Can You REALLY be Friends with Your Ex?

I think that many can agree that they have close friends of the opposite sex, and that the friendship is solely based on the concept of being JUST friends. In fact, many can find beauty, joys, and headaches of being friends with someone of the opposite sex.

I have my “bros” that I treat more like my girlfriends with beards. With my best buds, I can be unapoletically me without a thought of turning them off…because..honestly, I don’t care for them be turned on in the first place.

Well….About a week ago I had this crazy dream about an ex-boyfriend who I considered to be a “just a friend.” Legit friend, without benefits. Well in the dream, I received an uninvited visit from my ex while I was entertaining my “dream man”.  When I say “dream man” I literally mean my DREAM MAN. I mean this guy was EVERYTHING that I want in a guy – caring, considerate, affectionate, honest, attentive, and trustworthy….and gorgeously handsome.

Now, the old flame was just a little too much for me in this dream. He blatantly told me he was not interested in any relationship with me, but he proceeded to share with all of his friends via social media how he showed up at my home only to find out that I was seeing someone new, as if we had a “thing” going on.  As you can imagine, my dream boyfriend DUMPED ME!

……COLD…..!

I woke up in a panic, and asked myself…. What does this mean?

For me, it meant one thing…. you REALLY can’t be friends with your ex. As much as I believe that men and women of the opposite sex can be just friends, I think it’s a different ballgame when it comes to exes.

In particular, I question the respect for boundaries that you or your ex will have for each other, especially as you transition into new relationships. I mean do you actually tell your ex that you are dating someone new and chat about how head over heels you are for a new man or woman in your life?

…..YEAH…AWKWARD….!

Or how about when you and your new love are not doing so hot. Do you actually share this with your ex? Would you be concerned that they would be opportunistic and try to take advantage of a vulnerable or weak you?

….UMM….SET UP….!

The other thing my dream taught me about being friends with exes is that keeping your exes around as friends is like carrying baggage or the reminders of your old relationship.  In my opinion, you set yourself up for the possibility of having your old feelings or your old flame “creep” into your new relationship.  Again, it makes me question your (or your exes) intention with maintaining such a close or ongoing relationship.

Lastly, my dream taught me that in order to truly enter into a new relationship with someone else, you cannot have the threat of someone else waiting around. When it is over with your ex, keep your space and distance. Again, establish those clear boundaries with him or her.  And be prepared to drop your ex if he can’t respect you. You don’t have to tell him or her everything about your life, but they should not just be dropping by unannounced..definitely not uninvited…and they should not be invading your personal life with 50-11 questions like “who are you dating?”

AND that goes for your child’s co-parent too! While you can maintain friendship as parents….there are BOUNDARIES. But, that’s a conversation for another day.

To my followers, what are your thoughts? Can you be/are you friends with your exes?

8 Date Night Ideas to Promote Stronger Connections

Ahh….Dating! While some can cringe at the idea of having to open up to someone or expose their vulnerabilities and fears of “putting yourself out there,” dating gives us a way to build greater connection and emotional (and physical) intimacy with another person.

Of course one of the challenges is choosing a place to go. UnDENYably, I am an “I dunno” or “It doesn’t matter” kinda woman. That means, I am generally open to anything so long as it brings me closer to a person. This drives a guy ABSOLUTELY crazy because he just wants me to choose a place.  Sometimes I struggle because I love more creative and exotic things, but I don’t want to seem like I’m “high maintenance.” Continue reading 8 Date Night Ideas to Promote Stronger Connections

My First Valentine

Valentine’s Day is behind us, and without a blink, the stores have tucked away items for next year or marked down canodies and chocolates. For those who are still sulking about not having a Valentine on Tuesday, please stop. You have been single the last 45 days of 2017, and before that there was a whole 365 days to get prepared. On a more compassionate side, ladies and gentleman… it is just one day.

And rightfully so, I am so GLAD it’s over. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m “single.” Because quite honestly, I have been single for quite a few of them, and I have never been more happy to be single and in love with who I am. In fact others feel just like me. According to a National Survey, indicated that 72% of singles enjoy Valentine’s Day and 50% of singles are proud of their single status on Valentine’s Day. Moreover, 24% of singles add to the hype of Valentine’s Day purchases by buying gifts for themselves. And, if any of the “singulars” are anything like me…. you just continued to move forward with your routine. After all, it was Tuesday and I had some consulting to do.

