One of the reasons why I think that it is so important for romantic relationships to have a foundation of true friendship is because, it's been my personal observation that, a lot of us are far more down for our friends than our significant other. What I mean by that is, while I constantly hear people come up with a list of all of the things they will and won't tolerate with their long-term partner, I rarely hear that when it comes to their bestie or homies.
Process what I'm saying for a moment.
When's the last time you thought to yourself, "If my girl hurts my feelings, I'm out." Typically, with our friends, there isn't much of an "out criteria". It's weird, but it's like there's an automatic acceptance that they are as human as we are, they are gonna mess up sometimes and, when that happens, we'll find a way to work through it. It's almost automatic that we'll take on this kind of approach.
I think that's why, when a friendship gets to a point where it looks like it has run its course, it can be particularly devastating. Since we didn't put a "this is it" line on the relationship on the front end, when we do get there, it can feel like a real death; one that we're not sure how, if or when we'll fully heal from.
I've been there, a few times. On this side of those experiences, there are two things that I know, for sure. First, while you're in the process of actually going through a friendship break-up, the pain is like no other. And second, if your purpose in your mind is to not remain stuck in bitterness or pissed-off-ity, if you choose to heal instead, 8.5 times out of 10, you'll see that some friendships either weren't really friendships at all or, the break was necessary in order for you both to move forward to what and who are better for you.
If you've currently had a friendship to end, what steps should you take in order to come to these conclusions?
Really Process What Caused the “Break”
When I stop and think about the broken friendships that I've experienced over the years, if there's a common thread, it was my codependency and being more invested, topped with them offending me and expecting me to grin and bear it. You know what that means, right? That means that things were all gravy, so long as I was doing most of the work and didn't have much of a voice in how things were going. And you know what that means, right? This usually comes as the result of trying to be other people's friend without being a friend to yourself—first.
That's why, when you and a friend have a falling out or decide to go your separate ways, before doing anything, it's always a good idea to take a moment to process why things played out the way that they did. Try and be honest. Try to not only see it from your side either. Also take a moment to assess if it's a pattern that has been happening with multiple individuals for a while now.
Once I realized what was up with me—that I wasn't really choosing my friends but I was letting people randomly decide when they wanted to enter into and exit out of my life—friendship dramas started to subside, healthy and stable friendships began to emerge, and less "breaking" transpired.
The moral to the story here is this—don't just chalk the friendship ending to "it is what it is". Really ponder where the cracks in the foundation started so that you can process, heal and prevent similar things from happening in the future.
Is It Love or Loyalty?
If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times before. One of my favorite lines from the movie Love Jones is when Nina told her ex-fiancé, "All we have are all these years" in response to him asking her how she could throw their relationship away. Listen, I'll be the first one to say that there is much to be said for loyalty in any type of real relationship. At the same time, wisdom has taught me that there is also something to be said for staying loyal to something that is causing you to be disloyal to yourself by remaining attached to it.
Here's an example. There's a friendship that I had for a really long time that, for the five or so years leading up to its end, it turned toxic. Extremely so. Not because of us, per se, but due to an affair that the individual was involved in. It caused them to lie a lot and become totally self-involved. It also caused them to make consistent reckless choices. When it got to the point where I realized that I cared more about saving their marriage more than they did and I brought that to their attention, they ghosted. Even though they knew the abandonment and abuse issues that I experienced in my childhood, they bounced without giving our friendship the respect of talking things through.
At first, I responded by trying to assure them that I would still stick around, believing it was being loving. But a friendship is to be a mutual thing. Therefore, if your loyalty is causing you to not get your own needs met, that loyalty can become counterproductive and unhealthy. Loyalty can be unhealthy? I think so.
As a wise man once said, "Even the excess of a virtue can be a vice", and if you are holding a friendship down alone, it's time to love yourself enough to love them enough to let them go so that you both can receive…better. And more.
Seek Out One or Two Other Perspectives
As a marriage life coach, there is nothing like meeting one spouse who tells me their side of the story, deciding to take them and their partner on as clients and then hearing the other side. Boy, oh boy. It never fails that when you're able to see both people's perspective, the layers totally alter the narrative.
It's the same thing with friendships. The last one that I decided to end, I had been in it for so long that decided to ask some other people in my life for their perspective. A couple of people knew both of us and a couple of them didn't. One thing that everyone said was a constant thread is the individual wasn't emotionally reliable. Not only that but a part of the reason why I wasn't satisfied in the friendship anymore is because I had outgrown them.
It was good for me to hear all of that because, for a while, I was so steeped in my disappointment that I wanted to lash out at this individual more than anything else. But once I heard other people share that, "Although she's done some selfish things, she's always been that way. You're just pissed now because you've changed and she hasn't", that helped me to release her rather than cut her off and remain angry.
When I see her now, we hug. I ask her how she is and I sincerely wonder. But it pretty much stops there. Just because a friendship has ended, that doesn't mean that you and them can't come to a place of peace. You know that you're on the path to real healing when you can accept this as a part of your reality. Sometimes other people's perspective can get you there.
Think About What You Need in the Present
One of the things that I respect so much about married couples is how committed they are at learning how to evolve as individuals while still trying to keep their relationship intact in the process. It is so true that there are times when you grow in one area faster than your partner does and vice versa. And, if you don't make a point to nurture your union in the process, it could cause you to become strangers; strangers who share the same living space.
That said, some friendships end because they just don't fulfill you anymore. Neither of you did anything wrong or bad. You just used to need them in one way and now…you don't. Sometimes this happens when a person gets married or has a child. In theory, you both say that it won't change the friendship but how can it not? Priorities shift. Interests expand. And unless both people involved are intentional about and committed to keeping their friendship, they can grow apart too.
To stay on top of scenarios like this, something that my closest friends and I do on an annual basis is take inventory of where we are with one another. We ask each other what we need and get really real about if those needs can be met or not. If they can't, some restructuring-in-love has to happen. And you know what? That is totally OK. Remember that the root word for relationship is "relate". If a friendship is coming to an end because the two of you can no longer relate to one another, that is easier to heal from because it's not about any drama or even a lack of love or respect. You're simply freeing up space so that both of you can get what you need rather than resenting one another for not being able to do it for each other.
Get the Closure That You Need
I know that closure is a controversial topic for some, but personally, I think that when two people share something as special as a relationship or friendship, they owe it to one another to give it closure. Closure honors what once was, provides clarity and gives both people an understanding of what to expect moving forward. Another reason why I'm such a big fan of closure is because when you don't officially end things, it can give people the impression that they can fade in and out of your life at their own leisure. And, because you did not require closure, your roller coaster emotional state about the entire situation can let them.
So yes, if it really is time to transition out of a friendship, request a formal meeting, preferably in person, to hash everything out. It will prevent both of you from making assumptions. Plus, it's a sign of basic-level respect—something both of you should give each other, if there was ever a true friendship there to begin with.
Forgive. Grieve. Release.
Nelson Mandela once said, "When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive." He's spot-on. As someone who personally believes that forgiveness is not an act, so much as a process, I feel that when we struggle with not forgiving someone, that is a form of self-abuse.
Unforgivingness is typically about trying to punish someone for the pain that they caused and then taking control of the situation. But while we're over here still not forgiving, they are out somewhere living their best life—or at the very least, not putting in nearly as much energy into us as we are into them by not letting the offense and pain go.
No one said that forgiveness was easy (at least no one who has actually done it before), but if you want to heal, you have to pardon the pain and work on letting go of the resentment—not just for your sake, but the sake of your other relationships and the future individuals who will come into your life (two great reads about not forgiving someone are "8 Signs You Have NOT Forgiven Someone" and "5 Tests to Determine If You've Forgiven Someone").
The reason why I recommend forgiving before grieving is because forgiveness helps you to grieve in a healthier space. If you're trying to mourn something or one while you're still mad or bitter, it will prevent you from fully processing the situation in a productive way. As a result, you could remain stuck in the cycle of grief for years to come.
And finally, release them. I'm pretty open about the fact that I like the word "release" because, to me, it takes the pressure off of having to decide what comes next as it relates to a broken relationship. Rather than trying to control the ultimate outcome, I fully let God do it. I focus on learning what I needed to, developing healthier boundaries and bettering myself. The rest, I leave the rest up to him. If life sees fit for me and a past friend to reunite for some point or purpose, the forgiving and grieving that I did keeps me from totally closing myself off to that. At the same time, if I am to truly leave what was behind me, healing makes that possible too.
Broken friendships are difficult. But they are not impossible for you to heal from. With time, intention and self-love, you can get through the end of a friendship and come out all the better from it. Because, if you really immerse yourself in the healing process, it can make you a better friend to yourself and others. I am living proof of that.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy