I’m Not Sorry

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know I haven’t posted since June.  However, in my defense, I have been in the lab working on projects, traveling, launching campaigns, starting new ventures and more.  I haven’t neglected the blog on purpose—promise.

Lately, I’ve been in the process of distancing myself from all things negative (vibes, people,  and thoughts) because you become that which you surround yourself. I’m happy, and I want to keep it that way.  I am so blessed and highly favored, and I owe it to myself and those in my circle to celebrate that.  There is nothing wrong with allowing your light to shine brightly, especially if that light can help lead someone else to where they need to go.  God has given me talents that He expects me to use to make the world better and for the upliftment of His Kingdom.  My life is supposed to shine brightly because of the light of Christ that shines through from within.

There are those who will not thank you for your work.  There are those who will not appreciate your efforts.  There are those who will try to tear down what you have worked hard to build.  And that’s okay.  You can’t get caught up.  I had a realization recently about myself, I need to stop being apologetic for being me.  I’m unique, quirky, but I’m also fiercely loyal to the people in my life.  I stand by the motto, no matter what happens, I refuse to treat people how they treat me.  I will always try to take the high road, smile in the face of adversity, laugh at the randomness of my life whenever possible, and continue to not take myself too seriously.

I’m in a great place emotionally right now.  Love, Laughter and Light prevails.  God told me, don’t be sorry about being happy, being fabulous and yes, even being in the spotlight as long as I put Him first…Point taken Lord.

Side note, it’s October, which means it’s been two years since me and mister have been together as an official couple. Feels good.  Looking forward to more good times with the man who is not only my love but one of my best friends ever.  Enjoy my Friday musical collection, fitting don’t you think?

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No Call, No Show (Guest Post)

So, I’ve been meaning to get this post up, because (1) we are overdue for a post and (2) Melody’s posts are always entertaining.  You read her last one, right? Anyway, enjoy and as always, feel free to comment (Me LOVES comments!) 

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If anyone has worked retail they are familiar with the “No call, no show” rule. This rule basically says a “no call, no show” for work is ground for termination. The first time you do not show up for work, nor call you will receive a verbal warning. The second time you may receive at written warning (depending on how lenient the company is). But the third time you are definitely fired!fired

I like to apply this rule to dating. I have a very strict rule, if we plan our very first date and you do not show up and I do not receive a call or text there is no second chance. Does that seem harsh? Maybe, but you get one time to make a first impression and just like with an employer whom you are trying to impress you want to make a good impression.

Now, there are special circumstances: if there is a death in the family, if you wind up in a hospital bed, if you are in the CIA and have been called to duty. But any other excuse is just that, an excuse.

This past weekend I experienced the “no call, no show.” Seemed like a cool enough dude but hey ish happens in the dating world. But he is definitely terminated (insert Sweet Brown line). This is not the first time. The first time it happened the guy was really shocked when he asked if he could have a second chance and I gladly said:

“Uh no.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Why not?”

“You know the saying: you get one chance to make a first impression. That was your chance, but good luck though.” (I can be a smart ass sometimes).

Good thing I stuck to my rule, the following week his girlfriend gladly let me know why he missed our date. Dodged a bullet!no-show-2-x-2-300x300

This rule can also be applied to phone conversations. I don’t expect calls all day, every day but I do expect calls from someone who claims interest in me. Usually there is a progression; we may talk two or three times a week, several texts throughout that time, and an increase as time moves on and both parties are comfortable with each other. However, if calls were steady and drop off I get the hint. I respect the “curve.” (Side note: Respecting the “curve” will have its own blog post in the future).

Moral of the stories ladies and gents: If you want to show your interest in a person…show up!

Melody Gross is the CEO of Renaissance reBrand and an expert at navigating the dating waters as a single mom, entrepreneur and overall cool chick. Follow her antics on Twitter and IG at @MelodyGross

Why It Works…

Over and over again, one of my endless  cyber stalkers  casual acquaintances will ask how am I making my relationship “work”  with having us four jobs (you could argue six, but for the sake of argument we’ll keep it at four) and a good two-hour plane ride between me and the mister.  I’m always confused by this line of questioning because, for me, the answer is a no brainer–we want to make it work, so it does.

People tend to complicate matters that aren’t all that complicated.  When you love and care about someone, you make it work–especially when you are both adults who are comfortable in their own skins.  When communication (real communication, not smoke signals), honesty, and genuine trust is at the forefront, the pieces of the relationship puzzle always come together rather effortlessly…at least they do for us.

Feels good to be with someone who understands that love isn’t complicated, it’s the situations that people allow themselves to be placed in that are.  My relationship has a zero drama clause built-in, and we LOVE it that way.  I’m so thankful for my current situation.  I couldn’t ask for a better friend and partner.  Remember y’all, it’s about the little things, the small moments.  Make each day count. Live. Love. Laugh.

Until next time…

 

 

Wedding Bells…Not! (Guest Post)

You all know how HORRIBLE I am about updating the blog…so I’ve enlisted help. Please meet my friend and fellow PR Maven Melody Gross.  Mel has graciously reluctantly agreed to contribute and share all of her dating stories, woes, successes and observations.  I’ve decided to pay her in candy for her wonderful contributions.  Enjoy!  And as always…Let us know what you think:-).

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Wedding Season

For most people wedding season is a happy occasion: new love, new lives, and great food. For the single female like me it stirs up other emotions: dread, anxiety and sometimes sadness.  Yes, all of the blogs and relationship “experts” (what makes them experts anyway?) will tell the single woman (because they are almost always focused on women) embrace singledom, use it as a learning  experience, take the time to get to know YOU.  All of that is well and good until you have a 103 temperature, the chills, your body aches and no one to run to the pharmacy to get you some Alka Seltzer Plus.

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Back to wedding season.

My cousin is getting married to the love of her life.  She knows this because she’s been married before and has something to compare it to. I know this because well, Facebook! Believe me when I say I am truly happy for them. When I first registered on their wedding site she immediately asked me

 “What’s your date’s name?”

 “I don’t have one yet, but I might.”

 “Well, I need a name by April 18th.”

 Sigh! “Okay”

 “Be good Mel so you’ll have a date.”

 Sigh! “Okay”

Well I had to choose between two guys, best friend #1 and best friend #2, the story of my life.

“Mel, I thought I told you to be good.”

 “I know, I know.”

This July I’m in my first wedding as an adult.  They are an amazing couple.  I’ve seen their love grow from strategically planning walk-bys of their offices to debates on wedding invites.  It really is all beautiful.  I am grateful and honored to be a part of their wedding. Date you ask!

 “Don’t worry; I have a few single guys I want to introduce you to.”

Sigh!

Right before I started writing this post I text one of my best friends sulking about being single.

 “Welp! Mr. Navy said he wants to be engaged by October, smiley face for me, sad face for your comment above, lol”

I can always count on her sarcastic, bad timing humor. She’s no longer of any use to me and she just added another wedding to the several I am sure to have next year.

So now what? Do I continue to wonder about the other side? Do I continue to secretly wish it was me? Who knows, but it’s Sunday and brunch is calling me.

 “Table for one!”

Melody Gross is the CEO of Renaissance reBrand and an expert at navigating the dating waters as a single mom, entrepreneur and overall cool chick.

Happy- Part Deux

Back in May I posted about my current dating/relationship status.  You can read all about it here.  I’m pleased to report that I am even happier than I was then. Life just keeps getting better and better–even in the face of adversity.  I’m seeing a man who really, really  gets me, something that I wasn’t expecting but am so incredibly blessed to have.  At this moment in time, I can honestly say, I have no complaints.  Ladies, good men are not hard to find, you just have to be open to the possibilites and let them pursue you.  Nothing worth having is easy. Anyway, I guess you can say that we are officially “going steady” (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase, so vintage!) and the journey so far has really great. 

I wont go into anymore detail because (a) I don’t kiss and tell and (b) some things are just meant to be private–i.e. relationships (that is, only if you want them to last). 

That’s it for now.  Until next time, enjoy some music.

 

Closing the Gap (Guest Post)

I’m not even going to apologize for my lack of posting…I’ve been so bad with updating (maybe that’s what happens when you are so focused on work, you forget to post about the fun stuff, lol.  Don’t judge me!).  Fortunately, Lilly Star, a dating and relationship blogger, is our guest blogger for the day.  Thank goodness for Lilly, or else y’all would still be waiting on a post from me.  Hope you enjoy.  Lilly is going to give us a few tips on keeping and maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship (Lawd knows I need to take notes, generally speaking my “specialness” doesn’t translate well via text and chat :::sorry Babe, I’m trying to do better:::).  As usual, comments are welcomed and appreciated!

Closing the Gap

Three Hints on How to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work

Sometimes you fall in love with the exact right person at the exact wrong time. I have a friend who had been keeping himself out of the dating game for years. He’s an attractive, smart and funny guy but when it came time to make a decision on women he always opted to keep his distance. Then, as though struck by cupid’s arrow he meets a girl four days before she moves halfway across the country. Something about her intrigued him and now with almost no history they are trying to make a long distance relationship happen.

It’s not pragmatic, some might even call it foolish, but when it comes to matters of the heart, rational thinking has never been at the forefront. 

What my friend is beginning to realize is that to make a long-distance relationship you need to combine a tension-free existence with total and complete devotion. These might seem like competing ideologies, but to make it work from a distance you need to combine the two for a mixture that will leave your partner swooning. 

Treats, Treats, Treats

Groupon is saving relationships. You can gift your significant other a thoughtful present with the click of a button. Sign-up for their cities updates and when you see something they might enjoy on their own (massage) or something you can enjoy together (museum tickets) hit purchase and send it along. Imagine being in the middle of a normal day and getting an email that your loved one just bought you a 90-minute deep tissue massage? Glorious. 

Think Before You Text

Jealousy is a pretty natural component of long distance relationship. We all know that the ideal is to never be jealous but when your partner is at Happy Hour grabbing drinks with attractive coworkers there is a little antenna within us all that pops up and tells us to protect our position. Don’t. When you feel like you HAVE to say something you often shouldn’t. Patience is the key, and you’ll soon figure out the more space you give your partner to enjoy their tie with new friends, the more they’ll seek out your counsel. 

Leave ‘Em Floating

Great trip!  One of the oldest and most dependable separation techniques used in relationships is to get upset with each other right before the scheduled departure. It’s completely counterintuitive but we protect ourselves from heartache by creating anger. That anger shields out hearts a bit and makes the moments leading up to and following the goodbyes hurt a little less. Of course, it’s also the first thing we regret once we get a good night’s sleep under our head. Even if your partner is picking a fight, stay strong and listen to what they’re really saying. They’re probably just anxious about another few weeks not seeing you. 

About the Author: Lilly Star
The lead female voice at DatingWebsites.com, Lilly is a professional advice-giver with experiences in dating men of all types, including the good ones that got away. Her passions include white wine, purple peonies and relaxing on the chaise lounge with her dachshund Samantha. Lily’s work can be read on dating blogs for both men and women.

Happy

Am I the only one who is apprehensive about saying: “I’m so happy” for fear that something unimaginable and dreadful will happen?  No?  Just me…figures.

I did something really scary recently.  I released fear and expectations.  I released the fear of the unknown.  Fall 2011 I started to get anxious…biological ticking and all that jazz (and that’s even with me not being 100 percent about wanting kids of my own). I was also slightly depressed about how long it had been since I was in a meaningful, “reciprocal” relationship.  I had been in “relationships…” bad ones, hurtful ones where I gave 150% and was satisfied with a 25% effort in return.  I was giving each boy man all kinds of second chances and benefit of the doubt.  Ridiculous.  Fortunately I woke up and got a clue.  And as a result, I purged.  I released the fear of being alone.  I embraced the blessings that I do have—friends who love me unconditionally.  Great men and women of faith who support me and always have my back…and will share their opinion (sometimes unsolicited) when they think I need to be made aware of something.

Although, I walk through life with a spirit of expectancy (I expect good things, simply put); I’m making a conscious effort, when it comes to relationships, to stop planning ahead and just “enjoy” the moment.  Our lives consist of millions of “moments.” Those moments are what make life special.  Currently, I am enjoying the company of a friend.  He makes me laugh. He gets me (well, he almost gets me, I don’t think he fully understands the extent of my Elmo obsession, but that’s a post for another day). Have we put a label on our relationship?  Nope.  Am I technically still single? Yep.  Are we dating? Depends on your definition.  What I do know is this…I like being in the moment.  I like not having to wonder about the what if’s.  I love knowing that for the first time in a very long time, our feelings are reciprocal.  The give and take is equal.  He cares about me just as much as I care about him.  That feels really good.

So the point of today’s post? I’m happy.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m happy…and that’s all that matters in this moment.

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

Faith and Fear, the catalysts in relationships (Guest Post)

Hi Everyone…I’m so pleased to welcome CM Writer as my very first guest blogger.  She has a wealth of experience in this arena (and clearly I need it; after all I own a dating blog, but I don’t date, lol.  However, that’s another story for another day). I really enjoy CM Writer’s perspective, so I encourage you all to read and comment.  Let’s get the discussion popping.  And for those in Charlotte, she will also be the featured facilitator on Feb. 20th for our upcoming relationship chat and chew at Red @ 28th in NoDa.  Truly a do not miss event:-). 

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Faith is the antidote to fear.  It works to both protect and push you toward the brighter life you can have.  Fear is the poison that binds you to past pains. What do you do when you are afraid? Do you cower in a corner? Run toward safety? Look for an escape? Or do you freeze?

Fear is learned.  It comes from bad memories, a reminder of hurts experienced once before.  Fear is this uncanny thing that kicks in our most innate fight or flight senses.  Being able to react to fear is great for survival.  However, most of us want to go above and beyond merely surviving.  We want to thrive.

In the relationship realm, we rarely call the feelings that we have “fear”.  No.  It is “intuition”, “suspicions”, a “sixth sense” or “being perceptive”.   All of those things are wonderful, except when the situation does not warrant them.

If you are dealing with an upstanding person, the worst thing you can do is give into your “intuition”.  It will have you going through phones, checking Facebook pages, and questioning every move and motive of your mate. There is nothing appealing about being in a relationship with a private eye who only has one case to his or her name…and that case is turning the relationship upside down until everything falls apart.  Who wants to grow in love with a snoop?

Fear also has a paralyzing effect.  It continuously whispers in your ear all the bad things of your past.  People don’t change…he’s just like the last one…Remember you do not want to be hurt again.  So you carry the fear of past experiences into your present.  You cannot move forward because you have never dealt with the pains of your past. Fear can immobilize you. 

Fear blocks the bad AND the good.  Fear causes your defense mechanisms to kick in.  You have a wall of protection around you, so that no bad can come near you.  However, the same wall keeps all good out as well.

Faith operates in the opposite direction of fear with the same good results but none of the bad.  Faith comes through learning from the past that no matter what comes your way, you will be okay.  Faith is built through trials, and sustained by your endurance. 

Faith allows you to open up to be understood and to see others clearly without the muck of the past clouding your vision.  Faith allows you to trust earnestly without being blocked by insecurities. Faith is not in the other person, per se.  It is in the knowledge that God will see you through any circumstance.

Faith does not lead you to being foolish; it opens you to becoming more aware.  Faith gives the benefit of the doubt.  Faith protects your heart while easing your mind. Faith provides you stability and security.  There is nothing you can go through that will change that, once you have even the smallest amount of faith. 

With faith, you don’t have to worry about what a person will do to you.  You can actually enjoy the relationship and build a solid foundation.  Snooping will never cross your mind.  Fear of being hurt will vanish.  Intuition will pour out all the senses to finally realize and feel the love and security that is possible.

Faith gives you a hedge of protection, but opens a pathway to your heart. 

CM Writer is an attorney and blogger. CM created Your Boyfriend’s Best Girlfriend Blog to showcase her close friendships with men. CM sprinkles her blog with her spiritual upbringing, southern sass, and prissy-nerdy-tomboy charm.