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I’m really in awe at how this blog has grown in the past few months. I count it a privilege to write for Bandeka, and share my random crazy thoughts about love, life, and nonsense. However, I want the blog to become more interactive with the Bandeka family – Of the People and For the People This is why I recently reached out and asked for guest pieces - http://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/do-you-have-something-to-say-about-african-love-guest-blog-for-bandeka/ AND why I’m soliciting your thoughts below. Let me know what you want to hear more of! Love advice?? Current (celebrity) news?? General African/Diaspora topics?? …Sex?? I’ve given you the option to write in your answers as well. So let me know, I’m all ears!
I recently discovered the blog Mind of Malaka, and it has become one of my new forms of entertainment. Malaka is a Ghanaian blogger based in the US who writes about marriage, motherhood, and madness! In a post that I stumbled upon: “Spousal Stimulation Does Not Always Equal Arousal’, Malaka discusses things married couples do, which single people would not understand (or people who are just dating). I thought the piece was quite
disturbing hilarious, so I had to share. Malaka’s piece is a stark contrast to another article I was reading, which discusses a woman’s need for a little mystery in her relationship, ie. women should never let their men see them ‘putting on spanxs’ (or shaving their moustaches, tweezing their eyebrows or beards, or engaging in any act that relates to grooming, maintenance, and bodily functions the bathroom). I wonder if the latter is an old school of thought, while the other is the new norm for committed relationships. Before you jump to say that you have a history of being very open with your significant other, let’s run down Malaka’s list, shall we?
Let me also quote Malaka before I run through the list: “Let’s face it: there are things married folks do that people in casual relationships would never even permit, even as a passing thought. The bonds of matrimony are (supposed to be) that strong.” Here we go…
“1.Kissing your spouse in the mouth first thing in the morning without brushing your teeth.
2.Taking a dump in the same room while your spouse brushes his/her teeth.
3.Picking your spouse’s pimples and blackheads. (I admit, I happily did this when any guy I was dating would allow me to. Nothing makes my day like hearing a pimple go *squish!*)
4.Shaving each other’s pubic hairs
5.Cleaning up your spouse’s poo if he/she was too sick to get to the toilet immediately.
6.Cleaning up your spouse’s puke if he/she got carsick after a long trip.
7.Calling from the checkout line to ask if the “absorbency on these sanitary towels are the right level”.
8.Asking if the other party has gum, and being responded to with a partially chewed piece from the other person’s mouth.
9.Lying in bed playing the “make a new sentence with the last word of my sentence” game. (This is actually really fun!)
10.Farting in the middle of a heated conversation and carrying on like it never happened while the other person stares in disbelief before eventually fleeing the scene of the stink.
11.Scratching your butt, waving your fingers in your husband’s face and asking him if it smells like chocolate and/or roses.
12.Fighting over who gets to hide from the children in the attic.”
Still singing the same song??? OH me, OH my. On one hand, it’s great(?) that people can be so comfortable around each other, but I do wonder how one can keep up the sex appeal when you’re squishing the pimple of your spouse? Or scratching your …. let me stop. lol. I’d be interested to hear her husband chime in on the discussion. Given that guys are so visual, I wonder how seeing your wife take a dump while you’re brushing your teeth affects your relationship… or maybe it doesn’t at all…???
Regarding the other article, I wouldn’t agree with the author’s grand-old neighbor, who believes it is a sin to let your man see you “in a face mask, rollers or housecoat.” However, I agree that my desire to see my ‘other half’s ablutions or maintenance tricks, or for him to see mine’ is very low. Also, let’s point out that labors of love, such as #5 and #6 on Malaka’s list, don’t fall in the same category as say, #8…
What do you think? Better for the two of you to be ‘one’ for all intents and purposes, or are there some things that are best kept to yourself — POLL BELOW!
Before I begin, I’d like to say a big Happy Birthday to co-founder, Yaw Boateng! From all of us at Bandeka, we hope you have a fabulous day!
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You’ll never get a second chance for a first impression, they say. So what are you doing when you’re in a social setting and looking to meet a certain someone (or someones)?
“the very early part of developing relationships is important to the success of long-term relationships, including marriages.”*
How’s your flirting/networking style? Are they producing the results you want? Regardless of whether you’re a timid person or mr/ms popular, there are various approaches to being sociable. Perhaps dissecting how you find, attract, and communicate who you are and what you want will help you produce results you want.
Personally, I am not the most comfortable in social settings where one has to continually mingle around making small talk. As social as I can be at times, I find these settings so much work whereas others find it quite natural. I have my moments of being social, but I would never say that I am the life of the party, however I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be in order to network effectively and also to meet someone of the opposite sex. You have to find what is most comfortable to you, and what you would like the outcome of your interaction to be: are you looking for a number? Someone interesting to chat with just for the evening? A business partner? Or your other half?
According to a study*, which surveyed over 5,000 dating adults about how they communicate romantic interest, there are five distinct types of flirting. More importantly, these types of flirting are associated with different relationship outcomes:
“Traditional flirting thinks men should make the first move, and women should not pursue men…. Compared to men with other flirting styles, traditional men tend to know someone for a longer time before asking them out. Both genders are likely to be introverted preferring quiet, intimate settings to large social scenes.
