All Articles Tagged "advice"

Things Some Men Still Need To Learn About Sex

July 29th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Some guys can be surprisingly clueless when it comes to sex. If he’s still making these beginner mistakes, it could be time to have that awkward conversation about why doing it with him just isn’t doing it for you.

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Image Source: Tumblr.com

Foreplay Is Always Necessary

Instant rip-your-clothes-off chemistry is rare. Women are just wired to warm up. But if he’s willing to put in the time it’s better for everyone involved.

How Selfish Is Your Advice?

July 21st, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Shutterstock

 

As a little girl growing up I had a severe stuttering problem.  It’s really weird to talk about it now, because it’s pretty much nonexistent, but it was very evident as a child.  Because no one really wanted to hold a long conversation with me while I struggled to get words out, I just held everything in.  My speech therapy kicked in when I was in first grade and I felt more comfortable talking to people.  But I was told by my classmates that I sounded like the preacher from Coming to America.   Which is funny now, but was devastating as a child.  What little girl wants to hear that she sounds like a grown man?

As much as I love my family, their advice to me was to just “let it roll off your back, like water off of a duck’s feathers.”  It wasn’t until an argument happened that one of them blurted out:  “I don’t feel like listening to you go on and on!”

That’s when everything clicked.  I always felt as a child that the “just let it go” advice was always self-serving for the person giving it to me.  They didn’t have to listen to me, and I continued to carry on the baggage in ways that I was hurt.  They were happy that they didn’t have that deal with it.  Those words of truthful anger was my confirmation of everything that I suspected.

I vowed that once I had my own child I wouldn’t do that to her.  Until a few weeks ago when the last thing I wanted to hear was screaming and that was all that daughter was offering.  I pulled her to me and said:  “Baby, I need you to stop screaming, okay?  Please play with your toys.”  At that moment, right when I was about to gently push her in the direction of her toy pile I saw that flash of hurt in her eyes.  That feeling of being cast aside because I didn’t even try to really figure out what was wrong with her.  I just gave her a quick solution so I could go about my day.  Realizing that, I felt horrible, but at the same time forgiving to everyone who I felt had done me in the same manner.

Let’s be honest here, sometimes we don’t feel like being bothered.  It can be extremely upsetting, and overwhelming when your friend is constantly going through the same struggles, and you’re tired of hearing about it.  I understand.  So you might give him/her some advice, not necessarily because you think that it’s the right thing to do, you’re just trying to give him/her a quick fix so they can stop bothering you about it.

I feel as though we’ve all been there at some point of time.  But let’s get this first thing straight though:  that doesn’t make you necessarily a malicious person.  Yeah, your intentions might have been self-serving, but you are just a person at the end of the day who is fighting their own battles and struggles.  Sometimes it’s hard taking on the baggage of others, and sometimes you shouldn’t have to.

With that being said, if you are in a position to give advice, try to give it in a spirit of wanting to help, not just shut the person up.  If you have a friend that is going through emotional struggles at home, and he/she keeps on venting to you about it, don’t give them some second rate fortune cookie advice.  Suggest something that can help, like seeking counseling.

Because the only thing that selfish advice usually leads to is resentment.  It’s understandable that  you might not be able to handle what your loved one is throwing at you, but try to help them aim for help in the best way that you can.

Kendra Koger did find out why her daughter was crying (she broke her crayon), find out about the saga on twitter @kkoger.  …(Not really, I don’t tweet about stuff like that.)

So You Want To Move To NYC?

July 9th, 2014 - By Dee Rene
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Shutterstock

There’s no place like NYC but moving here can be a beast. If you have dreams of living it up in the city of bright lights like a character off “Sex and the City” there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Brokers’ Fees / Application fees

Most apartments require a credit check and background check. That will run you about $30-$50 per application. If you use a broker, find out their fees before you fall in love with an apartment. Brokers’ fees are the cost you pay to the person that shows you the apartment and helps you go through the paperwork.  Most apartments have a broker. The Broker does the work which is why the owner of the building enlists their services. Unless the apartment is listed as “no fee” there is a broker’s fee. This is usually 10-15% of the ANNUAL rent. An apartment that costs $1,300 a month costs $15,600 annually ($1300 x 12) which means your broker’s fee would be $1,560 – $2,340 IN ADDITION to your first month’s rent and a security deposit of one month’s rent. Which makes your total move in cost (1st months + security + broker’s fee)  4,160 – $4,940. Rough.

