Dating Challenges

Getting back to dating after years of single hood can be somewhat of a challenge especially if you spent many years coming and going as you please. Once you’re in a relationship those dynamics quickly change and you have to embrace having a partner in your life. I felt vigorous about writing this post because I am currently experiencing this now. One of my dating prospects stated that he was concerned about my ability to include someone in my life. I have been independent for so long that it’s something he will keep in the back of his mind. Honestly, I was a bit shocked to hear this, but at the same time, I appreciate the sincerity. It was time for me to reflect on how I am presenting myself and what I could be saying as well. The messages that I’m putting across could be giving mixed signals that I didn’t anticipate. I would be saying I’m available and unavailable at the same time. That is not what I want, so I need to make some changes in this area. I had to set down with myself and examine what I could be exuding out to others.

The first mixed signal I was giving off was not wanting to give up on my current routine. I am a creature of habit. I would get off work, do my typical after work rituals and be okay with that. However, when you’re dating it is essential to learn to compromise. That is the first example of compromising that many people miss entirely. If you can’t compromise with making time to meet up for dates, then it’s not a good indication of starting a relationship. In my mind, I would instead make time when I’m not exhausted from work as I want to make a good impression. The other person doesn’t view it that way and thinks I’m not interested in dating. I prefer to plan dates on the weekend and days when I don’t have to work. On those days I’m more alert and present. Now I understand that this doesn’t come across the way I think it should. It’s a better idea to explain a little more about your thought process. Some jobs are more demanding than others so maybe dates during the week won’t work. It’s best to communicate and find ways to compromise that works best for everyone. Otherwise, people will come up with their own opinions, and it can impact a potential relationship.

Another mixed signal is that my plate is full in life and that I don’t have room for a partner. When my dates ask what my interests are I thought it was a great thing that I have so many things that I like. To my surprise, I come across as having too much going on and not enough room for a relationship. I even had one guy tell me that I come across as too independent and he doesn’t know what role a man could play in my life. I had male friends tell me that men like to feel needed and if that doesn’t occur they typically will not entertain a relationship. Now that I’ve been made aware of it I try my best to make sure to state that I want to incorporate my hobbies and interest with my partner. That way potential suitors don’t feel left out and that I don’t want to intertwine my life with theirs. Dating is all about could you see yourself potentially with someone, and if they aren’t presenting themselves as a candidate, it’s a turnoff. In the future, I need to be more mindful of what I’m saying as not to scare off my soulmate.

The last mixed signal is related to communication styles and being adaptive to them. In my current job, I talk a lot and often for the whole day. Of course, once I get home, I want to take a break and not be on the phone. Depending on the day I had I will want to talk more than other days. However, when you’re dating someone or trying to get to know someone communication is essential. The problem I have is at times I don’t want to be on the phone for hours. I struggle with trying to get someone to understand that because they take it as I’m not interested in them. Then I’ll try to speak with them anyway when I didn’t want to talk, and it sets a wrong impression. I try to explain why but sometimes they believe I’m making excuses not to communicate.

Another thing is adapting to the need for video chatting. I noticed many guys love to do it, but it’s cumbersome at times. Who wants to hold the phone for hours? I get it especially with online dating people want to make sure they aren’t involved in a catfish situation. However, there should be a compromise between video chat, texting and phone calls. Depending on someone’s day it can be easier to use another form of communication. I feel that I adapt pretty well to other people’s communication style even though I don’t always feel the same in return. I need to do a better job of explaining the nature of my career, so guys don’t think I’m blowing them off. I may have experienced a long day at work, and I feel like being in a mood to text only, and then tomorrow we can video chat. I have to do a better job of setting expectations around communication and compromising more often.

Dating already comes with its’ set of challenges as you learn to adapt to the other person’s expectations. You also have to be open and honest about what you’re expecting as well. Communication is vital as it solves about 90% of the problems that people face today. To overcome challenges, you must pay attention when they come up and correct them. Even though to you it may not be a bad thing but it comes across differently to other people. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there and if that has anything to do with the results that you’re experiencing. If you notice that the results in dating are less than stellar, then its time to self reflect. You could be doing things without even realizes it, and that could be hurting your chances for a relationship.

What are some of your dating challenges and how did you overcome them?

