What My Mother Didn’t Tell Me About Dating

mother-tell-about-dating

I could probably name 100 things my mother taught me about women, love, life, relationships and marriage. However, she neglected to tell me what I’d face once I decided to start dating. I’m sure she would have told me more had she known. Also, there are certain lessons my father should have taught me. That being said, by the time I started dating, the rules of engagement and the dating landscape had changed so drastically, that there’s no way she could have prepared me for this. And that, ladies and gentlemen is where I’m going to start.

The Beginning

I would say that I started, “real dating ” when I was a freshmen in college. But I started back in high school. Needless to say, even back then, dating was a big mess. Although, it was much more simple. I could take a young woman out (broke as I was) to grab a $2 Whopper without the cheese (and if she was special) she’d get cheese on it.  Yeah, cheese on your burger meant you were pretty dope back then. All that being said, I was still learning how to approach a woman in a serious way. I remember sitting on the stairs of my dorm and thinking of my father, and how I couldn’t call him and ask him what to do. So I fell back on the teachings of my mother and there wasn’t much I could use other than…be myself (at least, that’s what I thought).

That was a good start. Although, a lot of the guys who were, “faking the funk,” were getting all the women, I remained calm, and stuck with what she taught me.

Being A Conversationalist Requires Skill

Listen, I don’t know about your parents, but my mom didn’t tell me that conversation is actually something I needed to be good at when engaging with a woman I liked. Sometimes I would find myself like… “so…. what … am I supposed to say now?”

Steve-Harvey-blank stare-things-my-mother-didn't-tell-me-about-dating

Sitting there at a loss for words, blank stare and all, It was painful! It was gut-wrenching. Some grown men still deal with this issue. But I learned a value lesson. Great conversation is a skill. Some people have it, some don’t. But you can learn how to-be great at it. Problem, was, I was still green as hell and super bold. Not a good mix when you have no idea what to say.

One time when I was hanging out with the fellas (while in high school), we went to the arcade and of course they wanted to talk to girls. On the way there I was dreading the disaster yet-to-come. Once we arrived, they went straight to the girls. I tried to play it off and act like I was that much into a game of Centipede. But then the craziest thing happened… I walked over and tried to kick-game to a girl! Huge mistake. That was not me, and I got dissed because I didn’t know what to say. Of course, I never did that again.

Through each conversation, I learned a new lesson, and through that, I developed my conversation-swag. Now, I can talk to anyone, about anything. And it only took me 10 years ((sarcasm)).

Be Yourself Even When It’s Hard

As shown above, I had a hard time in my teen and post-teen years because, I truly had no idea what I was doing. No one told me about the pressure to-be someone else. I also didn’t know that being me would be so hard. I am still the same silly cerebral, slash, creative I was back then. When you’re a freshmen in high school, women were not checking for a guy like me. They wanted the rough and tough guy. The Al B. Sure look-alike. Sure there were some who thought I was cute, but I am dark-skinned, without the good hair. Yeah… good hair. But I’m tall (that was one superficial thing I had going for me).  But it wasn’t enough. And I wasn’t the type of guy to yield to peer pressure. Be-yourself-things-my-mother-didn't-tell-me-about-dating

I wore Timbs, baggy jeans, a New York Giants Starter jacket, skully covering my kinky hair, headphones with the foam cushions that you’d always lose, cassette tape that popped, and a yellow Sony walkman. That was me. Down-to-earth, musically obsessed, always staying true to myself. However, mother didn’t warn me about how lonely that would get at times.

Mother Showed Me What Love Looks Like

But she didn’t show me how to [give] love and affection. As soon as I turned 18, here they came. The women. the older, and the women who were around the same age as me. It didn’t matter, they came and I didn’t know how to handle them.

