Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Precautionary Dating Tale #1: Don’t Date Him Girl

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Oh, how I wish I could post his picture…

Gray suit jacket, deep purple shirt, bright tie. He wore dark shades, and his massive square jaw was proportionately propped on his massive fist. Yes, in the picture the brother posed with the chin shelf. Who does that anymore?

Alas I cannot post this picture for obvious reasons, and for one other very funny reason. I’ll share that in a bit.

So this fella and I dated for a bit in 2010. I’d met him several months before, but he always snarled and gritted his teeth at me. He never, ever smiled. Ever. Didn’t matter to me… I wasn’t interested anyway. I was just trying to be kind.

Then one Sunday he started paying me more attention. And after a while he gave me a business card. I tucked it away knowing he didn’t really do for a living what the card said. VistaPrint makes everyone a professional for a small shipping and handling fee.

But in no way was I interested. But in every way, I was lonely. And someone I hold dear suggested that I go out with him, just for a dinner. So we went on our first date…

When I say I could not cast my gaze upon this brother, I mean I couldn’t look at him without being angry with myself for even being there. Not only was I NOT attracted to his exterior, but his interior was a poor match to my own. Yet, we continued to talk and text, and eventually I got a little attached.

I didn’t love him or anything, but I did like him. So when things started going sour, I was ticked. In short, the brother was bitter about a divorce that took place many years ago. And he was mad at his pastor. And his brother. And his mother. I couldn’t understand how he could be angry with so many people, including me, especially when I’d only been around for 2 months.

And as quickly as it began, it ended. And. I. Was. Hot.

For real, dude?? Are you kidding me?
I’m ten times better looking than you & a hundred times smarter, and you stand ME up?
No, sir. I don’t even want to know why. That’s quite alright. We’re done here.
Now you can be mad at me for a legitimate reason.

I didn’t really say any of that. What I said was probably many times worse because it was an unemotional “Don’t call me anymore”. For some reason, this guy thought I was hooked on him. He thought he could do or say anything to me and I’d be ok with it. And this was without the exchange of cookies, meaning no sex was involved.

Unattractive, unintelligent, and arrogant… What was I thinking?

What I know now that I didn’t know in 2010 was to never force or feign interest for the sake of loneliness or to please someone else. Keeping an open mind is one thing, but going against your gut is another. When you can’t even cast your gaze in his or her direction… gon’ head on somewhere else, honey! Some woman somewhere will think he’s a dime.

Alana’s log. Star-date April 4, 2012…

Driving in my car, I picked up my giant foam cup filled with a sweetened strongly caffeinated beverage. And on my lap drops a photo with heat-curled edges. A giant of a man with a strong, serious gaze and nary a hint of cosmopolitan charm glared back at me through his purple-y tinted shades. What the heck was I thinking?

When I say I hollered, I mean I laughed and screamed at the top of my lungs! What I didn’t tell you was that months after we parted ways I was still praying that God would bring us back together. It was rough, and God, in His infinite wisdom and kindness graciously ignored my request.

I choked a little on my drink that day. Once I caught my breath, I picked up the photo, ripped it in half, then in thirds, and tossed those six squares out  of the window onto the grassy shoulder along South Laburnum.

I thanked God and laughed. The Father is hilarious!

You remember when you wanted him? Yeah, you were crying and snotting then…
You still want him? He’s been sending you all those texts lately.
Go ahead and reply. I’ll send him back to you. No???
Oh ok. I didn’t think so.
I didn’t make him for you anyway. 

 

And again– God, I thank you.

Dating precaution #1: Beware, ladies and gents, of dating those that are not appealing to us lest we fall into a place of grief and desperation over someone who was never made for us in the first place.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,

 

Alana

 

 

Photo credit: Source unknown. 

Being Saved, Being Single, Uncategorized

Thirsting

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She was a Samaritan.

She was promiscuous.

She was churchy.

 

This poor woman has been lambasted in pulpits everywhere. She is considered to be nothing more than a loose and undignified woman, yet we overlook the most vital elements of the story.

 

She was thirsty.

 

And all of us are thirsty for something.

 

It’s a fact that humans can live for weeks without food, but only three to five days without water. How much more will spiritual thirst drive us to seek relief from these so-called “tall drinks of water”?

 

I won’t go as far to say that I admire the Samaritan woman, but I do understand her. Five times married. Sixth man shacking up… She hoped in love, couldn’t find it, yet kept on trying.

 

I’ve been there. Well, only married once… But countless times I’ve sought for love.

 

Back at the well, a place where only single and unattached women were to be found, she met Jesus. Think back to when Abraham’s servant sought a wife for Isaac… where did he go? To the well, and there he found Rebekah. Where did Jacob first see Rachel? Again, at the well. Where do you go when you want some attention at work? To the proverbial water cooler…

 

So why would a woman who lived with a man be at the well if she was already “involved”?

 

For the same reason many of us run to the club. Or wear revealing clothing.  Or take new photos for Facebook and Instagram everyday. Or lay ourselves down in hopes that he or she will love us. Or tell someone we love them knowing we do not.

