All Articles Tagged "love"

Ways To Get Him To Be Better In Bed Without Hurting His Feelings

February 5th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

In a perfect world, everyone would feel comfortable enough to ask for what they want from the first time they hop in the sack with someone. But the “everything you’re doing wrong” conversation can be a tough one to have when you haven’t been dating that long. What’s much easier? Asking him to have a seat in the “bad at sex” section of your phone book and never calling him again.

But if you do meet a guy who you’re willing to go over some hurdles with, it doesn’t have to be “awkward conversation” or “no more conversation at all.” Try these ways to improve common performance flaws without pointing the finger at where he’s falling short. Just a few of these ego-sparing tips may be just what you need to keep things as passionate in the bedroom as they are everywhere else.

Have any more tips and tricks to make him better in bed while sparing his feelings? Let us know in the comment section!

Travel Trials: My Boyfriend Is Going On Vacation With A Female Friend I Don’t Know

February 1st, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Corbis

(As Told To Lauren R.D. Fox)

Eric and I started dating in July and our relationship was nothing but bliss. Throughout our seven-month courtship, our relationship unfolded with ease. Our date nights were Instagram-worthy (and could even fill a Zane book, cover to cover). Not to mention, I never had to pry for information and I met his friends, family and even co-workers immediately! I was in his world and completely over the moon for him.

I felt like I had finally met “The One.” That is, until one evening after dinner, Eric reminded me that he would be traveling to Brazil in August. He initially told me about his planned trip on our second date and although I had grown to trust Eric, I still had my reservations. I assumed it would be an all-boys trip so I was a bit worried Eric and his friends would have too much fun. You know the type of fun viral Internet videos were made of. Nonetheless, I asked him if there was anything I could do to help him prepare for his upcoming trip. Cheerfully, Eric said, “No it’s OK, Keisha has everything under control.”

I paused.

“Who is Keisha?” I asked, anxiously . “Oh that’s my home girl who is coming to Brazil with me.” Before I could hurl a series of expletives towards Eric, I calmly said to him: “You’ve never mentioned or spoke about her to me before. Furthermore, why haven’t I met Keisha?”

Eric responded by explaining he and Keisha were college best friends and after they graduated Duke, they traveled once a year together since they lived in distant cities. As much as I wanted to fully believe Eric’s “that’s the homie” spiel, something deep down inside of me didn’t want him to go to Brazil with her.

In order to keep the peace but still have a backbone, I told Eric I didn’t feel comfortable with him going to Brazil with Keisha but if I spoke to her prior to their trip I would feel more at ease. Eric said that was fair but after three weeks, he never made the effort for Keisha and me to be introduced via phone or FaceTime, so I can put a face and voice to the name.

Currently, I am on the fence about our once perfect relationship and considering breaking up with Eric.

Am I being irrational?

 

What Airbnb’s Travel Trends Reveal About You And The Status Of Your Relationship

January 29th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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In a recent study based on the travel trends of consumers, Airbnb reports that only 25 percent of people booked Valentine’s Day getaways in advance in comparison to the 45 percent who booked lodging for New Year’s Eve 45 days in advance. So what’s the big deal about that?

Well, in a press release on their study, Airbnb revealed: “The pinch of procrastination can get to everyone but when Airbnb analyzed booking data around big holiday travel times including New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day we found that guests hold off on committing to Valentine’s Day plans more than any other holiday. Over 45 percent of bookings for New Year’s Eve came 45 days in advance of the fete, however only 25 percent of bookings for Valentine’s Day came in that time period.”

In other words, you or your man might be unsure about each other — or at least your desire to commit to such a romantic rendezvous too far in advance, which kind of goes back to the first point.

In addition to these surprising results, Airbnb notes those who desire to go on vacation during Valentine’s Day weekend tend to fly to Europe. The top Europeans countries/regions, travelers visit during their romantic weekend are Denmark, Poland, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. When not celebrating romance, Airbnb states birthdays are receiving more focus.

Consumers find themselves celebrating their birth week or month by taking extra time off of work to travel. Also 9 percent of those who travel use Airbnb instead of hotels during their birth month than any other month.

When not traveling for love or their birthdays, Airbnb found women, specifically Asians, are more likely to travel without a partner. The top five countries with solo female travelers are Japan, Taiwan, China, Russia, and Brazil.

3 Ways To Make A Long-Distance Marriage Work (From A Woman Who’s Doing It)

January 28th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Long Distance Marriage

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Last year, I read a thought-provoking piece on Cosmopolitan titled, I Love My Long-Distance Marriage. Prior to reading the piece, I assumed the author, Diksha Basu ,would be writing about how she and her spouse were separated by state lines. The reality is Basu and her husband don’t even live on the same continent, yet she claims their relationship has never been stronger.

