Argue with Me… #SoIKnowItsReal???

28 10 2014

There’s a scene in one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith and Derek get into a really heated argument. Because Meredith isn’t used to being in a relationship, she assumes that the argument is an indicator that she and Derek have broken up. So when Derek shows up at her door like normal, she’s super confused. She’s all like, “didn’t we have a heated argument today?” He says yes. She says (and I’m paraphrasing the rest because I don’t remember it verbatim), “I thought that meant we broke up.” He says, “No, it just means I didn’t like you at that moment. But we’re in a relationship. We’re going to disagree. Couples argue, Meredith. We’re a couple.”

Oop. He got her straight!

But actually, full disclosure, he got me straight too.

You see, I found myself in a similar situation earlier this year. I got into a heated “discussion” with a guy I’m dating, and before I realized what I was doing, I’d assumed that meant we were done. I was sending angry memes to my friends (because I don’t put them on social media lol) like the one that says “I tripped and fell into some feelings. I’m okay now. I brushed that shit off.”

I was all “if this is too complicated for you, just say it. Just say it!”

I mean, I was really done y’all.

And then we talked again, and I realized — wait, this dude still thinks we’re dating. I mean, I was really sitting there like, “but didn’t we just have this horrible row, how could he still think we’re dating?” And that’s when it hit me — I’d fallen into that same trap Meredith had fallen into. The one that would have you believe if you disagree, that automatically means you’re over.

Really, when you think about it, it’s kind of easy to think that. At least I can see how it happened for me. You see, for the past several years, I’ve been involved in relationships or dating situations that never lasted past the 6 month mark. Why that is the case is for another post, but what I realized about those relationships is that there was no sense of investment there. So of course if we got into a really bad argument, it was easy to just end it.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Maybe it didn’t end in that specific fight, but if it didn’t, it was pretty soon thereafter.

Which brings me back to the fight earlier this year. Because of all those other experiences, I believed the same thing was happening then too. And like Meredith, I had to reconfigure my mindset to allow for disagreements that don’t mean the end. Because Derek was right, couples do argue.

It’s like this saying I used to hear growing up – you know you’re in a real relationship when you have your first fight and you make it through it. Now I understand. Of course, you shouldn’t fight all the time. And it shouldn’t be with the intent to hurt the other person, but disagreements are bound to happen between two individuals who have their own beliefs and their own experiences.

It’s just a matter of how you react to the fight that tells you whether or not you think the relationship is worth continuing.





From Vacation Passes to Pregnancy Ones?

23 10 2014

First there was the vacation pass — you know, the leeway some couples give each other to do as they please on vacation with friends without repercussions.

Then there was the celebrity pass — the game couples play where they list the 1 or 2 celebrities the significant other could get with without any repercussions.

And now there’s… the pregnancy pass?? The allowance some women give their husbands to have sex with other women while they are pregnant (without repercussions to the relationship).

What???

Does anyone find this as disturbing as I do?

Now I’m not going to lie, I’ve jokingly discussed the celebrity pass with a boyfriend or two. And I guess it seems a bit “safer” since the likelihood of your boo meeting his/her celebrity crush is a lot slimmer than them seeing a random cute girl in Brazil. But truthfully, even that’s dangerous in this day and age where everyone is a social media account away. And I would have been quite upset if it had actually happened.

This pregnancy pass thing, though? It just seems to me folks are trying to find any way possible to have open relationships without calling it that. And if that’s what you want, I’m saying — just own that ish. Don’t be carrying on like you’re in a monogamous relationship, but you just happen to be open to the idea of your husband having carte blanche for 10 months.

Naw.

Now I get that there are some factors in play here. Some women think they won’t be in the mood to have sex while pregnant. Some men think they won’t find ol’ girl attractive or that they’ll be too scared to hurt the baby and all that jazz. And to those concerns, I say to all parties — man up.

When you are in a relationship, especially a marriage, you make a commitment to fulfilling the needs of your partner (sexual and otherwise). That doesn’t mean you let someone else fulfill those needs while you’re on sabbatical for ten months, and it certainly doesn’t mean you drop your wife for almost a year because her belly is almost as big as her boobs. Besides, from the pregnant women I’ve talked to (and the ladies on The Real), pregnant women are typically “ret to go” any time, any place. So you might as well take advantage of the situation. No?

