People tend to enter into new, random relationships thinking they truly know the other individual if they’ve spent the night at the persons house six or seven times and happened to be sitting in the living room that one day the individuals mother stopped by to drop off a case of water. We get lost in the idea that we’ve officially met the family following a quick wave and pass through — therefore, securing our position as the new love interest. Realistically, a lot of teenagers, young adults and grown folks especially, prematurely enter into romantic situations hoping that a title and an update to their Facebook relationship status will cure their insecurities or loneliness. It seems that once some people establish a mutual attraction, they become all too willing to bypass the necessary process of learning who someone is beyond the first few table conversations that were had at TGIFridays. We fool ourselves into believing that if we’re able to sit on the phone with someone for five hours the first night of meeting and six hours the next, then somehow it’s destined that a strong bond will bloom. And while most people want to fall in love and build a life with someone special, three weeks may not be long enough to determine if your idea of “special” matches what this other person is willing or capable of offering.
There are SIX main reasons why people are willing to bypass the process of truly learning someone’s character and jumping head first into a new relationship…
BOREDOM & CONVENIENCE – Most people simply aren’t honest or clear about why they want a boyfriend in the first place. Too often, “having a boyfriend” in the minds of some, presents the opportunity to be driven to amusement parks, taken out to dinner and photographed in couple-pics that can be uploaded to social media. Relationships that are formed quickly and exist out-of-nowhere are sometimes used as a hobby. One or both individuals find that they have a lot of free, alone time to spare between their long days and lonelier nights. Adding a boyfriend or girlfriend into the daily routine is seen as a way to guarantee company during various personal and leisure tasks. If these two individuals know a lot of the same people or are already engaged in some of the same extra curricular activities, to them, it may really make sense to get together based solely upon their social connections.
There also exists this present day obsession with being deemed as the next online, “power couple’. Everyone wants their relationship to be visually seen and publicly hailed as the second coming of “Bey & Jay”. It simply becomes something cute-to-do for two people who photograph well alongside one another or who look good together on paper to conveniently slap that TITLE onto their misguided intentions.
RACING AGAINST THE CLOCK – As we continue to age, individuals begin to panic. People start examining their lives and personal accomplishments. Life begins to feel heavier and less eternal as we celebrate each birthday. Once people begin to hit their 30’s, the assumption that romantic love and a family unit aren’t going to happen, can become a frightening thought. These thoughts of, “everyone else has someone. why not me?” – can force an individual into attaching themselves to someone who under most circumstances, they’d never entertain. It’s a race to secure romantic love before our looks fade or we become less desirable to the same or opposite sex. After all, we are socially conditioned to believe that love after 30 is damn near impossible.
REBOUND – Individuals who find themselves most comfortable existing within the confines of a relationship aren’t usually willing to remain single long enough to give their hearts room to heal. Being single makes these types of people feel extremely lonely, insecure and afraid. In an effort to patch these empty feelings, attaching to anyone “half decent” and “cute” has become a routine. And especially for guys and young women who have never lived alone; having someone to lie with every night and to share their home with everyday becomes a safety net. It honestly doesn’t matter in some cases who the person is…as long as “somebody” is around.
FILLING A PARENTAL VOID – Some people prematurely enter into random relationships subconsciously in search of a mother or father figure. If an individual grew up in a household where the father was absent or the mother was always in the street, that person could potentially seek parental nurturing in their lovers. The lack of parental stability within the household where they were raised has left a void. In turn, these particular individuals look to others to play the role of the leadership figures they longed for as children. This is usually the saddest and most unfortunate reason why people latch onto relationships in their journey to cope with the world as adults. A lot of responsibility is placed on the lover, and it begins to create a major strain. A boyfriend cannot exist as a father figure and a girlfriend isn’t a mother. The relationship titles and duties aren’t interchangeable.
PEER PRESSURE & FAMILY INFLUENCE – Sometimes, we simply become overwhelmed by the constant questions from those closest to us regarding WHY we aren’t actively dating or involved with someone special. We get tired of being the only one to attend holiday dinners alone, or having to arrive to our company holiday party without a plus one. Even when the questions aren’t being thrown at us, it’s the constant feeling of being that ONE who is always “single”. We begin looking around at our friends, our cousins, god sisters, co-workers and siblings – thinking, DAMN! AM I REALLY THE ONLY ONE ON EARTH WHO ISN’T MARRIED OR AT LEAST ENGAGED?
And that pressure can definitely force people into searching for love and then settling for what comes the easiest and the quickest.
