My Abandonment Issues Are Holding Back My Love Life

Your relationship with your parents has a permanent presence in your present relationship whether you like it or not. This fan wrote in with questions about how he can overcome the abandonment issues he has with his mom and commit to his lady. Awareness and acknowledgement is the first step. We all have some kind of mommy or daddy issues. Being in a committed relationship is the perfect place to work to heal some of that….if it’s the right relationship. Listen in…


Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at, licensed clinical therapists and high school sweethearts, have been together for 22 years and married for 14. Together, they are the founders of B Intentional LLC, a personal development & relationship education company. Known for their signature down to earth and “keep it real” style. Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at have been featured on Dr. Drew’s Life Changers T.V. Show, Michael Baisden Show, Roland Martin’s Washington Watch, The Matt Mcgill Show, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and many more. While they are grateful for an abundance of opportunities to work with people all over the country committed to transcending self limiting barriers and elevating themselves and their relationships to a higher level, their most valued and important accomplishments to date are their 5 beautiful children who keep them busy, focused, centered, and laughing!

Ladies…..Don’t Be Thirsty

Viewer Question:  I’m in love with an old class mate to whom I have a long intimate history with. He recently got out a relationship that ended badly and according to him has scarred him, enough that he may never want to get married . That relationship along with others has caused trust issues for him.  However over the last 7 months or so we have spent darn near every day together and occasionally we are intimate. My feelings are all in, and now even though I know he doesn’t want a relationship right now, I almost feel like I’m cheating when I go out with other men. Should I just appreciate my friendship with him and abandon my true feelings for him or should I express myself and go for and risk potential awkwardness ? BLAM Fam let us know your thoughts.


What’s up y’all we are Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at….a married couple that has been together since high school. Yup…high school sweet hearts. We have Fo’… not four… but Fo’ incredible children…who keep us on our toes all the time : ) We are relationship therapists, coaches, and experts that have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers, TV One, and other media outlets. We are helpers…we are healers….and we are here to serve you.

If you or someone you know would like to have INDIVIDUAL or COUPLES coaching from us please CLICK HERE


When Crazy Knocks….DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!


Video: Ok here goes , I started dating a 42year old man 6 months ago, he was the perfect verbal gentlemen for the 1st 2 months, visits, dates, calls text blah blah blah, then he started to drop in the communication area and started to be sporadic……he disappeared without a word for 3 weeks, I showed up at an event and he looked as if he saw a ghost then called me out of the blue not wanting to explain but asking for financial assistance(after lying about being employed), and now he wants to be clingy…..but still won’t explain where the hell he has been, he doesn’t have his own place but on some occasions he’ll call and ask to come over, when I agree he will say “open the door”….I am assuming he is always casing my street to see if I am having company and to top it off he always has an overnight bag. No, I have not given him the money, I have my own house, car and job and still I struggle. Please help, recently I had 2 anxiety attacks because of emotional stress. This brotha is very active in church but when he walks out the doors of the santuary…..he is something else, I am 39

The Search For Love (And Marriage) As A Single Mom

By Marie Hartwell- Walker, Ed.D

You may remember the chant from childhood:

First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes the baby in a baby carriage.

It may have once been fun to jump rope to the rhyme, but these days, it’s far, far from the truth. 40 percent of children today are born to single mothers. Some births are accidental — happily or sadly welcomed. Others are planned by women discouraged about finding a solid and loving partner.

What used to be understood as the order of things isn’t so orderly anymore. Baby may come first, not last, in the rhyme.

Single mothers with children rarely give up the dream of finding love and making a life with someone. Sometimes everything just falls beautifully into place. The mom meets a new love who embraces both the parent and child and all three go on to live happily ever after.

But most of the time, life isn’t so smooth. Sometimes the child seems to be an obstacle to finding a mate. One male after another says some version of, “Well, I love you but your kids are in the way of our relationship.” What happens then?

If you’re a single mother who has fallen in love, make sure you know what your sweetheart is prepared to do about becoming part of a family before you start dreaming of tying the knot. If your true love says he never wanted kids, doesn’t now, can’t stand kids, sees kids as a drain on money, time, and fun, or doesn’t want anything to do with your child’s other parent (if that parent is in the picture) or the grandparents from your ex, go very slow and see if he means it.

