Monday, July 29, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Stephanie & Alicia

Stephanie Jones and Alicia Downer  

Middletown, Delaware


How long have you been together?  We have been together for 2 years. We were married on June 30, 2013.

How did you get together/meet?  Stephanie: I realized she lived in Delaware from a meet up site we were both members of. I initially made an inquiry to her on the possibility of carpooling sometimes. We both live in Delaware but she traveled to Philadelphia often for events and work. Our conversation was so easy, that we texted or spoke with each other extensively through text and Facebook. Alicia eventually asked me out. I was a bit taken off guard but agreed to go. We went out 1 or 2 more times, and carried on conversation for another couple weeks before we dropped off.  Alicia: A year later we bumped into each other at a club.  I asked her to dance, and she said no. Stephanie said she promised to dance with her sister first.  I thought initially that it was her polite way of saying, “No get lost.”  She danced with her sister, and then sat back down to sip on her drink.  As soon as I confirmed in my head that she wasn’t interested, she got up, grabbed my hand, and we danced.  There was electricity between us that I wasn’t expecting and time stood still.  Next thing I knew the lights were on.  After that night we’ve been together ever since.

What was the initial attraction? Stephanie: I don’t go out much, but I was at the club celebrating that weekend before the start of a new semester, and Alicia was convinced to go out with her good friends that night. It was another chance meeting. Initially I was attracted to her which is unusual for me because I am attracted to very few people. When I met her again it was magical; it was just a connection.  Alicia:  Stephanie is my definition of what I think a lady is:  well spoken, intelligent, beautiful, sexy, and sophisticated.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship?  Stephanie: We are both hard workers, money wise, responsible, energetic, humorous people who share the same goals AND seriously connect on a spiritual level. Alicia:  Understanding our differences, embracing our similarities, and the spiritual connection between us.  I hope people understand what we mean by this connection.  It’s like our energies combine.  She feels me just as I feel her.  Stephanie is my soul-mate.

I just wrote an article about the importance of shared goals. Why are shared goals so important in relationships: Stephanie: If two people are at different points in their life, it will not work. It is not good for you to go back and it is not fair if she has to catch up. It’s important to be at the same place and have similar personalities. Alicia: We both are at places in our careers where we are thinking about retirement. We are thinking about traveling and what we are going to do in ten years. Shared goals and being at the same place in your life is important.

 Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship?  Stephanie: I think communication is key. Personally, I’ve gotten too old to hold any emotion in. If I feel hurt, sad, depressed, ignored, I am sure to mention it right away. Alicia is more the quiet type, and I feel, is genuinely an almost issue free type person. So I think we complement one another, like Yin and Yang.  Alicia:  We do complement each other very well.  I am “almost issue free” I guess because I always tend to see the glass as half full.  If there are challenges we discuss the issues and put our heads together to find a solution. 

What role does spirituality play in your relationship?  Stephanie: We actually feel very close to God on a spiritual level and feel we were each chosen to present certain gifts to the world. The energy and the spirituality we feel as a couple has confirmed what we each felt. I am here to comfort and she is here to share pure love.  Alicia:  Spirituality is important.  We aren’t very religious, but we recognize God plays an important role in our lives.  I believe we were ordained to be together because we are each other’s blessing.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship?  Stephanie: Sensuality is powerful in our relationship. The magnetic feeling is undeniable and when we are together we seem to flow into one another, become one. The explanation of twin flames would most closely describe the intensity of that type of attraction.  Alicia:  The sensuality between us is amazing!  Stephanie is very sexy and when we mix it’s like fireworks.  I’ve never felt anything like this in my life and it hasn’t dissipated since day one.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Stephanie: That’s hard, because I was essentially single for 10 years. Now that I have experienced this type of love, this type of connection, advice on how to achieve something so natural is impossible. However, I will say to be open to change, sensitive to her feelings, and seek to learn what you do not know to make your relationship better. And the most important advice, “Listen to understand, and not to respond. “

Stephanie, you didn’t date for 10 years. Why and how did that time by yourself help you?  Stephanie: That time was inclusive of when I came out.  When I came out, I lost a lot of things (friends, family, property, my future vision). It was a period I spent re-building my life as the real me, the gay me. Spending time with myself allowed me the ability to determine what I wanted and needed in life. It also taught me how to love my own company, and room to determine what I needed in a partner.  

Alicia:  Relationships aren’t easy and constantly need work.  Ours has always flowed naturally.  Always seek to make the other person a better version of themselves.  Always evolve.

Alicia, what do you mean by making a woman a better version of herself? You can’t go into a relationship trying to make her what you want her to be. You have to be interested in making her better at what she is good at or interested in. You have to support her to be her best. That may mean that you have to become educated about what she is interested in. For example, if she is interested in financial investing, you can help her by learning more about financial investing too.