But Valentine’s Day really made me do some serious reflecting on my love life, and my dissatisfaction with Valentine’s Day overall. I discovered that even though I absolutely adore the gifts and seeing the posts on social media of couples across the world celebrating LOVE, I really could care less to receive anything or cater to the hype. And this is not to barrage anyone with my feelings that “Valentine’s Day should be everyday,” but I can admit that I unDENYably just don’t like to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

My love affair began and ended with Cupid when I was in middle school. Yes, middle school. Am I harboring feelings from childhood wounds? Probably. Do I care? Not at all. But I remember being in middle school and celebrating my FIRST Valentine’s Day. Let me just say that while I’m  a sure fire hot mom with the MILF status….(you don’t have to agree, but I own my sexy)… I was quite the Ugly Betty back in the day. I was a tomboy beyond no compare, and I HATED to actually wear clothes that showed my feminine frame. I was an athlete by all definitions. I enjoyed wearing hats and basketball shorts or sweat pants, baggy jeans and big shirts, and my hair…. ugh, I dreaded going to Ms. Maggie’s Beauty Shop. So, yeah I wasn’t at all lined up to receive Valentine’s Day gifts from the boys at school.

….So I thought…

Enter the boy I will call “MJ”. MJ was my buddy. We played sports in the same recreation league and we became fast friends. We talked in class and even exchanged phone numbers to talk after school. You can imagine how geeked I was when he asked me about what to get a girl for Valentine’s Day at lunch on February 13th. I was so excited when I shared ideas… balloons, card, a rose, and candy. Ooh… and small bear. MJ seemed like he was taking some good notes too because he thanked me and told me he would see me at school the next day.

So that night, I asked my dad to run me to the store so I could get a gift for MJ. Something cool to let him know how much I would appreciate the gift he was going to give me. I picked up a funny card and a box of chocolates. I mean after all, it was a boy. This day wasn’t about him. So the next day, I went to school, met MJ at his locker. We talked sports stuff, and then when the bell rang to get to class I reached into my backpack to grab his chocolates and card.

Now, MJ didn’t know that I saw him getting off the bus with my gift, but I figured that he stuffed it in his locker for the end of the day. Keeps people from asking questions about who gave me a gift, right? Smart move and I was eager all day. teddy-2061220_1920

Did I mention, I actually dressed up for Valentine’s Day in real girl clothes…which by definition was the dress shirt and sweater vest combo and a pair of jeans and clogs…. you get the point. MIDDLE SCHOOL! UGLY BETTY. Ooh… and I even tried to press out my hair!

Anyway, the end of the day came… and I headed over to MJ’s locker to get my gift. As I was walking up, guess what happened?

MJ was handing my gift over to “Elizabeth!” That B!+%=H STOLE MY VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT! She gave MJ a hug and thanked him as she added his gift to the handful of gifts she received. Yes, she was super pretty and all the boys liked her. He must have felt so accomplished to take a number in line because he had the biggest grin on his face.

I turned around and headed back down the hall, pretending to not hear him as he called my name.

That afternoon, I went home and cried my poor little eyes out. it was the first time I had ever cried over a boy (except for that time when Cortland Finnegan didn’t want me to play on the football team – yeah….I’m calling him out!).

Anyway, my dad came home from work, and asked me the infamous “What’s wrong daughty?” I told him about my heartbreaking moment, and he laughed at me. Seriously! He said that MJ was a short little wimp anyway and I could take him in both football and basketball so I shouldn’t cry. I dried up my face, because my dad was right….sorta.

I didn’t talk to MJ much after that. Eventually, we weren’t as cool, and I moved to another state after middle school so who knows where he is today. I never looked at Valentine’s Day the same. Even though I did have some REALLY awesome Valentines from high school and into adulthood, I have never quite forgotten how hurt I felt on my FIRST Valentine’s Day.

And I have received some pretty good gifts  over the years, many of which I still have and cherish the memory. I am thankful and happily exchange gifts, if my guy wants, and if he doesn’t it’s okay too.

To my followers…. now that Valentine’s Day is over…. what is your favorite or least favorite memory of Valentine’s Day? Do you remember the FIRST Valentine’s Day you celebrated with a crush or boyfriend/girlfriend? Leave me your memories  below.

And remember…. SELF-LOVE is LOVE we should celebrate on Valentine’s Day too!

Sex…on the first date?

We have all been there… The awkward first date. Maybe you go out for a nice dinner and have a drink or two. There is a great connection and conversation. The tension and chemistry is evident, and you are at your car, doorstep, or meeting spot….do you act on your urges?

Oh, don’t act like you don’t know what “urges” I’m talking about. I mean the growth in his pants from your too close of a hug you gave him, or the tingle in your lady parts after pulls you close for a passionate kiss….yes THOSE urges!

