February Issue 2022 On Love & Relationships

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To Rekindle Your Desires

5 steps


Advice & Inspiration to Couples

STACEY L. & ANSON On Love & Relationships


CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2022 Phresher & Jenn Tracy Crossley Glynis & GeraldAlbright Talitha Burris & Bobby Stacey & Anson Shay & Hunter The Real Deal with Relationships in 2022 George Davis Jr. Sherri & Markel Bell Dr. Casay & Jay Claxton Shereese Floyd Remi Jones Alyssa & Otis Shari & Will Morghan Richardson Defined Elegance Danni “Amapoundcake” Adams Marriage between Ava and Westley 6 Tips for Keeping Romance Alive


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Founder – Cece Hymes

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W.I.B (Where It Begins) is an Independent agency with the aim to always be innovated in each approach taken to projects and making sure excellence is given in a projects execution when it comes to media marketing, branding, networking and management. Founded by the well experienced and ever growing force; D.C native - Cece Hymes, the most important and integral aspect of W.I.B is that branding for both Creatives and Businesses is taken to the next level with each and every project undertaken.




We’ve continued to represent a very diverse and well acclaimed roster of emerging talents in the entertainment, and businesses! With a determined persistence for continued excellence, our Founder – Cece Hymes, with a college Degree in Business Management, has also worked within radio and with many companies such as: RDE Entertainment, H.I.G.H Entertainment and Caribbean Gospel Records Ltd.,

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"Communication is the key. Listen to one another and keep the spice in your relationship."


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Phresher & Jenn

Q. How did you and your spouse meet? A. We met in the sixth grade at P.S 174 in Brooklyn, New York. Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and this was the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life. A. Life has its ups and downs, but no matter what we stay by each other side. We always put US first. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. When we were 17 and 18 yrs old, we had our first child, our son. He was born premature and had to stay in an ICU for three months. It was very hard for us as new parents dealing with everything. We would have to travel back-andforth to the hospital every day not knowing if our son would learn how to breathe and eat on his own.

Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. We knew that someone’s life depended on our actions. Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. Love is happiness and joy, hurt, pain, and sadness. Love is anything you know you can’t live without. Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. We were on vacation in Puerto Rico when we found out we were having baby number two. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. Years!!! I feel like you don’t know if you can make a lifetime commitment until you live with one another. That’s when you really know the ins and outs of a person and if you are truly compatible.

Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. I’m not against it but I don’t think people need it. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your spouse? A. Being in the entertainment industry, we are always on the road. A nice romantic date for us would be a candlelit dinner at home, then a nice movie, then ending the night with a massage for one another. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Communication is the key. Listen to one another and keep the spice in your relationship. Q. Are you’ll working on any projects or events for 2022? A. We are working a Mental Health Non-Profit organization, every Sunday we host Stepper Sundays at Polygon in Brooklyn, every Monday our podcast “He vs She” airs live at 10pm on Instagram, we hold a monthly competition at Polygon for upcoming artists to assist with brand building, and lastly, we are currently working on Season 2 of “Love and Hip-Hop New York”. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. You can find us on all social media platforms via; Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @Jennthegroupieslayer @Phresher_dgygz. WIB Magazine


"The five most important things in a relationship are love, connection or emotional intimacy, friendship, honest communication, and stability."

Tracy Crossley 6

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was driving me to one bad relationship after another or from my long bouts of being alone. In an effort to “resolve” the latest love situation, I booked an appointment with the book’s author. I was basically broke, but somehow, I scraped together $300 to have a session with her. I was hoping she could save me from myself.

Q. Thanks for interviewing with us today. Tell everyone who you are and what you do. A. My name is Tracy Crossley and I am a Behavioral Relationship Expert; I work with people to develop emotional well-being and intelligence in how they see themselves in and out of relationships (both personally and professionally). Q. Let’s talk a little about your journey and how you got to where you are today? A. I was an entrepreneur from a young age selling popcorn balls to my neighbors. As an adult, I would go from owning my own businesses followed by years working in corporate America. I became a single parent when my kids were young and during that time I would struggle with my happiness with work, myself and of course, dating and relationships. Almost 14 years ago, I was laid off from my six-figure job. I had anxiety all the time: if it was not about the money, it was about the guy or being alone or how I was doing as a parent. In one of the books I read, The Wishing Year, the author mentioned several other books in her book. One, in particular, was Calling In The One. It was totally up my alley with my wreck of a love life. It was the start of me catching a clue about what

While I was at her office, I met her business partner, who needed some marketing and business development. I jumped in because I loved the work they were doing and it gave me something positive to focus on as I looked for a job. Fast forward to about a couple of months later and I was invited to train as a coach for them. My response was, “Thank you, but no thank you.” I had no interest in sitting through days of training because I had had a ton of anxiety about my current dysfunctional relationship which gave me self-diagnosed ADD, not to mention that I could not imagine how I was going to make money as a coach. Eventually, after a lot of prodding, I agreed to do it. That is how I literally became a coach. I learned through the work I did with others, including a lot of studying and enlisting other teachers, that I was an anxious-avoidant. Meaning I was insecurely attached. I could see it from my early dating life through all my relationships. I should also mention when I began coaching, I was losing everything that I felt counted, including my house and my wonderfully avoidant, delusional relationship. However, when I was coaching those people for an hour a week, I was in focus. I was right there with them. In essence, my career was a choice I did not put much thought into. It sort of found me and I went with it. I struggled through my first few years of coaching and around that time I had an epiphany about myself. I realized I was completely cut off from my emotions. I had this discovery when the relationship I lost started to reanimate itself from dead to living. I was irritated

because I realized no matter if this person was in my life or he was gone, I felt the same: held captive by something I thought was supernatural love, as though he was my soulmate. I decided I would not break it off with this guy unless I had emotional clarity and resolution. I brought what I learned to my coaching. I knew when people showed up in that anxiety, either over a recent break up with someone they were still hooked on or they were in a yo-yo situation like me or had been single for years, that I could help them. This was all because I had helped myself. This was the coolest thing because I had believed I had been the only one. And here I am today. At this point I have helped thousands of people break their dysfunctional love life cycles. Q. How do you define your purpose in life? A. I would say my purpose is to help people discover something they never knew they could have: emotional well-being. To be free of anxiety and trust themselves to make choices that they can handle. Q. What is a drama triangle? A. The Drama Triangle was created by Dr. Stephen Karpman, M.D., It is based on relational dynamics and how people choose (unconsciously) to inhabit a position on the triangle depending on who the relationship is with. This way of relating is prevalent throughout our society. Q. Can you tell us what the roles in the drama triangle look like? A. The victim wants other people to accommodate their wishes, but usually in an indirect manner. They feel powerless to change things in a direct manner by taking action. They will sulk, pout, whine and complain to others about the problem they believe is caused by another person. The sense of entitlement as though they deserve more from others is key. They chose helplessness as they blame others for their state of lack. “Lack” being lack of happiness, lack of love, etc.

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The rescuer feels validated and worthy by rescuing or fixing others. They will go out of their way to be the peacemaker or sacrifice themselves for the good of others (but not really, as they are pretty resentful for all they do give up). The goal is to always be saving rather than look at themselves. The perpetrator wants to blame you by criticizing, yelling, bullying, etc. to try to get you to change. They attempt to give you a solid case of what you fail at, so you feel guilty and full of shame. They actually feel extreme shame and that is a motivator. Q. How can you get out of the “Drama Triangle” pattern and improve yourself and your relationship in 2022? A. You have to become aware of your position. Different relationships will usually place you in a different role. Also, some relationships cause reactions by communication or events that may push someone into another role on the triangle. Like going from rescuer to victim. This occurs often, especially if one position is not working to get the result a person wants. To get out of the Drama Triangle is to become aware of how you interact with others without blaming them…..this will allow you to take ownership, basically responsibility for what you say and do. This is empowering rather than disempowering and dysfunctional in your relationships. The other thing would be to look at why you are trying to control the narrative between yourself and another person. What are you afraid of? Knowing what you fear, such as possible loss, means you have to look at why. Why do you fear it–what do you fear happening to you? Q. What does a healthy relationship look like? A. A healthy relationship looks like a partnership. It means there is consistency–words and actions match. I.e.–if your partner says they will be there at 7, they are


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there at 7, or have let you know why they cannot join you at 7. There is a consistency in both of your behaviors. You both hold the relationship as meaningful, so you do not like to throw your drama into the relationship to create tension. Both of you are focused on maintaining honest communication. There is always progression in a healthy relationship, not a feeling of stagnation. When stagnation happens, there is a sense of feeling disconnected from each other and there is a focus of finding problems. In a healthy relationship, no subject is verboten. Everything is talked about all the time, so there is not a “big” talk, just a series of moments where things are shared. There is an ease, because both people are being true to themselves and not trying to be another person. Q. What are the five most important things in a relationship? A. The five most important things in a relationship are love, connection or emotional intimacy, friendship, honest communication, and stability. Q. Let’s talk about your book and the motivation behind the book? A. I wrote a book to help people in general to move out of unhealthy patterns that affect their lives negatively. The book delves into areas of insecure attachment, the drama triangle and other obstacles to emotional well-being. The solution to unhealthy relationships is to really take responsibility for your words and actions, but to do so you have to have emotional well-being. I wanted to create a How-To guide for people, not just a book where they recognize their issues. The tools are written and actionable for people who want to feel good and have their relationships reflect it. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for people in love?

A. Do the hard things. Don’t shy away from saying things that are true (without blame) so that there is never a pile of stuff hidden under the rug. Take responsibility for what you do and say. This is hard, but worth it. You are in a love relationship, not a competition or wanting a winner/loser scenario– that perspective will never bring you closer. Only using honesty and compassion all the time will keep you together. Q. Are you working on any new projects or events? A. I have new short-term programs all the time, so join my mailing list! And I am writing book number two right now, which I am excited about. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. They can find me at tracycrossley.com – all my social media is listed there to follow. They can also download a free chapter of my book on the website.

"Friends first- Soulmates forever." ~Gerald Albright.

Glynis & GeraldAlbright Photo credit: Grant Photos

Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life? A. Glynis: By the time we turned 15, I knew that Gerald would be my husband. Back then, I could see the qualities that he inherited. I adored him, his humor, and way he accepted everything about me (including things that I thought were flaws). Gerald: Even at the early age of 15, I knew that Glynis was a perfect fit for me. We had so many things in common and our aspirations were very similar. Every conversation that we had was filled with seasonings of longevity. I admired her beauty, her smartness, her laughter and her lady-like personality. Q. What were the hardest experiences that you and your husband had to go through?