It’s just true. Sometimes people are so in the habit of saying something that they haven’t thought for a long time about whether they really mean it. Sometimes, a man who never thought about having kids in his youth is open to rethinking his position as an older adult. It’s worth asking.

But if he can’t think about changing his mind and folding children into his life in a genuine, loving way, he probably won’t. Marrying a man who is anti-children has huge implications for your relationship with your children and your relationship with him.

Don’t pretend that he’ll fall in love with your children because, after all, they’re wonderful. A man who goes into a relationship with children expecting not to like it probably won’t. Worse, the children will feel his rejection on a daily basis. They won’t like him and they will be angry with you for bringing him into their lives.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that he can be minimally involved. At some point, it’s likely you’ll get resentful that he isn’t helping with the daily demands of managing a household with children. At some point, he’ll resent the time you are spending with the kids.

Don’t persuade yourself that you can be the kind of romantic partner you were when you were young and child-free. It’s harder to date when you have to cancel repeatedly because kids got sick or needed a ride or needed help with homework. He’ll resent your distraction. You’ll resent his lack of concern for your children’s welfare.

If you give in and make uncomfortable compromises in your parenting, you will lose respect for yourself. Your kids are likely to get clingy or angry or both. Yes, parents can and do carve out some time for romance but it’s always with the knowledge that kids’ needs can disrupt the best laid plans.

If you have children and you are looking for love and marriage, hold out for a man who understands that…

  • Loving you means learning to love your children. They are part of you and part of your life. Yes, it’s more complicated than marrying a childless person who is free to spend all her time and affection on someone else. But it’s also more rewarding. Marrying a woman with children makes an instant family. Marrying a woman with children provides the chance to relive the positive experiences of growing up or to heal old hurts by making a better childhood for someone else’s kids. A man who embraces your children as an opportunity to have even more love in his life is someone to take seriously.
  • Loving you means understanding that the kids take priority while you transition. You fell in love with your partner. The kids didn’t. They will be ambivalent, no matter how wonderful you think your guy is. They are likely to have strong feelings about not having all your attention and time. They may resist adjusting to changes that come with marriage. It falls on the adults to be adults and to put kids’ needs first for awhile. They will need help making the countless big and little changes that come with accommodating another person in their home and their lives.
  • Loving you means getting involved with the whole family. To make a family with you is to get it that their grandparents, aunts, and uncles and cousins and whoever else is related by birth or by choice will be part of life as well. Kids need to be connected to their extended family as long as that family is reasonably sane. Your partner also needs to make it clear to his extended family that he now has children and they therefore now have more kids to love.


  • Loving you means doing hands-on parenting. Working through differences and decisions about how both of you will encourage and discipline the kids is an important part of your courtship. For kids to grow, they need parents who are on the same page at least most of the time. They need the safety of structure and limits, the approval that is the building block of self-esteem, and the clarity of consequences that helps them learn to be responsible. A man who will spend lots of time talking through how to parent as well as whether to parent is a good bet.


When dating, it’s crucial to hold onto the things you strongly believe are non-negotiable. You probably have a top three for yourself. Maybe your priorities include finding someone who practices the same religion, who is financially solvent, or who is interested in whitewater rafting and likes walking in the rain. By all means, find a match. But if you’re a parent, parenting principles like these need to be added near the top of list. A relationship with a man who meets those criteria is a relationship that is likely to last.


Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She writes regularly for Psych Central as well as Psych Central’s Ask the Therapist feature, and has published the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart.  

10 Dating Tips For Single Parents

Alison Sardelli

Any single parent who has tried to juggle dating, friends, a career and their family understands that at the end of each day there simply doesn’t seem to be enough time for all. This is often why parents hesitate to rejoin the dating world.

For many parents the first sacrifice to make under these conditions is the attention to a romantic life. Many concerns revolve around not the difficulty of finding their true love, but a partner who will truly love their child.

This balancing of the new and exciting, dating atmosphere with the pressures of wanting to find the best person to help raise your child can greatly conflict. For those parents who are still feeling remorse about the way in which they became single parents, this strain may be even greater.

