Dating: Just Pull The Tooth Already

I typically have a very favorable perspective about dating and rarely if ever do I turn to my blog to complain about the precarious scenarios that has become modern day dating. And I understand that most words that come after the word but are bad but listen; modern day dating is sorta like that one tooth in your mouth that started aching years ago. It’s been giving you signs that you need to go to the Dentist to have a look see but you’re too stubborn to go because you think it isn’t serious and that the ache will go away.

The next thing you know you’re chewing on one side of your mouth more often than a hillbilly chewing Skoal tobacco because every other chew/date hurts just a little and your stubborn ass keeps trying to chew on that tooth just to test it out to see if its gotten better. Well guess what! It hasn’t and the tooth is now kicking your ass and all you want is to get that motherfucker fixed so that you can eat your favorite meal in peace. That’s dating in 2019; a bad tooth ache that’s causing you pain and you need to get it fixed. But let me explain why it’s a pain.

Problem number 1, vulnerability; very few single people actually want to be vulnerable and yet these same people are expecting the other person to be the vulnerable one. Today’s dating people are expecting other people to take all the risk and they themselves reap all the rewards. Can you imagine being the person making all the phone calls, initiating all the text, planning all the dates, paying for all the dates, saying you miss them, saying that you like them, saying that you want to see them again and the only one sending nudes? Wait…sorry not that last part that’s for another time.

This is the case for many people dating today. They are either the one doing all the vulnerable actions or they are the one doing nothing. Which in turn makes the person being vulnerable grow weary of the one-sided affair and decides its better to retreat or worse yet; to become the one seeking all the rewards. Vulnerability is an important ingredient in finding love. So why is it that so many people are trying to find love without it? That’s the ultimate question at hand and one that few are trying to find a solution for.

Let’s be frank about people and vulnerability though, the facts are that most people are afraid of vulnerability because they’ve been dramatically hurt by people they were involved with when they were at their most vulnerable. Vulnerability is scary and dangerous when placed in the wrong hands and lets be honest; its kinda sorta like flossing when you haven’t flossed in awhile; it doesn’t really feel good. So while I completely understand the lack of wanting to floss I mean be vulnerable I still don’t recommend avoiding it if you’re looking for love.

Christina Enevoldsen said in her book The Rescued Soul that “In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful. It leads to increased intimacy and closer bonds., When a healthy person realizes that he or she hurt you, they feel remorse and they make amends. It’s safe to be honest.” So you see! Vulnerability is sweet when it’s with the right person and I think that’s the problem that has lead to so many people lacking the strength to be vulnerable, they haven’t had healthy relationships.

They’ve had or existed in unhealthy relationships, where vulnerability is seen as a weakness and is used against you. Listen, you don’t have to be a physicist to understand that the people they’ve been involved with don’t understand vulnerability in its totality and don’t know how to communicate what they’re seeing, feeling and expecting.

Which brings me to problem number 2 in modern day dating; communication. I’m a firm believer that the majority of the problems making dating and relationships exponentially worse in each and every phase of relationship building is the lack of healthy communication. We literally have people who think they’re good communicators communicating with divisive body language, verbal language and text language but refuse to acknowledge that their form of communication is causing the pain in the tooth to become deep rooted. Abscess much?

Communication in relationships probably should be the highest priority made outside of remaining faithful to one another but for whatever reason communication when dating no longer takes precedence or even worse some form of communication happens but leaves at least one individual with more questions than answers before they began the attempted communication.
Charles Bernard Shaw saidThe single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Healthy communication isn’t taking place in modern day dating but the illusion that it is surely is happening. Relationships fail because of individuals lacking the ability to properly express themselves and/or their partners not being able to understand the perspective. Let’s just call these actions the fracturing of the tooth in the relationship.

Every emotion, thought and feelings are being communicated through text messages or social media and once the two individuals are in person there’s either an explosion of things unsaid or nothing said at all with passive aggressive remarks being said on social media a few hours later where they get reassured by their followers and the options they think they have. Which brings me to problem number three; the belief that we have many options.

Let’s be honest; most of the single people don’t have as many options as they think they do but yet date like they’re the next best thing since sliced bread as if other more tasteful forms of bread doesn’t exist. There’s rye, sourdough, whole wheat, pita, brown bread, ciabatta, Naan, Brioche, cornbread and bagels. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with being a English muffin bruh but are you really the best when Banana nut bread exist?

I get it, boost yourself up, believe in yourself. After all; I think I’m the shit but even I understand that my shit stinks. The truth is, we don’t have all these options to choose from because some of the people you think you could be with only want to smash but won’t say that, some of the people who say they’re ready for a relationship know they really aren’t but can’t communicate it and the rest are a mix of people who don’t want to be vulnerable, can’t communicate or you just aren’t their type (and vice versa).

