Long Distance Relationships

Happy Friday!!! It’s the final day in Relationship Week!  I was all set to write about “Fags and Their Hags”, but I just didn’t feel inspired to do that today.  Maybe I’ll save that topic for a future post.  In any event, I decided to write about long distance relationships.  I do know of two couples who have long distance relationship stories. 

First, let’s start with my friend, Marcus.  Marcus’ long distance relationship, or LDR, lasted a year.  Marcus feels that the biggest problem with this relationship was miscommunication.  Not everyone in the relationship shared his or her feelings about what was going in their personal lives, whether it was work, family, or socially related.  Conversation was not always open and honest.  Marcus and his girlfriend lived four hours away from each other and saw each other twice a month.   While they got along fine on the phone, there were some issues when they were face-to-face.  As they only had opportunities to interact 2-3 days at a time, if they had an issue that came up, it seemed really major because of how infrequently they were able to interact in person.  Marcus believes that with a long distance relationship you need trust and the finances to travel often.

Erin and I became friends during our sophomore year in college, and I was so happy when she married her long distance boyfriend, Jemiel, last fall.  They began dating in the Fall of 2004 and dated for 4 years before coming engaged.  While they have a happy ending, things weren’t always easy.  The couple didn’t share the same reality, as Erin lived in California and Jemiel lived in Connecticut, and the social activities on each coast were vastly different.  In order to make their relationship work, Erin and Jemiel inserted communication, transparency, and monthly visits into their relationship.   It also helped that the couple had a strong foundation, as they were friends were four years before they started dating.  Now, they are happy living together as husband and wife.

Just like all  relationships, long distance relationships can be tough.  Both parties have to trust each other, commit to have effective communication, and make efforts to see each other on a regular basis, which can be costly.  Do you think you could be in an LDR?  Have you been in one before; if so, what was the end result?  Please share your stories.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Why Are Educated Black Men Single?

Educated, single brother, that wants to get married, where art thou?

He’s intelligent, attractive, a Christian, has a job (with benefits), is well-travelled, well-rounded, has a killer smile, and knows how to treat a woman.  But he’s single.  Some would think something’s wrong with him, while others would think he just hasn’t met that special lady.  At one point in time, I had my own theory, which I will share you, but after talking with a really good friend of mine I was able to see just how off the mark I was.

While most may speculate and have numerous reasons why Black men are single, I think it boils down to one main thing-he’s trying to build some wealth, live comfortably, and prepare himself to ready for a family.  That’s at least what I told one of my best guy friends; we’ll call him TyAnthony.  He quickly told me I was mistaken.  He told me the reason most guys are single is because they are too busy seeing how many women they can meet and date.  They’re not concerned with settling down; in fact, it’s the farthest thing from their minds.  I have to admit that I was shocked to find out that TyAnthony, 2 of his close friends, and another friend of mine, that I just happened to run into at Happy Hour last night are all ready to meet that special lady and be committed to her…and only her.  These men are in their late 20’s and have at least a bachelors degree.  None of them have any children and at least one is a homeowner.  After living in DC for a little over a year, I do wonder how many men in the District fall into the category that they ARE looking for that special lady but have been unable to find her.  I keep running into men that are out to play games and expect you to wait around for them. 

So ladies and gents, it’s time for you to sound off.  Men, why are you single (if you are single)?  If it’s so you can do what you want without having to “answer” to a woman I want you to say that.  Ladies, what do you think?  What have your experiences been like?  I really want to hear what you all have to say, no holds barred, maybe a little censorship, completely honest.  Oh, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this post was inspired by the article “Are Educated Brothers Opting out of Relationships” on Clutch Magazine last week.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Mothers and Daughters

Happy Black Girl Day!!!!  Yes, it is the second Wednesday of the month, and in recognition of Happy Black Girl Day, today’s post will be dedicated to Mothers and Daughters.  (And to my non-Black girls, don’t worry, this post is for you, too!) 

