Stop Asking When I’m Getting Married!

The topic of dating seems appropriate for this time of year, the holidays, a.k.a “cuffing season.” If you are in your late twenties or older, seeing someone or single, I’m certain you were queried about your current status over the Thanksgiving holiday. And Lawd help, if one of your cousins happened to get engaged, married or had a baby this year.

It seems the odds at winning the lottery are more favorable than finding someone who is worth taking the plunge with. It doesn’t help that society has made a mockery of marriage lately.

Divorce rates have skyrocketed, citing “irreconcilable differences,” when often times the real culprit is living in an era of spoiled, selfish people who quit too easily when things get tough.

Add to that, the false perception of what real love looks like, tainted with Nickolas Spark’s novels and romance movies that are dumbly used as a point of reference.

Maybe you have this idea in your head of who your spouse should be and anyone who doesn’t fit the mold doesn’t stand a chance with you; or you’re in a serious relationship and waiting for him to pop the question. Either way, it is challenging enough to desire marriage with no prospects or be with someone who is yet to ask.

Yet, having to explain/defend your situation or lack thereof is the equivalency of kicking someone while they’re already down.

And honestly, you just wished people would mind their own _______ business. You can insert an extra word, if deem necessary.

Nevertheless, the issue is not entirely people inquiring about your relationship status, per se. No, the real issue is if you had it your way, you would have been married two or three holiday seasons ago. Therefore, the questions are just plain salting an old wound. And honestly, you wish people would just understand that,

  1. Its not easy finding someone you are compatible with these days
  2. Hell, you wish you knew when you were getting married too.
  3. You are enjoying your single life right now and wish they’d stop projecting their own wishes on you.
  4. Marriage is not for everybody
  5. Their asking doesn’t change your situation
  6. You are truly waiting for the right one
  7. You don’t need a relationship to be happy
  8. Again, it really is none of their business

Reality is the questions are not going to stop. So, you can decide to shrug it off or take it personal, clapback, go left, go crazy or whatever. Here’s another thought, I only loathed the questions because I had a problem with being single. When I finally stopped worrying, and I mean, finally because it took a long time to get there, I could politely respond with simply, “when I meet the right one.”

When you get to a place where you view singleness as just another season of life, and not some burden you can’t seem to shake, I guarantee you won’t be offended when people ask. Besides, I wish, I would have listened when married women told me that marriage has enough issues to steal your worries.

It won’t be easy, but there is freedom in enjoying where you are today, that subliminally gives permission for the joys of tomorrow.

So, what are some things you wish people understood when it comes to asking about your relationship status? Comment below.

For advice on how to spot a good man in the mist of the duds, check out Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution.

 

Your moment is now,

Ebby Lane

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KISS & TELL: Longing For the Love of a Boy

Longing For the Love of a boy: My Love Story

By Guest Blogger, Jordan Flowers

As a young girl, teenager and early 20 year old woman, I prayed to God to send me a boy that would love me… all I wanted was to be loved by a boy!!!

Six years ago, I became a single mom of a baby boy, Caleb. God answered my prayers! Caleb instantly became the love of my life. I swore I would be a one child household and that the man of my dreams would already have kids because I was done. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan.  Let’s just say, he was crying from laughing so hard.

Fast-forward to life today… I am happily married, my son is six years old, I have an angel baby in heaven and a 5 month old son! My, how life has changed since I swore up and down I would never have another child so many years ago.

Being a single mom, life was hard, but I managed to find a good rhythm and I really felt like I was rocking it. I worked full time, took care of myself by losing over 100 pounds, my baby boy was happy and healthy, I had great friends who I still spent time with… life was great! However, something was missing. I was lonely. I had all of this vanilla ice cream and all I wanted at the end of each day was a big bowl of chocolate ice cream. The vanilla was great, don’t get me wrong. I loved it and cherished each delish moment, but my heart still felt empty. I prayed… and prayed… and prayed… I was ready to meet the man of my dreams. I met men; correction, I met boys, but none of them were the chocolate I had dreamed for. So, I continued to push forward being a single mom, taking care of my baby boy. Two and half years went by and I was exhausted looking for Mr. Right. I had a dating profile on Plenty of Fish; I had met so many losers. I decided to give it one more try and I am so glad I did. The night Casey picked me up for our first date (I never let guys pick me up, but I just had this feeling about Casey), I instantly got butterflies and just knew he was the one God had set aside for me. I even told my friend, Julie that same night that I was going to marry this man! We were married two years later!

Now, here is the funny part of it all; remember how I decided six years ago that the man of my dreams would already have kids because I was DONE?! Well, Casey had never been married and never had any kids! Good move God, good move!

It is crazy how life changes so quickly; I went from not wanting a second child to longing to give Casey a child. We were pregnant shortly after getting married! Sadly, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage and it made me long to give him a child even more! October 2014 we found out we were pregnant again; Dax was born June 14, 2015! He perfectly finished our family! I finally got that chocolate ice cream I had longed for so many years ago. I got it by marrying Casey and giving him a child!

Now I am surrounded by three boys; three boys who love me so much more than I ever thought I deserved to be loved. Three boys!!! I can’t help but think back to young Jordan who longed to be loved by a boy, who prayed to be loved by a boy, who desperately searched for a boy to love her. And now, here I am with three boys that love me more than I could ever imagine. God is so good!!!

I guess, what I am trying to say is that life doesn’t always go the way you plan it; God’s plan is way better than anything you could ever dream of. Pray for what you want and really believe in God to give it to you. You might be surprised when you finally receive it, to find out that it is way more than you ever thought you wanted or deserved!

 

Find Jordan at http://www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com/

Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution

James Brown has a famous song titled, It’s a Man’s Man’s World. After hearing dating stories from a few single women, it seems many believe this declaration. Some of the things that women are dealing with and think they have to put up with nowadays has me in utter shock. But I get it. You know why? Because I have been there. I have been her who doesn’t know how to be herself, because she’s afraid he won’t like it. I have been her who has “dumb downed” my spirituality to make him more comfortable (Thank you Alex for reminding me of that). I have been her, knowing that he doesn’t make me feel good about myself (actually he makes me question myself A LOT), but I keep him around regardless because…. at least, I’m not alone. I have been her being strung along, waiting for him to be ready for a commitment and title. And I am learning from these conversations that many of us have fallen and are still falling for the “we are not in a relationship” bull for lack of better word, but our actions say otherwise.

This week, I interviewed single and married women of diverse backgrounds, ages, etc to craft the top 10 common struggles of dating in 2015 and the top 10 common habits of husbands during the dating process. I wanted that single woman waiting for her husband to know she is not alone. In addition, I wanted to provide a list of habits as a guide in recognizing the real thing. With that said, here are the top ten dating struggles.

Disclaimer: These struggles are in no way negating that single women are bitter or too picky, etc.

Top ten common struggles of dating in 2015

  1. Not feeling attractive enough: This is common. You feel you are overweight, too dark, too skinny, too pale, too this, not enough that, and the list goes on. When you see women with a certain look getting the most attention from men, it is easy to believe you aren’t attractive enough.
  2. Giving too much of yourself too soon: When you like a man, you want to give him your all. “It is difficult to find a balance between how much is too much, or how soon is too soon.” – C. Banks Fort Worth
  3. Men don’t want to bring anything to the table nowadays: I cannot tell you how many women claimed they’re constantly being approached by men who have no car, no job, living with their mama, have multiple kids, multiple baby mamas, just plain baggage.
  4. Men don’t want to work for you anymore (take you on date, etc.): The famous line, “Netflix and Chill” comes to mind. There’s this new dating rule that I think is beyond ridiculous. You have to go on a pre-date (Coffee house, park, somewhere that doesn’t give the illusion it’s an actual date) to see… I don’t know, if they think you are worth the real thing. In my opinion, it is pretty much a man’s way of saying without saying, “I do not want to spend my money on you, unless I think you’re attractive enough.” Because if you think about it, shouldn’t the pre date be the conversation you had on the phone prior? Okay, my rant is over. Back to the list
  5. Men want to act like your boyfriend, without the title (commitment): – This is another common struggle. You are kissing and sometimes doing more. He is taking you out, and maybe even inviting you to meet his Mama. However, he makes a point to remind you when you get too comfortable that you’re just friends. He keeps you there by affirming when needed that a relationship is possible when he believes you are both ready, keyword being he.
  6. Men aren’t being honest with what they want (morals, values, or just flat out lying): You’ve been talking to this man for a few weeks or more, things are great and the conversation is amazing. When you go out, you have a great time. However, things start to get serious, possibly talks of marriage and suddenly, he flips and becomes a whole different person. “What happened to the man I’ve been dating for the last few weeks?”
  7. Wanting to wait till marriage, but feeling the pressure to have sex:  Sadly, I hear a lot of Christian men putting this pressure on women. The biggest excuse is feeling he has to test it out to see if you are physically compatible before taking things further. Is it alright for me to insert shock face here?
  8. Once they get what they want, they change :  He was so sweet; he told you, you were the one. You sleep together and now his patterns have changed. He used to call you every morning before work and now he doesn’t. In addition, he seems a bit standoffish when you do talk or hang out. You are probably thinking it’s just you right about now.
  9. The men that like you, you don’t like. And the ones you do like, don’t like you back: He is so sweet and he’d probably make a great husband to some woman one day, but you just don’t see him like that. Conversely…Ugh, you love everything about him, you seem to be compatible in every way, but he hasn’t made a move and/or doesn’t seem interested in that way.
  10. Just plain tired of being single:Just being single nowadays is a common struggle within itself. When will it be my turn? “I see my peers that are getting married and having a family or they may just be dating or it’s the simple fact that I want those things and can’t have them because the time is not appointed yet.” – E. Green, Texas

I asked married women who are in HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS (that’s important) how dating their husbands was different and/or how they stood out from the duds (you know, the ones that look and smell like the real thing, but are not) I came up with a list of behaviors your husband will have when dating. Since, a lot of what they said was similar, if not the same, I believe this is an accurate guide –emphasis on guide.

Disclaimer: There were so many other qualities that I had to leave out. Needless to say, I will be devoting a full post specifically on qualities to look for in the near future.

 Top ten behaviors and/or qualities your husband will exhibit while dating

  1. You won’t have to guess how he feels about you: This is huge! He will make his intentions known. You won’t doubt or question his desire for you. “He pursued me and made it known that he wanted more than just a friendship with me.” – A. Willoughby, Maryland
  2. When you argue, you will never feel it is the end: This was a big for me. I remember feeling every time, I had an argument with a man it was over. With my husband, it never felt like that.
  3. You won’t have to change who you are or feel you have to work for his love: He will truly love you for you to point that there is nothing you can do (gain weight, get sick) that will change how he feels about you. “He showed me what real love truly is, means and how it truly feels. Not what the world calls love, but the love God adds to a union truly ordained by Him.” –  R. Doucet, Fort Worth, TX
  4. You won’t feel ashamed of who you are and what you like (hobbies, quirks, family, friends, that extra toe on your right foot (hehe):  He will appreciate and encourage all of you. If he doesn’t like something, which there will be things that neither of you like, he will tolerate it because he loves you. The biggest thing is you won’t have to dumb down your spirituality, your intelligence, and/or your accomplishments to make him comfortable because he will celebrate them.
  5. He will make you feel even better about yourself: Have you ever heard a woman say that when they are around their man, they feel like the most beautiful woman in the world? That is how your husband will make you feel even before he is your husband. He will make you feel beautiful on your worse day. He will make you feel like you can conquer the world.
  6. He will genuinely care about all of you (well-being, emotions, goals): He will be concerned about the internal parts of you. You can talk to him about your deepest feelings and he will care even if it is dumb.  “When we would talk he would always ask, how I was. He would always ask how I was feeling, what’s on my mind… how this situation makes me feel?” – K. Feaster Maryland
  7. He will respect your wishes to wait till marriage: I think, I need to repeat this one. Too many women feel they have to be intimate before marriage. I promise you, HE WILL RESPECT YOUR DESIRES. I am yet to hear a married woman who desired to wait that said her husband wasn’t willing.
  8. He will desire to take care of you in every way: Spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Plain and simple.  “When dating, ask yourself is this relationship my BEST YES physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally?”- J. Flowers, Texas
  9. His qualities and character will speak for themselves: You won’t have to make excuses for him. I’m reminded of the time when I was dating someone. Every time I would speak of him, I would have to boast about his good qualities, hoping no one would pay attention to the bad ones.
  10. It will be peaceful and natural : Don’t get me wrong, there will be arguments, disagreements and hiccups, but at the end of the day, it won’t be difficult to have a healthy relationship. “We shared the same since of humor, by the end of the night (1st date) we already had inside jokes… after the 1st date we were inseparable. I knew by the end of the week, we would be long term.” –  A. Dye, Texas

Woman to Woman, some of the things women are facing when it comes to dating and how men treat us is our fault. Not all of it, but we have to take responsibility for our part. I remember hearing this saying growing up, “you have to teach a man how to treat you.”  If we want men to change, we need to change. We, as women need to revert back to demanding certain things from men, and being firm about it. If they are not willing to provide what we need and desire, we have to be woman enough to walk away. Point Blank. If we all began not only expecting, but demanding what should be required in the first place, men will have no other choice but to change. Let’s go back to raising those standards.

With that being said, there are great men out there. All of the married women who attributed to this blog and myself can attest to that. When you meet him, you won’t remember or care about all the men you walked away from. Women have a lot more power then we give ourselves credit for. James Brown proclaimed “This is a man’s world.” However, following that statement, he professed “But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”

I hope this helps and feel free to comment below.

With much love,

Ebby Lane

P.S. I have received so much feedback from women on dating that I have decided to break this up into multiple blog post. Subscribe if you liked to receive alerts on new post. Don’t forget to like my page on facebook : )

P.S.S. Thank you to all the women who contributed. I definitely couldn’t have written this without your input, Destiny Oribabhor (https://destinyiyere.wordpress.com/ ), Eunique Loggins, Kendra Feaster, Shaina Eden Thomas, AlexandraWilloughby, Jordan Flowers (http://www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com/), Catrina Banks, Sherika Thomas, Jessica Bowers, Adrian Caston Dye, Rachel Doucet, Jessica Coleman, Jessica Brown, Tiffany Johnson, Queen Evans