The Long Distance Relationship Decision

In two weeks, my life is going to be completely different. After almost a year of long distance love, WM and I will finally be together in the same place! I've never cohabitated with a significant other, but I'm looking forward to the journey with him. It will be a learning experience for us both. I'm just happy that we'll be done with weekend visits, expensive plane tickets, and Google Hangouts when we miss each other. I'm super excited, and lots of people have heard my great news. People are understandably excited and asking a lot of questions - are we getting a new place, the logistics of the move, etc. But one question keeps coming up and it's irking me something crazy.

People keep asking me when I'm going to move to DC.

They aren't asking who is moving, they are assuming that I would be the one to move to him. The idea that a man would relocate for a woman doesn't even cross their mind. I guess they assume he has the better job, or that I'd pick up and move to him. Or maybe they assume that I'd rather live in overcrowded, expensive DC instead of Minneapolis, which I love (outside of this crazy winter we just had).

I wouldn't be annoyed if they asked who was moving, and I've been asked that several times as well. What annoys me is that idea that I should be moving to him, or that I should want to leave Minneapolis cause DC is so much better. DC is cool and at one point it was on my list of cities to move to, when I was trying to escape Orlando. I enjoy my time there, especially when I'm with LM. But WM moving to Minneapolis is the best move for us, and he's extremely happy to be moving here. We're both happy that we won't be dealing with DC traffic or their ridiculous cost of living. Given our life plans, me moving to DC was never an option.

I just wish that people could at least entertain the idea of him moving here, for me, without me having to explain all the reasons why. It's as if I need to justify to them why I'm not moving...and yeah I know I don't HAVE to do it, but I choose to because I hope that I'm educating in the process. Plenty of couples make the decision jointly on who will move - sometimes it's the woman, sometimes it's the man, and sometimes both parties pick up and move somewhere new. In our case, we chose the option that made the most sense for us given our life and financial plans, and that means he's moving to me.

At the end of the day, I don't really care...as long as we're together :-)

Love In An Unexpected Place

Earlier today, I was thinking about blogging instead of working (cause I hate what I'm working on but that's a post for another day) and I had this post all worked out in my head. And I forgot to write it down...so this might be a very stream of consciousness post.

I had my first boyfriend at 14. I had the first boyfriend my parents knew about when I was 16/17. I dated all through college, grad school and my adult life. I'm 31 now, so I've spent 17 years of my life in or in pursuit of a romantic relationship. For some of those years I was dating casually - I was known to have a 3 month rule where I didn't date a guy longer than 3 months. There were a few guys that I felt very strongly for, and 1 in particular that I thought was The One. The one constant through all 17 years of my dating life is my mindset. See, I thought that I had to prove to a guy a lot of things - first why I was so awesome that he should date me, then how I'm even more awesome & he should make me his girlfriend, and then finally, that I was so amazingly awesome that he had to marry me. I thought it was up to me to show & prove this, that a guy wouldn't just think that I was awesome unless I went above & beyond to show it to him.

So I've gone through most of my dating situations and relationships with this mentality. And with every breakup, I felt like it was because there was something about me that wasn't awesome. Either I'm too fat (let's not forget the infamous "you're too fat to date" comment made last year) or I wasn't beautiful enough or smart enough or I didn't compromise enough or whatever. I worried that I would never measure up and that I'd be #foreveralone, destined to be an old maid.

It was just a few months after my breakup with the Vegas dude when WHM came into my life. I really didn't take him or his flirting seriously, but he intrigued me. We talked more and more, I enjoyed the conversations, but I thought he was a creep & really didn't take him seriously. It wasn't until we met face to face at the DMV Cookout that I realized that all that conversation meant something to him. It meant a lot actually, and through that conversation he got to know me. He knew we were meant to be, but I took some convincing. A lot of convincing actually. At first I didn't know why I put him through so many hoops - here was a man who said he cared for me, who wanted to make me happy & love me...and I just wanted to go running for the hills. It took me a while to understand that I was scared off because for the first time in my dating life, there was a man who already knew how awesome I was. I didn't have to do anything special to convince him or prove to him my awesomeness; just being Jubi and letting him see the real me showed him how awesome I was. I was thrown off by this. I had no idea how to respond or what to do. I asked him for some time, and he reluctantly consented. But through it, he continued to show me just how special he thought I was. After a bit of time, I realized that he was exactly what I was looking for, and I was running from the very thing I claimed I wanted.

