How Dating is A lot Like Real Estate

How Dating is A lot Like Real Estate

I’m that single friend, the friend that everyone else is waiting to fall in love. I am the last of the Mohicans. While everyone is getting hitched, cuffed, and any other term you can think of, I’m packing my bags, loading boxes and moving back home with the folks. I’ve gone from living on my own, to having a roommate, to moving in with a boyfriend, to moving back in with a roommate to ending up back at my parents’ house on the other side of the state. I realized how unstable and nomadic my living arrangements have become and it got me to thinking how dating has become a lot like real estate.

I mean consider it, once you’ve reached twenty-five your biological clock turns into a ticking time bomb and dating now becomes an investment. Things become a little bit more complicated and strategic. There are a bunch of factors to consider, similar to investing in property.

Before you can even buy a house or rent property anywhere you have to get pre-approved. After a series of background checks and credit checks your records will indicate whether you are ready to move forward in the process. Before placing yourself back on the market, you have to do a lot of background soul checking and evaluating and ask yourself are you ready for this. Have you been pre-approved for the dating market? Are you willing to put the effort in to build with an individual once you meet the right person? Credit scores can either make or break you, so are you in good standing with yourself? Do you have a poor self-love score that needs repairing? Is your confidence score fair? What are some areas you need to work on for an excellent score? Sometimes we find ourselves single and lonely and we use people as void fillers instead of filling those voids ourselves and because of that we end up with the wrong people, wasting time.

Nowadays the process of owning property has gotten a lot easier, but those maintenance expenses hurt! Are you ready for that long-term commitment or do you like the idea of packing up and leaving when the time feels right? When dating often times we commit to long-term situations with people who should only be on a month to month basis and we make temporary plans for someone we should be investing in long-term. Is there room for negotiation? Sometimes we go into situations with caution to where we don’t expect anything serious, but find ourselves developing feelings. We become afraid that if we express that to the other person they won’t feel the same way, so is there room for negotiation if things begin to take a different path?

Before investing in property whether renting or owning we search the list of amenities to see if this place suits our needs or if we’re just paying for four walls. Does this place offer private parking? Are utilities included? Standards are very important when dating and building with others. They should address our fundamental needs and be mirrored in what we have to bring to the table as well. The older we get the less time we have to be getting blindsided by curb appeal. We need substance something that brings more than just good looks. Just because they look good on the outside doesn’t mean they’re of value on the inside.

Last, but not lease where are you looking? Locations are some serious factors when renting or owning property. Are you in a place with a high market appeal? Is it an expensive location or affordable? Can anybody live in this area or is it exclusive? I mean sure it’s fun to party with the tipsy guy at the bar/lounge, but after that does he have a high appeal? Is he accessible to anyone who bothers with him or is he a good investment?

As I sit in this soul checking, credit checking point in my life, I wonder when I will find an investment worth the long-term commitment.

Punch Drunk Love: Don’t Be That Girl

Punch Drunk Love: Don’t Be That Girl

Shamefully, we can all admit that we have been the type of girl who would give her all to a man without the expectation of getting anything in return. We have all been with a man, whom we have cooked for, paid some bills for, did his laundry, and even cleaned up his place sometimes. As old as time, women have been conditioned to “cater” to their men. We have been conditioned that the only way to keep a man is if we take care of him domestically, play our parts, know our roles, but ladies there’s a difference between being his girlfriend, his wife or worst his mother.

