Having Our Cake and Eating It Too

It was brought to my attention recently the influx of the current desire of society to want to have its’ cake and eat it too. Humans have the tendency to want to spice things up by trying new things – it’s natural. There’s been a recent spice that has been getting a lot of attention in the old spice cabinet in regards to dating: friends with benefits.

Since the box office hit Friends With Benefits featuring Mr. Timberlake and his beautiful costar Ms. Kunis, the idea has been haunting minds. Is this possible? Sure we are attracted to many different people sexually and sure we manage to stay friends with people who we are attracted to; however can we maintain that same relationship with someone who’s a friend with all the extra fun benefits? The whole idea in and of itself is complex. Does friends with benefits come with sexual monogamy? Do people become friends with benefits because they want to settle sexually & not emotionally? Do they engage in the relationship because they want to test drive before going all in? Or is it an excuse to have sex and think you’re not going to have feelings?

If in fact the setup comes with sexual monogamy then how is that any different from being in a relationship? Friends with benefits is having a relationship without really having a relationship and what comes with relationships? FEELINGS. Feelings are the very basic thing that separates humans from animals. They are inevitable and thus will appear in any situation.

Lets take a second to examine the reasons why either sex would engage in a friends with benefits relationship. Obviously there’s an enticing sexual benefit however how is this benefit any different from sleeping around with different people if there isn’t sexual monogamy? This is a ploy to get guys more play by acting as if they care more than they do. Females are the more emotional of the two and therefore are more inclined to take this title more seriously.

We have this unhealthy fascination with wanting to have our cake and eat it too. The fact is humans were made to feel. We cannot help but to feel so whether it’s the feeling of wanting more than sex with that person or a feeling of jealousy and replacement when that person moves on this can affect the friends with benefits relationship.

However this article begs the question, is friends with benefits controversial because it pushes the definition of relationships outside the box humans have worked years to define?

A Disloyalty to my Race

A young African American woman was accepted into the University of Southern California. One thing she does look forward to when she starts at her new school, as any girl would, would be the different market of men on the USC campus. The African American males at her previous college made rude catcalls as she walked across campus, called each other “niggas” and did not attend their classes. What woman wants that? Attending USC will be a game changer simply because she’ll be around guys with a sense of direction and educational focus. The only problem is that these educational driven men at USC aren’t all black. While her preference in men has always been African American, there are only a handful of them that aren’t athletes at USC, the majority being Caucasian and Asian. If she were to walk down to Starbucks with her Caucasian, Asian, or even Hispanic boyfriend she meets at USC, is she being disloyal to her race?
The reality of the situation for African American women in college is that most men in our race are not exactly striving for educational success. Single black women with college degrees outnumber single black men with college degrees almost 3 to 1 in major urban areas such as Washington, according to a 2008 population survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Where does that leave single, educated African American women? Waiting. While young black women continue to excel and hang out with their girlfriends, they are still waiting on the “good” black man to come with the same educational level and marry them.
As African American young woman, I see a problem with this equation. Black women dating interracially should not equal disloyalty. We should not be discouraged from dating interracially if there is not anyone who looks like her with not only goals but the drive and effort to make something out of themselves. Although there are some black males who have an education and there are women who have found those males, this doesn’t mean a woman should be forced to wait for them to appear, especially if there are not a lot to begin with. When 73% of interracial marriages were between black men and white women in the past decade according to the population survey in 2008, black women who decide to date out of their race should not only be culturally accepted but encouraged if the heart desires. Ultimately, it’s about young black women celebrating themselves. When men are not up to our standards, we shouldn’t lower them or compromise, but stay strong. Just like any other women, young, black and educated women deserve men who will love them despite the skin color.
If the young African American woman is walking to Starbucks with her Caucasian boyfriend on the USC campus, is she being disloyal to her race? No, she is not. It’s not like she did not attempt to seek out African American males at either schools. Both pools of African American male college student were either rude, had no home training, or no real aspiration, or were slim to none as far as population is considered. When I start USC in the next couple of months, I am aware of the handful of students that will look like me when I walk across campus. Although the dating market for African American men will be pretty slim, like on most California university campuses, I feel no pressure to date within my race. I celebrate myself as a young black women who deserves someone who respects and likes me despite my complexion.

Are You Financially Ready To Move In Together?

