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Don’t Forget About Love November 14, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 12:11 pm
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Over the past week, I’ve received at least ten different emails from readers essentially expressing the same frustration: “Love sucks.” And as they detailed their very personal and private situations, I could agree that when judging love strictly through their circumstances, it did appear to suck. Thankfully (which is what I hope to share with them) things will eventually get better.

What I’ve learned is this; dark days come to us all. But during those rough patches, we can’t lose sight of the positives of love. While unfortunate, our past and present pain is only temporary, and can eventually be replaced by what we all instinctively desire: love in its purest form.

In honor of that sentiment, I decided to start your day off with some love-inspired music, both old and new. I hope it reminds you all of the endless possibilities and promise of love. Enjoy your day.

 

The Secrets To Finding Love Online October 13, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 11:05 pm
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By Laura Gilbert, The Fly Guy

In your search for the perfect mate, it’s not just where you look—it’s also how you look. Try these simple search strategies for fast, effective results.

Swimming in a sea of millions of singles is an amazing feeling—that is, when you feel like you’re connecting with the right people. And how exactly do you know you’re reaching Mr. or Ms. Right? We’re glad you asked: Follow our five golden rules for profile searches and you’re more likely to turn up ideal mates—in fact, three of our experts actually met their spouses using these search strategies.

Search Strategy #1: Pick just a few important parameters

While it may be tempting to type in tons of ideal-date criteria in the hopes that your absolute one-and-only will magically appear, you’re better off establishing just a few hard-and-fast rules — you want a woman who wants kids or a guy with a college degree, for example — and leaving the other categories blank. Entering only your most basic must-haves means you’ll get a full range of people you could click with, without having to compromise on the big issues. If you find you’re overwhelmed by how many results you get, clicking the “refine” button on the right-hand side of your search screen will let you easily see matches in any order you prefer—you can start with the youngest, the brunettes, or ones who work in the arts… it’s up to you. This lets you quickly view different ranges of possible dates without sacrificing any of your basic criteria.

Are many of the profiles you view just plain wrong for you? Remember, most happy couples you know probably don’t exactly fit their pre-wedding view of their ideal date. “You don’t want to turn someone away because of some little thing in their profile,” says Cherie Burbach, author of At The Coffee Shop: If You Thought E-dating Was For Freaks and Weirdos, Read this Book! She should know—when Burbach took out the “non-smokers only” part of her search, she met a man who hadn’t turned up in other searches because he smoked socially. “I’m now married to him and haven’t ever seen him smoke,” she says. Also don’t despair if, say, you’re totally into kayaking and your prospective date has never set foot in one—he or she may be all too willing to try it, or maybe you two will develop another shared interest that can serve as a foundation for fun in your budding relationship.

Search Strategy #2: Go easy on height and weight constraints

Before you limit your potential dates to the slender set, know this: By doing so, you’re automatically rejecting over 60 percent of the U.S. population. And when it comes to height, ladies, you might want a six-foot-tall dude, but only 15 percent of guys in America actually reach that mark. “The biggest mistake I see singles making is limiting themselves by focusing on a specific physical type and getting hung up on it,” says Alon Gratch, Ph.D., author of If Love Could Think, a book about self-sabotaging dating patterns. “Men complain that overweight women write that they’re ‘average,’ but since most women are overweight, they’re not lying.” So, be gentle with your height and weight parameters and you might just meet someone who measures up in every other way—and who you’ll grow to be attracted to.

Search strategy #3: Expand your age and location limits

Someone’s age and their proximity to where you live may seem like important factors to set in stone. But when you think about it, does it really matter if someone’s 40 or 42? If the answer is no, you may want to consider broadening your age preference beyond your initial comfort zone. Many users, say experts, pick a number ending with a 5 or 0 as a cutoff mark for their ideal mate’s age—like 25, 30, or 40. Adding just a year or two extra on those criteria will give you access to members who usually get overlooked by thinking-inside-the-box types.

Same goes for location limits—honestly, are you going to pass up all those great people who live mere blocks outside your 20-mile radius? Or, for that matter, someone who’s perfect for you who lives in another state? People can — and do — move if they meet someone online they truly click with. Just ask Judsen Culbreth, author of The Boomers’ Guide to Online Dating: “My husband lived in another state, and we never would have crossed paths if the computer hadn’t matched us.”

Search strategy #4: Know all of your search options

Many online daters start off with a basic, or “quick search,” which finds you dates by guidelines like age, gender, and geography. This is great for your first search, when you’re still feeling out what your options might be. But once the kid-in-a-candy-store high wears off, users often narrow down their options with an “advanced search,” which lets you get specific about all the boxes members checked on their profile, from hair color to sense of humor. Or, if there’s something very particular you’re looking for, a “keyword search” scans the essays members fill out about themselves so you can find random mentions of hobbies, interests, background, or personality traits.

But keep in mind that your options don’t end there. If you want to find people who will be especially keen on meeting you, try a “reverse match,” which will show you people who’ve mentioned they’re looking for characteristics you fulfill to a tee. Finally, a “mutual match” pairs you with people who fit your criteria and whose descriptions match what you’re looking for—a wise choice for someone who wants to boost his or her chances of racking up some successes. Your best overall strategy, according to the experts? It should include all of these options.

Search strategy #5: Don’t get discouraged

You’ve found your dream date — gorgeous, perfect, nearby, and an obsessive Lost fan just like you — and fired off an enthusiastic email. Days, then weeks pass… no response. Why not? True, they might just not be into you, but you shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. You may have reached the person during a particularly busy time at work, right after they’ve joined an online dating site and been deluged with offers, or two days after they’ve just started seeing someone seriously—any of these factors could have caused your missive to fall through the cracks. But these circumstances can change, and if weeks go by and someone stays lodged in your mind, don’t be afraid to drop them another email. Even if you still receive no response, or you get a polite but firm “thanks but no thanks,” don’t despair. “A 30 percent response rate is really good,” assures Kathryn Lord, a romance coach who met her husband online and is the author of Find A Sweetheart Soon! “You have to expect you’ll get a lot of ‘no’ responses.” The moral of the story: Search often (after all, new people sign up every day—maybe one of them is right for you); send out lots of winks and emails; and know that for every three you send you’ll probably get one response back. And who knows? Maybe that one will be The One.

 

Bedtime Romance October 6, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 2:22 pm
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Bedtime Romance
At the close of each day, you have the choice to either ignore your partner or embrace the opportunity for intimacy. Tonight, shake things up a bit and choose one of the great ideas below to help you enjoy that special time with your lover.

  • A massage is the perfect way to end an evening with your lover. Get to know your lover’s body while pampering them with your relaxing touch.
  • Read to each other from a favorite novel, book of poetry, or erotica. If you don’t already have some, LYC has plenty of reader-submitted romantic stories, poems, and erotica to choose from.
  • Turn on some music and slow dance in your PJ’s. If you really want to romance them, choose the song you first danced to as husband and wife.
  • Turn off the TV. It’s not that cuddling in front of the tube isn’t romantic, but TV time has a tendency to intrude on intimacy. Making the choice to focus completely on each other opens the door to romantic opportunities.
  • Wear sexy night clothes. It doesn’t have to be lingerie, but it should be more than an old T-shirt and boxer shorts.
  • Talk about your favorite memories together. Remember your childhood friends, compare scars, reminisce about the stress of your engagement, or look through the photos of vacations you took together. If you are keeping a love journal, make a timeline of special times to tuck inside.
  • Before making your way to the bedroom, lie with each other in front of the fire and kiss, kiss, and kiss some more.
  • Take a bath together. Nothing makes a night’s sleep sweeter than a nice relaxing bath before slipping between the sheets, so why not do it together? Wash each other’s hair and cuddle up in the bubbles together.
  • Have a bedtime picnic before hitting the pillow. Some good menu ideas may include a snack tray of cheese and crackers or champagne and strawberries, or it could also be something sweet like cake and ice cream.
  • Lie in bed together listening to music and holding each other.
 