 

Many of us are unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and disappointed. We’re thirsty.

 

We have a deep desire to be loved and deeply cherished, not just “chose”. (Chose is twitter terminology for being good enough to be picked by someone to be in a relationship yet the term does not communicate anything about the quality of the relationship. It simply means you’ve got somebody which, to me, means very little.)

 

And here comes Jesus, with his smooth line…

 

“If you knew who is speaking to you right now, you’d ask me to give you water. And if you ask me, I’ll give it you and you’ll never thirst again.”

 

In hood vernacular, “You ain’t never met nobody like Me.”

 

Every time I read that line I smirk. Say what you want about my Lord, but He knows how to talk to a woman.  You can’t tell me that sister from Samaria didn’t melt. No wonder she had to come up with all that crap about where and how to worship. She was nervous!

 

But back to the story. Place yourself at that well for just a moment. Look deep down and consider whether the thing you’re desiring is at the bottom. You already know what’s there. You’ve been drinking from it for how long?

 

Now look at the bucket. Can such a small vessel possibly hold the fullness of what you desire? Certainly not!

 

Now turn your eyes to Jesus… He is the seventh man in the story. He is offering exactly what you need. He will fill YOU so that you need not come back to the well for something that temporarily satisfies! He will fill complete you, perfect you, and mature you so that you can help someone else.

 

I must leave the well. Single and unattached, I may be but there’s nothing at the well for me.

 

Your well may not be the same as mine. But consider… the lilies… and your secret longings. God is faithful to give you those desires, but not until we have turned to Him and allowed ourselves to be filled by His love and grace.

 

With sincerity, love, and hope for the future,

 

Alana

 

Scripture references: John 4, Genesis 24, Genesis 29

Photo by Kashif Mardani from Flickr

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, The Best Of CTheLily, Uncategorized

Dying, He Saved Me

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I don’t think it’s strange that the anniversary of my first blog post is on Good Friday, the day they crucified Your son. I was so discouraged this time last year and needed an outlet. For some reason Good Friday has always been full of sorrow and grief in my personal life. But, Lord, to write this… to tell THIS story almost seems You’re asking too much.

 

I don’t understand it, but I will obey. Because when I consider where I was two years ago today and four years ago today, I can’t help but thank You for keeping me.

 

Four years ago April 6, I made the choice to end my marriage. I knew things weren’t right. I wasn’t even emotional about it because I’d done so much crying before. Divorce was the only option because I didn’t want hate him. Even now, I know I made the right choice, but the journey from that place to where I am now has been…

 

Indescribable… but I will obey.

 

Two years ago, another promised that he loved me. I didn’t believe him. He was one of those guys that just played games. He wanted to do right, but his arrogance and jacked up experiences with women wouldn’t let him. Yet he pressed and pushed his way into my soul. And because I was lonely, I let him.

 

I remember going to church and hoping that the pastor would preach something profound and powerful enough to keep me from dating this guy again. We’d been at it before. I didn’t want to go back down that path, but I was still entangled. And that damned loneliness…

 

His tall and statuesque frame intrigued me. Straight lust… might as well call it what it is. His face… ehhh. Not particularly my type of guy, but all the other ladies loved him. So surely I should be glad he wanted me. By the world’s standards he was a good man, but something just wasn’t right for me.

 

Lord, I didn’t know my worth. I couldn’t comprehend that Your love for me exceeded what he could ever offer. He made me feel good. I can understand how David felt with Bathsheba. I think all of us have chosen someone or something over You at some point. The fact that I had grown so much, yet I still turned my back on You frightens me. I could mess up again… but I trust Your grace to cover me.

 

That night… he didn’t call. We’d made plans. He asked me to move with him. I’d said no, but he insisted that I must love him. He insisted that he loved me. I could’ve made it work with him. I certainly wouldn’t have had any concern for money. Do you remember my prayer that morning? I asked if he were the one for me. And if not, then show me.

 

You told me to get dressed. And I did. I got in the car and drove. You led me to drive and…

 

There it was.

 

His bright blue, tricked-out Chevy Malibu. At a hotel. I couldn’t have missed it if I tried.

 

I had a choice. To take the Jasmine Sullivan route, or to be patient and wait for answers. Either way it would be crazy. But I knew I had to stay. Because this would be the LAST time he’d force his way into my life. He needed to see that I was done. I prayed that whatever woman he was with had already left because I couldn’t handle a two against one battle. I was already weak.

 

So I called… cleverly left a message that I was headed to the gym which was conveniently located right next to the hotel where he’d lodged. And like roaches scatter in the light, he came scurrying out.

 

He saw my frustration. Saw my pain. Dropped his head. He refused to respond to my questions. Instead of listening to those raging voices in my head, I drove away.

 

I died that day. I was crucified by my own choices. My soul was cast down. I could not hope in You because I had turned my back on You.

 

And, Lord, I couldn’t hear You, feel You, discern You. My faith took a fatal blow and my spirit man had been all but torn asunder. Satan’s minion had taken his sharpest sword and nearly sliced my soul in two. His demons tormented me and consulted me to plunge from my bedroom window to the ground below.

