Is “Confident” the New Codeword For Fat?

I’m not sure if I’m paranoid or if I have yet to master the art of accepting a compliment. I have this sneaking suspicion that confidence is a code. A disguise lingering in the comments section lurking under “WERK” and the handclap emojis praising your latest Fashion Nova Curve purchase. Up until recently, I was willing to dismiss comments like “I wish I had that kind of confidence”, as innocent, but not all praises of confidence are created equal.

Is "Confidence" the New Codeword for Fat?

I’m not sure if I’m paranoid or if I have yet to master the art of accepting a compliment. I have this sneaking suspicion that confidence is a code. A disguise lingering in the comments section lurking under “WERK” and the handclap emojis praising your latest Fashion Nova Curve purchase. Up until recently, I was willing to dismiss comments like “I wish I had that kind of confidence”, as innocent, but not all praises of confidence are created equal.

 

I stumbled across a video of The Alabama Honey Beez drill team that my friend shared on social media.  Her caption read “These girls are getting it!” It immediately made me stop and watch it. I was filled with excitement and envy because I wish so badly that had some rhythm. When I noticed the caption from the original source of the shared video it read “I wish I was this confident.”

 

I didn’t want to take a defensive stance but there lies a certain level of truth in any initial reaction. It made me ask myself “What is so confident about a dance team?”  Who would voluntarily try out to be on a dance team if they couldn’t, well, dance? Is ability, skill and practice confidence or talent? The vibe that I caught from the caption that offered a proclamation of confidence was shady!

Shady in the sense that someone would make the assumption that big girls can’t dance. As if, they were saying if I was that big I wouldn’t be dancing let alone be on a dance team. Like this group of talented women need some proverbial confidence cookie. This video is not the only time I see confidence being used as code for “Oh look at you. You’re fat but look at you trying”. I always want to reply to “confident” comments with “take your confidence and….” (you know the rest)

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People are quick to say things like “I admire your confidence” after you post a picture of yourself on vacation in a bathing suit. What’s so confident about swimming on vacation? Please tell me. I think a lot of this confidence is people just doing what they genuinely want to do and it doesn’t make them any more confident than the next person. Fulfilling a desire to do anything isn’t confidence. Confidence is firm trust and you don’t have to trust anything to do what you want to do. I often want french fries from Mc Donald’s. I don’t trust Mc Donald’s I just like french fries regardless of the lingering consequences.

As a blogger, I experience blatant misuse of the word confidence all the time. People admire my confidence to have style or wear a bodycon dress. I know some people genuinely do lack confidence for their own personal reasons but when people say I admire your confidence to my face with a twisted mouth and tone riddled with pity, I know what they mean. I’ll pass on their confidence cookies. I’d rather eat Mc Donald’s, it’s less toxic.

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Like I said, this could all be just my imagination running away with me, but I don’t think it is. Your mother told you if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Most people translate that into if you don’t have anything nice to say find a way to rephrase it so you can still say something mean. If you have experienced the tail end of unwarranted “confidence” just remember your living your best life. Well if your best life is eating secret fries maybe not but at least you’re doing what you want to do!

To schedule, a personal shopping appointment or a virtual styling session click here. For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

We Are Rooting For #blackgirlfriendships

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As a girl of a certain size, I often feel frumpy in a t-shirt and jeans. So for a long time t-shirts have not been a big part of my wardrobe. This past summer I went to a t-shirt party with my best friend and the party was packed. I looked around the room and saw people of all shapes and sizes rocking their shirts. I realized that people like t-shirts. Duh, right? More than that people see t-shirts as a moment of self-expression. You can speak your mind, pledge your allegiance, or rep your squad on the front of your shirt. Continue reading “We Are Rooting For #blackgirlfriendships”

Why I Don’t Give A F$@#k What You Think About My Body

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My body is not here to meet your expectations

My body thinks that 36, 26. 36 is the combination to a lock and not a prerequisite to qualify for beauty

Excerpt from the poem, My Body – Laura Wize ©2017

I can’t possibly give one real f#$k about what people think about my body.  I’m too busy trying to create new norms. When ever my daughter comes into my bedroom unannounced while I am changing, she has to let me know, “mom you have a FUPA!” First I had to ask, “what is a FUPA?” (It didn’t take me long to realize she was talking about my stomach). We both get a good laugh in and then I remind her that my body is just as beautiful as hers. Anytime my daughter makes a statement about my FUPA I tell her straight up you know what say about my body isn’t actually affecting me. At 15, I can never truly tell what is penetrating her psyche but I do hope my body acceptance is rubbing off on her.

My body commands respect

My body should never be neglected

My body is the carrier of a beautiful soul, deep intelligence, and opinions

My body is filled with laughter, love, and soul food recipes

Excerpt from the poem, My Body – Laura Wize ©2017

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I was skinny as a teenager and it was awesome! When I was skinny I remember people ridiculing me about having chicken legs, about how high my butt is, and just anything.  As I got older I gained weight, then started the questions. You gaining weight are you pregnant? You gained some weight, too much ice cream? Even now I still get scolded for being on the small end of the plus size spectrum when people tell me you’re not really fat. People will make observations, that is what people do. I learned to stop allowing it to bother me.

I am human. I have days where I feel like I need improvement. I know when it’s time to get the salad and not the burger. When it’s time to work out and when I just could flat out careless. My body and I are in a relationship. When you are in a long term relationship you don’t “like” that person every second of the day but you’ve made a commitment to stand by them regardless. I try to give my body everything that it wants water, food, crop tops, and the occasional high waisted bikini. If someone has a problem with me or my body it’s us against them. Accepting my own body has helped me to be an advocate for all women’s bodies.

My body is made for couture but will slay in ready to wear

My body is rocking this sun dress, crop top, short skirt, leggings, boyfriend tee

My body is the reflection of both of my grandmothers, mama, and daddy

My body shows traits of my family tree

Long legs, round stomach, narrow hips, booty so high I could sit on a telephone pole without reaching

Excerpt from the poem, My Body – Laura Wize ©2017

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Ultimately you have to decide when you are comfortable and when you are uncomfortable with the way you look. The choice is not up to some asshole who makes a crude comment. A man made a comment about the way my body is shaped recently and I laughed it off because if the best he could do was talk about my shape, he’s lame. Body acceptance, body positivity, and confidence aren’t magical tricks. I’m not pulling these terms out of a hat and applying them as needed. I embrace them deep within my own mind as tools to better love myself so when some asshole speaks out of a place of malice about my body I can truly not give one flying f&%k!

My body is

A non negotiable term

And you will accept it in all of it’s forms

My body is a rebel

And does not need to conform to what’s attractive this week

Desirable body traits change like phases of the moon and I have come to accept mine

In it’s natural shape

In all of it’s glory

This is my body’s story

Read it and weap

Excerpt from the poem, My Body – Laura Wize ©2017

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

Blogpression, It’s a Real Thing!

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I’ve been quiet on my blog lately. Sometimes you have to take a break before you breakdown and I did just that. It started unintentionally I just wanted to celebrate my birthday without documenting it. I wanted to be “in the moment”. My birthday festivities had come and gone and I just could not get myself back into work mode. Blogging at times can become exhausting even when you love it. You develop a thick skin blogging but when you put a lot of work into something and you don’t get your desired results it can become emotionally draining.

When I get tired, frustrated, and just downright irritated by my blog I call it blogpression. All of the creative energy that is required to create content, share it, and try to achieve even a marginal level of success can get you down. It’s like giving birth to a baby every week. After you’ve loved and nurtured your baby people didn’t even read your baby. All the emotions that you feel after every post feel a like postpartum depression. I get restless and my thought rapidly going over how I could have made the post better and how I could attract more people. With all of the high-quality content that is available online, I wondered if I will  I ever measure up.

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All the pressure, excitement, and sadness swing like a pendulum and after a while I get sad because I haven’t stayed true to my posting schedule, which I had just gotten the hang of! My hard work, time, money, and energy is going down the drain every week. I needed to get back on the horse but I was thigh deep in my pity party and it kept sucking me in like quicksand. I sat down and gathered my concerns.

  • I wondered how can I get back to work when I’m creatively exhausted?
  • How can I make my blog better?
  • How can I empower women? For real!
  • If I address issues that deal with being a Black woman in America does that isolate readers who aren’t Black?
  • Do I care if I lose those readers?

I decided to get a hold of my emotions. My personal business motto is, don’t complain get better. I heeded my own advice. It was time to dust myself off because wallowing in self-doubt is unproductive and besides I was getting on my own nerves.

