Archive for October 2012

Should I Get Into This Relationship

October 25, 2012

Dear Duke,

I read the blog last week and it made me think about what I am currently facing and I was thinking maybe you could do a part 2 on just trust or not missing your blessing.

The gentleman I mentioned to you months ago and I are actually still talking. He has a lot of characteristics that are highly admirable and things I want in a man. Patient (annoyingly patient, LOL), kind, committed, honest, respectful, loves his family, unselfish, great listener, and LOVES kids! As we continue to learn more about each other, he is becoming more physically attractive as well; go figure, because I wouldn’t have believed that months ago. (more…)

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3 Steps To Love Again

October 19, 2012

We know that love is very powerful. Love is action. Love is also a choice, but when that choice has been made, it’s amazing how we are able to love those who don’t love us back. It’s amazing that the love you have for someone can make you do or say things you said you would never do or say. Sometimes it feels like you are being held hostage by your own love. For some of you, it feels like you are being held hostage by the idea of being in love. That’s not a bad place to be in, but it becomes problematic when you try to make certain individuals fit into that equation that simply wasn’t made to fit.

 

Perhaps you have gotten to the point where the idea of loving again hurts too much and you are in bondage to fear. Perhaps for you, you may be wondering if you will ever truly love a mate. If we all had the ability to snap our fingers and make the pain of heartbreak go away, transitions would be much smoother. You’ve invested time and energy only to seem like you are the one who always ends up on the wrong side of the deal. It doesn’t seem fair and it doesn’t feel good.

 

How is it that love can feel so good and also possess the ability to hurt so bad? Why when you say you don’t care anymore, it only makes you realize that you are angry and hurt because you care so much?

 

Sure, it’s easy to bounce back and get a rebound, but now you run the risk of causing the same pain on someone else that you just experienced. How do you know it’s a rebound? It’s a rebound when you are not over the last person and you simply are tolerating the new person. It’s a rebound when your heart is completely shut down from allowing love to come back in. It’s a rebound if the person who you were in love with can come back and you would strongly consider. This isn’t to say that people don’t get back together through reconciliation. However, we know the old saying, “hurt people hurt people.” In other words, if you’re still hurt, you will likely hurt someone else.

 

These are all situations that many of you have dealt with and may potentially deal with in the future. So, I have outlined 3 basic steps for you to love again.

1.)  Admit and Confront Your Hurt and Disappointment- Let’s be real. Not being with the person you thought was the one just flat out hurts. Men and women alike feel this pain. Too many suppress it and put this hard outer shell on to camouflage it. If you never address it, it will remain in your heart and that ticking time bomb will continue to tick, tick, tick, tick, BOOM! It will eventually come to the surface. I would rather deal with a firecracker than a bomb. Give yourself time to heal.

 

Here are key ingredients for you know you’re healed. If things such as songs, scents, shows, movies, cars, etc. that would normally remind you of that person no longer causes that weird feeling in the pit of your stomach, you know you have been healed. Doesn’t that feeling in your stomach just get on your last nerve? I mean, it could make you lose your appetite on the spot. Let’s not even begin to talk about when you get to that place where it seems like everywhere you go, you see someone who looks like them or reminds you of them. You really begin to think, am I losing my mind?  Now, if you can see them or actually have some type of conversation with them without old feelings or hurt coming up, you know you are healed.

 

I saw the interview Oprah conducted with the singer Rihanna some weeks ago and of course the Chris Brown situation came up. It was clear that Rihanna was not healed because although she was angry when it happened, she was more concerned with how the public viewed him? She was also upset because he was her best friend and she lost that.

 

She also admitted that she went somewhere where he was and got that feeling in her stomach when she saw him. At that time, she said that he was in a relationship. She used that to say that he has moved on, but it was clear at that point that she did not. It was clear that she didn’t particularly care for that and still had a place in her heart for him that he could actually come back and reclaim at anytime. Sure, they were both young when the incident happened, and this may have been her 1st true love.

