Archive for March 2011

Can My Friend Be The 1?

March 29, 2011

Q: Could that one person that has been your friend for years be the one? You tried it before in the past, but it didn’t work and you still remained friends. There may be another chance at it. Do you leave it at what it is to keep that special friendship or do you try it out again?

A: This is a good question because sometimes if a friendship is still intact after a relationship did not work out, there is sometimes that gray area. Some people don’t entertain anyone from the past or try again if it did not work before. However, sometimes things change. That gray area could be dangerous because one person may be feeling a certain way but is not sure of how the other individual is feeling. Certainly, there are some friendships that have matured into relationships. However, the fact that you both tried a relationship before and it did not work is something to think about. You have to determine why it did not work out then and what makes anything different now? Has anything changed? Has the circumstances changed? What has changed that has you thinking relationship? The fact that the question is being asked is an indication that the gray area still exists. What you do not want is to be in a friendship zone but thinking relationship. It should be one or the other because this is how people get into trouble and how feelings can get hurt. This happens when one person may be hoping or thinking that it could develop into something else. However, if the other person gets into a relationship, the other may be hurt. What makes the friendship work that did not work in a relationship? Everything goes back to communication. What is being communicated between the two of you? If you find that the feelings are growing stronger and it is having an impact on the friendship, you must face that head on. If friendship is all that has been discussed, then it is a friendship. If relationship has been discussed, but you both are still hesitant, that is something else to think about. It doesn’t take that much deliberation. I am not a proponent of a woman making moves because the man is the pursuer and the woman is the gift.

If there is another chance at it, that will come naturally. However, I have stressed this on numerous posts, DON’T EVER ASSUME! Sure, it is possible. Sure it has potential to turn into a relationship. We could all live off of possibilities and potential. POSSIBILITIES AND POTENTIAL YOU SEE IN SOMEONE OR SOMETHING IS JUST A DREAM THAT POSSESSES NO POWER UNTIL IT IS AWAKENED! So, at this point, it is simply a dream or a thought that has not been realized. So, if it never comes up, enjoy the friendship. If it does, then you can see where it goes from there. However, don’t let it stop your progress. You are Single For 1 and if he is the 1, it will become evident to him. If the two of you have discussed it and make the decision together that is one thing, but know what is at stake.

Relationships are not as complex as we think. 2 people know whether or not they want to be with each other. Don’t fall into what others are saying either. That will get you into trouble too. Some people may say, “you 2 would look great together”….”I think you 2 should get together”….”why are you 2 still just friends”… “Why are ya’ll playing around, ya’ll know ya’ll are meant for each other.” The list goes on and on. Sometimes, if you get caught up in that, you set yourself up for failure. There should be little room for guessing. If it’s not clear and to the point, enjoy the friendship. You are a gift to the 1 that is for you regardless. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

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3 Signs That You Are Closer Than You Think

March 25, 2011

I have had countless conversations with women who either feel like they are doing something wrong or that they are giving off the wrong impression to men. So, I have 3 signs for you to watch that shows that you are further along than you thought.

1.)  You Are Not Approached By A lot of Men- Contrary to popular belief; just because you have a lot of men chasing you does not mean anything. Playboy Bunnies have a lot of men chasing them, does that say much? This is not an attack on them, but what are those men likely chasing them for? If anything, what are you giving off to where any and every guy feels they stand a chance? Sure, men will look at you, but if all the men who look at you approach you, there is something about you that makes them comfortable. You don’t want any man to feel comfortable approaching you. You shouldn’t necessarily want all types of men to be chasing after you. When you get to the point where men approach you with some sense, then you are doing something. You want the knockoffs to be intimidated to approach you. You want the knockoffs to feel like they are not on your level to approach you. That keeps away those who are not ready. The 1 will not be afraid to make a move on you. Yes, I know there are some men who are willing to take a chance regardless.  I have alluded to this fact before…The finest jewel cannot be found in your average jewelry store. The best wine cannot be found on the shelf at your local grocery store. The best cars cannot be found in every city. There are steps one must take to obtain these things. So, you are a hot commodity, but everyone should not have free access to you. Don’t feel bad if a lot of men are not approaching you. It doesn’t mean they aren’t looking, but let them look from a distance. That is a good sign that you are much closer than you think. Think about how many men in the past may have approached you or someone you know and were talking about absolutely nothing or made it abundantly clear they were really more interested in sex than anything else. You don’t want a man to approach you if all he sees you as is a piece of meat. Those are the men you should be happy when they no longer approach you. Now you are to the point where they can look at you and begin to think that they had better approach you in the right manner. You know you are doing something when even the meat hunters, (if they get the courage to approach you) come correct. So, you don’t want high quantity, you want high quality. YOU SHOULD WANT LESS MEN TO APPROACH YOU OF HIGH QUALITY THAN MORE MEN WITH NO QUALITY.

