One More Reason Why Sharing Body Fluids Requires Time & Trust

Couple in Hot Tub (Medium)

When disease hits, it seems to hit people of African descent especially hard.  The recent Ebola health crisis spreading from West Africa is no exception.  From Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria to Spain, France, and Germany to the United States, Ebola is proof that what happens in the Motherland is relevant to us all.  In this case (and history can show us other cases), people of African descent are infected and die in larger numbers.

Viruses can be spread by bodily fluids, but some viruses like the flu, are airborne.  Bodily fluids include blood, urine, and saliva, but also include lymphatic fluid, semen, female ejaculate, breast milk, bile, amniotic fluid, bile, feces, sweat, tears, vomit, and the list goes on!

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor nor do I claim to be one.  I am a matchmaker and I want us to be safe and healthy in pursuit of loving relationships with each other.

Just as you might screen a potential for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and HIV/AIDS, the U.S. government is struggling to create legal, non-offensive methods to screen for current health concerns like Ebola.   What we thought was safe before is now questionable behavior.  If you are single and dating new people, you need to think about this, too.

People don’t always show outward signs of disease and even if they do, you might miss it or mistake it for something else.  In addition: 1) they often lie about an infection, 2) they do not realize that they have an infection, 3) they know they are infected but don’t think that they are contagious,  4) they are in denial about their medical condition, or 5) they just don’t care.

Despite community-based prevention efforts, African American women continue to be the group most infected by HIV/AIDS.  Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years has genital herpes?  FYI: there is no cure for HIVAIDS or herpes.

Health workers often talk about physical protection, for example, condoms, protective gear, etc. But we know that harm reduction techniques can fail, and sometimes do. With new diseases, it can be trial and error with a deadly learning curve. What are we to do?

It is advisable to establish a foundation of trust before sharing in a physically intimate way.  This takes time.  This dating advice is not anything new.  However, in this era, time and trust is becoming not just a strategy to keep your standards high and protect some of your most precious assets; it can also be a matter sickness, quarantine, life and death.

Trustworthiness

black-couple-hugging

Trustworthiness is being worthy of trust.  People can count on you to do your best, to keep your word, and to follow through on your commitments.  You do what you say you will do.  Trustworthiness is a key to success in anything you do.

You are practicing trustworthiness when you …

* Think before you  make a promise to be sure you can do it.

*  Take responsibility for remembering your commitments.

*  Keep your promises even when they become hard to do.

*  Abide by the rules even when no one is watching.

*  Let nothing stop you from keeping your word.

*  Do your best and finish what you start.

Affirmation:  I am trustworthy.  I keep my word.  I am worthy of the trust others place in me.

Source:  The Virtues Project and The Family Connection, U.S. Virgin Islands

We Need More Love in Our Communities: 10 Reasons

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  1. Love helps us heal.
  2. Love relieves stress.
  3. Love lowers your blood pressure.
  4. Love helps you be more giving to others.
  5. Giving love helps you receive love.
  6. Love boosts immunity to disease.
  7. Love cures love deprivation.
  8. Love boosts confidence and self-esteem.
  9. Love increases quality of life.
  10. Love helps you live longer.

Add your own reasons with your comments below:

I Ain’t Movin’

Desree+PNG

I Ain’t Movin’
Performed by Des’ree

Love is my passion, love is my friend
Love’s universal, love never ends
Then why am I faced with so much anger, so my pain?
Why should I hide? Why should I be ashamed?
Time’s much too short to be livin’, somebody else’s life
I walk with dignity, I step with pride
‘Cause I ain’t moving from my face, from my race, from my history
I ain’t movin’ from my love, my peaceful dove, means too much to me
And loving self can be so hard, honesty can be demanding
Learn to love yourself it’s a great, great feeling
When you’re down baby, I will set you free
I will be your remedy, I will be your tree
A wise man is clever, seldom ever speaks a word
A foolish man keeps talking, never is he heard, no no no no
Time’s much too short to be livin’, somebody else’s life
I walk with dignity, I step with pride
‘Cause I ain’t moving from my face, from my race, from my history
I ain’t movin’ from my love, my peaceful dove, means too much to me
And loving self can be so hard, honesty can be demanding
Learn to love yourself it’s a great, great feeling
Time’s too lonely, too lonely without words
Future voices need to be heard
Eyebrows are always older than the beards
Momma said be brave, you’ve nothing to fear and I, ooh
Time’s much too short to be livin’, somebody else’s life
I walk with dignity, I step with pride
‘Cause I ain’t moving from my face, from my race, from my history
I ain’t movin’ from my love, my peaceful dove, means too much to me
And loving self can be so hard, honesty can be demanding
Learn to love yourself it’s a great, great feeling
‘Cause I ain’t moving from my face, from my race, from my history
I ain’t movin’ from my love, my peaceful dove, means too much to me
And loving self can be so hard, honesty can be demanding
If we learn to love ourself we’ll have great, great feeling
‘Cause I ain’t movin’, I’ve been here long before
I ain’t movin’ ’cause I want more
I ain’t movin’, got my feet on the ground, hey
As far as I’m concerned, love should win the rounds, oh yeah

Top 3 Communication Tips

 couple-young-black

  1. Listen more than you speak.  Resist urges to interrupt or respond with blunt facts, brilliantly sharp wit or sarcasm.
  2. Let him/her go.  In more extreme circumstances, things can get heated.  If s/he has to leave a situation when it gets to be too much, let him/her leave.  By checking out, s/he is getting some space to think things through.  Honor this need for space.  S/he probably needs it and will be in a better position to talk later.  Note: This works both ways and both of you should give each other the same consideration, but this should be an exceptionally occurence, not a regular coping mechanism.
  3. Seek wisdom.  Whether it is from a family member, friend, or counselor:  find someone WHO DOESN’T TAKE SIDES for advice and support when things get tough.  This person may act as a helpful mediator, if needed.

Source

Top 5 Relationship Pitfalls to Avoid

Discontent Couple

Why do some relationships fail and others succeed?  These are the Top 5 Relationship Pitfalls to Avoid:

  1. Unreasonable expectations.  Our heads are often filled with romantic notions of fantasy love and not reality.  Be reasonable, knowing that real relationships are not perfect all of the time, but can be excellent and really good most of the time.
  2. Lack of self-awareness.  By increasing knowledge of self, you become clear about what you want in your partner.  Your standards, creative vision, deal-breakers, and dating behavior all demonstrate this awareness.
  3. Letting yourself be chosen instead of choosing.  Take back the power and control of your life, including your love life.  Don’t wait to be chosen or feel obligated when someone chooses you.  Empower yourself with the idea of finding and choosing your mate.
  4. Sex too soon.  If you want more than sex, go deeper mentally and wait longer.  When you think in terms of long-term commitment, you want to see if he is right for you.  The sense of urgency during this process may even go away.
  5. Thinking that you don’t have many choices.  Do not buy into the nonsense that the media projects about single Black women being unattractive, unable to get married, bitter, crazy and destined to be lonely the rest of our lives.  Or those stereotypes about unemployed, uneducated Black men with felony records and mutliple “baby mamas” on the down low.  These “facts” simply aren’t true for everyone in our community.  By believing this nonsense, you will resolve yourself to the single life or stay with someone who doesn’t live up to your standards because you are afraid that you won’t find anything better.

Source

Celebrate Improvement

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“To improve any situation, you must improve. To change your wife, you must change.  To change the attitude of your husband, you must change your attitude. To win more freedom, you must be more responsible, must exercise more discipline.”
Steven Covey

And when you improve, don’t forget to:
1) acknowledge, 2) reward, and 3) celebrate!

Where Are All the Good Single Black Men?

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At African American Matchmaking, we don’t buy into the commonly held notion that there are no good Black men.  But just like a good Black woman is hard to find, good Black men can be hard to find, too.

Statistics are arguable a source of enlightenment.  Rather than react in fear, we can respond with strategy.  We have to be smart and being smart means being selective, screening appropriately to find a partner who is right for you.

