Tag Archives: DATING

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.  

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. 

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 

POLYAMOROUS DOES NOT MEAN SEX ADDICT

Two weeks ago, I finally deactivated and deleted my remaining dating apps (Tinder & Hinge). I came to the conclusion that; with the writing of this blog, working on my memoir, trying to get into shape, being an advocate for herpes, and dating 3 men; I have no energy, nor desire, to meet anyone new. So, I decided to call it quits and to focus on further building the connections I already have established.  

Over the past few months, after claiming my polyamorous label; I have put a lot of time, energy, and emotions into maintaining my relationships. So, it rubs me the wrong way when people dismiss my identification and connections, and say “so you’re just fuckin’ people!”; because, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! There is so much more to it than that. 

When I decided to live this lifestyle, I was prepared to answer the many questions that the monogamous world would ask. The; “what does polyamory mean?” or “how can I be comfortable knowing someone I care about is with someone else?” The answer to those two questions often goes something like this… 

You love your mother, father, and siblings. When you start a family of your own you love your partner, your child, etc.; love just keeps on growing. LOVE NEVER RUNS OUT. Now, you may fall out of love with someone, but love cannot be measured as a chart that gets divided amongst your loved ones, because it’s forever replenishing. So, when I identify as polyamorous, that is my goal; but before love, comes like.  

The above questions are fine; especially growing up in a monogamy-aiming society, there are bound to be people that do not understand the idea of having multiple romantic loves.  

However, I wasn’t prepared to have to defend said lifestyle. Against A) those that choose to belittle the decisions that we make with statements like: “if he loves you, he won’t share you” OR B) “what about all the STDs out there?” First of all, I’m a woman, not a pie. What does love look like anyway? And, secondly, I’ve found that those in this non-traditional lifestyle often get tested far more frequently and are more open to talking about sexual health, than those that are extremely close-minded to this way of living/loving. (Not to mention; I got herpes from what I thought was a monogamous relationship). 

In addition to defending my lifestyle choices, I’m also fighting off the, what I like to call, lifestyle-nomads. Lifestyle-nomads: are those people that truly have no desire to build connections. They may be the ones trying it on for size, or latch to the label because, on paper, it mirrors what they’re doing, but it lacks the deeper foundation. Just because you want to fuck a bunch of people and you want a date or two before, that does not make you polyamorous; that makes you non-monogamous. Living towards a polyamorous love-style is the ability to like freely and honestly, with the goal for like to become love. The goal is to have long-lasting connections of the heart and spirit, regardless if there is sexual intimacy.  

Now, being the sex-positive woman that I am, (who is, in layman’s terms- single); I can, technically, have sex with as many men and women I want. But, that’s NOT what I want. I love the connections, conversations, butterflies, honesty, and vulnerability that dating, in a romantic capacity brings. I never did and I still don’t get those feelings with just sex. Outside the walls of a sex-club (where a nick-name and a condom are enough); emotional, spiritual, and intellectual stimulation are necessary for me to become repeatedly engaged. I have conversations with my partners, I go on dates with my partners I spend time with my partners, and in addition to them knowing about what I do when I am not with them, they all know of each other. There is an honesty and transparency I associate with being poly, that I didn’t associate, when I was dating prior.  My partners make me happy and put a smile on my face, and I can only assume I do the same for them. So, when someone absentmindedly dismisses them as just a phase or sexual object; ignoring the amorous (love) aspect from the title and only focuses on the poly (many); not only is it very unsettling, it’s also not true. 

The second thing I didn’t expect was encountering so many half-assers.  

As started prior, polyamory is not for those that just like a lot of sex. For those people that are always horny and just want to have sex with everything that walks; that is non-monogamy. Another major part of being truly polyamorous is arriving at that space of love, and finding joy watching your partner experience love with someone else, with no fear of their love diminishing your own. COMPERSION! 

This COMPERSION is the part that many people find most difficult. Many people are happy to be open/non-monogamous/swingers, but the idea of love being added to the relationship, many people don’t want to explore that reality.  

In addition to the lack of compersion, I encounter a lot of misogynistic imbalance as well, in the poly community. I do now, and always have felt that polyamory, non-monogamy, and open-relationships only work when both partners are willing participants. One partner cannot be allowed to play the field, while the other has to sit on the side lines. 

Ladies, if your man can be with another women; yet you can’t be with another man; then that relationship is imbalanced. Ladies (and men) if your partner won’t stop cheating; so, you turn a blind eye and claim non-monogamy; again, that relationship is imbalanced.  

The recipe for a successful alternative relationship is an even playing field, constant communication, and checking in; there are rules within the storm, and both/all parties have to agree and follow the rules. That does not mean, if he/she has 3 partners, I need 3 partners too- NO! My schedule may only allow me 1 partner in addition to my primary, and that’s totally fine; after all, it’s not a competition. Decide what it is you want and do what works within the confines of the union that you two have set up. 

The last thing that bugs me, is the oversexualization of the polyamorous and non-monogamous community.  

We are Sex Positive; NOT Sex Addicts. 

Sorry to burst your erotic bubble; but I DO NOT think about sex all day long. Now, there is nothing wrong with those that do; I’m just stating that’s not me. If there are 24 hours in a day, I may spend all of 5 minutes total with sex on my brain, and that’s not even every day. So, it’s literally a turn-off when every exchange is about sex. I’ve joined several group chats, claiming to be for the poly community; and it was a stream of titties, vaginas, penises, and sex positions; I left each one within a week. I’m too busy to think and talk about sex all day long. Especially when it’s with people that I may or may not ever have sex with.  

I love sex when I want it; that goes for type, and locations. I enjoy anal play and anal sex; that does not mean that every night I want my ass fucked. I enjoy going to sex parties and engaging with multiple partner; that does not mean I want to go to them every weekend. Lastly, I enjoy being with women; that does not mean I need to eat pussy every day. It’s important that people understand that about me and other sex-positive people. Just because we openly talk about sex, that does not mean it’s on our minds 24/7. After all… polyamorous does not mean sex-addict.  

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?

People often have a difficult time understand the dynamics of a poly lifestyle choice. I don’t have all the answers; but, I attempt to break down what polyamory means for me.

I was, not so recently, asked if I still believed in love. I was asked, over drinks, by the man that was the main character in my I Blamed You story. It seemed to him, that with all my ups and downs that I had given up on the idea of love. This made me think… Did I actually give up on love? I knew I still desired a form of romantic love in my life; but, with all my ups and downs, felt it would never happen.  

Four years ago, I broke up with my last ex. I needed time to re-find myself; and fall back in love with who I was. I discovered all the things that made me happy. I re-bonded with my friends, my family, and eventually I started dating again. Dating kind of went like this: ghost, ghost, dick-pic; ghost, ghost, married man looking to cheat on his wife; ghost, pen-pal, bad sex; catfish, ghost, then good fling turned ghost; fuck-buddy, ghost, scam.  

During my pursuit to find “THE ONE” all I found was; much time wasted, half-ass conversations, and lots of hurt emotions. Then I asked myself; What was the driving force being my serial-dating? The answer was; I had set up a highly unrealistic timeline for love, based on the dreaded. biological clock. I wanted to be in a relationship by 32, engaged by 33, married by 34, and right when my birth control was done, at 35- Surprise! We’re pregnant! That was the plan. That fucked up plan had me ferociously swiping left and right, and going on date after date, until I was blue in the face and my fingers were numb.  

Why did I want a relationship so bad? Why did it matter so much to me, for me to be chosen by another? Was I not enough? I looked back at all of my former relationships where I was chosen, yet never truly happy. I used to be a serial-monogamist (relationship after relationship) and none of them ever fully satisfied me; maybe what I needed was time to explore. If I was being honest with myself, I was, only, happy about 60-70% of my relationships; the other time, I was Miserable, with capital “M”. There was always something that was missing. On the opposite end, there was always something that I was unable to give, and that in return made me feel less than. I never met a man that shared my hobbies and desires, and I never met a man I could really be myself with. For the better part of all my relationships I tried to fit into this perfect little image of what he wanted me to be. I tried being his everything and looking back- I hated it! 

I had always known that alternative love-sytles existed, I was simply hesitant to seek them out. So, tired with doing what, I was supposed to do, I decided to try and do what I wanted.  

I took it slow at first (or not- depending on who you ask); I claimed my position on non-monogamy, polyamory, and bisexual. I met M_Tinder, and shortly after I met R_Tinder. The connections I had with each man was dynamic in its own right. I was openly dating both men, they knew of each other, and jealousy wasn’t a factor. My conversations with M were light hearted, while my conversations with R were more dynamic. The yin and yang of the two fed my mind, but the direct consistent human connection was slightly missing. As I still craved human contact, some weeks it wasn’t enough. So, I thought; what would happen if I sought one more person of interest.  

It just so happened that, over the past few weeks, my romantic interests have doubled. With romantic walks, deep conversations, passionate kisses, amazing sex, and constant communication; I’m content with my current lifestyle choice. I don’t feel pulled in 15 different directions, like I thought I would, and I am able to take the time that I do have and spend it with the ones I choose. 

For the first time, in a very long time, (I can’t reiterate it enough) I am unapologetically, happily! 

With the variety of special people in my life; I can be: romantic, caring, funny, playful, serious, woke, witty, a princess and open. I can also be: a sex-goddess, submissive, an exhibitionist, and a total freak (You know, that one you wouldn’t bring home to meet your mother). 

I wasn’t able to answer the question then; but I can answer it now. I do believe in love. I just don’t believe in monogamous love for me (at least for the foreseeable future).  

That’s not to say I may never grow tired of this lifestyle. Who knows, maybe 4 years from now I’ll meet someone that will make me want to give it all up. We’d get married, I’d pop out a few babies, and we’d ride happily into the sunset. Sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade in our rocking chairs, watching our grandchildren play; I’ll reflect back on this time in my life with a warm heart. 

Or, I’ll remain in this lifestyle and continue to build beautiful meaningful, long-lasting connections with my partners. We’d attend each other’s weddings, and create unions of our own design. A blended host of families like no one has ever seen. We’d stake out real estate and build a community around our love, so our children would grow up knowing that love comes in many forms. We’d be together on holidays, birthdays, and graduations. We’d be there for each other as we grow old and no one would die alone; because we’d have an abundance of love between us all. 

I’m not sure what the future will look like, as I’m happy taking this one day at a time. The loves that I am experiencing are not, by any means, traditional; but they are the identity of love that I not only need but am also able to give.