All Articles Tagged "rules"

Now New Friends? Crazy Rules Some Women Expect Their Men To Follow

February 4th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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rules women expect men to follow

Before you start questioning if you’re too “tough” of a girlfriend, just consider some of these insane rules women expect men to follow and then make a decision.







Can’t Get Along With Your Friend’s Man? Here’s What You Can Do About It

September 29th, 2013 - By Raven Carter
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We’ve covered a variety of topics for International Women’s Friendship month; from frenemies to the role friendship can play in our emotional and spiritual well-being. However, all relationships have their ups and downs and one factor that can challenge our friendships is lovers. The introduction of someone new into our circle changes the dynamics…especially if we don’t approve of our friend’s choice.

While our natural inclination may be to give full vent to our thoughts, doing so could lead to unnecessary strain on, or the demise of, our friendships. Here are some principles and guidelines to help everyone involved when new love challenges a treasured friendship:

1. Boundaries First: We set the standard for the value others will place on our relationships. When a new man comes into your life—make it clear to him what your friendships mean to you. While it is important that we don’t foster competition, it is key that they respect the people who played a role in helping us become the person they are interested in. Also, make it clear to friends how much your significant other means to you. The reality is there is now less of you to go around. If you’re the new love interest, show respect to the people who came before you. When the explosive power of your new affection wears off—you will be glad that you are not the only thing in your honey’s life.

2. Think Twice, Speak Once: We can’t walk on eggshells around our friend’s significant other. We should be able to freely express our thoughts, ideas and values. However, the potential does exist to put our friend right smack dab in the middle of a big disagreement. Sometimes, tense situations are unavoidable, but it shouldn’t be because we were careless with our actions and speech. Familiarity breeds contempt—practice keeping the proper respect in your conversations and relationships with your friend’s lover. Words spoken can’t be taken back and have the power to hurt all involved!

You can read the rest, including what is considered the “golden rule” over on

At one time or another, many of us have not gotten along with a friend’s significant other. How did you handle the situation?

All Hail King & Queen James! Lebron James And Savannah Brinson Tie The Knot!

September 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Lebron James’ Instagram

High school sweethearts Lebron James and Savannah Brinson, by all accounts, were married in San Diego on Saturday!

The couple, who have two children, have been pretty tight-lipped about the ceremony and Savannah only began mentioning bridal details after their “Save the Date” was leaked to the blogs. No details have been released, but one of Savannah’s sisters posted pictures on Instagram of the very fancy Grand Del Mar where the festivities were reportedly held.

According to Yahoo! Sports, this was a three day affair which will conclude with a Sunday brunch.

But back to the wedding.

Reports are surfacing that there were about 200 guests in attendance, many of whom were ushered in under umbrellas. Actress Gabrielle Union, among many others, posted pictures prior to going to the wedding and then after the wedding, leading many to believe that all phones were seized for the day in an attempt to keep pictures from hitting the web.

The other huge rumor is that Beyoncé and Jay Z flew in from South America for the wedding and allegedly performed “Crazy In Love” at the reception.  While that may sound a bit farfetched, it isn’t impossible since Jay and Lebron are very close friends.

So many rumors, so much anticipation to see the pictures. We know Savannah has been working out intensely and eating “clean” in order to get ready for the big day.

Congratulations to Lebron James and Savannah Brinson, now known as Mr. and Mrs. James!

Niecy Nash’s 3 Rules For Every Woman Looking To Find And Keep A Man

June 20th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Niecy Nash is quickly become our favorite relationship expert. She’s funny, smart, and has a record of success, helping her friend Sherri Shepherd land her hubby Sal. With the release of Niecy’s new book, we had to get the actress in our office to unleash some of her wisdom on us. Here’s the nuggest of knowledge she has for the single sistas and married madams.

Dealing With Grandparents That Don’t Follow the Rules

February 14th, 2013 - By Rich
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Whether you’re forty and invite your ailing elderly mother to share your household with you, your husband and kids or a teenage parent still sharing a roof with your mom while you’re still growing into the role, raising your children while living with parents is at the least, a challenging situation.

According to multigenerational households in The US are becoming the new norm. As of the end of 2009, 51.4 million Americans (or 1 in 6 people) lived in a home with three or more generations under one roof. It’s almost 5 million more than the 46.5 million Americans who had similar living situations in 2007.  As well-paying jobs grow scarce, the cost of childcare rises and parents choose to return to school in hope for better career prospects, it’s clear this isn’t just a teen parent issue. More and more parents of all ages are finding themselves under their parents’ roofs again, while their parents foot the bill.  Unfortunately, many of them feel like if they are supporting their grandchildren financially, they are entitled to a say in how they are raised as well.

“I am trying to teach my child not to curse, but my mom watches the baby while I’m in school and drops F-bombs all crazy.”

“My daughter doesn’t hesitate to tell me she is telling Nana on me when I tell her to do something she doesn’t want to.”

“My son calls me by my name and calls his Grandma, “Mom”.

These are just a few of the most common complaints I hear from young parents raising children in a multi-generational household.  Grandparents are overbearing and more concerned about maintaining control than allowing their children to assert their authority and children are confused about who they should listen to.  Frustration often results as young parents feel like their own parents pick and choose when to let them raise their children, “It’s like grandparents want all of the perks of being a parent with none of the responsibility.” So while the parent is insisting that the child not have a cookie before bed, Grandma reassures that it’s “OK for the baby to have just one cookie.” When it comes to raising your children in your parents’ house, conflict arises from two sets of parents that refuse to let go of their parental pride to work together in the child’s best interest.  Some parents take their children’s effort to adopt different parenting styles than the ones they were raised with as an insult. If it’s not “spare the rod, spoil the child” or “In the house before the streetlights come on” it can’t possibly be effective, can it?

It can be difficult for a parent to see what they still view as their baby raising babies of his/her own, especially when that parent hasn’t even come to terms with the fact that their children are in fact adults. Young parents that have moved out on their own often express that the relationship with their improved once they had their own space because the boundaries became so much clearer.  It’s natural to feel like just because your child has a baby, that doesn’t make them an adult especially if you’re the one buying the diapers, driving to doctor appointments and staying up all night with a teething toddler because mom has a calculus test in the morning. But holding this over a child’s head only makes room for resentment and they can’t learn to be a better parent if they are never given the chance to fully take on that responsibility.  In the game of parental support, a parent should cheer their children on from the sidelines and sub when necessary while they’re playing, not sit them on the sidelines while they take all the shots.  You can’t take over and then ask them why they aren’t stepping up. Parenting is about cooperation, not competition. As painful as it can be for everyone involved sometimes you have to learn to listen as much as you talk, respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses and focus on what’s in the best interest of the children, the big ones and the little ones.

Grandparents don’t think the rules apply to them?  Here are few tips that can make life easier for everyone involved:

  • Every disagreement doesn’t have to be an argument.

The fact that your parents were raised in times of peace signs and Motown and you grew up with Facebook and MTV means that at some or another your values will conflict and you’ll disagree what’s the best way to raise a child.  But every disagreement doesn’t have to end in threats of eviction and reminders of the all the extra support that’s being given.  Respect works both ways and it’s important for grandparents to recognize that supporting your child is requirement of the job.  Holding all of the help you offer over their head is not only immature but a one way ticket to resentment.  It’s OK to agree to disagree, but disagreements should be drama-free and handled with mutual respect and compromise.

  • Remind yourself of the benefits of living in a multi-generational home.

My mother often tells me people think living with a grandparent seems like the greatest thing in the world until you have to actually do it.  But for all of the grandma’s out there that aren’t mean and crotchety, living with grandchildren can create ideal times for passing on wisdom and a sense of history to little ones.  And don’t forget the availability of financial and emotional support.

  • Have a discussion about boundaries and entitlement.

Some but not all parents feel like, “Their roof, their rules”. This can be rough waters to navigate when adults in the household are all contributing financially especially when public assistance comes into play.  If everyone is getting food stamps and paying rent, then who makes the rules?  It’s also important that clear boundaries are set in place.  Who’s allowed to discipline the children and if so, how? Keep arguments between a spouse or partner private.  Venting is one thing but you can’t wonder why your mom is hating on your husband when you refer to him as your “Bastard Baby Daddy”.

  • Create rules that work well for everybody and be clear they are for EVERYONE on the household.

Rules don’t work if people don’t play fair and they don’t apply to everyone.  If you don’t want your child to curse, everyone in the household should work on being PG.

  • Be the example of the type of respect you want from your child.

So often I see young mothers yelling at their mamas and cursing at them.  Even worse is that some of the mamas are throwing the first blow.  Break the cycle; even if your parents still haven’t gotten that whole respect thing down, it doesn’t mean you have to dish it right back.  Teach your children respect by respecting them and your own parents as well.

  • Make the most of the time you do get to spend with your child.

It’s natural to build strong bonds with the people you’re surrounded by the most and today’s parents often struggle between working and spending quality time with your children.  The best defense against a child who seems to be unclear about who is truly the parent is to make the most of the time you can spend with them. Plan special mother/daughter days, call to check-in during the workday if you can and most importantly, when you are home turn off your cell phone, shut down the computer, turn off the TV and take time to get to know your child.

Is it difficult for you and your parents to agree on how to raise your child?

Toya Sharee is a program associate for a Philadelphia non-profit that focuses on parenting education and building healthy relationships between parents, children and co-parents. She also has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog BulletsandBlessings.

Your Place or Mine: 15 Ways to Survive Parenting in Separate Households

February 11th, 2013 - By Rich
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There’s no time of the year that forces co-parents to communicate quite like special occasions.  Special times like birthdays, Christmas and Thanksgiving have a way of emphasizing the separation that comes with shared custody, but they don’t have to. Co-parenting with an ex doesn’t have to symbolize the end of a romantic relationship; it’s simply the beginning of a new kind of partnership.

Immaturity, unresolved feelings and resentment all make co-parenting more difficult than it has to be.  The drama has nothing to do with the kids but they are often the innocent bystanders that get caught in the co-parenting crossfire.  Remember:  At the end of the day as much anger as you may have toward that person, on some level you have to deal with this person for the rest of your life and that’s a long time to be miserable.

Your family may not look like anything on the Hallmark Channel, but that doesn’t mean that every dinner or “switch-day” has to turn into a VH-1 reality show fight filled with F-bombs and empty threats.  Here are 15 tips that make co-parenting easier on both parents and children, especially during special occasions.

1.  Communicate.

It sounds simple but some of the biggest arguments start because one parent creates an agenda without making the other aware of their intentions.  You cancel happy hour with your co-workers to pick up the kids from school, only to find out your ex already has that covered.  No one likes to be inconvenienced or left out of the loop.  Make sure everyone is on the same page about schedules and what’s expected as far as values and rules.

2.  Choose a schedule that’s convenient for the child.

The holidays aren’t always fair when it comes to parenting, but what really isn’t fair is interrupting the celebration so you can get “your” time in.  Look at it from your kids point of view:  They’re baking cookies with Grammy and Grandpa and here comes daddy at the door talking about, “Let’s go ice-skating!”  Transitions are difficult for children; don’t make them harder.  If parents can’t agree to spend time as one big family, avoid planning switch-days on Christmas Eve, in the middle of the child’s birthday or other awkward times.

3.  Be the bigger person.

Arguments can easily turn from being about the needs of the children to proving your point or being the “winner”.  But while you’re running victory laps because you got your way, your child ends up being the loser.  Don’t sweat the small stuff like he was supposed to there at 4 and showed up at 5.  You don’t have to always wave the white flag, but bickering back and forth accomplishes nothing but making your child feel tense and uncomfortable.

4.  Always make the child the top priority.

If you can’t find common ground with your co-parent, try to think of the situation from your child’s point of view.  Your child isn’t going to remember where he/she spent their birthday if their memories are just filled with arguing parents.  If you have conflict you need to address,  save it for when you’re alone as opposed to in the middle of Chuck E. Cheese.  Your child doesn’t deserve to be embarrassed or scared because you feel some type of way.

5.  Keep problems private.

He hasn’t paid child support in months his mom pays all of his bills.  You may think you’re just being honest, but kids don’t need to know everything.  Your child is not your therapist or your friend.  Problems should be kept and solved between adults.  Shared custody is hard enough on your child, the last thing they need is the burden of your personal problems.

6.  Empathize.

I often tell the young mothers I work with that empathy isn’t the same thing as making excuses.  As much as we want to believe that parenting is something most people naturally fall into when the baby is born, that adjustment can be hard especially for fathers.  Mothers are sometimes quick to assume that if children aren’t raised their way it isn’t the right way.  Give a father a chance to be father.  Practice patience and understand that fatherhood is a role many men have to gradually grow into.  But if you immediately write him off, he’ll never have the opportunity to prove himself.

7.   Get it in writing.

Even parents that are on the best of terms can benefit from a legal document that spells out each parent’s rights and responsibilities.  Court involvement doesn’t always have to mean someone is losing custody or visitation.  A court-ordered agreement can clearly define boundaries when there are gaps in communication. Legal intervention or mediation just offers extra protection when parents have difficulty compromising.

8.  Be prepared for a not-so-perfect holiday.

Perfection is overrated. Be prepared that no amount of hot cocoa or sugar cookies can replace feelings of grief, separation and sorrow.  Don’t spend time trying to repeat holidays past.  Creating new traditions while incorporating parts of the past will help your child feel safe to navigate the holidays in a new way.

9.  Don’t use your children as messengers.

If as an adult woman you send messages through your children because you’re afraid of confrontation, then I seriously question your maturity as a mother.  You think if it comes from the child then daddy could never say no.  But putting your children in the middle of your battles is selfish and cowardly.    If you have an issue, put on your big girl pants and talk to your co-parent like an adult; leave the kids out of it.

10.  Put your egos to the side.

Separate your personal feelings from what’s best for your child.  Be honest with yourself if you have some unresolved romantic feelings, or jealousy.  Once you admit that you have personal issues that have nothing to do with co-parenting, you can work on resolving them.  The worst thing you can do is punish the children by keeping them away from their father just because you resent a new girlfriend or the fact that that your co-parent is making progress in life without you.

11.  Don’t use your children as leverage.

Threatening to “take the kids” shouldn’t be casually thrown around because you’re angry.   It gets old very fast and slowly breaks down the relationship between you and your co-parent as well as the kids.  Kids aren’t your personal property; they’re people who shouldn’t be used as pawns whenever you’re upset.

12.  Practice consistency with rules and routines.

One way to ensure stable behavior form your children is for everyone involved in their lives iis on the same page as far as rules, routine and discipline.  A drastic difference in bedtime, dinner routines, and rules can be confusing for a child and eventually the children will manipulate the inconsistency their advantage.  It won’t be perfect or easy, but in the long run you’ll have a stable better adjusted child.

13.  “Dropping off” can make switch day a little easier.

As long as parents can agree on a time, “dropping off” ensures that parents and children don’t feel special moments are rushed through or interrupted by an impatient parent who is picking up.  When a parent is having their time with the children, if they know they have to drop them off at a certain time, they can plan events or activities for the time that they have without feeling like they have to constantly keep an eye on the clock.

14.  Keep basics at both houses.

I’ve lived in two places at once and it’s not easy.  (Which house is my laptop at? Where did I leave my pair of jeans?) I would like to think I’m an adult who transitions pretty well and having two addresses was very frustrating at times.  So I can only imagine how a child may feel going between houses with very little control or independence. Keep basics like toothbrushes and even a change of clothes at both houses to ease the frustration that can come with forgetting things.

15.   Make plans with friends when it’s not “your” holiday.

Your kids are your life, so it’s understandable to feel like you don’t have one when they’re gone.  But it’s not fair to make them feel guilty for spending time with their father by reminding them of how lonely you’ll be without them or calling their father every five seconds.  Make plans for the weekend they spend with their dad so you don’t have time to obsess over every second they’re out of your eyesight.  Make sure they have a way to contact you, especially during the holidays so they can feel connected to both of you.

What shared custody conflicts have you experienced?