 

I searched for You. You were there, but I couldn’t find you.

 

And, therein lies the problem with sin. I didn’t consider that when I got up from the bed of sin that Your presence had departed from my life. It didn’t occur to me that my faith had been so damaged that I wouldn’t be able to approach Your throne.

 

I watched the window for a good 20 minutes, even looked down. Lord, it must’ve been you that said “It won’t do the job.” I’d just end up with a broken bone or two… definitely not comparable to the death I felt inside. So I got back in the car and drove…

 

It was Sunday and usually I wouldn’t miss church, but the night before I had been tormented. Even more so now…

 

I was consumed with grief, self-hate, anger. You led me there, and Your people consoled me. They loved me and dried my tears. Oh, God! I remember how so many ran to my rescue. Some said it would be ok…I knew that wasn’t true. Lord, I knew that if I didn’t get this right in my life, I’d be condemned to hell here on earth and in the afterlife. Yet, I was thankful for their kindness and consolation.

 

I made it back home in pieces and rested. I did not eat for days. I read my Bible and listened to one song over and over. My soul, God, was thirsty for You. I could only fight to regain my peace in hopes that my faith would be restored. I needed to be in Your presence.

 

Your Word came. It was heavy and hard to receive. It discouraged me emotionally, but my spirit cleaved to it. Anyone who knows You understands that a rebuke from the Lord is like a feast compared to never hearing Your word at all. Just the fact that You spoke… I thank You.

 

How unsightly I must have been… to have known You and chosen something lesser that only intended to destroy me.

I’m sorry. 

To have given myself to someone so undeserving. He didn’t even know You.

I’m sorry.

To presume that he could offer me a portion of what Your presence provides.

I’m sorry.

 

But looking back, Lord. I understand now that the rebuke you sent gave me a choice. The scripture says that You will not put on us more than we can bear. But I had put this on myself, and it was certainly more than I could carry. You gave me a choice, at that point, to face my brokenness and transform my own suffering into Your suffering. One would work a brighter future for me, while the other would render me helpless and hopeless.

 

…For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

 

I chose Your suffering. Because if I suffer with You, I’ll reign with You. That’s Your promise, and You’ve never lied.

 

And, so today, Good Friday, April 6, 2012, I can confidently say that I stood against each of his three advances since that time. I can say that I’m no longer on life support, but I’m living and loving. I can say that 2011 was the last year that April 6 would destroy me because I’ve discovered Your resurrection power. No longer am I entangled or even enticed by these lusts… My heart belongs to You.

 

I cannot imagine surviving this life without You. So many, Lord, are heart-broken and tormented daily. They cannot hear Your voice. And, it is my prayer that as I share my shame, someone who identifies with my pain will turn to You because You are surely there with them. Some have stories much worse than my own, and some feel there is no forgiveness for what they’ve done. I pray that they would come to know the truth!

 

With great joy and victory, I thank You! No longer am I heartbroken, sad, or lonely. You’ve filled my heart with promises, and my faith and peace in You grow everyday. I ask, Lord, that You do the same for my brothers and sisters, and for those who don’t yet know You.

 

Let this story, as unpleasant as it may be, bring glory to Your name because You are faithful…. You saved me. Thank You!

 

In Jesus’ name,

 

Amen

 

Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

How to Break-Up and Stay that Way
Some of us are in bad relationships. If this is you, check out  “Entangled” & “He’s a Good Man, but…” before you read how to break up. Those posts may help you sort your emotions. Others of us have made our way out of bad relationships only to be seduced into flirtations and manipulations after the commitment is long gone. This blog is especially for m— you.

This may be the only time I call myself an expert, but yeah… I am THE break-up expert from both ends of the spectrum. And from my experience, I have learned a single overarching truth.

They always come back.

Always, always, always, always! Even if you were dogged and dragged through the mud, they will come back ready to take you for another ride. But, here’s how you can break up the right way and minimize the foolishness:

