April 27, 2012

It's been on my mind... Again.

The other day, I was just breezing through my archives, and came across a blog post I wrote on my opinons on dating called "It's been on my mind."  I reread the post and comments, and it had me reflecting.  A little shy of a year later, have my opinions changed?  Do I still hold the same viewpoints and values then that I do now?  Before proceeding, you may want to read or breeze through the earlier post.

Where I was emotionally at that time was single, frustrated, and confused.  My main questions were:

                                                    1. Technology and social media negatively impact how my generation communicates.
                                                    2. Why don't men want to date?
                                                    3. Does traditional dating exist in my generation?

Based on my experiences and the feedback I'd received since then, I feel that men do want to date, but there are factors that can negatively attribute to their perspectives on relationships.  "Due to outside pressures such as (popular society culture) men are not allowed to express such thoughts... If one can not express his own thoughts publicly, may he neglect to think of those thoughts personally? -Bernadette

I was speaking to my friend Bernie about how our generation is so heavily influenced by the media and technology, that it can be a hinderance in regards to in person communication.  She stated, "When actually on a date, smart phones might as well have their own seat, as people pay more attention to their phone than their own date."  There's just that lack of attention and connection, and we need get to get back to being able to communicate on a functional and personal level comfortably, without hiding behind the keyboard.  In a metaphorical sense, worrying about outside elements that have nothing to do with your relationship, can also bring cause to issues, as your focus isn't between you and the person you are with, more so on what OTHER people are thinking about YOUR relationship.  Of course in long distance relationships, the use of technology is a great way of staying connected and closing the distance gap between you and your partner.  Skype, email, instant messaging, etc. makes distance and separation easier to handle, and actually increases that element of connection between both people. 

Moving on to re-answering my three main questions, here are some of the comments I had received from men in regards to, "Why don't men want to date?"

My family friend Aaron stated: 

"Some people might have to grow in several dimensions. For example, a man who wants 'instant gratification' today, may very well be a family man in the future. Question is, do you want to follow a path with that amount of growth? If yes, make the adjustments, define some boundaries, and be patient."

My friend Mario actually had written his own blog post in response to mine.  Here's an excerpt: 

"I still believe in dating, and good conversation and true compatibility through non-sexual communication. I think it's essential to find that connection, because it is what will keep that relationship afloat when good looks and bedroom antics get old.  I do think more mature men care about finding the right match. It is sadly true that us men do mature a bit slower than women do mentally, so good luck finding that maturity in a man under 25-27 years of age, but it exists.  Men Still Want to Date."

Wearing a blazer & jeans from F21, gifted leopard scarf, The Loft snakeskin clutch, Franco Sarto shoes via Marshalls, Old Navy t-shirt

I've also received feedback via twitter from my blog readers on their relationship experiences...

"Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 5 years now. Only after a year of dating each other, I moved out of town, making our relationship long distance. At first everything was good. But then after a few months of us being separated, things got really hard between us. We started fighting and our trust between each other was not as strong as before. This had been going on for a few more months, until we almost broke up. This scared the s*** out of me because we were friends for so long, and I realized that I can't lose him to distance. So I had a serious talk with him about how I was feeling, and we agreed that long distance shouldn't break something so valuable. We started to communicate more, which led to us trusting again. All in all, my advice is: If you know you really care for someone, work to make it work. Three years has passed since then, and I don't have one regret in my decision." -Nicole

"I wasn't much of a relationship type of guy. Honestly, you could have called me a "player." This all stopped when I met my girlfriend (now fiance) through a friend. We instantly hit it off, becoming close friends within a couple months. Knowing my "bad guy" ways that used to lead me to these "not so good girls," I realized this was something more, and didn't want to mess it all up. I told her about my past and she (thank God) was willing to stick it out. I'm not going to lie, it was NOT easy, but I have to give it to her... Her patience was everything.  Seeing her commitment and having her by my side made me want to change for the better. A little over 2 years latter, I decided to ask her THAT question!" -Craig

My last original question, "Does traditional dating exist in our generation?"

