If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re almost or over the age of thirty. Why would I assume this? Simply because I hope you know that you’re ALMOST THIRTY.

Everywhere you turn and every post that your scroll past, there it is. It stares you right in the face and sometimes it even taunts you. The simple hashtag “Relationship Goals” can undoubtedly ruin your day. Why is that? Why do we have such low expectations of partnerships? Just because you see a picture that portray’s happiness does not mean that it’s actually true. I simple despise that hashtag! Not because I’m jealous or scorned but simply because it’s just another marketing tool.

So many young people or people in general yearn for a relationship. Social media increases that desire with all the perfect pictures. That’s when things start to go left. Examples of “Relationship Goals” are plastered all over the internet and is reeling everyone in. Why do you have the same relationship goals as someone whom you’ve never met? I understand that we as a society idolize celebrities. I understand that celebrities are influential. However, I’m a bit confused as to why I would want the same kind of relationship as Drake and Rihanna or Ciara and Russell Wilson. I don’t personally know either of them and I don’t know what they do or how they interact with each other behind the camera’s.

You basically want someone to take pictures and stunt with on social media. You want to be seemingly happy. Does that mean that you’re OK with being alone while Facebook or Snapchat is not live? Do you actually know what you’re looking for in a relationship? Do you know who you are with or without a relationship? Who are you trying to impress? Do they even know you?

People have invested their time in your relationship via social media by liking all of your posts. Four months into the relationship, every picture of “Him” has vanished. You may not think it’s anyone else’s business but you owe every invested follower an explanation. What happened? I thought you all were “Relationship Goals”. Soon after, you find yourself in another relationship one month later and the hashtag resurfaces. It becomes a ploy. People start judging you and your social media becomes a platform for bullying.

It’s rarely about goals when you simply want to “Make Pretend”. If that’s the case, you should simply take a picture everywhere you go and make it #Lifegoals. Figure out who you are and what you like to do. Find something that sparks your interest and implement it into your life goals. Go traveling (around the world and not just to Miami), start a support group, write a book, direct a webseries, become a famous blogger, go back and finish school, reconnect with your childhood friend, etc.

Again, you’re almost thirty! Stop with the #RelationshipGoals and plan some #Lifegoals. It’s not cute nor attractive. Know who you are and what your limits are before you enter a relationship. Be sure that its REAL and then decide whether or not to share with the world.

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Dating these days is like believing that you have a talent but you keep failing at it. You continuously are trying to figure out if you’re any good at it. For us women, it’s even harder trying to weed through the bad guys just to “settle” for a decent one. Sometimes, we simply give in and give up on finding that realistic match.

For an educated woman, we want to simply find a partner that is independent in his financial stability and inclusive in his emotional and physical support. This sounds complicated but it’s actually quite simple. Its simple enough for you to google what it means and figure it out.

I have been on numerous dates within this year and they have all, with the exception of maybe two, sucked major ass. I have either not been physically attracted to them or extremely turned off by their ignorance and narcissism. I have even questioned myself as to whether or not I was a good match or even good at dating. I started to question myself because I noticed that I attracted certain men. I either attracted older men, who have been married twice and are near their first heart attack or I attract guys who are fascinated by a woman’s body image and his own selfishness.

So, I’ve decided to just be upfront while on a date to save time and effort from introducing myself to an asshole. Here are the five essential questions to ask while on a first date.

  1. How old are you? (Age helps with understanding his mentality)
  2. Who do you live with? (Understanding independence)
  3. Where do you work and is it full-time? (Understanding values)
  4. Do you have any children? (Possible baby mama issues)
  5. Do you drive and own a vehicle? (Understanding dependability)

I have often not asked these simple questions and have been bamboozled while in the relationship. There are different types of women and all women date differently. Some women are more tolerant of certain men and some women cringe at the thought of “taking care of a man”. I fit in the second category. This is not an attack on men because they are also women who fit in the same category.

If you are a no non-sense, take action kind of woman then this article is for you. You have goals, tasks to complete, people to network with, appointments to get to, homework to do, work (employer) to catch up on and errands to run. You have structure in your life and you really don’t have the patience to teach a “Man” how to date you. So, just weed through them all with the five essential dating application questions. You’re Welcome!

Here is back to all the ex-boyfriend stuff but this time I’m serving a little tea. Now, I’m not the one to tell a tall tale but every now and then, I can’t help myself. I also believe that if you’re reading this then you have been guilty of doing the same thing. You’re guilty of being petty.

Picture this: Your boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with you for unspecified reasons and you’re trying to deal with it. Some people self medicate, some people simply move on and others just hide it very well. The others who hide it very well are the one’s who are most guilty of being petty. Here are some things you do that make you this way.

  1. You remain friends on social media
  2. You immediately change their name in your phone (Bae=Bitch)
  3. You threaten your friends to break off any and all contact with him/her
  4. You social media stalk all their pages
  5. You post indirect Facebook statuses about them
  6. You now talk down about them to anyone willing to listen
  7. You post a lot of pictures looking good just for them to see

Petty runs in your blood and it probably runs deep. I would have never thought I would be this person but I guess this is what happens when you truly love someone. The part that often bothers me is the getting back with your ugly ex. It’s one thing that you dated such a person but it’s an entirely different circumstance when you see their posts about them being together again. That makes me think that you all were in contact while we were in a relationship. So, what’s a girl to do?

In the end, just know that you tried and it didn’t work out because it probably was not meant to be. The petty will come and go and for most people, it will stay. It’s all part of healing and getting over your broken heart. For the people who are not so good at showing emotion, they are suffering the worst. I can say that from experience. Until then, I will try to keep my petty in and my shade trapped.

Confession time!!!!  What’s the most petty thing you’ve done after a break-up?

Friends! How many of us have them? That is the question that has been asked for over 20 years but no one has seemed to find a conclusive answer. When you have real friends, do you even know that they are your REAL friends. We are all waiting for the real answer but most importantly, the big question.

Picture this: You’re at a concert with a friend and the both of you are talking and laughing hysterically. One friend peeps something odd and grabs your arm tightly. You peep what the friend see’s and the both of you grab each other while simultaneously clutching your pearls. You saw it and you know you saw it because you could not have seen anything else.

You saw your mutual friend’s man walking past with another woman on his arm. You saw him caress the smalls of her back while staring you in the face. You saw him immediately put his head down and stare at the ground as he realized who you were. YOU SAW HIM! You saw him without your friend.

As true and real friends, you deliberate on whether to call up your girl and tell her what you saw. One person has been chosen to do the dirty deed. You decide to text because a phone conversation seems to scare you a little. You tell your friend about her cheating boyfriend and you describe the scenario from top to bottom.

You expect to be the shoulder that will be needed for comfort and instead you get “What was he wearing and what color were his shoes”. Bitch, I made a conscious decision to inform you about this no count dude and all you can ask about is the color of his shoes.

The boyfriend denies that it was ever him and the friend believes him. Once again, they are Facebook happy and all in love and shit. You are extremely livid, not because she took him back but simply because you are the most genuine and honest friend that she has and she called you a LIAR.

Question being: If you saw your friend’s spouse clearly cheating, would you tell your friend?

As a young and single African-American woman, dating should be fun and easy. Instead, it is an excruciating job interview that is going terribly wrong. You want to give up midway through and block that person from any and all contact with you. So, let’s talk about why dating is so difficult in this city.

In the city of Chicago, I often find myself gathering information on people who I don’t even know. I know about other relationships and cheating scandals, affairs, failed marriages and one night stands. These same men and women who are part of these scandals are the one’s who you usually end up on a date with.

After I graduated from college and started working towards my M.B.A., I really began dating again. I was made out to seem stuck up and too independent because I had these things going for myself. I simply ask a guy what is his occupation and who does he live with and here comes the lies and the insecurities. I should not be made out to feel like I’m asking too much of you. I definitely don’t do guys with major insecurities.

Dating in this city is difficult because the only guys available are left over baby daddies and cheating husbands. These men usually don’t have any idea of what stability looks like and has very little to offer in a relationship. Here are a list of problems that a young single woman here might incur when dating a city guy:

  • Lives with his mother/baby’s mother/Grandma
  • Has  multiple children
  • Does not have a valid license
  • Wants to borrow your car
  • Does not have a car
  • Does not know what it means to date you
  • Usually needs to borrow money from you
  • Not Educated
  • Wants to move in with you

This list can go on and on but I’d prefer not to bash them any more than what I already have. So, because I think that as a 28-35 year old man, you should have your own place, job, car, and money; I’m the problem and I’m being unrealistic. At this point, I’d rather date someone’s grandfather.

Dating up north versus down south is completely different and I’ve noticed so. In the south, a good majority of the men are respectful and chivalrous. They are stable, financially and mentally, and most are ready to settle down and start a family. I’m stuck with the guy who started a family and couldn’t stop.

I don’t know what’s in the water here in Chicago but I really need the Mayor or Governor to filter that shit. I just want to go on a nice and simple date with a MAN who has his shit together.

Dear Man Who Has His Shit Together,

Where are you and can you please meet me somewhere.

Dating has become a foreign policy, almost. You have to form peace treaties and come to an agreement and an assorted list of other things. There are always factors preventing you from simply showing your mate that you care. Millennials are so focused on material things and looks that they forget how to date. They forget how to simplify a relationship and make things less complicated.

Girls don’t want much and guys require even less. So, why is dating extremely complicated? A girl want’s to feel appreciated and a guy wants to feel needed. Here are seven simple ways to date your mate while spending little to no money at all.

  1. Have a picnic at the beach! (Make a sandwich and bring some fruit and wine)
  2. Netflix and Chill! (Order a pizza and break out the beer)
  3. Groupon any and everything! (This is a no-brainer)
  4. Ice Cream and things! (Get a scoop and window shop in your favorite part of town)
  5. Be a good sport! (Hit the park and play both of your favorite sports)
  6. Tour your town! (Hop on the train and sight see through your city)
  7. Game night! (A board game, a few drinks and it’s light out)

The are dating ideas that are beneficial for the guy and the girl. Hopefully everyone is satisfied and you don’t even have to break your pockets. Be creative and think outside of the box. Think about whether you’re bringing your last relationship into your new one. If you are, think about if you’re exuding the same behavior. Be aware of these things and remember that everyone is different and so is every relationship.

As you all know, The Queen of Slayage, Fantasia herself, has a new album hitting the shelves. “The Definition of” hits stores on July 29, 2016 and the album tells the story of love, loss, pain and blessings. This album has everything that you would need to go forward with life. You know when you have to switch to another album to hear one specific song; well all of those songs are on this album.

Here are the top five reasons why you should buy Fantasia’s new album:

  1. On your way to work, you will catch the holy ghost.
  2. You will throw your phone at your other phone because she sounds so damn good
  3. You get an all-in-one album (Soul, R&B, Gospel, Hip Hop)
  4. This album will have you all the way in the back of your feelings
  5. Simply because it’s FANTASIA

If you’re a true Fantasia fan then you know how important her music is and you always get a good album. This time, we get a mature Fantasia who speaks to the soul and grabs your edges while doing so. Go out and buy the album, download it from Itunes or Google Play Store. Just please support this incredible artist now known as the Queen of Slayage.