In her piece, Basu gave a detailed account on how her relationship progressed with her husband since their first encounter: “Mikey and I met nearly eight years ago in Mumbai and immediately we recognized each other as fellow travelers. We both had the good fortune of being born into families that love travel, and our relationship has always been defined by movement. My husband is from New Zealand, lived a large part of his adult life in London, and now spends most of the year in Mumbai. He is the only blonde-haired, blue-eyed music producer in Bollywood. I am from New Delhi, have lived in various cities around the world.”

Since 2011, Basu has lived in New York City where she attended Columbia University for her graduate degree. After completing her studies, Basu decided to stay on the east coast and pursue career opportunities in the city because she felt a deep affinity for it. Basu also decided to stay with Mikey because “it isn’t easy to find a partner who understands your deep-rooted wanderlust and need to roam.” So to make their unconventional living situation (and marriage) work, Basu and her husband alternate travel schedules so they can spend time with one another as often as possible. They also don’t label their marriage as “long-distance” because they don’t believe it’s reflective of their lifestyle. Instead, they opt for being labeled as a couple that likes to travel together and independently.

If you have a hard time wrapping your mind around this time of arrangement, but think it might be worth a try, check out thee three tips Basu gave on how to make a long-distance marriage work:

Check In

Married couples who live together often say at times they’ve grown apart from their spouses. Basu shared she and her husband check in with one another at least once a day. Jenn Bennet who wrote a similar essay about her long-distance marriage for XOJane also noted:” We called each other almost every day or we were regularly in the middle of a text message conversation. Email, Gchat, text, and Facebook have made it relatively easy to keep track of each other’s comings, goings, events.”

Make A Schedule

Make a routine schedule to travel to your spouse’s city, often. Basu and her husband never allow three weeks to pass without seeing one another. However, not all couples have the financial luxury to travel to see one another often. Therefore, it’s important to know how much physical contact you and your spouse need in order to make your long distance marriage work. Bennet and her husband couldn’t afford to see each other more than three times a year. Because of this, Bennet shared, “Living apart made knowing his daily habits impossible so practicing things I was previously great at, like empathy, became challenging. I imagined him partying instead of taking care of the dog, or forgetting overdue bills because he slept all day, or ignoring household chores by playing video games. What I didn’t realize was that he was cleaning out the garage or going to class, and that money was so tight he was eating off the same plate over and over and not doing laundry to conserve utility costs.”

Know Why You’re In A Long-Distance Marriage

Although it is not often talked about, long-distance marriages occur often. Despite this, the lifestyle is still considered taboo. Basu says many people think her marriage is on the rocks nevertheless she knows that their relationship works better because they’re able to achieve their goals. So it’s important to stay focus on the decisions that make your marriage work instead of listening to the criticism.

Date Night Reinvented: Tips From Valeisha Butterfield Jones

January 26th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Valeisha Butterfield Jones is definitely a force to be reckoned with. From working with Russell Simmons as the director of the Hip Hop Summit Network to working with the Obama administration as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for international trade, she’s had a vast range of professional experiences that  have shaped her. She is also one of the founders of WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network), the owner of The Butterfield Group Consulting Form, and now an author. But she realizes that having it all means putting her family first. She shared her tips on what keeps her marriage flowing and healthy.

How long have you been married and how old is your son?
Valeisha: I’ve been married to my husband, Dahntay Jones, for a little over four years and our son, DJ, is now three-years-old.

Have you found that it’s hard to spend a lot of quality time together now that you have a child?
Valeisha: Yes, it can be very challenging to spend quality time with your husband, especially with a young child. From the moment I became pregnant and gave birth, my life changed and I had to continue to make my marriage a priority. When DJ was just a few months old, I realized that all of my time was split between caring for him and work. The day I stopped to realize that my priorities were off, I immediately changed. While being a mom and a businesswoman is important, you must keep the spice in your marriage. We now have mandatory date nights once a week. Not only do I call my mother-in-law or hire a sitter, I make sure it’s an overnight situation!! We can stay out as late as we like and we can even sleep in the next day.

What does your date night typically consist of?
Valeisha: Our date nights are usually very casual. Because of the nature of our careers (he’s a professional athlete and I am an author currently on a national book tour), we have very little downtime. So, our date nights normally consist of jeans, sneakers, a good movie, dinner and a nice bottle of wine.