 

I don’t follow those stories like that, but I believe they are supposedly back together or hanging out more, etc. She was never fully healed from it and truthfully, it was easier for her to go back than to try to move on. It is also obvious that she really loved him more than he loved her. Of course, that’s not something he will ever admit. I hope that he did in fact get the help he needed.

 

I also hope that if her heart is broken over him again that she will love again. Because if she is hurt again, the 2nd recovery could be much more challenging than the 1st.  I’m not opposed to second chances, even though the situation happened some years ago and was bad. People can change and they can heal. I would not recommend the relationship for a couple of reasons. I don’t have to know them personally to assess some of it. However, this is a risk one takes in these situations, but in risk taking, one should also count the cost. Young love is sometimes scary love. Hollywood love also has a long record of instability.

 

Another problem is he likely internally believes he can find another Rihanna type, but she likely in her heart thinks she cannot find another Chris Brown type or better. Better is simply what’s best for you. Better is what God has for you. It’s not a comparison, it’s just fact.  Those are two different perspectives in a relationship, and those two perspectives can spell trouble in the end. She was not healed before she got back with him. I’m not hoping anything one way or another about their relationship except that I hope they will eventually be with the 1 they are to be with.

 

I say all that to say that one of the biggest heart breaks is that 1st love. If you have been there, you know what I’m talking about. You feel like you will never get over it. It feels like the world is coming to an end. It’s never easy if it happens again, but that 1st true love hurt is no joke.

 

If you never truly address it, it will continue to live in your heart. I’ve seen people in their late 60’s who still had wounds from certain areas in their lives that were never addressed. IF YOU DON’T EVICT PAST HURTS FROM YOUR HEART, IT WILL LIVE THERE FOR FREE, NEVER PAY YOU AND RUN UP YOUR EMOTIONAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL BILLS AND LEAVE YOU BANKRUPT OF A COMPLETE LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE!

 

2.)  Recognize That You Are Not Alone- When you are recovering from hurt and disappointment, it’s easy to feel like you are on an island in isolation. It doesn’t seem like anyone truly understands or feels your pain. You have replayed so many different thoughts in your mind over and over and over again. You have tried out different scenarios in your brain until you become mentally exhausted.

 

You’ve thought about what you did or didn’t do. You try to interpret what they were thinking or are thinking. It won’t do you much good except add salt to the wound because you will just come up with a long list of assumptions. Sure, some facts will be present, but it will also be mixed with assumptions that you have also turned into facts. Unfortunately, you may also have made some bad assumptions about yourself that adds to the pain.

 

What you must realize is that you are not alone. There are many others who have gone through and are going through what you’re dealing with right now. You may feel dejected and rejected. You aren’t a rejection. The biggest mistake you can make is to try to find someone else to fill that void. Having someone present won’t fix it if you don’t address it.

 

You’re not alone, and there are many who have moved onto a healthy love life since their heartbreak. There are some who are at peace and are in anticipation for the next chapter in their life. The enemy tries to use heartaches and pain as an assassin in your life. However, you are not a victim. You are a survivor. You are an overcomer. You’re not in this by yourself and don’t have to do it all yourself.

 

3.)  Recognize That There’s More History to Be Made- Far too many have mistaken a closed chapter for a closed book. Your life is a book, not one chapter. Some chapters are more challenging than others. However, there are great chapters that you have had and will have.  You are part of history. It matters that you were born. So, don’t cheat yourself out of tomorrow because today was too hard.

 

Your life is a bestseller and many would love the opportunity to read it. It’s a bestseller because no story is exactly the same. Everyone has a different love history. There are some that are short and some that are long. Each story is filled with highs and lows. However, the beauty of it all is that love history in your life is still being made. Who told you it was over for you? Who told you that you won’t be loved again? Who told you that this is just how it’s going to be? Who told you that’s as good as it will get? Don’t believe the lies. We only get one shot on this side, so we must maximize it. Sure, we will have hurts along the way, but don’t allow it to steal future joy.

