Category Archives: Relationships & Friendships

Demanding Queen Treatment

 

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Dating in our generation sucks.

At least for me, because Melissa is in a beautiful relationship with a guy that really cares about her. I’m happy that she’s found someone that treats her the way she deserves to be treated, but I haven’t had much luck in the romance department.

Despite being baeless, I try to appreciate the lessons that the guys I date can teach me. The most recent guy that I was seeing really taught me a lot in the short time that I’ve known him.

Retroactively looking at our situationship, I see how I approached it all wrong. At the beginning I told him that I was just looking for a friend. Which was half true. I do want my future guy to be a friend first, but I was lying to him and myself by saying that was all I was looking for. Sometimes we say things because we think that’s what the other person wants to hear, but that’s not being true to ourselves.

Fast-forward to a few months later, and I found myself arguing with this guy constantly about our views of dating and relationships. He said he loved the options of dating multiple people at once, which put a damper on my spirit since I’m more of a one-guy type of gal. That was a sign that this wasn’t meant to be, but I was stubborn and kept trying to make it work.

Until I realized that I didn’t want to casually date, I wanted to be courted. Courting is dating with a purpose. It’s when two hopeful lovebirds try to develop a relationship that’s pleasing and acceptable to God. It’s a decision to walk by faith and keep God at the center of your relationship so He can direct your path. I was familiar with the concept of courting before I met this young fellow, but I wasn’t true to what I wanted because I accepted his idea of dating just to keep him around. I thought that bringing up the concept of marriage would scare him away – which it did, but he clearly wasn’t right for me. While navigating my love life, I’ve learned it’s crucial to be honest with yourself and what you want out of the situation from the beginning.

I was venting to my mom recently about my dating frustrations, and she told me to teach men how I deserve to be treated. But before I can do that, I have to know what I want and how I want to be treated.

It’s so easy to get swept up by a cute, charismatic guy that always knows what to say to make you smile. But if that guy doesn’t have the same romantic goals as you, then it’s no point trying to make it work. Every guy that you date isn’t bae, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends. It’s just that you have to know your boundaries and what you will and will not accept.

We are Queens, and should be treated nothing less than that.

Your goal may not be to be courted, but be confident in whatever it is and have faith that God will give you what you want when the time is right. But until then, stay true to yourself and never settle because you deserve only Queen treatment.

“Grow Through, What You Go Through…”

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The spring season is upon us, which means warmer weather…sun dresses…pedicured toes…and most noticeably the beauty of nature reemerging from the weary winter. Now, besides allergy season being in full effect as well, sneezes and watery eyes can’t take away the beauty spring brings to our surroundings. The winter season takes a toll on the condition and aesthetic of nature; but what’s most beautiful is the ability of our natural environment to exhibit growth after the dull stage of their evolution.

At the inception of Becoming Brilliance, we were inspired to share our journey of being in a “constant state of evolvement”. When life is not going ideal or feels uncomfortable for us, it’s hard to grasp the lesson within it. August 14th, 2014 was the day my journey to growing through, what I was going through truly began. I graduated from college 3 months prior, I’d spent my summer studying for the GRE and a few days earlier I was accepted into graduate school at my alma mater and offered a graduate assistantship that waived my tuition. I was in a period of transition as a recent college grad but things began to improve as the summer continued.

However, I was also in a relationship, that looking back now I had plenty of red flags but chose to ignore them (…hindsight is 20/20). And I don’t want to expound on the relationship too much because it’s not important now; but basically it wasn’t lengthy, healthy and didn’t grow me as an individual but I was blinded by what I thought was “love”. Ultimately, on August 14th a young woman informed me that my boyfriend at that time had been cheating on me with her through a Facebook message including screenshots of their conversations. My heart fell to my stomach as you can imagine and that was the beginning of a downward spiral for me. I was blindsided and although our relationship wasn’t going well, I wasn’t expecting to be hurt like that. So, I spent the next 7 months in a struggle between forgiveness and continuing the relationship OR frankly, kicking his ass to the curb. After being torn for far too long, I eventually picked the latter. 🙂

I’ve revisited this moment in my life because that situation broke me down. Although, those around me weren’t aware of the battle I was fighting, it was extremely real for me internally.   However, I’ve grown to be GRATEFUL for August 14th, 2014 and the journey that followed because it was painful and during that time I couldn’t imagine ever being rid of the hurt. But as I type this blog post I am…and have been for a while.

