Interracial Relationships

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I’ve been open to interracially dating since I started dating. Going to a predominately white school K-12, gave me a wider view of dating options. I date in the moment. Even though I am typically attracted to a specific type of man, I’m open to engaging with anyone I have an emotional, physical, or mental attraction too.

Since my friends know about my equal opportunity dating, I end up being the spokesperson for black women with them. Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, I speak from my feelings, and I only make assumptions for anyone else. The question I got slammed with this time was why do black women have a problem with black men dating white women. Seriously?

Black women aren’t typically sought after by anyone by black men. You seldom see a black woman in a committed relationship with any man of another race. It happens, but rarely. And many of us are open to dating interracially, but I think history keeps that at bay. Our only guarantee is the black man, and we are sharing him with the white woman, the criminal justice system, his mama, and his insecurities.

Disclaimer 2: I don’t have a problem with someone who openly dates to find their perfect match. However, I do have issue with men who refuse to date a race of women based on ridiculous assumptions of the entire race. That includes black men who refuse to date black women. It’s ridiculous. I won’t condone it.

And knowing that most black men don’t seem to be looking to settle down until they are well into their 30s, this means we need to lock on to a 35 year old by the time we are 28. That’s a lot of rules and regulations to remember and live up to. So, what does that mean to the 33 year old me? I’m competing with the 25 year olds of all races. Uh oh.

We, black women, aren’t bitter or angry. We are logical. We know that our options may be less than the next girl and hurt that our primary suitor sometimes sees us as secondary. We are putting our guard up, and we are preparing in case single is our destiny.

Final thoughts: There has been backlash because of my willingness to date other races. I don’t care. I date who I want, and I don’t discriminate based on race. (I have a whole list of things I do discriminate on, LOL) My preference is, and has always been, the black man, but I realize that there are more options out there. And right now, I’m dating hoping for something more, but really just looking to learn more about myself.

No Fashion, Just Feelings: Single and figuring it out.

I originally posted this at stylechatic.wordpress.com, February 7, 2014. It was a part of my “No Fashion, Just Feelings” series before I started this relationship blog. I’m more motivating than usual. Seems I have a better grasp on style than on relationships. It must make me more optimistic.

I’m A LOT, and I am certainly enough! I could be single forever and have a full life and exciting adventures, but I want to share my life with someone.

I don’t need a man to define me as an AMAZING woman. Have you met me? I’m AWESOME! Word. But, that’s supposed to be hard for me to say. Because, there are more images of broken single women desperate for love, than strong single women ready for love. Sucks, but true. Everybody is looking for love, even if they’re lying about it, and terrified it might not happen. We are freaking out.

Stop! Fix your insecurities, FIRST! Change your focus from single to determined. I am so insecure about my body. There, I said it. I have more issues than I wanna mention surrounding my single status and this body I don’t like. I can sit in On the Border drinking excessive amounts of Sangria Swirls, oops, or I can really change my life. Because as I sweat out those insecurities fixing my issues at the gym, my confidence will grow and I’ll have further clarification to what I already know. I am imperfect in an incredibly perfect way. The man of my dreams will be also. Together we will be perfect for each other. Duh.

So, what have you convinced YOUR self is YOUR problem keeping you single? Say it out loud…right now. There. You took its power away. Now, what are you going to do for YOU, that will better prepare you for the relationship God has waiting for you? Do it today! And, focus on that. Obsess over that if you must obsess over something. We will be fine.

But, don’t invite me to be a bridesmaid when this all works out. I rather just attend without any responsibilities. And the money I save on that dress I will never wear again, could get you a second thing off that registry!

No Fashion, Just Feelings: Oprah’s Lifeclass

I originally posted this at stylechatic.wordpress.com, January 22, 2014. It was a part of my “No Fashion, Just Feelings” series before I started this relationship blog.

So I started StyleChaotic as an outlet for my ever developing, and often faltering style. It’s kinda my thing now. I use this to just get stuff out of my head too. I should change this to Life Chaotic, but this domain name is all paid up. Oh well.

Tonight, I’m back to my “no fashion, just feelings.” I finally watched Auntie Oprah’s Lifeclass – Stop Settling & Start Dating Smarter. Let’s talk. I must agree that as women we will drop our standards in search for a man’s potential in a heart beat. Even when his reality is slapping us in the face. So, what’s the key? Dating, really? I’m already doing that, or am I?

