Home Featured Lessons in Love: The One Thing She Really Wanted

Lessons in Love: The One Thing She Really Wanted

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Duane moved her hair to the side with his nose to expose the back of her neck. He took a second to let the Acqua di Gioia he’d bought her a week ago serve as a reminder of his good decision-making. Before he ended up intoxicated, he asked a question he’d thought through a month ago.

“What do you want for your birthday?”



Keya smiled. She perked up at the thought of having a weekend alone with him.

“Nothing major. I just want to spend time together. That’s all. You’ve been working a lot lately.”

He laughed and looked over at the nightstand. There was no blinking or flashing. When he was under her canopy every Saturday night, he was under her recently negotiated rules. And house rules said the only thing he needed to touch in the bedroom was her body.

“I always have to work. It’s the nature of the beast. And you always say that. But for real, it’s your birthday. I’ll make sure it’s special.”

Keya knew what that meant. Of all the men she’d dated, Duane was the best at making the smallest occurrence a monumental occasion. Shoes for being beautiful. Bracelets for being born. Dinner at four star restaurants just for being of the divine. Everything was the finest because that’s what she deserved. His tokens of appreciation even drew the envy of her girls. They always reminded her that she had a keeper. She always reminded them that grass looked different from afar.

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“You don’t have to go crazy with it this year hun. I just want to spend the time together.”

Duane kissed her again. His lips on her skin was his way of saying “okay.” He’d already thought about the party. He had the contact info for all her local friends and family. His work on the nightclub scene made it easy for him to get tables at any venue he wanted. This party would be epic. Duane could already see the flare on the Grey Goose bottles. It was going to be the most memorable birthday she ever had.

He spent the next two weeks making the final arrangements for her party. He put in the extra hours at the office to get ahead of his schedule. He didn’t want to be distracted on the 23rd, when he was certain there’d be loose ends to tie no matter how well he prepared. It was this attention to detail and proactivity that attracted Keya to him in the first place. He was a man that always had a plan, a backup plan, and backup to the backup plan. Duane was the epitome of calm, cool, and collected. She found it sexy. He found her. This party would be another reminder of his appreciation.

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Then the big day arrived. Duane called Keya after dropping by the nightspot to make sure the decorations were in order.

“Hey babe. I’ll pick you up at seven. That means you need to be ready by 6:05.”

She feigned a smile through the phone. She knew he had something planned. Something more substantial than the small thing she asked for.

“Ha. What are we doing tonight? You still haven’t told me?”

Duane wasn’t so calm and cool anymore. At this point, he was giddy. He couldn’t wait to see her face when she walked into Highlights and saw what he’d put together for her. He muted the phone to clear his throat before continuing.

“Oh, just out for a couple drinks then we can kick it.”

“Oh. okay.”

He couldn’t hear her smile anymore.

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh nothing. I’m just a little tired.”

“Well alright. We’ll change that in a few hours. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

She hung up and laid back on her bed as two years of frustration and a moment of acceptance welled in her eyes. Keya looked around at the mementos and keepsakes — reminders of the story they wrote over the past two years. The same things Duane did to earn her love were costing him what he wanted the most. She felt sick at the thought of what she’d have to do to his heart tomorrow.

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Keya felt loved, but she didn’t feel understood. And despite the great sex, grandiose gifts, and unforgettable memories, she got everything but the one thing she wanted the most: his time. She wrestled with the realization that one of his greatest assets had become their relationship’s greatest liability.  She sighed with disappointment when her doorbell rang at 6:58pm. If it were up to her, candles, music, and a quiet hotel room overlooking the night sky would be their only company. But she knew Duane, and he lived by the motto “go big or go home.” This wasn’t the way she envisioned she’d be spending her birthday, but she couldn’t go another day of feeling unheard.

She opened the door, smiled as she’d done so many times before, and grabbed her coat.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? How would/did you handle it? What do you think Keya should have done in this situation? How about Duane? Other thoughts are welcome!

Comment(127)

  1. Wow! That would be such a beautiful story except for the fact that the moral of it is that he wasn't listening to her and she wasn't openly communicating her feelings to him.

  2. Why does it always have to be BIG? A girl just wants to spend some quiet time alone with her man. Of course, though if she just gonna keep on sighing and accepting what she’s getting instead of standing firm on what she wants, then who is really misunderstood? Sounds like she didn’t make herself plain & understood for 2whole weeks. Now, AFTER this big bash she gonna break up with him cuz she can’t get his time when he wasn’t sure that’s ALL she wanted? Sounds like she want the best of both worlds but she really want the world is lavish more….
    I guess…she better “go big or go home” when it comes to communicating & being understood. Trinkets & smell good are cool, but if you just want some alone time, maybe you gotta stop saying yes to that stuff, just to make a statement.
    What do I know? I buy my own damn trinkets & smell good! 🙁

  3. So- this definitely hits home for a sista. I have left almost every relationship because of this. Growing up, I wasn't rich and I wasn't spoiled with gifts, so as an adult, red bottoms, coach purses or even extravagant trips don't impress me. As a child, I was spoiled with time and attention, and that's what I like and want. If a man properly gave me his time and attention, he would experience a love he never knew existed–and I think that's the case for most women. I can't complain now about this for various reasons, but I definitely can relate. GREAT POST Slim- Ya spoke to my soul!

