First, I would like to say I’m totally blown away by the amount of responses my initial ‘Transition’ blog created. I never fathomed it would create such a response, but it’s definitely a pleasant surprise. I want to allow people to be a part of my transition from a single, celibate man to the next leg of my life journey. People have witnessed my public journey since 2005 and it’s only fair that I show what happens when God moves in your life.
One of the major struggles I continue to experience in preparing to transition into engagement, and subsequently marriage, is dealing with shifting my bachelor mindset. As I received confirmation about Tamiko being the woman for me, I had to break out of my comfort zone of being a bachelor mentally. For the past several years I’ve been able to come and go as I please, talk with whomever I please and go out with whomever I please. This may seem trivial to you, but I really believe that when you identify ‘The One,’ you become motivated to take on even more of a sacrificial mindset and change your behavior. I don’t want to follow the footsteps of so many others who live a single life within the covenant of marriage because that’s one of the issues with marriages today!
I also believe that marriage is a covenant that shouldn’t be taken for granted when God sends you someone special. I asked God for a God-fearing, beautiful, purpose-driven, nurturing, compassionate and fun woman who can come alongside of me for a greater combined purpose. Tamiko embodies these traits and so many more. The last thing I want to do is mess that up because I wasn’t willing to give up my bachelor mindset.
I will admit that it’s difficult changing ways that have become so very familiar. I once spent my time conversing, hanging-out and sharing special life experiences with a number of women who I considered to be friends. However, I am a believer that when you find ‘The One’ she becomes the vessel you pour all of those fun, challenging and special moments into. Fortunately, I have found her!
The hard part is seeing the distance begin to mount between yourself and the others who have been a part of your life. I know many may say it’s okay to retain friends, which I agree. However, I don’t think it’s wise to entertain a lot of CLOSE opposite-sex friends. Think about how you would feel seeing your husband or wife hanging-out with his/her opposite-sex friend(s)? I have willingly taken a step back from my opposite-sex friends’ lives once they’ve gotten married. I believe it’s the right thing to do. I also believe you have to release familiarity in order to experience what is deemed extraordinary by God. It’s tough to hold onto and catch something at the same time.
I have learned over time to be open to change and I look forward to seeing how my mindset matures and develops as I transition into a loving husband and prayerfully a loving father.
I was initially hesitant about sharing my story publicly. However, I’ve been very open about the past several years of my life as a single, celibate man. I have had an opportunity to share my celebrations and challenges over the years via my blog (www.chatkafeonline.com), book (www.canyoudoitstandingup.com), radio show, workshops and many other outlets.
Well the time has come for me to share a very different part of my journey. After many years of living the single life, and pursuing my life purpose, I have identified the woman, Tamiko Lowry, I look to spend the rest of my life with. YES…I’m preparing to transition from being a single, celibate man to embracing the role as husband and prayerfully father.
It’s a very different feeling making the intentional decision to move beyond just addressing myself and regularly taking into account the needs and happiness of someone else. The past several months have challenged me to think beyond being single and to prepare for life going forward with an attitude of compromise and sacrifice. Until you get this right your relationships will often end in failure.
Many were very surprised by the photos I shared of my lovely significant other, as they should have been. I never was a fan of sharing publicly my dating experiences because I never wanted to be someone who changed relationship statuses regularly like I see so many others do on social media. I wanted to wait until I was truly sure of my status and the future I desired to pursue before ‘going public.’ Even then I was hesitant. However, because so many people have followed me since 2005, when I started sharing my experiences publicly, I feel a responsibility to bring this phase of my life to you.
On May 11th I shared photos with Tamiko as part of a milestone celebration in my life…turning 40 years old. However, the public revelation was only the result of the hard conversations and work Tamiko and I shared in private. It was over a period of time that I realized that she embodied everything I could have imagined. The Bible says “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Well I’m ready to move into that favor!
The time has come for me to transition and I look forward to sharing the journey with you. Because I’m a big fan of Love and Money, a lot of the focus will center on that particular topic.
Because of the abstinence life I promote, I will let you know that this phase of my journey will go pretty quickly. Once you identify ‘The One,’ there’s no need to delay doing it the right way. Please join me along this journey…it should be fun and entertaining.
One of the things I’m excited about sharing is my experience learning about and shopping for rings. All rings are NOT created equal and I’ll provide details about that soon enough.
I also look forward to being a relationship expert who isn’t single…LOL. I’ve had enough with having to defend my ability to share relationship principles as a single man.
You can watch part 1 of this video series here -> Click Here for Part #1
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I had the opportunity the watch a preview of the new Moguldom documentary The Swirl. This is one of a series of 60-minute documentaries produced by the multi-media company that owns and operates Bossip, MadameNoire, Styleblazer and several other media assets.
The Swirl is a documentary dealing with the societal and cultural issues relating to interracial dating and marriage. I was initially skeptical about doing a review on this documentary because of the preconceived thoughts I initially began thinking about. However, I did take time to watch the documentary and was impressed at the many angles the producers used to address the interracial dating topic.
I originally thought the documentary would be more of a negative assault focusing on the hatred spewed by many who believe those within the same race can only experience love. However, we are taken inside the minds of men and women who have the chance to really voice their views and perspectives.
I enjoyed seeing the interviews with the couples, which included a black man/white woman and black woman/white man combinations. They were pretty open and honest and gave insight into their challenges, struggles and celebrations. I was surprised at the views associated with interracial children by those inside the relationship versus those outside of the relationships. It helped to illuminate the struggles interracial children have with establishing their identity. The quick blurb with Tia and Tamera spoke both to their current societal challenges, but really highlighted something I believed they endured throughout the course of their lives.
One thing I was very pleased with was the balance of people included in the documentary. Often we focus solely on celebrities when trying to validate relationship points when in reality…they have minimal relatability to many in the regular world. They showed clips of Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian along with Kanye and other celebrities; but focused on conversations with real, everyday people.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a totally balanced documentary without featuring the African-American woman perspective who totally opposed interracial dating. Although the percentage of people embracing interracial dating is on the increase, there are still a number of people who vehemently oppose being able to find love outside of one’s race/culture.
It was fun watching the scene featuring the three professional young ladies discussing the need to be open when it comes to dating. They discussed being exposed to various cultures, openness to be treated well by anyone and expanding one’s horizons to experience happiness. Based on the discussions within my circles, I know many professional, African-American women are opening-up and availing themselves to dating outside of their race.
The Swirl is an entertaining and informative documentary that will open the door to many more conversations in the future. I found it to be a source to provoke intellectual conversations very much needed in our society.