Toya Sharee is a program associate for a Philadelphia non-profit that focuses on parenting education and building healthy relationships between parents, children and co-parents. She also has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog BulletsandBlessings.


Do You Know Who I Am? Michael Jordan Refuses To Change Clothes At Golf Country Club

December 1st, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Being arguably the best basketball player of all time apparently means nothing when a country club wants you to follow their rules.

According to the NY Daily News, hall of famer Michael Jordan was banned from the La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach after he refused to change out of his cargo shorts into “proper” golf pants or shorts.

Jordan, whose favorite pastime for years has been golfing, told ESPN Chicago that he was not about to interrupt his game over shorts:

“I’ve been there many times and no one told me a thing. Then all of a sudden they come to me on the 11th hole and say I can’t wear cargo shorts. Wow! The round is almost over and you want me to buy shorts now? Yeah, right!!”
After he refused to change, Jordan finished his game (now you know MJ didn’t just leave the premises like “commonfolk”) and left but according to a source at La Gorce, he has been banned from returning to the club.  An employee at the pro shop further supported the rules by saying they do not allow denim or cargo and if there are pockets on the outside, they are not allowed.
Michael Jordan’s reps had this to day:
“We were not aware that he is not allowed to return to La Gorce,” his representatives said. “I guess it’s their loss – as MJ is a great golfer, and a great guest.”
It sounds like the club was looking for a way to get him out of there and finally used his shorts as the reason. Not to worry: Jordan is welcome in country clubs around the world so this is just one he scratches off the list.

My Baby or My Bestie? Finding a Balance between Being a Parent and their Pal

November 15th, 2012 - By Rich
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As much as my mom and I are alike, she wasn’t what I would describe as the cool mom who I could trade F-bombs with or who would foot the bill for my prom hotel after-party.  As cool as Mrs. Brown was, if I ever forgot she was my mom for a second, there was a slipper thrown my way to remind me when I became too comfortable.

Mothers everywhere gave the side-eye to Jada Pinkett-Smith when she revealed her parenting philosophy which rejected “old-school parenting” and emphasized forming a “partnership” with her children. I can understand Jada’s point of encouraging open and honest communication with her children, but I don’t believe children should ever get comfortable with the idea of their parent being a friend.

I’d be lying if I said my parents struggled awkwardly through the conversations about periods, boys and safe sex.  They avoided them all together or swatted them away with sarcasm like a bug zapper to annoying mosquitoes.  I think in their heads they didn’t think they could maintain a level of respect with their daughters while having open, honest discussion about the tough topics like birth control.  So I applaud any parent who tries to find a creative way around that discomfort to make their child feel reassured that their parents will give them the real deal with no judgment.

But open communication doesn’t mean you have to take a flame-thrower to the natural boundaries between parent and child.  There’s an inherent intimidation that young people feel for age and maturity; it’s the way the world works.  It’s why I can walk into a classroom with a bachelor’s degree, Jay-Z and Trey Songz Pandora channels and uncanny ability to balance respect and relatability and students will still respond differently to me than they would someone twenty-years my senior with zero life experience or common sense.  It’s why students struggle with calling me Ms. Toya but automatically respond to my supervisor by “M’aam” or “Mrs. So and So”.  Age instantly gives you authority.  When parents start to blur that fine line, it sends a mixed message to children that gives the relationship a certain amount of fragility.

I think parents need to always be aware that they’re responsible for the way they want their children to behave when they’re NOT around.  That requires a level of discipline that can’t be enforced when you’re holding their hand while they get that tongue piercing or allowing them too much freedom.  Grant it I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my mom about boys since I knew I would get the typical parental response of forbiddance, but because of that a certain part of my childhood was protected, when I survived to be an adult I wasn’t already jaded by the restlessness and draining drama of adulthood.

I mean seriously, Willow Smith has had tongue piercings, a shaved head and claims of bisexuality all before her sweet sixteen.  What type of teenage rebellion does SHE have to look forward to?  Having two Hollywood stars as parents is anything but average, but parents are responsible for providing their kids with some discretion, for filtering the harsher side of life for when they’re ready for it.  And if that means giving the finger to their individual creative expression by sacrificing being the cool parents and telling your daughter no tattoos or hair dye until she’s no longer under your roof, so be it.

In the Essence interview, Smith commented, “I think that old school style of ‘I’m your parent and I’m greater than you’ doesn’t work. What I want to establish with my children is a partnership. I’m not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives.” But somebody has to be the adult.  Kids need boundaries, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an insensitive over-bearing jerk about it.  The thing is your kids didn’t sign up to be your parenting, partner.  Your husband did.  That responsibility is all you.  All they should have to do is worry about being a kid, which includes making mistakes and being mad at the world when mom says, “I told you so,” while she kisses it and makes it better.  They’ve got the rest of their lives to make their own decisions, for now just get comfortable with them resenting your parental power.  They’ll thank you one day.

Do you consider yourself a “cool” mom?

Toya Sharee is a program associate for a Philadelphia non-profit that focuses on parenting education and building healthy relationships between parents, children and co-parents. She also has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog BulletsandBlessings.

Girl You Know It’s True: Girl Codes That You May Not Have Known About

September 10th, 2012 - By Desire Thompson
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By now we are familiar with MTV2’s hit show “Guy Code.” The show focuses on men and their funniest, gross (paying for sex) rules, and questionable codes. While the secret’s out on some of guy codes, what about the ladies? I’m sure many women know the traditional girl codes like not dating a best friend’s ex, being honest with one another, and hiding those sneaky tracks , but while it may be hard to believe, there are many tidbits that most girls may not know about.

This isn’t the “best friends forever” list , or even an “how to” list. There are just some rules that women (like me) didn’t know about until it was too late.  So let’s put some old rules to bed and create some new codes.

Whose Got a Cheat Sheet on Love? The Love Lessons I Wish My Mother Taught Me

May 23rd, 2012 - By Kendia
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Growing up I thought I knew everything there was to know about love, without ever remembering having been taught.

I didn’t want to accept that all men cheat. I didn’t want to have to almost take a bullet or put money in some guys’ commissary to know its love. I lived somewhere in between Bronx Tale and Poetic Justice and developed a love all on my own. But how can I know my love was healthy or true if no one ever taught me?

For a minute let us forget about the big L word and focus on the nuisances of love, what leads to love, the like process, the shacking up (if you choose to), how to make love, how to know that the love you’re making is good, etc. I was taught the ills, the pitfalls, the trickery that can come with love but as far as my momma was concerned, we didn’t need to talk about the good stuff or the many confusing things.

I don’t blame my mom, I love her dearly and in all honesty I don’t think she could’ve taught me because like myself I don’t believe she was ever taught, but why not? Most things in life I’ve learned; language, speech, applying makeup, mathematics but for some reason we think love and a like is a given.

A few months ago I decided to give my boyfriend a key to my place. This took months of scrutiny, though he was only getting the bottom lock; a conversation with my older sister had to happen, nights of anxiety transpired and still I felt uneasy about it. It wasn’t one of those, ‘my intuition is telling me something bad’ but more ‘how do I go about it?’ What does this mean for our relationship? And now that we’re practically living together –something I’ve never done before- how do I (semi) live with a man? Do I wake up with make-up on, a la Whitley on a Different world? Which bills does he pay? He’s offered to pay whichever bill I decide but which do I decide? Do I let him pay any bills at all? These may seem like questions someone younger than myself (flirty thirty) would be asking but I’ve never been in love like this before.

In a perfect world, before I ever met a fella and fell for him, my mom would have talked to me about a few things. We already know she would have covered, shiftlessness, shadiness and his falling short but would she have thrown in a few happy facts for the guy who made the cut? Here’s what I would hope my mother would go over:

1. He’s not always thinking about you- and that’s ok.

This funny thing happened with my man. He had a bad day, a few bad days and came home and made the blanket statement “everything in my life sucks right now.” I was blown, immediately I thought, “really, so my sheer presence isn’t enough to make you happy 24/7?” Yes and no. Yes, you represent happiness in his life but a man is going to have a bad day or few and you can’t fix it and more importantly, it’s NOT about you.