Loving You Will Be The Greatest Thing I Ever Do.

It's something I so often catch myself thinking about. 

The thought of your mother and father looking at you when you were a little girl, dreaming of what the rest of your life would look like. 

Certain that all of their thoughts somehow centered around you always being protected, no matter where your journey in life would lead you. 

They've spent so many years showering you with their love; working tirelessly to give you a wonderful life. All while pouring so much effort into raising you to be kind in a world so sadly filled with hate. 

To ensure that one day you'd have the opportunity to achieve your own dreams, to set out on your own path, and live a life that would bring you the joy and happiness that you have so often filled their hearts with. 

A life that would eventually introduce you to a man who would take over from where they left off. To love you unconditionally, to see perfection in all of your flaws, and protect you from harm for the rest of his life. 

The way they so selflessly have before him. 

Someone who would push you in the direction of your dreams, and believe in you more than you have ever believed in yourself. Spending every last day ensuring that the life they've dreamt for you comes to fruition ... 


And love you

fOR EVERYTHING YOU ARE.


I too have wondered what my future might look like. 

A future I've waited so patiently for all these years. 

It's a place I often close my eyes and dream of. Where my hopes lie, and I so anxiously look to for strength. It's been a place to come home to, cities to explore, memories to create, thoughts of my children running wild and free ... 

And one woman. To fall in love with over and over again. 

For me, heartache clouded that vision for the longest time; making it so difficult to focus on my dreams for tomorrow. I spent so many years picking up the pieces to a life that was once filled with so much promise, that I couldn't fathom what a better tomorrow may have felt like. 

The feeling of pain was so fresh, and the wounds of losing what I worked so hard for were busted wide open. I no longer trusted people, and sadly I felt that I would never love the same way again.

Maybe that was the point. To love differently. 

My mother would always tell me that there would come a day that I would lay my eyes on a soul that was so pure and so beautiful; someone who would make sense of all the pain and suffering I had gone through in my life. 

"You wont even have to look for it". 

She'd tell me that I would look at her and feel peace. That my heart would be at ease, and the connection would so be powerful that I would hear God whisper in my ear, 

"Thats her" ..... 

I believed that. But I couldn't comprehend it at that point in my life. 

Yet I always knew there was something I was destined to find. 

So I journeyed along this broken road, hoping one day it would lead me home. Often pondering how wonderful a connection so deep could feel ....

Until I found you. 

And saw every hope and dream I've ever had reflecting so bright in your big beautiful eyes. 

Knowing in my heart you were the woman that God led me on this journey to find. To make sense of all the pain I have ever endured, and to give me hope that the rest of my life could be even more beautiful than I ever dreamed it to be. 

I never imagined that I'd find someone so utterly and completely perfect. Someone who would fill my world with more joy than I ever dreamed of. A woman who would touch my life in such a profound way, and give me an entirely new reason to breathe. 

Everything I ever anticipated you to be pales in comparison to who you actually are. 

I think back to that Monday morning in September. I stopped and looked at you as the sun shined through, and in the softest voice you introduced yourself. It was at that moment that two strangers became connected in this crazy world. Paving the way for a beautiful story that I now believe had always been written in the stars. 

But when I woke up that day, I had no idea that I was about to meet the woman who would become the inspiration behind my words, and the thoughts that would one day so often occupy my mind. 

I've always believed love is a friendship that catches on fire. 

It's the relationship that people so often warn you about. The one that comes into your life so unexpectedly, yet evolves so naturally. That one day you wake up and find yourself head over heels for someone who's been there all along. 

Ours has been no exception to that rule. 

You're the one person I've never hesitated opening my heart to. Telling you everything about my life, and how imperfect it's been. I've willingly showed you all of my scars, and have explained in such detail every ounce of pain I have ever endured. 

It's always come so natural. Because I've trusted you'd never hurt me. 

You've listened, and have understood me in ways no woman has ever before. And your genuine care for my well being has been the most sincere. 

As time passed, I too began to see the despair you hid so gracefully behind your eyes. They spoke all of the words I knew you were reluctant to share. But I always knew the severity of the pain that was buried deep within your heart. 

You've spent so much time giving all of yourself to others, worrying so deeply about their happiness that you somehow forgot to ask if there was anyone doing the same for you. Putting your happiness first, and sacrificing for you in ways you so naturally have for them.

Time and time again I watched as disappointment filled your eyes. Seeing all the tears you so desperately wanted to cry. And it all began to hurt me. 

To see someone with such a beautiful heart look so hopeless at times changed everything I ever felt for you. 

I couldn't bear to watch you suffer anymore. 

It's every reason why I've invested my time into learning about your life, and your aspirations. Caring for you as a woman, and wanting to see you flourish in ways you have never before. 

Because I've known that nobody has ever cared to. That they've neglected to take the time to appreciate the woman you are, to see your potential in life, and help guide you in the right direction.  

But what I was failing to realize, was that while I was spending all of this time investing into you, caring for your well being, and trying to give you a different perspective on life ... 


I was 

FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU. 


The way you'd look at me and giggle so innocently. How nervous you'd always get in my presence. The way your hands would sweat whenever I touched them. How you'd always listen to everything I shared with you, and genuinely cared. The way you so selflessly protected me, even when I wasn't around. 

Everything you've said. Everything you've done. Everything you are. 

I've fallen so deeply for. 

You're my first thought in the morning, my last thought at night, and nearly every other thought in between. 

And I swear every single time I hold you in my arms, it feels like home. 

You've loved me. In ways I've always prayed for a woman to love me; so aggressively capturing my heart and making me feel emotions I never knew existed. 

But I still never envisioned it to happen this way. 

That in the middle of my ordinary life, in a place so unexpected, I'd fall in love with you of all people. And all the parts of yourself that you've believed nobody would ever love. Those broken, sharp edged pieces that you've hid from everyone but me. 

I don't believe either of us expected this to happen. 

But as the days turned into months, and the months into years I couldn't help but want to be the man who walked into your life and changed everything you've ever known about life and love. 

The man who would hold you tight in his arms, no matter how sharp your edges were. All so that you could feel safe, and watch as all of your broken pieces fell back together. 

The man that your mother and father have dreamed for you all of their life. 

I have so much admiration for you. And even till this day, I still get butterflies every time I look at you. 

Your voice; it's so beautiful. I could listen to speak for hours. About your dreams for the future and the life you plan for your family. It all just rolls so elegantly off your tongue. 

Your smile; it's precious. It so effortlessly lights up a room, and defines your character. Time and time again, it puts the stars in my sky. 

Your heart; it's pure. It pumps life into so many around you, including myself. Motivating and inspiring me to love even more gently than I do today. 

And those eyes; they're so kind. They tell a story. Of your strength and how you've so selflessly swallowed pain without ever hurting those around you. 

You are by far the most beautiful human being I have ever met in my life.


And I'm still in awe

that you look at me the way you do. 


You have a vision for life, and I've always adored that about you. 

But it's pained me to watch men consistently overlook your value. To see them neglect to love and care for you the way you deserve to be loved and cared for. Regardless of how hard you try to get them to see it. 

I can't speak for them; maybe they just don't know how to love you the way you need to be loved.

That's why I listen so closely to everything you share with me. Because I know sprinkled within your words are pieces of our heart that you've unwillingly lost along the way. 

Even when we speak, I watch as you hold back your tears. And I know that they derive from fear and neglect. You hold everything in, because you believe in your heart that nobody cares about how you feel. But I want you to know, it's okay to cry. And it's okay to be afraid. Because I'm here to protect you, and I swear I'd never do anything to hurt you. 

That's why I've always given you my honesty. And have consistently pushed aside my pride to make sure you realize how amazing you are; even when we don't see eye to eye. 

You deserve to know how wonderful I think you are. How much of an impact you've had on my life. And that beyond how breathtaking you are on the surface, it's your soul that's captured my heart. 

I want to take my time undressing your conscience, and making love to your mind. I want to be the man that you share all your thoughts with. Even the ones you've never said out loud before.

I promise I'll continue to walk right beside you. Picking up every single piece of your heart that you once lost along the way. And just as I have been doing all along, I'll keep giving them back to you.

To teach you a new normal. A healthier normal. 