A factor could be our current society.  Many women (at one point, including myself), questioned if men truly want to date us today because of how we see our parents, who grew up in a generation of young marriage.  We are now the same age as our parents were when they got married, so we're wondering why we're not at that point in our lives today.  Example: The average age of marriage in the 1970's-1980's was 22-25 years old.  Today, it's 28-33 years old.  We may have expectations in that regard, as well as the traditional standards of which dating should entail.  Opening doors, paying for meals, walking on the street side of the sidewalk...  Furthermore, another contribution to slower maturation rates between women and men are the way society raises them.  Women are raised first as dainty girls with Barbie and Ken dolls,  instilling in them the importance of marriage and finding a husband, dreaming of their wedding day, etc.  Men are raised as tough boys to be strong, non-emotional, and to grow up and get a good job.  So naturally, women get to that place before men ever have to think about "settling down."

 So then I ask Bernie, "So given all these outside factors that play upon a relationship and may potentially destroy a relationship (depending on an individual's sense of stability and knowing oneself)... How do you make a relationship work?  How do you save a relationship from breaking?  How do you keep a good relationship going?"

Communication As I've already mentioned, communication is key.  Without it results in increased assumption, misinterpretation, loss of focus and levelness between each other, and all around confusion, if you don't communicate with your partner!  Remember, your partner canNOT read your mind.  Establish communication from the beginning.  HEAR and LISTEN to your partner and respect and realize their needs and desires. P.S. Leave the pride at home.  Pride does not work in relationships.  Too proud to communicate?  Too proud to show affection?  Too proud to step down and abide to another person's needs?  As Bernie would say, "You are not ready."  LOL!

Trust One thing I've realized from my personal experiences is that people trust at different speeds.  I myself am a pretty good reader of people, so I know off the bat whether I can trust you or not.  Some may trust a person after being at risk in a situation where they see that other person came through for them.  Other people just continue to spend time and experiences with that other person which ultimately leads to their trust.  In the meantime, the best you can do is be yourself, be there for that person, and in time you should gain their trust.  However, trust is not merely, "Will this person hurt me? Will this person cheat on me? Will this person lie to me?"  If you look at trust in this way, you are going down a path that will always lead to distrust, furthermore, never giving that person a chance to earn your trust in the first place.  Trust is far beyond any of that.  "Will this person help me grow? Would I trust this person with my inner most fears? Will I trust this person to tell me when I need to fix a negative trait, and not only point the finger, but be there for me when I need help confronting this problem?"  Trust involves willing to risk your emotional abilities, realizing that you can't control everything, and that you do have to rely on somebody else.  Additionally, a lot of people don't look at an individual for themselves.  Past experience has a lot to do with a person's general outlook in regards to trust, but people easily carry on pain to the next person they get involved with, and never treat that next person as their equal.  For instance, if a woman has a bad experience with a man she thought was genuine and ended up just wanting to get in her pants, why wouldn't she think the next guy wouldn't do that?  Generalizations are no good going into new relationships because right off the bat, just by being in that person's presence, you already have something going against you, from those past experiences. 

Commitment/Work There is no such thing as "the perfect relationship."  A relationship is work between two people, not a domination of one person to a subordinate other.  Relationships won't always be even, but when they become uneven in any way, it is you and your partner's job to realize that and figure out how to balance it.  BOTH people involved have to WANT to make it work.  After establishing YES I want to work, there is mass effort that must be done, because there is also no such thing as an effortless relationship.  You two may be effortlessly compatible, but it is effort that elongates compatibility into an ongoing relationship.  When hitting these rocky roads, you have to see them as speed bumps, not stop signs.  Long distance relationships require more work and commitment, and no you don't have to be in the same place to build trust, but you both have to have it on your mind.  Both people have to be committed to increase trust,  and be involved with getting the other one ready.  Again, putting your emotional vulnerability out there for the other person to see... Demonstrating support, willingness, etc., that will ultimately grow into love. 

Compatibility Many people believe you have to be the same type of person to be compatible.  Not true.  I naturally tend to go for someone who has the same values as I, but not the same personality or job field.  If not, what are we learning from each other?  Things I personally find important are values, energy between my partner and I, long term goals, being a driven individual, creativity... Others may believe that once in a relationship, you turn into one person.  Not quite, and no thank you (lol).  A relationship is two individuals complimenting each other.  Where one has a fault, the other tries to help.  You help each other grow.  You learn to love the strengths and the weaknesses.  You don't eliminate each other's individuality, you love the person for who they are and who they can be.