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Gerald: Being a musician, the nature of my vocation kept me away from home a lot. Though I was fortunate to be there for most of the major events of our family, it was hard for me to be away for long periods of time. When Glynis was diagnosed with leukemia, it added another thick layer of worry, stress, concern, and problem solving to the equation. Glynis, the superwoman that she is, assumed her duties as a wife and mother as best as she could. Even amidst her medical challenges, she was still the rock of the family and kept things moving forward. As a family, we found out very quickly who our true friends were. With that circle being so small, it forced our young kids (12 and 4 years of age) to grow up rapidly to be able to take care of Glynis while I was away. This was a hard time that I hope to never relive again. It did validate the strength of the Albright Family. Q. How did that experience make your relationship stronger?

A. Gerald and Glynis: After going through the stages of denial and then accepting that we as a family had a serious illness to deal with, we had to be honest with ourselves about how we planned to handle the situation. We gave each other strength and determination to keep fighting. We prayed for God to carry us all through and due to our closeness, our family unit got stronger and tighter. We had to concentrate on all of the good things that were happening in our lives at the time and move forward, rather than harbor thoughts of resentment and anger because our support system was so small. When you find out the true feelings of others and where you really stand in their lives, it places you in the position to stand strong on your own. We accepted that all we really had was each other. We kept to ourselves and our invisible wall of protection was in full affect. Q. What do you think is the definition of LOVE? A. Gerald and Glynis: Love is that deep feeling of affection. It is being spiritually connected to someone and that person leaves you speechless. Love is passion. Love is caring and being kind. Love is admiration. Love is being content with and also liking someone. Q. Of all of the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one?

Photo credit: Grant Photos

Photo credit: Julia Vandenoever Photography

Q. How did you and your spouse meet? A. We met in junior high school, Samuel Gompers Junior High (what is known today as Middle School). We were 13 years old. June 9th, 1972, is when it all started. June 9th of this year will mark 50 years of our courtship. We plan to celebrate!!

A. Glynis: For me, it was when I was diagnosed with leukemia. Once the disease began to take its course, I felt unattractive and worthless. I felt like I had done something to let my entire family down. In areas of our marriage where he depended upon me to come through, a lot of times, I wasn’t able to. I was too weak, tired, and sick. The illness made me feel less than and I had never felt that sense of weakness and lack of self- control before. Of course, I later came to terms with the fact that those were MY feelings and not HIS feelings, but at the time, not having control of my life left me feeling an emptiness that is indescribable. One other experience for me was accepting that my husband would be on the road or on tour a lot of the time and I would have to wear all of the hats in his absence. I had to figure out how to balance being a wife, mother, businesswoman, and all the other subtitles that go along with each of those titles. It was hard! I was in my early 30’s and many times, I had no help and became frustrated and discouraged.

A. Glynis: We have traveled all over the world together. A trip to Las Vegas, for me, was one of my most memorable. This particular trip, Gerald had planned everything. Usually, I plan all trips from the time we leave the house to the time we return (and all in-between). I fell in love with him all over again on June 9, 2010. Gerald: I share Glynis’ thoughts on the trip to Las Vegas. In addition to that, the quality time that we spent touring Europe together was also most memorable. To be able to see several parts of the world together and learn other cultures were very special to me. Q. How long do you think a couple should date before getting married? A. Gerald and Glynis: I think the length of time that someone should date before marriage varies contingent upon age (and experience). Couples in their early 20’s haven’t really experienced life as of yet. That particular couple, in my opinion, needs some guidance and counseling before taking the plunge. Getting married is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in life and hopefully one that you will only have to make only once. I believe at least a year or two of getting to know one another would be sufficient. A couple in their 40’s may only need a year or so to get to know one another, whereas a couple in their 50’s or 60’s might find courting and engagement for more than a year to be absurd. Usually, around 50 years of age and beyond, couples know what they want, they’ve lived life, they are pretty much set in their ways, and if they find someone who they can get along with, they are ready to go for it. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. Gerald and Glynis: It would be great if all couples sought out professional counseling prior to marriage. There are so many elements that aren’t dealt of

before marriage that show up within the first year. These elements can cause havoc on a loving couple. Trust, money, kids, religion, morals and values, political preference, self-esteem, habits, jobs, careers, etc. When young couples are madly in love, most times, these topics aren’t even discussed. Dealing with issues “as they come up” may not be the best solution to keep a marriage together. Some things need to be handled and disposed of before saying, “I do.” Q. Describe the perfect date for your spouse. A. Gerald and Glynis: We love to eat. Yes! Gerald Albright loves to eat and I love to cook. The perfect combination! A perfect date for G – two different scenarios: a beautiful table set for the two of us; a home- cooked meal (anything that I prepare is fine; he doesn’t complain at all); my fresh lemonade; and the two of us sitting together laughing and planning out our lives for the following year. We enjoy each other’s company. We like each other as well as love each other, which I feel is important. Second scenario: the two of us at our favorite restaurant (and we have a few) doing the same that we would do at home – laughing and planning. Our date nights always include asking one another how can we do better. Q. What advice can you give to other couples. A. Gerald and Glynis: Three things: 1. Keep your business between the two of you. Period! Once you involve another person or others, things can become very messy. 2. Communication is the key. Even when it hurts, communicate with honesty and sincerity. 3. Do whatever you can to keep the admiration alive. Remember all of the things that your spouse was attracted to or those things that caused him/her to become interested in you? Well, those things must remain intact. No slippin’. . . . . and that goes for BOTH of you.

I’m not talking about physical stuff because as you age, expand your family, and deal with life’s challenges, your bodies will change. I’m talking about the intangible elements of your relationship: attitude; being loving; smiling; being patient; being caring and kind; being trustworthy; being respectful; wanting to be there for one another; hygiene (hair, teeth, skin, clothing); doing things together (date time); and intimacy (not necessarily sexual). Q. Are you working on any goals for 2022? A. Glynis: Yes!! Together and independently. We are always striving towards working smarter, not harder. We’d also love to travel more (as soon as Covid allows us to do it freely). There are some places that G has visited while on tour that he’d love to visit again with me, like Dubai and Prague. Independently, I’m always working toward business growth. I’d love for my products to become a household name. Gerald: I’m always working towards broadening my portfolio within the music industry. I love working both the creative and business side of things. I’m also excited about practicing my duties as a new grandfather. Both Glynis and I are looking forward to enjoying the Albright Family expansion. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. GlynisKitchen.com and GeraldAlbright.com Those two websites are always updated especially for those who are social media buffs. Tour schedules, appearances, products, articles, booking agent and publicist – our Story – all of that!!

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"The definition of LOVE to me is being there for someone no matter what! That is love."

Talitha Burris & Bobby

He was at work, where he was a bouncer at a club and he had borrowed one of his friend’s phones to call me. That said a lot about his character to me. After that we dated and saw or spoke to each other every day for about a month straight and then one day, I told him I felt like I loved him and he said him too so we started saying I love you and on my 40th birthday June 13th, 2011, he said let’s get married? I replied, let’s do it! He bought me a ring, we married in my father’s office 17 days later and the rest is history!! I just knew he was the one.

Q. How Did you and your spouse meet? A. Bobby and I actually met via text as my cousin was trying to help me book a hotel room at his hotel and I got all the way to the hotel and found out I didn’t have a reservation. I called him and he happened to be off that day and told me to call his boy Bobby and he could hook me up. Bobby and I continued to text each other on and off for a couple of months and then I had to meet this guy that was showing me sooo much love. We set up a meeting place because I was dating someone else at the time and was going to try and hook him up with a friend of mine….but I wanted to meet him first. We met and had drinks and talked all night long and that was the start of an awesome companionship 11 years later. Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and this was the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life? A. One thing I pride myself on is being a person of my word and having integrity. I had run across men that said one thing and did another. Not Bobby. When he said he was going to call, he did. When he scheduled a date we went. When we were first dating, I remember his phone got cut off but he said he would call me at this specific time. At that time, I received a call from an unknown number and typically I wouldn’t have answered but it was Bobby.

Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. Because I am 12 years Bobby’s senior. We have gone thru some ageism issues. Initially we thought age ain’t nothing but a number and it is but it still comes with some heavy generational curses and other things. So the intimacy part of our relationship has suffered due to the fact that I have pretty much for a lack of a better saying, been around the block more than my husband; We really struggled in that area because I truly believe in Soul Ties and because I have had so many relationships in my past, I struggled with giving up complete control and being totally vulnerable with my husband in every area, if you know what I mean? But we are working thru it and slowly getting to a place where I no longer am holding on to that stronghold and those past hurts and disappointments. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. I don’t know if it made our relationship stronger but we are definitely more understanding of each other’s needs, now that we know the problem and areas that we struggle in. He is unlike any man I’ve ever known. He could have said to hell with it and left and found a younger woman or started cheating because I haven’t been the greatest in that area. But he continues to stay and love on me and work with me thru all of this emotional baggage that I carry, trying to help me shed the weight of them all, one

day (year) at a time. Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. The definition of LOVE to me is being there for someone no matter what! That is love. Sometimes sacrificing your own needs or desires for that special someone. Going thru the fire with that person and not minding getting burned as long as you two are together in it. Trusting that person with your life and not having any back up plan. Wanting everything for that person even if you’re not with them, you just want to see them HAPPY!!! That’s LOVE to me!! Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. I believe the most memorable trips for us have been us driving back to Kansas City, Missouri, where I call my second home. It’s not where I was born and raised but it helped to shape me into the person and woman I’ve become. So, a lot of my family and lifelong friends are there. Because I had made so many mistakes in relationships, I figured I would take Bobby to Kansas City to meet my friends so they could feel him out and give me some type of confirmation after we met. The first time we went was right before we decided to get married. We were unsure whether we would be able to go due to financial reasons and the night right before we were going to go Bobby said if he made money that night in tips at the club we would head out there! That night he made over 1300.00 and we got up the next morning rented a car, booked a room at the Aloft and headed out. It was such a great feeling to be on the road with my baby, listening to Pandora, singing and dancing and laughing. It was the best road trip ever. We got to KC and was able to ball out of control, eating out, going on a small shopping spree and having a blast with my friends who initially made jokes because Bobby was so young but gave me their approval because they saw that HE was the one. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? WIB Magazine


A. Because of the situation we had I don’t have a certain time limit. Before I would have said at least a year but love is love and a connection is a connection. I would just say the advice that I received from a pastor friend a long time ago is to see the person in all of their key emotions and that will show you if you can handle them in their entirety. So, their feelings of being happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. I absolutely do! I actually think that couples that initially meet and start dating should do dating counseling before they fall for each other. That way they can see early on whether they are truly compatible if they are looking to make a long-term love connection and not waste each other’s time. Once you get to marriage counseling, you’re already there and in love and have decided to spend the rest of your life together…so if you’re in counseling and you find out disheartening things about one another or red flags, by then it’s harder to leave or say it’s not for you. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your spouse? A. A perfect date for Bobby is easy. It’s me not on my phone or my phone turned off and buried deep in my purse. An evening of anything ARTSY, Museum, Art Gallery, A Cool Bookstore, or Outdoor Patio. A nice restaurant with some good food! And mind-blowing sex when we get home or a hotel room. He’s Easy!! Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. The advice that we have found helpful is to just listen to one another and be intentional on how we show love to one another. I purchased the Love Language Book for couples and it was very helpful in learning how to show Bobby love and knowing how he shows love to me and how I need him to show love to me. His love language is Acts of Service and


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mine is Words of Affirmation. I’m telling you if you don’t learn anything else, when you learn how your spouse loves you and how you need to be loved and vice versa, it cuts down on sooo much doubt and gives you true satisfaction and compromise in your marriage. Q. Are you’ll working on any new goals for 2022? A. Right now we are just trying to get our businesses up and running. We recently jumped off the Porch and moved from Dallas to Las Vegas two months before the Pandemic and everything went downhill before it even got started. Bobby is an artist/designer and I am a media personality with my own podcast show and a writer/director/actor with my own production company for over 30 years. We have our annual Model Competition to Be or Not to Be 2022 coming up in September and we

have a new Podcast Studio where we are looking for fellow podcaster in the Las Vegas area that are looking to host their own show to come on board and use our Podcast Studio for their Show Needs. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. All of our Social Media Info: Bobby B- Insta; @therealbigbobbyb @orla_worldwide FB; Chris Orla Collection Talitha; Insta; @foodforthesoulmediagroup @Iam_TalithaCumi FB; FoodfortheSoulMedia Group and CumiProductions You Tube- Food for the Soul Media Group and Intimate Conversations. Black Love Day has been observed on February 13th since 1993! Get ready for another year of expressing love towards the Creator love for self, love towards family, love for the Black Community, and love for the Black Race.

