#Lessonlearned: Improving dating In the 21st Century

I know….I know! You’re thinking “Girl aren’t you married” and “This has nothing to do with improving any type of relationships”. But, let’s think about the purpose of dating apps, they are supposed to deliver potential partners to singles in their area What you really get is a modge podge of foolishness. If dating apps did what they advertise then we would have more successful relationships. Instead you get a site that allows con artists, criminals, creeps, perverts and the like to prey on those who are just looking for suitable companions. Yes….why yes, I have had my fair share of foolishness on dating app (check out the post When did the Roles Reverse).This is my way of telling dating apps and sites that they need to do better!

Automatic background checks

This headline alone says it all: Dating App Killer . He used a popular dating site to lure unsuspecting women in, and well you can read about the rest. The issue is he had a past of violence against women. I feel that in order to cut down on issues like this there should be a link to a county’s arrests records. Sounds Big Brother-ish, but this will cut down on the amount of criminal activity that can happen when using dating apps. And it’s already avaliable for free!

Marital status check

Read these words as I type: STAY OFF DATING APPS IF YOU ARE MARRIED!!!! Aht aht!! Stop dating while married. You’re ruining it for the rest of the single folks and giving them trust issues. If you want to cheat they have an app for that, use that one. Stop it!! Dating apps can link county records to find marriage and divorce decrees. I am just now figuring this out, and it could have saved me a lot of frustration when I was in the dating game.

Employment/ entrepreneurial status

I understand employment status should not mean you can’t date. If you don’t have to work, that’s one thing. If all you have to offer is penis or vagina, then you should really just focus on yourself. There should be a way to check this. If there is a way to check someone’s living situation you can definitely check who they say they are employed with, or even if they have a valid DBA.

5 latest post on social media

In this day and age social media is a great indicator of someone’s personality. Yes, I know you are thinking people aren’t their true selves on social media, but it does give you a glimpse into the way their mind works. Seeing a person’s social media can help you see a persons interests or if they are just posers (fake woke, extreme right, sexist, etc).

Rating system after each date

I don’t know how fair this would be, nor do I care. I think you should be able to rate the person honestly after the first encounter. Of course, it would be based on certain criteria, and then there should be an overall experience rating. If you’ve watched the show Four Weddings then you know what I’m talking about. The people with the lowest ratings get kicked off the app. I don’t care some people just shouldn’t date.
You have to do a little searching on your own. Be diligent about who you date and what you’re getting yourself into.
Resource Link: Harris County Records

I’m letting it go Sis….

Hey y’all HEY!!! First I just want to toot my own horn and say YAAAASSSSS!!!! I have officially written three weeks in a row. Child when I set my mind to do something (good or bad) oh I gets it done. Secondly I want to praise God for the fact that I have less than 40 days left of this school year. For some reason this year has tested my will and my to do. From the look of my social media time line, so are the rest of my teacher friends. I don’t know if it’s the way we started the school year off (Harvey…..enough said) or it’s just the fact that it’s time for educational reform (this just might be my way into a doctoral degree……..and that’s a BIG MIGHT!!) but whatever it is I’m so ready for the end of it.

Okay let’s talk about letting the trash of life go. I’m not talking about that ex that did you horribly wrong and you feel like you just need to throw the whole dude away like he was never born (Sis I know the feeling….don’t worry I addressed that in an earlier post). No I’m talking about all the times you messed up and disappointed someone, you missed the mark that someone set for you, you slept with that person, you drank that drink, you did whatever you did knowing that it went against someone else’s idea for your life. Look I know about this all too well because I feel like I am the Queen of the let downs.

Don’t get me wrong when I do right and hit it out the park that ball goes for miles but the same goes for when I mess up……that dang ball goes on for miles (what can I say…..I don’t know how to do things on a small-scale). I’m writing all this to say I let the way I disappointed people in the past shape the steps I have taken in my present and toward my future. I have always felt and others have made me feel as though my mistakes, times I have misspoke, things I have typed, choices that I have made have disqualified me from continuing to accomplish the plan that God has for my life. As I continue to live I understand that all of those things, all of that foolishness, all the missteps are what have shaped me into the 35-year-old I am today.

