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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The Fall Back

There’s no easy way to say this. I guess I just need to do it. To get it out there. To let you know that Mr. C and I have decided to part ways.

It’s true. I mourned it. I never thought that what we were building would be over, but it is. I am thankful for the memories. I am thankful for the healthy love and I’m thankful for the friendship. I wish him well in his endeavors and I’m sure he wishes the same.

I’m spending some time alone and regrouping because I do want love and a long lasting relationship based on shared mutual beliefs and principles. Although I thought my dating chronicles were over, it apparently is not. Such is life.

I decided to share this part of my life with you because my loyal readers who’ve been following me understood the trials and drama that I had with dating. They rejoiced when I seemed to meet a nice guy and gasped when he turned out to be a f*ckboy. But, when I met and fell in love with a kind and good man they sighed with me and understood the peace that my spirit felt.

I’m still at peace. It’s a process and while I’m optimistic that love isn’t through with me yet, I wanted you to find comfort in knowing that it is never too late. It’s never to late to give your heart back to love.

I believe in love. Love believes in me. I believe that what God has for me is just for me.

iyanla-vanzant-courage-to-let-go

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The Curious Case Of The Often Ignored Red Flag

ignored-red flags

That notorious red flag. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all ignored them, and later acted like we didn’t see a thing.

You know the role, we’ve all played it well. When we act like the person we’re dating, changed into a different person overnight—when they were the same person we discovered them to be a week into the dating process. They never changed, they were always the same. Those blinders are semi-permeable. We see what we want to see at times, to, “enjoy the ride,” or, “maybe it’s nothing.” When in fact that red flag is, everything.

Dating Is Already Difficult

While dating can be fun, the process of vetting can be exhausting. There are countless dating blogs about the misadventures of each dater, where they chronicle each experience they’ve had. So, the challenges are well documented.

So how do we still fall for the, “banana in the tailpipe?”

“The mind is the most skilled Photoshopper. It can rationalize anything and paint any picture of anyone, depending on our initial perspective. There is a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘confirmation bias,’ where we are inclined to discard all evidence that does not align with our views and only keep those that do. And with a potentially toxic person, they have worked to create a false positive impression to worm their way into your heart. So even if they do something bad or say something that’s off, you may think, ‘He’s only this way because he went through X.’ This is when ticking boxes of ‘Is he rude to the waiter?’ ‘Is he nice to his family members?’ doesn’t work. He could be all that — the sleekest toxic people are. But underlying it, if he says things like, ‘So they’ll treat us better the next time,’ or he has a mean mouth towards some people, and if you find yourself justifying his transactional mindset or meanness, then it’s time to pause and step back. Our brains work overtime to convince us of someone who’s not good for us, even when our guts know it.”

-Perpetua Neo

A Few Red Flags

Their communication is spotty…

…and inconsistent. Nothing is worse than rarely being able to reach someone. I’m not just talking about a phone call either. I”m talking about all forms of communication. Direct messenger, text message, email, smoke signal, and carrier pigeon are all unsuccessful.

This is why communication is so important. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be doing anything disrespectful or unsavory. They truly could be busy, or bad with prioritization—which is another issue (or red flag).

They love to challenge you

This is one of my pet peeves. Every-single-thing you say, or do… they have to interject, show they’re better, offer some opinion to the contrary, or confront you . This reeks of

insecurity, or an inferiority and/or superiority complex. Don’t be surprised that when you find an inferiority complex within, that there’s a superiority complex hidden beneath it. One compensates for the other.

This person cannot bear the idea of their inferiority, so they overcompensate in other areas that will test you. They feel as though they are superior (in compensation mode) when

they are actually not. An example would be… a man with a small penis would feel inferior to a well-endowed man. So he will overcompensate with an over-exuberance of oral sex. Another example would be someone who truly feels they are inferior to another race of men/women, and uses every opportunity to tear them down, so they can feel superior. This may occur when you give a compliment to someone in the race they feel superior to. These comments may come off as jokes, or back-handed, passive comments.

They want to test your boundaries constantly

This person wants to see how far they can get you.

  • You tell them you’re not ready for sex, and they still try to seduce you, or engage in sexual conversation.
  • You’re not ready for them to meet your family, or children and they make you feel bad about it with a “guilt-trip.”
  • From the beginning you told them certain days you are unavailable, and they still try to plan outings or meet-ups on those days.
  • You may not like talking about how much money you make, so they ask you, “what do you do you?”
  • They may not like your style of dress, or the way you wear your hair. Or, even the way your house is decorated. So they “low-key” offer suggestions.