Happy Black Love Day: A HOW - TO GUIDE


f you have never heard of Black Love Day, then this post is definitely for you! Before I get into the nitty-gritty about this beloved holiday, let's do a reflection on the importance of celebrations and their impact on the descendants of Africans living in America. There is an expressed need for community among those who identify as African-American. Our culture is a culmination of shared experiences specific to the Black existence here in America. Look around: injustices surround us on every side, yet we are divided on many issues that will impact our children and their children and their children. Our COMMON UNITY has become lost. Our village has been fractured into tiny sects. The decision to make personal sacrifices for the greater good of the group is unconscionable to most. Social conditioning has positioned us to be "down for the struggle" until the next distraction which impedes our progress as ONE PEOPLE. Will we ever agree on everything? I highly doubt it. As we remain on that line of thinking, herein lies the impor-

tance of African-American Holidays. It is during these festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies we preserve our history, customs, traditions, and symbols with dignity. How easy is it to forget what was taken from us. It is on these historical and contemporary African-American holidays—ranging from slave observances to Kwanzaa, we use 24 hours to acknowledge noteworthy individuals who paved a way for us today and our traditions. On these designated days, we examine historical events, cultural heritage, and religious beliefs ranging from various ideologies and African-based faiths. There are 100's of African American Holidays (wholydays). This is a short list of African-American Holidays as well as a how-to for those interested in observing Black Love Day today and every day: Kwanzaa, Juneteenth D.C. Emancipation Day Harlem Week Battle of Olustee Reenactment Black Cowboy Parade Black Poetry Day Harriet Tubman Day Malcolm X Day Nelson Mandela Day ... just to name a few. WIB Magazine


"Nya Akoma" (pronounced N-yah Ah-coma) means get a heart, be patient. The Akoma is an ancient African Symbol, NOT a Valentine.

It is my hope, by putting emphasis on Black Love Day we become more diligent in our annual rituals; that we invest as much, if not more, time and money into holidays that specifically reflect Black culture. But how do we do that? Surely, traditional public school and the federal government is not carving out the time to teach our heritage. The responsibility falls on us to honor our ancestors. Taken from The Black Love Book compiled, edited, and written by Ayo Handy-Kendi, creator of Black Love Day, here are a few ways to celebrate every February 13th: Begin with the 5 tenets of Black Love Day: Love towards the Creator, towards self, towards family, showing love within the Black community, and love for the Black race. The book also gives step-by-step instruction on how to conduct a Black Love Relationship Ceremony a spiritual occasion practiced with an outpouring of prayer and re-commitment to the values of love. Spend the day being in a state of gratitude and appreciation - have an honorable reverence for how far we have come as a people, acknowledge how far we have to go. Being in a state for forgiveness - cast down any self-image that is a mirror of past mistakes; give others a second chance. It's early enough in the year to reignite those New Year's resolutions you already failed to keep.


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Speak kind words to your partner, your family members, those closest to you - look for ways to give praise. Do a family project together - volunteer at a local shelter, plan a spring garden, play hooky from school and work to love on each other. Be romantic - take a bath with your spouse or romantic partner, candle-light meals still work, or send an old fashioned love letter.

Avoid negative people, news, reports. Trump who? Have meetings seeking re-conciliation for with whom you are in fractured relationship. Support a Black Owned Business listed in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide! It's a coupon book and each discount is good for 1 year!! Bonus: People who do not identify as Black/African American can celebrate Black Love Day as well. On Black Love Day, those who do not share the Black existence have an intentional opportunity to spent more time finding their soul and their conscious, rather than argue or investigate why Black people are in pain. Well-meaning, anti-racist non-black community members can use this day to share messages of equality, equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice for under-represented, oppressed, marginalized Black and Brown people. The state of this world has not only come about due to race issues alone, but of moral issues also. If you are in the habit of celebrating African-American Holidays, share below which ones! I want to hear from you.

Stacey L. & Anson

Love is that emotion you feel in your heart that no one can take away. Love is seeing understanding instead of hate.

Q. How did you and your fiancée meet? A. We met on POF. Dating is tough in 20th century, but the good thing about these apps is you can pick and choose what you want in a mate. We went on our first date at Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA and we had a blast. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. Anson: Agreeing to have another child at our age. I wanted a child but not at the time. Now I am so grateful we had Ayden our now 5-year-old son. Stacey L: Deciding to have another child. I was back and forth about having another child. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. Anson: Ayden brought us together by making sure anytime we are apart (we didn’t live together the first 2 years of our

Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. Anson: So far, I would say when we flew to LA the second day we flew to Vegas then back to LA to hang with some of our friends.

relationship) he would constantly ask where is mommy. He would insist that we go get her as if she was lost somewhere and should be with us. Stacey L: I knew we had to come together to raise our son, so we had to work together to parent our son the best way we knew how. It brought our communication with one another stronger. I know no one have all the answers to when it comes to parenting but it takes two people to understand that we may not agree on everything when it comes to our children but with great communication and understanding we can conquer everything in between. Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. Anson: Love is caring just as much about yourself as much as you care for your companion. A better way to say it is that it’s a feeling that allows you to want to spend time together, sacrifice your time, money, and needs all to be with this person. Stacey L: Good question. Everyone has a different definition or perspective of what they think love is to them. I say love to me is when you hold space for those that mistreat you or don’t understand you.

Stacey L: The week getaway when we went to LA and then flew to Vegas. We went to celebrate and be a part of one of our friend’s birthday and event. We had so much fun. Even though around that time L.A. was cold. Q. Describe the love, the passion that you have for your partner? A. Anson: I have somewhat of a sacrificial love that does everything to ensure everything is cohesive and flowing in a happy direction. Stacey L: My love for Anson is unconditional. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. Anson: No less than a year, no more than 5 years. Stacey L: I say a year or longer. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. Anson: Yes, jointly, and individually. Especially for older couples that tend to have a lot more baggage (Kids, ex-spouses, etc.) Stacey L: I say yes. It’s always good to get another person that doesn’t know either party to talk to them both and individually on their strengths and weaknesses in the relationship. Then finding to make those strengths stronger and those weakness strengths. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for


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"Love starts within so love yourself first and true love will follow." ~Stacey L

your spouse? A. Anson: She likes food and live jazz. Stacey L: A perfect date for Anson is a dinner and a movie at his favorite movie theater. He is in heaven when he goes to the movies with his bucket of popcorn and his large coke cherry coke at that. Lol Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Anson: Yes, be honest about how you feel. Also don’t do anything you’re not ready to do. If your companion wants to try something new make sure you talk through it prior to trying it. Stacey L: I want to say in every relationship at times you will have a giver and a taker. It’s not always going to be you giving and taking the roles will change throughout the relationship. We all have our

issues and inner work we need to work on so don’t be too hard on each other rather see the strengths in each other’s weakness and help build one another up through the weaknesses. Make sure you keep the communication open and understand what your partner is saying before you think otherwise of what he/she was saying. Q. Are you’ll working on any projects or events for 2022? A. Anson and Stacey L: We are putting a couple’s trip to Dubai and a couples retreat in the U.S. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. You can follow Stacey L: IG @hoststaceyl Total Xposure TV: IG @ totalxposuretv Facebook Total Xposure

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"Love is more about finding suitability than compatibility with a person. Both are important however when you find your suited match, it trumps everything else."

Shay & Hunter

Q. How did you and your spouse meet? A. We met on Bumble back in midJune 2021. I know online dating, but hey it’s life! :) Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. At first it was the distance, we were 4 hours or so away and then it became adjusting to life between two people who have lived single for so long trying to blend our lives together. I also have a six-year-old son, so he had to adjust another adult living in the house which he has never encountered. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. The experience has definitely made the relationship stronger because we are forced to work as a team for the greater good and not only what feels good to us individually. It has also made us appreciate each other more and having a best friend who will go the distance with you. Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. I think the definition can vary for so many reasons but for Hunter and I it means unconditional support not necessarily dealing with just any old thing but loving a person

in spite of their flaws while understanding that each person’s experiences have shaped how and who they are. It is also a willingness to grow together to achieve a common goal. It’s not holding fault and giving up the need to be right in order to keep the relationship peacefully. It’s truly a positive emotion that is evoked when you are around someone. Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. I’d say to Tampa because it was our first business trip together. We recently made the decision to bring Hunter onboard with my PR Agency to lead Operations and Brand Partnerships and it has been tested but we are making it workday by day. It’s new so there is a learning curve. Q. Describe the love, the passion that you have for your partner? A. Hunter just feels good to my spirit and soul. He’s beyond patient with my Type A personality and always willing to talk through something to get an understanding. It’s lovely to feel so loved, valued, and respected that he no matter how agitated he is with me wants to make me feel heard. It’s an overwhelming but beautiful feeling. Especially when I don’t want him to be understanding so I can be justified in my madness! LOL :) Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. I think this can vary depending on age, previous relationships, etc. However I think a year is plenty of time if I just had to put a number on it. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. Oh definitely, we are both big advocates of therapy. I think you learn so much of the nuances and idiosyncrasies about a person when you have an objective 3rd party. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your spouse? A. I definitely think a good Mexican dinner, a live Razorbacks baseball game, followed by a nice massage or

good music session is ideal. He loves sports and really anything Razorbacks so getting to see some live Arkansas events and his obsession with Mexican foods would be Grade A for him. Beyond that a nice trip to a tropical island out of the country eating authentic Mexican food wearing his Razorbacks gear! LOL. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Be patient with one another. We are all humans who can and should evolve. It’s important to speak to your partner in a way that resonates with them and not just how you like to say or do things. My mom use to tell me: “What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.” It makes so much sense now. That can be about anything but I’m just applying it to relationships. Allow people to be their authentic selves. Q. Are you’ll working on any projects or events for 2022? A. Yes, we are working on a few sports and fitness events for our agency, Royal Kingdom PR in the late spring after we take our trip to St. Lucia. Oh yeah, he bought me a WHOLE vacation to a beautiful island for Christmas last year. Excited to go but we are also working on expanding our events services. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. You can follow me on Tiktok/ IG/Twitter @royalkingdompr.

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The Real Deal with

Relationships in 2022 By Lauren Quirke

After almost a decade with my husband, three tiny humans and building a successful business i get asked regularly for advice on how i make it all work and the simple truth is this: I only have space for REALATIONSHIPS.


n the time I have known and loved my husband we have had our fair share of ups and downs. We have fought and floundered. We have battled and braved many of storm together. If there is one thing that I have learned from our relationship it would be that you have to stay true to you and your partner has got to do the same. I don’t believe in measuring success within a relationship, there is not good and bad, the lines are blurred and there is no black and white on the page of your love story. This year my husband and I will renew our vows, a decision we made based on two things. Firstly, neither


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of us can remember our original and traditional vows but secondly and arguably more importantly we are not the same two people who stood in front of our friends and family and declared our love. In the time since our original wedding we have both grown into new people. I am not the same woman I was then, and he is not the same man. Our tandem journey has involved disagreements, vulnerability and a heck of a lot of uncomfortable conversations and yet here we stand. Two different people, still in love, still willing to commit to each other and to me, that calls for celebration. I was the first to embark on my journey of self-

exploration and surrender to my spirituality and follow my soul. He watched for a long time, probably convinced that he married a mad woman. Soon after I started to see the changes in him, he became more willing to step out of his comfort zone, try new things, read new books, he even meditates now – the man I married NEVER would have meditated. Here is the thing about being in a relationship in 2020, this is the secret that we discovered that equates to our success. We don’t have a relationship, we have a REALATIONSHIP.

A Relationship is exactly how it sounds. We choose every day to remain true to ourselves and follow our souls, but we also choose every day to facilitate the other in their journey. At the end of the day it comes down to being honest with yourself and your partner, committing to your personal growth and giving your partner the grace to walk their own path. I like to think of us as two vines who grow side by side, we are two individuals who wrap around each other but grow separately, sometimes one vine gets more water or sun and grows a little faster but side by side they remain. The real deal with relationships in 2020 is simple. Create a REALATIONSHIP and stay true to you.

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"You will never ever date/marry a person's potential. You will always date/marry their present reality."

George Davis Jr. (Dr. G “The Relationship Beast”) Relationship Rehab DMV Dating/Marriage Expert & Celebrity Matchmaker

Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. I believe in the power of love. However, love doesn’t mean that you have to stay, and stay and stay. You can leave the relationship and love the person anyway. Love. It makes the world go ‘round, right? Well, at least that’s how the saying goes. But is it true? It should be, but so many people confuse love with things like jealousy or possessiveness. True love isn’t either of those things. But these 5 things are…


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1. Love means saying goodbye to expectations. Sure, we all want people to behave the way we want them to. We want them to be more affectionate. Or more outgoing. Or smarter. Or more ambitious. All of these things are expectations. Expectations are just your requirements for “acceptability” of loving someone. But true love has no expectations. It simply loves “as is.” 2. Love doesn’t play the victim role or blame others. Love doesn’t think others are “out to get them.” Love doesn’t think their

loved ones are wrong. Love works together. It takes responsibility. It forgives and allows other people’s actions to be their journey. Love doesn’t take things personally. 3. Love is an action, not just a feeling. That higher than “Cloud 9” feeling goes away after a while. That doesn’t mean you don’t love the other person anymore; it just means that it’s not new anymore. So that’s where the action needs to kick in. Show the person you love them. Don’t just assume they know.

4.Love requires attention. Love doesn’t ignore. It doesn’t look the other way. It wants to be present and be together. When people are in love, sometimes they think that they don’t have to “do any more work.” But real love actually enjoys giving attention to another person. It feels good and doesn’t see giving attention to another person as a chore. 5. Love has no room for jealousy. Like possession, jealousy doesn’t equal love. We think that if we’re not jealous of our loved ones that it means that we don’t love them. True love has confidence in the quality of the relationship. It knows that the other person is happy and content coming back to you and only you. Q. How do you turn selflove to power couple goals? A. My Top 5 Steps to Self-Love and Power Couple Goals One of the first things that I ask all of my clients to practice is to look closely in the mirror and tell me what you see. One day I had to ask myself the same question. I had to look in the mirror and ask, “What do I need to work on and heal within myself in order to attract a woman that not only truly loves me, but was also truly worthy of my love?” The truth was, I didn’t know. So, I set out on a personal journey of self-discovery to find out and below are the key steps that I took on my road to self-love. #1. I went to therapy Although I love my friends and family, I knew that I needed an objective and professional person in my life that could guide me in my journey to self-love and self-discovery. I found a therapist that I trusted and started going weekly to unpack not only my current state-of-being, but also my childhood and past experiences that shaped the way I see and move within the world. Power Couple Goal: Seek support and counseling before you need it and when you need it. Going to therapy when things are in a good place is a great

way to strengthen your relationship so you have the tools to deal with fights, arguments, disagreements, and problems in a healthy way rather than having things escalate to a negative space and then trying to go back and pick-up the pieces. #2: I committed to the process I took a step back from dating and chose to focus on myself in order to fully commit to the process of working on me. To do this, I had to work on my own self-awareness and fully commit to looking at myself in a realistic and authentic way. The key to seeing my own limitations, my own areas of improvement, my own weaknesses, and my own short-comings, in a way that was healing and not condemning, was to simultaneously hold space for self-love, selfcompassion, and self-understanding without judgment. But with that being said, it’s never too late to seek support. So, if things aren’t in a healthy place in your relationship, there is no shame in going to couples counseling to get an outside and professional opinion on how to heal and grow your relationship. Power Couple Goal: Commit to each other and commit to the relationship through both thick and thin. Shift your perspective from, “Are we going to get through this?” to “How are we going to get through this?” When you really commit to making the relationship work, your mindset needs to change to knowing that things aren’t going to be perfect and roses all of the time, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship isn’t strong enough to weather the storm. There will be inevitable down and hard times but your equal commitment to being a team and facing any and all obstacles together will sustain your relationship during the tough times. #3: I took ownership I previously mentioned that I took that finger of blame and pointed it at myself, but I want to be clear that it’s not about blaming anyone or about who’s wrong or right, it’s about taking back your power by being

accountable and responsible for your own life. As long as I was blaming the ‘no good’ women in my life, I had no power to allow real love into my life because it meant that someone outside of myself was responsible for my happiness and ultimately, my self-worth. Power Couple Goal: Take ownership for your 50% in the relationship. When things are going well, acknowledge and appreciate yourself for showing up fully and in a positive way for yourself and your partner. Also, acknowledge and appreciate your partner during the good times. Let them know how much you love them when things are going well and not just when you’re trying to get them back on your side after a fight or disagreement. Cultivate your relationship during the good times to build a stronger foundation for the long-term. #4: I dated myself I had to choose to date myself in an authentic way in order to discover who I was at my core. I had to discover what my likes were, what my dislikes were, what my needs were, what my wants were, what my passions were, what my pet peeves were, and what my desires were. I basically had to start from scratch and really get to know myself. Power Couple Goal: Never stop dating each other. Never stop striving to know each other at deeper and more meaningful levels. Carve out time during the week to spend time together and to go out on dates. Keep the romantic spark alive by checking in with your partner to make sure that their needs are being met and be vocal about what you need to feel loved and desired too. Don’t allow yourself or your partner to get complacent in the relationship. Commit to making the effort to keep the relationship fresh, exciting, and new. #5: I created a self-care routine On my journey to self-love and selfdiscovery, the biggest lifestyle change I had to make was to have a tangible self-care routine in place. WIB Magazine


I had to learn how to self-soothe during emotionally difficult times and how to create a lifestyle of honoring the unique space that I take up in the world in order to create a life of peace, love, and acceptance. I started praying more, journaling, weight lifting, listening to positive podcasts, seeking support from friends and family, and learning how to not take things personally. Power Couple Goal: Have a self-care routine in place for your relationship. This means creating the space to have healthy and constructive conversations with each other instead of fighting to be right, asking for space and time instead of ignoring and ghosting each other, doing fun activities together that bring you closer, and making the time to do things without each other so you’re still cultivating yourself as a healthy and fulfilled individual. Q. Can you give us some tips on keeping romance alive? A. Here’s my top 7 ways to rekindle your desire for one another and feel frisky again 1.Don’t hold a grudge. Forgive quickly. Unless you want to kill the romance and keep distance between you and your partner, that is. Make forgiveness a priority. Your partner may have no idea you are upset about something they do so make an effort to communicate. 2.Don’t keep a tally of who does what. Strive to do more than the other person, pick up the slack when necessary and you may find your partner will try to do the same. 3.Show your appreciation each and every day. Yes, every day. Not just on birthdays and Valentine’s Day. From morning until night, couples have the opportunity to offer words of affirmation to show they appreciate one another. Ask yourself every day, “What can I do to celebrate my partner today?”. Practice taking your “flirt” game to the next level. Wink, lick, squeeze or kiss to communicate affection. 28

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4.Surprise your partner. Everybody loves a “Good” surprise, right? Try doing something out of the ordinary. Something bigger, brighter and better than you ever did before. Your love for your partner and relationship should show. So, think outside of the box! 5.Never lose your sexy. Believe it or not, men and women are visual people. Image is everything and how you view yourself is the way people view you too. Try looking your best by changing up your hairstyle and wardrobe or working out a few times a week, not only will it please your mate, but you’ll boost your self-confidence, too. Rule #1 never lose your sexy! Never! 6.Have fun with foreplay. When you’ve been with the same person for a long time, it’s easy to let sex become automatic and boring. Focusing on foreplay ensures that you’ll really be feeling it and connecting with each other. Foreplay is even more important as we age. The sexual response cycle slows down for everyone with age, so physical response can require more intense stimulation. In other words, take your time and enjoy it. 7.Share your fantasies. Talking about the stuff that turns you on can open the door to new possibilities with your partner. Knowing what your partner fantasizes about can provide a great place to start for dirty talk. It can also give you some ideas of things you may want to bring from fantasy to reality. You don’t have to reveal every fantasy you have but being more honest can only make you more satisfied in bed in the long run. (Think your fantasy is too over-the-top? Don’t worry, sex therapists have heard it all. Trust me!) Q. What is the biggest lesson you learned about Love & Relationships? A. Oh that’s easy…Never turn “Potential” into “Reality”. Rule #1- You will never ever date or marry a person’s potential. You will always date and marry their reality. The truth is some people will never reach their full potential, which means you will be stuck dealing with

their reality forever. I pray that you wake up before it’s too late! Q. Why do you think it’s so hard to date these days? A. In a world of fake profiles, personalities and body parts, you never know what you’re going to get! The odds for women are already not promising and the hope for men maybe the same if they are not willing to commit. On top of that, dating is hard in 2022 because many people are running the risk of dating someone who has a severe mental illness. All of this mixed slowly together, makes finding real love nearly impossible. Q. Can you tell us some of the advantages and disadvantages being single than being in a relationship? A. 1. Money: Con: Your pocket money may be on the rise, but you know exactly why. It’s because you’re single and lonely and have no one to go out with in order to spend that money. Having this increase in savings is just a brutal reminder that you’re happily single or currently all alone. Pro: You have tons of savings. Do something with that! With the influx of money accumulated from my job and no regular dates to pitch in for, I can’t help but imagine all of the things I could do with these savings.

