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Is Having A STD Better Than A PHD When It Comes To Dating For Women?

  • January 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

For the last three decades women have outpaced men in graduating from college in the United States. With women drastically outnumbering men in their age groups, it is having a tremendous impact on dating and relationships as most people prefer to marry equally educated partners. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for women to find eligible marriage partners. According to an American Council of Education report published in January of 2010, Undergraduate enrollment and degree distribution is 43% male and 57% female; however, women account for 60% of graduate school enrollment. So what does this gender gap mean for women who have attained graduate degrees? Has getting a higher education sabotaged their chances of finding a suitable husband?

The majority of my girlfriends (myself included) who have yet to be married, have obtained graduate degrees and have found finding “Mr. Right” to be a challenge. While several of them are open-minded and will date a guy at almost any academic level, many of them feel having an advanced degree puts them at a disadvantage when dating. They believe their degree intimidates men and makes them feel insecure. Rather than being seen as a strong teammate and companion, men see it as a threat to their manhood and would rather date someone who is not as educated. One of my girlfriends in particular hates for a guy to know in the beginning of a relationship that she has a doctorate degree and says, “It’s better for me to have a STD than a PHD. At least a guy knows what to do with a STD. He’ll say, ok well we can do some things, but maybe not everything. But a girl with a PHD, he doesn’t know what to do with that.”

As a woman who has many highly educated and open-minded male friends, I decided to ask them about this. Did they truly feel threatened by a woman who had an advanced degree? While some said, “No” and thought of it as an asset to the relationship, one man even stating, “Not only do I prefer to be with someone who is intelligent but she’s going to be the mother of my children. She’s going to be our children’s first teacher.” Others agreed it did intimidate them. Another man stating, “Yea, she’s going to expect more and demand more. I’m not down for all of that.”

What do you think? Does a woman’s education have an effect on her marital status? How much of a role does a person’s educational level play in your decision to seriously date or marry them?

Photo: Aprilzosia / Flickr

Nice Girls Finish Last (So Do Nice Guys)!

  • April 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

You don’t get it! You’re loving, kind, conscientious, accommodating, caring and hospitable, yet you still find yourself alone. Why is this? Maybe you’re just too nice.

It’s great to posses the characteristics listed above. It’s also great when we share them in a relationship with someone who deserves and appreciates them. Unfortunately we often share these attributes too early during the beginning stages of a relationship hoping the object of our desire will revere us for it, before they have even shown us if they are worthy. In doing so the reverse happens. We get taken for granted, the relationship ends and/or we get placed in the “friend zone.”

For years, I never understood this concept. I always thought being nice would make me more attractive and desirable to a mate. For the first few months, my charm would seem to work. Boyfriends would be mesmerized by my sweet and agreeable nature. Then all of a sudden, disturbing thoughts would creep into their minds, “Can she really be this nice?” “Does she really never get upset?” “Can a relationship be this smooth?” A few weeks later, the relationship was over and my heart was broken.

After watching this pattern repeat in my life and the lives of others over and over again, I finally realized that what we were doing was unnatural. We weren’t being nice because we were “just that nice.” We were being nice because we were putting the other person’s thoughts, needs and desires before our own. We didn’t want to ruffle feathers or come off as disagreeable for fear of losing the person. So in some ways, we were changing ourselves to become more accommodating. If he was a vegetarian, on dates we stopped ordering meat or if she liked romantic comedies, we wouldn’t even suggest seeing an action movie. What we weren’t realizing is that by doing this we were alienating ourselves by displaying insecurity, lack of self confidence and the perception of trying too hard. None of these attributes were sexy. People wanted to date who we authentically were and we were giving them the image of who we thought they wanted us to be.

Over the years I have learned that most individuals appreciate the differences and even the disagreements because it makes life interesting. So be yourself. Say what’s on your mind even if you feel it may be an opposing view point. Feel free to be who you truly are. Being your true self allow others to have an appreciation of the real you and gives them the opportunity to asses who they are actually dating. Whereas being too nice will assure that you end up as someone’s emotional doormat or alone.

Do you feel like you have been “too nice” in previous relationships? What was the result? What ways do you feel you can be more of your true, authentic self in relationships?

Photo: US Army Africa / Flickr

If Engaged, Am I Still Single?

  • March 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

“Lasana, I have a question for you” said my friend on the phone to me this week. “I was having a battle of the sexes debate with some friends a few weeks ago and someone asked the question, ‘If I am engaged am I still single?’ The pro-single debaters argued that on your taxes, it doesn’t say anything about engaged. The marital status boxes read ‘single, married, divorced or widowed.’ Further defending their point, they explained there are several people who will still engage in intimate activities with an engaged person who may not do so with a married person. The anti-single debaters criticized these comments responding if a person has told someone they want to spend the rest of their life with them, they should no longer see themselves as single and hold themselves accountable to their partners.” “So Lasana,” my friend continued, “in your opinion, which group is right?”

Taking the points of both sides under consideration, I decided I most agreed with the pro-single debaters. It is a fact that until an individual is married the government formerly recognizes that person as single. No vows have been taken and no official papers have been signed. Engagement is the final stage a couple enters before officially merging their lives and assets together. It is the stage when the relationship should go through a final evaluation. Any lingering questions should be asked. Arising issues should be discussed. Compromises that will benefit both parties should be made. Engagement is not a stage that should be taken lightly. Successful completion of this stage will yield a strong foundation for a fruitful marriage. Conversely, this stage can also cause the dissolution of a relationship. Although it may be painful, I strongly feel it is better for a relationship to disband during the engagement stage than deal with the complex emotional, financial and legal ramifications of a divorce.

The anti-single debaters did have a major point I agreed with. If an individual has told their partner they would like to spend the rest of their life with them, then emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually they should be preparing themselves to make that commitment. In doing so, they should be as accountable to their partner as they would want their partner to be to them. If an individual thinks it is still acceptable to date or see other people intimately while engaged, my question would be to this individual “Is your partner aware of this? Would you find this behavior acceptable from your partner?” If the answer to either of those questions is “No” then it is glaringly clear the behavior is unacceptable. The idea of “what my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt them” or “until I take those vows, I’m still completely single” is setting the future marriage up at a disadvantage because that individual is being deceitful to their partner. Secrets, lies and betrayal are not the types of foundation that will yield a strong and peaceful marital union. If an individual still finds dating and/or being intimate with other people of value to them, then they should remain single. It is unreasonable to partially commit to another person. In this case, engagement and marriage should be delayed until both parties are fully ready.

Which side are you on? If a person is engaged, are you pro-single or anti-single?

Photo: Lemonjenny/ Flickr

Real Talk with Brookshire

  • February 21, 2013 at 9:00 am


This Sunday I was fortunate enough to be asked to join The Oprah Winfrey OWN recap show, AFTERBUZZ TV host Brookshire Lafayette  on the “Real Talk with Brookshire” show! We discuss what men and women REALLY want in relationships, the most important value in relationships and of course my upcoming book…Get A Ring On It! Check it out here:

* If you are not currently a subscriber, you’ll want to sign up now for FREE (see the box on the right-side of this blog).  I will be sending out some great relationship tips to my subscribers soon including a free chapter or two from Get A Ring On It!


What Do Women Want In A Man?

  • February 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm

While looking at status updates on Facebook the other day, I came across one that caught my attention: “How do you date in 2013? It’s funny but we as people sometimes lose sight on the key ingredients of a relationship or a marriage. To find a mate anywhere, online, a club, etc. and be physically attracted to them and quickly jump in the bed but you really don’t know that person but because the sex is so good, then you overlook their faults. So what’s more important: physical attraction/good sex or moral values, let me know.” *

My first thought after reading this was, “Well I’d like to have all three!” However, as I read his comments, I started to think about my personal dating and relationship life. Which do I really choose first? There are several great guys in my life that I have platonic friendships which I greatly admire and appreciate their morals and values. They have the type of standards of the man I would want to marry. Unfortunately, I am not physically attracted to the majority of these guys and if there is no physical attraction, I’m not going to even look to explore the sexual chemistry. At one point, I tried to date a guy that although I wasn’t physically attracted, had the morals and values I was looking for. When asking one of my guy friends for advice on the situation, he told me, “Why would you want to date someone where’s there’s no attraction?”  I agreed and decided to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, I have dated men with great looks, whom I went on to have a powerful sexual connection, but after finding out their values and morals didn’t match up to mine, I broke it off. This was definitely harder, because then I would ask myself (and God), “Oh why couldn’t this work out? Why couldn’t he have had the same morals and values as mine as well?” Sigh!

