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/.

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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/.

Reblog: The Economics of Dating

This is a reblog/re-edit of a post I wrote almost over 2 and half years about the economics of dating. Why? Because everything costs. Everything has a price tag. Especially dating. Check it out:

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Dating now is a lot like going shopping when you don’t have any money. Even if you find the right thing, you can’t do anything about it. –Joshua Harris

Recently, I’ve been listening to the frustrations of dating and in particular…Who should pay? Should women ever offer to pay? Should men accept the offer? How long should a man and woman date before a woman ever offers to pay? So, I headed to cyberspace to do my research and came across this article on the Huffington Post, written by Catherine Pearson, “Men Still Paying for Dates…And Women are Partly Responsible”. Interesting title right? In short, a study was done and found the following information helpful:

  • 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses — even after they have been dating for some time
  • 57 percent of women say they offer to help pay
  • 39 percent admitted that they hoped men would reject their offers to pay
  • 44 percent were bothered when men expected them to chip in
  • Nearly two-thirds of men believe women should contribute to dating expenses

So, interesting points, right? This is so true. I’m dying laughing. Mr. C still pays for 95% of our dates and it’s been a year and half of dating. I pay occasionally, but I do believe that a man should pay for dates. However, before you think me cruel and not considerate to the man that I love, I must say that I’m not. Although he pays for most dates, I do tend to spend more on gifts. I am a gift giver so I pick up things just because gifts.

But, I wanted to give you an economic breakdown of how a potential suitor may stack up in the dating market. Now, let’s say he’s a 40 year old male (divorced) with a 7 year old child who is in school full-time (first grade) and living in the Washington, DC area. We will give him a career as an IT specialist making about $85,000 a year.

Expense Monthly Cost                      Notes
Rent $1,200.00 Two bedroom apartment in a not so good area in the Washington, DC Area
Car Note  $300.00
Car Insurance  $120.00
After Care  $300.00
Food  $250.00
Utilities  $400.00 Includes Gas, Electric, Cable and Cell Phone
Gas for the Car  $300.00
Credit Card Bills  $300.00 Expenses with car maintenance and dating
Student Loan Payments  $200.00
Child Support  $600.00
FSA  $100.00 Required as part of his divorce decree to assist in the payment of his child’s medical expenses
Health Insurance  $220.00 Based it off a monthly two person rate of $1100 with him paying 20%
Total a Month  $4,290.00
85,000/26 (pay periods)  $3,269.23 Pay Period (Gross)
3,269.23*40% (taxes and benefits)  $1307.69 Taxes and benefits deducted
$1961.54  Total (Net) per Pay Period
1961.54*26(pay periods)/12 (months)  $4250 Monthly Salary

Sobering reality huh?  Looking at the chart above, this man is already broke before taking you out to dinner even though by most standards he’s making a pretty good salary. Just not enough to date living in the Washington, DC area and being divorced.

I recently read a report about how some families in Silicon Valley who are making above $150,000 are struggling.  Reason…housing is pricey. So, the man that I just described above is not necessarily living in the best neighborhoods with a 2 bedroom and paying $1200. Housing in a good neighborhood is not affordable to him.

How can he afford to court and woo you on this salary? Is it fair for him to take you out weekly at an average spend of $80.00 or more? Does his financial status make him ineligible to be considered a life partner? Maybe. It’s up to you.

Mr. C was right when he told me that Roland Martin said a black man in America has to work two jobs. The reality is that in this day in age, everyone needs a side hustle or another stream of income. The cost of living, dating, paying child support, paying alimony and/or paying back student loans makes it impossible to date without a second income.

Mr. C’s income is going to change as he has a son entering college in the fall which will tie up some of his disposable income. In other words, I know that he will not be able to take me out all the time. I’m cool with that. We’ll find cheaper ways to date because I understand his situation. I’m going to probably pay for more dates. I guess I should as it’s been over a year and half. LOL.