2.)  You Are More Focused On Your Dreams- When you are so consumed with what you are trying to accomplish to the point you no longer stress about a man is a good sign you are closer than you think. There may have been a time when you always thought about your husband coming along, but now you are consumed with accomplishing your goals. This does not mean that you still won’t have that desire or that certain things won’t trigger that thought, but it no longer impacts everything you do. With this mindset, you will no longer desire a man to complete you, but you will desire a man who can complement you. The 2 of you will be pieces to the puzzle. The pieces must complement one another so it can fit onto the puzzle. Complete is a finished product. None of us are a finished product because we are always growing, always changing and always learning. So, a complete piece cannot change or adjust. A piece that complements can adjust and adapt as needed. YOU SHOULD BE SO INTO WHAT YOU ARE DOING UNTIL HE HAS TO INTERRUPT YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TO GET YOUR ATTENTION.

3.)  You Can Attend a Wedding and not Get Sad- This sounds funny, but it has its place. When you can go to a wedding and cry because you are genuinely happy for the bride and groom, and not because it reminds you that you are still single, you are in good shape. Sometimes weddings remind others of their current situation. If anything, see it as a sign that marriage is still possible. However, I have said this before; it is not hard for you to get married. Anyone can marry you, but you do not want anyone, you want the 1. There are many men who would love to marry you just because of who you are or how you look. All of that is shallow. It goes much deeper than that. Keep in mind, IT TAKES A PHENOMENAL MAN TO MARRY A PHENOMENAL WOMAN. So, anything less should be out of your vocabulary. Enjoy your weekend. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor

 

The Duke

5 Reasons You Could Be Settling And Don’t Know It!

March 22, 2011

This is a tough one for me because I have been seeing this unhealthy pattern, and it really pains me to my heart to see wonderful people settle for less than what they deserve. It has nothing to do with the man, it has more to do with what you allow. It can very quickly turn into a mental game where you are making excuses for why things are the way they are. This pattern is no respecter of person. I have even seen professional and very intelligent people fall into these categories, and it frightens me.

1.)  You Are Relocating with No True Commitment- This is for those who have long distance relationships. You have gone through the process of trying to find a new job in another city for a man who has not truly committed. I do not care if you all talked about the potential of marriage. The question is, are you talking about it more or is he? Are you bringing it up more or is he? Better yet, how many times have you all even had this conversation? There is a strong possibility that you relocate to where he is and he gets comfortable and you find yourself years down the road wondering why he has yet to commit fully and marry you. I will tell you why. It’s because it sounded good to talk about it, but when it actually happened, that’s when excuses can come up. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to keep guessing and pressuring a man to commit. Talk is cheap. Again, this goes back to what has he done for you to cause you to make this big leap? Is your desire to marry becoming your voice and drowning out your common sense? Is your desire to marry drowning out the voice of God? Is your desire to marry causing you to make decisions based off of emotion? There is a strong chance you will begin living together, which is another compromise. Now you are playing house, which is more reason he becomes comfortable. Now you are playing the wife without the commitment. You are giving him practically everything he could ever want or need without the commitment. Marriage is a covenant between the 2 of you and God. So, if you are playing house, that is simply a covenant between flesh while playing footsie with the Devil. Marriage is a major commitment and requires work, but some things are just for marriage. Are the both of you truly “working” towards marriage? There is a point where the man sees something in the woman based off of your relationship that wants him to take it to the next level. There is something you see in him that makes you want to commit and go to the next level. The key thing is, it is the next level. If you are playing house, is marriage really a next level or are you just making it official? Is there anything new in the marriage? A man needs to earn his keep. You spoiling him too much could hurt you in the end. I have said this before, and this warrants a repeat:  YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE A MAN HUSBAND BENEFITS WHEN HE IS ON A BOYFRIEND PLAN! Is your relationship and love for him based off of what he used to do in the beginning?