I began to analyze my perspective to ensure that I am producing a product that I am happy with. Why did I even start this blog? How can I overcome all the things I wish I knew before I started blogging? Blogging hasn’t done anything to me personally I just need to shake off this blogpression and refocus my energy on making sure that my message is clear to the people I am targeting.

I can’t do and be everything and neither can my blog. I created this space because I wanted to create the dialog with real women who live real lives.  Honestly, I did create this space for black women who don’t get to see themselves enough. Women who shop at Target, read Iyanla Vanzant, and occasionally listen to Trap music. (It can’t just be me) A place where you can just BE! Where you can like Sex and the City and Living Single, with no side eye.  If I can’t just BE on my own platform where can I?

Overcoming the ‘pression! I’m reading a few new books to get motivated to move past think blog-funkery and into new territory! I am about half way through my summer reading and I highly recommend these books for motivation!

Platform by Michael Hyatt is amazing! This book delivers on so many levels I would recommend this book for anyone who has to market themselves or a product. Self-management is a big part of blogging so this book is helping me think about how to make the most of my space on the internet. It’s also helping me focus and reorganize my thoughts about how I post so I feel less pressure from blog world as a whole. It’s also a resource guide because Michael shares all of the tools, books, and other sage advice that has aided his own success. Stop what you’re doing and read it.

Nothing wrong with a little online etiquette. Aliza Licht gives you the 411 on how to get your foot into the door from where ever you are in life. This book is a little fashion focused I mean her Twitter handle is @DKNYPRGIRL so it should be self-explanatory. Getting brands interested in your blog is awesome but how do you communicate with the people in public relations? This book gives great examples of how and when to communicate with professionals online so that you don’t make a fool of yourself when it really counts.

The reality is that you could have a great message and communicate it badly. We all need a refresher course in the way people are wired. What attracts people to some things and not others. This book breaks down the science of marketing in a way that helps you to see where you need to make adjustments. Nothing beats science, right?

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I think all bloggers get blogpression, it’s a real thing. You just have to take a step back and remember why you even got started so you don’t lose sight of your overall goal. Bloggers have to stop being so hard on themselves if they don’t go viral every post we make.  It’s too much pressure to be a sensation every time because inevitably Instagram will change the algorithm, Google will change page rankings, and Facebook will never be helpful unless you pay them and sometimes not even then! It’s just the natural rhythm of life you win some you loose some but you keep playing the game.

To all of my fellow bloggers are you suffering too? Blogging is awesome but making everything look good can take a toll on you after a while. How do you deal with your own blogpression?

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

Why I Killed My Girlfriend Ego | Seriously Single

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I have been under the misconception that I am the perfect girlfriend. As a matter fact, my girlfriend psychosis is deep.  It’s a cornucopia of stereotypical Stepford wife methods, rap lyrics, and rhetoric that I thought made me “perfect”. There were times I felt like a cocktail made of one ounce Tupac’s Me and My Girlfriend, three teaspoons Nia Long (pick any movie), and three part’s TLC Crazy, Sexy, Cool. The end result was a skewed understanding of self.  It also left me wondering why none of my boyfriends really knew me. I realized that me and my next level girlfriend attitude was coming in between me and any man I entertained on a romantic level. Continue reading “Why I Killed My Girlfriend Ego | Seriously Single”

Death & A Woman

 

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Death is imminent and someone could act recklessly in the event they felt death was right around the corner. In the event that I get a heads up of my last day on Earth, I hope I am in close proximity to money and a good looking man. My theories about love and relationships are 75% real life experience and 25% movie quotes. (Don’t judge me. Life imitates art all the time.)

My all time favorite movie is Moonstruck. Cher plays the main character, Loretta Castorini. She is newly engaged to her fiance, Johnny Cammareri,  who enlists her with the task of convincing his estranged brother to attend their wedding that is a month away. Long story short, Johnny leaves for Italy to visit his dying mother, and Loretta falls in love with his brother. My theory today is more about the subplot of Moonstruck which is the condition of Loretta’s parent’s marriage. Loretta lives with her family, and her Mother suspects that her husband is having an affair. When Johnny returns home early from Italy he goes searching for Loretta at her family’s house, and ends up having a conversation with her mom. Mrs. Castorini sits Johnny down and asks a question as if it were investigative research for all women, “Why do men chase women?”. Johnny replies, “When God created woman he took a rib from Adam and maybe men are searching for their missing rib.” Mrs. Castorini is frustrated by his answer, and sternly asks, “Why would a man need more than one woman?” Johnny uncertain if he’s correct says, “Maybe it’s because he fears death.” Mrs. Castorini exclaims, “That’s it!”