DON’T ALLOW THE PAINS OF RIGHT NOW’S LOVE PREVENT YOU FROM SEEING THE PEACE OF FOREVER’S LOVE!

 

You can love again. I believe you will love again and of course that you will be loved for real!

As always, remember that you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

The Gift of Goodbye

October 11, 2012

Letting go of someone for one reason or another is always one of the most difficult things we may face because it has such an emotional impact on us. One of the challenges is the fact that it takes us through so many emotions. Boyz II Men had a song that said, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” That is true in many different ways.

 

You may have to let someone know that you can no longer continue in the relationship that has been formed. However, you may say the words, but your heart feels something else. One of the most used phrases I specifically hear women say in these situations is, “I meant what I said, but I thought he would have fought harder for us.”  So, saying goodbye is literally easier said than done.

 

You may very well realize that it’s time to say goodbye, but why does goodbye hurt the way it does? Even if the person did wrong by you, why do you still feel for them? There is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way, but it’s simply that you put your time, energy and your heart into someone. This doesn’t repair overnight unless God does a miracle.

 

You may have rehearsed in your mind how the conversation was going to go, but it doesn’t always go according to plan, especially when you are saying goodbye not because you want to but because you know you need to. It won’t always mean that something bad happened, but sometimes goodbye is necessary if it’s just not a good fit. I have said this numerous times; just because a person is good to you does not automatically mean they are good for you.

 

In saying all of that, goodbye is really a gift, especially when it is the best thing for you, regardless of the temporary pain. It places you in a position to where you can heal. I would rather deal with temporary pain than a lifetime of heartache. Goodbye is a gift because it takes courage to say it. Goodbye is a gift because it clears the road for the right one to come in.

 

You may have been faced with and are facing a difficult decision right now. You may still be recovering from a goodbye. You may be upset because you said goodbye and the other person seemed to move on like you meant nothing to them. Either way, goodbye is not your enemy in relationships but it is your friend.

 

I know how difficult it is even for big and strong you with your tough outer shell and no nonsense demeanor. However, both men and women have internal struggles with the aftermath of goodbye. Feelings are real!

 

I have outlined 3key points to help you embrace the gift of goodbye.

 

1.)  It’s Ok to Feel Lonely- Don’t let anyone fool you. There comes a time when even the busiest single person who still has a desire to marry have moments of being lonely and moments when they wish they had a mate. Some people have demonized singles for too long having singles to believe that loneliness is some illness or that you are desperate.

 

Loneliness only becomes a problem when you make an irrational decision off of your loneliness. Other than that, loneliness is a feeling. If you have ever put time and love into a person and you had to say goodbye, you will miss things about them. Even if they did a lot of wrong things to hurt you, you may still dig and reminisce on the good times.

 

This does not make you a bad person; this simply makes you a person with feelings. Humans have a mind, will and emotions. Just because you missed something about a person does not mean that you will be back with them. It’s simply your most recent reference point to a relationship you were in.

 

Oftentimes, it’s not even truly wrapped up in that person, but it is wrapped up into something deeper. It’s ultimately that everyone wants to be loved, and everyone wants to feel needed. That’s an innate human condition. If that is the last reference point and relationship memory you have, even if it’s tainted love, you may still feel some type of way about it.

 

Some make the mistake and fall back in the cycle with that person, when it was never solely that person you were missing, rather it was the type of love that you were seeking. You are seeking true love, but perhaps because of the fear of being lonely, you settled for a false love. A false love is simply something posing as love.

 

This is not always discovered up front because everyone has the capacity to love. We have been wired to love. The coldest of hearts still has the capacity to love someone. This is why some people may always have a place in your heart. It does not mean you will ever or should ever be with them again, it’s just that love is not something that can just be erased. However, just because you love them does not mean you are supposed to be with them.  This is an important fact to remember.

EVEN IF SOMEONE HAD THE KEY TO YOUR HEART, YOU MUST DISCOVER WHEN IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THE LOCKS AND SEND THEM A FAREWELL GIFT OF GOODBYE.