  1. Make up your mind before you open your mouth. Emotions need to be dealt with apart from the other person. Seek counsel and comfort from those who love you. Cry, snot, sob, and yell until you get it out. After you’ve dealt with your feelings, make an objective decision. Sharing your feelings with the break-upee before you really know how you feel will open the door for emotional games.
  2. Your decision is NEVER contingent on what the other person will or won’t do. Ultimatums are a no-go. You don’t need anybody to change for you. If you’ve been in a relationship long enough to see that a person isn’t interested in growing together then you have more than enough data stacked against a possible “happily ever after”. If you try to stay to make the person change, they will resent you and you will still be unsatisfied. Make a choice based on what you can or cannot tolerate, not on what they might or might not do.
  3. Tell the truth and shame the devil. This is hard for me. While I am honest, I do not like confrontation. Partake in a confidence-boosting activity (prayer, hardcore rap, push-ups, etc.) before sitting down to have the talk. But when you do have the talk, be direct and clear on your decision. The reasons are less important to express unless the other person asks for them. In that case, I give my personal heartfelt opinion of what didn’t work for me while NEVER passing judgment on them. My way is not the right way, so I just highlight that compatibility is lacking.
  4. Don’t promise to be friends. Not only is this often impossible, it’s just downright dumb. If you’ve slept together, hurt each other, betrayed trust, etc., you can’t be friends. Don’t waste your breath. Let life take its natural course so healing can begin in both of you. You may cross paths again, and at that point in time, you may decide a friendship is appropriate. If you can be friends because you kept your intentions clean, then make the genuine effort to maintain the friendship. Kudos to you for doing things the best way!
  5. Ignore any texts/calls/emails until you are OVER it. You can’t get over the disappointment if the person’s constantly in your thoughts. After you’ve been hurt, your first duty is to forgive so you can heal. People who continually nag and pick at you are predatory in nature. Block them if you must. They other party is responsible for handling his or her own emotions at this point.
  6. Not responding is often the best option. Sounds a lot like the last, but here I am over a year after a (minimal) break-up and receiving surprise texts. I’ve even received a few FB inbox messages and one text from an unknown number. While I’ve responded kindly to some and ignored others, there’s really no need to respond. It’s alright to be mean when it comes to saving your soul. Plus, is it really mean when you know their intentions are wrong?
I write all this in hopes that my loves find their way out of misery and emotional torment and into a safe and secure relationship where you are free to give and receive love as God intended. Never believe the lie that no one will love you or that only one person is right for you. There are many people on this planet with which you are compatible. Think enough of yourself so those options can be presented.
With that said, I hope I don’t have to use my advice again, but if I should, I’ll be less krazy than I was when I didn’t know these things.
I wish you all the best. If you enjoyed this blog, please share, text, email, re-tweet, and post it EVERYWHERE you can! I need more readers! 🙂 I’m also eager to read your comments.
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,
Alana
Attribution Photo by by EliJerma
Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

A Woman Would Rather Be Single than to Date…


You.


Yep. I said it. This might hurt a little, but I’ll offer you a cyberhug when you’re through reading.


I see so many good-looking, single, well-paid brothers living the same type of life year after year. Some of you want to get married soon, but you’ve yet to find a good woman that will take you seriously. You keep meeting the same super needy, whiny, self-deprecating, manic-depressive nutcase with a cute face, small waist and booty that almost makes you forget her aforementioned flaws… until, of course, she opens her mouth.


That specimen is far cry from a good woman, and the only reason you’ve attracted her is because there are little tidbits in you that keep the good ones away. 


I hate to tell you this, but good women– we turn our heads away when we see you coming. You’re handsome, intelligent, well-dressed, have some promise of a great future, a good man… but there’s that one little nagging thing you do that screams “Stay away from me. I’m just going to play with your emotions.”


Don’t believe me? I invite you to take a look into the cybermirror of introspection. Go somewhere private and grab a tissue… 

  1. You have unrealistic expectations. There is NO SUCH THING as a party girl that dresses to show off her 36-24-46, cooks and cleans like your momma, pays all her bills on time, makes your toes pop three times a week, AND serves the Lord faithfully on Sunday mornings but let’s you stay home to watch TV. If you want that party girl, then go get one, but if you want a wife you’ve got to look a little deeper than her Facebook photos.
  2. You have feminine energy. Nah, dog… don’t skip past this one just because you’re not effeminate. Feminine energy is something TOTALLY different. If you’ve ever found yourself saying “I just want a woman to take care of me, chase me, sweat me, make ME happy” that’s feminine energy. A man is supposed to cover, protect, and care for the woman, not the other way around. Yes, there are some things we tend to as women, but those things are benefits of committed relationships… not dinner and a movie. And to be totally honest, it’s downright girly of you… Man up.
  3. Everything is about sex! Are we really still doing this? Fellas, you’re in your 30’s now. There is no need to EVER say “I’ll have you addicted to me.” That’s the fastest way to lose a good woman. We don’t care to be addicted to anything, and if it’s soooo good (*rolls eyes*) shouldn’t you have someone already? Oh wait… you still have that crazy chick calling and texting you everyday that’s two days away from busting out your car windows. No thanks! If a woman tells you that you can’t have her cookies, but you know you want some cookies, don’t try to change her mind. Get your cookies elsewhere and lose our numbers on the way.
  4. Your interest is feigned, and/or you’re inconsistent. I really think this comes from insecurity issues. Bless your broken heart, brother. But don’t lead a woman on just for your ego’s sake. A good woman will quickly forget the inconsistent caller. 
  5. BIG OL’ EGO! Tiny little huevos. If you find yourself crafting your words very carefully, chances are you’re afraid of rejection. You don’t want to make a woman say “yes”, but you don’t want to hear a “Heck-no-negro-get-out-my-face” either. Understood. We all hate rejection. But sometimes you all get a little too goofy. If you don’t have the confidence to ask a question directly, then don’t ask until you do.    
  6. You are bossy, critical, or judgmental. Do you want a woman like that? No?! But you just said I should go out more, take more pictures, wear my hair up, paint my living room red, not buy my kids those toys but pay extra on my credit card instead, AND eat a salad for dinner. Stop it. If a woman doesn’t interest you, it’s not her responsibility to change for you. Accept her, or choose to part ways. 
  7. And here’s the big one…. YOU LACK DISCRETION!!! Many of you are starting to want a wife which is so beautiful and precious. So when you ask a woman out on a date, do it privately. And when you ask another woman out on a date that same week, do it privately. These activities are NOT for social networking sites because said women seeeeee them! We are not blind. We are not going to take you seriously if you click “like” on every half-naked woman’s photo (the FB ticker tells all) and subtweet another woman about how wonderful last night’s conversation was. We can tell the difference between the comments that are just for fun and those that are real.  And most of you have realized that checking in on FourSquare while on a date is a BIG no-no.
Now ease yourself out of that cybermirror of introspection and inquire within… Would you have a relationship with a woman who participated in all this foolishness? I’ll wait… because one person said “It wouldn’t bother me… She can do whatever she wants.” You, sir, should not be dating anybody.

