21st Century Dating

Remember back in elementary school, when you liked someone you would write them a note that said “will you go out with me?” with the yes, no, and maybe box? Or in high school, having butterflies in your stomach waiting for the boy you really like (or the girl you really wanted to go out with) to ask you to prom, or on a date, or to sit with them during lunch? Now, we’re checking our inboxes and our DM’s to see if someone left you a message asking you out. Has social media changed the way males and females approach dating?

I am super old-school when it comes to dating. I believe that the man asks the female- approaches us, asks us out, takes us on a date, maybe even leans in for a kiss before we depart. But I am having such a hard time adjusting to the way dating has evolved. I am selective in what I post on my social media, so someone approaching me in my DM based on what my pictures are is a little odd to me. In an era where social media dictates popularity and social status, and people “fake and fraud” for the gram every day, how can you determine who is worth shooting your shot to?

I have had several friends/associates tell me that their “new boo” was someone who hit them up on Instagram or Facebook, even Twitter. They liked their pictures, thought their posts were funny or insightful, and decided to go for it. Only to find out a month later that the person was a douche-bag and not worth their time. I am not surprised by that. Is it really that difficult to log off of social media and to go out into the world and meet people? Mingle? I’m not sure that I would be comfortable dating someone who hit my DM after seeing the few selective pieces of my life that I decided to post. I mean, come on- I could be crazy, bipolar, or a sexual predator for goodness sakes! (Yes, I know that no matter where you meet someone this is still a possibility, but let me be paranoid about social media please). And when has going over to someone’s house to watch movies and try to have sex with them become what a date is? Or spending an insane amount of money at a restaurant on some you just met just to prove that you are “getting money”? Why has social media changed the way we socialize on such a wide scale? Phone calls turned into texting; dating turned into casual sex; wanting to get married is now replaced with living with each other forever.

The introduction of social media was a great platform it helped connect people from across different states and countries, putting them all in one “place” and allowing them to share, connect, and exchange ideas/information. Now, it’s a dating site. A place where people use filters, quotes, angles, and modifications to portray a completely different version of themselves, in hopes of finding someone who will dote attention on them. I have not had a successful “social media hook up”. I always become disinterested in the shallowness of the men. *Disclaimer: although I can easily blame men for this sudden shift in the dating norm, the truth is that I need to blame/address the women. A multitude of women are accepting social media to be a platform where they can and will “find love”. And because of this, are allowing men to approach them in this manner, talk to them in a less than respectable manner, handle them in a less than respectable manner, then dispose of them in a less than respectable manner. If you approach me because my pictures are beautiful, my clothes are revealing, and my body is on display, then you will treat me as a beautiful object- to be displayed, used, then discarded. And it seems that the more value these women put into their social media presence, the less value they actually have in themselves. The less value they have in themselves, the less value they allow the men who approach them to have in them as well. So this amazing platform that was supposed to bring this huge world together and make it somewhat smaller by bridging it together, has only enabled people’s self-worth to be determined by likes. Despite what many women believe, we are the key holders to what is set in the dating world. If we as a whole allow less than par dating antics, then that is what will be widely accepted. If we as a whole demand a certain level of respect, then that is what will be widely accepted. We need to do better Queens!*

I am an amazingly complex introvert, and I am extremely socially akward. I do not post the actual “me” on social media, so approaching me based on what you see is only going to leave you disappointed. Meet me in person. Let’s grab tea (because it’s supposed to be getting cold outside). Let’s go on a picnic, and just talk. I promise you this would lead to an amazing and lasting friendship.

Be amazing Queens; be legendary King.

Tootles!

-xoxo

The Stages of Breaking Up

What’s funny to me is that this is supposed to be “cuffing” season, yet a lot of people who I have conversations with say that they are on the verge of or already have broken up with their significant other. That got me to thinking- how difficult is it to break up with someone, and what are the steps? Don’t ask why my brain functions this way- it just does. These are MY interpretations of the breaking-up process:

1- Frustration: in this stage, you’ve probably noticed an issue and have had several conversations about it, trying to fix it. Maybe the person made a little change, maybe they ignored it. Whatever the issue, now you’re frustrated because your concerns are not being rectified and you’re not happy.

