Relationship laundry list or being happy with your choice?

If you are in a relationship and not getting every single thing that you want out if it, ask yourself: do you want a relationship that meets the full laundry list of your requirements or do you want a relationship with a particular person that doesn’t seem to meet them all? The approach is different for each.

Whenever you think you are clear on what you need from a mate to be happy there is invariably a list created in your head.  Your significant other should have this and be that.  If you are a reasonable person, your list eventually shortens from a bunch of wants to foundational needs.  That list includes things like willingness to communicate rather than things like tall, dark and handsome.  Even with a reasonable list of realistic needs, the person applying for the job may not fulfill the entire list.  Do you give up a great person to check off your complete list?  There isn’t a wrong answer to that question, only a wrong answer for YOU.

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If all the items on your list are a must have then the how-to is simple: compare your list to your suitor and proceed accordingly. However, you have signed up for a journey akin to taking the “precious” to Mordor under the scrutinizing eye of Lord Sauron (for you non-geeks, that’s a Lord of the Rings reference).  In plain English, you have chosen to exercise grave patience.  Most people don’t know if the person that has everything on their list exists because they won’t finish the search to find out.

If a person has come along that is evaluated to be worth taking a chance on despite not meeting the full list, then you have a whole different ball game.  Choosing a person to be your companion over the full list you feel your companion should have begins a hefty battle.  Once you’ve decided on a person rather than ALL the things you think you would need from someone in the position you have given them, your approach has to change.  Instead of that person measuring up to your standards, most of your interaction with that person will be you adjusting your standards.  All the things about a person that you thought would make you happy are replaced by a person and all their flaws that you’ve chosen to create your happiness with.  Picking that person includes picking their decision making, picking their personality, picking their way to receive and give love, etc… You will need a plethora of acceptance and perseverance. BUT what do you know… that’s what long lasting relationships need anyway. You just may find out that the happiness from being with the person you’ve chosen is far better than the totality of any list you could have created.

As always, I encourage you to share your experience or debate mine!!

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Need Closure For Your Old Relationship…. Zipper Anyone?!?!

Whether it was a 10 year committed relationship or a month long fling, when the interaction ends there are always so many questions and what ifs lingering.  Men handle them differently than women.  As women we tend to push for answers, understanding and satisfaction from our former partner.  As women we sometimes feel as though we’re stuck and can’t move on without those things.  As women, we have to learn to let go of that death grip we tend to have on trying to get him to satisfy our need to get why it ended and accept that it ended.  The truth is, if you are waiting to be made whole again through closure from your ex….. you may as well buy a zipper.

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Well it doesn’t have to be a zipper, feel free to purchase a button, a snap, velco….whatever.  The point is you are more likely to get closure from those items than you are your former mate.  It’s okay to have questions about where it went wrong, how it went wrong, what was your part, etc… The problem comes in when it is expected that the information is owed to you, the information will make you whole again or the information will miraculously make you ready to move on with your life.  Marriage or a one night stand, if that person hasn’t made a commitment to stay with you and work it out then they don’t owe you anything.  You can feel entitled for as long as you like but the blatant truth is, it isn’t owed to you and you may never get it the way you think you should anyway.

So where can you turn for closure?  Turn to yourself.  Closure always has and always will come from within.  You have to reconcile for yourself (sometimes with no information from your ex) how the break-up will affect you, what it will teach, what it will change about you, how it will tweak your dating process, etc…  Stop calling him.  Stop waiting for him.  Stop Facebook stalking him.  YOU decide.  YOU have the power.  YOU give yourself closure.

As always, I encourage you to share your experience or debate mine!!

The New 80/20 Rule

 by Sha’  (Y.U.R.I. Magazine, Fall 2011 Edition)

     When speaking of the 80/20 rule, most envision the ever popular scene from Why Did I Get Married?  In that scene, a discussion is had among the husbands on the retreat, in which two of the husbands reveal their infidelities.  Within that discussion the age old adage of the 80/20 rule is explained.  The rule is based on the Parento Principle but adapted to marriage and relationships.  As adapted, the rule states that within a relationship a person will only get 80% of their wants and needs fulfilled from the person in which they are involved.  While having a grip on that 80%, ever so often someone comes along outside of the relationship possessing what is felt to be the missing 20% from your current involvement.  Often the 20% is praised, focused on and even preferred to the point of defection.  BAM!  The 80% is traded in for the 20%, only for the trader to realize later that the 20% alone.  This makes for a popular relationship mistake.

