He, She & Them?

STOP STOP STOP involving everyone in your relationship.  Didn’t your mom teach you, “What goes on in this house, stays in this house?”  If you’re having issues, talk to the person you’re having them with.  No one is a better suitor than your mate.  Outsiders are not always optimistic, and immediately begin to judge without ever having the full story.  Why do we take an outsider’s opinion over logic, and what we already know to be true?  No matter the difficulties, we still know the real “Him.”   

As women, we always accuse men of not communicating, and that may sometimes be true, and you may be a great communicator, but if you’re doing it with everyone but him, what good is it?  Once you begin to paint your mate as this deplorable individual, you can’t be upset with others for the way they view and treat him.  Your friends and family will typically take your side and he won’t have a chance in Hell with them.  Now you’ve placed yourself and your relationship in a constant defensive mode.  It’s nobody’s business what goes on in your relationship.   You have to be mature enough to hash it out, even when it’s not pleasant. 

Wo”MAN” up and handle your business!    The way you handle your relationship woes is only a compass for the direction in which your relationship is headed.  When nosy people are poking around in your relationship, you have to quite frankly, SHUT THEM DOWN!  Misery actually does love company, and it’s up to you in which direction you decide to steer your relationship.  If the relationship is worth saving, have some staying power, figure it out  TOGETHER and keep it moving… 

-Terry D.

Valentine’s Day Blues

Do you have the Valentine’s Day Blues?  There are a lot of singles who feel lonely on Valentine’s Day, but the caveat to that is, there are a lot of women in relationships that feel lonely on Valentine’s Day too!  This is the one holiday that will distinguish your real title of “The One” from “The Jump-Off.”   We usually already know our status, but there are certain indicators that hit home more than others, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you accept it. 

Valentine’s Day has become such an important date to us, that we don’t mind NOT spending the actual day with our significant other, just as long as some sense of acknowledgment is in place.  A band-aid, “if you will,” but when you snatch it off, the same wound and sting still exist.  Valentine’s Day has become a showcase to prove our relationship status to others.  When you go home and the reality kicks in, and you’re left to spend the evening alone, all the flowers, balloons and candy won’t be enough to soothe or mend your broken heart.  If you’re consumed by the visual presentation, you’re setting yourself up for failure. 

If you don’t actually have a “Valentine”, use this as a day to love yourself and not allow yourself to be depressed and  defined by ONE day.  Don’t get me wrong, if you have someone in your life, certainly you should expect to spend it together in your own special way.  In the meantime, start treating yourself the way you want someone else to treat you.  Therefore, the next time Valentine’s Day rolls around, and you have that special “boo” you know exactly what to expect and leave little room for disappointment! 

Love shouldn’t take you out of character, or be dictated to you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Terry D.

Woman to Woman

I’ve witnessed the relationships between women today become almost non-existent.  As women, we are equipped with an abundance of strength, tenacity and resilience, but we can’t capitalize off of it, because of our inability to support one another.  When I was growing up, women had their issues, but they were also”Ride or Die.”  What happened to those values? If my mom was in a bind, there were several people she could lean on for support.  When something good happened to them, they gathered at one house, cooked for one another and celebrated. When I was the youngest woman on my job, the older women took me under their wings, and taught me the ropes, but that concept is long gone.  We’re so afraid if we lend any assistance to one another, they might make it before us.  I’ve grappled over many theories, and none of them really made any sense.  One theory that made more sense than others is; the women in the past had limited resources, but they pulled them together and made it work.  With each generation, we’re afforded more resources, but as we attain more, it makes us more selfish.  Our insecurities are completely exposed the moment we feel threatened. 

The very minute we see someone else living their dreams and achieving their goals, the judgment begins.  Who does she think she is?  I can’t stand her, she thinks she’s better than everyone else, she’s so arrogant, but in reality it’s all silent, but mostly very loud ENVY.   Instead of hoping and wishing someone else fails, get to work on your own dreams.  When you are focused on you, it leaves no room for “HATE.”  My mom always taught me that there will always be someone out there better looking than you, more successful than you, but you can only be the best you, you can be.  God has made us all in His image; therefore, no one can take from you what He has for you!

I marvel when I see women doing their thing – it does my heart good, and only encourages me to know that I can do the same.  When you’re able to celebrate another, it only makes room for the blessings that God has already ordained for you.     

For our past teachings, we inhaled the knowledge and are now breathing an air of love, values, morals and power. -Terry D.

If you dig one ditch you better dig two, because the ditch you dig may be for you. -Mahalia Jackson

-Terry D.

It’s Extra if you come with baggage

Yes, it is true… It is extra if you come with baggage. I’m fed up with everyone thinking it’s okay to dump their past baggage on me, and thinking I’m suppose to accept it. If you’re not ready to check your bag at the door, then don’t knock at mine, because I don’t have any extra compartments. We all come with extra baggage and issues, but we have to know which bags are too full.

The cold hard truth is, we empty our bags from a previous relationship, and expect someone else to rifle through and sort out our dirty laundry. Before we decide to involve ourselves with someone else, we have to be fair to them, as well as ourselves and detoxify. If you don’t cleanse your heart, mind and spirit of excess emotional and mental baggage, you repeat the same cycle; because you’re looking for someone to else to do for you, what you’re required to do for yourself. It’s almost like a “curse” that won’t go away, because with each relationship you will add another bag.

