Ping Pong Love Jones – Part 1

You go back, back & forth & forth with the Ping Pong Love Jones!  Why do we insist on going back for more?  We know the relationship is over, and it meant us no good, but we get that 4a.m. phone call at that vulnerable moment, and bam, before you know it, you are sleeping with the enemy again.  We know our mama told us there ain’t nothing open after midnight but legs and 7-eleven.  At first we reason with ourselves and justify every reason why we picked up that phone, but in the end, we may not want to admit it to others, but none of them really made any sense.  It doesn’t take us long to realize why they’re our ex in the first place, but can’t’ seem to resist the temptation of that “one last” good-bye.  That last good-bye turns into a series of many lasts.  We actually begin convincing ourselves that maybe it wasn’t so bad in the first place, but knowing all along nothing could be further from the truth.  In all actuality, we’re just postponing the inevitable and digging a deeper hole.  It all seems harmless, because he certainly has to love me if he wants me back, but we quickly realize the phone calls only seem to come in the middle of the night and there are no real dates involved this time around; only booty calls and the calls to set up the next booty call. 

While we know we have no business being back in this toxic relationship, our hearts and minds just can’t seem to align.  Hoping and Praying  that it will be better this time around, but it’s not.  Before long, we are crying ourselves to sleep, questioning our worth, wondering if we will ever find someone else or even if we deserve it.  So, before we decide this time that it is really over, we want to talk to them, just to make sure we aren’t making a mistake and then the dreaded conversation takes a turn that we may have expected, but certainly didn’t want to hear.  “I thought we were just having a little fun.”  We begin judging ourselves harshly because, how can I allow this to happen yet again?        

After we hang up the phone and cry, think about all the what if’s, and wish the worst possible things on earth would happen to this person, we fall asleep and wake up wishing it was all a dream and try to put the pieces of our hearts back together.

-Terry D.

How do you Define Romance?

Why do we say we want respect and romance, romance definition and immediately become offended when he isn’t trying to sleep with you right away?  Have we lost the ability to sense a good man or are we confused about what we really want?  Are we sending the wrong message, by making sexual advances, because he doesn’t?  Have we been hanging with the Mr. Wrong’s so long, that we no longer recognize Mr. Right?  We become cynical in our depiction of men, due to bad relationship experiences, and almost lose our capacity to identify love.  I don’t believe it’s so much as we don’t know what we want, but instead after relationship failures, we question our value, lack love for ourselves and begin thinking we are only defined by our sexual worth.   If he gives into your advances because of the pressure to prove his manhood, will he still respect you?  Does it make you feel undesirable when he doesn’t try to sleep with you, or is that all you feel you have to offer?  You’re so much more than a sexual being, and until you recognize that, you will continue to accept less than you deserve or desire.  If you truly are aware of what you want vs. what you don’t want, take inventory and take no prisoners.  You don’t have to be a hard ass, but you do have to be adamant about your deal breakers, but more importantly, stop wasting your time; because if you’re not ready to do that, you are a walking target for a series of romance-less relationships.

If romance and respect is what you want, then say that and keep your panties on.  When you project physically what you emotionally and mentally want, guess what – you will get it!  You have to own the confidence and not compromise your values.  If he doesn’t want to romance you, without the sex, you need to keep it moving, because that sounds a lot like a trade-off; and we both know what sex for pay is considered.  One key factor is, giving in and compromising what you believe in, will not get you any closer to your goal of attaining true love.  If we didn’t think so little of ourselves and not use sex as a bargaining chip, we would be surprised at the real bond that romance and sexless intimacy can bring.  You can’t hold him accountable without holding yourself accountable.  Sometimes it takes you taking a step back from relationships, and learning more about yourself and all that you have to offer in order to become comfortable  and not selling yourself cheap. 

Close your legs, open your mind and let the romance begin!

-Terry D.

Premature Submission

There’s a difference in prematurely submitting to your potential husband and exhibiting wife-like material characteristics.  If you’re at the point where you’re ready to be married and have decided you need to do more to display the characteristics and your readiness to be a wife; are you submitting to your potential husband, or just displaying that you’re wife material?  It’s almost like getting the cow without purchasing the milk.  You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to demonstrate your wife-like qualities.  Desperation sometimes causes us to alter and act outside of our normal character and make unsound decisions.  Do we look for husband-like traits in him, or get lost in trying to prove ourselves, get off course and become unequally yoked? 

If you’re engaged in a relationship with someone who is contemplating marrying you, but suggests that they’re not sure if you’re wife material, just maybe he’s not husband material.  As women, we get so caught up in trying to prove ourselves that we’re often proving ourselves to men who don’t always deserve it.  In the end, we would have jumped through hoops, only to find that he really didn’t want to marry us in the first place.  Although we all make mistakes, we usually have an intuition when something isn’t right, but often ignore the signs, and end up living a life of regret and resentment.  Don’t rush your season before its time.  When we are true to ourselves, our intuition won’t lead us down the wrong path.  You already know your worth, and it shouldn’t be up for negotiation.  

Truth be told, submission is for your husband, and not for your husband to be. 

-Terry D.

Are you reducing your chances at Love?

Are you reducing your chances of meeting him by having too many stipulations?  When you’re a teenager, you have this ideology of what Mr. Right will look like, what kind of car he will drive, etc.  Well as you mature, you begin to prioritize and rationalize these same expectations of perfection.  You come to learn that he may not be 6’4”, light with hazel eyes and driving the Maybach Benz.  If you’re seeking true love, stability and a solid foundation, you have to make sound and mature choices.

As women, it’s difficult to dismiss our idea of what we’ve always wanted, even if we know it’s outside of the realm of reality.  It’s almost as if we’ve conformed to what society says a “Successful couple” looks like, but that doesn’t create happy or lasting relationships.  It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks, as long as he makes you happy. 

Does the complexion of someone, the car they drive or the job they hold define their character?  How can you ever be sure of what your type is, if you have tunnel vision?  Sure, we all want this picture perfect mate, but that’s just not reality.  I”m not suggesting that you have to settle for someone you don’t want, but to simply open your mind.  Until you expand your limited mindset, you may just find yourself single a little longer.  Standards and stipulations are not the same thing, and it’s up to you to decide what’s important to you, true happiness or only what it looks like from the outside. 

Open your mind to the endless possibilities and increase your odds!

 -Terry D.

The Mis-Education of the Single Ladies (20 Questions…)

  1. Why do we as single ladies feel we must pimp ourselves out in order to get and/or keep a man? 
  2. Why do we accept less than what we want just to have a man?  (Settling)
  3. Why do you accept flirting from men when they’re with their woman, and think she’s dumb for letting it happen? 
  4. Why do we lie about the status of our relationship in order to save face? 
  5. Who told you it was a crime to be single? 
  6. Who told you it is okay to accept cheating, as long as he’s taking care of home? 
  7. Why do you stay so long without any promise of marriage? 
  8. Why do you think he loves you, just because you’re having sex on a regular? 
  9. Why are we having sex before marriage?
  10. Why do you think its okay to sleep with someone else’s husband? 
  11. Why do you think you’re the one who’s going to change him?   
  12. Why do you want him to have everything on point, and you don’t?
  13. Why do we think we’re not worth more?
  14. Why do we think all men are dogs, and think we’re going to attract a good one?
  15. Why do we think, “How did she get a man, and I don’t have one?”
  16. Why are we so afraid to be alone?
  17. Why don’t we accept we could be the reason we’re single?
  18. Why is it so hard to move on from bad relationships?
  19. Why don’t we make ourselves available?
  20. Why does being single make us desperate?

-Terry D.

Raise Your Son to Love Early

As single moms, we have to do better at teaching our sons to love, and that crying does not make him weak.  We shouldn’t want to raise our sons to be the men we don’t want to date or marry.  I’ve found that as single parents, we try to overcompensate for the lack, inadvertently becoming enablers.  We don’t correct them if they have multiple girlfriends, we wait on them hand and foot and we don’t teach them to clean or cook because we want them to grow up and be manly men.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and she was telling me about how her son had his own apartment, but when he wants to cheat, he brings his other girlfriends to her house.  I was stunned as she told me this story as she laughed saying, “Girls are so stupid.”  As my mouth hung open, I thought to myself, are you the stupid one, and is she serious?  Not only is she teaching him to be disrespectful to women, but did she ever stop to think, she would never want a man to treat her in this manner, nor would she want someone to treat her daughter like that.    I’m sure we’ve all had similar conversations with our girlfriends, and they’re joking and saying, “Girl he is a trip.”  He has more women that I can keep up with, or we’ve been that mom uttering those same words ourselves.  I’m sorry, but I don’t see the humor in this. Double standards can sometimes send the wrong message.  As “Modern Day” moms, we accept any and everything, and we try to be our children’s friend and not their parent.  It’s also in the way we conduct ourselves as single women in relationships.  If we are flaunting multiple men in front of them like we’re running an escort service, we are essentially teaching them that it’s okay to be disrespectful to women, because that’s what mama did.

I think we take for granted that they just know better, but that’s not always the case.  I was having a conversation with a family member of mine (early 20’s) and explaining to him, how it wasn’t cool to lead women on.  His interpretation was that it was okay for him to go out with multiple women if he wasn’t having sex with them all.  He asked, “What’s the big deal?”  If they don’t mind, why should I?” 

When my siblings and I were growing up, my mom didn’t tolerate disrespectful behavior toward women from my brothers.  If they had a girlfriend, she was the only one allowed in our home.  She made it clear to them that her home was not a motel, and if that’s how they were going to conduct themselves, they wouldn’t do it around her.    

We teach our boys not to hit women, we teach them not to initiate fights, how to read and write and all the essentials they need to grow to be productive adults, so why is it so difficult to teach them to respect women?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

 -Terry D.

STOP Living the LIE…

STOP living the lie… 

There are countless women in unsatisfying, unhealthy and deadend relationships, but are afraid to own up to it.  When you begin to shine a light on relationship woes, people begin to shy away from  the subject for fear of being exposed.  I completely understand, because I was once one of those women. Here’s a brief insight of what my unhealthy relationship looked like:

On the surface, my relationship appeared ideal, and although some of my friends knew of my sleepless nights and tear-stained pillow, I did a pretty good job at concealing the truth.  No matter how much I lived through this lie, the proof was in the pudding.  Although I was in a relationship, I felt like I was single.  In my heart I knew I didn’t belong with him, but somehow justified it on every turn.  I allowed what others thought of me to dictate my status.  All the examples I saw of healthy relationships had no resemblance to my own, but I kept up the appearance in order to avoid the questions, judgement and stigmas that came along with being single.  Every time we fought (not physically) or argued, I played out in my head how I would end it for good this time, but always found a reason to stay a little longer, just chipping away at my spirit.  I’m sure there are other ladies who live this same lackluster life.  Just know that you don’t have to, because at the end of the day, you are in control of  your heart.  Most of the times, others will tell you to stay because of their own fear, inability or lack of strength to leave.  Sometimes it’s just because we don’t always know how to leave!  I once had a really close friend of mine to tell me that when I was ready I would leave, because she had been through the same thing.  Well, she was right.  When I was ready, I left and never looked back.  The truth is, the emotional and mental abuse was a nightmare.  I can’t compare it to physical abuse, because I’ve never experienced that, but I felt like I was being hit daily, because it took  years to heal.

The compelling similarities that stick out like a sore thumb in your failed relationship, will definitely hit home.  Truth be told, if you’ve been in a relationship, good or bad, we all have a story to tell.  I’ve learned that my honesty about my experiences have intrigued others to want to know more, and look to me as their confidant and for advice. As I continue to use my life experiences and journeys to be a tool to help others, I discover new things about myself along the way as well.  If you don’t use your test as testimonies, you’re blocking someone else’s blessing of being released.   

The thing about our relationship behaviors is, we tend to think if we have repeated relationship failures that we are just dysfunctional beings, who have bad karma, or just will never get it right.    Nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s painful to think that our parents, siblings or some other relative could be the root cause to our behaviors and decision-making.  The truth of the matter is, it’s actually the reason we act the way we do, but it doesn’t have to be the reason we remain this way.  Other times, we just make bad decisions.   Sometimes, just simply identifying the initiating factor can be an eye opener.  Let me offer you a few tools that were instrumental in my road to healing:

  • Don’t be afraid to admit that you’ve failed at a relationship
  • Admit your part you played in the relationship failing
  • Stop beating up on yourself and claiming doom on future relationships
  • Get the naysayers out of your head (they will make you believe you’re not worthy of love & get on a self-pity wagon with you)
  • Make sure you have a support base (family, friends)
  • Surround yourself with people who love you and will tell you what you need to hear, and not what you want to hear
  • Talk to somebody(professional or otherwise)
  • Listen and apply the advice that is offered to you
  • Forgive him (easier said than done, but this is key to your freedom)
  • Begin spending time around others with healthy relationships and ask questions on how they sustain the happiness
  • Do YOU for a while ALONE

-Terry D.

