Reality vs. Potential

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 “I love him and I know he can change. He is not where I want him to be, but I trust that he will get there eventually.” Does this sound familiar? We, as women, have all fallen in love with a guy who we honestly knew was no good from the start, but because we saw a small glimmer of hope inside of him we decided to waste our time. We tend to sometimes alter our “list” of standards to appease our physical need for affection, attention, and companionship. The sad reality ladies is that most men do not settle. If they want a woman who is light skinned with green eyes, they will find someone who is light skinned with green eyes. Don’t get me wrong, while they search they will still waste your time (if you don’t fit their dream girl description), but they will rarely settle down with someone who isn’t what they really want. We as women tend to fall in love with the potential of what a guy can be rather than the reality of who they really are.

First things first, you will never change a man who does not want to change. It does not matter how great of a person you are. You can be the prettiest, smartest, most giving person in the world, but a man who is not fully ready to commit to you will only waste your time. You will get sick of him and have your foot almost out of the door, but when he realizes it he will reach into his pocket, show a little potential, and you will stay. It happens more often than not. I can recall a particular situation in a past relationship where I knew very early that I was in love with his potential and not his reality. A relationship with God was extremely important to me, and he knew it, so every time I would try to end the relationship he would bring God into the situation saying, “God wants us to be together.” I fell for it (I cannot tell a lie), but eventually the potential that I was desperately trying to see turned into a distant memory and I left.

The world (media, friends, and social networks) will tell you that you are “too picky” and you will never have your “dream guy”, but I disagree. No, you will never find someone who is perfect and faultless because let’s be honest no one is perfect, but you will and can find someone who is perfect for you. When we realize that our standards should not be altered and stop accepting the potential of guys and start relying on the reality we will save ourselves a lot of heartache. Do not hold on to the hope that your guy will change for you because he will not if he is not ready. Fall in love and be committed to the reality of what he shows you on a daily basis instead of solely relying on potential that may never grow.

In summary, “never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.” 

Queen Mes ❤

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The Art of Forgiveness 

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“You want me to forgive them after all they have done to me? No, no, no I don’t think you understand how much I trusted them and they betrayed me. They were supposed to love me and be there for me, but they were no where to be found when I was down and out.” Does this monologue sound familiar? There isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t either asked someone for forgiveness or had to forgive someone. But what about those of us who have been harboring feelings of unforgiveness for a very long time? It could be an incident from your childhood that you just never got over or a past relationship where you gave it your all only to be hurt in the end. It’s so easy when people say you have to forgive someone or it holds you back, but in reality you don’t always feel like that. Sometimes we hold grudges or harbor unforgiveness because we don’t want to face the issue or relive the moment when the hurt happened. Let’s examine some different ways to truly forgive and start living your life.

1. Recognize the unforgiveness.

As I stated above, some people don’t realize they have issues of unforgiveness because it’s been there so long and has become a part of their daily lives. Your body has literally gotten so immune to you holding a grudge against someone who hurt you that even when someone points it out you get defensive and deny that the grudge was ever there. The first step to fixing any issue is to first admit that the issue is there and needs to be fixed. After you admit that you have to forgive someone the process of forgiveness can truly begin.

2. Unforgiveness not only affects you, but those around you too.
When you harbor unforgiveness towards someone it not only affects you and your health, but it also can affect those closest around you. I had so much unforgiveness in my heart towards a particular person that it started seeping into another relationship. Unforgiveness is like stage 4 cancer, it spreads to other things including people who have never done anything to you. I found myself punishing this innocent person for something they had no control over. When it was brought to my attention at first I was in denial, but ultimately it started to make sense. My feelings of distrust and the anxiety that came from it was damaging a good thing.

3. Expect road bumps.
When you start the process of forgiveness and that person is still in your life expect road bumps. When I was younger I would try to forgive a certain individual and then they would do something to me that literally made me have to start the process over. Take the expectation of change off the person you are forgiving. Just because you want to forgive them does not mean they will change. Some people will never change their ways, but don’t let that stop you from forgiving them.

4. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight.
I really dislike when people think that you should just be able to snap your fingers and every hurt from your past will be forgotten and forgiven. It’s not that easy! When you are finally ready to start the process of forgiveness you have to know that it won’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up the next morning with jolly feelings towards the ex who hurt you to the core or that friend who left you out to dry when you needed her the most. The great thing about forgiveness is that when you really start the process and stay on course you will eventually be set free! You will not forget what the person did, but it will no longer be the first thing you think of when someone mentions their name.

In summary, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Are We In This Together?

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During the NBA Finals I noticed something very unique about Lebron James. Yes, his basketball skills were amazing, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the comradery he shared with his teammates both on and off the court. In press conferences he never threw them under the bus and even had individual handshakes for each team member. Watching Lebron James support his teammates on and off the court was impressive to me primarily because most relationships are not exhibiting this same comradery. We sometimes act like rivals instead of teammates. Have you ever thought of your significant other as a member of your team or do you tend to view them more as a rival?  Here are the essential things that every “PowerTeam needs to win the big game:

1. Support each other

Support is essential in any relationship ESPECIALLY a romantic one. You truly have to be your partner’s biggest fan. A simple, “I believe in you” or “I support you 100%” makes all the late nights and sacrifices worth it. No one is 100% confident all the time and that is when your “teammate” needs to step it up and remind you of the power that you have. There is no support like that from your significant other. When you root for each other a bond forms that is unparalleled.

2. Positive Communication

I learned the hard way that it is not what you say, but how you say it. I can tell my boyfriend to turn the music down without yelling at him or cursing. When I yell or curse my “teammate” is viewing me as a rival because a good team does not communicate that way. How is he suppose to believe that we are a team when I am talking to him as a crazed fan from the sideline. Same for the guys. When communicating with your “teammate” your tone needs to come off as serious, but tactful. When a woman feels like you are attacking her she will become defensive and that is never a good thing. Remember to speak to one another in a respectful way. After all, you both are playing for the same team.

3. Cut down on the bad Girl/Guy talk

In one Cavs press conferences a reporter asked Lebron how he felt about a particular teammate who did not perform well and caused the team to lose the game. Lebron could have thrown his teammate under the bus, but he did not. Instead of focusing on what he did not do he highlighted his teammates strengths in the game and ended with a plan for all of them to do better. You cannot get into the habit of throwing your “teammate” under the bus. You want the spectators rooting for you too and not booing from the sidelines. Keep the negative talk to a minimum.

4. Don’t take things so personal

It is very easy for your significant other to think you are rivals when you point out a flaw or something they are not doing right. They get defensive and feel the need to defend themselves and their actions. A good team does not operate like that. If you partner informs you of something you are not doing right or something they want you to do differently it is your job as their teammate to listen. Of course this is only when the suggestions will benefit your “team.” This is where point number 2 really comes into play. The ultimate goal for any team is to win which means BOTH of you will get to a point where you have to make some changes. Don’t take them personal and remember that your teammate loves you and it is coming from a good place.

In summary, relationships are team work, not one against the other.

Queen Mes ❤

“Sorry for 2004”

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I am sorry. One of the hardest phrases in the English language to say, but most importantly one of the hardest to actually mean. So many times we spout out meaningless “I’m sorry’s” in an attempt to either shut our significant others up or to jump start the “making up” process, but how many of them do we actually mean? Better yet, how many times have you apologized the “right way?” Below you will find tips on how to apologize effectively.

1. Don’t shift the blame.

Sometimes instead of taking full responsibility for our part we shift the blame to the other person.. For example, “I am sorry I lied to you, but you left me no choice. I feel like you get so angry when I try to tell the truth.” This is NOT an appropriate way to apologize. Not only are you justifying your negative action, but you are also opening a whole new can of worms without concealing the first.You will know when you have learned the art of apologizing because the other person’s faults will not matter because you are only focused on what you did wrong and how it made the other person feel. I live by the notion that everyone is entitled to their feelings and if someone was sincerely hurt by your actions then you need to sincerely apologize and mean it.

2. Do not apologize until you sincerely mean it.

You cannot effectively apologize until you are truly sorry AND are ready to admit it out loud. Many times we feel rushed into apologizing to someone when truthfully we are not really ready. Take the time to evaluate your part in the situation, gather your thoughts, and then when you feel comfortable proceed with the apology. There is nothing worse than hearing, “You don’t even mean it,” after an apology.

3. Time out!

I know I am not the only one who needs some time and space after receiving an apology. Give the person a couple of minutes to digest what happened, what you said, and to gather their thoughts on how to fix it. Do not look at this time out as negative or the person not accepting your apology. Look at it as the person really trying to move forward and ridding themselves of the negativity.

