Best and Worst Places for 1st Dates

best worst 1st dates

Contrary to popular belief modest first dates are better than extravagant first dates for several reasons.

The most extravagant first date I ever went on was to a lounge in Chicago.  I ordered a drink that came with a Bunsen Burner contraption.  My date ordered a drink that came in a plastic air filled pillow.  He had to pop the pillow which was filled with lavender aroma to get to the drink.  It was an experience to say the least.  Afterwards, we went to a jazz lounge to hear live music.  The night was spectacular and I went home smitten.  So why would I discourage extravagant first dates?  Here’s why:

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3 Godly Reasons You’re Settling in Love

You’re Settling in Love…for Three Godly Reasons

Reader be wear, it’s about to get really real.  One of the things I notice we as women do is coddle each other when it comes to love.  If I do something triflin’ at work my girlfriends will call me out on it.  I don’t get to vent about my boss without them telling me that I was actually the one in the wrong.  We don’t coddle the mistakes because we take professionalism seriously and we want to see one another succeed in our careers.   But when it comes to love, we coddle big time.   We listen to one sided stories. We agree with each other. We cry on each other’s shoulders.  It’s rare that we call bullshit.  It’s rare that we tell a close friend that she f*cked up. 

Why is this?  I think it’s because love is so intimate and personal.  When you mess up, it feels like someone is telling you, that YOU are a problem.  We start to feel defined by our actions, especially the mistakes.  It burns.  And so when our girlfriends come to us venting about a relationship, or sharing details that really don’t sound good, we coddle because we don’t want to spread the fire.  Not when we know how bad it feels to get burned.

In the spirit of love and not coddling my fellow sisters…I’m calling Bullshit.  I won’t coddle and I will tell you this…

You’re Settling in Love for three Godly reasons:

  • You’re misinterpreting God’s signs
  • You have blind faith in God’s delivery of a soul mate
  • You are ignoring your God given tools to process information and make strong decisions

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The Essential Year Off After Divorce

The Essential Year Off After Divorce.png

This week’s Perspective Wednesday piece is a guest post from BeThatWoman from the Women’s Empowerment blog 

Life after divorce can either be exciting or scary. It really depends.  If you wanted the divorce, it may serve as a relief and an opportunity to start over.  But if you were caught totally off guard you may feel devastated by the idea of having to date again. For me, it was a little of both.  The reason for my divorce was that I got sick of the abuse. After the divorce a mixture of mental, emotional, and physical abuse left my self-esteem in the dumps. While I felt a sense of relief from getting away from that toxic marriage, I was also terrified and dreading having to put myself out there in the dating scene, especially with four kids.

I was given advice by several people to take at least a year to be by myself before I tried dating again. “You need to find yourself.” they would say. “I don’t want to wait. I have been through hell and I am ready to be loved. I want to meet someone who is going to treat me right and love and respect me like I deserve.” I would reply back.

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How I Met My Husband (and How to Meet any Guy)

How I Met My Husband (and How to Meet guys)

They say you shouldn’t meet guys in bars or clubs.  You should try to meet guys organically by engaging in hobbies that interest you.   But the truth is guys and gals don’t always like to do the same things.  I like to take ceramics courses, go to Friday night art walks or the art institute after hours mixer.  I’ve never met a single guy doing any of those things!   All the guys present are usually with their wives or girlfriends.  meet guys gymI probably could meet a guy in a Crossfit class, or a sporting event, but spare me please.  I really just don’t want to do Crossfit and I’m not a sports fan unless it’s a NBA playoff elimination game or my brother is playing.  That’s a pretty narrow interest.   And so, if I went to these events it honestly would be for the sole purpose of trying to meet a guy.  How fake and thirsty is that?
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“You Won’t Find Love Until You Love Yourself” and Other Hurtful Bullshit

find love self love

Originally published on Thought Catalog: thought catalog article

If you’re single maybe you’ve been told this recently, and if you’re not single, then perhaps folks have moved on to, “When are you getting married?” or “When are you having kids?”.  Regardless of your status, people in our lives for some reason see an urgency to progress things even further and tell us how to make that happen. My favorite of the cliché advice and questions is by far, “You won’t find love until you love yourself”. 

For years, I heard this unsolicited advice from so many people.  It was always said with the best of intentions, intentions to encourage self-love, self-investment and betterment.  But as a single person, after about the 5th time you’ve heard this, it starts to sound like annoying bullshit.  You think, I do love myself!  Shit, the longest relationship I’ve ever had is with myself.   I’ve forgiven myself for shitty things I’ve done, underperformance, losses.  I’m proud of my success in life thus far, my academic accomplishments, my career progress, etc.  I treat myself well with a healthy diet and regular exercise.  I’m totally Team ME.

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Is Fear Your Biggest Barrier to Love? a guest post for

barrier to love

Sometimes we all “do way too much” to disguise and ignore our overwhelming fears. Fear of deserving, fear of exposing ourselves and fear of failure are our biggest barriers to finding love.

The most embarrassing dating feedback I’ve ever gotten was from my doorman. A year of small talk encounters and subtle observations had collectively made my doorman a bit too comfortable and in my business.  It was Valentine’s Day and I was walking through the lobby with a 4 ft x 6 ft painting.

barrier to love - painting“Look”, I said proudly. “I made this for my boyfriend”. 

“It’s really nice”. the doorman replied. “But….”.

“But what?” I asked. “Just say it”.

“It’s just… do you ever think that maybe you’re doing too much?”

“No”. I thought…

I delivered that painting to my boyfriend, he loved it and one month later we were broken up.

He had a fixation with minimum incomes, 80k was the magic number and I wasn’t hitting it. Having grown up in poverty, he had decided that he was never going to settle down with a woman who he felt was living his fear of poverty. At the time, I was only making about 36k a year. I was an entrepreneur supplementing my income by driving an afterschool pick up van. I wasn’t always proud of my hustles, but they were MY hustles.  Still I wasn’t making 80k, and this was his requirement for taking me and our relationship seriously.   Money, How Much Does It Matter in a Relationship

Being broke during those years sucked.  But what was worse was the constant affirmation of my belief that being broke meant I was less valuable.  I studied the business women downtown with their perfect manicures, pressed skirt suits and sleek haircuts. I asked myself how much were they earning?  What kind of men did they date?  He had added another insecurity to the list of my many complexes. So, for years, I struggled through dating making, bad decisions as reactions to my deeply rooted insecurities and fears.

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Dating Disasters: Facebook, a Gas Station & Thanksgiving Dinner

dating disasters

At $2.98 per gallon, counting the 12 gallons I’d just put into my small sedan and the additional five gallons pooled around my ankles, I’d spent a mere $51 on gas.  In retrospect I should rejoice that this mishap occurred some seven years ago before gas prices nearly doubled in Chicago.  It was Thanksgiving day and my Facebook pen pal turned late night phone comrade had finally become a real live acquaintance.  He was a Senegalese international student by way of Paris, by way of Connecticut.  He spoke French, a bit of German, the traditional language of Wolof and of course English.  If his mirage of linguistic talents wasn’t enough to catch my interest he’d certainly caught my attention with his tall, dark and handsome physique.  He was what you’d imagine the prince of Zamunda to really look like, if such a place actually existed, and such a man could realistically make it past the many local suitors he’d have lined up to actually “Come to America”.

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