We all remember Tichina Arnold from the hit TV show Martin, where she played Pam Jones, Martin’s arch nemesis. After winning us over in the 90s as Pam, she went on to land one memorable TV role after another. These days, she calls the set of TV Land’s Happily Divorced home. On the show, she plays star Fran Drescher’s best friend Judi Mann, and they’re both 40-something woman still single and looking for love. In real life, Arnold’s found true love with her fiancé Rico Hines, an assistant NCAA basketball coach with whom she is planning a dreamy Hawaiian wedding.
Essence.com recently caught up with the Queens native and asked her to open up about her romantic past and how it has shaped her present day relationship. She even revealed some juicy wedding details. Here’s what she had to say about relationships, marriage and her upcoming wedding:
ESSENCE: What have you learned from past relationships that has prepared you for the one you have today?
ARNOLD: To not be so bossy. You know, when you’re single, you’re very independent. Very independent women raised me. We didn’t have a lot of male figures as the head of our household, so I got, and took on, a lot of that strong spirit from the matriarchs in my family. It allows you to get on through life a lot easier, but the downside is that you don’t have that experience of watching a male figure interact with women in the home. When you come from an all-female household, when you’re in a relationship, you get into situations you don’t really know how to handle, which I didn’t. (more…)
Nothing inspires you to want great love in your life more than seeing it in action, right in front of you. Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, have been married for seven years after meeting on the set of Showtime’s Soul Food over ten years ago. Now, the two are ready to dish on how they have managed to maintain a successful marriage.
They caught up with Essence.com during the Valentine’s Day season and dished on the keys to a successful marriage. Boris says that being best friends is number one on the list. Nicole tells the ladies to tone down the nagging and stop following the ‘how to keep your man’ advice from your girls (Can I get an AMEN???). According to Nicole, your man will notice a good home cooked meal before he notices how great you look in those new shoes or purse.
Boris: I think what’s important is that you’re friends and that you like each other. That’s number one. If you like each other, you have fun with each other and you make each other laugh. You enjoy each others presence then that’s a great foundation to have, first of all. We make each other laugh and keep it sexy. It’s like with everything else — if you want to be successful in a business you have to work everyday to make that happen. A relationship is no different. If you want a relationship that’s flourishing and great and fun and successful, you’ve got to put effort into it every day. We try to do that for each other and with each other. (more…)
Dating these days is quite complicated. I feel like men these days are nothing like our grand fathers. There was a certain standard men aspired to when it came to relationships. Women were put on pedestals and treated like queens. I was out with a friend of mine the other day at a house party. Only beer was available and I do not drink the frothy stuff. So he made a quick run to the store for something for me to drink. I kid you not, every guy there gave him grief about it. They were saying that he must have a crush on me to go out of his way like that because they would have made me drink whatever was available. It was just so saddening. A brother was just being a gentleman.
Anyway, thank goodness for men like Boris Kodjoe. They restore my faith in the male species. Boris, who has been married to Nicole Ari Parker for the last six years, recently gave some good insight into what a ‘Good Man’ should be while conversing with model/actress Claudia Jordan. Claudia tweeted that her mother told her to find ‘some rich, ugly producer and marry him’ because of her troubles with finding a quality man in LA. Boris responded:
“Why he gotta be ugly? Honestly, I think LA is cancerous for relationships. The hustle mentality and ‘gotta make it’ attitude keeps people from cultivating a real connection. No one has time to take anyone in. Everyone is self-centered and wants to ‘keep it moving’ Dudes here are so insecure that they have to switch up a girl every week to hide their ‘weaknesses’. A real man embraces them!”
From that response, he went on to create the trending topic, #How2baMan, where he shared what he believes are qualities that all men should possess. Check them out below: (more…)
Listen up people! Class is in session! We’ve all wondered how Will Smith and his wife Jada have managed to have 13 years of marriage together in Hollywood of all places! There has to be a secret to their success. Well, wonder no more. Will recently spoke to an Essence Magazine editor and shared the following tips to a successful marriage:
If You Marry Your Best Friend, You’re Good
Every man wants to marry his homie. A lot of women will impress them, but it’s the one they can always laugh with and be themselves with that will ultimately impress them the most. If you can be yourselves around each other, 100 percent of the time, and they can make you laugh like no one else can, you’ll never have a dull moment together. (more…)
I know I’m not the only one who has often wondered why Halle Berry has a difficult time with relationships. As hot as she is, you’d think a man would do everything in his power to make things work with her. In last year’s September issue of Vogue magazine, she revealed that she realized we are not meant to go the distance with everybody. She is currently dating French actor Olivier Martinez, who she met on the set of “Dark Tide”. Although they’ve been getting pretty serious, Halle recently revealed that the traditional form of marriage is not for her, and she won’t be getting married again.
