Posts Tagged ‘single

06
Jul
11

Don’t Ask For a Smile

I consider myself a pretty reasonable person. I try not to let little things irritate me, but I’m human and like many, I have a few pet peeves. They may not seem like huge deals to others, but when confronted with these things, it’s easy to find me slowly counting backwards from 100 or repeating the serenity prayer to myself like an enraged Bruce Banner trying not to change into the Hulk.

So, I understand that I may be the only woman in the world who feels this way, but I admit that I get completely irked when a strange man asks me to smile.

For clarity, let me offer an example. I’ve parked my car at the local town center and am on my way into the dollar store. My stream of consciousness is something like this: “I wonder if Oprah still goes to the dollar store. Even if you have $1 million, there are some things that are just not worth more than a dollar. Like, I’d never pay more than a buck for a fly swatter. Does Oprah have flies? I mean, just ‘cause you rich doesn’t mean you don’t have flies. They’re not like roaches. If she had roaches, that’d be a problem. Can you imagine little roaches climbing out of Oprah’s bag when she gets to Harpo Studios? That’s some mess. Oprah got roaches, and Stedman says she brings her roach-infested lunches to work. That’s just nasty. Wait. Why am I at the liquor store?….”

So after leaving there, returning to the task at hand, walking two doors down and reaching my intended destination, some random guy who’s coming up the street loudly says to me, “Smile. Why you look so mean? It’s not that bad.”

Pause… Say what?

It seems like a small thing, and I’m sure the nameless fellow didn’t mean to offend, but let me explain what I hear when this is said.

Your Face is Whack: So, he didn’t directly insult my face, but then again, didn’t he? Basically, what I’m being told is that my face looks so twisted, distorted and unappealing that something must be wrong with me. I must be angry, having a bad day or maybe even contemplating suicide. The reassurance that things aren’t as bad as my face suggests just isn’t a compliment.

You Care What I Think: I don’t make a habit of asking strangers on the street what they think of me. The truth is that whether they think I’m fly or funky, it really doesn’t matter much. It’s true that you never know when you might bump into someone who may become a great friend, future employer or an otherwise significant part of your life, but more often than not, people whose paths you cross when running errands aren’t going to end up in your cellphone contacts list. So, the comments strangers voice about others reeks a bit of self-importance. However, responding with a, “Your opinion is worth less to me than this fly swatter I’m about to buy,” probably wouldn’t help the matter.

I’ve Got You Figured Out: Every human being is different. I do have friends who walk down the street showing off their pearly whites. I smile at strangers at times, like when people stumble on their own feet and try to play it off like they tripped on an invisible crack in the sidewalk. I smile at them so they know, “It happens to the best of us.” However, the absence of a smile on my face does not necessary indicate that I’m depressed or in a foul mood. The fact that someone I’ve never met would assume to know me well enough to interpret my facial expressions is just a bit presumptuous. No? That would be like assuming every random guy who requests that I smile at him is in desperate need of attention and validation from anyone who’ll entertain him.

As insulting as the delivery can be, I do assume the request is meant to be a compliment. However, if the goal is to solicit a smile from someone, in my unsolicited opinion, a simple “hello” would work a lot better.

23
Mar
11

What Do Dating Sites Offer?

Dating someone with whom you have common interests makes perfect sense. If you’re a sci-fi geek enthusiast, finding a mate who appreciates aliens and paranormal activities not only means you’ll likely enjoy the same movies and TV shows, but also that your significant other won’t ridicule you for suggesting the two of you attend the Star Trek convention.

However, after noticing the scores of different dating sites out there geared toward folks who share the same profession or hobbies, I wondered if singles who use these sites are being smart, by looking for someone who understands their passions, or ridiculous for putting so much emphasis on those things that have little to do with one’s character.

Is it self-centered to search for a guy on WeBothLikeSteak.com just to limit the chances that you’ll ever be pressured to eat a veggie burger?

Sure, it’s good to be on the same page about certain things, but isn’t it also good to expand your horizons, be challenged and grow?

