Some of us are guilty of holding onto love with someone we don't see it with just to have proof that it's there. Some of us are guilty of avoiding a perfectly good love because the timing isn't right and other worldly distractions that come along and interfere. And most of us have absolutely no idea what we're doing when it comes to love so we stay away, stay too long, ask the wrong questions, ask nothing at all, in hopes that an attempt it as promising as actual work. But nothing replaces actual work, my dear.
Let's face it, fear holds a lot of us back. And when it comes to our love lives, it's no different. Fear is the reason a relationship lasts well past its expiration date, fear is the reason you don't put yourself out there, fear is the reason why you don't give that nice boy from the coffee shop a chance to take you out.
Fear is urgent like a mothaf-----. But only because it begs, screams, and demand that you feed into its negativity versus setting yourself free to be open to love.
One truth that puts everything in perspective is that, in love, there are only two options of how a story will end. You will either get your happily ever after with this man, a ring, a house, 2.5 kids, and a family dog. Or, you will find that he is a dog, get your happily never after, send that man on his walking papers, and learn to love yourself alone, until your other love story comes along to show you your happily ever after. Either way, you eventually get that fairytale ending. You just have to be open, honest, and unafraid.
Along with this truth, this article seeks to focus around seven others that will hopefully help you navigate the sometimes murky and turbulent waters of love, dating, and marriage:
You can't date the potential you see in someone, then get mad when they don't live up to the person you thought they should be.
I used to be committed to people who were committed to remaining the same, but I still thought they would change for me. Although people can change and grow into their potential, it's not based on our timelines. We can't force them to change. People will only live up to the potential you see in them if they, too, believe that's who they are supposed to be. So, you can accept them as they are and love them unconditionally, continue waiting to see if they will change, or be honest about who they are and discontinue the fantasy version of the relationship.
Stop playing the role of a sidepiece, while praying you get the role as a wife or a husband.
Like they say, prepare for the position you want. For example, if I was auditioning for the role of the lead character, I wouldn't show up dressed like and ready to audition for the supporting character. There are a lot of people praying to be a wife (or a husband), but they're acting like sidepieces. They want a good relationship but sow bad seeds. As with anything – relationships, careers, dreams, etc. – make sure your actions are aligned with your prayers, morals, and values. In other words, can you see God in your #RelationshipGoals? If your relationship goals include someone else's spouse or lover, then it's time to re-evaluate them.
Never invest more into the wedding than you would for the actual marriage.
Some of us invest in the wedding – time, money, and resources - but we neglect to invest that much more into the actual marriage. The wedding only lasts for a day, but the marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. If you're not ready to put in the work, then you're not ready to put a ring on it. If you're not ready to walk through and weather the storms, you're not ready to walk down the aisle.
You can invest thousands and thousands of dollars into the wedding, but if you're not fully committed to the marriage, then don't expect a positive return on your investment.
No, our parents and grandparents may not have read certain marriage books, utilized marriage counseling, or attended marriage workshops/conferences, but today's a different day and every marriage is different. Some people have to work a little bit harder to overcome certain obstacles or to figure out this whole marriage thing. Besides, what's the harm in doing things to help make sure your love can withstand almost anything?
Just because they showed up for the wedding doesn't mean that they'll show up for your marriage.
Be cautious of the people you allow in and around your marriage. Everybody isn't cheering for you, so they may not be there for you when you need them. Unfortunately, some people are waiting to see everything fail. That's why it's important to surround yourself around positive and reliable people who: 1) are committed to supporting you and seeing your marriage work, 2) won't offer up “Girl, just leave him," as the first option when trouble comes your way, and 3) won't tell all of your business and spread gossip about you in the streets.
Everyone brings a set of individual issues to a relationship.
I recently heard this at a relationship conference that, “You don't have marital issues; you have unresolved single issues. In order to have marital wealth, you need emotional health." Marriage has a way of revealing personal issues you didn't realize were there. That's why it's important to constantly engage in helpful and healing activities that will help you grow spiritually, physically, and mentally, especially when it comes to mental health. We are constantly growing, but the day you start thinking your relationship or marriage is perfect, is the day you tell God you don't need Him.
"In order to have marital wealth, you need emotional health. "
Don't talk to social media about your issues instead of talking to your spouse.
Because everybody doesn't need to know everything. Even though you may think you're being discreet by posting subliminal messages, it doesn't take a genius to know if and when you're having marital problems. Often times, it's those types of posts that will cause you to crack open the door and make it easy for temptation, or mess, creep into your situation; all because someone on the outside looking in thinks they can fulfill a need they assume isn't being met. Besides, there is enough negativity in the world, so the last thing people want to hear about every single day is how fed up you are with your relationship.
Don't let anyone cheer louder for your spouse than you.
Married or not, I refuse to let someone else encourage or cheer for my man more than me. Nope! That's my job, and I take it seriously. I go hard for my man and he goes hard for me. Trust, the thirst is real, and there's always someone ready and willing to step in and take your place. For some women, it's the compliments, hearing “I'm proud of you," or “I appreciate you". For men, it's in the respect we show them, or the things we say and do to stroke their ego, because trust me – men need to have their egos stroked, some more than others. Considering the everyday hurdles of life, it's always nice to know the person you love the most is the person cheering the loudest.
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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.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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