    1. "As a child, I was spoiled with time and attention, and that's what I like and want. If a man properly gave me his time and attention, he would experience a love he never knew existed"

      Co-sign! I too grew up very loved and doted on. I never lacked affection or quality time growing up so it is a must that I give AND receive both in a relationship.

    2. "Growing up, I wasn't rich and I wasn't spoiled with gifts, so as an adult, red bottoms, coach purses or even extravagant trips don't impress me. As a child, I was spoiled with time and attention, and that's what I like and want."

      Precisely. PRECISELY.

      Excellent lesson Slim. That party was for him, not her. She just wanted some time. Spend time with her, spent time with her, spend some quality mothafugin time with her…

      #SWIDT

    3. I grew up the saaaammme way so I totally agree with everything you're saying….it has and always will be about the little things…and about the time….

  4. Lack of communication on her part, and a lack of understanding on his. I say lack of communication because she KNEW that he would try ad go all out like he usually does, if she REALLY wanted a chill birthday she should have communicated it better. Can you honestly blame homie for trying though?!

    1. Yes you can blame him. He asked her, she told him. He ignored her. That simple. She communicated. What else should she do, start a fight about it? Then it would be her fault for nagging. Smh

  5. Great story, Slim! I can relate. I’m not big on birthdays, but my ex loved going all out too. It took a long time for that to click. He thought that’s “what u were supposed to do” for your girlfriends and i had to let him know that going all out is cool SOMETIMES, but if i say i want to just be quiet & chill, I REALLY mean that!

    Duane just wasn’t listening. He was so wrapped up in how much he appreciated her, he overwhelmed her with material things that really didnt matter. Sometimes, just giving someone your undivided attention for an evening is good enough!

  6. Well, lookatchu getting your story-telling on. I digs lots. No shovel.

    I can only imagine how much headache she will get from family and friends alike who will remain fixated on all the things he did. Things that she appreciated but did not mean half as much as what she desired. The most valuable gift that the man with my heart can give me is his time. It is even more precious to me because I don't care for most other people's.

    I read/hear a lot about women not listening to men when they talk about what they don't want (relationships, presents, etc), but don't see as much about men not listening to what their actual women want, and sometimes need in order for the relationship to flourish. Good post.

  7. I guess I understand where some of the "lack of communication" comments are coming from, but still.

    Her: "I just want to spend time together. That's all."
    Him: "You always say that."
    Her: "I just want to spend time together."

    Not everyone is comfortable with being forceful with their requests, and the guy is clearly shown to be someone who does what he wants, expecting it to be received well. Even when he senses that his partner is not quite happy, he decides that all that will change in a matter of time. How many times does one have to tell an adult something before they get the picture? 10? 100? ∞ – 1? I get the feeling that even if she had broken it down for him at some point, he would brush it off and keep doing what he does best. It actually happens all the time.

    1. Exactly. Some people should examine the way they ignore the facts in any scenario and do the knee jerk blame the woman thing. She told him what she wanted. He refused to listen.

      1. Perhaps he doesnt take her seriously, which shows that in the past when she said something he did the opposite she accepted without an issue. She has let him have his way so much that it spoiled him

        1. Well, if you read the story closely, she hasnt let him slide. She negotiated a rule that made him stop looking at his phone in the bedroom. So she has communicated her needs firmly. He just decided to ignore her.

        2. I don't know, WC…

          Cause if Keya were CO81, when Duane asked what I wanted, knowing him…I woulda been like, "I know you. If you're planning a party, cancel it. I don't want it. If you take me someplace with people, I will call a cab and leave. Hear me now. I wanna go someplace where you and I can be alone and spend QT together. That's the only acceptable gift. Mkay, Babe? Great."

          But everybody ain't rude like me, lol…maybe Keya ain't bout that "I told you what I'd do so don't get mad now" life, LOL…

  8. This is a perfect example of LOVE LANGUAGE. Everyone is different. In a relationship you don't have to have the same language but you MUST love the other person in the LOVE LANGUAGE that speaks to them. There is a reason why this book remains a best seller and many marriage counselors base their practice on the concepts. Gifts, quality time, affirmation, physical touch, acts of service. Typically you have one or two that fit you best. People will criticize you for leaving a relationship because they see you receiving love in a way that speaks to them but if it's not what speaks to you it won't matter. This book made a huge difference for me and helped me to understand what I need in a relationship and what I need to feel loved.
    My recent post Day 7 #FEBPHOTOADAY : Buttons

      1. Thanks for sharing that link CO. My results were: Acts of Service (9), quality time (8), words of affirmation (5), physical touch (4) and receiving gifts (4) tied for the bottom two.

        This was a little surprising. I'll definitely pay more attention to my emotions when these types of things happen again.

        Btw, great post Slimmy!

        1. Glad you took the quiz and I'm sure the insight will give you plenty to reflect on and share with the hubby.

          My exact results were QT(12), Acts of Service (8), Physical Touch and Gifts (5), and ZERO for Words of Affirmation, lol. That last one just tickles me, lol…

        2. What's weird is my hub's top was acts of service and bottom was recieving gifts….like mine. His: acts of service 8, quality time 7, words of affirmation 7, physical touch 7, recieving gifts 1.
          I wonder how many people cater to their partner's strengths when answering that quiz. Perhaps the results would be different with a different partner. What do you think?

