DC Ends HIV podcast hosts

Episode #1: Dating in the DMV

Positive Voices

#1

Dating in the DMV

January 9th, 2023. 53:46

Welcome to the Positive Voices podcast, where we're bringing knowledge and empowerment to the DC-Maryland area! In our first episode, hosts Leah and Malachi are joined by Jordan Madison, a Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist. Listen in on their frank discussions on how culture, toxic masculinity, and HIV status all affect dating in the DMV area.

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Transcript

Speaker 1: I think all men in general deal with toxic, toxic masculinity. Yes. I think in black culture it is just extremely prevalent. And what comes with the toxic masculinity is like not wanting to appear feminine, not wanting to appear gay, not wanting to do anything that seems like you are soft or vulnerable or weak.
Speaker 2: Hello. Hello and welcome to the first official episode of Positive Voices. I'm one of your hosts. I'm Leah Henry.
Speaker 3: I'm Malachi [00:00:30] Stewart.
Speaker 2: And we are super excited to bring you a brand new podcast to the DMV area. It's all about H I V awareness, education, and sharing stories. Malachi, are you ready to do this? Because
Speaker 3: I'm excited about it. I'm excited for a season of podcasts where we're able to introduce real stories. Yeah. But also living with H I V is not just about medication adherence treatment, H I V, we also have a life <laugh> outside of it. Yeah. <laugh>. And so with that said, I'm excited about today's topic that affects everyone, whether you are [00:01:00] H I V positive, H negative. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> dating in the D M V is the struggle, so I'm excited to have Jordan here with us. Jordan, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do.
Speaker 1: Hello, my name is Jordan Madison and I am a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist. So I see a lot of individuals and couples in my work.
Speaker 3: Awesome.
Speaker 2: Yes, and I'm, I'm super excited to have you cuz Shane was plugged. Jordan and I have known each other for forever. So she's seen firsthand lay struggle of lay dating <laugh> for Lelia. Okay. So, you [00:01:30] know, let's, let's talk about the D M V because I think the D M V compared to a lot of other places in the US has a very unique dating perspective. It's got, I
Speaker 1: Mean, yeah, it's, it's bad but I feel like it's bad a lot of places. It's not just here,
Speaker 2: So, okay. I think it's unique though, but like compared to a south, so I feel like if I was living in the south right now, I'd be married. I'm not even gonna lie to you. I think my man would
Speaker 3: Be here. Where should I move in the
Speaker 2: South?
Speaker 1: I don't know because going to college in Atlanta, I just swore I was gonna find me my man [00:02:00] in college and that didn't happen.
Speaker 2: Well, but I feel like the college is, the college experience is so different from like the everyday like blue collar worker you might meet at the store or like the local man who just gave his life to Christ at the small church <laugh>. That's where my man was supposed to be. Okay. But we are here in the DMV with these megachurches child and ain't no
Speaker 1: Cause I was working for Instacart and I just swore I was gonna find my man in the grocery store. That didn't happen in, I could have told you that. Don't happen. I told you that one. It hasn't happened at church. Where else have I gone? Like [00:02:30] I'll be trying to go out and you know, like go to bars or go to just things that I enjoy doing and maybe I'd find someone there that like, while I'm already doing what I enjoy doing and that doesn't really work either. I think, like you were saying, it's different in the D M V because, because it was called chocolate city and because we all have this assumption that like there's just so many beautiful, like black people, black people in the D M V and you're gonna find your man or your partner. This, it is just not, it's not what I thought it would be. I'll say
Speaker 2: That. Yeah. The math is not, not math. I mean statistically [00:03:00] speaking anyway, women are gonna have it harder and then if you take it a step further educated women and then educated black women, Jordan, the odds are not in our favor. They're not.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I read this book called Is Marriage for White People. Wow. Very interesting book. Very.
Speaker 2: Wait, give me like the cliff notes.
Speaker 1: What are the, that is hard for single black women who are educated because we are most likely to date in our race. We wanna stay in our race. Hate that for us to date
Speaker 3: <laugh> hate that for y'all. And I'm, I just wanna ask [00:03:30] right here, is that what y'all doing? Are y'all only a
Speaker 1: Me personally? Yes. Yeah. However, the book was talking about like, you know, because we wanna stay so focused in our race when there are black successful men who, and this is only for heterosexual relationships, at least when there are black successful men, they are more likely today outside of their race. So we're focused on them, but they're not necessarily always focused on us. So we end up dating beneath our pay grade or [00:04:00] beneath, beneath our education status. So we can still say we have the black man to
Speaker 2: Preserve.
Speaker 1: Mm. I mean it was a really interesting book and basically the answer was like that we as black women need to start dating outside of our race to then not shake it up, but kind of to like make the balance. There we go. I'm, the word I'm trying to look for is, is not happening right now, but like the ratio is so like, oh okay, black women, there's just so many black women to choose from. And so black men are like, well why would I settle
down [00:04:30] when I have all these black women that want me? Right. Yeah. And so if we started to date outside of our race, then it kind of would even the playing ground.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I mean I think people have to date their preferences, but I think if you wanna increase the probability that you, you know, going to like meet somebody. But I know that's not a, an option for everybody. Anecdotally, most of the black women I know average at about a master's degree and that has come with issues because even when they are able to find a man, the likelihood that they find a guy that is able to, to make the same amount of money Hmm. [00:05:00] Bringing the same amount of income contribute to the household in the same way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is highly unlikely. And that has come, I mean I have sat in conversations just like as the fly on the wall. Yeah. Listening to black women bounce off each other. Like all of the issues that comes with, because men are not always their best selves when they men especially who have been socialized first to be the provider, to be in a place
Speaker 1: Where like if they're
Speaker 3: Not, where she is bringing home the bacon honey and could take care of this whole house, this whole family by herself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that does something to the ego. I'm not a woman, but I can tell you I have been in several relationships where I [00:05:30] have been definitely yeah. Breadwinner ti sometimes over and men are not across the board. They're not always their best selves when they feel like you don't need them. Sometimes I think men are socializing in ways that make them feel like they need to be needed.
Speaker 1: They, in my opinion, they, yeah.
Speaker 2: I was gonna, I was gonna say as a marriage therapist though, like, you know, I'm sure you see some of these dynamics play out in couples that you, you know, you see mm-hmm <affirmative> what, what is the balance? Because we talk about this like strong black woman narrative. We also know that like, again, black women are the most educated group in the country period. And in this area there's a surplus [00:06:00] of educated Yeah. Black women. And so when we're talking about dating, you know, I remember being at Howard and having these conversations about the social construct. I was a sociology minor. We talk about society and the way we view the world and you know, men want to feel needed. But I also think with this exploration of like women in ourselves and who we are and not being what we were 40 years ago, right?
