It truly never fails. At the turn of every new year, there are dating terms that make their way into cyberspace. Each year, there are always a few whose names tickle me. There are also a couple that end up having me like, "Man, I wish there was a name for that when I was in college." (Like weaseling, which I'll get to in just a sec.)
As far as some of the most popular dating trends for 2020 go, I must admit that they're more cautionary tales than anything. If you're able to recognize them very early on, they can prevent you from becoming so jaded that you find yourself swearing off dating for the rest of the year. Are you ready to see what kind of foolishness folks are plotting in this new decade of ours? Brace yourself. Some of them are real doozies.
2020 Dating Trends To Look Out For
This is one that I've never really understood. I mean, if you're not interested in someone, why give them your number at all? Yet dial-toning is right up there at the top of the list of what will be big dating trends in the new year. It's not when you ghost someone. It's when you give someone your contact info and then never respond to their calls. Not only is this pretty cowardly (because again, if you're not interested, just say that…in a nice way, of course), it also is a huge waste of everyone's time. Better to say, "Thanks, but no thanks" on the front end than to make it harder on the next girl that ole' boy approaches all because he can't shake how you gave him the impression that you were interested when actually…you weren't.
Talk about being passive-freakin'-aggressive. I think that just about any woman can relate to weasels—I mean, weaseling. Picture it: You break up with someone, you take the time that you need to heal (good for you), and right when you've started getting used to going at least a few days without thinking about your ex, here he comes liking your Instagram pics again. Anyone who does this knows exactly what they are doing—trying to get back into your head, heart and, quite possibly your bed.
I don't like weaseling because if we are not together and you want my attention again, you should go with a bolder gesture than commenting on social media. But, that's just me. Anyway, if you happen to notice this going down all of a sudden, before you get too excited, just remember that they don't call it "weaseling" for nothin'.
So, a guy I know once told me that he used to make a habit of having sex with women he wasn't even remotely attracted to. Why would someone do something crazy like that? According to him, the "ugly girl" (his words, not mine) would be so grateful for his, uh, time that she would run and tell all of the women he was interested in how good he was—and that would make "bagging them" (again, his words not mine) so much easier to do. Unfortunately, that's not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, there is a whole word for it: leapfrogging, which is when you connect with one person in order to ultimately connect with someone else.
I will admit that the guy I told you about is partaking in the savage 2.0 version of leapfrogging. Oftentimes, this happens more with online dating than anything else. You know, like when someone sees a group shot and might reach out to you, making you believe they are interested, when really, they want to get to know the woman to your left in the picture. Either way, leapfrogging can be the worse, so make sure to keep your Spidey senses up when meeting someone new—whether it's online or off.
Y'all, please tell me you ain't never been this chick. SMDH. Exoskeletoning is what happens when an ex is semi-stalking. They aren't wasting their time, effort, and cyber skills on their ex but the current partner of their ex. If you're currently seeing someone new and a random friend request pops up from someone you don't know or, all of a sudden, you feel like you are being gaslit by an online troll, it might not be random. It could very well be some bitter woman exoskeletoning you. Proceed with caution. Ask the guy you're seeing if he recognizes ole' girl, too.
I know some of y'all are hyped that Kanye appears to have become this super Christian and everything, but anyone who converts and then says he wants to call himself "Christian Genius Billionaire" is someone I think could stand to take some more Bible classes, especially on humility. (Check Luke 14:11). But I digress. I will say this—no one is as consistently inconsistent as Kanye and, if there's one thing we can be certain of, it's that he doesn't hold his tongue…ever.
That said, can you guess what being "Kanye'd" means? It's literally when you're on a date with someone and you can't get a word in because they are flapping their jaws, non-stop, the entire time. Be careful because this tends to be a sign of a potential narcissist which makes the dating term even more fitting. But again…I digress.
Healthy relationships require compromise. Of course, they do. But if your definition of compromising is acting like you love things that you don't even like, what you may be participating in is a dating trend known as eclipsing.
Yep, it's basically when you start to date someone and, in order to appear as if the two of you are truly compatible, you act like you enjoy the same things that they do, even when you don't.
Remember the old school movieRoxanne (Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah)? When a man gets another man to tell him what to say to win over a woman, you know that doesn't really work in your favor. It's living a lie which is ultimately a total waste of your time—and his. Don't do it. It ain't worth it.
This past fall, I wrote "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner" which fits pretty well when it comes to another dating trend called "white clawing". It's when you stay with someone who you're not mentally, emotionally or spiritually stimulated by but, still, you keep them around because they are physically attractive and appealing. I've done this a few times. The big problem with white clawing is the more you self-evolve, the more you want someone who checks all of your boxes.
Men who can ring your bell in all categories do exist, however, you won't be able to see them if you're holding on too tightly to nothing but looks, though. Just something to think about.
If any of these dating trends triggered me, I must admit that it's this one right here. There is a particular man from my past who is utterly notorious when it comes to cause-playing. What in the world is that?
It's when you break things off with someone, but they try and find a way back into your good graces by asking for a favor or even to participate in something that appears altruistic like donating to a cause that they are a part of.
To me, it's the nicer form of weaseling because I'm still over here like, "Dude, if you want to reconnect, just say that. Spare me all of these GoFundMe links." It's a new year. I'll probably actually say that if he pulls that stunt again (and knowing him, he will).
Let me just put it right on out there—vampiring is nothing more than a booty call. It's literally all about folks who only hit you up during the "witching hours" (which legend claims is typically somewhere around 3 a.m, though I'm not sure which time zone). Unless a guy is overseas and hours ahead (or behind) you or there's some type of life-altering emergency going down, there really is no reason for a man to hit you up past midnight "just to talk". You're grown, so if booty calls are your thing, do you. But if that's the only time you're getting hit up, please don't romanticize what's going on. He wants to hit or, at the very least, discuss hittin'. Otherwise, he'd call you during normal interaction hours, not when so-called vampires are roaming the streets.
OK, I thought "settling" was enough of a wake-up call, but it seems like some of us require more of a punch to the gut. If you're out here fleabagging, you're dating someone who you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is totally wrong for you. (See "Why We Love Men Who Are Absolutely No Good For Us" and "My Eureka Moment For Why I'm Not Into 'Nice Guys'"). While I'm not totally sure what that has to do with fleabags, I do know that with the definitions of the word using other words like "run-down" and "cheap", that's enough to make me turn up my nose and want to avoid putting myself in a fleabagging dating scenario at all costs. I hope you are on your monitor or smartphone shaking your head and saying, "Same sis. Same."
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This was first evident more than a decade ago when she quit her job as the corporate executive of a Fortune 500 company during a Periscope livestream. “I’m not sure if there’s an alignment of [our] future trajectory. I’m going to work for myself. I'm promoting myself to work for myself,” she said at the time before flashing a smile at the viewing audience. As she resigned on camera, a constant stream of encouraging messages floated upwards on the screen.
By 2021, she’d fashioned her work as a corporate consultant and her personal life with her husband and three adopted daughters into a reality show, She’s The Boss, for USA Network. This year, she released the New York Times bestselling memoir Nothing Is Missing, written as she was in the process of getting a divorce and dealing with her eldest daughter’s struggles with substance use.
Convinced that there’s no way the 39-year-old has achieved all of this without intentional strategic planning, I asked her about it when we spoke less than a week before Christmas. I’d seen videos on social media of her working on 2024 planning for other brands, and I wanted to know what that looked like following her own year of success.
She listed a number of goals, including ensuring that the projects she takes on in the new year align with her identity “as a Black woman, as an African woman, as a mother, as someone who has lived a [rebuilding] season and is now trying to live boldly and entirely as themselves.” But, I was shocked by how much of her business planning also prioritized rest.
Despite the bestselling book, a self-titled podcast, and working with numerous corporations, Walters said she’s been taking Fridays off. This year, she doesn’t want to work on Mondays, either.
“A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement,” she said, noting that she’ll check in with herself around March to see how successful this plan has been. The goal, Walters said, is to only be working on Tuesdays and Thursdays by sometime in 2025. “It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to have happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change.”
"A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement... It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change."
Walters said the decision to progressively work less was partially in response to her previously held notions about her career, especially as an entrepreneur. “When I first started, I thought burnout was a part of it,” she said. “What I didn’t realize is that even if you’re able to bounce out of burnout or get back to it, there’s a cumulative impact on your body. If you think of your body as a tree and every time you go through burnout, you are taking a hack out of your trunk, yes, that trunk will heal over, and the tree will continue to grow, but it doesn't mean that you don’t have a weakened stem.”
But, the desire for increased rest was also in response to the major shifts that occurred three years ago when she was experiencing major changes in her family and realized her metaphorical tree was “bending all the way over.”
“One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity,” she added. “That is some language that I think is just now starting to really get unpacked.” In recent years, there’s been an increased awareness of achieving balance in life, with Tricia Hersey’s “The Nap Ministry” gaining attention based on the idea that rest, especially for Black women, is a form of resistance. Even online phrases such as “soft life” and “quiet quitting” have hinted at a cultural shift in prioritizing leisure over professional ambition.
"One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity."
If companies are lining up to consult with Walters about their brands and products, then women have been looking to her for guidance on starting over since she invited them to livestream her resignation 12 years ago. As viewers continue to demand more from content creators in the form of intimate, personal details, Walters has navigated her personal brand with a sense of transparency without oversharing the vulnerable details about her life, especially when it comes to her family.
The entrepreneur said she’d been approached to write a book for several years and was initially convinced she was finally ready to write one about business. “I started to do that, and then I went through my divorce. When that happened, I said, why would I write a book telling people to get the life that I have when I’m not sure about the life that I have,” she said.
Instead, she decided to write Nothing Is Missing and provide a closer look at her life, starting with being born to immigrant Ghanaian parents (“You need to know my childhood to know why I’m passionate about entrepreneurship.”) through the adoption of her three daughters and eventual divorce. Despite her desire to share, however, she said she felt protective of the privacy of her family, including her ex-husband.
When discussing this with me, Walters said she was reminded of a lesson she learned from actress Kerry Washington, who released her own memoir, Thicker Than Water, just a week before Walters’ book release. Washington’s memoir grapples with family secrets, too, specifically the fact that she was conceived using a sperm donor and didn’t learn about it until she was already a successful TV star. While Washington reflects on how the decision and subsequent deception impacted her, she’s also careful to hold space for her parents’ experiences, too. “A lot of things she said was that she had to recognize where she was the supporting character and where she was the main character,” Walter said.
This is something Walter worked to do in Nothing Is Missing when discussing her daughter’s struggles with addiction. “I was very intentional about making sure that I did not reveal more than what was required,” she said. “If I say something about someone’s addiction, I don’t need to go into the list of the substances they used, how they used them, what I found. [I don’t need to] walk into a room and paint a picture of what it looked like for people to understand.”
Walters said some of the most vulnerable moments in the book barely made a ripple once it was released. She was extremely nervous to write about getting an abortion, she said. But no one has asked her about this in the months since the book was released. Instead, people have been more interested in quirkier revelations, such as the fact that she once appeared on Wheel of Fortune.
“I have bared my soul about this thing I went through in my youth that has changed me for people, and people are like, ‘So how heavy was the wheel when you spun it?’” she said, chuckling. “It just goes to show that people never worry about the thing that you worry about.”
With the success of Nothing Is Missing, Walters said she still isn’t planning to release a business book at the moment. But, as she navigates parenting a teenager and two adult children while also navigating a relationship with her new fiancé, Walters said she believes she has at least one or two more books to write about her personal journey. “There is sort of an arc of where my life has gone that I know I’ve got something more to say about this that I think is important, relevant and necessary,” she said.
In just three years, Walters’ life has undergone a major transformation. There’s no telling what the next three years will have in store for her, but it seems likely she’ll retain an inspired audience wherever life takes her.
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When it was announced a couple of weeks ago that HBO Max canceled the Issa Rae-produced series Rap Sh!t, social media was in an uproar. Many fans questioned its cancelation and the now incomplete storylines. Others pointed out what seems to be a recent trend with Black shows. Since last year, HBO Max canceled two other Issa-produced shows, A Black Lady Sketch Show and Sweet Life: Los Angeles. The streaming giant also chopped South Side, Love Life, and the Ballroom competition show LEGENDARY. After two seasons, NBC cut the budding popular comedy Grand Crew, and Showtime let go of the non-traditional late-night talk show Ziwe.
With each chop, many of us are wondering what is left of our stories. Issa spoke with Net-a-Porter's digital publication, Porter, amid Rap Sh!t's cancelation. “You’re seeing so many Black shows get cancelled, you’re seeing so many executives – especially on the DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] side – get canned. You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority,” she said.
While there has been a push for more diversity in Hollywood, and the tides seemed to be changing (i.e., recent Black representation at Emmy's, Golden Globes, and Oscar noms), the number of cancelation of these series tell a different story. The American Fiction star is even looking to possibly change directions in her career. “I am pessimistic, because there’s no one holding anybody accountable – and I can, sure, but also at what cost? I can’t force you to make my stuff. It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to,” she explained.
Issa Rae at 2024 Emmy Awards
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As of now, Issa is excited to get "back at it" amid last year's writer's and actor's strikes. The actress, writer, and producer has her hand in everything from music to spirits, and we love seeing the growth. However, we first fell in love with the Insecure star from the TV, or if you're an OG fan, the internet, and so we're always anticipating what she creates next.
“I’m writing a couple of different projects – one for myself and one to produce and create with others – and I’ve been feeling so inspired and excited to get back at it,” she said. “I’m embracing that challenge. The industry is in flux, so it’s really inspired me to focus and hone in on what stories I want to tell. I’ve been laser-focused on getting these projects up and running.”
Ten years from now, we may even see Issa in a whole new industry because, according to her, she plans to transition into a life of service. I know that's right!
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