There are many more options for single parents who are looking to date these days than there were even just a few years ago. Society and technology have been forced to keep pace with an entire generation deciding to call it quits after one or two little ones have already been welcomed in. Understanding your options can play an important role about how you feel when trying to juggle the complex components of your life.

The legendary evil step mother from stories of old may have been often exaggerated, but many parents worry that they will blindly invite a person who will secretly treat their child poorly into their lives.

With so many concerns and difficult questions to answer it is easy to understand why so many single parents find the prospect of dating overwhelming. Though beginning a relationship as a single parent may require more patience and understanding than for those without little ones, if you find yourself wishing that you could include a bit of romance in your daily routine there are some steps you can take to help:

1) Leave out the Guilt: Many parents immediately feel guilty for wanting to attend to their own personal lives; making time for both your child and yourself can help to create a happier and healthier environment for you both. Make sure you set aside specific times and days where you can spend time with your child, but don’t forget to include some personal time for yourself.

2) Dismiss the Wayward: When stepping out into the dating world you may come across potential partners with whom you have a wonderful time, but only seem tolerant of the child in your life. Many single parents introduce their children to a new romantic interest with hesitation, as if the child were a bad habit they feel it necessary to confess to having. If you find yourself dating anyone who fits into this category, do yourself and your child a favor, end the relationship.

3) Child Stamp of Approval: Though some children may react badly to the introduction of a new person in your life, regardless of how wonderfully that person treats them, it is important to consider your child’s reaction. Because the social skills that will later become necessary are so often still forming in children you may find that the perspective your child has differs greatly from even the closest of friends. In short, most children are honest to the point of being rude because they aren’t considering your reaction. If your child reacts poorly to your date, be sure to find out why and pay attention to any future encounters.

4) Clean Up Your Kid: Because so many parents are single as the result of a negative event in theirs and the child’s life, many single parents feel guilty about the event and become over indulgent with their children. However you view your parenting skills, make sure that when your child is introduced to your date that you don’t expect your date to endure any forms of torture your child is ready to inflict.

While you may think your little ones’ chocolate milk kisses are sweet, your date will more than likely not view them the same way. Be sure that just as your date should be, that your child is respectful. In short, your child shouldn’t have to be an angel, but a monster will surely leave you hanging by a very, silent phone.

5) Practical Romance: When making the decision to date as a single parent you may often refer to your previous experiences for help. Though certainly there is a wealth of knowledge in the events that make up every individuals life, looking at your love past may not prove as useful today. The child in your life has changed everything and this you well know, dating is very much in the same category.

Make use of some practical dating tools that may help to eliminate the stress of poorly chosen candidates. Such options as online dating can help to connect you with other single parents, or perhaps your community plays host to events that will allow both you and your child to meet others who share your interests.

6) Be Attentive to All Involved: Dating as a single parent certainly can be a tricky business and while you continue to juggle both your child’s needs and the desires of your romantic friend don’t forget that one other person exists who needs your attention: you!

Though your child is more than likely an unconditionally, welcome part of your life, if you begin to feel that dating is too difficult, simply explain your feelings to your partner. Never continue to date a person because you feel obligated to do so, or because they mesh well with your child. Remember, both you and your little one have to care for this person if they are to play a big role in your lives.

7) Confidant and Strong: An important thing to remember when dating as a single parent is that your child will be watching and learning from how you interact with your potential suitors. Keep this in mind, especially if you tend to allow your partner’s to be too demanding. Showing your child that you enjoy getting to be social, but will not tolerate a negative force in your life, will not only inspire your child to feel safer with you, but may help them in their future relationships.

8) Don’t Apologies for Being a Parent: As mentioned before, many single parents become nervous about admitting that they have a child when on the dating scene. It is important that you do not set a negative tone about your child with a new person or they may feel as though they can always demand top priority.

Showing you child that you do not need to date, but simply want to date the right kind of person and that you refuse to allow anyone into your life who would see your child in a negative light, will help smooth over some of those initial feelings of jealousy that single parents often encounter in their children.

