Saying how we feel is something a lot of us fail at achieving. At an early age, we were taught the art of “people pleasing”- from saying yes when we really mean no to holding back from what we want to say for fear of rejection or offending someone.

The golden question is… how do we get over that fear and say exactly what’s on our minds?

The other day, my best friend and I had a conversation about not speaking from the heart and it led me to believe that I still suffer from the art of “people pleasing”. Because of my fear, I limit myself from being truthful, because my current situation is comfy, cozy, and feels really good. If I speak what’s on my mind and in my heart, my cozy place might start to feel familiarly uncomfortable, and I don’t want to end up in that place…again.

 

So…I play it safe.

 

If this seems familiar to you, then perhaps you should work on that inevitable fear I speak of. I feel it, so I know you do, too! Acknowledge your fear and work on getting rid of it.

How do we get rid of the fear?

*Being honest with ourselves

*Seeing the bigger picture

*Understanding how important it is for others to “get you”

*Realizing that we won’t have regrets later

*Realizing that if we don’t speak up, resentment could take place

 

For the fearless folks who doesn’t hesitate on speaking what’s on your mind, I admire you. It only means that you can embrace whatever the outcome will be. I guess for me, practice makes perfect. I won’t say I’m completely fearful. More like…cautious; waiting for the right time, thinking of what to say and how I should say it, and waiting for the moment when I can stop replaying the possible rejection in my head.

 

Rejection

It leaves you wondering what’s missing about you
It makes you believe it’s your fault
It’ll have you doubting your own capabilities and your fierceness
It makes you weak
Lose optimism
It makes you feel less beautiful & desirable
It makes you compare
It makes you give up and not ever want it again.
What is “it”, you ask?
Love and respect
…but not from others
from yourself.

We’ve done all of the aforementioned. Why? We feel the need to be loved, respected, desired, and beautiful.

But what happens when we get an epiphany that changes our whole way of thinking?
We begin to tell ourselves that we’re beautiful.
We begin to tell ourselves that we’re desirable
We begin to respect ourselves as the women we are.
…and because we’ve made the choice to tell ourselves all those things, it proved that we could love and/or respect ourselves way more than he could ever do.
You see….being rejected hurts like hell
But it doesn’t have to.
Once we realize that a man’s rejection is nothing but his best compliment of us, we will understand that maybe…just maybe he thinks YOU deserve better.
Maybe he doesn’t see the beauty in you…and that’s okay.
What he doesn’t see in you, someone else will.
So, when you become rejected by someone, don’t doubt yourself or lose your ability to stay confident.

A rejection could be a blessing in disguise.

 

 

Sometimes, we place ourselves in a position to care “too much” about others. We deal with the inevitable circumstance where we carry their burdens because we want to feel what they’re feeling. It’s a part of falling in love or developing deep feelings for someone who we’re uncertain feels the same way. It may seem strange, but it’s common, believe it or not. As a result, we lend our hearts, our kind words of encouragement, and hope that they see our hearts and words as the “pillow” to lay on when they’re emotionally tired.

 

 

Unfortunately, we as people pleasers will get tired of loaning our pillows to those who appear to not be appreciative. I’ve learned that if that becomes the outcome, I will choose not to feel helpless, hurt, or disappointed. Ppl don’t always respond the way we want for various reasons. It’s okay to pray for them. Ultimately, we’ll have to decide to not give up and continue to offer emotional support or let go. Not giving up is okay but sometimes, it takes letting go for them to see what you’ve wanted them to see all along.
In the end, always protect your heart.

I’ve always questioned the term ‘Ride or Die’.

What exactly is a ‘Ride or Die’ type of person?

Is this someone who accepts all the BS from their partner but let that shit slide, because it’s “out of love”?

Do a person consider his/her partner “Ride or Die” because he/she knows when fuckups happen, the partner will eventually forgive you enough to make the relationship work?

Does a “Ride or Die” person have wifey/hubby potential, as long as they put up with…anything?

Are ‘Ride or Die’ ppl only women?

Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to being loyal, I expect not only reciprocity but that optimistic feeling of trust and mutual respect. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, we know of people who are in relationships and are going through HELL behind closed doors while fakin’ the funk in public. I don’t know about you all, but I’d rather wear a genuine smile more than shed a thousand tears from too much BS from a significant other just to prove how ‘Ride or Die’ I am.  I understand that relationships will NEVER be perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, but how much imperfection will you tolerate before you realize how much you’re gettin’ played? There’s a difference between being loyal and being taken advantage of.

I’ve asked my friends to give their definition of what ‘Ride or Die’ means to them. The answers included:

Support

Someone you can count on, regardless of the situation

Hell or high water

Going through the good, the bad and the ugly!

Someone who will have your back, even when they’re mad at you

I get all of that! I really do. In fact, I would encourage people who are in relationships to express their loyalty by sticking with their partner but to a degree. Let me give you more definitions, then I’ll explain.

 

Wiki definition: A Hip Hop spin on the popular mythology of Bonnie and Clyde, the ride-or-die chick refers to a woman who has undying loyalty for her partner and is willing to stand by them through anything, even in the face of death.

Urban Dictionary’s definition: To be down with your husband/wife no matter what, through it all the good and the bad. (KEYWORDS-Husband/Wife); ‘Ride or Die’ chick-A chick that ain’t afraid to be down with her man. She’ll do anything her man needs her to do. Basically down for both the bad and the good.

