Three Books Every Single Gal Should Read

8 Mar

I used to be a self-help junkie. I’m not so much anymore. But there are a few books that I continually go back to when I need relationship advice. In fact, some of these books I’ve lost and purchased again because they were so valuable to me. I’ve read some of them 2 and 3 times.

He’s Just Not that Into You:The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

My take: You’ve seen the movie. But have you read the book? It really opened my eyes. Although a guy might say one thing, it doesn’t always mean that he’s sincere about it. If a guy truly wants you, he’ll make the effort to show you. You don’t have to convince him you’re the best thing since sliced bread. If he interested, he’ll call. And that’s it. Period.

Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly:
It’s a classic single-woman scenario: you really like this guy, but he’s giving mixed messages. You make excuses, decide he’s confused, afraid of commitment. Behrendt, a former executive story editor for Sex and the City—and a formerly single (now happily married) guy who knows all the excuses—provides a simple answer: he’s just not that into you. Stop kidding yourself, let go and look for someone else who will be. After all, as Behrendt sensibly puts it, “if a (sane) guy really likes you, there ain’t nothing that’s going to get in his way.” If you’re not convinced yet, by all means read this smart, funny and surprisingly upbeat little book, full of q’s and a’s covering every excuse woman has ever made to avoid admitting to herself that a man just wasn’t that smitten with her.

Quotable: Assume you are the rule, not the exception.

Why Men Love Bitches
by Sherry Argov

My take: My aunt kept telling me about this book and I was put off by the title like so many other women probably are. The last thing I want to do is come off like a bitch. When she saw that I wasn’t making a bee line to the bookstore for it and I was still having man problems, she sent it to me in the mail. Boy, was I grateful. I think this book should be taught in school to every teenage girl! Once you get past the title and read its’ contents, you’ll soon discover that this book is really about self respect and establishing boundaries. While I don’t agree with everything the author suggests, I think the principles outlined in the book are great.

Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly:
Contending that some women are “too nice,” comedian and radio show host Sherry Argov has written Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship. “I’m not recommending that a woman have an abrasive disposition,” Argov writes, “The woman I’m describing is kind yet strong. She doesn’t give up her life, and she won’t chase a man.” Her sassy book is filled with scenarios and advice aimed at making women subtly stronger and self-empowered. Argov’s principles, which range from the farfetched to the downright absurd, include “If you give him a feeling of power, he’ll want to protect you and he’ll want to give you the world” and “A little distance combined with the appearance of self-control makes him nervous that he may be losing you.” The book, which has already been featured on The View and The O’Reilly Factor, should make waves with its controversial view of relationships.

Quotable: It is the attitude about yourself that a man will adopt.

Boundaries in Dating: Making Dating Work
by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

My take: This book was recommended to me by a minister. So, of course, it hinges on Christian principles and that’s part of the reason I like it. The book takes a look at how relationships should be approached as someone who is trying to please God, a position that’s not often taken in the mainstream. I’ve read this book several times. As a matter of fact, I lost the book and went out and bought a new copy. Like Why Men Love Bitches, the book talks about maintaining proper boundaries with your date or potential life-long partner. This is something I struggle with so it’s been very helpful. The book covers everything from honesty and the “blame game” to establishing and maintaining what you will and won’t accept in a relationship.

Review from an customer: “Boundaries in dating is about becoming a truthful, caring, responsible, and free person who also encourages growth in those she is in contact with,” the authors write. “Your dating life should be a powerful change agent for you.” Countering the common assumption that dating is limited to “finding the right one,” Cloud and Townsend take the spiritual approach that dating and relating is just as much about “learning about your own issues, how they affect others, and what to do about them.” That dating should bring us closer to God seems to be the authors’ ultimate goal in writing this book.

Quotable: God uses relationships to heal us and to change us. Although we are not suggesting that dating be the primary place that someone seeks healing (this is a horrible idea), it is a place where good things happen in people’s souls. People benefit from good relationships.

What are some books that you’ve found very helpful? Please comment and share.


Three’s (not) a crowd?

25 Feb

Hi, folks. Real quick blog. I’m really sleepy so I hope this comes out ok.

Anyway, some of the most uncanny things have happened to me lately.  To make a long story short, I recently met a guy who was recently in a relationship with his (ex) wife (yes, ex) and another female. No, he wasn’t cheating, they were all in relationship together. He had a wife (sort of) and a “wifey”. Oh lord, yes it blew my mind, too.

Now I know this is probably more common than I’d like to believe. This is the stuff you see on Maury but never have I been so up close and personal with someone who actually lived this lifestyle. But what kills me is that this guy talked about it so matter of factly, like this was normal.

And I told another guy that I recently met about this gentlemen and he didn’t seem appalled either. Basically, he told me in so many words that in order to keep a man nowadays, you’re going to have to be “open”.

OMG! Do people revere marriage anymore??? I’m spent. Nite y’all…

God gives second chances

5 Jan

The internet is abuzz about Ted Williams, a homeless guy who gets “discovered” the side of the road while panhandling. The discovery was posted on YouTube and set off a chain of events only imagined in the movies. I’m so inspired by this story and I wanted to share.  Check out where it all began:

After viewing, you can’t tell me there isn’t a God.

Let it Go

6 Dec

An oldie but goodie….

Let It Go – by T. D. Jakes

There are people who can walk away from you.

And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.. I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.

Let them go.

And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.. You’ve got to know when it’s dead.

You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something.. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye.. It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it. Stop begging people to stay.

Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to past hurts and pains LET IT GO!!!

If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth LET IT GO!!!

If someone has angered you LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge LET IT GO!!!

If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents LET IT GO!!!

If you have a bad attitude LET IT GO!!!

If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better LET IT GO!!!

If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him LET IT GO!!!

If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship LET IT GO!!!

If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves LET IT GO!!!

If you’re feeling depressed and stressed LET IT GO!!!

If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself and God is saying ‘take your hands off of it,’ then you need to LET IT GO!!!

‘The Battle is the Lord’s!’

Being single…is it by choice or circumstance?

9 Nov

(Note about this video: I found it after I wrote the blog. It’s amazing how these women echoed what I’m saying in this blog.)

So I was having a conversation with a guy friend of mine and we were talking about relationships and the fact that I’m still single, how hard the dating game is…yada yada. He said something that really made a light bulb go off. I had one of Oprah’s a-ha moments. He said, “You are single by choice.” And him knowing me and us having dated before, I thought it was an interesting observation. Plus, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic with all the talk surrounding the state of black relationships. I’ve been wanting to blog about this for awhile.

I’m sure you’ve heard this numerous times: “There aren’t any available, single black men. They are either in jail, gay, or married.” Is there validity to this statement? Are black men really that few and far between?

I won’t bore you with the stats like the incarceration rate of black males, their lack of education, etc. We all know what the numbers say. But here are some startling statistics I would like to share:

42 percent of black women have never been married, compared to 21 percent of white woman, according to national statistics.

Within the last two generations, marriage rates for African-Americans have dropped significantly. Between 1970 and 2001, the black marriage rate dropped by 34 percent, compared to 17 percent in the general population.

African-American women are also the least likely group to get married in the United States.

While I can’t confirm these statistics, they sound pretty darn accurate to me and they are in line with the trends I’ve been seeing personally and among my black female friends.

So, you may wonder what I think. Do I think that I am single because of a shortage of good, available men (circumstance) or is it because I choose to be?

After the guy made that statement, I thought “hmm, you are right, I do choose to be single.” And I say that because I could be in a relationship if I wanted to. In fact, I think I could even be married. But the question should be: “Would I be happy?” I’m not sure about that.

While, I am aware of the social implications concerning black relationships and I agree that they are valid, I don’t believe that it’s impossible to find a healthy, loving relationship. But let’s be honest, the stats are real and it is hard for black women to date. I’m not saying that all black men are dogs and I’m not saying there aren’t any good ones left. But where are these good, upstanding men? Are they at church? At the club? I meet very few of what I would consider eligible men and I think I’m a pretty social person.