Speaker 2: Where you couldn't even get a bank account without a man's approval. You know, we're living in this space where we have voices and our opinions matter. And what we do is important to us as well. So [00:06:30] how do you balance, I guess, you know, that that traditional, I guess way of being for a lot of men or the way they were raised to think that, you know, I'm the breadwinner, I make the money, you know, and then they, a lot of men I hear feel emasculated sometimes by women success or the way that women are, I don't need you, I want you, but I don't need you. They don't like that mentality.
Speaker 1: I'm, yeah, cuz I mean I don't, I think the black culture specifically, we get a lot of mixed, like we're socialized differently, right? Mm-hmm [00:07:00] <affirmative>. So in traditional American culture, it's like the man is the breadwinner, the woman stay at home or whatever the case may be. That's kind of how it was in like the fifties, sixties, right? Yeah. We as black women never really had that luxury per se. We were always had to be out working or we were do, we were slaves. We like, we were always doing stuff. So it's always been expected to me, especially as a black woman, like you're raised to do all the things, right? And then Howard and Spelman are the two schools that have like a, a, a specific course directed [00:07:30] at like just the African diaspora and how that impacts us. And so as Spelman, all of our classes we're about like being a black woman and what that means in this country.
Speaker 1: And so if I'm socialized to, you know, be independent to really focus on like what I'm bringing to the table and all of those things and then I have a man who is socialized to feel needed to be the provider. It can be hard because we're getting mixed messages because I've been taught to be a strong independent woman all my life and now I'm in a relationship so I'm supposed to allow him to, or for me to submit. And [00:08:00] it's like, well how am I gonna do that so quickly if I've just been socialized this whole time to be all strong and independent, vice versa. I see in the other hand, like men are taught to be strong and to be, you know, not vulnerable and to not wear their, their emotions on their sleeves. And then they get into a relationship and that's typically what their partner is expecting of them.
Speaker 1: Like, Hey, I need you to tell me how you feel. I need to know what's going on. And they're not socialized to do that either. So I feel like it is like we're missing the mark sometimes because how we're socialized is [00:08:30] so opposite from how the other is socialized. Yeah. And then we get into these relationships and we're expected to it just to like work out and there has to be a balance. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right? And I think that comes with each, each couple is different because each person is different. Right. So what works for me and an ex might not work for me and someone new that I'm with or whatever the case may be. Right? Yeah. And so I think the biggest thing is having those conversations around like what are our expectations? What do you feel comfortable with? What makes you feel needed?
Speaker 1: What makes you feel supported? Like what are things [00:09:00] that you're expecting? What do you want our relationship to look like? What does equal look like? Right. Especially if it comes to money. Is it we pay the same exact amount? No, maybe not. Cuz that might not be fair If I'm making more than you or you're making more than me. Maybe equal, looks like we pay the same percentage of our check but not the exact dollar amount. Or we, you know, have an idea around like, I do the dishes but you do the laundry. Like making those, having those conversations around what are our expectations.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well speaking of expectations, you know, [00:09:30] this podcast is about H I V and something that Malachi and I have both discussed is disclosure and a lot of conversation in the community with people living with H I V about whether to disclose or not mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I'm interested to know from a therapist perspective because there, there's a lot that goes into that, right? Whether that be just like, you
know, the stigma attached but also the mental health aspect, right? Because I'm sure in Malachi you can speak to your own experience about this. Disclosing can be difficult mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so Malachi, you know, feel free to jump in. I don't want [00:10:00] to speak for your community For sure. So yeah,
Speaker 3: I, I would say in my experience, so, and to share with you, cuz I'm interested in your thoughts. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I struggled with disclosure in the beginning. Okay. I was horrible with it 14 years ago it was not happening. So I started off, I ran, well at first I was like, okay, I'm gonna tell people and I had a speech prepared. Okay. Like, you know, very much planned out. I was like, this is my, you know, I'm HIV positive, we have to have, we have to use condoms. That was what I, you know, that was what we were saying at the time, wasn't no prep. And I was, I came in negotiating the terms I was comfortable [00:10:30] with because I didn't want anybody to like contract HIV or sterile convert because of me. So I was like, no, you going use the condom every time. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 3: This is what it's gonna look like if you choose, if not, I'd already, I had my built-in rejection mechanism in, so it was like, if you choose, just be friends, boo whoop, whoop that I didn't like it, it didn't feel good. The, it didn't make the rejection feel different. And so after a couple of hits I just b bounced out of it and just, I wasn't telling people anything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I, I talk about this in some episodes that'll come how as, as time went [00:11:00] on I had some elders kind of pull me aside and was like, Hey baby, that's unacceptable and it's not safe. Mm-hmm. So here's what, and and it was in teaching me and like helping me address, like knowing what my value and my worth was. Yeah. That it helped me be comfortable. I consider myself to be in a very privileged pla place now because I'm very much not only out there about it but I lead with it.
Speaker 3: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don't have a problem with it. That was reflective of a change in paradigm. Like that's a reflection and a change of thought towards myself towards what it means to be h HIV positive. I [00:11:30] don't see myself as an untouchable, I'm not in a space in my life where I'm chasing anything. I'm manifesting. And so if it's <laugh>, I don't have time to convince you of my worth. Yeah. But that's come with time. Yeah. And that has come with being poured into, so I'm interested in your thoughts around like what, what is appropriate times to disclose because I always feel uncomfortable sometimes when I share my story because I know that that that didn't just come outta outta nowhere. Mm-hmm <affirmative> like there was a lot of self-work <laugh> that had to come into, there's a lot of healing that had to go into that. And I never wanna put anyone in a situation [00:12:00] where they are being asked to do something that's unreasonable they're not comfortable with. Right. But at the same time, you know, what do you think about that dating? When is a good time to tell people?
Speaker 1: I mean I think that's really hard because one is cuz of the stigma, right? Within the STD in general, there's just stigmas around them all, which is wild cuz we're all grown and we're all having sex and so like <laugh> right? It's gonna happen. Right. So, but the stigma around I think makes it super uncomfortable. And I think thankfully the stigma around H I V, it's still there but it has definitely decreased prior [00:12:30] to like how it
was before in the eighties. So yes, I'm assuming that that makes it slightly easier. But at the same time, like you said that rejection, the like planning how you're gonna say it, you know, like that can be really difficult. I do think it's important to disclose for safety but also so that you're completely honest and you don't have any, sorry, I'm looking like your consciousness feeling. I told this person what it was, they make the decision on if they wanna move forward or not.