Moving in together as a couple is more than deciding who gets the “good side” of the bed and finding the best spot to stash the PlayStation.

Not only will you be sharing household bills and probably setting up joint bank account, but you’ll also get up close and personal with your partner’s money demons for the first time.

“A husband or wife,  even a boyfriend or a girlfriend, is not a financial plan,” says Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEO of  Money Talk Matters. “We’ve seen  enough drama on Court TV shows.”

As a certified personal finance educator and author of Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ, Wagner’s an expert on all things relationships and finances.

Before you start building a bigger closet, make sure you’re both ready to merge your finances by checking for these six signs:

1. You can talk money without arguing. Per Wagner: “When you can openly discuss finances without arguing and blaming the other person when there is a financial issue,” you’re on the right track. “The people in this situation would also be able to discuss a financial issue and reach a viable solution that is best for the overall relationship.”

2. You don’t feel controlled. So long as your partner isn’t peering over your shoulder each time you whip out the checkbook and you feel like you have equal ownership of your shared finances, you should be in good shape. “In some relationships money is used to control the other person,” Wagner says. “People do not like to be controlled, let alone using money to do it.” (It’s also a great way to wreck your relationship.)

3. You’ve both taken a good look at the other’s credit report. Forget sharing toothbrushes—forking over your credit history is a huge sign of financial trust in a relationship. It’s unavoidable, especially if you’re looking to buy or rent a home together, and a good place to get equal footing. “T he  couple has to decide whether or not their place of residence will be in  the name of both or just one person,” Wagner says. “Sharing the credit reports will  remove the ‘hidden element’ of potentially one person not having good  credit and that impacting the other person.”

4. You’re both paying the bills on time. If you don’t have to worry about your partner missing the cable bill, it’s a good sign he or she would make a great roommate. “If  one person is not paying their bills on time; have the discussion as to  why they are not and what is their game plan for getting back on track,” Wagner says. “If  they do not have a game plan for getting on track – that should be seen as a red flag and you should delay moving in together.

5. You don’t break out in a cold sweat when talking about the future. ” Knowing for  sure if you are compatible requires taking time to get to know each other  with friends, family and away from them,” Wagner says. “You need to make sure that the  other person is not just pretending. What do you both think about saving  money? What are each other’s plan for retirement?”

6. When you both know how to handle the worst. “ Ask the  person how they handled their last financial challenge. Did they run to  their parents? Did they get an advance at their job? Or did they  re-evaluate their spending, make adjustments and get it cleared up?” Wagner says. The answer will clue you into what kind of support you can expect if you ever run into a tight spot and need a partner to lean on.


Source: Yahoo

10 Things Women Do That Turn Men Off

Hey Folks-

Here’s another new vlog series we are bringing you in 2012! Introducing the first installment of The Real Deal With Dino Black. Today’s topic is his answer to T Time!: 10 Things Women Do That Turn Men Off.

Check back in with us weekly for more Black Is TV and the 2012 podcast season coming soon!

10 Things Men Do That Turn Women Off

Hey Folks-

This year we are adding a more multimedia experience to the site just for you! Introducing the first installment of T Time With Toria! starring BI podcast member Toria Williams. Today’s topic: 10 Things Men Do That Turn Women Off.

Check back in with us weekly for more Black Is TV and the 2012 podcast season!

7 Surefire Ways to End Your Relationship

The internet is full of relationship information and advice: Ways to Find Your Perfect Mate, How to Keep a Man, How to Keep Your Marriage Together, Ways to Ensure Your Spouse Won’t Cheat, Why You’re Single, etc. – but how many folks actually follow that advice to the letter? More often than not, people will justify their actions and situation to avoid taking any responsibility for their relationship status. Nowadays folks throw around “happily single” and “happily married” when in truth, a lot of folks aren’t happy. But for the sake of being criticized or the butt of running jokes and gossip, people will wear the mask.

I’m happily married (insert side-eye here) but acknowledge that what keeps my marriage together is a lot of hard work – something else folks don’t want to do to maintain a long-term relationship. There’s a certain amount of unselfishness that makes relationships last, but it’s much easier to be selfish and just move on to the next person. After all, the honeymoon phase of a relationship is as good as it gets right? Well, you’ll never know if you can’t make it past six months.

After 11 years of a long-term relationship, I’ve learned a few things about making my relationship work – and also what could kill it. Between my own experiences and those shared with me by friends who are also in long-term relationships, here are a few practices – in no particular order – that if implemented consistently, will ensure your relationship will fail:

#1: Stop having sex. Sex may not be the most important factor in a relationship, but it is a factor. Sure, many challenges of life might put sex on the back burner, but it definitely needs to occur on a regular basis. Withholding sex to get something you want out of your partner usually is not to best method in getting what you want. If you are dealing with someone who will put up with that behavior, chances are you won’t respect them. Sex relieves stress and is a physical way of communicating with your partner, so even when things are difficult make an effort to keep you sex life alive.

#2 Stop talking. Call it a moment of silence, the silent treatment, “me” time, whatever – not talking to your partner is the quickest route to Quitsville. Silence between a couple breeds mistrust, insecurity and causes the mind to play tricks. Further, not talking to your partner makes room for you to communicate with others, some of whom will not have your best interest at heart. If your partner is on your side at all times, there should be no reason to stop talking.

#3 Criticize often. If your partner comes home after a long work day, offers you a kiss, and all you can say is, “Wow, your breath stinks!” you won’t have a partner for long. Constantly focusing on the negative and criticizing your partner for all the things they are NOT will have you headed back to the single life. Constant criticism will make your partner question how you truly feel about them. If you have nothing but negative things to say, they will seek out positive reinforcement elsewhere.

#4 Stay negative in general. Nobody wants to kick it with Debbie and Donnie Downer. Life is a series of highs and lows, and if all you can do is talk about what’s wrong, you will soon be talking to yourself. Furthermore, talking negatively about yourself is the absolute worse. Don’t openly compare yourself to others in hopes of showing your partner how you don’t “add up”. They might overlook one or two times, but making this a continued practice will only work to assure them they made the wrong decision in choosing you.

#5 Stop dating. One of the pieces of “work” that long-term relationships require is that couples continue to spend time together focused on just themselves. Children, jobs, and other responsibilities will cause a couple to put their needs as a couple to the side and before they know it, months will have passed since they had a night alone doing something they both enjoy. Couples have to make time to reinforce their bond. If you forget to keep the romance in your relationship, it will be tempting to recreate that feeling with another person.

#6 Search outside your relationship for what’s missing within it. “Seek trouble, and it will find you” – the old adage rings true. If you choose to “fix” your relationship by getting your needs met by another person, you might as well just end your relationship. The active pursuit of another situation speaks to the level of repair that is required in your situation. Furthermore, you can’t flirt with the idea of cheating. You can only play with the idea of it with another person before words lead to action. It’s simply the natural order of things. Your best bet is to check yourself, communicate with you partner, salvage what you have – and if all that proves impossible, bid your lover farewell and move on.

#7 Create drama. Go ahead – throw a drink across the table. Cuss your partner out in public. Or private. Talk about how awful their family is. Pick a fight every single time you are in a common space. Tell unnecessary lies and get caught. Have knock-down, drag out fights frequently. Only a fool will come home to a place of no peace, and even fools get tired. If the situation is this dramatic, it is not a sign of how much love and passion exist between two people (though the same energy often translates well in the bedroom), but rather a sign of a dysfunctional relationship. Acknowledge that the show is over, and say goodbye.


25 Rules Men Should Follow After Turning 25

1. Acknowledge and appreciate that 25 is official Grown Man Status! Welcome to young adulthood. New mature age bracket! Embrace It!

2. No one will take you serious with just words. 25 is about following through and taking action. Stop telling people what your plans are and what you are about to do. Start showing people what you are capable of. Let them see you are a major player in the game and u going places.

3. This is the age where you began to be who you are. Three years out of college, a few dead end jobs under your belt, a few ex-girlfriends – and now you have to start being stable. Develop a certain seriousness about yourself.

4. Stop trying to impress the fellas by pretending to be “The Man” and just be a man. Its cool to brag about how many chicks you get when you were in college and young and dumb. Now that you are 25 you have to start looking at females as potential wives or a mother of your children. Treat one girl special and make the effort to please her.

5.If your “Niggas” are not adding value to your circle or investing in the plan they are LEECHES and holding you back. Your circle of homies should all be unique and bring something to the table besides a handout.

6. Instead of copping a pair of Jordans or buying weed, start upgrading your wardrobe. Purchase some neckties, v-neck sweaters, and own several pair of dress shoes.

