Dating Deadlines

Is it wrong to create dating deadlines in a relationship? How long will you date a man before you make him “put up or shut up” and take your relationship to the next level?  I’m not saying that we should date a man indefinitely, but when do you expire your relationships because they don’t end in marriage? Do you give an unlimited time frame or are you more specific in your dating goals?

I read this great article about Why You Should Never Date A Man More Than A Year and wondered do all women do this? Do we give our significant other a timetable to move our relationship from one level to the next? Has this worked in your favor whether good or bad?

I want to know.

The article made great points and after reading the comments, the author said she was referring to women in their 20’s and 30’s. I thought cool. I commented and told her that it was a great  read and I understand it, but it wouldn’t apply to me as I am divorced and in my 40’s.

My priorities have shifted. I no longer feel the need to rush down the aisle. Now, don’t get me wrong…I have a dating timetable, but I don’t want anymore children and I have no desire to rush the process. I’m taking my time and really focusing on creating a healthy union full of good ole’ communication.

Nope, I don’t believe it will be perfect. But, I’m willing to work on me, while he works on he so then things can move to “we”. Marriage is a big step for anyone. I learned a lot about myself in my marriage and I learned a lot about other people. The 27 year old me really didn’t know herself.

Knowing your self is fundamental to a relationship. Don’t compromise on the things that you know that you can’t live with. It will destroy your sanity in the end. You will look up one day and realize that you wish this man would go somewhere and die a slow ass death.

But I digress.

Back to me. The point is that at 42 I need to be sure that I’m ready to get married again and that the man is there too. Munch can’t watch another family break up. I need a couple of years of dating exclusively for us to get to that level. One year is too short for me.

I’m looking to get remarried someday and won’t casually date a man that isn’t looking for the same. I explained that to Mr. C on our third date. He didn’t run. He agreed that he was open to getting married again.

I smiled. I told him that I wanted him to tell me if he ever knew that I wasn’t the one. Let me find my happiness elsewhere. He laughed. Probably thought I was crazy. I did tell him though that I would not date him beyond two years without an engagement to let me know that he’s serious (the 2 year mark is 8.15.18). At that point we would have dated for 2 years exclusively and almost 3 years. But, that doesn’t mean that we’ll rush to the alter.

I want to enjoy being engaged. I want him to spend time with Munch and I. I want us to do things as a family before and after we get engaged. We need to get Munch used to the fact that we’ll be combining families and lives and he’ll have a bonus dad. That is something that I don’t want to rush. Maybe I’m too cautious, but I’ve seen so many marriages put together without the kids getting an opportunity to truly know the other spouse that it creates a difficult relationship.

I don’t want that. I want to take my time dating, loving and being a girlfriend to a wonderful man. Go at our own pace (as long as it fits within my timeframe, LOL) and know that we are building for longevity. The other thing we’re doing is working our relationship on God’s terms. Not mans.

So, if God says “T, fall back.” Guess I’m falling back. I trust that what God has for me is just for me. The key is not to get married, but to stay married and if you rush your process you may find yourself ending up in divorce.

 

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Review: Being A Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said “I Do”

I’m beginning to slow down and get back to reading. I have so many purchased and unfinished books on my list that I feel like I’m drowning. However, I’m determined to be finished by May from all the published books that I purchased last year. First up, was Being A Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said “I Do” by Tanya Barnett. For sake of full disclosure, I’ve known Tanya for years. 

We all grew up in the same church. She’s older so I’m closer with her brother Rodney. When I found out that she wrote a book, I was hesitant to read it. Not, that I didn’t think that it would be good, but more so that I wasn’t a wife no more and I didn’t think it applied to me.

However, she started sharing posts that it does apply whether you are single, engaged, married and divorced and wanting to remarry. So, I figured that I would give it a go because I wanted to remarry. Can I just tell you that I loved it? It was a quick read and I couldn’t put it down. I saw so many similarities in her behavior and in mine when I was married to my ex-husband.

What I loved most about the book was also the prayers and self-reflections that she has at the end of each chapter. A very cool tool to help you evaluate what you see occurring in your relationship and writing what you want in your relationship. I had to write these down because I read the book on my Kindle app. But, I wanted to do the work.

She shares her stories of her struggles with being a wife and the problems she had in her marriage. Her husband seemed a little scary, but I realized that he was more like many of the men that I dated and even the one I married. Not scary, but scared. That’s the key. She loved the heck out of the man that God told her to marry. She accepted His will and realized she needed to change too.

