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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!



Safety vs. Passion & the “Would-You-Rather” Approach to Relationships

I have a friend. And for the sake of his privacy (or dignity), we’ll call him Steve. Steve sometimes likes to entertain himself with his never-ending stash of what I like to call “would-you-rathers”. A “would-you-rather” is a question that juxtaposes two equally undesirable scenarios and asks just that, would you rather? And these questions can range anywhere from the comical–“Would you rather have a husband that’s a good cook or good in bed?”–to the slightly more serious, in light of Montana Fishburne–“Would you rather have a daughter that’s a porn star or a son who’s always in and out of jail?“.And whether serious or funny, all his questions seem to indulge us in the most extreme of plots. But his most recent loaded question triggered this post.

Would you rather have a guy that treated you well but was boring as hell or a guy that treated you like shit but you had a lot of passion with?”

This isn’t something you haven’t heard before. Alas, Steve had simply revived the grandest battle in dating history: Mr. Nice Guy vs. Mr. Not-So-Nice. Even when Mr. Nice Guy holds the key to a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence while the only key Mr. Not-So-Nice holds opens room 226 at the Holiday Inn, it’s no secret that this battle usually ends in the treacherous demise of Mr. Nice Guy.

(Are you that nice guy? Check out “Why Nice Guys Finish Last With Women?”

This “would-you-rather” situation didn’t have the same hyperbolic character of the others. Recently in my dating life, I had actually made the choice between these two men. I was still seeing the guy from my last post who pretty much played the role of my Mr. Nice Guy. Smart. Funny. Cute. Ambitious. He seemed so–safe, the kind of man you could count on coming home to you every night without fail. I feared he might actually be a little too nice. On the other hand, I had the Mr. Not-So-Nice. And he had his own set of good qualities. Nevertheless, he dealt with me only when he deemed necessary. He would be here today and South of the border tomorrow. So if you’re wondering why I even considered this Mr. Not-So-Nice, admittedly, it boiled down to the way he made me feel. When he came around, my brain reduced to marshmallow fluff. I liked him–A LOT. And Mr. Nice Guy just didn’t have the same brain fluffing effect on me. But why?

The Drama Theory
Immediately I thought of the scene from the movie He’s Just Not that Into You* where Alex confesses to a clueless Gigi, “guys invented the ‘spark’ so that they could not call, and treat you kind of bad, and keep you guessing, and they convince you that that anxiety and that fear that they’re throwing at you is actually, just a ‘spark’ “. This sounded remarkably similar to my Mr. Not-So-Nice. Alex goes on to explain to Gigi that this method works because women are addicted to the drama of a relationship. And why wouldn’t we be? We’ve all overdosed on romantic comedies since leaving the womb. And somewhere between chick flick fixes, we made drama synonymous with passion. So now, we actually prefer drama. It consumes us. And we allow this because putting up with the drama dished out by Mr. Not-So-Nice distracts us from dealing with any relationship or emotional issues we might have (like commitment, for example!). It’s kind of like that friend that busies herself with everyone else’s problems so she never has to deal with her own. Somebody has to play the bad guy role. And if it’s always him, it can never be her.

My friend Steve’s “would-you-rather” extreme approach doesn’t work particularly well for dating. If I had to choose between only those two men, I’d have to find a new way to procreate. In essence,  a clingy, insecure Mr. Nice Guy will usually lose a woman to a more confident Mr. Not-So-Nice. But when you dig a little deeper, real people usually do not live on either end of an extreme. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. So there doesn’t always have to be a trade-off of safety for passion or vice-versa. The special person you’re looking for should come offering the best of both worlds. In the end, I chose my Mr. Nice Guy because I found out he has a lot more to offer than just being nice. He also makes me laugh and I thoroughly enjoy his company. And although he could be the safe choice in one sense of the word, I haven’t sacrificed any passion at all–just drama.

*This video entitled “10 Chick Flick clichés you will NOT see in He’s Just Not That Into You” is pretty funny, whether you’ve seen the movie or not!

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 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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