Solo 4.0: You couldn’t wait, Now What?

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my first three installments in this series were about basically waiting to date. So it’s no coincidence that I’m focusing on what happens now that you couldn’t wait..

Being solo isn’t the end of the world.
There’s the saying that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. It’s like you’re dating yourself. Even that could be a handful. You gotta love yourself,  spoil yourself.  Know what you like and don’t like.  Be comfortable in your own skin.
Being single should be one of the seasons in your life that you’re happiest. No matter if that season of singleness lasts a few months, a few years, or even your whole life. Your season of singleness is a time to focus on yourself. Discover what makes you happy, and keep doing it. Over and over and over again. Rely on yourself. Grow by yourself. Being by yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. It should be just as fun, if not more, as dating someone.
Dating can be fun.  Getting to know someone, finding out what they like,  dislike,  etc. That brand new feeling. It’s refreshing. The first flirt,  first heart eye emoji, first date,  second,  third, first kiss, etc. Butterflies in the stomach feeling.. Right?
Dating isn’t everything either. I can’t speak on marriage or a whole lot on serious relationships that last longer than a couple of years,  but I can speak on dating.
I look at dating like a group project. A fun,  TWO person project. There’s a common task and goal in mind that you’re building towards. Finding out if this could turn into a serious relationship or not.
The idea about group projects is everyone has to contribute. It’s not required, but it’s the ideal thing. If everyone in the group contributes, the project should come out good. If everyone doesn’t contribute,  the project will lack.
Same goes with dating.  Both people ideally should want to contribute to building towards something greater. It’s not a requirement and either person can choose not to contribute and pull out of the dating relationship. Problem is, more times than not,  one person is always more interested in the ‘group project’ than the other. It’s life.  That happens.  But this is where the dating experience turns south. 
You won’t ever be able to make someone like you or be into you the way you’re into them. The best thing you can do is be into yourself so much,  the right person will come along and be into you the way you desire them to be. Naturally.
So just what happens when that experience between you two turn sour? It’s no longer dating at that’ll point. It’s now considered a situationship.
I’m not sure when this term was created but the word Situationship doesn’t sit well with me. It shouldn’t sit well with you either.
Urban dictionary defines a situationship as:
any problematic relationship characterized by one or more unresolved, interpersonal conflicts. usually confused with dating.
Problematic relationship ? But y’all were dating and having a good time, what happened? Interpersonal conflict? What the heck?
I’ll tell you what happened.. Somewhere along the way of you two dating, one of you developed deeper feelings and wanted more while the other would rather continue to date and not get too serious. I don’t do the whole situationship thing. Situationships are toxic. Usually at the dating stage, everything (well almost everything) is innocent. The conversation is good, connection is legitimate. Everything is fine. What causes a situationship is when the conversation starts to become a struggle because now all one person wants is to talk about it being a relationship, something more. And the other doesn’t want to hear it.
Okay, it’s not just the conversation that changes.
Usually situationships are the result of a dating experience that has progressed to the point of introducing sexual relations.
So what’s wrong with having sex with the person you’re dating?
Nothing, if you’re heartless and don’t care about your emotional, physical and mental security and integrity.
Sex is avoidable while dating, but is it always avoided? Nope. Does sex alone cause Situationships? No. But does it affect the health of the dating experience? Yes and no.
It affects the experience because you two are still at the level of learning each other, getting to know what that person likes and dislikes. Having sex at this point is tricky cause you want to know as much as you can about them without getting too physical too fast.
I was browsing Twitter for content about situationships because let’s face it, we are in the generation of social media .. I saw this tweet.
image

Interesting thought.

As I said, if you’re completely emotionless, then having sex with someone you’re dating won’t affect you as much… you robot

For the 98% of us that are affected by sex while dating, be extremely careful. I can’t tell you to stop having sex or stop dating altogether. I’ve been down that road before several times.
What I can say is, watch yourself. Make sure you and the other person have a clear line of communication. Hopefully, if the dating experience has progressed to being intimate, there’s consistent communication already taking place. You both know where y’all stand. Y’all both know how one feels about the other. What sex will do is possibly add more to what you’re really feeling about the other person or what you’re actually ready to feel, if that makes sense.

Avoid the situationships. They’re toxic. The communication has broken down. Theres a chemical imbalance of emotions and thoughts with yourself and the other person. You’re thinking you’re just being led on until they find something better or until it’s time for them to get serious about their life and career. You’re instantly regretting getting into this. Maybe you’re the one who is on the other side. You’re the one that isn’t into them as much as they are and you know it. Maybe you’re the one that just wants something better and this is just convenient for the moment. Bottom line: Someone always ends up getting hurt.

The way I believe it to be is this:
There’s being Single. Dating. Serious Committed Relationships. And Marriage. No in between. No blurred lines. No situationships.

It’s best to just wait. If you can’t wait, it’s okay to date. Just date smart. Know your worth. That’s all I’m saying.

J.