I wish you all well. There will be wonderful love stories in Spring 2012 from at least a few of you, so choose wisely, protect the love you foster, and leave the aforementioned foolishness behind.

I’m hoping and praying for your best!



With love, sincerity and hope for the future,

Alana
Being Single, Being Smart, Uncategorized

Single Lady Law

It took a while for me to reach this point, but I’m truly enjoying my singleness. There are times when I wish I had a little companionship, but if you’ve ever been in a relationship you know that those needs aren’t always met. So I press onward… and in the meantime, I try to abide by a few simple laws to keep myself fabulously feminine and devastatingly desirable. (Ok… I embellished there a little. I do get caught in the mom-teacher frump, but I fight that battle daily.)

 

  1. Shaving is not season-specific. Just because it’s getting chilly and we aren’t showing skin, doesn’t mean we can neglect shaving our legs and underarms. I like to reference Queen Esther. Every day she bathed in myrrh to prepare for her one night with the king, and this was BEFORE he even chose her! I’m not saying shave your legs in hopes someone will one day rub on them, but if that’s your hope… keep’em smooth and shiny even when they’re tucked away.
  2. When undergoing face-altering activities, trust God but pray for the technician. You walk into the shop and spot your favorite eyebrow-waxing technician. But when they seat you, a lady who barely speaks English with drawn-on brows comes to your service. Oh-em-egee! This is SCARY! Yeah, whisper a prayer. One bad stroke, and you’ll be penciling in your brows like your auntie did in the 70’s.
  3. When in doubt, play coy. Unfortunately, people lie. Our girlfriends lie. Guys that pursue us lie. Our bosses lie. Nothing will disarm them and empower you better than a good lash batting. What am I saying exactly? Play dumb!!! You learn so much more when you just close your mouth, listen, and pretend to be the idiot that liars think you are. Confrontation can wait until you’ve gathered all your facts and cooled your jets.
  4. Walk softly, and carry pink lipstick. Remember that Eric Benet song, Femininity? You are a woman for a reason! Be soft, gentle, and sweet. Pray for a quiet spirit and practice meekness. Your strength is in prayer, beauty, the ability to give life, and your submission to God! In short, you never have to be masculine, hard, or overbearing to get things done. Do what you have to do, but be pretty and feminine doing it.
  5. Subtract to multiply. As single women, we tend to invite too many people into our lives. We have so much to give and share, but many of the people in our circle are no good for us. We have to remove those people, so that others who are much more worthy of our time and energy can come into our lives. A few months ago I had to remove a few people from my life, but since then I’ve had deeper, more meaningful relationships with those who are genuine and full of purpose.
  6. Eat your fruit. Yeah, we should all eat healthy foods, but I’m talking about fruits of the spirit. Remember those from Sunday School? Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Life gives us plenty of opportunities to react with harsh words and bad attitudes. But when I encounter those situations, I feel the Holy Spirit handing me a piece of fruit.
  7. Be seasoned, not salty. No one likes a bad attitude. If you’re still popping your lips, rolling your eyes, and making negative comments about everything, you need to grow up. Develop your personal interests. Read. Write. Take a class. Do something to expand your life experiences. Understanding and wisdom are attractive. Speaking everything that comes to mind is not.
  8. Keep a stash of Tylenol PM. I’ve been singing that old song, “When it’s cold outsiiiide, who are you holding?” Ummm… let me pop a Tylenol PM, hold my pillow, and take my butt to bed. It’s just not worth it!
  9. Single ain’t so bad! Few people realize that being in a bad relationship and lonely is a thousand times worse than being single and lonely. Many married women wish for the freedom that we enjoy. To go shopping and NOT have to hide my new dress in the trunk?! To eat that extra slice of chocolate cake without someone glaring at me sideways?! To not have to cook meatloaf and other manly foods?! Life is GOOD!

 

I’d love to hear what single lady laws abide by. Leave your comments below, and please share, post, email, tweet…

 

 

Enjoy your week, good people!

 

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

Letter to the One that Got Away

It ain’t you, so just read the blog and don’t worry. LOL!

