Turn Your Read Receipts On For Me

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The winter season will transition into spring, and many of us will continue to end blue nights with the quiet cool of solo thoughts and our single relationship status. Love scars have left their marks on many of our hearts, often times making us fearful of being open and vulnerable to the possibility of entering into another, romantic union.

People often ask me why I am single. As I attempt to offer an explanation, it seems that the answer is constantly changing. Once upon a time, I thought that I would never fall in love again. It took years to emotionally heal from a very significant breakup. I felt as if I was mourning a death on most days. During that period in my life, trying to “get over” my ex was a very challenging and gut wrenching experience. However, my heart did eventually piece itself back together and I was able to once again entertain the idea of meeting new people. Though, I wasn’t confident in allowing myself to romantically attach to another individual. And I certainly had no interest in placing a title on the casual relationships that I had begun to form. I became extremely focused on trying to build my online platform once I realized that my voice and written words were reaching waves that extended beyond my core circle of friends. There were plenty of people who walked into my life, offering to stand alongside me and aid in the process of my artistic development. They wanted to exist as my romantic partner in every capacity imaginable. I was just so hell bent on walking this path alone that my attitude pushed good people into very dark spaces. As far as I was concerned, falling in love was a sign of weakness. My desire to control every aspect of my life left very little room to ignite an emotion that I could not turn off during moments of inconvenience. I missed out on various opportunities to solidify healthy, romantic bonds. I was told that if I continued to practice my push-away routine, that eventually I would grow lonely. I have. Now, as I approach the celebration of yet another birthday, I long to exist in the type of relationship where I’m unafraid to pour all of me into someone who consciously refuels my vulnerable spirit.

The problem I face in securing another long-term relationship is trying to exist organically in the initial, dating phase of learning a new individual. I find that I am either forcing myself to create comfort in the rigid chemistry that exists, or I am growing extremely frustrated by the inconsistency of the other person’s communication. Quite honestly, I am a very easy guy to connect to if the beginning stage of our relationship is framed with constant, face-to-face meetings. I express myself best in situations where I’m able to talk and physically engage with someone who is offering the same level of energy or passion. I lose interest very quickly in people who aren’t willing or able to immediately express their thoughts and directly open up to share their feelings about me, their personal lives and ultimate desires as well.

While I understand that some people reveal pieces of themselves slower than others, I do not have patience for those who timeline what they choose to show and tell.

If the energy is intense and we are growing close quicker than what magazine articles and other social standards dictate as appropriate dating rituals, I want to feel that the other person is willing to trust our unique process. It is never too soon to freely share with someone exactly how you feel about their existence in your life. I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea to prematurely enter into marriage, moving in together or even claiming someone as a boyfriend or a girlfriend. However, there’s no reason why two people should feel embarrassed to acknowledge the fact that feelings of comfort or love or a strong affection are developing after only a few weeks of knowing one another. We, collectively, make ourselves feel silly or ashamed to love “too soon”.

While it seems that everyone desires a romance to pair them alongside a special someone, the idea of courting and “putting ourselves out there” is where the masses often fall short. We exist as the generation that fears being labeled as “thirsty” or pressed in our pursuit of getting to know someone of interest. In an effort to maintain the façade of being in control of our dating situations or somehow avoiding being stuck with the short end of the stick, many of us aren’t putting forth much effort at all. There is no such thing as replying to someone too quickly. Immediately responding to a text message, directly returning a phone call, accepting the first date invite or even being the first to like and comment the picture of a potential love interest is actually appealing.

To turn your read receipts on is to let down the walls that are guarding your pride and your fragile ego.

When we first meet someone new, it’s important to verbalize our feelings to that someone as our interest intensifies. Sometimes, we avoid extending compliments to this person because we assume they receive them on a fairly regular basis. And while the individual you’re getting to know may hear from strangers how attractive they are physically, there’s nothing more comforting than receiving that level of attention from the one whose opinion actually carries romantic weight. In order for the new man or woman in your life to feel that they serve a role more significant than simply someone you’re hanging out with, tell him or share with her that they turn you on physically, mentally and/or emotionally.

Do not runaway from an opportunity to be the first to send a morning text message or to initiate an afternoon, lunch date. Your initiative sends a direct message that this new guy or new girl has crossed your mind during different stages of your day. Even in instances when the text reply is delayed an hour or the face-to-face lunch is postponed as a result of a busy work schedule your effort contributes to the healthy fuel that keeps the dating process exciting. Of course, no one wants to feel that they are always the first to call or the only partner making couple plans. However, it’s silly to constantly wait for the other individual to take the control.

Turn your read receipts on by turning your inhibitions off. If you’re overly concerned about how your instincts to express your feelings are going to be interpreted by the one you’re falling for, the relationship may never exit the dating zone. People want to feel loved and desired. Even in situations where the love is fueling into someone’s life at the most inopportune moment, the comfort of the feeling tends to blanket any daily inconveniences. Open your heart to the possibility of meeting someone tomorrow, connecting to that person next week and by next month — the two of you are establishing the type of bond that doesn’t allow pride, ego or the perception of “thirst” to dictate the organic flow of your relationship.

