I might be single for a long time and these are the 3 reasons why.

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The word single used to terrify me. I would jump from relationship to relationship, avoiding dealing and being with myself. Only to find out that in order to enter a relationship, I need to have spent solid time with myself because before I am anybody else’s, I need to be mine.


So, if my partner comes along for the journey, I am open to it. However, if he doesn’t, I am happy and content being alone. This is why:


1. I’m done chasing love.

Chasing love or a person is a full-time job. In my last relationship, I started to see signs. I saw signs that he wasn’t mentally ready to be in a relationship and I chose to ignore the signs. I found myself texting and calling him, when I felt it wasn’t reciprocated. I chased down the idea of what we could be and, through that, I have learnt that if I have to chase them, it isn’t real. Like the Course in Miracles says, ‘Nothing real can be threatened’, and if I have to chase down a person or a partner to find out where they are, what they are doing or who they are with, then it is not meant to be.


2. Peace is power.

Peace is more powerful than happiness. I like to think about the beginning of a relationship as though you are letting someone into your peaceful house. How do they enter? Are they humble? Are they kind? Or, are they disrespectful and disregard your rules? If you let someone into your life and they are not peaceful, they are not worth having in your life because the beginning is when people show their ‘best selves’. So, imagine what else is waiting along the road if they are not respectful in the beginning? Protect yourself! Pay attention to how someone enters your life and don’t feel obliged to commit to someone just because they have entered. You can always ask them to leave!


3. I am done settling.

No disrespect to any of my exes but, truth be told, I have settled in every single relationship that I have had before. I settled because I was lonely, I settled because I wanted to fit in, I settled because I wanted to have kids and I settled because I am getting older. But I am done settling! After my last relationship, I made a promise to God that, either I have a relationship that is founded on respect, kindness and love with a man who brings me closer to God or I will be single for as long as it takes for us to find each other. And, I am a firm-believer in that. Settling doesn’t benefit my partner or me because both people in a relationship deserve better than to devalue their worth. We all deserve what we want in a relationship.

5 quotes to help you through a break-up

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It was over. And I had no idea what to do. I had come to the realization that I had been in a relationship with someone I didn't like. And therefore, I had come to dislike myself. Facing the truth was one of the most painful things that I've ever had to do because I had lied to myself for so long about the relationship, about the fact that we had very different understandings of love and respect. But in this darkness, I found light. It came in the form of these five quotes, here they are:

1. "When people show who they are believe them" — Dr. Maya Angelou.

My dear friend, Pearl, told me this when I was confused about whether or not I had asked him to give too much. This quote helped me realize that many of us excuse people's behavior. But if someone hasn't shown up for you in the way you'd hoped they would, they simply haven't shown up for you. Making excuses for them won't help; it will do the opposite. Acknowledging and accepting someone's behavior brings clarity.

2. "Don't take it personally" — Don Miguel Ruiz.

During a break-up, we can get caught up in our thoughts. We can become obsessed with what the other person has done wrong to us, promoting a victim mentality. The truth is that many people have decided to be whoever they are before they consider how it will affect you. Someone who is inconsiderate or disrespectful to you will be disrespectful or inconsiderate to someone else, too. It's part of their character, don't take it personally.

3. "When you hold onto your history you did it at the expense of your history." — T.D Jakes

The day after I decided to leave the relationship, I wanted to leave it differently compared to how I had left previous relationships. I didn't want to dwell. So I started a 30-day yoga challenge of forgiveness. Everyday I forgave him for a reason that he had hurt me. I was actively choosing which beliefs and feelings moved forward with me and which ones I could discard, so that I could become the person I wanted to be.

4. "Peace is power" — Joyce Meyers.

I had spent enough time being angry, frustrated and disappointed, that I could no longer do it anymore. I left a relationship that wasn't serving me and after that, I decided to let go of emotions that weren't serving me, either. I let them go because the only way that I could fully move forward was if I was at peace with myself and the past.

