All Articles Tagged "love"
Robert Green not only landed his dream job, but also made his mother’s day.
The 22-year-old shared the news with his mother that he received the dance gig of a lifetime. The news sent his mother Sylvia Watlington-Green into complete shock. You can hear her scream “I’m so proud of you…this is just the beginning…I’m so happy for you.”
Robert began to cry after hearing his mother’s excitement. Green explained, “My mother is the most enthusiastic person I have ever met. Her sincerity and genuine thrill for life is admirable. Two years ago, my mom and I packed up in my 1996 Honda and she drove me from east coast to west coast with just enough money to make it. Prior to this amazing moment…I wasn’t working as a dancer as much as I had hoped. (After a series of setbacks) I was in LA with no job, no money, no car – just the support of my mother and my faith.”
At first, Robert was unsure if he should post the moment online. However, after posting it he received tons of messages. One message came from his soon to be boss, Taylor Swift. She tweeted,
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 29, 2015
Congratulations to Robert! There’s nothing like hearing the praise of your parents. Especially when you’re in an entertainment career field.
Today, many couples looking to tie the knot are encouraged to sign prenuptial agreements to safeguard their assets in the event that the marriage goes south. But according to attorney and legal TV commentator Ann-Margaret Carrozza, entering into a love contract with your husband-to-be has the potential to save your marriage before it’s ever in trouble in the first place.
In an essay for the New York Daily News, Carrozza explains that these documents should be customized to address both finances and lifestyle issues. She writes:
I encourage couples to customize these documents to include provisions to address lifestyle issues, pet peeves, shared goals and “deal breakers.” Examples of common Love Contract provisions are infidelity penalties, vacation schedules, social media parameters — and even fitness goals.
We begin by looking at some common sources of a couple’s disagreements. High on the list for most couples is money. Applying the contract process to this (or any problem) requires each party to become clear about one’s goal.
This may take the form of reducing debt, building up savings or investing in real estate.
Of course, asking bae to sign a contract about fidelity or keeping in shape is everything but romantic; however, Carrozza explains that love contracts are more about self-reflection than placing contractual demands on one another.
Each party is then asked to take a critical look at their own behavior and determine what actions they are prepared to take to achieve the goal. These may include eating out less, cooking more or selling some unwanted items.
The parties then come together to share their goals and voluntary self-action steps. Only then, with this enlightened foundation, do we make constructive suggestions to each other. The actions and goals that both parties believe they can live with become incorporated into the contract.
The Love Contract is both a relationship blueprint and mission statement for a couple. It is a dynamic process that encourages periodic introspection and goal review. Properly utilized, the Love Contract can produce powerful results in terms of strengthening relationships and achieving joint goals.
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in exploring?
Over the past year, domestic violence has finally become a public national issue that is being addressed by the highest level of government, NFL and even Tinder. As Spring begins the start of a fresh new dating season filled with late, warm nights, an organization named Women In Distress collaborated with Tinder to create fake profiles of three different abusers (look below).
When users come across the domestic violence ad, they are able to swipe through the photo albums of the fake profiles. In the albums, the men are seen from being nice to ultimately very angry and aggressive. The creatives at the ad agency Bravo/Y&R also prompted users by liking profiles they encountered. If the fake profile(s) caught the attention of the user, she would be able to look at its entire album via the “match” chat window.
Bravo/Y&R created this specific ad to prompt women to receive help immediately once they noticed extreme changes in the behavior of the person they’re dating. The ad agency also wanted women to note, nice guys can also become violent and dangerous.
Adweek tested out the new ad and respondents said it was spammy and the profiles may catch consumers off guard. However they believe it would help those who use Tinder to deeply think about what type of relationship they want instead of using the app as a “hook-up” tool.
A year ago, I found myself living life in a gray area. It was perfect because I had just come out of a long-term relationship and was only looking for a cuddle buddy, someone to chill with until feelings surfaced on both ends. I thought we were just going to go with the flow until he wanted out and put me in the friend zone. It was difficult for me to dial it back and undo everything up to that point because I slipped up and caught feelings. My situation was a little different because the benefits of our situationship didn’t come from or with sex, but companionship. A companionship I eventually came to relish. It was the classic, “I don’t want to be alone, but I don’t want a relationship either” scenario that went horribly wrong.
