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Three Dates In. Should The Two Of You Move Forward? Or Not?

Three dates is enough time to do some real evaluating. Start with asking yourself (and him, if necessary) the following five questions.

Dating

I recently read an article that discussed all of the scientific signs that point to whether a person is falling in love or not. I'm not gonna share all 13 of 'em, but here are the ones that personally stood out to me—elevated levels of dopamine that cause you to focus your attention on someone; spending (wow) 85 percent of your time thinking about that individual; developing strong feelings of empathy for another person; desiring an emotional connection over a sexual one with them and, believing that your "love feelings" are something that you are not able to control. Maybe, but as Chris Rock once said, "You can't control who you love, but you can control how you love." That's good food for thought right there.


Why The Third Date Matters

Personally, I'd say that a sign that comes before all of these signs is being open to going on a third date with an individual. Think about it. The first date is an introduction to someone; it's about discovering if there is any kind of chemistry at all. The second date is learning more about one another's intentions, desires and values. By the time both of you have agreed to go on a third date, there is more than physical attraction and surface-level commonalities going on. You both are starting to really like each other, which is the foundation for all healthy relationships. First comes like. Then comes love. Then comes in love (when you get a chance, check out "Like, Love & in Love: How to Really Know the Differences").

But how can you know for sure that your third date is headed somewhere solid and lasting? Although the following five questions are not an exact—pardon the pun—science, I do believe that by presenting them to yourself, you will gain more clarity on whether there should be a fourth date (that could possibly lead to forever)—or not.

Why Did You Start Dating Him in the First Place?

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I gotta tell ya that I totally rolled my eyes when I read that one-third of women only agree to go on dates, just so that they can eat for free. That might be "hee hee" on the surface, but how would you feel if you found out that a man was seeing you ONLY so that he could hopefully get some sex out of it at some point? It's never a good idea to use anyone, for any reason. For starters, it puts bad karma out into the universe.

Anyway, the reason why we write so many articles on first dates on this site ("7 Ways to Have an Incredible First Date", "5 Things That Are OK to Require on a First Date", "What to Wear on a First Date", "First Date Rules I'm Not Afraid to Break") is because first impressions are important. It's not just about how a guy sees you and how you see him, it's also about being clear about why you are going on the first date and, if all goes well, you agree to a second and then a third.

There are a lot of people who end up wasting their precious time because they actually desire a relationship while all they are doing is casually dating. And by that, I mean, they are dating with a literal definition of the word "casual" going on—"without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing". So yeah, in order to find out if there should be a fourth date, reflect on why there was a first one to begin with.

Why Do You Keep Wanting to See Him?

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He's cute and funny. You have nothing else to do on a Friday night. Your girlfriends are busy this coming weekend. All of these may be the truth about why you are still hanging out with ole' boy, but time, effort and energy are mad precious. Are any of these truly enough of a reason to keep doing it? The answer depends. If all you want to do is fill up space and he feels the same way, carry on. But if you know that you want more than that, after three dates, it's OK to go beyond typical dating conversation. Does he want the same things that you do out of life? Is he looking for a commitment or just a good time? Does he complement the world that you have created for yourself? Do you see clear signs that he will actually improve your quality of life? Is he a wise investment of your time and emotions?

If you are able to answer all of these questions in the affirmative (and remember, some of these answers, you can only come to by asking him, not assuming), then it makes sense to keep moving forward. Just make sure that you're doing so with the two of you walking together rather than you pulling him along (some of y'all will catch that later).

Are There Already Red Flags That You’re Seeing (and Possibly Ignoring)?

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It's sad (it really is) that some people are natural narcissists and sociopaths. Because of this, they put forth a lot of effort to remain as charming and "flawless" for as long as they possibly can. But if you're paying close attention and you notice that someone isn't willing to discuss some of their issues or vulnerabilities three dates in, that's already a red flag in my book. I'm not saying that they need to pull out their credit report or tell you about every fight they've had with their ex; I'm just saying that someone who seems too good to be true or someone who seems to be hiding something, usually is.

If you're new to looking for red flags early on in a relationship, I penned some of them here. Aside from those, feel fine putting your eyebrow up if a man isn't willing to discuss his family, friends or past; if you catch him in a lie; if he already shows signs of being controlling; if he's rude or flirty with other women in your presence or if he refuses to talk about his past relationships on any level.

A lot of people are in piss-poor marriages because they ignored flags in the beginning of a dating relationship. Please don't be one of them.

Is a True Connection Being Established?

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It's one thing to like someone or to have some things in common (you can do that with a co-worker or your favorite produce person at a local grocery store). It's another thing entirely to feel like you have a true connection with another individual. To me, when there is a surefire connection, they seem super familiar to your spirit, almost from the first exchange of words.

There's more, though. You're both very comfortable sharing the realest parts of yourself. Communication flows with ease. You're both able to challenge one another without feeling intimidated or threatened. There is a profound mutual respect and care for one another. Reciprocity is effortless. You have similar senses of humor. Time together literally flies by. There's an extreme closeness without ever touching. You like the sides that both of you bring out of each other. After a couple of dates, it's crystal clear that you are already becoming fans of one another.

I know this might all sound like a cheesy chick flick, but here's the true reality check about whether or not you are truly connecting with someone after three dates: even if it ultimately doesn't work out on the romantic tip, because the connection—and mutual respect—is so strong, you can still see them being a part of your life regardless. For instance, there is a guy in my life who I used to tell all of the time, "If you're not the father of my child, I could see you being the godfather." That's how dope our connection was.

Not every connection leads to marriage, but some are strong enough to keep people around for a lifetime. Just…differently than you may have expected. That is an article all on its own, y'all.

Are You Both on the Same Page—of the Same Book?

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Last fall, I penned an article for the site entitled, "5 Signs That You're in Love (All by Yourself)". If you'd rather listen to a song about this topic than read it, what do you know about the Mariah Carey old school jam "All Alone in Love"? Yep. It's a pretty common phenomenon to be deeply caught up in someone who doesn't feel the same way.

How does something that emotionally extreme happen? When it's happened to me, it's usually been because of one of two things. Either I didn't ask the guy, point blank, if he wanted the same things that I did or, I wasted time with someone who was unresolved when it came to how he saw our relationship; meaning, on Monday, he could see us being together and then, two Tuesdays later, he wasn't sure.

Is a third date too soon for a marriage proposal? In 98.5 percent of instances, yes. But what it's not too soon for us to say, "Where do you see this going?" If he's crystal clear, his answer will be too. But if he's he's dodging and deflecting, either he's showing signs of being a commitment-phobe or being unsure about you. Either way, a man who is looking for a relationship is going to have a pretty good idea if a woman is a good fit, three dates in (ask your male friends, they'll tell you). If the guy you're seeing isn't, I'm not so sure four more dates is going to change his mind.

Time is invaluable and so are you. It's OK to want to be with someone who is a bit more focused and intentional. It's OK to have initial chemistry and still decide to not move forward with someone who wants so much more than that.

Do I sound extreme? Look at it this way—it didn't take him three offers to know he wanted a job he was after, right? My point exactly, chile.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

So, What's A Pre-Date Anyway?

5 Things That Are OK To Require On A First Date

This Is Why You're So Frustrated With Dating

15 Date Ideas Based On Your Love Language

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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Mj Rodriguez has been giving us all of our lives since she emerged on our screens as the ever-so-fabbbulous Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista in Pose, in 2018. Since, she has captured the hearts of many all over the world, from LGBTQ advocates, to everyone in between. The beloved series officially came to a heart-wrenching end, after three seasons of tackling homelessness, sex work, the rejection that the trans community deals with on a daily basis and combined it with heart and dance to captivate millions around the world weekly.

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Sometimes, when things are a little "off" when it comes to our health, there are simple steps that we can take to get ourselves back on track. For instance, did you know that around 92 percent of Americans are considered to be vitamin or mineral deficient in some way? And since there are core nutrients that all of us need in order to function properly, it's important that we're aware of what certain deficiencies are directly linked to.

Today, that is the focus. Here are eight health-related issues that, oftentimes, if we'd just add more of a vitamin or mineral into our system, we will start to feel better in no time (technically a couple of weeks but you get my drift).

1. Muscle Cramping

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Something that happens randomly to me sometimes is I'll have a muscle that cramps up, seemingly out of nowhere. Then I'll snack on a banana and start to feel better. You know why? It's because bananas are high in potassium and potassium is a nutrient that our system needs in order for our muscles to easily contract. If you sweat a lot or don't have enough fluids in your system, you can become a high candidate for being potassium deficient. As far as how much your body requires on a daily basis, it's somewhere between 3,000-4,000 mg a day. Foods that are a good source of this mineral (that is also an electrolyte) include mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and lentils.

2. Lip Cracking

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If your PMS is off the chain or you've been catching a lot of colds lately, it could be because you need some more Vitamin B6 in your life. However, a telling sign that this is almost definitely the case is if the corners of your lips are cracking or even if your tongue feels a bit swollen.

The main thing to keep in mind with this point is if you're noticing indications that you could stand to have more Vitamin B6, there's a pretty good chance that your system has gotten close to totally running out. And just how much does your body need of this vitamin on the daily? About 1.3 mg. Up it up to 1.5 mg if you're over the age of 50.

Foods that are loaded with Vitamin B6 are peanuts, poultry, oats, avocados and pistachios.

3. Brittle Nails

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If it seems like no matter how much pampering you do to your nails, they are brittle and breaking, that could be an indication that you are low in iron and/or Vitamin C. The reality is that just our periods alone can make us vulnerable to having lower iron levels. And just how much should you be getting into your system? A lot of healthcare professionals recommend somewhere around 14.8 mg each day. As far as the Vitamin C goes, not only can you have brittle nails when you're not getting enough of it, this is a nutrient that makes it easier for your body to absorb iron too. 75 mg per day of it is recommended (120 mg each day if you're pregnant or are breastfeeding). Foods that are high in iron include beef, dark leafy greens, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and broccoli. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes, berries and Brussel sprouts.

4. Allergy Symptoms

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If you've got allergy symptoms that are driving you totally up the wall or you're someone who deals with asthma or eczema, these things can be so much worse for you if you are low in omega-3. Long story short, they're fatty acids that pretty much every part of our body needs from our skin and hair to our reproductive system and our heart. Matter of fact, I actually read once that if you tend to have an excessive amount of earwax, that can also be a heads up that omega-3 is lacking. As far as how much is good for you, 1.1 grams daily is enough. And as far as foods that have omega-3 in them, those would be walnuts, spinach, salmon, chia seeds and eggs.

5. Weakness

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Magnesium is both a mineral as well as an electrolyte that helps to regulate muscle and nerve functions and keep your blood sugar in balance. Well, when you don't have enough magnesium in you, it can cause you to experience extreme amounts of fatigue and weakness. A part of the reason why is because magnesium is what helps to keep your potassium levels where they should be. So, when your potassium levels are low, your muscles will not perform with as much strength as they should. Somewhere around 315 mg each day is what your system requires. Foods that are loaded with magnesium include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, halibut, bananas and dark chocolate.

6. Hair Loss

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One of the main things that all of us need in order for our hair to flourish is zinc. It's a mineral that assists with hair tissue growth and repair, fights dandruff and, it also helps your scalp to produce the sebum that it needs for your hair follicles to remain healthy. That's why it makes a lot of sense that if you're low in zinc, you could possibly suffer from some hair loss or, the very least, hair breakage. What can keep your tresses in good condition is if you consume around 8 mg of zinc daily. Foods that are high in it include Greek yogurt, cashews, black beans, sesame seeds and kale.

7. Sleepiness

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OK, if you're out here getting less than six hours a night on a consistent basis, that's probably not an indication that you are lacking a nutrient; what that probably means is you are sleep deprived.

However, if it seems like no matter how much sleep you get at night and/or naps you take during the day, you are still sleepy as all get out, what that could be telling you is that you are low in Vitamin B12. I can personally attest to this because I was sleepy a lot (and I get no less than six hours a night and sometimes a nap) until I started taking a B12 supplement. When you're low in this vitamin, it can trigger sleepiness or even sleeplessness because it plays a significant role in maintaining your energy levels.

It's kinda crazy that a lot of us are Vitamin B12 deficient when most of us only need .002 mg a day of it. Anyway, foods that are a good source of this nutrient include liver, fortified cereals, shellfish, nutritional yeast and milk alternatives (like almond or oat milk).

8. Food Cravings

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Last fall, I wrote an article about signs that you've got a sugar addiction going on (you can check it out here). One indication is if you're constantly wanting to eat sweets all of the time. Well, along these same lines, if you're experiencing food cravings, that too could mean that you've not some nutrient deficiencies happening. Sweets typically mean that you can stand to have more magnesium or tryptophan. Fatty foods mean you need more calcium. Red meat, caffeine or the desire to chew ice means you're low in iron. Salt is oftentimes connected to dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.

Wanting to eat bread all of the time could also mean that you could use a tryptophan boost (because you are looking for something to make you feel better and bread is a comfort food. Tryptophan helps to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin so that you don't want bread as much). Foods that are high in tryptophan include tuna, cheese, turkey, milk and apples.

While I certainly wasn't able to tackle all of the nutrient deficient-related issues that exist, take this as a bit of an intro cheat sheet. Again, if you are currently experiencing any of these issues, try getting more vitamins and minerals into your system. You might be surprised just how big of an impact...a little bit of tweaking can make.

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As the sun shines and the weather heats up, we're inching closer to a breakout summer like no other. With most of us excited to be outdoors with our loved ones, it's time to get into the looks we've been mentally preparing for the past year and a half sitting at home. While I've gotten accustomed to the basic black and heather grey combinations from the loungewear overload we experienced, those dark days are finally over and I'm ready to brighten up my summer wardrobe.

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