No matter how hard it's been for me, or the sacrifices I've had to make to do it. 

Because I've felt this responsibility within me. To protect their little girl in ways no other man has, or has even considered to before me. 

I've wanted to teach you the difference between being flattered by a man, and complimented by one. That being liked by someone is completely different than being valued by them. To show you that it's never about how much money someone spends on you, but the investment they make into your hopes and dreams. 

I want you to realize that being called beautiful pales in comparison to a man actually making you feel beautiful. 

No matter how many flaws or insecurities you believe you have. 

Because I know there will be days when you don't feel beautiful, and you'll somehow think I'll find you unattractive. That I'll stop caring about you because of the physical characteristics of yourself that you don't find to be perfect ... 

Your hair when it's an frizzy, your smile that you hate, your legs that you believe are too big, or chest that you think is too small. The way you get nervous when you eat around me, or sweat when I hold you. Your puffy eyes in the morning, or your morning breath before you brush your teeth. 


None of it will ever change

how beautiful you are in my eyes. 


Because I genuinely love you. 

Proving that to you hasn't been easy.

You're so used to people neglecting to take the time and effort to love properly. People who have refused to go out of their way to make you feel special. But Lord knows, I won't ever stop trying. 

Because I refuse to let you live a life that leaves you feeling unwanted or unloved. 

When you looked into my eyes that day and told me I deserved the world, little did you know that all I've ever wanted was you.

I didn't come into your life without purpose. I was never looking to disrupt your normalcy. I just wanted to set off a fire in your heart; one I knew you had been dying to feel for so long. And to show you what true love really means. 

Somehow I know I've done just that.  

And I promise you, I'll sacrifice everything if it means it'll change your life. Because my love, you have forever changed mine. 

There's an entire world out there that I know you've yet to see. And I have every intention to explore it all with you. And we can stay up all night watching the stars pave way for the sun, or stand side by side near the ocean listening to the waves crashing ashore ... 

But no matter where our future takes us, I will always hold your hand and protect you from harm. 

I'll watch over you, and never allow you to fail. 

When you cry, I'll wipe away all of your tears. When you hurt, I'll hold you in my arms and take away your pain. When you're uncertain, I'll be here to guide you in the right direction. 

And I'll always choose you over and over again. 

Without pause. Without a doubt. In a heartbeat. 

I'll keep choosing you. 

So do me a favor, and tell your mother and father that I'll protect the dreams they've spent years wishing for you. That I'll work as tirelessly as they have to see them come to life. And I'll love their daughter until the rain stops crashing down.

And no matter what happens in the future ... regardless of what I accomplish, how many books I write, the amount of people who read my words, or the lives I've yet to inspire ....

I know one thing is for sure,

Loving you will be the greatest thing I ever do.

You.

I’d refer to you by name, but for now it’s best I don’t .....

Everyone I’ve met thus far in my life has played a part in my story. And while some have taken up chapters, most just scribbled notes in the margins …

You are the one I want to grace all of the pages I have yet to write.

I've made no secret of the misfortunes in my life.

You expect your mid-20s to be a time for starting your life as an adult. You start a career, settle down with the one you love and look to build a beautiful family together.

I wanted that … more than anyone. I dreamed of being a husband and eventually a father; unfortunately it just wasn't my time. So instead of starting my life, I had to pick up the shattered pieces to one that was once filled with so much promise ... alone.

There are no words to describe that type of pain. It just hurts … like hell. The sun doesn't shine as brightly, life moves a little bit slower, and your heart ... it just doesn't beat the same way anymore.

There’s this numbness - to everything.


Time is precious

SO I'M HESITANT TO GIVE IT AWAY TO JUST ANYONE


And so for the longest time, I've ventured along this broken road in hopes I would find something that would give my heart every reason to beat normally again. Pain made me fear it wouldn't, but faith led me to believe it would.

Regardless, I've journeyed. Along the way, life has pulled me in different directions, introduced me to new people, and given me a completely new perspective.

As I began to open the doors to another potential relationship, I forced myself to be extremely selective. I’m no longer  20-something looking for a girlfriend; I’m a 30-year-old man looking for a woman to build my life with.

Someone to complement me, and conquer everything with - one who will stand by my side and love me no matter where this journey takes us.

Needless to say, what I’m looking for today is a lot different than ever before.

But I don't believe in using others as a Band-Aid to a cover up a wound, either.

Sure, I get lonely at times (a lot of times, actually). But you have to reserve that spot for someone special. If you give it away freely, it loses  meaning, and you'll never fully appreciate the right person when they do come along.

Time is so damn important. It’s precious and should never be wasted on someone who doesn’t make your heart scream. So I’m hesitant in giving it just to anyone. I love a woman’s companionship, but I’m not desperate for attention. While most men find value in making themselves available to any woman that gives them the time of day, I’ve made myself unavailable to most. Unorthodox, yes ... but I value quality over quantity.

As for the ones who have gotten my time? Some have been kind, others not so much … yet none have ever made my heart beat the way it once did.

I guess I expect to look at someone and just want every piece of them in my life. Their mind, body and soul .... their hopes, dreams and fears.

I’ve thought at times, "Maybe it's me. Maybe I just don't have the emotional capacity to feel that strongly for someone again.”


 

You start to believe everything is unrealistic

WE LIVE IN A GENERATION WHERE DATING HABITS CONSIST OF SWIPING left and right


You start to believe that pain sort of scars you and that everything you’re looking for is unrealistic. Especially when you're part of a generation whose dating habits consist of swiping on left and right on a screen.

Do I find that disappointing? For sure.

But settling for mediocre love isn’t something I am willing to do. Not in this life anyway.

So willingly, I've walked alone. In hopes that one day I'll take a glance at someone and feel that fire burn violently inside me once again. Someone whose hand I'll grab and march together with toward the moon.

As the years have passed, I've focused on bettering myself, building a strong career that will serve as the foundation for the life I wish to give my family,  mastering my craft as a writer, but more importantly, rebuilding a part of myself that was once lost.

And I’ve lived, hoping one day, someday, something magnificent would happen; something that would make sense of everything I’ve been through.

Time has passed, but I've never lost faith.

And sure enough, I glanced up to notice something more magnificent than I could have ever dreamed.

I laid eyes on you, and nothing in my life has been the same since.


In an instant, you changed my life

YOU WERE THIS DIFFERENT KIND OF BEAUTIFUL


You were draped in this beautiful outfit that contoured your body like a glove. And your hair, it fell so elegantly on your shoulders Everything around you was black and white, and you shined in vibrant color.

It was magical; in an instant, you changed my life.

That feeling I prayed about  just sort of happened. It’s that feeling we all get once in our life - if we’re lucky. And on that day, I guess luck was on my side.

You were this different kind of beautiful, unlike anything I had ever seen. When you smiled and looked my way - I can't even explain what that did to me.

You made my heart beat in a crazy way, like never before.

It was like my eyes locked onto a soul that I waited years to find.

I felt something so deep within me, and I immediately knew that this broken road filled with pain and uncertainty led me to you.

And while I didn't know how or even why at that point, I knew I had to clear space in my mind for you to stay. In whichever capacity destiny had planned.

But I knew I would have to let you go until destiny allowed us to meet again.

I drove home that evening with this overwhelming desire to learn everything about you.

I wasn't sure if or when I'd see you again, but I was determined to find a way.

Of course, life is never that simple. Circumstances have prevented me from expressing my true feelings for you. But life teaches us that the greatest things are worth waiting for, right?

Somehow I knew that it would take time and patience; both of which I already knew you were worth. And both of which I was prepared to give.

So I waited.


You've occupied my thoughts

WHAT CAPTURES MY ATTENTION MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IS YOUR SIMPLICITY


I spent months uncovering bits and pieces of you, in an ever-so-subtle way. Naturally, you've shared. And slowly but surely, two people, strangers in the not-so-distant past, became connected in this crazy world.

You've occupied my thoughts, been inspiration behind my words, and have given me hope to believe that, one day, I'll love again .... deeper than I have ever loved before.

Even if fate has a different plan for us.

And I need you to understand how important that it is to me.

