Communication

C. O. M. M. U. N. I. C. A. T. I. O. N.

Had a hiccup in my relationship recently. I’m using the word hiccup to mean epic disaster that almost ended everything.

Yep. Hiccup.

Basically we had another communication failure. It’s kinda our thing. We’re two independent and head strong individuals trying to learn how to function as a team. We are both better at individual sports than team events. We don’t even do relays.

It’s tough.

Yesterday was the final straw though, for me. It was just too reminiscent of the obstacles I thought we’d gotten past. It was too dangerously familiar. I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t do it all, again. I was ready to cut and run.

He was holding on, to me and the smallest piece of information that could change everything. His pride kept him from sharing everything. He was torn between what he wanted for us and what his plan had been. He wanted to please everyone. And, instead of telling me the issues, he was going to sacrifice everything.

What?

Seriously?

Instead of telling me you’re scared, you’d tell me goodbye?

Unacceptable.

This is a team. We are teammates. We handle all our obstacles together. And, we never, NEVER, let fear be stronger than love.

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Long term expectations on short term relationships

As a single woman, well past 30, rounding the corner to 40, I have made a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions in relationships. My primary issue in is that I have given short term relationships long term expectations.

Where is my church fan? I should be waving it at myself shouting “amen”.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I get it. I completely understand that you are hoping against hope, and praying with all you’ve got, that some relationships will just work themselves out. You are perfect for that man or woman, but they aren’t perfect for you. They are NOT perfect for you. They aren’t even good for you. That relationship isn’t good for you. That relationship isn’t a long term relationship. It’s a reason or season, but not a life time.

Short term people tell you they are short term people, through words and/or actions. I had an ex boyfriend who claimed to want forever with me, but he never discussed marriage. He wanted a child with me, but he never discussed a family. He always stopped short of committing to me. The relationship was saturated in missed opportunities and let downs. But, I loved him. And, because he said he loved me, I stuck it out. It was bound to get better, right? Eventually he would see that I was perfect for him. I was supportive of him. I was committed to him. I was in this. Right?

Wrong. He showed me time and again that we were short term. Maybe we would shack up for a bit. Maybe I could join the baby mama team. Maybe I could look up in another 3 years and realize he had been consistently telling me that I wasn’t the one.

Mercy?!

Because as motivated as I should have been to leave, he was motivated to keep me around. I was offering up a wife life to him, with little expectations. Human nature was telling him to soak that up. I understand. And, he didn’t owe me anything. He’d told me what I was getting. If I wanted to stand around hoping for more, I was the fool.

He was a reason for a season. He had a clear point and purpose in my life. I needed the lessons he provided. And, I’m grateful.

But, how do you know when long term really equals long term?

You will just know. The behavior changes from anything you’ve seen before. You feel it in your gut. Your person isn’t being dragged into this idea of forever by you. They are happily walking into forever, eyes wide open, eager about what’s to come. You are having long term conversations. They are initiating some of those conversations and not avoiding any of them. Their plans have you in them, and your plans don’t intimidate them.

I’m there. Finally betting on the winner. My guy discusses us as a team, not two individuals that happen to be in the same time and space. We plan our life, our family, our future, our finances, our investments, our needs, our wants, and our goals. We have real arguments that aren’t sugar coated to avoid upsetting the other person. We laugh with and at each other. We sacrifice to support the relationship, and we build each other up to be the best version of ourselves.

I didn’t know what long term felt like until I got to where I am. I only knew the short term was uncomfortable. I only recognized the struggle. I thought forever was going to be a battle.

Long term IS a challenge, but short term with long term expectations is damn near a war.

There’s levels…

Shahs of Sunset S6E11

“There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s girls that you’re friends with. Girls that you sleep with. There’s girls that you date. There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry.” – Mike Shouhed, Shahs of Sunset

I’ve been living in the levels. All the levels. 

“Hello, my name is Leandrea, and I’ve been living in the levels.”

Sheesh. 

There’s girls that you’re friends with. I’m a great friend that’s a girl. I don’t need too much attention, just the occasional plus one, respond to my text, take most of my calls, and keep my favorite snacks and drinks at your place for hang outs. I’ll advise you on your relationships. I’ll support your courtships. I’ll stand up for you at your wedding. I know my place. 

Girls that you sleep with. AKA: Friends with benefits. One night stands. A hook up. Fuck boys. Fuck girls. I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be that girl. Let’s be friends or not. Let’s date or not. But, I don’t wanna be a conquest. I’ve been that level, and it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not a good look. 

There’s girls that you date. I’m perfect at this level. I’m an ideal dateable girl. I think I’m fun, a chameleon that can make most situations work. I’m available, with notice, and I’ll try almost anything once. I will hold you down. I’ll build you up. I’m charming with your family, and I’ll be friends with your friends. 

