Letting Someone Be and Loving Them Anyway

Today I slept for two hours when I was supposed to go out for a birthday brunch with my friend.  Tomorrow’s my birthday if you didn’t know – August the 7th.  I’ll be turning 33 years old but it feels like any other day to me.  To be honest I want to go out and enjoy life – celebrate the fact that I’ve been given another year to live on this Earth, but my sadness won’t let me.  It’s now been four months since I’ve been separated from my husband that is overseas and serving in the United States Army, and it really sucks.

Most days I try to count my blessings, as a matter of fact I have made it a ritual that I do every morning.  Each morning before I start my day, I sit up in my bed and literally say out loud everything that I am thankful for.  It usually sounds a little something like this:  Thank you God for waking me up to see another day.  I thank you for the air in my body.  I thank you for my beautiful and healthy children.  I thank you for the friends in my life.  I thank you for a house to live in – a car to drive, and a husband that loves me.  Doing this ritual every day keeps me in a positive and appreciative frame of mind.  But today I couldn’t fake it.  I woke up, and I felt like crap – like I had no energy in my body to get up and even do the normal things – like finishing my daughter’s hair for school, or chasing my son around the house with a pull up begging him to let me change him.  I just didn’t have it in me, but life still kept going.  I still had things to do.

I miss my husband so much.  He’s not just a man to me, he’s my best friend and one of the only people in the world that truly gets me and understands me, and I’m grateful for that.  I think the hardest thing about this whole thing is that I have no idea the next time that I will see him again.  That is a heavy burden to carry.  Too heavy sometimes.  So today, I let myself be sad.  I didn’t get up and fake it, I just let myself be.  And I am thankful that I have people in my life that don’t try to force me to fake it.  I am thankful that I have people in my life that let me fall down but don’t let me stay there.  These people don’t judge me, or talk about me – they are simply just there for me every step of the way.

These people are my two children, my husband, my friends that seemed like they fell straight from heaven – and the most important one of all, God.  God never forces me to be anywhere that I’m not ready to be.  God allows me to live and learn from my mistakes in my own timing.  Letting someone be is a huge aspect of love in my opinion, because when you let someone be you are essentially saying that, It is okay to be you and do what feels right for you at that moment and I won’t judge you for that.  

So anyways, today was a hard day but I believe that tomorrow will be better.  I mean, how can it not?  I’m 33 for Christ’s sake, and I feel so thankful to be here.

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How to Tell When A Guy Likes You, Even If He Won’t Admit It

So, anybody who knows me knows that I am the Queen of not reading into the signs and signals that a man sends you when ya’ll are talking on the phone, chillin’, courting, getting to know one another or already in a relationship.  I believe that men are simple – and that they literally mean everything that they do and say.  However, (insert pinky finger to corner of lips now) there are exceptions to this.  These exceptions are few and far between, but they do exist.

You:  So, What are these exceptions, Girl?  Me:  I’m so glad you asked


Well, first let me say that reading signs and signals do not pertain to men that you already involved with.  Because the only time that a man may hesitate to approach you or insinuate moving to the next level would be because of fear.  And trust a man that has already slept with you or dated you for five years is not afraid to ask you to be his girlfriend – or his wife – or his Baby Momma.  So you can just ‘X’ that idea that a man hasn’t asked you to marry him or be his one and only because he’s afraid of commitment out of your mind.  Because if a man really wants you, he’s coming to get you.  And that’s just the way it is.  So when I talk about reading signs and signals I’m talking about a man that is on the brink of starting something new with you.  For example, maybe he talks to you all the time in your college class – he smiles and engages in conversation with you but he hasn’t asked you for your number yet.  Or maybe he cracks jokes and flirts with you in meetings, but he has yet to ask you out to lunch.  In these such scenarios, you just might have a guy that does indeed like you, but is really afraid to admit it.

Sometimes, when men are really intimidated by a woman – when a man’s fear of rejection outweighs his desire for you, he won’t formally pursue you.  He won’t ask you out on a date, and he won’t ask you for your number because he’d rather stay comfortable in the space that you two have now – the place where his ego is perfectly in tact – than ruin it by asking you out and having you say no.  He could be thinking about the awkwardness that would come after the letdown or the rejection.  He could be thinking about the fact that ya’ll are too good of friends to screw it up by starting a relationship with you.  He could just be really bad at dating and flirting.  Who knows?  In any case, it’s really not your job to find out.  Don’t stress yourself out, girl.  But here are some signs to let you know if he’s really feeling you but a little too afraid, uncomfortable or hard headed to admit it.