I haven’t been on a date in a long time. I’ve hung out and hooked up, but I can only barely remember a traditional date. We aren’t dating anymore. We aren’t really getting to know each other. We are hanging out and hooking up and trying to manipulate that into dating. True. And, it’s a failure.

These were the myths and the turn around.

1. A man will make your life complete. Do we really believe this? Impossible, right? You are the only person that can make you complete. And, you can’t be ready for a relationship until that is accomplished. If you struggle with this, start with prayer, talk to your friends, seek therapy, and/or whatever else it takes for you to get whole. Do it! Stay focused! Complete yourself.

2. As women we share too much too soon. Hold back. Pace yourself. There are key things that you should share as you date. Are you a parent? Your career. Goals and aspirations, even. But everything else should stay in your box. As the dating progresses, you can let little bits out along the way. He is not your girlfriend. He is not even your friend. Remember that and take your time.

3. He shouldn’t care how I look. He sure should not. High five! But, let’s be real. Just as you expect him to bring his A game for you, take your A game to him. You are making a first impression. You only have one shot. Sell it! Go as the best version of you. Represent what he can continue to see though. If you don’t usually wear a full face of make up and caviar fingernails, then go subtle with a five minute face and a standard manicure. Be a strong representation of everything you beautifully are.

4. Sex will seal the deal. Oh, the lies you tell! We all know that you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. If you are looking for a sexual relationship, go forth and do you. If you are looking to be his Mrs then you need to get your impulses in check. Even the men on the show said they won’t marry the woman spreading her legs freely. If he got it that easy, he will always wonder who else is getting it. And again, that sucks. As sexually liberated women we would love to make sexual choices without the double standard, but life isn’t fair. Get a dildo and pleasure yourself until your relationship reaches that point comfortably and organically. As Patti Stanger says, “no sex without monogamy.”

5. I only attract losers. I believe you attract what you put out. If you come across as a loser then the losers will flock to you. If you carry yourself like a winner, the losers will know you are far out of their league. Check yourself!

6. Men can’t handle my success. I get it. I’ve dated men that were incredibly challenged by my life, my upbringing, or my material possessions. Those weren’t the men for me. I don’t flaunt anything I have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed and appreciative, but this stuff isn’t a big deal. And, the man who is right for me will encourage the next step and embrace where I am. He will push me to be better. He will celebrate my achievements. If he can’t, it seems we’ve accidentally attracted one of those losers.

I enjoyed watching this. Please check your local listing for reruns.

I took notes, and I took an honest look at my own life. Dating is hard, and a couple of recent hiccups with some cute guys has me really assessing my feelings. I’m not good at this, but I’ll get better. And, I appreciate my friends taking this journey of relationship discovery with me.

XOXO

No Fashion, Just Feelings: RELATIONSHIP Failure

I originally posted this at stylechatic.wordpress.com, January 18, 2014. It was a part of my “No Fashion, Just Feelings” series before I started this relationship blog.

[I wrote this in a very emotional place. It was following the crash and burn of a relationship that I was really invested in. However, it was general in nature. I’d fallen for some of the same antics I’d fallen for before, and I was just calling them out.]

I’m over 30, and another birthday is creeping up fast.

I’m finding in my progressing age that I’m still struggling with this male/female relationship thing. I recently sacrificed the right guy for the wrong guy. Again. I’m half ready to do the commitment and marriage thing, but I’m also terrified. The ridiculous, dumb at life, boys are safe, but they are bound to disappoint me. And, they do. Even when we have “an understanding,” they seem to find a way to disappoint me in a way I couldn’t have imagined. Wait, nah I saw it coming. I just didn’t expect it. Wait, nah I kinda expected it. I didn’t want it to happen. Confirm. I wanted us to be “better than that.”

What’s happening that as adults, comfortably in our 30s, we don’t know how to interact?

Me. I’m scared to want commitment and marriage too much when I can’t trust that the men around me are in the same place. I’m scared to not have a man on deck, to trust the man I’m with, or even imagine there’s love on the horizon. I’m scared that the fairy tale really is just a fairy tale. Even the women around me who got it all don’t seem to like it. What’s really going on?

Me. I think the men that sound genuine are just running game.

