Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

 

It Love healthseems that love is overrated. Excuse me, the portrayal of love on tv, movies and online is overrated. There’s a million movies about the story of two young lovers finding fate and themselves and then fighting all the odds to become star crossed lovers. It’s the tale of love conquers all, but it only happens when you’re young and have no responsibilities. The other side are the blundering mid 30’s or 40’s age when the kids are hormone raging teens, your job has become mundane drudgery and your parents seem to be enjoying their golden age. Some how the characters are stuck in the middle, where the love well is drying up and they re-evaluate their love, but not until temptation, either from another person or life changing event happens. Out of both types of romance movies, which one is the one that makes it through?

Oddly enough, according to Steinberg’s Triangular Love Theory, and my own interpretation of those types of movies, I would say the middle aged couple that hit a lull has a better chance than the hopelessly madly in love that conquers all types. Why?….Well, let’s be honest with ourselves if you’ve been in those fiery type of romances, it’s just like the movies. Excitement, sex, enjoyment, sex, drunken nights, sex, recklessness and more sex. These types of relationships fit into the category of “Romantic Love, ” according to Steinberg. To put it simply, there’s a lot of passion and even intimacy, but it lacks commitment which Consummate Love contains intimacy, passion and commitment. Isn’t the fun part, though finding love and learning the person? Take for existence Titanic, would you have liked the story any different if you saw that Leonardo’s character made it out alive and twenty years later they’re arguing about mortgage payments and why he doesn’t do the same things he used when they first met?

Steinberg’s Triangular Theory of Love has six types of love: Companionate Love-This has intimacy and commitment, but no passion. Commitment-Empty Love, commitment alone. Fatuous Love-Passion and Commitment, but no intimacy. Passion-Infatuation, passion alone. Romantic Love-Intimacy and Passion, but no commitment. Intimacy-Liking, intimacy alone. Consummate as I talked about earlier is the sum of all of them equally. Too often times I see people trying to find love and it seems they have more lust for the person then an actual connection and when the fantasy fades and the girl or boy no longer encaptures what they mislead themselves to think the fun is over and the problems usually occur.

Too many times the benefits of love are overlooked and not mentioned. We can promote sex on the radio as early as the sunrise, but mentioning love somehow seems uncool and talked down about, like it’s some deviant behavior. There are some health benefits of finding love and maintaining a healthy love life. Love has been said to increase your immune system, help keep the pounds off if you exercise with your loved one, lower mortality rates for happy couples, that healthy glow due to less acne causing cortisol from lower stress levels when in love. Cardiovascular health is an added benefit from love as well as holding someone’s hand, can actually decrease the feelings of pain. Having sex once a week can increase estrogen levels and regulate menstrual cycles for women. Last, couples that are deep in love actually have more dopamine brain activity which can be associated with optimism, energy and a sense of well-being.

Love is so powerful, that on a physiological level seeing an attractive face activates the same part of the brain that reacts from painkillers, the opioid system. Being in love makes the heart grow fonder, or least makes the blood flow according to MRI scans that show the nucleus accumbens region has increased blood flow during times of love. A drop in serotonin, maybe an explanation why new lovers sometimes only seem to concentrate on each other and ignore the other person’s faults. When couples are in love for a little while to create the attachment phase. During this phase oxytocin and vasopressin spread throughout the brain and create feelings of well-being and security.

With all these facts about the health benefits and senses of well-being, then why isn’t America more proactive about promoting falling and maintaining love lasting relationships? I know finding true love is hard, but the alternative is a loveless society.

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I can't breathe

Last Saturday was one of the most amazing experiences of my life on earth to date. I decided I wanted to be a part of history and march along fellow supporters to end this domestic terroristic sub-culture that tosses out cases of black men getting killed with no penalty or punishment of the police officer. Even now there are details behind the shooting and killing of Mike Brown that the prosecutor suppressed that directly conflicts with the narrative that suggests Darren Wilson’s life was in danger at the time of the shooting.

Man in chains

The march began at Washington Square Park, I got there around 3pm because I got off at the wrong stop and missed my scheduled train into Penn Station from LI. I remembered being nervous I was going to miss the crowd, but when I finally got into the city and arrived at West 4rth street I felt relieved. I could see large pockets of people gathering and soon saw the protests signs and heard the megaphones and the chants against racism and support for Eric Garner and Mike Brown.