Nonetheless, remember that loneliness does not have to control you. You shouldn’t feel bad for having feelings, but it’s what you do with those feelings that count.

 

2.)  You Must Do What’s Best For You- This is not a selfish act. This is a survival act. This is for the sake of your sanity. The gift of goodbye will help you survive in the world of love and relationships. Most people go through quite a number of relationships before they get to the right one with the 1.

 

You may have various life experiences from relationships that has stretched you and made you a better person. For some, it has jaded your view of or hopes for a lasting relationship. That simply means that you must experience the healing process. Your last relationship was just that, it was your last relationship. Now you start with a clean slate.

 

You should take the lessons you learned from the last one, but don’t let the last one keep you in bondage from moving forward. Don’t allow the last relationship have power over you and your feelings. This is easier said than done until the healing occurs. The 1st step is to admit that you were hurt, disappointed, etc. If you can’t admit how it made you feel, this makes it easier for you to lie to yourself until the feelings are triggered and come to the surface.

 

You must do what is best for you. The last thing you want to do is to stay in something when the time has expired. How do you know the time has expired? One sign is when you begin making a lot of excuses for why the other person does or does not do certain things. Another sign is you practically begging a person to change. We all know people change when they see the need for change, want change and embrace change. Most people have an idea when things are not really going in the right direction or when you both aren’t on the same page. One major indication is that you’re simply not truly happy.

 

Happy can also be deceiving. I’ve consulted many people who were happy at 1st and caught up in the moments. You’re not looking to be happy; you are looking for a true joy and a peace. Our emotions are very powerful, so we must also learn when our emotions are trying to get the best of us. If not careful, emotions will convince you to stay when God is saying go. Think about it, your emotions must be attached to something physical; your spirit is attached to the invisible.

 

So, it’s often easier to go off our emotions because it’s attached to what we can directly see. So, we must recognize that although there are some things we don’t “feel” like doing, it may very well be the thing we need to do. More times than not, no one feels like saying goodbye and starting over, but if it needs to be done, you know you must do it.

 

Sometimes the best thing for you is to accept the gift of goodbye because you may be in it, but your mind or their mind may have said goodbye a long time ago. It becomes more challenging because the heart and mind aren’t always on one accord. The heart has a mind of its own. Remember that what a person says should also line up with what they do.

 

3.)  Life Is Not Over- I know that when your heart has experienced a devastating blow, for moments at a time, it feels like everything has caved in on you. You may lose hope or become so upset until you say that you don’t care anymore. It hurts too much to think of starting over.

 

Life is filled with a lot of starting over. We started over from elementary to middle to high school. We started over from high school to college, etc. We started over from 1 job to another. You started over when you had a child. Yes, you have even started over from 1 relationship to another.

 

Life is filled with transitions. We all go through seasons and all seasons come with transitions in between. You woke up this morning, so that means you still have life on earth.

 

The gift of goodbye simply comes to help usher you from one chapter in your life to another.

 

I’m reminded of a story of a woman who was about to board a plane and she was in tears, and those she was saying goodbye to were also in tears. She didn’t want to say goodbye, but she knew she had to board the plane. She boarded the plane and when it landed to her next destination, there were people cheering and excited and had tears of joy. She was elated and could not stop smiling.

 

So, on one side of her journey she had to say goodbye and her heart was heavy, but on the other side of her landing, there was joy. If she didn’t go through the process of getting on the plane and stayed when it was time to depart, she would have delayed the type of joy she got on the other side.

 

I say all that to say, embrace the gift of goodbye when it is necessary, although it may hurt for a little while because on the other side of your goodbye is the gift of hello. Hello is a new start and it’s possible that your next hello may be for the rest of your life.

 

As always, remember that you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

 

It’s Not You, It’s Me

October 4, 2012

I’m sure that most of us have heard this term used at one point or another. Oftentimes, someone uses it to explain why they made a certain decision within the relationship. It typically is used during a breakup or as an explanation as to why the person did what they did. Nevertheless, it often leaves the individual on the receiving end feeling that it really does have something to do with them or the conversation would not be going on. I had a conversation with a friend who thought I should write a post around this as this topic.

Let’s first begin by realizing that when someone uses this term, it is sometimes true and sometimes it’s a nice way of just saying that they no longer want to be in the relationship for various reasons, but they just don’t want to further hurt your feelings. The bottom line is either way, you should not beat yourself up or think that the problem lies with you or that it solely lies with you.

This is a huge topic and I can go in so many different ways, but I’m going to focus on it from the perspective of commitment. I know that both men and women have used this phrase, but men use it far more. There are some individuals, specifically men who may use this phrase as to why they are not ready to fully commit. When dealing with commitment, this phrase is very plausible. The reason some men are not ready to commit to you really has nothing to do with you.

Ladies, if you ever had a similar conversation with a man, you may come across to him as being strong, but for many, that underlying question that haunts you is, “Is something wrong with me?” “Why was I not good enough?” You realize that you are a great catch, a great woman and that most men should jump on the opportunity to commit if presented with the opportunity, especially after how much of yourself you have given them.

However, I want to make it clear to you that in most cases, it really is not you, it is them. There are some men who are afraid that they may commit and someone else may come along. This is why after trial and error; some of them try to come back when it’s too late because they see the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. There are some men who are not ready to commit because they are just not ready to commit to any woman at the time.

Some of you are so strong, and you should know that is a great thing. Nonetheless, there are some men who have dealt with other women that required less work, who don’t challenge them when they are wrong, who think everything they say is golden, etc. If that’s what they prefer, let them go. Never ever apologize for being the strong woman that you are. DON’T EVER GET UPSET BECAUSE A MAN TAKES THE EASY WAY OUT AND LEAVES FOR A PIECE OF A WOMAN BECAUSE HE COULDN’T HANDLE THE WHOLE THING.

Life is full of choices. There are men out there who can swallow their pride and accept the challenge because they recognize that you make them better. There are men who realize that you don’t tell them things to try to hurt their feelings (trust me, men’s feelings can hurt easily as well, but many don’t admit it or will argue with you to disguise how they really felt), but you told them to make them better. They may say things like, “No one else thinks that,”… “Why do you have to be so hard on me?”

You know that you are telling them because you care, but some men don’t see that as caring. Sure, how you present it may require a little bit of work, but don’t feel bad about bruising his ego. You should know how to best talk to him. You can get men to do and see mostly anything all based on your presentation. I’m not saying water it down, but just know the person.

If it is going to make him better for it, say it, even if it causes some minor disputes until he gets it. If not, you are doing both of you an injustice and one or both won’t be happy in the long term. The key is that you are able to see measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. There are men who will recognize how much of an asset you are. He doesn’t need a lot of yes people, he needs the truth. I assure you that your truth holds more weight than anyone else. A man wants his woman to be proud of him. Your words truly hold power.

If I may use some slang, how can a man be a “Boss” without his woman being one too? Unfortunately, it happens. I know some women are just sitting in a ceremonial position and just need to look cute and go along with whatever he says and should just be honored to be with him, right?  Wrong! If you subscribe to Single For 1, you are not that type of woman and if you are, you won’t be for long.

For example, President Obama is the leader of the free world. He is a Boss, if you will. However, no one can deny First Lady Michelle Obama’s strength and leadership if they wanted to. She too is a Boss. One Boss married to another Boss. The world would classify that as a “power couple.” She commands attention when she enters a room or speaks. I can assure you that as great of a man as President Obama may be, First Lady Michelle Obama has had many bedroom discussions with President Obama lighting into him, not to hurt him, but to make him better.

After all these years, I’m sure she has mastered how to say it, but I guarantee you, her point gets across. He is not intimidated because even if 50 advisors said one thing, I guarantee if First Lady says something different, it will make him stop and think. She brings out the best in him, and I’m sure if asked he would admit that she has been right about far more than she has been wrong. No one knows the greatest quality of a man like his woman. I had a discussion once with a friend of mine and they alluded to that fact that women are like glasses, they make the man see better!

After the presidential debate last night, I would not be surprised at all if she didn’t let him know how she felt about his lackluster delivery, even though it was the night of their anniversary. Perhaps she waited until this morning, but I am sure her feedback carries more weight than any of the political advisors because she knows the man. The beautiful thing about it is he doesn’t even have to ask because I’m sure she will say what she thinks regardless. Every man cannot handle this type of woman (no need to apologize if you are this type), but I assure you more of it is needed. Many women know how to skillfully break a man down for his own good the right way and still be able build him back up all at the same time.

Ok, back to “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” If you are a single mother, the man may love your child but may not admit that they aren’t ready to fully commit to you both for the long haul. It has nothing to do with you or your child, but it is an internal dialogue that a man may have with himself to determine if he is really ready for the task at hand. It doesn’t matter how great of a mother you are and if you never asked him for anything.

A real man knows that he will inherit it all and will have every intention to take that child on as his own, regardless of the situation. There is no excuse for them to not communicate how they feel, but they may not do it because they may think there is no possible way you will understand what they are trying to say without you becoming highly offended and defensive.

However, they may never have to say it because you may assume what it is and that assumption can be right or wrong. If they never said it, it leaves you to assume. However, there is no need to make assumptions. At the end of the day, no matter how much time and energy you put in, it is a blessing to find out sooner than later that the other person is not ready to give as much as you are willing to give, but someone will.

Some individuals are more to the point and tell everything in black in white, but others use a softer approach that has the potential to be misleading if not explained well. The phrase “It’s not you, it’s me”, seems clear but there is still some ambiguity because that leaves a lot of room to fill in the blank. For many, filling in the blank is not with positive things. This does not mean that you are not a great woman, but it can mean that they are not ready for you.  Ultimately, we know that if they aren’t the 1, they aren’t the 1. This doesn’t matter how good or bad either of you may be.

Please understand, your great works will not keep a man. You shouldn’t want anyone around if their time has expired. How great of a woman you are will not keep a man. What you bring to the table that may be more appealing than many does not keep a man. A man may not even recognize all of that if he is not in the right mindset and of course if he’s not the One. ANY MAN CAN RESPECT A HIGH QUALITY WOMAN, BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN HE IS IN A POSITION TO AFFORD IT BECAUSE THE COST IS WAY MORE THAN MONEY CAN EVER BUY!

A man can have money in his pocket, but still be spiritually, psychologically or even emotionally bankrupt. If you are a full package, you need a man who offers a full package plan with long term benefits.

The 1 will commit. However, I should be clearer. The problem is that not only will the 1 commit, but there may also be frauds who will pose as though they are committing.  Just because a person is willing to commit does not necessarily mean they are the 1 for you. That will take prayer and moving your emotions aside. There are great people married to great people who aren’t joyful in their marriage or have a true peace in it. This can be due to a number of reasons, but there is a difference between having similar interests and being compatible. Interests change, but who you are at the core is what will last.

All people change in some area or another over time. Change is a part of life, but everyone does not adjust. It may take some healing, but just know that “It’s Not You, It’s Them.” I heard a preacher say something some time ago in reference to life in general, but it applies here as well. They said, “SOME PEOPLE NO LONGER HAVE THE CAPACITY TO HANDLE YOUR GREATNESS.”

This is alright. If they aren’t the 1, they need to leave so that the 1 can find their way. Don’t beat yourself up for being great! Continue to be who you are and self evaluate to see how you can continue to improve you to be an even better you. Did you ever think that it’s not a problem at all, but it just wasn’t meant to be? Thank God He knows best and kept you from some train wrecks in relationships. Thank God that you saw the light when you did. Great will attract great! Continue to be great!

As always, remember that you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke