Thursday, November 21, 2013

Couples That Pray Together Stay Together!

Prayer and Faith….The Glue That Bonds!

The other day I was speaking with a friend about the Christmas season and how I was looking forward to family festivities but dreading going Christmas shopping since my family has everything they need and desire.  Unbeknownst to me, my friend was a Muslim in which his religion does not celebrate Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ.  I asked him if he had ever slipped in a present or two to celebrate the day with his friends, even though he did not celebrate Christmas.  He just took pity on me being naïve about his religion and gently moved the conversation to topics in which we would both be familiar.

Now even though we ended that conversation, it left me wondering about the importance of religion in relationships.  Sure, we’ve all heard about couples who come from different religious backgrounds and made it work.  But at what cost?  Did they have to settle their values and beliefs?  How did the family respond?  Does a piece of them wish they would have found love with someone of a similar religion?  Listen, we’re all grown adults here and can make our own decisions but there’s something about a person’s religious upbringing that is hard to change.

When I think about my family and the marriages in my family that have been together for years and years, they generally have a similar religious background.  I come from an African American family and being raised in an older African American household, you were strongly encouraged to be in church.  Well, we didn’t exactly have that choice, we had to go!  But this brings me back to my point, most of the happily married couples in our community were there too.  Every Sunday morning, you would see them loading up their kids into the van all headed in one direction-church.

Okay, so now I know what you’re thinking.  What does prayer, faith and religion have to do with staying together as a couple?  I pondered this for awhile sitting with my friend of a different religion.  From my own personal experiences and those of my clients, religion and/or spirituality are deeply held beliefs that people operate with to guide themselves in their daily lives.  Your beliefs are a part of who you are or your identity and they have to be in agreement with those that are compatible to you in a successful long term relationship.  So for example, if you’re a devout Christian who reads the Bible regularly, you may be mortified if you dated an Atheist who thinks the Bible is just another book on the shelf.  Similarly, if you’re a serious vegetarian, you probably won’t want to date someone who works in a meat slaughterhouse.

As a dating coach who has also matched singles to other singles, I can tell you that religion and spirituality are the first things I ask when deciding upon whether two people would be a good match.  Even if a couple is open to dating outside of their religion, I would still try to find them other singles closer to their religious backgrounds.  For long term compatibility, this is essential.

No matter what religion you practice, I believe having a similar structured prayer and religious life is key to having a successful relationship.  I’ve listed a few reasons below of how important they are in a relationship. 

1.       Prayer Strengthens The Relationship – Through prayer and faith, I believe you can conquer and overcome mountains.  Couples that can pray together are more likely to be able to tackle any challenges that may come along which reduces the chances of them breaking up.  There’s really nothing like a couple that can stand firm on their faith.  They have something to look forward to in their lives together.  They generate hope.  Even in the midst of the storm, the couples that pray together, stay together.

2.       Strong Network and Community of Friends – Even the Pope has his own community of people that guide him to his greatness.  The church is there to help guide you and support you as a couple.  As a young couple, you need older couples to show you the path to success.  Older couples may need reassurance to continue to build on their success.  It’s a tough world out there but when you have a community of supportive people cheering you on, it becomes a whole lot easier.

3.       Communication Becomes Easier – Couples that share similar religious backgrounds tend to have similar principles they can stand on making their communication less challenging.  It’s not to say they don’t have arguments as I’m sure they do but they know the end goal for their relationship and will always go back to those core values and beliefs which brought them together in the first place.

4.       Hold Each Other Accountable – When you have a spiritual/religious partnership, you hold the other person accountable for their actions.  You have shared core beliefs and models for success as a source of measurement.  When one partner does something to undermine the relationship and that are against those values, the other partner challenges them on it and encourages them to do better.  You’re always held accountable for your actions helping you to grow into a better person which helps to strengthen the relationship.

5.       Family Stability – There is a sense of stability with the couples that pray and worship together in church.  It gives the children a healthy view of a family structure and gives the couple the time to grow.  With the constant change in pace of today’s lifestyles, this is the one place they can come to in order to lay their burdens down and pray for whatever it is on their heart.
Well, hopefully I’ve convinced you of the importance of religion and spirituality in a successful relationship.  Your principles and beliefs are what mold you and make you who you are as a person.  Prayer and Faith is the glue that bonds it all together.  My church elders used to say that it takes a village to raise a child.  I think the modern version should be that it takes a village to raise a family.  With all of the temptation in the world, it’s easy to see why so many couples are coming to church as their first line of defense.  If you are going through issues with your spouse or just need a little more hope, maybe it’s time to give prayer a try.  After all, the couple that prays together stays together.

Good Luck!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dating An Illusion

Are You Deluding Yourself In Your Relationship?
We see what we want to see in relationships.  When we truly love someone, we want to see only the good in that person despite any flaws or less than ideal features of the person.  But if we’re not careful, we can overlook the deeper issues with the person or the relationship and later on regret it.   I coach mainly women and very often I hear of women dating men with commitment issues or who simply don’t share the same goals they have for the relationship.  These women appear to convince themselves that if they become the woman he wants, serve his every need, or stay with him long enough, then he’ll change.  In most of the cases I’ve seen, this really doesn’t seem to be the case.  As time goes on, he seems to drift farther away, perhaps even have several love affairs during their relationship, and by the time she realizes it, years have passed without her having anything to show for it.
I’ve been reminded of this theme watching the new reality TV show series, “Preachers of LA” on the Oxygen network, which showcases the everyday challenges and struggles that preachers go through when leading hundreds and thousands of parishioners in a church organization.  The show has garnered both positive and negative reviews.  But there were a few episodes in particular which caught my attention.  In episodes 2 and 3, we meet the girlfriend of Bishop Noel Jones, who he has been happily “friending” for16 years.  When she asked him about the nature of their relationship, he explained they’re just friends and went on to happily engage her in a game of chess.  Ofcourse, her “made for TV” smile went on to fade as she continued to play “his” game continuing on in the delusion of their relationship. 
To make matters worse, she co-owns a restaurant with him.  He provided her with an investment so she could fulfill her dreams.  You may think asking a friend to help you fund your dreams is a good idea.  But this is different.  Going into business with someone in which you have an emotional investment and no guarantees is never a good thing.  I see this many times with both men and women.  For example, a woman may have a fear of losing her man or the relationship, so she will find a way to hang on to the relationship by either having his baby to bring him closer to her or going into a venture with him so he can’t get away that easily.  This generally doesn’t turn out so well but she deludes herself into believing that as long as I can have a piece of him, there will always be a chance for us to be together.
Now, in this scenario, I don’t blame the bishop for keeping her close to him.  She is a very pretty woman who probably has turned away many men in her life based on her beauty.  So why wouldn’t he take advantage of that?   We can certainly argue that a preacher, who is held to a higher standard, should not be taking advantage of any woman, but he is still a human being.  If you allow people to take advantage of you, they’ll do it every time.  And in this case, as my grandmother would say, why buy the cow if you can have the milk for free?  If he can have a beautiful woman on his arms and still be able to have a bachelor’s lifestyle, why wouldn’t he do it? 
If you are in this type of scenario, I want to help you to see the truth.  I have created a list of questions below.  But this will only work if you can be honest with yourself.  Otherwise, you will continue to live and date an illusion.

Am I Dating An Illusion?
1.       What Are Your Expectations For This Relationship?  Are Your Expectations Being Met?  This is a chance for you to get clear about what it is that you want out of the relationship.  If you’re looking for love and marriage, but your partner can only give you a friendship or worse, be a “sex buddy”, then your expectations are clearly not being met.  It’s better for you to recognize the truth of the situation and then decide if it’s the right one for you.
2.       What Is Your Motivating Factor For Being In This Relationship?  Think about what keeps you in the relationship.  Is it the fear of being lonely, lack of financial resources or fear that you won’t be able to find anyone else?   Once you become clear on what your motivating factors are for staying in the relationship, then you’ll start to understand the reasons that are keeping you there and make better decisions for yourself accordingly.
3.       How Do Other People Perceive This Situation?  Your family and friends will always be the first to see things that you aren’t willing to see in a relationship.  What happens is that we become so blinded by love, that we can’t see anything else.  Your family and friends become your first line of defense helping you to see the light.  If your family and friends perceive the situation differently than you do, then it’s worth the time and effort to figure out why this is the case.
4.       What Are You Willing To Do If Your Expectations Are Not Met In The Relationship?  Decide what your plan of action will be if the relationship does not meet your expectations.  Will you stay in the relationship or will you leave?  Will you confront your partner about the issues or be complacent with the “status quo”.  I would argue that nothing really stays the same.  We’re either growing in a relationship or simply drifting away.  The cost of not taking action is that you’ll end up wasting years with someone who may not be a good fit for you.  If you make the hard decisions now, it will save you time and energy that you could spend on the right partner. 
Sometimes the realities of dating can be so harsh that we would rather accept an illusion than to see the truth for what it is in a relationship.  We do this by deluding ourselves into thinking that a partner or relationship is right for us despite all the signs and red flags pointing against it.  Our illusions keep us safe and in a sense comfortable against the realities of life.   As long as we can create the ideal fantasy of a relationship in our head, we can feel at peace.  Unfortunately, this will only work for so long.
If you do sense that you are in a dead-end relationship in which you’ve created an illusion about the person you are dating, then take special notice of the list of questions I’ve posed to  determine the right path for you.  It takes time to break out of an unhealthy cycle or confront the person you love but it is necessary for both of you to either resolve the issues or move on in life.  Either way, I hope I’ve given you enough information to make the best decision.

Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at or you may inquire about my date coaching and astrological counseling services at

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Survivor’s Guide To Dating in DC

Top 10 Tips To Surviving Dating In The Nation’s Capital
Washington, DC is home to many Americans who come to live the American dream.  You have your politicians, lobbyists, post-graduates, college/frat groups, work transplants, immigrants, and the locals who were born and raised there.  The sights and sounds of DC will leave you breathless including the world famous monuments, museums, theatre attractions and parks and recreation.  When you visit DC, you gain a sense of pride and humility for the greatness of our nation. 
But if you’re single, don’t sell your house and move there just yet!  Dating in DC can be a whole other scenario.  Although DC is one of the greatest wonders of the world, it’s also well known for its challenging dating scene.  I’ve had the great luck of having to maneuver in DC as a post-graduate of Howard University.  While in school, I never had a problem getting a date.  I didn’t even realize there was a dating scene!  I dated, went to school, studied and hung out with my friends on occasion to celebrate the end of the term or semester - typical life of a young student in DC.
It wasn’t until I went to graduate school there that I realized dating in DC was no joke!  As a newly minted MBA, I was ready to tackle the world.  There was one problem, though.  I still wanted to complete my dream of having a happy family.  I had completed my education as my parents asked me to do and now I wanted to raise a family of my own.  I found it to be quite challenging despite the statistics of the increasing amount of singles that relocate there every year.  It was great to have so many singles but not so great when you only want to settle down with one of them.
So why is the dating scene so difficult?  Well, when most people think of DC, they think of the President of the United States, Congressional officials, and the lobbyists.  Nowhere else in this country do you have so much power centrally located and accessible by the “metro line” – a term used by the natives to denote the subway system.  Power is embedded within the culture from the politicians to the college graduates to the average government workers.  Even the most humble among us move there and suddenly become enmeshed within the culture and become power hungry.  I had a girlfriend once say to me, “people move here from the farm or out of the ghetto and then not recognize where they came from”.
Well, I don’t believe dating in DC has to be all bad but it certainly does require serious adjustments if you live there or plan to live there sometime in the future.  I’ve listed a few tips below to help you enjoy your stay.
1.      Be Open And Friendly – When I first moved to DC, I noticed a bit of reserve in the people immediately.  Having travelled all over the world, I found it quite startling how reserved people were in the nation’s capital.  And it wasn’t just me, many of my friends had encountered it as well.  The one way to stand out there is to be fairly open and friendly to people.  Say hello to people as you go to work or school in the mornings.  You will stand out more because most people there are so busy in the “hustle and bustle” of life that they don’t have the time nor feel they have to speak to you.  But when you’re single, you have an extra motivation to get to know people because the next person you speak to may be your wife or husband.
2.      When Meeting People, Avoid Starting The Conversation With “So What Do You Do For A Living? – Every region has its own dialect and this one rings true for DC.  If I had a dollar for every time I hear this question, I would be filthy rich!  This is not a bad question but it can be a turnoff when you don’t even know the person’s name!  When meeting someone, ask questions outside of their career or money status.  It just lets the person know that you are not superficial and that you have genuinely taken an interest in them.
3.      Expand Your Dating Pool Outside Of Your Zip Code – Interestingly enough, there are 2 major surrounding metropolitan areas outside of DC – Northern Virginia and Baltimore.  Most people who live there have a certain ideal commuting area in which they choose to date – usually not more than 30 minutes away or towards the opposite end of the traffic.  I don’t really blame them for their preferences but expanding your dating pool may help you to reach a wider audience of potential mates.  
