Category Archives: Dating

Today’s Word is… PILLOWTALK

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There’s just some spaces where a black man feels safe to be…vulnerable. There’s the barbershop, the unofficial country club for black men, where on a good day you’ll leave with a fresh cut, about 3 wild stories, and 4 absurd sports hot takes. There’s groupchats, which are essentially the digital barbershop. There’s the basketball court, where the fatigue of a few pick up games will get the teammate you played 4 games with and don’t even know their name will get a text from a girl and be ready to tell you the whole life story. (This has happened on 3 separate occasions). I’m sure plenty of tea is spilled in a smoke session but that’s not really my ministry. And of course, there’s the ultimate tea house…in bed, laid up next to bae. Don’t let there not be a TV in the bedroom. (you get better sleep when there’s no TV in the bedroom #themoreyouknow) So when Pusha T decided to give an interview about an interview about a 5 month old diss song and drop the plot twist that he got the silver bullet from none other than Drake’s best friend, 40 pillow talking some woman it sounded completely plausible. (For what it’s worth, I don’t believe it, that’s TOO convenient)

We’re all guilty of pillow talking, yes you too Mr real niggas don’t gossip and ladies y’all talk too gon brush your shoulders off. When you factor in oxytocin, the hormone released during orgasms and most closely related to trust and bonding feelings in the brain, it makes sense that after sex one would find themselves feeling most vulnerable and most willing to talk intimately. (So maybe if they aren’t pillow talking, get your bars up). After (good) sex, your body is literally yearning for some more connection such as well, more sex, cuddling, and of course intimate conversation. Boom. Science. I’m well aware that I’m guilty of it, it’ll start off as just a funny story, and then you’re giving backstory, and then weeks later you’re giving follow ups and next thing you know y’all are at dinner and she just blurts out some shit. (I was dating one girl who couldn’t hold water worth a damn smh). It’s almost like dude at the basketball court, we can be laid up I get a text from a friend and I go from quickly explaining what the text was about to telling the story about that time we almost got arrested.

For actual couples, pillow talking is almost essential to the health of the relationship. Just taking some time out to learn something new about each other, Lord forbid you fall in love with someone and find out they eat candy corn or they never listened to Jay Z. It’s an opportunity to be completely vulnerable with each other and you have actual brain chemistry helping your cause. Pillow talking isn’t talking about what you got to do later, rehashing an old fight she lost 3 nights ago but now her groupchat gave her some new points to make or bringing up how you like them but you still seeing other people (be honest they said, she’d appreciate it they said), the bed should be a safe space. Sex, sleep, secrets. A place where you can gossip about your friends and assume it doesn’t come back and bite you in a diss record.

Yet and still, there’s rules to this shit. Such as, watch what you’re saying; there’s of some things you need to keep to yourself no matter who you’re sleeping with. Deep personal things, illegal activity, anything you absolutely don’t want to come out. Then there’s watch who you’re saying it to; know the difference between a spouse where y’all share everything (seriously, you tell a married friend anything assume its a 2 for 1), a significant other where y’all share a lot, and well, what allegedly happened with 40 and ol girl. If we are to believe Pusher Terrence, 40 was coming off that oxytocin high and just spilling his soul to this woman who wasn’t even feeling him like that. Major violation on his side and hers. He should’ve knew better than to be telling an outsider all his business and while she doesn’t owe him anything, it’s still a shitty thing to do. What happens in bed should stay there anyway. You’d like to think you can trust the person you’re having sex with but in this age, nothing is sacred. At least when I be learning entirely too much about her homegirls and their drama it never leaves the bed. (Even if after we fall out and they friend throwing shots on social media, I could return fire but won’t because God is working on me). What’s shared between us stays between us. I say that even as someone who literally writes about his life fairly often. Pillow talk is still inadmissible. I could only wish for the same in return but for all I know I have an ex talking to some new dude about some shit I told her. This game cold, B.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… GHOSTING

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Gather round boys and girls, it’s storytime…