I don’t want to come off as being picky and I truly want someone who is the entire package. However, sometimes it seems that the longer I’m single and the older I get, the slimmer the pickings. A friend of mine, Sharon, once emailed me this joke about what a woman wants in a man:

What I Want In A Man!     Original  List
1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring  listener
5. Witty
6. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8. Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises

What I Want in a Man         Revised List (age  32)
1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries

What I Want in a Man      Revised List (age  42)
1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn’t  drive off until I’m in the car
3. Works steady – splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I’m talking
5. Usually remembers  punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What I Want in a Man     Revised List (age  52)
1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn’t belch or scratch in public
3. Doesn’t borrow money too often
4. Doesn’t nod off to sleep when I’m venting
5. Doesn’t re-tell the same joke too many  times
6. Is in good enough shape to get off the couch on weekends
7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh  underwear
8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
9. Remembers your name on occasion
10. Shaves some weekends

What I Want in a Man     Revised List (age  62)
1. Doesn’t scare small children
2. Remembers where bathroom is
3. Doesn’t require much money for upkeep
4. Only snores lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he’s laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Likes soft foods
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Remembers that it’s the weekend

What I Want in a Man       Revised List (age  72)
1. Breathing..
2. Doesn’t miss the toilet..

I don’t want to compromise what I’m looking for just to find a potential mate. However, I don’t want to end up being single and alone because I wasn’t open-minded enough. I feel I bring an entire package to the table, is it too much to ask that my potential mate does so as well?

How do you date in 2013? What are the most important aspects you look for in a potential mate?

* Facebook quote originally written by TK Williams and used with permission.

Photo: Seekaltroutes’/ Flickr

What Do Men Really Want In A Wife?

  • February 3, 2012 at 7:00 am

What does a man look for in a woman that makes her wife material? That’s the question Niecy Nash ventured to find the answer to in the latest edition of her web-series, “Let’s Talk About Love.” In this episode, I am featured  (in the red dress) with Niecy Nash, to share my opinion on the topic in this women vs. men “barbershop talk” discussion. Check it out for yourself here:

What Do Men Really Want In A Wife?

Do you agree with the opinions shared in this video? What do you think men really want in a wife?



Are You The Prototype?

  • March 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with a guy friend about being single. We discussed why I was single and he asked me a question, “Have you taken personal inventory?” Just to make sure we were on the same page, I asked, “In what way?” He went on to explain that it was important for me to assess the qualities I am looking for in my dream man and gauge the overlap between who I am and what he wants. Simply stated, am I his prototype?

Any thriving business knows it takes more than a great product to boost sales. It also takes that business understanding the needs of their consumer. What are their wants, needs and desires? How will they benefit from using the product? Why should the product become an intimate part of their lives? Similarly, when we think about the type of partner we are looking to attract, we have to think about what are their wants, needs and desires? How will they benefit from being with us? Why should we become an intimate part of their lives?

For example, a man who travels often for business may be looking for a woman who is able to provide a peaceful and stationary sanctuary when he comes home. Or a woman who is very ambitious in her career may be looking for a man who is perfectly content in his current position and doesn’t mind managing household duties and taking care of the kids. As important as it is to partner with someone who accepts you for who you are. It is also important to ask yourself, will the type of partner you are looking for also find you acceptable? If this is not the case, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate the type of partner you are looking to attract. It could also mean you may want to improve the way you present these pleasing traits to the people you are dating.

This doesn’t have to be a guessing game. If you already have friends or colleagues who exhibit the type of characteristics you find desirable in a potential partner, you can ask them what traits they find desirable in a mate and how are these traits displayed? Once you meet someone you think could become a potential partner you should ask them these questions directly. Asking these questions will give you a precise indication if the “goods” you are selling are the ones your targeted suitors want to buy and give you the ability to adjust accordingly.

Do you know if you are your dream mate’s prototype? If so, how were you able to discover this?

Photo: Coriolinus/ Flickr

Is Venus Affecting Your Love Life?

  • October 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm

“Wisdom is knowing when a relationship has run its course. Not everything lasts – letting go is a leap of Faith.

Wisdom is also putting your whole Heart into relationships that are worth cultivating!

To know the difference between which people to let go of & which to keep – ask yourself – if I loved me, what would I do?”

- Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love

There seems to be a lot of changes happening in relationships right now. This week the media shockingly released statements of separations by two seemingly solid couples: Courteney Cox from her husband of eleven years, David Arquette and Christina Aguilera from her husband of almost five years, Jordan Bratman. In my own personal life, several of my friends have been in a place of introspection concerning their romantic relationships. “Should I proceed?”  “Where is this relationship going?” “Is this person worth keeping in my life?” are the questions they have been asking themselves as they ponder their relationship’s future.  Even I have been more critical in my dating life wondering, “Why is this guy in my life?” “Can I truly see myself in a committed relationship with him?” “Is this the type of relationship I am seeking?” These kinds of questions are difficult to contemplate when we’re already in a tough economy. There are likely many other important things currently filling our minds. Yet relationships are an integral part of our lives. Feeling loved can help us to feel secure and confident whereas alienation and depression can be felt if we sense that love is slipping away.

One of my friends who studies astrology explained to me that we are currently in a Venus retrograde. The retrograde is from October 8 – November 18, 2010. As the planet of love and values, astrologers suggest that a Venus retrograde period is a time when we reassess what and who we value. Old friends and lovers may reappear possibly complicating a current relationship, and natural and spontaneous affection may be difficult to express during this time. Strong relationships will weather this storm, but others that may have already been strained may come to an end during this retrograde cycle. As a single person, this is the time to look critically at your relationship and evaluate your relationship needs and if they are being fulfilled by your partner.

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it is important to periodically take time out and re-evaluate the relationships in your life. Are they working for you? Are your needs being met? Is it going in the direction you would like it to go? If the answer to any of these questions is, “No” then this may be a good time to take some distance from the relationship (not necessarily break-up, but at least take time out) to truly love and nurture yourself so you may gain clarity on how to proceed.

Do you feel your love life has been affected by the Venus retrograde? If so, how are you handling it?

Photo: Fdecomite / Flickr

Project Husband

  • September 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

If you’re a woman over the age of 25, you’ve already been bombarded by the societal messages that you should be married by thirty and that your fertility will decline as you age. Each woman handles these pressures differently. Some women rebel against them by reviving the adventures of their youth with random hook-ups, one night stands and drinking binges. They don’t believe that society should dictate to them who they should be or how they should act at any age. Other women thrust themselves further into their work believing instead they will excel in the one area that with hard work they can control and succeed in…their jobs. Then there are the women who totally acquiesce to the pressure of society and believing they only have a few viable years to acquire a husband and kids, decide to devote the rest of their single lives to “project husband.”

What is “project husband” you may be asking? It is when a woman is determined to find a husband in the shortest amount of time possible and pursues it as she would finding a job. Now for the record, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to be married and creating opportunities for finding that special someone. My issue with “project husband” is in the intention: To find a husband who will most likely be the father of their children. Little emphasis seems to be placed on love, compatibility, common interests, etc. as more emphasis seems to be placed on the willingness of the man to make a marital commitment and if he and his lifestyle are tolerable. Wearing a beautiful white dress and having a big party to impress friends and family along with the ability to join the “first wives” club, is more important to these women than creating a partnership and a marriage that lasts a lifetime.

With the American divorce rate being reported at 50% and 70-80% of these divorces being filed by women, I think it’s imperative that women enter the institution of marriage with reverence. Not due to the peer pressure mentality of “well everyone else is doing it,” societal validation or as some sort of “rites of passage” into womanhood, because marriage doesn’t just dramatically affect your life but also the lives of your mate, families and potential children.

Instead of flipping through pages of the latest bridal magazines and fantasizing on how you would look in this year’s Fall wedding dress trends. Fantasize over these types of questions instead:

Who am I and what do I bring to a marriage?

What do I want my future to look like?

What type of partner will complement my ideal future?

What do I want my marriage to look like? Feel like?

What traditions would I like to implement into my marriage to constantly renew our love?

What are some marital strategies I can employ to foster a long-lasting union?

Properly assessing potential mates and the type of marriage you want will provide greater assurance that you will not only gain a “husband” but a life partner.

Photo: Orangeacid/ Flickr