Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stuck In A Relationship Rut?....5 Reasons To Let Go!


Are You In A Dead-End Relationship…Read This!

You no longer eat dinner together.  Outings with other couples are now more stressful than ever trying to keep up with the fa├žade of being a happy couple.  Your significant other doesn’t call anymore to see how you’re doing during the day nor wonder where you are at night.  Your family knows something’s wrong during the holidays whenever you show up at family events and functions alone.  You’re really tired of lying to people and more importantly, to yourself.  You know you need to end it but just don’t have the strength to do it. 

Most of us have been in at least one dead-end relationship in our lives.  If we can be honest with ourselves, we stayed in it either for the sake of the kids, for the convenience of someone to help us pay the bills or to keep up with the pressure of society to say that we belong to someone.  The relationship may have started off great but somewhere along the way we went in different directions.  Our intentions were good for the relationship but life has taken us along different paths.

If this sounds like you, please consider the following reasons why it may finally be time to let go of that relationship. 

Below are my top 5 reasons to let go.

1.       Your heart isn’t in it anymore – Your feelings have changed towards him or her.  You still care very deeply for the person but are not in love with the person anymore.  You know that whatever has happened in that relationship was for the best and it made you a stronger person.  You’ve tried over and over to make it work with no luck.  Maybe you’ve even met someone else who you feel is more compatible to you and are struggling to tell your partner that it is over.  Either way, you know your heart isn’t in it and you’ll need to let go.

2.       Lack of trust – There’s no level of trust between you and your partner.  You check their phone every time it rings to see who has called or texted them.  You’ve smelled their clothes, checked for lipstick and probably even their bank accounts to see if they’re being faithful to you.  But is this really how you want to live?  If you have no trust for the person and feel the need to spy on them every second, this will drive you crazy….which leads us to the next point!

3.       Your health is starting to deteriorate – This is by far the most revealing when you are in a dead-end relationship.  You begin to lose your good health.  Health symptoms you’ve never had before suddenly come up.  You may become more neurotic or start to have high anxiety over little things.  You just don’t feel safe in that relationship anymore.  I’ve even seen some people go through extremes including losing excessive weight or gaining excessive weight to hide the emotional baggage of the relationship.  But is your health really worth it?  Is a relationship worth ruining your health when you have so much life in which to live?  This is an especially critical question when you have kids who deserve for you to live.

4.       It’s a waste of time – Over the years in my experience as a dating coach, I’ve seen my clients waste countless amounts of time over someone who either weren’t very interested in them or who could hardly care less about them.  Most of them had this idealized view that if somehow they could make it work with the person, everything would be okay.  It never worked out that way.  Instead, the person they wanted had already moved on with their lives, while they were left with wasted years of time spending it wanting them…..which leads me to my last point.

5.       Someone better is out there for you – The time that you spend not letting go of someone not right for you could be better spent on someone who IS right for you.  There could be other people out there who would be much better suited for you but they can’t come into your life while you’re still in that dead-end relationship.  While you’re being weighed down by all the bags in this relationship, someone else that’s better for you could be walking right past you.  Please don’t miss out on your next opportunity.  Several years from now could be too late.

Learning how to let go of someone who means a lot to you is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life.  There’s no shortcuts or ways around it.  It takes a lot out of you mentally, physically and emotionally.  But sometimes we have to do what’s best for our lives.  We go through life to learn and grow from our experiences.  I like to think that each relationship and experience I’ve been in is a stepping stone to another.  And maybe this relationship was necessary to get you prepared for a better one.  It’s certainly not that easy to let go but certainly necessary to move us further along in our paths.

Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

It’s Here!  My New Book:  Live Love Aspire:  Learn How To Live Your Best Life And Find The Love Of Your Dreams

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why Understanding Your Core Values Matter


Are you settling on your core values to find a mate?

It’s really frustrating to me as a dating coach and matchmaker to coach singles who say they want one thing but then go after another.  I encourage them to do a lot of soul searching to find out what it is they need and desire from a relationship so I can help them find that person.  Through my own evolution in coaching, I’ve learned to understand that this process takes time.  Society, the media, or our peers nurture us into believing what is good for us despite what our soul is yearning for in our lives.  We become puzzled when we find that “perfect” person as to why we are still not fulfilled in our hearts, cynical when our choices do not turn out as we expected and disillusioned that we could live up to society’s standards.