Getting the apartment – Time is a factor!

If you plan to move July 1, you can’t start looking for an actual apartment until June. Apartments go within the same day sometimes. You might catch a listing and by the time you call that afternoon the apartment is rented. You’ll need to have your money ready (via money order or cashier’s check) and your documents (copy of your ID, bank statements, application, copy of tax return, etc) in a packet ready to go so that if you love an apartment you can apply within 24 – 48 hours. Unlike other cities, there aren’t many places you can apply months in advance. To save yourself time, go visit different neighborhoods during the day and at night to decide the area you want to live in. Once you have the area narrowed down, when it’s closer to the time for you to move, you can use sites like Pad Mapper and Naked Apartments  to search the area for what’s available.

What’s nearby? Do you reallllly want a car?

Do you have to take the bus to get to the train? Will it take you two hours to get to work? These are all factors you want to consider when moving. The closer you are to the train line the more expensive the rent but sometimes you are paying for convenience. Use an app like HopStop to check your potential apartment address with your work address. The app will tell you the route you’ll have to take and the estimated time. You should walk around the neighborhood. Is there a laundry mat nearby? A real grocery store and not a bodega? Look for the type of things you’ll need weekly and remember this is a walking/train/bus city. You want to be nearby to something you use frequently.

Keeping the car is a matter of personal preference. But most neighborhoods have alternate day street parking. That means you will be moving your car every day from one side of the street to the other so that the street sweepers (boom boom baby) can come by and clean. Or you’re paying to house your car in a garage each day. You really can get 90% of places on the train or bus. But if having a car is a big deal to you, then you’ll want to search for a neighborhood with parking or without alternate street parking.

Utilities & Bills

Heat and hot water come pretty standard for most buildings as part of your rent. However, there are a few that don’t offer this which could significantly increase your monthly bills. It’s cold 80% of the time here and you want to factor in your heating bill before you pick a place where heat / hot water aren’t included. You can call National Grid (the gas company) or ConEd (the electric company) and find out how much the bills were throughout the cold season for the last tenant to help give you an idea of the cost. Moving to NYC also comes with new bills! Your monthly metro pass ($100+) is one. You also want to factor in that everything costs more here. A bottle of shampoo at Target in a smaller city at may be $4.00 but here it’s $6.50. Things are expensive. And of course your new “fun” bill. Living in NYC there is always something to do so consider you may spend a bit more on fun activities.

Use your network

No one can tell you where to live or what borough is best for you. You’ll need to hang out and explore each borough to figure out where you might want to live. Exploring is the key to finding a place that fits you. When you do go out looking, be sure to take someone that has lived in the city for a while. He or she may know the some key factors about the neighborhood (like the park that’s so pretty in the daytime is a bit too popping at night for you to walk home safely) that could save you a headache down the line.

The last thing to keep in mind is that although this is a hard, cold and hectic city, it’s the most amazing city to live in even for a little while. Random free concerts by your favorite artists, endless food options even at 3 am, culture, parties, arts and anything else you’re into is all here somewhere. Living in NYC isn’t always easy but it’s an experience you can’t trade. If you’ve always wanted to do it, keep these few tips and tricks in mind and make the jump! You never know if it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

Is He Trying To Tell You That He’s Secretly Unhappy?

July 9th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Men speak another language. And sometimes they don’t say anything at all. He might not have the courage to tell you out loud, but unhappy partners give off plenty of signs that they’re done. Pay attention to the clues and you won’t get blindsided by the end of your relationship.

Secretly Unhappy

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You Watch Anderson Cooper During Dinner

What started out as comfortable silence has turned into dead air. Now you spend your meal times watching in silence, wondering what he’s thinking.

Don’t Rent Your Home or Smoke! 15 Surprising Things That Can Ruin A Marriage

June 26th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Could the ship be going down without you knowing it? Here are a few surprising habits that can ruin a marriage.

Ruin A Marriage

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Letting Him Do the Chores

When men do “feminine” chores around the house, like dishes and dusting, they have sex with their partners 1.5 times less a week. When men stick to masculine chores, they have more frequent and better sex with their partners. Go figure.

Stop Telling Single Women What You Would Do If You Weren’t Married With Children

June 10th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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We walked along the gravel trail through the Wissahickon park in Philly. Her baby carriage, which housed her sleeping one-year old, noisily trudges through the rocks and dirt, making it almost impossible to hear her. I asked her to repeat herself.

“I said what happened to Ghana?,” she said.

My walking partner seemed sincere enough in her query, but I still couldn’t help signing heavily to myself. I couldn’t help it: that question always puts me on the defensive. Ghana had been the most recent escape of the dreary boredom, also known as the US. The plan was to sell my house, take the proceeds and spend at least a year (more if I liked it) living like a real Ghanian – well more like the somewhat affluent ones, who live in Accra. A girl gotta have her KFC and whats the point in moving somewhere just to be broke? At any rate, after I had my little West African adventure, I would move to Brooklyn and ruminate all day with the rest of the struggling writers. I had it all vision boarded out and I was certain my scheme was going to be freakin’ fantastic.

But no one wanted to buy my house – or if they did, they wanted way less than what I owed on it. And then stuff around the house, which I couldn’t sell, started mysteriously breaking; like the heater. And then some of the pipes. And then Philadelphia Parking Authority showed up with some overdue tickets for that ass and so did a few other enforcement agencies. Likewise my professional life has also idle after a year of transitioning from losing my job. In short, money isn’t coming in as much as I would like. And all the money I had put aside for an actual plane ticket, housing, transportation, food and other incidentals, which come from picking up and moving nearly five thousand miles away, is slowly being ciphered away.

This is what I told her.

But as she pushed her son along in his stroller, a hint of skepticism began to spread across her face. After a few moments of awkward of silence, she finally blurted out: “Mayne, if I was single I probably be traveling the world right now…”

The dread “if I was single…” conversation. It had been a popular sentiment expressed as of late, mostly told by young mothers and married women, who feel like they have wasted their lives. Or feel like I am wasting my life. Or perhaps a combination of the two. At any rate, the consensus is that I’m not living up to the fullest of my single potential. Never mind the fact that my passport has touched ground on three continents and eight countries thus far outside of the United States. And that I maintain a house, a brand new car (at least it was brand new back in 2012 when I purchased it off the lot) and a gang of other middle class trappings. And although I am unmarried and childless, I have had my share of romance and uninterested attachments as well. The point in telling folks all of this is that when it comes to life, no one can really accuse me of failing to take the bull by the horns and living it.

It’s just that sometimes, things just don’t work out. And right now, it seems like lots of my personal aims (which I have actively put in work for) and objectives – including ones outside of running off to Ghana for some Eat. Love. Pray – have not been working out. In short, it was just not the right time for me now. Truth be told, I have no idea what time this moment is right for.

“I hear that, but I’m just saying. If I was single, I wouldn’t be worried about all that stuff. I would be in Paris somewhere, jumping from one dude to the next,” she said with an extra tinge of dreaminess in her eyes.

I rolled my own unaffected eyes. “Bish, if you were single and jumping from dude to dude, you would likely end up right where you are right now. And that’s pushing this raggedy stroller up a gravel path. And why don’t you get one of those jogger strollers anyway?”

Sometimes, you just got to let these hoes know…

We shared a chuckled and continued on with our walk, instead choosing to keep our topics far removed from our personal failures. However I still couldn’t shake the annoyance, which began to fester inside of me. I know, she was just trying to be supportive. And as one of the long-term single folks, I should totally be used to the questions now about my solvency – enough to know how to properly brush off all the subtle implications without hurting feelings (mine and hers). But I would be lying if I didn’t say that at times, I do wonder why women feel the need to try to neutralize another woman’s personal distress and pain, simply because it is not our own? And call me crazy but the “if I was single…” conversation always just seemed like a stand-in for telling a single woman to ‘shut up and stop complaining because it could be worse.’

It’s true that I’m not hunkered down with the responsibilities of tending to a herd of my own (i.e. a family), which might limit lots of personal choices and time I have in my life to do my own thing. But in the words of Langston Hughes, Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair…”

In fact life for a single person can be pretty taxing. NO I actually mean got-damn taxes. According to this article in the Atlantic entitled, The High Price of Being Single in America, a single woman earning a measly $40k annually will pay an upwards of $39,000 more in income taxes over the span of 40 years than her married counterpart. And as noted by this article in the Daily Beast entitled, Singled Out: Are Unmarried People Discriminated Against?:

They pay more for health and car insurance than married people do. They don’t get the same kind of tax breaks. Co-op boards, mortgage brokers, and landlords often pass them over. So do the employers with the power to promote them. “Singleism—stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single—is largely unrecognized and unchallenged,” says activist Bella DePaulo, the author of Singled Out.”

And there are other concerns too. Like workplace discrimination. And housing discrimination. And food discrimination too (because why can’t they make single packs of fresh chicken in addition to family packs? I don’t need all that damn chicken). And then there is always the very real fear of dying alone in your place, only to have your half-eaten body discovered three years later when your crackhead slumlord finally comes to collect the rent.

Generally speaking, our culture has put in place lots of incentives to reward women and men for the simple act of being married. And while single moms get dragged through the mud by this same society, there still exists a large consortium of folks (including yours truly), who will go to bat for, pitch in and even offer an empathic ear to our solo parents. But who cares about the single aunties of the world? The general consensus for single people is that we are alright. That we can manage. And that is simply not true.

Sometimes we need an ear to bend and a shoulder to lean on without the fear that our problems and issues are too small and inconsequential to consider for serious girlfriend duties. Or to be reminded about our alleged mistakes and failures in living our lives to the fullest. We need folks to understand that being single is not the whirlwind adventure we see on television and in films. Carrie Bradshaw is a lie. Just like everybody else, life for a single person can too become pretty mundane – with jobs, bills, old reruns on Netflix and an after-work happy hour or two thrown in just to keep you alert.

 

I Luh Ya Mami: 15 Things Men Admire Most About Women

March 14th, 2014 - By Kevin L. Clark
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WENN

There are countless things that most men admire about women. Whether it’s their subtle gestures, the way they walk, or even just how cool their personality is, a man enjoys figuring out these telltale signs that she’s the one.

In my case, my admiration falls for one woman and all of these attributes listed below are traits that she has in spades. While there may be an abundance of men out there on the Internets attempting to offer advice on how to become a better woman, my expertise is in extolling the things men admire most about women.

There are plenty of non-physical things that we enjoy and I’m pretty sure that if the ladies of Madame Noire have special someones, they’ll confirm that their physiques aren’t the only things they fell head over heels in love with. If you’re interested to learn more about these other things, please read carefully because every man definitely loves a learned woman.

Captain Save-A-Sidepiece: How To Let Go Of A Married Man

March 11th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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If there’s one thing we learned from “Being Mary Jane” it’s that it’s not hard to accidentally find yourself the other woman. If your struggle goes as deep as Pauletta’s, here are a few tips that might help you let that toxic relationship go.

Let Go Of A Married Man

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Go Cold Turkey

Delete his number, de-friend him on Facebook, cut off his friend circle, then keep yourself busy with friends until the sting wears off. And when you feel like backsliding…

Have Several Seats: Celebrities We Don’t Need Relationship Advice From

January 20th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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When it comes to relationship advice from celebrities, most of them are in no position to tell anyone anything about love. Need relationship advice? Not from these celebrities…

relationship advice from celebrities

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Gabrielle Union

When Gabrielle Union gave women advice on how to know when to leave a man, I almost fell out of my chair. Her list clearly didn’t include “if he’s already married” or “if he has a baby with another woman while you two are ‘on a break’”

Should I Take Him Back For The Sake Of Our Children?

January 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

 

From Essence 

Hello,

I am a 24 year’s old and the mother of 1-year-old twins boys and a six month old son. I have a full time job and I go to school online too. My ex and I were together for four years and now we are just co-parenting. I admit our relationship was unhealthy. We argued, made up and then argued and made up again. At times I even felt unsafe around him. He used to grab me, pull me and corner me. He threatened me many times, even when I was eight months pregnant with my third child. I got out of that relationship with the help and support of my mother.

Now, 10 months later, he calls every once in a while to tell me how he is going to counseling and trying to change his ways. For the first time in 10 months he actually bought food for our sons. I do everything and I did everything when we were together even when he lost his job and I was pregnant. Now I’m slowly moving on, but for some reason I am still thinking of him and feeling bad because I know he is in a bad place and I’m struggling to get my head right for me.

I met a guy I work with who makes me feel like a real woman. He takes me to dinners and makes me laugh and it seems like he could actually providea great future if thing headed that way. The thing is, I’m nervous because I am not ready to commit and somehow I feel like I should be with my sons’ father.

I don’t know what to do or how to move on. I don’t even know if I should move on. I believe because of the kids I feel like I should still try to make it work, especially if he’s making new effort, but then again, I know going back can be the biggest mistake. I’m not sure he will change. How do I get my head right for my family’s sake?

Sincerely,

A Young Mother

Read what Dr. Sherry had to say on Essence.com