His Likeness


You meet a guy, you fall in love or “strong like”, and it feels great! You have been yearning for this type of connection for quite some time. Time with this guy . . . well you can’t get enough of that. You look forward to his sweet “good morning beautiful” text messages, talking throughout the day, and dates in the evenings. As time goes on, you find yourself adjusting yourself doing things that you know would make him happy. You may even put what you want or desire on hold to make sure his needs and wants are met.

I know you’re like, “Well Hazel, what’s wrong with all of that? This is what you do in relationships sometimes”. True enough, and believe me, there is nothing wrong with any of this. In relationships of any kind, there will often be some compromising. You will often want to be around that person because of how they make you feel or because of your infatuation with them. Again, nothing wrong there. However, have you ever lost who you are while doing these things? Have you ever found yourself totally changing by adapting the other person’s characteristics, hobbies, and habits?

I Lost Me

Trying To

Please Him

I don’t know about you, but I have. In the past, the longer I stayed dating someone, I found myself adapting his likeness. I found myself doing things that I know he would like; wearing my hair the way he likes, dressing the way he likes, going to places I know he would like, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I was not like the chick on Coming to America, saying “Whatever you liiiikkkeee”. Naw . . . it didn’t get that far, but at times I may have come close.

I also noticed over the years that I’m not alone in this experience. Many women find themselves putting on the likeness of the guy they are in relation with. This could even happen with women and their female friends too. It’s so easy for us to do this because we are trying to please our mate. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does become problematic if it gets to the point where you totally lose sight of who you are and who God called you to be. So I beg the question, If we allow ourselves to put on the likeness of our mates because of our desire to please them, then how much more should we put on the likeness of the One who created us?

Remember, people are flawed and imperfect. Be careful in your pursuit of relationships, not to totally transform your God-identity to please another human. Our identity is in Christ. Allow Him to guide and lead you in your relationships, to reveal Himself to you, and for Him to show you how to put on His likeness. Again, there is nothing wrong with pleasing your mate, just make sure it doesn’t cost you your soul in doing so. Keep God in the midst of all your relationships to reduce the risk of conforming into a person that God doesn’t desire you to be. Draw close to Him and watch how you will begin to imitate His image, and become more like Him (something we all should be striving to be).

~Hazel~

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God!

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Sshh…No One Wants A Nag!!


20140610-220326-79406971.jpg
I can show him better than I can tell him!

Yeah…I used to say that every time I found myself getting frustrated with a guy I was in a relationship with. Although that statement has some truth, I was taking it completely out of context! Like many other women I
know, I would get quiet and stop nagging, but my attitude about the situation still showed. Usually it wasn’t pretty!

I would roll my eyes, be condescending, be negative, slam doors and other objects, and become distant; thinking that I would teach him a lesson. Thinking that if I show him better than I can tell him he would change. Well one thing is for sure, he was not going to change his ways or work on the issue with behavior like that! Heck I may as well have continued to keep speaking with my words because my body language and behavior revealed everything I wanted to say.

Once I began to heal from my own issues, I started to learn that:

Sometimes closing your mouth and not saying any thing can say so much.

We (women) need to learn how to hush sometimes! If you find yourself saying the same thing over and over to a man chances are he has checked out on you. You have now become a nag, and your words sound like: womp womp womp womp womp!!

Charlie Brown

Say it once, then LET IT GO!! Let your behavior speak for you. But be careful…your behavior and body language should be in check as well.

This does not mean to walk around with an attitude, playing the “I’m not talking to you game”, being cold and slamming doors. This is something I had a bad habit of doing as I mentioned earlier. After going through my healing process I realized emotionally I was 4 years old! I can thank Nathan McGuire for that lol. My behavior was childish! A grown woman acting like a child because things are not going the way I wanted it. When actually I had already accepted what he was bringing to the table, then all of a sudden I wanted a change...yeah that was smart! If we keep it real…some of you have been there or are currently there, but I digress!

