Tag: Spouse

You Have To Get Off Your Couch In Order To Meet Your Spouse

A lot of my friends are single but like me they spend a lot of time not going out. It seems like when you are in your 20’s it is fun to dress up for dates and stay out until the wee hours of the morning. But as you get older all that “going out” stuff gets old. It can be such a hassle to find a cute outfit, fix your hair, put on makeup, wobbling around in 4-inch heels only to end up alone at the bar.

So after a history of bad outings or horrible dates you just decide to stay at home. After a long work week it’s much easier to stay at home and rest up or take care of personal things like laundry, paying bills or hitting the gym. Going out seems like such a pain & more trouble than it’s worth. And when you stop going out, you stop wanting to go out.

For me, it’s gotten to the point that going out is something that I don’t really need to do every weekend. Or even every other weekend for that matter. In lieu of large crowds, expensive drinks & lame pickup lines my living room coach suddenly looks really appealing. And before I know it a whole month can pass by and I haven’t left my couch.

The question then becomes, how will you ever meet someone if you never leave your couch? It takes a lot to go out and sometimes leaving the house just doesn’t pay out. But unless I want to enjoy the rest of my weekends alone on my couch, I need to get out to meet someone.  Sometimes it really doesn’t matter where you go. You can meet a man at a bar, the club, the library, a skating rink or even at a pool hall. And not all of these places require dressing up. I’ve even hooked up with men from the gym (and you know I was not looking cute there!).

So ladies (and gentlemen), even when you don’t feel like it – get up, get dressed & get going!  Sitting on the coach is okay every now & then, but staying on the couch is not going to get you any closer to meeting your future mate.

 

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Is Chivalry Dead Or Just On Life Support? (Revisited)

I’ve addressed the issue of chivalry before (click here to read it). However, as I continue to date and have friends that date I think this issue will probably need to be addressed again from time to time. First, let’s be clear on the purpose of dating – dating is an important step in finding a spouse. But this definition primarily deals with people who are dating seriously. In this post, I’d like to address chivalry as it pertains to your first couple of dates.

As you read this, please bear in mind that the 1st date is the time where the man is appealing to the woman. His whole goal is to get to know the woman and express his interest in her so it is up to the man to make the right impression. With that said, we all know that a man should open the door for a woman and pay for the date. It amazes me how many women don’t enforce this. I understand that this is 2013 & women are making more than men these days, but still! Ladies, let a man be a man and pay for the date; after all he asked you out. (More about this in another post)

Okay, so now let me address a few other things I think a man should do:

1)      Don’t play loud music in the car: So you’ve picked me up and I’m sitting in your passenger seat. This is the perfect opportunity to have conversation, not listen to whatever play list you have in your stereo. Listening to music can be a nice ice breaker but this early on in the date you shouldn’t have run out of things to talk about already.

2)      Walking on the outside: So now we are walking towards the restaurant and there is no way that I should be on the sidewalk closest to the street. I know, I know – that tradition may be a little old school and maybe even a little outdated, but nonetheless – there isn’t a woman I know who doesn’t appreciate this small gesture of chivalry. Some men have argued that this shouldn’t be a big deal anymore so I say to them, if it’s not a big deal, then why not just do it?

3)      Open the door for me: I cannot emphasize this enough. I know that most men already do this but I need to clarify: Don’t open the door for yourself, walk in & then hold the door behind you for me to walk in after you. That’s not how chivalry works. Being a gentleman means that the lady goes first through the door. My ex-boyfriend used to do the whole ‘hold the door open after him’ routine & I quickly put him in his place. No woman wants to be an afterthought, and when you hold the door open after you’ve already walked through it then that’s exactly how we’ll feel – like an afterthought.

4)      Let me order first: The golden rule of any date is to let the woman go first. If you follow this while you are ordering your dinner there shouldn’t be any problems. Your server should know to look at the woman first when taking the food & drink orders, but in the event that they don’t men please let her order first! I’ve had guys order their drinks before me & it was an instant turnoff. A while ago, I went out with a guy who interjected his order before mine. I quickly put him in check, “Oh, I see you’re not the type to let a lady go first.”  This was a double entendre (if you know what I mean) but he got the hint and quickly apologized.

(When ordering this is especially helpful when you are trying to gauge how much money you can spend that night – if you let me order first, you’ll know how much you have left to spend. Hello!)

5)      Who goes first on the escalator/elevator?: The elevator is easy – always let the woman enter & exit the elevator first. Plus, you get to see how cute my outfit is if you let me go ahead J    The escalator is a little different, though, and here is where it gets tricky. In theory, a man should always go first on an escalator that is headed down. However, on an escalator ride going up the man should be behind the woman. Here’s why: if I am headed uphill and lose my balance, I am more likely to fall backwards. Therefore the man should be behind me. If I somehow trip on a descending escalator, then the man should be in front of me to catch me if I fall. Makes sense doesn’t it?

6)      The good night kiss: Ah, going in for the dreaded good night kiss. Should you ask her first or just go for it? I think there’s no right or wrong answer for this one. Men, you have to gauge your date to see what’s best. I’ve had men ask if they could kiss me first and sometimes I say yes & sometimes I say no. I’ve also had men who just go for it & I am not afraid to reject them. I either turn my head (so they get my cheek instead) or I pull away altogether. Yeah, that makes things a little awkward sometimes but a kiss isn’t any good unless we are both feelin’ it. So guys, before you try & kiss your date start with a hug and try to determine if she’s comfortable enough to kiss you back. Some girls actually think it’s cute when a guy asks them first before trying to kiss them. I know I do J

At the end of the day, men, all of these things will impress your date and put you ahead of any other man that she’s dating. Not to mention, it doesn’t cost you anything to be a gentleman!

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Things About Marriage I’m Afraid I Won’t Like

Like most women, I think about marriage a lot (probably more than I should) even though I’m not close to getting married yet. And for the most part I think that there are a lot of things about marriage I’ll probably enjoy. However, there are a few things that have me worried –

  • My husband watching me get dressed – I think part of the excitement of dating (at least for me) is that my date gets to see me all dressed up, not dressed down. After hours of primping, polishing, waxing & curling, etc., I would rather him see me once I finish getting dressed. I don’t know any man who enjoys a woman squeezing into her spanx, bending over to paint her toenails, or tweezing her stray eyebrow hairs. Lol! Think of it like buying a car – nobody gets excited about seeing their BMW on the assembly line, all bare & plain. We only like to see it once it’s all put together, shiny & ready to drive off the lot.
  • One bank account – I know, I know, couples should have separate bank accounts. Not to worry, I will definitely do that but what about all the common bills or the vacations that we take together? You see, when I’m dating a guy & we go out for dinner that money comes out of his account and his account only. Going out with a boyfriend does not affect my bank account whatsoever. But when I go out to dinner with my husband, it may come out of his account but it’s still our money. In other words, less money to go on vacation with!
  • Sharing the same bathroom – Going to the bathroom is a time for solitude. Not only do I want to be in the bathroom alone, I don’t want even want to be bothered. Putting on makeup, brushing my teeth, curling my hair or even going to the bathroom are all things best done alone. I can’t imagine having to share that space with anyone else.
  • Signing a new signature – I know this sounds trivial but it’s something a man will never have to think about. I’ve been signing my own name for the 30+ years, so signing a different name for the next 30+ years will take a little getting used to
  • Learning a new family – This will probably be one of the hardest parts of getting married for me. Getting to know a new family, that I may or may not even like, is going to be tough. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? How do I decide which holidays I want to spend with his family as opposed to my own family? Which of his family members can I trust and which ones will take my side over his (lol)? Gaining acceptance into someone else’s family can be stressful.

I try to ask some of my married friends these questions, but I haven’t gotten any good answers. If you’re married (or have been married), how have you handled these situations?

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ISO: Head of Household

My parents have been married for over 30 years. Correction: My biological parents have been married for over 30 years. Although their marriage hasn’t been perfect and I’m sure there were times when one or both of them wanted to call it quits, they were committed to their marriage. They were committed to their commitment. And that’s exactly what I want in my mate.

Unfortunately, coming from a two-parent home seems to be a rarity these days (especially within the African American community and there are various reasons for that, all of which will have to go into another posting). Because of this it seems that a lot of men are not equipped for marriage, let alone to be a good husband or father. Now of course, there are some exceptions to this rule (President Barack Obama, for instance) but for the most part in order to be a good leader, you need a good example of leadership.

Sure, it’s nice to have a strong male example around like a grandfather or an uncle. But an example is not the same as the real thing. That’s like saying a substitute teacher is just as good as a regular teacher. While both might be good at teaching, it is always best for the students to have their full time teacher in the classroom.

Now don’t think I’m saying that having a bad father in the home is better than no father at all. But the argument for having a bad father in the home is that you can at least see what not to do. In other words, you are able to see how to overcome adversity when the strife is right in front of you. People always say that it’s not healthy for children to see their parents argue. But if you’ve never seen your mother & father argue and then make up, how can you possibly know how to handle arguments as the head of your own household? Yes, you don’t have to see an argument to know how to handle one, but it’s always better to learn by example rather than by trial & error.

Men like to think that they have so much to lose when they get married. But as a woman I have to give up a lot as well, particularly letting a man take over my household. I want a man who knows what he is doing. And if a man has never seen an example of how to lead how can I trust that he will know how to lead our household?

