The increasingly pervasive phrase which origined from hip hop culture is now the gold standard of what a gent expects from a lady. “Ride or Die” generally means having your man’s support through life’s peaks and troughs. Throughout my dating and relationship experience…..it was expected of me to be a “Ride or Die” chick. I was honored to be and still am that woman. I feel every woman should be that stake in the ground that your man can reach out to. This is provided that he is equally supportive to you as well. So you may ask if you were this “Ride or Die” chick why aren’t you still riding it out for your marriage? Great question! Was it expected? Yes. Before answering that question…. let me go back to what I think “Ride or Die” means and provide what some of my male counterparts believe it means. My perspective of what qualities a “Ride or Die” chick should have entails….uplifting and inspiring your man to achieve the unattainable, be a contributor to the household not necessarily financially– establishing an empire together, loving him for who he is and not for his status or possessions, understanding that he does need a break and time to himself and it is not always about “you”, there for him when he is sick, happy, frustrated, confused, as long as it is not compromising your inner happiness, beliefs and self worth. Now my men while many have similar views as mine, but it does amaze me that through various conversations I have had there is this reference of “ohhh that persons wife was there with him while he was spreading his wings across the United States or should I say “doing his thing”, she is a “Ride or Die” chick!”……uh no. While maybe infidelity was not a deal breaker for that woman that does not constitute “Ride or Die”. (Now infidelity of whether you should leave or not….is another blog topic) Or this woman was holding the house down while her man did 10 years in prison for a wrongful act that he was indeed guilty for. That is not in the definition either. If someone chooses to stay…. I guess it wasn’t a deal breaker for that person. However for many woman if that is against your value and beliefs…it is okay to move on with your life. Nor is staying home and making sure your man’s dinner is at the table ready every day and the husband can’t even remember your birthday or anniversary and the only conversations you have are who is taking the kids to school….and it depresses you and there is no interest from the husband to remedy the situation. Or compromising your long-term goal of becoming an artist, traveling the world or having children. “Ride or Die” in my view is a two-way streak. I am a firm believer of you treat everyone like you would want to be treated. Distribute goodness, receive it in return. Everyone has various standards and expectations from life and it is up to you to fulfill them. By that…it also means choosing the people in your life that will support your standards and expectations. If I am compromising my values and am unhappy with the person I have become…a fix needs to be made. So, for me……I had to turn off the “Ride or Die” chick button and remove that stake in the ground…because I needed that stake to support myself.
While it may have took some time for me to come to that realization….as it is engrained in your mind from family, elders and peers that “marriage” is forever for “Better or Worse”…the only reason you should leave is if your man is physically beating you. It was a necessary step for my sanity. There were certain expectations I expected from my then husband that were not met. Not to say, I was the “perfect wife” because I had my issues….trust me! But, there was one expectation that was the tipping point….where I was like…why put up with everything else. This was the dealbreaker where that empire we were building together, I was willing to remove those cinder blocks and watch it all collapse….and start from scratch.
The moment you realize that staying together for the children’s sake is not really benefiting them at all.
