Archive for Relationships

*FLASHBACK* Revisiting Dating Expectations

Posted in A Lil About Me, Flashback, Love, Memories, Randomosity, Relationships, True Confessions with tags , , , on January 5, 2011 by Angela

In case you’re new to these pages….I’ve opened up a little more about dating so every now and then I pepper the blogs with a tale or two of dating.

I really don’t want to go overboard and make it seem as if I’m all-consumed by it so I meter out the discussions or ponderings a little here and a little there.

Therefore, some of these things are not necessarily realtime as they may have occurred in the present, near or long-ago past. But the funny thing is that they’re still timely in some form or fashion.

As I’ve travelled the journey of a single, never married woman from my late teens to early forties some things have loosely remained the same for me. However, much to my chagrin quite a bit around me has changed or evolved.

One of those things is dating, sometimes I actually think the lack thereof, and the expectations one has when they embark upon it.

In my experience, dating during the late teens through the early-mid 20s was primarily for acceptance, commitment (aka respectable/acceptable sex). Oh sure, there was some who favored sexual exploration and sowing of wild-oats but for the most part from junior high we are (or were) conditioned to crave acceptance & commitment from the opposite sex (speaking from a strictly hetero vantage point) to validate our worth, attractiveness, etc. There are a number of these relationships that progress on to marriage and/or otherwise long-term status (common law, spiritual union, etc.)

From mid-late 20s into early-mid 30s, if you weren’t one of the aforementioned or if your relationships didn’t progress to marriage, you transitioned to either dating for companionship or steady, reliable sex (although somewhere along the line booty calls & homey-lover-friends came into vogue seemingly giving the best of both/all worlds).

From early-mid 30’s to (my present age of reference) early-mid 40’s, those who haven’t entertained marriage are finally ready to turn in their player/playette cards & little black/hot pink book and put their lives into some form of predictable routine which would include career, marriage & family……..especially in that order if they are so blessed.

Also, there are those who are coming fresh off the heels of a “bad marriage” so their interest can either lie in companionship, sex or even jumping back into marriage because despite the pitfalls or disillusions they still desire that formal union with one person.

I can look back and see how I ran the gamut myself of any or all of these at some point. At times overlapping and inclusive while others solely motivated by one driving need that I desired to fulfill.

I can see the benefits of having experienced all and now I am thinking that to truly come full circle would be to want more than motivating factor to be present, dare I say all of the above? I’m sure that many would waffle over the word acceptance but even as we get older our definitions of acceptance change from that of validation to that of appreciation or worth of us as our unique & individual self.

Now I have transcended to some inexplicable state that questions everything and yet is actively seeking very little…..

~Peace & blessings~

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*FLASHBACK* Revisiting Dating Expectations

Posted in A Lil About Me, Epicurean Chronicles, Flashback, Love, Memories, Questions, Randomosity, Relationships, True Confessions with tags , , , on October 7, 2010 by Angela

In case you’re new to these pages….I’ve opened up a little more about dating so every now and then I pepper the blogs with a tale or two of dating.

I really don’t want to go overboard and make it seem as if I’m all-consumed by it so I meter out the discussions or ponderings a little here and a little there.

Therefore, some of these things are not necessarily realtime as they may have occurred in the present, near or long-ago past. But the funny thing is that they’re still timely in some form or fashion.

As I’ve travelled the journey of a single, never married woman from my late teens to early forties some things have loosely remained the same for me. However, much to my chagrin quite a bit around me has changed or evolved.

One of those things is dating, sometimes I actually think the lack thereof, and the expectations one has when they embark upon it.

In my experience, dating during the late teens through the early-mid 20s was primarily for acceptance, commitment (aka respectable/acceptable sex). Oh sure, there was some who favored sexual exploration and sowing of wild-oats but for the most part from junior high we are (or were) conditioned to crave acceptance & commitment from the opposite sex (speaking from a strictly hetero vantage point) to validate our worth, attractiveness, etc. There are a number of these relationships that progress on to marriage and/or otherwise long-term status (common law, spiritual union, etc.)

From mid-late 20s into early-mid 30s, if you weren’t one of the aforementioned or if your relationships didn’t progress to marriage, you transitioned to either dating for companionship or steady, reliable sex (although somewhere along the line booty calls & homey-lover-friends came into vogue seemingly giving the best of both/all worlds).

From early-mid 30’s to (my present age of reference) early-mid 40’s, those who haven’t entertained marriage are finally ready to turn in their player/playette cards & little black/hot pink book and put their lives into some form of predictable routine which would include career, marriage & family……..especially in that order if they are so blessed.

Also, there are those who are coming fresh off the heels of a “bad marriage” so their interest can either lie in companionship, sex or even jumping back into marriage because despite the pitfalls or disillusions they still desire that formal union with one person.

I can look back and see how I ran the gamut myself of any or all of these at some point. At times overlapping and inclusive while others solely motivated by one driving need that I desired to fulfill.

I can see the benefits of having experienced all and now I am thinking that to truly come full circle would be to want more than motivating factor to be present, dare I say all of the above? I’m sure that many would waffle over the word acceptance but even as we get older our definitions of acceptance change from that of validation to that of appreciation or worth of us as our unique & individual self.

Now I have transcended to some inexplicable state that questions everything and yet is actively seeking very little…..

~Peace & blessings~

My Dating Pet Peeve…..(well, a couple of them)

Posted in Relationships with tags , , , on September 10, 2010 by Angela

{FYI: I will just put it out there right now that I am about to get on a tangent about dating here….so I will try to pepper them out but I could post about 3-4 right now.}

It’s not too far from the truth to say that as I’ve grown older I’ve grown to despise dating. Well, it’s more like I strongly dislike what dating has evolved into over the years. Or maybe it’s me; perhaps I haven’t changed enough. But I consider myself a traditionalist in some respects and along those lines change while wholeheartedly acknowledged isn’t always something that need be adapted to under all circumstances.

Not unlike many things….in my opinion, the art of dating has become a lost one. And since I am full of theories, I surmise that there are certain catalysts that contribute to this. However, I think that even with the modern relationships that we involve ourselves within, there are still key elements missing. Elements I believe that would serve to improve the dating process and making more beneficial or enjoyable.

One of these things that have me firing off this blog is something that happened the middle part of the week. As it so happens that I am thinking more and beginning to type, I am reminded of another that I will go ahead and address as well so think of it as a BONUS pet peeve.

SPONTANEOUS SUITORS

The issue of spontaneity is high on my list of pet peeves when it comes to dating. I am pretty direct about my interest in a man and in how I choose to spend my time and that is equally, if not more so, applicable as it applies to dating because it isn’t just dealing with the time of one person but rather two people.

I don’t say I’m going to maybe do something and flake out. I don’t string along trying to see if I will get a better offer. If I agree and accept a date, I intend to keep it unless it’s the most unforeseen circumstances.

Now on to how this all applies to today. I have this man in my building who has been asking me out and I’ve said I’m very busy with work and other personal interests/commitments. Every so often he corners me and feels me out (he’s informed me that he will wait for me….Oh brother, right?)

He asks what I have planned for the weekend. I run down what’s on my agenda mainly heavy with obligations on Saturday and Sunday. So he inquires about Friday. I say I’m free. Now this was somewhat a ‘feeler’ that I tossed out there to see how he responded or handled it.

I most certainly got the information that I was seeking. He began talking in rather vague terms when contrasted with me being very definite in my plans for each specific day. He says that he “might be free” and that “he’d have to play it by ear”.

My head snapped around at that and I said “excuse me, did you say play it by ear? I’m sorry but I don’t play it by ear.” If I say I’m going to do something or be available then I am or will be. I don’t waste someone’s time much like I don’t want mine to be wasted. He looked a slight bit surprised by what I said and I can understand why.

There are too many girls and women out there desperate to date that they allow men to call them up and under the guise of spontaneity will agree to go out with a man who calls them at 7 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday evening. I never have and never will.

I know it sounds real strict but if you want to go anywhere with me you, you will be respectful of my time and give me advance notice to make plans. Flexibility and spontaneity will not come into play until you develop a deeper rapport or relationship with me that would facilitate or dictate such introduction of factors.

I’m very old school when it comes to dating and I know that doesn’t bode well for me but as I stated earlier…think TRADITION/TRADITIONAL.

And the bonus peeve which came to mind….

CLANDESTINE DATERS

Now this one, I thought I left behind many years ago in college and certainly by my late 20’s.

I’ve never been a fan of dating men who seem to want to keep you under wraps and to only see you under certain circumstances which remarkably are along the lines of those booty call rules. You know where you “date” at either his place or your place. Where you don’t really see the light of day or manage to venture out into the public sector on the regular?

It’s kind of hard to discern when you both are all caught up in life, working, family, etc. However, when the dust settles and you realize, it can be a little eye-opening. I’m very conscious and aware so I try to date on a practical tip and do a lot of short/timed dating scenarios like lunches, coffee dates, happy hours or networking mixers. These are the types of things that are right up my alley and afford a reasonable amount of time to spend with someone. I arguably think they are way better than going out to eat and a movie where there is really not much more than 30% chance you even talk or vibe because the focus is the food or the movie.

In recent years, I‘ve had men try to “meet me” someplace in the evening hours or trying to show up at the same place that I am. Really, what’s up with that? And that’s dating, hmmm?

I am not a fan of these quasi-dates to where if you see something better you will scoop up on it or to where its early enough and if you strike out you can slide off to another location (which I may very well see you at later).

So you know this all leaves me pondering, right?

Here are my questions: What’s the point of dating if you are half-hearted about committing to specific time spent? If you are hiding the fact that you are spending time with someone you are ‘dating’….why even go through the motions?

~peace & blessings~

*FLASHBACK* When Is It Time To Compromise & Where To Even Begin….

Posted in Flashback, Memories, Relationships with tags , , , , on July 28, 2010 by Angela

Recently, I’ve been dealing more closely with my thoughts on compromise and came across something I wrote several years ago when I was in a stage of  “decisioned & active dating” and thought I share.

…………………………………………

This has been quite a year for me socially as it pertains to dating. I mean I really did put myself out there and stretched outside of my box. I stretched so much so that it hurt at times but I wanted to allow myself those different experiences, to see if something needs to be fixed with me as far as me being too set in my ways and beliefs.

From my teens to my 20s to my 30s and into the first year of my 40s, I have mulled things over, silently assessed and pondered. And one of the main things I have come to think or realize is that I am stubborn in some of my beliefs and that I may very well be caught in a mental time warp of some sort.


I cannot lie I pretty much know that I have a straight up attitude as it pertains to not being physically attracted to a mate, even more so when I feel I am maintaining myself eating right, exercising and adapting to more positive life choices. I just cannot feel like there is not a visual aspect to the intimacy. And I challenge many to disagree with that.

Men are very visual creatures so I know there will not be too much argument there. I have some women that will admit to loosely having physical standards. However, when it all boils down to it, the majority of couples are (or WERE if they’ve grown together over the years) more physically evenly matched initially more often than not.

But then I feel a tinge of guilt as if I am being superficial when that is not fully the case. There is just some basic maintenance that cannot go unresolved and I cannot seem to look a man in the face daily thinking otherwise.

I have noticed somewhere along the lines that some men have stopped being the hunters and have transformed themselves into the prey and are more prone to positioning themselves and letting the women do battle over them.

That was probably the most disconcerting thing I encountered but I can understand how in all the aftermath of the women’s independence movement that some men have taken it to a whole new level. I cannot imagine my mother ever having to perform, parade or pop p*ssy to attract my dad as a viable lifemate.

So, I have to sit down with pen and paper literally and write a whole list of things down and see where can compromise within my standards be addressed.

As we grow older, our perspectives change and our needs, desires & wants can shift or be redefined.

Throughout my process of shifting, I have questioned myself as to what is more important what I want, what I need or what I desire. At times these overlap, at times they become intertwined or overshadowed, hence the sitting down with pen and paper to hash it out.

I look back and realize I spent my 30s unattached by strange twists of fate and more than a little rigidity and resolve. After an emotionally draining breakup I felt it important to take time off from dating and so that’s where the black hole stretches, from then to now.

I want dating to be like it was back in those days. I want things to be like I knew them from back then. I want those same rules to apply today like they did back then. I want men to be like they were back then and I just figured if I waited it out then maybe just maybe…

Okay, yea so I woke up finally.

I woke up mad but I woke up.

Well, kinda.

I am still a little bit groggy.

And I am fighting the urge to go back to sleep.

……………………………………………………………..

(to be continued……)

~Peace & blessings~

Gender Neutrality: Is It A Relationship Killer?

Posted in Relationships with tags , , on March 30, 2010 by Angela

I know that it may be a rare thought but I am still more a believer in gender specific traits, duties & roles. I think it makes for a clearer understanding of expectations and in maintaining an established order of things to a relationship.

I’m sure there will be some that think this is a bad thing but I liken it more to how a man stands up when going to the bathroom and how a woman sits when going to the bathroom. It’s just how we are put here and it’s all in the natural mechanics of how things are and which best suits which need.

I am well aware that there can be manipulation and adjustment by either sex to perform or execute some things but along the same vein of thought there are some things that just seem to work well and be an inbred inclination. The fit is just so much better with minimal muss & fuss so to speak.

Therefore, by no means do I consider it a bad thing to work within these parameters rather than working outside of them to prove some hapless point just for the sake of having proof’s sake.

When I was younger learning how to cook, clean & other life skills were taught not only in the home, they were taught in home economics classes in school starting in junior high and were part of core curriculum in high school years (this is evidently no longer the case). These tasks were reinforced through club & church affiliations as I grew up.

However, as I only had male siblings & primarily male cousins (that I consciously preferred to hang out with), I also became acquainted and exposed to the more “rugged, manly” things and took the opportunity to learn about them in part.

There were many Saturday mornings that I would I watch my father haul out the ladder and fix things around the house. I took note of how he climbed up on the roof to fix a shingle or clean gutters, the manner in which he stripped, primed & painted the house.

Some Saturdays he would be splayed underneath the hood or body of the car with his Craftsman tool chest & tool box nearby as he tinkered with something I could not always see but sat enraptured nonetheless.

I enjoyed tagging along on early morning trips to the hardware or automotive store and roaming the aisles looking at all the weird, shiny items. There wasn’t much in the way of entertainment but it opened me up to a wide array of things that even to this day may come to the forefront of my mind.

I may not always know the name of it but I have an idea that there’s “some thing” out there than can do “something” for me and I’m quite sure when explaining that to one of the helpful, patient salesmen that I am on the right track.

Seeing my father day in & day out going about his business, I was able to form long-lasting impressions of how men behave, the things they do for their loved ones and the motivation that leads to those two things.

It allowed me as a girl to first observe and then eventually as a woman to desire and have an expectation of a man that would compliment the woman I aspire to be. I am not afraid to say that as a woman there are certain things I need to have displayed to me and be secure in knowing.

This could also be an underlying reason I’m an “actions speak louder than words” type of person. I’m a firm believer that the things you DO bespeak your character as a person. So easy to speak the words but to be a living embodiment is quite another.

I believe that not only are there superficial tasks but there are deeper needs met and served within the relationship based on these superficial tasks. These tasks are one of the avenues for expression of love, caring, etc. that we all need or should need to be healthy functioning human beings.

Now, within a relationship, I would be less than honest to say that I’m okay with doing any of what I consider to be “manly duties”.

Those duties include but are not limited to taking out the trash & other such physical work, car maintenance, driving, household maintenance, moving furniture, and generally most lifting/carrying. Basically put its anything that will break a nail, chip my polish or run the risk of something being dropped on my foot.