I think so highly of you. I admire your drive, your passion and your dedication to everything that you love. I adore your innocence and commend the respect you have for yourself. But what captures my attention more than anything else is your simplicity.

You’re such a beautiful person.

Behind everything the eye can see, behind all the glitz and the glamour, is a woman with worries and fears. Someone who loves and desires to be loved in return.

So carefully I’ve listened to everything you've shared with me. And believe me, I’ve remembered it all.

And I believe so deeply in those dreams of yours. So much, in fact, that I dream even bigger for you.

You're something real. And I'm grateful that you've trusted me enough to give me even the smallest glimpse inside your world.

I'm attracted to everything you've exposed me to.

Those big, beautiful eyes; so captivating.

Your laugh; innocent enough to bring a smile to the angriest of people.

That walk; striking and canny.

Your voice; how it giggles when we speak.

Your intelligence; and how you try to impress me with all you know.

But what I adore the most, what draws me in more than anything else, is that precious smile.

My God, you take my breath away.

I talk about you to everyone. Like you're poetry to a world learning the alphabet. And if I had one wish, I’d allow you to see how beautiful you are through my eyes.

Hearing your name or seeing it pop up on my iPhone brings this excitement. A feeling I deliberately waited for; and at times, feared I would never feel again.


I haven't shared any of this with you

BUT HERE'S WHY I DECIDED TO PUT THIS OUT THERE


So I savor every moment of this feeling because I've learned in my life how quickly things can change.

But I've refrained from sharing any of this with you ... by design.

Sure, I'm certain you're aware of my interest, I've made it rather obvious. But what I actually feel for you I've kept a deep secret -  until now, of course.

Why did I decide to put this out there?

Because I wanted the entire world to know how amazing I think you are. Sure, there are countless men who I’m certain appreciate your obvious outer beauty. But I cannot imagine there being another man in this world who sees your inner beauty the way I do.

It pains me to see you be treated any less than amazing.

I can only hope you give your heart to the person who wants to watch you fly.

I’m aware of what stands in my way, so purposefully, I’ve kept a safe distance. I’ve listened and observed, as any man should. But I've refused to be just another who comes along saying you deserve better, telling you how beautiful you are, all while promising you the world.

Truthfully speaking, I don't have a world to promise you. Just my company to explore it with.

What I can give you, though, is a piece of your soul that you never knew was missing and every reason to never stop smiling.

I've allowed my actions to speak louder than any word could. All in hopes that it becomes clear to you there's a man out there who just wants one thing : to make you happy.

Believe me, there's no time too long that will keep me from showing you what you truly deserve … even if that’s my only purpose in your life.

If you find interest in me, I’d be honored. And if you don't, that's OK, too.

I believe in energy. And I believe that we’re gravitated toward those whose energies we’re meant to share. Clearly, I feel yours. And I don't think I met you just to meet you.

That's always been reason enough for me to entertain the idea of there one day being a "you and me."

Maybe this story has more chapters - or maybe this is the end. Either way, there’s something you should know.

You've changed my life.

In an instant, you unknowingly touched my heart, grabbed a piece of my soul, directed it at you, and gave me every reason to never look back.

In perfect harmony, I’ve released the deepest of my emotions in the smallest of doses.

But this ... this is me opening up in ways I never have before.

I wish I could explain how it all happened, but I can't.

It just happened, exactly the way they describe in books and movies. The only difference is that this is real.

Just you and me. And a beautiful story that’s waiting to be written.

I wasn't looking for you; you kind of just appeared.

And I don't know if it makes me believe in coincidence, fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.

You've made me feel what pain and heartache once threatened to take away. So for that, I'm thankful. And that has always been reason enough to pursue you in ways I have never pursued a woman: with deliberate care and a subtle persistence.

And while I may have the attention of people from all over the world, it's only yours that I want.

So for now, I'll watch you from a distance and continue to be your biggest fan.

But trust me, I'll come for you, when the time is right, to uncover everything.

Your hopes, your dreams, your biggest fears. What makes you laugh and what makes you cry.

And I’ll leave more than flowers on your doorstep, or kisses on your forehead. I’ll leave my fingerprints on your soul and pull you close enough to touch your heart.

All so I can wipe away your tears and wash away the insecurities that have been left by those who have failed to love you correctly.

Because like a crisp blue summer sky, you're the beautiful sight I want to get lost in day after day after day.


Rebirth.

It was unlike anything I had experienced ever before. 

The lights to a world I became so familiar with just shut off ever so suddenly. And within a blink of an eye, everything changed. 

Life doesn't prepare you for that. I don't think we expect to wake up one day completely lost in our own world. 

For as long as I can remember, I've always been able to find a way to make things work. In fact, my family tells me I'm infamous for always finding a way to do so. But this time, I was hopeless. My world was shattered into a million pieces, and even I knew I couldn't fix it. 

You dream of the woman you'll spend your life with from a young age -- or at least I did. I spent so many years of my life investing into this future that I was so excited to build. I worked tirelessly to become successful in my career, loved her genuinely and whole heartedly and made a valiant effort to make the right decisions during a time in my life where everyone was focused on themselves. 

I guess I viewed life in the twenties as the selfish years; people just did whatever it was they wanted without thinking of the consequences. I made sure I never ventured down that path. 

I never imagined me, of all people, would go through a divorce. You hear about it all the time but you never believe it will happen to you. Especially at a point where you're still figuring out life. 

They say your twenties are a time to figure out who you are. And if you do it right, most of it is spent solidifying your career, finding a soulmate, searching for a home (and saving for one as well) in addition to developing into the person you are destined to become. And all of that is difficult to juggle, but I was certain I did it right. I honestly believed I overcame some of the biggest challenges adolescents face and was on a clear path to the future I had dreamed of. 

Not so fast... 

I end up getting divorced from the only woman I had ever loved, sold my brand new home, lost a significant amount of the money I had saved since I started working, and to top it all off, I struggled at work and nearly lost my job. In essence, all of those things I worked so hard for in my twenties and achieved? I watched them get ripped away from me almost immediately. 

Just to put it into perspective -- with the exception of a few, I've never seen my wedding photos. That beautiful new house I bought? I never had a chance to make it a home. Rooms remained vacant, and all I could do was glance in and imagine what could have been. That family I wished for my whole life? I somehow had to tell myself it would be a long time before that would come. 

What does all of that feel like? I'm not sure there are words to describe it, honestly. Just imagine working your entire life for something and finally you achieve it. But no sooner than you achieve it, it's ripped away from you viciously and all you're left with are memories and a small taste of something you wanted more than anything. 

It was one blow after the next, and every time I thought I caught a break, something would knock me back down. I was devastated and heart broken. I had just spent nearly nine years building this life, and now I had to start back at square one. I didn't even know where to begin. And my biggest fear was that I'd never love again, or better yet, even want to. 

Life was dark -- very dark, for a long time. I'd come home from work and get right into bed. All I wanted to do was sleep. Somehow, it took the pain away because I was escaping my own reality. I barely left the house, unless of course it was to work. My life broken. Everything was falling apart right before my eyes, and I knew deep down inside of me that life as I once knew it was about to change forever. I was petrified because she was all I ever knew. 

So it was either allow my circumstances to ruin what was left of me, or allow it strengthen me. 

One day I woke up and decided that I was going to take my life back. And rebuild everything over again. Piece by piece. 

Was it easy? No. 

In fact, it was one of the most challenging experiences of my young life. But I was so determined to overcome. I didn't want to be a failure at life. I had this strong desire to be happy again, to laugh amongst the stars and to love again in ways I had never loved before. And as painful as my life was, I found the slightest peace in knowing one day I would find reasons to smile again. 

I think what gave me my motivation though, was the thought of one day being a father. I've always wanted an amazing life for my children and I knew in order to make that happen I had to be strong and push forward. I needed to be resilient and perseverant at a time where I was ready to quit. So I would envision holding my child for the first time, knowing at that point all of this pain would make sense. Knowing he or she will be worth every ounce of suffering I'd go through. For that reason alone, I pushed. 

I opened up my mind and began exploring different things. I found a passion for kickboxing, I joined a gym, I made new friends, I spent more time reading and found this incredible passion called writing. I even turned it around at work and succeed at an even higher level than ever before. 