Me. How do I get a man, marriage, and one more baby in 2 years if the entire dating pool is tainted? I’m almost 33, and the pregnancy game changes at 35. I have a huge biological clock ticking in my ear and satisfying its aggression is beyond my control. I’m screwed. And, I’m not gonna take anything. I’ve been doing the single mom drama thing, and no more. I’m not gonna be tricked. I’m not gonna go for anything. We have to be kismet, blessed, and soul mates before I walk down any aisles or have any babies.

Him. He doesn’t mind filling my uterus. Sure, I’ve gotten a handle on this motherhood thing, and I’d be great at starting again. But, he never mentioned the relationship part. And if you’re so vain you think this is about you, nope you are constantly being repeated through my life with the same words and different faces.

Him. He refuses to communicate. He doesn’t even realize it. He’s so scared of the possibility of a “scene” he lets a misunderstanding turn into Armageddon.

He looks for greener grass. He refuses to accept when he loves me.

I’m tending the hell out of this garden. I can love him and his faults.

January 20, 2014

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No Fashion, Just Feelings: COMPETITIVE NATURE

I originally posted this at stylechatic.wordpress.com, December 21, 2014. It was a part of my “No Fashion, Just Feelings” series before I started this relationship blog.

I don’t consider myself competitive. Many say I am though. I’m not as focused on the competition as I am on not losing. I hate to lose. I don’t have to be the winner…yeah, I do.

I find this is a theme in my relationships. I’m not invested in the love as much as I’m invested in the win. Sad face. I’m not allowing myself to get too emotionally involved, because if this thing crumbles I CANNOT be the emotional loser. I need to maintain a considerable amount of control to be comfortable…unfortunately.

Maybe I am a little bit competitive. Just a smidgen.

I don’t know how to fix this. I’m sure it’s rooted in my childhood and my relationships with my family. Blah. Blah. Blah. I have decided that the right man, Mr. Right, will change things. Fingers crossed.

Maybe that’s why I invest so much in my kid, my business, and my wardrobe. I have a desire to maintain a level control, remember?

Love, the series

I’ve already mentioned, multiple times, that I have avoided that thing called love like the plague. I don’t really like it, and I don’t trust it. I think it’s manipulative. It makes me uncomfortable, and it just doesn’t seem to add up to equal anything substantial.

When in doubt, get a definition…

LOVE: to have a great attachment to and affection for
LOVE: to have passionate desire, longing, and feelings for
LOVE: to like or desire (to do something) very much
LOVE: to make love to
LOVE: to be in love

LOVE: an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing
LOVE: a deep feeling of sexual attraction and desire
LOVE: wholehearted liking for or pleasure in something

On second thought, I may have love figured out. I have had intense emotion of affection for someone. I think the deep feelings of sexual desire is just lust disguised as love, and that’s easy enough. I have a complete handle on the noun version. The verb is a bit overwhelming. I’ve never had a great attachment to or passionate desire for anyone. Then there’s lust rewritten again. Ummm…okay.

To figure what’s happening in my life, I’m trying to make this as simple as possible to move forward.

Moral of the story: I make a great noun, but I suck at being a verb!

Dating and the Single Mother: Part 1

I remember my friend’s mother introducing every guy she dated as her “friend.” She continued to do this even into our teen years. We knew what friend meant, but she still wanted to shelter her daughters from having men in and out of their lives.

I also had friends that thought every man who came through the door was their future step dad. They referred to a dozen different men as “uncle,” and they were always wondering why the last guy wasn’t coming around anymore.

Both scenarios made me a little uncomfortable. I didn’t want an endless array of friends, and Blaise didn’t need any faux uncles. What I knew was that I didn’t want anyone I wasn’t 100% serious about entering, just to exit, my son’s life. He didn’t need to be involved in my dating life. Period.

Now before anyone is outraged, I don’t hide the fact that I have a son. I’m very proud of my role as a mother, and I think my son is beyond incredible. I ALWAYS introduce myself as part of a two member team. I’m Leandrea, and I’m a mom.

You see, I’m not dating for a father for Blaise. I’m dating for a man I trust to be in Blaise’s life. There’s a difference. Blaise is well parented. He has more parental figures than most, and I thank God for that! I’m dating to complete our family. And in this day and time, roles are bigger than just a mom and a dad.

So, no you can’t meet my son. I will show you pictures and tell you stories, but until we figure us out, he’s off limits. As his mother, it’s my job to protect him from as many what ifs and maybes as possible. However, I’ll introduce him to the sure thing.

2nd Chris

I dated this guy named Chris. For those of you that know me well, I’m not talking about my son’s dad. There’s more than one Chris in the world. There are at least two, and I have been involved with both of them.

