Archive for Relationships

A Fatherless Child at Christmas Time – The Glass is Half-Full…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…


Not that long ago I thought about the last time that I ever saw my father.  Maybe the partial irony in that statement is that the last time that I saw my father was the first time that I saw my father.  I think that the thought arose because it was around the month of November when I was about 8 years old.  Prior to that time there wasn’t really much talk in my family about my father.  Some may see this as a bad thing, but for me (even as a little fella) it was as if I was the Immaculate Conception.  There was my Mom (who had me a month before her 18th birthday), Grandma, my aunt and myself – we were a team.

Some people may think “oh, how tragic that you didn’t know your father before the age of 8” or “its, such a shame that men abandon their responsibilities” or the other comments that may be said in regards to a father-less situation.  In reflecting upon those times, I think that it’s a blessing that I was born into a family that showed support, guidance and love and I cannot remember a time EVER that anyone in my family (Mom included) ever had a bad thing to say about my father or his absence in my life.  I think that the “matter of fact” nature that it had back then has really helped me not harbor any resentment or ill-will toward not knowing my father or having a relationship with him.

Back to that last/first time that I saw him, it was a cold night in Chicago and he picked me up from karate class and was introduced to me as “your father.”  I’ve had the same demeanor all my life, so even then I was like “hey, nice to meet you.”  No big smiles, no tears, no jumping up and down took place.  The amount of care and compassion that I received in my home, sans a father, never lead me to feel that I was not cared for fully.  We took a trip to Burger King and later while at my Mom’s house he asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  Anybody over the age of 30 can remember having a Sears or JC Penney catalog with all of your favorite toys circled in the catalog.  I pulled out my catalog and we made a list.  I eventually went to bed and that was the last memory that I have of my father.

For some, this may be a sad story, in my case, I to this day feel that it is not possible to miss what you never had unless you choose too.  Although it may have been the makings of a sad story, it’s a story of triumph to me.  I feel that I have matured through the years by being a very masculine, yet caring and secure person by the guidance of my immediate family and the various extended family, mentors, coaches and other people who have had a strong influence in me being the person that I am today.

I am sharing this story because during the holidays there are many people that spend far too much time focusing on what they don’t have as opposed to being grateful and cherishing the things (material and non-material) that they do have in their lives.  Also, there are many women who are raising boys/young men on their own and they are wondering can they do “enough” to raise their child to be a man.  In many instances, it still does take a village to raise a child, but in short the answer is “yes, you do have what it takes.”

I invite all of us to be more conscious of the words that we share with people in all aspects of our lives.  The loving nature and quite frankly, the respect that my family showed my father (although he wasn’t present) is something that has rubbed off on me to make me calm in the face of adversity and see the glass as half-full while many others may view the glass as half-empty (or just empty.)  The strength and communication that they’ve shared with me over the years has helped me show gratitude for what I do have as opposed to bemoaning or begrudging what I don’t have.

Energy is transferred among us, especially when it comes from a parent to a child. As we go into a new decade, don’t let disappointments and situations of the past hold you back like dead weight and stop you from accomplishing your life’s purpose.  Many people feel like they should be able to say whatever they feel, but the thing that distinguishes us from animals is the ability to think before we speak.  Moving forward into 2010 let’s move in a positive, uplifting manner that encourages others to be the best that they can be while exhibiting grace, character and maturity in the process.  Our families need us, our communities need us to walk as the example of what it is we would like to see the world become.

I share my Christmas story of being a fatherless child to say that there is an opportunity in every perceived threat.  There is potential strength in every perceived weakness.  Now more than any other time, we can’t look to anyone other than ourselves to create the social and emotional climate that we want to see in the world.  Let’s treat others as we would want to be treated, forgive ourselves for the mistakes of the past and look to make a better life not just for us, but for all that we come in contact with.

Spread love this holiday and challenge yourself to be a better person to others in the future where possible.  Also, allow yourself to forgive those who may have hurt you in a way either known or unknown to them.  This is your time and it will be what you make of it.

This is by no means meant to absolve absentee fathers in any regard.  Nor is it meant to invalidate the feelings that men or women have regarding anything missing or removed from their life.  What it is meant to do is share that your happiness/fulfillment or disappointment/anguish in life will be a direct result of where you channel your thoughts, feelings and energy.  As I’ve shared in earlier blogs, the “Strangest Secret” is 6 words – “man becomes what he thinks about.”   If you think about being abandoned, a victim or “wronged”, you will be.  If you think about being loved, fulfilled and “whole” those things in turn will come your way.

I invite you to turn as many of the half-empty glasses in your life to half-full, you will soon find that they are totally full and there is little else to worry about.

Much love, Happy Holidays, take care of one another and remember – “we all we got”…VA

Additional information

“The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale – http://www.nightingale.com/AE_Article~i~22~article~StrangestSecret.aspx

Are You Where You Wanna Be? – How To Get Out of a Rut…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

stuck


I haven’t written a blog in a few weeks.  I fortunately have been busy and traveling as well.  Additionally, I’ve been spending some time assessing where things are in my life and getting ready for a great 2010.  As I make the assessment of where I am and where I want to be I have made some decisions that I think will help to solidify the position of where I see myself going.  However, when I generally observe where the nation is headed or just take the temperature of people at-large it seems like there is a serious case of the “blahs” going around or in general people are stuck in a rut.

One of the decisions that I made was to get back to reading and listening to some of the personal development material that I have amassed over the years.  As I contemplated what to share in my next blog I thought that I would give 5 quick-tips to help people move to that next place in life and get out of a rut in the event that they were stuck in one.  Of course with this being a blog there is no way that I could cover an entire book’s worth of information in this space.  However, these points can hopefully assist in moving a person from where they are to where they want to be.

The interesting thing is that there will be those that feel that what I’m sharing is common sense.  With that being said, I would say that there is a tremendous difference between knowing and doing (very much akin to physically unhealthy people who neglect what they know about living a healthy lifestyle.)  Taking action on these points will create the new progress to take you to new places physically and just as importantly emotionally.

Tip #1 – Maintain a Persistent State of Grace

I think that it can be said that many people in 2009 are in the most stagnant and some even in the worst places in their lives.  However, life does have its cycles and although the current time may be a down swing, there is always something to be thankful for.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, there is an opportunity to look at the positive aspects of our lives and focus on what is going right more than what needs improvement and be thankful for those positive aspects.  The precursor to a new blessing is acknowledging the one that is currently with us.

There’s a saying that “you never miss your water until your well runs dry.”  Whether it’s the love of a parent, love of a significant other, love of a child, gainful employment, shelter, food – there is always something to be thankful for.  Maintain a persistent state of grace and when things seem rough refocus your energy on what’s right in your life as you identify what you would like to improve.

Tip #2 – Let Go Of Disappointment/Frustration

There’s another saying that states “This Too Shall Pass.”  Think back to one year ago.  Can you remember what your biggest issue was in your life at that time?  In many cases people will remember what that issue was and then quickly consider it old news because it is no longer an issue.  In some cases it will take more than a quick minute to remember before you say “oh yeah, I forgot all about dealing with that.”  In probably a smaller number of cases there may be some individuals still addressing that problem.  At any rate, the overwhelming majority of people have moved on from last year’s issue.  In turn, that also could represent that the major issue you are facing today could soon be rectified and will merely be a memory a year from today.  Have faith that this moment of frustration is temporary and that a solution will come soon.

Additionally, try to spend as little time as possible focusing on the undesirable aspects of your life.  This would include spending hours of your day recounting and reliving your frustration of your experiences from a negative position.  Rather than recounting frustrations, continually project the desire to have a new and better situation replace the one that you are currently dealing with.  For example, in sharing a situation about a negative work experience, speak more from the position of “I look forward to moving on to a better situation” as opposed to 3-hours of “this place sucks!!”  It may seem like semantics, but your subconscious mind moves you closer to the things you dwell upon and the more you dwell on the “job that sucks” the more it hangs around.  [There are many books including Dr. Joseph Murphy’s “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” that discuss more of how to use your subconscious thoughts to your benefit.]

Tip #3 – Identify A New Direction

The one positive thing about experiencing what you don’t like is that it gives you a frame of reference for what it is you would prefer.  If you are dissatisfied with your job, major in college, relationship, the number staring at you on the scale, the good news is that all of those things can be changed.  Unfortunately, no one is going to be able to change those things other than you.  Its amazing the amount of time that people spend stuck in unsatisfying relationships, jobs, and other positions in life as though they don’t have an opportunity to do anything about it.

I think the faster that a person realizes that they are not stuck and although change is challenging, it can be rewarding if done properly, the faster they are to apply long-lasting change.   Fear has a way of immobilizing a person from making a change.  There has to be a way to transfer the fear of doing something different to the realization of what would eventually happen if you remain in that stagnant state.  Identifying the new direction again can be as simple as saying that you want the opposite of whatever the state you’re in that could be causing you frustration today.

Tip #4 – Make a Choice and Act on It

Another “amazing” thing are the number of people who instinctively do Tips #1 – #3 and then when it comes time to make a choice, they freeze or “excuse” their way out of COMMITTING to the new direction that they have identified.  Most people don’t realize that if you apply yourself in a particular discipline that you can absolutely change your life in 24-36 months.  I think its safe to say that 100% of the people reading this have lived more than enough to say that 2-3 years is not a long time to devote to a major life change.  The problem is that some people don’t believe this could apply to them and there are others who are too lazy (frankly) to move out of their comfort zone of leisure, routine or other circumstances to carve out the time to apply positive and progressive change in their life.  We’re all given 24 hours in a day and its how those hours are spent for the next 24-36 months that will identify who will be the proverbial winners and losers, who will be happy and who will be frustrated.

While re-reading Tony Robbins book “Awaken The Giant Within” he discusses how many people are in emotional and psychological pain over their present life conditions.  In response to this he says that everyone has the ability to make choices to either focus on their conditions or implement choices that can effectively give them new life conditions.  Therefore, if you’re not happy with your current “conditions”, will you continue to give them your focus and energy or will you make choices that will move you to a new condition that you can feel better about?

Tip #5 – Believe In Your Commitment and Maintain The Courage of Your Convictions with a Positive Attitude

It’s unfortunate how many people allow the opinions and feedback of others to alter the excellent plans that they lay out and begin to implement for themselves.  There will always be opinions offered on things, sometimes it will be presented from a fearful position, sometimes a loving position and sometimes from the “hater” that doesn’t want to see you do something that they either can’t do or don’t have the heart to go for themselves.  At any rate, there is no accomplishment that can properly be achieved without being backed by sustained belief.  Before anything is accomplished physically it has to be completed and accomplished mentally.  Don’t let anybody or anything get you “off of your square.”  Many people discount their past accomplishments (big and small) and don’t take the opportunity to focus on these prior wins as momentum which can be used for accomplishing newer and bigger goals.  Don’t discount those wins and more importantly stay the course in the face of adversity, weariness or discontent.