Speaker 1: But I, you know, did my part. The other part though can be difficult of like, well what if I really start to like this person and then [00:13:00] I tell them and now they want nothing to do with me. Like that's not, yeah that's not fun. That's not easy. That's not like that's, and so that's where I would say disclosing early on is more helpful cuz at least you get it out the way in a sense. Yeah. But at the same time I feel like you have to feel comfortable enough with the person first to tell that person. And so I don't really know what that timeline is cuz each person is different. That might be two months in, that might be oh after our third date. That might be, you know, and so yeah, I think that part depends. But I think it is important that you get it out early, just at least [00:13:30] for me, cuz I know myself, my conscious, like if there's certain things that are bothering me or I feel like a partner or someone I'm about to engage and sexually should know, I'd rather just get out the way and know that I said it.
Speaker 1: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but <laugh>, I have to feel comfortable to do that too. Right? Yeah. Like I'm not about to just any person I meet on the first date, hey this is what's going on with me. Or this is like, this is my STD history, this is all I've done. No, I wouldn't be comfortable saying that on the immediate first date probably. Cuz it's, I'm still getting to know you. Like, I don't even know what your favorite color is. But you know, like it needs to be, to me, [00:14:00] I think it's a little easier if you just know, like I said, what I needed to say and I spoke my truth, then that does come with confidence, right? Like, like you said, like you're not untouchable if you have an s t D and h I V, anything like that does not make you this like automatic outlier or this like, and I think the more people start to talk about it and the more people are open, the more stories you hear of like, you're not alone. Right? Absolutely. Or you absolutely thought that you were alone or you the only person that had this situation and you're not. And so that starts to help it feel a little easier to communicate it
Speaker 3: Itself. Us fun fact [00:14:30] around that, and I'll throw this in before throwing it back to Leah, but funny fact about that, most of my relationships since I've been positive uhhuh have been what we would call service coordinate. Meaning like, my partner is negative Uhhuh, <affirmative>. That's usually where I find myself. But almost every time, I mean almost every time I've even dated, hooked up with anyone who is positive, they only share at, because I, I shared, I led. And so when you think about the balance of like transparency versus oversharing mm-hmm. <affirmative> for me, I'm, I know that that's giving people permission. [00:15:00] Yeah. Because they were, it's not on their profile. They had no, I have dated people and hooked up with them for months and then they'll bust out and be like, you know what drew me to you is that I saw on your profile that you were HIV positive. You know, I've been positive for 10 years. And I'm like,
Speaker 1: You wasn't gonna say nothing. You
Speaker 3: Wasn't even gonna say nothing. But, and then that's why like, that's a part of my spiel. It's like, well I'm, I, I'm being transparent because I want people to feel normalized. I've even had ex-partners because I've always been out there. You're gonna see me on somebody's panel mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I've had partners like come to me and say like, you know, because you're out [00:15:30] there, people are asking me like, well, are you positive? And now I had to start telling my friends and I started telling my family and I'm like,
Speaker 2: Come on. You
Speaker 3: Know, come into that confidence. Yeah. So I, I just wanted to say that to echo. Yeah. You don't know how it's gonna affect people and who you're going to give permission to normalize the conversation.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well, and I also wanna bounce off of that though, and Jordan, this, this question comes to you because I'll be honest, like for me personally, if I was involved with somebody and, and let's be clear, you can have H I v but be non transmittable, [00:16:00] you can definitely not transmit it and there's a conversation about whether to disclose if I can't give it to you, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So for me, I would be highly upset, honestly if someone came to me and I found out we were being sexually active and you told me even if you, even if I went and took a test and I was negative, that you didn't disclose that to me early on. And so, right. So how would you, what would be your advice to someone who, who might be experiencing that? Because to be honest, like, like I said, you know, again, even though it's not transmittable, I [00:16:30] would personally feel like that's a discussion that you should have with me when I'm opening up my body to you. You know, again, if we're going on dates, we kicking it, we, we cool. But the minute that you become one with me, there's a conversation that has to be had to me. So what do you say about somebody who's on the fence or has the mentality of, well if I can't give it to you, why do you need to know? Mean
Speaker 1: I've, cause I've had this conversation with friends about like other STDs that are like similar in retrospective. Like herpes is a virus that, like you have, you don't [00:17:00] necessarily, it doesn't necessarily have to be transmittable, but like 70% of the population has it apparently. Yeah. So like it's, I've had these conversations where like to me, I also feel the same. Like even if we probably already have it or you probably have it and don't know, like if you, if the person who knows, I feel like it's your responsibility to just be safe and let people know. Yeah. Because at least you did your part and then they can decide Yeah. What they wanna do moving forward. So if I told you from jump, Hey you know, I, you know, we've been on a few days, I'm starting to like you, I kind of could see us like [00:17:30] moving in this direction.
Speaker 1: Before we do that though, I just wanted to let you know that I get tested every six months or this is what I do and like these have been my results. Just letting you know and giving you a heads up. I think we're sometimes afraid like, oh my God, then we're automatically gonna be rejected. But to me, like I said, my conscious doesn't really let me have fun. So I feel like I would, would just rather it be known and then if I'm rejected, okay, that's gonna hurt. I'm not gonna say it's not, but it, yeah. At least lets me know, okay, well then that's just not the person for me because I would want someone
who is [00:18:00] understanding and who is open to at least hearing more about what I have to say or understanding my experience or not immediately judgmental or cutting me off because, you know, whatever the case may be and vice versa. If I was in a situation with someone and they knew that they had something, whether it's n you know, non-transferable, whether it's, but I would just wanna know so that I could have made the informed decision myself. Right. And now I'm not dealing with consequences that like I had to deal with, but like I didn't even know that I was about to be in that situation.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. It's [00:18:30] taking away your agency. And I think that's the thing for me. Whether it's dishonesty around monogamy, whether it's dishonesty around your status mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> anything. Don't take away my ability to decide what I wanna be a part of. Right. I I, so I definitely concur with that and agree. So I wanna kind of go back to something y'all was talking about. Cause I have a question for you. Oh, I have a question for both of y'all. Actually here we go back to this dating black men only or preferring black men. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Let's circle back. Circle back. So here's my question. [00:19:00] If you continue to date black men, we know what's out there. We seen the market, the likelihood, like if you end up, if we all end up 60, 70 with just our cats, I'm a beast and no man, are y'all going to feel like y'all held it down for the culture? Because I'm gonna tell you what, I'm not gonna feel like I held it down for the culture <laugh>. I'm gonna feel like, listen, if it was somebody else, I don't care if you Puerto A in white whatever <laugh>, whatever your race, if you are going to come in and love up on this, except on all of this, you know, like give me what I deserve. Heavy on [00:19:30] the deserve. Like I would rather have that than not have anything. But I held it down, you know? But
Speaker 1: See I don't even think, for me personally, I'm not like, oh I'm only dating black men for the culture. I'm just typically only attracted to
Speaker 3: Black.
