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Find Your Soulmate With These Tips From Love Expert Diann Valentine

Love & Relationships

Let's face it, this generation could stand to learn a thing or two about real love, genuine commitment, and creating a solid foundation with someone.


While we're busy swiping right and left and engaging in this month's latest situationship, we rarely take the time to create authentic, lasting bonds with one another (Quite frankly that is rarely encouraged in our society anyway). Luckily for us, love expert, wedding planner, and author, Diann Valentine is here to help us maneuver through our chaos-filled dating lives and find the love we all desperately deserve. With her platform, she aims to show everyone still looking for genuine love that it is indeed still out there - you just have to be willing to do the work, and go the distance for it.

Whether you've seen her dropping knowledge on The Steve Harvey talk show, planning the weddings of Nas, Usher, or Toni Braxton (just to name a few of her famous clientele), or even hosting her new Bravo series To Rome For Love, love expert Diann Valentine is full of all the relationship gems you need to know.

From acknowledging the red flags early on in relationships, being realistic with your standards or how we view sex and dating, Valentine shows us a realistic approach in dating and finding love. But out of all the great love advice she shared, she continues to emphasize the importance of self-love and how the relationship with one's self, is still the most important.

"I believe that in order to find the love that we so desire, we have to make sure that we are doing the self-work on ourselves. Being the best version of ourselves is what is going to attract the love you want and need in your life"

Doing the work on yourself is the key to ultimately becoming the best version of yourself, which can lead to your lasting love.

In her new book Going The Distance For Love, Valentine breaks down 22 tips on how we should handle our own internal issues and be open to finding love wherever it may be, because it is in fact possible. Although it may not seem like it, in a world full of too many f*ckboys and too many commitment phobes, Valentine proves to us all that real love is still out there, we just have to be patient, be open and be willing to go the distance for it. Here's what else Valentine had to say.

What would you say to the women who have completely given up on love?

Never, ever, ever give up on love. It is the natural order of existence for human beings to be in relationship with one another. We were all conceived in love, and we all have an innate desire to love and be loved. It is the most beautiful gift you will ever receive, but it is important that you are ready to receive it when it shows up.

What should we be looking for in a potential life partner?

I think that checklists are important, but it is equally important to make sure that your checklist includes character requirements and not so much about someone's physicality. It should be easy to love someone who loves you and treats you well.

What are some red flags women should be aware of while dating?

(1) Men that do not keep their word and have too many broken agreements. (2) Previous spouses, girlfriends, and children's mothers that are still in his life but you cannot meet them. (3) If he has too many women that he refers to as his "little sister" but you have not met any of them. (4) If everyone knows that the man you are seeing is a hoe. In most cases, you cannot rehab a hoe into a husband.

"In most cases, you cannot rehab a hoe into a husband."

How can women "do better" when it comes to finding and maintaining healthy relationships?

The best way to find and keep love is to make sure you are constantly working to be your best self. When you are a woman that is confident and full of self-love, has found balance between career and a personal life, and has learned how to LIVE this life, she is naturally going to attract those qualities back into her life. Bad relationships are often a mirror reflection of our own shortcomings.

What should women focus on during their single years?

(1) Confronting past hurt and pain so that they can leave their baggage in the past where it belongs. Oh, and we all have baggage, just various versions of it. (2) Learning to love yourself and knowing that you cannot make anyone else happy if you are unhappy with who you are so if you don't like something change it. (3) Setting and reaching career and personal goals. An established woman is not looking for someone to take care of her. Rather, she is looking for someone to complement her life.

"An established woman is not looking for someone to take care of her. Rather, she is looking for someone to complement her life."

Is love really worth fighting for or should it come easy if it's real love?

This is a great question and I am asked this all the time. I do not believe that love is hard and requires that we fight for it. I once believed this until I started studying healthy, loving relationships and found my own. Love is supposed to be easy [because] when you have been waiting for something all of your life and it shows up, why should you have to fight for it? We only fight when there is an imbalance in the mutual desire for love. My husband is everything I dreamed my husband would be and more, and I love him more and more as each day passes. He is my best friend and loving him is the easiest thing in my life.

What's your advice for divorced women hoping to find love again?

(1) Heal your past hurt and pain and often guilt from your divorce. (2) Get back out in the dating scene as quickly as you can. Things may have changed a bit since you last dated but it's just like riding a bike and it will all come back to you. You might be older but so are the men that you will be dating. (3) Do not hold every new man you meet responsible for the damage that was caused my your ex-husband.

How should single mothers approach the dating scene?

Carefully. I do think that younger children adjust faster to new people in their lives but cautiously introduce them to a new love interest. Establish boundaries that will protect your child and make sure that anyone that you are dating is clear about those boundaries upfront. Do not expect any new man to be an instant stepfather to your child.

Do you believe in soulmates?

Yes. Absolutely. I also believe that you might have more than one. There is a time and a season for everything in this life and God may send you someone different for a new season in your life. Now, I am not saying that we all have a dozen soulmates, but it may be possible that some of us have more than one.

"There is a time and a season for everything in this life and God may send you someone different for a new season in your life."

How should women heal and eventually love again after heartache?

Confront your issues head on. Stop being in denial that you even have any issues in the first place. Seek counseling. Move on...

How do you know when you've found your life partner?

Also a great question. I am not a big fan of judging by your feelings because your heart can deceive you. I think it is important to know what are the qualities you were looking for in a life partner so that when you meet someone, you will not judge the fate of your future with them based on how much he makes your liver quiver.

For more advice on love, check out Diann's book Going The Distance For Love. And be sure to give her a follow on Instagram.

If you have any questions that you'd like to have Diann answer, email them to submissions@xonecole.com. Your question could be answered in an upcoming #AskDV feature and answered by the love expert herself!

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
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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