There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry. I’ve been engaged, twice even. Never married. Not yet. I don’t know that I’m even ready to be that girl. But, I’m down the street and around the corner from the final level, and it makes me want to vomit in my shoes…a little bit. 

Marriage isn’t necessarily the finale any more. Divorce is always on the back burner. It’s just simmering waiting for either person to turn up the heat. Sheesh. But, I’d like to think I’ll only do it once. I want to believe it will work until something like forever.

When I’m ready. 

Maybe I’m just the dateable girl. Converting into the live with girl. Always the plus one and vacation with girl. The never ending friends with girl. Maybe those are my levels. 

But, true success lives just outside of our comfort zone, right? Maybe? That could just be a clever self help slogan. 

We end up living through the levels. It’s life changing. It’s challenging. It can be overwhelming. 

So, I’m almost in the last level. Struggling, but I’m here. And, I’ll do my best to see it through. Because this is the plan. And before I got to this level, it was all I ever wanted. Now that I’m here and it doesn’t look the way I expected it to look or feel how I expected it to feel, I’m doubting everything. EVERYTHING. But, I’m going to try. 

 If it all goes to shit, I can just start over…right?

That’s not really how I’m moving into this, but it’s the truth. If it all goes to shit, we move forward…battered and bruised. That’s okay too. 

Side note: This post went in its own direction. Definitely organically written, zero planning, and off the cuff. 

Toxic is toxic. 

Toxic is toxic…SMH

I’ve struggled in a relationship recently. Trying to determine if this is worth the work. 

You can’t let toxic people stay in your life. I know this sounds like a “duh” moment, but if you take an assessment of everyone in your life you’ll probably realize it’s easier said than done. 

Toxicity can live in romance, with your parents, siblings, or extended family. It can be your BF or your BFF. It can be tied to any relationship. You have to identify toxicity despite the relationship or the reason. And, you have to get rid of it. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT saying you have to cut people out of your life. You may, but you may not. It could be enough to change the dynamic of the relationship, if the other person is willing. 

No matter what, your overall health is dependent on the chemistry of your relationships. 

“He’s not gonna leave his team.”

Listening to the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show this morning, and it’s Love Letters to Kellie.  

Some young hopeless crazy person is hard selling her adulteress relationship to Kellie Raspberry. 

Kellie responds by explaining to her that it will never work. And, I’m loving every minute of it because it’s saturated in sarcasm. And, duh. 

And, duh. 

Duh, girl! It doesn’t work. It won’t work. It never works. 

She’s probably young, and he’s probably not. I had my own Denzel-esque/Clooney-esque moment from back in time. The moment a handsome older gent supplied me with everything the younger gent didn’t. While I was being the greener grass on the other side, no drama, no kids, no responsibilities, and lots of late nights. 

We were meant to be. He told me so. I was everything she wasn’t. He was gonna leave her anyway. They were practically separated. He was only still there for the kids, finances, her state of mind, blah, blah, and blah. 

WE WERE NOT MEANT TO BE. 

We ultimately fizzled out. I got over it. He found a greener, greener, grass. 

I still get a HBD text, though. No response. He thinks it’s funny. 

Kellie gave this advice, drawn from a professional she saw at some point. Basically, men aren’t typically that complicated. And, “HE’S NOT GOING TO LEAVE HIS TEAM!”

Means, men are loyal…kinda. Cowboys fans don’t jump ship because the Eagles win. Cowboys fans fight to the end. They don’t leave the team. They don’t. Even if they go over to greener grass, at the tailgate, to eat Eagles fans grilled whatever. (I don’t tailgate. This whole sports analogy is a little out of my field.) They remain Cowboys fans. They don’t take off their jersey. They don’t pull any flags or decals off their car. They just eat the grilled stuff and go back home. They go back home. 

THEY GO BACK HOME. THEY. GO. BACK. HOME. 

People who cheat, some people who cheat, do so to fulfill something that’s not fulfilled in their relationship. They don’t cheat to replace the relationship. 

He’s not going to leave his team. His wife, children, home, routine, and comfort are more valuable than your late night romps. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re more than just being used. 

12 deal breakers

 

The original article and link are italized, and my thoughts follow below.

He’s not your forever person unless he actually puts effort into these 12 things:

1. He should make an effort to plan dates. He shouldn’t expect you to come up with ideas every weekend. Once in a while, he should take you to a new restaurant or shop that he thinks you’re going to love.

2. He should make an effort to text back. And he should remember to tell you where he is and what he’s doing. It’s the easiest way to build trust. If he’s always open with you, then there’s no reason to doubt what he says.

3. He should make an effort to flirt. I don’t care if you’ve been dating for decades. He should never take your love for granted. He should still try to woo you, even though he already has you.