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Yes, I Am Using You (After All, Dating Is Practice For Marriage)

Isn’t dating just “practice” for the real thing – marriage? According to Wikipedia, dating is defined as a form of courtship consisting of social activities between two people with the aim of each assessing the others suitability as a partner & is usually a pre-cursor to marriage. Dating is an opportunity to meet and get to know different types of people. The purpose of dating is to learn who & what it is you really like in a person. Dating should expand your view of what you find attractive in a potential mate. You can observe, notice and get to know different types of people and possibly discover things about yourself that you may have never known before. You can monitor your feelings & reactions, to different personalities and character traits as you meet different people.

Dating lets you practice how to relate to people of the opposite sex. If you need to learn how to open up and talk about yourself, your feelings, and your wants, practice it in dating. If you need to learn how to confront others and deal with conflict, practice it in dating. Or maybe you need to learn how to listen to others, and be less self-centered. Dating is a place where you can improve upon your own faults as well.

I see dating as a wonderful time to find out about myself. To find out how I need to change myself to attract the mate I am looking for. Dating is give and take. Dating is a time to show others what being treated well looks like. I use dating as an opportunity to love and serve others so that when it is time for me to get married, I will be well equipped to love & serve my husband.

Dating is a place to find a mate by experiencing, learning, and growing. But until that time comes, you can learn about what it is you like and don’t like, and best of all have fun.

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Do Men Sign Prenups? Rich Woman, Poor Man – What Happens When The Woman Has All The Money?

It seems like almost every celebrity couple signs prenuptial agreements before getting married. But those are usually situations where the bulk of the money is coming from the man or both parties have individual wealth (think Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones or Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick). But I wonder what happens when the woman is the breadwinner in the relationship. Does she make the man sign a prenup before marrying him?

I started to think about all of the female celebrities that have married “regular” men (or have gotten close to marriage). Here’s the list of some of the couples that came to mind and their net worth, according to www.celebritynetworth.com:

  • Michelle Obama & President Barack Obama – As a VP of Community Affairs, Mrs. Obama was pulling in close to $300,000 / The then-Senator about $160,000 per year
  • Teresa Heinz & John Kerry – Our Secretary of State only makes about $187K, and he’s married to an heiress of Heinz ketchup thought to be worth close to 1 billion dollars
  • Oprah Winfrey & Stedman Graham – Okay, Oprah makes like a gazillion dollars a year
  • Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel & Jason Hoppy – Last year Bethenny made 8 figures; I’m guessing Jason made about 6
  • Jennifer Lopez & Mark Anthony – Jlo is worth about $250 million, whereas her soon to be ex-husband is “only” worth about $40 million (largely due in part to being married to her)
  • Songstress Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon – Mariah’s net worth over $500 million, compared to a “paltry” $15 million for Nick

 

Surely, some men are willing to sign a prenup to be with the woman they love. They recognize that bringing less money into the marriage doesn’t make them any less of a man, and that money isn’t everything. But don’t men hold all the cards? For example, on the television show Real Housewives of Atlanta, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Kandi Burruss has stated repeatedly that she believes in prenups. However, this was before she got engaged. Now if Kandi’s fiancé (Todd) doesn’t want to sign a prenup, then she may lose him altogether. There are plenty of women who would love to be with Todd and wouldn’t make him sign a prenup (grant it, most of these women aren’t millionaires but still, you get my point).

So if you are a rich woman, do you take the risk of losing a good man by making him sign a prenuptial agreement just so you can save some money? Or, do you follow your heart and marry the man of your dreams knowing that having money can’t replace a having a husband?

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Should I Respect An Engagement?: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

I have a serious crush on somebody who doesn’t know I exist. Although he’s not engaged, I think he is dating someone that he may be seriously interested in. If that relationship leads to an  engagement, I wonder if I’d have the guts to intervene & let him know how much I like him. I mean, after all, it isn’t over until the wedding, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t encourage women to break up relationships to satisfy their own selfish desires but I do believe that if you have an earnest interest in a man and honestly believes that there is a substantial reason for a relationship with him to prosper, then I think that you should go for it! I mean, you never know what can happen, especially if that turns out to be the right person for you (and for him!).

I wonder how many women have the guts to stand up to a man in a committed relationship that they don’t think is frutiful. Why am I so afraid to go beyond traditional boundaries to fight for a man that I know (or at least think) would have a better shot with me?  Again, I’m not saying anyone should break up a happy home. Once a man is married he’s definitely out of bounds & off limits, but until then I think if a woman has a real chance with a man she should at least put her feelings out there. I fantasize about running into my secret crush & the things I would say to him. Even though he may or may not have a girlfriend, I believe that I should step up should the opportunity presents itself.

After all, wouldn’t you want someone to intervene in your relationship if it was in your best interest?