And before I knew it, I found peace in closing that chapter of my life. I learned to love myself, and fell in love with life all over again. 

It took time, yes. But I promised myself I would love again when I found someone who made my heart scream. I had no interest in finding someone to act as a healer to my wounds; love needs to be more than that. I want someone to explore with, to build my life with. A woman who will be a wonderful mother to my children and a best friend to me. 

I know one day I'll have all of that and then some. 

Going through a divorce changed my life forever. But it made me realize one thing... 

Where I was born was nowhere near where I came alive.


Chivalry.

Men today have no idea how to successfully pursue women.

They chomp at the bit the moment they find women who grab their attention, pulling out every weapon in their arsenals to attract them.

"You’re so beautiful."

"Why are you single?"

"Let me take you out sometime. I’m not like the rest."

I'm sure this sounds all too familiar to most women.

It's unnatural, and it's far from genuine. But somehow, we've allowed it.

Welcome to 2015 and the wonderful world of dating.

We no longer put forth any effort. And when I say effort, I’m not eluding to what we say; I’m referring to what we do.

So men, consider this:

1. Be Genuine. 

Throwing yourself at her isn’t going to score you any points. Whether you’re constantly telling her she's beautiful, or blowing up her phone all hours of the day by telling her you're great, none of it is gaining her attention. Just stop.

If you're the type who believes in playing "hard to get," and you ignore her all day, she won't be interested, either.

All this displays is immaturity.

Instead, be genuine. Allow your intentions to be true.

Refrain from acting like she's an object you’re trying to win, and treat her like a woman whose respect you're trying to gain.

There’s way more to her than what you’re attracted to on the surface, so make a valiant effort to uncover it.

She spends her days and nights just like you: working, thinking, planning and building. Take an interest in every aspect of her day-to-day.

Reply when she texts you. Pick up the phone when she calls you. And never be afraid to be the first to say hello and ask how her day is going.

When you do something for her, do it out of the kindness of your heart. If you’re interested in her, you’ll find appreciation for all aspects of her life. In return, she’ll learn to appreciate, trust and respect you.

2. Be Confident. 

Confidence exudes through your words and even more so through your actions.

She can hear it in your voice, see it in your eyes and sense it in the way you walk. In a sense, your demeanor says, “I'm the right man for you. And one way or another, I'm going to make you mine.”

She’ll feel that immediately. You won't even have to say a word.

Even though the world is filled with distractions and hurdles, you can't focus your energy on how you might lose her. Rather, be proud of the way you treat her, and give her no reason to look elsewhere.

If you fall victim to insecurities and jealously, the only thing you'll be doing do is pushing her away.

They'll ruin any shot you have at building a healthy partnership.

So, stop worrying about other men.

There will always be someone who's better looking, more intelligent and more successful than you. But if you're concerned with those possibilities, you'll never be happy with yourself. And clearly, you won't have the mental capacity to make her happy, either.

Understand if she's giving you even a small portion of her time, there's some level of interest. Be confident, and work with what you're given.

3. Be Spontaneous. 

As we get older, our lives naturally require more structure. Each and every day is destined to be planned, whether it be reading hundreds of emails, running around the city to our next meetings or grinding through the latest tasks on our agendas.

In most cases, there's never enough time in the day to get everything done.

Take a step back from your crazy schedule, and be spontaneous.

Don't go looking for time; make time.

Call her, tell her to get dressed, take a drive up by the hills and just sit and watch the sun rise. Walk around the city all night, and talk about life. Plan a picnic in the park, take her to see her favorite play, get dressed up and go see a jazz show, journey to new places and explore new things.

There's an entire world out there. Uncover it without intensive planning.

The best moments in life are the ones that just happen, the ones we never saw coming.

Every woman expects the typical dinner date. And to be honest, it's kind of boring. Put more thought into it.

The element of surprise will draw her in, and it will give her even more reason to be with you.

4. Be Respectful.

She's a woman, not your boy. Some men today tend to forget that.

She always deserves your utmost respect.

Rule number one? Never curse at her.

Never be the man who devalues a woman with your words. It’s ugly, and quite honestly, it should have no place in your relationship.

Would you want a man talking to your daughter that way? I didn't think so.

Take an interest in her and nobody else.

Hold the door for her, pull her seat out at dinner, hold her hand, and kiss her gracefully.

In the process, refrain from building your relationship on sex.

It shows you're invested in her, not what's in-between her legs, and you respect her enough to value the process.

Getting to know someone on an intimate level is one of the most exciting parts of building a relationship. You create this bond that yields intense passion.

And with passion, sex is no longer just sex. It's this mind-blowing connection that brings the two of you together.

It now has meaning.

She'll admire you for respecting her, and she'll desire you that much more for doing so.

5. Be Intelligent. 

Stimulate her mind.

Ladies, correct me if I'm wrong, but what woman doesn't want a man who can speak intelligently, articulate his thoughts gracefully and master his craft?

Your mind is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Spend every day looking to learn something new, and educate yourself on things that interest her.

Once she becomes a part of your life, you can dream together, plan together, and create a vision for life together. And then, you can chase it aggressively.

Allow your conversations to have substance.

Talk about what motivates you, what inspires you and what makes your heart scream.

Sure, your looks and finances can attract someone, but it’s your mind that captures the soul. Use it as often as possible.

6.  Be Patient. 

All great things take time, and nobody wants to be with someone who appears desperate.

Ever hear the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race”? It’s true.

So, it's sexy to a woman when you can exhibit patience.

It basically says, “I'll wait for you because you’re worth it.”

We all want what we want. And at times, we want it yesterday. But that’s not how life works.

If you believe she’s worth it, sit back and enjoy the ride. If you’re genuine and honest with your emotions, treat her with respect and value her as a woman. Odds are that you will ultimately land your prize.

And if you happen not to? Well, it wasn't meant to be, and that's okay, too.

Every moment of life is an experience, so don’t discredit that.

Learn along the way.

7. Be a Man. 

The world is filled with a bunch of men who lack passion and direction.

They fear being vulnerable, and so inevitably, they put up a front for women.

They look for the best looking woman they can find, attempt to impress her by pretending to be someone they're not, use her for what she's worth and then kick her to the curb when the next best thing comes along.

And when they want to, they will reel her back in, promising her they’ve changed.

They haven’t.

Treating a woman with disrespect, devaluing her dreams, belittling her ambitions, giving attention to other women and sitting on your ass doesn't make you a man.

It makes you a loser, and an insecure one at that.

So, if you want her, value her.

If you want to keep her, honor her.

If you want to see her grow, support her.

Take time out of your day to ensure she feels your passion.

Tell her how beautiful she is. Be the greatest fan of her life.

Go hard for her every single day. And when you feel like you’ve gone as hard as you can, go even harder.

If you can’t do these things, don’t waste your time. And more importantly, don’t waste hers.

She wants something nobody has. Be just that. Make a lasting impression on her life.

Be the man who comes into her life, and changes everything she's ever thought about men and relationships.

Prove to her there is actually someone who is interested in her for who she is, not what she is.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much money you have or how good you look. What matters is how special you make her feel.

That's how you'll get her to fall head over heels in love with you.

And when she does, pursue her over and over again.


Men.

Men: With each passing generation, we’re losing our masculinity.

No, I’m talking about our image, nor am I talking about the ever-so-popular “macho” mentality. God knows none of that is going anywhere anytime soon. Rather, I’m talking about the respect we have for ourselves.

This exact premise is what differentiates boys from men.

You see, these days, the majority of men only care about two specific things: The amount of money they can earn and the number of women they can sleep with. Or, in today’s lingo, keeping it “100.”

Somehow through the years, this has become the definition of masculinity.

Achieving success in these two categories catapults you to top-tier social status amongst your boys, gets you the nicest clothes, fanciest cars and VIP at the best clubs in town.

It even makes you popular with women, and, well, who cares who you hurt in the process? You’re getting yours… that’s all that matters, right? Wrong.

They say bad boys attract all the woman, and those nice guys ? Apparently, they finish last. Or… do they?

He wants you one day, he doesn’t want you the next. Drives you crazy, right? Why can’t you get this man to love you?

