Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So I picked up a Gay guy at a bar last weekend....

Last Saturday night, a friend and I decided to go out for a drink. We decided to keep it local and went to a great bar downtown. the hotties were out that night. Whatever you like: short, tall, thin, thick, heavy, you had your choice. I thought I was looking pretty decent so I old my friend,"Okay, we can't leave here without a phone number". She didn't mind, it wasn't like she needed one anyway, she has a boo. But I am boo-less, it was a neccesity on my part.

I secured some seating for us, then approached the bar, scanning the room and smiling as I went along. As I did so, a handsome man caught my eye. He smiled at me. I smiled back. I couldn't help but notice how well dressed he was: pressed jeans, expensive collared seater, fresh faded cut,....and a great manicure? Oh, well,metrosexuals do that, right? As I made my way to my seat, he sat down next to me. I turned to him and smailed again. Oh well, here goes,I thought. I took a long swig of my drink. "So, what are you drinking?, I asked him.
"It's a Long island ice tea. What are you drinking?"
"A Hemingway(if you haven't had one of these, you have to try it - delicious!). I'm Kimberly. What's your name?"
"I'm John. Nice to meet you Kimberly."
"Likewise. So...are you here by yourself?" (Okay, I'm quite aware I sound like one of those sleazy guys that you try to stay away from at the bar, but I have absolutely no game whatsoever.)
He replied," Yeah, I left my baby home tonight."
I looked down at his left hand to make sure I didn't miss a tan line or a ring. Neither were there.
"Wow, I can't beleive your girl let you go out by yourself."
That's when John cleared his throat. "Oh no. You mean my 'man'. I left my boyfriend at home."

"Oooh! Okay...", I replied as I picked my face off the floor.
And that's pretty much how I picked a gay guy up at a bar last weekend. Our conversation could have ended there, but John turned out to be a pretty nice and funny guy that ended giving my friend and I some much needed advice.

Turns out John had been in a relationship with his partner for 8 years, that's right eight years!. Personally, I feel like anyone who has been in a relationship for over 5 years must be mandated to write a book on how to be in a relationship and make it work. It can't be easy.

John told us how everything with his partner was picture perfect, no relationship is and if you're looking for that you'll never find it or be happy. The one thing he sees many women and men make is looking for Checklist Girl or Guy. Instead, he said you need to give everybody a chance. that's right everybody. Why? Because you never know. Don't count someone out b/c they may noy be as handsome, tall, thin or stylish as you want. What you must look for is someone whose personality you can live with and they with yours. In addition, you should look for someone you respect and that respects you and the relationship you're in. that's what makes relationships work, even when things aren't at their best according to John. The second mistake he says people make is not dating,instead they jump into a relationship too soon and expect certain relationsip crieria before you get to a certain level of intimacy, which takes time. He was so right about that one! How many of us have dated guys/girls and all of sudden expect them to 'check in' before you're exclusive? I'm guilty of that. Or, will do the "I won't call him/her unless he/she calls me" routine? Ditto! If you want to call, call. If you want to go out, ask him/her out. That's how John knew that his partner was really into him and as they spent more time together, they learned about each other. That's how they knew they wanted to become exclusive. Man, I wish more relationships began like that!

Thirdly, you have to know who you are what you want before you try to bring someone into your life. Know you're worthy of respect and don't be afraid to call your partner on that. Who wants to sit around miserable in an effort to not be alone?!? that's the last thing John said. You have to care enough about yourself and your relationship to want to work things out. It's too easy to walk out the door. BUT, if someone is not going to give you the things you need to make the relationship work, including respecting you & the relationship you're in, make a decision for yourslef if it's worth saving. Again, nothing is worth physical or mental abuse or your self-respect. But just about everything else can be owrked out. So find someone that is willing to work together and forgive you as you would them of anythin that might or could go wrong in a relationship, because they can and will!

Well, I will definitely be more open b/c of JOhn and now I know what's important to look for instead of the shallow requirements that have kept me alone for the past two years and stuck in rotten relationships prior to that. I have a few things I need to work on before I get into a relationship, but that's fine I can date in the meantime and I'm sure one really great guy will stick out from the crowd, just like one did for John.

So in conclusion, John and I are planning to have brunch after church one day soon( we attend the same church, who knew?). He's the first guy I ever picked up in a bar and I have to say overall, I did a good job!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The nature of love...

Tonight I had the priviledge of attending a Full Spectrum event ( entitled, "The Star-Crossed Lovers. A discussion that explores the bittersweet nature of romantic love".

I'll admit, I went to see Mo Beasley, one of the panelists, in person. He looked great on the flyer. But mostly, I went to hear the bittersweet side of love since I am very, very single at the moment and not really feeling the love vibe of Valentine's Day which is 3 days away.

