What Does It Mean to Be “Good” in Singleness for a Christian Woman?

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My boyfriend and I constantly argue and fight about what it means to be good in singleness. He believes that being good in singleness is about how he conducts himself in church and in the community. I disagree. We have sex on a regular basis, and he does not view this as being problematic. In his mind, he believes he is good in his singleness.

Because we are bombarded with sex in so many different ways daily, my boyfriend like others have become desensitized and believe it’s just the way things are today. Although I am guilty of engaging in premarital sex, I was raised to know and do better. Before I discuss this with my boyfriend again, I wanted to know if you could share your thoughts about this topic from a Christian perspective. Please help!

What Does it Mean to Be Good in Singleness?

Thanks,

Good in Singleness

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As a Single Man, What is the Best Thing I Can Do to Find a Wife?

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Dr. Buckingham,

I am a successful young man who wants to have a wife and children in the near future. A few years ago, I relocated from the South to D.C. with the belief I would have better prospects. I am approaching my mid-30s, and I feel discouraged about my prospects. I meet women who appear to be good for me, but things just never work out.

I have not been able to identify my problem. I can admit I have some unresolved personal issues, but I truly do not believe that I am the problem. I attend social gatherings, church functions and business events with the hope I will find my wife. I have searched high and low for my future queen and have had very little success. I decided to write you because I do not want to go too far down the discouragement path and give up on finding love.

As a Single Man, What is the Best Thing  I Can Do to Find a Wife?

Thanks,

Husband Material

 

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3 Benefits of Seeking Professional Premarital Counseling

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Hello Dr. Buckingham,

I have been dating this guy for a few years now and we are talking about marriage. I read a lot of your articles about relationships and most of them have a common theme. You often recommend that people seek professional counseling. I want my marriage to start off on the right foot, but I do not get the counseling thing. My fiancé has some fear and commitment issues and can be cold and detached at times, but overall he is a good guy. I believe that we are in love, but sometimes I wonder if we are rushing toward marriage out of lust. I am interested in learning more about my fiancé and myself, but as an African American female I was raised to keep my business private.

What Are the Benefits of Seeking Professional Premarital Counseling?

Sincerely,

Ms. Private

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3 Steps to a Happy Wife and Happy Life

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Hi Dr. Buckingham,

My wife and I have been married for two years, and we are hearing a lot of negative talk about marriage. We both come from broken homes and are afraid our pasts will impact our marriage. We are young, in love and work hard to remain positive about our marriage. My wife and I have a 1-year-old daughter, and I want to do everything in my power to keep my wife happy and family together. I believe in the saying, “A happy wife, a happy life.” What advice do you have for me?

How can I keep my wife happy?

Thanks in advance,

Young and Married

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I’m Smaller Than Average: When Should I Bring Up My “Penis Situation?”

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Hello Dr. Buckingham,

I am a man and have a smaller than average penis. Not just length, but girth as well. This has often caused issues in romantic relationships. Sometimes, the women I have dated will attempt to “act” in the opposite with a lot of wild talk, only to reveal that they’ve never had to deal with this and didn’t know what to say or how to have a conversation. Currently, I am leery of pursuing anyone for fear of getting to the sexual element of the relationship.

I’m Smaller Than Average: When Should I Bring Up My “Penis Situation?” Before sex, after the first time or at the beginning of the relationship?

Thanks,

Physically Challenged

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Should I Give My Fiancé his Ring Back and Move On?

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Hello Dr. Buckingham,

I just read a few of your articles and thought God must’ve sent me in your direction. I am currently dealing with infidelity in my relationship and am having a hard time getting through it.

Here’s my story:
I’ve been dating my now fiancé for 2 1/2 years now. We became exclusive a year ago. I just recently found out that he had been cheating on me throughout our whole relationship (exclusive and dating). Not only had he been cheating but he fathered a child who will soon be a year old. He never told me about this, she reached out to me recently, she also told me that she believes she is currently pregnant by him as well. Well I just had a child by him and we recently became engaged. I’m completely heart broken and shattered. He came clean, apologized and swears he does not love her, care for her or want to be with her. He has never seen the child, which she confirmed and he only continued to have sex with her because she threatened to make his life miserable. He went to see a counselor, we then went to counseling together but stopped because I recently had our child. We have been trying to work things out since. (I found all of this out the end of August 2015). He vowed to never see her again and to be truthful and honest from now on.