4.      Don’t Be A Groupie – Even as a young student attending school in DC, I would see the amount of people who come to DC thinking they will meet some wealthy politician or other high profile person who would sweep them off their feet and whisk them off into the life they had always dreamed.  Such wishful thinking will get you into some deep trouble in DC.  Just as you come to DC with “fly by night” dreams so do the “opportunists”.  As a matter of fact, there are probably more of them in DC creeping in the night waiting for some young naïve woman (or man) new to DC to take full advantage of them and leave them with a bad taste in their mouth from living there.
5.      Be Selective (Not Picky!) When It Comes To Dating – This doesn’t just relate to DC but people in all major cities like DC, LA, and New York.  When you’re in a place where there are lots of beautiful singles, you tend to get pickier about your perceived choices.  But just as you think you can do much better than dating the average looking person, so does the other person who probably thinks you’re not so great either.  It’s one of the primary reasons I think people that live in these areas stay single for a very long time.  They’re always looking for the next best thing.  But don’t get me wrong, I believe you should show that you do have some selection criteria to eliminate the people who are just not a good fit for you.
6.      Avoid Becoming A Workaholic – People in DC work a lot.  Even during the government shutdown where it was illegal to work, I overheard someone say they still had to work!  I believe this is the other part of the reason there are so many singles in the area is because they can’t balance their home life with their professional lives.  It is a serious issue, even though it is dismissed by many in the professional help communities (probably because they’re workaholics too!).  If you do live in the area or plan to move here, try to balance your career and personal life.  Take vacations as scheduled.  You’ll notice your colleagues and peers’ working well beyond what is required of them trying to make it up the corporate and government ladder and perhaps even notice how their home lives have suffered because of it.
7.      Be Cautious As To Whom You Call A Friend – If there was one piece of advice I could give to you in moving there,  it would be to be careful who you consider to be a friend.  DC is a big “melting pot” of cultures and ethnicities with people from all over the world.  Because of this, people have come with their own agendas.  In other words, not everyone may have your best interests at heart.  One tip I recommend is to be sure that the people you call as friends have earned the right to have that title.
8.      Avoid Political Conversations, If Possible – I generally discourage talking about politics on the first few dates because in this town people get emotional over their political affiliations.  But you may be surprised at how much you have in common with people outside of your political party.  For that reason, I encourage people to stick to light hearted conversations in the beginning of the dating process.  You don’t want to have to break up with a perfectly good guy or girl over whether we should continue to fund Medicare or not!
9.      Become Online Dating Saavy – Online dating can be a really useful tool in big cities where you can feel like a little fish in a big pond.  Using online dating to find the right mate may save you tons of time that may otherwise be wasted on people who are not the right fit for you.  If you can learn to master online dating, you will be off in no time enjoying the sights and sounds of DC with your new beau!
10.  Know When To Relocate, If Necessary! – If you’ve lived here a long time and still have not found anyone compatible, than it may be time to decide whether you should relocate to another area.  Please do consider whether you have exhausted all options to finding someone because relocation can be a big step.  If you’re not prepared money wise or don’t have a job lined up in another area, then finding a mate will become the least of your worries.  Still, I believe you’re personal/family life is just as important as you’re professional life.  When you are lacking in that area, I don’t believe you can have a happy and fulfilled life.
In short, Dating in DC is certainly not for the faint-hearted.  It takes a lot of tenacity, perseverance and patience to find someone special in the area.  “This certainly isn’t Kansas, Dorothy.”  Of course, there are those few lucky people who meet in college, get married and settle down almost with ease.  Unfortunately, everyone can’t be that lucky.  That’s why I’ve listed my tips to help you get through the maze.  If you stay true to who you are as a person, follow my tips, I’m sure you’ll be fine.  And if you find that DC is not for you but you’ve enjoyed your stay, than hopefully you will have created the best memories of your life.
Good Luck!
For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at or you may inquire about my date coaching and astrological counseling services at

Monday, September 30, 2013

Can Astrology, Numerology or Mysticism Help You Find Love?

Many techniques claim to help people find love…but can they?  Let’s see!
I’ve been naturally very intuitive all of my life.  Even when I didn’t know how to use my abilities, I could still see and sense things happening before they actually occurred.  I usually have an eerie sensation or very clear dreams right before an event happens.  I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve sensed or felt in my body before they happened.  Even in relationships, I can intuitively sense if a relationship will work out long term by the end of the 1st date, even when the guy hasn’t done anything wrong to warrant such suspicion.  I used to deny my abilities but as I’ve grown and matured, I’ve accepted them as gifts that can be used to help guide me in my life.
Along with my intuitive skills and abilities, I enjoy using techniques such as astrology and numerology to make interpretations or predictions as well.  They help me to clarify what my intuition is telling me so that I can articulate it to others in order to help them.  I’ve recently met and interacted with lots of people who would like to learn more about Mysticism and the Esoteric Sciences to help guide them in their quest to find love so I’ve decided to list the most popular methods below.
1.       Astrology – The study of the relationship between the stars and planets in the universe at a person’s birth date and how they influence a person’s life.  When most people think of Astrology, they think of the 12 signs of the Zodiac.  However, there is much more to Astrology than just knowing your Sun sign.  If you hire a professional Astrologer, the person should be able to provide you with a natal chart interpretation which helps you to understand why you may exhibit certain behaviors in your relationships or act a certain way in different environments.  They should be able to uncover your deepest needs and desires in love as opposed to what you think they are for long term compatibility.  You can also learn about the best times for marriage or when someone significant may enter your life.
2.       Using Psychics – According to Wikipedia, these are people who have abilities to perceive information which is hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception.  Most people are turned off from psychics because of what they’ve seen and heard on television from people who claim to be psychics having real powers when they’re really being opportunistic taking advantage of people who have sought their help.  However, I believe a good psychic should be able to help you with a greater understanding of what’s happening in your love life at this time and be able to answer any burning questions you may have with it.  They should also be realistic and not tell you what you want to hear but need to hear in order to make any types of adjustments in your life.  You should be able to walk away from the session with a sense of relief in your own awareness and perhaps even a sense of hope.
3.       Numerology – The study of the relationship between your birth numbers and how they can affect a person’s behavior and expression life.  It’s one of the easiest methods to learn but there’s so much more to understanding  what those numbers mean as it applies to you.  If you hire a numerologist, the person should be able to provide you with a blueprint of your strengths, challenges, and even the life cycles you may be in according to their methodology for interpretation.  Many people prefer this technique over Astrology and many others use both in their readings.
4.       Dream Interpretation Analysis – This is a method of tapping into your unconscious self as you sleep at night.  Have you ever had a dream which felt so real that you woke up and did not know it was a dream?  In dream interpretation, symbols and imagery as they appear to you in your dreams are decoded to help you understand it and decipher its clues to helping you in your current life.  For example, you may be able to identify any opportunities that you may be consciously unaware of and any hidden dangers that you may have missed.  Dreams can really tell you a lot about yourself if you can just begin to pay attention to the message.
In summary, I believe all of the above techniques and services listed are great ways for becoming more aware of your own character and how you relate to others in relationships.  Some techniques can provide you with more specific information such as Astrology and Numerology.  While other services such as using a Psychic or using Dream Interpretations may give you a high level view of yourself and any situations you face at this particular time.
So can mysticism and the esoteric sciences help you find love?  Well, there are certainly no guarantees to finding love.  You create your own destiny by your thoughts, deeds and actions.  These techniques can only help guide you in the right direction by presenting you with a wealth of knowledge and information in order for you to make better decisions.  I also believe in having a strong faith in God, believing in yourself, and practicing a little patience as keys for success in your journey.
Good Luck!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Breaking Up: Excuses You Tell Yourself To Avoid The Inevitable

