All Articles Tagged "courtship"
Deception star and newly wed Meagan Good has lived out much of her fairytale-esque love story with hubby DeVon Franklin in the public eye. She has shared it all, from expressing that God informed her that the next man to seriously enter her life would be her mate, to DeVon’s shocking proposal and even the couple’s decision to practice celibacy until they were officially husband and wife. In a recent post on her WhoSay page, the actress blogged about what she’s learned about marriage so far and why it’s important to hold out for Mr. Right, as opposed to settling for Mr. Right Now. Her post reads:
“Marriage.. It’s very interesting.. I’ve come to a lot of revelation in the last couple months… One thing amazing that I learned is: sometimes the things that we want God to do in our lives -he won’t do- until we committed to The life partner that he has for us. (I’m not saying that everyone is intended to be married or that this is a fact for everybody) But I’m saying in my case and I believe in many others- Marriage truly makes you a better person and truly improves your walk with God. I actually believe that overall marriage is intended to build your character-And as a result if you choose it -your relationship with God.
Since my marriage- blessings have overflowed in my life and peace of mind has increased in the way I never could’ve perceived.. And the things that are happening now -I realize needed to happen, and maybe ‘only’ could’ve happened correctly with positive results, with my life partner and husband. It’s true: blessings do rain down when you’re Obedient.. And when you allow the ‘right’ person to be the person that you spend your life with..
Don’t settle people for less than God’s best. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve gone through- God has a purpose for your life … Seek him in all you do and you will come to realize that you will not be disappointed .. And remember that his timing and his plan is more perfect and better than timing or plan you ever had.”
Are you digging Meagan’s advice?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
‘He Showed Me How To Live Life In A Beautiful Way:’ Alicia Keys Gushes Over Swizz’s ‘Alicia’ Tattoo And Falling In Love
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter Alicia Keys paid a visit to the Wendy Show recently, where she chatted it up with the “Queen of All Media” about meeting husband Swizz Beatz as a teen, her hubby professing his love for her by getting her face tattooed on his arm and raising little Egypt. Check out some of what she had to say.
On meeting Swizz in high school:
“We met like when I was sixteen and he was seventeen. And a friend of ours went to his high school and was like ‘Oh, you gotta meet Swizz,’ and she was like ‘Alicia is about to blow up,’ and ‘Swizz is doing his thing. And maybe one day y’all can work together.’ And that was how we met.”
On falling in love:
“It was so crazy because we’ve obviously known each other for so long, been friends for so long and been in the same industry for so long, but we never thought it was like that. And he’s actually a little too ostentatious for my taste. Like he will wear not one, but sixteen chains. And he can’t drive like a regular car, but it has to be the most craziest car of all time. So I was kind of like ‘Mmm, I don’t know.’ I think what happened was, he really got me when I saw how far his mind went. He’s really, really intelligent and knows so many interesting things… He really loves to live life and he showed me how to live life in a beautiful way.”
On Egypt and Blue Ivy playdates:
“We do bring our children to the studio. So we’ll get together and meet there and like hang out and the kids will hang out. I think actually Egypt kissed Blue and I don’t think Jay liked it very much. He called my husband and was like ‘Um, watch your son.’”
On Swizz’s tattoo of her:
“It’s of my face and he hid it. It’s so beautiful and he mixed it with some of his favorite artists. It’s like this beautiful rendering and it’s so pretty. That’s one of my favorite gifts he’s ever given me.”
Check out a video of Alicia’s full interview on the next page.
According to the New York Times, dating is now dead. R.I.P dinner and a movie:
“Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The Times piece then goes on to say that non-committal activities like ‘hanging out,” have replaced actual dates and courtship. According to the article, dodgy economic prospects, which makes it impossible to afford dates; changing economic dynamics between the genders; online dating including texting, emailing and social networking and the rise of the “hookup culture” are to blame for the disappearance of dating. To illustrate the demise, the Times article uses the anecdotal story of a Shani Silver, a young woman from Philadelphia, who was supposed to go on a date with a guy she met on OkCupid, but turned him down when, on the night of the date, he sent her a text message, suggesting that they met up at a local Pub where he was already having drinks with his friends.
“Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining. But in retrospect, she might have adjusted her expectations. “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” Ms. Silver said. “Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”
I think that Silver was right to reevaluate her expectations from this “date.” There is no doubt that dating has changed over the time. But so what? Flowers, a classy dinner of poorly seasoned crab legs and cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster, the latest action movie you had no desire see but your date really wants to see it so whatever – while traditional of courtship – wasn’t all that fantastic as The New York Times has waxed nostalgic it to be. Personally, I’ve hated dating in the traditional sense of the word. For me, it always felt like being on job interview where the lady with the navy blue suit and a notepad, sits behind the faux-wood finish desk and in her polite, yet almost deceptive tone asks you probing questions like: where do you see yourself in ten years? and describe your strengths and weakness and can you explain this gap in employment?
And then you, in your equally uncomfortable outfit, which you would wear outside of this interview, have to somehow come up with answers that are some version of the truth but also paint you in what you think is a favorable light. I have done that many of times – in both interviews and on dates. The older I get, the more life gets hectic, the harder the hustle gets and I am more filled with “things to do.” This means that my time is extremely valuable. Therefore, when I go out, I’m going out to have a good time – not to determine if a good time is to be had. So yeah, I like having my “friends.”
And that brings me to a larger point about this fear of change, even when the traditional wasn’t necessarily great to begin with. Back in the day, it was socially frowned upon for a woman to date multiple suitors at one time or even have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Today, women are encouraged not to settle, to sample what’s out there and cultivate relationships around their likes and desires before jumping into a relationship. And that’s not even mentioning the power imbalance, which used to accompany traditional courtship. Do you know how incredibility and advisably unsafe some of the courtship rules of old were? While it may be proper for a man to abide by the old fashion way and pick you up for a date, it certainly isn’t advisable in this day and age. So, in that sense, modern dating has become more empowering and meaningful for women than ever before.
Also there is something to be said for the way in which technology has made our traditional dating rituals more inclusive. While it may seem unlikely for lots of folks to think of finding love and connecting with people behind a the keypads on a computer or smartphone, some people, who might be shy or awkward socially, will often use technology to engage potential partners comfortably in ways they could not physically do publicly. Of course, there is always a chance of running into a few catfishes in the virtual world however it sure beats running into a few turds in real life.
‘I Didn’t Know What To Do, I Started Hyperventilating’: Meagan Good Gives The Scoop On DeVon’s Proposal
Megan Good and DeVon Franklin are arguably one of Black Hollywood’s cutest newlywed couples right now. While details surrounding their decision to remain celibate until marriage was a highly publicized tidbit, many still remained curious as to how DeVon actually popped the question. By the way she described it to Wendy Williams, his proposal seemed very traditional.
“When he went to go get the box, I didn’t realize what he was doing. When he brought the box out, I was like, ‘What is that?’ Then he started talking, and I was hearing what he was saying… I didn’t know what to do. I started hyperventilating,” she gushed to Wendy Williams.
Meagan, who seems totally in love and over the moon that she finally found her life-partner answered “absolutely”. The couple dated for ten months and have been married for seven. Meagan has gone on account several times stating that her marriage to DeVon is literally an answered prayer.
“I was crying about so much at the time that God told me exactly what it was going to be and he told me that the next relationship that I got into was going to be “the” relationship. God told me specifically what the criteria was with the man I was going to marry and he told me to not settle. So I would meet guys who are Christians or loved the Lord, but they weren’t trying with all their heart to walk with him. And I wouldn’t feel in myself that that was the guy, so even if I liked him or was attracted to him I would say, OK I’m not going to settle,” she told Global Grind back in April.
She also revealed that she and DeVon actually met on the set of another film six years before filming Jumping The Broom.
“We met 6 years before on a christian film and he called me into his office and told me if I needed anything to definitely let him know. Then we met again when he exec. produced Jumping The Broom. And here we are,” she told Wendy.
It’s difficult not to be happy for the lovebirds.
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
I recently completed a book entitled What Women Don’t Know: The Unspoken Rules of Lasting Love by relationship expert and author Michelle McKinney Hammond. In the book, Michelle and Pastor Joel A. Brooks Jr. offer advice to single women on how they should handle their romantic relationships in order to increase their chances of having a lasting relationship that results in marriage. Among the advice offered, they suggest that every single woman create a two-sided list of character traits that she desires in her mate. One side should list negotiable traits and the other non-negotiable traits. The authors suggest that this will keep women from straying away and settling for any man who looks their way, while remaining focused on what they truly desire.
This of course got the wheels turning in my head. It especially made me and those around me wonder what specific characteristics we desired in a mate. Most of the single women that I know are on drastic ends of the spectrum. They either don’t have a list, or their lists are so specific that one would wonder if they’re being unrealistic and if the man that they’re imagining even exists. This isn’t to say that a woman should settle for less than they feel they deserve or have low expectations, but at the same time, some have a list of qualities they desire that are so fixed and specific it produces the danger of greatly limiting their options. And it also stops some from building the relationship they think they want because they can’t find the ideal mate since almost no one is going to meet every single qualification on such a rigid check list. I suppose this is why the authors of the aforementioned book suggest creating two lists, the negotiable and the non-negotiable with the non-negotiable list including things that most woman should or would refuse to settle for, such as an unfaithful, dishonest, unloving person and more, while the negotiable list may focus on things that may be less important such as certain physical characteristics and financial status.
I personally never really sat down to think of or wrote out a specific list of qualities that I would like my future husband to posses. There was always this abstract image that had no particular financial status or physical attributes, just a few quality character traits, which I suppose could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. However, if I absolutely had to sit down and compile a list of characteristics I would like in a mate, an article written by Charli Penn entitled The 5 Types Of Men Who Make GREAT Husbands, which was featured on the Huffington Post a few months back would come to mind. Three out of the five types of men discussed in this article really jumped out at me as they are all characteristics that I would love to have in a husband. These traits included:
The Provider, who Charli depicted as a man who is selfless and “puts his family first.” She went on to discuss why this particular type of man would make a great husband: “Marriage is the start of a new family — your family. You will both want to provide for the family you create together, and it’s imperative that you are partners with the same goals in mind.”
The Rock, who is described as the man who “at your weakest moments, his strength keeps you stable and inspires you to push through.” Penn went on to illustrate the value of this particular type of man by stating, “He’s loyal, devoted, and a true pillar in the world of the woman he loves. This is the perfect recipe for a loving husband that you can count on through thick and thin; what woman doesn’t dream of marrying one of those?”
The Believer is depicted as a man who has “faith as his foundation.” Charli goes on to describe him further: “He believes in the things unseen and those that many give up on when the world turns cold: hope, morals, kindness, and good will. He has a church home, or a religious mainstay in his life and the fellowship refuels his engines… His moral compass is always turned in a positive direction… This man has the emotional tools needed in his toolbox to repair many of the cracks and dents that will inevitably appear in any marriage. He’s a fighter, and he will fight with you and for your marriage. He won’t give up, even when you do.”
A few years ago I began to notice that I had somewhat of an odd pattern of behavior surrounding my dating relationships. Let me explain. When I first meet or become romantically involved with a guy, I am one of the coolest most easygoing chicks to be around. I’m fun, I’m outgoing, I’m humorous, I’m confident. I presume this is a result of being totally detached from the guy I’m seeing. At this particular early point in the budding relationship, I am just enjoying myself and feel I have absolutely nothing to lose.
As time progresses and the relationship continues to grow, all seems well and things appear to be going fairly smooth. But then, out of nowhere, something happens. I wake up one day with this gripping feeling. It always takes me awhile to identify what it is, but I eventually come to the realization that the emotion I am being overtaken by is sheer terror. At some point in the progression of these relationships I suppose that my heart decides that she wishes to join in on the fun and that is where my problem seems to begin. When feelings start to grow and my mind receives the memo that my heart has become an active participant, I choke. Boy, do I choke. Panic seems to overtake me in a way that I am sure any licensed psychiatrist would prescribe medication to subdue. Thoughts of any and everything that could possibly go wrong in the relationship cloud my mind and I subconsciously begin looking for a way of escape.
“Get out now before any real damage is done,” is always the thought that looms in the back of my mind as fractured images of past hurts, disappointments and failed relationships clutter my memory. My mind wants to leave while my heart wants to stay and my soul seeks to find common ground between the two. More often than not, I decide to stay in the relationship, but not without putting up imaginary walls to guard my heart and appease my mind. And then of course, my mind goes into overtime by overthinking and overanalyzing every single detail of the relationship, hoping to catch on to or decode any signs of turbulence ahead of time so that I can get out before my heart can get broken.
I suppose that as a result of past occurrences, my mind is used to associating love and relationships with heartache, loss and suffering, which would make the emotional walls that I put up a mere defense mechanism; a simple defense mechanism that could potentially cause me to miss out on the love of my life. I realize that this fear is something that I must overcome. It would be a tragedy for me to get to the end of my life and realize that I allowed the one to get away because I let my uncompromising fear of being hurt have free reign to rule my love life. I know that conquering my fear of relationships won’t be easy, however, I am determined.
One of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read on this subject came in the form of an article by author and counselor, Sheryl Paul, on The Huffington Post entitled Relationship Anxiety: Fear Eyes or Clear Eyes? in which she shares her personal experiences of relationship anxiety with a boyfriend who is now her husband.
I learned that when we see life through fear-tinted glasses, it’s like walking through a fun-house where everything becomes distorted. Except that it’s not fun at all; it’s torture. Fear wanted to convince me to run because in fear’s mind, love is dangerous. Love means loss. Love means losing myself or losing the other person. Love means risking my heart and breaking down the layers of control. Real love means that I have to be accountable and vulnerable and, since I had never met someone with whom I felt safe enough to do this, almost every fiber in my body and soul wanted to run.
I remember letting out such a sigh of relief upon reading of her experiences. For so long I thought I was alone in feeling this way. What I found even more inspiring is when she reflects on how she was triumphant in her bout with relationship anxiety.
But I didn’t run. Thank God, I didn’t run…I would see his acts of caring, which are too numerous to list here. I would see his creativity, his soulfulness, the poetry of who he is. I would see that he’s everything I’ve ever wanted and needed, and I would be flooded with love and gratitude… There were many moments when fear would dissolve and I would see my partner through clear eyes, standing before me with the beauty of his soul radiating out like the rays of the sun. Fear might rear its ugly head the very next hour, but those windows of clarity are what gave me the inspiration and the knowing that I had to keep battling through the fear voices and fighting for love.
From Paul’s words, I know that there is hope for a fearful lover as myself, and as a follower of Christ, I don’t believe that it is in God’s will for me to live this way. I am determined to experience love the way in which God intended for it to be experienced. And so I will pray. I will fight, and if I’m lucky, I will not lose love to fear. Never again.
Have you ever dealt with relationship anxiety?
All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock
Last weekend I was a guest on the R&B podcast hosted by my good friend Lincoln Anthony Blades. He asked me to discuss men jumping ship during the dating process.
Before You take a listen, let me paint the picture: So guy chases down girl, guy gets girl’s number, girl is like, “ok I guess so you aite, we’ll talk”, then guy and girl go out a few times, have a few great conversations, maybe talk about future dates, then……………………………………………his calling pattern changes, contact less frequent, dates? What date? A call or text may come up a few weeks later and he sincerely replies with, “been busy”…………………………………………………………………… sir?!
How do you process a situation like this? I mean from bird’s eye view it’s simple, but when you’re actually the one who was wined, dined and denied it’s a whole other ball game.
The answer is quite simple. The lovely man you gave your number to was probably on the prowl, has an existing relationship or some messy unfinished business on the side. When we date ideally it’s more than one prospect in the running at any one time. Men tend to understand this and adopt this principle with ease sometimes slipping up with words, promising things they have no business promising.
Read more at HelloBeautiful
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“Should you defend your woman’s honor?” Yes.
The question is simple; the answer is complex, which is why it comes up all the time. Many of us have had friends, male and female, ask for advice on some variation of the following story, “X disrespectful man did Y and my man failed to do 1,2,3. How should I feel about that? Am I with someone who can’t or won’t defend me?”
Honestly, half the problem is that men and women don’t define disrespect in the same way. If they did, at least 75 percent of these discussions would be null and void. Let’s be clear, if someone disrespects your woman, they are disrespecting you too because you should feel that you are an extended representation of each other. But, if I’m walking down the street with you and some random guy yells, “You have a nice A$$!” Is that a compliment or a diss? Is he being disrespectful or simultaneously complementing her nice A$$ and my taste in nice-A$$ having women? In some major cities, there might even be a bit of confusion around if he is talking about your A$$ or mine. But, I digress.
It is no secret that, generally speaking, men are more disrespectful towards women than ever. Increasingly, the level of disrespect is tolerated, which encourages more disrespect and creates ever-greater disrespectful men. At what point does the disrespect cross the line and need to be addressed?
Is it a comment on Facebook? An off-hand remark on Twitter? Should you attack the first man or woman that, as you perceive it, disrespects your woman as Swizz Beats did last week on Instagram? Whether you agree or disagree with his methods, there is no doubt that Swizz tried to defend his woman’s honor. However, he was negatively judged for doing so by many online observers. Despite the fact that more women wish men would defend their honor, many did not agree with the way Swizz went about defending his. What did he do wrong?
Is disrespect ‘OK’ as long as it is limited to the confines of the Internet? What happens when these people leave the safety found in e-anonymity and take their disrespect into the real world? Are you only responsible for defending your woman’s honor as opposed to all women’s honor?
Communication, or more specifically, social networking is changing rapidly. That’s no big secret. And since I began using Twitter more frequently last summer, I have decided that valid college courses (perhaps even whole degrees) could be dedicated to the psychology of social networking. It has opened up a whole new dimension to the study of human behavior. Everything is taking place online, from business networking to the forming/ending of friendships to flirting to dating and even to proposing marriage. With so much personal interaction happening from behind a laptop screen, especially where potential friendships/relationships are concerned, the question then becomes, “How do I know that the person on the other end is legit?”
The new age answer? Time and Twitter.
Let me explain. I interact with very few folks who don’t have Twitter or Facebook, the big kahunas of social networking. When forming new relationships, being aware of a person’s “online presence” is an important supplement to our in-person assessments of each other. I learned the interesting way that lots of young men tweet their true thoughts and feelings while holding up masks to please the ladies they want to impress. I wanted to yell in a Katt Williams-esque screech, “You big dummy! Did you know that I can SEE you?! The real you?!” We, women do it too but I’m not on that right now.
Of course, I have a personal example for y’all: Though this particular guy didn’t use his Twitter account much, he liked enough of my tweets to send me a direct message. Cool. I was testing out my newfound “openness” since my friends swear up and down that I’m too guarded. He led his pursuit with his admiration of my writing skills and my natural hair. Like a moth to a flame I was drawn. A dude who could rock with two of the things I love most? Hail yeah! But having dove in headfirst a time or two before, the 89.7% guardedness that still had a hold on me said to take it slowly. I heeded the warning and pumped the brakes.
For the first few months there was virtually no topic we couldn’t discuss and I can’t lie, I was analyzing his every move to see if this could become something more. He said all the right things. He was a gentleman when we met up for lunch or dinner. He was respectful of my values. I was swooning to my girls.
He started using Twitter more frequently and watching him get the hang of hashtags and the “@” was cute. Then, he started tweeting more often. For a while it was mostly his self-proclaimed authoritative sports analyses. But then, the other shoe dropped. Out of nowhere came a barrage of tweets outlining how to ‘quickly get the box’ from even the most jaded females. Then tweets about how ‘ugly and/or fat females have no room to be picky’ when it comes to finding a mate and so on and so forth, to the point that I didn’t even recognize him. Looking at his tweets and our conversations, you would think that there were two totally different people present or that he had one heck of a personality disorder. When tweeting/Instagraming/Facebooking with his boys he was vulgar, chauvinistic and downright mean. I understand men don’t speak the same way to their love interest/significant other as they do to their friends – and I’m actually GLAD that they don’t – but THIS bordered on bipolar schizophrenia. Then, one night he decided to “subtweet attack” me (passive aggressively tell me off via Twitter) for not wanting to come out to the city with him. Chile, no. Uh uh. Nope. I set him straight, blocked him and deleted his number with the quickness. I had learned all I needed to learn through my slow-paced six months of “introduction” to him and it was clear that this was NOT a match.
People call it “Twitter stalking.” I call it simply taking myself and my time seriously enough to be aware of a person from all angles – how they are with me, their family, on Facebook, at the club, etc. Just as much as I paid attention to what he said verbally and through body language in person, I paid that same amount of attention to who he was online. I’m not saying one should over-analyze every little deed, but for goodness’ sake, be aware. Social networking has allowed us to freely (and sometimes unknowingly) expose our true selves through a seemingly one-way glass of anonymity. It’s a gift to the genuine but a curse to the fake. Time and careful attention to the details will outlast the smoke and mirrors and give you an all-access pass behind the scenes. So be patient. Be open. Be aware. And get to know someone from all sides. The attention to detail is worth it.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries with Natural hair and lots to say. Her writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and positive change. Check out her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
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There are those couples that end in a blaze of glorious dishonor, like when Tiger got busted cheating. Surprisingly, many women prefer it to end salaciously, just so she’s angry enough to never see the jerk again. But some relationships simply run their course, flicker out like a candle at the end of its wick. These couples don’t break up over night. It’s a long drawn out process in play for roughly half the lifespan of the entire relationship. That means if you split with your boyfriend after a years time, the two of you were breaking up about six months.
Whether or not you decide to get married before your couple’s flame expires doesn’t change the fact that all good things come to an end. It comes as no surprise that we have celebrities to look to for prime examples of all that can go horribly wrong because of marriage.
As if they didn’t know their love flame was about to expire, these infamous couples courtship lasted longer than their marriage.