A mentor of mine once explained to me that many people don’t accomplish the goals that they set out to achieve because they haven’t properly identified “WHY” they want to accomplish their goals.  He shared that in order for any life change to take effect and to “stick” that your “why has got to be big enough to cry.” Simply meaning that if you don’t come up with a substantive and meaningful reason to continue on the path of moving out of your rut, chances are you won’t accomplish life-long change. Therefore you need to establish a motive for the change that doesn’t allow you to quit.

_____

Again, these tips are simply meant to be a framework to start the gears of change.  I have said before that the people who go the furthest are students of life and they read, study and apply themselves in their chosen area of aptitude/change to learn what is needed to be successful.  If you are looking to make a change in your life I invite you to devote at least 30 minutes of “would be recreation/leisure time” to learning/doing something to move closer to your “new direction.” If you’re in a bad relationship read books on healthy relationships to get a clear understanding of where you are and what you want.  If you’re in an undesirable job, spend time on the net researching better jobs or developing new skills.  If you’re not happy with your “body image” get a gym membership or at home dvd/workout system.  Again, excuses are always available to continue to do the same thing.  However, we know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

In the end, we as individuals are the ones that are responsible for the path that we’re on and we all have the same access to opportunity.  Only a few will take that course.  You’ll just have to ask yourself if you’re in enough “pain” to give up the excuses and take a new direction and make the choices required to move out of the rut to a new and better place.  You and only you can make that determination.

It is my desire that this entry comes to someone at a point where they don’t know what to do next or need to hear something to create the momentum to initiate a positive change in their life.  If you’re at a point where these tips don’t apply, consider yourself lucky and feel free to pass them to someone who may be in a rut, have the blahs or at a crossroads.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

Additional information

“The Strangest Secret” http://www.nightingale.com/AE_Article~i~22~article~StrangestSecret.aspx

Be Careful What You Wish For…What’s On Your List??

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

candle wish

Quick Addendum: I would like to thank “Kim” for her early comment.  I am personally not a fan of using lists today.  However, I do believe that its a big part of many people’s approach to moving forward with a relationship that I would address some aspects of designing how to look for your ideal match.  Regardless of a “physical” list or not, everybody has basic qualities that they are looking for and that overall is what is being addressed.  Thanks and enjoy…VA

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the last blog and believe it or not, it takes a lot of thought and consideration to decide what I would like to share with people related to whatever subject I’m writing about. It has really been interesting sharing my thoughts and ideas regarding life, but it seems that the topic of relationships is definitely one that people are interested in getting more information about.  So, as the old saying goes – ask and you shall receive.

I mentioned in the last blog that I was going to come out with a two-part blog series addressing “The Art of Dating” and “The Art of The Breakup.”  I have given that idea a lot of thought and I’ve determined that there is a step that is missing with regard to moving into a relationship or even being open to a relationship and that is the proverbial “wish list of wants” that people have when deciding who they would like to date.  The list, the damn list – LOL.  Why do I call it “the damn list?”  I think that my list has gotten me in trouble in the past and if you think about your past list(s) you may say that yours has lead you down the wrong path a time or three as well.

I can say that in all of my unsuccessful relationships that I have for the most part (if not completely) gotten what it is that I asked for in the person that I was dating.  The problems/issues in the relationships weren’t necessarily in the items that were “checked off” as completed or attained on the proverbial list.  The problem was in the items that I did not specify that I really should have paid more attention to.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I am moving more to the position that the list can be a recipe for disaster when it is not developed in the proper way.  Let’s look at the attributes that you may find on a woman’s list.  Now, before we go into the women vs. men thing, I am speaking to each sex equally here – there is no fault, no bearer of ill-doing, etc.  I think it could be said that although men have their “virtual list” of what they want in a woman that it is probably more likely that a woman would have the list committed to writing.  With that being the case, let’s look at 10 qualities that a woman may have on her list for the sake of discussion:

  1. Believes in God
  2. Educated (at least a college degree)
  3. Earns a good-living (at least $XX,000)
  4. Doesn’t have kids
  5. Loves me unconditionally
  6. Is at least 5” taller than me
  7. Has a good relationship with his mother (however, isn’t a Mama’s Boy)
  8. Loves to travel
  9. Will respect me and my family
  10. Will be honest and communicate openly with me

Now, this list was drawn up randomly, but it does encompass many of the things that we “hear” that women would like in a man if not many, many more.  Although this list has 10 qualities it is possible for these physical and virtual lists to have more than 25 items on it and can actually be upwards of 50 items.  Some people may be reading this and presuming that it is absolutely impossible to get all of the qualities on the list or that you have to “settle” for only 80% of your needs being met and 20% of the qualities are things you’ll just have to live without because you can’t have it all, right?  More importantly, some people make “80%” lists and leave off very important qualities with the thought that you can’t have it all.  We’ve all heard about the 80/20 rule and I’m not going to talk about that either.

So what exactly am I talking about?  Let’s presume that you can attain 100% of what you wanted on your list.  I personally believe in the “ask and you shall receive” law of the universe that allows you to attract what it is you say/think that you want.  Although it’s a challenge, let’s again presume that you attained your goal of having your ideal list of qualities in a potential boyfriend/girlfriend.  Does that really, really make you happy? Let me ask this in a different way – have you ever really wanted a job, vacation, car or anything that was a goal and found that you were very underwhelmed, maybe even very discontent once you received it.  If you’re over the age of 18 I am willing to guess that you’ve experienced this at least 3 times in life, if not many more.

So, if I believe in lists, believe that you can essentially get what you want on the list and believe that the attainment can be unfufilling – what’s the catch?  The catch is actually a two-parter:

  1. As I’ve stated in other blogs, but it definitely needs to be addressed within this topic – another person cannot make you happy.  If you are not happy with yourself and by yourself the chances of something/someone making you happy are close to slim and/or none.
  2. The missing piece of the puzzle is this – you have to begin your “Wish List” with the end in mind. You have to ask yourself what feeling is it that you want to have once your have attained your mate and what qualities/items on your list should be connected to that end position.

Let me offer some examples.  Let’s say that you are a man who on the surface feels that you want a woman who is respectable, classy and handles herself “well” in public.  Along with those qualities you feel that it’s important that due to your “status” that your ideal mate should have a college degree. It’s possible that you can date a woman who has these qualities along with other qualities that are important to you.  However, there is a possibility that there is a woman with a college degree that you find very classy in public and you find her to be very “unadventurous” away from formal settings in a way that could be a turn-off.  On the other hand there could be a woman that doesn’t have a college degree, who is very classy in the situations that you find class is needed, however she’s adventurous and the life of the party when the time is right.  The question is, is that guy not going to pursue a relationship with the woman because she doesn’t have a college degree?

The answer to that question should lie in what is his ultimate desire (or end result) for starting a relationship.  If the ultimate desire is to be in a fun, progressive and fulfilling relationship then what place does the college degree have on the list.  This may sound like very elementary thinking, but ask yourself how many relationships you know of or have been a part of that “looked good on paper”, but were unfulfilling for the people in it or even miserable on one or both people’s parts.  That’s the importance of crafting your list from the right place.  This is also akin to the point I’ve made in previous blogs that it’s important to ask the right questions more so than focus on the answers. The end result of what you want from the relationship is the question, the items on the list are the answers.  If you don’t focus on the end result, you’ll come up with a bogus list of unsatisfactory qualities.

Another example is that there may be a “successful” woman whose end result is that she would like to be in a progressive, fulfilling and exciting relationship.  It may show up on her list that she wants a partner who makes as much, if not more money than her because men in the past have been “intimidated” by her earnings/success.  It’s possible that by focusing on the earnings of the guy that she’s missing a bigger picture.  Wouldn’t it be a better approach to want a guy who was taking care of himself financially and was secure with his earnings, as well as hers versus specifying what his earning power was?  Now, if her end desire is to build a “power couple” dynasty that will buy up the world, then her mate’s earnings make a difference.  If she wants to simply be in fulfilling relationship then maybe the focus should shift to his security rather than his earning power.  Isn’t it true that there are men who are insecure regardless of how much money they make??

There are two big caveats for this train of thought though.  It is always possible that there are multiple “end results” that you would want to achieve in your relationship.  Whatever the reasons are a person should just make sure that the items on the list are related to the end desired result for the relationship.  The second caveat is that there are always “deal breakers” for everybody.  I won’t go into what “deal breakers” are because they vary from person to person.  Its just possible that regardless of how the individual list items add up that there can be a factor that makes the situation something that you would choose not to pursue.

Another aspect of developing your wish list is that the list is a “living document.”  There are many times that people set their list in stone from relationship to relationship and they become so committed to their “ideal” of what they want in a person that they don’t allow for modification or adjustments to their list.  Different situations/relationships should call for some amount of human “factoring” that may re-sort the order of importance or weight of qualities from relationship to relationship.  Also, as we achieve some of these qualities in a partner in a relationship, the list should be reevaluated to insure that those attained qualities (or at least how they were presented in that relationship) held the level of importance they initially seemed to have.

The bottom line for all of these considerations is that we really shouldn’t “block our blessings” by “majoring in minors.”  Don’t get caught up on individual “nice to have” items that could prevent you from finding a close alignment with someone more suited for you.  Additionally, don’t focus on items that ultimately may lead to you being in an unsatisfied, unfulfilling relationship by paying more attention to fringe “list items” rather than your core needs.

As with all of my blogs (especially on relationships) the focus here is on you internally and not what other people do to you or for you.  If you properly align your “Wish List” with your needs, the chances of you achieving your true end result grow exponentially as opposed to throwing a bunch of non-tangential qualities on a sheet of paper and thinking the attainment of this collection of “things” will lead to your happiness.  You and your God are the source of your happiness, craft the life and associations that compliment your self-happiness and the rest will work itself out.

How many movies have we seen where the girl leaves the “perfect guy” (the list guy) for the guy that captured the essence of what she REALLY wanted in a man?  I would strongly suggest that you give some serious thought to your core values/desires to create a collection of qualities that speaks to what matters to you in the essence of a mate and not just superficial “nice to have” qualities.  Again, those qualities should ultimately be essential to the desired result.  Before you make a wish and blow out the candle, be careful what you wish for – you just may get it.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

The “Ugly” Truth About Men – What Women Should Really Ask Themselves…

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

Ugly Truth

The “Ugly” Truth About Men – What Women Should Really Ask Themselves…

I make it out to the movies on occasion and I saw the movie the Ugly Truth while it was in the theater.  As much of a “movie” as it was, it was pretty accurate in some of its depictions (at least in my opinion) about what draws and repels men/women to one another.  This train of thought led me to the realization that sometimes despite a deeper-than-surface level understanding that women have of men, they still tend to be filled with questions about why men do what they do.