Can you give me three at home date night ideas and how would you plan/prepare for each one?
Valeisha:

1. Dim the house with candles burning and soft music playing, dinner already prepared and a massage table set-up and on display in the living room. You can give each other massages and set the mood. If you’re intimidated by giving him a massage, you can hire a massage therapist to come into the home and do the work for you.
2. Turn your backyard into a sanctuary. Get a nice blanket, a good bottle of wine, your favorite movie (my favorite is the 1970 film Love Story) playing on your iPad and a candle. Make it an outdoors moment.
3. Draw a nice warm bath, burn your favorite candles, play your favorite playlist and read to each other. Reading to each other excerpts from your favorite book can be very, very romantic. Slow dancing is nice too.

Is there anything specific that you would do like cook his favorite meal or have it be a theme that he likes or have something there that is sentimental to the two of you?
Valeisha: The most important component of an at-home date-night is to put in the effort. If you’re not a great cook, hire someone or get some of your friends to come over and help (and leave before he gets home).

Do you think it’s important to try and stay fit and sexy during a marriage? And how can someone do that?
Valeisha: Not only do you look better when you workout, you feel better. Staying or in some cases getting fit in your marriage is definitely important. It increases your energy and shows your spouse that you not only care about him/her, but you care about yourself. If mom is healthy, it sets the tone for the entire family.

What are the pros and cons of being married to an NBA player?
Valeisha: Being an NBA player is an occupation and not the definition of who he is as a man. When we were dating, we made sure to establish that upfront. Too often, we buy into our occupations as being a part of our lifestyle, when we shouldn’t. Occupations come and go, but our true character remains. A friend of mine, Dr. Alex Ellis, told me recently “You can’t be a success on the road and a failure at home.” That really stuck with me. Of course, I enjoy going to the games, traveling and meeting new people, but it’s also a very time-consuming occupation. Having a two-year old, it can be challenging to relocate so often and travel so much, but it comes with the territory.

What’s the best marriage advice anyone has given you?
Valeisha: The best advice I ever received is “the days are long, but the years are short.” I interpreted that to mean that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and to not define the happiness of your marriage by small disagreements. When you marry someone, you become family and it’s important to keep that in perspective.

Would You Purchase A One Way Or Round Trip Ticket For A Fiancé With A 90-Day Visa?

January 25th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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90-Day Fiancée

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In this real-life scenario of TLC’s 90-Day Fiancé, a man is seeking advice from his fellow Reddit peers about whether or not he should purchase a round trip ticket for his fiancée who is traveling from Germany on a 90-day K1 visa. The visa will give the couple 90 days to wed in order for his German fiancée to start her American citizenship application.

Despite this being an exciting time in their lives, the groom-to-be is a bit worried that things may not work out as they should. He writes: “The thing is, she’s got a 90-day limit to marry me and that should go over just fine, but I’d like to have the round trip just in case something goes awry and she has to return. It’s also cheaper, which is nice. Problem is, if everything works out and she can stay, she would not take the return trip.”

Not only are their wedding plans making the groom worry, but he also doesn’t want to waste his money on a potentially unneeded plane ticket. “I’ve read into the practice of “throwaway ticketing” and understand airlines frown upon it, but I feel like we have a good reason to get a round trip in the first place just as a precautionary measure. Advice? Speaking of cancelling, is it better to actually contact the airline and explain to them why she won’t be returning rather than simply not showing up?”

While many focused on providing advice on how the man should contact the airlines in case he has to cancel his bride’s round trip ticket, I’m more concerned with him seeking such advice at all, as it makes him appear a bit doubtful about his future wife’s intentions. When Americans enter relationships with those who live abroad, they are usually seen as a commodity because they offer citizenship to one of the world powers and the key to a better life. It’s for that reason, many, like this Reddit user, are skeptical of the potential repercussions once the newness of the relationship — and the arrival to the States — wears off. So what should one expect when marrying a foreigner? Forbes gives U.S. citizens three major tips to consider before your big day:

Get A Prenuptial Agreement

Many Americans are sought after during their travels abroad, especially if they are wealthy. Therefore, it is important to have a prenuptial agreement in order to shield your property and financial estates if there is a divorce in the future.

Understand Your Spouse Won’t Become a Citizen Right Away

No! For two years, your spouse will be granted a conditional green card as Immigration officials review your marriage and living situation. Forbes reports, “ At the two-year mark of the relationship, immigration officials review the marriage to see if the couple is still together. Those spouses that satisfy officials of the bona fides of their relationship get approved for permanent status. Those who fail are required to leave the country.”

