About J. Mahogany

I'm in love with the idea of making others feel good about themselves and being as encouraging as possible in a world full of hurt and confusion.

Love Where You Never Expect: In The Friend Zone

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We laugh when we hear about a guy being friend zoned. It happens all too often. He tries his best to be nice and friendly, tries to be the shoulder she cries on – he tries to be everything women ‘say’ they want and need.

And then they are labelled “too nice” and find themselves in the dreaded friend zone.

I’ve friend zoned quite a few guys in my life. Some should be lucky they just got friended; I’d much rather hide under a rock from them. But sometimes it’s just bad timing. Sometimes, I don’t know what’s best for me by passing them by.

In particular, I had a friend who’s been friend zoned for like 10 years. Yet I’ve cried to him over heart ache and breakup after breakup. He tried to crawl out of the zone after each one but I shot him down.

In my recent drought of dating, when he proposed the idea, rather than chew his head off I figured why not? In my head I figured I could kill two birds with one stone; give him a chance and thereby shut him up and let him spoil me but let him down gently when our trip was over.

He was attractive but I wasn’t attracted to him. He was cool but I didn’t think he was on my level. He was skinny; I’m a big girl. I’m not trying to look like the zero to our 10. I don’t have children, but his son is like half my age because he had him early. I was totally focused on the why nots rather than why we might actually work out.

When we met under these new conditions, at first I wasn’t ready. Secondly, he wasn’t ready. After my arrival, we hugged and he went in immediately for the kiss. It caught me off guard, but I was pleasantly surprised. I called him my cocaine because I simply could not get enough of him and I was his heroine – the addiction was highly intoxicating.

It was the best of both world; an amazing guy who hadn’t let chivalry die and a best friend that I could be completely myself with. I wasn’t self conscious about my weight because he’d already accepted me for who I was and was more than willing to pass the cupcakes. I didn’t have to worry about always dressing nice; a pair of sweats and no bra was just as good as my sexy dresses because he already knew how I was.

And then there was the sex. Bombdotcom. I didn’t know he would put it down like that, but he surely underestimated me, too. However, because I’d loved this man for years, even if just as a friend, we fell into a perfect sync that I can’t put into words. He awakened a passion inside of me that I didn’t think existed. It wasn’t friends with benefits either, I actually don’t want to let this one go.

Everything I once felt for him began to change. And there was never an awkward moment. That’s how I knew it was for real.

So for my men in the friend zone, don’t lose heart. There is hope. It may be timing, it may be some hard lessons that have yet to be learned. But don’t give up. All that foot work will be worth it one day.

For my ladies, ask yourself this: of all the guys you gave a chance who CLEARLY weren’t worth your time, why not give that one guy friend a chance? But make some rules that you won’t let it ruin your friendship and always always respect the friendship over the relationship. You never know. You might be sitting on a diamond disguised as mere coal.

Humpty Dumpty Love

Broken people rarely know that they are broken. They’ve spent so much time functioning at half capacity that it feels familiar.

What whole people see as love is obscure to broken people. The fragmented pieces seek immediate gratification; anything that takes longer poses a threat to their false sense of security.

That’s why broken people gravitate to self sabotaging activities such as promiscuous sex. Sex gives immediate pleasure; even if temporarily. The high masks the cracks that their souls slip through. The warmth, the intensity and passion encompasses the metaphor of love. If only fleeting.

When I find myself longing for that false sense of security I know my cracks must be exposed. Sex is the cheap plaster I use to cover up the ugliness of my brokenness.

Reveling in the actuality that there is a man who can love me back together makes me laugh. It’s not even a wishful thought. I think I may be too far broken to be salvaged. So I treat myself as cheap and lie with wolves.

How do you love a broken person? One piece at a time. But just know you cannot be their glue; that is too much responsibility. If you ever let them down; even minimally, can send them back into their self-protective shell.

Brokenness can hinder passion greatly but isn’t a death sentence. Since love is patient and kind, showing that to a loved one exhibiting broken behavior will eventually help restore them back to completeness through your faithfulness and loyalty.

Passion Deflated

We all can agree that there are those moments in life when things just don’t work out the way we would like. It is more frustrating when the things not working out are between our spouse/significant other. Finances, work, family and children can cause fallouts greater than the Hiroshima nuclear blast. How each of you handle these elements can make or break the issue.

One in particular that I want to address today is sex. We’ve all seen the sitcoms on tv where the wife withholds sex until the husband does _________ (whatever honey-do task that hasn’t been completed). Or she withholds it because of something he did do or say. Either way, it’s not fighting fair. Most women are emotional creatures by nature and in order to get the cookie you have to appeal to the mind and heart first. Most men are physical and what women are moved by have no effect on them whatsoever. Sex is sex. So what if the dishes aren’t done. I’m horny. I know the kid was suspended from school. We haven’t touched in three days. I’ll finish the yard this weekend. I need some attention.

Some men stop looking at their spouse/significant other the same way they used to in the beginning. Underlying causes can range from stress at work to their own insecurities. Maybe they feel unattractive or that you’ve lost interest in them. Maybe there is a medical condition that causes them to be unable to ‘perform’ the way they used to and rather than just talk about it they feel embarrassed and keep it to themselves. Maybe you’ve nagged so much that they have simply lost the strength to fight for your attention. Women need to understand that just as they have these thoughts in their head, so do men.

We can’t take a break from life and the revolving problems that arise daily but we can take carve out some time to break for a purpose of getting back in touch with one another. Just as work and family need your attention, so does your spouse/significant other. Their needs are starved when they become last on your list or don’t make it to your priority list at all. Sometimes it is as simple as stepping away and asking yourself how you would feel in their shoes. It seems easy to point fingers and blame someone else for being lazy or lacking responsibility or whatever the issue may be. It’s hard to consider what difficult things they may be facing in their lives or how they rationalize certain situations.

Get back to the basics. Get back to love. At the end of the day, if you only had a few hours left to live would you spend them complaining about work or the children or would you focus on what is important; the relationship between all the elements of your family? We always think we have forever until we take our last breath. This sobering reality hit home yesterday as I celebrated Memorial Day. Many people thanked me for my 13 years of military service but I had to correct them; Veteran’s Day is my day of celebration. Memorial Day is for the fallen comrades who did not come home so that I could. Their families are paying the ultimate sacrifice as they are now without that mother, daughter, sister, aunt, father, uncle, brother or son.

Some women use the excuse that they aren’t in the mood. It is a very realistic excuse. Some women have low libidos. After having a baby some women lose interest because their bodies have changed along with their hormones and they don’t feel like they still ‘got it’. For those women I will say this. If he is trying to be with you, trying to make love to you, trying to touch you – trust me, you still got it. Stop analyzing your own body and look at it through the eyes of your spouse/significant other. How do you think the phrase, ‘Mother I’d Like to F*ck’ (MILF) was coined? Trust me, he wouldn’t be after you if you didn’t turn him on.

Also realize that men go through changes, too, after you have a baby. Maybe not in the physical sense – well, some guys do have sympathy pain or gain sympathy weight which I think is cute – but seriously, your body just brought a life into this world. That is the beauty of life unfolding before their eyes. Maybe you stopped having sex because it was too painful during the last bit of pregnancy. Or maybe you felt too big and awkward. Now that you’ve had the baby and had that healing time pass think about how he might feel making love to you again. He might feel anxious, which in turn could make him not last that long. He may be afraid of hurting you or not know how to respond to your body, which could make it hard for him to keep an erection. There could be a million things going through his head, but the main one that is most important is that he still loves and wants to be with you. Stop being in your head so much and just let nature take control. Enjoy the moment. Once time has passed you can never get that back.

Some problems cannot be solved easily. Some are deeply rooted and require the specialized training of a certified professional counselor. If you feel that your relationship is beyond repair or that both of you are at your wits end then maybe it’s time to call in reinforcement. Counseling can do more good than harm. You may find that it’s just a matter of difference or misunderstanding. You may find something more. But letting it fester to the point where you both have had enough and the passion has lost its flame is not good. Flames can be reignited but it requires work from both parties and a willingness to be open minded and not stoop to the petty blame game.

Life is too short to live without passion. Especially intimate passion with someone you say you love. It all comes down to choices. You can choose to fight for and bring the passion back or you can let it die. At the end of the day, what will you choose?

Compromising Reality

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a piece of my heart…

I never meant to fall in love with you
My hearts emptiness revolves around a love that never existed between us.
What a fool I’ve become
Such a mess I’ve made
For the sake of love
I’m a fool…for you.

You said we would always be friends
And I convinced myself that meant you never wanted to let go.
It’s stupid now that I’m looking back on it,
Realizing all along you were telling the truth.
You cared deeply for me,
On a friends only level,
But I was too caught up in what I wanted
I made your words mean what I wanted them to.

I don’t understand
With such great chemistry between us
Why isn’t this forever?
Why aren’t you in love with me the way I’m so helplessly in love with you?

I digress into the shadows of my selfishness
And try to salvage what friendship there may be left.
I won’t ever stop loving you
But I can’t imagine my life without you in it
So can we compromise somehow
And meet in the middle?

Loving the Wrong Person

Have you ever found yourself head over heels for someone who doesn’t give you a second of their time? It may sound trivial to even think that you would be dumb enough to care about someone who ignores you but it happens more often than you think – maybe not as blatantly obvious as that, but to some similar degree.

You enjoy being around them. Maybe when it’s just the two of you they act different; they open up more. You share meaningful conversations and there is an inherent reason you feel the way you feel. By chance, in public per se, they act ‘different’. Less social, less open, more ambivalent to you. Do you make excuses for them, saying maybe they are busy or shy or just don’t want everyone in their personal business so they keep things very low key when you are around. It sounds plausible; key word is sounds.

Maybe you’ve been the person who kind of ignores someone in public but changes when in a group setting. Do you know why? Does it make the person act more clingy, to which you pull further and further away? There is a cycle there, kind of like cat and mouse.

The place where we get caught up is when we make excuses for the person’s behavior as if to say it is okay to treat us this way. It’s not. They wouldn’t like it if they were being treated this way, or maybe the person they are really interested in is treating them the same way. We’ve all heard the saying, “The person you want doesn’t want you and you don’t want the person who wants you.”

It’s a vicious cycle. The key to breaking the cycle is to start with yourself. We have all heard the saying “You cannot love another or accept another’s love for you until you learn to love yourself.”
That statement is very true. When you learn to love yourself, you realize what you are worth and don’t allow others to treat you less than you deserve. When you love yourself, you can begin to open up to love others. You are less inhibited to treat others badly because you are aware of their feelings and know that it’s not right.

When you love yourself, you attract the right attention. Others who value you and respect you. Others who will love you for who you are and not what you can do for them. When you find love like that, trust me, it is amazing. It makes all of the bad relationships worth it because every bad experience helps make us who we are. Hopefully it doesn’t make you bitter though.

Just think; if you could love the wrong person with as much passion and energy as you did, think of how much more you can love the right person?

Everything Has Changed

I remember when everything was predictable.
I knew you loved me; and that was enough.
Fast forward to here in this moment
And it feels like I don’t know you at all.
I fought my way through all the debris,
Found the strength to give you all of me;
And now I stand alone.
Fragile as china;
Feeling like a forgotten memory.
When everything has changed
Where do I go from here?

There used to be a ‘we’
When there was you and me.
You always laughed at my dreams;
Said they could never be.
Well I made it; made it for us.
But you’re still caught up in a desolate reality that leaves no room for me.
Do you regret giving up?
Am I supposed to feel ashamed of moving on?
I didn’t want to find success without you
But maybe that’s what’s best
Because everything has changed
And our lives are growing distant.

All I ever wanted was you.
All of my dreams were built around us growing old together.
I can’t compete with your lack of vision.
I can’t hold back on life forever.
I hope one day you realize I loved you.
Just not enough to inspire vision.
It’s clear to see that everything has changed between us.

Thoughts

There exists a reality
That doesn’t fade with the blink of tears.
In darkness I have no need to be afraid;
Because you’re there with me,
Squeezing me tightly – so tight there’s no room for fear.
The faint sound of my breathing
The soft repetition of the ceiling fan…
The light glow reflecting from my clock;
It’s after midnight.

My thoughts persist more frequently,
Consumed purely of you like an obsession.
Incessantly I daydream of what could be:
I want even a mundane life
If it’s you and me.