Married at First Sight…REVIEW

By now, you should know that I LOVE Lifetime! So you can imagine how excited I have been to watch my favorite reality show on Thursday nights….Married at First Sight on the Lifetime network because apparently A&E dropped it from its network or something.

If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is basically the Americanized version of the Danish show Married… that follows 3-4 couples who agree to get married…at first sight. They are paired by matchmakers and provided a series of psychological and compatibility tests to identify matches. If they find a match, the couple then gets married, goes on a honeymoon, and begin to live together as husband and wife over a short period of time (about 6-8 weeks).  At the conclusion of that period, they can decide to stay married, or get a divorce.

Before you chalk it up as BS…. this is the 5th season. And while the success rate of the couples is fairly LOW….I LOVE it!

Anyway, I am about 4 weeks into Season 5…and I am already ready for a DIVORCE! At present, I am calling a one and a possible (yup…like Spades). The other couple…they can barely make it off the damn island! Continue reading Married at First Sight…REVIEW

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

Making the decision to become physically intimate with your partner comes with a list of questions and what-ifs when you are a dating (single) mom.  “Are we ready for this next level?” “How does this change the relationship?” But the biggest one, without a doubt…. “Your place or mine?”

Surely, when you enjoy the comforts of dating without children involved, or even when you are married before kids, you probably had any ANYTIME, ANYWHERE…not now, but RIGHT NOW kind of attitu Continue reading “Mommy, what are you doing?”

Words Not Said…

“It is no little wisdom for you to keep yourself in silence and in good peace when evil words are spoken to you, and not to turn your heart to God and to be troubled with judgment of others.” ~ Thomas A. Kempis

lady-602881_1920When I was in college I began to experience  a liberation of myself. After a break up with my high school boyfriend, and of course venturing into the real world alone, I decided that I didn’t want to be “committed…” as if being in a relationship comes with a stray jacket and padded walls to lock in your insanity.

I just wanted to have fun and enjoy my good college years of hanging with friends and getting into a good club or party!

And with the “clubbin” came the heat…and prowl of the vultures who lurked in them.  And why not…? I mean I was in a college capital with young military men who were either pending deployments or just getting back.

AND… I can tell you ladies…there were no shortages of the men back then.

But at 18, I wasn’t looking for a husband and for damn sure those guys weren’t looking to make me a “honest woman” at the time. So I enjoyed the freedoms of college life… especially with living in an off campus dorm.

One Friday night I met a nice looking military guy. He definitely didn’t approach me because I was this well put together young lady. If I can be honest, I was one of them damn girls twerking in the club like I was auditioning for Uncle Luke!

AYYYYEEEE!!!!

Yup… My turn-up was REAL!

Anyway, he asked to take me out the next day, so he rolled through. He had this nice little white Mazda with rims. CLEAN! And even though he was 5’8…he looked good driving it with his fresh fade and caramel skin. So we rolled up to eat at CiCi’s…. yup the damn CiCi’s… AND to make it so bad…I DIDN’T EVEN GET THE BUFFET.

Needless to say we went back to my room to hang out and chill. I’m not sure what he had in his sauce, but he was getting a tad bit too close and personal. With the kissing on my neck, unwantedly, I grew uncomfortable. But I said nothing.

I remember I was wearing a jean dress with buttons down the front. It was such a cute dress with more of a green wash to it. His hands groped and grabbed me around my breast area. Despite my discomfort, I said nothing.

After all… he liked me, right?

His hand crept up my dress between my legs, but I pushed it away. He persisted. I resisted. Finally he yanked my dress and a few of my buttons unsnapped. I remember grabbing it closed and curling up on my bed. I was frozen….NUMB.

He pulled me closer to him, and climbed on top of me, again placing his disgusting kisses on my neck and body.  And I said nothing.

As he began to tug at his belt and jeans, I finally asked, “What are you doing?” only to be met with “What do you think?”

