September 26, 2017

Why He Won’t Marry You

why he won't marry youYou’ve been dating, in a relationship, or engaged for some time now.   Maybe even for a few years.  You get along great with his mom and your mom loves him.  You know you should be Mrs. “His Last Name” by now.  But you’re not! You want that ring, that white gown and that wedding sooo bad!  You’re fed up with shacking up, waiting,  and hinting.   You’re starting to believe that you will never see the promised land with this guy, and you are probably right.  Well let me give you five reasons why:

  1. You haven’t required him to marry you.  I love this quote from Steve Harvey!  As women, we want to give, give, give!  And a man will take, take, take!  Some men, well most men, are perfectly happy letting things stay as they are.  If you do not set a standard, and do not uphold that standard, chances are he won’t be putting a ring on it.  And if you’re already shacked up, friends with benefits, unmarried with kids…well, why should he ?  That is NOT a rhetorical question.  You’ve given him everything for little to nothing in return.  He also knows that you want to get married but will not push the issue because you don’t want to lose him.  He’s got you by the tatas and he knows it. 
  2. He isn’t over his ex.   Some guys have “the one that got away” syndrome.  There was one girl before you who truly had his heart.  When the relationship ended, it devastated him.  Instead of taking time to heal, he suppressed his  heartbreak and rebounded with you.  Maybe you weren’t the first bounce off the backboard, but believe me, you’re most likely a rebound.  He’s probably discussed this heartbreak with you.   And if you aren’t his second chance, you will always be second string in his heart. 
  3. He’s scarred from divorce.  Asking a divorced man if he wants to marry is one of the FIRST questions you should ask BEFORE you start to get serious.  If you’ve never been married, you will never know the toll divorce takes on you.  Long term relationships and shack ups do NOT compare to marriage.  Divorce hurts like hell.  It goes much deeper than being in love with an ex.  It hurts because you have to detach yourself spiritually.  You have to break the bond that God commanded you to honor forever.  Your vows, which you took before family and friends, have been nullified by the judge in your county court.  If the divorce didn’t end amicably, you have to deal with the bitterness and resentment that will develop.  I haven’t even touched on the kids, property, or finances that may be in the mix.  Men, who don’t deal with their emotions very well, will just move on to the next pretty thing that catches their attention.  But will SWEAR to family and friends that they will never get married again.  What I find funny is most women who are with divorced men KNOW this and choose to ignore it.  Is this you?  Do you think you can change his mind?  How long have you guys been together again?  Good luck with that.
  4. You’re not marriage material.  I’m going to be brutally honest here.  Sometimes a guy knows exactly what he wants.  In my Evelyn Lozada voice, “You just ain’t it boo boo”.  You’re just someone he happened to like, happened to be attracted to, happened to sleep with and happened to end up with.  But in his American dream, the woman he envisioned as his wife, is somewhat different from you or your complete opposite. Men know the difference between convenience and love.   You’re what’s convenient.  He will never tell you this!  Here’s food for thought: if while arguing he says something like,” You don’t  have any ambition, you’re selfish, you don’t cook or clean, I can’t trust you, you’re irresponsible…,” those are some of the reasons why he hasn’t married you yet.  He just doesn’t see you as that woman worthy of taking those vows for.
  5. He doesn’t want to be married.  Unlike reasons 1-4, this dude just doesn’t want to be tied down.  He isn’t scorned, he isn’t afraid of failing at marriage again, he knows you’re a good woman and he knows you are serious about marriage.  He’s going to stall you for as long he can.  After your umpteenth ultimatum, he’ll finally propose and even buy you a ring.  Then he’ll probably not set a date or wait till you guys argue and use the argument as an excuse to reconsider marriage.  Want to know why? Maybe he still feel like he still has some running around to do.  Maybe he has a dream of making a guys’ Hangover home video or some lewd fantasy with midgets, strippers or both.  Maybe in his heart he knows he’s not marriage material, but just wants you for himself. Bottom line is, he won’t be asking you to marry him because doesn’t want to be married.  In the words of my deceased grandmother Fibbie Mae Middlebrook, “You have to let a man want you”.  When he wants you, he will treat you differently.  He will do what needs to be done.  Real men build homes!

