This site is dedicated to spreading healthy images of black love, designed especially for young adults. We are STARVING for this in our community, especially amongst millennials.
It is my hope that you will visit this site when you need a breath of fresh air and a friendly reminder that healthy black relationships DO exist. Come here for inspiration, laughter, relationship tips, juicy conversation, and a community of happy “love-rs.”
Yup, it’s gonna be fun! Let the journey begin….
Welcome to the YBL.
What’s interesting to me is that in the excitement and hustle and bustle of an engagement, everyone immediately wants to know when the wedding is. Soon to follow are questions about colors, bridesmaids, venue, etc. Not a single person asked about our couple’s counseling or what we planned to do to “prepare” for our lifelong partnership. As Kanye would say, [they’re] “worried bout the wrong things, the wrong things….”
Perhaps one of the reasons why so many couples get divorced is because they are not clear on the voluntary commitment that marriage requires. Saying “yes!” goes far beyond saying yes to a dress. We should shift our focus, and perhaps also our time, energy, and money, toward post-engagement preparation for marriage. Books, words of wisdom, recommended relationship counselors would all be awesome congratulatory gifts. Shower me with prayers and encouragement as I prepare to be a wife, and shower my fiance with prayers and encouragement as he prepares to be a husband.
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the wedding. I love our venue, my dress, and all the people who will join us for the Big Day. But really, none of it matters. The time and energy you pour into preparing for your UNION is where it’s at. Check out a few resources that to help with marriage prep under the More tab.
Until next time…
Cooked breakfast. Check.
Cleaned rooms. Check.
Folded laundry. Check.
Ran errands. Check.
Cooked dinner. Check.
Reviewed homework. Check.
Toddler is playing with mommy. Check.
Oh, yeah. I went to work today. So work. Check.
Husband's walking in. Daddy time. Check.
No sleep. Check.
Shamefully this is the daily checklist that I used every single day until I realized that I don’t have to be Superwoman. One thing I have learned is that if I don’t take care of myself, no one else in my home will be taken care of. As women, especially as strong women, we are taught to be responsible for everything and everyone. We also usually believe that no one is going to be responsible for us; so we run ourselves ragged and then wonder why we are broken and busted. We must learn to rest.
As a wife and a mother, I am here to give you a reality check. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done. Sometimes Daddy does the homework. Sometimes we eat out instead of enjoying a home-cooked meal. Sometimes the house is clean and sometimes it only has a spit-shine. And guess what? That is okay! And it is okay to take care of yourself. Remember -- if we do not take care of ourselves, we will not have the energy to effectively do anything else.
Moms, wives; you are important. Husbands, you can be a blessing to your wife by letting her know that she does NOT have to be Superwoman. You can also support her by providing opportunities for her "me time."
Let us all remember that Superwoman is a fictional character. She does not exist in real life.
Our thoughts have more power than we recognize. When you glance at your partner getting ready in the morning, what thoughts run through your mind?
"Ugh, why is he so slow?!"
"Damn, I wish she would work out more."
"(*rolls eyes*) If he leaves ONE more sock on the floor!..."
I wonder what would happen if we switched our thoughts to reflect a more positive light. Consider trying...
"Wow, look at God's gift to me."
"I am so lucky to have her as my girl."
"Thank you God for my provision."
Simple changes, but changes that make a big difference. Think about your own self-talk and what comes to mind when you look at your mate.
Thoughts are powerful. Our words, actions and habits all stem from them. You have the power to reframe your thoughts to honor Bae. Give it a shot, good things may happen.
Until next time....
*A personal post*
So I got the all-coveted ring. Yes, he put a ring on it (hey Bey!)
To be engaged is a wonderful feeling. It took me a couple days to actually realize that it happened. Even now, I look down on my ring and smile, still getting used to its presence on my little fingers. When he proposed, it was a blur. What they say is true. I blanked out and had an out of body experience, ha!. Before I knew it, I was crying and people were cheering, but it hadn’t quite sunk in what had happened. He asked me to be his wife. An engagement is QUITE the commitment. As he later put it, he was asking to love, protect and provide for me…for a lifetime. Wow. I said yes.
Another way to look at it is, the search is over. I no longer have to worry about finding "the one." I found him, and love him deeply. However, what's important to note is just because I found him doesn’t mean I can stop acting like "I’m tryna get chose". In fact, I’m feeling quite the contrary.
The engagement has made me want to step up even more to love him and cater to him as much as I can (PTI: extreme feminists, save it. I'm all about girl power and equal rights, but I also love the feeling of taking care of my man. In my opinion, you can do and feel both). My “wifely” instincts have kicked in. It probably also helps that we just moved in together, so cooking and cleaning and looking halfway decent most of the time are new priorities. We’ve received a lot of love and support during our engagement thus far. I think people are hungry to see young black couples “make it.” We’ve also experienced a few haters who have either questioned our young age (mid-twenties) or, my favorite, ask why it took so long for us to get engaged in the first place -_- (we've dated on and off for 8 years).
For us, engagement wasn’t something we did just because we had been dating for a while. It wasn’t simply “the next step” in our relationship journey. An engagement is the first official step to agreeing on a lifetime commitment. It says... I will leave my childish ways behind and step up to be the companion you need me to be. Most importantly, it is agreeing to embark on a journey that prepares us to make a covenant before The Lord. A pledge to honor, cherish and remain faithful to each other until death do us part. It is also a promise to keep God first in our lives, and in our marriage. Food for thought....
But yes, these are exciting times. There is lots of planning to do. It can feel overwhelming….but God is a provider. Can't wait to see what's next.
Until next time...
*A personal post*
Sooooo, we moved in together.
I made a big fuss of it early on, worried really about the stigma of shacking up, and what my family would think.
Come to find out, my parents lived together before they were married. Pshh. Who knew.
Funny how we make a big deal out of things when they don’t deserve the time and attention. Besides, why was public opinion more important than my own wants and decisions in the first place?
Perhaps what was most important to me was God’s opinion. What does God say about shacking up? I did a couple of internet searches to see what the Bible says. Turns out, there are no scriptures that speak directly against it. Sex before marriage is frowned upon, but living together is not really mentioned. This was a great relief for me, and helped with my comfortability in our decision-making (see below for tips on your own decision-making).
Sooooo... what have we learned about each other since moving in? I am clean and he is moderately clean. Our standards are simply different. Agreeing on chores and a cleaning system that works for both of us has required honest communication and compromise. Bae came up with the great idea of splitting up chores by the rooms in the house. On Sunday, my pastor recommended that women not tell their men what to do AND how to do things. So I am trying not to boss HOW he cleans.
The closeness of living together makes it all worth it though. I LOVE being in close contact with him. Before moving in together, we had to make a 45 minute drive to see each other. And before then, it was an hour and fifteen minutes. Before then, it was a 2 hour plane ride. So needless to say we are VERY grateful to see each other more regularly. The close proximity also makes us more playful, flirtatious and loving toward each other. It feels good.
If you are thinking about moving in with Bae...here are a few things to consider:
1) Why do you want to move in together? Take time to really think about it.
2) How does your decision align with your personal values?
3) If not already engaged, create a deadline for how long you are willing to live together before engagement. Then, write it down! *baby girl/boy you, ever, get too, comfortable (comfortable)...#thanksWeezy*
4) How will you split household expenses and how will you communicate about them?
5) What will happen when you fight? The "run away" conflict resolution method isn't always the best when living with someone. Give this some thought.
Overall, it's been a good experience for US. Do what's best for you and yours.
Until next time...
Chances are, you and Bae are similar in a lot of ways. Maybe you both like movies, maybe you both hate going to the club. What I can almost guarantee, however, is that there are differences that drive you both insane!
Understanding this one concept (wait for it) can make a major difference in your relationship: God created your partner to be different than you....on purpose! Think about the major differences in your conflict resolution styles, how you approach household chores, etc. and try to find the beauty in the differences. For example, I like to mitigate issues very shortly after they occur and am not a fan of wasting time being mad at each other. Bae, on the other hand, prefers to have alone time and only addresses the conflict when he's ready to - usually hours or days later -_-
Though frustrating at times, this difference makes us a stronger union. It makes me more patient and it makes him more proactive when it comes to resolving conflict. What's important to note is that we choose to view it this way. I encourage you to think about:
1) What major differences can you identify between you and Bae?
2) How do your differences make you better individuals?
3) How do your differences help to form a stronger union?
Discuss them with your partner and again, choose, to celebrate them.
Until next time...
*A personal post from my "diary"; last year, pre-engagement. I often get the question, how did you know he was 'the one'? Or "how did you know you were ready for engagement?' This is certainly not the end-all, be-all, but moments like these helped me get to the point of wanting to take steps toward 'I do.'*
I’m sitting here on a Saturday night, and all I want is you. Funny, second evening in a row I canceled plans with friends…and I think it’s because no matter how tired I am, or no matter how much I don’t feel like getting on that metro, a night with you never seems to be a burden. Not having that quality time throws me off balance. We haven’t had it in a while. So I’m off.
Weirdest part is…we fought earlier. I was SO angry, pissed actually. And in my head I said I wasn’t going to call you, or answer your texts for a few days. But the reality is, I miss you. I miss you now. We can fight, scream, pout, be angry, but at the end of the day love trumps all.
Its’ a scary feeling. With other guys, I’d wipe it off. Go out anyways. And make sure I looked damn good doing it. But with you, it’s different. I’d rather be with you.
Love trumps my anger, my wanting to be stubborn, my wanting to dance the night away in spite of our disagreement earlier. I don’t know. Maybe this means I’m ready…