Black couple drinking wine
Love & Relationships

This TikToker Explains Why An 'Upcycled' Husband Is The Wave If You Want To Get Married In Your 30s

Single woman here! So, I spend a lot of time thinking about dating. And these days, I mean that quite literally. But I will say that I’ve been thinking about it and thinking about strategy for when I’m back out there. Hello! Because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. And I’m tired of throwing Stouffer’s spaghetti at the wall when I’m trying to make some shit straight out of Italy.

So, of course, the TikTok algorithm did what it does best and put me in the way of TikToker, Marshana Spavento, and the concept of an “upcycled” husband. She met (on Bumble, for the modern girlies) her husband at 37 and married him when she was 38, which some might look at as moving too fast, but it is also what people mean when they say “when men know – they know.”

Yes, I know we skipped a few beats here, going from dating to marriage, but just stay with me. Spavento talks not only about how, for women in their thirties looking to get married, an upcycled husband is the wave you want to ride. But, what’s more, she offers some helpful tips on how to get there based on her personal journey – dating intentionally, centering self-improvement, and not adhering to conversations about going dutch if what you desire is a “provider-type.”

What Is an Upcycled Husband?


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According to Spavento, an “upcycled” husband can be defined as the following:

  1. Been a divorcee for anywhere from two to four years.
  2. Holds himself accountable for his role in the divorce.
  3. Doesn’t badmouth his ex-wife. He’s not scorned.
  4. He wants to get out there again and do things better. He’s learned, and he’s willing.

What Is a Recycled Husband?

Alternatively, she defines a “recycled” husband as the following:

  1. Married a handful of times.
  2. Continue making the same mistakes.
  3. May talk negatively about their ex or may have even lost custody of their children.
  4. Bitter, angry, etc, are signature traits.
  5. They’re willing to remarry but at your expense.

What Is a Downcycled Husband?

Black couple relaxing on the couch.

Morsa Images/ Getty Images

Lastly, there’s the “downcycled” husband who will essentially marry you just to throw you a bone. They’re not typically provider types but more often the 50-50 type. Sent straight from hell to ruin you – so run, girl! As the TikTok suggests, he’s not worth talking about, but the last thing to note is he’s very likely “homeless and only, probably, with you because he needs a place to stay.”

But the husband starts with you, friend (I’m talking to myself, too). Her entire page is dedicated to all the ways in which you can intentionally date. In fact, she more recently discusses how the “lottery method” in dating isn’t something she likes and how she did the work to get all that she has.

I’m going to share the intentional mindset shifts that stood out most to me are the ways in which you must show up for yourself, first!

1. Do the (Healing) Work

Spavento highly recommends going to therapy in order to work on yourself. As you’ll know, therapy is not simply for deeply traumatized people. My favorite thing to mention to people is what’s known as little ‘t’ trauma versus big ‘t’ trauma. Trauma is subjective, and the load carried doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some trauma is not as glaring to our subconscious, much less to the external world.

What I’m trying to say is don’t denounce therapy because your trauma isn’t more on the opposite spectrum. Go for the little shit because a million little things are just as heavy as one big thing or traumatic event.

2. Invest in Elevated Hobbies

This one is my favorite and something I’ve been trying to expand my bandwidth to include, anyway. I have a girlfriend who wakes up on Saturdays to go to a floral arranging class, and that’s when it hit me that we’re at that age! Truthfully, I love that these types of activities are being integrated in addition to brunch because going all in for a drunken brunch can get exhausting. Nevertheless, this is a great example of an elevated hobby.

While your hobbies shouldn’t center on finding a man, you do want to ensure your hobbies bring value to the lifestyle that you desire.

Learning how to arrange flowers is a great skill for hosting dinner parties and creating a loved living space. Not only are those things that center our feminine energy, but they attract the type of man who desires a homemaking wife.

Spavento highly recommends this, and both before and after meeting her husband continues to do things such as learn secondary languages. She speaks very highly of the benefits of picking up a second language. And, honestly, anyone with eyes can see the benefits as well. I mean, think of all the ways it elevates your career. Now, imagine how it can contribute to your everyday life. Worldly and well-traveled are skills that are valuable to both yourself and a high-value man.

3. Remember, Omission is Your Bestie

Take this with a grain of salt. But, essentially, you shouldn’t share how men in the past have wronged you. While this isn’t new advice, I really enjoyed the reframes that she offers in her video “Do NOT Lead With Your Pain.” As a single mother to a one-year-old, I curiously asked her what she would suggest saying since it’s very obvious that there’s clearly a story there. My good sis suggested telling men, “[The] relationship didn’t work due to wanting different things from life and his deeply personal issues, but you wish him the best.”

The reason it’s best to abstain from divulging these details has a lot to do with the unfortunate way that people will use these as a benchmark for how to treat you.

I’m going to use myself again here, but I often see the rhetoric from men that it’s ridiculous that a woman would have a trash baby’s father and then demand more from the next man. And, very often, they express that they’re uninterested in stepping up to be better for a woman that they essentially have written off due to her previously poor decisions and the decreased value after being shitted on by another man. But I guarantee that they’d still date her. And, in this scenario, it’s theorized that they would care for her based on the care they perceive she’s deserving of.

Black couple cozied up in the kitchen.

jeffbergen/ Getty Images

Candice Adowole and Etiquette Lessons

Now, Spavento took etiquette lessons in Switzerland, but she is certainly aware of the investment and privilege that’s required to do such a thing. In that regard, she challenges you to invest in yourself and do a little searching to find something local or seek out tips online.

She also counters the “independent woman” culture with Candice Adewole’s Feminine Renaissance University, which is an online course. Alternatively, Adewole has inexpensive books and provides a condensed version of her teachings. The three books that she recommends are 1) A Black Girl’s Guide to Being Blissfully Feminine, 2) A Girl’s Guide to Being a Lady in Waiting, and 3) The Black Girl’s Guide to Living, Loving, and Traveling Abroad.

For all the talk about a soft life and such, it’s not discussed enough how, for Black women, leading a soft life is a learned behavior. That unwavering independence must be reworked to allow us to be vulnerable and so many other things. Otherwise, it’s rather challenging to attract a man who can also provide us with a soft life – the upcycled husband that we all deserve. I think that the fastest way to a soft life is to immerse yourself in soft life behaviors that include being well-rounded, well-read, and well-traveled.

And ultimately, as she reminds us, there’s no downside to elevating yourself. The worst thing that could happen from any of this is you come out on the other side better, and who doesn’t want that?

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Stacey and Dalen Spratt

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.


The Scorpio man and Pisces woman form a relationship that is heartfelt, sincere, and not for the weak. There is an immediate connection and familiarity between these two, being that they are both water signs and are both ruled by their emotions. They are on a similar playing field in life, yet they go about their desires in love in a very different way.