(Truth be told, he’ll never see this unless I send it to him.)

Dear Sir, 

I remember the first time we met. You were charming, and somewhat handsome… I was quite taken by your inner swag though I could’ve passed on your sense of style. No one, and I mean NO ONE, should’ve been wearing their hats two sizes too big. But just the same, you were very smart and very much a gentleman, and what woman isn’t drawn to confidence?


I don’t recall what we did on our first or second dates. If I did I probably still wouldn’t write about it. Those days…sheesh! (My readers are judgmental. Don’t mind them. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!) We had so much in common… both having passion for faith, family, and business. You were much further along in life than I was. We attended different colleges, so that drive up and down 64 was a killer. You had a good family background which was rare, and I held you in such high regard. We never made a relationship of it, and part of that is my fault… but it would’ve helped tremendously if you made it clear how you truly felt about me in a timely manner.


I remember sitting beside you on your sofa. We had just finished dinner. I rubbed your chest (always a sucker for a big chest), and you told me about your future goals. I thought for a bit that I could be happy settling down with you, but there was always something nagging at me. Most of the time you were gentle and kind, but sprinkled in were moments of insensitivity, almost to the point of cruelty.


In short, you reminded me of my father.


I remember the last time we went out. Another guy that was competing for my attention called while you and I were together. You urged me to answer the phone, so I did. You must have thought I was going to end it with him and choose you. 


Honestly, between the two of you he was better looking. And between the two of you, he was funnier. And between the two of you, I knew how he felt about me. But one thing you both had in common… You both were jerks! LOL… But I didn’t end it with him that night. I didn’t end it with him until four years ago. So that night, you left in a fit of rage which surprised me to NO END! And by no end, I mean I regretted that night for YEARS! But I eventually let go… Well, you got away.


No one should ever find out a person’s true feelings that way. Things could’ve been different. 


But I’m so glad they aren’t.


You are married.. happily… finally. Your wife is gorgeous. Honestly, if you didn’t have all that swag there’s no way you could’ve gotten her. I hope you keep her. I can’t imagine any other woman putting up with your biting sarcasm. For the year you two were separated, I pray our conversations helped you realize how blessed you are. Your children are beautiful and smart. Your business goals will come to pass.


I had fun seeing you from time to time… just friends checking in. Whenever we walked into a place, people treated us like we were made to be together. It was the strangest thing… But God kept us from doing anything shameful. I’m grateful.


The fact of the matter is I love you like a brother. I don’t miss you, and I don’t wish we had stayed together. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated you.


You see, some men today don’t respect a woman’s choice. Despite the fact that you were the better man, you walked away with your dignity and left me with mine. I learned a lot about a man’s heart that night all of which I had forgotten until a few moments ago.


You love just as hard as we do. You hurt just as much as we do. 


And if… for some reason… any unforeseeable reason at all… I mean it’s very unlikely… but just in case the ish don’t work out between you and your wife….




You need to find somebody else! Because when I let go, it’s for good…




“Platonically” loving you from a distance,


Alana

 

Photo Credit:

Harry Rowed. National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque. Library and Archives Canada, PA-112824 /

 




Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Dating Site “Whoa’s”

…what I really mean is woes, but to be totally honest, I’m shocked at the foolishness!!

Yeah, I joined one… even paid some money. (It’s not one of those big, commercial sites that advertises on television. Don’t ask because I won’t tell.) Apparently those sites have few men of color on them, and since I prefer color, I decided to go elsewhere.

Why did I do it? Sheer, freakin’ boredom! I guess I felt like I wanted to talk to someone instead of going to bed at the moment. So on the advice of a close family member, I input my credit card number (should’ve used hers) and started browsing right away.

Here’s what I found…

  1. Gross misspellings of names that are being passed off as creativity…. If you’re from Houston and you want to express that, then the proper name would be HoustonBred not HoustonBread.
  2. Sexual references in names…. I thought this was a CHRISTIAN site. Yeah, I’m sure Christians love handling lots of chocolate and 69’s as much as everyone else, but should we advertise that? Ewww… You’re not the man you claim to be.
  3. Old and gold… Any person from a metro area knows exactly what I mean! My preferences are set for gentlemen between 27 and 40. Dude, you’re 50 with a gold tooth messaging me daily and responding angrily because I haven’t expressed interest in you. Go back and read my profile again… thanks! (Perhaps I should include a “no gold teeth” clause.)
  4. Then there’s the ever-present income question. Yes, it’s important, but should it be public knowledge? Not in my opinion… And, sir, if you only make $25k-$35k, you should NOT be comfortable publishing that. And Mr. Big Money… you’re just asking for a gold digger by posting your six figures. Then again, maybe that’s what you want.
  5. The PICTURES! In the words of a good girlfriend, OH MY! LOL… Bathroom mirror shots don’t bother me so much… but the pics with the mess and clutter in the background? And the ones with a former significantchopped off? And the flexing photo sans muscle? And then there’s the fella who’s boldly cheesing in the camera laying on his stomach with his hands under his chin and his feet cocked up in the air like a teenage girl… Sir, are you sure it’s a lady you’re looking for?
  6. The ego bruise… I have to admit that it kinda ticks me off when an ugly fella views my profile (yes, I can see the viewers), and he then DOESN’T send me a flirt. Dude, who do you think you are? I am fine! You should be honored to flirt with me! But then I realize he may think I’m too good-looking for him in which case he’s probably right. Then, I’m not so bothered. (Don’t take me seriously… just joking here!)
  7. After a week, you’ve exhausted all the profiles. Seriously, there are very few people on this site. Folks have viewed and re-viewed my profile, and I have done likewise. You start looking at their pics sideways saying things like “Well I guess his eyes aren’t tooooo far apart…”
  8. And my BIGGEST qualm… You mean I can’t cancel? What if i meet the right guy and get married? The only account settings I have control what’s sent to my email. As far as cancelling goes, there’s no 1-800 number. No “deactivate account” button. Nothing… guess I’ll be cutting up my credit card at the end of the month and requesting a new one.
Sorry for the silliness… but I had to let it out. Perhaps there’s a silver lining in this cloud even if it’s nothing more than wisdom gained.
Love ya lots… and off to bed I go.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
Alana
Photo credit: 
Attribution
 Some rights reserved by Don Hankins
Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

