The Phenomenon of Soul Ties

Soul Ties (140x140)

For the past two weeks, I have been researching and reading up on the phenomenon of soul ties for a presentation I’ve been asked to give on relationships. The teachings of soul ties are beneficial to anyone who has ever felt abandoned, neglected, angry, bitter, and/or confused while involved in an intimate relationship. To be honest, I’ve been following the phenomenon of soul ties for several years and have been able to contribute many of my struggles to the ties that I have developed, with men, over the years.
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Trying to Fix a Broken Man

BROKEN MAN (140x140)

“I recently got out of a relationship of a year and a half. We met at a friends New Year’s Eve engagement party. I agreed to a date with him. From the first date, he talked about what he was looking for and I was like, “YES, finally a man that is on the same page as me!” We both have one child and wanted a family together. He didn’t go out and he was done running around with different women.

After a few dates, he told me his last “jump off” was pregnant. He knew it wasn’t the ideal situation, but he really thought we were the real deal and wanted me not to give up on him. After some contemplating, I agreed to continuing the relationship, and in the beginning things were great. We ended up taking a break right before his son was born because he was stressed and couldn’t handle it, but eventually got back together and things went full speed. We were so in love, and he wanted to move in. I wasn’t ready, but I eventually gave in. Seems like from the time he moved in things went down hill.
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Commitment-Phobia Not Just A Man’s Disorder

PHOBIA

The epic scenario of a man dating a woman for months, and won’t commit to calling her his ‘girlfriend’; A man who has been with a woman for years and won’t ask her to be his wife, has been the generalized definition of a commitment-phobe. We so very often blame men for not going for the gusto! ” Just ask me already so we can make this thing legit”! That’s the type of frustration that us women feel when we’ve realized that our relationship has flat-lined, and it’s all because the male species typically has a problem with commitment…right? How true is this statement? Do men really have commitment issues or are women as much to blame for the lack of commitment in modern day male-female interactions?
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Must Husbands and Wives Have Equal Status?

Young couple looking at new cars

I ask this question in terms of what type of car they’re driving. At first mention, it may sound silly or juvenile, but hear me out.

I was with family during the Thanksgiving holiday and an interesting topic of equality in marriage arose. Let me give you some background information:

My cousin recently graduated law school and is studying to take the bar exam. She drives a 2008 Honda Civic, which she purchased brand new and is almost finished paying off.

Her husband works as a manager in the finance department of a Fortune 500 company. He recently (like in the last two years) got a brand new BMW. He previously owned a Honda Accord, but as it began to break down and his income began to increase, he told his wife that if he was going to have a car payment, it had to be “for something I really want.”
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Why are Women So Pressed to be Married?

PRESSED FOR MARRIAGE


I was at a social gathering last night with a group of young, black women. Most were in this group called “Pinky Promise,” a new movement out there to stay pure before God in EVERY single way. The purpose of this movement and the different groups that have formed because of it seem like a good idea from what I could see. Yet, there was something that kind of threw me off.

During the evening’s discussion, the subject of men (of course) arose. One of the women looked around the room and asked, “Does everyone in here pretty much desire to be married?” Mostly every girl nodded yes (besides me and another girl who said, “Not anytime soon.”). And as the conversation continued, the topics of husbands, and “the man God has for you,” and waiting and being patient were on full blast. As I observed those in the room, I got an overwhelming sense of “I want to be married!” Even as I talked one-on-one with one of the ladies, she also noted how the focus seemed to be on getting a husband, which was not what she expected.

After telling my older (and married) cousin about my experience, she asked me a very good question: “Did you ask these ladies why they desire to be married so much?”

And although it was in my head (and obviously influenced this post), I never thought to simply ask the women why?

Why is it that women desire to be married so much? The entire group was black, and this also made me wonder, is this more of a focus for black women? Or does every woman have such a strong desire to be married?

Take me, for instance; I certainly want to be married one day because, as a Christian, I do believe this is just one aspect of God’s plan and purpose for my life. He designed marriage and I do believe in the long run He created men and women to ultimately enter into a marriage covenant (for multiple reasons). Like any other gal, I want a life-long partner and a beautiful relationship, but it’s not a pressing desire for me. It doesn’t consume my thoughts nor do I focus on it day in and day out.