DESIRING INTIMACY & AFFECTION – Contrary to popular belief, everyone isn’t sleeping around with everyone. Some guys and girls truly can still count their sexual partners on one or two hands. In an effort to keep their body count low, you’ll find that certain folks get into relationships in order to feel that they’re engaging in sex with someone they know and feel comfortable with – if even on the surface. It makes some people feel better to be able to say that they’ve only had sex with the same person for the past few months to a year. Hopping fast into the new relationship then presents the opportunity for unlimited cuddles, kisses, hugs and booty without the guilt of sharing ones body with multiple partners.
Jumping into a relationship before truly knowing someone personally, learning them mentally and understanding who they are emotionally is truly a mistake. The first few weeks or month of the new relationship may be filled with passion and thrills. However, that level of excitement will only last for a short period of time – most often igniting the end of the quick pairing. It is very rare that these random, three-week, turnaround relationships survive the long haul. When the bond isn’t based on true love, the relationship has no real basis to exist or to survive.
Over the past few months, I have posted quite a few original thoughts, ideas, opinions and advice blurbs via my social media networks. This content has ranged from my praise of certain mainstream media entities like Jussie Smollett, to my personal joys of being able to spend 10 days on the beaches and sands of Los Angeles, California. I have tapped into the universal language of love — offering my point of view about how we engage with our romantic partners, as well as maintaining unhealthy attachments to our exes. I also began publicly sharing some of my favorite skin and body products; encouraging many of you to try samples of some of the cologne or face washes that I’ve recently sampled and purchased. Additionally, I recently dedicated #MCM (Male Crush Monday) to an idea, as opposed to a specific person. I outlined a fanciful day that we’d all ideally like to spend with the special man in our lives. And since many of you enjoy following me via Twitter, I’ve engaged in a series of live tweeting sessions while popular series such as FOX’s Empire and ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, were airing. Obviously, my recent social media posts have resonated with my core audience because many individuals who may not follow me directly via social media, have sent messages of support and agreement after seeing my posts shared on their personal timelines from those who have been loyal to my online platform over the past seven years.
Receiving hundreds and sometimes a combined total of thousands of Likes, Shares, Retweets, Favorites, Reblogs and Comments via both of my FACEBOOK pages, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER and TUMBLR timelines, I selected a few of the most popular posts to be featured here at XemSays.com
JANUARY 14, 2015
THIS is absolutely what I hope to come home to each day — a partner whose artistic talents & creative passions are enough to keep him occupied in my absence. Someone who truly knows & understands the value of free, human expression VS. social standards of “success”. To me, there is nothing more attractive than a man who can paint his feelings, sing his pains, play his struggles, dance his truth, …recite his sacrifices, sculpt his frustrations, film his untold story, cook the goodness of his heart into meal form, photograph images reflecting his trials & triumphs, or simply creating from a rigid or raw place.
Power Couple. A unique bond between two individuals whose strengths compliment & build one another to higher spectrums of the world. The results of their private labor have tremendous influence over public spectators.
Sweet Valentine of mine…
JANUARY 18, 2015
KINDA DOPE! One of my supporters tweeted me last night to let me know that #eonline posted one of my #WhitneyMovie posts to their website alongside Amber Riley, Kathy Griffin & Sherri Shepherd. -
I know it’s not really a big deal, but it’s the first time in 7 years now that a mainstream media outlet has ever shared or posted any of my words. I think…
JANUARY 27, 2015
Laptop. Oatmeal. Tea.–
This is LITERALLY what dating me would be like. LOL! Indoors. Dimly Lit. You curled up with an attitude in that dark space on the right side of the bed. I’m working on a project. You’re wishing I had the desire to leave the damn house other than to go to the gym or to grab lunch from Whole Foods.
BUT I told you that I’m a homebody in the very beginning & you said you were cool with it. Right?
FEBRUARY 8, 2015
MY VALENTINES GIFT FROM YOU TO ME.
You all actually paid for these AVEDA products by clicking the links on my website last month. THANK YOU!
I’ve been wanting to get back on the Aveda acne prone facial regime for a while now, but everything is so damn expensive! Two weeks ago however, I decided to use some of my Google check to buy the OUTER PEACE FOAMING CLEANSER, the BOTANICAL KINETICS EXFOLIANT, the OUTER PEACE ACNE RELIEF LOTION and the OUTER PEACE COOLING MASQUE.
I started using Aveda products on my face after I came off the Accutane in 2006/2007. However, once I moved to California in 2008, I could no longer afford to drop $117 every 3 months to repurchase everything when I would run out.
It really feels GOOD to treat myself. I think we all should invest in taking better care of our skin, our teeth and our bodies as best we can. I just want to be healthier this year. I’ve been taking the ONE A DAY men’s health vitamin on a daily basis since November. My immune system is getting stronger. I haven’t been sick at all this winter. It’s crazy that I stopped taking essential vitamins in October 2012, but would pile my body with the creatine, protein supplements & muscle milk to aid my workout recovery. I am also now buying a new toothbrush every 3 months & using it EVERY morning + night. And I’ve also started using enamel protective toothpaste to combat all of the whitening products I’ve abused over the past few years.