What do you most admire about her? Stephanie: I most admire Alicia’s ability to love unconditionally. Rarely do you meet a person who has no ill-will. She has a natural ability to love.  Alicia: The most attractive thing about a woman to me is her mind and I’ve always been attracted to intelligence. I admire Stephanie because she is extremely intelligent. We are both college educated, well rounded, and we are able to converse on so many levels.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?  Stephanie: I’ve learned just how complicated my life had really been up to this point by comparison. I was riddled with fatigue, stress and anxiety, but realized I could learn to worry less and love more. That no matter how in control of my life I thought I was, I was no match to destiny. I’ve learned that it was ok to surrender my life again by learning to trust once more.  Alicia:  I’m a “literal” and “logical” type of person.  I’ve learned to not only hear what she tells me, but to listen to what and why she is saying it.  I understand the “read between the lines” thing more now than ever, but I’ve not yet mastered it.  I’m a work in progress, and I have no problem seeking to better myself to understand some things.


If you could thank her for one thing, what would that thing be? Alicia: I would thank her for her ability to help me learn about me. Stephanie has helped me learn about certain characteristics about myself that I never paid attention to. Stephanie: I would thank Alicia for helping me live in a more productive way and for making me happy. Alicia has helped me understand the true sense of happiness.

What one word describes/characterizes your relationship? Alicia: Magical. The connection we have and the energy we share is something out of this world. It is hard to explain; it is magical. Stephanie: Energy. We have a connection. It is some sort of force that pulls me in her direction. It’s an attraction that made me surrender all of my previous doubts about love and unsuccessful relationships between women.




(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)
We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness. 
www.createloveforwomen.com

Create Love Founders

Imani Evans & SharRon Jamison

Friday, July 26, 2013

SAILING THE "SHIPS" OF LIFE: Friendship and Relationship Success



“For people to be successful in love, they must move from being just people in a boat, to friends in a ship. That is why it is called friendship”.  When I heard that statement, it made me wonder why some friendships sail beautifully on the seas of life while other friendships get shipwrecked and sidetracked.  It made me ponder why/how some friendships are able to navigate choppy waters and remain anchored in love. While others falter in adverse conditions and dissolve at the first hint of dissension, disappointment, disagreement and delay.

I don’t claim to know all of the reasons why some relationships survive and others fail. But life has convinced me that most successful relationships have a few things in common with successful sailing. To begin with, they both require dedication and education; preparation and training are critical keys for success. They both require teamwork and without it lives and resources are lost. They both also require that some tough and/or clarifying questions are answered before they leave the proverbial shore. So what are the questions/factors? I am glad you asked. 

The first question that a good sailor asks is - what’s my DESTINATION.  The question may seem somewhat obvious but many times people don’t consider where they are going until after they are already in motion. Just think about – we move in with people before we really know if their goals and intentions are the same or at least complementary. We combine our checking accounts and saving accounts without discussing our individual financial philosophies.  We marry people before we have enough time to determine if they are really compatible with our lives and lifestyles. The truth is that sometimes we jump into the relationship and marriage boat without knowing where we are going. And, then we wonder why so many of our relationships fail.

I believe that before you date or mate you need to ask yourself a few questions to determine your readiness for a relationship. Questions like - what is my goal, objective, mission or purpose in life?  When my life journey ends, where do I want to be?  What do I want to accomplish? What do I want my legacy to be?  And after answering all of those reasons, the next question posed should be “Why”. 

After you answer clarifying questions, your potential partner should be able to answer the same, or at least similar, questions too. Her answers should reveal if you two have similar destinations or goals. More importantly, her answers will help you determine and discern if she is willing and/or capable of sailing in life with you. I know it may sound somewhat elitist but some women are not spiritually, intellectually or emotionally ready to travel with you. And if she is not psychologically equipped, if your goals are not complementary with hers or if her goals compete with yours, you have a destination dilemma that must be addressed before you commit.

For example, if she wants to live in the South and you want to live in the North, that’s a destination dilemma. If your family destination is a family with two kids and her family destination does not include children, that’s a destination dilemma. If your destination is to empower your community and her destination is her own self-aggrandizement, that’s a destination dilemma. If your economic destination is to attain millionaire status and her economic destination is just to financially survive, that’s a destination dilemma. 

We all have and will continue to have destination dilemmas because we all are unique. We have different perspectives, contexts and experiences that shape our realities and inform our views. Don’t get me wrong. Difference is OK; diversity should be celebrated. However, key differences in core areas may prevent, hinder, delay and discourage you from getting to your destination. 

So, before you commit, reflect. Make sure you know what your goals are, and make sure your goals are compatible with her goals. Make sure you share a vision, a destination, of what you hope for and want from your relationship. Remember this - if you two do not share a vision, she can still be a person in the boat, but just not a partner in a ship, your ship.

Destination identifies your goal, but DIRECTION determines how you get there. And many times, the “how” is the hardest question to answer. Why? Because many times people fail to plan; they fail to map out their life journeys.  Some people just let life happen and then wonder why their success is smaller than their goals.

Planning is critical and plans should always include contingencies.  Because let’s face it – stuff happens. Even though none of us enjoy detours and delays, we all will experience them.  But when you have a personal road map and have plotted your life journey, it is easier to adjust or reroute when circumstances or situations change.  Having a well-thought-out plan makes it is easier to maneuver and navigate through life’s ups and downs without getting totally derailed. Like the proverb says - it is easier to get back on track when you have track.

Having direction is critical in all of our ships – relationships, friendships, partnerships, and fellowships. It is especially important in our partnerships because having/following different paths and routes affect your ability to live together.  It impacts your ability to compromise, cooperate, collaborate and co-exist. Because without an agreed-upon and mutually beneficial path, tension erupts, competition ensues, bitterness grows and sabotage occurs. Believe it or not, your relationship with yourself and with your will partner will suffer if your life paths are too divergent. Like the adage says “how can two walk together unless they agree”. 

So before you say “I do” and you then realize “you can’t”, determine your destination and clarify your direction. Even if your direction changes, and it will, make sure you still have a thorough back-up plan to guide and inform your decisions. And if you desire a partnership that adds joy and fulfillment to your life, make sure you understand her plans for her life too. Share, discuss and re-route if need be.  Compromise, yes. Sacrifice, maybe. Surrender, never. If being with a lover requires you to abandon or detour too far from who you are and what you want to be, put her back in the boat. Remember everybody can not be a partner or friend in your ship. Partnerships and friendships are earned privileges not guaranteed positions.

The third factor is DISCIPLINE.  A sailor once told me that sailing requires diligence and attention to detail. It requires that 3 things are always monitored: weather, waves and weight. She told me that failure to pay attention to any of those three could be dangerous and costly.  

I believe that discipline and monitoring are not only important in sailing; they both play important roles in relationships too. But for some reason the word “discipline” invokes all types of emotions, and many of the emotions are negative. I believe that discipline is a positive thing and it is needed in all of our “ships”. We need discipline to practice empathy, extend mercy and accept forgiveness. We need discipline to speak honestly, respectfully and openly. We need discipline to challenge our assumptions and check our egos. We need discipline to press beyond our painful pasts and to heal our childhood wounds. We need discipline!  Partnerships and friendships require discipline because without restraint, self-control, correction and order we fail to honor each other and we also fail to honor ourselves. 

Partners need discipline, and they also need to monitor their relationships. Just as a sailor monitors weather, partners must monitor temperaments, feelings and moods. Just as sailors monitor weight so must partners balance the weight of their professions, families and their individual needs.  Just as a sailor monitors waves so must partners monitor how the changing tides of unemployment, sickness, children and personal growth change their relationships.  Sailors monitor the sea to stay afloat and partners monitor their relationships so that their unions stay alive. Even though it does not sound romantic, an honest, fulfilling and satisfying relationship requires both monitoring and discipline. 

The capacity to love is as endless as the water in the sea. So sail happily. Make sure that the person you pick is not just a warm body in boat, but has the potential to be friend or partner in a ship.  Friendships and partnerships are blessings and they both have the potential to enrich and enhance your life. So always keep the 3 keys in mind: a shared destination, a shared direction and a commitment to discipline. All 3 can make a difference in your life and in love.

Happy sailing and wish you well as you CREATE the love that you desire and deserve.

Blessings!

SharRon Jamison
www.createloveforwomen.com
www.icandependonme-sharronjamison.com
SharRoneJamison@gmail.com
www.sharronjamison.com

Monday, July 22, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Carla & Lolita

Carla Johnson and Lolita Sheriow

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
How long have you been together?  We meet in September of 2004 and we were married on June 29th 2013.
How did you get together/meet?  
Lolita: We met at work. I was determined not to get involved with anyone at work but Carla pursued me. LOL

What was the initial attraction?
Lolita: I thought Carla was a stunning, extremely sexy and intelligent woman who captured my attention with intriguing conversation.  Carla: I was drawn by Lolita’s fabulous smile, her magnetic personality and her 6 pack. Oh, and she serenaded me by singing Tony Terry acapella.  And if you didn’t know, yes, my girl Lo can sing!

What made her conversation intriguing?
Lolita: She told me that I was talented and that she enjoyed my singing. She also asked me if I wanted to go happy hour, and I told her no because I had already made plans but I appreciated her aggressive and bold personality. The way she approached me got my attention. Most people are not so forward and that excited me about Carla.  Carla: It was her personality. Every day she came to work smiling and so happy to be there. Lolita has a huge unique laugh and loves to laugh and have fun, even at work. She was a supervisor so she had a great work ethic but she always had a smile on her face and that caught my attention. She also asked me to a movie and I asked her “does it have a lot of sex scenes in it”? LOL Lolita: Yes, that intrigued me too.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship?
Carla: The key to the success of our relationship is communication, communication and more communication. We discuss finances, sex, likes and dislikes. Each year we evaluate the relationship and tell each other what was good and what actions or issues we don’t want to see anymore. We then recommit to each other to make those adjustments. Lolita: We also treat each other with respect by understanding that we are still individuals with our own identities and hobbies. We make sure to spend quality time together and have sex often. Another important key is our commitment to each other. We make decisions that will enhance our relationship and not tear it down.
What decisions do you feel enhanced your partnership?
Carla: One decision we made was to buy a house. That was a commitment to each other and to our relationship; it made us closer.  We also made the decision to create personalized legal documents listing each other as executor of our estate. By creating a will, we are making sure that if something ever happens to one of us that there are no issues and/or questions about what we want. We made sure to have things on paper in preparation for anything.  Lolita: We just didn’t talk about being a couple; we were determined to show that we were committed. We know if anything happens to one of us that business is taken care of.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship:  Lolita: We face challenges in our relationship by keeping it real with each other; we make an effort to honestly communicate our feelings no matter how hurtful or disappointing they may be. That is the only way to learn from our mistakes - by admitting them first. Also, we don’t let unsettled issues linger for long. Carla: We make effort to talk about our issues until we come to an agreement of what the real issue is then address it. We are open to having those conversations even if they are hard. Lolita: We have always been able to talk and discuss the hard issues. We are able to put everything on the table and make the necessary changes to make things right. Carla: The things we say are said “with love” and that we are not being malicious.  We also trust each other. Lolita meets a lot of people through the business so I have to trust her. For us, trust is measured by matching your actions with your words to determine if they are consistent and we have been consistent with each other for the last 8years.Lolita: We just faced a major challenge recently. I lost my aunt and uncle due to arson and it was absolutely traumatic and devastating for my family. Carla was and has been my rock. She has been very attentive to me and always makes sure that I am ok.

