November 17, 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!

What’s Wrong With Us

Vibe’s June/July 2012 Issue

It’s still hard to digest the madness that happened this past weekend in Colorado at the opening night of Batman: The Dark Night Rises.  The Penn State scandal is finally coming to a close, with all their football wins being eradicated from 1999 – 2010 and Sandusky facing 442 years in prison.  And of course, the Trayvon Martin case that was mishandled from the night of incident.

You know what’s shocking?  None of it.  We as Americans have become so desensitized to tragedy, drama, and vulgarity that instead of taking action, we gossip about it until the next big thing happens.  Almost everything we do, see and hear has to have some sort of shock value to it or we won’t listen, watch or buy it.  And believe me, the news stations and entertainment industry is well aware of that.

Take this Vibe cover photo.  I’m guilty of watching Basketball Wives, and a couple of other less than educational reality shows.  And I like watching to see what the heck these crazy people are going to do next.  Do I believe it’s real?  Of course not!  Do I condone their behavior?  Heck no!  But I watch, and watch faithfully.  And I have a problem with what I’m seeing.

My problem is not with the show.  I take it for face value which to me, is virtually nothing but entertainment and something to chat about.  What I have a problem with is that Vibe chose to call these ladies “role models.”  Role models for what?  For whom?  Why?    Because they are watched by millions?  Because they may have come from humble beginnings but are now successful business women with their own brands?  Or because they are, as Vibe states on the cover, “sexy?”

When I watch most of these reality shows, I do so strictly for entertainment purposes.   I started watching Basketball Wives because I wanted to see what the heck women of pro ballers did to sustain their identities.  I found out, in season one, absolutely nothing!  These women were broken and were seeking to find their own identities instead of being known as so-and-so’s girlfriend, ex or wife.  I felt compassion for them at first, so I kept tuning in. Now I watch because I don’t know what the heck they are going to FAKE next.  Like I said, mere entertainment.

To others though, it apparently isn’t a mere form of entertainment.  For Vibe to consider these reality actresses role models, they had to dig through the mess and find something to glorify.  I didn’t read the article, but I gander that in addition to them being “sexy”, Vibe portrayed them as self-made women who used their opportunities to build their own brands.  And to those who are incapable of discerning the real from the fake, will see them as role models.

What’s wrong with us?  Well I could sum it up by starting with what’s wrong with me.  Instead of boycotting this crap or writing the television networks to add programs of substance, I do nothing.  As a writer, I could even pitch scripts. Instead, I pick what’s most convenient and entertaining.  I watch what’s hot, I follow the trends, I like the sensation.  In essence, I sit and do not stand.  Because I tune in, I perpetuate the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, these women are beautiful.  But they are so far from reality it isn’t even funny.  Most of them have had some type of cosmetic work done and do not represent the core values we as parents, professionals, and spiritual beings hold dear.  They do not represent love, education, loyalty, compassion or determination.  They should not be, no matter how self-made or sexy, anybody’s role model.  What they do represent, is  America’s entertainment driven, capitalist driven, sensationalist driven and sex driven market.

My blog topic can be seen as both a question and imperative statement, but dare we even ask?  I know I’m guilty of watching and listening to things that do not speak to my beliefs.  Our music, news, even our consumer products are sensationalized, using reality actresses (notice I fail to call them stars) to entice us to buy their products.  In my season of purge, no more Basketball Wives, Single Ladies, or any other show that does not positively impact my life.  We, starting with me, have to restore what we value.  We cannot allow tv shows, music, movies and video games to desensitize those who cannot discern real from fake.  We cannot let the media raise our children.  Vibe cannot speak for us.  If we allow the purpose of reality entertainment replace our core values, we will be ripening the grounds for more Batman, Trayvon, and Penn State incidents.

What Do You Need To Purge?

 

Every now and then you need to have a life fire sale. Everything and everybody prohibiting your growth and well-being must go!  Similar to spring cleaning, we should evaluate the stuff in our lives, keeping what we need and removing what we don’t.  We need to treat jobs, hobbies, habits, romantic relationships and friendships like old files.  After they have served their purpose they need to be purged, sent away or marked for destruction.  

Do you have any relationships or habits in your life that you need to get rid of?  If you do, but don’t know where to start, here are 5 things to consider purging.  Believe me, once you remove some of these things, you’ll feel lighter and brighter!

  1. Old Exes.  There’s a difference between being cordial, being friends, and being in limbo.  There’s nothing wrong with the first two, but the latter spells deep trouble.  If you clearly have feelings for an old “boo” or whatever you chose to call your ex, it’s best to cut off communication until you establish a clear understanding of where you stand.  And if you are not in agreement of the terms, close that chapter.  There’s nothing worse than waiting for someone to give you another chance.  It’s not mutually platonic therefore, not mutually beneficial or healthy.
  2. Rollercoaster Road Dogs. These are the type of friends that for some reason, they love you one minute and are cold the next.  You normally have a great time with them, but sometimes, they act like they are angry at you, or find a reason to be angry with you.  In actuality they are probably insecure, jealous or paranoid in some sort of way when it comes to you.  Why try to fix them or figure them out ?  A true friend should always be a constant.  Life throws enough curve balls without wondering where you stand with someone who’s supposed to stick to you closer than a brother.
  3. Homies in the ‘hood.  They are rollercoaster road dogs and childhood friends mixed together.  You broke a few rules with them, maybe failed a few assignments or classes.  You played, T-ball, kickball, hide-and-go-seek, duck-duck-goose and red rover with them!  Basically, you were extremely close with this person when you were growing up.  Even though you’ve matured, this person is still trying to take you back to the days when you were acting an @$$.  They do so intentionally and unintentionally. They secretly hate the new you but miss their old friend.  These types of people are the hardest to let go of because you have deep history with them.   At some point you will hit a crossroad with this person and will have to make a decision either way.  The earlier you purge them, the better.
  4. Unhealthy pleasure-seeking habits.  When you do anything in overabundance, it can be dangerous.  Drinking, smoking, and sex are the top three activities that comes to mind when seeking personal pleasure.  These things negatively effect the body and if they consume you, they can be a matter of sickness, disease and death.
  5. Insatiable love for money.  Allowing money to be the primary motivating factor in all you do will make you miserable at some point in your life.  Staying at a job you hate, working with people you hate or committing unethical acts to acquire money will bite  you in the butt sooner or later.  Whether it be stress, depression, poor job performance or ramifications from unethical behavior, the truth will show its head.  Make your living doing something you can be proud of and are happy with.   If you need more education or skills, make the sacrifices needed to obtain it. 

I’ll close with a quote from my role model Stephen Covey who passed away yesterday, “You can’t talk yourself out of problems you behave yourself into.”  This quote always reminds me that I am responsible for the people I allow in my circle and the situations I find myself in.  When it comes to growth and productivity, there can be no grey areas.  Ultimately, the things and people I choose to affiliate with will influence my thinking and thus my actions.  I have quite a few things to purge this year.  How about you?

Until next time,

-KB

 

 

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!

Stop The Soulmate Search

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Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl fall in love at first sight, get married and live happily after after. We’ve been taught to believe that when we are ready we will find our soulmate. If only it were that simple! Those of us who’ve been at it a while know it’s not that easy.

In the game of love most of us are on the bench. Not because we can’t play, but because we are waiting on the perfect match. We want someone who can finish our sentences and whose heart ticks at the same BPM. So we’re on the soulmate search, and nothing else will do.

News flash: THERE IS NO SUCH THING! By no means am I saying I don’t believe in compatibility, or have I given up on love. Before you write me off as a bitter spinster, let me explain why:

The Origin of The Soul Mate Theory

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The idea of a soulmate originates from
various religions. Most commonly in greek mythology and theosophy, ancient humans had multiple limbs and faces. Due to disobedience and fear, the Creator (Zeus in greek mythology) split in them half, damning them to wander around looking for their missing parts.

Today we use this theory in our romantic lives, by searching for our other half to feel whole. This type of thinking concerns me because a person should already feel complete prior to settling down. Too often, people enter relationships unprepared, expecting the other person to balance them out. I believe that if you enter a relationship well-rounded and open-minded, you won’t be in need of anything. Any addition would be a complement to the already complete package!

If I am to believe in a soulmate I have to believe in the origin, and I don’t believe half of me is wondering around looking for…me! I do believe we all have a purpose in life, and the people we decide to share our lives with will compare and contrast with who we currently are. The differences will keep us balanced, sharpening and changing us for the better. The commonalities serve as a foundation which will evolve over time, kind of like fine wine!

I also feel that the belief of a soulmate gives a preconceived notion that little effort is required after meeting. Relationships are like farming; if you do not cultivate the land, the crops will surely die! The main reason divorce rates are so high now is because instead of hunkering down, we abandon ship faster than Cpt. Francesco Schettino!

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If you look at the above statistics, most of us date with the soul mate standard in mind. In my humble opinion, this is another cause of failed relationships and marriages. When we find our mates aren’t perfect, we feel they aren’t perfect for us. We fail to realize that we are all “under construction”, therefore we need to work collectively and individually to sustain significant relationships.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Jerry McGuire type of love? Realistically, most of us will never have our life-long partners at “hello”. We have to captivate them with our character and keep them with our commitment. If we nix the soulmate search and increase our loyalty, we will find that the beauty in a relationship is not in finding our missing half, but in growing together to make what we have work.

I’ll close by sharing my tweet from earlier today, “Don’t live to find your soulmate, instead, work to be the heart and soul of your mate!”

Your Slow, Super Efficient Guide to Weight Loss – Part II

Spring is almost here!  Before you know it, it’ll be time to pack those sweaters away and put on those pretty skirts, dresses and shorts.  And for you guys, not too much of a change-up in wardrobe I know, but we do have one thing in common.

We ALL want to be slimmer when the weather gets warmer!  We feel better about ourselves and how we look in our clothes when we shed a few pounds.  Equipped with our new year’s resolution and gym membership, we’re on track to have a beach body by summer.  But is it really feasible to do so in 4 months?