2.)  You Initiate Everything– If you are the one coming up with all of the ideas of things you could do together, there is a chance that you are settling. If all the ideas to go out and do things are your idea, this again is a chance you are settling and you don’t know it. It could be very subtle. It’s not something you may see on the surface. This takes some serious contemplation. I am a laid back person and don’t need to go out all the time, but I assure you that if I’m in a relationship, I would take initiative from time to time. If nothing else, it is because I want to make her happy and she inspires me to do great things for her. I would enjoy doing things with her. It brings a man joy when he does things for his woman that brings joy to her. Coming over to your house all the time is not initiating anything. What is he coming over for?  For some men, if they know they will get sex, they will travel to Jupiter and back. I preach abstinence, but if you have a physical relationship, mess around and cut it off for a while and see his reaction. This goes back to giving up wifely benefits to a boyfriend. If all he wants to do is hang around you in the house, that could be an issue. Are you a big secret?

3.)  You are Not Following Your Dreams– If you are with a man and find yourself so consumed with him until you are not as adamant about completing your dreams and goals, this could be a sign that you are settling. Your assignment on this earth is not just to marry. You too have a purpose just as he does. He should have dreams and you should have them. In every relationship, there is compromise, but your dreams should never be thrown aside. If that is so, then now you are not really fulfilled. There are times when one sacrifices to support the others dreams, but there should also be a time where he sacrifices to help you fulfill yours. It has to be a team effort.

4.)  You Are Making Excuses For Him- If you are constantly making excuses for why he does or does not do what he does, you could be settling. He is busy… He has a lot on his plate… He is focusing on his career… He is trying to work on his finances…He will come around… That’s just the way he is…I am used to it by now… All of these are dangerous excuses. How long have you been saying these things only to see no change? I have said this before. You must be careful, sometimes people change, but other times it was just circumstances that changed but they are the same person. None of those are legitimate excuses for commitment. The moment you start filling your life with a lot of excuses, you are cheating yourself out of something. Everyone has a process they must go through, but don’t be making one up for him. He is either in or out, no in between. The in between is what gets you in trouble, and I have seen a lot of in between all over the place. You should not be making major decisions based on the in between. In between means the relationship could go either way, through the door or out the door. IF YOU KEEP MAKING EXCUSES FOR A MAN, YOU GIVE HIM AN EXCUSE TO ACT LIKE A BOY.

5.)  You Are Basing the Relationship On Potential- Everyone has potential. Everyone is called to something, but you cannot base the relationship on potential alone. Some people die with unrealized potential. You are putting up with a lot because you see his potential. You keep convincing yourself that it will get better based off of his potential. Are you hearing more talk or seeing more action? That is a significant difference. I’ve quoted this before that I heard a pastor say, “the person you marry is the product of your intelligence.” That speaks volumes. You could be the smartest person in the room, but you are truly only as intelligent as the choices you make. Unused intelligence is just as bad as having none at all. Could it be possible that you are picturing what you want the relationship to be like, but when you pull back the layers, you see it’s something totally different? Is he really the 1? Is your relationship based on the what if? You are intelligent, beautiful, unique, gifted, and have all the potential to make a great wife, but don’t cheat yourself or the 1 by settling. You are Single For 1. I just heard someone say this recently, “It would be a shame to get so close to the shore only to drown in shallow water.”  You are so close, don’t disqualify yourself. Don’t settle. I have a disclaimer: IT IS ALSO VERY POSSIBLE THAT YOU SETTLE FOR A GOOD MAN. A good man alone is not what you want, because a good man can be good, but not good for you. Is he the 1? I will continue to say this until it is engraved on your brain, YOU ARE THE GIFT. Please start acting like it, and govern yourself accordingly. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

Question of The Week: Am I Too Aggressive?

March 9, 2011

Q: I am in need of your help Duke really…My question is how do I stop being so aggressive? My friend who’s my brother has told me that I act like a man when it comes to relationships. I am starting to think he’s right.  I need help because I don’t want to come off wrong to a guy but I just do.  I approach them rather than wait.  Can you help me break this habit or cycle.  I really don’t want to be like this anymore.

A: This question ties in with some of the other questions I have responded to in the past, but it sounds as though you have recognized the problem, admitted it is a problem and are now seeking a resolution. You are on the right track. It is obvious that you are an aggressive women when it comes to men. You see someone you want or begin talking to a man and you then proceed to take charge. This of course is role reversal. You are taking a positive step forward because some women who are aggressive will either not admit it or get defensive when they hear the truth. So, I don’t have to go off on a long rant about why you should not be aggressive. You simply want to know how to stop.

