Category Archives: Relationships

Today’s Word is… STEAK

It was around this time last summer… 

“So how’s Tequila?” 

“Um, she’s good, but we’re… not.” 

“Oh. Ok”

My sister continued to fix up around the kitchen and mind her black ass business. But she, like our mother, was easy to read and right now she was judging the hell out of me.  I tried to make a case for myself, but the verdict was rendered.  I had gone from being in back to back long term relationships to now, well she couldn’t even keep up with them. Here today, gone tomorrow.  I got similar grief from friends, because that’s what happens when you’re single for a minute, it can’t be all of their fault,  it has to be the common denominator.  Maybe you’re not picking up on the red flags, or maybe you are looking too hard for them. 

 In relationships, we often don’t know when to hold them or when to fold them but refuse to acknowledge maybe we just aren’t good at this game.  No one thinks they’re as bad at dating as they are, just as they don’t think they are bad drivers or average cooks at best.  Men aren’t trying to hear their steak is trash.  Never mind it keeps coming out wrong and you were the only one manning the grill. 

At first,  it was rare steak.  Cold and mushy sorely disappointing.  No one likes rare steak, it’s gross and anyone who does eat it is like 2 steps from cannibalism (fight me). You didn’t purposely make rare steak, you went on one date… But they wore red; this feels too romantic.  Then they put their phone face down which clearly means they have something to hide,and had the temerity to ask what you did, so now they are after your paper… You got to run.  You just put the steak on the grill but the fire is too hot, you snatch it off… And it’s raw as hell. It don’t even look close to done.  What was you tripping about? You should’ve let it cook a little longer, but you panicked and ruined what could’ve been a fine steak.  

You learned your lesson, don’t bail too soon, and you get a new steak.  Like most people who don’t know how to cook, this time you cook on the highest setting because hotter means faster, duh.  After a few dates, the beginning of this relationship is very intense, very affectionate, a lot unearned feelings are professed.  It’s been a 8 weeks but “you’re in love”.  You’re just sure about this.  On the outside, your steak looks cooked to perfection.  In reality, it’s only been 4 minutes.  You take your steak and slice into it and the inside is still very much rare.  This is just as bad at super sketchy gold digger rare steak girl.  Once again, a good steak ruined. 

You take a minute to reflect… What is going on?  You know you know how to cook steak, you’ve had great steak before.  Medium well just the way like you like it. At least it was…but you thought it could use a wee bit more browning so you threw it back on the grill.  Then it got well done, technically ruined but edible.  Others around you say, hey maybe that steak is done but what do they know,  you just keep it on.  You didn’t mean for it to be well done but to save your ego you claim it was done purposely.  So then the steak is burnt and unsalvageable.  It’s the relationship you held on to for too long even when you knew it was probably done. You thought maybe you just needed a break, or you gave an ultimatum or you even took a major step forward and just hoped they would too.  You think things could go back to the way they was when it was good but much like that steak it doesn’t work in reverse.  The longer you hold on the worst it gets until someone finally does something unforgivable when in reality it should’ve been over long before you got there.  With that in the back of your mind, you’re a lot more cautious than you would be otherwise.  So worried about burning you barely let it cook at all… Like that’s any better. 

I think about my situation presently and how an early hiccup probably would’ve sent me running for the door but in fear of once again eating rare steak,  I decided to let it cook a little longer.  Time will tell if I actually got it right this time, all I can do is cook the way I know how and hope for the best.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… EXCLUSIVE 

So once upon a time not long ago,  I was on a date with someone, let’s call her… Stacy, and we ran into a friend of hers.  They chopped it up for a second and then she introduced me, this is… *cue Jeopardy theme* “Tristan” I interjected to move this along because I don’t do awkward.  Two revelations came from this; first, she ain’t even bang with this friend of hers in the first place (why do women do this) and secondly, it was the first time she had to actually think about who the hell I was to her.  We had been kicking it for a few months, saw each other often, she even picked up a check… basically, we went together.  Or so she assumed.  She not so subtly brought it up at dinner, “next time you can just say you’re my boyfriend… Or boo…or lover…maybe bodyguard (she realized the hole she dug and recovered quickly, I liked that about her).  We decided I was her unpaid escort/spades intern and swept that “what are we” under the rug. We practically went together and that was good enough. Except… It wasn’t.  I liked someone else actually, I would later end up with that person.  Stacy never asked, I never told.  She just assumed I wasn’t interested in someone else, that was her fault.  Wasn’t like we were exclusive.  

