Tag Archives: couples

V-Day Bliss for the Attached, Not-Yet-Defined and Single- As Published on Joint Interest

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Valentine’s Day is either the much-anticipated hot date of the year for the coupled-up or the much loathed and dreaded day by the single-dom. Valentine’s Day is a signal and reminder to the unattached that they are alone and not loved by a special someone. The men who are attached feel the pressure to step up their romance game or expect to hear about their lack of efforts for months on end, so to many it because a requirement rather than a genuine effort. Those that are entrapped in the non-exclusive relationships are filled with anxiety wondering if that new guy or gal or the one who has been around for a while will want to spend the designated day for lovers with them. Not to fret, despite your status there are plenty of ways to make your Valentine’s Day blissful.

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The Happily or Not-So-Happily Singles:

Don’t sit at home watching re-runs of romantic comedies with a tissue box pondering on why you are alone on this date. Get out of the house. Arrange a date with your girlfriends- go out for cocktails and check out that new anticipated movie “About Last Night”  starring scrumptuous Michael Ealy. For the gents and ladies attend a Valentine’s Day Party for singles or a concert. There are an abundance of them. Getting out on the scene ramps up the possibility of meeting a potential that you can spend V-Day with next year. It sure beats staying at home.

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The Not-Yet-Defined:

Keep it light. You do not have to reserve a four-course dinner reservation, send flowers and splurge on an expensive gift. If not quite sure your “not-yet-defined” lover or mate is exclusive to only you, then arrange a less formal evening the night before or after V-Day. Enjoy each other’s company over after-work cocktails, watch a movie or have a two to three star restaurant meal. This lets the person know that they are cared for and you are accepting of the no boundaries relationship that currently exists. Let your not-yet-exclusive mate keep their V-Day open. If you are lucky maybe the two of you will get to spend two evenings with each other. If the relationship is still new, how about arranging a group gathering. An eventful evening out dancing with other co-ed friends is sure to be a great time.

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The Attached:

Now fellas you have once a year to show your “A” game (okay maybe twice, there is anniversary too). If you are in love with your woman, why not make this day and/or night exceptional. Now I understand everyone has different budgets. But you can have a special evening without breaking your wallet. A home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine is always wonderful. Follow that with a gift-wrapped box of pleasures that are soothing to your eyes and soft on her skin is always a win-win for both parties. Woman love romantic comedies and really appreciate a man who is willing to accommodate and watch a movie with them. A night out dancing, his and her massages are also great idea, followed by a great meal.

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Don’t Forget The Men:

While Valentine’s Day is known to be geared to the ladies, men need to feel appreciated too. While I feel the guy should be making the dinner reservations, the woman needs to make her man feel special. Make sure you reciprocate the generosity.  Be prepared with a  small gift and card. A bottle of cologne is always great.

Depending on the tenure of your relationship, determines the type of gift. The staple is at least a card. Do not show up empty-handed. A Valentine’s Day card whether humorous, sappy, or in-between is an ultimate requirement. The flowers and gifts are optional, but the card is a must. Now if you have some relationship history, splurge on the roses. She deserves them.

Reflecting on my most memorable V-Day moments, they were always the simple and creative ones. A fancy dinner is wonderful, but a home-cooked dinner or a picnic at a park has always been my favorite.

V-Day Bliss for the Attached, Not-Yet-Defined and Single…Which Are You? How Will You Spend V-Day? 

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When Should You Bring Up “Exclusivity” With Your New Love Interest?

So after your long sting of single-dom, you finally meet someone who shares your interests in comic relief, restaurants, movies and exercise routines. You have thoroughly enjoyed the dating journey that the two of you have shared and hope for it to grow into something more. Continue reading When Should You Bring Up “Exclusivity” With Your New Love Interest?

The Do’s and Don’ts of A Thriving Relationship! A Divorcee Perspective!

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When a relationship is genuine, real and solid, there is a sense of security and ease that your bond with your mate is unbreakable and has the foundation to continue thriving. There are certain do’s and don’ts that foster a solid relationship and a thriving marriage. Starting with the “don’ts”, the absence of behavioral factors then the ‘do’s”  the presence of attributes that sustain a healthy intimate relationship:

YOU DON’T…

1. Fear it.

You are not a commitment-phobe. If you are, gotta work it out before your desires of a promising committed relationship become almost reality.

2. Hide anything too substantial from each other unless it is  a surprise that will eventually come to light.

Yeah…that includes everything but the kitchen sink: exes, cheating, debt, STDs, chronic illness, felonies, your desire for marriage and/or children, fantasies of living in Bora Bora, fears, professional failures and successes,  your inner-freak desires and any questions on your sexual orientation. The truth always surfaces, so if you can’t open up to your mate about all of these things, he or she is not for you.

3. Snoop.

If you share everything and there is nothing hidden from each other, then why are you stalking? I know good question. If you feel the need to go through your significant other’s email, phone, social media accounts and friends accounts means you don’t trust the person you are with. Maybe they haven’t given you a reason to, and it is time to bail. Also snooping is violating his or her trust in you. If you felt there was a valid reason, own up to the person and tell them upfront what you did. Two wrongs don’t make a right.  But if you have to snoop, the relationship has no trust, and is probably doomed.

4. Keep your relationship under wraps.

A serious red flag. If your not willing to  introduce your love interest to your friends and family, that means the person is really not that important to you and you probably don’t have any long-term plans with this person.

If you have a great catch, you  are excited to introduce that person to everyone else that is important in your life, random people, acquaintances, and colleagues.

5. Think you’re better than your mate.

If you think your mate is inferior to you– morally, intellectually, socially, financially or professionally — you’re never going to respect that person as much as you hope to be respected. It is said the best relationships thrive from believing that you actually convinced a person that is more exceptional than you to love you.

6. Be a “Hater” on your mate’s successes.

Jealousy is potent. Not being genuinely supportive and happy of your mate’s success is due to your own insecurities. Healthy competition with your mate, motivating  and building up each other is great. But be-littling, and always trying to be better than your partner instead ofshowering your mate with complements on his achievements, is not healthy for a viable relationship.

7. Substance abuse and behavioral issues trump your union.

No further explanation needed.

8. Challenge each other on personal issues in front of other people.

Keep the dirty laundry at home behind closed doors

9. Expect more than companionship and friendship from your relationship: Looking for an upgrade!

Don’t look for your significant other to make you into a person you desire. This includes supporting you financially, resolving your emotional issues, up-grading your social status, increasing your social network, provide you with a family your missing. If you are looking for someone to validate you or provide you with things that you are not comfortable living without and hope to attain from your mate, question your genuity.

10. Pull them away from friends and become “Ghost” to yours.

While you are an awesome mate, you can’t be everything. Friends also provide fulfillment and an outlet to be yourself. Plus, two people all up under each other all the time, become tired of each other. Plus, in the event your relationship expires, your friends will be there with the Kleenex. Don’t alienate yourself from friends.

11. Lose yourself.

While it is tempting to be totally engulf in your relationship, don’t lose sight on what made you. If you used to volunteer, exercise, socialize and network, still keep doing that. Maybe it has to be modified, but don’t lose sight of your passions, hobbies and goals in life. This is what made you the wonderful person your mate fell in love with. Don’t give up your passions for anyone, they may not be there for the long haul.

12. Have a secret plan B.

If you’re where you need to be, the concern of your mate leaving you behind do not enter your brain.

13. Have much drama.

Your routine has been settled. The pet peeves of each other you learned to accept and live with them.

YOU DO…

14. Put your heart on the line.

If you’re not risking having your heart broken, you’re not doing it right.

15. Respect the people your mate is closest to.

Despite your personal feelings, you respect the connection your mate has with their friends and families.

16. Be their number one cheerleader.

You both should inspire each other to be their best.

17. Humble yourself.

Accept that you are not perfect. You make mistakes, you have annoying ways about you. Maybe you are not the best communicator, lover, or listener. Humble yourself and aim to improve your imperfect ways.

18. Discuss, try and repeat….sex.

Converse on what works and doesn’t in the bedroom. Make sure you know the fundamentals on how to please your mate and likewise. Keep trying til you get it right.

19. Talk about all of your opinions.

Discuss your political, religious and ethical views on life. Should be on the same page or accepting of each other’s differences.

20. Fight.

Arguing provides a better understanding of each other. A healthy argument builds and does not tear your bond.

21. Have silent time

Nothing wrong with sitting next to each other without stimulating conversation.

22. Have confidence when your mate is away.

When your mate is away experiencing the world, trust that he will return and respect your bond with each other while apart. Have trust.

23. Maintain your physique.

Aids your confidence if you are satisfied with your appearance. Your mate will appreciate it too.

24. Divide, conquer and compromise.

Delegate your life’s tasks according to each of your strengths. One of you is better at being organized, outgoing, creative, money manager, listener and etc.   The outcome will be in each other’s favor. Compromise on desires and wants..including hobbies, sexual fantasies and etc.

25. Observe.

Notice your mate’s quirks, what makes them laugh, and what boils their temper. It is all about gaining a better understanding and learning your mate.

26. Make time.

To build and maintain a foundation, taking time to share with each other is key.

27. Do something romantice from time to time

Put a smile on your mate’s face by a romantic gesture. Send flowers or surprise your mate with tickets to his or her favorite team.

28. Just know.

Know your mate is uniquely designed for you. If that person is not already your spouse, “put a ring on it” or make him your “Prince Charming”.

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Reciprocity-That’s All It Takes!

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Many people ask what does it take for a successful and lasting relationship? There are so many dating and relationship books out there. We read them, take their suggestions and use them in our relationships. However your efforts do not benefit the relationship if only one person is committed to them. You can be more affectionate, passionate, responsive, compromise your time, take initiative, contribute to the household, but despite your effort, the relationship will not work if your efforts are not given back in return. So when someone asks me, what makes a relationship work, I say it is simple— Reciprocity!

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition is as follows:

re·cip·ro·cate

 verb \ri-ˈsi-prə-ˌkāt\

: to do (something) for or to someone who has done something similar for or to you

: to have (a feeling) for someone who has the same feeling for you

: to move back and forth again and again

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For a meaningful relationship to thrive, there has to be reciprocity from both parties. Both people have to be committed in putting forth the effort. Appreciative of your mate’s efforts  without action is not enough for sustaining a relationship. Expressing your appreciation by only words, provides some down time. But true appreciation is expressed through returning the same acts of kindness and consideration. If your mate is always considerate and checks up on you about how your day went, it should only be expected for you to reciprocate that same task…maybe you can initiate the check up for once. Your “Boo” took the day off, brought you soup and nursed you during your illness….when she or he is feeling ill, take time out of your day to return the favor. If your spouse came and was by your side to support your work-office function where you received an award, attending a concert of the band you were managing, make sure you are there for their promotion breakfast, book signing, or any other function that is special to them, despite whether it is or not on the same caliber. Your mate listens to your woes and peril, but your work schedule is too hectic to give the same ear, is not reciprocating. Nor is your mate tending to your sexual fantasies and relaxing you when your stressed, but you can’t find time just for cuddling. Or vice versa, your mate cuddles and kisses you endlessly, but you cringe in satisfying his needs..and it is only reserved for special occasions.

The key to a successful relationship is very easy..just reciprocate. While some tasks may not easy given life and career demands, acknowledging your intent and attempting to reciprocate the same appreciation and attention your mate gives as soon as you can…is putting forth the effort. Maybe you have to somehow include your significant other into your life and career flow. That business dinner, you might make it a requirement for everyone to bring spouses or extend the invitation to travel ventures where that person can explore on their own while you handle business matters. Or if that cannot be done, maybe adjusting your normal routine schedule, scaling back your time with friends to incorporate one-on-one time with your lady or gent.

If you are in a relationship and your efforts are not reciprocated over an extended period of time….excuses become redundant. It is time to walk away. Translation is that your mate does not value you or deems you that important in his life where he should reciprocate the efforts that you have made.