     I venture to introduce a new 80/20 perspective.  When leaving a relationship, people tend to spotlight what they did not receive during its tenure.  Filling that void is top on the list when interacting with potential new mates.  If the Ex didn’t spend enough time with that person, then the first attribute they evaluate about the potential mate is that he/she has time in abundance.  That person may have had 80% of everything else they needed or wanted out of the old relationship, but quality and quantity of time wasn’t accounted for within that percentage.  Now, time is a key component of the missing 20% in the must-have traits of the next mate…doing so down plays the 80% that encompassed other needed and desired characteristics by the old mate.  Treating the 20% as important is expected, however treating it as most important can lead to disaster.  Finding a mate with a wealth of time to spend as the focal point of the search can guide the searcher down a path of ignoring WHY the potential mate may have so much time to spend.  What if you are falling heart first for someone who has a lot of time because they refuse to hold a job?  If so, that negative trait may go undetected or simply be ignored just to fill the emptiness and feed a need for more time.  Knowing the qualities you need to compliment your happiness is smart.  Knowing the hierarchy of qualities you need to compliment your happiness likely exists in groups, rather than single traits, is smarter.

 1. quality time

2. honesty

3. hard working

4. sense of humor

5. considerate

6. light skinned

7. tall

     Listing traits in a single line (and even numbering them as seen above), leads one to think of each trait as a ranked item.  Rather than thinking singular, the thought process should be more geared toward a cluster perspective.  Much like the food group pyramid taught in nutrition classes, certain traits go together in importance and others together in less importance.  But “together” is the key.

tall,  light skinned

quality time,  sense of humor

honesty,  hard working,  considerate

     With core traits as the foundation, we take the same list and arrange it in a group hierarchy rather than a linear one (as seen above).  Time may have been a factor in the demise of the former relationship. However, based on the example it is clear you cannot search for time in your next mate without ensuring they also possess honesty, consideration and are hard working.  It is clear that a collection of traits with different degrees of importance are needed to compliment your happiness.  A solitary trait will not lead to the success of a relationship; therefore singular traits should not be sought after with the vigor of a crusade.  Instead of using the straw that broke the camel’s back as the lone important ‘gotta have’ item for risking your heart, simply adding it to the pool of traits collected through trial and error of life elicits more success.

     Pursuits of perfection can sometimes over shadow the less than perfect, but needed, things in life.  Vying toward what is not in possession, while not maintaining or considering what IS in possession, usually plays out like the misdirection in magic.  The big picture is missed due to a small portion being a focal point.  Trade in the microscope for a pair of glasses so you can see more of the full picture that will bring you success.  Always keep the totality of your percentage in mind.  If the goal is truly getting as close to 100% as possible, then building on the 80% is needed.

     The grass isn’t always greener on the other side BUT it is always greener where you water it.  But that’s a statement for another article.

Can You Stand The Rain?

 When it’s good….mannnnnnnnnnnn it’s great. But when it’s bad….are you ready to bail? When I refer to can you stand the rain, I’m not talking about that sexy rain that makes crotches get slid to the side.

I’m not even talking about the kind of rain that you get drenched in but you’ll dry off and be no worse for wear. Well you may get the sniffles but you don’t feel death at your door.

I’m talking about the kind of rain that comes with names like Katrina!

Yeah, really bad storms in your relationship. The kind of messed-upness that when it comes, it makes you wish for a Rip Van Winkle sleep so it will be completely over when you wake up!!!

            You and your girl have been getting along. You hung up your Playa Card and endured the epic slander that is your boys saying she’s got you whipped because you’ve settled down a little.  It’s not marriage, but maybe one day… You’ve seen her without make-up and even on the days she wouldn’t dare let anyone else see her.

Somehow you still didn’t run away. You two have even had your share of arguments that ended in the best of make-up sex. This girl has got to be the one “or you’re caught in the Matrix” (thanks Jay-Z). In a word, you’re happy! Then it happens BOOM! The fight that has Hiroshima’d how things were and now you’re not so sure of how things will be anymore. That fight that brings about the need for a time machine because things were great just yesterday. You feel like if you could just get passed this, everything would be fine BUT for now

The first thing you have to understand, nobody EVER got over something by stopping. When you can’t get around it, you get over something by going through it to get to the other side. The first thing you have to do when things calm down a little, is fight fair. Apologize for any needlessly hurtful things you said during Round 1 but don’t do it to get an apology from her.  Do it because you didn’t mean to hurt her. Most men think women are simply too sensitive but sometimes, men are just too insensitive. She’s your girl because you felt she was the best choice from the pool of singles you had to choose from what was out there. If she’s not like them, then you can’t treat her like them. You actually care about her, show it when it counts.

             Second, realize that if she’s responding to you then that’s a good thing. If she is talking, then she’s still trying to work on the relationship with you. You may get a silent treatment at first. Think about some of the things you said, do you deserve the silent treatment for a little bit? If she wants to work through it, she’ll soon come off the silence.

             Thirdly, talking is great but you want to turn talking into communicating. A part of communicating includes actually listening to what the other person has to say. Another part is taking the time to make sure you UNDERSTAND what that person is trying to say, what point they are trying to get across. Sometimes you could be saying the same thing but because you didn’t use the right words that person needed to hear to get it… miscommunication ensues.

 Real communication involves speaking without offending and listening without defending. – @DarkSkin

 No one can really tell you WHAT to say to get things on track but how about a game plan on HOW to say them. I’ll paraphrase a quote that gives you the sentiment of how to handle it: each time you discuss instead of demand, you strengthen your relationship. Same goes for speaking with respect instead of sarcasm, and listening instead of dismissing, and engaging instead discharging.

             Finally, if communication is the key, then action is what gets the door open after it is unlocked. Once a compromise is reached, you have to take steps to implement the plan that the two of you agreed upon. If it sounded better as theory but the application doesn’t quite work for you, then bring it back to the table for discussion. Remember you had an agreement, don’t change what you decided together for something you decided alone.

 Do the work and you could start to see the rainbow and leave the storm behind.

 You could always just decide forget it all and get back in the dating pool. But let’s just be honest, she was your best choice when you were in the single area before.  You have changed and not just anyone will accept your protruding nipples with a straight face. Besides…

Ask Sha’ re Feminist Propaganda bullsh!t

I didn’t get a question. It was a comment. I will cut and paste it, as not to misquote:

men commit to relationships wwwaaay more serious than women…youre just spewing the normal feminist propaganda bullshit..

First, I’d like to ask, who threw-up in your Cheerios sweetie?  Second, I can only assume you were referring to the recent post 5 Men Single Women Should #AtThesameDayumTime and the line that went “Women tend to get upset because they often feel it’s hard to get a man to commit.” Clearly you didn’t catch that I said women FEEL it’s hard to get a man to commit. Despite your mistaken comprehension of my post, let’s talk more anyway. You were kind enough to add a YouTube video to your correspondence. I have embedded the video below  to oblige your need for cross marketing for it from that audience to mine. 😉 I don’t know if you are the video author of this clip or simply a fanatic of it because you didn’t disclose. I’ll simply call you Mr. IP Address: 71.82.15.93.  The video starts by defining a woman attempting to persuade a man of her desires as “gyno-speak”. I assume the reference was a play on words as related to gynecology. I’m sure you thought that was as cute as I thought calling a dick the name Richard was cute in my post. To each his own on that point.  The video goes on to label a commitment as a man giving up his freedom and a woman using “shaming” language to accomplish this goal. It then continues on a tyriad about men not being commitment-phobes but being labeled as such by women who want to induce “domestic slavery”.  I apologize to you for stopping at the 3:53  point of the 12:09 video but I’d heard quite enough to back my initial opinion that you clearly misunderstood my post you lovingly labeled as “feminist propaganda bullshit”. However, I did surmise a few more points for you even having only heard about 1/3 of your recommended media delivered in a condescendingly robotic voice.

  • I never said men were commitment-phobes. I said they are selective and don’t easily settle for less than what they want. I then advised women to follow suit.
  • Every woman doesn’t want a commitment.
  • The video is a negative person speaking from a negative point of view probably not realizing that is the very state that lends itself to a self fulfilling prophecy of attracting negativity. I believe the saying goes, “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. I’ll translate it to apply here: if you expect that every woman that wants to be exclusive with you is inducting you into domestic slavery with vagina speak, then that is what you will attract.

I want to thank you so much for sharing. YOUR thought process is the exact thought process of a man that looks for woman to audition to earn your focus; regardless of your qualifications (or lack thereof ) for that focus. Thus proving the need for the original point of my advice………..ladies, qualify men (and friends, family, etc…) for your precious time and hearts.

5 Men a Single Woman Should Date….#AtTheSameDayumTime

DISCLAIMER:  Forgive me for the hash tag abuse, I am mightily aware that the purpose of hash tags is to group together like posts on Twitter and now Instagram.  However, for the past few years hash tags have been abused on Facebook as a way to emphasize apart of your status.  I’ve embraced the latter and have done so here. 😉

Women tend to get upset because they often feel it’s hard to get a man to commit.  I beg the question: why isn’t it harder for women to commit?  It’s only a matter of making a simple decision: don’t try to make the one you’re with, The One.  Instead learn what your One looks like, feels like, handles business like, etc…. and hold auditions.  Oh you didn’t realize that is what most men have most women doing?  And why not?  I mean companies interview for jobs using requirements and performance expectations.  Who’s fault is it that you are so willing to work with what you have in a man when you meet him rather than continue to see who would be a better fit?

While a woman is single, she should be greedy and selfish.  It should be all about her when she’s dealing with men that she dates.  Dating and being single should be fun.  Compromise and understanding is for relationships and if you aren’t in one…  Get the picture?  Too often women are trying to be a girlfriend without having been given the title.  All too willing to be considered rather than be the one doing the considering.

Barbara-Bradford_taylor-Etiquette-To_Please-Him

Stop interviewing for the girlfriend job and hold your own interviews for the job of being your boyfriend!  It’s all about knowing your value and doing your part to accept nothing less than what you deserve.  “Some people are the kind of people to go into a bank like what do I have to do to get this loan and others walk into a bank like what are you willing to do to get my business“.  That’s a quote by author John Wolfe.  Although he wasn’t talking about relationships, it still applies.  Are you the kind of woman that will start with a man seeing what you can do for him or are you the kind of woman that will start with a man making sure he can do what you need done for you?  The latter usually ends up with a greater amount of happiness with her choice.

Who are these five men a woman should look for in her interview processes?  Ben, Stan, E, Richard and Mo.

Ben is a BENefactor.  When he comes into your life, he upgrades it.  A man is a provider and if he is not providing for you then be clear that your relationship will be off balance.  It’s such a natural instinct for man that if he isn’t providing for you, then you can almost bet there is someone else he is providing for in lieu of you.  Providing can be using his contacts, his resources and/or his money.  I don’t encourage you to be a gold digger, just don’t entertain a broke……. Well, you know what Kanye West said, no need in me finishing the statement.

Stan is underSTANding.  He takes the time to find out who you are and what makes you happy.  He can tell by your voice that you’ve had a rough day and responds to your need to relax.  He gets you.  He knows exactly how you will react in certain situations.  You sometimes communicate without even saying a word.  He keeps you positive when you’re being negative.  He is your comfort zone.

E is Entertaining.  You work hard and you should play hard, so who better to play with?  His purpose is to bring balance to your life.  He’s fun and always “on”.  With him it’s all about a good time, whether you go out or stay in.  He caters to your adventurous side and reminds you that life is supposed to be exciting.

Richard is good in bed (some of you will get how the name relates later, if not email me and I’ll tell you the inside joke).  He sexes you upside the wall, just the way you need it.  He makes sure you get yours….twice….before he climaxes.  He is all about pleasing you because he realizes that will translate into him being pleased too.  From a romantic Don Juan to a Christian Grey, he gives you ecstasy just the way you like it.

Mo is the role MOdel.  He is important whether you have children right now or you plan to have them in the future.  From the outside looking in, he is to be your definition of a man.  Other guys respect him but women want their sons to be like him and their daughter to marry someone like him.

Sometimes each of these type of men are not in five separate men.  Your Ben may also be your E or your Stan may also be your Richard and your Mo.  It doesn’t matter when you’re single, just make sure you have each in your life.  When you get good at identifying each of these men and you’re ready to settle down, then your auditions should be geared toward finding one candidate that has the combination of the five that you need to compliment your particular happiness.

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No one is perfect and I’d venture to say that a single man fitting all five types, would be hard to find.  Decide what’s important to you and find HIM.  After you’ve found him and BOTH of you are committed, then you have responsibilities to make sure you compliment his happiness by fulfilling his needs and wants too.

As always, I encourage you to share your experience or debate mine!!

The Book And The Cover

(A post from my personal blog.)

 BS

            I was watching the Blind Side….for the first time today.  It was a beautiful story. At the end they shared pictures of the real Michael Oher and his family.

 

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My first thought was if I’d seen those same pictures without knowing the story behind their family, I’d have judged them all wrong. I’d have thought, if even for a moment: that white family probably stepped in to help that black boy only due to his football ability and got paid off it in the end. It doesn’t come from a racist point of view, it comes from a “people always taking advantage of others” point of view. Besides, as the daughter of a white man and a black woman… I can say what I want about either race, so shut it!! Amazing how the first “cover” we give to “books” we haven’t read tends to be negative.

 

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         We’re told not to judge others. As humans we have a tendency to characterize and categorize. It’s actually a defense mechanism. You do it to get a feel on how to interact with things and even people. Sometimes our judgment is off and sometimes it’s spot on.

 

judging-others

 

         I venture to stand firm that people NEED to and SHOULD judge others.  I qualify the people in my life. It is a rare occasion that someone gets something (not always material things) from me that they weren’t qualified to receive. Who’s standards do I use? My own. My standards of qualification are led by my spiritual connection, how I was raised, what my environment has taught me and even sometimes what society has pushed on me.

         To judge before knowing about something is needed to quickly assess danger. I argue the quote “don’t judge a book by its cover” is not a good lesson. Most often in life you don’t have time to read the book, you may not have access to the Cliff Notes or half way through the book you realize it was a bad choice but it’s too late and you’ll never get that time/opportunity back.

 

cliff-notes-funny-image

 

          Apply that to relationships, possible jobs, child care options, etc… Sometimes all you may have is a few minutes to judge whether something is good for you or not….good for your kids or not. You HAVE to judge and you have to be good at it and get better at it. Always judge BUT never be unwilling to adjust that judgment with the revelation of new information. Don’t be afraid to change your mind based on what you’ve learned since your initial judgment.

 

 MindPower

Don’t waste your life looking for “The One”

A lot of people believe they will find their other half in another person and that person will be their soul mate, “THE One”….their Neo.  Whether you take the red or blue pill, what you’ll have to realize is that YOU are “THE One”. What you are is what you will attract and connect to in this life.  If you are single, work to BE who you want to attract. If you are in a relationship, BE who you want your partner to be in return.  I found a great post that gives a similar perspective:

 

soulmate

From an early age we are taught to seek and desire that one special someone to spend our lives with. “The one”. This person is your soul mate, the one you will one day marry. The one who won’t be perfect but will be perfect for you. Yes indeed how many of us have sought for that in our youth and how many of us have actually found it?

To be sure some have, whether by seeking or by stumbling upon “the one” they have successfully found that someone whom they are happily spending their life with. Kudos to you.

But for many of us who are still “waiting” I would like to offer my personal opinion: You are free to disagree and experience will tell me that despite many of you agreeing in word very few of you will agree in action.

Don’t spend your life looking for, waiting for, and expecting “the one”.

For some people the ultimate goal is get a woman to spend their life with or a man to put that ring on their finger. I don’t think any of you who think this way mean any harm but I would say that the idea that “If we just work hard enough at it we can make a good marriage” may be a myth.

For others, perhaps the wiser (or at least the more idealistic), they don’t want to settle for anything but the best. These people want that person whom they can connect with on all levels, who shares their hopes and dreams, who fulfills their fantasies, who connects as a best friend and a lover.

For this second group of people finding someone compatible that you are willing to commit your life to is much harder and may take much longer. And these are primarily who I’m giving this advice to.

See you could spend all your time looking for, preparing for, trying to meet, and wishing for that one whom you think will make you happy. And for sure if you should ever meet it would be a happy relationship. But is this really any way to live?

There are few good marriages out there. Not that marriage is a bad idea. It’s not. But there are few people who remain married for life and even fewer who remain happily married for life. The idea of a perfect marriage is a mirage for most people.

Most. But not all. However, if you are holding out for that person whom you find really is “the one” for you my advice is this:

Learn to be content where you are. Learn to love where you are. Pursue other things in life. Pursue your dreams to save the world, or write a book, or start an orphanage, or perfect a musical instrument, or lead a church, or become a doctor. Whatever it is that excites you that you can attain: pursue that wholeheartedly.

This will first of all create a contented spirit in you which is very important to having a happy life. Secondly it will put you in the position to be where the kind of person who is “the one” would likely be as well. If you really want to be a missionary in Africa, spending time at a posh mega church single’s group will most likely not be the best place to meet a like-minded soul mate. In fact, you may fall in love only to find that you have to choose between your dreams and your lover. Sadly, many people give up everything for a human being who will ultimately let them down.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. Gain something by being content and stop waiting for the one. If they come you will be better for them. If they don’t you will have something to show at the end of your life besides a series of failed relationships.

from thelovemanifesto’s blog post: Don’t waste your life looking for “The One”.

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge

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Hey people. I haven’t blogged in a while and this challenge has come just in time to get me back in the habit. I first discovered this blog challenge last year.  I accepted and survived the challenge, posting every day but Sundays for the entire month of April. You may wonder where my posts are from last year. Well surprise, surprise I used my hard work from last year to publish a book: The ABC’s of Relationships: An Alphabetical Look Into Relationships available on Amazon.com as a Kindle eBook. You can find it HERE. The creator of this great challenge, Arlee Bird of  Tossing It Out, was gracious enough to even write the forward for my book. Some of my favorite comments from various blog posts even made it into my book as well (with permission, of course).

ABCcover

If you’ve taken time to look around my blog, you will see (if you didn’t figure it out from the name…DUH) it is primarily about relationships.  The focus is mostly on relationships of a romantic nature but some posts can be applied to your interpersonal relationships with friends, family, etc..  That brings to be what my A to Z Challenge theme will be this year: relationship with self.  This year I am writing about how to have a better relationship with yourself, one alphabet at a time.

The relationship YOU have with YOU sets the tone for the relationships you have with other people.  Some thoughts will overlap in different posts at times, after all life is connected.

I invite you to take this journey with me into self.  It is my hope that by the time we reach Z, you will know how to be the best YOU that YOU can be.

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The ABC’s of Relationships…the eBook

As I discussed in the reflection post for the A to Z Blog Challenge I participated in the entire month of April, I will be taking the posts I created for each letter and publishing them in an eBook.

As of now, all 26 of those posts are  no longer visible on my blog. It is almost as if I didn’t blog at all in the month of April, when in reality I blogged everyday with the exception of Sundays. Never fear, the post have a new home with my eBook to be published this month in the Amazon Kindle store.

A huge thank you to Arlee Bird (the creator of the blog challenge) for agreeing to pen the forward for my book AND to those persons who gave their permissions for their comments to the original posts to be included in the book.  I’d also like to thank everyone that commented, followed my blog and shared my blog during the challenge. I hope you will consider giving the gift of my relationship advice to your family and friends.

The ABC’s of Relationships by S.W. Cannon will be published on Nonnac Content & Press into the Kindle store for only 99 Cents, June 2013.