Tag: Relationship

Men, Stop Waiting So Long To Get Married!

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On no day will I understand why black men wait so long to get married. The US Census Bureau shows, on average, every other race, both men and women, get married between 26 and 29. But you wait till you’re nearly 31.

And for-real tho, who they countin’? Most of the single black men I know aren’t close to walking down nobody’s aisle.

Two of my close friends, who I’ll call Mr. Eastgate and Mr. Astrodome, are in their mid 40’s, single, no kids, and never married. They both want to get married.  But they haven’t found the right one yet.

Let me tell you a secret: finding the right one has nothing to do with her. It has everything to do with you. There are four things that transpire in a man’s life for him to make the decision to get married.

  1. Belief in Marriage. You must have a value system that believes the institution of marriage is something that’s good. This valuing began in your childhood, most likely from your family.
  2. Expectations. Your beliefs develop a set of expectations of the kind of woman that’s a perfect wife for you.
  3. Past Relationship Experiences. Your past relationship experiences clarify your expectations of what you want and what you don’t want in a wife.
  4. Preparation. According to your refined expectations, you know the kind of husband you want to be. For me, I wanted to be like Heathcliff Huxtable. However, when you where younger, you probably weren’t ‘ready yet’ to take on those Huxtable-like roles and responsibilities. So you took time to work on yourself, get your finances right, and eventually get rid of past relationship baggage/demons.

Here’s where you went wrong. Your expectation of married-life is one-sided. Yes, you’re willing to compromise, but your expectations are all about what you will get from your wife, not what your wife needs to get from you. You also waited to settle down after you completed the preparation stage.

The problem is…

Your expectation of the perfect wife, the woman you’ve painstakingly spent the last # of years preparing for doesn’t exist. You believe there’s someone out there that already meets your expectations of the perfect wife you’ve prepared for. But it is impossible to predict or forecast what your future wife will need you to give her. Why? Because she also went through her own 4-step process to get ready for marriage. And she also has expectations for the perfect husband, which is now your unexpected list of things she needs you to give her. But you didn’t prepare for some of the intricacies on her list. So instead of meeting those expectations, you disqualified her from ‘perfect wife’ status and moved on to the next one…hoping she’ll meet your expectations.

When I got married, I thought I was prepared. In order for us to make it work, and be happy, I had to learn how to communicate in a more caring manner, drive slower, become more patient because she takes longer to get ready, come home sooner because she gets tired quicker, be more affectionate…I could go on. Through 17 years of trial and error and give and take, I have handcrafted the perfect wife for me, the likes of which I could never find on the open market.

Mr. Eastgate, Mr. Astrodome, and my fellow black men, the perfect wife for you is not found, she is forged in marriage. All the things you want and don’t want in your perfect wife, you have to cultivate in her as your wife through the hard work of learning new communication skills, coping skills, adapting skills, etc.

I know you’ve done a lot to prepare yourself for marriage. But don’t confuse what it takes to get married…to what it takes to stay married. As a potential husband, know…every time the level of your relationship increases (i.e., from dating to engagement to marriage), the level of work you have to put in increases to perform at even the lowest levels of proficiency. By the time you reach the marriage level, you don’t settle down, you ramp up!

So fellas, reset your expectations, accept the unknown variables a woman will bring to your life, and stop waiting to find the perfect wife before you get married. Create her in marriage.

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*Originally published on BlackAndMarriedWithKids.

20 Things All Men Should Know How To Do

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Girls have always been taught certain things. Things like cooking, cleaning and how to color inside the lines. As grown women we learn more about makeup, how to take care of a home and about finding the perfect mate.

But what about the guys? What kind of things were they taught growing up – How to throw a ball, take showers regularly & open doors for girls? What do they know how to do as grown men? Every man is different but there are some things that every man should be able to do. All men should know how to –

