Dating Requirements: At A Minimum

I told you yesterday how I believe that women shouldn’t have to audition for the wife role while in relationships with men and the reasons why. But, let’s go further. Let’s dig into what we women should expect when dating a man.

There are four main things that I would say that you should expect from a man at a minimum. These are non-negotiable items. You can’t short change yourself and not have one because trust me you will end up in hell. The four main things that are a minimum in dating are:  respect, honesty, transparency and stability.

  1. Respect – That’s a given. If he doesn’t respect you then you should kick him to the curb. Stop wasting your time on a man that can’t respect you. Whether it is him doing what he says he’s going to do or not chasing after other women when you’re in a committed relationship, respect is a minimum.
  2. Honesty – This is also a given, but you would be surprised the number of women who will accept a man’s lies and try to repackage it and sell it is alternative facts. We have to stop doing this. I don’t deal in lies. My momma used to say that my daddy “Would lie between two rain drops” and that always made me laugh. But, as a woman there are men out there that lie all the time and for no dang reason or for the reason of trying to spare your feelings. A man that is not honest is not the man for you sis.
  3. Transparency – His life and all the many facets of it should be transparent to you. You shouldn’t have to guess who is family and friends are, where he works, what his kids look like, etc. He should be open to presenting you to his family and friends and trying to make his life an open book to you. I’m not saying that he has to do this on day one, but when you’ve both decided to get serious then he should have no problems being transparent with you.
  4. Stability – He should be able to support himself without you. The end. You are not his financier. Heck, you’re not even his fiance. A man has to be able to support himself without you. It’s interesting, when I was young and single and dating, men just paid for things. Took me out to expensive restaurants and we shared our life’s ups and downs together. They celebrated me. They knew how to date me. I never expected a man to take me out to dinner and he couldn’t pay his rent. A man has his priorities in order. That wouldn’t happen. A lot of men that I encountered while dating wanted to pay on the first date and then have me pay thereafter. Umm, why? Are you not financially able to date me? Then be honest. We can be friends and I can choose to pay for my own meal if we go out. I had a friend once tell me that a real man will figure it out. He knows his bills and responsibilities and he will not be expecting you to finance the relationship.

At a minimum, every man you date should have the above qualities.  If not, you will fall into some serious dating traps. What traps? We’ll discuss those in tomorrow’s post.

What are some of the things that you expect of a man that you’re dating? What are your deal breakers?

 

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/.

 

Auditioning for the Wife

On Saturday, I had a great service project with members of my sorority and other Greek fraternities and sororities. It was a joint effort where we went and cleaned up the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C.. It was a beautiful day and over 70 people showed up.

Afterwards, a few of my sorority sisters and I went to lunch. We were talking about men and women relationships when one of my sisters said something so profound and true. She said “Sometimes, women are so desperate to marry or prove that they are marriage material that they audition for the wife role in relationships.” Boom.

There it is. That was truth and knowledge about what I’m seeing now in relationships. I’m sure it’s always been there, but now more than ever I see women doing that. Why? Why do you feel the need to audition for a role you may not even want from the man that you’re with?

I know that dating has changed over the years. Black women are now earning more than ever and find it hard navigating the dating world. We are told that we have to sacrifice or lower our standards in order to find a suitable partner. Both of which I will say “Not true.” In many instances, we find ourselves fighting over the eligible pool of available men. So, we get creative in trying to woo the one that we want. How can we let him know that he should choose me? How can I prove to him that I’m wifey material? 

I know. I’ve seen many women do it. We have to stop trying to audition for the wife role ladies. Look, there’s nothing wrong with finding a man and falling in love and wanting to show him that you’re about substance. You want him to imagine a future with you. A future full of possibilities. You want him to imagine home cooked meals, clean clothes and a clean house. You want him to see you as your partner. An equal that has his back.

I get that. But, sis you have to trust that if you are the one for him none of that matters. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can be selfish. No, on the contrary you should show him the part of you that makes him imagine a future with you because of who you are not of what you’re doing for him. You don’t have to cook and clean his house, watch his kids, or take care of him financially. How is he showing you that he’s a man?

As a woman who has been married and divorced, I will tell you that I didn’t audition for the wife role with my ex. I didn’t know how to be a wife any more than he knew how to be a husband. Did I do things for him? Yes. But, when you do too much for a man it takes away from him being allowed to be the man he’s supposed to be. A man figures out how to manage his life without you.

Can you make it better? Absolutely. But, should you do that in the dating phase? No. You haven’t even gotten a ring yet. No amount of auditioning will make him choose you. He may even choose the woman after you.

