all in one. 🙂



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