Now, we should take into consideration that I’m currently in a relationship, and these women, from what they were saying, are not. So, in fairness, I thought, “Well, perhaps I’m not as focused on being married now or getting a husband because I have someone.” Yet, I think about my close friend who is single. She also desires to be married one day, but unlike the women last night, she doesn’t have this sense of urgency or feel like she needs and wants to meet her hubby-to-be right now. Even when I was single, which was FOREVER, this wasn’t my sole focus.

The topic made me think about something my pastor’s wife said one day. She said, “99.9 percent of women want to be married, yet only 50 percent want to be a wife.” That’s real.

I wonder if, in their longings for husbands and wife titles, women really take the time to consider what it means to be married? What it really means to be a wife?

I know God checked me about this very same thing awhile ago. My friend pointed out to me that whenever I’d talk about marriage, I’d usually only talk about my wedding. “It’s going to be this” and “I want to have that” yet I rarely spoke about actual marriage. And the Lord quickly opened my eyes to the true definition of marriage and being a wife—cause it’s not at all about a special day or a title. For so long, I didn’t know what being a wife and entering into a marriage covenant really meant, and I wonder if the same is true for so many women who are searching for husbands right now.

No one wants to be lonely; I get that. Yet, marriage is (and will be) so much more. Do we think about commitment? Do we think about serving our husbands, even when we don’t feel like it? Do we think about making sacrifices and being selfless? Even seemingly small things like visiting relatives on holidays. Perhaps you really enjoy being with your family on Christmas, but in marriage, you may have to spend plenty of Christmases away from your loved ones and be with your husband’s side, especially if they live in different states. Do we consider that? Do we think about permanently sharing our space with someone else? Learning to live and interact with another person EVERY DAY? Mixing different living styles, likes and dislikes, ideas and opinions, backgrounds and upbringings: Do we think about these things?

Even more, what about when the lovey-dovey stage fades away? What about when you can’t stand your spouse? Or things start to feel routine? Or, God forbid, offenses come (and they will come)? Do we think about forgiveness? And moving past hurts and pains?

I think that in a society filled with slim pickings—men who don’t date black women, are on the DL, bisexual, playing games, are immature, and/or don’t have any goals or ambition—we as women can start to feel desperate, even at such young ages (the women in this group were 24-25). We see a lack of quality “good men” and it creates this sense of urgency in us to have something we 1) truly don’t understand enough about and 2) most often times are not even ready for. I mean, if when referring to marriage all I used to focus on was my wedding dress or venue, it’s clear to see I had no idea what marriage truly is and wasn’t ready.

No one will ever be 100 percent ready for marriage because, obviously, there are some things about marriage one can only learn in marriage. To every woman that longs to be married and snag that husband, I think you should take the time to make sure you fully understand what you think you desire. As they say, be careful what you wish for, and you don’t want to wish for a role your mindset, maturity level and character aren’t fully developed for yet.
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BIO
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: http://shalamarks.com/.

Is Your Man Cheating with Another Man a Deal Breaker?

DOWN LOW CHEATS

Unfortunately, infidelity is a HUGE problem in many relationships nowadays, in and out of marriage. For some reason, at one point or another, many people experience a cheating partner/spouse and are left wondering what to do.

This topic is very interesting to me because as I continue to grow and learn, God is showing me:
1) As a human, I have a limited amount of knowledge
AND
2) I don’t know everything I think I do

Now, why at the mere age of 23 I believed I had a handle on this thing called life is beyond me. When it came to dating, relationships, infidelity, etc. I just knew my beliefs were right. But again, like any good and loving Father, God has been showing me, “You really don’t know anything.”

Take our topic of infidelity: I used to put cheating into a one-size-fits all category. A+B=C, i.e. a mate/partner + cheating/cheated= end of relationship. I had my mind made up that if a person loved you 1) he/she would never be unfaithful and 2) if the person did the relationship should immediately be terminated because he/she clearly demonstrated your value (or lack thereof) in the person’s life. There were no ifs, ands, or buts; cheating was a black-and-white issue with me.

Oh, the mind of the young, naïve and inexperienced!

There I was, a young woman believing I had the “formula” for relationships 1) having never experienced really bad things with men and 2) having only been in one, what you can classify as, “real” committed relationship. I’ve heard stories from family and friends about how badly men have dogged and played them, and though I’ve had a few eye openers and learned lessons, I honestly had never really had my heart broken or have been betrayed or hurt by a man I loved and trusted. How did I think I knew it all never having walked in the “bad relationships” shoes before? You see the error in my ways? Thank God for correction!

I’ve come to learn that cheating is not a black-and-white issue nor does it have a universal solution. A + B doesn’t always equal C, but it’s more like the product of A +B is going to differ from person to person, situation to situation, and relationship to relationship. Because cheating can have varying degrees, and therefore, varying levels of how it’s viewed and handled. Here are a few real-life examples that have helped recently open my eyes:

Example #1
Girl dates boy off and on for the past seven years. Girl and boy have a falling out (not a breakup). Boy cheats on girl by having sex with another girl. Yet, in the past, Girl became emotionally attached to other men.

Example #2
After a 4-year relationship and talks of marriage, Boy confesses to Girl that during the first two years of their relationship he was unfaithful; yet since confessing his sin and moving forward with God, he has been 100 percent faithful every since.

Example #3
Wife is very busy in professional school working toward degree. Husband feels neglected and finds sexual comfort in another woman.

Example #4
Husband comes home late every night and doesn’t want to make love to Wife anymore. After investigating, Wife discovers Husband in bed with another man.

You see how different each situation is? And these are all just basic outlines; each has details that make the situations much more complicated. And as I keep hearing about infidelity more and more, whether it be in general or from loved ones, I’ve begun to wonder if cheating is/ should really be a deal breaker like I had always thought?

Ladies, I want to specifically ask your opinion about the last example because this is becoming a prevalent issue in society. You wouldn’t believe the number of men I’ve heard about or come into contact with who are “experimenting.” The recent Mister Cee scandal is a perfect example. These men, out of curiosity they say, are doing sexual things with other men…just “experimenting.” They don’t think they’re gay; they just want to “try it out.”

And now so many women are left confused because if being cheated on and having your trust betrayed isn’t bad enough, now you’re throwing a whole different ball into the game. I mean, I’ve always imagined how hurt and in shock I’d be if my man was ever unfaithful, but if he was unfaithful with another man? Wow.

So, in the spirit of stepping back, being more open minded, and embracing that fact that I am still learning and don’t know everything, I really want to know your take on this ladies. Is cheating an end all? Is it truly once a cheater always a cheater? Or does everyone deserve a second chance?

And to take it a step further, does the “degree” of the indiscretion influence your reaction to infidelity? Would you, as a woman, feel the same way about your man cheating on you with a man as you would him cheating on you with another woman? Is cheating cheating, no matter what? Or are some cases worse than others?

After seeing this issue of supposed heterosexual men cheating on women with other men arise so much lately, it definitely made me question my response if ever in this situation. Maybe I’m not fully there yet, but I can be honest and say that for me it would definitely be different than if it were a female; and it would most certainly be a deal breaker—no questions asked. What about all of you?

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BIO
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: http://shalamarks.com/.

I Never Knew What Great Sex Was Until…

I NEVER KNEW WHAT GREAT SEX WAS

Before I continue right where I left off from the last article, there are a few things I need to say that women should never take for granted:

* The bliss of vacation sex… never, and I mean NEVER conk out early on a hotel bed otherwise, you’ll never be invited again.
* The upper-body strength of men—hey, I’m a feminist, but that couch ain’t gonna move itself
* Your fertile years… yea-yea, I know it’s un-P.C. to say so, but it’s true
* The great guy who never takes YOU for granted
* Your partner’s sex face… it may not be pretty, but at least you know he’s satisfied
* Fork me, spoon me… get the picture?
* Slightly dirty text messages throughout the day—it’s all about the buildup (see other article regarding this)
* And lastly, the Trojan Vibrating Ring. Fun and orgasm inducing.

You know, I’ve got to say, I never really knew what great sex was until… I stopped trying to be sexy. That’s right. I thought that good sex relied on fundamentals like: steamy glares, artful hair whipping, and a myriad of passionate cries of ecstasy. And believe me, I had it all down to a science until I got serious with my now husband of 28 years. Prior to that, other guys had either enjoyed the show or were just too wrapped up in their own show to care about my pleasure. And ladies, especially you women with long hair; be very careful about whipping your hair around. Things might go awry and you might knock yourself unconscious; he will laugh at you, because now the act is more slapstick burlesque than sexual art.