She was like me and like many women I’m sure. Independent to a tee. Mouthy (yep we like to pop off at the mouth) and demanding. She recognized her part in the destruction of her marriage but she speaks about how she constantly prayed. She tells you how God was speaking to her before and during her marriage.

Now, this is important to me being a woman of faith. I believe in prayer and more importantly I believe in listening to God when He speaks to me. I spent so much of my life ignoring God’s voice that I vowed when I turned 40 to never do that again. I’m happy to report that in the last two years I’ve not done that.

God was all in and throughout her marriage and it helped her get her mind right. To be a better wife to her husband and to truly work on her marriage. That’s what I love about this book. It’s not all her husband’s fault, but she equally discusses her failures in her marriage. You will see yourself in this book in many ways. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy at destroying what we love.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to any woman. Whether you are seriously dating, engaged or married you will realize that you are not alone. There are many women who self-destruct a relationship and don’t fully examine the history of our partners prior to marriage. However, there is hope. All is not lost. See the beauty of what you created, do the work and allow God to work in your marriage.

It’s a great read and you can check Tanya out on social media at the following hashtags: FaceBook: Real Wife Coach ; Twitter: Real Wife Coach and her Website: Real Wife Movement

The best part? Her husband is writing his own book about this time during their marriage. I’m truly excited to read that as well because I love a his and hers point of view. Tanya’s book can be purchased on Amazon here:  Being A Wife Just Got Real

 

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 3/6/2017

I want to talk about grace today. Grace as a noun means favor or good will. I never really thought much about that word until recently. So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about grace and how it is not the same as forgiveness.

Let me tell you how I discovered that they are not the same…

I went home last month to Tennessee to see my father. It was uneventful, which was good. He’s recovering. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do. His family is helping him out.

I flew in late Saturday night and drove almost two hours to my grandma’s house. I got lost. The outlets in the rental car didn’t work. I had 10% of cell phone battery left. It was trying. I got in and went to sleep.

Sunday morning I went to church with a friend of mine to hear him preach and later that evening I went to check on my dad. We sat and talked for a couple of hours. It was good. He asked me to take him to McDonald’s and get him something to eat.

So, off we went and he started to talk about how his family mixes things up. How they get information confused. His mom (who is deceased) and/or his siblings. It was random, but he mentioned how the first time he brought his girlfriend Arlene to town from Chicago, people had assumed she was white.

I listened to him talk. I said “I remember Arlene.” He replied “You never met Arlene.” I said, “Yep, I did. It was one year that we happened to be in town and my grandma made us come over to visit your mother. Your family. Funny thing is that she didn’t even tell us you were in town. We found out by visiting. I wanted to walk down the street to the local park with some of my friends. I asked you could I go. You told me to ask Arlene. Why? She wasn’t my mother. She was the first woman that I met and you thought that your girlfriend should give me permission? She wasn’t entitled. You were the parent. I felt disrespected. You didn’t provide support for us. Neither did Arlene. Non-financial people shouldn’t have opinions. Especially not girlfriends.”

He just listened. He changed the subject. He doesn’t remember that I met his first girlfriend outside of my mother. Only that he brought her to Tennessee. I, on the other hand remember everything. I have a long memory.

My memory won’t let me forget the pain inflicted by my father. I’ve tried. Other things happened which I will tell you about later. I didn’t understand. I hadn’t felt bad in a LONG time. What was happening to me? I shouldn’t be feeling the pain of longing for a father who wasn’t there.

I came home the following Tuesday and met with my therapist that week. I told her what happened. She asked me “Why do you go and visit him?” I told her that God told me to forgive him. She inquired whether or not God told me to build a bridge with him? I told her that he only told me to forgive him. She told me “You haven’t forgiven him.” I told her “Yes”. She said “No, you’ve given him grace. You’ve not forgiven him. You have too much residual pain left.” She went on to explain that the pain is both normal and understandable considering the years of abandonment, but she needed me to think about what forgiveness looks like.

I sighed.

For the last four years of my life, I thought I gave forgiveness. I gave grace. They are not the same. The weird thing is that I never knew anyone who gave grace. I thought God was the only one to give grace.