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You

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Missing you
Wanting you
Loving you

J

#NoSuchThing

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First off, I want to say this was inspired from a song called ‘Love yourz’ off J. Cole’s new Album ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’. This song talks about the importance of loving your life, loving yourself. and I was inspired by it because I’ve had a history of writing these near depressed posts, like things in my life aren’t improving or that I’m not happy with my life. That’s simply not the case. I want to inspire others and make others feel good, because that’s what makes me feel good. So I want to elaborate on that for a second.

This song made me realize two things.
1). your life is valuable. Rather you already know that or you don’t feel that it is….. It is.
There will never be another life better than the one you’re living now. If you believe in God or some kind of higher power that consists of a better after-life then that’s different. What I mean is the life you’re living now is valuable because you have the unique opportunity to leave a mark on this generation and future generations like your kids, your family, your friends, colleagues, etc. All by how you view your life and yourself. If you’re in a struggle, then that’s even more reason to claim you’re living a beautiful and valuable life. There’s beauty in the struggle as J Cole put it.
No matter how hard and tough the struggle, you always come out on top. Struggling with work or finding a job, you usually find a better job down the road, a more rewarding, appreciating job. Struggling with relationships (which I’ll write about in future posts) , that struggle too won’t last always. (and more times than not, it’s their lost, not yours)
There’s beauty in the struggle also not just because the outcome is always greater, but the struggle itself teaches us how to be patient. How to appreciate the finer things in life. No matter the struggle, your life is valuable. Never think anything less..
2). You have a purpose in life.
If someone tells you that you deserve better in life, listen to them! There’s never going to be a better life than your own. So step into it. Find your purpose. Embrace it. Know with all confidence that your purpose is defined, not by anyone else, but by the reality of your ambition, your grind, your humbleness, and your faith. Your purpose in life is what will push you to higher levels, new heights. Discovering your purpose defines that your life is valuable. Just as valuing your life allows you to turn your purpose into your legacy… After all. There’s no such thing as a life that’s better than ‘Yourz

Prelude..

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Writing is therapeutic. Writing is inspirational. Writing can be convicting. I get a release when I write. My thoughts on paper, or in this case, on screen. Not necessarily for the world to see, but for the small few that are interested in how I see life. The more I write, the better.

I just have this one small tiny issue. I struggle with consistency. I should write every week. Maybe even every day depending on the material I would like to touch on…

But this post is a prelude, a preview of sorts. I want to reflect on a few series’ i started several years ago. I also want to get a post out that was inspired from a song by rap artist. J.Cole entitled ‘Love Yourz’ from his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

I want to call it #NoSuchThing because in the song, he talks about how there’s no such thing as a life better than the one you have and how we should all love the life that we live. And that inspired me to touch on it. Currently I’m not in the best of situations with my life. Yes, I’m a proud father. But that’s where the happiness stops. I’m currently out of a job, not in school, nothing really spectacular happening on the personal front, although all three of those situations could change in an instant..

But listening to that song spoke to me. In the past, I thought Gospel or “Inspirational Music” was the only kind to inspire me. That was selfish of me to think that. But I was biased and narrow minded. truth is ALL MUSIC can speak to you. And I’m not talking about Illuminati and demonic or satanic type of ‘speaking to you’. I’m talking about thought provoking, moving, self awakening, convicting ‘speak to’ Any song, any genre can do that. It’s all about message. and I feel J. Cole has a strong message in his music, particularly that song. So I can’t wait to go further in detail about #NoSuchThing. I hope to have it completed in the next few weeks.

Another thing I want to do is bring back some of the blog series’ I started a few years back and refresh them and add another installment or two to some of them. I want to start with, in my mind, my best blog series. “Solo”. This series is for the singles out there, myself included, touching on how challenging single life really is. I looked at the biblical view of singleness and how important it was to ‘Choose contentment over company’ (2.0) , and reminding singles that good things really do come to those who wait (3.0).  What I would like to do for the fourth installment is to go back to the drawing board and present a ‘Real Life’ model. Let’s say you didn’t wait, and you couldn’t hold out and choose contentment over company, and you decided to get back on the dating market, and now you’re in a peculiar situation. Technically you’re single, but involved with someone and you like them, but a relationship doesn’t seem imminent. Now what? Or you hook back up with an old ex or fling and it’s nothing about sexual, cause the initial flame between y’all died the first (or three) times between y’all. What do you do?  I’ll touch on that and few other things in the fourth installment of my ‘Solo’ series. (official title coming soon)

I can’t promise that I’ll remain consistent after these two posts, but I really want to. I even want to get back into my sports writing. Because quite frankly, I’m tired of writing the same depressing ‘nothing has changed in my life’ type of posts. Although the #NoSuchThing post should put an end to that. To the few readers out there, any encouragement (or criticism) would be welcome. I really do appreciate y’all. I really hope y’all get as much pleasure and enjoyment from reading, as I do writing it. I’m excited about what’s to come. Stay tuned.

