Yeeeeah, baby. Some of y'all might recall the piece I wrote a while back entitled, "Why You're Always The One Who Prepares A Man For His Wife". Whenever someone hits me up to ask, "How in the world did you get into my head like that?", my response is usually something along the lines of, "I wrote it because I've lived it." You know how a lot of people will go through something and say, "I've got the T-shirt" as a way of expressing how much experience in that area they have? Girrrl, when it comes to getting guys ready for the woman they are going to pledge their lives to, I've got the wedding dress, the wedding cake and the bridal bouquet (SMDH). That's a part of the reason why I wrote, "Why I'll Never Call Someone A 'Boyfriend' Again". Long gone are the days when I'm out here acting like someone's wife when they are barely acting like a boyfriend. Also, gone are the days of being out here living like, just because I'm someone's girlfriend, they should get all of the privileges that comes with being a wife. I promise you, the way a lot of folks date out here, it's not teaching them anything about how to be in a healthy marriage; what it's actually doing is prepping them to be cool with getting a divorce (if not multiple divorces). There's a reason why people should take vows before getting someone's all. I'll leave that right there…for now.
Anyway, if there were to be a follow-up article to the preparing a man for his wife one, I humbly would have to say that this would be it. For those of us who've had a pattern of being in dysfunctional relationships—by the way, if a relationship is stagnant, that brings its own form of dysfunction right along with it—I'd venture to say that a part of the reason is because of the two simple words that are in all caps in the title: TO and FOR.
We tend to care more about if a man is good to us when really, the bigger priority should be if a man is good for us. If that makes sense in theory, but you'd like me to expound a bit more in order to really drive the point home, go get yourself a glass of wine and then we'll get into it. Chile…chile.
When a Man Is Good TO You
Recently, while talking to one of my clients about the importance of grieving past relationships, she brought up a guy in particular who she still can't seem to get over, even though it's been quite some time since they were "together". The reason why I put together in quotes is because, when I asked her to explain the relationship and then follow that up with what she currently missed about him, a lot of what she shared was how she felt about him vs. how he actually treated her. For example, she liked his sense of humor to the point of overlooking his tendency to be dismissive of her needs. Or, even though the sex was good, he never wanted to be in a serious commitment. After listening to her for about 10 minutes, I asked, "So, you miss someone who isn't even all that good for you, eh?" She immediately replied with, "No, we have a good time together. He just doesn't always treat me the way I think I deserve to be treated", to which I echoed, "Again, so he isn't good for you."
Some of y'all probably caught on immediately to what I meant, but just to be sure that I am being as thorough as I can, what she illustrated is the difference between a man who is good to you vs. a man who is good for you. You know, there are several men in my past who could make my toes curl who were also real jackasses when it came to emotional availability and reciprocity. During sex, they made me feel good—or, as Tank once said in an interview, they participated in copulation like they were totally in love with me while, outside of the bedroom, they saw me as not much more than "cool people". But outside of that, I couldn't really tell you how they were truly benefitting my life. They were good to me.
Here's another way of looking at it. Recently, while sharing with one of my male homies (who is a relationship coach) about how I'm now processing a man who I once deeply loved, I said, "It's weird but a part of me is even embarrassed for ever caring for him the way that I did." In true men-will-tell-you-just-how-it-is fashion, my friend said, "Shellie, he's always been selfish and kind of a jerk. Your feelings overlooked a lot of that at the time." Yeah, another way that a man can be good to you and not for you is all based on perception. While your friends, family and even your pet is looking at the person who you're all into like, "What the hell?!", you're somewhere in la la land like, "I mean, he's great to me." Meaning, because I think he's great…he is.
Meanwhile, a lot of the time, the person we are all excited about? He isn't anything to really write home about. It's just that our low level of self-esteem, our profound desire to be in a relationship and/or fear of leaving something/someone that we've invested so much time, effort, energy and body parts into, it will have us out here saying, "TO ME, he's wonderful" even while everyone else is like, "Well, he's not TO us." I'm telling you, coming to a point and place of understanding the differences between "to" and "for" can spare you—a lot.