I had to learn that I can’t change a man…he has to want to change for himself. Nagging with your words or without your words doesn’t help the process! So if you want to win your man over, I dare you to try this:

Say it once (speak your peace), turn it over to God, and let God deal with him. Don’t become a nag and don’t treat him like a child; instead show the God in you by keeping a gentle and quiet spirit.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1, 2 NIV)

“Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” (Proverbs 21:19 NIV)

~Hazel~

Coco’s Couch Man Cave: Meet Professor Brent Lyle


Welcome  to the new segment to Coco’s Couch . . . Coco’s Couch: Man Cave! I’m so excited to introduce this segment to the blog!! Coco’s Couch Man Cave will feature men who have great insight to topics relating to dating and relationships. Sometimes it’s great to hear from the men; to gain their perspective on such matters of the heart! Us women are always wanting to know what men think, well now you have the opportunity to enter the “Man Cave”. Not only are you allowed to enter, you are allowed to ask as many questions as you would like, and talk as much as you want to!!! LOL!!  This is your chance to pick the brains of true gentlemen.

First up to enter Coco’s Couch Man Cave is the handsome, smart, God-fearing, and true gentleman himself, Professor Brent Lyle. Brent will be sharing his brilliant thoughts, and giving his perspective through a number of blogs.

Meet Professor Brent Lyle:

Brent Lyle

Photo Cred: Paul D. Best Photography https://www.facebook.com/PaulDBestPhotography

When I was growing up, my mother and other people always told me, “You can do anything you put your mind to.”  Does that sound familiar to you?  Maybe you can relate. That phrase seemed true enough, and hearing it so often cemented it in my mind as some general, comforting message of encouragement to hand out like club flyers to people suffering from self-doubt.  It never really resonated with me though.  In fact, it didn’t mean anything real to me until recently, in a time when I could help anyone else, but just couldn’t seem to find how to make my own dreams come true.

Then it finally hit me one day when I came across these words by Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  My mind raced confirming that this was, indeed true. When my thoughts paired it with “You can do anything you put your mind to,” it was like magic.  You CAN do anything you put your mind to IF you take the first step and keep walking.

Hi, my name is Brent.  I’m a detail-oriented thinker, speaker, writer, thrill-seeker, student of Life, and always a Gentleman first.  I am an explorer; I explore the world through travel, music, art, culture, giving, architecture, and the mind.  Lots of people call me Professor, and with good reason.  I am not an expert in molecular biology, nor do I teach in a prestigious university.  No, what I do is different.  I help people figure things out.  In matters of Life & Style, I’m here to help.

I don’t know everything, but I learn something new every day.  “Well, who are you to tell me anything, then?” you may ask.  I am a Man who admits his mistakes, and wants to do something about it.  A lesson I learned in Spain some years ago is my point: “You always teach what you need to know better, for one of the best ways to learn is to teach.”  

They call me Professor Lyle, and class is always in session.

~Professor Lyle~

professorlyle@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ProfessorLyle

Twitter: @ProfessorLyle

InstaGram: @ProfessorLyle

 I’m so overjoyed that this gentleman will be opening up on this platform! Trust me ladies, you don’t want to miss not one of his posts! Gentlemen, I’m sure you will find some value in Brent’s posts as well! Without further ado:  Welcome to Coco’s Couch Man Cave!

~Hazel~

Chivalrous Acts Backfired!!


I beliChivalry open door imageeve it’s safe to say that we’ve all heard the saying “chivalry is dead”.  Is chivalry really dead? While some may agree to this saying, I tend to disagree. I truly believe that the gentleman still exists. The gentleman who performs chivalrous acts because he knows how to respect and treat a woman. The problem, is that the gentleman is no longer required to perform these acts. Society has made it so acceptable that a man no longer have to:

Open doors for a woman

Call when he says he will call

Knock on your door to pick you up for your date instead of blowing the horn as a signal to hurry your butt outside (whew I had a flashback!)

Offer his jacket if you’re cold

Compliments you

Pull the car around because it’s raining hard or

Just all around respecting you and everything about you.

Really what it boils down to is that women no longer require this of their suitors.Chivalry polite image

Here are my thoughts:

  • Maybe one reason for this is because it truly has become more acceptable now to hook up with each other rather than date or court. We’re too busy trying to satisfy a burning desire in a short & quick way (no pun intended); all the while we are longing for something long term. We convince ourselves that we are getting our needs met through this hook up, just to find ourselves feeling like a piece of crap afterwards. Yeah it was good for the 30 minutes it lasted (and for some you would’ve rather watched paint dry instead). You then find yourself feeling cheated, disgusted, searching for your dignity, and more lonely than ever before. Since all he does is “hit it & quit it”, you think chivalry is dead, and that there are no good brothers out here. No my sister, that’s not the case! With this type of hook up mentality, you skipped past the “getting to know each other” phase, and accepted getting tangled up with each other in the sheets. When you open yourself to a hook up, you open yourself to a quick and easy transaction; leaving no time for chivalrous acts. (There will be a blog titled “No More Hook Ups”)
  • Another reason for this lack of chivalry, is the way some women respond to it. I have experienced and seen three types of responses to chivalry:
  1. The woman that automatically thinks you are trying to “get” with her. Maybe she feels/thinks this way because of the years of “hooking up” made her feel that every guy who approaches her is after one thing. Or maybe because she has gone through lots of pain (could be to no fault of her own), and now has built up a huge wall. She is guarded, and doesn’t know how to accept the acts of a true gentleman. It scares her. So “hook ups”, “randoms”, and men that don’t value her is where her comfort is.
  2. The woman who gets carried away by the kind gesture, and is already planning a wedding in her head. chivalry flowersThis woman will rush the relationship into a marriage with 2.5 kids and a dog after a “hello”, a great date, or compliments that make her feel things she never felt before.
  3. My favorite. The one I finally became. This woman knows she is worth these kinds of gestures, and recognizes when a guy is being a gentleman or if he is running game. She takes time to assess the suitor without making him pay for any past hurts or mistakes. She’s not quick to dismiss the act or see it as a sign of marriage. She waits to get to know him before making any abrupt decisions.

Ladies . . . chivalry is not DEAD!! Don’t get so caught up in the hype of a hook up that you miss out on something special. Also remember this: Just because he compliments you, that doesn’t mean he is trying to “get” with you or that he’s “thirsty”. Just because you two had a few great dates, that doesn’t mean you need to now plan a wedding. SLOW down my sister!! Take the gesture for what it’s worth, say “thank you”, and keep it moving. High expectations and unrealistic expectations will leave you highly disappointed.

~Hazel~

*all images are from Google images*

All Men Are Dogs . . . Really?


Are all men really “dogs”? Aren’t there still some good men out there? I like to think there are still good men out around. There was a point when I did start to think that “all men are dogs”. This thought for me came to play (like for most women), after being hurt and mistreated in so many relationships. Like most women, having your heart stomped on by so many men will make you start to believe that there are no good one’s out there. Then you get to a point where you put this huge wall up, and won’t allow yourself to trust the next man. The next man that comes along start to pay for how all the others treated you. Not fair right? Well this is where I was at one point. Good thing is I started to realize how my thoughts about men and relationships were before the next man come along. I wanted to change my way of thinking so when the next man came, he wouldn’t pay for all the things the others did. I didn’t, (still don’t) want to block my blessing of having a good man in my life.

When I was at that point of thinking “all men are dogs”, I decided to take self inventory. I knew I didn’t want to end up like most of the women I know that think this way about men. I didn’t, (still don’t) want to be in my 40’s and 50’s thinking this. Still being bitter about what the last man did to me. I knew that I wanted (still do) to be married and have a healthy, loving, and happy marriage. I knew that I wanted (still do) to show my children what a healthy relationship is like. So, I started thinking back on all of my past relationships. While doing this, I didn’t date anyone! I wanted to fix some things for myself. I looked at how the relationships ended. The part I played in them (cause it takes two to tango). I started seeing some common similarities in all the guys I dated. Then it hit me. It’s not that all men are dogs; it’s the ones I choose to have a relationship with that are dogs. Something was wrong in my selection. Then I started to look at the standards I had set when I met someone. Realized then that I needed some better standards. Key is; I had to stick to my standards. I also realized I had to learn when to let go. Some of my relationships went on way longer than they should. I didn’t know when to let go of the relationship. This opened the door of being used and walked over because I let it go on longer than it should. I also realized I needed to speak up more for myself. I needed to not be so afraid to express how I truly felt about something. I was too passive at times. This self inventory helped me realize what it is I want out of a relationship, and what I offer in a relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, I have run into a couple “knuckle-heads” since my self-inventory, but better believe I don’t allow them to stick around long. My feelings are spared, and no more sleepless nights. Now I refuse to think that all men are dogs. Sometimes we have to go through some bad ones in order to be prepared and appreciate the good man who is meant for you. I know he is out there. I’m patient.

~Hazel~