I don’t know how long I have linked male infidelity and death together without question like Moonstruck was some university backed case study. I mean, death does make everything more urgent, that whole “like we’ll never see each other again” bit is pretty intense and dramatic. I can see how a girl would want to capture that type of passion for a lifetime. I can also see how a man could perform under this pretense for a short period of time before realizing his death isn’t as close as he thought.

Just a few days ago I spoke with a new friend and he mentioned that he was married and that it was the worst mistake of his life. When I asked him why, he said that he never believed in contractual marriage but when he enlisted in the army he got married because he thought he might die. His reason was solid. Being married would ensure any benefits would go to his family. Still, all I could hear was, “I got married because I thought I would die.”

What’s up with that? Do men really make commitments to women when they fear death is looming near? Is marriage some symbolic death? They say marriage is the death of selfishness. Maybe the reality is that if a man hasn’t felt that intuitive moment where he has decided that he is willing to die for one woman every other comment feels like he’s suffocating.

I was flipping channels about a week ago and Baby Boy was on and I stopped to watch a few minutes. That movie is like a train wreck. I had totally forgotten about the dream sequence in the beginning where Jody sees his own funeral. Jody was totally reckless and unfaithful to Yvette for the majority of the movie and all I could think was, maybe it’s because he fears death.

I don’t know too many people who make sound decisions from a place of fear. I have male friends who have claimed they won’t get married until they’re old, which in my book is death adjacent. I think the reality is you need to find out where a man is at on his life’s journey. Having enough enlightenment to understand where a person is at on their journey takes a lot of strength. You would have to remove the emotional attachment and see your potential suitor from a neutral perspective. You may even need to analyze where you are at on your own journey to ensure that you’re both not operating in fear as a whole. Now that’s deep.

I don’t know if my argument holds any weight my death theory isn’t scientifically tested. It’s just one of my fun “isms” that I like to use as a coping mechanism. I plan on holding on to it until I hear a more compelling argument. The jury is still out on men associating women with death.

Do you have any strange theories? I would love to know if I am the only one with this crazy outlook on male and female interactions.

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

Living Legends

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This past week I had the humbling honor to be a part of the second Queen B Ladies L.i.T (Legend in Technique) Ball. It was organized by my beautiful friend Januarie York, who is also a blogger you can find her at The I is Never Silent. She honored 30 women for excellence in art, humanitarianism, and sisterhood. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

The ball honored black women who work extremely hard in their technique who may not have otherwise been recognized. All of this recognition was in the name of a wonderful woman Blanche “Queen B” Boone- Jackson an Indianapolis poet, friend, and all-around wonderful woman who died in 2014 from complications of a stroke. All of the proceeds from the Legend in Technique Ball went to Stroke Awareness.

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I had planned to document so much more but I was just overwhelmed by the presence of tangible Black girl magic to say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement. The evening began when the DJ played Beyonce, Flawless, and it changed the entire energy of the room you could smell the confidence being passed through every woman. I thought does Beyonce know what this song does for Black women?  To be in the presence of so many beautiful women that evening left such a warm and exhilarating feeling. I encountered women some of whom I knew before the ball and some that I meet for the first time who are legends in their own right. I share a connection with these legends and it created an unforgettable bond.

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As I stood there holding my award with my peers I was overcome with emotion. I will now live with this experience forever. I will hold myself accountable for achieving my goals even more than before.  I know that the possibilities are endless and that women can empower each other without malice or jealousy. We embraced our scars as a part of our beauty and we expanded our wingspan to soar to our highest potential. This moment was about more than slaying.

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Jumpsuit: Eloquii, Shoes: Nine West, Clutch: Charming Charlie, Earrings: Charming Charlie

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

My Baggage Follows Me | Seriously Single

 

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Well, there’s good news and then there’s better news. Which do you want first? Well, the good news is there is a new guy in my life. Dannie B is collaborating with me to share more of his serious and single swag. The better news is that I will still be talking about being single as well so this will be a dialogue between Dannie and me. We’ll be discussing what it’s like to be a 30 something dating in the Midwest. Consider this the millennial version of the movie He Said, She Said. (Minus Kevin Bacon)  I truly hope you enjoy my friend Dannie’s point of view as much as I do because it’s always nice to hear how things look from his side.

 

First off let me say that I’m excited to be partnering with Oh Wize One on Seriously Single!!! For a limited time, I will be providing some male perspective to the awesome topics she brings you.   You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear both male and female perspectives so be sure to tune in regularly to see what we have in store for you!

And now this month’s story:

A few days ago I attended my homegirl’s book release party for her book of poetry titled “The Art of Hurting” and the experience gave me the inspiration to write on the topic of dealing with hurt.  The concept behind the book entails living in toxic relationship and gradually building up the courage to move on, learning to work through the hurt you’ve experienced.  During the release Sunni Hutton, that’s her name, explained the feelings and events behind the select poems that she read from her book, and within her stories I found myself feeling that internal rumbling of knowing that I could relate to some of the things she was saying.

Anyone who’s ever been in a failed relationship, or a situationship, was moved by what Sunni had to offer.  One of the things that stuck out for me was the idea of needing to be happy with yourself first before you can be happy with someone else.  A part of being happy with yourself includes letting go of the emotional baggage that you drag around with you from the past.  As we all know there are thousands of memes that say this over and over but I felt compelled to write on this because I was able to see this as an entire process rather than a simple phrase that you can tell yourself just to feel better about your situation.

I experienced a relationship that I considered toxic years ago that left some lasting effects on me for nearly three years after it had ended.  Before I jump into the details let me say right off the bat that there is a stigma associated with the phrase “toxic relationship.”  When we hear it we immediately think of an evil-doing someone who was intentionally trying to be harmful to us.  However, in most cases whatever hurt was caused was not intentional.  Toxic relationships can be born out of misunderstanding each other, external forces that affect the partnership, and much more.

During this relationship I felt an indescribable tension with my former partner that began to appear after that coveted newness wore off.  A portion of that tension was related to preexisting family issues that she disclosed prior to us starting a relationship and some of it was related to our personal differences.  At the center of it all what our undefined yet opposing views on when each of us saw ourselves getting married.  She desired to be married much sooner than I did.  She made the assumption that when I said I wanted to be married that I meant before I was 25.  For me, I thought it was ok to assume that her timeline was closer to 30.  While we both had the same end goal neither of us was experienced enough to know that having the same end goal means nothing if you don’t have the same timeline for reaching it.

Being young and naive, like all of us were once upon a time, I thought our opposing ideals were manageable and that it would all make for some magical ending.  And yeah, that didn’t work out too well (#WhereBaggageBegins).  The relationship eventually came to a crashing end one gloomy day and I found myself upset that I didn’t end things when I first got the feeling to end things after an inexcusable event.  To explain it as simply as possible, she became involved with a coworker.

After the relationship ended I did everything I could to conjure up a negative image of my ex with the intention of reassuring myself that separating from her was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I couldn’t have a conversation about her with friends without saying something negative.  Given how things concluded I was justified in being angry with her,  however, I let that anger overshadow all of the good things that came from our two years together.  This eventually led to me saying less than desirable things about my ex when running down past relationship experiences with new people I would meet.

When I break down the phrase “The Art of Hurting” as it relates to my situation I think of a long, drawn-out process of trying to cope with something that I didn’t realize I needed to deal with.  I also think of trying to move past something that was hurtful without fully understanding how exactly it was hurtful to me.  It’s easy to identify a past relationship as having a degree of toxicity to it but unless you can understand the source you’ll be taking it right along with you into your next situation, even if you weren’t the source.  Looking back, I’ve learned that starting a new relationship with negative feelings about someone from your past only serves to keep you in the past and prevents the full potential of a new union from being realized.

So what helped me drop my baggage? When I realized how I was still being affected by something that happened years earlier I decided to do what I do best, write.  I decided to make a list of all the negative feelings that I had about my ex and our relationship.  This included personal traits about her and specific conflicts that we had.  One by one I went through the topics and indulged myself on why I felt the way I did.  With time I had grown to be able to better understand things from a more neutral perspective.  I realized that I had led myself to believe that all of the hurt was intentional but I was able to make peace with the fact that none of it really was.  This was one of the most liberating experiences that I’ve ever had.

Have you dealt with feelings of hurt that you’ve experienced in the past?  Are you willing to be honest with yourself about what’s hurting you so you can move forward to the relationship you really want?