“I wish I had known then that I was not the marrying kind. It would have saved me a lot of time, heartache and grief over the years.
I made all the wrong choices when it came to love. I have been an idiot. But, now, it is like a gift to myself – seeing more clearly and making better decisions. One thing was unavoidable. My father left us when I was young and that did affect my life. If I had a good father in my life, growing up, then I do not think I would have made the mistakes I made. I would not have been lost in love. (more…)
I’ve been accused of being a tad old fashioned. A few reasons are that I refuse to chase after a man, I refuse to use “new” dating techniques such as meeting people online (specifically Facebook. FB is the devil) and I refuse to propose to a man. Sue me. I just won’t do it. I’m not totally prehistoric, don’t get me wrong. I will go half on bills, although I still believe a man should bear more responsibility financially if you’re living together. It’s just the way things should be. If you’re living with a man and you find that more often than not, you’re worried about whether you’ll make the rent or school fees for your kids, then you do not have a man. You have an extra child to think about.
Before the men start throwing stones, please think back to the days of our grandfathers. The woman’s primary role was to care for the home and the kids. I’m not saying that women could not work. My grandmother was a very successful teacher and Chairlady of an African women’s organization. My grandfather was secure enough in his manhood to handle the bills, and still let his wife be her own person. (more…)
Women are suckers for love. That’s the plain and honest truth. I’ve seen a few men who would climb mountains or even take a punch for love, but women take the cake. Their behaviour sometimes just borders on irrationality or insanity even. A great example is the relationship between rapper Fabolous, real name John Jackson, and Emily Bustamante. I just don’t get how a man can totally disresprect me, yet I sit in his house, cook and clean for him. No way! Emily has stood by her man when he was shot, arrested, and surrounded by countless groupies on tour. She is Fab’s lady, friend, stylist, and the mother of his child. She recently gave an interview to Mashonda about how they met, and the dynamics between them.
He asked where I was from, and said that I should visit him next time I’m in New York. I gave him my number and watched him store it in his sidekick as “Emily VA”. I felt like, Wow, he’s only going to know me for my state. I never asked for his number, I felt if it was meant to be, he would call me. We stayed in touch on the phone and when he finally came back to VA to do a show, he called and invited me. We spoke everyday from then on and saw each other often. (more…)
Yesterday we tackled the all-important DON’Ts for our male counterparts. Today, let’s focus on us. Women get really excited on Valentine’s Day. At my work place, it seems the ladies get divided into two categories on that day: those who received flowers and those who didn’t. Needless to say, despite all the excitement it can be a very trying time for some of us. If you’re lucky enough to have a Valentine, the work doesn’t end there. There are quite a few things you need to keep in mind.
DON’T have unreasonably high expectations. Let’s face it. Men are already confused and don’t even understand why this day is important for most of us. Don’t pile on the pressure and have him walking around like a zombie. If possible, let him know before hand that you are not expecting the world from him. His efforts should come from the heart and that’s all that matters. (more…)
Most men are totally clueless when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I think most of them would prefer to pack up and head to shags until the whole thing is over and done with. Unfortunately for them, women watch soap operas and telenovelas so the bar has been set pretty high for them. Not to panic! I’m here to give you a few tips on what NOT to do so that you come out looking like the knight in shining armour that women dream about.
First on the list – DON’T assume that your girl does or does not celebrate Valentines. While most women love being pampered on that day, some of us would love for you to do it every day. Therefore, celebrating the day specifically on February 14th may be taken as an insult and could even earn you a cold night on the couch. Discuss Valentine’s Day with the person you are dating. If one of you loves the holiday and the other can’t bear it, come up with a compromise. And for goodness sake, if you know she does celebrate it, make a conscious effort not to forget that it’s Valentine’s Day!!! (more…)
I’ve always been intrigued by the relationship between Beyonce and Jay-Z. Somehow, the two have managed to keep everything about their relationship out of the public eye. Which just makes us want to know more. In the new issue of Ebony magazine, they are named as Music’s Most Powerful Couple. The issue also has 2 other covers: One with the Obamas as the Couple With a Purpose, and the other with Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker as Hollywood’s Most Passionate Couple.
