Category Archives: Relationship Articles

Touch Me Tuesday: 6 Things You Should Avoid When Falling In Love (Pt. 1)

Okay, here’s another throwback to my Jolie Magazine Column days. These are just the first three that appeared in my column in May of 2008. I’ll post the remaining three next week.

We fall in love, and sometimes we fall in love a bit too easily. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you just have to love ALL OUT and take your chances at where it might lead. Just look at the following as street signs on your road; urges of caution as you press the “pedal-to-the-metal”, so to say:

1)      Being Too Honest Too Fast

There’s nothing more significant to the setting of a foundation in a budding relationship than honesty through communication and one’s actions. A good deal of this comes naturally while getting to know one another. When your heart is open, so are many other parts of your body, particularly your mouth, and you often feel the need to share all of your thoughts, opinions, and experiences. But the revealing of your life should happen in stages. You do want to share information about yourself so that your new love gets to know who you truly are. But no one needs to know absolutely everything about you on Day One. Many people can’t handle that much truth. So, leave a little mystery, gauge what can and cannot be shared, and give this bulb a chance to bloom!

2)      Trusting Too Much or Too Little

Without trust, true love will never prosper. In a world of slight-of-hand magic tricks and misinformation (when’s the last time someone spoke of WMD’s inIraq), you’d like to believe that your new love would not intentionally deceive you. So when he/she says someone of the opposite sex is ONLY a friend, you’d like to believe this to be true. But experience (and the unrestricted opinions of nosey friends) has taught you that lies abound in new relationships, and it’s easy to be suspicious of things with which you’re not completely comfortable. When it comes to love, though, you have to be willing to trust that person completely…but don’t be anyone’s fool! An old cliché says, “Time reveals all things,” while baseball legend Satchel Paige once said, “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” Don’t let your experiences keep you from trusting your new love, because the truth won’t hide forever and you’ll learn all you need to know in time!

3)      Losing Focus on Life Goals and Objectives

There’s nothing more distracting than a kiss! Thoughts of a great kiss can make you forget the concept of time, have you day dreaming at work, and wake you out of a sound sleep. The freshness of the new love that often accompanies that kiss will have you all turned around like walking through an Iowa cornfield. Many of the issues that bore great significance in your life may no longer feel as important, and the plans you once held for your future means little if your new love can’t be somehow incorporated into those arrangements. That’s not a good look! First, the person you are with should be encouraging of the goals you’ve set for yourself and be willing to work around them in the development of your relationship (be weary of selfish loves).  Second, recognizing that you are not on the same path that you once were, when that new love turns old, can be as disheartening as the loss of love itself.

MORE TO COME…

Touch Me Tuesday: Five More Dating Tips (Volume II)

As we continue on through our second week of relationship talk on Views & Vibes, I’m adding five more dating tips that I previously published in Jolie Magazine Online:

  1. Don’t treat the conversation like an interview or a sales pitch

We all learn something new about ourselves on a regular basis, correct? So, what makes you think you are going to learn everything about a particular person on one date? It’s not going to happen. It takes time to really get to know someone, and you will often find that you learn more about someone through their actions as opposed to their words. That person will sell anything they think you’ll be willing to buy if it seems as though they are applying for a position within your life. You shouldn’t treat your dating experiences like an employee search, and your conversation should reflect that. Keep it easy and breezy, and with your ears open, let it float along freely!

2. Meet out on the first date, and don’t let anyone follow you home

Have you ever fed a stray dog or cat, and it followed you home? Maybe not, but I’m sure you get my meaning! Well, that stray could make a lot of trouble for you if you don’t continue to feed it. The same can be said about humans. I don’t care how nice the person seemed online, or over the phone, or even on the date. The point is, “YOU DON’T KNOW THE PERSON!!!” He or she could be just like that stray if they know where you live and never leave you alone. First dates should never take place at your home. Whether it’s to watch a movie, or have dinner, or play “Candyland”, home is too intimate a setting for a first date. Unless you are ready the “commitments” that may arise, keep your date to neutral location.

  1. Meet out as early as possible

The most important element of any date isn’t where you meet, or what you wear, or how you smell: it is how you converse. And the magic behind the ability to hold a great conversation is being alert, which may be hard to do when meeting out for drinks at eleven at night. A lunch date is probably best for a first date. At that time of day, you are usually at your brightest. Also, your date is limited by the time you can take from work for lunch. That way if the date is horrible, you have an easy out, and if the date is nice, you have the option of meeting again after work. But if a lunch date isn’t possible, try to meet early in the evening so that you aren’t fully feeling the effects of your long day, and you have more time to converse before that wary feeling creeps up on you!

  1. Be on time or early for a date, or call if you are going to be late

I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but in the world of dating, COURTESY COUNTS!! Courtesy isn’t limited to opening doors for someone or pulling out someone’s chair for them to sit. The idea of “courtesy” extends into showing respect for the person with whom you are dating, and the best way to disrespect someone is to show no appreciation for their time! If you are picking someone up or meeting them out, please be sure to BE ON TIME! If someone is coming to pick YOU up, please BE READY ON TIME! If you know you are running late, do the courteous thing and call to let the person know! There’s no better way to sour a date than to start it on such bad footing.

  1. Don’t go on a first date starving

Throughout human history, food and talk have gone hand in hand. There’s nothing like sharing a great discussion over a great meal to make a great date. But the meal should not be the primary focus of the date, which it can become if you spend the entire date doing nothing but eating. I’ve known many people who have skipped lunch to save their appetites for a dinner date. That’s not a good look! How classy do you think someone will find you as you continuously stuff your face throughout dinner, or as they listen to the rumblings in your belly as you wait for the food to come, or the bill comes (which you aren’t paying) and your meal costs three times your date’s total amount. Have a snack before you go out on your date so that you’re spending more time hearing what your date is saying and less time worrying about when your meal will be served.