What do you all think, though? Did you have the same “naw” reaction as me upon hearing of the pregnancy pass? Or do you think it’s a legitimate suggestion? And have you heard of or participating in any other types of relationship passes? I promise — this will be a no judge zone.





Shoe Tip: What to Wear when in a Bridal Party

21 10 2014

So I know last week I talked about wedding talk finally being over, but before I completely ended it on the blog for now, I had to impart just a bit of wisdom to those still needing to participate in weddings this year.

And that is — don’t choose cute over comfort.

I know. I know that’s haaaaard for us women to do. But let me tell you a little story about 5 bridesmaids who all wore different variations of gold sandals for a wedding. One chose a pair of 5 inch heels, another chose a pair she’d recently purchased but hadn’t broken in yet, another chose an old pair that she’d maybe worn 4 times, another chose 4 inch stilettos, and the last chose a pair with 1.5 inch heels.

One guess as to who was the only bridesmaid not dying to kick off her shoes as soon as pictures were taken after the ceremony.

And here’s why — because being in a bridal party is totally different than anything else you will have to do while wearing your heels. So you may be used to walking in high heels normally, but are you used to standing straight in them for 20 to 40 minutes with no break?

Are you used to then posing in them for several minutes?

Or running errands in them?

Maybe you are. But probably not.

Listen, I consider myself somewhat an expert on heels, and I was totally not the one who chose the sensible ones. I was the one who thought to myself, “well I wear anywhere between 3.5 to 4.5 inch heels on a normal basis, so these 3 inchers will be perfect.”

And they were… until about minute 20 of standing up straight in them. That’s about the time I became fidgety, and trust me — you don’t want to be the fidgety bridesmaid in front of 150 guests.

So take my advice – choose comfort (and don’t forget to still break them in before the wedding). That doesn’t mean your shoes can’t be cute. The bridesmaid who chose comfort? Her shoes were still cute. They just weren’t what we normally see as cute. They weren’t sky high heels. They weren’t winning any awards for best stiletto. But she was able to walk and stand in them without crying inside. And when it comes to being in a bridal party, that’s a major win indeed.





All Wedding Everything

16 10 2014
Photo: 365til30.com

Photo: 365til30.com

Recently, I found myself a bridesmaid to one of my very best friends.

Well you know what I learned about being a bridesmaid?

Your friend’s wedding (and weddings in general) tend to begin to consume the conversation.

As in, my friends and I would be talking about normal topics and all of a sudden, someone would mention something we still had left to do for the wedding and the conversation would go a little something like this.

Friend/Other bridesmaid: OMG, did you get your dress back from the tailor yet?

Me: Not yet, I get it back on Tuesday.

BM: Oh ok, I got mine today. It looks really good.

Me: Oh that’s great!

BM: Yea, I was pleasantly surprised since it’s not a color or style I would have picked, but it really does look good. Speaking of colors or styles I would pick, just so you know I plan to have a black and white wedding.

Me: Oh yea?

BM: Yep. And I want it on [redacted date], and I’m going to have all my bridesmaids where [redacted color].

Me: That’s so funny. I was thinking sometime in [redacted month] would be good for me since it would have to be in New Orleans, and I don’t want anyone dying from heat exhaustion down there.

BM: Oh good, I’m glad you’ve thought about me, because I absolutely would die if you tried to have it in July or something like that.

Me: Nah, I wouldn’t do that to you lol.

Here’s what funny about this conversation and the other ones very similar to it — none of us (the other folks in the bridal party who were not already married) are anywhere close to actually getting married to even be discussing things like this. But it’s what happens when wedding stuff is on your brain. Or at least it’s what happened to us.

I found myself sending my girls potential bridesmaid dresses and discussing colors and locations and potential bridal shower ideas and all sorts of things that NO ONE should be discussing prior to being in the position to discuss it.

Now, let me be clear. It’s not that any of us are anxious to get married. I tell people all the time that while I would prefer to get married one day, I’d rather be happy and single than married and miserable, meaning I’m not looking to marry anyone just to say I’m married. Heck, I’m still at the point where I actively correct people who say I have a boyfriend and let them know that “I’m dating someone, but he is not my man.” So the conversations weren’t prevalent because of some deep desire I have to be married that I was finally letting out.

No, they were cute, frivolous conversations about what we would and wouldn’t do when it was our turn. They were often funny, sometimes serious, but if anyone had ever listened in without our knowledge, they probably would have thought we were crazy. Why are these very single girls speaking about what they’d do on their wedding day as if it’s anywhere near happening for them, they’d wonder. And all I’d have to say to them is that it’s because weddings consume.

That’s what I learned as a bridesmaid. They consume your thoughts. Your conversations. Your actions (who wasn’t on a diet to look good on those official wedding photos??). Your everything.

So while I am so very happy that I had the immense honor to be a part of one of my besties’ days, and to stand up with her as she pledged her vows to her husband in front of God and her family and friends, I am also so very happy that it’s over.

Maybe now, the wedding talks can pause for just a bit. At least until the next friend gets engaged.





Lost for Words

14 10 2014

“When I try to explain it, I be sounding insane. The words don’t ever come out right. I get all tongue-tied and twisted. I can’t explain what I’m feeling. And I say baby, baby, baby, baby I… what I’m trying to say is you’re my everything, baby. But every time I try to say it, words, they only complicate it.” ~ Ariana Grande

Have you ever been so in like that you find yourself tongue-tied sometimes when it comes to expressing that to said person?

I know I have. On more occasions that I care to admit, especially for someone who manipulates words for a living.

I’ll find myself babbling on for minutes when a simple “you make me smile” would have sufficed. Or end up saying really lofty and dramatic statements like “my whole being feels safe when I’m around you,” when I really just wanted to say that I’m comfortable around him but not in a way that makes me complacent — just in a “this feels natural type of way.”

What’s amazing is that I can write this out fairly succinctly for the blog, but just as with Ariana G – when I’d try to say it to the guy, I’d get all flustered and suddenly be at a loss for words. All at once, I’d begin to doubt the words coming out of my mouth (as I was saying them!!), so I’d try to switch course and end up sounding like a crazy person.

Am I the only one who has experienced this? I feel like I’m not, but because it’s happened so often for me, I have of course attempted to figure out why.

And what I’ve come up with — at least for now, is that I’m thinking it’s less about not being able to find the right words and more about worrying what those words mean to me that gets me stuck. Like if I say out loud that dude is one of the reasons I’m happy, it makes it more real, harder to take back, and let’s be honest — gives it much more power. I know we’re not supposed to talk about that side of liking someone — the scary, what does this mean for me, how does this change me side. But it’s there.

Anytime you start thinking “we” and not just “I,” it’s there.

And I think that scary factor or the concern that I sound insane is what makes the words then become so complicated. At least for me. At least when I try to express them to dude.¹

And it ends up sounding like, “Baby, baby… baby, baby I…” LOL.

What about you all? Do you have any stories of times when your words came out like a crazy person while you were trying to express your feelings to someone?

1 Not as much anymore, because I’m getting more comfortable with just letting my feelings be what they are, but you know, I’m a work in progress, so sometimes, it’s still like that.





Love Jones Thoughts Part 4: In the End, Darius was Wrong

9 10 2014

love jones2

Remember the final scene of the movie, where Nina and Darius meet in the rain, after they haven’t seen each other in a while? Right before they start kissing and before he admits that his love for her is urgent like a motherf-cker?

Remember how she tells him that as usual his timing couldn’t be worse? And after he declares his love, she asks him that all important question, “How do we do this?” She lives in New York, as you might recall. And he… he lives in Chicago. Do you remember what he says in response? Of course you do — that’s an iconic scene. It’s something that anyone who loves that movie can quote to you. He tells her that he doesn’t care about where they live, and basically that it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately,  Darius (in that moment) is really really wrong.

Well maybe wrong is harsh. His statement is super over-simplified though, because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year is that it absolutely matters when the person you want to be with doesn’t live in the same city as you.

I didn’t always believe that. As a matter of fact, in my younger days, I had a number of long distance relationships that I tried. All were fairly brief (5 months or less), and all probably wouldn’t have worked even if the guy lived in my city. Therefore, I found myself believing that it wasn’t the distance per se that broke us up, rather it was the distance that exaggerated the things that would have broken us up anyway.

