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

 

 

 

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Motivational Monday Moment – 06.11.18

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment inspired me after reading this quote which says “Just for today, allow yourself to embrace all that you are every moment. Know that you are a vessel of light. Allow yourself to release all doubts about your ability, the mistakes of the past, the fear of the future.” It is by Iyanla Vanzant. Isn’t it wonderful? It truly inspired me this morning.

I wanted to tell you that no matter what you are going through you need to embrace life. Embrace the fact that you are where you are supposed to be at this moment in time. No matter what you are going through you need to understand that it is where you are supposed to be. Don’t doubt your journey. Don’t fear the future because your past. Your past was a lesson.

I didn’t lose myself in my relationship with Mr. C. I remembered who I was and where I’m supposed to be. It was a lesson. Sometimes we need to remember that. No matter the hurt, the pain or the anger you’re feeling – you need to embrace all that. You are are invaluable. You are so worthy of all the love and happiness and success you can stand. Trust yourself. Trust the process.

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Nothing in life is a mistake. It is a lesson and lessons are important. They remind us to keep learning. Just learn what you’re supposed to learn and know that it is preparation for your success. You matter.

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/.

Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I

dating-plight-black woman-love

When dating, the plight of the black woman is like no other. This isn’t intended to diminish the challenges and obstacles of any other race of woman. This is also not written to attack the opposite sex.  It’s written to bring awareness, understanding and empathy for a culture of women that has to overcome not only the unfavorable stigma attached to their pigment and the texture of their hair, but also, the negative character portrayal and barrage of stereotypical images of black women in the dating world.

Stereotypes of the Black Woman

To name a few:

  • The black woman doesn’t care about her body.
  • She doesn’t like her own hair.
  • They do not listen to their man.
  • The black woman is not marriage material
  • Black women have bad attitudes
  • Black women have negative attitudes
  • They don’t get along with other women
  • Black women hate white women
  • The women are gold diggers
  • She is always angry
  • Black women are ghetto and ratchet
  • She talks too much
  • Black women are bitter and heart-broken
  • They are lazy baby-makers
  • Black women can’t keep a man

Of course, none of these insidious and damaging characterizations of black women are true.  However, it is important for you to realize how these stereotypes (or any stereotype) impact the dating landscape and the overall psyche of a black woman.

Origins

Black Woman-Dating-Thinking-Plight

Based on a study conducted in the winter of 1999 by Laura Green of Virginia Commonwealth University. Sambo, Jim Crow, The Savage, The Mammy, Aunt Jemima, Sapphire and Jezebel are major causalities that result in stereotypes centered around black people and black women.  In addition, the stereotypes of black women go as far back as slavery days and have stalked black people like a specter and/or evolved into modern-day thought.

Negative Polls About Black Women

Black women are beauty personified. However, black women have been degraded since slavery. Even so, by their own men.  In video poll conducted by Buzz Feed researchers, called, “Do You Have A Racial Preference…” 2.4 million heterosexual interactions from the app, “Are You Interested.,” were used to determine preference. Users were classified by their gender and race.

The study revealed:

  • Black women are the least desirable among all women.
  • Black men responded mostly to women of other races, even though black women were 3 times more likely to respond.
  • Black women are the least replied-to group.
  • Black women are also the most likely to respond when compared against other races of women.
  • Black women respond 25% more than other women.
  • A similar survey by OkCupid revealed that black women were the least replied-to group.
  • 1 out of 2.9 men respond to black women

 

More on that OkCupid survey

Back in 2009, the basics of race and attraction looked like this:

men
—non-black men applied a penalty to black women
—while black men showed little racial preference either way

women
—all women preferred men of their own race
—but they otherwise penalized both Asian and black men

Here’s how the exact person-to-person statistics look: Focus on the Black men rating and then look at the Black women rating.
I gather a few things from these numbers.

  • Black men are willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are not as willing to do so.
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at -3%
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 16%
Dating-statistics-Black women
Photo Credit: OK Cupid

 

Some things never change…

  • Black men are still willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are less likely to do so than they were in 2009
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at 1%. Which is a slight jump from 2009
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 23%. Which is a 7% jump from 2009.
  • Black women are the only race to rate black men, “positively.”
Black Women-dating-statistics-black men
Photo Credit: OkCupid

Continue reading “Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I”

Child Support: His View

“Child support was designed to take a 1/3 of a man’s salary and keep him in financial peril.” – A man paying child support

This is a common statement that I hear from men who are at risk of paying child support. They may or may not have children. They could have a friend that is paying a large sum of money in child support or they could be paying their own large amount. But, what is the real deal with child support?