“No…No…No…” I mumbled. Weakened by confusion. The feeling of powerlessness crept over me, and my only thought at the time was, “Did I invite sex because I invited him over?”  As he continued to touch my body and press his hardness against me, I… said… NOTHING.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to hear a loud knock at my door. My classmate who lived across the hall came over to borrow my notes the week’s prior class. The relief I felt when he walked into my room and stood guard. In that moment, I kept thinking to myself how much I loved that boring class.

The guy left and never said a word. SAAM

After passing my notes over, my classmate looked at me and asked, “You good?” I nodded my head. Embarrassed and ashamed to even say word.

Shortly after… I shaved my hair off, kept to my comfortable clothes, and prepared for basketball season. I remained close to my friends, but even still… I never said a word. Even when I grew a bit depressed, I chalked it up as being homesick and dealing with the pressures of not basketball.

I started to detach from things, and eventually I blocked that part of my life out. I buried it. I moved on, and I didn’t think it mattered. But it did. It truly affected my sexuality, trust and security, and sense of self in many ways for years to come. Took me well into my late 20s to heal and forgive myself for it.

While I won’t go too deep, I thought to myself back then that it was easier to have “sexual control” than to actually talk about what happened. You know to be a little wild and go with the flow of things, than to actually open up because I feared that I would again invite the unwanted: the criticism of my decisions, mistakes, and shortcomings. To be judged by a culture of peers who would think…. YOU invited it.

But the feelings and perception is a reality as many “victims of sexual assault often experience short-term consequences including guilt, shame, fear, numbness, shock and feelings of isolation” (http://www.nsvrc.org).

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year, as with many other years since the movement began in the 1970s, draws attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and is a violation of human rights and dignity. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:

  • 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives
  • 1 in 71 men in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape
  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lifetime

This month the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is calling on groups whose influence can play a critical role in changing the culture to “Engage New Voices” — from churches, to Greek organizations, faith leaders, coaches and mentors, survivors and caregivers.

A friend and colleague reminded me during our dialogue about the devastation in Ohio and the deafening silence of mental health (particularly among the African American community), that in order to continue to enlarge these conversations, we have to be diligent to invite such organizations to share about these “sensitive” topics at every turn. And he is absolutely correct.

I encourage you to share and take part in the conversation and dialogue. To lead with listening to the voices of survivors so that you too can share the words that may not have been said.

Thanks for allowing me the safe place to share. I invite your comments and please pass this on to another person in your day.

~M. Danielle

 

Single…or nah?

I am a little guilty. I am that friend that seems to go M.I.A. when I am boo’d up! I’m sorry. But I do. So it should be no surprise, that I have gone M.I.A. because “boo” has my time. But…I promise, I am still just as committed to you too!

So what have I have been doing in the past few weeks, and who is the “boo” who has stolen my time and attention…?

well….sorry to disappoint you, but BOO… it’s not just a guy!

Building my empire has kept me QUITE busy these days. Do you realize how freaking time consuming it is to do social media posts to Instagram and Facebook, manage two blogs, content development and website management, keep an email marketing list, plus manage my consulting clients for training and speaking engagements and respond to emails and questions from coaching clients? And this women’s retreat that I am planning, workbooks, e-coaching programs, PLUS I just moved into a new office and I have yet to unpack or settle in…..

YIKESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

Let’s not even add in the fact that I am A BUSY co-parenting Mom with all the primary responsibilities and daily duties (BASICALLY… #singlemom).

So that means my hips have been running behind my 6 year old building Legos and playing Ninja Turtles or Avengers (complete with costumes of course), tending to homework 3 nights a week, participating in PTA meetings or functions and completing my officer responsibilities as the Secretary (and boy is our PTA busy with great family engagement and involvement), AND getting it in on the field as Team Mom of my son’s flag football team (Go Chiefs!).

All I can say about that relationship is that I’m ready to pull my hair out, and my lil natural teeny weeny afro needs to grow!