It just makes me feel good to take better physical care of myself overall, as opposed to just going to the gym & convincing myself that’s enough. You know?…
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
Cicely Tyson is a screen siren! The epitome of dramatic performance. A matriarch of theatrical expression. #HTGAWM
and the Emmy goes to…
FEBRUARY 22, 2015
THIS IS THE SCENT YOU WANT FELLAS! and this is the cologne you want to buy for your special guy, ladies…
This Yves Saint Laurent was one of my birthday gifts from my darling sister. It smells like passion —
You know how you see a guy that is built like NATE LEAHY from “How To Get Away With Murder” & his dress clothes fit like a smooth, second skin? He walks by you in an open space & his sensual smell lingers until he & his size 12 wingtip shoes have turned the next corner…?
YEAH… that’s EXACTLY what this “Yves Saint Laurent” gives once it settles into the skin
I’m spraying it on now as I hustle out the door to head to DC for Ayana’s birthday brunch.
PURCHASE IT if you don’t already have it in your collection. I adore!
MARCH 11, 2015
For probably the first time in my entire life, I can honestly say there is a male character on mainstream television who looks like me, acts like me, speaks like me, carries himself the way I do, presents the same passion, and allows me to say that I SEE MYSELF IN HIM. I met Jussie briefly in April 2011 or April 2012 at the premiere of “The Skinny” in Washington, DC. Automatic good vibes & positive energy poured from his spirit. Seeing him each week portray Jamal Lyon on #EMPIRE reinforces to me that our stories, our trials & triumphs ARE significant within the scope of mainstream society. Jussie’s portrayal of an openly gay black man SEALS a lot of truth about our normal, everyday experiences. Nothing is watered down or overdone. It’s as if I’m watching my male friends & associates on screen; the REALITY that was hardly ever displayed publicly until now. I don’t know Jussie’s personal struggles, artistic journey or his full life story, but I know that his presence amongst the masses right now truly makes me PROUD…and excited about the promise of tomorrows possibilities. I am leaving for Los Angeles on March 21st & I fully intend to soak up every moment of opportunity that my trip presents. Every dream leads to a destination & we can’t be afraid to continue walking towards the space our good lord has carved out for each of us — individually.
LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO KEEP TRYING. BELIEVE IN YOUR TALENTS ENOUGH TO CONTINUE PUTTING THEM ON DISPLAY.
MARCH 16, 2015
young, black male teachers in our public school classrooms — not simply coaching the athletic teams or operating gym, but instructing our mathematics, science & English courses. I LOVE!
MARCH 17, 2015
the day that Whitley met Kinu for the first time. LOOK AT HER FACE! — but nothing tops the scene when Whitley was working as Dwayne & Ron’s maid. Dwayne’s mother (Patti Labelle) makes a surprise visit. Whitley pretends to not know Kinu’s name, so she starts calling her everything & anything beginning with a “K”. BWAHAHAHAHA! –
“I’ll have to ask you to wipe those less than petite feet on the mat before entering the apartment Kukilee.” I DIED!
MARCH 18, 2015
This finale was almost written as if the writers & producers didn’t expect the series to be green lit for a second season. #EmpireFOX
I enjoyed the show, but I felt that some of the storylines were rushed and given premature closure. You know?…
MARCH 23, 2015
Malibu Beach California – I am so incredibly happy and blessed to be here right now. I NEEDED THIS. Feeling so at peace & slightly removed from some of the “stuff”. You know? It wasn’t exactly beach weather today (LOL), but I couldn’t wait for the 90 degree temperatures coming Wednesday before I soaked this up.
MARCH 24, 2015
Embrace those rare moments in life when you are removed from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine in order to refuel your physical, mental and emotional self. God absolutely knows when you have had enough or are in need of a healthy replenishing. He watches us give and give and give of ourselves to the point where we feel depleted of all energy or focus. Sometimes, you just don’t want to be the strong, nurturing mother or the protective big brother or the outspoken co-…worker who puts management in their place or the perfect, listening friend who offers the best advice. Sometimes, you really just want to pack your damn bags, get on a plane, sit by the ocean and listen to Lenny Kravitz all day. And that is okay! –
We all deserve a break, regardless of our tasks or responsibilities. You can’t possibly be of service to others when you aren’t taking proper care of yourself. Make time for YOU, even when the money or opportunity to do so doesn’t “seem” to be there. It’s necessary.
