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Relationships can be trying but fulfilling if you are with the right person. Recently, while catching up on my shows This Is Us and Love Is I thought to myself shouldn’t everyone experience love like this?

If you aren’t familiar with either show, watch them. This Is Us follows the lives of three siblings as they try to find their way through life beyond the death of their father and Love Is is about a young couple that is learning to love in a way they never loved before.

Before you say it, yes, I know that these are tv shows, but is it so crazy to think that people should experience true love as it is depicted on these shows? In This Is Us, Jack, the father in the show, is far from perfect but when it came to his wife and children he was always willing to bend and sacrifice for the greater good of his family. He made tough decisions look easy because at the end of the day he had to do what was best for his family.

He loved his wife and treated her like his bestfriend from the day that they met until the day he died. And his son Randall followed in his footsteps. He and his wife is what most folks would hashtag as relationship goals. They are like any other couple with problems and they argue but no matter what happens they lean on each other. There’s communication between them that leaves no room for assumptions or doubt.

IMG_3299¬†Which leads me to think of the relationship between Nuri and Yasir in the show Love Is. I was automatically hooked on this show just based on the fact that it was set in the 90’s. But to have a show set in the 90’s with a young black couple falling in love in the most whimsical way I couldn’t help but be glued to my tv. In a world where everything is a reality show that lacks reality, Love Is is refreshing.

The show focusing on two people taking a leap of faith and free falling into a situation that outsiders saw in black and white but they saw color. Both characters openly trusted the other and decided to be vulnerable and love hard no matter how difficult it seemed to do so.

Trust. Vulnerability. Communication. Sacrifices and compromising. I believe these things are key factors in any relationship. It’s the things that is on display in these shows. No matter who you are and who you are with love is not always enough. There have to be and should be more. You have to work to achieve being in a successful relationship but it shouldn’t deplete you of who you are. So when you see these whirlwind romances on tv I don’t think it’s outlandish to have a relationship that resembles that. You don’t have to mirror it completely but there’s nothing wrong with feeling like you’re falling in love every day with the person that you are with.

What You Want May Not Be What You Need

When it comes to dating everyone has their preferences but I’m here to say that what you want may not be what you need.

Clear your mind. What is it that you find attractive when you are looking to date? Everyone has a type when it come to picking a mate which is cool but when it comes down to it what is it that you really need?

When you’re young and not truly knowing yourself you may end up with someone who is not a good fit. You may not be entirely sure what it is that you need out of a relationship. Dating young is all about trial and error. You learn from your experiences and it should give you some insight on what it is you need for a relationship to work.

The type of person you find yourself dedicating your time to should reflect the type of person you are. Equally yoked is an overly used phrase, instead think of it as finding someone who shares your core interest / positive traits (are they family oriented? Is religion important? Are they good with money?) You should look to someone who is not only attractive appearance wise but also with an appealing personality. Can you converse with this person without feeling as though you are talking to a wall? Do you share hobbies or goals? Do they support you in the things that you do? Do they challenge you to be a better version of yourself?

Let me be clear. Relationships are work for both parties involved. However, don’t be afraid to walk away from something if your mate is not bringing what you need to the table (I’m not talking finances here that’s a whole ‘nother post). Always speak your mind and let it be known what it is that will make you feel fulfilled. Someone who you think is your type may not be the one to provide fulfillment.

 

**Originally posted November 2014 on my older blog page. This post was revised.

Romantic relationships shouldn’t always be your focus. There are so many different types of relationships that are essential to your development.

Recently, as I worked on another video for my blog I thought of all of the work relationships I have and I became grateful that there are people I can call to either strengthen what I’m working on or give equal input.

If you are currently in college look around you. Sometimes the person sitting right next to you can turn out to be your business partner. Or maybe it doesn’t have to go as far as that but they may have something else to offer to your craft. Connect with professors because they may know someone who can help you on your path to success.

What if you’re not in school? You’re just working a 9 to 5. That’s OK too. All connections don’t come from educational institutions. Getting to know and linking with co-workers who may share the same interest can lead to great ventures.

