Are Relationships Hard?

I was having a conversation recently about a couple who are in the midst of some turbulent times in their relationship. It’s possible that they may not make it to the forever they promised one another. It’s commonly said that in any relationship it will not always be ‘peaches and cream.’

Well it’s true that life in itself is at times very challenging. Externally there are things going on all around us that grab our attention. We have goals, wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes it’s as simple as survival. From where will come our next meal? How will the rent get paid? Whether goals or stresses, these will abide no matter what. I’ve heard it said that in life we are either going through something, about to through something or recently came through something. We don’t need to be coupled up to have these challenges. They will be with us regardless.

So what does this say about relationship?  Are they hard or are they easy?

As I think about it, I don’t believe relationships are hard. I believe WE are hard. It’s easy in the beginning to find favor with someone we like, care for or love. We even know going in that the object of our desire is not a perfect person. We know that he/she has faults. If we are self aware we also understand that we are deeply flawed or at least far from perfection in a human sense. There will always be room for growth no matter what stage in life we are in. And yet when someone has our favor we are graceful towards our partner’s imperfections. Some of us overlook them altogether. Some of us who are a bit wiser recognize them yet view our partner’s imperfections as an opportunity to step up and really show love and compassion towards him/her. Either way, it’s not the relationship that is the problem. It’s us!

At some point in relationships it is us who change. We become less graceful towards our partner. We become stubborn, resentful, unforgiving with a hardened heart. We become rigid, impatient, judgmental, prideful, lazy, and self absorbed. We forget or refuse to remember the first fruits of what attracted and connected us in the first place. We stop putting in the work of developing our own character to grow and be a better person and by extension a better partner.

It’s easy to love when ‘things’ are good and going our way, right? However, love is strengthened through trials and tribulations when we as people decide that no matter what is going on externally, we are determined to remember and maintain a basic foundation of humanity and decency when we think of and address our partner. When he/she misses the mark in our opinion, we can choose compassion instead of spite. We can choose soft words or if necessary temporary silence in the midst of conflict or pressure. We can choose to remember that our partner is a person who needs the same grace and kindness that we desire when we are not our best selves. We can decide to never ever remove the emotional security blanket that assures our partner that he/she is never alone and will always be received and accepted; without question. We all have and will always have faults as well as external distractions. Through love and devotion our partnership can grow us under the tent of a security that says, “No matter what, I’ve got your back.”

Always remember, nothing great and worthwhile happens by accident. Love is an action word. It is achieved, maintained and perfected intentionally!

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***** 5 Star Serving Your Spouse *****

Question for Spouses and Lovers; If your lovin’ was named after a restaurant, what would it be? 

I didn’t ask my wife this question.  But rather I recently asked what’s her favorite restaurant.  Her answer was Citizen Kanes Steakhouse, a nice little spot in the St. Louis County municipal town named Kirkwood.  I took her there for our one and only visit during our most recent anniversary. 

Citizens came highly recommended by someone whose name escapes me.  But he or she had enough credibility to make break out in ‘big shot’ mode and make dinner reservations for what was sure to be a wonderful, but pricy experience. 

I was correct about all of the above.  The experience was awesome.  Sitting at a cozy little table in the corner upstairs, we enjoyed wine, appetizers and a steak that we both agreed was the best either of us ever had.  The service was nothing short of outstanding either.  We left the restaurant feeling extremely satisfied and thoroughly impressed.  We promised ourselves that we would visit again at some other special occasion.

citizen kanesCitizen Kanes

Part of what makes a restaurant experience unique, is the combination of meeting a primal need (eating for survival) and the extras that tap into another sensual desire which is to experience pleasure.  Eating touches four of the five senses.  i.e., sight, smell, touch, taste.  (You can get the fifth sense of hearing if the food is sizzling when you receive it.)

I liken the primal needs and pleasures of food to love and marriage.  Each partner embodies the restaurant service provider, as well as the one seeking to satisfy a hunger within.  To sustain health, we each need a steady diet.  Being fed once a month, week, or any random day is not going to make for a healthy and sustainable life.  However, food isn’t the only essential for creating an enjoyable dining experience.  There is also the atmosphere, the lighting, the décor.  A restaurant can have the best food, but if the atmosphere is not appealing to the eyes and nose, or if the host is not professional and inviting, even if the customer endures long enough to try to meal, the negative presentation can taint the entire experience.