Most men, believe it or not, espouse the virtues of simple, unadorned pleasure; they prefer true intimacy and bliss. So this is not the time to start stressing about whether your ass is well built or did you wax enough “down there” or if your breasts are sagging or not. Then there’s the smell factor: how one smells in bed could be a deal breaker. After a shower or bath, women tend to smother their natural scent with sprays and oils. This ritual has marred many a sex lives. First of all, if you spritz “down there” with perfume, it will irritate and burn your partner, especially if he’s not wearing a condom. And since you know that your partner will be “putting in work” by “going down” on you; you start worrying if “eau de stink” is wafting from your nether regions, so you spray “down there” with perfume… damn near killing him because he’s ingesting the perfume; and/or his attempts are met with locked legs. Ladies, simply let your inhibitions go. Inhale deeply, and savor the musk of your mingling scents.

And don’t forget to scream for me, okay?

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A.G. Thornton is a writer an author of FAMILY, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS and LOVERS… THE BEST OF ENEMIES
www.sixela.net.

Great Sex… Are You Getting Any?

ARE YOU GETTING GREAT SEX

Okay ladies, I’m giving you diamonds and pearls here, so please pay close attention. I will try to address most of the sexual problems here and if not, there’s always next month to continue, for however long it takes to resolve these issues, such as:

1. speed demons in bed
2. robots
3. spitty kissers
4. nipple pinchers, and so on…

Suffer no more. I will share some strategies for turning a so-so lover into a lover who CAN and WILL rock your world…with a few carefully laid hints. Trust mother, I’ve been there. You meet a guy, you’re into him—he’s into you, things are going so well, until…he sucks in bed. His technique is lacking and he’s doing that annoying thing with his tongue/hand/leg (take your pick). You finally ask yourself, “How did he get this far knowing so little?” Finally you’re thinking about the last slice of pineapple cheesecake in the refrigerator and you want to get it before your greedy roommate beat you to it OR you’re envisioning the cute expensive boots you saw in Bloomingdale’s. It’s never a good sign when your mind leaves the bedroom and into a department store. Then, you hope that your boring lover will turn out the lights and lock up when he’s done so that you can get some damn sleep, because a sista’s got things to do tomorrow. But what’s a girl to do? Years ago, the immature me would’ve thrown him back into the dating pool and kept it moving.

A lot of women usually suffer in silence, tsk-tsk. OR you can teach an old dog some new tricks. Let’s get one thing straight! Making a guy better in bed is actually about making sex better for you, period. And believe it or not, despite the sexual revolution and women’s lib, a lot of Black women are still Victorian in their thinking and are afraid to ask for what they want in bed. That’s why white women are taking your men, because brothers want some “brain” and you sistas won’t oblige.

Fortunately, there are women like myself who are bold and assertive and know how to ask for what we want instead of planning shopping sprees in the middle of sex. So now, pay attention, because basically, it’s all about honest communication:


The Orally Challenged Spitty Kisser
A lot of guys do not know how to kiss, period. Some kiss with tight lips locked up like fort knox. Some kiss very drooly, like a teething baby (are you dry-heaving yet?). You can do the immature thing during a make-out session and grab a towel to wipe your mouth…and if he continues, you fetch a mop…that being said, I like to also add that a lot of guys don’t know how to please a woman orally either. For most women, this flaw is a complete deal breaker. It’s not something you can teach. I of course disagree. You can’t go in thinking that you’re going to get perfect sex every time. If you really like him and think he’s worth the time, work with
him…simply ask him, “How do you like to be kissed?” Believe it or not, most guys are open and upfront about discussing it. Soon, after you do this, he’ll be eager to emulate and reciprocate. Once you have an open line of communication going, you can continue telling him what you like and how.

The Speed demon
I once had a boyfriend tell me he was done, while I was unlocking my front door to get into my apartment…just kidding. For a lot of men, anticipation is simply too much for them…more than they can handle. If he’s that way, maybe you shouldn’t build it up too much. If you’re going to see him that night, don’t send dirty emails or leave sexy phone messages, because as he watches you disrobe…one part schoolgirl outfit, one part striptease, he’s already ejaculated in his shorts and it’s good night Tyrone.

The Jack hammer
You ever had a guy nail you…literally, like an oil derrick? You feel like a piece of meat, right? Don’t hurt his feelings, girls. Men’s egos are very fragile and not as resilient as they’d like to think, so go easy on him. Give subtle directions with compliments—it’s all in the way you approach it. Tell him gently to slow down or “Wow, that feels good when you’re gentle”, and quickly follow it up with, “but don’t stop”. The results will please you…and him.

Nipple Pinchers/ Biters
Apparently, some lying heifer…or Rottweiler puppy, told some guy, and he told some other guys, that it felt good to us for them to chew and suck on our nipples as hard as they can. Listen up girls, if you want to keep your nipples, you must show him what you like. Try it on him what you want done to you. Then, do it his way, rough and gnawing cannibal like…he’ll get the message. Trust mother.

When he thrusts your head
Women don’t you hate that? This is a pretty common move from most guys while you’re giving them Fellatio. Sometimes when you attempt to lift your head for air, they misinterpret that to mean you’re done; so they thrust your head harder, thereby gagging you with their member and making you dry heave. Soooo not sexy. So, this is what you should do. Get several scarves and tie his arms behind his back and also blindfold him. Whisper in his ear, “I run this show…you simply relax and enjoy the ride.” And he will.

To Be Continued On The Next Article…

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A.G. Thornton is a writer an author of FAMILY, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS and LOVERS…THE BEST OF ENEMIES
www.sixela.net.

Are Relationship Titles for Convenience?

RELATIONSHIP TITLES

I have this aunt and this uncle. They have been married for more than 25 years. This past Christmas holiday they opened their gifts from each other, danced after dinner, and cuddled all night like a couple of newlyweds.

Then, after a few days of non-stop PDA and fun, my aunt packed up the suitcase she’d brought with her, got on a plane and flew across the country back to her home… where she lives… alone.

My uncle stayed in Ohio, went back to his normal routine of work and then went back to his house… where he lives… alone.

Twenty-five plus years and for the past eight or nine they’ve been separated. Oh sure, every now and then they’ll live with each other again for a few months, but then, like clockwork, they’re back to their separate corners, doing their separate things.

My aunt ventures out and dates— and I’m sure my uncle does the same— but whenever she comes back into town it’s like they’ve resumed their marriage, like nothing has ever happened. For years my aunt has been saying she’s going to divorce him and for years she never has.

One day I asked her, “Why don’t you just get the divorce already? Y’all have been apart for so long.” And do you know what she said?
She said: “Even though he’s not here and we don’t live together, we’re still legally married and, in a way, that means I’m not single.”

There you have it.

Women today are so consumed with and afraid of the idea of being alone that some would rather hold onto something that isn’t truly there just for comfort. She hasn’t yet found a new man (or the right one) and so instead of crying “alone” or “by myself” she holds onto the fact that she still has a husband, legally. It saddened me to hear this.

Marriage is a title; it takes much more than signing a piece of paper to cultivate and sustain a real marriage. But how many of us women choose to hold onto a title, any title, just to say we are technically in relationship even if the physical aspect isn’t there? Men too. I have another uncle and he’s guilty of the same thing. He lives up north, his wife lives down south, been married on paper for decades but living apart for years.

Channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw: “I wonder, is holding onto the title of a broken or false relationship better than having no relationship at all?”
What do you think, sistas?

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BIO

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Marks aspires to help make a difference in society through the messages in her writings. She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Check her out at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shala.marks

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shalamarks

Does Every Woman Need Closure?

Three different guys. Three different situations. One repetitive outcome.

Guy Number One

He was attractive, intelligent and all the ladies wanted him. I, being a lady, was no different. We flirt, talk on the phone and eventually start dating. A couple weeks later he comes to me saying, “Sorry, I just didn’t like you as much as I thought I did.” Ummm, okay?

Guy Number Two

Again, attractive, intelligent, every girl is trying to date him. We talk for hours on the phone every night. We hang out during the day. Months go by and still nothing. So, nervously, I ask, “So, are we talking?” His response: “Well, I wouldn’t say that.” Hmm, alright then.

Guy Number Three

Now he’s a bit different. Not all that attractive, but he’s sweet. Every girl isn’t checking for him, but he treats me like a queen, like he just cannot get enough of me. Life happens, we’re forced into different states. We reunite again after a few months. I’m finally back in his warm and familiar embrace. Me: “I still have feelings for you.” Him: “Well, me too, but I met someone else.” Ouch!

So, as the same scenario plays out in my love life over and over, an ugly untruth is secretly making its home where my self confidence use to reside: I’m not good enough. I was not good enough to be liked as much as one guy perceived; I was not good enough to even try being in a ‘pre-relationship’ with; and I was not good enough to be the victor in a past love vs. new fling duel.