I remember one time I was dating this one woman, let’s call her Sharon. Sharon and I had already had some history but took a break. This time around I was dead serious and was 100% ready to commit to just her and I being exclusive so that we could see if we could make it work. My reason for not committing to her previously had nothing to do with another woman but everything to do with where she was at that time in her life and if I’m being completely honest, where I was as well.

I communicated all this back then to Sharon and clearly communicated my intention the 2nd time around. A few days later Sharon asked “Are you sure you’re ready to just date me? I’m asking because I’m about to cancel all my other dudes out” I said yes, lets do this. It never materialized because Sharon was more concerned about keeping her options than taking a chance on someone trying to take a chance on her. She never made a decision and Sharon is still single, frustrated and lonely asking where all the good men are because none of her options really wanted to be with her…they just wanted to smash.

I can’t speak for every single man or woman in the dating world but from my perspective this is the reality that has become modern day dating. It’s a cluster fuck bruh and the culprits of the confusion are

  1. Lack of Vulnerability
  2. Poor Communication
  3. Fake Options

And us of course and surely I could add to this list but as I see it; these are the three major contributors wrecking havoc in our dating bodies. These are the three ingredients contributing to the bad tooth in our mouths that’s causing the massive headaches. They are by all accounts a cavity. But what are the solutions Doc?

First, be vulnerable for the right person but in order to do that you need to be able to determine who is the right person and who isn’t the right person. No one can tell you who that is but I’d be willing to bet money that the one who’s wrong makes you feel like you’re just another option. Start there and once you find someone who treats you like you’re the choice then you treat them the way you want to be treated.

Secondly, be a grown ass person and learn how to have conversations that will propel your relationships forward even when you and partner are in the midst of your biggest disagreements. Pick up the phone and talk it out, massage your bae’s feet as you talk out the solution. Learn how to listen to understand instead of listening to reply. Communication does not have to be difficult if we learn to create safe spaces for our lovers to exist in.

And last but certainly not least, fuck your options! No not literally; but I mean you can do that too but I mean cut them off when someone is ready to take a chance on you. Operate like like the only option you have is loving yourself when the right one comes along because if you really do love yourself then you’re smart enough to understand that you really don’t have as many meaningful options as you think and if someone is ready to love you then you owe it to yourself to let them choose you.

There’s an old saying that says “you don’t have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep” and I don’t know about all of you reading this but I’m tired of chewing on one side of my mouth and I’m tired of wondering if this toothache is going to go away…..hey Doc, just pull the tooth already! I gots 27 more teeth to go!

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I’m Different

2 Chainz voice- “I’m different yeah I’m different, I’m different yeah I’m different” and while I’ve never pulled up to the scene with my ceiling missing I do have my middle finger up to my competition….or those who see my difference and whisper.

Metaphorically speaking I exist in a place socially that’s similar to a flower living deep within a rain forest. It’s hard to find, hard to understand how it exist among the tall trees that block its sun and even rarer to be surrounded by other like-minded flowers. This is where I am, perfectly fine looking up at the trees, existing mostly in my plot of soil and giving oxygen and life to those who happen to stumble across where I exist. I grow here, I live here and I drop seeds here to help continue the cycle before my time has passed. I can only hope that my presence in this forest helps push the male evolution forward.

I’m a heterosexual black male but I’m different from what society accepts as such. Truth is, I’ve never felt like I fit in with any particular demographic but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. Growing up and into my adult life I was cool but never cool enough, I was nerdy but not nerdy enough. I’ve been sexy but not sexy enough and I’ve been ugly but not ugly enough.

I’ve tried to be the Alpha male, I’ve tried to be the hardcore guy, I’ve tried to be the type of black man society says I should be. Honestly, I’ve tried to be homophobic, I’ve tried to be sexist, I’ve tried being a male hoe, I’ve tried being the good Christian guy, I’ve tried believing in the philosophy that women are lesser than men and I’ve tried being the token black guy. And you know what? Fuck that shit, it’s NOT ME.

Though I’m a proud black man who believes in black love, black families and loving black women I’ve often been told by other black people that I’m not black enough because of the way I speak or the way I carry myself. I’ve had white friends think that they’re more black than me because they wear a hat backwards and talk with slang that they’re more black than me. A failed belief that what you wear makes you something else other than what you actually are.

It’s been this way since I was a teenager and obviously because of the color of my skin I never really felt or feel I fit in with my white friends completely because even though they say they didn’t see color, they definitely saw my brown skin and see my brown skin and to a certain extent, judge me based on that. I’ve always felt like an outsider no matter how much I tried to fit in to society and that continues even today.

Maybe part of that is my fault because even though I’m naturally inquisitive about human beings and am always loving, respectful and friendly to those who’s lives I come across I don’t really let most people into my life and into my circle. I also don’t talk much about what’s going in my life and so when people don’t know you and don’t know what you’re doing, those who want to know are left to make up their own stories and beliefs about you . Which if we’re being honest is mostly based on whispers and lies that other people have told.