If I've ever been thankful for anything, I'm thankful that WMH came into my life and that my good friend FS told me not to fuck up a great thing. Everything I've ever said I wanted in a relationship, in a partner, from love in general, is what I have with him. I can truly just be me, in a way I've never been able to be in previous relationships. I know that he loves all of me - not just my body, but also my silliness and my tendency to nerd out when I start talking about science, or the way I laugh at corny jokes. In fact, he laughs at my corny jokes & we laugh at the same corny jokes in movies. We can lay up on the couch together & watch football, or have a lazy Saturday laying in bed watching HGTV and talking about our future. He's so open and honest with me, and so loving with me - he never hesitates to tell me how much he loves me or how happy he is. In fact, he says that I'm his dream girl, the woman he always wanted and never thought he would have. He continues to be amazed that other men didn't love me the way he does.

Last Saturday, he was cooking me a 3 course dinner (seriously he's going to be the chef in our house cause his food is amazing) and I was flipping between The Five Heartbeats and Dreamgirls. I sang every damn song between the two movies, off-key for about half the songs, and he sang and danced along with me. I felt free enough to just be silly with him while he made me a delicious dinner and we loved every minute of it. I've never had that freedom in a relationship...until this one. He makes so happy, he gives me such joy and I feel so secure in this relationship. The best part is knowing we both want to spend the rest of our lives together, and we both feel so lucky to have found each other.

All thanks to a tweet :-)

I never thought it would happen...but I found the love of my life...and on Twitter of all places.

 

I Took My Talents To YouTube

So what happened was...someone on Twitter told me I should make a video. Actually, several people said I should make a video.

So I said what the hell and made a video. And it was kind of fun. I'm a nut, LOL.

 

Like 2 minutes after I posted this the first time I freaked out cause I forgot my Youtube was connected to my Google+ account so my real name was on it. So I deleted & then realized I could have just unlinked accounts and changed my Youtube name *sigh*. But then I re-uploaded it. Listen, watch, laugh, comment.

I had so much fun...I made another one the next day.

 

So maybe I'll do these regularly? Who knows. I guess when I'm in the mood to talk & edit.

I need topic ideas tho...thoughts?

Single Life

This is Day 1 in my 30 days of blogging challenge. I've started this post at least ten times. Why is this such a struggle today?

My single life...better than some, worse than others. Is it what I expected? Not at all. The younger me figured I'd be married by 25 with a few kids by 30. When I hit 25 with no prospects in sad unfortunate Orlando, I began my "I'm gonna be an old maid" schtick. Over the next five years I had relationships but here I am, at almost 31, single still.

But for the first time, I'm ok with it. Well, mostly ok.

My angst about being single has been caught up in the should - I should be married cause everyone else is getting married, cause my eggs are drying up as you read this, cause I'm a catch dammit! The fact that I wasn't meant there was something wrong with me, that I wasn't good enough to be loved, to be with long-term. If only I wasn't a chemist, or so highly educated, or so fat...I'd be married.

Look at all that stress I put on myself.

Last year I thought I was going to get engaged and be married in 2013. The most difficult part for me was wondering if I'd missed my chance to be chose. I had a strong fear of being unmarried and forever alone & I struggled with moving on from that. I have not let that go completely, but I'm doing better than I was. It's not something that will disappear overnight.

Currently I have a few men that have expressed interests. I've gone on dates, some successful, some not. I also made a play for a guy who gave me the "I'm good but thanks for the offer" brush-off.

When I look at my love life, I see these issues:

  • Generally, the guys that are really into me, I don't feel chemistry with. They are sweet, nice guys, but the connection just isn't there, it feels forced & like work. And then I feel like a jerk cause there's no good way to tell a guy he doesn't do it for you. I've found that they often take that to mean they are too nice  and assume they have to become assholes to get women.
  • There's been men that I do feel that chemistry and affection for, and generally it's not reciprocated. Or I want a relationship and they don't.
  • I have a bad habit of being really into guys who don't live in my city. This is not a Minneapolis problem, I do more dating here than I did in Orlando. No matter where I have lived, I have met guys in other cities who I liked and would have dated if not for the distance.