My perspective is of course different because I am in no way rushing down the altar again. Been there done that. I have a wonderful man that will wait on me and for that I am glad. But, I don’t have to audition for the wife role for him. Mr. C sees me as the woman he wants to be with and spend his life with and you know what? I didn’t do anything special.

I just got to know him and love him in the space that we created. That’s it that’s all. I didn’t have to drop it like it’s hot or cook lavish home cooked meals for him. In fact in the almost two years we’ve been dating, I’ve never cooked a meal for him.  I actually told him that I probably won’t cook a lot, but would be willing to take turns cooking. He accepts that. He knows that I encourage his spirit, pray for him, love him and just allow him to lead us. That guiding principle has allowed us to create boundaries and respect the space we’re creating.

I don’t need to audition. The role is mine. I’m just not ready to get married again. But, the thing is this…he knows what he’s getting and I know the same.

 

Do you believe that women audition to be the wife in a man’s life? Have you ever done it? What did you do to break the cycle of auditioning?

 

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/.

 

Reblog: Visualize Love

This is a reblog of a prior post and I wanted to share it with you. What’s interesting is that Mr. C and I met at the end of 2015 and I have the kind of love that I visualized. You can too. Just believe…

You know what? I want to love and be in love. That was my birthday wish for 2015. It’s only two months into the new year, but it’s February and this month is about love (at least until the 14th, LOL) and I wanted to make sure that I verbalized and visualized my wish. Yep, visualized. Love hasn’t happened so I started thinking about creating a vision board for love. But, before that I needed to be specific about the kind of love I wanted. So, here goes…

I want the kind of love that leaves no doubt. You know that kind of love where he walks in the door and sees me and his face lights up because being home with me is better than being out in the world. Why? Because I provide refuge from his journey fighting all the evil forces outside of our home. The kind of good loving where we calm each other’s weary spirit just by being in the same vicinity. Where we accept that we are not perfect, but we vow that we will never demean or belittle each other. Where we won’t call each other out our names in anger and where we will always make up before we go to bed because we know that by staying angry and sleeping with it we are inviting trouble into our home and we are not having that.

I want the kind of love where my son will feel the strength of this man’s spirit and know that his mommy is in good hands because THIS MAN loves his mommy almost as much as he does and that makes him feel safe. I want the kind of love that a strong man won’t ever deny and he would tell a woman in his office or a man on the streets that no one is better for him than me. Why? Because I am the missing puzzle he’s searched his whole life to find and he knows that we just fit.

I want the kind of love where disappointments are just that. They are not preludes to bigger blow-ups or causes for domestic violence. I want a strong and healthy man who can talk and communicate his feelings to me both good and bad and know that I will always listen. Why? Because he talks to me as an equal partner and not as a last resort. I am the first person he finds when his world seems out of balance because like I said before we calm each other’s weary spirit.

I want the kind of love that will leave me breathless when I talk about the man that God has sent my way. The man who makes me smile just because he opened his eyes. The man who knows that I love him more than I could ever say and that each time I cook for him, it is because I want to and not because he expects me too.

I want the kind of love that doesn’t hurt. You know the kind of love that they talk about in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I want that old fashioned love that Frankie Beverly and Luther Vandross sang about. I want the kind of love where we know each other’s love language and we make sure that we are listening and embracing the language. I want that good ole love that won’t ever fail. That’s what kind of love I’m visualizing in 2015. But, until it comes, I will continue to love, honor and respect myself. I will strive each day to be the best person I can be until the day that God sends that verbalized and visualized kind of love my way.

LOVE_sculpture_NY

 

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 Diary: Treat Em Right

I am always looking for new ways to work on my relationship with Mr. C and just trying to be a good girlfriend. I’ve never been a girlfriend for long and I wasn’t concerned about my exes feelings and we were young  that it didn’t matter. As, I’m now over 40 and constantly learning myself, I’ve learned to focus on communication with Mr. C as a means to strengthen our relationship.

Why? Because I love him. And? I love him more than being vulnerable. I actually hate being vulnerable. I said it. I feel like it opens me up and you can see what I’m really feeling. I hate showing my feelings. Ugh!

But, I do with Mr. C. Even when I try not to, he knows me well enough to tell when something is wrong. He pays attention to me. Especially to my tone. It’s a good and bad thing at times.

That being said I understand the importance of making sure that I’m meeting his needs. I don’t ask all the time, but I think it’s important to find out if there are things that he desires of me that I’m just not paying attention too. Blame it on my short attention span, but he deserves to know that I’m invested and concerned about him as a man, as a father, as a son and as a human being. I’m paying attention.