I meet people all the time who don’t understand who they are on a soul level.  When you don’t know who you are beneath the make-up and the outer garments, it becomes harder for you to meet the right person.  As Aristotle says, “Know Thyself”.  When you don’t know yourself, you’ll accept anyone into your life, even the people who aren’t quite right for you.  The more you know yourself, the more you can weed out these people and find the one who would be a great fit for you.  There’s a lot of people in this world and as a single person looking to find the right mate, you’ll need to learn how to identify and discern the ones who are meant to be with you.

So what are your core values?  These are the values that are important to us and make us who we are on a soul level.  They’re what we care about the most and strive to protect in our lives.  For example, the CEO of a company could value achievement in their home or on their jobs while a stay at home mom could value having the security of her family.  Or maybe you value freedom in your relationships in which your mate needs to allow you the space and freedom you need to do whatever it is you desire in your life.  These are the things that we fiercely protect because they are so integral in our identities.

Our core values sometimes get lost in translation because we’re afraid if people knew this about us, they wouldn’t like us.  We’re afraid they’ll leave us if they really knew us on a soul level.  Using the example of a stay at home mom, what would the other working moms think if she revealed that she cares more about her family than anything else in her life including having a job.  Or maybe you value peace at home rather than drama hanging out with your friends but you don’t want to be a “party pooper”.  But by revealing this side of you, you allow others to get to know the “real” you and others will respond accordingly.  In dating, this works because you’re able to then develop your own personal set of criteria to use in finding the right mate who is compatible for you based on your values.

You may ask how you find your personal core values.  Well, it is the thing that matters the most to you once you drill down from all the superficial, materialistic values that we think we need to make us happy.  Think about what you would value if there wasn’t any money to be made or if you couldn’t change anything physically about yourself.  What is the thing that you worry about the most or that keeps you up at night?  What is the thing that you think about the most in your life?  Try to narrow this down to a few words or details that really describe what you are ultimately trying to seek in your life.  This will help you to get down to your basic core values to be able to develop the right criteria to select your potential suitor.

In short, settling on your core values is really not an option if you want to find the right mate.  I’ve seen time and time again people settle on their values just to have someone in their lives.  You know, loneliness kicks in and core values get pushed to the wayside only to show up later in life once you’re married with kids and realize that you’ve married the wrong person.  Please don’t let this be you.  Take the time to think about your core values and weigh them against any potential suitors that come into your life.  True love and happiness comes from knowing ourselves and then being able to pick the right mate accordingly.

Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

It’s Here!  My New Book:  Live Love Aspire:  Learn How To Live Your Best Life And Find The Love Of Your Dreams

Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Survive Your Mother’s Biological Clock (For You!)


What to do when your mother is ready….and you’re not!

Back in 2013, I read in the local gossip blogs and magazines that the former Secretary of State and soon to be the presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has been asking about her daughter Chelsea Clinton’s baby plans daily to determine when she will be a grandmother.  Chelsea gave the usual daughter’s response (awwhh mom!) but did say she would be making baby plans in 2014.  Well, yet again this year at the most recent Clinton Global Initiative University conference, mother Hillary again put the pressure back on Chelsea (albeit very lightly!) hinting that she would like to know what it’s like to be a grandmother.  Of course, Chelsea just seemed to smile with the pressure as mommy dearest anxiously awaits her offspring.

But maybe you are not the daughter of a former President of the United States or of the former Secretary of State but are the proud daughter of a beautiful, strong, and intelligent mother whose primary mission in life right now is to become a grandmother.  I think it’s really interesting to know that regardless of our worldly or economic status, we as women all share the same pains of a mother who becomes concerned about our baby making responsibilities as soon as the clock strikes 30!  Well, Chelsea, welcome to our world.  We are the world of childless women with parents who we love but annoy us daily about the next little “chubby cheeks” in the family.

All of my friends with kids say they’ve been through it but would never place this responsibility on their children.  I beg to differ.  I think that as a mother you want your daughter to share the same joys and pains of raising children as you did becoming a mother.  There is a sense of bonding between mother and daughter when the daughter grows up and has a kid of her own that connects them in a way that they may have never experienced prior to this event.  That’s why I don’t blame mothers for their behaviors because they do have good intentions and really do have the family’s best interests at heart.

