5 Men To NOT Date In 2011

By Alexandra

I know we are well on our way into 2011 and some of you have already abandoned your new year’s resolutions. Ladies while you may have broken your commitments to regularly going to the gym or sticking to a budget, one promise you should remain firm on is  who you won’t date in 2011! Men on the “do-not-date-list” vary for each woman; however, here is a list of five men that should be avoided at all costs in the New Year.

  1. The “Ex- boyfriend”- We’ve all been in those lingering relationships. Those are where you are broken up with a person, yet remain emotionally attached because they somehow maintain a relevant presence in your life.  As a result, you don’t date and meet other people because there is a sense of obligation to stay loyal to him. But typically your relationship with your ex never returns to the happy, loving stage as it was in the beginning. Remember there was a reason you parted ways! Keeping the ex-boyfriend around usually leads to time wasted and wondering the what-ifs about men you ignored waiting for your ex to come around. If you don’t believe me just listen to Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” that should be enough to make you say to the left to the left!
  2. The “Just Signed” Guy- This is the man who has been recently signed to an athletic or music deal. These men are at a stage of their life where their whole world has been drastically transformed. They could potentially have access to money that most people will never see in a lifetime. But beyond dealing with new money, which may attract some women, they have access to a life of excess! These men are living a fast life that common folk only dream about, and this makes it difficult for them to take women and relationships seriously. If you don’t want to be thrown in the hit-it and quit category or ever hear the lines “I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger but…” and having it applied to you, then I suggest you leave these men alone.
  3. The “Man-child”-At first, the man-child can be very appealing. He carries a boyish charm, still engages in fun activities (he’d take you for a round of laser tag instead of a stiff dinner date), is up on the latest slang and new trends, and has all the stamina a girl could ask for! But after a while these once cute qualities tend to lose their charm. Typically, the man-child is always unemployed, under-funded and over X-Boxed. Sure, it’s possible that he is interested in you for who you are, instead of the fact you financially take care of him. But do you really want to stay and find out?
  4. The “Jekyll and Hyde” Guy- He’s pleasant on all of your dates. He’s even charming enough to win over your overprotective dad. But in a split second he’s screaming at a waitress or ready to fight the guy who accidently bumps into him on the street. What makes him go off like that? Don’t stick around to see! Men whose moods change in an instant and flip into fits of rage could be potential abusers. If he is capable of showing aggressive behavior with others, it’s only a matter of time before he gets aggressive with you. No need to have any black eyes or emergency trips to the hospital in 2011!
  5. The “Married Man”- Ladies I shout this from the mountain tops while waving red flares! Getting involved with a married man is NEVER a good idea. Worst-case scenario, you have an affair, become emotionally invested and yet he still never leaves his wife. Best-case scenario, he leaves his wife for you, which leads to divorce and a broken home (which could involve children) and then you have the start of a new relationship that can’t possibly be built on any foundation of trust. There are two sayings us women should never forget. Once a cheater always a cheater, and the way you get him is the way you’ll lose him. If he is willing to cheat with you, he’s capable of cheating on you! You don’t have to look far to see the failed attempts at relationships with married men, Kim and Big Poppa or Fantasia with Antwan Cook (the TMobile guy). In 2011, please don’t fall for the “I’m separated” or “I’m leaving her soon” lines. You’ll end up spending holidays and celebrations alone because your “boo” is with his wife and family. If a married man wants you, wait for him to separate from his wife first.





Ladies, Know Your Role!

By Alexandra

While at a New Year’s Eve cocktail party in downtown Manhattan, I toasted and sipped champagne with friends as the clock struck midnight. In celebrating the arrival of 2011 people shared their New Year’s resolutions. Personal goals and promises ran the gamut from the ever popular, joining a gym, to making more money and establishing a stronger faith. But one resolution stood out from the rest. A male friend said his New Year’s resolution was to teach his girlfriend how to ‘know her role.’

I responded by asking if his girlfriend was in a play.

His look of confusion immediately signaled that he wasn’t talking about his partner learning an imaginary role. He wants to teach his girlfriend how to know her role in their relationship and with him.

Unable to contain my ‘girl power’ and feminist spirit I initiated a full throttle interrogation about what he thought a woman’s role should be. The debate went round and round never amounting to much significance. But it got me thinking.

What is a woman’s role?

Historically, women were expected to take the backseat and be the emotional support system for her man and family. Rappers, like Fabolous highlight Coretta Scott King as the ultimate example of a woman knowing her role and letting her husband take the lead. In his hit song “Make Me Better” he says: I’ma need Coretta Scott if I’m gon be King.

But times have changed.

With more and more women graduating from college, receiving higher level degrees and finding success in the professional world can a woman’s role remain the same?

Men seem to expect it to. It’s as simple as the idea of a ‘ride or die chick.’ Standing beside your man no matter what, riding shot gun as he controls the wheel, knowing when and when not to assert yourself, doing what he asks with no questions and trusting that even if the circumstance suggests otherwise he’s got everything under control.

Now, it’s important to understand that a woman’s role is not as obviously submissive. No longer should men expect to control finances, make all major household decisions or control a woman like a piece of property.

Today, I believe, men define a woman’s role by the emotional dynamics within a relationship. Men want to be treated and feel like the man.  They need their woman to nurture and support that belief.

FYI men, women want a man that is the ‘man.’ We want a man that provides, protects and loves us. But that doesn’t mean we are always willing to pretend that situation is the case.

When a woman is running the show how can she emotionally defer to her man?

Honestly I don’t know. It’s a balancing act.

A relationship is built on the foundation that each party should feel valued and respected. A man can’t have the unrealistic expectation that his woman will always emotionally submit herself merely to bolster his ego. But women shouldn’t go out of their way to emasculate her man.





To Snoop Or Not To Snoop?

By Alexandra

A man comes home late after a night out with his friends. Woken up by the noise, his woman stares suspiciously as he enters the bedroom, and thinks when did he start staying out so late? The man gently caresses the woman and encourages her to fall back asleep. He then places his phone on the nightstand before entering the bathroom. The woman sits up and looks at her man’s phone. A million thoughts race through her mind, like where’s he been? Is he cheating on me? The woman stares at the bathroom door and then back at the phone. Without hesitation the woman snatches the phone begins sneaking through every possible phone function.

Pause. We’ve all been here before.  We’ve all been at the crossroads and had to make the decision of whether to snoop or not to snoop through our significant other’s belongings.

There is only one reason why a person would be inclined to snoop, a lack of trust.

Whether you don’t trust your partner is being faithful to you or you simply don’t believe what they are telling you is the truth, it is your lack of trust with that person which gives you the urge to snoop through their phone, clothes, mail and any other area of privacy. So when faced with this urge what should you do? It depends.

We all know the right answer, no. No, you shouldn’t snoop through your partner’s belongings. You shouldn’t stay with a person that makes you feel like you have to play inspector Gadget. But everything isn’t that cut and dry.

While it’s not a good idea to stay in a relationship with someone that needs a consistent check-up to ensure they are behaving; it is equally a bad idea to ignore a nagging suspicion about your partner. That gut feeling is your natural intuition that tells you when something is wrong.

If you hear the little voice in your head or heart telling you to snoop through your significant other’s things then do it! Check their emails if they leave it up, check their phone when it’s unattended and check their pockets when doing laundry. But, and this is a big but, checking once to find out the truth and silence that gut feeling is different than snooping on a regular basis.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you are sneaking through your significant other’s belongings often, and in some cases every available opportunity, then you have severe trust issues with that person and probably shouldn’t be with them.

Everyone finds themselves in the situation where they must decide whether or not to snoop, and it’s important to understand there isn’t a hard and fast rule to address the situation. The correctness of snooping is determined on a case by case basis. But it’s necessary to know when snooping goes beyond satisfying doubt and becomes a bad habit.






Does He Still Love You?

By Alexandra

2010 was the year of the adulterer. Celebrities like Tiger Woods, Fantasia and most recently Tony Parker, found themselves in the midst of tabloid scrutiny and being labeled a poster child for infidelity. At the rate celebrities are cheating and divorcing due to extra-marital affairs, it’s hard for an everyday woman to believe their husband or boyfriend will stay faithful.

There is no such thing as the perfect relationship. And nor should perfection be expected. A relationship is a bumpy road, filled with ups and downs, where both people must learn to adjust and grow together. But growing together is hard. It is much easier to grow a part and lose love. Ladies if you think your man might have lost his love along the way don’t worry; just learn the signs of how to know if you’re still the apple of his eye.

First sign: your man is still physically passionate with you.

Love is deeper than a mere physical attraction or lust. Love is when your man has a desire to be physically intimate and connected with you. This doesn’t mean you should expect your man to chase you down to have sex all the time. But consider whether he likes being close to you, holding your hand, running his fingers through your hair or passionately kissing you. Think about whether your man needs a reason to touch you or does he create one.

Second sign: he still makes you feel special.

Every woman knows that when a relationship is new their guy will go above and beyond to make her feel like she is “the one.” But as time passes and the newness fades do his kind gestures disappear? If your man still calls you for no reason but just to talk or sends you flowers, chances are he’s still emotionally invested in you.

Third sign: your man still tries to set aside some alone time.

This is probably the biggest indicator of whether your man is still in love with you. If he goes out of his way to spend quality time with you, even when he doesn’t have to, it’s because he cares. If you notice that your significant other is constantly making excuses not to be with you; you know there’s a problem.

Judging whether your partner is still in love with you is a delicate situation. Every man is different so only you truly know how your man shows his love for you and whether he is actually doing it. But don’t be blind and never ignore the signs.





When It Comes To Saving Money, Grandma Still Knows Best

by Alexandra Coppadge

When watching The Cosby Show fans are often captivated by the dynamic relationship of Cliff and Clair, charmed by the Huxtable family’s close-knit nature or simply amused by the characters comedic timing. Few ever talk about Anna Huxtable. Anna Huxtable is Cliff’s mother, and a symbol of the older generation of African Americans.  In this episode Anna explains to her grandchildren how “back-in-the day” people found ways to survive in the midst of a struggle.

Anna’s words resonated with me. As challenging as we may think times are today, older generations not only suffered through but overcame obstacles unimaginable. This includes making due despite having financial limitations.

As our country weathers this economic downturn it might be helpful to reflect on how our grandparents’ generation did things.

Personal finance can appear extremely complicated, and especially when wallets and bank accounts start to shrink.  However, sometimes, the financial advice from an elder is more practical than one might think.  Consider grandma’s three quick financial tips.

  1. When you find yourself with some extra cash, don’t spend it. Remember the idea of saving for a rainy day? Instead of spending extra money on non-essential items you should either save it or pay a bill early. Paying a bill early can be helpful because once the money is gone you won’t be tempted to spend it on something of less importance.
  2. Make or do things yourself. Do-it-yourselfers can be perceived as cheap, but with money being tight learning how to be “Mr. or Mrs. Fix-it” can save lots of money. For instance, plant and grow a vegetable garden, perform oil changes on your car, learn how to sew and learn how to do any simple “handy man” jobs around your house.
  3. Limit your credit card use. It is difficult to avoid using credit cards all together; especially since your ability to do or purchase certain things is based on your credit history. But that doesn’t mean credit cards should be your primary payment method. My parents and grandparents always said only use a credit card in emergency situations. If you can’t afford to buy something don’t rely on your credit card.

Yes, times have changed, but some of the financial principles practiced by your grandparents and elders can still be applied to today’s rough economy. The advice of Anna Huxtable and other elders in the community is surely tried and true.

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