Something that I've been pretty intentional about doing, for the past few years now, is not using the word "love" a lot. For one thing, it's a far more powerful and sacred word than a lot of people give it credit for. Also, when it comes to a long-term commitment with another individual, how is it that they get the same word to describe how I feel about them as the word that I used to describe my affinity for ice cream, oxtails or Pumas? If I see my love for them in a similar light as random things, it can be pretty easy to be just about as dismissive about them too. Make no mistakes about it—words have life. We definitely need to choose the ones that we use wisely.
Something else that is wack to me? Blaming stuff that doesn't work out between flawed human beings on love. Love is beautiful. Love is pure. The Bible says that God is love (I John 4:8 and 16). So, when things go awry, it's not love's fault. It's the two vessels that are trying to learn about how to love who need to take the responsibility for how things are going or how they ultimately turn out.
When it comes to the many myths about love, to me, that is one of them—that love is painful or makes us do "crazy" things. And because I'm so fond of love (especially the more I get to know about it), I want to debunk a few other ones, so that we all can learn to appreciate, value and embrace love. The real kind. Not the one that myths and fables talk about. Ready to unlearn to relearn a lil' bit?
1. The Right One Will Be Perfect for You
Personally, I think it's kinda hilarious—and by "hilarious", what I mean is ridiculous—that a lot of people use the word "perfect" when it comes to what they look for in an individual or relationship when they aren't that themselves. While the concept, in theory, is cool (I guess), let's revisit what the word actually means. To be perfect is to be "excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement". No one on this planet will ever be that (anyone who doesn't agree has quite the ego). Besides, you're perfect and someone else is perfect, what do either of you need to be together for? You can't be improved upon…right?
One of the main reasons why a lot of relationships don't work out, isn't because mutual love is missing. It's because one or both of them have some super unrealistic expectations. For one thing, they expect perfection in areas where it's close to impossible for it to transpire. Does that mean that you settle for utter bullshishery? Absolutely not. Yet the goal is to strive to be with someone who complements you and makes you better—who actually challenges you, in many ways, to become your best self. When you can honestly say that your significant other has played a very clear and significant role in your development and that they did so without bringing a lot of drama or trauma into your world, that is when you can say someone is right for you. And right is a whole lot more impactful than perfection.
2. If You’re Not Always Happy, It’s No Longer Love
I've said this before and I'll repeat it again—this "god of happiness" that people seem to worship is gonna really cost them in the long run. The fact that so many people will leave all kinds of people, places, things and ideas, ONLY because they no longer make them "happy"? I'm sorry but that's not really how grown folks get down. Matter of fact, this also falls into the "unrealistic expectations category" because when you're happy, you're delighted and pleased and if you expect a flawed human being to make you feel like that all of the time, I've got two points to share.
One, it's no one else's job or responsibility to make you happy and two, in even the best of relationships, there are good days and bad ones. This means that you're absolutely not going to be happy all of the time. With or without someone, no one is happy all of the time.
The word that needs to be the focus is healthy. When a relationship is healthy, it keeps you mentally stable. When a relationship is healthy, it helps you to prosper. When a relationship is healthy, it also makes you stronger, causes you to feel safe and can even bring wholeness into your world. Folks who've got a few years of marriage underneath their belt can vouch for the fact that you can feel all of these ways about a relationship and still not be happy all of the time.
Yet when you get that love is more than a feeling, it's a commitment (more on this in a bit), you make peace with healthy being your bigger priority. Which gives your relationship longevity in the long run.
3. Love Doesn’t Require Sacrifice
Some of the most selfish people are in relationships—and they absolutely should not be. That said, remember how I stated within this title that I'm debunking love myths today? If you're coming from a spiritual space on any level, then you are probably familiar with the fact that God is love (I John 4:6 and 18). OK, well when it comes to people who think that love means that they shouldn't sacrifice themselves, if you are a bible believer, you know that John 3:16 speaks of God sacrificing his own son for the sake of our salvation. Yep, someone actually surrendered their life for you…out of love. Another Scripture that is similar to this is, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13—NKJV) Hmph.
