break ups, love, marriage, relationships, sex

“I’m a homebody” and other lines from broke boys

It’s no secret that in this game of dating, I have some pretty strong opinions, from the nonsense around cuffing season to the ambiguous AF notion of “talking”, I’ve got a lot on my mind. And it’s not without reason.

Since I keep the company of attractive, whole, successful women, I often hear stories that range from titillating to downright disrespectful. Just last week, I was briefed on a steamy rendezvous, getting ghosted, a great first date, and an “I like you, but”…disaster. And just when I thought I’d heard it all, I had one of the most ridiculous text exchanges in recent memory.

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“But Adri” you may say, “what’s wrong with this gentleman you’re dating coming over for wings and wine?”

Well, for one, this man and I have never been on a date. We met twice and barely know each other. Secondly, and this is important, it is highly untoward for this man, or any man I’m not in a relationship with, to invite themselves over to my home. This is not the first time a man has tried to come to my place or invited me over to his without knowing me. In fact, I wrote about my issue with it a while back. Thirdly, I don’t eat wings.

I was highly annoyed because I thought interactions like that were reserved for the young and the cashless. This was common in my early 20’s living in NYC and New Jersey.

I suppose since moving to the nation’s capital, I grew comfortable living in a bubble where men in their 30’s wouldn’t dare try such cheap gimmicks. I was rudely reminded that they exist. Still.

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And so with this knowledge, I have to inform my sistren that there’s games afoot- and the broke boys are out trying to finagle their way into your homes and pockets. So, I bring you: 5 [new age] broke boy lines

  1. “I’m a homebody” – this may be true but if he keeps saying it, it means he’s preparing to only stay home. You might as well empty your cart from Fashion Nova, baby. You ain’t going anywhere
  2. “There’s too much drama at these parties” – this is coded language for “I don’t want us to run into my current flings” or “I don’t have the funds for a few drinks”. Either way, bye.
  3. “How about I cook for you?” – this one is tricky because these new age scammer men have learned that less women are interested in preparing meals for any old guy but many will be impressed if he offers to cook. You just may be signing up for nights filled with spaghetti and jar pasta sauce.
  4. “I’m saving up to buy a house”– if his savings plan doesn’t have a line item for dating then guess what? He doesn’t need to be dating. A lot of these men will use that line because it very often ends the conversation. Who can argue with a hardworking man trying to purchase a home? Me- because I own a home and know what it takes. Furthermore, if he doesn’t have any room at all for the extras in life, he will be house poor if he is, in fact, “saving up for a house”. A man with a plan and purpose for you will be creative and show you a good time without breaking the bank.
  5. “I’m just interested in getting to know you one-on-one without a bunch of people around.” – BS. Staring in someone’s face while sipping cheap wine constantly doesn’t spark organic conversation. Nor does it give you an opportunity to see them in different, sometimes less than ideal circumstances. Go to an art show, play mini golf, go bowling, grab smoothies and walk around a farmer’s market. Those are the instances when you’ll see how someone acts in different places and spaces. Adults know that. Broke boys are trying to get a lot for little to nothing.

 

Toodles!

Adri

break ups, dating, love, relationships, self awareness, sex

Sometimes, you do it to yourself

Froth: worthless or insubstantial talk, ideas, or activities

In light of today’s daily prompt and recent celebrity gossip, I’ve decided to tell the straight-shot-no-chaser version of the scandal that is Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian.

Some may consider celebrity gossip mindless fodder, or froth, but I often see and identify the meaning within these types of stories. This one is no different.

Here’s the breakdown: Khloe Kardashian began dating professional basketball player Tristan Thompson at or around the time his former girlfriend was heavily pregnant (his son is 15 months, so you do the math). They soon attended star-studded events together, were seen publicly almost daily (at least I think so), and a few months ago, announced that they were expecting a daughter.

Yesterday, allegations, along with videos, arose depicting Tristan in very compromising positions with women who were not Khloe Kardashian. Khloe is in Cleveland while she prepares to give birth any day now. Apparently, the Kard-Jenner clan is shocked, with a source noting that they, along with Khloe, did not “know how deceptive Tristan could really be”.

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Aight.

I’ll start off by saying that under no circumstances should a pregnant woman, or any woman, go through the stress and pain of cheating.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of way…Khloe…girl.

GIRL.

This woman is 33. I am having a hard time understanding how she could, with all of the money, resources, and fame at her fingertips, make a conscious decision to enter a serious relationship with a man who was expecting a child. Life and romance rarely play out like in the movies where everything would be perfect if not for a case of good guy, bad timing.

If the timing is bad, then so are the prospects of the relationship.

Which brings me to the title of this post. It is important to exercise accountability at the end of almost every relationship in order to reflect on how you either contributed to the demise or could have avoided the relationship altogether. This goes for personal, professional, and romantic relationships.

Personal accountability should not ever be conflated with blame or shame. No one deserves to be met with a terrible partner who is abusive, dishonest, or unfaithful. They are, however, responsible for guarding their heart and being mindful about who they trust with it. Yes, a man can switch up and become the worst kind of partner. It happens every day. You cannot control another adult’s actions. You can, however, control yourself and your response to poor treatment.

Khloe enjoyed nights on the town and fancy dinners while her boyfriend’s recent ex was giving birth. No amount of finessing should have convinced her that that was a good idea. Perhaps she thought that “the heart wants what it wants” or maybe that “true love wins”.

Maybe this is all an elaborate publicity stunt. Maybe there’s no merit to the claims. But there is a very real innocent life about to be born into a media storm and that’s the biggest concern in all of this.

It’s just a shame that it took something like this to throw a monkey wrench in Khloe’s plans.

Sometimes, you do it to yourself.

via Daily Prompt: Froth

blog, break ups, dating, success

Some News

I’m writing a book!

That’s pretty much it. Some pretty crazy stuff has happened recently and it took those events and me centering myself to realize that I should be focusing more on the things I love.

I’ve started and stopped writing several books but this one is the one that’s coming out this summer!

It’ll be true to AdriSpeaks form: straight shot, no chaser. I don’t hold back, pull no punches, and give you more than what’s on this blog. I’ll be sharing some tough stories that I hope will empower readers to be the captains of their own souls.

Plus, it’ll have some pretty effective worksheets and exercises because I’m no one if not all about a solid action plan.

Of course, that means that I’ll likely be away from this blog for a little while. You understand, I hope?

P&L,

Adri

break ups, dating, feminism, insecure, love, marriage, relationships, self awareness

7 Tips to Ruin your Livelihood in Love and Relationships

The 1950s. A decade filled with A-line skirts, the dawn of rock ‘n roll, and good ol’ American segregation. Mad Men glamorized this era, where the men were powerful and their doting housewives drowned in depressants to keep afloat- with not one strand of hair out of place.

‘Twas a simpler time, indeed.

When I read the article below, I laughed heartily. Not because the tips are ridiculous, but because I knew that men who came across this blast from the past would be chomping at the bit to go back to this time – when women catered to their every need.

tips to look after your husband

But this entry isn’t about that. It’s about how seemingly progressive, feminist women get stuck carrying the emotional weight for their relationships and partners.

Black women experience stress-related weathering at the molecular level. And it’s killing us. We literally cannot afford to do this kind of stuff anymore if we want to be alive and thriving.

You may not be in a scurry to freshen your makeup and clean up before your partner’s arrival but you may be doing these 7 things that are detrimental to yourself.

  1. Saying “yes” when you mean “no”. Every time a woman says “yes” when she doesn’t mean it, an angel loses its wings. We are conditioned to be a man’s “peace”, and for many men, peace means subordinate. If you don’t want to do something, say it with your chest.
  2. Not sweating the small stuff. “It’s just the trash,” you mutter, as you haul the garbage out in your PJs while your partner watches his team play ball.  You’d asked him to take it out at least 4 times that day. Some other relationship coach may tell you let sleeping dogs lie, but this ain’t that. When you don’t sweat the small stuff, they don’t disappear; they grow. The “small stuff” thrives on resentment.  Bring it up. Talk it out.
  3. Playing detective. You’re likely not a detective, and if you are, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spend unpaid hours investigating your mate. If you have suspicions, then you need to pony up and address them head-on. Be smart. But routinely looking through his phone, email, social media, etc., only makes you look like the crazy one. Then you end up feeling guilty and taking the blame, which brings me to number 4.
  4. Conflating accountability with blame. Accountability is a crucial component of any whole and loving relationship. Each partner commits that they will uphold their end of the bargain. They make a concerted effort to honor their commitments and apologize when they fall short. Accountability is not saying that everything that goes wrong in the relationship is your fault. It is not a pity party. Sis, it’s not always you.
  5. Playing therapist. One of the most irritating things about that 50’s article is that it instructs women to place the emotional health of their husbands above their own. His long day at work warrants a quiet and clean home upon his arrival, with nothing to greet him but docile children and a smiling wife. Meanwhile, anyone who has children or has looked after them knows how something as simple as getting them dressed can turn into a puddle of tears.
  6. Your job is not to help solve his problems, unpack his emotional trauma, serve as his whipping boy, or address his resentments.  I don’t care what meme or video you saw floating around that said the opposite. You are not his therapist and that boundary needs to be firmly in place.
  7. And before you object with the very real importance about being a supportive partner, take this into account: there’s a reason why therapists charge $150/hour and don’t treat people they know.
  8. They know their time and barriers are valuable. Why are you volunteering?
  9. Telling your business. Long after you’ve vented to your close friends and family about the terrible thing your partner did, they will remember. And while you may have forgiven him, they haven’t. It’s important to note that this one is often overlooked because women tend to confide in one another. The problem is that long after the dust settles, your closest companions will feel used and robbed of their time. You have an issue? Either fix it internally or vent but be prepared for your friends to have a vested interest in what happens next.
  10. This is often how emotionally abusive relationships strengthen. When I was in a relationship with someone that was a habitual cheater and verbally abusive, I vented to my friends until the did not want to hear it anymore. This made the man I was with my only confidant. He and I kept our mess quiet while I died internally. I touched on it here.
  11. Taking your foot off their neck. The modern woman is often told that she is too demanding, bossy, or picky. I argue that we are not assertive enough.  Relationships often start with him pulling out all the stops to woo you and once you agree to be in a committed relationship, the romance and good behavior fades away. Sometimes, it’s gone so quickly, you wonder if the good behavior was all an act. ( Spoiler alert: It probably was). And so you end up trying to bring the relationship back to its former glory, as if that’s something only one person can do, when your partner acted like they had a real interest in being with you.
  12. I learned a decade ago that the true test of your will is not how many flowers you get or public proclamations of love after a fallout; it’s in the little things he does daily to honor you, himself, and the relationship you both agreed to be in.
  13. If you saw “Fences” starring the incomparable Viola Davis, you remember the monologue that secured her the Academy Award. After her husband (Troy) of eighteen years reveals that he’s not only been unfaithful but also is expecting a child with another woman, he then goes on to explain how he’s felt trapped and unfulfilled in life. He’s “been standing in the same place for eighteen years”.
  14. Rose (Viola) then goes on to say “I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me? Don’t you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? …But I held on to you, Troy. I held you tighter. You was my husband. I owed you everything I had. Every part of me I could find to give you. . . . I gave everything I had to try and erase the doubt that you wasn’t the finest man in the world. And wherever you was going . . I wanted to be there with you. Cause you was my husband. Cause that’s the only way I was gonna survive as your wife.
  15. You always talking about what you give . . . and what you don’t have to give.
  16. But you take, too.
  17. You take.”

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Peace & Love,

Adri

feminism, love, relationships

I am Not your Lemonade

I’ve been meaning to broach this subject for quite some time; Jay-Z’s most talked-about track on his latest album just happened to be the impetus.

Like many listeners, I groggily played the album when it dropped on TIDAL at exactly midnight. With eyes heavy from the fatigue that seems to be more present as I get closer to 30, and the first few songs piquing my interest, I immediately was struck by the haunting sample of Hannah Williams and the Affirmations’ “Late Nights and Heartbreaks” on 4:44. Could this be the “Lemonade” response that was rumored to be in the works for over a year?

With HOV starting off plainly stating “I apologize, often womanize”, my suspicions were confirmed.

There’s something especially painful about relationships that end with you feeling as if you’ve wasted your time. You look back at the money spent, hours used to coach him on his next interview, the dozens of times you overlooked some questionable behaviors, all for the sake of him getting his act together.

In some cases, the resources you expended were begrudgingly accepted, as the object of your affections sought an escape route from the relationship that you thought would end in “started with a DM” happiness. I’ve been there. I actually don’t know any woman who has not. We date men with the understanding that they need work, and it is our job to tinker with them until, like an old Chevy, they’re on the road, custom-made for us.

As my mother and her mother often say: nuttin nuh go so.

Instead, what happens more often than not is the man that you diligently fine-tuned to your liking, despite him being less than desirable, will move on. And you will be left in the dust feeling like you were with him shooting in the gym but never got to see that Lakers money. You look back at the past few months/years, and wonder “how could he?”

The default answer is that he’s trash and a user. And in many/most cases, he is.

But as I watched myself and other attractive, charming, and successful women go through the same thing, I wondered: what can be done to avoid this? Can it be avoided? Should I be more supportive? Spontaneous? I’d heard men don’t like women who are too available. Was I too available?! My best friend’s dad had given us advice when we were teenagers “all men are dogs, they just have to find the right trainer”. OMG I WASN’T A GOOD TRAINER.

And on it went as I dragged my love-sick vessel from one dead-end fling to the next. Until, one day, it hit me as I read Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God.

“De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”

Black women were and are often viewed as beasts of burden that are expected to toil without complaint and bend without breaking. “I am not your mule” is a typically strong response to those expecting things for free. I wondered why so many of us were putting in overtime on our next new man project, when we were so adamant about others’ respecting our time and effort. Why was I so willing to take on the task of doing the emotional heavy-lifting in the relationship, with the expectation that it would all work out in my favor?

As much as listening to 4:44 left me feeling horrible for Beyonce and all that she endured, I was dismayed to find women on social media hailing her for her ability to be “strong”, and put out albums, while likely crippled with grief over her miscarriages and stillborns, and facing the humiliation of a philandering spouse.

Was this the picture of strength? A woman who can go through something ugly but step out and make it look beautiful? An alchemist who can transform the pain left by her empty womb into entertainment for the masses?

Was this something to be admired?

I recalled pieces of 4:44 and Lemonade in tandem:

Beyonce: You spun gold out of this hard life
Jay-Z: You matured faster than me, I wasn’t ready
Beyonce: Found healing where it did not live
Jay-Z: Please come back to Rome, you make it home
Beyonce: Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen
Jay-Z: Like the men before me, I cut off my nose to spite my face
Beyonce: You passed these instructions down to your daughter
Jay-Z: I suck at love, I think I need a do-over

 

And I was relieved that I’d given up making Lemonade.

 

Adri

dating, love, relationships

“I’m Not Ready” and Other Lies Men Tell

“Why do women let themselves be taken advantage of?” he asked, as he took another swig of beer.

My friend was pissed. He’d been dating a girl who was beautiful, smart, ambitious, and kind.  And she was stuck on a guy who “wasn’t ready for a relationship”.

I sympathized with him because I, too, have been the girl who fell for the okie doke. But, true to Adri form, I decided to play devil’s advocate.

“Well she told you from jump that she was involved with someone and you decided to pursue it.”

“She’s not involved. She’s getting played.”

And that settled it. 

I’ve been hesitant to write this piece because relationship readiness is a valid concern, and I wanted to be sure that I addressed its nuances while also calling out the BS.

So let’s start with the basics. What is considered being “ready” to be in a relationship?

The Adri Definition: Being ready for a relationship means being in an emotional, personal, financial, and mental space where the individual is prepared to share and accommodate the emotional, personal, financial, and mental space and needs of a specific person.

Some of you may bristle at my inclusion of financial or mental space. Well..
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There are many instances that can prevent someone from being ready for a healthy relationship, and that would take me years to unpack. So I’m going to focus on the case where someone is ready – they’re just not ready  to be with YOU.

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How many times have you or someone you know gotten a few texts like this? Here he is, a guy who seems nice but is in a rough spot because has has a lot going on personally. He’s being honest about his feelings towards this woman and is making it known that he wants to continue to be with her while he works on getting himself together.

No harm, right?

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There is a difference between not being in a place to be the kind of boyfriend and partner he knows he can be and simply not giving a F about the person he’s helping to string along. I say help because it takes two to string: one to pull the rope and one to be dragged.

Just because a man enjoys going out with you, sleeping with you, and flirting with you, it does not make you any more relationship-eligible than someone else. If you’re such a great person and any man would be lucky to have you, then why hasn’t he made himself that man?

If you’re good enough to go out to eat with, lay in bed with, and attend parties with, why aren’t you good enough to be committed to?

A relationship is not like signing a deed to a house, a marriage certificate, or any other legally binding contract. It is simply an agreement to be with a person and only that person (unless you’re poly) while continuing to grow as individuals and as a couple.

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If the man in your life is open to doing everything but calling you his girlfriend, you may want to take a step back and assess the situation. You do not have to work for a man’s attention. You do not have to beg. This is not Grey’s Anatomy and you are not pleading to be “chose”.

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Here’s the secret that men don’t want you to know: If he’s not ready, he’ll get ready. And if he doesn’t, or hits you with intermittent bouts of “we’re better off without a title” then you know what the deal is.

Anything less? Put him back on the bench or cancel him altogether.

Peace & Love,

Adri

 

 

break ups, dating, insecure, sex

“Did You F-k Him?” That time I was almost Issa

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen the latest episode of Insecure that aired on 11/20/16, please stop reading. This entry is littered with spoilers.

If you're a fan of Issa Rae's new hit show "Insecure" you'll recognize the title of this blog as the most pivotal point in the debut series to date.

After years of harboring resentment towards her kind and loyal but often broke and lazy boyfriend, Issa acted out by sleeping with her ex. Viewers across the country let out a collective curse word as they watched her betray Lawrence, her boyfriend of 5 years. What made it worse was that we saw it coming a mile away and couldn't do anything to stop this fictional character from contacting her ex, then hanging out with him, then agreeing to "chill" at the studio.

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But these kinds of scenarios are rarely black-and-white and while I hate infidelity (as someone who was cheated on by an ex who had no idea what "faithful" meant), I was once in a situation that almost made me take that step.

I used to date someone that I thought was I was going to marry. He was kind, devoted (sorta), and had a sense of adventure. But, like Lawrence, he lacked direction. He was always in and out of work. He had great ideas but limited follow-through. The financial burden often fell on me as I struggled to advance within my career while also being in graduate school full time. I was, as the kids call it, "holding him down" because I believed in him.

But as the months dragged on, I noticed something – he stopped trying. Like Issa, I'd often come to my apartment after working and see him chilling on the futon while watching Netflix.

It angered me.

I was angry that he wasn't doing more for himself. I was resentful that I was making it work and he was not. I essentially lost respect for him.

And that's why I started toying with the idea of going out with other guys. I'd say during our arguments (usually about money) that he's lucky because any one else would've cheated on him.

I knew I had to end things when I went out one day for happy hour with coworkers. One of them was attractive and secure and essentially an "itch I wanted to scratch". And believe me, I almost did. While kisses weren't shared or anything like that, I knew that if I wanted to take that step, my colleague would've been down with the get down.

But I chose not to because I thought about the guilt I'd feel afterwards. And THAT is when I knew it was time to break up.

And I did.

While cheating is always wrong in every aspect, sometimes people are not as skilled at stopping themselves before it's too late. We often overestimate our ability to control a situation.

The key is to be honest with yourself and communicate your issues as they come up. Otherwise, you could end up like Issa.

So ladies, what's your story?

Adri

break ups, healing, relationships

2016: The Year of the Post F-kboy Glow Up

As the title of this post may suggest, I’m rather confident about this year. The winter was mild on the East Coast, people are becoming more health conscious, and flight deals are out of this world. Have you seen the sale for a flight from JFK to Greece for like $300?! Anyways, with that being said, I’ve come to the conclusion that this year is the year where women have proceeded to get their sh-t together. No longer will we spend endless hours crying over men who never respected us a day in their lives. No longer will we waste our good concealer and highlight to go on dates with guys that aren’t even worth dollar store lipgloss. Gone are the days that we stalk his social media to see who he’s talking to/flirting with. This year, we’ve tapped into our divine feminine and have proclaimed in but so many words that 2016 is the year of the post f-kboy glow up.

fboy

What is a f-kboy? I could dedicate a year’s worth of blog posts to the subject and still have more to unearth. For the time being, this diagram will have to do (source unknown. But I got it from Google images so we’re just going to assume that the tag is the original source). I’ll direct your attention to the top 3 percentages. “You up?” “I don’t like labels” “Netflix and chill”. These all speak to a man who is only using you for entertainment and is hoping you never get the good sense to leave his behind in the dust. I already wrote about why I hate Netflix and Chill. F-kboys are lazy, dishonest, and prey on the weak and naive. So what happens when you’ve spent far too long with one?

Depression.

Anxiety.

Bad credit.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you’re with someone who doesn’t honor and respect you for the woman that you are, it can be detrimental to your sense of self-worth. You may wonder if something is wrong with you. You may do things to alter your appearance to “keep him”. You become a shell of woman because you’ve poured everything into a man. I’ve been there, sis. But one day, you’ll realize that you don’t need him to feel whole. Because you, alone, are enough. And when that day comes?

Your skin clears.

You lose weight.