Touch Me Tuesday: Five Dating Tips (Volume 1)

Greetings everyone!

Since the theme of the Views & Vibes talk show will continue to be about dating for the next two weeks, I thought it only right to share some of my oft referred to Dating Tips. These five tips, as well as the five I will share next week, were previously published in the August 2008 online edition of Jolie Magazine. Please read and enjoy!

  1. Be Ready to Listen Instead of Being Ready to Talk

If given a test on The Art of Conversation, how many of us would fail miserably? I see you aren’t raising your hand. Is that because when out on a date, you have so much to share and talk about, and this discussion about how great you are lasts for hours on end? Guess what…a monologue of me does not a conversation make! When sitting down with someone new, take the time to listen to what the person has to say, and not just to respond with a prepared statement from your personal resume. A great conversation starts with an open ear…not an open mouth!

  1. Develop 5 Things You Would Like to See Happen On or After the Date…Then Throw Them ALL in the TRASH

A common mistake many of us make in our preparation for a date is PLANNING. No, I don’t mean planning what you are going to wear or the location where you will be meeting or at what time. What I’m speaking of is anticipating everything that you’d like to see happen on that date or when the date is over. A date isn’t like a work day…it shouldn’t be planned to the tee. Be flexible in your approach to the afternoon or evening activity, and do well not to plan for your post-date life. Wait to see how the date goes before you plan on bringing your date to the family barbecue.

  1. Stay Away from Activity Dates on the 1st Date

One of the best ways to discover how much you could potentially dislike someone is to compete against them. Competition can bring out the worst in someone (i.e. jerk), which could be a major turn-off if you don’t know the character of a person. So, why put yourself in a situation where that competitive spirit can come front and center? Instead of going bowling on a first date, go somewhere quiet where conversation is the method for which to learn about your date. An activity date can both prove to be a distraction from a good conversation, as well as put you face-to-face with a win-at-all-costs psycho!!

  1. Limit Yourself to ONE Drink

For many people, there’s nothing like an evening where the drinks are flowing all-night long, and it just feels so rude turning down a drink when offered. But let me tell you, there’s nothing like a drunk date, either! Of course you know your limits…and one drink isn’t going to do anything to you (I can hear you thinking that right now). Well, do you really want to test your limits on a first date with someone? Not only is the potential for embarrassment high, but so is the potential to be taken advantage of, and for a splendid sense of regret to go along with that superb hangover. One drink is more than enough for any responsible first date, not to mention the additional cost to the person paying for the affair.

5. Don’t order anything leafy or be sure to check your teeth regularly

Dining etiquette is a must on a first date. Yes, you should place your napkin on you lap and not stuffed down the collar of your shirt. Yes, you should sit-up straight in your seat and not hunched over like your head weighs too much for your neck or leaning way back like your waiting to be examined by your doctor. Part of dining etiquette includes what you put into your body and not just what you do on the outside. You definitely want to stay away from foods you know tend to make you gassy or your breath smell like week-old cabbage. You also want to avoid anything that may get stuck in your teeth. If you want to turn the stomach of a potential suitor, try sucking that kernel of corn from the back of your teeth all evening, or get a nice, dark green leaf of spinach lodged next to your bicuspid. I’m sure that’s an embarrassing sight you’d like to avoid seeing when you are brushing before heading to bed!

Touch Me Tuesday: The 5 Most Destructive Things Women Do in a Relationship

(Originally published in Jolie Magazine Online in April 2007, by Tariiq Omari Walton)

One of the most destructive things women do is try to change a man into something that she wants him to be. He may have all of the potential in the world, but it is up to him to live up to it. If he’s trying to change who he is for you, then that change is not going to keep. You can encourage him, but don’t expect that he will be anything more than what he is at the current moment. Be willing to accept someone exactly for who they are and not for what you believe they can be!

Another destructive thing is constantly comparing your current significant other to people from you past. Whether you do his verbally or if you keep it to yourself, it says that this person doesn’t measure up in certain ways, and that it is on them to meet your expectations. This will eat away at you and the relationship. Everyone is an individual and brings something different to the table. Ask yourself, if that person from your past was so perfect, why aren’t you still with them? Let go and be open to the new experience!

A third destructive action is assuming the mother roll and treating your mate like a child. If he isn’t taking out the trash, or cleaning up behind himself, you belittling him or nagging him about it isn’t going to bring you guys closer together. Communicate your displeasure just as you would with someone at work: with respect. Talking down to a man will only send him deeper into his hole.

Something else that can be terribly troublesome is constantly being up-under your man. Everyone needs a bit of space, and relationships can burnout quickly without enough oxygen. It is important that you do things together as well as a part from one another. Otherwise, you run the risk of having absolutely nothing new to ever talk about, and could easily grow tired of seeing each other.

Finally, a fifth relationship tragedy is involving everyone else in your affairs. When you tell all of your friends and your family what your man is doing wrong, they will begin to view that man through the eyes of only what you’ve shown them. Not only will it make it hard for them to interact with him, but it will make it hard for them to interact with you as well because you are not listening to their advice. And you know they will have their opinions; knowing what you should do better than you do, right?!?! Even if you try to balance it out by telling both the good and the bad elements, people will remember the bad more so than the good. It’s like if everyone tells you how much they like your outfit today; it’s the one person that says they don’t like it that you are going to dwell on. Don’t isolate yourself from your friends and family, but be cautious with how much of your private life you share with the public.