This situationship gone wrong had me wondering if it is possible for friends with any type of benefits to work out successfully, whether the benefits include sex, companionship or just a routine of Friday night movies with takeout. For my case, I’m just going to focus on the most usual benefit of these situations, which is sex. Oftentimes, after several failed relationships and not wanting to put in any effort to work towards another one, we settle for friends with benefits relationships. They usually come with ground rules that are and should be established up front under the pretenses that there will be “no strings attached.” But what exactly are strings? For some, “strings” could be summed up as emotional attachments, a demand for the other person’s attention, an obligation to spend quality time with one another, and the expectation of dates and something more than the “just sex” agreement that was established. Then, I got to thinking, isn’t sex technically a string? Don’t we expect sex from this commitment we’ve made? Don’t we come into it with the expectation that if I call him for sex he’s obligated to give it to me because we have an agreement?
A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 42.9% of women reported at least one “friends with benefits” relationship a year. The same study also showed that the emotional part of these non-emotional agreements can be difficult for most women to avoid, but their male counterparts seem to have more positive reactions to sex-focused relationships. This brings forth the conversation that we’ve all had among our friends, but one that never gets old.
My answer? These situations could work, but there is a huge percentage that don’t. To avoid commitment or catching feelings, simply don’t do it if you know you aren’t built for it. If you decide to try, do not have expectations. You should talk about whether this is going to be a long-term thing, always keep friends out of it, and have no sleepovers and no romance involved. Even with these “ground rules” in place, we sometimes cannot control our avoid our emotions. We can only control the amount of attention and action we give them.
Often, we find ourselves in situations we can’t explain. We never expect them to happen, but there’s no way around it. We want more from a situation that we agreed we wouldn’t get caught up in, and the hard part is coping with those unresolved feelings while trying to get back to that place of friendship before the benefits. The best way to cope is to admit to your partner that you want more; you caught feelings, and, therefore, cannot honor your part of the deal. You will only hurt yourself if you can’t be honest. And don’t expect your partner to be understanding. Take some time away and really evaluate what you want. If you know that settling for just friends with benefits isn’t going to work for you anymore, it’s best to slow down on all the sex. Being friends again is not impossible, but trust me, it will take a lot of time, patience, and mood swings to get back there.
Is sex as a single lady really more fun? Even though sex in a long-term relationship gets a bad rap, it definitely has its perks!
When I was younger, during my college days, my friends and I swore that we would never date a man with children. This was mainly because growing up in my neighborhood, we were only accustomed to one type of single dad, and that was one who was barely present in his child’s life–an irresponsible dead beat. I also felt this way because I believed that when I finally shared parenting responsibilities with a man, I wanted it to be a first experience for the both of us.
I felt this way until I met a guy I really liked, only to find out that he had kids.
We met on the web and exchanged numbers. We talked every day through phone calls and text messages. We even FaceTimed each other. I was happy to see that we had a lot in common. Like me, he was interested in making healthy lifestyle choices. He was also an educated man who loved and looked fantastic in a good suit. We exchanged account names for social media, and I learned through his Instagram that he had a daughter. A four-year-old.
I thought about what I had said when I was in college: A man with kids is a no-no. I don’t want the drama. I don’t want to be groomed to be a child’s stepmother.
But then I had to think about dating from the perspective of a parent. He was still a person, and I would feel bad if I didn’t give him a chance just because he had a kid. I liked him, so I tried to have an open mind.
However, I learned there was another child later on, an infant only six months old. I had to do the math because something wasn’t adding up. Again, while I liked him, I learned that he was not an upfront person, and that was the deal breaker for me. How did two kids pop up out of nowhere? I felt like there was more to him than he was revealing, so I ceased communication with him.
Still, I learned a lot from that situation. Even though my friends and I swore that we would never date men with children, I’m learning that having kids doesn’t automatically make you unsuitable for dating. You can still date someone with children, but there is a way to be responsible without affecting the child. It is important to remember that you are dating him, not his kids. They have a mother. If it’s just a casual situation or the beginning stages where the two of you are still trying to figure each other out, there’s no need to stress or obsess over his responsibilities.