What you are in need of is discipline. To break any habit begins with a desire. You have the desire. So, you certainly need to pray and ask God to help you overcome it. Being aggressive towards men will automatically take away a certain level of respect because you have made it so easy. Maybe you can store that aggression until you are married. It will have its place then and only then in relationships. Until then, a man wants to feel like a man and wants to pursue. He wants to go after what he wants. When you are the one going after what you want, some men don’t know how to take it. Some men will play along just for fun. You are starting to think your friend was right, and he was.  You apparently have not been getting the results you desired. You are starting to think that your friend is right because you have had numerous unsuccessful attempts. Sometimes we have to fall down a few times to finally see the bigger picture.

A key point you made is that you approach them rather than wait. This means that you are impatient. You want what you want when you want it. We all want what we want but some exercise more patience than others. I am sure that many can relate to wanting what you want now. Some have learned how to adjust and some are still adjusting. I believe it is something we all have to constantly watch. I am sure that you have come to find that what you thought you wanted did not always measure up to be what you thought they were.  Part of the problem is that you have a problem waiting. That is like you are telling God that He is taking too long and you can handle it yourself. I am sure that you have discovered that the handling of it yourself does not work out so well. Think about the men you have been aggressive towards. Think about the results. Think about some of the things that were said to you. Think about how you felt at the end. This will help you think about not wanting to experience that again. You just have to take it one day at a time and realize as I have said time and time again that Women are the Gift. Eve was God’s gift to Adam. If you are taking yourself off of the shelf, you are now exposing yourself to some men who actually don’t even deserve your time. Some items on a shelf in stores are too high to reach and someone has to get a ladder to reach it. AS A WOMAN, YOU SHOULD BE SO HIGH ON THE SHELF; A MAN WILL HAVE TO BE WILLING TO CLIMB TO REACH YOU! This keeps away all of the boys who want to play games and feel they have a buffet of choices, and leaves room for the men who know how and are willing to climb.

You have to truly recognize who you are. Once you fully realize that you are a Queen, you are beautiful, intelligent, strong, etc. then you will realize that you are insulting yourself when you chase after a man. When you chase a man, you are saying that you are desperate. I never heard of a Queen going after anyone, but people always come to the Queen. This goes back to knowing your worth. You have to ask yourself, am I cheap or expensive? This may sound harsh, but it is harsh reality. Scripture tells us in the famous Proverbs 31, that a virtuous women’s worth is far above rubies. You can break this cycle through prayer and knowing your worth. I assure you that when you know your worth, you won’t be so quick to take yourself off the shelf. I submit to you that if you and countless other women of royalty will stay on the shelf, it will make it a little easier for men who are ready and seeking their wives to not have to wait so long for you to get right. This is the same for men who have been going for the cheap stuff that cost them no sacrifice. Those who act cheap are not quite ready for the next level. Those who go after cheap are also not ready for the next level. However, there are great women who have stayed on the shelf because they refuse to cheapen their worth. Stay on the shelf until the 1 comes along. He will be ready in due season. You will be ready in due season.

He may very well be on your aisle, but every time he comes down the aisle, it appears that what he is looking for is sold out or missing. So, after numerous hurts and disappointments, you finally get filled back up and put back on the shelf. This time when you allow God to fill you back up, please do your best to stay on the shelf. It will benefit all parties involved. Stay on the shelf, you are worth it. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

Question of the Week: Did Ruth force herself on Boaz?

March 1, 2011

Q: Did Ruth Position herself for Boaz?

A: You raise a great question as it stems from the last Question of the Week, in which I mentioned that a woman should not try to position herself for a man. In doing this, you are trying to make it happen, and ultimately a man will know what he wants and should pursue the woman. The simple answer would be No. It appears that Ruth positioned herself from our modern view, but during her time, she was not positioning herself. She was practicing an ancient Near Eastern custom.

Now, we hear women say all the time that they are waiting for their Boaz. So, I will get right into it, as I will have to give a historical background of the story of  Ruth and Boaz. For the sake of length, I will not go into full detail of the story. You can find it in the Bible in the book of Ruth.

The question is stemmed from the 3rd chapter in the Book of Ruth.  Ruth was living with her mother-in-law Naomi and they both were widows. So, Naomi took on responsibility as a parent during that time to arrange a marriage and informed Ruth that she needed to find her a home where she would be well provided for and have security. So, Naomi told Ruth to wash up, put on perfume and her best clothes and then go to the threshing floor where Boaz was located at night and lay at his feet. The threshing floor was where the farmers would remove the grain from the husks and separate the good grain from the weeds. Boaz would be found sleeping there late at night to defend against any robbers who may have attempted to steal the grain.