Me:  I’m bout’ to spill the tea  You:blackwomanlistens 


  1. He’s always around you – When I first met my husband, he would lurk around me.  Like clockwork – after every class and every church service, he would make his way over to me to spark up some kind of conversation.  Now at first I thought it was sweet.  But the more that he kept doing this without asking me for a call to action as in: my phone number, a date, or something where we could take our relationship out of the four walls of the church and into the real world, I became frustrated.  When I ask him about this now and why he waited so long to ask me out, he said that it was because he didn’t know if I liked him or not and that he was trying to feel me out first.  So, I got frustrated, put him on the spot and told him that if he wasn’t going to ask me out then he needed to stop taking up so much of my time. (I know I was wrong. Don’t do what I did).  If you have a ‘lurker’ (that’s what I call them) then your best bet is to just go on with your life as if he is just an associate that talks to you from time to time at your church, your workplace, in your neighborhood or wherever the two of you have your small talk – because that is exactly what he is – an associate.  Nothing more and nothing less.  It is not healthy or fair to you to just stop all of your other potential dates or love interests because he can’t overcome his fears.  As you go on with your life, and make it painfully clear that you are not waiting on him to get it together, he’ll get the hint and he will either stay in his fears and keep silent, or step up to the plate and finally ask you out.
  2.   He’s Nervous Around You –  Most men get nervous when they’re talking to someone they like.  When my husband would ‘lurk’ around me, he would immediately start saying random things – like he’d be talking about a football game and then switch the conversation to a rubber duck in the same sentence.  I thought it was hilarious.  This is what made me like him.  Til’ this day, he still does this when he’s nervous – whether it be for a job interview or in any other nervous situation.  If a man is nervous around you he’ll have his own special way of showing it.  It could be him playing with his hands, random speech like my husband did, or maybe awkward moments, but whatever they are – you’ll be able to tell.  It will be obvious.
  3.  His Friends Know You – Contrary to popular belief, men do talk just as much to their guy friends as we, women, talk to our girlfriends.  Just like you’re spilling the tea to your girls, best believe he’s letting his friends know about you if he’s really feeling you like that.  Or perhaps, his friends have figured it out on their own.  So, if this man has talked to his friends about you, you’ll be able to tell by the way they act when you and your potential boo thang are together.  It will probably look something like his friends hurdling up together, snickering like children to see what’s going to happen between the two of you.  They’ll be watching you and your crush like a movie.  Why?  Because that man has been driving them crazy talking about you.  So, open up your eyes and pay attention to how his friends are acting when you come around.
  4. Teasing – This is actually pretty common.  It’s human nature to tease people that we feel comfortable around.  Think of all of the people you tease:  your best friend, your siblings… We tease these people because there is a comfort level there.  These people provide a sense of comfort for us and a special place where we can be ourselves.  So if this man is teasing you in a cute manner that means that he likes you enough and feels comfortable enough to be himself around you and let you in on his personal style of humor.  That’s a good thing.  Just make sure it isn’t full blown teasing.  The teasing should be light and fun, and it should strengthen the bond between you and this man – not take away from it.  If it does all that, there’s a pretty good chance he’s feeling you.

Even with all of these signs and signals, there’s nothing like the real thing.  So still – do not assume anything, and do not put your life or love life on hold for a signal.  If that man really likes you, he’ll let you know.  But until then, pay attention to the signs.

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The Day My Marriage Changed Forever

I remember a conversation that me and my husband had on the telephone after we had only been married for a little over a month.  He had gone back home to D.C. for work, and I was still in Alaska serving in the military.  We had just had our first official argument, and to be honest, I was caught off guard about it.  I mean, in my mind he was this perfect person that I had married who had no flaws, no imperfections and was amazing in every way.  So to see that the reality was that he was just a man just like I was just a woman was a new concept to me.944324_788735751258209_7041927161923673020_n

I remember telling him these exact words when we made up over the telephone.  I remember saying, “I just had you up on this pedestal in my mind.  Because in my mind, I wasn’t expecting for you to disappoint me.  In my mind you are this superman that can do no wrong that is standing on this rooftop.”  And with the most convicted voice – my husband responded, “Well please Crystal…take me off of that rooftop.  I’m just a person just like you.  I’m not perfect.  I’m going to disappoint you.  I will try my best to make you happy, but sometimes I’ll fail because I’m just a person.”

At that moment, the biggest ‘Aha’ moment went off in my head, and if I’m honest, I have been getting more and more comfortable with that ‘aha’ moment throughout the duration of our marriage.


Since that day, I have learned that my husband is not perfect just like I’m not.  And instead of asking him to be – or expecting him to be – I make sure that everyday I work toward leaving room for grace in our marriage.  I make sure that I let him know verbally and non verbally that he has a home and a space here with our children where even if he fails he is welcome and loved and celebrated.

To me that’s what love is –  and family is.  And while I believe that it is both of our responsibilities to strive to please the other while working together as a team to evolve to the highest versions of ourselves, I always make room for us both to be human.