7. Support the ideas and the work of your peers. Be ambassadors for them. Each One Teach One! Success is NOTHING without being able to share it with people you love. There is an abundance of opportunity for all of us.

8. Develop a stronger bond with your relatives. Getting older means someone close is getting closer to going to Glory. Sometimes we forget the ones that tolerated us when we weren’t so great. Be a better relative. You never know who looks up to you.

9. Be an expert in all current events. Read newspapers, go to the library, exercise your brain. The more you know the more you grow.

10. Start going to the gym. Beer and pizza after 2 am will catch up with you if you don’t work out. Make sure you are physically fit.

11. Start eating proper meals and slow down on the fast food and snacks. As a minority we have a tendency to eat bad foods and die from food related illnesses. Eat more fruit and drink plenty of water.

12. Look the part, you’re 25. Have a certain memorable thing about you. Make sure its something that sets you apart from everyone else. Be neat, and refreshing.

13. STOP Complaining and START Doing. At 25 it’s no one fault but your own for the way things are going in YOUR life. Man Up. Be the Change you think you deserve.

14. Know your status and have the papers. Get tested, use protection. Understand that your special thing isn’t for everybody. Be exclusive and selective. Your grown – now act like it. You’ll get farther than you think.

15. Develop a better relationship with God. Understand that he is the beginning and end to all you do. He comes first.  Never under value the power of GOD.

16. Find a church to go to and listen to the word. Get a great start for each week. Have something to believe in and see by FAITH!

17. Keep nothing less than $1000 in your checking account. At 25, emergency money is very necessary. You never know when you might be in a bind. Start learning how to live on a budget. Don’t spend foolishly and don’t go above your means. Set aside a certain amount and stick with it.

18. Invest in black businesses, communities, and people. This will create opportunities for everyone. Lend a hand when needed. Be a role model. Speak at elementary schools. Help out in the neighborhood. Become financially literate and fiscally responsible.

19. Volunteer your time. Network. Have business cards on you at all times. Always be prepared. If you love it you’ll do it for free. You never know who knows who. Do it with a smile.

20. Keep your house and car clean. Cut the grass around your place. Wash your car twice a month. Handle your responsibilities. Don’t get comfortable or lazy.

21.Think for yourself. Don’t let your friends or family control your final decision. It’s cool to take advise from people and get ideas, but don’t try to please everyone.

22. Live on purpose. Don’t be superficial or a jackass. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Understand your position and make the most of that. Aspire to inspire without looking for a handout. Make the opportunities come to you.

23.Be a man of your word. Develop trustworthy traits and good business habits. At 25 people should trust the fact that they can count on you. Honesty and loyalty is key at this stage in the game.

24. Get your passport game up. Travel the world. Take trips as often as possible. Visit other continents and learn different cultures and languages. Have a global understanding of life and the economy.

25. LIVE IT UP! Enjoy every minute of it. Don’t turn 30 and say I should have done this or I could have done that. The time is NOW. There is no right opportunity to wait. Waiting is a verb created by fear. At 25 you should be FEARLESS! Thoughts, ideas, goals, and ambitions happen for a reason. Stop waiting and start living. Be all that you want to be. 25 is where you go from talking to doing. Make it happen. Enjoy being 25!


Aubrey Grier resides in Atlanta, GA and is the voice behind The Authentic MANual. Aubrey comes to us with over 10 years of writing experience and worked previously for Clear Channel Radio. Check him out on Black Is for life tips and relationship advice for Black men.

Keep It On the DL: Bisexuality a Deal Breaker?

By now, most of you have formed an opinion on whether or not you think Bishop Eddie Long is guilty or not. I am not touching that with a 10 ft pole! However, I want to look at some of the other elements in this case. First, the idolatry of Bishops/Pastors in the black church. Secondly, married or otherwise involved men cheating on the women in their lives with other men.

I am concerned that many of the members of the Bishop’s congregation refuse to even acknowledge that the allegations could be true. CNN’s Don Lemon recently interview three young members and all of them spoke of the Bishop as though he is incapable of committing such acts. The pedestal many of our church leaders are placed upon is unrealistic and borderline (if not crossing the line of ) idolatry. This is not just specific to New Birth. I have seen this in several other cities where mega-churches are prevalent. Men of the cloth are still men. Being a pastor is does not equal infallibility.