I’m different and even though I’ve always felt like an outsider for the majority of my entire life mostly everyone that knows me; loves being around me. It’s funny that someone like myself who often sits back and people watches at events is one of the most popular guys. I’m not trying to boost my own ego or toot my own horn but those who know me always want to be around me or says how cool as fuck Jay is. They love me, they respect me and they likely won’t say a bad word about me but they will say they “don’t know” and they’re likely to say “there’s something different about Jay” or that “I don’t know” whats up with him when people ask.

But who they see and get to be around is me and they do know MOST of me but because I don’t fit into any societal description of male structure of what they’ve been taught to think about a strong black male they refuse to accept me as it is and as I am. Who am I?

I have gay friends, I tell other men in my life that I love them, I compliment other men on their style and I hug other men because I truly believe that the world doesn’t tell men enough that they care for them and I know for a fact that men don’t tell other men they have brotherly love for them. I’m all about the empowerment of people but as a black man I’m definitely about the empowerment of black men and these actions are not always accepted as manly; which if you ask me is pretty ridiculous. To think that women are the only demographic that needs to hear and feel words of encouragement and love is to think that men are unemotional.

As I stated I’m a emotionally balanced guy, I dress fairly well, I keep my physical appearance nice, I get my feet done, I’m not homophobic, I support the LGBT community, I cry sometimes, I’m in touch with my emotions, I’m not aggressive with women, I openly admit that I don’t always have the most confidence and I don’t yell when I’m having a disagreement.

I’m transparent with my life beliefs, I’m not a religious person, I believe women can be sexually free as men, I’m sexually open with the women I sleep with, I talk mostly proper, I’m quiet but strongly opinionated, I stand strong in my core beliefs, I’m intelligent, I’m genuinely a nice guy, I do things that black people “aren’t supposed to do” and I’m metrosexual. All of these things mentioned makes certain types of people,in certain types of demographics uncomfortable and though they’ll never admit it publicly they know they need to do better at expanding the life they know and live.

All of this isn’t “supposed” to be included in one man, especially a straight black man but this is part of who I am and this who I give to people every day, every get together and every person who really wants to know me. But I wasn’t always this guy and I get why it confuses people and why some people confuse this type of male with being gay, ESPECIALLY when they don’t know any. Everything they’ve learned has taught them that men think a certain way and that men act a certain way.

I was taught this too and it’s part of why it took me so long to be comfortable in my own skin. It’s part of why the majority of you aren’t comfortable with men capable of balancing the masculine with the small percentage of their feminine side. In truth we all (men and women) have them both but we suppress them because it’s “not what men do” or it’s not ” what women do”. Did you know that men and women practically have about 20,000 genes alike? And the only major difference is that men have X and Y chromosomes and women have two X chromosomes? Read more The Difference Between Men and Women

It’s not easy breaking from what you’ve been taught and I was confused about who I was as well for a while in my 20’s but I’m 100% certain that this is who I am and I love it. I love the skin that I’m in, I love the man that I am and I love the man I’ve become even if it makes me feel like I don’t fit in. Anyone that truly knows me knows that I don’t want to fit the mold of anything. Not even for myself. I want to always break the mold and challenge myself to be greater than the person I was a decade ago.

Still; it doesn’t stop the frustration from building up when you catch wind of what people say about you. Even in a spiritually conscious person who knows not to place value in the words of people who don’t matter to you such as myself, it can still create energy within you that frustrates you. Trust these next words; I’ve learned that there’s no amount of women you can sleep with and brag about sleeping with that will stop people from believing what they want if your lifestyle is different from theirs.

Similarly there’s nothing you can do to change the opinion someone has of you if they don’t really want to change their opinion of you. That’s why it’s important for all of us to live our best life right now while we still can. I know that someone somewhere needs to read the words written in this article and when they do they’ll begin to stop hiding who they really are once they finish reading this. And someone somewhere who has a negative perspective about men similar to myself will read this article and realize that they need to do better on their perspective of what real men are.

There’s nothing wrong with being the norm and there’s nothing wrong with being different. Things just are the way they are and it’s up to us to stop trying to put everyone into the same criteria that we’ve placed our friends and ourselves in to. So please; stop trying to justify what people are based on your own experiences and to the reader who’s different and unsure about whether or not they should conform? DON’T!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” and Maya Angelo said “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”and I’m saying the greatest thing you’ll ever want to be is the person unafraid to see their life’s contradictions and work tirelessly to become aligned with their soul.

I’m different and that’s more than okay and maybe in my next life I’ll be a mahogany tree that catches all the sunshine and who’s bark is as hard to the touch as my soul but until that rebirth I’m perfectly fine being a black flower blooming majesticly as fuck….

For The Birds

I tried monogamous dating and that shit’s for the birds.