Your intuition, foresight and “Spidey-Sense” kick-in

Then, your gut tells you…

  • “Nah… something ain’t right…”
  • Then you say to yourself…”he/she is cool, but I just don’t know about them…”
  • You feel this tingling in your head that says, “THIS AIN’T THE ONE!”
  • She complains a lot, but maybe she’s going through something.
  • I’m always pulling my wallet out when we spend time.
  • Why are all her photos from the neck-up?
  • They talk about themselves all the time
  • He/she is always talking about his/her ex.
  • They are a total narcissist. Always pointing the finger, always projecting.

So what do you do?

You date them anyway. When they mess up, or manage to arch your eyebrow, you justify their actions. You overlook the red flags that are presented to you on a silver platter. Later on down the road, maybe a few months or so, things go Topsy-turvy, and you’re now in reflection/hindsight mode.

My point… signs are always there. Although they are difficult to read at times, they are always there. Some people can detect red flags immediately because they literally look for them. Others do not look for them and get, “caught slipping.” Of course there are those that fall in the middle. They see the red flags, question them, and when the line is dropped in the water—they bite. Typically this is because they want it to work out so badly, you love them… or, you’ve had sex with this person, and their judgement is clouded. Even worse, they know there’s something wrong, and stay regardless out of desperation, or low self-esteem.

Choices Choices

We always have a choice. We can act on the red flag(s), or, we can can ignore them. If you choose to ignore them, be ready to reap the whirlwind. Remember, not all red flags are truly red flags. It’s best to communicate your concerns. If the person becomes defensive, that could be another red flag. Regardless, you need to voice your concerns. Never hesitate. If you do, it’s to your own detriment.

You may find out that the red flag truly was a false alarm. If you never bring it up, you will never know until it’s further down the line. Even worse, you may never find out, or you may find out when you’re in a relationship, or married to this person. Obviously this isn’t ideal.

Keep your eyes open, and happy discerning!

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Women Should Most Definitely Protect Men

women-protect-men
Recently, I asked a group of over 23,000 members (mostly women)… “Do you think you should protect your man/husband?” The major of responses were, “no..”  Or some round-about way of saying no such as, “That’s a man job.” I’ve asked this same question in other forums, and the answers were typically the same.
I’ve come to the conclusion that many women in the U.S. are socialized to believe that a man should protect her with no reciprocity. They are raised by their parents this way. Taught that a man should protect them, but not the other way around. Disney reinforced this idea with their films. From childhood, women have received over 20 plus years of subliminal messaging, telling them that men should to protect them. Whether it be a damsel in distress, knight in shining armor, rich man saves poor woman, Richard Gere saves Julia Roberts. The constant themes, and images of a man protecting a woman are abundant.

Various Form of Protection

  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Financial

When we hear the word, “protection” or “protect” we automatically default to physical protection. Hence why so many women believe it’s only a man’s job to do the protecting.

Imagery

Every day, I look at imagery. For my blog, my personal photography work, and just for leisure. When I look at images of, “love, relationships and dating…” I typically see the man with his arms around the woman. I usually do not see the woman with her arms around the man.

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Now, before you get all up in your feelings about that last statement, understand, I do not have a problem with these images and what they portray. In fact I love them. I also understand (for photography purposes) that men are typically on average, so they stand behind the woman with their arms around her.
On the other hand, these images show a man protecting a woman, which in turn would make any girl believe that is the way it should be. A woman consistently in the position of, “the protected.” I am here to tell you, a woman should protect her man/husband as well.

So How Do You Protect Him?

His reputation

We all have a reputation to uphold. Whenever someone tries to “come for him” or taint his name, a woman should help protect that reputation. Women can see things we can’t see… this also why your protection is essential.

Guard his feelings

This is a big one. From childhood, expression of feelings is something most men are just not taught. We were taught to be aggressive, told we shouldn’t cry, show no pain, or fear, and destroy your opponent. So, the one place we should feel comfortable expressing ourselves is with our woman/wife. I’ve been in many social settings (and groups) and when a man begins to express himself, he’s talked-over, talked-for, or simply told he’s complaining. I’ve seen women make jokes about men when they express themselves. Utter emasculation in public. If a man feels as though a woman doesn’t value his feelings, he will shut down and become emotionally unavailable.

