Chilli’s New Love With Matthew Lawrence Is A Lesson In Waiting On Your ‘Perfect Timing’
It was thirteen years ago, almost to the day, that Rozanda ‘Chilli’ Thomas blessed us with reality TV greatness at a time when reality TV was in its prime. It may not have been on your bingo card in 2010 for 1/3 of mega group TLC to be showing the world What Chilli Wants, but it certainly was a time.
Chilli, who has been linked to super-producer, Dallas Austin (also who she shares her only son with) and held down a high-profile romance with the one and only Ursher Baby, was almost 40 years old at the time, and still navigating love like the rest of us. The show lasted for two seasons and gave us plenty to openly discuss amongst girlfriends, such as the importance of knowing, having, and standing firm on our “lists” – or the list of requirements we’re looking for in a partner (y'all remember that?).
Anyway, fast forward to today, where our girl’s dating life had flown under the radar until last August when rumors began to swirl that the "No Scrubs" singer was getting her sip on in Waikiki with Boy Meets World star, Matthew Lawrence. And although this probably wasn’t on our bingo card either, the two eventually made it all Insta-official when sis claimed him while promoting his new podcast with his also-famous brothers Joey and Andrew, titled, The Brotherly Love Podcast.
The best part? He adores her, y'all. Like truly speaks highly of her, which you know we’re always here for a Black woman being loved at 100%.
Lawrence spoke about their relationship, how they connected, and more withEntertainment Tonight, saying “I hope,” when pressed on whether a family with Chilli is on the table.
“That’s the game plan. That’s what we’re trying to do. My life is in complete bloom right now. I get to spend time with an amazing woman like Chilli,” he noted, before describing the singer as “really, really special.”
Chilli is already a mother to 25-year-old son, Tron, and Lawrence, has no kids, but is coming off of a divorce from Dancing With The Stars alum, Cheryl Burke.
Lawrence also revealed how they connected and that it was a snowstorm that prevented their relationship from becoming a missed connection.
“I had to be back for work, so I was getting (the airline) to change my flights all around,” he explained, adding that the only flight that was available for him at the time was one with a connecting stop in Atlanta, where Chilli lives. The opportunity allowed the two to talk and before parting, the two agreed to stay in touch. “It almost did not happen. I mean, literally an hour before the flight took off, they’re like, ‘Okay, we got you on this flight. You gotta go.’”
The two did in fact stay in touch. So much so, that the energy is permeating through Lawrence’s brother, Joey, who told PEOPLE, "She's great, a sweet person, super genuine, so warm and kind. And yeah, they're just having a great time and it's just good to see him happy and he makes her happy. So that's all you can ever ask for. Life is [full of] unexpected twists and turns — you don't know what's up next, but you just hope that everybody ends up happy. And he's happy right now and she's happy, and that makes us happy."
It must be so rewarding to find a new love willing to openly meet you in whatever season your life is in.
As for Chilli, she believes in God's timing, writing on Instagram: "God has perfect timing. Never early and never late," her New Year's Eve post read. "It takes a little patience and a lot of faith."
You better say that.
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Featured image by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Lifetime
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images