4. He should make an effort to give you an orgasm. You don’t have to climax every single time you have sex, but you should climax the majority of the time. That means there should be plenty of foreplay and oral.

5. He should make an effort to save his money. If he honestly wants to spend the rest of his life with you, then he has to prepare for the future. He should be resisting the urge to waste all his cash on alcohol and should be working alongside you to save up money for a house.

6. He should make an effort to make you feel like a major part of his life. He should update you on what’s going on at work. He should invite you out with his friends. He should make you feel important.

7. He should make an effort to get along with your friends and family members. He doesn’t have to go on one-on-one brunch dates with your mother, but he should treat everyone you care about with respect. Even if your disapproving father is a little rude to him, it doesn’t mean he should be rude back. He should be trying his best to make a good impression.

8. He should make an effort to come to compromises. If you two disagree on something, there shouldn’t be a big blowout that ends with only one of you getting your way. You should find a solution that benefits you both. Otherwise, the resentment is going to kick in.

9. He should make an effort to cook and clean. You’re not his mother. He shouldn’t rely on you to do all of his chores for him. He should be doing just as much housework as you.

10. He should make an effort to look good. He doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie during every date, just like you don’t have to wear a skintight dress. But he should at least look presentable. He should keep that beard trimmed and wear that underwear that he knows his butt looks amazing in.

11. He should make an effort to keep himself healthy. If he loves you, he’ll take care of himself, so that you two can have a long life together.

12. He should make an effort to make you happy. He should think your smile is the most beautiful thing in the world, and he should aim to see it as often as humanly possible. 

There’s a theme in all of this. “He should make an effort…” Yes! A thousand, million, gazillion times yes! Make a damn effort. Just try. Give it a chance. Hear me. Move in my direction. Please. If you don’t mind.

I can relate. I believe.

1. Plan a date. Take me out. Put forth the effort to show me a good time.

2. COMMUNICATION! I was at a wedding this past weekend, and a member of the groom’s family passed around decorative notecards for guests to write well wishes to the couple. All three cards coming from our table, including the one from me and my date, discussed communication.

Communicate openly. 

Remember to discuss things and don’t demand. 

Communication is key. 

Three different age groups, 3 different relationship types, 3 different experiences, and we all spoke to the same core value. You have to be able to communicate to have a successful relationship.

3. Flirt with me. Make me feel desireable. Whisper in my ear. Eye me up and down. Compliment me. Look me dead in the eye. Touch me gently.

Do all the things you did when we were just dating.

4. Orgasms are important. I vote for orgasms. I campaign for orgasms. I donate to the orgasms cause.

Don’t forget about me sexually. Work to ensure I am satisfied.

If I am putting in effort to make sure you are sexually satisfied, you should be doing the same.

Sexual frustration leads to bad decision making in 100% of people, 100% of the time. IJS

5.  You can’t build an empire with someone who doesn’t value work or money.

Make sure that man in your life has a solid plan to be able to support himself and the family you want to have. A plan that he is working everyday. It doesn’t have to be airtight, but it has to be real and in process.

6. COMMUNICATION…again, because it’s so important.

7. “You have to be a friend to make a friend.” I’ve been telling my son this forever! Treat my crew with respect and kindness. They will welcome you into our squad.

Don’t make things hard, by not putting your best foot forward.

8. Compromise. When I turns to we, the whole game changes. You have to be hyper considerate of how your thoughts and actions effect the other person. It can be exhausting, and it’s easy to feel like it’s impossible for you to win in this situation.

However, with COMMUNICATION, sacrifice, and compromise you can both find a way to be successful and grow your relationship.

However, however, this has to be a 100%/100% effort by both people. Your man has to be willing to compromise, and so do you. Neither of you can half-ass this.

9.  Neat and tidy. He must take care of himself. He must manage his home like an adult.

10. “Looking good.” – Chico and the Man

Any grown man out there should put forth effort to look more than just presentable most of the time.

11, with a little 10 because it’s so important. He pays attention to his health. If he’s not able to prioritize his health and hygiene into his day to day, his priorities are seriously jacked up. IJS. Because he can’t take care of you, if he can’t take care of himself.

12. He makes you a priority. You will NOT always make the top spot on his things to do list, but you should always make the list. You being happy and feeling safe and secure in the relationship should be important to him.

A year ago, I came across this article. I was in a strange relationship space, and struggled to add my fillers. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and obviously 12 didn’t quite line up for me. So, the article and my blog sat in limbo.

Recently, I’ve been reviewing my drafts. Finalizing unfinished thoughts. Trying to find and/or create clarity. And, what a difference a year makes.

I’m in a relationship that’s checking way more boxes, and writing this was MUCH easier.

Keep trying. Keep dating. Remain open. Be realistic. Don’t settle.