Are you really available??

OK, this is day 3 of me really thinking about the lack of evolution surrounding our relationships.   

I have a lot going on right now, which has nothing to do with my relationships.  But, the more I think about it; maybe it does, because if I’m feeling stressed, frustrated and overwhelmed, it has to boil over somewhere; and normally, its spills out on to the ones closest to us.  Maybe, I should take a closer look at how my life is affecting those closest to me?  That’s what I really mean, when I say; “the lack of evolution surrounding our relationships”.

When I speak about relationships; I’m speaking in terms of ALL types of relationships. 

Family relationships; Workplace relationships; Neighborhood /Community relationships and of course the relationship, we have with ourselves.  I’m going to examine all aspects of relationships and try to expose the necked truth as to why our relationships are in such a distorted dysfunctional reality? And, ultimately; bring about awareness and a consciousness for all us to put more effort into creating healthier more loving relationships.

Yesterday, I mentioned, that I had met this guy who wanted to be VERY available to me, within 3 days.  I told him, the next man I choose to be with, MUST be available.   I always seem to attract men that are unavailable, either emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically.  So, when this most recent guy, was trying to be VERY available to me, why did it turn me off????   It was just too much, too soon!!   

So, I guess the real question is, “Do I really want a man to be available to me???  Or was he just not my type”?

This is what some men would say is the problem.  That some women do not know what they want?  But, I wouldn’t say “that at all”. 

 I know what I want…..I just, want…. What I want….. When I want it!!!

 Am I spoiled, or am I exercising my God-given right.

 Only, time will tell!

Until next time,

     Love and Be Loved,

              Charlette Marie

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Is He ‘Feeling’ Me?

Well, my quest continues; as I try to unlock the mysteries of this thing we call “Relationships”.  I have a lot questions. Some that have been answered and some that have not.  I have been fascinated with the term ‘relationships’ for a long time.  It is fascinating to me, that we, men and women were put here to co-exist together…….. harmoniously, I would think? But, as we all know, most of us are not experiencing this harmonious way of living in a relationships.  I ‘am in search of answers to questions, old and new as to ‘why’ our ‘relationships ‘are struggling to stay alive.

I heard something today, which was very interesting to me.  I have heard it before, but for some reason today, it was like I heard it for the first time.   You know sometimes we have to hear things at different times, in different ways and from different people; before you actually ‘hear it’. 

Men don’t commit based on a time frame.  They commit based on a ‘Feeling of wanting to commit’. 

Key word there is “FEELING”… Well, who knew that?  It’s not about being with him for years and years or nagging him, giving him good sex, not giving him sex at all, breaking-up with him, only to go back at the end of night or making him jealous.  A man has to FEEL IT!!  And, for the record, he has to feel it, on his own.  There is nothing we can do to push it along.  Very interesting!

I was in a 10 year so-called relationship.  Looking back on it now, I was really in a relationship all by myself.  I can laugh at it now.  I tried every possible ‘game’ in the book, to get this man to commit.  I tried all of the above and some others. And, nothing worked.  Needless, to say, we are not together today. I got tired of trying to make something happen, which just was not going to happen.

Now, on the hand, I just meant a guy a week ago and he was ready to commit.  When I say, “he was ready to commit” he was ready within 3 days!!!! He was “Feeling” something!!!  But, I was not.  He wanted to explore getting to know each other, exclusively.   I have never heard of that!  I can see becoming exclusive, but not starting out a relationship exclusive.  What is that about?

Don’t get me wrong, I felt like that for the 10 year guy. I knew right away, I wanted to be him and only him.   It was a ‘feeling’.  It seems as though; women get the ‘feeling’ more often and sooner, then men. 

I guess another question would be? As women, how do we know the ‘feeling’ means “men want to commit to us or just have sex”?

I have a lot of work to do.

Until next time,

      Love and be loved

                Charlette Marie

My Relationships are a HOT FLAMING MESS!!!

My relationship is a HOT FLAMING MESS!!!

I remember when dating used to be really simple.  He said he liked you. He made time to see you. He called; to hear the sound of your voice. He made you feel special.  He wanted you to meet his mother. HE WAS YOUR MAN.  What happen to the simple days of dating?  Something has happen!!  Men are different and so are the women; myself included. 

The next few months or so; I’m going to take a closer look into how relationships have evolved into what I’m calling a HOT FLAMING MESS!!

Ok, let take an inventory.  What do we know?  We know that there is a very high divorce rate. We know more women are able to take care of themselves…. financially. We know that men and women lack the necessary skills needed to maintain a healthy relationship…. Or do we? We know our young boys are missing father figures and male mentors to teach them how to be THE man in the relationship. (No disrespect fella’s).  We also know our young girls are giving up the cookie, (the sweet stuff) way too soon!!  But, all that still does not answer the question. How did we get here??  Our relationships are A HOT FLAMING MESS!!

I was told that my aunt was at the park with her daughter several years ago; and recalled seeing the little girls chasing the little boys around the park.  When did that happen?  When did it become socially acceptable for girls to be chasing boy or women chasing men for that matter?   When did the tables turn?  And, why did they turn?  It’s my opinion that the change, was NOT for the better.  Relationships are an all time low!   A HOT FLAMING MESS!!

