Love at First Sight

The idea that you could meet your soul mate at any given point in your life, if you haven’t found them, already is an exhilarating feeling. I don’t know if I believe there is just one soul mate and perhaps the concept of a soul mate is obtuse to me but thinking about the possibly brings a smile to my face. But is it likely to see someone and instantly fall in love with them? Does love at first sight really exist?

I would definitely classify myself as a realist when it comes to matters of the heart. My beliefs are more optimistic than pessimistic but I try not to let the glitz and glamour of love blind. This is probably the result of getting hurt in the past. Once you’ve been hurt by a former mate, you can turn into one of two people: The person adamant about finding love again, clinging to any hopes of finding someone else and finding solace in the idea that love is out there for you and your soul mate is just a stone’s throw away or you can turn cold and your heart morphs into the icebox Omarion was referring to in his song. Your hopes of finding someone to spend your life with may be vanquished.

I find that those who believe in love at first sight are often those optimistic individuals who may or may not have found love before but who are certain that it is possible to see someone and instantly fall in love. I think the idea of love at first sight is absolutely preposterous. First of all, it shouldn’t be called love at first sight; it should be called lust at first sight. How can you love someone you’ve never spoken to? How can you love someone that you know nothing about? You may have fallen in love with their exterior but you know nothing about them as a person. They could be the crudest, craziest, most difficult person to put up with but you were so fixated on their looks that you failed to notice. It is possible to meet someone and make an instant connection with them. But without having spoken to a person, how could you possibly feel that intense, indescribable feeling that they call love? I believe in faith and I believe people are placed into our lives for a particular reason. But I don’t believe you can see someone, from a far, and instantly fall in love with them. Love is more than just attraction; love is that unconditional devotion and undying adoration you feel. Love is something intimate and the idea that you could see someone and instantly experience that intense feeling is ludicrous and demeaning to the true idea of love.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com.
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
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Second Chances

I have never been a fan of second chances. When people make significant relationship/friendship altering mistakes it is not difficult for me to cut them off and remove them from my life. I know that forgiveness is a principle that should be practiced on a regular basis because nobody is perfect. People make mistakes and we are all human. But are some indiscretions unforgivable? Does everyone deserve a second chance?

I have never been in a relationship where I was fully cognizant of my partner cheating or lying to me and I continued in that relationship. But what do you do when you find out that you’ve been lied to or worse cheated on while you are still in the relationship? How can you muster up the strength to forgive someone after you’ve given them all that you’ve got and they’ve hurt you? When you have given someone everything and they’ve broken your trust how could you possibly learn to trust them again? Trust is the key to every relationship. If you trust your mate, you don’t leave room for speculation and suspicions. They say trust is like glass and once it has been shattered, it will never be back to its original form. I wholeheartedly believe this. It’s one thing to be with someone who has done something to break your trust but who had the audacity and dignity to let you know that they had committed transgressions; it’s another thing to be with someone and find out about their wrongdoings on your own. Not that I am condoning wrongdoings in any way but I would have a lot more respect for someone who lets me know that they’ve made a mistake rather than letting me find out on my own. But the shame, the embarrassment and the pain is still there regardless of the delivery method.

It is complicated to be with someone after they’ve shattered your trust; in the back of your mind you may have lingering doubts and worries. Learning how to trust someone again is one of the hardest things you can do in a relationship and is a skill that many never master. Even if you cannot learn to trust that person again everyone at least deserves forgiveness; judge not lest ye be judged. Two wrongs don’t make it right either, so if you’re thinking about evening the score because you’ve been heartbroken then think again. Seeking revenge on someone that has hurt you doesn’t make the pain go away and it speaks volumes about you as a person. Take the high road. Everyone makes mistakes and just because one party has made a detrimental decision in the relationship does not mean they cannot and will not change for the better.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com.
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
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Youtube Channel:
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The Art of True Friendship

As we get older we all go through the vicious cycle of meeting new people and unfortunately seeing them leave our lives prematurely. I, for one, used to get extremely distraught when I had a falling out with a friend or lost touch with someone close to me. I would rack my brain trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to cause the relationship to deteriorate. When I got to college, I eradicated that mind-set completely. Losing friends is just a natural part of life that every person should get acquainted with. The people I surround myself with are people who have made an effort to show me I am important in their lives. If someone is important to you, you make the time for them and keep in touch with them. This is a concept that I had to learn the hard way.

I remember having an argument with someone in the past. They tried to throw me the justification of “I just didn’t have time to hit you up.” That is not a sufficient excuse. There is 1,440 minutes in a day and you’re telling me you couldn’t find one free minute to call or text? As annoying as it is to call, text, Facebook, or tweet friends and not hear back from them, take it as a sign. If someone really wants you in their life, keeping in contact with them won’t be a complex task that causes you to travel to the ends of the world. When you’re younger it’s nice to feel like you have a large group of friends. But I’d take a few close friends that really care about me over a group of 30 people that are acquaintances, frenemies and semi-friends, any day. Quality definitely trumps quantity when it comes to friends. Life isn’t a popularity contest like when you’re in high school; it’s hard to find real friends these days. Loyalty, trust and respect are dying art forms, especially when it comes to friendship. Sometimes it’s hard to let someone go when you’ve put in years or even decades of friendship but if the person is A) toxic to your life and your well-being B) is not concerned about you and your well-being and C) doesn’t make an effort to check on you and keep in touch, then perhaps the friendship has reached its expiration date.

Many of us are familiar with the adage about people being in our lives for a reason or a season. No matter how hard it is to let go, people change and grow and unfortunately people grow in opposite directions. I have reached the point in my life where I no longer see the need to hold onto people that make no efforts to make me a priority in their life; if you really care about someone you will do everything it takes to keep them in your life. Cherish the true friends you do have and if you want someone in your life, make sure you show them that you do. I’m not an advocate for burning bridges; you never know when and if you will need someone in the future. But it’s futile to put effort into a friendship when the other party does not value you as a friend and doesn’t care to keep you in their life.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
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http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
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Men Love Bitches

I’m sick of hearing women complain about the lack of good men that are in the dating pool. There are six and a half billion people on the Earth, almost half of which are males. I think it’s safe to say there is not a shortage in men. If you find yourself constantly attracting the bad boy types who break your heart, or the no-good lying cheats, perhaps it’s not the men: it’s probably you. Now, I know this may sound a bit harsh but that is the reality of the situation. A man will only treat you how you allow him to treat you. If a man is lying to you, cheating on you, or is abusive in any way and you allow that behavior to persist, you are sending the message that that behavior is okay. If you want a man to respect you, respect yourself. Don’t put up with sub par treatment in any fashion.

The women who are able to stand their ground and stand up to men who mistreat them are the ones that don’t get mistreated by men. Men love bitches. And I mean “bitch” in the most positive sense of the word: an assertive woman. A woman who is a doormat is going to attract men that will not treat her the way she should be treated. If you encounter a man who is not right for you, as hard is it may be, you must let him go. Staying in an unhealthy relationship is not helping you at all. Don’t diminish your self-worth. Find someone who can build you up rather than tearing you down.

Some women are scared to be opinionated and strong and don’t want to emasculate a man. You don’t have to be a bra-burning feminist to be able to state your opinions, tell a man how you feel and stand your ground. Don’t be afraid to have your voice be heard. At the end of the day, the only thing a person can really do is disagree with your opinion or respect it. But you cannot allow someone to mistreat you; there are enough people in this world for you to find a man that can treat you exactly how you deserve to be treated.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
Tumblr:
http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/1987jbaby?feature=mhsn

Is Love Cursed by Monogamy?

Kanye West begs us to ponder a crucial question when it comes to exclusive relationships and marriage: “Is love cursed by monogamy?” In this day and age it’s very likely that you’ve either been cheated on before, have cheated on your significant other, will cheat on your significant other in the future or will be cheated on. Is this a sad reality that we will have to come to terms with or is it possible to have a monogamous and loving relationship for a sufficient amount of time?

Imagine a world where polygamy was the norm and people were expected to date more than one person at a time. Polyamorous is a word used to describe a person who has several intimate relationships at a time. When sitting to consider the benefits of being in this type of relationship and having the acceptance of all parties involved it sounds ideal. You get to basically have your cake and eat it too. But if you are a woman dating three different men who all know about each other, you may reach a point where you start developing stronger feelings for one of the men that you’re dating…then what? It is an innate human desire to want to be with someone and experience a close relationship but what happens when you want someone exclusively to yourself? The thought of someone you love being intimate with someone else is enough to insight the green-eyed monster in anyone. How can you be nonchalant while watching the person you love, loving someone else?

I’ve heard the saying “if you’re not ready to be exclusive, don’t be in a relationship,” but what about those in polyamorous relationships? The beauty of a relationship or marriage lies in knowing that you have found someone who cherishes and loves you enough to make a commitment to be with only you. Without that sense of security, the glamour of a relationship fades. Why even be in a relationship with someone if you guys are free to date and commit to many other people? Monogamy, although a difficult concept for many to grasp, is what makes a relationship so amazing. Despite the temptations of others around you, perhaps the true test of love is being able to commit to one person and only one person. Being in a polyamorous relationship could be fun at first; the ability to have relationships with several men sounds appealing. But at some point it’s nice to feel like someone loves and cares about you enough to commit to you and share their life with you and only you.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
Tumblr:
http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/1987jbaby?feature=mhsn

Keeping Up with the Jones’

In the society we live in so much emphasis is placed on looks, appearances, money, and other physical characteristics. How much a person has or how much they appear to have holds more weight than perhaps how much a person knows. Everyone is so obsessed with keeping up the Jones’…or rather, keeping up with the Kardashians. Tax season is upon us and there is a growing epidemic of women maxing out their credit cards or using refund anticipation loans for thousand dollar weaves, Christian Louboutin shoes, and expensive handbags just to show that they have expensive taste. But is it worth your credit to indebt yourself just so you can feign a certain lifestyle?

I personally acknowledge the fact that I can’t afford lavish things like expensive handbags and Michael Kors watches, although I could use my rent money to pay for things like that. It’s nice to be able to afford luxury items and to splurge but some women need to get their priorities straight; if you get your tax refund, try to save some of it, or put it into something useful. I’m not here to tell you what I deem as a useful expense because everyone is different. People are free to spend their money how ever they want to spend their money but just remain true to you. The media makes women think we have to fit a certain mold. When you watch any of popular reality television shows on cable, you will see how much the characters of the show glorify expensive things and living a certain lifestyle. But no one expects you to live like anyone else does and there’s no shame in not being able to afford certain things.

At the end of the day material things are just as expendable as some people’s salaries. I try not to give in to the consumerism shoved down our throats by the media; it’s hard not to feed into it sometimes. But I would rather be real and not have an expensive handbag than to front like I have that kind of money to blow; because I don’t. This is not to say that the women that do have money to blow shouldn’t buy nice and expensive things…if you got it, flaunt it! But my qualms are when people don’t “got it” and still proceed to front like they do have. You’re not fooling anyone. Women: we need to live within our means, especially in trying times like these. Our economy is getting a little better but if you can’t afford something, and have bills to pay, it would probably be wise to hold off on the purchase. At the end of the day, you could have as many Louis Vuitton bags and Alexander Mcqueen dresses as you want but all of those things can’t buy you happiness.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
Tumblr:
http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/1987jbaby?feature=mhsn

How To Survive Valentine’s Day Alone

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and ironically this is also the time of year when couples are most likely to break up. Men everywhere are either scrambling to end things with their not-so-significant others, or are planning a romantic night of passion. As I scroll through my Facebook timeline, all I see are hopeless romantics; whining about how they either do not have a Valentine, they hate Valentine’s Day or how it is a female holiday concocted by card companies to amass wealth. I’ve never really seen the big deal with Valentine’s Day and if you’re in a relationship, there shouldn’t be one designated day for you to show your mate that you appreciate them. People think that if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day it somehow makes you a bigger loser than if you were alone the other 364 days of the year. The media is responsible for making women feel like they need to be with someone on this special day but I have news for you: you don’t need anyone or anything to make you happy. If you are satisfied with yourself and your life, the right one will come along at the right time. Women need to stop obsessing over whether they have someone for this one insignificant day during the year and focus on becoming the best you that you can be.

Valentine’s Day is not about finding someone to take you out and buy you expensive gifts; that will appease you for one day but what does that really prove? I believe the spirit of the day is about showing people you care about that you truly care about them, whether it be a boyfriend, husband, child, or parent. In life sometimes we get so wrapped up in pleasing others and making others think we are a certain way and we forget to tend to our own needs. While being overly self-centered and egotistical is not a good quality, it is necessary sometimes to just focus on yourself. You can’t always put others first. Women are instinctually more caring than men and have the tendency to sacrifice for the ones they love. If you aren’t “right within” as Lauryn Hill would say, how do you expect to find someone who can truly love you? I hate the fact that Valentine’s Day is known as the “lovers’ holiday.” The day is about love, whether it is the love of another person or self love; the greatest love of all. All your friends might have boos and you’re the only one without a partner…but so what? What does that really mean? There are plenty of perks to being single although people forget about them once Valentine’s Day is upon us. Don’t fret about being single this Valentine’s Day…love yourself and focus on becoming the best person you can be and the rest will fall into place.

 

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com

You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
Tumblr:
http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/1987jbaby?feature=mhsn

Friendzone

When it comes to relationships, women are idealistic and overly-optimistic…women are often blind to things that are in plain sight. When it comes to friendship with the opposite sex, women have this warped notion that they can have a friendship with heterosexual men and no feelings will be involved. This is one of the biggest fallacies that women feed into. I’m not saying it is impossible to sustain a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex but it is an exceedingly difficult task.

First of all, when you are friends with someone of the opposite sex they possess several of the qualities you value in a companion. Friends are loyal, trustworthy, understanding, kind, and provide you with a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen; these are all valuable qualities people look for in a potential mate. Secondly, if you’re friends with someone usually you share the same common interests with them. Usually we surround ourselves with like-minded people. Having a lot in common with someone is an excellent ingredient in a relationship. If you are enchanted by someone’s personality, I think it’s safe to say their character makes them attractive in some way. Someone that you may not think is your type could win you over because of their humor or kindness. Would you call any of your close friends unattractive? Probably not…they have great personalities which make them attractive in some way. The point that I’m getting at is with all this circumstantial evidence, how do people maintain platonic friendships with someone of the opposite sex? That’s the thing…they don’t. It is increasingly difficult to have a friendship with someone who has all the qualities you look for in a partner albeit you may not have ever thought of them in that way, they may have emerging feelings for you.

Our friends have seen us through the good, the bad and the ugly in our lives and that’s refreshing; if you date a friend there is no awkward honeymoon phase where you’re on your best behavior and want to display your most endearing qualities. Your friend knows everything about you and knows exactly what they are getting into, if you decided to pursue a relationship with them. I think some of the best and strongest relationships stem from friendship. But it is foolish to think a man and a woman are capable of having a platonic relationship without one or both parties developing feelings for the other. Since when does unrequited love equate to a friendship? Women are often naïve, especially when it comes to how men think. Men have quixotic expectations and are dying to break free from the shackles of the “friend zone.” Let’s be realistic: most men are looming in the wings waiting for their chance to pounce.

 

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is gassamjz@gmail.com
You can also add her on any of the following social network sites.
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/janice.jnice
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/JaniceGassam
Tumblr:
http://decodingtheenigma.tumblr.com/
Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/1987jbaby?feature=mhsn