Here’s What Happened when I Tried Online Dating

10 03 2015

Disclaimer: This isn’t everyone’s story about online dating, just mine. I am not seeking to encourage or discourage online dating in this post.

About a year ago, I decided I would try online dating. While I don’t think I have a hard time getting approached in real life, I was finding that I was meeting the same kind of guy over and over. So I thought I’d try to expand my options. And I figured at the very least, I’d have something to write for the blog haha.

I created my profile, added some pictures, and immediately began receiving messages and “likes.” (Note: One thing I will say about online dating is that it’s a major ego boost!)

However, just like meeting folks in person, you have to weed out the “characters.” And so, after a couple messages here and there, I was ready to meet my first person. We Skyped first to make sure that neither of us was being catfished, and then set plans for our first date.

Now, the guy and date were nice enough. We had pleasant conversation while having a drink at one of D.C.’s popular restaurants. We laughed, exchanged war stories, and talked about the things most people talk about on a first date. Thing was, I could tell dude was far more interested in me than I was in him. Or rather, interested in the idea of me. My theory was very quickly proven by the way he soon tried to check me about things I’d written in my blog (that he found on his own) and the way he started making “we” declarations way too early on.

My take? Nice guy, but very ready for a relationship… when I was just trying to let life take me where it wanted.

The next guy was the complete opposite. We Skyped as well and made plans for our first date. I cancelled those plans after he tried to tell me 3 hours before we were to meet up at 7pm that he actually wouldn’t be available until after 10pm. Ummmm… what are we doing after 10pm on a Tuesday, sir? Not dating, that’s for sure. This dude would proceed to try to early booty call me for the next few weeks before I finally let him know that I wasn’t hard up for peen, and I wasn’t looking for someone to say he wants to date me when he really just wants to have sex with me. Basically, I told him to be honest about what he wanted and that was over before it started.

You know what happened then? Every dude I talked to from the site either fell in one or the other category. Essentially, he wanted to marry me (or thought I wanted to marry anyone) immediately or he was just looking to hook-up.

Needless to say, I was completely unimpressed.

Here I was just looking to meet new people, have fun dating, and maybe lick a few teeth — and I was getting everything but that. I mean, who tries to check someone about their blog posts when you’re not even their man??

So after a bit of time, I gave up the online ghost. I know some folks who’ve had great success with it, but it wasn’t for me. Plus, it’s kind of hard to flirt the way I’m good at flirting through a computer. And honestly, flirting is kind of one of the most fun things I like about meeting new guys. On the bright side, my foray into online dating made me appreciate the other way so much more. There’s just something about the old fashioned way of meeting someone out when you least expect it.

What about you all? Have you ever tried any of the online dating sites? If so, what was your experience? And would you do it again?

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At 31+, My Definition of Love is So Different from 10 Years Ago

5 03 2015

On a recent trip with some friends, one of the girls brought up a list titled “6 Phrases More Important than I Love You,” which was recently featured on the Huffington Post. The list asserted that while “I love you” was very important, it wasn’t always enough, and so you needed more than love (possibly the other six items) to make a relationship work. The six phrases they mentioned all sounded great at first glance, but as much as I wanted to agree with the entire list, I just couldn’t. I did, however, agree with at least one of them (which I’ll get to later).

They were:

1. I forgive you

2. I’ll sacrifice for you

3. I respect you

4. I’ll support you

5. I’ll protect you

6. I’m committed to you

Now, my reason for not agreeing with the complete list was not because I don’t think those phrases and the ideas behind them are important. It’s that, for me, at 31 +, they are included in “I love you.” If I say to someone now that I love him, I mean I will sacrifice for him, I respect him, I’ll support him, I’ll forgive him, and I’ll protect him (as I can).

This wasn’t always the case. In my early 20s, my concept of love was completely different. I fell in love at 21, as if it was a faulty emotion I couldn’t control. Love was all about passion and desire, how fast my heart beat when I saw his name on my phone or AIM account (aging myself here). It was all about romance (unrequited or not) and whether or not he and I talked to each other all day, every day.

But now? I’m not saying those things don’t matter — because they absolutely do — but love includes all those unromantic, practical things as well. I’m not looking for someone to “complete me.” I want to be whole and for him to be whole and then we come together. Love is not something I fall into anymore. It’s a choice I make. I choose to love who I love. And much of that choice is based off of certain criteria.

Such as…

Do I trust him?

Can I be honest with him even when I don’t want to be?

Do I have a desire to support him, and does he support my dreams and efforts?

Do I forgive him, even after a big argument, not because I’m a pushover, but because it’s worth it?