Guard his heart…

…from the demons that would do him harm. I’m a firm believer in spirituality, negative forces, and negative energy. When I tell you, that the minute I’m on track, focused, and headed in the right direction, here comes a dozen different distractions, obstacles, and people to divert my attention.  My eyes and mind are always open, and aware of the negative people, and things that effect me in an adverse way.

  • A woman can see another woman who intends to hurt her man, and stop said woman dead in her tracks.
  • A woman could see something her man is doing where he could hurt himself, or his career (that’s protection).
  • Holding your man accountable for his actions is protection.

Protect him with your love

Surround him with it. Men don’t feel love from many places (especially black men)… we feel more hatred, fear and disdain than anything when we’re out in the world. The love we feel comes from family, and most of all our woman/wife. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I came home and felt lower than dirt from getting beat up all day (emotionally) and my woman would put her arms around me and protect me from the demons that were invading my mind telling me I couldn’t do it (give up). The love of my woman was like an extra barrier against those that would do me harm, or hurt me. Her love and support kept me focused and got me back on task when I felt inadequate.

Pray For Him

In an article about “4 Ways To Protect Your Husband… ”  Tiya Cunningham-Sumter says:

Another great way to protect your husband is through prayer. There is no greater protector than God. Pray for your husband and with your husband. His life, his choices and his spirit all need to be lifted up constantly. You can pray that in his role as husband he always feels loved and supported. Also ask God to provide you with all you need to protect your husband as well.

As you can see, you should protect your man. Stop letting society, the way your parents taught you, or girlfriends told you, dictate what’s right, and what’s needed in your relationship.

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Every Man Has A Label By Day 31

every-man-has-label-day-31

I recently posted about the dating label that most men put on women by the 31st day of the month. In today’s post I will be depicting the various labels that women put on men by the 31st day of the month.  And yes… women do it too.

It is also not uncommon for a woman to have all these men in the lineup at the same time (each one carrying a unique label), especially if she’s single.

 

A Label Can Suck, But Not All Labels Are Created Equal

All men wear a label (whether we know it or not). Some women might be more intentional with their labeling—but they are very similar (and subtle) to men in how they go about applying the status they give each man. Women might apply a certain label to a man that defines what he does [for] her. In other words, if he’s someone who pays her bills, he could be labeled, “money man.”

 

Your man (publicly declared)man-label-day-31

Pretty self explanatory. Pretty much the hubby or boyfriend. Your man is the most well-rounded, and balanced man in your circle. He is the one you can do most things with….from great sex, to going out, or just sitting down having a great conversation. He is the one you share your most intimate moments with. The one you “love” and accept no matter what. Your man can just be himself because he is a constant fixture in your life. He doesn’t question his label because you make him a priority.

Your man does everything. He fills up your gas tank, cooks for you, rubs your feet after a long day at work, listens to you ramble aimlessly about (anything)—he even lets you eat off his plate.

 

Sex man

A.K.A. “Mr. Fulfillment!” S.K.A. “The Plumber.” Over a period of time, if your man is not putting out, doesn’t have time, or he isn’t very good in bed…here comes sex man. In many cases, the label “sex man” can be had by a random man you met. The sexual chemistry is so strong, you yield to it constantly, and the sexual excursions became a regular occurrence. Sex man is Mr. pleasure…you go to see him late at night..or sometimes early in the day. Sex with him is intense and spontaneous…he probably does all of the things that your man won’t do, or hits all the spots that your man can’t seem to find. He is a fantasy fulfilled… the man that has the equipment to get you off. Sex man usually doesn’t have the best personality, or even the best character. He only has one job…

lay that pipe.

Some women would probably believe that any man would want this label (right?)…. wrong. A man that is truly looking for a real relationship would not want to be limited to sex.

 

Bill Man

every-man-label-day-31The provider. Sometimes [your man], and [sex man] are broke-ass men.  Or, they work jobs that don’t make them enough money to satisfy your craving for material objects, movies, trips, car payments, bills, whatever. Money has all that covered. You need a bill paid? Call bill man. Car about to be repossessed? Call bill man. Don’t want to spend your own money? Do I really need to say it again?

