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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:

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!!

 

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I Don’t Like Good Morning Texts | Seriously Single

I feel like the title of my post is going to eliminate all chances of a guy texting me ever again. I’m ok with that.  It just means they didn’t read the entire blog post and I’m only interested in guys who like to scratch beyond the surface anyway. I don’t like good morning texts.  Let me be more clear, I really hate texts that only say GM. It makes me feel like I am on some guys distribution list of women that he sends salutations to in order maintain a certain level of communication, especially if we haven’t established a connection at all.

A good morning text from a guy that you have been dying to talk to is welcomed. I mean you have been anxiously awaiting communication from him, hell you’ve even had enough time to develop a crush. Under those circumstances, you may have even had a few brief encounters where you exchanged a word or two. A good morning text that derives from this situation is not what I am talking about.

Gather ‘Round I Gotta Story to Tell

By mere happenstance,  I followed some advice my best friend gave me. Which was to go where men go because the places that I like to frequent aren’t places where single men will be. My daughter’s best friend was having a birthday party at TGI Friday’s. All of the teenager’s at the party sat together and I figured it wouldn’t be cool for a mom to hang around so I decided to have a drink to soothe the uber hyper teenager I was about to have in an hours time.

I put in my order at the bar, ate, and drank by myself watching Zorn, being surprisingly entertained when I realized there were a lot of men at this bar eating alone. Most of them were watching a sporting event but alone none the less. I’m no stranger to eating alone but I’m not big on TGI Friday’s so this isn’t something that I would normally do. Just as soon as I realized that there may be hidden opportunities in mediocre dining experiences, I made eye contact with a man from across the bar and he smiled at me and I smiled back ( I mean it’s what you do when you realize you’ve made eye contact with a stranger). I immediately returned my attention to my drink then noticed he was headed straight for me.

I decided to be nice. I mean, I am writing a series about being single so I figured this would be good journalistic research. He approached me and said “I see you here all the time. ” I said, “No you don’t. I don’t come here often.” He laughs a little and then asks for my phone number. I obliged him and then he proceeded to ask me if I am single, well actually he didn’t ask am I single, he asked, “Ain’t nobody gonna be jumping out of the bushes on me, will they?” I let him know that I’m single. He said that he had just gotten off work and was having a drink and that he was interested. I laughed because, well his inflection was funny and a little forward, but I was willing to let it slide.  He said that he would text me and I said I honestly don’t text a lot but I’ll try to respond since I know you’ll be sending me a message.  We said a few more things and that was that.

The next morning I get a text from him, “Hey, did you at least lock me in?” I replied back to him and let him know that I had and that it was nice to hear from him and asked how he was. His reply, “I’m doing good BEAUTIFUL. How are you?” I said “I’m well.” His next text said “I are so BEAUTIFUL”. Although slightly redundant I thought it was a funny typo, I replied back, “Well it’s good you have high self esteem that’s a major key.” He didn’t text back for a while. I thought maybe my joke wasn’t well received. Eventually, he hit me back and let me know it was a typo.

The week went on and every morning a good morning text and every evening a good night text. Yet anytime I tried to stretch a conversation with him beyond salutations and compliments it fell on deaf ears and he returned back to his distribution list responses. I mean it was like trying to have a conversation with Tickle Me Elmo. This guy just could not get beyond his script and the funniest part was, he thought this was effective communication.

Hey, I’m no angel. I was picking up on what his was putting down. He was being robotic with the hopes of creating a generic enough level of communication to become at most a booty call. Every guy doesn’t have to be the one.  I was willing to entertain this guy or at the very least give him enough rope to hang himself so I played along. At this point, we’ve been texting for about two weeks. I’m not good at generic.  He would have been better off just asking for what he wanted. I might have said yes if I was feeling curious and generous. We graduate to phone calls  and he starts asking when will he see me again and I let him know that I was pretty swamped with work but I would be free in about a week. Finally after a week of trying to find the time to hang out I give this brother a day and a time. He gleefully agreed and seemed excited… as excited as you can be over Facebook Messenger.

The day comes and I confirmed, “Hey we are still on?” He replies, “yes we are still on”. With no more excited emojis, capital letters or exclamation points. I pretty much knew he was going to be a first hired, first fired situation and he would be terminated for a no call/no show. Just as I suspected I called maybe about an hour before to see where he wanted to meet and no answer. It was cool. It wasn’t like I was dressed or even prepared to leave my house in any way. I actually experienced a little relief.  I can’t image how bad his robotic game would have gotten over drinks.

Moral of the Story….I Still Don’t Like GM Texts

This guy didn’t know me. A hello at the bar isn’t enough for presumptuous greetings and persistent requests for meetings. If he couldn’t spark a witty conversation via text, Facebook Messenger or on the phone, this was headed nowhere anyway. This guy’s plot and character backstory were more predictable than Sanna Lathan in The Perfect Guy. It wasn’t the actual well wish of me to have a good morning it was the transparency of his end game. Oh, he did follow up with me the next day to tell me his mother was in the hospital. I just laughed and unfriended him on Facebook.  Maybe his mother was hospitalized I’m not sticking around to find out one way or the other.This guy probably has a girlfriend.

This is my second post for my series Seriously Single series. If you missed my first post in this series, be sure to check out Netflix is My Boyfriend. Expect to hear more about my adventures of being smart, busy and single. How’s your love life? Are you dating? Let me know in the comments below because I could use some dating inspiration.

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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Netflix Is My Boyfriend

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Before you consider having me committed hear me out, because we might just be sharing a man. There comes a time when you have to be satisfied with being single. In my twenties, I would have conversations with women and ask them how did they prepare themselves to be in a long term relationship. They all would say, “I got happy with being single”. In all honesty, back then I thought all of my friends were liars but now I understand because I am finally content with just me, well just me and Netflix.

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Being happy with yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be in a relationship it means that you will not get involved with someone for the sake of saying that you are in a relationship. Every now and then on a random Sunday evening, I wonder why am I not dating, nothing serious just some male company. When I think about how I spend my free time, I realized that I am basically sabotaging my own chances of dating. If I have a moment to spare I want to shop (hello, blogger), go to art exhibits, eat at the newest local restaurants, or go to open mic poetry. If I do see men at these places they are usually accompanying someone else. So basically the way my hobbies set up, I’m reducing the chances of meeting a single man.

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I have a full-time job, I write a blog, and I am running a business so dating isn’t a big priority for me. Most nights I am working on a project and when I finally can get myself to rest I turn on Netflix. I’m not watching Netflix like most people to binge watch a new series. I can honestly say that I habitually watch the same things over and over again. Once I am done editing a post or emailing a client I am downright delighted to watch While You Were Sleeping,  Sleepless in Seattle, or Hav Plenty.

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I could gush and tell you every sweet and hopelessly romantic moments in 90% of the movies available labeled under romantic comedy. The number of times I streamed Bridgette Jones’s Diary is shameful to a degree that I care not to describe. It’s almost to the point where if I do go out I can often drift off and think I could be at home with Netflix. I rush home to binge-watch A Different World so that I can watch Dwayne Wayne fall in love with Whitley for the 700th time. I was in bed watching An Affair to Remember for what had to be the 175th time and I thought “I think I may be in a deeper relationship with these movie characters than I realize.”

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I like the men who have been written into a script way more than the ones in real life who struggle to say something clever when introducing themselves. If a man is a little too witty that can be an indication that he’s player. There are just too many factors of uncertainty when I can just go home and lean on the dependability of Tom Hanks in the 90s. Lack of time and options has created a high level of disinterest in interacting with actual physical men.

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From reading this you could think that my expectations for a “real boy” are too high but I beg to differ. I love men in movies because they’re vocal and unafraid to make the first move, they’re thoughtful, and usually come  bearing gifts. All of those components are my love language. Netflix is also my safe space for romanticism. It’s just me and Cary Grant and there is no need to get over emotional about anything.

What can I say?  I’m busy and the thought of making the time to be at the right place at the right time so that I can meet a “real boy” seems like over exerting myself. I have spent the majority of my adult years being someone’s girlfriend and I am having fun working on me. The hour or two a week that I wish that I had a male companion is best spent watching fictional men. I’m sure at some point the universe will align and kismet will write an amazing man into my script but until then it’s just me and Netflix.

This is the start to my Seriously Single series. So expect to hear more about my adventures of being smart, busy, and single. How’s your love life? Are you dating? Let me know in the comments below because I could use some dating inspiration.

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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How Trusting My Intuition Changed My Dating Life

 

People may judge me for this, but I love The Steve Harvey Show. My favorite segment on his show is Love Him or Leave Him. In this section of the show a woman usually expresses her relationship woes and asks should she “love her man or leave him”. It’s rare that Steve ever suggests that the women “love him.”  Steve gives great advice to the women who seek his wisdom but the interesting facet of this segment is the woman always knows whatever she is dealing with is out of line.

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It made me wonder,  why do women seek validation to leave a situation that they already know isn’t working? Women consult everyone in the process of a break up; our friends,  family, even Steve Harvey. Why don’t we listen to our intuition? If we listened to our first minds, we would save ourselves from so much anguish and wasted time.

There is nothing wrong with being willing to work through an issue.  Compromise is a prerequisite for any relationship, but to what extent? I think certain levels of forgiveness are earned. Breaking trust at the beginning of a relationship is a preview of the coming attractions which leads me to believe that the willingness to commit to a bad relationship is easier than running for the hills. After finding something that feels like it could work, the thought of being thrown back into the dating market can make you feel like working out problems that you should walk away from.

Intuition is a thing that one knows or considers. It’s an instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning. I think fear can make you distrust your intuition because it’s not always tangible evidence. Second guessing yourself can have you on the inevitable search for hard evidence that can lead to going through his phone, stalking, creeping low in the trash can watching him from a window, to name a few things.

Just like there are 8 Stages of Anger there are three stages of knowing when to walk away.

 

Recognize

Something has changed, but you just can’t put your finger on it. What you are feeling could very well be a misunderstanding. It’s your responsibility to communicate with the person you are with. If after communicating the issue or concern, the follow-up actions doesn’t match what was originally communicated, the time has come to believe what that person does and not what they say. Maya Angelou said  “when a person shows you who they are, believe them.” It is easy to always want to see the best in someone, but when you only get to deal with the worst in them, it can become very draining. People always will reveal themselves, and it is usually in an understated fashion.

Acknowledge 

A revelation always shows up like an epiphany in the mist of chaos. It hits you, he’s cheating, he’s untruthful, he’s irresponsible, and my favorite, he’s crazy. I can honestly say from personal experience I realized a persons truth early in a relationship and not just in romantic relationships.

The reality is we all have faults, and you won’t find a perfect person walking this earth. Every time you acknowledge a downfall of a person doesn’t mean that you have to immediately write them off. The problem arises when you know that flaw is a deal breaker. Women are taught to silence themselves and their needs, If someone has a toxic flaw, a woman will likely show compassion in an area where she should be demonstrating constraint.

Acceptance

If I had a dollar for every woman who knows exactly what is wrong with her relationship and/or her partner, I could quit my job and be independently wealthy. I know people who are in great relationships who can identify areas of weakness. Acceptance at the beginning of a budding relationship occurs because nobody wants to go back to being back on the dating market. You know what’s wrong in your relationship, so you lower your standards of acceptance in order to accept a quality that you don’t want to deal with.

The reality is, in relationships you have to operate on a full stomach because when you’re hungry your more prone to making a bad food choice. You don’t go into the grocery store hungry the same can be said about a relationship. You have to come into acceptance of yourself and your own downfalls before you can accept someone else’s.

The reality of the 3 stages of your intuition is they can work for you and not against you. Since coming into an understanding of these three steps I use them to my advantage. I’m much more conscious in conversation with men. When I hear a key phrase or a statement that is out of alignment of how I want to operate in life, I come into acceptance immediately.

For example, I was having a conversation with one of my male friends who I know is a renown bachelor, and he said “I love women.”   I broke down that sentence ” I- love- women” women is plural. I recognized that I never see my friend with one individual woman.  I acknowledged his use of the word “women” which is plural, and I accepted that at this time in his life he is more concerned with the enjoyment of women than he is into committing himself to one woman. Meet people where they are in life.  It makes everything easy and you don’t have to waste time over exerting unnecessary compassion for an issue that won’t change.

There is a saying, “If you throw a frog into boiling water it will immediately jump out of the pot. If you place the same frog into cool water and gradually let the water boil the frog dies”. If a man approached you all wrong from the start, you would immediately dismiss him. What if you had more time to get acclimated the fact that you are incompatible? Don’t allow a situation to get to the boiling point trying to adjust to something you don’t want.

Exercise you intuition and stop blaming outside elements for poor decision making in relationships. At some point, you have to take ownership of making bad choices and stop making them. It is that simple. You have to make the conscious effort to separate hopes from reality. You can get what you hope for but you can not get what you are hoping for from every relationship.

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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!!