The Common Denominator (Guest Post)

I know it’s been awhile since my last post (Valentine’s Day to be exact), but I wanted to get back into my blogging groove.  What better way than with an informative guest blog post.  The lovely Denise Hawk has loaned us her writing talents for a spell, so check out her post below, and make sure to comment.  This is a topic that hits close to home for me.

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If you’re over twenty, chances are, you’ve been in a few relationships. Often trends begin to develop in your dating life. Do you keep dating jealous people or “crazy psychos”? Or are you always with people who end up using you financially? Is cheating a trend that keeps coming up in your dating life? Whatever the thing is that keeps happening is beside the point, the real question is…why does this keep happening?

Sadly, the common denominator…is you.

When drama follows you from one relationship to another, it’s not a coincidence. It’s you. That may be hard to hear, but it’s true. Here’s how to change things so you can finally be rid of the negative trends in your dating life.

First off, make a list of why your past relationships ended. Was it jealousy? Cheating or money? Was it a communication breakdown? I had a friend who found that every relationship ended with small talk, as in, that’s all her and her boyfriend could have.

To help with problems like that, take a look at your list. Find the trend, or trends that keep popping up and then think back to your parents relationship. We learn by example and often times if our dad was a cheater, we’ll either end up dating cheaters or become ones ourselves (same goes for jealousy, physical abuse, etc.). To stop this, it’s usually helpful to write out your parents’ relationship, how it effected you and how that style of relationship may have made them happy.

Often our romantic relationships end up reflecting the relationships we have with our own parents. Such as with my friend who had the “small talk” problem. It turns out a big trend with her and her parents was not talking about important issues. Seems her mom would overreact to anything topic of a sensitive nature and her father would berate her for “rocking the boat”. So she learned to keep her feelings and problems to herself.

Unfortunately in dating, this isn’t a very good strategy. Her relationships would start off good, but once the dating hit a rocky patch (as happens in most relationships) she would end up not communicating and shutting down emotionally.

How did she stop doing this? First, she took a little time off from dating and started working out her issues with a therapist. Much of what she learned in therapy was how to express her needs and voice her concerns in relationships. She also sought out parental role models that she could have meaningful conversations with. For her it was her grandmother, but for someone else it could be a professor, an older work colleague or even the parent of a friend.

If you’ve taken a look at your parents relationship and your own relationship with your parents and don’t find any similarities with them there is another approach you can take.

Be honest…what are you getting out of the drama? If you’re always dating people who are jealous, do you get a small charge out of knowing someone is obsessing over you? If you always end up with people who you have to financially support, do you enjoy having the upper hand and slightly higher status in the relationship?

We all get things out of our relationships but sometimes it’s a double edged sword. Sometimes just being aware about what you get out of a certain pattern can be enough to avoid people who might perpetuate it. Other times you have to do more, like asking your friends to give you a heads up if you’re falling for your usual “crazy psycho” again. The key to stopping any sort of pattern is awareness. Going into a relationship with your eyes open is always a good idea. Good luck with dating!

Denise Hawk is a regular contributor to firstkissconnections.com

No Apologies: Pretty Girls Rock

Okay, so this may come off as a little arrogrant.  That is not the intention at all–please consider the previous statement my official disclaimer. 

Now on to the “controversial” semi-arrogant rant. 

I’m sick of apologizing for being a good catch.  I can unequivocably say that ALL of my close female friends are attractive, professional, loving, caring, intelligent, single, never been married women who have common sense and aren’t bringing a tremendous amount of baggage into a relationship…yet, we struggle to meet “available, well adjusted men” …I admit, I do have what are seemingly high standards…I would like  a gentleman who I date to have teeth, a job and decent noun/verb usage ability (I’m sorry but if you have to ask me what every word means when we chat on the phone, we are not compatible…period). 

Some of the men that I have had  candid conversations with regarding this subject give the same tired excuses…”Those type of women are intimidating.”  WHATEVER, dude man up, get it together and go for the challenge instead of the easy, you may just be pleasantly surprised…in my experience, men have had a tendency to project their own insecurities and subsequently convince themselves that is how we will perceive the situation.  Those same said men will then go in hot pursuit of women with multiple responsibilities that we do not currently possess i.e. those ladies  may have several children–not child, divorced or separated, currently dealing with “baby daddy” drama, no job, no aspirations, needy, looking for someone to financially “take care of ” them, etc, etc…whereas the “independent” women I speak of are truly looking for a partnership, not a bailout. 

It’s frustrating to have to constantly be put on the back burner because we did everything by the book…we went to school, exercise decent social graces, we didn’t have children before marriage, take pride in our appearance, we appreciate our friends and family…and the list goes on.  I don’t think there is a real answer to this.  I’m just venting for my friends (I’m resigned to the reality of the situation…it is what it is).  So  the following video is dedicated to my girls.  You all are gorgeous both inside and out…and to my girls with kids and are divorced, don’t take offense, it’s just that sometimes we single, never been married gals in our 30’s sometimes feel like you all get a free pass when we don’t.  But rest assured, I do realize that we are still in the same boat:-).   Enjoy peeps!  As always, respectful comments are welcomed.

Playing Matchmaker…Maybe so!

So, a very good girlfriend of mine and I have both been in the midst of some tumultuous affairs of the heart as of late.  So in an effort to have some fun and start fresh, we have pledged to play matchmaker for each other.  Sound crazy?  Probably, but I’m game for it.  Listen, it makes sense: we sometimes don’t know what is best for us, while our close friends know exactly what we need (and vice versa).  This little social experiment can’t hurt, especially if I am able to get a few good blogs posts out of the deal (anything that will force me to update on a regular basis can be all bad, right?). 

To kick things off, we are each going to make a list of “deal breakers.”  For example, I CAN’T date him if he is under 5’10 (and that’s being generous…I know, I know, you don’t grow as a person by limiting yourself, but c’mon–I’m 5’9 flat footed and I rarely leave the house w/o 4 inch heels on.  So, give a sista a break).  I am going to be very liberal when it comes to race, ethnicity and cultural background (I may even temporary lift my unofficial ban of West Indian men.  However, the ban on men from Nigeria and Ghana remains (I’m referring to 1st Generation only), I don’t care  how fine they may be–yeah, yeah, yeah, let the hate mail begin but IT IS WHAT IT IS.Anyway. 

Wish me luck.  This should be a very interesting experiment.

Good Advice

I really wish I would learn how to take my own advice.  Instead of getting out there and “Surveying the Scene” as I stated I would do in an earlier post, I have been looking for love in all the wrong places…yep, ladies and gents I have turned into a workholic.  No fun, just work ALL THE TIME.  If I am not working on my business, then I am doing stuff for the day job.  If I am not focused completely on work, then I am working on church business (which I am totally not complaining about–I love working for the Lord).  But when does any of that translate into me time?  Duh, it doesn’t; thus, that burnt out feeling begins.  

Who knows why I am feeling this way…perhaps it is the approach of another birthday being single in my 30’s.  Sometimes I feel empowered, other times I feel…a bit lonely.  It’s a rollercoaster.  But all I can do is be patient, and see where I land. 

So, today I promise to take time for myself.  Recharge, Rejuvenate and Release…I think it’s time that I take care of who should be the most important person in my life—me.