Then again, maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe it is just about recreational activities and bonding over something that you both enjoy.

That beats the alternatives which are (1) your partner learning to tolerate love something in which he wasn’t initially interested or (2) you finding someone outside of your romantic relationship to hang with when you’re enjoying your favorite activity.

However, there’s also the possibility that it’s about acceptance.

If you’re a wine connoisseur who has endured criticism from a non-drinking potential suitor, you might decide to avoid that sting in the future by just dating people you know won’t judge you. If he’s just as into wine tastings and trips to the vineyard as you are, then you’ve eliminated that issue. He gets it.

In the end, isn’t that what most folks want out of a relationship: someone who accepts and understands their quarks and loves them anyway?

23
Feb
11

Quit Hatin’ on Single People

Let me preface this by saying, I’ve no problem with married people. I hate to sound cliché, but some of my best friends are married!

However, it’d be easy for me to label all wed people as needy, dependent, insecure conformists who need marriage as a way to validate themselves as worthwhile human beings.

I could make assumptions about the character of husbands and wives based solely on their marital status, but that would be stupid. Right?

Guess what’s equally as stupid?

This recent article in The Huffington Post attacking single people, described us all as selfish, dishonest and shallow, among other things. I’m not going to pretend there aren’t some unattached people who fall into these categories, but I’m sure there are some married people for whom the shoe fits, too.

Fortunately for married people, society just assumes that they entered into the union because they fell in love.

Unfortunately for single people, it seems nearly impossible for the general public to believe that an unattached person could be perfectly pleasant and of good character. Instead, we must be majorily flawed.

Is it so hard to fathom that maybe a SIS just hasn’t met her match yet? Is it so difficult to wrap one’s mind around the fact that some folks don’t want to be married? Is it beyond the realm of reason that marriage might be an option for some and not a life requirement?

Is “you’re a bitch” really the only plausible explanation, as the article’s author suggests? I think not.

I have at least one friend who believes in aliens. From what I can tell, it’s easier for the masses to believe in Alf than it is for them to accept that it might take some single people a bit longer to fall in love.

However, instead of a little patience and acceptance from society, singles have to deal with prejudice. I’m obviously no MLK, but when people start targeting members of any specific group, it makes me wonder what exactly their problem is.

Other than the fact that maybe the author had a deadline to meet, what would motivate her to take the time and write about how damaged single people are? Obviously, there are some issues there.

Maybe the author is jealous of independent singles who aren’t desperate to wed. It’s possible she’s coming to terms with the fact that her third marriage has ended and is lashing out at the group her ex-husbands have chosen to join. There are endless explanations for her obvious hate.

I don’t know, but unlike her, I’ll refrain from making too many  judgments.

11
Feb
11

Does Chilli Have a Valentine?


Check out a few highlights from my interview with Chilli, and get the whole thing here, if you want. 🙂

Tracy: Do you find love on season two?
Chilli: I find some good things. (Laughter) Love takes a while. When you’re mature, it’s rare that you can find love quickly. When you’re young, you don’t really know. You’re just in love with the idea of being in love. So, you’re quick to say “I love you.” It’s too soon.

Tracy: I get it. We have to tune in to find out. So, you do have a Valentine?
Chilli: (Laughs) My favorite Valentine is my son, Tron. I kind of forgot about Valentine’s Day. I have really good ideas for Valentine’s Day. I’m just creative, and I’m a hopeless romantic anyway. It’s not always about buying the most expensive thing, but there are other great things you can do, too.

Tracy: So, you’re going to plan the evening and tell your Valentine where to take you?
Chilli: For me, what I’m doing for that person has nothing to do with what they’re doing for me. I’m the type of female, I don’t think Valentine’s Day is just for the girl. It’s for the guy, too. Women should do things for the person they care about, also. Unless you make a plan together to go on a weekend trip or something.