Speaker 1: That's fair. Men. Like I don't see a lot of white men where I'm like, ooh, I want like, and I don't, I'm not even around a lot. Like I worked for myself, I went to H B C grad school was maybe my time being more around white people. But like I'm not necessarily around that. I'm not in an environment [00:20:00] where I'm put by a lot of white men anyways. Yeah. So like I remember seeing this tweet on Twitter that was like, you know what if like, you know, your soul soulmate is white. And I was like, then I just wouldn't know because like I'm not around a lot of spaces where I would've been able to figure that out. So it's not even that I'm like, so my man has to be black specifically for the culture. It's also just what I'm attracted to. I do think it's, to me it's important to instill like black pride. Mm-hmm <affirmative> in my children. It's important for that to be in my household and all of those things. You could [00:20:30] be black, you could be Caribbean, you could be African, I wouldn't even, like I'm, I would be open to like, you know, Hispanic culture as well. Mm-hmm <affirmative> just more to me like what I would be attracted to in the circles I would be around. So that's where I feel like it, I it, I would most likely end up with the black men anyways. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well I kind of see, see it like in the sense of the way I personally would never want my child, like I would never marry somebody of a different religion. Right. Because I'm not gonna tell my baby you can celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah when I believe in Christmas. You know what I mean? Like [00:21:00] that for me is a no. So in the same way that I don't feel the need to explain my heritage, my culture, my mannerisms to somebody, that's the problem. And not to say that all white people are ignorant to that because there are white people who have taken the time to do the work to study and be a true ally and that I'm here for. But I will not sit and explain to my parents in law while my hair is this way this week in another like, because we face so many microaggressions as black people in general.
Speaker 2: I won't welcome [00:21:30] that into my home. I hear you. You know, going to A H B C U really created that standard for me. Now here's the thing. There are white men that like, listen, if Nick Jonas left his wife today, oh Uhhuh, I would marry you. It's always her. Nick Jonas, if you're watching Yes. If you PreOn her are going through something, tell me babe. Anyway, Nick single <laugh>. But no, there, there are men of other races that I'm, I'm attracted to and that I find attractive. But often, you know, there was a study done and it's on YouTube, but basically it showed the data of online dating users [00:22:00] experiences via race and black women were the least desired of all races. Black women were the least responded to message messages. Yes. Yeah. I and black men and black men did not, uh, engage with black women.
Speaker 2: Like were the lowest percentage of men of different races to even engage with black women. So I think that's just setting an image to show you as black women how difficult it is. Yeah. You know, when we're talking about like the space to even date [00:22:30] outside of our race sometimes, because I don't want to be a fetish to you. I don't want to be mm-hmm <affirmative>, the woman who I like chocolate like men, white men who have approached me on dating websites have always led with, with something about my skin. I love a chocolate girl. You can tell that's fetish love. Right. Immediately. Because even if you truly do like black women and you're attracted to me, you don't have to say that as the first, as the icebreaker. Yeah. That's not the first thing you have to say. So with that being said, no I'm not like, oh Wakanda forever, I gotta keep, but [00:23:00] I do believe in other cultures preserving their race and preserving.
Speaker 2: And then if you look at African cultures, not just black American, but African cultures, they are very big on preserving their heritage within their countries. You know what I mean? Like I dated this Ethiopian guy and he told me straight up that his mother told him she would prefer him to date every other race besides a black woman. And I thought that that was crazy. He told me that his mom said, I would prefer you to date the Ethiopian woman, but if [00:23:30] you decide to do otherwise, I would prefer you to go white than Hispanic than black. So again, when we're talking about other cultures in the way that they preserve their cultures, you know, it's frowned upon for black women to want to try to ignite our our men. Men in that way. But when you look at other cultures, not even just African, but when you look at Jewish co communities and you look at Hispanic communities, a lot of times you don't see them co-mingling with other races. And again, not that either is bad. I think again, you should love who you love and if, if someone from [00:24:00] another race loves you genuinely and it's, it's
authentic and it's real and that's yo, that's yo st by all means do it. But I just think for black women we get the short end of the stick
Speaker 3: Either way. So I'm gonna give y'all some tea,
Speaker 2: Give it
Speaker 3: To us Uhuh. So if you know, you know, if you don't, you don't drink. You might not know this. I know. You know Leah, I was married before. Okay. My husband was white. And lemme tell you how life was different. <laugh>. Lemme tell you how life is different. Cause if you know I'm from Philadelphia, you know, my family is very much silly. And if you know what that means from a certain generation, [00:24:30] like they are very much my family self described themselves as speaking about my husband. They said, now why would you do that? You know, we're that was what they said. And it was a lot of opinions about black people not being able to be racist. But I'm, I'm quoting them. Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of people didn't come to my wedding celebration. But I was happy. I wanted to tell you there was so many and I was working in the like field.
Speaker 3: There were so many like social events that I didn't know about so many things that would happen on a monthly basis. I have one friend who at the time was doing like dinner every Sunday. I never knew about it. As soon as I divorced [00:25:00] my Y husband, I started to get all these invites and I was like, wait, y'all been doing this? And I said one time at my first event I was like, did y'all not everybody me to these things? Cuz my husband was white. And I'm gonna tell you this is, this is the exact response everybody said <laugh>. I was like, oh it doesn't Leah's key.
Speaker 2: I gagging. That part fell.
Speaker 3: And the thing about this, it didn't offend me because I understand, I understand that response. I, I'm black in America girl. I get it. And at the same time if another [00:25:30] white, I tell 'em like, y'all gonna not be speaking again if another white man proposed to me. Because the truth of the matter is that I'm actually approached mm-hmm <affirmative> by I'm a white man that I'm approached by anybody really? Black men. I have they little question. I don't know what it is and maybe you could tell me that's why you
Speaker 2: Here. Question. Ooh sorry, it's hard to interrupt. But question for you here. On that note, do you think that black gay culture is more set upon the hookup culture and white? Because I'm not gonna lie, I see more white gay men, couples, married couples than I've [00:26:00] ever seen black. And I don't know if that's attached to the fact that the black people don't, you know how we feel about homosexuality. So give, give me the tea cuz I'm here for this.