SO TONIGHT I AM WRITING TO SAY: YEAH I DID ALL THAT AND MORE!!! Judge ya mama. I’m tired of letting people look at me like I’m not worthy enough to fit in the inner circle. I’m tired of people holding mistakes I’ve made ten years ago over my head and making me wear a scarlet A. I may not have turned out like you expected me to but DEAR GOD I’M HERE (thank you Alice Walker for the best quotes of my life). Your approval means nothing to me anymore. Making you proud is no longer on my list of accomplishments. Either you get behind me and support me or you can officially watch this train roll on. Your ideas of me will no longer hold me hostage.

And here I thought I looked like a burnt piece of bacon

Ghosted…..

Hey kids!! I haven’t been as active as I wanted to this year but I’m going to do a better job next year. I am excited for this year coming up. Great relationship, new career moves and I’ll be done with my book (thank God!!!)

Dating tip: Nobody is ever too busy to see you. They’ll make time for what’s important. Don’t play yourself….move around and be happy❤

We’ve all been there you’re talking to someone, getting a pretty good vibe, you go on a couple of dates, phone conversations are amazing, you are feeling like this person could help you end the crazy cycle of dating. But then it happens…. phone calls are less frequent, text messages turn into one word responses and then….out no where…*puff* that person disappears.

Now look there’s a whole bunch of reasons this could happen: they were in between choosing you and someone else, they realized you wanted more than they could give, you said something that threw the vibe off… etc. To be honest I’ve been on both sides of this and I have ghosted men for far more petty reasons than this (if you contact me before 7 am on the weekend or holiday break I can’t roll with you). Either way it’s not a great feeling and only a sociopath would be okay with ghosting (only you can prevent sociopathic tendencies)…..so consider this a guide to get over being ghosted.

1. It really isn’t you….I promise it’s them….

Now look as much as you want to try to figure out whats wrong with you and how could you have done anything different….well you can’t/couldn’t. It’s a process the “ghost” has to walk themselves through. The only thing you can ever control in this brief blip in your dating life yourself. As long as you were your authentic self there is nothing you could have done differently. So don’t think if you change who you are then it will help the next time because well it won’t. Continue to be the beautiful light that you are and you will be recognized.

2. Set your boundaries

You need to make sure you have” hard nos” to safeguard yourself. When you set boundaries it will help you avoid ghosting. Now this doesn’t mean the person will pick you to date but it will help you make sure the boundaries you set for yourself aren’t violated.

3. Moving forward……

Okay now look dating sucks especially in today’s society. Hell it seems like “let’s just see what happens” is the new title for relationships these days. It keeps one foot in and one foot out, this is what makes ghosting so easy. But you don’t have to go with the flow, move forward expecting a real grown up relationship (guess this goes with number 2). You will either end up in a real life realtionship or continue being the best single person you can be. Either way make sure you are happy and content with the life that you are going to continue to live.

4. Do not expect closure…..create it for yourself.

The ghost will never give you the closure you feel you deserve (I promise this was the best advice I received from a man). There is nothing anyone can say to help you move on, it has to be your choice. Will you move forward or will you continue to harp on something you can’t change? My advice is to forgive yourself and move on. The world is too big and filled with too many amazing people to just worry about one.

I’m not saying any of this will protect you from future ghost but it will help you to continue to be the most fabulous light that people will ever encounter. Just keep living and moving and I can guarantee you can make this the best life ever.

I didn’t want to be her again….

Hey guys….. I’ve been MIA and I apologize. I wanted to write something else but this wouldn’t leave me alone so……

I don’t want to be that girl anymore. Yeah she might be skinnier, a little more attractive, a little easier but nah I don’t want to be her. See back then she used to sweat the small stuff. She used to allow what others thought and said about her drive her crazy. So she tried to fit a mold. A mold that she wasn’t ever meant to fit. A mold that no one can ever fit.

That girl was full of anxiety and unsure about her future. She believed many lies that were told to her and that she told herself. She believed that she was unlovable. Something proven to her by people who she thought cared about her. They would provide lip service but could never back it up with action.

So instead of living she just existed. There was no drive, there was no purpose, she was just there. Until one day something inside of her screamed to be released. Someone who she had lost so long ago. She decided to let her free. Free to be whoever she wanted to be. That’s when I found me. I was finally comfortable in my own skin being who I was supposed to be. No more pretending, just living the life I really wanted to live.

Now I understand those experiences have shaped and molded me. I may not be perfect but I can tell you I’m definitely content and happy (and maybe just a little exhausted).

*I ain’t het no more!!!*

What is your WHY……

Happy April! This morning as I was sitting through another meeting about building relationships and helping students develop into functioning adults (Lord knows we need more of those because somega people out there….). During the presentation they played a clip of Buster Douglas fighting Mike Tyson that talked about his WHY. His WHY for not giving up even though he was knocked down. His WHY for continuing to deliver hits even thigh he was the underdog.  His WHY for brevet giving up!!! (I’m not going to spoil it but watch the link below)

Now me being the extra sensitive 30 something year old that I am had to leave the room to shed a few tears because it was so touching. Truthfully I think I was crying because I think I’ve lost my WHY. Through the years it’s been family, my little sister, my students, my athletes,  young black women of the world…..etc. but now I don’t know.

Actually I think my WHY has shifted. Now it seems my focus and my actions are more so pleasing myself and God. I’ve been the “good little church girl” and the “responsible first born”. Those roles were fine and have helped push me into the woman I am today but now…..now what do I do?

Most women go through this transition in life. Our WHY motivation is so focused on taking care of others around us that we forget we are our biggest motivation. When it all comes down to the get down if it’s not for us, then who is it really for. Seeing others happy and taken care of others brings us joy, but what happens when the kids grow up, the students graduate, and people die? A shift has to be made,  you have to be your biggest WHY. You have to understand without you being that why nothing else really matters.

Today I vow to make myself my WHY. I plan to set goals that will please me and God only. I feel some good things are happening soon, but not to make anyone else proud. Just focusing on myself for now 🙂

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I think this dress is going to make me happy 😊

How are you taking care of YOU??

Before we get started let’s talk a little bit about dating….well not talk, I’m going to give dating tips based on my mistakes in the past. So here goes:

Dating Tip #1: Do not assume you are a couple without discussing with the other party. Make sure you talk about this with the person you are dating. A lot of times we start doing “couple things” when the other person is still on “single things”. Be a grown up and talk about your relationship goals in the beginning so both parties know what they are getting into and you won’t end up in a “situationship”.

Okay okay,with that being said can you believe we are already in the 3rd month of the year, 1/4th of the way through 2016? How has your year been? Me personally, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten angry and I released a lot. I think what I’m trying to tell you is I have been living life in 2016. Getting rid of old baggage (hopefully not replacing it with new), holding on to things that are dear, and experiencing new and old feelings. I am accepting the things that feel right to me and rejecting the things that I know are not good for me. I am totally embracing the thought of self-care.

Okay What is this self-care?

I am making sure that I take care of myself mind, body and soul. Self care for me is taking myself into consideration before I make any decisions. It means being what’s called “selfish” and thinking about how an outcome will affect me as well as all parties involved. It has helped me say “no” more than I say yes. Self-care is me taking into consideration Janae.

How did this come about?

Well I guess we can say it started after my blood clot (yea I know old story….scary but old). It made me realize that the only person that is responsible for looking out for my health and well-being is myself….NO ONE ELSE. No one owes me anything in this world not even my family (even though I swear they love me more than I love myself some time lol). I have to make sure that Janae is stable every day, hour, minute, and second of my life. To ask someone to take responsibility for this is placing your life and future in someone else’s hands, even though you have no clue of their true intentions for your life (doesn’t sound all that appealing to an ex-control freak).

What are my ways to achieve self-care?

