So…Jimmy Put a Ring on it!

Three words… MOR. TI. FIED!

 Along with millions of viewers, I watched as Jim Jones proposed to longtime, live-in “wifey” Chrissy Lampkin on their popular VH1 Show, “Love and Hip Hop.”

The proposal caused emotional reactions throughout the Twitterverse, and just may have inspired millions of single women to take control of their situations, so that they too, could get a nice piece of ice on that special finger.

I saw the tweets and facebook statuses that were so happy for her.  Some people were actually crying.   There’s only one problem…

Keep reading

I am “Keeping it Real With NeNe!”

This last Celebrity Love Note is dedicated to NeNe Leakes.  The loud mouth “Housewife” whom Bravo saw fit to make famous continues to do her level best to make my good black woman stock plummet.  In the midst of it all, she is now going through a divorce, and so this love note is written in hopes that other newly divorced individuals do not make the mistakes that I believe she is on the verge of making, among others.

My take:
NeNe’s marriage was allegedly destroyed by fame.  Now, that doesn’t mean that her husband was perfect.  I actually believe that he is a clear demonstration of her father issues, and the need for control, but I digress.  This marriage may have stood a chance if the Real Housewives franchise hadn’t come a’calling, but it’s not the show, it’s the fame that NeNe has received courtesy of the show that is the start of the problems, in my opinion.

But fast-forward to the present.  NeNe and Greg are separated and my assumption is that divorce proceedings are going to be taking place.  Note: Taking place.  They are not divorced…yet.  While some would tell her things such as, “the best way to get over one man is to get undera new one,” this is farthest from the truth.  In fact, this isn’t the time to get over anything, it’s time for you to figure out your role in the breakup of this marriage (how many times have I said this this week).  And furthermore, this is not the time to date…anyone…for any amount of time.  Sorry, sweetie, but you are still married.

Now, I understand that you have dysfunction all around you.  Cynthia’s farce of a marriage is enough to make anyone think that if you do better than that, then you’ve done okay; however, don’t be fooled.  We all saw your tirade regarding the treatment that you’ve received in this marriage.  But, NeNe, I doubt severely that you know how to be a wife.  If you treated your husband even remotely as badly as you have treated some of your co-stars, and fellow Apprentices, I can say with all conviction that being married to you was no walk in the park (more like a walk over burning coals).  Besides the stripper-esque sexual prowess that you’ve bragged about, what else did you bring to the table besides a child and a need to get out of Athens, Georgia?  As such is the case, perhaps this marriage was doomed from the start–TV just expedited the inevitable.

If she were my client:
I’d need a Valium.  Ok, let’s be fair.  If NeNe Leakes came to me for relationship coaching.  I would take away her ego, and put a muzzle on her.  Not literally.  However, NeNe has to learn how to communicate like an adult woman, or she doesn’t have to worry about relationships–platonic or romantic.  I believe that she wants people to prove that they love her by walking through fire, and not getting burned.  That’s quite a fete, even for a Cirque du Soleil cast member, but I truly believe that is what she desires.  For those without fire-walker capabilities, there’s NeNe’s Worship Club.  These individuals exist to answer her beck and call and maintain her ego.  The President of the Worship Club? You guessed it, Cynthia Bailey.  We’ll see how that relationship works out in the coming weeks. Hmmmmm…

Now, the fire-walking mandate is just plain ridiculous.  No one can live up to those standards.  No one has lived up to those standards.

Until we (she and I) can push through these unrealistic relationship expectations, NeNe shouldn’t even think about dating.  She should keep her focus on acting dignified through the divorce, and being the parent that her children need.  Not being “rich;” not buying $9 million homes in Miami; not appeasing her fans with over-the-top theatrics, and not criticizing everyone in Atlanta, but crying “haters” every five minutes.

I need her to do better.

What we can all learn from this:
Separation is not divorced.  Getting divorced is not divorced. Let’s be clear.

What else we can learn?  Our mouths can kill every relationship that we have.  There is no way that anyone can convince me that NeNe hasn’t unleashed hers on her soon to be ex-husband.  But beyond that, we should all learn that we should pay very close attention to the behaviors of the people in our lives, before we become involved with them. 