9) Little Black Dress and a Diaper Bag: Whether you’re a single mother or father you may feel that it’s difficult to feel sexy on a day to day basis when so much of the time you’re simply mommy, or daddy. Often you will conjure up the image of your parents and the idea of being sexy will go right out the window. Though it can be difficult to maintain a balance between these two very different mind sets, with a little patience, a good sense of humor and the right romantic interest you can achieve success in both areas.

10) Soft Reminders: At times it may seem impossible and at others as though all the stars are aligned; as you attempt to navigate the process of being a good parent and an adored romance remember that at times your child may need a little reminder of how you feel.

Be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your little one and that you don’t allow for any doubts about their place in your life to take root. Sometimes, before you head out for a night on the town, all you child needs to hear are those three little words to know that however much fun you have, they hold a special place in your heart.

In today’s world perhaps more than ever many single parents are finding that though it may require additional planning and work by no means should their romantic lives disappear forever. If you are considering heading back out onto the dating scene keep in mind that balance is the key and that you only need to take the road to happiness, one step at a time.

When Is The Right Time To Start Dating Again After Divorce?

By Neil Poston

Is it too soon to Date Again?

You realize that life after divorce can be lonely.  You are feeling as if you might be ready to go out and make some new relationships, but you question yourself wondering if it might be too soon.  When is it okay to start dating again?

This is really up to YOU.  No one lives your life but you.    If you find that you are ready to begin dating again or life offers up an opportunity, you will know.  If, however, you try to begin dating, but feel uncomfortable, you may not be ready.

So are you looking for a time frame?  There are many different reasons people get divorced.  There are many years couples have been out of love within a marriage and just stay in it for the kids, or because of the presumed difficulty of the legality of the split.  Does it matter how long you’ve been married?  Does it matter if you have kids?  Not really.  If you’ve had a loveless marriage and become separated, take the time to heal yourself in your heart and your mind, be sure your relationship is over and go ahead and get out there.

It could be as little as a month or two or it could be as long as a few years.  If it is a few months, be sure the person you begin dating is aware of the circumstances and understands there is no promise of a relationship.  Do not flaunt your dating status to your ex because it may take him/her much longer to close the door to the relationship and it just may hurt them more than you can imagine.  If you have kids, be extremely gentle with their emotions inviting a stranger into their world.  You may not want to hide the fact that you are dating because if they are old enough they might support you but you also don’t want to bring possible changes into the home because they could be short-lived.

Family is forever.  But at some point one of you will find another mate.  Trust in your intuition and if it’s too soon, it’s too soon.  If you’re ready to put yourself out there shortly after the split, then do it.  Just remember to be sensitive to your ex’s and children’s emotions.

Be confident and live your life.  No one else is going to.

Is It O.K. To Move In Before Marriage?

In generations past, couples met, fell in love, got married and began building a life together. But times are changing, and these days, it’s more common for couples to spend some time living together before taking a trip down the aisle.

While co-habitation can be convenient and easier on your wallet, it isn’t always a step toward happily-ever-after. Here are the most common reasons couples decide to shack up, and why some relationship experts warn against it.

Reason #1: You aren’t engaged…but are hoping it’s a step toward a proposal.

Deciding to move in together is a good idea only if you’ve had honest, open conversations about getting married to each other, says relationship expert April Beyer. “I’ve seen plenty of men say yes to a future when they felt backed against the wall, only to back out at a later date. If you have a reluctant fiancé, you’ve also got a reluctant husband!” Beyer says.

According to dating coach Samantha Karlin, “living with someone without a firm eye towards marriage means that anyone can get up and leave at any time, which breeds mutual disrespect, as opposed to mutual respect.” Karlin adds that she has “known a lot of women who move in with their boyfriends with the assumption that a proposal is one step away — but then two, three, four years later, the proposal still hasn’t come. I think that’s because some people move in together not because they genuinely want to see this person every morning upon waking, but because it’s convenient.”

Reason #2: You want to see if you’re compatible as roommates.

A roommate and a romantic partner are not the same thing, yet many couples think that living together will give them the chance to see how their relationship works with the live-in dynamic. “Living with someone as a roommate is different than cohabitating as partners,” says relationship therapist Kimberly Seltzer. “As roommates, there is always an underlying notion that you can ‘get out’ if things don’t work.” However, Beyer says if you and your partner are eyeing the same goals with the same timelines, then she believes living together “could save you from marrying the wrong man.”