So, I asked him three questions to do a relationship check-up and find out how I’m doing and give myself a tune-up if need be so that we can be on one accord. My 3 questions were as follows:

  1. What things could I do to strengthen our communication?
  2. Do you think I’m open to your ideas and/or suggestions?
  3. Do you believe that I value and respect our time together? Do I put you first?

His responses were:

  1. When we make plans/meeting each other lets make sure we communicate that we are on the same pages, from beginning to end.
  2. I believe you are but sometimes my ideas are shot down.  i.e.  meeting for breakfast…its not about us eating just sitting and talking..connecting before you go to work.
  3. You do except for when you get that social media buzz.  but it doesn’t bother me because I get it…I completely understand when there’s a need to check our devices.

Yeah, he responded! However, I’m not surprised. He’s a great guy who is open to me reaching out and soliciting input at any moment. That being said it looks like I have work to do. I agree with #1 and I realized that I do #2 and #3 so I have to check myself and make sure that I’m being present in the moment and not shooting down my man’s ideas. I can be a negative Nancy and I need to work on that. Also, I need to make sure that he has my undivided attention and turn my head away from my phone.

Now, Mr. C wanted me to answer the same questions about him. Here’s how I responded:

  1. You could confirm date/time and locations anytime we are meeting. Make sure that we are on the same page from beginning to end. You could also talk to me more. Let me know more of what you think about things that I say or do.
  2. I don’t understand when I mention something that you don’t really give a yes or no response right at that moment. I feel like I’m being blown off in some ways so then I don’t want to suggest things. I know it’s not true, but I need you to either 1. answer immediately or 2. write it down and follow-up with me timely. By not following up it makes me feel like you don’t care about it.
  3. Yes, I believe that you value our time together and yes I believe that you try to put me first.

Yep, time for us to get to work!

relationships-require-work

 

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 Parents – Part II

This is a continuation from my post Dating Parents – Part I.

After calming down, I said to Munch “Honey, we’re going out tonight with Mr. C and his son and you will be on your best behavior, okay?” That was the end. I wasn’t going to let this little boy run my life. I was the adult. He has to get over it right?

Well, he didn’t. He acted like the biggest baby. He was whiny and wanted to sit in my face and have me hold him (he’s 85 pounds) and kiss him all through dinner. It was excruciating. He then made a comment about Mr. C was lucky that he allowed him to sit next to me. He always sits next to his mommy.

Side bar…he does always sit next to me. It is hilarious. We will go out to dinner and instead of sitting across from me, he wants to sit right next to me. I will always ask “Don’t you want to sit across from me?” He’ll respond “No, I want to sit next to you.”

I had to laugh. I responded “Munch, I told you to sit across from me because I wanted to sit next to Mr. C. He’s not lucky.

We ended dinner and said good-bye. Over the next couple of days Munch started acting like Mr. C was the biggest threat to his world. Anytime I was on the phone with him he had to interrupt. He needed to be heard.

Ugh. It was frustrating as heck.

My mom then kept him during the winter break and when they were out one day he told her how I always shut the door in his face when I’m talking to Mr. C. She then proceeds to tell me how I can’t do that. I told her that he’s not being honest and that I have my bedroom door shut and that when he comes into my room, I make him exit and knock on the door before entering.

I told her that the reason that I do that is because when he spent the night over her other daughter’s house that he didn’t knock on their bedroom door and just opened it. They weren’t presentable and she was mortified. She then asked me why I don’t teach him to knock before entering. I then realized that I needed to do it. So, it’s not because I’m on the phone with Mr. C but I’m trying to teach him manners.

I was exhausted by the gall of my little brown eyed boy. He then told his Nana how his mommy was going to marry Mr. C and then we would have other children and he will be forgotten. My mom said, “Yeah, I told him that wasn’t true. I explained that there is an age limit on having children and I thought you were too old.” I laughed.

I needed to talk to that little boy. I needed to hear what’s going on in his mind. My brother offered to talk to him. To see if he felt like this only because it’s me or does he treat his dad like this.

I couldn’t wait on my brother. He was my son and I wanted to talk to him. I did talk to him. I had him lay on my bed and hugged and kissed him. We just lay there. I was hugging and snuggling my little boy. I then talked to him about Mr. C. I explained that I loved Mr. C. That Mr. C makes mommy happy. That he’s a great man and that he wants to get to know him.

I asked him what’s his concern? He asked “Do you love him more than me mommy?” I looked him in the face and said “No, baby. I could never love anyone more than you. The first sound you ever heard was my heartbeat and we are more connected than anyone.” I began to explain that me loving a man is separate and different than loving a child and that my heart was big enough to love them both.

I asked him “Don’t you want me to be happy like your dad?” He said, “Yeah, but don’t I make you happy?” I told him that of course he does but that doesn’t mean that I should be alone does it. He said “No”.

We hugged and kissed and kept telling him how special he was and that Mr. C would want to spend time alone with him and getting to know him and I would really appreciate it if he allowed him too. I told him that there is no rush, but to know that we are building something special and I needed him to give me the same kind of acceptance that he gives his dad.

I don’t know if it was right or wrong. People tell me that it is because he’s a boy and boy’s are so protective of their mamas. I don’t know if it’s true. Munch and I have always been extremely close and I just want him to get to know and love the man that I love because he is a great man.

What are your thoughts?

Dating Parents – Part I

This is going to be a two part post because I have to tell ya’ll what’s going on and I don’t want it to drag out. Please bear with me because I will want some advice in the end. Here’s what happened…

Last month, Mr. C and I took our children to view the National Christmas tree and to dinner afterwards. His son is 18 and Munch is 8. Two different decades and nothing much in common. It was my first time meeting his son and getting to sort through the emotions that I amassed as to whether or not he would like me or how he would feel about me dating his dad.

I’ve never seriously dated a man with a child. I was always adamant about being the center of a man’s attention and children didn’t allow that to happen, so I avoided men with kids. Until…

Until I became single with a kid.

I realized that I didn’t want anymore children so I really wanted to date a man with kids so he wouldn’t ask me to have any. Pregnancy wasn’t that great and I’m over it. I’m too old to try and have another baby and I wanted to spend my life loving someone and the family that we built together through love and determination.

I also needed someone who could get the fact that I’m a  working mother. That I have things that I have to do at work, at Munch’s school and with my friends and then understand that I wanted one-on-one time with my son. My son is my priority. I needed someone who could appreciate that. I dated some men that couldn’t appreciate or understand when I had to cancel a date because my son was sick at his dad’s house.

Others that said that they understood, but wanted me to have more children. Umm, nope. I’m done. I’ve closed up shop and decided that no more children would occupy this womb.

Those men were the worst. They really believed they could convince me to abandon my beliefs and bear them heirs. Yeah, like that was going to happen.

And then there was Mr. C.

He came into my life not wanting more children. Loving my ambition and encouraging me in a way that I never thought possible. His love was real. It was healthy. I was truly happy and at peace.

So, it was only inevitable that I would fall in love with a great man that didn’t want anymore children. He was willing to love me and my son as though we were flesh of his flesh and would help me raise Munch when we got married. He didn’t mind starting over. He would have a child in college and one in elementary school. I loved that about him though.

In this space that we are creating and building I’m trying to merge our lives more. Not just as a couple, but as parents. Letting the kids get to know each other and spend time with each other. We’re not rushing an instant bonding session, but we wanted our children to know how we feel about each other and share our respective lives.

But…I didn’t expect that to have an impact on Munch.

Why?

Because Munch has met his dad’s girlfriend. He likes her. He spends time with her. He speaks of her often. I had never introduced Munch to anyone that I was dating. Ever. So, him having experience with his dad’s girlfriend should let him know that I was serious about someone right?

Munch has met Mr. C a few times. The first being this summer for all of about 5 minutes in an informal setting and then he off he went to play with his friends. Then a couple of times at the house. I wanted to slowly introduce Munch to the man that I had fallen in love with. I wanted him to know that here was a man that I thought worthy to introduce him too.

Seeing as where I had taken things slowly with Mr. C, I thought that Munch would see the importance of this man in my life. That he would be able to understand that this great man is a good guy and wants to get to know him. That he would feel that man’s love ooze all out and be able to process that mommy wanted a future with Mr. C.

However, that didn’t happen. Munch is 8 after all. I was wishing on a star and I thought he would be cool. But, he wasn’t and I just wasn’t prepared for that. It started when I picked him up and I told him that we had a big day and that we were hanging out with Mr. C and his son that evening and he sighed. What? What is the sigh about I asked. He responded, “Can’t we just spend some time alone me and you?”

I was hot. Really? I explained to him that he spends time with his dad and his girlfriend all the time and it’s never a problem. I told him that I limit the amount of time I spend with Mr. C when it’s my week with him because I want that alone time with him. I said, “You can’t act like it’s cool for you and your dad to spend every waking moment with his girlfriend (I’m probably exaggerating, but I was emotional) and when I want to spend a couple of hours with you and Mr. C it is a problem.” I had to catch myself. I was having a mommy meltdown.