So, Ruth followed the instructions of her mother-in-law and laid at Boaz’s feet. This was dangerous and risky because Ruth could have been attacked at night, if Boaz was not a good man, he also could have taken advantage of her. This was not something that would have been encouraged. During these times, it was customary for the wife to enter the bed at her husband’s feet, go under the covers and then lie next to him. Ruth, was instructed to just lay at his feet, as she was not his wife.  This may seem like an aggressive move or “positioning herself” in our culture, but in actuality, this was a sign of humility and submission on Ruth’s part. During those times, to lay at one’s feet was what servants did with their masters. So, Ruth was showing humility and submission to whatever Boaz instructed her to do, which is what Naomi told her she should do.

What we must realize is that Ruth was attempting to claim her rights because Boaz was her Goel (kinsman redeemer). However, instead of coming to command that he do his part, she came humbly. The kinsman redeemer had a number of responsibilities, and one of them was to buy back land of their deceased family member or to marry the widow of the deceased family member. In this case, Boaz was a family member of Naomi’s deceased husband Elimelech.  So, Ruth had a right to expect Boaz to marry her to carry on the family name of Elimelech. This was not the same thing as a Levirate marriage, in which the brother of the deceased was to marry the widow and made sure they had a child together to carry on the family name. In this case, there was no brother, so the responsibility gets passed on to the kinsman redeemer.
However, Boaz had the right to accept or reject.  This shows Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi because Ruth had the right to marry a younger man and into a completely different family and not be concerned about Naomi’s husband’s family name. Boaz was at least an entire generation older than her. Naomi and Ruth were poor now and Naomi had to sell some of her husband’s land, which is another reason why Boaz was expected to buy it back.

Prior to Naomi’s instructions to Ruth, Boaz had already noticed Ruth. He later found out who Ruth was and how loyal she was to come to a foreign country with Naomi. So, he treated Ruth well. Instead of picking up the grain left behind by the harvesters with the rest of the poor individuals, Boaz allowed her to work with the women who worked for him and told the men not to do anything to her regardless of her status. He also allowed her to eat with them and had some of his men assist her with picking some of the grain. So, Boaz already began taking care of her. He already showed an interest.

Ruth approached quietly at night to where Boaz was sleeping. She stayed there patiently at his feet until something startled him. It was nothing Ruth did because she was waiting quietly and patiently, and then Boaz recognized her, and asked who she was. She confirmed who she was and told him that he is the family kinsman redeemer. Boaz accepted the role. Again, he did not have to. However, he informed her that there was another kinsman redeemer who was more closely related to Naomi’s husband than he was, but if he would not take on the role, Boaz would. At the end, the other kinsman redeemer was willing to redeem or buy back the land that was lost, but when he was told he also had to acquire Ruth who was the widow, he declined. So, Boaz was next in line and redeemed the land and Ruth.

What can we take from this during our times? Boaz was a good man and he showed an interest by essentially placing Ruth on the same status as those who worked for him, even though she was poor. So, Boaz showed that he was willing to be a provider. Ruth showed that she was loyal to family and was willing to do what she had to do to preserve the legacy of her husband and his father.

Boaz recognized Ruth while she was working trying to provide for her own family. She was not hard pressed to find a man to take care of her. She was not even concerned about a husband. She did what she had to do. It was her mother-in-law Naomi who even brought the idea up to her. When Ruth came to the threshing floor, Boaz did not even comment on her beauty. He mentioned how her act was kinder than her 1st act of coming to the town with her mother-in-law, and now she was trying to preserve her mother-in-law husband’s family name. So, he said he would do for her all that she asked. Then, the key thing is Boaz said that everyone in his town knew that she was a virtuous woman. Ruth’s character spoke more than her words.

Ruth’s character is what attracted Boaz the most. Are you working on your assignment? Are you focused on what you need to be doing right now? Just like Boaz, your future husband will be willing to do anything for you that you ask because of who you are. So, you will never have to position yourself for a man. I have always observed women from a distance when I saw something in them. You may never know when a man is observing you from a distance and watching what you say and do. I hear women in the church say all the time that men rarely approach them or ask them out. Yes, some are not ready for commitment and standards, but that’s not who you want. What I do know is that for many who are seeking a wife, I assure you they are observing. Some women I have observed, I stopped observing because of something that I saw that did not work for me. Not that they were a bad person, but just like a woman should not want any man but a husband. A man should not want any woman but a wife. Men who are ready to marry have on their radars and are observing.  Your “Boaz” will or is already looking for you. You never know who is observing you. Also, every man who observes you from a distance is not your husband. Every man who approaches you is not your husband. It is only 1. So, focus on doing what you do best because we can tell when a woman is trying to position herself. Take my advice…Don’t do it. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke