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NOBODY CAN SAY I DIDN’T TRY

A few years ago, when I was still online dating, I came across the profile of a cute Latino. His profile indicated that he lived near me and that he, like myself, enjoyed running. Once we started talking the conversation flowed like water. We spoke, consistently, for a few weeks before we decided to meet up. All seemed to be going well, but he kept giving me random reasons why he couldn’t meet me when it was convenient for me. He kept trying to get me to meet him at his house or in front of his building late at night. I made it clear to him that, if he wanted to meet me, he would have to do so at my convenience. Even though he was resistant to meeting, we continued to communicate.  

During one of our conversations, I asked him what he did for work. He told that he was a personal assistant for his cousin (whom he claimed was Jessica Caban, the longtime girlfriend of Bruno Mars). He also said that he was a part-time hairstylist. I made a comment, that I thought would end up being a light-hearted joke. In response to him saying that he was a hairstylist, I joked, and asked if he was also gay. I expected a variety of responses, equating to a no. Although he did say no, when he told me that he was a cross-dresser, I almost choked. Immediately my phone was flooded with messages from him dressed like a woman. Now, don’t get me wrong, he didn’t look half-bad; I simply wasn’t expecting that. I thought about deleting his number and blocking him, but I wondered if I was being too close-minded. There was a party of me that knew I couldn’t get with it. But there was another part of me that considered the courage that it took for him to be honest with me; and, that part didn’t want to just walk away. 

We agreed to meet up one evening and go for a walk in Central Park. He was less handsome in person, but still good looking. I don’t remember what I wore; but I remember he wore a huge multi-colored puffer jacket and NYC Marathon ASICS. —Why do I remember those details, you ask. The only reason why I remember them is because he kept mentioning them. He kept mentioning how expensive his coat and sneakers were, and how much money he had. As he tried to win me over by saying how much money he had, I kept changing the conversation to other topics. We spoke about running, him doing hair, and eventually I asked him when he started cross-dressing. He explained that on one day he just decided to try it and he liked it. He had this cockiness about him that I hated; but his honesty kept me intrigued.  

I felt like dessert, so we walked down to Pinkberry. On our walk, the conversation continued to evolve. I was semi-surprised to think that despite how things began; we were actually having a decent first date. Once inside of Pinkberry, and only because he made such a big deal on how much money he had, I was taken aback when he didn’t offer to pay for my $7 dollar dessert. —If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you know how I feel about men that don’t offer to pay on first dates. If a man doesn’t pay on a first date, there will not be a second. I thought to myself, for a guy donning $130+ sneakers, and a coat that he claimed was over $500, the least he could do was buy my frozen yogurt; when he did not, it was an automatic major deduction. I was ready do ditch his ass; but, unfortunately, he lived in my area, and we had to walk in the same direction. He said that he was thirsty; so, walking back uptown, we stopped into Whole Foods. He walked to the beverage station, grabbed a beverage, and asked me if I wanted anything. I said no, and I started walking towards the cash register. I was, once again, taken aback when he turned around and made his way back to the entrance. —Yes! While wearing over $600, this fool decided to steal a seltzer water from Whole Foods. I looked at him like he was bat-shit crazy. Once outside of the store I ripped into him about what he did, and he seemed to not care. I needed to change the conversation over the remaining 15 blocks, so we spoke about movies and TV shows. When he reached his building, he invited me to come up, but I eagerly declined and made my way home.  

Most women would’ve blocked his number. However, there is always (and probably will forever) be a part of me that never knows when to call it quits. I can say it in my mind, but there is always the heart. When the mind and heart align, then along comes the conscience, that convinces me to give a person one more chance. So, after our first meet & greet, where he stole and didn’t even buy me a dessert, we were still talking. A part of me found it interesting having a person that was so different in my life. So, I wasn’t quite ready to sever all ties. A week later, I was with my friends at the bar having wings, and my date came up. I went over all the details of the date and they were appalled for me. When I mentioned that he was also a cross-dresser, they thought that I was out of my mind for going on the date, in the first place. I tried to justify the reasons for us staying in contact, but in the end, I knew it had run its course.  