If I have one rule when it comes to relationships it’s DO NOT EMBARRASS ME in PUBLIC! Nothing is worse than being publicly shamed by the man that is supposed to love and cherish you. Yet, so many women have to endure this when their prominent husbands cheat and have to face the court of the public. Who can forget the wife of the former Governor of New Jersey who stood by as her husband announced that he was resigning from his office because he was caught having an affair with a man. My heart broke for her as it breaks now for the First Lady of New Birth even if the allegations are not true.

The CDC just announced last week that 1 in 5 bisexual and gay men in the U.S. has HIV!  My question is how many of those men are in relationships with women that are not aware of their alternative lifestyle? There are a host of things wrong with this picture.  On one hand, if a man is involved with a woman and tells her that he also has sex with men that will be an automatic deal-breaker for a lot of women. Risking losing the woman because of the truth is far better than losing that woman after she has been infected with HIV. Ladies, you have to have the conversation. Ask the question none of us want to know the answer to. You have a 50/50 chance of getting the truth which is better than not asking at all.

Once you know the truth, you will have to decide what is the best course of action for you. Hypothetically, if you are involved with who you think is the man of your dreams and he says to you months into your relationship that he has (in the past) engaged in sexual activity with a man, is it curtains? Think before you answer. Stay with me here. If monogamy is between two people not three what does it matter if one of the people is bisexual if they are both committed to each other? Giving the statistic stated above it would be risky but anytime you have unprotected sex with anyone you are risking your health.

According to the CDC, black males are the least likely of all men to know if they are infected with HIV. WRAP IT UP! Ladies, we have to be accountable for ourselves. Make him wear a condom or walk right out of the door. No love is worth dying for.I think it all comes down to having open communication with your mate. No matter what he says, do not use anything he tells you against him. Use the information to make informed decisions. And Fellas, just keep it real with the ladies in your lives. Be who you are. Someone will love your authenticity.


Mikki Bey is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who believes in the power of the universe to bring her all the desires of her heart. Fearless, determined and capable – she’s a bad mamajama! She can be reached at mikki@mikkibey.com.

Signs You’re Getting Too Comfortable In Your Relationship

Only Talking Logistics: With careers and kids, couples can slip into a parallel existence. This leads busy parents to chat solely about carpool schedules or who’s in charge of packing lunches, leaving little room for real conversation.
Skipping Romance: Another consequence of a busy household and getting too stuck in your routine is forgetting the romance that brought you together as a couple in the first place. Plan a night to get away together or for kids to be away so you can have a romantic night.
Dressing Down: Sweatpants may be much cozier than those form-fitting jeans but if you’re perpetually donning clothes you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing out in public, then you may be a little too comfortable in your relationship. Getting dolled up daily is a little unrealistic, so try swapping your flannel PJ’s for a more feminine alternative.
Not Making An Effort: Like clothing, your beauty routine can easily hit slump mode as time to primp gets harder to come by. But just taking five minutes to spruce yourself up shows your spouse that you still want to look good for him. On date nights, book the baby-sitter to come early so that you have time to get ready.
Lashing Out: It’s all too easy to go for the jugular when you’re angry with your partner–Knowing him as well as you do, his insecurities, vulnerabilities and shortcomings are at your disposal and in the face of conflict or hurt feelings it can be difficult not to use them as ammunition. However, respect is very important in a relationship, if that slips you must concentrate on getting it back.

Losing Outside Interests: Having other things going on in your life-hobbies, passions, projects will help you continue to grow as an individual and stay interesting to your partner.

Ignoring His Passions: Try straying from your comfort zone to show your spouse that you care about his interests. Do something together that he would love, like going to a soccer game or a restaurant you’re not keen on. Enjoy the fact that he’s delighted you’ve gone.

Getting Lazy With Affection: When young and in love, most couples can’t keep their hands off each other. But as the novelty of your spouse wears off your desire to smother him in kisses may wane too. Give him a big hug when he comes home in the evening or if you come home last go find him for a hug.

Not Wooing Each Other: Surprising your husband with a gift, it doesn’t need to be expensive just a token that you care like a book on a subject he is interested in. Buy it out of the blue and sit together when you pass it to him-don’t just hand it over the kitchen table, as you will downgrade the moment.

Forgetting Where You Came From: It is most important to remember who you both are and what made you fall in love in the first place, reminisce about fun times you had together.

Source: msn.com