Know How Much You Have To Pay

If you are sponsoring your fiancé/e, you will have to (currently) pay a filing fee of $340.00 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This fee does not apply to the other expenses expected to be paid if the fiancé/e decides to become a U.S. citizen.

Knowing this information, should the groom-to-be purchase a round-trip ticket for his German fiancée or not?

For more information on sponsoring an immigrant fiancé/e, visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services site.

Are You Better At Attracting Love Abroad?

January 22nd, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Corbis

Latrese Williams of Another Single Sister recently wrote a pivotal blog entry about dating as a Black woman abroad. She opened her piece by sharing her American dating experiences with the type of men who many of us have had the unfortunate pleasure of dating as well: “I dated a handsome and sweet idiot, an unemployed no sex drive guy, and the couldn’t get over his ex-wife, ever, ever, emotionally unavailable dude.”

However, whenever Williams found herself miles away from American soil, her love life was filled will late nights and sensual early mornings. “When I travel, I am Apple stock. I am a tech company IPO. I am first round of investor funding secured. Moving around in other places there seems to be an infinite supply of men and I feel like a blonde white girl at the ESPY Awards,” she writes. And even if she was approached by the occasional douche bag, Williams claims that while she is abroad there were “So. Many. Options. Many of these men are handsome, charming, employed, eager, and then the accents? *swoon*”

Aside from that, Williams shared that her dating experiences abroad varied and didn’t always happen with marriage being the end goal: “ You can have a passionate kiss and mind blowing sex or just meet this really cool guy that will always join you for an espresso to teach you the language and practice his English.”

To gather more insight on this topic, I reached out to a close friend of mine, Lauren Powell, who lived in Brazil for seven months and asked about her opinions on finding love abroad.

MadameNoire: What has been your experience dating in your hometown?
Laura Powell: Dating in my hometown was like a long drawn out game in which you don’t really know the rules but you don’t want to lose. Almost like an aggressive stare down and see who talks first contest. It’s always a let’s see who can feel the most and hide their feelings contest. And frankly it was annoying for me.
MN: Do you think American dating is different from dating abroad?
LP: American dating is definitely different from dating abroad. Different set of values, different girl and guy codes.

MN: One woman claims American men are lazy and men abroad put forth more effort, do you agree or disagree? And why?
LP: I agree and disagree. American men don’t put forth the effort; they don’t usually pull out chairs or bring flowers. But I disagree because if you think about it when you travel to certain countries as an American/ European citizen you are a commodity. So you have to factor in where are you meeting these men, how long are you there? In my case, I was living in Brazil, so I had a chance to see the actual dating culture and from that experience I will say that the culture breeds men who are polite and into chivalry. They believe in paying for the first date and not going dutch like in the states. Overall, I do think men abroad put forth more effort. It’s just that the intention is just as important.

MN: Did men approach you differently in Brazil in comparison to men in your hometown?
LP: Yes I felt like it was an approach of a genuine appreciation and not an objectified one. I feel objectified in the United States but in Brazil I felt proud to be a curvy black woman with my natural hair.

MN: Should Black women from America, specifically, be skeptical about dating men from other countries?
LP: Yes but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t date men from other countries. It’s like with anything, be smart and aware about your choices.

MN: Do you think Black women can find the love of their lives abroad?
LP: Certainly! Especially in warm, receptive cultures like Northern Brazil. Boa Sorte (good luck) ladies!

Have found love while abroad? If so, share your story in the comment section below!

That’s Amore! New Webseries Black Girls In Rome Shows Black Women Finding Love In Italy

January 18th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Many of us love the various web series that document the Black woman’s experience from Los Angeles to Africa and luckily for audiences another web series has been created to cover all the #BlackGirlMagic in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, an African-American woman who lives in Rome, has written, directed and produced Black Girls In Rome, a series that revolves around a woman who lives in New York City and suspects her boyfriend is seeing another woman. In an effort to move away from the drama, the woman books a one-way flight to Rome and becomes immersed in Roman culture and even finds a new boy-toy while on her new adventure! The series will also cover what it is like to live in Rome as a Black woman navigated her womanhood.

Check out the trailer for Black Girls in Rome which is slated to debut this Spring. And take a look at Dr. Pizzoli’s other web series In Nero: Black Girls In Rome as well.

“It’s The Toughest Thing I’ve Ever Dealt With” B. Smith And Her Husband Talk Living With Alzheimer’s

January 15th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Many of us remember the tragic news of B. Smith being reported missing back in 2014. It was then that we learned the model, restaurateur and lifestyle guru, was living with early onset Alzheimers.

