The Top 3 Things Every Woman Wants For Valentine’s Day. It’s Not What You Think.

Valentine’s Day is here. So what did you get her this year? Maybe you’re tired of doing the same old “red roses and a box of chocolates” thing and you want to make this year a Valentine’s Day she’ll remember without spending a fortune.


Here are the top three things every woman wants for Valentine’s Day. You may be surprised!


1. A Show of Effort


Women want to know that their man has put some thought and energy into making their Valentine’s Day special. They want to see that there was time spent in preparation for the evening. It’s not about how much money you spend. In fact, it’s better to have spent more time than money on Valentine’s Day.


Plan an evening that requires a little forethought, and preparation. Women know if you just stopped at the local convenience store to pick up some roses on your way over. Give her a night dedicated to her wants and desires – not just something thrown together at the last moment.


2. Proof You Listen to Her and Know What She Likes


As a man, one of your most important jobs in your relationship is to listen to your woman. Women drop clues on a constant basis in everyday talk. For example, if the two of you are out shopping, she might see a bunch of tulips, and say “I just love tulips! Pink tulips are my favorite flower.” One of the best things you can do is hear that information, remember it, and use it at a later time.


Then on Valentine’s Day buy her pink tulips instead of the standard red roses. Chances are she will be so impressed that you even knew she likes pink tulips, because she forgot she said it, or even that you remembered all this time, and that you went to the trouble to surprise her with her favorites.


This can apply to anything including a certain food she loves but never indulges in, a hotel or retreat she’d like to take with you, a piece of jewelry she adores but would never spend the money on herself, or maybe something off beat like she’s always wanted to learn ballroom dancing – Sign the two of you up for lessons. There are many ways to make Valentine’s Day memorable if you just listen.


3. Pamper Her


All women love to be pampered. Some may not be used to it, or not even know what they like, but I promise you all women will love it. A gift certificate to the spa is not the same. Here’s why – When you pamper a woman you are taking care of her, you are making her feel good, and by you doing the pampering you are showing your love. So how should you pamper her? Every woman likes different things more than others, so don’t be afraid to ask her ahead of time. Here are some suggestions to get you started.


You could make a bubble bath for two complete with candles and champagne. If she’s not a bath girl, you might consider buying a small bottle of massage oil, have her get into her bath robe and give her a back massage. If she’s a woman that spends her days on her feet, you may want to give her a pedicure.


Remember that however you pamper her it should be done for her enjoyment alone. It should not be used solely as a way to get her warmed up for sex. If she leads it that way, then all the better, but go into it with the intention of just making her feel good. Women can sense when they are being primed for sex, and when it is a genuine act of kindness.


The key is to listen to her, find out what she really likes, and plan an evening that caters to her. Surprise her with her favorite things instead of the typical Valentines roses, chocolates, and teddy bears. And, spend time and effort to make this Valentine’s Day a night she will remember and brag to her friends about.

Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Valentine Date Ideas

So, it’s 2 days before Valentine’s Day. You haven’t bought a card, didn’t even really think about getting a gift, and have no idea what you and your boo will be doing on Valentine’s Day 2011. We get it. It’s not that you’re insensitive, cheap, or even lazy. There ‘s just so much going on in your life that you can barely get out for a “non-special” date, let alone Valentine’s Day. And, you know your sweetheart’s not all that into the V-Day hype so ya’ll will be allright–no special romance needed at your house, right?

Yeah, right(…in my best sarcastic voice). Don’t kid yourself.

Even those of us who sincerely don’t trip off the holiday and all the hype around it like to feel thought of, acknowledged, and…yes even focused on during this special day—especially when our friends’ will be asking “What did you do for insert your boo’s name here? or “What did insert your boo’s name here do for you? It’s nice to be able to have an answer—trust me. Because at the end of the day it really is about the fact that your special someone was important enough to think about…just a little bit. 😉

So, never fear! is here! We like this website because it has tons of things to do and places to go. And, the wide range of different things to do is great. They have Adventurous Dates, Unusual Dates, Indoor Dates, Cultural Dates, Sporting Dates, Theme Dates, Group Date Ideas and so much more. Check out some of the Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Date Ideas below. There’s something for everyone.

Last Minute, Inexpensive  & Romantic Ideas From

  • Build a fire, snuggle up, and read a good book or perhaps romantic poetry together. Make up some hot chocolate or spiced cider to enhance the evening.
  • Prepare a new dessert or main dish and serve it in a creative way to your parents or friends. Finish by washing the dishes together.
  • Check out the local newspaper’s entertainment section for free events.
  • Buy two cheap canvases and paint with toll paints or do finger painting and design a picture for one another. Choose something that describes yourself or something you appreciate about each other.
  • Go to the mall (or maybe Target or Wal-Mart!) and give each other $10 and see who can buy the best item for each other with it.
  • Select a dinner from the cookbook you have never tried. Shop for the ingredients and prepare dinner together. To add ambience, choose a type of cuisine and add decorations or dress to enhance the atmosphere.
  • After an amazing steak dinner, complimented by a beverage of your choice, head for a private hot tub. Set out candles and soft music for the perfect touch.
  • Make a recording of all the love songs you both like and play it while relaxing in front of a glowing fire (or while driving in the countryside).
  • Go for a walk together either in a crowded city or alone in the country.
  • Collect old magazines and cut out pictures that bring back memories of times you’ve shared together. Compile them in a scrapbook, and nurture the desire to spend time developing future memories.
  • Attend church functions together. Dances, discussion groups, and church meetings really help couples grow closer to each other.
  • Send flowers. Try adding a note or a poem. For greater impact, find a way to secretly add flowers to the vase every day, and include a secret note each time.
  • Drive around different neighborhoods in your area to find the most beautiful and oddest landscaping and yard ornaments.
  • Go to a river or small village and paint the scenery. Then give it away to an elderly shut-in in your neighborhood.
  • Go bird watching at an aviary or woods nearby.
  • Live in a mild climate? Take a walk on the beach. If you live near the ocean or a large lake, taking a walk on the beach or the shoreline at sunset or in the moonlight can be very romantic and peaceful.
  • When your date is far away or busy, do this: Before you hang up ask him/her to meet you in your dreams (in an open baseball stadium on the pitchers mound, in a canoe in the middle of the lake at sunset, etc.). Be specific.
  • Find a restaurant in a little town about an hour away. Stop every now and then to take pictures of each other (or have someone take a picture of you together). Take romantic pictures, funny pictures, pictures of the scenery. If you time it right, you can get a picture of the sunset. Get the waiter to take your picture together. Then, on your next date night, make a collage of your date together.
  • Blindfold your date and feed him/her foods of your choice. Be playful. It’s fun for the both of you! Be sure to let your date have a chance at this one. Once you’ve finished, watch a movie by the fire or just cuddle.


Kwanzaa: A Pathway For Restoring Marriage In The Black Community?


The current state of black male and female relationships demands attention and correction: declining marriage rates, increasing rates of single black women with children , 70 percent of all African-American births are out of wedlock, nearly 45 percent of Black men have never married and 42 percent of Black women have never married, and the increasing rate of divorce among black men and women (two thirds of all black marriages end in divorce).

Marriage is the basis for a stable and sustainable family life. Hence, the state of African Americans as a people is best measured by the state of the black family. The practice of Kwanzaa contributes both to strong marriages and stable families. Kwanzaa advances that the starting point and foundation for restoring healthy and lasting marriages among African Americans begins with its 7 Principles.

Principle One- Unity: the unity principle instructs that modes of communication and behavior among men and women in relationships or marriage should promote an atmosphere of harmony and togetherness. Joining two hearts as one requires self-conscience practice to build into the relationship perpetual sharing, empathy, dedication and commitment through daily practice. The 7 Principles advises that relationships or marriages fall apart day-by-day, not through one single argument or misguided act.

Principle Two- Self-determination: the self-determination principle assists couples in defining their relationship or marriage in terms that are in their own best interest, not that of others, practicing their own cultural values. This principle urges the setting of terms (e.g., no violence, no name calling, especially the “N” and “B” word, setting aside time each week for just the “two of us”), to avoiding misunderstanding and drift in the marriage.

Principle Three- Collective Work & Responsibility: the collective work and responsibility principle is straightforward: each person in the relationship is responsible and accountable for its success or failure. The principle is clear that blaming and finger-pointing have no place in a relationship. It is always about “us” and “we” not ‘I” and “my.”

Principle Four- Shared Resources: the shared resources principle obligates those in long-term relationships to support and care for each other and to see their interest tied together. It also suggests that all finances and financial responsibility are shared among mates. No one person is the “bread winner” or has total say over management of family finances. Even when only one person is employed, the other person is entitled to & should be fully involved in financial transactions.

Principle Five- Purpose: the purpose principle says to couples that one of their central goals in life is the building and developing of our relationships. For it is through the building of strong and lasting marriages that they contribute to stable families, the index of the strength and viability of a people. Further, the purpose principle instructs that mates find their social meaning and human identity in their union.

Principle Six- Creativity: the creativity principle renews the freshness, energy and excitement in relationships, especially marriages through the practice of continuous improvement. The principle says that couples should always seek to find new and better ways of enjoying each other, and of recreating the magic which first attracted them to each other.

Principle Seven- Faith: the faith principle is what sustains couples through difficult times and crisis. Equally important, the principle keeps couples hopeful. Influential philosopher and theologian Howard Thurman asserts: “Faith is the substance and spirit which makes “tired hearts refreshed and dead hopes stir with the nearness of life; faith is the “promise of tomorrow at the close of everyday, the triumph of life in the defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier than fate, right is more confident than wrong, that good is more permanent than evil.”

Each month, couples should take inventory on what they have done to practice the seven principles, celebrating their successes, and recommitting themselves to practice in greater measure those areas which need attention or improvement.

At Kwanzaa time, December 26 through January 1, couples can assess how their relationship against the 7 Principles and celebrate their joy and happiness of their union.

Read Full Article HERE.


He Criticizes Black Women & Christianity. Should We Marry?

One of our viewers wrote in and indicated that her man criticizes black women and Christianity and wanted to know if they should marry? Check out the video and let us know what you think….

I had been single for 10 years before meeting my current partner online. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love but just wanted to start talking to males again in a safe way before entering the dating game.  I was approached by this wonderful man and we clicked on so many levels. We have been in a relationship for 10 months and are seriously contemplating marriage.

I am a single mother of three children, he is a single father and plays an active role in his daughter’s life. I love his parenting, I love his work ethics, I love his level of intelligence, I love his caring nature, I love the fact that we speak every day, currently see each other probably weekly as we have decided to wait until marriage to sleep together. We advise each other on future work goals, discuss family goals, mortgages etc, we talk about everything and argue/debate about our differing opinions, we also laugh and enjoy each others company. My children and family love him. I have met his family a few times and we got on well.

Now for the problems: I am a born-again Christian – he identifies as Christian but is not born again and goes to church infrequently. My passion is in my faith – this has brought some conflict due to my religious beliefs. One example – he believes in evolution, I believe in creation (we have had intense debates on this – but have agreed to stop as its gets so heated). We have agreed that if we get married we will homeschool and teach our children both views. When he argues he swears A LOT and gets dirty with his words but has toned it down since I explained that I don’t like it. I am not used to it, my father never swore. I have tonned down the way I respond to him, which again has really worked.

The second problem is based on the way he talks about black women. He seems to have a low view of us based on what he has seen around him and has some deep hurts. We are both black!  He has a strong passion for the black community, wants to make a difference i.e build community centres, create documentaries on the issues within the community, wants to advise women not to wear weaves etc (I’m natural, wear braids occasionally but have no problem with weaves). I support a lot of what he wants to do but not all. This bitterness that he feels about black women / community, feeds through on his view of religion and he calls the bible that I enjoy ‘the white mans’ book.

He says I am different from many black women and he calls me a lady. But I still take offense with these two issues: it’s like we are both fire when they come up. I just want him to understand that I am a black women so when he talks negatively about black women it hurts. I am also a Christian, so when he talks negatively about Christianity it hurts. We have broken up twice because of this but we always feel like we can get through them as on ever other level we are soo good together. We both love each other but are anxious about the next disagreement……HELP!

With these two issues in mind! Do you think I am ignoring a deeper issue? Can we build a successful happy home?

Thank you! and I love watching you both! He hasn’t witnessed many strong black relationship in his town or on UK television and is convinced it is rare. Most people he knows are either single parents or in bi-racial relationship. Both our kids are biracial. I haven’t introduced him to your channel but I am hoping watch your response with him. Sorry its so long!!

How Do The Ma’at’s Stay Soooo Connected?…Because You Asked

VIDEO: A viewer wrote in asking us how we manage to stay so connected given the everyday “stuff” in life. Well, we feel that every couple that is in a happy and healthy relationship has a uniqueness about them that makes them work. Listen in as we share how we stay sooo connected and how the flame of passion continues burning 15 years after we first met.

B Intentional Family, What helps you to stay connected and plugged into your spouse from day to day? Are there certain things you do to maintain that connection?

Healing Is A Process….Let’s Begin

By Ayize Ma’at

While sitting across the room from a couple, I watched his fidgety movements shout an ensnaring tale capturing a 27 year history of hesitation.  His ambivalence didn’t begin with her….however she views herself as the VICTIM of his indecision, his restlessness, his wandering eye…his failure to fully commit to her.  Her pain cast a cloudy glow around her that she’s been trying to shake for years.  His shame oozes from his pours…he doesn’t know how to shelter his soul from the storm that’s been hovering above him for years.  He hides…she hides.  They both are tormented…they both are torn…they both are hurt.  As they sit before us…in silence…in tears…in rage….in hope…we watch the subtle dance of healing begin.