If I hadn’t been broken down that way, I wouldn’t have known that I could build myself back up…and even better. That was my lesson. And furthermore, I may not have been so appreciative of my current relationship and how well I’m treated, if I hadn’t been so overwhelming mistreated. Now, I know as I continue my journey, the good and especially the bad…there is nothing God is going to bring me to, if he weren’t going to bring me through. In spite of the weary stages we may endure, the saving grace is spring comes around every year…so we’re always going to blossom. 😉

 

For the Love of Love: Nurturing a New Relationship

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Everyone enjoys the “honeymoon” stage of dating someone new. The butterflies when you’re around them. And the instant smile that comes to your face just seeing their name appear on your phone. It’s undeniable that embarking into a new relationship is exciting especially if you’re with someone you can be your true self with. But what’s even more exciting is that this feeling doesn’t ever have to go away! I believe if both individuals make a conscious effort to grow through the inevitable obstacles they’ll face, maybe they won’t yearn to have a rewind button back to the honeymoon stage as time progresses.

The beginning of every new endeavor is important because it’s the foundation of the journey. Establishing a strong foundation is imperative in nurturing a new relationship. If the foundation is weak such as being caught up in the superficial and materialistic aspects of a person; rather than whom they are as an individual and what they want out of life, the relationship will surely crumble.   But if the proper time is taken to genuinely learn about your beau and form a connection beyond the physical then a successful relationship may definitely be in your future… if it’s right for the both of you.

Now, my boyfriend and I aren’t perfect (but we’re pretty close to it…lol). However, I wanted to share a few things that I feel we got “right” while dating, that has made our transition into a committed, healthy and fun relationship all the more easier.

  1. Take your time. I am impatient in nature and this was a hard pill for me to swallow while we were dating. I was very patient when we first began dating because I wasn’t looking to rush into anything. However, once we really got to know each other and I realized I really liked him, I was ready to be a girlfriend. But he wasn’t ready for that for reasons that we discussed and I understood. Since I liked him I was willing to continue dating at his pace. But the time we took dating (9 whole months!) was the best thing for us. By the time we entered our relationship I felt I knew him extremely well and I was confident in our ability to be compatible.
  1. Social Media is a no, no! It’s far too common that in this day in age people look for validation from social media. Nurturing your new relationship is a delicate act that everyone shouldn’t be privy to.   The reality is everyone isn’t going to be happy for you. And before you subject your relationship to outside opinion, be sure your foundation is immovable.
  1. Ask LOTS and LOTS of questions! There is so much to learn about people, their journey and their dreams…it’s intriguing. So, I found a list of questions that I could ask while getting to know my beau. And it helps to dig deeper with the person other than “How many siblings do you have?” “When is your birthday?”…BORING! I asked things like “What is one thing you would be disappointed if you never experienced it?” We answered the same. Marriage. Hmm, it puts in perspective what is important to them and can reveal if you all share similar values. I also asked, “What is your most bizarre pet peeve?” “What’s been your favorite age so far?” and even silly things like “If you were a performing artist, what would you name your first album?” It’s just a fun way to get to know a potential beau.

This is my favorite list to pull questions from 🙂

50 Questions To Ask Your Crush To See If They’re Right For You

Once you’ve found someone you believe you can grow and build with, it won’t be hard to build a strong foundation for you both to stand on. And the honeymoon stage won’t end unless you all stop trying. It definitely requires time, commitment and selflessness to nurture a growing relationship. But when you’re ready, it’ll be worth it!

What is important to you when getting to know someone? What qualities do admire most in a potential suitor? I’d love to hear from you!

10 Brilliant Love Lessons For The Single Lady

 

 

 

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Happy Valentines Day!

Oh the quest to find love.. In my experience, dating has been difficult and I’m still waiting to meet someone I really vibe with. But I’ve learned alot of lessons during my single season. Here are the top 10:

  1. Fall in love with yourself first

I fell in love with myself in college. I didn’t have emotional ties to any guy, so I felt free to do whatever my heart wanted – study abroad, travel the world, dive into my career. And in the process I learned so much about myself and fell in love with the woman in the mirror.

Get to know yourself. Understand and appreciate the good, bad and awkward habits and quirks that only you possess. In loving yourself, you’ll be equipped to let a man love you when the time is right. 

  1. Understand the levels and meanings

The “where are we” conservation is so awkward, but so necessary. You have to know where you stand with someone, because that will help you manage your expectations (more in lesson #9).