"To" is oftentimes based on seeing only what you want to see.
"To" addresses surface things—having a good time and having things in common.
"To" speaks to charisma and chemistry more than an actual connection.
"To" is more about emotions and hormones rather than rationality, self-awareness and logic.
"To" typically has an expiration date.
Don't get me wrong—"to" isn't bad so much as it should be seen as "the icing" far more than "the cake". That's why, now more than ever, I'm far more interested in a man who is actually good FOR me instead.
When a Man Is Good FOR You
For. Don't sleep on that little three-letter word. For means "intended to belong to". For means "suiting the purposes or needs of". For also means "in the direction of" and "to the advantage of". When a man is good for you, he belongs to you, he suits your purpose and needs, he's walking in the same relational direction as you are and he benefits you, on so many different levels. Now, remember how I just said that "to" has an expiration date? Peep a definition of that word (when it's used as a preposition): "as far as; until". When a man is good to you, that goodness lasts as far as or until—shoot, he decides not to be that to you anymore. Man, what a stark contrast between "to" and "for". Please tell me that you see it.
Y'all, I know some men who are good for their ladies. It's truly a beautiful (and functional) sight to see! One of the things that I like most about men who are good for their woman (anyone who takes issue with my using "woman" here, that was Eve's original name in the Bible; please don't trip—Genesis 2:18-25) is the fact that when someone is truly good for someone else, that reality tends to be across the board. What I mean by that is, he's not good in one or two areas or categories. Homeboy is good—point, blank and period.
Let's step out of relationships for a second, just so I can drive this point home another way. I really like ice cream. Pretty much any kind that has some form of chocolate in it will do. But the older I get, the less dairy and I are friends, so while the ice cream might be good to me, more times than not, it's not really good for me. Meanwhile, something that I can't seem to ever get enough of are grapes (frozen grapes are the total bomb!). Grapes are sweet. At the same time, they are loaded with water, antioxidants, compounds that fight cancer, plus they help to lower my cholesterol levels and support my blood sugar levels being where they should. Other than making sure that I eat them while they are in season, I can't think of one problem that comes with snacking on some grapes—as much as I want to too. That's because they are good to me and for me.
For a lot of us, we opt for ice cream more than grapes. In other words, we are so emotions- and/or hormones-driven that, so long as a man can make us feel some type of way—even if it's only temporary, even if we see the writing on the wall that's warning of us all of the side effects that come right along with him—we'll stay. We'll stay in something that really doesn't have our best interest at heart…until he leaves. And because of that, we end up becoming way too "full"—full of drama, full of distrust, full of toxic patterns, full of bitterness, full of paranoia, etc., etc.—that we won't even take the time off that we need in order to heal or look at the bigger picture so that we can change our palate over to wanting grapes (or whatever your favorite fruit is) instead. Have mercy—sadly, we are so conditioned to only want what temporarily appeases our senses that we we ignore what our common sense is alerting us to. And it's costing us. Dearly. Know who else it's potentially preventing from coming our way? The man who is waiting to be good for us.
So, am I saying that you can't have the "to" and the "for" in your relationship? All you've got to do is read, "My Eureka Moment For Why I'm Not Into 'Nice Guys'" to get that is absolutely NOT where I am coming from. But what I am saying is, if you are putting the "to" before the "for", it's time to do some serious pondering.
What's the point in having great sex with a guy who is constantly breaking your heart?
What's the point in remaining with someone who gives you extreme highs and lows—continually so?
What's the point in staying in something where some of your wants are granted while all of your needs are constantly being ignored?
It's ideal, it really is, to choose to be with someone who is good to you and good for you—both. Yet there is something that I don't want you to miss about that. A guy who is good for you is going to try his hardest to be good to you, anyway. Meanwhile, a guy who is good to you? Yeah, he doesn't tend to prioritize the "for" very much. Hell, he doesn't even really care all that much who is good for him (but that's another article for another time).
You know, recently, I saw a tweet that was like a shot heard around the world. When it comes to this particular piece, I dedicate it to all of the ladies who settle for "to you" guys because when you settle for that kind of man, one way or another, sooner or later, this is what it all boils down to—"Stop blessing people for hurting you, please."
You deserve, I deserve…we all deserve a man who is more than just good to us. Please, wait for the one who is actually good for you. The differences are literally life-altering. Just ask any woman with a "for you" guy. I'm confident that they'll vouch for this. One hundred-fold.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
He Loves You. He's Just Never Gonna Marry You. Now What?
Should Someone Have To MAKE You Feel Loved?
The Right Relationship IMPROVES Not CHANGES You
Common & Angela Rye's Break-Up Reminds Us To Pick A Person—And A Path
Featured image by Shutterstock
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
This New Scalp Care Line Is Exactly What Your Wash Days Need
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Chilli's Reason For Severing All Ties With Usher In 2019 Is A Lesson We All Can Learn
Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas, a member of the iconic girl group TLC, exemplifies the importance of cutting all ties with an ex in order to find true love as she shares valuable insights about her past relationship with R&B singer Usher.
For context, the pair dated for three years, from 2001 to 2004, despite meeting nearly a decade before when Usher joined LaFace Records, the same label Chilli and her group were signed to. During that period, Usher and Chilli's union was widely admired by fans because of the couple's attractiveness and chemistry, which was shown in various music videos.
In 2004, following their split, limited details about why Usher and Chilli broke up were released to the public. But as the years progressed, social media users developed their own assumptions because, coincidently, around the time Usher and Chilli went their separate ways, he had released his hit album Confessions, and the lead single with the same name talks about a man admitting to possibly fathering a child outside of his relationship.
Due to conflicting reports from past interviews and Usher's song, many believed that infidelity on the "Yeah" singer's part could have led to the demise of his union with Chilli. In a recent interview with People magazine, Chilli --who is currently dating actor Matthew Lawrence-- opened up about her ex, how their relationship didn't necessarily end in 2004 despite it being announced to the public, and why she officially severed ties with him in 2019.
Chilli (L) and Usher (R)
Photo by KMazur/WireImage
Chilli On Her Past Relationship With Usher
During the discussion that took place earlier this month, the 52-year-old revealed that she and Usher were initially attracted to each other because of their intense chemistry.
But over the years, as their union evolved, Chilli realized that the pair was "different" and that the initial chemistry they once shared only occurred when they were working.
"We definitely had some chemistry. But working chemistry does not mean it works in your personal life. If we were working, it was great. But outside of that, we're so different," she said.
Chilli would add that even though her relationship with Usher looked great to the public, it didn't work the first time around because the "Burn" vocalist failed to meet certain requirements.
"It looked great, but in real life ... he knew he had to be a certain way with me, and he couldn't," she continued.
Chilli also disclosed that Usher's album Confessions wasn't about her and that their split in 2004 was due to opposing values and trust issues.
Still, Usher and Chilli would rekindle their union privately on and off for years when they weren't exclusively seeing other people. The "Unpretty" songstress explained the reason behind it was because they couldn't "get over" each other.
"I love hard. I was like, 'God, why can't I get over this?' He couldn't either," she stated.
Chilli On Why She Cut Contact With Usher In 2019
But all that would change in 2019 when Chilli, guided by her faith, cut off all contact with Usher because she wanted to "focus on" herself.
In addition to no longer speaking to the "Glu" singer, the mother of one decided not to date temporarily because she didn't want her past relationship with Usher to ruin her chances with a potential suitor.
"I even stopped dating. Because before that I thought if I met the right guy during that time that I wasn't over [Usher] it wouldn't work. I would never want to straddle the fence, " she said.
Toward the end of the conversation, Chilli shares that she had "no hard feelings" against Usher, who is now with Jenn Goicoechea, a senior vice president of A&R and Epic Records.
Chilli's recent admission about Usher and having to cut ties with an ex to find her significant other could motivate others to follow the same steps or at least re-evaluate the situation.
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Feature image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images