I went straight to college after high school and I remember when a much older junior  (we’re going to call her, “B.”) was after me like lioness after a Wildebeest. Every time I tried to get away, she would smack my back leg, I’d fall down and she was all over me. She was really nice, and the odd part was, all the men on campus wanted her. But, she wanted me! I wasn’t flattered, because I was too young and naïve to the fact, and couldn’t believe that this beautiful woman wanted a cornball.

She told me, “you have to figure that one out.” Really? That’s the best you got?

B, was always very affectionate, caring, and talked to me like a man. I knew how to accept that type of love and affection because my mother showed me something similar. That being said, I didn’t know how to reciprocate the love I was receiving. That was something she couldn’t teach me. Responding to the affections of a grown woman are, “man issues.” Needless to say, I was shy, apprehensive and very cautious. I even called my mother to ask her what to do. She told me, “you have to figure that one out.” Really? That’s the best you got?

When It’s Time To Choose, Do It Quickly (and wisely)

But, who teaches you how to choose? What if you have two or three women that really like you, and they’re all nice and showering you with love?

I’m a young man, I’m not ready for this! No one told me it would be this hard. I learned a tough lesson though…

“choose quickly or deal with the consequences.”

Women are not one to wait. And even when they act like they’re being patient, if you take too long, they will either walk, find someone else, or give you the 3rd degree. Oh and, they won’t tell you their timeline. So you just have to know that you’re taking too long by the mental clock in your head. Basically, you have to guess. And you don’t want to run out of time before you reach the goal or, GAME OVER.

Running-Out-of-Time-mother-didn't-teach-me-about-dating

Whatever you do, be decisive about choosing a woman… or, don’t choose at all. Just stay single, but let them all know your intentions. And that’s what I did. I stayed single. I didn’t have a steady girlfriend until my junior year in college. And yes, I choose her.

No More Meeting At The Corner Store

When I was about 15, I remember hanging out with friends at the corner store, cracking jokes, grabbing some Jolly Ranchers, a couple of juices with the aluminum foil top, and just hanging out. Then, a group walks in…That’s when I saw the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.

She was dressed straight out of a Salt-N-Pepa video. Her over-sized gold painted earrings, black tights, red boots and 8 ball jacket made me reminisce the “Push-It,” video.  But that didn’t distract me… for the first time I was going to tell her how beautiful I thought she was.

That, was how it used to be. This is how mommy told me it would be. You see the girl, introduce yourself and the conversation begins. That was then. Now it is all about how savvy you are online. From dating sites to social media,

In 2015 Pew Research center conducted a study about online dating.  They stated that “1/3 of the people in marriages meet online.”

Now, you meet digitally. The innocent feelings are gone. People are now scared to initiate conversation. Instead of seeing the person live, they are online “catfishing.” Or, they are being dishonest about their relationships status. So you never know what you’re going to get. Dating in 2017, is truly a mixed box of chocolates.

My mother didn’t see this coming and quite frankly, neither did I. I miss the old ways of dating.

What Did I Learn?

In conclusion, I learned that my mother did teach me a few things about dating that I didn’t know she taught me until I was older.

  • Mom taught me, as a man I would have to stand alone as an individual (as a man).
  • If she doesn’t accept you for who you are, then she’s not worth it
  • How to love myself
  • She showed me what real love looks like

All the things I learned from her, including the lessons she didn’t teach me, all shaped the man you see today.

Thanks mom,
R.I.P.

jay-thomas-relationships-etcetera

 

 

 

You can follow my podcast here, or…
If you’d like to read more blog posts like this one, please make sure you follow me here.

Advertisements

The Village Doesn’t Have an Idiot

Yesterday, the surgery center called to talk me through my upcoming surgery. I wasn’t available and they left a message. They then sent me an email and asked me to confirm that I received it and understood what it said. I started freaking out. I mean – I’m having surgery soon. I was now having a panic attack.

I’m at work struggling to breathe and calm my heart down. I’ve been calm about the procedure. No surprises. I’ve had 3 surgeries prior so I know what it is like to go under the knife. No fear. Not even when my mother called to tell me that she can’t take off to take care of me. Basically, she’s on detail and will just be getting back from Hawaii and needs to finish out some projects before heading back to her original post.

Ugh! Minor setback. I breathed through that experience. She asked me can I reschedule my surgery so she can be there. Umm, nope. I’m getting ready to head into my busy season and the time is now. Pushing it back will only put me in a bind. Now, that I’m in management – I need to think realistically. To look at my schedule and be able to see what is coming down the pike. The date will stay the same.

I appreciated the fact that she wants to be there, but I now had to go it alone. I asked her could she take and pick Munch up from school and she said “Yep, I can do that.” Well that was the worst of it right? I can do this. I called Mr. C and confirmed that I needed a ride the day of my surgery. Mr. C started a new job and doesn’t have leave and has to be at work at 2 p.m. I may not be awake and moving around by that time so I need a ride home. No worries. I’ll figure it out. Called my girlfriend and she said she’ll be there. Tell him to call me when he leaves and I’ll be on my way.

Friends.

Damn, I’m lucky. Then my girlfriend started asking me questions like “Do you have a recliner at home?” Umm, nope. “You need a recliner.” I don’t have one. Research recliners I told myself. She then told me that I needed to get an app for the alarm so that I can turn it on and off so that people can check on me. I don’t like this idea. Still working through it. But, she’s packing up food so that my mom can feed me and Munch when she gets home without having to cook. She’s a great cook – my inner fat girl is getting excited.

Oh, I’ll be too groggy to eat right? Ugh! Another minor setback.

She then told me she would get me home and in the bed, but once I head up the stairs that I needed to be up there for about 3 days. Walking up and down the stairs is not good for my incision. Okay, no problem. I can do that. She said that she would go to the pharmacy and get my medications while I’m resting so that I can stay ahead of my pain.

This is a lot. I’m still aware that I will be alone during the day time, but I should be fine right? Sleeping and stuff.

Last week as I’m finishing up my staff meeting I mentioned that my mom can’t take off after my surgery and I needed a recliner and that my girlfriend was going to help me and go and get my prescriptions. My staff is awesome. Apparently, I can get my scripts in advance of my surgery. They told me to call the insurance company to see if I can get a nurse for a few hours a day. They confirmed that I needed a recliner and I remembered Rent a Center.

I talked to my niece who is coming home from college next week and she will be staying with me for a couple of days to get my meals and make sure I’m breathing. No real work to do. If the nurse comes, even better.

I’m excited. I’m working my plan. All is fine in my world that seems to be anxiously moving. That was until the call came that reminded me that I’m having surgery. I didn’t talk to the surgery coordinator at the facility. I responded to her email. The only issue is that she has a day earlier than my doctor’s office on when my surgery is taking place. How is that possible? I’m now confused as to when this dang surgery is taking place.

Finally, I’m running around like a mad woman to finish up some projects and make sure that my transition is smooth. I will not be checking messages or responding to calls. I’m going to let my mind and body heal. I will miss Munch’s concert on the 31st of this month, but I have a whole lot of people who will be in attendance supporting him.

Yes, it’s overwhelming as hell and I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.   But, hey…I’m proud to report that there is not one idiot in my village.

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/.

Wise

April 26, 2018

Dearest Munch:

Sometimes I can’t find the words to impart the wisdom that I want you to have about life. There are not enough words or moments. Our country is in a state of change. But, I believe that it will get better.

I want you to focus on the wise words by these great men in history. These quotes were picked to inspire you to live each day being a better version of yourself. Life won’t be easy. However, you are powerful beyond measure. Trust that. Trust you.

When times get weary or lonesome, reflect on the wise words of your ancestors…

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” –James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)

“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.”- W.E.B. Dubois

“Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.” —Arthur Ashe

“There are two kinds of worries—those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.” —Duke Ellington

 

Love,

Mommy

W

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “W” is for Wise. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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/.

