Tag: Single

The Difference Between Being In A Relationship & Being In A Partnership

Relationships are complex. They can be anything from the thing your fifth-grade sister has in between classes with the boy at the next locker over and the intense sexual experience you’re having with the guy you met on Tinder.

These days, everyone’s in a relationship. Your best friend is probably in a “relationship” with a guy who’s in another four.

Anyone can have a relationship. Anyone can own a number, have a few experiences and call it a romance. Anyone can meet someone new, test the waters and introduce someone to his or her parents. Anyone can be dependent on someone.

Not everyone, however, can be part of something completely and utterly dependent of itself. Not everyone can find something more stable than the people inside it. Not everyone can have a partnership.

I like to look at relationships as the building blocks to partnerships. Relationships are those meaningful experiences you have with people that either die out or turn into something greater.

Those beautiful, romantic, futile emotional attachments can either dissipate into thin air, collapse with great intensity or mold into something more important, more evolved and more purposeful.

If Kim Kardashian can have a relationship in 72 days, she clearly never understood what it meant to have a partnership — and if you’re going to get married before your relationship has evolved into a partnership, then obviously, you’re doomed.

That’s usually the problem with rushed relationships. People like to think that just because they know someone and love someone that their relationship can last the way a true partnership will.

Partnerships, however, are a different league. They are for couples who have waded their way through all the bullsh*t and landed on something stronger than just a relationship. They are two people trying to make something together — never just two people who don’t know how to be alone.

Relationships are clouded; partnerships are clear cut

The instability of relationships comes from the opaqueness of feelings. Half the time and energy expelled in a relationship revolves around trying to figure out how the other person feels.

Partnerships aren’t about feelings. The feelings have already been established and solidified. Partnerships are about taking those feelings and proving them every day. If relationships are about finding the feelings, partnerships are about proving how very real they are.


Relationships are volatile; partnerships are stable

Relationships always look simple on the outside but are usually twisted and unstable on the inside. Relationships collapse because, like crème brûlée, if you don’t have the patience and experience, there’s just no holding it together.

Partnerships take time, practice and complete trust. They are rarely formed because most people don’t want to take the time to get there. Most couples give up on the idea of crème brûlée before they even attempt it.

Ever wonder why there are so many cookies and cupcakes out there?


Relationships are about emotion; partnerships are about emotional integrity

Those chemical feelings you get when you’re with someone are most often confused for love. Those intense yearnings, butterflies and drunk confessions are always reminisced fondly as true romance.

But it’s not a partnership until those feelings turn into uglier ones that you have to admit are as real and true as those ones you like to think of as love.

A partnership is not just about honesty between two people but a new honesty with yourself.

Emotional integrity can only come when you have complete faith in yourself along with the inability to be destroyed by the other person’s thoughts about you.

You are two stable, confident and caring people looking out for one another, but never dependent.


Relationships are about seeking pleasure; partnerships are about seeking purpose

Relationships are all about pleasure. Pleasure in hopes of escaping pain — pain of loneliness, pain of rejection, pain of inadequacy. Like most choices we make seeking pleasure, the pain in return is always much worse.

Partnerships are no longer about the pleasure. There’s no hunger for sex, attention or affirmation. There are no more extreme highs replaced by crashing lows.

The anxiety, butterflies and nerves that were once used to keep the relationship going are now replaced with a stability that keeps it on track.


Relationships are about right now; partnerships are about what’s right for you

Everyone wants to be in a relationship, but not everyone can handle a partnership. Relationships are for the moment, for the fleeting and for those days, months and years you really needed someone.

You can be as unstable and as unclear as the relationship you’re in. You can be in a relationship with someone completely wrong for you, entering in what is known as a “destructive relationship.”

Partnerships can never be destructive, however, because in order to be in a partnership, you’ve cast all those destructive tendencies in for not just a stronger relationship, but a stronger person.

And that person is always you first.

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*Originally published on Elite Daily.

If I’m Such A Great Woman, Why Haven’t I Met Anyone Else Great?

Wow. Where do I start? I’m 42, and have never been married, and I guess that I have been dating idiots, or men who are not even dating material for the last 10 years. People always ask me why I am still single, I get all the popular comments, like “Oh, that’s a shame, still single at your age”. It’s ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with me, I’m athletic, been told I am attractive, outgoing, and I enjoy sports, and all sorts of out door activities, and have a great circle of friends, so why after all this time have I not met anyone? My last serious relationship was back in college! I’ve dated on and off for a few months to a year, only to have things crash and burn for one reason or another. What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried the online dating, only to become seriously jaded by it all. I do have an open mind, and have even considered meeting and dating guys I normally would not. But nothing ever comes from it. Do I give up? I’m tired of friends telling me that when I least expect it, I will meet someone great, well, I have not been expecting it, and it never came. What now? :(

Lauren

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Dear Lauren,

I’m reminded of a story that Rich Gosse, the founder of AmericanSingles, once shared with me. It was an amazing response to how he dealt with skeptical press inquiries about his new business model.

“What kind of loser (I’m paraphrasing here) would go to an online dating site to meet someone?” the press would ask.

To which Rich would reply: ‘Well, there are a number of people out there who are socially awkward. There are a number of people who are somewhat weak and needy. There are a number of people who are so desperate for companionship that they’d do anything to avoid being alone. I call these people ‘married people’.”

I thought that was a brilliant answer. After all, there’s no special skill for getting married. Buy a ring, take a vow, and you’re married. It’s why I’ve never once worried about my qualifications to give dating advice. I don’t suddenly get smarter if I propose to my girlfriend. And if she dumped me, I wouldn’t suddenly get dumber.

All of this is me saying that there’s nothing wrong with being single. … Despite the title of my second book, Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised To Get Mad, being single is a fine state of affairs. I’ve been that way for 35 years and frankly, I’m a little anxious about getting married.

That said, most single people (including myself) DO want to get married. Which is why questions like Why You’re Still Single and “Why He Isn’t That Into Me” are supremely relevant. And since the age-old answers like “I’m picky,” “I just haven’t met the right guy,” and “Men suck” aren’t leading us to a desired conclusion, everything I write is designed to create a greater level of self-awareness in how we are complicit in our own fates.

Shining the light on myself, I’ve definitely been too picky at times. I’ve been difficult and argumentative at other times. I’ve been in dire financial and career straits at other times. Not surprisingly, now that my career as a dating coach is in order and my head is on straight, I’m more open to giving and receiving love.

So what’s your blind spot? I couldn’t tell you, but I know there’s something there that you’re not seeing. Read this post from a few months back and you’ll hear yourself, Lauren. It’s from another amazing 42-year-old woman, who can’t fathom why she hasn’t put it all together. You seem to be more self-aware, in that you’re claiming to have an open mind about dating. So that’s a start.

But I think the greatest thing keeping single people single is that they don’t truly make an effort to change things. They say they do, but they don’t really DO anything about pursuing love.

Think about dating as a job hunt. This is the core metaphor driving my first book, and a guiding principle of my friend Rachel Greenwald’s book as well. When we’re unemployed, we do everything in our power to find work. Yet when we’re single, we sort of hope things will work out. You said it yourself. “It’ll happen when I least expect it.” No! It’ll happen when you create it. So what are you doing to create it?

Are you telling your friends to set you up with single eligible guys?

Are you going to singles events – parties, trips, cruises – or at least doing activities that have single men in attendance?

Are you taking online dating as seriously as you could be?

Have you gotten a new photo?

Have you a one-of-a-kind essay?

Have you signed up for a six-month subscription on a big dating site?

Have you been searching for and initiating contact with men?

Have you been giving men second chances on dates?

Have you considered hiring a matchmaker or a http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/?

If you’re not doing all of these things, you’re not doing enough. Yes, it’s great when the universe provides a cute, attractive, successful, intuitive, funny, kind, emotionally available man at your doorstep. But since this hasn’t happened in 42 years, what makes you think it’s gonna start now?

Listen, I don’t know you from Adam, which is why any advice I can give you is a bit scattershot. But I can tell you this:

Happiness studies have shown that happy people are the ones whose goals and actions are aligned. So if a guy is a people person, but works as a security guard by himself for eight hours a night, it should come as no surprise that he’s not all that happy.

So ask yourself: are your goals and your actions aligned?

Your goal: You want to be married.

Your actions thus far: ???

If love is truly more important than anything else in the world, maybe you should start living your life like it. Take action and change can happen. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of magical thinking.

Dating

*Originally published on Evan Marc Katz.

When Does Being Single Become My Issue Instead Of Everyone Else’s?

I was talking to a friend earlier today about how I don’t think most people are willing to change until they meet someone worth changing for and not a moment before. He tried to convince me that women need to “fix” themselves first if they wanted to attract the right man. Specifically, I needed to fix the things that aren’t right with me or at the very least the things about me that haven’t worked in the past before starting a new relationship. The problem I have with his argument is that if I haven’t met anyone I want to be in a relationship with, why on earth would I want to change now?

Of course, the argument could be that I might not meet a man I want to date until after I “fix” myself. But unless I was a pathological liar, highly unattractive or just plain crazy, I don’t think that “fixing” myself will help me find a good man any faster. I look at everyone I know who is married & they all have plenty of flaws! They just found people that could deal with them all. It seems to me that having flaws shouldn’t prevent anyone from finding a good mate; after all, how many people in this world are perfect?!

I have no problem bettering myself. I have no problem acknowledging my flaws & working on them. I don’t even have a problem listening to others tell me about my flaws (I may not believe them, but I’ll at least listen). The problem I have is making a bunch of changes that aren’t necessary. Would you throw away a completely delicious meal just because it wasn’t perfect? Or would you allow someone to taste it first, see if they like it & then make improvements only IF they didn’t like it? Well, that’s how I feel about relationships. Why correct anything until you know it needs to be corrected?

I know I’m not perfect – I don’t have a lot of patience, I’m not the best housekeeper & I like my alone-time a little too much to be in a relationship sometimes – but these are the types of things that I don’t  necessarily think should be changed. A lot of people struggle with not having patience. Not saying I shouldn’t work on it but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I’m not a good housekeeper, but so what? Isn’t that what maids & housekeepers are for? Surely, a man wouldn’t get rid of a good woman just because she leaves a few clothes & shoes lying around the house. And yes, I like my alone time but that just means I’m not clingy, which I thought most men don’t like anyway. My point is this – why should anyone “fix” themselves when what they’re already doing may work for the right person that just hasn’t come along yet?

My friend argued that as long as I wasn’t working to fix myself then being single will continue to be my problem and no one else’s. I can’t blame being single on not finding a good man because when I meet him I wouldn’t be ready anyway. I can’t blame my ex’s for things not working out because I didn’t do what it took to make myself a better girlfriend. After all, men want what’s already fixed not what’s already broken.

I’m not saying I should never strive to be a better woman, but what should that motivation be? A man shouldn’t be the reason for me to change who I am, so if I am comfortable in my own skin then why change? My future husband may be perfectly fine with me not cleaning so why bother changing that about myself? He may not care how tidy our house is and would much rather pay a housekeeper than to have me stressed out over cleaning up all the time. Because I don’t know what my future husband will & won’t like about me, I prefer to stay as I am.

So, is my friend right? Should I “fix” myself first & then concentrate on finding ‘Mr. Right’?

Or do you agree with me? Should I stay just the way I am and not worry about changing myself until I meet a man worth changing for?

Please share your comments below –

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What Makes Someone RIGHT or WRONG For You?

There’s nothing more disheartening than thinking you’ve met “the one” … your Mr. Right or Mrs. Right and they end up being all wrong.  So were they always all wrong or did you ruin them … perhaps you were looking at them through rose colored glasses.  This is something I kept wondering about until I read this great article called Looking for Mr. Right when all you see in Mr. Wrong.  Talk about an aha moment!!  It’s like they wrote it for me and my current challenges.  We’re all looking for that special someone, perhaps some of you have found them … perhaps you THOUGHT you found them and you really didn’t.  So, then, how do you know?

Calling Mr. Right or Mrs. Right!!  Hellooo anyone home?

What makes them so right or so wrong? Well … here’s some things that stood out for me from the article …

  • RIGHT: comes complete, no assembly required and just fits, don’t need to mold or maneuver to fit them into the box
    WRONG: they are a “work in progress” and you’re always trying to mold them into the person you want
  • RIGHT: they are on the same page as you
    WRONG: “can’t even read the book”
  • RIGHT: knows who they are and what they want in the relationship
    WRONG: does not know what they want and self sabotages
  • RIGHT: consistent
    WRONG: inconsistent, changing feelings “as often as their underpants”
  • RIGHT: puts their romantic partner first making them important part of their life
    WRONG: puts themselves first and is always busy, too busy for you
  • RIGHT: works on the relationship, attempts to make things work
    WRONG: comes with lots of baggage, creates excuses because of past relationships
  • RIGHT: won’t let exes interfere with current relationship
    WRONG: still hung up on ex and will let them interfere
  • RIGHT: **single**
    WRONG: NOT single … even if they’re “going to break up”, they’re still not single
  • RIGHT: treats partner with respect, spends quality time with them, makes plans to do activities together
    WRONG: just wants to “hang out”, usually last minute, typically not in public, wants sex or booty call
  • RIGHT: looking for a relationship
    WRONG: looking for no strings sex
  • RIGHT: shows they care with words AND actions
    WRONG: sends mixed signals … all talk and no action
  • RIGHT: dependable
    WRONG: flake

Sound familiar … I have to say YES!! This is definitely the cause of my recent heartache … MR. WRONG!!!  Although I knew all this stuff, it makes it more real when you see it spelled out like that huh? Now perhaps not all of the above applies but if most of it does then you have to ask yourself if you’re wasting your time.  I sure was!

Best advice from the article?

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Always attracting Mr. or Mrs. Wrong?  I know how you feel …

Bad boys aint no good … Good boys aint no fun … Lord knows that I should … Run off with the right one … Me and Mr Wrong get along so good … Even though he breaks my heart so bad … We got a special thing going on.” (Mary J. Blige Mr. Wrong)

Damn!

Do you always end up with Mr. or Mrs. Wrong? Have you found your Mr. or Mrs. Right? Are you Mr. or Mrs. Wrong? Would love to hear from you in the comments!!

 

*This article was originally published on Single Dating Diva.

NFL For Women

In preparation for Super Bowl Sunday —

I am not the biggest sports fan, but one thing I learned from many of my single sister friends is that being a fan of professionals and college sports can bring lots of excitement and fulfillment to the single girl’s life… from tailgating, to cheering from the stands, to tuning in from a local sports bar, to attending watch parties… there are plenty of opportunities to have fun AND meet men! (But don’t become a fan just to meet men. Do it for yourself. You’ll be happier with yourself in the long run. Trust me.) Since football season is underway, why not jump right into the good times by hosting your own watch party. Like with the game, there are some key rules to follow when it comes to throwing a great gridiron gathering. I recruited the help of some experts… New York Jets fan Andrea Price and Atlanta Falcons fans Pamela Reid and Holly Reid… to assist you in scoring big on game day.

1. Talk the Talk
You want to know the game. Don’t worry, even though the new NFL season already kicked off, you still have time. For the beginner… get your hands on Holly Robinson Peete’s book “Get Your Own Damn Beer, I Am Watching The Game”. As the wife of a former NFL player, Robinson Peete gives great basic football info in a way ladies can relate to. You’ll be ready to get in on the conversation in no time and really enjoy the game. (For more tips on how to get into the game, keep reading!)

2. Size Does Matter
The ladies say in this situation, screen size is important. In other words, don’t even think about hosting if you don’t have a large flat screen. Price insists your tv should be no smaller than 49”. If you want instant cred, set up a second or third tv in another room.

3. Get Your Tech On
Once you get the proper tv, you have to take game watching to the next level. First, make sure you have a strong internet connection. This way all of your serious NFL fans can log on to their tablets or smartphones and keep up with their fantasy football action. Second, if you plan to make this an ongoing thing, make sure to subscribe to the NFL network or get the NFL package on Direct TV. Both will allow you to simultaneously watch multiple games. If you want to get gangsta with it, get the Redzone network. Redzone bounces to multiple games at once in real time, once a team reaches the red zone (20-30 yards to the goal).

4. Hot Wings and Tofu
Remember that more and more people are eating healthy. So be sure to include healthy options on your buffet table of game day grub. Based on your guests list, a few ‘good for you’ items will do. Don’t get carried away. Also don’t get to fancy with the finger food. You want to make sure guests can eat whatever you serve from a plate that is sitting in their laps, while their cheering on their team. Also, make sure you are done in the kitchen BEFORE the game begins. It is important at football parties that the host watch the game with the guests. Two other important rules to follow… whether you order in or cook, make sure you are aware of ingredients, just in case anyone has allergies AND don’t run out of food!

5. Beverages
You’ve provided everything else, why not have your guests provide the booze? Depending on what you want to serve, make suggestions. But also encourage them to bring what they like to drink. (BONUS: Chances are you’ll have some stock left over for you to keep for your next soiree.) Make sure you are stocked with bar staples on hand, such as red and white wine, champagne (no sense in pretending), vodka, rum, gin, as well as plenty of juice, soda and other mixers. If you want to roll Trump-like, then go ahead and buy all of the booze. (Check our Live Happy at Home section on how to stock your home bar for entertaining!)

6. Guest List
You want a good, fun crowd, but make sure you have enough seats that are IN VIEW of the tv. You want to make sure everyone can watch the game comfortably. Make sure your serious football fans have the best seats. Be sure to invite a mixture of men and women (more men than women if you like). Whatever you do, make sure there are plenty of core football fans in the room. It’s not a football party unless you have some couch quarter backs shouting out their opinions.

7. Uniforms
This is important. Do not dress like you are going to the club or trying to catch a man (stomach out, too much make up, too tight or too short anything). There will be plenty of commercials during the game objectifying women, so no need to do it to yourself. Give your female guests the same advice. The dress code should be casual, comfy. You can do that and look cute. You do want to put on a little make up and have a nice hair do, because pictures will be posted!

8. How Long?
If you’re smart, you’ll choose a good team match up for your event. If that game is early, you could be in for a long day. Many football fans love to watch various games throughout the day. That means your party could go well into the night. Plan your schedule accordingly and have plenty of food and beverages on hand.

9. Music
There should be none… especially after the game begins. Not even during commercials. Before the game, your early guest will probably want to watch pre game coverage. Save your music for after the game!

Now you’re ready to get your game day fun on! Once you’ve thrown your first party, the next one will be a breeze! Here are more tips on how to get into the game if you’re new to football:

•Pick a team.
Suggestions: For college football, pick a school you attended or wish you could have attended, or a school in your hometown or home state. For a professional team, pick the team in your home town/state or where you currently live. You can also pick a team based on personalities. Yes, teams have personalities. If you appreciate attributes like a high scoring offense and a tough and gritty defense, or something as simple as a hot quarter back… then there is a team out there for you.

*Listen Up
A great way to learn about the game is watch and listen to the play by play announcer. Also, on Sunday mornings, tune in the pre-game tv coverage. There is plenty and it’s not only informative, but also fun to watch!

Join a Fantasy Football League
Fantasy football forces you to learn players and pay attention to stats. This will give you a vested interest in most of the games on any given week.

Find a Sponsor
That is, find a friend that is a hard core fan, but doesn’t mind answering basic questions. Watch games together as often as you can and ask away!

Now get in there and enjoy yourself!!

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*This article was originally published on Single and Living Fab.

Holding Out For Something Better

Have you ever been told that you’re too picky and that’s why you’re single?  I have.  But I don’t think I am, I think I’m being selective.  I’ve found myself asking the question “To Settle or Not To Settle” every time I meet someone new.  I always choose not to settle.  Why? Well, that’s how I got into the wrong marriage and wrong relationships before.  I knew what I wanted and needed in a partner but I ignored it because I didn’t want to be alone.  Settling was the wrong decision for me and I’m not going to make that mistake again.

Is There Something Better?

There definitely is.  As hard as it is to imagine, especially if you’re single and having a hard time finding someone, there is something better out there.  There has to be.  Why settle for less?  It’s not worth it.  I truly believe that anyone can have just any significant other in their life if they are willing to forego their standards.  Is that really worth it? I’m not saying be picky, but each and every one of us has certain things that we won’t budge on and that’s OK.  There are also things that are “nice to have’s” that might be seen as superficial, like hair color or even baldness that perhaps we should overlook but, really, that’s up to you.

Finding the right someone is definitely much more difficult than finding just anyone.  These days it seems like it’s becoming even harder, or is it just me?  It seems that many who SAY they want a real relationship much prefer casual relationships rather than something real.  There are also those who are looking for the thunderbolt kind of love that they won’t settle for less.  Not sure who’s right or who’s wrong here, all I know is that I am holding out for something better than what’s I’ve gotten so far.  Although I love being single and enjoy dating tremendously, I really want to find a partner, but the RIGHT partner, not just any partner.

What Is Happiness Really?

I recently was listening to a TED Talk by Psychologist Barry Schwartz about the “Secret of Happiness” and what he said resonated with me.  He said that “the secret of happiness is low expectations” (huh!?), then after all the laughs he said that, really the secret to happiness is realistic and modest expectations.  I have to say I agree with him.  How many times do we invest too much, too fast into something we think we want and then dump a truck full of expectations on an unsuspecting potential partner only to scare them away?  I know I’ve done it, and, I know you’ve done it too.  He goes on to say that the reason we’re unhappy is because we have too many choices and we don’t know what to choose anymore because what if something better comes along.  All these choices allow us to do better, but, ultimately, make us feel worse because our expectations increase and this produces less satisfaction with the results we do get.  He says that “with so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all.”  I think this definitely rings true in the dating world.

Expectation is the Root of all Heartache ~William Shakespeare

The Cost of Holding Out For Something Better

I recently read this and found it profoundly true … I just had to share it with you as is …

“Men frequently refuse to commit to one relationship because they don’t want to limit their choices. Often they will be in the midst of spending time with and enjoying a particular woman, and don’t have any other opportunities to consider. Still, they are eager to remain uncommitted on the off chance that a better alternative will soon present itself. In an era when it’s not difficult to hookup with strangers, that better option may be only a weekend away. Of course, he won’t commit to that woman either, and on and on it goes.

Women fall into a variation of the same trap. We meet a guy, enjoy his company, want to like him. But we find we just can’t make it happen. He may have lots of good qualities, but he’s not the catch we dreamed of as we watched The Notebook again last weekend. We want an all-consuming, passionate love, but how many couples do you know like that? How many couples have been brought together by a powerful romantic destiny? In my own life, I don’t know any. I know many happy couples, but they’re not storybook relationships. They’re imperfect, messy, real and rewarding.”

So there you go.  Holding out isn’t always the best choice, but you need to decide for yourself if you are being reasonable and if giving that certain someone a chance is worth it for you.  Maybe it is.  Maybe they are the right someone but you just haven’t seen it yet.  It’s really your decision and yours alone.

Are you holding out for something better? How has that worked for you? Do you feel you’re being reasonable? Is the secret to happiness low expectations?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!!

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*This article was originally published on Single Dating Diva.

The Fun Of Cooking For One

If you love good food as much as I do, you probably love quality dishes whether you are eating out or eating in. But many of us single ladies don’t cook as often we could. For many, we are just too tired after working all day and we don’t have husband or kids that require us to cook. But before you grab some takeout or order that pizza, cooking for one can be easier than you think. Trust me ladies, there is nothing more liberating than eating restaurant quality food at home, in your pajamas. Add to that the satisfaction of preparing that meal with your own hands.

Sure there is the challenge of downsizing recipes and the dreaded clean up duty… but chef Joe Yonan, author of Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes For The Single Cook, has some easy tips that will make cooking for yourself easier than you ever imagined.
Tips for single cooks

New Take On Leftovers

Rather than making a large batch of, say, soup or chili and eating it for days on end, instead make the building blocks of dishes. That is, use your time on the weekends to make a big pot of beans or a pan of roasted vegetables, freeze them in individual-size portions and then draw from them to make a variety of quick weeknight dishes as you see fit. For example a big pan of roasted veggies can be a side dish one day, a sandwich ingredient the next and tossed in a salad the next.

Become A Freezer Queen

You will often have leftovers, so learning to freeze is a must. Freeze in ziptop bags and squeeze out the extra air by leaving a corner of the bag unsealed and then immersing all but that corner in water, which will push out the air, then finish sealing. Lay the bags flat in the freezer, and mark their contents and the date. The shallower the frozen product, the faster it will thaw.

Spice Spice, Baby

Spices are the key to most great meals. Buy spices in small quantities and buy them whole, not ground. Ground spices lose their potency more quickly than whole spices. Grind spices right before using, in an old coffee grinder set aside for just this purpose.

Green Thumb

There is nothing like fresh herbs for recipes. If possible, grow herbs in pots on windowsills or outdoors in season if you have space. Otherwise, to store sturdy herbs such as basil and parsley, cut their stems like you would fresh flowers, strip off lower leaves and store in small water glasses or jars on the countertop. Recut the stems and replace the water every day or two. For more delicate herbs, such as cilantro, oregano, thyme, and dill, wrap the herbs in barely dampened paper towels and store in open-ended or perforated plastic bags, such as newspaper delivery bags, and refrigerate

Farm It

Shop at farmers markets rather than grocery stores if you can, because the market will give you more opportunities to buy smaller quantities — usually as little as you want — rather than forcing you to purchase, say, an entire bunch of celery when you need just stalk. Ask the market vendors or grocery store produce managers to split up large packages; if they won’t do it, at least you’ll be registering the opinions of single folks, and perhaps eventually they’ll take notice. At the grocery store, look for smaller versions of your favorite items, such as shallots instead of onions, Brussels sprouts instead of cabbages, loose-leaf lettuce (especially if you can buy it by the quarter-pound) rather than whole heads. If you need an especially small quantity, look at the salad bar, where you might find, say, chopped red pepper or celery — but watch the price; you might be paying a premium for the convenience.

*This article was found on Single And Living Fab

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Joe Yonan’s book Eat Your Vegetable: Bold Recipes For The Single Cook on Amazon.
http://www.joeyonan.com/

Men With Kids Need Not Apply: Why I Prefer To Date Men Who Don’t Have Children

This topic has been addressed many times before online, in the news and everywhere else, I know. But I thought I would add my perspective to this ongoing conversation. There are many reasons why I don’t want to be with a man who has children (or even just 1), so I thought I’d share my perspective from a more logical approach. I’m gonna break it down for you –

  • More money coming out of my household: Most men aren’t making enough to support multiple households. Some are, but most aren’t. The more child support and daily expenses that come out of our (yes our, because it’s my money now too) household is less money for any children that we may have together. I would treat his child as my own, but it’s not really fair that I have to help finance someone else’s child (or children). Why should my hard earned money go towards college tuition for another woman’s child?
  • I only want what I have to offer – I don’t have any children, so I’m not asking for anything that I don’t have to offer myself. I’m not a millionaire so I don’t expect to marry one. I’m no Halle Berry, so I don’t expect my man to look like Idris Elba. I don’t have a Ph.D., so I don’t expect him to have one either. You get the picture. I understand that it gets harder to find a man over a certain age with no kids, but couldn’t the same thing be said for me? If I can “beat the statistics” (over the age of 30 and still childfree), then certainly there are men that have as well.
  • Discipline – I don’t want any kid in my house that I can’t discipline how I see fit. I don’t need my stepchild going back and telling their real mother that I spanked them, she comes after me & we end up getting into it. And I shouldn’t have to always rely on my husband to do all the disciplining. They may be his children, but it’s still my house. However, when you’re dealing with someone else’s kids it’s tougher to “lay hands” on them without it being an issue.
  • Logistics: I think it’s too much trouble having to plan & coordinate holidays, weekends, etc with a whole other family. Not to mention it may limit my career mobility (unless my husband retires me!), in the event that I need to move, etc. I would feel like I’m competing for his time/attention for special occasions. Not only do I have to coordinate with the mother of his children, I will also have to coordinate with another set of grandparents. What if I have a big corporate event or throw my mother a big surprise birthday party that I need him to attend with me but his kid has a big championship game the same night? The kid will probably win every time. It may not seem like such a big deal but I can only imagine how all of those missed events will add up. No one wants to feel like they are second best, especially not to a child
  • Not equally yoked – Even though I would be the wife, I wouldn’t have an equal say in raising his child. Most decisions would be made between the real mother & the real father with some consideration to how I feel, but how can I love someone as my own but still not have equal say in what happens in their life or how they are raised?  Also as the wife, I don’t want to hear the words “But she’s my sons mother” because to me that means a compromise will have to be made on my end the majority of the time. No bueno 😦
  • I want to be his first – I want be the 1st woman to bear his children. The 2nd or 3rd time around is never quite the same. I’m sure being with the right woman makes all the difference in raising children, so in a way it would be his “first time”, but that’s still not the same thing.
  • Baby mama jealousy – Let’s face it, no matter how good the relationship is between my husband & his ex, there is always a possibility that she may get jealous after she sees that he’s moved on. Jealousy is a completely normal emotion to feel when it comes to having another woman in your children’s life.
  • I don’t want to be judged – I don’t want my parenting skills to be called into question. I may not be the best stepmother, but my learning curve would be a lot steeper. As the father, he’s been there since the beginning of his children’s lives & has had more of an opportunity to figure the whole parenting thing out.
  • Please hold the guilt trip – Even though it wouldn’t be my fault that my husband & his ex weren’t able to make their relationship work, I would still feel somewhat guilty that his children wouldn’t be able to be with him 100% of the time. Any children we would have together would, by default, spend more time with their father under the same roof. I would feel a little bad that the children from his previous relationship get caught in the middle. Although they wouldn’t be treated as outsiders or like “evil stepchildren”, this could still potentially cause tension between them & my own children. At the end of the day, I don’t have a problem with the actual child(ren) it’s just the circumstances surrounding it all.

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Are Men Pickier Than Women?: “The List” – Part 1

The other night I went to a relationship forum and there was a lot of talk about “The List”. The question came up as to whether or not women keep a list of the qualities & characteristics they want in a man and the response was a resounding “Yes!” When the men were asked if they had a list the answer was still yes but the men admitted to having a much shorter list than most women do. So what’s on these lists? And are these “lists” truly necessary? Well, since I can’t speak from a guy’s perspective, I’ll give you my opinion & tell you a little bit about my list.

Yes, I do have a “list”. I have a written list of things that I want in a man and although some of those qualities evolve over time, the majority of things I’m looking for haven’t changed. The last time I checked my list had about 20 qualities, which a lot of people may think are too many. (I tend to think that it’s not enough, but that’s another post) When men hear that I am looking for 20 qualities they laugh at me & often say “So, that’s why you’re still single”. Well, I am to here to write that I don’t care what people think or if they laugh because I think my list is valid and don’t plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. So what’s on my list you might be wondering? I won’t share everything because that would be too long but here are a few of the qualities that I want in a man –

  • God-fearing: This is priority #1. I need a man who loves & serves the Lord. Notice I said love AND serve. Not a guy that just says, “I believe in God” or “Yeah, I go to church”. I know a lot of men don’t actively wear their Christianity on their sleeve but if I can’t see the God in you then I can’t see me with you
  • Ambitious: Life is too short to stay happy where you are. If you can do more, you should. I’m preaching to myself on this one, but I believe anyone who is not working to their potential needs to get off their behind & make it happen! I have too much life left to be with someone who is complacent where they are
  • Attractive: I’ve written about this before. Everyone can agree that attractiveness is very important in a relationship and I’ve always thought this was something that I would have to compromise on. As a woman, you always hear that a man can become attractive to you over time or if he has a great personality he will start to look better. I have resolved that I don’t want to be with someone that I’m not attracted to, so this quality will stay on my list.
  • Romantic: Life is tough, so a little romance with my husband would be nice. I’m not expecting to be romanced every week but a guy who knows how to light a candle and owns a wine rabbit will go a long way with me. J
  • No children: This is something that I will write about in a future post, but I am definitely not interested in being a stepmother at this point in my life.
  • Personality: Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m pretty outgoing. I can’t be with someone who can’t hold their own in terms of conversation. I need intellectual stimulation (that is such a sexy term, isn’t it?!) and someone I can have fun with. So if a guy is boring or can’t keep me interested then he’s not the one for me.

As you can see this is only a glimpse of my “list”. I get much more detailed as the list goes on.

So, do men keep a list? And if so, how many things are on it? I’m talking about beyond the basics – attraction, smart, loyal, etc. – what else is on a man’s list?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

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Single Black Woman: Not Desperate But Definitely Picky

This past weekend I attended a party where I saw a lot of my old classmates from grade school. It was a good catching up with them since I hadn’t seen most of them since Kindergarten, which for me was over two decades ago. And even though we were all the same age most of my old classmates were married or had children or both, which led them to ask me why I was still unmarried with no children. I gave them the response that I always give: “I just haven’t found Mr. Right yet.” One of my more outspoken classmates (who is married with 2 kids of his own) looked me up & down and quickly told me that my problem was probably that I was “too picky for my own good”. But how can anyone be too picky when it comes to marriage?

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?

The conversation with my classmate got me to thinking – am I too picky? Maybe I just don’t recognize it. Could I be unwilling to see that the things I desire in a husband are not reasonable after all? Maybe I need to re-evaluate my needs & just stick with the things that are deal breakers. Should I reconsider what’s important to me & pursue a relationship with someone who is a good man even though they don’t have everything that I want or need in a relationship? Older women always advise me to focus on the important qualities in a man like good character, honesty, open communication, trust & whether or not he’ll be a good father to our children but I want to know when does attraction and chemistry come into play? When do romance and a sense of humor come into play? I know that those qualities aren’t what keep a marriage together but they do account for a lot in a relationship, especially during the rough times. If I have to deal with someone that I’m not attracted to (intellectually, spiritually or emotionally) then it makes dealing with that person a lot more difficult. Don’t get me wrong – integrity, trust and good character are all great things to have but if there’s no attraction then what good does it do?

THE LIST

Yes, I have requirements of certain characteristics that I am looking for in a mate. Unfortunately, I have yet to find all of these characteristics in one man but that’s the real reason for me being single. A lot of us women were told to have a list of qualities that we would like in a mate and to be very specific with this list. I wrote my list out and ended up with about 20 qualities that I’d like in a husband. Some people have told me that this list is too long but I contend that while not all of these qualities are mandatory, they are what I truly desire in a mate and are all important to me. Of course, it is still up to me to exercise good judgment with which qualities are most important to me.

You’re probably wondering what’s on my list. I won’t write out everything but some of the more important qualities include a Christian man who will be faithful, has a sense of humor, thoughtful and active in his community (or at least productive in society outside of work). I honestly don’t think that these things are too much to ask for. There are other qualities on my list such as physical features and the like, but those are mostly preferences (i.e. – complexion, height, build, etc). I was talking to an acquaintance one day (a recently married man in his 40’s) about my “list” and he told me that most of the things I’m looking for are realistic, but there were a few qualities that he deemed unrealistic. He reasoned that in this day in age, and with the age range of men I’m interested in (ages 35-45) it would be very difficult for me to find exactly what I want so I should remove certain qualities from my list. I didn’t want to get into it with him but I took what he said with a grain of salt (basically ignored him completely). The things that I want in a husband may seem unreasonable to someone else but to me they are not. Besides, how can someone else tell me what’s important to me?

A lot of my male friends tell me to get rid of my list, but the funny thing is that they all have their own list. Sure, it may not be written out like mine but it’s all in their head. Every man knows exactly what he wants in a woman and won’t settle until he gets what he’s looking for (which is part of the reason why men stay single for so long). No one ever complains that a man is being picky so why I should be concerned with that label?

IF I’M SO PICKY I MUST HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO OFFER

I always hear that men are allowed to be picky because they have more options. Since women are starting to make more money & become more accomplished than their male counterparts there are fewer successful men to choose from. Therefore women can’t afford to be as picky as men. Although there is some truth to that, I don’t believe that I need to have a shorter list just to get a husband. Everything that I want in a man I have to offer. I want a man who is a Christian, I am a Christian. I want a man with an education, I have a college degree. And the list goes on & on. I am not a millionaire; therefore I wouldn’t expect to be with a millionaire (although it would be nice, Lol!). My point is this: I would never ask for something that I don’t have to offer myself.

AM I MISSING OUT?

Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on my future husband because I’m holding on to a list that may or may not be realistic. I also wonder if my list should be shortened or maybe even retired.  Maybe I am too picky for my own good. But I am content to remain single until most of the items on my list can be checked off.

Besides, with so many divorces in this country people just don’t seem to be picky enough.

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