Thursday which we call here in Manhattan is Thirstdays. Celebrate that the weekend is approaching. Opportunistic time to go to an afterwork networking/social event and meet others of the opposite sex that have similar interests and drive as you. Three months out from my divorce, I have attended a few of these events. Now might you ask…..”Are you ready to get out there aren’t you still coping?” And my response as I would say to anyone with my angelic smile….”Why of course…can’t be dwelling on what didn’t work forever” While secretly I am like “Hell Yeah!”. Thursday evenings are reserved for my dating life…which includes networking or of sheer luck an actual date. Babysitter reserved, nails done, and dressed in one of my more sexually appealling work attire outfits I am all set. Now being a little seasoned in how this rolls….it typically starts off with me ecstatic to see my single girlfriends which provides me ease that no matter what happens in my free couple of hours, I will have a great time hanging with and catching up with the chicas. As a divorcee in her 30s, in this city with plenty of single women who are also in my age range and lets just say dont have any liabilities to tend to but themselves….two words: “competition” and “challenge”. Where “challenge” is not exclusive to the women but also to the men you meet. Often at these venues I meet either the 1) single approaching 30 year-old who is beginning to think he wants a serious relationship but has limited dating experience 2) the mid-30 to early 40-year-old that has never been married, wants a family but has a too independent lifestyle which makes them clueless on how to put forth the effort or 3) the divorcee or single dad who is enjoying post-singlehood too much that I have to question when do they spend time with their children. While these are usually the 3 options, I am always optimistic that there is a diamond in the rough out there who may fall in either of these buckets but is willing to put the effort to shine out from his category. Conversely, if not successful in meeting that gent I am able to meet a possible business connect or friend. So I flash my smile, work the room and start up a conversation. Past initial physical attraction, agreement of some similarities through small talk between myself and a gent, there is always the question of “status”. What is your status??? Now prior to the completion of my divorce when I met my girls as a stress outlet, I cringed when that question was presented. Seriously, who wants to meet someone who is going through the works of a divorce? Translation: She is not really available and is unstable. Now, while not quite reveling in my defined status I look forward to saying I am single and divorced….a better option of the two. However, that still poses challenges. I still see a slight disappointment that I am not single without any attachments whatsoever or I meet the sleazeballs that are elated and think I am in search for just a good time. However, I will say every now and then I do meet a true gent that is open to exploring the possibility of dating a divorcee. That is the encouraging part….I guess that is why I look forward to my Thursday mingle nights and getting out there. What is the worst that could happen….I meet new people and enjoy a couple of cocktails with my girlfriends. Not a bad alternative.
Many times when entering in a relationship or friendship there is initial acceptance of a certain level of trust. What increases your level of comfort with someone? Is it time that has elapsed since initial engagement or the depth of your communication? When reflecting over the obstacles faced in my previous marriage and relationships, I cannot help but to say now had we communicated our thoughts better this issue would of been a moot topic. In my opinion, trust and communication are directly correlated. Between two people of the opposite sex, this becomes a challenge. When speaking to my girlfriends we have very descriptive conversations, share our emotions whether it is the way our feet felt in our brand new pumps when we hit the town last night or how we are excited in meeting a new guy. Men on the other hand tend to be more reserved, keep it simple share on a need to know basis. If you want to know how there day was gotta pry it out by asking specific questions. “What type of feedback did you receive from your manager on the presentation you were up all night preparing for?”….Not just how did it go. On the other hand, a man asks a woman how her day went… Us women will start to go on and on… But they don’t want to hear all that. They just want to know it went well and as a result there will be a peaceful evening. The imbalance in my opinion can create trust issues if the man and woman aren’t understanding of the communication expectations from each other. What communication feedback do I as a woman want. When initiating the possibility of a relationship: communicate expectations. When you are dating: still communicate updated expectations. When exclusively dating or married: still communicate updated expectations. When I mean expectations not the I want to get married in x amount of months….. Gees…. Some men hear expectations and think us women are trying to race them to the altar. No not the case… Well in my opinion for most women. Just what type of woman or man you like, what thrives you and goals. These expectations change… So it is important to stay updated. I believe this to be true for men as well. Only difference maybe the communication will need to be more direct less colorful from a woman to a man and a bit more descriptive from a man to a woman. When there is too many unknown variables….alternative conclusions and assumptions are made. Expectations are not met and trust begins to erodes as opposed to increasing. Hence, in my opinion communication and trust are intertwined together.
Welcome to my blog. I am recently divorced and am often asked how I was able to transition so quickly in an appearingly drama-free divorcee. By this I mean a woman/ single mother of two that has a solid co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband, stable family household, successful career, active social life and confidence to begin dating. While I will not say it was not drama-free, and missteps were not taken, I do agree that I succeeded in completing the divorce process without some of the financial headaches, emotional burdens that many married couples fear of or divorcees continue to agonize about. My journey is not complete and I hope to share some of the methods I took to avoid a overbearing divorce process and my journey to becoming a happily divorcee. I will post different topics that will include the decision in getting a divorce, deciding whether you need a lawyer, custody matters, working on a manageable relationship with your husband/ father of your children, forgiving, keeping the drama at home and not letting it impact your professional life, facing your children, maintaining balance with a social life and getting back out there without the appearance you are “baggage ridden”. Please follow my blog and hope my personal experiences will be helpful to you in making the decision of getting a divorce. Divorce is a difficult decision and an emotional draining experience. I hope that I can help in alleviating some of the unnecessary missteps that prolong the process or creates unnecessary stress. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.