Without me realizing it, this feeling has buried itself deep into my heart, and has grown and flourished over the years. Now, I finally meet Mr. Right who’s trying his hardest to love me, but the not good enough branches and leaves keep pushing his affection away.

So, fed up with myself and desperate to not lose the man I love, I did the unthinkable. I sucked up my pride, put my feelings on the shelf, borrowed some courage (from who knows) and asked each and every one of my old flames that awful, but necessary question: why?

I got closure and was finally able to move on. But now I’m wondering, should I have needed it? We all have bad experiences in the love department; it’s a part of life. But, as the story goes, we eventually find the perfect guy who is so wonderful and more than we could ever imagine that we instantly forget about our pasts. It’s like Lauryn Hill’s voice blasts through our minds: Nothing even matters at all.

But what happens when it does matter? What happens when you’re still holding onto past hurts and pains that your prince charming wasn’t able to sweep away? And worse, what about when your past starts affecting your future?

I’ve always thought that once I met the right guy, everything else in the past wouldn’t hold any value. Your present (and one day future) are all that matter now. So, does it say anything about your current relationship if your man wasn’t able to make you forget about your past? Or do we as women put too much responsibility on our future mates to clear out the skeletons in our closets when that’s a chore only we can/should do?
What do you think, Sistas? Is closure necessary in order to move on?

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BIO
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Marks aspires to help make a difference in society through the messages in her writings. She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Check her out at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shala.marks
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shalamarks

Relationship Deal Breakers… ?

While watching Iyanla Vanzant try and fix Basketball Wives star Eveleyn Lozada’s life, I couldn’t help but wonder what the latter’s relationship deal breakers are?

Evelyn admitted to being physically manhandled by her husband before they were married and even to knowing that he was sleeping with other women. Still, with all this knowledge in hand, she walked down the aisle and before God and family, vowed to love Chad Johnson for life.

I wish I could say Lazada is some rare case, but truth be told, I know many men and women who don’t seem to have boundaries or deal breakers when it comes to their relationships.

My ex-husband’s brother loved his wife dearly (they were childhood sweethearts) and stayed with her for years as she went through her midlife crisis- hanging out in clubs and cheating with men half her age. The marriage eventually ended when she left him and their children to move in with one of her young lovers.

You would have thought cheating would have been a deal breaker but it wasn’t. You would have thought abandoning her children would have been a deal breaker but that wasn’t either. For my ex’s brother there was no deal breaker when it came to his wife because he loved her just that much.

But for many of us, we do have deal breakers. Mine is any form of physical or emotional abuse. I also don’t play that DL ish. If I find out my significant other has a thing for men, I’m out!

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What deal breakers do you have?

Kissing Frogs

Anyone that knows me knows I love to kiss. It’s amazing, but I’ll come back to that. One of my mentees called me today, frantic, she has a boyfriend (aaawww!), and he passed her a note advising her that he would like to kiss her after school (again..Aaawww!). She didn’t know what to do. They’re twelve (12). She was so excited I couldn’t help, but be excited for her. I was apprehensive…12. That’s a bit young to me. I was asked “So, how old were you?! Was it great?! Are ya’ll still friends?! Did you love him?!” …..I thought back…way back. My first frog!

The first kiss. Amazing. Yes, I remember it well, and I was just as excited as my mentee. Many that will read this knew me growing up. I’ve always been the tallest girl I know. Growing up I was taller than most boys as well. I wore the thickest glasses ever made, and I literally had teeth growing every direction…except straight. I was, for lack of a better word, hideous! That is, until the summer before my freshman year of high school. I was fourteen. Things turned around for me…instantly. I got braces. Contacts. Brand new boobs…that’s right…brand new. The boys…they came a flocking! The first one, and I’ll never forget him, John, it was the summer before his senior year. He strutted around my neighborhood in biking shorts. Biking shorts ya’ll. Now he was about 6’3″, and full grown. Read what I’m saying: a “full grown” 17 year old in biking shorts. My mother hated him. Hate. She hated him. Fortunately for him, my father no longer lived with us. He wouldn’t have made it past the door. Didn’t matter to me, he was male, and he wanted me. The tall girl that had the thick glasses and bad teeth had turned to a swan. I had a boyfriend. Heeeeyyyy!!