The finest dining establishments entail minutia towards the slightest of details.  This includes the ingredients as well as the preparations.  The temperature and time in which to prepare certain items.  There isn’t just the main course, but the wine and the appetizers.  In order to succeed in providing Five Star service, I have to be on top of all the little details that make my abode a welcoming paradise.  Relationship food isn’t just functionally natural, it’s also emotional and spiritual.  It’s wrapped in a blanket of security and protection, fun and sensations.  I am the owner, the greeter, the server, the chef, and the general manager.  My #1 goal is to satisfy my customer so much that she never desires to eat at any other establishment.  I must be versatile and nuanced enough in becoming all things that I may please one.

wine

Perhaps you think this is all kind of over the top.  That it doesn’t take ‘all of that.’  Here is something to consider.  Your lover is your customer.  And your customer is going to be hungry.  You may think your customer should always just show up at your doorstep.  But don’t sleep on this; There are many restaurants to choose from.  All of them with signs advertising what it is they have to offer your lover.  Some restaurants cater to the cheap date.  They deliver fast food in just a few moments.  You can get drive-thru service; go to the window, make a request over the loudspeaker, (phone, email, IM) and ‘wham bam’ receive services without even getting out of the car.  Some go above that, perhaps he/she would have opportunity to sit down a while and enjoy a meal.  The experience may not be so good that they want to go everyday, but perhaps there is something on the menu they enjoy.  Other businesses go the the very top of the food chain.  (Pun intended)  And get this, none of these restaurants care about where your lover dined previously.  They will welcome his/her business now! It doesn’t always take that much effort either.  Hell, nowadays one can even get a meal at a gas station!

And so it is with your lover. My goal is to represent the best of what my wife desires, (the most flavorful steak ever with all of the extras) while being able to quickly convert to something she just wants to snack on.  Even she doesn’t want to eat steak every day.  In my eyes, when it comes to taste and service, the customer is always right.  As the service provider who wants her repeat and exclusive business, I must adapt according to what she desires on the menu at any given moment. I am her personal chef.  And I have to be open for business at all times.

The purpose behind the goal, is that as she goes about her business and she sees the lights of golden arches, spots the brightness of the castle; as she passes by that spot that sits outback, she won’t consider stopping in because she’s already full and satisfied. 

So I ask you, what is your loving like?  I want my lovin to be like….Citizen Kanes~

Things of Kings, Queens, Jesters and Social Media

In this fun and entertaining tool we use called Facebook to amuse, share, rant, and express ourselves, I often read little signs with quotes about what makes a good man, a good male partner. I tend to agree with most of them but rarely if ever do I see any signs for what a woman should aspire to as it relates to what is expected of them. So ‘imma’ share a little ditty of what I’ve learned over my time.

Ladies: One vital quality that GOOD value in a woman is loyalty; Loyalty in terms of loving and supporting him regardless of his status. In other words, does he know you have his back and do you celebrate him the when he has little the same as when he has much?

What about when he loses some confidence. Do you pick him up and believe in him and make him feel safe in the confines of your embrace? Or do you kick him and make him feel less than a man, as if his value is based solely on his performance. In other words is it like the NBA where he gets in a shooting slump and instead of sticking by him saying, “No worries, you’re my guy keep on shooting,” or do you want to put him on the trading block and bring in a free agent?

The Hunt<br /><br /><br />
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater<br /><br /><br />
Choreography by Robert Battle<br /><br /><br />
Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik<br /><br /><br />
paul@paulkolnik.com<br /><br /><br />
nyc  212-362-7778

Do you trust his counsel and believe in his vision? Or must you hear the same words he gave you from the preacher or an outside source in order to believe it? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard brothers say, “Man I told my lady ‘such and such’ for a long time. She always dismissed it. But when the pastor preached on it she got a revelation.

Do you invest in the relationship as much as you did when you were trying to get the dude in the first place? They say, “The man is the head. But the woman is the neck that turns the head.” Do you speak to him politely using your charms to influence his heart, swing from the poles in the bedroom dazzling him with your sexual exploits with great enthusiasm like you did back in the day to keep it hot and smoking? Of did you become comfortable and less ambitious? “I ain’t got to do all that no more.”

Hey, I agree that it’s hard out here for women. I really do. And that’s why I used the word GOOD when describing this kind of man. I wouldn’t ask or expect you give all of your goodies to a fool. I would say leave the fool to foolish women in turn. Don’t try to make a good man out of a fool, cause then you’re playing yourself! . Give the kingdom to a fool and it won’t make him king worthy! He will merely destroy it. And if you went that route and failed, then don’t blame the good brother for the crimes of the fool you chose to try to make into a king.

Revelations: Choreography by Alvin Ailey<br /><br /><br />
Alvin Ailey American dance Theater<br /><br /><br />
Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik<br /><br /><br />
paul@paulkolnik.com<br /><br /><br />
nyc  212-362-7778

But if you got a good man, a man that is not only dedicated to you but to being the best man he can be for you and the things concerning you, treats you like gold etc.;  then dammit you need to learn how to treat him and how to work it. And trust me when I tell you, when you know how to work it and make that dude the priority he needs to be, giving him that input, the wisdom, love, and encouragement that only you can, you best believe you will in turn receive ALL of the rewards on the other side of the storms that life will bring. So if you want a king, be a queen!

Now think on THAT!

(pictures from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

Behold! The Power of the Pussy

There are many disadvantages to being a woman in this culture.  Historically they have had to fight for their rights to be respected and cherished by the men who rule the world around them.  Still today they make less on the dollar than males.  They face discrimination and often lack the full respect they deserve in this society.  Tradition, religion, and just plain ole ignorance have slowed the progress of the woman’s ability to fully shine and blossom in all the ways she can.  When she’s ultra feminine she can be mistaken for soft thus downplaying her true inner strength.  When she speaks her mind she’s considered a bitch or a barracuda.  If she’s really about her business some call her a dike.  But God gave the woman the ultimate weapon to assure that she will be listened to and heard at some point in this game of life.  And when mastered properly, it’s a tool fitting to be called God’s Great Equalizer.  And what is this great equalizer? Behold the Power of the Pussy!

Now before your proverbial panties (pun intended for both male and females) get into a bunch – check out the facts and listen up!  When we observe the pervasive cultures worldwide, men do rule the world.  They have founded cities, started nations, ruled kingdoms and conquered civilizations.  They have created inventions that have changed the world many times.  They have created organizations and established even the name of the street you live on.

And now what is there to all of man’s great innovations and accomplishments? It’s vanity and all for nothing unless he has with him the experience that rivals no other.  For man wants to – needs to – have the right woman to share his dreams – to help him manifest his visions – and to find that place of comfort that nothing else can give on the planet.  No amount of money, no amount of power, can give the man a feeling that he has in the comfort of the pussy that embraces him like he is the king of the world.

Ice-T put it this way….

Power – its starts with P like Pussy
She knows she’s got it
She doesn’t worry does she?
Spending your cash – leaving you in the trash
While your little head’s thinking – they’re gone in a dash
They got it – know it – that’s why they show it
The power sex – if man could overthrow it he’d be king in a day
No way – we get rich, hard, give it away.   -Power 1988

Now – when I say pussy, I am not talking about merely sex.  I am talking about the femininity of a woman – The softness of her voice and the touch of her hands – Because of the pussy she has the ability to approve or disapprove whatever the man is working on.  And let me tell you – when your pussy is happy – the whole house is happy.  When it’s not – let’s just say there is no good night’s sleep.  A man can accomplish great things.  And his boys and comrades can applaud with great approval.  But if his woman, the one that has the pussy does not approve… it may as well be dead.

The right woman has the ability to make a man believe in himself.  Her influence can make him a king or a pauper.  That is the power of the pussy.  You see it’s not just a physical thing.  It’s totally spiritual as well.  When a man enters a woman – and he respects the place that she allows him to dwell – he’s lost in the realm of fantasy that is his greatest reality.  Remember he was born from a pussy.  And like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz he just wants to go home. The roles are just reversed.  Instead of coming out of one he wants to enter one.  And instead of the pains of birth he gives her (his new momma) the pleasure of the rod.  And he does so at great pleasure until he releases himself totally into the places that are so private and intimate that it bonds him to her soul.  After that there is nothing left to give.  And when she comforts him, lets him know that he is approved and that everything is alright – you could kill him and he would die with a smile on his face.

Check the math and the history – even biblically.  David had a man killed to get the one that satisfied him the most.  Sampson gave up the source of his strength to a woman he knew was trying to get him killed.  And yet what was it about Delilah that caused him to tell her how he could be defeated anyway. It wasn’t merely the physical pussy – it was the mental and spiritual pussy.  She understood him – studied him – mastered him.  See if you relegate the pussy to mere physical characteristics you’ll miss the boat.  The pussy is the all encompassing aura of a woman, her total womanhood and her ability to communicate to her man as only she can.  Once she has him – she’s got him. Because only the comfort of her welcoming spirit and body can satisfy his soul.

The worst thing that can happen to a man – is to get caught up in the wrong pussy!  That’s a whole nother story!

And so it goes – If he buys a nice car he doesn’t really do it for himself.  It’s for a woman.  A nice house is to put the woman in.  Someone asked Eleanor Roosevelt what her life would be like had she not married Teddy.  She said she would still be first lady – because whomever she married would have been the president.  In other words – she’s saying that her pussy is king making material.  And with her influence any man she commits to will reach his maximum potential.  It’s automatic.

According to Genesis, God created man in His own image and in His likeness. But ever since, no man can be born except through the womb of a woman.  She is the passageway to the earth.  And there you have it – God’s great equalizer! Man may rule the world.  But a woman who understands the power of her pussy – will never lack any good thing.