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Archive for April, 2009

Dealing with a crankypants partner

During the past few months, Roland has been working extra long hours at the office; his company is down a crucial staff member, and he’s had to pick up the slack. The stress began to take its toll: not only did we rarely see eachother other than late at night, but we mostly just talked about his work (which can definitely grow old, as can any conversation that happens too often) and his patience for everything else (including me) seemed to grow thin.

I won’t pretend anything about that period was easy; he pulled away while I wondered what was up. I tried to be supportive, but it seemed at times my presence was stressful as he needed more time alone. I finally pulled back myself, letting him do his thing while I did mine, and that’s when we started communicating more easily.

The experience was definitely a lesson in how two people handle stress and conflict. He’s more like a cat who hides away when sick, whereas I seek stress relief with a friend or partner. I admit, those two …

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Age and relationships: when being single becomes a bad sign

My good girlfriend is beautiful, smart, successful and single at 38 years old. No kids, never been married, and hasn’t had a long-term relationship in a couple of years. Her pet peeve? Meeting a new guy and one of his first questions being: So why are you single?

In another instance, it seems rather common that when a man is in his late 30s or 40s and never married, people (or maybe just folks like my mom) wonder what’s wrong with him. He must have commitment issues, they say, or that he is otherwise unsuitable.

It seems to me, especially in urban settings, that it’s increasingly common for folks to wait longer to get married or find themselves single at older ages, but do you think society as a whole has accepted that without judgement? 

When you get to a certain age or meet others of said age, do you prefer if that person has never been married, or is divorced? At what age, if any, is it a red flag if a person has never been married?

Continue reading Age and relationships: when being single becomes a bad sign »

“All’s fair when love is war?”

Set for release later this month, Beyonce’s new film, “Obsessed,” is something we all can relate to.

OK, maybe not. Basically, a successful businessman (Idris Elba) has a great life with his wife (Beyonce) and kid until a temp worker at his office becomes obsessed with him. From what it seems in the trailers, the battle comes down to Ali Larter’s character, Lisa, and Beyonce as wife Sharon. 

Angie brought this topic to my attention: how far would you go to protect your partner and/or the life you’ve built? There’s a difference, of course, between battling a woman your man has flirted with and defending oneself against a woman who doggedly pursues your partner despite their lack of interest. Would you get involved and confront an out-of-line person, or ignore them and hope they will go away?

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The lily pad theory

I have a theory about relationships: when contemplating break-ups, most people naturally consider their other options before ending something completely. In other words, they look for their next lily pad.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, nor can we necessarily control thinking about it. In fact, it might even be helpful to remind oneself there are other viable fish in the sea.

In my view, it becomes a problem if we stay in an unhealthy or unsuccessful relationship just because no other love prospect is in sight. The decision to end a relationship shouldn’t be about leaving for something better or worse; it comes down to whether you think said relationship has the stuff of forever. But how many people do you know will stay in a crappy or “OK” relationship because they have no better offers?

Have you ever found yourself looking for a lily pad when deciding to end a relationship? Are you more comfortable leaving someone behind if there’s someone else in the present? Are you …

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How to avoid a hell date

Atlanta is a wonderful place to roam, especially in the spring. Once you get past that annoying yellow pollen dust, this is the season to mix and mingle. The nightlife offers a nice variety of whatever you are into – from upscale lounges to cool, laid back clubs; from wine bars, to chocolate bars. So many places, events and activities to meet and take dates.

With that in mind, what are places or activities you should avoid on the first few dates? I ask because I have heard complaints from men and women about why their date activity/destination was the death knell to any chemistry that was building.

Guys, have you ever gone a date with a lady and she didn’t care for your planned activities for the evening? What did you do? How did she react? Do you think that ladies would lose interest in a guy solely because your date destination didn’t impress her?