SURPRISE NEW VIDEO! “The Difference Between Being Shady & Socially Selective”

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I received a phone call earlier today that prompted me to not only tell a personal story on camera, but to also share a tidbit of truth regarding the difference between friendship vs. association. I also delve into this present day obsession people seem to have with “throwing shade” or being shady. Sometimes, as adults, I don’t feel that many of us truly understand how to effectively communicate with one another without feeling slighted. I have learned to always be direct in the beginning, as to AVOID situations where I can be labeled or mistaken as a shady, dishonest or “funny acting” individual.

WATCH BELOW as I sit before you to detail yet another recent tale in my life. You decide whether or not I was being SHADY or SOCIALLY SELECTIVE. 

PREVIEW The NEW Xem VanAdams VIDEO – LOVE & PIT STOPS: The Poisons Of Social Media

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Many of you are now aware that the 1st Xem VanAdams video of 2015 has been recorded. Announcements began towards the end of last week via all of my social media networks to inform each of you that a new video was on its way. I elected to discuss a topic that plagues contemporary pop culture and society at large. I not only wanted to address the “poisons” of social media, but I chose to tap a little into the reasoning behind its growth and influence amongst our youth, teenagers and adults as well. The video runs a total of 25 minutes. I begin by discussing the dynamics of social media and how it contributed to our lives when I began blogging in September, 2007. Then, I segue into the growth and affects of social media’s imagery, personalities and power over the decisions we make in our everyday lives.

I’ve chosen to release a preview just because I know that my core audience hasn’t seen me on camera in almost 6 months. The first few minutes of the actual video release is dedicated to my immediate supporters; as I share a tidbit of personal information that is sure to bring us closer in some regards. As this year progresses, many of you will begin to understand why I have chosen to reveal these facts at this moment in time.

Meanwhile, enjoy the preview clips. Please be sure to watch, comment and rate the NEW VIDEO within the first 24-48 hours of its release. An announcement regarding the upload date will be made via TWITTER, BOTH FACEBOOK PAGES, INSTAGRAM and TUMBLR. If you are not following me on all social media, please click the above embedded links TODAY. Each link will lead you directly to my personal page for that particular network. 

The official LOVE & PIT STOPS: THE POISONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA video will be released IN FULL via Youtube.com/XemVanAdams soon enough. I encourage you all to post the actual video on your Twitter timelines, tumblr pages, Facebook walls and even screen cap images or upload a quick clip to your Instagram’s. I want the video to reach beyond my core audience because the message and content is universal at this point.

THANK YOU for continuing to love, support and embrace my journey. I look forward to recording additional videos and sharing them publicly as we move progressively through this new year.

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Guys Who Own Dogs Can Make The Best Or Worst Boyfriends

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It is often said that dogs exist as man’s best friend. As a result, guys often place these creatures at the high end of their daily task list. Especially in instances where a man has owned his dog since childhood or his teenage years, “Sparky” has become more to him than simply a pet. From the moment your boyfriend’s parents brought “Sparky” home as a surprise, 8th birthday present, the bond between the two has been sealed. Not only does your man love his dog, but he also considers him to almost be a child. Though you may sometimes feel that your boyfriend goes overboard in his expression of love towards Sparky, the ways in which he treats his dog can benefit the framework of your romantic relationship.

Guys who have developed strong bonds with their pets often exude strong qualities of loyalty and commitment. These attributes will positively filter into a romantic relationship; making your dude one of the best boyfriends you’ve ever had. More than likely, your man doesn’t turn his back on the ones he loves when times get tough. He realizes that you are more independent than his animal. However, he also understands that his presence is as needed or desired in your life, as the time he has invested into loving his doggy. Usually, guys who own a dog have already embraced the idea of settling down and raising a family. He wants you to love his dog as much as he does. He also hopes that his first-born son will be granted the opportunity to receive a puppy to grow up with as well.

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Because guys who own dogs have had to raise and take care of their pets for years, it’s a good chance that your boyfriend is also responsible when it comes to actually going to the grocery store to buy food, cleaning up behind himself and following through with other individual tasks. You don’t necessarily have to remind him every other day to take care of his personal business. Unlike fish, rabbits, hamsters, snakes or even some cats, dogs can’t be left alone for more than one or two days. This means that your boyfriend has always consciously thought about the welfare of his dog before making plans. This practice has then shaped your dude into considering your presence and feelings as well before he makes impulsive decisions. Raising a dog has possibly helped him to consider how his life choices affect those closest to him. Additionally, your guy probably has a very clear understanding of organic love and the importance of nurturing the relationship with someone or something that has always been present. If you have become that certain individual, it’s highly unlikely that your man will stray in hopes of replacing that bond with someone new.

