5…

 

On July 31, 2011, I embarked on a journey with a woman that I was in love with…madly in love with.  When I woke up that morning, the sun was shining bright and I had time to reflect as all of my groomsmen were recovering from the night before. I decided to take a walk through downtown Hartford to clear my head, reflect on my past, and focus on my future. I understood the gravity of the step that I was about to take and I accepted that with an open mind and open heart. I received a text from Orsella Cooper-Hughes, the Officiant of our wedding, who is a trusted family member and spiritual advisor. Her message to me was simple, “keep God first little cuz, today will be a great day”, and that it was! The fine details of the wedding went as planned. It was one of the hottest days of the summer, but it was an epic event and truly one of the greatest days of my life. When the party was over, the last vendor paid, the last rounds of toasts made, and the last of the guests departed. There remained my beautiful bride and me, left to start our journey with each other and God. That day was the beginning of us as husband and wife; the start of a marriage that has faced many ups and downs, heartache and happiness, challenges and triumphs. The past five years have been full of experiences and a wide range of emotions. It has tested our faith in God, our belief in ourselves and our belief in one another.

Sacrifice is one of the first thoughts that come to mind when I consider the first five years. Sacrifice is defined by Webster Dictionary as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” Our first year of marriage was defined by sacrificing comfort, money and time in order to solidify a better future for ourselves and our family. Throughout that period of sacrifice, there were experiences and stressors that we faced that have done a lot of other relationships in. Fortunately, we were blessed to have a good foundation established by our pre-marital counseling, a strong faith in our relationship, a real friendship that was formulated prior to intimacy and God as our guide. Oh and one other big thing, we did not allow others to “peek into our blinds” by taking to social media with our issues. We were and continue to be selective in what we choose to share with the rest of the world, some things simply aren’t for everyone to see. When the times have gotten rough, we put down the electronic devices, draw closer to one another and our trusted few.

Acceptance and support have been huge in our union. When Melissa walked down that aisle, she walked into the arms of a very flawed man who was and remains a work in progress. She knew what she was getting herself into, as did I. We have accepted one another for who we are, what we bring to the table and what we lack. Though there has been a ton of acceptance, there has been very little settling. Though we have accepted the fact that the other person has flaws, we do not settle for anything but the best from one another. That means that there are difficult conversations that need to be had and many “GET IN THE CAR” moments (that’s an insider that a few of you will understand). Another aspect of acceptance is accepting the dreams of the person that you devote yourself to and supporting them in every endeavor. Anybody that knows me knows that I am an extremely active person with big dreams and lots of goals. My dreams and goals come with a price and that price is usually time. I thank God that I have someone by my side that supports my endeavors, listens to my dreams and helps me to make sense out of the best way to achieve them. As our lives have grown, so has the list of dreams, projects, and endeavors that my wife has taken on. I have tried my hardest to be intentional about reciprocating the support and encouragement that she has given to me. The balance of being each other’s biggest fan is important and necessary.

Fun is extremely important to have with your partner. Make time for one another to do the things that make you happy. Whether it’s a date night once a month, spending time with a group of friends that you both enjoy or simply finding a babysitter and having dinner without interruptions from the little ones in your life, enjoying one another’s company is helpful. It reminds you of the “magic” that led you to commit to forever with one another, it helps you to remember that in the midst of all of the curve balls that life throws, you have one another. It also provides a very necessary balance to the grind of building and securing the future of your family.

Lastly, love one another and love unconditionally. There will be good days and there will be bad. There will be disagreements, rolled eyes, raised voices and moments of “I can’t stand you right now”. During those moments, remember to love. In the midst of financial turmoil, choose love. When the doctor gives a bad report, choose love. When there’s a loss of loved ones and other forms of heartache, choose love. When your pride tells you to try to get the last word, choose love. No matter what the situation or circumstance….choose love. In order to choose love, you must remember to focus on love and what it is about the person across from you that made you fall in love. Be intentional about telling them what they do that makes you fall in love all over again and focus on making those things happen for your partner.

Remember that there will be times in which choosing love does not seem like the answer, during those times….choose to PRAY for the person that you love. I am a man that is far from perfect and what works for my relationship may not work for you. This is MY view on what has sustained the first five years of my marriage. I am blessed to have an amazing wife who has taught me what love, acceptance, support, and encouragement is. I truly cannot imagine what my life would be like without my wife. She is an amazing wife, mother, step-mother, and friend. She is goal oriented, driven and did I mention –she is drop dead gorgeous! I look forward to many more milestones with her and the growth of my family. I believe in love because of her and I believe that love always wins when you want it to.

Happy Anniversary to the most amazing woman in the world and cheers to forever!

 

Tai D. Richardson
#AreYouVSOP #TheVSOPLife
Like, Follow and Share @Thevsoplife Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook

V.S.OP Vision Board Challenge

Virtually Seizing Opulence CHALLENGE

#VisionBoardChallenge

It took 7 days to create the world as we know it. A lifetime was spent from up high pondering the perfect plan of action. Like a game of chess, every move was strategic. Life as we know it began with a Vision. Even the great creator, whatever you may call him/her/it, executed a masterpiece that was deemed perfect, and everything was as it should be. The word VISION takes on a powerful meaning not easily gifted to random empty vessels. Webster defines the word as the ACT or POWER of IMAGINATION: UNUSUAL discernment or FORESIGHT.  Every great man or woman that has done something eventful, that impacted the world, started with a vision. All great leaders have a very POWERFUL testimony as it relates to having a VISION that they put into ACTION.  

So why are we even discussing thoughts and ideals that surround the makeup of elite visionaries?  Well it’s that time of year again. 2016 is among us, and we all share something in common as we depart the present year. Many of us typically sit back quietly and do a true evaluation of self. Personally, I always take a look at my year end review and assess where I am in life. People across the globe speak about plans for their NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. People who know me can attest to my creative capacity. I have been told I am an innovative person that is full of ideas. One of my personal mottos is “My vision is clear, now let the journey begin.” Most of the time when I have a vision, it usually happens first thing early in the morning. I see an amazing ending to something that I would like to do. That thought alone excites me enough to pursue maximum efforts to begin working on the project. My business partners and friends get so frustrated with me often. They say that I give them ideas that are “end sighted” (yes, I just made that up).  I have been told that my vision, when presented only consists of the X-Z while A-W is lost, unclear, or not properly outlined.  