MARCH 30, 2015
#MCM — not the individual. the idea. its the idea of you and your dude both calling out on a Monday morning to spend the day together. weekend was so hectic between running errands, attending your best friends baby shower, cleaning the house, taking your grandmother to church and doing dinner with your parents on Sunday evening that the start of the week has come too soon. it’s the sweet serenity of watching your dude sit peacefully on the couch — holding the puppy that …he purchased at the top of the new year. he and yall’s little pup pup are just getting in from their morning walk. you have filled the doggy bowl with dry food, filled the water dish with ice cubes and are just about done preparing breakfast on the stove. nothing fancy, but something you and your man will both enjoy. neither of you has made any plans to fill the unexpected day off but resting and relaxing is of the priority.
laying beside him even though he still smells like outside actually turns you on. he keeps playfully saying he’s going to get in the shower… “in five minutes”, but five minutes tips toes past the afternoon hours. by the time the two of you have awakened from a deep, day long sleep the sun has set. curtains & blinds still open. that annoying audio from the home screen of the Netflix movie you closed your eyes on is playing repeatedly. puppy nestled at the bottom of the bed waiting to be walked. you force yourself to sit up in the bed though you’ve lost all awareness of where you are or even what day it is. you look over at your man who is half passed out but pulling on you to now help him release. his left hand yanking your upper arm. right wrist hidden beneath his drawstring. his deep, groggy, muffled slur, “baby…real quick.” you somewhat wanting to, but totally distracted by everything that now has to be turned off, powered on and prepared before tomorrow morning. he turns over to face the wall and pulls the covers over his head. you nudge him in the back & tell him to walk the dog. in his deep, groggy, muffled slur, he replies… “in five minutes”.
he’s so use to you doing everything to keep his days and nights in order. this is how you’ve conditioned the relationship. its frustrating at times that he doesn’t offer to pitch in more often. however, you can say that he’s always active and engaged when you specifically ask or call upon him. sure, this has been the toughest two years of your life, but the challenge has been worth his presence. this is the man you love. this is the only man you think about calling out to simply lay with on a Monday morning. he is your #MCE — your male crush everyday.
APRIL 1, 2015
Seriously…. this “MURAD: Acne Spot Fast Fix” cream WORKS! — my face broke out terribly the week I was set to leave for California. I went to Sephora in hopes of finding the “Henriksen: Roll On Blemish Attack” cream I used during desperate situations like these in previous years. Well, come to find out, Sephora has STOPPED selling the product.
The lady assisting me suggested the MURAD treatment. She said many of her female clients loved the results. I felt I had no other choice but to trust her & try it. She suggested I start slow by using a thin layer of the cream on the problem areas once a day… and then gradually work up to 3 times over a 24 hour period. I didn’t have time to “work up to” anything. So, I started using the MURAD Acne Spot Fast Fix cream in the morning, during midday and night– immediately. LOVED the results. Very pleased. Skin had cleared up enough within 3 days that I could still take pictures while in LA & not edit them before posting. The MURAD is only $16.00 for the tube. So, if you’re experiencing breakouts right now with this change in season, DEFINITELY try the MURAD. Sometimes, even with our face washes, exfoliants & moisturizers, our skin will breakout for no good goddamn reason. It’s so ANNOYING — especially because it happens right before an important event or situation. You know? UGH!
Just thought I’d share.
APRIL 12, 2015
we all need to collectively unlearn and reject the idea that certain accomplishments only count if they’re achieved by a certain age or within a “normal” time frame.going through life at your own pace does NOT equate to laziness or failure.
there is no expiration date on graduating from college, securing a “good paying” job, existing in a romantic relationship or purchasing your first home — (if those are even your goals in the first place). it’s society that misleads us to believe that if we don’t have ‘it’ by THIS TIME, then OUR TIME has passed. it simply isn’t true.
APRIL 14, 2015
I want to fall in love again — with someone who will greet me before saying “good morning” to strangers on social media, with someone who likes me more than the “likes” they receive beneath pictures, with someone who doesn’t mind answering all of my questions in detail or choosing to stay in the house with me on weekends instead of running the damn streets. I want to fall in love again — with someone who misses me when I’m gone, but not so much that they attempt to fill my physical void with the presence of someone else’s flesh.
Don’t contemplate breaking up with me simply because I’ve been in a mood for the past few weeks & I can’t explain specifically why I’m so sad or annoyed. It’s not you. I’ve said that. Embrace me tighter in moments when I’m at my worst, as opposed to getting frustrated and publicly embarrassing us by getting caught out there being thotty.
I want to fall in love again — with someone special who believes that we possess the collective power to reach our potential & live our purpose together. Is it even possible? I simply want to fall in love again — with someone who believes that what we’re building is totally worth the try… a constant, repetitive, unyielding TRY. Never leave me. And hold my hand even when you can’t stand being around me. Please. Because I’m going to do all of the same for you.
APRIL 16, 2015
#TBT MOTHERS DAY 2014 —
Zaxembi & Zakiya
as my mother has gotten older, this lady has become reeeeal comfortable asking for very specific holiday & birthday gifts. mmmhmm. she use to just say, “I don’t want yall spending your money on me” — and we would OF COURSE get her something nice with cards as well. she’d be “surprised”, overjoyed & cry opening whatever we presented. HOWEVER… ever since we bought her that tablet or new luggage it was a few years ago, NOW she p…resents a gift REQUEST before every event. HA! she done already laid out EXACTLY the beach bag, surrong, matching hat and glasses she wants us to ORDER for Mother’s Day so she’ll have it for her boat trip in September. Zakiya is something else. I tell you. LOL!
– but this is also the same lady who would often set aside her own wants and needs to make sure we had every item placed on our Christmas, birthday and back-to-school lists. I was 16 years old before I discovered that she was dipping from bill money here or skipping hair appointments there to guarantee we had a few of the extras. I was blessed to be raised in a two parent household, but my father didn’t support or believe in the excess of westernized materialism. now, I fully understand why. however, as mothers have done since the beginning of time, Zakiya made our naive, youthful wishes a reality. as children, we rarely understand the SILENT SACRIFICES our moms make in order to frame our childhood as “comfortable” as possible. OUR MIRACLE WORKERS
– so yeah… Mothers Day is in only 3 weeks from this SUNDAY. start thinking about your plans NOW.
APRIL 17, 2015
If you don’t want your close friends or family members judging you for “trying to make things work” with a romantic partner, STOP discussing only the negative situations that frame your relationship. When you are telling your little stories, be sure to also talk about ALL of the shit you said and did over time to contribute to the messy circumstances. People only know what you share with them — and when you’re always painting your partner to be the villain, that’s exactly how your loved ones are going to perceive them. Blame yourself for others looking at you with the side eye for choosing to stay.
APRIL 22, 2015
HERE’S MY THING:
when you say, “ME AND MY EX ARE JUST FRIENDS”, that means to me — that your ex should be fully aware, accepting and respectful of your present, romantic relationships.
if you and your ex are “JUST FRIENDS” who communicate 3-4 times each week, there’s no reason why I can’t be in the room when the two of you are texting or talking. if you can hold conversations with your mother, cousins, your homeboys — Black, Big Mike & Lil Kevin while I’m sitting right be…side you, then don’t step out of the room or wait until I’m not around to converse with your ex.
if you and your ex are “JUST FRIENDS”, there should be nothing awkward or uncomfortable about you having the both of us in the same room, at the same damn time. why? because as adults, most of us look forward to introducing those we see as “just friends” to the individual we are seriously dating. most often, we want our loved ones to know and get along with the special, romantic partner in our lives. RIGHT?
if you feel so incredibly odd or weird bringing me around your ex who is “just a friend”, then it lets me know there are still feelings involved on your part and/or theirs as well. my ex and I can double date in public or behind closed doors because we ARE really “just friends” — genuinely happy to see the other involved in a new, healthy relationship.
when you can’t openly discuss your love life with an ex without hurting their feelings, the entire “JUST FRIENDS” bullshit is simply in place to sum up the fact that you two have broken up on the surface, possibly stopped sleeping with one another, but haven’t emotionally detached.
cause see… friendship isn’t censored or selective. any ex in my life who I call just a friend, is someone who can sit across a table from me and my present date and not “feel some type of way” regarding my newfound happiness. period.
you and YOUR EX are NOT “JUST FRIENDS”.