Once I was inside the park I saw different organizations and that were there for this day. Among the most vocals were members from LRP-COFL.org, Answer Coalition.org, National Liberty Alliance, 100 Blacks for Law Enforcement. I also bought a newspaper called Revolution,  which covered protests from NY to Mexico and all around the globe. I was only in the park for about ten minutes gathering newspapers and fliers when the crowd was moving toward the streets. It was there that I saw the awesome power of our civil liberties at work.

Protest

What was silence, turned into chants organically into the crowd that crescendo into overwhelming applause and cheers. “Hey hey, Ho ho, these racist cops have got to go!” “Hands up, Don’t Shoot!” “Show me what democracy looks like, This is what democracy looks like!” “No justice, No peace!” “Eric Garner, Michael Brown,shut it down, shut it down!” I could see the faces of the onlookers and police by the barricades. Some were there just to see what the fuss was about, others showed support on their way to work or wherever they needed to be. Often they chanted with us and gave more power to the message that #Alllivesmatter even if the court system doesn’t see it that way.

The feeling was incommunicable in words. There was an inseparableness that I felt that I only experienced online until this point. I’ve seen past rally’s and protests and knew people of all economic and racial backgrounds were there. I even knew about the global support for Ferguson and Eric Garner, with the different hashtags #crimingwhilewhite, #blacklivesmatter, #Icantbreathe, but to witness first hand and be a part of the warm fellowship left me in state of awe.

I was surprised by this generation’s resilient and remonstrance spirit. All I have been told and thought is since first hearing about Michael Brown, is that this was gonna wash over America and end in a another church hymn with the packaging of we shall overcome during a pastor’s congregation meeting. This generation, to me now shows the spark of the young Malcom X’s, Martin Luther King’s, Cesar Chavez, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Stonewall Inn protests for Gay Rights. I was also humbled by the compassion of the buildings and businesses on the streets we marched on. Many of them held signs and banners that gave this movement life, “#BlackLivesMatter” and the diversity among the crowd couldn’t have been a better representation of what this country should stand for more often.

I remember feeling like since we’re all here for once cause, then I surely can stand up for another cause, even if it was not my own. I don’t have to be gay to stand alongside someone who is and fight for them. I don’t have to be an immigrant to know that they also deserve to be treated better in this country. During the marching and chanting, it become a jovial occasion, realizing the power of force and the message we are sending around the world and to Washington and every political office in this country, that change is coming, so either help us do it or get thrown out of office for someone who will.

I saw mother pushing baby strollers and fathers holding their children on their heads so they could see the signs and helicopters passing over us. I saw old, young, any color of race and nationality and sexual orientation. I saw some Latino sisters and brothers chanting along with us in Spanish and with a sign written in Spanish, which I couldn’t make out entirely, but I did see one part I recognized #Alllivesmater!

There were moments of silence, but the energy never wavered, even after hours of walking and I really didn’t even know where we were going, but I wasn’t going to stop. A gentleman finally told we were heading for the first precinct. “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now”, “I Can’t Breathe” were also very powerful outcries in the crowd. One man who introduced himself as David asked to interview me during the march. He asked a couple of questions about me and why I was there to support and if I have any personal stories that fit the profile of being discriminated against. I told him the story of being pulled over at 2am for a broke license plate light, that ended in a 35 dollar ticket. I didn’t know about a license plate light to know I needed one at the time. I know it wasn’t a story that ended in a violent beating with night sticks or even getting shot over it, but I felt they pulled me over because I was driving while black through a prominently rich white neighborhood on my way home from work.

By the end of the day I was tired, hungry, cold and had been holding myself from going to the bathroom for almost four hours, but I didn’t want to leave. It wasn’t until I reminded myself that I had to work later that night, that I finally trotted back to the subway to make it for my shift. I don’t know if anyone took pics of me, since I didn’t have a camera phone, but I recorded audio of the event on my phone. I plan to go to at least two more protests this year. My agenda this year now to support the fight against climate change and a wage increase.

I like to read blogs just as much as I like to write them. I came across a blog called memoriesfound.wordpress.com  I read a couple of the blogs she wrote and enjoyed her honesty and freedom to express herself that sometimes I lack in my own writing. I often look for the best description of a word or most creative way to imagine a scene from my life. Alice seems to posts her stories and memories with no inhibitions. Her being brutally honest takes you with along places you may not want to see. The story “Exposed” leaves you at the moment she’s lying in the shower with trembling in fear that she might get raped.  Another story takes you into a music festival where she finds a phone and decides she wants to be mischievous. The night ends with the girl getting her phone back, but friend and family think she is now pregnant.  I also agree with her post “Making love is boring post” . If you have sometime check out her posts. They are not for the weak of heart so be ready.