Speaker 3: So, so I think that's a difference in socialization. Okay. So I will say this, when I date black men, they, they tend to date me without goal. You have to prompt intention out of them. Yes. When I date white men, they have the intention already building them. They are, they already like, and that's, these are generalizations. But that's, but didn't my
experience because so white men have [00:26:30] the same thing. They, but see a white, I know plenty of white couples that, and we, when I was married, we had a bunch of couple friends, Uhhuh, <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative>, they, the hookup culture is the same, but they will meet each other hookup vibe and still get black people will meet you hookup vibe and go shoot and won't call you. That's a difference in how we're socialized. Like, we're just like, it's normalized for them to, at a certain point we build a family.
Speaker 3: We like that's, but that's also what they seen. A lot of us don't come from that. A lot of us come from broken families and those things all affect like whether a person and because of the way homophobia shows up in the black community, for a lot of us long-term [00:27:00] relationships, marriage to a man were never options. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we, it took us so long to accept ourselves beyond what we learned in our community or from the black church. Right. We ain't think about that. And so people are just dating you and, and sort of underdeveloped a lot of times and not being intentional. Whereas our white counterparts, they come in treating it for, for better or for worse, they're bringing in the heteronormative and it's causing them to have rings and you know. Yeah. Security. I
Speaker 1: Mean I could see that though because [00:27:30] I remember having a conversation, maybe I think it was with my stepmom around like, white women go to college and it's like, I'm getting my man in college, I was getting married, right? And like I went to college thinking like, oh love, love and basketball. That was my favorite movie. So I'm like, all right, I'm gonna find me a man. We gonna, you know, have love and basketball type of relationship. Well maybe not that type stupid
Speaker 3: For his heart.
Speaker 1: You know, <laugh> not that part but you know, the little, the campus scene and all that stuff. So I'm like, okay, I'm gonna go my parents at spell house. I'm gonna find me a warehouse man, we're gonna be cute. But that wasn't like my sole goal in college. It was like, obviously I [00:28:00] would like that to happen, but it was also like, okay, what am I doing next? Where am I go? Like where's my career? Like, you know, I'm having fun. Like I, you know, I'm doing stuff in my community. I had joined like multiple different clubs. I had line sisters, I had stuff that I was doing. So college was also just a blast. It wasn't solely about finding them and then like for, and I don't really know that many, but I, from what I've been seeing, it seems like white women go to school and it's like you find your man.
Speaker 1: Oh yeah then and that's it. So like I've seeing a whole bunch of weddings Yeah. [00:28:30] For people that are white where it's like you're 23, 24 getting married. Whereas like that was never really, now I'm not, I did grow up like seeing healthy relationships and seeing marriage, but I think in the black community, marriage is looked upon as like a, a milestone after you've accomplished other stuff. Like you gotta get your stuff together and then you find someone else with their stuff together and then you get married. And I think for other races they're more socialized of like marriage is like you do that young or you do this whenever and then [00:29:00] you continue.
Speaker 3: And we grew together. I got married,
Speaker 1: Which I, I think that's fine. Now what I have wanted to be married in my 20, well I'm 28 so I still am in my twenties technique. But like would I have wanted to be married right now? No. But I am at a place where I'm like, I would like to find the person and start to build or grow with them. Yeah. From now anyways. So that like that can be a thing cuz I'm very like relationship focused. And I do think that, I was reading this book, this I clearly, I read a lot but <laugh>, there was this book that one of my lines sisters gifted [00:29:30] to me and it was called Last One Down the Aisle because she knew I was like having conversations because being a single couple's therapist is a very interesting Yeah. Dynamic. Yeah. It's a very interesting dynamic. And so she like gifted me this book because I was talking about how statistically it is better to get married closer to your thirties because your frontal lobe isn't even fully developed till like 25 and like all these other things.
Speaker 1: And so I was reading the book thinking it would be helpful and after I was in like chapter two I was like, this is [00:30:00] more so for white women who were pressed about being married at like 23. And that's just not where I fit in because it's like, you know, it's talking about all these things that you should do and that you should prioritize before marriage. Figuring out what you want in your career or having a strong friend circle traveling, doing those things. And I'm like, I've done all of that. Like I, I've obviously I can still continue to do it but like I've traveled, I have a career, I have a job that I love. I have amazing family and friends. Like for me my next step would be marriage or like finding that person. Whereas the book was just talking about like, you know, slowing it down [00:30:30] and you don't have to just go from your parents' house to your husband's house.
Speaker 1: And I'm like, that was never a thing for me. Like that was never something that I wanted. Yeah. So I put the book down and I haven't picked it up since. But I think that that's like we are just socialized a little differently. Yeah. Because there's not many, I definitely feel like I'm not seeing as many marriages and I do feel like we also just wait a little longer. Like black culture in general. Yeah. I think we wait a little longer, but I could see that where like Dwight community seems a little more intentional where it's kind of, I forget the exact word you just said, but like you kinda have [00:31:00] to pull intentionality out of black men. Like yeah so what are we doing here? And I think especially in like heterosexual relationships with women, we don't wanna be the whole, so what are we and like we don't wanna have that conversation. But I've been having a lot of conversations with clients like you asking what you asking for clarity does not make you a nag. It does not make you insecure. You're literally just asking like what are we doing so that you can move accordingly.
Speaker 2: Reassurance. Yeah. Reassurance seems like a hassle in dating in 2020. Like when you ask people for reassurance 2022, I mean 2022 [00:31:30] see <laugh> it, that whole pandemic goes back.
Speaker 1: But I'm gonna say the pandemic <laugh> made a lot
Speaker 2: That just, no, I wanted to circle back though to something you said Malachi. Cause I thought it was kind of interesting about developmentally in in same sex couples, especially black, same sex couples, you talked about you not fully being able to develop and I kind of wanted you to expound upon like Yeah. What you mean by
Speaker 3: That. Yeah. So I mean when you think about like a lot of us weren't able to be out. Yeah. We didn't have the privilege of you see, you know, while people were passing notes in, in kindergarten or [00:32:00] in first second grade. People are developing and learning how to develop these low level <laugh>, you know, relationships. You getting the kinks out, you're getting the childishness out. For a lot of people my age, I'm an abarition, I'm 34 and I've been married <laugh>, most people in my age range who are black queer or black men who have sex with men. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, they tend to not, they may, if you're lucky, have had one real serious relationship or one long-term relationship before. Mm-hmm <affirmative> when you, our first introduction usually to sexuality [00:32:30] is hookup culture. Yeah. I started off on the party lines, the, you know, dating people much older, the those kind of things.
Speaker 3: So you, your first interactions and then, then, then when you get into like being a female male, a lot of like fem men, you know grew up, y'all remember on the playground they were around the girls, your first relationship with men. A lot of times when we talking about black experience, probably not a father in the household. So your first relationship with men wasn't even a lot of times is why we don't even know how to be friends with each other because you didn't introduce to men as friends, you introduced to men as people you hook up with. [00:33:00] So how to navigate friendships, how to navigate relationships that are not sexual. Yes. That's not something that we were taught and that's not, and when we were taught it, we were taught it through the lens of a heteronormative that doesn't even work for black women. So it's definitely not gonna work for us.
Speaker 2: My edges. Come
Speaker 3: On, come on. And let me be clear, I am not solely attracted to any particular man. I love black man. I would love for my next partner to be a black man. I'm not waiting though because to speak to what you said, it felt good not to have to be affirmed. I didn't have to tell [00:33:30] anybody, you know? Okay. How much time? Okay, it's been a year. No, he knew. He knew at the moment that he wanted me to go get the ring to go. He knew to ask. I didn't have to say anything. Like, and that is a difference in culture. But I say that not in a way that blames black man cuz I ain't know either. Yeah. He, him like his behavior, I was gagging like, oh my God, look what house. Like, you know, like things that I wouldn't even have known to do or to even think about.
Speaker 3: Like you didn't even, I didn't even think about my like myself as like, what happens next? You just be [00:34:00] so happy you finally have a relationship. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that's working out. Look, it's been more than three months. We still talking. Nobody ghost to each other. <laugh>. Right, right. And so and so developmentally that's what I mean. Like I, as much as I hold out hope, I without blame know that my peers don't always have what it is that I need and or what it is that I deserve. But I still deserve it and so I'm gonna have to get it however, by any means
necessary. Yeah. And I appreciate people, the most important thing is knowing what you don't know. Mm. Being able to say, Hey, I don't know how to [00:34:30] navigate this. I don't know how to get this, but I'm willing to learn mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I'm willing to be vulnerable. I'm willing to be humble. Yeah. In a situation because at most I want you to know how important you are to me. If, if if black men of y'all could just give us facts
Speaker 2: <laugh>. Ok.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And I do think sometimes because there are men who were like, I saw her and I knew that that's who I wanted to be with. And I was like, there are, there's, it's not like there's not intentional black men, but I just don't think that is the norm. And that is as socialized. Right? Yeah. And especially if you're a single attractive [00:35:00] black man, you have all, like when I go out to like day parties or whatever, there are like a whole bunch of really attractive, gorgeous black women out and like we outnumber the men, men in the room drastically. So yeah, if I were a single black man, I mean I would've hoped that my mindset would still be the same but maybe not. Cause I'd have been socialized differently. So I might be like, well what am I about to settle down for when I have all of this?
Speaker 2: Well and I think especially when it comes to dating in the DMV specifically, you have a lot of men with government [00:35:30] clearances, with big checks, with nice big apartments in Arlington that are, you know, sky rises, they drive nice cars, they have all this money. And to your point, why would I settle down when I could go to brunch every weekend and meet a new girl, a new fine girl at that educated got her stuff together and don't need a single thing from me. They're like this. That's why I said dating in the DMV is different because in the south, whether a man makes good money or not, I think the culture there is a bit different. But here in the DMV specifically, a lot of successful black people [00:36:00] live here. I mean, let's be clear, uh, prince George's county is, has been rated for years, one of the most lucrative areas for black people.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So there's money here, there's black money here and I think money has a totally different conversation when you add to the dating pool. When I'm a young man and I'm in my thirties and I'm making over a hundred K and I can whine and dine you, but I don't got to cuz guess what? You gonna be at park on a Saturday at brunch and I can send you a drink wink at you and you'll be back in my sky rise apartment by tonight and then I can do it all again tomorrow at a different [00:36:30] club to do the same thing. Right. And that's why I say the DMV is a totally different fishbowl of dating than elsewhere because I think the money creates a totally different space for the
Speaker 3: You're absolutely right. Cause I'm gonna tell you something. Okay. When I was in my twenties, I was just entering to the field, I was probably making like $40,000 a year. Right. Barely making it, keeping my head of above water scratchiness survival. Good times. And, and at that time, like marriage relationship, that was a part of survival. [00:37:00] Yeah. Like I needed two income. Wow. Now that I don't need two incomes, I'm good. I can never get married again. No, no, no. I can never be another relationship. I still need two incomes. Like I just feel like
Speaker 2: That's,
Speaker 3: That's helpful and important and
Speaker 2: The way this economy is set up,
Speaker 3: Like it would be helpful. That'd be good. But it's not worth, like I'm not in a space where if I had to choose between two incomes and dealing with someone's toxicity Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Or paying my bills myself, it's not survival. The bills won't get paid either way. Right. Right, right. I'm gonna live the same lifestyle in a marriage at this point in my life then I would [00:37:30] not Yeah. My lifestyle's not gonna change that much drastically. And so that does inform like, you know, a lot of this like bad be energy. Yeah. Comes from like, I don't really need that anymore now, but I was still making 40,000. I'd
Speaker 2: Be like, listen, listen service
Speaker 3: Stairs like candles, man, Jesus.
Speaker 2: Because listen, when I was broke I dated different, I I tolerated a lot more hon. No, honestly speaking and, and you know what, I will say this though, being broke in this area definitely made me understand though, like [00:38:00] giving people grace because I used to be like, I can't ask a lot of somebody when I'm making $30,000 and working four jobs. However, I will say that gives me grace now because I do realize in, in a short amount of time I've made way more money. Right. So I can resonate and empathize with somebody who's on the come up who's really trying to make it work. And I can respect that. That's why when y'all were talking about, you know, technically a lot of black women can't find their equals, I'm okay with not dating my equal because I have been in the gutter. Yes. And I have worked super, super hard. Yeah. [00:38:30] So I understand what it's like to be in that. But if, if there's no ambition attached to it, that's where we
Speaker 1: Subtract. Right. And that's why I think that's the issue. Cause like for me being a, the being a therapist, working for someone else, I, I had like three, four jobs and was like not making it now me working for myself, I'm definitely making more, it doesn't feel like it <laugh> but I know that I'm making more. And I think that does does that does give me flexibility in certain things that I do. I feel like I'm able to go out more. Cause I'm not worried about like, oh then I'm gonna have to pay for this Uber and [00:39:00] I'm gonna have to pay. Like I'm able to do more and I'm not expecting someone. I mean ideally if someone made way more than me, that'd be great cuz then that wouldn't be as much pressure. I would probably give free therapy sessions to people cause I'm not worried about like paying my bills.
Speaker 1: But if I had someone who made my income a little less, but there's ambition there. Like to me it's not necessarily about the money. And when I say two incomes, I just mean two incomes in general are better than one somebody. Right. So, okay. You know, for me I don't feel like it has to be like I need my equal in the term in [00:39:30] terms of
like exact monetary amount. I would like my equal in the sense of ambition. I'd like my equal is. Yeah. In the sense of kind of education in a sense. Yeah. Well that too. I was gonna say manifestly. Cause I'm a super affectionate, lovey dovey touchy person. And so I need someone who like is like that. Someone who is just kind and who, if I listen to people talk all day, I need someone who like is gonna make me feel heard and that I feel like okay, like you're gonna listen to me too.
Speaker 1: And so I think being on my equal and like my personality is also [00:40:00] important and kind of education. Like I wouldn't, obviously college isn't for everybody so I don't feel like you just have to go to college cuz like everyone's journey is different. But I think that ambition is important and I think maybe because I had the H B C U experience, I would prefer to have something that understands that like every October I am leaving our home and I'm going back to Atlanta for a weekend. <laugh> like, I need you to understand there's certain, certain things, certain traditions. It's not just like, oh you're just living your college days out. Like it's, it literally feels like a self-care in a sense. And like I [00:40:30] would want someone to understand that too.
Speaker 3: Yeah. And, and I wanna add to that for myself. Important to have someone who is comfortable with being with someone without having to done their line. Because when you stand in a place and whether it's like on a public platform or not, if you're just one of those people like, and you both those people who have a light and you shine in a room, you're a person. People notice. Yeah. There are a lot of times where partners that's hard to be with that person. Yeah. And I've had a lot of people, I've been in relationships [00:41:00] where I have seen people be not at their best. Yeah. Watching you get attention that you didn't get in in the beginning. And it's not even about like sexual attention or people trying to holler at you, but just even watching you shine, watching you grow in your career, that doesn't always feel good for people. And that's something that I definitely look for in a partner. Like, how you gonna handle this? Yeah. Are you secure nothing yourself? Mm-hmm. To know like, are you the type that's like, that's that's my baby right there. Go ahead. Yeah. Are you like, okay, well now you think you know who in your invites now, you know, those are things you I watch for. Yeah, no that's and that's real [00:41:30] cuz you know, I think there's this conversation going on on TikTok and
Speaker 2: Social media about like, do, does your partner really like you? Like does, do these men like you or do they like to have sex with you? And oh,
Speaker 1: What's the trend? What is
Speaker 2: It? So basically, listen, I ain't calling nobody gay, but essentially they saying men don't really like women, they just like to have sex with women. I agree. Cause they don't like everything. They don't like when your body stretches out. They don't like when you lose too much weight, you can't be too thick. You can't be that your hair can't be weed. You gotta be natural. It's why do you got fake outlashes [00:42:00] on? Why do you gotta, you don't like nothing about a woman except when you're in her vagina and that's it.
Speaker 3: I don't think that has to do with sexuality though. I think that, I think you can be heterosexual. I think that if we think about, particularly with black culture, right? Mm-
hmm. <affirmative>, when you think about growing up, if something was corny, you acting like a little girl. Girl. Right. Or other words used for that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if you, there's always very sharp critiques on women, especially black women as being hysterical black women is like having poor emotional management. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like stop girling, stop. You know, like this, this, the way we speak connotations is you don't like women [00:42:30] or femininity. And I could say it black man, you don't like femininity. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Well
Speaker 1: I think it's, it's the toxic masculinity piece. I think black men, I think all men in general deal with toxic. Toxic masculinity. Yes. I think in black culture it is just extremely prevalent. And what comes with the toxic masculinity is like not wanting to appear feminine, not wanting to appear gay, not wanting to do anything that seems like you were soft or vulnerable or weak. So you were looking for the approval because
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 1: Honey, but [00:43:00] then you're so worried about like not being seen as like liking men. So like you want, you do certain things when you don't wanna be judged or you want your boys to feel like that's school. But like I could understand that like I, obviously, I do think there are like men out there who do care genuinely about black women. Yes. But I can see that point of you only really care, or you wanna have sex with us, but you may not actually want to deal with all that comes with being with us or loving us or the responsibility of caring for someone. Right? Because it's one thing [00:43:30] to have sex with someone, it's another thing to date them to be intentional, to care about their feelings, to listen to them, to, you know, question yourself. Hey, she feels a way about this. Is there something I could have done better?
Speaker 1: Like people are not necessarily taking that accountability and then to be intentional and to be in a serious relationship, there is a level of vulnerability. And I feel like for some men that can be really scary because like, I don't wanna seem soft, I don't wanna do this and that. And it's this idea of like, you having to be tough. And there are some women who I do [00:44:00] think contribute to it. Like just because women, because just because we're not males doesn't mean that we don't feed into toxic masculinity. Because there are women who have been like, he's too soft, or he was telling me all this and I don't need all of that. Like, or he's not being man enough or he blah blah blah. Like, so I think that it's just a really, like, it's a lot of like nuanced and tricky. I don't know, it's just a lot because like, yeah, <laugh>, it's, it's so many different messages that we get.
Speaker 1: And then like for me, I would love someone who like expresses their emotions in [00:44:30] a healthy way. Because I've had partners or I've had people who like had a lot of emotion and I don't think there's anything wrong with having that. But how you express it to me, I see that men are always taught to either be happy or angry. Like y'all not socialized or it's not acceptable for y'all to be sad or scared or hurt. Absolutely. Or you know, any of the other emotions I can think of. It's either like, you're either happy or you're angry and that's the only time you, those are the only emotions you can really
have. And there's, there's like so many, there's so [00:45:00] many spectrums of emotions in between that.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. And like I've, I've dated trans men. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I've actually dated women. I guess the community would call them stunts. More masculine women. You know what's crazy? I actually probably get hit one by more like studs than anything else. <laugh>. Like I, it's so crazy. And like a lot of times it's like, sometimes it's like innocent flirtation, but sometimes it'd be like serious. Like I had to tell you off camera something the most recent way this girl pressed me. I was like, my pearls that like that. [00:45:30] And I love women. I, you know, can't relate because women, particularly black women have always been home. For me, I attribute those experiences as like when dating trans men or dating like women who are more like masculine. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I'm like, it's like dating a man with emotional intelligence. That's literally how I describe it. I would not be,
Speaker 1: That's what I would assume.
