You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'love'

Summer Lovin’

  • May 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

It’s officially summer! Time to break out your sunglasses, bathing suit and….your summer love! How can you do that when you couldn’t get a winter romance or even a spring fling? Well I’ve got five suggestions to get your summer sizzling…and it won’t just be because of the heat!

1. Unplug

As a technology addicted, Blackberry always in hand person, I totally understand how hard it is to separate yourself from your laptop, cell phone, MP3 player, etc. As much as these devices make our lives convenient, they have hindered our interpersonal relationships. We spend more time looking at the text our friend sent us than around us to discover what hottie might be checking us out! This summer, make it a point not to be distracted by these devices when out. Take time to be in the present moment and really enjoy the “scenery!”

2. Smile

Now that your technology is safely tucked away (it’s the #1 suggestion for a reason friends), notice everything great happening around you: the happy faces on a Ferris wheel, a child enjoying an ice cream cone, skateboarders doing stunts, and smile. When you smile, you look approachable. You become more attractive.  There’s a great quote, “Always remember to be happy because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile.”

3. Get Out

You’ll never meet Mr. or Mrs. Right in your house and there’s no need to. With the elevated heat comes less clothing so why not enjoy the view? Many cities offer great summer events which include concerts, outdoor movie screenings and festivals. Several of these events are even free so you can’t use lack of finances as an excuse. Google summer events in your city and see what you find. Then go out and explore!

4. Speak To Strangers

Ok, when you were five your mom probably told you not to speak to strangers which was good advice at the time. Now you’re old enough to know which strangers you should and should not talk to. The cutie by the bar with the drink in hand might be someone you should strike up a conversation with. How do you speak to a stranger? Use simple conversation starters or compliments such as, “Hello. Is it hot enough for you?” or “I really love your watch. Where did you get it?” Make sure the questions are open-ended (nothing that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”) and your compliments are genuine and G-rated (let’s keep it clean people.) Don’t use lines. Just say the things that you are naturally thinking anyway. After some small talk, find a way to close it, “I really enjoyed our conversation today. Maybe we can meet up again sometime soon. Are you on Facebook?” This is great, because most people are on Facebook and there is less pressure to give someone a name or email for Facebook than a phone number. However, if you’re really feeling the chemistry is there, then step it up and ask for the digits or offer yours.

5. Join an Online Dating Website

According to recent studies, 1 in 5 new relationships now begin on an online dating website. I personally know many friends who have met quality partners and even got married to someone they met from an online website. With such a high dating ratio, it’s no longer taboo to place your picture on a site to meet new people. It’s a great tool to pre-screen potential partners before you’ve even gone out on the first date. It will also give you the ability to go out on several dates, keeping your summer social calendar quite full.

Now that you’ve read these valuable tips, get off the computer and go enjoy your summer!

Photo: Lasana Smith

Creating The Space For Love

  • May 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

We may think to ourselves or confide in others our desire to have someone special in our lives, but the question is are we truly ready for a mate? Have we created the space to share our lives with another? Many times we live such busy lives and say, when I meet someone, I’ll make the space. No, the time to create the space isn’t once you meet someone; the time to create the space is now. So when the person enters your life the transition is seamless. It feels right. Like a glove, the space within is meant for a hand to enter. The manufacturer didn’t think, “Well until I have the EXACT measurements of the hand, then I’ll make the glove.” Instead, they had the mentality, “If you build it, they will come.” You should have that mentality too when it comes to having a serious relationship.

One of my girlfriends was great at this! While she was single, she created the type of moments she wanted to share with her life partner. Oftentimes she would buy herself beautiful, fresh flowers or take herself out on a “date” where she would go on a picnic, the movies or even a romantic dinner….alone (which I know strikes fear in the hearts of many, but shouldn’t). However, she really took the time to appreciate herself. To acknowledge her value and self-worth during those times and the fact she didn’t have to depend on someone else to do it for her. When she did meet her husband, she was able to continue these great outings and share them with him. She didn’t have to find the space. She had already created it.

What can you clear out of your life to make room for your potential mate? What activities have you been putting off until you meet…the “one” that you should currently be doing? Think about the type of relationship you would like to foster with your mate and do those things now! What space can you create in your schedule to meet people and go on dates? Is your living space a welcoming, comfortable environment where you have the ability to nurture love and allow it to grow? Where would you like to share time with your mate: art museums, music concerts or a comedy show? Then don’t wait until you find him or her, go now! Maybe you’ll even meet someone special while attending one of these events! You will at least be meeting people who share common interests with you which could lead to a good friendship or a possible romance.

