Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is Chivalry Dead?

I hear many women complain that men aren't chivalrous anymore? At first I agreed but upon reflection I’ve concluded chivalry isn’t dead…..just rare. It exists in a different form to the olden days. It seems we still let films and songs dictate how men should behave. We’re all too familiar with the fairy tales of the princess being rescued by her knight in shining armour. He’d kill the dragon, carry the princess, put her on his horse and they'd ride off into the sunset. *cue violins* Have you witnessed this kind of scene during the 20th century? That’s not to say chivalry doesn’t happen it’s just evolved.

After spending a couple of summers in New York it was evident that the men I encountered eat, breathe, and sleep chivalry. I think it’s embedded into their psyche since birth. I'm talking chairs pulled out, car doors being opened, bag’s being carried, the full works. I was truly gobsmacked whilst experiencing such behaviour. Not trying to take anything away from the good old British men of course. I just noticed chivalry on a grander scale.

A problem that men encounter when being chivalrous is the independent women talk. I don’t need no man *swings neck*. Men can be left some what confused with how to treat/approach a lady. Some men will argue that because of women chivalry no longer exists. I used to believe that if a guy is well-mannered regardless of a woman’s characteristics he will do what’s natural to him. This can prove difficult if you’re spouting how you don’t need/ want a man to do certain things yet complain he’s not opening the door for you. Make up your mind! Men know we like the idea of being swept off our feet and for them to initiate the first move but when we insist on doing everything for ourselves it can muddy the waters. Just be honest and stop fronting. This doesn’t lessen your strength or independence.

A guy I dated kindly offered to buy me a gift. My response was that I was fine; he didn't need to waste his money on me. Baring in mind if he felt it was a waste of money he wouldn't have offered. The point is I was trying to take the whole I can do for myself attitude and failed miserably because deep down I wanted the gift. I know it doesn't make any sense. I thought I'd wait until he offered again, and boy did I have a long wait.
I’ve heard men complain that their chivalrous behaviour often goes undetected or gets brushed off. I.e. A male may compliment your outfit/hair and you brush it off or receive it with scepticism. Some men have argued that some women aren’t worthy of graciousness as their attitudes are stank. Men want to feel that women are worthy of such courtesy. Women you can be chivalrous too you know. It’s not a behaviour set in stone just for men, it’s a two way street. I say thank you to any man that opens the door for me. I don’t take it for granted or have an attitude that demands or expects such behaviour.

Another factor is the evolution of Technology. Good old fashioned talking has been replaced with Facebook, Twitter, and Blackberry Messenger. I’ll often Whats App friends to say good morning. Long gone is a phone call to greet somebody a good day. Technology forces us to stay in our own little bubble consumed with our daily routines. I remember in school when we’d exchange love letters with a squashed up flower hand picked from the garden. You don’t need to do that now when you can send an email declaring your love with a romantic song via you tube. Yes the thought is still there but it seems we are no longer original. We don’t reach out to people personally anymore.

I feel we’ve become self centred and selfish compared to former years. It seems that many people are out for themselves. You’ll be lucky if someone says god bless you after you sneeze. These simple gestures are becoming non existent one of the reasons why chivalry is changing. Peoples values have changed and we live in a society when everybody wants things now.

Chivalry isn’t dead it’s just not what it used to be. The fact is men/women are probably doing kind gestures every day you’re just not recognising or appreciating it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Can Open Relationships Work?

Jill Scott’s considering an open relationship according to twitter, the thought alone dissuades me. Open relationships ‘apparently’ work for some couples. However I think I'll decline as it'd leave me paranoid and extremely jealous. Why would I want to share my partner with another woman? I just don't get it.

In the long run I don’t believe open relationships work. Someone's going to form an attachment outside of the marriage/partnership which will inevitably cause problems. I wouldn’t want to hear repeated stories of my partner’s experiences. How this new woman listens intently to his work woes. How she’s more affectionate than me. How they're going to spend a romantic weekend together. This would surely affect even the most strong willed person.

What do people hope to get from open relationships? Is it a case of having your cake and eating it too? I understand there are certain elements/ qualities you can get from that other person but if you’re not happy and desire to have extra activities outside of your relationship why not stay single? I don't think BOTH partners are happy with the idea of an open relationship. I feel it’s more a case of one party pushing the idea and presenting it in a way that seems beneficial to both of you.

I always feel that woman get the short straw as our make up is so different to men. Our emotions can play havoc on the decisions we make. What you thought you could handle in the beginning may turn out to be too much. I’d be extremely jealous if I found out my boyfriend was entertaining an open relationship. Even if I’d agreed to the decision in the beginning the green eyed monster would rear its ugly head. I just couldn’t handle the intimate details and my mind running away with what they may be doing. To know that my man has been so physically intimate with someone and that feelings could potentially be forming is a big problem. Men seem to be able to detach sex from love. Women can't do the same hence why I don't feel we can handle an open relationship in the long run.

Surely all relationships need some form of restrictions/boundaries. This isn't a form of control but a sense of wisdom. Why risk your health by openly sleeping with multiple people. How will it affect people close to you.  Is your partner allowed to condone activities in your home? Surely you need to establish some ground rules to protect what you have and yourself.

Are people choosing open relationships due to a lack of confidence in monogamous relationships? Are people compromising their happiness just to be with someone? Or maybe its easier to run and find excitement some where else than deal with the real issues at hand. Surely if you have a good strong relationship you wouldn't want to have anyone else?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why Do Women Let Themselves Go?

I want to start by saying this post is not set out to bash women. We often get defensive when someone's touched a nerve or spoken an element of truth, I know I do. There we go disclaimers out the way. 

My friend and I were having a discussion about why we as women tend to sometimes let ourselves go. Yes men let themselves go too but I've chosen to focus on...CUE Beyonce 'All the single ladies, all the single ladies....I'm not discussing married women with kids as I haven't experienced either of the above. I'm talking about the singletons, the women in relationships. The women who are still young but don't seem to care anymore. I know there are numerous things vying for your time within a day. Whether it be keeping the house tidy, cooking, work, being a good partner, socializing, making time for family and most importantly making time for yourself. It's hard work as well as time consuming.  It usually starts off as minor things. Leaving the house with chipped nail polish for days on end. The bob that was once cut to precision has now grown out and the ends are all straggly. You used to rock the fiercest colorful clothes and now you dress in black every day and then of course there's the slowing down of the metabolism.

I feel that once some women get into relationships they get comfortable. The scary thing is that you often don't realize its happening. I recall when my ex boyfriend told me that I don't dress as good as I used too. This was his indirect way of saying you don't make as much effort anymore. That comment felt like a hard slap as well as a wake up call. Whilst I got angry and defensive I had to admit that there was an element of truth to what he said. I no longer felt a need to make an effort as he was mine. I felt the weight gaining, I didn't drop it like it was hot anymore. Deep down I wasn't comfortable within myself and this was slowly chipping away at my confidence. I'd fallen into a rut and didn't know how to get out. I'm not implying you dress for your man but do something that'll make you happy. If your happy your man will be happy. 

Lets not forget men are visual and while they'll accept you as you are. They won't forget how you used to look, especially if there's been some drastic changes. Men probably won't admit it but they like their women to maintain themselves. They want to show you off and let the world know how proud they are of you. Unless you've got one of those controlling men with some deep insecurities (no further comment). You can't beat that feeling when you enter the room and all eyes are on you like WOW...who is that? And you don't have to look like a supermodel or have the latest attire to achieve it. Just got to be comfortable in your own skin. I'm sure the same goes for you ladies. How would you feel if your boyfriend let his hair grow out, no longer shaved. Didn't make an effort with his clothes, put on a lot of weight? Be honest with yourself! 

I love wearing jogging pants and headscarves around the house. I also like to throw on a pair of heels and a bright lip stick to show off my feminine side. The little things make such a big difference whether its a bit of mascara, a facial, or buying yourself something nice. Not only will you feel good but he'll appreciate your efforts too. It starts from an inner confidence and if you don't have that it will show on the outside. The key is to find a balance and not let yourself go completely. Sometimes when we feel low or depressed we no longer care about our appearance. This usually pulls you down into a spiral pattern and everything else gets affected. 

I've recently become a member of the 30 club and must confess that whilst I've more or less maintained my weight over the years. I find it hard to stay trim due to my indulgence of all things sweet and my metabolism slowing down. I exercise not only for health reasons but because it makes me feel and look good. This brings me onto the foods us ladies consume. We all know whats good and bad for us yet we still choose to eat rubbish. I too am guilty of this, if its bad I'm eating ALL of it. The truth is you look as good as you feel! I hear many women at work complain about their weight yet they eat the wrong foods and don't fit exercise into their schedules. I repeat I know we all lead busy lives and that work hours are rarely 9-5 anymore but you have to make a decision and make some changes somewhere. Nothing beats the spring in your step when you finish an excruciating workout, leave the hairdressers or put on that dress that fits like a glove. 

If all you've taken from this post is that women must have their face caked with make-up and be a size 10 then you've missed the point. There's nothing wrong with taking a bit of pride in your appearance. Whether your a size 12 or 16 it's all about loving yourself and being the best you can be mentally, physically and emotionally. I think its important to carry on caring for your appearance, to keep your individuality and confidence.  
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