Okay here it is with much pain and agony I present my top ten movies of 2014. I do this because I feel movie dates are still the best type of dates to go on. That said 2014 by volume may have been the best year for movie dates because there were just so many good movies to see. On my list I have my top 10 but my honorable mentions are just as good as my top ten. However, there were a lot of good movies 2014 didn't many GREAT movies. Many my top 4 are great but that is a low great. And my 5-10 where low okay. 2014 had more repeated brands than I ever remembering one year having. There were remakes and sequels hardly any room for an original film story. Don't get me wrong remakes and sequels can be great films. I think of the Fugitive as a great remake or the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which followed a bad remake. I think the Lords of the Rings was an excellent series. Each of the sequels was just as good as the original. I think the Terminator had good sequels. So, I'm not knocking a movie because it's a sequel or a remake. I do feel that sequels and remakes have to have their own stories and fresh ideas. I think that's why some of 2014's remakes and sequels didn't hit the ball out of the park. That said it does look like it's a trend because 2015 has almost as many remakes and reboots of successful brands as 2014 did. That's starting with the reboot of Star Wars. Anyway, here is my list with some explanation.
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Good almost great movie. I love this new rebooted angle. The only part that dragged a little was the fight scene at the end. I hope they continue the series.
2. The Equalizer. I had to give Denzel this spot. He had been crushing movies since Training Day. This movie he goes back to his Man on Fire roots. I hope that do a sequel.
3. The Edge of Tomorrow. I never liked Tom Cruise in a movie before but seeing him get his butt beat and killed over and over again was fun. I love the story. The ending was medium but didn't ruin it.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel had to go here. So many super heroes are not from Earth that this allows them to include them. Sure it's all about Earth but now we get to see another take on a populated Universe besides Star Wars version.
5. Interstellar. This is many people's number one movie but to me it was to focused on the scientific fantasy of the story and not the entertainment aspect. I don't think having a few monsters or alien life forms would have messed up the science. But so what if it did save the true scientific discussion for the documentary. Writers are liars anyway so find a way to make it happen.
6. The Hunger Games Mocking Jay PT 1. I like Katness so much that I can tolerate all of the extra loves elements added to the story. I love the additions to expand the sci-fi of the story. I think it is what Hunger Games was meant to be.
7. X-Men Days of Future Past. Well, I ain't going to lie it took me a minute to get over the shape shifting sentinels I was able to enjoy the film. I was disappointed that the story didn't focus on the X Men battling the Sentinels. However, I enjoyed seeing Biship on the big screen.
8. The Hobbit the Battle of the Five Armies. Now, this film sums up what was missing in the films of 2014. How I explained this movies's short comings is image a boxing match with a Dragon and when you go to the fight the Dragon goes down in the first round.
9. The Maze Runner. I enjoyed this film. I took a lot from The Lord of the Rings and while I don't agree with the concept of man's savage nature the question of how will human children behave if left to construct their own society is a interesting question. I also liked how they answered the question in this story.
10. The Giver. This was the first book to have children killings. This was the book that influenced the Hunger Games and Maze Runner. It wasn't as action packed but it also didn't have big boring love element.
Honorable mentions. These are all films that are just as good as the films 5-10 but the part that messed them up was a little bigger or more prominent. I will just list what messed up the film for me.
1. Sin City, A Dame to Kill for. Nothing really stood out but the was less smart or diverse plot wise. The first Sin City had many different stories but this one just had one. Really I don't know what this story missed I just didn't think it was great. Maybe I have to see it again which I will.
2. RoboCop. New and fresh reboot but less racial diverse and the story was the same. They should have stole from all of the headlines about Police and civilian relations and wrote a new RoboCop story like JJ Abrams did with Star Trek and they did with Planet of the Apes.
3. Purge 2. This is the only movie on this list which I didn't see in the theater. I enjoyed this sequel better than I did the first part.
4. Dracula Untold. The special effects were great but the story wasn't fresh enough. Underworld changed the game. This was a low budget story. It needed more fighting and more story. Something. But good none the less. I don't even think I liked the ending. The reboot of the Wolfman was better.
5. 300 Rise of an Empire. Again you go to see a Mike Tyson fight and when you get there he's not there. I wanted to see King Xerxes get his big ass fight on but no it's a story about a crazy woman. Not bad but I can count the films I liked where the main character was somebody I wasn't supposed to like.
6. Tyler Perry Single Mom's Club. Hot film. No complaints. The only problems is that it's a comedy and comedies have to be Rush Hour to contend with Sci-fi for me.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Good reboot got me interested in a story I don't like. This time the turtles didn't seem like white boys acting like black kids as much. Maybe because white kids act cooler now and the contrast isn't as big as it was before.
8. Pompeii. For a movie were everyone knew what was going to happen it did a good job of writing a background story. The ending was a little weak also.
9. Captain America Winter Soldier. Man there's no way if you would have told me this movie would not have made my top ten in 2013 I would have not believed you. However it didn't make my top ten. I only became a fan of Captain America after his 2011 movie. Now the magic has worn off maybe. Or maybe it was just the weak story. No matter what this movie was medium.
10. Godzilla. This is another movie that could have been so much more. I should have put it in my top ten just because it was so much better than the 1998 remake. I felt jept because again I wanted to Godzilla fight more. But what could I complain ALL of the old Godzilla movies are told the same way. I think that Pacific Rim was a game changer for all of these large monster films.
