I know, I know. It's only January 2nd and your Twitter feed might be exhausted with everyone's talk of 2018 and their goals for the new year. Or maybe you're jaded with the idea of the first of a new month being the time to restart and get brand new on folks.
It's not everyday that we hear about a multi-platinum star giving up her million dollar home to live on a farm.
"He called you back. He opened the door for you. He kissed your forehead. Now you want a relationship. It's time for us to re-evaluate, sis."
- Me to me in the mirror.
"Bare minimum Twitter" has become a thing, and it's triggering. Out in the Twittersphere, there are women tweeting about simple things that they claim to be relationship goals and many commenters are calling them out about their choice of standards.
OutKast: What’s cooler than being cool? Bare minimum twitter: My boyfriend making eye contact with me— G. L. DiVittorio (@G. L. DiVittorio)1512850251.0
Bare minimum twitter at it again https://t.co/IVrZTsOmtS— mikala 🦋 (@mikala 🦋)1513459596.0
"Bare Minimum Twitter" is a reflection of the reality about the standards we have for romantic partners.
It exists as a result of the prevalence of guys out there who put in less effort than what is being tweeted about, and the fact that what is being praised are things that are standard and mandatory (read: bare minimum). Have we gone so far down the abyss that a man opening the door for us, calling us by our name, and texting us back is subject to praise? When did basic behavior start becoming the bar for bae-material? Are we convincing ourselves that we are not settling?
A lot of these tweets have been dirty mirrors for me to look into. Throughout my history of dating, there have been many times where I've called my best friend to gloat about how charming a man was on a date - opening the door for me, paying for the food, driving me home, telling me how pretty I was. The annoyance in my friend's voice was anything but sugarcoated, "Uh, yeah, girl. That's what he's supposed to do."
It made me take a long look into the patterns of partners that I've allowed into my sacred space. The realization hit me hard: a lot of the men I had been dating were admitted a pass because of the minimal requirements of respect I had for myself.
And suddenly, my membership card to the Bare Minimum Club began to sparkle under the enlightenment.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but I want a type of love that feels like poetry to my soul and wine to my bloodstream.
I no longer want to be involved in situationships that require me to silence half my voice, dilute my being to be fit to their preferences, or feel guilty about my whole self only being half-loved. There are things that I tell myself that are standard to receiving my love - character, ambition, respect, generosity, etc. - but fall short.
Why am I allowing myself to get excited over men doing things that should be considered necessary before I even consider dating? Have I really forgotten the principles of courtship to the instant gratification of the era that we live in? Why should I feel ashamed to say I want a emotionally stable, honest, attractive man with good credit, great relationships with his family, and an even better career?
In 2018, I want to attract high-vibrational and wholesome relationships into my life.
With the new year about to be in full effect, I think it's important that I begin to ask myself questions to reflect on why I have allowed my love life to be half-assed and half-full. Here are a few things I am learning in order to cultivate what I want and rid myself of the bare minimum syndrome for good:
Know What You Bring To The Table
When you know what you bring to the table, you have a platfrom to expect reciprocity. Because, honestly, no one likes an entitled sista. What are you willing to give and what do you bring to the table? Are we doing the bare minimum for ourselves so it's okay for others to do that as well? Raise the standard for yourself and therefore you'll attract that kind of partner into your life.
Know What Your Standards Are & Abide By Them
Once you know and understand what you have to bring to the table, you have the footnotes to provide when people snootily ask, "Well, you're asking for so much out of a partner. What do you even have to offer?"
Bring out the receipts, sis. What do you want from a partner? What do you expect? Are we compromising our standards to just say that someone is in our life or that we aren't alone? Are we so afraid of being alone and doing for ourselves that we're willing to accept anything? No, because we know our worth and we are abiding by the standards we've set. Don't settle for less when you know exactly who you are.
Make Sure The People In Your Life Who Reflect & Hold You Accountable
If the people around you don't hold themselves to a high standard, then they don't have the muscle mass to hold you up. Their uplifting will only be temporary. They will grow tired in their praise of you if you don't believe it or if they are not secure about themselves. Keeping positive, self-secure people around you will only elevate you, because they will not have the time to be around Debbie Downers or self-pity lobbyists. Queens recognize queens.
Find you a queen that sees your magic just as you see hers - she'll remind you if you're stepping out of your own boundaries for a partner real quick.
Observe How Much Energy & Effort A Man Puts Into Other Things
Do your homework. When an interest in a partner begins, you want to observe. How is he treating you compared to everyone else and the other aspects of his life? Once you get a clear vision of where he puts his efforts and his energy, you'll be able to see where you stand. Are you accepting the bare minimum from him? Is he going out of his way to provide for you or make time to get to know you? If not, you need to return to step number 1 and 2, and act accordingly.
There is no question that I am coming for everything that I deserve; therefore, accepting the bare minimum is no longer an option. I may have new years resolutions of minimalism but a minimalist love affair is not one of them.
I am learning that there is a difference between low maintenance and low standards.
In order for a woman to be low maintenance, there has to be a high standard to exist when it comes to how a man treats you. When he's consistent in operating from a higher standard, it is low maintenance, because it's the norm. When he's consistent in operating from a low standard, you'll always be considered high maintenance, because you're asking for more than what he is used to providing.
We need to stop confusing standards with preferences and confusing our assertiveness of these standards as being "too much" because a man's criticism is rooted in his inability to perform and deliver.
It's okay to set the bar high when you are consistently operating from your deepest, truest self. That's called knowing your worth.
When you know your worth, you know what serves you and what doesn't. If you feel triggered by the truth of that is coming full circle and making you look into the mirror, self-evaluate where you are, work on yourself, invest in yourself and raise your own stock so that you can raise your standards, and turn in your Bare Minimum membership card.
Should excellence be expected or rewarded? Only you can answer that for yourself.
Featured image by Giphy
In 2018, the name of the game is leveling up.
1. Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMwNi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzE5NzA1MH0.Rah-DcM1QI-vrtt2OsOiMDZwogmo3sHN5_amobmS9Hc/img.png?width=980" id="77949" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e1d0e2a5cbb5bef8f41869a4e844ed27" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/womenofpowersummit/" target="_blank">Women of Power Summit</a> is a professional leadership conference designed for executive women of color. Its purpose is to empower women to maximize their professional potential and also achieve their life goals.</p><p>This year's <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/womenofpowersummit/" target="_blank">Women of Power Summit</a> takes place March 7-10, 2018 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts in Orlando, Florida. Regristration rates start at $1495. Click <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/womenofpowersummit/rates/" target="_blank">here </a>for more information.</p>
2. ColorComm<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjM1OTAyMH0.A6w9JHJqlC6_FoSibCbiohDKB8usatBlSpATh-BCsMM/img.jpg?width=980" id="6376d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11791feabecaf166e65b8881ab09d1a5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="http://www.colorcommnetwork.com/" target="_blank">ColorComm</a> is a membership organization of women of color in professions throughout the communications realm: public relations, journalism, media, entertainment, and more. Their organization is meant to connect women of similar professional backgrounds and build a strong network of leaders by creating strong business relationships, mentors relationships, and friendships.</p><p>Events occur throughout the year and in different cities, including luncheons, panel discussions, and recruitment events. ColorComm membership includes a one-time membership fee of $150 and an annual fee of $210. Click <a href="http://www.colorcommnetwork.com/membership/" target="_blank">here</a> for more info.</p>
3. AfroTech<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTAzNzQ2OX0.EqBrBHG7fyMnteIt1yhdA0VV2aAJlcjOZKo2WYNAII4/img.jpg?width=980" id="d5f87" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="274430b9b6d57418bc7372fba921381d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="http://afrotech.com/about/" target="_blank">AfroTech</a> is a conference for POC in tech, where the founders and employees of tech-startups present tactics and strategies they use to grow their businesses. This year's conference takes place in San Francisco, CA on November 8-11, 2018.</p><p>In 2018, Blavity is also adding a Detroit stop for the annual conference, but the dates are <a href="https://afrotech.com/events/" target="_blank">TBD</a>. Tickets are not yet on sale for either conference, but keep visiting the site to keep abreast of any new information.</p>
4. Black Women Talk Tech<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMxNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTUzNzkzNX0.84O-8Kyyozw_Dt_7RZRwvJEuuVFKLYsUq5wOaSGSOEU/img.png?width=980" id="7d0c6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a3f8eeac856f0bb27aced358aa0dcd36" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="https://www.blackwomentalktech.com/who-we-are/" target="_blank">Black Women Talk Tech</a> is a collective of tech founders. Their mission is to help black women build the next billion dollar company. Because black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, it's important to foster a community where they can be empowered to take the next big step into entrepreneurship and challenge themselves to billions.</p><p>For their second annual conference, the event will be called "Roadmap to Billions" and it's "focused on tearing down roadblocks and promoting #blackgirlmagic in the tech industry." The dates for the conference are February 28-March 1, 2018 and will take place in the NYC headquarters of their sponsor, Microsoft. Tickets are quite affordable and range from $35-$279. Click <a href="http://www.blackwomentalktech.com/conference/" target="_blank">here</a>for more info.</p>
5. Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMxNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDQ0MTk5MH0.8iEXZRtjjHR_7wUV96nqLZy5TRnLx5JwSsOlcbFSbbU/img.jpg?width=980" id="b6640" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67dd9441a9b4d355555df7ab5fff305d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><em>Black Enterprise</em> brings you all the resources you need to be a successful entrepreneur. Their 3-day summit, <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/entrepreneurssummit/" target="_blank">Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit</a>, is where Black CEO's, business owners, and business experts gather to share knowledge and create lasting connections.</p><p>This year's summit takes place in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Convention Center. The dates are June 6-9, 2018. Click <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/events/" target="_blank">here </a>for more info on how to register.</p>
6. Black Women In Media Conference<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMxNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjA3NjkwNX0.1_Bs_Bbz8W2rXYpu-KlMPusfNkJ-CfHoLv85qIU544I/img.jpg?width=980" id="a4b87" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ef06224c933b7296c9cbac2f9e31a81" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="https://blackwomeninmedia.com/2018/01/20/youre-invited-annual-2018-black-women-in-media-event-awards-ceremony/" target="_blank">Black Women In Media</a> is an organization that's mission is to highlight black women in media and create more representation in the field of communications and media while building strong connections. Their conference is two days: one for the official conference of panelists and speakers, and the second is a BWIM Awards Ceremony, to commemorate those who have done excellent work in their fields.</p><p>This year's conference and awards ceremony take place on March 28-29, 2018 in New York. Click <a href="http://eventsonawhim.com/bwimawards2018/" target="_blank">here</a> for more info.</p>
7. Happy Black Woman<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMyNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDYyNjQ3OH0.6Tpo6CxgZE9wa703-Ve6YzasHGSBgJApBlx3ad69WQ4/img.png?width=980" id="c7f57" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3c917fd2f0dd70c3fd94c8e3b638aa06" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="https://happyblackwoman.com/events/" target="_blank">Happy Black Woman</a> is a global personal development company dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering black women to create their ideal lives. Their events range from mastermind groups in Greece to goal-setting conferences.</p><p>Coming up for the Happy Black Woman is a three-day live Launch Your Business boot camp event on April 6-8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. They also have a <a href="https://happyblackwoman.com/santorini/" target="_blank">2018 Happy Black Woman Mastermind Retreat</a> on June 28-30, 2018. For more information on events and registration, click <a href="https://happyblackwoman.com/events/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
8. MogulCon<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMyOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDUyMTUyOX0.vxLSraYXsraKI3CJihpv3QHX9PbbBX_As8wEVpNAhTw/img.jpg?width=980" id="81267" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1b313817e977ac6e24b6ddf78cdf8a12" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><a href="http://www.mogulcon.com/" target="_blank">MogulCon</a> is the event where female corporate influencers and women-owned businesses come together to learn from one another and share tips on how to become a female entrepreneur and influencer.<em> "For too long the women of corporate america and women-owned businesses have operated in separate spaces. MogulCon is bridging the gap and sharing lessons learned from women across the career spectrum."</em></p><p>MogulCon18 is a four-day event that takes place November 8-10, 2018 in Orlando at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Click <a href="http://www.mogulcon.com/tickets/" target="_blank">here</a>for more info.</p>
9. Summit21 (formerly EmpowerHer)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mjc4Nzg4NX0.Ec8AnWbFiyB5MLfXA-PeGvIjJyHQ4W9v2YGwZvkhaJE/img.jpg?width=980" id="3276d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="476462c7617e95d6d1c5fd9591a7adfc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>EmpowerHer is taking on a new name. Now called Summit21, the event is a 2-day conference created by the founders of Blavity. According to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcuz84tAn9SU3t6SSen8sQ82_426B5N6mhWcPU0/?hl=en&taken-by=morgandebaun" target="_blank">Morgan DeBaun</a>, CEO of Blavity, <a href="https://21ninety.com/summit21/" target="_blank">Summit21</a> will encompass "2k Black Women entrepreneurs, makers, influencers and creators talking about , beauty, health and creativity. Masterclasses, workshops, free giveaways. June 2018 in #atl."</p><p>Summit21 will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on June 8-June 9, 2018. Tickets can be purchased <a href="https://21ninety.com/summit21/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
10. Forbes Women's Summit<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xNzU5MDMzMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODE4NzYxM30.iEAW10sGDT9Ff0WYFIE6Mq1hGv_HBQaqVPrIySjOTt4/img.jpg?width=980" id="1acea" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb37136985b0ebaeb823657ec2aaed24" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>"<em><a href="https://www.forbes.com/forbes-live/event/womens-summit-2018/" target="_blank">Forbes Women's Summit</a> celebrates the doers and the doing; a source of inspiration and support that connects and empowers women around the world, helping them to realize their potential and reach new heights." </em>The conference includes keynote discussions, panels, and engaging conversations that span the core pillars of: leadership, entrepreneurship, health, education, and philosophy. To attend is invite only, but once can sign up to be notified for registration. </p><p>This year's Forbes Women's Summit takes place June 18-19, 2018 in New York. Click <a href="https://www.forbes.com/forbes-live/event/womens-summit-2018/" target="_blank">here</a> for more info.</p>
For black women, hair is an extremely sensitive subject for us. It has so many meanings, especially how we hold it with high regard in appeal to our beauty and femininity. When our ideal of what our beauty is is taken away from us, we are forced to redirect our energy and learn to deal with the loss. But we always come back out on top.