My Expectations For Marriage

I wrote a beautiful post...and it was posted on A Practical Wedding today! APW was one of my fave wedding sites during my engagement, and I love that they focus on more than just the wedding. They have info and posts about not just your wedding, but your marriage, your family, even your career. And the community? Its the bee's knees, full of thoughtful commenters who know how to be respectful. A snippet from my post:

got married a little over five months ago.  As a newlywed, the question I get the most often is, “How is married life? Is it everything you expected?” I generally give a generic answer about it being awesome, but that’s a half-truth. Married life is amazing and better than I expected, but that’s because my expectations were non-existent.

I always knew that I wanted to be married, but I never spent much time thinking about what I wanted from marriage. Instead, I fantasized about what I didn’t want my marriage to be like—my parents’ marriage. I grew up in a two-parent home, with people who loved each other but didn’t know how to really make a marriage work. It wasn’t their fault; they both grew up in single-parent homes. They grew up differently and took different paths in life before they met and married.

Check out the rest here - I Have No Idea How To Have A Happy Marriage on A Practical Wedding

Thanks for reading!.

A Place I Never Thought I Would Be

It's been so long since I've written, I don't even know where to begin! How do you share everything that has happened in three months, when so much has happened during that time? I suppose I can start with the biggest and best thing to ever happen to me - I GOT MARRIED! I still can't believe that it happened! Over the years I used this space to share my fears and worries over ending up an old maid, and in the end, that wasn't my destiny. In the end, the Universe conspired to bring me my hearts desire, a man who is my perfect complement, who loves me 100% for who and what I am today. Some days I just stare at him and thank the Universe for bringing me what I truly wanted, because for a long time I felt that it would never happen. Not only did it happen, but it all came together so perfectly, so beautifully, that it had to be divinely inspired.

Yes I have the largest smile in the world here...wouldn't you?

Leading up to the wedding, I had some anxiety about our wedding being good enough. Good enough is a concept I continue to wrestle with, though I've found that it doesn't have the same hold on me that it once did. In the end, the time spent planning our perfect wedding (perfect for us that is) was worth it, but the anxiety was not. I married the man of my dreams in front of my family and friends, and had a ball celebrating with them, and it all felt so perfect. I felt beautiful, despite not losing the weight I wanted to lose. Our venue was gorgeous, though we opted for the smaller space than the larger one. Our guests enjoyed our cocktail hour and dinner selections, and we didn't need the huge spread of expensive options. A small piece of me wonders if our wedding is good enough to be featured on my favorite wedding blogs or in the wedding magazines I bought religiously, but in the end, none of that matters. When I think of my wedding day, all I remember is the joy, the smiles, the happiness, and the love that surrounded us. 

And now here I find myself with a husband - A HUSBAND! How it happen? Why it happen? LOL

Outside of my marriage bliss, I've settled into my new job, which I started in October. I like this role much more, mostly because I work with a good team, I have supportive managers, and I am empowered to make decisions. While my job is good, my confidence in my company is not high. Layoffs tend to have that effect, especially when they seem to be done indiscriminately and disproportionately affect women and minorities in the company. It's hard to feel optimistic about my future, or even that my work is making a difference. It's a confusing, difficult time, but I appreciate that I have a husband who supports me through the craziness.

And so...here I am. Back to writing!

 

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 :-)

Happy Jubi

First, let me just say, my bad on the whole writing thing. It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you without something dope to hold you over...but it's been a struggle. The struggle has been all in my head though, cause I've had plenty of things to say and Twitter has been getting a lot of my good material. I gotta stop letting blog posts come out in 20+ tweets. I miss writing so I'm going to work on doing better, I promise.  It's the end of April, and so far it's been a great 2014. Everything hasn't been perfect, and my job continues to be largest source of non-happiness, but overall, I'm great. Life is great, I'm happy and apparently everyone can see it. A constant refrain I've been hearing is "You're so happy now! You're the happy Jubi!"

Really yall? The happy Jubi? What does that even mean???

Well apparently, it means that I'm no longer the angry mean person I used to be. Now I'm giggly and smiling and glowing. Posting happy pics and messages and whatnot. My friends have noticed, both my local friends and those far away. If I run into someone I haven't seen in a while, the first thing they say to me is how happy I am. I'm getting FB messages and texts commenting on how happy I look & seem to be.

All of that is true - I am giggly, smiling, and glowing. I'm a big old simp now, I'm always posting on FB and Instagram and Twitter. What can I say, I'm in love! I'm happy in my relationship, I love him lots and I'm in a really great place relationship-wise. I really never thought I would be here, I really believed that I would be an old maid. I'm out here caking but I don't think I've changed into a totally different person...or maybe I was just in denial about how much negativity was in my life and how much of that people saw. I did definitely go through some things but I thought I was a pretty happy person overall.

Nonetheless, I am a very happy and apparently it shows :-)

Now I just have to figure out how to share more...

Sharing Space

Today is Day 7 of my 30 days of blogging challenge. According to my list, today's topic is my favorite childhood toys. That's lame.

Google Reader was being lame today, at least on Internet Explorer (don't judge me, my workplace is still on that). I'd didn't get a chance to comb though the Jezebel posts until I got home, and when I did, I found this post interesting - The Secret to a Happy Marriage Might Just Be Living Apart.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 3.5 million married couples in the U.S. have found a solution: Living apart. New Yorkers Allen Sheinman and his wife, Collette Stallone, did just that. "We decided right away that we were going to keep our own places," said Sheinman. "What it would mean is that we could be married and still feel like it was dating, and it actually wasn't a bad way to go."