I will be taking a closer look into the breakdown of the family, which I believe has a lot to do with the shift in the relationships.  More partners are cheating and more partners are accepting the cheating.  When did that happen?

It’s funny, my 13-year-old son has been in a 3 year relationship, with the same girl……..yeah, I said 3 years and yes he is only 13 years old.  Anyway, my point is; he has not ventured away from this girl to be with another one.  Now, they have broken up a few times, but have always gotten back together.  I can’t speak on her behalf, so I don’t know if she has remained faithful to him or not.  But, my son has a mind-set to be with one girl at a time.  WOW!!!  I’m wonder if he will always be that way; a one woman-man.  Or will something happen or someone happen to change his outlook.  I know, he is going to experience heartbreaks and heartaches but, depending on how often, will probably determine if he remains the same or not.

As for me, I have had my share of heartbreaks and heartaches.  And, I know that has a lot to do with my attitude towards relationships and my tolerance while I’m in them.  I know, you are supposed to leave the last relationship at the door.  But, that is easier said than done.  I secretly, believe WE all need a little therapy when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship. I know; I know we don’t need to see anyone; we are doing such a great job at it!! (Smile). But, since we won’t go and speak to someone (professionally), then we owe it to ourselves to try our best to figure out this thing called LOVE, SEX and relationships.

I will be trying to answer my own questions and any questions you may post.  Or maybe we can come up with the answers together.

I must be honest; I’m taking this on for a personal reason. (I will talk more on that in days to come).  But, I’m also hopeful that I will stumble across information that can be useful to others as well.

With all that said, I’m excited about looking deeper into the reasons why our relationships are such a HOT FLAMING MESS! And how we can get back on track in obtaining and maintaining healthy relationships? ……..But, were they ever???? ………That remains to be seen.

Until next time,

    Love and be loved

             Charlette Marie

The 5 Stages of Relationships

5 Stages of Relationships

Did you know there are stages in relationships that all couples must go through?   Personally, I did not. But, I have always noticed that after a month or so (give or take a few months); my relationships seem to shift in another direction.  At that point, my theory would be, either they were not the right person for me or I was not the right person for them. Whichever, the case; this was usually the beginning of the end for the relationship.  And, we would both move on to what we thought would be bigger and better.

I love starting a new relationship. Everything is wonderful, everyone is on their best behaviors, and your thoughts stay on this person. Spending time with this person becomes a priority; somehow you manage to fit them into your live. You want to talk to them, laugh with them and in most cases have great sex with them.   Everything is going exactly the way you want it to go, then all of sudden, the rose-colored glasses are removed; the veil is lifted and this person you once adored is now acting as if they have two horns on top of their head and speaking a foreign language. 

What happen?  Where did the love of my life go?  Well according to the ‘Stages of Relationships’, that person is still there but, now we are in a process of evolving to another level of our relationship.   What is that about?

Well, I have to be honest, it has been a long time since I have been able to get pass stage one. I’m not a relationship expert, and never claimed to be. The information I share should be used as an aid for others and myself to create and maintain healthy relationships. 

So here we go;

Phase 1: The Honeymoon (Love- ain’t it great!)

This is the romantic, passionate, stars-in-the-eyes phase. The sex is good and there is never enough of it.
This doesn’t happen for all couples but as a rule, this strong attraction stage is laced with thinking about and wanting to be with, your new love.

Phase 2: Accommodation (O.K, so love isn’t perfect)

Even Romeo and Juliet had they been married, would have had to deal with the day-to-day realities. In the Accommodation Stage roles are established, expectations are set and compromises are made. It is here that disillusionment sets in and power struggles become evident. The other person’s habits, needs, anger and withdrawal patterns become uncomfortably clear. Intense conflict has the potential for developing during this stage. It is most advantageous to learn about problem solving, conflict management and communication during this stage.

Phase 3: The Challenge (Trouble in paradise)

A couple doesn’t really know how strong a relationship is until they deal with the challenges that life brings. Whether it is starting a new job, unemployment or the unfortunate occurrence of an accident or family illness, we all face challenges in life. The Challenge Stage lets the partners know what they can expect from each other during these demanding times.

Children and family crises are important factors during this stage. Each partner sets their own rules and expectations for raising children and how extended family issues should be handled. The challenge here is to be aware of this fact and find a successful compromise in meeting each other’s rules and expectations.

During the Challenge Phase there is a certain amount of disillusionment. The relationship is not what it was dreamed to be and one or both partners may be increasingly attracted to other people of the opposite sex. Sometimes, there is fantasizing about past loves. This is a time when the relationship is very vulnerable to unfaithfulness. How couples deal with this phase will determine the direction that it will take in the Crossroads Phase.

Phase 4: The Crossroads (What do I do at this stage of my life?)