  1. Dress for any occasion
  2. Properly plan a date
  3. How to care for a yard – front & back (rake, mow, shovel, etc.)
  4. Genuinely acknowledge a woman’s feelings
  5. Basic home repairs (cabinetry, hang pictures, fix the refrigerator, etc.)
  6. Stop making sex the ultimate goal
  7. All men should know how to pick out a nice dress, shoes and all fashion essentials for a woman (women like nice gifts)
  8. Make decisions that benefit the well-being of the entire family
  9. Cook a romantic meal (even if it’s just 1 dish)
  10. Change a tire
  11. Send flowers to the special women in their lives
  12. Clean the entire house without help
  13. Plan a surprise romantic get a way (women really like surprises)
  14. Be man enough to be open & honest about his feelings
  15. Get their shoes polished consistently
  16. Keep their woman’s gas tank full at all times
  17. Acknowledge when a woman has a new hairstyle or outfit (even if he doesn’t really care for it)
  18. Men should stop defining women by how many sexual partners they’ve had before
  19. Maintain a nice, healthy relationship with his mom (or with the woman who raised him)
  20. Listen

Men, which one of these are you really good at? What areas do you still need work in? Ladies, are there any other areas I missed? Anything else that a man should know how to do? Let me know what you think in the comments section below –

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7 Reasons I Don’t Post About My Relationships On Social Media

People always ask me who am I dating and why am I not married yet. Usually these questions are accompanied with the connotation that something must be wrong with me since I am still single. The reality is my real reality isn’t posted all over social media.

I’ve dated, been in a relationship, had my heartbroken and went through an ugly custody battle all without sharing any of it on social media.

The most challenging part about it is being with someone who you truly love and care about that doesn’t understand why you don’t profess your love for them on social media. It seems like in 2014, people value what you do on social media more so than what you do in real life!

In my experience posting about your relationship only causes a lot of issues, here are the first seven I could think of. Feel free to leave any I forgot to mention below.

1. It gives haters and frenemies an opportunity to “prey” on your significant other – Once you upload an “usie” and you’ve tagged your “bae” your followers go follow and friend request your new boo. Now they are looking through photos of him/her making an assessment of who they are, trying to find something bad to say about them and finally some may go to the extent of flirting with them online to try and get them to engage!

2. It makes public what is meant to be private – In my opinion romance is one of those things that is meant to be private! Of course, to each their own, but it just seems that once you change your relationship status the force of Facebook is against you.

3. It promotes drama! Yes the drama, it gets deep and messy! – Even if you only have a few Facebook friends, You never know who is friends with your Facebook friends or who might take a screenshot of something you post and share it. I knew Facebook was a hot mess when I seen an old friend from my childhood posting photos with my friend from high school’s baby daddy. I didn’t pick up the phone to talk about it but later on in my timeline the two girls were going back and forth! Needless to say, if she would have kept her relationship off of Facebook they may have made it! #DoinTooMuch

4. It invites your ex’s into your new relationship – Once you put your new relationship online your ex’s are bound to catch wind. Yea, of course you may want to rub it in their face especially if you’re doing better. But do you really want your ex inboxing your new significant other? Do you really want to taint your new relationship with that type of negativity and chaos?

5. It can cause a competitive element in your relationship – A friend of mine got into an argument with his girlfriend because she claimed he didn’t post as many pictures of them together on his page as she did. Really?

6. It can harm your following – If the primary use of your page is to promote your career (like mine) your supporters may have mixed feelings about you posting “usies” with your new boyfriend or girlfriend. I have even seen up and coming artists and athletes lose followers over this. Let’s just be honest, especially for artists, a lot of your fans don’t care to see all of that mushy stuff!

7. It creates a major dilemma if you break up – Do you keep the pics up or do you take them down? Now you have a permanent online footprint that you were with this person. How do you explain them to the next person you are with (trust they will ask about them!) and finally, how tacky is it to showcase your new relationship every 6-12months? What? I’m just sayin’

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*Article originally published on Georgia’s Juice.

Infidelity On Television Is Quite An Affair

Matters of the heart have long been fodder for TV plots, from soap operas to dramas to reality fare. But a new spate of shows is blatantly tackling the touchy topic of cheating.

And like the Facebook status says: It’s complicated.

Grace is cheating on Neil and so Neil cheats on Grace — but they love each other — in USA’s new drama Satisfaction. On FX’s Married, a hapless Russ is comically struggling with his sex life with wife Lina. (Both shows air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT) And now Showtime is prepping an intense drama set to debut in October called The Affair.

“A generation ago, you never talked about having an affair. Then Oprah got us all talking about these things. And now that we’re all talking, the next step is we’re living things out more and less afraid — and TV’s catching up,” says relationship coach Donna Barnes, founder of DonnaBarnesDating.com.

While infidelity is certainly featured on each series (with varying degrees of spicy sex scenes and humor), the adultery is just a launching pad for shows, say the people behind them.

“It’s really about the notion of when neglect has infected a marriage, how do people cope with it? And about infidelity as a reaction to marriage, an exploration of how that happened,” says Jackie de Crinis, EVP of original programming for USA Network, who describes Satisfaction as “a postmodern love story.”

Postmodern, in this case, means Neil is fed up with his long hours at his big-money job and then finds out that his wife, who has been at home raising the kids for the past decade, is getting it on with another man. “It’s about all those different things that life throws you at different points,” de Crinis says.

Executive producer Sarah Treem makes the same case for The Affair. Despite the title, she says, “we really do think of the show as a show about marriage more than a show about an affair.”

There’s a similar scenario in the July 17 opener of FX’s half-hour comedy series Married as Russ can’t seem to connect to his wife, who spends her time running errands and raising their three daughters. She tells him maybe he “should go be with someone else.” She doesn’t want a divorce. She’s just too tired for sex. He winds up trying to find some satisfaction with a waxing-salon employee. It doesn’t go well.

“We knew there was some comedy to be mined,” says Married creator Andrew Gurland. One thing that friends say to me a lot: ‘Oh, monogamy is not natural.’ And I always say, ‘Well neither are toilets, but when you don’t use them, things get very messy.

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*Article originally published on USA Today.

Seeking Love ‘Single Style’

Whatever do I mean by that?  Well, Seeking Love Single Style means that you are looking for love, but, more importantly you are enjoying your single life immensely.  You don’t NEED someone, you WANT someone.  There’s a big difference.  I was recently asked if I never met the one I was looking for would I still be happy.  After giving it a moment’s thought I said YES! Of course I would still be happy.  Why? Because I am fulfilled in every aspect of my life – physically, mentally and emotionally.  Would I prefer to be with a partner? Yes, of course I would.  When men say “you seem great, why are you still single?” I tell them “I am still single because I want the right man, not just any man”.  That should be the case for every single person.  No settling, just holding out for the right one.  Be true to you.

Single Isn’t a Bad Word

More often than not, people see being single as a death sentence.  You know the deal.  You see all your friends in relationships, getting married, having kids and you feel like the only person in the world who is single.  We’ve all been there.  The older you get the more this is a reality.  I know personally, I find it hard to get together and relate to the lives of my closest friends because they are in a different place in their life, and, forget about trying to arrange something to do, especially if they have children.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for them.  It’s just that where they’re at isn’t where I’m at.

Single really can be fun.  It’s all about perspective.  This whole “finding my second half business” is incredibly damaging to the single psyche.  You don’t need a second half! You are whole on your own.  You need to be proud of who you are and confident about what you have to offer or else your dating life will be a disaster.  Being with you should be a privilege for the other person, not the other way around.  Remember, 1 + 1 = 2, it doesn’t equal 1.  That’s what “seeking love single style” means.

Seeking Love Single Style

So now you know what it is, then how do you do it?  Seeking love single style means doing your own thing and letting love come organically, don’t force it.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Be happy in your own skin without worrying about what others think and how they perceive you.
  • Always put your best foot forward wherever you go and with whoever you meet.
  • Be confident, not cocky, in who you are and always walk with your head held high.
  • Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.
  • Keep your schedule full of activities that you love to do and with people who love to be with.
  • Do things on your own like eating at a restaurant and travelling.

If you are happy alone you will make a great partner for someone else and they will be in your life because you want them there, as a companion, not because you need them there to make you whole.  You are whole without anyone else.  Now go out there and begin seeking love SINGLE style!!

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*Originally published on Single Dating Diva

7 Things Never To Say To A Single Woman

1. “Don’t worry. He’s out there.”

Here’s the thing about being a single woman. Pretty much nobody will ever believe that you’re okay with being female and unattached, let alone believe that you might be happy about it. I have lots of conversations in which I’m asked if I’m dating anyone, and I say, “No, not for a while.” Then I add that it’s cool, because I’ve been working a lot and I like not being beholden to anyone else’s schedule. I also like having experiences, especially when I travel, that aren’t filtered through anyone else’s moods or needs. In response, I am assured that I shouldn’t worry because he’s out there.

Well, of course he is. There are more than six billion people on this planet. Even adjusting for age, and the ability to speak English and whatever other criteria strike your fancy, there are probably, I don’t know, a hundred thousand men I could spend my life with in reasonable contentment. It’s not that I don’t want the comfort and solidarity (not to mention joy) of having a partner. But, if it’s not in the cards for a theoretical He to emerge from Out There at a realistically workable moment for both of us, do I want to set myself up to think that my life—my one, precious chance at existence—is somehow incomplete? A failure? Unless I’m talking to some bona fide clairvoyants, when people jump to tell me not to worry about being alone forever, what they’re really saying is that they expect me to be worried. And that makes me feel kind of bad. And kind of worried.

2. “Have you ever thought about dating online?”

I promise, all single women in America have thought about dating online. Most of us (along with single men) have friends who met their boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses online and so we know the whole enterprise can work out really well. But you have to be ready for the dating equivalent of a rummage sale. You have to be feeling brave and game and energetic enough that a series of disappointing encounters won’t sap you of your optimism.
I tried online dating for about two weeks when I was 23 and living in Iowa and had just gone through a bad breakup. I met a divorced geologist who had a 6-year-old son named Thor or Odin or something, and for our second date, I agreed to go on a night hike. I repeat: a night hike. I might as well have said that my hobbies included being murdered. We drove for half an hour out of Iowa City, and then marched off into the wilderness along with a flashlight, my dog and a few cans of PBR. Pretty soon a man wearing a headlamp and carrying a rifle came walking out of the night. “What’re you out for?” the geologist asked. “Coon,” replied the man before disappearing again.

I wasn’t murdered, and I didn’t fall for the geologist. When he dropped me off after our hike, I was worried he would try to kiss me, and so I hugged him goodbye with an empty can of PBR in one hand and a full bag of dog poop in the other. Not long afterward, I decided I was too raw from my breakup to be online, and right as I went to deactivate my account, I got a message from a cop in Cedar Rapids. He was, to be blunt, crazy hot, but he mixed up “your” and “you’re.” I debated for a few minutes while studying a hunky photo of him wakeboarding, and then wrote back, telling him I’d decided it wasn’t a good time for me to be dating.

I still regret that one. Apostrophes are overrated.

3. “Just play the field! It’s so exciting!”

The problem with playing the field is that, in practice, it usually means spending time with people you don’t like very much and probably having some not-great sex with them. Then, if you meet someone you like and with whom you have good sex and he likes you too, you usually lose interest in the rest. There’s this idea floating around that playing the field means twirling like Marilyn Monroe from the arms of one handsome tuxedoed man to the next, winking and vamping. But, in practice, you end up in bars very late at night, your standards dropping by the minute, looking around and wondering if you should just bite the bullet and go home with that creepy guy who’s licking the rim of his martini glass at you because, after all, you’re supposed to be playing the field and it’s supposed to be exciting.

4. “If I were in a different place in my life, I would want to be with you.”

This has been said to me by two different guys. On both occasions, I was hurt but also kind of awestruck by the mighty ego that could generate such an obnoxious sentence. The first time, a boyfriend was breaking up with me, and I think he was trying to soften the blow and also suggest a narrative in which we would go our separate ways, sample life’s many delights and then eventually reunite. The second time, someone I wasn’t actually romantically interested in offered me that lovely sentence as, I think, a compliment. All it really means is, “You’re not right for me, but I’m such a catch I don’t want to devastate you all at once, and I would also like it if you continued to lavish me with attention, please.”

I’m not underestimating the importance of timing, however. People do separate and come back together, and that seems natural and actually pretty romantic. But nobody wants to feel like they’re being put in storage while their future partner sows his wild oats. Men of Earth: If you think you need more time, you’re just going to have to zip your lip, cross your fingers and let her go.

5. “Is this your boyfriend?”

When you’re single and you show up somewhere with a dude, even a dude who is, say, your uncle and, you’d like to think, obviously not your boyfriend, some people demand an immediate verbal explanation of your relationship. The boyfriend question is especially awkward when the dude in question is someone you wouldn’t mind having as a boyfriend or at least as a make-out partner, and you don’t want to ruin things by saying either, “Fingers crossed!” or, out of nervousness, “Him? No. Just friends.” We are not walking, talking Facebook profiles. We are, sometimes, just a couple of people hanging out, seeing what happens.