From Best Black Dating Sites (reprinted with permission):
“Where are all the good single Black men?” can be frequently heard throughout the dating scene.  At BestBlackDatingSites.org, we decided to investigate this by the numbers and put into perspective how many quality Black male singles there really are for Black single women.

Let’s start by looking at some common criteria single Black women are looking for in a Black man, and how many Black men qualify based on those requirements.

I WANT A BLACK MAN
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the ratio of women to men in the U.S. is about 145 million women to roughly 139 million men.  In more manageable terms—for every 100 sistas, there are about 87 brothas.

I WANT A BLACK MAN WHO DOESN’T LIKE OTHER MEN
4% of men are exclusively homosexual, compared to 2% of women.  Thus, there are NET 2% fewer straight men for every straight woman due to sexual preference.  Interesting fact:  When surveyed, the average American believes 20% of Americans are homosexuals.  Actual studies put the range between 3-12%.

I WANT A MAN WHO IS INTERESTED IN ME, A BLACK WOMAN
70% of interracial relationships are comprised of Black men dating White women.  8.5% of Black men are married to White women.

I WANT A MAN WHO HAS NOT BEEN IN JAIL
Read more at the source…

Conference on African American Community Family & Marriage in NC

 OORadio conference_community_family_marriage

 In an effort to continue forging the path to identify solutions to problems that effect African American communities, families and marriages, OORadio (www.ooradio.com) will host the 2013 Conference on Community Family & Marriage at the Metropolitan Room, 109 Green Street in Fayetteville, NC 28311 on April 5-7, 2013. This three day gathering is designed to serve as a platform for healing and developing an avenue to usher in collective resolutions and healthy dialogue between sexes, generations and cultures.

OORadio 2013 CCFM nEW FLIER

Conference admission includes a Meet & Greet, 1 ½ days of workshops, panels and discussions, rituals, entertainment, 2 lunches and the African Glitz and Glamor Gala: An evening of elegance which will include dinner, entertainment and dancing. For information about the 2013 Conference on Community Family & Marriage please visit www.ooradio.com or call 410-65RADIO (410-657-2346).

Be Happy

maryjblige

Be Happy
Performed by Mary J. Blige

[Verse 1]

How can I love somebody else
If I can’t love myself enough to know
When it’s time,
Time to let go
Sing

[Chorus]
All I really want
is to be happy
And to find a love that’s mine
It would be so sweet

[Repeat]

[Verse 2]
I ask for the sign
From the sweet Lord above
I know the answer is in front of me
But when you think you’re in love
You only see what you wanna see

And all I see is me for you
And you for me
Oh I cannot hide the way I feel inside
(No I don’t know why)
I don’t know why but every day I wanna cry
(Every day I wanna cry)
If I give you one more try
To these rules, will you abide
And if I mean anything to you
Would it make everything all right

[Chorus]

I just wanna be so, so, happy
But the answer lies in me
I do believe
That we can be happy
I said I wanna be happy, yeah

[Verse 3]

Life is too short
To be tryin to play some games
Now take some time and think about
If it’s really worth losing me
Why must it be this way
Why do you have to play with my mind
All the time
Help me sing it
All I really want is for me to be happy
Ohhh, just help me sing it
All I really want is for me to be happy
Yeahhhhhhh
ll I really want is for me to be happy
Oh, you know I wanna be happy, yeah, yeah

[repeat through chorus]

I don’t wanna have to worry about nothin no more
Said I wanna be, said I wanna be, said I wanna be

[Chorus]

Love Improves Your Health

couple walking on beachLove is the foundation of all health, whether it is love for self, family, friends, or your significant other.  If you are unhealthy, look at the love in your life.  Or more specifically, look at the lack of love in your life.   Just as love can uplift us and keep us healthy, love deficiencies can lead to negative health outcomes.

How can love make us healthy?  ABC News reported on a study that shows us our relationships with a spouse or partner is linked with a drop in blood pressure.   Another study, reported by the same news agency, reported a link between being in an intimate relationship and living a longer life.  Research also shows us that a healthy relationship can promote longevity, overall physical and mental health, and faster recovery from injury and illness.

