Tag Archives: Love

Uncuffed: Why FWBs Aren’t for Moi

Cuffing season is in full effect and like stray animals to meat, many former flames have returned. Fortunately, I’ve had the good sense to remind myself that my ass is not kindling. Cuffing Season

If 23 and 24 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t be something you’re not. In this modern age, I’ve tried to go with the flow and adapt to the changes from relationships to “friends” with benefits. It finally got to the point that I realized that this ain’t what it is. You I can’t have the benefit of a relationship without the dignity of the title. I know we’ve all been hurt by someone but shutting people out doesn’t make the pain hurt any less.

I know the thirst is real for most of us (TRUST ME) but how are little droplets of water placating that? I need an aquifer! I need something more than scraps when I deserve to be at the table. The “benefits” are nice but they’re just low hanging fruit. Shouldn’t we aim higher? If you’re truly okay with casual sex and can be that detached that frequent physically intimacy with one person won’t have you feeling a certain way…I won’t judge you but I also won’t fully trust you’re ok with that. Feelings happen and I’m tired of us pretending as if having them are bad things. They are not these unallowed, intolerable things that we have to learn to kill. It’s ok if you feel some kind of way. It’s ok if you start wondering about a future with a person you’re involved. with. It’s ok to be human and to recognize that you want and need more.

It took me a while to come to that conclusion though. For the longest I wanted to be the cool girl. I wanted to be aloof and mysterious but I realized that’s just another way of saying  fragile and afraid. Casual sex can work if two people are ok with just having sex and nothing more but FWBs are designed to fail. It’s not really a friendship so much as fauxship, a bridge, a pause, or a crutch. I get it because I’ve done it. It’s nice to have someone to lean on when you don’t want to do the work to lean on yourself. It’s comforting to think you have someone who doesn’t make you feel alone. But those are all emotional needs, not sexual ones. When you mix the two you essentially get the trappings of a relationship without the commitment and let’s not bullshit ourselves here, what the fuck does that do? It’s either confusing because you’re the one looking for more than benefits or aggravating because that’s all you’re willing to give. The point of these types of arrangements is to avoid any and all vulnerability while secretly wanting just that. It’s predicated on taking without putting anything back into it. If something is developed as a means to avoid emotional anguish, why does it generate just as much of it?

I’ll admit when I first started going through this phase I thought it was liberating in a way. I’m all for people figuring out what they want sexually and emotionally but I have a hard time believing that someone would only ever be satisfied with just that. There’s so much more to people than what’s between their legs, why wouldn’t you want to explore that? Why wouldn’t you want someone to explore and know you too? …that’s probably a topic for another time though. At some point you have to be honest with who you are and what you want. So often we say one thing but our actions show that we want another. When I was able to be honest about both of those things, I realized that FWBs were never going to work for me.

They feel great initially. If you still have wounds you’ve yet to heal and pain you’ve yet to process, it’s an incredible distraction. You show the cards you want to be seen and vice versa. It’s a great illusion, a game of show-and-tell but there’s a reason magic tricks don’t last forever. They can’t.

So what do you do? I’ve ghosted, been ghosted, and even “broken up” with guys I’m technically not in a relationship with. See how convoluted and unnecessary that is? Being in a non-relationship, relationship is more confusing than being single or with someone and for me, not at all worth the effort. I’m at a place where I want more in all areas of my life. They’re not complicated, dramatic, or outrageous but I’m learning that the simplest things are often the most difficult to find.

So what’s a girl to do? 

I’m all tuckered out from past patterns. Dating sites aren’t cutting it anymore. I know now that the things I want in a partner, I also want in myself . So it’s time for me to focus on me! I’m tapping out of cuffing season and I hope you do too. It can feel nice to think you have someone but it’s just a temporary solution.  Sometimes the things we convince ourselves are most beneficial can be the most toxic. Take the time to work on you and let your heart and brain let you know when it’s time to step back in the ring.