But he should be upfront about his children. For those of you dating with kids, I understand that sometimes you don’t disclose that information because you want to have a social life and would like to keep certain things separate, but honestly, everything will eventually overlap once things pick up with the person you are dating. It’s only fair to be straightforward instead of dropping bombs later because some people may not really be okay with dating people with children.
When dating a guy with kids, find out what kind of package deal he comes with. If he has a child, what type of dealings does he have with the child’s mother? What is their relationship like? How would that potentially affect you in terms of dating? If avoiding drama with the mother doesn’t seem doable, then run for the hills and never look back. You will never fully get to experience or enjoy your relationship if there’s always a third party stirring the pot.
It is also important to set boundaries with him involving his child. For example, unless things are getting serious between the two of you, you shouldn’t feel obligated to spend time with his child. If it’s just casual dating, then you need to remember that you are just dating him. Plus, the child’s mother may not be happy about a complete stranger being around their child so closely.
Also, be sure to observe what type of father he is. Is he responsible with his child? Does he make being a father a full-time job or is he a part-time dad? Is he a provider? When you see what type of father he is, it allows you to see him in a different light. You can tell when someone knows how to handle their business and when someone doesn’t. Would you want to be with someone who doesn’t treat being a father as if it were a precious gift? Someone who isn’t responsible?
If you’re an individual who demands a lot of attention, you may also want to be honest with yourself about whether or not you are okay with being second in a man’s life. Don’t expect him to have loads of time on his hands. If he’s a responsible dad and works hard to provide for his child, you can’t fault him for it, but also don’t think that you have to settle for a lack of time together if it’s not something you’re comfortable with. He will make time for you if he’s truly invested in getting to know you. But NEVER think it’s okay to put him in a position where he has to choose between spending time with his kid or quality time with you. If things get serious and he lets you into that part of his life, then great! You can get to know his child and have outings and do fun things together. But until then, accept that his child is his first priority.
Dating a guy with kids definitely gave me a different perspective when it comes to my preferences. Dating a man with children is always a delicate situation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. But you should consider these things before you dive in too deep.
From NBA players to Hip-Hop Moguls, men in the limelight who have power are often surrounded by women who long to be with them. These women are known to stand outside of hotels or slip into the VIP section of clubs in order to make it happen. Each one believes that her future will change for the better if these men only caught one glimpse of them. These persistent and dedicated women have been labeled “groupies,” “side-chicks” and even “stalkers.” However, athletes and musicians are not the only men of stature whom some women desire. Preachers, too, have quite a few female admirers.
In writer Scott Williams’s blog post, Stop Lusting After Your Pastor!, Williams recalls a conversation he had with his friend, a female preacher, about women who can’t seem to keep their eyes off of their pastors. Williams writes:
Many women that she’s talked with in various churches struggle with the fact that they think their Pastor’s sexy! Not only do they think their Pastor’s sexy, but they struggle with their mind and eyes wandering into inappropriate places. It becomes a challenge because they tend to have these lustful thoughts as their pastor is speaking.
However, for some women, this is about more than just a lustful eye. Some have dedicated their lives to finding and marrying the preacher of their dreams. It is the hope and prayer of these women that they will one day become a preacher’s wife and the First Lady of a congregation.
“It’s something electrifying about a man of God,” says Maya, 34. “A man who dedicates his life to studying the word of God and then teaching it to people across the world, that’s a man that I believe I deserve. And he ought to have a great woman, like me, by his side.”
Janiya, 41, agrees. “I’ve dated lots of different guys in the past. Lawyers, athletes, and CEOs, but when I am with a preacher it feels the most natural, like this is who I am supposed to be with, who I’m supposed to marry. So I decided I would only date men in the ministry, and I’ve asked God to reveal that preacher to me.”
According to Reverend Reid, a pastor in Atlanta, the phenomenon of women who set out to marry preachers is not new.
“I can remember even in my 20s, I was still in seminary and hadn’t even been ordained yet. Women would be waiting for me and a buddy of mine who had also been called to the ministry at our cars after class. After I was ordained, I began preaching around Atlanta more, and I guess word got out I was single, and things got really real. After service, I would shake hands and fellowship with the people and women would come up and slip me their telephone numbers. I even had women bringing me home-cooked dinners and sweet breads to the church, and you know Southern women can cook. I was so relieved when Jesus helped me find my wife I didn’t know what to do. I thank her every day for marrying me and saving me from all those sweet breads and macaroni and cheese casseroles.”
When asked if he had any advice for women who want to marry preachers, Reverend Reid says they need to calm down.
“Be careful what you ask God for. I am not saying marriage isn’t a good thing. It is a blessing. But you have to be in constant prayer and meditation to make sure you are truly ready for such an undertaking. Pray and read the Word. Study it like you study NeNe’s nose on Real Housewives of Atlanta. The Bible has the answer to any question you might have. Read ferociously 1 Corinthians 7:1-40. If that passage doesn’t make you question if you are ready for marriage, then read it again. Finally, and I think this is the most important thing women should understand, God has lifted a heavy load from you that many of you are still choosing to carry. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, a man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. So ya’ll don’t have to stand outside waiting for us or burn yourself over a hot stove trying to impress us. Your load has been lifted. We are supposed to find you. But, if you look even more closely into the passage it says a man that finds a wife. Not the postman, not the doctor man, and definitely not the preacher man. The word says man. M-A-N. When my sermons are done, I’ve said my last prayer, shouted my last shout, said the benediction, taken off the robe and the collar, I am just a man as are all my brother preachers in Christ. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. What God has for you, it is for you.”
Quite a few of us are probably guilty of what Reverend Reid speaks of, even if we are not seeking First Lady status. We have this idea in our heads of what we want our significant others to be, and we romanticize that image or idea in our minds. Some of us have a broad checklist of what we want in a mate while others have it already narrowed down like Maya and Janiya. However, at the end of the day, are we truly the best person we can be in order to contribute to a healthy relationship with someone else? Or are we merely looking for someone to help improve not only us, but our situation?
At the end of the day, we all must remember that you cannot be your best self if you are too busy searching for someone else to fulfill your misguided fantasies.
Analog Girl Dating Digitally: I Tried OkCupid, Tinder, And ChristianMingle And The Results Weren’t Pretty
After a year of being single, I figured it was time for me to get back out there and try dating again, but honestly, I did not know where to begin. It has been a while since I worked on building with someone in terms of dating. My last relationship began when I was 17 and ended when I was 23. Dating was a lot different for teenagers back in the early 2000s and was still a little more traditional. We did not have access to all the social media sites and mobile apps that we do now. Long story short, all these years later, I decided to try something different. I like to try anything at least once, and since I spend much of my time online, I figured, why not online dating?
What’s your sign? Do you have a preference for a race? What is your annual income? Hobbies? Describe your perfect date. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you do drugs? Have children? Want children?
Those were just a few of the many questions I had to answer when I created an account on OkCupid. I answered each question as honestly as I could, and I was matched with more than 200 “suitors” based on my answers. As I swiped left and right, I was not impressed with what I got. I “met” a couple people who were interesting at first, but that quickly faded.
So I got hip to the Tinder trend and found that most of the guys were only interested in women who were DTF (down to f**k). I was disgusted by most and found myself wasting hours swiping left. Then I realized no one gets on Tinder looking for love. What the hell was I was I doing?Most of the people in the Tinder crowd are just looking for quick and unattached dates that lead to random hookups. That was not my scene.
I needed someone whom I could spiritually connect with, someone whom I could carry on an interesting conversation with. So of course, I went to Christian Mingle where I met people with usernames like BoazLookingforRuth14 or LookingForMySecondCord35 (not even kidding). Despite the biblical monikers, I was disappointed to find that most of the men were no different from the ones on OkCupid or Tinder, despite the “Christian” angle. I did get the occasional churchy dude who was too much for my blood, as well as the Sunday Only saints. All in all, I was not too intrigued.
Not long after setting up these different profiles and trying to give this new way of dating a chance, I found myself completely over it.
You spend hours filling out these profiles, answering so many questions about your personal business in the hopes of meeting the right person. Or, if you are lucky, at least meeting people who will hold your interest long enough to consider even meeting them in person, but in my case, you find nothing satisfying. Where was the love at first “meet”? Where was the instant chemistry from those Match.com commercials? The cheesy smiles and flattering pick-up lines? I realized that online dating doesn’t work for most of the same reasons that traditional dating doesn’t, and that’s because there is a lack of time to really evaluate what it is we are looking for. Are you looking for something that could potentially be long-term or just a fling? I came to the conclusion that what I was looking for wasn’t going to exist in my world via the web. I did not want everything laid out for me in a series of 1,000 questions. There was no excitement in getting to know someone if you already had all the answers to them. There was also the paranoia of getting catfished. I mean, think about it, you can be anybody you want to be on the web.
I began to miss and even prefer the mystery of being approached by a complete stranger whom I found attractive. I missed the few moments of discernment I had to use to decide whether or not I would give him my number. I missed planning dates rather than spending months talking online or on the phone, but never “seeing” each other. I missed the assurance of knowing I am giving my phone number to a genuine person rather than someone I barely know who I’ll end up curving eventually. I am an analog girl when it comes to finding love, so online dating is not really for me. However, in this new age, there are ways to build a solid profile that could still attract some genuine people. It involves the same honesty you should have when meeting someone face to face. It involves the things I did not get from the fellas I encountered online…
You can start by being upfront with what you are seeking. This allows those who are looking for similar things to message you while those looking for something entirely different can easily skip over you. Be specific when answering questions. If the question asks what your favorite hobbies are, share a memory. Be consistent when engaging someone. Don’t log on once, have a good conversation with someone and then fail to log in again for a few weeks or even another month. This is the quickest way for someone to lose interest. Also, please, take advantage of spell check. Use proper grammar. I know we all make mistakes, but if he or she is saying, “U is beautiful” or their introduction to you is “What’s gud ma.” then just take that as a red flag and keep it moving. Also, keep your answers short and sweet and straight to the point. No one wants to sit and read a profile that looks like a graduate thesis. People tend to be more visual when it comes to online reading, so don’t forget to make sure that your pictures are presentable, clear, and show your fun personality (if you have one).
Online dating is tricky, and for me, a little too impersonal. However, I know that some have had luck meeting a special someone through such means. What has your experience been if you’ve tried it?
Scenario 1: You are on the most amazing first date with a guy you are getting to know. You were set up by a friend and exchanged numbers to meet up for dinner at the new restaurant in town. You hit it off quickly and comfortably end the night with passionate sex. You were not expecting this to happen, but now that it has you find yourself in your feelings when it comes to this person you know very little about.
Scenario 2: You’ve been dating a guy for a while, but you have not made the decision to have sex with him yet in fear that he’ll lose interest once you do. You are ready for a commitment, but after being hurt so many times and failing to cope to manage his past issues, he reveals that he is not a commitment type of guy anymore. Still, you stick around, and you cannot deny your intense sexual attraction to him. You start to dance around the idea that maybe if you guys engaged in sex, it would change his feelings towards you for the better, and he would finally consider being with you exclusively.
This, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg” style debate has become more prevalent now that we are in the new age of dating and relationships. What comes first, the commitment or the sex? Traditionally, it has been the commitment, and many still hold fast to that standard. However, in these changing times, some are settling down later in life and opting for casual dating situations and instant gratification. Got an itch, why not scratch it? Which presents the question, can love and a healthy relationship come out of our first sexual encounters with someone?
A clinical study conducted by Concordia University in Montreal found that the same regions of the brain that control love also control sex, proving that our sexual desires and encounters with others can translate into love. According to Jim Pfaus, professor of psychology at Concordia, “You can have desires for sex without love, but sex can also be the start of a beautiful relationship.”
You may find yourself perplexed after underestimating the man you lied down with since you didn’t expect him to put it down like that. You may find yourself in your feelings because all you wanted was one night without strings, but now you want more than what is in his pants. Pfaus offers a scientific explanation for these unusual emotions.
Pfaus explains that the brain’s insular cortex and the striatum play a role in both our sexual desires and love because it is activated by both. He states that sexual desires activate the ventral striatum, the brain’s reward system, and once orgasm is reached, the dorsal striatum is activated, which is responsible for love. So even though love and sex are two different things, they often overlap. The overlap indicates that sexual desire transitions into love in many cases and the feelings are not separate.
So now that we know that it is possible for love to stem from sex, the question is, is that how you want to start a relationship?
Whether you’re a traditional woman who would prefer a commitment before being intimate or a woman who allows her body to do the talking for her, whatever decision you make is completely up to you; but it is important to use sound judgement because falling in love after having sex with a man who is afraid to commit won’t change his non-committal stance. Also, feelings of doubt can surface later on down the road when you start to wonder, was it really love that brought and kept you two together, or just good sex?
You’ve been warned.
After a very public and sad breakup, Ciara ushered in the New Year as a single woman. With her focus back on her music (and motherhood), she released her latest single, “I Bet,” which talks about infidelity in a romantic relationship. There has been speculation as to whether or not the song was a diss to former fiancé, Future, reportedly cheated on the singer. But before such reports surfaced, Future was Ciara’s “king.” In a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, Ciara spoke about the end of her relationship with Future and whether or not she thought she fell in love too fast with her ex. A man she once cried about on camera and referred to as her best friend:
“I think it’s just about going with the flow. I was a person who would be super hard. I would darn near date for a year before going to the next place. For me, I think with life you can’t really call it. You don’t know what a situation is going to be. You can take a year or you can take six months or you can take two. My dad, after knowing my mom for nine days, they were married and they’ve been together for 31 years. You never know. I’m not going to put a time limit on when I can do something. I’ve been experimenting over life, clearly, and I’m still trying to figure it all out.”
GOOD Music singer Teyana Taylor split with boyfriend Brandon Jennings back in 2014 after being head over heels in love with him for four years. The heartbreak was made worse when Jennings started dating Taylor’s so-called friend Tae Heckard soon after, and said that his relationship with Heckard was his first “real” public relationship. After publicly scolding her ex for disregarding what they had, Taylor has since confirmed a relationship with new beau, Iman Shumpert of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Taylor can now be seen lauding her man (and his penis…) on a regular basis on Instagram, crying about him during performances, wearing a chain with his name around her neck. While he hasn’t shown the same level of wild enthusiasm, the pair appears happy together.
Both of these ladies and their relationship habits got me thinking about how women fall in love, noses wide open, and rave about a man who stays doesn’t do the same for them. And while I do think the partners of both of these women did and do care about them, for many women, we fall head over heels in love with someone we aren’t even sure is “in like” with us. We all have that one friend who seems to be on a different date with a different guy every month and each time she believes she has found love or that she’s met “the one.” For the celebrities mentioned, it’s hard to avoid the limelight when establishing relationships, but there is a certain privacy that is important when building a foundation. Like Ginuwine said, “it ain’t none of yo friends business…” There are some days where we want to shout it from the rooftops when we’re falling for someone, but sometimes it’s better to keep some things to ourselves when trying to cultivate a new relationship.
Don’t be so hasty to post the man you just met as your “Man Crush Monday” on Instagram because you two had a connection; it’s only been a month. It’s better to focus on building and being present, rather than posting every date on social media and telling all your friends and family about this mystery guy you barely even know. In this tech age, people have access to all our information via the web and being transparent about our lives seems to be the norm. But are you being a little too transparent? If no one asked, why are you telling?
Naturally, we want to be in love, and we want someone to love us, but there are ways to build a healthy relationship with someone without involving an audience. For the hasty woman, allow him to chase you and uplift you up on a public platform instead of always rushing to do so. That’s not to say you can’t be certain of what you want. But by design, men are chasers. If you chase him, he doesn’t really have any work to do because you’re doing it all.
A good way to slow down is by learning how to contain and channel your excitement in other ways and by keeping your options open. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket when you’re not 100 percent certain of where you stand. By keeping your options open, you stay busy. You don’t have to date a plethora of men, but focus on you instead of focusing too much of your time on him and only him. Keep the conversation flowing and the dates coming, but don’t get too serious if he’s moving at the same pace. That will allow you to gauge how much interest he truly has in you.
I say all that to say, turn off social media and remove the rose-colored shades. That way you can actually see where things are headed, the red flags that may pop up, and if there’s a real connection before jumping the gun on love.