As daughters, we believe that we are living the dreams that our mothers never got a chance to do in raising us.  We want to set the foundation for a legacy in our own family that will last throughout the generations.  Shouldn’t that be enough for our mothers to be proud of?  Unfortunately, no!  There’s something about seeing your daughter having her own kids and doing well that makes you feel that you have done what you’ve come in this life to do.  It’s like our final mission in life.  That’s why our parents (particularly our mothers!) cry at our graduations, proms, weddings and the birth of our children.  It’s just that special to them.

So to all of us childless women who have to deal with mothers who are anxiously awaiting their change of status, from mothers to grandmothers, I have noted a few survival tips below.

1.       Give Your Mother Respect – First and foremost, your mother deserves the ultimate respect for laboring hours upon hours to bring you into this world.  There is no amount of money you can pay her for her love and nurturing when you were too feeble to make it on your own.  But with that being said, respect goes both ways.  As a grown woman capable of bringing a baby of your own into this world, you deserve respect too.  But if you want respect, you’ll have to show her some respect.  This requires a lot of understanding on your part.  Mothers simply want to see their daughters happy.  They don’t mean to be overbearing but they do want their daughters to pay attention to their biological clocks before it’s too late for them to have children.  Having this understanding will allow you to have a better understanding of your mother and where she is coming from to not allow this matter to get out of hand.

2.       Openly Share Your Feelings – Secondly, you’ll need to be open with her about how you feel about the pressure to have kids.  This is particularly true if you do not want to have any kids.  Or maybe you simply have not found the right person to have kids.  Either way, she needs to hear the truth, even if it isn’t what she wants to hear so she can process that information.  The more you can be open and honest with her about having kids, the more she will develop an understanding of you.  This may actually reduce the amount of pressure she puts on you or that you feel whenever this subject comes up.

3.       Buy Your Mother A Dog (Seriously!) – I figure if all else fails and mommy dearest needs some little creature to care for, this may be the perfect solution.  Dogs are loyal, cuddly and require constant attention just like grandbabies!  Having a dog will give her plenty to do while she waits on your timeline to have kids.  Who knows, by that time, she may be so tired of taking care of a dog, she may forget about a grandchild!

Again, I would like to welcome Chelsea into our club and hopefully we’ve provided her with a few tips during her stay here.  It won’t be long until she has kids of her own and perhaps Hillary has other worldly duties (like POTUS!) and will simply just stop asking.  One thing is for sure and that is a mother’s nurturing and caring instinct for her offspring will never change.  They say mothers are the souls of the earth and if you think about it, where would we be without them.

 Food For Thought!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

It’s Here!  My New Book:  Live Love Aspire:  Learn How To Live Your Best Life And Find The Love Of Your Dreams

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How To Inadvertently Destroy A Great Relationship!


Here’s What Not To Do…..
The beginning of a new relationship can be one of the most wonderful experiences.  Everyone is on their best behavior.  We wear our best clothes.  We speak in our best voice.  And we do whatever it takes to ensure our significant other knows how much we love them.  Now, I would say somewhere around 2-5 months into our relationship, our evil twin shows up.  You know, the one you hide in the closet until the coast is clear.  That’s when we turn into “Jekyll and Hyde” and wonder what happened to our lovely, new romance?
Well, that’s be honest.  Every last one of us has a side to us that we try to hide long enough so that we can make a great first impression.  I haven’t met one person who doesn’t have both positive and negative qualities to them, particularly when it involves interacting with other people.  I believe the key here is how we have managed them in our lives.  For example, if you have a lot of anxiety about relationships, then how have you managed your anxiety so that it doesn’t impact your mate?  If you are afraid of being hurt, then how have you reduced your fear enough to have a loving relationship?  Managing these qualities and minimizing their impact, especially the negative ones, is key to having a long lasting relationship.
With that being said, I do want to identify a few specific things I see people do over and over that will destroy a great relationship (almost each and every time!).  Almost all of them are due to deep-seated fears and anxieties in which the person is projecting outwards in the relationship.  This not an all-inclusive list, just a few things I’ve been noticing with my clients that I wanted to bring to your attention too.  Below, I have listed 6 things that can easily ruin a great relationship.
1.       Having Sex Much Too Soon – I think if there was one area in which I would warn new lovers, this would be it.  I know you love the person and cannot stand to be without this person but just think about how nice it would be if you just waited until at least you knew his or her last name and their favorite colorJ!  I see so many young couples have sex too soon and one of them, usually the woman, later have regrets because the relationship changed shortly afterwards.  If you didn’t get to know the person well enough before sex, then this certainly isn’t going to happen after you’ve exchanged bodily fluids.  Sex is a wonderful experience to share but only with those who have earned your trust.  A good tip is to treat your body the way you treat your money.  If you don’t just give away your money to people, then why would you give away something even more precious-your body?
2.       Telling Your Partner What to Do All the Time (aka…being bossy!) – Okay, so I know Beyonce and others have started the campaign to ban bossy from our repertoire of English words to use but try to bear with me for a minute while I make this point.  It’s never really a good idea to boss anyone around because you’ll be seen as being too controlling.  But this is especially true with men.  The fastest way to end the relationship is to constantly tell a man what to do.  When women do this to men in relationships, they emasculate them.  And an interesting thing happens, she starts to assume the more dominant, masculine role which women complain they never really wanted in the first place.  Once you set this precedent in a relationship, it’s really hard to change it.  Why not take a note from the “ban bossy” campaign and ban it from your own relationship altogether.
3.       Being Too Nice To Your Partner All the Time (aka…being a doormat!) – If you didn’t notice, this is almost the opposite of telling your mate what to do.  Here, you are essentially giving your partner everything they ask of you.  You may ask what would be the issue here.  Actually, being nice to the one you love is not a bad thing.  It’s being “too” nice that’s the problem.  You know, your partner says jump…you say how high.  You do everything they say without hesitation.  You believe everything they tell you without thinking for yourself.  When you allow yourself to become a doormat for someone, you begin to lose your own identity.  You are a unique, individual person with his or her own thoughts and opinions and a great relationship would allow you to share those thoughts and opinions.  Interestingly enough, your partner needs you to have your own identity and challenge them when they are wrong rather than agreeing with them or believing everything they say without appropriate feedback.  This is what helps to build a strong, long lasting relationship.
4.       Not Being Very Supportive – This is an area I’ve seen in long term relationships or marriage where one person gets so busy with their own lives that they neglect how the other person is feeling or doing in their life.  They become like “two ships passing in the night”.  Alternatively, let’s say one person has a long term dream and wants to pursue it and the other person in the relationship isn’t very supportive of it.  Usually, this conflict doesn’t show up right away but slowly builds over time and when the lack of support becomes a problem for one of the partners, they may start to seek outside help from an unwanted source…aka the other woman or man.
5.       Not Having a Life Outside Of The Relationship (aka…being clingy!) – This usually happens to young lovers, particularly teens – mid 20 year olds.  Love is a fresh and new experience to them at this time and they usually obsess about it a lot.  Of course, I’ve seen women in their later years obsess about it as well but I believe when you’re older you have more obligations and responsibilities so you have less time to be clingy.  Nevertheless, the time when you should really have a life (or get busy) is when you’re in a relationship.  This may sound odd but you should focus on getting a life so you don’t overwhelm the other person.  People need their space and the more time you spend with them, especially excessive, the more time you will suffocate them.  I know this can be unintentional but try to have outside activities you do with your family and friends away from your mate.  This way when you do spend time with him or her, you’ll always have a fresh and interesting perspective to come back and share with them.
6.       Not Being True To Yourself Or Your Partner – Honesty is always the best policy in a relationship.  This entails being honest to yourself, to your partner and about that relationship.  If the relationship is a “dud”, it may be time to be honest with yourself and let it go.  If there is something bothering you about your partner and you haven’t said anything, maybe it’s time to have that talk with him or her.  You would only be hurting yourself and eventually your relationship if you did not communicate your feelings to your mate.  Alternatively, maybe you are not being who you are in that relationship for fear of hurting the other person or fear that the person may want to leave you.  Either way, you are denying who you are and you cannot sustain this for a long period of time.  In a great relationship, a person should be able to express themselves fully while also feeling comfortable to be open with their partner as well.
 
Listen, I am the biggest champion for new and existing relationships.  I want to see two people be successful in love.  That’s why I wanted to come up with my top 6 list of things I’ve seen people do to destroy their relationships so your relationship (or your next one!) will survive.  Please don’t feel bad if you’ve read this list and checked off a few boxes that you know you’ve done in your past to destroy your relationship.  We’ve all been there….done that!  Just learn and grow from that experience.  As the great American author, poet and writer, Maya Angelou says….”when you know better…you do better”…
Good Luck!
For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.
Please do follow me on twitter or on Facebook to find out the release of my new book:  Live Love Aspire

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Balancing Friendship With Courtship


From Friends To Lovers….Where Do We Go From Here?

I would have to argue the reason why most relationships fail is because they are not based on a solid friendship.  You can tell this immediately by the break up whether it is amicable or a hostile one.  Let’s think about it.  Your best friends are people that know you very well and only have your best interests at heart.  They support you in your endeavors and are not afraid to challenge you when they know you are wrong.  That’s a true friendship.  If the relationship starts with a good friendship and the partners have to break up, then they will end it as friends too.

On the other hand, some people become so obsessed with the friendship until there becomes no boundaries or no transition in place to actually being in a real relationship leading to marriage.  I’ve heard people argue they don’t like titles as in girlfriend or boyfriend but when there is no definition to the relationship other than “friends” after having dated for some time, where do you draw the line?  We can say that we’re okay with our “friend” seeing other people on the surface, but when that friend suddenly starts getting serious with someone else, we tend to have a problem.  And we wonder why we’re all so confused?

Let’s go back to when we were kids.  If you had strong parents, then you had to start off as friends.  You had no other choice.  Your parents were your first line of defense and if you grew up in a tightknit community the way I did, your neighbors and teachers were your second line of defense.  You had to meet his or her family or else you weren’t going out on a date.  Now although, your hormones were high as a young teenager, you made the best of the situation knowing that going past a friendship or “going steady” as we called it, was simply out of the question. 

Back in those days, there was a natural line of progression from friendship to commitment.  You could not shortcut the process and as a result, those were probably some of the best relationships that you could have had because there were boundaries and structure in place to ensure a great transition for courtship and eventually marriage.  We’re missing that natural line of progression.  There really is none.  People nowadays meet with the expectation of sex and marriage right away and then wonder why they can’t find a spouse?

So what am I advocating?  Well, I’m advocating two things.  First, start with the friendship.  There is nothing like having a great friend with whom you really cherish and can’t wait to see every day.  They light up your world and it feels like heaven when you’re with them.  On any of your deepest, darkest days in that relationship, it will be so much easier to still cherish, respect and even forgive them than someone whom you have not built a solid friendship. 

Secondly, if you do have a friend in which you would like more from that relationship, don’t be too quick to accept the status quo.  If you want more out of it, you have to evaluate the progress of that friendship (whether it’s going somewhere or not), look at your timetable for marriage, and decide whether it’s really worth the wait.  Interestingly enough, most people need an incentive to initiate action so if you decide the friendship isn’t going anywhere and decide to date other people, I can almost guarantee you your friend will “step up to the plate”.  And if not, at least you’ll know where you stand.

In summary, there is nothing like dating someone who is a true friend.  You get the best of all worlds.  You get a loving partner that you can trust with your life.  But be careful, if your friend isn’t looking for more in that relationship and you are, you will need to re-evaluate your stance in that relationship and take a different course of action to satisfy your needs and desires.  There is a delicate balance between being friends and lovers which makes the courtship in today’s dating world so complex.  But if we take our time and develop a solid friendship allowing that friendship to progress into a great courtship, we will be well on our way to success.

Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

Please do follow me on twitter or on Facebook to find out the release of my new book:  Live Love Aspire

Monday, March 3, 2014

My “Merry-Go-Round” Ride With Online Dating


Back And Forth With Online Dating?.…4 Things To Consider....

Online dating sites, dating apps, text dating, etc…etc.  I think we have complicated dating so much that the person we go on a date with isn’t even that important anymore.  In other words, we give technology much more importance than we should in dating.  Technology should only be used as a means to an end-not the end.  Unfortunately, many of us have become so dependent on technology helping us to find someone that we have become totally helpless without it.

As a late bloom Gen-Xer or early bloom Millennial, I often find myself reminiscing on the days when there were no cell phones, no dating apps, texting hadn’t been invented and online dating was but a blur.  In those days, outside of meeting someone in school or at work, you either had to schedule a week’s worth of events or activities to go to or you had to ask your family and friends for help in finding someone.  Both of which yielded great results because in the first case, you got to meet the person on the spot and you knew right then and there whether the person liked you.  In the second case, your family and friends were your best kept secret for helping you find someone because they knew your heart and would only do what was in your best interests.

It’s actually not the technology itself that is the issue but more so that we are still human beings learning to operate in a system that does not include chemistry, feelings, or even a simple gut feeling if someone isn’t right despite what the “algorithms” say is a great match.  Of course, if and when they do develop computer systems with feelings, then we’ll revisit this issue…LOL!  But seriously, nothing will replace our intuition and how our body language changes automatically when something’s not being said in a conversation with the person we just met.  No computer can compare to the spiritual intuitive capacity human beings have when it comes to picking the right mate.

So am I against online dating?  Absolutely not!  I would be a fool to “throw the baby out with the bath water” because there are so many great features about it that have proven to be a great alternative.  I believe the keyword here is alternative.  I don’t think online dating was ever meant to be the only method you use for dating.  A potential mate who lives a couple blocks away from you in your own neighborhood that you see every day at the local grocery store (or gas station or Wal-Mart or the local mall or at your child’s school or at church or at the library or at the gym) may not be on any online dating website.  If all you’re doing is online dating then you will have missed out on a great opportunity to meet someone in person who probably has more in common with you than anyone you meet online.

What I am advocating is that we challenge ourselves to go back to our roots in dating.  Here are 4 things to consider: 

·         Try doing it “old school style” by going out to places that interests you.  This way you will have a lot in common with the person you meet making the beginning conversations a lot easier to navigate.  Reflect on your hobbies or interests and see if there are groups and associations who share those interests.  If there are no groups or associations with those interests, start one and that way you will definitely have an advantage of meeting like-minded people.

·         Be more observant of the people around you.  I can’t tell you how many singles I see on a daily basis sitting alone, eating alone, or just casually waiting in line.  This is a perfect time to meet people.  If you’re a guy, this is the perfect chance for you to meet her because she will probably be more open to you when she is alone rather than with family, friends or co-workers.  As for women, I’m a little traditional and not a big proponent of women approaching men or being overly flirtatious with them but if you’re at least being open and friendly, then hopefully he will see you and want to strike up a conversation (which is why you should always look great!). 

·         Don’t be ashamed to ask your family and friends for help.  I know you’re a high powered attorney who does not want to call your mommy for help with dating, but what do you have to lose?  She will be quite happy to just see her daughter walk down the aisle.  And if her match for you works out, then she’ll have something to brag about and more importantly, you’ll have a husband or long term mate.  This is probably the best way to meet people other than college.  Your family and friends know you inside and out and are really your best dating advocates to find love.

·         Take time to just have great experiences.  Let’s face it.  Life is stressful.  We’re stressed on our jobs, stressed with our kids, and now we place stress on our dating lives.  Well, as you can imagine, it can be hard to date someone when you’re stressed out about it.  This is the one area of life where it should still be fun and relaxing.  When you put so much pressure on yourself to find someone, your potential suitors will feel that, and want no parts of it.    

Now, I know this is easier said than done.  But let’s think about it.  Anything in life worth having, you are going to have to work hard to get.  Relationships are not an exception to this rule.  Nothing comes easy.  Even married couples who have been married for 20 years or so can probably attest to the fact that it has not been without a struggle.  There are simply no real short cuts in life.  Sure, it may sound simple to post your profile online and then do nothing, but then ask yourself what have been your results?

As the seasons change, maybe we should consider changing our dating lifestyles too.  Challenge yourself to try meeting as many people as possible, even without the possibility of meeting that special someone.  I think you’ll find a true gem in this space because you’re now allowing God or the Universe to work for you.  The more you’re out and about experiencing life, you’ll find that people will attract to you for that reason.  And the more people that are attracted to you, the better your chances of meeting that special person.

Food for thought!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

Please do follow me on twitter or on Facebook to find out the release of my new book:  Live Love Aspire

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Breaking The Chains of Sexual Promiscuity In the African American Community


Is Sex Without Boundaries Ruining The African American Community?

I remember hearing my great aunt talking to my cousin who at the time had 2 kids under the age of 18, with her first baby being born at 15 years old.  My aunt in her wisdom tried not to chastise her because she didn’t want her to be embarrassed but wanted her to learn a lesson from having this child at such a young age.  My cousin at the time had dropped out of high school to have the baby but reassured us that she would go back to school to get her GED, get a job and marry the father of her child.  My aunt simply looked at her, attempted to smile but the look on her face revealed how much she had faith in my cousin’s convictions.  And interestingly enough, not more than several months later, my cousin shows up pregnant again, with her first born baby in a stroller, no “baby daddy” by her side, and a broken heart.

Now, as a young African American girl growing up in Baltimore, I have seen it all.  I have become totally immune to what other communities consider shocking.  I’ve seen young girls as young as 10 years old have children of their own.  Entire families become addicted to crack cocaine.  Mothers going out of the house to work “the streets” to sell their bodies.  Fathers either leave the home altogether or simply die at the hands of a dope dealer.  And children being left to their own vices to find love they couldn’t find at home.

Generally, children suffer the most from sexual promiscuity.  They can be brought into the world by what I consider to be young, careless parents who spend one night of passion just to escape their own harsh realities only to discover a lifetime of paying for those mistakes they’ve made with a child they cannot afford to nurture or care for in a “hell” which the parents helped to create.  No one wins this game.  The child grows up confused about what it means to have a family in a world which counts them out before the age of 21.

As an African American dating coach, I see the struggles in my clients all the time.  Many of whom were by-products of single parents and who are now single parents themselves.  I see them trying to grow into better people.  I can intuitively feel them reaching out to me to help them heal spiritually.  They are trying to rewrite their wrongdoings and make a better way for their kids.  But their sexually promiscuous ways just keep coming back to haunt them. 

Let’s go back to how this all may have got started.  Some would say that it started from the time of slavery.  The notion is that the promiscuity is a result of black male slaves having to impregnate black female slaves to produce more young black slaves to work the plantations.  I’m not sure I buy into this theory since the statistics for marriage in the African American community in the 1950’s and 1960’s were generally pretty normal for that time period.  If blacks are sexually promiscuous due to slavery, then those statistics would invalidate that theory altogether.

There’s another theory that the music and the culture contributes to this sexual promiscuity.  This may be true to some extinct.  Just think about how often you listen to music or watch television on a daily basis.  We watch “Love and Hip Hop” or “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” to see who will be the target of the next scandalous love affair.  Of course, nowadays we don’t have to watch television at all but log onto the Internet to read about the next celebrity having a baby out of wedlock or hear about the next cheating spouse to help validate our own personal experiences.  Although I don’t think we can blame our own sexual promiscuity on our culture, you would be “hard pressed” to say the culture doesn’t influence it.   

So what’s the real reason our community has become so sexually promiscuous?  Well, for starters, I believe it is because we have accepted this behavior as the norm and have become paralyzed with helplessness.  For example, as women, we have relaxed our standards for courtship so we can “hang on to a man”.  If you’re a young single women, you may have needed to feel loved at some point in your life which may have fueled an interest in a guy who would otherwise never “get the panties”.  If you’re a young single man who can get convenient sex with all the benefits attached and no responsibility, then this is heaven for you.  I’ve even seen mothers who are so desperate for their daughters to have a “little chubby cheeks”, they don’t care whether the father will be there or not, psychopath and all.  And married men and women don’t get a pass on sexual promiscuity when they allow their partners to bring others into their relationship (knowingly or not) and turn the other cheek subjecting them to all sorts of STD’s and unwanted “lovechildren”.

Sex can be such a wonderful experience between two mature people who love each other and understand the consequences of what can happen through this experience.  People underestimate how important it is in the confines of a marriage or long term relationship.  You have to trust your partner with your body.  You trust your partner with your life.  You sleep with everyone they have slept with, every thought they have been thinking, every emotion they have been feeling and every spirit that has tried to attack them.  People ask me all the time when it is appropriate to have sex with my partner (90 days, 1 year, etc.).  But actually, if you have to ask, then you’re not ready.

In short, we can do better.  We have a deep, rich ancestry with trailblazers who would be turning over in their graves to know what our culture has become as a result of their tireless efforts so future generations can live and dwell freely.  We can begin to break the chains of sexually promiscuous behavior patterns by going back to our values and morals.  We can place boundaries around our sexuality only giving it to those who are deeply committed to us and who only have our best interests at heart.  We can stop treating sex as a passing fad but yet a beautiful experience only to be shared with the person we truly love.  We can teach our kids to value themselves and value the temple that God has entrusted with them.  Let’s not destroy our children’s future and the gifts our ancestors have bestowed upon us.  Let’s step up and become role models.  They deserve more from us.  They really do.

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.