Toni Braxton Denies Bragging About Living A Lavish Lifestyle On Reality Show
Mar 2011 28

Reports say that Toni Braxton is bragging about living a lavish lifestyle on her upcoming reality show — although she just filed for bankruptcy a couple of months back. According to The New York Post, during filming for Braxton Family Values, Toni reportedly said, “I have a big-a** house, three cars, and I fly first class all around the world. Some say I have the perfect life.”

Toni took to Twitter to respond to the story. She wrote, “PEREZ HILTON, TORONTO SUN, POST, and all them other FOLLOWERS owe me a F’N apology. (Be glad that I’m too lady like to curse). I have NEVER ‘Bragged’ about ‘A LAVISH’ lifestyle that I live on my reality show. That was my SISTER TAMAR speaking of her OWN lifestyle!”

Toni’s financial issues came to light last October when she admitted to owing between $10 million and $50 million in unpaid debts. She previously filed for bankruptcy in 1998.

Braxton Family Values premiers on April 12th.

How To Remove Toxic Friends From Your Life
Mar 2011 04

You may not get to pick your family but at least you can pick your friends. So take advantage of this. Many people feel they are stuck with toxic friends but it is simply not true. It isn’t easy, but you have the power to choose who your friends are. There are many different types of people you gravitate towards you as your friends for all sorts of different reasons. These friends could be good for certain times of your lives but not necessarily good for other times. People change, friends change, and this includes you as well. You have the right to have healthy friends and are not obligated to keep around toxic friends just because you have a history with them. The following steps will attempt to guide you to identify and drift away from friends who toxify your life.

One question to ask yourself after you spend time with a friend who may be toxic is, “How do I feel after I am done hanging out with my friend?” If your answer is exhausted, relieved, frustrated, and depressed then you may have a toxic friend. Life is too short to surround yourself with people that don’t add to your life in a positive way.
Life is already stressful enough, so why keep toxic friends who add even more stress to your life. Toxic friends are those people in your life who always have drama in their lives and either get you involved or constantly need to talk about their lives and not yours. This is a very one-sided relationship.
Don’t be afraid to say no. If someone doesn’t accept your first answer, they don’t respect you. So if your toxic friend is requiring more than you are willing to offer, it’s time to politely say no or decline whatever request they have. If they ask why and want an explanation, just remember this-you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. No means no. I just can’t means; I just can’t. They will eventually get the point.
Stop worrying what your toxic friend might think about you. If they don’t respect you, they are not worth worrying about.
Slowing drifting away from toxic friends is often the least painful way to end these types of friendships. Whether you need to become more engaged in your work, hobbies, or family, it’s up to you, but remember; your time is valuable so spend it with those who recognize that.
Sometimes you just have to make a clean break depending on the toxic friend you are dealing with. If your toxic friend is wreaking havoc on your mental well-being, it’s time to just be blunt and put an end to the friendship. Nobody wants to have to end a friendship and there really isn’t a pleasant way to do it. You might start with not returning the phone calls and claiming you are busy. If they don’t get the hint and confront you about it or pressure you, tell them you don’t want to continue the friendship due to the stress it has added to your life. Unless they want to change some things that are affecting your life negatively, then you can’t continue with the friendship.
Focus on the people in your life who do respect your boundaries and who aren’t toxic for your life.

 

Once you can create healthy boundaries in your life, toxic friends won’t be able to find their way in.

 

Written by skygal, ehow member

How To Spot A Gold Digger (by wonderhowto.com)
Mar 2011 02

Have you ever been suspicious that the person you’re dating is more interested in your money than in you? If you are concerned about this and want to find out, here are some ideas to accomplish this and protect yourself before it is too late.

Step 1

Understand what a gold digger is, and is not. There’s nothing wrong with a person being concerned about your financial stability. A long-term partnership means depending on each other through the ups and downs, and being financially reliable does help with that to a degree. The difference between a gold digger and someone who values your role as a provider is that the gold digger would deride and perhaps leave you if you lost your ability to provide for them financially. A good person can appreciate your financial resources, but a gold digger appreciates only that, and will not see the relationship as worthwhile if you’re not well off.

Step 2

Gold diggers drop hints that they’re having trouble paying their bills (sometimes they might even ask you directly for a “loan” to tide them over). They know that you don’t want to see them get an eviction notice, or get their car repossessed, and you’re a good person who’s in a position to help. But there’s a difference between a gold digger and someone who’s just fallen on bad times. What you should be looking for is if, despite their situation, this person is making poor financial decisions. Do they buy a brand new car with luxury features when they’re struggling to pay rent? Do they buy $300 shoes or watches when their phone service is at risk of getting cut off? Do they go to expensive restaurants when their credit cards are maxed out, because they “work hard” and they “earned it”? Many gold diggers know better than to ask you to fund their more luxurious tastes, at least in the beginning; they’ll tap into your desire to help them afford the things they need (food, shelter, transportation) so that they can spend their own money on the things they want.

Step 3

When they discuss their financial woes, suggest ways in which the suspected gold digger can make money fast. When you mention the possibility of them selling their luxury car, video console, guitar, diamond bracelet, or any other expensive item that could keep them from becoming homeless or having their utilities cut off or car repossessed, how do they respond? The average person will be saddened and may even become angry or upset, but a gold digger will be appalled at the very idea that they should have to give up their prized possessions in order to meet their own basic needs. They’ll treat the idea as ludicrous.