A lot of us don't even want to make adjustments in order to make our relationship work, so these kinds of sacrifices seem, not only extreme but ridiculous. Yet here's my overall point—there is not one long-lasting relationship (and most certainly not a marriage) where sacrifice hasn't been required. I don't mean sacrificing your values, standards or self-worth. I mean stepping back and realizing that sometimes you've got to shift in what you're doing now for the sake of the greater goal (which is basically the definition of sacrifice). If you're not down to do that, don't put that on love. As I just shared, love is all about sacrifice. So long as it's the right kind and for the greater overall purpose. Make sense?
4. Love Matters More than Like
Love is a big deal. I won't deny that. It's such a monumental thing that it needs to serve as the foundation for your relationship. That said though, don't think for one minute that most people stay in their relationship simply because of how "in love" they are. More times than not, it's actually because they really like their partner, even when they are totally pissing them off. This is why I think it is a huge deal that long-term couples see their partner as their best friend. Someone you have things in common with. Someone you can laugh with. Someone you enjoy spending time with. Someone you trust. Someone you know has your back.
There is a particular married couple that I know who, after about a decade in, they both realized that they should've spent more time getting to know one another before saying "I do." They want to honor the vows that they made/promises that they gave and so, while divorce is not an option for them, something that they do is make sure that singles realize just how critical it is to be friends with their future husband or wife. Matter of fact, the wife tells me often that if her man was not her closest friend, she probably would've been outta there years ago. Still, she likes him. A lot. And so, the mistakes that she realizes that she made on the front end, their ever-growing friendship has gotten them through.
Might not sound like a Hallmark card. You know what, though? It's realistic as all get out. If you like who you love, it can keep you loving them. Again, a lot of folks with wedding rings on can certainly vouch for this very fact.
5. If You’re Not Jealous, You’re Not in Love
I don't know where so many people got the idea that a sign that someone loves them (and that they're in love) is jealousy. Give me a break. Before getting deeper into this particular point, let's touch on what some indications of a jealous person are, shall we? Jealous people tend to be insecure. Jealous people tend to make a lot of comparisons. Jealous people typically don't respect or accept boundaries. Jealous people always want you to prove yourself. Jealous people want to make everything be about them (in order to fill their own voids). Jealous people are suffocating (because they don't know how to give others any space). Jealous people create drama. What in the world sounds "loving" about that?
So Shellie, are you saying that if I see my man talking to another woman and I feel some sort of way that something is wrong with that? Eh. I think the answer to that question is why does it bother you? If the answers are along the lines of you think that she looks better than you or you don't trust your partner, those aren't healthy things either. One is about self-esteem and the other is about not being in as solid of a foundation in your relationship as you should (same thing goes for him, by the way). Listen, when someone chooses to be with someone else, there should be no reason to be jealous. They made their choice. If that's not good enough for you, then that is indeed problematic and worthy of doing some soul-searching about. Real talk. Chances are, you'll realize that not only is jealousy not rooted in love but what you're going through is due to either some toxicity in the relationship that needs to be dealt with or—a lack of self-love.
6. Love Is a Feeling. Not a Choice.
Being led by your feelings. Lawd. You might be surprised how many articles are out in cyberspace that talk about just how unreliable feelings are. My thoughts? I've shared before that a Scripture in the Bible clearly tells us that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9-10); so no, I am not big on "following your heart" as a life motto. However, whether you're a bible follower or not, I think something that a professor of cognitive psychology said on the topic is a pretty good way to live your life. He said, "Although there may be some truth to the claim that we cannot trust our feelings, suppressing them comes at a cost."
So, what does all of this boil down to? If you think that real, true and lasting love is built on one's feelings, you are probably never going to be in something that is real, true and lasting. Feelings are fickle. Feelings are all over the place. Feelings change…all of the time.
That's why I'm not big on people ending relationships because they don't "feel" the same for someone anymore. Before making any major moves, it's important to spend some intentional time getting to the root of WHY you don't feel the same. If it's just because your partner's been getting on your nerves lately, you probably get on his too. If it's because you're not sexually attracted anymore, you used to be, so what changed? If the relationship isn't what you expected it to be, get honest with yourself about if the expectations are realistic or not.
See love, it's where the big boys and girls play. And what they know is, whether it's a good day or a not-so-good one, every day that you wake up, you CHOOSE to be in your relationship. Choice is about being rational. Choice is deliberate. Choice is about intention. If you solely relied on your feelings when it comes to making a relationship work, trust me—you would've checked out a long time ago. You know, on one of these days when you didn't feel like hanging around. Feelings can't be trusted. Go with reason, logic, truth and facts. Make your choices from there.
7. Soulmates Are Like the Movies
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from someone who I still haven't been able to find, to this day. Whoever it is once said, "We're all looking for demons who play well with our own." What's so profound to me about that is, a part of what it means is far too often, we tend to resonate with people who validate our weaknesses rather than encourage our strengths. Yeah, that's not good.
And when it comes to romantic connections, this can apply to how people define a soulmate. Thanks—yet no thanks—to Hollywood and Disney, maybe people think a soulmate is someone who is just like them; someone who always makes them feel confident that how they are is how they should be. Yeah, naw. I've spent a lot of time researching and learning about what a soulmate is truly designed to be.
More than anything, a soulmate is someone who serves as a catalyst that brings you to your most authentic self. In many ways, I think that's a lot like being in a refiner's fire. They may cause you to ask yourself questions about whether or not you are fulfilling your purpose. They might "rub you" in such a way that you are able to see character traits that could use some fine tuning or adjusting.
They should make you feel comfortable enough to be completely real with them about who you are and who you need to become—even when it's hard to face certain things about that reality. And all of this will have moments that will not be all warm 'n fuzzy. It can actually be downright challenging. Yet since you can't help but see the growth, it's all worth it. A soulmate will help to nurture your soul. A soulmate brings you to your best self.
And that's where I want to end this. Love? It will always cause you to evolve as a person. It will better you in ways that nothing else ever could. That's not going to be an easy task all of the time. Oh, but it will so, so worth it.
With love being the best thing going out here, of course there are a lot of myths about it. Don't be so caught up in those that you don't allow yourself to be brought to the truth. So that you can experience love as it was meant to be—not what so many lies out here say that it is. Amen? Amen.
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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
DC Young Fly Pays Tribute To His Longtime Partner Jacky Oh After Her Sudden Death: 'You Are The Greatest Mother I Know'
Actor, comedian, and Wild 'N' Out star John "DC Young Fly" Whitfield mourned the loss of his longtime partner and the mother of his three children, Jacklyn "Jacky Oh" Smith, with a heartfelt tribute.
For context, Smith --who rose to fame as a model and participated in the hit comedy game show Wild 'N' Out for five seasons-- tragically passed away on May 31 at the age of 32 in Miami, Florida. Although Smith's official cause of death has yet to be determined, TMZ reported that the entrepreneur was in town to undergo a cosmetic procedure known as a "mommy makeover."
As the news about Smith's passing was officially confirmed by family and on Wild 'N' Out's social media pages, a magnitude of people, from fans to the couple's close friends and colleagues such as B.Simone, Jessie Woo, Vena "Pretty Vee" Excell, Lauren "Lolo" Wood, Odell Beckham Jr., Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, and so many others offered their condolences while honoring the mother of three.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Warner Bros
Two days after Smith's death, Whitfield released a public statement to People magazine thanking everyone for their "well-wishes" and asking for "privacy during this difficult time."
The following week on June 8, Whitfield paid tribute to Smith by sharing a post on Instagram that featured various photos and videos of the pair and their children, daughters Nova Whitfield,6, Nala Whitefield,2, and a son, who was born in July 2022, named Prince Whitfield.
In addition to the upload, Whitfield revealed that he waited a while to post this because he wanted the tragic event "to be a dream." The 31-year-old would add that as the days go by following Smith's passing, he's "reminded of" the reality that she's no longer here, and he wanted to make sure to commemorate her in a "proper manner." Further into the post, Whitfield praised Smith for being the "greatest mother" and human being.
"I wasn't in no rush to post this because I wanted it to be a dream so bad, but every hour, I'm reminded of reality, so I wanna make sure I applaud you in the proper manner,” he said. “You are the GREATEST MOTHER I KNOW your soul was beautiful. You always wanted the best for others, and I admired how our family love each other!!! Never had to worry about our kids loving each other cause you were on top of Dat!!!"
Whitfield would disclose that although he may not understand Smith's untimely passing, however, because he and their family are "God-fearing" people and "grounded by the spirit," they aren't questioning "the higher power" but rather rolling "with the punches," while holding on to their faith during this tragedy.
The Almost Christmas star went on to say that the pair's "strong" children will constantly be reminded of how great of a person Smith was, "especially a great mother."
Whitfield would wrap up the upload by mentioning how much he loved Smith and that, even though everyone is hurting right now, they would be okay because God covers them.
"The QUEEN of my children will always have a spot in my heart and the paradise (You gon get me for Dat but it's true). LOVE YOU FOREVER. Just know we going harder than ever, and GOD is in control, and he got us covered," he stated.
In light of Smith's death, xoNecole takes a look back at her relationship with Whitfield and the love they shared over the years.
DC Young Fly and Jacky Oh's Relationship History
Whitfield and Smith met in 2015 in a hotel lobby while working together at Wild 'N' Out.
At the time, Whitfield became a recurring cast member during the show's seventh season while Smith was one of the Wild 'N' Out girls. Whitfield and Smith would become an item shortly after the season seven taping of Wild 'N' Out wrapped.
In 2016, after dating for a year and a half, the couple welcomed their oldest daughter Nova. In addition to expanding their family, Smith and Whitfield would give fans a closer look into their lives through social media and the model's YouTube page, which instantly became a hit.
Smith and Whitfield would ultimately become couple goals because people enjoyed their honesty, interactions with each other, and their family life.
Jacky Oh On What Makes Her Relationship With DC Young Fly Work
In a 2017 interview with DJ Smallz Eyes, Smith shared that her relationship with Whitfield works reasonably well because they aren't afraid to have an open line of communication and are willing to address any situation head-on.
"I think communication, I know it sounds really cliche, but just communicate with each other. I think getting things off of your chest in a nice, calm way. You don't always have to be confrontational with the person. But letting a person know how you feel about something so they don't carry on doing it for the next three, four, five months, years later on down the line."
Smith added that another factor that plays a part in the couple's relationship being so successful is her selectively picking her battles and choosing to address the situation in a timely manner.
Jacky Oh On The Pair's Humble Beginnings As A Couple
In 2019, during a Q&A session on Smith's YouTube page, the couple opened up about their humble beginnings as they addressed the wild rumors that she was using Whitfield for financial reasons.
While responding to the remarks, Smith clarified that when she met Whitfield, he didn't have money "like that."
"He had no money. It's not like he didn't have any money because he was broke, but he didn't have no money like that," she said.
Following Smith's comments, Whitfield jumped in and said he was "up" $40,000 and still living with family members with the occasional "hotel" stays, to which she interjected and corrected the comedian by saying that the pair were staying at "motels" early on in their relationship.
"We didn't stay at hotels, get it right. We stayed at motels. Talking about hotels, hotels are nice," she stated. "We stayed at motels that the bed stunk... You know I really like love him. Like it was dirty."
Whitfield would add that although they stayed at motels several times, Smith "thugged it out" with him because she loved him. Smith also shared that due to Whitfield rarely being home due to his profession, the couple slept on his sister's couch and his niece's room.
But as Smith and Whitfield's careers took off respectively within the entertainment industry and the beauty world, with the star launching her eyelash and lip gloss brand J Nova Collection, they would ultimately settle down and purchase a home.
Years later, in addition to their professional success, Smith and Whitfield's family would expand even more following the birth of their second daughter Nala Whitfield in 2020 and their son Prince Whitfield last July.
Although it is reported that the couple never married after eight years together, their love seemed stronger than ever, especially following Smith's Mother's Day post back in May, which featured images of the couple and their family.
All of us at xoNecole would like to send our condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. Rest In Peace, Ms. Jacky Oh!
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