5. "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my flesh gets weak.... I know it's about forgiveness even if you don't love me anymore." — India Arie from 'Heart of the Matter'

I played this song every day for a few months after the break-up. It helped me acknowledge that at some point my former partner will move on. While that might hurt, I also have a life to live, and, I want him to have a life. Holding onto the progression of my former partner's romantic life only brings negative emotions and energy into my life. Forgiveness helps me let go of any competition with him about who finds love first. After all, it is my life. He was just a part of it and fortunately, life goes on.

4 things that I want in a relationship

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I’m definitely happy being single; however, at some point in my life, I would like to be matched with my partner.


It’s been difficult to not allow my difficult past with ex-partners to affect. But, it is important to move forward and choose love. I still believe there is hope for me, despite my past.


This is the kind of relationship that I want:


1. A relationship where peace wins.

Sure, partners fight. However, peace should always win over ego and personality-clashing. A relationship should be a place of love and happiness ; not of war and unhappiness.

2. A relationship built on honesty and trust.

I hear a lot of women say, ‘All men cheat’, ‘men are like dogs’ and, ‘all men are the same’. When I hear these words, a part of me gets angry because every person is different and has different things happen to them. Another thing that I hear some women say is, ‘As long as I don’t find out, he can do whatever he wants’. I’m not going to tell you that you should be in a monogamous and faithful relationship. However, if you have committed to that, then that is how it should remain; unless both parties decide to change things. Trust is not an easy thing to restore because the person whose trust was broken, will always be thinking about what the other person did for the trust to be broken and wondering if it will happen again.


3. A relationship where both people are committed.

I was in a relationship with someone for 5 years who continuously made me feel as though I was alone in the relationship. It’s not a good feeling. A relationship cannot survive if only one person acknowledges it and recognizes it. In order for a relationship to thrive, both people need to be in it or there is no point.


4. A relationship where respect is number first on the priority list.

If there is respect in a relationship, the fundamentals fall into place. There is no need to worry about your partner straying, being cheated on or being abused if you generally feel respected and heard in a relationship. Yes, there are the exceptions. However, if you respect yourself and your partner respects you, you leave little-to-no room for people to take advantage of you and you leave a whole lot of space for trust and love to flourish.

5 reasons why I am happy to be single at 29

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I’ve previously spent years and years looking for Mr. Right. The description of his physical features has changed over the years. When I was a teenager, he went from needing to look like Justin Timberlake, to Omarion and then to Colin Farrell. 

Years went on and I let go of the physical appearances and looked more at their personality. I would pray for a man who was kind, considerate and respectful. Granted, life happened and after each heartbreak and break-up, I am less eager about having a list and more eager about what it feels like to be with someone- using my intuition.

I have been with the ‘good-looking guy’ who turned out to be verbally abusive and, I have been with the kind, respectful and considerate guy who I felt little-to-no love connection with. So, nowadays, I am solo.

I would’ve never guessed that I would be single after almost being married twice and a few long-term relationships. I would have never guessed that, at this point in my life, unless the person that romantically enters my life brings me something that is above anything that I can do for myself, I would take a pass.

When I was younger, I would get into relationships based off of fear. However, now that I am content with myself, I would rather be alone than be unhappy and here are the reasons why:

1. Not everyone is forever.

The first time that I got asked to get married, I was 20 years-old, living in New York. An Italian man, 13 years my senior, who I loved asked me to marry him and I didn’t want to marry him but I didn’t want to say no either. I had grown to love him and felt like he was family to me. So, I kept him on a string. Not realizing that he was placed in my life for a season; not a lifetime. As time played out, I learnt that he was placed into my life to learn many things and to give him love for the time that we had. I also learnt that, not everyone is in your life forever and it’s okay. No need to hang on, let them go.

2. Life is too short.

When you look at life by counting how many years most people have in their lifetime, it may not seem short. However, when you think of how quickly each year goes by, it goes by rapidly. When I met my ex of 5 years, he was going through a divorce, I was 21 and he was 34. You could say that I was naive but honestly, I never thought that loving someone could be so complicated because he didn’t want me to love him and he didn’t let me in. I was 26 when I ended our relationship and, to this day, I still have regret: I regret that I gave a man, who is older than I, my youth. It’s almost like he came to steal it and I let him. Those 5 years went by like 1 and all that I was left with was a broken heart and some life lessons. One of the biggest lessons is that life is too short to stay in something that you don’t want to. Because, before you know it, your 20s, 30s and 40s are gone and you’ll be left with regret.

3. I am the only one who has to live with my decisions.

I tried being in a relationship with someone to make other people happy, to give my mom her first grandchild and to seem like the one who could finally get a guy. Instead of being the one daughter with all the failed relationships. But, each time, I was proven that my life belongs to me. I can be told to get into a relationship for how it may seem and to provide something for the people around me but I am the only one who is able to live with the consequences of my actions. When I look at myself in the mirror, I need to be happy with my decisions and to be happy with who I have chosen to be with. Because looking at an unhappy and worn out reflection is not worth any relationship to me anymore.

4. Being alone can actually be great.

The older that I get, the happier that I am to be alone. Don’t get me wrong, being in a relationship is great but what’s better is loving yourself exactly the way that you are. Like Iyanla Vanzant says, ‘If you can’t be with you, how can anyone else be with you?’ It’s a beautiful thing to enjoy the company that you keep, especially when the company is your own. You being able to realize that everything else is just icing and you are the vanilla/chocolate cake that you have always desired. Letting go of any pressure and desperation to be with someone, just to avoid being alone.

5. There’s no rush.

Ladies like Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Taraji P. Henson, Eva Longoria and other ladies finding love and having kids later in life have truly inspired me. They have shown me that there is no rush to fall into something just because I am almost 30 and, “at the age that I need to have babies”. There is so much time to make all those things happen and, if it’s meant to happen, it will happen. I don’t need to force it, be desperate for it or run after someone to make it happen. It will happen if/when it is time. If not in this lifetime; then the next. But, it has to be right.

4 things to remember when you start a new relationship

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I won’t even lie, it’s scary! You find yourself falling for someone and you want to be with them. So many questions start to fill your head: Does he like me? How do I know? Do I initiate the first conversation? What if he rejects me? What will I do if he rejects me?


A bunch of emotions fill you up as you begin a relationship with someone and, sometimes we have no idea what to do with them, approach the person or deal with ourselves in this phase of our lives.


Here are a few tips:


1. Trust!

I took a SoulCycle class two weeks ago and the instructor spoke about trusting. It got me thinking how little we trust others and trust ourselves. We need trust to do anything in life, including waking up in the morning. We trust our brains, we trust our bodies and we trust the air that we breathe. A foundation of a solid relationship begins with trust. Like Joyce Brothers said, ‘The best proof of love is trust.’

2. Let go of the past.

It’s no secret that I have had a horrible past with people that I have dated. So, I can tell you clearly that holding onto negative baggage will only bring you down. We can all walking around crying about yesterday or move forward with love and certainty. Life is all about balance and your past deepest pain will find you in your deepest joy one day. Be open to it.


3. Be open

Every time I close myself up to the prospect of a new love, I remember this quote by Anonymous, ‘ Be as open as air. Unrestricted and rid all insecurities. Transparency wins hearts.’ We are naturally drawn to people who are open because we are creatures of receptivity. We pick up on each others’ energy and we tend to avoid people who are closed off. The person you are beginning a relationship with could be your soulmate, don’t block it off by being closed off and doubtful. Be open to the possibility of all of what might be, whether it be joy or pain, at least you are learning, growing and loving.


4. Be true
There is no point in being someone you think the person you like, likes. When they find out who you really are, things will go South. And, I don’t mean South like Atlanta. I mean South like you might find out that you are incompatible and you have wasted two people’s time by not being truthful. Being genuinely who you are will attract someone who is genuinely into it, which is half the battle.

5 great gifts you can give to your loved ones.

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We often think of gifts as material goods, and we tend to demonstrate our love for those who are close to us through material gifts. But when physical gifts break or disappear, what remains?

Our love connections and the way that we treat one another can be some of the greatest gifts. Here are five that I would like to share with you:

 

1. Let your loved ones be who they want to be.

This means that if your loved one makes a decision you aren't happy with, accept it and trust that they will be okay. Instead of wanting your partner's life to be how you want it to be, accept that he/she has their own life to live. Love them enough to support their decisions unless they're harming themselves and others.

 

2. Just give without any expectations.

A lot of us give to our loved ones and become angry or disappointed when they do not give us something in return. We place expectations on them for them to do the same as we have done for them. Let people give to you because they want to, not because they feel as through they owe you. Giving is not a burden; it's something you should genuinely want to do.

 

3. Genuinely care.

There's nothing more loving than when someone looks into your eyes out of pure consideration. Asking someone how they are while you are talking on your phone isn't a sign that you appreciate and consider the person that you are talking to. Take a few seconds to make eye contact.

 

4. Smile at your loved one.

Smile! It may be all that they want to see after having a rough day, or even before they begin a day that they think will be challenging. Ease up your loved one's day by giving them your smile. It doesn't cost anything and can create a lighter mood among a hostile one.

 

5. Consider if you would want to be treated the same way that you are treating them.

Sometimes we can get lost in our own heads. Every now and then, take a look at how you treat your loved ones and ask yourself if you would want to be treated the way that you are treating them. Regardless of how they have treated you, ask yourself if you have been fair in your treatment towards them. After all, we aren't responsible for how someone has treated us but we are responsible for how we treat others. This will allow you to treat people the way that you want to; not out of retaliation of how you have been treated but because you care about them.

The most important person that I needed to forgive was... me

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Phoyo by Alcy Sivyer

 

I remember when I first came to realize the true meaning of forgiveness. I was watching a YouTube clip of an old Oprah ShowEpisode. On it, a guest of hers said that forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.

These words moved me and I began to cry. I had held on to so many situations for my, then, 23 years of age. I had held on to some of the mean things that people had said to me as I battled with my relationship with food, I had held on to broken relationships between family members and former partners and, I had also held on to not feeling good enough for many years- whether it was through academia or personal life goals.

So, I set out to change it. I decided to forgive everything and everyone for the past with a thirty day forgiveness coupled with hot yoga. They went well; the only problem was that the most important person that I had forgotten to forgive was…ME!

I was living and creating my life and therefore, I needed to forgive myself or else I would continue to energetically attract past situations that I had previously created.

So, I got a pen and paper and began to write. As I wrote, tears started to stain the pages and smudge the printed lines.These were liberating tears, tears of relief and self-love. I started from the beginning, remembering the first time that I called myself fat and then, I forgave myself for being so hateful towards myself. I forgave myself for letting my self-hatred spread to others and then hating them too. I forgave myself for hurting others.

I moved on to forgiving myself for calling myself stupid, an idiot and previously not forgiving myself. Once I was done with that, I forgave myself for allowing people to treat me however they had wanted to. I forgave myself for letting an ex of mine cheat on me, a forgave myself for letting another ex disappear on me whenever he felt like it and then I forgave a former-ex for leaving me when I needed him the most. Yes, I forgave them but I also forgave myself. The forgiveness was coupled with a reminder to create boundaries for future reference so that these situations would never happen again.

I forgave myself for the self-blame that I had put myself through after my father left. I forgave myself for the self-label of unlovable when I looked at a mirror or saw my reflection. I forgave myself for doubting my ability to be strong, beautiful and courageous as the doubts were completely untrue.

Once I was done, I looked at my letter of self-forgiveness and saw a true accomplishment. I made a decision to leave that smudged and messy letter behind and move forward. Forward with love and carefor the person that I had been so hard on before.

My self-forgiveness was so important as I realized that I can only forgive others if I forgive myself first.

How I face my fears after my biggest heartbreak.

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We all face heartbreak, it’s a part of life. No matter how much advice you get about heartbreak before it happens, experiencing it is a whole different story.

At least that’s how I felt when it happened to me. Last September, I went through the toughest time of my life. It’s hard to even fathom what happened but it did happen. I lost a baby and a partner at the same time. While we were together, we had had many prior talks about deciding that we would one day get married and have kids. Turns out, the universe had a different plan.

When, I discovered that I was pregnant, I told him and he disappeared. I ended up having a miscarriage due to stress. I felt the loneliest that I have ever felt in my life.

Through uplifting music, supportive friends & family and my will to be well, I made it through. The truth is that while it was going on, I knew that it had to happen and I would meditate, pray and remember that the universe had a plan.

Even though it’s over, I still feel fear. Fear that it will happen again, fear that this man, my ex- partner will come into my life again and I also fear that I will never get the love that I deserve; however, I face these fears by creating mantras like these ones:

1. I have learned what I needed to. Now I move on, wiser and stronger.

Sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes I have vivid memories of when I found out that I was pregnant, calling my partner and him not responding. I begin to feel lonely again. Fear comes over me; however, I stop and breathe. Recite the mantra above and remind myself that the universe sent it to me for a reason and if I have truly learned from what happened, I can move forward with my life. With more wisdom and ability to survive what I have survived.

2. I am worthy of love despite my past.

Everyone has moments, particularly when we are feeling lonely, when we wonder if we are worth being loved. The truth is that I haven’t had the best relationships with men throughout my life: my father and romantic relationships in my life have not gone the best way that they could’ve. As a result, when I start to blame myself for what has happened to our love, I remind myself that I am still worthy of love no matter how I have previously been treated. When we have loved as much as we could and didn’t get it back, it is not on us and we can release that blame for there is someone that will love us as the way that we are meant to be loved.

3. Let go of the past and be present.

The past can very easily consume us. It’s only natural. However, it’s up to us to progress. At some point in our lives, we need to acknowledge that despite how we have been treated, our lives belong to us. The past is the past because it is over. I let go of my fear that the past will repeat itself by reciting this mantra and maintaining that today is my day, it doesn’t belong to those have ‘done me wrong’, it belongs to me and I will cherish it the best way that I can.

I love you, go!

 

 

 

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Dear U,

 

It's been almost seven years since we met. I remember when you would look at me as though I was the only person in the room, I knew that you were falling. Did you know that you were falling?

 

The memory of your raspy voice, the intensity in your brown eyes and your love is still so clear to me. Even though it's been a while since I have seen you, you are still in my heart. Where you will always stay.

 

I never understood when people said that love wasn't enough to make a relationship last until I met you. You were exactly what I was looking for in a man. So if it couldn't work with you, why didn't it work?

 

I suppose only God knows because I know that both of us tried. We tried and tried, almost too much and we suffered. We could blame it on circumstances, timing or our Egos but today, I choose to accept my love for you and let you go. Love is infinite but relationships have an expiration date.


Love can be challenging but partnerships shouldn't be this hard. The part of me that still believes that you are the one for me has died but my love for you never will.

 

I love you, go!

Why do I want to forgive him?

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 Because being angry was not helping me progress. I want to forgive him because I have allowed him to steal time from my past but I won't allow anymore time to be stolen from my present or my future.
I want to forgive him because things in his life are messy. If I am a part of his life, I shall also be so. Messy isn't good enough for me, I want clarity.

I want to forgive him because through his hurtful behaviour, he ironically showed me how I want to be loved and I am more than thankful.

I want to forgive him because I could go back but I don't want to. Everything that we had was a blessing. I was blessed to have him in my life and he has taught me a lot. That is why I forgive because life goes on. The clock doesn't move backwards, it moves forward.

The path of forgiveness allows me to elevate my path and my becomings. I am here to forgive because I have chosen to do so. My progress is not in his hands; it is in mine.