2. Inclusivity: Con: When you are single, there is a crushing sense of loneliness you encounter. This isn’t to say your friends are irrelevant or don›t help in counteracting the weight of the solitude that is provoked by being single. The truth of the matter is, it isn’t the same because it’s not the same type of relationship as one with mutual sexual attraction. Pro: One less friend or companion means one less person to have disagreements with. Count your blessings! Although it’s inevitable for people in any type of relationship to fail to see eye-to-eye at every moment, you don’t have to ever fear you’ll have that one fight that will end your relationship. Why? Because that relationship doesn’t exist anymore. Another plus is you have your closest friends for companionship, and this time, being single allows you to appreciate them more than ever. 3.Empty time: Con: You have way more time on your hands than you did when you were in a relationship, and those giant gaps in your schedule are not always being spent as productively as they should be. Pro: This is the perfect opportunity to focus on your work, your education and yourself. This is the time to explore new and healthy hobbies, and to experience every bit of life you possibly can. The real truth is, you wouldn’t be working as much as you do if you were in a real relationship. Q. Let’s talk about the law of attraction. A. You’ve probably heard about the Law of Attraction or “the secret,” as many people call it. Yes, the Law of Attraction does work. You can also absolutely apply it to your relationships and use it to help you attract a new partner with the kind of characteristics that you want. The problem is that people misunderstand the Law of Attraction all the time. They don’t realize what it really is or what it

means, so they often misapply it and then dismiss it when it doesn’t work. The problem is that they’re not doing it right. The Law of Attraction is not wishful thinking. It’s not whining about what you deserve. It’s not complaining about what isn’t here yet. It’s not focusing on what you don’t have, hoping that it will finally come. The Law of Attraction is all about focusing on what you want, not the fact that you want it.   There is an important distinction there. If you focus on what you want, your subconscious mind will be trained to look for the best path to get it. If you focus on the fact that you want something, your brain will only see lack everywhere. The Law of Attraction means putting your attention squarely on where you want to go. Forget the fact that you›re not there yet. Don›t let the problems you encountered along the way linger in your mind. Keep your gaze on the target, like you›re already there, and move forward. The Law of Attraction is not magic; it’s just a way to train your subconscious mind; you must still take action to reach your goal. You are the one who must change before your circumstances do. The road to what you desire is through personal transformation. If this means that you must learn a whole new style of relating to people to have the relationship that you want, then so be it. In other words, you must be a different person to receive something different from God. This is why most people get it wrong. They don’t want to change. They think they can stay the same and get different results somehow. Q. What are some tips from going from heartbreak to breakthrough? A. Here my top 4 tips from going from heartbreak to breakthrough Let’s be clear, most of us have all experienced the heartache and the emotional roller-coaster ride of a breakup, often finding ourselves wondering what we can do to move forward and relieve the pain. From my personal experience and the experiences of people I have coached, I have learned that ending a relationship can be one of the most painful and emotional experiences that a person will ever endure.

1. Concentrate on yourself (and your children if you have any)! Instead, focus on where you are, what you need and what plan of action you will use to get from where you are to where you need to be. Putting your energy on “the now” will serve you better rather than living in the past. If you have children, focus on how to make yourself whole again so you don’t present to your children a broken adult that cannot help heal their pain, because you did not start with your own. 2. Allow yourself to feel the pain of the loss. At first your emotions may feel too intense to bear, but if you allow yourself to feel the pain and get over it you are less likely to jump into another relationship to camouflage the pain of the first. If you refuse to feel it and heal it, you are destined to repeat it. These bad relationships came to teach you a life lesson. You can learn it now or you can learn it after the next bad break-up. It is very important to give yourself the time and permission to grieve. But it is equally as important to not allow yourself to make grief your new normal. Grieve, learn and move on. 3.Take responsibility for your part in the relationship demise and forgive yourself. When we know better, we do better. I’m sure you have learned things during your relationship that were not clear to you before. You probably made some mistakes. We all make mistakes. It could be that you had unrealistic expectations of your spouse or that you took your spouse for granted. Maybe you spoke mean and hurtful words in anger or truthfully, it could be a myriad of other ways that we damage our relationships. It is impossible to go back. It is too late and we have to live with the decisions from the past. 4. Examine your relationship patterns. Is there a pattern to your relationships? Do they usually end in one breakup after another? Are you choosing partners who will help you play out your past family drama? Have your relationships helped you to nourish your abandonment issues?

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We all have attraction patterns that make certain partners acceptable to us. What are your patterns? Failed relationships can be a pattern that has a much deeper root in your childhood or family history. Unconsciously most people choose what they know. That’s why family cycles often repeat themselves. It is not by accident that children of alcoholics tend to find partners who have addictive behaviors or develop addictive behaviors themselves. It’s not by coincidence that children from divorced families usually will have at least one divorce. It is time to move your relationship and attraction patterns from the subconscious to the conscious. Take the time to make a list of your major relationships and find what›s common in them. How did each partner make you feel? What made this person acceptable to you? How many times have you dated the same man or woman with a different name? Put forth the effort to discover the patterns and where it started. Q. Do you think all couples should go through counseling?


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A. Counseling can educate and assist couples with understanding the process of regaining trust and provide tools and direction to help. All relationships are difficult in some form or another. There will be disagreement, conflict, and hurt even in the best of times. Relationship counseling can help individuals and couples grow and heal. Like all types of therapy, the lessons learned and behaviors changed will continue to serve each person for much longer than the therapy itself. Q. Can you give any advice or inspiration to others that’s looking for love? A. The ‘You’ll find love when you’re not looking’ approach may be wrong. That’s like saying, “You’ll find a job when you’re least looking for it,” It’s possible, but rarely happens. For the most part, people who wait for a job are unemployed. Instead, go where people like the same things you like. You can skip singles events if you don’t like them, but you have to go where you can meet new people. Join social groups or meetups; be a worker bee in a cause you believe in; get involved in political parties. Bite the bullet and try online dating for a big pool of potential

candidates. If you’re already online, try a different dating site. Whatever you do, switch it up! Last but not least, don’t look for someone who sweeps you off your feet. That’s a control freak, and you won’t like what happens later. Instead, look for someone who likes give-and-take, who seeks your opinion and considers it, who cares about what you want, too. That’s sounds like a win win to me. Q. What are some of your goals for 2022? A. Here are my top 6 relationship goals for 2022 1. Set Aside Time For Daily Active Listening 2. Build Long Lasting Wealth 3. Have A Date Night At Least Once A Week 4. Hit The Gym Together 5. Go Off The Grid 6. Practice Using Each Other’s Love Language Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. P:(443) 337-3270 E:relationshiprehabdmv@gmail.com Facebook- The Bae-Sics of Dating and The Bae-Sics of Marriage Instagram-DrG.Davis Twitter-DrG Davis YouTube-DrG Davis

"When the Foundation is Strong, so is Love."

Sherri & Markel Bell Photo credit: Our Story Imagery

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Photo credit: Our Story Imagery

Q. How did you and your partner meet? A. Markal and I met years ago when my mother asked him to drop some furniture for me in my new apartment. I was a college student then at the University of South Florida. We started talking and this started the spark in our relationship. Q. What made you realize that this person was the one for you? A. I always knew deep down in my heart that he was the person for me. Both of us just needed time to grow in certain areas. I never doubted. He has always been very caring and compassionate towards me compared to anyone else I have ever dated. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your partner had to go through? A. 9 years ago we broke up. I told him that I don’t compete with loose women. When you start acting like the man that I know you could be and not the man I see now, then I will talk to you. But for now, I have to let you go. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. The songwriter Melony Fiona says, “If you love someone, sometimes you just have to let them go. If they come back, then 32

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you’ll appreciate them even more and if they don’t, then you know, it was something you had to go through to grow”. When someone is gone, that’s when you appreciate them more. I just had to let him go. This experience made each other stronger because we went to explore the world, dated other people then realized that we were comparing other people to each other. Now, we appreciate each other more. We now know that we may never find any other person like each other. Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. Be okay with letting something go that is not in alignment in the moment of what you are in. Understand that in the future it may or may not come back again. Love someone enough to let them go and still have respect for them. You are not waiting but working on your own self development. I was able to love myself and I became a better woman for whomever man God would send me and it happened to be Markal. Q. Out of all the places that you and your partner have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. Jamaica!! I was born in Jamaica. For his birthday, we flew to Jamaica and he got to learn a little more about my roots, soul, principals came from. We went to

the mountains and in fact, we are going back to Jamaica to get married. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. I believe you should wait at least a year. The reason I say this is because in this season, women are becoming more financially independent. So, they no longer feel like they have to rush to get married because they need financial support. As a financial life coach, I teach women how to make more money protect their assets and feel DAMN GOOD doing it. Knowing these women don’t have to rush in a relationship with a mate. The get to date them and see if their true characteristic is in alignment with each other. Waiting a full year allows you to see the different characteristics of person.Also, loving yourself is super important. You can become a better lover, a better wife, when you learn to love yourself. I always tell Markal, the best part of our relationship is that I did the work in loving myself and he too did the work of loving himself. We just came as a gift to each other not a bill or a responsibility. We just love each other naturally. We are both financially stable and now coming together solely based on love.