  • Talking to: Unfortunately this is so common in our generation. Texting someone and occasionally talking to them on the phone. But that’s it. You’re literally just talking to someone. For me, this doesn’t work because when I’m “talking to” someone, I’m just filling boredom but there are tons of things to do. I wouldn’t call it a waste of time because there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned through guys that I was talking to, but it wasn’t the most productive use of time.
  • Friends with Benefits (FWB): Your title may be just friends, but you occasionally indulge in “relationship” type activities, most commonly sex. This works for some people who aren’t interested in a relationship, but I don’t recommend getting caught here. If you’re giving him special pieces of yourself, he has nothing to work for.
  • Dating: Getting to know each other by actually going on dates. If a guy isn’t trying to see you outside of his bedroom, then you’re just a FWB. When dating, expect that the guy is still seeing multiple people, as you are free to do as well.
  • Courting: Purposeful dating. The two of you are looking to get married, so you’re taking the appropriate steps to get to know each other without physical intimacy.
  • Exclusive: To be exclusive, there must have been a conversation that you will be “boyfriend – girlfriend” or you’re married. If not, your relationship falls into one of the other categories.
  1. Be yourself and don’t force it

This goes without saying, but don’t change who you are to appease someone else. If he doesn’t like you for you, forget him because someone else will. That’s forcing something that isn’t meant to be. And if communication is one-sided and you’re the only one putting in effort, that’s another reason to leave it alone. A guy that’s interested will show that he is.

  1. Don’t give too much of yourself too soon

This has been my biggest problem with dating. It’s a struggle to meet someone that I vibe with – so when I do, I’m all in… ready to share life stories lol. Being open and honest is important, but take your time in getting to know someone. There is no rush to dating, so allow a man to peel back the layers instead of diving in head first every time.

  1. Let a man lead

There is a reason why men where created before women. They are supposed to lead us, and provide for us. I love when women feels empowered to be independent, but let a man step up to the plate and pursue you.

  1. Every man you meet does not have the potential to be your husband

Such a tough pill for me to swallow, because God keeps reminding me of this. At 23, I’m praying for a respectable, Christian man that will court me in pursuit of marriage. Although I’m tired of dating randoms, I’ve learned that those guys were put in place to show me how to love a man and myself. If you’re a wife-to-be like me, I encourage you to appreciate the lessons that each man has taught you, as it will help you be the woman that your husband wants and needs.

  1. Anything worth having is going to take time

And maybe a few tears too. But that’s ok. Even though I’m still single, I know that all of these heartbreaks and let downs will be worth it when I finally fall in love.

  1. Manage your expectations

This goes back to knowing where you stand with someone. If there hasn’t been a conversation about the two of you being exclusive, don’t expect to be treated like you are. In the dating game, there is always a possibility that there are other women in his life so check your expectations.

  1. Don’t make another man mend a heart that he didn’t break

It’s not fair to make someone else clean up the damage that your ex caused. Leave that baggage at the door! Bringing that into a new beginning will break your trust in someone who is deserving of your time.

  1. Enjoy your single season

Marriage and kids will come eventually when the time is right. Take advantage of where you are at this very moment. Get to know people. Take a risk on love. Even if it ends in heartbreak, those lessons will stay with you until you meet a man that’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. Be patient and trust the process.

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I hope you’re spending this Valentine’s Day with people who love you to the moon and back! What are some dating lessons that you’ve learned? Share in the comments below.

It Goes Down in the DM: 5 Online Dating Tips to Find Bae (Or Just Meet a Cool Guy)

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We were born in the digital age and technology has played such a large role in other aspects of our life. So it’s natural that many people naturally gravitated towards meeting someone online.

I openly admit that I am one of those people. I’ve meet a fair share of guys online, and have quite a few stories to tell. Online dating has been a blessing in disguise for me. First, I could meet guys without leaving my bed and I could filter out those that I wasn’t compatible with. Meeting them online helped me test them out in a “try before you buy” type of way. I’ve also met a few characters that have taught me a lot about men and myself. From the smooth talker whose conversation never got boring, to the creepy guy that randomly showed up at my job. There were lessons in all of my dating encounters.

I’ve also made a few really good friends and I got to experience dating without the heartbreak (for the most part). Online dating gave me confidence to not be afraid to be myself. Getting rejected over the Internet didn’t hurt as bad as getting rejected in real life, so I had nothing to lose.

I’m not on as often as I’ve been in the past, because I’m trying to stop controlling my love life by swiping left or right. I just want it to come naturally. But I still get on Tinder from time to time, so here are a few tips for anyone that is open to give online dating a shot!