Child Support started in 1975, when the government established Section IV-D of the Social Security Act. Now, during this time many children were brought up in two parent homes (think shot gun weddings) and men and women were divorcing. In many cases men were regulated to still provide for the family so that the children didn’t suffer, because they didn’t believe divorce should affect the financial standings of the life of your children.

Men were the main providers during that time. Research showed that men progressed in their careers after a divorce because women took care of the children. Women were viewed to be the ones who suffered during a divorce which is why the child support system was designed to make their families whole again. Custody and child support are separate but now you can see why historically women were viewed to be the main caretakers of children.

Fast forward to the 90’s and the government was dying in the welfare program. Doesn’t everything come back to the almighty dollar? So, many people were on welfare or receiving public assistance.

Many people receiving assistance from the government had children. Should the taxpayers be responsible for the children? Yes and no. Yes, because children needed to be supported, but no if you laid down and created a baby you should be financially responsible for said child. This is why their was reform.

We need you to name your child’s father. We will go after them for all the support you’re getting from the taxpayers. Brilliant. Why should we pay for children we didn’t lay down and create?

Can we agree that if your child’s mother is receiving public assistance and you don’t pay child support that you should? Okay, great. Now that we know who should pay child support without question, let’s talk about other cases. Not questionable about support, but maybe the amount of support is what some men question.

Many men say that the decks are stacked against them in child support cases. They always feel that they get the short end of the stick because they have to fight for custody and then pay an astronomical amount in child support. When I explain that child support and custody are separate and why they don’t apply for joint custody off the bat, I’m often told it’s because they don’t believe they will get it.

Many states are leaning towards a 50/50 custody and visitation schedule among all parents. I would say that in many cases children under school age may get more time with the mother than the father. Is it right? Nope, but that is what the court may be leaning towards. But, custody is separate and we’re talking about child support.

In Maryland, the guidelines are pretty straightforward. Maryland uses an income shares model for its child support guidelines. The guidelines also take into account the income of both parents, number of children, cost of health insurance for the child(ren), current child support being paid for other child(ren), alimony being paid, alimony being received, the cost of daycare, and the cost of extraordinary medical expenses for the child(ren). So, if they use this guideline, what’s the deal?

The problem basically boils down to this…one parent making substantially more than the other and not being the non-custodial parent. If you get your children every other weekend and two weeks in the summer, you will pay child support. In some instances if you get your child 50% of the time you may still pay child support. Why? The income of the other parent is way less than yours.

Is it fair? Yes. Does it need to be revamped? Yes, but seriously what states have the manpower to do so. Under no circumstances should you just pay child support and not be allowed to see your children because the other parent is withholding them. Go back to court. File contempt. Let the courts get tired of seeing you.

Child support is for the care of the children.

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/.

A Sister’s Love and My Mom

Sisters, women are the keeping source of families. Recently, I recovered a letter my eldest Auntie wrote to her sister, my mother. My Auntie is 88 years old, will be 89 in a week.

“Both within the family and without, our sisters hold up our mirrors: our images of who we are and of who we can dare to be.” -Elizabeth Fishel 

My mother transitioned a few years back at the age of 76. May is a difficult month for me. Her birthday is May 8th and then there is the celebration of Mother’s Day. All my life Mother’s Day was spent with her. Even though I am a mother, there is always a major part of me missing on Mother’s Day. Grief does not get easier. I am learning that time, memories and the foundation of our roots, how one is taught moves the missing to the good memories, to the best of what love offers.

This letter brought tears, happy tears and I paused. I smiled. At times, I do not believe we realize the major pieces we give ourselves to others. The two were inseparable. My mother was quite the humblest person I ever met. Their love for each other is rare and so traditional.  I believe my sister Keyna put a presentation of letters written together by her children, friends and families for one of Momma’s many birthdays.

moms letter

These two were always stylish, always supportive of everyone and loved their communities. Our family bonds are important, worth keeping together. How we live is important. It is thirteen siblings on my mother’s side –we are huge! I have three sisters and three brothers. As you read this, I hope you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

Daddy and Momma
Daddy and Momma married August 8, 1959

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This post was submitted by Michelle. Michelle recently graduated with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is the mother of four and Umi to Dawn Michele. You can follow, like, comment on her blog: amichelleexperience.me

 

Motivational Monday Moment – 06.04.18

I saw this quote and wanted to share it for my Motivational Monday Moment. It says “If life can remove someone you never dreamed of losing, it can replace them with someone you never dreamt of having.” This quote really summarizes what I’ve been feeling these last few weeks about the ending of my relationship with Mr. C.

I never imagined that I would find and have a healthy love with a man that was kind, strong and passionate that it was hard imagining my life without him. But, that is not the case. Life happens. Sometimes you stand at that fork in the road and you know that you have no choice but to go left while they go right. It is life.

