Archive for relationships

The Quid Pro Quo of Relationships

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by prekosifa

There are those of us that believe in the traditional relationship set up. Man and woman together, man works, woman tends the home, man does the manly chores, woman cooks, both raise the child in their own way, the woman giving the caring side, the man the survival side needed to live in this world. All in all a harmonious thing and a relationship model that works.

As time has moved on things are changing, the woman’s role has become, some would say, more masculine, and men, a touch more feminine, where would we be without metro-sexual man and his ‘man bag’, and in some cases, mascara? But with this major fundamental social change some attitudes have stayed the same. Simply put, though the roles have changed the rules haven’t, cue arguments, breakups and unhappiness.


So what’s missing?

The quid pro quo. Defintion: from the Latin meaning “something for something’ it indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. English speakers often use the term to mean “a favor for a favor” and the phrases with almost identical meaning include: “what for what,” “give and take,” “tit for tat”, “this for that”, and “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’.

The other day whilst I was sipping my decaf double mocha latte with a cinnamon and nutmeg twist in Starbucks, (Is that a metro man thing or what?). I eavesdropped on the conversation two thirty something women were having at the table next to me. They were discussing relationships and woman A said that she wanted a man that would do ‘manly’ things. She wanted to be cared for and looked after, she wanted roses and walks in the park and all that gushy stuff, (she was clearly a product of Mills and Boon books and old Hollywood films). Her friend, on the other hand, said she wanted a relationship which was equal.

‘In what way?’ enquired Woman A, with a puzzled look on her face.

‘Equal in that we both give and both receive and are both happy and content’, she replied.
You see she had been in too many relationships where she felt she had given more than she had gotten in return and this had left her angry, frustrated and lonely, she felt she had been taken advantage of. Before they left she mentioned that sex had to be used as a bartering tool because it was the only way she got what she wanted!

I had to physically stop myself from prying further into her life. I wanted to know more and thought I needed all the details until it dawned on me that I didn’t need them at all. Common sense tells us that in life, like in physics there is a point of perfect balance called equilibrium. When we find equilibrium in a relationship we end up with a good, solid working partnership on which bigger, better and greater things can be built. When we don’t have it, not surprisingly, the relationship doesn’t work. I used to constantly get angry at an ex girlfriend of mine because I had it she just wanted lots of things from me. That wasn’t the issue though, the true issue was that my needs were not being met.

If they were then what she was asking for wouldn’t have seemed like such a big deal.

I can imagine that Woman A with all her wants was perhaps having difficultly in finding Prince Charming because her demands were not being met by enough going the other way. What was she willing to offer? What did the man get out of the bargain? Did she even care? Woman B seemed to have based a lot on sex, as does often happen. Ladies, this will not always be enough. Please do not make the assumption that as soon as we see some bare flesh and are on a promise, we will be happy as larry, because we won’t be, not all of the time anyway. Maybe her ex man would have preferred to have a meal waiting for him instead, or be picked up from work.

Whatever the reason, there was one, and if she found it there would be balance, and if their was balance she would probably still have been in a relationship.

I have it that relationships can all work better as long as we take the time to truly find out what our partners really want, need and care about. The most important person to each of us is ourselves and when our needs are not being met, there will be desertion, anger and sometimes, downright hatred in the camp.

Things to consider when seeking relationship equilibrium:

  1. What kind of relationship does your partner want, old school or new cool?
  2. Ask yourself, ‘what things does my partner expect?’
  3. Tell your partner what you would like and not like?
  4. Discuss, everything together to find your point of equilibrium
  5. Once found, always double check to make sure it is maintained. As  relationships develop so do needs and wants and it is very easy to lose the point of balance

If you’re in a relationship and having some problems, major or minor, it may well be worth checking where you are on the equilibrium scale.

Join the conversation, leave a comment.


Should you be friends or lovers?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 16, 2009 by prekosifa

We seek out love in all the wrong places as we grow up. Eventually we realise that sometimes love is right in front of us, and always has been, neatly disguised in the form of someone who has always had your back, who you have loads of fun with, who gets you on that important getting level, loves you unconditionally and will possibly do anything for you. Though it sounds like the recipe for a perfect relationship, that perfect person is actually your friend.

That’s right, the one you share stories about your conquests with, the one who goes with you to the hospital, the one who knows your family and gets on with just about everyone you know. Possibly the last person you would think of as a potential partner is just that.

However, stepping into this territory is not a given for happiness your friend is a friend for a reason and friends do not grow on trees. A few years ago when I was dating I had a particular friend that I could tell about all my exploits. She gave me advice, hung out with me and we always had a great time. My expectations of her were not the same as of a romantic partner, so she could say and do anything she pleased. I always knew that she had my best interest at heart, as I did for her. My friends to this day don’t understand why I didn’t end up with her and my response to them was why spoil something special. What I had with her wasn’t available everywhere and I valued her as a friend much more than I wanted to fuck her. If we did do something I may have lost the friend that I valued so much.

There is a reason why friends are friends and lovers are lovers. We may claim that we want our partner to be our best friend but is this really the truth? Maybe for some of you, but if you think about it when you have a problem in your relationship, who do you go to? Many of us go to someone we see as being a safe place – a friend – because they give us a sense of perspective about things which we so often need in life.

So what am I advocating here? Am I for or against this kind of love? Well the romantic in me has got to be for it. Friends understand you, love you and respect you. If you are lucky enough to have this kind of person in your life why would you fuck about waiting and trying out loads of other people? There are some risks however, you guys may not hit it off as partners, the sex may be terrible, or he/she may leave toenails in the kitchen sink, I could go on. But then these are just things that can be an issue in any relationship. More importantly, you may end up losing a good friend and good friends are extremely hard to find.

If you do find yourself in this kind of situation there are some things you can do.

Be honest with yourself and about your feelings. Recognise and be with how you feel about your friend. If you find yourself getting jealous or missing them, let them know. You should be able to talk to a good friend about anything so use that opportunity.

Be realistic and aware of the fact that if you spend a lot of time with or talking to someone you will possibly end up falling for that person. When you open up with someone you are giving a part of yourself and it’s easy to confuse the emotional intimacy created by that sharing of your deepest self for real love. Know yourself, know how you feel and know what you really want.

Above all else, enjoy yourself and if you are unsure, try it out. Good sex can come from good conversation so the sex will probably be great. If it doesn’t work out it’s possible that the friendship will survive and be stronger for it without the what if question looming over it. Either way play the game to the fullest and enjoy yourself whilst playing!

At the end of the day life is too short to keep getting into one unfulfilling relationship after another, after another. I believe in spirit and reincarnation, and that the people around us now have been there before, in a past life. Stay with me. Your brothers and sisters of today may have been your friends and parents of yesterday, your lover could have been your pet rabbit and your friend may have been your boss.

Whatever and whoever anyone is, you have a bond with your friend and it is this bond that can never be broken. If you want true happiness and are not afraid to trygo on, sleep with your friend and find out if the perfect relationship has been right under your nose all the time.

Join the conversation and leave a comment.

What makes a good relationship?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by prekosifa

Having been in a few long term relationships in my time  –  all of which have  failed, some more dramatically so than others –  I reckon I know a thing or two about what works and definitely something about what doesn’t. I’m not in a relationship now, nor am I looking for one but based on where I went wrong in the past, I’m in a great position to share some key lessons that I’ve learned the hard way. When I look honestly at my past loves, I can see that they weren’t all ‘psycho bitches.’ The fact that now all of them are in long term relationships lets me know what the problem (and their common factor) was – me.

Here’s what I know about making relationships good:

Being kind, not cruel. Honesty is good and I’m all for freedom of expression. It’s okay to speak your truth and to feel safe enough to say what’s on your mind.  In exercising that freedom though it’s worth considering the impact  your words can have on another person. It’s very easy to criticise your partner but there’s a difference between honestly expressing your disapproval and  leaving someone feeling deflated. For everything bad you could say, you can also choose to say something good. Whoever said words can never hurt lied, give me sticks and stones anytime. When you have something negative to say, balance it with something positive and by choosing kind words.

Being open, not closed. If you’re comfortable enough to take a dump and wipe your ass in front of your partner whilst having a discussion about politics or whether to have sweetcorn or cabbage for dinner, then you are totally free being yourself in that shared space – warts and all. We spend a hell of a lot of time with our other half and many of us only find the time to be ourselves when we are actually by ourselves.

It’s easier than you might think to fall into the trap of playing at being in the relationship but not really enjoying true intimacy. Many of us enter a relationship not knowing how to actually do the relationship thing and find ourselves being what we think we are supposed to be. We go into it with wounds still fresh from the past and end up having petty arguments or overreacting to seemingly unimportant things in the present.

Being open in a relationship gives the partnership something special  and it creates a scared space made up of a little bit of each of you. It’s kind of like drawing two circles that overlap, making three distinct areas – you, your partner and that scared space known as ‘us’.  Your  relationship lives in that overlap. Without openness you lose touch with your partner and could even find yourself waking up to discover your wife of ten years has been secretly fuckin’ the pizza guy (because of her penchant for scooter sex!) or that the father of your four children is leaving you to set up home with his personal trainer, Barry, as he approaches mid life, no longer able to conceal his love of spandex!