To learn more about Sunni Hutton’s “The Art of Hurting” visit her website below:

http://www.sunnihutton.com/book/

Stay Tuned for more from Dannie B

In the mean time you can follow Dannie on Instagram and Twitter @DannieB224

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

 

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Are You In My Range? | Seriously Single

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One of my favorite movies is How to Marry a Millionaire, starring Lauren Bacall. The plot of the movie is three models share a penthouse apartment with the hopes of landing a millionaire. Lauren Bacall eventually starts dating an older gentleman who’s a millionaire. One night they come back from an evening out and just as she thinks she landed him he breaks up with her because he thinks he’s too old for her. Lauren Bacall’s pleads with him to not end their relationship and exclaims, “But I hate young men!”. That’s me in a nutshell.  Overt immaturity has never been a turn on for me.

It’s not even something that I thought would affect the dating ecosystem until recently when my friend Dannie B reached out to me about Seriously Single.  He asked have you ever considered writing about dating outside your age range or setting age standards for Seriously Single? When we got to talking it made me analyze my thought process about dating older men and question if it’s as effective as I think it is.  I loved Dannie’s perspective so much that I told him, you need to write this and contribute it to Seriously Single! I hope that you find Dannie’s contribution as refreshing as I do. It’s always good to flip the coin and hear things from a man’s point of view.

Are you in my Range? Dating in and outside your age range.

 

One night I was having a conversation with my bestfriend about dating older women, excuse me, more mature women, if you will.  We had gotten deep into a discussion about how many of the women that we’d both been meeting were outside of our age, most of them older, but some of them younger.  The void that we both saw was that it seemed like women who are our age, or within a year, are difficult to come by.  Fast forward a few weeks and I was having the same discussion with The Wize One and we both were intrigued to find out that this woe was not exclusive to men or women, we both experience it.  She shared with me that she often found herself dating outside of her age and believed that it was only women who faced the peril of not meeting people their age.  She was amazed when I told her that us men also experience the same issue.

For starters, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with dating outside of your age, whether older or younger.  The concern that drove this topic was the fact that people are doing so out of necessity rather than choice.  It’s one thing if you have the option to date someone your age, younger, or older, but it’s entirely different if you’re forced to go younger or older because the pool of people your age is non-existent for you.

I’ve always been drawn to older women for as long as I can remember.  I chalk this up to being born to older parents and having a group of friends that are mostly older than me.  Both of these have contributed to me being considered “mature for my age” and carrying myself as such.  In the most recent years, the majority of women that I’ve dated have been older, around five to seven years older, with one being only two years older.  I’ve also dated one or two that were younger than me by up to three years, but I’ve never been as interested in younger women.

Despite favoring older women, I’ve noticed that when it comes to serious relationships I tend to learn towards people closer to my age, one of my ex-girlfriends was my exact age.  I’m not sure if this has been a conscious or unconscious choice but it’s something I’ve become more aware of.  Within the past few months, I’ve found myself appreciating people closer in age because I feel that we have more in common when it comes to life experiences and where we’re at in life.  For example, someone who’s in their 20’s may be more focused on figuring out what their direction in life is, someone in their 30’s may be more focused moving up in their chosen life direction, and someone in their 40’s may be more focused on enjoying the fruits of their labor from the past two decades.

There have always been women my age that I’ve had interest in but I’ve never had much success with them.  I’ve been able to get their initial interest but in each situation nothing further would develop.  The theory on this that I shared with my friend is that women are drawn to men who can give them something that they don’t possess themselves, or feel like they can’t obtain for themselves.  A women who’s financially insecure wants a man that’s financially secure, a women who lacks creativity wants and man that’s creative, and so on.  After all, they do say opposites attract.  To a woman, it’s probably perceived that a man your age is in the same place as you in life and can’t offer you anything that you can’t get for yourself, at least on the surface.  For this reason, I believe women are always drawn to older, more established men that can provide security or younger more spontaneous men that can give them freedom.  

Ladies, what’s your take on dating in, or outside of your age?  Is age a consideration when dating?  Do you find yourself dating people your age, younger, or older?  Is there a reason why you may favor a particular age group?