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There also exists guy’s who own dogs and have become obsessed with the role “Sparky” serves in his life. The obsession has taken a huge toll on the romantic relationship you two share. This has contributed to your feelings of frustration and neglect. As a result, your dude risks existing as the worst boyfriend you’ve ever had. Some men will allow their dog to become their entire world – to the point where the dog sleeps at the head of his bed every night and sits inside of the bathroom with him each morning. Every other photo on his Facebook and Instagram pages are pics of him and the dog. You’ve asked him to post a picture of the two of you sitting at Sunday brunch and he makes excuses not to. However, the photo you two took together in the front seat of his car with Sparky poking his head forward from the backseat was uploaded instead. And as much as your boyfriend loves his dog, he doesn’t take great care of him. Sparky is in desperate need of a shampoo, a haircut and a new doggy diet. You are disgusted to even spend the night at your boyfriend’s house because his place smells terrible. There is dog hair spread across all of the furniture, bathroom floor, sheets and carpeting. Sometimes the dog uses the bathroom inside of the house because your dude comes home whenever he wants to and wakes up each morning when he feels like it. You’ve grown tired of every discussion you have with your boyfriend beginning and ending with stories about what Sparky did to the trash cans outside or how he ”accidentally” chewed the sweater you left in the bedroom.

So, before you commit to placing a title on a relationship with a guy who owns pets, pay close attention to how he cares for and interacts regularly with his animals. If you notice that he constantly ignores his mothers calls to take selfies with Sparky by his side, he certainly isn’t going to change that behavior to give you special attention once the two of you are together. However, if owning a dog seems to have instilled great levels of responsibility, sensitivity and balance in your man’s life, he may be for the keeping. Most pet owners are loving people, but that doesn’t mean that they will make the best romantically loving partner.

10 Ways To Impress Your Valentine Without Chasing The Crowd Or Being Cliche’

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Dinner and a movie have been done since the beginning of time. Nothing says, I lack romance more than a last minute dash to TGIFridays and then taking your date to a crowded theater filled with other losers who couldn’t think of anything creative to do. And while opening a box of store bought chocolate may put a temporary smile on your partners face, there’s nothing unique about offering candy or flowers to the one you love on the day they are most expecting to receive them. Sure, the gesture is nice, but you never want to send the silent message that you’re too lazy to put forth real effort.

If you are lucky to spend Valentine’s Day with someone who truly cares about you, that individual is quietly hoping that you’ll invest thought into creating a special memory as opposed to simply making an expensive purchase. February fourteenth is designed for Cupid to shoot his arrow into a sea of hearts – igniting waves of desire, affection and renewed attraction between couples in love. While Valentine’s Day has easily turned into another commercial celebration of giving and spending, intimacy still reigns as the supreme gift. The best way to impress the one who means the most to your life is to create a moment where the two of you are truly enjoying each others company.

Start planning early. Avoid having to rummage through the retail aisles of cheesy, leftover, singing cards or sales bins filled with cheap teddy bears and those nasty candy hearts with the little “I Love You” messages carved at the center.

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CREATE AN IN-HOME GETAWAY – Money may be tight right now and you cannot afford to take your Valentine on an expensive vacation. The two of you have been talking about getting on a plane and flying to some remote, tropical island for months. While it isn’t in the budget to getaway this winter, bring paradise into your living space. Instead of giving your Valentine a cliché’ Hallmark card, have a mock flight ticket sealed in an envelope and taped to the front door. Decorate your house or apartment with little palm trees, bamboo, a plastic children’s pool filled with sand, two beach chairs, a big, crafted sun hanging from the ceiling and maybe a stuffed parrot or two stashed in the corners of the room. Turn the bedroom into a luxury, hotel suite; complete with all white sheets, matching pillowcases, white towels and a room service menu. The room service menu should include all of the specialty food items and drinks that you’ve either prepared yourself or picked up from various cultural restaurants in your city. Do a mix of Caribbean, Jamaican or Hawaiian inspired dishes. Serve the drinks in real or plastic coconuts. The two of you can change into your bathing suits and sip your cocktails inside of the makeshift pool. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Make the entire night feel like an escape from the mundane of your everyday lives.

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GIVE A HARD COPY PHOTO ALBUM – In this day and time, all of the photos we take, copy or save are digital images. It’s very rare that we can actually place our hands on all of the pictures that we’ve taken over the years. Gather all of the special couple shots that the two of you have saved online or stashed in desktop folders and print them out. Create an album that displays the chronological order of your relationship – from the first time you both posed together for an iphone pic to the most recent capture taken on New Years Eve.

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CREATE AN AT-HOME SPA NIGHT – Sometimes, our Valentine may feel that we only touch them or show physical affection during or immediately following sex. As a result, create a series of treatments that will allow you to physically come in contact with various parts of your Valentine’s body. Purchase an Aveda facial mask, body scrub, foot cream and massage oils. All Aveda products are natural and designed to not irritate or breakout sensitive skin types. Use this spa night to also groom your partner. If they have body hair in areas that you’ve desperately wanted them to get rid of, this presents the perfect opportunity to shave or Nair those crevices while your Valentine lays back and enjoys the pampering. Take your time. As you are applying the facial mask, body scrub or other massage oils, it’s important that each body part is receiving equal attention. Try to not solely focus on the “private” areas. Once you are done massaging your Valentine, cover them in clean, white towels that you’ve heated up in the dryer. Have white tea lights lit and placed in as many obvious places as possible. Simply allow them to relax.

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MAKE DRINKS AND TASTE TEST – Getting tipsy with the love of your life can lead to all types of fun. The two of you can purchase different types of alcohol, fruit and flavorings. With two different blenders, each of you creates 2 or 3 specialty drinks. Write down the ingredients and give each of your cocktails a name that somehow pertains to your relationship – preferably a title that relates to something funny or secretive that only the both of you understand. Spend Valentine’s night sipping from one another’s cups. Get drunk and then, get naked.