Room for Growth People grow and learn life lessons at different times, different speeds, or may not recognize certain insights at all.  Remember and respect your partner's ideas and opinions.  Although you may not agree, get to know the deeper issues of your partner.  Many times, superficial issues that you may see and deem as fault, may very well be a result of a bad experience in the past.  Have compassion and understand why people do certain things.  How do we do that?  ASK.  OBSERVE.  GROW TOGETHER.  Confront the issue to your partner in a genuine manner, and work together in finding WHY he/she feels that way.  Continuously work with your partner in flushing out the negativity so that he/she may grow.  Not just for the relationship, but as a person.  That is why there is such importance in time, focus and effort... If you see potential for growth in your relationship, be that companion for the betterment of each other.  Using the tools of communication, trust, commitment and work, your compatibility, and room for growth will keep you in the right mindset for potential sustaining a healthy relationship overall!

I'm obviously no relationship guru, but in all this reflecting, I am finding that there are things that I do well, things I can work on, and things I wasn't even aware of before writing this post.  By sharing this knowledge, I hope you all reading, will be able to get something out of this post as well.  Relationships are a constant work in progress, that involve many elements... But all we can do, as humans, is try the best we can to make them work  :-)


Hope you enjoyed the post!  Let's open another discussion.  I want to know your thoughts and opinions, so make sure to leave a comment!

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  1. When it comes to relationships in our digital age, I think we as individuals really need to take a step back and look at how much we are putting out there too soon. Essentially the internet and texting pushes our relationships into overdrive before they are ready. Texting allows us to connect throughout the day--by the time we get together with the guy or girl we are "dating" we have nothing to talk about--because we've been giving text-updates all the time. I think if people can understand that texting can actually really ruin the novelty of dating, dating will feel a lot more personal and intimate again.

    Additionally, we are so quick to Facebook friend everyone we meet/date. Sure it's great to be able to see someone's past right up front, but it also again takes away the novelty of ACTUALLY getting to know someone. I think people should wait to tweet follow/facebook friend a potential boyfriend or girlfriend until the relationship is pretty secure. that way you're not judging someone on their past...before really getting to know their present.

    Just some thoughts. :)

  2. Wow! Very impressive. Thought provoking, helpful, and challenging--in the way of, "you know, I can be a better person."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You've given a great gift.

  3. First and foremost, I love this post and you look absolutely darling in this look.

    Second, I was recently speaking (technically emailing lol ) a good friend of mine about this very subject the other day. One point that we were discussing the most was the social impact on dating and how young men now a day are so worried about coming off "THIRSTY" that they just sit back, throw all the chivalry/romantic knowledge out and hope for the best when approaching a woman about "Dating".
    That's one thing that's killing the dating atmosphere. I actually found out through a friend that someone was interested in me (who I was sooooo into) but the person didn't approach me because he didn't want to seem thirsty. -_- Like.... SERIOUSLY?!? we could've been in marital bliss right now!!! (completely Jk lol)

    Third, I love how you gave your insight on trust. It's so true, we automatically think that trust automatically pairs with disloyalty when in all actuality it's hand in hand with comfort and love. I loved you're insight on that... Opened my eyes some.

    I believe in dating in this 21st century. I've actually made a recent change in my overall cycle of "dating" and am trying a more traditional outlook on dating. Movies, Dinner, Phone convos, Picnic, Icecream dates... The good old school stuff. I wan't that "The Notebook" romantics back and in order to get that the big foot must come down! lol anywho, I'll fill you in more on my dating life during our OVER DUE skype date. lol.

    Love you & proud of you.
    -herlande aka TLoui143


  4. <> "You two may be effortlessly compatible, but it is effort that elongates compatibility into an ongoing relationship."

  5. I think there are a lot of salient points brought up here. Technology has a huge impact on how people communicate with one another, and definitely impacts dating. I don't really like texting someone I'm interested in a ton because it kind of takes away from the conversations you'd have on a date, especially if you're just starting to get to know someone. What's the point of a first date if you've already had it via SMS?

    But it definitely has benefits; technology helps close geographic distances. So if you're interested in someone you might not be able to see right away, or have built a relationship with someone and something (work, school, etc) separates you, texting, twitter, facebook, e-mail can help you stay connected and continue to build!

  6. GREAT POST! My mind is on overdrive thinking about how I am going to say all that I 'need' to say in this comment.

    *Takes deep breath*

    First, I must say there were lots of thought provoking content in the post as well as the comments. From what Bernie said about 'giving our phones their own seat', to what Mario said about maturity, to what Aaron said about patience, to Craig validating (that) patience (is a virtue), to Libs Segal's statement about technology- pushing relationships into 'overdrive before they're ready, to Therlande's valid point about the thirst and going back to 'traditional' dating. All of these points made me nod in agreeance and I couldn't help but think.

