Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long Distance Relationships: An Added Effort or an Extra Chore?

Long distance relationships...for those that are in one, they know that it is not easy. Whether you and your significant other are schools apart, cities apart, or states apart, it is commonly known that it takes a little bit more to make the relationship work. The most minute things now matter the most and make a big difference in how the relationship plays out. One big factor is travel. Any long-distance couple that wants to be together knows that means coughing up some money, getting yourself together, and braving the wonderful world of public transportation or the highways. But despite all of that, it's worth getting to see and be with the one you love. However, we know that this isn't always the case. Ladies, have you ever been in this particular situation where your man seems like he rather get a damn root canal than travel however many miles to come see you? Does the pleading lead to the both of you arguing with nothing accomplished in the end? If so, I've been in your shoes before and I'm here to tell you: THAT'S A RED FLAG WAVING IN YOUR FACE! As my father told me when I was 16, when I was being young and dumb, if a man does not want to travel to see you, then it is very likely that you're not a priority. And as my best friend says, "don't make anyone a priority who makes you an option." Ladies, let's just be frank: either he doesn't want you or he has someone who's more accessible to him. If you find yourself in this situation, you have to really decide for yourself if it is even worth it because if you're the one that's putting out your hard earned money to travel and see him, but he's not, there is no real reciprocity. I know it sucks, but at the end of the end of the day, you have to look out for your best interests.

Now it's not to say that long distance relationships don't work because they absolutely can. I'm in one right now; we go to two different schools in two different states. Given that Philly, PA and Long Island, NY aren't necessarily too far away and that New York City is home to both of us, we have it easier than most, but we understood from the gate that there was going to be an added effort on both our parts. We spend weekends with each other, come to visit just because, etc. We have mature (I repeat: mature) conversations and work out school schedules, family holidays, etc. and I must say, it really has been a stress-free, headache-free thing to manage. However, I owe it to the frank conversations that my father and I have that made me realize that the premise of relationships, long distance or not, are work and that if one person isn't pulling their weight or 'sleeping on the job' then it's usually best to just let it go. So if you're in this particular situation, ask yourself: does he see this relationship as an added effort or just an extra chore?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is a Good Man or Woman Hard to Find?

Tuesday was the first day of my last semester in undergrad. As usual, me and my girls went to lunch to catch up with one another. On the way to lunch, we came across an advertisement for a sorority sponsored activities week. One of the activities was a discussion titled "Is a Good Man/Woman Hard to Find?". We looked at it and decided that we were going to go. Fast forward to Wednesday evening and we're sitting by other college girls and across from college guys. To make a long story short, there was an open forum on topics like what makes a good man or woman, cheating, intercourse, dating, marriage, communication, divorce, etc. Both sexes raised some good and some not-so-good points and questions so here are some of the highlights.

  • We as a society use the terms men and women very loosely so therefore a man may be looking to be with a girl who doesn't necessarily know what it means to really be a woman and vice-versa.
  • Men cheat on good girls because a.) the sex is not good and they look to another chick to fulfill those needs b.) they're bored and have a lot of time on their hands or c.) they've invested so much in the relationship and cutting all ties seems a lot harder.
  • When it comes to communication, women AND men go to their friends instead of their significant other because they feel as if friends have a better insight into the person and the situation.
  • Friends' opinions can mess up relationships; they don't know that much.
  • It is not really appropriate to ask the person you're dating how many partners they slept with; the truth can be ugly and the past shouldn't matter.
  • A lot of people have unrealistic expectations in marriage and the moment they realize that marriage is hard work or not what they expected they file for it at the drop of a hat.
  • The gender and racial stereotypes (i.e. Black women have attitudes, Latino women are professional caretakers, men all are macho) have some sort of truth, but because media shines a big light on these stereotypes, people think that they have to live up to them in some sort of way.
  • The whole "nice guys finish last" holds true because women want guys (i.e. bad boys) that are more upfront...or so they think in the end.
Overall, it was a pretty interesting forum and it gave girls a chance to pick the brains of the guys and vice versa, but of course, the sound advice is only good if you decide to use it in your relationship. And depending on how you view things and how you approach the situation, a good man or woman is NOT hard to find!
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