4. Look ahead! 

After you have done the first three steps, plan ahead. Come up with a plan on how to fix the problem. If you are truly sorry that you have been insensitive to your friend’s needs then discuss a plan on how to prevent this same behavior in the future. Ask him/her what you can do to make them feel better or clarify what not to do to prevent future hurt.

In summary, always remember, “Apologizing does not always mean that you’re right and the other person is wrong. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”

-Queen Mes ❤

What’s Your Love Language?

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In 1995 Gary Chapman wrote a book called, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” The book became an instant success and couples all around the country began a quest to find their love language. Chapman discussed five ways, which he calls “love languages”, in which you express and experience love: Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Quality Time. So why dedicate an entire post to “love languages?” It’s simple! Everyone loves differently and it’s extremely important to not only discover how your partner loves and wants to be loved, but to find out how you want to be loved. When you know how your partner prefers to be loved your relationship will grow and mature because you are fulfilling his/her needs. Which description below describes how you like to be loved?

The Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation
One of your deepest needs is the need to feel appreciated. Verbal compliments, words of appreciation, encouragement, kind and humble words are all ways to show love to you.

Quality Time
You enjoy doing things TOGETHER! We aren’t talking about just sitting in front of the T.V. together but really giving each other undivided attention. This means looking at each other, talking to each other, sharing your life with your partner.

Receiving Gifts
You are happy to receive things from your loved ones. They don’t have to be expensive. The gift is a symbol of “s/he cares about me” and “s/he thinks of me”.

Acts of Service
For you, actions speak louder than words! You prefer your partner to do things for you such as cooking a meal, giving a massage, cleaning the room… You like your partner to initiate the acts of service and put efforts into doing them to show that s/he cares.

Physical Touch
You love to receive a hug, a kiss, squeezes on the shoulder, a pat on the back, a touch of the face, and an arm around the waist… Touches can be 10 times as powerful and comforting as any words!

http://www.polyu.edu.hk/sao/publications/emagazine/issue133/love%20language2.pdf

Now that you have identified your love language, find out your partner’s too! I have listed specific ways to display love based on your designated love language.
Words of Affirmation:
• Random “I love and appreciate you” texts
• Cards
• Hand Written Letters
Quality Time:
• Netflix Night/Movie Date
• Picnic in the Park
• Romantic Dinner at Home Minus Cell Phones/Social Media
Receiving Gifts:
• Flowers
• Sporting Event Tickets
• Care Packages
Acts of Service:
• Massages
• Cooking a Meal
• Cleaning Up
Physical Touch:
• Random Hugs
• Kiss on the Forehead
• Back Rub
In summary, “If you are to develop an intimate relationship, you need to know each others desires. If you wish to love each other, you need to know what the other person wants.”

-Queen Mes ❤

“He Cheated, I stayed. She cheated, I left.”

“Cheating is a choice, not a mistake.” We have all either been cheated on or know someone who has been a victim of cheating. We hear or experience these stories often and most of the time there is a pattern. In the cases where the man cheated the woman could stay and possibly try to forgive him, but in the cases of a woman cheating on her man the man would most likely automatically leave the relationship. Not fair, right? That’s what I thought too! How can he expect me to forgive him for cheating on me, but he would leave if I ever cheated on him? Ladies, I couldn’t fathom this if I tried which is why I solicited the help of a male’s perspective.

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*Disclaimer* I am in NO way justifying a man for cheating.I would never do that! I am merely restating what was shared with me so please don’t shoot the messenger. *Disclaimer*

The act of cheating for men is mostly physical, while the act for women is mostly emotional.

One of the reasons a woman can forgive a man after cheating is because MOST of the time the cheating act was just physical. Guy meets girl, Guy sleeps with girl, and can forget her name and never have contact with her again. He doesn’t have to send her good morning texts or even know her last name. He has most likely only been stimulated physically. Some men even go a far to say they entertain other women to see if “they still have it.” The reason a man can’t forgive a woman after cheating is because her cheating act was likely emotional/mental. It’s harder for a woman to just sleep with someone and forget about them because let’s face it ladies we just aren’t built like that.

