I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long! I was sick and traveling but I’m back now! Did you miss me? I sure hope so! Let’s dive in and get deep today! Right before my flight home on Sunday, I saw a quote that stopped me dead in my tracks. It said “Nothing ever goes AWAY until it teaches us what we need to know.” It left me breathless! There was a time I felt I would never heal from all the ex factor had put me through…and all I had allowed in my life. Have you ever felt pain so bad you thought you were going to die from it right there and then?! That was me with the ex factor. Now almost 7 months to the day of our breakup and I’m in love again…living in an imperfect world with Elijah that just might one day…be perfect for us. There’s days I don’t think Elijah and I are going to make it and I just want to let go. Then I’ve days like today when I wake up feeling like Elijah is my life. My chance to get it right. My heart. And it’s in those moments that my life with the ex factor seems so far away. I feel like the pain and the hurt were ten years ago. It’s the strangest feeling to get over heartbreak and betrayal and dust yourself off with your heart open…again. I never thought I had the strength to get here. I guess what the universe was trying to tell me is I learned all I could from the ex factor and it’s ok that I let go of the pain. I’m so grateful for these moments and even with all he put me through, I wish the ex factor nothing but the best. I am free to love without the rip tides of pain and destruction! Man, God is good ALL the time! ?? ~KJM on Temptation Tuesday?
Archives for March 2016
Every now and then I try to write something for my young and inexperienced readers! This morning, for some odd reason, I woke up missing my unused pocketbook also known as my virginity. It’s weird to suddenly yearn for something that I lost 4 months shy of my 19th birthday as I’m now 34! But just like nightmares….memories of your virginity can haunt you. The thing is I’m not sure if it’s my virginity I really miss or when I think of my list of partners (which is quite short for someone my age) I cringe! Reflecting on my past lovers/boyfriends…I think there is only one I would claim (my college sweetheart…the football player). The rest remind me of used tampons I threw away long ago….short, messy, and forgettable unless I accidentally forgot to take it out of me (which has never happened).?? It’s weird to have such a feeling of regret when I lost it the best way I could. I was an adult, no longer living in my parents’ house, now in college, and did it with a boyfriend I had had for almost 4 years…who waited with me and loved me. Julio and I were…at one time…in love. Now I just want to throw up when I think of him. Maybe I could have done better?! Maybe not?! Lol. To my young readers, I recommend waiting until you are in love and that person is also in love with you. I also recommend waiting (for guys and girls) until you are old enough to vote (18 years old) so you can openly and legally be responsible for your sexual health. Still as I write this I’m wondering what would life be like now if I still had my virginity?! I damn sure wouldn’t be able to write this blog! This blog is about my life long mistakes disguised in life lessons! I couldn’t walk with you in your darkest moments unless I’ve been there or even traveled farther! Willow is always telling me that she regrets nothing because all of the mess and disasters made her appreciate her life now! Willow is so wise! Maybe it’s because I’m still in the midst of the storm that I feel the regrets deep deep deep down inside. Like I feel it! I feel like I disappointed myself along the way but I tried! Lawd knows I tried! I had ways out of the storm but I willingly decided to stand in the storm…to let my hair get messy in the wind…to have my clothes be torn by all the tornadoes…and to watch everything around me collapse into dust. I was a willing participant in all that you have come to read about! I AM KINGSTON JAEL MICHAELS because of all the pain, heartbreaks, and disappointments! My pocketbook is full of so much shit but would you love me any less if it wasn’t?! If not, then why should I feel changed? I should stand tall and be glad that I can withstand the storms….~KJM on Charm School Monday!