I think the key is that you should be flexible in the beginning of dating. A man should pay for the first three or four dates. After we get to the fourth date, I know that you’re probably a good guy and I will offer to get some dates.  I took Mr. C to my favorite jazz spot for dinner and jazz in Philly on our fourth date. I drove, paid tolls, gas, entrance for the concert and dinner. He was shocked. You see how I do it right?

Really though, the key is that if there is longevity, let’s be honest about whether or not you can afford something that week. Let’s think of low cost or free activities and budget dates. I’m not above it. If I want to go out with you then I’ll pay. But, let’s be clear…I’m not financing our relationship.

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

I Am Not That Woman

A letter to all men that I’ve dated:

I am no longer interested in dating you. I have a man. It may seem like it’s a no brainer, but I need to remind you. You can’t direct message me. You can’t flirt with me. You can’t date me. You can’t!

See, there is a reason we never worked out. I understand that everything happens for a reason. You weren’t the man for me. I wasn’t the woman for you. It’s the truth. We don’t need to keep trying to fit that square peg in a round hole and call it love. It isn’t. It wasn’t. It was lust.

It took me many years to get to the place where I’ve learned to love and accept the woman that I am. It took me many months of dating to find the man that I was supposed to be with. It takes me hours of therapy a month to learn and understand that I deserve a healthy relationship. Not a one night stand.

Or months of sleeping together, hanging out, going to parties and still saying “we’re just friends”. I’ve grown up. I’ve decided that what I want and need doesn’t matter to you. You are incapable of giving it to me. Or maybe you were just incapable at that time. Either way, our time has passed.

You need to know that I’m not the same woman I was when I met you. I’m different. I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m in a much better space now. In this space that I’ve created, there isn’t room for you. There’s just room for me and the man that has my heart.

It’s okay though.

You should just leave me alone and allow me the opportunity to continue to grow in this beautiful relationship that I have. I can’t date you. I can’t sext you. I can’t anything with you. Thank you for telling me that you miss me. I’m flattered.

Actually, I’m not.

I don’t go backwards. Our time has passed. I no longer desire to hear words of appreciation or fake sincerity. What I want, you can’t give. But, I am asking that you respect my space or get blocked. The choice is yours.

 

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/.

Work At Love

Mr. C starts his new position on the 27th of this month. I’m disappointed. I wanted it to be in March. March 6th specifically.

Sigh.

I know that you’re probably laughing at me for picking out his start date. But, I can’t help it. I wanted it to be later. I know that I can’t control everything. I’m just not ready. I’m trying to just relax and trust that it will work itself out.

Work.

Relationships require work. I realize that now. I don’t think I really understood the magnitude of work and how much work is required when in a relationship. I think my ex worked at it. Sometimes.

Then he would get tired and frustrated and not work anymore. I would then feel his lack of working and then pick up the reigns to our marriage and work at it. You see that huh? We were working separately from each other.

We weren’t working together. We were each working at different times. I don’t think we ever knew it. I really didn’t understand and appreciate the value in working on relationships. Everything came sorta easy for me.

It appeared on the outside that the successful marriages were the ones that just seemed to flow. I didn’t know that they had to work on them. Work on them together. Not separately.

I’m learning in my relationship with Mr. C. I’m learning that he and I have to work at it together. Not separately. United. As a team.

God reminds me of this when I get stubborn. He reminds me that I prayed for Mr. C and that he sent me someone to love me and my son. He reminds me that I have to stay in the present and know that everything is working according to His will.

I know.

I get frustrated.

I get distracted by the amount of work and think that I can’t do it. I start to have doubts. Negative voices that scream… It is impossible. We are doomed. We are having to work too hard for something as simple as time.

Then something like this happens when I feel down and disturbed by my lot in life:

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A fellow blogger, KE reminded me what I’m working for. What God has given me. She reminded me that we are shaping one another and our relationship so that it fits us and our circumstances.

I get it God!

I need to remember that love and work both require action. I have to work for the things that I love and I have to work at my relationship. No situation is perfect and no situation is without frustrations and/or setbacks. We have to keep shaping one another and our relationship.

Thanks for the reminder KE.