I hope you have had an opportunity to catch up with some of the more popular posts you have possibly missed from me since January, 2015. Be sure that you are FOLLOWING all of the Xem VanAdams social media. You never know when an idea is going to pop into my head, I’m inspired to share a tidbit of love and relationship advice or I get the urge to share a new product that is working on my body + skin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope this email reaches you in spiritual peace and wellness. I want you to know that I pray for you just as I would my own brother. I have so much respect for what it is that you do not only for the LGBT community but for mankind as a whole. You really are a spiritual warrior and I know that God has amazing things in store for you. I am writing to you this afternoon because I am having a very difficult time trying to get through to my mother as of lately. Xem, my mother and I are extremely close, especially now that she and my father’s divorce has been finalized. I consider her to be one of my very best friends. It has been tough for her emotionally trying to accept the separation, as well as now living in our house alone. I recently moved out to live with my boyfriend, Troy. He and I are both grad students at UIC here in Chicago. I lived home during my undergraduate studies, which is when my father first moved out. My mother is very supportive of me and my relationship. She treats Troy (my boyfriend) just like her second son. His mother isn’t at all supportive of his sexuality. They have a very estranged relationship, so he and my mother have established their own special relationship. We usually invite her over to our place on Sundays for dinner. She and I will cook together, which is something we’ve done since I was probably thirteen years old. It’s my way of trying to maintain some consistency in her life now that she feels I’m all she has left. However, it irritates me so much Xem that my mother doesn’t seem to understand that just because I cook for Troy and I or she sees me wiping up the table once she comes over, that I am not the woman in my relationship. My mother raised me to be able to take care of myself. Before she knew I was gay she would always say that she never wanted me to have to rely on a woman to do everything the ways that she had to do for my father. So, for me it’s just natural to keep everything in a certain spot or to try new recipes and things. Troy does not know how to cook and when he does call himself cleaning, I end up having to go behind him to really CLEAN CLEAN if you know what I mean. LOL! Even though my mother and I discuss practically everything, I do not discuss my sex life with Troy, with her. Therefore, she doesn’t realize that Troy and I have always had a very equal relationship, if you know what I mean here as well. LOL! My mother is only 56, but her idea of gay relationships is so stuck on who plays the man role and who plays the woman. She always asks me ridiculous questions like, “if you and Troy get married, will both of you wear tuxedos or will you wear something else?” I fall out laughing at this lady because it’s like she expects me to come down the aisle in some ballroom gown or wedding dress. She will also joke but really being serious when she’ll tell me to just drop out of grad school to spend my days with her and let Troy take care of us once he graduates. It’s a little frustrating because I know she really means what she says. Now I will say that Troy is taller than me and he is thicker than me. I guess from the outside looking in, my mother and others may see us and assume that because of the physical differences, we have strict roles in our relationship. However, even if that were the case Xem, why is it that I would have to be looked upon as the “woman” or Troy’s wife. Do you know what I mean? I just really don’t know how to explain to my mother the difference between straight relationships and my relationship. As much as I truly love my mother and get along with her, it’s when she makes these comparisons that I sometimes just want to scream and throw my plate at the wall. I try not to get upset however because I know she means well. Troy thinks the entire situation is hilarious. Like yesterday when she came over and saw him watching the game and doing his homework while I was trying to change our bed. In her mind I think she sees Troy as the role of my father who would spend Sundays doing office work and me playing her role as my fathers wife, or ex wife now. That’s what it is. How can I possibly break things down to her in a way that she will finally understand? I look forward to hearing from you soon if you see this and can reply. Also, I don’t mind if you choose to post this on your Xem says site. I love reading your advice!
Believe it or not, your mother’s misguided idea of how gender roles shape same sex relationships isn’t so farfetched from how many others examine the romantic union between two men. Your mother only understands her position in the world as a woman, a mother and a wife. As a result, the traditional practices and values that have defined those positions since the beginning of time, frames her perception of how you are also to exist in this world. Your mother understands how a man typically acts as a husband to his wife based on her personal experiences living alongside your father. In contrast, your mother also understands how a woman typically acts as a wife to her husband. However, now that she witnesses you, her gay son, modeling some of those same actions alongside your live-in boyfriend, she only has her personal experiences to use as comparison. As a wife, she cooked for your father and cleaned the house while he watched television and worked from home on Sundays. When she visits you and Troy, she sees you changing the bed linens while Troy is doing his homework with the football game playing in the background. Your mother’s perception then is that you have taken on a traditional female role, and Troy is playing the traditional “man of the house”. Your romantic relationship with Troy is probably her first time ever witnessing two men living together and loving one another, up-close. At the age of fifty-six, your mother uses her past experiences to figure out present situations that are new and unfamiliar to her. She honestly thinks a label is supposed to exist on how you interact and engage with the man in your life.
It is important that you explain to your mother, the way you stated to me – that you and Troy have established a very equal, romantic relationship. Make it clear to her that you label Troy as your boyfriend, as he labels you with the same title. Let her know that with those “titles”, the two of you expect the same levels of courtesy, consistency and commitment from one another. Remind your mother that she is the one who raised you to be able to prepare a meal and clean a house without the help of a spouse. Tell her that even if you were a straight man who was married to a woman, you would still be changing bed linens on Sundays and cooking dinner for the family if your wife was unable to. Remind her that your wife would then still consider you her husband, and would not alter her perception simply based on your ability to cook and clean. Your mother may not realize that Troy does indeed clean up on a regular basis even though he doesn’t necessarily do a good job. Explain that contemporary culture has widened the gap between what is considered traditional male roles in a relationship and what is seen as modern day, male performance.
To really lay the situation in her lap, talk to your mother about the “masculine work” you perform in your relationship, but compare it directly to the “masculine work” your father played as her husband. For example, inform her that there are times when you come home from class, take out the trash, plop in front of the TV and call Troy to bring home dinner. It may seem trivial to have to water the details of your love life down to such ground levels. However, older people sometimes have to see things from the very point where they stand.
