Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

July 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

There comes a time when beyond you just having a desire for a spouse, where you feel that you just need to catch a break. You try to do the best you can do with what you have, but you get to a point where you need to see some real manifestation. I am writing this post because this is a recurring theme I have noticed over the past couple of days. It may not directly be tied to relationships per se, but it is tied to life, and we need life in every relationship. You have been encouraged, received confirmation of what’s coming, gotten your hopes up, but it still seems that everything is not lining up. Many are to a point where you don’t need another good word or good message; you need to see something manifest. You need to see something to show you that you are on the right track. It goes beyond just having a desire for a spouse because for some, just getting through the week in peace overshadows everything else. For some, making it to the next paycheck is all you can see right now. The bottom line is some of you are just sick and tired of being sick and tired. You try to encourage yourself, but sometimes you get to a point where you may feel like your encouraging has been in vain. However, I am writing this post today to let you know that it is not in vain. The scripture that has been on my mind this week is Galatians 6:9-“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I am telling you that you are not close to a good change in your life, you are already here. The only thing the enemy can do at this point is try to get in your mind and distract you. The only thing he can do is try to make you abort. This is not the time to faint. It would be a shame to be approaching the finish line only to faint right in front of it and never cross. You are about to pass over numerous victory or finish lines in your life. This is why it seems like so many of you are under so much pressure. Some of you are to the point where you don’t even want to be bothered with people. Some of you don’t even want to be bothered with those of the opposite sex because you are frustrated right now. However, sometimes we all need to take a step back and regroup. I have included 3 things that you should do whenever you reach a point when you are sick and tired of being tired.

1.)  Give Yourself A Break- I know you are used to doing everything on your own until you have adopted the philosophy that you have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Even God took a day of rest. Give yourself a break. I know some of you are single parents and have to do so much yourself, but you also should not put so much pressure on yourself. I tell others that you are only as good as those around you. You are only as good as your team. God never intended for anyone to do everything alone. Sometimes help is around you, but you are so used to doing so much yourself, you can’t appreciate it when it comes or recognize it. For some, you are just looking for dependable help. You still have to know how to give yourself a break.

I can be transparent. One of the most disheartening things I encountered this week was when I pulled out my goal sheet from last year up until this month and realized that only 2 things on the entire list had I accomplished. I could have immediately become discouraged, but I realized that I honestly did as much as I could do to try to achieve those goals. What I also realized is that I did accomplish something big in the main area God has me in right now. Nevertheless, I could have looked at it as a failure or looked at it as motivation. So, I will make adjustments because a lot has changed. I gave myself a break by not beating myself up about it. Not to mention, I may not have accomplished some of those goals in the timeframe I wanted, but I believe I will get there. Successful people understand that failure is sometimes a prerequisite. You have to learn how to handle when things don’t go according to plan. Losers quit and go back to a comfort zone, but winners use it as a stepping stone. It builds character. So, give yourself a break and do what you can with what you have. Don’t always look for the 1 big thing; also look at the many little things you have done that adds up. I have many little things that I can be very proud about. Scripture also says that, “if we are faithful over a few things, God will make us ruler over many.” Don’t beat yourself up. Push yourself. DON’T LOOK AT WHAT IS NOT, LOOK AT WHAT IS! You may feel like you have nothing to be proud of right now, but I advise you to take a survey of what you have done. You have overcome in areas where some others would have quit.

2.)  Treat Yourself- You know what? Sometimes, you have to reward yourself for your hard work. If no one else does, you can throw your own party. Take yourself out to dinner. I have heard of a number of people doing it, and I think it is a good idea. Just do something nice for yourself for a change. If you can’t take care of you, you can’t effectively take care of someone else. Some of you have been too stuck in a routine. Go out with some friends. If you can’t find a babysitter for the kids, bring the party over to your house and have fun. You deserve it. Focus on what you can do, and the rest is on God. God loves a challenge because He knows that we cannot do it all in our own strength.

3.)  Don’t Stress Yourself– Work with what you have. I have seen too many stressed people, and for what? We only get one life on this side of heaven. Don’t allow anyone to take away your joy. That is why it is called “your joy” because it belongs to you. Someone can only take it if you allow it. I know it’s easier said than done. You may not be able to control everything around you, but you can control you. Take care of your body and exercise and eat healthy. Sometimes how we feel goes far beyond situations and circumstances.  Some of the things you are stressing over make absolutely no sense. We create our own stress in our minds sometimes. You can’t make anyone change or act right, but you can make the decision as to who holds a key to your emotions. Don’t let people on your job or even your home stress you another day. Your life is too valuable. You have too much to offer. I know you are waiting and looking for a new thing… a new change. Well, there are things you can do right now to start putting that wheel in motion. Spend more time with your hobbies and on your dreams. Whatever you choose to focus on right now and whatever has your attention, you are saying no to something else. Don’t give more of your time to things that won’t matter in the end. The decisions you make today will impact future generations. It will impact your children whether they are here or yet to be born. Yes, it is that serious. If you are in a place right now that you cannot stand going to everyday, change your outlook. Start counting down days to that change. It is never God’s desire for His children to be unhappy or for us to be in bondage. So, there is confidence in knowing that He is on the scene. Sometimes fear holds us back from doing what He wants us to do in the 1st place. So, sometimes we stay in a place or around people when the season has come to an end. You just have to know where you are in life. There is only 1 you, not only do you want to be good for you; you want to be good for someone else. The bottom line is whatever happened yesterday is over. Today is a new day. Don’t lose today focusing on yesterday.

