All Articles Tagged "romance"

No Romance? Evoking The Romantic In Your Boyfriend

December 20th, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Music plays from outside of your bedroom window, resonating against the late evening backdrop. You then drop whatever misleading but enthralling romantic novel you are currently invested in and you approach the window. You see your beloved below: stereo held high above his head, his body adorned in a trench jacket, and there’s love written across his handsome face.

OH, wait….rewind. That’s not your boyfriend, that’s John Cusack (See: Say Anything), and that couldn’t be your life, because your man does not have a romantic bone in his body.

For some reason, your boyfriend can spend his existence splurging on video games, but never on jewelry; bringing home a dozen donuts, but not a dozen roses; and sitting through three hours of basketball, but not two hours of Broadway.

He’s unromantic and it’s frustrating, but before you kick his adorable but oblivious butt to the curb, consider some subtle and not-so-subtle tips to help your man be the romantic that you always knew he could be.

What About Your Friends? The Importance Of Balancing Your Friendships And Your Man

December 3rd, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

“You need friends,” my now ex-boyfriend blurted out one evening.  I stared at the phone in disbelief. Surely, this could not be the man who once referred to me as his “best friend” saying this. I had just given him the rundown of my day during one of our nightly chats. Looking back, I can admit that I had informed him of all of the nitty gritty details of my day—including those details that would prompt most men to holler, “TMI!” and that most women would have sense enough to only share with a close female confidant. But we were best friends, so those rules didn’t apply, right? Life experience and better sense now tell me that my then-boyfriend referring to me as his “best friend” was only a cutesy way of expressing how close we’d grown; however, when I called him my BFF, I meant it in every sense of the word. To be perfectly honest, he was probably my only friend at the time.

I mean, once upon a time (i.e., prior to hooking up with him in the past) I had friends who I could call on and hold such conversations with, but I, like many women, began to neglect those friendships once ol’ boy came into the picture. Of course, we never set out with those intentions. Things usually start off innocent enough, but then cuddling up with your boo on a Friday night begins to sound a helluva lot more appealing than taking advantage of “ladies free before midnight” with the crew. Slowly, you begin to pass on more and more outings with the girls, until you turn around and realize you haven’t seen or spoken to them in days. Sadly, those days turn into weeks and those weeks, eventually, into months of not hanging out—totally unfair to them and you. The most obvious thing to consider is the fact that these were the people who were there for you way before Mr. Wonderful (or in my case, Mr. Not-so-wonderful) emerged on the scene and more than likely, they’ll be the ones to rally around you in the event that things don’t work out. Aside from that, in my opinion, maintaining outside friendships is also crucial to the prosperity of a healthy relationship. Love can be overpowering at times, and it’s pretty easy to lose yourself in a relationship. But real friends force you to remain true to who you are. They provide balance. They keep you grounded.

After being in the previously mentioned relationship for a substantial period of time, I found myself greatly resiting the urge to cling. After months of fighting this urge that seemed to come so naturally, I came to the painful realization that the life (and friends) that I had outside of our relationship, had somehow been drowned out by the waves of our “honeymoon” phase. Needless to say, the relationship did not last. And in addition to piecing my heart back together, I had to put my life back together.

Thankfully, this was a lesson that I only needed to be taught once before I got the message. A new romance can be wondrous, thrilling and downright breathtaking, but in the midst of all of that excitement, don’t forget about the other important people in your life: your girls. A healthy balancing act between your pals and you boo isn’t always easy and in many cases, it requires conscious effort, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

How To Survive Spending The Holidays With Your Boyfriend’s Folks

November 26th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Holiday dinner

Source: Shutterstock

The holidays are here again, love is in the air and things seem to be getting pretty serious between you and your new boo. So serious that he invites you to spend the holidays with him and his family. “I think it’s time that you met everyone,” he says. You, of course, quickly agree. Your minds gets carried away, trying to decipher what it could mean for your relationship that your beau asked you to spend the holidays with him. You try to imagine what his family will be like. You happily inform your BFF that he wants you to meet his folks. You ruffle through your closest, trying to find an outfit for the big day until you eventually decide that only something new will do. And then, the dust settles and you ask yourself, “What the eff did I just get myself into?”

Once the glittery thrill of knowing that your significant other is ready for you to meet his parents dies down, it’s natural to become a little intimidated. Meeting your love interest’s family for the first time can be pretty overwhelming. But to meet the entire clan at one time at a major family function like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Well, that can be intimidating and honestly, downright annoying at times. No need to fret though. Here are a few tips to help you ace these holiday functions like a champ.

