Gentlemen Uncensored: Meet Chris Kazi Rolle

March 10, 2013  |  

In a week we’ll be rolling out our new series, “Gentlemen Uncensored,” but first we want to introduce you to the gentlemen one by one so you know what perspective they’re coming from when you hear their thoughts on relationships. First up is Chris Kazi Rolle and this is his story.


Chris Kazi Rolle (@chriskazirolle) is a husband, father, professional matchmaker, certified relationship coach and CEO of Together Apart Relationship Academy. Chris’ expertise and intimate understandings of human relations, communication and attraction have made him a sought after expert. He has been featured on VH1, CNN, CBS, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Chris’s commitment to empower relationships stems from his parents failed relationship and his journey through the foster care system.

Twice Engaged, Once Married

My journey to becoming a married man hasn’t been an easy one. I was engaged once before, but never made it to the altar. We tried, but we failed. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. I could throw her under the bus to make myself look good, but that wouldn’t be fair to her. And the way things didn’t work out taught us some valuable lessons, one of which is, don’t point fingers. The others are be self aware and own up to your own contribution. It’s hard to speak candidly about your own mistakes, but that’s what I tell my coaching clients to do so I have to practice what I preach.

Looking back on my previous relationship, I think the problem was I wasn’t engaged to the woman I was with, I was engaged to an idea. One idea was the idea of who she was. I wanted a woman who looked good on paper and my ex did. She was smart and articulate. People would meet her and be impressed, and thus, I thought, she would make me look good too — like my trophy wife!

Then there was the idea of who we were together. She had skills that could help me in my business. Her resume and reputation matched mine and would look good in the eyes of the public. I wasn’t necessarily attracted to her. I was more attracted to what people would think about us as a couple.

The last — and biggest mistake — was the idea of being married. I wanted to wed because of an image in my head. An image I got from TV. She could be Claire and I could be Heathcliff. It was an image that was different from what I saw in my home growing up in foster care. So when someone came along that fit these ideals I ran with it. Little did I know, sometimes the image of perfection we have in our heads clashes with the reality of who, and where, we are.

Falling in love with someone was a powerful experience for me. There was a certain freedom that occurred. The facade that I wore for the world could finally come off and I could be free to be myself. I’d been in relationships before, but I never felt safe enough to take that mask off. Love opened me up and who I really was emerged. But all of my “stuff” rose up too — stuff like insecurity, self doubt, fear of being vulnerable, and of not being good enough.

To be in that relationship, I either had to work on myself to be a better human being or find a reason to get the hell up outta there! I ended up staying, which is not what some of us do. We run away, and I’ve personally been Usain Bolt many times — not because I didn’t desire to be in a relationship, but because it was just too difficult to confront myself. It was easier to put a surrogate out to the world.

After repeating this process enough times, I started to realize I can’t run from myself. So I got into me. I’ve gone to therapy, read almost every self help book I can get my hands on, recited daily affirmations, done spiritual work, engaged in coed conversations, cathartic writing, yoga, prayer, meditation, healing with my exes and lots of soul searching.

That process revealed a lot, and as I healed and got to know my self, I was transformed as a person. I wasn’t attracted to the same kind of woman anymore. I no longer wanted a woman to complete me. I want her to fit with who I was; be my compliment. It took some time to get there. I didn’t meet my wife until I was 31 years old. But looking back at the journey, one thing I know for certain is the work that I have put into me was the catalyst to being in a healthy loving relationship today.




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  • FabuLes

    Great show Kazi. Looking forward to more episodes.

  • Deidra Johnson

    I love what you said about being in love with what you look like as a couple, rather than with her as a woman. I think so many men and women make this mistake. Very happy that you made the decision to confront yourself and encourage the rest of us to do the same. We often “dumb down” the concept into simple phrases like “keeping it real,” or saying “just be yourself.” But, thats so much easier said than done. None of us have the intention of tricking anyone into thinking something about us that we are not, but often, the alternative is just too scary to deal with. Putting on the face that we know people will accept is what many of us have been taught to do, and rely on as our only defense against the potential to be hurt by someone that matters to us. Kudos. Can’t wait to see more of the series. Poor Harold needs to go ahead and pass the mic. Though I went in on him a little bit too, I’m beginning to feel sorry for him. But I have to think that MN watched him in action and said…”Yeah, give this one the floor so they can all slaughter him!” Set up! LOL

  • Meyaka

    I like Kazi as well,ill be watching :).

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  • Po


  • Kazi – I love the work you do and have been doing! It is refreshing to see black men share their story so candidly in open spaces like this. You are creating the possibility of love and families healed through your work. Keep doing you! ~ A.Soadwa

  • I think people grow together and apart (great brand by the way) and
    growing apart isn’t always a bad thing as long as the two people are
    truly growing. I’m looking forward to your Gentlemen Uncensored video
    series.Black women looking for white men??? black
    women loving white men???________blackwhiteplanet.c0m______is the #1 black women
    white men dating site. No one night stand. serious relationship

  • Ally Robe

    I’ve been to the Together Apart events, Kazi offers real solutions to real problems. Everyone leaves feeling enlightened and inspired to make things work, not angry and discouraged. When this man talks I suggest people listen.

    • ET

      lol, some of you are just too gullible and fall for every demagogue who appeals to your emotions.Negro called hismself “certified relationship expert”, lmao did he do post graduate studies and sit for a state exam?

  • KamJos

    So glad to see an article on marriage that talks about the real challenges of a relationship, and not silliness like whether the woman knows how to cook. Glad to finally have a serious discussion about it.

    • hollyw

      Lol @ “knows how to cook”…you right, though.

  • Denise

    This article continues to remind why I joined this awesome relationship
    academy. It’s great to see that Chris Kazi Rolle has become a catalyst
    in creating a forum for men and women to come together to actually
    listen to one another, learning how to build healthy relationships with
    self and others. He has shown that personal development is key in order
    to prosper, mature, and understand self by using himself as an example through sharing his
    about his childhood and intimate relationships. It’s a breath of fresh
    air being able to hear a honest and open discussion on what they think,
    feel, why they do what they do from a male point of view who are willing
    to place themselves in the public eye in a vulnerable state whether on a
    panel/web series/in a written article. This article has reflected that
    love is a beautiful thing on different levels once you’re able to tap
    into knowing who you are first and being able to look at self and work
    through the past, the pain and hurt in order to heal and meet that right
    love/partner who is for you.

  • hollyw

    Well, this one seems to have sense…and honesty…no offense lol, but was turning a bit cynical after being exposed to MN’s slough of cracker jack “professionals” last month…

  • Ibeezher

    Communication is at the root of great relationships. Thank you for your honesty. Lets keep the conversation going.

    • Yes it is. Thank you for the affirmation. Yes, let’s keep it going. Thanks for your comment.

  • Zakiyyah Ali

    I enjoyed reading this article, primarily due to the honesty of it all. I couldn’t, however, help but to feel a sense of hurt, pity and even bit of a connection to your ex at the revelation that you weren’t in love with her per se, but with the image being with her provided…that was like a dagger to me, BUT I will say that I enjoyed reading the piece nonetheless; the necessity of your journey has brought you to the place you’re in now–you’re happy and it shows. It leapt from the screen and into the world of readers like me.

    • Thank you. Appreciate the feedback. Telling the truth is scary, but necessary. It wasn’t easy to muster up the courage to do so, but my hope is that by telling truth it save others some of the heartache and pain I have caused and been a victim of.

  • jconxus

    Thanks for writing this Kazi. I was a runner too. I just got married 8 months ago. Before meeting my wife, none of my relationships lasted longer than 9 months. Once the honeymoon period was over and all the stuff we swept under the rug (the signs, the conflict, the incompatibilities, the non-negotiables), I would leave. Why? It was easier to leave than to stay. Even though I’m married, I think the way our generation sees marriage is changing. We as human beings are evolving faster than every before. Given that, it’s not as easy to say “I want to be with you and only you for the rest of my life.” I think people grow together and apart (great brand by the way) and growing apart isn’t always a bad thing as long as the two people are truly growing. I’m looking forward to your Gentlemen Uncensored video series.

    • Thank you! Love what you said and totally agree. And Congratz on your nuptials!

  • J. Lindo

    I can’t wait to watch this series. Kazi seems to have found a topic us men have been wanting to discuss for a long time. This should definitely be a great watch.

    • It will be! Thank for you comment. Comeback daily to check some of other brothers article.