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The Last Letter from the Editor: And It All Leads Up to This…


IMG950508To My Beautiful, Glorious, Courageous, and Intuitive Readers:

You read the title correctly. This will be my last letter directly to you on this blog :(…I know some of you are thinking it’s been months since I wrote a real post anyways and now I’m writing to tell you I’m almost done writing. Tis true. And that’s partly because of the summer. Something about the summer makes it difficult for me to buckle down and write. But the other part of me was debating whether I would continue this blog at all. Or pass it along to someone else. Just when it was starting to get good, just when I was starting to see so much growth and improvement, just when I started to take this blogging thing more seriously–c’est la fin! Well, nearing the end. I think I’ve got about two more solid posts in me. But I guess that’s life. And I’m not mad about it. Because all this debacle has been for a great reason. I promise!!! You ready for this? Are you sitting down?

Last month, Mr. Right-For-Now proposed to me under a glorious sunset by the water. I said yes! I’ll never forget it was on the same day of the George Zimmerman verdict–simultaneously the most beautiful and ugliest day I’ve experienced to date. We were at a bar celebrating when we found out the news. Fortunately, it takes more than one asshole running free for murder to put a stop to life, to put a stop to PROGRESSION. So we are planning an elegant broom jumping ceremony in my favorite season–Fall of 2014. Which makes me his future Mrs. Right Forever. And as I’m fully enthralled in this new phase of Love–engagement–it seems the old persona is gone. The woman who started this blog 3 years ago in search of something real after finding so much rubbish has found solid gold. And I plan to cash in while I can!! Therefore, I must say farewell and THANK YOU to all the LOVELY people who made this incredible journey possible.  You laughed with me. You cussed him out with me. You made up with him with me. You grew with me. You bettered yourselves as I bettered myself. You challenged me. You encouraged me. For 3 years.

100MEDIA$IMAG0325Now I’m here in this wonderfully beautiful new place. I am fully present–watching and learning STILL as engagement brings new things to light. I remember asking one of my girlfriends if I should do something for Mr. Right-For-Now in return–as a gift or as some type of gratitude for the proposal. And she said ever-so-wisely to me “no. I think you’ve done enough!” And I just smiled to myself. Because I understood her so clearly. The man got down on one knee and told me he couldn’t think of anywhere else he’d rather be than with me for life. I had certainly done enough–at least for now. No more improvements. No more strategies. No more working night and day on being the best girlfriend/fiancée/future wife ever. For now, I’m just resting in my excitement for us! I’m resting in my contentment! And enjoying planning a wedding (AHHHHHH!). I thought about doing a new blog series for you guys on engagement–and maybe I will write a piece on it. But it’s such an intimate experience and much of this blog comes out of my willingness to fully disclose my shortcomings and championships as they happen. Now, I want to focus on living in each and every one of these moments with my future hubby–staying grounded, attentive, and in-tune with myself. This is the last year I have as a “single” woman and I’d like to have it to myself as selfish as that may sound. Hopefully, you understand where I’m coming from though. Because it feels good to say I have done enough.

Of course I still want to continue bettering myself and learning as much as I can about relationships. Someone once told me, “marriage is not the destination. It is a journey”, suggesting that many women get the ring and believe that is the ultimate validation. I do not want to imply that at all. I’m definitely not done progressing just because he proposed. But my mission has changed just a tad from when I started on here.

I believe that Black Love is the cure for many of our community’s afflictions. So I would Love to transition to a blog talking about Black marriage, Black families, and issues related to how my Black community can achieve more wholeness. I did that IMG950509 (1)here. Somewhat. However, the time has come, I think, for a stronger platform–especially in light of things like the lack of justice for Trayvon! So this is goodbye for now. It is the easiest goodbye I’ve ever said. Not because I don’t Love you. But because our time is nearly up.  When you know your time is up, you’ve got to make room for new things. And because I’ve given you guys so much of me–so much of us–that’s always here on these pages for you to access, it’s not really a goodbye at all. From first date to proposal, I leave you my Love legacy. So when you’re having a rough dating day and you just want to give up, remember me on your Black Love journeys. Remember that Black Love is better when it’s real. And it IS real. We are proof. Remember that good Black guys sometimes win. And they win big!! Remember that Black women can and DO marry and stay happily married–even in the midst of social networks, people living like they’re auditioning for reality TV shows, and booty calls that come way too easily. Remember that no labor of Love goes unrewarded. The universe is waiting to unfold all it’s greatness on you!

Stay tuned for my last few posts. Enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Then, keep me in your heart as you guys are always in mine. Learning to Love like this has been my greatest accomplishment to date. And I hope I’ve inspired some of you to pursue that same path. Because Love never fails!

Sincerely yours,

The blogger formerly known as “Ms. Not-Right-Now” hehe

P.S. For my truest of fans, keep a lookout for my rebirth because there will be one. Suddenly, I have a new found understanding of why we all had to suffer through Puff Daddy becoming Puffy and then P. Diddy and then just Diddy. As I recreate myself and my brand, I will have to change names. Don’t worry though. Me and this writing thing, we go way back. And we ain’t done yet!

 

‘When You Know, You Just Know’ & Other Love Lies


TianaNaveen

“I always imagined this magical moment where the world stops, jazz music plays in the background, and I lock eyes with a beautiful stranger whom, somehow, I’ve known my whole life”

I always imagined this magical moment where the world stops, jazz music plays in the background, and I lock  eyes with a beautiful stranger whom, somehow, I’ve known my whole life. Neither of us needs to exchange any real words. We already mutually understand–instinctively of course–that this is the last relationship we will ever have. He asks for my number and 3 months later we’re married with 2.5 kids. There aren’t any arguments on marriage timelines or how we want to raise our kids. There aren’t any doubts and questionable habits that make you wonder if God seriously intends for a person to mate with just one other human being for life. And there certainly aren’t any intermediary break-ups where both people questioned their rightness for one another. Because, as they say, “when you know, you just know”.

But the day I met Mr. Right-For-Now looked absolutely nothing like what “they say”.

Princess-And-The-Frog-movie-705124 So I kept waiting for the magic “aha” moment when I would suddenly “just know”. It didn’t happen when he first professed his Love for me in a poem.It didn’t happen when I found myself crying gleefully in the shower, overwhelmed by my Love for him. It didn’t happen when he began to break down his emotional barriers just to be with me. It didn’t happen when I chose to put more trust and faith in him than I’ve put in anyone besides myself. It’s been exactly 2 years, 9 months, and 12 hours. And that moment has NEVER happened. I’ve never been completely-absolutely-without-a- shadow-of-a-doubt certain that Mr. Right-For-Now is the only soul on earth for me. So naturally, I began to think my uncertainty means he’s not the one. You know, like that awkward moment when you kiss the frog expecting a prince and he turns into a frog too?  I never got to the fairy-tale “when you know, you just know” moment like they said I would.

Then. Everything changed.

Recently, I had lunch with a married mentor of mine and he gave me the most practical bit of insider information. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, certainty is simply an emotion. Therefore, it changes with the wind. When something happens that we’re happy about, we’re sure that a person is for us. When things don’t go the way we thought they would go, then we start to doubt. He assured me that I would never be completely certain because knowing is just a feeling. Today, I may feel like Mr. Right-For-Now is the best decision I ever made. Other days, I might feel like I made a mistake. And that’s normal. But none of it truly matters because marriage requires you to Love another person in spite of how you may feel on a day-to-day basis.

TianaI sat there, mouth agape staring into the distance. At first, I just sat there blankly. Then something snapped inside and I became ANGRY–bloodthirsty almost. Who the fuck came up with that bullshit “when you know, you just know” then, I wondered. I’d waited my whole romantic life for a certainty that would never come!!! I felt bamboozled like a little kid waiting up for Santa only to discover mommy and daddy putting toys under the tree, drinking the milk, and eating the goddamned cookies. I mean next you’ll be telling me a couple can’t really have 2.5 kids!!! This was BY FAR the biggest Love lie of them all since happily ever after. And suddenly I hated every Disney movie and romantic comedy I’d ever seen (except Crazy, Stupid, Love. Completely unhateable movie). Especially the ones where the girl or guy leaves their current girl or guy to be with some other girl or guy that they JUST KNEW they were supposed to be with instead (think Maid in Manhattan or The Princess and the Frog). LIES! LIES! LIES!

When the anger dissipated, I realized how blessed I was to come into this piece of wisdom. My mentor pointed out a most convenient Frogandfrogtiananaveentruth to me. That as humans, we’re too fickle to really know anything. Even our facts are debatable and up to interpretation. Life, by definition, is too unpredictable to know. Mike Tyson once stated, “everyone has a plan ’til they get hit”. And suddenly all of my uncertainty made sense. I only felt unsure whenever he and I faced an issue that seemed unlikely to yield my desired outcome. Him and I, we aren’t perfect. We go THROUGH things. Yet Hollywood likes to paint this picture that Love is easy with the right person (another LIE). So why all this pressure on two romantic partners to know without a doubt that they’re meant to be together?

I decided after that lunch to take the unrealistic pressure off my boo and I. We don’t have to know. But  if you cannot know for certain, then what’s left? You can believe! And I believe, and have believed for a long time, that I am made for Mr. Right-For-Now. He believes he’s made for me. And that’s enough. In the end, I did have one of those Disney moments where I learned I already had what I’d been waiting for all along. Faith in Love is enough.

THE END.

The Ultimate Ultimatum


Ultimatums can be an effective way to get what you want out of a relationship.

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy loves girl. Boy says “I’m not the marrying type.” Boy stays with girl for five years. Boy drops girl for some floozy and marries her six months later.

We’ve all heard the stories before, though the characters vary. Sometimes it’s boy meets boy, sometimes it’s girl meets girl–the point is when you’re dating monogamously, the issue of marriage arises. Or the lack of it arising becomes an issue, whichever boat floats atop your situation. And some of you are just looking for a solid commitment, you can’t even fathom marriage yet. Nevertheless, when the marriage/commitment conversation does rear its head it might be a fugly one! So how do you approach this very delicate issue without scaring the other person off? Let’s take a looksy.

The first step is to know what YOU want. And the second step is to make that clear. On our first date, (see the details of that date here) Mr. Right-For-Now looked me dead in the eye and said: “I’m not really looking for another girlfriend. I’m looking for a wife.” And I gulped, audibly–the task of finishing my shrimp alfredo interrupted by the weight of that thought. Because he was very much serious. Considering my relationship ineptitude, I was content with the thought of just seriously dating again. But he made it clear that wasn’t enough for him. So if I wanted him, I would have to rethink how deep I wanted to get because he planned to work towards something permanent. So that night I went home and thought about what he told me. And the way I saw it, I could go hard in this or go home. Regardless of what I decided, Mr. Right-For-Now had no intentions on compromising what he wanted for the likes of me. But I respected him for telling me because it allowed me to decide if I was willing to step up to the plate or not.

Obviously, some of you haven’t done this and didn’t do this from the beginning in your relationships. You settled for the “it’s complicated” on Facebook when you know you wanted “in a relationship with.” Not to fear. There is a remedy called an ultimatum. Yes, and do NOT be afraid of it.

Its never too late to have the commitment or marriage talk with your significant other.

What I’ve Read:

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, “it is a relationship myth that giving your guy [or your girl] an ultimatum will mess things up. As a matter of fact, it may be exactly what he needs.” (Read Should You Give Him an Ultimatum? here) If done tactfully–and please take note that the root word of tactfully is TACT–an ultimatum is a very effective tool. Cosmopolitan suggests bringing up your wants calmly but directly. Hints are ineffective. Then, you back off. Let the other person think about what you’ve posed and wait patiently for the answer. The party issuing the ultimatum must realize that you can’t make anyone do anything they do not want to do. If the other person isn’t ready or he or she doesn’t see you in future plans, don’t count on much changing.

What I’ve Done:

Quite frankly, I was tired. I didn’t know how many more ways I could tell him that we had a communication issue. And after the 300 millionth time saying the same thing, I had a feeling the results wouldn’t change much. This time, it had to sound a lot more urgent. I let him know that I had a serious need and if he continued to leave that need unmet, I would walk. And he finally listened. So I am very much in favor of ultimatums and have used them more than once in my relationship. I have also found that not only stating what you want but why you want it works even better. The key, however, to any ultimatum is follow through. If you tell him you will leave him if he won’t marry you, then you do actually have to leave at some point. Which also means that ultimatums should only come up in situations where it’s worth it to leave (and no, her obnoxious infatuation with Justin Bieber doesn’t make the cut).

You know what they say, “actions speak louder than words.” So if you really want her to commit, if you really want him to propose–act like it!


Commitment Issues? Me? But Women Don’t Have Those


A little over a month ago, I went on a rather impromptu first date with a guy I‘m currently seeing. And on the night of our rendezvous, I had an unseemly black eye. In most cases, I would have simply rescheduled after the swelling on my face looked less like a botched Botox job. But the guy and I conversed on the phone a few times and he’d given off really good vibes. I decided to take a chance and go anyway.

For fear of looking too much like a Chris Brown and Rihanna rematch, we opted for takeout at his apartment instead of venturing out in public. And neither the apartment setting nor the black eye seemed to put a damper on the getting-to-know-you conversation. In fact, the story surrounding the facial swelling prompted a humorous conversation about my most recent relationship history. Unfortunately, the last guy I dated instigated a drunken brawl between my sister and I (over an iPod he refused to return). Needless to say, my sister and I made up—but I don’t see much of a future with Mr. Get-me-punched-in-the-face.

In between bites of shrimp Alfredo, my new friend listened to me carefully, laughed when appropriate, and lent his honest criticism.

“I think you have commitment issues”, he’d said. Knowing me for about a week—maybe, he addressed me with an undeniable certainty that made me actually consider the thought. Sure, we exchanged a few evil ex stories but what exactly in my past pointed directly to commitment issues? Those guys had wronged me, not the other way around! Commitment issues? Me? But women don’t have those.

I always thought most women had their weddings planned out by age 4. But a little research showed pre-pre-nuptial cold feet is a common thing for the modern woman. According to Audrey Chapman, author of Seven Attitude Adjustments to Finding a Loving Man, women got a little more than we bargained for after the movement for equality (check out her Q&A talking about commitment on the Discovery Health website http://tiny.cc/4ym7m). Chapman claims that the new opportunities women have to excel career-wise have women avoiding marriage just as much as men. So along with other un-pleasantries like their ability to pick up the tab, today’s women have also inherited men’s commitment issues (Isn’t “liberation” great?). Chapman goes on to describe the four types of commitment-phobic women.

The “Pity Party-Goer”. She’s got a classic case of what Chapman deems the self-fulfilling prophecy of dating, choosing all the Mr. Wrongs just to reiterate a deep down belief that relationships will not work. And doing things this way, she always manages to prove herself right.

The “Boomerang”. She continually goes back to that one lousy boyfriend she’s had since elementary school. They break up and get back together more than cheap jewelry. But she stays with the loser just to avoid a real relationship.

The “Detective”. This woman is on a never-ending search for perfection, keeping her from committing to anything solid. Her dream man is the best at everything. Regrettably, however, Mr. Perfect is just that—a dream.

The “Picky Picker”. Unlike the rest of these women, she tends to end up with good men. But she picks at them like a picky eater picks at her food, finding fault where there is none.

If you feel anything like I felt after reading this, your jaw just dropped to the floor. Its okay, pick it up and own your phobia. Hi, my name is Passion and I am a “Pity Party-Goer”. All this time I thought Mr. Right evaded me when really, I must have leaped a little too willingly into the arms of Mr. Wrong. And although my misadventures make great stories, it seems these jerks have all been a subconscious effort to avoid real commitment. So what’s next on the quest to becoming someone’s Mrs. Right? Well I don’t know yet. But I do know I will be seeing a lot more of this new guy.

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