Be polite (even when others aren’t): Alright, I’m just going to be honest, people’s families aren’t always on their best behavior. Some family members may even be downright rude, but that doesn’t mean you have to get down in the gutter with them. In the event that dinner goes that route, which I’m hoping it won’t, allow those sly comments to roll off of your back. Remember: you’re a lady. If you get testy or indignant, some may try to hold it against you forever. If it bothers you that much, take a moment to collect your thoughts, get some fresh air and be sure to speak to your boo about it later.

Don’t be a clinger (it’s annoying): Allow your boo to freely navigate through the room without you hanging on his arm the entire time. You’re a big girl with a great personality. Try to show some interest in getting to know his family. Trust me, some family members are probably dying to get to know you!

Do volunteer to help: Chances are they’ll probably say, “No thanks,” but the fact that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty almost always looks good. It might even be a nice idea to bring some sort of dessert or plate that you made to show you know better than to come around empty-handed.

Don’t start thinking you’re Iyanla Vanzant (at least not during the first meeting): When a big family gets together, sometimes drama isn’t too far behind. When conversations get heated, resist the temptation to get involved or offer unsolicited advice during said conversations. And if you’re nosy like me, please make sure that you’re not watching all of the drama unfold with your mouth hanging open like you’re watching the latest Tyler Perry flick.

Do dress accordingly: You’re a grown women and you can do what you want, but showing up to a person’s family function, where children will more than likely be present, dressed like you just stepped out of a rap video could be perceived as a little disrespectful.

And of course, be yourself: People can spot a phony from a mile away, so pretending to be someone you’re not will not get you very far. Take a deep breath and allow your beautiful personality to shine through.

How did you survive spending the holidays with your significant other’s family for the first time?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

Big Things Poppin: Whoopi Goldberg Sells New Rom-Com To The Small Screen!

November 23rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Whoopi Goldberg Iman & Andy

Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

It looks like Olivia and Fitz might soon have some competition in the interracial love race thanks to Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Silverman and Iman and Andy.

The talk show host/producer/actress/comedian and producer Ben Silverman have sold a 30 minute rom-com style show to ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Iman & Andy will focus on the relationship between an interracial couple who are trying to keep their romance a big secret. No, not because they’re an interracial couple; you see, they work together and don’t want people all in their business (some of you know that well, I know). Their supervisor finds out and instead of it being some violation of work place ethics, he forces them to start a vlog so viewers (and their co-workers) can follow their now exposed relationship.

Well, it sounds like it could be an interesting concept. While interracial dating isn’t new on television (albeit still a bit taboo), their idea sounds a little more fun. In real life, people love checking out more personal vlogs on Youtube or other media outlets.  Let’s not forget that men and women love talking relationships so if they keep it fairly genuine to everyday life, there will be situations that people can relate to and chat about at the coffee machine the next day.

Goldberg’s partner in the project Ben Silverman is also behind Sofia Vergara’s upcoming show on ABC, Raising Mom.

That title though…I don’t know. Every time I look at it, I think of Amos & Andy. Is it just me? Maybe it’s just a “working title” right now.

Anyway, there’s no debut date for Iman & Andy but we can probably keep an eye out for it Fall 2014 or Winter 2015.

Will you check it out?

Premature Sex, Insecurity And Baggage: Reasons New Relationships Don’t Last

November 19th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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new relationships fail

Source: Shutterstock

It seems that we hear about the start of new relationships every day. But more often than not, we hear about many of them falling apart a couple of months, weeks and sometimes even just days later. Keeping any relationship together can be a challenge, but it’s an even greater challenge for new relationships because in most cases, a solid foundation hasn’t been established yet. Unfortunately, without that foundation, many couples find it difficult to make their love last and easy to chuck the deuces. Here’s a list of common reasons why new relationships fail.

Why Single Women Should Break Up With Facebook

November 18th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

 

From YourTango

When you’re single and dissatisfied with love, ladies, do yourselves a favor: don’t log onto Facebook. It’s the absolute worst thing you could do.

Think about it: In your newsfeed, you face an endless stream of happy couples in love. And when you’re recovering from a devastating breakup, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with smiling couples making kissy faces, gushing statuses about date nights and baby’s firsts and wedding planning. This is the kind of cheery optimism that makes you stop and quietly wonder to yourself, “Geez, am I behind everyone else?”

When I was in college, it seemed like everyone I knew was getting “OMG #engaged!!!” Cue the countdown apps to “the big day” and rants about the typography on the invitations not being perfectly right, gushing about picking out bridesmaid dresses, and Instagram photos with the caption “Should I pick Badgley Mishka or Jimmy Choo for my bridal shoes? Help me pick, girls! :)”. Ughhh.

But even more unbearable and unavoidable is an oversharer’s worst weapon — tagging. I knew one lucky bride-to-be who tagged every invited wedding guest whenever an announcement was made about her upcoming nuptials. (Needless to say, I defriended her faster than you can say “I do”.)

Zoe Strimpel would agree. She’s the author of Man Diet: One Woman’s Quest to End BadRomance and recently spoke out against Facebook at a lecture. “What [Facebook] does is it enhances the sense that your life is lacking,” she said to The Daily Mail, “and specifically, when you are single, you focus in on all those pictures of perfect weddings, perfect babies, perfect couples.”

This isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept. It’s the ultimate and oft-written about ironic twist to Facebook: our online social networks disconnect us from our in-person social networks. And what we see online is not always reality.

Read more at YourTango.com 

“Best Man Holiday” Actress Regina Hall Has A Crush…

November 11th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Regina Hall

Source: WENN

Over the summer, BFFs and The Best Man Holiday co-stars Regina Hall and Sanaa Lathan laughed it up being among of a cast of fine, married men.

“You know what’s weird? All the men in the movie are married and we are single, so we are all kissing their men and they are fine. You meet their wives and you are like ‘Hey!!’ Sanaa said.”

“I’m going to kiss your husband today!” Regina added.

During a recent interview with Wendy Williams, Regina went on to joke about her married co-stars.

“Unfortunately, they all were happy on-set. All the men, all the married men were all happy. I mean, listen, there are a lot of good looking men. Morris is walking around, happily married with his shirt off!”

Of course, this only led to a conversation about her own love life, during which the 42-year-old beauty revealed that she’s seeing someone.

“Well, I’m not married, but there’s someone I like.”

She went on to discuss being in the dating pool while in her forties.

“You know what it is, I’m optimistic. It takes a lot to find the right guy. You happened to find it early. Your husband is a sweetie pie,” Regina said.

As for how a man can woo her, Regina confessed that she’s a sucker for the perfect gentleman.

“I like men who are gentlemen. So like if we’re going to go out—I remember the first guy who did it—and he opened my car door. It made me feel like a girl. I felt like a girl. I felt like a lady. It’s such a simple thing.”

She adds that a great smile and a pair of strong shoulders can earn a man a few points in her book.

“I like a nice smile. And what I like in the smile—it’s the tiniest, tiniest little overbite. I know it sounds strange. Not a buck. I like shoulders. That line… that line.”

Watch Regina’s interview on the next page.

‘The Game’ Star Jay Ellis Dishes On What He Looks For In A Woman

November 8th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Jay Ellis

Source: WENN

Bryce “The Blueprint” Westbrook is one of The Game’s premiere bachelors– and he’s quite the ladies’ man. But if you ask the man behind the character, actor Jay Ellis, he’ll tell you that he’s actually the polar opposite of the character he portrays on the popular BET drama.

“No, I’m not a player at all. I’m definitely a one-woman man for sure. My parents have been together for 32 years, so to me, love is a very special thing,” he recently shared with NecoleBitchie.

He adds that he believes love is something to be cherished.

“It’s a gift. It’s what life is for. It’s what it’s made of… to share with somebody for the rest of your life. I’m looking forward to that.”

As for the qualities that he looks for in a potential partner, he says that a love for children is very important.

“Ambitious. S*xy. Can cook. Confidence. Communication. A woman who wants to be a mother, ’cause I want kids. I love kids so I want kids. I don’t want ‘em that soon or a bunch of them or nothing like that, but I want kids. Education.”

He goes on to say that although the aforementioned qualities are important, so is a sincere and undeniable connection.

“There’s so many things, but at the same time a spark is a spark. Love is love. When you find it, you gotta run with it.”

Oh, and if you’re wondering what he’s been up to, it looks like he’s been quite busy.

“Everything! Well you know, I’m acting. I’m producing, I’m working on two films right now, writing some stuff. And there’s some other philanthropic things. I’m going to Africa, which I’ve been talking about forever. I’m going to Africa to dig wells with a charity called Epic. Working with another non-profit called Miracles For Kids in Los Angeles. Just trying to give back as much as I possibly can,” he said.

That man is fine!

Turn the page for footage from his interview.

Should We Move in Together?

November 1st, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

You and your boyfriend suffer the couple’s “crosstown/cross-borough hustle,” which demands an annoying commuting time, just so you two can see one another for a short meal, or a long embrace. That slight complication is in addition to the fact that you both hate your living situations.

So you think, and your boyfriend asks, “Should we move in together?” And you think, and your boyfriend wonders, should the answer be yes?

When I was asked, the immediate answer was an unintelligible string of words that, when put together, questioned if we were “ready.” And, while rattling on about “readiness,” I asked if moving in together was our “next step,” or just an act of convenience. Then, I ranted on, in tentativeness, about how I was fine with convenience, and then suggested that we would simply be roommates who dated. I did this despite frequently entertaining…no, vividly romanticizing the idea that we’d live together as a growing couple. And, his response to my machine gun replies was confusion, a nod, and a statement along the lines of, “It was just an idea.”

Yes, it was an idea, and to immediately dissect an idea like that rips away the romance. But to understand the details of why you’re cohabitng, and to figure out if it’s an appropriate time in your relationship for you to live together, is totally rational. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend going about it like I did, but a conversation should be had.

To begin, you have to learn if your partner is financially reliable, and you have to make sure that your finances are in order as well. Figure out who will handle bill payment, if one person will, or decide how payments will be divided. There’s nothing s*xy about talking about bills, but the only thing that is less s*xy is eviction.

Second, you and your partner have to identify your pet peeves and habits, and communicate them, and then decide if you two vibe well enough to live with those behaviors at this moment. If you can’t, you’ll spend a lot of time arguing or leaving passive aggressive notes.

Also decide if moving in together is a step toward a more serious relationship. As a couple, figure out what that means for you to make that move together. Does cohabiting mean that you’re simply growing your intimacy, strengthening you commitment, or setting a trail toward marriage? Or, perhaps the arrangement is much simpler than that. The reasoning can change during the discussion or while living together, but it’s good to recognize initial expectations.

And, speaking of expectation, discern who will handle which chores (cooking, cleaning and trash), and how often that’s expected to happen. Cooking every night is exhausting–especially if you work, so if it isn’t your thing, voice that early on. There’s nothing wrong with setting limits on chores or tasks. Also, concerning expectations, be vocal and honest about how much time you think you’ll spend in and out of the home. For most, part of the expectation when moving in with a significant other is to spend more time together, but if you have a lot of obligations and commitments that will keep you out of the home, then you need to communicate that.
Also privately or collaboratively consider discussing an exit strategy, just in cases things were to go south. Moving in together can be romantic, but it’s no reason not to be practical.

Why I’m Taking A Year Off From Men To Get To Know Myself Better

October 3rd, 2013 - By La Truly
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

To live a year free of “romantic pursuit.” That is my goal. Most of the single men I know scoffed with disapproval when they got wind of my decision, even after I explained my reasoning. Honestly, I could not see what the big deal was. I wasn’t dating any of those particular guys anyway.

I’m no man-hater. I’m far from depressed or bitter. I’m not even looking to promote some self-sufficient pseudo-feminist agenda.

I just want to explore me.

I have always thought of myself but behaved in terms of other people. As a child I tailored my behavior to please relatives; everything was done to avoid “getting in trouble.” I stifled the better part of my creativity and swallowed my dreams because they were “silly.” By my teenage years I was behaving to be acceptable to family AND to gain the attention of the boys around the way. When I entered college, I was behaving in such a way to assert my status as a well put together young woman who was going to change the world AND was trying to land a man. I loved the idea of a relationship and felt overwhelmingly inadequate when my girlfriends would swoon about this date and that boyfriend, these flowers and that romantic getaway. Internalize all of that emotional chaos from childhood through college and you’ve got a tangled, emotional mess. I spent a lot of time trying to make myself visually appealing to men. I thought if someone would JUST want to pursue a committed relationship with me, I’d be less of a mess. I’d be…worthy.

In all of that posturing, though, I took a step back and came to terms with the fact that I had failed myself miserably. I failed to really take the time, and the leap of faith to explore who I am, what I like, what I dislike on my own terms and not me + someone else. I had for so long been weighed down with others people’s opinions and ideologies that I had no real ideas, ideologies or comforts of my own. I wore weaves because he said he loved the look on me. I killed my feet in stilettos because those are se*y, right? I was a little less outspoken because he wasn’t really into deep conversation. I choked back any talk of my faith because he hated it.

I had been chipping away at myself and there was little to nothing left. Just leftover scraps that I was trying to plate into a meal for myself. I was starving.

How silly is that? How unfortunate is that?

My ‘Aha!’ moment solidified that I needed a break from the love chase and the “cutie runs.” I wanted to live free of wanting (or needing – depending on my mood) someone to text before bed or craving one person’s affection in particular. What would my life look like if, for a period of time, I distanced myself from seeking a romantic relationship, and just focused on myself? How might my world change if I embarked on a real journey of self-discovery? If I took myself on dates? If I thought of myself on my own terms? If I spoke as loudly and often as I wanted? If I pursued dreams that no one else backed? If I dressed for ME and not to catch someone’s eye?

For one year I’m giving up the boos, the “hims,” the flirty texts, the friend/lovers. Instead, I’ll be re-centering my focus on the project of getting reacquainted with myself on my own terms with nary a man-chasing moment to distract me.

La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.

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