Tracy: What Valentine’s Day ideas do you have?
Chilli: I’m thinking… I’m thinking… (laughs)

Tracy: Since you mentioned expensive gifts, I have to bring up the Floyd Mayweather thing. Is it normal for him to buy you thousand-dollar items?
Chilli: That’s not an all-the-time thing. For Floyd, people have to understand one thing about him: He doesn’t have to be a significant other for him to splurge on you. Fourteen thousand dollars is like $400 to him.

Tracy: Doesn’t that confuse things?
Chilli: What could confuse things is if we made the mistake of sleeping together. Which, we’ve never done that. I tell chicks when it’s a platonic relationship, you don’t have sex. You don’t have sex with people you’re not going to have a committed relationship with. Sex should not be the thing to lead you to that commitment. It should be the quality of the person.

Read the entire interview here.

22
Jan
11

Steve Harvey: Thanks, but No Thanks

I don’t want to offend. I know he has a huge following of loyal fans, but the truth is that I feel some type of way about taking advice from Steve Harvey. It’s not really personal, but he is one of the few so-called relationship experts out there who has multiple divorces under his belt. Yes, he’s married now, but let’s be real. As a single woman, do I want his opinion on how I should go about building and sustaining a healthy, loving relationship? Maybe if he makes it to his golden anniversary this time around, I’ll change my tune.

One could argue that he’s speaking from experience. So, maybe his failed marriages have taught him how to make relationships work. However, from what I’ve read of his books and from what I’ve heard him preach, his shtick is more about telling single sistahs what to do to get a man than it is about instructing couples on how to maintain healthy relationships.

I know what you’re thinking. “Girl, you quote Hill Harper all the time, and he ain’t even got one marriage to his name!” True. However, there are at least two significant differences between Hill and Harvey: (1) Hill is the type of guy I might date. He’s attractive. He’s intelligent. He’s single. So, I care a little bit more about his POV; although, I still read his books with the side eye. (2) Hill’s book, “The Conversation,” included lots of other men’s opinions. He didn’t attempt to speak for every man.

However, let me get back to the point. When you’re single, you always have people offering unsolicited advice. Everyone who has somebody – and even those who don’t – think they have it figured out. They know why you’re single and what you can do to “fix” it. Few seem to just accept what you have: you haven’t met the right person yet.

So, you learn to decipher the good advice from the bad. For this SIS, the relationship status of the person and his or her romantic history help determine whether I bother listening. If you’re in what I consider a healthy, long-lasting relationship, I may take heed to what you’re saying. If you’re a man or woman who cheats on your significant other, constantly complains to me about your spouse or has only been with your partner for one or two years, then you fall into another category.

That’s where Harvey is. He’s in that category of counselors whose romantic situation makes me skeptical of what he has to say.

That’s not to suggest there are no tidbits of wisdom in his words; however, as a friend of mine put it, those things he writes that have you nodding in agreement are often just plain common sense.

Whether you’re on Team Harvey or not, I won’t judge. I have friends who’ve found his advice helpful, and he claims that many readers who took it to heart are now in happy relationships.

So, I won’t begrudge him that success (even though I question whether he’s exploiting the lonely black women out there by using their situations to line his pockets). If he’s helping women find happiness, then more power to him.

However, when I have questions about dating and relationships, I think I’ll turn to happily-married couples who’ve stood the test of time for advice.

The truth is that anyone can offer advice – and this blog is proof – but this SIS suggests we make sure to be a little selective about whose tips we follow.

Oh, and watch my interview with Steve. That’s me with the microphone!

04
Jan
11

Beware of the Faux Beau

There are a lot of different kinds of men from whom the SIS should shy away: playas, DL brothers, philanderers, abusers, etc… Most of us have developed some sort of radar for the fellas who fall into these categories.

If you’re not 100% sure he remembers your name ‘cause he’s been calling you “babe” since the day you met, he could be a playa. If he spends all day Saturday shopping for a sexy outfit to wear to his boy’s weekly poker night, there’s a chance he’s gay. Philanderers are the ring wearers who stop you in the Victoria Secret to tell you how unhappy they are at home, and abusers try to put you on a phone schedule and expect hourly text messages about your whereabouts.

