Lemonade, Lies & Cheating

Ashes to ashes,  dust to side chicks”     -Beyonce

It usually all starts with a lurk. When I found out the person I was in a relationship with was talking to other girls on Facebook, I didn’t have any burning suspicions about it. I also didn’t expect to not find anything, but you know what they say happens when you go looking for trouble. I surely did find it. It wasn’t anything horrible, but I did find it highly inappropriate. The thoughts that came with finding out your significant other has been entertaining others are typical of what most people probably think when this happens. Feelings of inadequacy; what did I do wrong or what did I not do altogether? Is it my looks, is she smarter than me? Funnier, maybe? I eventually let it go and we moved past it, but I never trusted him again. Whenever he would be on his phone laughing about something, my side eye game grew stronger. Now that Beyonce has released the masterpiece that is Lemonade, talks of infidelity have been stronger than ever. Whether the album is themed around Jay Z’s cheating or not, it has sparked some interesting conversation. Of course all relationships come with problems, but to get such an intimate view tumblr_o6as866jc31r4poono1_500into a relationship that many thought was unbreakable put a little fear into the hearts of couples everywhere. Looks like Hov and Bey aren’t the #Goals everyone thought them to be. So where does that leave us regular folk? If someone so beautiful, ridiculously talented and famous can get cheated on, are any of us safe? Our generation already has very low levels of trust in the opposite sex. Most people expect to be deceived, so when it happens they just shrug it off. Side chicks don’t hide anymore, and popular music constantly reminds us that no one is to be trusted. Despite my bad experiences, I have not allowed myself to become jaded to the concept of love and relationships. Not everyone has bad intentions, and when a person cheats, it usually is not because of the other person’s inadequacies. This was a very important lesson I have had to learn in my early 20’s. People aren’t against you, they’re just for themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to tolerate disrespect, but it will help you from blaming yourself in case you ever end up the victim of a cheater. If you’ve ever cheated, why did you do it? Were you not feeling fulfilled in your relationship or were you just fueled by lust? Is it worse when women cheat? Many men say that women cheating is worse due to the emotional aspect of it, as opposed to men who cheat out of excitement. Of course women cheat for physical reasons at times as well, and men are capable of forming emotional bonds while sampling other appetizers. So who cheats more often? FullSizeRenderIs it that men cheat more, or is that women just hide things better? We all know men are generally terrible liars. When it comes to the little details, they leave loose ends and that is usually how they get caught up. Women are much more methodical. We forget nothing, and because of our tendencies to overthink, if we’ve plotted a lie, there are probably about 10 backup lies to cover our bases. Kind of twisted isn’t it? A woman who is a good liar has probably been cheating for months, maybe even years before she gets caught. According to this site, women cheat just as much as men do. The reasons differ, but the rate is about the same. Since each sex gets stepped out on as much as the other, why do men have such a hard time bouncing back after they’ve been betrayed? They will forever have “trust issues” and be emotionally unavailable because their high school girlfriend cheated with his next door neighbor. I’ve heard plenty of theories regarding this. The most common one is that men love harder than women because they are more selective about who they choose to open up to. So you put yourself out there and got stepped on; I think its time to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.

Why Did He Do This To Me?

The thing someone wants to know most of all when they’ve been betrayed is, “why.” I always thought this was intriguing because does it really matter why? If your boyfriend has been cheating on you, would the logic behind it help you sleep better at night? I think it would make you feel much worse to hear “I’ve been stepping out because you’re boring as f*ck and this is getting old.” Usually, cheating does not indicate a lack of love. It is more of a lack of respect and/or discipline. A relationship may be lacking fun, passion, sexual gratification, etc. or as Kanye said, someone may just be unable to stay faithful in a room full of hoes. Human beings are selfish by nature. The majority of our thoughts are motivated by ‘self.’ When I was 21 and in a relationship, from time to time I would text and flirt with other guys every now and then. I was bored, and I’ve since matured, but in the moment I wasn’t thinking about how my significant other would feel. I also didn’t like him any less just because I was exchanging heart eye emojis with other guys. I was just motivated by my own desires and failed to think how this would affect him if he were to find out. This is how cheaters operate. Unless you’re being petty antumblr_ndehti0ip61qgm5xfo1_500d seeking revenge, you turn off the loyalty switch in your mind. When Jay Z was out with Becky With The Good Hair, he wasn’t thinking about how beautiful, loyal and kind his wife and mother of his child is. The novelty of someone new is intoxicating to some people, and they’re willing to risk it all for a little excitement. For some people, they aren’t sure what counts as cheating and what doesn’t. Some people are ready to slash tires over liking Instagram pictures, others won’t see an issue until you’re meeting up and/or being physical. First of all, boundaries should be established in your relationship so you should know what’s inappropriate. Liking IG photos is extreme, but a good rule to go by is if you feel you need to hide it, you shouldn’t be doing it. No one can read minds and none of us have the power to control other people, so stressing yourself out over the where, when, why and how’s your love cheated on you will just frustrate you even more. Their bad decisions are not a reflection of you. It does not make it okay, but don’t lose sleep at night thinking that their infidelity is your fault. Loyalty is an expectation, but definitely not a guarantee.