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…But Does It Have To Be?
You’ve put so much time and energy into the relationship and really do want to see your partner do well in life.  But you know in your heart this relationship isn’t working for you anymore.  You don’t want to seem cold and heartless because you care so much about this person.   You love the person as a friend but not someone in which you wish to be in an intimate relationship.
You know it’s the end but you stay in there anyway.  You’re long past talking, couples therapy or any remedial techniques that couples go through in order to salvage their relationship.  Your heart is telling you to let it go.  Maybe tomorrow you tell yourself avoiding the inevitable.  Maybe the person will change and I won’t have to go through with the break up.  But it never happens.  You’ve been here before..time and time again.  You’re tired, miserable and your health is fading fast. 
So why do we stay in relationships when we know they aren’t in our best interests any longer?  I’ve listed several excuses below that we tell ourselves to avoid the inevitable.  The truth is that it takes two people to complete a relationship and when one person isn’t happy, there’s really no relationship because eventually the unhappy person will go elsewhere.  Sure, you can “hang in there” and see if things get any better but if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve probably already tried and it hasn’t worked. 
Let’s see how many excuses we can check off our list below of why we like to avoid a break up.
1.       My Partner Says They Need Me – Maybe they do need you but that would mean they are dependent on you to make them happy.  They have to find the strength to create their own path in life.  You can’t live their life for them!  They are here to learn their own lessons no matter how much pain it causes for them.  The best thing you can do for your partner is to be supportive of them and help them to get back in the game of life and conquer whatever obstacles come their way.  And you don’t have to be in a relationship with this person but support them as a friend and let them know you are still there for them.
2.       It’s The Economy Stupid! – If you’re staying in there for the economy, you’re going to be unhappy for a very long time.  We don’t know when the economy is going to get back to where it was before the recession so you may want to make alternate plans.  Financial worries are very real if you’ve been living with someone for a very long period of time and have become accustomed to that person’s income for your lifestyle.  But so is your health and happiness.  You’ll have to ask yourself how long you can stay with this person if the economy does not turn around soon.
3.       I Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure – You’re not a failure if you’ve at least made an attempt at success.  Those that failed are the ones who’ve never tried.  What will my family and friends think if I tell them my relationship didn’t work out?  They’ll sympathize with you and know it was in your best interests.  And who cares what they think?  You are the one that has to interact with this person on a daily basis.  If the relationship is bringing you down, you would be the one to have deal with this-not them.
4.       I’m Staying For The Kids – Well, I’m a big proponent of staying in the relationship for kids, but not if the relationship is making you miserable.  I think the kids sense this and wonder why you’re staying in a relationship that makes you unhappy.  They see this as a child growing up and emulate this scenario in their own homes.  The best thing you can do for the kids is to end the relationship and at least, they will see you as an empowered individual.
5.       No one Else Will Want Me –And what if someone else does want you?  They’re not going to get the opportunity to even meet you while you’re still with your partner.  You haven’t given them the chance simply because you have not chosen to leave your “nest”.
6.       I Don’t Want To Be Alone – And this one is the killer!  If I had to pick one excuse that keeps people in relationships for years and years, it would be this one.  Listen, I’m not going to tell you that you won’t be alone, but being alone sometimes is for the best.  Sometimes, we get so caught up in serving our partner’s needs that we forget about our own.  We lose ourselves and become dumbfounded as to how it happened.  This could be the best thing that has ever happened to you because you’ll have taken your power back and allowed yourself the freedom to move on to the next journey.
Relationships are here to help us grow and evolve as better people.  When a relationship becomes stagnant or we’re no longer getting our needs met, then it’s essentially over.   Either we find the strength to end it ourselves or life will end it for us through unfortunate situations.  It’s always better when we can become empowered to make better decisions for our lives rather than let life take over for us.   Breaking up will always be hard to do but if we focus on who we are and what we want out of life, I think we’ll find the motivation we need to do what’s best.

Are All Girl Clubs Keeping Women Single?