It was a typical February night.  I was talking to my boo about my day, the Celtics were on the TV on mute, I had suggested we go to a game together and started looking up tickets.  It had gotten late and I was headed to bed, and I ended the conversation like I had ended so many before, I ask for her to tell me something good, I share something good and tell her goodnight (written out, I sound headass).  However, this night was no ordinary night, little did I know I would never hear from her again.  Little did I know, I was about to be…    ghosted.  The next morning, I reached out like I usually did, a few times throughout the day.  No response, but I thought nothing of it.  The day after, more of the same.  I call her and there’s no answer.  Suddenly I’m Mr Biggs in the Contagious video (speaking of, it’s completely ridiculous HE came home late, didn’t hear her home, rode around calling her mama probably scaring her half to death only to find her in their damn room…Mr Biggs must’ve been lit).  I don’t even know what I did but I apologize anyway and again not even a word.  I decide to give her some space then (like I had a choice).  A week turns into a month.  I may or may not have had some Crown one night and wrote an email letting her know how I REALLY felt about her and still no response.  Word?  A few months go by, it’s my birthday, I mean she gotta reach out on my birthday, give a nigga an HBD at least?  Nope.  At this point, it’s safe to assume that she’s dead.  I know I can still see her on IG on my other account but still, she’s dead.  Got mauled by a bear. Sad.  I used to love H.E.R.

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(Spoiler Alert: She comes back a few months after that, she says that *redacted* and she just couldn’t *redacted* and she’s sorry.  I forgave her for a month and then ghosted her.  God’s working on all of us.)

Ghosting has been a discussion point lately, largely thanks to Insecure aka Black Twitter: Civil War.  Ghosting has always existed in dating; break ups are awkward, it’s easier to just fall off the face of the earth and wait for her to get the message.  Back in the day, a man will go out for a pack of smokes and just never be seen again.  (Meanwhile millennials and swipe apps shoulder the blame for this trend).  These days, you just block, delete and they no longer exist, unless you’re like me and tend to run into them after the fact.  Karma stay getting at ya boy.  (Not that I would ever do that anymore, I’m saved.)

The argument against ghosting; it’s inconsiderate, rude, immature and a shitty thing to do to someone you know at least likes you like a little bit.  It’s not easy to tell someone you’re done here but it’s also not that hard to do.  If ol girl had broke up with me that night, it would’ve sucked.  I would’ve been hurt, but not as hurt as I was all those months feeling like I was nothing more than words on a screen.  (Studio audience awwwws).  When she came back I was clearly still hurt by the ghosting more than I even thought I was.  Then I think about times where I did get that call, text, conversation and turns out, still sucked and maybe I was better off thinking they were mauled by a bear than knowing why they don’t want me anymore.  It’s a double edged sword and the point remains that they don’t want you and there’s no nice way to stomach that.  Ask Cavaliers fans.

The argument for ghosting; we’re adults, life sucks, and no one owes you an explanation why they don’t want to speak to you anymore.  You can post all the memes and tweets about how it’s emotional underdevelopment but that immature person still left you on read and you’re sick about it. Bloop bloop and shit.  Sometimes you just…can’t anymore.  You’re tired of not being heard, you’re tired of explaining yourself, maybe they just need to feel your absence.    I think in an era where connections are made through an app it’s easy to block, delete and forget.  These days people ghost because simply they can, they got bills, Trump is President, and y’all just been on a few dates they don’t even know you enough to like you, take those abandonment issues up with a therapist.  It’d be nice to have closure, but sometimes you just got to eat the L.

As someone who has ghosted and been ghosted, I would say my final verdict is…it depends.  You know who you’re dealing with, you know how serious or otherwise your relationship is.  You shouldn’t explain yourself to everybody but you shouldn’t explain to nobody either.  You also have to look at yourself, if you find yourself getting “ghosted” often you might be overvaluing your place in people’s lives or misreading signals.  Most “ghosts” aren’t from left field no matter what you try to tell friends in the group text.  If you are a serial ghoster…well, just stop being an asshole.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… PICK

Now, we all know the “pick me” girl aka “This generation” girl aka “Y’all females” aka “not me, tho” aka the princess of the patriarchy. Pick me’s place all their stock in being better than the alternative, instead of what they actually want. Pick me’s tend to boast about cooking, sex, and being low maintenance because that’s what they think men want, without much regard for their own identity. By and large, pick mes are typically harmless, their sirens are met with groans and eyerolls as the men they are bending over backwards to impress are a) usually dudes no one was even competing with you for. Or b) pick hes.

Now, we all at least know of the “pick he” dude aka “These girls want thugs” aka “employed, no BMs, no arrests” aka “Favorite artists are Drake and Bryson Tiller” aka “I live just outside of DC” aka “I learned rape culture in the last 2 years so I’m basically a feminist” aka “I make 75K and have a car how dare you swipe left on me, Ma”. Pick He’s are productive, functional members of society, but that’s not good enough… They are also entitled to a baddie. They lament being undervalued and unappreciated for simply not being that terrible.