J

Untitled

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5 months,  23 days.

That’s the time since I’ve last posted something. It was notes from a devotional . I can count on barely both my hands the number of times Ive read or studied my Bible, let alone the number of times been to church since then. 
Just a barrage of things that’s on my plate.
Work is stressful. I’m out of work currently
Fatherhood is going great right now. I struggle everyday with being a dad.
School is going good, I graduate soon. I’ve been out of school for a year now. Second time taking off from school that long.

I want better for my life. I want greatness. Not just so I can say things are going great in my life,  but I can be a blessing to the people in my life. Instead of being a burden.. Instead of being a disappointment. A failure .

I want to tell myself, things will get better.  I see the light at the end of the table.  Then that voice in the back of my head eats away at it.  Is it depression? Is it doubt? Fear?  Insecurity?

Answer: ALL of them.
I thought as a guy,  we were immune to fear and doubt and depression. Then I saw what happened to Robin Williams.
Not saying that we men are invincible. Not what I’m saying at all.. I’m saying I didn’t think those things can alter someone’s view on their life.
In reality they do.
I’ve never ever in my life thought about taking my own life. But I’ve had thoughts,  what would life be without me,  would everyone be better off without me? 

It’s extremely selfish to think In such a way now having a daughter.  And I don’t want to dwell on those thoughts. Even if she’s the only person left on this earth that can’t live without me or feels she needs me in her life, then I’m okay with that. 
I just don’t want to be a failure to her. I feel like Ive failed everyone else. And there’s not much I can do to change their opinion. But my princess can see me as a success. I have everything to do with if she sees me like that or not. I just need to train my mind to accept this reality and live in it.

….

CHANGING THE WORLD

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that was today’s title of the devotion in my ‘Daily Bread’ Bible reading plan…
Cindy Hess Kasper wrote this devotional and it touched me.. This is what she wrote..

It’s a full-time job trying to get people to change. Oh, what a perfect world it would be — if only other people would do what we want…

A plague in our family room may hold the key to the secret of change. It’s in Dutch, but translated it reads: 

CHANGE THE WORLD — BEGIN WITH YOURSELF

Not what most of us want to hear.

Jesus told a parable about the problem of not seeing your own faults. He said, “How can you say to your brother,  ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye” (Luke 6:42)
Being able to see other people’s faults easily without ever noticing my own is not just an indication of hypocrisy. It can be a wake-up call that the problem in a struggling relationship may be me. Perhaps it’s my attitude that needs to change. Or I’m the one whom needs to apologize. Maybe I’m the person who needs a humble spirit.
It’s a lesson some of us have to learn over and over. We can’t change others, but with God’s help we can change our own behavior. And when our attitude changes,  it may seem as if others have changed as well.

To change can be a wonderful prospect,
though often it’s met with resistance;
The transformation begins within us
And will take a lot of persistence.

–Hess

When God works a change in us He can change others through us

This devotional helped me so much, because I realize I still have so many things to work on and get better with. And while I feel that I have been changing for the better and want those close to me to see these changes,  I must continue to strive to change and get better daily. Die to my old self, crucify my flesh, stay humble, stay hungry and seek after God’s heart.  there’s so much wrong that I’ve done in the past, but God continually gives me chance after chance to make it right,  and I feel that I’m stepping up to the plate and answering the call, finally.  But I can’t wait for those around me to notice change,  I have to strictly chase after God. Man won’t ever be satisfied with man’s progress. I’ve learned that enough. God, however,  will see that progress.  I, too, have been guilty of calling someone out in their faults,  seeing the speck in their eye without first removing the beam in my own. I’ve also encouraged and praised others and acknowledged them for their progress in their own life because I personally feel that it’s important to admire someone’s progress rather its growth spiritually, increase financially, or physical or psychological and emotional improvements in their life. I just need to realize that I won’t always be acknowledged for my changes,  and I’m okay with that. 

Jesus says in Luke 6:43-45 (KJV)
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men did not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  A good man out of good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil:  for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. “

I just want to bring forth good fruit and continue to grow in God. That’s all I want to do. Bring forth good fruit in my home, my family especially with raising my daughter the best that I can, bring forth good fruit in my relationships with people in my life,  at work,  and eventually the community and world.

Father, help me to change. Help me to stay persistent in my current changes and to always strive and thirst for more of Your presence. Help me to bare good fruit each and every day in every area of my life. I love you so much, thank You for Your faithfulness. Amen.

Life.

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I decided to take the family route on this. I understand that theres so many more issues wrong with these occurrences such as police brutality, civil rights, racism, etc.  But in one way or another these men,  African American men, were taken away from their families.  I’m a 24 year old African American man. This could be me. I could be next.  I’m unarmed just like these men were.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE FAMILIES, the unrest in Ferguson and now possibly L.A. in the coming days. Pray for protection in our communities. Pray for the community leaders and law enforcement officers who still rightfully uphold the law and protect their communities and citizens of ALL colors.