You typically tease money man…making him think that you will give him some, but you never do…and if you do…you don’t let him smash… you (just might) let him taste it, that’s about it. Money man disillusions himself to think that one day he will become, [your man]. In some cases, money man knows all about your (real) man and has mass amounts of envy for him. Mm is typically not the most attractive of the 5 men listed. Having low self esteem is very common. Simply put, he enjoys your company, and/or the sex you’re willing to give him in exchange for goods…. and no, I’m not making this up.

 

Movie Man

Movie man wants everything that sex man, money man, and your man have, but doesn’t have the resolute to step up and take it. Instead he thinks of it constantly…every now and then bringing it up—and at that point you quickly change subjects. This man is cool to go out with.. you can eat and laugh with him.. or, go to a movie with him. Nights are short with this man because you very rarely go into his house, or sit and talk (that’s your man and friend man job).  It’s usually you sitting on his couch waiting for him to get ready to go out, or, you meeting him somewhere to hang out. This man also is aware of [your man] but has no idea about money man, sex man and friend man.

If you just so happen to be single and have a movie man, you don’t take him seriously, he’s a stop gap, someone you spend aimless time with until you meet the man you really want.

 

Just A Friend

This is the man that you talk-to about all the above men. He knows it all. From your indiscretions, to your infidelity. You can tell him these things because you don’t see him as your man, (you’ve friend-zoned him) nor will you ever.  He has the best conversation—better then everyone else.  He keeps your best kept secret locked away, and can even be a great alibi if your man knows about him. Perhaps at one point friend man was  go out to eat/movie man…but you just didn’t see him in a more advanced role, so…he ended up being friend man.

You may actually see friend man a little like you see sex man, but he is not as attractive to you sexually. You also don’t want to violate your friendship, so you keep things on the level they are. Friend man wants everything your man has. He will bring it up from time to time… but you always tell him, “I don’t see you that way.” Friend man typically has all the qualities you want in a man but for some reason you don’t pursue anything further. Know one knows why but you, (and probably your girlfriends).

He might be lacking in a critical area, or maybe you love your man so much you can’t leave him. This is why you have so many other different types of men. Friend man either hates your man with a passion, or he tolerates him—and really doesn’t care about the others, because he sees himself as better then them. Friend man just sits there and waits for the opportunity to pounce when you and your man break up. He is the comforter when your man is acting like an ass or you get into an argument. He is in all honesty…number two on the depth chart, waiting to be number one.

 

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Dating in the DM – The Potential of the Facebook Direct Messenger

facebook-snapchat-twitter-instagram-messenger

In Lieu of Valentines day, and for those of us who are still single—it’s time to get un-single or at least find a date (in less than 24 hours).

Let’s talk about the Direct messenger. Also known as, “the DM,” or, “getting in-boxed.” The most notable Direct Messenger is the stand alone Facebook app. There are others that exist such as, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Kik, QQ, Skype, Viber and LINE. I choose to speak about Facebook Messenger because it’s directly connected to your Facebook app. Which is, needless to say, the most powerful social network in the world. The others are popular, but do not compare to Facebook Messenger.

Yes, Facebook is the devil. (I’m kidding).

Direct messenger is the devil - or is it
Photo Credit: Chris Newnham

The Bad

Messenger is notorious for spammers, scammers, married people seeking side relationships (side piece) outside their spouse, people in relationships seeking a threesome, people in relationships seeking someone outside their partner (without their partners knowledge of course). And finally, people seeking relationships with a complete stranger or someone on their friends list. Which is, completely harmless.

That being said, I don’t want to talk about the negative aspect of the direct messenger. Let’s talk about all the features, positive experiences and stories that have come from a simple acknowledgement of a Direct Message.

 

It Goes Down In The DM

Woman-holding-home-accessing-direct messenger
Photo Credit: i-m priscilla

What does that mean? It means, “embrace the direct messenger.” Be open to the possibilities that a simple direct message can bring you. I get it, you don’t know this person in-boxing you. They are not on your friends list, you have no mutual friends. So who are they? Is their page fake? “Let’s go look.” “he has 1000 friends and a few recent posts people have responded too.”