Karma would get me back for that one, as I found myself on the wrong side of an assumed relationship.  Once again, technically she didn’t do anything wrong I never asked, she never told.  (But a WHOLE boyfriend, B. How you fail to mention you got a whole nigga. Not a date, not a hookup, an entire relationship *inhales* *exhales*).  The lesson here could be to never assume, always ask and don’t put all your eggs in one basket because no one else is.  This game cold, diversify your bonds. 2-3 years ago, Today’s word would be Assume. 

But I’m #damnnear30 now, so today’s word is exclusive.  Everyone has a basic understanding of how dating and relationships work, yet when it comes time to be accountable everyone turns into Jeff Sessions.  Asking for exclusivity has become a necessary step in the courting process, but we can all be real with ourselves for a second… It’s bullshit.  If you have to ask someone to stop dating other people, break up with their boyfriend, not sleep with an ex while you’re out of town (this didn’t happen to me it was on a Netflix show), chances are they aren’t that sure about YOU in the first place.  We operate under our free will, not titles.  We do things for the people we like, love, desire regardless of what they are to us, so why do we act as if we need to be told first when it’s convenient?  Are you a Sim? 
Are we at a point where a relationship is some big step in life?  Is this like how we created an upper middle class because the actual middle class is broke? The word “boyfriend” doesn’t sound serious but now it’s practically an engagement.  I panicked at the idea of Stacy calling me her boyfriend as if I wasn’t damn near her boyfriend.  Or is it because boyfriend engenders some level of accountability that a “bae” doesn’t.  We all the security of a relationship, with none of the responsibility of one.  So much so, we’ve extracted this whole concept of exclusivity, because you got to earn the right of me giving up options. Or something.  What do you call someone who isn’t your boyfriend but you’re dating exclusively? (Denial.) 

I knew at that dinner what Stacy wanted and I could’ve cleared the roster and made it real but I didn’t want to and I knew it then.  I did break it off not long after that.  The one I ended up with never asked were we exclusive and if she did my answer would’ve been of course because I wanted her and I’m an adult who knows how things work.  

-Stan-

  

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Today’s Word is… TINDERELLA

So I don’t do a lot of “binge watching”.  Usually I can watch an episode or two of a show and then I need to find something new to watch or do.  Every now and again a show does in fact hook me, and this past weekend it was Master of None.  It stars Aziz Ansari as Dev, a 30 year old Indian actor navigating his personal & professional life in New York City.  It’s a show of microaggressions, religion, parents who dont “get” millennials, and primarily how dating is trash.  The show is basically what Stan of Few Words as a TV series would be.  Starring Kofi Seriboe as me, cuz fuck you it’s my show.  One episode that stood out in particular was the 4th episode of season 2, First Date.  Now I’ve talked about first dates before, and I’ve talked about my online dating struggles, but that episode made me think about all my online first dates and the different types of women you meet online.  Now, I’m not going to pretend what women go through in online dating is comparable to what I went through because I don’t log on and get bombarded with pussy pictures and solicitations. (Well I did get an unsolicited video one time, I may have watched it til completion while also wondering how did we get here, nobody’s supposed to be here). I’ve never gone on dates and had to check in with a friend so they know I’m safe or been cussed out because I wasn’t interested (Well, there was one girl who ran up on me in a 7/11 because she thought I blocked her number).  Anyway, I feel like there’s 10 types of women you meet online whilst searching:

1. The Marshawn Lynch– She’s there so she doesn’t get fined.  She’s gotten out of a relationship, her man has already moved on and now her friends are imploring her to get some new eggplant because she’s making them look bad, as an unit.  She reluctantly makes a profile, but she really isn’t interested in dating.  In fact, she wishes you would be so awful that it would give credence to her decision to not date.  