Speaker 3: I would not be surprised if I married a woman or a trans man. Really? It would happen. Yeah. It, it would. That's totally not in
Speaker 1: The rain [00:46:00] straight. I'd be like, I would assume if you came with some masculine energy, but then also like, I don't know, you were socialized to not be all worried about like, oh, I'm talking about my feelings. They're gonna think I'm soft like that. That makes sense. Where it's like a man. But the emotional intelligence, I can see that. I can see, see
Speaker 2: I would believe that cuz I, I would like say that about women, but all the women couples I know they argue be like dogs and cash cows. So
Speaker 1: That's true too. Like, boy, I'll say that.
Speaker 3: I like it. I joke with my partners. I say I communicate like a lesbian. I don't care if we arguing with and we not going to [00:46:30] ride tell you what else they, they may, but they be still never, they're communicating. They do they doing this household. We aint going nowhere cause we in love is fantastic. I don't know, but it's what I want. You love me.
Speaker 1: That's fair. Cause I do feel like we assume arguments are always bad and sometimes the argument or conflict, it's not a bad thing. Like we we're two different people coming from two different experiences, two different backgrounds. We're just not going to agree on everything. Yeah. So sometimes an argument is I'm learning more about you and what works for you and then you're learning more about me. To me arguments are gonna happen. It's more about like, how do you repair after [00:47:00] the argument? How do we come back exactly after that. So I can see that
Speaker 3: And learning myself. Right? I felt like why it's, you know, relationships are different. For me, having been married, I didn't know how selfish I was. So I got married. Oh. Because when you were legally binded to someone and now it hits different, it don't care how
long, I don't care if you've been together a decade, it hits different when my legality, when legal's tied, when my bank, all that tied in. Right? Right. When if I leave you talking about half what? Yeah. Like that hits different. And like when every move that I make, everything that I do in my life, even coming home from work and [00:47:30] stopping at a happy hour with coworkers affects you because who won't be there to pick up the dogs? You gotta let your partner know when you, when everything, all of a sudden now you have to involve another person because your lives are intertwined. You do realize how selfish you are. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you do see things about yourself that you might not have seen about yourself in other, in other places. So sometimes the is about you having to come with terms, with things about yourself that's like, oh okay, I need to stop
Speaker 2: That. Yeah. No, and I will say this because we are, we do gotta go. But I will say that like I've learned over time, like I used to wanna [00:48:00] be married. Like Jordan met me at a time in my life where like I thought I grew up in Texas Bible Bell. I grew up around those white girls with, with the intention of you go to college, you meet your man, you're married and you have a kid by 30. Yeah. And that was like my ideal life track when I first met Jordan straight outta college. And I was very depressed at the time. That was not what my life looked like at the time. And after spending some time with myself getting some therapy and getting to know me a lot better, I realized like that's not the lifestyle I want. So much so that I want separate bedrooms from my spouse. [00:48:30] I'm very big on that. I
Speaker 1: Don't No about that. I don't think I could do that.
Speaker 2: No. Well it's not that we necessarily will sleep not together, it's just that we have our own space. Yeah. And we can retreat to that at any point. Of course I would like to sleep with you, but sometimes I don't. I'm very only child, so I have only child syndrome a lot. And you speaking about your selfishness, I think being married would teach me very quickly about how much I love my own space. Yeah. So, you know, anyway, um,
Speaker 1: And that's what I'll say. I will say like, like I just said a little earlier, being a single couple's therapist sometimes gives me like a very [00:49:00] interesting perspectives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it just reminds me that even though there's times where I'm very sad about my singleness, so like wanting a partner, wanting that companionship, I'm also reminded like I have the freedom right now in my singleness that like, even though I do want a, a husband and I want kids down the line, like I need to just enjoy the season that I'm in. Like yeah, I just took a solo trip for my birthday that I, I mean maybe I could have done what I was married to, but like I would've had to like ask questions. Yeah. And be like, is this okay? Like I can just do as I please right now. And so I think that's the biggest thing [00:49:30] is just reminding yourself like at any stage that you're in, there's always pros and cons and just trying to really focus on like being grateful in the season that you're in, even though it's not always easy to do. But
Speaker 2: Come on preaching. Close us on out. Give us a word. Yeah. Minutes. Us to Madison. No Jordan. Let people know where they can follow you, where they can book appointments, any information they need to know about you.
Speaker 1: So right now I'm not able to take any appointments cuz I am depleted. But <laugh> you can follow me and learn more about me at Therapy is my jam on Instagram and Twitter [00:50:00] and my website is also Therapy is my jam.
Speaker 2: Awesome. Thank you so much. And of course we have resources. Listen, this is just the beginning of Positive Voices. We're having real conversations with professionals, people telling their stories. So this season is going to be amazing. Thank you for joining us in a lot in store. We have a website. We're gonna tell you every single episode where you can go for resources, where you can learn more and how you can get connected with resources in your jurisdiction. Wherever you are in the dmv. I tell 'em the website cause you
Speaker 3: Know, so the website is dc ns [00:50:30] hiv.org/podcast. When you go on the site, we definitely want you to check out the podcast, but we also want you to be interactive. So if you can take the survey, if you can let us know what you're thinking about the episodes, what things you wanna see coming up, what things. Hopefully there'll be another season for us to talk about in the future. Listen, talk back to us. We definitely want to be interactive. We definitely want to hear your voice. We want you to be a part of this. Positive Voices isn't just a space for us, it's also a space for us to hear the positive voices around us. So please engage us on the website. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Act Yes, absolutely. [00:51:00] And use the hashtag Positive Voices because all season long we wanna hear from you. So use the hashtag Positive Voices and we will see you next episode. Thank you so much and go out and be a positive voice.
Speaker 4: Positive Voices is produced by Chris and Tiana. Our production team is led by C3 Creative Agency.

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Meet the Guest

Jordan Madison
Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT)

Jordan A. Madison, LCMFT, is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist in Maryland and DC. She owns and practices at Therapy Is My J.A.M., LLC, a private practice that helps individuals and couples heal from their pasts to understand their present and create the future they desire. She is Prepare/Enrich certified, and also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She received her BA in psychology from Spelman College, and MS in couple and family therapy from the University of Maryland. She recently authored The CBT Journal for Mental Health, which is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Outside of being a therapist, she is a blog writer for Therapy for Black Girls, and a recurring guest co-host on the Because Life with Sydel podcast.

She is passionate about reducing the stigmas around mental health and therapy, especially within the Black community. She uses her Instagram platform, @therapyismyJAM, to promote conversations and educate others on building and maintaining healthy relationships, as well as normalizing and prioritizing self care. For more information about her and her work, here are a few links: 

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