I Was A Better Man Than Boyfriend; That Had to Change For My Relationship To Survive

2016a
Once you grow up being a man is relatively easy. You keep your word as best as you can, you take care of the people you love, you go to work and try to live honorably. There will be times you don’t do everything perfectly but understanding that you messed up and trying not to make the same mistakes twice is what makes us better.
There may be times when you lose your job or your car is in the shop and you need help from your woman, that’s cool, we all go through things but you can’t make it a habit.

As far as I know, I’m a good man. My reputation professionally is solid, I keep my word, I love my family and I try to be the man that people expect me to be. The man I expect myself to be. It wasn’t until the first several months into my relationship that I realized being a good man didn’t mean I was being a good boyfriend. As a matter of fact, being a good man blinded me to the fact that I was on the fast track to becoming a horrible boyfriend or single again.

Being a good man is about having a certain level of pride and confidence that won’t allow you to lose. It’s about taking control and leading when you see there’s a void. It’s about doing what’s necessary. Relationships are about compromise. Pride and confidence are great traits but if you’re not yielding, you’re not willing to see her side. For so many years it was easy for me to walk away from situations knowing that even if I was wrong, I was right. How can you have that mindset in a relationship? You can’t.

Most men don’t know how to lead because we’ve never mastered the art of being led. We go into these relationships feeling like we should be the head of the house or the leader but leadership is earned, not given. Saying “I don’t know” or “can you help me” makes you just as effective of a partner or leader than saying, “I can do this on my own and she’s just going to have to get in line.” Being able to ask for help, being able to talk about past struggles or disappointments, being able to open up is what helped me be a better boyfriend.

So often we compare other people’s inadequacies in their relationships to our own. She tells me, “You don’t call and check on me enough, you don’t ever ask me how my day is going.” My response shouldn’t be, “It’s not like I’m cheating on you or I’m talking to other women. I’m at work, I’m busy. I know women that would love a guy that worked as much as me.” Being a man means you’re responsible to your obligations but what happens when you ignore being responsible for her heart? Being responsible for her feelings. A woman that’s willing to tell you what you’re not doing is a woman that’s still fighting for you.

Anyway, those are some early 2016 thoughts. I hope you all have a great year!

5 Ways I Survived My First 90 Days In A Relationship

Author Demez F. White

Author Demez F. White

For me being single meant enjoying life. I never found talking to someone for the first time and staying on the phone with them for two hours awkward. I loved dates and random happy hours and breakfast before work with someone I just met the day before. Going to Vegas for a fight and not having to answer to anyone was a really good feeling. Having a dozen female friends that I could randomly call or text wasn’t about me being a player or having options; It was about me just being me. I didn’t go looking for a relationship or a woman; it just happened. Fate just happened.

So for me it’s been a transition going from being the man that loved being single to the man that has come to love a woman. So here are the 5 ways I’ve survived the first 90 days of my relationship.

Five- LEARNING NOT TO FLIRT. When you’re single it’s called being charming, when you’re in a relationship, it’s called flirting. You want to know something I figured out within like the first couple weeks? Girlfriends don’t like when you flirt with pretty girls, online or in person. The weird thing about being single for five years is that flirting becomes second nature, giving compliments becomes second nature. I found myself doing it and not even realizing I was doing it. Now what do I do? I give myself a ten second pause before I comment on a picture or offer to buy a women’s lunch because her pencil skirt fits her like a glove.

Four- LETTING GO OF FRIEND-GIRLS. Now hear me out, I’m not saying men and women can’t be friends but what I am saying is that I had a lot of women in my life that I thought were friends and once they found out I was in a relationship those friendships sort of evaporated. Not because of romantic feelings or jealously but because I treated them more like dating buddies than friends. I flirted, I paid for meals, I was there at all times of the night or morning. Those women were amazing women but they weren’t conducive to being a good boyfriend because you can’t have all these deep connections floating around. Friends understand that, you have to cultivate friendships. Real ones, not the ones that are convenient.

Three- HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. Over the past three months I’ve realized something about myself. I lie a lot and I don’t like awkward conversations. Here I was thinking all this time that I was this blunt, forward, keeping it real guy. When I say a lie a lot, I lie about small things and those small things have the ability to add up really quick. Let me give you an example. Your girls asks you, “Babe, am I over here too much?” You want to say, “Yes, go home and give me a day to lie in my boxers and leave the house a mess and not shower and eat greasy foods without you fussing at me about being healthy.” Instead what do you say, “Of course not babe.” That’s a lie and those types of lies lead to petty arguments and trust issues. Just be honest, even when your first instinct is to lie. I’m not all the way there but I figure around the sixth month I’ll be a truth telling machine.

Two- CELLPHONES ARE MANIPULITIVE LITTLE JERKS. Look, no guy wants to be the guy that’s insecure or overly jealous and for the most part I’m not that guy but do you know who’s always getting in my head. Her cellphone!!! Her cellphone taunts me, it mocks me while I’m watching a game or eating dinner. I promise you it only lights up when I walk by it, it only “dings” when I mute the television and that ding echo’s throughout the house like a rooster on a crisp summer morning. I’ll see a text or Instagram comment and her phone whispers to me, “Who is that Mez?” “Just pick it up and see what she’s saying Mez?” “You aren’t doing anything she wouldn’t do Mez.” Being in a relationship doesn’t entitle anyone to touch someone’s phone. Don’t listen to them, cellphones are such jerks because once we get in relationships we stop giving them as much attention. So they want to sabotage us. JUST SAY NOT TO CELLPHONE PEER PRESSURE!

One- ACCEPTING YOU’RE NO LONGER SINGLE. This was the biggest one for me because this was the one that sets the standard for everything else on the list. Doing things like introducing her as your girlfriend when you’re out or letting her know when you’ll be out late with your boys. It’s okay to be considerate, it’s okay to make her feel like she matters more than other women. It hasn’t been easy, it’s been an adjustment of major proportions and I still have so much to adapt to and learn but what I do know is that my heart is in it so I’m willing to try.