2- Indifference: you ever get to a point with someone where you just don’t care anymore? That’s this stage. You’ve talked and talked and talked (or in most cases the female yells and screams and you men just sit there and say you understand) and now you’re talked out. Nothing has changed, and you’re just over the situation. *Keep in mind that I am a female so all of my views are from a woman’s perspective, thanks* No one has spoken the words of breaking up yet, but you both know that you guys have reached that point.

3- The actual break up. This is pretty self-explanatory. An easy break up is when you don’t live together so you can just go your separate ways. A difficult break up is when you live together so now someone has to move out, and you have to seperate things, bills, responsibilities, etc. It can get pretty messy. Equally so if child(ren) are involved. Co-parenting now comes into play, who the child(ren) will stay with, when the child(ren) will go with either parent, and so on.

4- Anger/Bitterness: maybe one of you didn’t want to break up. Maybe you thought that’s what you wanted, but after it actually happened you realized that you should’ve done more to fight for the relationship. This place (being angry or bitter) is where people tend to stay for entirely too long. It’s okay to feel some type of way about the breakup, but holding on to that feeling for an extended period of time is dangerous; more so for yourself. Being angry or bitter will only cause you to have negative interactions with new people, or will cause you to jeopardize future relationships for the other person. Sorting through these feelings is the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself.

5- Acceptance: accepting that you and that person are not together and will not get back together, and that THAT fact doesn’t make you any less of a man/woman. Acknowledging that sometimes relationships fail, you process those emotions, and you move on. Being able to see the other person and not want to lash out at them, and being able to date other people without bringing those past feelings into a new situation.

While there is no particular time frame for breaking up and sorting through those feelings/emotions, it should not be 5 years after the fact and you’re still having a hard time accepting the reality of it. My most significant relationship (and break up) was with my children’s father. We went through the first 3 stages pretty easily, but I stayed in the angry stage for a while. I blamed him for our relationship failing, I blamed him for my circumstances at the time, I blamed him for anything that I could think of. And when I had the opportunity to mess with this new relationship after me, I did. I’ll admit- that was fun, but it didn’t get me anywhere. And it surely didn’t help with us co-parenting. It took a long time for me to actually let go of that failed relationship. From being together, to him proposing, to us signing marriage papers, to us having 2 kids…. It was a lot to process and a lot to let go of. And, if I am being honest, I definitely could’ve handled a lot of situations within that break-up-get-back-together-then-break-up-again differently. I think I was over it when I KNEW that I did everything that I was supposed to do and it still didn’t work out. I was okay with the fact that it wasn’t my fault that the relationship failed. That helped me to move on.

Now, my ex-fiance from Georgia, that’s a different story….. I internalized that anger and it turned into depression. And I was in that state for almost 2 years. So, a little back story on him and I. I met him when I first moved down south, maybe in 2006. I think I was 19 at the time. He was living with the mother of his children, and I wasn’t looking for anything serious. It was fun. That turned into him loving me, which turned into me loving him. Fast forward 3-4 years and he’s leaving his home and moving to Philadelphia with me. *I can admit now that I had major daddy issues back then*. I state that fact to say that my ex filled a void for me. He was the first man ever to pay attention to me, learn my likes and dislikes, and be a genuine friend to me. He was more than a mate, he was my everything at the time. So, we’re in Philadelphia, and things are more difficult than we both anticipated. Money wasn’t coming in the way that we planned, and it just wasn’t easy. One day, I am looking for my dear old fiance (because by then he told me he wanted to marry me and we were fake planning a wedding), and he is nowhere to be found. He’s not at work, not home, not with his sister- he’s missing. Finally, later that evening, he calls me and tells me that he went back to Georgia to go work at his old barbershop for a little while to make some money. Red flag, right? Well, 2 days later I am on Facebook and somehow I end up on his page which links me to the page of the mother of his children, and her profile picture is of her in a wedding dress and my fiance in a tuxedo with the caption “Just Married” across the bottom. Two days after that, after calling and calling his phone, he finally answers and tells me that he couldn’t leave her. For me, the hardest part about that, and why it took me so long to get over it, was the lies that led up to it. I think I would’ve fanned better if he just told me the truth. It still would’ve hurt, but the shock factor of their marriage wouldn’t have been such a major blow. Easily 7-8 years after the fact, he still manages to find a way to contact me and tell me that he should’ve married me, and that leaving me was the biggest mistake he’s ever made. I guess he’s still in his “bitter” stage.