Love now includes aspects like responsibility and future. And sure, I absolutely still want to smile like a Cheshire cat when I hear his name and have a desire to tear his clothes off and lick his teeth when I see him. But I equally want to think of him as someone I wholly and completely respect. Someone who pushes me to fight for better, even when he doesn’t realize it.

That’s love for me now.

So when I tell a man I love him, I’m saying most of those other phrases as well.

Now, if you couldn’t tell by this point, the last phrase is the only one I thought was separate from “I love you,” simply because you can love someone and not commit to him/her. Just like love, commitment is a choice as well, and frankly there are people in love who are not committed to each other and vice versa.

But if we’re just talking about love here, I think the more mature definition, at least for me, has to include those other concepts. Otherwise, it’s just undeniable, passionate lust. And while that’s great and there’s certainly a place for it; I’m not 21 anymore, so I know the difference.





Reminiscing on when “Bae” was Fun

3 03 2015
Featured on Gawker.com

Featured on Gawker.com

I’m not proud of this, but there was once a time when I was hesitant to donate my old clothes even when I hadn’t worn them in years. Not because I cared about other people wearing my clothes, but because it never failed that once I donated them, no more than a few years would pass before the items would come back in style.

This happened over and over again.

Jean jackets

Skorts

Tennis skirts

High/low dresses and skirts

The list goes on.

Eventually, I got over that concern. But now I see a similar phenomenon happening in words and phrases. The things we used to say in high school coming back in style but in slightly different forms.

“Bae” is the perfect example of this.

When I was younger, “bae” was so much fun. It wasn’t being used by popular clothing stores to sell merchandize. TIME Magazine hadn’t attempted to explain it to the world. You didn’t see it on t-shirts or memes telling people to be calm. It wasn’t a trend; it was just a cute, shorter way than babe to distinguish between your guy or girl and everyone else.

Also, it was a proper noun used to let the person you’re speaking to know that you’re speaking to him or her.

For example, you might say, “Bae, can you get me some water please?” But you would never, ever say “That’s bae over there.” It wouldn’t have made sense.

And in the South and Midwest, where monikers like babe and sweetheart and cher (shout out New Orleans) were used for everyone and their grandma, “bae” was specifically only used for one person at a time. It was clear. “Bae” was your man or your ol’ lady. No ifs, ands, or butts about it.

Now though?

“Bae” has been distorted to be some kind of crazy word that could mean boyfriend/girlfriend, but could also mean just someone you think is attractive. It’s a freakin’ acronym now, for goodness sake. BAE = before anyone else. It’s turned into a regular noun. In fact, you’re more likely to hear something like “Tom is bae” than any other version, and the crazy part is Tom doesn’t even have to know the speaker is alive!

I mean, what kind of fuckery?

Okay, I know, I know. I sound like some kind of ol’ fogey probably. And I’m sure I’ll get over it. But it just bothers me to see such a good friend change overnight. “Bae” was gone and dead as a word, but somehow over the past two years, it’s come back with a vengeance. And I don’t necessarily think I like what I see. I want it to go back to what it was before 2013. Can we do that? Is that possible? If not, I guess I’ll just have to reminisce on my own… just nobody better start saying “that’s cher over there,” or I might have a slight meltdown.

Anyway, what do you all think about “bae”? Did you use the term when you were younger? Do you use it now? And are there any other words that you used back in the day that are in style now?





Moving Mountains in 2015

18 12 2014
stolen from a friend's facebook page

stolen from a friend’s facebook page

Around this time every year, people tend to get really reflective. They start thinking about the good and bad they’ve been through during that year. They wonder if they did enough. Made enough of a difference. Laughed enough. Lived enough. They sometimes look forward to spending time with family and sometimes look forward to being alone (away from all the chaos).

Me?

I definitely look forward to spending a good week at home in New Orleans with my family. It gets crazy. It gets loud. And I’ll probably gain about 5 pounds. But I’ll be home with my peeps doing amazing things like hopefully watching the Saints play their way into a playoff berth, sentimental things like putting up Christmas decorations while singing all the songs from the Jackson 5 Christmas album, and silly things like rolling around on the floor with my godchildren, cousins, etc…

But even in the midst of all that, I’ll be working on some of the goals I’ve already made for myself in 2015. I’ll be pushing forward already on some things I know I want to accomplish, because I know without my works, my faith means nothing.

And since I believe my faith has grown over the past year, that means my works have to step up to the plate as well.