        3. I hope that those who take the quiz answer the questions based on how they receive love…not what another person expects. With that, the partner shouldn't matter. Your needs should be your needs regardless.

          What is extra special to me is that you and your Hubs speak the same love language! 🙂 My ex-hub and I had completely different results. Yikes, lol. My bf and I have the same top 2 with 3 & 4 switched and affirmation last. Needless to say, in my rela, when you get a compliment, its a big deal. You REALLY look good, did a good job, etc, LOL.

        4. The reason I asked was because I think part of my answers were based on how my husband delivers in these areas. I tried my hardest to just base it off of what I think I like but when the question starts off as "I like when my husband…" it can be hard to just focus on yourself. I think he's awesome at emptying the dishwasher because he knows I hate to do that however sometimes I get mad when he doesn't let me tend to certain tasks, most of his compliments come across as obligatory, his hands and facial hair are rough, sometimes I think his gifts are not great except for a couple here and there so maybe that's where some of my answers came from. I was just curious how much the other person actually influences your feelings about each of these areas. Gosh I sound so hard to please. I tried to read that book when Slim talked about it on his blog but I couldn't get passed the first few pages.

        5. Gotcha! I took the quiz geared toward single folk.

          And I def think you owe hubby a nice backrub tonight for the mid section of that paragraph, LMBO!

        6. LOL! He'll be alright. Don't think for a second that I'm the only one dishing that stuff. He recently called me self-centered, ungrateful, unrealistic and my hair sheds too much. And if I give him a back rub it's never long enough because my hands cramp up so he stays whining about that. He also thinks I'm not sweet anymore. LOL! I guess we're both whiny!

    1. LOL, I wondered how long it would take until the Love Languages came up…longer than I thought.

      BeautifullyCompex wins the prize!
      *shoots the confetti canon*
      *hands you an oversized check for a dollar*

      Understanding the Love Languages really is so uber important though, for real.

    2. You beat me to it! I was going to say he just wasn't speaking her love language, but she should have communicated her needs earlier on in the relationship.
      My recent post Never Married

  9. My ex was like this. The trips, the dinners, the shopping..it was nice, but when it came to the day to day (where I REALLY pay attention), he wasn't so impressive.

    We argued over this issue many times and the first thing he would say was, " You don't appreciate all these things I do for you." And I would shoot back " While I do appreciate the finer things, I never ASKED for the finer things."

    Which lead me to believe that what he was doing was to feed his own ego about what he thought would make a good man in HIS EYES rather than sit down and understand that each woman has different needs.

    Men and women don't understand that each person in that come in their lives has a different emotional bank account. Some like checks, some like cash, others will only accept direct deposit. And people wonder why the relationship is emotionally bankrupt.

  10. To continue on Naija's comment regarding the "lack of communication" comments – it is FAR more easily said than done to firmly tell someone you love that their time and effort in making you happy is not cutting it. I just got out of a long distance relationship where every time we met up it was grandiose. Because we saw each other on such rare occasions – he had the tendency to go big – when really all I wanted was to not have some ridiculous honeymoon every time but a normal calm evening – regular stuff… grocery shopping… renting movies… etc.

    Ultimately what ended it for us was everything was his way all the time. Somehow even in his generosity he was still entirely too self absorbed. In my opinion, in the story above and in my own story, he wasn't ever really thinking of her and how to make her happy but how HE could look like the best boyfriend ever. I know all of us want good stories to tell – but sometimes people live a little too conscious of that. The mere idea of her in his life was enough to keep her along for the ride of his story because she fit the role. But the story was not theirs, just his. It reminds me of a post WIM did, on this site or his own – I cant remember, referencing being selfish and questioning how far engrained his selfishness is. For men like the one in the story, I cannot say it's TOO far engrained – but it is most certainly on the verge of becoming that way if it isn't already so.

  11. Keya probably could have communicated better with him. They've been together for two years hopefully she would know the best way to get through to him. And as "Beautifullycomplex" brought up, I also thought that they both speak different love languages.

    A lot of men believe that being a good provider makes them a good husband/boyfriend/partner which is not always true. Some men also make the mistake of thinking that all women will be satisfied with material things; some of them will but not all.

    Material things are great but me personally I need emotional security more than anything. And a man not giving me any of his valuable time sends me the message that I'm not worth his time. No one should ever feel lonely while they are in a relationship, what's the point?

    Don't think Duane is a bad guy at all but he just needs to listen to Alicia Keys; "Some ppl want diamond rings, some just want everything but everything means nothing if I ain't go youuuuuu!"

  12. Great post Slim.

    This is one of those 'delicate' situations. More than likely Keya is becoming increasingly fed up with each day. In Duane's mind everything is probably all good. He knows he doesn't always have time for her, but he also believes that making up for his absence in other ways gives him a clean slate. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. In fact, all the gifts and alternatives are doing is adding to the monument that he's already started building with the time he couldn't make for her. In her eyes that's a bad look.

    Solving this may not seem simple from the inside looking out, but it does from the outside looking in. I'd suggest they seriously take some TIME out to talk about what each of them can and WILL bring to the relationship from that point on. If time isn't something that Duane can give at this stage in his life, and it just happens to be all that Keya wants, then they probably need to go there separate ways. There's no reason to continue down two separate roads,. while hoping they will merge someday. That's a serious gamble.
    My recent post Every Woman Needs to be a Model…A ROLE MODEL!