I think people in general are more comfortable when they are able to specifically categorize other people. It’s a part of our human makeup to mentally make sense of how others operate in society by labeling the roles they play within it. You’re actually very blessed to have a mother who has the desire to understand the dynamic of your relationship with your boyfriend. You may want to consider the fact that your mother inquires about your gender role because she is afraid to directly ask you questions about your sex life. Because your mother obviously equates you doing the chores to a display of feminine behavior, she may also assume that you are always “biting the pillow” in the bedroom. You made it clear to me that you and Troy practice a very equal, versatile, sexual relationship. Possibly, it would blanket your mother’s understanding of your relationship if she knew that Troy wasn’t the strict, sexual aggressor between the two of you. It is universally understood that women traditionally “lay on their backs” to engage in sexual intercourse. Well, if your mother knew that you are sometimes on top of Troy as he lays on his back for you, she would be forced to erase the comparison between you as the “woman” or female figure. I know openly discussing your sex life with a parent or sibling can be extremely uncomfortable. However, since the two of you have established a close, best friend relationship, it may be easier to share those details with your mom.
I’m not sure how long you and Troy have been together, but over time, I truly believe your mother will witness the balance in your union. The more she sees the two of you engaging with one another in and outside of your home, the more she will begin to understand that a same sex relationship isn’t necessarily framed by traditional, gender roles. Be encouraged in knowing that you are one of the lucky few; having a mom who embraces not only your sexuality, but also your decision to live openly with the partner you love. Continue to cherish every moment that your mother spends alongside you and Troy, for it’s her silent prayers helping you two remain united. Believe me. She feels at peace knowing you have a special man in your life.
I love you Xemmy you have no idea! I know you’ll probably never see this email but I’m sending it anyway because any response from you would help me along the way. The problem will still affect my life by the time you ever see this so here it goes….me and my boyfriend have been broken up since May. He said he couldn’t deal with me knowing so many people here in Connecticut and always going back and forward with new people on Facebook. It bothered him that I would talk to “strangers” as he would call them or sometimes hangout with friends of friends that he didn’t know. My ex is a police officer that I also met on Facebook last summer of 2013 Xem, so it’s pretty crazy to me that he would constantly chastise me for having casual conversations with other people on Facebook as well. That’s exactly how he and I met. I always made sure he knew that I wasn’t flirting with other guys or having inappropriate conversations. I would even let him read my conversations but he would decline the offer. He just kept telling me that it got on his nerves but he never said he wanted me to stop or anything. My ex boyfriend is 32 and the type of guy or WAS the type of guy that would go to work, come home, eat food and just lay around. So even if I was at his place when he arrived home that’s what he would do. I would get bored slightly even though I loved being around him and that is when I would check my Facebook page just like anyone else. I just turned 24 and I enjoy doing things outside of the house and I think that’s nirmal. There isn’t a lot that goes on here Xem so to be able to reach out and meet people in other surrounding areas sort of opened opportunities for me to branch out socially NOT for hooking up. So when my ex would complain about it I would ask him if we could go out together or do something instead. His response would be that he was tired and needed to rest up for work. So okay! I wouldn’t complain about it. I just stayed on the computer or my phone. The thing is NOW that we are broken up my ex boyfriend is all over Facebook and has even opened an Instagram page. I found out about the Instagram page because his pictures are uploaded on his Facebook wall. And it’s like now he is a completely different person. He posts pictures of himself working out, I see him checking in at the movies on Facebook and doing stuff like going camping with these people he never introduced me to so they have to be new. It’s like now that we aren’t together he all of a sudden likes to have fun and update his pages practically everyday. He gets all of these likes on his Instagram pictures from random people but especially from this one guy who leaves the same winking emoji under EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. And the guy is someone I met on Facebook like 8 months ago that knows I was in a relationship with my ex at that time. I want to beat his ass Xem! I created a Instagram page but never post pictures on there. I do follow my ex on there but he can’t see my face or anything. I don’t even care about Facebook or being online like that anymore. I try so hard to stop myself from reading his Facebook since he never deleted me from his page. Even when I don’t go to his page specific his check ins and status messages pop up on my timeline. My stomach drops everytime I see pictures of him in new clothes or out with new people, but I’ll still look at his Instagram almost everyday. I get really pissed reading all of his flirty comments and sometimes I just want to say something but I don’t. He hasn’t replied to any of my text messages or phone calls since we broke up so its almost like going to his Facebook and Instagram is my only real connection to him. How do I stop myself from looking at his updates? It’s like even though I know its going to hurt me or upset me I look anyway. Does that seem crazy to you Xem?
There is absolutely nothing “crazy” about having an unyielding desire to read your ex boyfriend’s social media updates or wanting to see his newly uploaded photos. However, it is unhealthy for you to actually give in to those desires by actively visiting his Facebook wall or Instagram page on a daily basis. The two of you split up only four months ago. As a result, both of you still exist in the beginning stages of your healing process. By continuously texting and calling your ex boyfriend, you are seeking answers and explanations that weren’t made clear to you during the breakup. His approach to healing is to engulf himself in the online activities that seemed to steal your attention away from him during the time the two of you were together. Both of you are responding in normal, human fashion.
You are visiting his social media pages regularly for the exact reason that you stated: his Facebook and Instagram updates are your only present connection to him and his life over the past few months. Your longing to see him, to hear from him or to know how he is living is temporarily fulfilled when you read a new online post or see one of his recent pics. However, the fact that you know you no longer play a role in these changes and activities explains why that gut-punch feeling hits your stomach the moment you see that he’s doing just fine on the surface. As selfish as it may seem, it’s extremely painful to witness our exes living well.
Just keep in mind that people don’t post the photos of the moments they spend crying, sad or hidden beneath their blankets at home. Your ex may not be as carefree and joyful as it seems. In turn, you have lost your desire to post online regularly because it was that one habit that caused you to lose the man you obviously love.
Meanwhile, I do advise that you take the step of temporarily deleting the Facebook and Instagram apps from your phone. Sometimes, we check our social media pages by habit, and not necessarily because we want to know what our friends are doing every hour on the hour. Deleting the apps from your phone will at least aid in your ability to not visit your ex boyfriends Facebook or Instagram pages when you’re out and about. If you find that deleting the apps isn’t slowing down the rates at which you check his social media pages, it then becomes necessary to delete him from your Facebook page altogether. When we sign-in to Facebook, the individuals whose pages we visit the most will always appear at the top of our timelines. To avoid having his updates shoved in your face, it’s probably best that you remove him from your friends list. Once you do remove him, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll then request his friendship anytime soon. Also, because you don’t utilize Instagram for your own enjoyment, please get rid of the page you created to basically keep tabs on your ex boyfriends life. You are not emotionally ready to handle the level of newfound attention that he is receiving in the form of photo “likes” and flirtatious commentary.
Your ex boyfriend is thirty-two years old and you are now just turning twenty-four. He approached your relationship from the standpoint of someone who has obviously existed in numerous, romantic situations. An experienced man isn’t going to directly tell his partner to stop engaging in certain activities or to cease interaction with specific people. You stated that he, “never told you to stop communicating with random guys on Facebook”. Instead, he repeatedly expressed to you that it bothered him and made him feel uncomfortable that you communicated with strangers online and then spent time with individuals he had never met. It was his expectation that you would respond to his discomfort by changing your habits. Your compromise was to continue the internet behavior, with a side offer for your ex boyfriend to read your online conversations. For the sake of saving your relationship, you could have minimized your online interactions to simply communicating with people who your ex was already familiar with. Since you say the two of you met on Facebook, it is already ingrained in your ex boyfriends mind that you utilize social media as a platform to meet guys beyond the boundaries of establishing strict friendship. Men who exist in their thirties have usually endured so many relationship challenges, that they aren’t going to battle with their partners about issues that have repeatedly been addressed. If the problem persists, they will simply remove themselves from the situation without a great deal of explanation. His complaints, as he sees it, were explanation enough.
Now, it seems that your ex boyfriend is utilizing social media in ways that he didn’t take advantage of when the two of you were together romantically. He is updating his Facebook wall regularly and posting daily photos on a new Instagram page. This is common behavior of the partner who was constantly complaining about a specific issue or individual while existing in the confines of the relationship. When someone breaks off a relationship because their partner would not stop engaging in a certain activity or hanging around a particular person, that someone often becomes intrigued by those specific elements. They will place themselves in situations in an attempt to experience everything that seemed to be of overpowering interest to you. This is a part of their healing process; hence your ex boyfriend’s increased level of social media activity.
Because social media consumed a great deal of your time and acted as a distraction to the relationship, your ex is simply trying to figure out why Facebook was so special or even now, how Instagram could present the same or similar power. He may have also kept you as a Facebook friend to vindictively throw his “good times” in your face – in an effort to make you experience the same hurt or frustration he endured while the two of you were together.
Either way, his behavior right now is very temporary, but certainly a normal reaction for someone who didn’t understand why their partner was so consumed by a specific activity.
While we often convince ourselves that we can’t stop checking our ex’s social media pages, we very much have control over breaking the habit. Sometimes, it becomes necessary that we consciously remind ourselves of the pain that beats against our stomach the moment we lay eyes on their new photos. Other times, it’s necessary that we unfriend or block that individual from our page in an effort to force ourselves to not look at a post or pic that will negatively affect the remainder of our day. A large part of letting go of someone we love is having the strength to cease all means of communication. Since social media plays such a huge role in modern day interactions, removing someone as a friend on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram often gives us the space and time necessary to truly heal and move on with our personal lives. Only you have the power to take that initial step forward.