With the prevalence of hypertension and other health concerns leading to shortened life spans in African American communities around the country, love is a good thing!

To go deeper, watch the episode of “Super Brain” on The Chopra Well YouTube channel to see Deepak Chopra and neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi discuss the impact of love on the brain.

Dear Black Man, I Want AND Need You…

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Dear Black Man,

Don’t you know that I want to love you. I want my love to be your love. I know that they tell me that there aren’t enough of you out there for me to love, but that’s never been my vision nor reality. I know that they tell me you don’t have the education that I have, but I know to the contrary.

For years I have told you, that “I got this. I don’t need your help.” But today, with my advance degrees, robust portfolio and home full of the best furnishings, I realize, Black Man, I need you.

No, I am not afraid to say this. I want and need you. I need you like the ocean needs its beaches. Miles of sand that lead love hand in hand to the water. Water, that we need to sustain life.

I need you in my life, I need you in my laughter. I want you to protect me from my fears. My Daddy wants to still protect me, but he also knows that this is your job to do…he’s told me this before.

Now they want to tell me that it’s partly my fault. They tell me that I ask far too much of my Black Man. “Why must this Man that you ask for have education?” and “Why must this Black Man have ambition and drive?” This is what they inquire. They ask me these questions as if you don’t exist. As if you are extinct. But I know to the contrary.

Not only do you exist, you flourish. Your ability to grow and achieve inspite of your conditions is your best attribute. Yes, I want the best and greatest from you, because I know that within you, it exists.

Black Man, I love you. I want you. I need you. But do know this Black Man, I’ll expect nothing but the best from you. You shouldn’t want it any other way. I love you, but I love me too. I’ll never succumb my condition for yours. Why would you want me to?

Come to me with your frustrations of the day, I’ll ease them away with the softest touch to your brow; the most tender touch, indeed. I’ll massage the evening away in your shoulders. And I’ll be quiet tonight, because I know you need touch not words. I’ll let that project that you’ve been promising to get to, wait until next week. I’ll contain my fright when I see the “Daddy-long-legs” in the basement; because I know that tonight is not the night. Your worries have been intense today, and because of that, the centipede gets a couple more days of freedom and life.

I am here for you on your WORST days, but promise me, that you won’t leave me on your BEST ones. If we can make that pact with each other, I guarantee you that you have a deal. I will love you Black Man, no matter what they tell me. I know what I want and need. I want and need, you, Black Man- contrary to popular belief.

With Love,
The Black Woman
Richelle R. Ransom

[Original Post:  http://www.alumniroundup.com/blogs/richelle/dear-black-man-i-want-and-need-you/]

Why Men Don’t Go to Church

John Glover Speaks

Why Men Hate Going To Church is a book I purchased a few months ago. I was traveling and left my Sirius satellite Radio at home so as I was flipping through the radio stations I overheard this conversation talking about men, or better yet the lack of them so I decided to stop and listen to the conversation. Well, I’ve read the book and here is my review.

Women-at-churchWhy Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow is a candid look at why America’s Church’s are failing to attract and retain men, and the imbalance between men compared to women within the majority of churches in America. It takes a look at why attendance of men has declined. How church programs are built, and how a church can become a men magnet.

Man-PrayingThe book was an interesting read. I was hooked by the first chapter. I could not bring myself to put the book down for any length of time. The book had many gotcha moments. It also had many moments which I laughed out loud. I even stopped several times just to read to my wife a point in the book that made me laugh, but also had a nugget of truth in it. This book was eye-opening for me!

The book enlightened me in a great way. I could not help, the Sunday after I started reading the book, going to church and counting how many men versus women there were. I even found myself paying close attention to the lyrics and song choices during praise and worship. A couple of different times I just looked at my wife and smiled because many of things that I read in the book were happening right before my eyes.

The author David Murrow made me take a look at how the church I go to attracts and retains men. It made me think how our church could do a better job at developing programs specifically with men in mind. The book held my attention with all the practical advise given to help today’s churches build a place where men want to come and worship. Attract the men and I assure you that the women will come as well…. Looking for a good God-fearing MAN!