I had a dream last night and it seemed so real. It was of him…a man I had not spoken to in 8 years. In each scene of the dream, I lived out the vivid imagery of a life I was never meant to have with him. I felt safe and I felt loved. All my hopes were wrapped up in him and I did not care. He saw all my flaws but still came back for me. Broken…piece by piece. That’s how he found me. I could see his heart in his gaze. I had never been loved so deeply. I could see our life together and it was so worth the risks it took us to get there. I had a dream last night and in those moments I did not want to awaken from it. The dream was filled with a life I could not bring myself to live. Eight years ago, a man told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I hung up the phone and never returned his calls. It was all too scary. I cannot live with regrets for our time has passed. But oh in that dream and only in that dream could I feel eternity and know deep in my heart…that we would last. ~KJM on Serenity Saturday…remembering “Dallas.”
The thing that pisses me off about the Lizards of the world is that at first glance they look like beautiful creatures breathing hope into us unsuspecting prey! Most of the time, we would be better off if they just never entered our lives. If they can’t be truthful, they should just go mate with other Lizards! If you have read my blog “The Case of The Lizard (The Habitual Liar Edition)” and you still think lizards are harmless, check out what Wiki had to say on the topic: “Most lizard species are harmless to humans. Only the largest lizard species, the Komodo dragon, which reaches 3.3 m (11 ft) in length and weighs up to 166 kg (365 lb), has been known to stalk, attack, and, on occasion, kill humans.” (From Wikipedia). So you see even the most harmless creatures can evolve and suck the life out of you! ~KJM on Flashback Friday.
Out of all my friends, Willow is the true champion of love. I met her in 1999 at the great Pennsylvania State University (WE ARE!). From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew Willow was one of a kind and we would be life long friends. Stunning with a big heart, there isn’t a man alive that didn’t fall for her. Unfortunately, Willow’s big heart and trusting eyes would lead her down the road of broken hearts until she married her one true love! Let’s go down memory lane with Willow. Here’s just one chapter in her amazing story: THE LIZARD aka THE HABITUAL LIAR! For many years, I would always blame myself for the Lizard. If it hadn’t been for me…Willow would have never met him. After ending a long term relationship (he’s another chapter for another time) and relocating from Florida (Willow’s most hated state) back to her home, the DC metro, I decided it was a bright idea to take Willow clubbing to celebrate her new found independence. Partying has always been one of two ways I celebrate a broken heart. I’m all about getting your “freak’um” dress on and saying fuck’um. Lol. I was having issues with a guy I was seeing so it seemed perfect to have a sexy girls night out. Willow, my childhood friend Tempest, and myself headed to the club H20. As the best of hip hop and reggae carried us away on the dance floor, I looked to see some tall and handsome dude whispering in Willow’s ear. I thought it was some harmless flirting so I supported her getting back into the game. Never did I think years later we would be calling him the Lizard! ? Before I knew it, he was following her all over the club and soon would be following her in life. Now follow me if you dare because here is where it gets messy! Within two weeks, the Lizard told Willow he loved her and wanted to be with her. Willow, the champion of love that she is, decided to step out on faith and give love a try again despite her recent broken heart. I have to admit, I thought she was out of her last damn mind! But now when I look back at her dating life, I admire Willow. I never believed in love so deeply that I thought it was worth the risk every time. Instead I played it safe and loved from afar my entire life. This is why Willow finally found the love of her life! With every heartbreak she knew she was one step closer to a true and everlasting love….while I was taking ten steps back! Ugh! But I digress! Back to Willow and the Lizard. Something about the Lizard rubbed me wrong right away. He would tell Willow these far fetched stories that just didn’t add up. Like he had an evil twin his family never told him about. To top things off, he claimed he didn’t know his real age (which I think was actually 40 although he didn’t look a day over 30). If your mouth has dropped open…close it because I haven’t hit you with his best story yet! The Lizard told Willow that he was in the military and on some special forces team that allowed him to do WEEK long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan! He would say, “Willow, watch the news tonight and look for me on tv!” I mean what the fuck?! Who is in Iraq for a week or weekend?! Willow