Listen, for a very long time in my twenties I was the guy heavily involved in church who only dated one woman at a time, who wanted to date to get married and didn’t want to sleep around with multiple women. I was that guy who was a one woman man and I carried those diabolical characteristics with me until I was about twenty-four years of age. And truth be told; for the most part, no, for the whole part I was to blame for why all of my early adult relationships didn’t work out. I was a completely selfish individual and by selfish I mean leaving my girl’s birthday party early without telling her because I was uncomfortable. Don’t judge me, I had issues.

Anyway, somewhere between leaving religion and finally getting my nasty freak on, my dating philosophies changed from focusing on one woman to dating multiple women at a time until I found someone worthy enough and capable enough to handle my perspective on life. And by worthy I mean big ass and pretty face and by handle my perspective I mean not threaten to kill me when they’re mad at me…don’t judge me. My taste in women had to mature dammit.

By the age of thirty I had finally found the happy median of not dating too few women and not dating too many women. For me, that number settled on three women at the most and two women at the least while only sleeping with one other woman(FWB) outside of those women. Sounds complicated I know but being able to compartmentalize the situation fixed a lot of issues. And let’s be real, most people aren’t capable of having sex and not letting it cloud the dating situation they’re in.

Sex for most people complicates things but having sex is not the issue, not communicating how your feelings have changed after sex gets involved is the issue. So, I removed sex from the equation with the women I was dating and if I ended up having sex with one of those two to three women, I wouldn’t have sex with anyone else.

This was my happy place but a funny thing happens when you find yourself single and actually trying to find someone and nothing is panning out. You start to listen to other people and their dating philosophies because clearly what you’re doing is not working.  And a lot of my friends (both male and female) were saying that only dating one person at a time, with all your focus on that one person is the better thing to do. Now, people smarter than I would have seen that their asses were single too but hey, a funny thing happens when you’re single….you listen to single ass people who too are throwing stuff against the wall seeing what sticks.

Now, I’ve had three relationships since I turned thirty with about one year in-between them all (I’m 37) and some would like to call me a serial dater but truth is they’re just too comfortable being single and I’ve actually been trying to find a life partner. You can’t find that by not dating and you can’t find that by not taking chances with people. I’d rather try to and it not work than to be single for five years with no sex ,being mad at the world and spending my time making memes about I’m single because I’d rather travel. No! You’re single because you’re scared but I digress.

In the 2nd half of 2017 I had the least amount of success that I’ve ever had in dating. Not only could I not find three women to actually date, I couldn’t even find one woman to actually date. I couldn’t even get pass the first date and to make matters worse the online dating scene has gotten 100 times worse. And by worse I mean, women thinking yes, no, maybe, idk is a conversation (throw the whole woman away) so getting to the first date was  basically dead in the water.

So after much deep reflection and listening to other people I decided that in 2018 I was going to focus on one woman at a time because you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result right?  Right? Best believe I was definitely skeptical of this one person dating rule because if it worked so well; then why were there so many single women?(most of the people who told me to do this were women..I lied)

They would say things like when you focus all your energy on one person you can make better decisions regarding that person” or they would say “you aren’t distracted by other people so you won’t miss the red flags.  I say whether you’re dating a conglomerate of people or not,  you missing the red flags has nothing to do with the number of people but everything to do with your  bad choices in not learning from your mistakes. Side note; I need you to understand that when I decide to do something I’m one hundred percent in and so I was full throttle ahead on giving this monogamous dating thing another try and do you know what happened?

THE SAME SHIT THAT HAPPENED WHEN I DATED MULTIPLE WOMEN..LMAO

Monogamous Dating is for the birds because what people fail to realize is that it doesn’t matter whether you date one person or eight people if the person or people you date aren’t ready to make a decision on taking a chance with someone. You could be the next worse thing since Donald Trump or the next best thing since sliced bread and they’d still not take a chance on you.

With this knowledge I’d even argue that since dating is a number’s game and that timing is everything; that dating multiple people is in everyone’s best interest because it increases your odds of coming across the person worthy of your time and can handle your perspective on life quickest and by worthy I mean….nevermind.

Keeping it one hundred? You could text that person everyday, you could ask to see them every weekend, you could call them everyday and you can even kinda do the right thing by making yourself look available when they ask (I’ve done all this in 2018) and you’ll still find yourself binge watching Bosch on Friday night while shopping for shit you don’t need on amazon prime for stuff you don’t need all because you’re single as fuck and ain’t nobody showing you what that mouth do.

But that’s not your fault if you’re actually out there trying and you should pat yourself on the back for actually giving a fuck about your love life but just know that whether you date just one person or many, it’s not what you do that makes the difference, it’s what they choose to do that does. The greatest deciding factor regarding whether you end up in a relationship or you don’t is if they’re in a place to take a chance on you. Also, if you aren’t in a place to take a chance on someone then either tell the people you’re dating the truth, let people just smash or get out of the way. Because contrary to popular belief, wasting people’s time in 2018 is NOT the thing to do.

