Being Alone, Being Lonely & Being by Yourself

being-alone-being-lonely-being-by-yourself

Being alone, being lonely, and being by yourself all sound similar. However, the the three are very different like the words, there, their, and they’re. In regards to relationships, the feeling we can get from being alone, and being lonely, can be counterproductive, and feed on us like a leech. Being by yourself is more of a necessary action one takes to recalibrate, reconstitute, and reinvent.

Being Alone

When we feel alone, this means we are without, lacking something, or someone we perceive we need.  Devoid of the presence of another human that we feel close to—we feel abandoned, or unattended. Under those circumstances, we can succumb to feelings of desperation, depression or suicide.  At the very least, this can lead to terrible decision making.

Being alone doesn’t always mean we’re physically without a companion. It can also mean we’re currently in a relationship with someone who is emotionally, and mentally absent. They leave behind a desolate, desert-like feeling in their wake.

There are even times when we have a person(s) that cares, and supports us. However, the feelings of being alone are far deeper than they are able to comprehend. In these cases, a more experienced person may by needed.

Renown neuroscientist John Cacioppo, defines loneliness as:

“perceived social isolation, or the discrepancy between what we want from your social relationships and your perception of those relationships.”

When we feel alone, the best course of action, is find a space where we are constructively supported by individuals who have our best interests at heart. Notably, people who care about our well-being.

 

Being Lonely

The word Lonely is defined as:

affected-with, characterized-by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome. Destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.

Being lonely can be very dangerous when it goes unchecked. It feels like there’s no one around you. Even when you’re in a crowd of people, you feel like the only one in the room. You can have supportive family, and friends, and still feel like nothing matters.

John Cacioppo, a researcher in the field of loneliness, points out:

loneliness is on the rise — from 11 percent to 20 percent in the 1970s and 1980s to 40 percent to 45 percent in 2010.

Basically, loneliness sucks!

I’ve personally jumped into the deep abyss of borderline depression. It was all a result of feeling lonely. The journey back to the top where I could breathe again, was exhausting to say the least.  If you do not have a solid plan to get yourself out of this dark place, it can lead to other issues… psychological, emotional, and physical.

Feelings of loneliness, can also lead to allowing unsavory individuals with bad intentions, and ulterior motives into our lives. As a result, bad decision-making become second nature.

Positive Reinforcement

When we’re lonely, our judgement has collapsed, like a punctured lung in need of inflation. Consequently, the overwhelming amount of negative thoughts can consume us. This is when positive reinforcement comes into the picture. We must force ourselves to remember:

  • This is a moment in life, not the end of your life. You can get through it.
  • We all feel alone at different stages during our life. We are not weird because we feel this way.
  • Embrace the time to yourself. In a world filled with tasks, kids, work, errands, groups, and social media, it’s rare to have time for you.

Psychology Today writer Robert L. Leahy Ph.D says:

Rather than thinking that you need to rely on others for love, acceptance, and compassion, you might direct these thoughts and feelings toward yourself. This can include acts of loving kindness toward yourself such as making yourself a healthful treat or buying yourself a simple gift; directing loving thoughts toward yourself by giving yourself support for being who you are and by being your own best friend.

 

Being By Yourself

Here’s where choice comes in.

Being by yourself means you have decided to go on your own for this round. I’m a firm believer that everyone should take this step. Especially after a relationship. Taking time to reflect on past decisions. Even using the opportunity to grow ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. These are all byproducts of taking the time out, to be by yourself.

Time with yourself is priceless. You can think through previous actions without distractions. I’m not saying people are distractions (OK, yes I am) but you get my point.

At one point in my life, I had to break off a relationship because I couldn’t focus while she was around. I wanted to evolve, and become better, but I needed some time away from her to do so. While she didn’t necessarily understand my strategy here, I knew I needed that time to myself, in order to heal my mind, spirit, and heart. In addition, I needed to grow myself to a new level. For this reason, I was able to ascend into the man I am today.

This is why taking time-out to be by yourself is priceless. It is also why it is vastly different than being alone, and being lonely.

