From the Daily Independent:
I am an avid follower of your column because of the practical and truthful way you answer questions from your followers. I am a 32-year-old Nigerian residing in the United States of America and the only son of my parents.
The issue at hand is my relationship with a 29-year-old black American girl. Despite the persuasion by friends that black Americans are different from us and not always the best people to fall in love with I've been with this lady for over four years. Like every other couple, we've had our ups and downs. However, I sometime reflect on how crazy they could be, a development, which makes me very scared and has influenced me to ask her to abort a pregnancy once.
Read more here.
From US Magazine:
Jenny's back on the singles block. After seven years of marriage, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have split, their rep tells Us Weekly.
Read more here.
From Hello Beautiful:
Alicia Keys & hubby Swizz Beatz were spotted on the streets of New York with their baby boy Egypt, and he is a little cutie! The singer has repeatedly gushed about becoming a first time mom stating:
Read more here.
Dallas Cowboys receiver Roy Williams filed a law suit against his ex-girlfriend former 2009 Miss Texas USA Brooke Daniels for keeping a $76,000 engagement ring after she declined his proposal... his mailed proposal.
Williams mailed Daniel's ring in a sort of care package complete with $5,000 for school and dental bills, a baseball for Daniels' brother and a surprise recorded marriage proposal with the ring, according to his affidavit. But she declined and her father has held on to the ring.
William's mailed proposal is bad enough but the fact that she passed the ring to her father shows these two are peas in a pod. Her father Michael Daniels claims Williams "said (to Brooke Daniels), 'I'm not like a lot of people, I don't want the ring back. You'll eventually come back to me." But she didn't.
The two lived together for about a year and in that year they were said to argue a lot, reports the Odessa American. So maybe the beauty queen had valid reasons for declining his offer. Still, give the ring back.
An injunction for this case was scheduled for Friday and engagement rings fall under the conditional gift rule. In Texas courts the conditional-gift rule requires that the engagement ring be returned to the donor upon termination of the engagement, if the donee is at fault in terminating the engagement. But if the donor is at fault, the ring doesn't have to be returned.
Brooke Daniel's mom said the ring was returned to William's attorney yesterday, according to TMZ. Guilt or legal action might have pushed the ex in the right direction but either way Williams is $76,000 richer again.
It was beautiful by many women's standards. He had music, a ring and all the right words, but he was also in front of a large audience that heard his girlfriend say no.
Beyonce's "Single Ladies" might give men the impression that all women want to them to "put a ring on it." But some women aren't in a rush to walk down the aisle if it's not the right time or the right man. One lady's perplexed face at her boyfriend's proposal raised a few eyebrows but it serves as a lesson to men: Don't assume an over-the-top proposal will guarantee a yes.
The Proposal from Mims Media on Vimeo.
A proposal is important and should be memorable, but the health and stability of your relationship is what's most important. Perhaps this couple had serious issues that the woman wanted to work out before jumping the broom. So, if you ever find yourself in the midst of an awkward and downright theatrical proposal, don't assume the status quo. It's okay to just say no.
Filed under: Relationships
Forty-hour work week? SMH. Does that even exist for ambitious millennial women? The answer is no.
Americans are working more than ever these days, spending almost twice the time working as they do with family and spouses. Yes, that does say something about our value system and the level of competition. More importantly, it reveals how much it means to enjoy your colleagues. But, how much is too much "enjoyment?"
Work husband is a term used loosely to describe (hetero and homosexual) male companions within a professional setting. He is often the turn-to guy for lunch dates, networking mixers and venting when you get screwed out of a promotion or hit a hurdle in your marriage. Basically, he is the guy at the office who knows way more about you than he should. Support is a great thing to have, especially because work can be stressful. But, at what point does the level of emotional support cross the line?
The gay work husband is very similar to (and possibly better than) a gay bestie and 100 percent non-threatening. Your husband does not have to worry about the potential for a sexual relationship, because he's not interested. In the instance of a gay work hubby, your legal husband may even feel a sense of relief. With you having another male companion to chat up, he can stop keeping up with the Kardashians and DVR-ing the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Read more here.
Filed under: love and sex
C. Nzingha Smith, writer, poet and author of 'Lust Have Recipes, A Cookbook: IN-Gredients for Stimulation,' has a few tips, tricks and recipes to offer holiday revelers that are sure to ignite a flame in more places than the grill.
"Using food in foreplay and sex play is a great way to keep things fresh," she said. By using basic ingredients and a little creativity, Smith said anyone can "reignite the flame or make it even hotter."
The book, available at www.cnsmithbooks.com, is a combination of erotic poetry and recipes chock-full of aphrodisiacs. The cookbook walks readers from a couple's conversation and foreplay - with food as an accessory - through to the morning after, in six chapters beginning with 'Deep Throat: Nightcaps' to 'The Morning After: Breakfast in Bed.' Somewhere in the middle there's 'Quickie: In and Out,' which teaches one how to work the perfect mouthful of sausage and 'Climax: Oh So Delicious Sweets Desserts.' She also offers tips such as, eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice to sweeten the taste of semen.
Smith also provides an understanding of how to use each of the aphrodisiac ingredient used in the book, adding what she hopes will be "sensuality and romance to the mix, arousing all of the senses for a total experience."