2. The Brandy- She wanna be down.  She’s likes sports, video games, comics, beers, rap, casual sex and pizza.  She’s a good time, great chemistry then you get home and realize that didn’t even feel like a date, it felt like 2 friends hanging out.   You forgot to tell her she looked great, but she wore a messy bun and a Spider-Man shirt. 

3.  The Precedential- She’s the one who overanalyzes everything, she’s read all the dating books and articles and now everything means something from the color shirt you wore to whether you looked at the food or drinks first.  If you text her at 7:55 on Monday and 8:23 on Thursday clearly she wasn’t on your mind first you’re getting distant; is there something wrong?  You answered a yes or no question with one word, clearly there’s someone else.  If you rescheduling dates now, how can she rely on you as a partner? 

4. The Instagrammer- You’re about 64% sure that she only accepted the date for the photo op.  She posted a date night outfit, took pictures of the food and drinks, never of you because she has an image to uphold. She posts a goodnight picture about how she had the greatest time, meanwhile the actual date was awkward silences and bathroom breaks.  

5. The United Airline- She overbooks.  She needs to know by Tuesday if you’re on for Saturday afternoon because she has plans that evening.  She’s transparent about her schedule while failing to see how much of a turn off it can be.  

6. The Confessional- This might be the one I hate the most, the girl who waits until the date to reveal all the shit she lied about on her profile and over text.  I’ve had dates lie about children, boyfriends, age, smoking, jobs…but you already ordered and you was starving.  

7. The Culminator- The clock started from first message, by time it’s the first date she has already decided to be with you and she’ll learn the rest on the job.  

8. The Companion- You liked her, she liked you back. You message back and forth. You ask her out, she accepts. You go on a date and have a great time….but she isn’t looking for anything more than a friend. You’re not even her type, you just seemed cool.  This would be fine except you didn’t meet at work, YOU. MET. ON. A. DATING. SITE.  Who swipes right on people they aren’t interested in? That’s literally not how this works.  Probably goes to bars just to chill and drink water, ol loitering ass. 

9. The Priority- She’s been single for a while and has adjusted her life accordingly. She has her career, her family, her church, her netflix, her book clubs, her alumni groups, her sorority, her pets, her podcast, her blog, her freelance gig, her perennial self care vacations, and her long distance open relationship…then you come along and it’s apparent she has so much going on that she doesn’t even have time to date.  

10. Susan- They could have their own list honestly.  There’s “I don’t see color” Susan, “mmmm chocolate” Susan, “woke, but hates black women” Susan, “I didn’t date black guys until I didn’t lose this college weight” Susan, “I’m mixed” Susan, “Get Out was just a movie” Susan.  
*sigh* Dating is trash, yo.  I mean sure there’s silver linings, the Brandy is a good time when you hang out; with managed expectations, so is the Companion.  Perhaps, the Priority or the Marshawn will come around.  If you want a relationship (or sex) the Culminator is right there.  Maybe you can take a page out of the instagrammer’s book and just fake it all.  Apparently, there’s the 11th woman.  The one who is looking for a relationship, actually available to be in one and isn’t overly neurotic about it.  We can just call her, the Tinderella.  

-Stan- 

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Today’s Word is… SELFOFSTEAM

There’s no bigger ego stroke than someone falling in love with you.  For that someone that you was once just a stranger, a casual acquaintance, a classmate and now you’re everything.  We all have varying values on sex, some can’t sleep with someone they don’t love while others will swipe right get their itch scratched and maybe reminisce about it on a random cold evening.  In either regard, having someone fall for you is the true conquest.  Hell, just having someone is still viewed as the ultimate validation.  While it’s more commonly used to shame women, in reality it’s moreso men who truly get their #selfofsteam and confidence from their romantic relationships.  We’re the pursuers after all, a woman is as single as her options while a man is as single as his efforts.  Men aren’t above getting their Chante Moore on, especially with a bad one.
What about the man without that validation?  No one wants to be the old head at the club or the 40 year old bachelor on tinder who has never been in love before and now your date’s friends are wondering what’s wrong with you. (Basically, gotta have experience, but can’t have baggage. Dating is stupid.)  Toxic as it may be, we still equate manhood with our appeal to women, and if you don’t have no sauce you’re lost (Gucci Mane, 2013). 

