Category Archives: Relationships

What is AT? Besides Absolutely Tragic

Something has recently been brought to my attention that has greatly disappointed me to the depths of my little soul…

I personally hate to get involved in any gossip, rumors, or drama. And I find ZERO entertainment in these “reality” shows that feature nothing but the worst of cat fights, infidelity, profanity, and baby mama drama to the tenth degree. You know which ones I’m talking about. “Love and Hip-Hop,” etc.

Well I just learned that there is a R E A L L I F E “Bad Girls Club” on Facebook. There is a page that I will refer to as “AT.” (I’m not willing to mention the actual name because the LAST thing I want to do is advertise for it. If you don’t know what it is, don’t go searching for it. It’s not worth it.)

I don’t know how old or new this Facebook page is but there are over 3,600 members. This is a private and exclusive group where you can only be added by someone who is already a member. I was added by a friend who wanted to show me a male Soldier that I know that became a victim of the site. But once I saw all the other nonsense, I removed myself from the madness.


It’s upsetting and it’s humiliating. Most of the content in the group are women posting about their boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, new romantic prospects, baby’s daddies, etc. exposing these men as well as exposing their own personal information. It is disgusting. These women are thriving on being “petty” and seem to be very excited to get involved in each other’s personal affairs. In just seconds of scrolling, you can see women posting screen shots of private text messages conversations between them and their men (yes, to include his phone numbers), women posting their baby daddies’ home addresses to have other group members go and “check on him” at his house, women posting photos of their ex-spouses’ new girlfriends to bash her, etc. They even post pictures of their men in their Army uniforms (rank and name all exposed) so other females on the page can “SPILL THE TEA” about him. Like, “Oh I know him! My aunt’s neighbor’s God-daughter used to date him. He has an STD. Don’t date him!” These posts literally have hundreds of comments and I realized after scrolling through a few comments that these women check-in regularly with their popcorn in hand to stay updated on certain situations they may find interesting. Just like you would do to catch up on your favorite TV series. Just as you would do to catch up on the latest celeb gossip in a tabloid or magazine. But these are REAL PEOPLE in real life situations! Real life tire-slashing, weave-pulling, baby-daddy-hunting, new-wife-bashing situations. What in the world?!

This AT page reminds me of Juicy Campus, but on steroids. If you don’t know what Juicy Campus is, don’t worry about that either. I think I just showed my age, lol.

Anywho, this group is full of women doing nothing but talking sh** about each other and about the men in their love lives. Nothing but digital attacks and rumor-spreading. How degrading!!! If there is anything on earth more ratchet than this, I might just die. (I’m exaggerating because unfortunately I’m sure there is worse than this. I’m not that naïve.)

The women in the group seem to enjoy every little bit of the drama too. It’s like they are waking up early and staying up late at night just to feed off of the negative energy and laugh with each other at other people’s personal dealings. They are unknowingly betraying every ounce of loyalty left in their bodies. By publicizing their private home life, they are revealing information to strangers about their children and themselves… Such as personal matters included in their divorce decrees and details about their child support cases.

It honestly breaks my heart that they are spending so much time and energy on this page digging and investigating and fighting and laughing. Why has drama become so entertaining? Why are these women so motivated to tear each other apart? When did it become cool to expose what’s going on in your love life? And to expose it to almost four thousand women you don’t even know and will never even meet? Why has being “petty” become such a competition? Like they are determined to be crowned the pettiest woman on earth?

And the saddest part about it all… These ladies, NO, these GIRLS are in the military or are veterans. From what looks like age 18 on up to 50, a majority of them are serving or have served. Yet they log into Facebook and forget what it means to have respect and bearing, ethics and discipline, loyalty and honor. We are professionals. We are leaders. We are ambassadors. What happened to that? I’m not saying don’t go out and make friends and have some fun. But this…this is just beyond a disgrace. IN MY OPINION.

I hope these women get a grip on reality before they end up ruining their husbands’ or boyfriends’ careers…or much worse ruin their own by digging their own graves full of social media harassment, bullying, and the exposure of PII (personally identifiable information).