Cheater, Cheater September 19, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 5:30 pm
Tags: , ,

 

1. Don’t ignore the signs
“See the situation for what it is,” says relationship expert Audrey B. Chapman, author of `Man Sharing: Dilemma or Choice’ (William B. Morrow & Co.). “Too often women excuse the fact that their partner is less attentive or his schedule has suddenly become mysterious.” If all indications point to your partner being unfaithful, he probably is.

2. Be safe

Even if your man has cheated only once, you’re still in danger of contracting an STD. “Your first priority should be your own health,” says Chapman. “Request that he wear a condom. He also needs to see a doctor, get tested, and show you the results.” Of course, your partner might not be willing to comply, especially if he’s denying the affair. In that case, the sex must cease.

3. Recognize the impact
His cheating injures you emotionally. Maybe you’re thinking, The affair doesn’t really bother me; their relationship is not that deep. But think again. Does his cheating make you feel depressed, anxious or angry? A good relationship shouldn’t bring you down.

4. Realize you can’t change him
“Sometimes the fact that she can’t control her man is the hardest thing for a woman to understand,” says Chapman. “She might feel like, ‘I did this and that and gave him all my love, and now he owes it to me to be faithful.’ But loving somebody is not enough; they have to want to change.”

5. Don’t take it personally
“Women always think everything that happens in a relationship happens because of them,” says Chapman. But your partner may have come to the relationship hauling a truckload of bad experiences, and this is how he’s choosing to cope. “Until he realizes that he needs to get himself together to keep you, it doesn’t matter what you do,” counsels Chapman.

6. Understand he could have a serious problem
Sometimes cheating is a sign of a deeper psychological issue. Constant infidelity is typical of sociopaths, sex addicts and men with narcissistic personality disorder, says Chapman. “These are men you really need to watch out for,” she adds. “Without professional help, they are lifelong cheaters.” Chapman advises that if you’re wondering whether your man has a psychological problem, seek professional advice. “It’s too much for a woman to try to figure this out herself,” she says.

7. Uncover what’s holding you back

“I’ve treated women who are so psychologically dependent on the relationship that they find it impossible to leave, even when they know their partner will never change,” says Chapman. “For instance, women who have abandonment issues with their own fathers might find ending a relationship particularly difficult.” If you think this may be you, seek professional counseling.

8. Leave with a plan
If you decide to leave, be very strategic about it, says Chapman. For example, you may need the advice of a financial counselor to help you determine whether you can afford to get your own place or whether you need to stay with friends or family.

9. Lean on loved ones
Just because he cheated doesn’t mean you won’t miss him. “You may need some support while you grieve the relationship,” says Chapman. If you don’t have a group of good friends to support you, you may want to seek out a counselor or clergyperson.

10. Consider your options

“If you think there is such a shortage of Black men that you need to stay with a cheater, think again,” counsels Chapman. “There are many types of men out there for you to form a healthy relationship with, but they may come from a different class, educational background or culture than you are used to. You need to think outside the box, because a woman who feels she has no options is a woman who is really in trouble.”

 

Can A Man Really Express Heartbreak? August 26, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 9:56 pm
Tags: , , ,
Written by: The Fly Guy

There was no mistaking the words pumping out of my speakers. These were the distinctive sounds of a man experiencing a foreign emotion. Heartbreak.

“She said that she would be with me forever,” he lamented. “She said I’m in love with you. She said now baby don’t forget … that no one’s going to love you more than I do.”

She lied…

As the shuffle function on my iPod doubled back, and played the song once more, the singer’s pain sank even deeper into the recesses of my soul. The more he sang and pleaded his case for the world to hear, the more it became all too clear that this was nothing more than a songwriter’s fantasy. This would never fly in real life. Why not? Well consider the following:

Do men hurt? Yes.

And is it possible for a man to have his heart irreversibly broken? Absolutely.

But is it also possible for that same man to freely express how crushing the blow was to his psyche without any backlash or his manhood being questioned? Absolutely not.

My first experience with this fundamental lesson about manhood came when my own heart was once broken. The fact that she cheated on me was as shocking as it was crippling … and as unfair as it was embarrassing. How could she have done that to me? In her defense, she pled “guilty by reason of mental defect.” She said that she had realized long ago that she was incapable of being completely faithful to a man. And that even though I had given her everything she could possibly ever hope for in a man, something inside of her still made her want to cheat.

True story.

For the first couple of days following her admission, I was a wreck. But who wouldn’t have been? I even stayed to myself during that period, not wanting to speak to anyone, until my brother finally broke the silence.

“You straight man?”

“Yeah, I’m cool man,” I responded. “She messed me up pretty bad with this one though. So I’m just taking some time to get myself back together again.”

“Oh ok,” he replied blankly. “So…………………….we’re about to go watch the game. Are you coming?”

And that was that. Did my hurt or confusion cease simply because neither he nor any of my friends or family wanted to give me an audience for me to play the victim? Not at all. And over time, I did eventually get over it. But at that very moment, I realized the one truth that most men understand early on when it comes to us being hurt in love and relationships…

No one really wants to hear about it.

Which got me thinking, and eventually brought me to today’s topic of discussion.

 

Romantic Care Packages August 23, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 5:51 pm
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Tips For Care Packages!
If you’re sending perishable foods, make sure to overnight them and that your love will be able to receive them on the day you’re sending the package!

Safely wrap all fragile items so they don’t break in the mail. If it’s a particularly expensive item, make sure to purchase insurance for it! Also note on your box somewhere that the package is fragile.

Place bottles that could break or leak in a seperate air-tight bag or compartment.

Make sure you have enough postage, the recipients address (as well as your own) is clearly readible, and that it is adequately taped or packaged.

Themed Packages
A lot of times it’s much easier to send something when you are working with a central theme. If your partner has a wide variety of interests, coming up with theme ideas should be fairly easy. If not, the ideas below can help spur your creativity!

Romance Package
Men, send this one to your lady and you will have her convinced you are Cyrano himself!

  • Vanilla or rose scented candles.
  • Romantic CD’s or a compilation of your favorite romantic songs on tape or CD.
  • Dried flowers or scented potpourri.
  • A love journal.
  • A signed framed photo of yourself.

 

Humor Package
This package is especially fun to send to the man in your life! For your novelty items, take a trip to a local novelty store like Spencer’s Gifts.

  • One to two noveltly items like edible underwear.
  • Comic or Joke Books
  • Crossword or Puzzle Books
  • Go out with a friend and take pictures of yourself in funny poses. When your pictures are developed, write funny captions on them. Arrange the photos in a small photo album.

 

Hobby Package
Perfect for the hobby enthusiast. Just about everyone as at least ONE thing they take a considerable liking to. Collect 3 to 5 various items or collectibles in their hobby. A few major interests might include: Star Wars, Beanie Babies, Star Trek, video games, etc. Buy or make stationary within the theme and send a love letter on it. Don’t forget to include posters, movies, CD’s, books or magazines that might correlate with your love’s theme!Sweets For My Sweet Package
This package is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re including perishable items make sure it’s sent overnight and that your partner can receive it in time.

  • Candies like jelly beans, gummie worms, etc.
  • A variety of cookies and brownies
  • Candy Bar Poem – Make a poem out of the names of candy bars and include the candy bars in your package.
  • Write a sweet mushy love letter!

 

Movie Package
A definte must for the movie lover! This can be adapted for a music lover as well!

  • 1 to 2 videos or a gift certificate to Blockbuster video (or other major video chain).
  • Go to a major video retail store in a local mall and pick up an Oscar shaped trophy. Get it engraved with Best Lover or something similar.
  • While you’re at the video retail store, pick up a movie themed picture frame. Get a black and white photo of yourself, sign it and put it in the frame.
  • Write your love story in screenplay format.

 

The Top 5 Relationship Killers August 22, 2008

Filed under: Romance — Ryann Hayman @ 12:44 am
Tags: , ,

Written by: The Fly Guy

I’ve been asking around, and there seems to be more than a few people who believe that the relationship battle is won once you make your way through the awkward early stages of dating. But those people are sadly mistaken. In actuality, the real challenges don’t begin until you officially decide to become a couple. That’s when all types of obstacles begin to surface; all of which are uniquely designed to derail your blossoming love. Whether you allow these issues to tear your relationship apart or not is totally up to you and your mate. In the meantime, it’s my job to highlight some of the major obstacles that you may encounter along the way. While I can’t provide you with every single trapping that could potentially throw a monkey wrench into your relationship, I can share with you my “Top 5 Relationship Killers.”