  13. "Keya felt loved, but she didn’t feel understood. And despite the great sex, grandiose gifts, and unforgettable memories, she got everything but the one thing she wanted the most: his time. She wrestled with the realization that one of his greatest assets had become their relationship’s greatest liability."

    And yet, Keya fell in love with the baller. What is the over/under that in part two of this story, she'll go for a similar guy?

  14. “This wasn’t the way she envisioned she’d be spending her birthday, but she couldn’t go another day of feeling unheard. She opened the door, smiled as she’d done so many times before, and grabbed her coat.”

    Even though she couldn’t go another day unheard, so still smiled and grabbed her coat. I know many times, even though we are unheard or often feel misunderstood by our man, we tend to just go along with the situation even though it’s not what we want or need; you don’t want to seem ungrateful but inside you are slowly falling out of love with him. I feel this story. All she wanted was some time alone with her man. But it wasn’t communicated effectively.
    Speaking from experience, sometimes you just have to Speak up & Speak clearly so that your needs are met. Great Story!

  15. Long time lurker, finally decided to post lol. I love this post. This is exactly what went wrong in my last relationship. It’s all about communication and understanding a person shows who they truly are from day one. Personally, I overlook things and hope the guy changes, but I’ve come to learn even with communicating your desires, the person is going to do what they are going to regardless. My ex and I started off as FWB so we didn’t really date much. Once things were official, nothing really changed. We still never went out on dates, he would rather hang with his friends even on our “dates”. Even expressing to him that some times I just wanted it to be us spending quality time together, he still didn’t get it. Lol.

    It got to the point where tension built up and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty lol. Pretty much a guy isn’t going to change much, if he is a go big or go home person from jump, he isn’t going to change into that guy that appreciates alone time with his girl. He might do it from time to time, but at heart he is who is. Communicating your desires helps, but understanding who your man really is won’t land you in this situation. My .02

  16. I pretty much agree with all comments made so far especially about Love Language. Someone said something upthread about Keya waiting two years to take action and to do it after the party. I think something we haven't really addressed is the guilt that may come in her situation. It seems like she has all the good things she wanted in a man (from the outside looking in especially), but she's still unhappy. She might feel like she's being selfish and ungrateful and thinking those types of things can make a person feel a way to where they end up staying in a not-so-ideal situation. I know I'm not the only one who has the "suck it up and be happy because someone out there has it wayyy worse" mentality. And while sometimes thinking that way can be great (realizing that you can afford to complain less), it can be dangerous to do that in relationships because you end up miserable. And complacent. It can take time to dig yourself out of that rut and leave to find something that suits you better.

  17. "man" is a term loosely used nowadays it seems as if he's an adult male. I think the difference between a man and a male is how the female in his life is treated, ol' made from his rib story. I don't particularly see the problem with a lack of time and attention if he was to use his time without her to dwell on what she's communicated to him. Repetition in that case would be her assuming he doesn't care. I would say my desires once and wait to see what he did about it or otherwise use him as a sounding board to figure out what it is I desire and keep an eye out for his course of action.

    1. I think this is a mistake a lot of men make when wife and kids ask for time over and over. The guy figures material things are a perfectly good substitute. They don’t listen and often end up surprised by divorce.

      1. You think a male taking his sweet time to mull over what a female has said to him so that he can decide his course of action…is a mistake?

        because that's entirely different from a man working insane hours to provide for his family and their nagging and misunderstanding of his actions goes ignored. I hate how in movies the man has his wife and kids set up in a colonial with two nice cars, stocked kitchen, nice clothes, etc. etc. and then they complain about his lack of time spent with the family but guarantee if that stuff started to slip she'd be a little worried. Like Honey, the car is gone how am I gonna run errands? Honey, half my wardrobe is gone how can I go out with Susan? Honey, the kids only have three courses at every meal. What's going on? Honey, the house is being sold. We're moving closer to the inner city so you'll have more time to spend with us?

        I'm just saying, in YOUR example time is money. In MY example, time is a relatively young and inexperienced male trying to figure out what he's supposed to do about an expressed desire he considers to be completely emotionally. And you call it a mistake? Clarity?

        1. It’s a choice. Work that extra couple of hours and get more money or go home to your family. It’s never a choice of either have a roof or see your kids game. You choose money and work over your loved ones over a course of time, you might find yourself by yourself. Really simple.

        2. Yeah I can see that. Work an additional three hours a day and lose your whole family…or stop working those additional three hours and be five hundred dollars short on mortgage every month. Definitely see how that works.

          You know I saw a commercial for these glasses at lens crafter. I do believe they have computerized magnification, that way you can see a point from like WAY far away.

          There weren't kids or a family in my original example so…

          female: lets spend time together

          guys inner thoughts: I have work and this car and I have student loans to pay off, groceries, rent went up, I have tux fittings for my man's wedding, just got the promotion, it's gonna take me some time but let me figure out how to make you a priority since all you said was an extremely vague emotional statement and it's my first time being in this situation.

          impatient female a few minutes later and the very next day, the week after that, and everytime she texts him: lets get a divorce.

          moral of this story: we're divorced and we're not even married yet because it's a mistake needing time to think about what you said.

    2. Um…nope. I wish someone would try to tell me that whether or not I'm a woman depends on how I treat the "male" in my life. So we're only men/women when in committed relationships, then? Part of being a man is learning how to treat your woman right, but dude is not a bad guy either. He is doing well for himself in life, and has what appears to be a level-headed woman by his side. While his main fault has ultimately been detrimental to this relationship, it doesn't really make him less of a man.

      1. lol it doesn't go both ways. A man is determined by how he treats his woman and in my opinion you aren't a man until then, youre a male or a guy and there's nothing wrong with that. A woman to me is someone who is of high, upstanding quality. Not a relationship hopper tryna reform herself with a salty attitude. A woman who has a certain attitude because she is of the utmost quality and a man is someone who cares for her unconditionally. That's my opinion.

        #Kanyeshrug

  18. I think because she's at her breaking point, she should have been more specific:

    "I want just the two of us to go to a B&B at least 60 miles from here for the weekend."

    Because he could probably simply come back and say the party did involve them spending time together… it just happened to be with several other people as well.

    My recent post Dating Challenge Week 3: The Final Chapter

  19. In short, he could have listened better and she could have communicated better.

    As men, we have to really pay attention and, sometimes, listen to what they're NOT saying. We know that women don't always directly say what it is they want, but all we do is complain about it. We can't change that, so we have to adapt and actually put that into practice when we interact w/ women. Listening to not just her words but her reactions, body language, voice inflection, etc Easier said than done, I know.

    On the other side, she could have been a lot more clear about what it is she wanted. Just like men know that most women can be indirect but don't adapt, many women know that men don't operate on hints and signs but don't adapt, either. He said it himself that she "always says that", so that should have taken that as "maybe I need to communicate this a little better/differently so that he gets it." Also, most men would hear “Nothing major. I just want to spend time together" and think it's a trap, like "Yeah, she SAYS that, but if I don't come correct, she's gonna talk about me to her girlfriends and put me on the couch." If you really want something to the point where you know you'll be upset if you don't get it, don't throw a temper-tantrum about it, but you have to make it clear what you expect.

    My recent post Slaves To The Past

  20. Duane to me comes off as a simp as a dude who means well but is too wrapped up in his own ego. Nothing about his plans says “this is how much i love you” but rather “this is the way we ball” (c) Lil Flip. Keya to me comes off as a woman who is perhaps too submissive something that is particularly bad when dealing with someone who likes things his way. She takes the L in regards to her own happiness in order to just be in a “good” relationship. Theres plenty of women who would love a man who takes control and splurges on them, Keya is not one. Theres plenty of men who would rather spend most of their free time with their s/o, Duane is not one.

    I can’t say i been in a situation directly like this but like Keya seems to be now, I have been in relationships that on paper seem so perfect you would say “you left that, you wildin”. Ultimately i put my own happiness first and went with what I truly wanted.

  21. This is SO interesting because I am currently reading “The 5 Love Languages” with my church. The gentleman “love language” in this story is “Receiving Gifts” and the girl “love language” is “Quality Time”. They express/show love by different methods and if partners are not speaking the same “Love Language” then it can and will be destructive in a relationship ESPECIALLY if you are not communicating how you feel each other. I think this is something that can be resolved with this couple but she needs to sternly communicate how she feels with her partner

    If you guys haven’t read the “The 5 Love Languages” I suggest you add it to a reading list, it is really a good read.

    My recent post Viola Davis

      1. Mr. SD and yours truly who is the author of The 5 Love Languages?
        I've googled it and I see what looks like 3 different books…

  22. Love the story…and the comments!

    Gary Chapman's book, “The 5 Love Languages”, is eye-opening and I recommend that anyone who intends to be in a healthy relationship read it. I posted the link to a quiz in an earlier comment above so that you can quickly determind where you fall.

    Duane was loving her in the way he views/receives love. I don't think he was purposely trying to hurt her…or even intentionally being selfish. Unfortunately, purposely/intentionally or not, Keya was left emotionally empty as a result. Keya needs to tell him that…"When you love me your way instead of in the way I need to receive it, I'm left emotionally empty…and it hurts. I know that isn't your intention, but thats what happens." He needs a real picture of the damage his actions are causing…and the story doesn't really detail whether or not she painted that vivid picture in the past. Knowing how he operates, Keya should've known that Duane needed more than just, "I want time with you". It didn't work in the past. Why did she think it would work this time?

      1. No prob! 🙂 If I'm not mistaken, the quiz is in the book as well. I'm positive I took it there first.

        Like, who gets ZERO points for Words of Affirmation, LOL. CO81 does, thats who. I'm no stroker…of the ego that is. I told you you were cute when we first started kicking it…and your face hasn't changed sooooo. You should look decent most of the time. If you look exceptionally scruptous, I'll compliment you. But…I just don't get that constant affirmation thing. I don't need it and I don't have the capacity to give it. Plus, I value positive, constructive criticism…and I don't always feel like being fluffy. I wanna be able to tell you "You look a hot mess" and know I didn't destroy your spirit. So, if thats dude's primary or secondary love language, we're gonna have LOTS of problems.

        Def take the quiz and get that insight.