My mother allowed him in our house, in the living room. I now suspect so she could keep an eye on us. Well…on him anyway. I was walking him…in his biking shorts, to the front door. He grabbed my hand, bent down, and kissed me. Really…I’m being kissed…by a man! Now, I know the way I tell the story, you would think it was by far the best kiss in the world…trust me, to this day it is still the worst kiss I have ever had. He was horrible, sorry John, but even with no experience I knew that wasn’t how you kissed. The awfulness of it, however, doesn’t take away from how happy I was. It still makes me smile. To answer my mentees other questions, no I didn’t love him, but I did love the idea that he liked me. Yes…we are still friends. We joke about it a lot, and he claims he is much better now. He has 6 kids (one of whom I am the Godmother of), so I assume he has greatly improved.

Since John, I am not ashamed to say I have kissed my fair share of men. Kissing the frogs, waiting for a prince, some of them good, some of them bad, all of them necessary. Sometimes you have to go through a lot of frogs to get to a prince. It’s part of the process. You learn what you like. What you don’t like. What’s good for you. What’s bad. If you are lucky, one day you kiss the frog, and it is the sweetest most amazing thing in the world. You found your Prince, the one that you want to kiss every day. All day. For as long as you both shall live. That one kiss makes all of the frogs you went through worth it. That one kiss frees your mind, and unlocks your heart. This amazing man sent to you from God, makes all the horrible kisses…all the bad experiences…all the heartbreak…all the rejection worth it.

Do I wish my first kiss was better? Do I wish it was with someone I actually loved? Do I wish he would have been my prince, and we would have lived happily together for the rest of our lives? Of course I do. Would I trade that kiss? Not for anything in the world. It was my first kiss. It was awesome! Until I kiss my Prince, it is the one kiss I’ll never forget. It was the kiss that put me on the path to finding my Prince! So to my mentee I say, with tears in my eyes, and joy in my heart….GO GET THAT KISS GIRL!

Does He Only Text You?

I have noticed an ongoing trend in relationships these days. One where couples no longer whiseper sweet nothings in their partners ears, but rather text them.

I have several girlfriends who seem to spend more time texting their men over the phone than actually spending time with them in person.

According to a recent study on how technology has affected the dating scene, 65% of respondents felt it was okay to ask for a FIRST date via text message. 48% said it was okay to break up via text, while 30% admit to actually being dumped via text message.

Even more sobering, many women claim texting has totally ruined the act of courting. “A lot of guys don’t even call anymore, they just text,” said one female respondent. “Guys no longer feel like they have to woo you. Now it’s all about technology. They feel a text message is just as good as a phone call or one on one interaction.”

When asked how much time they actually spend with their “textmates,” most admitted that texting has cut down the one-on-one time they spend with their partners.

Natasha Reynolds, a college student, says she and her boyfriend hardly speak by phone or see each other because of their busy schedules. She admits the short length of text messages had led to misunderstandings and thus they have limited their texting time. She says she hopes it will strengthen their relationship and the way they communicate with one another.

So, how you Brown Sista readers? Do you find yourself texting your men more than you talk to them via phone or see them in person? Do you think texting has ruined the art of dating?

Have your say.

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
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Which was Better?

Do you remember your two big firsts? I remember mine like they were yesterday.

My first kiss was at the age of fifteen. It was with the most gorgeous guy who I will call Mark.

While visiting me one day, we were watching television and during the first commercial he leaned in and kissed me. I remember that while it was happening I felt as if I was floating above my body, watching the entire moment unfold. It was truly magical, and I can honestly say that to this day no kiss has ever matched the one I shared that day with Mark.

As for my other big first, it was a very forgettable experience. I think my expectations may have been a bit too high. I truly expected my first time to be like what I had seen in the movies. I expected it to be super romantic and last for hours and hours. Sadly, it was not very romantic and at best it lasted for 30 minutes… tops.

I was twenty at the time and remember feeling a great loss- like I would never be able to get this moment back. My partner, who I will call by his real name (lol), Guy, was very happy with himself when it was over. He really thought he had put in work. I mean sucking my nipples through my heavy ass sweater, did he really think that was a hot experience for me? Uggg!

I won’t even talk about his complete lack of knowledge of the female body. Hello… my clit’s over here (lol).

Ok, let me stop before this becomes a bashing-my-ex post.

Anyway ladies, answer the question. Which Was Better: Your First Kiss of Your First Time?