But that’s another point I’d like to make. Ladies, what do we consider “eligible”? A lot of black men say that our expectations of them are unrealistic and unattainable. They say we want someone that looks like Denzel, has Jay-Z’s money, gives good thug loving but is someone they can bring home to mom. I can assure those are NOT my expectations. Are my expectations high? Yes. Are they unrealistic? No. And I believe that the majority of women don’t want all that. They just want a good man. Period.

To sum it up, I think that singledom for a black woman is a combination of choice and circumstance. There are quite a few odds against us but we won’t settle for whatever we can get. Luckily I have faith in God and that he’ll send me someone regardless of the odds. I just have to open enough to receive that blessing and recognize it as such.

Much better

24 Aug

Hey y’all. I guess you were wondering what the heck was going on when I wrote my last post. Well, I was just frustrated yet again with the dating game. But I’m good now. No, I’m not dating anyone else but I’m content with it for now. Here’s what was going on:

I just had to let go of an unhealthy situation. This guy and I weren’t officially dating but we behaved as if we were. We would talk on the phone and text all the time, he’d come into town on most weekends in the beginning, you know bf/gf type stuff. When we first met, we both agreed that we weren’t looking for anything serious. But things quickly changed…somewhat. I was starting to develop deeper feelings and I am sure he was, too, but he would never admit to it. He admitted that he was guarded. That should have been the red flag right there.

It didn’t make sense that he would be devoting so much time and affection to someone he didn’t want to get serious with. I confronted him on several occasions and it was clear we weren’t headed in the same direction. There were times I cut it off but he would call or text me and it would start up again. I tried to downplay my feelings by saying in my mind that we were just friends and but truthfully I liked him and I wanted him to like me to. But he clearly explained that he didn’t want to get serious or that we were just friends even though his actions said otherwise. Even though he called all the time, he could never say he missed me. He would always have some dumb rationalization but he expected me to tell him that I missed him. Stupid, I know.

Anyway, there was more but I’ll spare you the details. I had just grown pretty tired of the mixed signals. It wasn’t a relationship that was going anywhere and to be honest, he wasn’t right for me. But somewhere in my dysfunction, I needed him to want me and to acknowledge me.

I wish that we could have remained friends. But lines were crossed and things got complicated. Part of it was my fault. Oh well, I guess life is messy like that sometimes.

I’m tired…

16 Aug

…of the dating game. I’m tired of meeting jerk after jerk, after jerk. I know that I’m not perfect but I try my best to be an upstanding young woman. I try to do what’s right in the sight of God and my fellow man. I’m exhausted y’all. I’m tired of meeting men who can’t see past themselves or on the other hand refuse to look at themselves with honesty.

No more spending major time with minor people. I would rather be by myself and the rate that I’m going, I may be by myself for awhile because I REFUSE to settle. That is all.

I need a new pair of shoes

21 Aug

Hey world! It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. I’ve had lots of things on my mind lately and I thought I’d share one of them. Once again, I want to pull a quote from Iyanla Vanzant’s Acts of Faith:

When we convince ourselves that we can’t find the right mate, we try to make the one we have into the one we want….When we are not honest with ourselves about who are mate really is, we end up disillusioned and disappointed. It is not their fault, it is our own. We must be clear about what we want from a relationship whether it is social, business or intimate. Then we must make a decision to wait for exactly what we want. If who we have is not who we want, say so! It is not our job to change the other person. If we buys a pair of shoes and they do not fit, should we wear them and suffer or take them back to the store?

Ladies, do we ever say, “well if he just did this, we’d be ok” or “maybe if I can convince him to be like this, things would be better”? Where do we get the idea that we can change someone? We have a lot of talents but we don’t have super powers! I’m learning that if someone or something doesn’t mesh with your values or ideals, then it’s ok to acknowledge that and move on.

It’s time we wait for what God has planned for us rather than trying to take a unhealthy situation and turn it into what we think is best for us. In our “meantime” we should develop our interests and our spirituality and just be.

Now on to just being….

What a tragic loss. Michael, we’ll miss you!

27 Jun

thriller-michael-jacksonAll day I have been watching Michael Jackson YouTube videos, listening to his playlists on Napster, watching CNN, listening to marathon’s on the radio and looking at friend’s comments on Facebook. But no matter how much joy I get from recalling all his hits and all the memories he created for me growing up, I am still shocked and saddened by his death.It’s amazing how one person, an entertainer, could be so influential on a single life and the whole world.

Many of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Michael and his music. I remember being scared to death of Thriller! I couldn’t watch it for years. lol. I remember gathering around the tv with family watching his videos and trying to imitate his dance moves. I also remember when MJ performed, I think it was the Motown 25 special, and I was going nuts. I was hysterical. My mom was like, “Girl, what’s wrong with you? Are you crying?” Ha. I’ll always remember that moment. I remember listening to the “Bad” album over and over and over with my childhood friend NaTasha. We put on our own little concert in her bedroom. Later in life I got to perform a routine to “Blood on the Dancefloor” with my dance company in college. I’ll always be inspired by his creativity, his magic, and his artistry as a singer and phenomenal dancer.

As speculations start to arise about the circumstances surrounding his death, I think about the irony of the whole situation. It’s amazing how perhaps one of the most well-known human beings on the planet, who achieved success yet to be surpassed, could live such a tortured life. I’m saddened when I imagine the loneliness, the isolation, the pain and the ridicule he faced. This man was under a huge microscope. He was hated probably as much as he was loved.

I’m not going to use this post to speculate on whether he did some of the things he was accused of. Only God can judge him now. But I’m sure that whatever happened in his life was a direct result of being a child star and the son of a relentless stage father. This saddens me also.

The music industry wouldn’t be what it is today without. If you look at Usher, Chris Brown, NeYo, and Justin Timberlake, they are all biting his style. But there will never be another like him. Michael, we’ll miss you!

While I have so many favorites, this is perhaps one of my top five MJ videos: click here. I think it paints a perfect picture of his magnitude. Enjoy and good night!

“Tough Love” ain’t easy

27 Mar

So I’ve been watching a new reality show, Tough Love, on VH1 and surprisingly it’s very entertaining. Basically, there are 8  women that are looking for love but have yet to find a man. Their issues run the gamut, from the desperate to the insecure, to the icy.  The host, a professional matchmaker, takes these women through a Tough Love “bootcamp” in hopes of better preparing these women to ditch their bad, self-sabotoging love habits and become smarter daters.

On the episode I’m watching now, the ladies were paired up with these personal trainers under the guise that not only should they be emotionally and spiritually fit, but physically fit as well. Turns out these trainers are actually there to test the women of their communications skills and how they do on the first impression.

Here’s how of few of ’em did: view clip here.

This is really crazy. Instead of talking, Jody (the quintessential Careeris) seems like she’s applying for a job. Big no-no. Unless you’re networking, a guy is generally not interested in hearing your resume, I would assume. I’m no dating pro, but I know you never tell a man “I’ve been hurt before” on the first meeting! Arian (the girl you’d like to sleep with but wouldn’t dare bring home to mom): try again. Like the host said, “Rule #75: Shut your yap!” But for some reason, she seems like she’s acting a lot on this show. Of course, that would never happen on a reality show though (sacarsm). And Stasha, the former Playboy bunny, is just plain scary. Nuff said. Oh, did I mention she was a Playboy model. lol.

Later in the show, Abiola (aka Miss Picky who is absolutely adorable) gets to go on a solo date with a nice chocolate drop. They seem to really be feeling each other. She really reminds me of myself. Not  because she’s black but she portrayed as the type that has a mile-long wish list for the guy of her dreams.  No really, she actually has a hand-written list! That’s definitely me. Check out this clip.

While this is a tv show and for entertainment, women actually do some of these things in real life. I know because I’m one of em! But I’d like to think that I get better with time. Good night!