So if pick mes have low expectations and pick hes have low output, why don’t these two people simply find each other and leave everyone else alone. But that’d be like Drake and Nicki Minaj finally getting together because they really are just vapid facsimiles of each other. The answer is because the pick he doesn’t want to pick, the pick he just wants to be wanted. Men being the traditional pursuers, the pick he can easily go get that good nerdy low maintenance girl he claims he wants. He could just stop seeing where things goes with the girl he’s been kinda dating for years. Maybe stop being the 145th “hey” in the same IG models inbox and maybe be the 5th in someone else’s. Pick me’s are sitting by the dock at the bay, hoping and wishing to be picked; pick he’s are just circling around being indecisive about something they swear they want.

I’ve had pick he moments. I think it’s natural to make a few shots and feel like you’ll never miss again. I’ve had what I said I wanted right in front of me only to be like…am I sure sure, I’ve been hurt before, I just need more time, you know all the Drakeisms. Instead of actually picking, you long for someone who just ain’t checking for you like that. No matter how much of a good man™ you are. So while pick hes think they’re being indecisive, ironically enough they are just waiting to be picked too.

For what it’s worth I don’t think there’s anything wrong with actually wanting to be picked, even if I roll my eyes and judge them. I just be judging and shit. However, the common thread between pick mes and pick hes is entitlement and entitled people can be insatiable. Pick mes get picked and now they need you to know that they have the best marriage, they are the happiest family and now they are just as annoying as their thirstier days because all they truly wanted was validation.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… INDISTINGUISHABLE

I have a confession to make that may forever change how you look at me or SFW again. I can already sense the judgment, I can audibly hear the “yo, who’s mans is this?”. But it’s time I live my truth; I like turkey bacon. I might even prefer it to real bacon. I know it’s not really bacon, to even name it bacon is appropriation, but give me the choice, I’m possibly going turkey bacon. Bacon ain’t got no meat, especially at restaurants they gonna give you salty bacon shaped crackers. That being said, if someone ordered bacon and got turkey bacon, someone might be attacked and no one will say they were wrong for it. If you ordered bacon you want bacon. If you ordered turkey bacon you want… kinda bacon. It’s one of those cases where unlike New Amsterdam and Ciroc, most white actresses and all these new R&B singers who look like Denise Huxtable and do bad Amy Whinehouse impersonations, some things are truly indistinguishable.

Two things I also thought was indistinguishable, enter two people recently out of relationships but just enough time has passed where they’re supposed to start acting like they want to date again. Both of them probably a little too woke, both incredibly smart and fluent in sarcasm. They have great chemistry and make each other laugh. Both of them kinda hate dating, it’s trash. They like each other so they date, except one person is dating for companionship and the other is dating to be with someone. On the surface it would seem like it’s the same… but it isn’t. Bacon. Turkey bacon.

Dating to date vs dating for purpose; I’ve been on every side of these. Dating aimlessly to purposely, dater to datee. Of all, just dating to date is the simplest. Dating because there ain’t shit else to do, dating because I like you but I kinda suck at relationship stuff so let’s keep it right here in the safe zone, dating because a fly outfit is a terrible thing to waste. Dating is social, dating is networking, it’s troubleshooting. How do you know what you want if you don’t try some shit. other people and feelings involved so being open and honest about intentions or lack thereof is key. Then there’s the fact that people who date to date aren’t completely opposed to something more… Maybe something happens, maybe it doesn’t but ultimately they are in it more for themselves than anything.

Then there’s dating for purpose, where you have or think you have a good idea what you want and now it’s time to just find them. A trap I had fell into jumping from relationship to relationship because that was what I thought I was supposed to do. I look back at my college years and my early 20s and wonder about the people and friendships I’d still have in my life if I didn’t force the issue. “They just wasn’t ready”, I would tell the next one, looking at her with the same level of naiveté and ignorance. The reality was I didn’t even know if that was what I even wanted yet I was just following a recipe without any idea of what I was making.