Until then lovelies, feel better, be better, and do better!

 

Your Breakup Survival Guide

MM-SurvivalGuideWARNING: This is not a post about how to get back together. This is a post about dealing with a breakup. I’m not going to torment you with some possibility that more than likely ain’t happenin’ boo. I’m here to give you the ass kicking I wish I got this time last year. It will be tough but necessary. You don’t deserve crumbs, scraps, or bullshit. You deserve and are worthy of love and happiness. This person is not the keeper at the gate. You are in control of your future. From this point on, your actions are yours and yours alone. Read on if you think you’re ready…

Disconnect: PUT DOWN THAT PHONE!  Cut off all communication with your ex. If a child is involved, put up proper boundaries to keep it as painless as possible.

How I learned this: I talked to my ex for weeks after the breakup. I found stupid excuses to get in touch and so did he. It made the eventual disconnect even harder. I was good at the beginning, I blocked his number and sent his texts to spam but I overestimated my resolve and broke down. You’ve become accustomed to this pattern in your life and no it no longer exists. In fact, you’ve become addicted. The “high” you get when he texts back or she nuzzles your neck is addictive and now you’ve got to quit cold turkey. You’re bound to slip up. That’s ok but don’t beat yourself up about it just make sure that you get back on track. If they couldn’t say what you needed them to say while you were together, they’re not going to find the words in the next days, months, or even years. It’s not fair to you or them to keep holding on when there’s nothing to hold onto. Let it go now not eventually.

Assess: Look at where you are now and determine where you want to be when this is over. Make a plan for how you’ll spend your time. How will you balance feeling out your emotions but not drowning in them? Or finding new activities but not using them as a means of avoidance? I know that’s not what you want to think about but if you don’t get out in front of the problem, you’ll just keep putting off…and causing yourself more trouble.

How I Learned This: I went through the motions. I didn’t plan on getting better, getting through it, getting anywhere and found myself in a nice old rut. I become increasingly impulsive and predictable. I hooked up when it wasn’t what I actually wanted or needed. I partied. I sat in my mourning too long. I felt powerless in a situation I had complete power in.

Support: Hold on to your support circle. If you were “that” person who completely ditched your friends for your ex, you’ve got some work cut out for you. Mend those abandoned bridges, not just because you need them but because you realize you shouldn’t have left them to begin with. It’s important to have people around you and not alienate yourself. Isolation is like adding fuel to the fire of depression. You want to be alone but you need to be around other people. Get out of your situation. Your ex isn’t in your life so why should they dictate how you spend your time? Go shopping, kayaking, antiquing, road-tripping, get out with your friends and refocus your attention on your life.  Make sure they are supportive but be respectful of their needs. Don’t use them as emotional dumps. A breakup isn’t an excuse to stop being a good friend.

How I Learned This: I got so into this guy I fell out of focus with my friends. Against character, I spent everyday with him. All my attention went to him so I didn’t make as much of an effort to connect with the people who mattered most to me. That’s not good and a sure sign of severe codependence in a relationship. There’s a difference between making people priorities and making them options.

Interact: Meet some new people! Head over to meetup.com and find a group that interests you. Take a skill based class and make new friends. Take up partner dancing. Paint a picture of a tree drunk. Do something creative, constructive, and fun! This can be with friends or on your own. Make new friends but most importantly make new, positive memories for yourself.

How I Learned This: I was a huge mope. I moped around the apartment. I moped in the car. I moped everywhere. I was annoyed with myself. I remembered all the things that I wanted to do with him and thought that (for whatever dumb reason) I could never do them now. *eye roll* I lost time and wasted precious opportunities to live my life. I used my sorrow as an excuse to stop enjoying myself. Don’t do that, it’s stupid.