The past week, I’ve been dreaming like crazy. More often than not, my dreams have significant meanings… usually something I must pray for or against, as needed. But a few slipped past my prayer radar, and I mistook them as the aftermath of eating way too late at night. At the risk of opening a window for you to peek into my soul, I will share one with you… hopefully to your benefit.

So I walked into one of my favorite lunch spots thinking I’d order my usual. I didn’t even bother to look at the menu when I confidently announced that I wanted Japanese Pan Noodles with Shrimp and extra veggies. The cashier looked at me with a scowl and said “We don’t serve that anymore. Our whole menu has changed.” Naturally, I considered leaving the restaurant, but since I was hungry and I believed in the quality of food the place served, I decided to at least look over the new menu. NOTHING seemed to be the same. I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, but most of the items on the list seemed… well, out of my tastes or bland. The cashier glared at me and said, “Well… are you gonna try something new?”



For YEARS I’ve been eating from the same menu. I love a big, juicy beefsteak kinda guy with bulky muscles, high testosterone, and a ego that stretches to the sky. Typically I prefer brown to dark-skinned fellas, but I wouldn’t pass up a cutie with a lighter hue. Before long, I realized one thing. No matter how different they seem to be, the guys I chose were all the same.


The conversations were the same. They spent hours talking about themselves in the most shallow contexts… parties, favorite models and celebrities, and high school sporting events.


The silly games were the same. They would pursue me tirelessly, and despite my reservations, I’d give in… Then of course, their interest waned.


The results were the same. I could accurately predict the next move a fella would make. I knew when the confession of love would come, and the imminent disappearing act. 


They really were all the same!


That’s not to say that all men are the same. I would never make such a heartless and foolish generalization. I am saying, however, that my lack of self-worth and fear of being alone rendered me a repeat offender in bad date selection.


And doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result is called… say it with me… INSANITY!



So, really who’s to blame? Those cocky fellas whose egos are still in tact, OR me? Put your hands down! That was a rhetorical question… Don’t be so quick to exonerate them. 🙂


I’m not going to delve into the steps needed to change your tastes because I don’t have them. What I do know is that there is another type of man out there that is confident, humble, and faithful at heart…. That’s the type of guy that will earn my affections. As it stands today, my tastes have changed enough for me to recognize that these men come in different packages. Unless I’m totally repulsed by that package, why not give someone who’s honorable an hour or two of my time simply to discover?


One more thing… all the dating books say that we should write a list of the qualities we want in a mate. I totally agree with that, but I’m going to “one up” the books. The list should be a living document. Revisit and edit it every so often. I’m a fairly quiet person, and after a date with a guy who talked for 3 hours straight, I prefer to be with someone who’s a little less chatty (read “insecure”). When I do, I plan to organize those qualities into two different categories: non-negotiable and negotiable.


The non-negotiable things have little to do with my appetite for a muscle-y man, but EVERYTHING to do with his character. I must be with a man that loves and hears from God. His belief system must be similar to my own… That, for me, is non-negotiable.


Now that I’m a little older and much wiser (I have the gray hairs to prove it), I don’t feel so drawn to the man with JERK written across his t-shirt. I’ve set myself free to enjoy some new, more satisfying personalities. This is the area in which my appetite needs some changing. But like I said before… this journey has only begun. 


So sorry… no satisfying written conclusion here, but maybe a reader or two will have a story to share?? But in the meantime….


Are you going to try something new??? 