As an only child who was raised primarily by my mother (my parents divorced when I was 4), I have a close relationship with my mom.  Going back and reading my high school diaries, I’m shocked to see some of the things I wrote.  Apparently there were times when I couldn’t stand my mother.  I pretty much was able to do what I wanted to, but those times when my mom said no, I went in on her and went in hard…just on paper of course!  But now when I look at our relationship, I’m so happy to have her in my life.  We speak at least once a day and talk about everything.  She still educates me and there are times when I teach her a thing or two.  A soror and classmate of mine, Makya, is doubly blessed.  She has a great relationship with her mother and has two daughters of her own.  Makya, her mother, and her younger sister have 3-way conference calls each morning.  They discuss everything from work to social to relationship issues.   Like me, Makya thought her mom was out to get her when she was a teenager, but now she is one of her best friends.  Now that she has two daughters Makya hopes to have the same close relationship with them that she has with her mom when they get older.  Even as infants, the girls, along with their older brother, have been taught to bring comfort and take care of each other.

To all of the daughters and mothers of the world, how do you show support to each other?  How is your relationship with your mom or daughter?  For the new mothers of daughters, what things do you hope to teach your little girl?  Share your stories of your mom, mom figure, or daughter who made an impact on your life.  And if you’re in the DC area, the Happy Black Girl Day Happy Hour will be tonight at Lounge of Three, located at 1013 U St. NW, from 5-9 pm, so come out, enjoy the Happy Hour specials, and say hi to Elle! 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.

Open Relationships

Two people meet, date, decide they have a lot of things in common, and decide to commit to one another.  That seems to be many people’s goal when it comes to relationships, but what if one person isn’t enough?  Does your significant other feel comfortable having an open relationship? 

According to Wikipedia, an open relationship is when people who are in a committed relationship are able to have an emotional or physical relationship with other partners.   I spoke with two of my friends yesterday regarding open relationships.  One friend, Vince, a graduate student, asked why we were questioning the whole open relationship “thing” anyway, as if it were taboo.  Vince mentioned that in some African societies, it is normal for one man to have many partners or wives.   He also brought up the fact that open relationships seem to work with celebrities in the sense they may be away from home a lot and may seek companionship on the road.  These type of relationships may not work with “regular” people who do not lead the same lives as celebrities and may not have the same resources.  Another friend, WaltBrown, a writer, supports open relationships.  He believes that during the “getting to know you” stages, two people should work on being friends first and possibly date and be intimate with other people.  Once two develop a strong friendship, then you can work on being a couple.   If the two do decide to have an open relationship, rules should be placed that make both parties comfortable.  The main thing that WaltBrown said that I agree with in regards to any relationship is that “Sex should be the icing on the cake, not the glue that holds a relationship together.”

As I told Vince last night, I am a very traditional girl (which he questioned :)), so I’m not sure I could have an open relationship.  I will admit both men did bring up points that were valid and that I never thought of before.  What are your thoughts on open relationships?  Do you think you could be in one?  Or maybe you have been in one.  What was your experience like?  Would you do it again?  I’m waiting to hear from you guys! Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Do You Have an Office Mate?

Honey, meet my work spouse.

No matter where we work or who we befriend, there is always someone of the opposite sex that we gravitate towards.  We hang out with them, we have lunch with them, and we even share personal issues that we normally wouldn’t tell others with which we work.  We travel to their cubicle when we have office gossip, go to them when we want to vent knowing we can trust them, and share our smoke breaks.  But we never knew what to call this person; normally it would just be “friend”, but for others, it’s a much deeper relationship.  They are our “office mate” or “work spouse” (And the real mate has NOTHING to worry about; both parties realize this is just work).  If you weren’t sure what to call this person, now you have a name!

With a previous job, I could say I probably had an office mate.  My office mate, we’ll call him Calvin.  Calvin was my trainer when I first started, so it was probably natural that we gravitated towards each other.  Of course nothing inappropriate went on, but I believe because we worked so closely when I first started it was easy for us to share personal things about our lives.  Even though I ended up leaving that team, we remained friends.  I know of another “office couple” who go to lunch together and the “wife” even brings leftovers to the “husband”.  Another couple keeps each other in the loop of their personal lives, hang out some time after hours, and go to lunch a time or two each week.

I truly believe that your job, no mattter how much you love it, is much more enjoyable if you work with great people.   If you have the worst job ever your co-workers can make you forget how much you wish you were doing something else and your days go by faster.  Do you have an office mate?  If so, what things do you share?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.