  1. Your Bio (and Grammar) Matters

Aside from the pictures, the bio is your first introduction. You can tell so much about a guy just by reading how he describes himself. If “just ask” or “hmu” is the only thing he writes, quickly exit out of his profile. Anyone that is too lazy to write about who they are isn’t worth talking to. If there isn’t substance in a bio, then the outreach is solely based on looks, and everyone knows that looks don’t mean anything if his head isn’t on straight.

  1. Good conversation is hard to come by, so don’t be lazy

I HATE dry conversations! It’s hard to get to know someone without talking to them in person or on the phone, so don’t make it worse by being a lazy conversationalist. Ask them a bunch of questions – random ones if you run out of things to write about. Like what superpower would they want, or what’s their favorite holiday. Please don’t be boring!

  1. Facebook stalking is apart of your research

Blame it on working in PR, but I look a guy up on every site possible before giving out my phone number. Avoid being Catfished by know who you’re talking to! Just don’t get caught liking a picture on Instagram if you don’t follow him.

  1. Remember your personal brand

Make sure your profile is something that you wouldn’t be ashamed of if your mom saw it. Put up pics that represents you well and shows the brilliant woman that you are.

  1. Forget the stigma

Some people look down on online dating. Granted, it’s not for everyone but what way of meeting people is? Everyone isn’t going to meet bae at the grocery store or at church. Different strokes for different folks, so there’s nothing wrong with setting up a profile on Tinder, POF or any other dating site out there! You may find love, or you may find a good friend that has a cute cousin that would be perfect for you. You never know, but either is a win if you ask me. Just make sure you’re precautious and aware of the red flags, but do your thing girl! J

Have you tried online dating? I’d love to hear your stories or tips to be someone’s Tinderella! Share in comments below!

 

We Need a Resolution: Improving the Nature of your Friendships

We Need A Resolution

“It’s not WHAT we have in life. But WHO we have in our life that matters.”

It’s become a trend when we’re approaching a New Year, our social media is flooded with the infamous “if you don’t hear from me in the New Year, it’s because I left you in 2000 and whatever” memes from followers and friends. I get it. People grow apart or someone you considered a friend could’ve really upset you. And ending the friendship seemed like the most viable solution at the time. However, emotions often blur our ability to be objective in many situations, resulting in rash decisions being made.   It’s fairly easy to “cut somebody off” but if you’re like me, ‘friend’ is not a word you take lightly.

If a friendship had value to you prior to any upset, maybe take a step back and reevaluate your stance. Has anything disrespectful or untrustworthy taking place? If the answer is yes, depending on the circumstances maybe this relationship has run its course and it’d be better if both parties go their separate ways.  And it’s okay to state this. But if the answer is no, maybe the issue can be resolved and all involved can move forward. You have every right to express your feelings because miscommunication is often the culprit in a diminishing friendship.

As I’ve grown…along with my friendships, there are a few key characteristics I use to evaluate the climate of my friendships and the benefits of maintaining these bonds I’ve formed:

  1. Are their goals and aspirations elevating with time?

I want to travel the world. They rather stay in the house. I’m beginning to take leaps of faith and creating my own avenues of success. They’re comfortable with right where they are. Something isn’t adding up. Granted, you may be the friend to give them the push they need but after awhile it’s incumbent upon you to surround yourself with likeminded individuals. You can’t want more for your friends, than they want for themselves.  And if they’ve adopted a more minimal lifestyle than you desire, it doesn’t make them less of a good friend but what can you all relate on? Eventually, there may be some disconnect.

  1. Do they support and encourage me (or tell me what I need to hear even if I don’t like it)?

This is huge. Friends encourage one another…good friends are definitely supportive…cool. But it takes a real friend to be able to call you out on your not so great moments. You may not like it in the moment but it’s better than having a “yes man/woman” around you.

  1. Are they growing me as a woman?

One of my favorite aspects about Teyonna and I’s friendship is she makes me want to continue to grow and do bigger and better things. When she achieves new accomplishments in her life I’m so proud to call her my friend because I know her journey.   And it motivates me and reinforces that the opportunities are limitless for us as long as we go after them!

Throughout 2016 rather than give a friend the boot for something petty, take the time to evaluate their impact on your life. Look at the big picture and say, “She may have upset me this day…but she/he has had my back.” Ultimately, if it’s a true friend you won’t want to live without them.

What characteristics do you consider essential to building lasting friendships? I’d love to hear from you!