11. Transformers Age of Extinction. I have never put a Transformer film in my top ten but this came the closest. I think Mark Wahlberg was the big factor. I also think that it wasn't too slap stick. Who knows I doubt I will ever watch it again.
Horrible I only feel two movies got me for my money last year. These two movies missed there trailers mark.
I Frankenstein. I don't know what happened to my man Kevin Greviox but this was far from Underworld. It was like a bad knock off of Underworld.
Divergent. This was bad all the way around. I was a bad book and a even worse movie. I thought they would allow the film production process to work out all of the correctable parts.
What's or the forefront. 2015 looks to be another good year of film. I'm looking forward to bunch of films. Road Warrior, Star Wars, Avengers Age of Ultron and Jurassic Park
As always I include my wife's top ten and my son's.
1. The Equalizer
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. The Giver
4. Maze Runner
5. The Hobbit Desolation of Smoug
6. Planet of the Apes
7. Captain America Winter Soldier
10. X Men Days of Future Past.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. The Giver
4. X Men Days of Future Past
5. Maze Runner
6. The Hunger Games Mocking Jay PT 1
8. Dawn of Planet of the Apes
9. Purge 2
10. Ninja Turtles
This is one of the questions I love to give a quick answer to. I just say good people are everywhere and you can meet them in your daily path but in this piece I don't want to stop there. I want to go a little deep and elaborate on what I mean.
Okay, first let's narrow our scope more and say where are the good men over 30. Now, lets clarify what a good man is. A good man is, one who is self-supportive. One who has his own place and a car. That is if he doesn't live in New York City because you can get around without a car so I cut them some slack. A good man may live with one of his parents but he can't be living off of his parent's money. Next, if he has children he must not have drama. He should be up to date with child support if he has any. He should be intelligent and or worldly. He can be a little thuggish or a hustler/entrepreneur type but not too much. He should be nice looking or at least in healthy shape. Now, that's it I don't want to cater to the shallow chicks too much. Height, how much money he makes and swagger are a little to specific and unimportant.
So, now we have a good description of want a good man is. Now, we need to start indentifying some places where men like this can be found. The first thing you need to do is to use their likes and needs to see where we can run into one of them. A healthy guy over 30, working, who is intellectual. Well, they won't be in the night club every night looking for a girl. If one of them is in a night club they would be very hard to find. Plus nice guys don't always have "looking for a girl" on their minds. If they do they would have found someone. The good men we're looking for will be doing something progressive. To find these nice guys you will have to think like they do. There are nice guys over 30 but in my years of working with single men I have learned that they are not always in the obvious places. Also, they are not as aggressive as men who are not so good are. A good man isn't a ladies man. Ladies men date a lot of women hence the plural ladies. Ladies are very charismatic and confident. Good men can also be charismatic and confident but they don't always show it off. Some times their lack of in your face confidence makes them appear less strong but on the contrary they are just as capable of leading a household as the smooth talking Alpha males. The nice guys who make it to being single into their 30s and 40s are not left over's they are more like left outs or over lookeds.
So, now back to where they are. They are mostly at work. They are more likely to have a hobby than go out picking up chicks. They work out but not for shaping sexy muscles they exercise more for fun. Like bike riding. They go to the movies but not date movies, more like Sci-fi movies. They read and not just magazine and how to make money books. Nice guys read fiction. Biographies and fantasy books. Like Game of Thrones and Dreams from my father by Barack Obama. They watch TV but not just sports and news. They watch travel shows and History channel programs. They do go out and socialize but they aren't the will buy a lady a drink. They will be the guy who's really interested in what the event or program is about. God men do go to church but they are easy to find there because they are working in a program and the pastor is pointing them out to every single women in the congregation. Good men enjoy life so they do things that exploit the world we live in. Sporting events, Arts programs and they travel. When they travel they don't just stay at the resort, they go on the excursions to see the country. Good men do family events and take care of their parents. Not so much that they a become momma's boys but they are often mistaken for one. Good men have friends but their better friends are other nice guys. However, many of their friends are married.
I hope this gives you a little better idea as to how to find these elusive "Good Men." Remember the older the man the harder he is to snag. When you find one you will most likely have o approach him. And when you do, don't lead with sexual innuendos and undertones because it would cheapen you in his eyes. You should lead with a relative question or comment. Simply introducing yourself is fine. He would be more interested in the conversation that follows than the salutation. So be ready to talk wherever you go. Know where you are and why you are there because it will be the easiest subject for conversation. Good luck and have fun. Go out to those tech expos, lectures and parks with your eyes open like your in a night club.
What's there to be afraid of in a relationship or while dating? Are Dating Fears keeping you from dating or getting married?