It all depends.  It depends on what you are eating, how much weight you need to lose, if you are exercising and if you are consistent with your eating and exercise regime.  I’ve learned several things since I last blogged about weight loss, and I want to share them with you:

  1. Stop believing the infomercials and fitness ads.  There is no pill, powder, shake or liquid that is going to instantly make you look the way you want.  We have to realize there are no short cuts.  Furiouspete123 on youtube has a video that exposes advertisements on weight loss gimmicks.  Most of those commercials are shot in the same day.  The models bloat themselves after taking the “results” pictures.  Know this: if you are not going to put in the work a pill or potion won’t help, especially not for the long term.  I used to think I needed extra protein to build muscle and a fatburner to lose flab.  Since I’m what’s called an ecto-endo body type (skinny-flabby), I don’t build muscle very well.  I was eating the suggested amount of protein (1 gram per pound), so I was consuming roughly 120-180 grams of protein per day.  What I didn’t realize is that the protein wasn’t metabolizing because I wasn’t doing enough cardio. I ended up gaining weight instead of losing it, even though I was firmer from lifting weights.  Protein helps with muscle-building but not necessarily with weight loss.  So I was building muscle but not losing any weight, and my goal was to do both.  I thought about using a fatburner but they scare me.  The few times I tried them I experienced a racy heart and insomnia from the caffeine.  I’ve conceded to the fact that I need to run more, even though I hate it with a passion.  But the old ways are truly the best ways, and I’ve noticed a difference already.  I’ve increased my cardio from two days to four.  I am now aiming for five.
  2. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to lose weight and to maintain your goal weight.  I just finished “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” By Marshall GoldSmith (I’ll do a book review in another post) and he did an excellent analysis on goal setting and goal achievement.  He applied his principles to weight loss and listed the following reasons why people do not succeed in their weight loss goals: time, effort, distractions, rewards and maintenance.  According to GoldSmith (best-selling author, business professor at Dartmouth and top executive coach), these 5 reasons are commonly underestimated and are ultimately why we fail at our weight lost goals.  My achillies heel had been time, effort and distractions.  But no more!
  3. My Fitness Pal.  It’s an app you can download on your phone.  After you download and create an account, you plug in your current weight and your goal weight.  It then tells you how many calories you are allowed each day based on how many pounds you want to lose per week. I lost about 3 pounds last week!  My fitness pal is great for me because I can also see what nutrients I need to get in before the day is out.  It also made me aware of how much dining out was a hinderance to my progress.  I know I promised pictures but I accidentally erased my November pictures when I restored my computer to factory condition (I forgot to back up years worth of pictures and my favorites). I will put some up though, I promise!  I’ve put on some muscle but I  have quite a ways to go…wish me luck!

I’d like to close this post with the picture below.  I got it from my friends RawTwins on facebook.  If we would take the time to eat properly, we’d be 70% to goal.  Instead of stopping off at a fast food place after a long day’s work, I now take cucumbers, carrots and grapes to work and make sure I am drinking 80 to 100 ounces of water per day.  That’s only 5 to 7 water bottles!  You can do it!  Remember, what you put inside yourself is a reflection of who you are!

-KB

You Are What You Eat - Courtesy of RawTwins

Reflections – 2011

Mood - Grateful

Today I cried hard, harder than I have in a long time.  I cried tears of joy and pain, happiness and hurt.

I cried today because as I was washing dishes a bouquet flowers were delivered to my door.   Attached was a note with words of encouragement.  No one has ever done something so thoughtful for me before.  I was moved to tears and to write this reflection.

Looking back on the past year  I moved out-of-state with no job, got a job, quit a job for a higher paying job, lost the new job before I started but was able to get another job.  I met a great guy and he broke my heart.  I learned some family secrets should stay secret.  I’ve accepted the fact that I may have to adopt or foster and that I may be single for the rest of my life.  And I still have some medical issues I need to overcome.  So I needed to cry today.

You see, in spite of all that I’ve been through this year I’m still standing.  I get up each morning knowing today will be better than yesterday.  I have another opportunity to right all my wrongs, to try new things, to love and to laugh.  Life is a gift and I am utterly grateful for it.  I’ve been losing friends to prison and the grave since I was a kid, knowing in each instance it could have been me.  I know that if it wasn’t for God having mercy on me I wouldn’t be here to tell my story.  Where would I be without His unmerited favor?  He’s a miracle worker.  He makes a way out of no way.  He inspires me to keep pushing .  He’s given me the strength not only to carry my own burdens but the burdens of my loved ones as well.  And because I carry that responsibility and that strength,  quitting is not an option.

I cried today because I am happy to see 2011 go.  I had an eventful year.  But I know my events have made me stronger and more prepared for 2012.  I’m not claiming or decreeing anything because what is mine will be mine, good or bad.  But I am walking in rejuvenated faith. In spite of this past year’s events He still gave me much to smile about.  Life isn’t without its downs.  It’s not always fun or fair or easy. Each obstacle is an opportunity for character building and I’m grateful to be in the land of the living to experience it all.   When things get tough it’s good to know that  just like my fresh bouquet of flowers, when I least expect, it my Lord and Savior will be there.  Here’s to 2012.