Second Chances?

So they cheated, and you decided to stay. People love to judge those who forgive cheaters and take them back. This isn’t the first time there have been rumors of Jay not being faithful to Bey, yet she chooses to stick around and work on her family. It is easy for someone on the outside looking in to call another woman stupid or weak for not kicking a cheating man to the curb, but we don’t know the uniqueness of every situation. It really isn’t anyone’s business why you decide to forgive, but I do not think it is wise to just blindly forgive and forget without going deeper. I said above that the ‘why’ does not matter, but that is on a surface level. It is not as simple as she’s prettier or has a better body. People, men in particular, will cheat with a woman who looks like a gremlin. If it were based purely off attraction, no human being on Earth would be able to be monogamous. When my now ex-boyfriend was flirting on Facebook, I was too immature and inexperienced at the time to attempt to get a better understanding of his actions outside of “why are you talking to other girls?!” Looking back on it, I should have been more focused on where the lack of discipline was coming from. “I don’t know why, I just do it” is not an answer. It is an example of how some people are unable to communicate their motives, or they are not courageous enough to be honest. When this topic comes up,
tumblr_o6ax5w2v511tfbqd3o1_540I always think back to the scene in Baby Boy where Yvette is trying to get Jody to explain to her why he cheats. His attempt at honesty was futile, and he basically just told her to deal with it or kick rocks. If your significant other is unable or unwilling to be totally open and honest with you about their actions, I don’t think they are worthy of forgiveness. You have to be real with yourself in order to be real with others. Unless you lack relationship experience or life experience altogether, you have got to be mature and strong enough to hold people accountable for their actions. You can’t get mad at Becky With The Good Hair. She owes you no loyalty. The person who agreed to be exclusive with you is responsible. Who cares if she knew that was your man? All is fair in love and war. Things happen, and people sometimes do things they regret. At the end of the day, we’re all human. If you have cheated or are currently cheating, you’re not a horrible person. People make mistakes, but if you’re willing to take those risks, you have to be able to accept the consequences. If you are the person who is currently pulling the knife out of your back, only you can decide how you want to proceed. If you would rather put all his stuff in the box to the left, nothing is wrong with that. If you’re working it out, do it in a way that is most conducive to long-term success. Sweeping things under the rug because they gave you a weak “sorry, I won’t hurt you again” is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Once someone sees you let everything slide, they’ll start figure skating. If you are starting to get to second, third, and fourth chances, it is probably time to accept that this person is incapable of being the partner you deserve. You can forgive from a distance and move on with your life. The beautiful thing about life is that you are in control of it. If you want to reconcile, reconcile. Don’t let the opinions of your friends and family get in the way of what you believe is your happiness. Just also be willing to accept responsibility for the downfall if things do not work out the way you had hoped. Trust your instincts and stand your ground. It will work in your favor every time.

It Doesn’t Cost $200 To Date Me

“Chicken wings and fries, we don’t go on dates” -Future

If you are familiar with Twitter, at some point you have surely seen the debate on the $200 date. I have no idea where the notion that a proper date is at least $200 originated from, but apparently if you can’t afford to take a woman on a $200 date you’re broke, and if a man has never dropped that much money on you during a date, you aren’t worth the investment. During my time on Twitter, I have never seen the logic behind this dollar amount, but I have deduced that a fancy dinner and drinks at a commendable restaurant adds up to about this much. Dating is not just a black and white process, so you cannot realistically place a dollar value on a date. It will all depend on the area you live in and what you choose to do. With house dates becoming so popular, I have been amazed that this is even a topic of discussion since so many women are content with Netflix and Chill. I have been on cheap dates where wtumblr_nl27yzhfpq1spnc0yo1_500e have done simple things such as go-karts and grabbing a bite and had an amazing time. I’ve been on fancy dinners where even the taste of a $50 steak couldn’t stop me from being bored to tears over how dull he was. An expensive dinner can’t make up for a lack of chemistry, so I cut ties and decided not to talk to this person again. Go Kart guy and I went on to have more fun together and he spent much less than $200. So how do we find the happy medium between $200 dates and Netflix and Chill? Does a man see you as less valuable if he invites you over to his house instead of the Metropolitan Grill? I would say no. At the end of the day its a tactic to get into your pants, some just put more effort into it than others. Of course as a man gets to know you and likes your personality he will want more than sex, but we can be realistic and accept the fact that men are creatures of conquest. Does it cost $200 to date me? Absolutely not. Will I go over to your house to eat Pizza Hut and watch reruns of House of Cards? There is a better chance of it snowing in hell. With that being said, lets break down the cost of what I feel is a reasonable date.