And now, with no further ado, here are a few of Smith's "sizzling" Memorial Day recipes.
Drinks: LAP DANCE
Bring this sexy spin on the classic pina colada cocktail to the beach or your BBQ.
1 cup of cream of coconut, 1 cup of Malibu Rum, 1 cup of pineapple juice, ½ cup of mango juice, 1 cup of fresh strawberries, and sliced 2 whole pineapples 2-3 cups of ice
Combine all ingredients into blender until the blender is ¾ full. Blend ingredients until mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Add more ice for thicker drink. Slice top of each pineapple horizontally approximately two inches below the leaves. Cut up the inside of the pineapple leaving two inches of fruit in width and depth inside to suppor the drink. Remove the cut fruit from the inside with a large spoon. Serve in pineapple cup. Top with whipped cram and a cherry on top. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella.
Sophisticated Side Dishes: ORAL FIX
Roasted Asparagus Salad w/ Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Vinaigrette 1-2 medium pomegranates (reserve seeds), ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons, of honey ½ cup of olive oil
Juice pomegranates. Combine ½ cup pomegranate juice, vinegar and honey in mixing bowl. Drizzle in olive oil slowly. Cover and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Salad: 1 bunch of asparagus, 3 whole carrots, ¼ cup of almonds, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 fresh lemon, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch of arugula
Season the asparagus with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Toss asparagus, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Bake vegetables on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven, squeeze with lemon juice. Lay arugula salad on serving plate followed by the cooked asparagus. Top with tomatoes, carrots, almonds and cheese. Whisk vinaigrette before drizzling over salad. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
On the Grill: A HAND JOB
Avocado & Papaya Skewers
3 avocados, 2 papayas, 1 cup of mint, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 lemon 4-6 wooden skewers
Presoak 4-6 skewers in cold water for 30 mintues. Half and pit avocados. Cut and deseed papayas. Slice avocado and papaya into thick cubes. Combine liquied ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together. Toss fruits into mixture until well coated. Slide alternate fruits onto soaked skeweres. Preheat grill to medium heat for 10 minutes. Place kabobs on grilling pans. Grill each side for 2 minutes until grill marks form.
Smith said that all of the above can be grilled and prepared as additions to the normal BBQ spread, "adding a healthy bit of sexy to the BBQ for guests or an intimate gathering for two."
Ingredients in the above recipes, including avocado, green peppers, asparagus, are all internal aphrodisiacs, Smith said, adding that aphrodisiacs are meant to stimulate arousal and increase libido in men and women, and taste good at the same time.
From Madame Noire:
While there are no official statistics on Hollywood marriage, a fool can see that the celebrity divorce rate is even more out the box than the already-high one for us regular folk. That's why these long lasting Black power couples give us the 'warm fuzzies'. We salute them for keeping their love strong in an industry that makes healthy relationships almost impossible to sustain. If you need a little inspiration when it comes to love today, check out our list of long-lasting Black Hollywood couples!
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance
The thespian couple met at Yale Drama School and ran in similar circles for many years before finally falling in love. They will also celebrate 14 years of wedded bliss this year. The two stuck together through career highs and lows and two tragic miscarriages (they were able to welcome twins into the world in 2006 with the help of a surrogate) and released a book about their relationship- Friends: A Love Story- in 2007.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
One of Hollywood's most beautiful couples, the Smiths have been married for nearly 14 years! They tied the knot two years after meeting on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Jada auditioned for a role as Will's girlfriend; she didn't get the part, but obviously landed something far better! While there have been some...interesting...rumors about the couple's relationship (i.e. the alleged 'open marriage' thing and the 'they're both gay' thing), there has never been an indication of trouble in the Smiths' paradise. Whatever the happy parents of three are doing, it seems to work for them, so all we can say is "cheers"!
Denzel and Pauletta Washington
Unfortunately, there have been a good number of rumors regarding the couple, who have been married for nearly 28 years; however, we've never heard either party confirm anything, so we'll go on pretending that Denzel Washington is the perfect husband that we've dreamed of since his "Glory" days. What we love most: while many would consider the smoldering actor to be one of the biggest catches on the planet, Washington always makes a point to say in interviews how lucky he is to have landed a woman like Pauletta. Awww!
See what other couples made the list.
Black stereotypes. They plague both the men and women of our community. We've already covered 9 Stereotypes Of Black Women That Aren't Always True, but now, men, it's your turn to prove (some of) these rumors wrong.
1. All Black Men Are Well-Endowed
This one is bound to start some discussion. Upon googling 'Black men big penis true?', you'll find a range of references to an unemployed white man from Brooklyn named John Falcon, who's apparently the owner of the world's largest.
Research however will tell you that there is in fact no truth to the debate about differences in size across the races. It is certainly not a guarantee that the next black man you meet will outdo John Falcon in the size department but in terms of a continued discussion about this myth, we'll leave it with you.
2. They Don't Like To Work
While Black men suffer from some of the highest rates of unemployment in America, psychologists will confirm that this is in no way related to choice. Men in general are hardwired to want to provide for their families and so will pursue any means possible to achieve that goal. 'Not wanting to work' is a negative stereotype of black men that is certainly not true in the grand majority of cases of unemployment.
3. Black Men Are Extremely Sexually Virile
Can we keep this one as it is? What do you think?
4. Black Men Are Great Athletes
Any major sporting event features an array of muscular, testosterone-filled black men. But, 'Look at them! Now look at your man! And back to them! Now look at your man!'
Read the rest here.
- Black Voices HQ is in the midst of a heated debated today and we need your help to settle it.
It all started after our sister site Stylelist posted this article today about Boyfriend Makeup Tutorials.
Lately, there's been a trend on YouTube of boyfriends and husbands taking the reigns when it comes to their ladies putting on their face in the morning. After a few giggles, it quickly became clear here at Black Voices, that there's a very definite difference of opinion on the subject.
The pro/con ratio fell clearly along gender lines too, as all but one of the male staffers were firmly against it, while all of the female staffers thought it was very cute (though skeptical if they'd let the men in THEIR OWN lives do it). Here are some of the responses from our team:
"It's a sweet idea but I still don't think I'd want my boyfriend to do it."
"I don't see the big deal, if he's good at it, let him give it a try."
"I think this is so cute! I don't see what's the big deal!"
"Not my style, but if that's what keeps your love alive go for it!"
"I'm all for dudes sharing intimate moments with their girlfriends, but let her do her own makeup or pay for a pro to do it for her. I prefer natural women anyway. The less makeup, the better. Maybe just a lil lipstick..."
"It's not CRAZY, but I wouldn't do it myself and I KNOW she wouldn't let me."
So now, we turn to you, dear reader. Check out the video below and tell us in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter what you think.
Cute Way to Bond or Slippery Slope to Emasculation?
The concept of marriage is romanticized in the United States, and even though there are countless media reports on black women's low rates of marriage, most still hold on to the hope of falling in love and "finding the one." But what happens when someone doesn't marry for love but rather for practicality? Academy Award winner and 'The View' co-host Whoopi Goldberg recently revealed to CNN's Piers Morgan that she was not in love with any of her three ex-husbands, and the one man she loved got away.
Goldberg "wanted to feel normal," she said. "And it seemed to me that if I was married, I'd have a more normal life. But clearly, that's not the case. There's not a good reason to get married."
Societal pressure forces some women to feel that they're abnormal if they are past a certain age and unwed. While marriage may enhance a man's life and status, it's been ingrained that it completes a woman's. One study identified "spinster stigma" for unmarried women over the age of 30. "We found that never-married women's social environments are characterized by pressure to conform to the conventional life pathway," said Larry Ganong, co-chair of Human Development and Family at the University of Missouri.
Whoopi rationalized that in order for a marriage to be successful and long lasting, love is an essential element. She was married to Alvin Martin from 1973-1979, cinematographer David Cleassen from 1986-1988, and actor Lyle Trachtenberg from 1994-1995. Goldberg told Morgan that she was in love with none of these men, but was in love with one man who's identity she wouldn't disclose.
According to Goldberg, women should hold out for prince charming before they marry. And even while those madly in love are susceptible to divorce, as the saying goes, it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
Filed under: Love Analytix
Public service announcement: Nice guys are still "winning," and being a considerate kind man is still very much appreciated. However, the line between being a pushover and a nice guy is so thin that it's hard to even notice when it's crossed. So let us help you. For starters, a good rule of thumb to determine your status is by asking yourself: as much as I like/love this woman, am I putting her life before mine?
If the answer is yes - you're a pushover and you need to fall back quickly. Women will never be attracted to a spineless, passive man who lets a woman walk over all them, wavers on their decisions and opinions, and never takes charge. Pushovers are easy to spot, because usually outside the relationship they operate without a backbone and find it difficult to say "no." Despite a pushover's best intentions to be "nice," in order to get women to respect them they must learn to hone and keep the nice gestures and discard all the boring and predictable gestures that allow a woman to get her way - every time.
Contrary to what most women think, some men are interested in successful relationships. Those men have a tendency to be "nice," but not suckers. They understand the importance of balance, considering relationships are give and take, and know that making sure their woman is happy is of ultimate importance but not at the cost of their own happiness.
Here are eight ways to help differentiate the pushover from the all-around nice guy.
1. NICE GUYS: Aren't afraid to say, "no" when needed.
PUSHOVERS: Are afraid to make a woman upset in any way, even if means not standing up for themselves.
2. NICE GUYS: Compliment a woman. "Your hair looks great."
PUSHOVERS: Obsess over a woman. "What type of shampoo do you use, so I can buy it smell you when you aren't around?"
3. NICE GUYS: Will respectfully let a woman know when she is wrong.
PUSHOVERS: Will avoid even the most minor confrontations, apologize, and take all the blame even when it's the woman who is at fault.
4. NICE GUYS: Are told by women, "I really appreciate the way you treat me."
PUSHOVERS: Are told by women, "I really would appreciate you not being up under me all the time."
5. NICE GUYS: Expect to be treated they way they treat a woman.
PUSHOVERS: Accept being treated any kind of way as long as he's with the woman.
6. NICE GUYS: Are persistent and resilient when pursuing a female.
PUSHOVERS: Are passive and annoying and do more chasing than pursuing.
