Buddha once said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Well, no lie, right as I was sitting down to pen this, the YouTubers and podcasters Aba & Preach loaded a new video and guess what the title of it is? You ain't ready—"'I don't need a man, I'm an independent woman'...Cool story". They intro'd their thoughts with some footage from the talk show The Real. Some of the commentary featured Loni Love's "energy" about being in a relationship prior to actually getting into one vs. how it was once she started seeing someone—and yes, I must say, it was very different (I'll let you watch and check it out for yourself). Following that, Aba made this point:
"Women have often been told that their value lies in finding a partner. And so, counter to that rhetoric is, 'I'm an independent woman. I don't need no man', and the reality is that there is actually a middle ground. You still need a partner. You still need someone to be by your side. But your entire being is not defined by that one aspect…so understand, you responded to a negative stimulus which is women are defined by the man they choose, and your opposite reaction was, 'I don't need a man.'…but the reality is somewhere in the middle. You do. The same way that we need you. Let's be clear—human beings are not independent creatures…we all need each other…it's not a sign of weakness to admit that."
The reason why I think that video and his statement are a great way to kick off this particular piece is because, if you're a woman who really wants to get married and it seems like it's taking for-e-ver for "him" to arrive, please don't allow impatience (which we'll get into in a bit), fear or the temptation to create a jaded perspective cause you to take on the "F—k it. I don't need a man, then" mentality. First off all, it's never a wise idea to put that out into the Universe if it isn't true. Secondly, be careful—a lot of times we get the kind of energy that we project. Instead, it's OK to admit that you want a life partner and, because you're not sure when, where or how he's coming, you wonder if he'll ever arrive at all. A lot of us have been there. Shoot, a lot of us are still there.
So, just what should you do if that's the space that you're currently in—believing you are ready with no man in sight?While there's no way that all of the answers can be provided in just one read, my hope is that the following five points can, at least, offer some clarity—and a bit of comfort.
What Do You Mean by “Ready”?
Although I know that different people see marriage in different ways, I personally see it as a spiritual union. What I mean by that is, I believe that it's the kind of relationship that is not only a covenant, but one that involves three beings—a man, a woman and God. This means that I also believe that three beings are a part of not only the union itself, but how two people come together in the first place—and when. That's why it always tickles me when someone—I'll be honest, usually it's a woman—tells me how "ready they are" for their future spouse to arrive. I mean, sometimes I see why they might think so, but I always wonder if they think the Most High agrees with them. After all, "ready" is a pretty loaded word.
While you might be "willing" to get married (which is one definition of the word), does that automatically or necessarily mean that you are also "duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged" (another definition of ready) or "completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use" (another definition of ready)? Duly equipped? Completely prepared? Before you say "yes" and then follow that up with "I said what I said!", I recommend that you check out articles like "10 Things Married Couples Wished They Paid More Attention To While Dating", "10 Things Husbands Wish Their Wives Truly Understood" and "Dear Single Self: What I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married". Then, as an even greater preventative measure, also check out "What Some People Regret About Their Divorce". Oh, and if you also find marriage to be a sacred union, check out the video "God's Glory In Marriage Paul Washer, John Piper & Voddie Baucham".
If there is one thing that I hear, non-stop, in marriage sessions, it's that couples totally underestimated how selfish and even arrogant they were before getting married. A big part of the reason why is because they didn't realize how much was required to make a marriage work or how ill-prepared they truly were. Being ready is about more than being willing. Chances are, if you're not married yet, God is being merciful; there is some stuff that you still need to do…first—as a single woman.
Things like what? How's your mental and emotional health? Do you have some unresolved issues with any exes? Do you feel like you have a healthy sense of self-worth? Do you know what your purpose in life is and are you at least taking the steps to walk in it? Do you have good boundaries with your family (especially the toxic ones)? What's your money (including your credit) looking like? Are you at peace in your singleness? I could go on, but the answers to these types of questions will reveal if you are a whole person who is "ready" to unite with another whole individual—or if you're someone who believes that two halves make a whole.
Tip: Two whole people make for a much healthier marriage than two "halves" do.
Don’t You Want Him to Be Ready Too?
Then there's your husband. One of the reasons why I wrote "If Your Man Is Missing These Things, Wait Before Marrying Him" is actually thanks to something a husband (of well over two decades) once told me about why he thinks there are so many sexless marriages in the world. "Shellie, a lot of people forget how much of a business partnership a marriage is. And when you are constantly 'doing business' with someone, you don't always want to be having sex with them too." These are the pearls of wisdom that come from actually sitting down and talking to married people (which is what I also strongly recommend that you do).
Anyway, I can only imagine how many single people even make it a point to take something like that into consideration; especially guys. Believe you me, just like a lot of women have a tendency to over-romanticize marriage (to the point of having a totally unrealistic perspective), men can too. I've sat down with quite a few men who want a woman to be "Claire Huxtable", but they ain't thinkin' about what is required to attract that kind of woman. To me, a good husband is a spiritual leader; a protector and provider; someone who is strong yet empathetic; an individual who has a good sense of self, who is honest with himself as well as others and desires to be in a true partnership. He's the kind of person who knows that his "one" is to complement him and, because of that, he should do what Proverbs 31:28-29(AMPC)—"… her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], 'Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.'"
Y'all, aside from humbling yourself enough to accept that you may not be as "ready" as you think that you are (at least in order to have the quality of marriage you desire to have), it's important to also remember that your future husband has a season of readiness that he needs to go through too. I'm telling you, rather than hemming and hawing about how long he's taking, you'd be much better off praying for him. There is a Black married couple who actually has a free "Pray for Your Future Spouse" challenge that you can participate in, if you'd like. Click here for the details.
The Best Kind of Wife-to-Be Is More than Just That
Back when I was in college, there was a girl that I knew who, upon graduation, had earned straight As. But she still had a difficult time finding a job because while she was in school, she didn't do much else but study. No job. No extracurricular activities. Nothing to show that she was a well-rounded individual. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Many years ago, I wrote a column for a magazine called Relevant. One of them was about the MTV seriesNewlyweds that featured singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. If you never knew they were once married or it's been so long that you've forgotten all of the deets, Jessica was a virgin on her wedding day. To me, that's beautiful. At the same time, sexual purity (that pretty much only lasts for a couple of minutes) doesn't keep a marriage together. After a few episodes, it was clear that Jessica struggled with bringing more than that to the table. She didn't cook, clean, budget, had a weird work ethic and, whether it was purely for the show's ratings or not, she also wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. She seemed mad spoiled too (quirky and funny but still spoiled). If you Google either one of them, you'll see that they're both married to other people now.
Here's the point with both of the examples that I provided. There are a lot of single women I know who, unfortunately, are putting their lives on pause because they are consumed by their longing to have a husband. But if you ask any mature and secure man—whether he's single or married—about what makes a woman attractive, it's just how complete she is without having a man in her life. She's thriving in her calling. She has a good support system around her. She takes good care of her mind, body, and spirit. She knows the difference between needing a man and being needy. She may desire marriage, but her life is full enough to keep her from becoming obsessed about it.
There are some women I know who are divorced now. After doing some deep and profound soul-searching, they realize that a big cause of the breakdown in their union is them thinking that either A) their life would really start once they got married or B) they damn near suffocated their spouse because they are overly preoccupied with him and the full life he had.
When it comes to wifedom, one of my favorite Scriptures is "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." (Proverbs 12:4—NKJV) Just think about all that you would want your future hubby to have going on in order for him to be considered excellent (possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good). Whatever those things are, try and become those things in your own life. Your husband and your marriage will only benefit from it.
Allow Everyone to Do Their Part
So, there's a woman who goes by Chloe who has a YouTube channel that I already know is out here triggering people left and right. With videos like "Masculine Moves: 12 Masculine Things to Stop Doing in 2020!" and "Masculine Moves: Never Ask a Man to Marry You!", how could she not be? While I don't agree with everything that she says (like I'm sure a lot of y'all feel about some of the stuff that I write), when it comes to her perspective of a "masculine woman", I do get down with a point she made in the second video:
"Moves like this are being made when a woman is being highly territorial, and controlling, and back-leading. And being really extra in staking her claim, and trying to push the needle of marriage ahead. And is low-key trying to control and manipulate her engagement to make the odds of becoming a wife more favorable. And, this is what happens when a woman has the mindset that the man is the prize. 'Cause when a woman, sees the man, as the prize, there will always be a part of her, that will be willing to turn up the volume, on her masculinity, to secure the object of her affection. Which is a move, that puts a woman, in low value territory."
Whew. OK, so here's why I am with what she said. I do find it interesting that while a lot of women don't want to be in a traditional wife role, when it comes to things like marriage proposals, suddenly, they wouldn't dream of doing it because it's "a man's job" (which puts him into a traditional role, correct?). But I'll leave that alone.
My main point is this. 11 years ago, I published a blog entitled "So, How Did You Know?" It has a ton of different stories of how different married couples got together. Since I do reference the Bible quite a bit, and I know that Eve was brought to Adam (no, he did not pursue her; he was asleep—Genesis 2:18-25), I am not hung up on how folks come together. What I am big on is people acknowledging that in a male/female marital dynamic, the two energies are designed to balance each other. I also am a huge supporter of reminding women that "femininity" is not a dirty word ( authentic masculinity isn't either). A website entitled Chocolate for the Soul actually provides some traits of femininity that I can totally get down with:
A woman worth a million is HEALTHY AND SEXY
A woman worth a million is able to distribute her energy correctly
She is a woman who is self-confident and knows her value
A woman worth a million can have a balanced, intimate and fulfilling relationship with a man
A woman worth a million does not wait for men or the environment to make her happy ...
Yes—all this. The reason why I entitled this section the way that I did is because, as you're wondering where your future beloved is, it's important to keep "BALANCE" in the forefront of your mind. Even if you are tempted to get anxious or impatient (more on that in a sec), all you can do is your part. "He", the Most High and whomever else the Universe deems should play a role in your love story have a role in what needs to happen too. By stepping out of your femininity, by thinking you need to "take matters into your own hands", there is a greater chance that you will do more harm than good.
A great romance consists of two people who already love themselves and know their value. If you settle into this fact, it will be easier to take on that, "I can only do what I can do. But I'm so dope that that is automatically enough."
Remember That Love Is Patient—So, You Should Be Too
One more. As it relates to this particular kind of topic, the word "patient" is usually only thought about in the context of someone "quietly and steadily persevering or diligent, especially in detail or exactness". And while this definition certainly applies, it's important to always remember another definition of patient too—"bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like". Again, when the student is ready, the teacher will certainly appear and another thing that a lot of married people will tell you is, the more you prepare on the front end, the better off you will be on the back.
On the patient tip, do you really think that a stroll down some aisle will automatically turn you into a patient individual? And if you EVER will need to exercise patience, it's in a marriage. So really, no matter how long the waiting season may be taking, it could be the Universe's way of having your back because, the more you master patience now, the better spouse you will be later.
Remember, I'm over here abstinent, counseling couples and still not married; never have been. But I'll tell you what—the more I learn about myself, marriage and what a great one requires, the more grateful I am that "it's" taking as much time as it needs to. Because honestly, if I was ready…I'd be married. Since I'm not, I'll continue the preparation process—and enjoy my single season as I do. Because as awesome as I'm sure marriage is, singleness is pretty bomb too. So bomb that I don't have enough time to worry about where my man is. I just hope he catches up someday. Feel me? Yeah, 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. ;)
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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