Life is a journey, and everyone has their own cross to carry. However, just know that you are never in it alone. Whatever you are facing, you are equipped to deal with it. If God will never put more on us than we can bear, then that means that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I know there comes a point when you are tired of being strong for everyone. Well, this journey also has many rewards that are all along the journey, but you just can’t stay in a dead place. You can’t stay in one spot. You are about to cross a new victory line in your life. The rewards there will be more than enough to compensate for what you came through to get there. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, I write this post today to tell you that is a perfect recipe for a miracle. God always specializes in overnight deliveries. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

When Is It Time To Just Walk Away?

June 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Walking away from a situation is never easy, especially when you truly care for someone and have invested a lot of time and energy into them. Walking away from someone who you care about is one of the most challenging things to do when it comes to relationships. Not only can walking away be difficult, but coming to the reality that the relationship has reached its expiration date is another issue all in itself. No one wants to be hurt. No one goes into what appears to be a great situation and think that months or years down the road that the relationship will reach a dead-end. Nonetheless, it is a reality that most people must face at some point in life. Outside of God, good relationships can be one of the most fulfilling things in a person’s life. However, severing ties in that relationship can also prove to be one of the most painful. If you have ever had that 1st love heartache, you know what I am talking about. You think that the world is about to end. You try to move forward, but it’s the pain and memories that try to hold you hostage in the past. If you find yourself at the crossroads right now where a relationship has run its course; I have included 3 things to know when it just might be time to walk away.

1.)  Be Real With Yourself- This would seem like the easiest step in the process, but actually it can become the most difficult because sometimes we allow feelings to get in the driver’s seat. It’s hard to be real with yourself when you are in denial. You know something changed. You may have complained about it time and time again, and they change for a brief moment, but resort back to the same old habits. Perhaps it seems like they are not putting in as much as you are into the relationship. Yes, some people make bad choices in a relationship that hurts the other person a great deal. Oftentimes, not only do you forgive, but you try to repair the relationship. If you ever lost trust, it takes much more to earn that trust back again than it was to gain it from the beginning. You have to know when it is time. You have an entire life ahead of you. I have said it time and time again, “you cannot make someone change if they are not ready.” You can try to reason with them all you wish, but you do not have the ability to change someone’s mindset. Can they change? Sure they can, but it does not mean that change will happen on your watch. No one cares to hear this, but perhaps you just sowed a seed for a harvest that will come later in their life. You must face reality. However, it is up to you to know when time has run out. Staying in an unhealthy relationship only produces unhealthy results.  Everyone is different, but you must pray to God for strength and wisdom to know what to do. I tell you this much; If they are not the one for you, you are wasting time and they are occupying space for the One God has for you to come. Most of the time you know, but it’s getting past denial.

2.)  When Your Love For Them Is Based Solely Off Past Experiences- If you are with someone and the relationship is dwindling, you can always take inventory. Is your love for them based off of things they did in the past? Have they done anything consistently recently for you to see them in a new way? Too often, individuals hold on to a good memory of “I remember when.” “ I remember when you used to do this, or you used to do that.” Well, used to has a key word “Used.” Sometimes an individual becomes used up in a relationship, and you must recognize when that time has come. Used to is in the past. What have they done for you lately to put fuel to the fire in that love? Sometimes, you must conduct a true assessment of the situation. The worst thing you could do in the situation is just exist. IF TWO PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY EXISTING WITH EACH OTHER, IT’S NOT A RELATIONSHIP, IT’S AN ARRANGEMENT! Relationships are active and they grow. They grow because as you age and are exposed to new things, you may change some. So, as you both change, you both must adjust. Many who have been married for decades did not do it just by existing. On the other hand, there are people who have been married for decades who are existing and don’t know they are just existing. You deserve the best of the best, and should demand it. At the same time, you should give your best. However, when you find that your best is not appreciated, taken for granted and practically walked on; it is time to do some serious analysis of your relationship. You must communicate, but there comes a time when what you communicate must also become action. WORDS WITHOUT ACTION IS JUST A SUGGESTION! Also notice that within “Words” you can scramble it and it can also spell “Sword.” It’s amazing that some of your words can be used against you by someone you love. A sword that cuts deep. It’s those who are close to you whose words hold the most power in your life.  Love is very powerful, but love is also a choice. You may not always choose who you happened to be in love with, but you can choose to continue to love them the way you do or not. There are some relationships that have reached an expiration date where you can love them best by just walking away. It will benefit all involved in the long run.

3.)  When You Make Too Many Excuses For Their Behavior- When you have to consistently justify why the individual is doing what they are doing in the relationship, you are running a great risk to settling. Sometimes you say something so much until you actually begin to believe it. Continuously saying they will change does not change the reality that they have not. Change is possible as I stated before, but they must want it. What if the very thing you want them to change is not suitable for you, but is suitable for someone else? If it don’t fit, don’t force it! Excuses do not help anyone involved in the situation. There comes a time when you get tired of making excuses. What is even more detrimental is when your excuses cause you to cheat yourself out of life. Especially if you get to a point of accepting that “this is just how it’s going to be.” When you get to the point of thinking that it is what it is, you have officially cheated yourself. You have just said that your life is not valuable because your happiness is not important to you. I know some people say they just want to be happy, but what they are doing to themselves to be happy is not worth it because it is definitely temporary. Some individuals ignore facts for what they call happy.  It’s one thing to be happy and still wrong, but it’s another thing to be miserable and  still right. We have heard it said, “When you know better, you do better.” It’s time to act on what you know is right. If you are faced with these challenges, it is not easy in any sense of the word. However, when you look back over it, you will be happy you did. Think about some people from the past who you thought was the best thing since sliced bread for you, and now you see them and say, “What was I thinking?” At the end of the day remember that you are Single For 1. YOU SHOULD RATHER MAKE ONE SACRIFICE TO LEAVE FOR PERMANENT GAIN RATHER THAN MAKE ONE BAD CHOICE TO STAY CAUSE YOU A LIFETIME OF HEARTACHE! That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

Tricks Are For Kids: 3 Games You Should Quit!

June 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

We have heard the saying from the famous cereal commercial Trix, “silly rabbit, Trix are for kids! Well, that commercial has some symbolism in it. Tricks or games truly are for kids. You don’t want to be that silly rabbit. Many individuals will say that they do not play games, but if you cosign with the person playing the game, then that makes you guilty by association. In other words, you have to hold them accountable because your time is valuable. Games that some individuals play while in a relationship or during the process with hopes of getting into a relationship are far too common. I cannot stress this enough, a man or a woman should know what they want. If you are not sure, then you do best to continue to find out what that is. Yes, there is a difference between what we want and what we need. However, God is more than able to make what you need become all that you want. Sometimes, what we think we want at one time is not really what we want. However, whether you are male or female, you should not sign up for games, neither should you play games yourself. So, I have included 3 games you should quit!

1.)  Don’t Lead Someone On If You Know You’re Really Not Interested

A book could be written on this alone. It amazes me on the number of individuals I have advised over the years; very few can ever admit to leading someone on or that they were playing games. As I stated before, you may not always be aware that you are playing games. I know that you are an outstanding citizen and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, you do more damage the longer you drag it on. Men do it to women and women do it to men. Be careful on the advice you take. Some of your friends who really want you to be with someone may say things such as, “give it time, they will grow on you”… “You are too picky”… “Get the most you can out of the situation because it’s not like you are getting married tomorrow”… “Leave your options open”… “You don’t know when you will meet someone like this again.” The list goes on and on. Guess what? At the end of the day, you and you alone will be with this person if you were to enter a relationship. Pity relationships are just like playing games.

If you know that the person is interested in you, you must be careful not to lead them on even if you have no intentions of leading them on. If you have had the talk with them that you are just friends and that is all you desire, then it is on that person to decide if they can handle being friends. Everyone who is interested in you cannot handle just being friends even if some of them pretend to. Some can handle it and some cannot. However, don’t be upset if they change on you. If they could not get what they wanted, they will move on. That is ok. You did your part by being honest. However, be careful not to take advantage of the person because you now know that they have “feelings” for you. Don’t use that as an opportunity to do what you want when you want just because you know how the person feels and think they will not go anywhere. Keep in mind that they are interested in you and will likely take your signs as to mean you are interested or will soon be interested. I know, I know you may think, “That’s not my fault if they feel a certain way after I told them I don’t see them like that.” Yes, but what are your actions showing? Are you saying or doing anything that contradicts what you said?” Are you treating them like a yo-yo and bringing them around only when it’s convenient? Perhaps you are not blinded by emotion, but perhaps they are. If you recognize it, you can help rectify it.

Don’t play with words or phrases like maybe one day, possibly, we will see, I’m not sure, etc. You need say what you mean and mean what you say. If someone is really into you, they may play on your every word. “Maybe” sounds like, if I stay around, you will come around and feel the same way. It does not take all that. Feelings are real, and you would not like it if it was done to you. We do know that we reap what we sow. If they’re not the 1, they’re just not the 1. The sooner you realize it and accept it the better. Don’t keep someone around just because you feel you need someone around. We are all adults, so govern yourself accordingly. IF YOU PLAY THE GAME, BE PREPARED FOR THE GAME TO EVENTUALLY PLAY YOU!

2.)   Don’t Go On A Date With Someone That You Know Stands No Chance

I am not going to overly spiritualize this and say everyone is beautiful in God’s eyes, etc. We already know that everyone is beautiful, but everyone is not beautiful to you.  So let’s be real. There are some people who you know would strike out before they even got a fair chance. Ok, so if you want to be real spiritual, let’s try this. Would you give a crack addict, a person on the side of the road, or a known “player or gold digger” an opportunity for a date? Perhaps some would because they think they can change them or fix them. That’s another topic for another day. Not that these people cannot be restored, but you also understand that they have other things they need to deal with 1st. There has to be some type of attraction whether physical, spiritual, intellectual, etc. I’ve touched on this before: women, be careful with all these “free” meals. I learned in high school in my Economics class the acronym TINSTAAFL-THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. It applies to this as well. Someone who is interested in you is not really doing anything for free. They may very well be looking for something in return. Perhaps they are hoping to get to know more about you. However, if you are really not interested in getting to know them, WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME AND THEIR TIME? So, you should not really get upset when he calls and is upset because he thought that perhaps something could develop or more could come out of it. He may now think you are the worst person in the world because you are playing games in his mind. I am not talking about those who want to play games or those who are just trying to get you in the bed. You should be able to spot those a mile away over time and put them in their place. I am talking about those who truly are looking for something special. Especially if you knew that this was not a business dinner or 2 friends going out. It is not 2 friends going out if the other person is interested. Please don’t try to sell me on you didn’t know they were interested because The Duke is not buying it.

Women and men for the most part know way more than they give off. Are you implying that this man who you really don’t know all that well asked you out on a date because he just had to spend money or had nothing else to do? Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but let’s get real. Either way, time was set aside for you. Of course, the same applies to men. Men, why go out with a woman if you know you are not ready to commit to anyone? Why go out with a woman if you know she is not the type of person you would ever consider being in a relationship with? At the end of the day, men do it and women do it and it needs to stop if you are serious about a healthy relationship.

3.)  Stop Looking For the Rebound Person

Don’t hurt the next person just because the last person hurt you. No one really enjoys hearing all of what the last person did or did not do because in their mind, they are saying that they are not the last person. We have heard it said that “hurt people hurt people.” If you are still hurt and still holding onto the past, you do best to sit it out and wait until you are healed from the past hurt.  I also know that sometimes you may not know that you are until you meet someone else who does something that triggers your thought process to what happened in the past. However, whenever it happens, just know that you must face it head on and don’t run from it or try to ignore it. There is not much worse than the “Rebound”. You know, the person you link up with because someone recently hurt you and you just want to feel better with someone new being there. Well, now you are running the risk of putting the same hurt on the new person that the last person put on you. You must be careful that you do not seek a rebound, and also that you are not the rebound. No one likes to be used. You are typically emotional after someone just hurt you. Yes, women may show it more, but men are still impacted. Everyone reacts to being hurt no matter how much of a façade they put on. Hurt can be demonstrated through anger. Either way, the rebound is not fun. You know when it’s a rebound, but few admit it. It just happens to be someone who comes around at the right time, and when you come to your senses, oftentimes you realize that you got yourself into a mess. Some actually decide to stay in it.

Games are not for you, and when you know someone is doing it, call them out. Remind them early and often that you are not signing up to play games. However, the choice is on you if you participate or not. IF YOU PLAY IN A PIG PEN, ALL YOU COME UP WITH IS SLOP! As usual, remember that you are not single for anyone, you are Single For 1, and you hold yourself to a higher standard. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

Are There Any Good Men or Women Left?

June 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

This is a question that some individuals may ask themselves when they are frustrated with the current dating landscape. After trial and error, some feel that it still seems that some people just can’t do right. There are some women who become frustrated and feel as though men play too many games. There are men who feel like women don’t really know what they want. So, we often find one side bashing the other side and placing the blame on the other sex. Well, it is safe to say that both sides have made mistakes along the way. However, the danger comes into play when you begin to put everyone into one category. Each individual is different, even though there may be some similarities along the way. If you really believed that the majority of the opposite sex was hopeless, then you would lose all desire for a spouse. Some have become so scarred that they play the I will hurt you before you hurt me game. Now, you have fallen into the trap and are becoming the exact thing that you despise.

So, are there any good men left for women? Are there any good women left for men? This answer is easier than you think. If you were to look into a mirror, there you will find the answer. Are you a good woman? Are you a good man? If the answer is yes, then there are good men and women left. Yes, I know that there are not too many people in the world who don’t think they are good. However, you know right from wrong. I don’t buy into the theory that some women make in believing that the good men of their race are being taken by women of other races due to a number of reasons. When you make those types of statements, you are really putting yourself down. You are practically saying that you are not good enough. If this is not done, then the blame is put on the man that they do not want a real woman. How can you get mad at a man for making a choice with who he wants to spend the rest of his life with? They just did you a favor by not wasting your time.  At the end of the day, was that man your husband? No, so keep it moving. You are not going to marry all men; you are going to marry The Man.

I also do not buy into the theory that some men make that too many women have bad attitudes. Ok, let’s do a little investigation here. Yes, you should know if you have a bad attitude. If you pray to God to show you where you come short, I assure you that you will be able to see because you want to be the best you. However, the perception of what a bad attitude is can be somewhat flawed. Let us 1st examine what a bad attitude is: A bad attitude is not knowing how to talk to someone in a respectful manner, always negative, never encouraging, always finding fault, a complainer and just being down right mean. If you do an honest self-assessment and find that you possess some of these qualities, then you should work on your attitude. Don’t work on it for someone else, work on it for you. Would you want to be with you?

Now let us examine what a bad attitude is not: You don’t have a bad attitude if you just refuse to play games; call someone out on their mess, won’t lower your standards, have expectations from the person you are with and holding them accountable if they constantly repeat the same errors; expect actions to line up with words. These are not classifications of a bad attitude, these are classifications of someone who knows what they deserve and will not take anything less than being treated the right way. Some individuals do not like accountability or when you don’t jump at their every word. Yes, the man must prove he is worthy of the gift and pursue. No free passes. The woman must also show that she is ready to be presented as a gift and ready to be pursued. This does not require a woman to be aggressive. You demonstrate this by continuing to work on you. The right man will have no problem putting in work and time for his gift. The right woman will have no problem expressing her gratitude to the right man. It is a mutual respect.

So, there are good men and women left whether one chooses to believe it or not. If you know that you are a good man or woman, there are other good men and women out there too. For the women, the good thing is that you don’t have to go looking for him, because he is looking for you. I know the frustrating thing for a lot of women is that you can’t control the timing of when that happens. For men, the good thing is that you know she is waiting for you to find her. The frustration comes in with the timing in finding her. At the end of the day, neither side can truly control when it happens. She cannot control when she is found, and he cannot control when he finds her. Sure, you can leave God out of it and just jump with the 1st person who is willing to jump on board with you, but you have waited too long to just settle. Every relationship will take work. YOU SHOULD PREFER TO INVEST TIME AND ENERGY INTO THE RIGHT ONE WHO WILL MULTIPLY YOUR INVESTMENT RATHER THAN TO INVEST IN THE WRONG ONE WHO TAKES WHAT YOU INVESTED AND SPEND IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE! You went through too much to allow this to happen repeatedly. So, it’s not in quantity, it is in quality. Invest in those who demonstrate they are investment worthy in your life. This is why I say often that casually dating someone is a waste of time because you are not really expecting much in return. Date with a purpose. There are great men and women left because you know you are. The problem is that there are some living below their potential. Just be careful who you invest into in reference to relationships. Everyone is not capable of handling a good thing right now, but some are. Thank God that you are not everyone, but you are someone’s ONE!  Remember that you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

What Do I Do While I Wait?

May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I am continuing the series on Back to the Basics. This has been a topic that I have received a lot of questions about over time. I did a blog not long ago talking about the waiting game and how everyone must wait; even men must wait if they truly desire a certain type of woman. We do not have to debate about who has it harder when it comes to waiting. Many women will argue that it is harder for them to wait because the man has to pursue them. That is a great point, but a man must also wait for God to show Him who He has ordained for Him. Sure, the man has a choice, but the woman will also have a choice. I will be a little more transparent for you. I am a man who desires to marry my wife. Could I have been married by now? Sure! I could have been married by now because there are women who would have said yes if I asked. Could a lot of women be married now? Sure! There are many women who have talked to men who would have married you in a heartbeat. However, we all have choices to make, and you don’t want that choice to be independent of God. Scripture tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).” So, we should want Him to direct our paths in everything that we do. So, that would mean that both men and women must wait whether we like it or not. Both parties involved must both agree to that choice you make. I would much rather God direct me in making that choice as to me making a choice based off of feelings. Feelings come and go. Feelings can be deceitful. Yes, there are those who do whatever it is they want and will take whatever they can get. There are also those who will settle for less than they deserve because they feel like time is running out. There are also those who have a short God conscience and base their decisions off of feelings alone. However, if you subscribe to this blog, that will not describe you. You are in fact Single For 1.

So, now that we have established that, what in the world do you do while waiting? I will give you 3 things that will keep you occupied while waiting.

1.)  Pursue Your Dreams

This seems fairly obvious. We know that we need to identify our purpose in life. You have heard that time and time again. So, I will not go into detail with that. We never stop dreaming in life. When most people achieve success in an area they have been working hard for, they don’t stop when they get there. They don’t stop because they get more vision and see more things they can do. Dreams are meant to be expanded. There is no such thing as a final destination until we leave this earth. So, dreams will continue to expand. Don’t make excuses as to why you are not where you are or doing what you really desire to do because you are waiting for your spouse. God placed dreams in us. We just need to decipher which dream God has for us to pursue as to which dreams we just want for ourselves. For our extra analytical people in the group, I will address what you are thinking. I am sure some of you are saying, “Well my dream is to get married, so how do I pursue that?” Well, we know that it takes 2. To entertain marriage would require a potential candidate. If that candidate is currently not on the scene, then you continue to LIVE LIFE. That is key. I have come to find that some of us have forgotten how to live life, which leads me to point #2.

2.)  Live Life For Real

We talk about getting married, but I advise that you make the most of your single life because it’s one of the few moments in life where you can truly be selfish and for the most part only have to consider you! Parents will attest to this fact.

I did not stop to consider that there are singles who have forgotten how to live life. You watch fairy tale movies on tv, reality shows that depict men and women in a negative light, etc. What do you do when you are single and you have put all the clubbing and partying days behind you? For starters, being a single Christian does not mean you have to live a boring life. It does not mean you can no longer dance if you loved to dance. Too many singles have gotten in the routine of going to work and going home…going to work and going home. I had not realized how busy I had gotten and was missing out on the living part of life until I hung out with some friends. I had a good time and realized that I had neglected myself. The sad thing is I was perfectly comfortable in my routine. Really, I was PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE ON CHEATING MYSELF OUT OF LIFE. Don’t cheat yourself. IF YOU CHEAT YOURSELF OUT OF LIFE, YOU MAY ONLY HAVE PIECES OF YOU TO OFFER TO SOMEONE ELSE RATHER THAN ALL OF YOU! Where is the fun when your routine is the same every week? So, all you have time to do is think about what you don’t have. Now, all you do is think about reasons why you think you don’t have a spouse or reasons why something is wrong with everyone of the opposite sex or with you. Don’t allow idle time cause you to think yourself mad. When you do that, you are giving power to people who really could care less what you are doing at the moment. You have to take control of your life because it is YOUR LIFE! You insult yourself when you cheat yourself out of life. You insult God when you sit around and waste days thinking about who you don’t have rather than focusing on who you do have. Don’t focus on who left, focus on who stayed. Even if you feel like it is just you by yourself, it just means you have a fresh start.

Do something different. Get out and have fun. I know someone who took themselves out to dinner and had a great time. They even met some interesting people who actually approached them while they were enjoying dinner by themselves. That sounds depressing to some of you I know. So, hang out with friends. If you don’t have anyone who you feel you can hang out with because they aren’t interested in doing what you like to do then join a group or organization with similar hobbies. Join a book group, bike group, car group, sports group, health/fitness group, cooking group, etc. If they don’t have what you enjoy in your area then create your own and invite others to join. Everything starts with an idea. Guess what? I know this will be radical for some, but here it goes…..  YOU CAN’T KNOW SOMEONE UNTIL YOU MEET THEM. You didn’t know your friends until you met them. Let me also make this point. Women, I am not saying go out there and try to position yourself. You don’t have to position yourself for a man. He still pursues. When a man and a woman choose to live life, they are automatically placed in position. We only get 1 life on this side, so do yourself a favor and enjoy your life. WHEN YOU LEARN TO ENJOY YOUR LIFE, YOU ATTRACT OTHERS WHO ENJOY THEIRS! Ask yourself this question and answer honestly: Would you want to hang out with you? If you said no, then you can start today by making plans to live your life. Yes, there are some things we cannot control, but we can control what we do with our time! There is no such thing as a boring life unless we create it.

3.)  Don’t Focus on the Past

I have said this on more than one occasion. Don’t lose your today by focusing on yesterday. You can learn from the past and move forward. Past experiences give us just that, an experience. One of the most powerful ministries we can have is the ministry of experience because you can help others and yourself in the future. Don’t allow past relationships that went bad cause you to view all of the opposite sex in a negative light. All relationships will require work. All marriages require work. So, if you thought getting married is when you can take off, that is not true. It requires work. Every individual is different. Yes, because you have experience and have gained more wisdom, you can pick up on signs early on. You can tell when someone is playing games early on. However, don’t allow yesterday to cripple you. Don’t entertain someone who continuously disappoints and has proven time and time again that they are about games. IF YOU TAKE A CHANCE ON SOUR MILK, YOU CAN’T GET MAD IF YOU GET A STOMACH ACHE! We have heard the saying that “hurt people hurt people.” So, you must assess your situation and see if you need healing. Some people think they are over something until something similar presents itself. If you react in the same manner, then you are not over it. Some things you don’t realize you are carrying until something triggers it. The key is in knowing what to do when it comes up. Handle it on a person to person basis. DON’T LET THE OLD NEWS CAUSE YOU TO MISS OUT ON THE NEW NEWS! It is a new day in your life and the past is not invited. DON’T LOOK THROUGH OLD GUEST LISTS EXPECTING TO GET SOMETHING NEW! Keep going forward. Remember as always, you are Single For 1! That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

5 Bad Rules You Should Break

May 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I am continuing in the series entitled, Back to the Basics. There are some rules that some follow that are just bad rules, and they should be broken. I don’t know where they originated from, but I do know that if you practice them, you should break them right about now.

Bad Rule #1: Wait 2-3 Days to Call Someone After You Get Their Number

Let us remind ourselves, that if you are serious about life in general, you don’t have time for mindless games. Here is a side note: I do not support women getting the man’s phone number and calling him 1st when there is potential for a relationship or any attraction or interest. If it’s not business of some sort, you just do best to avoid getting a man’s number. This goes back to a reminder from last week’s post, the man pursues. So, men, it does not mean that you are desperate if you call before this bogus 2-3 day timeframe. The key is that you have her number, so take the time out to call her when you are ready and have made time, not just waiting for a couple of days to go by for a silly rule. What sense does it make to really be excited to talk to this woman, but forcing yourself to wait 2-3 days to make the contact? If you take 2-3 days to call her, let it be for a legitimate reason. However, please note that a woman is not typically impressed by long delays. She took the time out to give you her number, which also means she should value her time as should you. She may be expecting your call. You can also run the risk of the woman getting upset because you are taking so long to call, and she may begin to think you are playing games. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot because when her mind is made up, it can be difficult to change it when you have no proven history with her.

With that being said, both men and women should not play the game of who called who last. This is where either the woman called the man last or the man called the woman last, so you feel that you should not call back until the other persons calls you next. If you both are interested in each other, that should not matter. Of course, if you feel that it is one-sided over time, then that is a red flag you need to be watching. Once you have begun communicating, it is acceptable for the woman to now contact the man because at this point you are beginning to build something. However, don’t do it a moment sooner. The man still must pursue. Of course the man wants to know that you are equally interested in getting to know him better. However, in the beginning, the man should make the contact as stated before.

 Bad Rule #2: You Should Go to Dinner and a Movie on the 1st Date

BORING!! This seems to be the template for 1st dates, but it is not the only thing you can do. There is nothing wrong with it, but men, this is your opportunity to be creative.  Yes, the most important thing is that you are getting to know each other better by spending time, but don’t put yourself in a box. Think outside of the box. Sure, dinner is good because you can eat and have good dialogue over dinner. However, in many cases the woman will try to be cute with her eating, and the man may hold back a little too. You will have very little conversation at the movies. Sure, it may make for good conversation after, but you can only talk about a movie for so long. That is valuable time you could have been spending with each other and getting to know each other elsewhere. Again, dinner and a movie are ok, but try something new.

Bad Rule #3: Cooking is Just For Women

Eating is a necessity in life. Most women during ancient times would do most of the cooking because the man went out to kill the food to bring home for her to cook. It is very possible in today’s society that a man may work from home and his wife may work at another location. So, when you get married and are home all day, it would not hurt to do something around the house until she gets home. Team effort! So, a man should not solely depend on a woman to cook as a woman should not solely depend on a man to cook. If it works out that way where the woman does most of the cooking, that is perfectly acceptable. However, it is not the rule. What would happen if masses of women began to say, “I need a man who can cook?!” Some tradition has its place. This is not a horrible tradition, but when you are married, both of you are part of a team. You do what works for the both of you and what you agree upon. However, it would not be a bad idea for both to learn how to cook a few things. Learn together, it could be fun. There’s an idea for you for bad rule #2, you can go out on a 1st date to a cooking class. It is fun, brings laughter, and you both are doing something together. You also get to eat it at the end. Side note: Men, this will not question your masculinity. It’s something different in a good way and can be more memorable than a typical movie and dinner because it’s different. You can still have great conversation.

 Bad Rule #4: You Can Kiss On The 1st Date

Next!

Bad Rule #5: You Think I Should Go Into More Detail with Bad Rule #4

Ok, so maybe I will. I don’t think it needs much explanation, but perhaps it does. Bad Rule #4 is meant to be broken. I don’t know where that bad rule came from, but it seems to be very common in this society. Let’s keep in mind, you are Single For 1.  Some of you are frowning because you are thinking it is something you would never do. However, anything is possible, and if you are out with someone you find very attractive and they are very impressive on the 1st date, you may surprise yourself. So, I am preparing you so that you will prepare yourself to be on guard. Some of you have kissed on a 1st date, and I am not judging you at all. I am putting it in perspective. For starters, you may very well not know this person like that. If I may use slang, “you don’t know them from Adam.” Sure, there may be a physical attraction, but that’s too many points on the 1st date given to the other person. Slow your roll and take your time. How many of you had great 1st dates and terrible seconds? Better yet, how many of you had what you thought was a great date, but no 2nd date ever came? So, what happens if you’ve been on a few dates in a short amount of time? Are you kissing them too if the date goes well? Don’t sign up to be a kissing bandit.

The Real Bad Rule #5: You Should Go on a Date With Someone You Just Met

Sure, this happens. A man asks a woman for her number and if he can take her out. The phone call is just to set up where you all will be going and what time. This is common, and it is not horrible as long as you are in a public place. You don’t want to be linking up with any stranger. I am not saying you should not go on a 1st date with someone you just met, but I will help save you some time. So, this is why it will serve you well to talk on the phone with the person a few times before you go out on a date. This will give an opportunity for both the man and woman to get to know a little about each other. You can also save yourself a lot of time and energy upfront. The initial conversation on the phone or some afterwards may be enough for one of you to realize that you don’t care to go out with them based on what you talked about. This is not about a free meal. Many women have had free meals, but could barely endure the date. Many men have paid for meals hoping the date would end soon.  Ladies, don’t cheat yourself just for a filet mignon that will have you hungry again in an hour. It’s just not worth it. Not only that, now you run the risk of leading someone on. DON’T LOWER YOUR STANDARDS TO GO ON A DATE FOR A FREE MEAL BECAUSE YOU MAY WALK OUT WITH FOOD POISONING! And I am talking about from something other than the food.  Ladies, why accept the date, if he already struck out? Men, why go on the date if she has struck out? At the end of the day, if you are on your journey towards marriage, take it seriously in everything you do. If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will. If you don’t care, no one else will. Remember, You are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke

Back to The Basics!

May 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

When did society take a turn? When did the simple things become so complex? When did men stop approaching women and women started approaching men? When did that become a norm in our society? When did a man begin to think that a woman was supposed to roll out the red carpet for him when he has not proven himself? When did a woman become convinced that she had to lower her standards just to get a man? We may not know when this all began to be pumped into society to where it has become a norm as opposed to the exception. Nevertheless, we have to get back to the basics. The basics are the simple things. It is like Relationship 101. The problem is that too many individuals are trying to skip to the advanced level without first mastering the basics. One must 1st learn to count before they can complete any math formula. STOP ALLOWING PEOPLE TO GRADUATE IN YOUR LIFE WHEN THEY NEVER PASSED THE TEST! That means that they will not be equipped when you run into real challenges. Get back to the basics. So, I will outline a few basic principles that we must keep in mind on this journey towards healthy relationships and marriage.

1.)  A Man Pursues a Woman- Well, this is about as basic as it comes. However, this 1st principle alone has become so complex. I have lost count of how many women I have consulted who are frustrated that men find them intimidating. To make matters worse, it’s true that some men are intimidated by certain women. Since when did having standards, serving God, being about your business, pursuing your goals and just being a flat-out great package become intimidating? Since when did a woman have to apologize for being who God made her to be? This should be seen as a great opportunity to potentially connect with a woman who is not looking for a Bailout, which is simply for a man to come along and rescue them. You don’t want a spouse to complete you; you need them to complement you. I have said before that complete means a finished product, and no more learning or changing can occur. If you can’t find comfort and peace in God alone, can’t no man fill that void. Only God has the ability to fill voids. He does not send people to fill voids, he sends people so you can have more of what you need to fulfill His will. The problem is that a strong person can unintentionally shine a light on someone else’s insecurities. When someone intimidates you, it means that they frighten or threaten you. The last thing you want in a relationship is competition between each other. That could never work because in marriage 2 are becoming 1. You cannot be with someone who is jealous of your successes. If nothing else, the higher one goes, the higher the other goes because you are supposed to be in it together.  Men, I submit to you that YOU SHOULD NOT WANT A WOMAN WHO ONLY TAKES AWAY, YOU SHOULD WANT A WOMAN WHO ADDS ON! Let the ego go. You both should be able to add on to each other.  Women, do not water yourself down for the sake of getting just a man. Adam was blown away when he first saw Eve. So men, it’s ok if she is breathtaking, but get yourself together and pursue. A woman does not find great joy when you say things to them like: You must have a boyfriend, you are too pretty to be single, too intelligent to be alone, etc. That is not a compliment.  If nothing else, it is frustrating and makes you sound insecure. If any of those were true for the current moment, why would you be attempting to have a conversation with her? Don’t strike out before you even start. Women, stop thinking that you need to help a man say what is on his mind. Better yet, stop thinking you can read a man’s mind. He does not need his hands held. He is no longer a child, not on a bottle, and does not need you to be his mother. You should not want to be his mother, nor can you be. If that’s what it appears he is asking for, send him back home to his mama. A wife needs a husband, not a child. A man needs a wife, not another mother. If he cannot step up to the plate, then he is just not the 1. As I say time and time again, a man knows what he wants and will go after it. You won’t have to do any guessing.

 2.)  Know Yourself- Sure, everyone under the sun thinks they know who they are. However, when certain circumstances arise where you are tested, that helps you see where you really are. If you don’t know enough about you, how can you attempt to build a relationship with someone else for the long-term? There is no need to waste someone else’s time when you already know they don’t possess most of what it is that you desire. The old saying goes, “if it don’t fit, don’t force it.” Too many broken relationships are a direct cause of trying to make something work when you see all the signs as to why it will not work. Remember these 2 simple rules and it will save you a lot of time….A.)You cannot change anyone. B.) You cannot make anyone love you unconditionally no matter how hard you try or how much you do.  The key is being confident in who you are. You are who you are and there is no one else in the entire world that is exactly like you. That automatically makes you unique. Stop apologizing for who you are. You may not apologize through your words for who you are, but too many are doing it by changing who they are to try to make a relationship work that wasn’t supposed to work to begin with. THE MOMENT YOU LOWER YOUR STANDARD IS THE MOMENT YOU CHEAPEN YOUR WORTH! You can make all the excuses in the world for why you did it, but the only person in the mirror looking back at you is you. Here is another formula that is proven: A.) Eventually, you will get back what you expect, and you will only put up with what you allow.  Know yourself.

3.)  Don’t Complicate Things- It is or it isn’t. Anything after that complicates things. The man wants to be with the woman and the woman wants to be with the man. If both are not on the same page, that equals instant complication. Sitting around guessing what the other person is thinking creates complications.  Sure, when feelings are involved, things have the potential to get complicated. Communication is key. I am talking about verbal communication backed by action. You cannot go just by what someone says unless they have a proven track record with you. Words must be backed by action. You complicate things when you hear one thing, but see another and ignore it. Whenever you pretend not to see certain signs, you are saying that you choose to ignore it. That’s when excuses begin to come into play. Things get complicated when you hang on to words and hope that eventually the actions will line up. Everything will not always be easy, but if you are going to go to war, make sure that you are going to war with someone who is willing to fight with you. It is difficult to walk away, but it’s much more pain to stay around and leave your heart exposed to someone who is just not on the same page with you.  You deserve the best that is for you, and you have to demand the best. I WOULD RATHER WAIT FOR A SEASON FOR THE RIGHT 1 RATHER THAN TO SACRIFICE A LIFETIME WITH THE WRONG 1! Don’t live below your potential. No matter what has happened or what is happening right now. It does not matter if it appears no one is in sight, and you don’t even see a potential mate. God specializes in Next Day deliveries. What took years can literally change overnight. God has you covered. Remember, you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Singles Advisor,

The Duke