But don't think that I'm unhappy about my love life - far from it. There are times when I wish I had a long-term special person in my life. On the cruise last night I saw all these couples having a romantic trip and I did wish I could do the same. I am a bit tired of doing the "getting to know you" game with a new guy. But at the same time, I love that I'm able to be selfish and just think about myself right now. I don't have to plan my schedule around someone else, or share the remote. I can flirt & hang out every night with my friends if I want.

My dating strategy now is to simply let things be what they are. I'm not consumed with wondering if a guy likes me, or fearing that I'm going to be an old maid. I go out when I want, and I accept that this is the current season of my life, but it won't be always. In the meantime, I work on getting better, and being ready.

The New York Times Thinks Dating Is Over

So I'm late on writing about this...but at least I'm writing at all, right? That's some progress right there... A few weeks ago, the New York Times Style section ran a controversial piece, "The End Of Courtship?". I tried to ignore it, but it kept popping up on my list of recommendations, so I gave it a read. I wish I could say it's a riveting piece...but really its just crap.

I mean, consider these gems found in the piece:

MAYBE it was because they had met on OkCupid. But when the dark-eyed musician with artfully disheveled hair asked Shani Silver, a social media and blog manager in Philadelphia, out on a “date” Friday night, she was expecting at least a drink, one on one.

“At 10 p.m., I hadn’t heard from him,” said Ms. Silver, 30, who wore her favorite skinny black jeans. Finally, at 10:30, he sent a text message. “Hey, I’m at Pub & Kitchen, want to meet up for a drink or whatever?” he wrote, before adding, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from college.”

Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining. But in retrospect, she might have adjusted her expectations. “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” Ms. Silver said. “Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

The article goes more in-depth into this new crisis in the dating world, regaling us with stories of GenYers & Millenials who use online dating & other social media, never call on the phone, date in groups, & hookup culture. It's the written version of a scolding parent - if you young whippersnappers don't get your lives together, you'll never get a real  job, get married, buy a house, have kids & slave your life away until you can retire! You can't throw your life away having fun, bucking social norms, and *gasp* actually figuring out yourself & what you want in a relationship!

I'm so over it. Like done done done.

The only thing the NYTimes got right is the fact that GenYers & Millenials are dating differently than earlier generations. People in their 20s & early 30s are texting more, using more social networking to connect with people (including potential dates), using online dating sites, etc. They aren't constrained by traditional norms, and why would they be? They grew up in a world where marriage rates are declining, children are more likely to be born out-of-wedlock, women outnumbering men on college campuses & the invention of the stay-at-home dad. This isn't the 1950s, the days of men & women getting married because one party needed financial support & one party needed domestic support. Freed of the constraints of the traditional reasons to get married (kids, finances, etc) younger folks are "following their bliss" & making decisions based on what's best for them at the time. And for many, that includes dating differently.

The days of a young couple sitting in the parlor on a Sunday afternoon are over.Instead of courting every Sunday, now we're getting to know each other via Twitter, then Gchat, then Skype. We have Skype dates & Google each other before the first date & send each other friend requests on FB. Our relationships grow & develop differently now...but the point is they grow.

 How many people ended up in loveless marriages, sleeping in separate rooms, with side relationships (hell, even whole other side families) because they married someone they didn't have true affection for? Marriage solely for the sake of marriage doesn't do society or its participants any good. Younger people are now taking the time to find a match - someone who complements them on a spiritual/sexual/physical/emotional/financial/etc level. It's not about just getting married anymore & checking that box. Instead it's about finding a person who can be with long-term, while also achieving their professional & educational goals.  I'd rather see a couple get married later in life, and truly be committed to their relationship & each other, than a couple who gets married early due to societal pressures & end up unhappy together, or divorced.

Now...while the art of dating has changed in the 21st century, that doesn't mean that some behaviors are acceptable. What irked me about the NYTimes piece was this assertion that every young male dater is being disrespectful to the ladies, and that all the young ladies are taking it. Things that are highlighted in the article -flaking out on dates, text-only relationships, jumpoff situations with one party wanting more - are the exceptions, not the norms. Young ladies absolutely should not accept this type of treatment, but because they are, some young men are going to do as much as they are allowed to get away with. How unfortunate. Changing societal norms will never make things like bailing on a date at the last-minute ok.