There are no winners in this situation. There are those that decided to make an adult decision about their future. It is a break-up. It hurts. I couldn’t imagine not being with someone that I loved deeply and admired. Someone who gave me strength. But, it is my reality now.

I am thankful for the experiences. I am thankful for the lessons. I am thankful for it all. Because in the end of this – I’ve learned who I am and who I’m meant to be. I’m optimistic. There will be love. There will be happiness. There will be joy. It is my faith that reminds me that I am not forgotten.

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So, for all of you that that think you’ve given your heart for the last time, I want you to stand strong and know that you don’t need to think that. You need to keep your eyes on the sky and know that love will find you. You will find the person you were meant to have.

 

 

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/.

Welcome June

It’s a new month. It’s the first day of June. It’s Friday! So many great things to celebrate. Let’s celebrate that summer is almost here. That’s reason to celebrate right? The weather has been all over the place, but I’m actually looking forward to more stability with the seasons.

My goals for June are to attend a few social events, recuperating, working on my short story and pay off summer camp. Munch and I will be looking forward to spending quality time with friends and family this month and I will be sharing my photos.

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What about you? What are your goals for June? Doing anything exciting?

 

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/.

A is for Afflicted

“Two people can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.”

Out of all the crazy stuff my Dominican abuela (I mean, grandmother) used to say, that was the wisest and truest thing to ever come out of her big uncensored mouth.

You see, the secret I’ve been keeping has been eating away at me. And with each passing day, the story keeps bubbling up inside of me, trying to escape.

I’ve never told anyone about what happened, at least not all of it.

But I have to get this weight off of my chest and the only way I can do it is by writing it down. If I was really smart, I wouldn’t write it down at all, especially online where people could find it. But I need to tell my story and figure out how I ended up here in the first place.

This blog is really meant for me and my eyes only. I mean, who would even care about my incoherent ramblings?

But just in case someone does stumble across this blog (and if you are reading this, I mean YOU), please remember that I’m not a bad person. I had to take Abuela’s words to heart and I did what needed to be done to save myself.

Truth be told, a little part of me hopes that you do find this blog. I mean, maybe you’ll help me piece this all together and help me see where I went wrong, though I kind of already know.

And of course, I’m writing this anonymously so I won’t tell you my real name. But you can call me “Cara”, short for “Caramel”. That was Abuela’s nickname for me because she loved the color of my skin. She also said that I was like burnt sugar with a bitter aftertaste. Back then, I never knew what she meant by that and the only time I had the nerve to ask, she had simply shrugged her shoulders and said:

Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo“.

Yes, the devil knows more from experience than from being the devil. Maybe Abuela saw something in me back then that I only discovered later and that I’m reconciling with now…who knows.

But I’m getting off topic. Maybe I’ll write about that later.

Right now, I need to start at the beginning and tell you how I met my abuser Dex..

Cara

_A_ is for _Afflicted_

Continuation: B is for “Bomb”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.

 

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This guest post by Marquessa Matthews. It is a repost from her A to Z Challenge and you must read all the posts in this challenge. She is an incredible writer that I’m praying gets to publishing a collection of her short stories soon. Please check out her blog at https://marquessamatthews.com/

Podcast 06: Knowing When It’s Time To Let Go

knowing-time-let-go

I want to share my 6th podcast with you all (I’ve been on podcast hiatus for a few weeks contemplating the universe and it’s creation)… I believe that oftentimes we want a thing so badly, we’re willing to go through hell to get it. The fact that we waited so long, fought so hard, that we don’t want to let it go when we finally have it.  I’ve been that guy.

Have you ever been in relationship or dated someone for a time, only to find out you should have let them go long before you did? The signs were there, but you held on? Or maybe you had separation anxiety and you were too fearful of being single again.

In today’s podcast, I will talk about the obvious (and not-so-obvious) signs of separation anxiety. Also, when you should stay, when you should go, and coping with hanging on to a relationship past it’s expiration date.

Please click on the stream below to listen:
Don’t forget to click the follow button on the homepage of the podcast and don’t forget to share! If you’d like to follow my blog you can do so here

https://www.spreaker.com/user/10276049/podcast-06-knowing

If you would like to direct download this podcast, please click play below.

No Fear

Today is the day of my surgery. I’m not scared. I am a believer in Christ. I trust that all will be as it should be. God is in control. I am asking for your prayers. When prayers go up – blessings come down. I want to be blessed.

I wanted to share one of my favorite Psalms this morning:

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;[a]
    he restores my soul.[b]
He leads me in right paths[c]
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[e] goodness and mercy[f] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.[g]

 

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/.