Why I Don’t Want to Be a Dating & Relationships Writer Anymore…

10402885_10153104856801997_1167179388693634504_nWhen I first started this blog, I had already written and published my first book which was a somewhat autobiographical account of my many experiences and lessons learned in the areas of friendship, dating, my spiritual process, self-acceptance and my climb on the career ladder. I had also picked up my first paid freelance writing gig with Madame Noire. I was writing therefore I was in my element, but somewhere along the way I became branded a dating and relationships writer for the publication and at first it was cool. I had a load of experiences in dating and writing about it allowed me the vulnerability I needed to heal from my own past disasters.

But back to my blog, when I first started this blog, it was supposed to be a continuation of my book, but I didn’t know how to frame things other than sharing experiences of my own, but when I was featured in Quirky Brown Love’s 200+ Black Bloggers List as an “inspirational” blogger it dawned on me that I had to a story to share…stories…and I can share them and frame them in a way that offers solutions and empowerment to those reading them. So I began to do that on my blog, but since Madame Noire had the larger readership I figured I would shift my content there as well, but when pitch days came, I wasn’t getting the feedback that I hoped for. My inspirational stories were often trashed and the dating trends and topics took precedence over everything.

I’m currently going through a transitional phase in my life. I am a recovering over lover, I’ve taken a step back from dating so that I can actually focus on living my life and as I was updating my Digital Portfolio a few days ago, I noticed that other than dating, there wasn’t much substance to my Madame Noire writings. I mean sure I’ve covered other topics, but generally it was all dating, all sex, all relationships…and here I am still single. So I thought, maybe it’s time you focus on something else Dej.

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So I’ve been building. I’ve been working on something that will be of direct service to you all. I’ve been more cognizant of my content and I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a dating and relationships writer anymore. I want more substance, more inspiration, more empowerment, more encourage for women to build themselves and each other up. I don’t want to write about love and dating and sex anymore. I want to write and share inspirational stories of things that matter.

 

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.

Before the Ring | Things to Do With Your Partner Before Getting Hitched

Life is a beautiful thing. There’s so much to see, so many places and things to explore and the wonderful thing about being single is that you can do these things freely. However, at some point in life we are bound to fall in love and it’s natural to want to do all the amazing things that you love with the person you love. You want to make sure that the grand life you had as a single person stays grand even after marriage. You want to make sure the person that you love is socially compatible with you or at least open to some of  your epic adventures. You want to leave enough time to figure out if you two have a similar vision of what your lives will look like together. I call this my “pre-hitched” checklist because seriously, who wants to be bored in love? Or as Martin would say, “clank clank, locked down” in love?

Travel the Globe, See Some World

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I’m a girl who loves soaking in different cultures whether through food, film, literature and music, but isn’t it more fun to soak in those things in their country, city or state? From past experience, traveling together can bring out the worst and good in a couple, but it can also be a learning experience, a shared experience. I mean home is where the heart is and that’s cool and all, but it’s even better being able to step away from your routine life for a bit for some foreign rejuvenation. Wouldn’t it be cool to just pick anywhere in the world to explore with your significant other? Someplace neither of you can pronounce? I think traveling together is important.

Have Some Very Adult Conversations

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Does your partner want children? How many? Do you not? Does your partner belong to a specific religion that you have no desire converting to? Have you two discussed future care plans? If the circumstance arose that a work relocation was offered how willing would you be to make accommodations? These are important things to discuss BEFORE being legally bound and be honest. Don’t trick your partner into a situation that would leave them unhappy in the end. The worst thing that can happen is you two get married to later find that you have some opposing ideals that are a huge deal. Talk about your financial status and any debts that you’re responsible for.

Take Care of Something Together

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In a perfect world I’d have two cats (Hyrules & Zelda) and a dog (Dottie)…maybe even a mini teacup pig (Juniper)…I love animals, but in all seriousness, taking care of something 100% dependent on you is something every couple should do before marriage and most definitely before kids. Pets are like a couple’s pre-trial period to kids. You learns each other’s nurturing styles, at times discipline styles, and how dedicated you two are to this dependent. If pets are too big a step for you, a plant will suffice.

Share Some Space

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Living together is debatable. Some feel that gives you a preview to what married life will be like while others believe that it’ll just unnecessarily speed things up in the relationship. I say whatever floats your boat. I dated a guy for 6 years before moving in with him and in those seven months of living together, it revealed so much to me about our relationship which caused me to call it quits. Moving forward I wouldn’t live with another person before marriage, but I did see the benefits of it. If you can share space with someone and not feel like killing them, they might be the one. If you can share space with someone and feel like killing them, but you don’t, that person is a keeper because self-control ain’t too easy to come by these days (just kidding).

In my journey to love I’ve learned that good things such as marriage shouldn’t be rushed, they take time, but in the meantime you have some tasks to tackle before the “She Said Yes” or “I Said Yes” social media post because you want to make sure what you’re saying yes to is what you really want and need.