Something that God and I have been working through is the fact that, although, in hindsight, I attended one of the most racist "Christian" high schools, I'm going to say in the South (no joke), it ended up working out in my favor in the long run. Case in point, I doubt I would be able to write an article like this if I hadn't learned the differences between dealing with flat-out racists who hide under the title of "white evangelical", white people who honestly don't mean any harm but are just ignorant AF about all things race relations-related and those who are truly white allies—and good friends.
With that being said, I don't know who could deny the fact that 2020 has been a year when race and racism has piqued on some pretty high and significant levels. As I find myself saying a lot, it's not that the Trump Administration invented racism (Reagan once called Africans "monkeys" and George W. Bush totally turned his back on our New Orleans family during Hurricane Katrina); but boy oh boy, have those jokers amplified it. And when things are at a fever pitch like this, pardon the pun, but folks' true colors really do tend to show. Take an article that I recently read, for example—"Support For Black Lives Matter Surged During Protests, But Is Waning Among White Americans". (Chile…)
While Black and brown people are literally out here using our blood, sweat and tears to get the justice we deserve, how do we make sure that we approach our relationships with our white friends from a healthy mental and emotional space? While I certainly do not have all of the answers on this one—not by a country mile—I will share what I've been doing to keep things as, balanced, as I can.
Try Not to Generalize
While I'm personally someone who does not believe that Black/brown people can be racist (because to be racist, you need an enormous amount of power), we most definitely can be prejudiced. One definition of prejudice is "unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group" while another is "any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable". I actually know someone who takes her prejudice to the absolute peak because, no matter what white person she comes into contact with, she automatically assumes that they are a racist or they have an agenda. While things like the news and social media can make it tempting to feel that way sometimes (trust me, I get it), that's not right or fair. We don't like anyone to generalize us, so, for the sake of doing our part to keep humanity thriving as much as we possibly can, we must extend that same courtesy to others. Bottom line, like pretty much any human being, until a white person reveals themselves to be someone who isn't worthy of being in your personal space, try and not judge them based on their entire ethnicity. That is wrong, no matter what ethnic group you fall into.
Remember the Golden Rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Can you imagine, how much more harmony we'd all have if we actively applied this with the people we interacted with? If we want to be respected, we need to give respect. If we want to be heard, we have to listen. If there's something that someone doesn't understand, we should try and explain it. There is actually a Scripture in the Bible that says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1—NKJV)
A lot of people live by the rule "don't discuss religion and politics" in order to avoid conflict. I'm not that person. I don't find disagreements or uncomfortable conversations to automatically be a bad thing. However, when it comes to something like racism, even when we're talking to those we consider to be a true friend, it's important to give and expect the honor of being a human being who is trying to share and learn. No one said these conversations are easy but if there is a mutual esteem in place, they don't have to ruin relationships either.
Also, Remember Why You’re Friends with Them in the First Place
If you're really honest about the dynamics of, pretty much all of your friendships, the reality is there are certain things that you have in common—and then, there are certain things that couldn't make the two of you any more different. When it comes to your relationships with white people, automatically coming from two different ethnicities sets you apart. Yet, beyond that very obvious point, take a moment to reflect on why you became friends with each other in the first place. Some of my white friends, we're both writers. Some of my white friends, we enjoy the same things in pop culture. Some of my white friends, we've been a part of each other's lives for so long that there is a strong love between us, even if we don't have a ton of stuff in common.
Most of our relationships started from a place of common interests or how well we meshed with someone's character. Even though race is something that is talked about A LOT right through here, if/when you're tempted to "tap out" of your friendships with your white friends, simply because white people, in general, are wearing you TF out, try and remember why you connected with the white folks you hold dear. Remember to see them as people first. Because, at the end of the day, that's what we want others to do when they're interacting with us—not because our Blackness isn't a part of who we are, but because it is just one part of our identity.
Don’t Expect Empathy. Sympathy Is the Best They Can Do.
So, I've got a very dear close white male friend who, a couple of years ago, I had to school him. Interestingly enough, it was because he was actually trying to school me on my own culture. Lawd. I mean, any time he saw something Black-themed (like Dear White People, for example), he would hit me up, thinking that he was hipping me to something that I didn't know. After about six months of him doing this, I said, "You do know that I'm Black, right?" So much of our relationship consisted of discussing any and everything but race relations that he admitted he probably needed to hear my perspective more. Ever since then, he's come to all kinds of conclusions—that his parents are actually racist people, that his circle lives in a bubble that doesn't really deal with ethnic differences because pretty much everyone is white and that him being a white man and my being a Black woman means that we approach this thing called America (which I oftentimes refer to it as being Amerikkka) from two very different places.
