By Erickka Sy Savané

We were set up by a friend the summer before high school. In those days of living in different neighborhoods and going to different schools, pre-cellphone and internet, it was common to develop a relationship over the phone, without meeting first. It was great because it meant spending hours talking, and getting to know each other. He loved basketball, his friends, and Sade, and once sang her entire album to me one night in an attempt to put me to sleep. Actually, I wasn’t really asleep, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t like Sade. He was just the sweetest guy ever.

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Finally, the day came when we were to meet. It was our first official date to the movies, and his mom was to be our chaperone. My stomach was in knots all day because what if I didn’t like him, when I already liked him? We’d invested so much time.

He knocked on my door and when I came to open it his back was turned. My first impression was that dude was a freakin’ giant! He was like 7 feet tall. When he turned around I saw the most beautiful brown eyes, thick black hair, and the best smile. What a cutie!

From then on he’d come see me once a week, pedaling his way across town on his bicycle. We’d spend hours talking on my front porch, joking around, and dodging the stalking eyes of my mom who was making sure he didn’t try to steal a kiss. I liked him, and he liked me.

One day, during one of his visits, my favorite Aunt stopped by. I was excited for her to meet him and happy when we all sat on the porch chatting away. Once he was pedaling his way back home, and was out of earshot, I asked her what she thought of him.

“He’s cute,” she said, “but he sure does have a big schnauzer!”

Schnauzer?

“His nose; it’s huge!”

I hadn’t noticed. But she was right. Now it’s all I could think about. And like an annoying pimple, it got bigger and bigger with each visit. I became shy about introducing him to my friends for fear of what they might think, and little things started bothering me. One day when he did something I didn’t like, instead of trying to work it out, I screamed, “We’re through!” And just like that I broke up with him. He was crushed, but the way I saw it, it just wasn’t meant to be.

That should be the end of the story, but it’s not.

Remember when I said he liked basketball? He was just joining the basketball team around the time we broke up, and turns out; he was a very good player. He became a staple on TV, breaking all kinds of high school records, and ended up getting a full scholarship to college where his popularity grew even more. From there he finished college early and signed a multi-million dollar contract (I believe it was 80 mil, but who's counting?) with the NBA. My head was spinning. It was like someone had played a cruel joke on me where the frog really did turn into a prince. At one point, even my Aunt circled back, asking, ‘what happened?!’ Let’s just say, I was glad there were no knives around.

Sometimes I would think about it and feel so dumb. It wasn’t just that he became so rich and successful; it was also that he was a really nice guy who treated me with nothing but respect. And it’s not like the relationship had to last forever, first ones rarely do, but I can only imagine what he could have taught me about discipline. Sadly, things ended so badly that it was hard to even be friends.

So what did I ultimately learn? Sometimes there’s a lot of beauty in that beast; and sometimes, other people’s opinions, even those who love you, can talk you right out of a good thing. Perhaps if there had been a star like Beyonce around, professing love for her man’s ‘Jackson 5 nostrils,’ things might have turned out different. I do know that with two young daughters I will be teaching them that how a man treats you is more important than simply how he looks.

How important are looks to you when dating?
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com


The Braxton Sisters
Yesterday evening, TMZ caught up with Towanda, Traci, and Trina Braxton in a California airport. The sisters told the cameraman that they were on their way to be with their sister Tamar after she recently filed for divorce from her husband of nine years, Vincent Herbert.
Earlier reports claimed that Vince and Tamar’s marriage took a hit when she was fired from “The Real.” But according to her sisters, that was not the case at all. They allege that they’ve been having problems for years and the finger-biting incident from 2016 was not the first.

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By Vince Lake

A few days ago a close friend showed me a screenshot of a few flirtatious comments on a picture of her boyfriend on instagram. When she asked my opinion on whether or not she should say something to him, I chose not to get involved. But it did make me think…. so, I took a census with some of my peers, 6 women and 6 men, ages 21 to 45 years old, married, single and in a relationship, and asked “How does social media influence your relationship? Here’s how it played out.

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Of the women I conversed with, one said ‘no,’ social media doesn’t influence a relationship and the other five agreed that it does. The woman who believes that it doesn’t says,
"Communication is paramount to ensure you and your partner are on the same page. Also, if the foundation of your relationship isn’t stable, it’s more likely the person’s behavior that has caused the relationship’s demise.”
Though my other married friends (The fellas) beg to differ. They agreed that social media does have an influence on their marriage, and these are the major factors:
Insecurities- New friends both parties aren’t aware of. Random comments.
History- Reconnecting with old friends or associates.
Perception- Images, lies, popularity race (Keeping up with the Joneses)
Maturity- Age gap / Stages of life. Priorities.  
One gentleman doesn’t follow his spouse on social media, but both their social status is marked married. The other gentlemen have one or two social media accounts that they use to post pictures of their kids, and converse about sports.

