There are a billion times 10 reasons why I think it's important for women to have men as friends. One of them is because, if you really want to know how a man thinks, although everyone is an individual, other men are gonna give you a much more realistic (and reliable) perspective than other women will. This includes when it comes to the topic of marriage.
Now before you roll your eyes and say the last thing (most) men want to think about, let alone discuss, is marriage, I've done some (statistical) digging around. From what I've found, that's simply not true. Men tend to fall in love at first sight far more than women do. Men crave romance far more than they are given credit for. And, once a marital union actually does come to an end, guess who ends it first, the most? Women (70 percent of all divorces are filed by women). Since some studies reveal that married men live longer, make more money and have better sex than single fellas do, that alone explains why they're not so quick to call it quits.
But after reading a feature on Today's site about what makes men want to marry certain women and not others, I decided to conduct a personal study of my own. I hit up a few single, married and divorced men—all handsome, all successful and all good guys—to share with me what life, love and the pursuit of marital bliss (or at least relational contentment) has taught them about what truly makes a woman someone they want to wife up.
Christopher, 48, Married
"Something that's really attractive to me is a woman who carries herself well in public. I'm not just talking about her appearance; a lot of women are great at that. I mean, someone who knows when to put her game face on. Whatever transpired at home or even on the way to where we're going, she doesn't feel the need to share it with others—whether it's with her words, her facial expressions or her energy."
"Men feel safe when the woman they love knows that their business is their business."
Stephen, 35, Single
"I'm looking for someone who's on the same vibration as me. I used to be the kind of person who thought that so long as I was attracted to someone and she was attracted to me that it was a true connection. Now I realize that we need to agree on certain things—ethics, values, faith. It's also important to be open to growth and to be able to receive new information without putting up a wall. I am always pursuing growth. Marriage material, to me, is a woman who can complement that because she's pursuing her own evolution too."
Marcus, 52, Divorced
"People really underestimate the power of interdependence. I'm drawn to a woman who knows that our relationship exists because we need to be able to lean and depend on one another. But, at the same time, she's still self-aware enough to be able to stand on her own."
Stephen, 46, Married
"A woman who takes on personal accountability for her actions is really attractive to me. I once heard my pastor say that a lot of us have a tendency to rationa-LIE our way out of things instead of taking ownership for what we do wrong. We'll deflect, shift blame, manipulate—do anything but say 'I was wrong. I apologize.' A lot of precious time can be spared if when you know you made a mistake or even did something that you knew was going to cause conflict that you just…own it. Otherwise, I start to wonder if there is some sneakiness or deception going on. And that leads to a breakdown in trust."
Jay, 50, Married
"Something that I didn't really consider before getting married is how important it is to be with a woman who truly believes in you. I don't just mean when it comes to supporting your dreams and goals."
"I mean someone who can look past your flaws and imperfections and still have your back. My wife does that and it's a real confidence-builder and super-empowering for me."
Aaron, 36, Married
"It's important for a woman to see sex and affection as more than just a desire; those are things that she needs to need just as much as I do. Some women use sex as nothing more than a bargaining chip and that is something a man can sense from a mile away. Marriage is too much of a long-term and serious commitment to be with someone who isn't as into intimacy as you are—or isn't at least willing to explore getting there."
Javis, 30, Single
"It's beautiful when a woman is really strong in her faith. Once you get married, so many things will test your love in your partner, sometimes even your faith in God. When a woman isn't swayed by trials or even her emotions during the hard times because she is unwavering in her faith, she is priceless."
"A woman who isn't enslaved by her feelings is golden."
Bryant, 28, Single
"I think a woman who encompasses peace is major marriage material. I think it's a misconception that men are afraid of commitment. What we're actually 'afraid' of is getting with someone who is going to bring anxiety and stress into our space—a woman who will make us feel like life was sooo much better when we were single. When we know that a woman is secure in herself and she thinks that 'home' should be synonymous with relational tranquility, we'll put a ring on her finger in a heartbeat!"
Wyman, 32, Married
"A woman who is sexy and knows it is marriage material to me. Sexiness isn't about looking like a cover model, being a size 0 or having long hair or a big butt. Sexiness is knowing what makes you different from everyone else and wanting to show that off, in and out of the bedroom. You can't be sexy and not be confident at the same time. Sexy women have sex with the lights on. Sexy women always have something spontaneous and a little mysterious up under their sleeve. Sexy women can draw you in with their eyes alone."
"Never underestimate the power of a truly sexy woman and how she can satisfy you in a marriage."
Donte', 39, Divorced
"Someone who embraces her femininity and respects my masculinity is fire. In my first marriage, it started to become more and more apparent that my wife wasn't looking for a man. She was looking for a woman who had male genitalia. Men and women are designed by God to have different approaches and feelings about, pretty much everything. Embracing that is what creates our balance. A woman who doesn't fight against that is one in a million."
This is some good stuff worth pondering. So, the next time you and your girlfriends are having a wine down and the topic of marriage material comes up, use this article to bring up some thinking points or FaceTime some of the men in your life. What they say just might surprise you. At the very least, you can trust it because it's coming from the male's perspective.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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