Holidays can be extremely difficult for me. Some years, I breeze on through. Other years, whew I can barely make it. This holiday season seems to be “I can barely make it.” As a child, holidays felt fun, free, exciting.. as an adult.. not so much.
For Thanksgiving, I was going back and forth trying to decide whether to travel or stay home. A part of me was excited, duh, travel of course. The day of, I was not prepared for my emotions that would soon come. As soon as I opened my eyes, I instantly felt the absence of my mom for the holiday. Even through bouts of sadness and tears, I pressed on.
That night, while in a room full of people, I held back tears multiple times. Fighting to say present; to be grateful. I was aware that I was the only one showing up without a significant other or kids. Just me. Again. No parents, no significant other and no kids. Stay present, I kept reminding myself.
As I reflected over the night, I realized I was in a space where gratefulness and sadness both existed. And although it could be worse, I definitely wished it was better 😊
The latest conversation on social media is “should you have friends of the opposite gender while in a relationship?” My initial answer is yes, you should have friends of the opposite gender. I have always been able to have great platonic relationships with men. It has worked in my favor most times. There have been countless times where I needed the male perspective. It’s evident that men and women don’t always speak the same language.
I was having a conversation with a male friend. He agrees having platonic friends of the opposite gender is important. He said if he mentions to his guy friends that he’s having relationship issues, they will likely brush it off and encourage him to go out, which may lead to talking to other women.
But having a female friend that he trust would encourage the opposite. She’s going to tell you the consequences of your actions.
My brother was sharing with me the other day a conversation he was having with a woman. He was a little frustrated with her response. I said what she’s trying to say is “I’m being vulnerable and this is hard for me. You didn’t meet me emotionally when I was vulnerable so I’m taking it back”. He said mannn that’s all she had to say lol. Again men and women don’t speak the same language.
Have there been times where a friend might cross a boundary? Of course. But I will communicate that offense and take a step back from the friendship if I need to.
I encourage you to get a good trusting friend. Honestly, it will help shape and shift your perspective. Tell me what you think in the comments.
My new favorite podcast to watch or listen to is “Know For Sure” with B Simone and her best friend Megan. I get exhausted with the constant relationship talk so this podcast is a good break. In one episode, B Simone and Megan get really deep.
They begin to recount how B Simone decided to terminate her pregnancy. B Simone vividly recalls the people outside, her emotions and the noises. She says there was an intense moment where she tells Megan to just look at her and don’t take her eyes off of her.
As Megan tells her perspective, she reveals that she never agreed with her best friend for terminating the pregnancy. She discusses how judgmental she felt but had to put her feelings to the side.
Here is what I’ve been learning as I get older. We are now in place where making permanent decisions like these will for sure alter the trajectory of our lives. Personally, it’s always such an internal battle to watch a close friend make a life altering decision if I strongly disagree with it. As I watched the segment, I admired Megan’s support although in disagreement. Megan said she didn’t give her opinion because her mind was made up. There wasn’t any room to convince her.
I thought that was very profound and a good take away. Support your friends when their mind is made up without giving your unsolicited opinion.
How do you handle supporting your friends when you don’t agree with their decisions?
Hey Fam! Its been a while. Forgive me. Hope all is well! Lets skip the small talk. Myself and a couple others were having a side bar with our pastor the other day about pre-marital counseling. Of course he dropped some gems that I have to share. He talked about his own experience with pre-marital counseling before his marriage. He said he had a lot to work on before the commitment. He revealed that he was a mess and had to work through his abandonment issues, anxiety, and depression. He continued that although everyone comes to the table with their issues, some issues with inevitable sink the ship. That is for sure a word!
Im all for working things through and fighting through storms together but some things we must work through and heal before getting into relationship with people. As the old saying stands true, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Lets not get five years into our marriage and try to fix this broken foundation that should have been solid from the start. You know what Im going to say… go to therapy. It works if you do the work. I promise you!
I love the maturity that’s happening in my friendships. Friendships can be just as much work as romantic relationships. What I learned is, sometimes your friends dont need your advice. I try really really hard not to give my unsolicited advice to my friends. You can be an active listener and be supportive without giving advice. One of my friends always makes a joke and says “I literally have to ask you for your opinion or you will be on mute.” Listen I’ve been through a couple of friendship break ups and I don’t have the emotional capacity anymore to break up with nobody’s daughter!
I dont know when this started but recently I noticed my friends and I will call each other and say “What are you doing because I just need to vent.” Pay attention to these words because that’s an indication of saying Im not asking for advice, just listen. The key is to really listen to what they need in the moment. You will also know when they need advice too. My sister will say “Now listen to this story and tell me if I’m wrong.” Thats is clear that she wants advice. Sometimes it’s not clear and I have to say are you asking for my opinion?
One thing we need to be ok with, is not knowing. I try not to make up an opinion if I dont have one. My favorite line is girl dont ask me because I dont know. Especially about these men and relationships. Girl dont ask me because I dont know. Just the blind trying to lead the blind. Trying these techniques are not easy. Its hard because we are protective over our friends but my friendships mean a lot to me and I like to keep it that way.
I met up with a friend who came into town. I literally haven’t seen him in years. I knew he would come to my city sometimes, but we would never link up. One day we were finally able to get together after years of not hanging out. It was really like we never missed a beat. We could talk for hours if we had the time.
After we were heading out for the night, I told him to let me know any time he’s around so we could hang out. He said something to me that made me have an epiphany. He said oh I don’t know you in this light to always hang out. He said I only know you inside of a relationship where you go to work, grind and go home. Yup he’s right.
Women always talk about losing themselves in a relationship. This is how that happens. I wasn’t going out as much as I do now. I also didn’t have as many local friends as well. But I became used to a routine. I was still trying to find my niche. I worked really hard to get here.
One of my girlfriends is in the same space now. But she’s doing it right. She was able to recognize that she desired a life outside of her relationship. She communicated this to her partner and is actively working to hang out more and do the things she enjoys outside of him. The knowledge we gain as we nature is so amazing. Cheers to doing more of what we desire in 2022!
My emotions are hot off the press! For my Insecure fans, how are your emotions holding up after episode 9? My friend group is pretty much split between #TeamNathan and #TeamLawrence. I dont have to recap the episode because you know what happened. One of my friends said shes #TeamNathan because there is too much baggage that comes with going back to Lawrence. True and I dont disagree. I made a point to another friend that Issa cheated on Lawrence but she rebutted and said that shouldn’t be a death sentence. I also agree with that as well. Now my other friend and I are in favor of her choosing Lawrence. Here’s why, to us, Issa doesn’t fully seem care free and happy with Nathan. He seems like second string. Could be the “safe” option. When Lawrence asked Issa was she happy, thats what stood out to me.
Contrarily, many women feel like Lawrence is too little too late. They feel like he had a year to win Issa back after the baby was born. He also didnt think about fighting for Issa until Chad said something. True. But I ask all the time, do men tell their friends to go fight for a relationship when they have a good woman? This is an example of that. I hear people say all the time, if you want it, fight for it. This brings me to my final point.
I asked my guy friend why dont men fight for relationships. He literally said to me because women want men to fight for the relationship how they see fit. He said the fight a man puts in is never good enough. He added that women want men to show up with flowers, bags and gifts to fight. Some men will do that but in my experience, most will not. But what about putting his pride to the side and verbally telling her I’m not happy when I’m not with you (in front of everyone I might add). He said men are full of pride so for a man to put his pride to the side takes a lot. I think he made an interesting point. Tell me what you think?
Why are relationships so hard these days? Lets talk about it. I listen to Krew Season podcast a lot. Its about four well rounded men who give their perspectives on the culture, dating and relationships. It seems like dating has become extremely difficult on both sides of the aisle. Its difficult for men and women who all have valid points. My friend was expressing her frustrations the other day and said “dang I just want to find my person and just build with them. They dont have to have everything, but lets build together”.