On another note, writing the blogs that I have written over the past month or two has really been about discovery, not only for me, but for the people who take the time to read my “long-ass blogs” as they’ve been called.  I really don’t mind the reference to them being “long-ass blogs” because they definitely are, but that statement is quickly followed up with the fact that people find them interesting – which I definitely appreciate.  Another observation that some women have made is that I seem to direct a lot of my focus and attention to women when discussing relationships in my blogs.

The next connection with this point is that it may seem as though I’m absolving men of the responsibility and accountability that comes with the collapse of this “man-woman” thing that we just can’t seem to get right.  I think that it’s important to understand at this time that – well, I’m a man.  In me being a man I think it’s safe to say that in many cases that I may have an inside track on what men think about, what they focus on or even what motivates them.  It’s because of this understanding that I channel my communication and direct it to women.

Before I get into the “Truth About Men” let me ask a few basic questions to frame my position.  Do we think that the target audience for TV shows such The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil and other shows that discuss relationship and human-interest topics are geared toward women or men?  Do we think that movies that focus on relationships such as “When Harry Met Sally?”, “You’ve Got Mail”, “Sex and the City” or “The Proposal” are geared toward women or men?  Lastly, do we think that books like “The Rules”, “He’s Just Not That Into You” or even more obviously, “Think Like A Man, Act Like A Woman?” are geared toward women or men?  I think that when positioned in this manner the answer to all of these questions overwhelmingly is that these different forms of media are primarily geared toward women.

Let me kill two birds with one stone by explaining why I gear my communication toward women and why the target market for these multi-media products are women.  Drum roll please…….

The reason that I, as well as these other outlets, address women as opposed to men is that women are the number one consumers of “caring” in the world.

What exactly do I mean by this?  Let me explain in brief.  For the purpose of this argument there are two different kinds of men.  The first kind of man is the man who actually cares when it comes to male/female relationships.  What does he care about?  He cares about how you feel, he cares about applying his best in the relationship and he cares about getting it right.  Then there is the other kind of male which doesn’t care.  What doesn’t he care about?  He doesn’t care about how his actions affect you, he doesn’t care about how you feel and he doesn’t care about much beyond getting his own needs met.  Here’s the big shocker (which won’t really shock anyone) – I would be willing to say in a very unscientifically-studied manner that the percentage of men who don’t care is very far and above a greater percentage than the percentage of men that care.  You’re shocked – I can tell.

So, to specifically answer the question of why I along with the overwhelming majority of information based outlets don’t gear “our message” to men is that they simply don’t care.  Now, let me clarify, as I stated there are a percentage of males who in fact do care about these things.  They are out there and they are looking for healthy and whole relationships where they can apply their energy and effort in a progressive manner to foster a happy relationship.  HOWEVER, what me and these other outlets understand and recognize is that it is a waste of time, energy and effort to direct a message to people who are not listening and furthermore could care less about making the shift to a more progressive, collaborative and self-less approach to relationships.

On the surface it could appear that this means that I’m absolving men from the responsibilities that they play in the degradation of the male/female experience, but this is definitely not the case.  I understand that the best application of my understanding and insight is to address the audience who actually has an ear toward progressive/adjusted behavior regarding relationships.  My job as a blogger is to catch the ear of those looking for a message.  As a person, I would not consider myself an optimist when it comes to all things although I overall maintain a positive attitude.  I also wouldn’t consider myself a pessimist because of my desire to see a better outlook than the one that may initially be presented.  I would call myself a straight-up realist in that I see things as they are, make an assessment and then make the appropriate moves based on the assessment made.

Do I feel that men play a significant role in the decay of the state of male-female relationships, especially in the Black community?  No doubt.  Do I feel that reaching out to brothers to let them know what they’re doing in many cases is disrespectful, negligent and deteriorating the fabric of our communities is important?  Sure I do.

Let’s get this straight though.  It is an exercise in futility to shout to the deaf.  The “Ugly Truth About Men” is that they are creatures of habit who are driven more times than not by primal needs, certainly not emotional ones.

This takes me to my point of what women really should ask themselves instead of asking me.  I get questions like the following:

  • Why do you address women more in your blogs than men when they are just as culpable?
  • Why do men not take responsibility for their actions when they do things that aren’t fair and/or appropriate in a relationship?
  • Why do men cheat?
  • Why can’t men settle down?
  • Why do men say they are in to you and then change their script?

I don’t think that it takes an English major to see that the one common trait that all of these statements/questions have in common is that they start with the word “why?”  I think that most men in general cringe at women-originated questions that begin with the word “why.”  Reason being is that if you truly think about it, unless the subject is something with absolutes (like math or science) the word why has a very subjective and nebulous answer associated with it.  I think that if you just look at the five questions above there is really not a single answer that could be given that would satisfy women across the board.

It is for that reason and many more that I have come to the conclusion that most people are mislead into thinking that getting answers to questions is the best mark or indication in making progress. That’s actually one half the case. The true mark or indication of making progress is not solely in the answers we get, it’s in asking the right questions. Many people (especially women by the sheer nature of being “question oriented”) fail to realize that people often times ask the questions that “quietly” push them to doing certain things regardless of whether that “thing” is for the best or not.

For instance, it is a far different question to ask “What is the benefit/detriment of me remaining in this relationship” as opposed to “Why does he do this/that when he said that he wouldn’t do it anymore?”  Let me break it down – the word “what” immediately calls to mind tangible and concrete concepts, while the word “why”, as stated before, is a much softer and indirect/intangible word.  Also, by directing the question asked to yourself as opposed to outside of yourself there is much more control that is being assumed for the next step in your process.  By turning the question within there can be a sense of empowerment taken for the next course of action as opposed to the helplessness that trying to figure out why someone who is doing something that doesn’t work for you continues to act in that manner.

The important thing to take from this offering is that the words that you use to form your questions about your life can either empower you or hand your power over to the whims and actions of another.

I think that its natural in moments of frustration and wonderment to ask why the opposite sex behaves the way they can at times.  Its natural and I’m not saying that as an inquiry that it doesn’t have its place.  However, after the initial frustration, the progressive person has to understand that the most important thing that they can do is assess the impact that a person, situation or relationship is having on their life and what are their next steps to remedying the situation.  Although relationships are with 2 people (at least let’s hope so), you have to understand that your behavior is the only behavior that you totally have control over.

That brings me to my next concept which ties the topic “The Ugly Truth About Men” with “What Women Should Really Ask Themselves.”  The tie for me in these two topics is that I know who I’m writing to (primarily women) and why I’m writing to them (because they care in many cases to create a progressive relationship.)  This means that I have in essence “sorted” my audience to say “this is who I’m looking for to share my message.”  In much the same manner, women need to understand that they are not in the business of conforming, transforming, reshaping or creating a man.  The man that you want to be with may not come to you in his completed form, but the question that should consistently be asked is “Is this the man that cares or is this the man that doesn’t care?”

As I explained earlier there are essentially two different types of guys – those who care and those who don’t.  The basic point that most women miss is that they are not in the business of understanding why men do what they do, they are essentially in the business of sorting.

What exactly is sorting?  Sorting is very quickly asking yourself, not the man, does his character, his traits, his treatment of you and his essence as a man fit the mold that you see as being a partner for you to look toward developing a fulfilling relationship.  Far too many women at the end of one bad date and especially a bad relationship spend a significant amount of brain power, emotion and energy trying to figure out “why” he did what he did.  Now, I truly believe that evaluation is critical in understanding what it is you want to attract moving forward and assessing what may have gone wrong after an experience.  However, the trick to not recreating these situations is to properly assess the situation as opposed to asking the typical “why did he” questions which doesn’t retain your power – it gives it away to the person who frustrated/hurt/disappointed you.

ONE TO GROW ON: men do the majority of dumb things that they do (i.e. tell stupid lies, walk up to you at the club and ask you to buy them a drink, attempt to impress you with what they think you want to know/hear, etc.) because there is some woman out there who will go for it.  Instead of losing sleep, wasting time and zapping neurons wondering and asking why they do this, just understand that it’s a method of operating and keep it moving, you’ve got better things to concern yourself with.

I want to share some examples of questions that women specifically can ask as it relates to their dating/relationship situation.  A couple of things first – one, I’m presuming that the woman is fair, reasonable (i.e. not on some diva/princess/extra stuff, that she is looking to come to the situation contributing and sharing, etc.), that she is not just taking away from the situation and she is looking to be a desirable compliment to a “good guy.”

Some very empowering questions to ask yourself that don’t allow you to BS yourself at any point in a “getting-to-know-you” situation or relationship are:

  • Is this someone I, in my gut, feel I can trust?
  • Do I find myself making excuses for his poor behavior?
  • Do I find myself disappointed and on the end of broken promises or treatment that I feel is not in line with what I feel is fair or desirable?
  • Does his path in life seem to be in compliment or contrast to where I am headed or even where I pictured my partner to have their life directed?
  • Beyond feeling good with this person (if you get to that point) is this a person who I feel is good for me?

If you contrast these questions to the “why” questions that I shared earlier above there is one stark difference that these latest questions have that the “why” questions didn’t have – they can all be answered with a yes or no answer.  If you’re asking questions like “why” did something happen or “why” did someone do x as opposed to y you are actually inviting not only the person to lie to you, but more importantly – you are inviting an opportunity for you to lie to yourself by “crafting” an explanation to sustain where you want to go as opposed to where you should go.  Also as important, by providing the answers to questions like the ones just shared you are very clearly able to determine by the “yes” or “no” provided if the man you’re dealing with is one that cares or one that doesn’t care.  That means that if you find yourself making excuses for his behavior is a yes and knowing in your gut that you don’t trust the person – how could you lie to yourself to say that this is a person who truly cares about you.

I will soon be developing a 2-part blog series that talks about 1) The Art of Dating and 2) The Art of The Break-up.  I don’t want to leak concepts too early, but I think at this point that its safe to say that if you ask questions that have yes or no answers you are able to more quickly assess whether you are in a situation with a person that is either to your favor or to your detriment.

The other important factor in formulating the question is that the basis of the question should not be based on the other person’s perceived feelings, but based on your own.  For instance, many women ask the question “do I really feel in my heart that he truly loves me??”  Well, although the question subconsciously positions it to appear to be an assessment of your feelings – it’s very clearly an assessment for your perspective of his feelings for you.  The importance of asking these questions is to get an understanding on how you feel about the situation or the man you are with to determine whether he truly “cares” about you or whether he doesn’t.  I can’t define what “care” means to the letter because it’s a relative term for everybody.  I can say however that there are a lot of men who may feel that they earnestly love you, but they really operate in a manner that would reflect that they don’t care about you.

If you have read all that I’ve written and you read that last statement to then ask “how is it that you can love somebody and treat them like you don’t care” then you are definitely in the “business of understanding” which is a painful and bitter business.  I would definitely advise anyone to move out of the business of understanding to the business of sorting, by which you make the assessment, understand what the situation REALLY is and then move accordingly.

Some people may say that this business of sorting sounds way too mechanically and emotionally removed for it to be something that women can do with success and I would strongly disagree.  First of all, the formula for the approach that I’m giving does two things instantly that benefit women.  The first thing that it does is that it changes the nature of the question being asked from an emotional one in nature to a factual one in nature.  Again, “why does he do what he does” is an emotionally charged question versus “does he take the approach to me that I feel best serves my direction in life” is a fact-based question, if the answer is no – its more fact based than emotion (it could also involve emotions like disappointment or other things that come along with the feelings of being an adult that are totally inescapable.)

All of this may seem like an oversimplification of some very complex emotions and situations, but it is we as humans that can tend to over-analyze and over-engineer situations when there are often times processes and signs that are provided for us to elevate our capacity to cope and progress to another level.  The people that are truly successful at anything are the ones that have developed the regimens and the discipline to apply in their field of endeavor.  The same is true in relationships.  In order to be successful there is an emotional-mastery that must be attained in order to comfortably withstand the frustrations/disappointments and then contribute to the successes/positive discoveries.

“The Ugly Truth About Men” is that regardless of whether women come across a good one that cares, a good one who doesn’t care or one who doesn’t give a damn – the woman can’t give her power away and become the victim in the face of situations that require more awareness on her part.  There are winners (i.e. gentlemen, wonderful women, etc.) and losers (i.e. gold-diggers, jerks, etc.) on both sides of the sexes-coin, so it is inevitable that everyone will encounter misfortune, broken hearts, dishonesty and less than stellar behavior on both sides.  Understand that the man who doesn’t care truly doesn’t care.  That’s not something to debate, to try to conform or transform – its something to recognize.

That’s all sorting is, recognition.  I am addressing the men who care and the women who care because there are enough out there who when armed with the best approach to a healthy relationship will do the best thing that they could ever do – be an example to those that don’t think that its possible.  We are a people of osmosis and environment – we are heavily influenced by what we see and what we experience.  With that in mind the only reality that we are fully able to guide is our own reality.

I was discussing this topic with my good friend and frat brother Teddy Gilmore and he pointed out that there is also another distinction that there are some men who are capable of caring, its just that they don’t care about all women in the same manner or to the same degree – it’s a case by case basis.  I felt that this was a very important distinction because as insensitive as this may sound to some women, the fact is that this “case by case” assessment is applicable to women as well.  There are many cases where women date and they will not apply the same level of effort, understanding and dedication in one situation as they will the next.  The chief difference is that there are times when women based on their feelings or at other times based on “being wooed”, become more engaged in the person that they are dating.

Although the specifics may vary by the sexes and definitely vary from person to person, its important to understand that this notion of caring or when to care needs to be processed by an approach and set of questions that empower you with a “position of knowing” as opposed to frustrate you with the desire to understand.  Remember, knowing that someone doesn’t have your best interest in mind is far more important than understanding why they don’t have your best interest in mind.  Spend your time with questions of knowing, not with questions of understanding.

In my effort to share my thoughts on relationships or just life in general I will always make the attempt to create a dual-pronged approach for both sexes to be aware of things in their behavior that when addressed would be a benefit to everyone.  With that in mind, I ask women to be more conscious of the “why is it that men” type of questions that are either voiced or even thought about.  That is not to say that these are not legitimate questions to consider or that they can’t be applied to women as well.  It is to say that asking the “why” based questions to a body of non-respondent people is not a good use of time, effort or energy – I don’t do it, as it relates to the men that don’t care, and I would strongly suggest that women let it go as well.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

Open Letter To Men/Women Wanting a Healthy Relationship…Do You Know Where You’re Going??

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

Road to Nowhere Color

NOTE: THIS IS A THREE-PART SERIES.  TO ACCESS THE OTHER PARTS CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE BY THE TITLE…

Disclaimer: This is the third of a three-part blog series on relationships.  The first was An Open Letter To Men and the second was an Open Letter To Women.  As with all of these entries, they are based on conversations, observations and experiences related to male/female relationships and behavior.  The premise of the letter is to expand the conversation regarding relationships and hopefully serve as a benefit to those seeking positive and healthy relationships.  This entry will not be able to address or account for everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of relationships or totally prepare the reader for everything needed for a fulfilling relationship.  That is totally beyond the scope of one letter, book, seminar, sermon or other aid.  This is just one step in what should be a person’s never-ending search for knowledge, understanding and progression.

This document is geared more toward single individuals that are open to pursuing a relationship as opposed to people currently in a relationship.  Again, it’s just that the scope of this letter can not realistically address all issues related to dating whether in a relationship or open to being in one.  The attitudes and behavior addressed in the Letter to Men and Letter to Women aren’t addressed in this letter because those behaviors need to be addressed if they haven’t before this information can be applied.

Dear Friends,

What’s up and I am glad that you’re willing to take a moment of your time to allow me to share some things with you.  You may have read my prior two letters to men and women addressing different aspects of how “we” can be or how some of us are.  If you have not read those letters I would definitely recommend them for when you have time.  By this point in life you may have had a relationship or two (or three or more) and find the opposite sex to be confusing, frustrating, unpredictable or some other adjective that may not be positive.  If you have great feelings about relationships and the opposite sex then that’s definitely a good thing because I would not assert that all people are disenchanted with the opposite sex.

Before I go any further I know that everyone has their own perspective and this is simply my perspective.  It can’t be all-inclusive of all things, it’s really just meant to operate as a springboard to a better understanding or just something to consider.  Millions of books have been written on love/relationships.  I will share 5 major components/understandings that I think if addressed could significantly improve a person’s chances of achieving a fulfilling relationship.  In addition to these components I will share solutions that can get the ball rolling in getting over the hurdles that are presented.  The good news is that there is a solution in most cases.  The “not so good news” is that there are no quick remedies or instant revelations that move you from Point A to Point B overnight – as with anything worth having, it’s a process that takes work, time, energy and effort.

1) If You Are A Weak Individual By Yourself, You Are Just As Weak In A Relationship

Far too many people view a relationship as crazy glue, as a wonder drug or some magical remedy that will address a void in their lives or their personality.  I believe that it can be said that far too many people do not assess their own personalities or their own offerings prior to entering into a relationship and feel that something or someone outside themselves will fill the void of what’s possibly missing within them.  The first person that you must love in a relationship is the person that you are.  There are too many instances of a person not loving (in some cases not even liking) themselves that enter into a relationship and project their loneliness, their emptiness, their discontent for where their lives are on to the person they’re dating.  Their next step is to load up the figurative “relationship wheel barrel” and they hand their discontent to their new partner and say “you carry the load now – I don’t have to do this by myself anymore.”

That’s where it is first and foremost required that anyone understands that in love/relationships – two halves don’t make a whole. There are an extremely high number of individuals who do not go through the often times uncomfortable process of evaluating “who am I and am I fulfilled with my life independent of who is in it.”  This is a must-do process for anybody for two reasons.  One, it’s the smart thing to do because understanding deficiencies in your life independent of a relationship gets you to the place of identifying that regardless of how many relationships you enter – you won’t be satisfied and its not the other person’s fault for your dissatisfaction.  The second reason is that it’s the socially responsible thing to do because as you lure other people into your “no-win relationship” you drag other people through the process of you being unfulfilled.  How does this happen?  It becomes a situation where you are constantly going to the relationship to address your voids and that’s not the responsibility of your mate, that’s your responsibility.  You virtually become insatiable.

It is absolutely true for anyone to be fulfilled in a relationship that they have to be very comfortable with who and how they are as a person.  That doesn’t mean that people don’t have insecurities about themselves or things that they would like to improve.  The key word in this instance is identification.  Some people understand this next point and some are totally unaware of it.  That point is that if you truly can’t spend time with yourself, be fulfilled within yourself and you constantly NEED other people and things around you to be fulfilled then the chances of you being fulfilled outside of yourself decrease exponentially.

Many people feel that ignorance is bliss and it truly can be.  In this case, ignorance can be weakness as well.  By blocking out the constructive criticism and positive feedback from individuals that are closest to us share about our “ways”, characteristics and behavior that could use some improvement we are consciously choosing to remain a lesser form of ourselves.  Let me clarify what I mean by this.  I’m not referring to “directions in life” type of advice like “you should go back to school”, “you really need to settle down” or “your job is not challenging enough.”  These are life decisions that everyone needs to make on their own and although outside consideration is valuable, its not always the best course for you.  I’m referring to behavior statements like “you’re pretty hard to get along with sometimes”, “its hard for me to communicate with you because you seem to not listen to anyone other than yourself” or “why does it seem that you are never willing to compromise with other people.”  Those around us who actually are of great integrity and have our best interest in mind can be a catalyst for positive change if we are open to receiving what they share.

The basic solution to this understanding is that life is an ever-evolving and progressive learning process.  Many people think that learning ends when formal education (i.e. high school, college, graduate school, etc.) comes to an end.  Puberty is the first stage to adult development, but the true “wonder years” of figuring life out take place when the first bill with your name hits your mailbox post graduation.  The true leaders and winners in life understand that they don’t have it “all figured out” and they seek the progressive advice of people, books and other sources of information to progress their life from where it is to where they want to go.

The true winners understand that you must be a student of life in order to really progress yourself and your life’s conditions. For many people, they would rather “wing it” and take an “I got this covered” approach.  Often times the result is if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten.  Watching Oprah a few times a week and other casual activities won’t make you the best career person, parent or prospect for a successful relationship.  Value the input of those around you that you respect when they share, but just as important – you have to pursue excellence in order to be excellent.  Many people are content to lean on their own understanding which is an exercise in futility in many cases.  True learning begins after you graduate.  Never stop your willingness to learn.

2) People Often Seek Relationships With Others Who Have Qualities That Are Not Compatible With Their Preferences or Qualities That Aren’t Compatible Period

Many people have a physical or virtual list of qualities that they want in a person.  It has been my observation that far too often this list contains qualities that are dissimilar and incongruent.  That is not to say that there isn’t that magical person out there that fits all of your qualities listed on your “should have” list.  However, the chances of you finding that individual grow far less likely when you are looking for someone whose character traits are unlikely to exist in one person.  Again, it’s improbable, not impossible.

What do I mean by dissimilar, incongruent or incompatible character traits?  Let’s look at women for a second.  I’ll share a story about a good friend of mine who has done well for herself as a lawyer in “the big city.”  She used to date a guy that was a big time real estate investor and they would kick it hard.  This guy would take her on expensive vacations, everything they did was top shelf, dinner for two people would be over $500 many times.  That’s great and they both enjoyed the time and the lifestyle.  Now here’s the issue, sometimes the guy would be an hour or two hours late for dinner.  I can hear women across the country with one collective “aww hell naw – that’s not gonna work for me.”

Let’s look at this a little closer, this guy is a multi-millionaire in real estate.  Anyone who has ever sat in a closing for the sale of property knows that you literally can never tell how long a closing will last, they easily could go over the expected time by one or more hours.  Here’s the bottom line, if you want a man that’s always on time you will have to find a guy who’s career and lifestyle fit the type of flexibility or inflexibility that works for you.  It would be different if the guy was cheap as hell, but if she wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor with him, she’ll have to give him the room and understanding that go along with his career.  Bottom line, your preferred attributes and qualities in a partner should be congruent – if you want someone who is on banker’s hours, date a banker, not a real estate mogul.

Now let’s take a look at the fellas.  For the guy that is looking for a match to his power couple image of a relationship, he may pursue women that are very career oriented.  Along with that woman comes her schedule and responsibilities.  That means that it’s pretty unreasonable for that guy to want this career oriented woman to have dinner on the table everyday at 7pm like his mother did.  She may have dinner on the table at 7pm one day, 9pm the next day, she may pick up the dinner the next day on the way home and you may have to do something for dinner to help out the other two days of the week.  For him to have the expectation that this “compliment” to his “power couple image” will have the same schedule of “household maintenance” that a woman who is looking to be more of a caretaker in a relationship are incompatible traits.  If he wants to date a woman with that ambition, somethings got to give OR if he wants dinner on the table everyday at a certain time then he may need to find a woman who’s career and lifestyle make that possible.

Understand that these examples are only that, examples, they are not absolutes.  I’m not saying that real estate moguls are exempt from respecting a woman’s time and that career women are exempt from providing nurturing and “feel good” esthetics that men like.  I’m simply saying that there has to be a degree of flexibility that tempers your expectations if you have preferred characteristics in a partner that may be more of a contrast than a compliment.

Then there are people that date a person that has traits that are incompatible with their own.  A woman who hates sports may want to date a guy who is a sports nut.  A guy who loves sports may want to date a woman who has never been and doesn’t ever care to go to a football game.  An even better example of this is the person who has a very active social life that falls for the person that has a very inactive social life.  In all of the examples just stated there is often a strong desire to CHANGE the person that you are in a relationship with.

Let me now state this – the only person that you can change, control or exert power over is yourself. If you met a person and they have “undesirable” likes, manner, interest and lifestyle (meaning that they differ from your preferences) you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by understanding what makes them tick as opposed to getting them to change what they gravitated to long before the two of you were a couple.

If a woman had a lot of male friends before you met her, its not probable that she will stop talking to her male friends now that you’re in her life.  If a guy has “guy’s night” out and likes to hang with his boys – that’s his thing and although prospective shifts in a relationship you can’t remove people from their interests and likes.  The primary result of attempting to change them is resentment and as much as you think you’re helping yourself by trying to change your partner, you’re probably creating resentment toward you and your position if his/her behavior was like that prior to the relationship.

This is not to say that opposites don’t attract or that people can’t expose others to more than they already know.  It is to say that expectations have to be viewed as contiguous qualities and not these disjointed desires such as “I want a beautiful woman with no male friends” or “I want this head strong man who never refutes what I say or has an opinion different than mine.”  The more closely in alignment with one another your desired qualities are, the better chance you have of finding someone who realistically meets your standards.

The solution to this issue is born out of the definitions of disappointment.  My definition of disappointment is “the result of unmet expectations.” Some people are crafting a world of disappointment by creating tons of expectations in another person that more than likely will never be met by them.  Of course you should have expectations, standards and behavior guidelines that work for you in your relationship.  However, it’s important that you align those expectations in a way that you give the person you’re dating the opportunity to win.  Far too often men and women create a set of diametrically opposed traits that will create their own frustration.  The awareness has to be adjusted in their expectations that give themselves and the other person the opportunity to win in the relationship.

3) Many People Tend To Be Reactive and Problem Oriented in Relationships

This issue can’t be any more plainly stated than it already is.  There is a large contingency of people that chronically complain.  It may be that their observations are accurate, but they continuously whine and complain as opposed to create a winning environment.

The words that usually accompany the complaint are “you should already know this”, “why should I have to even tell you this” or “I thought you would have figured that out by now.”  Any iteration of that statement has a certain level of presumption and/or assumption in it.  Although I do agree that there is a basic code of conduct that most people would have toward one another, I would add that “common conduct” ain’t always common.  That just means what’s expected by one person isn’t a “given” to somebody else.  For example, I went on a lunch date with a woman who thought that it was proper for me to get out of the car when we parked, walk around to her door and let her out in order for her to exit the car.  I definitely didn’t do it, but my illustration (though a bit of an outlier) more so is to illustrate that people have different perspectives on what “common conduct” is.

My main point here is to say that people are not mind readers.  There are a lot of cases where people sulk, “blow a gasket” and get bent out of shape when people don’t perform an activity or provide something that they wanted or expected that somebody should or would do.  Additionally, some people are more apt to complain in many instances rather than see this disconnect as an opportunity to grow closer to together.

The solution to this issue is simply open, honest and effective communication.  The key to making the communication effective is to be solution oriented with the issue by creating an outcome that works for not just one, but both people. Additionally, in order to preempt an issue from arising, more people need to communicate what their expected/desired behavior or response from their mate is prior to an issue ever coming up.

Let me go back to the example of my lawyer-friend and her real estate mogul boyfriend.  I agreed with her that her time mattered and that she needed to be given notification of times that he was running extremely late.  I suggested to her that instead of wagging her finger in his face and demanding that she wasn’t going to be disrespected that she present a solution.  I gave her several examples of things that she could do that would create a win-win scenario and she said that what I shared with her was not only practical and feasible for her, but not an inconvenience to him either.  Although the relationship with that guy didn’t work out she found that the general advice of being solution oriented made sense and she put it to use in her next relationship.  I just found out that she and her current boyfriend just got engaged this weekend and she’s happier than she’s ever been.  I’m sure that providing solutions and not just addressing problems has gone a long way to creating a more collaborative environment than combative one for her.  Yes, it takes more work, but most things worth having do take more work.

4) People Show You Who They Are If You Take The Time To Look & Listen

Let’s get real for a second – most people that are horrible in a relationship show you that they’re going to be horrible before you ever commit to the person.  There are a ton of non-verbal and verbal clues that people share with you to let you know that they are selfish, shady, volatile or a ton of other undesirable qualities before you wake up and ask yourself “what have I gotten into.”  How does this happen?  Often times people go into relationships with their “eyes wide shut” looking at the things that they want to see and not the things that are actually happening in front of them.

This is not to say that there are not some good posers, actors and con artist (men and women) out there.  However, I bet in many instances that when people look at situations in hindsight that they can piece together different things that they glossed over that should have been something that was more disconcerting at the time it was recognized than it actually was.  We all have to go through different situations, experiences and frustrations in order to learn and grow.  Part of learning what you want is experiencing what you don’t like.

Volumes could be written on this point alone, but I will share one quick item to address this point.  Simply stated – A RED FLAG IS A RED FLAG!! I can’t take credit for this phrase, its something that I actually got from my Mom, but the truth of it is undeniable.  There are too many people that look at undesirable behavior in a dismissive capacity instead of with the seriousness and importance that it really deserves.  The worse part is that more times than not, by the time a person accepts the red flag as being a red flag they are “time committed” into the situation and then begin to put good time in after bad time as opposed to recognizing that the situation isn’t a fit for them and removing themselves from it.

There are times that a guy will give a woman an indication (hint: maybe a red flag in their book) that he is not the most dependable person as it relates to remembering things that she would feel are important to her (i.e. appointments, dates, things that he said he would do, etc.)  Yet, in many cases this pattern is dismissed in favor of thinking that as the relationship progresses that he’ll get better.  The news here is that often times people are at their best behavior in the early stages of the relationship and this is about the best that she’ll get from him (possibly.)  Many women talk about how guys have “representatives” in the early stage of getting to know the guy that he sheds to reveal his true self at a later time.  That’s well and good, but what about his (or her) true self that is shown to you that you choose to ignore. Many times people are given all they need to know up front still go deep into an undesirable situation where the person is showing who they really are up front.

However, there is a danger that some people have of becoming highly speculative or even paranoid after being hurt by a person that showed themselves to be different than how they were initially perceived to be.  The danger here is that there are some situations where you as the “hurt person” must shoulder more of the responsibility for the caliber of people that you have in your life (friends and lovers) and more importantly for the time that you put into these relationships after you discovered that this person was not meant for you.

Many people may have heard the Maya Angelou quote “If a person shows you who they are, believe them.”  Unfortunately far too many people don’t believe that fire is hot and they have to stand in the flames long after they’ve been ignited before they remove themselves (if they ever do.)  Everybody has their own motivation for why they stay in a situation, so I could never address them all globally.  The one thing that I can say globally is that the object of experience is to not repeat lessons that have already been learned.  No need to be bitter, contrary or vindictive to the next person that you encounter – however, no need to be bitten by a different animal in the same spot you were bitten before.  Learn your lesson and recognize those red flags that you’ve seen or those like them when they present themselves.  Additionally, don’t erect so many walls of protection and create so many defense mechanisms that you cut yourself off from blessings at the time that you decide you are open to a relationship if you choose.  Being a cynic is not a good look for anybody, being aware is your responsibility though.  Knowledge is power, use it wisely, but you have to use it.

As a side note, not all people are bad, messed up, etc.  Sometimes people “just don’t work out”, have different agendas or are incompatible.  That comes along with the process.  I just didn’t want it to be implied that I feel everyone presents red flags.

5) Fear and Love Can’t Occupy The Same Space

This is a lesson that I understood clearly when I got it from The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck.  There are far too many people that let fear and insecurity not only lead them into a relationship, but rule them once they get there.  A relationship is a process of giving.  However, the person that is constantly in a state of fear/panic/insecurity/gluttony/selfishness becomes much more concerned about what they’re getting (or not getting) that they often times forget (or neglect) to give.

A healthy relationship is meant to be a place where you are not only getting nourished, but you are nourishing someone in return.  Many times in relationships the scales of who gives and how much they give is thrown way out of balance by the fact that people are far more concerned about what it is they are receiving than what they are giving.

The solution to this issue is that there is a certain amount of ego that has to be dialed down (by men and women) and a certain amount of vulnerability that both people must expose themselves to in order to allow an environment of sharing or a win-win scenario to take place. In layman’s terms “it ain’t all about you.”  However, just as important, it ain’t all about the other person either.  Far too many people can lose themselves in a relationship by losing their love/care of self for the benefit of the person that their involved with and to their own detriment.  Either way it goes, when the scales are tipped too far to either side, somebody or both people in the relationship are bound to lose.

There’s no simpler way that I can explain the point that Fear and Love Can’t Occupy the same space than that.  This may seem like an oversimplified explanation, but really how much more difficult is it?  Humility is something that both people in a relationship need to exhibit in order to make it work.  Deferring to your partner because you respect their ability to make a decision is usually needed.  If you don’t respect your partner enough to allow them to participate in the decision making parts of your relationship then you need an entirely different letter written to you.

Let me quickly share something about tolerance in a relationship.  People need people.  You need somebody (not a relationship per se, just the love of people) and somebody needs you.  If you’re in a relationship you have to accept someone for who they are and their desire and ability to give their best (which is relative to every individual.)  We have to be patient and tolerate one another as we strive to be our best (and I’m not speaking financially or career oriented best.) HOWEVER, the word strive is the optimal word in that sentence.  If you are in a situation or venturing into a relationship with someone who is not seeking to live their best life or looking to be their best self, then enter at your own risk.  A person does not have to verbally commit to you that they are living their best life.  Its in their manner, their character and in their way of being.  If you openly choose to start a relationship with someone who wants nothing more than what they have and where they are (i.e. spiritually, mentally, emotionally, communicatively, etc.) then it is not their fault if they don’t live up to your view of who they should be.  More responsibility needs to be taken by people for the decisions that they make, as opposed to passing blame to their partner for doing what they have always done – simply being themselves, not their “best self.”  If you value your time, your energy and your emotions you will take the time to respectfully qualify the people that you have in your life, relationships as well as friendships because you are the sum total of the people you associate with – they are a reflection of you and vice versa.

We all come from different upbringings, different environments and don’t have the same experiences when we’re raised.  In order to balance this difference in all of us, it’s important to encapsulate all 5 of these points that I’ve presented to give you and the person that you’re looking to enter a relationship with the chance to win.  By being a student of life, properly identifying/aligning your desires, being solution oriented, seeing the red flags and being emotionally/mentally capable and available for that relationship if you choose to enter into it, you’re set up for success.

Why don’t people do these things?  I can quite honestly say it’s a lot easier to be lazy, be “about yourself” and not do the work that it takes to prepare yourself for a quality relationship than it is to work at being ready.  No truer words have been spoken than “you reap what you sow.” Identify what you want, but also create a life game plan that gets you where you want to go.  Many people are willing to invest thousands of dollars into their formal careers and academic progress, but don’t take the free time to learn and improve themselves as people when they want to progress outside of their careers.

Again, life is a never-ending lesson if you’re willing to take the course.  Some books that have helped me gain a view of what “matters” to me are:

  • “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck M.D.
  • “What You Think of Me Is None of My Business” by T. Cole-Whittaker
  • “Awaken The Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins
  • “The Law of Attraction” by Esther & Jerry Hicks

To paraphrase the great Jim Rohn “if you’re in the wrong direction you’ll never get to your destination.  If you’re in the right direction it may take you 5 years to reach your destination.  Although you can’t reach your destination overnight – if by chance you find that you’re going in the wrong direction, you can change your direction in an instant.” I pray that you’re all going in the right direction and find your destination.

Take care of one another – “we all we got.”  Thanks for taking the time to grow with me.  Much love…VA

An Open Letter to Women – “The Woman In The Mirror”…

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

Black frame with detail mirror

NOTE: THIS IS A THREE-PART SERIES.  TO ACCESS THE OTHER ENTRIES CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE BY THE TITLE…

This is the second of a three part series regarding the Male/Female Relationship.  This entry is an open letter to Women, the first was an open letter to Men and the third is an open letter to Men and Women who want a productive and fulfilling relationship.  This submission is intended to loosely connect with the first letter to Men.  Therefore, issues that were addressed in the letter to men will not be rehashed in this letter.

Disclaimer(s):  I could write an entire blog about disclaimers given that women are very dynamic individuals.  Very much like the letter to men, this entry is the culmination of experience, observations and conversations with men and women about women.  The nature of the blog is very frank and it is not intended to be inflammatory or antagonistic, merely one person’s vast, broad assimilation of information.  If you are a woman reading this you may feel that there are some items, examples and inferences that may not relate to you.  In that case, feel free to look past that as a “does not apply to me” issue.  HOWEVER, it has been my experience that there is quite a bit of denial within some women with regard to how they “really” are perceived by others vs. how they perceive themselves.

Also, this is a “lengthy” discussion to a broad topic.  I do not speak for all men, but I would say that the information is very pertinent.  I thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  With that being said – here we go…

Dear Ladies,

Hello Ladies, I hope that you’re doing well at the time of receiving this letter.  Many of you had the opportunity to peek at the letter to Men that I wrote and if you have not, I would encourage you to when you find time.  As that letter stated, I don’t know everyone that this letter will reach, but there are some that I have had the opportunity to know in passing, some very well or maybe even “personally.”  I know that some of you are single, married, “unhappily connected” or “happily connected.”  Any way you may be at this time, I applaud you for making it this far and doing so much in a world that is often dominated by men.

Before I get started, I would like it if you as the ladies could do me a huge favor.  As you’re reading this, can you please let go of the excuse of “well if guys would just” or “what about when guys do” and all of the other references that could come up about men’s transgressions or wrong doings.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and men behaving badly in no way removes women’s accountability for the issues that they bring to the table.  So this letter is focused on women, not the things that men do to make women do unproductive things in return.  Ok, thanks for agreeing to that.

I think that there are many, many issues ranging from esteem issues, to insecurity, materialism, prior abuse, self-respect and many more issues that impact women in relationships.  Also, because women are so dynamic it would be impossible to address all of these issues within this letter.  With that in mind I will let ladies know that this letter will specifically speak to why many women attract more “busters” and bad choices in men and many times don’t get a call back or chance to pursue a relationship with the guy who may have been a better quality catch. Plainly stated, the undesirable components of some women’s personality quite possibly attract the buster and repel the guy with good sense.

Today (July 7, 2009) Michael Jackson was laid to rest and one of his more poignant songs is “The Man In The Mirror” which inspired the title of this letter.  I would like to ask every woman, presuming you could meet a single man who possessed your criteria for what a good man is, who wasn’t intimidated by other men or your place in life, wasn’t insecure, who was willing to develop a mature relationship with you that could lead to marriage – would you consider yourself to be the woman that he would want in return??  As much talking that has been done about how trifling, immature and under-developed men are, do you really consider yourself to be the woman that “Mr. Right For You” would want in return??

The origin of this question doesn’t come from my past serious relationships and it doesn’t come from my divorce.  It actually comes from the many conversations I’ve had with women (some dating, some just conversations), the conversations that I’ve had with “good” men regarding their experiences with women and my personal observations of women as a business man and DJ in the 3rd largest city of the country, Chicago.  It certainly comes from the numerous conversations or observations of women when I and other men think “do you even hear the words that are coming out of your mouth??” Unfortunately, if I had to assess whether many women are what I or what other men of good character would want (not referring to physical attraction, purely personality), the answer would be a resounding “hell NO.”

To cut to the chase as to why this may be the point, it is my observation that there are two types of women (for the purposes of this letter), the first is the woman that simply knows herself, the second woman is the woman who not only knows herself, but she is also “self aware.”  We all know what knowing yourself is – it includes your likes, turn-offs, ambitions, desires, etc.  However, being “self aware” means that you not only know yourself, you are also fully aware of how you are perceived by other people.

Again, my observation is that there are many women that exhibit less than desirable personality qualities (i.e. argumentative, uber-passive, over bearing, etc.) and unfortunately, they have no idea that they would run a good guy off in a heartbeat.  I’ve asked several women lately “which one of your girlfriends would you personally date if you were a guy.”  After a pause and some thought, many of them cycle through their girlfriend’s idiosyncrasies, quirks, bad habits and oddities to then say, “let me get back to you on that.”  Of course that’s not true of every woman.  However, the major point that I’m sharing is that sometimes women can be so fixated on “this is me and this is who I am, take it or leave it” that they don’t realize how much of a turn off their personality truly is, especially to a man that they would want to attract.

Its even amazing the number of arguments/squabbles that women have with their women friends during girls night out, girl’s vacations, etc.  You hear comments like “I’ll never travel with her again”, “I hate waiting for her” or “that’s why I like it when I drive as opposed to riding with them” and many more complaints about women friends.  Guess what – you and/or your girlfriends bring that same behavior (and more) in their relationships with men.  Women don’t even want to deal with their girl friends (in some cases) because “you know how SHE is.”  That’s exactly the point I’m making about the same and worse behavior with men.

Again, the natural defense is to say “well, what about the guys who…” – we’re not talking about them right now, this is about you being ready for “Mr. Right For You” in the event that’s what you would like to have in your life.

I know that there are some women that would say “if a guy doesn’t like me for who I am, then he’s not the guy for me.”  Well, let’s take a look at who you are quite honestly:

  • Are you conflict oriented or conflict averse?
  • Are you boring or engaging?
  • Are you open to new things or stuck in your ways?
  • Are you super-stubborn or open to new ways of seeing things?
  • Are you bossy or flexible?
  • Are you abrasive or soothing?
  • Are you clingly/insecure or secure?
  • Are you overly needy or independent to the extent there’s no room for anyone else or somewhere in the middle?
  • Do you appear to be frigid or tastefully alluring (let’s be honest, men do want to be ATTRACTED to a woman?)

I know that times have changed and that women have to assume more responsibility in the home and in the office than ever before.  HOWEVER, one of the biggest things that I’ve seen in the 21st century woman that is a major turn-off is the lack of a brain buffer.  Quite honestly that means that what comes up, comes out.  In addition to the brain buffer issue is women who are theoretically so far on their own page with their likes, dislikes, “this is the way that I amisms”, that it literally turns people (women and men) off or runs them away.  Again, I am referring to the “getting to know you” process.”  These issues can be omnipresent even prior to an actual relationship ensuing.

Let me explain something briefly.  Many times the guy that you are looking for who is sensitive to your needs, supports you in your progression of yourself, wants to carry his part of the load and all those other great things really doesn’t want a sarcastic, “flip”, “say whatever you feel” kind of woman.  This doesn’t mean that he’s not looking for your opinion and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say.  That also doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want a funny, witty woman with a ton of personality.  This is where the old adage “it’s not always what you say, but how you say it” comes in.  We are in a time where far too often women don’t care how they say what it is they have to say to a man.  This may seem unreasonable, but it’s no different than the desire to have a man ask something of you rather than demand it.  The gruff, crass and thoughtless way that some women speak (especially to men) these days doesn’t garner any level of respect, love, courtesy or desire to want to spend time with a woman who doesn’t have enough discretion to think before she speaks.

Some women may say “I don’t want to have to go through all of that, if I feel something I should just be able to say whatever.”  Again, you wouldn’t want some guy coming at you half-witted and quarter-cocked with the first dumb ass thing out of his mouth.  Just consider the feeling mutual.  Too often the lack of decorum and the feeling of “whatever” that many women have will continue to attract the guys who do the same in return and alienate the ones who would offer them the respect in return of thinking before they said the first thing that came to mind.

Many women are under the impression that men are intimidated by free-thinking, motivated and assertive women.  Though that may be the case with some men, there are many men who want a woman with wit, energy, ideas and ambition.  HOWEVER, they want them to still be and act like women.  The same way that it’s a turn off for a man to exhibit what would be considered “girl like” tendencies, it is equally as much of a turn off to a man for a woman to interact with him, have conflict with him and “get at” him the way that a man would.  It doesn’t mean that a “good” man wants a woman to be demure or soft-spoken.  Mature and developed men can receive what you’re saying much better when it’s delivered with grace, class and panache’ as opposed to when it’s being delivered with the subtlety of a baseball bat.  The same way you want a man to be a man, a man talking with a woman, doesn’t wants to feel like he’s “going at it” with one of his boys unless it’s the tone of a specific conversation.  It is cool to feel like you have a woman that can flow between “kickin it” and the serious man/woman vibe.  Unfortunately, I’m not referring to moments of conflict; I’m just referring to typical everyday conversation where women are so raw and at times abrasive that it’s a turnoff.  When I say abrasive I’m not referring to profanity.  More like talking at someone instead of talking to them or just frankly saying anything that comes to mind regardless of how it may be received.

On the other end of the spectrum is the woman that feels that her opinion doesn’t matter or she constantly relegates herself to whatever the man’s position would be.  Included in that is the woman who is not engaging in many regards and doesn’t present any level of allure or captivating quality to attract a man.  The man you want typically only fully respects women that they fully respect themselves.  Good guys typically are drawn to women who feel good about themselves.  It is not my assertion in any way that a woman should “kow tow” to a man in any way.  I feel that the most progressive relationships will always be the ones where the two act as equals (still respective of the man/woman dynamic) and the woman is not relegated to the lesser person in the relationship.  Unfortunately, many woman position themselves in that place are at times taken advantage of because of it.  Much of that was/is her doing.

Again, it is my personal opinion that the right woman can get a man to do just about anything that she would want if she was more desirable (mentally and yes, physically too – this is a desire based connection for both sexes) than demanding in many cases.  There is an old statement that still is  as true today as it has ever been – “you can attract a lot more bees with honey than you can with vinegar” and unfortunately many women have lost sight of that.  On far too many occasions the otherwise desirable woman is driving men away by not being “self aware” and simply being herself.

So how is it that this position assumed by women of not being “self aware” can attract busters and stave off the desirable guy?  Let’s look at the buster.  The synonym for buster is predator.  Busters look at women with emotional issues, super-ego/attitudes, walls, emotionally unavailable and/or low self-esteem as prey or a challenge.  That means that by their very nature they know that your soft exterior or rough exterior, whatever you may have can be broken down by a series of saying and/or doing the things to get past the barriers that have been put up.  The same way that the jackal stalks the lioness, many women are throwing so much of their “this is how I am” nature or their “I have low esteem” nature out there that its literally pheromones attracting the jackal who is willing to “play the game” until you break down and give him whatever it is he wants.  The buster/predator sees you as a project, a thing to do, a conquest and is willing to engage in the game of “this is me” because he wants to destroy you or at least take the parts that he wants and leave the rest behind.

How does being “self aware” help minimize the attacks from the buster/predator?  The same way that the woman that is not self aware can turn her friends off and not care, can rub the right guy the wrong way and say “he wasn’t the one for me” is the same woman that is so far on her own page that she doesn’t see the true intentions of the buster.  It is her bullshit ways that have become the bait that the buster uses because they know that given the right “approach” they can and will break her down.

On the total other hand – the mature, progressive, “willing to grow with you” type guy is the one that typically sees the walls, the issues, the unnecessary difficulty, the low-esteem, the inflexibility or brash disposition and would rather not be bothered with all of that.  All of what you may ask?  All of the posturing, extreme ego, insensitivity, lack of esteem, potential conflict that he will notice very early in interacting with a woman if he himself is “self aware.”  Self aware women and self aware men are not predators.  They don’t have time to decipher the code of what makes you tick or burst through the proverbial walls that have been erected.

It is the law of attraction – those things that are alike in life are drawn to one another.  The predator and the prey are drawn to one another.  It is very much like Job 3:25 from the bible “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”  Many women, I have to tell you – you are running the desirable guys away with your attitudes, lack of humility, lack of grace, lack of self-anything, lack of femininity (beyond sex appeal) and you are attracting the busters for the same exact reasons.  Then those same women are enabling and supporting the behavior of the predators that they are in relationships with and are looking to place the blame on the man.  Every person’s first order of priority is to love yourself, you can not look for anyone to love you more than you are willing to love yourself.

Men and women have a lot of complexities in relationships and again, this letter can not and does not address all of them.  However, if you are finding that you don’t know where “the good men are” or if you seem to attract predators in your life, it’s possible that you may have the entire male species figured out, so you would like to believe.  My question then would be, how much time have you taken to assess your own quirks, idiosyncrasies and ways about you that may drive your friends or a good man to not want to further a relationship with you?  How happy are you with your “this is me” attitude or disposition if “good” men and women may not want to be around you while you’re being you.  When you look at the woman in the mirror, is that your best self or the person that you’ve resigned yourself to be?

Life should be evolving, it should exhibit growth and I’ve seen and observed far too many women who have tuned out the world so much that the only tune that they hear is their own.  The sad part about that is that they’re the only ones willing to play that song because there’s no room for anybody else to join in.

I was raised by three wonderful women (mom, aunt and grandmother) and they are all very strong willed and opinionated.  The thing that I love about them most is that they speak loud and clear, but they also listen in return.  They taught me to listen, not only to myself, but to others.  That ability to listen is what can allow me to be in a conversation with a woman and be able to detect that the primary tune that she hears is her own, there’s really no place for me in that band.

I would venture to say that given the number of men that I’ve talked to about the state of their relationships that I’m “on to something” with this synopsis.  These good brothers find themselves on bad dates and undesirable situations with women just the same way women do.  Here’s the scary part – the buster/predator guys that are bad dates, really don’t care if they are good to women or not.  The buster/predator doesn’t care how you perceive him, if it’s a failed attempt, he’s on to the next victim.  The women who are bad dates, you can’t tell them a damn thing!!  To say that they are not self-aware is an understatement.  The even scarier part is that the dynamics of some (not all, but some) female friendships is that women can’t even keep it real with their girls and let them know how “out of pocket” that their girl is.  Or if they do tell her, she’s not listening.  Additionally, the women who know that they haven’t taken a good look in the mirror intentionally relay stories (by only telling part of the truth) to their girls to get advice from them that fosters their continuance of their less than desirable behavior.

In the end, it’s not up to a guy, your girls or anybody to police your behavior ladies. In the end it’s you.

Let me take this one step further for the women who do move past the “getting to know you” stage and actually develop a relationship with a “good guy.”  The woman who is “self aware” recognizes that once she has started dating a good guy that the journey is not over, it has just begun while the woman that only knows what she likes and dislikes feels like “mission accomplished.”  Far too many women equate fidelity with being a “good woman.” That is to say that as long as she’s faithful to her guy she can act in any manner that she wants (including driving a guy crazy for no reason) and as long as she’s faithful she’s a “good woman.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  If you are not aware of how your moods, outbursts, despondence, “shitty tone”, demands, sometimes insatiable or needy behavior is affecting your man you are not being a “good woman” in his eyes regardless of how faithful you are. This is where it becomes most critical that you are “self aware” because your behavior will push a good guy out the door if you can’t police yourself.

To the women who none of this applies to, congratulations to you.  That still doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues to be fleshed out while in the relationship, but at least you’re one step closer to shakin’ the busters and attracting a winner.  To the women that want to know where are all of the good men and why does this keep happening to me, when was the last time you took a look at the woman in the mirror.  When was the last time you heard and received the positive and progressive advice of the men and women in your life, when was the last time you asked somebody “what. if anything, do you think that I could work on to be the best person I could be for myself and in a relationship?”  I would venture to say that women spend an inordinate amount of time griping about how there are no (or only a few) good men out here, but not nearly as much time is spent on being the best that they can be or pointing out issues to their girls.  Again, sometimes they do that and their girl “knows so much” that she’s not listening to the good advice being offered.

I’d like to share that denial is a lose/lose scenario for everybody.  Its great to love yourself and feel good about who you are and I would never want to insinuate that anyone become less of a person to allow room for somebody else.  As men are to be providers and protectors, women are nurturers and sources of comfort.  I’m not saying to give your “gifts” of comfort and nurture to everyone.  However, allow for others to qualify you as you should qualify them without the “all self-knowing” part of your personality disqualifying you before you even get a chance.

Understand that the notion that the “right guy for you” will love you just as you are, despite your idiosyncrasies, quirks, flaws and attitudes that are a manifestation of “this is how I am” (as opposed to general likes and dislikes) is highly unlikely. What’s a general like or dislike?  Basic things like “I don’t like football”, “I would prefer to go to the early church service” as opposed to “this is how I talk, so deal with it”, “this is how I get sometimes” or “I’ve never had to do XYZ for myself, so I won’t worry how to do it now.”  Its not that only “strong” women exhibit these attitudes, a passive woman who doesn’t form her own opinion or appears helpless or “whoa is me” at all times can be just as much of a turnoff for the mature man looking for a progressive relationship.

The fairytale, the “Notebook” (refering to the movie) love affair, the myth that any person male or female will totally accept and more importantly, be fulfilled with another person without regard to that person operating in their best self is again, high unlikely.  It doesn’t mean that a meaningful relationship can not be had, it more so means that the odds of that relationship being with the “ideal” man that was desired/envisioned is very improbable.

Thesis Statement Ladies: Many women say that they are not settling until they find what they want ideally in a man.  However, many of those same women settle on being their lesser selves as a person and potential mate as opposed to finding their best self that would attract the man they feel would be their ideal compliment.

When I speak of settling within yourself I’m not referring to worldly ambition or being “goal oriented.”  I am referring to character and the caliber of “feminine esthetic” that makes a man want to be around and partner with a woman.  There are many ambitious and accomplished women who develop false-pride (as many men do) and lose a fair amount of humility as they accomplish more and also as they feel better about themselves.  Accomplishment and esteem are in direct relationship to humility.  The more you “are”, the more you “do”, the more you “have to offer”, the more humble ANY PERSON (man or woman) should become.  Far too often women gain a stronger sense of self, attain more “stuff” and lose their humility which in turn may be a turn-off to a good guy.  Women deserve to be proud and feel good about what they have done or who they are as women.  There is however a huge difference in being proud and remaining humble.  The right guy will respect you more and possibly desire you more if your confidence and accomplishments surpass the average man without having the “false pride”, “BIG EGO” (pun intended) and “chip on her shoulder” to go with it.

A quick note to the women who have been hurt by guys in the past, let that burden and frustration go.  It is not the next guy’s job to pick up the slack and remove the hurt of your past relationships.  Yes, I agree – this is true of men, as well as women – I got you!!  Again, we’re talking about women here.

So, let me put a wrap on the letter by saying that of course there is no such thing as perfection.  There is an air of compromise, acceptance, patience and tolerance that a relationship will have to endure on both sides.  However, there is a growing contingency of women who are not “self aware” and have attitudes, insufferable dispositions/opinions who refuse to make adjustments in any relationships male/female and even with female friends and these individuals can not figure out why they’re unlucky in love.  The mirror is only a step away.

I also want to say that if your first response upon reading this is “well about what the guys when they” or “if men didn’t do” or “if men would do”, then basically you’re listening to your own song and missed the entire purpose of the letter.  It wouldn’t be surprising if you never heard what anyone said outside of your own voice in your head.  The subject of this letter is women’s issues in a particular area, not men’s issues.

Go to the mirror, put your song on mute, take a long look with both eyes open and ask yourself – “am I the only person that likes what I see”, your soul and your environment will provide the answer – only if you are willing to listen.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

An Open Letter to Men – Insecurity and “Bitchassness” in Male/Female Relationships Affects Everyone…

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

NOBitchassness

NOTE: THIS IS A THREE-PART SERIES.  TO ACCESS THE OTHER ENTRIES CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE BY THE TITLE…

This is the first of a three part series regarding the Male/Female Relationship.  This entry is an open letter to Men, the second is an open letter to Women and the third is an open letter to Men and Women who want a productive and fulfilling relationship.

DISCLAIMER: This is a very “touchy” and adult subject.  Some men may have hurt feelings or take offense to what I’m saying here – if that’s the case, I will apologize in advance.  I have taken my years of conversations, experiences and observations with men and with women about men to create this letter.  This letter does not reflect a single encounter, again, it is based on a wide array of encounters.  The following is just “real talk” from the way I see things.  Additionally, this is an adult blog entry with profanity.

Dear Bruhs,

What’s up?  I know some of you personally, some of you as acquaintances and I have not had the opportunity to meet many of you at the time of preparing this letter.  To all of you who have defied the odds (regarding Black Men) by being a productive member of society, educated in many cases and furthering yourselves, I applaud you as many people in society will not give you that credit.  It is my observation that our communities are suffering more and more for a myriad of reasons – all too broad to discuss in this one letter.  I can say that part of the issue in our community stems from our unhealthy relationships with women.

From the beginning of time men have been accused and guilty of being liars, cheaters, ill-tempered (even abusive), unable to properly communicate and many other things.  Again, this letter is by no means the forum to discuss every challenge that befalls men and more specifically, Black Men.  I can say that I have had the opportunity to know, date, befriend and converse with many, many women over the past 20+ years.  It is through my relationships (friend and dating) with women that I really get to learn a lot about my Black Brothers.  Additionally, I would have to say that many of you Bruhs have been pretty honest in “telling on yourselves”, but its really through conversations with other women that I get “the scoop.”

It is through these conversations, relationships and encounters with women that I have come to see that there are two divisions of men (as it relates specifically to this letter.)  There is the secure, directed and “well put together” brother and there is the brother that suffers from bitchassness and insecurity.  It is my observation over the past 5 years that there has been a HUGE upsurge in these two increasingly pervasive issues when it comes to men: bitchassness and insecurity.  I know that we as men have egos and rarely want to see a “lesser” form of ourselves, so let me help you in identifying if you have been or are guilty of bitchassness or insecurity.

The Urban Dictionary defines bitchassness (a word created by P. Diddy) as:

“newly discovered disease running rampant, especially in the black community.

symptoms include:

1.punkish tendencies
2. cattiness, such as talking behind someone’s back
3. thinking highly of yourself, but only expressing it under your breath
4.claiming “hurt feelings” when you are called out on your bullshit”

In addition to this definition, I would state that specifically for the purposes of this letter that going through a woman’s personal possessions (i.e. phone log, text messages, email, purse – anything that’s not yours) is the epitome of bitchassness.  Along with these actions is being passive aggressive.  Passive aggressive would simply be not directly addressing issues that you have with a woman and creating more issues by being, well, a bitch ass.

That’s only half of the problem, the other is insecurity.  I have had girlfriends, I’ve been married and I have had the opportunity to date a wide range of women.  I think that this would give me an opportunity to display insecurity at some point in my life.  So Bruhs, if you want to know if you’re insecure, here is a list of questions (or any form of the question) that may qualify you as insecure if you’ve ever asked them to a woman:

  • “Where are you going?” (other form “Where were you?”)
  • “Who are you going with?”
  • “When are you coming back?”
  • “Why don’t you wear something less revealing?”
  • “Who was that on the phone?”
  • “Who was that guy over there you were talking to?”
  • “Who is he and what it is he to you?”

I am very proud to say that in my 20+ years of dating (or being a husband) that I have NEVER asked a woman these questions.  Why not, because it was either none of my business, people are entitled to have their own lives and in the case of the revealing clothes – if she had “great cleavage”, sexy legs or anything outwardly appealing when I met her it wouldn’t be fair of me to ask her to start being “less appealing” because she’s in my life now.

By now Bruhs, you should get the picture.  Of course this is not an all-inclusive list of questions that the insecure brother asks and you can get the varieties of how these questions are asked without me doing it for you.  The important thing is that men have been insecure since the beginning of time because of our “fragile egos”, but insecurity is now ramping up to an all-time high.

Women are the ones who normally have the qualities of curious, intuition and suspicion associated with them.  I am by no means condoning poor behavior or actions on the part of women (i.e. going through a man’s phone or private possessions.)  I am more so saying that this is behavior more associated with a woman than with a man.  Let me give you a hand Bruh, leave all the suspicions and “girl-like” behavior to the women – grab your nuts and get your shit together.

Now, let me state, there are a fair number of women who are “doing dirt” and it’s not like there isn’t a fair space for speculation.  To be even more frank about it, there are some “shady ass” women out here and women will tell you that there are a lot of women that are up to “no good.”  The primary point that I’m making is that men should handle issues like a man, not like a woman.  There is no amount of “shadiness” or suspicion about a woman that should ever make a man resort to handling any issue in the way that a woman would.  There are always two sides to a story, but again, nothing should reduce a man to handling situations anyway other than like a man.  This bitchassness has got to stop or at least be identified because simply stated – it’s not a “good look” at all.

Let me explain to you what you’re doing my man.  You’re trying to control somebody else (mainly your woman) because you have no self control.  You’re trying to manipulate someone else’s “way of doing things” because of issues that you have within yourself.  The biggest and probably worst part of it is that your woman (if she loves you) really wants to respect you.  Well, I hate to break it to you, but every time you display your bitchassness by not handling things like a man or you display insecurity you are losing more and more of her respect.  It’s no different than putting stricter rules on a teenager who isn’t doing anything wrong, the more you stifle them, the more they don’t like you and the more they will rebel.

With that being the case, you brothers who display these bitch ass tendencies and insecurities become your own biggest problem.  You are creating your own world where you will never be fulfilled and by brow beating, dominating or manipulating a woman you will never get where you are trying to go – it only creates tension, resentment and the lack of real love and compassion in the relationship – that’s in the case that you even want a “real relationship.”

The worst part about it Bruhs is that the overwhelming majority of you who are displaying some degree (or a large degree) of bitchassness or insecurity are guilty of not handling your business in the relationship.  It’s a fact that there are some women that are simply out for themselves and it doesn’t matter what you do for them or to them, they will simply not be a good fit for you.  HOWEVER, there is a large contingency of women who believe in you, want you to succeed, want the best for you, but you don’t give them the support that they need in order for them to do what’s right for you.

You may ask how does that work.  C’mon Bruhs, let’s not play stupid.  The majority of men that participate in insecurity and bitch ass actions are the ones who are not willing to step up to the plate fully and handle your end of the business in the relationship.  In other cases you guys emotionally neglect or even mistreat your women and your bitch ass tendencies or insecurities arise because you know by all rights that your girl shouldn’t want to put up with your half-ass approach to the relationship.  She might say that it’s not her fault for loving you, but I would disagree and say that it is her fault, but that’s a topic for another letter.

I could go on and on about bitchassness and insecurity because it has really spun out of control.  I’ll just say that there are a lot of ways that you can “look bad” to your woman, but this is probably the worst way that you could because your actions are so woman-like that she honestly sees you as less of a man every time you do these things whether she tells you to your face or not.  I just thought that you should know.

I have to admit that there is a somewhat selfish reason that I have for reaching out to my brothers who display bitch ass qualities and insecurities.  Earlier I said that there are two types of guys for the purpose of this letter – the second guy is the “well put together” guy who is secure.  I would put myself in this category.  So what’s the selfish reason?  Well, you insecure Bruhs with these bitch ass tendencies are making it hard for the guys without all of these issues to have good relationships with single women because of all of the bullshit that you’ve taken them through with your games, manipulation and insecurities.

Now, let me say this, I am not saying that ALL issues with men/women relationships stem from the insecure man, not at all.  However, you are a healthy contributor Bruh.  Women get so confused, so disheartened and so discontent by all the shit that you’ve heaped on them that by time they get to sit down and have a conversation with a brother who doesn’t have these qualities they have a hard time discerning whether we are the real deal or if they’re sitting with our “representative” the same way that they sat with your “representative” before all of your skeletons and bitch ass tendencies came out.

I can’t say it any plainer than letting you know my brother, you’re messing up the situation for everybody not just yourself.

I’ll conclude by saying that I don’t expect for all of my brothers with these insecurities and tendencies to change overnight for the benefit of the secure brothers and the sisters who really don’t deserve what you’re doing.  However, as the old saying goes “knowing is half the battle.”  I think that its time that the conversation on how to create a better climate for relationships starts with us addressing our own issues.  Sisters can tell us things until we’re blue in the face.  Maybe hearing it from one of our own may bring a greater awareness or at least start the conversation in order to minimize this behavior or at least stop the rampant progression of it.

In the end, I want to congratulate my secure brothers for hanging in there and enduring all the frustrations that come with the climate that the insecure brother creates and the aftermath of his failed relationships with his “female victims.”  To the insecure brother with less than desirable tendencies, it’s not too late to change your ways.  I believe that you want to be fulfilled in your relationships too and maybe if you can identify that you are part of your own problem, also that you can’t control anybody’s behavior other than your own, maybe then you can be a part of the solution.

I will apologize if I hurt any of my brother’s feelings.  We as Black Men are sometimes chastised for having feelings and I don’t want to be insensitive to that.  Some guys may be upset and feel that I’m out of bounds for what I’m saying.  To that I would say that your behavior is no secret and I haven’t said anything that anybody can’t see for themselves.  It’s always easier to ask others to lower their standards than for a person to raise their own.

As for the women who may have been “AMENing” or hi-fiving me during this letter, I gladly will accept it and hope that I was able to speak to many of the issues that you would like to see removed from our relationships.  I certainly hope that you are as open and honest with yourselves when I share my open letter to you coming shortly.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA