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Staying the night is more than the lyrics from a song by Zedd. It’s that time while dating–or hooking up–when you’re having “intimate” time with your partner or potential (Mikey slang for cut buddy/love interest). Even here there are rules to apply. I could mundanely list every single detail that should encompass the night, but let’s keep it real. When doing the wild thing, spontaneity is preferred! I will, however, dish with you on the basics;the most basic of basics, when it comes to this exciting dating “must have”–an overnight bag!

What Is It?

Your overnight bag is just that an overnight bag! The bag you’re going to put all the essentials you need to get through your intimate night. You might think this is a no brainer, but toy’d be surprised how many people lack the knowledge of that they’ll need for the night–even if they’ve been doing it since “Rugrats” were popular. First, your overnight bag needs to be a good bag, and when I say good, I mean one that isn’t tattered, being held together by a thread and a prayer, and efficiently mobile (not so big you can smuggle refugees in it). A medium-sized bookbag, gym bag, or purse will do. Restrict this bag to overnight use. Criss-crossing use can have some unpleasant side effects to the contents of your bag as you’ll find out in just awhile (i.e. No overnight/gym bag, no overnight/accessory bag, etc.).

Differences

Men and women can share the same tastes in bags (hey it’s 2014!), however the contents will be different. Universally, all items contained within the bag should be light and easily accessible. Here comes the differences, fellas you want to sexual protection, boxers (not briefs), comfortable clothing, dental care, and products that mask body odor. While we’re being open minded, if you’re gay toss a bottle of water-based lubricant in there too! Ladies, your contents should consists of sexual protection, physical protection, two outfits (casual and dress), CLEAN panties, products that mask body odor, feminine wash, and dental care. You might ask why the extra for the ladies and I’d reply: “It’s a double standard.” The morning after when you’re doing your “walk of shame” it’s generally acceptable forgot to throw something on and go about his business. As a woman, you have to maintain the look of a lady at all times (unfortunately) and since the unwritten rule says a girl’s gotta have options when it comes to her fashion she’s gotta pack no less than two looks! Furthermore, just because you’re staying the night doesn’t necessarily mean you want to have sex. NO does mean NO, and if he doesn’t get that you’ll have a little friend in your bag to teach him a burning lesson.

The Contents

Ladies-two outfits (casual and dress), condoms (male or female), mase, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine wash, a comb and  brush, a silk cap to sleep in, a brush and comb, clean panties, and a make up bag.

(top row, l-r) dress outfit, casual outfit, tooth brush & toothpaste, mase; (center row, l-r) deodorant, male and female condoms, feminine wash; (bottom row) comb and brush, "clean panties," and a make-up bag

(top row, l-r) dress outfit, casual outfit, tooth brush & toothpaste, mase;
(center row, l-r) deodorant, male and female condoms, feminine wash; (bottom row) comb and brush, “clean panties,” and a make-up bag

Fellas-condoms (your own!), deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste,  boxers, cologne, lubricant (if you’re a guy who likes guys, preferrably a water-based one), basketball shorts, and a tee shirt/under shirt.

(top row, l-r) condoms, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste; (center, l-r) boxers, cologne; (bottom, l-r) water-based lubricant, basketball shorts, undershirt tank top

(top row, l-r) condoms, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste; (center, l-r) boxers, cologne; (bottom, l-r) water-based lubricant, basketball shorts, undershirt tank top

There you have it! Everything you need to carry for a memorable night. However, an overnight bag can’r carry a positive and relaxed attitude. You’ve got everything you need, now actually allow yourself to live in the moment. This could be a one night stand, or the first night with someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Either way make it a night to remember!

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Dating & Relationships

Treat An Ex, Like An Ex

“If y’all don’t got kids, they don’t owe you money, and ain’t no property involved–then you go to the left, they go to the right and y’all keep that shit movin’.”

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Its almost inevitable at least one of your romantic relationships will fail in your lifetime. From the ashes of what once was beautiful, endearing, heavenly rises the corpse of all things gone wrong.  That wonderful person that you were so deeply in love with has lost their luster. They cease to be the person you fell in love with. Now you’re left with the sole option of moving on. Simple right? Apparently I’m wrong.  More often than not, people are not completely moving on from their exes.

What’s caused this phenomenon? My Nana (God rest her soul)believed in keeping it old school: “If y’all don’t got kids, they don’t owe you money, and ain’t no property involved–then you go to the left, they go to the right and y’all keep that shit movin’.” Was she wrong? I think not. Nowadays, people seem to be doing the opposite and keeping not just their recent ex, but previous exes around–like some weird sports team. The joke is you become the sport!

Your ex became an ex for a reason–it didn’t work out. Remember why? The fights, the arguments, the personality changes, etc. Some of you might say “my ex and I ended on good terms,” or “we were friends first.”  That’s good and all, but it’s in the past. You are using your shared past as a crutch to keep you from bravely moving on with your life. I get it, past loves are familiar and safe; life without them can seem very scary and disconcerting. 
Here’s the thing though; the only way to move on is to actually move on! This means cutting off ties with them and giving yourself some much needed “me time.” Moving on doesn’t mean move on to someone else right away, no one should suffer the woes of being your immediate rebound. Instead do some of the things you wanted to do while you were in a relationship. Shift your energy accordingly to something that you’ve knowingly sacrificed or put off. You’re single now, but you are still in a relationship– with yourself. After all the longest relationship you’ll ever be in is the one you have with yourself; and that’s what you always got to be working on.

For those of you that move on to a new relationship, cutting your ex off is a must. Think of your new, fledgling relationship as a newborn baby. Then think of your ex as a corpse. Would you dare have your baby in the same room as a rotting, oozing corpse? You certainly wouldnt! The constant presence of your ex can taint your new relationship. Your current partner, no matter how secure, can feel threatened by someone else who knows you so intimately.