Sisterhood vs Singlehood…does having sisterhood among women come at a cost?
I’ve always been a girly girl as I love the color pink, wear mainly dresses and skirts, and would not be caught dead without my earrings.   Even when I was in college, I remember waiting in anticipation to see if my favorite sorority would accept me into their organization.  My roommate and I were so happy when we were accepted and began to purchase all of the latest paraphernalia including t-shirts, socks, hats, jackets, and underwear…yes underwear!  My college sweetheart at the time was also in a fraternity so I was head over heels excited to be a part this culture and walk in the footsteps of the many women who came before me in this great organization.  It was a dream come true for me.
However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve started to question the very ideals I held as a child and a young adult.  For example, my job allows me to travel all over the world where I get to meet people from all walks of life.  It’s really opened my eyes to the differences between the Western and Eastern cultures when it comes to dating and relationships.  For example, I’ve noticed in some of the cultures that their dating styles are quite different.  They couldn’t imagine having a “ladies night” without men.  When I mention this concept to them, they are dumbfounded and questioned the very foundation that I’ve come to understand here in America.  It really made me take a second look at how we as Americans have created these types of female activities and clubs and how it may be keeping us as women perpetually single.
Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin-men.  Men do enjoy bonding with other men in activities such as sports and perhaps even music.  But unless it’s to watch a game or play in a music band, they very rarely hang out the way women do in bars, clubs or other social activities.  Sure, I’ll make the exception of a young male who, in his twenties, will occasionally hang out with the “fellas” to go pick up women in a bar or club, but as he grows up and matures, he tends to go solo.  Yet, women on the other hand do quite the opposite, which is, unless they’re married, continue to hang out in all girl clubs, even when they would prefer to go out with their single male friends. 
I’ve also heard from many men that it is intimidating talking to a woman and asking her out on a date when she is within a group.  They say it’s much easier when she is by herself or out with 2 or 3 of her closest girlfriends.  Just think about it.  Men know they take the risk of being rejected by the girl they wanted to ask out, but when his chosen woman is within a group, he risks rejection by not just her but all of the people in that group. 
So what is the rationale behind the “all girl clubs”?  Well, I believe one of the reasons is because of our history in this country.  Our history dates back to the feminist or women’s movement where women were tired of being treated unfairly regarding family and work life creating a movement that would force the country to look at women differently in terms of being a valuable force in the economic interests of the country.  This was a great thing for women and even better for the country.  I believe this was the greatest bonding experience for women and we quickly seized on those opportunities realizing our strength came in numbers within those organizations.  However, this power has come at a huge cost.  Even though women made valuable strides when it came to asserting their independence from men, they still wanted to be courted and dined by them too.
I also believe that it’s a whole lot easier to deal with your own sex than to deal with the opposite.  Why go through the trouble in trying to understand how the opposite sex thinks, feels, and does when you can just go with the group which is similar to you and not go through the hassle.  I’ve coached a lot of women and many of them seem very content in these types of clubs while silently “crying in the dark”.
To help women with this dilemma, I’ve listed a few types of co-ed clubs and activities below.  These clubs help women find comfort and camaraderie with other women and yet also give them the freedom to meet single men as well.
1.       Team Sports Fan Clubs – If you are a fan of certain sports teams, than why not join a fan club?  This is a great way to meet men who also are a fan of your team.  What great way to meet someone single and celebrate your team’s victory. 
2.       Small Business Entrepreneurial groups – These groups are popping up everywhere as more and more people want information on how to start their own businesses.  When it comes to business, you’ll see a fair amount of both men and women in these types of groups.  Even if you’ve never wanted to start your own business, you may be able to get great contacts in case you need any future services.
3.       Tennis/Golf/Running clubs –These clubs are fun and not only can you bond with other women, meet single men, but get a good work out in as well.  There are generally a lot of outings they provide so members can meet each other along with competitions among members and eventually the camaraderie you’ll share being a member of the club.
4.       Political Groups – Politics are not everyone’s favorite topic on their list of things to talk about on a date but this type of group will ensure you at least have this one thing in common.  I’ve seen so many people connect through political conventions and conferences so I would be hard pressed not to put this one on the list.  Who knows, maybe you will meet the next town Mayor!
5.       Boxing/Martial Arts/High Intensity Fitness Clubs – If you are a highly athletic woman, these types of clubs may be for you.  They tend to be filled with both men and women who are serious about getting in shape.  The good news is that you’ll meet someone else on the same level as you athletically with the same thing in common increasing your odds of meeting Mr. Right!
6.       Wealth Or Investment Building Clubs – If you want to learn more about how to have financial success through investments, then this is the right club for you.  Both men and women join these clubs with the hope of growing their investments and learning tips around money management.  This could be a great club for someone who is new to investments and really wants to know how to manage their money or meet a certain someone who can teach them!
7.       Religious Singles Groups – Religion and spirituality bonds many people together who walk the same path in life.  This is generally a deal breaker on many single’s list if their potential partner does not share their same religion or philosophy.  At least, meeting someone here will ensure that you do share an important value and opens the door to many other possibilities.
8.       College Alumni Clubs – Education is a fundamental value that many people would like to share with their potential spouse.  These clubs are full of men and women who reminisce about their past college lives while helping to build the future for future alumni. 
So are all girl clubs keeping women single?  Well, my objective in writing this article was not to publicly criticize all girl clubs but to make women think more critically about their purpose in joining one and list a few other alternatives.  There is nothing wrong with women building organizations together or going out to “ladies night” from time to time.  Yet, if you’ve been single for a long period of time and are a member of a number of these types of clubs or participate in a lot of these activities, this may be the reason as you may be defeating your own purpose.  Maybe it’s worth re-evaluating your purpose and your needs at this point in your life and determining if these clubs and activities are still a good fit. 
Just Food for Thought!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Game On Ladies! The Top 5 Dos and Don’ts To Watching Football!

Sarah joined fans to sing the team anthem….only problem was she sang the anthem of the other team!
I’ll admit I’m a HUGE football fanatic.  On any given day, you’ll see me at tailgate parties, painting my face with the team colors or performing odd rituals in hopes that my team will win the championship.  Over the years, the game of football has quickly become a huge popular past time beating out baseball as the great American sport.  But don’t take my word for it, just go to the grocery store on any given Sunday morning and watch the amount of people wearing the team colors in your city or state.
I encourage women to get into the game of football because men love women who follow and understand the game.  Sure, they would date a woman who isn’t into the game but I’m sure most of them would prefer a woman who is so they can understand why they dedicate their whole life…ahem…I mean Sundays following it.
So I’ve decided to write a few do’s and don’ts for women who are interested in getting into the sport and would love to have a few tips on what to do to help make their transition successful.
1.       Pick A Favorite Team – Check out the local home team in your city or state.  It’s much more fun to share in the victory (or defeat!) with the locals who follow the game than to pick a team in a different state where you can’t join in the festivities.   
2.       Be Knowledgeable About Football And Your Team! – I’ve seen guys light up when a woman knows her stuff about football.  It’s like they’ve met their future wife.  If you can “talk the talk”, they will love you even more.  Now if you can serve up a great entrée of Buffalo wings and cook a mean pot of Chilli, then you’ll be in there girlfriend!
3.       Make Friends With Other Fans (Preferably Men If You’re Single!) – Absolutely!  Now ladies, this is your time to shine.  There’s plenty of single men lurking  at the game or in sports bars and would love to see an attractive woman in which to converse about sports and football.  Even if you don’t “click” with any of those men, you’ll have met new friends (who can introduce you to more single male friends!)..wink wink!
4.       Break Out That Cute Little Jersey – You know we love fashion.  Why not buy a cute jersey or break out that cute outfit sporting your team colors.  You can be fashionable and also fun at the same time.  Just don’t overdo it!  This is where you’ll shine and…um…catch the attention of a certain someone!
5.       Learn To Drink Beer – Ladies, I know how you feel with this one.  Many of us have not acquired the taste of beer but if you’re at a sports bar, you may find it to be a lot cheaper to learn how to drink it.  I have a great tip for you on this one.  Ask the bartender if they have a sweeter version of a beer which should help you transition into drinking it.   They usually do have a brand of beer that is sweet just in case there’s a virgin drinker in the house!
1.        Flip Flop Between Teams – I’ll admit this one is a pet peeve of mine.  If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, please don’t jump on the Washington Redskin’s bandwagon when you’re team starts losing.  It just makes you seem like you aren’t very loyal to your team.  I’m sure if you’re cute enough, men won’t really care, just think you aren’t very serious about the game.
2.       Wear The Wrong Team Colors To A Game – If you can’t pick a favorite team but get invited to watch a  game, just wear the local team colors so you won’t stand out in the crowd, unless of course you really want to!  You don’t have to be a fan but it does show you’re at least respectful of the local area team.
3.       Tell Your Man You Want To “Talk” During The Game – This one is brutal!  Ladies, I know you have things on your mind and need to share them with your significant other but unless they’re life threatening emergencies, try to wait at least until after the game is over.  Men watch the game as a way to escape reality for a few hours and starting a serious conversation during that time will not go over very well.  You want him to be fully focused on you rather than tell you what you want to hear in that moment.
4.       Giving A Pep Talk To Your Man If The Team Loses –  You let him know “it’s just a game” but he feels it’s more than just a game.  It’s about the championship.  But win or lose, he’s prepared either way the game goes.  He’s been through this a million times.   He’ll get over it.
5.       Change The Channel During The Game – Picture this…you’re watching TV…the quarterback throws the ball….and CLICK!  The worse thing that you can do is turn the channel and it’s the game winning ball!  You wouldn’t like it if someone changed the channel on you so don’t do it to your friends and family. 

What’s there not to like about the game of football?  It brings together people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to share in the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat with fellow fans.  And not to mention, it’s a great way to meet that special someone.  So check the schedule, grab your girlfriends and spend a day at the game or your local sports bar.  Just try a few of the  tips from having a favorite team to being knowledgeable about the game  may just score you brownie points with Mr. Right.  And who knows, you may even decide to wear the team colors at your wedding!

Please DO add to this list of Do’s and Don’ts or share your own below.
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