He’s Not Your Man – Part 2

In yesterday’s post He’s Not Your Man – Part 1 I told you about the awkward situation that I found myself in when my having dinner with my male best friend. One of the women that he was dating actually showed up at the restaurant to blast him for having dinner with me. She was upset that instead of spending time with her he was spending it with me. His best friend of 30 years.

I was astounded that in this day and age (over 40) that you would literally walk up on someone who is not your husband or man to confront them. Why? It was astonishing and sad. I’m going to tell you why.

Dating is a Game

Back in the day (read prior to my marriage) I played the game. I was the woman that was pursued and I entered and ended relationships as I saw fit. I have been the woman that dated a man knowing that I wasn’t the only one. It was horrible. I wouldn’t recommend this to any woman. It creates a false sense of a relationship when in reality you’re just friends with benefits and in many cases you’re not friends. You have to play the game or you will get hurt.

If you seek a relationship then you need to step back from the man that you know is not looking for that. You need to date men that are on the same wavelength as you. You need to not look at every woman as competition because they are not. You are only in competition with yourself.

Recognize His Game

The key to dating and not courting is that you have to recognize his game. Game is game. No way about it. If ya’ll go out occasionally and are sexing and he doesn’t want to put labels on it, you are going nowhere sis. You are a place filler. Temporary in hopes of being permanent. But, if that’s what you want…cool. However, please don’t switch up and then say you want more and expect him to give it to you. Why would anyone stop living the single and free life and they are enjoying it? It’s like asking me to stop eating pizza. I ain’t gonna do it.

Be Cool and Know Who Your Enemies Are

I am not your enemy. I am the best friend. The safe one. The one who he can laugh with, tell secrets to and support. I am the one that he’ll show up to my son’s soccer games, take us out to dinner and help my son with homework. I am his friend. Nothing more. I am not your enemy. I could be the one rallying for you if you weren’t so insecure and you talked to me like a lady. I have a lot of pull. I am not going anywhere. It’s been 30 years. You are your own enemy. Men don’t want stress. Had I been another one of his women, you just showed out and I would have taken advantage of that situation that night. But, I’m his friend. Respect the role.

At the end of all of this, I love my best friend. I told him that he should stop sleeping with this woman because she’s delusional about the lines. She needs to work on her own issues and get a real relationship if that is what she wants. He’s not going to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

You-Cant-Change-Men

I was disappointed that she felt threatened by me and then was dismissive of me. I am an advocate of women and I never disrespected her. When she kept calling him as we were leaving, he was ignoring her calls and sending her to voicemail. I told him to answer the phone as she needed to speak with him. He did. She was yelling and screaming and she called me a “Bi*ch”. What?

He was a gentleman and told her that he would not tolerate her calling me that and hung up the phone. A best friend would do that. A man would do that. My advice is simple…don’t let your frustrations over not getting the love you want pull you out of your character. Your behavior is a genuine reflection of you and only you because in reality he’s not your man.

ced7604bc9da91fef145e9701189f30e

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/.

It’s Time To Accept The Emotional Shift In Men

Emotional-man-crying
Are men “more emotional” now? Or, have men’s emotions been repressed all this time by socialization, tradition, norms, rearing, and conditioning?

A few questions

Why do you see men dying much faster than women outside our reluctance to visit the doctor? Why do you see so many men dying of depression and hypertension? Why do you see far more men (than women) shooting up schools and committing mass murders?
In his article about male violence, Jesse J. Prinz of Psychology Today says:
Men perpetrate about 90 percent of the world’s homicides and start all of the wars. A recent article in a prominent science journal contends that evolution has shaped men to be warriors. More specifically, the authors claim that men are biologically programmed to form coalitions that aggress against neighbors, and they do so in order to get women, either through force or by procuring resources that would make them more desirable. The male warrior hypothesis is alluring because it makes sense of male violence, but it is based on a dubious interpretation of the science.
The numbers are alarmingly slanted towards men vs women. You see men in movies and on television running around killing 1000 people without dropping one tear. That is the reality men have to live up too. Be like that guy! Hard, no-fear, no pain, no hurt.  Be sophisticated and savvy like James Bond, never waver, do not let any man beat you at anything.  

woman-boy-crying
Photo Credit: Jordan Whitt
Well shit… I hurt, I feel pain, and I wanna cry (sometimes) dammit. So call me a punk. Call me less than a man.

Emotional athletes

What about sports? We label these men as, “warriors.” Until…. you see them crying on the sideline .
Then, you say….”he’s being too emotional.” You look at this man, as, well… “less than a man.” Why? Because he’s in touch with his emotions and the other men aren’t? Or, maybe because society doesn’t let men cry. So, as result, you see repressed emotion on the field. The only emotions these men show is anger and aggression.  That’s what we pay for right? Gladiators. Well, even Gladiators had feelings.

To make matters worse

You see young boys being taught they shouldn’t cry, don’t be a punk, you’re a sissy if you express yourself, don’t talk too much, “get-up (from a fall) that didn’t hurt!” Meanwhile we embrace the exact opposite in women. Women live longer and more fulfilling lives as a result. Societal pressures have doomed men. This was inevitable. Women have begun to jilt their societal and traditional “garb” and have traded up for business suits, careers, expression, aggression, leadership, stabilization of finances, and independence. I applaud these women for having the courage to go against the grain.. and I side-eye, sneer and laugh at the men that don’t accept them.
 
Basically, there is a shift going on. Not women becoming stronger than men. Not men becoming more “feminine.” Just humans realizing that we were created to evolve.
Are you prepared?

Monday Notes: Men

Great post on dating and relationships and what we women do when it comes to men. Please check out this awesome post by KE and her website: KE Garland I promise you’ll love her blog.

K E Garland

img_2774I have a lot of thoughts. Conversations occur. People ask for advice. People share things about their lives. I overthink the conversation, advice, or experience, and voila! A thought occurs. So, I jot it down in my notes section in hopes of writing about it on a future date. I have 221 notes on my phone. I figured the future is now lol. Here’s my first one:

I’ve listened to how my male friends talk about women and how they interact with them. I also listen to and observe how women interact with men. Sometimes it’s different.

Men don’t treat every woman like she’s their future wife. They don’t treat every relationship like there’s an impending wedding. Men seem to know which women are so-called “wife material” and which ones are not ready to commit. Consequently, they seem to treat each “type” of woman accordingly. Now, I’m not saying this…

View original post 189 more words

Is It A Date?

Is it a date if you go out with a man that you’re friends with and he pays? You’ve never been intimate and have no desire to be other than friends with each other. Would you consider it a date? What if you’ve been friends for more than 5 years?

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/.

National Boyfriend’s Day?

Are we just making up stuff now? Yesterday was National Boyfriend’s Day. Did you know it? Do you care? LOL.

I sent my own boyfriend (Mr. C) a notice that it was National Boyfriend’s Day. He thought it was hilarious and asked “Is that right and what do boyfriends get in their honor?”  Stop being nosey. I’m not telling you what I told him.

But I did some research and found out the following:

“National Boyfriend Day is here. Falling on third of October every year, the day is an unofficial holiday meant to celebrate (as the name suggests) the man you love.

Even though ‘boyfriend’ refers to a person with whom you are in intimate relationship, people also celebrate the day to appreciate the men they love platonically.” V. Sonawane – IB Times 

Pretty cool huh? We get Valentine’s Day and he gets National Boyfriend’s Day. LOL. But, seriously we are going to see each other this weekend and I’ll treat him to dinner. However, let it be said that I don’t need to show him how much I appreciate him by giving him gifts. He’s a pretty simple man and before you get it twisted, I don’t need him to spoil me with gifts either.

