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It’s OK To Be Intentional About Finding Love

"Don't go looking for love," they say. But maybe they're wrong.

Love & Relationships

"Don't go looking for love."

"Love will find you."

I'm pretty sure we've all been told some variation of this before. I'm an Aquarius so it probably comes as no surprise that I don't subscribe to this school of thought. Personally, I think it is OK to be intentional about finding love in a way that is comfortable to you.

It seems we are intentional about everything else in our lives except love. We want a new job, we search for one. We want to further our education, we apply to schools. We want to lose weight and get in shape, we go to the gym and become conscious of what we eat. But when it comes to love, we're supposed to do nothing, wait for it to fall in our laps, and hope for the best.

People have even become embarrassed to admit that they even desire love for fear of sounding desperate. We pretend we are perfectly OK with being by ourselves when the reality is that a lot of us really aren't. Now when I say be intentional about finding love, I don't mean forcing love. Being intentional and open to receiving love are OK and we shouldn't feel bad about it either.

Get into some ways you can be more intentional about finding love:

Heal Thyself

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While I think that we are constantly growing, evolving, and healing, there is a certain level of work that must be done to be able to give and receive love. I met my current boyfriend more than two years ago, but neither of us were in a place to give or receive love so it didn't work. Fast-forward two years later: We reconnected. We both had done the work on ourselves separately. We took time to heal and now things are amazing between us. When I refer to "the work", I mean take time to heal from past traumas, really get to know you, your likes, dislikes, and fall in love with yourself. You can't expect someone else to love you if you don't even love yourself.

Check Your Energy

I've been told in the past by friends and family that my energy and vibe are off for someone that says they are looking for love, but it kind of went in one ear and out the other. However, last year I participated in the 7-Day xoNecole Happy Hour Challenge and it was through this challenge that I realized everyone was right.

Instead of walking around avoiding eye contact, listening to music, and looking at my phone, I accepted the challenge and made eye contact. I spoke to everyone of the opposite sex for 7 days. While no love connection was made while participating in the challenge, there were lots of compliments, smiles, and great conversation---a far departure from before.

Put Yourself Out There

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After saying I would never in life try online dating, I gave it a try a couple of years ago. I learned that it wasn't for me, but I never would have known that if I didn't at least try. There are plenty of people who have met the love of their life online. So if you haven't had any luck out in these streets, try online dating for 30 days and see what happens.

If you absolutely know that online dating is not your style, maybe shooting your shot is. It's 2020 and ladies are not shy about jumping in DMs and making the first move when it comes to pursuing love. If after reading that you just thought "Nah, sis," you are not alone. Personally, I was never comfortable with shooting my shot either (I'm awkward). In my single days, I had more assists than actual shots. If I saw a guy that I was interested in, I would compliment him on his shoes or his jacket, and then see what happened from there. Try it.

Get Out Of The House

My mom once asked me if I thought my husband was just going to show up at my front door. She definitely tried it, but she was right. I used to spend most of my time in my apartment.

There was a point when I literally just left my house to go to and from work, to pick up takeout, and to go to Target. After being read by my mom, I made a conscious effort to actually leave my house at least a few times a week. So, whether it was eating in the restaurant instead of getting takeout, and attending events, going out with my girls, going to the gym, or going for a walk, I made a point to be in these streets. While this might prove to be a little difficult due to the current state of things, this is definitely a tip to stick a pin in for once we're ready and able to resume our regulary scheduled programming.

Practice Manifestation

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Quit saying you'll never find someone and start saying that you will. Start believing it is possible and that it will happen for you, and then watch it manifest. The reason you're reading this article is because I literally manifested that I would write for xoNecole. So, if it can happen with my writing, it can happen for the love you want, too.

So whether someone met the love of their life in the gym, online, the grocery store, or in the Uber Pool, there was likely some intentionality that went along with it. If love is what you want, be intentional about it, and don't stop until you find it.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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