        1. I took a pretest/prequiz in church and based on the quiz online I scored myself the same way! My top 2 Languages of love are “Acts of Service” and Quality Time”…I truly can care less about gifts or physical touch (sad I know)! I don’t have time for no words of affirmation I’ll rather your actions speak louder! I guess I just feel if we connect on mental, emotional, and spiritual level communication and “Physical Touch” will come naturally. This was a great quiz tho!
          My recent post Stupid Girl…Wise Woman…MY Testimony

  23. Slim what romance novel did you "steal" this from????? lol
    My opinion of this situation is a little to the left. I haven't really seriously dated any "real ballers" I go for men of substance because I know money can't buy love and money is not everything.
    I feel like sometimes women/people in general who seem to "have it all" never seem to appreciate what they have. When we have a lot we tend to take it for granted because it's there and comes so easily.
    As opposed to the "have nots" who would die for that type of treatment. There are women out here whose husbands don't buy them sh** for their b-days or Christmas or anniversary or any other holiday.

  24. There are women who get freakin lawnmowers and power drills (stuff their man really wants) as gifts. She should appreciate that he seems to love and care for her so much that he goes all out for her. Many men cannot afford to do that.
    Obviously because this guy "has it like that" and can afford to do these things he does them. It's become part of who he is.
    She should have had a serious talk with him a month or 2 before her b-day. She should have asked him to take her on a trip out of town or out of the country somewhere. This would guarantee they would be alone together where nobody could bother them.
    She needs to firmly and effectively but respectfully let him know what she likes and how important quality time is to her. She also needs to find out what he wants and needs and be sure they are on the same page.
    At the same time she should let him know that she appreciates the things he does for her. For most people this is easier said than done. Most folks aren't experts at effectively communicating and active listening.

    1. This kind of sounds like a "classic story" of a man who makes a lotta money and works a lot to make that money, gives the lady in his life lots of material things but never the one thing she wants…..his time.
      The root of problems like these in relationships is what we want in other people can be paradoxical.
      Many women want a man who is financially secure and makes good money and can afford nice things…..however, they want him to be able to spend a lot of quality time with them spending that money.
      The caveat to this is in order for the man to make six figures or more he has to put in a lot of time at whatever his career is. Meaning he will not be able to give his woman all the time she wants.
      It sometimes comes down to women having to choose…….the man with not a lot of money, but lots of time to spend, or the man with lots of money, but not a lot of time to spend.

      1. Bree: "The caveat to this is in order for the man to make six figures or more he has to put in a lot of time at whatever his career is. Meaning he will not be able to give his woman all the time she wants. It sometimes comes down to women having to choose…….the man with not a lot of money, but lots of time to spend, or the man with lots of money, but not a lot of time to spend."

        This X 100. Men and women do this, which I implied in my comment. It's like a guy meeting a girl at the club and gets mad that she parties too much. Or a guy talking to the girl with the perfectly manicured nails, red bottoms and Coach purse, then gets mad and says she's materialistic or a gold digger. Or a guy dating a dime, but gets jealous when other guys try to talk to her and accuses her of cheating. You have to look at the pros and cons of what you're attracted to.

        1. Plus sometimes in a certain point in his life a mans priority is making money….yes he wants a woman in his life but his Priority is Not necessarily the woman…..but making money and securing a future. Not something many women understand and can accept because many women want, need and desire to be the Priority in their mans life and everything else 2nd to them.

        2. That's particularly why I prefer to date older men. I'm not one to be screaming " I'm number 1" but a man who is considerate is something that's a high priority for me. Not that you can't get that with a younger man, but I'm more understanding that a younger man has to put in his hours to secure the future. So, since I'm more of a "let's spend time" woman, I tend to go with older men who have paid their dues enough to back off the work schedule.

        3. CO-SIGN. I dated a man once and once we went out, dudes would get bold with me when he would roll to the bar or to the bathroom. Since I'm not a woman to make a scene, I always let these dudes know calmly that I'm with someone.

          Lo and behold, dude I was dating thought I was flirting with them and basically trying to find my next dude. When I explained the situation, i was told, " I date beautiful women all the time, and I never had this problem. I know you were flirting with these dudes."

          I dropped him on the spot.

    2. She needs to……she’s doing what she needs to to. Get out of a relationship with a man who won’t listen. I hear no “he needs to” here, but I think he will be pondering what he should have done.

      1. Wild Cougar he is just being who he is…..remember She has a problem with him…..9 times out of 10 He doesn't have a problem with her……therefore……She needs to……………………….

        1. Wild Cougar what I'm saying is what is a problem for her obviously isn't a problem for him. He may be oblivious to the problem….for instance if you wanted more time with your man and he worked alot of overtime, (especially if he is in the accounting business during tax season).
          If in his mind things are just fine but you want more time with him then what reason does he have to say anything….there is no problem in his mind. So yes Keya needs to speak up and say something and do something.
          If Keya does nothing and says nothing she will get Nothing.
          Now once she lays out what she wants and how she wants it then either he accepts it and complies and makes the necessary changes to make her happy or she can step because obviously he is content with doing what he is doing and it's not a problem for him…..only her. Or she can accept it and deal and let it go.
          See my point now……

  25. Good story Slim. i see your point…and to play devil's advocate…

    i say, "Be Careful what you wish for…cuz folks just might get it".

    women could end up with a dude that gives 'em nothing but time…because that's all they can afford at their current pay scale.

    its funny though, because when a dude wants to pamper/spoil the main one like the queen she is, it's seen as overdoing it…but, i guess it's a balance to this dating sh*t

  26. Expressing gifts is a valid form of showing love, but if someone is constantly telling you something and you are cognizant that they say something a lot of the time you have no one to blame but yourself when the proverbial "sh!t" hits the fan in one way or another. I don't get people's obsession with trying to assign equal blame in everything.

    1. This. And it doesn't help that I hate repeating myself, either. If any guy comes up to me and tells me that his gf always said "x,y,z" but she should have done a better job of making it clear that she was serious, I'm going to have to sit his ass down and tell him to get his mind right.

  27. That's why all men need to listen to "Adore/'til the end of time" by Prince. At the end, he lists the stuff men need to be focusing on giving.
    1. I'll give you my heart
    2. I'll give you my mind
    3. I'll give you my bodaaaaaay
    4. I'LL GIVE YOU MY TIME!

    Even old pimps know you have to spend time with your girl or she will never be turned out. SMH, Duane just doesn't listen. Women want sex and alone time on their birthday as much as or more than Valentine's Day! I see my friends all the time, I'm trying to phuck!

  28. I have left many relationships because of this. I dated someone who gave me gifts and was always down to go big. When I repeatedly said I wanted QT he didn't listen. Im now with someone who doesn't have the means to spoil me with gifts, but he spends plenty of quality time. In the end I am much happier besides I have the means to buy my own presents.

  29. First time commenter! I gotta say, love the blog and the story. Went through something similar recently with my girlfriend so I can definitely relate. From my experience I don't think he was doing this on purpose or trying to feed his ego like someone posted before. He genuinely thinks he's giving her what she wants. When she told him she only wanted his time he probably thought she was just being polite and didn't want to sound materialistic. When a woman does that it usually motivates her man to go all out. As someone posted before, it looks they're definitely speaking different love languages. His obviously involves giving gifts so simply asking someone for their time is probably a foreign concept to him. The best thing she can is set aside some alone time with him and clearly express her needs. He might feel unappreciated or hurt at first (thats natural) but if he truly cares about her he will listen and adjust his strategy accordingly.

    1. " From my experience I don't think he was doing this on purpose or trying to feed his ego like someone posted before. He genuinely thinks he's giving her what she wants."

      While this is admirable, it's still a problem. Because it still goes back to his EGO when he is taking it upon HIMSELF to give her what he THINKS she wants instead of falling back and giving her what he KNOWS she wants.

      Big difference.

      1. I agree, it's definitely a problem. That's why she should take it upon herself to tell him her needs and wants. I wouldn't call it an ego thing because the story doesn't indicate that he was only thinking of himself. If anything he's thinking about her to a ridiculously single minded degree. Yes Keya said she didn't want anything major, but she still showed up with a "smile" on her face. That's all the confirmation he needs to continue doing what he's been doing all along.

        1. Yes, he was definitely suffering from tunnel vision. And the last sentence is a very good point. Even though she did communicate what she wanted and needed, she also didn't rock the boat when he ignored her needs.

  30. Excellent story.

    Son is gonna need one of his boys to say "eff these b*tches" and take him to the strip club to blow $$ fast lolol. Thats what friends are for!

  31. Hmmm. Interesting post, as always, but I once got left because I spent "too much time" with the person. I give the woman in this story credit for coming out & saying she just wanted time but 98% of the time, women speak in opposite — in other words, they say 1 thing & mean/do another. Its like askin a woman,"Are you ok?" & she says "Im fine." (Im sure you know what context I mean there. EVERY man that has ever dealt with at least 1 woman knows all about "Im fine")

  32. So let me get this straight: Women want themselves a man who is "financially stable", which would require the man to (in most cases) put a significant amount of time into his chosen profession, so that he could be "financially stable"….but then women turn around and say "but all I want is your time"….Whereas, if all a man could spend on a woman was time, she's be unhappy because he wasn't "financially stable"….

    This, dear friends, is why us menfolk CANNOT win….

    1. That is a cop-out. If we're all following the same story, she is not breaking up with him because he works too much. Let's break it down.

      1. She explicitly stated, twice, that all she wanted to do was spend time with him. And mentioned that big plans were unnecessary. He chose to disregard both statements.

      2. He put in extra time at work so that he could cover all kinds of loose ends that may arise at a party that she does not want. Time that he could have better spent with her, especially considering the fact that she had commented about him working a lot lately.

      A lot of men like to fall back on your argument. What is being discussed here is the mismanagement of time that he can afford to spend without jeopardizing his financial position.

    2. Yeah, no, Rich, lol. Menfolk can and do win…

      I want my working, financially stable man's free time to be spent with me in a manner that communicates love to me. We can "do it big" for you (Duane's) sometimes…since you like that type of QT. But other times…especially on MY bday for goodness sake, I'd like the type of QT that speaks to MY (Keya's) soul.

      That's all we're saying. Not hard or complex at all. 😉

    3. Rich,

      I think 'time' in this case is uninterrupted time while together. To some, quality time is not being the same room multitasking (he's watching tv, she's reading her kindle). It's not that she is asking him to take off work and come spend time with her. She is saying let us utilize the time you and I are together ALONE to focus on you and I. In this story, that's what she wants for her birthday.

      Menfolk win all the time. Especially when they take the time to listen. He didn't need to watch Decoded to find out what she was saying. He only needed to stop focusing on what he wanted to do for her and focus instead on what she was saying she wanted.

    4. You CAN WIN by just simply asking to be shown how. Don't assume, just ask and if you don't understand, ask again and listen. For example, 'What does spending time mean to you?" No reason to stay in your own head and get yourself overwhelmed, when you have a partner that is so willing and waiting to answer and explain. We are in this together.

  33. For clarity's sake I didn't actually read today's post before I commented. I went off what other people were saying about it and commented because they seemed interesting. Reading over the post though I'd have to say females often narrow in on a mistake in an effort to nip it in the bud before marraige and have a hard time appreciating the type of guy she's chosen to be with. I understand needing more time and the dissapointment of him going against her wishes but take into consideration he's programmed a certain way and it's way too early to be crying about his lack of effort to listen to her.

    This is a freezed moment within a relationship. There's no way of telling if he ever got the point or if she taught him how to think more in terms of intangible gifts of love but as far as what we see in this post, being grateful for the man she chose to be with would be the right way to go.

  34. Even after reading it, it is apparent that you weren't thorough. For one thing, this had been ongoing for two years. Approximately 24 months. So you may want to present a different argument.

    Moreover, what you're recommending is merely accepting a situation that is not fulfilling her needs. It's what family members and friends do when they are focused on things that are fairly unimportant to the person going through a hard time. It is neither wise nor healthy for the person's emotional well-being. And this is a snapshot that presents more than enough information for an assessment of their relationship.

    1. Maybe she legitimately isn't worth his time and now she has to face the facts. Like I said, watch who you sleep with and know what you're getting yourself into. I'm in the school of developing a relationship before hopping in the sack and trying to change people after the fact. A male and female do that. Not a man and a woman. She does not get the respect and time of a man because she's unworthy of it. She's a female he treats well and she needs to accept it. And I didn't catch the ongoing two year thing — I found the comments more interesting than the post itself so I skimmed it — and all that factoid changes is that it took her two years to realize SHE made a mistake by sleeping with someone who's work obsessed. For example, I have a friend. She's a ho. All she does is complain about how she's treated and the quality of guys in her life and in my head I'm thinking, if I bought a piece of pizza and thirty people took a bite out of it I'm not gonna eat the pizza likes its the best slice in the world. Or in other words, if I'm a dude and a female in RELATIVELY good shape finds herself in my bed she gets ignored when she whines.

  35. I have met one guy, whom I was not romantically involved, who seemed to get it. He said women just wanna be engaged and entertained. Not with material stuff but little things like a late evening walk, pillow talk, a homecooked meal, a day just to hang out with no time constraints or pressure (and please leave the fellas out of my time). Some of my fondess memories of past relationships are of the little things.
    The money, material things are appreciated but must be balanced with your time and heart. In this scenario had he given her just what she wanted it woulda cancelled all of her negative emotions

  36. <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-288394455"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(288394455)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww.singleblackmale.org%2F2012%2F02%2F08%2Flessons-in-love-the-one-thing-she-really-wanted%2F#IDComment288394455&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Lessons%20in%20Love%3A%20The%20One%20Thing%20She%20Really%20Wanted%20-%20Single%20Black%20Male" style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(288394455)">Close MessageI have fallen into this trap.. I LOVE birthdays.. your birthday.. my birthday.. your cousin's best friend's sister's birthday…. and if i'm in a relationship.. I HATE when I can't do it big.. I mean hate it.. I wanna throw some big surprise something ..with you getting stuff at work, a note for you waiting at the gym… fun out with family then drinks with friend… but I've been with women who want just a quiet dinner… hanging out at the house… no big fuss… BORING.. we do that all the time!!! It's your birthday!! So, its really hard to temper my desires in order to give my partner what she wants.. especially because sometimes that gamble on the big surprise (flying surprise with your friends.. loved ones in from out of town, a party with all your besties) can REALLY pay off…. But at the end of the day.. nothing in the world can make up for making your boo feel like you don't care enough to really listen to what they say and what they want. That's the part of love that's selfless..

  37. I have fallen into this trap.. I LOVE birthdays.. your birthday.. my birthday.. your cousin's best friend's sister's birthday…. and if i'm in a relationship.. I HATE when I can't do it big.. I mean hate it.. I wanna throw some big surprise something ..with you getting stuff at work, a note for you waiting at the gym… fun out with family then a party with friends… and I've been with a few women who just wanted to hang at the house… chill with me… BORING.. we do that all the time!!! It's your birthday!! So, its really hard to temper my desires in order to give my partner what she wants.. especially because sometimes that gamble on the big surprise (flying surprise with your friends.. loved ones in from out of town, a party with all your besties) can REALLY pay off…. But at the end of the day.. nothing in the world can make up for making your boo feel like you don't care enough to really listen to what they say and what they want. That's the part of love that's selfless..

  38. i have learned to be specific!!!
    if asked what do i want for dinner "chinese babe" not "whatever u want
    if asked what do u want to do tonite "im watching love&hiphop" not "whatever u want to do

    lol, learned this lesson a long time ago, i can compromise and bend but when he ask ladies he really wants to know what u want,,,be specific!!

  39. What we often times fail to realize is that we need to be willing to help our partners understand us. Doing so leads up to this thing we all like to call: progression.

    Where the more we help our partners progress, the more advancement and development we'll see in our relationships.

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