You’re forced to wonder who’s occupying his time, who’s occupying his mind and why in God’s name won’t he treat you with the love and respect you deserve?

And that time he’s not giving to you? He’s giving it to other women. Yes, trust me, he is.

Men are humans; they want to feel accepted, just like you.

Insecure men, unfortunately, need reassurance. And, when that reassurance from one person isn’t enough, they find others to boost their egos.

His choices include spending time with friends over spending time with you, conveniently forgetting important dates, hiding his phone when you take a peak and getting angry when you ask him who he’s talking to.

Rest assured, it’s his friend. And always the same friend. He’s filled with excuses.

Somehow, he never takes initiative with you. You have to set the agenda, plan the date and make most of the difficult decisions in your relationship by yourself. Frustrating much?

He posts pictures on social media of him and his friends, and is oddly curious who “likes” it, but never posts photos of the two of you.

If he does happen put up a photo of the two of you, it’s simply because you had to force him.

And, all of his “girl” friends who like every one of his other pictures never happen to like the ones of the two of you.

These are his “friends” who are so happy for the two of you!

Interesting.

But for whatever reason, you find this appealing. Because in your mind, you have this desire to know you can win him over every single day.

The challenge excites you as much as it hurts you.

Until one day, when you wake up supporting a man who’s belittled your ambitions, cheated on you physically, mentally and emotionally and has absolutely nothing to offer to the growth of your life.

You’re with a man whose insecurity bleeds over from his relationship into his career.

These men are always the ones going job-to-job because “a better opportunity presented itself.”

Well, no better opportunity presented itself; he’s just lost in life and searching for the next best thing to give him his temporary fix.

If he can’t even focus eight hours a day on a career, what makes you think he can focus on a lifelong love with you?

Yet, he belittles your ambitions and drive. He doesn’t want to see you more successful than him; that becomes a threat and too big of shot at his ego.

So, he makes you feel worthless, calls you every name in the book and then apologizes later to make you feel like there’s some remorse inside of him. There is none.

He doesn’t respect himself. And he will never respect you. Some call these men bad boys; I call them insecure boys — with no drive and no vision for life.

Suddenly, that life you dreamt of as a young girl becomes a foregone reality.

Enter a strong, confident, intelligent and secure man: the one who never plays games with your emotions.

He thinks you are the most beautiful woman in the world and isn’t afraid to let you know that… every day.

Just like those bad boys, he too can attract handfuls of women. Why?

Because he’s confident in who he is, comfortable in his own skin, has his sh*t together and is ready to take you on a journey with him.

He’s mentally sharp and he dresses with class. He’s soft-spoken, respectful and has the best manners.

A multitude of women throwing themselves at him isn’t appealing, though. He only wants one, a great one. And he won’t settle for anything less.

He knows sleeping with random women isn’t challenging in this day and age, but finding the right one is. And, that’s what makes it all worth it.

When he finds that woman, he’ll pursue her, aggressively, yet subtly.

There’s no fear in investing his time into her; he knows her worth. And there’s never a rush… he knows great things take time and effort.

If he wants her bad enough, you can bet your ass he’s going to find a way to get her. He’ll impress you without ever having to say a word.

He’ll take initiative to plan special nights for you, he’ll call you out of nowhere just to say hello, surprise you at work for lunch or send you flowers just because.

His intelligence will stimulate your mind and his charisma will capture your heart.

He knows how to make you laugh, but more importantly, he knows how to make you feel beautiful, even when you’re not all done up.

In fact, this is when he finds you the most beautiful. It’s purely you. Those insecurities of yours? He knows how to make them disappear. Every last one of them.

You’re not competing with other women for the top spot. He lets you know where you stand every day, and shows you off to the world.

He doesn’t look to make you jealous of other women. No, he wants other women to be jealous of you.

When he kisses you, he does so in such a way that feels romantic yet sexy. You can feel confidence through his lips, and it’s a turn on you’ve never experienced.

Even the way he holds you close is filled with pure passion. His time?

It’s occupied with building a career, bettering himself and building a foundation for the life he dreams of for the two of you.

He’s not deciding what club he’ll turn up in next with his boys or which filter he’ll use on his selfie.

He’s just different. And you find it drawing you in.

He empowers you to reach for your dreams. And, he does so because he’s already empowered himself.

He’s set goals and is well on his way to achieving them. His gratification comes internally, not from outside sources.

He realizes how beautiful life is, and wants to show it all to you.

And, before you know it, you’ll fall in love with every little thing about him: the way he says your name, the way he looks at you, the way he makes you smile, the way he believes in you, the way he encourages you to pursue your dreams… all of it.

So, maybe it’s true that bad boys attract all the girls, and that’s okay.

Because it’s the nice guy who’s going to walk into your life one day to change your whole direction.

He may just be standing right in front of you.

Keep your eyes open.

Equality.

 

I rarely turn on the television anymore.

We live in a world dominated by “Reality” TV; where housewives, dancing stars and undercover bosses have become escapist entertainment. This is because the true reality of today is one rife with violence and hatred. We are now forced to rely on reality TV to escape the harsh realities we are faced with daily.

We've turned our back on each other; while the media has had a field day portraying this hatred and negativity we’re forced to face as a society. 

Truthfully speaking, I’ve never understood how people can hate so deeply. 

Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve had an incredible appreciation for all types of people in the world. 

My parents raised me to look beyond the color of someone’s skin, their religious beliefs, or their sexual preferences. All were equal in their eyes, and they made a valiant effort to install that within myself and my siblings. 

This has allowed me to see people for who they are, and not what they are. In doing so, I have met people incredibly unique and highly talented. Though I would never know that if I just looked at the surface. 

Nor would you.  

I’ve listened to them, learned from them and grown from them. 

What I have always found fascinating, though, is that no matter where I go - or whom I speak to - everyone shares a similar desire; to be loved. 

Sadly we live in a world that has told us that the concept of true love can only exist between a man and a woman. That people in same sex relationships simply do not deserve to be celebrated in the same fashion as their heterosexual counterparts. 

If you disagree with me, think about the word “Wedding" and tell me what's the first image that comes to your mind. A bride ... and a groom?

This is the way we've been trained to think. But what exactly makes it right?

Finding love in this day and age is no walk in the park, regardless of the color of your skin or whom you worship. For those like myself, who are attracted to the opposite sex - when we do find that love, it's widely accepted. The only challenges we face in our relationships are the ones we impose on ourselves. 

For those that are attracted to the same-sex, it’s not that simple. And it’s nowhere as easy - or widely accepted. 

In fact, they are also forced to face extreme oppositions - and from the most unlikely places.  

Let's talk about a few ...

Catholic Church : Blessed Are Not Thou

It's no secret that the Catholic Church is opposed to same sex relationships. They have blatantly said that same sex couples have no place in God's kingdom. They are forbidden to get married in the Church, and are looked at as sinners of society. 

This is one of the oldest religious institutions in the world. It has over a billion members. 

We get angry if a friend doesn't agree with our relationship. Imagine a following that largely opposed to your love? 

Coming from a Catholic who's always put God first in my life and am beyond thankful for all of my blessings, it's mind boggling to me that the Church calls same sex relationships a sin, when the real sinners are the men within its four walls molesting little children. 

Beyond that, priests are men, and if all of my years in Catholic School serve me correctly, God is portrayed as a man; Jesus, His son. So they can devote their life and love to Him, but Jack can never love John?  

Loving someone should never be a sin in a world drenched with hate. 

Government : We, the "Certain" People

Ireland most recently approved same sex marriage by popular vote, making it the first Nation in the world to do so. 

It's 2015. Yes, it’s taken that long.  

Here in the United States, we have told same sex couples it's okay to get married, but only in a certain number of states; it's not accepted by our Nation as a whole yet. 

In fact, most recently, a certain popular US city tried to give business owners the right to deny service to gays and lesbians. 

This happened right here, in the Land of the Free. 

The sad part is certain politicians running for President in 2016 use equality as a campaign booster. Only problem is, years ago those same politicians strongly opposed it. 

Why the sudden change of heart?

I guess if it will help make you the next President, it's worth fighting for.

Politics. 

Professional Sports : Personal Foul

Forget your God given ability. If you decide to step onto the court or playing field, the media will scrutinize your ever move. 

It will drive the ratings of any talk show, sports radio show and it will give SportsCenter anchors something to talk about for weeks on end. 

All because you prefer to love the same sex. 

And while there may be only a few in professional sports, there's a slew of gang members, domestic violence offenders and murders that make millions to play professional sports. 

Men who drag their wives out of elevators, men who stab people in clubs, men who kill innocent people for no good reason.

Athletes much rather play the game with them than an individual whose preference on attraction is different from theirs. 

We can’t say for certain if thats entirely true, but that’s how the media portrays it. 

Makes total sense. 

Home :  Family Matters (If they Accept You) 

I think we all have this desire to find someone whom our parents can love. 

Someone who can sit at our diner table and feel as if they have been there for years. 

In my search for a woman to spend my life with, I always think about how she'll fit into my family and how accepting my mother and father will be. It’s important; I want them to love her as much as I will. 

Besides, she's going to be their daughter as much as I am their son. 

Beyond that, I’ve always strived to make my parents proud; in everything I do. I’d never want them to look at me as a disappointment. 

And so when you think about gays and lesbians, one can’t help to think about and try to understand the pain inside when their family turns their back on them. 

I’m not saying every family does, but there certainly are ones that do.

What does that even feel like? And how is rejecting your own child acceptable in this world? 

I imagine it creates a feeling of emptiness that’s almost unfathomable to think about.

Where do they turn to if a society is unaccepting, and their family is embarrassed of who they are? 

Put yourself in those shoes for a moment. Think about that before you judge. 

That’s crippling.

For those who argue that all is equal in the world, there's solid evidence that states the opposite. 

According to a New York Times article published a few years ago, same sex couples denied marriage benefits will incur anywhere between $41,00 to $467,000 more in expenses over their lifetime as opposed to their heterosexual counterparts.

That's equality? No, thats expensive.  

I’ve spent the last eight years of my life working for a company that values diversity. During that time I’ve met some the brightest and kindest people in the world. All of them have this amazing drive to be successful, a strong appreciation for life and -  most of all - they’re incredible people. 

A good amount of those people happen to be in same sex relationships or have an attraction to the same sex. 

So when people will inevitably ask me what I know about the struggles they face, I’ve heard their stories first hand.

Every single day. For eight years.

When you invest in people for who they are and not what they are, you learn quite a bit about their life and their journey. They let you in, opening your eyes to more than anything you can find in books or on television. That is the definition of reality. 

It’s simply not our place to judge anyone in life. 

Regardless of the color of your skin or whom you may decide to love, we're all equal. 

At the end of the day, everyone deserves the opportunity to love and be loved. 

We need to respect that. 

Not individually. Together.

The foundation for peace is love. 

And love must always rule. 


Desire.

For years, we’ve talked about finding the right woman

Someone we can rides the waves of life with, a person who will stand by our side for better or for worse.

As a man, it’s one of the most important decisions we make in life. Some may even argue it is the most important. The woman we decide to share our world with is the one who will mother our children, help us plan life, pick us up when we’re down, and make us better men than we are right now.

But what does the right woman look like in our eyes? 

For years, women have told us what they are looking for in a man, but there’s this stereotype that all we want is the so-called “trophy wife.” 

I don’t agree with that notion. 

You see, there’s so much that should go into deciding who to share your life with. Characteristics, in a sense, that stand the test of time.

So what is it that we want in a woman? 

1. Character

Being truly beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like, but everything to do with who you are. I’ve met quite a few beautiful women in my life whose personalities were as appealing as the dirty concrete in a New York City subway station.

I’m sorry, but it’s true. 

We want someone who puts as much time and energy into ensuring they look good as they do into being genuine and real.

You know “that girl” you are around your girlfriends? That’s who you really are. Don’t be so hesitant to be that way with us.

We see you laugh uncontrollably with your friends, so laugh with us. We love women who have a sense of humor and don’t take life so seriously.

Be yourself. Order a cheeseburger for lunch. Get ketchup all over your face. Put on sweats and a T-shirt when we come over. Skip makeup, and don’t do your hair. It’s all okay. We actually like that.

You know that Drake song where he says, “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on, that’s when you’re the prettiest ....?”

Well, he’s right. 

We love when you get dressed up and feel beautiful, but know that you don’t need to flip a switch from your real self in order to gain our acceptance.

If there ever comes a point where you feel a need to do that, well, you’re just with the wrong man.

2. Respect

How you present yourself says a lot about who you are. 

Wearing clothes that accentuate your body is nothing new, nor do I believe it’s disrespectful. That’s not where I am going with this.

In today’s society, there’s something called social media, and it’s basically your resume for men. Where you go, who you go with, what you say, and how you say it reflects you as an individual.

And truthfully speaking, men don’t want someone who is everywhere, doing everything, with everyone.

Little boys who want the popular girl might, but real men don’t play those games.

You can’t respect a man if you don’t respect yourself. It’s not a knock, but seriously, how would that be possible?

We prefer the woman who’s sitting home reading a book as opposed to getting drunk with her friends on the weekends; we prefer the one who’s life is kept more low-key, as it makes her more intriguing.

The less we know about someone’s life, the more interesting that person becomes. It forces us to engage, to inquire, to seek out. Our conversations with you gain substance, and this becomes appealing.

If we know everywhere you’ve been and everything you’ve done, where does that leave us?

3. Affection

Men are very physical human beings. Everything for us elevates with touch. By nature, we’re drawn to it.

It goes without saying that a woman who is very free with her offerings of affection will entice us. It’s very warm and welcoming to a man.

Just like you, we want a woman to reach out and grab our hand, we want for you to come over and kiss us randomly, we want for you to hug us and ask us how our day was.

It evokes this feeling of being wanted.

It just strengthens that connection we have with you and opens up lines of communication, but more importantly, makes us feel comfortable — invited in, so to speak.

4. Intelligence

Stimulating conversations — they make a man go crazy. 

Intelligent women are ones that know so much about the world around them, but even more so, have a keen interest in making it a better place.

They think critically and engage our senses. Furthermore, they have this drive to be successful, which in itself, can be the biggest turn on there is.

There’s more to life than the latest handbag, designer shoe, or next episode of your favorite reality TV show. We’re guilty of it too — bombarding you with football on Sundays or even forcing you to watch SportsCenter every night.

The decisions we face in life can often present us with uncertainty, and having someone insightful by our side can help us make the right ones.

This doesn’t require a degree from Harvard — or any degree for that matter.

Just intellect, reasoning and understanding. 

5. Confidence

Life is difficult. 

Every day is a struggle to get through, and having a confident woman by your side is key to pursuing your dreams.

A woman who loves herself, regardless of her own flaws, will love a man for all of his. Beyond loving you, she will knock down the doors of resistance and reach for the stars with you. 

There’s something sexy about a confident woman, and it has nothing to do with looks.

To be truthful, we don’t notice every one of your flaws. You know, the ones you spend hours in the mirror pointing out to yourself. If we found ourselves attracted to you, know that we aren’t analyzing every inch of your body to find perfection.

That doesn’t exist, and we aren’t looking for it. 

Knowing that she understands her worth is innately appealing. In essence, you’re looking at someone who can complement you, not just be a trophy at your side. 

She knows what she wants and isn’t waiting for you to give it to her.

Beyond that, she’s content with herself and her body. 

As crazy as it may sound, confidence is something we can feel from a sexual point of view. It’s almost like an energy that draws us in and makes for an even better sexual experience.

6. Ambition

Men love to be caretakers and “planners” for our families, but we also love a woman who can plan that life with us. 

We don’t want to have to make every decision alone. 

We need a visionary, one that can see beyond today.

Determined women are more committed simply due to the fact that they have laser focus. There are no uncertainties about their future because they understand what it takes to get there.

Failure isn’t a choice for them.

Ultimately, a woman who is willing to push forward to be the best mother to her children or have a successful career is one who will strive for a successful relationship.

When things get tough, she won’t be so easy to quit and walk away. If she lacks ambition, however, odds are that result might look a bit different.

Aspiring people, in general, usually figure out a way to make things work.

7. Humility

Naturally, humble people focus their energies outward. 

When searching for a life partner, this becomes very attractive to a man.