If you’d like to have a session with Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at CLICK HERE.

Men, Women, & Intimacy: Different Genders Achieve It In Different Ways

By Team BLAM

Many people have concluded that men are less interested in intimacy and seek to avoid it. But maybe intimacy is in the eye of the beholder. There is little doubt that men and women naturally seek out different kinds of intimacy, but that’s different from saying that men are not interested in it.

Whereas women tend to define intimacy more in terms of verbal communication, there is some evidence that men define intimacy more in terms of shared activities. This is a critical point to keep in mind. When a female asks her husband to spend some time talking about feelings, she may be showing her preference for intimacy; but so is a male who asks his wife to watch a game with him or make love.

Oftentimes, these preferences reflect our upbringing. Little girls work on verbal intimacy and little boys “hang out” with others while doing activities—especially activities with rules, such as sports. If you watch little girls and compare them to little boys, you’ll see that relationship patterns go way back. Whether it’s because of physical differences or the ways we’re raised, girls tend to talk more about relationships than boys, and boys don’t put as much “obvious” time and energy into maintaining them. Many folks agree that this is true for adults as well.

With all that said—-here’s some simple, powerful advice: You should spend more time figuring out what is intimate for your partner rather than assuming too much about what your partner likes and wants based on his or her gender. The happiest couples have usually developed the ability to connect on several levels of intimacy, including verbal communication, shared activities & interests, and sensual partnership just to name a few.

BLAM Fam, what do you think? Are men and women wired differently when it comes to intimacy?

Adapted from Fighting For Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, & Susan L. Blumberg

Marriage…Do You Have What It Takes?

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

I love wedding shows. I really do. I love looking at the dresses and seeing how people illustrate their love. From Say Yes To The Dress to Four Weddings, I really enjoy watching these shows. But they are just entertainment that tell you how to prepare for a wedding. There are no shows that tell you how to be married. I think that is where we do marriages a disservice. They show the fun highlights but don’t give anyone tools to endure marriage.

“Endure” sounds so apocalyptic doesn’t it? But let’s be honest – it’s not all roses. There are wonderful highs and some amazing lows. It takes a special kind of person to be able to weather all that comes with marriage. So do you have what it takes to be a spouse?

Can you open up and share yourself with another person? Sounds minor right? But it is true. Are you able to share all of yourself with your partner? Not just your PR agent that everyone meets, but the core of who you are? The reason this is so important is how can you ever accept someone fully if they’ve never seen you fully? You can’t.

Can you pursue God’s will for your life? Are you really ready to walk into all that God has placed in you? See, God placed all that vision in your life not for your own benefit but for the benefit of the kingdom. That kingdom starts with a little village – your family. So are you ready to go get it so that the blessings will pour down on your family?

Can you say no to temptation? Do I really need to say more? But can you resist all the tail that will be thrown at you the minute you say “I do”? What? You thought the ring was a booty repellent? Puh-lease! The ring is a magnet for booty. The ring increases your net worth. The ring says that somebody in this world thinks that you are so special that you were worth putting a ring on. That alone sets you apart from the rest. So can you say “no” to that?

Can you put the good of your spouse and family before everything else (except God)? Before your boys, before the sorority, before your church commitments, sometimes before your job… Can your immediate family come first?

Ladies: Can you keep a clean house? I know that is a generalization, but really in at least 8 out of 10 households the majority of housekeeping falls on a woman’s shoulders. That doesn’t mean that the men don’t contribute, they do. But the MAJORITY of the housework will fall on you. Is your house dirty? Not cluttered. Cluttered in a nuisance but it can be picked up. Is your house nasty? Because if is nasty with you living by yourself, then it will nastier when you have a spouse and kids.

Men: Do you have maintenance skills? Yep, another generalization. But in my informal survey – which is mainly just my friends – the majority of maintenance jobs are on the husband’s plate. Can you fix an overflowing toilet? Can you paint a wall? Can you find your way around a wrench? Is the lawnmower your friend? And if you answer no to all of the above questions, do you at least have the initiative to call someone to fix a problem?

And there are many more questions: Can you keep it hot in the bedroom? Can you forgive? Can you take care of someone at their worst and cheer for someone at their best? Can you celebrate your spouse’s success without being jealous? Can you love?

Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at

True Love Is Giving Love With No Agenda Attached

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

“We ‘love’ another in order to get something ourselves….There can be no greater mistake than that, for love is incapable of asking for anything.” — A Course in Miracles

“Love is incapable of asking for anything.” Wow! Take a moment to think about that statement, and then think about what you think love is.

What do you think love is?

* Does love demand that another person give himself or herself up for you?

* Is love jealous?

* Does love ask another person to prove to you that he or she loves you?

* Does love expect that another should listen to your anger, your complaints, and your judgments?

* Are you being loving when you take responsibility for another’s feelings?

* Are you being loving when you are being a martyr?

* Are you being loving when you physically harm another – even if it is in the name of love?

In fact, aren’t all of the above what love is not?

If “Love is incapable of asking for anything,” then what is love?

* Love gives for the pure joy of giving – whether it is time, caring, understanding, compassion, kindness, help, money, gifts, compliments, and so on.

* Love is the energy that flows into you from Spirit when your heart is open. It fills you so that you don’t need anything from anyone, and then it flows out to others.

* Love is what you joyfully do to care for yourself, fully embracing the sacred privilege of taking loving care of yourself – of your feelings, your health, your environment, your safety and security, and your self of worth and self-esteem.

* Love sees what needs to be done and does it with no outcome in mind other than the joy of helping another.

* Love never has an agenda, as real love “is incapable of asking for anything.”

Are you “loving” another to get something for yourself? “There can be no greater mistake than that.”

Why can there be no greater mistake than that? Because whatever it is you are doing is not love. You are completely missing what love is. And in trying to “love” another to get something for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Your relationships will not work because they work only when there is love.

How do you reach a point where you don’t need anything from another – where you are so filled up with love within that you just want to offer it? How do you heal the emptiness within that is so needy of love?

By learning how to fill yourself with love, how to overflow with love like a glass of water so filled to the brim that it is overflowing. This will never happen from trying to get love from another.

There is only one way I know of to become filled with love, and that is to open your heart to learning – with your spiritual guidance – how to be loving to yourself.

You have to start with yourself, since it is only when you are filled with love that you have love to offer another. When you deeply desire to learn to be loving to yourself, your heart will open and you will start to receive love and wisdom from your Higher Self. You will be taught what loving yourself means, what thoughts to think and actions to take that are loving to you. As you do this, you will become filled with love and discover that you don’t actually need to get love from another.

When you learn to love yourself and fill yourself with love, you will discover the great joy and fulfillment in giving love – giving with no agenda attached.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Visit her at

How To Forgive Even When You Ain’t Feelin’ It

By Michelle Mayur

One of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves is to forgive, both ourselves and others. In forgiving we are not condoning the behaviour of the person we perceive as having wronged us, but rather we are allowing ourselves to break the hold that person has on our lives. Feeling anger towards that person may have been well-justified, but unless it is dealt with and processed it becomes a corrosive aspect in our bodies, leading to physical disease and emotional illness. Holding onto feelings of anger or revenge are likely to be hurting us rather than the original perpetrator, with whom we may not have had any contact for years, or worse still, who may have already passed over. Do you really want to hurt yourself as well by not forgiving?

Even if you feel you can only make baby steps towards forgiving someone, at least forgive yourself for having allowed yourself to be caught up in the drama for so long. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

Below are a couple of my favourite forgiveness affirmations:


I forgive everyone who has ever hurt or harmed me, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I offer them grace.

I ask forgiveness for everything I have ever done to hurt or harm another, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I ask for grace.

I forgive myself for everything I have ever done to hurt or harm another, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I accept grace.

I am free. All chains and restrictions fall from me. I stand in my full power as a master.


I don’t know why you did what you did,

And I don’t know why you said what you said,

And I don’t know why you are the way you are,

But I accept that’s where you need to be now,

And I forgive you and I forgive myself.

I release all anger, bitterness and resentment,

Past or present,

And I release us both in my love.

And so be it.

Exercise: Reclaiming Your Power

All those that you have ever perceived as having wronged you have at a soul level presented themselves to you as opportunities to learn. If you haven’t learnt the lesson, then the other person has also failed in teaching you. Connect to the divine spark in all of them and feel yourself reclaiming your own power directly from the limitless supply of Divine Power. Forgive yourself for allowing yourself to be caught up in the drama of unforgiveness for so long. See and feel yourself rising up above the circumstances and letting them crumble away below.

Exercise: Forgiveness of Self and Others

Think of a person who has wronged you and for whom there is still bad feeling. Place your hands over your heart with the intention to channel energy to your heart. Read the affirmation of forgiveness and atonement words, with feeling, in your mind and channel energy for 10 minutes or until you feel a shift in your heart. Don’t be surprised if you experience tears as a release as you forgive yourself allowing you to move forward with grace.

Michelle Mayur, a conscious entrepreneur specialising in “Heal the Healer”. Tools and info for developing Wellness Professionals personally and in business.