Processing is different for everyone. Grieving time is different for everyone. Managing emotions is a learned ability- many people walk through life not knowing how to manage their feelings and are just hurt. Walking around hurting other people. A majority of people stay in that bitterness/angry stage for so long that they don’t realize that they are bitter or angry. BUT!!! Letting go is definitely possible. You just have to want to. Breaking up is hard, and moving on can be even more difficult. The only way I was able to was to first forgive myself, then to trust that God would forgive me and help me to forgive the person that I broke up with (or who broke up with me).

We all get dumped, but it’s not the end of the world. Heal Queen. Heal King. And move on!

 

Tootles!

-xoxo

 

Dating Vs. Child Rearing

So, as I lay here in bed (being completely lazy) and think about my relationship, my past relationships, and my friends relationships, I realize that relationships have something in common with raising children- you have to teach your man to do what you want just like you do with your kids.

I imagine that this statement won’t go over very well with my male readers. This isn’t for you. (cheesing emoji). Ladies! Let’s think about it! So- my example (because I always love talking about my kids) is when I was trying to teach my son to use the big boy bathroom. Let’s state some facts (note: these facts are true for the male gender, regardless of age). Fact 1: men are lazy. I don’t care how hard you work for your job, a sport, or anything. When you get home, and sit in front of that computer or tv, you’re not getting up for anything. You are lazy, and will refer any and everything to mom, a girlfriend, an older female relative, friend, etc. It’s a fact. Fact 2: men are dirty. There’s no reason why you miss the toilet bowl when you’re peeing. There’s no reason why your white washcloth is brown after you shower. There’s no reason why your feet stink so bad (eek!). There’s no reason why you have stains in your boxers (emoji eye rolled up). Fact 3: we cannot ask you to do anything just once. We WOMEN have to repeatedly ask you to do something over, and over, and over, and over, and over (have I made my point?). Fact 4: because of us, you are made amazing (just needed you to know this). Now- back to my story. I had to repeatedly deal with accidents, slow runs to the bathroom, and an unwillingness to be taught. What worked? Even when he had an accident, I told him that it was ok and encouraged him. I made up a song, did a little dance, smiled, told him that I loved him. And you know what happened, the accidents became less frequent, and now he’s fully potty trained.

How does this convert to being in a relationship? That’s how men are. Although men have good intentions, they make the dumbest mistakes. We as women tend to get mad at them, especially if they don’t fix their errors the way that we want them to. Well, I was talking to a close friend of mine and she was telling me about her boyfriend and the dumb stuff that he’s always doing. And I had to keep reminding her -MEN ARE DUMB! Sorry guys, but it’s true (oh well emoji). We have to train men to do what we want. When they make a mistake, they normally do something to make up for it. Instead of having an attitude when accepting the gift or gesture, try encouraging and congratulating him. (Now- hear me out ladies, I think I may be on to something). My guy makes mistakes. After I fuss at him (oh yes- I still fuss!), I encourage him. I show him what I like and when he does it I go overboard with enthusiasm. Don’t let him make extra time for me- I may just rock his night (wink, wink). Simple things like good morning texts, impromptu dates, him accommodating some weird request that I made… When he complies, I congratulate him. We don’t have very many arguments needless to say. *Disclaimer- this is for men who legitimately want to make an effort to please his women, and not the “ain’t ish” guys who are using and disrespecting their women!*

What is my point? We women expect men to have this mature understanding on how to be in a relationship, how to treat women, how to deal with women, etc. But realistically that’s untrue. Men, no matter the age, need to be coached, coaxed, and taught to be with females. Especially because all women are different. We like different things, handle situations different, etc. So, in order to have the perfect mate, we must create him. Men love to be encouraged, their ego’s love stroking. Instead of yelling and screaming when they mess up (and yes, I am speaking to myself as well), let’s remember that they need to be taught. My guy makes a decent amount of money, but isn’t keen on buying gifts. I like gifts. So, I buy him gifts. He receives them very well. Now I get gifts. I love good morning and I Love You texts. So, I send them. He may not do it every single day, but I definitely get them more often. I love to cuddle. Well, he does too so that works out well. Lol. But teach your man to give you what you want instead of going elsewhere. What’s that phrase- the grass isn’t always greener on the other side? If we all watered the grass that we had, ours would definitely be green as well. Anything worth having, is worth fighting for (in this case, worth training). Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” didn’t have patience, treats, and a hot meal waiting for him.

Tootles!

-xoxo