Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**OTHERHOOD**40s, 50s, Childless, Never Married**Their Perspective Revealed>>

I won’t and can’t lie…I can’t relate to this piece…However, now that I’ve been single & celibate for 3 years(though actively dating someone I dig alot..a whole lot!) I find myself trying to understand all aspects of the dating spectrum…My hair was blown back by the open nature and honesty of this write..At 51 yrs old and UNmarried; my biggest fear is entering old age alone..ALONE..MY parents attend even random doctor appointments TOGETHER..Shopping, etc..whatever they do together…As much as I dig my independence I MISS being part of a forever union..Knowing that someone always has my back..Good , bad or ugly…There IS comfort in that…Having said all of that I’ve a silent respect for those who are still patiently waiting on ‘the One’..It is hard for me to imagine waiting & waiting & waiting on love until well into the 50s…I’m just NOT that patient!

IF anyone can relate to this woman’s perspective, feel free to comment…I was captivated from word one!

I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me….

October comes in innocently enough, stretching the edges of summer into fall. But then, one night, seemingly out of nowhere, a cold chill touches my shoulders like a former lover I’ve tried to shake from memory. I shiver. My heart falls; I know that another long winter is approaching and I’m still alone.

I hadn’t planned it this way. I have always been open to love and relationships. I have held on to hope and to expectations and to dreams and to grief and to men I should have let go of much sooner. I have been high on love and tip-toed on top of clouds. And I’ve lost my breath under a dark cloud, wondering why it’s so hard for me to have the long, meaningful relationship I deserve.

I’m at a bar, on my first date with Brian, a man I met online. I’m happy to be inside, sitting next to this man, warm and calm. At age 45, I’m no longer focused on the future; I’m no longer envisioning my life as one half of a young couple, thinking about our future children. I’m focused on the moment I’m in right now. This is life. This is my life. And notwithstanding it not turning out the way I had expected, my life is beyond my expectations. I have chosen to live my life to its potential, and I’ve never felt better about myself or more comfortable in my own skin.

Brian is handsome, self-made and from his body language, I can tell he’s happy to be sitting at the bar next to me. He swivels to face me, smiling, and I smile back. The date is off to a great start. But soon enough, his tone changes. Brian has decided it’s time to find out what’s wrong with me. And after all these years, seasons of men, loves and likes and not-quite-there feelings, I recognize the conversation that’s about to begin.

First, my dates prove their ability to be in a relationship. They describe their marriage and how it concluded, or why their recent long-term relationship finally had to end, as Brian’s had earlier this year. “We argued so much it no longer felt good to be in the relationship,” he volunteers. And now, as these exchanges go, it’s my turn to share why I’m still single.

“Have you ever been married?” Brian asks.

“No,” I say.

“Have you come close? Like engaged or lived with someone?”

“Nope,” I add.

Brian presses his lips together in judgment. “When was your last long-term relationship?” he asks, believing my answer is the answer to whether or not I want to be in a relationship. Or, perhaps more importantly, whether or not I am capable of being in one.

“It’s been a while,” I softly respond, noticing my own disappointment, let alone his.

“But you’re attractive and smart. I can’t believe you haven’t had a boyfriend in a while,” Brian says, but I know his flattery is a guise to learn the great mystery of why I’m still single. “Like how long?” my date continues. “How many years?” He wants details. He wants to hear proof that he’s right about his assumption that there is something wrong with me. Perhaps, he thinks, she can’t commit.

“I don’t even know,” I say with a smile and a nonchalant shrug. And I’m being honest. I don’t know. I don’t know how many men I’ve gone out with or how many men I’ve kissed or been intimate with or how many men I’ve lost to what was simply not meant to be. I don’t count the men because, in the end, they are all one closer to one that will be the One.

“That’s OK,” Brian offers as consolation. “Some people aren’t interested in having a serious relationship.”

I immediately find myself rising up to my own defense and resent us both for having to do so. “Does it mean I’m interested in having a serious relationship if I stay in one too long because I don’t know how to leave or because I can’t bear to be on my own?” I ask. “I never married the wrong guy or pretended to be happy in a relationship when I wasn’t. And it hasn’t always been my choice for a relationship to end. I’ve been in love. I’ve wanted to be in love forever with some of the men I’ve dated. My heart has been broken,” I add.

My date seems unsympathetically relieved at this last note. My black-and-blued heart is proof to him that I’ve gone to battle for love. But I’m more focused on the fact that I’ve survived and have moved forward than on the battles I’ve lost.

“So, what’s the issue?” he asks. “I can’t believe you would still be single. You must be picky.”

We’re entering the “dating-deduction” phase. Brian will keep trying to deduce what’s wrong with me until he hits the jackpot.

“Of course I’m picky,” I say with confidence. “I want to be in love with the man I’m with and he deserves to be loved. If being ‘picky’ means I won’t settle for a lesser love, then you are right: I’m picky.”

My date pours more wine into my glass from the carafe we’re sharing. Our conversation moves on to entrepreneurship, a passion we share. He goes first, and I’m sincerely impressed. And then I share my work and the business I’ve grown over the last seven years. But for my date, he’s not so much interested in my work, but in how my career might be the root-cause of my singlehood.

“Some people choose to focus on their careers and some choose to have families,” my date says emphatically, making the assumption that because I haven’t had a family, I’ve made my choice.

“I didn’t choose to have a career over falling in love, getting married and having children,” I reply, my voice again slightly raised. “I can control many aspects of my career, but I cannot choose when and with whom I fall in love and who returns the love to me. I didn’t plan to be single at 45 or not to have children.”

“I have a friend who admits she spent too much time focused on her career and not her dating life,” Brian says, like it’s a diagnosis: “Career-Womanitis.”

“Women don’t often forget to fall in love. They don’t often forget to have children. Sure, time passes faster than we’d all prefer, but if someone wants to be in a relationship, and most women do, then we find a way to do that when a man who wants the same thing is present in our lives,” I reply. “Women are better multitaskers than men are in general, so I don’t buy into the ‘too focused on career’ script modern women have been given instead of the truth: Despite having a great career and taking care of ourselves financially, while also taking care of our health and well-being, we haven’t met the man we’re meant to be with.”

“Maybe you’re too independent,” Brian suggests, more to himself as he looks down his mental list of possible reasons for my singlehood.

“I’m independent,” I reply. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t be dependent on someone else for a change. We keep hearing about how women should ‘lean in.’ I am leaning in so far that I’m falling over. I don’t have a net, emotionally or financially, to fall back on. What I would do to be able to lean back for once. What I would do to have a man in my life whom I could count on when times are tough…”

Brian is running out of arguments. I’m running out of patience.

“Brian, if you spend the rest of our date searching for what’s wrong with me, you’ll never discover what’s right with me,” I say, trying to soothe us both into another topic of conversation. “I have no regrets. I’m living a life I never dreamed of in many respects. Yes, I wanted to be married and become a mom in my twenties, but here I am, in my forties, with all my bumps and bruises, still in the ring, unwilling to give up on love.”

My date seems satisfied, at least for now, and we begin to chat about other things. As we leave the bar later that night, Brian gives me a hug. “You’re shivering,” he says, sweetly. “Let me get you into a cab.” He hails a cab and asks me for a second date.

“Yes,” I say. “I’d like that.” I’m open to a relationship, after all.

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” he says with his handsome smile as he opens the cab door.

I smile back as I get in the cab. I am happy to be out of the chill.

Melanie Notkin’s second book, OTHERHOOD: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness (Seal Press/Penguin Canada), is available now. OTHERHOOD received a prestigious *starred review* by Bookli

Posted in =Self Discovery=, LOVE

**Reasons You’re a Good Catch & Still Single..**

This topic was actually prompted by a conversation with a male friend..A deep chat of sorts that reminded me how people view being single from the outside..As IF all folks that are single are lonely..I know I speak of things from a personal perspective. I’m working on that! But in the interim here is my list of reasons I think I’m still single. Actually I’m single but dating/seeing (is that even the politically correct term these days???) someone.. It took a great deal of honesty/soul-searching/reflection to size myself UP.. A great deal!

**Flashback to the aforementioned conversation** As I recall the list of qualities/characteristics my friend brought to my attention that, he feels, makes me a good catch..I’ve come to the realization a lot of those same items are also the reason I’m still single! Ironic as it seems(catch 22 mayhaps?) I believe that to be true..What I also realized as he spoke was that he’s digging me as more than just a friend..OMG when & how did that happen???? But I digress..And? If anyone else out there also desires something (whether it is a career/significant other/change in location/further education, etc etc) a reality check is a good way to purge the soul! Least it works wonders for me..On with my list>>

Reason #1 . Never learned how to play second fiddle. Yes, I bought the whole kit & caboodle I was taught as a young girl by my Daddy. That I deserve a man’s full attention. Don’t get me wrong; I can hold my OWN in a crowd. Being the social butterfly that I really am..But in a love relationship that analogy doesn’t work for me. I’ll wait for a minute to be plucked out of a crowd with my hand, figuratively, held in the air waving@ Here I am! Yet, being number 2 isn’t something I do well. I fall back if I discern that is the case. A most speedy retreat. Might even leave skid marks as I quietly depart..Confidence can be attractive but also has its disadvantages..I honestly believe I AM & should be treated as the 1 & Only

Reason #2 . I’m only attracted to my Black brothas as romantic partners..It is part of my DNA and comes as natural to me as breathing. This has caused the dating pool to be a lot smaller. Why? Because at my age a great deal of good brothas my age are married or linked up already. Heck, I never thought I’d be single divorced at 51! Just wasn’t part of the master plan I’d set out with many moons ago. Y’all know what they say about the best laid out plans though right? Yep, ish and life happens! Bottom line , without a doubt, IF I’d open myself up to date interacially I’d have been linked up long ago. If the rejected proposals are any indication..Real talk for real! Black is SO beautiful & my brothas rein in all ways>>

Reason #3 . I waited too long to get back into the dating scene..I’m so out of practice! Figured I was doing the right thing to take a breather after my Cali love & to get myself adjusted to my new location(and life as an empty nester) Isn’t regrouping a smart thing to do?? Wait, don’t answer that it is a rhetorical question..But like I recently heard Katt Williams say@ “I was single too long..Everyone is either too young or too OLD..Issues or not(don’t we all have issues of some sort at this age?) I’ve got to admit Katt has a point. Contrary to the thought process of a lot of single folks(about why they are single..) ; I don’t believe the rules of dating have changed that much. Men still crave the company of women & women still crave the company of men..Well the straight ones DO. While a great deal of brothas have expressed admiration for my self-discipline ; still has become quite clear to me I’m out of practice. I’ve grown to used to just being and doing ME . Becoming part of a duo again will take time & effort & patience…I need to tape that to my mirror so I can re-remember it daily>>

Reason #4. Began buying the hype about the to do’s and not to do’s of dating..There IS a never-ending list of lists of what to do/how to do it/WHEN to do it..And as my new guy friend pointed out? Some of those sources(ex. Steve Harvey) haven’t been IN good relationships long enough to even be reliable self-appointed love gurus! Least I didn’t buy his B.S; I mean his book..Come back and give me tips after you’ve been in a GOOD love relationship for 50 years Steve. Until then thanks be to God I’ve got parents who fit those shoes. Never in my life have I looked UP so many tips/clues/hints/suggestions on how to be in a relationship before. Jeeeez , no more..Back in the day we just let it flow. Used to trust what I felt in my spirit/soul. I’m standing firm & refuse to buy into the hype any longer>>

Reason #5. Still yearn for a guy that gets me! I can’t play ‘the game’..I don’t know how to be coy/play hard to get/LIE. I want to have conversations where not a word need be said. Believe it or not(loll yes I know I talk a lot..working on that too!) Just want someone who understands & appreciates me for me. And likewise..Girlish as it sounds I want to fall in love with my best friend. For life. I think guys have gotten so used to being duped & played; it is difficult to trust in a woman’s word. Realizing fully that sometimes I’m hard to follow! I’ve alot of pent UP energy & alot to share..Patience is a virtue and often the best things in life are worth working to learn/earn. >>

Reason #6. I have standards and principles. I believe in loyalty and committment.. I’m a one man-woman. And tough as it is for some guys to adhere to(due to natural biological cravings…yep, I read up on it to gain understanding) I believe in a monogamous relationship. I don’t know how to ‘hang out’ with a guy I’m digging. To me it IS a date. I can hang out with my girlfriends..>>

Reason # 7..I’m a giver by nature. Whether it is a friend or a lover I’ll give the shirt off my back to a person in need. Without hesitation…Problem with that is kindness can be viewed as weakness..I can’t shut off a piece of who I am just to avoid possibly being hurt. One can’t discover love holding back.>>

Exhaling! I think that is it..Enough said. Anyone out there sat & reflected on possible reasons you’re still single? Granted it is easier to just profess there is a shortage of good guys/women left..That could be part of the reason & I honestly don’t take away from that logic. The terms good & good catch are subjective..In the spirit of teach one, reach one(my only reason for blogging isn’t just to vent..) I’d love to get additional comments. Chime in! Until I read/write y’all stay UPlifted & blessed! 4ever sincere the 1 & Only, Berna

Posted in Dating

My Online Dating Experience..Tips for the Fabulous 50s

Ugh! For some reason this was the hardest piece to write..Mayhaps because in the rear seat of my mind I knew people (because they told me..) I’d chatted or met from online would actually read this..Often times things can be said, even in good taste, that can be found offensive when describing real –life happenings..As my disclaimer before I dig in it is my utmost intent to show respect for the people text chatted , or conversed with on the phone, or met face to face(my preference) ..Each & every one taught me something new(either about me , men, or from their shared life experiences that I listened to) …I’m forever appreciative of that. Thank you/Gracias/Asante/Merci/Grazie/Obrigado! Moving right along…

Overall? I’ve had a good online dating experience..Actually wound up meeting someone , in person, that I am highly interested in! More of that later…First I wish there had been more tips for online dating in the fabulous 50s..It is different from offline dating…Or least it was for me! Could be because I’ve been out of the dating scene for 3 years now..Wow, can hardly believe that myself ..Can’t tell y’all how many comments & wonderings(and amazement) I’ve heard about how could I possibly be single that long?? If one more person says that I will scream! (Or at the least feeeeeel like screaming) Yet, it has been pretty easy to be single when one hangs with their parents/parents friends as much as I do..Until now. Now I’m ready to not be single anymore…

So next a few tips learned first-hand by moi..Okay ladies here is the real scoop
1. Make it clear you’re interested..Honestly, I think this goes for men & women..Once there has been an established mutual connection(either on the phone or in person) let that person know you’re digging them! Why? There are A LOT of potentials online (never counted the amount of messages in my inbox but it’s in the hundreds…) & who has time to pussy foot around? At 51 and after a 3 year hiatus? Pfft! I’m not letting any grass grow under my feet. IF I dig you you’ll know as soon as I’m feeling the first set of butterflies…(Which for the record in my couple of months online experience has only happened once. Very, very recently) Someone said to me that he felt women were too busy weighing options online to decide on one man. Yuck! That is a sure fired way to miss out on a diamond in the pile of pebbles..Weigh your options ; but don’t take forever & a day doing it. We’re in our 50s; we know what we like when we see it. I think that shoe fits for men & women..

2. Appreciate a MAN for who he IS..Just as you want to be appreciated for who you are. Or least I do! We get what we give. Can’t read someone’s profile & then try to change him into something he isn’t. Just hope and pray he was honest in what he wrote on his profile..

3. Move quickly from offline ..Period. My limit was 2 weeks. I’m not feeling the online chats at all.. Not my thing. After 2 weeks of messages if he hasn’t asked for my number (cell number to be on the safe side) ? I move on…After phone and text chats for a couple of weeks? It is time to meet face to face. Why? Because people can get attached very quickly through actual conversations..This could be problematic if there aren’t mutual sparks when you actually meet. And of course make the first meet in a public spot. First person I met(I met 4 people) I met him at the supermarket. On purpose. Yep, lol..

4. Define quickly what is and isn’t acceptable. I had NO idea it was the IN thing for people to send nude pics. Lawd! Had my hair blown back..Just didn’t see it coming. I’m not a total prude. At first? I can’t lie..I looked..After all he was a pretty buff & nice looking brotha..And he was so proud of his body(as he well should’ve been..) However, if that is all you have to offer ? We’d never even chatted voice to voice; only text chatted. Then wham! Physical attraction matters but without a mental connection it means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. I deleted him before he realized what was going on. There was no need to explain. Even in my younger days that would’ve been a lame approach.

5. Be honest. Do NOT post 10-year-old pics. Do NOT post pics that are blurred. Do NOT post pics from a mile away. I haven’t had time to respond to even half of the messages in my inbox; but the ones with those type of pics I quickly deleted. One finger stroke. Poof! Do NOT state ish about yourself that isn’t true. Lying is a funky habit anyway..But if you happen to link up with someone you lied to??? Not sure about them but that would be a deal breaker for me. Even if I was digging them…Can’t build anything good on a bad foundation or one built with lies.Be real. Be YOU. Everyone isn’t for everyone. Period. I feel its better to be myself(yourself) and be accepted as I am; then to perpetrate a fraud.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d try online dating..It used to be so taboo! But since I’m not one to venture out into the clubs by myself(though I love dancing!) and haven’t yet ventured much out into the social scenes here by myself(and everyone is coupled up at the social settings I’ve gone to) ; it seemed the logical(and convenient ) way to broaden my options. I’ve been lucky . The handful of people I met were cool & good people at heart. I was going to write about my specific brief encounters; and decided against it. I’ve been on several dates & had a good time. It is hard for me to have a bad time where ever I am. And yes, I will talk to anyone. Lol! New friend of mine suggested I get a T-shirt that reads@ Yep, I’ll talk to you too! I’m actually thinking about having one made. And he IS a keeper. Intelligent, very well versed and can hold his own(and does) in any conversation, hot!, kind, and extremely chivalrous. It is the first time in ages that I’ve been physically and mentally attracted to anyone. The vibe is good. Very good. And? I met him on an online dating site. And? I’m not ashamed to admit it. I can’t be the ONLY one reading this that has experienced online dating..Why not share? Go!

Posted in LOVE

Online Dating in the FABULOUS 50’s & still sexy phase of life** COMING VERY SOON

Waving to y’all! My fingers are itching to blog on this topic..Been too long since I last blogged or blog read; and I’ve missed it. Promised to blog on this for a minute now…And? I think or hope the fieldwork I’ve done can serve to help others seeking love in the 50s..Want to know why 11% of American adults have tried out an online dating site? Well now I’m officially one of them. Hmmmm hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves..Will be spilling the goods this evening..STAY TUNED & BUCKLE UP

Posted in =Self Discovery=

>>The DOWNside of a Celibate Lifestyle>>

Most folks that speak on a celibate lifestyle speak on the HIGH notes…Believe it or not there are alot of highs about it..However, there is also a GREAT deal of frustration handling the realities of celibacy..Especially someone whose been in a committed relationship or married majority of their adult life. Someone SEXY and half-arse normal and considered intelligent. Someone that looks alot like ME>>

When I first chose celibacy it had little to do with my religious beliefs..It had more to do with making a conscience choice for less distraction while trying to reach a goal..I’d move cross-country and had a disciplined focus on a set amount of goals..And within a certain time frame..Adding dating to the mix would have been a MAJOR distraction..For I tend to give my all to anything I engage IN..Dating and men is certainly included..Matter of fact?

MEN = 1 of my few weaknesses…I’m not ashamed to admit I love being in love & especially love being married! On the flip side of that I’m also willing to wait (in a celibate state) for marriage before I have sex again..Now,I know most folks think certain things about celibate folks..What comes to mind is either weirdness/priests/OR a maladusted anti-sociable person..I’m NONE of the above..But I do have standards. And the longer I remain celibate; the higher my standards become. And honestly? It has become frustrating as hell!

At first? I was wearing an invisible banner waving it proudly @ I am proudly celibate , waiting and proud! 2 years later it is beginning to feel like a burden..Now it has been SO long that I wonder how much longer I can keep this UP? Not to mention I come from a highly sexed family..I’ve come to a point I don’t believe this is NORMAL..WTF was I thinking? Lawd! We are biologically created to be attracted to men and to want to have SEX..Period

The biggest downside of celibacy is the MEMORIES of how beautiful a loving relationship IS..The God created stress relieving perks that can’t be simulated. Trust me I’ve tried! There is nothing more fulfilling than a love-filled marriage..There is also nothing more aggravating than explaining to someone who doesn’t get IT that “waiting” for my The One doesn’t mean I’m pushing marriage. IF not desiring to settle for less means I’m pushing marriage; than so be it. It is not an easy walk. And definitely not for the weak hearted..But I’m standing on Faith that it is going to be well worth the wait.

Posted in LOVE

Why I’ve Enjoyed My Last Christmas Being *Single*

**For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven**

I’ve spent the majority of my adult life either: dating a man/marrying a man/pining over a man/SACRIFICING my own needs for a man/crying over a man or getting over a man..Finally, at long last!, my personal identity isn’t centered around feeling significant; only when I have a significant other..That is saying a mouthful! So let me say it one ‘mo time for emphasis..I’ve finally reached a place in my life that I’m very comfy with me & I do NOT need someone to complete ME..Having said that it doesn’t, by any means, mean that I don’t desire being married and LOVED..I really DO>>

This will be my 3rd and last Christmas SINGLE..I feel it in my bones & spirit..I’ve enjoyed, to the fullest, the company of my parents..People might find it odd(and I know they do..) that I so love spending time with/around my parents. I don’t expect other people to understand why..Nor is anyone else’s understanding required..There are things other folks do , that I don’t ‘get’ either. But for the sake of this piece; here is the brief explanation. With the exception of this past 3 years; I’ve lived cross-country from my parents. Always after a visit I’d miss them so badly! Now that my parents are nearing mid 70s; I am taking full advantage of our time spent together..I know God makes NO accidents; and my now residing in the same city was/is a Godsend..

It is my belief that the most precious & priceless gift a person can give..Is quality time..Or acts of kindness that require time being put into them..This Christmas was special to me because I spent quality time, with the two people who brought me into this world. In my mind? That is a blessing! And the man who was created to love me & only me? Will totally understand that without me having to explain..I’ve got such faith! that I’m right where I should be~~in every aspect of my life. All the pieces of my life are falling right into place..so my lifetime love is next! It is so very close I can taste & feel it…Woooo hooooo & yay! Anyone out there have a story of being single at Christmas that you’d like to share?

Posted in LOVE

*SINGLE By Choice? Really? Or Chance?

This might get heavy..It IS personal..Been known to say I’m single by choice & this is the longest I’ve ever , ever been single..But now that I’m ready to re-enter the world of the dating scene? I’ve come to the realization things have changed! The MEN are so different here on the East Coast than on the West Coast! The BEST potential guys for a really great relationship are already married! It IS slim pickings cause the attractive guys are either married, gay or not-a-thing-in-common. MEN aren’t emotional available ..The list of reasons goes on & on that I hear from other single women when asked “Why are YOU single?” >>

I’ve got admit something..Never in my entire life have I known SO many single women..Women that I feel are eligible & worthy of being in a relationship with a “good” guy..Mayhaps I was always so caught UP in my own relationships I didn’t notice so many other single women? Hmmmmm..then again when married all of our friends were also married..Birds of a feather flock together, right? But wouldn’t I have noticed or heard of massive groups of single women??? >>

Well I recently had a conversation with my eldest son on this topic..I found myself rambling on about how different the men are here on the East Coast, blah blah blah & etc..Then I found myself saying @ I might have to import a West Coast brother just so I can get married again! Wth? Who says such a thing?? It was too late to take it back once I’d said it..My son’s response? There ARE a lot of single professional sista’s these days..Whoa! Wait a minute..I tried to defend the comment & “the situation” ..But I really couldn’t..According the stats I’d read over the past few years; he was RIGHT. But why is that factual? Are our standards too high? Is there a reason for the first time in history more & more Black women are dating/marrying out of their race? WHAT is going on?>>

I can’t speak of anyone else’s reasons for being single..Personally? I needed a couple of years to just do ME..But I’m ready now to jump with both feet back into the dating game..Can’t lie though, in the back of my mind, is this thought sneaking IN..Am I going to add to the ranks of eligible, professional sista’s that are single ; but don’t want to BE? I’ll let y’all know about a month from now..By then I’ll have had some dates under my belt to speak on..It IS time to set about working on my relationship goal..In the meantime though; any single women out there want to rap about this? Are YOU single by choice or chance?

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**WORST case Scenario**Facing Fear Head ON

As I sit perched on the verge of jumping back into the dating scene, after a couple of years voluntary hiatus, I can’t decide which emotion will take front seat. Fear Or excitement? Both emotions are wrestling to over-ride the other..I’m fighting to keep my emotions at bay; especially my fears. Brings to mind a trick I taught my youngest son when he’s struggling with fears, stress or angst..I’ve taught him to picture in his mind the worst-case scenario. Picture it vividly. And then? Imagine how or IF you can deal with it…>>

When I picture the worst-case scenario regarding jumping back into dating( at 50!) or NOT? For me that would be to wind UP never marrying again and riding solo for the rest of my Life Journey..A close girl friend of mine & I discussed the fears of dating again/linking up with a perfect stranger for first date/giving a guy our phone number for the first time..These are scary times we live in these days! But in my heart of hearts what I fear even more so? Not falling IN love one more time…Real talk for real!>>

Fear of wasting my time dating a loser/Fear of discovering an otherwise sane date or potential is a complete psycho/Fear of getting involved with someone only to later discover he’s married! /Fear of giving my heart to someone who is NOT worthy/Fear of my love not being appreciated…I mean the list of fears goes on & on & on & ON..Until I realize IF I continue to think of ALL the things I fear I’ll never take the first step and dip my toe back in the water>>

Truth BE told? I don’t ever recall a time when dating caused me any angst..Just enjoyed it & went with the flow..Mayhaps one of the only disadvantages of turning 50? THINKING THINGS OUT BEFOREHAND..Ugh & dang!>>

In my heart of hearts I’m hoping & praying that my fears will be quickly put to rest once the ice is broken on my dating adventure..Truly I wish for nothing more than to be able to say @ Whew! All that worry & fear was for nothing..Taking the first step is always the most difficult in anything. I used to just leap into things caught UP in spontaneous passion & excitement! Yet now all grown up I find myself pausing before opening the door to possible romantic bliss..Doing so is very foreign & unfamiliar to me. New territory indeed..>>

Thinking back I can recall many times pushing past FEAR & riding through/over/under/around it..No harm, no foul & always felt better AFTER I’d faced it head on..Like the time I rapelled down a structure so high UP in the military; that people below looked like ants! I was beyond terrified..I had a strong FEAR of heights..But in order to pass basic training I had, just had, to rapel off this structure..I tried to “appear” brave in front of all my fellow female cadets..But my knees were trembling/I was sweating bricks!/& little did any of them know I begged /pleaded with the Drill Sgt that was up there with me..I begged him to please NOT let go of me & make me rapel down! Then I begged him not to tell anyone I’d begged & cried & prayed..And when I figured out there was NO way out; except down…I closed my eyes & stepped off. True Private Benjamin I was in all ways..When I got down to the bottom? OMG I was so proud of myself & ready to do it again /again/again/AGAIN..I stood there in disbelief that I’d been so very afraid just a few moments before..So tonight as I fight fear & excitement over dating at 50? My focus is letting the knot of fears go & let the exciting butterflies in my tummy fly freely! And I’ll simply close my eyes, open my heart, and step OFF>>

Posted in Dating, LOVE

>MULTI-Dating in a Multi-Tasking Era<

It isn’t far-fetched for single people to date more than one person these days..Heck, I’m willing to bet IF more people did prior to marriage; mayhaps the amount of them who cheat AFTER marriage would be on the decline.(..instead of the opposite) But how can a person who believes in monogamous relationships; date multiple people? I’m soon to embark on such a mission to find out! Truth IS many of us back-in-the-day, considered dating, equal to relationship status. It is not though..That isn’t even part of the definition of what dating is. Good ole Wikipedia defines dating as..’Another meaning of the term dating is to describe a stage in a person’s life when he or she is actively pursuing romantic relationships with different people…’ >>

As with anything; there are benefits & drawbacks to multi-dating..Personally? I’ve not yet encountered either because my quest won’t begin till about the end of next month..Yep, I’m a planner! First benefit I can figure out already? Without having even dipped my toe in the water yet , multi-dating is going to broaden my options. And at a much faster pace than if I were to date one person at a time..At 50 yrs of age? TIME is precious and I don’t plan on wasting any of it>>

Let me first be clear about one thing..Dating IS dating IS dating and does NOT mean SEX. Dating also means not in a relationship/not married/& still single UNTIL a mutual committment has been made. Sex clouds & over-rides good judgement. Sex when casually dating is out-of-place for a reason because SEX isn’t a casual happening. Or least that is the way I see it. Exclamation point. Period>>

Another benefit to multi-dating is it keeps the FUN in dating..Takes the pressure off. My take on it at 50 yrs of age? Take me or leave me as I am. If it isn’t a mutual link-up; then we can be friends. Or not..Personally? There aren’t many folks I’ve met in my life, on any level, that we’re not still friends. Mature folks can handle that. And being that I’m now 50 yrs old; I won’t be dating any little boys. >>

Another benefit I anticipate could happen from multi-dating? Gives both parties a chance to perhaps date out of their ‘usual dating type’. Which, btw, I’ve never done..No one is going to be a perfect match & this allows the chance to date an array of personality types. (after all they can’t all look as superb as Shemar Moore.dangit what a shame that is! ) Doesn’t that sound like FUN already?!? >>

Disadvantages? Hmmm I really can’t think of many that doesn’t differ from dating in general..BUT with honesty..How many reading this know of people who date several people at one time ; yet LIE about it? I’m not lying to get a love relationship; and I’m not lying once I’m in one again. Never has been my style..I think there could be folks, men & woman, who can’t handle dating a multi-dater. No worries; toss them back in the pond & move on. No harm, no foul & thankfully didn’t waste each others’ time. Personally? I have no tolerance for folks with a jealous nature anyway..Zilch. I think the transition from dating to a relationship, would be same as only dating one person. With the exception of single status to taken. >>

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

^What Makes a Woman WIFE Material^ From an EXwife’s Perspective

..It’s NO secret I loved being married!/miss being married/and WILL be married one last time..Its also no secret I’ve been on the longest dating-marriage-hiatus I’ve ever been on..3 yrs to be exact..Its been good for me & I’ve used my time wisely to do ME..But enough is enough..For one thing this celibacy thing is NO laughing matter..It GOT real rough(I actually think I went through WITHdrawals..Ugh)..And end of September? Once I clear a few more things off my to-do list; I’m officially putting myself back on the market. I might even become a multi-dater for a quick minute; because time is precious..And? My next deadline is rapidly approaching..I said I’d be “engaged” by the end of the year I made 50 yrs old. So its time for me to get a social life & get BUSY. Y’all ready for this list of wife material stuff? >>

( These aren’t in any specific order at all..Just a list of things I learned from experiencing marriage/experience divorce UGH I do NOT ever want to go through divorce again/observing my parents marriage of 51 yrs and going strong../taking notes from my male friends.

> Ladies, do NOT ask for your significant other’s OPINION; if you really don’t want to hear the truth. Excellent friend of mine told me, ‘ Do NOT ask a question; that you really do NOT want the answer to’ For instance..That pathetic question @ Honey, do I look FAT in this dress??? OMG knowing dang full well that IF he says you DO look like a fat; you’re going to be MAD at him for the rest of the night..2nd part of this IS..Appreciate your man’s opinion for what it IS. His opinion…If you can’t appreciate/respect/and truly LISTEN to your man’s opinion? Then your man just might be with the wrong woman. Moving right along>>

ONE of guys biggest pet peeves about women IS the nagging & whining! Ladies? IF you’ve got something that you’re SO unhappy about it makes you whine & bitch & moan alll the time; work to CHANGE it. It really IS just that simple..What is funny about it is women who whine & complain? Do NOT like to be around other woman who do it..So WHY torture your man with it? I might catch some heat from women for that; but y’all know it is the TRUTH. And to piggy back on that; I’m a heterosexual woman and I get tired of being around women who NAG. OMG enough is enough..IF you feel the need to nag & correct & micromanage your man allll the time? Then you might just be with the WRONG man..Quietly agree to be just friends..IF he doesn’t figure it out first and RUN>>

Don’t “act” one way to snag your man; then change UP …Most men want you to be REAL..They’ll respect that alot more than “airs” & “fakeness”..Bottom line is it is either a match or not..And it is better to know before marriage; and not during the marriage. People evolve as it is..Part of the magic of long-term relationships is maintaining ‘the connection’; through the evolvements..BUT if you start with being a LIE; than said relationship is doomed from the onset. >>

Appreciate and RESPECT your man..IN public or alone together; men want to be respected just as women do. I hear women say often; they want to marry UP..I’ve yet to meet a man though who wants to be treated like a big, fat wallet! Times have changed; we women saw to that when we GOT the liberation we wanted..Respect & appreciate your man & he’ll spoil you forever..>>

Contrary to the rumor , from what I’ve heard, men don’t marry bitches..So forget what you heard..Men are attracted to women who are genuine and kind. It isn’t something that can be faked nor conjured up either..Just comes naturally. And when you treat your guy like a king; he’ll treat you like the queen that you are>>

I’ll be back on this topic in September when I’m back on the market..Till then happy hunting girlfriends!

Posted in =Self Discovery=, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

SELF- Preservation IS the 1st Law of Nature^ Or its supposed to B*

Not sure how deep I’m going to go with this one..Its a topic in the forefront of my mind, on the tip of my tongue, and hoping my fingers can keep up with the flow of thoughts. Its  personal. So hang on tight & enjoy the ride… >

“Berna, you MUST learn the art of self-preservation!”…Those      were   the   words    that   my    only   sibling    said     to    me   some     17 .5  years      ago    as   I       was    going    through-IT ;    a   divorce     that    I    surely    thought     going       forward      with    was    like     cutting    off   a    part    of   my    body( I was so IN love with him!)     and    honestly   figured     it    was      going    to    kill     my    inner         Spirit..>

I told a very good friend of mine just yesterday that I cherish! being “different”..I’ve no issue with standing alone(as I have before) for what I feel in my heart of hearts is right. I’ve no issue with being the 1st one to ask the question that everyone else wants to ask; but doesn’t . (which is why I always sit in the FRONT of any, and I mean any, class room) I’ve no issue with being the ONE in the group; that looks for a rung ladder before leaping off a cliff with everyone else. I am truly not a follower…All those things I’ve mastered. What I haven’t mastered is self-preservation. I give of myself and I give freely…just flows freely from my being. For a split second today I had a fleeting thought that mayhaps I give too much . Too  much of me.  And after that split second passed…>

…thoughts came hurdling, tumbling back into my mind of what my brother said almost 18  yrs prior. @One must know/learn! self -preservation or they just might give UP the very parts of self; that make them who they are. And that is something I refuse to do. I digressed…badly..but as I was saying earlier just yesterday I was expressing to a close friend of mine that I do not want to be like anyone else nor everyone else. I am different. And I like being ME. It took me a very long time to get here . I need no permission to be me. I  make NO apologies for being me..What is clear , crystal clear, is that I, WE, have to set boundaries in any/all of our relationships. Whether its of an intimate nature or friendship(which truth be told the best intimate relationships start off as friends first..don’t y’all agree? Thats another topic for another time. Excellent blog idea! ) Today I had to draw the line with someone I care about. Someone I call/consider my friend…Perhaps I should’ve made the invisible boundary lines known from the onset. For often my kindness/my sensitive nature/my compassion; is mistaken for weakness. I may be many things but weak I am not. Not even on a bad day…>

I’ve come to believe in any relationship..intimate or friendship..we can quickly get locked down into patterns. Those patterns get habitual & routine. It becomes what defines the relationship..UNLESS a person draws a line or boundaries from the onset those patterns won’t/can’t ever be broken. As long as that relationship exists..think about that for a minute..I was sharing with someone today I feel as IF they’re taking my kindness for granted. My perception is pretty much grounded in reality of the way it actually IS. Is it cool when one is being themselves to collide with someone else being themselves in a bonded friendship..only to find out one of the pair feels taken for granted? Naw, thats not cool..which is why today I said out loud what had been building UP . Which means I should’ve already said it before..today. Why is it human nature not to want to hurt another with the blatant truth? Or is that just part of my nature? IF anyone out there can relate this is the part where you should contribute your 2 cents…>

I try to see the good in everyone. Yet I don’t choose to spend time with everyone…and when I do? I expect, unspoken demand, to get back at least an ounce of what I’m giving in return. Some of us are just natural givers..Givers of themselves. Their essence. Their love. Their friendship. It just flows naturally. I’ve got my hand held UP high on each/every one of those counts. But what I refuse to do, as anyone should, is let anyone suck me dry of those resources..Not speaking in a physical sense; but literally. Is it moreso human nature to be a giver or a taker? Are these things learned or uttered naturally from the heart. To give or to take. I’ve no clue how I got to be the way I am in that sense..It is just the way I am. And I’ve no plans to change in that aspect. Ever. For I enjoy being around folks who give freely of themselves..Have no issue letting their hair down to just; Be. I had to learn , after many moons, the art of self preservation..it doesn’t come naturally . I think it is possible to give much of oneself; yet keep some of self for self to remain self. What a silly sounding riddle, right? Makes perfect sense to me though. And I sure as heck hope its making sense to someone else out there reading this also..if so this is yet another part where your 2 cents could be interjected..>

The closer I get to 50 yrs of age; the less & less I mince words. Time is precious and its moving with more haste daily..I look UP and an entire week has passed by in a blur. Some weeks I just want to yell, STOP, as the clock seems to spin in a frantic pace. Especially during minutes of my free time after my 8 -5 weekday..Although truth be told my work days fly by as well. Without mincing words & yet not speaking harshly; I think we all owe it to ourselves to lay down those invisible/unspoken/spoken boundaries in our relationships. Agreed? For what is a friendship worth if one of the pair isn’t feeling appreciated?  I usually bail pretty quickly from such situations…I’ve learned to do so to maintain self. Just don’t see the sense in continuing to give to something that isn’t fulfilling. Anyone out there have a different take on this? Or related? Well I’ve said my piece. Now its your turn. What do you think? Do you have self-preservation skills you’d like to share? 

Posted in ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

**Got Friends?**

I wrote on this topic a couple years back on a site that I was a group moderator..Time to pull it off the shelf and give it new life..I’ve got more friends than I can count on my fingers & toes(several times..) ; so this won’t be about NOT  having friends. Quite the opposite -N- more than likely not what you expect…

Background: I’ve never been the type of person to dislike someone; based on another’s lack of a recommendation of someone.  I’m a  hands-on being in most everything I do or am involved IN. Meaning simply I learn & experience by doing things/experiencing myself…It is my way. I don’t believe in ASSociating folks with who they associate with either. Personally, I’ve lived such a colorful life; and I know we can have an array of friends with different /unique personalities and lifestyles. I’ve been known to say my friends can have other friends; and I’m SO cool with that! Never have I been one, not even back in grade school when others were tripping on such things..to feel envy cause a friend spent time with other..friends.  Now that I’ve laid that background down; allow me to dig a bit deeper>

“In the FIRST half of life WE are pre-occupied with establishing our identity-climbing/achieving/performing. BUT those concerns will not serve us as we grow older and begin to embark on a further journey..One that involves challenges, mistakes , broader horizons, and necessary suffering that actually SHOCKS us out of our prior comfort zone. Eventually we need to SEE ourselves in a different and more life-GIVING way. This message of “falling down”..is in fact moving UPward..is the most RESISTED and counterintuitive of messages in the world’s religions, including and most especially Christianity”> I hope anyone reading this lets those words sink in for a minute..This direct quote comes from a book I read  a while back called ,”Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr. Prior to even reading the book I’d adopted this mode of thinking. I believe in and am living this out loud..a very good friend , that I highly respect, recommended I read the book. How did she know I’d benefit from reading the book? Did she know this was the phase of life I was in? How do people we “connect” with really SEE us? Do our friends view us as we ARE? Do they hear what we are saying , even when we do not say a WORD?

I’ve always had a lot of friends..There are NOT many people I encounter that I can’t find some “commonallity ” with. I can walk into a ROOM of strangers; and within minutes be totally engaged in a conversation. It is my way..folks just seem to be comfy talking to me. A friend of mine once said it is as IF you’ve got a sign on your forehead that says”Talk to ME” Whether I’m in a grocery store, pumping gas, video store(they used to exist..), the movies, the park, work , church, the Mall..I love, really dig! PEOPLE. I adore the many different things about us; that link us together. And yet, I realize that most of the time people only SHOW you a small fraction of who they are! My question that just begs to be asked is..WHY? Fear mayhaps of not being accepted? Not being interesting enough? Could that possibly be why in a social setting folks drink to engage? Ever heard the saying “She/He is the life of the party”? I am comfy being that in my OWN skin. Totally 100% sober..ALL the time. I recently told someone, this is ME..I won’t apologize for who I am. Nor will I CHANGE who I am to conform to what you want me to be…I think often times people want to BELONG so badly; they try to change themselves to fit IN..Shouldn’t it be the opposite though ? IF we are meant to fit; shouldn’t it be that we’ve revealed(to the max of our abilities) who we truly are? Otherwise when the real us or YOU does slip out(and this always happens..) ; there is a sense of disappointment or the connection will fall apart…

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO AFRAID OF SAYING WHAT THEY REALLY FEEL? AFRAID OF HURTING PEOPLE’S FEELINGS..WHEN , HONESTLY, I FIND IT QUITE FAKE! TO LIE TO SOMEONE JUST TO NOT HURT THEM…That is the phase of life I’m in and quite UNapologetically. I will not fake who I am nor what I want to say; to make anyone feel better about themselves. Why should we? Nor do I think anyone else should…I’m not saying purposely hurt people’s feelings..That simply isn’t in my heart to do that. What I’m saying is being anything other than TRUE to one’s self; is FAKE. And I don’t have time for fakeness, B.S.!, or drama. I make that very clear from jump street. I don’t bring it nor do I accept it. And those that I call friends know this ; and they’re REAL also. Like -minded folks hang together & are drawn 2gether..like birds of a feather>

Real Talk..Until recently I’d not met but 1 person in my life; that I just couldn’t find much common ground with. Now I’ve met TWO..in almost 50 yrs of age..and thats saying alot…(only 2!)  And there aren’t many people , even folks who just don’t smile alot(which i DO ), that I just don’t care to be AROUND..But this recently happened to me & though it hurt me to step off from them(because I’m a Christian) ; it got to a point that my spirit! felt awful in their company. And I listen to my inner-being, my spirit, more than I listen to any living soul on this planet. Never has my spirit led me wrong, EVER, ..if one can’t be true to themselves..they can fall for anything. Having said all of that “the experience” of having met this person taught me a valuable lesson..WE have to know when to let go of things including people in our lives. It isn’t an easy thing to do sometimes; but it IS essential . Or that is the way I see IT>

When I call someone a friend…That is more than a saying to me. I think the term “friend” is used loosely these days. Friend a person on FB…as IF one can read a person without seeing them. I’m an intuitive person by nature; I feel a person NOT just by “what” they say; but their body language also. My belief is say what you mean & mean what you say. It is what I practice and I don’t accept anything less from those I share time & space with. Actually, truthfully!, IF I feel a person’s actions aren’t in line with what they SAY, they’d not be someone I call friend. Hope that makes as much sense to ya’ll..as it does to me. With true friends we’re never alone in ANY situation. Real talk for real. But also it takes BEing a friend; to have friends. Its a 2 way street. In my heart of hearts every stranger I encounter; could be a potential new friend! That is how easy I’ve had it with getting to know people…and I love IT. I’m a people-loving social butterfly. IF we were meant to survive alone, exist alone!, we’d have been created on islands by ourselves. Or so I believe. Less time is wasted though if we just have the courage; to be who we ARE. Not just a fraction of a person…Don’t sell yourself short. A VERY good friend of mine(My Cali Black Prince) taught me that..The reason why? How do we know the part of US we aren’t revealing; is what another person needs to connect with? >

Every day is a brand NEW start..I leap! literally (gives me a head-rush sometimes but I do…) out of bed feeling that. New people to meet! New people to talk & connect with! New things to learn! New parts of our life experience to share..Life is enriched by our loved ones, our FRIENDS, and our significant others. Make it a beautiful day. I know I will. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in "Just for fun", ***DPCHALLENGE, Post a Day 2013, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@

>>WHY are MEN so CLUELESS?!?>>

Before anyone out there gets all UPtight..this post is ALL in fun. It is a direct piggy-back female version to Opinionated Man’s blog post called ‘Women are Crazy’. I thought it would be cool, challenging and FUN to also poke fun at a couple things about MEN..Going to try my best to match his wit/skills. ~

>Mayhaps the best way to open the door to this topic wide right out the gate is to begin with the..Remote Control. I’ll keep it simple guys so there should be NO issue with understanding the message. I took a vote from as many women as I could gather up and the general consensus is this= Ya’ll can HAVE total control over the T.V. remote control;  as long as you agree to ALWAYS put the toilet seat down. Deal? Alright, cool moving right along…

>Now here is a whopper. WE women voted unanimously  on this one= We’ll serve you breakfast in bed every morning/run your bath water/have dinner cooked when you get home from work/get UP in the middle of the night to get you a glass of water/never “claim” to have a headache when you wake us UP in the middle of the night for some loving, etc etc yada yada..as long as you NEVER take issue with the few times we might ask you to pick up our feminine products. Don’t trip..trust me on this one, NO ONE in the store will think its  yours! Deal? Alright cool lets move on I’m just getting started..

>This is sans a GPS system or mapquest..Alright guys we figured it out. WE know when you know that we’re lost! We also will let ya’ll fake the funk for a while driving around and around in circles..We’ll also act as if we didn’t see the same streets and buildings already the first 3 times we passed them. Ok? But it might be nice, every once in a while, if you just admit it and say, “Know what baby;  I have NO clue where we are or how to get where we’re going!” And then just stop to ask someone else for directions. *slapping forehead* Enough said, moving right along…

>Guys? Please stop believing dubious relationship tips your guy friends are passing along to you. Every woman deserves to be treated /trusted based on her OWN merit. Same as you wish to be regarded/treated/respected…ya’ll having fun yet? There is more…

>When your woman says ‘Lets talk baby’ for the love of God don’t trip! It doesn’t mean she is dumping you(unless you know you’ve been messing UP badly…) ..what it means it she wants your undivided attention to talk about something that is important to her. Keep in mind women get oxytocin from having deeeeep , meaningful talks with you.(also from nursing babies & sex) Whereas men mainly get the same from having sex! Don’t believe me? Google it… So just relax/LISTEN/ and things will go smoothly so you can get back to  your fave T.V. show. Agreed? I’m almost finished now…

>Guys? There is NO reason to start an argument or worse LIE to go hang with your guy friends. Matter of fact a mature, self confident , self assured woman..knows you NEED your male-bonding time. So go have a good time; you deserve it. Grown folks need their own space sometimes..its normal..but to lie about it or start an argument over foolishness is a deal-breaker. Gets negative amount of brownie points in my world. Honesty still counts with some of us

>A few “nevers”= NEVER call your woman a Bi_ch! I don’t care if she is acting like one; don’t call her out of her name with this word. It is one of the worst things a man can call a woman. And IF she acts like this on a consistent basis..then perhaps you need to re-evaluate what type of woman you’re attracted to. There is no need for such ugliness…Also NEVER ask your woman if she’s gained a few pounds. Do NOT make any comment even close to , fat. Now she might very well be blowing up weight wise..but a wise man won’t tell her that. Oh! if she is acting cranky; never, EVER, even on a bad day say that its cause she is on her period..let her say it. But you better not . Don’t say I didn’t warn ya’ll..Alright, here comes my last one…

>Last but not least..stop saying we don’t value your opinion. We do! Most of us anyway..we’d not be with YOU if we didn’t respect you/adore you/need you/desire you/love you. Which includes respecting your male perspective..there is nothing more comforting to a woman than to hear her man’s honest opinion. Why? Because we know he has our best interest at heart and has our back…At the end of the day WE can’t live without ya’ll. Man and WOman weren’t  meant to live without love. And that takes 2. Love is what makes us thrive and flourish..and everyone, wants to be loved. The beautiful thing about a relationship is when it works! And it takes 2 people who accept each other with  flaws/faults..none of us are perfect. Love is worth putting up with a few minor issues..or least that is the way I see it. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, LOVE, Positive Movement Topic, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

*Lovers Lesson 101: Think With Your HEART*PostaDay^Berna’s Way..

**This is one of my fave topics in the entire world. In this life time. LOVE..So kick back, get comfy, grab a snack because I’m on ONE this morning! And I’m ready to talk about love; the way I see IT. Sorry folks but I can’t think like a MAN. Though I’ve got the “Act Like A Lady” part well practiced & lived for years. Why can’t I think like a MAN? Quite simply because I’m not one! And though I can “appreciate” my bro Steve Harvey’s “opinion” on love matters…I’ve got my own. Comes quite naturally for me 2 think with my heart & its mandatory that my future man be capable of doing the same. Here I go!  I’m diving IN head first…

**For the YOUTH I hope, and pray! ya’ll don’t let the mass “failure” , yep! I said it, of love relationships scare you from falling IN love. I hope you find a good example out there, somewhere, of a solid, true love relationship to have some guidelines @what a loving relationship even looks like. As I’ve matured  & trying to age oh! so gracefully I’ve come to learn alot of folks don’t have that..I’ve met far few people who are from homes that weren’t broken; than not. I’m blessed in many, many ways..took me so long to come to realize that. Might sound like bragging but it is simply the truth. Fighting the urge to digress ….Simply said as a child of life long parents IN love/still married/life partners; I had no excuse to fail at marriage. Right? Mayhaps…so instead of beating self UP(done enough of that over the years..) I’ve decided to look back on my love relationships, briefly, to discern what the lesson was/IS. My sum UP(a Berna’ism) from experiencing being “in love” 3 times; is that I’m pretty dang fortunate. Only married one of them and friends still with all 3 of them…Let love begin with friendship. Why? Because love that is allowed to grow from a friendship; never ends. You’ll no longer desire to be in a union with them; but you’ll always care for them as people. Lovers lesson #1=Choose good people with good hearts…It matters!

^There is NO substitute on this planet, in my humble opinion, than being IN love. A close runner UP to giving birth/life! to being the number 1 type of love one can experience on earth. Letting go of one’s heart strings is worth risking possibly being hurt…It has taken me years to truly believe that and to be ready once again. Being ready to love means trusting someone with your prized possession..Your HEART. For some of us that are so used to being control freaks; letting go to BE loved is not an easy task. Especially when one has been hurt before…If you’re young and have already been hurt you must first forgive whoever hurt you. And then let that hurt and pain GO. There is no chance for new love if you’ve not done that first…Exclamation mark. Period!

Love IS how you feel when in the company of the object of your affections!  That is how one falls IN love..When someone else’s heart links UP with yours. Sometimes very quickly. Yep, I’m a believer in love at first sight. Not just from a visual perspective but when 2 hearts and 2 souls link UP from the onset…Has happened to me once and it was as  real as real can BE. With love even the impossible is quite possible…

I think women and men are as different as any two things on this planet…I feel GOD made us soooo different to always keep things exciting/fresh; and far from boring. Just trying to link UP 2 such different ways of thinking takes alot of effort/time/patience/trust/RESPECT/understanding/COMMUNICATION..and when alll of that syncs UP it is something that NO one(no man, no woman!, nor creature) can break apart. Solid as a rock; Ashford & Simpson wrote a song about that once. But! thatsbackwhentheymadeREALsongswithREAL lyrics…

Think with your heart and trust the feelings that come about because of it…Try hard to remember IF it is meant to be; it will BE. So don’t attempt to force love. Don’t settle for ANYTHING less…if you think with your heart it is easy to discern real love from lust. For the younger woman out there never forget this=ANY man can lay down with you and have SEX…Takes “the man” your “the ONE” to make love 2 you; he will take you 2 heaven mentally! He’ll fill your thoughts ALL throughout the day and every  single one of your dreams at night…I wish for ya’ll the same thing I’ve prayed for & know will enter my world this year. I can feeeeeel IT coming…Instead of just saying I’m waiting on my “the ONE” I’ve got a new name for it. I’m waiting on *MY BARACK OBAMA * to find me! Not Michelle’s(she better be glad she snagged him first cause there is a longggg line of us who wanted to be #1 ) but a different one with the same qualities(ohhh he loooooks at her with such LOVE) ; one that was created/born! just to love ME. And on that note I’m signing off….Until I read ya’ll/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4 ever sincere, Berna(the 1 n only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Health Matters*, Positive Movement Topic, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~SEX~~ DP CHALLENGE *PostADay..Berna’s Way..

~ ~One of my fave sayings IS “IF U can’t talk about it with me ; then I guarantee we’ll never have SEX!” ~Parents should rightfully B discussing SEX with their children LONG before their children have SEX~WHY  parents afraid 2 discuss SEX with their children set them UP to feel SEX is dirty for life; when it is NOT~The rule @No glove/No love should RULE these days…>>Those are just a few of the things  I feel like talking about …I’ll keep it tasteful BUT with the mindset that SEX is natural N beautiful..Are ya’ll ready  for me? Get ready. Get set…Lets rap!

>>”Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.

The results of brain scans speak to longstanding questions of whether the pursuit of love and sex are different emotional endeavors or whether romance is just warmed over sexual arousal.

“Our findings show that the brain areas activated when someone looks at a photo of their beloved only partially overlap with the brain regions associated with sexual arousal,” said Arthur Aron of the State University of New York-Stony Brook. “Sex and romantic love involve quite different brain systems.”

 

The study, announced today, will be detailed in the July issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.<<

**Trying to tackle this topic from several angles so bear with me as I work my way into it..

>>2  quotes  from a source I respect( & have read many of his books)  I’d like to mention here before I go further :

“~Any feeling is both mental and physical~”
Deepak Chopra, Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life’s Greatest Challenges

“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.”
Deepak Chopra

Working my way slowly into this topic, deeper N deeper ,so  hang on folks I’m getting there..

*Although far too many people think the entire importance lies between one’s legs…that simply is NOT true. Sex begins with mental seduction. When the mental seduction is mutual sex turns into making love= Real love. One of the highest of highs @ Orgasm happens between one’s ears..*In the Mind/Brain*..Am I breaking it down or what?? Moving right along so stay tuned<

Disclaimer: Anything that I say here or elsewhere on my blog site is MY opinion. Based on my beliefs N life experience including a TON of reading..>

Since 1992 California public schools have been required by law to teach HIV/AIDS education at least once during middle school and once during high school . To follow a list of guidelines including age appropriate ..BUT what is to determine what any of those guidelines actually mean?? As a parent I was never comfy “not knowing” exactly what was being taught to our sons. And even though I read the literature I requested from the school beforehand I still wasn’t comfy…yet I signed it. I felt the more info our sons had the better..In addition I discovered sex education is NOT required by law to be taught in California public schools. YET 96% of California public schools do provide sex health education classes as an option from grades K- 12..though there are NO guidelines by law until the 7th grade..Which is when I signed the consent forms for our 3 sons to take the course. When my eldest took the course I was still very, very nervous about talking about SEX to him. So I welcomed any and all information or outside sources teaching him sex education. Including my now ex-husband…By the time our youngest was in the 7th grade I was well informed N confident to teach him alot more at home myself as did my now ex-husband..We were pro’s on the topic by then & had added sex education to our very hands-on n N involved parenting style. 10 years prior I’d never have dreamed! that I’d engage or advocate giving a teenager condoms..BUT no one ever promised that parenting would be an easy job. It is by far the most “difficult” job I’ve ever held and yet by FAR the most rewarding & important! Furthermore I advocate allowing an environment in which youth can talk to their parents about ANYthing..and our sons have. (the beauty of having 2 involved parents is if they can’t talk to one about something ; they’ve got another parent to talk to ..awesome arrangement!)  I’m not yet a grandparent and all 3 of my sons are alive N healthy..One of my worst parental fears is they’d experience sex and catch something that could kill them! Or become parents before they’d reached their educational goals..Neither of those things have happened. Thanks to my mighty GOD and an outstanding co-parent/male role model. IF you truly love your child talk to them about sex very early on…And if need be give them condoms! Be thankful they could come to talk to you honestly about the topic. Provide condoms even before they do…those just-in-case-the-first-time-comes-before-prepared-with-safety-items has yielded in many teenage pregnancies..In my opinion in this day N age teenage pregnancy rates should NOT be at the high rate they’re at. Condoms are handed out like lollipops now! In California you can get them at alot of clinics for FREE…

*SEX-Positive Liberals advocate that sex BEfore marriage IS a valid choice for “nearly” everyone…or at least for 95% of Americans. Hmmm, who knew? Or , really?!? IS sexual morality truly about how long one waits? Or should it be about how one treats themselves/carries themselves/respects themselves ~N~ the people they’re with.

Question: Are long lasting love relationships made through intimacy? Is teaching the youth abstinence ONLY working out? Or are the youth STILL having sex before marriage? What is the percentage of single adult parents practicing abstinence? What leads to the most stable marriages; feminist values or traditional ones? These are some of the questions I’m going to attempt to tackle. My words/my uncensored thoughts….

>First, here are the proven benefits of  SEX..Sex releases STRESS. Boosts immunities. It helps to keep one’s heart healthy. Helps you sleep. Lowers blood pressure rates. Burns a ton of calories and is a GREAT form of exercise. Boosts self esteem. Boosts endorphins. (including aids with PMS) Makes prostrate cancer less likely(yep, google it if you don’t believe me..) Youthful glow. Lighter menstrual periods with less cramps. Cures world hunger. (Just kidding! )  Now for where I stand regarding abstinence prior to marriage or between marriages..The Moral Case 4 Abstinence Before Marriage VS. The Moral Case 4 Sex Before Marriage…>>Here is  the QUESTION of a LIFEtime that begs to be answered=

>>IS MONOGAMY A REALISTIC RELATIONSHIP GOAL? IS IT NATURAL TO BE MONOGAMOUS? IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN MONOGAMY IN A LONG-TERM LOVE RELATIONSHIP?!?

**In conclusion my bottom line is as follows: Teaching abstinence-only to today’s youth is NOT working. Exclamation point. PERIOD. As someone very dear to me & my co-parenting partner taught me years ago WE as parents must deal with reality and NOT our own fairy tale sugar coated versions of reality …and especially preaching to our youth  B-sISH that WE didn’t even practice in our youth! Yep, I was one of those parents that wanted to only teach abstinence until marriage. However, IF as parents we don’t teach children ALL options and realities; then we aren’t giving them the information/insight/ammunition they’ll need for all given situations. And as a parent that just isn’t responsible…not in my opinion. For those parents that want to teach this one-method type of way. Have at it! Your children, your right to teach them whatever you please..just don’t come crying to me or anyone else when your child winds UP with an early pregnancy they’re UNprepared for(and not mature enough for) Or worse! stricken with an STD that can take their very lives. This is our reality and it IS what it IS. On a moral level? Of course the ideal criteria is to wait to have SEX until married to someone one is IN LOVE with. And yep, as parents one often has to preach/teach things that wasn’t followed by self..Because we are to teach what is right! But for some of us less than perfect people(got my hand help UP high) teaching sons from a stance of  “learn from my mistakes” kind-of-way is working just fine…

**Maybe folks had the right line of thinking backintheday…the 60s Flower Children era. Didn’t it seem(or least from pictures I’ve seen…) that everyone was soooo FREE back then? Live N let live! Make love , not WAR. Peace signs were posted all over the place. Folks singing “What the World Needs Now, is LOVE sweeeeet LOVE…Right? So, what happened to change that mindset? What really happened that veeered the sexual  morality views in our country to be what they are in the here and NOW? Here is the way I see IT..

Way back in the 60s least majority of Americans were HONEST about how they felt SEX..Now? We’ve become a society of “closet” sex-lovers. And only GOD knows what truly goes on behind people’s closed doors..Truth is sex is a beautiful act that was created not just 2 populate but also as the BEST natural anti-depressant. Mayhaps IF more folks were having SEX ..there would be NO need 4 all of the drugs being taken to alter moods out there. Depression has become a very serious issue in our country.(another deep topic for another time..)  Pharmaceutical companies globally are  worth  an estimated  $300 BILLION ..Omg & WOW. 

In an ideal world /situation, youth, it is BEST to wait until marriage to share all of the beauty that sex was created for..Some might ask , “What if I’ve decided I don’t want to get married or have children?” Excellent question! Which is one of the reasons why the “wait for marriage theory” isn’t always a good message to preach. Except from a parental viewpoint….I feel the best way to inform the youth(or anyone..) about a topic; give them all sides. The good, the bad, & the ugly. The whole truth. Which is what I’ve tried 2 do from my perspective in my words here. I don’t believe sexual morality is about how long one waits to have sex..It is moreso about the level of respect a person has for themselves & others. How they carry themselves overall..Youth need to be aware of the dangers of sex and its consequences(which can be lifelong) In the same manner we teach youth the dangers & safety tips on how to drive a car; the same should be done in how we teach them about SEX. When we teach abstinence-only the youth are tuning us OUT..The statistics of the amount of youth having sex makes that evident. My sincere belief? I don’t feel that long-lasting love relationships are established when SEX is introduced early. In rare cases, yes. But overall in my heart of hearts I don’t think so. Yet, I do believe that long-term love relationships are for sure enhanced by sex N without a doubt can’t survive without IT..or least in my world !

Monogamy. Who in their right mind created that?!? Must not have been someone who truly enjoyed good sex…However, having expressed that, I do feel monogamy is the BEST type of long-term love relationship. And it is the only type of relationship for me..I do not feel it is a “natural” state of being though.  We’re hormonal creatures by nature. Some of us moreso than others..(hand held UP high) Men are biologically created & driven! 2 have and 2 want SEX..Lest women ever, ever forget that. (and I think sometimes we do…) So given those 2 facts alone makes it highly difficult to maintain a monogamous relationship. BUT the best things in this life aren’t easily attained nor kept. It IS worth it..True love is worth it. Maintaining the sacredness of a marriage is worth it. And it just feeeeeels right 2 know one’s love partner/mate/spouse/lover; is saving ALL of their special loving for YOU. It causes such a euphoric feeling that there is NO substitute for. Exclamation mark. Period  . I’m ending on that note yall. As always stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 n only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, WOW, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

^NO sense in mincing WORDS 4 this is a heavy topic*DPCHALLENGE PostADay

**This was actually written in response 2 another blog that I follow on WP..I got SO caught up responding N the w*o*r*d*s a/k/a thoughts just kept flowing N flowing…So I decided to post my own original thoughts here on my blog..Hopefully 2 encourage an open discussion regarding a topic that is very near N dear to me..I’m trying, with all my might!, 2 live this topic out loud. In very living color. This is about as Real as it can possibly GET.

**Theres something I think U should know…>Let’s WAIT a while ..Before its 2 late..Let’s wait a while..Before we go 2 far.. Lets save something for LATER…So our love will B greater…Can’t RUSH love..

**I skipped alot of verses but thats the fast-forwarded sample..Backintheday when lyrics really meant something in songs! Yep, I said it N I know that 2 be true. But anyways those are words from a Janet Jackson song. Back when she was truly HOT inasfar as talentwise..then she went Hollywood.
IF a guy, I don’t care who he IS, can sit and say he has a double standard for the women he loves in his life already(his Mother,his daughter, his females relatives, his female friends..) compared with the woman he’s interested in…RUN & run fast! Because it means he is a BIG, fat hypocrit! For instance, IF conversing said man you’ve got a peaked interest IN says..”I want my daughter to WAIT till marriage 2 have sex…” And then U ask him, “So are you then also saying you’d wait 2 have sex until marriage?”  N he then loooooks at YOU like you’ve got a 3rd eye in the middle of your face! Plus,  his reply is NO.  I care less how fine he is. Or thinks he is..I don’t care what kind of job he holds down. I care less! what he owns..N for sure don’t give a hot dang what type of car he drives..RUN. As women sometimes we think, wrongfully so, that we can change a man . Pfft! And as IF…this is one  of the biggest mistakes  WE as women do/or can make.  From the jump! For he is sitting there laying it out for you. In his OWN words ..that   he is NOT  the one. RUN.

**IF a guy doesn’t feel that building UP a relationship is worth the wait..And IF that is what you desire; then again he isn’t the one for YOU. Period. It is that simple. As for the Steve Harvey rule of making a guy wait 90 days? I don’t put a time limit on it..because a guy could hear that N just rideeeee it out. Knowing full well he is going to get his “reward” at the end of 90 days…But are there such guarantees in any other area of this life? Nope! So why should it be different regarding what “should ” be sacred to us? Our bodies! Temple, right? And these days?!? It involves far more than backintheday just being scared of getting pregnant..NOW you’re literally placing your LIFE in someone else’s hands when you have SEX with them. With or without protection…Real talk. No sense in mincing words this is a heavy topic…

**IF as a woman you’re single N want that “status” to change. Then it is high! time to begin to do things differently. Anyone repeating the same things over N over N over again..YET expecting to get different results is either ..1. A very , VERY slow learner 2. Not very bright 3. Mentally challenged . IF a woman truly feeeeeels she is worthy of real love. IF a woman knows her true worth & is living UP to her true good worth . IF a woman wants to change her “status” from single to engaged/married/going steady(what ARE they calling it these days? I don’t even know…) then expecting a potential mate to wait for her “goodies” until they really know each other/have mutual relationship expectations/CAN & DO communicate effectively/feel love & respect! for one another…all of that will be just the basics for her to anticipate/request/and GET. And if said guy of such a woman’s interests has an issue with that? Then he just earned an instant downgrade from “potential” 2 “just friends”. Just that simple. And? If he acts a fool upon such simple & polite requests from said woman? He is then downgraded from even a chance! of being “just friends” to “someone I once spent time with but now I no longer even want him to be a friend…at ALL”

**We all have choices…And yep, I practice exactly what I preach. I’ve got more than one witness to attest to my very words. Fortunately I’ve met/spent time with/been engaged/married to outstanding brothers…I’ve had a couple “almost made it 2 the finish line type of relationships N marriage..I’ve no regrets nor complaints. No more tears about what could’ve been. Taken responsiblity for my part in why things just didn’t work out…Feeling blessed for the beautiful memories. Worked on ME in the interim for we all have flaws/faults..Hopefully learned lessons from my past relationships..Ready to move forward. I’ve NO time limit like the Steve Harvey rule nor do I make any apology for that. 2 anyone. IF a brother I’m interested in doesn’t feel I’m worth waiting on, until!, then he isn’t my “the one” I’m saving myself for. Exclamation mark. Period.

Posted in =Self Discovery=, ^^Thought Provoking^^

SETTLE?!? I think NOT; not even at almost FIFTY(yep, 50!)

Settling is NOT an option

Alright I’m on 1 tonight..translation here comes a BIG rant. So buckle up, lean back/get comfy/kick your shoes off/enjoy the smell of the scented candles because I’ve heard the very, and I mean very last comment@when women get a certain age they better think about re-evaluating their options for a love relationship. As IF! and Pfft! It is time 2 respond to all of those comments. Revving UP but I’m coming back soooon and releasing this train of thought. ~2 B Continued~

1st things 1st..DISCLAIMER: 4 the sake of this line of thought I’m going to use examples said by women, some of them married woman. These are actual accounts and not heresay..Know while reading this for me marriage is the ultimate love relationship; so I mean NO disrespect for the viewpoint I’m getting ready to lay down. However, in response to the aforementioned comments this is my response. And I’m more than sure some of my  single over 35 N up sistas/sisters feel the same way..Although I’ve no issue standing alone with this stance. As I have on many of the things I feel. I can only always speak for myself N this is the way I see IT..

Example#1..Some out there might recognize these lyrics. Song by a woman, a Sista!, and one of my fave singers btw..

“Me and Mr Wrong get along so good (so good)
Even though he breaks my heart so bad (so bad)
We got a special thing going on
Me and Mr Wrong (mister wrong)
Even if I try, no, I never could
Give him up cause his loves like that
Aint no way that I’m moving on
I love my Mr Wrong”

Ok, what is wrong with this picture?? Well , for starters, everything! This is from a popular song from a popular singer. Mary J Blige. Who I dig, alot. BUT what isn’t coooool is that young girls/teens/women listen to this song probably over and over again. And have we not learned that the youth can be easily influenced by things they hear/see? Heck, grown adults are! It is a matter of what we intake that is negative or positive and the impact that can/WILL/does have on our psyche. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out..that is why you’ll find a great deal of academians aka intellectuals don’t even have a “boob tube” in their house(isn’t called a boooob tube for nothing..) I personally know folks that censor what their children hear/see on the tube /radio, etc…I was one of those parents! I recall vividly being in favor even of ratings on video games backintheday…because I hated! buying/renting a game for our sons and turning it on and it had naked/half naked women portrayed or rap music on them…anywayz I digress. My point IS (yep, there is a point ) when did women begin to lower their OWN standards enough to sing it in lyrics?!? I mean come on now…really? Is this the level we have sunk to??? Has anyone else noticed this is becoming more and more the norm? WHY? I can take a man saying such dribble in regards to women, cause they’re men! I don’t expect them to see it from OUR viewpoint, but now women are saying such things with ease…Lawd!

Example #2.”“I just want someone who’s willing to be in the trenches with me,” my single friend Jennifer told me, “and I never thought of marriage that way before.” Two of Jennifer’s friends married men who Jennifer believes aren’t even straight, and while Jennifer wouldn’t have made that choice a few years back, she wonders whether she might be capable of it in the future. “Maybe they understood something that I didn’t,” she said.”

Ok, what is SO wrong about this picture? A wholeeeee lot. Hope you caught it ; but just in case ya’ll didn’t and I quote”two of Jennifer’s friends married men who Jennifer believes AREN’T EVEN STRAIGHT…” Whoa! What???? This was a totally new one I’d not heard of and yep, this was taken from a real account. Matter of fact I’m pulling from the very text of the picture I used for this post up above..So now it has gotten that bad that women aren’t just settling but they’re settling for men they don’t even believe are heterosexual???? UNdangreal..I am beyond not getting that!

Here are just a few real live comments I’ve heard indirectly and directly on the topic. “Over 40 a single woman might just want to drop some of the things on her list of standards..” this was said by a married woman to other married women. Women I respect btw…”I’d rather keeeeep my wooden nickel, than trade it in for another wooden nickel” this was said by a disgruntled married woman complaining to other women that were complaining about their husbands. My comment and thoughts..I do NOT want a wooden nickel at all! A wooden nickel can’t be spent and is worth nothing to me. “You’re not getting any younger; and neither am I N we both want to get married..” this was recently said to ME  by a man. Hmmmm first of all MY biological clock isn’t ticking. I’m finished forever with having children..my last tick tock was 20 years ago. Sorry,  but I can hold out a little longer. For what? The ultimate prize! A happy, fulfilling, marriage with a man that LOVES me as I LOVE him. And for the record that is how I’m going to say it from now on in my prayers to God..Since I realize that sincere prayers are answered I am no longer just praying to get married. I’ve now added subtitles to that request to God. Had to apparently…but anywayz here is another one. “Over 40 and with 2nd or subsequent marriages you no longer marry for love..you marry for security”..this was said to me by a male friend  about a year ago who is on  his 2nd marriage. So then I asked him. “Does your wife know that you married her so  you wouldn’t grow old alone or does she think you married her because you loved her?” I mean IF we’re going to keep it real than that should go both ways. I’m sick and tyeeeed of people giving advice and YET they don’t /haven’t followed it themselves. Isn’t that what they call a hypocrit? Not that I mind folks experienced in something that I’ m not giving me great advice..I welcome it! But let it be something that was actually something experienced by the advice giver…for otherwise you trivialize my situation. In my opinion anyway.

And what is the harm If I want to hang around waiting on the ONE long enough to collect dust on myself anyway? Why do folks seem to feeeeel they have to comment , critique or give advice? I certainly haven’t asked for any, yet. Matter of fact all I’ve done is stated quite openly the goals I set for myself regarding marriage. A date. An expectation I have for myself when I’ll be engaged by…however there is no expiration date on it. At this point I’m willing to wait as long as it takes. Now, I don’t know if that is how I’ll feel if I’m still single mid 2013. Matter of fact as sensitive as this issue has gotten to me lately I don’t know how I’ll feel about this topic an hour from now. As with anything in this life, or least mine, sometimes at the end of the day..especially late in the day..sometimes I myself from time to time doubt goals I’ve set for myself. I am after all my worst critic. I do after all push myself very hard. Very. I’ve often set goals so steeeeep that I was disappointed/crushed when I couldn’t even on my tippy toes reach that high..but isn’t that what goals are suppposed to B? Something to make us reach higher?  To motivate us to not get…complacent? A way to make us constantly strive to do, better?  I could be wrong(wouldn’t be the first time) but that is the way I see IT at this phase of  my life journey. Knocking on 50 I’m still doing all I can to hang onTO my dreams that I left home holding at almost 20 yrs of age. And one of those dreams was to be part of a union, a marriage!, as loving as the one in which I was born into. A marriage which I knew, my brother knew, everyone knew, that come helllll or high water thru all the UPS N downs my parents would stay 2gether and IN love. Forever. It is where I learned the term LIFEmate from. My own Daddy said that long ago about my Mom. WOW. What little girl who heard that wouldn’t keeeeeep reaching/attempting to achieve that? How can said little girl all grown up settle for anything less??? Answer is, she can’t/won’t/simply refuses to settle for anything less than love. And it would be nice, soooo nice, to hear that other women respect and encourage that. I have a cousin that waited single for YEARS, without dating because her standards were that high. I won’t say how long she waited but it was longer than I hope I have to wait! But she had faith in God that her “one” would find her without her having to settle for less. I don’t think she knew, although I was dating at the time, how much I respected her for that and so much more. I should’ve told her..but I didn’t. I do now though because I can relate. We say as Christians we have faith. I hear things like , stand by your faith. Grow your faith stronger in God. Matter of fact this is the Year of Faith in my church. Well, I’m trying with all my might to stand on  my faith in alot of things. Alot. And every day, instead of getting easier, truth B told it is getting harder. I really needed to write this out to work it out..I pray/hope there is a young women out there reading this that is in the same situation I’m in. I want her to know it can be done. Or least it can be attempted even at almost 50 yrs of age..Try hard to stand fast in your beliefs. Your dreams. Your goals. Take it one day at a time step by step driving forward to gain them. And for heavens sake have FUN and laugh, laugh, laugh, and love. love, LOVE  along the way. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 n only)

 

Posted in Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@

+WOMANing UP+

                                                                      

Can ya’ll believe I got a special request! WOW ..I’m not one 2 try to disappoint so I figured I’d go for it..Plus might B  kind of fun to write out what my actual expectations are. For the people that requested this I believe(I didn’t even ask..) probably by this time are curious (because I talk sooo much smack about this topic!) @ what type of brother I’d call a “potential” (mentioned that briefly in a prior post) N for the record I doubt highly if I’ll have this much freee time when I’m no longer single.Although who knows because I “make” time (at Odark thirty times like now..) in my very, busy schedule to do what I love 2 do..Write. Only place I don’t yet write is church. (and I’ll probably figure out a way soon to do that 2) So stay tuned folks(and btw its AWESOME to get the feeedback from ya’ll online and my offline family/friends/coworkers that my blog is enjoyable to read . even my ex reads this..blew my hair back! that is my way of saying I am humbled…) later after church I’m going to list (yep I’ve kept mental notes..) what I desire in a lifemate. The must haves. The wont do withouts. The wont settle for lesses. The DEALbreakers..The things I’m willing 2 work with..My entire list. Buckle UP this is going to be good..I can hardly wait 2 see this list myself. 🙂

I’m finally back! Wasn’t sure I was going to make it back 2night but here we go…First things First..Disclaimer: IF this post appears to be all about ME..it is because it IS. At this point of my life, for the 1st! time in my life, I’ve had the unique opportunity for the past 15 months to just do ME. Sons raised N in college(in other states than where I reside), single, divorced-yet-very-good-friends-with-exhusband who also resides cross country, happily/gainfully employed by a government entity, HAPPY! , busy, busy, busy, and very content to do me while I wait on the ONE to discover me. Once he finds me  then my ” just doing me” time will end. Far from desperate and trying to use every moment of precious time to live life to the fullest. There is life sans a man…N its so very good to me. YET its my belief that the missing link that will amp things UP and make life even sweeter is when my I becomes a We. Now that this is out of the way lets move on 🙂

As stated in a prior post I believe there are 3 categories guys fall into. Ever heard that old adage@many fish in the sea? It is so very true yet in my hearts of  hearts I believe there IS truly only ONE out there that God created just to love me N only me..I believe he’s looking for me! And I’m standing over here, at 5’4, waving my hand in the air so he can see me in the crowd. Here I stand and am I ever SO ready for you to walk into my life…yet staying busy in the interim and BEing patient. Or if truth be told I’m trying very hard to B..So anywayz as I was saying guys fall into 3 categories when meeting new folks. 1. Potential. defined simply as a potential lifemate..2. Just friends..right out the gate I can sense this..3. Toss them back into the pond & quickly! dont have an interest to even be friends because their qualities are severely lacking anything remotely near respectful..Now that ya’ll know the background on what I was referencing lets move on to my list. Ready? Get set. Lets go!

the Must haves=

  • must B a practicing Christian! My #1 N I won’t settle 4 less
  • must B a responsible  parent physically, emotionally N mentally(if a parent)
  • MUST have good communication skills! my #2 because I’m not a mind reader nor will I pretend 2 B.
  • is DONE fishing. simply said I’ve got NO love/patience 4 a player. exclamation point period.
  • emotionally available N if this needs 2 B explained then you aren’t..so therefore don’t qualify
  • kind . yep, this honestly matters 2 me
  • their “word” is like a handshake(N solid)  used 2 B backintheday..this truly matters 2 me also
  • HONEST..this is my #3 and goes hand in hand with their “word” being solid
  • Confident! I truly dig Alpha brothers so this comes naturally…
  • LOYAL..this is a close runner up to  my #2..another exclamation point period.
  • RESPECTS  his parents..this is a MUST..the adage@ if he respects his mother he’ll respect his woman  is true
  • TRUSTworthy ..this ranks somewhere between my #1 N #2
  • is cognizant of my feelings N mindful that I’m a naturally sensitive person
  • *HEALTH conscience* Life longevity is important 2 me. And feeeeeeling good from the inside out. While I don’t require someone that is a body builder I do desire someone who cares about their appearance including their health N what shape they’re in physically. Maintaining oneself physically/mentally/spiritually/emotionally  is something I feel is important

the things I am willing 2 work with=

  • I pray he has an appreciation 4 music N can dance! however I’m willing 2 work with it if he doesn’t
  • practices chilvary..while I do love this it is something I can take or leave..long as he is goooood 2 me
  • can appreciate a woman who can amuse herself from time2time(my writing!) and he can have “whatever”time(whatever HE chooses 2 do also)
  • attentive N fully engaged when interacting…this matters 2 me and shouldve been in the must-haves!

the DEALbreakers=

  • can’t handle monogamy..I can’t/won’t deal with cheating. highest form of disrespect to me N our “we”
  • asks 2 borrow  money the 1st 90 days of dating..OMG this is so much a dealbreaker!
  • LIES to me or is deceitful. this is a runner UP of my #1. I’m an open book and my man will B also
  • tries 2 change ME and won’t accept ME/love ME/cherish ME as I am. another close runner UP of my #1
  • has substance abuse issues=Illegal drugs isn’t my style. N though I gave UP social drinking quite some time ago (years ago now..) N I’ve no problem with folks drinking socially; matter of fact I don’t know many folks who don’t drink socially (tho I ride on a natural high N have just as much FUN now as when I was a social drinker..)BUT there is a major difference between a social drinker and abusing alcohol. N if I have 2 explain the difference than you probably don’t qualify..
  • MARRIED..this is my #1 in the dealbreaker category. Within the 1st few mins of meeting a woman 1st time a brother SHOULD rightfully make sure it IS clear if he’s married…Nowadayz I guess the IN thing is to not wear a wedding ring.Pfft! I won’t get deep on this topic(thats another topic for another time…) Just please do NOT attempt to “hit” on me while married; for I won’t be held responsible for what will come from my lips..N nope! with that kind of beginning we can NOT be friends either..
Posted in =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^

*Chivalry is NOT dead..But what the HECK happened 2 the COURTING process??*

What Happened to Us
What Happened to Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright folks this  ONE  I can really sink my teeth into! And  at this phase of my life journey I can relate ..Not alot of topics I’ve written on here yet that I am going through as I write or speak on it..But this is IT. Lol!!  Saving this space for this weekend when I have time to give this topic the attention(& finger strokes it deserves..) So buckle UP cause I’ve got a feeeeeeling it is going to be a good one. Guaranteed…

I’ve got alot 2 say on this topic ..so timewise I might have 2 break N finish later on 2night so here I go…

Call me OLDskool (I really don’t mind..) but there are some things I just can’t wrap my brain around at how things have changed. Did I miss the memo on “dating” becoming passA? Or have I been in long term relationships so much in my life journey I wasn’t paying attention?!? Has the new form of courtship turned into “hanging out” “linking up” (wth?) “hook-ups(OMG @this term)” “jump-offs(yep, this is a real term folks..shaking my head” and I’m sure a ton of other so called hip terms I’ve not yet heard. NOR do I want to hear because I refuseee to buy into the hype. Not 2day or any day soon.  So, for those that have been “single and waiting to be discovered by the ONE(which is the category I fall into..) N in the 38-50 age range, how are you dealing with the “new” non-existent courtship reality? Are the days long gone when a guy actually even knows what courtship is? Or knows how it is to date a potential mate-for-life?? N for the record that is the ONLY type of dating I’m interested in. I don’t have time(I am on the brink of 50 folks..) to kiss or date any frogs(a/k/a OLD players or wanna-be-players..sorry but that is SO played out! and quite frankly was never in style in my opinion) N liberated or not..and I hold hand UP high as a liberated woman..is it toooo much to expect a guy to call ME to ask me out on a date?!? I’m not one to call a guy. It just isn’t me…unless I already know him well. In my heart of hearts I feeeeeel if a guy is “interested” he’ll make the phonecalls. And I will answer. Isn’t that the natural order of things? I’m used to being PURSUED. I thought part of the natural process was for a man to do the PURSUING. Isn’t part of the thrill for a guy(correct me if I’m wrong guys..) chasing and trying to attain a worthy potential as your MATE? Lawd! Has the entire book of dating been re-written since I’ve last been…single? ~2 Be Continued~(I’ve got alot more to say…) P.S. When I get back I’m going to ..(a) present a case in favor of COURTSHIP and why the state of dating/marriage is in such a CRAPPY state without it..(b) present a case in favor of COURTSHIP and why bringing back OLDskool wayz is the best solution to solve quickie unsuited marriages N quickie divorces. Buckle UP folks I’m just getting started! B back soon asap so stay tuned…<

4 those that are single/divorced/fresh out of a relationship/or nearing the end of a couple years hiatus from relationships(holding my hand UP on the latter..) N in the age group 38 yrs old to 50 yrs old are YOU happy with  or fulfilled with the current hooook UP/hanging OUT/jump off/linking UP type of culture ? For my “liberated” women sisters out there is the >I’m an INdependent woman!/fun/exciting/liberating mode working out for you as  satisfying/resulting in LONGterm relationships and/or marriage/happiness? Or are you STILL single? Or single again? Hmmmmm…lets let that sink in for a minute. Now mind you this case I’m building on is for those who think the following: 1. that being married is the ultimate love relationship 2. that being married is better than being single 3. that being married is the BEST situation for couples to raise children 4. that marriage provides deeeeep friendship with spouse/personal growth/LASTING intimacy with spouse. If you’re still with me after allll that lets move forward.

I’ll try to explain why I feel courtship is the best process in which to pick the best LIFE mate(at any age!) N for the record I don’t believe soul mates have to be a spouse. Personally I can attest to the fact that in this lifetime I’ve met 2 soulmates. Only married 1 of them…but a lifemate in my opinion..is what I’m seeking in a husband. (I’ll explain that term later if time permits) Courtship to me IS: a process in which the things a couple does are gearing towards finding(which means pursuit guys..) , winning , the right one..and then marriage. The couple is exclusive(yep!) and exerting a high sense of attentiveness and DEPENDability, and care towards the “potential” (I’ll explain another time what I feel a “potential” IS.. I know alot of women, me included, who from the very 1st meeting of a guy determine him immediately(or least I do…) as (a) Just a friend (b) Don’t even want to be his friend! ..total frog! N bad habits/lifestyle toooo bad to even want to be in his company, yuck (c) close to a potential mate but missing a couple essential qualities (d) potential lifemate. So anywayz a decent length of  courtship(dating) allows the couple to actually get to KNOW each other prior to marriage. One might ask what IS a decent time frame for this? Depends..I don’t put specific number of months on this as Steve Harvey does. In my world the BEST things are worth waiting for. So don’t ask me about how long it will be before the you-know-what part. As a couple once ya’ll know each other well ya’ll can figure that out on your own! After all we’re talking about grown folks…

Moving right along…what has happened since courtship is no longer the norm? Anyone know the current statistics on divorce??? Anyone out there know the amount of people who now do NOT even consider marriage N instead just shack UP? (thus leaving children with parents who more than likely won’t stay together..the odds are against it) How about the statistics on folks who sleep together soooo quickly they don’t even truly know who they’re dealing with. I mean , for real,  since our bodies are supposed to be a TEMPLE why would we(women or men) share of something so intimate (the highest of highs!) with someone we don’t know?!? Is it mayhaps folks have lost sight of what the true meaning of intimacy IS? And in my  humble opinion intimacy is a far cry different from sex….We are all grown here, right? Alright, so courtship lets a woman truly know that a man is (a) seriously interested in just HER (b) is willing to take the TIME to prove his intent (c) and is willing to use his CREATIVITY to plan enjoyable activities/outings(could be as simple as a walk on the beach…) to gain her affections and her love. In regards to what courtships lets a man know(I’ve got to guess here cause I’m not a man)  (a) that the woman is seriously interested in only HIM (b) that a woman has the qualities that she said she had on the 1st date!(oh, I meant to add that for women as well) (c) is the type of woman he would be proud to take home to meet his parents(THAT is key in my opinion..)

It is my personal opinon that no matter how much womans’ lib has changed the game the roles of men/women should rightfully stay somewhat close to the roles in which we were created. Period. I think it is because of womens lib that things got so screwed UP in the first place. I can’t speak for any other woman except myself but I only desire a man that is a leader! Has to have a back bone/be strong/be confident!/and is the rightful head of the household. Even the way our physcial & biological makeup is designed points to men being the head…Does this mean that a woman has NO voice or opinion? Absolutely not. Because the  day will NEVER come that I have no opinion. Not in this lifetime nor the next…However I feel there is a happy/loving medium. And it works when both parties desire the same thing and work to make it work. I’ve seeeeen it work for 50 yrs now in my parents marriage(btw they still hold hands N dance 2gether! love IT) …which leads me to another point . How can folks that have NOT seen a long term marriage work truly know what to strive for or expect??? Hmmmmm. Can they? Which is why the cycle of this madness must stop somewhere. In order to get back to the natural order of things. Its gotten SO out of hand…for those of us nearing 50 we’ve seeeeen it and probably lived it! And hopefully learned from it…What I’ve learned is its my inherent desire to take things back to the way they were backintheday. N one of my prayers IS that the man who was created to love ONLY me feels the very same way. And another prayer is that he is somewhere out there-looking for ME-& reading this.  If ya’ll have anything 2 add to this discussion feel free to do so. I’d love to read it and I’ll respond. We can all learn from each others’ experiences…Until then stay blessed N UPlifted. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

@Physical Touch 101…

*Disclaimer: I am not in any form or fashion advising to reach out N touch strangers…Nor is it something I practice on a regular basis; actually far from it! But for the sake of recanting this very true story I’ve included what truly happened. Enjoy the read..*

Oh, I am SO happy God blessed me with a life in which events/happenings occur that make it so storytellable!(this word is a Bernaism for those just joining in) Why? Because I enjoy there never being a dull moment. Beyond making* life* colorFUL(N I love color..) it keeps life from being..boring. When one sits and thinks about it every, single day interesting things or conversations happen to all of us..Just a matter of how we look at it, right? Isn’t it said also, a very old adage, that we live N learn every day? Or we are supposed to(says who?) or we aren’t really living life to the FULLest.  Hmmmm..let that sink in for a minute.

So anywayz last week I bought a new car. N for the record I simply could not love it more..The car deal I finally closed on was a 3.5 day experience full of alot of ups N downs virtually speaking & on the phone with a person I never laid eyes on until the evening I went to pick my car up. The connect was found online by my very own Daddy & I took it from there..N though this isn’t the first new car I’ve purchased it is the very first time I’ve hung on past the first offer I liked(advice from my Daddy) I was ready to say SOLD after the first grrrreat deal the internet salesman offered me. Mayhaps I am the typical woman buyer (sucker) salesmen love to deal with. Mayhaps I am just naive and take people based on their “word”..whatever the case waiting for the 5th offer (and the BEST) from the salesman was an experience I really don’t want to relive anytime soon. Ever if I can help it. Ugh , yuck, and OMG I went through a rollercoaster of emotions & frustrations in the many emails, texts, and conversations with my salesman. By the time we met in person the night me and my Mom went to pick the car up I felt emotionally..spent. I had not even seeeeen the car I had decided on & was going to sign the paperwork to buy.  The deal was so sweeeet I couldn’t wait to fast forward with the day to get to my car. Color absolutely RED . I love it. I wanted to rush to sign the paperwork before for some reason the salesman realized how incredible the deal was N changed his mind(because there was very minimal profit for him in the deal) So finally signed the final, jeeeez a ton of paperwork,  paper. Walked outside on the lot to drive off in my car and when I saw it..emotions just swept over me in a wave of uncontrollable joy. WOW I had a sweeeet deal and was going to drive off in this oh, so cute, absolutely red car! I struggled for a minute whether to hug my Mom or the salesman. Or both. N though I knew how hard this man had worked for this deal, and  had a TON of patience with alll the questions(my questions had questions!)  I’d asked N confronted him with over 3.5 days..he was still a stranger to me. Comfy as we’d gotten on the phone still until this night I’d never laid eyes on him before. I didn’t know him at all …And yet before I could stop myself I’d run over to him and hugged him! OMG Not a full body embrace but still a hug. And I think he was shocked for a moment; but then he hugged me back. Briefly we connected. Fast forward to after I got home about an hour later…

My cell rang N it was my salesman..Oh crap! Did he realize he wasn’t going to make a penny from the deal and wanted my car back?? I almost didn’t answer my phone. But I did…N he said “You know I had a really, really tough day day. Been up since O-dark thirty. And all I had to eat 2day was a bowl of cereal about 7 am and then got to work about 830 am..you arrived at almost 6pm. About midway 2day I got a call from someone from back home. My very best friend, since childhood died today. And all day long I dealt with those feelings, plus sold 4.5 cars, your car was the half car cause the deal profits you more than I. And all day no one really made me feel comforted from my loss..until you hugged me. A total stranger. And I just need you to know how much I neeeeeeded that on this day! And thank you for such acts of kindness are rare. If there is anything you feel I can ever do for you please don’t hesitate to call me…”

Wowwww how can a simple hug, that I had struggled to even offer, mean so much to a…stranger? But then again is not human touch essential to us all just as sunshine is necessary for plants to grow?  Are we not blessed with hands to..touch? Why are some so hard-pressed on the simplest of gestures as a hug ? Is it NOT natural to want to connect with other people ?  Weren’t some of our best friends once…strangers? Hmmmm Well this is the way I see IT. It is normal to touch.  That is why I feel it is SO important to embrace babies and continue to do so as they grow up. It is a normal human reflex that is often taught and sometimes come from within..the need to be touched. I have encountered people in my life journey who feel odd when touched. I was raised being hugged, kissed and my Mom held hands with my brother and I whenever we went places. To me touch is..normal. After 50 years of marriage my parents stillll to this day hold hands often when they go places. Seems so normal to me I don’t question it. To me touch is..normal. So normal to me to touch in a positive way I never could find it possible to discipline my 3 sons with physical harm. Just doesn’t seem right to me..to touch someone in anger.  What IF we could start a movement? A Touch Someone in a Positive Way Day! Not in a sexual way . But a simple hug. A light touch of their arm as you speak.( I speak with my hands anyway LOL..it is my way) A gentle kiss in the middle of an arguement with a lover(try that it will immediatly END the arguement if your partner is human) On my mission to spread LOVE and warmth and a positive vibe this is but one element to add. And oh how beautiful it would be to know that anyone, someone, out there feeeels the same way. This world needs more laughter. This world needs more positive touch. This world needs more LOVE. And its my inherent belief that one person can begin a movement. One person can start a momentum to move mountains..All major movements/events began with a dream someone had that it could happen. I hope sharing my story has in some way “touched” your day in a positive way. Have a fabulous Sunday and remember to count your blessings 2day and every , single day. Sincerely, Berna(the 1 N only)