We were sitting on a couch together at one of me and roommates famous house parties. He was flirting, I was flirting. It was fun times. I’d do my lap around the room, playing gracious host, but somehow I’d always find myself returning to that couch. He was cute. Correction, he was hot. He was sweet too. And above all, he was into me. Done. Numbers exchanged and we were off into dating bliss for all of…two weeks.
There was a chink in the armor.
Actually a few chinks. But I ignored them… after all, he was so sweet… and hot.
A couple more weeks and a couple more chinks. Hmmm ya, this isn’t going to work. But… he’s… so.. sweet. Like that kind of, take you and your roommates out, sweet. Like that kind of, come over and cook for you, sweet. I must Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Perhaps the chinks aren’t really chinks, perhaps I’m being too picky, perhaps I’m comparing him unfairly to the previous one, perhaps…
Perhaps, these chinks ARE real. Very real.
Against all my better judgment, I think… I had to end it. But now what?
But of course, we stay friends…let’s hang out when we can or speak from time to time.
Nope, was his response. Why would we do that? I have enough friends.
Hmm k, well I guess that’s that.
But it isn’t just that. I genuinely miss him as a friend, and although I didn’t fancy him as anything more, I hoped we could continue to be friends. He didn’t though. He saw our relationship as one of all or nothing.
Maybe my desires were selfish, who knows. He does have the right to pick and choose his friends, right? In all honesty, I’m not sure what else I could have done to steer clear of an outcome like this. Perhaps we should have never dated. Now I see him frolicking with my roommates… ‘so you can hang out with them, can you…
thought you had enough friends‘… yes, I’m a little salty annoyed. Perhaps we should have just been friends.
I suppose one can’t be too mad because if I look at the reverse, just a few months ago I did the same thing:
‘We can ease up on this friendship thing for a while.’
And I find my actions completely reasonable when I’m the one dictating them *shrug*. I guess this is just one of those casualties of dating. But, I wonder… how does one minimize these types of outcomes? If you knew losing a friendship could be a possibility, would you be deterred from dating someone? In my case, looking back, prob not.
Towards the end of grad school, I had a friend who began to talk about babies all.the.end. I didn’t understand it. It got to the point where she told me once that she believed her womb was ripe for a baby… ‘Your womb is what now??’ Again, I didn’t understand. But somehow, I’m beginning to (Read more about baby fever here). Although many of my peers are getting engaged and married now, I’m not feeling that ripeness to do so (mind you, I feel it’s time to settle down in a longterm relationship that’ll lead to marriage, but I’m not feeling the ripeness to be married quite yet). What I am feeling of late is a little tugging of this baby fever…strange, I know.
My friend sent me the picture below with the note, ‘you know your child’s going to have attitude like this, right?’ I could only laugh… not because there’s a high probability that what she said was true, but because of late I’ve been thinking a lot of what my ‘mini me’ will be like. What characteristics will s/he take after me? My outspokenness? My attitude? Or, my slight OCD-leaning tendencies or other quirks, perhaps? Not only this, but what will my child(ren) take after from my significant other??
I’m curious, how much does baby fever influence dating choices – to date someone and not to date someone? And I’m speaking here for BOTH men and women…
“Hun, it’s not you… it’s
memy unborn child…”
We haven’t done a poll in a minute, so let me know what you’re thinking..
The caption reads, “Think ‘Sex and the City’ meets Africa! Five beautiful, successful African females return to their home continent and confide about love and life.”
When I have too much to say, sometimes I feel a question does the trick: Bandeka, are we feeling this?
I’m sorry, I can’t help myself… just one thing: “you can directly correlate the drive a country had in stealing African territories with the amount of drive its modern-day countrymen will have in the bedroom…” …ok let me not begin actually, #ican’t.
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!
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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.
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?
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PillowTalk’s new question has been up for about a week now on Bandeka, but it’s taken me a little bit to put together a piece to address the issue. Why? Because the topic of black men with
other women white women isn’t the same topic as interracial dating for people black women, so the topic has to be treaded on delicately.
Never have I ever seen a race of men who are so quick to date outside of their race as black men.
A couple weeks ago, I saw this piece announcing Michael Jordan’s engagement to his longtime girlfriend Yvete Prieto (a Cuban American model). There was nothing particularly exciting about the announcement, however I was
floored entertained at the comments written by readers. They go on in a similar manner to the one I just quoted above:
“Sistas, let this be a wake up call to keep it movin and do what you need to do. Its obvious that we’re not considered worthy and have been hated by our own men for quite sometime…”
“It Figures! A NON-MINORITY FEMALE!”
“There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already …Black men are sell outs, black women are jealous, love has no color…blah blah blah…”
“Et tu, Michael? Boy, what are there now, like 3 black women in the world so all those who are famous have to look to other races?”
At first, I did throw some judgment at the commenters- ‘haters, much?’, however when I recalled a conversation that I had with a friend a few months ago, I had to check myself. A few months ago, after seeing a picture of a successful African man that I admire a lot, I asked my friend if the white lady beside him was his wife. ‘Yes, that’s his wife’. My response was a sadden, ‘oh ok’. Not because I have anything against
interracial marriages white women, not because I have anything bad to say about her personally, but because it’s becoming common to see powerful black men marrying outside of their race, and sue me, when I see a successful happily married black couple, I smile a little inside (if Obama’s wife was white, I wouldn’t feel the same way about the first couple). A friend put it quite reasonably to me, there are so few black men ‘at the top’, and white women have their pick of a much wider pool of white men every other type of man, so it stings more when they dip into our jar. [Read here why black women rarely date outside their race/white men: http://madamenoire.com/124921/reasons-why-black-women-dont-date-white-men/5/. It also stings to be passed over by an eligible black man when he 'makes it' - statistics show that as black men increase their earnings and status, a larger percentage marry outside their race. So back to the first comment I referred to in this post, I do agree with it- I may be wrong, but I can't think of any other race where men are so quick to date outside AND celebrate it. (Though this is probably one of the worst examples out there, see here).
Ladies, here's some good perspective on things though: "While it may annoy you that a black man chooses to date outside his race, it’s also foolish to fixate on a segment of the population that clearly has no interest in you. If this same man chose to date black women, he may prefer them in a certain size, shape and color that you may not fit and he’d overlook you anyway. So what’s really the difference?"* Perhaps instead of racking our brains as to why certain black men don't want to be with black women, black women should just keep it moving and look for that person that wants to be with them.
It's so easy to clump 'blacks' together as well, but there are differences between African Americans and Africans. I'm interested to know your thoughts on African men. Is this a phenomenon across the board for black men? Do you think African men tend to sideline African women for white women as their incomes increase or when they 'make it'? From my experience, African men DATE white women, but MARRY them less; I've actually heard this from African men I know: 'I'll date white women, but it's not like I would ever marry one." Does that make African women feel better? Anyhoo POLL BELOW, let me know your thoughts... this should be an interesting one!
Make sure to check out White Women Part II
Bandeka’s third PillowTalk question is now up on Bandeka.com, and it appears women want to know, “Why does everything revolve around sex?” Good question. Why is it such an important part of a ‘good’, ‘healthy’, or unhealthy relationship for a guy? You should definitely take a look at the site if you haven’t already! I think some of the answers are quite interesting.
We’ve heard studies say that men think about sex every seven seconds, but apparently that isn’t true according to a recent Ohio State University study. The study found that it is really more like every 1.26hrs. Hmmm… so guys think about sex less often than we think they do, but the truth is women think about sex too (and probably more than guys think they do). I’ll make a shout out here for my girl Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, who runs the blog Adventuresfrom.com* (full title: Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women). Nana, who is a big fan of
Bandeka one of our co-founders (check out: http://adventuresfrom.com/2011/11/23/bandeka-an-online-dating-service-for-well-educated-africans.html), launched Adventuresfrom a couple years ago because she wanted to create a platform where African women could express some of the things that they wanted to say regarding sex (and the things that men needed to know). She (rightfully) thought that no one was talking about sex from an African woman’s perspective.
In Africa, it seems that the topic of sex has been reduced to a few things: abstinence, violence or AIDS; but, the discussion should open up more to include the needs of both women and men (it is important because sexual satisfaction IS a predictor of a happy marriage: see here http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45604220/ns/today-today_health/#.TuhxsOZb9-6 ). They say one of the reasons why sex begins to die in a marriage is because women begin to feel like it’s more of a chore, and I think one of the main reasons this occurs is because women don’t communicate what they want and need from their partners in the bedroom.
I digress though. Back to the Ohio State Study, which will be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Sex Research. Psychology Professor Terri Fisher says that, “It’s not uniquely sex that [men spend] more time thinking about [compared to women], but [it is also] other issues related to their biological needs, as well [including food, sleep, etc.]” So, in essence men just think about their biological needs more than women do. Read more on the study HERE.
RANDOM: Music Artist Robin Thicke recently said in an interview that the key to a happy, successful, passionate marriage is “lots of sex”. Hmmm..yeah, sure… And honesty, trust, patience, forgiveness, etc- It’s all summed up in those three C’s: compatibility, communication, AND chemistry (which encompasses sex)…but yeah, I ain’t mad at his statement
* Reader discretion is advised, Nana’s site isn’t for everyone.