People have all kinds of problems and concerns with being in a relationship whether it is marriage or just dating. These concerns are not hard to address. In fact all of these can be addressed by some simple dating techniques. There are more single people than there are married people for the first time in America's history. In addition to that marriage is under attack. It is losing its popularity. People are "hating" on marriage and being in a relationship. Part of it is because people who have had problems trying to find someone to be in a relationship with think it is the people they've met that are the problem. While other people get so frustrated they chose not date at all. Dating should not be something people don't want to do. It shouldn't be something people are scared to do. One of the most effective things in fighting fear and apprehension is information. So to help people get over the obstacles they have blocking them from enjoying a relationship, I have responded to the top 20 reasons or fears people have which keeping them from dating. I have used information from my three main tools (The Hip Hop Dating Codes, The Hip Hop Dating Contract, and my Playa Hata List) to help elevate the fear. The tips from these three lists will give everyone the information they need to get back in the ring of dating so they can find someone to marry and live happily ever after.
1. CHEATING. The person you are dating cheats on you. The best defense from a cheater is to make their job hard for them. Cheaters thrive off privacy and routine. In my Playa Hata list tip #2 I suggest for people to get to know the daily activities of the person they are in a relationship with. This should be easy because if you really like someone you should be already be interested what their activities are.
2. TWO-TIMERS. The person you are dating is already dating someone else. While some people don't care if they are approached by someone who is already in a relationship it does bother other people. Some people are scared of dating because they think they may start dating someone who is already in a relationship. This is a legitimate fear. One of the things I suggest to check for this is found in my Hip Hop Dating Contract. Term #7 of my contract is to publicize your relationship. Even if you are in a same sex relationship and are keeping it a secret from your family you should tell everyone you can.
3. THE ENDING of a relationship. How relationships end. You get your heart broken because the person you are dating dumps you or when you're married you get divorced and losing half of your stuff. Even if you don't lose half your money, you may still hurt the person you are dating's feelings. There is no way to avoid ending a relationship unless you plan on marrying the first person you decide to date. However, you can learn how and when to end a relationship. Every relationship doesn't have to end on a bad note. If you learn how to end a relationship you can avoid staying in a toxic relationship for too long. Tip #10 in my Playa Hata list I encourage people to end any relationship they think is not going to progress.
4. RAPE/ABUSE. Being abused by the person you are dating. The real statistics on rape show that pepper spray and karate moves won't help much to prevent rape or abuse because 68% of rape victims know their rapist as either casual acquaintance, friend or boyfriend. One way I suggest you can defend yourself from dating violence is to own your sexuality and not put yourself into positions where you can get seduced or drugged. Openly confronting sexual intimacy like the 1930's actress Mae West did. She was upfront with the sexual interest she had in the men she dated. She would say "is that a pickle in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" and "Hey big boy why don't come up and see me some time?" She would follow that by saying "give me your number and I'll let you know when?" My last Hip Hop Dating Code addresses this fear. Dating Code #10 is Don't be seduced and to decide (like Mae West) when you would like to become physically intimate. Not by just holding out (making some guys anxious) but pointing out when you would like to engage.
5. DATING A LOSER. You learn that the person you are dating doesn't have a solid plan for their future. This is mostly a concern that women have because in a traditional relationship the male is the provider's and no one can become successful without making plans. Therefore, you can allievate this fear by making sure the person you are dating has future plans. However, as important as it for you to date someone with plans you can only find out if they have plans through talking to them about meaningful things. Subjects such as politics, religion, raising children and financial goals are usually subjects people avoid talking about early in a relationship. In the Playa Hata list tip #5 it advises people to talk to the person they're dating about as many subjects as they can think of. Communication is essential for all strong relationships.
6. DISEASES. Contracting a sexually transmitted disease or getting AIDS and dying. Getting pregnant or getting the person you are dating pregnant. The only sure fire way to protect yourself from contracting an STD is to go on a screening date together. Abstinence and a commitment to contraceptives can address a fear of pregnancy but what makes both of these fears so scary is that people are so addicted to sex. They can't wait to have it. Some people don't feel they are in a relationship unless they are having sex. What is needed is clarity. This is such an area in need of guidance that I have tips on both The Hip Hop Dating Codes and the Playa Hata list which address these fears. Tip #4 of the Dating Codes is to use contraceptives until marriage. Tip #4 on the Playa Hata list guides people to not spend the night together the first night they meet and to not engage in sex too hastily.
7. HAVING UNWANTED SEX. Being raped by the person you are dating when you tell them you don't want to have sex. Even without sex being forced or the pressure of having sex in a relationship scares people who are virgins into thinking they will have to lose their virginity. Tip #2 of the Hip Hop Dating Codes advises people to not only not engage in sex on the first night but instead have a sex talk.
8. BEING BORED. Getting caught in a boring relationship. Being with the same person forever and not having a fun dating life. Since in America society people date different people until they find someone they'd like to marry some people get addicted to dating. It's like having to choose one type of candy in a big candy store is like choosing one mate the variety of variation of people are just as endless. Playa Hata list Tip#8 addresses this fear head on. It suggests to people to share their problems with the person that you are dating and not hold issues away from them. Many times feelings can be mutual and issues can be revolved. One way or another by communicating with your date you can either find a solution to the issues burdening your relationship or end your relationship.
9. USED for SEX. Having sex and then the relationship ends is like being sexually devalued. Not having sex and being used for dates and gifts is the male fear equivalent. Whether it is because the belief that all people want in a relationship is sex and will leave you after they get it or if is the fear of getting used for a high priced meal, the fear is scary enough to keep people from dating. Hip Hop dating Code Tip#3 suggest singles to quickly define their relationship. Many people never proclaim their relationships. Just the simple clarification of what the status of the relationship can push away the most devious of ideas. People are less likely to use a person who is a boyfriend than they are someone they don't know the last name of.
10. THE FRIENDZONE. Being caught in the friend zone. This the fear of being the person people like better than their boy friend who wants to become the boyfriend. This a fear a lot of nice men have which makes them approach relationship with so much caution they sometimes don't even pursue a relationship. Tip #8 of Hip Hop Dating Codes and tip #6 of the Playa Hata list offer similar ways to deal with this fear. Number 6 of the hip Hop Dating Codes advises singles to Balance their Attractions. When couples have too much physical attraction to each other it can lead to a "just sex" relationship and possible baby drama but when couples have too much personal attraction to each other can lean to a sexless "friendzone" type relationship. Numbber 6 of the Playa Hata list is about having respect. Couples need to respect each other. When someone has respect for you they will not drag you along in a one sided sometimes misleading relationship.
11. Being UNAVAILABLE. Finding someone else attractive when you are already in a relationship. Hip Hop Dating Code Tip #1 advices people to date one person at a time. This doesn't mean every person you date you have marry. Dating one person at a time allows you to get into each person you date. You can focus and exploit the real benefits of being in a relationship. When you are fully emersed in a relationship other people will not distract you.
12. ACCUSED of RAPE. Being accused of rape. This is the Mike Tyson fear. Named after him because many people believed that he wasn't guilty and that if he could be convicted of rape anyone could be. Not that every guy is scared of being accused of being considered a rapist but they should be because many popular dating suggestions are really "rape your date" suggestions. Songs like Jamie Foxx "Blame it" which suggest sneaking an unwilling date enough alcohol to change their mind. Even this message builds on the belief that people can be seduced into having sex. My Hip Hop Dating Code tip #9 advises against seducing someone into sex. The is a difference between romancing and seduction but most people are not taught how to date or engage in physical intimacy. You don't need a sex contract but understand the sex is best when both parties are ready and willing.
13. The BAIT and SWITCH. Being with someone and they change. Like putting on weight or changing their priorities. Some women try to improve or adjust the men they date to their own liking but that is a challenge they take on. When it happens the other way around it becomes a fear. Some people are scared that they will meet and start dating a nice person and then by something they can't explain the person will change. Some men believe this happens after you marry a women and she isn't afraid of losing you. This fear doesn't make men not date but it keeps them from moving the relationship further. The Playa Hata list tip #8 is something that can be used to address this fear. Tip #8 asks people to communicate often and not keep feeling and concerns inside. Concerns not assumptions because concerns are based in actual behaviors. Not that you can stop somebody from changing their beliefs but by talking to them you may be able to get a better understanding as to why they are changing. This may be able to soften the pain of the change and alleviate the fear.
Information on the Hip Hop Dating Codes, Dating Contract and Playa Hata list can be found in the Hip Hop Dating Guide. On Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Hip-Hop-Dating-Guide/dp/0982008708
When to ask HIM or HER to marry you.
Recently a new colleague of mine asked me an interesting question. She asked "how do I know if my boyfriend is ready to go to the next level?" This question is a pretty good one for me because I do advocate women asking men the big question. I even think it is okay for women to ask men to date them. When dating feels like pre-engagement chances are you are serious about the person you are dating and it may be time to take your relationship to the next level. Catching feelings are inevitable unless you are a prostitute and still think they can connect to a repeat customer. This is one of the reasons why I don't play the friends with benefits game or just sex partners. Somebody always gets their feelings hurt at the end. High school kids and adults both thing they can control their feelings only to find out after someone is crying or eating chocolate ice cream that they were wrong.
Now to the answer of this question when should you ask somebody to marry you? Well to me the answer is not a simple list of tips. There are a few factors to consider. To make it easy I have made a Big Question Test. Answer these simple questions to figure out if it is time to make that proposal.
1. Why are you dating?
1 points. Start or continue a family.
2 points. Companionship.
3 points. Because you like them and they are hot.
2. What do you think the person you are dating is looking for?
1 points. Someone to live their lives with.
2 points. No real reason.
3 points. A safe sex partner.
3. How long have you been dating them?
1 points. No more than 3 years.
2 points. Less than a month.
3 points. 5 or more years.
4. What are the things you've done together?
1 points. Children and family outings and family events.
2 points. Dates out in public, dinner, movies and lots of one on one stuff.
3 points. Nowhere just each other's apartments and few dinner dates.
5. What is the person's dating history? Are they long term daters?
1 points. Had good experiences no red flags and they are optimistic.
2 points. Don't really know much about it.
3 points. Did something that caused their last relationship to end.
6. You have high respect for the person you are dating but not so high that it overshadows your sexual attraction them?
1 points. Doesn't just have sex with you. Talks about Politics and ask for advice on family issues.
2 points. Doesn't talk about deep stuff but talk about sports and entertainment.
3 points. Just talks about sexual and relationship stuff but no talking about work or family.
7. Worse case scenario, what could go wrong?
1 points. Nothing.
2 points. May continue dating.
3 points. You'll break up, give up on dating and be very upset.
8. Why do you get along so well?
1 points. You have been friends for years. Before you were in your last relationship.
2 points. You just click, finish each other's sentences.
3 points. Its a man woman thing. Sex is so good you can't keep hands off each other.
9. The Children factor.
1 points. They don't have any or you get along with the ones they have.
2 points. You've met their children but haven't really hung out with them.
3 points. Doesn't want to bring you around them because their children don't want them to date.
10. The friends factor.
1 points. They love you and want you around them all of the time and brings you with them to hang out with their friends.
2 points. He doesn't hang out with friends or you've only been around their friends a few times.
3 points. You clash with their friends and they don't like you.
Not here's how you score your answers to get your final answer.
10-15 safe to proceed to ask the question about advancing the relationship.
15-23 continue dating.
23-30 reevaluate your relationship or end the relationship all together.
Chances are you are both. Most of the 40 and older single people I've worked with have already met good people they should have dated. They join matchmaker groups just to meet someone like a person they already know. Marriage is not rocket science but some people make it harder than it really is. They set unrealistic and off point desires. Then in later years after a few divorces and some children they finally admit defeat and open up to make a change.
Here are my 7 signs that someone is a good choice to start dating.
1. You have similar activities. More than two activities in common.
2. You have respect for each other.
3. They are easy to talk to. Even when you do disagree with them.
4. You understand their problems.
5. You enjoy being around them.
6. Your lives complement each other.
7. You wouldn't have to change them they are fine the way they are.
*You are mutually attracted to each other physically. NAWH! Not needed.
I did not list being physically attracted to someone because most people don't try to date people they have something in common with they try to date people they are physically attracted to. Matter of fact a lot people let physical attraction be the only thing they use to determine the people they will date.
The signs I listed are things I feel are most often over looked by singles but I think are the areas which make strong couple's bonds so tight.
The reason why I titled the post Stupid is because that's how I felt when I reflected on my first years of dating. In my early years I didn't know what kind of person I really liked. I would approach girls that I was physically attracted to. Then I ended up dated women I was physically attracted. Only to find out after dating them awhile there was nothing else to the connection. It wasn't until after being married did I fully understand what was important for a healthy relationship. I reflected on girls I was friends with and ones I sought dates with and I began to get a better understanding of my dating stress. Now I hear people talk about the problems they have with their relationship or why they don't have a relationship and then I ask them how'd they start dating the person and it all becomes clear. Many of the things singles value in the people the date are not the best. So I hope this list helps you connect with your life partner.
As I always going to the movies is my most enjoyable form of entertainment and one of my favorite dating activities. So I always like to take one blog to list of top moves of 2013.
My list of the best movies of 2013.
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2. Iron Man 3
3. Ender's Game
4. Hunger Games Catching Fire
5. World War Z
6. Best Man Holiday
7. Thor The Dark World
8. The Man of Steal
10. The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug
Now I wanted to put movies like Pacific Rim and Jack the Giant Slayer on my list but I couldn't bump any of the ones I have. Fast Furious 6 was very good but for a sequel to be great it has to really deliver like Hunger Games Catching Fire did by adding to the story. Iron Man 3 did the same thing by adding more Iron men suits. While I like 12 years a Slave and I think it replaces Roots it didn't add anything new to the traditional depicted slave story. Now if they were to show what I call the Nothrup effect and that is showing how a person who doesn't care about a cause suddenly becomes a spokesperson after they get victimized by said issue. Now that would have made 12 Years the best movie of all time. Kickass 2 was good and I won't hate. I think what happened was it got genre jacked. I am at heart a Scifi fan so other genres have to be real good to blow a Scifi film away. That said I haven't liked any other Superman movie until they added the Scifi element. 2 Guns was another good story that should have been on my list but genre jacked.
All in all I got bored with 2013 movies in September. It seemed like the year had run out of good movies. I think I saw one movie in October. WTF? All of these movies are competing for the same 10 weekends, the summer. Nobody wants an October release or early November anymore. Where are the fun horrors? I haven't liked a horror movie in a minute. Granted World War Z was a zombie movie but I wasn't really trying to scare me. I'm fine with that because I loved 28 Days later but I loved Friday the 13th also.
Okay here's my wife's list.
1. Star Trek
3. Best man Holiday
4. Iron man 3
5. Fast Furious 6
6. 2 Guns
7. Hunger Games Catching Fire
8. Kickass 2
9. Ender's Game
10. World War Z
My son's list is cheesy but needless to say it is what it is.
2. Hunger Games
3. World War Z
That's our list of 2013's movies, I'd love to hear yours. firstname.lastname@example.org Peace Yo Jeff
It can be the easiest thing to do and also the most difficult thing to do but communication in a relationship is the most important thing you need to do. Something a couple's conversation is doomed to fail before they even start talking. The biggest mistake couple make is starting a conversation is a location that makes is hard to have a clear conversation. So to help people with the first step of having a conversation I have put together my list of the top five places to have a conversation.
1. In the car. This is an excellent if you are going on a long drive because you won't have any major distractions. Unless you are driving through New York City (lol). Traffic, weather and being lost are your only obstacles with this location.
2. In the bed. This place is my personal favorite. Sex is not the only thing you can do in the bed especially after a long day of work. Talking in the bed at the end of the day is a great time to reflect on the events of the day. Now if individuals have to wake up at different times then take that into consideration. This works best when couples share the same bedtime.
3. A date night. A date can be a very good place to have a serious conversation. Now don't get it twisted I'm not suggesting going to the movies or a sports bar but bowling, pool or even an amusement park can provide a background environment which make a difficult conversation easier.
4. The kitchen. This is my second favorite place because I like to cook and so does my wife. Talking while I'm cooking feels like I'm doing two things at the same time. Then a few minutes after you start talking you can sit down and eat a talk some more. Also a kitchen usually doesn't have a television and it is intimate without being so formal.
5. Family or friend gatherings. Changes are if you come to my house we will have a conversation about something are very high. Now these type of gatherings are excellent for talking about subject where a variety of perspectives are needed. Talking about things like poverty, education, dating, raising children and even religion take a different tone when you have them in a group setting. Now when you do have a group or public conversation it does depend on good people being in the conversation. People who don't know how to talk in a group can mess up a good conversation. Or the flip side for people who don't always talk in a one on one environment a group conversation may help them.
That was my top five places to have a general conversation. For break up conversations it is a lot of factors. Sometimes you need to have them in a public place like a mall or park other time you may need to do it over the phone.
About this list. This is only my list it was not sent to me by a burning bush or some other divine means. Therefore, it is subject to extreme interpretation. The important thing it is to think about where you decide to have a conversation before you have a conversation. Remember the number one cause of divorce is poor communication. So start talking.
Please feel free to email me email@example.com
Player: one who plays the game; an actor; a liar; a person who tries to be like a pimp.
I remember one of my friends asked me which came first, the Player or the Golddigger? I said more than likely they began at about the same time. See a Player is a man who values his own wants and desires more than the women he is involved with. He feels he is entitled to get these women and doesn't have any concern or respect for them. Now a Golddigger is a reaction to the Player's actions by being a woman who is not going to give of herself freely. They even go as far as the Players do with disrespect by trying to get their wants and desires fulfilled without having to give of themselves emotionally or physically. But it is not just the Golddiggers and Players themselves who are the problem. It is also the people who widely accept their harmful values and often imitate them. This contributes to the negative dating cycle we are suffering from. Most men who consider themselves Players are really just wannabe-Players. Because of how the American culture is structured men are socialized to have a Player's mentality. The American society is a very chauvinistic and sexist society and many of the characteristics of Players are so common they go on unnoticed. Most men who get classified by women as Players aren't really Players. They are wannabe-Players also. I am familiar with the male mentality because I too was conditioned to think the same way here in America. Not only was I socialized in America, I have known a few Players too.
Being a Player is not easy. It takes a lot of free time and money. The hustling and lying part of a Player can not be done without a lot of concentration and careful planning. A Player has more than one woman who believes he is their only man. In some cases the woman my think the Player has other females in his life, but she believes she is his main woman. She is blinded by the attention and gifts she receives from him and allows them to comfort her. She uses the gifts to ease her suspicions and reassure her of the Player's feelings toward her. To achieve this, the Player has to be able to live double and triple lives. The Player sometimes intimidates the women he dates so much that his women may not even ask him any questions about his activities. The Player, because of his confident attitude, has women feeling privileged to date or marry him. Using gifts and lifestyle improvements, the Player is able to keep his women so satisfied that he is able to talk freely and never has to worry about being questioned.
The real problem with Players is that a lot of men want to be Players. We have the same desires that Players do. If we don't examine ourselves and our actions we could make a decision that hurts somebody. We could get caught up in the wannabe-Player club and become a full victim to these wants and desires. So to help explain how the Players and wannabe-Players think, I've broken down some of their philosophies in a dialogue between a Player, and me. I am an American socialized man and although I am not a Player, I share some of the same thoughts. I control myself from acting on these Player thoughts by recognizing that they are wrong and counter productive. I fight off Player temptation like I do any other negative temptation, like drugs, stealing, gambling and eating too much. The Player mentality consists of the following beliefs and like the Golddigger's qualities, agreeing with one of these Player's beliefs doesn't make you a Player. However, believing any of these notions may be a sign of another problem. Here are the most common beliefs of players.
1. You are a player if your only female (or people of the opposite sex or the gender you date) friends are women (people) who you have slept with or women who you would like to have sex with.
2. You think there is nothing wrong with cheating.
3. You get bored with one woman or person to date.
4. You like all types of women or people of the gender you are sexually attracted to.
5. You like having sex with a variety of women or people.
6. You constantly think another woman (people of the gender you are sexually attracted to) would be better mentally or physically, than the woman you are currently with.
7. You're not satisfied sexually by one woman or person or you are addicted to sex.
8. You crave undivided attention from the people you date.
9. You believe men or people are supposed to be with more than one woman or person?
10. You believe you are special because a lot of women or people of the gender you are sexually attracted to want to be with you.
11. You think there is nothing wrong health-wise with sleeping with more than one person whether you are dating them or not.
