Posts tagged ‘love’

Baby, let’s get tested

…before we get busy.

Prior to dating my current partner, I was in an almost 2 year relationship with someone else. One afternoon when we first started dating, my then-boyfriend asked me if I had recently gotten tested.

At first I got scared. Oh no, I thought. Is he going to tell me he has something? I didn’t want to be rude and ask him the very question I was thinking. I also knew that he was asking for the safety of both of us, and I admired him for that. This was my first relationship after college and while I had gotten tested while in college and also a year prior to us dating, I had never had a significant other ask me if I wanted to get tested together, or at all for that matter.

I let him know when I was last tested. That’s when he said, “I just got tested last week and I wanted to let you know that my results all came back negative.” He even showed me the papers to prove it. For him, getting tested was a good habit, one that he took seriously.  He took my hand and told me that if I was umcomfortable going by myself then he’d go with me. I agreed and the next week, we headed to the clinic.

We actually made a date out of it sorta, which put me at ease since it cut down on my stressing out about what the results would be. As is the case with many people who get tested, you sometimes become nervous right before getting the results. I have always protected myself no matter what, but yet and still I was still racking my brain trying to rememebr if there was any situation that would make me worry that my HIV test would come back positive.

We were in and out of the clinic in an hour if that long, so to take my mind off of my jumpy nerves we ended up spending the whole day together–going out for breakfast, window shopping at the mall. I received my results the following week, all of which came back negative.

I tell this story to let people know that getting tested with your partner isn’t nearly as scary as it seems. If anything, it taught me about trust, and about the power of monogamy. It helped me bond with my partner in a way I hadn’t before.

I absolutely think everyone should take the time to get tested whether they are coupled up or not. But hopefully, getting tested together becomes more of the rule and not the exception, and that more couples catch on to it as a good habit.

If you love them, get tested together. If you like them–or even if you like them like them–get tested together.

Play safe out there, folks.

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Song of the Week

The song of the week is brought to you by Maxwell. I’ve chosen his newest single, “Pretty Wings.”

This song makes me want to believe in love just a little bit more. It reminds the listeners to trust yourself and open your heart.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy invites teens to take a short, scenario-based quiz on their teen website. The quiz challenges teens to think about what they would do when sexual situations arise.

This day also is  a great opportunity to think about solutions to not only teen pregnancy, but also to how we can reduce the risks of teens getting STD’s. This can be a great opportunity to consider how we talk to our youth about sex and what we tell them about protection themselves and each other.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts about this subject, I believe that it takes much more than someone simply telling young people to “just say no.”  That’s not to say that abstinence should be removed from the dialogue completely, but that perhaps giving young people  a comprehensive view of how to prevent pregnancy and STD’s will allow for them to make more informed decisions.

And it goes without saying that it takes more than a day prevent teen pregnancy. It has to become an on-going part of how we engage youth in a real discussion about these issues.

A few links:

Drop it like it’s hot: If you have blogged about the National Day or would like to talk about ways to talk to kids and teens about sexuality, then drop your links in the comments section!


The American Dream

inauguration_headline

On this past Tuesday, I was able to witness the swearing in of our 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama. It was awe-inspiring, it was emotional, and it was a blessing to be a part of history.

I don’t know what more I can say that hasn’t already been said. When I saw Michelle Obama walk through those doors in that beautiful gold suit, that’s when the tears started to fall. We have a Black First Lady. It had finally really sunk in.

Hearing the crowd shout Obama’s name made me realize that for the first time, I was actually seeing a group this large united for one purpose–to witness the swearing in of the first Black President.

Was it cold? YES. Was it crowded? Hell yes.

But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Not one bit.

In the days before the inauguration, I got an email from my mother, who was raised in DC and witnessed the 1968 riots as a child. “I am so proud and happy that you are  in DC at this moment that I could just cry,” she said.

It means so much to me to hear the older genderations so filled with hope and with the excitement of change. They are living to see a dream fulfilled. I think back to my Election Night experience, and talking to my Nana while she told me through her tears that she now could tell her grandchildren that they could be whoever they want to be.

Finally, I leave you with some words from Rosetta Thurman’s recent Inauguration post:

Deep inside of each of us, there is a glimmer of wanting light that wants to do something real and true. On a clear day like yesterday at the Capitol, you could see it on the faces of a million people shivering in the winter air, wearing nothing but hope on their faces.

We have been forgiven for so many years of waiting until we get our ducks in a row before we do what we want to do in our lives. We have been given permission to fly as far as we want to go. We have all been inspired to turn back the dial and become better Americans in the process.

Listen for what it is that you are called to do. And when you hear it, don’t wait. Do it now.

If I didn’t feel that way before, I certainly feel that way now. There are so many things that I’ve been wanting to do, and now more than ever I feel the strength and the passion to pursue my dreams like never before. And only time will tell, but perhaps President Obama will usher in an era of philanthropy, of kindness, of collaboration, and–yes–of love.

Michelle and Barack: have they changed the face of Black love?

I just recently saw the Huffington Post slideshow of the Obamas’ Greatest PDA Moments. It is what it sounds like—a collection of the best pictures of Michelle and Barack doing the couple thing: hugging, sometimes kissing in front of the kids. They are so totally cute, and it’s good to see two Black people really in love, especially in a world where married Black women are supposedly going extinct. As the product of a separated mom and dad and as someone who is currently in a relationship with a wonderful Black man, I have to say it is refreshing to see these kind of images, finally in “real” life, outside of the world of Cliff and Claire Huxtable.

Then, just this week, I had a great conversation with one of my favorite girls about how perhaps Michelle and Barack are the new threshold for Black love. You meet someone, you date for a long time and you think, “is this person my Barack?” “is this person my Michelle?” We use them as the prototype for that perfect mate. And they are a barometer by which we measure our love or like for our significant others.

A man says to his girlfriend, “girl…I think you’re my Michelle.” I’ve heard this recently and it is just about the cutest thing anyone has said to me.

Now, part of me understands that this could go awry…like if men start dropping Michelle’s name as part of a pick-up line. Today, I am discussing this comparison in the context of steady dating, marriage, etc.

So I wonder if the Obamas are becoming the gold standard for the way a Black couple should relate to each other and to the world. It used to be Will and Jada but when you see a couple who could be the President and First Lady, it gives a certain level of distinction that another celebrity couple just wouldn’t bring.  They seem loving and warm without going on cute overload necessarily.

I mean, look at them. How can you see this and not think that perhaps our views about Black love and relationships are changing?