All Articles Tagged "relationships"

Take Notes: Real-Life Boyfriends Reveal What Makes A Good Boyfriend

August 1st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock



By , From YourTango 

What does it take to be a stellar boyfriend? Every relationship is different, but there are a few staple traits that will make you stand out as a great partner.

But instead of getting another study to tell you how to be a better in a relationship, we decided to collect some advice from — you guessed it — the best boyfriends ever. Get ready to take notes, fellas.

 1. Have Patience

“It takes patience to be a “great boyfriend,” patience within yourself to teach your partner new things and patience to learn. Also keep in mind never to use our experiences with past relationships to base our current ones. We can use those memories to grow and mature, but never compare the current lover to someone from the past. All human beings are different entities.” — Sean M.


2. Show Interest
“It always helps to be conscious of how your partner is feeling, and ask questions about a person’s day, show interest. Another thing is just about constant, open two-way communication.” — Sam G.


 3. Take Note Of The Little Things And Use Them Later

“I try to listen to what she is saying and then really remember one or two things. Maybe something she has really been wanting, or something that I know I could buy her that would make her life easier. In the beginning, I asked what her favorite flower is and make a note of it in my phone, this way when it comes time for me to get her some, I know exactly what it is without having to fish around.”— Paul D.


4. Put Her First
“I believe being a good boyfriend is something only a few men can understand. It’s putting somebody else’s life ahead of yours because you want to, not because you have to.” — Justin H.

Read more about boyfriends at 

Relationship 101: Why Friends Don’t Need To Know Your Personal Business

August 1st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Do relationship titles matter?

Source: Shutterstock


From Single Black Male 

We’ve reached the end of a tumultuous week that saw yet again gender relations in society pushed to the brink of an all-out war. Stephen A. Smith put his foot in his mouth and then spent much of the rest of the week trying to put two fingers in his mouth to vomit his foot out of it. Ray Rice capped it off with a contrite and hopefully sincere press conference that saw him finally apologize to his wife, his teammates, his organization and the city of Baltimore. Did he need to do a press conference? I’m not sure but we’ll leave that decision up to him. What we do know is that the general public and the media wanted to hear what he had to say. The unwritten right of the American people that they have a “right to know” even though that language appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution suggests that he needed to do a press conference or that he was required to do the press conference.

The same way we wanted a comment or quote from Beyonce and Jay-Z after the incident with Solange on that elevator. We all watched the video of Jay and Solange engaged in a sibling-in-law rivalry in a 6×6 box and we looked for every detail we could find. However, that never stopped us from wanting to know; “Is there sound on that elevator? I want to know what was said.” Then, we waited patiently for a message from the Carters or at least an interview with Oprah. Isn’t that the only respectable thing to do?

And to be perfectly honest, this post isn’t about domestic violence at all. It’s about when the general public feels they have a right to know your personal business and how we respond to that request from them.

A couple days ago, I assumed Twitter was just doing what they normally do and speculate on issues about relationships like $200 dates, who pays for the plane ticket, women proposing, following significant others on Twitter, Love & Hip Hop (or Basketball Wives because I really can’t tell the difference), and Jay-Z and Beyonce. But then I realized that not only was Black Twitter talking about Jay-Z and Beyonce but the media was doing so also. I pretty much treat everything I see on Twitter related to news the same way; I google it to see if any respectable source is also covering it.

I stumbled across this article on The Gothamist that gave me a quick recap of what everyone was talking about but it ended the first paragraph with an excellent quote,

“Let’s all talk about this deeply private part of the lives of two people we don’t know personally, shall we?”

Well, damn.

I know it’s hard to actually stop and reflect on that point because our desire to want to know intimate details of another person’s life can’t be contained. However, I think it’s really important that we stop right there and have a discussion.

Read more about privacy and relationships at 

Information Is A Privilege, Not A Right: When Should You Share Your Past In A Relationship?

August 1st, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Once a relationship is established, it can be hard to break from the norm.  However, in every relationship you have, there will inevitably be a power struggle of some sort.  Whether it’s a relationship that requires you to acknowledge an authority outside of yourself (like a parent, or boss), or a struggle to compromise with a significant other (where one might win and the other loses), the power struggle will remain.

But there’s a struggle that you might face that is going to be completely on you, and you have to either relent or stand your ground with it.  That battle is “information.”

When you’re a very nice and honest person this is going to be a continuous test, because people get very used to your honesty, and know that if asked, you’ll likely give them what they want.  Some people will use it against you, and in some cases might even demand to know things.  However, your information isn’t a privilege that everyone needs to have access to.

Now, I’m not saying to not be honest about important things like sexual history, but there are certain factors that should be examined when you’re about to give personal information.

1.)  How important is this information to them? – What I mean by that is, there are some people who will demand to know things about you when it won’t personally affect them.

As stated above, if the information is about sexual health with someone who you’re preparing to get busy with, that’s someone who deserves the entire truth.

If you’re in an abusive relationship and in the scuffle you make a mistake and pocket dial someone and they hear the melee, yeah, you should probably let them know and then seek help so you can get out of that situation.

However, if someone is trying to pry into an issue that the only benefit to them is the information itself, that’s when you have to start contemplating if it’s necessary for them to know.

2.)  Are you prepared to relive this? – Piggybacking off of the first point, sometimes people are so interested in knowing what’s going on, and wanting an answer just to have it that they might not realize how insensitive they are to your feelings.

The act of giving someone information can be very mentally straining, especially if the information that they want is connected to something that you might not be ready to talk about.

Granted, people might not know, but the important thing is, you know what lies beneath the surface of this coveted tidbit.  If revealing it is going to make you face an iceberg of emotion that you weren’t ready to  face, then don’t face it until you are ready.

3.)  Is there an advantage to telling them this?  - Now, I’m going to be honest here.  There are moments that we might have to hear the truth about our lives and our decisions, even if we don’t want to.  Living in dysfunction is one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself, and ignoring that dysfunction can hurt you in the long run.

Sometimes an outside party can see this clearer than we can, so they might ask for information to get a better assessment on whether or not they can help.

With that being said, try and figure out if there is an advantage to being transparent with them.  If you could benefit by getting assistance, then that might be a good reason to divulge.  But if it’s only going to leave you emotionally raw, exposed, and still in the same place, then give it some thought if that’s the direction you want to go down.

The important thing with all of these situations is that you ultimately have the power.  If someone is demanding to know something just for the sake of knowing it is when you should exercise your agency to decide if you want to let them in.  Just because someone is in your life, doesn’t mean that their need to know things should overpower your own sensibilities, and that’s a power struggle that’s worth fighting for.

Pick Up Lines That Nobody Likes

August 1st, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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You hear them when you’re walking at the mall, having a drink at the club or when you’re just trying to buy groceries. Sometimes they’re pick up lines, sometimes they’re just pick up sounds. What we want to know is why can’t he just come up and say “hello”?

Pick Up Lines

Image Source:


Men think this is a great way to get your attention on he low. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that this is the same way you call a dog or a cat.

#BeyoncifyMyBoyfriend: Toronto Teen Photoshops Ex As Beyonce

July 30th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Shutterstock/ WENN

Shutterstock/ WENN

Life will twist and turn while you’re dealing with a breakup. You may find yourself munching on sugary cupcakes by day and dancing on tables by night and in between these moments, deleting all your “so-in-love” photos on social media. But before you hit that “delete” button on your pictures, Toronto native Cassandra Blackwel has another option for you: Beyoncify your boyfriend! Buzzfeed reports when Blackwel broke up with her boyfriend instead of deleting every picture of them together, she photoshopped his face with the face of our Beloved Queen Bey.

Blackwel even turned her post-breakup photo project into a Tumblr page and is taking requests to Beyoncify everyone’s ex-boyfriend. She says: “It’s an ode to how much effort I put into the relationship, if you will.” In an interview will Elle Magazine Online, Blackwel said her project doubled her Twitter following and helped her forget about her break-up. Although many find her breakup recovery tactic a bit strange, Blackwel says of her project:  “I think it’s doing so well because everyone can relate to it. It’s just fun and innocent I think that’s why everyone is enjoying it. I made the blog for my friends and never expected it to get like this.”

With submissions streaming in for her to Beyoncify other men, Blackwel claims the project helps alleviate the pain during any breakup period. She notes, “ If imagining yourself at your happiest with Beyoncé doesn’t help, I don’t know what will.”

Blackwel ain’t say nothing but a word!

Below you will find some pictures of Blackwel Beyoncifying her ex-boyfriend via her Beyoncify Beyonce Tumblr Page:

cozy night in with B


For more pictures, check out Beyoncify My Boyfriend. Will you be submitting a photo?

We Bring Maternal Instincts To Our Romances : Claudette Ortiz On Why Women Stay In Bad Relationships

July 30th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

R&B Diva and former City High singer Claudette Ortiz has had her fair share of relationship struggles. From the men she dated in her music group, to the sexual assault she detailed on the Divalogues and the domestic violence she’s endured, it’s clear that she’s seen quite a bit and hopefully learned from it. During the weekend of the Espys, The Jasmine Brand asked Ortiz what was the most valuable lesson she’s learned from her relationships and she had some interesting thoughts on why women tend to stay in relationships long after they know they won’t work out. See what she had to say below.