Reason #3: You want to save money on rent.

CLICK HERE to read more.

9 Ways To Tell If He Really Loves You

Here is a chance for you to peek into your man’s mind and tell if he really loves you. He’s dated his fair share of women, and he has always kept his options open. How will you know if he’s made up his mind that you’re the one for him?


  1. Listen to how he talks about the future. His future once meant he had a date on Saturday night, but with you, he’s seeing long-term. When he plans his next vacation, he finds himself making plans with you in them, and when his best friend gets married in six months, you’re his date.
  2. Note whether he’s making room for you in his life. Other priorities take a back seat to you, well, because you’re more important than them. If he enjoys fitting you into his busy (or not-so-busy) life, that means he values your companionship.
    • For instance, he used to work out religiously, but lately, when you’re free for dinner, he doesn’t mind missing his workout. He’s not as worried about preening as he is missing a romantic night with you.
    • Not only that, bringing work home on weekends seems a bit excessive to him now, and his “to do” list isn’t as important to him as it once was.
    • He enjoys taking you out with his friends. Be wary of the guy who never wants you around his friends, and insists on hanging out alone. He’s either hiding something or he’s embarrassed with you around. The guy who loves having you around his friends is proud of who you are and likes showing you off.
  3. See if he is softening up when it comes to you. Instead of insisting on getting his way, he doesn’t mind compromising today. This means he understands the give-and-take of relationships, and feels good about giving a little if it means you’re happy or listened to.
    • He doesn’t mind missing a night out with the guys anymore, because he knows that a night in will be just as good.
    • He even doesn’t mind going to see that foreign movie with subtitles that he swears he doesn’t understand. If you it means that you’ll be happy, he’ll go out on a limb.
    • He laughs at the good-natured taunts from his friends because he knows they secretly wish they were in his shoes.
  4. Note if his spare time is mostly time spent with you. He looks forward to seeing you, and it doesn’t matter what the two of you do as long as he gets to spend time with you. When he’s with you, he doesn’t need distractions because you’re more than distracting just the way you are.
    • Those long walks you like so well are okay with him too. The time flies because you’re holding hands and having a great conversation, and it doesn’t matter that you’re not doing anything.
    • He finds that when he is not with you, he is thinking about you constantly. When you call him just to check in, he keeps you on the phone, telling jokes and engaging in conversation.
    • He invites you along to activities that he doesn’t normally like doing with someone else. Maybe he’s a bit embarrassed that he’s in that ceramics class, or he’s really consumed with cycling. If he normally enjoys the activity alone, but invites you, it means he trusts you and wants you to be involved in the things that really matter to him.
  5. Observe what gets his attention. You’re not asking to be the center of his universe — at least not yet! — but you do want to make sure that his priorities have shifted, and that those priorities take you into consideration.
    • Although he can’t help but notice a beautiful woman sometimes, he’s so mesmerized with you that many of them slip by unnoticed.
    • He doesn’t flirt as much as he used to. What’s the point of flirting with someone else when he could flirt with you? He is coming to realize that you’re the only woman that really matters to him and that your feelings matter to him, too.
    • The things that matter to you start mattering to him. You’ve told him you love ballet, and one night he says that he’s thinking about getting tickets to the ballet. Your priorities become his because he wants you in his life.
  6. Note the sparks. You have great chemistry—you can’t be in love with someone without chemistry. Chemistry can be as little as the same tendencies or as big as the same frame of mind. Without planning it, you two tend to mesh.
    • He seems to always be on the same wavelength, finishing your thoughts and your sentences. And when he does, he looks at you like you two are the same person with a smile on his face.
    • His physical attraction to you is undeniable. He treats you with spontaneous displays of affection, kissing you on the neck or paying you a compliment when you least expect it.
  7. See yourself through his eyes. He’s finding out more and more that he likes you just the way you are, and he doesn’t stay mad long when you have a disagreement.
    • He finds your quirks charming—the fact that you snort when you start laughing hard, for example, is unbelievably charming.
    • He loves that, when you eat, you refuse to allow any single food item to touch another item on your plate. He gazes at you adoringly, and thinks that only you could be so crazy and so beautiful at the same time.
    • You say things that make you different from the others, and this is one of the things that makes you so attractive to him. He values your opinion as much as he does your looks.
  8. Watch to see if he asks questions about you. You can tell that he’s falling in love with you because he wants to find out everything about you.
    • He wants to know where you come from, who your parents are (a biggie), what you think about and why, and what makes you laugh. He asks these questions like he genuinely cares about the answer, and he remembers your answers, too.
    • He truly cares about your feelings, and if you’ve had a bad day or you’re upset about something, he wants to cheer you up, not because he has to, but because he genuinely wants you to be happy.
  9. Notice whether his thoughts keep coming back to you. He can’t stop thinking about you—he is consumed by thoughts of you. You pop in his head for no reason, and he even wonders if you think of him as much as he does of you.
    • He wonders what you’re doing, and he considers calling you but doesn’t, (he doesn’t want to look too eager).
    • He talks about you with his friends, his siblings, and his parents. If he’s talking about you with his mother, especially, it means he’s seeking approval from her.
    • When he’s out with his friends and he spots something in a shop window that he thinks you would like, he picks it up for you because he’s thinking about you. He’s got it bad for you, and that’s good.


  • When he trusts you enough to share his problems and insecurities with you and seeks advice from you, it means that what you think matters a lot to him.
  • When he stares at you when you are standing alone or around friends talking and laughing with a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eyes there is a good chance that he really cares about you.
  • He is always taking care of you, telling you to be careful and always protects you from anything, even if it’s only a bug.
  • He may recognize the little things about you.
  • If he stands up for you no matter who it is, he may love you.
  • If he pays attention to you a lot, there is a good chance that he loves you.
  • He treats you in a way that you think would make your parents proud and friends happy for you.
  • If he tells you about his future and you’re in it, then that’s a clue he’s serious.
  • He will keep you by his side while talking to other females.
  • Make sure to look at the body language e.g:sweaty palms.
  • While no one wants to be a drag, at some point he needs to tell you whether or not he loves you. If you’ve been waiting for a long time and you’re tired of guessing what he’s thinking, then go ahead and ask him. You may be surprised — in a good way — by his answer.
  • If his eyes meet yours, and he looks away, this might means that he is feeling nervous and isn’t sure if you like him back.
  • If he introduces you to his friends as one of his friend and not his girl, that means he’s not looking for anything serious.


  • If he’s still hung up on his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend, that’s a major red flag. He can’t truly love you while his thoughts are consumed by someone else.

How To Decode His Body Language On The First Date

By Tyomi Morgan

When it comes to understanding men, women often miss the mark.  We famously know them for not being the most vocal when it comes to their true feelings, especially in the “getting to know you” stages of a relationship.  Verbal communication may be limited, but it’s those tiny gestures that contain no words that are often unconsciously done that can speak volumes.

Body language reveals a lot about a person’s true feelings and intentions, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decipher the code.  Here are a few body language signs performed by men that will help you make the decision to either invest time or move on to the next to avoid being played.

Watch for these body language signals during the first encounter or first date.

If he is into you:

  • He will keep strong eye contact.
  • He will smirk at you (meaning smile from the corner of his mouth).
  • His nostrils will fair at some point in the conversation
  • He will tilt his head slightly when he looks at you.
  • His chest will be pointed at you (men point their chest to the most important thing in the room).

CLICK HERE to read more.

Powerful 3 Minute Video On Dating Violence. Definitely Worth Watching & Sharing

This is an excellent video that shows the subtle effects of Dating Violence & Domestic Violence. What we love about this portrayal is that it shows that physical violence is not the only thing that we need to think about when we think of Dating Violence  & Domestic Violence.  Intimidation, subtle coercion and emotional abuse are a huge part of the DV dynamic.

The Signs is a short film created and written by Long Island teenagers for teenagers about teen dating violence that goes beyond the “bruises and black eyes.” The short is the product of a grant from The Allstate Foundation to the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University, produced by the Ghetto Film School and guided by representatives from local domestic violence agencies.

Share this with the ones you love and even the ones you don’t.  No one deserves to suffer in a relationship and then turn around and call it love!