Pick your Battles

Why do we insist on creating unnecessary strife, both consciously and subconsciously?  We need to pick our battles, because every situation does not warrant an argument or screaming match.  Most of our aggressive behavior toward resolution comes from how we saw others in our families or those closest to us resolve disputes.  We have to choose which path we will take in order to maintain the peace, as well as our sanity.  They say, “That sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  I completely disagree, because words can cut like a two edge sword.   Sometimes it’s like an out-of-body experience that takes over and we begin shooting below the belt, and these are things that we can’t take back no matter how hard we try. 

After we retire to our separate corners and think about all that has transpired, we replay each horrific word that was exchanged and a sense of regret comes over us, wishing we could have a do over.  The sad part about it is, each time we go through this, we know what the end result will be, but can’t seem to control our erratic emotions. 

More than not, the arguments stem from something that has nothing to do with him/her, but as simple as having a bad day at work, or someone else has made you upset for the day, but we bring all this excess baggage home with us.  If these are things that you have identified as triggers, you can make the decision to take some quiet time to yourself until you have calmed down.  This way, you can discuss what made you upset, and your mate can offer solace and not feel like they’re being attacked.  He/She is not the enemy! 

The simple things we argue about:

  • The infamous toilet seat
  • Dinner choices
  • Temperature of  the house
  • What to watch on television

The first thing you must do is sit down and calmly discuss the reasons for the disputes and find a better way to discuss them without flaring tempers.  As mature adults, you have to make the decision of what’s more important, you winning or your relationship.  The core reason why the argument continues is because we want to have the last word.  If you feel you are not able to resolve your disputes without it escalating, it’s time to get some professional help and get to the root of the real problem.  You will find that the disputes usually stem from something deeper than what’s on the surface.

Pick your battles and learn to walk away.  It’s perfectly okay to apologize, even if you feel you were right!  Compromise and humility goes a long way!

-Terry D.

Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships

If you continue to be involved in unhealthy relationships, it almost becomes like an infection that eats away at your heart.  We condition our minds to believe that we either don’t deserve more, or we just haven’t figured out how to break the cycle.  If we have only ever witnessed dysfunctional relationships, we tend to follow the same patterns.  Being involved in these relationships can deplete our self-esteem and fool us into believing that we have no self-worth.  Before you even realize it, you’re always generalizing all men as “Cheating no good dogs” and have convinced yourself that there are no good men left.  When our friends speak about their relationships, we quickly begin judging them, and doubting their sincerity.  It’s difficult for us to even fathom ever experiencing a healthy relationship, let alone believing that others are involved with someone who isn’t unfaithful, abusive or disrespectful. 

In order to break this ugly cycle, you have to first learn to love yourself, which is why it’s been so difficult to attract the right man.  Your lack of confidence and self-esteem sticks out like a sore thumb and will leave you vulnerable.  You also have to believe that there are actually good men that still exist, and that you deserve one; and you’re better than what you previously led yourself to believe.  Stop speaking ill will into your life, and welcome love instead.  Iron sharpens iron; therefore, you have to make sure that you are surrounding yourself around people who are involved in positive and healthy relationships.  Your confidence will certainly exude and command nothing less than what you deserve.  You are good enough, but if you don’t believe that, no one else will either. 

Resist the devil, and he will flee.  James 4:7

Terry D.

Empty Love

// As I sat and watched Tyler Perry’s movie, “Good Deeds,” it started me to thinking about how many of us are in functioning relationships with no real substance, because it looks good on paper, or it’s just what you’ve attuned yourself to.  The relationship portrayed in this movie seemed almost robotic.  They both were very successful individuals that had no genuine quality of life despite their wealth, because it was essentially arranged, and they wanted to save face; which leads me to my point. They had robotic sex, their daily routines became monotonous and he spent endless hours in the office – which screamed unhappiness to me. 

How many of us are in relationships, because we’re afraid of what others will think?  We cheat and rob ourselves and our significant other of happiness when we remain in empty relationships.  It’s like wearing a mask and living a lie that conceals all the pain, deceit and  emptiness.   //  Some couples don’t have the courage or strength to walk away, because of what it might look like to others.  There are real everyday people who live the same pretentious lives, but because of their success and many material acquisitions, we often mistake it for happiness.  The difference between the movie and us, is when they’re done acting, it’s over.  We spend years in these same kinds of relationships, and often not recognizing the dysfunctions ourselves, because the fog of false perception has actually clouded our own realities.  It took another woman to shock the actor (Tyler Perry) in Good Deeds into reality about his fruitless and unrewarding life.

If you’re involved in a pretentious and empty relationship, what will be your moment of reckoning?

-Terry D.