Many guys may be thinking “I don’t want to rush things with her because she may expect a relationship too soon,” and many women may think “He is gonna think I’m a hoe or easy if I give it up.” Which brings up a few questions I ask myself and others often… “Is it too soon to have sex on the first date?” and “Should you wait a set number of dates, days, months, or years before your physical intimacy is explored?”

Steve Harvey’s best-selling Act Like a Lady, Think Like Man advises women to develop a “90 Day Rule” (a concept he adopted from a new employee’s probationary period), while Biblical and spiritual perspectives teach us to wait before marriage. Actress Meagan Good and her husband (and pastor) Devon Franklin’s best-selling book, The Wait, encourages the importance of sustaining from sex until marriage. So I want to dive deeper in learning the value and benefit of “waiting” before getting sexually intimate.

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A comprehensive study of more than 2,000 married people featured in the Journal of Family Psychology (2010) suggests that the longer couples wait before having sex, the stronger their relationship outcomes. This study found that couples who waited until marriage rated their relationship stability and satisfaction on an average of 20% higher than those who had sex early in their relationship.

Maybe waiting for marriage to break the chasity belt is not the goal anymore. Hell, even the Jonas Brothers and Jordin Sparks broke their purity promise. The reality is….the majority of us are are not walking around virgins, and certainly with me being a single and non-married mother, let’s just say the evidence supports that I obviously didn’t wait either.

Nevertheless, it is recommended that you have some discernment regarding WHEN you physically explore with a person you’re dating to allow you time to get to know the person and to determine whether or not you are actually interested in the person. According to a 2016 online survey conducted by Match.com, couples who waited 5 dates before sleeping together reported being 35% happier together compared to those who had sex on the first date.

I believe that there are factors that influence our decisions to not have sex as quickly. One of which is our history of knowing the person you’re dating. If this is a relationship that sparked from a friendship or months of knowing someone thru mutual friends or social clubs that you have been a round for some time, you may feel a sense of attraction that extends beyond the physical. A second factor is the biological timing of our dating experience. Biological timing applies to women’s ovulation cycle and being horny as hell. This is especially amp’d up of she hasn’t had any in a while. Been there ladies….I.understand!

Last, I think it also depends on your emotional timing. If you are just ending a relationship or still hung up on your ex, you are likely to have rebound sex. Be careful not to become a Stage 5 Clinger!

And yes, I am putting the ownest of having sex too soon on the woman because it is our body and no objects should enter without our permission. And quite frankly, because women want to have sex JUST as much as men!

Whenever you decide to get in the sheets, be it the first date, 5th date, or the day after you exchange vows…. just remember to make safe choices and to be sure it is what YOU want.

Love…

What to Get Him for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and for those of us who are dating and boo’d up, we know that it means celebrating this #1 Hallmark Holiday! While Valentine’s Day is notoriously celebrated as a “women’s holiday” to mark how much she is loved and admired, we cannot forget that our men need to be shown love too! So this week, Mancode Monday is devoted to helping you plan and consider some great gift ideas for him.

Without a doubt, men have it easy when it comes to shopping for their paramour and significant other. After all, Wal-mart, Hallmark, and every other retail store known to mankind is flocked full of cute stuffed animals, chocolates, and even cutesy little sleepwear that a man can find ANYWHERE with somewhat little effort. However, ladies….we know that i’s not as simple shopping for the men in our lives. After all, not many of them will be too thrilled at the idea of a stuffed frog.  Plus, with the Christmas holiday recently ending, I am quite sure that we have used up our great gift ideas and may be a little stunted on how to celebrate your love for him.

And for the record ladies buying a sexy set from Victoria Secret’s is a gift to yourself not to him.  While we know that it will be sexy and hot, the reality is he is already thinking of how you’re going to wear that for some other dude if you break up. It will certainly be a highlight to your night, but make sure you don’t preface it as you “I bought this for you” unless he desires to wear it and is into that sort of thing. Hey…no judgment if that’s your bedroom behavior.

Now…..in consulting with my “mancode” team, which by the way consists of a number of men who are married, dating, and happily playing the field (yup…the playboy) and range in age from their early 30s-to-early 40s, I asked them to share with me their gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Let me begin by saying, that most men noted that they are not “fans” of February 14th.  And not because it’s not “their day” but because they feel they can show their love for their women more frequently then just this “one day.” (Slow clap to the men who make us feel special and appreciated and excites all of our lady parts!).  Keep in mind, that these are merely suggestions as every man is different and does not have the exact same taste as others. But, relatively speaking, most men would find great value in a few of these ideas.