According to Army Regulation 600-20 (Army Command Policy), “the Army is a values-based organization where everyone is expected to do what is right by treating all persons as they should be treated…Bullying and other behaviors that undermine dignity and respect are fundamentally in opposition to our values and are prohibited. Soldiers who violate this policy may be subject to punishment under the United States Code of Military Justice.”

And worse, I’m sure there are NCOs and Officers on the page as well. The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer states, “No one is more professional than I…I will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service, and my country regardless of the situation I which I find myself…I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals…”

Somebody on that page is just bound to screen shot a social media mishap and email it to someone’s Commander or First Sergeant. I am sure of it. I can foresee so many demotions, reliefs-for-cause, and extra duties.

I can’t allow myself to associate with this page nor with any female who finds this crap fascinating, cool, or humorous. I hope an act of God comes down on this group and turns it into a page based on empowering each other, networking, and mentoring. Sort of like “Beauties in Boots” (144K members) or “Female Bosses Link Up” (116 members) or Heather Lindsey’s Pinky Promise for instance.

I honestly don’t know how to end this blog post on a good note. The only thing I can say is that I will continue to focus on myself and continue to love on the women that I have in my small circle. I love them and they have remained in my life this long because of the support and friendship we give each other. Especially my female mentors.

Hopefully soon I find my calling and it involves making an inspirational impact in other women’s lives. People, I am far from perfect. But I am slowly but surely grooming myself to become something special. I’m excited to find my purpose. I just hope other women can get back on the right track to pursuing their purposes as well. Especially those that made the decision to live by the Soldier’s Creed.



Food is Love

Food is a big deal to me and my family. I mostly grew up in a household of four – my parents, my sister, and myself. If our parents weren’t outside doing yardwork or relaxing watching HGTV, they were in the kitchen. And so were we – either doing homework, practicing an instrument, or just socializing.

My daddy grew up in south Florida with a father who was a very popular African-American chef and who was very well and widely recognized for his culinary talents. Dad picked up on this art and even spent some time as a cook in the military. As a retiree, he often dreamed of opening up his own restaurant or food truck. My family very much so encouraged this idea because we just love his cooking – especially his homemade barbeque sauces and hot sauces. He hasn’t hit this goal yet but for now you can often find him serving soldiers from his mobile meat smoker on Fort Gordon or BBQing for church members at functions. Then mom, she was born and raised on the island of Palau from where she brought to us her traditional dishes – my favorite being pork, chicken, and fish wrapped together in banana leaves, slow-cooked then served with rice and tapioca root. She also spent some of her Army career as a cook. (It is safe to assume they met in the military and married after much courtship.)

We all are definitely a family of foodies. We won’t turn our nose up to a certain culture’s food traditions. We will try anything. Except this one time as a teen I watched my mom eat a small octopus in just one bite at a Japanese spot and Lord I just wasn’t having it!

In college, sadly I didn’t do much cooking myself. I was the “typical” college kid that had fast food, campus food, ate Ramen, or got wings delivered to my apartment late night. (Shout out to Don Corleones Pizza & Wings joint on Lanier Drive!)

Now as an adult I think back to the structure of my household (especially when considering a mate), one of those major pillars of the home being food. It brings me joy when I can get together with friends and have a potluck or to sit in someone’s backyard spening the day grilling it up or to try a new recipe at home from Pinterest (whether nail or fail). Why is it so important to me? Why does it make me so happy?

I believe food brings people together. As a kid my favorite holiday was always Thanksgiving. I would’ve picked Thanksgiving over Christmas and my own birthday! I still would. On Thanksgiving, people take a break from their busy worlds and come together over a big meal. It isn’t about one person or about spending money on gifts. It’s about everybody. People are more willing to go out of their way to come together, even from far distances. There is laughter, raw conversation, and pure fun…undeniable union…there’s love.

I have to have friends and especially a mate who understands that. If you don’t get food, you don’t get me. I am actually appalled that there are still adults out there who havent had the opportunity to truly love on food. Or they’ve had the chance but they still choose fast food over homemade food…which is equivalent to me as choosing CONVENIENCE OVER LOVE. Eating take-out food most likely wont teach your children how to set the table and serve each other the way preparing a home-cooked meal would. Won’t teach them to clean up after themselves or how to choose from different food groups, etc.

Speaking of choosing food, am I the only one who still believes in this “old-fashioned” idea: parents include vegetables on your dinner plate or make a dish you just don’t like…if you don’t like it, you don’t have a choice. You’d better finish eating it or you go to bed hungry. Lol! Boy, me and Brussels sprouts did NOT get along. I tried the trick of chewing it up to a mush and hiding it in my balled-up napkin. Only worked for so long.

I could go on and on about how much healthier and cost-efficient eating at home could be versus eating out all the time. But then I’d be shifting my topic moreso toward one of saving money or eating better. Neh, this is about unity.

Another way that food brings people together is in the community. Until you volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate food to a homeless shelter, until you see the look on the face of a needy child or mother, you don’t know the joy of giving. I remember my mom dropped Jade and I off at a food drive building in downtown Augusta one summer and told us to help the staff for a few hours. They had us sorting canned goods for what seemed like all day with only one snack break. I kind of had an attitude. I didn’t let it show of course, but I remember feeling some type of way. Like, Why did she drop us off here at some dusty warehouse? It’s hot!

My mom was like that. She would make us do things or establish house rules and not explain the purpose or importance of them. I don’t agree with it but that’s her child-rearing style and I love her. She was the do-what-I-say-because-I-said-so type. It made me quite the rebel. If she would have just explained to us as preteens that we were giving back to the community and that it was for a purpose, we would have served with tender love instead of throwing cans of green beans from box to box. And maybe I wouldn’t have gotten mad when she made us take the trash bags to the dumpster at the close of church functions when all the other kids were still playing. Like, Why am I picking up people’s paper plates and dirty napkins when everybody else’s kids are running around playing tag and what not.

What all this boils down to is that the making and the serving of food is love… And if you haven’t already heard of it, Dixie® launched a movement last year with the hashtag #DarkforDinner which I absolutely fell in love with. They want to break the trend and remove the electronic distractions from the traditional setting of the dinner table to get families to gather for the meal and remember that the focus should be on each other and not things. Check it out below:







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Your “Other Half”

The hugest mistake I have made in a relationship is getting involved with someone who doesn’t have it all together thinking that I could help uplift them with my wholeness. One plus one equals two, and two people in a serious relationship should eventually be working towards becoming one–which is marriage. But a half plus a whole (or a even a half plus a half) will NEVER equal two–which means it can never become one.

When I say a person doesn’t have it all together, I don’t speak of palpable items, like having enough money to pay off all their debt or having a nice car or clean house or well-behaved children. And I’m not referring to the fact that he has no baby mama drama and is into fitness and that he dresses sharp and can cook really well. These notions are all exterior and sadly sometimes these influence some of us women to think a guy might be golden when he’s only gold-plated…

To be whole and have it “all together,” I mean that he is AWARE. He is aware of his sense of purpose. He is aware of his God-given talents. He is aware of what he expects of himself as well as aware of the flaws he has that could become obstacles to those expectations. He is aware of how he treats the people closest to him. He is aware of his resilience and assertiveness. He is not passive; he can make decisions confidently. He is forward but not hurtful. He is aware of his thoughts and emotions. He knows exactly what he wants from life and from people. He is fully aware of his spirituality and what he has to offer the rest of the world. He has a mentor and he most likely even mentors. This type of person listens-to-understand rather than listening-to-respond. This type of person is observant and mindful. He doesn’t fold easily nor get his feelings easily hurt. This type of person is confident and optimistic. He is sure. And he would never ever hold back an apology nor a compliment because he’s real. He’s fearless. He is a rock. He is NOT holey therefore not using love and acceptance from others to fill those holes.

(By the way, THIS is the type of man I need to raise my son! I don’t have children yet but I’m just saying!  I get excited imagining a man like this, lol.)

The description of said individual may sound too good to be true. But in actuality, he is not perfect. He’s a sinner and he makes mistakes. He has flaws just like any other man. The biggest difference though is that he is well-aware of them and knows he must work on them.

