Tag Archives: lesbian relationships

10 Rules for a Gentlewoman in Being in a Healthy Relationship

I.

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” –Sonya Friedman

Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. True love comes from within. You will never be satisfied with someone else’s love. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to love you. The way you treat myself shows others how you expect to be treated. Therefore, self-love is first and foremost.

II.

“The wrong person makes you beg for attention, affection, love and commitment. The right person gives you these things because they love you.” –Sonya Parker

A gentlewoman never stops trying to show her woman how much she means to her even after she already has her. Affection is not just kissing and touching. Affection is having great stimulating conversations about love, life, anything and everything. Affection is not bound by any obligations or barred by any human limitations. It is to speak without regret or fear or consequence. Affection is about giving the time to show the other person how much they matter to you.

III.

“I don’t want the perfect relationship because perfect is impossible. I want trustworthy, honest, loyal and love. I love imperfections. I don’t want perfect. I want worth it.”-Unknown

In a relationship, honesty and trust must exist. If they don’t, there’s no point of loving. So if you can’t afford to be honest, stay single. We often are not honest because we do not want someone to see our imperfections. Guess what? No one’s perfect. But you can be honest. A gentlewoman is honest and trustworthy in her thoughts, words and action. We tell the truth and keep our promises.

IV.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscaglia

A gentlewoman writes handwritten letters to her lady and sends them in the mail. She buys flowers for her lady just because she’s thinking of her. She cooks for her lady after her lady has had a long day at work. A gentlewoman knows never to stop the little things for her lady, for those little things make her feel wanted. Basically, a gentlewoman knows she has to consistently do the things that got her lady to keep her.

V.

“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity.” –Mandy Hale

A gentlewoman knows that she has to have passions and friendships outside of her girlfriend. Anyone has to be in control of their own happiness. You have to nurture your circle of friends outside of your relationship. You cannot drop your friends just because you’re in a relationship. Being happy with yourself builds confidence. You can enjoy your time with your partner, enjoy your time with your friends and enjoy your time alone. It’s about living interdependently. Another key to being in a healthy relationship is get a life that is yours.

VI.

“No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.” –Unknown

A gentlewoman understands that all relationships have its ups and downs. The difference between a successful relationship and a break-up is that the couple decides that each other is worth the fight. The concept of constant bliss is something made up in Hollywood. It’s not real. What’s real is dealing with bad days, being mentally and physically tired, financial stress and draining emotions. It’s called being human.

VII.

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” –Richard Bach

A gentlewoman understands that she needs a woman who she can be her authentically herself with. It’s learning how to be vulnerable to allow someone to see the real ‘you’.

VIII.

“When you truly love someone, you don’t judge them by their past. You accept it and leave it there.” -Unknown

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. You might think you love someone until they go outside your box. A gentlewoman understands that love means accepting your lady’s faults and insecurities and loving them anyway and making it through life’s challenges together.

*Disclaimer: This does not mean you stay in an abusive relationship (mental or physical). This means you accept them for their flaws as they are not perfect. So don’t place anyone on a pedestal that they can come crashing down.

IX.

no cell phones at dinner

A gentlewoman leaves her cell phone in the car when she takes her lady to dinner. She does not want anything to divert her attention from her lady. She understands that each time she is with her lady is a time to connect and be present.

X.

“Why should a relationship mean settling down? Wait out for someone who won’t let life escape you, who’ll challenge you and drive you toward your dreams. Someone spontaneous you can get lost in the world with. A relationship, with the right person, is a release not a restriction.” –Beau Taplin

A gentlewoman does not want to settle into a mundane home life with her lady. She wants to travel with her lady around the world. She wants her lady to fulfill her dreams with and without her. She wants to fulfill her own dreams and passions. She wants to dance like no one is watching. She wants to constantly challenge herself and her lady to be better than the day before.

What I’ve Learned about Relationships

Lately, I’ve been seeing these memes about relationship goals. Maybe it’s me, but I thought relationship goals shouldn’t be the obvious. Maybe society is too jaded that we haven’t figured out that what’s best for us individually is not what’s always promoted. Maybe I am old school. I don’t know, but I’ve seen long-term relationships work. I believe in cultivating a relationship.