Instead of engaging him, you ignore him. Why? His message was respectful. He introduced himself, told you upfront that you didn’t know each other and had no affiliation, but he saw you on a public Facebook post and wanted to ask about you. Sounds like a decent introduction to me. And what’s the worse that can happen? It’s not like he’s a TV repairman turned death row criminal that will come through your internet modem and kill you. It’s an online experience. If you don’t like what has to say, it’s as easy as, “close and block.” Stop ignoring those DM pings. You know you see that message notification. If you are curious to see if someone has messaged you that is not on your friends list, go to your filtered message (message requests) inbox.  You will probably find a few people who tried to reach out to you.

By The Numbers

It’s important for you to understand just how many users on Facebook designate as single. Now compare that against the users in a relationship or involved (it’s complicated).

The below data states there were 669,600,000 active Facebook users designated as single as of, September 7th of 2016.

Single 37 %
Married 31 %
In a Relationship 24 %
Engaged 3 %
It’s Complicated 3 %
source: Statistic Brain, September 7th, 2016.

That’s a lot of single people on one website.  Of course there’s a percentage of those users that are not single, but are designated as single. But let’s just say that percentage is 20%. That still leaves 535,680,000 single people on Facebook, and you only need to meet 1.  Also, there’s a high possibility that of those 535,680,000 users that at least 10 of them will reach out to you at some point during your time on Facebook. 1 of those 10 might be your future mate. So the odds are definitely in your favor.  But not if you don’t embrace your DM.

Oh yeah… As of April 2016 The Facebook Messenger had 900 million active users.  By July 2016 the number was 1 billion.

Consequently, you have a better chance meeting someone on Facebook for free, by simply letting it, “go down.”

What do you have to lose?

A Different Perspective On the Direct Messenger

Right now you’re giving this article the side-eye. Like…”I can’t.” Really? Think about it. If you’re single, there’s high chance that you have been on a dating site. Or at least visited one before because you were curious. Dating sites are about as random as they come. At least with Facebook, some of the random people who reach out to you with romantic interests have mutual friends or connections. On dating sites, the meetings are completely random no matter how much they say they’re, “matching,” you. That being said, if you can go to a dating site and spend time setting up a profile, sourcing through profiles and responding direct messages and emails (while paying). Why wouldn’t you try it on Facebook which is free as the air we breathe?

Free vs Paid… no-brainer right?

Direct Messenger Success

It doesn’t take much. A posted pic or comment and someone will be inspired to send a message that will potentially lead to a relationship. Success favors the bold. So….be bold!

Success happens a lot more often than you think. People will talk about all the DM horror stories and frighten off those of us who might be open a random message request, had we not listened to them in the first place. Block out all that interference and go for it!

But hey… you don’t have to listen to me… according to TheKnot.com, below is a real life example of how going outside your box and opening yourself up to something unconventional, can lead to happiness.

They Met On Facebook

THE COUPLE: Kendra Cowser, 30, and Sean O’Brien, 32
WHEN THEY MET: January 2010
WEDDING DATE: September 14, 2013

Direct Messenger-Woman-Man-Laying down-next-each-other
Photo Credit: Two Rivers Photography

THEIR STORY: Kendra rarely friended anyone on Facebook other than people she knew, but in 2009 fate stepped in when Sean sent her a friend request. Although Kendra didn’t know him, he lived near her hometown of Galva, Illinois, and thought they might have mutual friends in common, so she accepted. None of his friends looked familiar though so she just let it go, until six months later when Sean started “liking” some of her photos. One night as she was packing up her apartment in Chicago getting ready to coincidentally head back to Galva, Kendra finally decided to satisfy her curiosity and message him. Sean responded immediately and they ended up writing back and forth all night. And then every day forward. It turns out Sean didn’t know her but she popped up in his list of people he might know. “I saw a cute girl and I wanted to add her,” he recalls. Both admitted that neither of them was planning on starting a relationship at the time, but it sure turned into one. Two days after Kendra was back in Galva, Sean was at her doorstep with a bottle of wine to celebrate meeting in person. In July 2012, Sean messaged her on Facebook (of course!) to ask her to go ring shopping—his way of proposing—and last September they threw a huge bash that their guests described as “the best wedding they’ve ever been to!”

a few more success stories

 

#EMBRACETHEDM

It’s not hard, just proactively send a message or respond to one that comes into your inbox. I’d quickly vet them out. Check their page, make sure they have an acceptable amount of friends (No new pages). Check for mutual friends. Also, see if they have some public posts you can view. Click on a few pics, and go from there.

You’ve got 1 more day!