Since he is an avid reader of my blog I thought it would be a great idea to tell him publicly (and of course my closest friends) how much I appreciate him. Here’s my letter to him:

Dear Babe:

Thank you for the many hours of conversation that you provide. Thank you for consoling me when my worries and anxiety threaten to consume me. Thank you for the many dates you spend enjoying my presence and courting my spirit. Thank you for friendship, for prayer and for love. 

In honor of National Boyfriend’s Day I want to thank you publicly for being you. You have become my biggest supporter and my best friend. You help me to see that there are no limits that I can’t reach and you calm my tormented spirit just by being in my presence. I truly want to thank you for who you are and what you do. 

I thank God each and every day for you because you really make me love and appreciate the healthy and normal. Our relationship is ever evolving and moods change often, but you respect me like I respect you to give each other space. I want to thank you for always giving me time even when you’re too exhausted to give it. I want to thank you for the last year, for today and for the future. I want to spend every day loving the space that you and I create and honoring you with all that I am and all that I have. Thank you for loving my erratic mind, my quirky spirit and the essence of me. I love you.

You think he’ll like it?

What Does Love Look Like to You?

I asked that question to Mr. C the other night after I read this great post on FaceBook the other night:

I asked him what does love look like to him. He told me his response and then he asked me the question. What does love look like to you? I explained that love to me was about self-love first. I told him how when I was married I didn’t really love myself the way that I should. I wasn’t “whole”. I was looking for my ex-husband to love me. I was trying to get him to fill the missing pieces. But, in reality I was setting him up for failure. Why?

No one can love you more than you love yourself. If you lack self-love, no matter how wonderful a person is you will never feel complete. You will always feel as though you are missing something. You won’t feel like the whole person you should be before you venture into love.

05092016

Me? I was missing the ability to recognize, own and deal with my own issues. I was pushing those issues in my overfilled closet of my mind and trying to keep them stuffed in there. It wasn’t fair to him. It definitely wasn’t fair to me.

If we’re being honest though, I did tell him that I had three eighteen wheeleer’s worth of baggage and asked him was he sure that he wanted to get involved and marry someone like me. He said yes. I guess we were both gullible.

TowNrHi

Which led us to the path of divorce. But, I want to stress the importance of loving ourselves. Loving ourselves past the pain of our past. I didn’t. I didn’t forgive myself for past pains. I held onto it like a blanket of comfort when all it was doing was smothering me. I let my poor choices snowfall into making poorer choices which resulted into me feeling unfulfilled in my marriage.

611-77-year-marriage-broken-1940-s-love-affair

Not truly loving yourself allows you to allow foolish men to enter your life. Not every man that I encountered was foolish. Many just made poor choices that I just went along with because I was being that “ride or die” woman. What the what?

We are meant to be partners. We are not meant to be disposable pieces for a man. The loyalty, respect, trust and promises should be automatic. We should never take each other for granted and we should ride or die for each other.

If you are the only one riding or dying for your relationship then it is one sided. You feel as though you are always missing something. You feel like you’re not whole. Your mind, body and spirit are not in alignment. You are struggling. I know. I’ve been there.

I was literally struggling to find my identity. Who was I? What was the problem with me? Why did I allow people in my life who were not worthy or deserving? Why can’t I resolve my issues.

Relationships are fluid. They go where they are supposed to when you realize that the amount of love you have for yourself will never allow you to settle. Love you first. 

I learned that. I love me now more than I ever thought possible. I got over the pain (with Jesus, wine and therapy) and truly understand what it means to be happy and healthy. I don’t look for other people to validate my existence. I don’t waste my time (which is valuable) on men that won’t share their time freely with me. I exist in this space where my first goal is to love myself first. That allows me to receive love and in turn be open to loving again. That’s what love looks like to me.