  1. I take time to clear my mind and focus. I know the new term is “being mindful” (yep my therapist taught me this…..say what you want but don’t judge) but I call it being true to my moment. I take time to sit and reflect. I may reflect on the day, a particular moment of the day, or just what is happening at that exact moment. This helps me to figure out what’s happening in my life and what I can control and what I can not. It helps me put all things into perspective. It helps me to calm my mind and get to a state of calmness. Like I said I’m an ex-control freak, so everything in life seemed as though it was urgent….but most of these things I had not control over. Do you know how crazy it is to try to control person (parents I know how you feel lol)?
  2. I totally watch what I put into and what I do to my body. Oh goodness before June 2015 I did not care what I did to my body as long as it made me feel good (no not drugs come on now man….). Alcohol (oh I still partake within reason), cigars (yes I used to partake), nasty greasy processed foods, omg and anything that was sweet and chocolate covered (Lil Debbie don’t owe me nothing) I was getting it in. Then I had looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the women I knew 2 years before that. Sure I maintained a look of beauty (Lots of make up and eyeliner) but inside I was not okay. My blood pressure was high, stress levels were off the chart and I could not sleep worth a damn. I was poisoning myself slowly in the name of self care….I mean self pleasure…..or maybe just a way to numb the feeling of being totally out of control. So I bought a fit bit, I get my rest and I make sure I eat great natural unprocessed food. Sounds simple and guess what….it is!! I just committed to a different life style and surrounded myself with people who want the same. So now when I get the urge to indulge I think about the way it will make me feel past the moment it has touched my tongue.
  3. I was able to rid myself of toxic relationships (whether they left me or I left them). I never like ending relationships until I feel like they are detrimental to my health and even then I will hold on as long as I can. I lost two relationships last year and didn’t realize how good I was without them. Lol my blood pressure is down, stress level is normal, and I don’t have to worry about deciphering lies and half-truths anymore or playing detective to find out the real truth.

So ladies and gentlemen to sum this up I am taking care of myself. I’m listening to my body and making sure Janae is okay. Remember there is only one you in this world and its your job to make sure all of your needs are being met no one else’s. Nobody owes you anything in this world and they dang sure don’t have the responsibility of taking care of you. Have a beautiful March and we shall talk again soon!! Love yourself 🙂

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March has been no make up month…..just another way to love the natural me 🙂

#Lessonslearned: More Than Wife Material

Hey Loves!! Well this is the month of love or lust or maybe just needing to be with someone. I get it, I get it,but just remember this is not a real holiday and you can make any month your month of love ( August for me :)). Don’t make yourself feel bad because you are single on Valentine’s day. Go out buy yourself some flowers and whatever else you want. Treat yourself to a nice dinner and love on yourself. Self love and acceptance is so much better than hoping someone accepts the wonderful person that you are. Loving yourself is so much more than being someone else’s wife material. Oh yeah and Beyonce=total slayage….let’s get in formation ladies!!!

images-1Well…I’m not wife material

Okay okay enough of that, let’s talk about this whole thing about being “wife material”. Now listen I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being married or aspiring to be married. Round of applause to you ladies, you have made a wonderful commitment to be someone’s partner to build and work together to do amazing things for the for the rest of your lives. But can I ask this, was being wife material your only aspiration? Seriously doubt it. Most of my married friends are movers and shakers in the world. They are getting things done along with holding down a household. I guess my issue is should we really only strive to be “wife material”, shouldn’t it be to strive to be the best “YOU” you can be?

 

You can keep that title……

I have been called wife material many times in my adult life but I’m not married. Should I be disappointed? Nope, I refuse to wrestle with this idea. At this time I have come to a place in life where if I get married great and if I don’t….great. Truthfully I want to be known as a great person. Needing to make an impact on people who eclipses my marital status, financial status, religion or race, is what I seek. To be the type of person when people talk about you and there’s nothing really negative they can say and the ones that do say them know deep down that it’s a lie, this is my major goal in life. I want to live a life that is so great that when I die people will know that I lived a truthful, fruitful, prosperous, eventful, never a dull moment life.

Yep I’m good on it…….

So excuse me if I don’t thank you for calling me wife material. Thank you for thinking that I will be a great companion and spouse, but I know that I am so much more. The same goes for the ladies that are married. They had identities before they said I do and that’s what their husbands fell in love with. Not their cooking and cleaning or their ability to be submissive. No they fell in love with their personality, their drive, their ability to do extraordinary things. So instead of saying that someone is wife (or husband) material how about we just tell them they are a great person and have the ability to make great partnerships.

 

Oh please believe and understand this is not me being anti-marriage. I love marriage!!! It is ordained by God so everything about being married is pleasing to the Lord. I can’t hate what is ordained. But as for me to only want that in life….oh no no no. God said the Earth and all of its fullness is mine to experience. So if that one aspect in my life isn’t fulfilled at this moment, I’m not going to miss out on the rest of what life has to offer.

Until next time Loves, have a beautiful time in life, learn to appreciate the little things and do something great :)!!!!

Hey make sure you visit my page on Facebook and like a couple of posts: https://www.facebook.com/confessionsfromaredcouch

7 Day #Self-Love Challenge

 

Self Love Challenge: Jennifer Hall http://abundantlifepractice.com/self-love-challenge/

Hey LOVES!!! I hope the start of this new year has found you in a prosperous, goal setting and fulfilling state of mind. I, myself, have been tackling old phobias and challenging old ways of thinking. It has been a journey but I feel like I’m making some headway. This month I decided to tackle the idea of self love and if I can truly say I love myself. I’ve always thought I did, I mean who doesn’t love themselves (Hell I’m freaking amazing right…) but I have been showing subtle signs of self hate (bih get it together!!) Not forgiving myself for choices I’ve made, eating horrible food and not getting any type exercise (does lifting the fork count?….no?) This could not be any way to bring in my new year right (New me…turn up lol).

I really thought I loved myself. I shop when I feel like it, I feed myself awesomely amazing food, give myself any and every legal form of indulgence that my little heart desired. Why you may ask…..well that’s self love right? Nope,unfortunately not, I was covering the sadness and disappointment I felt everyday and this cycle needed to change before I ate myself back into the predicament I was in last spring (sever booty-do).  I decided to take a 7 day Self-Love Challenge (link above) that I randomly found on Facebook while mindlessly scrolling through friends engagement and baby announcements and pictures (yes please make me feel worse about being single at the beginning of the year).

The 7 day self love challenge by Jennifer Hall offered a way to reprogram myself into loving me for who I am. Each day I was welcomed by an email that included an exercise, a positive affirmation and a great quote to help me overcome the day’s challenges. Self love isn’t about indulging one’s self but more so accepting you for you. Every choice, every consequence, every intricate detail of your very make up is who you are and nothing can change that. I learned my triggers (what will send me into a cycle of self loathing), what makes me happy, how to maintain a balance of self care (mind, body and soul) that will help me to love myself totally and not just for my positive attributes. I think we (mostly women) get stuck in a pattern of pleasing others so much that we begin to loathe those things that makes us “US”. So instead of embracing those things that make us different from the masses, we try to hide it (especially around certain people) in order to be accepted, because acceptance to us equals love and appreciation. I won’t go into great detail because I feel that it’s something you should experience for yourself.  If you find that self love is something you need to delve into a little deeper you should try Jennifer Hall’s Self Love class or her retreat.

Until February lovelies……..have a great rest of your month. I promise life is what you make it. If you are having a rough time make it a point to turn things around. Start changing little things first and the big things will follow.

 

 

 

*I was not paid to talk about this challenge lol truthfully I don’t even know if she will read this. I do know that it helped me and I feel that everyone should always get the help they need 🙂

 

 

 

From Grown Girl to Woman….Get Your Power Back!!!!

Happy New Year loves!!! It’s been a while and it was on purpose. I really had nothing to write about. Not because I wasn’t doing anything on the contrary I have been living life. Since my last post I have increased my countries visited in one year to five (Bahamas, Canada, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico), I started dating which has become so much fun and I have met some really nice people, and I have been figuring out this thing called life (dearly beloved we gather here today to get through this thing called life <3 some Prince). I have decided to slow things down for a little bit, just so I can enjoy the process and not sprint through it.

Now I know my sugas didn’t click on this link to hear about my adventures (or maybe you did and I’ll tell you about all of it next time), so let’s get down with the get down.

I recently read an article on femde.com that changed my entire outlook about my life when it comes to how I handle certain situations. It was an interview done with the lovely Ms. Jill Scott (swoon….) who always has wisdom for the people. My favorite quote was “I’m holding myself to another level of accountability, I used to blame whoever for hurting my feelings. ‘They were wrong, they did that to me.’ Hey! You chose that person. You accepted it. You went for it. You bit into the apple.You bought the wooden nickel.”

Not only did this make me stare into space from sheer shock, it made me reevaluate relationships in my life. The good, the bad and the down right ugly. I made all those choices. I allowed those relationships to form knowing what the consequences might have been. I have to take responsibility for EVERYTHING that has happened in my life (whew…..I may not be as smart as I thought). My pastor always says “Your mate is a product of your intelligence”…..well sir I may be single but my exes (that goes for ex-friends too) have shown I made some pretty dumb a** decisions. But I’m not here to tell you how I bashed myself, but in reality I transferred from a grown girl to a WOMAN and I took my power back.

The writer (Samantha Thornhill) did this amazing exercise where she wrote about a particular hurtful relationship. She saw outward and inward, how that person hurt her and how she allowed it all to happen. She totally did an introspective on how she participated in the madness!! So here it goes…I’m going to put it out there for everyone to see and not be ashamed of the truth that will be revealed.

I felt disappointed when you didn’t keep your word. You asked….no no BEGGED me to give you chance. You said you were different than everyone else and you’d always have my back. Yet you didn’t. I felt humiliated that you cheated on me with another co-worker. I could see if it were someone else that had no connection….but someone we worked with? We taught and mentored the same kids. We shared intimate space and conversations….you couldn’t…well you couldn’t have picked anyone else?I felt disbelief when you made it seem like it was totally my fault. Like with everything that was happening it was my fault and you were disgusted by the very sight of me. I felt disrespected by your utter disregard for anything we ever developed together. You were just going to stop talking to me all together like it would make me disappear as if I never existed.

I hold myself accountable for not being more forward about my expectations of the relationship. Just “seeing where it goes” was not meaningful enough for me and I didn’t communicate that. I hold myself accountable for not asking more questions about what you really wanted in the relationship and why that woman was ringing your doorbell at 230 in the morning. I hold myself accountable for trusting this person with holding me down. It felt awesome to have someone new in my world that could see how great I truly was (or so I thought) and to say that they had my back…man. I hold myself accountable for not protecting myself by not listening to the holy spirit (for those who don’t know…my gut). I went totally against every warning sign in my body and trusted superficial acts and words. Truth is I knew it shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did….hell it never should have even started. I broke down all my walls and reservations, against all my knowledge and wisdom, and made a decision based on loneliness.

………And there it is. The truth and nothing but the truth. I think the thing that has made this less painful is the fact that I can do this with any relationship and stop the blame game. In order to be a WOMAN I have to accept the responsibility of my choices. It hurts and I feel a bit of shame, but I do understand this is necessary to grow and evolve. Without evolution there can be no adaptation and without adaptation there is no survival. Life is about growing and surviving……and I have to grow into a woman and take my power back 🙂

The article mentioned can be found here: Are you a WOMAN or grown girl? written by Samantha Thornhill

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The View from the Red Couch 🙂 FLOORS <3

When Did the Roles Switch

Beautiful world……I’m coming off the roller-coaster ride of my last post to bring you this lol what happened to real dating? What happened to people being cordial to one another without some under lying motive.

Case in point I had the great opportunity to have a brief text conversation with a gentleman (using this term very loosely). For some reason a he was under the strange impression that I should have asked him out on a date. Now I’m all for women’s rights (I dare not say I’m the “F” but …I am), but if someone expresses that they have an interest in you shouldn’t they be the one to set up the date? Please by all means answer…..I’ll wait…… (okay getting bored and tired of waiting)….well my answer is yes. In my world if you like me you will pursue, and yes it’s because I’m a treasure and you need to know my worth. Truthfully on a first date I’m looking to see if the man will step up and take control and I will by all means pay my share.

Well this fine gentleman thought that since I am an independent, successfully employed, childless single woman it was my job to take care of him. He even offered to have me drop all contact with other men because of his interest but not take me out on a date. Doesn’t this sound foolish? At what point did it become the woman’s job to take charge in a relationship? Not even that, when did the roles reverse? While you’re thinking of the answer I’ll just leave you with his response when I told him I didn’t think I was the woman for him. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but….this time I don’t think so……….

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Was feeling this mask 🙂