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It still amazes me when the divorce rate is over 50% and shows like the Bachelor has ratings that are at a all time high that we still look for austere relationships in our society, when we clearly are losing touch with the morals, ethics and values that was the mucilage for such partnerships to exists. Today more than ever we are more into self-indulgence than self-restraint. In the past if you were hit on while in a committed relationship a majority we pass on the advancement knowing what they have at home and not jeopardize it. Today it’s a crap shoot. Men and women are both guilty nowadays the interconnection that was once held up on a pedestal is not on the ground floor. Open relationships seem like the more modern way  to having a loving partnership and still be satisfied where your lover may be lacking.

In an article in Vogue Magazine columnist Karley Sciortino explains her nine months “open” relationship with her girlfriend. She explains the sexual freedom she feels of not being pinned down with one sexual partner and how she during her run with her girlfriend how she would still find herself having sex with guys she met from various mediums whether online or a night club or a random hookup. Sciortino explains that she never really liked being monogamous in her male/female relationships and in her current one she explained to her girlfriend that she wanted to have sexual freedom. Now she still has the jealousy issues that a normal relationship has when her girlfriend has “company” over, but Sciortino says it’s a small price to pay. Author Dan Savage argues that sexual fidelity is not a prerequisite for a committed relationship.

Feeling the emotions of jealousy and discontent the author turned to somebody they knew who had an “open” relationship and was able to find their comfort zone within their homogeneousness parameters. “We wanted to be together, but we didn’t want to feel tied down,” Samantha told me. She explained that she and her boyfriend were the type of people who want to challenge societal standards. “Personally, I wanted to deconstruct the common idea of what a romantic relationship should be, and for our relationship to stand on its own.” The friend had even thought to bring a third person into the relationship to enhance the excitement and bonding experience. She also thought bringing in friends and people they both knew was acceptable, but the boyfriend wanted random hookups and strangers over her practical requests.

Still trust, respect and communication are the foundational elements that can make an open relationship work just like in monogamous ones. Rules are a good way to set the boundaries. They should realistic and incorporate the other feelings into consideration. For Sciortino she noted that her rules were: no sleeping with mutual friends, no sleepovers, no regulars and no sex within an hour of meeting them. Let’s hope that works

Another article I read in the New York Post was about a “triad” couple Ezza, Rachel and Matt who found themselves online and decided to meet in person back in 2009. The couple had chemistry and shared views on dating, love and relationships and immediately hit it off. “I was really excited to meet people who felt the same way,” she says of her ongoing relationship with the married couple, both 34-year-old self-employed artists, who declined to use their last names because of privacy reasons. Gette Levy of open love NY is a local support group for open relationships which now has over 1,000 members and has increased it’s numbers since forming in 2009. “Dating has changed over the past 50 years,” says Levy. “Many adults of all ages are finding that monogamy does not suit them and is no longer a fiscal and social requirement.”

To be honest with TV shows like “Sister Wives” and “Polyamory: Married & Dating” and celebrities like Robin Thicke grabbing Lana Scalaro’s behind and not face consequences with his wife Paula Patton. Even power couple Will and Jada Smith are rumored to have a “open” relationship,so how can it not entice the average person to see what’s it’s like? To add onto that Dolly Parton, Mo’ Nique, Tilda Swinton and even politician Newt Gengrich’s wife Marianne asked for a “open marriage”. Researchers in Germany and in the University of Wisconsin show that the women are the ones usually to initiate an “open” relationships after becoming bored physically with their partners who they’re been with multiple years.

Ezzo’s partner Matt agrees: “The biggest misconception people have about open relationships is that it’s a nonstop party. We only have 24 hours in a day and most of that is taken up with work, sleep and responsibilities to the home and each other. To see someone else takes a lot of planning. We live by the calendar more than the bedroom.”  “I feel like monogamy sets us up to fail in so many ways….that this one person is going to meet all of our needs — emotional, sexual, physical, spiritual, financial, physical — and that’s impossible,” says Taormino.