Honestly, having those discussions has brought us closer in a lot of ways. But still, I try and be sensitive to the fact that just because my friend is my friend, I shouldn't expect him to have the same amount of knowledge, passion or focus as I do on my people, my community or our history. And so, while we do discuss race relations more than we ever have, I try and limit the chats to when he asks, so that I don't make him feel like I am patronizing him or that the sole purpose of our connection is so that I can "school him" on what's up with all things Black-related.
Take Breaks When Needed. The Good White Friends Will Understand.
While growing up, there was a white family in my life who, in many ways, couldn't be more different than my own family. They were rich, white and, although I don't think I ever flat-out asked them, I believe they were Republican too (I personally am an independent). I say that because FOX News was on in their homes quite often. Over the years of interacting with them, I don't recall having more than five direct chats with any of them about race issues. At the same time, what I do remember is my mother sometimes saying to the white mom that she needed a "white people break". Usually it was after something covert happened to her as it related to other white folks in her life. The white mom would laugh and not take it personally. Then she would give my mom some space.
I was always tickled and fascinated by that. Fast forward to now and I tend to apply that unofficial-white-folks-interaction rule to my own life. I mean, who wants to call a friend, just to chat, only to hear said-friend go on and on and on about how sick of they are of their friend's ethnicity? Good Lord.
Again, this year has been rough on us. Hopefully, you've got some Black friends who you feel safe venting without editing to. My advice would be to go to them on your most frustrating days and if your white friends hit you up when you're at your brink, just let them know that America is wearing you out right now, you love them, but you need a second to catch your breath. Good and healthy white friends won't personalize that. If they consider themselves to even be a surface-level ally, they will understand and give you the space that you need to regroup.
Release Whoever Is Showing Their TRUE COLORS
If there is one thing that 2020 is doing, brilliantly so I might add, it's revealing who folks truly are. After all that I just shared, if you discover that you've got white friends who are racially apathetic, who try and defend racism, who want to make you feel guilty for your stance on race-relation issues, etc.—ask yourself, if they are really being a good friend to you or not. A good friend supports. A good friend encourages. A good friend tries to see things from your point of view so that they can support and encourage you.
We're living in some very trying times so, again, while it isn't fair to expect white people to see things exactly as we do, if the white relationships in your life don't respect where you're coming from, you may need to release them. Right now, what we all need are white friends who are allies. If you're not sure if yours are, go deep enough in your conversation with them to get the clarity that you need. By the way, a white friend that is a MAGA, defends Trump or says "I don't see color" (you should because seeing my color means that you are sensitive to my issues and needs) are some telling signs that some boundaries may need to be set.
It's not impossible to have white friends in this season. Just get clear on your needs, make sure that you state them and that you communicate with the same kind of compassion that you'd want to receive from them. Again, the white people who have your back will rise to the occasion. The ones who don't…won't. And if that's the case, they weren't really your friends to begin with…right? Exactly.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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The Scorpio man and Pisces woman form a relationship that is heartfelt, sincere, and not for the weak. There is an immediate connection and familiarity between these two, being that they are both water signs and are both ruled by their emotions. They are on a similar playing field in life, yet they go about their desires in love in a very different way.
Scorpio Man And Pisces Woman Love Compatibility
Ultimately, a partnership being formed between the two is an intimate and emotionally transformative one, and this is a relationship they both never forget. Things can get messy, but if they are willing to do the work within, then the love can also be pretty amazing for them as well. They are all in or nothing when it comes to partnerships, and they learn a lot about true commitment and vulnerability through this pairing.
What attracts a Scorpio man to a Pisces woman?
The Scorpio man is attracted to the Pisces woman's mysterious aura and emotional demeanor. The Pisces woman is attracted to the same things as the Scorpio man. See, these two are more similar than most signs of the zodiac, and they can intuitively feel this about each other right away. Pisces and Scorpio often share similar interests and have a lot of opportunities to meet each other because they like to do the same things and are often in the same places. These are two creative and artistic souls, and there is something that they both find inspiring about each other right away.
The connection and synergy of a Pisces and Scorpio couple is undeniable, and there is a strong force in life that often brings these two together. The Pisces woman can feel that there is more to the surface than the Scorpio man presents right away, and this is instantly intriguing to her, being that she rules the 12th house, which is where everything is hidden in life. The Pisces woman has secrets of her own, and she sees the Scorpio man as someone who can resonate with how she feels and dive deeper into the relationship together.
What is the relationship like between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man?
The relationship between the Pisces woman and the Scorpio man is emotional. Emotions run very high in this relationship, which is often a good thing, but can turn into something entirely different very quickly as well. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man often get into a relationship together quickly. They are not earth signs that take their time developing a relationship; they are water signs that base their decisions on their emotions and go with the flow of the currents here.
So when they meet and they feel that instant connection with each other, they often jump into a pairing with one another right away.
This couple will enjoy spending time together and will feel like they are deeply understood in the relationship. There is a comfort here that is truly profound, and if anything, they are best friends first and foremost. However, the Pisces woman and Scorpio man tend to let their emotions overwhelm them and can turn little things into something bigger. Arguments or disagreements in this relationship can get messy, and they are both somewhat emotionally impulsive. Neither will forgive and forget easily as well, so reaching a point of forgiveness or harmony after something challenging occurs may never happen.
This relationship works best if both parties have already experienced a long-term commitment or have learned their lessons in love and evolved. The longevity of the relationship will depend on how they begin it. However, the love they have for one another is undeniable.
What is the sex like between a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman?
The sex life between the Pisces woman and Scorpio man is transcendent. They tend to have no issues in the bedroom, and that instant connection they feel when they meet often has an underlying energy of sexual compatibility as well. This isn’t the type of couple to wait a long time to explore each other in the bedroom, and they form a deep intensity here right away. They are looking to connect on many different levels, and they feel enough compatibility in the connection to do so.
The Pisces woman is willing to explore in the bedroom, and the Scorpio man is ready for anything. This is a couple who will entertain role-play, bondage, etc., and there are a few limitations to what they are both interested in. With the Pisces woman providing a safe space to many, the Scorpio man feels comfortable opening up in many different ways, the main one including behind closed doors and in the bedroom. They are emotional at their core, however, and will still want a level of intimacy with each other that goes deeper than just sex, so although their sex life is great, there is more they both want at the end of the day.
What makes a relationship between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man work?
What makes the relationship work between these two water signs, is that they both understand each other deeply. They don’t have to explain themselves or work too hard on getting to know each other because it’s almost instant that they do. They speak the same language, in other words, and they can learn a lot from each other in the process. They are more open with each other, and their more reclusive demeanor changes in the presence of one another. This is a couple that likes to spend time together doing things that each other has an interest in.
At the end of the day, these are just two people who want to love and be loved, and they can give each other that.
The Pisces woman helps the Scorpio man open up more, go with the flow, and trust the universe. The Scorpio man helps the Pisces woman step into her power, stick up for herself more, and live life fully. There is something creative and eye-opening about this pairing, and they create their own world together. Trust is everything between the both of them and once they have that, they lay the foundation for the relationship to grow and thrive.
What may cause a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman to break up?
The thing about a water sign relationship is that things can get messy. Emotions are always running high, and if they are not on the same page, this can lead to the energy of the relationship being all over the place. The Pisces woman is loyal, attentive, and compassionate, but she is also a free spirit who likes her space and freedom. The Scorpio man, on the other hand, craves deep intimacy and partnership and may have a hard time trusting the Pisces woman, and that trust needs to be had in a relationship.
Scorpio may find Pisces to be too wishy-washy for his liking, although Pisces just sees herself as someone open-minded and flexible and doesn't understand why the Scorpio man can’t be a little more like that as well.
This relationship can fall apart due to things becoming overwhelming too quickly. They tend to get into the relationship quickly and break up just as fast as well. If they can act on mental clarity as much as they do their emotions, then this can create a more solid ground for the relationship to grow and continue to grow upon. You would think that being with someone who is the same element as you is a recipe for success in a relationship, but two of the same things can be too much at the end of the day.
Summary: Is a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman compatible?
Ultimately, this is a relationship with high compatibility, and depending on the two people at hand, it will determine how things unfold here. They have the tools needed to form a sincere, loving, and compassionate relationship but will have to confront each other's differences with the same attitude to work. Once the first challenge or conflict arises in the relationship, how they handle it afterward will determine if the relationship is going to work out or not.
These two are perfect when things are going well, but can be dramatic when they are not. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man can’t get enough of each other at the end of the day, and this will indeed be a relationship that they will never forget.
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