After a few nights, he went from being interesting and different to classic fuck-boy. One evening, he kept repeatedly asking me to come over and I told him no. He then proceeded to say that if I didn’t come over, he would call someone else to. I guess he thought my decision to talk to him was out of desperation, but I was simply trying to be open-minded. I told him he was well within his right to do what he wanted. This went on for about twenty more minutes. Growing annoyed, I told him that I would block him. When he didn’t stop, I did just that. To this day, I still wonder why I even went down that road in the first place. I knew, the moment he told me that he cross-dressed, red flags went up. After his behavior on the first date, I knew there would be no romantic future. I don’t really know what it was, but I wanted to give him a chance to see if we could at least be friends. In the end, nobody can say I didn’t try. 

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HOW YOU DISTANCING?

So, here we are, almost two weeks into the Covid 19 shut down, and never in a million years did I think it would’ve gotten this bad. I can remember making jokes about the virus just over a month ago, assuming that people were over-reacting, and that this would boil over before it even started. Boy— were we wrong.  

As I write this post from my kitchen table, it has been exactly one week since my office, in Times Square, closed for business, and we were made to work from home. Two weeks was the initial time-line we all looked forward to. Just two weeks— if we all stay inside and practice social distancing, all would be back to normal. As I’m glued to the news, and I’m certain that you are too, the time-line seems to be nowhere in sight. With the unemployment rate seeing heights that have never been seen, and the number of people infected constantly increasing, I am officially worried.  

For as long as I can remember, any hardship that I ever faced, was with a grain of salt. I’ve been laid-off before and fired from quite a few jobs (because of my mouth). But my saving grace was that, I lived with my family and I always knew that I could find another job. When I got the email from my company that they were cutting our salaries in half, until further notice— Shit Got Real! I work in fashion, and my company’s survival depends on the public’s ability to buy. If over half of the population is out of work, because businesses can’t open, I could be out of a job; and that cushion that I once relied on disappears.  

I could make this a post all about my sad position, “Sad girl, who lives with her family, has her salary cut in half,” but here’s my silver lining. I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and money in my savings account. For what it’s worth, I’ll be ok. I turn my focus to others that don’t have those safety nets. I consider the household, who just lost their sole bread-winner. I think of the children whose safe place was the schools they attended. I think of the family in poverty that may run out of food, if things don’t return to normal soon enough. A $1500 dollar check when rent in NYC for a studio can easily top that, is a band-aid on a wound worthy of stitches. 

Facebook reminded me that last year I was in Vegas, squeezing my thick ass into too tight waist-shapers, drinking with my friends, and living my best life. The farthest thing on my mind was a virus that would come and literally cripple the country. Hell, two weeks ago I was planning to grab oysters and a few cocktails after work. But in the blink of an eye, my half-marathon was cancelled, my writing group was cancelled, my monthly gym memberships have been put on hold, and all the little joys are now huge threats. Even walking outside poses a risk my family, and it’s really tough to think of all the things that I once took for granted.  

Before shit hit the fan, on Mondays I used to go to Barnes & Noble with my boyfriend. He would meet me after work and we would sit there and write until they closed. It offered me the quiet that I needed to focus on my writing and to be with My Love, away from my family. Now, because every place is only to-go and delivery, and it’s too cold to sit outside, I’m lucky if I can find a quiet moment to work in my home. When I freelanced from home, it was the most amazing experience. I would wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, eat breakfast, then sit down to work. I ate when I wanted, and I worked out when I wanted. A few weeks ago, I joked about how I would love to go back to freelance work, and how much I missed it. However, when that fantasy became a reality-nightmare, I realized that I had no business complaining.  

This past weekend, my friends and I went out for a walk. We hadn’t seen each other since our brunch on New Year’s Day, and we kept saying that we wanted to meet up; then this happened. The few of us that felt well and lived close by arranged to meet up and go for a walk in Central Park. Saturday was a beautiful day; and, I’m certain the number of people would’ve been triple, had it not been for the current state of contagious virus. The shine and warmth of the sun, the chirping of the birds, the ducks in the pond, and the laughter of the children playing, was a total juxtaposition to what was going on in the real world. We walked for a bit to get some fresh air, we made our way to Dunkin’ Donuts, then walked back to the park. I did a little shopping, and when I parted from my friends, my guy and I continued to walk home. I made him a plate for dinner and he stayed for a while as we watched a movie. When it was time for him to go, I told him, “I Love You.” 

As I lay in bed, I wondered when things would get back to normal. I wondered when would be the next time I would see my friends. I wondered when would be the next time I would see My Love. This virus has sent the world, as we know it, into a frenzy. I have friends and family working on the front-lines, in the hospitals. I have friends that work in public transportation, risking exposure every day. I have family that are still required to report to work and deal with customers day in and day out, I have a friend that is sick, and My Love has to report to work in the middle of this pandemic. 

I say all of this to say, now is the time to call your loved ones and see how they’re doing. Virtually reconnect with your friends to keep those bonds established. Stay inside but keep in touch. We don’t know how long this is going to last and how long the impact will have on each and every one of us. It’s time to forgive and move forward. 

We will only get through this together.  

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CLEAN UP ON FLOOR 34

Unlike the previous parties we had attended, this one was extremely slow to start. My guy and I greeted the people we knew, scoped out the room, and decided to stake our claim on the chaise by the large open window. We kissed and flirted while we waited for more guests to arrive. About 30 minutes later, a guy I played with at the last party, walked in with his play-partner. He had made his decision to come to the party solely based on our previous sexual interaction and my recommendation; so, I really hoped that the party would get better. He told me about his ex, and showed me pictures from the parties they attended when they were together.  

An hour later, it was finally time to start the introductions. We went around the room, introduced ourselves, stated our DOs and DONTs, then it was dress-down-time. I couldn’t help but notice that it was way more of a sausage party than previous parties, and that there were very few women that attended with the intention to play; neither of which made me happy. Nonetheless, I retreated to the restroom to change into my lingerie and when I returned, over half the party was still fully dressed—What the Fuck! Unlike other parties, that had a designated smoking bathroom, since the hotel was non-smoking; anyone that wanted to smoke had to go down to the street. When ¾ of the party returned, I hoped that once everyone returned the party would get better. Normally, I don’t mind being one of the first to get things started; but since everyone was still dressed it was very difficult for me to lower my inhibitions. My guy, being the horn-dog that he is, didn’t care, and I could tell that he was ready to go, but my mood was totally halted. We remained sitting on the chaise, playing with our phones, and hoping more guests would arrive. After a while, the guy that came to play with me got fed up with the lack of order, got his partner, and they left. When I spoke to him later I apologized for the bad experience he had. I told him that was a one-off bad experience, and that the next party would be way better. He asked me how the rest of the night went, and I was happy to let him know that the night wasn’t a total bust. 

After a while, one of the other guests and his wife decided to take the lead to get the party started. He made a show of eating her booty hole and that allowed a few others to start openly engaging. Another woman started sucking her man’s dick, and seeing another couple in action made me horny. I was finally ready to play; and the first thing I wanted to do was have my pussy eaten. I laid down on my back for my man to devour me. My breasts came out as my robe slipped to the side, exposing my pierced nipples for fellow party-goers to adore and rub on. My moans from my partner’s oral pleasure were heightened by hands rubbing on my feet, my legs, and my thighs; it felt intoxicating. As I reached my orgasm I let out a loud scream and clenched my thighs around his head. Once down from my high, I was ready for him to fuck me. As he got into position behind me and put on a condom, I went into my bag of treasures and pulled out my jeweled butt-plugs. By this time, the room had begun to fill up and we had a crowd of spectators that were amazed at my butt-plug. I moistened it in my mouth and had my man insert it, and braced for impact; only he had a different plan.  

I was bent over, wet, butt-plug inserted and ready for sex; except, my guy decided to try an put on a show. He wanted to show the spectators how good he was at eating pussy. The only problem was, I just had an orgasm, and I can’t have two back to back (my body isn’t set up like that). As he kept working his tongue on my clit for the audience, I grew less and less aroused. When he finally got the hint that I wasn’t going to cum, he slid the condom on and prepared to fuck, only he had grown soft. He put so much focus on pleasing the crowd, he missed the opportunity. I turned around and began sucking his dick to get him hard; once my job was accomplished, he bent me over and began to fuck me. As he fucked me from behind, another of my repeat-play-mates, positioned himself in front of me and I reveled in sucking his dick. I licked, flicked, sucked, and gagged on him as I was being fucked from the back. After my guy had his orgasm, he cleaned up and then they swapped places. I always enjoy the pressure of a dick entering my pussy and that time was no different. Once inside of me, he delivered into me deep and intentional strokes. When he had reached his orgasm, it was clear that my vagina was done and mouth were done. 

I went to the shower to freshen up and when I returned my guy was ready to go again, but I was not. He was getting hard, but I had no desire to have a penis in my mouth, or vagina; so I told him we could masturbate together. 

He sat down on the edge of the bed and I got my womanizer out and kneeled down in front of him. Once he started to stroke I powered her up. The sucking pulse of the womanizer performed wonders on my clit, and I moaned louder and louder. As I felt my orgasm reaching a peak, my moans became a vocal example of what was happening inside my body. I heard one of the guys in the room say; “Yo! Her moans are getting my dick hard.” But after that, all other sounds died away. As my screams overpowered the sounds in the suite, my orgasms continued to build. Right after my guy came on my tits, I reached the peak of my orgasm with an extreme high-note, followed by my juices exploding onto the carpet. My body shook as the rushes of orgasms kept coming and forced me to release more and more fluid; then I collapsed onto his lap. Once I regained my composure, I got up from the floor, and he joined me in the shower. Once clean, we gathered our clothes and got dressed. It was then that I realized I accidentally got his briefs wet with my juices; but, there was nothing we could do about it. After we dressed, we put on our clothes, said our good-byes, and exited the party. 

Despite the beginning, the party ended on a literal high-note. And, on the 34th floor of One UN Plaza, with the FDR Drive and the night sky outside the window; I had my first swinger squirt. 

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LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

MY 5TH LOVE LANGUAGE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven! 

I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.  

I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was. 

When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation. 

Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear. 

Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments. 

Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident.  When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.  

Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.  

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LOVE LANGUAGE #4 – PHYSICAL TOUCH

People often assume that sexual touch and physical touch are the same thing. Another common assumption is that, a sexual person must also enjoy being touched. For much of my life, I made these assumptions as well. I loved having sex so much, that I was sure Physical Touch would be my top love language. I was certain that, with all the kissing, caressing, and humping; it would be my number one -How could it not be? While doing the test, I was surprised to see that so many of my answers proved otherwise. With Physical Touch coming in at number 4, I reflected back to some instances where I was being touched, but I didn’t feel loved. 

I remember a time, years ago, when I was lying beside my boyfriend. We were both naked, as we just finished having sex; his arm was draped over my body, and my head was nestled underneath his chin on his chest. All was right with the world, until he started rubbing my arm, up and down. The feeling of his hand against my skin had changed. The caressing of his hand that had just ignited our 30-minute love making session, suddenly felt like a catheter, stopping my blood flow. I remember wanting him to stop, but because I didn’t want to sound mean – I said nothing. Recently, I was on the sofa with my guy, as we watched Netflix. He was sitting up and I was resting my head on his lap. In that position I felt safe, secured, and precious; I could’ve stayed in that position forever. When his hands moved from around my waist and started to rub on my breasts; those feelings began to fade. I tried ignoring it at first, because I knew that he was happy touching me in that way; eventually it was all I could focus on. It went from being something I could ignore to annoying. Again, I didn’t want to come across as unaffectionate; so, I placed my hands over his to stop the motion.  

On both occasions, a person that I loved was delivering love to me, but it was in the form that best suited them. It wasn’t the first time those actions had taken place, but it was the first time I had processed them that way. I needed to find some reason or logic as to why, in those moments, I shut down and, in a way felt slightly offended.  

For centuries, a woman’s body was the property of her father, and after marriage it became the property of her husband. It’s still common to hear women relinquish their bodies to their husbands on demand (I was exhausted, but when my man wants it, I give it!). It’s been instilled in women that a wife’s duty is to see to it that her husband was satisfied. For a time, if he wanted to have sex and she did not, he was within the full rights of the law, to use his male-domination to either convince his wife and/or dominate her into submission. Even though there are laws that exist against these acts today (depending on where you are in the world and if violence is involved), many women still believe that their bodies are not their own. Sure, if a stranger touched me, I could handle the situation quite abruptly and without hesitation. But when love is involved the once clear line begins to blur. 

From birth, it’s easy to overlook all the times when a person’s body is not their own. We’ve all seen the child writhing and screeching, as their being passed around like a dessert plate for people to “ooh” and “ahh” at them – We’ve all been this child at least once. Try counting how many times your parents or family told you to give a hug or a kiss to someone that you didn’t want to – If you could even remember, you would lose count. When we’re in school, if a classmate hit us, or invaded our personal space, we were told to be nice, shake hands, and hug. Once out of the womb, we were repeatedly forced to lower our bodily-boundaries for people that we knew and loved. The roads run parallel for both sexes until approximately puberty. After puberty, boys were taught to take power and control of their bodies, while girls are taught to protect bodies, but only for the later use of a man (Don’t you want to be perfect for your husband on your wedding night?). With this rhetoric it’s no wonder why I had issues declaring my body as my own. 

I first had to learn that my body was my own; entering into a relationship did not give my partner rights to my body. The second thing I had to learn was, not wanting to be touched did not mean a lack of love. There are certain touches the register certain emotions, and those emotions control how I feel in my relationships. I’m a sexual being that likes sex, writes about sex, and I get a lot of sexual attention from strangers; it’s imperative that, in my relationship, I feel loved. I prefer hand holding to random ass-slaps while walking down the street, innocent kisses over childish grabs and/or pokes at my breasts, and standing big-spoon cuddles over fingers poking at my holes. One touch says I love and cherish you, the other says I want to fuck you, I want to possess you, to own you, and that your body is not yours, it’s mine. 

When I allow my partner(s) to explore my body as their momentary playground, it’s with much love, excitement, and sensuality. But when the sun sets, and the park closes, so does the playground inside of it. When my partner(s) continue playing after the park closes, it’s a direct disrespect of the rules and boundaries that were set in place. 

Maintaining control is of the utmost importance for me, and understanding that Physical Touch is not the same for everyone.  

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LOVE LANGUAGE #2 – QUALITY TIME

The first time I took the 5 Love Languages quiz, I was dead single; and, with no hope for a relationship in sight. I felt that learning my love languages would allow me to process why certain relationships didn’t go as planned. When I took the quiz my love languages were as follows: 

1. Receiving Gifts 

2. Acts of Service 

3. Physical Touch 

4. Quality Time 

5. Words of Affirmation 

Over the last week, as I knew I planned to dive deeper into exploring my love languages, I felt it only made sense to read the damn book; but, since I was on a time crunch and I am not a fast reader, I listened to the audiobook. Absorbing the messaging from the book, further broke down my understanding of my love languages. Outside of the occasional religious reference (which I easily glossed over), the average person could learn to apply the tools of the book to their specific relationships.  

I re-took the test before writing this post, just to see if there were some changes, and these were my results.  

1. Receiving Gifts 

2. Quality Time 

3. Acts of Service 

4. Physical Touch 

5. Words of Affirmation 

It was no surprise that my primary love language remained Receiving Gifts; I’ve known and suspected this for quite some time. I was, however, surprised to see that Quality Time had moved up in the ranks to number two; and the inquiring mind that I am, I wanted to understand why. That desire to know took me back to all the times in my past relationship, where I was technically in my partner’s presence, but I felt totally alone.  

When Bruno Mars sang “Lucky for you, that’s what I like” – it made so much sense. How easy would a relationship be if you and your partner had things in common? How easy would it be if your love languages aligned? How easy would it be if your partner was willing and able to love you in the way that you received love? Dag NabitIf only I knew this sooner, I would’ve saved myself a lot of tears, emotions, and wasted breath. If I was able to lay on the table my love languages (considering the receiving person even knew what love languages really were), we could determine right then and there if we wanted to proceed or not.  

In my past relationships, where having any of my needs met was like pulling teeth without Novocain, to cope with the disappointment, I subconsciously minimized their importance. If after many requests and failed attempts I was still without, I pushed the need to the bottom and made others more important. Years later, I recognized this behavior and labeled it the ugly C-word; ‘compromise’. The idea that if you meet If you meet a seemingly perfect person that you loved deeply; but, if they are unwilling do to the things that make you happy, in your core; you should just dismiss that key detail and be happy with what you get; I think is total bull-shit. I may not be able to get all that I want but, my primary love languages should be met.  

When I finally had an idea of what my love languages were, I was more than happy to apply them when I started dating again.  

For example: If Guy doesn’t believe in buying gifts (for whatever reason). On my side, because receiving gifts is my primary language; even if I’m able to live without gifts for a few weeks during the euphoria of new romance; there will come a time when I will want a gift. As he’s already stated it’s a no-go for him, we’ll eventually arrive at a roadblock in the relationship.  

If I’m able to know from the very beginning, that he will never be willing to give me what I want in the end, I’ll know not to go down that road; because, it will never work. 

In my last relationship, without knowing it was my love language; towards the end, I would stress to my partner that I just wanted some time together with him. As he never got me anything for the entirety of our relationship, I had convinced myself that if he could come through on this, all would we right within our world. So, when our quality time looked like sitting on the couch as he watched basketball; I kept my mouth shut. I couldn’t complain, because I was technically getting what I had requested, just not in the form that I desired. Had I known better I never would’ve allowed for the relationship to go on as long as it did. He wasn’t spending quality time with me; he was just being in my presence.  

Over the years I’ve learned that, quality time is something you do for your partner the way they can receive it. Him having me over to watch a game that he would’ve watched regardless; did not count. Just because we were in each other’s company, that doesn’t by default mean, the time was quality; as he was focused on the game and I wished that I was in my room watching Love & Hip Hop. 

With Receiving Gifts and Quality Time at the forefront of my love languages, in a society where everything costs a million dollars and people can barely find a moment to shit in peace; I knew my work was cut out for me; but, like Bruno Mars said; “Lucky for you, that’s what I like”. When I re-entered the dating world (with all my additional titles), I made it a point to seek partner’s whose love language matched my own; and to avoid the unnecessary headache, I only entertained those that I felt were willing and able to love me the way I knew I needed to be loved. 

Armed with new armor and weapons to win the battle that is love; I found dating and love, this time around to be more satisfactory and love filled than ever before. 

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VALENTINE’S DAY & LOVE LANGUAGES

So, Friday is Valentine’s Day, and for the first time, in years, I’m actually in a relationship. So, what does that mean for me? If you remember my post from last year, The Significance of Valentine’s Day; I wrote about this miraculous day of gift giving, and relationship confirming, as one that shouldn’t bear so much when compared to the entirety of your relationship. A part of me still agrees with that, while the other part of me, the part that still holds onto traditional values, cares for none of that evolved way of thinking.

It’s important to remember that, when I wrote my post last year; not only was I single, I was still dealing with the emotional ramifications from being scammed, and I was on my own self-discovery-celibacy journey. After some amazing realizations and changes, an entire year later, I have a primary love interest, and two quasi-romantic-sexual partners. 

I still don’t seek for my relationship to be validated on a single day; because I know what I have with my Love. But I do know that, if I don’t get flowers and chocolates while I’m at work; IT’S GONNA BE A PROBLEM! And with that I bring into the conversation, The 5 Love Languages. 

  1. Receiving Gifts 
  1. Acts of Service 
  1. Physical Touch 
  1. Quality Time 
  1. Words of Affirmation 

I, like many people, took the online quiz; and the above are my love languages in order of importance to me. As you can see, receiving gifts is of high importance to me, but not for the reasons one would think. 

When I was younger, colored roses had just started popping up, and the prettiest to me, were blue roses. Many shops spray painted white roses, which looked horrible. However, there were some that did it the proper way; either by stem-dyeing the roses, or dipping the roses in blue dye. One could imagine the process and money it required, for a business to keep blue roses on hand for purchase; so, it only made sense that they were difficult to come by. Everywhere you looked you could find red, pink, white or yellow roses, but to walk the extra few streets to find the place that sold those beautiful blue roses, it made all the difference in the world.  

My priority love language is not receiving gifts, just because I like gifts; that would be too simple. It’s my primary love language because my, often very complicated, mind breaks down the steps behind giving said gift. From remembering the conversation where I mentioned my love for blue roses, to the effort required to recall that tiny detail in the ocean of all that I tend to say during any given tangent, and lastly to actually get off your ass and get the seemingly unimportant roses, all just to put a smile on my face. The thought process and effort put behind the gift, is a thousand times more important than the gift alone. 

I used to believe that – it was the thought that counts. But as I got older, I believed that less and less. The best gift is not only one that comes from the heart; it is also one that is totally void of the gift-giver. When giving a gift, it should be tailored to the person you’re giving it to. It should be something that they want and/or need. Giving a gift that is more for your personal excitement or enjoyment, is not a genuine gift.  

On the other hand, avoiding giving a gift because ‘gift giving’ is not your personal love language, is just as bad; if not worse.  

My infamous Ex, (X-Files: 1-5) was the definition of worse. If I’m being honest, the average man doesn’t pay attention to romantic holidays. Which is why marketing and retail commercials are constantly reminding them that it’s approaching. You ever wonder why Christmas music starts to play immediately following Halloween; that’s why. And the same goes for women with Valentine’s Day. Marketing is well aware that all men really care about, between January and February, is watching other men toss around a football. The last thing on most men’s minds is, what to get the lady in their life for Valentine’s Day. This is why those Jared and Kiss commercials start playing on heavy repeat.  

They make it virtually impossible for the average thinking man to forget. Every store you enter is littered with hearts, pink and red junk, and flowers, so many flowers. So, it would only make sense that a man, working at one of these stores, would take full advantage of his employee discount and purchase at least one VDay gift for his lady. But that was not the nature of my ex. The simple effort to purchase something he saw every day, on sale- no less, deemed to be too much every single time. 

For years, I truly believed that he didn’t care, which may have very well been true. However, years later, I learned that my ex’s love languages were just different from mine. In fact, they were damn near upside down and opposite. Had either one of us read the book, before we met; we still may not have stood a chance; but in the very least, I would’ve been armed with the tools to better express why something that seemed so futile to him, meant so much to me.  

In dating, love, and life, it’s important to learn what and why your love languages are what they are. We are all unique individuals, so we process things differently. If we truly care for our partner, it’s important to at least try to love them the way they can best receive it.  

Next Week: Acts of Service 

LOVE LANGUAGE #3 – ACTS OF SERVICE

It’s makes sense that this love language lays, smack dab, in the middle; because the first thing I have to do is be open to receiving the act as something genuine. I can fully acknowledge that I battle with seeing a partner’s act of service as fully genuine. Don’t get me wrong, a good deed is a good deed, I simply wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind the act.  

I grew up hearing “men only want one thing” or “he did this because he wants that”. So, it only made sense that whenever I dated a guy, if he did something (without me asking for it, first) I would quietly question, why did he do it? I used to believe that if people did something nice for me it was because they genuinely wanted to do it, I was 8 years old; today, life and dating has since delivered me some very rude awakenings.  

The most important one being that; no one does anything without receiving something in return. Sir Isaac Newton’s third law states that; “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. However, that reaction isn’t always visible. For example: A business man on the train gives a dollar to a homeless man. It may appear that the businessman is receiving nothing in return; but if you allow yourself to consider not every exchange has to be tangible; you’ll see that the reaction is emotional. It felt good for the businessman to give that dollar, and that’s why he did it (in addition to it being a good deed). 

With the above being understood; sadly, there is always an internal tug-of-war between my mind and my heart. On one side, my heart wants to receive the act with no questions asked; while my mind is scanning for an ulterior motive.  

In the average relationship, when people perform acts of service, it’s because they’re working to maintain their relationship and to get to that ‘Happily Ever After’. All the deeds one did to show love and care appear to be totally self-less, until the relationship is over. When the relationship ends, all those ‘self-less acts’ turn into sacrifices made. The once, “this is for you my love” turns into “I sacrificed this for you”. A self-less act rapidly transitions and becomes something that was actually a bargaining chip in disguise. I hate to admit it, but I did the above to an ex and I’ve had it done to me. 

In a past relationship, I financially supported my partner. I paid his phone bill, his metro card, and when we went out- I often paid. We met online, while he was in Trinidad. He was a runner, but was in recovery from an injury. He had an opportunity to come to the U.S. to train with a special coach, and to be with me; but he first had to buy himself out of his contract, which left him with very little money when he finally arrived. I felt that he had made a sacrifice for me; so, for a while I did what I could to support him. The only problem was, every time we got into an argument, he would threaten to leave and I would weaponize what I did for him. He would say “I should’ve gone to Jamaica to train instead…” and I would say “Really? with all that I’m doing for you!” I was by no means rich, so helping my partner out while I was only making $30K (before taxes) at the time was a real financial burden. But I had convinced myself that it would only be temporary; he would land an athletic contract, we would move out and live together, and everything would have been worth it. As time passed and that fantasy drifted farther and farther away, I grew to resent him and all that I had done for him. I blamed him for my financial struggles, and when I finally ended the relationship, I declared that I would never make the same mistake again. In my mind, I was supporting my man because I wanted what was best for him; but my subconscious knew that if and when the tide finally turned, I wanted to be there to ride the wave of success with him. I wanted him to see me and all that I had sacrificed for him and declare that I was worthy to go on the journey with him. I later learned that was not a truly genuine act of service. 

Those feelings and lessons learned in that relationship still fuel my perspective today. As much I love it when a partner does something nice for me; being who I am, and knowing my history, I worry that one day their acts of service will be thrown in my face, if things don’t go the way they intended. In previous posts I stress the importance of being selfish and, with my feet firmly rooted in the dirt, I stand by that. I like to think that I am fair in how I choose to date. I never ask a partner’s income, but I take note of what they say to get a general idea. A while back, I had a partner offer to help me out financially, although the situation wasn’t yet a reality, I declined the offer. I knew that their desire to help me would only further hurt them; the same way me financially helping my ex hurt my abilities to save and get financially stable for myself. I firmly feel that if helping someone today has the risk of turning into something sacrificed later, don’t do it! That’s like doing someone doing a favor and then holding it over their head in arguments; you either want to do it or you don’t. There will always be a looming question of an ulterior motive. Why are you here? Why are you doing it?  

 
As I’m learning and growing with love, I’m learning to work on aligning my brain and heart, and to trust the actions of those that I love; it’s not easy, but I’m working on it.