Creating the space allows you to realize that your enjoyment in life is not dependent on someone else but comes from within. No one else can ever make you happy anyway. Also, who knows, maybe your life partner will be perfect except he/she hates something you love: sports, the museum or never buys flowers. It will be ok, because during your singlehood journey, you have been assured that your happiness is not contingent on anyone else but yourself. This will take unnecessary pressure off your mate and give you the opportunity to simply enjoy being in love.

Photo: Mike Baird / Flickr

Let It Go

  • April 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm


Have you ever been out with a couple and thought to yourself, they shouldn’t be together? Maybe it’s because of how one of the partners treated the other, because they constantly argued or simply an energy you picked up on, but you didn’t say anything because technically it’s wasn’t your place to. However, what do you do when you’re the one in the relationship that’s not working out? Do you end it? Do you stay in the relationship hoping things will change or do you stay in the relationship because it’s easier to maintain the status quo than it is to leave?

Recently, I had dinner with a friend and his girlfriend. The girlfriend was very much committed to the relationship, even being willing to move to another state to sustain it. My guy friend on the other hand had clearly checked out of the relationship. He was seeing his future as a single man and longed for his freedom. Problem was he wasn’t quite sure how to end the relationship. He was too emotionally involved, his family knew and liked his girlfriend and he didn’t want to break her heart. So four years later as she’s contemplating marriage, he’s still trying to figure a way out of the relationship. Whenever the break-up does happen, it’s not only going to be devastating for her but both of their lives will be changed forever. Does this sound familiar to you?

It didn’t have to be this way. Usually within the first six months to year of a relationship, the parties involved are aware of where they see the relationship going. This is the point where the person who may not see the relationship going long-term should let the other person know how they feel. Breaking up with someone is never easy, but if it has to be done this is the time to do it. Before feelings become intensified and the other person can walk away with little to no baggage. However, when you stay in the relationship for an extended amount of time thinking you are “preserving the other person’s feelings” or because it’s easier to stay in it than to leave, you are not doing what’s in the highest good for yourself or your partner. If you really loved him/her, you would let it go. Let them have the freedom and opportunity to meet someone else who will love them in the way you are not able to.  It also gives you the freedom and opportunity to attract the type of love and relationship you truly desire and deserve.

This advice also works in reverse. If you are in a relationship with someone and within the first six months to a year into the relationship you sense your partner’s feelings are not as strong as yours or if you and your partner’s vision of the relationship’s future is not aligned, this is the time to have a serious conversation with him/her and gain an understanding of where he/she is. After having this discussion, it is up to you to give it some critical thought and decide if this relationship is right for you. Is it worth your time? Don’t allow guarding your heart to be someone else’s responsibility when it is yours.

Are you in a relationship where it’s been challenging for you to depart? Have you ever been in this type of relationship? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with someone in this situation?

Photo: Edgar Dacosta / Flickr

Real Talk with Brookshire

  • February 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

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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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U9isMYSrrQ&feature=youtu.be

* 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!

 

You Can’t Be Who You Aren’t

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm

As a dating and relationships expert and television host, one of my dreams is to have a show on Oprah’s new network OWN. Therefore when the network created the “Your OWN show” search for the next TV Star I jumped at the opportunity. At 6am I was on line prepared to display my talents at the first open call in New Jersey. Despite being there so early I still received the number 928. I waited for ten hours to be seen that day. It was hot and humid. Many of the participants sought the refuge of air conditioning in the sponsoring Kohl’s store. After a group interview, I waited until midnight to receive a callback notifying me about the next round. That call never came. Making matters even worse, I later discovered that two people I knew had received that coveted phone call. Did they not see my intense passion, great enthusiasm and bubbly personality? I thought to myself. Surely, there must be some mistake. Maybe I didn’t fill out something right on the application or somehow my name got overlooked. I was born to do this!

So when they came to California, due to the prodding of my friends and family, I tried it again. For a second time I stood for several hours in line to be seen. When I told other participants in line I had already been to the open call in NJ, one person asked, “So you’re doing this again? Do you not feel like they saw you the first time?” I explained that I hadn’t and had so much conviction that I should be on that show that it was imperative for me to try once more. Although this time I felt like I had better positioning (my number was 262) and got more time to pitch my “Love and Life” TV show idea, I still did not receive my desired result….a callback. It was extremely disappointing.

Reflecting on the interview that day, I remembered the casting assistant saying, “I’m glad you ended when you did. I already saw what I was looking for.” It reminded me of something my hosting coach, Maureen Browne, once told me, “Sometimes hosts get down on themselves for not getting a booking. They think it is something they said or did, but sometimes it has nothing to do with that. There are so many factors that go into casting. Maybe they were looking for a blonde, you’ll never be blonde. Maybe they were looking for someone taller, you’ll never be taller. Sometimes it’s politics. All you can do is go out there and give it your best and if it’s meant for you it will be yours.” I quickly thought about how much this advice also applies to dating and relationships. There are so many times we are really attracted to someone but for some reason, as the popular book and movie suggests, they just aren’t that into us! “Don’t they see how charming, intelligent, witty and good-looking I am? How can they turn all of this down?” we say to ourselves. Persistent, like I was with the OWN open call, we keep trying over and over again to make the person see it. Every once in awhile the person does wake-up to realize the beauty that is in front of them. However the reality usually is they already saw what they needed to see and for any number of reasons, you’re just not the one. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re still an amazing individual. It’s just that you are not for them and they are not the one for you.

As sad as that may seem at first, realize there is someone out there who will truly love and appreciate you. Not just for all of your pleasing attributes but also for what you deem to be your flaws: the freckle on your nose that always annoyed you they will think is cute, the way you snore in bed will be the soundtrack they can’t sleep without, and the goals that everyone else thinks are crazy they will see as ambitious.

Don’t change yourself to be someone that you aren’t. Love and embrace yourself. Become more of who you are. When the timing is right, the right person (and in my case the right television network) will effortlessly recognize and appreciate your brilliance. Just have patience. For those who have it can attest, a love like that is worth waiting for!

Photo: Lasana Smith

The Truth Is What We Decide It Is

  • January 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Normally I don’t watch court shows. However the other day I was flipping through television channels and came across this contentious married couple on Divorce court. The wife wanted a divorce as she was convinced her husband was cheating on her. Like a private investigator, she was relentless. She tracked down his movements looking for evidence to back her suspicion. Contrary to her claims the husband was adamant he never cheated, but was in fact still in love with her and wanted to make their marriage work. It was quite interesting watching the judge mediating between the two.  To uncover the truth behind the infidelity claims, the judge gave the husband a lie detector test. Before revealing the results, she asked the wife, “If it does indeed turn out that your husband was not cheating, are you willing to work on restoring this marriage?” “I don’t know,” was the wife’s answer.  I waited in anticipation for the verdict. It turned out the husband had been honest. The lie detector test proved he had been faithful to his wife. Undaunted by the test results, the wife was still convinced her husband had cheated. The trust in their marriage was broken and there was no space for reconciliation. It was unfortunate because this man was truly devoted to his wife but she was too blinded by her version of the truth to see the reality. As a result she was going to break a commitment, losing someone who deeply loved and cared about her.

This episode made me think about the many times in our lives and relationships where we believe our truth is the reality. Although signs may point to the contrary, we are blinded by our perception of the situation. Thus the popular motto, “perception is reality.” How many times have we caused friction or even sabotaged our relationships based on what we “thought” a situation was?  I like to call this “the story we create in our minds.” Beliefs are made and actions are taken based on these stories. But if these stories aren’t true, they can cause devastating effects in our lives and in the lives of others. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few suggestions that will affirm that our truth is in line with reality:

1. Ask yourself: Is this true? Is this based on fact?

You would be surprised how many times we go off on tangents without even asking ourselves these simple questions. If the answers to these questions are, “No,” then you know a new determination should be made before accusing your loved one of something.

2. Communicate

Communication is always key in deciphering the reality of a situation. The story you created in your head will be altered or dissolved once you gain more background information or understanding of your loved one’s point of view.

3. Trust your intuition

Once you know the facts and have communicated with your loved one, then it’s time to trust your intuition. Take time out to listen to your inner guidance system. This is not based on a feeling or a story you made up in your head, but a knowingness within. Some may call this God or Spirit, but too many times we overlook our intuition which is there to protect us along life’s journey.

Integrating these strategies will ensure that your truth isn’t merely what you “decided it is” but based on reality which will lessen unnecessary loss of love in your life.

Photo: JaeYong, BAE’s/ Flickr

Going From Simply Single To Wife Material!

  • February 14, 2012 at 7:22 am

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I’ve got some great news to share with you on this day of love! I am in the process of finishing my 1st online book on dating and relationships: “Get A Ring On It: 10 Secrets To Go From Simply Single To Wife Material.”

Because you are my loyal readers and are always supportive of my blog, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of the book to be released this month. More details will be shared in the near future.

Enjoy….

Secret #3: Be Loving

At my friend’s bridal shower, the soon to be groom was asked why he decided to marry his future wife. His response was, “She loves me so much. I didn’t think I would ever find someone who would love me as much as she does.” His comment always lingered in the back of my mind. He didn’t say he was marrying her because she was the most beautiful woman he ever met or because she had the best body he had ever seen. No, he was marrying her because she was the most loving woman he had ever dated.

Men want to marry women who love them. Women who show them acts of kindness and are nice to them are the ones who they choose to take relationships with more seriously.  The first woman who most men have any interaction with is their mother. Who is more loving, gentle, sweet, kind and thoughtful than a mother? As boys grow into men, they look for women who can replicate this loving figure in their lives.

Initially a man is not able to tell right away how loving a woman is so he looks for clues: Does she smile often? Is she playful? Does she like when I touch her?  When a man can say, “yes” to these questions, the woman starts to peak his interest more. Then he looks for the woman to show she loves him in more deeper and meaningful ways. It could be making him dinner or ordering in food and having it ready for him after he’s come home from a long day of work. Picking up his medication and taking his temperature if he is sick. Even simply giving him a massage on a sore body part after an intense work out shows a man he is being cared for and loved.

But what about when the man makes the woman upset, does he still expect her to show him love then? Yes. A woman who truly loves a man will still find ways even while arguing to show love. She will try to fight fairly and practice not throwing personal shots at him. She will attempt not to go to bed angry as she will try to resolve their disagreement beforehand. In marriage, all things will not always be rosy. I have seen several examples of married couples at times when the wife did not feel her husband was worthy and deserving of her love. Maybe he made a major decision without consulting her, was dishonest about a personal situation or worst yet unfaithful to her in their marriage. But the amazing thing I discovered was regardless of these mistakes; underneath it all the wife still loved him. That kind of love is what truly holds marriages together. A man realizes this from the beginning. So he is looking for a woman to show him she can give him a love that is deep. A love that is unconditional.

Wife Material Lesson

 As a woman of wife material, it is important for you to practice being loving. Find ways to show your partner you love and care about him throughout the relationship. However, you don’t have to wait until you have a partner. You should first practice being loving to yourself. Because how can you ever love anyone else if you don’t love yourself first? It’s in loving yourself that you gain self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth. So book a spa day, enjoy a manicure and pedicure and even have flowers delivered to yourself. Whatever you need to do to help yourself feel loved do it. The more you feel loved the more you will attract love and once you attract that love you will be able to give it back in return. Thus is the circle of love.

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography /Flickr

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  • October 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

One night I was at a networking event and met a man I felt could be my perfect match. Over a pan of peach cobbler, we talked and I discovered that besides being tall, dark and handsome, he was also intelligent, ambitious and owned his own business. I was delighted to exchange numbers with him and even more excited a few days later to go out on our first date. He seemed to possess so many of the qualities I was looking for it was almost too good to be true. I didn’t want to let a great guy like that slip away. So instead of displaying my equally amazing attributes so he could also recognize how lucky he was to be with me, I focused on being an adoring woman he would never want to leave. Rearranging my schedule to meet, going out of my way to do personal favors for him, and initiating intimacy sooner than I normally would were several of the ways I thought would show him how great I was and why he should want to build a relationship with me. However it was too early in the relationship and he didn’t earn any of those privileges, so instead of feeling honored he took them and me for granted. Very soon I noticed that he was taking my kindness for weakness. It was at that point I realized what I was doing. Because I wasn’t respecting myself, he was also not respecting me. It wasn’t long before I started making myself a priority in the relationship also taking my needs and wants into consideration. After that not only did he start respecting me but our relationship began to flourish. Although we’re no longer together the one thing I know I have from him is his respect.

How many times have we compromised ourselves, values, beliefs and ideals so we could be perceived as attractive or valuable to someone we really liked or in order to maintain a relationship? I’ve seen so many friends be taken for granted and/or be used by others because they did not respect their own personal needs and wants. Therefore they were not respected. What we have to realize is people want to be held to a standard. They want to be held accountable. We as women and men alike all want to have something to work towards, build and achieve even in our romantic relationships. People treat us the way we allow ourselves to be treated. When we don’t acknowledge and honor ourselves we rob others of really getting to know and love who we truly are.

Also once we are respecting ourselves, if the person we like (or in a relationship with) does not respect us then we have to honor ourselves enough to let them go. It is not worth holding onto someone who doesn’t treat us the way we deserve to be treated. Disrespect only continues to increase over time if not handled accordingly. It will never become respect on its own. Now is the time to consider what it is we really want out of a relationship and from the person in that relationship. Once we are respecting ourselves it sets the stage for a relationship of mutual love and respect.

Are you respecting yourself? Are other people respecting you? If not, what changes can you make today to increase the respect for yourself and from others?

Photo Credit: Nycstreets/Flickr

Ticking Biological Clocks

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:04 am

In last week’s blog, When Does Settling Down Become Simply Settling, I discussed how many of my girlfriends are getting engaged and marrying men after only dating for a few months. Not seeming as enamored by many of these men, they were usually not even on the same level (financially, educationally, etc). I believe one of the main reasons these women have decided to go this route is because their biological clocks are ticking and they want to have children. Growing up in religious households most of us have been taught to have children within the institution of marriage. But what do we do as the years continue to go by and we haven’t met our “soulmate?” As a single woman we are faced with 3 options:

1. Keep looking: Hoping we’ll find “the one” during our child bearing years.

2. Get married: Find a man who will be a good husband and provider even if we may not love him, at least we will have our children the “right” way.

3. Find a sperm donor: Enroll either a male friend or ex-boyfriend into having a baby with us or purchase sperm from a sperm bank. This choice will most likely create a single parent household, but at lease we’d have our own biological children.

Reading an article entitled, “My Fertility Crisis” in the Wall Street Journal last weekend reminded me of how fragile a woman’s fertility really is. A healthy woman’s chances of getting pregnant naturally are 20% to 25% in her 20s, 10% to 15% in her 30s, and 5% in her 40s. As my friends enter their 30s, their carefree days of believing they have nothing but time have now been replaced with a sense of urgency to get married and have children. They are deciding to leave the romance in the movies and books and approach their love lives logically.  The phrase “I’m in love” has been replaced with “He’s a good man.”

Of course there’s always adoption and even freezing or purchasing donor eggs if we really want to be mothers but that comes at a high price and most of us have grown up wanting to have biological children of our own the traditional way. From the time we played with our first baby doll, we knew one day we’d have a real child of our own to nurture. Now as we begin to realize how limited that fertility window of opportunity is, the choice becomes ours to determine our fate.

Ladies- Do you feel pressured by a ticking biological clock? If so, how have you chosen to handle it?

Guys- Do you also feel pressured to have children due to age, societal or family pressures? Have you ever been approached by an ex-girlfriend or female friend to assist her in having children?

Photo Credit: Davhor/Flickr

It’s Wedding Season!

  • June 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

Nothing reminds you that you’re single more than going to a wedding. On any Saturday during the month of June and throughout most of the summer, many single women (along with many single men) have to put on their “best” faces and be unselfishly happy for their friend having found the love of their life. Thus making them ponder why they are still waiting on the sidelines watching instead of wearing a white bridal gown (or a groomsman’s suit) themselves. This is magnified even more if the single person is part of the wedding party as displayed in the hit movie, “Bridesmaids.”

I personally have had my own share of emotional experiences at weddings. Forgoing the brave face and crying tears that weren’t always happy. Once I spent the majority of a friend’s wedding reception crying on the phone to another friend states away depressed about an impending break-up with my then boyfriend. This offended the bride who was upset I was not around to catch her bridal flowers during the coveted bouquet toss. Then there was the time I spent a couple of hours in the car crying during my younger brother’s wedding reception because he made it to the marital alter before me. When was I going to meet my soul mate I wondered?

During the first weekend of June, I flew to Boston to attend my cousin’s wedding. With my +1 being my mother and not a husband or significant other, I wondered if once again I would be in a bathroom stall or car crying my eyes out over my desire to be married. However while preparing for the big day, I spoke to the groom’s cousin who shared with me how big and beautiful her wedding was. Then a year later, she was going through a divorce. She complained how all that money was down the drain and promised if she ever married again to forego a big wedding. It just reminded me how much it’s not about the big party, white dress and engagement ring bling. It’s really about the relationship with the person whom you choose to say, “I do.”

Having survived my cousin’s wedding with dry eyes, I can honestly say I am excited about her adventure and wish her a successful marriage filled with love, joy and peace. Instead of feeling sad or depressed, watching her with her new husband gave me a renewed sense of hope as they displayed their love. Soon enough my prince will come. In the meantime, I will continue to believe in love and be joyful for all those who seem to find it.

How do weddings make you feel? Have you ever had an emotional experience during a wedding?

Photo: Lasana Smith