Playful flirting seems to enjoy the game, flirting is for fun and self-esteem. This style is less likely to result in important or meaningful relationships, (for obvious reasons).
Physical flirting communicates sexual interest. This style of flirting is a quick way to develop a relationship with sexual chemistry and emotional connection.
Polite flirting uses nonsexual communication and proper manners. People with this style of flirting take a slow approach, and don’t find flirting flattering. They tend to have meaningful relationships.
Sincere flirting expresses genuine interest and creates emotional connections. People with this style of flirting tend to have relationships that involve strong emotional connection, and sexual chemistry- these tend to be meaningful relationships.”**
Does your flirting style express who you are and what you’re looking for? Does this also help you pick up the signals of others- ie. maybe s/he is just looking for a great conversation for the night, not someone to take home to mom. I will follow up on this blog with specific flirting (and networking tips), so be on the look out for that soon!
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*Jeffrey Hall and Steve Carter, 2010 October issue of Communication Quarterly- http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20101101/5-flirting-styles-what-type-of-flirt-are-you
I had a lot of fun writing this piece for the folks over at DustAccra. We, at Bandeka, have some-what of a crush on these guys and gals. Great people doing a great job over in Accra! Make sure to check their site, and download the entire Edition HERE or here: Dust-Magazine-March-2012-bandeka. If you can’t see the piece clearly, just click on the picture. Enjoy!
I was thinking the other day that I want to spice things up on this blog, and I can only imagine just hearing from me can become quite boring, so I want to hear from you all! I know a lot of you have things to say, so share it with the entire bandeka family. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m quite open to blog topics: dating, relationships, networking with Africans (abroad and on the continent), things related to the Diaspora in general. Submissions must be your original work! Please keep them to 500 words, and please please proof read before sending .
We look forward to reading your entries!!
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We start with the hate first:
Ain’t this the truth? This past weekend, I hosted a birthday party for one of my best friends, and during the course of the evening I showed her the above picture on facebook. She immediately started screaming, “Do you know how true this is?” She then physically showed me recent birthday text messages from her suitors far and wide, and you could tell right away which ones fell into the two categories above. The worst of it all was that the guy she really cares for forgot about her birthday.
Ok, love next:
FLOWCHARTS! And isn’t this one just great? I hope it helps you make the RIGHT decision the next time you pick up your phone (If you can’t see the chart clear enough, just click on it and it will expand). FYI, this applies to both sexes.
Should A Woman Be Territorial About Her Man, Or Confident In Their Relationship?*
*The original poll was posted on February 4th, 2012, http://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/respect-my-turf/
A friend and I were chatting the other day, and he was amazed at the differences between dating in the US and in Ghana. ‘Dating in Ghana is simple’, he said. I beg to differ on that statement (particularly as more Ghanaians who have lived a Western-style of life move back), but where he was coming from was understandable. Our conversation had begun with us talking about a mutual friend, and me telling him that me and our mutual friend had dated in the past. ‘Oh, really? We’re not the closest of friends, but I think I would have known if he had a girlfriend.’ Clearly, I had to revise my statement: ‘I never said I was his girlfriend, I said we dated.’
He turned over to me with confusion, ‘I don’t understand.’ From that, I knew that our definitions were way off so I went on to explain what I refer to as dating. ‘Mr. x and I hung out a decent amount, but we weren’t exclusive.’ ‘So the difference between dating and going out is exclusivity?’ <- errmmm yes, and no. You can be dating exclusively (ie. neither party is seeing anyone else in that capacity), however if you haven’t had a discussion about being exclusive, then you’re not in a relationship. It’s not something that just happens, you both have to know what kind of relationship you are in. My friend turned over to me still in disbelief. Honestly was this something he’d never heard before?! ‘Is this like an American thing?’ …I don’t think so. In fact, I know it’s not an ‘American’ thing because I dated this guy IN Ghana. But this got me thinking, have we complicated the simplicity of ‘boy meets girl (or girl meets boy), they like each other’s company and get along really well, and they enter into an exclusive relationship’? I didn’t go into more detail with my friend, because I don’t think he could have handled me defining other dating terms like ‘talking’, ‘seeing each other’, ‘friends with benefits’ (see HERE for a more comprehensive dating terms list). I wanted to explore this issue with another friend of mine, a female living in South Africa. Although she wasn’t as dumbfounded at the idea of dating, she did say that in her experience things are much simpler in Africa, “to me, after we’ve gone on about 3 dates, I’m considering you my boyfriend.” I laughed at that, ‘That’s presumptuous much. I’ve dated guys for over a year without ever considering them my boyfriend.’ ‘Ya, but why would you continue to see someone for a long period of time without being exclusive.’ …I had to think about it, I’ve really never had to explain this concept to someone before:
“Dating can be less messy/stressful/time-consuming/ and just less work than being in a real relationship, and perhaps you’re not ready for such a commitment, or the timing is off, or you live in different cities, but you both still like spending time with each other. I had to add a cautionary statement with my explanation: dating can also be MORE messy/stressful/time-consuming/ and generally more work than being in a committed relationship. It’s the best of both worlds (no commitment, but still companionship) when both parties are fully aware of what is going on. And it gives you a chance to get to know other people in the same way (yes, people do date multiple people at the same time).”
Of course at some point casual dating stops- it’s not cute to be dating multiple people after a certain age (you fill in the blank when that is). But how do you know when you need to stop? How do you know when you’re being too picky? Well according to Peter Todd, a Professor of Informatics and Cognitive Science*:
“In the face of this conundrum, the best strategy for picking a mate is to date enough people to establish some baseline standards, then settle down with the next person you meet who exceeds the bar.”
In Todd’s research, he found 12 to be that magic number when it comes to finding out what you want in a relationship. 12. Is that high? Low? And what if you generally don’t date much? Todd says that, “After dating 12 people, most people have enough information to determine what qualities they’re looking for in a long-term partner. Statistically speaking, that’s the point when people who want to settle down should basically end their search and settle with the next person they date who meets (or surpasses!) these expectations.” Sometimes too much choice can be a negative thing, so:
- If you’ve dated fewer than 12 people, feel free to keep looking (AND dating)
- If you’ve dated, say, 30 people, you’re probably being too picky
I don’t know about this science to figure out the right number of
relationships situationships you need to be in before knowing when it’s time to bow out of the game (the author himself states, “some people find [love] on their first try, while others find it on their fourth marriage”); however, at least this provides some type of ‘numerical baseline’, eh?
So what’s your dating/relationship number? And what are your thoughts about my take on ‘dating’ on African vs. Western terms?
Do African Men Sideline African Women For White Women When Their Incomes Increase Or They ‘Make It’?*
*The original poll was posted on January 16th, 2012: http://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/white-women/
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I recently moved to a new city, and last weekend a friend of mine took me out to explore the town. We ended up at a nice local spot after dinner, and it was there that something very interesting happened to me. Of course I had to blog about it
For most of the night, my friend and I were sitting at a table where there were two empty seats. At one point during the evening, one of the hostesses approached me and asked if it would be alright if two ladies came and sat in the two open seats at our table. ‘Ya, that’s fine with me… why would I have a problem with that?’ At that point in the night the place was getting quite crowded, so of course it would make sense to offer up the seats. Without any thought, I turned over to my friend and asked him if he would mind if two ladies came and sat in the two open seats (I wasn’t sure if any additional people were going to join us). He said he was fine with it, so I told the hostess that we didn’t mind. She then asked me a second time, and explained to me with emphasis that they were the ‘two ladies in the corner’, making sure to point out who she was talking about. Again without any hesitation, I repeated to her that it was fine, they could come sit with us. It was not until she walked away that things started setting in… ‘why did she come up to only ME?’- she knew my friend very well (he’s a regular at the spot)… ‘why was she so set on explaining to me that it was two ladies in the corner who wanted to sit in the two seats’- as if it mattered who needed the seats. In any case, about 20min later when the two seats were still empty, my friend asked the hostess what happened to the two ladies, and her response brought so much clarity to the situation:
“It is not right for me to bring two ladies over here when you are with a lady already.”
My friend relayed her response to me, and we chuckled. I think I had more of a good laugh about the situation because of my own personal take on these things.
First, my friend and I were not on a date, and second, and more importantly, even if we were together, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if two ladies sat next to us at a table. I appreciate that this hostess respected me enough to “protect” me from those ladies who could have possibly made a pass at ‘my man’ (or perhaps she was protecting me from ‘my man’ making a pass at one of the ladies), but honestly if a man is going to step out of the relationship, how much can you really do to prevent it? My friend and I ended up having a lengthy conversation about the whole situation. He understood the point I was making, but he also explained the idea that there are two sets of men: men who cheat and men who are about to cheat. The latter being the majority of men. Even good guys can stray, so there’s no point in creating more opportunities for them to do so. Fair enough, but if you’re with a woman and can’t control yourself, then what does ‘grabbing your hand when a pretty girl walks into the room’ or ‘not allowing two ladies to sit at our table’ really do? …I dunno perhaps there’s such a thing as being too trusting?… or being too naive?
In the same way, I never really understand why women confront the ‘other woman’ when they suspect cheating (with the argument that ‘you should respect me as a woman’). Isn’t that something the woman should be addressing with her man? He should be respecting you as his mate, no? Is a man not grown enough to do the right thing? A close friend of mine told me that early on in her relationship with her boyfriend, she had to set him straight a few times after he had gone and acted a little crazy …checking out girls with his friends while she was around, errmmm…?? But after she set him straight regarding what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior, he knew what the deal was. I’m obviously simplifying their situation, but in essence shouldn’t you be dealing with these issues in-house?
When I think about the other side of things though, it is nice when a man lets another man know you’re his, even with a small gesture. Not sure how men feel when women do the same. What do you think? Is it different for men and women? Do men want women to act territorial? Should women be territorial about their men, or should you just be confident in your relationship? …you know I love my polls! Let me know!