At the end of the piece, I was left with only one conclusion - the mainstream media has moved on from the "Black women aren't getting married!" crisis, to the "Young people aren't getting married!" crisis. This article was nothing more than a scare tactic to the younger generations, a written scolding for them to shape up & act right by conforming to the arcane rules that their parents & grandparents were forced to adhere to. Mark my words, soon we'll see magazine articles, books, segments on CNN, all devoted to the marriage crisis among the younger generations. There's no crisis, it's all being manufactured to sell things & drive women to panic (cause let's be honest, most young men don't give a damn about when or if they get married...because they don't receive the same type of pressure from their families that young women receive).

I say we all opt-out. Let's just enjoy our dating & relationships, no matter how different it may be from our parents' generation.

The Social Media-Relationship Struggle

First a story, then some thoughts... It's Friday, my boss is out sick, and I have zero motivation to actually be productive even though I have deliverables & deadlines looming. I'm indulging in some Twitter randomness, and during that, I tweet that no one is checking for me on Twitter (which is true btw, I'm so not popular in these Twitter streets...but I digress...). The comedy continues until a guy replies to my initial tweet with "yeah, you're right tho".

0_o excuse me? This is interesting...considering that this same guy used to text me & be on my phone telling me how interested he was & how he wished he wasn't so far away to visit.

Granted, he & I have had conflict on the Twitter before, & I'm got a small tolerance for perceived disrespect. So I called him on it. We go back & forth for a bit, but I leave it with a "it wasn't nice, if you really feel that way you should keep it to yourself cause that was mean & uncalled for". I think it's dead until I get a text.

What did the text say? "The truth is...I was going to respond nicely & say that I'd check for you...but in order to keep the peace within my own relationship I decided that it would have been better for me to be a jerk. It was rude, classless & in bad taste & for that I am sorry..."

I appreciate the apology...but the first thing I thought was "you had to slander me publicly in order to keep the peace in your relationship? Your girl that insecure?"

I've seen a lot of this thinking on Twitter lately. Men proclaiming how they don't like any IG pics of a woman, or even follow any women on IG. Why? To keep the peace in their relationship, because they aren't trying to be questioned abt what pics they liked, if they are cheating, etc.

WHO ARE THESE BROADS YALL ARE DATING & WHY ARE THEY SO INSECURE?

I can promise you, I've never paid attention to what pics were liked by a guy I was dating. I'm not stalking his Twitter, his FB, his IG, etc. I wouldn't have even occurred to me to pay attention to these things...cause it wouldn't indicate to me that a dude was cheating or his attention was elsewhere. Yet somehow I'm in the minority about this. How did this happen?

Listen, I had a dude cheat on me for our ENTIRE relationship. Like he had a gf when he met me & he conveniently got amnesia about that & didn't remember for almost 2 years, even after he asked me to marry him. I had a feeling something wasn't right but I still didn't go hunting for info. It's just not my nature. I don't have the time to be stalking social media, analyzing every "LOL" or character in a tweet to figure out if he's cheating or not. And a guy complimenting another woman doesn't threaten me at all. But apparently I'm in the minority?

I'd love to hear from the men who have to go through this - why do you put up with it? Why is it necessary to be an asshole out in the streets in order to make your girl feel good about yall relationship? Do you think that's healthy?

And in case it wasn't clear...its not nice or appropriate to slander a chick so that your girl won't get upset. Stop that shit.

Sometimes I Feel Like A Love Loser

For the record, I don't know what exactly brought this topic to mind. I was in my room, I think looking for something to wear, and I started thinking of my love life for some strange reason. And I didn't feel good about it. I felt...like I was somehow behind the ball & doing something wrong. I definitely felt like a loser while I was home for Christmas. Both of my brothers are married & have kids, and my baby sister (who is 8 years younger) brought her new boyfriend to meet the family. He's a nice guy & all that...and after they left, I realized that I'm the only one without someone to bring home for the holidays. And I'm the oldest! How did this happen?

I love my family & they don't make my relationship status a big deal...but I don't really wanna go home for another Christmas with the family & be uber-single like I am *sigh*

I don't just feel like a loser because I'm not in a relationship. It happens.

I feel like a loser because 1) no one's interested in me & 2) I am cursed with always liking guys who don't live in my city. Always. This isn't exclusive to Minneapolis - every city that I've lived in, I've connected with & liked guys who didn't live in my city. Where are the guys that are in close proximity, that can actually take me on a date & cuddle & hold hands & stuff? The guys that I want to do those types of things with (including the one I like right now) are always a plane ride away...and that's just so hard. After the Vegas dude, IDK if I'm up for it again. But what other alternative do I have? :-(

I'd love to be one of those women who is ok with no/limited male attention & companionship in my life, but I'm not. I need it. I crave it. And the fact that I don't have it...I feel like I'm doing wrong & every other woman is out here doing something right, even the most ratchet of the ratchet. Not that I think I'm more deserving of a relationship or love or anything else...I just wonder "why not me?"

I think of all the things I haven't done in a relationship or have had limited experience with, and they seem like such elementary things...taking a trip with a boo, meeting the extended family, having mutual friends, a regular schedule of when we see each other, etc. I wonder & worry if I'll ever get to do those things.

#EndOfMyPityParty

The Curvy Girl's Conundrum

co·nun·drum/kəˈnəndrəm/ Noun: A confusing and difficult problem or question; A question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.

I can divide my younger years into 2 clear groups - before & after the summer between 8th & 9th grade. For most people, this is just the transition to high school & those all-important teenage years. But for me, this was also when I was hit by the Puberty Fairy. I went to bed one night a girl & woke up the next day with the body of a grown ass woman. I was shocked - where did all this come from??? Before this, I was your typical nerdy Black girl. An ugly duckling, who was lucky to get a "hi" from a boy or to be partnered with one for a class project. I was not one of the girls that the boys fawned over, showering them with attention & compliments in that middle school way. Nope, I was non-existent except when it came time to needing answers for the homework. So you can imagine what happens to a girl when she goes from middle school to high school with a new body & zero experience with the opposite sex...whatever you're thinking, yep, it happened to me. That Ugly Duckling Syndrome is real y'all.

Since the day the Puberty Fairy blessed me, I've had a love-hate relationship with my body & my curves. I've gone from trying to hide them under baggy clothes to accentuating them with fitted clothes & bodycon-esque dresses. Some days I love my figure - how I naturally have a smaller waist & wider hips, how even at my smallest, I had a 13 inch difference between my waist measurement & my hips measurement, how absolutely fabulous my breasts are. Other days, I hate it - how I have a "booty gap" in my jeans, the stretch marks & cellulite on my thighs & hips, $$$ I have to spend on bigger bras.

But the biggest issue that I have with my body isn't really with my body at all...it's with the attention that my body gets from guys.

I get it, men are visual. Men like certain things - booty, breasts, hips, thighs, lips, all that. They see a woman who has the things they like, and usually their first thoughts are around the physical. Ok let's be honest, dudes see stuff they like & they think "I wonder if I can fuck her". At a minimum they may wonder what that mouf do, or if the booty is soft or something...something!

We all know that with a lot of men, the women that they approach on the physical is different than the women that they approach to date. That's cool...except because of my curves, I'm normally in the former group :-/ And I don't want to be. I'm more than the breasts, hips, ass & thighs. I have a brain! I'm a nice girl! But a lot of guys never find out, cause they approach on that "I'm trying to be physical" thing.

So where does the conundrum come in?

As a woman, I want to be seen as beautiful, attractive, sexy, all that & more. I was to be desired for my curves & my body. But I don't want that to be the sole attraction or source of desire. Get it? Knowing that a man thinks your hot is great...knowing that man just wants to fuck you is not.

Feeling that I'm just viewed as a sexual being actually gives me a great deal of angst. Its not a role or title that I relish. In fact, I wish I could do something about it. But alas, I'll always have these curves, and even a nun's habit wouldn't hide them. I still love compliments & the attention of a man...but I just wish that I was seen as...more. That the non-physical things that make me awesome were just as in demand. That I wasn't put in the "chicks I'd like to fuck" category by most of the guys I meet.

How to get out of that box...now THAT is my conundrum...

