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.

 

Women are competitive with each other by nature. We don’t mean to be, but we always manage to put ourselves in an emotional position to try to “do better” than the next chick. Especially when it involves a man who they’re both dating. Men use this behavior from women to their full advantage. While I can say that some women wouldn’t waste their time or energy competing with another woman for a man’s attention, it’s the rest of you that fully believes in the term “fight for your man”. It’s bad enough that both of you women are allowing a dude to mistreat you, but it’s doubly wrong when you both are aware of each other. Instead of checking him, you go for each other’s blood, trying to win him over. Neither one of you is realizing the fact that dude is playin’ the both of you!  While you two are playing “Tug-of-War” with his attention span, he’s either at his boy’s crib, talking and laughing about how dumb y’all look over a game of Spades, or somewhere else building something meaningful with an ambitious chick.

The fact that a man is involved with another woman means nothing to a woman who’d rather fight than walk away with her dignity, because in their minds, he’s with the wrong one. They’ll try to prove that over and over by doing double overtime on exposing the other chick’s weaknesses and flaws. Her plan is to exploit the other chick’s flaws to make herself look good, hoping that will convince the man to cut her off.

Let’s not forget about the women on power trips. She may not even be into the guy like that, but she just doesn’t want to lose to the other woman. The extra flirting, the overwhelming need to keep him pleased, and the constant need to put the other woman down are all qualities of a woman determined to win him over–anticipating the feeling of power over the other woman.

If you’re reading this post and it seems very familiar to you. I want you to think long and hard about how you’d look in this man’s eyes. This man you obviously is “head-over-heels” for. He has you doing things you thought you’d never do, because you don’t want to lose him to the other chick. Honestly darlin’…you’ve lost him before you even got him. That may not make sense now, but when you sit and think about all the silly shit you’ve done, it’ll sink in. A guy is really not that into you when he has another woman he’s dealing with. Use your common sense. Any guy that chooses to exercise his options will continue to do so, especially if you’re aware of it. How mad can you be with him when you spend time competing for his full attention with all of your extra “girlfriend privileges”? You are not special…you are simply a woman he’s using as a “placeholder” until someone genuinely special comes along..and that could go for the both of you.

All of those extra privileges you’re giving him, you could be giving to a dude who won’t have you out here, looking 10-karat stupid. If a dude is really into you, the one thing you’ll never have to do is fight for his attention.

 

When we are in a fresh relationship, we tend to stop doing the things we were doing for ourselves before we become in one. Our main goal once we commit is keeping our mate happy, by all means necessary. We don’t mean to put ourselves on the back-burner, but it feels so good to be in a relationship, we shift our priorities, because we feel that our significant others are important. We forget that to keep a healthy relationship, we must, sometimes, put ourselves first.

The moment we make our relationship official, we tend to make decisions revolving around our mates. That’s totally normal, except we’ve forgotten about our plans, our goals, our LIFE.

Here are 3 ways we lose ourselves in a relationship.

 

Dimming your light– What I mean by this is if you have an opportunity to be greater than you already are, then take it. Don’t try to spare your mate’s feelings or ego by turning down any opportunity that would involve more travel, more success, or provide you with more financial stability. You would also turn down these opportunities for fear of losing him/her. Don’t do yourself the disservice.

Not honoring your commitments to yourself– Before going into a relationship, you had all kinds of goals that you wanted to accomplish. Now that you have a significant other, your personal goals are no longer a priority. It’s my belief that a goal-oriented person has one of the qualities that men/women find attractive. So, why stop your personal goals and your life plans because you have a “boo”?

Neglecting your feelings– When our significant other does something we don’t agree with, we keep our thoughts and/or opinions to ourselves to spare an argument. As a result, we neglect our feelings to keep them satisfied. Disregarding how we truly feel about situations is never a good thing. Like a pipe, when there’s enough pressure, that pipe will bust. All of the feelings you’re holding in, will eventually make you bust…just like that pipe! Express to your significant other about how you really feel about things. Sharing what you like and dislike with your partner may lessen the chances for an argument.

 

I wonder about all the fairy tales that were read to us as lil girls. The cartoons where the princess & her prince lives happily ever after, the movies that glorified romance in such a beautiful way…it made me feel as though love was perfect & the source of all of my happiness, until we grew up & realized that love is anything but.

Then, I wonder why my mom NEVER told me how hard it would be. Just the other day I wanted to call her & say, “Ma, what’s up with that?”…lol. In all honesty, our moms can give us but so much advice on love & how to love a man & maintain a great relationship, but it is ultimately up to us as women on how we do it. You can fall in love with a great man, a man who is not so great, or you can just fall in love with the idea of being in love, not seeing the man beyond his exterior. I must admit that I was one of those women who couldn’t tell the difference. Now I can.

What now?

Love takes a lot of hard work to build & even more hard work to stay in it! Love is not what is pretended to be in movies, television & even in cartoons where they pretty much confuse our little girls as we speak! We used to suck our teeth & shake our heads at the sappy love music on the radio until we’ve experienced what the singer is talking about. That’s when we stand & praise to it like we’re in church catching the holy ghost!