That brings me back to the original question of why is it so hard to date these days? Someone asked this on the Krew Season podcast. One of the men made a good point. Its a tad easier to date and trust someone when youre younger and you both dont have anything. Maybe youre in college, you both are broke. No one has bigger status than the other and youre on equal playing field. These days everyone has status and has been able to build a pretty comfortable lifestyle for themselves independently. Rightfully so.
But when you date someone who has accomplished so much on their own, it makes it difficult to stick in the mud and build together. Build what exactly? Most people are in their 30s, make enough money and have a comfortable lifestyle. I have friends who own businesses, have doctorate degrees, are in upper management and own real estate. It’s difficult to find where you fit in to someone’s life when you can clearly see that they dont need you for a darn thing. How do you build a solid foundation?
I can only speak from my experience but it was much more simple when we didnt have as much. Now if you meet someone and you both own your house, the argument is who will move? The person who makes the least? The person who doesnt have children? Who makes the sacrifice? Who takes the risk?
The guy who shared his opinion on the podcast suggested that if you can find your person early in life, thats the best option. For the rest of us, there isnt any hope LOL.
Should you be friends with your ex? Hmm let’s talk about it. I think it depends on you as a person and the ex as a person. Outside of a relationship, Im good at being friends with my significant other first. Shockingly, I am literally friends with all of my exes. Even the ones that we have had bad break ups, we still communicate today. Back in my immature days, I may have messed up an ex clothes. He told me to never contact him again. Well he lied and still calls me 🤣🤣. The married ones, the ones currently in a relationship, the singles ones, they all call.
When I start dating someone, I am very upfront about my friendships with my exes. In return, I make sure to keep them up to speed when I am dating someone. They adjust to the rules and boundaries. Listen, dont call me after a certain time and we stay away from certain topics. They give me advice about dating and I provide my perspective to them. It just works. They all served a purpose in my life and were there at pivotal points. Im not ending a relationship that was important to me for a new one. When my mom passed away, they showed up. When I started this blog, they supported me. They like, comment, and give their opinion. Oh and give me ideas to blog about when we argue.
One time, I tried to cut off a friend for a relationship because he felt uncomfortable. That friend was there for me when my best friend died in college and when my aunt died. But my current boyfriend at the time felt uncomfortable. So I distanced myself from the friend. Clearly the guy and I ended up breaking up. I felt like a fool for cutting my friend off. Lesson learned, I will never do that again.
Generalizations makes my skin itch. Everything is not always “all or nothing”. People are complex. I know the dating scene is less than stellar right now but sheesh. This is where I mostly see this saying “if they wanted to, they would.” Well, hold on a minute. Are there instances where people don’t show up like you expect them to? Sure. But life is hard to manage sometimes and that is also true.
Story time. My best friend went on deployment for 6 months. I literally felt like she was moving away and leaving me for good. Anyway, she loves cheez its. So I had this grand plan that I was going to ship her a care package. It was going to be an “everything orange” theme. I was thinking of all this stuff I was going to buy to put in the box. I even went to a womens seminar and got an extra copy of the audio to send to her. I legit missed her. Chillleee let me tell you, I never sent her a darn thing. Home girl was gone for six months and I didnt sent not one care package. The next time I looked up, she was already back home!! Trust me, I wanted to and I didnt. I am grateful she didnt hold a grudge towards me because I really felt like I dropped the ball as her best friend.
One thing we have to constantly remind ourselves is that everyone is trying to figure things out just like we are. Dont just conclude that If they wanted to, they would. Have an open dialogue. Express your concerns maturely. I have to constantly remind myself that people need grace. This is not an excuse to let people take advantage of you but to release you from holding a grudge. They didnt. Thats it. And thats ok too. My new mantra is leave space for people to be human. Let me know what you think.