You might say you still care for your ex and want to keep them in your life. As difficult as it may be learn to care from a distance. You two are no longer there for each other like that. Besides that can set you up for “ex sex.” The one thing that will only complicate your life further. Don’t allow pleasure for an hour to ruin your chances at happiness. Once this is done the waters are beyond muddy–emotions rise, old feelings begin to stir and you may end up worst than where you originally resolved to run from.

With all that being said; moving on is easier said than done. The world of dating is like a jungle filled with ravenous predators it’s okay to be cautious about abruptly ending any serious relationship. Be wise, weigh the risks, and know that if it’s meant to be it’ll work itself out. BE BRAVE!

Things To Do:
-Change your number
-Remove them from your social media
-Be cordial if you run into each other by chance, are in mixed company, or hanging with mutual friends. You don’t have to be swirled in negativity and awkwardness all the time
– Get rid of any haunting items that’ll make you undo everything I’ve just told you to do.

Things NOT To Do:
-Don’t make mutual friends choose sides. They’ll unwittingly do that on their own.
-Don’t expect his family to remain in contact with you even if you were once treated like a member of the family. What battle lines are drawn you’re find blood is so much thicker than water that might is as well be crude oil.
-NO EX SEX!!!
– Don’t lie to your new partner about who your ex is to you if they happen to meet.
– Dont subtweet or make anonymous social media posts concerning your ex only gratifies them and someone is going to let them know. It keeps drama going!
-I repeat: NO EX SEX!!!

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Dating & Relationships

The “PERFECT” First Date

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Dating…that six letter journey that can lead us all to tragedy or triumph. You’ve done it since your teens, avoided it in your twenties, and for a few of us on the cusp of our thirties– rush through it like a bat outta hell towards the ultimate, heavenly goal of matrimony!

Nevertheless, regardless of how you may feel about dating, in most romantic endeavors it is a critical precursor to a romantic relationship. So what do you do after you’ve gotten through all that awkwardness of checking them out, checking them out some more, staring at them so hard you’re burning holes through their souls, finally speaking, and then (drum roll please!) asked them to go out with you? You set up an awesome date! Believe it or not the formula to it is actually quite simple.

Setting

First and foremost is the setting. Pick a place away from where you reside! No first date should be at anyone’s house, apartment, condo, dorm, or Mama’s basement. The setting dictates what you’re ultimately looking for from that person. A residence shows you have something to hide and sets the tone for a casual sexual encounter (not cool right away if you’re looking for anything long term). A simple sit down, not fast food, restaurant will do. For my less privileged readers; a sit down restaurant caters towards couples and families, has chairs and booths, has a waiter and hostess, lacks a dollar menu, and lacks the prefixes and suffixes of Mc-, Chic-, and King. I’m sure some of you were thinking of a movie–you would be in the right lane– if you’re planning a two-event date. If that is the case, eat first THEN go to the movies. Movies mangle conversation and the whole goal of the first date is to get to know the person–something you can’t do without conversing.

I personally recommend a diner.

Diners are long forgotten treasures of the restaurant industry. Whereas recently many of them have been relegated to tourist traps, truck stops, and nostalgic 50s hangouts in “Happy Days” reruns–in developed and developing cities like Atlanta they are perfect for getting to know your potential (AKA romantic interest). They are well lit, generally spacious, and have a vast array of universally appealing dishes. My personal picks–Landmark Diner 60 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA and Majestic Diner1031 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

Ordering

Preview the menu of the place you’ve chosen for the date ahead of time. Know what it is you want or how much you’re willing to pay on a date! No one likes waiting fifteen minutes for you to decide between the salad or the fish, or have you gripe about prices! Choose a meal that won’t sour your disposition or breath during the course of the date. Even then have some Tums, a mint–or two, on hand! Put your orders in at the same time. If your food comes before there’s wait to eat it until there’s is delivered–in most places you can request this service.

Conversation

First date convos should be kept light and fluffy. This is after all a formal introduction to one another. This is also the most critical part of the date when you gauge interests, compatibility, and daily lives. Avoid controversial, heavy, and deeply personal conversations this includes politics, religion, your sex life, exes, and flaws. Their day, hometown, hobbies, travels, family (the basics–siblings, mother, father, pets), and career are all on the table. Be patient! The deeper, darker aspects of their personality will show in time. If it rears its ugly head on this date–run for the hills!

Payment

As a rule of thumb, the initiator (the person who asked the other person out) should pay! Yep I said it! This includes the “not so rare chance” now when a woman asks a man out.

Wind It Down

Let them know you appreciated them spending time with you. Time is the one thing no one can ever get back. Consider yourself blessed they gave you some of there’s. You’ll know by this time whether there’s some chemistry you’re interested in investigating further. if so, suggest a second date and inform them you’ll correspond with them later to set it up. If you were not feeling them, still thank them for their time and DON’T suggest you two be friends. It’s okay to let someone know you are not romantically interested in them. It’s NOT okay to be rude about it.

The Kiss

Should you or shouldn’t you? That is the question. The answer is why not. A first kiss is a great closer to the first date. There’s a lot to a kiss–sensuality, romance, passion–you name it! Keep it simple though, it’s the first kiss, not your first time! No Frenching!

The Text

It’s okay to text your date after the date. Keep it light and simple as well. A simple: “I enjoyed myself tonight. Sleep tight.” Is endearing, shows interest, and a softer side of you. DO NOT blow their phone up with massive texts or calls, recounting every detail you enjoyed on the date–they were there—they know!

first date

So there you have it ladies, gentleman, and all those transitioning in between; the schematics for your “Perfect First Date.” Remember it’s the first date– not last, there’s no rush!

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