The information in the book was very appealing and structured in a cohesive manner. It took a look at the history of the church since the beginning of the decline of male attendance, to when churches began to make a concerted effort to attract men back to church. It also outlines why men are not attracted to church. The primary issue being that churches are built more around women’s needs and wants as opposed to the needs of a man. The author successfully portrayed Biblical truth to support his findings based on research and personal experience.

I would recommend this book to every pastor or person over a man’s ministry that wants to build a church that attracts men. Once the men come, their wives and children will follow… READ MORE

Matchmaking vs. Online Dating

Some of you may confuse matchmaking with online dating and wonder, what exactly is matchmaking?  Let’s see what a matchmaker does compared to online dating sites:

MATCHMAKING

ONLINE DATING SITES

Personalized matchmaking services

Self-directed profile upload and search

Personal information is confidential

Profile is public and anyone can see it

Research and recruitment for match

You do your own searches

Screening & background checks

No verification of accurate profile information

Assessments, reviews & recommendations

You do your own assessments and reviews

Matchmakers have a limited number of clients

Online sites serve millions at the same time

Advice and support for date preparation

No relationship advice or support

Advice, support and feedback for follow-up

No advice, support or feedback

Focus on long-term, committed relationships

Different focus for different individuals

Telephone and email access to a matchmaker

No telephone or email access to experts

Related post:  Why Online Dating Doesn’t Work

A Matchmaker Answers Your Questions-Part 2

AngelaDColeman2013

Angela D. Coleman, African American Matchmaker

Inspired by your first set of questions (see A Matchmaker Answers Your Questions), I am now answering a second set of questions! 

1)  Is your database or the profiles posted online?
As you can see from our site, no photographs or other confidential information is ever shared with ANYONE and there are no public profiles.  As a representative of African American Matchmaking, your client information is confidentially guarded and nothing is made public.

African American Matchmaking is NOT an online dating site (See Matchmaking vs. Online Dating).

2) How are potential matching candidates introduced and what information is traded beforehand?
When I have a potential match, I will give him/her your contact information ONLY WITH YOUR PERMISSION.  I will encourage you to exchange further information and schedule your first date, but it is ultimately your decision.

3) Is the weekly membership fee a automatic reoccurring charge? What is the commitment or guarantee to the individual? 
Once you become an African American Matchmaking member, the weekly membership fee is an automatically recurring, nominal charge that is set up through PayPal.  No matchmaking services, including African American Matchmaking, can guarantee a match for you.

Because each person is unique, there is no “average” time for finding a match. There are so many factors that affect the matchmaking process.  We ask that you give us a minimum amount of time to try African American Matchmaking.  Many matchmaking services  require a 6-month contract.  We require significantly less time to give you an opportunity to see how the process works and give you an idea of what African American Matchmaking can do to help you meet your goal.  Realistically, most times, it takes longer than 10 weeks to find a lifelong partner.

5)   I know African American Matchmaking is still in its infancy, but what has been your success rate with matching (i.e., marriage)?   
African American Matchmaking is new.  This is why we are offering the promotion for free registration, free application process and free week of membership.  Normally, there are fees for these services. We may not have a marriage for another year or two, as most individuals looking for marriage will develop their relationship over a period of time first.  Although marriage may be the goal for many members, marriage is not the goal for each one.

7)  I understand that you have a national registry/database. Is this stating that you work with other matchmakers or where do your matches come from that are not your clients or are all matches part of African American Matchmaking?  
African American Matchmaking maintains its own databases.  Potential matches are recruited nationally for our clients and added to our national registry.

I hope that this information is helpful.  I am glad that people are asking questions and doing their due diligence.  As we proceed with African American Matchmaking membership, I am sure you will become more familiar and comfortable with the process.

Helping You Find Your Match,
Angela D. Coleman, MBA
African American Matchmaker

Love Yourself, Love Each Other

Never Too Much

Luther Vandross

“Never Too Much” Performed by Luther Vandross

I can’t fool myself, I don’t want nobody else to ever love me
You are my shinin’ star, my guiding light, my love fantasy
There’s not a minute, hour, day or night that I don’t love you
You’re at the top of my list ’cause I’m always thinking of you
I still remember in the days when I was scared to touch you
How I spent my day dreaming, planning how to say I love you
You must have known that I had feelings deep enough to swim in
That’s when you opened up your heart and you told me to come in

Oh, my love
A thousand kisses from you is never too much
I just don’t wanna stop
Oh, my love
A million days in your arms is never too much
I just don’t wanna stop
Too much, never too much, never too much, never too much

Woke up today, looked at your picture just to get me started
I called you up, but you weren’t there and I was broken hearted
Hung up the phone, can’t be too late, the boss is so demanding
Opened the door up and to my surprise there you were standing
Well, who needs to go to work to hustle for another dollar
I’d rather be with you ’cause you make my heart scream and holler
Love is a gamble and I’m so glad that I’m winning
We’ve come a long way and yet this is only the beginning

Oh, my love
A thousand kisses from you is never too much
(Never too much, never too much, never too much)
I just don’t wanna stop
Oh, my love
A million days in your arms is never too much
(Never too much, never too much, never too much)
And I just don’t wanna stop
Oh, my love
A thousand kisses from you is never
(Never too much, never too much, never too much)
I just don’t wanna stop
Oh, my love
A million days in your arms is never too much

Pre-Order New Book

BBG_Man FRONT

The second book in the Black Girls Guide book series was recently announced: How to Find & Choose the Right Man. Released just in time for the international Valentine’s Day holiday, the book can be pre-ordered with free shipping. What is the new book about? According to author and African American Matchmaker, Angela D. Coleman:

“We are all looking for stable, loving, relationships. While there are some women who claim that they love the single life, we are all social beings in an interconnected universe who often crave the love of an understanding and committed partner. This guide will show you how to use the power of choice to find and choose a man who will love, respect and cherish you.”

For more information, visit www.blackgirlguide.com.

Top 10 Best Dating Tips

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  1. Date often.  Dating gives you and your person of interest the opportunity to get to know each other better.
  2. Don’t try to be perfect. Try to be your natural, best self.
  3. Date one-on-one.  Dating used to be the first step of a clearly defined, socially-created mating ritual.  Group dates are not really “dates” in the traditional sense.  You could easily get distracted and lose focus.
  4. Date with intention.  If you want a long-term relationship, date like you do.
  5. Do something funky and fun.  Try something new with someone new!
  6. Be open-minded, but keep your standards.  Just because someone wants to date you doesn’t mean you need to accept.  Think about it–you actually DO have better things to do.
  7. Don’t fall for words, look at actions.  Anyone can tell you who they are, but you be the judge.  Take your time.
  8. Focus on your date, not yourself.  Observe your date and let him/her ask questions.  Dialogue and conversation goes both ways.
  9. Avoid the appearance of desperation.  Predators can sense it and most people do not respect desperate people.
  10. Use creative visualization to date the wo/man you want. Call it the law of attraction, the Secret or something else-it works!

New Year, New Relationship

african-american-couple-flirting

The last year was rough for many of us.  As you recharge and get ready to begin anew in the New Year, consider your relationship with your significant other, or lack of.  What do you want to change?  What are you going to do differently?  What is your vision for the future?

African American Matchmaking has a special offer just for you.  Become a member and start your matchmaking process NOW FOR FREE.  Just Get Started!  If you need us, we are here.

Powerful Black Love

Barak and Michelle Obama

No matter what your political views, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have given us a powerful vision of Black love unlike any other.

Many of us wonder about this seemingly perfect match, “How did they find each other?”  Most of us want the committed, healthy, loving relationship that they appear to have.

African American Matchmaking Manager, Angela D. Coleman, believes “the time is right for this vision to become a reality for more of us, to debunk the myths about Black relationships and increase our love awareness. Love is healing and we all need it. ”

Get Started.