You know what? I come to you today not as a professional on relationships but as an extraordinary single woman with a huge celebrity crush on SZA and mid-twenties dating experience. I was quite happy to see the discussion following a video posted on my mothership's Instagram where the R&B superstar was seen commenting on relationships, expectations, and entitlement. She shared in this dated video that if she doesn't hear from a man that she is seeing for days, she chooses to put her ego aside and focus on his positive attributes as she waits for a response:
"If someone doesn't text me back in like a day and a half. Like if I don't hear from a dude that I've been talking to consistently in like two days, the normal ego-based me would be like, 'What are you doing? You don't care about me. Like, you don't think this is rude?' But it's like, no, I think this is rude. I miss him. I want to be talked to. But does this change the fact - what do I know of him? He's expressed the fact that he likes me, he's expressed he thinks I'm beautiful, he's expressed he's thinking of me. What else do I know about him? He's ambitious and work-oriented...
"Chances are, he's probably just busy or has a lot on his mind, wait a couple of days. Then he ends up hitting you anyway later on. But the entitlement of feeling like, 'This n*gga got 15 minutes...' Things like that, that's what kills relationships or what kills your joy in life because you're expecting too much."
Admittedly, at first, I was shocked to see my melanin queen speak such words, but that changed to gratitude when I realized I was watching a woman who inspires me so much be open-minded and open-hearted enough to share her experiences of her love life at the time. That is what makes her songs "Drew Barrymore" and "The Weekend" so relatable because, at one point or another, even if only in our heads, we have all been that girl that thought less of ourselves and therefore settled for less. The video itself seemed to be a testament to how much SZA has grown into the goddess that we see today, and it made me proud to see the same girl in the video who is confusing having standards with entitlement now singing, "I left a n*gga on read cuz' I felt like it."
If she likes it, I love it. Personally however, I am a woman that gets off on daily communication with someone I am dating so, following the virality of the conversation, I like many women were left questioning if our expectations in dating are too high? I even asked myself if the fact that I had dating standards meant that I was entitled.
Ultimately, I decided the answer to those questions is a resounding hell no. We are more than entitled to our own individual standards. In fact, that's the point of having standards. We live in a world where you can literally send voice messages when you don't have time to hold a conversation and if a man thinks I'm going to take him seriously communicating with me like it's 2005 on AIM chat messenger waiting for him to come home and log in for days, he got me f*cked up!
I haven't always been this sure about myself though, and sometimes I still have my moments of self-doubt. If you are unsure if your standards are too high, try pondering these questions:
What is it that you truly want to find in a relationship at this very moment?
This is crucial because sometimes we catch ourselves in a season when our bodies are screaming for some d*ck, while our heart wants us to be cuddled at night, and our minds know we still have some healing to do. The clearer you are about what type of relationship you want to enter into your life, the easier it is to manifest and to look across the table at that fine, educated, and charming young man to size him up and put him through the vetting process.
Most importantly, the more you know what you really want out of a relationship, the easier it is to communicate them as your expectations early on and a man can either meet them or be weeded out if he doesn't.
You are not entitled to every man treating you the way you desire to be treated, but you are entitled to date until you find one who does.
What truly scares you about asking for/expressing your expectations?
I ask this because I have more often than not been that girl that would play nice, be easy-going, and sell myself short in situations in an attempt to not be difficult because I was so afraid of rejection and abandonment. Thinking that my desires to be treated with high regards would send a man running for the hills, I'd become the 'homie lover friend' before I expressed my desire to be treated like the queen that I am. It all stems from the lack of confidence that I struggle with. Figure out your fears around expressing your desires and work on strengthening yourself by understanding you are worthy of the same love you try to give to everyone else.
What are you undervaluing about him and overvaluing about yourself?
I believe when you start listing the great qualities in a man as if he is the latest model of a vacuum cleaner, it's not even about him, it's about you bargaining with that gut feeling you are having, which is: "I desire more than he has shown me he is willing to give at this point, and this is unhealthy."
You don't have to settle for less than you deserve, no matter how fine and driven he is, there is a lil' baby out there that is going to listen, boo! His potential to be great does not outweigh your right to have your greatness valued and appreciated.
You are the prize.
Do you believe that a man whose love you don’t have to hustle for exists?
One of my favorite writers (who is also a contributor for this site) Shellie R. Warren recently made a point that "an unsure man is a dangerous man" and I think an uncertain woman is a danger to herself because if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. If you do not believe you are worthy of a love that will not have you tossing and turning at night with your cell phone by your pillowcase, or typing up long ass paragraphs, deleting them, and then typing them again, that's the biggest issue of them all that will lead you to struggle love.
There is too much love out here to be settling for knock-offs.
Let this be the last year that you wonder if you are good enough or asking too much from a man, and instead, focus on if he is good enough and doing enough to deserve the love you have to give.
xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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New Jersey native creating a life that she loves while living in gratitude. She loves using beauty, and fashion to create a balanced lifestyle while prioritizing wellness. A devoted fur mom, and a full-time lover of laughter. She is out for revenge against the darkness by being light, taking her own advice, traveling the world, and letting you know that you are so lit! Connect with her via IG @iamzaniah and please visit Zaniahsworld.com
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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