suspected something was off with the Lizard but because she lived almost two hours away from him and her heart taught her to trust the one she loves until she had reason not to, Willow put her faith in the Lizard. God bless her heart! As time went on, their relationship had its ups and downs. One Saturday, me and my dude were arguing so I grabbed Tempest and we headed to H20! I know! I know! I’m childish! Lol. Still am. Before heading out I called Willow and told her my situation. Then something strange happened. Willow said, “I wish I was there to support you and go party with you! It’s going to be okay!” Then she laughed and said “Say hi to the Lizard for me!” I found that comment to be odd but didn’t question it. Not even fifteen minutes of being at H20, Tempest who had only met the Lizard once, recognized him dancing up on some chick in the club! Yo that Tempest missed her calling! She could have been a FBI agent with how great her memory was!?? If you get nothing else from this blog…please write this down. DON’T THINK you saw someone’s man out…BE SURE! Willow’s been my girl since forever so I had to be sure it was the Lizard! I walked over to him and purposely called him another name. He did in fact confirm his real name! The Lizard did not recognize myself nor Tempest! Granted, we had met him months ago in a dark club so it made sense he had no clue who we were. Oh did I mention that on this particular weekend the Lizard told Willow he would be in North Carolina doing some military training?! I can’t with him… Next I text Willow right then and there! She was heartbroken but not surprised as her woman’s intuition told her something was off with the Lizard! Something else to get from this blog…a woman’s intuition is the strongest thing she has. If your intuition says “Mary, you in danger girl!” Guess what?! You are in trouble! From there things got messier! Willow broke up with the Lizard but then eventually got back with him. Willow being the champion of love that she is…decided she loved the Lizard enough to forgive him. Willow being the smart business woman she is…decided against forgetting! A few months later, Willow broke the code on the Lizard’s phone only to find out he had FOUR other girlfriends! She called each one to get their stories and warn them of the man they had all fallen in love with. The last one cleared everything up for Willow. She told Willow she met the Lizard at the Post Office, where they both currently work!!!!?? Turns out, the Lizard had been in the military ten years prior to meeting Willow but had been working as a United States Postal Worker for the last couple years! There were no WEEKEND tours in Iraq nor Afghanistan! His evil twin brother was probably a second personality of his, he had like five or six children by different women, and I think he still lived at home with his mama or some other family member! What the fuck?! This man was in his 40s and about the only honest information he had ever shared with any of the women was his name! Lawd a mercy! We have all been lied to and hurt by someone we love. The point of this chapter in Willow’s life is to remind us all to trust our gut, never give up on love, and with true self love, no man can break you! I use to think Willow was gullible and a bit naive but then I saw the light! She was the best girlfriend in every relationship and when the men messed up, she could forever walk away knowing that her one true love was AHEAD of her…NOT BEHIND HER! So many times I revisited unhealthy relationships because when the guy was playing me, I was playing him too. Had I fully given my heart, allowed my heart to be open, and allowed things to be truly over when they were meant to be…I may be with my one true love now! DEEP! ~KJM telling Willow’s story chapter by chapter on Flashback Friday! Willow, I hope I did this chapter justice!
Now that we are done playing house…lets get back to the basics: female empowerment! ?? Today my sister (Brenda) and friend (Tiffany)(you remember her from my online dating article) start new jobs! Amen! Leading up to both their interviews, I shared some tips with them that were helpful. Women still make less than men in many fields for a variety of fucked up reasons. However, some of it we can control. Get a pen and paper as we boldly go where no one wants to go….journey into female empowerment in the land of pimps and hoes(Corporate America). Ok pimpets…lets go get this money! Here’s a guide to interviews and salary negotiations that will have your employers throwing money at you:
7. APPLY FOR JOBS THAT YOU KNOW YOU CAN EXCEL AT! Often times when I’m job hunting, I only apply to the ones that I have the qualifications for. This can be a huge obstacle especially if you are trying to break into a different field. At some point, someone is going to have to take a risk on you so it doesn’t hurt to aim high! The worst a future employer can do is not give you an interview! Thus, don’t sike yourself out before the interviewing process even begins!