Have you ever had a dream that excited you, but you only remembered how great the ending was? When trying to tell a friend all about your dream, you get so frustrated because everything that led up to the ending remains a blur. You remain excited while they’re stuck in between a delayed chuckle or the, “I had to be there” type of awkward moment. That’s how a lot of us set goals and articulate our visions to others and, most importantly, ourselves. The disappointing fact about my ideas is simple. I leave a lot of ideas on the table because I lose sight of the vision after the initial thrill or excitement wears off. As I exit 2015 and approach 2016, I want to be sure that I eliminate this problem so that I can properly and successfully MASTER my goals. Around this time last year, I was speaking to a good friend of mine, Elijah Oliver aka Take Flyght Captain, and he mentioned something about completing his yearly vision board. Strangely enough I never really paid that concept any mind until I started writing this piece here tonight.  What is this “VISION BOARD” and how can it help me be an elite coal conqueror? Let’s take a closer look.

 

#VISIONBOARDCHALLENGE

WHAT IS A VISION BOARD?  A vision board is one of the most powerful ways to help navigate your way to help you clarify, concentrate and remain consistent towards achieving your goals. You are Picasso, Mozart, and Steven Spielberg; given a blank canvas or script for you to begin manufacturing your vision as you see it.  By gathering a list of images, words, pictures, or slogans you can orchestrate a harmonic symphony of your visual goals.

WHO IS A VISION BOARD FOR?  This vision board is for anyone that is looking for an exciting way to organize their expression of self. Vision boards can be utilized by anyone in any capacity, as a way to act as a visual reminder of what you aspire to achieve.

 

HOW DO I MAKE A VISION BOARD? The V.S.OP way is simple.

Identify the person places or things that encompass your NOUNS.

  1. Who are people/persons you want to associate with to help you with your goals?
  2. What are some places you wish to visit, travel to, or retire in life?
  3. What are things that you absolutely enjoy and make you happy? How do you reward yourself?

 

Write down ADJECTIVES that drive your personality. How would you describe yourself?

  1. Be honest with yourself. What are a few things about your personality that have delayed your goals?
  2. What are words or images that you can use to articulate positive energy that will serve as a reminder of who you are and what you excel at?

 

Finally select three VERBS to drive your why. (You why is a specific reason why your goals are important to you)

  1. Be organized and plan for success.
  2. Be action oriented and put your plan into fruition.
  3. Be motivated and resilient as obstacles present themselves.

 

WHAT MATERIALS ARE NEEDED? This project is very simple and can be completed with just a few pieces of material.

  1. A pen and paper to brainstorm your Nouns, Adjectives, & Verbs
  2. A poster board, scissors, glue
  3. Magazines, internet printings of images

 

WHEN DO I BEGIN? Well there is just only one question. #AreYouVSOPIf you are reading this BLOG, you have already begun. The challenge is on. You have now been chosen to participate in the vision board challenge.  I challenge you to send this blog to 7 people on your social media and give them 7 days to post pictures and videos of their vision board on social media. Organize vision board parties with your peers and start 2016 off with a bang. No Goals Left Behind!  Join the members of V.S.OP with The VISION BOARD CHALLENGE. The journey is on. #AreYouVSOP #VisionBoardChallenge

 

 

Mr. Nice Guy Signing Off

@thevsoplife

Happy New Year

Feature Image from http://ethnicskinaficionado.com/vision-boards/

What About EVE?

Image By: Mihai Criste

The coolness of the waters from the waves that fled the ocean kissed the tip of her toes. She lay naked in the sand as her eyes slowly gave birth to the stillness of the autumn breeze. Her nostrils inhaled the sweet fragrance of the sea and distant scents hailing from Eden. Life began to settle into her nervous system and she arose from the earth confused, alone and hesitant to take her first steps. As she began to wade along the shallow shore, she noticed what appeared to be a breathless life lying across the sand. Her eyes were immediately stricken with admiration, adornment and compassion. She fell down on one knee and began to nurse the appearance of an open wound that rendered “him” unconscious.

For days she sat by his side until he came to. When he awoke to her presence, he instantly fell in love and rejoiced in the Lord for fulfilling the emptiness of his heart. All the riches of the world that he ruled and governed couldn’t compare to what he felt for her. She did not need to worry, because she had everything that she could ever want, need or desire; yet in still, she felt something and had no explanation for her intuition.

One day she woke up and much to her surprise, he was not there. She felt abandoned, vulnerable and left with the responsibility of making independent decisions. For just a few moments she grew ignorant to the ideals that were instilled in her by his wisdom and understanding of his ordained leadership appointed from above. Wandering in unfamiliar land, she was intrigued by her own intuition simply because she didn’t understand why she lacked knowledge of all things that her flesh desired. Who would have thought that this one decision would have a detrimental effect on society and would shift the atmosphere in the universe for everyone? With no knowledge of her true identity, the moment she sunk her teeth into the forbidden fruit, she became EVE.

Eve, who told you that you were naked?

 

Who is Eve? The world has taken our most perfect creation, and given her an infinite amount of subjective, gender specific, stereotypes. If someone were to ask me to list a series of adjectives, to give life to the meaning of the word WOMAN, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. The thought to me seems too overly complex. Pondering who she is, why she is, what she is, and how she is, honestly makes me feel uncomfortable and somewhat judgmental. I love her because she completes me. However, my heart is broken as I watch the world objectify and take her for granted, it makes my blood boil. I also understand that there is a glass ceiling that needs to be shattered by her mighty fist. I sympathize with her plight caused by years of classlessness along with glorification of her sexual presence. In all of her tribulations I remain proud of her, because her spirit continues to thrive. Even in barren lands of loneliness due to the absence, oppression and exploitation by Adam, she emerges. Over time, she has redefined herself, but one question still lingers in the atmosphere: “What about Eve?”  As we continue to toil with the the appropriate language to “diagnose” the role of EVE, let me abolish any idea that we can simply restrict the spirit of EVE by sealing an air tight top on a glass jar and labeling it, “THE ROLE OF A WOMAN.” Just look at our failed attempts as we continue calling her out of her name.

She told me she hated her father shortly after receiving word of his passing. The man that was supposed to be her super-hero failed her by simply not being present. A father was never present in the men she chose to lay with. A father was never there to remind her how beautiful she was. So she found her spirit dormant; late at night all she had were her words. Her pen spoke to her book of rhymes as she confided deep dark secrets in between each page. She grew up confused and cursed the man that now lays six feet deep. She thought her dark skin made her ugly, while her natural hair made her feel less appealing to her light skinned,long haired counterparts.  Her son Patrick reminds her so much of her no good “baby daddy” and she continues to struggle to secure a good man. Someone once told me that the easiest woman to sleep with was a female that has low self esteem and daddy issues. It has come to the point in her life where she concludes there are no good men anywhere.  We call her Angry.

I went to college with her in 2005. I recently saw a photo of her graduating at top of her class from Columbia University. She looked so proud and radiant on Facebook, as she stood next to the President of the University. Smiling as the photographer captured the moment, she became Dr. Cynthia Matthews. Cynthia is doing pretty well for herself financially. At 29 years old she owns her own condo and drives a beautiful Mercedes Benz E550. Her rich taste in fashion adores Louis Vuitton, Versace and Donna Karan. She often frequents happy hours with her co-workers that are well known to the movers and shakers in her industry with hopes of expanding her network. The conversation varies between the light hearted jokes, diversifying financial portfolios, exotic vacations, and fine cuisine (her own version of Sex and the City). There is no sight of a  significant other, so she masturbates her way through her nonexistent sex life. She absolutely has no desire to settle for any man that does not bring equal value to her lifestyle. We call her Independent.

Stephanie has a lot of self confidence, and she proudly displays her voluptuous 36- 24- 42 measurements. You assume all she does is work at a strip club and host parties with local rappers and club promoters.  However, in reality she works as a Nurse in a hospital as a career. In addition to her amazing body and exotic appearance, Stephanie is independent and extremely personable. However, she is all over Facebook and other social media outlets, with her assets and liabilities on “Front Street,”doing it for the “likes”. Her life is fairly simple and her lifestyle is easily acquired. Her motto is very common to many, “F@ck N!g@$$, Get MONEY”. She doesn’t understand why females feel the need to hate on her, because to her, they are “UGLY.” In addition she snickers wittingly, and asks, “why is their man always in my inbox?” She tweeted once, “the same man you say won’t respect me or take me seriously in a relationship is the same man that doesn’t take you seriously, because he’s cheating on you with me. So l’m going to get this money, you can keep the man.” The youth of today call her a THOT.

Isn’t that Rachel? The same girl that was just with Darin a month ago? Yea that’s her.  She also used to date one of my college football teammates, and my frat brother Justin. I think she’s just had a string of bad luck. Heart break after heartbreak, things just never seemed to work out for her. It’s a shame too, because she’s a very nice girl. She’s smart, good looking and she sure can fry her some fish! Wait, but who’s that girl she’s with though? No, don’t tell Mona got her now. The neighborhood dyke strikes again. Mona often used to tell me how she just waits patiently for the next heart broken female to come running to her when they are simply sick and tired of being sick and tired of men. So she reaps the benefits and helps them identify with certain aspects of their sexuality. I mean who could blame her? You call her a Lesbian, but you believe it’s all a front. 

All Jennifer wants is equality for women, if a man can do it so can she. After all, who wrote the book on double standards anyway? She wants equal wages for all women, she doesn’t want to be sexually restricted by the subjective views forced on her by men. She speaks with an astute, yet witty vocabulary and has every intention of leaving a relevant and direct point of view. The woman with the iron fist sores to the raptures and shatters the glass ceiling. Her persona and presence will not be forecasted to identify with a gender specific role. She stands in the middle of a protest ridden highway intersection topless and calling for justice. The world calls her a Feminist.

She is brave, educated, ambitious, sexy and irreplaceable. Regardless of our personal opinion and slightly chauvinistic points of views at time, as men we have to continue to uplift our women. The true knowledge of self is forever evolving. The woman that bit from the tree of knowledge is no different than the women of today, who continue to seek knowledge of self. As life continues to tempt her with images of man-made doctrine and ideals, she just may sample the fruit that is most appealing to her. One thing for sure, she never stopped loving Adam and she never tore down his identity of masculinity, even in states of emotional disconnect and spiritual warfare. As Eve continues to toil through stereotypes while breaking down the barriers of her social class, she remains wounded yet triumphant. I call her a WARRIOR. 

The perfect gift, that’s what she is. Whispers of God’s promise to him, she became a wife. Eve is an architect and a creator of life that lays out a blueprint to build and replenish the nation with the future of our next generation. She is a teacher of God’s word and she is a healer; as she saves lives of the sick in hospitals all over the world. She is an intellectual, delivering powerful opening and closing arguments to defend the innocent and prosecute the guilty in the court of law. Eve is a Mayor, Governor and possibly the first female President of the United States. The day Eve became empowered with the knowledge of her true self, she decided that she could literally be anything that she so desired. So yes, What About Eve?  As you continue to decide what you want her to be, she will continue to rise and progress past any stigma that we place on her. Her role in society will continue to be an evolution of transition.

 

Adam called out to her and the enemy fled. Eve batted her eyes and used her sexy appearance to lure Adam into a sense of confusion. She asked him why can’t we partake of this fruit in the garden. It looks so good and I am dying to know what it tastes like. Adam replied, Eve here I am. I am all that you need to satisfy your curiosity of life. Now follow me, take my hand and let’s replenish this nation. And Eve threw down the fruit, took her husband’s hand and toiled not for the rest of their lives. Adam was home and Eve never broke a sweat as long as she lived. She had no reason to feel insecure, helpless, and defeated. Together they filled each other up with everything they needed. And remained naked in Eden.Or NAW?

 

By:MR NICE GUY

Twitter: MrNiceGuyVSOP
IG: Trev.s.op
#AreYouVSOP

+1? 4Y!? (Plus One For Why?!)

So I’m reading this blog that I frequent, and one of the writers wrote a post about Netflix passwords. Within this Netflix password post, he starts with an anecdote about plus-one events like weddings (and eventually got to how sharing Netflix passwords with significant others is a thing, but then you gotta change the password when it’s over because the plus one on the password is no longer a plus one… really good stuff). Anyway, I couldn’t get my mind off of the plus one at a wedding. It was just a part of this writer’s set up, but it’s a common thing that people think and I can’t wrap my mind around it. Like, WHY would anybody feel the need for a plus one at a wedding?

Let’s break down what is happening in the scenario. In order to feel the need to have a plus one, said person is single. Not single like unmarried, this person is actually single. How do we know? We know because it’s a wedding, bro. I had the biggest wedding that I’ve ever been to. 250 invites that led to 220 attendees, and the guest list was a huge hassle! The wife and I fought over the guest list many a night. This means that lots of thought is put into the guest list, and everybody who is invited has been scrutinized. We see you when you’re sleeping, we know when you’re awake, we know if you live with your girl and if your relationship is serious (for goodness sake). If your relationship is serious, then two spots are saved with the quickness. If your situationship is NOT serious or if you’re not in a situationship, then you’re single, and you don’t get that plus one.

*SIDEBAR* Being that guest lists and weddings are generally on the small side, do you realize how important that invitation is? That invitation may say “You are cordially invited to blah blah blah” but what it really means is “Ay bruh, you are one of my closest MANS! You know, like REALLY important to me. Important enough that I’m gonna spend over 100 bucks on you to come eat and drink with me on the MOST IMPORTANT day of my life and all you gotta do is show up.” Do you non married people realize how dope that is? *SIDEBAR CLOSED*

Anyway, so now you’re a part of the chosen few. Keep in mind, each party only gets half of the guest list (anybody that knows me… do you realize how hard it was to limit my list to 125?!). Then the single people will send a text and ask “yo, bro… uh… what’s good with a plus 1?”. You wanna make somebody mad? Send THAT text to a person who decided you were worthy of being on their wedding guest list. That person already fought their fiancée to get you on the list last week, and didn’t get any sex as a result, and now you wanna ask for an additional person? C’mon son!

However, I get it. Society, magazines, TV, and movies make y’all feel like you need to bring a date. Fair enough. But again, let’s break this down. You’re going to celebrate a union of love between two people. Everyone loves that. The most thuggish dudes will look away during written vows to ensure that thug tear doesn’t soak his velvet suit. Everyone is smitten with love. That’s how weddings work. But have y’all not thought about who attends weddings? ALL OF THE BRIDE’S SINGLE FRIENDS! And while the thug is looking away, the brides friends said f*%k it and their brand new form fitting dress has tears soaking the straps of their halter top. Tears of happiness, and tears of yearning for THAT type of love. This is the beach, my friend. Why bring the sand?!

After the ceremony, there’s generally a cocktail hour with passed out hors d’oeuvres and free liquor. Think about this fellas. This is like the best supermarket run you’ve ever had. Instead of reaching for the same tomato and having to make small talk, you and a finely dressed lady that is still swooning over the love in the air, are reaching for the same bland stuffed mushroom plate and with an alcoholic drink in your hand and an automatic commonality that you both can easily bring up to break the ice. If that’s not a Chris Paul to Blake Griffin alley-oop, I don’t know what is. Additionally, you JUST started drinking so you still have your wits about you!

Still not convinced? Cool. Let’s play out the plus one scenario. You asked the baddest single woman you know to stunt on these hoes at the wedding. You pick her up and she looks like a Thanksgiving spread at Grandma’s crib. You’re hyped. You roll up there and help her out the car door (because you’re reading VSOP and you’re a gentleman #nshit). You roll up in the wedding with her on your arm. Every dude there gives the mandatory black man’s head nod. Every chick gives her and you the once over. You even see some eye rolls. You won! Then cocktail hour happens. You can’t really mingle how you wanted to because you have to introduce her to all your boys. You can’t meet anybody attractive cause that’s kinda disrespectful. You have to continually get up and get her drinks if she’s not very social, because she doesn’t know anybody there. You can only really dance with her all night because the other attractive women are swooped up by the real unattached guys there and they’re looking for love. Now you’re bored and as a result you drink too much and your date gets mad at you and now y’all gotta call an Uber and leave early. You just had a night of introductions and conversation with somebody you don’t really care ALL that much about. On top of that you heard rumors that one of the bride’s male friends dirty macked on her while you were getting her a drink and he bagged it. That night sounds like it sucks to me.

Furthermore, two months later, the two of you decide it’s not really working out. The sex got repetitive, the conversation was lacking, your friends don’t intermingle well, she’s a vegan and judges you for eating a steak, you prefer ESPN to episodes of The Bachelor, and you heard that she was seen at the movies with the bride’s friend from the wedding. Yup. Soak that in. So what did you actually do here? You just brought a random, who nobody will ever see or think about again, to the event that your good friend threw to celebrate the most important day of his life. You took pictures with said random that are in your friend’s wedding photo album FOREVER. That random took away a seat from another important person in your friend’s life, and it’s all for not. Thanks, homie.

So don’t be that guy. Don’t bring replaceable sand to the beach. Don’t ask for a plus one. You’re just causing damage. Embrace your single. Find your new queen (for the night) there. I’m not saying that this happened at my wedding or anything… but you MIGHT get lucky in the bridesmaid suite with one of the bride’s homies. Love is in the air, after all.

By: Doug R.

@wildmanjones

#AreYouVSOP

Love Triangles : The Truth Behind Cheating Part I

Okay, picture this:

A popular couple named Mary and John are in a long-term, committed relationship. To onlookers, it seems that Mary and John are happy. Friends and associates often witness public displays of affection from each partner, banter, and innocent flirting. Occasionally, Mary and John will even declare their love for one another on social media for the world to bear witness. So needless to say, it is obvious that these two individuals are in a monogamous relationship. In fact, those friends within the social circle idealize their union. That said, the fact remains that what is shown publicly is not always a true representation of what happens behind closed doors. What if I told you that despite the illusion of this great relationship, that a number of problems occur in Mary and John’s relationship? What if the reality was that John has been cheating with a woman we will call Jessica–a sexual relationship that predates Mary and John as a couple?And not surprisingly, Mary is unaware of Jessica’s identity….but oddly enough, she knows that her boo is unfaithful and may have had several affairs outside the relationship. To make matters more interesting, Jessica is very much aware that John is in a relationship, but continues on as his secret lover. Well John, Mary, and Jessica are members in love triangle.

Now, if you had a reaction of disgust towards Jessica in her role within this affair, you more than likely share the reaction of mainstream society. After all, the mistress, for one reason or another, is typically the one deemed most accountable in situations like the one described above. And more often than not, we relate with Mary, label John a “2 timing jerk,” and refer to Jessica as a “home wrecker,” or a “hoe.” And let’s face it, John is usually forgiven and given a clean slate, even after repeated offenses. Meanwhile, the”other girl’s” image is tarnished and she is devalued by both men and women alike. Being that this is a controversial topic, the voice of the “side chick” often goes unheard, in fear that she will be shamed and judged for her lack of self control. An experience far too taboo to address, leaving the mistress silenced from expressing her viewpoints and conveniently protecting the cheater’s reputation.

Love triangles are known as interactions between three individuals within a relationship system, by which each member carries out a pattern of behaviors that create an unhealthy relationship cycle. Love triangles can serve a few functions. In most systems, it is used to alleviate stress within a primary love relationship. The 3rd person in this case is used as a distraction to provide temporary relief from relationship conflicts. In other cases, the unfaithful partner may pull in a 3rd person when feeling insecure in the primary relationship (i.e.: suspicions that their partner may be cheating and therefore he or she must beat partner to the punch). The security provided by the 3rd person may also compensate for some voids within the primary love relationship. In this dynamic, the unfaithful partner may place the 3rd person on reserve as an alternate love interest (just in case the main partner breaks up with him/her). Some cheaters tend to also gain a sense of power and control through cheating. Cheating, for these people, provides a feeling of empowerment– it allows the cheater to make up for relationship failures by feeling successful in other areas of his/her life. However, simply put, cheating can be viewed as a red flag for low self esteem; a need to be desired by others as a means of gaining approval. Those individuals who cheat, even in secure relationships, utilize cheating as a way to build self-confidence. The acceptance provided by the 3rd person tells the cheater that he/she is wanted. In all, for the cheater, admiration seeking becomes addictive; a hunger that is never fully satisfied.

Now given the details of this “love” pattern, we can now ask the obvious question. Why, would a “side piece”, continue “creeping?” Here are some answers. Jessica similarly to Mary, has a co-dependent personality. A co-dependent in any unhealthy relationship, will place lower priority on his/her personal needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of the dependent. In fact, co-dependents indirectly encourage cheaters to continue cheating! Prioritizing the needs of others and neglecting the self is not at all uncommon in co-dependent individuals. But what the co-dependent may not be aware of is how his/her “selfless” acts empower a person who may likely crave control, and who has become masterful at the art of manipulation. Other factors to consider are what makes the co-dependent more prone to this personality trait. Arguably, one may consider nature vs nurture; the idea that personality is formed by environmental or biological causes. In short, one develops co-dependency via their social environment (home, school, media, etc). Those individuals who have been exposed to domestic abuse, not exclusive to physical abuse, but also including mental and emotional abuse, are most vulnerable. Although, some may say that co-dependence is just natural in some personalities. Co-dependency also plays a major role in self-esteem and self-worth, as the overly selfless often learn from their environments that they are undeserving, and therefore unworthy of healthy love relationships. This trait is found at the root of all obsessive lovers and explains why co-dependents stay in love triangles. So basically, co-dependents remain as a side piece because their main objective is to keep their ‘lover’ happy by any means, perhaps in hopes that they will at some point become the main lover. This thinking is sometimes driven by manipulations of the cheater, who may give the co-dependent false hope for a future. In terms of morality however, the co-dependent becomes  ‘numb’ after having been involved in cheating cycles for so long.

To conclude, love triangles are clearly very unhealthy. They hinder growth in love relationships and cause considerable emotional damage. And cheating problems seen in love triangles are far more complicated than uncontrollable lust–they are driven by complex emotional, behavioral, and social issues.

 In the follow-up blogs, we will take a further look at the profiles of the cheater and the main partner.

Disclaimer: The statements outlined in this blog do not define all situations seen in cheating dynamics, but rather discusses a basic overview on the principles of infidelity, and factors that may contribute to such relationship systems. Furthermore, the character names used in this blog are fictional. Any connection to real life events or actual persons is purely coincidental.

By: Saylor C Brook

Disclaimer: The statements outlined in this blog do not define all situations seen in cheating dynamics, but rather discusses a basic overview on the principles of infidelity, and factors that may contribute to such relationship systems. Furthermore, the character names used in this blog are fictional. Any connection to real life events or actual persons is purely coincidental. 

Trending Topics: #Marriage

In an age when time and space are conquered by technology, we have become so digitally intimate and involved with the lives of those both near and far. The dissemination of personal information no longer requires the archaic phone-call. Word of mouth is mastered under the140 character format. No more dialing to update the family on the good news. Instead, those fingers will type your happiness and send it out for the world to see in less than a minute! How could you possibly deny it? Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) has taken our private lives and made them 24/7 accessible and assessable. No longer are the days when our lives and experiences were shared one to one. Rather, we “post” our lives for all of our friends’ review, in hopes that we’ll win the unspoken, but extremely intense, “like” war. It’s actually rather ironic, when you consider how close we’ve become as a people while driving the actual intimacy out of our real lives.

Anyway. To the point! While discussing life and love, a friend and I stumbled upon the not-so new phenomenon of young marriage. Why are “everybody and their mammas” getting married and having kids, while we, more career driven and goal-oriented folk, instead chase personal growth and success? What makes marriage and children so appealing in their 20’s? I know that I barely know myself well enough to bring another person into my life for the rest my life, let alone to bring another human into the world that will depend on me while I’m still searching for me. We went on to talk (actually text, ironically) about how social media plays a part in all of it.  Are our friends following a trend? Maybe they’re being subconsciously triggered by images of Bey and Jay on the run with little Blue. Surely the glamour of Kim and Kris Hum– I mean Kanye’s marriage, combined with the arrival of beautiful baby North West has some influence. Yes of course that’s part of it, but the bigger picture is not so farfetched as it may seem. They may actually be following (pun intended) their biggest influences…each other!

There’s a science to it, I swear. See, our digital selves are vastly different from our real selves. With social media, one has the ability to create a façade around a coal of a life with every selective post, eventually making diamonds for others to admire.  Quite literally, DIAMONDS! (Assuming you’re in your 20’s) How do you feel when your friend posts that engagement rock selfie that says her boyfriend of 3 years “liked it so he put a ring on it”? Genuinely happy of course, but I’m sure that some self-searching is soon to ensue. Some, if not most, will wonder why they haven’t attained that level of happiness. In fact, I’ve seen the jealousy with my own eyes! It looks and sounds like “I’m so sick of seeing ______’s post about her wedding! Like, do we all need to know that you’re getting married every minute of every day? Some of us just want to live our boring unromantic lives and eat pizza.” (not an actual quote but #ijs) I imagine this person is either out there somewhere filling that gaping hole with a slice or making efforts toward finding “something real”. I personally am a sucker for children and always find myself thinking, “I would do that right now if I just had the money.” …Who the hell am I kidding?! I’m 25 and don’t have a pot to piss in!

What I’m saying is social media has downgraded and uploaded the social experience. We are no longer following tradition, but rather images… on instagram. Back in the day (don’t know when) people married young for economic reasons or out of arrangement, sometimes even for love. Today it almost seems as though we’re getting married young because everyone will “like” it. Now, I’m not knocking anyone’s happiness. Whatever’s real is beautiful, and if yours is a real love then I salute you. I just worry that it all makes a sacred ritual and “the miracle” extremely trivial. Couldn’t those wedding funds be used to build financial stability? One honeymoon vs one hundred vacations? Are we evolving or dissolving? Any thoughts?… Tweet em.

 

by: Jared Dixon
@itsjdixon
http://www.jaredixon.net

 

I Don’t Need A Mentor

The most common mistake that young professionals make upon entering a workforce is assuming that the knowledge that they acquire in school both (both in and out of the classroom) is enough to deem them successful in their first job. From the growing number of degree holding professionals seeking employment and the limited number of jobs, we know that this is not true. There are many factors outside of the dichotomous experience of college (academic & practical) that determine your success as a young professional, some that you might have control of and some you may not even be aware of.

As young professionals we come into our new industries believing that we have been equipped with all the tools that it takes to become an effective professional because of what we learned in school. What we do not realize is that we have been taught to use so many different tools to make us successful in the field that we may not necessarily know how to appropriately use or master any one becoming as the saying goes a “jack of all trades but a master of none”. The tools that we have acquired through the education process are usually surface level and in a hypothetical setting so the experience has some value but not as rich as a professional who is immersed into the work. Over the span of  four to seven years of higher education (undergraduate and graduate) learning we are introduced to concepts and theories but there are many experiences that are outside the world of academia that can only be taught through experience. Although, internships, co-ops, practicums and fieldwork serve as great additions to the classroom experience there is still something to be said about a full-time professional who has experienced the full gamut of the position and field that you are in.

So how does one fully gain advantage in such a tough economic climate? Simple, mentorship! Well maybe not simple but it is definitely easier than struggling or being stuck in your entry level  or current position. It is said that young professionals who have mentors are more likely to succeed in their industry as opposed to those who do not. Realistically, that kind of makes sense, right? Think of mentorship as professional parenting. The role of most parents is to make sure that their children have a guided but not restricted experience throughout life. The parent serves as a resource for the child to tap into when they face dilemmas or difficult decision making situations. The ideal parent allows their child to make mistakes but still advises and shields them from the dangers of the world. In event that the child’s parents does not have the answers or advice that the child needs the parent may tap into a larger resource which is the familiar structure (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins) to find the appropriate answers. Think of mentorship the same way! Having a mentor allows you to not only get one on one advice and guidance but it grants you the opportunity to tap into your mentors professional network so that you can have your questions answered or be advised in the right direction.

Even though its ideal to have a mentor, the whole process of acquiring one can be very intimidating. We’ve made a “how-to” list which, will serve as a guide as you begin to seek a suitable mentor:

1. Identifying a desirable mentor
2. Approaching your possible mentor
3. Create a plan with your mentor
4. Scheduling frequent meetings
5. Asking for new challenges/ways to grow

Be on the look out as we begin to break down each component of our list to fully equip you in your quest for mentorship. Share your thoughts on the benefits of having a mentor or your personal stories highlighting your personal journey in receiving mentorship in your professional lives.

Now there’s only one question #AreYouVSOP?

 

Living with a purpose

Young professionals face a number of different challenges in their journey. Whether it is trying to establish a family, career or just figuring out who you are, it is inevitable that you will be challenged. You get one chance at life, so live it to the best of your abilities and most importantly, treat each day as an opportunity to define your legacy. When you leave this earth you will not be defined by the kind of car you drove, the clothes you wore, or how much money was in your bank account; but rather, the impact that you had on those around you. Now please don’t get my wrong, I like nice clothes, I appreciate nice cars and I love money, so if you can acquire those things while living a fruitful and productive life, by all means please do so.

The first point that I want you to consider is that instant gratification only leads to temporary elation. Do not allow yourself to be tricked into taking the easy way out in your quest for success. We live in a society in which we are used to things readily available. Because of this, we can fall into the trap that success should come without struggle. This brings me to another rule to live by; things just don’t happen, people make things happen. If you want to become a doctor, a lawyer, a hair stylist, or a master electrician, you must be willing to put in the work in order to see that dream come true. You must be willing to go through some periods in life that are downright uncomfortable and lonely because you may have to give up some temporary things AND people in order to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself. You must get rid of the old way of thinking that good things come to those who wait and replace it with the notion that good things come to those who WORK. Anything worth having is worth working for, and if my talents, skills and dedication can’t get it for me, then I probably don’t need it. When you work meticulously to be a master of your craft then you position yourself to be lucky. Now I know that I may have thrown some of you for a loop, I just rambled on about not taking the easy way out, working hard to accomplish your goals and now I’m talking about luck? When I talk about luck, I am not talking about Mohegan Sun on a Friday night at the roulette table, but instead the words that were spoken by the Roman Philosopher and Politician, Seneca who stated that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. The truth of the matter is that we are never fully aware of when an opportunity is going to come our way, so we must always be on top of our game and prepared to show that we are worthy of what is put before us. So we’ve spoken a little bit about being the best that you can be as far as goal setting is concerned, however that is only half the battle. You have gotten where you are today because you have shown a willingness to work hard to achieve whatever personal goals you want to achieve. Now comes the fun part, going out into the world and making things happen. Each person in the world has something to contribute, whether good or bad, whether big or small, we all make a contribution to society as a whole. The challenge is to identify what you are currently contributing to society and to assess if your contribution is having the impact that you want it to have. You should know what your best is and you should know what your limitations are, if you allow society to determine these things for you, you are bound to be lost, unsatisfied, angry, depressed and unproductive. Here are three things to consider as you attempt to fulfill your purpose in life

 

  1. See thing as they are but not worse than they are– simply put be real with yourself and those that are looking to you for guidance, when placed in a situation it is important to view it at face value. Over exaggeration is not necessary, never make a situation more than it needs to be. You will spend your entire life putting out fires so don’t add unnecessary drama to any circumstance that you are facing.

  2. Have a true and genuine care for the well being of others– part of your charge moving forward is to help improve the quality of life for all humans, not just for yourself. In your pursuit of the “American Dream”, carve out some time to serve your community in some way, shape or form. I have come to realize that I have gained a greater sense of my purpose in life and career interests through the work that I have done for and with others.

  3. Identify one thing that you are really good at and become great at it- We live in a world where many people are ‘Jacks of all trades and masters of nothing”. Instead, identify something that you truly want to be great at and seek out opportunities to build your skill set in that area.

These are just a few steps to consider as you establish yourself and your purpose in life. Stay tuned for our next installment of Around the Water Cooler. Be blessed!

WHAT IS YOUR MISSION

 

-In My Humble Opinion

 

I Love Him Because I Hate Myself pt.2: DRUNK IN LOVE

Photo Credit: @thablck5heep

Drunk in Love
Breathing through that last glass of wine
That travels through your veins
Escaping your present state of mind
Eloping to a conscious diluted coma
Engulfed in flames surrounding your den of lies
Burning a sweet fragrance
to disguise the aura of bullshits aroma

You be all night

Lust fills your eyes and releases
The time that flies by during the week
Where quality time is returned null and void

Incomplete
conveniently available when the moon speaks
you reply first yea I’m not sleep,
to him 1st message received out of 3
so you win and he knows what that means

You be all night

Filled with the symphony of melodies
Allowing your body to become his piano keys
He plays you
But in your world he’s making love to you
And it feels good
As long as your well is filled with 90 proof
So you feel all of him, skin to skin
You cant move swimming in his kids

You be all night

Drunk in love
You be all night
But in the Morning……

Greetings and salutations, welcome to the continuation of the “I Love Him But I Hate Myself” series. If you have not done so already, I invite you to be brought up to speed by reading the first post in this series, “LOVE…So Many People Use Your Name In Vain.” To fully understand the context and theories of my opinion, it would best serve you as the reader to digest the aforementioned. This blog is entitled, “Drunk In Love.” Do enjoy

 

Dear Ladies:

His name was Dorian. He attended a major university and had the presence of the most desired male on campus. A superstar athlete, scholastic achiever and philosophical philanthropist that had a smile that spoke to the wind. I mean ladies adored him as if he were their cold glass of iced tea on a hot Georgia day. When he spoke, women gazed into his eyes and became lost with his words and astute presence. Standing over six feet tall, his clothes complemented his masculinity, creating an uproar of competition and admiration. Blinded with tunnel vision, Dorian only had eyes for one lady. Her name was Lena. Lena played hard to get because she too was a very attractive woman that had plenty of options. Why would she ever settle for anything less than a Dorian? In her mind and in her world she deserved the best. Her desire for attaining a high profile, quality man was her primary objective before engaging in another sorry-excuse-of-a boyfriend. Her previous boyfriends were “bad boys” that fulfilled her inner lust of that lifestyle.

Needless to say, when Dorian approached Lena he wooed her into a romantic vision of perfection, with promises of admiration, love, honesty, and respect. Lena fell head over heels like she was back in grade school. This is what she always desired. She had been praying for a GOD fearing, educated, attractive man that saw her for more than just her physical attributes. As time went on, their relationship grew as well, intensifying itself from casual dates to thought- stimulating conversation. It was inevitable that their relationship would eventual evolve into sexual desires. It was a Friday night proceeding another romantic, eventful evening and Lena invited Dorian up for a night recap in her dorm suite. Dorian took her hand and looked her in the eyes saying, “Lena, I love you and before we go any further, I think you should understand that I don’t believe in premarital sex; I believe that as a Christian man, I should trust The Lord and wait to take our relationship to a sexual level. I am willing to give myself to you wholeheartedly, spiritually, and mentally, allowing our relationship to blossom into something that you have never experienced with anyone else.” Gently he asked her, “This doesn’t change things does it?” Lena gasped and turned grey, took a step back and remained speechless. She turned and looked into the hallway mirror nibbled on her bottom lip and closed her eyes. Dorian took that as her answer and with a bowed head slowly exited her dorm room. WOW. Do you know how many times I’ve heard a woman say that they want a good, God fearing, respectable, honest man? Well what happens when he shows up? Often times women say things like they want a God fearing man, but really they want someone that is something like a Christian as long as his faith doesn’t compromise or interfere with their fleshly needs.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX LADIES. That clearly is the elephant in the room. In the previous blog, a very artistic description regarding the ideals of LOVE was presented. Each emotion and physical activity has always had a divine purpose. Have you all given deeper thought as to why we engage in sexual activities? Sex is an important aspect in relationships (if you disagree you’re lying) however, we live in a sexually driven society that celebrates and empowers the act without fully understanding why. Society markets sex as an integral ingredient in having a healthy relationship however, there are so many single sexually liberated individuals, which forced me to reflect; personal experiences have afforded me a chance to re-educate myself on sex and the risk associated with it. Through the process of deep thought, evaluation, and reflection (months on end) I was able to form a “working” definition.

God being the manifestation of LOVE, manufactured man through his own image and took from man his rib. Built to stand side by side with her king, God prepackaged the most precious gift He could provide by creating woman. In doing so, God gave birth to matrimony, a sanctified union. When married men and women engage in sex, they are really celebrating a reunion. During intercourse, a man enters a woman, and the celebration of unification and spiritual wholeness begins. Woman, who was once taken from man, has been restored when the two become one body, mind, spirit, and flesh. As the man enters the woman, they have reconnected back to one flesh, becoming the image of GOD whom is love. The two literally have just made LOVE by doing so. Have you ever engaged in true LOVE making before with that focus, spiritual intentions or intensity, or do you still see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind? Let that digest before you move on.

Sex is like a beautiful rose growing in a bush of thorns. Its elegant existence and purpose is overshadowed by sexually explicit behaviors that we are taught which represents the thorns, making it painful to embrace. The world as we know it has diluted our consciousness to believe every dirty thing there is to imagine sexually. These epiphanies emancipate us from its original perfect blueprint designed by our Creator and Architect. His plan didn’t involve child support payments, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography, broken hearts nor coincidental lesbianism (oh now she’s gay right?) I mean ladies, how many times do you wake up and regret the decision that you’ve made by giving yourself to another undeserving male? The fact of the matter is, sex is more dangerous now than ever before. The penalty for making poor reckless decisions outweighs the joyous feeling of patience and anticipation for something that you have been craving . “All good things come to those that wait” (except when it entails your sex drive?) It gets to the point where you stop counting certain people simply to justify that it wasn’t a real sexual experience. Some of you will even say, “I have to sample what I am going to be stuck with for the rest of my life,” because truth is the moment your sexual numbers became number two, that’s when the confusion bean; now you have knowledge of something different. How can you grow sexually with a loved one if you have shared so many other experiences with a great deal of other unworthy individuals?

A lot of us are sexually confused to the point where we are just never satisfied and we keep sampling different strokes with different folks, still finding our spirits are left broke. Our drunken state of mind has become intoxicated with lust, tarnished by our reputation and trapped in the depths of our insecurity. As we continue to hop from bed to bed sharing each other’s DNA, we are literally leaving a piece of our subconscious with someone else while inheriting portions of their contaminated vessel, yet you continue to pull your panties back up. Have you ever randomly still felt connected to someone years later after a sexual experience with them or find yourself thinking about them sexually, later feeling disgusted by it? Part of me believes that a piece of our soul is released with every sexual climax, but that’s just a theory. So again I ask, if you came face to face with a good guy, how much baggage would he have to accept before he decides to commit to you based on your sexual actions? In addition, how much baggage would you condone from him just so that you can justify how you feel about yourself? It’s not a coincidence that you lay next to a reflection of your inner hatred and despise the fact that he had an opportunity to waste your time. You both drink from the same well of promiscuity and insecurity. Who you give yourself to is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.

So are you in love with you or hate who you have come to be? It is believed that “drunk sex is the best sex anyone could ever have with someone” or at least that’s what society wants us to believe. We use alcohol to bring us to a place of physical pleasure, which in most cases leads to sexual liberation just so we can temporarily escape present reality. Webster’s dictionary defines the word drunk as: “overcome by strong feelings or emotions; caused or influenced by intoxication to the point of impairment of physical and mental faculties.” Someone out there is asking, “what the hell does this have to do with loving someone because I hate myself?” Who are you sexually in a sober state of mind? Let’s take alcohol off the table for a second. How often do you find yourself in a sexual relationship with an EX boyfriend? Too uncomfortable to move on sexually because he’s what you know and what you are used to. He failed at being the man you wanted him to be in your poor insecure world and you’re too stubborn to compromise your sexuality. How many female friends do you have that are someone’s mistress or side chick? Or what about the girl that doesn’t feel pretty enough? She hates her skin tone, body weight and facial features, so she uses sex to escape her feelings of loneliness and insecurity by attaching sex to a feeling of comfort and acceptance.

Finally, what about the girls that just plain old love sex. “MEN DO IT SO WHY CAN’T WE?” You’ve heard that crock of nonsense before right? Quite frankly, it’s so sad that our men have led our women to this place of resentment, confusion and reckless acceptance. My message to her is your sexual escapades are secretly masked as enslavement. You created a sexual need that has you out of control and it digs you deeper into a cesspool of bondage. How will you ever settle for one guy comfortably and actually grow sexually with him without comparing him to what Tyrone used to do? Some of you women are drunk, literally and emotionally. Your system is polluted with lies, insecurities and in some cases drugs and alcohol. They have you trapped within your sexuality and you utilize sex as a weapon thinking a 90 day rule is providing some sort of solid foundation to fornication. Two kids later you find yourself in a situation where your sexual desires have you drunk in love and now you lack substance. Now you are ready to learn from your mistakes and are willing to think more with your heart. However, you are too intoxicated to recognize a good man in a sober state of mind and too damaged for that good man to want to deal with. What do you have to offer? So what happens next? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for you? I think it’s time to sober up.

Stay tuned for my concluding post entitled, “In The Morning.”

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Is It Picture Perfect (Do It For The Likes)

With the endless advancements in technology and social networking it’s become easier to lose sight of our true identities. Social media allows its users to mask their insecurities and depression with the click of a button! However; while we are posting pictures for social validation, a piece of our self esteem is being uploaded and exposed to open criticism. For some folks relevance and purpose to society can truly become based on the number of followers, likes & re-post they receive. With each post to social media we become hyper detached from human interaction and immersed in digital criticisms.
Studies have shown that the rate of depression and anxiety have risen in the age of social media. This is 100% contradictory (give or take a few bitter scorn men/women post and subliminal) to what we’re bombarded with on a daily basis from our timelines. Its become a trend I like to call the “For The Likes” (FTL) competition. Now the competition is simple and we’ve all been a participant at one point whether you want to admit it or not. I thought it’d be fun to examine some of the top ten categories of #FTL posts and explain my logic for this designation, so here we go:

10- The “exotic meal or just a meal that most do not usually indulge in” post.

Okay here’s the caveat, maybe these folks are genuinely trying to put their followers up on game for a surprisingly good meal OR just intending to diminish the domesticated image of themselves and build up this culturally refined image through #foodporn. Do not worry we are not judging we just admire your indulgence in the finest cuisine 😉

9- The vacation post or I’m going out of town post.
Simply a post to brag Im here and your not… It is almost a way to either let people know that you are always on the scene or enjoying an experience that most do not have the opportunity of enjoying. You mad or #Nah?

8- The transformation
From transformation Tuesday to throwback Thursday and even on occasions flashback Fridays, these post are usually very revealing or highlighting a personal journey that someone has gone through (most likely some weight loss or ugly duckling to bad bish). We believe that this post is the hardest post to decipher because some of you share great testimonials that can truly serve as inspiration, but then you have the “flaunters”. Y U No Humble?

7. I’m going to the gym
Just like the transformation post the gym post can be very hard to tell if its #FTL or if you’re really putting in work. However for most health crazed freaks progress is supposed to be noticed not displayed.. So all of you with the “I’m in the gym” post but still look the same, you’re clearly not NOT doing it for the likes.

6. Fashion post
ANNOYING. This post sometimes truly shows how people are being trendy and not really embodying the actual culture of their dress. Hypebeast around the world please don’t take offense.

5. Social justice frenzied topics
This by far is the most painful post. This usually happens with sensationalized deaths or socials injustices causing the masses to briefly go into a frenzy and taking their support to social media. Now nothing is wrong with this tactic but sometimes its hard to asses how genuine folks are and how committed to making change they are instead of attempting to appear socially aware. More over if this the call to action transcended into physically standing up for social injustices, It would be the 1960’s over again (sit in’s, protests, marches etc). Action speaks much louder than 140 characters ever will.

4. Posting of babies or baby pictures
Pardon my masculinity for a second but can we say adorable. Now there’s two kinds of baby posters (those by the child’s parents and the look at me with someone else’s child posters) Both of these post lend to the idea that hey I’m “ready for” or “great” with children, I’m such a catch! Parents we know that you are enjoying your children but posting pictures won’t get you kudos around here. For everyone else put that child who doesn’t belong to you down and get that phone out of their face, replace it with a book or a leap frog.

3. Thinking of him/her pics
This post is the only post that you will never actually see a physical person but just know her/him post are knee jerk reactions that are in direct correlation with those of you who are posting your relationships on social media. When you’re in a relationship all your single friends are having fun but, when you’re single multiply that previous feeling times 10 especially on those solo dolo nights. Sometimes the feeling is so intense that a phantom him is created in the hopes of getting the attention of someone else. In other instance a him/her really exist and it is imperative to let your followers know you’re thinking of them…. instead of using the same device you posted with to text them. OH

2. Inspirational Quote or song
These post certify that most people of social media world are either certified counselors or really going through it in life. Either way inspirational quotes that are not clichés are usually pretty dope. Affirmations and positive thinking is important for anyone who is either going through a hard time or making that transformation to a better person. It is amazing what a minor changes and positivity in your life can do for your mind body and spirit. However, when your routine selfie has nothing to do with the content of your quote you my friend are inspirational-ly doing it “FOR THE LIKES”.

1. THE Sexually Provocative Post
Originally known as a “Thirst Trap” (the act of setting a trap for an individual to comment or like a sexually enticing photo or quote) These post take the cake literally, when it comes to doing it #FTL. If you go on the various social media outlets you will see that there is an overwhelming amount of post with women either twerking or strategically displaying their best assets in order to catch the eye of the people who do not necessarily respect you. Realistically, what are you really trying to accomplish when you upload yourself to the world in such capacity. What can you possibly gain, an ig modeling contract? Ladies you are not the only ones who are guilty of thirst trapping men do it as well it just society tends to overlook it more than men (yes unfair) we know we’re equal opportunist here though so *Drops a judgmental glance* .

Let us know if we missed out on any other “For the Likes” post you’ve seen on your social networks.
Stay tuned for what we’ve got brewing we’ll drop and in case you don’t we’ll drop an #FTL to remind you! #AreYouVSOP