Within a day or two of meeting these jokers, the flags are waving, and you’ve got one foot out the door. These undesirables are pretty easy to spot.

However, there’s another type of guy who can be just as lethal to your emotional well-being if left unchecked, but is much more subtle and less detectable.

That’s the faux beau.

He’s that friend in your life who keeps you interested enough and treats you well enough to distract you from other potential partners, but for whatever reason, he refuses to commit to you.

On weekends, when you should be out with the girls looking cute and eligible, you’re all fancy walking into the Macaroni Grill or Lucky Strike with him. He wouldn’t dream of forgetting your birthday and gave you the most thoughtful gift. He encourages you, supports you and may even throw around the L-word liberally. You’ve met his best friends and maybe a relative or two, and sometimes there are special “benefits” to the relationship.

Sometimes you wonder how the relationship got to this point, but you recognize that you’re holding out hope that something romantic might just spring forth. You’re carrying a torch ‘cause there are definitely feelings there. It stands to reason that two great friends could eventually become even greater lovers.

However, if he’s not feeling the same, then there’s nothing for that flame to do but die out.

If you’ve tuned into season two of “What Chilli Wants,” then you know that Floyd Mayweather is the singer’s faux beau. The boxer recently bought her a pair of $14,000 diamond encrusted earrings as a token of his affection. As her relationship coach, Tionna Smalls, said, “Floyd is trouble.” Then, Smalls vowed to keep Chilli away from him.

How do you to rid yourself of the faux beau? The truth is that the drama will probably drag on until he’s totally convinced you of his complete disinterest in a romantic relationship, and things might get ugly. His contradictions between actions and words will finally become more than you can stand, and you’ll likely come to a point where you’ll glady redefine things with the faux beau in hopes of meeting a sincere significant.

20
Dec
10

Are Ugly Men the Answer?

For the record, I don’t actually believe in the concept of “ugly.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so even Boris Kodjoe is hard on somebody’s eyes, and the strongly unattractive probably have something beautiful going on: a nice smile, great eyelashes, healthy skin, etc…

So, my real question is whether or not dating a man who may be rating lower than you on the generally accepted scale of aesthetics is a good idea?

According to this article, which quotes a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, dating a less attractive man may lead to a happier relationship.

“It’s possible that a man who is less attractive than his partner feels so grateful to be with her that he works harder to maintain the relationship, amping up the amount of emotional support and kindness he provides,” says Benjamin R. Karney, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at UCLA. “Yet a man who is better looking than his partner knows he has lots of other options besides his mate, so he’s less committed to providing the emotional support long term relationships need to thrive.”

If you haven’t seen examples of this in your daily life, look at celebrity couples such as Beyonce and Jay-Z, Heidi Klum and Seal, and Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri, who are no longer an item.

Sure, many men assume that these guys won the hearts of these dime pieces because of their money, power and respect. I’m sure that didn’t hurt, but I also have an inkling that these fellas, knowing they might be at a slight disadvantage in the looks department, decided to sweep these women off their feet and treat them like they deserved.

As quiet as it’s kept, that often outweighs attractiveness. If he’s outwardly cute, but treats you like his concubine, instead of his queen, then he turns inwardly ugly real quick.

If his working harder to support you emotionally and be the best partner ever aren’t reasons enough to consider dating that less attractive guy, the article offers another reason.

“…you may find that your not-so-pretty man brings his A-game in the bedroom. ‘What I’ve seen from my clinical practice is that women who are married to men less attractive than them often have happy sex lives most likely because their mate tries harder to please them sexually,’ says Bethany Marshall, Ph.D.”

Since my mom reads this blog, I’m going to leave that right there.

So, while I’m not at all encouraging any SIS to date someone she finds unattractive, the pros of dating a guy who is less than a 10 might actually outweigh the cons, and that might be worth considering if a not-so-bad-looking millionaire man with a broom arrives to sweep you off your feet.




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