Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rethinking the "Ex"-factor: Are you the same person now that you were then?


For lo these many years, I have firmly believed that it is important to know something about the way a person's previous relationships went so that you can gauge possible red flags in the making. But I think I'm changing my tune on that one. I still would like a heads up if dude has some Ike Turner-ish shiggity in his background, siphoned money from his ex's bank account or has his ex buried underneath the rosebushes out back but those are things I'd have to investigate on my own anyway.

The rest of it? How they were, what they did, why they broke up? I'm not sure it has as much impact on my thinking as it once did. I definitely have stopped carrying a ton of my issues from the last relationship(s) forward so shouldn't I assume the same for the s/o? Let me explain.

David is back from China for a few weeks since 1) He hated it there and 2) He wasn't really having face-to-face meetings with the client anyway. Since I headed off to Florida to visit my sister for a week or so, he headed down to Georgia to visit his fam. Sunday, he ran into one of his ex-girlfriends. Apparently, she had a few things to get off her chest. 

She told him that he was "emotionally unattached, stingy with his feelings, and hard to read." He apologized and told her that he really wasn't like that anymore. She told him that people like that don't change. Knowing that anything he said would be countered and dissected; he basically backed away with a "my bad" and fled.

I listened to this with no small amount of disbelief. Mister "Let's Take A Moment and Talk About This" used to be stingy with his feelings? The man who who requests "Relationship Status Reports" and "Cards on the Table Moments" was hard to read? When I asked him how this could possible be true, he said - I don't know, maybe I'm different with you.

Huh. Interesting. I mean I know people change a little (or should) to compliment the person that they are with but a complete change of communication styles? Let me think. Actually, I've done this. There was a long-term relationship where (believe it or not) I bit my tongue a lot. Which is (clearly) not my communication style. But I knew that speaking my mind would just kick up a whole of issues neither of us wanted to get into so I just kept my thoughts to myself. I don't do that anymore.

It got me wondering how much I've changed my relationship style over the years. More laidback, more communicative, less pressed, more "whatever will be will be." As one of my friends says, "I'm the same but... I'm not the same."

I guess my question, BougieLand is this - How much do (or should) we change to compliment the people we are with? Have you noticed what Jayme calls "Relationship Evolution" from one s/o to the next or with a long-term s/o? What's the easiest thing to change? What's the hardest? How much do we really need to know about our s/o's relationship past? 

148 comments:

Deb B said...

I;m definitely not the same person now that I was when I met my ex. I'm far more in ownership of my own needs and feelings and I'm okay if they clash with my s/o's. I think it's smart to adapt your communication style with the person you're with. I don't think it's okay to change the essence of who you are to be what they want.

SouthernWes said...

This is entertaining. One of the reasons we call David Batman is because he generally doesn't say alot. He says what needs to be said and that's that. Until he meets a certain bougie chick and now he can't shut up ;)

Anyway prior to the wife, one of my ex-girlfriends siad I lacked innovation and was too buttoned up. I met my wife and she said the thing she liked about me was that I laughed all the time and always had new ideas. Different people bring out different things in you.

GrownAzzMan said...

"When I asked him how this could possible be true, he said - I don't know, maybe I'm different with you."

This is it right there. Not only do we grow ourselves but as people we react/respond to those we are involved with in different ways. This biggest myth is that "people don't change". Yes we do. Every.Damn.Day.

MsJamie14 said...

I think our personalities are multi-faceted and therefore never really depart from us. But age and maturity also play a part, as well as the DESIRE to be your best self. Let's face it, some people can bring out the best in you, and some can bring out the worst.

I don't doubt for a second that D may still be "emotionally unattached, stingy with his feelings, and hard to read." That might aid him well in business, especially if negotiation is required to be successful. However, with age and maturity and a relationship he really likes and wants to maintain, perhaps he has found someone whom he can not only open up to, but let his guard down with. It's important to note that if he wanted to turn "a-hole" he probably could, but it would probably cost him a good relationship.

Looking back at my own personality strengths and weaknesses, I can see the relationships that brought out my best self as well as my not so best. But ultimately, it's up to me to be able to channel my feelings productively, no matter the situation or person I'm dealing with. Again, recognizing that comes age and maturity.

maureen said...

Great post! I believe one should change to compliment current relationship, as the saying goes "you know better  you do better.  just don't lose yourself. For me the easiest things to  change  would be aesthic stuff. Hardest would be my  inner core- you stray from your center- you are lost.

JohnKinPDX said...

Tempted to fly to Cali just to shake your hand on this one!

JohnKinPDX said...

Tempted to fly to Cali just to shake your hand on this one!

JohnKinPDX said...

*raises both hands and runs up and down the aisle praise dancing this post*
I can't imagine being the same person. What is the whole point if not to learn from the last one and improve with the next one? Plus, why drag the stale same old same old forward? Mix it up!

The hardest thing is to change your mindset about relationships, especially if you've been burned. It's hard not to wait for the other shoe to drop and just live in the now.

The easiest thing to change is your communication style.

Slimuel L. Jackson said...

I think how much we change to compliment someone we're dating is a direct correlation to how much we value them. For people to make a change and have it stick, they have to do it for themselves first. Otherwise they'll just go back to old habits. And if we meet someone that impacts us enough on a personal level to make us want to change our actions to make sure that the relationship remains healthy, then we're placing a pretty high amount of value in what we have with them and it's clear that we want to make sure that person is happy...or we just want to avoid unnecessary headaches.

I don't think any change is easy, but the best and most beneficial thing to change first is attitude and outlook. That's going to set the tone for how you interact.communicate with the person. The most difficult to thing and perhaps impossible thing to change would be values. Values are the essence of who you are and changing your values could be a daunting and internally challenging process.

In terms of past relationships, I don't need to know much. I only want to know if they've dated anybody I know.  Other than that, I accept them for the person they are today and every thing else I learn along the way is gravy.

Jubi The Great said...

I've changed in relationships - both to please my SO & also because I knew I needed to get my stuff together if I wanted to have a healthy adult relationship. The one time I changed to fit the mold of what my partner wanted, I found that I lost myself & I wasn't happy with who I became. The times where I changed because I needed to communicate differently, or have a different view on things, it benefitted not only the relationship, but me as a person.

I'm not all that interested in my SO's past. Their interactions with me & how work/relate to each other is more imporant to me. I wouldn't want anyone making false assumptions/judgements about me based on my past so I try to avoid doing the same.

thinklikeRiley said...

Lookie here, you wouldn't wear gym shorts to a formal or a tux to a BBQ. Relationships are the same damn thing. You switch up to fit the occasion. Doesn't mean you're different, just means you fit in as needed.

*drops mic*

ClayJones said...

I actually prefer that we enter in without a whole lot of preconceived notions. I don't want to know why she's divorced, what he did, why they split - no. Let me figure out a few things on my own. I went out with a woman a few weeks ago and the first thing she said was "So what happened with your marriage?" Is that first date chatter?

BTW, tell David that I'm stealing that "Cards on the Table Moment"

michaeldavis said...

I think people change based on age and life and relationship experiences, not whom they date.  I know that while my dating requirements are somewhat stringent (Moms says I'm too picky...I prefer "selective"), I tend to show flex within the relationship because it is give and take and I know I'm not always right.

One thing that I have learned is that I tend to attract the "all about their job" types because they see me involved in certain arenas, when what I really like are women who lead balanced lives and are involved in some social/charity/volunteer cause that is bigger than themselves.  What I learned is that I need to partner with someone on the artsy side that is a little more carefree so I don't take myself too serious.

As far as the past, I do need to know that you haven't dated anybody close to me.  #NoRayJ

SingLikeSassy said...

All men don't treat all women the same. Each relationship has its own dynamic. That was theirs. *shrug*

Lady Ngo said...

I do think we change to complement the one we're with to a certain extent. But i think a lot of this has more to do with the fact that you're with someone that you should/want to be with. The way you act with someone that gets you and you see a future with is different from the way you'll act with the flavor of the week (even if you don't consciously realize that they're the flavor of the week).

Mr. Skyywalker said...

I've had people tell me I'm a totally different person with Mrs. Skyy than I was before. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Miz JJ said...

Men don't treat all women the same. It hurts to know that, but it's true.

I am in a relationship now with a man who was described much the way David was by quite a few of his exes. One woman even asked what I've done to him because now he's so different. I didn't do anything. We fit together, so we're both different together.

SingLikeSassy said...

As for past relationships, I don't get into all that cause for real, I don't care about who you used to be (unless you were a criminal or abusive), I'm focused on who you are right now with me. Are you treating me as I need to be treated? We're good then.

I think this also gets into love/relationship styles. I am a person who doesn't like to read minds and I don't expect you to read mine. I ask for what I want. And, within reason I expect you to deliver. But I dated a guy for a bit who didn't like that. He wanted to just suss out what I wanted, but was awful at it and would get upset that I wasn't pleased when he did something that I didn't want. More importantly, he wanted ME to suss out what he wanted. Dude, if you want something better ask for it, cause closed mouths don't get fed. So, his impression of me may be that I am demanding, selfish and unappreciative.

Now, with my ex-husband he APPRECIATED that I was direct. He said he always hated dating women where he had to wonder if what he was doing was sufficient or the right thing. That meant if I wanted flowers I could say, "Baby, I'd like some flowers" and within a day or so I'd either get a delivery at work or come home to some flowers. Which made me happy and in turn made me wants to do MORE to make him happy.

OK, blogging in the comments now so I'll stop.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Different people bring out different things in you <~~~ TRUTH

Rob said...

One of the things I had to learn (thanks, @JaymeCinDallas ) is how communication styles differ. Truthfully, the previous girlfriends didn't expect a lot of chatter. I could say "it's cool" and that closed out the discussion. Amy wasn't having it. She wanted full sentences with adjectives, adverbs or what not. And she communicates better when she's had a minute to think about it or writes it down.

I didn't want to know about the men who came before as long as I was going be the last.

Lady4Real said...

*Sweeping the house for the wire my cousin obviously has planted somewhere*
Chele, seriously? Do you have my house tapped? Me and the hubs just had this convo Sunday. Albeit we have known each other since 3rd grade but the man loves to dig, he wants to know about everything that went on with me in the 9 years that we were not a couple and I tend to divulge as little as possible, which frustrates him, he thinks we should know EVERYTHING about each other and our past relationships. I think the past should be left in the past, I'm not who I was then and neither is he and we are totally not who we were when we were with other people. Different people bring out different sides of you. My exes would never believe the woman I am with my husband, he brings out the best in me always has. Some of my exes confuse the shiggity out of me because they are nothing like they were when we were together. His exes would have a heart attack if they knew of the things he does for me and with me, because he refused to do them with or for them. Different people just cause different sides to come out, 'tis life.

taut_7 said...

i know the way i approach every relationship i have with a woman is different. women aren't the same so why would i treat them the same. for instance if i'm with a woman is really guarded and emotionally distant i'm not going to behave the same around her as i would a woman who wore her emotions on her sleeve. 