Nowadays, people have the idea of “marriage material” all messed up. Granted, we all have different standards and qualities we look for in a life partner, but if you think cooking and cleaning up after someone equates to you deserving a ring or even a commitment period, then sadly, you are wrong.  Continue reading “Punch Drunk Love: Don’t Be That Girl”

Cupid’s Arrow Gun

Cupid’s Arrow Gun

This is another one of those cases where I had to unlearn what I’ve been taught and draw my own conclusions about love and life. I joke often about my usage of OkCupid. It’s a lot more entertaining than Tinder and requires a lot more effort when creating a profile. You have to answer a series of questions and as you swipe through profiles you’re able to see the compatibility percentage between you and others and you’re also able to see the questions that you answered the same and the ones you answered differently. So I use it often. I spent hours and hours swiping, matching and messaging guys from NJ and NYC to see if there’s a “spark” or a mutual interest to take things further. I’ve met my share of creeps and pervs. I’m sure my block list is as long as the NYC marathon at this point. However, recently I matched with a guy from Harlem and on impulse and since I was already in the city, I invited him out with me and some of my friends to have a fun night in the Lower East Side. So we met the same day we matched and I usually don’t do stuff like that for obvious dangerous reason, but I was feeling brave.

We met at a bar in the Lower East Side and conversation was great. I was already two drinks into my tequila on the rocks and was feeling extremely courageous. I didn’t have any food in my system, so we ditched our friends for a bit and walked to a .99 cent pizza shop across from the bar. We sat outside and talked about everything. Socialism, favorite colors, work, favorite foods, political viewpoints, hobbies and I decided that I actually liked this guy. The fact that he wouldn’t allow me to pay for anything was also a plus. Not that I needed him to. So we walk back to the bar and join our friends. After several shots, dancing and just acting silly the bartenders did their last calls. We closed ur tabs and hung outside the bar. One of his friends, extremely ignorant approached us and said, “I don’t have anything against gay people, just don’t touch me.” So in a sarcastic way I said, “why? Do they have diseased hands?” So we got into an argument because according to him, AIDS originated from gay people, it’s an abomination and AIDS was their punishment like the plague in Egypt. Of course I asked him for a black and white scripture on the abomination of homosexuality to which he couldn’t give me one. My OkCupid guy to my relief agreed with me on everything I was saying, but then he blurted out he didn’t believe in God.

Pause.

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Now this is the part where I needed to start thinking. I grew up in an orthodox Christian household where there are rules. Life is black and white just as the pages in the Bible (minus the red). That’s how I was raised, but throughout the years as I grow into a woman, I realize that life isn’t black and white. It’s actually quite colorful. I’ve learned to unravel everything that I’ve learned these last 25 years and have really examined the bigger picture of life. So why was him not believing in God weighing so heavy on me? I took to Facebook and asked my friends if they could date someone of a different faith or no faith at all and most said no, but all it takes is that one to identify with to make it all better. My sorority sister spoke up and talked about how she’s been in a relationship with an Atheist for the past three years and not once have either of them tried to change the other. He’s opened her mind up to so much and vice versa and they have a very healthy relationship.

I can’t deny that I do actually like him and would like to get to know him a lot better, so I asked him his reasoning for his choice and he actually had a similar story to me. He was raised Catholic (I was Christian) and he just didn’t feel like he belonged. SO many of his life experienced caused him to shift his views. He’s Honduran and life’s experiences living in Central America has left him with a lot of questions. He’s an insanely intelligent person, very genuine and caring and I like his character. He calls, texts, makes plans, so I’ve learned to be very open minded and get to know him better without being so quick to judge, toss aside, etc. It’s too early to tell where this’ll go though, but I’ll keep you posted! 

I want to know has anyone dated outside of their faith and what was that experience like for you?

10 Things to Know When Dating a Creative

10 Things to Know When Dating a Creative

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Dating a creative can be quite the adventure, but only if you avail yourself to experience it. Dating a creative can also require a lot of patience and TLC when necessary. As a creative, there are specific wants and needs that we have that might different from a “normal” relationship because at times we are far from normal and that’s not such a bad thing, but if you are dating a creative, if you’re attracted to one and is thinking of pursuing it, here are some things you should know beforehand.

We Love Spontaneity. 