I was wrong. We can give grace. I allowed him to occupy a space in my world after almost 30 years of no relationship by thinking I was doing as God instructed…forgiving. But, now I see I was only giving grace.

I was being graceful by allowing him to be a part of my life. I was thinking that I was forgiving him by letting him spend time with me and dealing with the parts of my life that were painful. The parts that were caused by him and others. But, I wasn’t forgiving him. I haven’t forgiven him.

I’m struggling with this uncovered feeling. I’m trying to process what I need to forgive him. It’s hard. It’s a process and ultimately, I need to both obey God and forgive my father. God forgives. God gives grace.

I am not God.

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is spent somewhere in reflection, thought and understanding of grace and forgiveness. I ask the question, “Have you forgiven or have you given grace?” Let’s focus on both this week.

motivational-monday-moment

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Remembering I’m Enough

I am enough. That was one of the hardest things that I had to tell myself. As someone who is extremely self-confident, I seemed to lose it when I got married. He became bigger than me. Not because he wanted too or even asked me to. It was me. My choice. I thought that’s what you do when you get married. You sacrifice yourself for the greater good of the marriage.

But, I was wrong. Marriage is much more than that. How can one be expected to have a healthy and functioning relationship when you’re jacked up mentally? If you lose a piece of yourself in the process of attaching yourself to someone else, how can you be expected to know that you’re enough?  Truth is…you can’t.

I couldn’t. I didn’t. Because I was broken. Broken people can’t seem to realize that their enough. Life and storms knock you out and you feel as though you are drowning. You can’t swim. Why did this have to happen to you? Why not? This was the question that I truly had to answer. Was I above trials and tribulations? I knew from church and prayer that the road wouldn’t be easy, but dang. I couldn’t drive over those spikes without getting a flat.

Until I realized that at least I have the ability and tools in my car to fix and repair that flat. I didn’t have to drive on that flat tire, damaging the rim. I could pull over and keep repairing the tire or use the spare. You see it right? The Aha Moment…I could do it. My attitude towards my situation and life’s circumstances had to change just like that tire or my soul would be damaged.

I realized that I deserve to be forgiven and I deserve to forgive because I’m enough. Knowing and believing that you are enough in the midst of difficult situations can impact your self-esteem in a major way. You doubt the little things. You act out because you feel like you’re not enough.  But, balance is what I’ve learned. Faith renewed. Spiritual growth. They happen when you stop acting out and expecting everyone to fix or understand the messed up you.

Once you start to grow and walk with the confidence you truly have, it shows. People can see the light in your eyes when you genuinely laugh. They notice your change in hair color or clothes. They notice that effervescent smile plastered all over your face. They want to know what it is it about you. You were broken and messed up last time they saw you. What changed? You know what you tell them?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

I Wish I Could

One of my posts about parenting. Please check it out.

im-self-sabotaging

I wish I could is the most hopeful phrase I know. It’s filled with possibilities. I like possibilities. They give me hope. Hope is promise. I like promises. I was sitting there watching my so…

Source: I Wish I Could

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Do Multiple Marriages Matter?

Last month, Steve Harvey faced major criticism from the black community for meeting with #45. Lines were drawn in November when the election was over.  Black people didn’t want other black people to cross them when it comes to 45. Black people are mobilizing in multitudes when it comes to interacting with 45. They don’t want people crossing the lines. Especially people of color (POC).

Right or wrong it’s happening. The fact of the matter is that 45 hasn’t given POC a reason to believe that he gives a crap about us. We’re in a new America and we’re not sure how to navigate it. We take it day by day. So, when Steve Harvey decided to meet with 45 it sent shock waves to the black community. Why would he do that? He’s been very vocal about his support of Hillary Clinton so why would he meet with 45?

The backlash was horrific. Harvey couldn’t stop talking about it on his radio show for days. I was getting tired of tuning in. You met with him and you felt like it was a good meeting. Oh, well. But, let’s move on with the morning program. It’s over.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issue. My point is giving you background for why my post is titled “Do Multiple Marriages Matter?” One of the critics that was loud about Steve Harvey was Tony Rock. He’s a comedian and Chris Rock’s brother. Tony Rock was upset and made the following comment about Steve ““This n****r wrote a book on dating! You on your third wife, homie!””

I definitely don’t agree with the language Tony is using, but the question that always seems to bother me is whether or not we discredit people who’ve been married multiple times? Does it matter to you? Do you believe that a person who has been married more than once can advise you on dating or marriage?