Married couples who live apart for reasons other than legal separation as nearly doubled since 1990, when roughly 1.7 million American couples did it. How much of that is for financial reasons, however, isn't clear. Whereas couples like Shainman and Stallone live in the same city but in two different apartments, Candice and David Knox live and work in different states. "People think that we're weird," said David Knox. "When you're married, you're supposed to live together. It just freaks them out."

Interesting concept.

I've never lived with a boyfriend. I haven't had a roommate since senior year of college, so it's been almost 10 years since I've shared space with another person \. I know that I'm very spoiled, having lived alone for so many years. I can have all the closet space, sleep in the middle of the bed, and I can leave dirty dishes in the sink as long as I want. I watch what I want to watch, if I snore there's no one to hear it and I can set the thermostat to whatever temp I want. When I want company I can hang out with the homies, and when I want to be alone I can stay in my apartment.

I wonder how I'm going to adjust when I do get married. I've said that my preferred living situation with my future husband is side by side townhouses. We could hang out with each other at someone's place, have sleepovers & whatnot, and then when he was getting on my nerves or I needed some space I could go home or send him home. I'd have plenty of closet space, and I wouldn't be bothered if he left puddles on the bathroom floor.

Having two separate homes might be expensive though. At a minimum I'd need separate bedrooms. We'd still sleep together most of the time, but I'd need my own room to have my own space. I'm also a person who can't sleep with noise or light, so if he's a snorer, I'd need my own bed. If he's one of those people who falls asleep with the tv on, I'm gonna need my own bed. Besides, sleeping together every night isn't an indication of how committed two people are. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who sleep together every night who have no devotion or fidelity to each other.

I'm not one of those people who has to be up under my significant other all the time. I enjoy doing things together, but I also cherish my personal space, my down time to just think and reflect alone. A few weeks ago I was on vacation, on a cruise ship with 6000 other people. I spent a week sharing a spacious stateroom with my mom and sister, and by the end, the thing I wanted most was to lay on my couch alone. I spent some time on the ship laying out by the adults-only pool, in search of some solitude. I don't see this need for solitude changing as I get older, so I'll definitely need my own space when I do cohabitate.

I know I can't be alone in this. Am I?

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 Non-Apology I Didn't Need - The Story Of TapBack Gone Wrong

The subject read - This is long overdue. I paused before I opened it. 8 months had gone by since the last time we'd spoken. In that last moment, I'd reached my limit. The proverbial camel's back had been broken by the last straw in our relationship, which was his lack of an iota of give a damn about me. Though I'd taken all I could & would take from him, that did not diminish the pain I felt afterwards. I mourned the loss of him in my life, and suffered through tears, sleepless nights & constant worry that I'd end up an old maid. He went on, life as normal, and soon after had a new girlfriend, which sent me into another state of peril. Eventually my tears dried, I could sleep again, and my worries began to fade. I started getting help. And finally feeling better.

He must have some type of GPS device, something to alert him when I'm happy & well. That's always when he comes back into my life. This isn't the first time we've done this song & dance. But it's the last time.

I laid in bed for a while, just thinking. Replaying our history in my mind. Reminding myself that no matter what this email said, that I didn't need his apology to close the door on not only our relationship, but our friendship. I'd given myself the closure I needed months ago, and there was nothing he could say to me to make me re-open that door.

And so...I tapped my phone & opened the email.

This is way late, but I assumed you didn't want to hear much after blocking me on Facebook and unfollowing me a while back. Anyway, I apologize for the way I handled things. 
 
If you want to talk, I'm open. If not, take care. 
 
Anthony
After 8 months of no communication, 6 months of "love" & promises to be together forever, and 8 years of friendship...that's what he decided to send me, as his way of atoning for his behavior.
 
He could have kept. In fact, he should have kept it.
 
After reading that email, and the non-apology it contained, my first thought was "I made the right decision".
 
A lot of words can be used to describe him. Accountable is not one of them. See, he's one of those people who can never take responsibility for their actions or even admit to their fuck ups. Each time we had a conflict that involved my displeasure with his behavior, it always dissolved into him deflecting the attention from his fuck up to something I was doing, which somehow justified or caused his fuck up. There was never a "I did it, my bad, I won't do it again", it was always my fault or my issue or I did something similar or not even close to similar so he was justified in whatever bullshit he was doing.
 
That shit gets old. QUICK.
 
He could have sent me 2 words - I'm sorry.
 
Instead he started off his email blaming me for his inability for his lack of apology for 8 months, and for his part in fucking up our relationship & breaking my heart. Apparently I could have gotten that apology months ago if I hadn't blocked him on FB or unfollowed him on Twitter. Cause you know, it's totally natural to continue to see tweets & FB status updates from the man who broke your heart, the man who you thought you were gonna marry...cause the man said he wanted to marry you & took you ring shopping. What the fuck was I thinking???
 
After I read & digested that email, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to find out why he sent it, why he sent it now, why he sent me an email at 4AM and let him know exactly how I felt about his dick apology. And so I asked him if we could Skype, because I needed to say all this to him face-to-face. And so I logged on & faced him for the first time in months. And just as I thought, he couldn't admit to anything. I can't say I was surprised. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was to let him know that I didn't need the apology. That I'm good without him. And most importantly, he'd never get the chance to hurt me again, in any capacity.
 
We've played this game before. We talk & then we go radio silent. We date & then we don't.
 
Not playing that game anymore.
 
He emailed me because he wanted to play another round.
 
Too bad for him, I don't play that game anymore.
 

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