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Dear Neo,

I just read your article called “Love Don’t Love Nobody” and you never let me down. you always have a true and deep topic. my friends are amazed when i tell them i’ve never been in love before. i’ve had strong like and deep lust but never love. i’ve never been in a long-term committed relationship(by choice). now that i’m in my 30’s i’m ready to settle down but not settle. i read the email from you and your boys when you did my profile review (Editor’s Note: we had females volunteer to let us analyze what their online profile was saying to men on various social networks and web communities) ..i read that email daily and i still can’t thank you guys enough for that eye opening reality check. i’ve learned(still learning) to love me and value my self-worth. what i would like if you don’t mind is your outlook and opinion on the fact that i’ve never been in love…is it strange or is that normal??

Ms. Naturally Me

MY RESPONSE:

I just took another look at your profile and I do remember you.   I am going to be very raw with you so if you get upset with what I am about to say, I understand. When you look at all the ways that beauty has been defined FOR us, I am thinking that you probably were not not considered the “hot” catch growing up. For the average black man, you were probably considered “plain”. Your growth gave you some curves and guys being guys probably wanted to hit it and were willing to flatter you to get it hoping that since you were not getting as much attention, that you would fall for their game. I’m a guy. I know “hot” guys that would flatter the “Plain Jane” to get a “piece” then brag about how good a fuck she was and eventually break her heart.

Most Plain Janes fell into two camps. They either tried to stay on the straight and narrow and really believed  that a man who showed her attention was worthy and she felt fortunate to have his attention, or she became a bit more desperate- doing a little more, getting a little “dirtier” to prove her worth to a man even if it was more sexual than she knew she should be. Most “attractive” guys loved being with a girl like that because in her questionable self-esteem she would do anything for him while he could go out and do “anybody” he wanted to behind her back because she was going to be faithful to a fault and usually never questioned him unless it hit her like a two by four in the face.

I see you as that “good girl” who probably compromised here and there because it is what you believed you needed to do to get and keep a “good” man. But as you have grown and continued to learn, you have found out that a “good” man is not what you once thought it was. And as a black woman who began to get an education and mature as an individual and a mother, you also began to understand that life was much more than defining yourself by having a “man” but that you deserved a true “partner”.  But first you had to be true to yourself.

It is not unusual for you to question whether or not you have ever been in love. I would would say that you have even if you were the only person in love at the time and he wasn’t. Your problem is in trying to reconcile love to how immature you once were.  And by the standards you want to call love today, you can’t see yourself  saying you were ever in love. All it means is that you have outgrown your past definitions and your sense of what love is has “evolved”. That is a good thing. I know what it is to be different. I was the “smart” one in a hood full of thugs and was shown very little love. I had to find it for myself. The strange thing is that the sistahs I always wanted to be in love with looked just like you. I guess we were so busy focusing in on what we were not to other people that we never really noticed each other.

To me, you are what black women were supposed to be. Proudly educated and natural and “Un-Beyonce” – still giving back to make certain the road is clear for others behind you. My most intense crushes have always been on those “natural” sistahs.  When I take a look at your profile now and what you have written here, your spirit just leaps from the countenance of your words and your face. You love more and deeper  than you give yourself credit. It just hurts to admit when you have been foolishly in love so you would rather not count it. All you are really waiting for is a reflection of it in another set of eyes. And for you, that is inevitable- I truly believe that.

~Neo Blaqness

HER REPLY:

WOW!!!!!!!! you did again and I appreciate it. you’re the first person to lay it out like that and that’s cool. it took this last relationship for me to start appreciating me. you know i was that supportive girl i did things out of character just to say i had someone in my life. yes my ex was that street-runner doing all the dirt and come home and point the finger to take the spot light off of him….but once i got hip stop stooping to his level he rise to mine or leave me alone. i fell in love with me after hearing tamia’s song “me” i realized i loved me enough to let him go. i really do thank you for observing me and able to describe me like that.

And as far as using this on your site, this needs to be heard because we as women put on this i’m strong independent mask never admitting that we’re hurting inside and dealing with certain issues and it’s time to take the mask off. i have daughters and i can’t protect them from everything but at the same time i don’t want them to be bitter black women battling self-esteem issues. i appreciate you being honest i can always use tough love may not always feel good but it’s very helpful. i love the fact that you don’t sugarcoat. thanks again

Ms. Naturally Me

MY RESPONSE:

I know that I can say some hard things when I need to. And there are times that I really do mean to cut. But in your case, it was all from the heart and I was hoping you were open enough to receive it. You are one beautiful and sexy blossoming flower of a black woman. Just keep doing you and you will be alright. And if anyone ever wants to hate on who you are, I got your back.

~Neo Blaqness