What the creators of the event envisioned it to be and what it became were totally different, mostly because of a young sista on the panel by the name of Tamar-Kali. She brought in an aspect of not bitter love, but love as a whole experience in all its forms. She stated that if love was recognized and experienced in all its forms, we would not continue to seek it nor would it continue to elude us. For her, she was in love with her close friends, people she admired and knew personally, and yes it was a romantic love, even sometimes a crush. She went on to say that we equate romantic love with sex, which it isn't. It is a high we feel whenever we see certain people or around certain people or things that bring out the best in us. Instead society dictates to us what romantic love is: it's between a man and a woman, it's flowers, it's dates and it ultimatley leads to sex and a monogomaous relationship. While that can be romantic love , but that's not all romantic love, or just love is or can be.

The panel also discussed what happens when love fades and what makes a relationship last. What qualities should one invest in if romantic love fades?(which it does). One of the panelists, Lynn Harris told us a story about the man she dated before she met her husband. As she debated breaking up with him over coffee with one of her girlfriends, the friend posed a simple but very deep question to her: "Do you feel like you want to run things by him?" This simple statement brought about applause and deep thinking. Why? Because it says alot about how you feel about the person you're with. The simple, but thought-provoking question really asked "Do I respect this person's opinion and/or position in my life?" I believe if a lot of people asked that question of the person's they were with right now, a WHOLE lot of people would suddenly be single before Valentine's Day, lol!

While I won't go into everything that was shared, I did walk away with a feeling of peace and understanding I didn't have before I walked in. Although there are currently no prospects, I am okay with wanting companionship. I can't say that I was at peace for not wanting to be single for a long time. I also walked away with a greater sense of what LOVE is and how it exists in all its forms. I'm in love with a few people in my life and they with me, in a romantic way, so I am loving and being loved and to know that feels good! I also walked away having a better sense of the friends/loves I want in my life and how to be that person that I want in my life. In all , I learned how to be a better lover:-)

So while I almost rushed into this Valentine's day bitter, on the hunt for a date befoe the big day, I now know how much love is already in my life and how to attract more love in my life.

I leave you with a short story told by panelist Trevor Exter:

A friend of mine spent a Summer with the Hopi Indians in the desert. While there, he observed their traditions and noticed that alot of their songs were about water. One day, while walking with one of the elders he asked why. "Well, " said the elder, "We sing about it because we live in the desert. Water is the one thing we have the least of. Just like in your culture, you sing about love".

Simply deep.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The 'He's Just Not That Into You' types in the city

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a deep interest in interpersonal relationships. I've always wondered about how and why people react socially to others the way they do. Especially when it comes to male -female relationships. Why does he like her? Why does she like him? Why doesn't he like ME? I have so many interpersonal relationship books in my home, people automatically come to my home for relationship advice--from the books!

I wish I could say that my life-long interest has given me some sort of insight into the realm of romantic relationships, but I'm still far from an expert. Case in point, after moving to NYC two years ago (exactly today actually!). I've met several wonderful young and not-so-young men. There has been one or two that I've been interested in, but that interest had not been returned. That's life and I accept it. What I guess I don't readily accept are several type of men: Men who lead women on, the Eternal Flirts; men who want to hit it with no strings attached, the Home Run Leads and men who know you're interested in them and want you to chase them instead of taking the lead themselves, the Gamers. There are more types, but I'll focus on these three.

The Eternal Flirt in my opinion is the most dangerous type of man to run into in any town or city. He's the guy all the women swoon for and every single one thinks they have a chance with. He knows exactly how to make each and every female he's associated with feel like she is the only woman for him. He's usually unfaithful to any woman he's involved with whether it be physically or emotionally. He prides himself on keeping every relationship he has on the "down low". If you prove to not know your place in his life by trying to make your liaisons public, you'll probably never hear from him again. 'Secret Lovers' by Atlantic Starr is his theme song. He gets off on his own power by watching women "sweat" him. My advice: RUN! You want to hang on to prove that he really only loves you, but guess what? That's exactly what every other female in his life is doing. The only person this man will EVER love is himself. Nurse your wounds and disappear from his life. Change schools, clubs, jobs if you have to because as long as he has access to you or you to him, you'll continually get your heart broken.