This Moment In Time

Today is a very special day. It’s the day that we honor and celebrate a great man. My man. My love. My heart.

One of the things that I’m open about is that on this journey in finding love I stumbled. I took the roads that were meant for others and I settled by the side of the road with some people that I shouldn’t have. It was all part of my journey.

But, I got up. I kept moving forward. I kept believing that God had heard my plea for him to send me a man that would love my son and I as though we were flesh of his flesh. A man that would support and encourage my dreams and believe in me. A man that could support me in raising my son.

He did hear my plea.

It was 23 months ago that he sent me a wonderful man that grew on me. He stayed around and endured my inquisition. He stayed around and respected my values. He stayed around and loved me where I stood. He didn’t try to change me. He didn’t try to make me into something that I’m not. He just loved me.

Do you know how amazing that is?

He’s not perfect and neither am I.  But, we’re grown. We continually work at our relationship and on our communication. When I pour out my heart and let him know how I’m feeling, he listens. He takes it in and he works on things. He works with me.

So, I know that I’m gushing, but this man is amazing and I want to thank God for him. It was 44 years ago today that God created him to go through life’s challenges and storms because He was preparing him. God was preparing him for me. I’m thankful for that preparation and I’m thankful that God loved me enough to send him in my life.

Happy Birthday to my Mr. C! I can’t wait to celebrate and honor him for being the wonderful friend and man that he is. If I died tomorrow, I would be okay knowing that I found love. This moment in time is more than I could have ever imagined.

In this space, I am loved. Infinitely more each day than yesterday. I will honor and speak vision into the life of this great man that God has gifted me with. I pray that this year will be better for him than the last and that everything that he works for will come to fruition. I pray that God gives him guidance and strength to continue to be the awesome son, father and boyfriend that he is.

I pray that he will always know that he is loved.

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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/.

Did Your Standards Change?

One of the things that I realized as I got older was that my standards changed when it came to men. When I was younger I really didn’t know what I wanted. I mainly dated men who were rough necks or blue collared workers. There was nothing wrong with it, it was who I was attracted too. They didn’t have to go to college, they just had to have other attributes that made it worth my time.

If you know what I mean.

However, that wasn’t who I ended up marrying, which is weird. I married my ex who had a graduate degree and who had attended great schools. We just clicked. I had assumed it was what God wanted, but I think it was probably just chemistry. We liked and then loved each other and got married. God fell by the wayside for most of our relationship and marriage.

We weren’t focused on God.

When our marriage ended and I was in my late thirties entering the dating realm it was overwhelming. Things had changed. I had changed. I had a child now. I didn’t have the luxury of just wasting my time on random ones.

I had to decide what I wanted. I knew that I didn’t hate the institution of marriage. I knew that I wanted to get remarried someday (at least 5 years away) but I really wanted to get to know someone. What was I going to do differently? Did their education level matter? Their past?

Yes. I didn’t care if a man was a blue collared worker or an IBM executive as long as he wasn’t broke. You had to afford to date me. I wasn’t supporting a man. Money mattered.

His past mattered. I wanted to know if you’ve ever been unfaithful to a girlfriend or wife. Why did your last relationship end? Are you a serial cheater? Cheated one time? Why did you cheat? What responsibility do you accept in the breaking up of your relationship if any? Were you ever in jail? Why were you in jail. A man’s past mattered.

I actually had men reach out to me who had just got out of jail and wanted to date me. Really? Not that I’m judging you for serving your time (okay maybe a little), but I have a son and that is not the message that I wanted to send my son. Get your life, build your empire and date other women. That doesn’t include me.

My standards changed. I was a mother. I was over 40. I had been married so there was no need to rush down the aisle as someone’s wife. I wasn’t having any more children so there was no biological clock ticking away waiting for me to give birth. Whew! Thank God.

But, in changing my standards I had to realize that I wasn’t the same woman in her early 20’s. I had grown up. My needs were different. My dating profile was different. I had to be okay with that.

And I was.

I was specific when it came to dating. I needed you to have stability and a healthy relationship. I wasn’t dating broke men. I wasn’t dating ex-cons. I wasn’t dating men with baby mama (or ex wife) drama. I wasn’t dating men with insecurity issues.

I made my list and dated accordingly. Looks are not at the top of my list, primarily because I determine who I’m attracted too. If you’re sexy as hell to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.