Admitting mistakes are hard. How does your relationship support mistakes without retribution? Carla: That’s a good question because it’s human nature to want to hurt someone who hurts you but we talk about those feelings. We are both vulnerable with each other and that’s the only way to have a true relationship. Lolita: It is important to identify your mistakes and admit them. Then be willing to make the necessary changes. If you value your relationship and yourself, you will make those wrong things right. 

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Lolita: Spirituality is important in our relationship. We pray together and support each other in our journey to have a stronger personal relationship with God. We both have backgrounds in church and we made sure we get a word. Carla: We talk about the services and hold each other accountable. We also pray together often.

You still enjoy sex with each other. So many lesbians succumb to “Lesbian Bed Death”. How do you keep the spark alive? Lolita: I am a LeoJ. I am very spontaneous. I like to role-play and I love to talk nasty. I like to catch her off guard. I also believe that it is important to do the small things that you did in the beginning often. For example, every morning I tell her that I love her and that I need her. Sometimes I tell her 3 or 4 times a day that I love her. A combination of those things keeps me excited and attracted to her and vice versa. Carla: I make a conscious decision to accept her spontaneity and affection and reciprocate that back to her. We also try to have sex in new and different places. That keeps it exciting. Lolita: When we go to a new restaurant or something we just disappear. Now our friends will know what we are doingJ.

Growth sometimes equals change. How do you manage change emotionally, spiritually and intellectually? Carla: We went through change when she wanted to start a real estate business. She presented a business plan to me and included me as owner of the business on all the documents and that was important to me because it showed me that she had researched the business and had a plan of action. We also understand that we can agree to disagree and move on. Lolita: We don’t say “You did this so I can do that”. We say “this is what I want to do and this is why”.

Every relationship has Relationship Rules that support the union. What are your relationship rules? Lolita: We don’t stay mad at each other. That’s one of our golden rules. We talk until we agree or agree to disagree. That way we both can sleep peacefully.  Carla: We may have a lot of late nightsJ. Peace is not about everything being resolved. It is about getting out all of your feelings about the issue. We also created boundaries that we both agreed on for dealing with ex’s or crushes.  Lolita: We have rules around social media; we have each other’s passwords and follow the rule- if you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to me. Carla: Also, we don’t come between our families. We are both family oriented.

What do you most admire about her? Lolita: Her ability to be faithful, loving and committed to me. That’s especially rare in this day and age. And because of that, it makes me love her more and motivates me to be a better partner. Carla: She has been consistent over the 8 years. I am older and I didn’t think that she was ready for a commitment. But she has shown me that she is. From the beginning she told me “hold on, we are going places and we are going to do things”. And we have. She has always chosen me and us. All of her decisions have been for the betterment of us.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?
Lolita: It has taught me how to communicate better, not keep things inside. It has taught me to share my feelings more. Carla: It has taught me not to sweat the small stuff and my relationship should not be everything to my happiness and that I should pursue the things that I love to do in life.

 If you could thank her for 1 thing. What would that be? Carla: I would thank her for showing me a new way of thinking about life and ways to be financial independent. I’ve always been shy but through her love and encouragement she has helped me come out of my shell. She has always told me throughout our entire relationship (tears from all three of us) to hold on, you haven’t seen nothing yet. She still says that to this day.  Lolita: I would thank her for choosing me because she didn’t have to. She could have anyone else she wanted because she is beautiful not only physically, but she is giving and so loving. She could have chosen someone else, but she chose me.

What 1 word describes/characterizes your relationship? Lolita: Real: It’s real because of our openness and faithfulness to each other. We both have the ability to discuss, share and talk about the difficult topics and most relationships can’t. Carla: Caliente (HOTT): We have always been told that we give out sexually energy when we are together.

What advice would you give to other couples?
Carla: 1. You must be able to look at yourself in the mirror and be at peace.
2. You can’t control everything your partner does, you have to trust them.
Lolita: 3. Give your partner the opportunity to grow and make mistakes.
4. Be willing to accept your own faults and understand that nobody is perfect.

You can also find Carla and Lolita at the following website:


(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness. 
www.createloveforwomen.com

Create Love Founders

Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison

Saturday, July 20, 2013

THE FIRST 50 DATES: Tips for dating with success

You spend all day prepping for that sweet first date. You ponder what to say and strategize your coolest moves (or maybe that's just me). You pick her up and the chemistry is like fireworks. Yes! There is synergy between you and that tingling sensation takes over your whole body. That feeling of excitement in the pit of your stomach tells you that she just might be the one. The courtship begins. And if you are like most lesbians you accomplish more emotional depth in one year than other couples do in five. Now the question is, how do you start and stay healthy? This article is for you.

At Create Love we pay homage to those couples who have been able to stand the test of time, those couples who make it work against all odds. But we also truly value those new couples who really want to get it right from the start. I mean, who wants to keep going back to the drawing board every 2 to 3 years. The thrill of the chase is overrated and gets a little old for most of us as we get older. So I want to offer some tips for those women who want to begin a healthy, sustainable relationship. Here’s what to do in the courtship phase that will help you navigate to a strong foundation of love.

1. Be very clear about what you desire in a partner. Our likes and dislikes can be weighted. In other words, you may not like someone shorter or taller then you are, for example. On the other hand the desire to have honesty, integrity and chemistry might outweigh that preference. Realizing what you want in a mate requires some self exploration. It sounds simple but it is the one thing that too many women neglect. Then, once you are clear about what you want--be honest.

Too often women feel guilty about holding on to their desires and embracing what they truly want. So they force themselves into situations because it isn’t “nice” to say that. Listen, no one likes rejection. Yet it is a fact of life. Not everything is for everyone. The real travesty is pretending to feel something for someone who doesn’t meet your preferences.  News flash... You are not doing her any favors. Put your big girl britches on and tell the truth! That way you will walk away with your integrity intact, while getting out of the way for her to attract the person who adores her. You both deserve to have what you want. 
2. Ask meaningful questions and, wait for it... Listen to the answers! While this may sound extremely simple, I am certain that many of us get off track right here. Some of us ask questions but somewhere from her mouth to our ears the words are transmuted into exactly what we’ve always wanted to hear. In other words, we hear what we want not what is said. My simple prescription for that is – stop doing that. It is imperative to listen to the words coming out of her mouth. I am not sure who said it but there is a wonderful quote that says, “when people tell you who they are, believe them”. We cannot make someone be who we want them to be, or see only what we want to see.
3. Realize that vulnerability and authenticity are the cornerstones of building your emotional foundation. It is imperative that we choose partners who match our emotional presence in a relationship. Simply put, emotional presence is whether or not she can show up and be who she is – self actualization. Self-awareness is one component, but self actualization is about knowing who you are and then being that person. The readiness to be vulnerable and authentic means that you have a willingness to trust yourself and your potential mate. 
I know what some of you may be thinking--It isn’t easy to put your feelings out there and not have them reciprocated. I agree, emphatically. It isn’t easy, but it is neccessary. It is more detrimental is to hold back and not offer your whole self, while expecting the other person to be fully present, and pretending to be someone that you are not. It is analogous to building a beautiful brick house on top of a foundation made from plywood. It might hold for a moment but it cannot stand the test of time. You have to be willing to give her an opportunity to love you wholly. 
Click the link for a really great resource by Brene Brown on vulnerability. It has the potential to change your life. HERE
4. Figure out each other’s love language. The wonderful thing about relationship building is that people have been studying it and creating templates since the dawn of time. An awesome resource that I highly recommend is the Five Love Languages. Okay, so you will have to ignore the conservative overtones and the hetero-centrism threaded throughout the book, but if you can stay focused on the message I promise the benefits to your relationship will outweigh it all. The five love languages gives you a way to communicate your adoration on the same frequency as your mate. Any communication is only as effective as the ability for it to be received, regardless of how dynamic your elocution is. Well, communicating love is no exception. 
5. Be ye equally yoked, so says the Bible. Rest assured I am no expert-- by any stretch of the imagination--on the Bible. As a matter of fact, for transparency sake, I am Buddhist. But I accept all divine messages for my healing. And choosing a partner with whom I am equally yoked is certainly a message for us all, regardless of your spiritual or religious practices. The exact quote from the Bible is as follows:  
2 Corinthians 6:14
King James Version 
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 
On a practical level, being equally yoked is translated as choosing a partner that shows up in the world at the same vibration that you do. It is imperative to share core values and ideologies about life, but for me being equally yoked surpasses even that. We must have commonalities to get along. But being equally yoked is additionally about sharing a vibration of passion and purpose in life. It doesn’t mean that your mate has to do exactly what you do, not at all. Variety is the spice of life. However, your zest for life, enjoyment and life force must be met with mutuality and reciprocity. 
5. Finally, savor the courtship phase but don’t confuse its purpose. There is a plethora of research on the many stages of a relationship. I won’t
waste time breaking that down in this particular article. Suffice it to say that the initial phase sometimes called the romantic or enchantment phase is designed to allow us to fall in love. This phase, depending on which research you read, can last anywhere from six months to two years. But don’t make the mistake of confusing it for what your relationship will be like forever. 
In the romantic stage we find every little thing she does really cute. We say, "oh, look at my baby--when she burps it makes a funny sound". Yeah right! Then one year later you’re trying to figure out why she is annoying the hell out of you making that very same sound. LOL. There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing wrong with her. You are just moving out of the romantic stage into real love. In the real love stage there are power struggles, revelations and disagreements but there is also trust, stability, consistency and dependability. We must find the joy in every stage for each has its purpose, to help us CREATE LOVE.
It is my greatest hope that these tips are useful to you in your journey to find the love of your life. The ultimate key to finding love is TO BE IT. I wish you immeasurable success on your journey.

Nya Akoma (Take Heart),
Imani Evans, MA
404.944.6409



Saturday, July 13, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Umukija & Jacqueline

Umukija Singh and Jacqueline Mickle
Lawrenceville, Georgia

How long have you been together? Jackie: We have been together since June 30, 2005. 

How did you get together/meet? Umukija: We met on Black Planet, a dating website.

What made you try a dating site? Umukija: I was single at the time and a friend told me about the website so I tried it. It was my first time ever meeting somebody on the internet, but I am glad I did because I met my soul mate.

What was the initial attraction? Umukija:  I was attracted to her looks. She was slender, had a flat belly and beautiful eyes. I also wanted someone younger than me who had more energy. We are 15 years apart and she keeps me young, and I help her mature. That’s why we are such a good fit. Jackie: I was attracted to her info in her profile. At that time, I was looking for a woman who had a good head on her shoulders, and I knew from her conversation that she was intelligent. She knew what she wanted. Also, I was attracted to her complexion, smile and her buttJ.

Jackie, you were specifically looking for an older womanWhy? I was looking for someone who could help me grow. I wanted to be with someone who could teach me something. 

How did you know that she was “the one”? Jackie: I just knew. I can’t explain it but from the moment I
read her profile, I knew she was the one for me. Shortly after meeting her I told her I knew she was the one. She just blushed and laughed but I knew deep down inside she felt the same way. Umukija: After a while, I knew. From the way she responded to my profile, I knew she was the one because we had so much in common.

How did your friends respond to your relationship? Umukija: All of my siblings accepted my relationship, except my brother. Even my father accepted us which was a surprise because he is Muslim. My mother still has a problem with it and she constantly throws the Bible at us. My children are ok. They just want me to be happy. Jackie: Some of my so-called friends were judgmental. But my true friends were very supportive. My family is supportive of us too.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Umukija: Trust, communication, loyalty, and honesty. However, I feel that communication is the main ingredient. I always know that we can express our feelings because that is the only way that anything can be resolved.  JackieTrust, communication, putting God first, quality time, and fun together. With Kija, I trust her and I always feel confident that her love for me is the same. I never worry when we are apart. Umukija: Loyalty is important too and we will never let one anything or anyone come between us. We know each other and we trust each other.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Jackie:  We talk until we come to a conclusion and/or agreement, and then we pray about it. We forgive our wrongs and fight for our rights. Umukija: We communicate about everything and we make decisions together. It is always teamwork.

I love the statement “We forgive our wrongs and fight for our rights”. What does that mean? Jackie: We forgive each other. If we do anything that hurts the other’s feelings, we forgive. We don’t dwell on the hurt because that hinders the relationship. We press forward and we press forward together. Also, it means that we will fight for our rights to be together. Umukija: We fight for our relationship no matters what happens. And that means that sometimes you have to cut the drama out. You can’t let anybody or anything come between you.

You mentioned teamwork. How do you function as a team? Umukija: I love that we are 50/50 all of the way. For example, if there is a bill, she pays half and I pay half. That way it is less pressure on her and less pressure on me. We have teamwork in parenting too and we don’t let the kids pit us against each other. My yes is her yes, and her no is my no.
                                                                                                                                    
I know that you are planning to add to your family. How did you make that decision? Jackie: We always wanted to raise a family of our own. We have love, commitment and our finances are in order so now is the time to build our familyUmukija: I already have 5 children and 3 grandchildren but Jackie doesn’t have any children. I want her to have the opportunity to raise a child. I am older but my doctors said that I am good to go. So, we are now in the process of trying to have a child.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship?  Jackie: It plays a major role because our spiritual connection is what keeps us bonded. We are both God-fearing women who love the Lord. In Philippians 2:5 it says that we should have one mindset in Christ Jesus. We do. We pray together every morning, go to church together every Sunday and we both do volunteer work in church. God is the reason for our season and we love, honor, praise, and worship Him together.  Umukija: It plays a major role because without God there would be no us. It plays a major role because we both love, pray and worship the Lord. We put Him first in our lives and we fellowship in church every Sunday.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? UmukijaIt plays a small role for us and it is only about 10% of our relationship. The other 90% is about love, caring, commitment, loyalty and trust. Don't get me wrong. It is an amazing feeling and she drives me wild.  We both just love and enjoy our time together and that makes us fall deeper in love with each otherJackieIt plays a minor role but it is very good when we do it; it brings us closer together. It’s like falling in love all over again.   We have Dejavu (if you know what I mean). When we are sensual we take time & patience with it. It is like an art to us.

Every couple has Relationship Rules that support and strengthen their union. What are your
rules? Umukija:  We don’t spread our business. Whatever happens in the house stays in the house. We don’t stay mad at each longer than five minute. We forgive. Jackie: We kiss each other every morning and every night. Before one of steps outside the door, we say “I love you”. We always hold each other at night.

What advice would you give to other couples? Umukija: The ingredients to a long, successful relationship are communication, trust, honesty, faithfulness and consideration for each other feelings. Caring and sharing will give your relationship peace, happiness, and longevity. JackiePray about every situation because God is always in control. Talk!  Communication is key.  Be honest to each another. Never hide anything because that causes trust issues. Never let a situation build up because it always causes chaos. And, always make time for each another. That always strengthens and keeps the relationship alive.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?  Umukija: It has taught me that I can make sacrifices and that I am very submissive.  It has taught me that I am loving, caring, patient and content. Jackie: It has taught me how to love. I use to have so much anger from my past but my wife helped me get over it. I feel free again.  She also educated me about business and taught me how to be kind and good to people. I would not trade her for anything in the world. I now know the meaning of “when you got something good hold on to it” because that is exactly what I’m doing with her.

What do you most admire about her? Umukija: I admire her loyalty. She’s all about her wife. She speaks about me at work and everything. She always puts me first. Jackie:  I admire her
 submission. She takes care of me. She makes sure that I have what I need.

If you could thank her for 1 thing. What would that be? Jackie: I would thank her for her encouragement. She is always supportive. She also gave me encouragement while I worked through my past. Umukija: I would thank her for her support. I would thank her for being there through the good and the bad times. She was always there to see me through.

What do you want your love legacy to be? Jackie: I want people to know that we were a loving, outgoing and Christian couple. Umukija: I want people to know that we were devoted, caring and happy.

What one word describes/characterizes your love? Jackie: Phenomenal. Our relationship is 1 in a million. We stuck it out for 8years despite our age difference and other challenges. Our love is phenomenal.  Umukija: Genuine. We have a special love. We spoil each other and make each other happy. We love each other unconditionally.
(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness. www.createloveforwomen.com

Create Love Founders
Imani Evans & SharRon Jamison



Monday, July 1, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Dianna & Michelle

Diana Dulaney and Michelle Whidbee 
Coral Spring, Florida

How long have you been together? We just celebrated our 12 year anniversary on May 26th.

How did you get together/meet:?Diana: We met on the internet on a dating site in 2001. Michelle had an ad saying, “Looking for someone who likes weekend getaways, spends quality time and has movie nights.” I knew that I didn’t have a shot, but I went for it anyway. Michelle: We chatted and hit it off really well. Then we made arrangements to meet at a bowling alley for lunch. It was then that I knew I wanted her in my life. We have been together since the day we first made eye contact. We are living proof that love at first sight does exist. I feel as if I was her birthday gift from God.
What was the initial attraction?  Diana: Well there are a few things. She is “bow-legged” and I find that to be very sexy. Her deep dimples are to die for. I’ve always seen Michelle in a special light and I always will. I fell in love the first time we met and I knew that I wanted her in my life forever. Michelle: What attracted me was her complexion. Her skin was (still is) like dark chocolate—so smooth and so flawless that it glowed. I just wanted to touch her to see if it felt as good as it looked. It still looks that way to this very day!  When she looked at me on that first day we met, there was an instant attraction. I still see that same look in her eyes.  I always catch her looking at me when she thinks that I am not looking. She gave me back something that I had lost, my self-esteem. She made me feel pretty and sexy….wanted.
How did she help you regain/repair your self-esteem? Michelle: When I was married, my life revolved around my marriage and my husband. But after I got divorced, I was by myself. I had no one to talk to. When I met Diana, we connected because we had some of the same experiences. We both dealt with weight gain, bad marriages and low self-esteem. But, she made feel strong and beautiful. Diana: When I saw Michelle, I was married and was going through a tough time. Michelle always complimented me which boosted my self-esteem. I had issues around my skin color but she made me feel pretty and always treated me like a queen. I said to myself “If I am going to lose my marriage, it will be for her”.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship?  Diana:  We have an open line of communication.  We trust each other’s decision making. Michelle is my best friend and my heart. Michelle: We always talk everything through, from our finances to our three children’s’ lives.  We have trust. She knows that what I tell her or how I respond to any questions/ concerns is from my heart. She knows that I always have her best interest at heart too. We also have security and she knows if she leans, I will be there to prop her up. When she stumbles, I will catch her. And when she falls, I will pick her up. I let her know that my love is unconditional. Diana: I have three children. My youngest was nine when we met. Michelle always told me that she was dating me and them because she knew she had to gain their trust also. She has a huge heart and she’s a very loving person; my kids love her as much as I do.
Dating women with children can be rewarding, yet challenging.  What tips can you share? Diana: When I was first talking to Michelle, I was afraid to tell her that I had kids because I thought that it would discourage her. But it didn’t. She always understood if I couldn’t do something or if I had to be home for the children. She never pressured me. Michelle: It is never an easy thing when kids have shared their life with another person. But, you have to date the children too and work to gain their trust. If you love the person, you have to love the children. You have to connect with them. I let them know that I was not trying to be a parent; I wanted to be a friend.
Diana: Michelle made herself available to my kids and her family has always accepted my kids. If it wasn’t for Michelle’s family, my kids would not have had a family. She is my dream come true. Michelle: We never argued in front of the kids either. We have our discussions behind closed doors. And, I never punished the kids. I let Diana do that.
Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship: Diana: I’m the nervous one!  Michelle is always so calm. When things get rough/tough Michelle always says, “Di, it’s going to be ok.” We always have each other’s back; we are a team. Together we can handle whatever comes our way. Michelle: I am very big on communication so I always want talk to Diana about any challenges that I/we might face. I know I can depend on her to remind me of my strength and to remind me about the things we have overcome in our past. We always discuss our challenges in bed facing each other. I feel that helps us because we get to see each other’s expressions and emotions. It gives me strength to know she believes that I can overcome anything.
Olivia (Scandal) said “If you want me, earn me”. How did you earn her love? Michelle:  Diana has some health issues and when I met her, she felt that she was confining me because she couldn’t do some things. But I had to prove to her that I was bonded to her and to the children. When she goes to the hospital, I am with her. If she stays the night, I stay with her.  When she goes to the doctor, it is not her appointment, it is our appointment. I am there. Because of her health issues, she can’t work but I told her, “you take care of home and I will take care of the outside”. I will always offer her that security. Diana: Michelle has a big heart and she makes me feel safe. When things come up, I panic, but she lets me know that she will always be there for me. Whatever we need, she makes it happen. She’s unbelievable! I do things for her too, and she always appreciates it. She appreciates the little things.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Michelle: It plays a big part because I was raised by a single mother and so was she. We were taught to pray on any and everything. I never lose faith in God for He will make all things possible. He will provide a way and bless us. We strongly believe in that and we have raised our children with that same belief.  A family that prays together stays together. I can smile and say 12 years later that we are still praying. Diana: Spirituality plays a big role. We both have a strong faith in God. When something bad happens, we say it must be a test from God. Michelle has taught me how to relax and always tells me that God would never put too much on us that we couldn’t handle. She always reminds me that just because I want something to happen right now that God has a time when He will provide it. So, be patient for He is with you/us.
What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Diana: It plays a very important role, hee heeeee!  Michelle is VERY GOOD at expressing herself. She loves to touch and caress me all of the time. I love to explore and try new things to keep things exciting. I love when she looks at me and notices my devilish smirk on my face. I love knowing she is pleased. I can look into her eyes and see the same glow from when I first met her. We even have matching tattoos (mushy moment) with two cherries that says “Real Love”. We truly believe that’s what we have. Michelle: It plays another major role! I still look at Diana like the first day I saw/met her. But now I get to touch/see her whenever I want and need to. I love to feel her skin. I love the softness and I love to run my fingers over every curve of her body. By just doing that, I am completely satisfied. I love when she rubs my back until her hands get hot (smile). My love for her is so deep that I can’t sleep unless I can smell her and feel her body heat. Her smell, touch and feel are intoxicating!
What are your “Relationship Rules” that support your union? Diana:  Never go to bed angry. God forbid if something happens to one of us. The thought of not being able to say, “I love you bay” would be   devastating and we could never live with that. Michelle: We don’t argue in front of the kids. We really only argue about her medicine and her doctor’s appointments. Also, never put your hands on each other. If you are angry, walk away. Diana: No name calling.
What advice would you give to other couples? Diana: Have faith, always communicate, and put 110% effort into your relationship, put effort into knowing your partner’s needs/wants, give love unconditionally, complement each other and give hugs.  Michelle and I believe that when you hug, your body exudes certain energy. Also, give each other space when needed. Michelle:  Always pray together and for each other. Always communicate openly and never lose trust. Once trust is gone, communication becomes limited. Once that happens, you will begin to look elsewhere to fill that void. Yes, communication is a key because chances are that they are thinking the same thing you are.
What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?  Michelle: It taught me to trust and it has taught me that I am a strong woman and to love unconditionally. Faith has given me the strength to be a provider for Diana and our children. But most of all, her faith allowed me to see that I am a strong black woman who can offer her love, a happy home and security. Diana: It taught me that there is someone who can love me the way I need/want to be loved, and that I can reciprocate that love, and then some. Our relationship has shown me that there are still some good people out there. It has also taught me how to communicate openly. Before, I held everything in. Our relationship has shown me that she was the total package of everything that I dreamed of, and I have faith we will grow old together. I have never been this happy in a relationship in my life.
What do you most admire about her? Diana: I admire her big heart and her determination to make our relationship work. Michelle pulls strings to make things work; she does whatever it takes to take care of us. Michelle: I admire the trust that she places in me. She put her trust and her children’s trust in my hands when she left her marriage with just the clothes on her back. We now have things together that we never had before. Her trust made me step up.
If you could thank her for one thing, what will that be? Diana: I would thank her for coming into my life and for showing me how it feels to be loved and for allowing me to love her. Michelle: I would thank for giving me children and for giving me a chance to raise children. That was a blessing. I feel like her children are mine.

What one word describes/characterizes her relationship and why? Michelle: Happiness. When we first started dating, we didn’t tell our kids we were gay. We just said that we were happy. We were being happy and we still make each other happy. Diana: Blessing: Our relationship has everything – spirituality, connection, trust and communication. The only word that describes our relationship and our family is the word blessing.


(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness. www.createloveforwomen.com


Create Love -- Founders
Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison


We will see you on July 20th for Unveiling the Stud Mystique