According to Time magazine most creatures including humans are not monogamous for the reasons you might previously would have thought of. One reason comes from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which finds that primitive males stayed with the female to ensure that their young were not killed by another male. The study was based on findings from the parenting behaviors of 230 different primate species over several generations. The males began the balance of spreading their gene pool and protecting their young. Other males would kill the young so they could breed with the mother and spread their gene pool. So monogamy in this case was more of a way to protect the lineage rather than a sense of a obligation to the sexual partner. “This is the first time that the theories for the evolution of monogamy have been systematically tested, conclusively showing that infanticide is the driver of monogamy,” trumpeted Christopher Opie, a research fellow in the Anthropology Department of University College London, in a statement. “This brings to a close the long running debate about the origin of monogamy in primates.”

The other theory about how monogamy came to be came from the journal “Science” made another similar analysis that used over 2,500 mammals. The findings from this research show that primates may have been monogamous because of location and supply for their counterpart. “Monogamy develops where females live at low density,” says Lukas. Males cannot fend off rival suitors from more than one female at a time because they’re too spread out. Therefore, they cannot ensure their young are the ones the female is carrying, so they stick with one female. “It’s a consequence of resource defense.” The Science study notes that in mammalian species that are monogamous, the females tend to be solitary and intolerant of other females. Unlike ungulates, who are rarely monogamous, these mammals’ nutritional needs are greater, and they therefore shoo off competitors for the food resources.The Science study is more speculative. “We are cautious on making any definite statement. Humans are such unusual animals,” says Lukas. Adds Clutton-Brock: “I’m far from convinced that humans are indeed monogamous.”

Do I think having an open relationship is the way to go? For me no, I having a loving strong relationship with my wife and do not want to jeopardize that. However, I can see why people choose to look outside their current relationship. I don’t understand when people want to demonize individuals for being honest when they say they want to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time. It’s those same people who will brand you with the Scarlet letter that need to clean their own house and get priorities in order. Sometimes your partner can have everything you want in a relationship, except one or two attributes you really want. While they might not be deal breakers for the relationship it might be something you still really want. Put it like this too many relationships I see today have too many secrets,no trust, no love and they think they are still living some antediluvian religious moral code by staying together because it’s just the two of them. What if having an “open” relationship is the answer to a hard question one of you wants to ask?, but doesn’t because of the fear of sounding like a sexual deviant.

Cheating cartoon

So I’m at a work when a co-worker asks me, “For ten million dollars tax-free!” “Would you let another man sleep with your wife?” “Oh you have to watch the whole thing!”Honestly I thought about it and told her no.  “No, you’re stupid, that’s ten million!!!” She then added. “For ten million I’d be giving my man hi fives and thumbs up the whole time I’m watching.” What my co-worker didn’t understand is just the thought of my wife with another man would disgust me to the point of no forgiveness. The walls of trust would erode and our communication would wither away and die. I asked my wife the same question a few days later. She gave me a look as to say, “Why would you even ask?” She then told me “No you’re my husband” “I couldn’t do that.”

It seems that maybe I missed it or it snuck up behind me. It’s a new day in the ways of cheating and who is cheating on who. I hear to many stories of females no longer caring if their man cheats as long as he is fiscally responsible and will keep the gifts and restaurant night out evenings coming. Some women I met say they don’t even mind being the other woman. I heard one girl say, “It’s better for me, that ain’t my man so when we done he has to leave.” The common downside to this new way of thinking is it leaves no room for love. Some of these same women will say I don’t want love. All men cheat any so what’s the point.

Even celebrities like Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow say cheating is not a deal breaker in a relationship. Taylor’s experience comes from her own many high-profile relationships with actors and singers as well. She also notes seeing her friends take back cheating men, because they feel that they belong together has set an example for her to follow. Some women want their spouses and husbands to have an affair…….I’m serious on this one. In an article in the Huffington Post several women admit that they wanted their husbands to cheat. These women weren’t abused or mistreated and mostly all says they have good nice guys at home. They just aren’t in love anymore. One woman used the scenario of her husband cheating to justify leaving her husband. Would you stay in a loveless marriage if your significant other was not the cause of your unhappiness? What if you had kids?

Well what makes a woman want to cheat on their man? Founder of Infidelityadvice.com may have the answer to that question and then some. They explain that the types of women who are more likely to cheat are ones with a lot of male friends, ones with girlfriends cheating on their spouses, an excessive need for attention, the materialistic type, if she’s a drug addict, if she views sex as a statement of her femininity. The list consists of eighteen types of women that have a higher chance of leaving their man/woman alone while they indulge themselves in other pleasures. Since women cheating is becoming more and more the norm. Fighting for the love and affection of your other half is quickly being replaced with satisfy that special “itch” for the moment.

Men cheat for some of the same reasons. Ego boosting, Peer pressure from friends and co-workers, the inability to say no, his way of ending the relationship, he may view an extra marital affair as a status symbol that comes with package of being successful in his career, he figures y’all never find out. There’s more, but I’ll let you find them all out. With so many reasons to cheat what would be the reasons for a person scathed by love to keep trying? Another question do you think if your spouse watches porn it is a form of cheating? That question came up to at work.

In this age of woman thinking like men it’s no wonder Steve Harvey took notice. He wrote a book to inspire women to take control of their relationships, also to empower over themselves and raise the bar while envisaging the prerequisites for a spouse to partner with them. Another article in Time magazine a few years back features Giuliana DePandi and her book “Think like a Guy:How to get a Guy by Thinking like One. In the article she emphasizes not telling a potential man all of your dirty laundry. Any child abuse stories, or drug abuse or things like that should remain in the background until you feel comfortable enough to share and have been with him over a few months. I agree with her statement. I dated a girl once who told me how she was molested at an early age and how she did drugs. Keep in mind this was the FIRST time I talk to her on the phone. Honestly is scared me away. She needed a therapist and I wasn’t willing to be her shoulder to cry on. Plus it was a lot to put on a person who you barely know. I’m not proud of it, but I know I couldn’t handle it.

All this talk about sex and cheating and not one mention of any science behind it. Is there a scientific explanation of why we cheat? Vasopressin is a hormone primarily used for pair-bonding. The hormone causes a trigger in the brain that happens when a species finds their mate. The gene RS3 334 or commonly known as the cheating gene comes in three varieties in humans; people can have 0,1 or 2 pairs. The more pairs they have the less vasopressin and more likely to have poor quality relationships. Last one method maybe years away, but genetic sequencing could be the key element in telling you if your mate has abiogenetic propensity to cheating.

Would you be more upset if your spouse cheated on you with someone from another race? Would you be upset if someone cheated on your with someone from the same gender? or for those of you who are homosexual would you be upset if your mate cheated on you with someone from the opposite sex? I know affairs of the heart can make people guard your most precious asset….yourself. It seems what is becoming the norm now is hugging your spouse while instgramming a fling for a late night that ends up with heavy breathing, clothes scattered in a hotel room and empty condom wrappers. And NO!!!!! it’s always the men who initiate this equidistant lifestyle. Women are as much to blame more than ever. One thing I try to live by in my relationship is: Are you prepared to lose this person if you were to cheat? How will you explain yourself to you kids about the affair? What type of person do you want to be remembered for? and last Not having an example of a happy marriage growing up, what would you do to create what you see as an example of a happy healthy relationship?

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This blog is dedicated to a co-worker I was talking to yesterday who insisted the person she is dating is already in a relationship. In fact she is convinced he is married. Now keep in mind I was ear hustling at first listening to her conversation with another person. I guess she could tell her story was getting the attention of the whole room, so she decided to include us all in the details. She explained how the guy she was seeing could never stay overnight at her place which prompted a red flag. She then went onto to say how he sent her a picture of himself. This is where it goes total CSI detective!!!! She was able to determine from a photo what neighborhood the guy lived in and even the street. From there she and a friend went to the street where she was sure the guy lived. Now he told her he lived alone, but she was able to find his car and identified the license plate by a photo she had as well. She also took note there were multiple cars in the driveway and a daycare sign at the residence. Now ordinarily I would take that story and say well the girl was way too intransigent on the fact that the guy she was dating was lying about his relationship status. What struck me as odd was that every girl in the direct vicinity chimed in with a similar story.

Some used online websites to bust guys who they thought were unfaithful. Some followed their mates to hotel rooms where they met the other woman. Some even contacted the other woman and then they both confronted the cheating boyfriend/husband. One woman told me that her husband told her he would go fishing until she found a strange number in her phone bill she didn’t recognize. She called the number and found out that it was the home of the girl her husband was cheating on her with. She was 8 months pregnant with their second child at the time when this happened. Sorry fellas I’m just telling the stories how they come in. Well with these stories you won’t find it difficult to believe that 30-60% of married individuals have engaged in infidelity at one time during their marriage. In a study the disparity between men who cheat and women who cheat are only off by a small margin. Men(20%) and woman(15%). With this age of everybody for themselves mentality when it comes to relationships what were some things that raised your suspicions? What was the craziest way you found out your spouse was cheating?