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

Attention Deficit: Stop. Look. Listen!

“If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay…”
— Oprah Winfrey

Ladies, I know you all have heard the above quote over and over again…but it is so true and right on point.  Today’s lesson is “stop, look, listen and react accordingly.”

We are nurturers.  We want to encourage and nurture relationships with the men we like, find attractive (physically, mentally and spiritually) and who we *think* could be good for us…and truly there’s nothing wrong with that; however, we sometimes make the mistake of projecting our own personal expectations on that of men who (for whatever reason) are not in the same space or on the same page with us. 

Have you experienced that euphoria of just getting to know someone you really like…he seems to get you…you get him.  There’s chemistry, mutual respect, lots of flirting.  You want to dig deeper, spend more time together, see what happens…BANG…road block suddenly appears, and you are like…what the heck just happened.

In an effort to explore this phenomenon, I’ve done an informal poll (no it’s not scientific, but close enough for my purposes).  I’ve discovered that when “he” senses that you like him, the man doesn’t think he needs to step up his game anymore…that he doesn’t even need to try.  So, this is the point in the “getting to know you” period where the “I was just thinking about you” calls and texts stop…this is where the late night phone calls and flirting sessions end….and (drum roll please) where the push to spend quality time with you all but disappears.  Ladies, if you find yourself being the one who is continually suggesting that you all hang out, that you all should talk or that you all need some quality time together…just STOP!  Simply stop, look around and listen to the quote above in your mind “If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay…”

It’s a truly simple concept.  If a man wants you (meaning wants to see you, talk to you, etc.) he will make it happen, regardless of how busy he is.  So ladies, let’s just stop…get out of the driver’s seat and let the men pursue us.  That way, we won’t need to second guess…AND most of all, we will get the attention we seek and crave. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Fellas, you are welcome to reply.

*photo courtesy of http://www.jessewilliamsonline.com/photos.php

On The Auction Block…

It’s for charity, so I’m trying to use my singleness for a good cause.  So, someone come bid on me in Feb please, lol…and if I’m not your cup of tea, there are several other young ladies who are quite attractive and accomplished that you may take a fancy to…Regardless, this should be interesting.