 So naturally, there was a time where that was where I got all my confidence from.  Didn’t matter what anyone else thought of me; she thinks I’m funny, she thinks I’m fly, she loves me.  Then one day, she didn’t.  It left a void in my self worth.  Was I not those things anymore?  But reflection and growth took too long so, I just found another woman who did.  I could start over, charm, court, woo…be everything she was looking for and in return I would get validation.  I found someone, so clearly it’s not me it’s her.  Then when that flamed out, oh look there’s another.  I could keep going hunting and hunting, never really learning from my flame outs because they’ll always another woman who’s waiting for someone like me.  Except, I wasn’t even someone like me anymore.

The relationships themselves were burning out quicker each time.  The cure had become the disease, now I was tripping over every fall out with women, even the ones I wasn’t even sure I liked.  I just liked being Prince Charming. Meanwhile, she couldn’t even tell me what my favorite color was.  I couldn’t tell you what I liked most about them. My dating life had gotten aimless, I just got into relationships because that was the right thing to do and it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted.  I had become lost in the sauce, just as Gucci warned.

It was a year ago today actually, I found myself listening to Views, rolling my eyes at Aubrey’s arrogrant attempts at affliction (alliteration ftw) and coming to the realization of….wait, that’s me.  Was my ego out of control, or was it always just low self esteem? I went with the former, because why would I cop to low self esteem?  The issue was I was just picking the wrong ones…purposely. Yeah, that was it.  Now I had Tequila, someone who I knew I wanted from the moment I saw her.  Failed spectacularly.   She said I couldn’t love her because I didn’t love myself.  I pffffffft’d.  I moved on and she’s…well. (there was gonna be a parting shot here but I’ma rise above).  

I’m my best me when I have someone, when I’m happy…as most men are.  The love and support of a good woman is the ultimate glo up.  How else are you going to learn to use real garlic instead of garlic salt, invest in quality bedoing and stop hanging up posters with scotch tape. Some are happier with a plethora of women sweating them whilst remaining single and then you know, sup Carmelo.  Seldom is it just a nut, it’s affairs, situationships, strings attached maybe it’s all just a result of low self esteem and unable to be content with I got mine and I’m good.  Contrary to popular belief we aren’t just dogs with no impulse control, we are self aware adults who just long to be validated. Over and over again.   Or something.  Shrug life.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… STANDARDS

[Editors Note: Issa throwback…well, with a director’s cut.]


Attractive. Educated. Independent. Sweet. Confident. Compassionate.
(I just described most of my exes. Hell, I just described me.) 

Minimal baggage. Career. Non smoker. Social or not Drinker. Been in long term relationship. Classy.
(Still got most of my exes, a few eliminated, i’m still there)

Knows how to cook. Hair stays done. Always groomed. Puts it down in the sheets. Sense of style.  Body’s stacked.
(Still got some of my exes…no self respecting man will call themselves stacked, that’s where I bow out.)

5’9 and under. In shape.  Knows how to defer to a man. No trust issues. Diversified interests. Mentally stimulating. Great chemistry.
(I’m hearing chatter…now who do I think I am, what am I bringing to the table)

Low maintenance. Good with hanging out at home. Understands discretion.  Can make lasagna. Open minded in the bedroom. Wants kids. Fiscally responsible.
(This negreaux think he Idris or something…)

Standards are funny, as are the people love/hate them. No one ever has issue with standards unless it inconveniences them.  I don’t care that if you’re only chasing 6’4 lightskinned dudes you’re going to miss out on great guys, I care that I’m not 6’4 or lightskinned and I will never be, therefore I’m not invited to that table.  I didn’t want to sit there but now that I can’t, suddenly I want to sit there?  For who, for what? My list was very p.c, however if I got my mac on (You ever read something you wrote years ago and roll your eyes at how lame you were…this was one of those times) and said I want an exotic chick, hourglass figure, all natural…sistas would come for my head.  Reason #1, they’ll be damned if I don’t want them even if they don’t want me cuz…principality. Reason #2, who the hell am I to have such strong demands.

As you get older, and still single suddenly your standards are too blame.  The Beast could’ve let Belle just go have brunch with her girls and they would’ve told her that he’s tall AND has a whole castle, dont. block. ya. blessings. and she’d probably go right back.  Men don’t get it nearly as hard, I can probably hand wring myself to loneliness until at least 33.  Men aren’t told they are being unreasonable, or they are expecting perfection even when they are.  I have a homeboy who for the most part splurges on instajawns and to my knowledge never had an actual girlfriend.  I’m sure his mama might ask, but no one else cares.

Your standards represent you, your priorities, your traits, your aspirations.  It shows if you’re looking to just be treated good, f cked right, or want an actual relationship.  It shows your self confidence and what you believe you bring to the table.  Women say that men are constantly pestering them to lower their standards to accommodate them; I’m actually the opposite, show me you demand all that.  This goes both ways, you can’t be all over the club scene and social media and then demand someone who isn’t all over the club scene and social media.  You can’t demand a woman who’s cultured when all you watch is sports and action movies.  You can’t demand a man with his own place and a car when you staying at a homegirl’s and working part time.  I mean you can demand but spoiler alert, it won’t work out well for you.  Those independent, ambitious people you seek…well, they want other independent ambitious people.
There has to be some accountability for who you choose to let into your life, who you expect to come into your life and how they’re treated when they’re there.  The time spent on people who aren’t on “your level” adds up. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, my phone just full of women who I know weren’t what I was looking for, but #Ihaveneeds.  I can’t be taken seriously if I’m not taking my own standards seriously.  I know what I want and I’m not settling for less (maybe a few things, the lasagna game is non negotiable tho), in the meantime I #minuswhale use my time as productively as possible so I become the offer she can’t refuse.
-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FLIGHT


The “fight or flight response” is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.  You could say the same applies to our overall well being, particularly in dating. Your relationship hits a snag, do you fight or flight?  I feel like the generations before fought; adversity just came with the territory.   We all know of the old married couple who damn near hate each other and now they’ve been married 50 years because who wants to start over even after 10.  Then of course there was the whole women couldn’t work, don’t want to leave the kids, cost of divorce, etc so they just rode the wave of a decision they made at 18 years old and waited for the other to just die already.   The pickings were slim and when you had one you kept it.  Abuse, affairs, aloofness, alcoholism  (alliteration for the win) you rode it out.
These days, having seen what they went through we are flightier than ever. We stay in airplane mode.  It’s easy to move on when every single person in a 30 mile radius is right there in an app.  (Or further than that; if you’re into that kinda thing) Is it an overcorrection?  Perhaps.  Dating has become fundamentally flawed because everyone has one foot out the door because they won’t be the ones looking like BooBoo the fool.  We’ve gone from slim pickings to option overload.  We’re casually moving on the next one and effectively not learning anything. Where’s the incentive to?  I learned recently some women won’t even save your number until you prove yourself.  A contact, B?  We are so dismissive about dating that it’s like why do we even bother?  Or is it we are just really careful.  We hook up, explore options and when we’ve had our fun we turn around and then settle down with no regrets.  Maybe we need a word for the stage when you are dating but are fairly certain you haven’t found your forever worth fighting for.

 My fight was the skrongest.  I fell hard and fast and turned a blind eye to things that I probably knew better to.  Now, it’s a fight to even want to fight.  I’d become a pragmatist, we probably won’t get married so this is just borrowed time anyway.  It wasn’t even that I didn’t care for these women I just couldn’t disabuse myself of the inevitable.  I’m an INFJ, I project and shit.  It wasn’t fair to them (even though I’m pretty accurate with these things), the magic 8 ball in my head told me this wasn’t going to last and I acted accordingly.  Now because of me, she is pretty much over geminis, dark skin, beards, accountants, and dudes with blogs.  So she’s cold to them and they take it our on the next girl. It’s the circle of strife.  

Maybe one day we’ll reach that middle ground where you aren’t hanging on to a dead end relationship but also aren’t blocking numbers because you haven’t spoke in a few days.  Where real feelings aren’t being hidden by passive aggressive memes and being yasssssed by the same home girls who are eyeball emoji’ng his pictures.  I used to be patient, I used to be persistent and even I have to catch myself from sinking the whole island when I’m peeved.  I’ve stayed too long in situations and probably gave up too easily on others. The former likely the cause of the latter.  You fight and get your ass whooped your instinct is probably flight the next time.  And flight is the safest way to go if you never want to be hurt, but it’s also means you’ll never win either.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… HURTBAE

o-hurtbae-facebook

So the other day on Twitter, not long after the timeline was basking in the glow of Valentine’s Day, showing off gifts, boasting how they started with a DM now they here and whathaveyou I had noticed a video was going viral.  I largely ignored it at first because in an age of vine and snapchat, a 7 minute video is pretty much a Martin Scorsese film.  Eventually, I gave in and watched.  Broken, a video from TheScene.com or as the stweets would call it #HurtBae, featured an ex couple seeking closure, and by closure the woman, Kourtney asked her ex, Leonard how and why he cheated and he pretended to care and jedi mind tricked her into thinking the entire breakup was a mutual thing.  The video itself was moving, I suppose but it made me wonder…WHY DO WE BOTHER WITH CLOSURE?  #HurtBae and her ex don’t live in the same state, she supposedly has a new man, a good man, so why did she even volunteer for this?  There was nothing this inward was going to say that was going to change anything.  He attempted to guilt trip her about her about her insecurity and why she didn’t just leave if he was clearly ain’t shit.  (I really don’t want to call dude a sociopath because he is only like 23, but this dude might be a sociopath).

I’ve touched on this last year, closure doesn’t work because the other person clearly doesn’t care that much.  They didn’t care about your feelings when they had you, why would they when they don’t.  #HurtBae wanted him to care so bad, wanted him to see that he broke her, and his only emotion was mild inconvenience.  Even after the video has gone viral and he doesn’t regret how he came off, he is just annoyed black twitter still flaming him. He started off calling her his best friend but looked her dead in her face as she cried and didn’t even attempt to reach out and console her (cuz, sociopath).  Hell, I’ve confronted cheaters and still ended up being the one consoling them (cuz, sucker), it’s just…instinct. How do you just sit and let someone cry in front of you? Someone you care for?

 

Unbothered.

Then to the elephant in the room, why did you cheat?  The answer is the same for why anyone does anything they wasn’t supposed to do…they thought they could get away with it.  If I go into a store, the clerk is so engrossed with their phone they refuse to do their damn job and I just walk out with my stuff because clearly they don’t want my money.  Rationalized? Yes. Still wrong tho.  (*sips stolen water*).  Asking someone why did they cheat is giving them an excuse to blame you for being wrong.  Fuck all of that, B.  It doesn’t matter what reasons you have, you were wrong, you knew you were wrong and you thought you could get away with it, or in dude’s case he KNEW #HurtBae wasn’t about to do shit.

I don’t know if Broken is a one off or a series, I would hope the former because I don’t see how it’s productive.  Forgiveness is very overrated.  Sometimes it’s easier to be like, “you hurt me, so fuck you” and keep it moving.  It’s not bitter, it’s not resentment, why place the burden on yourself to make them see that they was wrong?  Whether ol boy grows and learns from this wasn’t going to happen based on that conversation.  When I was her age (oh shit, I’m old), I was driving myself mad trying to get someone I loved to just try and see things my way.  Now, I just chill and wait for karma (because it’s unethical to pray for things to happen to people).  Maybe one day she’s going to wake up and realize she became everything I hoped she wouldn’t, hell maybe she already has.  I wouldn’t know. Don’t care neither.  Treat it just like I treat a certain segment of our “great” nation, when they are still poor, uneducated, uninsured and realize their mans changed sold them tragic beans, I’ll be chilling.  For #HurtBae, when ol boy is in his 30s, losing his hair, getting dogged out by the woman he wants to do right by and scrolling her social media, he might then realize he slipped up.  Because that’s how closure actually works.

-Stan-

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