Category Archives: Relationship Articles

Touch Me Tuesday: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Women Make When Pursuing Men

(Originally published in Jolie Magazine Online April 2007, by Tariiq Omari Walton)

The first mistake a woman can make in pursuing a man is…Pursuing A Man.Yes, we in this society have tried to shun as many traditional relationship roles as possible in our search for gender equality. But that pursuit, which should be defined as courting, is still a one-way street based on our cultural norms. Men should be courting women; not the other way around. Believe me; if a man has to be pursued, then he doesn’t want to be caught!

The second major mistake women make is having sex with a man, believing either: 1) sex constitutes grounds for a commitment; or 2) the man will be so “Turned-Out” that he will be powerless to tell the woman ‘no’. Even though men (myself included) have to do a better job with acknowledging the expectation that many women attach to intercourse and not allowing ourselves to get caught up in the moment, just because two people do have a sexual encounter does not guarantee a commitment. And no matter how good you believe your…umm…“friend” is, she won’t keep a man that doesn’t want to be kept!

A third mistake is always taking the lead in making plans. Simple and plain, it sets a bad precedence. A young woman once told me that she was the one to initiate dates with her now ex-boyfriend, and she found herself consistently being the one to make the plans throughout the relationship. He didn’t put any effort forth in the process, always leaving it up to her where they were going to go and what they were going to do. And guess who oft times was the one picking up the tab?

Another big mistake women make while pursing men is allowing unanswered phone calls, broken dates, and non-returned text messages to infuriate them. Don’t feel like you have to push so hard to get his attention. If he’s not getting back to you, then he’s showing you that he may not be that interested, because any man who is really digging a woman will make himself available to her. Maybe not always when you want him, but regularly enough so there aren’t any questions.

And that point leads me to the fifth and what may be the biggest mistake women make in pursuit of a man: Ignoring the Signs. If you feel like you must pursue someone, you’re going to ignore many of the things that person is showing you. Say if you’re following someone in a car, you may run a red light or a stop sign because you won’t take your eyes off of that person’s bumper. Keep your eyes and ears open. Because we are not in the habit of telling women what’s on our mind, outside of being caught up in that “intimate moment”, a man’s inactions can be more telling of his greater intentions than his actions. If a man calls you only after night fall a couple of days a week, but you don’t hear from him any other time, it’s the not hearing from him that should speak the loudest.

 

Touch Me Tuesday: Red Flags versus Pop Quizzes

You keep looking at your date out the corner of your eye. There was something he said that sent your antennae up. Uh oh…is it something that you now need to worry about…is it a sign that this is not the person for you? I’ll bet you’re ready to run, aren’t you? You’ve been taught to recognize those “Red Flags” when they appear and in turn, make yourself disappear.

But…hold up. Is it really your “early warning system” that’s going off, or is it just a test of your appeal to someone who may be a little different from you?

So often we are ready to make our exit when faced with something new and unusual. Fear of the unknown…of the unfamiliar. We’re so use to living inside of our comfortable, lil’ boxes that something out of the ordinary scares us to bits! It’s so much easier to flee than to invest more time and energy into the budding or even committed relationship.

What happens when the situation is more complex than that? What happens when that sense of concern is less a “Red Flag” and more a “Pop Quiz”…a test of your faith in that person, in that situation, and in that relationship?

Yeah…not so easy to just pick up and break out, now, huh? All of a sudden, you feel the urge to look a little more deeply at the circumstances. Now you are truly faced with a “Fight or Flight” predicament.

Every misunderstanding, every difference, every warning isn’t necessarily a sign that your situation is the wrong one for you. As I spoke about in my last post, relationships are hard work, and there are often events that arise that make you question the path that you share with someone else. But before you step towards the door, take a moment to consider what it is that you’re facing. Is it a sign or is it simply a challenge? Are you expecting everything to always be good and easy, or are you truly willing to put in the work necessary to have a successful relationship?

Don’t let your fear of what may or may not be cause you to lose what you have. Yes, be mindful and be aware…but don’t be scared! Don’t turn a caution flag into a exit sign!!!

Touch Me Tuesday: The Uphill Battle

After a failed relationship, I was quoted as saying, “Relationships take hard work. But relationships, themselves, should not be hard!”

I’ve repeated this statement time after time while listening to the rantings of individuals “stuck” in increasingly unfulfilled relationships.

You’d be  a fool to think that your relationship will continue to grow if you just show up. And that’s what tends to make a relationship hard…one person is working and the other person is just showing up!

Do you think a party is better because of your mere presence…that things jumped off just because you walked through that night club’s door? Nooooo…it was you taking over the dance floor or telling a great story or buying the first, fourth, and sixth round of drinks that made that night memorable. In other words, you had to work to get folks to loosen up and shake their giggly parts!

Well, you’re relationship is like that club scene. You worked hard to get that reputation of being the party starter, and with that reputation came certain expectations. The party just wasn’t the same when you creeped through the back door and sat quietly in the corner as you nursed a glass of cranberry juice and half melted ice cubes.

So often, we put so much effort into starting a relationship that we tend to relax when that love is solidified. We just cruise through, believing that the foundation we established is all we need to build a strong, long-lasting relationship.

That’s not the case.

The foundation is just the beginning. There are still walls to be erected, wires to be run, pipes to be laid, and a roof to be put on. Every few years, you might have to re-tile that roof and paint new colors on those walls. The work never ends! And if only one person is being held responsible to continue the hard work, the whole experience just becomes a project of repairing damages, and the growth stops until, ultimately, there’s just too much that needs to be fixed. Eventually, no matter how much work was put in, that sole worker will abandon that money pit!

I know I’m full of analogies today. But the only point I want to make is that you can’t simply “get by” in a relationship. Without the full effort of both people involved, one is putting all of the weight on the other. And baring any load by oneself is just…plain…hard!!!

Touch Me Tuesday: The Insecure Mate

Relationships are often complicated by a number of different factors: expectations, morals, belief systems, motivations, finances, time, and emotions, to name a few. One of the most self-sabotaging factors that can bring a relationship to a quick halt, though, is Emotional Insecurity.

Insecurity is defined as a lack of confidence or assurance; having self-doubt. When the element of emotion is added, the definition can be expanded to include a sense of general unease when one perceives him or herself to be vulnerable in some way. This person will often lack trust in both themselves and others, and expects that they will be let down by their mate or something will eventually “go wrong” within the relationship.

Many times, emotional insecurity is born from the sense of lacking control over a situation (or even a person). More often than not, insecurity is rooted in fear: fear of loss, fear of heartache, fear of disappointment. And this fear has probably developed as a result of previous experiences. You were cheated on once by a past love, and because of this, you expect that your new S.O. (significant other) will cheat on you, too!

So, how does emotional insecurity differ from simply being scared?

Well, when you are scared of something, it’s because you’ve been hurt by that object before. You’re scared of bees because you were once stung by a bee. Insecurity, on the other hand, is an irrational fear. Yes, you were cheated on before, but the person you are currently seeing wasn’t the culprit, neither have they done anything to lead you to believe that they too will cheat on you!

It’s the baggage that you carry from one relationship into the next that causes you to be insecure.

Every new relationship deserves it’s own “clean slate.” I know that who we are is a culmination of our past experiences. But some of us have to do a better job of cleansing ourselves of the damages we suffered in previous relationships before moving forward into the next. And then once in that new circumstance, give the new person the respect of being an individual with his or her own set of character traits.

Nothing truly great has been born of fear…but plenty has been destroyed by it!