My friends in relationships had a few end because of their partner’s behavior on various social media platforms. Case in point, one male friend was in a relationship with a woman he met via social media years prior. She told him that she didn’t want to mix her personal and social life, so on social media platforms she portrayed herself as single. It soon became clear that the life she was living as a social media celebrity didn’t mirror her reality. When my friend would question her about various things he would read on her different accounts she would wave it off stating that it was nothing to worry about. Her behavior on social media lead to endless arguments. My other friends experienced similar issues with their partners. One dealt with the issue of not being acknowledged on social media by her boyfriend who was a Hip-hop artist. His friends/followers didn’t know he was in a relationship with her, and when she would post something he would never comment or ‘like’ it. As minor as that may sound, it bothered her, especially when he’d un-tag himself from pictures of them together.

Now for my single people, a younger friend said he can’t function without social media, from Snapchat to Instagram, he’s on all the platforms. “Social media is like having the club in the palm of your hand, minus buying drinks and paying an entry fee,” he says. Arguments with his ex used to start with, “Whose number is this?” but now it’s “Who’s this liking your pictures?” or “Who’s your new friend on Instagram?” My single ladies feel that social media is an open diary if your partner is cheating. “Liking pictures isn’t the only issue, it’s when you cross the line with code talk or undertone comments that the problems arise,” says one female friend.

As a whole, social media has deconstructed the way we communicate. Relationships/Friendships aren’t nurtured or valued the way they were about 15 years ago. So who’s to blame? Is it a person’s lack of maturity, playing the blind eye to the first letter of the word relationship…”R” as in “RESPECT,” or are we just reading into our own insecurities? Who am I to judge, I’m just here for the comments.

Does social media influence your relationship?

Renaissance man from The Bronx, NY, Vincent "VJ" Lake creative career started in fashion, and expand through fitness and the military. Vincent is also an entrepreneur with his own active-wear lifestyle apparel brand; "PURESPORT ATHLETIC aka PSA". Currently, he is finishing up his first non-fiction book of short stories titled,"I've Had My Share."  The book is scheduled for release in early 2018.

Via Madamenoire
 By Tara Jones

I hate the silent treatment. Always have. You wanna really piss me off? Stop talking to me. It’s like cutting off my lifeline. I love to talk. Do you know that every five minutes the universe expands by 46 miles? Let’s talk about it. I talk so much my husband sometimes begs me to stop. But I can’t. Talking about what you’re going to do is the next best thing to doing it. And don’t all spiritual gurus say talk it into fruition? Like I said, I love to talk. So when my husband wouldn’t talk to me for a week I thought I would lose my mind.

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Now to go into a little bit of why my husband stopped talking to me...we've been having problems. Constant arguments. He feels like he can't talk to me without me getting defensive and sometimes he's right. There are times when I feel like everything I do is wrong so when I'm right, I stand up for it with everything I have. Sometimes he storms out of the apartment screaming, "I can't talk to you right now." This time, he came back home after one of these storms and wouldn't even look at me. I don't know if it was some type of punishment or he needed time to think, but without the talking outlet some interesting things began to happen.

Sometimes I talked to myself. Not in that homeless-person-on-the-street way, but more like I had to talk things out with myself. Like, if I had an issue with work, instead of running to him, asking what do you think I should I do? I had to work through it myself. And I did on numerous occasions to my satisfaction.

Sometimes I sang. Before I met my husband I would blast music and sing to the top of my lungs. Once I sang to Stevie Wonder’s box set for 4 hours straight, but that hadn’t happened in years. Honestly, it felt so good.

My productivity quadrupled. Work that used to take me weeks got done in hours. Just call me the Energizer Bunny.

Around the fifth day I wasn’t thinking about talking anymore. Alone with my thoughts, I asked myself, Why do I talk so damn much?

Then it hit me. Talking about what I’m going to do somehow makes it real — by telling you, maybe I’ll actually do it. Plus talking about it is the next best thing to doing it. But when I start thinking about all the hours I spend talking, not just to my husband but cackling on the phone with girlfriends too, it starts adding up. But what if it’s not as simple as, “I talk because I love it?” What if I’m avoiding something? Like, work. Honestly, I hate work. If I could have all the money and fame I ever wanted and didn’t have to lift a finger for it I’d be cool. I’m a born queen. But life isn’t like that. You wanna do big things in life you better have Michelle Obama arms and like the Queen B, you betta werrrk!

So I started thinking, maybe this talking thing is overrated. Maybe we all got it wrong. All that stuff about talk to your mate, your kids, your mama, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your social media, Alexis. What if it’s unnecessary? Maya Angelou didn’t talk for five years and it worked out pretty well for her- not the circumstances that brought in on but the result. Helen Keller was a prolific author and never spoke a day in her life. And Buddhists don’t go around talking your ear off.