Lately, I’ve talked to a few friends about what we all want in relationships. We’ve talked about the nitty gritty of relationships which require hard work, patience and trust. We’ve talked about how our past relationships and experiences sometimes affect our present and future if we allow it. But what I’ve learned there are no easy ways to maintaining and growing as individuals and as a couple. Relationships Are

I am fortunate to see my maternal grandparents happily married for 46 years until my grandfather died in ’90. I have an aunt & uncle close to that mark with celebrating 45 years of marriage this past August. Another aunt & uncle will be celebrating 39 years of marriage in November. And the youngest aunt on my maternal side has been married to her husband over 25 years, and I remember when they were just dating. So I have great examples of what long-term relationships can be.

In my 39 years on this earth I’ve realized that nothing is perfect. And nothing worth having is easy. This includes a loving, sustainable relationship. Two years ago I met an incredible woman who is perfect for me. That doesn’t mean we don’t argue or we don’t have our problems. We do, but every day we wake up, we choose each other. We choose this life together. For love is a choice. It’s not something that just happen to you. It’s something that the both of you decide to cultivate.

I’ve come up with a list to help you (the ones who say they want a good relationship) to not only maintain but grow a loving relationship:

  1. Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. You have to take time out for yourself. You’re an individual first. Before you can love anyone else, you have to love yourself. That person you want this relationship with should a person you can be your true self:. It doesn’t matter if you’re goofy, silly, honest, passionate, emotional, educated and/or lovable. Whomever you are that person will love your authentic self.
  2. Communication is key. Be honest and clear. You have to talk about everything not just the good but the bad, uncomfortable and down-right ugly. This is the best way to build trust and know if you can deal with each other. You also have to communicate to determine if you are compatible. Do you both want to get married? Do you both want kids? Do you both want to live in the city or in the suburbs? Are you both financially stable? You have to be honest with yourself if you can deal with a ‘no’.
  3. No one likes a bag lady. It’s time to leave your past in the past including your ex’s (girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, booty buddies, etc) and the baggage that goes with it. You should definitely learn from your past, but don’t keep bringing up your ex in conversation. If you want a relationship to grow, you have to include her (your current) in your future.
  4. You cannot have a relationship without any fights, but you can make your relationship worth the fight. Please know that the honeymoon period fades. Yes, your partner will get on your nerves. (I’ve told my girlfriend that I always love her, but I don’t always like her. She responded with “That works both ways” with an devilish grin.) Let me tell you a little secret: love is not always “happily ever after”.
  5. You can never stop trying to show her how much she means to you even after you have her. My grandfather told me once, “It’s easy to get her. The real work starts when you have her.” You cannot forget to continue to date your lady. When’s the last time you took out pen and paper and wrote her a letter of how you feel about her? When’s the last time you surprised her with a home-cooked dinner? When the last time you wrote her a poem? ‘Roses are red/Violets are blue’ will still get a smile. Don’t get comfortable if she’s worth it.
  6. You have to love that person for who they are not the potential. You cannot fall in love with potential. Live in reality. You have to accept them just the way they are.
  7. Relationships last longer when everybody doesn’t know your business. I am not saying that you should hide your relationship, but intimate details, good or bad shouldn’t be on social media or shared with your friends. The only folks who should be in your relationship are you and your partner.
  8. There are no right or wrong way for a relationship. It’s what work for the two of you. Your relationship have to fit the needs of you and your partner not society, family or social media.

Again, love is choosing that special someone everyday as is. Choose wisely. Everyone deserves love, but are you willing to ask for what you want and then work for it when you have it? 

 

My Letter to Brittney Griner

Dear Brittney Griner,

I write this to you not out of judgment but out of respect and admiration. I see you. No one can comprehend what it feels like to be you, Brittney Yvette Griner. You’re 6’8” with an unusually deep voice. Only four women has been taller than you in the WNBA. You’re the first woman to model for Nike’s menswear. And you’re only 24. You’re young with access to resources and money that most people only dream about. But the growing pains are the same. I do not know if you have friends to be totally honest with you. But as an older lesbian who has been where you are, I see the same mistakes I’ve made. I want to offer you some advice.  In My Skin

I understand that you’re still trying to figure out who you are and how you fit in this world especially on this big stage. Unlike yours my growing pains weren’t broadcasted. I’d cringe every time someone brings up how I foolishly I acted with this ex or in this situation. I am so glad we didn’t have social media when I was making those mistakes. I am so glad people couldn’t screenshot my immaturity and my recklessness. But Brittney, you have every right to live your life, but I don’t want to see you hit rock bottom to learn your lesson. I know that three game suspension was hard on you because the court is a place of solace. The court is where you can be yourself and be free. 

