Adventures from a cross cultural relationship Part 1: Family over Pets but my pets are my family…..

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My boyfriend is Nigerian and I am African American.  The funny thing is we never talk about until we don’t want to claim each other’s people, which usually happens when we see people who are actually being stereotypes. We don’t look for differences but sometimes they are stark and unavoidable.  One of these has to do with indoor dogs and his complete and utter confusion about this.

Until recently I had 2 dogs, a 3 year old Poodle and a 13 year old Pomeranian.  My boyfriend has never really been here for my fur babies, he tolerates them.  He is not willing to keep them on the weekend but he will pay for the boarding, lol.  I let my cousin, whom I had recently reconnected with after 10 years stay with me until she got on her feet. During her stay at my place my dog got hit by a car under her supervision.  Unfortunately my dog did not survive the trauma and after a million apologies I put my cousin out of my apartment. My boyfriend immediately encouraged me to reconsider, it was an accident and she was staying with me after having nowhere else to go.

The thing about family is that blood doesn’t make you sincere.  While I don’t think she meant for anything to happen, she did not take the necessary precautions to prevent it.  She also did not call after she left from my house, not even a text message which really made me feel as if she wasn’t as sorry as she claimed. My boyfriend doesn’t understand my attachment to my dogs he tries really hard but he doesn’t get it.  He likes dogs but he is not fond of them being in the house and dogs as small as mine really serve no purpose according to him, I can’t rally argue with that. He felt as if my cousins needs should have taken precedence over my grief.  He would have never put out a person because of a dog.

I showed up on his doorstep at 3 a.m. balling and drunk “He was a dog you can get another one” my boyfriend said. I had also gotten a memorial tattoo in my dogs memory and he liked the tattoo but really didn’t understand my pain. He held me while I cried, supplied me with 2 aspirin, a bottled water and of course a trashcan.   I was clearly too drunk and inconsolable for sex so he made me go to sleep. He didn’t understand but he was there for me nonetheless.

The next morning I tried to explain that when you nurture something for years you can’t replace it and no other dog would be my dog it would be a totally different dog with different quirks.  In our conversation we had to face that I take my dogs very seriously. I get very attached and grew up with dogs, I even took my Pomeranian to college.  A cousin who comes into your life after not seeing you for over 10 years then ends up on you couch doesn’t get that consideration.  We did not disagree but we did not exactly agree.  He has never had a dog so I didn’t expect him to understand, after all there are Americans who aren’t that serious about dogs but they understand the attachment.

Our disagreement was rooted in the treatment of family.  I am a firm believer in the nuclear and immediate families being close.  He runs errand for his mother’s friend’s cousin whim he calls aunty mostly because it’s respectful, but also because if everyone is aunty you don’t have to remember names.  He was raised to be there for his family immediate, extended and otherwise.  I admire that but I don’t adhere to that. My parents raised us to be close as siblings but we aren’t really obligated to extended family.

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Love or whatever…

When do you say I Love you?  When do you know you Love someone? I am at a standstill… I think I Love him.  If he needs a piece of my liver or a kidney I would give it to him.  I would have his children under the right circumstances but do I Love him?  I haven’t actually pondered if I love someone in a very long time, it never gets to that point. I pray for him and care about him.  I don’t worry about him though, and in all of my thoughts I feel our friendship not necessary Love.  I feel the passion for life between us but not life necessarily together. I think I Love him though? There is a level of intimacy that is there and is comfortable.  I want to be better because of him and not disappoint him but do I Love him?  Do you just know?  Do you wait for the guy to declare it first?  What are the rules?  I am confused in this. Please HELP

Thoughts of the son we could have had.

I’m just kinda taking whatever life gives me and hoping that I make the right decision. – Amy Smart

Sometimes I think about our baby.   How he would look, act, talk. Would he be a spitting image of his Dad.  I would want him to be, his Dad is an amazing man.   He would be beautiful and smart. Would he be quietly thoughtful like his Dad or outspoken with quick wit like his mom. I think  about this sometimes when I think about his father. A very handsome, thoughtful man doing well for himself, any woman’s dream Baby Daddy, but I didn’t want a Baby Daddy. I didn’t want to impose my presence on anyone’s life, as well as, put myself in a vulnerable position. I was not ready for the best or worst outcome. But I think about him.

I think about him in the way that you would think about a dream, like a distant reality that you’re not sure you want to be real.  I think about him and what he would have done to us.  Would he have made us stronger and closer or would he have made you resent me? Would he be the reminder of a bad decision or an outcome to be celebrated? He would have been loved and we would have adjusted eventually.

I feel that children should come to two people who want a child not into chaos which is where we were at the time. That is my personal preference, no disrespect to single Mothers but I would not choose to be one.  I cherish life partnerships over offsprings. It’s nice to have a legacy but I want to share that legacy with someone I would rather be childless, than a single mother; but who knows that could always change.

Now that I am ready to start to settle down I think about these things.  I feel that for that time in our lives I made the right decision not only for me but for us. This post is in no way a reflection of me being haunted by a decision; under those circumstances I would make the same decision if it were today.    So when I am ready and under circumstances that I deem acceptable, I will have a child. That child will have a life filled with Love and support but I will still think about him, and what kind big brother he would have been.

And If I ever fall In LOVE again

I will be sure to be myself.