Men: If the woman you’re involved with has no problem telling people off, guess what, you are not immune to receiving the same treatment (please share this with Lamar Odom about his beloved Khloe).  If that’s not an attractive proposition, then don’t get involved.  If you want to test the theory, then let the first time she emasculates you with profane or insulting words be the last time.  This is not something that gets better.

Women: Being the girl who will tell everyone off is amusing, but it’s not attractive.  A real man will not be attracted to your ability to cuss everyone out at the drop of a dime.  I realize that you are a strong woman and want to let people know that you don’t put up with anything, but consider working on how you deliver such messages, and only “go there” when the situation truly calls for it. If you are around people who always seem to push you to that point, then get some new people in your life, and leave this dysfunction behind.

In the end, we have to respect each other–words and all.  Otherwise, we are all doomed to walk the path that NeNe is walking right now. And even in the cutest Louboutins, its not a journey that anyone wants to take.

Plonk!

Celebrity Love Note No.3: Oh Jenny!

So..today I am speaking “to” good ol’ Jenny from the Block…check it out!

My Take:
This whole marriage concept is totally out of hand.  It seems as if Jennifer Lopez uses marriage to her advantage.  The first mistake is using it to her advantage.

 I don’t know if many of you know this, but a marriage is supposed to produce something positive in the world.  Not just children, but actually greatness.  Sum of you two, should be greater than your parts.  So, to use it to your advantage, is not the correct use of the institution.

 It is very irresponsible to continue to enter into a union that doesn’t last.  At some point, you have to admit that it’s not all about them.  You have some definitive fault in why these marriages aren’t working and going the distance.  Are you choosing the wrong men?  Is marriage just something you do? Do you love weddings?  What is the problem because clearly, there is one.

 Now that’s not to say that the individuals Jennifer marries are perfect.  But, really did the Latino busboy (AKA Hubby Number One) stand a chance?  That poor man was thrust from plastic runners to red carpets with a short period of time to adapt to the change, and when Jennifer’s career took off, eventually the marriage was left in the dust.

Some would say there is a pattern here.

If she were my client:
We would have to look very closely at these relationships before they were marriages, and explore why she thought this guy was husband material.  After discovering that answer, I am pretty sure that we need to explore her expectations for a husband, and if they are realistic.  We’ve all heard the stories of J-Lo’s outrageous performance riders, and perks for her entourage, it is possible that she asks outlandish things of her mate?  Does she think it’s over if he misses a 10 p.m. curfew?  Or if he doesn’t draw her bath at 81.3 degrees exactly?  Of course, I am over exaggerating (at least I hope that I am), but if anything remotely similar exists then we need to nip these things in the bud.

I also want to explore her vision for a marital relationship.  What are her beliefs about marriage founded upon?  What role does she play in bringing the vision to pass?  I will be whipping out all kinds of tools on Jenny from the Block…from Relationship Wheels to my beloved SWOT Analysis, I am going to work her until I get to the bottom of this nonsense.

 What we can learn from all of this:
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.  Additionally, it is not something to be taken at all if we are not with someone we can see going old with.  One of my favorite tweets reads, “people are not getting divorced because marriage doesn’t work; they are getting divorced because they never should’ve gotten married.” 

Don’t be yet another person who engages in this new concept of marriage: the hobby.  You have to realize that marriage goes back to the Garden of Eden.  And if Adam can get over Eve talking to that snake and bringing him some bad fruit (with some pretty serious consequences), then we should be able to create marriages that last and overcome the challenges that two people inevitable will face when they say, “I do.”

Then again, maybe you adore Jennifer and see no problem with her getting married and getting divorced.

THIS JUST IN: I just read that it’s speculated that Marc Anthony and Jennifer’s divorce is over the educational plan for their twins—translation: what school the twins should go to?

 Seriously? 

 Well, perhaps the fourth time is the charm.

 Good luck, chica!