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PURCHASE A TWO HOUR LESSON IN SOMETHING OUT OF HIS OR HER COMFORT ZONE – One of the best ways to reignite the passion in a relationship is for one partner to introduce the other partner to something unfamiliar to them. Especially if you have experience in a certain task or activity, a two hour lesson will allow your partner to step foot into a world where you can be the guide. Search for locations where swim classes, ice-skating lessons, samba sessions for beginners or even basic painting instruction is being offered. Engage with your partner by assisting them with the steps that they may be having the most difficulty executing. And if professional lessons aren’t being offered in your area, simply secure a location and YOU act as the instructor.

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SHOW THEM A POST CARD IMAGE IN PERSON – Most of the time, between the bustle of our days and the heaviness of our nights, we miss the beauty of nature that exists directly outside of our windows. We see gorgeous sunsets in pictures, but it’s rare that many of us experience them firsthand. Scope out a location where you and the love of your life can easily look at the stars, watch a sunrise, see birds flying, hear the ocean moving or witness the sky turning into a blanket of orange, pink and deep red clouds.

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DO A HOME THEATER & WATCH OLD MOVIES – Instead of piling into an overcrowded AMC, turn your couch into plush, VIP seating. Replace the Valentine card with little, red, tear-off movie tickets. Purchase paper buckets from the grocery store or a Bed, Bath & Beyond. Fill the buckets with homemade popcorn. Buy tall paper cups, plastic tops and straws. Fill those with your Valentine’s favorite soda or fruit drink. Choose one or two movies that the both of you can enjoy. And for nostalgic sake, try to get your hands on the first movie the two of you ever went to see together during one of your initial dates. You’ll win points for remembering. If you really want to impress, try renting a projector that will allow you to play the movies on one of the white walls inside of your home.

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CREATE A “DAY IN THE LIFE” GROUPON PACKAGE – Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, present your BAE with 7 to 10 Groupon’s that pertain directly to their likes, desires or something that works in their favor. For example, for $3.00, your Valentine can ask you to wash the breakfast dishes before 10:00am. For $2.00, your Valentine can request that you vacuum the inside of their car and take it to be washed before noon. For $1.50, your Valentine can have you rub their feet and massage their ears before 6:00pm. The catch, however, is that once the time you come up with expires for each groupon, the request or service is then null and void.


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PLAN A SCAVENGER HUNT – Even if you do decide to purchase an expensive gift for your Valentine, make them search for it in a hidden place. Begin the scavenger hunt in the front seat of their car. Let each clue reflect a place, idea or thought that is especially pertinent to your relationship. Place the clues in red envelopes spread throughout the neighborhood or inside of the house. Put numbers on the front of each envelope so in case your Valentine stumbles ahead of the hunt, you’re able to keep them on path. The clues don’t have to be intricate, but a sentence or phrase that will make perfect sense once they read it; i.e. “that time I came home in the middle of the day and found you napping in the oddest of places” – then your Valentine would look underneath the dining room table for the next clue. LOL!

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OFFER YOUR VALENTINE ONE NIGHT WITH THEIR CELEBRITY CRUSH – Physically transform yourself into the actor, actress, singer, athlete, reality star or performer that you know your Valentine is most attracted to. Recreate one of the signature looks of that superstar and even try to emulate the voice, and mannerisms that makes that celebrity so appealing on the surface. Once your Valentine is convinced of the switch, strip down and allow your Valentine to call you by that celebrities name in the bedroom. People often say, “if only I had 15 minutes with ___________!” Well, let your Valentine act out on you all of the fanciful things they would do if given that golden opportunity.

Valentine’s Day can be as fun and creative as we make it. There’s no need to follow the trends or fall into the cliché’ of giving candy, roses and cards. Show the one you love that you think enough about them and the relationship you two share to reach outside of the conventional box. Be original in your approach to sealing this Valentine’s as the day he or she will remember most at the end of this year.

 

I Hate That You Seem Perfectly Fine Without Me

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It has been a little over one month since the two of you decided to part ways — for the third time in two years. You are determined to walk away once and for all; leaving behind the countless incidents of infidelity. Sick and tired of waiting hours for him to reply to your text messages or simply to answer his phone whenever you call, you have decided that he will never hear from you again. You love this guy deeper than you have ever loved anyone else, but the dynamics of the relationship have hurt you worse than anything you’ve endured in your past. You have worn yourself thin by worrying at night that he is out in the streets flirting or sleeping with someone else. He denies ever meeting or conversing with the scantily clad “others” who are suddenly commenting all of his online photos. Every time you ask him a question or request that he explain a situation, his response is always, “what do you mean? stop blowing things out of proportion!” The relationship you share with this guy takes a toll on the other facets of your life and you simply refuse to carry the emotional burden into a new year.

However, your frustration with being mistreated by this man has not overpowered your intense connection to how he makes you feel when everything between the two of you appears to be “okay”. Watching him live his life from a distance, as if everything in his world is perfect and happier without you has become painful and difficult to endure.