Hell, I am lucky to see a shower daily, sleep for 6.5hrs a day, and make it to my Zumba classes and the gym! Yay…GO ME! Because these 15 extra pounds look great in some areas, but not in my midsection.

And the Mr. ….because that’s what you really wanna know, right? So where does he fit in? Believe it or not, we literally schedule our time together. Like seriously, pencil you in  kind of thing. BeSingle or Nahtween all of my “building my empire” as Super Mom, and him running things in his career, AND us living 2 hours apart…. we have to schedule our time.

And guess what…I marvel and relish in the time that we get to spend together. ALONE! And that means I completely unplug. No emails. No work. Just the two of us.

Which is how it should be and how I LIKE it!

To be honest, if we had lived closer to each other, this thing that we are building would pretty much be non-existent. 

Truth is, distance and our busy-ness has been great because it has allowed us the time to get to know each other. We talk about our dreams and aspirations, things that happen in the day, our plans for the week, and the conversations seem endless.  Did I mention I am a sapiosexual? Conversations and intellect will get you VERY far with me.

Hey….

…get your mind…

….out of the gutter.

So… SINGLE…? Undenyably…YES! Because just like building my empire, building a relationship is about investing time, effort, and you into what you desire.

AND…THAT…TAKES…PATIENCE.

I didn’t just jump into my business and say, “let’s do it.” NO! I pitched around some ideas and drafted up some supporting details. I made a business plan and found that some things didn’t work and needed tweaking. I launched my services, and I continue to make adjustments that tailor to my IDEAL market.?

You have to put that same effort into a new relationship.

  • You have to pitch around the idea and consider some supporting details. Am I ready to date? Am I okay with being rejected? Do I know where to even look for potential dating partners? Should I start with online or blind dating first?Single and Happy - Sex and the City
  • You have to make a plan. Are we dating exclusively? Are we going to be intimate before monogamy? Do I have a sitter when I need that alone time? —> very important single mamas!
  • You have to launch and adjust. Where is the relationship going? Can I let go of the control and let things develop naturally? Can I let go of a relationship that is not promising despite how much I like the person? Are moving too fast?

Biggest and most parallel to building my empire and building a relationship is the fact that you have to JUMP! Let go of fear and talking yourself out of it, and JUST put yourself out there.

Yeah, businesses can fail or you may have to step back with some things because you get too ambitious. But SO WHAT?! You learn from the mistakes and mishaps. Just like when you got all excited about “him” and post pictures and then tell your girlfriends only to realize he is a nevermind….and guess what? YOU TRY AGAIN!

Learn and grow! With that…. I will keep learning and growing. And building.

Look forward to the things coming soon. Because just as I am growing in my business, so is my reach to you. You can expect more from my dating experiences (past and present). I will also be featuring guest bloggers, really good tips, PLUS some things for my single moms who are dating.

So drop me a line or two if you if you’re still with me and share what you been up to! Don’t forget to share with your friends and follow me on IG: @bfecoach!

~xoxo~

 

Can You REALLY be Friends with Your Ex?

I think that many can agree that they have close friends of the opposite sex, and that the friendship is solely based on the concept of being JUST friends. In fact, many can find beauty, joys, and headaches of being friends with someone of the opposite sex.

I have my “bros” that I treat more like my girlfriends with beards. With my best buds, I can be unapoletically me without a thought of turning them off…because..honestly, I don’t care for them be turned on in the first place.

Well….About a week ago I had this crazy dream about an ex-boyfriend who I considered to be a “just a friend.” Legit friend, without benefits. Well in the dream, I received an uninvited visit from my ex while I was entertaining my “dream man”.  When I say “dream man” I literally mean my DREAM MAN. I mean this guy was EVERYTHING that I want in a guy – caring, considerate, affectionate, honest, attentive, and trustworthy….and gorgeously handsome.

Now, the old flame was just a little too much for me in this dream. He blatantly told me he was not interested in any relationship with me, but he proceeded to share with all of his friends via social media how he showed up at my home only to find out that I was seeing someone new, as if we had a “thing” going on.  As you can imagine, my dream boyfriend DUMPED ME!

……COLD…..!

I woke up in a panic, and asked myself…. What does this mean?

For me, it meant one thing…. you REALLY can’t be friends with your ex. As much as I believe that men and women of the opposite sex can be just friends, I think it’s a different ballgame when it comes to exes.

In particular, I question the respect for boundaries that you or your ex will have for each other, especially as you transition into new relationships. I mean do you actually tell your ex that you are dating someone new and chat about how head over heels you are for a new man or woman in your life?

…..YEAH…AWKWARD….!

Or how about when you and your new love are not doing so hot. Do you actually share this with your ex? Would you be concerned that they would be opportunistic and try to take advantage of a vulnerable or weak you?

….UMM….SET UP….!

The other thing my dream taught me about being friends with exes is that keeping your exes around as friends is like carrying baggage or the reminders of your old relationship.  In my opinion, you set yourself up for the possibility of having your old feelings or your old flame “creep” into your new relationship.  Again, it makes me question your (or your exes) intention with maintaining such a close or ongoing relationship.

Lastly, my dream taught me that in order to truly enter into a new relationship with someone else, you cannot have the threat of someone else waiting around. When it is over with your ex, keep your space and distance. Again, establish those clear boundaries with him or her.  And be prepared to drop your ex if he can’t respect you. You don’t have to tell him or her everything about your life, but they should not just be dropping by unannounced..definitely not uninvited…and they should not be invading your personal life with 50-11 questions like “who are you dating?”

AND that goes for your child’s co-parent too! While you can maintain friendship as parents….there are BOUNDARIES. But, that’s a conversation for another day.

To my followers, what are your thoughts? Can you be/are you friends with your exes?

8 Date Night Ideas to Promote Stronger Connections

Ahh….Dating! While some can cringe at the idea of having to open up to someone or expose their vulnerabilities and fears of “putting yourself out there,” dating gives us a way to build greater connection and emotional (and physical) intimacy with another person.

Of course one of the challenges is choosing a place to go. UnDENYably, I am an “I dunno” or “It doesn’t matter” kinda woman. That means, I am generally open to anything so long as it brings me closer to a person. This drives a guy ABSOLUTELY crazy because he just wants me to choose a place.  Sometimes I struggle because I love more creative and exotic things, but I don’t want to seem like I’m “high maintenance.” Continue reading 8 Date Night Ideas to Promote Stronger Connections

My First Valentine

Valentine’s Day is behind us, and without a blink, the stores have tucked away items for next year or marked down canodies and chocolates. For those who are still sulking about not having a Valentine on Tuesday, please stop. You have been single the last 45 days of 2017, and before that there was a whole 365 days to get prepared. On a more compassionate side, ladies and gentleman… it is just one day.

And rightfully so, I am so GLAD it’s over. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m “single.” Because quite honestly, I have been single for quite a few of them, and I have never been more happy to be single and in love with who I am. In fact others feel just like me. According to a National Survey, indicated that 72% of singles enjoy Valentine’s Day and 50% of singles are proud of their single status on Valentine’s Day. Moreover, 24% of singles add to the hype of Valentine’s Day purchases by buying gifts for themselves. And, if any of the “singulars” are anything like me…. you just continued to move forward with your routine. After all, it was Tuesday and I had some consulting to do.

But Valentine’s Day really made me do some serious reflecting on my love life, and my dissatisfaction with Valentine’s Day overall. I discovered that even though I absolutely adore the gifts and seeing the posts on social media of couples across the world celebrating LOVE, I really could care less to receive anything or cater to the hype. And this is not to barrage anyone with my feelings that “Valentine’s Day should be everyday,” but I can admit that I unDENYably just don’t like to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

My love affair began and ended with Cupid when I was in middle school. Yes, middle school. Am I harboring feelings from childhood wounds? Probably. Do I care? Not at all. But I remember being in middle school and celebrating my FIRST Valentine’s Day. Let me just say that while I’m  a sure fire hot mom with the MILF status….(you don’t have to agree, but I own my sexy)… I was quite the Ugly Betty back in the day. I was a tomboy beyond no compare, and I HATED to actually wear clothes that showed my feminine frame. I was an athlete by all definitions. I enjoyed wearing hats and basketball shorts or sweat pants, baggy jeans and big shirts, and my hair…. ugh, I dreaded going to Ms. Maggie’s Beauty Shop. So, yeah I wasn’t at all lined up to receive Valentine’s Day gifts from the boys at school.

….So I thought…

Enter the boy I will call “MJ”. MJ was my buddy. We played sports in the same recreation league and we became fast friends. We talked in class and even exchanged phone numbers to talk after school. You can imagine how geeked I was when he asked me about what to get a girl for Valentine’s Day at lunch on February 13th. I was so excited when I shared ideas… balloons, card, a rose, and candy. Ooh… and small bear. MJ seemed like he was taking some good notes too because he thanked me and told me he would see me at school the next day.

So that night, I asked my dad to run me to the store so I could get a gift for MJ. Something cool to let him know how much I would appreciate the gift he was going to give me. I picked up a funny card and a box of chocolates. I mean after all, it was a boy. This day wasn’t about him. So the next day, I went to school, met MJ at his locker. We talked sports stuff, and then when the bell rang to get to class I reached into my backpack to grab his chocolates and card.

Now, MJ didn’t know that I saw him getting off the bus with my gift, but I figured that he stuffed it in his locker for the end of the day. Keeps people from asking questions about who gave me a gift, right? Smart move and I was eager all day. teddy-2061220_1920

Did I mention, I actually dressed up for Valentine’s Day in real girl clothes…which by definition was the dress shirt and sweater vest combo and a pair of jeans and clogs…. you get the point. MIDDLE SCHOOL! UGLY BETTY. Ooh… and I even tried to press out my hair!

Anyway, the end of the day came… and I headed over to MJ’s locker to get my gift. As I was walking up, guess what happened?

MJ was handing my gift over to “Elizabeth!” That B!+%=H STOLE MY VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT! She gave MJ a hug and thanked him as she added his gift to the handful of gifts she received. Yes, she was super pretty and all the boys liked her. He must have felt so accomplished to take a number in line because he had the biggest grin on his face.

I turned around and headed back down the hall, pretending to not hear him as he called my name.

That afternoon, I went home and cried my poor little eyes out. it was the first time I had ever cried over a boy (except for that time when Cortland Finnegan didn’t want me to play on the football team – yeah….I’m calling him out!).

Anyway, my dad came home from work, and asked me the infamous “What’s wrong daughty?” I told him about my heartbreaking moment, and he laughed at me. Seriously! He said that MJ was a short little wimp anyway and I could take him in both football and basketball so I shouldn’t cry. I dried up my face, because my dad was right….sorta.

I didn’t talk to MJ much after that. Eventually, we weren’t as cool, and I moved to another state after middle school so who knows where he is today. I never looked at Valentine’s Day the same. Even though I did have some REALLY awesome Valentines from high school and into adulthood, I have never quite forgotten how hurt I felt on my FIRST Valentine’s Day.

And I have received some pretty good gifts  over the years, many of which I still have and cherish the memory. I am thankful and happily exchange gifts, if my guy wants, and if he doesn’t it’s okay too.

To my followers…. now that Valentine’s Day is over…. what is your favorite or least favorite memory of Valentine’s Day? Do you remember the FIRST Valentine’s Day you celebrated with a crush or boyfriend/girlfriend? Leave me your memories  below.

And remember…. SELF-LOVE is LOVE we should celebrate on Valentine’s Day too!