How I Know Jimmy Loves Chrissy

Watching “Love and Hip Hop” last night, was a pretty taxing experience.  I admit that I only became interested in the show after I saw last season’s heartfelt proposal by Chrissy Lampkin to long-time beau, rapper Jim Jones—with ring and all.

 My Take:
First of all, I have been where Chrissy is.  She feels that she has to make somethings happen in her relationship, and because she wants marriage, she felt that it was okay to propose.  The truth is that if after 6 years this man is okay with sleeping with you, and sharing a life with you day in and day out, but has YET to explore sharing his last name with you, take that as a sign.

Chrissy is a strong woman, and beautiful one at that.  I am not saying that she should leave him, but I am saying that she should love herself more than she apparently does.  There is nothing like being in love with a man who doesn’t reciprocate the level of emotion that you have for him.  Do I doubt that Jim loves Chrissy? Nope.  Do I doubt that he’s ready (or willing) to be a husband? Well…  The proof is in the relationship.  Jim doesn’t want to be a husband, at least right now.  These two are in different places in this relationship, and that means that actions have to be taken–by both of them.

Need more proof? The proof in the proposal…that she made.

Tsk-tsk.

And as if it wasn’t enough that she proposed.  Jim looked at her tear-stained face and replied, “I got you.”  Well, that’s the problem, isn’t?  You have her, and are fairly convinced that she isn’t going anywhere, so why bother legitimizing this relationship?  Now, Chrissy believes that they are engaged, and she continues to push this agenda into Season 2, perhaps believing that is she keeps saying it (or asking about it) that it will become a reality.

Really, Chrissy?

But, this I do know: Jim love Chrissy.  He does.  Jim loves Chrissy enough to be with her the last 6 years, call her his woman, enjoy all the perks of her being a live-in “wifey” but not enough to make her Mrs. Jones?

That’s not enough love for me, and I wish it wasn’t for her.  But it happens.

Chrissy should realize that it doesn’t take a grown man 6 years to decide what he wants.  If he wanted to marry you…he would’ve asked YOU.

Probably adding to this sitch is the fact that Jim’s (or Jimmy’s) mother, isn’t exactly Chrissy’s biggest fan, and that’s putting it mildly.

If she were my client:
I would have to get to the bottom of why she wants to marry this man so badly, that she would propose to him.  Is this about the 6 years they’ve spent together, or is this about building a future together?  I spent 10 years in a relationship, and I relate to having all the years together and wanting them to culminate in something meaningful.

Additionally, we would have to explore what she’s prepared to do if he doesn’t step up to the plate and become her husband.

We’re not issuing ultimatums, but we are defining what she needs and wants for herself.  As much as Chrissy loves Jim, she shouldn’t have to settle for a relationship that isn’t fulfilling her.  I don’t want her to go another 6 years and perhaps 2-3 children later, and realize that she’s made a grave mistake.

What can all learn from this:
There is no reason why a woman should have to propose to a man.  I am sorry to burst your feminist bubble, but after everything we go through to love and to honor the special man in our life, to now add proposing to the list, just seems unfair.

It is a privilege to share a life with someone, and if you don’t think the privilege of sharing of life with you merits him asking for it, then that says something more.

Additionally, we have to be prepared to take drastic steps when we’ve created a situation that is difficult to get out of. If Chrissy didn’t live with Jim, it would be easier for her to exit this relationship.  And, I would’ve done just that after my proposal was met with, “I got you.”

The ultimate lesson: You cannot make anyone be what they don’t want to be.  It’s clear that Jimmy doesn’t want to be a husband, and if you think you’re unfulfilled now, just imagine what will happen if he takes on the role without being prepared to do so.

Take the hint, Chrissy…you deserve more, and if he won’t give it to you…then you have be prepared to do something different.

I wish you the best!

Oh yea…don’t replace that engagement right you bought, and he lost. (Just my 2 cents!)

What I Told Kris Humphries…

This is the first of five in my “Celebrity Love Note” in the series. I hope that you take my assessment of these high-profile situations and realize that it’s not just star-studded love that is in need of a makeover…we can all do better.

My Take:
Kris, you missed some clues that this wasn’t the union for you. While we overlook many things in the name of love, some things we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to. From the footage that I’ve seen and just a cursory understanding of who Kim is, it’s clear that she isn’t ready for a long-term relationship, let alone a marriage. One key indicator of this was her past relationships, including a marriage that you knew nothing about. My thought is that this isn’t the only thing that shocked you or made you question this relationship, but since the wheels were in motion, you just kept moving forward.

I truly believe that you thought this girl was the one for you, and for that, my heart goes out to you. However, there were too many factors present that had the potential to doom this relationship. From family debates about the validity of this marriage; to unanswered questions about your fiancée; and just way too many cameras chronicling it all. I never saw that Kim was your best friend, and I never saw that this was a union built on a solid foundation, and while it’s easy for me to say these things now, I am sure that in hindsight, you are now probably saying the same things, and more.

When a relationship ends, both people are at fault, so it’s not all about what Kim did or didn’t do. I fault you for not heeding the signs that said this relationship wasn’t viable—at least not in its current state—and for not being wiser in this situation, and doing what was best for you.

If he was my client:
Ok guys, I didn’t actually tell Kris Humphries these things, but I would. Keep reading. If Kris Humphries was my client, we’d have to develop a plan to help him realize the criteria for a healthy relationship. In the midst of this, I wouldn’t let him date for at least the next 6-9 months, because he has to heal from this loss. As I have told you, breakups are like deaths. We have loss someone that we love, and we have to take time to mourn that loss. Additionally, I would like him to set criteria going forward for a life partner.

What we can all learn from this:
First of all, marriage is a serious commitment. I say that it is a magnifier of what is right and wrong in a relationship. It won’t change someone’s behavior for the better and it won’t make the relationship stronger. It will take everything in your relationship and make it more noticeable and more pronounced. If you are ok with having the good and bad in your relationship—just like it is today—multiplied, then perhaps marrying this person is for you.

Now, we don’t know Kris or Kim (if you know Kris Humphries, bring him to me ASAP), but this relationship played out in front of millions on TV—to its detriment. Despite that, the parts that matter were magnified long before they say I do (or perhaps Kim only said she might for the next 72 days). Kris was unaware of key events in Kim’s past, like, err, a previous marriage, and this means something substantial. Regardless of the situations surrounding her first marriage, it should’ve been discussed with Kris privately prior to the family outing, and prior to the revelation of this occurrence being caught on camera for all of the world to see.

The cameras just made things worse. Not only is this debacle immortalized on film, but it makes us witnesses of moments that no one should have seen. Kim wants to blame the cameras for the reason she went through with this, but I think that Kim has some deep issues that must be dealt with before she can be anyone’s soulmate.

My goal as Kris’ relationship coach would be to make sure that he doesn’t become someone who is bitter and closed to the possibility of true love. Additionally, I want him to value himself and not jump into a relationship that doesn’t satisfy him and think, once again, that she is marriage material.

Back to what we can learn…

We can learn that it takes more than a great dress and a million dollar ring to create a lasting marriage. However, what we can also learn is that we have to do our homework on the people that we allow into our lives, and we have to do even more homework when we’re considering marriage.

The best question you can answer before you stroll down the aisle is, “what is the vision for our marriage?” Translation: How do you both see this working? How do we deal with situations? What are your expectations of me as a wife/husband?

We must stop settling for someone—or overlooking major issues in our compatibility quotient—just because they say yes to a proposal, or simply because they proposed. Consider marriage like a business merger, and the cardinal rule of mergers (per Coach Steph) is that we don’t join forces with any company who doesn’t make us stronger, better or richer (leave off the richer when dealing with people).

If you are going to share a life with someone, then they should meet (and exceed) your criteria for a relationship partner. That’s not rocket science…but many people are still failing at recognizing this basic fact.

The story of Kris and Kim should show you exactly what happens when we ignore the signs, and accept someone on the grounds of love alone…both of them should’ve communicated better, and we might’ve been able to avoid all of this. Instead they both seem to have settled, and now hundreds of thousands and a million-dollar ring later, they’re reflecting on the past instead of experiencing an amazing future together.

Last time I checked, forever is longer than 72 days…right?

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