However, I am a cute yet effective lil helper and I’ve got a mean sandwich & lemonade game to reward your efforts.

Truly, I don’t have a problem with cooking, although I readily admit that I don’t cook a lot of things simply because they aren’t within my diet (that would include most soul food). I can follow a recipe and with a designated taster I can do quite well.

Growing up I have memories of cooking for my father & brothers if my mother was out of town….not unlike men of his generation, my dad would have burned the pot roast. We had eaten enough of his ‘forgotten-on-the-stove’ cuisine so it was a necessity for our palates to know some basic rules.

As far as household chores, I actually don’t mind doing laundry and ironing because I find it very cathartic and a necessary duty like cleaning, it’s just a part of life and I’ve got a good routine so it doesn’t bother me or leave me feeling put upon in the least to keep things running smoothly & orderly. As kids we all had to do our own laundry on our specific day/evening of the week. 

Being from the generation where kids actually had chores and were required to get up on Saturday mornings and tend to the home front, I really don’t have a choice but to like and appreciate it to some degree.

Running a household and holding down a job, that’s not a problem. I’m not the first generation of women in my family to be able to do both of those things successfully with or without a husband. There have been many women prior to me who have been able to handle themselves with grace & without having to develop a skewed outlook or having a reassignment of roles to fit a new or perceived role.

I personally don’t feel objectified because I know that I’m not limited to these duties, it’s a conscious choice of my own. As I see a need for something else to be handled, my choices are to do it or to find someone to do it for me. It’s really that simple and its just part of being a responsible, self-sufficient or well-rounded individual when it’s called for not because it’s lacking.

There seemed to be a time when a man & a woman knew they could depend on the other to pick up the slack if the need arose. There is nothing like knowing that there is someone who can carry the ball if you have to lay it down for some reason or another…..illness, unforeseen absence, etc. It’s comforting to know that you have a mate that can perform or step up in all areas.

One of the important ways I believe you show appreciation & reciprocation for someone you love is to carry a reasonable fair share and even an unreasonable fair share to reduce some of the unnecessary burden off your mate.

 Sure, each household or relationship is different but I’m convinced there are some things that come easier to one sex as opposed to the other based on how we are wired as functioning human beings.

However, somewhere along the line there came a point when it became (more of) a battle of the sexes and things got a little more competitive. We have had to get all politically correct in how we used words. Words like mankind, chairman, spokesmen became womankind, chairwoman, spokeswoman, etc.

As if the mere re-designing as such differentiated or validated things that much more or created more equality than in its other form.
I tend to believe it polarized and neutralized things in some respects rather negatively.

I’ve noticed a lot of “empowered” women who take a great deal of pride in letting a man know how insignificant his contribution to her can be.

I’ve noticed a lot of “emasculated” men who have lost or willingly given up an edge of their manliness in deference to such aforementioned women.

In some cases, I’ve seen it eventually become the demise of the relationship because there is a constant butting of heads in trying to determine how to make it work as a team vs. two “all together” individuals intent on letting the other know what they can/can’t or should/shouldn’t do. Basically listing all the reasons they don’t need one another as opposed to why they do need one another.

I’m not fully convinced that a lasting relationship can exist with prolonged, long-term gender neutrality as a component. I really have yet to see a healthy one that’s withstood the test of time because over the course of time and soul-searching each sex realizes some things that they may feel are missing.

Coincidentally these things quite often tend to primarily be one of two things: 1) some of the initial things that they may have been drawn to in that person or 2) some of the things that they initially debunked as being outdated/unnecessary stereotypical roles, traits, etc. but have come full circle to want, appreciate or need in their mate.

So these are the questions I asked myself and others to explore my thoughts, feel free to share yours if you like.

Do you believe gender neutrality exists?

Do you feel gender neutrality can exist within a successful marriage or relationship for the long haul or might problems arise over time?

What makes a man manly or a woman womanly? Is it the roles, functions or duties they perform, does it lie in merely aesthetics or is it something else?

~Peace & Blessings~