Two date to date people can get along great, just enjoying each other’s company and most importantly managing expectations. Two date for purpose people will gladly pair off and get out of the wretched dating game. One of each? Well, its bacon and turkey bacon. You have one side ready to cuff up and delete their Tinder while the other just wanting them to enjoy what this is. Maybe one side concedes what they want for a moment, or two, or three but eventually they’ll come back to that fork in the road and someone will have to choose between what and who they want and it doesn’t end well. C’est la vie.

Whether you’re dating casually or really trying to be chose, it’s far easier to just find someone else who is also bout that life rather than trying to tell yourself that turkey bacon is just like the real thing and vice versa. You want what you want…as long as you own it. Like turkey bacon.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… PREDATE

We hold these truths to be self evident; dating is trash. No one knows what they want, everyone is in a rat race to get the most out of a person with the minimal amount of effort, and then getting to the money? Now, everybody mad. So, I was chilling out maxing relaxin all cool when I saw the Twitters were abuzz about this exchange

The reaction was split between “that’s real” to “that’s broke” (cuz everyone’s rich on Twitter). My reaction, is that’s dumb. For one, there’s already a way to see if you vibe with someone before a date, it’s called a phone call. Second, a date is entirely on the asker’s terms, you can find free shit to do, you can pick a spot in your price range, you can schedule the date until after the direct deposit hits. Hell, you can “pre date” without even calling it a pre date which I would advise because this is beyond stupid. (Also, don’t be trying to use homeboy anecdotes, articulate your point like an adult, Jalen.)

It’s what everyone loves and hates about millennials, a “won’t be me” generation. Trying to find new ways to do old things is definitely millennial shit. I almost get his sentiment, who wants to waste, money and energy on someone they don’t even know they like yet. Or more apropos, don’t even know likes you yet. They may have swiped right, gave you a number, always answer your texts but at the end of the day this is still a complete stranger. They could just be in this for free food and entertainment, they could be stuck on an ex, they could like chitlins. And you’re a complete stranger, precisely why she isn’t trying to sit in your car listening to ad supported Spotify to see if y’all “vibe”.

So while pre dating is stupid, the conundrum still exists, how do you date without getting played? Some will say and do all the right things and not even like you, others will sit back and let you waste your own damn time with no remorse. People are selfish and don’t owe you anything. And no one wants to hear men cry on Twitter, it’s just an entree and some drinks, you’ll live. Get your bread up. There’s also an emotional investment if you believe in that whole men have feelings thing but most don’t so it turns into I never heard a man with money complain. So to circle back, dating is trash.

Asking for a pre date is like going into a job interview and saying, let me work here for a few days and see we click. (Actually, there might be something here…*adds to list of ideas I never finish*). Hanging out without expectations sounds good in theory, except… That’s what first dates are already. You don’t know if they’ll like you or not, and that’s the risk. Pre dating is trying to watch half the game and then go back make a bet, it doesn’t work like that. If you find yourself being consistently played on first dates, perhaps it’s time for reflection. Are you actually holding conversations with this person? Do you really look like those pictures? Are you even interested in these people or just going through the motions? Maybe slide in less DMs and slide to more events where you can “vibe” the first time. Just don’t be like Jalen. No one likes Jalen.

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Today’s Word is… EXPIRATION

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So, like a lot of people in the Northeast (because apparently we live in Winterfell now and it’s literally too cold to like, go outside.) I spent a lot of my break just watching Netflix on someones elses account.  I watched a lot of Black Mirror aka Technology Twilight Zone aka Tales from the Encrypt aka Brits Brazy, B aka Stay Woke Alexa gon kill you aka that show you told your friends to check out except for the very first episode with the pig and if they just skip it they might dig it.  Out of the handful of episodes I watch, one of my favorites was somewhat unconventional…it was a rom com episode.  Yes, randomly in a show where the Prime Minister fucks a pig.  So without giving it all away, I’ll just start with the premise:  In a not too distant future, there’s a society where everyone is paired off with an app. (MESSAGE)  The app sets you up in a series of doomed to fail relationships until you find your true love because you need to learn from each one in order to be the person who is ready to love their match (MESSAGE).  The kicker is, the app tells you from jump how long this relationship is going to last.  It could be a couple hours, couple months, couple years and you have to play along or you’ll never find your true love.

I found the idea of that fascinating.  What if you just knew this wasn’t going to end well, or that it was.  Or maybe, this is the one before the ONE.  As an INFJ, I feel like I do this already.  I project everydamnthing.  I just have feelings about things.  Or maybe I’m just a self sabotager…I’ll sort it out with a therapist one day.    But pragmatically speaking, relationships end in a marriage or a break up.  (or if that’s not your thing some semblance of it…Cassie, cohabitation, kids, a puppy…so you’re damn near married. Well until the W2s come in.) So is it really a reach to say that if this isn’t going in the direction of the former, maybe do the latter?  I found myself at that crossroads before, one time I thought this is the woman I marry (it wasn’t…at all….if you’re under 25 and reading this don’t even think about it) another time, I thought okay maybe we need to just get off right here.  Maybe we could’ve made it work just a little while longer; but it was probably for the best we got out before someone really got hurt.   Whether it’s a job or relationship, that feeling of…this isn’t it. Makes you just resign, even subconsciously because you know winter is coming.  But being a relationship pragmatist takes  all the fun out of it.  Even while I have my feelings, my doubts, my optimism…I don’t know shit.  (I usually be right tho).  That isn’t to say abandon my gut completely or ignore red flags, it’s just…not the time to think about that right now.  Chill.

Going back to the Black Mirror episode, there’s a couple who really like each other and decide mutually agree to not look at the clock.  Whether it ends tomorrow or 10 years  from now they are just going to enjoy each other. ( and if you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy you probably know what happened next).   In that time they were really happy just existing without the pressures of is this forever or am I wasting my time.   Too often we worry about wasted time that we don’t even enjoy it (okay I sound like your MCM saying he don’t believe in labels).  I do think, to an extent that ignorance is bliss.  That happy medium, where “how does this story end” might be in the back of my mind because I’m just a little odd, I’m not just waiting for the app in my head to tell me this is worth my energy.  I’m also pragmatic about the idea that I’m probably a couple years, tax brackets and growing pains before I should be worried about being someone’s husband anyway.   Or maybe I hit the Powerball this week and suddenly I don’t believe in such an archaic concept anymore. Word to Diddy.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BENEFITS

So I was making my way downtown, faces pass and I’m home bound when I had happened upon this meme

getting tens of thousands of retweets and I was flummoxed. First, because since when was abuse a word to be used so flippantly (also is she wearing a wedding ring?). Furthermore, what is a relationship benefit exactly? And he can expect a lot of things what exactly happens if she doesn’t indulge, is he just gonna continue to not be with her? If he says he’s not ready for a relationship and you continue to act like that’s acceptable to you, who is really lying? What responsibility is it of the uninterested party to keep reminding them of that fact? (I’ve been that guy…when you do they hate it, “they know” they said, “we’re adults” they said). In reality, I’m not that damn serious, no one is that damn serious, and maybe just maybe “relationship benefits” is just something you wanted to do.

Relationships are nothing more than mutual agreements of responsibilities and expectations of one another. There’s no benefits package. You do things for (and to) people you like. Sometimes that happens to be your girlfriend, or maybe it’s just the girl you’re sleeping with, or have a crush on or a friend. You had sex with them because you wanted to. You were their date at the holiday party because you wanted to. You paid for dinner because you wanted to. You built that TV stand because you wanted to. You cooked for them because you wanted to. (I don’t know when cooking became a grander gesture than sex…or maybe we just too grown to be earning sex so I gotta love you before you have my short ribs). Entering relationships for said benefits is not how they should work and if you are doing that, expect to be solely disappointed. A committed, healthy relationship should never be something you leverage.

There’s a difference between leveraging and courting. A difference between men sold on the idea that if I pay for the date I expect sex and men who go on dates because they are genuinely trying to what she’s about. People who have casual sex because they just want to and those who are just acquiescing in the hopes it turns into something else. The way men lament about paying for dates on Twitter you would think they aren’t at the restaurant they probably chose themselves eating too. You aren’t “free food”, that’s another one of her followers who orders her UberEATS even though they’ve never met. If she agreed and went out with you, then you aren’t being used. (Unless it’s like date 3 or 4, she’s never asked to see you first nor has offered to pay. #knowyourworthKing). Going back to the meme, if he says he wasn’t looking for a relationship, you know that you are but continue to entertain him hoping to change his mind. You aren’t being manipulated; you’re manipulating. It’s just not working. Again, you aren’t doing things of your own free will, you’re leveraging. In both cases, rather than ask explicitly what you’re doing here, or state plainly what you’re looking for and get finality…but its easier to hide behind casual sex, fake friendship and cocktails and play a victim because your plan isn’t working. But they’re the misleading one. K.

-Stan-

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