I am so thankful that my husband taught me that gift.  I am so grateful that my husband taught me how to love.  To me, that is the most beautiful thing about marriage – that if you let it, it will be the best teacher that you can have in life.  I thank my husband for teaching me, and I thank my children for teaching me – that love is a choice – and that love is grace.  Love is freedom – and love is making room.  It is knowing that your partner knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that even when they are unpleasant, or inferior, lost, or 50 shades of wrong, annoying, appalling, a sinner, or imperfect, or human that I will still love them.

And I may show that love in my honesty, my forgiveness, or by challenging them to be greater better and wiser – or with kindness and grace, but it will always be with love nonetheless.  It is my job to let my husband know that he is safe with me – to be him – and Troy Michael Little Sr., you are.  Happy Anniversary from your boo thang ❤


P.S. I will always choose to love you.

Is it Impossible to find LOVE in the ATL? Plus 5 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd of 80,000 Single Women

Atlanta.  Georgia.  Home of the fried chicken, catfish and the Atlanta Braves.  Did you know that there are 80,000 times more women than men in Atlanta?  And did you also know that Atlanta is known as the official “home of the thick girl”?  Now with these stats, it is no wonder why it is practically impossible to find a good man who is looking for love and a serious relationship in the same way that you are.  But even with all of the odds stacked up against you, I have found some tips to help you stand out among the unfavorable odds.  I got you girl. (wink*)black-couple-on-date

So, here are the top 5 ways that you can stand out in the dating ring in Atlanta:

  1.  Stand Out! – Now when I say stand out in Atlanta, what I really mean is reel it back in.  Huh?  You’re confused?  Okay, let me break it down for you.  Most women in Atlanta look almost the same.  Because Atlanta is the weave capital of the world, you can find your average woman between the ages of 26-45 sporting a fierce bundle weave piece on her head with flawless makeup, her edges laid and a Michael Kors bag on her arm.  Cmon\.  You know it’s true.  But when I say reel it in, the truth is that most men who are attracted to that kind of woman is a man that is looking for a trophy.  Someone who just looks good but he’ll never take home.  You have to remember that whatever energy you put out in your intentions is what kind of man you will attract.  So if you put out there material assets – then you will get a man looking for a material girl, and not a woman that he can love for her heart.  So trust me when I say that less is more.  Dim down the flash and turn up your unique beauty and the real you.  Because that’s what the quality men are looking for.
  2. Don’t be afraid to venture away from the crowd – So what everybody in the ‘A’ likes Gucci Mane!  You think he sucks, own it!  Men respect women who have their own thoughts, likes and dislikes.  And honestly speaking the realness and allowing your individuality to show is a breath of fresh air to most.  And most importantly, your true self is a breath of fresh air to the right guy.  But if you keep hiding behind those perfect brows and those lashes, that real guy will never know who you really are.  So venture off.  Do something wild, and explore who you are at the core of you.
  3. Don’t tolerate the BS – I know that this can be tempting considering that the majority of men in Atlanta show minimal effort on dates because they have their pick of the litter – but seriously, speak up.  You don’t have to take that.  If you’re out on a date and he’s being rude to the waiter, speak up.  If he fails to open up a door, wait until he comes to his senses and opens it for you.  If he has an ounce of morality he will step up his game to please you once he sees that his antics aren’t working.  And also, you will stand out from the millions of other women that tolerate his foul BS because they are so afraid that they’ll lose the one man that they were able to catch in the big city.  That may be them, but that’s not you.  Because you are not afraid of not getting his approval.  You approve of yourself – or at least you should.  And to add on to that, intolerance of BS shows that you respect yourself, and in turn communicates the idea that he should too.  And before you know it he’ll be thinking about you because you won’t be like “every other girl” – which is exactly what you’re going for.
  4. No Netflix and Chill – No no no no no!  Sometimes women get this wrong.  They often figure that when the competition is fierce that they must compete by increasing their quantity.  But it’s about quality when it comes to love and relationships.  Men only value quality women.  Don’t believe me?  Think of the women they worship – their Mommas, their sisters, their granny.  And I bet you that none of their edges have been laid 100% of the time.  So when it comes to dates, don’t let him off so easy.  Make him respect you.  If he offers Netflix for a date, tell him that’s not a date.  And if he can’t catch the hint, then deny his invitation altogether.  Dating is not about how many prospective partners you can rack up.  It is about weeding out the real from the fake and keeping the quality that’s left over.
  5. Be kind – Notice I didn’t say nice.  The average woman in Atlanta is nice.  Meaning – they overcompensate and kiss the ground men walk on because they are so few and far between to come by.  However, kindness comes from the heart.  It is when you meet men with an honesty and a genuine nature about you that doesn’t put them up on a pedestal but doesn’t demean them either.  When men see a kind and beautiful woman they are stopped in their tracks.  They can’t believe it!  It is like finding a 100 dollar bill on the ground and nobody’s around to claim it.  So if you’re kind, you can best believe you’re getting claimed.  It is such a rarity to come by.

Hope these tips helped.  If so, share it out to a girlfriend who could use this.  Now get out there and get your Boo…Boo!