Redirect: Love isn’t a switch you can just turn off. If you broke up on Tuesday, you’re probably going to love them on Wednesday, and the wednesday after that, and the wednesday after that, and the wednesday after that…That’s ok.  All of those feelings don’t have to be wasted. It’s not about destroying your feelings but redirecting them. Instead of spending time thinking about them, start to think of yourself. What are your needs? What did you learn? How can you grow from this? What do you want to do with your life?  Focus on loving yourself. Focus on being the partner you want and need. Give yourself some much needed TLC…just not the channel.

How I Learned This: I spent so much time thinking about what I would say if I saw him. How I would be super hot with a super hot date and make him feel like shit. The usual ultra mature revenge fantasy we all have. But what was I actually getting out of spending all my time dreaming of a moment’s pleasure? Nothing. I needed nourishing too and I should have just given it to myself.

Mourn + Celebrate: No timelines, no pressure. Give yourself the space you need to just be. If you need to cry, cry. If you need a kick in the ass, pick up the phone and call your friends. Don’t make yourself feel bad for where you aren’t yet. Don’t be an asshole and make other people or relationships a substitute. You need this time alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t be self-destructive either. Find a way to approach, feel, express, and deal with the pain. You’ll be better for it.

How I learned this: the first few entries on this blog were basically my journal. Writing was such a relief for me. I felt like I could approach the things I needed to. Find that for yourself.

Reflect: Look at how far you come. One day you’ll wake up and the pain won’t be there anymore. No seriously. He won’t be the first thing you think about. The birds will start to chirp again. You’ll be invigorated by a project you’re working on. You’ll be focused on your career or passions. That person will go from being the center of your universe to living in a galaxy far, far away. I promise.
Now what have you learned my pretties? Have you done something similar to this? How did your most recent breakup fare? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget: do better, feel better, be better!

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Psst! Here’s the pinnable version of this. Pass it on to any friends who might need it!

Happy Endings: Breakup to Breakthrough

Friday we’d agreed to meet. He said he had an explanation for his behavior. There was a reason for the madness. I needed that reason. I was owed a reason. I wanted it more than I wanted him back. The speed in which I typed my text proved it.

“I don’t know what you’ve been going through but it’s ok. I love you. Whatever it is we can work it out. We’ll be ok. I’m here for you.”

I paused for a second, wondering if the words would manifest the surreal sincerity behind them once he read it. I hit send.

I eagerly awaited a response. When minutes turned into hours, I decided to put my phone away. He had pleaded for this. Surely he would respond. Friday passed. Saturday dragged by. Sunday came and I drove to our agreed upon location. I waited for about an hour. I looked at my phone again. No new calls, no text messages, no voicemails.

He never showed up.


A year ago, I started this blog on the heels of an unexpected but anticipated break up. I knew I had jumped onto a sinking ship but tried to convince myself that the water around us wasn’t cause for alarm.  It was an ordinary relationship like the millions of others that play out around us every day. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end and what came after are what I look back on and smile. Time may not be the healer but it certainly is a vessel for it. With it, I found the space to gain some perspective and see things as they were, not just as I had experienced them. I got the aerial view, the Google Earth perspective. I saw two flawed people come together, pretend that their flaws were not a factor, and separate upon realizing that they were. I don’t kick myself for remembering happy moments, I don’t try to foolishly block them from my memory. With enough time you realize you don’t have to. The beauty of those moments take on a new meaning. They were wonderful and exciting because I was brave enough to let love in.