    Second, the points about technology, trust, and compatibility are SO on point.
    Regarding technology: Lots of times we do push relationships via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text, etc. We begin to brag about who were with by stating were "in a relationship (with so and so)" on facebook, posting unnecessary photos on instagram and texting the world (simply to get advice) about he/she. Most of these things are done much too early, and most times have no reason being done when you should be speaking to each other. Like..Is there any room left for privacy?
    Regarding trust:
    I completely agree with the point about trust not being gained for disloyalty and hurt but a prerequisite for love, comfort and growth. I completely agree with that! I have been the victim of disloyalty and unfortunately, like a math equation, carried it over to the next relationship that may have never became a strong relationship due to distrust and fear. If I could give any advice to that, I'd say really work to find closure and letting go. Its in the past, your future doesn't deserve being born into that baggage. AND the next person will benefit from such growth that should come from that which was ultimately a mistake. So, come to terms with it, allow time to heal and LET IT GO.
    Regarding compatibility:
    Its important to keep it exciting. The key to doing that is just what Kris said about having the same values but different lives, that way there's always something new to learn, great conversation, room for growth, exciting endeavors and spontaneity. In these types of relationships, theres always surprises. I mean, who doesn't like surprises? For me, its important to have contrast, ya know, that ying/yang and keep the excitement factor present at all times. I'd like to be with someone entirely and not drift off with wandering eyes and thoughts of what they could be and/or what I'd like them to be. #justsaying

    II will take all of the points stated in this post as well as the comments and apply it to my personal relationships moving forward. I get so caught up in my own thoughts sometimes that I forget some of the very valid things said on today. Thanks for giving me a reference to go back to when I drift off into frustrated/confused land when I just cant understand that hard to figure out, not-so-mature guy.

    All the things said about dating, pros/cons of technology, trust and compatibility, etc, mean a lot in making or breaking relationships (even before it really starts). Which is why the dating phase is essential, its like auditions, where you're filtering through the candidates to find the perfect individual to cast (in your movie). Remember your life is what you make it and it's designed by YOU. No one can get in your way but YOU.


    Shawna Corso

  7. Hey Kris!

    First let me say that you did an an amazing Job touching on a lot of the potential issues in todays dating. I have to agree that technology does have an effect on the way we date in 2012. Not all of it is negative though! Technology can be a beautiful thing especially when your in a long distant relationship and want to get in a quick Skype chat in just to say good morning! I love those things!! I mean we seriously cant blame it all on technology! It's really how we use/abuse it that can cause things to fall apart! The "using my cell phone on a date thing"... SO RUDE and inappropriate and guilty of doing so once or twice myself smh lol. And the Twitter/ Facebook stalking?? We can all cut back on that lol! alot of the times it just makes you look AND feel psycho and creates too much room for feelings of insecurity to develop. Technology isn't the "bad guy", we just need to become better users!

    One more thing! You look AMAZING!! Your skin, hair and close = perfection. I miss you!!


  8. For starters.... YES YES!!! To your look!!! Of course I had to look at the shoes first ;)

    Like Shawna said, where do I start!?
    Being in a modern/ long distance relationship let me tell ya I think I've been through it all! Between the trust, communication, being open minded, and the list continues.

    Touching upon the fact that in a long distance relationship you can't see the person as much as you would like, how do you keep the relationship fresh exciting and leave you longing for more. Is that not the test of a good relationship? Can a person just through a phonecall, a text, a picture even, intrigue you that much to want more? Absolutely. More than just a physical attraction. In my opinion the distance is what causes you to build (or destroy) the trust, concentration on communication, etc. in this sense modern technology has become a life saver!

    But on the other end, when you're wondering why they're not responding to you but you see them on twitter and Facebook, or why there news feed says they're doing one thing but they tell you they're doing another, what do you do? Prior to these cyber lives we would take the persons word for what they're doing where they are who they're talking to right? But things have definitely changed which can then lead to second guessing yourself your partner an even the relationship. For example: when is it too soon to change your status from single to in a relationship? Does it even really matter?