You get a better job.

karreuche

And maybe, just maybe, you get with a man that worships the ground you walk on due to your new-found confidence. Take it from someone who’s dealt with her fair share of         f-kboys and f-kups; the best thing you can do for yourself is to detach from someone who doesn’t appreciate your love and light. You should feel more complete and free when with someone, not depleted and robbed of your joy.
So go ahead and let go. We have the rest of 2016 for the glow up.

jordan

dating, sex

Netflix and Chill is Stupid (and so is Cuffing Season)

netflix

According to a carefully researched and peer-reviewed Instagram repost (original source unknown), we are currently in the preseason stage of cuffing season. This is the stage where, I presume, one has nearly finalized their list of carefully selected partners who they will spend time with or “cuff” during the cold months and holiday season.

cuffing

It’s utterly f*cking stupid.

Cuffing season belongs in the same fire pit of Netflix and chill. It’s just another phrase that young or immature people use to get away from actually committing to someone in a sincere and meaningful way. Their similarities are uncanny, so I’ve decided to dedicate a post to how they are similarly dumb.

  1. Netflix and chill, like cuffing season, was likely coined by a person(s) who didn’t have any coins or maturity to actually date someone seriously. With Groupon offering dinner date vouchers for two with a bottle of wine for $40, you’d have to be hard-pressed to use Netflix and chill as the default. Sorry not sorry.
  2. Netflix and chill is really built around cuffing season. It’s colder, so naturally, most people want to stay indoors. And since you’re planning your life decisions around Al Roker’s weather forecast, a movie on the ‘flix only makes sense. Sidebar: Autumn is great for haunted house visits, apple picking, jogs through the park, and hiking. C’mon son.
  3. Sex. The whole point of Netflix and chill is to get sex for the low low. And “cuffing season” really means “f-cking season”. Ho, ho, ho.
  4. Social media. Nearly everyone, including myself, jokes about these concepts because it’s funny. With Black twitter taking the world by storm, it’s only natural that we’d all rally around a few phrases (why you always lyyyyyyin) in camaraderie. But some dweebs are actually taking this seriously. And that scares me.
  5. They both hedge on dishonesty. Folks use “Netflix and chill” as opposed to “I’d like you to come over to engage in the naked dance”. Guide your decisions based on “cuffing season” instead of admitting to yourself that you’re afraid to be alone during the holidays and cold weather. Pro-tip: Tinder, snuggies, and books still exist. Use them.

Here are some useful things to do instead of Netflix and Chill. It literally took me 1 minute to find them. 

Date night 

Pumpkin picking 

Haunted ghost tour 

Peace & Love,

Adri

love, relationships

When Loved Correctly

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“When a woman is loved correctly, she becomes ten times the woman she was before” – unknown

I’ve seen this quote float across social media for the past few years.  Usually retweeted on Twitter or posted on Instagram with the comment “SO TRUE” to verify its validity, this quote is probably one of the more popular ones. By now, you know that I love love. I love everything about it because it is the driving energy within and around all of us. Our existence is love personified and our survival is love actualized. That being said, this quote doesn’t really do it for me.

Here’s why: It perpetuates the notion that love is something that must come from someone else. Saying when (not if) a woman encounters a partner that loves her correctly (whatever that means), she becomes ten times the woman (because womanhood apparently has levels) she was before (prior to being in a romantic relationship). In other words, if you’re a woman and you never find love, you are doomed to remain a basic, Level 1 woman. Bummer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being deliberately obtuse. I get that when some of us are blessed to love and be loved unconditionally by a romantic partner, and in the way that we need to be loved, we feel invincible. Many of us develop into fuller versions of ourselves because we feel inspired to do so. Love can do that. Self-love. Entering into and remaining in a healthy and loving relationship is indicative of the woman’s wisdom, fortitude, and good judgement. She loved herself enough to choose a partner who would add, not detract, from her life. Those are the makings of a woman who is already improving. Her partner held her hand and perhaps provided steady ground during the more difficult times, as she did with him. It is a true partnership (hence the image I chose for this post).

You may know by now that as romantic as I am, I don’t subscribe to the “love at first sight/ it’s us against the world/ love will conquer it all” ideology. Love is energy. Committed love is work. Healthy love is an ongoing project. It is a choice you have to make every day. So when you carelessly say “I’m a better woman because you loved me,” you’re discounting yourself! You’ve sold your feelings to the highest bidder and have entrusted him to develop and grow on your behalf. You were so honored to be wanted by someone that suddenly you have a new lease on life. You think, “well maybe I am worth something. And he suggested it so maybe I should go back to school.” Never mind that your friends and family had been encouraging you to do the same thing for years. Girl…remember who you are.

You are the bomb. You woke up today, got yourself together, and did something that only you can do.

When you love yourself correctly, you find a partner ten times better than the one looking to make you better.

Peace & Love,

Adri