The Game of Love

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Love was never easy. But as you get older, it seems to get harder. Harder to keep, harder to understand, harder to find. This blog will chronicle some of those crazy experiences we encounter as we play the game of love. Love is beautiful. Love is mysterious. Love is elusive. Love is exciting. Love is a drug. Love is full of ups and downs.

We are not talking about familial love, friendship love, paternal or maternal love, but romantic love. That back and forth play that men and women engage in when seeking to feel their heart race. That sense of being connected to something that matters, to someone that matters. The interplay of two women in love or two men in love. That deep sense of satisfaction that you belong to someone special and someone special belongs to you.

So, if everyone is seeking love, why is it so difficult to secure? Why do certain individuals make it hard for those who seek them to secure them? Why is it so difficult of a game to play? Right when you think you have perfected it, it takes a turn. Yet ever hopeful, we continue to seek it until we find it, grab it and run with it into the sunset.

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Go Younger or Go Older?

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One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve entered into the tender age of 40-something is that I have the decision to date older, date younger or date someone close to my age. I guess whatever a woman, or a man for that matter, chooses just depends on his/her personal taste. I personally like someone closer to my age, but I’ve started to venture and widen the possible age range, and thus increasing my dating pool. I think one of my fears in dating someone younger is that in the end they will want to settle down and have children. That’s not something I want to do at this stage of my life.

However, I can appreciate younger men because they tend to be better fit, have more energy and are a bit more spontaneous and carefree. Somehow I think that makes them more exciting, but that could be all in my mind. On the other hand, younger men can possibly be more unsure, immature, or insecure.

With older men, they seem to be more grateful to be with a younger woman, they seem more sophisticated and knowledgeable. Maybe they can teach me a few things that I wasn’t aware of. Maybe they can better support my endeavors in life. Maybe they can afford to travel to exotic lands and most likely they won’t want to have more children if they have any or not. And rumor has it, they tend to take their time in the bedroom, slowing down foreplay and the journey to the climax.

Now, of course, I am generalizing as each man in any age group should be viewed for who they are. An older man can be fit, a younger man can afford to travel, an older man can be spontaneous and a younger man might be able to teach you things in the bedroom or otherwise. I think the bottom line is to be open to all of the possibilities whether he may be older or younger. It’s all about how the person treats you and how you feel when you are with them. Connection and chemistry is all that is needed whether you go older or younger, or somewhere in between.

To Masturbate or Not to Masturbate – That is the Question

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Did you ever see the scene in Unfaithful where Diane Lane is recalling the sexual rendezvous she experienced with Olivier Martinez? As her fingers run along her stomach down to her sexual prowess, her stomach quivers with the mere thought of remembering him touching her. Now, that was hot!

Even in today’s society, there are several double standards that still exist. Masturbation is no exception. It is pretty much a given that a man will masturbate and it is universally accepted if he does. Nobody bats an eye if he expresses that he does, has or wants to. For a woman, however, the acceptance of masturbation is a little stickier (pun intended-sly smile).

A woman should take the time to explore her body for several reasons. She needs to get to know what turns her on, where and how she wants a man to touch her, and how to get herself off. Many women have never experienced an orgasm. Masturbation is one way to discover that pleasure. She can use her fingers, a dildo, a vibrator, or have her mate get her off. She can masturbate in silence, with music or while watching porn. Masturbation can help a woman build sexual confidence and ultimately be more comfortable in the bedroom.

Many women feel guilty when masturbating. Some women feel that it’s a nasty thing to do. Some feel that it is something only men should do. Some women feel that it is taboo. Some women feel ashamed. Some women do it, but would never admit that they do. Is this because they are feeling guilty? Does it say something about you as a woman if you enjoy masturbating? And then there is the question of how often is too often? Is there such thing as masturbating too much?

Sex vs. Love

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“There’s nothing wrong with sex. But what do you know about l-o-v-e?” That’s the question that Nia Long’s character, Nina, asks Darius Lovehall, played by Larenz Tate in the movie “Love Jones.”¬† The age old question- can women have sex without being in love? So many people (especially men) think that women have to be in love, will fall in love or cannot have sex without some kind of emotional attachment. This is definitely not the case. However, I think most people (at least those over 40 who have had some experience in this area- unless you are the 40-year old virgin) will agree that sex is better with an emotional connection.

Of course a women can have sex without being in love or falling for her mate. It all depends on the woman and what the woman wants. As a woman, we have needs that need to be satisfied just like a man. And if all we truly want is to satisfy that need, we can go scratch our itch-no emotions attached. The problem comes in when we are not honest with ourselves and we want that deeper connection. We are seeking something that will last beyond the scratch. Sex for purely sex is fine and dandy, but what’s left once it’s over? That same empty feeling you felt before you engaged in intercourse. Then there may be the guilt, low-self-esteem, and the feeling of not being valued. If you have ever felt like this after your tryst, then it’s probably because you wanted something more than sex.

