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  :-)

-Kris


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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April 19, 2012

City Love: Photo Diary: Philadelphia


I assisted my mother on a photography gig this past weekend in Philly, and while we were there, we decided to capture one of our favorite murals in the city.  Philly is known for their murals all around the city, which originally started as an anti-graffiti tactic, through the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (1984).  These folks reached out to the graffiti writers in an attempt to redirect their artistic energies into a positive light!  Now there are over 3,000 murals in the city, all expressing history through art! For more information, and to view some of these murals, click HERE

    My mother was born and raised in Philly, and I was born there as well.  My Pop Pop still lives in Philly, so anytime we are there, we always stop by!  I had to hit up the water ice stand around the corner from his house to get my usual mango water ice + a soft pretzel with mustard.  A very Philly thing to do (Rita's doesn't even compare to this)!

Before leaving the city, we decided to stop by the Sakura Sunday Festival at the Cherry Blossom Park.  Here are some photos I took :)


The other day I met up with the bestie Lei and we chilled at the park.  Girl talk, sun bathing, nail painting, and laughs.  We eventually got hungry and went out for sushi, as usual (we're addicts lol).  I've had such a  great week, and it's fun showing off my city to you guys!  I hope you enjoyed the pics!

I'm also looking forward to the weekend, you have a great one!



-Kris
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April 11, 2012

Ch-Ch-Changes.

Hey guys!  It's been a minute, how is everyone?
F21 blouse, ASOS pants, Nine West slingback wedges
I am so ready for Spring and Spring colors!  I love the color fuchsia!

My life is changing.  Various aspects of my life have all changed within the past month or so.  Some good and some... Different.  On one side, I am actually moving forward!  Things that were holding me back are no longer, and I am very excited to start living my life without those burdens!  Other changes are things I have no control over that I knew would eventually happen.  Adapting to these changes is the true test God is giving me, and I am up for the challenge!  I can honestly say that I have come to terms with all of these changes, and all I can do is keep living my life!  I do believe everything happens for a reason, and I need to remember that God's plan, versus our own personal plans, don't always align.  I know He has big plans for me, so I am no longer stressing anything!  Things will happen when they are supposed to happen!

What about you guys?  Do you ever feel like you try so hard to achieve something, but it doesn't seem to happen the way you want it to?  I feel like we all just have to keep open minds, and continue to strive for these goals, and everything will eventually fall into place!


On another note, here's my new YouTube hair style tutorial, check it out if you're interested!


Best,


-Kris


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