You Mad? Ciara Doesn’t Deserve To Be Saved, Because She Doesn’t Need To Be

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While women everywhere are swooning over Ciara’s Disney-like love story  and being blinded by the bling her engagement ring is giving off something proper, a few men think Russell Wilson is breaking major bro’ code and setting a bad example by seemingly running in to save the day.

See, it was only a few years ago that Ciara was slithering on the floor in something black and sexy for rapper and now father of her son, Future. When news broke that the pair were indeed a real life thing,  it didn’t take long for female fans everywhere to become BFF’s with the singer in their heads pleading with her to keep those “goodies” in the jar. Nayvadius Wilburn better known as Future, the raunchy rapper behind hits like “Dirty Sprite” and “Same Damn Time” already had five children by three different women at the time in 2013. Fans pleaded with Ciara via social media to proceed with caution and up until that point besides a few backbends and a twerk here or there, most would have considered her a “good girl” in R&B. I mean there was a fling with rapper 50 Cent, but for the most part Ciara didn’t have any sex tapes, no arrest record, no reality show ratchetry and the most questionable thing she may have done in her career was date Bow Wow. Fans expectedly were shocked by her entertaining a typical hip-hop bad boy.

The romance quickly unfolded despite criticism from the fans and it wasn’t long before the couple announced they were expecting. Even I wanted to root for the two and hope they would beat the odds, but I’m a firm believer that a man’s track record speaks volumes. To me it wasn’t as much as IF the break-up would happen but WHEN. The rumors started flying of Future’s infidelity shortly after Future Jr. was born and my as well as other fans’ suspicions were proven true. Break-ups happen and sometimes you don’t see them coming, but I think it’s so important for women to go into relationships with men who don’t have the best reputations being well aware of their patterns and not buying into the unlikely outcome that they will be the exception.

Fast forward to early spring of 2015 when Seattle Seahawks and Superbowl Champ Russell Wilson is escorted by Cici to the Whitehouse Correspondents’ dinner. After a messy break up that included custody battles and Future talking slick about his most recent child’s mother to the masses about how she was rushing a marriage, it seemed as if Ciara was playing it cool by giving that fuccboi the ultimate message that she was over it and moving on. But now that Russell wants to make it official after a year of courtship and a very publicized pledge to celibacy on the couple’s behalf, men around the world are side-eyeing his surprise Seychelle Island proposal as the ultimate sucka move. According to one Facebook user:

“I remember when I was in college/ high school these so called “educated” girls were refusing to date smart guys “squares” because they were too nice or too much of a square. It wasn’t cool to date a square. So instead they would choose to be ran through by all of the ball players, goons, rappers, thugs, dope dealers etc. Then after being ran through till the age of 28-30, they would try to find a “nice corporate square” and were usually successful. This is how the game was ran. So to all my young, educated, successful, brothas out there. Do not settle for hood leftovers. No second chances. Especially hood and ratchet leftovers who have their ex baby daddy’s initials tattooed on their finger. And their ex happens to be a Goon.  Don’t do it.  You deserve the cream of the crop. Russell is setting a terrible example.”

When I read this initially I figured homeboy was just bitter because he felt like he was a good guy that got passed up by all of the fine girls in undergrad. I thought it was unfair because by 28-30, most people are bringing some kind of baggage to a relationship and it’s not fair to only single out attractive women who may have made relationship mistakes in the past. Shoot, Mr. Wilson is bringing a whole ex-wife to the picture but no one is calling out his less-than-perfect past nearly as much as we are focusing on Ciara’s relationship with Future.

Another thing that shady posts like these further confirm to me that most of us have forgotten what healthy relationships actually look like. The fact is Ciara seems finally happy, although some fans can’t find it in their spirits to be happy for her. We were giving her the side-eye when she was taking “us-ies” with Future’s other children’s mothers like she was a part of the sorority Zeta-Baby-Maker. But now that she her very own Disney vault love story, we’re still not pleased. It’s as if so many of us are used to seeing one Love and Hip-Hop surprise multiple pregnancy after the other, that when a man isn’t giving off Creep Squad vibes, we get leery. Or we’ve been through so many unhealthy relationships ourselves, that we begin to forget that a man treating a woman with respect and chivalry is actually a good thing.

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Even I’ll admit that Russell Wilson is making every cheesy effort to come for Prince Charming’s crown, but as much as we’d like to make real-life love a romcom, there are no clear cut roles for anyone. I’d like to think that on his best day Future has really great qualities that made Ciara believe she could build a life with him. It’s also possible that as much as we’d like to believe Russell Wilson is Ciara’s personal caped crusader, he’s not perfect either and he indeed has a past as well according to his ex-wife. When it comes to love, whether we’d like to believe it or not people are allowed to learn, grow and simply change their mind without judgment. Most importantly when it comes to following our personal paths in life, we have to do what works for us as individuals. If you’re basing your #RelationshipGoals on what the hottest celebrity couple is doing or the example the latest sex symbol is setting, then you have a lot to learn about love and relationships. And to “Angry Facebook Man” I hate to break it to you, but the last time I checked Ciara is a Grammy-nominated singer who has a multi-million dollar modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models and endorsements with Verizon and Adidas.  She may need a lot of things, but one of them ain’t saving.

But as hard as I fight against the patriarchal stereo-types and double-standards this post is bringing, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit “Angry Facebook Man” doesn’t have a point. Ciara’s whole situation is giving me “Band-Aid Boyfriend” vibes. Not sure what exactly a Band-Aid Boyfriend is? Allow me to explain. I had a Band-Aide Boyfriend through most of my late teens and early twenties. A “Band-Aid Boyfriend” is a guy that you’ve permanently placed in the friend zone. He probably landed there because he has little swag, doesn’t put you in your place when you’re out of pocket, and swears the sun rises and falls of your smile alone. When the swagged out dude who makes your draws drop because you think his disrespect is endearing breaks your heart, who is the first person you turn to? The Band-Aid Boyfriend. Because Band-Aid Boyfriend will play basketball with your boys, take your mama to church and have a dozen roses waiting for you at work. And suddenly all those sucka moves that may have landed him a 30-year fixed- mortgage in the friend zone will suddenly make him the man you want to marry. Band-Aid Boyfriend is the best because when you’re feeling your lowest, he’ll remind you of how you deserve to be treated and that a good relationship doesn’t have to be about drama. But here’s the thing: If you’re not feeling Band-Aid Boyfriend THAT way, it’s never going to work and here is where I find where I find men’s issues with “Ciara being saved” problematic.

I don’t think any women has a strategy to date the bad boy in their twenties to get their inhibitions out of the way so they can settle down with the “Band-Aid Boyfriend” at the end of the day, but what I will say is that she has every right to. Just like every man has a right to living his bachelor days with women he wouldn’t think of bringing home to mama, only to settle down with the “good girl”. If you feel like you’re getting love’s leftovers because of your “square” status, I think that has more to do with what you allow than how any women is actually treating you. When it comes to love, you determine what you deserve and if a man respecting a woman and her kids, vowing to be celibate and not shading her on Snapchat makes him a sucka, then I’ll take two please.

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons You Need To Make Him Take You On A Date…NOW

 

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The story of how my husband and I first met was far from a fairytale, and as happy as I am with where we are now, I often caution my friends that our situation had just as much of a chance of going wrong as it did right.

Back in the early 2000’s when all my high school friends had gone off to various parts of rural PA to begin their lives as undergrads, I was left working a job I had held through my teens at an ice cream parlor and spent a year or two doing random things you do as a young adult trying to figure it out. I spent the summer blowing minimum wage paychecks on Air Force One’s and hanging out with a guy who had nursed a crush on me since I was freshman.  He was a nice enough guy, but one of those guys that had no idea that I had all but re-financed a mortgage for him in the friend zone. Sometime in the summer of 2005 he ended up introducing me to a close friend of his who at the time I had no idea would be the man I’d eventually marry.

My husband had a lot of undesirable qualities about him, but one of them wasn’t financial management.  He was able to save and purchase a house at a very young age and provide what only I could call the hood’s version of Hedomism for all his friends. It was a bachelor pad that always had liquor readily available, T.I. and Madden NFL blasting throughout the night, and half-dressed girls parading in and out.  It wasn’t exactly the setting to fall in love. But somehow despite him being the host to these shenanigans, I ended up really liking the guy. Of course at this time he wasn’t the type to pick me up for drinks and late night walks along the riverfront. Our relationship began pretty basically, but instead of “Netflix and Chill” back then it was called a booty call and I settled for it. In the occasional night his house was quiet and he finished a shift at 12AM he would call me up and ask if I wanted to come over and watch The Wire which would always inevitably turn into Stringer Bell and Omar peeping our “under-cover activities”.

This went on for few years until I decided I wanted something more serious and was tired of settling for being the girl he knew he could call for a good time and nothing more. I also knew I was worth much more than only being thought of after 10:00 pm. Our first official date of many was a night at the movies to see Denzel Washington star in Book of Eli and although it may not seem like much, I think if a man feels like he never has to leave his apartment for you, it says something about how much he’s invested into you.

Reservations at Painting with a Twist doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve landed yourself a husband, but it will get you a lot closer than Netflix and chill ever will. Here are seven reasons you need to make him take you on a date right the hell NOW:

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1. Because it forces him to make the effort, and you deserve a little damn effort.

Ne-yo has a single on the last album that I love called “Make It Easy” which is about finding the one to spend your life with who makes living comfortable and drama-free. This, however, does not apply to the first few months of dating. If you are the one who is constantly driving to see him, picking up dinner and delivering ass along with a stuffed crust pizza you are a glorified Domino’s delivery driver, not a girlfriend.

I wouldn’t write it, if I didn’t witness it. When a man takes you out on a date it forces him to plan and muster up a little damn effort.  I’m all for being an independent woman and making the first move, but when you “do all the doing” you rob a man of the opportunity to make the effort that you deserve.  Even if his best effort is a Fandango transaction for tickets to the latest Leo DiCaprio flick and buffalo chicken sliders on him, it still required more energy than the dude who showered, threw on sweatpants and made sure his wi-fi was working.

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2. Because being broke is no longer a valid excuse.

A Google search for “dating on a budget” returns 71,400,000 results in .67 seconds which means that “I’m on a budget,” is no longer an excuse for refusing to leave the bedroom. Whether you grab a pretzel and people watch at a local park or you both volunteer for an animal shelter for an afternoon, being broke is not a good enough reason for him to refuse to take you out in public. Better yet why not visit a career fair or a networking event if he claims lack of coins is the only reason why date night is confined to his couch.

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3. Because it allows you the chance to see what he’s bringing to the table outside of the bedroom.

Being in public forces people to present themselves differently to the world than they would when the only social interaction they have is the occasional interruption by the guy delivering a quart of vegetable lo mein.

Does he get a bad case of social anxiety? Did he tip the server more than $2.00 or offer the mom with the screaming toddler a quick glance of sympathy? You can learn more about a person by how they act in public than you ever would from their Netflix queue.

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4. Because there’s the chance you’ll bump into his crew or the girlfriend he forgot to mention.

When a man goes out of his way to avoid taking you out in public (or if when he does you always have to go two counties away and can never hang out with friends) I always assume it’s because he has something to hide. Maybe he’s keeping you away from his boys because they probably won’t know you from the last three girls he brought around in the last week. Or maybe he doesn’t want to bump into his girlfriend’s older brother who frequents the best beer garden in town. Either way if you can’t seem to ever see the light of day with your date, rest assured the skeletons he’s got trapped in the closet aren’t either.

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5. Because the best memories rarely begin with, “Remember that time we were binge-watching Bob’s Burgers?”

Karaoke with strangers, dive bars in small towns and that little deli that makes the best corn beef specials: That’s what the best date memories are made of. If you’ve met a guy that you think you want to get serious with, shared experiences are what relationships are built on. They will be what give you character as a couple and help you bond. You don’t have to go rock climbing in South America or share epic life-changing experiences to become closer. Bonding can come through looking at the same old neighborhood hangouts in a different way through one another’s eyes….which requires leaving his apartment from time to time.

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6. Because a group date may allow your girlfriends to see things that you don’t.

They might catch him shifting uncomfortably or avoiding eye-contact or they may peep that he doesn’t pull off until your seat belt is buckled or how his eyes light up when you walk in the room. Your gut is usually spot-on, but friends and family can sometimes see things that love and lust alike won’t allow you to.

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7. Because ain’t that much “busy” in the world.

The saying never fails: A person will make time for the things they want to do, and excuses for what they don’t want to do. When my now husband/then love interest started to get serious about me, I noticed that even if was working 10 and sometimes 12 hours straight, he’d take the hour he had in between shifts just to bring me Johnny Rockets and sit on the porch and talk. I’m not saying he has to take you to a five-star-restaurant and end the night with a rendition of “The Way You Look Tonight” accompanied by John Legend on piano. But if a man can’t make time to poke your brain, but clears his schedule to penetrate other parts of your anatomy, it’s probably because that’s all he’s interested in.

 

Get It Together: I Googled My Ex’s New Girlfriend And Now I Feel Kinda Pathetic

Maybe it’s because I had a bad case of cabin fever with all these snow days or because I hadn’t discovered the Netflix genius that is House of Cards, but I found myself googling my ex’s girlfriend a few weekends ago and I am absolutely ashamed of it.

You see, silly me believed some time ago, my ex and I could actually be friends, at least on social media anyway. Through Facebook messages we talked about mutual friends, career, aging parents, siblings turned sexually active and the inevitable topic we probably should have avoided: The good old days. After all my ex and I hadn’t been involved for at least 7 or 8 years and I was well on my way to building a life with my now fiance’. I honestly believed that there was no room for resentment or jealousy for a relationship that had been dead for some time now.

We followed one another on Instagram. We joked about my Drake stan-dom and he’d tag me in those “Drake The Type of Ni**a” memes. Most of all life was great because we kept much of our private lives off the internet. But as our messages got longer and longer and he began to post more and more pictures of the people in his life, I began to learn a lot more than I probably needed to about his new girlfriend. He began to tell me about how she was recently out of work and much of the financial burden was on him.  She was moonlighting as an event planner and had an awkward role-model relationship with his older sister. What I noticed most is that we started being less and less impartial about our partners and only revealing things about them we knew wouldn’t hurt each other’s feelings.

Since I sensed that I wasn’t getting the whole picture (she couldn’t have been as blah as he was making her out to be, because he was obviously happy with her before we began communicating again) I decided on a very bored pre Walking Dead premiere weekend to Google her after finding her tagged in one of his Facebook pics. Besides I had a few clues: a name and “event planner”.

So what did I find? Not much but some boring Pinterest boards and uneventful tweets from years ago and the worst part is I felt like a complete loser after “researching” her. Why did I even care? The truth is I didn’t. But my ego did, a hell of a whole lot. The first thing I had to figure out was did I have some kind of unresolved love for my ex or did I just not like to lose.

Now I know some of you are going to read this and think, “This girl is completely psycho.  Who the hell has time for this shit?” But I’m willing to bet we all have done some form of this on a particularly insecure day; I’m just the only one brave enough to admit it and try to make you feel like a little less of a lame for doing so. After I removed my Beats Solos, turned down Letoya Luckett’s “She Ain’t” and came off my FBI investigative high I realized I had just wasted an hour of my time. Here a few reasons for you not to do the same:

7 Mistakes Thirsty Women Make

I’m good for labeling thirsty behavior, but let’s be clear: every IG like or comment, every enthusiastic flirtation and every text that comes after midnight is not necessarily evidence that someone is in need of a Deer Park smoothie.  The difference between expressing your attraction to someone and obeying your thirst is as simple as a little self-respect.

For example, Rihanna puts up yet another picture on IG of her scantily clad cakes on somebody’s yacht and gets over 30,000 likes in five minutes.  Someone comments, “Damn Rih Rih’s body is nice as shit.”  Someone else comments, “Why don’t you let them cakes cook on my dick?”  See what I did there?  Anyone with eyes can see that Rihanna’s sexy, but the second comment takes the admiration to an entirely unnecessary level and leaves its author appearing severely parched. Most self-respecting men wouldn’t approach Rihanna that way in person, but for some reason when it comes to social media, self-respect doesn’t get you followers and re-tweets and that’s what it’s all about…right?

If there’s any month that brings out the thirst like no other it’s the peak month of cuffing season: February.  Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and women everywhere are putting in work to make sure they get their 7-11 roses and Russell Stover’s Cherry Cordials.  But ladies, please remember, your self-respect is worth more than some red cellophane.  In the next few weeks women will over-analyze, manipulate and lose all common sense all with the goal of getting a life-size teddy bear as proof that their man really cares.  They’ll completely forget what an asshole he is for the other 364 days of the year  and by President’s Day he’ll be back to rejecting your phone calls and then telling you three days later, “I was in the studio, Bae.”