6. “Maybe you should freeze your eggs.”

Maybe. And maybe you should get a nose job. Or maybe you should have some other invasive, expensive, elective medical procedure that I will suggest in a cavalier manner.

6b. “Tick-tock!”

Fertility is a big deal. It is the source of anxiety, frustration and heartbreak for lots of women. And, day to day, there’s not all that much a girl can do about it except hope that if she wants kids, when she wants kids, she’ll be able to have them. So, doing your best clock impression is not helpful. This isn’t an episode of 24. This is my uterus.

7. “Maybe you’re trying too hard/not trying hard enough.”

As long as you’re out there living your life in a way that, when you look back in 20 years, it won’t seem like wasted time (for example: “that time I dated a sociopath for four years because I was afraid no one else would not-love me the same way”) or pointless wallowing (for example: Cheetos, Real Housewives), I think you’re doing great. People will say things about your singleness that will rub you the wrong way, even when they mean well, and people will also say the right thing at the right time. I’m not saying we single ones aren’t allowed to feel sad about being alone sometimes or to long for a partner. I’m just saying it’s a huge bummer that our culture operates on the assumption that singleness equals unhappiness, especially for women. Being simultaneously single and female is not a situation that automatically calls for consolation, strategizing, faux-commiseration, tiptoeing, reassurance, cheerleading, tarot-card reading, life-coaching or detective work. I think it’s worth trying to make the best of the single times because—believe me—when you realize you’re alone and content, it’s a moment of real liberation.

But, also, don’t worry. He’s totally out there.

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*This article was originally published on Single and Living Fab.

Women Can’t Handle Casual Sex, Can They?

There was an article in the Huffington Post a couple of days ago questioning whether or not women can have casual sex without the emotional attachment. Although I am not a fan of casual sex I feel that the author made a very good point.

Most women can’t truly separate sex from emotion unless she’s too far down the path of just not caring anymore. God didn’t create us equal; instead he made women the more emotional of the two sexes.  That’s been scientifically proven time & time again and is evident through our hormones and mental reasoning. We use emotion a lot of times as a base for our decision making. Nothing is wrong with that, it’s just the way it is. That being said, it’s nearly impossible for a woman to emotionally dissociate herself from a man she has had sex with. (Note: There might be like 2% of the female population that was born without the “emotional gene” but for the most part, women always tend to get caught up when having sex)

We are sexual beings, but for a woman to get to the point of not caring anymore usually comes over a course of some time of being sexually active. Maybe after a bad experience, or after being with a lot of men – A woman may decide she can detach herself but unlike a dude it doesn’t come as first nature for us. Do I think a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body sexually? Absolutely! But I think it comes at a cost & for us women that’s usually an emotional one.

 

Read the article below –

Can Women Have Casual Sex Without a Post-Hookup Hangover?

By Christine Hassler

Is it possible to casually hook up or have sex without creating any kind of emotional response or a longing for attachment?

This is not a “one-size-fits-all” question. For the purpose of this post, I am going to speak mostly to the heterosexual ladies. So, let me get a little more specific: generally speaking, are women as able and likely as men are to have emotionless sexual experiences and still find them satisfying beyond just the in-the-moment physicality?

From my point of view, in 99% of the cases, the answer is no. I am defining “a casual hookup” as having sex or any sexual encounter beyond good old-fashioned making out with someone whom you have no mutual emotional connection or established relationship with. It’s the guy you just met who is super cute, confident and ultra-flirty. He says things to you that sound so good you intuitively know he’s had a lot of practice saying them to other girls. Or the guy you may have known for a while who only texts you to see if you want to “hang” but has never asked you out on a real date. Or the guy who you’ve had a major crush on despite the fact that he is unavailable in some way but you just cannot deny the chemistry. Or it could even be the guy you’ve been on a couple dates with and by now feel obligated to “put out” more.

Most women are not able to have casual hookups without getting their hearts involved or having any follow up expectations. Why?

Let’s start with basic biology. When we have any kind of physical exchange with a guy from cuddling to having sex, we release the bonding hormone oxytocin. When we release oxytocin, we start to feel more emotionally bonded to whomever triggered it. If you think you are totally capable of having a meaningless romp or really aren’t into the guy, oxytocin may change everything! Even if you really have no interest in seeing him again, chances are you still will want to hear from him just to have proof that it wasn’t totally meaningless. And if you had any interest in him pre hook-up, oxytocin will leave you longing for more. You will probably be checking your phone incessantly the next day for a text with a winky face and find yourself distracted by thoughts of him. This is painfully natural.

Our desire to connect emotionally is amplified when we have connected physically because of the hormonal change in our brain AND because we are emotional creatures — which is something to be cherished, celebrated and respected!

When a woman engages in a casual sexual encounter and does not ask for what she wants, stop what she doesn’t want or feels rejected in any way, she is likely to experience what I call a post-hookup hangover. This hangover stems from having a surge of bonding hormones pumping through your body without having anyone to bond to. You may feel disappointment, sadness, anger, guilt and/or shame because a ton of oxytocin has been released without any kind of emotional connection present with the other person to be a container for it.

I’ve heard a lot of “day after” stories. I see a lot of pain and upset around feeling rejected after being so vulnerable, and anytime you get naked with someone, you are vulnerable! If you relate to this, I want to tell you that you didn’t do anything wrong. Regret and self-criticism are only going to make you feel worse.

Women who are consciously walking on a spiritual path (like you!) are even more susceptible to the post-hookup hangover. When we work to become more aware, we become more open and connected. A large part of our spiritual growth is about taking down the walls that have perpetuated a sense of disconnection. We naturally become more sensitive and our ability to check out decreases. So, if you do feel more open and expansive, it is very likely that you are going to feel a desire to connect on an emotional level with the person that you are connecting with on a physical level. Physical and sexual intimacy can be an amazing part of our spiritual life if we approach it consciously and choose to engage with people that are willing and able to meet us at the level we are at. Otherwise, it can just feel empty and meaningless and honestly, is it really worth it?

Perhaps you draw the line at having casual sex, but consider whether drawing it even sooner could be an act of self-love and self-honoring. Rethink your boundaries and consider how your choices with men are affecting you and contributing to the type of men you are attracting. The next time you are about to get horizontal with someone, please ask yourself these things:

1. Am I just doing this because I think it’s time to or because he seems really into me and I don’t want him to lose interest?

2. Am I doing this hoping it leads to a relationship?

3. Am I engaging in a casual hookup to prove something to myself or someone else?

4. What are my boundaries and do I state them and honor them?

5. Am I doing things that I really don’t want to do or don’t feel good?

6. Am I allowing him to lead and maneuver through a bunch of moves rather than really being in tune with me/my body?

7. Am I more focused on performing or pleasing him rather than on my own physical pleasure?

8. Will I be totally OK and not disappointed AT ALL if I don’t hear from him tomorrow or ever again?

Be honest with yourself. I totally get that when hormones start firing (and especially if you add any kind of alcohol into the mix), your mind is not always that clear. Trust that the guy who is truly your match will go at your pace. Please discard any limiting beliefs that there is some “putting out” timeline that you are supposed to adhere to other than your own inner voice. Wait for the guy who takes you out on real dates, asks you questions about your life and remembers that you really love Diet Dr. Pepper.

All that said…. there are two conditions in which casual hooking up could be possible without the hangover:

The first is when a woman is 100% comfortable and empowered in her own sexuality, totally asks for what she wants and honors her boundaries, has zero expectations and is not looking for a relationship of any kind. The second is when the guy is WAY more into her than she is into him. If a woman feels smothered by a guy she does not really like all that much, she is more likely to chalk it up to a good time and move on. Both of these situations are rare. More often, I see women regretting casual hookups when they attempted to convince themselves they were OK with it (when they weren’t).

Ladies, your body is sacred and your sexuality is an extension of your Spirit. Both are here for you to enjoy and express in ways that feel nourishing and pleasurable. Your heart is connected to your sexuality, so when you open yourself up sexually, know that you are putting your sweet, loving and tender heart on the line. My encouragement to you is to explore ways to experience sensuality and express your sexuality in ways that don’t make you feel bad about yourself! Have fun, date, flirt and make a commitment to be self-honoring and authentic when it comes to hooking up.

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