The Life Detox: Learning to Let Go of "Them" and Get the Love and Happiness I Deserve

Sometimes you gotta let people go: fake friends, toxic folks, energy-sucks,  drama-full family members, fuck boys, former loves, friends with (few) benefits.

Sometimes you gotta let things go: phone numbers of former love interests, clothes that haven't fit in 3+ years, overstretched hair elastics, broken electronics, worn out shoes, not safe for work or grandma's eyes sexy pictures of your former bae.

Sometimes you gotta let energies go: long-held hurts, emotional scars, old ideas, grudges, bad habits, doubts, insecurities, drama.

As much as I have grown personally and professionally this past year of my life, I have realized that I still have a lot of things that I need to figure out. One of the things I need to figure out in 2017 is how to let go of people who cause me nothing but unnecessary stress and heartache and whose presence in my life do not benefit me or give me the love and appreciation I want and need.

But I have a hard time letting go of the select people that I let into my heart. I am very protective of my heart and my personal space, so when I let people in, I hold onto them fiercely. I love hard. Even when these people I love show me how easily they have let me go, I hold on. I continue to care. I check in. I wish happy birthdays. I extend congratulations and well wishes. And, I rarely get anything back but hurt feelings.

To deal with my "letting go" problem, I have decided that I need a detox---a life detox.

There are some people whose phone numbers I delete and re-add and then delete again that I need to  keep deleted. Some Facebook friends I unfriend and re-friend that I need to unfriend and keep it that way. 

LET. THEM. GO....Close my eyes and inhale.... and then exhale them all out. 

In order to Grow. to Evolve. to Change. to Heal. to be Happy. to be Sane. to be Healthy.

I Refuse to Accept Less Than What I Bring to the Table

Dating in your 30s is frustrating as fuck!?! Why, as a straight, educated, black woman in my 30s, am I expected to accept less from a man than what I bring to the table?

Storytime!

I met a guy on OkCupid. Let's call him Jean. Jean is dark, tall(er than me), attractive, 30-something black man. On the dating site, he seemed nice, thoughtful, and truly interested in getting to know me and dating (with the intention of developing a romantic relationship). Jean didn’t seem crazy and most importantly did not display any fuck boy tendencies. He was attentive and communicative without being thirsty or overbearing. So, when h

e asked for my number, I gave it to him and we began to get to know each other offsite, in the "real world". 

However, as we talked more, I noticed a few things that irked me about 

Jean

Number One! He didn’t go to college. 

I understand that a college education is not the only measure of success and drive, but I did not get a feeling that he was on a career path. An electrician is on a career path because that type of work requires training, skill building, and certification (and they get paid well for the time and effort they put into their craft). Jean seemed more on a job path. And, again I know that not everyone has the freedom, drive, or resources to forgo a paying job to pursue their dream career. I myself am not working in dream career, but I am on the path. I am building networks and developing applicable skills for my dream career. But, again I know everyone's journey is different, some people's paths are short, some people's path are long, and some people's paths are crooked.  Thus, in an effort to keep an open mind, I pushed aside my feelings about his lack of a college degree. The important thing was he was employed and was able to support himself.

Number Two! He is Catholic and it is important to him. 

Religion is a touchy subject (along with politics). Somehow, we got on the subject of him being Catholic. I informed him that I was also Catholic. Jean thought this was great because he assumed that we would have no religion or faith-based issues. I immediately disagreed.  Being born and raised Catholic does not play an important role in my life. I am more spiritual than religious. I believe in God and in living a life that is as moral and caring as possible.  I disagree with the Catholic Church on several major issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, priests being men only,  to name a few. Because I am not religious, I am weary of men who place religion high on their relationship priority list-- you know, the type of men who state that they are looking for a "Godly woman". I don't know what that means and I really don't want to know. But, in the case of Jean, he seemed to be okay with my views on religion, and he even shared a few of my views on the Catholic Church. 

Then, it happened. The deal breaker! He asked me what I was looking for in a man. 

I told him. I am looking for a man who is educated, career driven, and open-minded, loves traveling, eating good food, drinking strong drinks, and trying new things. Most importantly, I am looking for a man who is interested in building a relationship based on friendship, love, laughs, communication, and respect. 

His response: Do you think that you are expecting too much??? 

What in the entire FUCK!!! I told him: No, I know what I need to be happy in a relationship. I am not expecting less from a man than what I bring to the table. 

After I said this, Jean continued to press me about my relationship needs. He said that he is looking for a woman who is nice, respectful, family-oriented, and educated. Jean told me that I am expecting too much that may put stress on a relationship. I was flabbergasted and a bit annoyed. 

My list is not long. This is not a

"What Chilli Wants"

list. (Remember that show where Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC fame was looking for a husband but he had to fulfill a long checklist of requirements, including not smoking, not drinking, not eating pork, not having more than two baby mamas, and being fine with a six pack and a big penis.) 

I am not looking for a man that fits 50 things on a must-have list. I am looking for love and happiness in a relationship, not contentment. I would rather be single than be in a relationship in which I am expected to lower my standards and push aside my wants, my desires, and my needs all in the name of having a man. 

I do not need a man. I want a life partner who is also my best friend, lover, protector, co-parent, cheerleader, and ride-or-die. I am willing to comprise on my preferences on height, race, age, body type, income, musical taste, and family background. 

But, I am not willing to accept less than what I need, want, and deserve.

With all that said, I end with this message to the all the "Jean's" out there:

Boy Bye!

Special Holiday Message For (Some Of) My Friends and Family

In this episode of "The Read,"Crissle gave one of the dopest reads I have heard this year. Because she said it so well, I am going to use her words unfiltered to give a special message to some of my friends and my family for this holiday and for the new year (note: if you feel like I am talking to you, I probably am. Take note so you don't get the wrong end of my holiday cheer this year. Or, disown me, unfriend, delete my birthday, and keep my name out of your mouth).

Here is an excerpt of Crissle's read for family members that may want to open their mouth to make you feel small or less than because they have a problem with how you live your life:

"Do not let anybody start shit with you this year. A lot of us are encouraged to keep quiet, be nice, and just get along or don't say nothing, or respect elders--that's a big one. Or don't rock the damn boat. And don't be like this on Christmas and don't make it awkward. No, fuck them. Niggas shouldn't make you feel awkward. It's not your fault for retaliating. It's they fault for having the nerve to say something to you in the first fucking place. It's not your fault. You not wrong. You should not be admonished for say 'hey fuck you, I'm a grown ass adult and I'm going to do whatever I want. I like my body. I like my hair. I like my life. And you don't get to tell me that it needs to be any different.' Fuck them niggas. Don't let your uncle, aunty, grandma, niece, nephew, play cousin, don't let nobody try you this year. Cuss them niggas out and let them know you are not the one."

(The full episode for your listening pleasure)

The Woman In Me (Needs The Man In You)

If I had to pick one song to describe my view on love, this song would be it. Shania says it all in this beautifully written and sung song from her first album. I have posted below the lyrics and the video so you can fully get the depth of emotion expressed in this song. 

Shania Twain - Woman In Me (Needs The Man In You)

I'm not always strong

And sometimes I'm even wrong

But I win when I choose

And I can't stand to lose

But I can't always be

The rock that you see

When the nights get too long

And I just can't go on

The woman in me

Needs you to be

The man in my arms

To hold tenderly

Cause I'm a woman in love

And it's you I run to

Yeah the woman in me

Needs the man in you

When the world wants too much

And it feels cold and out of touch

It's a beautiful place

When you kiss my face

The woman in me

Needs you to be

The man in my arms

To hold tenderly

Cause I'm a woman in love

And it's you I run to

Yeah the woman in me

Needs the man in you

Yeah the woman in me

Needs the man in you

I need you baby

Yeah yeah Oh baby...

What's Your Love Language?

What is your love language? On a recent episode of

The Friend Zone

, podcast hosts Fran, Dustin, and Assante talked about the importance of knowing your love language and that of your romantic partner or your prospective romantic partner.

Of the many ways that people show their love to others, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. I never really thought about the ways that I show my love to others or how the ways I communicate my love to others influences how I expect them to communicate their love to me.

Listening to Dustin, Assante, and Fran talk about their love languages emboldened me to find out my own. So, I asked my good girlfriend Google to help me and she directed me to the love language test posted below. After answering 30 short questions, I found out that

my love language is quality time.

Quality Time:

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Take the quiz below to find out your love language.

Dating in your 30s is like...

Dating in your 30s (in Boston) (as a black woman) (with multiple degrees) (with a preference for black men) sucks. At 32, I find myself in a weird place in my life. I am too old to just be "having fun" with someone. And I am too young to be desperate. I have to be deliberate about my dating. Focused. No more playing games. God, biology, and my mother have made it very clear that I can't wait around for future partner to find me. I gotta be proactive in this day and age, if I wanna get married and have dem babies "all" of my friends seem to be popping out these days (according to my mother). Can't be the last girl standing on the dance floor without a partner with whom I can dance through life.

Finding a man. A black man (with a college education and a career) ( and no kids) (and not a fuck boy) is hard. They are either married, in a relationship, short, not ready to commit, not interested in black women, looking for side chick (or two), or asshole. And if you happen to find one that is single, he is the hottest commodity out there (and he knows it). You are competing with your best friends, enemies, cousins, sisters, and gold diggers with pretty faces, thick bodies, and no sense in their heads.

With all that said, I have been proactive in my search for love. I have gone on dates. I have let friends set me up. I have approached guys at bars. I have given my number to guys that I have met at work, school, and at social events. I have minded my social circle for "great guys" I overlooked or placed in the friend zone. I have dived into online dating --Match, OkCupid, BlackPeopleMeet, Tinder, Meld, and How About We. In some of these scenarios, I met some nice guys, went on a few dates, got to know them, and imagined what a relationship with them would be like. In other scenarios, I met some weirdos, freaks, and fuck boys who had nothing to offer me but a free meal and a funny story for my friends to chuckle over.

Since I turned 30, I have tried to be more open with guys. When I was in my 20s, I was afraid of saying anything about what I was thinking or feeing, unless asked directly, for fear of scaring a guy away. After too many tears, angry texts, thoughts of throwing bricks through car windows, and liquor-fueled screaming and crying (in public), I have learned that I just have to say what I feel. I don't have time for games and beating around the bush. Guys are not mind readers---forget what your parents told you about actions speaking louder than words. Words can be pretty loud. "I like you and want to pursue a relationship with you" is a very clear and bold statement. It cuts out much of the frustration, hurt feelings, and wasted energy. Plus, I have too many things to do in my life than to be acting out a Tyler Perry play with any man that does not want to be with me.