Next time someone asks you, “don’t you hate being alone?” You respond to them by saying…

No, I like being by myself

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What My Mother Didn’t Tell Me About Dating

mother-tell-about-dating

I could probably name 100 things my mother taught me about women, love, life, relationships and marriage. However, she neglected to tell me what I’d face once I decided to start dating. I’m sure she would have told me more had she known. Also, there are certain lessons my father should have taught me. That being said, by the time I started dating, the rules of engagement and the dating landscape had changed so drastically, that there’s no way she could have prepared me for this. And that, ladies and gentlemen is where I’m going to start.

The Beginning

I would say that I started, “real dating ” when I was a freshmen in college. But I started back in high school. Needless to say, even back then, dating was a big mess. Although, it was much more simple. I could take a young woman out (broke as I was) to grab a $2 Whopper without the cheese (and if she was special) she’d get cheese on it.  Yeah, cheese on your burger meant you were pretty dope back then. All that being said, I was still learning how to approach a woman in a serious way. I remember sitting on the stairs of my dorm and thinking of my father, and how I couldn’t call him and ask him what to do. So I fell back on the teachings of my mother and there wasn’t much I could use other than…be myself (at least, that’s what I thought).

That was a good start. Although, a lot of the guys who were, “faking the funk,” were getting all the women, I remained calm, and stuck with what she taught me.

Being A Conversationalist Requires Skill

Listen, I don’t know about your parents, but my mom didn’t tell me that conversation is actually something I needed to be good at when engaging with a woman I liked. Sometimes I would find myself like… “so…. what … am I supposed to say now?”

Steve-Harvey-blank stare-things-my-mother-didn't-tell-me-about-dating

Sitting there at a loss for words, blank stare and all, It was painful! It was gut-wrenching. Some grown men still deal with this issue. But I learned a value lesson. Great conversation is a skill. Some people have it, some don’t. But you can learn how to-be great at it. Problem, was, I was still green as hell and super bold. Not a good mix when you have no idea what to say.

One time when I was hanging out with the fellas (while in high school), we went to the arcade and of course they wanted to talk to girls. On the way there I was dreading the disaster yet-to-come. Once we arrived, they went straight to the girls. I tried to play it off and act like I was that much into a game of Centipede. But then the craziest thing happened… I walked over and tried to kick-game to a girl! Huge mistake. That was not me, and I got dissed because I didn’t know what to say. Of course, I never did that again.

Through each conversation, I learned a new lesson, and through that, I developed my conversation-swag. Now, I can talk to anyone, about anything. And it only took me 10 years ((sarcasm)).

Be Yourself Even When It’s Hard

As shown above, I had a hard time in my teen and post-teen years because, I truly had no idea what I was doing. No one told me about the pressure to-be someone else. I also didn’t know that being me would be so hard. I am still the same silly cerebral, slash, creative I was back then. When you’re a freshmen in high school, women were not checking for a guy like me. They wanted the rough and tough guy. The Al B. Sure look-alike. Sure there were some who thought I was cute, but I am dark-skinned, without the good hair. Yeah… good hair. But I’m tall (that was one superficial thing I had going for me).  But it wasn’t enough. And I wasn’t the type of guy to yield to peer pressure. Be-yourself-things-my-mother-didn't-tell-me-about-dating

I wore Timbs, baggy jeans, a New York Giants Starter jacket, skully covering my kinky hair, headphones with the foam cushions that you’d always lose, cassette tape that popped, and a yellow Sony walkman. That was me. Down-to-earth, musically obsessed, always staying true to myself. However, mother didn’t warn me about how lonely that would get at times.

Mother Showed Me What Love Looks Like

But she didn’t show me how to [give] love and affection. As soon as I turned 18, here they came. The women. the older, and the women who were around the same age as me. It didn’t matter, they came and I didn’t know how to handle them.

I went straight to college after high school and I remember when a much older junior  (we’re going to call her, “B.”) was after me like lioness after a Wildebeest. Every time I tried to get away, she would smack my back leg, I’d fall down and she was all over me. She was really nice, and the odd part was, all the men on campus wanted her. But, she wanted me! I wasn’t flattered, because I was too young and naïve to the fact, and couldn’t believe that this beautiful woman wanted a cornball.

She told me, “you have to figure that one out.” Really? That’s the best you got?

B, was always very affectionate, caring, and talked to me like a man. I knew how to accept that type of love and affection because my mother showed me something similar. That being said, I didn’t know how to reciprocate the love I was receiving. That was something she couldn’t teach me. Responding to the affections of a grown woman are, “man issues.” Needless to say, I was shy, apprehensive and very cautious. I even called my mother to ask her what to do. She told me, “you have to figure that one out.” Really? That’s the best you got?

When It’s Time To Choose, Do It Quickly (and wisely)

But, who teaches you how to choose? What if you have two or three women that really like you, and they’re all nice and showering you with love?

I’m a young man, I’m not ready for this! No one told me it would be this hard. I learned a tough lesson though…

“choose quickly or deal with the consequences.”

Women are not one to wait. And even when they act like they’re being patient, if you take too long, they will either walk, find someone else, or give you the 3rd degree. Oh and, they won’t tell you their timeline. So you just have to know that you’re taking too long by the mental clock in your head. Basically, you have to guess. And you don’t want to run out of time before you reach the goal or, GAME OVER.

Running-Out-of-Time-mother-didn't-teach-me-about-dating

Whatever you do, be decisive about choosing a woman… or, don’t choose at all. Just stay single, but let them all know your intentions. And that’s what I did. I stayed single. I didn’t have a steady girlfriend until my junior year in college. And yes, I choose her.

No More Meeting At The Corner Store

When I was about 15, I remember hanging out with friends at the corner store, cracking jokes, grabbing some Jolly Ranchers, a couple of juices with the aluminum foil top, and just hanging out. Then, a group walks in…That’s when I saw the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.

She was dressed straight out of a Salt-N-Pepa video. Her over-sized gold painted earrings, black tights, red boots and 8 ball jacket made me reminisce the “Push-It,” video.  But that didn’t distract me… for the first time I was going to tell her how beautiful I thought she was.

That, was how it used to be. This is how mommy told me it would be. You see the girl, introduce yourself and the conversation begins. That was then. Now it is all about how savvy you are online. From dating sites to social media,

In 2015 Pew Research center conducted a study about online dating.  They stated that “1/3 of the people in marriages meet online.”

Now, you meet digitally. The innocent feelings are gone. People are now scared to initiate conversation. Instead of seeing the person live, they are online “catfishing.” Or, they are being dishonest about their relationships status. So you never know what you’re going to get. Dating in 2017, is truly a mixed box of chocolates.

My mother didn’t see this coming and quite frankly, neither did I. I miss the old ways of dating.

What Did I Learn?

In conclusion, I learned that my mother did teach me a few things about dating that I didn’t know she taught me until I was older.

  • Mom taught me, as a man I would have to stand alone as an individual (as a man).
  • If she doesn’t accept you for who you are, then she’s not worth it
  • How to love myself
  • She showed me what real love looks like

All the things I learned from her, including the lessons she didn’t teach me, all shaped the man you see today.

Thanks mom,
R.I.P.

jay-thomas-relationships-etcetera

 

 

 

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Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I

dating-plight-black woman-love

When dating, the plight of the black woman is like no other. This isn’t intended to diminish the challenges and obstacles of any other race of woman. This is also not written to attack the opposite sex.  It’s written to bring awareness, understanding and empathy for a culture of women that has to overcome not only the unfavorable stigma attached to their pigment and the texture of their hair, but also, the negative character portrayal and barrage of stereotypical images of black women in the dating world.

Stereotypes of the Black Woman

To name a few:

  • The black woman doesn’t care about her body.
  • She doesn’t like her own hair.
  • They do not listen to their man.
  • The black woman is not marriage material
  • Black women have bad attitudes
  • Black women have negative attitudes
  • They don’t get along with other women
  • Black women hate white women
  • The women are gold diggers
  • She is always angry
  • Black women are ghetto and ratchet
  • She talks too much
  • Black women are bitter and heart-broken
  • They are lazy baby-makers
  • Black women can’t keep a man

Of course, none of these insidious and damaging characterizations of black women are true.  However, it is important for you to realize how these stereotypes (or any stereotype) impact the dating landscape and the overall psyche of a black woman.

Origins

Black Woman-Dating-Thinking-Plight

Based on a study conducted in the winter of 1999 by Laura Green of Virginia Commonwealth University. Sambo, Jim Crow, The Savage, The Mammy, Aunt Jemima, Sapphire and Jezebel are major causalities that result in stereotypes centered around black people and black women.  In addition, the stereotypes of black women go as far back as slavery days and have stalked black people like a specter and/or evolved into modern-day thought.

Negative Polls About Black Women

Black women are beauty personified. However, black women have been degraded since slavery. Even so, by their own men.  In video poll conducted by Buzz Feed researchers, called, “Do You Have A Racial Preference…” 2.4 million heterosexual interactions from the app, “Are You Interested.,” were used to determine preference. Users were classified by their gender and race.

The study revealed:

  • Black women are the least desirable among all women.
  • Black men responded mostly to women of other races, even though black women were 3 times more likely to respond.
  • Black women are the least replied-to group.
  • Black women are also the most likely to respond when compared against other races of women.
  • Black women respond 25% more than other women.
  • A similar survey by OkCupid revealed that black women were the least replied-to group.
  • 1 out of 2.9 men respond to black women

 

More on that OkCupid survey

Back in 2009, the basics of race and attraction looked like this:

men
—non-black men applied a penalty to black women
—while black men showed little racial preference either way

women
—all women preferred men of their own race
—but they otherwise penalized both Asian and black men

Here’s how the exact person-to-person statistics look: Focus on the Black men rating and then look at the Black women rating.
I gather a few things from these numbers.

  • Black men are willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are not as willing to do so.
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at -3%
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 16%
Dating-statistics-Black women
Photo Credit: OK Cupid

 

Some things never change…

  • Black men are still willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are less likely to do so than they were in 2009
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at 1%. Which is a slight jump from 2009
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 23%. Which is a 7% jump from 2009.
  • Black women are the only race to rate black men, “positively.”
Black Women-dating-statistics-black men
Photo Credit: OkCupid

Continue reading “Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I”

Podcast 06: Knowing When It’s Time To Let Go

knowing-time-let-go

I want to share my 6th podcast with you all (I’ve been on podcast hiatus for a few weeks contemplating the universe and it’s creation)… I believe that oftentimes we want a thing so badly, we’re willing to go through hell to get it. The fact that we waited so long, fought so hard, that we don’t want to let it go when we finally have it.  I’ve been that guy.

Have you ever been in relationship or dated someone for a time, only to find out you should have let them go long before you did? The signs were there, but you held on? Or maybe you had separation anxiety and you were too fearful of being single again.

In today’s podcast, I will talk about the obvious (and not-so-obvious) signs of separation anxiety. Also, when you should stay, when you should go, and coping with hanging on to a relationship past it’s expiration date.

Please click on the stream below to listen:
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https://www.spreaker.com/user/10276049/podcast-06-knowing

If you would like to direct download this podcast, please click play below.

The Curious Case Of The Often Ignored Red Flag

ignored-red flags

That notorious red flag. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all ignored them, and later acted like we didn’t see a thing.

You know the role, we’ve all played it well. When we act like the person we’re dating, changed into a different person overnight—when they were the same person we discovered them to be a week into the dating process. They never changed, they were always the same. Those blinders are semi-permeable. We see what we want to see at times, to, “enjoy the ride,” or, “maybe it’s nothing.” When in fact that red flag is, everything.

Dating Is Already Difficult

While dating can be fun, the process of vetting can be exhausting. There are countless dating blogs about the misadventures of each dater, where they chronicle each experience they’ve had. So, the challenges are well documented.

So how do we still fall for the, “banana in the tailpipe?”

“The mind is the most skilled Photoshopper. It can rationalize anything and paint any picture of anyone, depending on our initial perspective. There is a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘confirmation bias,’ where we are inclined to discard all evidence that does not align with our views and only keep those that do. And with a potentially toxic person, they have worked to create a false positive impression to worm their way into your heart. So even if they do something bad or say something that’s off, you may think, ‘He’s only this way because he went through X.’ This is when ticking boxes of ‘Is he rude to the waiter?’ ‘Is he nice to his family members?’ doesn’t work. He could be all that — the sleekest toxic people are. But underlying it, if he says things like, ‘So they’ll treat us better the next time,’ or he has a mean mouth towards some people, and if you find yourself justifying his transactional mindset or meanness, then it’s time to pause and step back. Our brains work overtime to convince us of someone who’s not good for us, even when our guts know it.”

-Perpetua Neo

A Few Red Flags

Their communication is spotty…

…and inconsistent. Nothing is worse than rarely being able to reach someone. I’m not just talking about a phone call either. I”m talking about all forms of communication. Direct messenger, text message, email, smoke signal, and carrier pigeon are all unsuccessful.

This is why communication is so important. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be doing anything disrespectful or unsavory. They truly could be busy, or bad with prioritization—which is another issue (or red flag).

They love to challenge you

This is one of my pet peeves. Every-single-thing you say, or do… they have to interject, show they’re better, offer some opinion to the contrary, or confront you . This reeks of

insecurity, or an inferiority and/or superiority complex. Don’t be surprised that when you find an inferiority complex within, that there’s a superiority complex hidden beneath it. One compensates for the other.

This person cannot bear the idea of their inferiority, so they overcompensate in other areas that will test you. They feel as though they are superior (in compensation mode) when

they are actually not. An example would be… a man with a small penis would feel inferior to a well-endowed man. So he will overcompensate with an over-exuberance of oral sex. Another example would be someone who truly feels they are inferior to another race of men/women, and uses every opportunity to tear them down, so they can feel superior. This may occur when you give a compliment to someone in the race they feel superior to. These comments may come off as jokes, or back-handed, passive comments.

They want to test your boundaries constantly

This person wants to see how far they can get you.

  • You tell them you’re not ready for sex, and they still try to seduce you, or engage in sexual conversation.
  • You’re not ready for them to meet your family, or children and they make you feel bad about it with a “guilt-trip.”
  • From the beginning you told them certain days you are unavailable, and they still try to plan outings or meet-ups on those days.
  • You may not like talking about how much money you make, so they ask you, “what do you do you?”
  • They may not like your style of dress, or the way you wear your hair. Or, even the way your house is decorated. So they “low-key” offer suggestions.

Your intuition, foresight and “Spidey-Sense” kick-in

Then, your gut tells you…

  • “Nah… something ain’t right…”
  • Then you say to yourself…”he/she is cool, but I just don’t know about them…”
  • You feel this tingling in your head that says, “THIS AIN’T THE ONE!”
  • She complains a lot, but maybe she’s going through something.
  • I’m always pulling my wallet out when we spend time.
  • Why are all her photos from the neck-up?
  • They talk about themselves all the time
  • He/she is always talking about his/her ex.
  • They are a total narcissist. Always pointing the finger, always projecting.

So what do you do?

You date them anyway. When they mess up, or manage to arch your eyebrow, you justify their actions. You overlook the red flags that are presented to you on a silver platter. Later on down the road, maybe a few months or so, things go Topsy-turvy, and you’re now in reflection/hindsight mode.

My point… signs are always there. Although they are difficult to read at times, they are always there. Some people can detect red flags immediately because they literally look for them. Others do not look for them and get, “caught slipping.” Of course there are those that fall in the middle. They see the red flags, question them, and when the line is dropped in the water—they bite. Typically this is because they want it to work out so badly, you love them… or, you’ve had sex with this person, and their judgement is clouded. Even worse, they know there’s something wrong, and stay regardless out of desperation, or low self-esteem.

Choices Choices

We always have a choice. We can act on the red flag(s), or, we can can ignore them. If you choose to ignore them, be ready to reap the whirlwind. Remember, not all red flags are truly red flags. It’s best to communicate your concerns. If the person becomes defensive, that could be another red flag. Regardless, you need to voice your concerns. Never hesitate. If you do, it’s to your own detriment.

You may find out that the red flag truly was a false alarm. If you never bring it up, you will never know until it’s further down the line. Even worse, you may never find out, or you may find out when you’re in a relationship, or married to this person. Obviously this isn’t ideal.

Keep your eyes open, and happy discerning!

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Welcome To My Love, Dating & Relationships Podcast

courtship-vs-dating

Hey everyone,

This will be short. I want to take some time out to thank everyone who has supported all my posts, blogs, vlogs.  Now, I want to introduce to you my new podcast about love, dating, and relationships.

I’m already on episode 03 Courtship vs. Dating.

If you’d like to hear the first two podcasts, follow the link below.

For those of you who have already read my blog on Courtship vs Dating, I expound on the subject even more on 3.26.18

Please click the link below, and then click the follow button on the home page to be notified whenever a new podcast is released. You can follow with Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

If you have any questions that you’d like to be addressed on the show, please submit them to:
relationshipsetcetera.com/contact

Subject: JustLsn Podcast

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Women Of Color – Beautiful For So Many Unrecognized Reasons

Black woman-African American-Afro-Dark Skinned

That being said, me being a creative man, I gravitate toward things that are colorful and vibrant. By colorful, I mean that literally and figuratively. Women of color just astonish me. That means, Indian, Native American, African, Latin, Arabian, Polynesian, Asian and anyone else I left out.

Why do I Love Women of Color?

Black woman-beautiful-love-dating

Not just because of a skin color, but because of the heritage, the culture they all come from and the history of said culture.

From the beauty and vocals of Dorothy Dandridge, to the dancing grace of Maria TallChief.  Or, we can easily tout the powerful presence of Eva Peron or Tejano vocalist Selena Quintanilla-Peréz. What about the eminence of Hatsheput or the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement Rosa Parks? I find all of them the most attractive. Not just physically but on a much more profound level.

What About That Look?

That being said, I can’t leave out the physical aspect. The facial features, the various skin complexions, tones, contours and hair textures. Did I mention the accents? There’s nothing like a Latin woman born in the Northeastern section of the United States. Or, a woman born in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. What about the culture and beauty of an African woman from Nigeria, Somalia or Ethiopia? The storied history behind those countries’ women and all that comes with the heritage. What about an African-American women from all-over the United States? They themselves bring a certain uniqueness that I find most sexy.

From their  level of intellect, charisma and fortitude, to their independent yet humble nature. That melanin carries historical perseverance and pride, while the tensity of their hair represents the strength of their people. How can you not find that beautiful?

 

These women are more than just a beholding of beauty to me. They are the very definition of perseverance and inner strength. Which, is so much more significant when you view women of color.  You must look beyond the surface.

Women of Color Are Profound

Think of the native African or even the African-American woman and what they or their ancestors endured and continue to encounter in today’s society. Slavery, War, Segregation, Racism, Sexism, Discrimination, Genocide are all trials embedded within their beings. When you look at a woman from these cultures, you have to see more than a face. More than pulchritude. More than sexual commodity to be had. They are the essence of overcoming an oppressive state of being.

Imaan-Hammam-beautiful-Arab-Black-white-color
Photo Credit: Marc de Groot

Women of color are born into a world where they are automatically at a deficit because of their gender. Even with the feminist movement and the rapid advancement of women’s rights on the rise in the United States and other countries. Women are still at a bigger disadvantage than their male counterparts. Add to that, a lot of these women are born into cultures where they are beneath the men and have to scratch and claw their way to prominence. There’s a certain beauty in that… a certain sex appeal. And a definite strength.

 

The Deficit

In a earlier blog I spoke about, “Dating and the Plight of the Black Woman.” I highlighted the literal canyon of obstacles black women have to overcome just to be seen as intelligent, desirable and beautiful in the dating world when compared against women of other cultures. To give you a small example, I want you to do something for me:

  1. Pull up another window on your phone, tablet or laptop.
  2. Do a google search on, “beautiful women.”
  3. Click on images.

What did you see? What did you notice?

