A wedding is a day that most women dream about as little girls. Many have imagined exactly how the day will look, having picked out the venue, the man, and of course the dress. It marks a time filled with love, joy, and hope for the future that the two of you will spend the rest of your lives together. But before a wedding, it would be wise to take a moment to get clear on your reasons for saying "I do," thinking not so much about the wedding but instead, your reasons for wanting to be married.
The wedding day itself can be filled with both anxiety and excitement but this one day should not be the determining factor in your decision to make a lifelong commitment. With divorce rates as high as fifty percent in America, according to the APA, a marital union is one that should be weighed with careful consideration. A wedding ceremony is literally one day that will change the course of your life so it's important to be clear on your reasons before taking the leap to husband and wife.
Here's my top ten list of reasons NOT to take a trip down the aisle.
1.You’re lonely or feel alone.Lonely Season 4 GIF by FriendsGiphy
This is probably the dumbest--I mean, the most common reason single people desire marriage. Most women, particularly those of a certain age, have bought into the narrative of dying miserably and alone. This fear is so great, sometimes, that if a man comes along, even if he lacks qualities that we want in a life partner, we may feel a knee-jerk reaction to cling onto them, if they'll have us. The sinking fear of losing our last chance at love is so intense that it can cause us to settle for anyone that comes along just so we don't end up being alone.
2.You feel pressure from your family, friends, or society.
Let's be honest. Women over 30 are all too aware of the ticking time bomb that is our biological clock. And if the prospect of our eggs drying up isn't enough to scare us into finding a mate, then the fear of becoming an old maid is. And you know what's worse? It be your own family! Single folks have it hard enough on the dating scene trying to explain our singlehood to other singles, let alone those closest to us. I bet I can speak for a lot of singles when I say we all had at least one reason to thank COVID in 2020: for helping us evade the inevitable inquiries about your dating life at the annual family functions.
Instead of feeling the pressure from our relationship status, it may serve us better to get clear about what it is we actually want. I, for one, have had to get clear and really ask myself, "Do I really want a relationship? Or do I feel this way because it's what's expected of me?"
3.Because you have chemistry and amazing sex.
Unfortunately, it's a common mistake that many people make, confusing sexual attraction for compatibility. Child, I would be lying if I said I've never been in a relationship where the sex was so good that I considered proposing mid-act, myself. But sexual compatibility does not a marriage make. Couples who have been together for long periods of time will tell you about the challenges of a marriage that come after years of being together and that the physical nature of intimacy grows with an emotional connection rather than a physical one. I'm not saying that sex isn't important in a marriage because it is, but sex is not a foundation for a relationship.
Once sexual attraction wanes (and it will) what's left needs to be something that will carry you through to the "ever after" far beyond the "happily" part.
4.Simply because you get pregnant or have children together.
While I'm all for saving the structure of the Black family unit, staying together for the children's sake alone is not a good reason to stay or enter into an unhealthy relationship. In fact, staying in an unhealthy relationship where couples argue can cause more harm for children than those whose parents divorce or have a healthy co-parenting relationship.
5.For unethical, monetary reasons.
It's a known fact that marriage has financial benefits when it comes to things such as filing taxes, merging assets, and getting a green card. Wait, what? True story, right? My ex-boyfriend actually married an illegal alien in exchange for $7K so she could become a US citizen. According to him, it was more of an arrangement than a marriage, but a legally binding contract nonetheless that ended up being a legal nightmare. I guess you could say, it also ended things for us, too.
6.Because you want to be a trophy (kept woman).
If you can believe it, there are actually women who would rather marry a man who is well off and live what they consider to be the dream life of a "housewife". Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a domestic capacity, but I just couldn't see myself trading my independence for an allowance, no matter how hefty it may be. God forbid something happens where your Prince Charming moves on to the next silent arm candy and you find yourself in a financial bind because you were completely dependent on someone else.
7.You think being married will make you happy.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but marriage was never intended to complete us, but rather, having a loving partner and a healthy relationship should complement our lives. It's dangerous to place your degree of happiness onto someone else. What happens when they inevitably let you down? Not only is it an unrealistic expectation, but that's a lot of pressure to put on someone's shoulders. The idea of another person making you feel happy or complete is a lie we've been told for far too long. It's better to seek someone who adds value to your life with the understanding that you are responsible for your own happiness.
"...Marriage counseling was a turning point for me, understanding that it wasn't up to my husband to make me happy, that I had to learn how to fill myself up and how to put myself higher on my priority list." — Michelle Obama, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
8.For religious reasons.
I could probably write a whole other article on this topic, but I'll save that discussion for another day. However, the truth is, I know people whose sole motivation for being married was based on their religious beliefs, maybe even fears of living in sin. I came up during a time when cohabitation was called "shacking up" which was considered just a few steps away from being "knocked up" both of which were taboo, and still are for some folks. Bible scholars, which I am not, argue the context of the man leaving his father and mother to become "one flesh" with his wife to couples "playing house" and living in a marriage-like relationship. I'm not here to tell you what God does or doesn't approve of, but I can't say I'm in favor of religious scare-tactics to induce life-changing decisions, either.
9.You think marriage is a cure-all for your relationship.
Listen, the truth is, your relationship before you get married is probably as good as it's going to get. If you think getting married is going to cause your partner to change dramatically, for example, that he'll stay home with you and the kids more, force him to settle down, or treat you any differently simply because you've managed to upgrade your title, you may be in for a rude awakening, sis. While marriage does afford some luxuries and securities that you don't get while dating, it also adds a layer of pressure for some couples. While some people see the intermeshing of lives as a benefit, some view it as a burden of having to take on someone else's problems, responsibilities, and financial woes. That saying of "when two become one" takes on a whole new meaning when referring to a spouse that owes back child support during tax time. IJS.
10.Simply because you love him.
I can just about guess what you're thinking. "But, I love him, and that's a good enough reason to marry him." And you would be absolutely wrong. Sometimes, love alone is not enough to make a lifelong commitment. Life is hard and it comes with real challenges. People die, things change and life moves forward. You need someone who shares your values and can keep you anchored when times get tough. Should you marry someone you're in love with? Absolutely. But marrying someone just because you're in love may not always be a wise choice. As sorry as I am to say this, love isn't always enough.
These are just a handful of reasons why you need to get clear on your reasons for walking down the aisle. Believe me, I understand the allure of a man getting down on one knee with a diamond to propose. Even though we have clear ideas on how our dream wedding will look, we may not have a realistic idea of what the marriage will look like.
But which is worse, canceling a wedding or going through a divorce?
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Also known as The Real Black Carrie Bradshaw for her relentless love of shoes and emotionally unavailable men, DeJa K. Johnson is unapologetic in her pursuits to find love, happiness, and orgasms. A graduate of UA Little Rock, DeJa earned a Master's degree in Applied Communication with an emphasis on Interpersonal & Romantic relationships. She is also the founder of TheBreakupSpace.com, a safe space for men and women who need help getting over the loss of a romantic relationship. To connect, you can find her on all social media @TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw or send her an email to love@TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw.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.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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