A breakup isn’t about broken hearts, you can’t break a heart you didn’t create. The second you part ways, everything that comes next is your responsibility. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, breakups and relationships have very little to do with the other person. It’s your reactions, your baggage, your emotions, your hangups, your misconceptions that dictate 99% of your interactions. So after some time I learned that if I focused more on what was done to me and less on my actions, I would never properly heal. After everything, the most important relationship was the one I made with myself. I went through the usual stages, depression, pretending I was over it, rebounding, finding substitutes, avoidance, but finally I just dealt with it.  I put my heart out there and while I don’t regret it ( no one should ever feel ashamed for being brave enough to love and be loved) it was naive of me to think that consequences don’t exist for every choice you make. I let the wrong one in and had to deal with the mess that was made. But I wasn’t heartbroken. Your heart, your resolve, your spirit aren’t things that can be smashed or demolished. They’re flexible, they can withstand the impact from colliding with life’s circumstances. The infatuation of love feels amazing because someone is showering you with attention and affection. Like rain to flowers, it can feel like you’re finally blooming. Just because you part ways doesn’t mean the nourishment stops. That person isn’t the sole person in charge of feeding your soul. You are. Take the reigns and nourish yourself. You don’t have to wait for anyone to do that for you. Be the partner you’re longing for, treasure yourself, encourage yourself, love yourself instead of waiting and pining after someone else to do it. You end up settling for crumbs instead of taking the cake when you don’t.

An unhappy ending can lead to brighter beginnings!
I’m thankful for the unhappy ending because it led to brighter beginnings. What are some unhappy endings you’ve had to deal with and what did they lead to?

As always, feel better, do better, and be better!

Thank You For Being A Friend: A Series on Adult Friends

MM-ThankYouForBeingAFriendSeriesCertain events have put a lot of things in perspective for me in the past five weeks. Over the last eight months I’ve spent more time talking about finding love and not nearly enough about my true loves—my friends.  This series is dedicated to adult friends, friendships, and the ups and downs that come with it.

Check back for these upcoming posts:

Time to Say Goodbye: When Friends Breakup

Toxic Trick: Identifying Rotten Friendships

Don’t Spend Time, Invest It

Make New Friends But Keep The Old 

Toxic Trick: Identifying Rotten Friendships

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  Toxic? Let’s Detoxify 

     Don’t act like you never saw that Apprentice clip or Vivica on The Real. I hate to use derogatory language toward any woman but let’s face it, we all know a toxic trick or two. How does one define a “trick” you might ask? It’s fairly easy.

     A trick is someone who will smile in your face and lie on your name behind your back. A trick will claim that they love you while trying to steal your joy. Require further illustration? Let me help you out. Years ago I was at a club with a few close friends. Nothing out of the blue. Summer heat, Rihanna’s blaring, drinks in hand, we’re all having a good time. In comes a guy a friend had been talking to. She breaks off to talk to him while the rest of us watch on. Now keep in mind this girl’s “best friend” is also present. She is the living example of a trick. She watches as our friend flirts with her guy and heads over to them. Before long she’s in between them and not soon after her tongue is down the guy’s throat. Being the bleeding heart I am, I walk over to my friend with my bestie ready to throw bows. She tells us it’s ok, that her friend was only helping her.

Dr. Who whaaaat reaction

Yeah you read that right. She was so sure that this person who displayed crappy behavior fairly regularly was looking out for her, because that’s what friends are supposed to do. But she wasn’t a friend, she was a trick. We found out later that her friend slept with her crush that night.

Princess Bride Shade

Identify A Trick

     So how can you avoid this? First you have to be able to spot a trick from a mile away. There are four easy steps to finding out if this person has the best intentions for you.

  1. She forms attachments too fast and has boundary problems

     After an hour of knowing her you know way more intimate details about her than you care to know. She seems to have a terrible sense of self-awareness and will attach to you quickly. Everything you do is great or funny. She may even refer to you as her bestie when you’re still acquaintances.

  1. She has no friends or extremely shitty ones

     I used to not judge people for being loners and I still don’t. A trick is not a loner, a trick is usually high on the fumes of her own self-delusion. Their friends will either be people who don’t reciprocate the sentiment or take extreme advantage of her. She continues the cycle by taking extreme advantage of them. See what I mean? Shitty. If she is without friends, that should send up another red flag. Other relationships are a window into what yours could potentially turn into. If they all look busted as hell or she mentions any variation of, “females are too dramatic, I prefer guy friends,” steer clear.

  1. Talks and never listens

     It is a well established fact that I talk a lot. I started a damn blog so I could talk even more! But I’m well aware that my friends always need a listening ear and good friends provide that. Tricks do not. The same woman who told you “females” are dramatic is more than likely a tornado-cum-shit storm of histrionics. She will tell you all about her terrible relationships, her shitty job, her crap roommate, her bad haircut, her dreadful day, her turbulent childhood, and her horrible family before you even sit down. She will tell you these things because it benefits her but unlike in healthy friendships, she will not stop or take the time to really listen to your bad shit. She’ll just keep going along, fishing for compliments and encouragement along the way until she gets her fill and then she’s out. She’ll either physically leave the conversation or check-out mentally. Everybody has their bad days so if this happens once or twice don’t pay too much mind to it. But if it’s been a year and she barely knows your last name? Drop that ass off at the curb.

  1. Talks Behind Your Back

     Everyone does it to some degree but if you are getting word from near strangers about atrocious statements being made about you and you’ve done nothing to warrant them? Dropkick a trick. Cut her loose before she drags you down an even more emotional draining rabbit hole.

  1. Her Middle Name Isn’t Taraji

     Does she celebrate your successes or does she try to downplay your triumphs? Does she support your efforts or does she try to persuade you to focus on hers first? Does she distract and talk you out of doing the things you want? When you’re winning, does she stand up and applaud? Real friends have your back. True friends will be as enthusiastic for your dreams as you are. Good friends support you. The only word for a person who doesn’t is an enemy. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

How To Confront

     But what about those of y’all who got the memo late and are already in toxic relationships with tricks? How do you confront the issue?

     If we were dealing with adults with some kind of emotional structure I would tell you to be honest, to be fair, and to be tactful. But we are not dealing with adults. Truth is to a trick what water is to the Wicked Witch of the West. “TTs” don’t understand the truth because they’ve yet to confront it in their own lives. They don’t mess with it and well…you’ve seen the havoc it’s wreaking. Your main priority is you. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine your leg gets caught in a poisonous vine. It grows rapidly and at this precise moment is already to your knees. To your left there’s a machete and to your right some supergro fertilizer. Seems like an easy enough choice, right? Nope. In reality, toxic people are poison and yet so often we allow them to creep and grow until they’re sucking the life right out of us. You don’t have any more time to waste being miserable. Cut it off. Even though you may want to act up, don’t. Do not expend anymore emotional energy on this person. Be blunt, not brutal. Be assertive, not angry. But know this, a trick is essentially an emotional vampire. They feed off of your energy and will do anything to get more out of you. They may bring a whole new level of drama. They may beg. They may even start acting better. But what they do is no longer your concern, so let them go. Cold turkey. Do not give these people access to your life. They don’t deserve it and most importantly, they haven’t done anything to earn it. Put those boundaries up now and realize there will be resistance from both sides. It will seem a heck of a lot easier to fall back into the old status quo but stay the course. Good things don’t come easy and you deserve to have a toxin-free environment.

How to Prevent

     If you’ve ever found a mouse or roach in your home what was the first thing you did? You set a trap, you got some spray to keep their friends from joining them. What is TT Raid? Boundaries. Be upfront about your boundaries in all relationships. If people know they can push you, they will. Don’t give them that opportunity. Give new people an “observation” period before deciding to proceed into friendship. Don’t test them because that’s also another toxic behavior but watch how they react to things. How do they talk to you? Is their concern genuine? Do they have an agenda? Pay attention then make the judgment call. Last but not least, stay in your lane. In the words of the great poet, J.Cole, “don’t save her [if] she don’t want to be saved.” Bleeding hearts like me always want to help people but before you throw your hand out to lift someone up make sure the person grabbing onto you won’t be pulling you down.

What do you think? Have you experienced toxic tricks before? What’s your advice on how to handle them? Subscribe and leave a comment below!