So this Valentine’s ladies I encourage you to see through the candy hearts and Hallmark cards and make sure your man is truly into his role in the relationship and not just playing the part for one day.  And no matter how good the dick is, no matter how many friends come to work Monday morning rocking something new on their left hand, no matter how depressing it is that the only thing you’re looking forward to in February is that coffee table you’ve been eyeing will be on sale for President’s Day, don’t let  your thirst show.  Here are a few mistakes thirst will have you looking slightly Sahara-ish:

10 Ways to Avoid Killing Your Fiance’ Before Your Wedding Day

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Ever since I got engaged in July whenever someone asks me have we picked a date I jokingly respond, “You mean if I don’t kill him first?” But on Christmas Eve for at least 5 seconds I really wanted to choke slam the shit out of my fiancé.  I visually imagined stabbing him in his neck with a Gel roller pen in the cup holder of his truck and rolling his gurgling body over the edge of I-76 West.  And it all started with an argument over how tacky I believe it is to only feed some of the people that you invite to your wedding ceremony. This man seriously wants to walk out of our wedding and tell half of our guests we’ll catch them later while we take the others to eat because he doesn’t want to blow the budget.

I’ve calmed down since then, but I owe a sincere apology to all of those people I felt took wedding planning too seriously before I became someone’s fiancé.  What no one ever tells you is that wedding planning is not just about venues, flowers and wedding websites.  It’s about finding a middle ground between values that you’ve been raised with. It’s about bushwhacking through the agressive opinions of family members and friends. It’s about being honest about your style as a couple and sticking together because at the end of the day you’re the only one that has to deal with the smell he leaves in the bathroom after Taco Bell.

So if you’re planning a wedding and you ever find yourself at a point where attempted murder charges dim in comparison to spending another day arguing over chair sashes, remind yourself of the following:

Can a Relationship Continue after a Rejected Marriage Proposal?

There are few moments in life that visibly humble a man.  I remember being terrified seeing my father in tears after the death of his father. It was the first time I realized that real parents aren’t perfect and perfect parents aren’t real.  They’re these older versions of you with feelings and insecurities and worries that cancer could very well happen to them.  Then there’s the moment when a man realizes that this world is about so much more than his bank account balance, sex and Air Jordan Retros: the day he becomes a father.  Now I can’t relate just yet but I think this quote by Elizabeth Stone pretty much sums it up: “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

The only other time I believe you’ll catch a man at his most vulnerable, when he feels excited and scared shitless at the same time is when he proposes to the woman he loves.  Now that my fiance’ has finally popped the question I can finally see how all of his anxiety was playing out all summer long until he finally got the guts to go through with it as I clipped coupons one Sunday night.  The repeated jokes about how he would throw the ring on the table and be like, “Let’s do this.”  It was all because he was testing me…and scared to death.

By its nature, marriage proposals put men in a weak position.  Let’s call it what is it:  Here’s your protective, alpha male on bended knee, looking up at you submitting to you with half his savings in his hand.  He’s retiring his nutsack, he’s tapping out on all of the untapped ass out there that he never had the chance to try, he’s trusting your forgetful ass to not drop his down payment on a house down the drain while you dye your hair, he’s saying spending the rest of his life with you and only you means more than that first-nut feeling ever will.  I mean, I’m a woman and typically this is supposed to be the day we spend half of our girlhood daydreaming about and even I find myself panicking about all the sex I am never going to have ever again.

6 Ways Women Try to Keep Men From Cheating That Don’t Work

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There’s a big difference between an insecure woman and a woman with insecurities. We all have our days when we question our flaws and mourn our mistakes, but if you feel you have to pull a Warren G. and regulate your man’s behavior to keep him from cheating, you need to check your trust issues and not his ability to be faithful.  What many women fail to realize is that before you start working overtime to catch and keep a man, you have to make sure you’ve made sufficient progress on yourself.  It’s cliché but it’s still around because it’s true: You can’t expect anyone else to love you, if you don’t love yourself.  Loving yourself doesn’t mean you make sure you hair and nails stay done and you like what you see in the mirror, it’s truly knowing your worth and what you deserve from life and love.

I hate to see a woman work harder trying to keep a man from cheating than they do on their 9-5 grind.  A relationship will turn an insecure woman in a computer hacker, a private eye and a district attorney.  Women will install hidden GPS on their man’s phone, take the day off to follow him while he runs errands, and look for stray hairs under his floor mats all to build up a case about what they usually already know. I’ve seen it from all sides. I’ve been in relationships where I suspected my man was cheating, I’ve cheated and I’ve been the girl that men wanted to cheat with and in every situation I’ve learned there’s only one way a woman can keep a man from cheating:  Find a man who wants to be faithful to you. Cheating is a sign that something’s gone off track in your relationship or that someone isn’t ready for a monogamous relationship in the first place.  Save yourself the frustration of convincing your eyes of what your heart already knows.  Here are six ways women try to keep a man from cheating that never work: