Fight or Flight

I told ya’ll that I was going through stress. I’ve been trying to do meditation (still a work in progress), exercise and practicing mindfulness to help combat this. Last week I was really stressed out and venting to my man. I needed to hear his soothing words and comfort.

He did. But, there was an instance that he accused me of using the Lord’s name in vain. I didn’t. But, he felt that my word was too close and it offended him morally. I paused. I had to check myself because I was going to say something that would have had him questioning whether or not he wanted to be my man. Yep, I can be slick. But, I paused.

There is something about pausing.

Pausing allows you to check yourself. Pausing allows you to really get a hold of your words and head before they exit your mouth. I paused before I lost my mind and temper.

I sighed. I said “This conversation is beginning to stress me out, so I’m going to bid you a good night and we’ll talk later.” He said okay and we got off the phone.

I thought – This man has lost his ever loving mind and I can’t believe that we are going through this. This is too much drama and I don’t know if he gets me. How can I be in a relationship with a man that censors me or my thoughts?

I called my best friend because you know that I needed someone to give me a reality check about my situation. She listened to me vent and said she sees both sides of the issue. But, she told me to take a few days and just get through what I’m going to before circling back with him. I told her “Uh huh. Okay. I will.”

She paused.

She said “Kee, look I need you to take a few days and get your head around what you’re going through so that you can process your feelings about what occurred with you two. Don’t let your fear help you take flight on one of the best relationships you’ve ever had.”

Well damn.

She acted like she knew me. Yes, I tend to run when things don’t feel right, but that’s part of my personality. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and when I want to be out, I will be. Plain and simple. No need to sugar coat it. Life’s too short.

But, I paused.

She was right. I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t entitled to feel the way I feel, but I didn’t want to combine the issues and make him pay for something he didn’t do because I was in a bad space. That wasn’t fair too him. He and I needed to talk.

The good news is that I couldn’t wait a few days. I woke up the next morning needing to talk to him. I called him and told him how I felt. I told him that I respect his morals and values, but I felt as though he wasn’t listening to me and further more that he chose that moment to interrupt me as though I stabbed him. I explained that I needed him to tell me how I was supposed to be in a relationship with someone that I couldn’t be myself with? Someone who censored me.

He paused.

Man when I tell you that there is a purpose for the pause, believe it. There is always a purpose. He explained his position, but he told me that he didn’t want me to feel censored in any way. He told me that he wasn’t censoring me and he just felt the need to say something.

I explained that I was going to run, but my best friend called me on my BS. I was scared. Scared that he wasn’t as good of a person as I thought. I know it wasn’t fair, but I needed to talk to him and be reassured that I could trust him with everything. My deepest fears. My biggest dreams. Me.

I wasn’t ready to walk away from the man that made me think that I could do anything, but I couldn’t be with someone who wanted to censor me. I spent so many years in the corner trying to figure out my life that I don’t believe in that anymore. What you see is what you get so I need you to be as transparent with me as I am with you. Open and honest. Free flowing and free thinking. I need that.

Does this mean that we’re okay? Yeah. We’re good. The thing is that relationships are about learning each other and trying to find the common ground. Knowing what affects him matters to me and I’m sure it goes for him. It’s not perfect and this was a major hurdle to climb over, but I’m not too grown to know when I was wrong and vice versa. The joys of relationships.

 

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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Dating Chronicles: The Filler

I never thought that I would meet someone on-line. I never subscribed to the belief that my happily ever after” was out in cyberspace somewhere. But, that belief changed when I realized that no one was approaching me and asking me out for a date. I’m an attractive woman. I’m successful, sweet, charming and all those good things. Heck, I love me.

But, where were all those available men? Where had they gone? The ones that pursued me with a purpose before my marriage. I struggled with the fact that men didn’t approach me anymore. However, I had a lot of rules. What kind of rules? Well, you can’t ask me out if you are directly involved with my son through his school or social activities. No dating people from church. You can’t approach me if you see me with my son.

Yep, I laugh at this, but I was really limiting my choices on how to find a suitable partner. With all those limitations that I had placed on myself, then how would I ever meet someone? I had no choice but to try on-line dating.

Ugh, it was hard as heck. There were so many men that were fronting on their qualifications (looks, employment or what they were really looking for) that I became frustrated and uninterested. Every man was a potential waster of my time. Not everyone.

There were a few men that I actually met that I still keep in touch with. We weren’t compatible. It didn’t work out. Their issues and my issues made us an atomic bomb waiting to detonate. There were good times. There were bad times. There were just times.

I fell for one though. I started to love someone after my ex-husband. I didn’t believe it possible, but I did. He made me laugh. He made me feel beautiful, alive and sexy. He helped me regain the confidence of my youth. He said the right things. Most of the time.

He was a filler. A filler for the emptiness that I was feeling inside. I was lonely ya’ll. I wanted someone to love me and I wanted to love again. To trust again. To believe that I could find someone to be in a relationship with. He confused me.

Whew! He had it going on. He was both romantic and affectionate with me. Something that I never had. I never experienced a man kissing and making out with me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Everywhere. In the car, in restaurants and on the street. He made me feel loved. I wrote about him a lot on this blog. He was the inspiration behind my short story By Faith. It was his love that I yearned for. I wanted him to give it to only me. Not the countless women he was dating. Just me.

I told him how I wanted more. I told you how I wanted More from him. He couldn’t give me more. I called him a collector, but he really was a filler. He was there filling my time and mind and confusing me. Here I was asking, wanting and pleading for more of a real relationship with just us two in it.

Begging. Why the hell should you have to beg someone for a relationship? If it was meant to be then it will be. No force. So, I had to unwrap my soul from his. Free myself from his hold. Recognize that I’m worth more than those free moments of passion. I deserve love. True love.

So, I ended it. I wrote about it in my post Death to Love. It was hard. He was sexy. He had swagger. He smelled so good. He was a great kisser. He was a great lover. He was all those things he should have been, but he wasn’t for me. His purpose was to fill in the gaps and remind me of how beautiful I am. To show me that I am worthy of real love and true love, not just with him.

And that’s what he did. He laid the foundation for me to know and experience the kind of love I deserved. However, it wasn’t that easy for me to break from negative habits and behaviors. I was lonely and craved sincerity and companionship.

I met someone after him. Different from the one that I loved and yet somehow similar. He was the perfect gentleman. Or so I thought.

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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/.

Reblog: Did He Just Ghost Me?

This is a reblog of a prior post that I wrote prior to finding Mr. C. In this dating series, I’m trying to share with you some of my experiences to encourage you to not give up hope. I’ve been there….

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Okay, so many of you know by now what ghosting is. If you don’t, please check out this definition on Urban Dictionary:

The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.

Well, I was wondering if Mr. A ghosted me. Let me tell you what happened. Mr. A and I had been talking for the last couple of months. Met a couple of times over coffee and just settled into a nice and friendly let’s get to know each other situation. Well, Mr. A just suddenly and out of nowhere stopped calling and texting me. I called a couple of times. Sent a couple of texts (okay 1) and got no response. Two weeks went by and I just suddenly walked away from the situation and deleted his contact information from the phone.fus_amsf_monitor_ghosting_tinder_center

I mentioned to my girlfriend how he just up and disappeared without no rhyme or reason and I was kind of shocked. I mean I thought we had great communication and the chemistry was cool so why would he just vanish on me? Not one to chase a man without knowing him, I backed off and kept it moving. Dating other men who seemed more emotionally stable.

Then I read this article talking about ghosting and realized that Mr. A probably ghosted me. Why? No idea. I was kind of bummed. More like pissed with a side of I want to set your pants on fire, but I got over it. I just exhaled, put my Left-eye ego in check and realized that it wasn’t me it was him. He was missing out on this fine, thick chocolate sister who is awesome. His loss!

So, I’m sitting at home on a Saturday afternoon, exhausted from the heat (munch had a soccer game earlier that day) when I get a text from Mr. A out of the blue. Now, I had no idea who it was texting me and acting like I know them but the funny thing about deleting someone the text history re-appears and you know who it is. Here’s a screen shot of the conversation:

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As you can see by my exchange, I’m kind of hot that he would be trying to rewind on me after ghosting with no explanation. Oh, I’m sorry, his explanation was that he was “very busy”. Heck, you are not that busy where by you can’t send a text that says “Got your messages. I’m really busy. Will touch base with  you soon”. But, he’s a man right? No real need to communicate with me woman after ghosting.

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So, after my “Oh okay. Well nice hearing from you” text response he actually picked up the phone to call. He wasn’t sorry about ghosting. He kept reiterating how busy he was and it wasn’t personal and he wasn’t ghosting me and trying to rewind. He then had the nerve to say that I could have called again. Really? I politely told Mr. A “Do it again and don’t bother calling me. You’re almost 48 and you know what is acceptable behavior. If not, I will show you”.

He’s asked me out next week when Munch goes back to visit his dad. Apparently he likes my smart and sassy mouth. Too bad I’m washing my hair.

Until next time loves!

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/.

 

5 Ways to Make Me Happy

As a woman who knows her strength and in many cases an alpha female I wanted to share ways that a man can make me happy in a relationship. I’m not perfect, but I’m not helpless either. I don’t need a man to do everything for me. I’m independent and love being able to take care of business and I’m learning to show my vulnerable side. So, here are the 5 ways that a man can make me happy.

  1. Allow me to have my space. It is in this space where I allow my creative juice to flow. Whether it be girl time, mommy time, time to write my book, edit or do sorority activities, allow me that time. I can’t be with a man that doesn’t allow me the opportunity to have my own space. I’m already busy and I love being able to have time for the things that matter to me.
  2. Tell me what you need. I am not a mind reader. As I mentioned in #1, I’m busy and I have a lot going on. My conversations are usually random thoughts where I’m trying to get everything out. Sometimes they are jumbled, other times they are random. I mean no harm. My mind goes in a million directions. Tell me if I am missing something. I want to know what you need. I can’t read your mind.
  3. Know that I am going to hold it down. I need you to understand as an alpha female, I will bring something to the table. I’m going to hold it down and make your needs a priority if you do #2. I got you. However, there are some things that I believe you as a man should do. What things? Take out the trash. I will clean the kitchen and wash your clothes. However, I need you to take the trash out.
  4. Let me take care of you. This is different than #2, I want to take care of you. Mr. C and I struggle with this a lot. He is use to doing everything for everybody, but I got him. I like to take care of him. Whether it be sending him sweet texts, emails or buying him little gifts…I like to take care of him. He does so much for me that me taking him out to dinner for Father’s Day and buying him a gift is minimal in comparison. But, that’s my man and I like to spoil him. I like him to know that no matter what is going on in my hectic life that I am making him a priority.
  5. Have my back. I get stressed out dealing with the various challenges in my life. I need to know that you have my back. That when I need you, you will be there. It is in my reaching out to tell you that I’m frustrated about something that I am displaying my vulnerable side. I don’t need you to fix it. I just need you to love and trust me to know that it will get done. That all will work according to God’s plan. But, I need that support from you.

Well, that’s it. I’m pretty simple. What things matter to you when dating or in relationships?

 

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/.