A Date With Me

First things first, I enjoy food. Going to dinner is a great chance to have a conversation with a person. You can obtain information that is important to you, like their occupation, how they treat the server, etc. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star seafood restaurant, but I’m also not going to Popeye’s. Let’s say we end up at The Cheesecake Factory. The food is pretty good, not too expensive, and it is close to where our next activity will take place. I place my order, he places his:

  • 2 beverages – $20
  • 2 entrees – Pasta for me, ribs for him – $48
  • 1 slice of cheesecake – $8
  • Tip – $15

Total for dinner = $91

We both enjoy live music, and not too far away there is an outdoor concert. The only cost is a small donation for whatever charitable cause they are performing for. I throw in my own $5, he puts in $5. Boom. There is a date for under $200. For $96, I have enjoyed great conversation, had a good dinner and an activity was included that barely cost any extra money. All it takes to have a great date is some creativity and effort. The dinner scenario was just an example. There are plenty of things two people can do together than can cost a
lot less than a $96 dinner. Dinner and movie dates may be cliche, but it is important to choose something that allows you to see how a person is when they are out of the comfort of their own home. If a man wants to take you to see a Broadway show and follow it up
tumblr_ng2fr8cycl1su7a71o1_500with lobster tails, there is nothing wrong with that. If instead he suggests something that involves barely $5, like a hike followed up with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop, the important part is that someone is willing to put in the effort to create a bonding experience with you. If you like someone, how can you truly get to know them if you don’t ever do anything but sit in their house and watch movies? You’ll end up moving too fast and everything will fizzle out before it even gets a chance to get started. Don’t sell yourself short. I have seen tweets that say things like “girls expect $200 dates but aren’t even worth Burger King.” Whether you agree with the concept of a $200 date or not, every woman is worth being shown effort. Don’t fall into the Twitter propaganda of settling for McDonald’s and Redbox because you’ve been made to feel bad for expecting a real date.

Why Don’t Men Want To Date?

To be real, I can see why a lot of men these days are unwilling or skeptical to take women out on dates. Why would you fill your car up with gas, put on nice clothes, pick her up, pay for a dinner, then have no guarantee of a reward at the end when you could call over 1 of many options who would drive to your house, have drinks, maybe even bring you food, then give you a happy ending? That’s like going to Pizza Hut to pick up your pizza when instead you could have all the goods delivered right to your door. Men are winning nowadays. So many women are so thirsty for attention they will accept house dates when they know they want to be taken out and treated like the queen that they are. In a nutshell, men have been spoiled. For arguments sake, lets say Brian has met two women this week. Cassie is smart, pretty and seems to have standards. Nina seems to be a lot of fun, looks average, but they seem to get along pretty well. He currently has Adriana on the back-burner for when none of his more appealing options seem to be cooperating. It’s Friday night, and Brian is bored. What better to do than to call up one of these new ladies he has had his eye on? Cassie is busy, he doesn’t feel like dealing witdateh the complaints of Adriana tonight, so he calls up Nina. She is excited to hear from him, and suggests that they check out a happy hour near her place and maybe catch a movie. Brian does the math in his head. Drive to her area, pay for the movies, happy hour and movie snacks. He thinks “I just met her, do I really want to be spending money on someone I might not even like after its over? Nope!” Brian does what these new age savvy guys do and says “I’m pretty tired from work, but I’ve been wanting to see you. You should come to my place and watch (insert popular show) you said that you liked and we can have drinks here. I can pick up the Crown Apple you said you liked.” In the mind of a girl desperate for attention, this doesn’t seem like a bad trade off. She agrees, and Brian has just gotten everything that he wanted and all he had to do was stay on the phone for 90 seconds. Nina begins to like Brian and he thinks she’s cool to keep around, but he now knows that she will lower her standards for sweet talk, so from here on out all she gets is house dates and cold Crown Royal Apple. Soon, Brian will meet someone who won’t settle for cold pizza, and Nina will be pushed out the door. Men respect standards. The good thing is that there are still plenty of men willing to date. Just don’t be surprised if they try you with the basic chick act first. If I was a man, I probably would. If Future is telling me you can still get what you want by giving women chicken wings and fries, I’m gonna offer you chicken wings and fries.

Men-Get Creative!

Some men are intimidated with the art of dating because of the monetary importance that is placed upon it. If you are in college and you are being asked out, it is silly to expect a young college student to have fancy date money. If you are talking to a man who has a moderate income, don’t offend him by turning your nose up at his suggestion of doing something that doesn’t cost a lot. As I’ve said previously, the most important thing is that a person is puttingnf and cill in effort. That doesn’t mean you are expected to pay for your own meal on the first date, but keep things in perspective. Is he making time for you and showing interest? During the date, did he pay attention to the little things like opening your doors and making sure you got home safely? If you’re dating someone just to see how deep their pockets go, you have a totally different objective. The point should be to create a bonding experience with someone to see how compatible you may be. If you have no idea how to date on a budget, check out Pinterest. You can find plenty of cheap date ideas on there. Picnics, hikes, paint nights, carnivals/fairs, there are plenty of things you can do that will not make you go broke.There really is no excuse for accepting little to no effort from the person you are interested in. Dating is an investment of your time and energy. If you spend your time and energy sewing seeds of nothingness, you are going to get nothing in return. Realistically, dating costs money. If you are involved with a man who doesn’t even have the money to take you to see The Revenant, he clearly can’t afford to date. Men may ask you to come over and chill because it’s easy, but it also may be because they are struggling financially. This is when you have to start analyzing behavior. Sure, the funds may be low, but this is when you have the opportunity to get creative. If someone is really interested in you, time, money, or Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall can’t keep them away. Your company is priceless, so don’t be afraid to make your expectations known. If they flake on you or make you feel bad for having standards, they are simply not the person for you. No, you will not cook for him. No, you will not check out his favorite show on Hulu, but yes you will accept his offer to treat you like the queen that you are. Fellas, you can date on a budget! Don’t be discouraged. Is there a special lady you’ve had your eye on but student loans or a low paying job is holding you back? Here is your answer:

The Trendy Picnic

I am not the only woman who loves to eat. When a woman gets asked out, her mind usually has visions of sitting down at a restaurant. Well, you might not have restaurant money. Plan a picnic! Here is how to look like you’ve gone all out without having to make a payment arrangement with AT&T next week.

date idea

  • Step 1: Check the weather and choose a location that you know won’t be overly crowded. Try to have a nice view. You’ll be able to converse and enjoy your food without distractions. Don’t forget a nice blanket and appropriate utensils. Borrow it all from your mom.
    • Cost – $0
  • Step 2: Figure out what she likes to eat. You don’t have to eat turkey sandwiches just because its a picnic. You don’t even have to know how to cook. Go to Costco and pick up a small meat platter, pasta salad, fruit, cheeses, something to drink and a few chocolates.
    • Cost – ~approx $30, maybe less
  • Step 3: Bring music to set a nice mood. Bring a game you both likes, like dominoes, cards, etc. One great way to gain insight to a person without feeling weird is to bring The Book of Questions. It’s very engaging and interesting. You can order it on Amazon. You still get to eat, enjoy her company, and learn about each other.
    • Cost – $8.95 for the book

Total for your date: approximately $38.95

Not only did you just do the smart thing by not putting yourself in a tough spot by shelling out money you don’t have, I can guarantee that you have impressed this woman. You didn’t take her back to the same old place she’s been 100 times, you stepped outside of the box. This has shown that you know how to plan, be creative, and engage a person without feeling inadequate because you are not making six figures.

 

Death To Trust Issues

Let me guess… You have trust issues. You have been done wrong, lied to, taken advantage of, manipulated, cheated on or all of the above. Welcome to life. It always amuses me when I read or hear people say “you can’t trust anyone nowadays.” Maybe I have been living in the twilight zone but was there ever a time where people didn’t deceive other people? Cain killed his own brother and they were supposedly the first family on earth. Jesus was snitched on by one of his own disciples for a few pieces of silver. Bill cheated on Hillary in the White House, right under her nose. Times may change, but people sure don’t. Trust is extremely fragile. Once it is broken, oftentimes it is irreparable. One lie can make you question everything. Before someone is traumatized from the side effects of dealing with a liar, he/she generally gives most people a general level of trust until they have reason to revoke it. Once they’ve had some life experience and have been burned a few times, some people develop serious trust issues as a defense mechanism. They can’t hurt you if you don’t let them in, right? With popular culture co-signing the anti-trust movement (Dratumblr_inline_o1quutbge21t144kg_500ke-“Trust Issues” Future “If Young Metro Don’t Trust You…”) it seems logical to keep your heart locked up with no key to open it in existence. With this type of mindset, are you protecting yourself or are you really just hurting and limiting yourself? One day I had to wake up and smell the Starbucks; people are not out to get me. The times I felt like I was made a fool of, it wasn’t necessarily personal. People are inherently selfish. Their actions aren’t motivated by you. That guy who was dating my friend behind my back when I was 17 didn’t have a secret vendetta mission to break my high school heart. He was fueled by his own desires. Was it wrong for him to do me like that? Of course it was. We should all be honest regarding our intentions and upfront about our actions, but we don’t live on planet Morals and Kindness. This world is brutal. The funny thing is that many people I talk to don’t have issues with trust because of what they’ve been through, but because of what they witness. Guy friends tell me all the time how many women in relationships they’ve slept with. Not very reassuring if you’re still on the market, hoping for someone trustworthy. I have men in relationships try to take me on dates all the time. Why anyone would entertain someone who is blatantly disloyal is beyond me, but that’s neither here nor there. What I find especially sad is that the expectation is to get played. So many of us meet someone new and because things are going well, we just wait for the other shoe to droWait For Him To Lie Memep. Jenny meets Bob and so far he meets everything on her checklist. Handsome, ambitious, great sense of humor, all that good stuff. Jenny thinks to herself, “something is wrong with him, I know it.” Jenny then finds out Bob has 3 kids he failed to mention and still lives at home with them and their mother. After awhile you have to ask yourself if you’re just having bad luck or if you’re failing to do your research on these people you so quickly become smitten with. Time to take some accountability!

Know Yourself

We are all our own worst enemies and biggest critics. I believe most people have trust issues because it is themselves they don’t trust. They don’t trust their own instincts or their taste in people. If you close yourself up because you have been scorned in the past, its because you are too afraid to take your chances again. Fear hinders growth. Instead of feeling the sharp sting of betrayal again, you would rather scroll through your timeline and wonder how all those other happy couples are making it work. The cute guy at work keeps asking you out, but he wears the same Gucci cologne that the last guy who hurt you wore, so he must be a creep too. Simply jaded by fear. Once you realize that no one can hurt you without your permission, you can possibly begin to open yourself up again without walking on eggshells around someone new. Trust doesn’t always have to do with betrayal and infidelity. Can you trust someone with your feelings overall? What can be equally as hurtful as cheating is dealing with someone who disregards your feelings and can’t keep your business private. Have you ever felt like you could trust someone with your private thoughts and then they throw them in your face later on? Or even worse, in my opinion, is when you try to communicate your issues with a person and they brush you off with no interest or acknowledgement. This is a violation of trust that not many people take note of. Being able to trust someone with what is on your mind is essential to any relationship. One of the most important components of happiness is removing toxic people from your life. Trusting your instincts is key, but betrayal is tricky. Sometimes you never see it coming. While Caesar was in the midst of getting stabbed to death, imagine his surprise to see Brutus grab a knife too. I’ve had friends stab me in the back, but did I decide I was never going to make friends again? I would have been the one lonely while everyone else was busy making memories. My life would have become some bitter Facebook meme about “trust no b*tch.” The internet has made it seem like everyone is out to get you. It spreads fear like ratchets spread rumors. Stop relying on memes made by some salty chick in a basement to give you guidance on your own life. Most of us are a lot more resilient and capable than we give ourselves credit for. If your bullsh*t detector starts going off, listen to it! There is no way you would have made it this far in life not being able to trust your own instincts. tumblr_m1m2bkmtnj1qfdwsio1_500There are levels to trust, and new people in my life are given just enough for me to feel comfortable that you won’t go fatal attraction on me once you find out where I live. As the friendship grows, I become more open as you continue to prove yourself trustworthy. If you’re paying attention and keeping your wits about you, a person’s true interior will start to show sooner than later. Is there anyone (aside from my lovely mother and sisters) that I trust 100%? Absolutely not! I put nothing past no one. However, trust can only be broken to the point where you allowed someone to reach. Only allow people as much privilege into your life as they deserve. Your boyfriend couldn’t have had 25 chances to cheat on you if you had picked up his signs of disloyalty early on. Your so-called “friends” tell all of your business because you divulge private information to any woman who shares your love for Sephora. No one likes to be made a fool of, but don’t let fear stop you from forming relationships with people. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where you never know a person’s true intentions, but you can prepare yourself and use your common sense. People will screw you over, but life must continue to go on. Death to trust issues!