Dream Hampton, (the woman behind Jay-Z’s autobiography Decoded) has written an intimate article about Jay and Beyonce’s relationship. She makes it sound too good to be true. Check it out:
“He is her best friend, someone who immediately and implicitly understands her life, not only as a star, but as a hard-working driven artist“
“For all their might as solo power players, their relationship is remarkably free of drama. They sit around in their pajamas and watch cable and snuggle, which may, after all, be the ultimate fantasy. When they climb off the couch from beneath their favorite cashmere throws or disembark from their yachts, they work as if James Brown were their boss. (more…)
I’ve always wondered why Brandy never seems to be in a long term relationship. Sure , she has been “spotted” with different guys but none of them has ever really lasted. Which is a shame coz she’s very talented and seems like a wonderful person. However, after reading her latest interview with Vibe, I think I may know her problem. Ladies, I know we are always told never to settle. However, having a long, impossible list of qualities you want in a mate is just ridiculous. No one is perfect. Chances are you’ll never find that one person with all the qualities in your list. My advice: if he makes you happy, doesn’t have a criminal record, has no baby mama drama, has a stable job, and has not racked up a boatload of debt, that’s a good starting point. You can always work around the rest
What’s happening with your love life these days? Are you dating anyone? (more…)
Drake is featured in the current issue of the Cosmopolitan magazine, giving relationship tips on how to hook a man, how to keep a man, and even how to move on after a break-up. I’m amazed that I agree with everything he’s saying. He’s really not my cuppatea but I like how he thinks. Starting to look very sexy…
Cosmopolitan: Is it hard for guys to get over breakups?
Drake: Definitely. Even after a long time, it’s painful to see an ex with somebody else. As happy as you are that she’s happy, there’s a little tingle underneath your heart. It’s not a sting. But it hurts a bit, and you wish it wasn’t there. (more…)
Yes, I know. The title sounds preposterous. I was as angry as you when I saw this. I spotted it at Madame Noire. This article was written by a lady called LaShaun Williams. She started off with a sort of disclaimer that she’s married to a black man. “I am married to a Black man—dark-skinned, 100 percent cocoa.” However, she goes on to say, “To me, there is nothing more physically beautiful on this earth. Notice I said physically. Outside of that, there are plenty of more financially, intellectually and emotionally stable options.” Black men, specifically African-American men, should be highly offended by this generalization. Anyway, here are her 8 reasons: (more…)
Bad news people!!! The dating and marriage thing just got way trickier. According to a recent study, 20 per cent of people are in love with someone other than the person they are currently with. If you’re like me, in a relationship that seems to be headed to marriage, that statement has made you take another look at your relationship.
A recent poll of 3,000 people in relationships showed that one in five adults are actually in love with someone other than their significant other. (more…)
Ladies, you always knew this day would come. We need to rethink our position when it comes to Beyonce. I know she has empowered many of you but enough is enough. As a woman, there have been numerous times when I’ve listened to a Beyonce song and actually felt like she knew what was going on in my life. Like my best friend even. You know all those “TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT” moments? Yes, they are a classic symptom of Beyonceitis. But ladies, the madness has got to stop. When you listen to the following songs, please bear in mind that Beyonce is a happily married woman with a very rich husband to boot. (more…)
Bad Boys. Love them or hate them, the fact remains that women just can’t get enough of them. I’ve had friends who were clearly dating guys that were so poisonous to their lives. Trying to get them to see how unhealthy the dude was for them was like convincing a certain friend (no names) that flats are so last season. I will also admit that I’ve dated a bad boy or two. Not my wisest decision. I don’t regret it really; the ride was fun while it lasted. However, we have to know when we’re past the phase when we can use age as an excuse for our shennanigans. (more…)
I really hate it when people generalize. Slim Thug has just perfected the art of ignorance with this one. When you talk about a group of people, please speak only of your experiences. It’s not our fault he couldn’t attract a hardworking respectable woman who can fend for herself. He may have had a few good points but he needs to learn how to get his point across without being so damn offensive. And another thing that gets on my last nerves: Please stop saying black women will not cook, clean, take care of you, etc. Remember that these days, we work just as hard as men, if not harder. We cannot have the same energy to be cooking and cleaning every day like our mothers or grandmothers. This is 2010 people! Act like it!