6. DO NOT BRING UP YOUR WEAKNESSES IN AN INTERVIEW UNLESS ASKED! Confidence! Confidence! Confidence is key! When you land that interview (I’ve faith you will) and are preparing for it, know what your strengths and weaknesses are beforehand. Do not share your weaknesses unless specifically asked by your future employer. In other words, do not wear the challenges of the new job on your sleeves. Some employers may ask you what obstacles you may have if given the position. Share that answer by also presenting a strength you possess that can combat that weakness. The point here is to leave your future employer with a vivid image of you conquering every foreseeable obstacle that comes with the position and the tools to excel at any issue that was unforeseeable.
5. AVOID ANY NERVOUS HABITS! Let’s be honest…interviews are scary especially when you desperately need the job. Practice answers to possible questions with someone else beforehand. If no one is available, spend time going over things out loud while looking in the mirror. Part of the fear, especially for women, is a fear of how we are being viewed. Nothing can 100% prepare you for everything your future employer will ask but practicing confidence will help with the unknown.
4. WEAR A NICE SKIRT SUIT (WITH SOFT TONES IF POSSIBLE) if you are interviewing in a conservative field, such as education, legal, and finance, and you do not know the gender of the person(s) interviewing you, I recommend wearing a skirt suit or slacks in nice soft tones. The reason being is in some conservative fields, employers may decide to not give you the job based on presentation. Now I know what you are thinking…if you are in a nice pants suit…how could there be an issue? Some conservative older men (and women for that matter) believe that women should look like women in the workplace. I know you are rolling your eyes but it’s true. I’ve experienced it first hand. However, just because your future employer may have some out dated views about women’s attire, doesn’t mean that you can’t use those Stone Age views to your advantage! You need this job right?! Well presentation is part of the interviewing process! I personally prefer pants suits but especially when I lived in the South, I had to assimilate quickly. The ending goal is my money…not my clothes! ??
3. HEELS! HEELS! HEELS! There’s nothing like a confident woman who can walk like a professional bad ass in heels! Now if you do not know how to walk in heels or don’t feel comfortable in them, please do not wear them! Nobody likes to see a woman gliding like a linebacker in heels! ? But if you have nice professional work pumps, this is the time to pull them out! It will only add to your confidence! Side note…please leave the stripper shoes at home! You want to walk and look like a confident professional woman. Save the “Candy” stripper shoes for when you are out at night with your friends.
2. SALARY NEGOTIATIONS! I’ve read many books and articles on the art of negotiations and the differences between men and women. Generally, men negotiate salary based on their potential while women (if they negotiate salary at all) tend to negotiate salary based on their current experiences. Your current experience is really your PAST! It can be a huge blessing or a huge obstacle. If your experiences are flawless and you have more qualifications than what your future employer asked for…you are in a place of bargaining! However, if you are just breaking into a new field, your previous experience can hinder your salary negotiations…but only if you let it. Always negotiate from a place of your potential. After all, your entire interview was probably focused on what attributes you have that makes you stand out from other candidates. Chances are you all had similar experiences…hence why you are all being interviewed! Focus on how much money you can make a company or how you can excel at this position in a way that no one before you could. Your ambition is just as important as your previous experiences. Another astounding fact that I’ve read is that men negotiate salary during the hiring process while women tend to negotiate when they are in the position! If you get nothing else from this blog, please get this…once your employer makes you a job offer NEGOTIATE SALARY UPFRONT!!!! If your future employer made you an offer much higher than what you wanted, obviously no need to negotiate salary. However, there may be other things that you may want to negotiate based on the package they offered you and the schedule of your position. The worst your employer can say is NO. It’s very unlikely they will completely take their offer off the table because you negotiated your salary/package. If you wait to negotiate salary after being in the position for a while, there is only so much your employer may be willing to do to meet you half way because…they already have you! Also, it’s easier to jump up 10,000 to 30,000 moving from employer to employer than moving up in a company. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Know your worth and say your terms upfront.
1. THE ART OF SALARY NEGOTIATIONS: BATNA (BEST ALTERNATIVE TO A NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT): “BATNA is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In.” I highly recommend that you all read Fisher and Ury’s book! It changed my life when I read it in Fall 2008! “In negotiation theory, the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA is the most advantageous alternative course of action a party can take if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. BATNA is the key focus and the driving force behind a successful negotiator. A party should generally not accept a worse resolution than its BATNA. Care should be taken, however, to ensure that deals are accurately valued, taking into account all considerations, such as relationship value, time value of money and the likelihood that the other party will live up to their side of the bargain. These other considerations are often difficult to value, since they are frequently based on uncertain or qualitative considerations, rather than easily measurable and quantifiable factors.” (From Wiki) “The BATNA is often seen by negotiators not as a safety net, but rather as a point of leverage in negotiations. Although a negotiator’s alternative options should, in theory, be straightforward to evaluate, the effort to understand which alternative represents a party’s BATNA is often not invested. Options need to be real and actionable to be of value, however without the investment of time, options will frequently be included that fail on one of these criteria. Most managers overestimate their BATNA whilst simultaneously investing too little time into researching their real options. This can result in poor or faulty decision making and negotiating outcomes. Negotiatiors also need to be aware of the other negotiator’s BATNA and to identify how it compares to what they are offering.” (From Wiki). While you can use a BATNA in any negotiation even if it doesn’t involve salary…lets focus on how to use it for salary negotiations. Let’s say last year you made 50,000. You know in your new position you need at least 60,000 (essentially your BATNA) to no longer financially struggle. When negotiating salary stay away from 60,000. Start off with a number much higher like 70,000. This gives your employer a chance to give you a counter offer. You’ve essentially given yourself a cushion in negotiations and a higher chance of getting your BATNA (here it is 60,000). Your employer may come back with a counter offer of 65,000 and you can gladly accept because you only really needed 60,000. Now of course you have to do your research on the salary range for your position, base things on your experience, AND add in your potential! The goal is to always stay away from what you really need and aim higher so you have a better chance of being successful in your negotiations. Once again, I recommend you read “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In!” It’s an eye opener! ~ KJM on Charm School Monday dropping knowledge that I hope and pray changes your lives in a powerful way. We may be viewed as the weaker gender but our salaries sure don’t have to reflect it!?? Credits given to Wiki, William Ury, and Roger Fisher.
I usually don’t write on Sundays but I like to keep you guys updated as things are happening. After reading all your recent comments (good and bad) about the Phoenix situation, I decided to tell Elijah about Phoenix and what I was entertaining doing. You see even way before meeting Phoenix, I’ve almost always kept 2 men. A boyfriend number 2 was always needed. Julio, my first love, knew I had this issue but he just figured I needed to get it out of my system. Well here I am over 15 years later…still battling this problem. No matter the environment I grew up in…I’m essentially responsible for the decisions I make. Even though I still stand by my stance on Phoenix and his on and off again long term girlfriend, I realized that if I’m reaching out to Phoenix…my relationship is in trouble. Out of every man I’ve ever dated…Elijah is the only one I’ve really been faithful to. Even when Phoenix was single…I never just focused on him. Come on now! We do all of our bad stuff together! I know that makes it so he can never be my husband and I can’t be his wife. I’ve heard time and time again that “hurt people….hurt…people.” So if you are wondering why I didn’t factor in Phoenix’s girlfriend into my equation is because I had no issue with hurting someone I didn’t know. To be honest, I’ve openly and easily hurt people I do know. I’m human. I’m flawed and I’m okay with that. Some of you are side eyeing me right now and I’m cool with that too. I probably deserve the side eye. What it comes down to is maybe if I could have expressed in my previous relationships that they had emotionally abandoned me and left me the burden of