I see you. I see you’re longing for love. We all do. We’ve all done some stupid things in the name of love. You’re looking for that someone to make you whole from your past of hurt, disappointments and pain. You’ve been hurting since the Messy Girl incident and the many others in middle school. You still hurt when the naysayers say shit like ‘Brittney Griner is the first man to play in the WNBA.’ Those insults may motivate you, but you’re human, and I know that shit hurts. Acknowledge the hurt and get it out. Don’t let it fester to manifest into anger or rage. You have to control your emotions no matter how much anyone push your buttons.

I see you. I see the pain in your eyes when you talk about your father. I understand it. I feel your pain. I used to be daddy’s girl, too, until he found out I was a lesbian. At 19 he asked if I had a girlfriend. I answered, ‘Yes’ because I was tired of not being my authentic self around him. His reaction was a gun to my head. I calmly told him to pull the trigger, but that wouldn’t make a difference in the fact that I was gay. Needless to say, I still tried to be daddy’s girl, but I realized that I controlled who was in my life. I decided to only allow people in my life that loved me as is not who they wanted me to be. I definitely understand the torment of thinking ‘why my father doesn’t love me’ or ‘why I can’t be daddy’s girl like I used to be’. I’ve learned I should surround myself with people who me hungry for life, touch my heart and nourish my soul. And you should, too. It’s your choice.

I see you. I see that your journey has been lonely. You’re tired of being alone. You think love will cure this loneliness. The nameless college love. Relle. Glory. Lola (or maybe not). And all of the ones in between. According to your autobiography, In My Skin, you’ve been in and out of relationships since your freshman year at Baylor. You’re a serial monogamous. And you’ve continuously broadcasted your relationships on social media thus inviting the criticisms and insults. But you need to learn how to be with yourself. Take yourself out to dinner. Take yourself to the movies, for you deserve the royal treatment you give to others. And who knows you better than yourself? NO ONE!

I see you. I see that you should look within to find the love you’re searching for. Self-love is paramount as you seek love in other. It sets the tone in who and what you allow in your life. If you cannot love yourself, you will be unable to love others. And remember money, notoriety and fame cannot buy love, for love’s free. It’s unconditional by definition. All you have to be is yourself. Love is as defined in bell hooks’ All About Love is the ‘the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own and another’s growth.’

With that definition, who loves you, Brittney? For care is a dimension of love so you can be cared for and not loved. For love is combination of care, commitment, trust, knowledge, responsibility and respect. Again, your dad and Kim Mulkey have not respected you as is. Your dad wants you to be forever ‘daddy’s girl’ who listens and obeys. You are NOT that person anymore. Kim Mulkey wanted you to be a great player for the team. If Mulkey respected you, she would have told you about Baylor’s policy against homosexuality when you verbally committed to Baylor. Both have manipulated you to get what you want. Neither one wanted to deal with who you are, an out black lesbian who is living her life on her own terms.

I see you’re hurting, but it’s time to work on self. You’ve been in and out relationships for six years. You need to focus your time and energy on you. The way you get wrapper up in others when you’re in a relationship, that’s the way you should get wrapped up in yourself to find your happiness, your light. You have to be selfish, introspective and maybe a little reclusive. You will discover that love lies within you all along. You will find love, first self-love and then that romantic love we all covet.


brittney new booI see you. Like I did when I played you use the basketball court as a place of refuge. The one thing since 9th grade that has been steady in your life is basketball. Not only basketball gave you purpose, fame and money, but it gave you safe space to be yourself. It’s that freedom that allowed you to grow into greatness. But Brittney, I see your greatness not as a basketball player as impressive as that is. I see your greatness in your humanity, your compassion, and your authenticity. By being an example, you’ve reached many kids who are going through their own version of hell to show them that it gets better. But it’s about reaching YOUR full potential, YOUR best self.

I see you. You are brand. You are a face of the WNBA and the China league. At 24 I know it can be overwhelming, but this is what you signed up for. There’s not many to get this opportunity. Your hard work, athleticism and authenticity got you this far. And it can take you farther. Don’t let your immaturity and rash decisions take it away. Envision your best self and work towards being her. I am rooting for you, Brittney!

I see you. I see your greatness and wonder. It’s time for you to see it and act accordingly.

With respect and admiration,

A. Kenyatta Parks

A 38-year-old black lesbian who has made some of the same mistakes