Your cybersister,


Alana

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Entangled: The Reason You Can’t Let Go

 

Notice that in the title I used the word can’t… not won’t…. because one literally lacks the power to break free.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine a beautiful, colorful butterfly floating freely in a meadow. It dances across the tops of lilies and violets fulfilling its purpose in life without any care or concern in the world, but one… the search of love. In its course of duty the butterfly crosses the path of a dark, mysterious spider who weaves a silken web of words and deeds to win the butterfly’s heart. Butterfly, naive as it may be, is still cautious of getting too close to the spider… after all flies get trapped with those things. Not beautiful butterflies! Nonetheless, butterfly is intrigued by spider’s enticing and glistening web. What’s more is that spider has eight arms with which to hold our floating friend…. and many eyes to see the need in butterfly’s longing soul.

Spider entices butterfly to lean in for a kiss, and weakened by the words and gentle caresses of our savvy antagonist, butterfly finds itself trapped in spider’s web. For a while, it seems nice to have another close by… But as spider closes the space between them, butterfly finds itself even more stuck in spider’s web. Butterfly enjoys the feeling of security. I mean, who wants to fly freely when you can be so deeply and passionately loved and appreciated? Relishing the feeling of being wanted, butterfly spreads its wings to embrace spider and finds itself completely and overwhelmingly entangled… 

Butterfly croons “This must be love.”



Notice in the tale above there are no “he’s” or “she’s”. I realize that most of us will associate butterfly with a female, but I’m just using it to illustrate the well-meaning, but weak character who longs for love and will settle. Guys, if it makes you feel better, you can be a dragonfly.

Spider, well… you get that! Spider is the charmer that reels you, tells you all the things you want to hear, and gets you trapped! What’s more is that a spider will leave you stuck in the web, build a web elsewhere, trap some other well-meaning insects, then come back to feast on your self-esteem when it’s hungry.

So are you a trapped member of the lepidoptera phylum? (Nerd speak… sorry.) This entry is for those entangled and unable to let go of someone who only creates hurt and shame. Am I speaking of romantic love? Possibly… but I feel that entanglements can happen in ANY relationship. At the moment, I can say that I have female friends with which I’ve become far too entangled in their affairs of life. Instead of being a support system, I’ve become the source of life… They suck me dry!

But romantic relationships are, by far, the trickiest. How can you tell whether there’s real love in place versus an unhealthy attachment of souls? Let’s go back to our characters and study their habits.

  1. It feels like it’s meant to be even when everything goes wrong. It can feels so good to be attached that we nurture the feeling instead of the relationship. Butterfly and spider have a natural and powerful connection in nature, but theirs is a predator-prey relationship… not a partnership. Discern your purpose in spider’s life. It’s never to get caught in the web.
  2. You think spider’s trapped in the web too, but you realize he/she is much more adept at handling sticky situations than you are. Remember that spider weaved the web. While you may think he or she is as in deep in love as you are, take note to how easily they side step when you need them. I knew a guy who would tell me a thousand times over the phone and text that he loved me, but would NEVER say it to my face. Talk about a side-stepping somebody…
  3. Spider won’t leave you alone… for long. I asked this same person to leave me alone SEVERAL times. For months I didn’t contact him or respond to any of his advances. He persisted all the more. I gave in for a short time, then quickly came to my senses. When I told him where he could go with all his crap, he sent me back a polite “No.” LOL… Took some time but I think he’s gotten trapped in his own web. What matters most is that I’m not in it with him!
  4. You think of them, and they contact you. You can feel the stringy web start to vibrate your wings as spider stealthily approaches the web. ]You can literally feel the person thinking about you. Your soul knows it, and your body knows it.  Usually these kinds of connections come from sexual contact, but if you’ve ever made a promise to “love forever” you’ve opened yourself to that soul tie. Then, at times, that still small  voice may warn you to prepare yourself… because that still small voice knows that you’re entangled.
  5. You start weaving a web of your own. Quite possibly the most convincing evidence anyone may have of entanglement is that you become like your predator. You learn their tricks and start trapping a few empty souls of your own to feast upon. Natural animal response, right? But you’re not an animal. God has equipped you with a conscience and sensibilities. Your broken heart does not permit you to break others’…
  6. You miss your floating freedom, but you don’t want to let go. A true loving relationship won’t stifle your inner peace and freedom. I remember sitting beside a guy and watching a movie and thinking “I wish we would just end this.” I felt so boxed-in, but not because of anything he did in particular. We had just moved too fast (and this was without sex), and I felt forced to keep up the charade. When we did part ways, it was UGLY! But at least I’m free… at least I think I am. (I really am pondering this…)

I doubt that anyone who’s read this can honestly say they’re free from ANY entanglements. Naturally, some are good, but we must relieve ourselves of relationships that leave us empty and unsatisfied. Some of us are entangled in more than one web which truly explains why we have no inner peace or confidence.

 

I didn’t write all of this just to leave you dazed in your circumstances… but the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you are, indeed, entangled, and not in love. Love gives, not takes away.

 

So how do we become free? Well… I need more time to think about that. Until then, let’s all investigate those closest to us and figure out who’s got the wrong kinds of strings attached to our wings.

 

 

Love you all… and with that, I bid you goodnight.

 

 

 

Your cybersister,

 

 

Alana

 

 

P.S. Special thanks to my Jiminy Cricket who gave me an idea of the butterfly and spider relationship…