 

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I’m not married, but I expect the married folks to go by the whole ‘Ride or Die’ phenomena, because that’s how you keep a marriage strong. I guess I’m old-fashioned because I don’t think ‘Ride or Die’ should apply to folks in basic (sexual) relationships. Too many folks confuse loyalty with being taken advantage of and as a result, they ‘stick around’, because they feel obligated after putting so much energy into establishing the relationship. They also put up with shenanigans because of how they feel about the person. I guess loyalty depends on what a person is willing to tolerate. Personally, I want to “live” and enjoy the fruits of a respectful and loving relationship, and if I’m ‘riding’ for you, let me know where we’re going. Give me the chance to decide if the dynamic of our relationship agrees with my heart!

I salute anyone who is a ‘Ride or Die’, particularly the women. You all are obviously emotionally mature enough to work overtime trying to keep your partner “on his toes” and still love him. Does all of this “sticking around” occurs after you find out he/she’s cheated? (enquiring minds wants to know).

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When it all boils down to it, being ‘Ride or Die’ means that you’re sacrificing your heart and needs to keep your partner pleased. Even if it means accepting the shenanigans. The most you’ll do is tell  your partner that you don’t like what was done and HOPE it doesn’t happen again. The result? Your partner has moved on and you’re on pins and needles, wondering if your partner is being faithful. But why does that matter if you’re ‘Ride or Die’?

There’s being ‘Ride or Die’ and  then there’s being ‘foolish’.

Which one are you?

 

 

 

 

There was a time when I associated couples who appeared to be successful with “relationship goals”. Then one day, I came to the realization that what looks good on the outside may not look as good on the inside when it comes to others’ relationships.

Relationships require a lot of work to stay healthy and genuine, and I’m sure for some of us single people, it could be difficult to go from “all about me” to “sacrifice for us”. The rest of us who are in relationships are probably thinking they’d be happier single because things aren’t going as expected.

When we start a relationship with our partner, we go through “trial and error”. Believe it or not, we’re still getting to know our mates from the inside out, so best believe, single folks shouldn’t feel bad for being single. Singlehood is a part of life! Singlehood gives us the opportunity to discover who we are as individuals, so when we are finally ready to explore a relationship, we’ll mesh well with our partner.

That beautiful couple with the big smiles you see on your Facebook news feed probably used a lot of energy, tears, and pain to get where they are today. That successful Hollywood couple you adore in movies and television probably spent a few years in counseling for extramarital affairs. I’m pretty sure that elderly couple walking towards you in the aisle of the supermarket went through extreme measures to keep their marriage solid through the hectic times in the 50s and 60s when racism was unbearable and oppression was thick among black communities.

The POV is…..all couples have a story to tell…and their stories aren’t all “peaches n cream”.

 

Some of us who are single yearns to be in a loving relationship, and some of us who are in relationships yearns to be single again because their relationship isn’t prospering. It all comes down to what we’re willing to tolerate and fight for and what we feel we shouldn’t invest energy on.

In conclusion, I’d like to encourage the single folks that when the time is right, you will be in a relationship you deserve. The one thing you’d want to remember is not to dwell too much on wanting a relationship. When you do, the dwelling will grow into an obsession that will hinder you and make you seem desperate and needy to your partner, and we don’t want that. Every one of us experiences different things in each chapter in our lives. That nice couple you see and wish you could have a relationship like theirs could be at chapter 19 while you’re on chapter 27 (and vice versa).

 

Since 2004, changing our relationship status on Facebook has somehow become more meaningful to us. We can share the news of our newly committed relationship to our family and friends, but oddly enough, letting Facebook know is the highest level of confirmation for them…and for the person who changes it.

It’s a beautiful thing when you both mutually decide to inform Facebook because you both are in love.

But what if you are the only one who thought you were in a committed relationship?

It could be extremely humiliating to later discover that you’ve acted prematurely on the assumption that you’re in a committed relationship.

So, after months of dating, this guy has totally swept you off of your feet. He does and says all the right things and even show signs of wanting something more with you. The truth is…we are never sure what HE wants until he expresses wanting a commitment So, why are we changing our FB status, only to be humiliated for all to witness?

Like I’ve said in this blog piece, we don’t often see how huge a mistake it is until you realize you and him/her wasn’t meant to be.

That’s why it’s important to “test the waters” for a while before changing your relationship status. Here are 4 main reasons why you should.

You should take the time to build a foundation– Take time to evaluate the relationship without sex. Would the relationship survive without sexual intercourse? Can you both find other ways to be intimate? Can you reach each other on a deeper level? These are questions you should ask yourself before telling yourself he’s “the one”.

Make sure you both are on the same page-  Knowing you both share similar ideas about the relationship definitely helps. Don’t jump in too fast because of how he makes you feel. You have to make sure he feels the same way, obviously. Even if he does, you have to make sure he’s ready for a committed relationship, as well.

Take time to strengthen your relationship before making it public– Time is a gift and when we use it wisely getting to know your significant other, we receive the biggest of blessings. Building a solid relationship with genuine love and respect takes time. Use the time to invest in each other, mind, body, and soul. Get the full scope of their being and find ways to mesh theirs with your being.

Learn to not use Facebook as motivation– When you’re in love, you want the whole world to know! As a result, you anticipate the day you can change our FB status. Nothing is wrong with that because that’s the thing to do in the age of social media; upgrade your “single” status to “in a relationship”. If it’s something you both want, great! However, the one thing I’d encourage is to not let social media, particularly Facebook, be your main source of motivation to prove how much in love you are. You’re simply trying to impress folks who don’t matter if you do. Again…for those who act too prematurely, we’re not even sure if you and your significant other are on the same page yet.