The Home Run Lead is the alright, nice guy. He's upfront, he's honest. He has his own life and unlike The Eternal Flirt, he has no interest in leading women on. In fact he's so upfront, it's actually appealing. Almost. His honesty is so crude at times that you question if he's someone you should be hanging out with at all. But you second guess yourself and continue to see him because at least you know where you stand with and you can always count on him to tell the truth. Plus, he's cute! You talk, you hang out, you IM each other and them comes the inevitable date. You go out, you have a great time. Then he takes you home and walks you to the door. As you start to give the standard goodnight kiss, maybe hoping for a little nightcap, his annoying honesty rears its ugly head. "I only brought two condoms, do you think we'll need more?" Really?!? I mean, really?!? But that's the Home Run Lead. He expects it, demands it. So much so, he sees nothing wrong with talking about prophylactics before he's even invited in. He's also so callous, he'll call other women he's "seeing" while he's with you and EVEN ask for advice on how to deal with them from YOU. My Advice: If you can deal with his crude honesty and have absolutely no feelings for him or problem with him being with other women, see him. Just know that his self-interested behavior will show up in many , many ways that can be annoying. You can never bring him to social events with close frinds or family as he will have no problem telling them all your business or all of his, including what he plans to do or get from you later on that evening.

The last type I've run into on the city so far I call the Gamer. Just as his name suggests, he's into games. He chases and he likes to be chased. It's who takes those positions in his life that make him a little hard to understand. Gamers are usually men who had their hearts broken and have yet to truly get over it. They are emotionally unavailable. They say and truly seem to want to love and be loved, but in reality their hoping that their heartbreaker comes back or someone magically makes them forget the heartbreaker, which doesn't happen. So instead, they chase women who don't want them and elude the women that do. They love the attention they get from the women who do want them, but also love the little to no attention they fight for from the women who don't. But just like the Eternal Flirt, he leads almost every single female in his life on by expressing his need for intimacy and desire to be in a relationship. But when met with the reality of someone who actually wants the same, he shys away. It's a never ending cycle for him and anyone who desires him until he truly moves on with his lie and his heart. My advice: Don't make anyone else's confusion or hurt yours! He may look good in person and on paper, but unless he's emotionally unavailable, he's not an option. As women, we try to "stick it out" in hopes that we win the reward in the end. But in this case, when he truly releases himself from his past, he'll also move away from anything that reminds him of the times when he didn't, including you. Keep a safe distance if you can or move away from him altogether and find someone who are what they say they are and wants to be in a relationship -- with you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Street, New Address, New everything!

So as of late February, I'm moving to historical Stuyvesant heights, Brooklyn, NY. Back in the Summer of 2008 when I discovered The Little Red Boutique, Food 4 Thought and Bread-Stuy, I just knew that this area was the place forme. All the residents and store owners were extremely friendly and nice and inclusive and everyone was just doing it! You already know, if you surround yourself with movers and shakers, you can't help but to be inspired and be one.

I remember walking up & down the streets when the fiasco that was my apartment in Bed-Stuy went down, looking for an place to call my own. Alas, it was not meant to be and I moved on to other things, but my desire never went away. When it came time for my next move last Fall, I headed back home to CT but I had more than outgrown the place where I grew up. In less than a week, I packed up and moved to Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

I didn't know if Harlem, Manhattan or Brooklyn would be my new home in the next several months and I prayed about it. I needed a place I could afford, next to transportation and in a great neighborhood since I was a single girl on her own in the big city. Again, my heart pushed me towards Stuyvesant Heights. But I discovered in my search that living there might prove to be expensive and selective. The residents are fiercely protective of their neighborhood, especially with the surrounding area being what it is. Two blocks in any direction and you're simply in Bedford-Stuyvesant or Bed-Stuy, which can be pretty rough. I decided to use Craigslist and be patient in my search. The first place I viewed was pretty bad. The neighborhood seemed like a war zone and the place itself smelled and I questioned if it should have been condemned. But on my limited budget, i began to beleive that this place, or one like it, might have to be what I call home. I decided to let the place go, pray and be patient that God had something better for me. And He did.

I saw an advertisement for an open house right in the middle of Stuyvesent Heights. It was in my price range and renovated. When I arrived, I thought maybe I had the wrong place. It was one of those "This is too good to be true" moments. Renovated was not the word. The place was just new! From the floors, to the appliances to the amount of space, the place was a complete turnaround from the past spaces I'd seen. I knew I wanted it, but would I get in? To make this long story a bit shorter, I'll just say I did! Thank God! When i first moved to NYC, my boss told me that the 1st set of friends I made here would change. I told her she was deads wrong. I had met and made friends I would have for life. But lo and behold, her words were true. At first I was afraid to make new friends,and go to new places without being around the familiar faces I met when I first moved here, but now I'm more than ready. Ready to embrace my new place, my new start and make new friends, associates, acquiantances, preferably around my age, that's key! In all this my advice to anyone is to listen to God, listen to your gut, listen to that little voice that tells you which way to go. I've spent my time in NYC pleasing and helping others who could honestly care less about me. Truth be told, if I don't care about me, who will? Since I've put myself first, and it's only been a short time, things have really changed for the better and the positive for me. and beleive me, when you do you, the people who matter will still be there and those that don't will not. Let them go, you're honestly better off without them You really are.

I am!