Trey Charles said...

A few months back, first date and girlie spends at least an hour detailing what happened with her last 5 relationships. I said nothing. By the time they brought dessert she said. "You don't talk much." I said, "Feel free to tell the next one that you ruined any chance of a relationship by oversharing out the gate. How's your tiramisu?"

Trey Charles said...

Classic.

Trey Charles said...

We need to grab that last paragraph and add it to Bougie Bachelor Manifesto.

Trey Charles said...

He really can't shut up. #happyazz

OneChele said...

I do have your house bugged, stop looking for it, you'll never find it. #ImEverywhere ;-)

OneChele said...

I didn't want to know about the men who came before as long as I was going be the last. Awww

michaeldavis said...

what was her response/reaction?

Bonita Applebum said...

To me, knowing what happened in past relationships has nothing to do with the person. Because anything that was an issue then would just show up in other facets of their life.  Got into money issues with an ex?  Most likely they're stingy (or overly generous) with money with other people.  Trust issues in the past?  Trust issues with other people around them.

And that's not a blanket statement, because there's always exceptions to everything. But I think in order for a relationship to be successful, you make sure you have the ground work laid out, then adjust to the little things. It's like buying a house.  Why buy a 1 bedroom shack and tear down the walls to make it into a 5 bedroom ranch?  Just go for the ranch in the first place and decorate it the way you like.

....that's kind of a horrible analogy but you know what I mean.

Trey Charles said...

She liked the tiramisu. :-\
She said she thought I'd appreciate her full disclosure.

Grace said...

I don't know, I'm torn. I was dating this one guy and I found out he had left a string a broken hearts and kids all up and down the Eastern seaboard. I would've liked to know that early. Then again, he probably wouldn't have told me.

NY2VA said...

I don't believe that people can change who they are fundamentally, but I do believe time and experience can allow people to upgrade and become better versions of themselves.  

I have recently been coming to terms with the fact that I will be 40 in a few short years, so I've been in serious reflection mode.  I have categorized my adult life into 5 eras: my pre-engaged 20's, my engaged 20's, my married 20's, my pre-kid 30's, and my post kid 30's.   I know for a fact that as I have moved through each era, there has been significant change that has taken place in my life, most of which has been for the better.  I acknowledge that I am still fundamentally the same me that I have always been; however, I am older, wiser, and way more experienced.  My pre-engaged 20's self had some ways that my engaged 20's self had to reduce and/or retire.  There are decisions that my married 20's self made that my pre-kid 30's self would certainly rethink.  There are options that my post-kid 30's self has at her disposal that my former selves wouldn't even know how to handle.  I have grown and evolved over time.
As we live this life we encounter many, many people and if we are lucky we meet people who make us want to make us fulfill our untapped potential and simply be better people.  They inspire us to be and do more.  Friends, significant others, children - they all impact us in ways that others may not have thought possible.  Just because someone was  unable to see something in us in years gone by, doesn't mean that it hasn't always been there.

OneChele said...

I like the HGTV analogy.

JAMES MCCOY said...

No need to carry unwanted issues to the next relationship,learn from the mistakes and move on!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

People change for each relationship, because each is different - the dynamic between the two people in the relationship has as much influence on how they behave as their individual characters/personalities.   Healthy relationships will push you to become a better you. Unhealthy ones apply pressure for you to change or to become your worst self.   Or to stay stagnant.  You should only change if the relationship objectively allows you to become the better you without sacrificing who you are at your core.

I have noticed that I changed in relationships, and I think that if you take time to evaluate each relationship, you can find a lesson that will help you get better. Some of those lessons will be easier than others.  In my opinion, the hardest ones are those tied into your strongest traits.  And these traits are not only the most innate/reflexive, but also the ones that have a proven upside in your life.

As for an SO's past, I need to know the basics (no criminal history, legal marital status, number of children, if you were intimate with anyone I'm going to run into on a frequent basis). Details can only be gleaned over time, and so I don't need a full play by play because if I'm observant, I'll find out certain things about you anyway.

md_KG said...

BWAHAHAHA!!

Tiramisu is yummy though.

Jason P said...

Unless she knifing bruhs on the third date, I don't really want to know what came before. It's going to color my thinking and who needs that?

Pretty Primadonna said...

No "She Smashed The Homies" moments? lol

BlackButterfly said...

I only need to know about something from a previous relationship if it could cause me harm in the present. (i.e. your ex murdered new chick and got off)   I like healthy communication and the guy needs to know that I don't like trunks of issues being dragged forward to what they are trying to have with me.

I am the one that always waits until I am really ready to move forward before I even try to date a guy because I like it to be about us but I haven't always been the recipient of the same courtesy.

Lady4Real said...

:p I knew it! Well I'll just be extra careful of what I say, lol. I LOVE YOU!!!

Sasha Iman said...

Hmm, I've been on the dating seen all of... well, not that long so all I'll say is this.

3N may have flipped the script emotionally speaking, but his actions make it clear he always knew how to act. No one pulls out and implements relationship status updates and talking it out, out of thin air or b/c they read it in a book. He wasn't emotionally available with them other women b/c he didn't want to be, not because he didn't know how.

Anyways, I say a persons past relationship behaivour is very important but only to a certain extent. If I was forewarned a man I fancied was emotionally unavailable, stingy with his dinero or was a childish, I'd take that into consideration and determine how I felt about it as the relationship progressed b/c that's no reason to not at least test the waters if I liked the man. He very well have changed or might treat me differently.

On the other hand, if the guy I fancied had a history of being emotionally abusive, physically abusive, cheating (especially with no protection) and etc. I wouldn't care to find out if he had changed, and wouldn't even begin to consider the possibility unless they'd been through extensive therapy. Such behavior point to a general disregard for basic human decency and a pathology that implies they either didn't think what they were doing was wrong, or just didn't care. Either way, I'd don't mess with "im" or "a" moral people.

Earthangel172 said...

Honestly, I don't want to know too much about the past (i.e. your "number"). However, I do believe that sharing is caring but I would rather focus on what we have now. I haven't had a ton of relationships but I can say that I have changed with time. The easiest thing for me to change was to be more spontaneous. Men like that. The hardest thing for me to change was to open up more. I tend to hold in how I feel but I met a man that made it easier for me to express myself.  BUT, that's the difference between my 22 year old self and my soon to be 32 year old self. One can't be mad at that!

tishatweets said...

I believe there’s something to be said for the phenomenon of people bringing out things in you that you didn’t know were there—and that can be for the good or for the bad. In this instance, it would seem that you have brought out communication skills in David that he either a) didn’t know were there or b) he didn’t care enough to utilize with other women he’s dated/been in relationships with.
 
There is, too, something to be said for plain ole’ growth .  I can think back on certain relationships and the woman (or girl; let’s be real) I was then—and how I’ve evolved from her. There’s a lyric from a Floetry song that I love which describes this perfectly—“I loved the girl I used to be/every step she took/was reaching out to me.” We can’t really hate who we were—it ushered us into who we are. Everything living should be growing.
 
That said, in David’s shoes, when approached by this particular mouthy ex, I don’t know that I would have even apologized. Unless she’d brought up some specific wrong I committed that was still causing her large amounts of pain that would disappear only with the “closure” of an apology from me. But this chick? She was on some “let me run you your character flaws” stuff which, IMO, had no place in any conversation between them. They’re.not.together.anymore.
 
People can be weird. LOL

Earthangel172 said...

 Healthy relationships will push you to become a better you. Unhealthy
ones apply pressure for you to change or to become your worst self.   Or
to stay stagnant.

I wholeheartedly agree with this!

michaeldavis said...

WELP *hums Paul Simon - the sounds of Silence*

michaeldavis said...

no ma'am, we'll be passing on that scene. LOL

LikeLena said...

Instead of having the historical chat, I prefer to have the expectations talk. What do you want now? What works for you now? Have do we move forward instead of looking back.

NY2VA said...

It has been my experience that the desire for full disclosure out the gate is a feminine trait.  I have known women who have attempted to gather so much data first dates that they really should have shown up with scantrons and #2 pencils.  On the contrary, I have never met a brotha who wanted to know anything other than basics on first dates.

tishatweets said...

Makes perfect sense, T. I respect the man who realizes his "A" game might just only be his "C" game with me. Not saying this is *your* situation, but I'm saying everything you did with the last chick might not work on me. Get to know ME.

Earthangel172 said...

Smart man.

DCbywayofCali said...

Wait, so if someone has dated an acquaintance then she's off limits? 'splain por favor.

Man's World said...

Leave the baggage at the door. We start clean, we start fresh and we start together.

DCbywayofCali said...

With regard to Relationship Evolution I'm certain that it can happen IF the person takes the time to examine him or herself after the relationship is over.  After a serious relationship breakup at least take couple or three or four months to get back into you.

NY2VA said...

"you wouldn't wear gym shorts to a formal or a tux to a BBQ"

My friends decided one morning to up and get married.  They got up in the morning and went to the justice of the peace and got hitched.  They didn't get dressed up or anything.  they just threw their clothes on and went.  The groom was wearing a pair of b-ball shorts and from that point on the bride began referring to  that particular pair of shorts as his "tuxedo". 

Earthangel172 said...

"So what happened with your marriage?" Is that first date chatter?

As a divorced person, I can't stand that question. I am not my divorce. Period.

Angela said...

The more I learn (about myself specifically and people in general) the more I grow, but I'm still simply a more mature version of the person I've always been. I've never changed (my core) to complement anyone, but I do modify my behavior depending on who I'm dealing with.
 
Changing the way I think is the hardest; however, once that's done, actions follow easily enough.

Earthangel172 said...

short and to the point. love it.

BklynBajan said...

Umm no his actions show that he has learned from what didn't work in the past and is making an effort to do better now. It is possible to be unhappy with the way things are (were) find a new tool and then use it when the next opportunity arises so that you don't end up with the same results. Unless you know more than his friends that are posting on here fall back a lil bit. Hell I don't know him but from on here and can see the difference.

There may be jokes mixed in with the life lessons but if reading through Bougieland doesn't make you take pause and at least evaluate & take something back regarding how you interact with people then I don't know what to tell ya. Everbody on here owes Jayme a session fee or two. Ya live, ya learn, ya do betta...

BklynBajan said...

Broken hearts is one thing but kids? That's a first date question and if he lies about it then I'm out!

CaliGirlED said...

"Different people bring out different things in you."...This right here sums it all up!!!

Some people bring out the worst in you and some bring out the best.

CaliGirlED said...

*drops tithes and offering in the collection plate*

OneChele said...

I don't know what to say about that. 

CaliGirlED said...

"What is the whole point if not to learn from the last one and improve with the next one?"...*writes out lump sum donation to the building fund*

CaliGirlED said...