7. NICE GUYS: Are told they are "SO nice."
PUSHOVERS: Are told they are, "WAY TOO nice."
8. NICE GUYS: Often get the girl and finish first.
PUSHOVERS: Often get dumped and knocked out of the race.
Shirea L. Carroll is a journalist who has written for Essence, VIBE, Washington Post's TheRoot.com, XXL's Juicy, and AOL. Reporting on everything from music and entertainment to celebrity and love, she has interviewed some of today's biggest celebrity names. Find the NJ native on her blog Invite Only, or follow her on Twitter @InviteOnly to find out "who is and isn't invited."
Filed under: Relationships
Women claim they want a nice guy who's in touch with his emotions, is sensitive to issues and worldly causes and is wonderful in every way. He loves puppies and isn't afraid of shedding a few tears. You can take him home to your parents, showing him off like a shiny silver dollar.
Honestly, though, who the heck wants a sensitive guy? Nobody, that's who. At least that's what I first thought. I'll admit, when I first sat down to write about sensitive men and how much they stink, I immediately thought of a funny, tongue-in-cheek piece about, well, how sensitive men stink. However, a friend asked me a question about the topic, and it got me thinking beyond the surface. How was I defining the word "sensitive"?
I thought, sensitive is sensitive! How could it mean anything other than what sensitive means? And then I thought about it; how men and women differ in their relationships, both how they get into them and out of them, and especially how they conduct themselves while in them. Sensitive doesn't just mean he cried profusely when you watched 'Titanic' on TBS last weekend. It's so much more complex.
Men who are in touch with their feminine side seemingly have the long end of the stick because they are far more successful in relationships. They communicate well, convey emotion as needed, are sensitive to their woman's needs and have the qualities of Cliff Huxtable. Women never have to nag sensitive men because they just know exactly what to do to make her happy.
Most sensitive men are nice guys as well. You rarely meet a jerk who happens to be emotionally in tune with a woman's needs. Although there are quite a large number of jerks with major emotional issues, they're still jerks, so they barely count. In the end, you wind up with a nice guy who feels you and has feelings all at the same time. Congrats.
Yet there is a reason women constantly go after emotionally unavailable men. The insensitive bastards who give us a challenge and, whether we consciously realize it or not, give us the chance to take care of him -- something women love to do. It's what makes women, women: our innate need to nurture and take care of someone or something. It's the maternal instinct and it's just as big a part of us as estrogen is.
So for much of the journey through dating life, men lose points for being too nice or overly sensitive. It's where the "nice guys finish last" saying comes from. All the sweetie pies are put on the back burners of life, while women continually bang their heads up against insensitive assholes until they have a massive headache. or get sick and tired of chasing and changing men who don't want either.
Men who are too in touch with their feminine side somehow lose the very essence of what makes a man, a man: his masculinity. I've always stated my discomfort with men who cry. I know it's wrong. I know I should show more leniency. After all, I've shed a tear or two in front of my man, but it's one of those double standards that just is. There can only be but so much estrogen in a relationship, and if he's bringing more to the table than the chick, we have a slight problem here. The next thing you know, his "you emasculate me" argument is more common than her "you don't tell me how you feel" argument, and she's sick of wearing the pants and he's wishing she'd let him be a man, man.
In society, women are allowed to be sensitive. We cry, scream, throw temper tantrums, get our feelings hurt, get all lovey-dovey -- all of it. We are taught early on that it's okay to cry, emote, live with our feelings on our sleeves. We are bred to be available, but it's reserved for us, so when/if we meet a man doing the same thing, we assume he either plays for the other team or eventually get sick of his antics -- the way men probably get sick of women's. And then we move on and start all over with someone else. Sure, we have baggage, but it doesn't stop us from jumping into another relationship, most times making the same mistakes we made before. We don't care! We love! It's what women do best! So, we get a pass.
Men, sadly, do not. Men aren't taught to weep and wail. They are taught to be tough, to "man" up and protect the females in their lives. They are far less giving with their love and affections. It's put on reserve until they are totally ready to give it. The lady has to be pretty special to allow him to open up and bring down all those walls he was taught to build up. When they finally fall, it's similar to silly putty.
The emotionally attached man is the man who isn't going anywhere. He's in it for the long haul, loyal until the end. If, by chance, his heart should be broken, he will never really get over it. This is where all those sensitive feelings get him in trouble yet again. See, men only melt for one or two chicks, tops. Yes, he will probably love again, get married, seem completely happy, but he'll never truly get over Joanie, his high-school sweetheart who dumped him two weeks before spring break and went to Cabo with his best friend. Fast forward through every relationship he's had since and the residual damage isn't just there, it's chillin' beneath the surface, blocking him from loving that much ever again.
So, the debate continues: Who's more sensitive and who's allowed to be? Well, it's clear that women get the sensitive pass. People expect women to be emotional beings. Men show any signs of sensitivity and his boys are cracking on him and his girlfriend is leaving him for Biff who pumps iron and crushes beer cans on his head for sport.
This is perhaps why men love women who are more in touch with their masculine side. The ones who are aloof and don't care as much. They're independent, surviving just fine should he decide to hang with his friends one night. It is why many women try to turn down their emotions, pretending to be unscathed or bothered, instead electing to keep the seas calm versus flipping out, which will make him run.