Don’t be afraid to get some professional help if you think it’s necessary. We tend to think if we seek help, it’s a sign of weakness but it’s actually empowering, because it allows you to unload all your frustrations, and see yourself through a set of objective eyes.   You have to be open and ready to receive the feedback.   

Every relationship carries its own weight of issues, and if you spend too much time trying to clean up your past, your present will soon be your past as well.

In the words of Erykah Badu, “BAG LADY, YOU GONE HURT YO BACK.”

-Terry D.

What’s in a Title?

If you’re in a relationship, do you need to have a title to feel validated?  The majority seems to think a Title carries no weight.  The pessimistic answers are almost the majority in feeling that having a title doesn’t give you any more leverage than having no title.  Having a title to some means security in a relationship.  Whether it seems immature or not, you should always require and define your status in a relationship.   Knowing where you stand, leaves no room for error.  If you’ve spent an inordinate amount of hours with someone, and your interactions resemble that of a relationship, but when you begin to question your relationship status, and the question goes unanswered, you actually did get your answer, and it’s up to you to decide, “What’s in a Title?” 

Certainly having a title doesn’t constitute or guarantee monogamy, but why invest yourself into anyone who isn’t willing to claim you as their “woman” or “man?”  If when you are introduced to friends and family, and there is no title attached, you will then know, “What’s in a Title?” 

“Never make someone a priority who makes you an option.” – Les Brown 

-Terry D.

Is it Just Sex?

The probing question has always been, “Is it just Sex?”  Do men and women have the same feelings the morning after, or even right after.  Studies have repeatedly proven that sex can be just “sex” to men.  Women have argued the fact that they can have sex without emotions  as well.  I polled 50 men and women.  Forty (40) out of 50 men, admitted that they can have sex with no emotional ties, but they did preface that by also saying, “It’s not usually with someone they care about.”  One thing I’ve found is that if a man cares about you, the sex does take on a different meaning.  Forty-seven (47) out of 50 women said they feel a sense of insecurity if they don’t hear from a man after having sex with them.  The other 5% of men said they can’t have sex without emotions, and the other 3% of the women said they have no problem having casual sex. 

Although the conversations are had up front, men usually know that women aren’t able to have sex without having some sort of emotional attachment, but they will “play” along until it gets to be too much for them.  Women more than not, will agree to a “just sex” relationship, because there’s always that thought in the back of their mind that it will eventually develop into something more. 

Even if as a woman, you’re able to have a “no strings” attached relationship, eventually you have a moment of recollection, and begin to question the reasoning behind your actions.  

If you make a conscious decision to have sex with someone, and they’ve already made their intentions clear in the beginning, do you have a right to expect to be treated any different from a “Friend with Benefits?”

-Terry D.

Is social media the cause of relationship riffs?

I am often intrigued by all the relationship riffs and woes I read about on a daily basis.  Couples are not able to friend one another on facebook, or your mate going so far as to hack into your page to spy on your social media activity.  There have been horror stories of creating fictitious profiles, in order to spy.  If we allow social media to be the root cause of our split; it’s more than likely we were already headed for doom in the first place.  There has to be a level of trust established before we ever get to this point.  Passwords shouldn’t be a prerequisite in order to feel secure in a relationship.  Plain and simple, if you’re in a good/great relationship, why are you spending so much time on these social media sites in the first place? 

If you’re checking your mate’s status every hour on the hour to see if they’re behavior is suspicious, let’s be honest, you didn’t need a status update to validate this for you.

The other catalyst to this growing problem is, we have allowed social media to ruin a perfectly good relationship, because we don’t spend enough time with our mates, because even if we’re in their presence, our attention is solely focused on checking our status, tweeting your every move, checking in and the list goes on.  If I’m not interesting and intriguing enough for you, then don’t be with me.    

The most dreaded use of social media is in Church!  Really?  God is not worth a couple of hours of your time.  How do you post that church is, “Off the Chain,” if you’re involved?  Yeah, that’s when you know you’ve gone too far…

Social media is just that.  It can be a great resource, but dont’ let it ruin your relationship with your mate, spouse or God. 

-Terry D.

Is Cheating a learned or taught habit?

I’ve had endless conversations with both men and women on cheating, and it definitely is a button pusher.  I decided to start polling the men first on what their views were on cheating?  It wasn’t even across the board, and was certainly interesting to hear the different points of view from the different age groups.  I polled from the age of 33 – 51.  I found that the younger generation is very vocal and more honest about their views on relationships and cheating.  The younger generation tends to think that cheating is not a taught lesson, but something they just chose to do.  As the age group increased, I found that men were more apt to believe that for the most part, they learned cheating from an early age.  They admitted that most of their family members cheated, so they felt it was ok to do the same.  Others were more honest in also admitting that as they matured, they decided to be more monogamous.  

Some men even went so far as to say, “If she lets me, whey would I not?” 

Like anything else we see in our childhood, as adults we have the power to break these habits, or generational curses as I call them.  In the end, we are all responsible and accountable for our own actions.  In the words of the late MJ, “The Man in the Mirror.”  

Are we creatures of habit, products of our environment, or are they excuses?

-Terry D.