Let’s Talk About You and Me

Written by Dominique Bancey

As a follow up to “Ex-periences”, I have decided to share one of my lessons, my most recent one actually, with all of you. I didn’t want to seem biased in this article though so I decided to ask my ex a few questions so you could get their perspective as well.

We were together for 5 (almost 6) months in a long distance relationship. I flew out and visited them for 6 weeks. About a month later, we broke up.

Q: What’s your favorite memory from the relationship?

A: “My favorite memory is when we had just got done spending a long day together and I was dozing off before I took my makeup off or put my bonnet on or anything and you got me ready for bed while I was half asleep, and cleaned my face and tattoo for me.”

Q: Did you think the relationship would’ve lasted longer? Why?

A: “I thought our relationship would’ve lasted longer but the more times I spent in the relationship was the more I felt like we probably wouldn’t have gotten married, and I think this because as much as we loved each other, our personalities just don’t mesh together where it was most important in a relationship.”

Q: In your opinion, what would you say were some cons of the relationship?

A: “I would say the cons were your lack of patience and my lack of acceptance of the fact that not everything can go as I plan and people cannot always react or act the way I want them to.”

Q: What do you think ultimately caused the relationship to fail and what could’ve been done to prevent or fix this issue?

A: “I think our relationship failed because of lack of communication and working together in our final moments of being together which really drove us to breaking up, and I think if we just took the time to both be understanding enough of the other side and really care together with a plan of how to make things better and thoroughly communicate about it, then it could’ve lasted.”

Lessons were learnt by the both of us, and as you can tell by the responses, communication is key.

Until next time.

Ex-Periences: What We Can Learn From Our Ex

Written by Dominique Bancey

Earlier I was having a conversation with a friend which then got me to thinking about how I actually think about certain topic. This particular article, is somewhat of a ‘preview’ to the next one. As the title “Ex-periences” suggests, I’ll be discussing exes, and how we can use these experiences with them, to actually help us in our lives rather than make us bitter and upset.

Maturity is something that doesn’t seem to be as common as it should be, unfortunately, especially when it comes on to relationships. In today’s society, many individuals tend to want to find some way to hurt their exes or damage them or cause some form of revenge, just because of the end of their relationship. This doesn’t just showcase immaturity, but it also portrays how childish and petty the other party is. Speaking of pettiness, it’s so funny to me how nowadays it seems like people are ‘praised’ based on how petty they are, which I think is absolutely stupid as a lot of the petty behaviour that people display, tend to be linked to their immaturity.

For me, just because someone and I aren’t romantically or even platonically involved anymore, doesn’t mean that I’m going to hate them and try to hurt them. The ending of any form of relationship can teach us all a lesson. And I’d rather find this lesson and use it to better myself in my life, than use it for revenge.

Often times, the way how we look at past experiences, determines how we live for future ones, and that could explain why so many persons are reluctant about forming new serious relationships with others. As instead of using their past experience as a lesson and deciding to learn from it, they made a decision to use it for bad, as a form of revenge.

Be on the lookout for the next article, as I will be using a personal past ex-perience, to share my lesson.

Until next time.

Why I Think Modern Relationships Are Failing?

Written by Dominique Bancey- Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

This topic of failing relationships have always intrigued me and honestly, believe me when I say that this definitely will not be the last time I talk about it. 

First off, let me begin by saying that these are strictly my opinions, they aren’t facts. It’s what I believe based on observations and experiences. 

Trust Issues

It seems to be quite a common thing for many persons in this generation to have trust issues, but the issue with this is that they actually allow it to ruin their relationships. They get into one relationship, that person breaks they trust, then they get into another relationship and they refuse to trust (or completely trust) their partner, because they assume that they’ll break it. Yes past relationships are lessons and they teach you what to do or not to do, but at the same time, you can’t treat your current partner like your exYou might as well be dating your ex again. 

Selfishness

Not wanting your partner to have friends or to go out with anyone because you fear they’ll ‘find somebody better’ is something I hear way too often. Being in a relationship doesn’t stop the both of you from being your own individual selves, it just brings the both of you together. Therefore, both of you are allowed to continue to do your own things (as long as it won’t hurt your partner or the relationship). This also ties in with trust

There are many other things to be mentioned but let me just share this.

I’ve cheated before in past relationships. I moved on. Got into a new relationship. Told this person everything (about the cheating and all). Then… They used it against me

How?

Well, they told me that because I’ve cheated they have more of a reason not to trust me because I’ll probably do it again. 

I don’t agree with the whole ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ statement. I know for a fact that I was a different person with a totally different mindset when I did cheat, so I didn’t think this was fair to me at all. 

In the end, we didn’t even work out. 

And, I didn’t cheat. 

Until next time. 

Marriage Tips with Dave & Kimmie Topic: Sacrifices

There are times that we get feedback from unmarried individuals who have a desire to be in a marriage. Often, the questions or views that we hear from singles cause us to be brutally honest about the types of expectations that they are setting. There are times that standards being set are rather high, and then there are times that they are rather low. No one wants to envision his or her ideal mate as a loser, a square, broke, careless, lazy, or an unhappy person. On the other end, if your standard is tall, dark, handsome, rich, caring, outgoing, well spoken, educated, does yard work, loves to travel, and make up the bed, you might just be expecting a robot with artificial intelligence. LOL!!

The point of it all is that in marriage there must be a give and take. There has to be an allowance for grace to take its place. There are still many jobs that provide its employees with a grace period before the workers have to clock in. These companies sacrifice company time in order for its workers to be in position to perform their duties well. This is also a practice that can really help a marriage or those looking to choose a mate. While it is important to set standards, it is equally important to set them in a realistic place whereas you are willing to sacrifice yourself, to be their ideal mate also. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to desire a beach body babe, who loves to workout, eat healthy, and stay fit if you have a beer gut and donut diet!

The sacrifices that we are willing to make are the very sacrifices that will reward us in our marriages. Even after being married for almost 15 years, we still learn new ways to sacrifice for each other. Whether it is our work schedules, valuable time with our children, or just times when we step away and refresh ourselves in different environments, it is a very much-needed practice to give devoted time back into making a better marriage. Sometimes the smallest thing can go the longest way. It could be a $50 flower delivery that you order your wife that totally changes the rest of her week. Or it could be the dinner that you cook for a change, that sends your husband into a blissful existence at home.

Whatever it takes, make a sacrifice and Fight to Make it Work!

“You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Dave & Kimmie
www.daveandkimmie.com

Marriage Tips with Dave & Kimmie Topic: Boundaries

As married couples, we’ve learned that we have a unique task to create our own paradise. There are many things that seek to influence us in our relationships whether blatant or subtly. Whether we realize it or not, there is a force that is opposed to your happiness in marriage. These forces can come in many forms like in-laws, fake friends, social media, the Joneses, and whatever else seeks to tell you how or what your marriage should be. There is really noting wrong with admiring other couples and looking to other couples as a template for mentorship etc. We want to lay out the more practical examples.

Your home is where you set the tone of what thoughts and views matter most in your relationship. The environment that you create is also the environment that you will replicate. We need boundaries because if we aren’t careful negative voices, opinions, and views can spoil the fun! It is so important to find ways to unplug from the distractions of our daily lives and simply enjoy each other.

With our media and social media driven lives, it becomes incredibly hard to put our phones down and smell the roses. Have you ever thought about what your marriage would be like if you were married 20 years ago? This would be the time when YouTube and social media didn’t really matter. There weren’t any reality television shows that made us act crazy or co-signed our ratchetness lol!
Now, we aren’t saying that any of these things are wrong. What we are truly implying is that there is a time and place for everything in your marriage. Don’t allow temporary things like phones, texts, or media to replace the irreplaceable space of your spouse. Set boundaries like times to post, (if you are an entrepreneur). Calendar your moves. And then make sure your spouse has that personal time and attention that they so desperately need. You owe that to them and to yourself. You create their paradise by actually being there presently with them! Until next time, we wish you the best of luck.

Dave & Kimmie

Marriage Tips with Dave & Kimmie: Change

If there’s one thing that we can’t prevent in our relationships, it’s change. Change is a word that some folks embrace and others don’t. The type of change needed in a relationship can greatly enhance or detract from the substance and quality of it. Chances are, that if you’ve found that you have the same problems at year 10 versus year 1, there’s been an unwillingness to accept change somewhere. Change becomes more difficult at later portions of life. This is because sometimes we get set in our ways. Its often more difficult to have a willingness to change after one has become “set in their ways.” Throughout our marriage, we’ve undergone various changes from our geographic residence, to new jobs, and onto inner things like ways of thinking, or even ways of spending.