Do You Attract The Wrong Types of People?

What Looks Good To You May Not Always Be Good For You

Earlier this week, I watched Dividing Rod, an episode of Criminal Minds.  The main character was a woman who was told by her father that she had the ability to attract the evil in men.  Unknowingly, she married a serial killer.  She visited him faithfully even though he was arrested and sentenced to death. A prison guard became obsessed with her acts of devotion.  He wanted her to be as devoted to him as she was to her husband.  After the serial killer’s execution, the guard started killing in the same exact manner.  Unlike the husband, the guard cut chunks of hair from his victims’ heads. He used the hair to create a hand made wig because she’d lost hers during chemo treatments.  Weird huh?

But it got me thinking about how some people always end up with the same type of guys or girls only to have their hearts broken.  I’m sure you know Ms. Broken Record, a beautiful, smart girl who always seems to get played, then takes her whoremonger back repeatedly.  You’ve heard her story so many times you can finish her sentences!  And what about Mr. Nice Guy? He always seem to date hellish women, cheats or gold-diggers.  No matter how many times you point out to him that he’s attracted to those types of women, sure enough, his next girlfriend looks just like the last one.

Is there a majestic, supernatural power that people have on one another?  Spiritual leaders say yes.  Juanita Bynum, a renowned author and televangelist, said in her famous No More Sheets presentation, that people carry spirits and energies on them that attract the very thing they don’t want.  It happens because something about a person isn’t in order and those attracted to them can sense it.

I’ve asked myself, do some people seem to attract bad people, or  do they bring out the very worst in the people they attract?  I don’t know what to make of it.  I do believe people are magnets for certain types of traits.  I also believe that some people have the spirit of prey and the spirit of predator.  In other words, one can appear to be an easy target, and the other, who looks to take advantage, can and will sniff out prey!

I thought it was ironic that confirmation of supernatural attraction came from that show.  At the very end when the guard was caught, the “dividing rod” actually visited him.  Even though she had nothing to do with the murders, she recognized that something within her was partially responsible.  When she visited him, she gave him this weird smile and told him she had “accepted her gift”.

And what about you?  Are you stuck in a repetitive cycle of dating the wrong types of people? Do you like the bad boys or hard to get girls? Do you seek them out or do they find you?  Are you aware of type of people you attract, and after learning you two aren’t compatible, pursue a relationship anyway? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Woman

Being yourself never gets old!

Let them pursue you - Courtsey of Getty Images

Let me say this: I’m a huge fan of Steve Harvey’s book and I think the movie was funny and done in great taste.  However, I do not believe ladies need to think like men to get a man.   We do need to consider one key concept in the book: setting standards.  Our problem is, even if we have standards, we don’t use them.  Dating without standards is like making a cake with no flour.  What you get is a complete mess!

If you haven’t read the book, you should. It’s an excellent, humorous and informative read.  Let me let you in on a little secret though…it’s nothing new!  Your grandmother, great-grandmother, church elder, and get this…your BIBLE will tell you the same things Steve did.  He just put it in a matter-of-factly sort of way.  I’m about to go biblical on you for a minute so that you get where Steve was coming from.  Some of you didn’t go to church on Sunday anyway, so here’s your Sunday school lesson:

Men haven’t changed much since the days of Adam.  Although men were created to lead, they will forsake all they know for a woman.  They work out, play sports, work, dress, lie, cry, and live to impress women.  The problem is that we women have made “the cookie” too available.   We’ve morphed into modern-day Jezebels, abandoning the virtues of Rachel and Ruth.  Rachel and Ruth were pursued by their men, and didn’t need a book or movie to attract them.  In fact, they did nothing!  They allowed men to do what they were made to do, and that was to find a wife (Proverbs 18:22).

By injecting ourselves into the process, we’ve allowed men to become lazy and non-committal.  Now our “Eve” nature is to be controlling and tell a man what to do (see Genesis chapter 3), and because of her sin, we bear her curse.  Painful childbirth isn’t the only thing we inherited, we also carry her controlling nature.  We were designed to help and accompany, not control or scheme.  God never intended for women to put men through college, find them jobs, do their homework, give them sex prior to marriage, be their side pieces, jump offs, friends with benefits or go half on ANYTHING.    We too, have conformed to lying, crying, working, dressing, working out and living to impress men.  And as we all know, it doesn’t matter how good you look, how good your sex is or how nice you are when it comes to keeping a man.  1 Peter chapter 3 states that inner beauty will make us beautiful, and that our virtues will make us attractive.  Virtuous women have standards (see Proverbs 31).

Another theme in Harvey’s book rings true “A man defines himself by what he makes, what he has and who he is.  In the movie, I love how each male character changed for the better.  Not because their women prodded them, but because they were left alone to think about what they truly wanted.  Once they became aware of self and what they needed to fix, they were husband material.  Relationships will always be difficult for a man who isn’t sure of who he is or what he wants.  Notice I said MAN.  Men who have no goals, nothing to call their own, no purpose or no work ethic aren’t men; they’re still boys.  See Project Boo post for details on these type of guys.

As good as the movie was (yes I’m still thinking about Michael licking Taraji’s knees and that good cooking), in real life, the turn around time isn’t that fast.  That “wait and see” method doesn’t work, and neither does taking on the role of his mother!  In short, if you have a man who doesn’t have his stuff together, there isn’t much you can do.  Thinking like a man won’t help.  What will help, is you setting and sticking to your standards, even if that means being by yourself.  Stop this main chick, side piece, dime piece, wifey, bed buddy madness.  Act like a lady and think like one!

Ten Types of People You Should Avoid Dating

Picking a mate can be like picking produce.  You first check for rotten spots on the outside. Then you squeeze to feel if it’s solid and ripe.  If it’s too soft it is starting to spoil, and if it’s too hard it is not ripe.  Either way it would not be a quality purchase.

This list can serve as an inspection technique in dating.  If your potential partner matches the descriptions below…retreat!

  1. The Bell Hop.  This type of person carries more baggage than a conveyor belt.  They hold on to everything!  They weren’t their parents’ favorite.  They weren’t popular.  They weren’t the most attractive.  They couldn’t play sports.  They always got dumped or cheated on.  Woe is me, Woe is me.  Woe will be you too, because they have the power of transference.  “Bags, sir/madam?”
  2. The Rebounder.  This guy or girl will always “just” be coming out of a relationship.  Always!  They believe the best way to get over their ex is to move on to the next.  Since they haven’t taken the time to clear their mind and hearts they won’t be free to love.  How will you know?  You will hear more about their ex than you will anything else!
  3. The Repeat Offender.  Once you date someone who justifies breaking the law, know that you are dating someone who has a mentality of justifying other wrongdoings.  Please know that it is not wise to date an habitual crime committer.  They may have good intentions on changing, but often times their intentions do not come to fruition.  People who truly want to change will do so on their own.  They NEED to do so on their own.  Trust me; I know what I’m talking about!
  4. The Baby Daddy/Mama (the immature parent).   Dating someone who has kids is tricky because you have to see what type of relationship they have with their ex.  It also depends how young the child is and how long the couple has been apart.  If there are unresolved issues, drama will surely follow.  If you are a woman dating a man with kids his income may decrease with child support or/and alimony.  Both sexes have to factor in being a parental figure and building a relationship with the ex (if they are present).  A good indicator in dating someone with kids is the peace level in their lives with you in it.  If drama already exists then it’s a no-brainer.
  5. The Floater/Free Spirit.  This person is unable to commit to anything.  Always changing jobs.  Always changing friends.  Always moving. Always finding fault and never finishing anything.  If something is always wrong with everyone else, something will be wrong with you!
  6. The Victim.  Another “woe is me” person.  The difference between the bell hop and the victim is the victim will have deeper psychological issues.  Bell hops will stand up for themselves and leave a bad situation whereas victims will endure long-suffering.  Victims usually devalue themselves and are attention seekers.  If you continue to date the victim, prepare to see signs of obsession, depression or hear suicidal comments.  This person needs a friend not a relationship.  And professional help!
  7. The “Aholic”.  This person works too much, parties too much, drinks too much, gambles too much, is on the internet too much, etc.  In short they are addicted to something.  That addiction may be harmless on the surface but it consumes their thoughts and hearts.  The aholic will genuinely like you but they will love the addiction!
  8. The “!”  This person is extreme, over the top and overly passionate.  At some point they will blow up, freak out, spaz out, jap out, and go ham all at once.  You will get a snippet of their extreme behavior over something they are passionate about or take personally.  If you are not the object of that first uncontrollable fit you will be in the near future.
  9. The Pinocchio (compulsive liar).  This type of person can tell some tales!  Everyone has lied at some point in their lives and will probably tell more before they die.  The Pinocchio is in on a completely different level.  Their lies make no sense, serve no purpose, and have no merit.  You will hear them talking to someone else and they will start lying for no reason or to make themselves sound more accomplished than they really are.   I dated a compulsive liar and asked him why he would lie so much.  His response was “to see if people will believe me!”
  10. The Project Boo.  This type of person is like a piece of clay.  Ready to be molded and upgraded at your expense.  See my last post for more details.

Beware of the Project Boo

Courtesy of Getty Images

Are you dating a project boo?  Despite how it sounds, a project boo has nothing to do with low-income housing stereotypes.  A project boo is a potential mate that needs a complete overhaul.  On the surface it seems like they are great prospects because they are fun to be around.  You fall for them before you realize they have a lot of baggage.  Hence the project boo.  Being with them will be a project; you will constantly be working on their shortcomings.

Project boos are great people.  They are usually attractive, pleasant and charming.  In fact it is their charm and attractiveness that distracts you from realizing that they are pretty packages of hot garbage!  The funny thing about a project boo is they are unaware of their flaws or don’t care to fix them.  They get along just fine.  But if you dig deep, you are sure to find that their getting along has come at the hands of soft parenting, their ability to manipulate people, and misuse of credit.  Before you know it you’re fixing their credit, attire, mentality, and living arrangement.  Congratulations on your new bundle of work!

Project boo relationships come to a crash and burn ending.  You may have an awakening and realize you want the project to end.  He or she may not go peacefully as they have become quite comfortable with being the benefactor of your efforts.  On the flip side, your project boo may initiate the end as well.  They may grow tired of your molding tactics and begin to rebel.  By upgrading them, you’ve increased their sense entitlement.  This may have been a given for them their whole lives, but believe me when I say you have only made it worse.  They will start to lose respect for you, resent you or cheat.  Now you have to make a decision.  If you decide to break up with them you’ve lost precious time, money and energy.  If you stay you will enable your project boo to continue their bad behavior.  Once they see that you are hooked, things will only get worse.

My dear sweet friends, beware of the project boo!  Project boos are dangerous!  They don’t really know what they want.  They don’t know who they are, where they are headed and have very little to offer.  They are completely oblivious to the fact that they are ill prepared to be in a relationship.   The only thing they know is that they are single and ready to mingle (heck these days, some project boos are NOT single)!  The most important thing to remember about a project boo is their desire to mingle blinds their ability to realize they are unprepared to be in a healthy relationship.  The distinguishing mark all project boos carry is they have more problems than plans and are quick to allow you to “help”.  Once you get past the attraction and see the mess, R-U-N!

The Breakup Exit Strategy Part III: Everybody Should Have One

Courtsey of casinodownloads.com via Google Images

A good friend of mine was in a marital dilemma.  After some thought, he’d come to the decision that he no longer wanted to be in his marriage.  He said, “Kaneicia, do you want to know what my exit strategy is? It’s over, get your stuff and get out.”

I laughed when he told me that. He used the direct dump method; no explanation, no conversation, no miscommunication. It’s a bit on the rude side but considering what he’s been through, it’s understandable.  Some breakups won’t have happy endings. The indirect method just won’t cut it.  In my friend’s case he’d been betrayed by his wife and to him, his marriage was unsalvageable.  He made up in his mind it was over and he wasn’t going to waste another minute of his time.  He didn’t argue, didn’t swear at her, he just ended things.  You ain’t got to go, but you got to get up outta here!

As discussed in The Breakup Exit Strategy Part II, being direct is the best way to exit a relationship.  There are no mixed signals, no nonverbals to interpret, no ambiguity. To clarify though, being direct is not easy.  You walk a thin line between being assertive and aggressive, blunt and belligerent.  When dating, it’s all the more worse because you are constantly walking on eggshells.  You always wonder if what you say may be misconstrued.  My rule of thumb is if you deliver the truth with sincerity then you’ve done right by whomever you’re communicating with.  Case and point:

There was this one guy I dated a few years back.  He was charming, extremely talented and spiritually grounded.  I was sure I was going to be Mrs. So & So within a year.  We both wanted to get married and have kids; we had common goals and were very active in our respective churches.  The wait was over!

But as time would tell, everything was not so perfect.  I found out he had some serious financial issues.  On top of that he didn’t feel comfortable communicating with his ex-wife about me.  He’d planned on bringing the kids up to meet my family for Thanksgiving, but reneged because he didn’t want to ask his ex if he could travel with the kids.  When he told me they weren’t coming, I asked if it he didn’t want to ask his ex and he said yes.  I politely got off the phone, analyzed the situation and the relationship’s growth potential.  I decided the financial situation and his timidity were deal breakers. When I told him I wanted to put things on hold, it turned into the fourth of July.  He was not happy.

I know I hurt his feelings because he didn’t want to break up, but I really thought it would be best for us to be friends until he got his affairs in order.  Initially he didn’t agree but after the dust settled, he admitted he couldn’t afford to be in a long distance relationship.  He told me he knew I was right, he just didn’t want things to end.  For me, there were underlying issues of passivity and financial irresponsibility that I didn’t want to deal with (for the record, I did NOT say it that way).  Presently we have an amicable relationship.  Even though he was a great guy, the timing wasn’t right.  I’m thankful I had the wisdom to recognize that.

I firmly believe that openness and honesty trumps all.  Over time reality sets in and the pain goes away.  When your ex’s head is clear, he or she will be able to see things for what they really are.  They will be able to let go and move on.  And who knows what the future holds?   Issues may resolve themselves or the time apart may create a newfound appreciation for each other.  A friendship could develop or a romance rekindled.  At the very least, you didn’t waste your time or theirs, and you’ll have your self-respect.  What could be more rewarding?

The Breakup Exit Strategy Part II: Everybody Should Have One

Leslie Baxter's Disengagement Strategies

At some point in your romantic life you’ve probably given the, “We need to talk” conversation.  As much as it may hurt to hear on the receiving end, it makes you cringe to think about it.  You’re about to breakup with someone and they might not have a clue.  You’re nervous about the reaction you may get and you don’t want to hurt their feelings.  Do I really want to say what I’m feeling, you ask yourself?  Do we really need to talk?

Fact of the matter is you do need to talk.  If you’ve done your planning and analysis as discussed in The Breakup Exit Strategy Part I, you’ve discovered the relationship is at an impasse.  There is no opportunity for growth and you’ve decided to leave.  Prolonging the inevitable wastes precious time for both parties and if you desire a healthy, long-lasting relationship, you don’t want to waste time on someone you know you have no future with.

There are two ways to communicate a break up: directly and indirectly.  If you look at the illustration above there are 6 direct and 6 indirect breakup or “disengagement” strategies.  Leslie Baxter, PhD., and communications professor at the University of Iowa researched these strategies and also discovered they are unilateral or bilateral, meaning one person or both contribute to dissolving the relationship.

Now that you have a choice of strategies, which one should you choose?  You could put yourself on the receiving end for an answer.  Would you want your mate to avoid or withdraw from you?  Would you want them to have a third-party tell you they are unhappy?  Better yet would you like them to say, “let’s spend some time apart”, or be mean and obnoxious so you will break up with them?  Probably not.  Unfortunately though, these strategies are the most common.  According to Baxter, 76% of people choose to breakup indirectly.

When you look at the indirect methods, all six have one common theme: avoidance.  People fear using direct communication break up strategies for three main reasons.   They either don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, they don’t want confrontation, or they don’t want to explain themselves.   They’ve decided to avoid the whole situation by resorting to the aforementioned methods.

To implement a breakup exit strategy effectively, the first hurdle isn’t choosing a communication style or breakup method, but getting over yourself.  That’s right; you are in your own way!  The tendency to avoid breakups and other types of conflicts stem from…drum roll please…passivity and submissiveness.  Communications Coach Joshua Uerbergang says we become passive communicators because we want to please people, avoid being uncomfortable, dodge responsibility, and be accepted.  He also says passive people receive the benefit of praise for being submissive.  Early in life we learn being selfless earns compliments.  We receive kudos for sacrificing for the good of someone else or “taking one for the team.” We learn to stifle what we say to people because we don’t want to say potentially hurtful things.  We in turn hope they remember our sacrifice and don’t say hurtful things to us.  In reality this behavior is not about them.   It’s about us and how we want to be viewed.  We secretly do this because we are preserving our own self-image.  We are actually sparing our own feelings, not theirs.

You don’t want to be the bad guy or girl, and I empathize.  You want things to end amicably and you want to feel good about yourself.  If you really want to feel good about yourself, be direct.  Indirect communication sends mixed signals.  You’ll leave the other party with more questions than answers.  True praise will come from honest, sincere, direct communication.  At the very least, you may earn their respect.  If you’re interested in seeing a direct breakup strategy executed, subscribe so you can be notified about The Breakup Exit Strategy Part III: Everybody Should Have One.

The Breakup Exit Strategy Part I: Everybody Should Have One

Normally we enter relationships based off attraction and chemistry.  Rarely do we plan.  Everything goes great for the first few weeks, months, heck even the first few years…then the fantasy fades.  The rose-colored glasses come off and we’re like um, what did I see in this person?  Since we never plan our approach into relationships, we’re terribly unprepared to get out of them.  Our brains go into panic mode for reasons to break things off.  Hence the patronizing break up lines, “It’s not you, it’s me”, and “I need some time to figure things out.”  Better yet, how about picking arguments, being extra busy or just pulling a disappearing act?  Not too classy I know, but it’s better than hurting someone’s feelings, right?

Let’s face it, sometimes it really IS them and we just don’t want to say it.  Sometimes we love them, but are not in love with them, or we learn that they have a few screws loose.  In any event, we want to end things on a good note without being the villan or awakening the sleeping pit bull inside of them.  We need a plan!

It dawned on me one day that relationships are similar to starting your own business.  And like startups, relationships could benefit from business planning.  One interesting component of a business plan is the exit strategy.  After a few years of operation, if the business owner wants to leave, they’ll use their exit strategy to do so in a professional manner.  Breakups could be conducted the same way.

You’re probably asking yourself, how can a business exit strategy be used for a breakup?  The answer is simple: you would take the same principles from the exit strategy and use them to end your relationship in an amicable matter.  A breakup exit strategy is a plan that, like in the business world, you derive before you invest your time and resources so that you are prepared for whatever decisions you may need to make down the road.  In business you assess the product market.  You then do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).  Upon completing your analysis, you estimate your sales growth for roughly 5 years out and plan how to grow your business during that time frame.  If after year 5 you decide to continue on or leave, you either plan your way out or plan for long-term growth.

A relationship can be planned the same way.  First you should assess your dating market.  Then conduct a SWOT analysis by measuring your prospective mate’s strengths and weaknesses.  Next, analyze the upside and downside of being with that person.   After you’ve counted the costs, estimate the growth opportunity of the relationship and how long you believe it should take to achieve that growth.  Once the estimated time period has expired, reevaluate the relationship and decide if you want to stay or go.  The time period is critical because you have to allow time for some of the nuances and awkwardness in the beginning stages to play themselves out.  Five years is a bit long for relationship planning, so use your own judgement here.

Are you interested in what a breakup exit strategy looks like?  If so, stay tuned to read The Breakup Exit Strategy Part II: Everybody Should Have One!