Archive of ‘Life, Love, & The Pursuit of Happiness’ category

3 Signs of a Bad Date

Signs Your Date Won't End Well

When it comes to dating some dread the idea, some can’t wait, and others just aren’t even phased by the thought; but no matter the emotion, no girl wants a bad date. A bad date is a waste of time, a mood killer, & depending on how bad it is may even be a self esteem killer. As someone who has had her fair share of terrible dates I can honestly say that there are a few tell tale signs that let you know that your date may take a turn from bad to worse, assuming it ever took off to begin with.

 Before You Even Date

Depending on how you met your potential date, be it in person or via one of the million dating apps and sites, a guy’s interaction with you before you actually go on a date can say a lot about what will go down once you finally get there. When you meet a guy online and he opens with calling you sweetie, hun, boo, princess or any variation, you should be concerned. You have a name and he should learn it, not to mention the intimacy he openly invited into the situation without any cues from you. Guys like this tend to be overly concerned about making you bae without really knowing anything about you. On the flip, beware the guy who doesn’t really talk much but is insistent that he’d rather meet in person. Some people really are in inherently internet shy & prefer real life interaction, but other guys are usually about seeing you in person to get their hands on you. It’s rare that he’s really saving up all of his good conversation for face to face interaction, if there’s no chemistry that was a loss for you both. A few messages/conversations that establish mutual interests & some fun banter are a good lead into a date, it’s never a great idea to fly absolutely blind.

Not For Your Convenience

Something I learned from ,The Male Think Tank of Twenties Unscripted, is that a guy who cares even a little about something with you will try to make things a little convenient for you. Now that’s not to say he’s gonna bend over backwards to accommodate with you, but he’s going to find some middle ground to compromise with your convenience. If a guy suggests a place after work that’s out of the way from where you work but is conveniently located around the corner from his place or job, then he really probably isn’t thinking too much about a great date, but maybe an easy way to get you back to his apartment. A noisy bar is a great lead into “my place is quiet and around the corner.” Also, absolutely beware of the guy who invites you to his place for a first date ESPECIALLY if you’ve never met. That guy doesn’t want to date you, he wants to bed you. I’ve heard multiple men say that even if they only had $10 to take out a date they would take her to a nice coffee shop & not invite her over to “watch Netflix”; that’s not endearing or him opening up his home to you, that’s him plotting, being cheap, and inconsiderate. If going on a date is an inconvenience for you but not for him, it’s a flag. My dad always taught me you shouldn’t make yourself so absolutely and readily available for a guy, and over the years that advice has made more and more sense.

 Sir, Your Hands

It is absolutely okay not to want to be hugged up with a guy who you really don’t know. A big issue for me on first dates is how physical men think it is okay to be. Slapping me on the ass an hour into the date is not okay for me. Men who ask why I’m not sitting closer to them, who excessively comment on my body, or feel totally at ease with laying their hand high up on my thigh without any body language from me that says “I want you to touch me”, are not okay in my book, ever. Men who can be intimately aggressive like this in the beginning have one thing in mind, and for some reason always seem to think that by being this physical they’re flattering you. When this is the progress of a date, my understanding becomes that you aren’t actively listening to me or our conversation because you’re so fixated on ensuring that you are in some form of physical contact with me. When you don’t cut these men off at the knees right here, they think that it’s an okay to get even more physically free with you. Men who essentially try to get me to sit on their laps on the first date are absolute red flags for me. I usually move their hands to a very appropriate & public place, and point out and state clearly that I’m not comfortable with so much physicality. Any man who tries to rationalize it by saying, I’m not uncomfortable with his hand but instead how society over sexualizes touch (I can’t make this shit up guys), gets my part of the bill in cash and an automatic goodnight. If this happens to you leave this date, leave this date NOW.

It’s no secret that dating is hard, no matter how you slice it. Your time and company are precious so don’t be afraid to be just a little selective when accepting a date. Keep an open mind, but pay attention to the signs and you could possibly save yourself a potentially horrific date.

How I Screwed Up 2014… Like I Knew I Would

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Here’s the thing, we start every year the same, with the promise of something better, a newer sense of self, and maybe some pounds to be shed in the process.The reality of what your year looks like, however is usually very far from where it began. I started 2014 with a couple of promises to myself, but the first and most important being to value myself more in every aspect. To me that meant that I would value my abilities, my writing, and what I had to offer anyone, personally and professionally. Cue the job/internship I took, that was paying me dirt but had me working like a dog. I was running someone else’s life and business for them and was getting paid the same as people folding shirts at the Gap, while they raked in thousands. So out the window went my value of my talent. To compliment it I followed that up with a handful of really terrible relationship decisions, where I clearly compromised on the things I was looking for, convincing myself that I was young and that now was the time to “be open”. Nope, I should have been shut tight and focusing on me. There’s a long trail of mistakes and bad decisions that I’ve left in the wake of 2014, but littered along that trail are some real gems.

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You Will Never Be “THAT GIRL”

You will never fit perfectly in your jeans.
Your eyebrows will never be identical.
Your lipstick will never be precisely straight and your eyeliner wings will always be uneven.
You will never be that girl.
You will wake up on occasion and want to be that girl, lament at the fact that you are not.
It’s okay though.
I will never be that girl, she will never be that girl.
You will always be THIS GIRL.
You will always be a masterpiece.
Your jeans will show everything you’re afraid of, and that’s perfect.
Your lipstick will smudge, and that’s perfect.
Your eyeliner wing will flop, and that’s perfect.
Being THIS GIRL, is perfect.

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Makeup Courtesy of Sweating. Because I’m Not Ashamed of My Naked Face.

We waste too much time in life lamenting over our inability to be that girl, when that girl doesn’t even exist. Your makeup isn’t designed to hide, correct, or manage. It is to enhance and highlight and celebrate. You don’t need it, but you like it and that’s ok. A man asked me why I hid my face under makeup and I had to ask why he thought I was hiding. I was celebrating my full lips, my wide nose, and my big eyes. What is surrounded by my makeup isn’t a mystery, you’ve seen me without it. I’m not ashamed. Don’t let anyone shame you for your pink/purple/orange lipstick and black liner wing. All that matters is that you know you are THIS GIRL.

From A “Strong Black Woman Who Don’t Need No Man”

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The other day I was happily chatting with a guy who I had been talking to for weeks, when he decided to blurt out that he didn’t think we could end up as more than friends. Not particularly troubled, since I really wasn’t checking for him anyway, I asked why. His response? I saw your resume on your website. I had to end the conversation there, because even though I had so many questions, the sheer ignorance of his statement prompted an automatic desire to laugh in his face and I didn’t want to be rude. I know I’m not the only woman out there whose ambition has been a direct turn off to prospective dates and boyfriends, apparently a lot of guys can’t handle it, but my question is why? What does my resume have to do with how I handle my love life? It’s 2014 why can’t I be ambitious and attractive?

For most women who are like this, you ended up with the label of being a “strong Black woman who don’t need no man”, but let’s be real you want one, and you’re entitled to that desire.  So you start browsing and you end up finding the one who sags his pants, one who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re, and the other one who thinks every word out of your mouth is  a theory on feminist practices. Needless to say, you’re over it! You want to give up because it seems like these men just aren’t cutting it, but then you second guess yourself, consider that maybe your standards are too high. Stop it, stop right now.

Being a “Strong Black Woman” is not the same thing as being an “Angry Black Woman”, although society seems to make them synonymous. Your intelligence, your ambition, your accomplishments are a gift that you should embrace and celebrate. You will have moments where you will want to down play them or hide them, in an effort to seem more attractive. DON’T. Once you get involved with a man are you going to continue to downplay it; what kind of relationship are you trying to sustain? You would think that the man who is the least accepting of your ambition is the guy who isn’t as ambitious as you, but beware of the trap. Those Black men who make you swoon with their suit and tie, NAACP membership card, and claims of consciousness, will be the first men to step away once they recognize just how ambitious you are. These men seem like the dream, forward thinking, and looking for a strong Black woman. The pattern I’ve come to see is that he really wants a woman smart enough to hold a conversation and support his movement, but not threaten his masculinity with their own ambition. Want some examples? Read up on the relationships of some of those Civil Rights leaders, Garvey might be a good start.

I say all of this to say that being a “Strong Black Woman” is not easy and when it comes to relationships it can be even more difficult, but the difficulty stems from a societal perception that when you are a Black woman focused on her career or her goals, you don’t have time, space, or the capacity for love. This is so very wrong and if you’re a “Strong Black Woman”, don’t convince yourself that it is true. We are not all Taraji from Think Like A Man , we aren’t waiting for a man to show us how hardened ambition has made us. For any man who thinks otherwise this is my eternal mantra:

 I love what I do. I will never stop doing it so that you can feel secure. I am here because I want to build something with you and when I come to the table I leave all of my work where it belongs. Do not mistake my strength for an inability to be vulnerable. I know how to take the backseat in this partnership. I can compromise, but I won’t concede. I will give this all that I’ve got. I will support you in everything you pursue and you will support me too. I am not here to compete with you, I want us to build each other up. 

Black women should not be afraid to choose either success or love. They should be empowered to understand that these two things can very well go hand in hand. Love me, love my ambition, and embrace what I will bring to the table. If you are intimidated by my resume, you weren’t ready for me anyway.