Time won't give me time
And time makes lovers feel like they've got something real
But you and me we know we've got nothin' but time
And time won't give me time
C'mon on self-professed music experts. What y'all know about that Culture Club, tho? As I sat down to pen this piece, their song "Time (Clock of the Heart)" automatically popped up in my head and kept playing, on repeat. I get why too. I mean, just re-read the hook. Virtually all of us have been in a relationship where, at the end of the day, the only thing we knew for sure about the situation is that we were spending valuable and precious time. Lots and lots of time. So much time, in fact, that it caused us to wonder if we were investing time or wasting it.
If there's one thing that none of us can ever (ever, ever, ever) get back, it's time. And so, as someone who honestly spent more years of my life wasting time in basically fruitless relationships than I've got the time to write on and you've got the time to read about, I want to do all that I can to make sure that you don't make the same mistakes I did.
If you're currently in a relationship with someone and something is tugging at your heart (or brain) to inquire about whether or not you're wasting your time, check out the following five points and then decide (and by "decide," I mean determine if you are and then prepare to make some major adjustments ASAP, OK?).
Compare Where Your Relationship Is Now with Where It Was a Year Ago
I've got a lil' love sister (you know, a sis that's connected by love, not blood) who's been with her boyfriend for like 7-8 years now. When things started off, he was courting her pretty strong—taking her out, coming by her grandma's to do things around the house (I even remember him cutting down a Christmas tree for them a couple of times), and being intentional about getting to know her family members and close friends. When I met him, I flat-out asked what his intentions were and he said "marriage."
Now? She's the one always going over to his place, he barely speaks to her family, and a few of her friends have met someone and gotten married in the amount of time she's been dating ole' boy. Hmph. 22 (the age she was when they started) and 29 (the age she is now) are very different, time-wise. Plus, when I ask her if she still wants to get married, these days, it's less of a priority. What all of this boils down to is their relationship isn't making progress. It's doing the very opposite of that.
There are 365 days in a year and 24 hours in each day. That is a lot of time for two people to get to the next level in their relationship…if they really want to. If you've been with your man for a year or more, you look back and you honestly don't see much of a difference between this time last year and this very moment, how do you feel about that? Just sayin'.
Forget What He's Saying. What Is He DOING?
If you are a Words of Affirmation person like I am, please—for the sake of all that's beautiful and sacred about you—take heed to what I'm about to say. When you're someone who is moved by words, sometimes you forget to require action to follow what is being said. So long as someone tells you how they feel about you, you're not always or necessarily looking for them to execute their sentiments.
When that's the case, it doesn't take long for certain types of guys (charmers, commitment-phobes, etc.) to catch on to the fact that so long as they are verbally-engaging, they don't have to actually do much. Meanwhile, a man who's "bout it bout it" is gonna say what he means and mean what he says. Even better, he's gonna say less and do more.
An immediate example that comes to mind is a male friend of mine who just told me over the holidays that, after dating his girl for a few years, it's past time to propose to her. When I asked him when he planned on doing it, he said, "Oh, I'm taking her overseas this year. I'm gonna do it then." I just found out he booked their flights last week.
Words. Then action. Back to back. As it should be.
What Are You Doing More of—Bragging About or Defending Your Relationship?
Another thing that can keep you from totally wasting your time in a relationship is having your male friends offer up their insight on what they see in your situation. I say that because sometimes, we as women view things as we want them to be rather than as they actually are. Guys? If they see a red flag, they're not gonna call it pink. They're gonna say it's bright, blood red.
Here's a personal experience example. There's a guy I was once seeing and about 75 percent of my male friends were basically like, "I mean, he's cool but you're a good woman. What is that dude doin'?" As I was trying to come up with every excuse (that I thought was a reason at the time) in the book—he's had a hard childhood, his first love devastated him, he's always on the road, he needs a little more time—my male friends were looking at me like, "Girl, if you don't move on somewhere." Literally.
Who ever finds stagnation to be something to brag about? If your relationship is moving forward, if your man is doing things to show you that he wants you in his future in a very significant way, you'll probably find yourself bragging about him (and your relationship) quite a bit. If he's doing the complete opposite, you'll probably end up like I was—defending him and your situation more than anything. Yeah, that's not good.
Is Your Relationship in a "Line" or a "Web"?
A few days ago, I read a quote about the internet. A man by the name of David Foster Wallace simply said, "It is named the 'Web' for good reason." Hmph again. Have you ever watched how an insect acts when they first get caught into a web? They are moving around…A LOT. But 1) they aren't getting anywhere and 2) it's only entangling them more into the web.
I once told a guy years ago that if he didn't leave the crazy chick he was seeing alone, he was gonna find himself caught up in a web that he wouldn't be able to get out of. She's so off the chain that I'm gonna leave the details out, but let's just say that, since then, they've created at least four Lifetime movie scripts together. SMDH.
Even if you and your man aren't on any crazy train, a sign of a truly healthy and productive relationship is the fact that you both will be moving in a line, a line that points forward. There won't be a ton of crooked straights or even cul-de-sacs. You both will be in agreement about where you want your relationship to go and you'll be both taking steps to get there—together.
No ultimatums, nagging, or manipulation from you needed.
Remember, True Love Is ALWAYS About Making Progress
I dig word definitions and quotes. They both help me to keep things in their proper perspective. As far as the definition of progress, what I like so much about it is there is no grey area—either you're making progress or you ain't.
Progress: a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage; advancement in general; growth or development; continuous improvement
Take a moment and assess your relationship.
What goals have the two of you made—and reached?
What are some examples of how you're moving up, together and as individuals, as a result of your relationship?
How are you advancing—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—in part, by being involved with this brotha?
How has the relationship grown and developed over the past six months or so?
How have things improved?
Someone who truly loves you will show it by valuing and honoring your time as well as their own. If you can't honestly say that progress is continually being made, mutually so, it's time to confront the situation head-on. Ask him the questions I just asked you and accept the reality of the answers.
You know the old proverb—it's later than you think. It really is.
Love yourself enough to not allow a man to waste any of your precious time. Amen? Bet.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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