5 out of the first 100 images are of women of color. I would’ve gone farther, but I chose not too. You have already received my point. Women of color are not considered, “as-beautiful-as…” white women.  This is the deficit that women of color face. They already have to work 5 times harder just to be viewed as beautiful. Can you imagine how difficult that is, in the world of modeling and fashion alone? That is unacceptable. However, as shown above, it’s a harsh reality for women of color.

Hadley Freeman from, theguardian.com states in her article about black women and fashion…

Black models never, with single-digit exceptions in a decade, appear on the cover of major fashion magazines, because, as the black model Jourdan Dunn told the Guardian last year,“people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine it won’t sell.”

 

Jourdan Dunn-Quote-Black Woman-Dating-Love-Beautiful-color

 

My Final Take

That is how black beauty is viewed the world over. Vogue, Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, and more… rarely place women of color, let alone black women on their covers.

I for one, believe that all women are beautiful in their own unique way. No matter how they pull up in a google search or if they regularly grace the cover of internationally syndicated fashion magazines. Women of color will always be beautiful to me, inside and out.

Does Length Matter?

As in the length you date before you get married? Not the question about a man’s penis. Get your mind out of the gutters! LOL! Seriously though, does it matter how long you date before you get married?

The reason that I ask is that I’m so in love with #ForeverDuncan right now. Hadn’t heard about it? Alfred, the groom, proposed to his girlfriend, Sherrell, at 12 pm and arranged their entire wedding at 6 pm that same day. He did everything. She had no idea. She is absolutely surprised and it was captured on social media.

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It was a beautiful sight to see a beautiful bride overwhelmed with love for a man that she could barely come down the aisle. I was literally in tears. But, you know that with every good thing there are always trolls that will spoil a moment. Like this post:

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So, I ask these three questions…

  1. Does the length of a relationship matter?
  2. Is 9 years too long to wait to get married?
  3. Would you wait 9 years to get married?

Their love story captured on social media is absolutely beautiful. As a woman that is now divorced I would say that the length of a relationship doesn’t matter. I’m older though. I’m in my 40’s and I don’t want anymore children biologically so there is no rush to the altar in order to have a chance at motherhood. However, when I was in my 20’s I had a two year rule…I would only date you for two years without an engagement ring and a promise for the future.

I know. I know. That’s ridiculous. But, I also know that a man knows within a year whether or not he can see himself married to you. The thing that we need to remember though…even if he sees himself married to you, does that mean you’re compatible for the long-term that marriage requires?

In my case, we definitely should have waited. We weren’t compatible and prepared for long-term. Maybe if we’d waited a couple of more years things may have been different. I doubt it, but you never know. That being said, I, at 41 am definitely okay with waiting a while longer.

Mr. C and I discussed marriage (I brought it up) after a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who wanted to know are we ready to take it to the next level. I said with certainty “No”. She looked shocked. I explained that I loved him, but I loved where we were more. We were taking our time to cultivate our relationship and create experiences with each other and our children. We don’t want anymore children so we have time.

She laughed. I then told him that I need at least two more years of dating (a total of 3) and then let’s see where we are at. No rush. No surprises. Love is great, but sustaining a healthy relationship is better. He agreed.

Now, will I wait nine years to get married? Probably not, but who knows. I think that it takes time to develop at a healthy pace. Whatever is healthy for your relationship is what you should do. Everyone’s journey is different and I guess in reality it doesn’t matter how long or how short the trip to the altar is as long as you’re doing it together.

Congrats to the Duncans!

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Check out their wedding video here:

 

 

Disclaimer: I own no rights to the pictures. I did  a Google search and found them.

 

Happy February

Happy February Folks!

As mentioned in last Friday’s post, I wanted to spend the first half of the month posting each day leading up to Valentine’s Day about love. I wanted to give you the good, bad, ugly and everything in between posts about love. It’s 14 days of a love fest. Should be interesting. First post will be in a couple of hours.

The next 15 days after Valentine’s Day will be devoted to Black History pioneers. I will still post some updates about my life (parenting, relationships, resolutions, fitness, etc) in the mix, but I want to highlight some of those awesome people that came before me or are currently making strides in today’s society. I’m super excited and I hope you are too!

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