Are You Seeking Love Based on The Love Lies?

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

This past week I had the distinct pleasure of attending a teleconference based on the book The Love Lies by Debrena Jackson Gandy.  I had no idea what to expect since I have attended calls on this subject matter in the past and have come away disappointed in them.  I attended this call because it was part of my friend Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker of Divine Diamond Ministries’ Wisdom Speaks Series.  This time I was pleasantly surprised by the information discussed, as I should have expected from this knockout duo!

Debrena Jackson Gandy started out by talking about being a girl vs.being a woman.  I knew immediately what she was talking about.  Although most of us should know better, we tend to buy into the lies told to us by American culture and the media.  We are programmed from a very young age to see relationships and love a certain way, as fed to us by the media.  The problem is, these are but pipe dreams based little on truth.  We are told we need to find love and we need to be worthy of love.  Society tells us things should flow a certain way – and we buy it hook, line and sinker!  We are reacting to our environment and being girls (immature) instead of acting as mature women who have knowledge and truth.

You see, society teaches girls about relationships from a place of fear and scarcity.  Fear that we need to find someone before it’s too late.  Fear that if we don’t we are somehow not good enough or unlovable.  Fear that we won’t find someone.  Scarcity refers to the term soul mate, which I have previously said I do not believe in.  Soul mate implies there is one – one in a world of billions!! It implies we had better start “looking” because we have a lot of work to do if we are to find that needle in a haystack!  This was exactly my argument for not believing in a soul mate.  There is NOT just one – plain and simple.  Who created this term and who decided there was just one person for each of us in this world of billions of people?  To a logical mind, this does not make any sense.  Yet many people buy into this.

Ms. Jackson Gandy went on to say that relationships are built on love and truth.  Well, yeah, but whose truth? Her answer to that is God’s truth.  Her book The Love Lies is based on truths she found in the Bible.  The truth about how God sees relationships and love, not how we as humans degrade it to be something so much less than what it should be or what we deserve.

The next point that hit home with me was that many women feel incomplete without a man, or are told by society they are incomplete without a man.  I know this one all too well.  I must have been asked hundreds of times in my life when I am going to find a guy and get married.  My answer has always been the same.  I will get married when I find a man worthy of marrying, and that hasn’t happened yet.  The thing is, I do not need a man to complete me, to feel okay with me, or to make me feel like a woman.  Sure, I would love to get married, but ONLY to the right man.  Ms. Jackson Gandy took it even farther by saying that women were a gift to man from God.  If this is the case, why do so many women devalue this fact?  We settle, give in to men’s desires, and compromise our own values for men!  Why are we not treating ourselves like the true gift we are?  If we dig deep and really look at how God created us, we would know we are a true gift.  My big take from this part of the discussion is that we should never, ever allow men to not treat us as a gift.  So many of us do.  We need to stop!

Since I have always taken the stance of courtship and respect, I was thrilled to hear someone else agree with my position on these things.  I have been ridiculed many times over my position on relationships and marriage.  That is okay, though, because these are all personal decisions based on what we decide is a real truth.  Compromise should never be an option. Having a relationship that is not what it should be should not be an option either.  I hold my position not to settle or compromise my values just to have a husband.

If you have been “searching” for love and have not “found” it, or you just want to throw your hands up when it comes to relationships, reading The Love Lies may give you a different perspective.  Love starts with YOU.  Give yourself a fresh perspective and start getting rid of all those lies society has told us.  While we all form our own opinions based on our realities, it never hurts to look at another way of thinking.  Decide for yourself.  Get a preview of the book on the next teleconference call on April 16, 2015.  I have included links below for the book, the teleconference and Divine Diamond Ministries.

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

Get your copy of The Love Lies: http://www.amazon.com/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/e/B000APHO9U

Follow Debrena Jackson Gandy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/141807847439

To learn more about Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker and Divine Diamond Ministries, join her community and/or attend the next FREE teleconference on April 16, 2015: http://divinediamondsministries.ning.com/

Join Divine Diamond Ministries on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/243382975782600/

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My Dating High Horse

high-horse1

“Get off your high horse!”

This line was used on me on a dating website a few months ago, so I feel the need to address it.  In dating, as in all things in life, we all have expectations and hopes.  We all have things we look for, things we want in our lives, and things we know we don’t.  The fact of the matter is, we SHOULD have these things.  Otherwise, how would we ever know what we want in our lives or what we need to do to get there?

On many dating profiles, I specifically state not to contact me if (I list a few things).  The reason I do this is because I don’t want to waste others time, or my own.  There are just some things that are not negotiable, so why not just put it out there?  It makes no sense to spend time communicating with someone who has different relationship expectations than yourself.  Sure, they COULD change their mind, but why waste time on COULD, when there are people who already KNOW.  Quite frankly, at this age I don’t have the time or patience for COULD.  And that’s really my point.

What I find sort of amusing is the fact that someone would waste time contacting me to actually state how they feel, even though they know there is no chance of ever meeting me.  Why would they spend their valuable time even doing that?  Don’t they have more productive things to spend their time on?  And therein lies one of the stark differences between them and me.  This is who someone is at the core, and this difference makes ALL the difference in relationships.

So what was written to me?  Well, a man thought it appropriate to write to me to tell me that maybe I belong on one of those elite dating sites.  He went on to say that I need to get off my high horse (among other things).  Now normally, I would not respond to someone who was clearly wasting my time, but I felt inclined to respond to let him know a few key things.  First, maybe he is right.  Maybe I do belong on an elite dating site.  Is he volunteering to pay for one?

Second, I pointed out to him how silly it was for him to be so upset by the standards I hold for myself and my life.  The reason he was so upset was because it clearly counted him out.  What I found interesting was the fact that this upset him.  He did not know me, so why would it even matter?  If I hold expectations for my life and my future husband that differ from his, it is a clear indication that we are not meant for each other.  Why not just move on?  After all, dating sites are like candy stores for many men.  It just does not make sense to want someone who is not for you when there are hundreds (or even thousands) more who could be for you.  It is a time waster and an inefficient use of the tools available for actually finding that right person.

The third thing I pointed out to him was that the only reason he was upset is because he was not included in the type of man I would want.  One thing I always find annoying in dating is that men see a woman and think they want her, but take no time in determining if they really do want her, the real person.  Many men base this decision on looks without considering who she really is – and this is my whole point in putting my expectations out there.  After spending many of my younger years with men who thought they wanted to be with me, only to find out they really only wanted the arm candy and not the real me, I am focusing only on the real me.  Men will still contact me based on  looks alone, but if they go on to actually read my profile, they will know I will not respond to any comments on looks. This man actually did read my profile, but didn’t like what he read because it counted him out – but at least he did the due diligence of reading it!  Kudos to him for that!

The last thing I pointed out to him was that just the fact that he contacted me to basically tell me off when he did not even know me, is enough for me to know that he was not the kind of man I was looking for.  My main point to him was really that if he would put that much effort into the right women, he will find that right one and bitterness that was clear in his contact with me would disappear.  As in all things in life, we need to put our efforts into what makes sense, not what does not.

My high horse will stand on its four long legs.  Everyone has standards, including me.  I have seen many unhappy marriages because people have compromised their standards just to have someone in their life.  While we all do essentially want that love and connection, we should not have to compromise ourselves to have it.  I will ride my horse into the sunset of life.  My hopes and dreams will live on.  Dreams do not die if you keep them alive!

 

 

Are You Too Busy to Date?

Busy

How Busy is too Busy?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask.  As an extremely busy person, I am asked this all the time when communicating with men online.  Usually they will ask probing questions trying to figure out if I will make time for them in my schedule.  The answer is: it depends.

First, I will not cancel any of my plans for a date.  Most of these men, you never hear from again, so they need to find a time that is good for me if they want to meet.  This can be challenging since I keep an extremely full schedule, but it also gives me a very good indication of what the man is all about.  If he is respectful and understanding, then he is worth meeting.  Any man who questions me too much or acts like me being busy is a problem is almost certainly not the man for me.

While some may not agree with me, my take on this is that a man would expect you to understand if he is busy and would expect you to work with his schedule.  What is the difference if it is a women?  There is none – other than that some men expect women to cater to their needs without regard to hers.  For this simple reason, I know right away if someone will work with my lifestyle.  Someone who seems as though he wants all my time and attention prior to even knowing me, will surely be far too needy and clingy for me.

Prioritizing Dating and the Rest of your Life

I have a canned response when someone asks me if I am too busy to date right now. And that response is: “Today everyone is busy and if we all wait until we are not busy to date, we may be dead first.”  It is true, if you think about it.  Who do you know that is NOT busy?  Not very many people can say that.

While I will not cancel anything in my schedule to accommodate a date, I will reprioritize if I meet someone worth a relationship.  This is the part that men do not seem to get.  They see busy and they think there is no room for them.  As in anything important in life, it is all about priorities!  When we first meet someone, they have not earned a place in our schedules before other things in our lives.  When we establish a relationship with someone, that shifts, and they become a higher priority than some of those other things.  For any man to expect a women to cancel other plans to go on a date with them is totally unrealistic, since there is no guarantee you will even like each other.  However, when a relationship is being established and people spend more time together, they have earned a place in our schedules.  I am uncertain as to why men only see busy as no place for them.  It could be selfishness, it could be ego, it could be neediness, or something deeper like control issues.  However, I do know that if someone doesn’t respect my life as it is now, and does not want to work on a common time to meet, it puts up all kinds of red flags for me.

NO ONE is too busy to date if it is something that is important to them.  Stop asking.  If we did not want to be dating, we would not be looking!  Don’t be needy, be a gentleman!  Happy dating!

 

Single, Divorced, or Other

  One of the mistakes people make with their online dating profile is they do not properly classify themselves. You may ask what the big deal is if you are not attached and honestly looking for someone.  Again, I must revisit the honesty aspect of dating.  You need to be totally honest if you are to find someone who is right for you.  If a prospective date feels you are not being totally honest, you will either lose their interest or their respect.  If someone is looking to have a long term relationship, this is one area that you cannot compromise in your search.  While all of this should go without saying, we have all seen our share is information on profiles that is either not true, embellished, or downright fabricated.

SINGLE

You are only single if you have NEVER been married.  Period.  There is no discussion or “but if’s” that should be taking place here.  Single is single.  There are many reasons this may be important to others who view your profile.  One reason is that some people, for religious reasons, are not comfortable dating someone who has been divorced.  This may be hugely important to them!  Another reason this may be important to someone is if someone has children, they will more than likely be looking for someone who fits into their children’s life also.  They will consider maturity level and lifestyle, and never being married does come into play many times.  One last reason I want to address here for a single status being of importance is that if you are over a certain age (for example 40, just for my example’s purpose) and you have never been married, there are certain things that a potential date will be considering:  1) What is wrong with this person? 2) Does this person have a commitment problem?  3) Is he a womanizer? or 4) What other issues are going on with this person that prevent them from having been married by this age?  While some of this thought process may not seem fair, there are very valid reasons to think about each of these questions.

Do not mistake me here, there are many, many wonderful people out there who are single and have never been married for a multitude of reason, including they just haven’t found the right one yet.  However, I am suggesting that for some, there is a lot more to it than that.  So if you find someone who has never been married and is over 40, dig deep to find out everything you can.  This does NOT suggest there is anything wrong with them – they may just not have found YOU yet!  I am only saying to tread with caution!

DIVORCED

Again, divorced is divorced!!  PERIOD.  This also should be a no-brainer, but for some it is a whole discussion.  Divorced means you have gone through the whole time period of a legal separation, as required by your state, and been granted a divorce by the state.  Divorced never, ever means you are separated.  IF YOU ARE SEPARATED, YOU ARE NOT DIVORCED – no question about it!  On almost every dating site, there is a category for separated – use it!  While some may think this is no big deal because they WILL BE divorced, it is a HUGE deal to others who are looking and sincerely want to find that right one and get married.  Separated means you are not available to get married, maybe not for a very long time.  You should not be misleading someone who really wants that in their life.  It is just not right to lead someone into a relationship that cannot be what they are looking for.  Some may argue that if the two parties have a great relationship then there is nothing wrong with it.  I disagree.  While you may have a great relationship with each other, you are still preventing that person from living out their life hopes and dreams of marriage, or you are asking them to wait until you are available.  If you are willing to be this unfair to someone now, how do you expect them to think this would ever change?  There is just nothing right about lying about your real availability when dating.  It hurt others and breaks hearts, and there is no acceptable excuse for it.

OTHER

Another kind of man (or women) we find is the one who is already in a relationship, but not married.  Yes, unfortunately, they are out there trolling the dating sites.  They will act in a similar manner to the married men.  They will be secretive about where they live, come to your neighborhood for a date (of course, they will say if is for your convenience), they may avoid phone calls while on the date, but they will always be charming.  They are trying to woo you into being their side thing.  If you are seeing any red flags, or even question marks along the way, get their last name and google them.  Check out Facebook tagged pictures (many are public).  There are so many things you can find out online without paying for a background check.  Property searches are public records – I once found out a man was married by the property search (the document included his wife’s name).  Be diligent if you are serious about marriage in your future.  There are many fabrications on dating profiles.  Unfortunately, it is a buyer beware marketplace.

There are great people to meet online, but you need to be smart about it!  Do not give up hope if you run into these characters, for you surely will.  Just know that for each of these characters, there are also well-meaning wonderful men online.  Enjoy those you meet and appreciate the experience.  As we get older, the gems are harder to find, but keep looking – he is out there.  He may find you if you keep the right attitude about your search and enjoy the moments instead of being discouraged.  Seriously, have fun with it!  Life is an adventure – enjoy the ride!

Online Dating Hazards

  For anyone who has done any online dating, I do not need to tell you some of the obvious hazards of trying to to find love online.  However, I will address some of these issues one by one and offer some potential solutions to avoid all the aggravation they bring.

The Picture

If someone has a picture in which they look unusually good for their posted age, the picture may be a lot older than they would like you to know.  If you are communicating with someone like this, ask them how old the picture is!   They may or may not tell you if you ask directly, so here are some things you can do to find out without asking directly.  If they have a picture of them doing something, or at a specific place, show interest in that place and ask when they were there.  People naturally like talking about themselves, and they are more likely to let slip the “when” if you ask them to talk about the event.

If they have a series of pictures, ask them in what order they were taken.  Pictures do not necessarily appear in chronological order on profiles.  Some people do actually look better now than they did when they were younger.  The idea here is to get a realistic idea of who the person is today and the progression of the series.  While looks alone should never be the only determining factor, they do and will play a part in your decision-making.

The Fake Profile (Married, Committed, or Otherwise Not Available)

Since many of the sites, especially the free sites, do little to screen people on their sites, we must be vigilant in doing our own leg work to investigate potential dates.   There are many, many men (and I am sure some women, too) on dating sites who are either married or in committed relationships.  So how do we know who they are?  Well, sometimes, we don’t!

However, there are a few things you can do to help you determine if the possibility is there.   One thing I have done, although it can be time consuming, is to search other dating sites with the well-defined search information (so the # of hits is limited to a manageable number).   I did this with one man and found out he had different categories listed on different sites (single, separated, and divorced).  This should have been a red flag, but this was actually where I learned this lesson!  I did date this man, who told me he was actually divorced.

As it turned out, he was not divorced.  He was actually legally separated, still living in the same house as his wife.  He told me they had filed for divorce, but since they were both looking for work neither could afford to get their own place.   Since he lied initially, I did not believe they were separated and getting divorced and broke off the relationship.

However, as it turned out, this man was telling me the truth and has since been divorced, and both have moved on.  This is why I say to people to ALWAYS be honest.  Had he been honest from the beginning, I may still not have believed him, but I would have certainly been a lot more forgiving than to someone who thinks it is okay to lie about who he really is.  Lies always kick you in the butt in the end.  The truth always comes out in the end, so why risk a potential relationship by filling it with lies?  If something in a profile does not add up, or there are pictures with a woman who always seems to be cut out of the picture – stay away!  Dating profiles should never contain picture with others cut out of them.  Everyone knows someone who can snap a few pictures of them for their profile. This should always raise red flags, so beware.

The Scam Artist 

We’ve all seen them.  You know those dating profiles you run across where they immediately send you their phone number typed out digit by digit spelled out in words instead of numbers or their email address typed out by syllable.  Men, if you are guilty of this – STOP IMMEDIATELY!  Ladies, stay away from these men.   Here’s why.  There are a lot of scams out there in which people either try to get your phone number to hijack it to make calls to other countries or want your email address to SPAM you, send you computer viruses, or sell either of these pieces of information to those who will do these things.

KEEP ALL COMMUNICATION ON THE DATING SITES!  These sites store data and can retrieve it if there is ever a serious issue.  Be safe when you communicate with strangers online.  If someone asks for your personal information right away, there is usually a reason – and not a good one.  Sure, they will tell you their membership is up, or better yet, that they are on the site for a free weekend, or any number of other excuses, but do not buy into these stories.  If it is a paid site and someone wants to meet you , then they need to pay for at least one month to communicate with you.  If they are too cheap to pay for one month of service, do you really want someone like that?  You should never be rushed into giving your personal information online!  If he has a true interest in you, then he will also respect your privacy.  If he doesn’t, then you do not want him.  After all, that is the whole reason to be on these sites – to keep your personal information private.  Be smart and date safely!  Your chances of finding your Mr. Maybe actually do increase if you weed out the ones you would not want anyway!

Time to Move on

You have taken my advice and given him a chance.  You have taken the time to actually get to know him better than the surface knowledge gained on the first few dates.  He is a great guy with a lot going for him.  However, you are still not feeling it.  You enjoy hanging out and have a good time, but you are just not looking forward to those times the way you feel you should be.  It happens!  Sometimes we meet great people along the way that are just not the right ones for us, for whatever reason.  That is a good case scenario.

On the other hand, we also do meet those who riddle us with one disappointment after another, leaving us wondering whether there really are any good men out there,  Trust that there are!  You do not want to become bitter and negative in your search because that will attract the wrong men to you.  Stay positive and know that Mr. Maybe is out there – you just have not met him yet!

As we go through the process of finding our Mr. Maybe, there will more than likely be many disappointments along the way.  Do not allow that to deter you.  However, do take time after each one to reflect on what initially attracted you to him, what it was that made you question it, if you missed anything earlier on, and what you can do to improve the situation next time.   Seriously, take time for you – especially if things started out really well and turned into heartbreak and disappointment.  You need time to heal your heart and your mind in order to attract the right one.  You also need to understand what happened and know how to do things better next time.  In our quest for love, so few of us take the time to reflect when we need.  Time seems short, and it is.  But if you jump back in and make the same mistakes again and again, you are wasting more time than it would have taken to reflect on the situation – and you cause yourself more heartache and aggravation.

If you find there are some things that need to improve and you really like the person, you may want to have a discussion and work through those things.  However, if the problem is larger than that and you do not see the situation improving, or if there is something that has been recurring, then you will probably be best served by moving on.   Many women stay with men and think things will improve.  If a man leaves you disappointed again and again, and it is a recurring theme – he will surely continue acting in that manner and you will be left feeling alone and empty.  The point is to find the right man, not the one who is okay for now.  Be good to yourself, demand to be treated as you should be treated, and do not settle for less than that.  Stick to your guns.  If you compromise what you deserve, it may end up being a lifetime commitment to that compromise.  You deserve better than that!

How to Find Out What He Wants in a Woman

So far I have focused on what you are looking for in a man, and how to get this information out of  him on your date.  While you are focused on evaluating him based on what you are looking for, you had better believe he is doing the same!  Even if he is everything you dream of finding in a man, if you are not what he is looking for, it is still not a good match.    You need to listen more than you speak and really read between the lines of what is being said to understand what he truly wants.

If a man says that something is important to him, you need to understand that this is not going to change and you need to assess how you feel about that particular issue.  By the time we get to our 40’s, there are few fundamental things about who we are that would ever change.  We have already lived, learned and established habits, likes and dislikes that are well-defined.  This is not to say that things do not change and people do not grow because we absolutely do and should!  However, fundamental values do not alter all that much.  If you find through conversation that there are questions about how he feels about a specific topic, ask for more details.  If it is something that is important to him, he will fill you in.  He knows you are evaluating him just like he is doing the same with you.

So what happens when you find the perfect guy for you based on your must-haves and non-negotiables, but you find there is something he is looking for that you feel you are not?  My suggestion will always be that the key is conversation!  It is better to address what could potentially be big issues right up front before either of you is emotionally invested in a relationship.  It is much easier to deal with these types of issues now than to have them cause problems in your relationship in the future and one or both of you ends up hurt and broken-hearted.  I realize this is not romantic or fun, but if you are in your 40’s or older and you really do want to find the right one to spend your life with, do you really have the time not to address them?

For instance, if he feels that finding a woman who is financially stable is important, and you have been through several jobs in the past few years, your finances are a mess, and you are barely able to make ends meet, you do not want to mislead him into thinking otherwise.  If this is important to him, it will definitely affect your relationship in an adverse way going forward.  Plus, he will feel you have not been honest with him, which is a whole other issue.  In these economic times, things are tough, and everyone does know that.  It is better to be honest and have an honest discussion than to leave him disillusioned about who you are.

But when is the right time to bring up something you feel you are not fitting into his non-negotiables and must-haves?  The answer will come as the relationship progresses.  I would not suggest on the first date because you want to allow for time to get to know each other a bit so the other can make a more informed decision.  I would, however, suggest these issues be addressed in a timely manner before you both have too much time and emotion invested and end up hurt and disillusioned by dating.  It is always better to be honest with someone you are seriously looking at potentially having a future with.  How they respond and work with you through whatever the situation is will say a lot about their character and who they are, so it will be a way you can really know for sure if this is the right person for you.  If he calmly listens in an understanding way, and wants to work through the issue with you, you have found a gem, so make every effort to work with him to get to where you need to be.  Let’s face it, relationships are hard, and in these times in Internet Dating and economic hardship, it is even harder.

As previously referenced in comments on a prior blog post, I have recently read a book written by a famous talk show host and celebrity on what men want.  He makes men seem so primal and simplistic, and many men can be.  However, I would like to at least be optimistic in thinking they are a little more complex than this author alludes to.  As with most things in life, the key is good open honest communication.  You want to learn about him and who he really is just as he wants the same in return.  Be respectful of each other, your time, your hearts, and most of all understand that being honest with each other will set the precedent for all future interaction (as well as dishonesty does).  You want the right man to be in your life just as he wants the right woman.  Do we not owe this to ourselves?