  9. For some, they want the world to know! For reasons thy could go on for ever, but they want the attention, they don't want attention, they want to lessen the attention of others to their partner....... While on the other end some people feel that it's too invasive and there are "too many people in my business" and people are nosey......
    I mean really that should be between you and your partner. If the two of you decide you want to change the status that is your business!

    The tech world in general I believe just gives people more to gossip about whether it's a relationship or someone changing their hair color. Alot of relationships fail to separate their personal lives with social media and this is where the fall starts. For those that can Handel it MORE POWER TO YOU for those that can't, it's ok just focus on making each other happy and not what www.com sees as happy.

    I think that is all lol <3

  10. I really enjoy your blog.. Today is actually my first time visiting your blog and I like that you are a naturalista... I have a natural hair blog (STOP CRYING OVER SPILLED PERM) and I will most certainly be posting some of your post... maybe I can do a feature on you one day.

    Shon Irving

  11. love it!


  12. I <3 you hair :)

    I follow you :) Come on
    http://fashionismyway.blogspot.com/ and follow me u too if u like my blog :)

  13. hallo! i love your style! your pictures ae amazing!
    would you like to follow each other?

  14. Thank you for all of your comments! It's great to hear other perspectives, and I can honestly relate to each and everyone of them in regards to relationships/how we interact with one another! Eye opening for sure! Thanks for talking to me!


  15. 1. Technology and social media negatively impact on how my generation communicates.

    I have to agree that technology has a major major impact on our generations communication. At times it's makes it difficult to communicate while other times it's makes it easier obviously. I feel more so difficult however. As a 24 year old brotha I've found technology to become quite a communication barrier at times more than it needs to be. I've become so accustomed to my daily use of technology that I forget at times how to be humanly communicative. I don' t know how many times I've met a women and instead of taking the role of the high school me, where I would actually call a girl when I got her number to hear the beauty in her voice, I now tend to send text after text after text. Since being single for the last 2 years of my life I've realized how technology plays a somewhat negative role in my life therefore I've told myself I want to change this about myself, and go back to the days of more humanly communication. With the last two women I've met and dated I've tried to be more humanly communicative and actually talk to them via phone calls instead of text but both women seemed to want to text most of the time. Hahaha... I found that to be hilarious. I really feel this communication don't communicate the way we used to and that's why relationships can be rather

    Just the other I had a lunch with a very fine Sistah. I mean a fineeeeeee sistah. At the beginning of my our lunch i found myself to be way to focused on taking a pic of my lunch to instagram it, checking in on foursquare, checking in on facebook, blah blah blah. And what was funny is my date was doing the same thing. Seeing her do it made me realize how much I tend to do it and I just laughed. It was ridiculous. Technology has really become such a part of our every day lives that we don't even realize at times how much attention we give it, instead of a person who could be sitting right in front of us. Later into the lunch we both pushed our phones away eventually and engaged in conversation...

    2. Why don't men want to date?

    I like this question. Makes me laugh. Definitely a good question. Why do we brothas don't want to date? Definitely can't speak on all brothas but I can for one say 2 things. 1.) I do want to date 2.) I don't want to date. It all depends on the women. As messed up as that may sound, for me that is the reality of the situation. It all depends on the women. I am a firm believer that all women should be treated equally. It shouldn't matter if you meet a women in the club, at a family gathering, at work, blah blah blah. Overall all women should be judged equally. The reality for me is that at times that's just not the situation. Where i meet a women can most of the times have an effect on whether or not I want to actually "date" her or just want to get the booty. A sad reality but definitely the truth...

    Now to answer your question "why don't men want to date

    3. Does traditional dating exist in my generation?

    As brotha I feel traditional dating does still exist in our generation. I feel it all depends on the woman. I say this because as a brotha in this generation I've met some woman whom I want to take on a date and when I do i enjoy it, at the same time there are some women I met where the thought of taking doesn't even cross my mind. All I can think about is getting some booty. Hahaha. Harsh but it's the truth. So that is why I say it depends on the woman. I feel it depends on how the woman carries herself. It's about the vibe the woman gives off. So sad but true.

  16. quite educative, and entertaining at the same time. Good post!


  17. omg! i love this outfit. nice hair too. you can visit my blog too and if you like, we can follow up.


Thanks for visiting and commenting! Have any more questions, feel free to e-mail me! Add the link to your blog, and follow mine if you like it! -Kris

twitter: @thekrisbliss

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