When I used to go out with my dad when I was younger he noticed I had a bad habit. Instead of allowing him to open my side of the car door and other doors to places we went, I would open them myself without hesitation and without noticing he was 2 steps behind about to open the door for me. Finally he told me to stop, and to let him get my doors. That taught me that any man, whether related or not, that truly cares for you will want to do kind, courteous, and special things for you. It doesn’t mean he thinks you’re incapable of doing them yourself but whether it means that when you are with him there are certain things he doesn’t want you to worry about because he’s going to take care of them because he cares. As goofy as it sounds, this is just one of the few SMALL ways men show what matters to them. Now I’m not saying if you’re walking into a building and a cutie holds the door open for you to that he wants you. Some guys were just raised to be courteous and practice shivery when it comes to women.
If a man wasn’t raised to be courteous and practice shivery no need to fear. He’s not a mind-reader but if you notify him of things that make you happy and bring you joy (things within reason) a man who CARES FOR YOU will be willing and able to do those things. And when I say within reason I mean things like, checking the oil on your car (or other small task that just require basic knowledge), surprise visits at work to get a quick bite to eat during your lunch hour, a bouquet of flowers waiting for you on the coffee table along with a hot bubble bath waiting for you and dinner in the over waiting to be served. A lot of women think something is wrong if you have to tell the man they’re with the things they like, but as I stated before they’re not mind-readers, no one is. You have to give him the chance to show and prove to you what he’s willing to do to put a smile on your face. But if you tell him and he makes jokes out of it or pushes it aside like it’s no big deal and you’re just trippin’ then you’ve got yourself a problem. Either he’s doesn’t care or he’s gotten too comfortable and set in a mine-set of “I got her already why do I need to do anything else extra.” That’s just the same as if a woman would stop cooking after a few years of marriage or purposely gaining 50 pounds without any intention to lose it. Bottom line, if her cares he will try and he will put forth effort whether he automatically does it or you have to tell him.
“Words say a little; effort says a lot; doing says it all – Hope you kept your receipt to return the dream you’ve been sold.”-Enitan Bereola, II
Before anyone gets all worked up, I will not argue that formal education has been a significant tool in the advancement of Black America. By us being deprived the very basic necessities of a proper education left of falling behind in so many areas of our society. But as time passed and doors opened, Black America took off running and started to exceed in areas other races had not done before. The level of pride and admiration not just in others but in us as a people reached new and unknown heights. We became doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts, judges, you name it.
But with the shape our economy is in and the level of jobs available, is college our only option? I’ve recently read several articles of people who will NEVER be able to pay off their student loan debt. Even with the job that will allow them to make a great amount of money. The debt accumulated is just too high to even wrap their brain around. But what’s even more upsetting is a lot more jobs are requiring experience more than they are college hours or degrees. Which leaves a lot of the young struggling when they get out of school. Of course there are many occupations that still and have to require formal education but for the most part a lot of the common fields we tend to go for are not anymore. And even though college is a great experience and we learn so much from that time in our life, is it worth never being able to live comfortably even in our years of retirement? Coming from a family who is academically strong and very well educated (my dad’s side) I took after my mom’s side, the workforce straight out of high school. It was very hard fighting against which side to choose. To be honest I wanted to take the school route SO BAD, even constantly going back and forth with my mother about it. Eventually I went but life happens and God takes you in a totally different direction. Leaving my school bills unattended just trying to make sense of my life, interest happened. But I was recently blessed to be able to pay my college loan off and fortunately at a job that will pay for my education if I decide to get my degree to advance even further in my field. While I do plan to take full advantage of this you can’t imagine how proud my old man was of me when I told him the news. Although he was for me attending school right after high school he sees now that what our ancestors had to do was called for and very necessary for us as a people at the time. And although I do plan on taking full advantage of a free education, I don’t think I would have thought about going back if they had not offered, especially given that state our country is in. There is more than one way to educate yourself. But if you are going to rack up thousands of dollars in debt, PLEASE let it be for a passion you KNOW you will succeed in and not just for show. Don’t go broke on the account of trying to impress people to keep up with a certain image. “Education is expensive. There’s no need in having a PhD in a field that’s not hiring or on a job that doesn’t require it. Debt isn’t glamorous.”-Tera C. Hodges
Ever stop to think that what you do as a single person will carry over into your marriage? Even though our lives with our future spouse will be a new experience it won’t cancel out all the other experiences we’ve had in the past. Take something as simple as sex. If we have all these sexual experiences as a single person we now put our future spouse in competition with everyone we’ve ever been sexual with and in order to be happy or satisfied they have to either be better than all the rest of at least tied with other partners that could only measure up to a sexual appetite. Does that sound fair? In order for the one we should love unconditionally to be with us, the requirement is for them to gain experience with other people before meeting us? It’s almost sounds like we pimp out our spouse before we even meet them. Instead of acting married when we’re single, we should understand being single is a gift. That way “when God truly brings who we are to have as our spouse there won’t be such a fight to figure out who’s better because you have none to compare.” –Tanisha Sutton
“If you think being single sucks it’s because you suck – if you can’t stand your own company, no one else will.”-Enitan Bereola, II
A lot of times we avoid the single life by getting into relationships with people who should have just remained friends. We are so bored and unexcited about our own life we need others to validate it. That doesn’t mean life is all about us and we don’t need anyone else but we should not feel our life is so bad that we have to go desperately searching outside sources for what we already have inside. So with that mindset, in a marriage if that’s done it’s considered cheating, whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.
There’s a saying, “Money doesn’t change you. It only magnifies who you already are.” I believe the same applies to marriage. If your single life is a mess, if you are insecure, if you compare partners, your marriage is subject to encounter the same things. Single life is very important because the experiences we go through will in some affect your married life. Consider your single life a precious time to prepare for your spouse in the most sufficient way. And that way won’t be from you jumping from relationship to relationship but becoming a better you emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically.
With only ten days left until the big love day, I thought people should understand it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it out to be when it comes down to how you celebrate Valentine’s Day or even to celebrate it at all. Here are just a few PERSONAL guidelines I find helpful when it comes to this day.
• First and foremost, unless this is the day of your actual wedding date, do not put so much emphasis on this one day out of the year. If you do, you’re teaching yourself that this is the one day you should be appreciated when truly you should feel this way EVERYDAY, or at least most, not just on February 14th.
• If you don’t get that diamond necklace or a trip to Jamaica, it is not the end of your relationship. Do not undervalue the presence of the one who cares for you yet overvalue material things. Presence > Presents
• Spending Valentine’s Day alone is not the end of the world. I don’t care many “single and lonely” jokes people make, no one should get into a relationship just for the sake of saying “I’m in a relationship and I’m not alone.” Truth is you can very well be in a relationship and feel more alone than you would if you were single. As corny as people may think it is, loving yourself IS the greatest love of all. And if you can’t grasp that, then maybe you NEED to stay single until you understand.
• Gift exchanging a) Don’t give to receive, give because it’s truly what you want to do. If the other person doesn’t buy you anything, don’t try to make them feel guilty. If you want something SPEAK UP before the 14th comes and let them know you want to exchange gifts.
• Gift exchanging b) If you JUST started dating, or just met KEEP IT SIMPLE. You shouldn’t be racking your brain over what to give this early. Their favorite movie on dvd, a thoughtful card, and/or picnic (depending on the weather) should suffice. I know many people believe the more money you spend the better the gift or the greater the love. But my personal opinion is the more you think with love, the less you’ll have to spend with your wallet. Impress them with you love not your bank account. Think HARDER!
• Take advantage of the day after Valentine’s Day. That’s right, February 15th gets so overlooked and I don’t know why. Does 75-80% off all chocolate mean anything to anybody???? If you do end up being all depressed or disappointed over Valentine’s Day, nothing says “I love myself” like a box of almost free candy 🙂