So I’m going back to dating multiple women until one woman shows me she’s ready to take a chance and you can keep dating one person at a time if that’s your cup of tea but don’t tell me one works better than the other because it doesn’t, at least not in modern day dating. Everyone has options and nobody wants to cut any of these so called options off even if these options don’t want them. It’s weird, people would rather hold on to the weaker links than to grab hold of the strongest one even though it’s proven that sometimes you have to go with less in order to get more.

Anyway, no point in being angry birds about it; I’m just saying monogamous dating in the intial stages of dating is for the birds but hell; maybe so is polygamist dating (serial dater) but I want to be clear. I’m not talking about cheating and I’m talking about being in a relationship with mutliple people at once with their blessing (though that might be the way to go), I’m just talking about casual dating in the initial stages of dating. Anyway, before I bid adieu here are some reasons why it doesn’t matter whether you monogamously date or be a serial dater and why you should give zero Fucks about the process…just date and hope someone is ready to take a chance on your crazy ass.. 🙂

Top 12 reasons why how many people you date doesn’t matter if you’re trying to find love

  1. They’re just not into you
  2. They’re not ready for anything serious
  3. They like someone else more than you and you’re option 2,3,4,5,6…..
  4. They’re playing the game
  5. They’re playing hard to get
  6. You’re the Friend with Benefits and don’t know it
  7. The timing is bad
  8. You’re the sidechick/dude and don’t know it
  9. They’re married
  10. They’re a hoe and don’t know it
  11. You’re a hoe and don’t know it (oops)
  12. They or you have unrealistic expectations

Anyway…at least there’s this>>>>For The Birds

“Dating is like trying to make a meal out of leftovers. Some leftovers actually get better when they’ve had a little time to mature. But others should be thrown out right away, No matter how you try to warm them up, they’re never as good as when they were new.”
― Lisa KleypasSugar Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the love of…Love

savonne (4)

Those fables didn’t speak of the wind between her coils.

Nor the kinks that made you squint a little harder because that shine…that shine is moonbeams and sun rays. Illuminated essence gifting warmth on those snow days, a sensational presence. Nothing less. Relinquishing greedy hearts and cold hands insatiable and abreast.

That glow is ineffable as it penetrates. Magnetizing your being you had no inkling that love…love was equivalent to a kill switch. Saving you from the detriment determined to birth you renewed. They never sung hymns of warning solely those foretelling of her glory and the aftermath of a reconstruction.

They did not speak.

Not of the thunder in her eyes or the terrain equipped to match. That causes earthquakes within the foundations you deemed stable because you, you had strengthened your back sifting through bagged sands of time. Disbelief reeking from your bruised pride longing for a cautioned whisper so that you may ready and bleach your white flags.

It’s your reality and you damn sure weren’t prepared. For the masked cracks to turn to ash when she set your world ablaze. Don’t you see? Love…It’s an infinite being. Wailing a laughter so loud it makes your own insides hurt. Crying so many rivers mother nature herself is a representation of devoted gratitude.

Did you ever think you would see the day? Where you would stand in all of your naive conclusions that have since left to rot. I’m willing to make a bet and I’d do so on her shooting stars resting assured in her surety that you didn’t see this coming.

She arrives bearing witness, tested and tried true. Wisdom birthed from the spaces in-between a fusing of what’s attuned. Love is limitless, even. Recognizing that it’s so much to bare all on own, it’s easy to understand why she always feels like a home. When the waves are coming, flowing, thrashing high and then slow.

Love.

Love shows up.

Continuously.

Passionately.

 

Anchored

It is nothing but a hopeless illusion that I could ever lose myself.

Sitting here observing the world go by, taking in and filtering out all the madness.

I am, forever, present in it all.

It is only within the moment that I personify and rationalize my musings that I experience pain and detachment. Abandonment and loss, Depression and anxieties, these things becoming fused within my psyche when in reality I am the observer of it all.

I am the pulse and I am the thing that gives life simultaneously. I am outside of the dance of distractions consuming all time so tell me why it is I can’t shake this feeling.

I sit here and I wonder just why it has to be this way. Duality at its finest seeking joy yet remaining estranged.

Why is there this pressure in my chest telling me something is wrong. Leading me away from the moment when I… I am pointing the other way. The way that leads me home, tell me what is this thing that has infiltrated my space.

I do not know, no longer am I filled with care but one thing is for sure and I choose to dwell there.

mermaids

I can no longer push while it pulls nor fight while it eats up all of my will. I can no longer cry more tears for what it seems I need to heal, I can no longer pretend that I am not the thing that is beyond this act and this stage. I will no longer play cat and mouse with the monkey in my brain nor the snake coiled within its husk and a shadow built of shame.

I have realized I can not let it go, so instead I will let it stay…

We will occupy this body. I will no longer disagree nor entertain its beyond warped perception that fear is valid for that is the true danger. In and of itself… and it is danger I should be aware of with no questions arising. Always it is just. It is simply a compass and a knowing I can trust.

