Author of a critically-acclaimed book on women and dating.

And I hate that it’s only used with women.

Image for post
Image for post

If you were to ask anyone if we should define women by relationship status, they’d likely reject the notion. Yet doing so is a recurring theme in our circle of loved ones and society as a whole. It’s evident when the first questions asked of us when we meet someone new revolve around marriage and children, not careers or ambitions. It’s clear when holiday gatherings with family somehow always become an interrogation about our dating lives.

Women are frequently in positions where it seems expected that we address our romantic situations and especially answer for our singleness. Sometimes, we adopt the mindset, even if subconsciously. …

For many women, to be courted without being sexualized is a dream.

Image for post
Image for post

Forgive me if my lack of fascination with anatomy and sexual desire makes me seem complicated. I don’t mean to be and don’t believe that I am. I understand that we have primal instincts that are attracted to beauty and gratified through physical contact.

I am no exception. Affection and intimacy also rank near the top of my list when factoring in essential elements of a healthy romantic relationship. It’s just not enough to evoke my sustained interest.

We all desire and want to be desired. I can appreciate this aspect of engagement. For some, especially if your love language is physical touch, the need to be held, kissed, and made love to supersedes all others. If that’s the only expression of love you get from a partner, it will often suffice. …

Not every man embraces the opportunity to be a #GirlDad.

Image for post
Image for post

I sat in a chair, staring out of the living room window one Saturday afternoon, waiting for my daddy to pull into the driveway. It’d been months since I’d seen him. On my feet were the pink Reeboks he bought me last time we were together — proof that he loved me.

My mother separated my hair into two fresh pigtails. She cleaned my face and ironed one of my nicest short sets to match the Reeboks. I couldn’t leave her house unpresentable. Plus, dolling me up was kind of her thing. At eight-years-old, I was her life-sized Barbie.

I didn’t want to make my dad wait outside long. So, I made sure to be ready to run out of the house even earlier than the time he designated. It was my pleasure to sit, anticipating his arrival. …

This is one of our most self-harming behaviors.

Image for post
Image for post

Putting others in a position to fail me has been one of my worst habits. One that I’ve challenged myself to unlearn. Because ultimately, in doing this, we break our own hearts and hurt our own feelings.

Creating upsetting situations isn’t likely a conscious decision. You wouldn’t intentionally help people make you feel neglected and alone. Yet, you probably do this more often than you realize.

Setting people up to let you down looks like:

Intentionally withholding pertinent information to see if the person will figure it out on their own.

For instance, not mentioning to the person you’re dating that your birthday is coming up in a few days. Perhaps you told them the date when you first met. So, you let them forget. …

We’ve accepted this as a natural component of relationships. It shouldn’t be.

Image for post
Image for post

I came across a clip of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, where new cast member Drew Sidora was grilling her husband about his recent suspicious whereabouts. A few of the questions she asked:

Where were you?

Did you leave Georgia? (He did.)

Where did you go?

All the while, Drew’s husband sat there with a nonchalant demeanor, sipping from a champagne glass, attempting to downplay the situation with no valid explanations or definitive answers to her inquiries.

The exchange made me cringe.

This isn’t about Drew. I know nothing about the health or history of her marriage, the backstory of this particular incident, or how much of it was scripted and influenced by network showrunners. Also, it was only just a clip. …

Image for post
Image for post

You depended on someone, and they let you down.

You waited. You trusted without expecting. Still, they never showed up.

Someone came to your aid, but they behaved as though the request was a bother — as though their presence was a reluctant favor. They made you feel pathetic for needing them at all.

Worse, they never said they were sorry.

This may have been different people or the same person on many different occasions. No matter. The result is the same.

The constant disregard and disappointment became heavy to carry.

You lost your faith in people — and maybe a bit of the belief that you’re worthy of their support. …

Making these promises will help you ensure a healthy courtship.

Image for post
Image for post

The Four Agreements is a classic self-help book by don Miguel Ruiz that I recommend every single chance I get. It covers agreements that you are to make with yourself in order to improve your mental and emotional well-being. The profound yet simple wisdom of this book is life-altering. It will change how you see the world, which starts with changing the way you see yourself.

That’s what I love most about The Four Agreements — that it guides you to make promises to yourself, for yourself.

Too often, we look outside of ourselves for answers and validation. This is especially true in dating and romantic partnerships. We look to our love life to dictate how we feel about our lives in general. …

Understanding is critical to implementation.

Image for post
Image for post

I had a woman tell me that she’s become hesitant to establish boundaries when dating because every time she does, she gets ghosted. She’ll be really into a person and believe things are going well. However, as soon as she tries to communicate who she is and what she wants from a relationship — they disappear.

My response to this revelation was “good.” That means it’s working.

It sucks to be ghosted by someone you like, but the sooner, the better. Someone who runs away as soon as they become aware that you have boundaries was never going to stick around. May as well get it over with early and move on. …

More than just “no” means no.

Image for post
Image for post

Normally, I’m against men defining anything for women as it feeds the sexist notion that men know what’s best for everyone. Also, because unless you’re a woman, you can’t truly understand what it’s like to live in a society and culture that regards you as an object of desire above all things.

Women are sick of being told how to live. We’re also tired of bearing accountability for our sexual assaults. However, former NFL Linebacker DeAndre Levy is a man who seems to get it with his recent description of consent from women. …

There’s a difference between problems and poison.

Image for post
Image for post

Every relationship between humans has its share of issues. To expect smooth sailing 100 percent of the time is unrealistic. The best, most joyful and understanding unions have moments of discord. However, there’s a difference between tension and toxicity — and the aforementioned statement highlights a factor that separates the two.

When discord is constant and not contained to moments, it can become mentally and emotionally harmful. It could also spill over into abuse, which, in any form, automatically constitutes a toxic relationship.

Even if we don’t actively contribute to the toxic environment, we may help sustain it with our presence. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store