Solo Traveling Tips

People ask me often why do I travel solo? It would be more fun if I went with other people. I don’t disagree; however, in the past, I missed out on places waiting for other people to be available. It’s a difficult thing to say go at it alone. It can be a nerve-racking and overwhelming experience. The biggest thing I learned is that you come away with much-needed confidence about yourself. You have to be comfortable with yourself to travel solo. You have to start small and work your way up. Before you decide to plan that huge trip, read the steps below to help you become a master at solo traveling.

Plan Solo Dates

Start planning dates where you spend time with yourself. For example, movies, spa or even dinner. The whole point of this is to get familiar with yourself. It may seem strange at first, but once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature. Once you learn how to deal with your own company, it makes it easier to solo travel. Also, one of the benefits of solo dates is that you get to do what you want when you want. Experiencing this type of freedom is what you can look forward to when you travel solo.

Take Weekend Trips

I would recommend staying somewhere that you previously been before. Remember the point here is to build up your confidence with traveling. Going somewhere familiar takes out the guesswork of finding activities and helps you to relax more. The more fun you are having, the more likely you will continue to travel. Write down all the things you want to do but weren’t able to do previously. Some activities can be due to a lack of enthusiasm from others or a general lack of interest. Now is the time to experience those adventures during your single weekend.

Plan Your Itinerary

Nothing screams lonely like having nothing on your agenda. The best way to fight those feelings is to have your days planned out. Of course, leave your plans open for change as something more exciting can arise. However, having a day planned makes you forget that you are solo. You’ll be having so much fun even to notice that you are indeed by yourself. That is how you fight the solo blues. My recent birthday trip was solo, and people said OMG you went to Las Vegas alone. That’s the whole point of traveling! Enjoy your time on vacation and stop worrying about why you are alone. Live in the moment as you don’t get those moments back.

Let Friends & Family know your Whereabouts

When traveling solo, it is especially important to travel smart. You must let someone back home know where you are going and your activities for each day. God forbid if something was to happen people will know where to tell the authorities where to look. Especially if you ’re going out at night. Give an estimated time of when you will return. Also, be sure to let someone know you made it back to your residence (travel accommodations) safely. Even if they are sleep due to the time difference or late hours once they wake up, they’ll know you’re okay. Be careful with posting your every move online. I understand this is easier to update friends and family. However, a predator can use this information as a way to stalk you. Please take proper precautions as you want to return safely back home from your trip.

Don’t do what you wouldn’t do at home

Don’t get into a stranger’s car unless it’s Uber or Lyft. Stay in well-lit areas with a large crowd of people around. Don’t get too comfortable that you step far outside your comfort zone that you become easy prey. Have the same street smarts that you have at home while on vacation. If something feels wrong, it probably is a bad idea. If you get this feeling DON’T DO IT! Don’t open yourself up to be an easy target. People are looking for unexpected tourist to rob or take advantage of their kindness. Don’t walk around with a large purse and keep your phone close to you at all times. It’s a good idea to set some folks including 911 on speed dial just in case of emergencies. Stay away from tight spaces like a club for example. Avoid places like a club because you can’t fully see your surroundings. You need to view all exits if necessary. Of course, keep drinks close to you at all times. Never sit your back to the door. Otherwise, it makes it easier for people to sneak up on you without your knowledge.

Give the Illusion of Confidence

Even if you aren’t confident then fake it until you make it. Never let anyone know you are alone, where you are staying or reveal too much about yourself. I’m not saying you can’t interact with others, but there is a difference between friendly and overly revealing. It can backfire and cause you to put down your guard rather quickly. Remember you’re solo so don’t put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. If you come off as shy or uncomfortable, you open yourself up to be easy prey. Not everyone has bad intentions, but the wrong person can see this and use it against you. Keep in mind Google gives you the right directions to the bus and train now. There’s no need to be nervous about solo travel! The more you do it, the easier it will become. There is too much of the world out there to explore to wait around for other people. If they aren’t available to travel, then you become a world traveler. You never want to look back and wish you started what you keep putting off today.

What was your experience traveling solo for the first time? What other tips would you recommend for first-time solo travelers?

Are You Too Empathetic?

Are you the type of person who can pick up the emotions and energy of other people? For example, if someone cries you immediately feel that pain and cry as well. If you see something disturbing on television, does it tend to stay with you for the rest of the day? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are very in tune with your emotions. Some may even argue that you are too emotionally ingrained in your feelings. Having these feelings can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The blessing is that you are very empathetic to others which can be very helpful in romantic relationships. The downside is this makes you very susceptible to energy vampires. They tend to prey upon your empathetic nature and guilt you into things you may not necessarily be comfortable doing. You become so engulfed with that person that you forget who you are and lose yourself in the process. Here is when you have to be careful with your emotions and who you let in your life. It’s effortless to get caught up with other people as you feel you are helping them. The issue becomes when they are taking, but won’t be there for you when you need it. When this happens, it leaves you high and dry with nothing to show for it. You felt empty and drained of all your resources.

I have this issue myself, so I have a tough time not offering to help. I guess I feel like I have to or I should since the person is confiding in me. However, just because someone is venting to you doesn’t mean you have to take that on. Especially if that person is never pouring back into you, you must protect your mental peace and learn to say no to people. You can have empathy, but that doesn’t mean owning what that person is dealing with currently. There’s nothing wrong with saying this is too much for me to handle, so I need to back away. I am giving that other person time and space to work through their issues. I know people say that if you back away you are selfish and never cared about that person. I disagree with that statement. If your problems are escalating to a point where it is impossible to have a healthy happy relationship, it’s time to leave. Relationships involve two people growing together and moving towards becoming one with each other. If one person isn’t in a position to do this then how is the relationship supposed to last? You can only take so much and if that person isn’t trying to fix it then what other choice do you have? The same can be said for friendships and family members as well.

You can love people from afar, but that doesn’t mean let that drama enter your life and impact your wellbeing. For those of you who don’t have this issue, I am jealous of you. You can separate yourself from people and the problems that are surrounding them. However, to those who tend to take on the emotions and difficulties of others, we must be careful. We must be very picky about who we let into our personal and mental space. People can pick up on how we are and then it can be used to their advantage. Look out for the signs that this person isn’t as generous and using you to feel better about themselves. Listen to your gut and remove yourself from any situation that is detrimental to your health. We aren’t going any more days, months, nor years with toxic behavior. We will no longer allow this to dampen our spirits. We are moving forward in life with our peace and anything that disturbs that is way too expensive.

Do you feel that you are too empathetic? If so, what have you done to correct this? If not, what do you think makes people more empathetic than others?

Prescription for Self-Care

When you hear the word self-care what comes to mind? For me, it’s something that I don’t do enough. I’m always running around but never take the time to focus on myself entirely. We all need time to ourselves to unwind from the stresses of the day. You can’t be fully present for others if you have yet to be there for yourself. I’m learning that I can’t give my all and saying no is okay. I still feel guilty when I do however not being there for myself is even worse. How can you say you love yourself if you don’t give yourself the same care as everything else? Internally you deserve the same amount of attention as your job, bills, etc. No more excuses! From this day forward self-care will no longer be a slogan but a complete lifestyle change.

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I concluded that I lacked self-care while being on this leadership council for a non-profit organization. I tried to make myself available to all the meetings and any activities that came up. Due to my work commitments being on this council was proving to be quite challenging. It didn’t matter however because I was determined to give back even if meant hurting myself in the process. Since this council is new, it requires a lot of time and effort. I could provide support but only in a limited capacity. I started to see that my availability and the council needs weren’t in alignment. I kept forcing myself to fit into a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I realize that honestly, I could give my all but at what cost? Sure I would be giving back, but I won’t be fully present as I would be exhausted. I have to take better care of myself if I’m going to be an asset. Until I cater to my needs, I can’t possibly be there for others.

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Putting others before yourself is selfish because as a human you have needs as well. Not catering to your own needs creates resentment. Taking time to recharge your batteries gives you the space you need so you can get in touch with yourself. Also, it’s okay if you can’t be involved in everything. It’s better to dedicate yourself to a few events as opposed to every occasion and not enjoying it.  Be honest about what your schedule permits. People may expect more but don’t let guilt deter you. Don’t let others have free reign over your time as you don’t get that back. You should be happy and excited anytime you are spending time on something. If your energy is continuously depleting that means you are neglecting your needs and you need to look into that. I’m practicing self-care currently, and unfortunately, it’s taking some adjustments on my part. I’m hoping you do the same if you haven’t started already. What are some of your self-care methods that you tried? Please share your comments below. Don’t forget to fill your daily dose of self-care or seek your treatment as needed.

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Until next time,

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Happiness is Waiting

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone to grow. You learn so much more about yourself when you take these opportunities. Recently, I put this thought process to the test during my latest trip to Los Angeles. I know family and friends don’t want me to move there, but I love the weather. We’ll see you never know what happens. Anyway, the purpose of this trip besides a vacation, of course, was to visit a relative of mine. I haven’t seen her in two years since she moved and this would be an opportunity to see her new surroundings. Since I knew she had to work, I decided to create an itinerary for myself. The flight was six hours from NJ, and I am not about to be sitting in a hotel waiting to hang out. I am incredibly grateful that I took this approach. I went overzealous with the activities, but I still was living my best life.

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The best part about having an itinerary in place is you never have to worry about what to do next. Having your activities planned out for the day takes out the guesswork of what to do on a given day. Of course, you don’t have to follow an itinerary word for word. However, it allows you to focus on the trip and not stress about what activities to do. Having these preplanned activities in place worked out perfectly as I was solo for half the trip. I spent time with my relative but not for the whole duration of my stay. The best part of this is that I was able to do the things I wanted to do without judgment from someone else. Spending time with myself not only allowed me to fulfill my interest but to learn how to deal with my own company too.

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Another significant part of my Los Angeles trip is that now I made a new friend. When you go on a trip solo, it forces you outside of your comfort zone.  Then for you to connect with others, you will have to put yourself out there. That is how I made a new friend in Los Angeles, and I gained a new travel buddy. She was out in Los Angeles solo as well, and we met at the same hotel. We even were staying on the same floor only three doors down from each other. I’m a firm believer that we were destined to meet. I heard of coincidences, but that had to be fate involved. I seriously would’ve missed out on all the fun and the people I met if I didn’t go on this trip.

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Of course, I would’ve loved to spend more time with my relative during my time in Los Angeles. However, I learned so much about myself due to this trip that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I learned how resilient I could be when faced with new obstacles and challenges. This trip opened my eyes to the endless possibilities if only I would be willing to try and stop being scared. Remember you can’t have a lasting relationship with anyone if you can’t have one with yourself. Go on that trip, try out the new cooking class, or whatever your interest takes you. Stop letting the fear of the unknown stop you from living your best life. The happiness you are seeking is on the other side of fear.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

New Adventures with Friends

The weekend of March 9th was such a fantastic experience for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Halloween is my 2nd favorite holiday with my birthday being the 1st. I attended my first Monster Mania Convention that weekend! This event exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. For starters, I got to meet the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. Cassandra Peterson was out of her Elvira character. However, it was still nice to meet her. I was even having a conversation with one of the actors who played Jason, and I had no idea who he was. I’m sure he got a big kick out of that, and I was upset later as I was close enough to get a photo with him. The fact that I got to enjoy Halloween in March is the best feeling. I felt that I was entirely in my element as my affinity for the macabre was on full display. The stranger the better and being around folks who felt the same way I did made the experience even better. I also want to thank my best friend for tagging along with me. I was glad to share this experience with her even though horror isn’t her thing. She still was able to enjoy herself, and I was happy to show her another side of my wacky crazy personality.

I was delighted I was able to share this experience with my best friend, but honestly, this almost didn’t happen. I was content with going to the Monster Mania Convention on my own and experiencing this event with me, myself and I. After further deliberation I thought what would be the fun in that. The whole point of going to this type of activity is to experience it with someone. I was surprised that my best friend went as I stated before this wasn’t her thing. However, this reminded me that real friends would go to events with you just to spend time with you. Even if the outing isn’t to their liking, they will still attend. Just spending time with your friend no matter what you are doing will bring the friendship closer. Doing new activities together will ultimately help strengthen your bond as you start to learn more things about each other. I encourage all friendships to plan different events and step outside of your comfort zone. Not only will this help to improve your bond but you will learn something new about yourselves in the process.

The moral of my story is not to automatically assume that someone won’t attend a social gathering with you before you even ask. You may be presently surprised at the outcome that you receive. Of course, you should still participate in the activity even if others can’t attend but it will be more fun to experience it with friends. It may appear that your friends may not enjoy it, but it could turn out to be the most fun ever had. Never assume the answer will be no and just ask that person and people anyway. I almost missed out on this opportunity with my best friend, and we both had a fantastic time. Life has a funny way of proving to you that looks aren’t always what they seem. Stop assuming, grow a little and ask your friends to attend that place you wanted to visit.

 

Here’s a picture of me with my best friend and Elvira

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