The reality is that you are the one who ended the relationship, again. Your man agreed to let you walk away in that moment as a temporary fix to the issues that he didn’t want to verbally address. You have broken things off with this guy several times in the past. However, the moment you begin to miss him, the two of you have always reunited.

Since men tend to exist as very routine creatures, your man has become quite familiar with your cycle. As a result, he no longer fears permanently losing you or missing out on the long term benefits of having you in his life. Your “run and return home” routine has trained this man into his own cycle of avoiding your questions when the two of you are together, allowing you to break things off, waiting for the turmoil to cool down and then knowing you will eventually come back to him. 

The entire time that you have existed in and out of this man’s life, there has never been a period where he was truly forced to feel your absence. It crossed his mind during the first breakup that he would never see you or hear from you again. That’s why he showed up to your job unannounced, cried on your lap inside the car, and worked so hard to win back your affection. Now, he doesn’t even take your absence or physical withdrawal from his life seriously. Instead, he uses the weeks or months of separation to hangout and “chill” with other individuals he finds attractive. He takes full advantage of the two of you not officially being together by now openly engaging in all of the activities that he would normally hide from you. And the moment you dare to question him about his decisions or reckless behavior, he knows that he can toss it in your face that YOU broke up with him. This man knows that he doesn’t have to be cautious of how he carries himself, because you’ve trained him to believe that ultimately, you’re going to return to the relationship.

Most often, guys experience the “Play” phase almost immediately after their relationship ends. This is the phase of behavior that you are misinterpreting as your man being perfectly fine without you. The “Play” phase is the initial period following a breakup that lasts between 4 to 6 weeks. During this “Play” phase, guys will purposely avoid dealing with emotional pain even though he IS hurting. There is very little self reflection as it pertains to the mistakes they’ve made. Men will use this time to buy new clothes, create dating profiles on different hook-up sites, go to the club with their friends, invite strangers to stay the night at their place, purchase high end items to fill your void and usually just indulge in the foods, people, places or things that you would otherwise suggest they stay away from.

Your response to his “Play” phase must be total silence. This time, do not react out loud to his antics. He is expecting you to post emotional status messages on Facebook or “Im doing me” quotes on Instagram. He’s waiting for you to text and call him to fuss about the new whores he is spending time with — just as you usually do. Your normal reaction gives him the opportunity to laugh at you, brag to his friends that you’re blowing up his phone and simply relish in the fact that he still has your heart tangled in a knot.

IF you even decide that it’s worth your energy to ignite a reconciliation, it becomes important that you remain distant in all regards for a minimum of 10 to 12 weeks. It usually takes guys this long to enter into their “Self Reflection” phase following a breakup. Once the novelty of his single life activities has worn off, he is now beginning to feel the intensity of your absence. Additionally, the pain that he has been able to suppress over the past few weeks has risen to the surface. The combination of your absence and his refusal to acknowledge his pain forces him to examine his own weaknesses, misgivings, failures and disregard for others. He is no longer enjoying the “pretend my life is perfect” behaviors because the universe is forcing him to address the role he has played in the dissolution of his most important relationships. You need him to undergo this growth period, otherwise the cycle will repeat itself.

Sometimes, guys need to experience their own peril as a result of avoiding the issues that plague their lives. Allow him the space to make believe that life is happier without you because in your mind, you already know it’s simply an act. If the man you love is never able to make a conscious connection between his internal problems and the poor relationship decisions he tends to make, then he may never become the man you can spend the rest of your life with.

Even Though We Barely Talk, I Still Wonder How You’re Doing

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The holiday season is upon us. As a result, your end of the year rituals tend to spark memories of that special someone who once upon a time played a significant role in your everyday life. Thoughts of him trip across your mind each time you happen to see his favorite team playing ball during one of your couch commando, channel surfing sessions. Standing beside him at the local arena as he cheered on the star players easily became some of the best, quality time that you two spent together. You think of him whenever you smell that Vera Wang Cologne for Men, while shopping on the weekends in the mall department stores. His voice is tangled between the chorus of Beyonce’s “XO” record, as he was the first person you forced to listen to the song when she dropped her surprise album last December. He’s now absent from the right side of your bed nightly, but the scent of his hair still lingers in the fibers of the pillow you never wash or sleep with anymore. It has been a long while since he has updated his Facebook status message or even signed in to Foursquare. You have no idea how things are going in his world, but you miss him. You wonder about him. You still love him… and that is okay.

One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned over the past ten years is, “just because we love someone, does not mean that we are supposed to be with that someone”. Anyone who has ever truly made an emotional impact in our lives is always going to fill a carved space within our hearts. Those feelings will often surface, especially during the holidays. Those feelings then trigger thoughts about the past we once shared with this individual. However, it is most important to remember, the distance that has been created to separate his life from your conscious mind, is often designed to protect you. While you may think that knowing the details of what is going on with this man personally will comfort your curiosity and wonder, the information and knowledge of what he’s doing stands a greater chance of hurting you.

Before you consider sending that, “Happy Thanksgiving! Just thinking about you” text message, be aware of how that action may reopen a painful chapter that you’ve worked so hard to close. In most circumstances, you are sending that text message because not only are you thinking of this man, but you’re also longing to talk to him and possibly see him. Meanwhile, his response, or lack thereof could affect the positive adjustments you’ve made now that he no longer plays a role in your life. Your vulnerabilities are still rather soft.