I have been in Love twice in my life. The first time I was a teenager and it was the purest form of Love a person can be apart of. It was authentic and true we had our whole lives ahead of us and we grew together in ways that movies only display. I was myself with no hesitation. The second time I was in Love was after in college. I don’t feel like I was myself during this time. I was becoming the person I would ultimately be. I was experimenting with different versions of myself. Looking back now I know that knowing who you are is a key component to being a healthy part of the relationship. I was toxic, to him and myself I did not know how to just be content. I was restless and selfish, as much as I loved him I had not fallen in Love with me.

Being in Love with someone can be an intoxicating experience, so much so that you yearn for the source of your pleasure. You learn to be what that person needs you to be and it is very possible to lose yourself in that feeling. But there is no better feeling than knowing someone is in Love with who you genuinely are, not who they would like you to be. To know that they are in Love with all the flaws and quirks, the scars and curves, and if you never changed they would Love you anyway, but in the same breath encourages you to be the best version of yourself.

Now that I have grown into myself and I understand what works for me and what doesn’t. I know how I interpret and display Love as well being ready to put in the work. If I ever fall in Love again I will be sure to be unapologetically me.

Who the fuck wants to 35 and ALONE???

Hello SKYLA… Now my 5 year plan goes into effect.

A few weeks ago I got an IUD inserted.  For those of you who don’t know, it is a long term form  of birth control that is insert into your uterus, some release a small amount of hormones others don’t.  I decided to try out SKYLA, it releases a small amount of hormones and protects me, and him,  against pregnancy for 3 years.  No daily routines, no worries.  The insertion was very uncomfortable and if you’ve never had  a baby you don’t know what to expect so just be prepared that it will hurt and will be uncomfortable for the first few days, but it’s nothing more than your worst period.

So I went off on tangent a little now back to my 5 year plan.

I want to date get married and start having babies in 5 years.  So I got the IUD that lasts 3 years which should cover the first two steps of my three fold plan.  I am at the point that I don’t want things to linger if they aren’t going anywhere; I would prefer to be alone than waste time.  This even means the relationships that have lasted for a prolonged periods of time.  I feel that it is time to be decisive in these choices.

We are in a time when non commitment is the new relationship and I’m not going to be a part of that.  I want to settle down and have a family and enjoy life. But most of all I want to do it with someone that I enjoy and I wholly Love. So in the next few years I want to do this.  So the answer to the question posed by Aubrey’s mom I don’t want to be 35, single and alone.

Homie, Lover, Friend: Loving him

This is an Ode to the person I have always felt my best self around, he calls me on my bullshit and I listen to him; he is one of my favorite people.  I Love you to pieces and if we were never together again I would be happy to revel in your happiness because that is what I want most for you.  To be joyful and live the fullest life possible, because the way that I Love you is more than romantic. It is intimate and unique and it makes us friends.  I often say that friendship is one of the most sacred relationships to have and if you can be friends with someone the possibilities of that relationship are endless.  You are my friend and one I hold in my heart and would give a piece of my soul.  I Love you in ways that I have never been able to explain because it is a Love that has more interest in your happiness than your romantic companionship.  It is a Love that does not beg to be by your side because that may not be my place in your life.  It is a free Love that somehow makes my heart smile at you and for you.  My Love for you is not interested in reciprocation, it has existed regardless of how you feel about me because it is pure and true.

You are the perfect a ending to a great book and you are my prototype. Although being that  I do not hold you selfishly close to me because my Love for you is not selfish.  It will not allow me to selfishly chase you because it respects your choices and  trusts your heart. It is in this that I recognize that we may never be more that we are right now and that is my friend.

SELF ESTEEM: Why would you need inequality when you can hold yourself back?

Low self-esteem like most unpleasant things is a bitch.  You can’t Love someone into Loving themselves… I was recently in a relationship with a person who seemed like he had it together, but under the surfaced he was a wreck.  He never felt good enough for me. So much so that when his more successful friends showed interest in me he would tell me to weigh my options.  Now I am not in the business of stroking the egos of grown ass men but I really liked him and I would for the most part ignore the advances.

I often tried to make him feel good by making sure I wanted to do things in his budget or would simply just pay for things and not asking him for anything more than time and company.  What I learned as our relationship progressed is that no matter what I did that he was always insecure of where he was in life.  I mean I understood some things like not really having your own place at 40 years old but he had a great heart and treated me as well or better than any other man I dated.  But his insecurities caused a rift between us because he didn’t like to share because of them.  I am an open book so the fact that he couldn’t share things out of shame really hurt us.  I am not judgmental nor do I demand the finer things in life.  I grew up in the struggle and my life until recently was one.So the fact that he was ashamed of things really baffled me.

One day when we had both had very hard days at work, being beat down by the man. I realized that nothing I could do would make him feel better and there were several things that made me come to this conclusion.  The fact that he wasn’t willing to compete with seemingly more successful people for me and actually encouraged me to consider them was disheartening for me. If you don’t think you’re good enough why should I?  I also noticed that while I was complaining about the perils of corporate life he would kind of shut down and look dazed.  Other days he would not share anything about his day or the life.  He was the type of person who felt a strong since of entitlement to nice things but realized at some point he had not attained the level of success associated with these things.  He was not living the life felt he deserved and therefore I could not like/love him the way he was, where he was, as I tried so hard to do.

But you can’t Love someone into loving themselves.  Happiness starts with you and as long as you are unhappy nothing will feel right or satisfying.  I think that first and for most you have to be honest with yourself, then you can be honest with other people; honesty is the beginning to making yourself happy. Liking yourself simply comes from accepting yourself, flaws and all.  If you accept things for what they are you can learn to be comfortable with them.   You have to be willing to let someone meet you where you are even if that is not where you want to be. Be great by yourself, love yourself and allow others to do the same no matter what.