The first Chris was a beautiful disaster. I got a perfect little boy out of the deal, but we are better off as nonfriends. (Defined as two people who are not friends.) We co-parent creatively and with assistance. It works, it could definitely be better, but it’s not broken. Hooray!

Chris #2. No, the 2nd Chris I dated. There’s no ranking of any kind here. He’s super! If I am face to face with this man it’s laughter and high fives all the way. The problem is we are seldom face to face. I don’t trust him. I don’t believe him. And, I don’t think it has the longevity of a gold fish. But, it’s great when we are together. I don’t know if our issue is distance (we live an hour and a half from each other), or my self sabotage, or that it just ain’t meant to be. But I know that I adore him. I may love him, or something like it.

It’s been a year, almost, in this crazy dance with the 2nd Chris. And, it’s on a fast decline. I’ve said some things I should (not a typo, I meant “SHOULD”) have said at the wrong time and in the wrong way. I’ve been done and gone back so many times I’m a constant contradiction. Right now, we aren’t speaking at all. Well, I’m speaking…but he’s not.

I don’t know if my love, or something like it, is honest with this man. Or, if I’m stuck between loneliness and a fear of losing. We all know loneliness, but this other fear is real for me too. I have invested in my relationship, or non-relationship, with this man. I have spent my time, my emotions, and my money. I have invested a lot by my terms. It’s hard to walk away from that type of investment, but it’s silly to stay when you aren’t yielding any return. I don’t want to lose. I do want him, but I really don’t want to lose.

What is/was the relationship supposed to be anyway? Was it a lesson? Was he in place to teach me something for the next relationship? Was he the great love of my life, this IN love that people talk about? I don’t know, and that’s okay. I couldn’t keep playing this game with him waiting for one of us to take the leap. There’s a lot to be said that neither of us did. I should just move his pictures from my “photos” to that “ex” folder of my email. Or, should I hold out hope for a sign. I don’t know. Right now, I’m gonna just let this go and wish him well. At least I get to take my dunce cap off now, and I can throw away all those little momentos.

The Chris saga isn’t done. This relationship has provoked so many things I wanna talk about it. It’s been really eye opening in how I conduct myself in relationships and the lengths I’ve gone. This is good for at least 3 more posts…

DISCLAIMER:

Dear Chris,
These posts are not meant to be demeaning or disrespectful to you. This is my truth. And this is me figuring out why at 33, I’ve never really been IN love. And as much as I want a relationship, I’m terrified of that level of commitment and as usual, possibly sabotaging everything I end up in. You, face to face, are EVERYTHING!

XOXO

The end…

Every time a relationship ends, I’m stuck in a strange head space. In those next moments I’m convinced I’m going to die alone in someone’s rental property. (No pets, though. I don’t see 80 cats in my vision.) Dramatic, I know.

I’m devastated. But, it’s more because I lost. Don’t judge me; hear me out. I’m a great mate. (I struggled with using girlfriend in that sentence, but mate seemed more appropriate.) I am all in. I am the perfect woman for him. Whoever the him happens to be. I am engaging. I’m a nurturer. I make time for him. I make him important. I fit him into my life. I am a chameleon, and I conform to his needs.

So, how are you gonna leave me? I should have gotten tired of being the winds beneath your wings and left you! This isn’t fair.

Eventually, I pick myself up off the floor. Then I text all the people I love looking for compliments on how great I am. And then, I buy something ridiculous… During a break up in ’08, I acquired every peep toe patent leather Jessica Simpson pump. I still have them today, but I don’t remember his name.

Of course, there’s a follow up blog assessing how wrong ALL of my behaviors are. But, this one was only supposed to be about the end.

And, scene… XOXO

So, that dating thing…

I’m good at being single. Been doing this non-committal thing for a hot minute now. My focus has been elsewhere, and I’m gun shy. The very thought of the total sacrifice of all I know and love for a chance makes me uncomfortable. I mean Xanax levels of discomfort.

DISCLAIMER: I haven’t had a successful, comfortable, relationship in all my years. I’ve had relationships where I put too much in and required little, those I was so guarded that I don’t know why he stayed, and a million other variations between. I don’t have a stellar relationship model, broken relationship examples from childhood. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Maybe I want my “happily ever after” too bad. I’m not desperate, but I’m not acting like a comfortably single chick either. Truth.