Humble women exude this compassion for others; in a sense putting others’ happiness before their own. But they do this in such a way that brings them peace and protection.

Knowing that someone has this desire to put us first immediately shows that your ego won’t get in the way of creating a strong partnership.

I think we understand the whole “let’s play hard to get” mentality, but tell me how wasting all of that energy really serves you well?

It doesn’t. 

If we decide to tell you how we feel about you, or even tell you how beautiful we think you are, don’t look at us as if we have 10 heads. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do that. Be humble and have the decency to acknowledge it, even if you don’t necessarily feel the same way. 

There’s this misconception that looks, popularity, or even social status will find you true love; it won’t.

So stop trying. 

What matters is who you are. 

That’s what a real man wants. 

Just you. 

Flaws and all.

Marriage.

Marriages today just don’t work. 

The million dollar question? Why not?

It’s a pretty simple concept — fall in love and share your life together. Our great grandparents did it, our grandparents followed suit, and for many of us, our parents did it as well.

Why the hell can’t we?

Many of you will ask what gives me the right to share my advice or opinions.

I’ve been divorced myself. But I’m only one of the many people today that have failed at marriage. And while some of us have gone through a divorce, others stay in their relationships, miserably, and live completely phony lives.

These same people, though, are quick to point the finger and judge others for speaking up.

I've spent the better part of the last three years trying to understand the dating scene again. Back when I met my ex-wife in 2004, things were just so different. Socia media had yet to explode. I had this desire to ask her about her day simply because I didn’t know. 

Texting was just starting to make its way into mainstream society, so if I wanted to speak to her, I had to call her.

If I wanted to see her, I had to drive to her house and knock on her door. Everything required an action on my part, or hers.

Today, things are different though.

Looking back nearly 11 years, I began to wonder how different things were for the older generations.

More importantly, I wonder how different they will be for my children. 

Our generation isn’t equipped to handle marriages — and here’s why:

1) Sex becomes almost non-existent.

I don’t know about you, but I am an extremely sexual person. Not only do I believe it’s an important aspect of a relationship, I believe it’s the most important. 

Beyond being pleasurable, sex connects two individuals. There’s a reason why it’s referred to as making love.

There’s just something about touching someone, kissing someone, feeling someone that should make your hair stand up.

I’m baffled by couples who neglect having sex, especially younger ones. We all desire physical connection, so how does cutting that off lead you to believe your marriage will be successful? It’s like telling someone you’ll take them out to a restaurant but they can’t order food. 

Instead, we have sex once every couple weeks, or when it’s time to get pregnant. It becomes this chore. You no longer look at your partner wanting to rip their clothes off, but rather instead, dread the thought. That’s not crazy to you?

It’s not just boredom that stops sex from happening. Everywhere you look, there’s pictures of men and women we know half naked — some look better than your husband or wife. So it becomes desirable. It’s in your face every single day and changes your mindset.

It’s no wonder why insecurities loom so largely these days. You have to be perfect to keep someone attracted to you. Meanwhile, what your lover should really be attracted to is your heart. Maybe if you felt that connection beyond a physical level, would you realize a sexual attraction you’ve never felt before.

2) Finances cripple us.

Years ago, it didn’t cost upward of $200,000 for an education. It also didn’t cost $300,000-plus for a home.

The cost of living was very different then than it is now. You’d be naive to believe this stress doesn’t cause strain on marriages today.

You need to find a job to pay for student loans, a mortgage, utilities, living expenses and a baby. Problem is, it’s extremely difficult to find a job that can provide an income that will help you live comfortably while paying all of these bills — especially not in your mid 20s.

This strain causes separation between us. It halts us from being able to live life. We’re too busy paying bills to enjoy our youth. Forget going to dinner, you have to pay the mortgage. You’ll have to skip out on an anniversary gift this year because those student loans are due at the end of the month. Vacations? Not happening.

We’re trying to live the way our grandparents and parents did in a world that has put more debt on our plate than ever before. It’s possible, but it puts us in an awful position.

Part of life is being able to live. Not having the finances to do so takes away yet another important aspect of our relationships. It keeps usinside, forced to see the life everyone else is living.

3) We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.

Let’s face it, the last time you “spoke” to the person you love, you didn’t even hear their voice.

You could be at work, the gym, maybe with the kids at soccer. You may even be in the same room.

You told your wife you made dinner reservations ... through a text message.

Your husband had flowers delivered to your job ... through an app on his phone.

You both searched for furnishings for your new home ... on Pinterest.

There’s no physical connection attached to anything anymore. 

We’ve developed relationships with things, not each other. Ninety-five percent of the personal conversations you have on a daily basis occur through some type of technology. We’ve removed human emotion from our relationships, and we’ve replaced it with colorful bubbles. 

Somehow, we’ve learned to get offended by text on a screen, accusing others of being “angry” or “sad” when, in fact, we have no idea what they are feeling. We argue about this — at length.

We’ve forgotten how to communicate yet expect healthy marriages. How is it possible to grow and mature together if we barely speak?

Years ago, my grandmother wouldn’t hear from my grandfather all day; he was working down at the piers in Brooklyn. But today, if someone doesn’t text you back within 30 minutes ,they’re suddenly cheating on you.

You want to know why your grandmother and grandfather just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary? Because they weren’t scrolling through Instagram worrying about what John ate for dinner. They weren’t on Facebook criticizing others. They weren’t on vacation sending Snapchats to their friends. 

No. 

They were too preoccupied loving and respecting one another. They were talking to each other at dinner, walking with each other holding hands instead of their phones. They weren’t distracted by everything around them. They had dreams and chased them together

4) Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.

Even years ago, people would clamor over celebrities. When I think back, I can imagine young women wanting to be like Marilyn Monroe. She was beautiful, all over magazines, could have any man she wanted and, in fact, did.

But she was a celebrity. And in order to be a successful one, she had to keep all eyes on her. Same holds true for celebrities today. They have to stay in the spotlight or their fame runs out, and they get replaced by the next best thing.

Social media, however, has given everyone an opportunity to be famous. Attention you couldn’t dream of getting unless you were celebrity is now a selfie away. Post a picture, and thousands of strangers will like it. Wear less clothing, and guess what? More likes. 

It’s more than that though. What about the life you live? I see pictures of people decked out in designer clothes, posted up in some club with fancy drinks — People that I know are dead broke. But they portray themselves as successful because, well, they can. And they get this gratification from people who like and comment on their statuses or pictures.

If you want to love someone, stop seeking attention from everyone because you’ll never be satisfied with the attention from one person.

Same holds true for love.

Love is supposed to be sacred. You can’t love someone when you’re preoccupied with worrying about what others think of you. Whether it be posting pictures on social media, buying homes to compete with others or going on lavish vacations — none of it matters.

5) Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.

We’ve thrown privacy out the window these days. 

Nothing is sacred anymore, in fact, it’s splattered all over the Web for the world to see.

Everywhere we go, everything we do — made public. Instead of enjoying the moment, we get lost in cyberspace, trying to figure out the best status update, or the perfect filter.

Something as simple as enjoying breakfast has become a photo shoot. Vacations are no longer a time to relax, but more a time to post vigorously. You can’t just sit back and soak it all in.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing moments of your life. I do it myself. But where do we draw the line? When does it become too much?

We’ve invited strangers into our homes and brought them on dates with us. We’ve shown them our wardrobe, drove with them in our cars, and we even showed them our bathing suits. Might as well pack them a suitcase, too.

The worst part about all this? It’s only going to get worse. 

Immediately, people will assume that my failed marriage is why I am expressing these emotions; that’s not the case. It’s what I see around me every single day that inspired me to write this article.

Marriage is sacred. It is the most beautiful sacrament and has tremendous promise for those fortunate enough to experience it. Divorced or not, I am a believer in true love and building a beautiful life with someone. In fact, it’s been my dream since I was young. 

I hope you never experience the demise of your love. It’s painful, and life changing; something nobody should ever feel.

I do fear, however, that the world we live in today has put roadblocks in the way of getting there and living a happy life with someone. Some things are in our control, and unfortunately, others are not.

People can agree or disagree.

I’m perfectly okay with that.

Fairytale.