The Jasmine Brand : What was the most important thing you’ve learned from your relationships?

Claudette: Taking your time and knowing your worth.


TJB: How long did it take you to know your worth and keeping relearning your worth?

Claudette: It was a long journey. It took some time. I didn’t have a daddy to tell me he loved me and that I’m beautiful, and a lot of young women don’t have that and we’ll tend to not know our worth and think that a man has to tell us [those things], to know our worth, so it took some time, but thank the Lord.


TJB: When does a woman know it’s time to leave a relationship? 

Claudette: A woman knows when its time, its just when she chooses to leave.


TJB: So you think most women know before they actually have the courage and strength to do it?

Claudette: Yeah, and we see signs too. We see signs before it happens, but we think we can change somebody sometimes. I believe that because we’re made to birth children, we’re also made to see the potential in people, because we’re made to see that potential in our children, and cultivate it so we can raise them to be the best human beings they can be. Sometimes we see the potential in a man and think we can cultivate it, when maybe its for the next person [to cultivate].


I found that so interesting. I’ve heard countless discussion about women dating men with potential but rarely heard anyone try to theorize on why that might be the case. Claudette’s theory about our maternal instincts seeping into our romantic interactions doesn’t seem too far fetched to me. What do you all think, is trying to cultivate a man–similar to the ways in which we cultivate children– one of  the reasons why women continue to date and stay with men they shouldn’t?

Have you ever found yourself staying in a relationship because you were waiting for a man to realize his potential or you felt like you were the one who could bring it out of him?


Hey Madame: Do Relationship Titles Matter If You Have Everything Else?

July 30th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hey Madame is our new advice column featuring each MadameNoire editors’ take on reader questions, giving you a wide range of perspectives on topics like you’d get from any good group of girlfriends. Read, enjoy, and if you have a question, email it to us at!

Do relationship titles matter?

Source: Shutterstock

Hey Madame,

Should the title really matter if you have everything else?

Brande: It depends. Asking this question suggests titles matter to you and if the person you’re with isn’t offering something so important to you, you have to decide whether a title is a non-negotiable or something you can do without. If everything else is there without the title, it might seem like a trivial thing, but think about the reason people get married, it’s a demonstration of a higher commitment to one another, a covenant even. A title of girlfriend/boyfriend, in my opinion, demonstrates a higher level of commitment. It says we aren’t just kicking it or talking, we’re in a relationship together and if that matters to you, don’t accept less than that.

Lauren: Titles do matter if you want an exclusive relationship, because you do not want another woman enjoying your goods! Ha! But on a serious note, if you want to become a girlfriend, you need to address your vision with who you are dating. If he is in agreement with you, you both will take the necessary steps to make your relationship official. If not, I am pretty sure another man will come along to give you exactly what you need. Be mindful, sometimes becoming official happens over night or it may take longer. Whatever the timeline, do not add pressure or give ultimatums. Ask for what you need and live your life by making the best decisions for you.

Jazmine: Different things matter to different people. But considering that you’ve written in, it’s apparent that titles matter to you. Having everything else is great, but if you need exclusivity and it’s not being given to you, it’s probably time to reassess things and figure out if this is the best situation for you.

Veronica: Simply put, yes. By asking this question, it seems like you want a title. And you should have that. It seems simple but it’s not too much to ask at all, especially if you truly have everything else. Typically, I find that people (read: men) who avoid titles either have some serious relationship scars they’ve yet to deal with or they use not having a title as an excuse to still act like they’re single.

Victoria: I agree that it depends. If you’re okay with not having a title, then keep having fun and see where things go. But I personally think a title makes a relationship more serious, and if that’s what you’re looking for — a serious relationship —  then yes, it does matter. Base your concerns about titles off of what you’re seeking from this man.

Are You Romanticizing Relationships?

July 30th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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work guilt



Having a healthy view of yourself is always a good thing, and sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader.  Other times, you have to fake your greatness until you become great.  However, there are times when you’re rose-colored glasses can work against you, and here’s how they screwed me over once.

For some reason, the thing to do your freshman year of college was to visit your former high school while it was still in session, and visit some teachers.  So, like I fool, I did it.  I went to all of my favorite teachers before their classes.  They would ask me to tell the students a few things that I learned since being in college, and then I was on my merry way to impart my wisdom, and presence on all of the lowly high schoolers.

I saved the best for last as I went to a teacher who I felt really cemented my pursuit to go into writing.  I’ll call her Ms. Smith.

I had her my final semester of senior for Creative Writing.  In fact, I had the option to graduate a semester early, but I opted to stay that last semester so I could specifically have her as a teacher.  Everyone said how amazing she was, and no one was lying.  She was a great teacher.   But my shining moment came when a few times she pulled me over to the side and told me how impressed she was with my writing and stressed that I needed to really go into this field.  Gaining her approval was so important to me, and I wanted to remind her of that.

I walked in and I wasn’t given the normal ecstatic greeting, so I just assumed that she was stressed.  But I went over to her, hugged her, and assured her that I was on my way to my goal.  I was majoring in English and I had her to thank for it.  She nodded politely, and I left, leaving one of my best friends who was still in high school and taking the class to find her seat as I went back home.  Later, my friend called me and told me that after I left, Ms. Smith went over to her and said:  “Who was that girl?”

Crushed is an understatement.  Mortified seems like a pretty good assessment of my feelings at the time, and then shame when I tried to rationalize her lack of remembering me.  After I couldn’t come up with an explanation I decided to stop trying to figure out why and appreciate what was.

The thing that I learned through this horrible ordeal was:

Romanticizing relationships can happen easily, especially if the person had a big impact on your journey in life.  But sometimes you have to separate the person from the experience to be able to keep things in perspective.

A positive experience doesn’t necessarily mean a relationship that is everlasting.  Take the powerful words and feelings that have been bestowed on you to help encourage you to be a better person.  However, don’t take it as a means to lay a foundation for a relationship that was never there.

Also, see things for how they are, not for how you want them to be.  A great relationship is built on more than a few positive interactions, and built on a myriad of factors.  Once you’re able to see how limited a relationship is, it helps to allow you to not romanticize it in your head.

I know that seeing things in black and white can remove the fun from seeing things through your rose-colored glasses, but it’s not fun when you falsely elevate your position in someone else’s life.  Trust me.

4 Toxic Dating Rules You Should Not Follow

July 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Divorce - Sad young couple holding billboard sign with break up



By Lorraine Jackson, For YourTango 

Are you totally baffled as to why you only seem to attract men who are far from ideal for you? Are you tired of ending up with men who aren’t ready for the same type of relationship you want? Before you give up on the possibility of ever meeting a guy who truly measures up, you may want to take a look at how the following so-called “dating rules” may be adversely hurting your chances of finding The One.

Myth# 1. You’ll “just know” when you meet the right guy.

 We’ve been programmed to believe that we can tell whether or not a guy is right for us based on the way he makes us feel, therefore, many women fail to take less-savory aspects of his character into account when determining if he would make a good mate for them.


However, trying to establish a relationship based solely on an intense attraction can cloud your judgment in determining whether a truly viable, long-term relationship is even possible with this guy. While being physically attracted to him should definitely be part of the equation, intense chemistry itself shouldn’t be your only reason for choosing to be in a long-term relationship.


 Myth # 2: Good men are in limited supply.


The following expressions, “a good man is hard to find” and “all the good men are already taken” are so widely held as truth by single ladies everywhere, women not only rely on these two concepts to sooth their bruised egos and damaged self-esteem when a relationship goes awry; they’ve become the single woman’s mantra for being unable to find a suitable mate.


Unfortunately, this way of thinking not only causes women to latch onto the first guy who shows the slightest interest in them. Subscribing to the notion that good men are few and far between also causes women to spend way too much time trying to make a relationship work with the wrong guy.

Read more about these dating rules at 

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks To Upscale About Why There Are No One-Size-Fits-All Rules In Love

July 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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upscaleIn less than two months, Tracee Ellis Ross will be returning to the small screen with her new comedy series, “Black-ish,” starring comedian Anthony Anderson. The fluffy-haired diva appears on the August 2014 cover of Upscale magazine. Inside , she dishes on her new series, keeping her body tight and why there are no one-size-fits-all rules in the game of love. Check out some of her interview highlights below.

On what it means to be black:

“What is blackness? What is being black? Who defines that and do we need to define that? I don’t have the answers to all of those questions but I think these are the conversations we’re all still having.”

On “Black-ish:”

“The beauty of the show is that it’s just a family comedy, but it has another layer to it. I don’t know what I necessarily want people to think or talk about after watching it but for me in general with cultural identity, racial identity and feminist identity, dialogue is important. People communicating in a light and open way about issues that have a lot of depth and weight to them is a great thing.”

On loving her body:

“I’m proud of my body—I work very hard to keep my body at 41 years-old, because my booty could drop… Gravity is not a joke.”

On love and relationship advice:

“Any one rule [as it pertains to romantic relationships] that people think works everywhere is just not true. In general, with everything it’s an intimate discovery of trusting yourself and allowing yourself the room to have curiosity about life and self.”

You can check out Tracee’s full interview in the August issue of Upscale.