1. Family and Friends

For the majority of us, the importance of our significant other successfully co-existing with our family and friends cannot be understated. But, for a variety of reasons, things don’t always go as smoothly as we would hope. For instance, maybe his friends constantly give him a hard time for always ditching them to go compare decorative pillows and throws with you at the Pottery Barn. Or maybe it’s the other way around, and your mother is always rude to him because she’d rather see you with Rev. Washington’s oldest son Bobby … you know, so she can finally claim the good pew at church.

This type of interference isn’t uncommon in relationships, and if left unchecked can oftentimes transform happy lovebirds into a pair of resentful malcontents. (The Mike Tyson Translation: “Her get mad. Him get mad 2.”)

2. Becoming Too Comfortable

On the surface, a high comfort level with your mate is what every couple strives for. Unfortunately, the very same comfort level that you long for may also wind up being a relationship killer. I’ve often found that too much comfort can eventually lead to boredom within the relationship. Want some early warning signs of dangerous comfort levels? Then ask yourself the following questions.

**Do you always have movie night only on Friday nights?
**Is your “special meal of the week,” i.e. Sunday morning pancakes always served like clockwork?
**Do you always buy her those same flowers every Valentine’s Day?
**Do you only give him oral sex on holidays like New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, and Martin Luther King’s birthday? (Thank God almighty, he’s free at last…)

Such monotonous patterns often serve as the fuel which ignites your loved one‘s desire to find stimulation from other places—but we’ll touch more on that later.

3. Different Goals

When you were kids, it didn’t matter that you wanted to be the first female President, while he longed to be a Thundercat. Everyone knew that the relationship would only last 3 days anyway … well 5 days if you were really in love. But now that you’re an adult, the goals that you set for yourself should play a major role when sifting through potential mates.

It makes absolutely no sense to tie yourself to someone whose goals don’t compliment the things that you hope to accomplish in your own life. That’s not to say you have to marry someone with a background in finance if your life is tied to Wall Street. But, if education is something that’s important to you, then your loved one should at least be able to pass a basic reading test. And if you long to have a family one day, then they should probably want kids as well. Even if you’re one of those carefree types who cringe at the thought of responsibility, then you should only seek those individuals that live by that same creed. Anything to the contrary is bound to contribute to an early relational grave. (R.I.P. random person that I shouldn’t have been with in the first place.)

4. The Past

I have an uncle named Cornelius who somehow got stuck in a time warp. I kid you not; the man still walks around wearing his “snug” Class of ’72 high school letterman jacket, telling any and everyone that he was and still is the “coldest cat at Jefferson High.” It’s sad if you ask me … not to mention embarrassing.

That same type of “Cornelius” mentality can infiltrate your relationship if you allow it. Those who constantly live in the past don’t give their existing relationship a fair shot. Maybe you’re still comparing your current mate to an ex lover. Or perhaps you’re still coming to grips with the fact that your man was once arrested for cruelty to midgets long before he met you. Whatever the case may be, when the past continues to resurface, don’t be surprised if your relationship becomes a casualty as a result of it.

5. Cheating

An obvious addition to the list, cheating is the not-so-silent killer of the bunch. Some couples try to rebound after a mate violates the integrity of the relationship, and some actually succeed in repairing the damage. But it’s a difficult obstacle to overcome, and will undoubtedly be an issue that will continue to haunt you throughout the duration of the relationship.

Case in point, I once caught my girlfriend in the bed getting it on with both Milli and Vanilli (tragic, I know.) I have to admit that I was so blinded by my love for her, that I actually accepted her apology. Although we stayed together for a few months following the incident, it was never quite the same, as we always fought every time “Blame It on the Rain” came on the radio. That’s when I knew that I could never fully get over her cheating on me. The relationship killer had struck again.

The Relationship Killers- Honorable Mentions:

Moving Too Fast
Jealousy
Dependency Issues
Annoying Habits

 

for more information about “the fly guy” visit this site: www.theflyguychronicles.com