To that end, I have a laundry list of things I’ll be working on. Not to the point where I burn myself out, but to the point where I know I definitely won’t look back on 2015 with regret. And it’s not that I have regrets for 2014; let me not make it seem like that’s the case. By all accounts, 2014 has been a good year for me. I got a promotion at the beginning of the year. I’ve traveled around the country (a lot). I’ve spent a significant amount of time with some of my favorites in this world. I saw 3 really close friends get married in person (one in which I was in the wedding). I had an amazing 31st birthday. A lot started coming together for the book I’m working on. I’ve dated (some good and some bad lol) and was finally honest with myself about the person I really wanted to be with. I mean, it’s been good!

It’s just that I know, despite the things I’ve accomplished, there have also been a few times where I let my doubts stop me.

A few times when my doubts created mountains that I then had to move when they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

I didn’t have a phrase for that until earlier this week when I saw the above meme on a friend’s page, and it hit me like a lightning bolt. What I can’t do, what I won’t do, in 2015 is allow my doubts to create mountains in my life. That’s my resolution. That’s the overarching theme of the laundry list of my goals. Because listen, some of these goals are scary as all get out, but that’s what makes them so amazing. And that’s what’s going to make 2015 the year of mountain moving in my life.

Do you all have any goals you want to share for the new year? Any reflections you’ve been thinking of lately? I probably won’t have any new material for the next couple weeks, but I wish you all the happiest of holidays and the best new year to come!





Holiday Gift Ideas for New Relationships

16 12 2014
Photo: blog.navut.com

Photo: blog.navut.com

The other week, one of my favorite readers left the following comment: “You should talk about holiday gift ideas for men. That’s usually hard to do when it’s the first year you’re together and on a budget!”

Well, A) she’s absolutely right! It’s super hard to figure out what to get your new boo for the holidays. But also B) I was sadly mistaken that I’d already done a post about this. Nope. The horror!! And you all know how much I love a holiday blog post, so that’s kind of crazy. Alas, I’ve already talked about whether you should get a gift and things to do with your relatively new boo during the holidays and what I’d want (lol), but never suggestions on gifts for someone else.

Me: What’s a really nice watch you would suggest someone get a man for less than $600?

Friend: Oooh, let’s see: Movado (bold line), Boss, Burberry… wait, who are you buying a $600 watch for?

Me: Ummm have we met?! Not anyone anytime soon lol. This is a question from my sister.

Friend: Oh okay, just checking.

Me: Yea, she’s been in a relationship for 3 years now. So she’s bout that life. I…. have not and am not.

Friend: lol good… but back to these watches…

You see how quickly that conversation went left for a bit? It’s because my friend knows that there’s level to this ish. Y’all, please don’t think you should be out buying a $600 watch for someone you’ve been dating for 3 months. That’s not how this works. (That’s not how any of this works.)

However, if you want to get that special someone a gift and/or you checked out the diagram I featured before on the site, and it says you should, then here are some suggestions I have for you (and just your luck, I’ve had my fair share of new relationships around the holidays):

Keep it small and cute, but show you’ve been listening

One of my first adult relationships during the holidays involved a fella who loved cookies. So what did I do? I baked some for real, from scratch homemade cookies using two ingredients I knew he liked (because he talked about them a lot): chocolate and pecans. They were a hit! They weren’t that expensive to make, but once I wrapped them up nicely, tied the plastic with a pretty a bow, and placed it in a cute cookie tin, he was absolutely gaga for them. In fact, he talked about them for years afterward. Total cost? Less than $15. Look on his face: priceless. Your idea doesn’t have to be homemade cookies, but it can be something that doesn’t cost a lot, but that he talks about often. Maybe he likes a particular cologne or a Wii game or has a favorite football team — listen out for clues and then go for that!

Go for something DIY that he would like, not you…

Okay, this is for my DIY girls like me — Pinterest can be your best friend during this time. But don’t get too fancy with it and forget who the gift is really for here. My best DIY suggestion? A coupon booklet of cheap/free activities he can ask you to do later on. A) it shows you want there to be a later on, B) it shows your creativity, and C) the items should all be things he’d want to actually do, so he’ll be excited. Possible examples include a home cooked meal, a massage, a free zirbert (yes, I put that on there lol), you rooting for his favorite team at least once (especially if you don’t normally like them), etc…

Try an activity you can both attend

Do you both like go-cart racing? Or a specific band or artist? Maybe you’ve both mentioned seeing a particular Broadway play? Why not get two tickets to whatever that activity is so that it’s a gift for him, but it’s still something you can do together. This gift is also versatile, so it can be tickets to something worth $10 each or up to like $100, depending on just how “new” the relationship is.

And if all else fails, and you’ve already introduced sex into your relationship…

Tape a big bow on you, and enjoy a different kind of present with each other.

That one is pretty self-explanatory lol.

Any other suggestions?? I hope these helped for all my newbies out there! Happy holiday shopping!





Shoe Tip: Boot Tricks for Wider Calves

10 12 2014
Photo credit: Me

Photo credit: Me

Like most women, I looove a good boot in the fall/winter. And especially one that goes all the way up my calves. Yes honey!

However, along with my love of shoes, long ago, I was also blessed with larger than normal calves. So it’s a STRUGGLE trying to find boots that fit me that aren’t of the ankle variety. No shade to the ankle boots, but that’s not always the look I’m going for.

Well, three years ago, I lucked up on a pair of grey boots that fit all the way to my knees. It was like a little angel came down and showed me that I, too, could rock cute, flat boots like the rest of the fashionable women out there. And since then, I’ve tried to find other ways to make this fashion staple work. So for any other women out there who have wider calves, I hope these tips I’ve come across help you out as well.

Grommets and Ribbon and Hammers, Oh my: I saw this DIY project on Pinterest (of course) and was a little skeptical, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. Lo and behold, after some serious arm work putting the grommets through the material, I came out with rain boots that fit up to my knees with a pretty snazzy design in the back. The plus side — it doesn’t even look like it’s a project done to make the boots wearable! I’ve received several compliments just walking down the street on my boots (and not just from women with wider calves).

Don’t forget your local cobbler: I talked about the importance of finding a cobbler before, right? But even I didn’t think about the possibility of using that cobbler to add an extender into the shaft of your boots until someone else suggested it to me. And when she did, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Duh! Of course my cobbler could do that! It made so much sense… and so little sense that I’d spent all that time searching and searching when he could have been helping me out all along.

The Internet is your friend: Chances are if your calves are more than 14 inches around, you won’t find a cute pair of boots in the store in your size. But… you can find plenty of options on the Internet. From WomanWithin.com to OneStopPlus.com to Zulily.com and even Amazon.com, there are lots of places that sell wide calf, extra wide calf, and extra extra wide calf boots. I got my rain boots from this wonderful place called SpyLoveBuy! The plus side is that there’s a good amount of variety in these boots. The downside is that it’s online, so you have to gauge the quality of the material off of the reviews (always read the reviews folks!). But if you find a good pair, do what I didn’t do — buy a few of them in different colors. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. I’m dying now that my grey boots are reaching the end of their run, and no one sells them anymore.

Another caveat to buying boots online — I’ve learned that when you are shorter than 5’3 (like me!), you need to measure up an inch when looking at the size chart for the shaft of your boots. To wit: “boots get wider closer to the top of the boot. If you’re short, the widest part of your calf is going to be down lower than someone who is tall. So you’re going to have to get a wider boot than someone who is 5’8″, even if you have the exact calf circumference as that person.”

I hope these tips help my girls with more athletic or wider calves get out there and get their full calf boots on. And if you have any other tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments!





Y’all I’m Tired

4 12 2014

blmOnce again, I was in the middle of writing a cutesy post for this week when your justice system proved to me (again) how much it doesn’t care about the lives of Black people.

So I’m tired.

And I can’t finish this week’s post.

But I just had to say to whomever needs to hear it, I care.

I believe Black lives matter. I know when I look at the men and women in my life who share the same shades of brown and yellow and red as me, that they were put on this earth for a purpose.

That’s not to diminish anyone else’s life, but it’s to say, like @lincolnablades tweeted on Wednesday, that “our lives matter too.”

It doesn’t always feel like others believe this though. And after Ferguson and Charlotte and Cleveland and Florida, yesterday we received another reminder from New York. That a video recording doesn’t matter. That the coroner declaring something a murder doesn’t matter. That none of it matters when you don’t view someone as a person in front of you.

Earlier this week, I had a semblance of hope come up in me. That 1% I talked about before? It was starting to be restored. I saw video after video and picture after picture of young people across this world voicing their disapproval. I saw people in London holding up signs that say “Black Lives Matter.” I saw students from my Alma mater shutting down Union Station in D.C. I saw students from Loyola University and Harvard University stage walk outs in protest. And I remembered why I call myself Black. Why I scream it loud and proud. Again, that’s not to diminish the other parts of my ancestry. I recognize I am also French Creole and Cajun. I am Southern to a fault sometimes. I am very much a woman.. but when I say I am Black, I acknowledge the unity of that word. I acknowledge the “globalness” of that word. I acknowledge the struggles Black people of all countries have had to endure and the accomplishments we’ve brought about.

I proclaim that despite what others may believe, my people do matter.

Because God put us on this earth for a reason.

And I know He is not pleased with the way His people are being mistreated.