What I think of Players
I blame this Player mentality for a lot of our relationship problems. I am frustrated with this culture because it views many of the Player characteristics as normal male behavior. That right there is what makes me so upset. Not only do males think they can't be loyal, but women feel men can't loyal as well. In my opinion, the Player and the wannabe-Players are PUNKS and weak men who are an embarrassment to good, strong men. If we are ever going to improve our male/female relationships we are going to have to change our expectations. We have to big-up men who don't behave like Players and look down on men who do. I never cheated on any of my girlfriends and I know many men who also don't cheat but when I tell people that they don't believe me. That is probably because nowadays all you see is what I call cheating propaganda. These magazine cover stories and movies promote the normality of these Player characteristics. Essence, Jet, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and other magazines do stories about cheating men and hard to find good Black men or any man. They do these stories so much that I almost believe it myself. These articles make me feel so abnormal and when I tell people I don't cheat, they say I am different. I think to myself, I'm different? Why can't I be normal and these weak-ass cheating men be the ones who are seen as different and looked at as having problems? Why can't men get props for not cheating? Sure men get bashed for cheating and we destroy them but then at the same time we understand their actions as normal male behavior. I can't call it, but when a man says he doesn't cheat people don't believe him. I think if we're ever going to beat this Player mentality then we're going to have to give more props to the men who are committed. It's not good enough to just condemn negative behavior, we need to reward good behavior. Shoot, even if a man has five girlfriends in a year if he breaks up with one before he starts going with another that's a beginning. Lets promote men who demonstrate these characteristics and make them feel good. On the real, one of the things that used to make me feel good about my life was that I was able to do something that few men could do, and that was commit to my relationships. I look at the Reverend Jessie Jackson, President Bill Clinton and other accomplished men who weren't able to control their sexual urges and honor their commitment and say "wow, I'm pretty good". When these men of great stature and great accomplishment show the same character flaw, people accept it as a norm. Also, when ministers and entertainers have the same weakness it becomes a more of a characteristic.
So, when people ask me, "Why do we want to be Players?" I say, because our society promotes it and tolerates disrespectful behavior from men. Then there is the acceptance of apologies from people like basketball player Kobe Bryant and singer Usher. They offered the standard explanation for their Player-like acts, and they were not viewed as weak men. In fact their popularity remained in tact. I feel men in America and in the Hip Hop community will want to be "Players" because that's what's cool. As long as men see the amount of women they can sleep with as a status symbol, they will want to be Players.
Understanding the poison of pornography.
Okay its with much reservation but pleasure that I write this blog and take on this very sensitive issue. I am a firm believer that our society's over emphasis on sex is a major cause of the problems we are having with male/female relationships and marriage. When I was 25 years old I decided to try celibacy. It was during the time Magic Johnson had revealed he had contracted HIV through sexual infidelity. His announcement set a firestorm throughout the single and especially the African American community. People were reevaluating the importance of premarital sex. Sexual addiction becomes a household term. So, I was under the false assumption that sex was too important in my life and it controlled the women I dated. I felt I was on a course to not only have a child out of wedlock but if I wasn't able to control my sexual appetite I would get AIDS myself. During the three years I was celibate where I got a better understanding of what pornography was, how much pornography there is around us and what it does to us. See having gone without sex for a long time my sensitivity was much higher than it had been since I had lost my virginity. My newfound sensitivity allowed me to pick up on the amount of porn we are bombarded with everyday. The old saying that you can't see the forest for the trees was perfect analogy to describe my new found awareness. Celibacy took me out of the pornography forest and boy was I able to see the forest.
Pornography is any picture, writing or film designed to arouse sexual excitement. Pornography is not always as hardcore skin flicks and nudy magazines it can be a common as looking sexy or reading a Zane book (the author Zane) or a vampire romance novel. I remember when people just wanted to look good. Now everybody tries to look sexy. What is sexy? The dictionary defines sexy as arousing or intended to arouse sexual interest or desire. When you understand what pornography and sexy really is then you can understand why our dating couples and our married people are having so many problems with sex, sexual satisfaction and sexual commitment.
The dictionary defines poison as a chemical substance that causes injury or illness. I think when you combine the amount of sex related crimes with the nonviolent drama that is caused by sexual related issues it is not hard to see pornography as a poison. Everything has to be sexy. Cars and liquor are called sexy in TV commercials and print ads. Even our young children suffer from being exposed to porn. We made jokes about the effects of porn on young boys when I was in middle school. We called it ADIDAS which stood for All Day I Dream About Sex. In one of my April blogs I asked "how old or young should a girl before it is okay for her to dress sexy?" The problem is that there is so much porn around us we don't even notice the effects on us.
So, since there are already a lot of conservative groups protesting strip clubs and other forms of porn I decided to help people understand what effect pornography is having on them so they can start to fight the poison of pornography in themselves. These is things I feel come from what I call high porn. High porn is watching skin flicks or reading erotic literature. Low porn is watching a TV ad describing a car as sexy or sexy clothing including anything from high heels (which raise the female butt to a sexually desirable stimulating position) to wearing a push up bra. Low porn supports high porn. Low porn helps maintain sexual interest but is not a major problem in and of itself but Low porn is also a gateway to high porn which is the real problem. What makes high pornography such a problem is that most people feel it is inappropriate to talk about sex in general. They don't talk to their parents, good trusted friends or even religious figures about basic human reproduction let alone orgasisms and foreplay. So, therefore many people learn how to have sex from the books they read and movies they watch. I do not need to tell you that these movies are huge distortions. The books are fantasies where sexually deprived and sheltered authors live vicariously through their characters. In defense of these books and movies their extreme portrayal of sex is what makes them so popular. Here are five things that high pornography does to people.
1. It clouds people's judgment on what other people like to do when having sex either consciously or subconsciously.
2. It gives people false expectations and misconceptions of sexual pleasure.
3. It makes people forget about foreplay and the emotional connection of sexual intimacy.
4. Its shows sex as an activity with no emotional connection.
5. The images of size, purposeless acrobatics and duration of sex are false and misconstrued.
A note on porno movies. These are somethings people always say so its good to mention it here.
• The people in porno movies are actors for the most part. Sure there are floods of amateur videos and sex tapes. If you watch them carefully you can tell the difference.
• The people are all tested for STDs and HIV. So that's why they can have sex without condoms so easily and perform oral sex on multiple sex partners.
Pornography is all around American society, everything is "sexy" now a days and we wonder why we are so perverted. Before you argue with me and say we are not perverted you first have to define what is a normal healthy relationship with sex. One of the dictionary's definitions of pervert is one who practices a deviant form of sexual behavior. My argument is our society is so messed up we don't even know what a deviant form of sexual behavior is. Is it paying for sex? Is it selling your sex? Is it having multiple sexual partners? Is it having sex three times a day? Is it having sex toys? Is it having it to young? What is too young to have sex? Is it with the same sex? What is it?
If you have answers post them here. I'd like to know.
I am often asked when I am going to write a relationship book of my own. Now, I have a finished book which I think is hot and fits in the market place very well. In my book, The Hip Hop Dating Guide, I tried to answer relationship questions and make comments not found in other books as I do with my blog. However some subjects are so important, they become the focus of entire books. One of the subjects is change. One of the things I find I have to do with just about every client of mine is to explain to him or her that it is easier to change themselves than it is to change the world around them.
I cannot count the amount of people I hear complaining about the behavior of men or women. They say things like, "It's hard to find a good woman because they have screwed up expectations or they have been scorned by messed up men. A lot of women have issues― serious issues." Or, "Jeff, I'm just tired because all the men want is sex and all of them have commitment problems. I don't have high expectations; I just want a man who is like me. If I can go to college, then I want a man who has gone to college. I have a good job working for a corporation, so I don't want a man who works at some small-minded job. I want to be able to talk about more than just sports and entertainment."
To all of these people, I say it is not the world or the selection of single people (at least not yet) that is the problem but it is they who are the problem. There are people connecting every day, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there were over two million people married in 2011.
While reading the various books out in the relationship market, one book says everything I like to say just in the title: Get Over Yourself: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love written by Patti Novak, star of the A&E series Confessions of a Matchmaker and Laura Zigman. Patti says that finding true love is not about having the right shoes or a flat stomach; it is about being ready. In her book, she breaks down how to get yourself ready to date by first understanding and fixing your own problems. She explains how to identify your problem behaviors while dating, and figure out if it is your tough girl attitude turning men off or your controlling behavior turning women off. Novak says identifying annoying and problematic behaviors is a very important step and dating trouble is not the problem; it is a symptom of other problems (Zigman and Novak, 2008). I totally agree.
To build on her premise, here are some of my suggestions for people to improve upon before their next date:
1. Accept the reality of the game. Face it, there are dishonest people who do not give mutually in relationships and have selfish agendas. Chances are, you will run across a dating predator throughout your dating years. Do not let a few knuckleheads distort your perception of other available singles. Make note of how you met them and how they behaved.
2. Learn how to communicate. No one can tell what you are feeling better than you. You must be able to express yourself and be able to critique without being offensive. High school age people's level of knowledge is regulated through tests and grade levels. Their experiences are a more comparable to each other; while the experiences and knowledge gap is much broader for older singles. Often times, older people find themselves explaining what they know or experienced so much during dates they feel like they are teaching a class. Communication is a combination of talking and listening. It is like a dance. If I could put as many people as I desire into communication classes, I would fill classes up in every state.
3. Conquer your flaws. Perfection is an achievement. Humans learn and grow their entire lives. We are not dogs we can be taught new tricks after we get old. I was 21 years-old before I went on a roller coaster. I did not learn to enjoy reading fiction novels until I was in my 30s. Living in Miami, I had to learn how to explain African-American history and behavior with more patience than I ever thought. Now, I can talk to people everywhere without getting frustrated over their limited understanding of my people's experiences. Sometimes, people who are single for long periods of time become so good at the small amount of things they do by themselves, the variety of things they know how to do is very limited. The world is very broad and unless you have been to every state and country there are still things you can learn to do and experience if you want to.
4. Bury your baggage. Learn how to use past relationships as historical lessons and do not allow them to become prejudices. I may blog about this on a separate entry. I am reminded of Beyonce's song, Irreplaceable, where one of the lines is, "I can find another you in a minute." I think that is not only stupid, but very common. Many people do just that; they break up with someone with problems and go out and find somebody else like the person they broke up with. People think of baggage as an acquired prejudice, but baggage can also be a change in your dating behavior. A break-up can cause people to change their racial preference. It can also cause people to react hesitantly and not exercise as much caution as they use to.
5. Improve your health and wellness. Your body is your temple, and the better you treat it, the more others will too. Let us be honest, eating chocolates after a break-up is not an urban folktale. A lot of people let their single status break them down and allow them to get out of shape. I say take any excuse you can to improve your health. Why not sort out your frustrations on the treadmill or doing a cleanse? It is your choice what you choose to do with your stress.