Once couples reach this stage they have already experienced some challenges (e.g. medical or money problems) and now other life decisions will have to be made (e.g. to have children, where to live, how to spend money). This stage is different from the Challenge Phase because a number of challenges have already occurred and the couple has learned how each other responds in these situations. The emotional patterns of each are clear and they have established patterns of dealing with their differences. It is common for problems to arise in this stage, but because you have already experienced a great many shared challenges, you stand the best chance of working through these issues and getting to the Rebirth Stage. The three most common negative patterns for individuals to engage in during this stage are:

  1. Being resigned to sticking with the bad decision of staying in the relationship;
  2. Emotional withdrawal;
  3. Trying to force the other person into being different.

Phase 5: Rebirth (New marriage)

it is estimated that only 15% of all couples reach this stage. At this point, folks have figured out “the real person” they have married. To achieve it they will have successfully dealt with the Accommodation, Challenge and Crossroads Stages. In this phase, couples learn how and when to compromise and they truly (not on the surface) accept areas of differences with minimum resentment. In this stage couples learn to re-appreciate and re-love each other and:

• Focus on what is right with each other;
• Give each other the benefit of the doubt in conflict situations;
• Successfully manage and truly accept frustrations, disappointments and hurts;
• Agree to disagree and fully value each other even if they are totally unable to see things the same way;
• Have a give and take sexual relationship on a regular basis;
• Communicate in such a way they really listen to and hear each other;
• Can disagree with each other and be O.K with that;
• Recover from their disagreements within a short period of time;
• Constantly find things to appreciate about each other;
• Spend time relaxing and having fun on a weekly basis;
• Spend time talking about issues that come up in their relationship.

This is just one of many websites that discuss and identify the Stages of Relationships.  But, they all speak on one common theme:  We have to go through different phases and/or stages, to develop committed and healthy relationships. 

To see this article in its entirety visit:  http://family-marriage-counseling.com/mentalhealth/relationship-basics.htm

My question is:  How do you know when it is worth the time and effort to push through to the next stage?

Live, Love and Laugh Often

Charlette Marie

Are Black Men Getting Married?

Are Black Men Getting Married?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “Black Women NOT being married”…….Why?

 1)    Standards are too high 

2)    Black Man shortage 

 3)    Less likely to date outside their race 

 4)    Too bossy (whatever!) 

 5)    Aggressive attitude 

 6)    Black men are in prison, gay or dead 

Those are just a few reasons, which I have heard; why Black Women are not or never have been married? I would like to add to the list; “Maybe some Black Women do not want to get married”.  Because they do not want to deal with: 

 1)    Infidelity 

 2)    Physical or verbal abuse 

 3)    Sharing their time with someone 

 4)    Sharing their space with someone 

 5)    Thinking about another person’s feelings 

 6)    Taking care of a man physically and/or financially

Anyway, I now have a new question?  If Black Women are not getting married, is it safe to say, “That Black Men are not getting married and if they are, who are they marrying? 

 So, I started to do a little research on the percentage of Black Men who are married and who they are actually marrying?  

Well, let me start of by saying, finding these stats were not easy.  I kept finding sites on; The Black Men in Prison and Black Men Marrying White Women.  

But, I finally got lucky and found a few sites, answering my questions.  

1)    http://www.essence.com  (Relationship Commentary: The Black Man Shortage by: Demetria L. Lucas). 

Esscence.com had a very interesting story.  What is with all the talk about BLACK WOMEN not being married?  “This is a problem in all races”.   As the author of this story recalls; remember Sex and the City???  “This is a problem not only with the African American women, but all women”.  She also states, “51% of Latina woman are unmarried, so are 45% of non-Hispanic White women, and 41% of Asian women”. 

2)     http://www.mediatakeout.com/ by Rev Billy bob 

A few more  interesting facts. 

In 1950 62% of all African American women were married.
In 1950 64% of all African American men were married.
In 2000 36% of all African American women were married.
In 2000 43% of all African American men were married. 

93% of black men, who do marry, choose to marry Black Women

3)    http://www.tiredblackman.com/ (“Don’t believe the hype” by Tim Alexander) 

This is an insert from the article, in which I thought was worth sharing.  42 percent of Black Men were married, compared with 31 percent of Black Women. In contrast, 10 percent of Black women were widowed, compared with 3 percent of Black men.
9.5 percent of Black Men were divorced and 12.8 percent of Black women
4.4 percent of Black Men were separated and 5.9 percent of Black women
41.6 percent of Black Men never married and 39.7 percent of Black women 

That was a lot to take in.  I believe the problem is not a “Marriage Problem”, I believe we have a “Relationship Problem”.  Let’s focus on having a Good Relationships first. 

We as a society are not “Relationship Savvy”. We do not have ‘Relationship skills’ to overcome conflict as we move through the stages of our relationships. We may have unrealistic expectations as to how a relationship should flow. My suggestion is to talk to someone other than our friends.  Our friends will probably think just as we do and sometimes we need a different perspective to see things clearly. 

Lesson for today: 

‘Let’s spend less time planning the wedding day and more time planning our lives together” 

Live, Love and Laugh Often 

Charlette Marie 

FYI:  views and opinions expressed on these sites do not necessarily express the views and opinions of Charlette Marie.