In a recent interview with People, Dan Gasby, B. Smith’s husband of 23 years, explains what life has been like taking care of his wife who has been living with the disease for three years now.

Gasby says it’s an around the clock job.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever dealt with. Anybody who is an Alzheimer’s care giver knows exactly what other caregivers are going through. It’s 24/7. The complexity and the intensity of it is very tough.”

Smith, who is 66, was diagnosed in 2013, after her husband noticed she became increasingly moody and forgetful.

The news of her disease came as she was continuing to build her empire. She opened three restaurants, wrote three cookbooks, hosted a nationally syndicated television show and was the first African American woman to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle. She also launched her own brand of home goods at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Also in the midst of battling the disease, Smith wrote a memoir called Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s. It will hit shelves on Tuesday, January 19.

In the memoir Smith and Gasby also share the details of drug trials and research to help Alzheimer’s patients.

“I want to help a lot of people,” Smith said.

The couple dedicated the memoir to Congress in hopes they will increase funding for research to find a cure. The disease most commonly affects women and African Americans.

Gasby said with someone being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds and all of the technology in this country, America should be leading the world on this.

Gasby also mentioned the financial and emotional costs of caring for a loved one with this disease.

“[It] is overwhelming most of the time. I’m taking it one day at a time,” he says. “It’s extremely difficult. At times I feel like I am between the Titanic and the iceberg and the water is cold and it makes a difference which one I get on.”

But it’s his devotion to B. that allows him to carry on.

“The real secret to love,” he says, “is that you gotta like who you love, because that’s what’s going to take you through the tough things.

“She is without a doubt a decent person,” he says. “She has always found the good in people. She is selfless, not selfish. She cares about people. You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t like Barbara Smith or B. Smith.

Over the 28 years in the restaurant business, we got hundreds of letters that remind us of when she made a difference in someone’s life.”

Smith looked over at her husband and smiled saying, “He takes good care of me,” and then wiping away tears added, “I love him.”

Serious Question: Should You Upgrade The Way Your Man Dresses?

January 11th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Corbis

If you’re a diehard Sex and The City fan like me, you’ll remember when Charlotte suggested Mike get circumcised in order for her to have sex with him and he took her advice since he was tired of women sexually rejecting him because of his covered prized possession. In awe, Charlotte was surprised to find a man would change himself in order to become a better lover for her. However, she was in for a rude awakening. After his surgery, Mike “tested” out his new penis for Charlotte and despite their “You-Got-Me- Sprung” coital session, Mike told Charlotte, he rather date other women because his circumcised penis made him feel like a “new man.” Devastated, Charlotte couldn’t believe her suggestion to Mike pushed him to still explore other dating options even though his big change was supposed to be for her sexual enjoyment. However,  in the same episode, her friend Samantha dutifully noted that if you try to change a man, it may work against you.  Samantha’s outlook on this issue is nothing new and one that some women avidly live by.

For example, over the holidays my family members and I came together to celebrate our cousin’s birthday and, of course, girl talk ensued as we sipped rum-infused drinks. The more drinks flowed, the more tea was spilled about our boyfriends and new beaus as we went around sharing in a circle. Eventually, one cousin began to speak about her boyfriend who she claimed was too fine for words but didn’t wear the best outfits –and had a missing tooth. When another cousin asked her if she would buy him better clothes or suggested replacing his tooth, she said, “Hell no! You want me to fix him up for someone else?” Giggles ensued, and although I found myself laughing along, I also knew in my heart I would be uncomfortable dating someone whose attire turned me off — or who I had to fear would leave me if I upgraded him Beyonce style.

Call me shallow or blame my father, who is as spiffy as they come, but I would feel odd about being with someone who didn’t turn me on with their style of dress and didn’t express a certain level of confidence, physically. This doesn’t mean my significant other has to buy expensive clothing; however, I think the way a man carries himself exemplifies what type of vision he has for himself and his success.

Also, my mother raised me not to date anyone who looked unkempt and, in all honesty, I’ve passed on dating men who dressed oddly or looked as though they rolled out of bed because they would usually make comments about me looking “too presentable,” “too clean” or even better, ask me if I thought I was better than them. In short, their confidence issues and annoying projections became tiresome. However, if I ever did date a man who didn’t dress according to a style that usually catches my eye, I don’t think I would change his wardrobe but I would make suggestions about how he could step up his appearance — despite the fear that another woman would scoop him up. If the latter were to happen, then we weren’t meant to be forever and that has nothing to do with appearances or clothing.

Thoughts?