The way Black people think in general is messed up. Both men and women need to change their way of thinking. It’s hard to trust a Black woman [sometimes] because a lot of Black women’s mind frame is that the man gotta do everything for her⎯ he gotta pay for this, he gotta pay for that, and if it ain’t about money then a lot of them ain’t fucking with him. If that’s what you’re here for then I don’t want to be with you. (more…)
Every other day we hear about a relationship where one partner cheats. It’s been happening since time immemorial. Hapo zamani za kale it would be brushed under the rug and the person cheated on would have to suck it up and keep things moving. These days we have the option of divorce and I think my generation will be Generation D for Divorce. I hope I’m not scaring anyone. That is truly not my attention. I’m just saying, with all the failing relationships we see, maybe it’s time we think outside the box. Not that I’m advocating for open relationships. I’m very much a monogamist. I’m just open to looking at new ways of tackling issues. Erykah Badu said “I have friends who are in polygamous relationships – they’re no more happy or sad than we are. But at least the b*tches know what’s comin’ next!” (more…)
This is a sneak peek of Erykah Badu’s photo shoot from the June/July issue of Vibe magazine. I love me some Erykah! Her new album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) is out now. She recently gave an interview where she says that infidelity is not a deal breaker for her in relationships. I find that really brave. I am definitely not capable of such benevolence. But my question is, if that’s not a problem, why does she seem to have a hard time keeping a man? Men are such difficult creatures to understand…
Erykah On raising three kids as a single mother
No one chooses to raise children alone. When you’re in a relationship you want it to work. My parents did, I did. But we are not taught how to make it work. We don’t know how to perform in relationships. I did Math, Science, English but we weren’t taught about human interaction, about relations with the opposite sex.” (more…)
The other day I was hanging out with a very close friend. We started talking about different relationships of people we both know, and our past relationships. So I got to wondering, where does someone toe the line? What does your partner have to do for you to decide that you can’t be a part of that relationship anymore?
We all have our different thresholds for what we can and cannot tolerate. I’ll admit, most of us are a little harsher than most. To make things more complicated, women these days are self sufficient. They do not need to ‘vumilia’ in a relationship in which they are not happy. This has changed the dating parameters for men quite a bit. It’s not unusual to meet a man who has been dumped and does not have the slightest idea what went wrong. So let’s take a look at the things that really annoy women, to the point of throwing away the ring you bought her worth 50k (more…)
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, from the supergroup TLC, stars in a reality show on VH1 called What Chilli Wants. Basically it’s about her journey and experiences as she looks for love. Assisting her is Brooklyn relationship expert, Tionna Smalls. In this past Sunday’s episode, Chilli talked about her relationship with producer Dallas Austin, aborting her first child and her decision to leave Usher. I’m sure many women will be able to relate. Here’s a bit of what she said:
When I was in TLC, the first producer that we worked with was Dallas Austin. I was in the relationship, I got pregnant first time and I didn’t have the support. I was so scared and I did not know what to do and chose not to have it. One of the biggest mistakes. (more…)
Last week I promised the guys I would help them out with tips on choosing the right woman to date. Easier said than done! I had to do lots of research. And I’m sure I’ll make many ladies mad with this one. But it’s only fair, right?
Men and women have totally different thought patterns when it comes to choosing a mate. For men, they are not always in the market for a long term relationship. Sometimes they just want to “hang out” and we all know what that means. Anyway, here are a few tips for the gentlemen. And ladies, I’m sorry if I’m breaking a code by divulging this information. They asked for it in good faith. (more…)
Love makes us do stupid things, right? But top on the list has got to be the decision to make a sex tape. People usually make this mistake when in a really intense relationship. They think they’re genuinely in love, and they truly might be. But love blinds even the sharpest minds.
It may start off as a joke. One of you suggests, ‘Let’s make a video!’ You blush and giggle a little. Then it’s all forgotten…well, until the next time they ask. This time, you wonder how serious they are. You even find yourself flattered that they would actually love to immortalize your heavenly image on camera. A few weeks later you’re ready. You pick a date and even go shopping for some hot props (lingerie, furry handcuffs, a whip for the really adventurous ). On D-Day, you have just enough wine to get you in the mood. In half an hour, the deed is done. You sit back and admire yourselves. You’re surprised at how hot you look. (more…)
Here’s an excerpt from Regina’s blog over at Vibe:
Of all groups of people, Black women are the least likely group of women that will date outside of their race.
Every single one of my girlfriends won’t date men that aren’t Black. I have maybe about five and these are people that I’m really considering my friends, not people that are associates or that you talk to or deal with at work. I have about five Black friends who date outside of their race. But all the other friends of mine, it’s either they vocally say that they won’t or every time an opportunity comes up for them to date outside of their race, there’s some excuse why it’s not going to work. They never really say it’s because he’s White, or because he’s Spanish or something like that. It’ll be more like, Well, you know he works at such and such, and our schedules don’t match.’ But we’ll know really what it is. It’s ’cause he’s White. (more…)