So here we are still working on us 3 months later and bam, now I just recently found out he’s been flirting with a woman (and other women) via social media throughout this whole ordeal. This one particular woman was one of the women he was seeing while we were dating. I am so hurt and confused all over again. I confronted him, he admitted he flirts but only because she had low self esteem and he was trying to make her feel better about herself smdh. He’s had no recent physical contact with her but he has gone out with her in the past and he claims they never had sex. I knew he was a flirt because that’s how we started talking but I didn’t think he flirted with others especially once we became serious. I love him, I know he loves me but I now have all of this constantly on my mind. I want to work it out for the sake of our child but I have no trust for him at all. I can’t live with this feeling of not being good enough, him possibly having 2 kids on the side, and now emotional infidelity via social media. I’m so confused and hurt, I don’t know what to do. What would you suggest? Can he be trusted in the future? Should I Give My Fiancé his Ring Back and Move On?

Sleepless in Charm City

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My Husband Abandoned Me, What Should I Do?

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My husband left me after a big disagreement. But here is the kicker, we were only married for four months and we have a baby together. Now, it has been a year since he left.

At the time, he wanted me to kick my cousin and godsister out of our house. I’m from another state, and they were my only close family. I told them that they both had a year to find jobs and get their own place, but my husband could not wait. Since he left, he has been staying at his cousin’s house in the basement. He takes care of our daughter and pays my bills when he feels like it. We see each other once a week, but I am in school now and work part-time. I’m just getting tired and growing frustrated because he hasn’t move back in yet. When he left he gave me a list of things he wanted me to do before he would come back home. I completed them and moved into a new house away from the little bit of family that I do have, and he still has not moved back home.

My husband abandoned me; what should I do?

Signed, Mrs. Abandonment Read more

5 Tips for Dating Yourself (You Don’t Want to Miss)

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Written by Karen Bontrager

Being on a first time date requires much effort on an individual’s part because the overall objective is to appear confident and well put together. With this goal in mind, a person will spend a considerable amount of time choosing the perfect outfit, and getting ready. During the entirety of the date, they will be extremely nervous about their own conversation and actions. And when the evening has ended, every detail will be laboriously scrutinized; from the choice of venue and dinner selections to the errors and omissions of both parties.

The above scenario is what typically occurs on a first date for many people, but what tends to happen to so many of us who are not engaging in these first time experiences, or who are not currently involved in relationships? I cannot speak for men, although I am sure that they suffer as well, but the research is clear that many single women, both young and old, waste that precious time lamenting over couples in love, watching Netflix, and eating excessive amounts of junk food, while feeling overtly emotional. Please, do not condemn yourself ladies if this has been your weekend routine for the last month, year, and/or decade. For the males who are reading this, who have similar but not the same coping mechanisms, imagine that there is a different, more positive perspective to be had about being single. Consider, for a moment what would be possible if right now you could learn to expend your unused, positive energy of being with that exciting, first time date on you because you knew the Five Tips for Dating Yourself. How would your attitude and life change with such a mindset? Realize that if given some time to adjust to this new way of thinking, you could get as excited getting to know and admire you, as that person potentially sitting across the table.

Here are 5 Tips for Dating Yourself (You Don’t Want to Miss).

Get acquainted with this concept of dating yourself.

Since you may not have thought about being single in this positive manner, it will take some time getting adjusted to the idea. (Parents, talk to your teen or college-aged child about enjoying this stage in their lives. Explain that this period will not last and should be cherished).

Consider the first date with you.

Spend time imagining the possibilities of being able to be alone with yourself and actually enjoying the experience of getting to know you. What comes up? Are you uncomfortable by the mere thought, or are you feeling positive about giving yourself the permission to be with whatever is there?

Start to journal.

Writing down your thoughts every day will help you reflect upon the things that you are learning about you, which will help you appreciate yourself more.

Begin to take into consideration your likes and dislikes.

If you have never thought about what you wanted or do not want, start today. Use your past as a benchmark. What activities and individuals have made you happy and brought enjoyment into your life, and how can you incorporate more of these people and things into your life currently?

Be merciful with your ability to adjust.

If you are not used to being single, do not condemn yourself for being upset or feeling lonely occasionally because old habits die hard.

Dating someone for the first time, whether it is another or you, takes some getting used to in the beginning. However, if you decide to date yourself, you may discover that you are a truly, special person that has much to give another if you learn to first give to you.

 

Hoodwinked: I’m Single, but Dated a Married Man

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I recently dated this guy who appeared to be the right man for me except he never had time for me. When we were together we had great times. However, I would only see him every other weekend. After six months of dating, I asked him why he had never introduced me to anyone in his family including his children that he talked about frequently. He told me that he did not bring women around his children until he knew that things were going to work out between them. As a single mother, I understood and respected his view so I did not mention it again.

I enjoyed his company and we spent the majority of our time together hanging out in my favorite places and occassionally at my home. I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me. However, after nine months of dating, I told him that I felt that it was time that I learned more about his family. He said no problem, but nothing happened. I started getting concerned so I purchased him a new cell phone as a gift. He was excited, but he did not know that I had a tracker place in the phone. This is when everything came out.

After hanging out several times, I noticed that the phone showed him returning to the same place. I looked up the location and decided to investigate. I parked down the block and watched him come and go with a woman and two children. I let a few days go back and decided to call him. I asked about the woman and children. He did not respond immediately, but eventually told me that he was married. I felt like passing out and I was so angry with myself for letting this happen. I felt totally violated. He was married, but was acting like he was single.  Three months have passed, but I am still traumatized by this experience. I do not want any single woman to experience what I experienced.

How Can Single-women Identify Single-husbands?

Thanks,

Ms. Hoodwinked

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Dear Ms. Hoodwinked,

I am truly sorry that you were hoodwinked and violated. Unfortunately, in this day and age, this behavior is becoming more common. There are a lot of men who claim not to be involved in any type of serious romantic relationship, but are married. I am glad that you allowed your intuition to guide you into Inspector Gadget mode. I am also glad that you are concerned about preventing this from happening to other single women. Given this, here are 5 Behavioral Indicators that can help single women identify husbands who claim to be single. Please be mindful that these are just indicators. If you are suspicious about the man that you are dating, please investigate further.

Exhibits “Overly” Accommodating Behavior

“Single-husbands” are notorious for being overly accommodating. They go out of their way to please and make things to convenient for women and rarely complain. Being accommodating is not a bad quality, but “overly” accommodating can be problematic in any relationship.

As you stated, “we spent the majority of our time together hanging out in my favorite places and occassionally at my home. I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me.”

During the honeymoon phase (first two to five years) of a relationship it is not uncommon for individuals to go out of their way to please their partner. However, anything done in “excess” will and can cause problems. Whenever you meet a person who places their needs on the back burner, please proceed with caution and increased vigilance. Selflessness is a great quality, but so is self-care. Bottom line: pay attention to interactions that appear to be unusual (never met any of his relatives) and/or creates apprehension.

Engages in Secretive Behavior

Secretive behavior can include many things, but phone mannerism is easy to recognize. Does he receive “secretive” phone calls that must be taken in privacy? If you ask who called, he say, “It’s not important or “we have to trust each other in order to grow in this relationship” or “please respect my privacy.”

You never hear their conversations unless they are talking with guy friends or family members such as siblings or cousins. Also, you are instructed to call them at certain times and they do not answer your phone calls outside of scheduled timeframes.

Triggers Uncomfortable Feelings in You

You are probably dealing with a cheater if your intuition or gut feeling tells you that something is not right. If you feel slightly uncomfortable or disconnected, please pay attention to your intuition. Remember that a “gut feeling” is a feeling worth exploring. If you feel that something is wrong, there probably is. You should always be upfront and express your concerns. If you still feel uneasy and cannot shake off what you are feeling, you probably need to move on.

Keeps a Tight Schedule

Single-husbands are not very flexible individuals and will occassionally express anger if you ask them to change their plans. They are usually accommodating, but only if arrangements do not throw their schedules off track. As a matter of fact, being overly accommodating is way to disguise their need to keep a tight schedule. Women are so impressed with being catered to that they do not recognize that they are being controlled and held to a schedule.

Loves to Set the Dating Agenda

By setting the dating agenda single-husbands can avoid being seen in places that their wives visit. Also, there is a high possibility that single-husbands will not date or seriously connect with single women who like to do the same things as their wives. Managing the dating agenda allows them to dictate interactions and avoid being caught.

I hope the behavioral indicators outlined above are helpful. The best thing that single women can do to avoid being hoodwinked by married men is to move slowly with open eyes. Some single women get so excited about being connected that they jump in with their eyes closed. A woman’s intuition and heart is her guidepost. I did not say that a woman’s emotion is her guidepost. I said intuition. When you do not feel something is right, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Best regards

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

How to Successfully Overcome Relationship Adversity?

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am having been dating my fiancée for a few years now and we recently started planning our wedding. She is a good woman and I want to start our marriage out on the right foot. I have read several of your articles on BMWK. You talk a lot about respect, good communication and trust. I agree that all these things are needed to have a great relationship, but are there other things that are needed?

We are planning on contacting you for pre-marital coaching in the near future, but I wanted to ask a question first. I want to know which skills should we work on developing so that we can have a successful marriage. All marriages have challenges and we do not want to contribute to the 50% divorce rate. Struggle and adversity happens in relationships and people are walking away from their marriages to easy. What Skills Are Needed to Successfully Overcome Relationship Adversity?

Talk to you soon and thanks,

Mr. Get it Right

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Dear Mr. Get It Right,

I commend you for seeking pre-marital coaching, especially with me. Your proactive behavior is noteworthy and makes me feel excited about the work that I do. Also, thanks for reading my articles on BMWK. The owners Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are providing a great platform for singles and couples to get great information. Now that the infomercial is over, I will answer you question.

Two of the most important interpersonal skills that are needed to successfully connect with your spouse and overcome relationship adversity are Empathy and Resilience. Let me define both and explain why they are needed.

Skill #1: Empathy

Empathy is an indispensable life skill that requires a certain level of intellectual and emotional aptitude in order to recognize and understand the thoughts, emotions and perspectives that others might experience.

Simply stated, Empathy is not just about “walking in others’ shoes”. Empathy is the ability to connect with others in a manner in which they feel understood and emotionally safe.

Lack of empathy is one thing that makes individuals miserable in their relationships. If you cannot empathize with others then you are unlikely to care about them. Some people are good at objectifying other people, treating them like ‘things’ and even abusing them without any feeling of remorse. If you desire to develop and sustain a healthy relationship, you must learn to be empathetic.

Empathy enables you to connect with your spouse, restore trust and heal when faced with relationship adversity.

Skill #2: Resilience

Resilience is defined differently for many individuals because it takes on many forms and has various components, but most researchers agree that resilience is associated with an individual’s ability to bounce back after facing adversity or hardship. To add to this basic understanding, I personally define resilience as the ability to bounce back wiser, better, and stronger after facing adversity. Resilient individuals recover quicker and cope with pressure or stressors in an effective manner.

Being resilient will enable you to move forward and prosper in a health manner after experiencing adversity. Resilient couples find solutions in problems. In contrast, troubled couples find problems in every solution.

During our pre-marital coaching sessions, I will help you and your fiancée become more empathetic and build resilience, which involves broadening your emotional intelligence. By broadening your emotional intelligence both you and your fiancée will be able to successfully navigate through life and love with a sense of belonging and optimism. Unfortunately, experiencing relationship adversity is unavoidable, but coping with it in an empathetic and resilient manner is doable. I look forward to working with you and your fiancée.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.