And yes, to some extent that was true. I look back on those relationships now, and while for the most part, those men were good guys — they definitely were more lesson learning opportunities for me than potential for lifelong partners. That’s not to put all the onus on them. I still had a lot of growing to do as well, but I think because I knew deep down they were temporary,  I gave long distance a pass. An excuse.

I’d eventually end up viewing one guy as a coward for not wanting to try it, not because he didn’t want to be with me, but because he claimed he did. And I felt like, at the time,  that he was either a liar mcliarson and didn’t really want to be with me or he didn’t have the fortitude to deal with a little difficulty. I mean, all these other guys were willing to do it (and by all, I mean like 3 — let’s not get crazy here), so what was his deal?

Well. Y’all. I’ve been trying to date long distance recently, and…

I know something different now.

Long distance is hard.

And it’s not just that it exaggerates the problems you may have. The constant scheduling is also extremely exhausting. The fact that you can’t see the guy you like on a random Tuesday is frustrating. The desire to disconnect is an ever present little nag in your side. The reality that you’re not really in that person’s life on a normal basis is a bit defeating. The difference between length of time you’ve been dating and actual real times you’ve been with each other is jarring. It’s just… hard.

That’s not to say I don’t think you should do it. Obviously, I’m doing it (or trying to do it or something, I don’t know y’all lol). Or that I don’t believe it can work. It just means that I think being realistic about the difficulties involved in it may give you a better chance at surviving it. Digging your head in the sand and acting as if it’s a natural thing to do surely isn’t the way. That I know. Which is why when I hear Darius say he doesn’t care about where they live, I know he’s not thinking past that moment.

And that sounds really romantic.

But it’s not long-lasting.

Maybe that’s why the movie had to end on that scene. Seeing them try to navigate life together in a long distance relationship would have killed all the positive vibes we all had at the end.





Love & Sex: Do You Need Either One for the Other to be Great?

7 10 2014

cuddles

Love.

And sex.

Many would say the two are very mutually exclusive things. Meaning that you can have great sex without being in love, and you can be in love but not have great sex. That the greatness of one is not dependent on the existence of the other.

A few years ago, I would have probably been a part of that many. Now, though, I’m starting to wonder just how exclusive they are. Don’t get me wrong — I still think plenty of people are capable of having great sex without having emotions involved. And I think there are occasions where two people can be in love and have bad sex, although, damn — that sounds awful. Where my opinion wavers a bit is on the complete separation of the two.

So basically, I’ve been wondering just how much the two can exist by themselves without the other? Can you be in love and have lots of bad sex or no sexual chemistry whatsoever? And if you’re in love and you have not so great sex, does that make you begin to question your relationship? And if you have great sex a lot with someone who you initially had no feelings for, do you necessarily begin to start having feelings for him or her?

It’s a lot to ponder, I know. But I guess it’s just because I find that we talk a lot about love and a lot about sex these days, but rarely on the connection between the two and definitely not on what makes either great. Even our music tends to separate them as if they have nothing in common. It’s either a freaky deaky sex song or a love song, rarely ever both.

What I think I’m leaning towards is something I recently learned about bourbon — that while all bourbon is whiskey, all whiskey is not bourbon. Which means while most people in love have great sex (or sexual chemistry if you’re waiting), everyone having great sex does not need to be in love. So depending on the person, some folks can have great sex without being emotionally connected to the other individual involved (although I do think this concept has a time limit — you have sex with someone enough over a long enough period of time and someone will catch feelings). But I do think that it would be difficult to have lots of bad sex or not have the desire to tear your significant other’s clothes off when you see him or her sometimes and still count yourself as being in love.

But I don’t know. I could be wrong. And maybe I’m making the association between the two too important. I know for me, I’ve certainly had times when they weren’t connected in anyway. But if you were to ask me to rank my sexual partners over my adult life, I’d definitely end up ranking the ones I had feelings for higher than the others in general (with an exception or two scattered in there).

What do you all think? Are love and sex connected more often than we’d like to admit when it comes to making either better? Or do you think they’re two separate entities that can sometimes join up together, but are perfectly fine on their own?








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