Being vocal, not silent. Last but definitely not least – communicate. I don’t mean talking for the sake of it, this is about taking the kindness from my first point, combining it with openness and letting your partner know how you feel. It could be about her going to dinner with an ex – you can choose to get pissed off and storm out of the house, you could go and fuck one of your exes (not a good idea, it will catch up with you), you could beat the shit out of her (never acceptable but that’s another post), or you could simply tell her how you feel.

We assume our partner knows what they should or should not do and expect them to just know how we feel. An ex girlfriend of mine didn’t mind me sleeping with other girls, the only caveat was that I tell her. So I had spent years sneaking around behind her back for no reason!  The value of talking about your feelings cannot be underestimated – it’s only when we talk to each other that we know what is really going on with the relationship.

A good conversation can be intelligent, sensual, pornographic, humorous, interesting and much more because when we communicate with someone and really feel as if we are on the same wavelength, something intangible but powerful happens – you feel really connected. I don’t know about you but in my experience a good, kind, open conversation can lead to toe-curlingly great sex, why? Great sex comes through having a strong relationship and without communication you don’t get that. Believe me, it is good to talk.

Join the conversation, leave a comment.

Where have all the real women gone?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2009 by prekosifa

Women seem to have one hundred and one reasons for all the tricks they use in the name of looking good. Be it wigs, weaves, blonde highlights on brunettes, false nails, breast implants, whatever, they make it sound very respectable and reasonable to invest as much time and money as they do to ‘enhance’ their appearance. 

The reason is irrelevant for what I am about to lay down. You see my main concern is that a wig is nothing more than a physical manifestation of the wearer’s fundamental dishonesty. A lie. When you see a fine woman with nice hair in a club or at the mall, you assume that what you see is what God gave her. Why wouldn’t it be? Unfortunately, you actually get a little bit more than you bargained for, like someone else’s hair. 

Wigs to me are like good lawyers, they hide the truth. I remember when I was younger. It was the first time my then girlfriend stayed over, a romantic time, a time of innocence. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about her. She was beautiful, intelligent, witty, dressed well and above all my mum liked her.

In the throes of passion I reached forward and pulled her head back (someone told me this was a killer move.) Imagine my shock when ‘her’ hair came off in my hand. She thought my scream was induced by pleasure…it wasn’t! It took me a long while to get over the whole experience and I was left feeling cheated, like I’d been had by false advertising.

The enhancements have become significantly more sophisticated.  They are less inclined to come off in an unsuspecting hand and it’s quite hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. For me though,  the fact remains, wigs whether good or bad still hide the real person.

I would like to be able to pick my girlfriend out in a line up (not that I’m into criminals but you never know, you know!)  How the hell can I do that if she is changing her hair everyday? On top of that if children are involved then it’s got to be traumatic for them, just imagine some confused kid:  ‘Mum…is that you? Oh sorry aunty!’

A wig signifies someone who is not comfortable in her own skin. I have to ask myself, if she is willing to lie about her hair then what else is she willing to lie about? Is it fair to assume that the woman who dons a wig is the woman most likely to cheat on you? Most likely to lie to you? I don’t know, but it does raise the question in my head and that’s enough. One thing I do know is that I may think twice before believing what she is telling me. Unfair? Maybe. 

There is a scene in ‘I’m gonna git you sucka’ (shout out to the low budget early 80s movie) when some poor unsuspecting guy takes what he thinks is a hot chick home. To cut a long story short, by the time she’s pulled off her hair, nails, boobs, legs, teeth, and even an eyeball, dude is left petrified and feeling stupid. Ladies, let a man love you for who you really are, not who you are pretending to be. Honesty from the get go in a relationship is a good thing isn’t it? Isn’t that what you all cry for and isn’t that the best foundation of a long lasting relationship?

I know some of you out there disagree with what I’m saying. In fact I probably won’t be answering any calls from my ex partners for a few days! In my defense, I have tried to think about this from the other side and I’ve considered whether as a man I contribute in some minor way to women feeling they have to add stuff to be attractive.

Personally I don’t see the need for all the add-ons. They don’t even make sense to me. Maybe I’m over thinking the whole issue and fake hair, boobs, or nails are no different to flash clothes or a nice ride. It’s all about image and if that’s the case then I’m guilty of the same thing. I guess the point of all the add-ons is to look good and feel confident right?  

Some guys actually go for that stuff and like the unnatural feel of implants, the face of enhanced perfection or long hair neatly attached with glue. Maybe blondes do have more fun even if the blonde came in a bottle and their roots are plain old brown. Just because I think women go to the extreme, it doesn’t mean I’m right. Maybe I’m the one with a problem and I’m projecting my own issues with self image onto women. Nah, I don’t think so!

Join the global conversation and share your views on this issue by leaving a comment.

What’s the real issue? I know it’s not my clothes on the floor!

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2009 by prekosifa

I leave my clothes on the floor by the laundry basket. I do this with full knowledge that I will pick them up and put them in the wash at some point. I also leave the bathroom floor wet and crumbs in the sink. I don’t do these things to upset anyone.

It’s just what I do. Simple.

Having lived with a few women in my time, I know that such behaviour is not appreciated and has caused more arguments and disagreements over the years than I can count. For my part, I admit to complaining about a girlfriend’s hair clogging the sink and clothes taking up more than their fair share of space in the closet.

Women though are in a league of their own when it comes to the art of bitching and moaning about the smallest things. Do I really have to hear about someone cutting the line at the grocery store? I don’t think so. The ultimate though is the classic and guaranteed to leave one or both parties miserable:

Does my bum look big in this? Hell yeah!

I know people that have been on the verge of a breakdown just because their other half used the same knife in the butter as they did in the jam. Truth of the matter is we get something from complaining and making silly demands. What if we just accepted that everything was as it should be? I suspect more than a few of us would be lost without our little quibbles.

Just think about it.

We spend our time in relationships trying to get our partner to do things they just don’t want to do. The big irony is if they did do things as we wanted then we would probably get bored of them. What if the man you find so exciting is exciting partly because he never quite manages to call when he says he will? Would that hot chick that makes your heart race hold your interest if she was always available, always answered your calls?

Probably not.

We take for granted the good things about our partners and obsess about the things we decide are bad. We don’t accept that our loved ones are perfect just as they are and just as they aren’t. Shit, when you eat an apple you don’t generally eat the core, but you accept that the core is part of the apple. Most of us though don’t extend that level of acceptance to our significant other.

So here’s the deal.

Most of us would rather hide behind the little things instead of confronting the real issue in our relationships. We secretly hope that sweating the small stuff will somehow eliminate the big stuff. I’ve got news for you, it won’t and if you think it will you’re plain crazy. Women are exceptionally gifted at the art of picking fights about the meaningless, although I’ll admit us men don’t help the situation with our flair for the passive aggressive (non) response.

Any disagreement that keeps coming up again and again is a good indicator of a bigger issue.

If you are in a happy, loving relationship then not much will bother you or knock you off the high you’re on. On the other hand, if you’re faking your happiness then every little thing becomes a big deal. A friend of mine’s husband used to put talcum powder on his feet in the morning before he put on his workboots. He would do this in the same place everyday, leaving talcum powder trails on the floor that he wouldn’t clean up. This drove her crazy.

Why does he do it? Why can’t he just clean it up? she would cry.

The talc wasn’t the real issue. If it was then that would make her the first person in history to name talcum powder as the third party in a divorce! No, the real reason she got divorced was that she didn’t want to be with him anymore. She wasn’t happy in her marriage and her unhappiness took the guise of complaining about small things, like talc. She was avoiding what she really wanted to say and he was avoiding hearing it. As each minor issue was resolved, she was still unhappy and nothing he did made any difference.

Eventually they found a resolution – divorce.

If your partner is constantly moaning about the same things, there is something else going on. Face that, whatever it is, instead of falling into an endless cycle of trying and failing to fix the little things. It may be something big but if you quit the avoidance it probably won’t be bigger than you or the relationship. Give yourself a fighting chance at happiness by having the courage to face the real issue. Like eating an apple, to get the best of your relationship you have to get to the core.

Join the global conversation and leave a comment.

Should you be friends with your ex?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2009 by prekosifa

So you meet a new girl and are going out for the first time. You get to the club on time and are partying away on the dance floor, loved up and acting silly – as you do when you’re trying to impress. You go to the bar to get some drinks, new girl in tow when you get a tap on your shoulder. You spin around, it’s your ex.
‘Hi’ she says and fixes you with a stare.
‘Hello’ you say back.

At that moment, what you do next determines the future of your new relationship and your old relationship. Do you introduce the two of them? If not, why not? If you do, do you introduce her as your ex or as a friend? Do you introduce your new girl as your new girl or not? Do you feel funny doing so? A lot can happen and what you do at that moment determines everything.

Women, as do men like closure. They want to know that when you have split up from your ex, you stay split and act accordingly. No guy likes to think about his woman ‘hittin’ it with an ex dick. We do not want that in our space. We are happy to know that it may have happened but there were no witnesses and it was terrible anyway! We dare not even think about the fact that, if it is indeed the case, we were not the first (and possibly won’t be the last) to go to that fun spot in the shade.

What do you do when your partner states, without a problem, that their ex is a friend and they plan to stay in touch? Would this be a problem for you? The first thing that goes through my head is, if you guys are friends and you have already had sex, then what is there to stop you doing it again? All my insecurities show up and I’m thrown into a cycle of uncertainty and questions every time they speak on the phone or hang out.

Most women, as a rule, don’t like to have a strange woman in their space and some even have issues with their OWN friends being around their man. Naturally territorial and protective of the fledgling relationship and maybe still trying to suss out if the new beau will be faithful, the ex as friend becomes symbolic of an all you can eat buffet in front of his face!

Since by a certain age most of us will have had more than one relationship, we are left with a lot of people in relationships who are worried. Worried about not being enough for their partner and that maybe the ex, now friend, is a little bit more. Worried about not being as important as this person who still seems to have a place setting at your table.

Common sense tells us that the ex is an ex for a reason. The relationship didn’t cut it. Some people are better off as friends but only find out after getting the sex out of the way first. For me the words honesty and trust come to mind. If we can be honest with and trust our respective partners then does it and should it really matter who they keep counsel with? You can choose to make it hard for them to be honest with you or you can trust that when they say friend, they mean just that.

The solution is simple, stop worrying and accept that there was someone before you and your current sees a good enough reason to have that ex remain in their life. You don’t have to like it but you don’t have to hate it either. If they’re honest about it then trust them to handle it with respect for you and your relationship.

What do you think? Should your ex be a friend? Join the conversation and post a comment.

Is chivalry dead or just not required anymore?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by prekosifa

Growing up I remember one of the biggest ordeals I had to face was asking a girl out. I believed in opening a door for a girl, watching my language when in female company, always being polite when meeting their parents and trying my best to make a good impression.

I grew up listening to motown and watching old Hollywood classics where true love always triumphed and the good guy got the girl. Love was a big issue and treating a female in the right way was a big deal and a man’s priority.

Things, it seems, have changed. Last week a girl I know asked me out. As much as I liked the attention and the sincerity behind it I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed because it seemed the final line had been crossed. Wasn’t I meant to do the asking?

Don’t get me wrong, I was very flattered but something didn’t sit well with me about the whole episode. It kind of threw me off guard and left me with a sinking feeling. I had lost control of the situation and I found myself thinking forward about how this reversal of roles at the offset could influence the relationship. Would I be powerless or would it be irrelevant to how things progressed? I took my quest to the streets (well some of my closest friends at least) to see how the boys felt about women hitting on them.

Women seem hungry these days, came one reply. They’re just going out for theirs, quipped another guy. I know a lot of them are driving nice rides, have good jobs and are living a life that was strictly a man’s world for a long time but with it they also seem to have adopted some distinctly male characteristics. It shows itself mostly in clubs or other social settings. There’s a hint of aggression, especially towards other women. Whatever happened to the gentle touch?

More importantly, what does this new breed of alpha female mean for good old fashioned chivalry? Since women appear to have taken control from the boardroom to the bedroom, maybe chivalry is no longer required of us men. Of course there are those of us that still want to practice it but it could be that we’re stuck in the past. Heck, the way some women work out they should be opening the door for us anyway!

It seems to me that you no longer need chivalry to ‘get the girl.’ It’s not expected and I guess that means it isn’t necessary because women are not sitting around waiting for men to ask them out. They go out in packs now, ready to hunt for their prey.

The world has changed and along with it the roles of men and women. A lot of us are happy about that, some of us think we are happy and are truly not. Let’s be honest, we worry about what else is going to have to change. The whole male role is under threat and maybe in a few years we won’t even know what it means to be masculine.

As the dividing line between what is male and female gets thinner, it has also changed the social norms that we’ve always taken for granted. Not only do women ask men out now but some have even become laddish and predatory about it, leaving us boys feeling like disposable sex objects!

One night stands, once the domain of men with a taste for loose women, are now common place and can be had every night of the week with highly strung oversexed ladettes. Am I complaining? Not as an individual who can appreciate the obvious benefits of this new world order but as part of the collective male of the species, I am a bit concerned.

No one really likes change anyway because we don’t know what to do with it or how to act around it. I guess all we can do is go with the flow and see where it all ends up. As the Temptations sang in the 80s ‘I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t believe that chivalry is dead.’ Two decades is a long time though and maybe those lyrics don’t mean much anymore and I’m just part of a dying breed in the new millennium.

What do you think? Have women become too independent for their own good? Join the conversation and post a comment.