I see myself as a woman where I think EVERY man should fall in love with me! I’m not vain nor conceited, but for every other woman who thinks the same way, I’m pretty sure y’all understand. So, why is it so damn hard for so many of us? The “Cinderella” mentality  has really brainwashed us! Our expectations of romance & falling in love are high, believing it could be a beautiful thing to experience, but in the REAL world, it takes a lot more than just getting the glass slipper.

It’s true that the best love you can have is the love that you give yourself. Honestly…I can love myself with all the love that is built inside of me to the core, but there will come a time when you want to have someone hold you, kiss you, & to the world your just one person, but that person lets it be known that you ARE their world!

I’m not gonna spend my time searching for love. In searching for it, I feel I will come across nothing but confusion & heartache. Love is very strange. It makes us do & say things we wouldn’t normally do or say. Fairy Tales never taught us about the downside of love. Therefore, we as mothers & women who have experienced the ups & downs of love should teach our kids that it’s not all peaches & cream. We need to tell them to prepare for the reality of it. We have to teach them that love also puts us in a position to get hurt. We sacrifice our hearts for love.

The reality of love between a man & a woman is that it has to be felt & built from the ground up from both. Make sure you’re in love with the person & not the idea of being in love because it’s not fair to neither one of you if you cannot tell the difference. sometimes, ppl can’t even tell when love exists, because they’re blind to it. Love can smack them in the face, but to them it’s assault.  Either you put your all into love, or it will break you down. No movie, cartoon or even music can tell you that much.

With so much temptation in the world, one would say that staying dedicated to one partner is impossible. Contrary to popular belief, Monogamy still exists. As a culture, we’ve failed miserably at practicing it. I look forward to the day when we as a culture can accept one partner to court because we’ll feel one partner is all we need.

Too many of us crave variety

In some cases, the sexual passion we develop for  our partner fades with time

Many ppl believe monogamy goes against human nature.

If you are one of those people who don’t practice monogamy, you’ll get no judgment from me. However, I’m judging you for not being honest with your partner. 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce with extramarital sex as the leading cause. There’s a lot of unhappy and unlucky in love people because of the selfishness and dishonesty of their mates. A lot of relationships are started under false pretenses when one assumes what he or she wants is what their mate wants and that’s being committed to only each other. I used to think it was generational, meaning folks born in the nineties were more likely to fail at monogamy than the older generation. Single folks in my generation are suffering just as bad, if not more!

In the dating world, there’s a subconscious pattern for “unsure” folks who are confused about what they really want. There’s a little voice that pops up and asks “Do I stay or do I stray?” when they feel things are getting too serious. Their environment and their social life play a huge part in their decision-making. Unfortunately, considering the feelings of the mate is the least of their worries. Why? They HAVE to do what’s best for THEMSELVES, first and foremost. They’re oblivious to the fact that they have a fear of commitment. As a result, they mask it with “being free to please”.

Wil there ever be a time when our culture will embrace serial monogamy? Probably not. It’s idealistic, but not realistic. With so much sexual temptation and the need to have “options”, I would be crazy to think that would really happen. I look forward to it, but I’m not going to kill myself by holding my breath. What will matter is that I’ll be blessed with an honest mate one day; one who’s aware of the world we live in, but to him…I’m his world. Monogamy can exist with the right person.

 

 

It’s a question that everyone seems to have a hard time answerin, because a lot of folks think it goes hand in hand. Well…I beg to differ. In my opinion, you can easily separate the two. Think about it!

Definition of love– 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, sibling, friend, or significant other.

Definition of Respect-A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Both definitions definitely describe a venerated feeling from one person to another due to admiration. It’s generally the same, but different overall. While I wish I could say that if you’re loved then you’re easily respected, I just can’t. I will take respect over love any day. What trips me out is that some folks will break down love with “unconditional love”. No matter how deep or “unconditional” a person’s love may have for you, that person still needs to respect you twice as much. Respect really goes a long way and if you don’t see that, then I’d have to ask how blinded you can be when it comes to “love”? Would you as a person who is experiencing love even recognize DISrespect if it happens?

 

A prime example of love VS. respect is the broken relationships (particularly marriages). The high divorce rate is staggering in the US, because of husbands/wives stepping out of their marriages and having affairs. Sure! Hubby loves wifey and Vice Versa, but having an affair certainly doesn’t classify as respect. Another example of love/respect…since some of the readers wanna include “unconditional” in the mix…our love for our kids are definitely unconditional….but I pray that they don’t grow to think it’s okay to steal money out of Mommy’s purse. Stealing money out of Mommy’s purse is definitely not respectful, but I won’t stop loving them because of that. Of course, I want my kids to love me unconditionally, but I want respect 10 times much because it shows that they’ll honor me enough to do what is deemed as appropriate and well-mannered. Of course, I want my future boo to love me because I’m fly! 😉 However, respect is better because he will treat me as an equal part of his life and will do everything in his respectful manner to see to it that I’m happy and fulfilled in our relationship.

In case you think I am, no…I am not knocking love. Love is very important in a relationship, especially intimate ones. If the person is worth your love then by all means, LOVE ON! But, don’t forget with love SHOULD come loads of amount of respect for one another. One can NEVER function properly without the other. That goes particularly for those in romantic relationships.

So, when it come down to it, I’m #TeamRespect. Not because I choose not to love or care not to be loved, but I choose to be honored accordingly as the person you see me as…a mom, a friend, a hard worker, and even a lover.