carrying our relationship…maybe I would have never been unfaithful to anyone. Maybe I wouldn’t have lived in the gray area for so long. Elijah is the FIRST man I’ve openly and honestly communicated my feelings with. I let him know he was driving me away and that I almost fell into another man’s arms…easily. Before we could finish our conversation, our workaholic schedules interrupted and we are both now working long exhausting hours 7 days a week until further notice. We still talk every day but avoid the topic of Phoenix. I’m guessing Elijah is trying to figure out how to respond appropriately. The only thing I know for sure is that if I had to call on Phoenix, Elijah and I are in trouble! We are only 6 months in and while I do love him…I think we need to see other people. I’m going to suggest it. And no that doesn’t mean I’m headed to see Phoenix! That’s not even a thought in my mind right now. I recently read that “if a man is leading you some place that you don’t want to go…it’s like a train…get off at the next stop.” I’m a very spiritual person and a Christian. I know that’s hard to believe with some of the things I write but like I said…I’m a sinner. Elijah is not spiritual and has no faith system. He said he was open to Jesus the first day we met but as time goes by I don’t believe he is open. I can’t imagine raising a family without Jesus! That’s a deal breaker for me. Then when he talks about our future (Elijah brings up our future on his own), to him a wife must do as he says and live out his dreams. He’s rigid on so much. I’m controlling and stubborn too but when he speaks about our plans…he doesn’t factor in what I want. At first, I thought he was joking but as time goes on…I realize he’s not! I think the straw that broke the camel’s back is when Elijah said the most he would spend on an engagement ring is 1,500! Now I’m not a flashy person and would always gladly accept what my man could afford. Elijah and I are in the same field plus he has a business on the side! He can make 1,500 in like 3 days most times. What it made me realize is he’s the type of man that if he had 5 million in the bank…a family would not be an investment for him. I thought 5,000 to 6,000 for a ring based on what we make (only counting his one job and not his business) was more than reasonable. I don’t need a 25,000 ring but perhaps something of value that I could one day hand down to my kids! On one occasion, he asked me why I didn’t paint my own nails instead of going to the nail salon! That’s when I realized he’s CHEAP not frugal and there is a damn difference! We are only dating…no proposal has been made…so what I do with my hard earned money is my business! All these things coupled with the fact that Elijah shuts down when we need to communicate has left me exhausted. And Phoenix was my way out. He wasn’t a good way out but he’s always been my way out. I truly believe that it is not in most women’s nature to stray. We generally are emotionally abandoned by men we deeply love but don’t want to leave those men. And thus, we become emotionally available to a man who will listen to us. With emotions comes feelings and with feelings there’s a chance of an affair. When a woman is fed up….all hell breaks loose. Elijah is older than me and stuck in his ways and I have huge commitment issues. I’m hoping and praying I meet a man who feels his sole job is to love and protect a woman….not make her feel like she should be grateful to have him. ~KJM on Sunday singing that “when a woman’s fed up….it ain’t nothing you can do about it.”
This week has been crazy! I let out many of my truths about my past and present and even people who knew the stories when they were developing were shocked when I put pen to paper and shared my raw truth. I’m not always proud of my past but I’ve no shame in the fact that I lived it. The goal isn’t to be perfect…it’s really about making peace with the past, growing from it, and aiming to not make the same mistakes again. I wish my truth were prettier and more righteous but it’s not and I can’t do a thing about that. As you all walk your own journey, try not to let the past hold you hostage. Set yourself free. Forgive others but more importantly, forgive yourselves! Hoping and praying that you are all doing something wonderful today to honor yourselves and feed your souls! ~KJM on Serenity Saturday.
He said….I just can’t see it. By it…he meant us. My heart broke into a million pieces but I still chose to stay in love with him for another 4.5 years….knowing he would never love me the way I deserved to be loved. I let myself give up every opportunity to be happy with someone else by staying stuck in time with someone who was just buying time. That kind of pain changes a woman. So I write and I write…essentially I’m writing the pain away. ~KJM reminiscing on ex factor and I on Flashback Friday.
This week I’ve caused quite an uproar with writing the blogs “Dear Girlfriend (The Fall of Phoenix)” and “The Aftermath of Dear Girlfriend!” The long term girlfriends around the world got their guns cocked and pointed in my direction! Lol. Whether you agree or disagree with my stance, I appreciate the exposure! Being a blogger isn’t an easy life and this was my first time being thrown into the lion’s den! I’m ready though and not backing down!?? Now to the real issue at hand with these series of blogs: the long term girlfriend is now the new side piece! Before I get into my countdown, I want to say that I’ve been in this position before. I’m speaking from a messy place I’ve once lived and passing on the painful lessons I’ve learned along the way. You can take it or leave it. My only goal here is to give you food for thought! Disclaimer: If you and your partner do not believe in marriage then this blog isn’t for you. It’s really for all them laying on their backs, constantly on their knees but never getting a thank you, waiting for a man to realize their worth long term girlfriends! Ok let’s get it! Here are 7 reasons why the long term girlfriend is now the new side piece: 7. HE NEVER MENTIONS A FUTURE WITH YOU! If you are 25 or older and have been seriously dating a man for 5 years or more yet he has never mentioned you in any of his future plans….you are the side piece! That man is keeping his options open until something better comes along! 6. WHEN HE CHEATS IT’S THE OTHER WOMAN YOU ARE MAD AT! My mother, Mama Michaels, always says never call another woman about a man that is NOT YOUR HUSBAND! It’s seriously a joke. With no one married to him, how do you know who is the side piece and who is the real girlfriend? Better yet why are you even focusing on the title girlfriend? You are a side piece! 5. THE ONLY REAL RELATIONSHIP STATUSES THAT THE IRS RECOGNIZES ARE SINGLE (AS IN NOT MARRIED), MARRIED, and DIVORCED! Uncle Sam aka the Internal Revenue Services does not have a box for girlfriends. If you want the government to recognize your relationship, you better aim for marriage! They sure give tax breaks for that! Especially now that everyone has the right to marry (gay and straight), “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it” is about to be the new tax law anthem! Don’t expect a refund for having a boyfriend! Just go ahead and check that single status box while you pray for God’s blessings! No time to be delusional! You are a side piece! 4. YOU PAY HALF HIS MORTGAGE BUT YOUR NAME AIN’T ON SHIT! If he bought a house while you guys were dating or he owned one before and you two are now living together….guess who has no legal rights to that property?! That’s right! YOU! Financially you are contributing, yet you will never see the fruit of your labor! Girl, run! If you were a wife, this would be a different story. This long term girlfriend thing is really messing with your money! Sigh…need I remind you again that you are a side piece?! 3. YOU ARE HIS BABY MAMA! As the mother of his child, you are entitled to child support for that child. That man is not indebted to you for shit. Courts recognize your child, not that you are his long term girlfriend. No one cares if he is good to you. The focus is really on your child. Some of y’all baby mamas don’t get that and use the child against the man long after he kicks your ass to the curb! You are the side piece! No spousal support for that! 2. HIS MAMA, FRIENDS, AND ASSOCIATES REFER TO YOU AS MS. SO AND SO! Girl, I don’t know why you are mad?! That is your name right? MS. not MRS?! Truth hurts boo. Even if everyone in his circle knows who you are…it doesn’t mean that you are being held out to be anything but a long term side piece! If he is introducing you to his pastor as MS. for the last 10 years…forget it! Every time you walk away, pastor laying hands on him and praying that he find himself a good woman that he can make a wife! Lawd a mercy…you a side piece even in the eyes of GOD! ? 1. YOU HAVE BEEN “ENGAGED” FOR TWO YEARS OR MORE WITH NO WEDDING DATE SET! Now this one is a tricky one. I’m guessing you been whining the last 10 years so he finally purchased a ring for you and asked you to marry him….but that was 5 years ago and that ring is now turning green on your finger! You are still the glorified side piece! If he truly wanted to make that commitment, he would have! ~KJM on Flashback Friday! Disclaimer: this blog is for entertainment purposes only and no true legal advice was given. If you have questions about common law marriage, tax laws, or property laws in your state, seek counsel there. Best wishes on all of your journeys!