The biggest factor is taking risks. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to build relationships. You don’t have to give all your ideas out but general conversations can lead you to knowing whether or not you can make a trustworthy connection with someone.

I applaud anyone who can get a lot done on their own but it is perfectly OK to have a helping hand in building up a brand. Especially if it is positive and fair.

A little about me: I like to provoke people. Let me explain. There are times when I find myself, sometimes unintentionally, asking questions or making statements that make people uncomfortable. I might ask just to see what their response is for my own little social experiment.

I actually enjoy social experiments. When I was in college one of my professors asked the students to take an elevator full of people and once in turn your back to the doors. Naturally, when you get into an elevator you face the doors as you travel to your desired floor. In that situation, so many people looked uncomfortable. They wanted to know what in the hell I was doing! As people hurried off of the elevator I got so many sideways stares.

Recently, while talking to different people, I casually said “back in my playa days…” and proceeded to detail my life as someone who juggled men in the fashion that men are expected to juggle women. I was saying all types of crazy things like “yeah, I’d take him to expensive dinners because at the end of the night he needed to drop them drawers” and anything that indicated basically that I was something close to being a sugar mama. (I would like to emphasize that me being a playa or a sugar mama never happened!)

Just like walking into the elevator and facing in the opposite direction I got a lot of sideways looks and a few who looked a little uncomfortable. But once that faded the question, sometimes not as bold, was: “so basically you were a hoe!?”

Huh?

I find it funny that no matter the situation, even if it’s one that men are generally praised for, a woman is going to be looked at as a hoe. It’s not right for men to treat women nicely only to look for sex in return but people are going to say, “boys will be boys!” If a woman is doing the same thing she is automatically a hoe.

When I asked for an explanation of how this made me a hoe I was met with a question of “well, you said you were with multiple men right?” Because that summed up everything. Well, thank you society!

Honesty and respect should always be given. I just want to wrap this up by saying this: men are the biggest hoes to walk the Earth. Just kidding, just kidding. No, honesty and respect should always be given (this is not a typo, I really want to emphasize this). And I believe that whether it be a man or a woman that’s being a player type, it only comes at the expense of putting your and others well being on the line. Be up front about your intentions and treat people in a way that won’t bite you in the ass later.

 

Kind of on the subject… and mostly cause it’s like my favorite video on the internet right now:

 

It’s been over 10 years since Beyonc√© released her popular single “Irreplaceable” and still there are people quoting the line “to the left, to the left. everything you own in a box to the left” in the midst of a breakup. Once a relationship is done though, where does the material items obtained during the relationship go?

Broken hearts

The scenario is common. You meet someone and it seems you’re in love one day and then within the next you are not. In the time of the relationship you both have purchased items for one another and maybe there are personal belongings left behind at the other’s place. There are many people who feel the need to cleanse themselves of their ex once things turn sour and so if they’re nice they may pack things into a box to return to the person or to give away to a local charity. Then there are those who choose a less friendly route and they will discard things into the trash.

But what about items of sentimental value or of monetary worth?

There are a lot of mixed reviews on this. In most instances you may find that people unconsciously hold on to, say, a teddy bear that was received on a special occasion, or an album that has all of their favorite songs on it. People may also find themselves holding on to a piece of jewelry that was gifted to them, often justifying it as not wanting to part with something that’s worth money because they “earned” it during the relationship.

I have read different professional opinions on the matter. There is the suggestion that you should let go of everything no matter what it is because it is the only way to properly move on and gain your sense of “self” back. Then there are other opinions that say that holding on to an item or two is healthy because it says that this person contributed to a part of your growth and you shouldn’t try to eliminate what you may have gained.

I say it’s best to let material items go. Having something lying around that your ex gifted you can definitely affect your growth after the relationship has ended. I say declutter your mind and your closet of all things to do with your ex. If the person truly was a positive factor in your life and they contributed to personal growth that’s cool. You wouldn’t forget that. I don’t think it’s necessary to hold on to physical items. I believe it definitely helps with moving on and getting over.