Sooo, going back to the first paragraph… I consider myself to be whole or at least very aware of myself–mind and body and soul. It is a detrimental mistake and distraction from your purpose when we “wholes” choose to intimately date someone who is not whole. Because they simply aren’t ready to receive what we have to offer. They probably won’t even understand where you’re coming from because it’s foreign to them. Your ideas and your type of affection and your words and just everything attached to something deeply rooted in you–sometimes they just won’t get it and it seems like they won’t even try to. It’s not their fault. I mean, if a person speaking a language you’ve never even heard of tried to explain something to you, how would you even begin to decipher their message? You can’t. You won’t. A person who knows themselves inside and out will never be understood by a person who is trying to figure it all out, unless we break it down Barney style. And nobody wants an entire relationship to be on a Barney level… ‘Cause all the while we are trying to bring them up to par (and “upgrade” them because Beyoncé tried to make that concept cute and acceptable back in 2006), but if they aren’t ready to be brought up to our level of mental understanding and spiritual awareness, they will only end up dragging us down because we aren’t focused on our purpose anymore. We end up too focused on our relationship, like it’s an ongoing project. And we all know at least one person who has become so focused on their significant other that they somewhat forget about their career and their friends and their purpose.

Don’t be that person.

We need NOT make excuses for these “half persons” just because they haven’t harmed us or done anything wrong to us. Because, yeah, this person could be the most kind and fun and loyal person you’ve ever met. But if his or her soul is not ready to receive yours, the relationship could eventually end in flames and tears.

Once we find someone whole and we feel like they may be our soulmate, of course we will still have to learn each other, work together, compromise, make sacrifices and make mistakes, etc. After all, that’s what relationships are about. I never said that the process of two becoming one was simple and headache-free.

But we should never have to dumb our love down for someone who isn’t meant for us in the first place. Trust me that if you fall in love with one of these people, don’t feel like you’re helping them or upgrading them or doing them a favor by staying by their side. Because you can just be their FRIEND and help them and pray for them and encourage them and all that, etc. etc. But by giving your absolute all into them and your relationship, you could end up draining yourself, drying yourself out, and losing yourself in the process. You’ll be a wreck and wake up one day like, “What in the heck am I doing here? What have I gotten myself into?”

That’s what happens when you pour a full glass of water into an empty glass: You helped the empty glass to fill–but at half-full you no longer feel fulfilled and they STILL aren’t filled up because they were empty to begin with. So instead of being TWO content glasses, in the end you’ll’ve created two half-ass individuals.

And my dad has always said to me, “Jasmine, if you’re gonna do something half-assed, don’t do it at all.” I feel like that could somewhat apply here as well.

Please don’t sacrifice your wholeness for somebody else’s halfness. It is extremely difficult to get someone who is not whole to see their own potential to become one with themselves. How many years are you going to spend on trying to get them to realize that potential and then how many years will it take for them to wake up and start working towards it? How long will it take them to see the true potential of the relationship if they fail to see their own individual potential off top?

I believe God made our soulmates so we can both help each other serve our purpose in Him, not in our own selves. But are we able to efficiently do that by spending 5 years trying to lead a horse to water and another 5 trying to get the horse to drink? Half the time, I think the horse wasn’t even thirsty to begin with.

Become One with someone who thirsts for life the way you do and don’t settle for less than that.

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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Relationships


Decided Not to Get Married

URBAN ROMANCE – I Changed My Mind: Why I Decided Not to Get Married

By Atiya Shrieves

I was over my close friend Bam Bam’s house about to have a conversation I’d had about a million times with numerous people in the last few months. I hadn’t seen my friend in over a year and a half because of her deployment. The last time we spoke was a few months earlier through email when I told her I was engaged so, needless to say, the face-to-face conversation we were having in her living room came as a bit of a shock to her.

“So, how are the wedding plans coming along?”
“Girl… the wedding is postponed, indefinitely.”
“WHAT!!!! What does that mean?”
“It means I am not getting married!”
“I am so sorry,” Bam lamented
“I’m not.”

I know, a bit harsh, right? But I wasn’t sorry. Let me explain. I’d had this same conversation for a few months now and I’ve been getting the same reaction. Friends, family, and strangers alike were sorry for “my loss,” but what they all failed to realize is it wasn’t a loss, at least not for me.

I called off the wedding. I decided that I no longer wanted to spend the rest of my life with the man I once wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I changed my mind. Therefore, I am not sorry. I am actually at peace. Why? Because I’d just avoided one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever made—marrying the wrong person.

When I was proposed to, I felt like I was on top of the world. What woman doesn’t want the man she loves, to ask her to spend the rest of their lives together? Of course I said the only proper thing to say: YES! And it was off to the races after that! I started making the guest list, looking at venues, picking my wedding party, and, of courses, trying on dresses. I was so excited, I actually bought my dress within a month of being engaged.

Once the euphoria of becoming the future Mrs. Fill-In-The-Blank wore off, reality set in. What was I getting myself into? Without bashing or being too transparent (as if I’m not already), this man and I had our fair share of problems and I’m being modest when I say that. I mean he was just anokay boyfriend, so what made me believe he was going to be a good husband. Was I being like those women on reality television reunion shows? You know the ones who say yes to their deadbeat celeb boyfriends, who feel the best time to get on one knee is after their side piece throws a chair at their main chick, in this case, me? My life wasn’t being played out on television, but I could certainly relate to drama.

My situation was more down than up. So why did I say yes? Was I stupid?  No, I was hopeful. I hoped that maybe being engaged would help us and magically make everything alright. Well it didn’t. It made things worse.

I was engaged to the okay boyfriend, now my  fiancé. And what did that mean? Just more of the same problems with a different title. I could not, I repeat, could not turn this man into the okay husband.

I made a list. It wasn’t your usual list of pros and cons. It was a list of things I wanted in my life, things that I liked, and things that really grind my gears. Then I asked myself a few questions: Does he add to any of these aspects of my life? Does he know any of these things about me? Do any of these things matter to him? The results were staggering. I realized one thing with this simple list and these simple questions. I was settling. I realized that these things only mattered to me. That he wasn’t really in tune to me and what I liked at all. I was about to make a huge mistake. I was about to marry someone who I was good for (because for me, all of these things mattered when it came to him), but who was not good for me. I realized that I did not exist in my relationship at all. I gave so much of myself that I barely knew who I was until I made that list. In fact, I now understood why he wanted to get married. Not because he loved me so much, but because I gave, and did so much to uplift him and I didn’t require much in return. Who wouldn’t want to keep getting the best while only giving the bare minimum?

My heart sank, the tears fell, and the hurt was piercing as more questions flooded my head. How could I not see this before I’d said yes? How could I let it get this far? How could I be so stupid? What was I going to tell all of my friends and family? What was I going to tell him? I asked that question of myself, God, and my bestie. How could I tell him that I no longer wanted to spend forever with him; that I realized I was settling? Walking down the aisle would only end in heartache for both of us and I knew that. I should’ve never said yes in the first place. There was no point in beating around the push. It wasn’t going to change how I felt and wasn’t going to change my mind.

It was hard. Very hard.  He didn’t give up easy. He fought tooth and nail against what I believed would be best, not only for me, but for the both of us, in the long run. The hard part was over… or so I thought. Imagine telling a bunch of people who already started planning for time off, telling family members on both sides who just love you two together, and calling venues telling them you are no longer interested because there isn’t going to be a wedding. Let’s not even get into that wedding dress that you just had to have!

The point of me sharing all of this is I want someone to take my story as a lesson—an example of what not to do when you know something isn’t right in your relationship. Saying yes to an engagement doesn’t mean you have to say yes to the marriage. We all hope that is what will happen, but sometimes you must take a step back and look at all the factors involved. Just because it feels good at that moment and you love that person doesn’t mean that marrying that person is the right thing to do. Never stay in a situation because you don’t want to hurt the other person or you are afraid of what other people are going to say (even on Facebook). We all make mistakes, but it’s not the mistake that matters, it’s how we fix that mistake and grow from it.

So I’m not going to say “I do” and get to have the wedding of my dreams, right now, but I do get to have peace of mind and the satisfaction in knowing I did the right thing. In the end, that is what matters the most. Oh, and I’ll wear my beautiful dress just because. Who knows? Maybe I’ll marry myself in it!

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Atiya is a mother of two who served eight years in the United States Navy. She has an A.A.S in Justice and is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing. Atiya is also writing her first novel. – 10 Things You Need to Know About Relationships in Your 20s

Guest blog:
Author: Jay Denson

I was in my 1st wedding this past weekend and it REALLY got me thinking. My 27th Birthday on August 27th I shall leave a p.o. box for gift sending later… As much of a playa as I am (in my mind, never in merit or actuality), I began to ponder on the nature of relationships. And what does this mean for you? Simple…here are the 10 things you need to know about relationships in your 20’s:

1. Stop Lying, Talking About There Aren’t Any Good Men Out Here

Ladies, this is for you. I know that it’s quite trendy to say and your friends can be very persuasive in their arguments…but…it’s simply not true. There are great men out there, who’d be everything you wanted, who look exactly how you want, just face it: YOU DON’T WANT THEM. For whatever reason, your brain has done the calculations and that man isn’t what you really want. Which leads me to the next point…

2. You’re Not Supposed To Know What You Want

I’m about to fuck someone’s life up with this one….but yes…you read correctly, you’re supposed to be confused. The myth is: In your 20’s you’re supposed to KNOW what you want in the opposite sex. The truth is: In your 20’s, you’re supposed to be FIGURING IT OUT. Yep it’s true. So…date, travel, get your heartbroken, fall in love, grow…but don’t get hung up on not having it all together just yet….it will come in time.

3. Ladies: Men Are More Insecure Than You

Sorry fellas. Ladies, it’s true. Your daggers cut deeper than ours. The difference is, you bleed instantly and we don’t…Just think about it.

4. Fellas: Ladies Are Worse Than You

Look…you might have thought that you’ve done dirt, but you’d be hard pressed to find a woman who’s not capable of producing a graveyard in relation to your little skeletons. You better chill bruh….or she’ll end up have you looking dumber than Waka on 106 and Park…”I’m sayin’…I’d prolly major in Geometry…”

5. If You’re Still Asking People How Many People They’ve Had Sex With Or Who They Had Sex With, Just Be Single

You’re not 18. Everyone is having sex (not justifiably) ….and a lot of it. So stop asking about someone’s sexual history, TRUST, you don’t want to know. Your job isn’t to outperform the past; it’s to ignite the future. So, get your yoga game up, start eating pineapple (fellas), and drink plenty of water.

6. Stop.Worrying.About.The.Past.

Human beings have this zany knack for ignoring what’s in front of them, so that they can obsess over things that have already happened. Good luck with that yo. So many of y’all have missed blessings in all forms because you’re consumed with decisions that you have already made. I’m sorry to inform you, but those mistakes you made YEARS AGO, have already occurred. The question is: are you going to let go and finally decide to be happy, or not?

7. The Best Relationships Are Threesomes

This might not go over well with the ‘Turn Up’ crowd, but if you want the secret to a healthy, long lasting relationship, it’s actually pretty simple. A REAL relationship is always between: you, your significant other, and God. Yes, I said God. So if you’re not ready or just read that sentence and said, “It ain’t even that serious”, then I’m talking to you. I’m just going to say this and move on: If God isn’t in the middle of it, it just won’t work. I think I’ve made my point.

8. The Problem Is YOU.

I’ll be brief: The common denominator in all of this heartbreak and angst that you’re consumed with is the person staring back in the mirror. You are the missing link….so if you want to break the cycle, it’s time to start a new one. You need to figure out why you keep attracting ‘ain’t shit’ type personalities in your life. I promise that they won’t have a way into your life, if you’d stop leaving the door open.

9. There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Single

Listen…that’s self-explanatory. Stop reading Bossip and listening to your friends. Be single. Figure it out. Take your time. Enjoy your time. A real relationship is a commitment of time, energy and effort…so if you don’t have the 3 to give, just chill.

10. Never, EVER, Underestimate The Power of….”I Like You.”

You know what….I’ll save the explanation for another time. I want some time to dive into this.

(Jay Denson)

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