The other issue is how women see themselves based on societal views. The way society sees women definitely affects how a woman sees herself and how we feel about ourselves. Can we be sexually experimental and free as a man is able to be without being considered a ho or seeing ourselves as having less value or self-worth? This is a question to be discussed in a future post. Something to ponder upon in the meantime…

Things to Remember When Playing the Game

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dancing tangoI found this list in an old email. Such a great reminder. This may be one to keep. Even though it’s written from a woman’s point of view, several of these can apply for men as well, just exchange the gender in sentence.
1. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. ¬†If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
2. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.
3. If you have ANY doubt in your mind about a man’s character, leave him alone.
4. Allow your intuition to save you from heartache.
5. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.
6. Don’t force an attraction.
7. Slower is better.
8. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
9. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve, then heck no you can’t “be friends.” A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.
10. Have faith in God regarding your relationship, but don’t let faith make you stupid. God does things decent and in order.
11. Don’t settle.
12. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.
13. If he keeps changing his mind about the relationship–take that as a BIG sign that he is unstable. Do you really want to be with a man like that?
14. Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
15. Honorable men take care of their business and aren’t involved in a whole lot of mess.
16. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
17. There’s only one ‘reason’ a man dumps you; he doesn’t want you.
18. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?
19. You really do have to kiss a few frogs before finding the prince.
20. Always put yourself and your happiness first.
21. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
22. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.
23. Like from the show Sex and the City, if he doesn’t call, he just isn’t that interested.
24. Be honest and upfront.
25. Know when to cut the cord, don’t be strung along.
26. Don’t fall for the “I’m confused role”. Remove yourself from the situation to let him figure things out (but don’t wait for him, move on).
27. If you want to have a clue as to how he will treat you, watch how he treats the WOMEN in his family (not just mom).
28. There’s more than physical abuse, there’s emotional and mental abuse. If he causes any of them…flee.
29. You cannot change a man’s behaviors. Change comes from within.
30. Don’t let him place rules on you that he is not willing to follow himself — double-standard.
31. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are…even if he has more education or in a better job.
32. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less.
33. Demand respect and if he can’t give it, he can’t have you!
34. Don’t compete with other woman, but be aware that men are attracted to what they see.
35. If you think he is seeing or is interested in someone else, he probably is. Confront him right away and if you feel he’s lying, let him go.
36. Actions speak louder than words.
37. Never let a man define who you are.
38. Never rely on a man for compliments, look to yourself for that.
39. Never borrow someone else’s man.
40. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.
41. Just because he says he loves you, doesn’t mean that he won’t hurt you and it doesn’t mean that you are meant to be with him.
42. To use painful hard-won wisdom — ‘get it right’ the next time.
43. Know that you deserve to be the number one person in the life of the #1 person in your life.
44. Love is a verb …
45. Learn to give up your lifelong task of trying to make someone unavailable-available, someone ungiving-giving, and someone unloving-loving.
46. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.
47. All men are NOT dogs.
48. You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two way street.
49. If you don’t love self…you can’t love anyone else.
50. You cannot mend someone else’s broken heart.
51. You need time to heal between relationships…there is nothing cute about baggage…deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.
52. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone¬†complimentary…not supplementary.
53. NEVER give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it.
54. Never become your man’s “therapist.”
55. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions. Respond to the actions.
56. A real healthy relationship requires two people. One person can end it – but it takes two to make it work.
57. Don’t fall for the “I’m not the loving type”…when a man loves you there is nothing in this world (within reason) that he wouldn’t do for you.
58. Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him he takes it for granted.
59. Give him his space…let him go out with his boys, don’t pressure him to spend time with you, You can’t force a man to hang out with you.
60. If you wouldn’t allow your daughter to be with him you shouldn’t.
61. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.
62. Never move into his mother’s house.
63. Provide financially for yourself and don’t depend on anyone.
64. Never co-sign for a man.
65. Never believe you have the perfect guy and he is so innocent.
66. Never let a man mess up your credit.
67. When it’s time to let go; let go.
68. Good men should be treated like good men.
69. Don’t play games.
70. You can’t make a ***** into a housewife – or husband.
71. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.
72. Compatibility is very important.

The Games We Play

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It’s amazing how at this age we are still playing games with one another. Do I call or don’t I? Will he call or won’t he? Will she reject me if I ask her out? Is she playing hard to get? Is he playing it cool? You would think by now we would just cut to the chase having learned our lessons probably a dozen times over. But because each encounter with a new individual is different – meaning you are dealing with a different personality, a different load of baggage, a different set of likes and dislikes – you are starting all over again each time, and thus left trying to figure it out all over again.

Each new person is like a new mystery that needs to be solved. How many layers will it take to get the core of this new love interest this time? We fall into the games because we don’t know what games this person may be playing or start to play. Insecurity sets in. We have to stay on the same playing field. I can’t get got – is what we think. I’m not going to be the one left out there feeling vulnerable — with my emotions just blowing in the wind.

I think sometimes people want to be “organic” initially (and there is that rare instance when some people are truly genuine and their “representative” is actually who they are), BUT once the doubt seeps in with the second guessing and the over analyzing, this is when the games start to be played. We don’t want to misstep or make the wrong move. We may really like this person, but do they like us in the same manner? So, sometimes we jeopardize it and stop speaking to the person before they can stop calling and speaking to us.

At this tender age of 40+, we can possibly doubt ourselves even more than before. For women, it’s thinking that our body isn’t like it used to be – our stretch marks are showing or we have a few extra pounds, our hair is graying and we are getting wrinkles. For men, it’s that they are losing their hair, their libido may not be the same, and they too, have a few extra pounds. And for both, there is that extra baggage of past relationships, love wounds and a trail of broken hearts from a time when you weren’t afraid to be vulnerable and dive in with two feet and eyes wide shut.

However, what we should be is confident in who we are, confident in our choices, smarter from our experiences, more improved and better aged like a fine wine. We should realize that we will heal from a broken heart, the end of a relationship is not the end of the world, that we are stronger and wiser now. We have to grasp that feeling of being invincible and let loose, go for love once again and stop playing those silly love games.

Dazed and Confused

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Dazed emoji2Single men over 40 seem to be dazed and confused. From my own experiences and talking to other women, this seems to be, well let’s just say, an interesting time in our lives.

You will find several types of men in this age group. Those who are divorced and don’t want to commit, possibly ever again. Those who have never married and are afraid to commit. Those who are serial monogamists or daters–not having a problem with commitment in the short-term, but a permanent commitment may have him running for the hills and to the next relationship.

Then there is the admitted player. He wants to sleep with as many women as he can and has no problem telling you. He feels it is his God-given right. Women were born for him and he doesn’t plan on turning in his Player’s Card anytime soon. Hey, at least he’s being honest, right? Now, it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep dealing with him. If you get hurt, it’s not his fault because after all, he did warn you and laid it all out on the table. Does this excuse this type of behavior and immaturity? That’s up to you to decide.

Of course, there is the married man who cheats.

And finally, there is that one who just doesn’t know what the hell he wants. He might decide to commit to you and maybe one day will be committed. Maybe this month or maybe next. He might want to get married one day. He may want to remain single. He may want to weigh his options today, next week, and again three months from now. How in the world is it possible to be this confused at this point in our lives?

Now on the flip side, there are the women. According to my male associates, there are the crazies, the bitches, the emotionally crippled, the players, the cheaters, and the gold diggers. The instigators – the ones who will start some shit with the woman you are dating or with the man her girlfriend is dating because she doesn’t have what you all/they have. She’s unhappy so everyone else will be too.

Then there is the covetor–she wants your man or someone else’s. Jealousy is a mother…!

There are those who are so picky, they wouldn’t know a good man if he slapped her in the face. They have a laundry list of what they expect, need and want from a man. Not to mention certain physical qualities that he better possess, good credit, money to spend and a good education.

What kind of man are you? What kind of woman are you?

To make sure you aren’t dealing with the Dazed and Confused, you have to develop a serious level of discernment. Know when to stay and when to leave. You have to know if a person can give you what you want and if you want to deal with what he or she is offering. You also need to know what you want. We don’t want to deal with someone who is dazed and confused, but we have to be sure that we are not the ones who are.

Dating Chronicle #1

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The date was set. They would meet on Saturday at the little Italian restaurant on the corner of 8th and G streets at 7:00 p.m. This would be their first date. They recently met at a networking function that she had been invited to by a colleague. He had been dressed in a dark gray suit with a blue paisley printed tie. He was about 6 feet, closely cut hair and a nice smile. As she was getting a drink at the cocktail table, he had approached her. They exchanged greetings and entered into a light discussion about careers and business. She noticed they were still talking as she took her last swig of Pinot Grigio. He offered to bring her another glass and she accepted. Twenty minutes later, he asked her for her contact information. She smiled and gladly obliged.

On Tuesday, he called and they conversed for almost 45 minutes, laughing and talking about this and that. On Wednesday, he called her again and on Thursday, he asked her on their first date.

Saturday arrived and she had that build up of excitement swirling in her belly. What to wear? What to wear? She opted to wear a knee-length black dress with her red cinched belt. She blew out her hair and curled it and painted her nails red. It was finally time to head out and she jumped in the car and headed for her destination.

They had a drink while waiting for their table at the bar. He had complimented her on how stunning she looked and she had returned the compliment. They were seated and had appetizers and entrees all while interacting wonderfully. They were getting along so nicely, that they decided to grab more drinks at the bar around the corner.

It was time to call it a night and they said goodbyes with a hug and kisses on the cheek. “What a gentleman he was,” she thought. And they left parted with promises to hang out again soon.

They spoke a couple of times during that following week and met up for happy hour on Wednesday. The following day, they made plans to meet again on Saturday. She performed her usual get-ready-for-a-date ritual and left in plenty of time to find parking and meet in a timely fashion. They were to meet at 8:00 p.m. This place had a few different rooms and with various bar areas. She had texted to him that she was on her way and hadn’t heard a reply. She had texted him that she had parked too. After walking around and checking all of the bar areas, she texted him once again. Then called him. Then texted and called again with no reply. Was she being stood up? Really? She could hardly believe it. By 8:40 p.m., she called it a night. She never heard from him again.