Change combined with growth can be amazing. This is because growth has a way of causing us to change for the better and rewards that relationship in return with new realizations and vibrations. Faith can also play a big role in a marriage’s phases of change. When we get a better vantage point of how God sees us, and how we are expected or commanded to treat our spouse, it will help to create a compass, which calibrates our movements if we truly desire to please our spouse in a divine way. But we’d say look at it this way; you and your spouse are beautiful pieces of artwork being continually edited on the canvas of life. We are always being painted and refined, with new colors, refreshing accents, seasonal filters, and dark overlays. Until we can accept each other’s life process, we won’t be able to fully embrace what it means to embrace change.

Our lifetime vow demands that we do. No one said that the journey would be easy. But we are a team of two, against the world. Let’s endeavor to always change for the better.

“You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Marriage Tips with Dave & Kimmie: Couples Therapy – Connecting with other Couples

All of us in marriage have high and low points. But one thing about those moments is that the low moments can be recurring if we don’t learn from the experience. After 14 years of marriage, it has become evidently clear that you can’t go through rough moments alone. There is a true need for any marriage that desires to have an awesome marriage, to have real relationships in place that we can confide in. Whether you count on parents, close friends, or family members, the camaraderie of fellow married couples is very important as a support system.

In some cases, you have to guard against whom you reveal your challenges to. For instance, if you share telling and personal information about your marital affairs to someone who isn’t trustworthy, you may run into a barrier that backfires. And when attempting to reintroduce your spouse in a formative way they may get rejected. It is a major key, to confide in other married couples that know your battles and are on your side fighting with you and not against you or your spouse. In certain instances, it is paramount that you share certain battles with couples that have actually overcome similar battles. This is a sure way to ensure that you get sober advice, real support, and an absence of judgment.

Couples therapy for us, is when couples not only enjoy fun times or vacations, it is also when couples can give a check up on each other to see how we’re doing. It’s at those times, that ones level of maturity will surface. Some couples are more private than others and require more time to open up about topics pertaining to marriage. The reality is that everyone isn’t going to be willing to discuss his or her challenges. However, when you find couples who can help provide guidance for your journey, they are worth holding onto and cherishing.

You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Dave & Kimmie
www.daveandkimmie.com

Marriage Tips with Dave and Kimmie: “Communication”

We’ve all heard the statement “Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus.” And while we understand that men and women are very different, it’s also important to note the MANY similarities that we possess when it comes to our individual needs. Often, we are looking for the same results and want similar things, but we have completely different ways of communicating the HOW!

Have you ever found that in saying something simple to your spouse, it can easily be perceived or heard a totally different way than the way in which you intended it? Did that moment ease your nerves or did it cause frustration? We could assume the second one lol.. Why is this?? Why is it that when we mean one thing, we get interpreted in a totally different stratosphere? LOL.. Well we’re glad that you asked! It’s all about Communication. It’s the one thing that makes all other things come together. And one thing’s for sure, if not carefully pursued, poor communication can cause lots of problems further down the road. Attentive and thorough communication skills is a “course” that you’ll have to enroll in once you become married. A communication breakdown is a sure way to find yourself in a place that leaves both parties feeling unfulfilled, neglected, and even as if your thoughts, views, or feelings don’t matter.

It really takes concentrated effort and active listening skills to effectively communicate. Did you know that talking is only a part of communicating? The other part is listening and receiving the transmission of information. Sometimes, we listen to our spouses with the intention to react, and not with the desire to respond once we have received what was said. In a Huffington Post study, it was found that poor communication was the #1 cause of divorce. And while we don’t know how accurate this study was, we do know that validation, acceptance, and a sense of belonging all come from how we speak to each other. Sometimes, the way that we were raised plays a big part in how we talk to our spouse. This can become an issue that we have to confront when we find that we’ve talked ourselves into conflict. We then have to find better ways to interact with our spouse because of personality differences and ways of talking. Another communication barrier can be the unwillingness by one party or the other, to talk or discuss at length, valid and needful topics.

We will close on this point. You can’t have a great marriage and have poor communication at the same time. Give your spouse what they need, even if it means coming outside of comfort zones. FIGHT TO MAKE IT WORK!!!

“You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Dave & Kimmie
www.daveandkimmie.com

Why Do We Fall in Love, but Can’t Stay There?

Written by Valerie Holland

In the spirit of celebrating the 25th anniversary of, arguably, the most admired couple to grace a U.S. television screen, lets seriously discuss the long-lasting, put you in my Will, rub your feet every night, kind of love that we all seek. Michelle and Barack Obama celebrated 25 years of marriage on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. We all (well most of us) love the Obamas. From their beautiful daughters Sasha and Mila to their adorable dog Bo, we could not – and still cannot – get enough of their beautiful relationship.

Many of us search for that kind of love for a lifetime while others of us find it in high school with our Sweethearts. But for those of us stuck in the middle, why is it so hard to have this kind of relationship? As much as “#Baegoals” trends on social media, you would think it wouldn’t be that hard to find. We all have that one friend (or maybe that friend is you) who jumps from relationship to relationship trying to find “true love”. But for many of us it remains elusive. One author; however, claims to have the recipe.

Gary Chapman, speaker, marriage counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, discusses at length in this Bestseller how to mend, repair or start off a relationship on the right foot. The concept is somewhat ingenious. Just as we all speak different languages across the globe and even different dialects within the same regions, Mr. Chapman believes that there are 5 major Love Languages. The theory is that if you learn your own, as well as your partner’s, (and vice versa) you can have a successful relationship. Simple!

To elaborate, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch are the major languages that many of us speak in a relationship. Some are stronger than others but one is typically your dominant language. If you light up like Christmas from hearing encouraging words and affirmations from your spouse, this is likely your language. If you can’t stand for your partner to watch television or text on their phone when spending time together, Quality Time might be yours. Would having your car washed by your partner and laundry done on a Saturday morning without you having to ask give you butterflies? Then Acts of Service may be your native love tongue. Thus, the goal is to regularly speak your partner’s language (even if you have to learn it), to keep the relationship healthy.

The book even breaks down the falling-in-love infatuation period we all chase and explains why, in any long-term relationship, it eventually fades (usually after 2-3 years). This may also explain why some of us jump from relationship to relationship in search of those “butterflies” but we fly the coup once they have disappeared. According to the book, we have been swindled into believing this obsession period is the baseline for a relationship rather than just the beginning.

All couples go through ups and downs, and even the Obamas must have their disagreements. We have all likely heard the age-old adage that relationships are “hard work” but we don’t seem to take this literally. I know at least, I was of this school of thought until recently. I thought love was supposed to flourish “naturally” too.

So if you also think relationships are supposed to be sparkles and sunshine and you consider the Curry’s, Ciara and Russell Wilson or Will Smith and Jada Pinkett as #BaeGoals, but find yourself single every 6 months, this book is a great start. It retails for $9.59 on Amazon and comes even cheaper in the Kindle format. If you have found yourself in a dead or dying relationship and want to try one more time, this 10 bucks couldn’t hurt a thing. Let us know what you think or if you’ve already read the book, how is it working for you? It has a strong 5-stars on Amazon, has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 8 years running and oh yeah, it’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary as well. So if you want to find love and keep it, what have you got to lose?

Why You’re Really Upset With the Love of Your Life

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re in a fight with your partner, but even after they’ve apologized, you can’t seem to forgive them, get close to them…or let go of what happened. You want to make them work to earn back your attention or love. If any of this sounds familiar, you might be strangling your relationship by projecting.

What is projecting?

Projecting is an instinctive defense mechanism where you blame others for positive or negative things that happen in your life without realizing that you yourself are actually the cause of them. Projecting can be the result of a previous traumatic or terrible event in your life,  and it can destroy your ability to keep healthy relationships and leave you feeling lonely, hurt, and depressed.

How do you know you’re projecting?

People who project share a few common traits.

  • They feel they’re 100% right in every situation
  • Even the slightest disagreements leave them feeling hurt and sad
  • They feel extremely panicked and overwhelmed during an argument.

How can you stop projecting?

To stop projecting, you’ll need to take a step back and focus on you. Spend time alone journaling or listening to your thoughts. Remind yourself that they can’t always be right—there are such things assumptions and doubts that play a role in what we think. Always be honest about how you feel instead brushing off questions like “What’s wrong?” Lastly, consider investing in yourself by reading self-help books. The more aware you are about your tendency to project, the better you’ll be able to help yourself—and your relationships—stay healthy.