Tag Archives: relationships

The 6 Things I Did Wrong in Dating

You meet someone, and they have you caught up in shock cause they are just “fione.” They smell good, they feel good, and they make you feel good. The first date has you feeling intoxicated, the sex leaves you having flashbacks at your day job. Everything seems like it’s going great, you’re on cloud nine. Flash forward, and you’re sobbing into your pillow wondering how the hell you got here. What did you miss? How do you go from feeling so amazed by a person to absolutely crushed by the reality of who they are? I’ve had this scenario play out far too many times than I’m proud to admit. As I transform in the Woman I want to be I think it’s important to grow from your mistakes, so here are the 6 things I did wrong in Dating:

  • I dated people who liked me, not valued me

I think it’s easy to get caught up. To be infatuated by how easy it is to laugh with someone, and how magical it feels to fit into the small parts of their bodies. It’s so easy to feel like when someone likes you, and if you like them back then that’s special. But the feeling of liking and being liked is so fleeting. It’s sorta like music, sometimes we are ALL about “I Like it” by Cardi B, but then BAM, “Chun-Li” by Nicki Minaj comes on. It’s very possible that songs (and people) will always have a special place in our heart, but the songs (and people) we hold onto are the ones we truly value. Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” will always be classics. When you date someone I’ve learned you should keep dating them, don’t commit, at least not until you’re a classic in their book.

  • I was way too passive

I can definitely recall a significant amount of times when I’ve had sex with people when I didn’t really feel into it (completely consensual), and I agreed to committment when in the back of my head I was not ready. I think I chose more of a back seat role because I lacked faith in my ability to be right. I’d trust everyone else’s intuition instead of trusting my own. I think in a lot of relationships I compromise my beliefs and values because they deviate from the norm. I think I know exactly what I want in a person, good looking, funny, respectful, a thoughtful, and opened minded person. I wanted someone who was experimental in the bedroom, someone who was open to trying things like polyamory. Someone who got me. I think I passively accepted that my ideas and wants were “out there,” so instead of staying true to myself I fit into the box that others wanted me to fit into.

  • I didn’t believe people when they told me who they were

When I was younger someone once told me “Boys will tell you EXACTLY how they will hurt you before they hurt you, you just have to listen for it.” I can definitely say that most guys I’ve dated have probably alluded to being called “assholes” or hinted to having issues they were trying to get over. I think when you like someone it’s REALLY easy to take passive hints, put them in a suitcase in the back of your mind, and never revisit them until AFTER you get hurt. But follow me for a second, after a relationship we all kinda have an idea of where we went wrong. After being in numerous relationships we have an idea of our pattern/toxic behaviors. Maybe out of guilt some people will drop passive hints to suggest what they’ll end up doing to you, but I think it’s very important to pay close attention to how people describe their past behaviors in relationships (not just romantic).

  • I believed that their exes were “crazy”

Look Y’all, I do believe that some people really do be doing the ABSOLUTE most. That being said, you have to ask yourself two important questions: Why is this person crazy and Why did they date this crazy person? We all seek out people for a reason, and sometimes it isn’t because we ourselves are abusive (but sometimes it is). What my ex’s ex taught me was, people who have issues with themselves may go after people who make them feel better about themselves. Examples can be if someone feels like they are scared of being left they may seek out people who they feel like have abandonment issues. If a person has issues validating themselves they may seek out the person who tells them all the right things. But just because those people sought out individuals to fill their needs doesn’t mean they have any intention to fulfill the needs of the other person. In extreme situations, the person won’t just be selfish, but they could become manipulative and take their insecurities and fears out on you.

  • I normalized red flags

“Oh my gosh, I didn’t see it coming.” Ok sis, but like, really? Maybe it’s just me but I have issues trusting my intuition. I’ve definitely heard some OFF the wall shit, and then I normalized it. “If you cheat on me I’ll kill you” is an OBVIOUS red flag that I’m ashamed to admit I normalized. The amount of times I’ve had a man say that to me is bothersome, not because I believed they’d do it, but because that red flag means that they don’t value me. First off, why would someone assume without reason that I would cheat (projection much?). Secondly, why would someone think that they are entitled to end my life because I hurt their feelings?  A less extreme example is someone who doesn’t like any of my friends. Please feel free to argue me on this, but I feel like my friends are my friends for a reason. If someone dislikes all of my friends either I seriously have issues, and/or they don’t actually like me. Moral of the story, trust your gut.

  • I saw myself as regular

I spent my entire life internalizing the expression “you have to work twice as hard as them to get half of what they got, and if you’re a Black woman you gotta work even harder.” Whenever I would have high achievements they were always brushed off as things that I was SUPPOSED to do. Perhaps I just wanted to be humble, but I really ended up under-valuing myself. I am an intelligent Black Women, with two degrees, a great career, and I’m a cutie to boot. No these things do not define me, but they tell a story of a woman who has defied odds to make her dreams come true. I am not “regular.” I actively try to go above and beyond to better my mind, body, and spirit. Yes, a person may choose to date me, but not because I am “lucky.” No, I walked through the door worthy and deserving of respect and quality. I do believe so long as you exist, regardless of your level of privilege or background, that you are deserving of kindness and respect.

 

Now I have A LOT more to learn, and maybe I have a few more frogs to kiss (ew). But I hope that this list of some of the mistakes I made during dating helps Y’all. I’d love to hear back from you all, so please leave a comment letting me know what you’ve learned from dating/relationships!

Why Monogamy?

