Me, Us, Him and Them

I’ve been in 2 serious relationships in my short life.  The first one I felt like and still do feel like part of the family.  There was nothing I wouldn’t do for his family and friends.  I Loved his brothers like my brothers and they treated me the same way.  My present relationship has not be a smooth intergration of the people surrounding us.  I don’t feel like his family is my family and it is very evident that his friends certainly are not my friends.  Don’t get me wrong they are very nice people I just don’t consider them my people.

There is stark difference in the way that we were taught to interact with people and I think it has a lot to do with where we are from.  I am from a city where everyone was extended family if you were around long enough.  Friendships last forever,  as a matter of fact, if I call my friends from high school today we would talk as if no time has lapsed. I don’t know if people just like to gossip, but there were very few secrets; good and bad.  He on the other hand was not raised in a very open and inviting community. His family is very small and close knit,  it seems that in his family and with his friends you have to prove that you are worthy of their acceptance; and endure some ancient family ritual.  Whereas with my family once you cross the threshold you are one of us.   We are open books but we respect the fact that we are individuals living different lives.  It seems that with his friends and family the willingness to share their failures as well their success is absent.  

I understand that complete immersion into someone else’s inner circle is not always a good thing but when it feels as though you are on the outside looking in, it kind of sucks.  I think that it is very important that I make him feel like he is part of my family and that  there is no reason to shy away from them. In a serious relationship you will have to interact and constantly hear about these people.  The funny thing about his people is that they will secretly hate you and smile in your face.  I don’t know people close to me who are that nice.  Then again people around him feel like they have the right to voice concerns about our relationship.  Honestly I don’t think I make people that comfortable or I just don’t even give it a listening ear when advice or concern is unsolicited.

In relationships we have to deal with more than just or signifcant others and this can be very difficult when you are seen as the villian.  I am exactly that in the eyes of people around him and I don’t know what he does to change that now; I know what he has done in the past and it doesn’t exactly make me confident.  We are not attached at the hip, ir over the top affectionate couple that people like to see.  They hear about the downs far more than they hear about the ups and honestly I’m done defending myself or playing nice. Quite frankly it is not my place to check the people around him.  My people don’t have a vested interest in the demise of our relationship. 

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Things my Moms taught me about Relationships: Part III

Some of us have the most dysfunctional relationships because that is all we were taught. I believe that role models in general are important, and I have taken various approaches to life from many of the women that I know. In my life I’ve had 3 Moms and watching them has taught me various things about relationships. Part III is about my second Step-Mom.

My second Step Mom is has been with my father for about 20 years. She has 3 biological children, including a daughter who she didn’t speak to for most of her life.

Show Your LOVE!!!!

When you Love people you show them. You hug and you kiss and you show your emotions.  my 2nd step mother is very cold person.  She is not affectionate and not emotional in any way.  She is one of those people who don’t make you feel warm or comfortable.  She taught me that it as important to show people you love them through affection and time spent,  more than paid bills and food on the table. Not only to do you show people affection but you have to be genuine about it.  I don’t remember a time in my life when I received a hug or witnessed her hug anyone and it seemed real.  So through her I learned that affection is an important component to showing love and having the people around you feel warm and connected it can be as simple as touching a person’s arm. Physical affection is important to both men and women.  I learned to be genuine with it and just a warm person in general.

Don’t date an attached man.

My first step Mom and second step Mom’s relationship overlapped significantly, meaning for several years.  Eventually it worked in her favor and she married my dad but she will get no kudos from me.  It amazes me how many people get involved with people who are already in relationship or married to someone else.  I don’t get involved with people in a relationship, simply because I believe in Karma.  While I don’t think that I have any obligation to the girlfriend or wife, I know that it is terrible feeling when your significant other cheats on you and I choose to not cause any undo emotional harm to anyone that I don’t know.  In my opinion, there are more than enough men on this earth, so no one needs to share.  Cheating with someone’s spouse will always come back to you in one away or another and you should do right by people even if you have no reason to. The thing about this whole situation is that my father’s family has never truly warmed up to her because she is seemingly the heaux turned housewife; which will bring me to my next point.

Don’t care what people think of you and demand respect.

As I pointed out in the last section, my second step mom is not the favorite person of anyone in my father’s family. Recently I have experienced similar problems with some of the people close to my boyfriend.  Initially it truly bothered me because first off he has yet to address this with these people and he always has some excuse like, it’s not their business.  I am the opposite I address things head on and he waits for them to blow over or is forced to deal with it. I digress…. My second step mom does not care if the other people in my father’s life like her and she honestly has no reason to.  I learned that the most important opinion of me was the person I’m in the relationship with. For the most part I don’t have to deal with other people day in and day out.  As long as I’m treated well it doesn’t matter.  But it doesn’t let him off the hook for dealing with others attitude towards me because I‘ve witnessed my father check people’s attitude or simply cut them off. The bottom line is that you and your partner have to demand respect for your relationship when the people close to you don’t agree with it.  It is not easy but it makes for a more united front.

Forbidden Love: Black Women and Oral Sex.

I asked my sister what was a good topic to talk about for this series and she said black women don’t perform or don’t like to perform oral sex. Although I never really thought about it, she was on to something.

When I got to college I was amazed at how many  of my white female peers were proudly giving oral sex.  Where I come from “she sucked my dick” was the biggest insult a boy could give you. You couldn’t be known for anything worst than that. Now as an adult my black friends all admit to performing oral sex but it seems to be something reserved for a special person or as a returned favor. For example on the Braxton Family Values, Trina admitted that she had performed oral sex on a man who was not her husband.  Trina’s sisters were more shocked by the fact that she had just performed oral sex and not received anything sexual in return, than the fact that this man was not her husband. Her sister even went on to say “Black girls don’t just go around doing that”.   I don’t remember ever having a talk with my parents that specifically addressed oral sex. I just remember that it was always this kind of taboo subject even in college and the taboo hasn’t went away. Maybe people just don’t like to talk about it because I know for fact that black women are doing it, and although maybe not everyday, but not just on special occasions with special people.  I know that our attitudes differ on the matter, especially culturally, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with performing oral sex and if you’re going to do it, do it well and enjoy it.  Nobody ever died from sucking dick.  At least as far as I know.

 So my question is why is performing oral sex that big of a deal?

What is that we are taught as Black women that makes it so taboo?

If you want funny yet accurate tips click here.

Things my Moms taught me about Relationships: Part II

Some of us have the most dysfunctional relationships because that is all we were taught. I believe that role models in general are important, and I have taken various approaches to life from many of the women that I know. In my life I’ve had 3 Moms and watching them has taught me various things about relationships. Part II is about my first Step-Mom.

My Father’s first wife had no biological children and was from a very tight knit family. She was really into health and fitness, teaching various aerobics classes, jogging 5 miles a day and being an avid tennis player. This was her first marriage.

How to be a Step Mom…

We all come with baggage and in relationships we have to be able to accept the baggage that the other person brings. In my fathers case I was baggage. Had it not been for my first step-mom I don’t believe that I would have known my father. The relationship she and my mother created was almost like friendship and it forged the relationship that we had. My first step mom formed a relationship with me that was completely independent from my relationship with my father. It was not forced on me, but developed very naturally or time. She made it very clear that she was not trying to or going to replace my mom. My first step mom did not kill me with kindness either, she was a disciplinarian when she needed to be, but she understood that there was a fine line she had to walk. The most important thing I learned from her was that you can never love and care about too many people no matter how they come into your life, and children are always worthy of the love and care. Being a step parent is a difficult role but the most important part of it is to have your own relationship with your step child that does not include resentment.

Take care of yourself…

As I said in the intro she was a fitness guru. It is important that we take care of ourselves and not just for our partners. It’s just the smart thing to do. But in terms of relationships, especially those that are long term, it is essential. We all know people who have been together for an extended period of time and one, if not both, have physically morphed into different people and not because of age. Being active and fit is very important and it is even more fun if you can do it together. My father wasn’t into fitness and he turned out to be the one who changed physically; a lot of times it’s the other way around. Please don’t think that I am saying you have to keep this svelte figure, what I am saying is that we should just physically take care of ourselves and always try to look nice. (I always have the lipstick and mascara handy) Not only will your partner feel good about you, but you will feel even better about yourself.

Two wrongs don’t make a right…

My father was a habitual cheater when he was with my first step Mom. He basically had a whole other family not even 10 minutes down the street. After a first step Mom realized that this wasn’t a fling she went and found her own boyfriend. When this was going on I was young and I had no idea what was really going on, however I knew that it wasn’t right. Just because a person hurts you, doesn’t mean you need to hurt them twice as bad. If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive them, or you do and they don’t change then you should move on. When you cheat because your significant other cheats you are just as wrong as they are. It is not healthy and it makes fixing the problems in your relationship twice as hard because no there is no trust. And while men complain about women’s trust issues, when you completely lose a man’s trust it’s gone forever. Revenge cheating doesn’t make you feel better it just makes the situation worst. If my boyfriend or husband finds someone who he thinks can make him happier and is a better fit, then I will let him go. If he comes back we can cross that bridge if we ever get to it.

Things my Moms taught me about Relationships: Part I

Some of us have the most dysfunctional relationships because that is all we were taught. I believe that role models in general are important, and I have taken various approaches to life from many of the women that I know. In my life I’ve had 3 Moms and watching them has taught me various things about relationships. Part I is about my biological Mom.

 

My biological Mom is the mother of 5 children by 4 different men; needless to say she may have gotten around.  She is serial monogamer and I Love her more than anything in the world, but some of the most notorious things I try to do, and not do, in relationships is because of how she handles her’s.

Communication is key…

My biological Mom is non confrontational at least until she is so mad there is no communicating. My mom will let things slide so often that it is frustrating to watch. I learned that you just have to talk about it no matter how uncomfortable; put it all out there and sort it out. This is not only true in disagreements but in just everyday life stuff. My mom doesn’t know some details because she doesn’t ask, but not because she doesn’t want to know. I ask all kinds of questions even if it makes us uncomfortable because I don’t want to wonder how you are paying bills with no job and 2 baby mamas.

Be yourself…

In the beginning of any relationship you may try to like what the other person likes, but there is a point when you’re like “I don’t like that and I probably never will”. My Mom is a conformist and sometimes it’s like she takes an immersion course on the lives of the men she dates. I remember something about every man she has dated since I was little because she went through some strange phase. With my 1st step-dad she stopped eating pork; born and raised in the south and she gave up swine?? There was the weirdo with bipolar disorder who had her listening to smooth jazz for like 3 months. Have you ever been on a road trip where smooth jazz was the music of choice??? Well if you haven’t don’t… Then there was golf and a few other crazy things. I think that when you get with someone you have to be yourself. How can you build a lasting anything when you pretend that you like things that you really don’t and shun the things you enjoy??? It is far easier to be with someone who can be who the really who they are, than to be with someone who wants to be a reflection of you. This is not just in a hobbies but in all thing. I will never convert to a religion or start some special diet unless I feel that it is the right life choice for me. It’s just easier to be yourself in relationships, because you know that the person is there because of who you genuinely are.

Let a Man be a Man and Learn to be the Woman….

The great thing my Mon taught me about relationships is that men and women are different. As women we have to know when to let our men be men. That does not include, letting him chase whatever skirt that passes, it means to be submissive. You can be a strong woman with a man but there are times when you should not have to, nor want to, take the lead. You have to recognize his weaknesses and yours and act accordingly. If your man wants to take the extra long way to the store then sit back and let him. My mom is a great supporter and is good at being submissive when necessary. If he wants to provide let him, but you can’t be lazy. If he wants you to cook and you can, do it; and if you can’t, learn. But only if he is doing everything he is supposed to do on his end. The key part in letting a man be a man is the fact that he can’t pick and choose when he wants this role; he has to be this all the time.

 

Countdown to 2012: Person who impacted my life the most in 2011

My little sister.  She is awesome and though she has moments where I could drop kick her, she is resilient more than I ever imagined she would be.  I would give her the world if I could but she has proved that I can trust her with her life lol; that she doesn’t always need my guidance. She taught me how to be mentally stronger this year, how smile in spite of and how to be thankful for everything. Most of all my sister taught me how to listen to others.  It is important that we realize that sometimes people have our best interest and they mean well; it’s ok to listen, it’s ok to try things a new way, especially if your way isn’t working.  I’ve also learned from her that people’s opinions don’t matter, but you have to believe that, you can’t just say it. Not only have I learned these lessons that were crucial for most peopl, I didn’t have to go through anything to learn.