Category Archives: Dating and Choosing a Partner

Have You Filled out Your Relationships Resume?

My Relationships Resume (Click on link for a copy)
The Relationships Resume gives you the opportunity to let someone know that you are interested in exploring possibilities with them. You can also put it in an envelope, give it to someone and ask them to fill it out for you.

Which Brain are Your Using to Select a Parnter?

THE TRIUNE or THREE BRAINS

Reptilian-(R-Complex)

  • Aggression, dominance, territoriality—safety, survival, procreation

Mammalian (Animal Brain)

  • Emotional involved in acquisition of food for feeding, reproductive behavior, for procreation essentially survival of the species

Cerebral Cortex (Reasoning & Intelligence)

  • Source of language, use of symbols, reason and logic processing culture and traditions
  • The source and foundation of moral and social behavior
THE FOURTH BRAIN

Pre-Frontal Lobe (Spiritual Brain)

  • The Vehicle through which divine consciousness executes its enlightened will
  • The Vehicle through which divine consciousness interfaces, interjects and redirects will
All the brains work interdependently
Many are functioning out of the emotional, mammalian, or animal part of the brain (the lower brain) that is responsible for food, reproduction and essentially survival of the species, when choosing a partner. Because the animal brain is the driving force, not the higher levels of the brain, many make bad choices in dating and choosing a partner.
Which Brain are you primarily function out of?

Are Your Burning the Relationship Out in the “Hot or Cooking Stage”

Fu-Kiau (1994), in Time in the Black Experience, explains that for Africans everything—institutions, systems, and processes—follow a time process, which is the “unlimited and ongoing process of events throughout the universe through the power and energy of Kalunga, the supreme force. Planets undergo cosmic time, earthly beings undergo vital time, and nature undergoes natural time; and even social systems and institutions undergo a time process that consists of four stages. As shown in the figure above,  these four stages include conception, birth, maturity, and transformation and death.

THE STAGES OF DATING

Just as everything goes through the four stage time process, so too does dating and mating.

Conception–“Cooking or Hot Stage”

This is the stage when two individuals meet. After meeting the person, conception is the thought that “I would like to get to know this person better.” If one already knows the individual, conception is the thought of the person as someone that one would like to get to know for possibilities as a potential partner. It is at this stage that one might consider starting to date.

 Birth

The birth of the relationship is the stage at which individuals make a commitment to explore each other at deeper levels for the possibility of a permanent relationships or marriage.

Maturity

This is the period when the relationship is maturing and individuals decide to become engaged for marriage.

Transformation

At this stage the individuals are now undergoing a transformation. It is at this period that the individuals decide to move the relationship to a higher level, which may mean marriage. If both individuals do not seek permanency, then it can mean the death of the relationship—at least an intimate one. If the individuals decide to marry, although the relationship continues to mature, it begins a new  process, that also goes through the four-stage time processes with different challenges, many of which evolve around how to coexist under marriage.

Many through the stages too quickly–going through all the stages in the “hot” stage. What tends to happen is that we move into physical intimacy without emotional, mental and spiritual intimacy. Because we do not allow for the natural unfolding of getting to know the person, it kills the possibility for a relationship to develop.

Are you moving though the stages too fast?

Source: African American Relationships, Marriages and Families: An Introduction, Patricia Dixon, Ph.D.

 

Whos Using Who?

In The Black Male/Female Connection, Maulana Karenga (1989a) examines three dominant ideologies underlying the U.S. social structure that have destructive effects on African Americans and their relationships. These include:

Capitalism–which “turns relationships… into commodities and utilitarian arrangements”

Racism–which bases humanity on the concept of race and racial hierarchies and “engenders self-hate, self-doubt and pathological fixation on the White paradigm” and

Sexism–which “imposes unequal, oppressive and exploitive relationships based on gender or sex” and “encourages artificial personal power over women as a substitute for real social power over one’s destiny and daily life” (pp. 47–48).

Connections

These structural values transform African American relationships into what Karenga calls “connections … a short-term or tentative association which is utilitarian and alienated and is designed primarily for the mutual misuse of each other’s body” (p. 48). These connections include the:

Cash Connection – money and material become the basis of relationship formation. It is evident when women expect men to spend money for their time and when men expect a woman’s body in exchange for spending money. It is also in operation when women sell themselves to men looking for them to “take care of them, “exchanging sex for economic security and calling it marriage.”

Flesh connection –“grows out of the pornographic character of society and is an association based purely or predominantly on the pursuit of sex. It focuses on the perverse things that can be done with the body [and] is an outgrowth of pornography …which expresses itself in five basic ways”: (1) alienation, men and women alienated from their “species half,” (2) the objectification, “turning a natural partner into an object of use,” (3) fragmenting of the body, “hacking it into usable pieces, rejecting the wholeness of the human personality,” (4) brutalization, and (5) “a sexually commodity form,” “the packing and peddling of the body.”

Force connection – arising “out of the violent and oppressive character of society, with conquest being a central theme, permits men to use their greater physical strength to subdue women” and

Dependency connection – emerges when a woman after “being transformed into a commodity” and “reduced to parts of her body, becomes dependent” (pp. 48a–48c).

The force connection, undergirded by a sense of ownership, leads men to think they can dominate women through mere force, and the dependency connection renders women vulnerable to domination. All of these connections inhibit the development of quality relationships.

How are you connecting? If you are not sure, the key is to slow it down so you can get to know the person and know what their intentions are.

Sources: African American Male-Female Relationships: A Reader–Dr. Patricia Dixon (for the entire article)
African American Relationships, Marriages and Families, Dr. Patricia Dixon

Do Men Lie?

The women who are searching for partners have said that one of the primary issues they are having in dating is that men are dishonest. Dr. Patty presents the question to the matchmakers: Do men lie?

This Woman Uses the 80/20 Rule When Dating. What is that?

Dr. Patty discussing with a woman what she is looking for in a partner. She is looking for a man who is tall, dark and handsome, her knight. She also uses the 80/20 rule, which she describes below. Is she realistic?

Do Men Know What They Want? Do Women Know What they Want?

Eligible men and women discuss expectations in dating.

How is Your Relationship With Your Father Affecting Your Relationships With Men?

Although much has been written about the effect of fatherlessness on African American sons, far less has been written on its effect on daughters. Of recent, however, there are more studies and works written on the effect of fatherlessness on African American daughters. One critical work is that by Jonetta Rose Barras, Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl (2000), a must read for women whose fathers were not present in their lives. Barras provides an in-depth analysis of the pain that African American women experience because of lack of a relationship with their fathers, and the behaviors that result from this, which she classifies under what she calls the “Fatherless Woman Syndrome.” They are outlined below.

The unfactor – Women who fall under this category believe that they are unworthy and unlovable; they feel that no one will want or love them. They are plagued with the notion that the only way someone will love them is if they do something spectacular. This results in their doing things that, rather than make a man want to stay, ends up driving him away, thus fulfilling the self-fulfilled prophecy that no one wants them. According to Barras, these women are in constant search for their fathers. She states, “Fatherless daughters speak their fathers’ names, see their fathers’ faces, and desperately try to recapture their fathers’ love with every man they meet” (p. 68).

The Triple Fears Factor – Women who fall under this category fear rejection, abandonment, and commitment. These women are constantly plagued with questions of whether they will be rejected and abandoned. This makes it difficult for them to make commitments or emotional investments. They fear that they will be left, so rather than be rejected or abandoned, they will not allow themselves to become too emotionally involved and avoid making a commitment. They might even pick men who will duplicate the same experiences they had with their fathers. They fear abandonment, but engage in interactions that lead to the very thing they fear most. Barras states, “In many respects, the fatherless daughter becomes a dilettante, someone who passes through— floating but refusing to be touched deeply, because touch means involvement, and involvement means commitment” (p. 69).

The Sexual Healing Factor – The sexual behavior of the fatherless woman “can range from promiscuity to an aversion to intimacy…”(p. 69). These fatherless women may go from “bed to bed, calling sex ‘love’ and hoping to be healed by the physical closeness” (p. 70). Also, a symptom of the sexual healing factor is that some women become obsessed with having a baby in order to fill the void.

The Over Factor – In order to make sure no one knows how much they are hurting, how badly they have been wounded, these women overcompensate in relationships by doing too much and sculpting themselves into the perfect mate. They may also be overachievers or superwomen. It is their way of saying to the father who has abandoned them that “it is his loss.” Barras explains, “We are at the top of our class. We break the glass ceilings. We spend endless days and nights working. We are the most decorated, the most awarded, the most rewarded” (p. 71). Also, these fatherless women may take on a “masculine identity” as a “shield … to prevent anyone from getting close enough to see the despair”(p. 71). In addition, Barras points out that when things do not turn out the way they expect them to because of their overachievement and being the perfect mate, they oversaturate in other areas of their lives,  for example, whether it be with “food, drugs, alcohol, sex, or work” (p. 71).

The RAD Factor – Rage, anger, and depression manifests in various ways. Rage and anger can be expressed outwardly, and may burst to the surface at a moment’s notice, or they may manifest in addiction to food, drugs, sex, or alcohol. Rage and anger may also turn inward and manifest as depression. Depression may lead to addictive behavior in order to medicate the pain. Other manifestations of these may be criminal activity and child abuse.

All of these behaviors and manifestations contribute to fatherless African American women having emotionally unhealthy and unbalanced relationship with themselves. Also, because they may have not had a positive male figure to teach them how to interpret male behavior, they may not have the skills necessary to deal with males. They may have had no one to instruct them (since their mothers and other adult females who were present in their childhood may have also suffered from the fatherless woman’s syndrome) on what qualities are good to look for in a man or how to deal with them in a healthy and balanced way. The results may be that they assume unhealthy characteristics and engage in dysfunctional relationship patterns. Such may not only be characteristic of fatherless women, but also those from all backgrounds.

Question to Ponder:

What kind of relationship patterns are you engaging in?

How is your relationship with your father affecting your relationships with men?

From:  African American Relationships, Marriages and Families: An Introduction, Patricia Dixon, Ph.D.

Source: Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? Jonetta Rose Barras

 

How to End an Unsatisfactory Relationship

First try to fix the Relationship–If there is a way to salvage the relationship try doing so. This may entail changing negative behavior to positive behavior, learning good communication skills and if necessary seeking counseling. If you still think it is best to end the relationship do the following:

1. Understand that ending a relationship will be difficult and painful.

2. Blame yourself–Tell the person that you want to end it because by giving reasons specific to yourself, e.g. you need more time for yourself right now, you want to go to school. If you blame your partner, you may give them the opportunity to try to make things better and subsequently make you feel obligated to give them another chance.

3. Cut off the relationship completely–Sometimes the person who wants to end the relationship may want the relationship to evolve to a friendship. However, if you are the “dropper”, it may be more difficult for the “droppee”. Continuing to have a relationships with him or her may give them false hope. Cutting it off completely may help the “droppee”  heal faster. On the other hand, some people do better turning relationships into friendships. It depends on you and your partner

4. Learn from the Relationship–It often easy for us to blame the other person. This is time for you to focus on what you did to contribute to the breakup. Look at things such as jealousy, being controlling, cheating, being fearful of commitment, etc.

5. Allow time to grieve and heal–Know that it is going to take time. Studies  show that it can take from 12-18 months. Know it is going to be painful and it is okay to cry. It helps with the healing process.

6. Clean up your social network pages, e.g. facebook, twitter, etc. Sometimes angry ex-partners use social networks to vent their anger about the breakup. You may have to purge and disconnect them from your social network sites

7. Start Dating again–One way to get over a relationship is to start dating again. But remember, you should also take time to heal, so that you do not bring the hurt and pain from the previous relationship into the new one.

Overall, look at this as a time to heal, reevaluate what is important to you, behaviors and habits that might need to be worked on changed, and ultimately as a new beginning to find the right person for you.

Source:

Choices in Relationships, Donald Knox & Caroline Schacht, Wadsworth, 2010.