I remember when a friend went on a silence retreat a few years ago for 1 month and I thought she was going to die. What happens when you don't talk to anyone for one whole month?! She came back happier and more at peace. Things that used to bother her didn’t seem to bother her anymore.

What if the secret’s in the silence? What if our power lies in the stuff that we keep for ourselves when we don’t go blurting things out all the time. Our current President is ineffective because he’s tweeting 24 hours a day, as if he never heard the term “never let them see you coming.” I’m tired of people seeing me coming. I want to be surprising, even to myself.

My husband and I started talking a few days ago. He came to me and said that he wasn’t mad anymore. The funny thing is, I couldn’t just go back. Put something on ice for a week and it needs time to thaw. I honestly don't know what the future holds for our marriage, I pray that we will withstand the test of time and get through this rough patch, but even bigger than our marital issue at this moment is the fact that I’ve changed. I don’t have a desire for all that talk. Life is in the actions. The doing. The moments that can’t be recaptured. The silence.

Via Madamenoire
 By Tara Jones

I hate the silent treatment. Always have. You wanna really piss me off? Stop talking to me. It’s like cutting off my lifeline. I love to talk. Do you know that every five minutes the universe expands by 46 miles? Let’s talk about it. I talk so much my husband sometimes begs me to stop. But I can’t. Talking about what you’re going to do is the next best thing to doing it. And don’t all spiritual gurus say talk it into fruition? Like I said, I love to talk. So when my husband wouldn’t talk to me for a week I thought I would lose my mind.

Continue


Now to go into a little bit of why my husband stopped talking to me...we've been having problems. Constant arguments. He feels like he can't talk to me without me getting defensive and sometimes he's right. There are times when I feel like everything I do is wrong so when I'm right, I stand up for it with everything I have. Sometimes he storms out of the apartment screaming, "I can't talk to you right now." This time, he came back home after one of these storms and wouldn't even look at me. I don't know if it was some type of punishment or he needed time to think, but without the talking outlet some interesting things began to happen.

Sometimes I talked to myself. Not in that homeless-person-on-the-street way, but more like I had to talk things out with myself. Like, if I had an issue with work, instead of running to him, asking what do you think I should I do? I had to work through it myself. And I did on numerous occasions to my satisfaction.

Sometimes I sang. Before I met my husband I would blast music and sing to the top of my lungs. Once I sang to Stevie Wonder’s box set for 4 hours straight, but that hadn’t happened in years. Honestly, it felt so good.

My productivity quadrupled. Work that used to take me weeks got done in hours. Just call me the Energizer Bunny.

Around the fifth day I wasn’t thinking about talking anymore. Alone with my thoughts, I asked myself, Why do I talk so damn much?

Then it hit me. Talking about what I’m going to do somehow makes it real — by telling you, maybe I’ll actually do it. Plus talking about it is the next best thing to doing it. But when I start thinking about all the hours I spend talking, not just to my husband but cackling on the phone with girlfriends too, it starts adding up. But what if it’s not as simple as, “I talk because I love it?” What if I’m avoiding something? Like, work. Honestly, I hate work. If I could have all the money and fame I ever wanted and didn’t have to lift a finger for it I’d be cool. I’m a born queen. But life isn’t like that. You wanna do big things in life you better have Michelle Obama arms and like the Queen B, you betta werrrk!

So I started thinking, maybe this talking thing is overrated. Maybe we all got it wrong. All that stuff about talk to your mate, your kids, your mama, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your social media, Alexis. What if it’s unnecessary? Maya Angelou didn’t talk for five years and it worked out pretty well for her- not the circumstances that brought in on but the result. Helen Keller was a prolific author and never spoke a day in her life. And Buddhists don’t go around talking your ear off.

I remember when a friend went on a silence retreat a few years ago for 1 month and I thought she was going to die. What happens when you don't talk to anyone for one whole month?! She came back happier and more at peace. Things that used to bother her didn’t seem to bother her anymore.

What if the secret’s in the silence? What if our power lies in the stuff that we keep for ourselves when we don’t go blurting things out all the time. Our current President is ineffective because he’s tweeting 24 hours a day, as if he never heard the term “never let them see you coming.” I’m tired of people seeing me coming. I want to be surprising, even to myself.

My husband and I started talking a few days ago. He came to me and said that he wasn’t mad anymore. The funny thing is, I couldn’t just go back. Put something on ice for a week and it needs time to thaw. I honestly don't know what the future holds for our marriage, I pray that we will withstand the test of time and get through this rough patch, but even bigger than our marital issue at this moment is the fact that I’ve changed. I don’t have a desire for all that talk. Life is in the actions. The doing. The moments that can’t be recaptured. The silence.