Q. Do you think that couples should do counseling? A. I believe that couples should do counseling 100%. It’s a safe space where a person has no opinions of the other and you can lay out all the tables. We will be going through marriage counseling and not just from a spiritual sense but from therapy. Because you are dealing with life issues and childhood drama that you haven’t dealt with before. The therapist or life coach is able to identify that and you can foresee it ahead of time. Should it happen, you can use the skills the therapist recommended so that you can make the relationship better. However, I do believe counseling is important BUT most important is taking time to learn the different habits of each other. When you find out each other habits then you can make a decision to see if you can live with those habits or if it’s too much for you. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your partner? A. Markal is an introvert and I'm an extrovert; we are two different people and I think that’s why we gel so well. His perfect date is dinner over seafood with some wine watching TV and relaxing. We are foodies and love to explore. This is my perfect date because I am always traveling around the world to speaking engagement teaching women how to have healthy financial stability. When I get home, I am super excited to see him. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Find your own individuality. If you go into a relationship with self-love. Date yourself, have fun. Before meeting Markal, I was always happy, full of energy, a Jesus lover, love making other people happy and traveling. Now that I am engaged, I did not have to change much. I am living the same life as I was when I was single but now with a partner who loves the things I love. When entering a relationship and you are trying to find someone to love you in places you feel you haven’t been loved, it’s hard. That person can’t give you the love you desire

Photo credit: Our Story Imagery

because your dad or mom didn’t give it to you. It’s not their job to do that. Don’t forget who you are as yourself. I still travel with my girlfriends. Try to have the best of both worlds. Have your own independence so that the other person just complements what you already have. Thinking this way takes the pressure off of the next person to feel like they have to be your all because no one should be your end all except for God above. Have your own self love and identity. One of the things people say about me is that I was always a happy person and still a happy person. Going into a marriage now where someone will understand that, because for me, anything that is not in alignment with what I believe in, I have to get rid of. Happiness is the key. Not finance but happiness. Q. Can you give tips on how to develop a healthy relationship with money? A. I teach women about money and mindset. You can’t have a booming business and a busted life. You can’t have a booming business and a busted relationship either. This goes back to habits, taking the time to identify how your partner spends their money and have the conversation about financial goals is so important. Achieving financial success is a team effort, it’s not about who makes more but… asking yourself, how can we partner together to reach our financial goal? Be discipline in whatever your financial decision is. Go over your financial budget and even during counseling talk about how you will plan and be disciplined. Nothing is set in stone. Talk about where the finances will come from and who

will pay most of the bills. What are you going to do to make sure more income is coming in without replacing the time together? I don’t believe you should chase money. I believe you should attract it, not chase it. Q. Are you working on any new goals for 2022? A. For my personal goals, I am result driven, a high achiever and high thinker so therefore, I must be more intentional to make time for my family. I will check in on my mate and on his days off, I arrange my schedule to be together. For my business goals, as a Financial Life Coach who deals with helping women I am protecting their assets; I am big on showing women how to use life insurance to build wealth. Knowing this, my goal is to reach more women who are in business who are the key persons in their business because one of the key reasons for divorce is money. If you are the person in your business and something happens to you, what will happen to the business? Showing them how to increase their earning power and protect their business using life insurance is my gem. Helping those women who are mothers, wives wearing all those hats and show them how to harmonize that and feel damn good about doing it. Last, fitness goals, being healthier by working out daily so that when I get on stage I am energized and I give it all and be in a healthy relationship with my husband to be. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. I can be reached in all platforms at @itssherrisomers on all social media platforms. WIB Magazine


"A relationship is between two people DO NOT share personal relationship information with anyone. No one can solve your problems but the two of you."

Dr. Casay & Jay Claxton

Q. How did you and your spouse meet? A. Dr. CaSay: We both are from Baltimore, Maryland and even though we are in the same industry, we actually met at our kid’s school. Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and this was the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life? A. Jay: Actually, it took about four years to realize it. We initially got together as Business partners. I had reached the ceiling in my career and I watched Dr. CaSay help others from our hometown succeed. I went to her to help me grow in business. Well, she helped me grow in business, and during the process, I fell in love with her. Everything about her is what I needed. She has proven to be more stand-up than most people I thought was my friend. As she says she loved James, not the Radio Personality and DJ, Jay Claxton. Her only goals were my peace and success. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. Dr. CaSay: The hardest experience we had like any couple we all go through stuff and for us, it is no different. What we learned and the rule we have is that our issues are between us. No one else so with that we don’t share those things because once we solve the issue, we bury it and leave it in the grave. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. Jay: You have to believe in your partner and you have to have trust. For us, we become stronger from our issues by understanding

that we have to be honest and accept whatever the other has to say. We learn strength in depending on each other. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. Dr. CaSay: There is no time limit on how long. That totally depends on the goals of the couple. Our timeline may not be feasible for others. The time should come from the needs of your partner, not outside influences. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. Jay: Absolutely, we actually believe that you should have a relationship counselor during the relationship before the proposal. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be for your spouse? A. Dr. CaSay: Oh, this is easy- the perfect date night for Jay would be us going to our favorite restaurant watching sports sitting at the bar enjoying each other.

Jay: For Dr. CaSay, she is so easy to please that date night is an easy win. All she wants is time. So, she doesn’t require anything particular just us hanging out and enjoying each other. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Dr. CaSay: The advice we would share is simple. A relationship is between two people DO NOT share personal relationship information with anyone. No one can solve your problems but the two of you. Jay: Secondly, protect your mate's peace. Simple as that at all times you create a safe space for your mate. Q. Are you working on any projects or events for 2022? A. Dr. CaSay: We are excited that outside of the radio station and magazine we are pleased to announce that we are launching Franchise TV, the first minority couple-owned and operated streaming service. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. We can be followed on IG @jayclaxton @casayvaughn @lovebusinessonlock And on Facebook at CaSandra Vaughn and The Franchise Jay Claxton Fan page.

WIB Magazine


My Solo Valentine:

From SINGLE to SELF-LOVE By Shereese Floyd


hether firmly planted in singlehood or new to the single relationship status, oftentimes singles find themselves dodging the dreaded narrative that being “alone” means being unloved or unlovable. According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of 2019 census data, single adults are on the rise. Roughly, four-in-ten adults ages 25-54 are unpartnered. Whether this is by choice or circumstance is unclear but the road to any relationship, whether a relationship with yourself or a relationship with someone else is paved with love — self-love. Loving yourself may be difficult when you don’t know where to start, here are a few ways you can start wrapping your arms around yourself and becoming the love of your life.

Be your own bae Self-awareness is key to understanding who you are and what you like. In a relationship, we can get lost taking care of a partner but being single allows us to come home to ourselves and be your own b.a.e or build awareness (of self) every day. Becoming your own soulmate is about embracing what makes you unique. Self-love is the process of setting standards on how you will be treated. Self-care is the execution of those standards. No one can love you better than you love you. Exercise: Date yourself. Make a list of 5 things you like to do and go


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do them. Make a big deal of yourself. Dress up. Buy yourself flowers. Order a car. Program your phone to text yourself love reminders. Do the work Healing matters. Toxic relationships and struggle love are not cute. Energy attracts energy. Healing traumas from childhood or past relationships are a must or you are destined to repeat patterns until you break the cycle or be broken by it. Self-reflection is a deep dive into your soul’s desires. This means pulling up those things you’d rather not face and addressing them. Don’t spend your single time being single. Nothing changes if nothing changes. If you have had a series of relationships they did not go well, just being without someone doesn’t change your subconscious wiring. Exercise: Answer these reflection questions. Assess and get guidance where needed. Am I repeating the same patterns in life and relationships? How have I been hurt? How do I hurt people? What do I believe about myself? What are things people say about me over and over? Am I proud of the person I am?

Reframe the narrative We are the stories we tell ourselves, if you tell yourself, you are unlovable, unworthy or you’ll only be happy in a relationship, that is what you’re going to believe. The

brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined and your actions are going to align with what you believe. This is self-sabotage. Change your internal dialogue from “I’m alone” to “I’m with myself.” This simple shift celebrates you rather than diminishes your existence. You are the only person you are guaranteed to be in a relationship with for life. You matter. Exercise: Stand in the mirror and repeat “I love myself.” Do not look away when it becomes uncomfortable. Keep repeating until you feel admiration for all of who you are. Repeat daily.

Don’t idolize #relationshipgoals

Shereese Floyd

No relationship works if you don’t love yourself. You are the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Being with a partner can’t fix one’s love of self. Relationships are a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. #relationshipgoals are the ones you set and live for yourself. Do not compare yourself against social media’s highlight reel. You never know what is going on behind closed doors. And even if you did, how two people love from the outside has nothing to do with how you need to be loved for yourself. Exercise: Write a list of top values and attributes you want in a partner. Ask yourself if you have those attributes. If not, do the work. Love and relationships come in all forms. If being boo’d up is on your ultimate list of things to do, how well you love yourself sets the bar. Being intentional when single is the greatest gift you can give yourself to becoming the love of your life. You are your first soulmate, your greatest love of all and your eternal valentine. Partner not required.

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"All couples need positive guidance from someone who is neutral and won't judge anything about your relationship."

Remi Jones 38

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Q. How did you and your partner meet? A. I met my husband through one of my cousins. For a long time, we flirted back and forth through social media before meeting. For a long time, I did not give him the time of day because I was not sure of his intentions. Q. What made you realize that this person was the one for you? A. I realized that he was the one for me when I saw that he was consistent and put his time and effort into me and getting to know me. He takes care of me emotionally and mentally. He actually listens to me and cares about how I feel. He makes me feel good and loved every day. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your partner had to go through? A. I believe the hardest part we had to go through is when learning each other all over again. When you are with someone for a long time you go through changes mentally physically etc. We were discovering new things that we loved and new hobbies, even the way we thought and talked was different. We would butt heads because we had to relearn one another. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. It made us stronger because it made the communication with one another a lot stronger. Q. Out of all the places that you and your partner have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. The most memorable place was actually going to meet his parents for the first time. He does not let anyone meet his parents if he is not serious about that person. So, when he wanted me to meet them it was very much memorable for me and they welcomed me with open arms. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. I think people should date personalities and who they are compatible with instead of basing

things on look or status. Find out if they have things in common with you. Find out if they are in their children’s lives. Ask them if they are into God and do, they pray etc. It’s very important to get to know someone before jumping into a relationship. If you don’t then there is a possibility that in 6 months to year you may not even like that person. You may find out that they have no morals, and you don’t want that. Q. Do you think that couples should do counseling? A. Yes absolutely all couples need positive guidance from someone who is neutral and won’t judge anything about your relationship. Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your partner? A. My partner is very simple. A perfect date for him would be to eat some good food. He would also love a massage and a good movie. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Definitely communicate and always take time to learn from one another. I would also say be gentle with each other’s feelings and hug and kiss a lot. Q. Are you’ll working on any new goals for 2022? A. I believe that self-care and mental health is important, for entrepreneurs, business owners, as well as the hard-working people in a 9-5 position. We work long hours and pass on vacation days, there is an underlying belief that

we must always be productive – which can ultimately take away from opportunities for self-care and put off mental health. Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. Depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, and long-lasting diseases. I am excited to present the Remi TV self-care and mental health expo. This event will provide excellent strategies to improve mental health and self-care. Some of the speakers attending this event will be therapists, health care providers, yoga instructors, and experts on holistic health. I love helping my community improve. Recently, I held the Remi TV Business Expo in October at Vibe Lounge in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It was a networking event where attendees explored valuable business growth opportunities in the community. The Secretary of State gave some valuable information about how to obtain your LLC, and the differences between LLC and sole proprietorship, and more. Guests were treated to red carpet photo opportunities, networking mixers, insightful business panels, mimosa stations, and more at the event. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. You can follow me on Instagram at remitvofficla Facebook: Remitvmedia YouTube: Remi TV

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"Love is hard to define because we can't see it. There is no facial expression for love."

Alyssa & Otis 40

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Q. How did you and your spouse meet? A. Our love story is not unique by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance. It wasn’t effortless. It blossomed, slow and steady, and it gets more beautiful every year. What sets us apart is how our love continues to evolve. We aren’t the same couple that left Daytona in 2011, our relationship is so much more complex today. We’ve faced our darkest hours together and overcome them. Here we are almost 14 years later from the first day we met, and the chapters continue to be written. We met in 2008 and our friends may not admit it, but we are definitely in agreement that we were set up. Initially there wasn’t a mutual attraction. I was definitely interested in her. And If I am being 100% honest, I had no interest in him at all but he was a nice guy and I did give him my number. What piqued my interest in him was his persistence. Funny thing is I went home for Father’s Day and I lost my phone but remembered her number. When I got back to Daytona, I would use my co-worker’s phone and call her every day on my lunch break to see if she wanted to hangout for a moment. After a few attempts she finally agreed and a love connection was born. Lol, not really.   Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and this was the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life? A. Alyssa: I remember the exact moment. We were lying in bed. It was very early into our relationship and I don’t think we even had a title yet. But I started crying, like ugly crying. Of course, he asked me what was wrong. What I told him would have easily turned any ordinary man away. But he was anything but he was king and gentle and comforted me when I needed it most. For me it was the care and concern he showed me during my moment of extreme vulnerability. Otis: It came a lot later in our relationship for me. When we decided to move to Boston, which is where Alyssa grew up, I was still on the fence of

whether I   wanted to spend forever with her. When we finally got to Boston, I found a sessional job but after the job ended, I struggled to find employment. During that time Alyssa never treated me as less than when I wasn’t able to provide financially. This is when it was obvious, she was a different breed and I knew she had the qualities I wanted in a wife. Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. In 2010 we had our fist miscarriage. Over the next year following that we had three more. It was difficult for us and added pressure on me as a woman. It didn’t come from him but from myself. In 2011 we moved to Boston with hopes of starting a family. At that point in our relationship, we had gone through four miscarriages and I felt our only hope were to go to where the best medical care was. After going through extensive testing, I was diagnosed with factor 5. It was a very emotional time for us. It was one of the first uphill battles we faced together and we came out on top. Pregnancy was tough. I was high risk which required several hospital visits, I

couldn’t work. The way Otis cared for me during this time was selfless. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. The way Otis cared for me during that time showed me a different side of him. The relationship is easy when everything is going smooth but you find out different things about each other when things get rough. I remember once breaking down and he was telling me it was OK, and I shouted, “No, it is not Ok. Stop telling me that. I’m not Ok.” He understood and let me drown in my emotions and comforted me. In that moment I needed him to understand that although things will get better this isn’t the time to fix it. This is the time to hurt and we will heal later. We talked later and I was able to understand why he felt the need to say things are Ok. I never thought about how a miscarriage affects him. Men are left with the task of consoling us during one of our most difficult and vulnerable times and we typically don’t think about the fact that they could be in pain as well. Q. What do you think is the

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"Love generously, selflessly, and wholeheartedly.

definition of Love? A. Love is so hard to define because we can’t see it. There is no facial expression for love. Love is allowing yourself to feel the highest of highs and the lowest of Lowes. Love is anything but simple. There is no one emotion or one act to define love. Love is a multitude of feelings emotions and acts that give you an unexplainable feeling which is Love. Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. Our first time going to Mexico. We were broke broke, I booked it through one of those timeshare presentations. But it was the best trip ever. We made new friends, Laughed, Laughed harder. It wasn’t about how much money we had, or what we did but the adventure and the memories that will last a lifetime. Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. There is no predetermined time. Each person in a relationship is responsible for knowing if they are ready for marriage and all that it comes with. I define relationships by how you treat each other during the darkest of moments that are meant to destroy you. I do believe in love at first sight but love itself isn’t enough to make a marriage last. My advice will be to take the time to get to know each other. Take the time to get to learn more about yourself because in marriage you are no longer your priority your family as a whole is.


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Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. Absolutely, Marriage is hard. Not everyone goes into marriage with the tools needed to make it last. And sometimes during pre-marital counseling you find out that your relationship isn’t what you thought it was. I encourage every couple to take a pre-marital assessment that will help them identify their strength and growth areas.

Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. • Love generously, selflessly, and wholeheartedly • Love with positivity and respect. • Create simple rituals. • Take care of each other. • Love no matter what. • Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. • Accept that it won’t all be perfect • Love unconditionally

Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your spouse? A. I honestly don’t know and I like it that way. It makes it more fun to keep guessing and trying new things. Its keeps things spicy and unpredictable. We love experiencing new things together. It could be something as simple as a new pastry shop a friend told us about or a new country we saw on social media. We really enjoy doing things together so the perfect date is always our next date.

Q. Are you’ll working on any projects or events for 2022? A. We are in talks of continuing our matchmaking show, “The Wright Way to Love”. Anyone interested in being a participant can contact us. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. Facebook - https://www.facebook. com/thewrightfamilyvalues/ Instagram - @thewrightfamilyvalues YouTube - Wright Family Values Website - The Wright Family Values – The Experts on Everything Love

Shari & Will WIB Magazine


Q. How did you meet your spouse? A. I was visiting to Dallas with a friend for a weekend. Will was invited out to entertain me so I wouldn’t feel like the third wheel. At the time I was committed to personal growth and Will was fasting from dating. At that time, we both had dealt with failed relationships and were on our own paths of soul searching. And though these odds were stacked against us, we instantly hit it off. What can I say, it was a magnetic attraction. Q. What made you realize that this was the person you wanted to marry, and this was the one you wanted to be with for the rest of your life? A. From the first time I meet Will I felt this instant connection to him. However, we both resided in different states and had never embarked on a long-distance relationship. We knew that this would be a challenge in our relationship Either way, we decided to keep in contact with one another through FaceTime and phone calls. It was through our conversations that I realized this could be the one. level of commitment. I believe in unconditional agape love. It’s easy to love those that treat you well and you get along with. But to me love shows up when you’re at your worst. It’s the commitment to stay and work it out when things aren’t sunshine, flowers and rainbows. It’s loving someone through the difficult parts just as much as you do through the good ones. That’s how you grow together and how relationships get stronger.

Q. What was one of the hardest experiences that you and your spouse had to go through? A. The hardest experience we went through was moving in together. No matter how much time you spend with one another you never really get to know the real ins and outs of a person until you live with them. Our living styles were very different. We had to learn to compromise and respect each other’s boundaries. Q. How did that experience make the relationship stronger? A. Living together brought us closer by pushing us to learn how to work through our issues without the comfort of walking away. It was him and I. We worked on our communication skills and understanding each other’s quirks, likes and dislikes.


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Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. Love can take on different forms and the way one loves is shaped by one’s experiences. In my personal opinion, I think romantic love is an action that involves a deep

Q. Out of all the places that you and your spouse have traveled to, what was the most memorable one? A. We love to travel and have fun everywhere we go. To be honest I can’t pinpoint one particular place that was better than the other. When we are together, the memories we create are unforgettable. However, that will all change when we travel to Maldives. I think that will go down as one of the best trips ever.

about how other relationships around you are doing. Never compare! There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Everyone is working on something at different stages in their relationships. So, work on your kinks as you grow together. It’s been said that communication is key and although communication is a vital part of a relationship, it would be a mute part without its counterpart, comprehension. Effective communication requires active listening. With this being said respect one another and remember not to speak in the heat of the moment. It only leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Things said in the heat of the moment are things that cannot be taken back. Now whether they were meant truthfully or just said to hurt one another, the damage that those words caused can leave a last impression that could eventually lead to the demise of that relationship. Be kind to one another and never lose respect for each other.

Q. How long do you think someone should date before they get married? A. I don’t believe that there is a specific amount of time one should date before getting married. I feel that when you know, you just know. I’ve always been a longterm relationship girl. My longest relationship lasting around 6 and half years and it didn’t end up in marriage. I dated Will for a year before we got engaged and 2 years before we were officially Mr. and Mrs. Nickens. But if you ask him, he will say that he knew from the first time we meet that I could be his wife. And to be completely honest, I felt the same way about him. Q. Do you think that people need a marriage counselor before marriage? A. I do feel that people should seek couples counseling before marriage. But they have to be willing and open to be brutally honest and truthful in those sessions. A third party can help you see things through a fresh lens and give you insight on different perspectives. Not everyone needs or wants counseling and that’s okay too.

Q. Describe what you think a perfect date would be like for your spouse? A. My husband loves traveling so I’m pretty sure the perfect date would be to travel to a tropical island and stay at a beachfront resort. We would start the day doing water activities likes jet skiing then proceed to a restaurant with a nice view of the ocean for some delicious food and drinks. We would probably end up at bar with nice vibes where we could drink and smoke hookah or cigars. And well the rest is rated R. Q. Can you give some advice or inspiration for other couples? A. Remember that relationships are not a sprint but a marathon. Go at your own pace and don’t worry

Q. Are you’ll working on any projects or events for 2022? A. We are getting ready to launch our swimwear line this summer and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s only the start of our expanding business. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. You can follow us on Instagram @bysharidionne, on Facebook @bysharidionne, or by visiting our website www.bysharidionne. com and signing up for newsletter to keep up with all our new collections and be the first to be notified of our upcoming sales. Make sure to read our blogs as well, learn about the importance of eyewear and how to choose the perfect pair of shades for your face shape so you can stunt all year round.

"If it don't have the wing, it ain't the real thing."

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Morghan Richardson 46

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"Left unchecked, small fissures in a relationship can spread into an unbridgeable chasm."


s a divorce lawyer, I have seen every kind of bad marriage. No two divorces are the same, but the reasons for them fall broadly into three categories. The biggest threat to a happy and healthy marriage is poor communication. A couple thinking about marriage is likely getting along quite well, and they might take the state of their relationship for granted. After the wedding, things are likely to change, and not always for the better. Lost jobs, illnesses and Black Swan events like the COVID-19 pandemic can put undue stress on relationships in which the partners have not developed a clear and consistent method of communicating. Otherwise, positive life events can also have a deleterious effect on a marriage. The birth and growth of a child, a big promotion at work, or a house purchase, among other steps forward in life, can change the dynamics of a partnership in such ways that spouses can forget to put each other first, at all times. Left unchecked, small fissures in a relationship can spread into an unbridgeable chasm. Like anything else in life, communicating is easier the more than you do it. The clearer that partners are with each other, and the harder they work at it, the better odds they have of maintaining a successful marriage. The second key to creating a healthy partnership is the ability to compromise. The goal in marriage is to be two halves of a whole, and to complement each other rather than being overly stubborn. (Complimenting each other never hurts, either.)

Life is about compromise, and so is love. When problems arise and changes take place, it’s important to communicate about them, but it’s also important to understand the limits of communication. If both partners are being stubborn over a topic—be it as weighty as choosing a child’s school, or as transient as a possible vacation destination—it is paramount on one to pull back from the ledge without harboring resentment toward the other. This is easier said than done, of course, and it is natural to feel resented or ignored at times, but the important part is to remember that both parties are just human, and to extend your partner the same leeway on a bad day that you’d hope to receive and make these exercises of empathy routine. Finally, couples should not take intimacy for granted, or discount how important it is to a working relationship. Just as a lack of spoken communication can lead to an unbridgeable gap, so can a lack of physical communication. From the smallest displays of affection to those special nights, it’s important to do what’s necessary to keep the spark alive, even when it seems hard. If couples are mindful of these three areas of partnership, they have a good chance of sustaining a happy marriage. Morghan Richardson is a divorce attorney and Partner in Davidoff Hutcher & Citron’s Divorce and Family Law groups. She is highly rated and recognized for her knowledge and experience in a myriad of issues surrounding matrimonial law.

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Defined Elegance 48

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Q. What fragrances do you have that helps relax the mood? A. — Serenity (exotic Egyptian amber and elegant French lavender) — Relax (refreshing spearmint with herbal eucalyptus) Q. What are the benefits of self-care? A. Practicing self-care helps you sleep better, improve focus, and strengthens relationships. It teaches you a lot about yourself and provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself. Q. Tell us what a romantic date looks like for you? A. Candlelight dinner at home w/ 90’s R&B softly playing in the background followed by a nice movie. Q. Are you running any specials right now? A. 15% off Lover’s Lane Collection use code VDAY15. Q. What are some of your goals for 2022? A. My goals for 2022 are the partner with more retail stores, secure a location so I can begin offering Candle classes.

Q. What is your definition of Love? A. Love means knowing that no matter what, you have someone to count on. For me, love is the most secure feeling. Love is having a companion, best friend, lover, partner, sounding board, cheerleader, advisor, and cuddle buddy through every avenue in life. Q. How does your product spice up the moment? A. Whether you are in the mood for unwinding or dancing all night, our candles are the perfect way to create the mood you want. That’s because our soy candles use the power of aromatherapy to send powerful signals to your brain and your mind responds in kind with just the mood you are trying to set.

Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. Follow me on: — Instagram/Twitter @ decandleco — Facebook Defined Elegance Candle Co.

Q. Tell us what is the meaning behind “Defined Elegance”? A. Defined Elegance: fragrances to enhance your homes ambiance & décor. Q. Can you tell us the 4 reasons to unwind with candles? A. — Candles soothe and relieve stress — They improve the quality of sleep — They increase focus — Candles encourage a good mood

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"Self-love can help you see the person you love because you're nourished.

Danni “Amapoundcake” Adams 50

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Q. What do you think is the definition of Love? A. Well first, I am love! Love is constantly evolving. Love is respect and support. It’s not always perfect or filled with passion but love is commitment. Love is well not a trauma bond. It’s open and insightful. Q. Why is self-love so important? A. Self-love is so important because it heals you from the inside. Before I started focusing on loving myself, I was so easily triggered by small things. I had to respond to every little thing. Self-love helps me redirect myself when I have the potential to be harmed. I’ve learned to prioritize my needs so I can show up as myself. When I’m rested and taken care of, I’m kinder and I smile more. I’m soft like cake. I love the feeling. Q. How can self-love help people be better lovers? A. Self-love can help you see the person you love because you’re nourished. It helps you not seek love from emptiness. It helps you recognize your own needs so that you can communicate what you need to be in a healthy partnership. It’s important not to use self-love as a weapon. Some people use self-love to avoid conflict and I’ve also seen people use self-love to be harmful. I’ve learned through therapy and taking care of myself that denying my true feelings is not

healthy for any type of relationship. Q. Can you give us some tips on keeping romance alive? A. I think not letting social media dictate your romantic life. The only way that romance can stay alive is knowing what you like and what your partner also likes. It takes willingness to step out and do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it gives your partner the ultimate satisfaction. Q. What is the biggest lesson you learned about Love & Relationships? A. The biggest lesson…That’s a hard one! I think I’m still learning lessons about love and relationships, but I would have to say that people want things they are not ready to give. I’ve also been guilty of it. I’ve been someone who wanted partnership, but I wanted it my way or no way. I’ve also been a recipient of someone asking for something such as loyalty or healthy communication, but they didn’t have the tools or the will to do it. Q. Why do you think it’s so hard to date these days? A. The hardest part about dating these days is respect. I often read posts online where people are saying the dating pool has pee in it. I think what they are saying is there is a lot of lying, manipulation, and disrespect. Dating would be easier if there was more transparency. I’m not convinced that people don’t know what they don’t want. If you’re not careful, those type of people will make a fool out of you. Q. Can you tell us some of the advantages and disadvantages being single than being in a relationship? A. Whew, I think one of the advantages of being single is that you don’t have to feel guilty about not sharing the covers! Being single gives you the time to pick the best catch.

The thing I like about being single is I don't have to coordinate their plans with their partners. However, I am not anti-relationships. I think the self-love movement has helped people become more vocal about their disdain for relationships because of the harm people have faced in relationships or witnessed. I say take the risk! I believe there are people out there in heaalthy relationships. One of the advantages of being in a relationship with a supportive partner, you have a teammate. Q. Can you give any advice or inspiration to others that’s looking for love? A. I think people looking for love should spend more time pouring into themselves. I think it’s important to prepare yourself for partnerships but don’t force yourself into love. Q. What are some of your goals for 2022? A. I would like to spend more time communicating my needs more effectively. I want to stay in therapy and continue to build a healthy relationship not just with romantic partners but friends, family, and my community. Q. Where can the readers follow you? A. @Amapoundcake TikTok, Instagram, Facebook.

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Marriage between Ava and Westley.

From The Movie


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n February 15 2022 the Movie Evinced was released on AppleTv and the fans haven’t stopped talking about the film since. The Director Rich Aladin, the Publicist Rocky, Producer Chelsea Makela and the cinematographer Russell Reed created a life time experience in the flim. Bradley Opara plays Wesley, a new detective who is married to Ava, a news reporter played by (Rachel Webb). In this Sci-Fi thriller film, two detectives pin down an online masked fortune teller named “The Prodigal Augur” and investigate the dark nature behind the information of his predictions videos.

The Augur goes viral through the reports of a young reporter whose career is on the rise. The lead detective on the case figures out who the man behind the Augur mask is and learns how the predictions were going to come true. The Detective learns that there is a drug/serum that will be made in his timeline that will give someone the capability of controlling the mind of whoever drinks the serum. EVINCED can be purchased on @appletv @googleplay @primevideo @comcast + more.

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6 Tips for Keeping Romance Alive By Kris Fuller


eeping romance alive can be simple and fun! When I talk with couples about their romance

slipping away, I like to review some of the simple things that can bring it back. Daily care, small actions of love, these are the heart of the romance. Sometimes we let the stress of ‘grand gestures’ overwhelm us. Keep it simple with these six tips:

1. Take turns planning dates. This way one partner isn’t doing

all the planning and organizing. It’s nice to have someone take care of all the decisions and details!

2. Show your appreciation every day. Ask yourself: ‘What

can I do to celebrate my partner today?’ Those little words, compliments, kindness- they can go a long way. Smile when you see your partner! Every day share your beautiful smile with them.

3. Surprise your partner.

Small surprises can impact your daythis can be a note in a lunch, a video text or sweet voice message. Something small, but that you don’t often do. It shows that you care, and it will make your partner smile.

4. Plan a ‘Just Us’ time. Choose a night of the week and commit to

it. Even if it’s a night in, spend it together on the couch- talk about why you love each other and celebrate the relationship you have. Remember what sparked your love! Talk about your memories and good times.

5. Mix things up.

Routines are par for the course in a long-term relationship. Try a new restaurant, take a class together, do an activity you haven’t tried before. Check out ‘Things to Do’ in your local area and just go for it! Even if something is not as you expected, it could end up be a fond memory and that’s what life is built on.

6. 60 second hugs!

I love these so much. Just silently hug for 60 seconds and notice how good it feels. Your bodies connect and you feel that love and safety in your connection. As the hug goes on, you allow yourself to ‘just breath’ BUT doing this with your partner can be so effective. And it only takes ONE MINUTE.


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Love Yourself While In A Relationship

3. See what Others See in You When you describe a best friend, how easy is it to go on and on about how wonderful they are? Or talking about how amazing your partner is. Imagine if you could do that for yourself! That is key. Hold on to compliments, believe the beautiful things others say about you. You mean the world to your people in your circle. Embrace it and believe it. I

4. Allow Yourself to Be Human. 1. You Own Your Happiness Only you can do that! Your partner can enhance the happiness that you nurture in yourself, but it is not their job to make you happy. If you rely on them for happiness it becomes a burden. Make sure you take the responsibility yourself. It starts with adopting a mindset that happiness is a choice, meaning you give yourself the power to create happiness for yourself. I The only person you can change is you. Let gratitude enter your heart and mind and choose happiness now.

2. Independence is important Keep your own activities and your own friends. Spend a healthy time apart doing your own thing. It’s unhealthy to let your relationship absorb your identity - you both matter as individuals and a little space is great.

We all have our flaws. Some things can be ignored; others might be something you want to work on. Either way, don’t let it get you down or get in the way of self-love. Recognizing flaws is a natural part of a relationship; it doesn’t mean you are a terrible person or that you are unlovable, it just means that you are human.

5.Love is an Action Decide to act in a self-loving way. Make time to nurture yourself and fulfill your own needs. Make sure you are getting time for you every day. This can be simple activities, like morning meditation, going the yoga, reading or enjoying a cup of coffee. Be mindful about it- if you let these moments or activities slip away without recognizing ‘this is for me and I am important’, then the benefits will add up.

Hugs from Kris Fuller, B.Ed., B.MM Kris Fuller is the founder and CEO of

Your Life Sparkles.

Her background is in Metaphysical Ministry (University of Sedona), Mindfulness (Palouse Centre for Mindfulness) and Education (University of Alberta). You can follow her blog at www.yourlifesparkles.com Follow Your Life Sparkles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. @yourlifesparkles #yourlifesparkles

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Photographer: Gudrun Gabriel Stylist: Vivian Dinkins-Stith Make-up Artist: Yolanda Marshall Hair: Lisa Newton, Hair Game