The reality is that it isn't so much about how sensitive a man or woman gets to be or doesn't get to be, it's about whether or not they are sensitive to issues that deserve large amounts of energy or emotion. Everything is about finding balance. But sorry, guys, you still only get to really cry on two occasions in life, so make 'em count.
Filed under: Luv Coach
I'm 49, never married, no real relationship in over 11 years and I'm tired of the single life. It's depressing having to add that up.
I take absolutely horrible pictures; I hate glamour shots, and my lack of sleep shows on my face. I have a nice figure, but no money to go out, pay for dating sites or do a makeover.
So are the broke and those striving to be successful according to God's word just supposed to forget about marriage? What website would you advise or what would you advise in general? I've done the grocery store, Home Depot (when I owned a house), etc., but continually run into married men.
After so many years living the single life, dating can become an exhausting endeavor. You may feel like marriage just isn't in the cards for you, and you might be wondering if you should just give up. Love is an incredible force, though, and when it's missing from your life, its absence feels like a wound. In order to stay on the path, you have to enjoy the journey. Dating can be a fun, exciting, and hysterical endeavor if you approach it positively and choose to be a successful single.
At this point, you need a shift in your personal perception. At present, you paint a poor picture of who you really are, and if that is who you believe yourself to be, then it's no surprise you aren't attracting the right kind of man. You need to refresh your self confidence and your image. People are attracted to those who exude self love, and right now the message you're sending the world is "I'm aight."
Reach out to those around you and ask them what makes you great. What makes you special? What is unique about you? Make a list of these positive traits, and work on exuding them each day. The more you let your positive traits sparkle, the brighter you shine and, like a moth to a flame, you will attract others to you.
You want your inner self to match your outer self, so do a budget makeover. You don't need money, but rather a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective. Think about how you want the world to perceive you and jot down a few key words that represent the image you want to portray. Then invite a friend, colleague or confidant who has an eye for style and ask them to help you create that look. Invite them into your closet and have them pick an outfit, hairstyle, and make up to complete the look. You'll be surprised to see that you have exactly what you need; you just couldn't see past your own limited perception of yourself.
As for where to meet men, it's a good idea to get friends involved in the search. Friends are a great way to be introduced to available men, and they can personally vouch for the character of anyone they set you up with. Volunteer to do community service, and as you reach out to help others, you surround yourself with people who have similar values.
Take part in speed dating events (e.g. www.ImprovDates.com) that cater to your age group, because the more people you meet the more choice you have. There is an abundance of free online dating sites that specialize in matching singles of all ages, so take some new pics and start winking. (Photo tip: Tilt your chin up in pictures. It will make a tired face look refreshed)
Being a successful single requires self confidence, the right attitude, and the will to get out there and meet new people. You are not limited by your money, so let go of the belief that you need it to find love.
Follow Coach Brody on Twitter @LuvCoach
Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She also works with private clients. Send your questions to Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or visit her at theluvcoach.com.
Filed under: Luv Coach
Having spent four years in Nigeria as a teenager, I'm no stranger to the scams, con artists and hustlers who make up a disproportionate amount of the criminal element. I remember my parents' friends belying tails of thievery and murder, warning you to never stop when driving across certain bridges at night even if there was a body lying in the middle of the road. A typical ruse: once stopped, a band of armed men would leap into action, kill the passengers and steal the car.
My mother would regale me in tears with gory bedtime stories of a woman whose husband passed away, leaving her and her daughter his fortune... that is, until the ex-wife and her children showed up to ransack the house, steal his possessions and kill his wife and daughter. A typical Nigerian phrase that was bandied about the time: "A thief would sell his own mother for money."
Summed up: The perception many people had of Nigeria's greedy underbelly left a lasting impression upon my young psyche.
That was the late '80s, and today, 20-odd years later, it seems the Nigerian criminal element has taken their show on the road. Having done numerous radio shows with Albert Butler, a radio personality on 900am Wurd and a model in Philadelphia, I wasn't surprised when he reached out to warn the public of his latest battle.
Every Wednesday for a year, we informed the public on issues of love on his special edition of the show 'Relationship Wednesdays.' An incredibly talented and entertaining personality, his looks are more suited to TV than radio, and it is this handsome mug that has led him to be exploited by a new type of hustling: the Nigerian Dating Scam.
Unfortunately, both men and women are victims of this scam, and some might not even be aware they are in the midst of getting conned. A familiar pattern arises that everyone who is dating online should be aware of: You just signed up for an online dating site and as you peruse the profiles looking for love, you come across a very good-looking African-American male or female whose Christian values and kind words spark a flame in your heart.
After reaching out to them, they usually want to leave the dating site and use their personal e-mail or IM to communicate. They will claim to be from the U.S. but are currently working/living/stationed overseas, and within a very short amount of time, they will profess their undying love for you. Some of these scammers will secure your trust through intimate conversation, while others will spend months passionately wooing you, spinning a web of lies that inevitably ends in their asking you to wire money.
There is always an urgent need for money, with the caveat that it will be paid back once a big business deal goes through. Whether they need it to come and see you; for hospital bills for a sick child or relative; for visas or other documents; or just to help in recovering from a financial setback, the reasons are varied, but always end with the same message: "Give me your money."
Some scammers will even make wedding plans, asking that their victims do them a favor by making a purchase online or forwarding a package to a foreign country. Unfortunately, the picture of the man you see has been stolen off the Internet, as is the case with Albert Butler's headshot, and is being used in a global Internet con. All of these scams end in heartbreak when the victim unwittingly sends money and never hears from their online love again.
Some of you may be wondering how anyone could be fooled by the likes of an online dating scammer, but in a world in which love and emotional connection are the desired want, it's almost too easy to believe the lies a con artist will spin.
Mike Connor (aka) Andrew Gerald Connor, Shielu Fatai, Gerald Darren, Faithislove12 -- the aliases change, but the con remains the same. As I read through the many letters these hustlers have sent, I can hear the old question being asked in a thick Nigerian accent, "Ah Ah! Whot are you going to do far me O!"
Whether he claims to be a lonely widower, or professes you are the answer to his heart, the scammer is very smooth and acts like he cares, but his only intention is to part you and your money. The best way to protect yourself is to research the names of the men and women you meet, and never, ever, under any circumstance, send money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so do the work to make sure this person is actually who they claim to be.
As for the real Albert Butler, if you cross paths, offer him your support. He is just as much a victim in this as you.
Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She hosts improvdates.com and works with private clients. Send your questions to Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or visit her at theluvcoach.com.
Filed under: Luv Coach
I've tried and tried, but I can't leave him. I'm also bitter about giving so much and getting nothing in return, so why am I still in love with him and why can't I let go? I am so scared of walking away. It physically hurts!
It sounds like you're dealing with a Toxic Man. According to Lillian Glass, the author of Toxic Men, there are three conditions that define a "Toxic Man". He is any man who:
1. Elicits negative emotions from you
2. Behaves badly towards you or doesn't treat you right
3. Makes you feel poorly about yourself, thereby affecting your behavior and your self-esteem
This man physically makes you ill, fearful, and bitter. He is toxic, and he undermines your life, emotions, and self-worth. He is damaging you in extremely unhealthy ways, and you have allowed him to trap you in a dead beat relationship.
Of the many types of toxic men, it sounds like he is the angry, bullying, control freak who abuses you when he doesn't get what he wants, and scares you so you don't walk away. This toxic man is all about controlling you by telling you what to do and how to do it. His behavior negatively affects you in a physical way, having a direct impact on your demeanor and appearance, so that you don't even recognize the woman you see in the mirror.
As you are probably well aware, you need to let go of this toxic man, find your empowered self, and start anew. He is doing nothing but bringing you down. If you feel you can't walk away just yet, then try the mirror technique, suggested in Toxic Men. The next time he yells, yell back. If he uses a gruff tone, use a gruff tone back at him. If he invades your space or scowls at you, mirror his actions and do it right back. You will be surprised to see his reaction when he realizes you are calling him out on his aggressive, bullying, toxic behavior.
The truth is, the only thing keeping you with this toxic man is you, and you have the power to walk away. Turn to friends and family for the love and support you will need as you make this step. No one is worth losing yourself and living a miserable life with, so throw out a life preserver and save yourself.
Follow Coach Brody on Twitter @LuvCoach
Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She hosts www.ImprovDates.com, and works with private clients. Send your questions to Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or visit her at www.TheLuvCoach.com.
Filed under: Love Analytix
Men have issues that are equal -- if not worse than -- women because they are socialized to internalize their issues rather than deal with them. That means that entering a relationship with a man that is broken, hurt, weird or angry can be way more of a risk than dating a woman going through the same things. Women are taught to love and, if hurt, taught to love again. For men? Not so much.
Failure and success in love and relationships are to be expected, and are the reasons we all have "issues" in the first place. However, it's the way we deal with the issues that define our sanity.
The scary thing is that spotting a man with issues is a bit more difficult than vice versa because men know how to "play it cool." They try to not let their emotions get the best of them and are able to check themselves when they realize they're going off the deep end. However, their cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor weakens the more they begin to care. Once you spot a man with issues, men are great at "explaining" why they are like this... and women fall for it.
Don't let them fool you before you find yourself head over heels with a psycho! Here are 8 men you should watch out for.
1. The Disrespectful Dude
If a guy is okay with telling you to "shut the f*ck up" in public or always calling you another name in private (we're not talking about "baby"), then you clearly have a man who is disrespectful. At some point in his life, he was really disrespected and never handled it, leaving him to think the only way for it not to happen again is to disrespect others.
2. The Unresolved Griever
If your man is a widower or divorcé who felt the best thing to do instead of cry and release his emotions was to get back into the game and replace his lost love, he will have issues. What can happen is you fall head over heels, and the first thing he hits you with is, "I'm not ready for a relationship." He'll never be ready if he doesn't take the time to heal from the wounds his past relationships have left.
3. The Playa's Playa'
Men communicate through sex, but if your man is the talk of the town, and admits to sleeping with everything that has a vagina, he's going through something. A man that disposes of women after sex doesn't realize a woman's worth, showing you he's not worth your time.
We all know that if a man doesn't treat the woman who gave him life right, he won't know how to treat the #1 woman in his life correctly. If you ever heard your man call his mom a b*tch or anything similar, this isn't the guy for you; the issues of his childhood will sneak their way into his adulthood 99.9% of the time.
5. The Macho Macho Man
Does your man feel like he has to prove he's a man all the time? Is everything a competition? Is he always talking about the guy's lights he almost punched out? Does he excuse these behaviors by saying, "It's a man thing?" There are usually two reasons a manly man might be overcompensating: because he's angry about past issues, or because he's man's man... literally. How yoooooouuu doin'?
6. The Angry Man
If your man flies off the handle when you cut your hair short, because he insists he told you he only likes long hair, run for the hills. An uber-angry man not only has issues but poses risks to your safety. Not being able to control his temper is a sign that his issues have already spiraled out of control.
7. The Baby Boy
The only thing worse than a man with issues is a boy who doesn't think he has any. Grown men who refuse to grow up, preferring to act like children, throw up the most red flags. If he feels you should do literally everything for him, he needs to learn how to grow up. You're neither his mother nor his teacher.
8. The Gender Generalizer
Be weary of any man who likes to generalize and stereotype women in categories like: all women are liars; all woman are scandalous; or all woman are cheaters. Usually these are the men who really experienced something hurtful from a woman they really loved and have since been left jaded and bitter.
Do you know a man with issues? Which category (or categories!) does he fit in?
Shirea L. Carroll is a journalist who has written for Essence, VIBE, Washington Post's TheRoot.com, XXL's Juicy and AOL. Reporting on everything from music and entertainment to celebrity and love, she has interviewed some of today's biggest celebrity names. Find the NJ native on her blog Invite Only, or follow her on Twitter @InviteOnly to find out "who is and isn't invited."
Filed under: Dating
She's trifling, he treats her badly or maybe you just get a bad vibe. Whatever the reason, you just don't like the new significant other and think your friend must be suffering from temporary insanity to put up with this person's mess. Instead of making your friend choose between the two or creating an even more awkward situation, here are four ways to make peace and keep your friendship intact.
1. Get to the root of the problem.
First, you need to ask yourself why you have so much disdain for him or her. If she's wronged your boy in the past, you natural instinct is to keep him from being hurt again. But if your friend can forgive his lady, then you need to let it go, too. Of course, that's easier said than done. And sometimes people just rub you the wrong way, but is it something deeper?
Maybe your BFF's BF reminds you of someone from your own past or, let's be honest, could it be jealousy? Of course you love your girl and it's natural to feel a slight tinge of envy when a new person comes into the picture. Sometimes understanding the why behind your dislike can make the situation easier.
2. Don't trash-talk the relationship.
Of course you want to be honest with your friend, but that doesn't mean you should constantly discuss your disdain for their partner. She gets it. You don't like him, but no need to remind her of it every day. Constantly downing a friends relationship will just put a strain on the friendship. And, if need be, politely ask your friend to keep from venting to you about him. She's your girl so you'll always offer a shoulder to cry on, but if she runs down every wrong that he commits, you'll just add it to your checklist of reasons to dislike ol' boy even more.
3. Don't avoid your friend in order to avoid his/her significant other.
It can be tempting to avoid any situation when you have to see the person you highly dislike, but you don't want to alienate your friend. Instead of canceling dinner plans because you know she'll be there, go anyway. Distancing yourself from him, because of her, is a no-no. Your boy shouldn't be punished because of his relationship choices. If it feels too awkward being the third wheel, hang out in a larger group.
4. Be polite.
When you absolutely have to interact with your girl's guy, remain respectful. You may think he doesn't see you rolling your eyes or hear your snide remarks, but he surely does. Maybe he doesn't say anything to you, but your friend will certainly hear about it. Your girl would never put up with her guy disrespecting you, so don't disrespect him either. You don't have to play phony, but fix your face and keep the words cordial.
Disliking your friend's guy or gal can be a nuisance, but it doesn't have to affect your friendship. Regardless of who's in their life, just let them know you love them no matter what and you'll be fine. Besides, hindsight is 20/20 - if and when they break up, your friend will be most appreciative of the person who stuck by their side the most - judgment-free.
Filed under: Love Analytix
When you really love someone and it gets to be more than you can bear, sometimes you have to let it go, so you don't begin to lose love for self. Nothing is worse than loving someone to the point where you begin to deal and accept things you never thought you would, or the things you don't really want to.
Yes, there's something to be said about two people working through problems in a relationship. However, you have to be keen to when the relationship, in general, is the problem and/or you're the only one trying to work it out. Here are 8 signs that it is probably the best time to break it off and exit stage left.
1. You told a lie, or a secret is kept that puts you at risk.
Did she not tell you about that time in college when she contracted HIV, and now your health is faltering? Did he not tell you that he makes his extra money hustling drugs, and you both go to jail when the cops pull you over? Any lie or secret that puts your health or well being in harm's way is enough to send someone packing.
2. Everyone says they are no good for you.
Every person in your life, including your dog, doesn't like them. Your family has disowned you, your friends have shunned you, all after getting to know them and having valid reasons, and you may be letting love blind you.
Everyone isn't going to always like your choices, but anyone who loves you should respect them. These are the same people in your life who have known you long enough to know the good and bad, and have an idea when something may not be the best for you.
3. Your only focus in life has become your terrible relationship.
If people ask how you're doing and your first response is, "I can't stand my girl," then you're not in a good place. When a bad relationship consumes your thoughts to the point you realize it's really all you think about, and you aren't really productive elsewhere in life, you need to consider ending the relationship.
You have one life to live, and if you can't cultivate your dreams and goals because you're trying to maintain a relationship that does nothing but destroy them, it's time to move on.
4. Other relationships make you angry.
You just found out your best friend is getting married, and the first thing you do is tell them it isn't going to work. Being part of an unhappy relationship usually makes it hard for you to be happy for others in love.
If you find yourself giving friends bad advice, teaching young people to be jaded by love or always feeling anger/resentment when you see healthy relationships, you may want to end what you have going on.
5. Communication is nonexistent.
Do you think the best times with your partner are when you don't talk at all? Have all types of communication, including sex, ceased in the relationship? If two people can function in the relationship without even speaking or acknowledging each other in any way, you may want to talk about breaking it off.
We all know it's not uncommon for couples to fight. However, if those fights become increasingly more frequent or your partner begins to always say things that do irreversible damage, it may be time to throw in the gloves. People who love each other don't hit below the belt and say things like, "You would never make a good mother; that's why you can't have kids" or "You can be such a b**** a** negro sometimes." Whoa, strike out.
7. You're involved with a repeat offender.
Everyone cheats and everyone lies, and most times relationships can reconcile after one incident. However, when you make it a part of who you are and consistently behave so that you become a full-blown cheater and a liar, there is no room for these types in relationship.
They make it their job to remember their lying ways, keep lying so they don't get caught and disregard how the lies will affect you. In the long run, you are better living your life without them.
8. The only reason you're still together is because of time.
It's so sad when you ask someone why they are still involved in a toxic relationship, and the only excuse they give is all the time you have invested. If you're always saying, "We've been together for 12 years," stop counting. If 10 years out of the 12 you were unhappy because she cheated on you eight times, or he doesn't touch you anymore but to hit you, you may really want to consider other options. It's better to think about all the more positive tomorrows you may have single than all the terrible yesterdays you had coupled up. Let it go.
So do you need to end your relationship? Tell us!
Shirea L. Carroll is a journalist who has written for Essence, VIBE, Washington Post's TheRoot.com, XXL's Juicy and AOL. Reporting on everything from music and entertainment to celebrity and love, she has interviewed some of today's biggest celebrity names. Find the NJ native on her blog, Invite Only, or follow her on Twitter @InviteOnly to find out "who is and isn't invited."
Filed under: Luv Coach
He badgers me constantly about my education and accomplishments (he's a blue-collar guy, which is okay with me) through constant criticism and belittling. He is jealous, accuses me of this and that, and I am always defending myself.
He acts like he hates me, then talks about us spending our life together. He often stops speaking to me, then calls like nothing happened. I can't do anything right for him. He is unpredictable.
We are from two different worlds, and our children have been raised very differently. He makes negative comments about my kids and my family. He is a liar, and he is secretive. He disappears. He is miserable and hates that I am happy and optimistic about life even after all that I've been through - and I've been through hell - but I'm still hopeful and think more on the upside. I can't take it anymore. It affects me physically.
I'm trying to stay away from him and am attending a women's support group to help myself. I was abused by my mother growing up. She beat me and was emotionally unavailable. My ex-husband was also emotionally abusive because he was a pathological liar and went to counseling off and on throughout our marriage for this problem. The marriage still fell apart because he wasn't truly committed to straightening up.
I don't want to keep picking the wrong man. I have so much to offer. Help me.
It sounds like you are an incredibly strong, loving and giving woman who has done very well for herself in life, but you keep picking men who are emotionally abusive because of your unhealed wounds from childhood.
First, you must end this toxic relationship and cut all ties to this abusive man. Remove everything of his from your home, end the relationship and continue going to your women's support group. He will try to lure you back in, but you must hold firm to your conviction to put your mental health and your children's health first. If you are truly fed up, then kick this guy to the curb and vow to begin your journey to love and heal yourself.
Second, you need to see a therapist to deal with the issues from your childhood that are affecting who you choose as a mate. You may find that your wounds affect other areas of your life as well, and as an adult, it's time to work on healing them. It would be best for you to remain single for the next year while you spend time working on you and finding the love that you have for yourself.
You are stuck in a pattern, and it is not working for you. The only way to break that pattern is to first become aware of what the pattern looks like, figure out where it began, why you continue to hold onto it and how to break the cycle that has left you in this rut. A relationship coach can help you to overcome your negative patterns and take you through the steps of consciously dating and being the chooser. They can also help you through the process to recognize red flags, dating traps and other landmines that pop up during your dating journey.
You know that you have so much to offer, so don't settle for someone who verbally and emotionally abuses you. You are better than that, and you are the only one who can save yourself.
Rebecca Brody is a Relationship Coach in NYC. For love advice go to theluvcoach.com, or follow her on twitter @LuvCoach. Are you searching for the love of your life? Join Coach Brody for Improv Speed Dating - improvdates.com.