 *writes check for Pastor & Wife Anniversary*

Sleepless in DC said...

Me ex told me from the jump that all of his ex's were selfish, which is why he wasn't with them anymore. I now know that he is a very selfish person himself. That disclosure should have sent off warning bells in my head, so that I could save myself the broken heart and the large therapy bills that I am nursing right now. I've learned my lesson the hard way and now I know that it isn't meant for me to fall in love.

GuessImJay said...

Doesn't make her off limits but you definitely want to know if she dated an acquaintance or one of the homies. Was she an HnQ chick or about to be Mrs. Homie? I need to know what kind of toes I'm stepping on.

CaliGirlED said...

*gives donation to remodel Pastor's office*

Slimuel L. Jackson said...

Jay captured my thoughts. Nothing more I'd add other than I don't like those kind of surprises.

CaliGirlED said...

 Bwahahaha!!!

blackprofessor said...

I think each relationship is different with its' own dynamic.  The relationships in which I have grown the most forced me to up my game and step out of my comfort zone.  I didn't become a different person but a better version of myself.  I believe that certain people inspire us to be better and not everyone is able to do that.  I think the hard part in dating and relationships is finding that person in which there is mutual encouragement and inspiration so that both of you become better versions of yourselves.

C Nelson said...

I believe that who you are, as in how you feel inside in response to big stimuli, doesn't change. But if you're doing your homework and growing, how you react to it does. I'm never going to not have abandonment issues, for instance. But I've come from ditching people (before they could ditch me) the moment those got triggered, to "merely" freezing them out temporarily, to understanding where the urge comes from enough to talk myself down -- and discuss it with my partner.  I have tools in my repertoire that I just didn't have when I started. I had to learn them, often enough the hard way.

And some of them, I must say, from my partners. Every guy I've dated has been a better fit for me than the last one, and taught me new things. Every one of them has dated a slightly better version of me, too. I talked to my ex -- the one I married two days after my twenty-first birthday -- last week, for only the second time in fourteen years. He hasn't changed much, and that appalled me. I have changed, at the very least enough to not be drawn into the crazy (not a metaphor or exaggeration, sadly) and that angered him. That ten minute conversation was like a condensed version of every last thing that used to work on me back then. The girl he dated was a much better fit for him than the one she grew into. I'll be thanking God every single day for awhile that she did grow.

rozb said...

Sometimes you change because the person you are with complements who you actually are vice who you feel you have to be. That's a good thing. It also shows you are maturing and becoming self-confident and self-aware.

The easiest thing to change is what you may be willing to try (not some nasty stuff! :P). A new S.O. may influence you to get more education or try new hobbies because they inspire you to new heights. The hardest thing to change is the ability to trust someone without bringing baggage. Past hurts can cling like a bad scent so to be open to fresh air can be a great feat.

Like you OneChele - a love's past isn't the biggest factor in my life unless it involves some criminal activity, unfinished ex-S.O. business, or any secret furtive behavior that may screw with my security, home, or credit.

rozb said...

You hit the nail on the head!

CaliGirlED said...

The bougie bruhs have spoke up in here up in here this day!!! I have paid tithes, offerings, building funds and the like! Very good information guys!

After reading the post and some of these comments I'm starting to feel like some of the past information is unnecessary. I need to re-think this. I know why I want to know, but unless they're being honest in the story they give, I still don't know.

David Chase said...

Wait a minute...

SingLikeSassy said...

"now I know that it isn't meant for me to fall in love." <--wait, what?! That's a lot of power to give to another person. Keep seeing the therapist.

CaliGirlED said...

Also I know that I am different in relationships but am still always me. We all have our good side and our bad side and some people are good at pushing you more toward your bad side. So I have learned to remove myself from people who have the potential to bring out the worst in me.

David Chase said...

^hater

C Nelson said...

You do not know that it isn't meant for you to fall in love because you once dated a selfish guy any more than you would know that riding a bike with a flat tire once meant you're never meant to own a Lamborghini. You picked wrong that time. Next time you'll pick better, or at least avoid ignoring that particular red flag.   :)

MsJamie14 said...

I am beginning to HATE you. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

taut_7 said...

exactly and i would hope that she wouldn't bring any hangups or anything else from a different relationship to the one we have.

Ivory Tabb said...

If you are still  treating people and your relationships the
same way you did when you were a child, maybe you need to look in the mirror
and adjust accordingly. BTW  with that
being said  I also know why your single!

Jubi The Great said...

WOW...

Jubi The Great said...

Its the learning part that is tricky for most ppl. Instead of figuring out the lessons, they'd rather just assume the other person was to blame & keep repeating the same old things. Some folks eventually figure this out, but a lot dont.

Ms. LTB said...

I try to approach each relationship different because each man is different.  I've yet to get involved with 2 who were just alike.  That being said, I have noticed that I am more patient/understanding/willing to communicate/compromise as I've gotten older.  However, all the men that I encounter don't all manage to inspire me to want to do any of these things.  Some slide me instantly back down to the "nah I don't want to talk about it and nope I'm good you don't have to [insert requested item/action here]" mode and I know right then that whomever he is, he is NOT a man that I need in my life.

As for the past - I just need to know you haven't slept with any friends/family members, you STD free, and don't get off on trying to either A. put me down/make me doubt myself or B. hitting/kicking/slapping/forcing to perform acts of a sexual nature/etc. because acts A and B will get you locked up in the best case scenario and buried in the worst.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Sometimes you change because the person you are with complements who you actually are vice who you feel you have to be. That's a good thing. It also shows you are maturing and becoming self-confident and self-aware.


^^^^^ THISx1000!!

Ms. LTB said...

Your wallet and checkbook should both be tired LOL because going down the mental list of things the church always asking for money for, you haven't missed many :-)

Leon X said...

To paraphrase George C. Wolfe's "The Colored Museum", I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago or 10 minutes ago. That's all I really have.

Ms. LTB said...

You now know that you weren't meant to fall in love with HIM (or at least men like him).  Don't give up on all men just because one (or two or forty) wasn't right.   Eventually the right man will come along and when he does, hopefully, you'll be recovered and ready for him.

CaliGirlED said...

Denying your kid(s) is an instant automatic immediate have a seat cut pile kicked to the curb it's over violation with me!

Sleepless in DC said...

Other's before him set the stage, this relationship was just the fat lady singing. I wish I was better at knowing someone is wrong for me before I fall for them, but this time took the cake. I know that I have to close myself off to love, because I can't take the risk anymore of getting my heartbroken. I've been dumped one to many times. It's hard to wake up every day and not find one good reason to get out of bed.

CaliGirlED said...

When I read that statement my heart sunk for her. :-(

CorettaJG said...

I agree, that is not first date chatter.  At all. 

But, eventually I do want to know what happened with the first marriage sans gory details.  For my   situational awareness. :-)

CaliGirlED said...

Sleepless, I mean this with all the sincerity that is within me, if your therapist is not helping to remove this thought from your mind, please find another one! You can think that it might not have been meant for you to fall in love with that man, or any man right now, at this time. But another way to look at it is to take the lesson from the pain and the warning bells that you ignored. I've played the fool for two different men, and it DID NOT feel good. However, I accepted my responsibility in staying with two fools who showed me they were fools. And with the second one I thought I could love him enough for the both of us! Stop worrying about what he did wrong and focus and learn from what you did wrong...Please ma'am and I'm praying for you.

CaliGirlED said...

"A new S.O. may influence you to get more education or try new hobbies because they inspire you to new heights."...And this is who I will be turning flips for breaking out the poms poms!

Sol_dier said...

He musta hurt you pretty bad, there has been rumours of a bougie mafia all decked out in purple and stuff. 
Take your time to heal, that selfish man is busy being selfish somewhere else. Try not to let his selfishness get space in your life. He is gone, let all his negativity and selfishness go with him.

Love is too beautiful for you to cut yourself off from. 
Be Easy..

CaliGirlED said...

Girl just need the babies to come around selling their candy/wrapping paper for the children's church! LOL

Earthangel172 said...

As for the past - I just need to know you haven't slept with any
friends/family members, you STD free, and don't get off on trying to
either A. put me down/make me doubt myself or B.
hitting/kicking/slapping/forcing to perform acts of a sexual nature/etc.
because acts A and B will get you locked up in the best case scenario
and buried in the worst.

LMAO!!! I hear ya.

CaliGirlED said...

B is one of the main reasons why I try to get a feel of failed relationships. "Really, and then what did you do?"

SingLikeSassy said...

Girl everybody in these comments has been crushed at least once, probably more than that by love. Ask John from PDX about how he ended up in Texas. I just divorced a man I loved and stuck needles in my ass to try and have babies because HE was infertile who turned out to be a cheater.

And yet, we're all still out here pushing forward, loving and living.

My point is, you can't throw the baby out with the bath water. Keep seeing the therapist. And, as Cali said, do some hard thinking about what it was those men had in common that attracted you.

But to declare you will never fall in love again is defeatist and we don't do that here in Bougieland.

Best of luck.

Ms. LTB said...

LOL why am I in my office dying of laughter imagining dude giving you the wrong response and you quietly gathering all of your things, holding up one finger like you in church, and vanishing.

Ms. LTB said...

LOL shhhh...... don't say that too loud. You know it's almost Christmas.  Prime time for the churches/schools/scouts to be sending out the wrapping paper fundraiser books.

BklynBajan said...

Take time to heal and recognize any patterns you are currently ignoring THEN be ready for love again. That you woke up is reason enough to be thankful for the opportunity to do better.  ((HUGS))

Earthangel172 said...

And after this^^^^, there ain't nothing left to say!

::cues in the benediction::

"May the Lord bless you and keep you, May the Lord make his face to shine upon you....."

CaliGirlED said...

Naw sistergirl you're not going down like that, not on my watch! And by that I mean I can't hear you talk like that and not reach out. If you believe me in God, hit me up and I'll send you some scriptures and inspirational quotes and thoughts. You can't continue to think like this! Do you know who you belong to? Do you know that you are a treasure? Please email me, myas-mom@sbcglobal.net.

CaliGirlED said...

I am serious when I say that is one of my biggest fears because I think I would LITERALLY lose my mind! Just found out last week that a guy that tried to date me (major fail) used to beat his ex-wife! GTFOH!!!

bashowell said...

My last two bf's kept adding children as the months went on.  "Do you have any kids?"  "Oh yeah I have a daughter."  Two months later..."So yeah my son said..."

Sol_dier said...

 It's hard to wake up every day and not find one good reason to get out of bed.

Yet, just like the sun, every morning you rise.
God/Allah/Buddha/ is waking you up for a reason. Your life's mission is yet to be discovered. But I will say for sure it is not simply to mate or be in coupledom

This is real life, and most times it can feel like you are a small fish surrounded by a sea of sharks. YOU must find a way to make it work. You must decide that YOU are worth waking up for. You have to find that place to be happy.

And quite frankly, you have to start falling in love with yourself. Learn to love you, If you can truly love yourself then whether you are with or without a man, it wouldn't matter. 

CorettaJG said...

I co-sign what Sassy said (below). 
 
Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way Sleepless in DC.  Sassy is so right when she says many of us have been through heartbreak, and we know how wrenching it is.  But life is made up of relationships and it doesn't end there.  You have many good years ahead of you.  Don't miss your blessings distracted by some fool who probably isn't even thinking about you right now.

When I went through my divorce a few years ago I went through all the stages of grief.  I was withdrawn, I cried, raged, I slept all the time, I moved through life just going through the motions.  I felt like a failure.  I really believe all the time I spent being "down" contributed to a later auto-immune diagnosis.   Stress can kill. 

I finally had to remind myself who I was.  And that's pretty fabulous.  :-)

Yes, there were lessons I needed to learn through my experience, but one of the important ones was that the ultimate decision by my husband was more about HIM than it was about ME. 

I couldn't take responsibility for his decisions.  I could only control what was in my power.  I decided to accept the support of my friends and family, get out of the house, dress up, renew my spiritual life, and revive doing the things that helped make me who I was.  I still had my moments, but eventually it was hard to remember the foolishness that was me on the couch for days on end.

Pick your head up girl.  Remember who you are and whose you are.  God didn't make no junk.

CorettaJG said...

::applauding::

bashowell said...

I'm just reading all these responses and quietly taking notes...

Mykeia said...

Serious side-eye to ole boy...

Mykeia said...

“I loved the girl I used to be/every step she took/was reaching out to me.” <----thanks for this, I needed this today! E-hugs!

Angel Blanca said...

I've been in lurking mode lately, but could not refrain from commenting on this post.  I've been told that I am more open, forthcoming, and outspoken with what I expect and what I will provide in relationships.  I do know, however, that this is less a function of being in relationships, and more a function of being assured of who I am and what I want in my life.

In previous relationships, if I was not able to express something, I just left, no good-bye or no chance for follow-up; but now, I tend to say why I'm dissatisfied, angry, hurt, etc., and we talk about what we each expect.  I've never inquired about their previous relationships, and none of my partners has every inquired about my previous relationships.  However, in looking back at my relationships, I can say that I tended (still tend?) to choose men who I will have no trouble leaving or saying good-bye to should it come to that.  In fact, now that I think about it, I chose (choose?) relationships based upon how easy it was (is?) to leave them.  Okay, so I'm just realizing this, and it's not something to which I would have admitted before, which means I obviously still have some work to do on trust, despite how far I've come already.

I've always been fairly malleable in all of my interactions, as I move from group to group, many of which are drastically different, so it's natural for me to be complementary to others.  If you're more extrovert, I'll revel in my introversion, giving you center stage, and if you're more introvert, I'll don the mask of extroversion and become the social butterfly. 

Hmmm, I don't know that I've answered any question or made any contribution to the overall discourse, but I do want to thank you, Chele, for this post, as it's provided me with a way of engaging in a bit of therapy myself. *goes to meditate on this more*

Mykeia said...

Dap for "The Colored Museum" reference.

Ivory Tabb said...

caligirl ed you hit it straight on the head, we want to know! We as woman want to know so we can try to control the situation as much as possible. A good woman hates to be played especially when she doesn't deserve it and the heauxx/side chicks are out there straight winning.

Ms. LTB said...

Oh wow.  I was cautious before but now I'm even more cautious since I work with domestic violence victims.  I have met several who the very first time they were beaten was on their wedding nights.  I'm not sure which scares me more that that was the first time it happened or the fact that they all stayed for double digit years before finally leaving (if they left at all).

Then last week at a DV conference a survivor spoke (after she left guy he tracked her down and shot her 4 times then killed himself.  He thought he had killed her but was too drunk to realize the last shot didn't go in her head it went in her stomach) and it amazed me to hear just how much abuse shame and alleged love will cause a person to accept.  I personally hope to never meet a man who's love and/or cocoa stirring skills make me even think about accepting that type of situation.  Trust me when I say that I understand the fear because it's one of mine also.

Singlelif said...

Me ex told me from the jump that all of his ex's were selfish  <------What NOT to do !  More than one ex wife ? Uhm, no..

Singlelif said...

I know that it isn't meant for me to fall in love.   <-----NO, it's not meant for you to fall in love with HIM..or someone like him.  You will fall in love with the person who is right for and deserving of you and what you have to offer.

The Bunni said...

Sweetie just the fact that you woke up is reason enough to get out of bed everyday.  Many were not so fortunate.  Also not getting up is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  My heart goes out to you because I've been where you are and felt what you feel (quite recently actually).  Please trust me when I say this too shall pass.  Although you may not be able to see it yet, things WILL get better and you WILL get through this and be stronger for it. 

maureen said...

E-hugs to these ladies; CorettaJG SingLikeSassy  rozb  Earthangel172 Singlelif - they give the  best adi advice. You can feel their sincerity over the web. Thanks!

Sarah said...

Aww.... you two make me smile :-)

I've changed a lot over the years from experiences and contemplation. Some of those experiences were relationships. I'm still changing. I do think how somebody talks about their past tells you a lot about them. I don't think there is a fail safe way to separate the wheat from the chaff when dating, but you get better at it as you get older. I'm a big believer in instinct because I think your subconscious picks up on things your mind doesn't see. 

There isn't much chance of my running into any Exs. My parents don't live where I grew up and the others are scattered about. I hope they wouldn't have any harsh things to say if I ran into them. I did try which I think is all any of us can do in the end. I suspect the last one might give me an ear full in the name of closure, but he is going to have to find me first. 

We learn our first communication skills from our parents so it may be that if you asked Mama Chase about the "Lets Take a Moment and Talk About This" and all that, you'd find where it came from. What's important, though, is that he has those skills now. Oh yeah and he is plain old crazy in love with you. :-)

Earthangel172 said...

Sweetie just the fact that you woke up is reason enough to get out of
bed everyday.  Many were not so fortunate.  Also not getting up is a
permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Now this will preach!!

Earthangel172 said...

Right back atcha! You're too kind.

CaliGirlED said...

 TRUTH!!!

CaliGirlED said...

I truly believe that abusive men know how to find women that will take it. I think sometimes they get it wrong and try it on one that won't, but for the most part they know how to pick 'em. And maybe this is why I've never encountered it. I just pray to God that some abusive man doesn't "get it wrong" with me.

GrownAzzMan said...

I'm just going to cosign Jan and Slim and add a caveat. The world is smaller then you think. I had a personal situation where I stated seeing someone and found out that she previously dated the brother of a woman I used to date. And this is in Los Angeles. 5 million peeps. We are still together though.

"Of all the gin joints in all the cities in all the world..." 

GrownAzzMan said...

And the doors of the church are open. Whomsoever will let them come...

GrownAzzMan said...

YOU are in a real giving mood today! LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

It doesn't matter on the first date. The only thing I am trying to learn is if I like her enough for there to be a second date.

GrownAzzMan said...

Broken hearts are one thing. Kids everywhere are a whole different issue...

Bklynbajan said...

Definitely food for thought - thanks for sharing!

GrownAzzMan said...

But Ivory, all you can know is what happened in the past. Good or bad. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Sasha Iman said...

I think it's best to save my breath when it comes to matters I ultimately don't care about, despite my impulse to make sure I'm being properly understood. That's something I learned here, so I see your point.

That lesson is why I'm not about to go write an essay to fully express my thoughts on this subject that, while you'd still take issue with it because I am just going off what I read here & on twitter, I think you'd see I don't have to be one of the Georgia Boys to have come to the "inspired to do better" conclusion.

ETA: I see Sarah just posted this gem "We learn our first communication skills from our parents so it may be that if you asked Mama Chase about the "Lets Take a Moment and Talk About This" and all that, you'd find where it came from."

That's part of where my admittedly presumptuous statement about David already knowing what to do came from. We all have scripts we grow up with but don't necessarily adhere to. I got the vibe being open and talking it out was one of David's and he only now felt compelled to put it to use.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I thank God for growth. I thank God for the wise words that were shared here today, and I thank God for the opportunity to get another chance to try again to be a better person the very next day.

Sol_dier said...

you know, some people have no idea the type of damage they leave around, they just breeze in and breeze out. 
I'm not sure what stage the sistah is in her therapy, but I sure do wish she get to the stage where she recognises that we are only in control of our selves and our choices, life is for learning that not everyone out there is looking for happy. 

CaliGirlED said...

Now that was beautiful! And that will end my innanets for the night.

OneChele said...

Great answer T-Mack.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Singlelif said...

Awwwhhhh shucks :) Muah !

Singlelif said...

You are correct. Sometimes we have to "get to happy" on our own. Wait, didnt Terry McMillian write a book with that title..?  One thing I learned since I've been living the Singlelif is that I will never again let someone else control my emotions. I use to gravitate towards men who wanted to be with me, and struggle to make the relationship work.  Nowadays, my interests are ONLY with those men with whom the attraction is mutual. #LifeLessons

Sol_dier said...

AMEN! lol
That's why I point and laugh at men who try to tell me how to speak or how to be.
Cos when you really look at their life all you see is how small they are. They can't help but to project their insecurities on you. 
In relationships, I tend to pick men who like 'me' the person, not the look, not the way I speak e.t.c. 

CorettaJG said...

Yes ma'am!

Ivory Tabb said...

GAM you are right but past performance speak volumes! Everything that you do in life is based off what you did previously. You get a raise based of prior performance, you get hired based of previous experience, i know you see where im going with this lol. So even though its no guarantee of future results you do want to know a lil history.

Tonda Renee~ said...

My response is very simple. I am less uptight than I was and he is cognizant of his penchant for holding back for the sake of appearing strong. HE recently decided that he WANTS to open up with me and shared very deeply.  I'm MORE impressed with his desire and efforts to communicate, than the information communicated, which is ALSO what impresses me MOST about this post.... Who you were is very important, but most significant is its impact/influence on who you are NOW choosing to be.....

Go David and Chele..You two and "My Dude" make my heart smile

Evansaw said...

The experience that comes with living life can bring profound changes in a person.  It is called "learning from your mistakes", and " growing as a person".  A person that remains the same all their life is sad indeed...

Bougie Girl said...

I am definitely way more laidback than I was ten years ago. I will still call out BS, but,  am more gentle in my approach and less abrasive overall.

Tonda Renee~ said...

My response is very simple. I am less uptight than I was and he is cognizant of his penchant for holding back for the sake of appearing strong. HE recently decided that he WANTS to open up with me and shared very deeply.  I'm MORE impressed with his desire and efforts to communicate, than the information communicated, which is ALSO what impresses me MOST about this post.... Who you were is very important, but most significant is its impact/influence on who you are NOW choosing to be.....

Go David and Chele..You two and "My Dude" make my heart smile

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