When I stop resisting its existence perhaps it’s insistence will quiet. Take heed to my directions and relinquish it’s violence. After all the saying goes “Peace? Be still.” so with that it is known through silence I am filled.

The jury is out, there shall be no more debating. Nothing to eliminate just alignment with my placement. It is right here I can feel that my nature is at ease. Seeing it seeing me and so I know it isn’t me…

 

Good Enough: To Whom It May Concern

J.M. Barrie’s character Peter Pan said “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it” and lately I’ve been trying to understand how people develop the belief (even if unconsciously) that they aren’t good enough to have a healthy relationship. I’ve been pondering why perfectly “good enough” people doubt whether they can fly high in healthy relationships. Truth be told, I take no pleasure in this endeavor because at one point my life I too was a person who self sabotaged their intimate relationships, I too didn’t believe I was worthy of a healthy relationship.

Still; lately I’ve been noticing a troubling trend among daters and I’m wondering if their belief in their inability to fly has damaged them in the dating world forever. Obviously the metaphor is not about flying at all but instead it’s about the doubt that prevents you from even trying. It’s about the fear of falling before you even launch, before you even understand, and before you even get the opportunity to truly be in love.

So naturally I’ve been trying to examine the unfortunate truth about people who self sabotage relationships due to the fact that they don’t believe they’re good enough and of course the best way for me to do this is to examine my own life and then compare that to other people I know to determine some form of understanding about “not being good enough”. It’s a daunting task and it’s one that can’t be answered in one article but I do want to tackle one section of the many moving parts of the “not good enough personality flaw”.

Question; what responsibility or role do we as daters play in trying to convince the person we’re dating that they’re good enough for us? That’s the question that I’m going to try to find an answer to in this article because quite frankly I think there are many people self sabotaging their relationships because ultimately they don’t believe they’re good enough. Is it up to us, the dater, partner and lover of the one who sabotages to help them through their issues? And if so, how much?

I remember at the end of my last relationship my then girlfriend said to me that she “realized that she’ll never be good enough for me”. I found this to be completely ridiculous, not because I didn’t believe her words but because I never once said anything in a negative way towards her to make her feel that way about our relationship. In fact, I went out of my way to accept her as she was. I went out of my way to speak life into her and her living situation. I never once told her she wasn’t good enough for me and never did any actions (as far as I’m aware) to make her feel like she wasn’t.

Were there things that I saw that she could improve on? Absolutely, and I suggested things that could be done. Were there things that she saw that I could improve on? Absolutely, and I tried to change once she brought it to my attention but like many things in life; changing into something new takes dedication, fortitude and a true desire to want to do better but more importantly it takes the belief that you can do better.

Identifying things in your partner that can benefit them is natural. That’s part of what being in a healthy relationship entails. Your partner should identify areas in your life that one, can be improved and two, that they can help you with. If your partner isn’t identifying things that can be improved in your life then they don’t really care about your overall well-being. If you aren’t identifying and suggesting things in the person you’re dating life then you don’t really care about them. Why be together if it’s all about staying the same?

Constant criticism is not the goal nor is that healthy but partners can’t get defensive when your partner tries to show you a better way to live. If you do, one can’t help but wonder if you care about your very own happiness and believe me when I say that not caring about your happiness will frustrate your partner even more than you not receiving their advice.

Furthermore, there will always be a few things that your partner likes that you’ll change towards because you want to please them. For example, maybe you like your man to have a little hair on his chest or maybe you like your lady to wear a little bit of makeup and you suggest a slight change.

There’s nothing wrong with that and there’s nothing wrong with you adapting and adopting small changes for the person you love. All of that is to be expected in relationships. If my lady tells me she likes a certain cologne over another cologne that I normally wear then I’m going to wear the cologne she likes more often and not get defensive.

Still, with that said I often wonder if I didn’t do enough to help my ex feel like she was good enough. I often wonder if I could have said more, shown more, and done more to make her feel come confident in the relationship. Was there anything I could have done to make her feel good enough? Do we have any responsibility to do so and would it make a difference?

As a person who lived much of his adult life as such a person who thought he wasn’t good enough, I can speak frankly to this experience and I can speak absolute truth to sabotaging my previous relationships in my twenties and I can say without a shadow of doubt that in my personal experience there was nothing that those women could have done to make me feel completely at ease about my worthiness.

Those women could have told me how much they liked me, loved me and adored me every five minutes and it still wouldn’t have given me the lift I needed. I still wouldn’t have believed I could fly and I would have found a reason as to why it can’t be. Like many people; I ran away from perfectly healthy relationships or found illogical excuses and convinced myself that they were valid reason’s as to why they and I couldn’t be.

Maybe you’ve been doing this as well and maybe you’ve been blaming your ex lovers as to why none of your relationships have worked but if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that we always have to account for the common denominator, which is always ourselves. You have to always account for yourself, your thoughts, your actions and your old bad habits. You have to be aware when the thing that constantly sabotages your relationships tries to reestablish its dominance over you.

The main responsibility that a dater, partner or lover has in the development of someone is to speak life into them. They don’t have to take on your burden, your flaws, your worries or your insecurities unless they want to and if they do; it’s up to you to make quick changes so that it doesn’t bring them down.

It’s not up to the dater to convince you that you’re good enough. It’s up to you to know it to be true because if you’re relying on other people to justify your good enough then you’re giving up the control that only you should have. You’re ultimately placing your worthiness in what other people think and view as good enough.

Why does this happen? The better question is why do you allow it to happen? Why do you believe that you don’t deserve someone who loves you? Why do you continue to allow those who don’t live your life to control your life? Why do you continue to conspicuously go ghost the moment someone shows you your worthiness? If you’re dating someone who does these things it can be utterly frustrating right? It’s maddening when you go out of your way to show your appreciation thinking you’re making progress together and a month later you’re back at square one or even worse. Why does this happen?

There are many reason’s why people do this and I believe that Women Have It harder for various reason’s but comparing yourself to others and what they have is one of the biggest reason’s as to why people don’t feel good enough as stated by @timgoetzinger in his piece Monsters in the Bed: Enough IS Enough but what can a person do to break away from self sabotage? Here are a few tips I call the Divine 9.

The Divine Nine

  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
  2. Evaluate your past relationships and identify common problem areas that came up. Tackle them with ferocity.
  3. Pay attention to your insecurities and stop them from gaining momentum when they show up in your new relationships again and then do the opposite of what your insecurities make you feel like doing.
  4. Try to remove your ego from the equation. Ask yourself if you have a valid reason to be bothered or is it just your ego trying to convince you that it isn’t an ego bruise.
  5. Get help! Find someone to talk with about the problems that you’re dealing with mentally and listen to the feedback.
  6. Work on your self-love.
  7. Find closure on the issues from your childhood that are causing issues in your adulthood.
  8. Find closure from your past relationships. Many people are continuing to allow people who are long gone to remain in present moments.
  9. Bask in the compliments, acceptance and love that your partner gives you. Live in those moments but more importantly TRUST in them.

May these words strike a chord inside anyone whose eyes have been glued to this screen. Understand from this moment on that you’re more than good enough, you’re God enough because God is you, in you and created you. So unless you believe that God creates inferior versions of God self then you’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that you’re good enough for anyone and deserve the healthiest and happiest relationships that life can bring.

“We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”
Beth Moore, So Long, Insecurity: You’ve been a Bad Friend to Us

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Good Enough

Apology Not Included: How to Garner forgiveness without an apology

Nervous about the words I was about to speak to my father I hesitated to say them even though they were on the tip of my tongue. I had rehearsed them prior to dialing his phone number but even in that moment I wasn’t sure how it would be received. It took me years to reach the point of forgiveness of my father and the understanding of my father as a human being. It took a lot of self-reflection and my struggles as a man to comprehend that my father was human and severely flawed too.

To tell you the complete truth it took the shedding of my old skin to understand the non-existent father son relationship that my dad and I had. Hell; I remember it like it was yesterday but it was a little over seven years ago that I finally found the strength to speak the words I rehearsed. “I just want you to know that I love you and that I forgive you. I want you to know that I’m not angry with you about not being part of my life. I want you to know that mom never said anything bad about you to me and that I don’t view you in a negative light. I hope that we can build from this moment on ” “I love you too son” were the words that came through the phone but no apology.

I don’t know if my father truly heard the words and I’m positive he didn’t know how much internal pain I had been experiencing just a few years prior to that moment but what I did know was that moment wasn’t for my dad; it was for me. That moment wasn’t about my dad, it was about me. The person you need to speak to? That moment will be for you.

For me, that moment was the pivotal moment on my timeline of life that allowed me to release hurt, anger and disappointment regarding our relationship. Apology or not I was set free from the bondage that I had previously been a prisoner of. To put it quite frankly I was a slave to the anger and it was my master. I had to learn to accept the apology that would likely never come so I did.

The reason this is on my mind is because recently Hip Hop Artist Jay-Z said in his “Adnis Footnotes” video (find it on tidal) “All my songs up until this point have been about anger with my dad. As an adult looking back, now I have a different perspective of it. I started thinking, ‘Man, my dad married my mother at a time when everybody was leaving.’ He tried.

My mom had two kids before him. She had four kids by 20. I was the youngest child. They were young. That don’t check the box of what I thought. That don’t check the box of somebody who wasn’t shit. You married this woman with four kids and they was together for 11 years. Now the story gets different.”

Jay-z’s video and words brought me back to the moment when I realized that my dad’s story was different from what I had created in my mind. My dad married my mom who had one child prior to them getting married and they were married for thirteen years. In those thirteen years is a story of a flawed man who tried but that I didn’t know because I was too young to understand. The video reminded me that peace comes from finding understanding and accepting it. It also reminded me that some stories will never be known unless we tell them or speak to the people who need to tell them.