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Dannie B

Dannie B is a writer and photographer currently living in St Louis, MO. You can find out more about Dannie at http://www.dannieb.com/ also be sure to Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @dannieb224

 For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

 

Married Couples For Jesus | Seriously Single

 

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It’s funny how the things you rebel against in your adolescence bite you in the butt when you grow up. For better or for worse, I have always been a person who felt sure of herself. I was always sure I wanted to get married.  It just felt like what you do. There is a song by Wale where he says he’s in his mid-twenties and still never been to a wedding. I grew up in the church I’ve been a flower girl at least 4 times and I’ve lost count of the number of weddings I’ve attended. I was born to a married couple and their circle of friends was married. I have three Uncles, one is single by choice and he’s not exactly bachelor of the year. I have two aunts and one is single. Singles are in the minority in my family.  Getting married is expected.

I grew up in a girl gets married environment. What I didn’t want was to marry a preacher or marry a guy from church. Nope, I was too cool and free spirited for that. I felt like a guy from church would have high religious expectations of me and I needed to be free. Why sign up for a race I know I couldn’t win. All I knew was that I cuss when I get angry, I wanted to move to New York City and dance in nightclubs.  Basically, I wanted to be Parker Posey in Party Girl.  A church guy would be against me and not for me.

Now that I’m a 31-year-old single mother to my 15-year-old daughter, I can describe myself as a former serial monogamist. I think Erykah Badu may have described me best as a “recovering undercover over-lover”. I have had my share of worldly men and I can honestly say there are times when I say, “I could have been in Married Couples for Jesus!”. Married Couples for Jesus was a group at my church.  I feel like the name is self-explanatory. It was an auxiliary for married couples. They would go out on group dates and even renew their vows as a group at times. It was basically activities for married couples because going to secular music concerts, the movies or night clubs was well frowned upon.

As a teenager, I was concerned about having a husband who would prohibit me from going to a Prince concert. I didn’t realize that my upbringing was shaping my expectations of my future partner. I grew up seeing men date women.  Single men took women on dates.  Married men took women on dates. It’s just what you did. They treated women well. Anything less would just be downright foolish. I witnessed men court women because they wanted to get married (ok this is a group of people abstaining from sex until marriage, or who at least want to give off the appearance of waiting).

I grew up in an environment where your partner was a reflection of you. If a man wasn’t taking good care of his wife it was a bad reflection on him. A man and his wife were one in the same so if his wife showed up to church looking bad he looked bad. It was a different sense of responsibility for men and women within their relationship.  It was more than just keeping up with appearances,  your spouse was a part of you.

With that being said, I haven’t been on many dates lately. To date a man with no concept of this environment is hard. I have a completely different view on how men should treat women. Some of the men who I have been in relationships with felt I had high, unattainable standards. Outside of church, there is the concept of a couple being two independent entities. You bring what you bring and I bring what I bring and we pick and chose what we share.

In today’s world, a woman must prove herself worthy of being married. It’s almost as if you have to be a man’s wife for a long time before he even considers marrying you.  Where in church it went without saying that the woman was good. Church men proved themselves worthy and stable enough to afford a wife. Lots of couples are happy to be together for long periods of time without being married, which is fine. I just know a lot of women who feel like they have to prove themselves worthy and get disappointed when the relationship doesn’t end in marriage. Which leads to this idea that every relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage is a failure. I don’t think that’s true.  I think failure is when a woman fails to acknowledge that she is single and refuses to audition for the part of the wife because it’s not a requirement.

In no way do I think “church couples” are perfect. No, I identified the cons of being a church couple before I saw the pros, not to mention you could be courted and well kept only to realize that you got married just to have socially acceptable sex and be divorced before your twenty-fifth birthday.

There is no safety zone for women who wish to be married. No magic formula or perfect audience to present yourself to. Married Couples for Jesus is just a moment of clarity that made me realize why I have different expectations than some of the men who I have dated. Being a badass at church camp made me feel like such a rebel but maybe I just had more questions than all of the other teenagers. My set of values isn’t as far from those in Married Couples for Jesus as I initially thought. (My 15-year-old self just screamed at that sentence!)

My fascination with the world was only met by the reality that there are pros and cons to every dating scenario. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, so no regrets. Maybe there is some guy out there who felt like a badass rebel at church camp too and has realized worldly women aren’t all they’re cracked up to be either. Maybe he’ll court me at the exact moment that he should in exactly the way he should. I won’t have high expectations at that point it will be shared values and not totally unrealistic. Although he won’t be able to take me to a Prince concert maybe we can go to The Roots Picnic and then go to church on Sunday. Clearly, I like churchmen more than I thought.

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!