Ladies, can the location or activity of a date actually hinder your attraction or connection? Do you have a few tips of how men …

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Let down your guard

I was hanging out with my friend Harold recently. He just got out of a relationship with a young lady. I suppose it’s break up season, people are gearing up for spring flings and summer trysts. But, Harold insists that the only reason he ended things was because he grew tired of jumping through hoops.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that the woman he was seeing was extremely cynical about men. In the beginning, he attributed it to her being cautious and guarded. He soon discovered that she had a serious problem with trust. He asked me, what can a man do to show a woman that he is a good man?

Harold and I had a long discussion about dating the “bag ladies”. He has had the same issue before and I told him to pay closer attention to what a woman says. I think that some women carry baggage that hasn’t been dealt with properly (men too).

What advice would you offer someone like Harold?

Ladies, have you ever dated a guy who was guarded and suspicious about women? Did you run …

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I wish you knew how to quit me

I think I’ve been dumped. Yeah, it’s not right, but it’s ok. The only frustrating thing about the whole thing?  This man is pretending he has not dumped me. I mean, things took an obvious turn when he actually said that he did not want a serious relationship (with me?), and I said that I understood. I was bummed about it but I certainly respected the fact that he was honest enough to tell me.

So, imagine my surprise when his phone calls, text messages, and requests to spend time with me…continued. I expected us to be friendly, but I figured it would be, you know, friendly from a distance! At least long enough for me to get over the little love jones I had have.

I never thought I’d say it, but that whole disappearing act is starting to appeal to me. At least I would have less confusion! I am just wondering why he doesn’t give me space. (Why haven’t I asked for it?)  It’s actually frustrating because I do enjoy his company. I just wish he knew how to quit me!

Guys, is it …

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Tough Love

Confession: I managed to get hooked on one of VH1’s reality shows! The show, Tough Love, features a male giving tough love and dating advice to women. I asked one of the cast members, Abiola, to answer a few questions. Check it out!

Goddess Abiola aka Miss Picky

Goddess Abiola aka Miss Picky

On the show, Tough Love, your coach Steve seems to give it straight, no chaser! Were you expecting it to be as brutal as it was?

First of all, Wise Diva, I love the name of your blog. Misadventures in Dating is the perfect title for my love life up to now! I thought that as a woman who writes about love, dating, sex and empowerment, Tough Love would be a fabulous social experiment and it ended up being so much more. VH1’s Tough Love was definitely tough love! The show is a love boot camp.

The central question of Tough Love was “These women are smart, attractive, successful, so why are they single?” The response of the show has been huge. Ratings have been through the roof because so many women are trying to …

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Warning: Men want loyalty

In all the hoopla and media attention of Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man, few people have mentioned the fact that he had a little help. Denene Millner, (who I believe lives in Metro Atlanta) worked closed with Harvey.

I mention this fact because I think it is a great example of when men and women work together to make something successful. This is what seems to get glazed over in a lot relationship books. Men and women have their own ways of love, but when we work together, great things can happen.

In the book, Mr. Harvey summed up what men want into three things: support, loyalty, and “The Cookie.” This is all well and good because I don’t know ANY woman that would turn that down.

I find it interesting though, that in the chapter speaking about how men want loyalty, Harvey (and Millner) talk about infidelity: “You got about a good month at best without it (sex) and he’s going to get it from somewhere else”. Wow, so loyalty only applies to fidelity …

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Is your partner a flirt?

None of us are surprised by married men (or women, I imagine) who can be, how do you say, overly complimentary. I’m sure not all mean to hand out flatteries to the point of being inappropriate, but yet, it happens.

I recently met what seemed a very happy couple who have been married nearly two decades. They were very affectionate with eachother, but I felt the husband was a little too forward with me, especially while standing in front of his wife. Just little things, like saying I have a glow, great smile, have lovely skin, etc. I wondered if his wife was used to him complimenting other women or if she was as uncomfortable as I grew to be.

Of course, it could have been nothing, but I felt bad even wondering if the wife was at all bothered.

Have you ever been with a partner you felt was overly flirty with other men or women? Are you sure that was the case, or was it insecurity on your part? Did you feel you couldn’t say anything for fear it would seem like your “problem” …

Continue reading Is your partner a flirt? »