I often wonder will people see the advice I give out in regards to marriage and divorce as not reality because my marriage failed. It doesn’t matter one way or the other to me because I know too many people that have had extra marital affairs, STD’s and children fathered outside of their marriage and are faking it for the fans on social media. Those people couldn’t suggest to me where to get a good steak dinner. This is one of the things you learn in therapy…

Healthy relationships.

Many divorced people realize that they were in unhealthy relationships. Sometimes after they are married. Should they stay in them? Would you take your advice from someone whose been married 25 years over someone who was married for 20 and is divorced?

The key is not just to get married but to stay married. Sometimes you have to grow and learn yourself before you find the key to your happiness. Does that exempt you from giving advice on dating or marriage?

In my opinion, I think it makes you more qualified to speak about what you went through, how you overcame and any learning nuggets you would offer. All those can be valuable.

People want to know about your trials and how you overcame. People also need honesty. No marriage is perfect, but we don’t want those that are truly unhappy in a marriage and faking it either. We need a kindred spirit that says “I’ve been there and you too can get through this.” I said this to a marriage counselor one time.

My ex husband and I were living in NYC and seeing a marriage counselor. It was our first year and we were struggling. My friends didn’t provide much help so we decided to see a professional. She was very nice. Smart. She seemed to get us.

Problem was…she’d never been married. So, she could speak on textbook but not experience. It’s different when you’re married and your emotions are in it. You need someone who says “Look girl, I’ve been there and you can get through this.”But, she couldn’t.

Do you need someone who has only been married once to give you advice or would you take advice from anyone that has been married even multiple times? Can they give you both dating advice and marriage advice?

Talk to me.

 

 

Boycott Valentine’s Day

I love the idea of love. I love actual love. I love a lot of things. Heck, I’m in love. However, I don’t like going out on Valentine’s Day for dinner. It is my biggest pet peeve.

Let me tell you why….

Nine years ago when I was pregnant I had been on bed rest for the last month. My ex husband had made dinner arrangements for The Chart House (one of my favorite restaurants) that evening. I had been ordered to not have sex (umm, I’m pregnant and wanted to have sex with my husband) because they were afraid that I would go into pre-term labor. My life sucked.

I had two doctor’s appointments on Valentine’s Day. The first was my obstetrician who checked me out and said we could have sex. I was excited. I then went to see the maternal and fetal medicine doctor a few hours later who then told me no. I started to cry. He said, “I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I’m really concerned about your cervix shortening.” I was crushed.

Aren’t you supposed to have sex on Valentine’s Day with your husband? I was hormonal. I was looking forward to some big belly loving. But, it wasn’t meant to be. So, we went to dinner that night and the restaurant had so many tables squeezed in there that I couldn’t maneuver through the tables with my belly. I started to cry as I tried to slide my way to our table.

Men saw what was wrong and started to move their tables aside as tears rolled down my eyes. I felt like the biggest pregnant loser ever. No sex and I was too fat to get to our table.

My husband at the time was very comforting and encouraging. He told me that I was creating life and that was more important than anything, but I didn’t believe him. My self-esteem was shot. It was at that moment that I realized that I didn’t like Valentine’s Day and I would never go to dinner again. I felt that restaurants overbooked and added so many more tables to get the money in and I wasn’t going to take part in that foolishness. I was deeply wounded.

And you know what? I’ve never gone out on Valentine’s Day for dinner ever again. Every year that we were married after that my husband would ask did I want to go to dinner and every year I said “No, you remember that I’m boycotting right?” He would laugh and cook us dinner at home and that was fine with me.

This Valentine’s Day, I’m in a relationship with a wonderful man who I’ve expressed that I’m boycotting dinner at a great restaurant and he’s cool with that. He laughed. I’m not even seeing him on that day because it’s a weeknight and I have Munch. So, I will surprise Munch with a dozen heart balloons when he wakes up on Valentine’s Day. I will have a card for him and we will go to Toys R’Us for a toy after school and I will buy him dinner at Chipotle.

He will love it all the same and it will be a perfect mommy/son date. I couldn’t ask for anything more considering that I boycott dinner at a fancy restaurant on this day. He’ll kiss me and tell me that I’m the best mommy in the world and I will kiss him and tell him that he is the best son in the world.

And you know what? He is. Our love is perfect.