5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

valentines-day-gifts-for-him

  1. Dinner. Believe it or not, a man just wants you to pick up the tab. Or better yet, to actually CHOOSE a place to eat without our typical “I dunno” or “I don’t care” when he asks. So for Valentine’s Day, do the unexpected and offer to take HIM out for dinner AFTER Valentine’s Day. Or, if you don’t want to pick up the check on this day, create  special gift certificate that he can redeem for dinner out on your next date night.
  2. Goodies Basket. Men love to know that you pay attention to their needs. Don’t you remember when Juno put all the tictacs in Paulie Bleeker’s mailbox? Yeah, guys actually like that you know his favorite things. It shows you pay attention to his snacks and treats. So grab a nice little basket and stuff it with his favorite goodies to let him know just how sweet he is!
  3. Hobby-related accessories. Is your man into motorcyles? How about purchasing him some new riding gloves or a new helmet or jacket.  Is he into gadgets or a techy? Check out some places like the Hobby Lobby for some cool new drones.
  4. Weekend Trip. Of course men are not expecting you to board a plan to Fiji or book a cruise to Jamaica, but a nice weekend hiking, fishing, or even to an upcoming basketball game is WINNER!
  5. Sex! And lots of it. This is no surprise. They are horndogs! Whether it’s oral sex or just a spontaneous quickie in the car, men just want it! And for Valentine’s Day they just want it to he EXTRA! So sext him. Stop by his job or meeting him at home for LUNCH!

Hopefully, this gives women some insights into what to get him for Valentine’s Day. Of course, as stated, this is not reflective of ALL men. If you have other great gift ideas, drop them below!

💜

I’ve been a little…M.I.A.

Hey hey hey!!!!! I’m back in my unDENYably SINgle world!!! And guess what I have been doing? A LOT OF THINGS TO BE A BETTER RESOURCE TO YOU!

So….in the past two weeks life has been a whirlwind! And….I have been thinking of how I can make my blog much better for you, especially as I am reaching more and more followers and know that many will join us on this journey. With that, I am committed to blogging more, and giving you some, hopefully, rich content that you will be able to apply to your fabulously single (or dating…) life! But here is an update on what I have been up to…

Over the past two weeks, I launched my Create Your Vision (Board) Parties in the Richmond-metro and Virginia Beach areas! They were absolutely fab so a “big thanks” goes out to ALL of the participants who came out to celebrate my 2017 seminar launch and to get a better handle on their goals. I was able to connect with about 50 people at these events, and I was extremely happy to see so many different dynamics in the workshops…women and men who were in the retirement and second launch phase, couples who were considering next steps in their relationships, single mothers who were trying to re-map their family and personal goals, and men who were also exploring the single life and pursuing professional passions.

Next up….I  have a few things on my plate that I am planning and working towards offering my followers and coaching clients including a relationship enrichment seminar that will upcoming-eventsfocus on supporting my dating and newly married couples.  This seminar will be moderated by me and led with the help of my wonderfully and blissfully married couples at various stages in their marriages.  In addition, I will be facilitating other seminars that focus on co-parenting without the baby mama/baby daddy drama, and communicating better in relationships. AND….I am launching a free e-course in March that will focus on managing and maintaining a successful (and HAPPY) single life!

You can certainly join my email list to get updates on my upcoming workshops plus tips and resources that you may find helpful with parenting and dating as well! Plus, for signing up, you get two resources to help you better understand your child’s behavior and to help you maintain a successful relationship!

Now…onto the juicy things, which is why you are here, right? My dating life….. Ummm….It’s still there. My phone hasn’t been dry that’s for sure. AYYYEEEE!!! And….I’ve taken an interest in someone.

Yes….I know…. right!

I am taking things slow, and not rushing at all. We are still in the friendship stage with a WHOLE lot of attraction to each other. I will share more…maybe…when it reaches a relationship. Until then…. that’s all you get! Ha! Hey…. I have my reasons for keeping my relationship to myself, and I will actually talk about that in a future blog post (stay tuned)!

And speaking of FUTURE BLOG POSTS…. Guess what SINgluars (my new name for my fellow followers)? I AM COMMITTED to actually keeping you packed with some useful resources and STILL adding in my own twists and dating stories (and yours too so don’t forget to send them to me)! Each week, I will be blowing you up with posts to keep it real, to remain insightful, and to engage you in some discussions about the single life, dating and relationships, and even parenting and navigating relationships when children are in the mix. Here is a detailed look at what you can expect from me in the future:

undenyably-single

 

  • MANCODE Mondays: That’s right ladies… we are cracking the code, sorta! Each Monday I will offer you the man’s perspective on various topics.  Utilizing interviews, polls, and research, we will get an insight into how men really think and feel about issues, such as waiting to have sex, commitment and marriage, and so much more!
  • HUMP DAY Wednesdays: Keep your pants on….its not ALWAYS about sex! But we will be talking about SEX BABY! But…I will be exploring intimacy on more than just a physical level to help us truly reach the BIG O!
  • TALK-IT-OUT Thursdays: This is the chance to talk about relationships and the dynamics that come with them as we date. You can expect stories from me and my followers and even more about how to navigate through these challenges.
  • SINgle Saturdays: Whether you are actively seeking, dating, or happily single, I will share more about taking care of your star player….YOU! From self-care and guilty pleasures, to finding the perfect date night outfit or activity, and even some thoughts on creating your dating profile, these blogs will be all about how to put the best you forward.

I thank you so kindly  for sticking with me! Down below….let me know what you think about the upcoming schedule, and let me know if there is anything that is pressing you. Leave it in the comments or contact me directly!

 

Kisses!

unDENYably…New Year, New Me?

“A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior.” ~ New Year’s Resolution (Wikipedia)

The ball is getting ready to drop in a little over 24 hours, and I am happy to report that I have not seen the tired “New Year, New Me” post on any of social media platforms.  Now that it is not to say that they are not coming because somewhere, someone is going to drop that line.

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Maybe it’s the  83% asshole in me (I took a quiz on Facebook and I will share another time), but I just have a real question…

….WHAT THE HELL DOES “NEW YEAR, NEW ME,” MEAN?

I mean last year, it was NEW YEAR, NEW ME. And the year before that, it was NEW YEAR, NEW ME. You follow where I’m going?

Yet, here we are, still looking at the same you. Sure you may have changed your hair color or switched up the dreadful, saggy skinny jeans style, but you are still physically the same person.

And if we are still getting the same updates on your ever-changing relationship status or your baby mama issues then that is the same you and maybe we should totally hit the unfollow or unfriend button. Newsflash… no one cares about how many times your “baby mama” took you for a child support review, despite how many likes you receive.

Oh… my all time favorite, for which I have been guilty too, is the post for which you say “I’m going to stop posting or giving attention to social media” all while posting it as a status on…

….ding

……ding….

……ding

..…social media.

I say this because if each year you resolve to have a NEW YEAR, NEW ME, but you are still doing the same thing as you did before, you are not going to make much growth.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with making resolutions or trying to break away from the “old” you.  Again, by definition, a resolution is a resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior. So perhaps we should focus on the undesired traits or behaviors that we need to change, in order to fully develop into a BETTER version of ourselves.

So instead of seeing a changed hairdo as a new invention of ourselves, let us resolve to be happy with who we are, unconditionally.

Or instead of the degrading “baby mama” or “baby daddy” posts, let us resolve to talk to the other person whom we slept with and made a baby to talk about how WE can parent OUR child together.

Lastly, use social media to follow people who actually have some substantial information to share.  If you enjoy following celebrities and reality stars, that’s great, but please do not allow these individuals to serve as a source for your business or relationship platform (again…another discussion for another day). Instead, follow professionals that provide live discussions or webinars on savings, stocks and bonds, and business development, something that will be fruitful in your personal growth.

Now this is no shade towards anyone who has made these posts or who have planned to make this as a post in the future, but I encourage you to look at this time of year as a way to start thinking about the goals that you can align with your resolutions.  Really take the opportunity to be deliberate in identifying what you hope to accomplish in the coming year.

As a single woman…a single mother…and a professional in the counseling world, I strongly believe in the power of setting goals and making plans to reach these goals. And I am not just talking about putting words on paper or speaking pretentiously into the air. I truly encourage you to set goals that are S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific
  • Measurable and meaningful
  • Attainable and achievable
  • Realistic and reasonable
  • Timely and trackable

Following these steps will definitely help you to create a plan to become a BETTER you in the new year. After all, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint)

To help you, my friends and followers, to develop SMART goals for 2017, I highly encourage you to join me for one of my FREE vision parties next month. At this free event, I will help you to not only develop your vision for the new year, but I will also connect you with some wonderful resources to help you follow through on obtaining these goals.

And, if it is not enough to offer this event FREE, there are two chances for you to connect with me:

Richmond-metro (VA) – January 19, 2017: 6pm-7:30pm

Location: Clover Hill Library, 6701  Deer Run Dr, Midlothian, VA 23112

Hampton-Roads (VA) – January 26, 2017: 6pm-7:30pm

Location: TBD

I hope to see you there, but space is limited. So don’t be that wedding guest that shows up without an RSVP after all meals have been paid and accounted. Reserve your spot today at www.beginningsfamilyenrichment.com/store/p16/VisionParty!

Until next time, Happy New Year!