WE NEED MORE LOVE IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
The Goal of African American Matchmaking: To Help You Find a Loving Relationship!
When disease hits, it seems to hit people of African descent especially hard. The recent Ebola health crisis spreading from West Africa is no exception. From Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria to Spain, France, and Germany to the United States, Ebola is proof that what happens in the Motherland is relevant to us all. In this case (and history can show us other cases), people of African descent are infected and die in larger numbers.
Viruses can be spread by bodily fluids, but some viruses like the flu, are airborne. Bodily fluids include blood, urine, and saliva, but also include lymphatic fluid, semen, female ejaculate, breast milk, bile, amniotic fluid, bile, feces, sweat, tears, vomit, and the list goes on!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor do I claim to be one. I am a matchmaker and I want us to be safe and healthy in pursuit of loving relationships with each other.
Just as you might screen a potential for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and HIV/AIDS, the U.S. government is struggling to create legal, non-offensive methods to screen for current health concerns like Ebola. What we thought was safe before is now questionable behavior. If you are single and dating new people, you need to think about this, too.
People don’t always show outward signs of disease and even if they do, you might miss it or mistake it for something else. In addition: 1) they often lie about an infection, 2) they do not realize that they have an infection, 3) they know they are infected but don’t think that they are contagious, 4) they are in denial about their medical condition, or 5) they just don’t care.
Despite community-based prevention efforts, African American women continue to be the group most infected by HIV/AIDS. Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years has genital herpes? FYI: there is no cure for HIVAIDS or herpes.
Health workers often talk about physical protection, for example, condoms, protective gear, etc. But we know that harm reduction techniques can fail, and sometimes do. With new diseases, it can be trial and error with a deadly learning curve. What are we to do?
It is advisable to establish a foundation of trust before sharing in a physically intimate way. This takes time. This dating advice is not anything new. However, in this era, time and trust is becoming not just a strategy to keep your standards high and protect some of your most precious assets; it can also be a matter sickness, quarantine, life and death.
“The sad truth is I can go weeks at a time without coming across
a nice photo of a woman of color in lingerie.”
Cora Harrington, a.k.a. Treacle Tart, cross-posted from The Lingerie Addict.
Most of us are stimulated when we see something that appeals to us.
African Americans wear lingerie, too! Do you?
According to the the 2013 American Values Survey (AVS) conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute:
- Americans overall reported, on average, a social network of 3.4 people out of a maximum of seven people. Overall, people named in these networks are slightly more likely to be immediate family members (an average of 1.8 people) than non-immediate family members (an average of 1.5 people).
- Among White Americans, 91 percent of people comprising their social networks are also White, while five percent are identified as some other race. Among Black Americans, 83 percent of people in their social networks are composed of people who are also Black, while eight percent are White and six percent are another race.
- Among Hispanic Americans, 64 percent of the people who comprise their social networks are also Hispanic, 19 percent are White, and nine percent are another race.
Common responses to trauma include increased anxiety, emotional detachment, and addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, sex, overeating, gambling, shopping, etc. Things that remind a person of a traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. Have any of these behaviors replaced love in your life?
You don’t have to be trapped by your history. Human beings are amazingly resilient; we can heal ourselves. Healing is the restoration of health, soundness and spiritual wholeness. It is a reconciliation of the past and present for a brighter tomorrow.
The most effective way to heal is to do it together. The first step is to start with self-love—love the person you are. Healing with your family, friends, and/or significant others who are also conscious enough to be on a path toward collective recovery and love is also important and immensely helpful. Remember that you must first love yourself in order to be able to love others. Your healing begins on the inside; so, don’t be afraid to surround yourself with love on the outside.
We heal when we put love first. We heal when we prioritize ourselves. We heal when we master the art of LETTING GO of the past to honor the gifts of the present and move forward toward a wiser, more positive future.
I don’t watch a lot of shows on television, preferring independent films and Netflix binges to cable. However, the reality show Dating Naked, caught my attention. Not just because it is yet another show featuring naked people, but because the concept of a potential couple meeting for the first time without clothing is intriguing to me as a matchmaker.
Nudity renders most people vulnerable , literally and figuratively open and stripped of masks and illusions. In theory, it could be the most authentic search for true love, free and fun times. No pretenses, no hiding, no clothes. This is where the show has the potential to shine.
In this “radical dating experiment,” it looks like there is some real matchmaking here. At least one of dates appear to be a real potential match that is consistent with what the other is looking for. This rarely happens coincidentally, but is the result of care, research, and good planning. Interestingly, a nude wedding is scheduled to air this month featuring a couple that first met on the show.
Nudity is raw and for some, emotionally powerful. One of the women on the show had such a hard time being naked that she eventually left the exotic island where the show is filmed. Nudity and fear, it seems, go hand in hand. Others can’t seem to move past their lust by associating nudity with sexual availability. These daters tend to be promiscuous!
The titillating nature of nudity is not lost on me. As a dating show, I look for the show’s relevance for Black love. For African Americans, the show may as well be called Dating Naked, Black & Afraid because most people are generally uncomfortable being nude and even more uncomfortable being nude and matched with Black people for a date. Understandably, they feel more at ease around each other. African Americans often feel the same way.
Defying United States demographics and reality, the lack of diversity in both ethnicity and body type, is obvious. Importantly, the inhabitants of this remote island are rendered even more invisible than Black people–I only saw two brothers and one sister featured on the show and we never see a local resident of the island on camera.
Like most dating and matchmaking shows, this one is clearly not created for the benefit of African Americans. Black people are rarely featured and when they are, they are treated like novelty items, “the first Black girl” and “first Black guy I’ve ever dated.” White daters fail to “connect” with them, most likely because they are completely incompatible in other ways besides race.
Black daters are stereotyped: a young Black man is described as “well-hung” and there were a variety of camera angles fixated on the behind of the only young Black woman dater I saw on the show. None of African American daters were picked to develop relationships at the end of the show, likely resulting in feelings of rejection and/or public humiliation for them.
Perhaps most importantly, unlike their White peers, Black people on Dating Naked are not coupled with each other! To my knowledge, no Black man and woman have been in the same show so that they can date. This would easily resolve the show’s race problem and make it more interesting.
In conclusion, Dating Naked is entertaining, but at best, woefully ignorant of the vast majority of people’s dating preferences to date within their own ethnic group; they give this option to White daters, but not to Black daters. At worst, it is purposeful and deliberate sabotage of Black love in favor of another agenda.
In The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, author Judith Orloff, M.D. devoted a chapter to letting go of any patterns that keep you from loving. In her own words:
One of these patterns in being drawn to unavailable, commitment phobic people. It’s important to be very clear about what constitutes an unavailable person so you won’t be fooled by their charm or potential.
12 SIGNS YOU’RE ATTRACTED TO
EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE PEOPLE (EUP)
Here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.
They are married or in a relationship with someone else
They can’t commit to you or have feared commitment in past relationships
They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the break
They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict
They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually
They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family
They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods
They are seductive with you but make empty promises–their behavior and words don’t match
They send mixed messages, flirt with others, or don’t give a straight answer–you’re always trying to “de-code” what they really mean
They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs
They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw
Does any of these sound familiar?