Most of the time women cheat because they are lacking something emotionally/mentally from their mates. He’s not paying you enough attention or the fire is dwindling in your relationship. Women are stimulated mentally and emotionally, even the act of sex requires mental stimulation. (Ladies, when your man is acting up nine times out of ten it’s not going down tonight!) Your man could have cheated earlier that day, come home, and already forgot Rhonda’s last name. But not you Boo you know Tyrone’s favorite color, what he likes to do on the weekends, and what his mother’s potato salad tastes like because not only were you physically invested in him, but you were probably emotionally invested too. When your man gets on your nerves you tune him out with thoughts of Tyrone. You are cheating to replace your man.

Women are also more likely to forgive men because of our genetic make up (Eve we are coming for you). Ladies, we are nurtures and more sensitive by nature. Here’s an example, think about the mother of a “no good” son. He is rotten to the core and everyone has given up hope on him, but his mother will try to see the best in him and will protect her “baby” by any means necessary. Women will think that they have done something wrong and will replay every argument, disagreement, or attitude they have every had to try to pinpoint why her man cheated on her. This thinking pattern creates a wave of insecurities that is hard to get through.

Ego is another key factor in this equation. I think in most women’s minds we secretly know at some point in the relationship that there’s a possibility that our man can be unfaithful (TELL THE TRUTH!), but because of a guys ego it is very hard for him to imagine his woman with another man. It infuriates him just to think of another man touching his woman which is why when it happens it hurts him to the core.  A bruised man’s ego is a hard thing to mend.
So what do you think? If your partner cheated on you can you forgive them? Is this double standard fair? What do you consider cheating? Let me know in the comment section below!

-Queen Mes ❤

Which House Are You?

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Once upon a time there were two men who built their homes on a lake. The first man was a hard worker and worked diligently securing the foundation of his home while the second man threw rubbish and sand underneath his home to cut down on the work. Day in and day out the first man would work to build his home using all the right tools while the second man mocked him and his hard work. One day there was a storm like no other and the two men became very afraid that their homes would be destroyed. The first man’s home suffered some damage, but because of the strong foundation the home was able to withstand the storm. The second man’s home was ruined and he was left devastated. Relationships can be compared to these two homes. The second home can be compared to those relationships where the foundation isn’t very stable and is usually built on lust and infatuation. This house was easy to build because not a lot of time and effort was put into the foundation, but when a storm comes it is broken into a thousand pieces. The first home can be compared to the relationship that has the most important foundation…friendship.

Our generation is known as the “microwave generation” meaning we want everything fast without too much hard work, but in the end what do you get? It’s like day old pizza that you put in the microwave for 30 seconds, although satisfying it never really taste like that oven ready pizza you had to wait 30 minutes for the previous day. Now of course 30 seconds to 30 minutes is only a short period of time, but you catch my drift. A lot of relationships these days fail because they don’t have the right foundation. Here are the benefits of having TRUE friendship as your foundation:

1. You actually LIKE the person.
Musiq Soulchild said it best, so many people really do use the word love in vain, but do you like your partner? When something good happens to you are they the first person you would call? If you had to tell only one person and one person only a secret, would they top the list? If friendship is the true foundation of your relationship then the answer to those questions are probably yes! You know their desires and goals in life, what makes them cry or angry,. You know what buttons to push and when to back off and give them some space. Most importantly you truly enjoy that person AFTER the “Honeymoon Stage” is over. This means you’re arguing more and still there’s no place you’d rather be. This means you two are so in tune with one another that you are able to communicate effectively even in the silence.

2. You can weather the storm.
When you’re relationship is built on friendship then just like the second man’s home you can weather the storm. Yes, you’ll have a couple of bumps and bruises, but you know without a shadow of a doubt that they are worth it. When your partner is your friend first and foremost then it’s more than just fighting or arguing with your significant other, it’s also not being in a good space with a friend which is a lot harder to get over.

3. You know most of the pros and cons up front!
When you’re partner is first and foremost your friend, you know the things they do that piss you off or grind your gears. It’s not a surprise to you when they are stubborn or don’t always take constructive criticism well. This can become a problem in a relationship based on lust and infatuation. You think you partner is changing when in reality they have been that way all along you just didn’t have enough time to get to know them. Of course there will be things that they start doing that they have never done before that bug you, but everything does not come as a surprise.

In summary, “the best foundation for relationships to grow, flourish, and succeed is a deep-rooted friendship.” So, which house are you?

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