Is "Tricking Off" A Gender Neutral Activity Now?

Have you heard the new Brandy - Monica collaboration, It All Belongs To Me?

In this gem of a song, the ladies let their boothang(s) know that he needs to leave his laptop, bags, car, etc behind & just take what he came with, because "it all belongs to me" (or is it them, since they are both singing this song? I digress...).

Is this the new version of Beyonce's Irreplaceable? Similar theme right - leave the stuff I bought you & get out cause you fucked up.

I might be out of the loop here...but are there really women buying men cars, clothes, laptops & other assorted trinkets in exchange for the longstroke & some companionship? Like really? I am so amazed. You always here about men who do these things, and for some folks it's expected behavior. But how often do you hear about a woman tricking off on a man?

I admit - this is behavior that I just don't understand. Sure, I've bought a few presents. I've paid for some dinners. But financing a lifestyle? Naw, Jubi can't even get down like that. For one, I'm not ballin like that. And for two, any dude that would let me finance his lifestyle isn't my type of guy anyway. Honestly, I wouldn't even be cool with the reverse situation - sure I joke about finding a sugar daddy, but if the opportunity ever presented itself, I'd be too weirded out & uncomfortable to allow it to happen. Sure it would be nice to be a lady of leisure, but I would never actually go for it.

The only guy who would be getting high-priced and/or regular gifts from me, would be my husband. Buying the affections of some random guy seems like the fastest route to heartbreak.

So...where are all these women who are tricking off? Cause I don't know any of these chicks. Are there women out here tricking off on random dudes, or is this one of those totally unrealistic scenarios presented by the music industry?

 

It's Not You, It's Me

Shameless plug - I'm doing the Green Bay Half-marathon as part of Team In Training, to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'd love your support via a tax-deductible donation. There's a widget at the bottom of the page, or you can follow this link . No donation is too small. Thanks for your help! :-) Have you ever said "it's not me, it's you" to someone? Did you actually mean it? Or was it just an excuse?

I have a confession - I have a really hard time breaking up with a guy. I'm absolutely horrible at it. Mostly because I always feel like a jerk, and a bad guy, even when I'm not.

It's really easy to quit someone when they've treated you badly - lied to you, cheated on you, etc. But when there's nothing really "wrong" but it's still not right...that's a harder situation. Sometimes the chemistry isn't right. Sometimes you just meet someone who is a better fit for you. And then you have to have that uncomfortable conversation.

I'm terrible at this. Especially with the really nice guys, the guys that didn't do anything wrong. These are normally the men that have been deemed the nice guys, or the good guys. You know, the type that is chivalrous, doesn't try to make a move when you watch a movie while cuddling on the couch, who is sweet & respectful. These are the hardest guys to break up with because of the good guy factor. A lot of asshole dudes used to be good guys, who felt that they couldn't "win" until they because an asshole. There's a misguided assumption that all women like assholes, and some guys feel that they have to become one in order to get the woman they want.

Granted, there are some women who can't appreciate a nice guy. I am not one of them. I love a nice guy...but there has to be other things there too. We still need chemistry, mutual interests, compatibility, etc. If one or more of those things are missing, then I wont be happy, no matter how nice the guy is.

And that's where the breakup comes in.

When a guy hasn't done anything "wrong" it's so hard for me to say that I'm no longer interested. Or that I'm interested in someone else, or pursuing a relationship with another man. I always feel like the bad guy, like I'm doing something wrong. This fear I have of looking like a jerk during a breakup leads me to drag my feet with it. I'm super apologetic & I tend to talk my way around it, instead of being direct.

The same goes for telling guys that I know are interested in me, that I've decided to be in a relationship. Mostly because every time I've done it, I've gotten a strong response from the guy. And that just makes me feel even worse. :-(

Recently I've had to give a few of these talks...and one went absolutely horribly. It went "you suck, I don't wanna be friends & have a nice life" horribly...and I felt like such a jerk afterwards. Even though I didn't do anything wrong, I still felt bad because someone else felt bad. My happiness is causing someone else to be sad...which is hard for me.

Maybe I shouldn't care so much. But I do. It's the Cancer in me - we're empathetic & compassionate. And I never want to hurt someone, even unintentionally. Sometimes..it just happens.