We've all seen the movies. 

At times, it even feels as if we star in them. 

Two people, through destiny, find each other. Through their experiences they fall so deeply in love; a love that is completely overwhelming. Throughout it's run time, we're taken through their life and euphoric joys. At some point, however, something breaks them apart. From here they're forced to live life separately, reminiscing on what once was.

This is Hollywood though, and we all know what the ending is going to look like. Miraculously, they find each other again and we become witness to their happily ever after. 

Sounds perfect, right? 

It's painted this masterpiece in our minds that has portrayed love as something that is unbreakable, and never ending. That somehow when we separate, we shouldn't focus our energies on moving forward, but instead behind us. Behind us in hopes that our overwhelming love for someone else comes back, and our happily ever after is just how we wished it to be. 

One would say there's nothing wrong with this. It makes for great entertainment. 

And so everyday, we strive for this. Whether it be during a down point in our relationships, or after it all comes to an end, we lay in bed reminiscing about the past, we revisit old memories in our minds, we scroll through photos, we even re-read old texts. In essence, we envision our relationships as this Hollywood blockbuster where in the end, we find each other again. 

Somehow that one person who had captured our heart is the only one good enough to ever do so. Why should anyone else be worthy of our time, our attention, and most importantly our love. So we shut others out ... completely. We never give them an opportunity because quite frankly, they have no shot anyway. Why waste their time? 

Instead our efforts, our energies, our focus ... all of it goes into making something that's broken, "right". But what is "right"? 

Is right that feeling of hopelessness? Is right speaking once or twice a week, hanging on to a thread of hope? Is it the infamous progression? Or is right settling for mediocre love? 

We're not mechanics; our job in love isn't to fix things. Our job is to grow and prosper together. Life is filled with enough obstacles, love shouldn't be one of them. 

What we should be focusing on is bettering ourselves for each other, going places we've never been, doing things we've never done. 

When our relationships falter, we quickly forget that there is a life out there for us to live. Why are we spending our days fixing and hoping and not living and doing? 

I guess I've started to wonder why. I see it everywhere. So many people hanging by a thread within their relationships ... but they choose to stay. So many people broken hearted from the pain and suffering one put them through, yet they leave the door open for more pain and more suffering. Is it in hopes of experiencing that fairytale? 

Maybe pain and suffering is necessary in life, though. Maybe it gives us the inner strength we need to push forward. It's when we hurt that we yearn for those moments of happiness, and at times it's easier to revert back to what we know, than start a new with something we don't. 

Think about driving in your car. At some point you've experienced your front window fogging up on you. It's pretty scary right? What's the first thing you do? Slow down. 

We pump the breaks out of fear because we can't see what's in front of us. Immediately we revert to our rearview mirror because for whatever reason, it never fogs up and always gives us a clear view. 

Only when we've done that will we press the defrost button. And then slowly but surely, our vision expands and becomes clearer and clearer until we can see again. 

Same goes for our life after love. We're so uncertain of the future that we bring everything to a grinding halt. The only thing that ever seems clear is what's in our past. We like clear, though. It's something tangible to us, with no ambiguity behind it. It slowly becomes our safe zone. 

That all changes when our vision becomes clear. It's at this point we can look forward because forward is where our life lives and the exact place where we belong. 

So what if these fairytales had nothing to do with whether or not the people we love come back into our lives, but more so how in the process we find the truest form of love; the love for ourselves? That through pain and suffering we learn about life, love and what we want from it. That the love we once shared with another human being wasn't in vain, but more so to open the doors to a greater love with more promise.

I've always felt that the joy is in the journey. The memories that we create in between are the true gifts of life. 

Maybe if we stopped painting this picture in our heads of what life is supposed to be, we'd enjoy it for what it was. We'd live happier, laugh longer, and love harder. 

Why? 

Because life isn't a Hollywood blockbuster. 

It doesn't allow us to stop in between takes to ensure each scene is perfect. We don't record it on a set, it doesn't have a specific run time, it's not splattered on the silver screen with a Grammy award winning soundtrack, and there are certainly no credits at the end. 

No. Life is much more beautiful than that. It's imperfect; just like us. 

I don't know if I believe in fairytales as I've seen them in movie theaters. But then again, who knows how my story will end. 

I'm still writing it.

Beautiful.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, did you love everything you saw? 

I hope your answer to that question was a profound yes. 

Everyone desires to be loved. It's what makes our world go round. But in order to be loved, we must first love ourselves. And the only way to arrive there is to realize how beautiful we truly are.  

If you check out Webster's dictionary, you'll see beauty defined as "the qualities in a person that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit".

Unfortunately, we live in a world that has plastered it’s own definition of beauty everywhere we turn, and it doesn't involve any of those words. It’s on the cover of magazines, it’s printed in our newspapers, lined up throughout ours News Feed on social media, hell it’s even on the sides of buses and cabs in our cities.

As much as we hate to admit it, it’s affected us. Somehow, these depictions of beauty have become the standard in society, and we desire to be just that in order to feel wanted, accepted, and loved. 

Think about it. 

We take time out of our lives to get to the gym to get into shape. Albeit, some people get there to prevent or combat health issues, but the majority of people who step foot into a gym do it to look good. I think we all can agree on that. 

Even at those gyms we find pictures of what the perfect body should look like. In essence, it’s their slogan for beauty. So we diet and exercise with an image in our mind; an image of what we wish to be. Let’s be honest, it’s never an image of us. 

That’s where the problem lies.

Most of the time, regardless of the time and effort put in, we never end up looking that way. And even if we do, we struggle to find a balance between living a normal life and obsessing over our appearance. 

I'm not pretty enough, I wish my hair was longer, I want to be taller, I hate my ears, my legs are too skinny. These are just a small sample of complaints. You've heard all of this before, haven't you? I know you have. 

It’s not true beauty. And if you ever feel you need to look a certain way to be beautiful, to be accepted or desired, you’re wrong. 

Nobody on this Earth is perfect. We all have flaws, but they make us unique. Being beautiful has nothing to do with our looks or even our physical flaws, but everything to do with our heart and our souls. 

Society has painted this picture all wrong and it’s spread like a cancer. We worship celebrities who dress in designer from head to toe and super models who’ve been airbrushed ten times over. And you know what’s crazy? I can assure you even those people don’t think their beautiful because there will always be someone who is prettier or more handsome than them that can steal their spotlight ... in an instant. 

It’s a competition of appearance, and nobody is winning that game. 

Even beyond celebrities, there’s always that girl that posts pictures in her bikini. Hundreds and hundreds of likes. That same girl posts a status about life or what inspires her .. drastic change in engagement. People like what they see, they can give a shit about what matters to her. And that's sad. 

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance; you do work hard for it, but it shouldn't be what you base your beauty off of, and it should never be the main driver for acceptance. 

The truth is everyone is beautiful in their own way. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, how much you weigh, whether you’re tall or short, rich or poor, straight or gay. Beauty lies within you. And when you feel beautiful inside, it exudes from you and draws all kinds of people in.

You have to realize that. 

You have to wake up everyday, look in that mirror and love what you see because there is so much more inside of you than any mirror could show. You have a heart that’s so eager to love, a mind that’s ready to run free, and dreams that you’re working towards making a reality. You deserve someone who appreciates that. All of that. 

Maybe you have a way of making people laugh, maybe you have a precious smile that could light up a room, maybe your words can touch someones heart, or maybe you just look at someone else and love them for who they are. And because of all of that, they’ll look at you and see you’re the most beautiful soul in the world; because you've captured their heart and their soul.  

You see, the right person will love you because of the way you make them feel. Nothing is powerful enough to change that.

My mother has always taught me to look for the beauty within others. Because of that, I’ve developed relationships with so many amazing people. Whether it be co-workers, friends, or people I've met along the way, I’ve taken the time to get to know who they are and it's shown me more beauty than I can ever find in a magazine. Whether they’re white or black, male or female, straight or gay, young or old, they all want the same thing out of life; happiness. 

So they’ve shared their stories with me, and I’ve shared mine. Together, we share a common purpose.

You know that saying, "I can be myself around him/her" ? Those are the people who see beyond your flesh and know how beautiful you truly are. 

Keep them close.