Ode to Divorce

This is not an "I told you so" or a "in your face" or "that's right sucka" to all of you who are getting a divorce that I saw coming. Divorce is a very painful and private matter and I respect that even if some of your other friends or some of your family members or their family members don't, but for all of you who are about to take the plunge or will take the plunge in the future this song's for you. Marriage is like college, it ain't for everybody (oh, yes, I was an English major suck it). Some people are incapable of being in a healthy relationship and some people just aren't going to be in a healthy relationship with you. Don't take it personal, but also don't make it your mission to try and change that person even if you think its for the better. You are not Mother Teresa. You are not earning your way into heaven one boyfriend at a time. And it really doesn't make you feel good that your ex now leaves the toilet seat down, washes his ass properly, cooks dinner three times a week and has switched his gift giving from small kitchen appliances to jewelry. Yeah, you trained him and all that good work is being benefited by someone else. I will now serenade you with the saddest song in the world played on the tiniest of violins. Get over it. Move the hell on.

We all have baggage. I know you think yours is light and its Louis Vutton. It's still baggage. Did Eryka Badu not sing loud enough for you bag lady? While some baggage can be viewed as children (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) and exes (who should only count if you have children with them thus they are still around) the bigger baggage is harder to see. That emotional tote. That gargantuan Samsonite you're lugging around from relationship to relationship. This year, I'm going to encourage you to open that hard-cased bad mamajama and chuck some shit out. Make your load lighter.

Remember what's his face that cheated on you. Forgive him. He was an asshole. You holding on forever to that hurt and that pain is a cancer eating away at your soul, metastasizing and infecting everything you do. Let it go. He was broken. He got broke long before you even came along. He started breaking around 13. That don't have shit to do with you. You're beautiful, intelligent and great in bed. He couldn't appreciate that, but that's not your fault. You didn't deserve it, but he's broken. Forget about him. Move on. And don't punish everyone that comes after him for shit your ex did. But also don't date new people who are prone to cheating, have a history of cheating and/or are more likely to cheat i.e. playas, rock stars, athletes, frat boys, narcissists. If you are already in a relationship, recognize the warning signs. I refuse to believe a woman can't see that her man is cheating on her. Either she's cheating too, or she doesn't want to know. No man is THAT good at covering their tracks. On the flip side, don't see shit that isn't there. Don't go making up problems. It's a balance. You have to be rational, but only you can break the cycle.

Don't date a taker. A taker is a person who only takes and never gives. Don't date anyone is not giving you what you need, and don't listen to your friends about what your wants are. Your wants are different than theirs, so don't get confused that you're not getting from your man what Shanika down the street wants. She might like sex on the beach. You might like to keep your hoo-haw sand free. You decide what your needs are and if they are getting met. Me personally, I like to talk on the phone. I can't date anyone who won't talk to me and who doesn't think I'm funny. But that's just me. Maybe you need your mate to be funny. Also, make sure you're not a taker. Make sure you're putting in what you're getting. Don't be selfish. That's the fast track to being single ... again.

Don't date anyone you don't respect. That's almost saying don't date anyone you don't like, but I've actually seen that work believe it or not. You don't have to like everything a person does, nor should you, you sycophant. But you can disagree with someone and still respect them. If they adore you and you think they're a fucking idiot. That's not going to work.

Make sure you're on the same page about your relationship. I got into a conversation with someone about our past and quickly began to realize that most of our problems stemmed from miscommunication in the form of us using the same words, but have polar opposite definitions on what those words mean. I come to believe this is the plight of the war of the sexes. Who was right? Me of course! I say that to say this. Be clear to your partner about what your expectations and intentions are with that relationship. Yall could be apples and oranges, unicorns and dragons. It's better to know up front and not 5, 10, 20 years down the line when its too late and you're old bitter and spent. Even if you have different expectations, when you're up front and honest, one partner could change their mind and start wanting the things that you want, but THEY have to make that decision. You CANNOT (I can't stress this enough) make that decision for them. It's like those poor misguided souls that purposely get pregnant thinking some player is going to go "Eureka, this gal's for me!" Instead, he ends up hating her forever. Also, make sure you're actually dating someone. A why are you cheating me conversation will end quite quickly if the other person didn't know you were dating.

Recognize the mistakes you made in your last relationship, learn from them and don't repeat them in the new one. It sounds simple enough, but people do not do this. You have to be a level of self aware that most people are not comfortable with. Everything is not ALL the other person's fault. Take responsibility on your contribution to the problems and change that behavior. It's like watching reels before the next football game. How can you improve your game. How can you behave differently, better? It's like recapping an argument and wishing you would have said this or that, but instead of inserted a better zinger, insert better behavior that will get a better outcome. Recognize your relationship patterns and decide if that's the person you want to continue dating. The douchebag. Why do you keep dating that same type of guy over and again. Why are you attracted to that? What can you change about yourself (NOT the other person, let them change themselves)? Recognize what you don't want. Stay away from that.

Date someone on the same sex level. This comes in two parts: 1. Frequency 2. Freakiness. These are not the same. Maybe I like to have it 85 times a week missionary position. Maybe he likes it twice a week reverse cowgirl and a belt around his neck. You have be very similar or this is going to go downhill fast. Ideally date someone you will grow with sexually. Hopefully, you will grow in the same direction. I'm growing into S&M and he's growing into men, we have a problem. Don't date someone who's going to put all your sex business on the street, and don't you behave that way either. How many women get mad because their bestfriend fucked their man, but they've been telling them how good he is in bed etc ad nauseum. Shut the hell up and no one would know.

Date someone on the same commitment level. This has two parts. 1. Marriage 2. Children. You need to honest with yourself on how you see your future. Is your dream self married with kids? Yes or no. Only you can answer this honestly. The next step is dating someone who wants the same things. Don't think folks are going to go changing their mind down the road. Make it clear what you want. If they don't think they can give those things to you, move the hell on quickly. Next. And a lot of men with kids don't want to have anymore. So, don't assume since he already has kids that he wants more. Ask him. And maybe he doesn't want to have any kids with YOU. That's not your fault. That's his loss. But don't take it personally (even though its hard not to), but move the hell on. You deserve to get what you want. Don't waste time on someone who's never going to or incapable of giving it to. I don't care how cute they are. They are not the only swinging dick in town.

Try not to date anyone who's family you can't stand. You don't want to wage war on an entire family that will last for the next 30 years. Who has that kind of headache capacity and time to devote to espionage? Be honest with yourself on how much in-law bullshit you can take and gage accordingly. Do I even like this person enough to deal with their psycho mom? If the answer is no, good-bye.

Don't loan anyone money. Not going into that. Don't date men that ask for money. Women either. It's all on you if you offer. Everyone can be in a tight spot every now and then. But I'm talking about those folks that expect that from a relationship. Stay away from those people. Bad news. Never loan money in an amount or to a person that you would get mad if they never paid it back. Don't loan money. Yeesh. This stuff writes itself.

Date someone on the same financial level. If there is a disparity, you have to be 100% okay and confident with it. This is really a man thing. Most men have a problem with dating a woman who makes more money than they do. It's a pride issue. Most women could care less IF they are a good man and NOT begging her for money. Now, if you don't care that your man begs you for money, we need to talk. That's a whole nother blog entry. But you have to be in the same ball park. The more money you make the less of an issue it is. If you make 125K and he makes 100K, who the hell cares. If you make 15 million and he makes 10, snore. Sure, that's 5 million dollars, but he's not going to be bumming money from you or trying to get you to invest in some hair brained get rich quick pyramid scheme. Now if he makes 1 million and you make 100, then you are going to see problems. If you're pulling 125K and he's pulling 60K, then you're going to have some discussions because the difference between the two is so great you're going to be able to SEE the difference in the money. It's the different between a Toyota and a Porshe, an apartment and a McMansion, first class and a leer jet. That money is just not the same.

This one is sort of about money, but not. Date someone who has similar goals and ambition than you. If you like to be top dog, you're not going to make it with a coach potato. If you're about being promoted, you're not going to like being married to someone who is complacent and constantly gets passed over for promotions. If I'm trying to win Oscars or the Fields metal or the U.S. Presidency and you're trying to move the fryer to the register. This is not going to work out.

Get a prenup. I know yall are in love now and x,y,z, but you are not a fortune teller. You do not know what the future holds. You might end up falling in love with the copy boy. You might be on some "see you next lifetime" Eryka Badu shit with the UPS man. Who the hell knows. And I don't know what state you live in, if you live in a fault state (that awards more money to the person who DIDN'T cause the the divorce) or a no-fault state that doesn't give a hoot. Nor do I know the circumstances of why you will get divorces or if you will get divorced and neither do you. You know what a prenup is, it's insurance. You have car insurance don't you? You have health insurance don't you? You have life insurance don't you? Well, you might as well sign up for some I don't want to get fucked over if this marriage doesn't work out insurance. Don't be fooled, someone is always worth more financially in a marriage. Even if its only on paper. You think you make less so you'll get alimony. You find out during the divorce, they were lying about their salary or they got demoted and didn't tell you. Or they have mystery kids that count as mitigating circumstances. Who the hell knows. What I do know is that is fucking disgraceful to pay a MAN alimony. Get a fucking job, a promotion. I think alimony is ridiculous. The court doesn't care if you make $5 more. Get ready to pay them $2.50. Maybe I wanted to buy a big mac with that $2.50.

Those are all the lessons I have for the day. I don't want you to get divorced, but I also don't want you to stay in a bad relationship that isn't working. We're getting older now and everyone is going to start pairing up and settling down and living their life. And I want you to live a good life. I want you to live your best life, live up to your best potential and I want you to have someone to share that with. I just don't want that person to be an asshole. Because I still want us to hang out. See, its really all about me.