My standards had changed because I had changed. I grew up and realized what I valued was someone that embodied those values. Mr. C may not be like the men of my past, but it doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because I’m living the life I want with the man that I love. We have a healthy and respectful relationship that is allowing me to grow in ways that I never could have imagined. In this space we created, my standards allowed me to find someone that makes me feel safe.

 

Have your standards changed from when you first started dating? Do you have a specific type that you date? What are your dating no-no’s.

 

 

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/.

 

5 Things I Need Babe

So, my friend Victor at Victor’s Corner wrote a post encouraging you to write an Open Letter and describing the different types of open letters you could write and I decided to do one. I thought about what kind of letter I would write and I knew that I wanted to write an open letter to my future husband. For all intents and purposes it will most likely be Mr. C, but I wanted to let you (and him) know the 5 things I need for our marriage.

Dear Mr. C:

It’s almost that time. Our time of reckoning that this life we’re building must go further. We can’t continue in an indefinite state of boyfriend/girlfriend. I know it was my wish to be this way for many years and you have indulged my spirit. I want you to know these 5 things before you ask me to be your wife.

  1. I need to know what you think. I’ve had so many relationships where the man that I’m with doesn’t offer me an opinion on anything I suggest. I hate that. I need you to be my partner and I will be your help mate. You need to be able to offer an opinion on things that I suggest, even if it’s “Babe, I don’t know what to say. It’s complicated, but I trust that you will make the right decision.” That explanation alone speaks volumes. I don’t expect you to have all the answers. I expect you to be able to talk to me and respond when I feel uncertain. Ask yourself whether or not you could do this?
  2. I need you to understand that it’s more than me and Munch. You know my relationship with my son’s father is contentious on its best days. I struggle to find the time, energy or power to respond. We don’t speak and even though the constant emails and text messages are wearing on me, you continue to keep me motivated and inspired. I need that for the next 9 years. It may never get better (although we pray that it will) but you need to be bigger than me when I am feeling defeated. You need to remind me that we have less than 9 years. I need you to understand that you will now be faced to deal with some of the frustrations, back and forth or drama. Are you okay with that? This is my reality. Ask yourself whether or not you believe that Munch and I are worth it?
  3. Respect my neurotic need to delay marriage. My girlfriend told me years ago that every delay is not a denial. I love you and I can’t imagine a life without you in it, but I’m just not ready to get married again. Yet. I love how you respect my wish to set a wedding date for the fall of 2020. It shows that you know that we’re not going anywhere. We’re willing to take the time to invest and cultivate our relationship in our own time. You totally respect the fact that I love being in the G-spot (girlfriend spot). But, ask yourself would you be okay with that should I want to move a wedding date closer or later?
  4. Know that I need you to lead. I am so tired of being superwoman and I need you to lead us. As a couple and a family. I told you before that I would follow a man to the end’s of the earth if I knew that God was leading him and God told me to follow. I can’t do everything. I feel like I have to do everything and sometimes it gets so overwhelming. I can’t do it all – without consequences and sacrifices. As a partner, I shouldn’t have too. I need you to know what I’m asking of you. Ask yourself whether or not you are ready to be superman?
  5. I am not her and you are not him. I know that we’ve both had experiences and relationships that may not have been the best, but surely we’ve learned the lessons that we were supposed to learn. Everything in life is meant to teach a lesson. Sometimes we listen and learn and sometimes we’re not that smart. Whatever the case, I need you to know that I’m not her. I’m not the one that may have broken your trust or family or anything else. I’m me. I also want to assure you that I know that you are not him. I will never compare you to anyone else or tell you that you are just like such and such. You’re not. I know this. You will never pay for the mistakes of anyone before you. I vow to communicate openly and honestly about all things knowing that you love me and what we’re building. I need you to ask yourself are you truly over your past relationships with your exes?

Life isn’t perfect. I know this. I’m not expecting perfection. I’m just expecting that two people that love each other will work together as a unit to build a strong foundation that will support us and our family for years to come. I vow to speak life into you and our family and all our dreams just like it says in Proverbs…

Proverbs 18:21 (NRSV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Do you want to participate in Victor’s Open Letter challenge? Check out his blog: Victor’s Corner and participate. I would love to hear what you have to say.

 

 

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 Chronicles: Answered Prayers

Last week, I told you about Mr. K in Dating Chronicles: Take Two. He was right after my love Mr. J that I spoke about in Dating Chronicles: The Filler. Nice guy, but I was 0 for 2 in the dating area.

Mr. K and I parted ways shortly thereafter. We had fizzled within seven months of dating. Casual communication through email was all that was left. My communication with my filler was slowly fading to black. I had served my purpose and truthfully he had served his. I was once again alone.

Dating casually. Not allowing anyone to go beyond the first date because they weren’t what I was looking for. Frustrated was how I was feeling. Would I ever meet someone that I could really have a connection with? Love. That’s what I yearned for.

I kept my dating profiles up because I was paying for it. I went about my life. I asked God to help me. To send me a man that would love my son and I as though we were his own. A good man who made good money and was kind. He had to be taller than me and he had to have a sense of humor.

I also asked God to temper my lust. Since lust was probably the reason that I hadn’t found someone. I focused on other things instead of men. I focused on my Munch, work and civic obligations. I was in a good place. I was 40 and God had given me clarity so I was ready to step into my destiny.

I then opened my profile one day and saw a simple “Hi” in my message box from Mr. C. Trying to make more of an effort, I clicked his profile and saw only the basics. No long statements of what he was looking for or what he wanted. I did notice that he wanted children. Umm, what?

I wasn’t having any. I was 40. What did I look like? I already had one and I know I put in my profile that I didn’t want anymore children. I went back and checked my profile just to be sure. Yep, it was there. Plain as day. Does not want children.

I responded with a simple “Hi, how are you?” A couple of days later he responded and thus we exchanged a few quick messages. He gave me his work number and asked me to call him. I did.

He sounded sane. He sounded normal. He sounded kind. I sighed. We just talked. Talked about everything and nothing at the same time. Goals, dreams and our families. We talked and I begin to learn that he had a sense of humor. He was genuinely a nice guy. So, I told him. I told him that I didn’t want any more children and I know that his profile said he wanted some but it wasn’t something I was willing to do.

He said okay. Okay? He said he was fine. He had one and I had one so he didn’t want anymore. Then why did you write that? He said that he would have been willing had he met someone who didn’t have children. I sighed. Okay. But, I had to tell him something else. I would rather it happen now than later, but I needed to be honest.

I told him that I wasn’t giving him my cookies. That I was practicing celibacy. I told him that I had been fooled and fallen in love with men that weren’t always honest after making them wait months for sex only to realize that it wasn’t working. I asked him was he okay with it. I wasn’t going to change if he wasn’t, but I wanted to know where his head was.

I had spent so many years allowing my boundaries to be sacrificed that I just wasn’t going to do it anymore. Clarity and peace came about when I took back my power. At 40. He responded “So, you want us to live like God intends and not have sex until marriage?” Yes. Yes, that is what I want. He said “Okay, I’m cool with that.”

And he was. My boundaries remained intact. My mind was wondering where this beautiful soul had been all my life.

He began to court me. To woo me. We spent hours talking each day. Working out together and just getting to know each other without sex. He became my rock. See, I was in a season of unrest. Everything in my life was falling apart and I felt like I was drowning. Another month brought another tragedy. It continued like that for 8 months.

He was my lifeline. My prayer partner. My friend. I had to go home to Tennessee to visit my dad. Before I left he gave me a gift. A devotional. He said, “Sometimes I struggle to find the words to encourage you and I’m hoping this devotional will encourage you.” Wow!

He cared about my soul. He was making me love him. I didn’t yet. I was in strong like, but I was falling. I told you about it in Missing Him. He was restoring my faith in men. He showed me the respect that I so needed. He understood where I was coming from in regards to my need to honor my commitment to God.

I liked that. I never had that. He was different.

However, it wasn’t all flowers and romance. He wasn’t the type of man that opened doors for me. He didn’t do that, but what he gave me was so much more. He gave me honesty, transparency, respect and laughter. That meant more to me than anything.

It’s been a slow courtship. We went on our first date in October of 2015 and began a relationship in September of last year. Slow and steady. We’re still celibate. We’re still celebrating our love for each other and you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

He was proof of my answered prayer. I had to go through the trials of finding my king because I would have never appreciated who he was. I was doing like my girlfriend said an entertaining jokers.

Not anymore. He’s not perfect and neither am I. We just fit in this space that we’re creating. It’s love, loyalty and respect. I couldn’t ask for more.

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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/.