Seriously if we wanted to date a Grandpa Joe or a Grandma Jane we could’ve just went to a nursing home. As a creative, routine and predictability are slow killers to our vibes. Our sense of adventure is much like our thought process, sporadic and unplanned. We get bored with the same thing day in and day out and often need an escape to get our creative juices flowing again. We love surprises and to be able to just get up and go do something fun without hesitation.

Simple, Creative Dates Trump Traditional, Expensive Ones.

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Even though we like spontaneity, that doesn’t mean we’re materialistic. We’d actually prefer a simple and creative date over a traditional and expensive one. Rather than going out to a fancy restaurant for brunch or lunch, we’d prefer a picnic at a park or near a harbor. Rather than taking us to the movies we’d prefer going to a free movie night in the park if the weather is permitting. We love free concerts and music festivals. We love flea markets and thrifting. We love when the person we are dating can think outside the box because we often live life outside the box.

We Value Space. 

Sometime you might find us in a creative bubble where we completely tune everything out. We might not text you or call you or see you for a day or two. Sometimes we need a clear and creative space to do what we do. We aren’t avoiding you, but unless you’re a creative yourself and we can bound ideas back and forth we’d prefer to be left alone. We’d prefer you leave us in our creative fog and don’t try to disturb us.

Late Night are Inevitable. 

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Our college days are over, but pulling all-nighters certainly aren’t. There was a time when I had a regular job that I went to everyday. I would get home around 8pm every night and rather than going to bed, I would open up my laptop and just write. I would be up until three in the morning. Sometimes I wouldn’t go to sleep at all. It comes with the territory. There are times when I’ll be in bed and an idea will come to be and force me to get up. The goal usually is to get it out of our mind and on to paper before we forget it.

Emotions Are Everything. 

One of the things that come with being a creative or a deep thinker is that when we feel things…we REALLY feel them and it is often fuel for another poem, song, article, painting, story, etc. We don’t just feel things, we experience them. We sit in it, they consume us. So be prepared to deal with an array of emotions.

We are Scatterbrains.

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Sometimes we’re messy and you’ll have to clean up after us. Sometimes we forget to make that phone call. Sometimes we forget to respond to an important email. Sometimes we forget we were supposed to meet you somewhere. Sometimes we forget our thoughts mid-sentence. It’s not that we don’t care or that we have a disregard for others, our minds are literally on 100 all the time. So be prepared to give us reminders and repeat yourself often. Sorry.

We Didn’t Ask for Your Opinion Until We Ask For Your Opinion.

Keep in mind we’re artist and we sensitive bout our ish so unless we ask for your opinion please save the bootleg art critiques. Don’t tell us how to write our stories, don’t tell us how to paint a portrait, don’t tell us how we should sing that song UNLESS we asked you to.

Big Kid Moments Happen Often.

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Telling us we need to grow up often falls on deaf ears. What fun is life if you’re not getting a little silly and immature? We play too much, we enjoy laughter. We enjoy being kiddie at times. Sometimes we like to sit and watch the Adventure Time marathon. Don’t rain on our parade just because you prefer to be a prude.

We Follow Our Gut. 

We might say one thing, but end up doing a completely different thing because following our gut is telling us to. It’s just something we do. Being an artist and a creative is about taking a risk, often again societal norms and expectations.

Don’t Make Us Choose.

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Photo Cred: Arnold Butler IG: @ab2ether

Do NOT give us an ultimatum. Do not force us to choose between what we create and you because that is a battle you will lose every time.

Here’s The Thing About Human Desire…

Here’s The Thing About Human Desire…

I recently started reading Women’s Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston for leisure and because female sexuality has always been something that’s interested me. The more I get to know myself, the more in tuned I become with the things that I desire and my own personal triggers. I’m also learning that you can desire someone in different ways for different reasons some sexual and some non-sexual, but in the midst of it all there’s this undeniable human desire in all of us that just NEEDS physical touch. It’s the natural part of human nature.

There are times where you may find yourself unimpressed by someone and not even interested in them as a person, but there’s a burning desire that says otherwise. It’s un-explainable and often times makes no sense at all. Ever found yourself at work, or just going about your daily routine and this unprovoked desire creeps up as if someone, somewhere is beckoning you? As I read, I came across the Love Story of Shakti and Shiva and I was immediately intrigued. Now, I don’t believe in worshipping deities or anything of that nature, but I love a good perspective story that explains how things are. Excerpt:

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In the beginning was the One. The One was all and everything, and for eons it reveled in being One for millennia of magnificent unitary bliss. Over the course of unimaginable time, however, the One grew bored. 

So the One split into two. One part was Shakti–she of energy, flow, and movement. The other was Shiva–he of consciousness, presence, and purpose. 

As soon as one became two, they gazed upon each other, fell madly in love, and wanted nothing more than to re-unite. They clasped each other passionately and explored all the ways two could merge into one. They entered each other and dissolved boundaries between them. For millennia they made love, exquisite erotic love. At long last they again achieved oneness as they exploded in mutual simultaneous orgasm. In that moment, the entire universe was born. All life sprang into being and springing is still.

According to Winston we naturally long for that connection and are magnetized by attraction and are drawn by the desire for oneness. I thought this was very interesting. I think it’s pretty interesting how love and desire have become antonymous. We don’t choose desire. It’s something that can happen at any given moment. When it comes to love it is often said to be a choice. Our initial response to someone is desire and depending on how powerful that desire is we choose to love them and it is that desire that keeps that love burning.

Reclaiming Self

Reclaiming Self

Let’s rewind to about…two weeks ago…I’m on Thanksgiving Break spending the week in South Jersey with my family (I think Trenton is Central Jersey, but it’s debatable). I’ve just finished my third month of being a full time teacher and goodness knows I could use this break. As we (teachers) clocked out and say our good byes and engaged in small talk about what we had planned for the holiday to which we all agreed on “sleep” being the highlight, we set out…going our separate ways, closing the doors to our classrooms and checking out mentally.

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Yes! I thought to a mental break…a break away from teaching AND being a grad students. On Thanksgiving Break, I didn’t eat myself into multiple food comas, in fact, I barely ate (I had a Mexican food craving rather than Thanksgiving food..so what…fight me if you don’t like it) because I barely got up from my cozy bed at my parent’s house. I turned off work emails, but not my personal email account because you know…sometimes in the midst of all the junk mail, I actually find some cool shit in there somewhere. WHAT WASN’T COOL however was an email that I had gotten from an ex. YUP, you read that right…this year makes THREE years since we’d gone our separate ways so WHY IN THE NAME OF THE GOOD LORD WAS HE SENDING ME AN EMAIL?!?!?!?!? In summary, it was an email “seeking atonement” for his wrongdoing and telling me how proud he is of the woman I’ve become…and for a second, the old Dej that would’ve replied back in anger with some snappy and petty comments ALMOST surfaced, but then I realized how much I didn’t need that apology. The past three years in his absence have been about me reclaiming myself and my identity. It was about examining those six years and reflecting on the person I WAS when I was there, what I liked about myself when I was with him and what I didn’t like and during those reflections I realized that the things I didn’t like about myself when I was with him heavily outweighed the things that I did like about myself.

So I kindly responded telling him not to contact me again (I mean if I changed my number and blocked you on social media sites, why did you think email was the next best route?) and added his email to block sender with the help of several tweets and emails to the person behind the Google gmail social media account (I’m tech savvy, but sometimes I have a slow moment..sue me).

Point of the story is there is a purpose behind every. single. thing. that. happens. to. you. in. this. life. GOT THAT?! Every. single. thing. It’s an opportunity for you to RECLAIM YOURSELF!!! Even when you’ve fallen off, just experienced a horrible break up, got laid off from a job, or found yourself deep in the muddy swamps of unemployment…it’s an opportunity for you to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix (channeling my inner Dumbledore) and that’s exactly what the hell I did and you betta ZOO IT TOO BOO BOO.

xoxo