Men don’t change mentally, emotionally or behaviorally over the period of a few months. Unless he has endured a major turn of events that has impacted every crescent of his psyche, he is still the same guy you chose to stop dealing with. This dude, under most circumstances, still maintains the same arrogant attitude, dismissive personality, apathetic demeanor and piss poor means of communication that tore you away from him months ago. Sure, he has possibly moved into a new apartment or has started working a new job, but you also know that he has a very difficult time finding comfort in being alone. While you have remained single, despite entertaining a few phone calls from one or two admirers, he of course has been sleeping with everyone who has slid a nude picture into his direct message inboxes. In your mind, without having the concrete information, you already know that he has filled your void with random company, meaningless sex, and the same impulsive decisions that created tumultuous consequences when the two of you were romantically involved.

You cannot allow your rose tinted memories to cushion the reality of every thorn this man so carelessly poked in your chest. You’re no longer waking up each day, unable to physically pull yourself out of bed. You’ve successfully moved beyond the phase of crying in the car while on your way to work or riding home from a Sunday, church service. It isn’t still tough for you to hear his name brought up by a friend in casual conversation. You’re actually healing. As a result, wonder how this guy is doing from time to time, but maintain your physical distance. Eventually, once you have truly moved beyond the emotional burden, the universe will conspire to allow the both of you to cross paths amicably. The moment may not happen for months or years to come. However, you forcing the interaction will simply interfere with your ability to maintain a peace of mind.

We fool ourselves into believing that we are ready to “be friends” with someone who existed as a love interest less than a year ago. But if you two are actually friends, this means you can stomach hearing him discuss his love life and romantic dealings with other people. ARE YOU PREPARED TO HANDLE THAT LEVEL OF CONVERSATION?

As human beings, we desire the ability to own or control our hearts in determining the speed at which we fall out of love or “get over” an ex. Truthfully, you do not possess the power to order your emotional timeline and that is why barely talking to HIM right now, is the very best thing for YOU.

BEWARE of the friend who screams, “EWW…you like him?!”

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You find yourself drawn to this new man for qualities that extend far beyond his physical features. He loves alternative music. He eats sushi. Hates clubs. Goes hiking on the weekends. Watches “How To Get Away With Murder” every Thursday night. Plays the saxophone. He works as a freelance photographer. And he doesn’t associate with a lot of popular, uppity people. He hates driving, but you enjoy it. While you’re behind the wheel, he’s always gripping your right hand in his left. What the two of you are building is cozy and it makes you feel good. He isn’t necessarily the type of guy you’d usually date, but your “type” has continued to be of disappointment over the years. You’re trying something new. Keeping his face and identity hidden from your social media timelines.

Your “friend” is aware of this particular guy in due part to mutual associations or simply in passing amongst the social circuit in your city. This guy and your friend have never spoken or engaged in real, face-to-face conversation. Your friend has decided that based on this dude’s surface characteristics, he isn’t worthy of their attention.

Anxiously, you mention to your friend one day that you and this new guy have been texting, spending time with one another and exchanging photos over the past few weeks. The initial response from your friend is laughter, paired with a sharp, “ewww…you like him?!” – This is your friend reacting to your excitement over finally, possibly, meeting someone you organically feel connected to. In your mind you’re thinking, “how rude can you be?”

Then you snap back at your friend by saying, “I don’t care if he isn’t the cutest boy ever. He doesn’t have to be. You don’t even know him. You don’t see him the way that I do and I think he’s perfect the way he is.” Your friend apologizes. However, you silently vow to never mention this man or your dealings with him in front of your friend again.

Another month goes by and your friend randomly asks how things are going between you and this new man. Despite the fact that you’ve spent every single day at his house, in his kitchen, on his computer and between his sheets, you casually respond, “we’re good.” When your friend begins probing for more details, you make it clear that you really like this guy, but you then suggest it’s too soon to tell where things are going. Your heart is already too attached to this man to stomach any further judgment from your friend, so you don’t give up the specifics they’re fishing for. You’ve decided it’s enough that your friend is clear that the two of you are involved. Changing the subject but not really, you then inquire about the guys who your friend has been seeing as of lately.

driving…driving. listening…listening.

A few days later, while scrolling your Instagram timeline, you notice that your friend has begun following your man’s page – the same friend who screamed, “EWW!” when you told them that the two of you were dating. Not only has your friend followed your new man, but there are also random, pointless comments & smiley face emojis left beneath three or four of your new guys photos.

It’s at this point that many individuals make the mistake of not saying anything to their friend, in fear that they’re making too much out of nothing.

BEWARE: Your involvement with this new guy, who otherwise would have never crossed your friends mind, has now made this man intriguing to them. Suddenly, your ‘friend’ is a little more attracted to this dude. Over the past fourteen years, it has been my experience that some people don’t usually find a certain guy attractive or appealing until someone else close to them begins to express interest.

People who we mistakenly label as friends have a sordid way of wanting to get close to someone new in our lives, simply because that individual represents something else we have that they don’t. It’s a similar scenario to watching two children interact with one another in a classroom setting. It’s not until the more developed child picks up the odd toy that’s stashed in the corner and starts playing, that the other child attempts to snatch it and keep the toy for themselves. Especially in instances where the new guy we are dating is completely different from the men our ‘friend” is use to seeing us with or even the men they themselves often attract, this ‘friend’ will go through extreme measures to figure out why we are drawn to this man. In their ploy to uncover the connection, their first effort is to make contact. It is not wrong or inappropriate for you to tell your friend that your new man is off limits to their online or in person advances. Of course, your ‘friend’ is going to downplay or deny their fascination, but it’s still up to you to make your HANDS OFF position very clear. You are not blowing the situation out of proportion by drawing lines between a ‘friend’ who prematurely expressed disgust for a guy you care about, and their newfound interest in connecting with him. If their social media contact were truly innocent and void of ulterior motives, your friend would have mentioned to you that they followed your date online in the first place.

In this day and time, it is very difficult to formulate new associations with individuals who truly respect the GIRL/BOY CODE that reads – “Thou shall not attempt to meet, date, talk to or sleep with someone who is presently or once was involved with my friend.” You can often expect that the same individual who screamed “EWW!” will change their tune to “OOO!” the second they see that there’s something about this guy that truly turns you on. BEWARE.

The Reasons Why Your Man Seems To Turn Against You When You’re The One Doing Everything To Help His Black Ass

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Often times, we transform ourselves into the roles of counselor, therapist, secretary and parent whenever the man we’re dating or seriously involved with is facing a dark period in his life. Suddenly, his job layoff, financial crisis or family emergency becomes our problem to solve. We begin taking on tasks, responsibilities and self-imposed stressors in an effort to make sure that the man we love survives this unfortunate setback in his life. We are buying extra food to make sure he’s eating as often as he likes. We’re updating his resume, making phone calls, being extra affectionate and offering loving advice to help him get through this dark period. It seems that our surface efforts would be embraced – our dude would display an outward expression of appreciation. Instead, however, he becomes distant and increasingly agitated whenever he’s in our presence. He doesn’t want to spend one on one time anymore, but is constantly entertaining his loser friends and online “fans”. Everyone else in his life seems to be receiving the smiles, upbeat personality and star treatment. Meanwhile, we are left home, alone, venting to our friends and wondering what we’ve done wrong to deserve his negative attitude. It’s simple…

Many of us make the mistake of extending ourselves in the same ways in which we assume we would want others to help or assist us in our time of need. We place ourselves in the mode to support our men by any means necessary, even if that sometimes means ignoring our own needs and sacrificing our financial or emotional stability for his ultimate success. In our decision to dive in to fix the issues that are plaguing the man we love, we tend to forget that a lot of guys initially feel the need to retreat and make decisions on their own. Even though we often think that it’s best to create a plan and take immediate action, a lot of men require space and time to determine what his first step will be in handling his dilemma. Bombarding his space with increased calls and text messages in an effort to find out what he’s going to do or if he’s going to follow our advice, only intensifies his stress levels.

We forget that even as his romantic partner, our position in our man’s life is not to necessarily solve his problems. Men are very prideful creatures. Despite his race, sexuality or socioeconomic background, a lot of men still feel that their role in life is to provide for themselves and protect the individuals closest to them. When we make an attempt to help without his asking, that behavior on our part tends to make our man feel weak. While it’s sometimes difficult to sit back and wait for our dude to share all of the details or to ask for our input, it becomes important that we give him the room to do so.

He is sometimes running to hang with his friends because even though they may be aware of his situation, they aren’t forcing him to discuss it or execute their idea of what the resolution should be.

One of the best ways that we can be supportive of the guy we love is to speak to him with encouraging statements, as opposed to using sympathetic words. You have to learn how to feed and fuel his ego in order to get him to open up to you or to ask for your assistance. Instead of saying things like, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this baby. Are you okay? Awe…I hope things will get better”, you should offer statements such as, “You’ve got this! The job is yours. Are you forgetting who you are?” Remind your man that he is still in charge of his own life. You can also bring up a past situation where the chips were down for him and he somehow pieced them back together. Encouraging him, as opposed to pitying his circumstances will give your dude the confidence he needs to make solid decisions on his own. Then, more than likely, he’s going to want you to contribute to the plan of action he comes up with. His mind and spirit will be open to receiving your ideas or suggestions. Your man needs to feel that you are standing beside him in his path to solve the problem and not necessarily in front – trying to lead him to make the decision that YOU think is best.

Also, keep in mind that you too are going to become just a tad bit frustrated and exhausted as you’re taking on extra responsibilities to make sure that your man is okay. Once you start getting frustrated because now you’re paying two cell phone bills instead of one, or now you’re having to run extra errands to help him out, he will recognize a change in your demeanor. Even though you’re aiding him from the kindness of your heart, the little things he says or does may begin to upset you. Despite your annoyance with him going out to have drinks with his friends when you feel that he should be home applying for jobs, you should not say things to him like, “well, if it weren’t for me then your phone wouldn’t even be on”, or… “I’m the one trying to help you and you haven’t even thanked me”. Your man may begin to feel like a burden and will often retreat as a result of his guilt. That explains why he’s suddenly interacting with strangers on Facebook or posting “happy photos” on Instagram, as if everything in his life is perfect. The communication he is now sharing with associates or total strangers serves as his escape from the relationship with you that is now filled with feelings of ridicule and resentment.

Always remember that during tough times, guys will often turn towards the individuals who know the least about their real life situations. Engaging with people publicly who only know them for their cute faces and other surface attributes sometimes makes men feel good about themselves when their lives are falling apart behind closed doors. It sometimes feels that we are getting the short end of the stick because he knows that we are aware of what’s actually going on. Our expectations of him are often greater than what he may feel he can fill at the moment.

So, the best way to avoid becoming the frustrated, lonely lover who is sitting at home feeling unappreciated, is to support your man WITHOUT MENTION. When he initially calls or texts you to inform you about what is happening in his life, do not tell him what he should or needs to do… until he asks for your input. Your job is to listen and offer encouragement. You only need to express sympathy in the event that his grandmother or best friend has just passed away. If you’re going to take care of washing his clothes so that he can focus on making emergency calls, there’s no need for you to verbally bring it to his attention that you’ve done so. Simply dry his things, fold them and put them away. He will notice on Monday morning that all of his underwear and tee shirts are clean. Never throw in his face what you have done to help him during his time of need. It’s tough enough for a man to accept money from his partner for food, gas or other bills. Even in the event that you two are upset and arguing with one another, avoid bringing up the gifts or favors that you’ve extended to him. He will often respond by LEAVING YOU, simply because he never wants anyone in life to feel that they can take full credit for the man he has become. And even if he doesn’t walk away from you in that moment, the resentment will send him on his way the moment he gets back on his feet.

Men don’t simply leave the individual who “held them down” when times were tough. Men walk away from the person who constantly held it over his head.

Guys rarely forget the individuals who helped them keep their heads above water. If you want your relationship to remain intact following the struggles your man is presently enduring, please don’t overwhelm him with your desire to take total control of his circumstances. Help him without stealing his power to help himself.

Amiyah Scott’s 8-Part Interview With Ceasar Will Of BRTB TV + Debut Of “TRIANGLE” Web Series

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Yesterday, November 6, 2014, Ceasar Will of Ballroom Throwbacks TV released his highly anticipated sit down interview with Miss. Amiyah Scott. Filmed recently in New York City, Ceasar and Amiyah came together to discuss a series of issues directly related to Amiyah’s personal life and experiences living as an open and proud transgender woman. It is no secret that Amiyah presently exists as one of the most highly recognized and adored public figures amongst the LGBT community. Though she may not receive the type of mainstream, headline news coverage as Laverne Cox or Janet Mok, Amiyah certainly appeals to hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. Amiyah’s beauty, brand and coming of age story resonates with individuals who not only identify as being trans, but also many others who simply embrace the notions of acceptance, tolerance and equality amongst the human race.

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I first discovered Amiyah circa 2005/2006 when she walked Fem Queen Face for the illustrious House of Mizrahi. During that time, I followed the blog of Frank Leon Roberts; an online personality from the LGBT community who existed before the days of Youtube notoriety. It was through his exclusive collection of photos and personal stories, that individuals like Amiyah Scott began to receive online press. At the time, many viewers and onlookers only knew Amiyah for her stunning, physical features. It wasn’t until years later that she would be given the opportunity to begin sharing her trials and triumphs with the world at large.

In this 8-part interview, Amiyah addresses various topics presented to her by Mr. Ceasar Will. She discusses her family background and how her transition into womanhood affected the dynamic of her household. Amiyah addresses the “scandals” associated with transgender women outing male celebrities for their interests in dating or desiring personal relationships with other transgender women. Ceasar asks Amiyah to express her feelings about the word, “Tranny” and how the connotation behind the term makes her feel personally. We get to hear Amiyah express her true feelings about friendship VS. association, the existence of “social climbers”, her reasons for walking away from the ballroom scene, as well as how being involved in ballroom years ago helped to shape her present platform. As a celebrated public figure, Amiyah of course discusses how social media has helped frame her brand and how that brand may potentially sustain her future.

Amiyah is extremely articulate, poised and professional throughout her 80 minute sit down.

Ive watched all 8 segments of the interview – each part running an average of 10 minutes. The interview begins with Ceasar asking Amiyah a series of fan questions that were posted to his main Facebook account. Many of you who aren’t well versed in “ballroom” may not be aware of the few names she drops or individuals she’s asked to discuss in a few of the segments. However, there is enough BROAD conversation for each viewer to understand a little more of who this amazing lady has become.

 

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR

PART FIVE

PART SIX

PART SEVEN

PART EIGHT

 

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Also, Ceasar is presently producing a new web series that has been heavily promoted and eagerly anticipated over the past few months. I was invited to attend the Philadelphia premiere of the series last night, but was unable to cancel my attendance at another scheduled event. Nonetheless,TRIANGLE has made it’s online debut and many are already buzzing about the central storylines that frame this pilot webisode. Laced in conflicts of love, lust and betrayal, TRIANGLE mirrors the trials that plague the personal and romantic lives of everyday people. I haven’t watched the entire first episode, but I have seen enough promotional trailers to know that the series is filled with EYE CANDY.

I hope you will spend some time this weekend watching and supporting yet another release that has been written, directed and produced by stars from our very own community.