So why am I writing about this? Two reasons in particular. One; there’s someone out there who’s holding on to anger, hurt, broken bridges and aren’t able to move forward in their lives because they’re waiting for an apology from someone. The second reason is that I’ve never really spoken on this topic openly and maybe a different part of this article will help someone.

Furthermore, over the years of writing I’ve learned that my words are often a breath of fresh air for many and so if parts of my story can generate strength in someone else to finally say the words they’ve been dying to say to someone then who am I to not write?

Look this is a human life fact; people are flawed and many people are severely flawed. So much so that they don’t know how to say I’m sorry, they don’t have the foresight to understand the hindsight of how they screwed up. They don’t know how to explain the reasoning behind their decisions. They don’t know how to fix the broken relationship because they’ve never been the one to do so. Does that make them a bad person? No; it just makes them a flawed individual.

To complete my point, flawless lives don’t exist but your centering in those flawed relationships can exist if you learn to accept them for who they are and where they are in their lives. It’s not up to you to change them or to try to change them. The only responsibility that you have in a broken relationship is to find peace with it. To become centered and to remain centered isn’t easily done and it absolutely requires COMPLETE forgiveness in order to be in that place of balance.

Your happiness and peace in these relationship can exist by accepting the fact that some people don’t know the hurt they caused you and will never apologize. In all honesty; forgiveness is always more for you than it is for them. So if you don’t want to feel angst when either speaking or seeing the person or people involved in the pain caused then you have to come to an understanding with yourself about the situation.

You owe it to yourself to be the best version of you in every situation that you find yourself in; but how can you be that if just the mere thought of potentially crossing paths with someone makes you uneasy or makes you not want to go to the planned event? We can pretend that broken relationships that were once loving relationships don’t bother us and continue to lie to ourselves or we can be truthful about them and find healing.

The beginning of my healing came the moment I sat down and wrote a letter to my dad. I don’t remember my exact age but I do know I wasn’t quite twenty-five yet. I had no intention of mailing the letter but I knew I needed to say everything that I never did. I grabbed two loose leafs sheet of paper and a pen and began writing. After I finished I put the letter in an envelope, found a stamp and stared at it. I remember asking myself, “is this really worth it”?

I got my dad’s address from my uncle,wrote it down on the envelope and two days later I stood in front of the post office box wondering if I would get a response from my dad. Somewhere between “I’m not going to mail this” and finishing the letter I convinced myself it was best to mail it. I stood there as a grown man, scared to let go of this tiny envelope that carried the weight of the world in it but I dropped it into the dark crevices of that mail box and walked away.

I never received a response from my father. I don’t know if he opened it and cried or if it got lost along the way of Route 360 but what I do know is that I felt 50% better after the writing of that letter and 75% better after mailing it. I’m not telling you that you have to mail a letter or email or to even direct message the person who caused the pain but I am telling you to write down or type everything you need to say as if you will and then decide what to do with that letter afterwards. Let that be the beginning of your healing regarding the broken relationship.

After you do that step, read the words you wrote at least five times over the course of a week. Let it sink in and after each read say out loud “I’m releasing this weight and I forgive you but more importantly I forgive myself for allowing you to hurt me.” Do this before you send the email or letter, do this even if you choose not to send. The next step is in speaking with the person or people who has caused the hurt and anger.

The goal however should not be you speaking to them to make them feel guilty or to get an apology. The goal is for you to clear your plate of the negative energy that exist in the relationship. The goal is for you to find the strength to ask them to just listen as you say the things you need to say in order for you to find peace.

Remember, you already forgave them after you finished writing your letter so you speaking to them is not about their apology, it’s about you taking back control over your emotions, feelings and energy regarding the relationship. That moment is not about them, it’s about you and they don’t need to know that. That moment is about you finding your strength again so that you can move forward with love.

Mahatma Gandhi said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” and Martin Luther King Jr said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Keeping that in mind, constantly remind yourself that you’re strong enough to forgive just like I was strong enough to forgive my father. None of this of course guarantees that the relationship will get better but my relationship with my father did improve afterwards so maybe the broken relationship that you have will too.

In closing, my dad wasn’t a bad person or a bad friend to his friends. He just wasn’t a good father and that’s okay because I understand that’s how it had to be. The person who has hurt you likely isn’t a bad person, they just weren’t good to you for whatever self reason. I want you to know that you can completely heal without speaking to the person who has caused the pain,it will just take longer to do so without speaking the words that need to be said to them. Look, I don’t know about you but if I had a choice of the short road or the long road to my happiness I’d choose the shorter path every time. Good Luck!

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.”
Alison Croggon

*I’m just a guy who blogs. I’m not a English professor so don’t let a few grammatical errors block your blessing. If you’d like to offer your service for free that’s cool too 🙂