Chile, I've been through it! This dating game has got me tiiiied. I feel like I've tried everything to move into my next long-term relationship since my divorce nearly four years ago: from meeting people at networking events, meetup groups, through friends, and eventually humbling myself enough to try these so-called dating apps, I've done it all, but to no avail.
I even entertained the idea of dating someone from my very distant past, but what I quickly realized is that going backwards in the dating world is essentially a recipe for disaster and reignited heartbreak. Inevitably, I found myself settling for the very things that I said I would NEVER do when I first stepped into the dating scene, but there I was, doing just that.
The amount of times I've encountered damn near every modern dating term--from ghosting, breadcrumbing and being benched--is only eclipsed by the number of times I've felt that the dating world is just not for me. In this big city filled with men who have as many options as they have routes to work, we as women have found ourselves doing the courting. Who has time for that? If you're single and looking, I'm sure you can relate.
And just like that, three years of effort seemed to have breezed by.
I am of a particular age, and while I do have kids, I would love to have another. Two of those things automatically drop me off the radar of many eligible bachelors that already have "the ideal woman" picked out in their heads. When I'm trying to figure things out in my life, I find myself in the rabbit hole of the internet: googling away, trying to understand why I do certain things, why the men that come and go in my life do what they do, how to recover from ghosting...all the things.
While in this rabbit hole, I came across a clip of my mentor-in-my-head Oprah trying to give me some amazing dating advice. She said that being single is "the best time" to do just about anything, even "drop it like it's hot". Auntie recently told E! News:
"It's the best time where you get to make yourself the lover, the friend, the companion, the nurturer, the supporter that you would want. It's the best time...you need to go through that 'oh, oh, oh, I'm dating him, I'm dating him...oh that's good...drop it like it's hot', all that. And then you need a period where you just come down to yourself: that's what you need. And then, when you are ready, HE WILL SHOW UP."
Truth is, this message came right on time. I had just cleaned out my roster, contemplating my next move.
Did I want to get back into the endless swiping game, try something new like speed dating, or finally give that guy a chance even if I know deep down it's not what I want? Thanks to Oprah, I am reminded that I've done all of these things already, but I still wasn't ready to meet the man of my dreams. Maybe it's actually time for me to court to myself. Maybe it's time for me to just sit back, work on all the loose ends that I'm still trying to tie up personally and professionally and learn to just be alone.
If I'm being totally honest, I can say that the reasons why I feel like I've been chasing an unrealistic idea of a relationship are two-fold. On one hand, I saw my ex move on so quickly that not only did it take me by surprise, but I felt like I deserved to move on, too. On the other hand, there is this overwhelming fear of being alone for the rest of my life like many of the women in my family.
However, my fear of being alone is different than being lonely.
I am lonely, but being alone is a much scarier proposition, for me. I've always pictured myself growing old with my best friend, and while I am now much more willing to grow through the loneliness, the mere thought of being alone forever is terrifying.
So, right now, I am willing to continue to work on myself. I have a list of things I need to do just for me that no one else can do for me. And while I've finally healed from the upheaval of divorce, I am still figuring out who I am, who I want to be, and how I'm going to get there.
I've decided to become the love I want to attract.
And while the last three years was the beginning of this process, I know I still have some work to do because I deserve A LOT of love. Deep down I am a hopeless romantic, filled with dreams of fairytales and happily ever afters. But the reality is, once I have worked through all the kinks of my own life and find complete contentment in who I have come to be, then and only then will I be ready for that relationship of my dreams. This is simply the law of attraction at work. I am a big believer in manifestation and universal laws, but clearly the missing piece is my full commitment to these truths.
So, in the meantime, I'll be here working towards my goals, being the best mother I can be, loving on my friends and shining my crown. And when I am ready, "HE WILL SHOW UP!" I'm claiming it!
- Are You Enjoying Your Own Company Or Spending Time Alone? - Read More
- The Benefits & The Beauty Of Solitude - Read More
- It's Okay to Be Single - Read More
Featured photo by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Michelle Schmitz is a writer and editor based in Washington, DC originally from Ft Lauderdale, FL. A self-described ambivert, you can find her figuring out ways to read more than her monthly limit of The New York Times, attending concerts, and being a badass, multi-tasking supermom. She also runs her own blog MichelleSasha.com. Keep up with her latest moves on IG: @michellesashawrites and Twitter: @michellesashas
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images