As of lately the concept of monogamy has been making me feel extremely uncomfortable. The thought of “belonging” to someone just doesn’t sound as romantic as it used to. The feeling of “jealous” never hit me in the way that it hits others, but now I don’t even want to have anything to do with it. I don’t have a fear of commitment, and I definitely still imagine what my wedding day will look like (Vera Wang can I get a discount or nah?). But the idea that there’s only one right way to have a romantic relationship with someone seems a bit outdated to me. It’s worth mentioning that I’m still pretty knee high to a grasshopper in regards to my years of dating experience, however I hope that my perspective can at the very least start a conversation.

All of my relationships have been monogamous, not necessarily because I wanted it (I was indifferent). In those relationships one of the major issues that I have encountered was the inability to adapt to change and find balance (this is on both sides). Two of my most serious relationships were abusive (the first and the most recent), and the two in the middle I acknowledge I either hold a significant amount of fault. The two abusive relationships were riddled with jealousy and insecurity, I was constantly being punished for the following reasons:

  • If I went out with my friends (to a bar or a club)
  • If I posted on social media
  • Having an instagram
  • Having male friends
  • Etc.

Now, I don’t blame monogamy for those relationships failing (those men were the problem not monogamy). But I can’t help but notice insecurity and jealousy being reoccurring issues, regardless of if the relationship was toxic or not. Moving into my healthier relationships with men, I chalk a lot of the issues up with my immaturity. I was expressive about my concerns and I was really honest, however I should have left when I realized I wasn’t satisfied (we live and we learn). Towards the end of those relationships Polyamory was attempted (and failed), but it did teach me that I was capable of caring about multiple people at once.

My only healthy experiences with Polyamory have been while I am dating around, because I don’t date just one person until it’s verbally agreed upon to enter a relationship. Before I get into a relationship I find that dating for me is fine for both parties, and the concept of monogamy is something that ends up freaking me out rather than exciting me. I’ve found that once monogamy happens people’s expectations change along with their motivation. You begin to “belong” to someone, they begin to act as those they are entitled to authority over your life. Slowly we all regress into childlike states, and basically become like toddlers in relationships. I think we start to objectify our partners unknowingly, and our expectations become unrealistic. Some of us want unreasonable amounts of time, unfair amounts of physical touch, unrealistic acts of service.

Sometimes I become so nostalgic of the point before monogamy happened. I spent more time focused on impressing the person and bonding with them. Knowing that I wasn’t owed their time and accepted that I might not have all of them didn’t bother me. I found it complimentary that they found me significant to see on a recurring basis (even though there’s the rest of the world). Before monogamy kicked in I felt as though the expectations were fair, and requirements of time were responsible. Before monogamy interactions felt fluid, they’d adapt and change as needed. Which isn’t to say Polyamory is a-ok either, there are definitely people who masquerade as “poly” when in reality they are just non-monogamous. But what I’ve found in a lot of my poly friends is there are many more conversations, there’s a lot more questions, and there’s a bit more compromise.

I’m not really sure if Polyamory is any better than monogamy, I guess I’ll write about it if I ever try it. But I do think we have to begin having more fair conversations about what works and what doesn’t work in relationships. Times are changing, and so are our situations. I don’t think monogamy is for everyone, just like I don’t think being polygamous is our final solution. I do think that in order for us to drop the 40-50% divorce rate in America, we have to be open to change.

When You Want To Leave, But You Just Can’t Let Go

If you sit at your desk and constantly imagine a world without them, is it really a redeeming factor that you don’t want to think of life without them? Or is it saddening that you’re too distracted with thoughts of what happiness could look that you can’t focus on work; you have these thoughts regularly. 

When you’re constantly feeling beaten down by friends who call you stupid for staying, or tell you that you deserve much better. When you constantly want to spend time alone or disassociate when you listen to people speak. It’s not that you don’t care what they have to say, it’s that you’re constantly beating yourself up inside already.

When you try to look for reasons why you stay, and the fact that you can’t think of any leaves you feeling low. When there are a thousand reasons why you should leave, and you can’t find a single reason other than “I love them” to stay. As if you even felt confident saying the word love; I’d like to believe that love feels better than this.

When your body is falling apart, when stress manifests itself inside and outside of you, when the very thought of what you’re in can ultimately suck the life from you. How do you find the energy to leave if you already feel so beaten down? How do you find the esteem to love yourself?

I’ve never been good at breaking up, I think I’ve just grown accustomed to trying to fight for things until they no longer want to fight for me. I’m used to comprising and bargaining until acceptance flashes across their faces. I’m used to being left, and I think being in that position has left me feeling incapable (and unwilling) to let go. I like to imagine the best in people, I like to imagine that in the end love trumps all. It’s not that I believe that there’s only one love out there for me, rather it’s that when I love someone they are that one for me.

That’s the complicated part about feelings, though. To you, someone could mean the world, moon, and stars. They could be the person you want to start your day seeing, and the person who you feel like you need to end your nights with. They could be the one who you imagine seeing the world with, saying “I do” with, and ultimately having a family with. That’s the complicated part about feelings though; those are just your feelings.

Not that they haven’t felt feelings similar to yours, but I can promise you, they’ll never be identical. They won’t fall for you exactly when you fall for them, not the exact second (and rarely ever the same way). I think love often looks like two ships passing each other in the sea, sometimes we cross paths, and sometimes we just don’t. So what do you do when you want to leave? When there’s nothing more for you at the shore? When every time you pass by the same ship, cannons are flying, you are falling?

Maybe, it’s time for you to try a new means of transportation.