Step 4

Look for a sense of entitlement. Gold diggers feel that they deserve to be treated well, and that includes knowing that someone is willing to spend money on them. Maybe it’s because they had a bad childhood or relationship, and they feel they deserve to be happy (and it just so happens that their joy carries a high price tag). Or maybe they feel it’s their right to be able to pursue their big dreams at the expense of financial stability, and, coincidentally, haven’t considered who will foot the bill of their soul-searching. Have you noticed unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment? This sense of entitlement is one of the symptoms of narcissistic behavior, which has other symptoms that a potential gold digger might harbor:

  • grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • requires excessive admiration
  • lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

Step 5

Ask them meaningful questions.

  • What is the best gift they’ve ever gotten? Gold diggers will almost always cite an expensive, material object, not a uniquely personal and thoughtful gift.
  • What’s the biggest thing you ever had to give up to do or get something you really wanted? What you’re searching for here is evidence of delayed gratification – the ability to give up something now so that you can achieve something greater, later. Gold diggers are notoriously spoiled or sheltered, and have never had to really wait, work, or struggle for what they want because somehow, someone was always there to help.

Step 6

See what questions they ask you. Certain questions which might seem harmless might really be an attempt to judge your ability to provide. None of these questions, alone, should get you worried but all of them on the first date should definitely send up a red flag:

  • How much do you make a year? Why would she/he ask this question? Because a gold digger is a mobile calculator, therefore every question that relates to money is calculated to determine the percentage of the total amount that she/he believes she/he “deserves”.
  • Are you a homeowner? And what type of car do you drive? They are trying to determine your overall worth and whether being with you is a profitable investment for them.
  • How many kids do you have? Your answer to the question will help her/him determine (calculate) much of your income and attention goes to your children and how much time you can devote to her/him. A gold digger is a needy individual that will take up a lot of your money, time and energy.

Step 7

Search for signs of generosity and gratitude towards you. After having gone on several dates, has this person ever offered to pay? When you do pay, does he or she say thank you? Do they ever offer to help you in other ways? (And no, physical intimacy doesn’t count); do they cook you dinner when you’ve been out working late? Fix your computer? Run an errand for you when your schedule’s especially tight? If these character traits are missing, is this really someone you want to get involved with? A person doesn’t develop gratitude and generosity overnight…

Step 8

Indulge in a pipe dream. A pipe dream is basically a long shot. Take one of your childhood fantasies and run with it. Tell the person you’re dating that you’re thinking about becoming the mechanic, farmer, supermodel, writer, [insert dream career here] you’ve always wanted to be. Explain how if you were to ever do this, it would require a significant lifestyle change; you’d have to go back to school, relocate, or whatever would make it clear that your standard of living will go down dramatically. How does this person respond? Do they seem concerned? That’s normal. A good person will encourage you to follow your dreams while simultaneously helping you think of ways to do it practically and responsibly. A gold digger will look horrified or disgusted and say things like “You’re not really serious, are you?” OR they are ready to call it quits and leave because you are paying attention to “you” instead of “them”.

Step 9

Watch yourself. It feels good to help people, whether you just helped someone avoid becoming homeless, or you’re helping an aspiring artist or entrepreneur launch his or her career, but you have to be careful that you don’t fall into a pattern where your help become the norm, so much so that without your financial assistance, the relationship would crumble. If you’re the kind of person who has trouble saying “no”, or who is intensely sympathetic and compassionate, you’re more likely to bump into a gold digger. You might also face the feeling that this is one of the most attractive or intriguing people you’ve ever dated, and you don’t want to ruin your chances, but don’t be fooled by a good looking exterior. It could cost you.

Step 10

Listen to the type of question. Even seemingly innocuous questions like “What do you do?” and “Where do you live?” can be loaded questions, asked in an attempt to ascertain your net-worth and lifestyle. In any case, do not answer these questions directly – but start out by explaining your life story. What things happened to you as a child/teenager that shaped the life you live today? A person truly interested in who you are will listen intently and ask questions of a more personal nature – whereas a golddigger will not have the patience to get to know you first; they will only want to find out your current financial position before investing any time in you. Golddiggers in a social situation will work the room and are “on the clock”. The longer you can delay telling them what you do, they will be unable to size you up and you stand a better chance of weeding them out.

Tips

  • Give them a piece of rope and see if they “hang themselves” with it. The next time you go out, give them a credit card so they can purchase a nice outfit. Gold-diggers will “hang” themselves by purchasing more than an outfit with the credit card you have given them.
  • Gold diggers can be business partners as well.
  • Protect yourself by maintaining your financial independence. Keep your own bank accounts and approach joint accounts and credit cards with extreme caution.
  • If this person complains that you don’t ever do anything nice anymore, think of 2-3 inexpensive dates and one expensive one and see what your date says. A gold digger will reliably pick out the most expensive one, every time.
  • Once a physical relationship has started, a gold digger will usually not engage in “physical” activities unless given incentive i.e. taken on a date, given a gift, etc.
  • It’s always a good idea to check court records to see if the gold-digger has been divorced. You can learn a lot by reading their complaint, motions and responses, etc. Don’t simply rely on ‘their side’ of the story.
  • Have you met their family? You can learn a lot from people close to them.
  • Watch other people’s reactions when they hear you’ve been out with someone or spending time with someone. Often, others will attempt to subtly let you know through reactions and comments that the person is a gold digger.
  • Most people don’t want to be obliged or beholden to others for large sums of money. A gold digger doesn’t have to be prompted twice to take a “loan” from you. Think about what makes sense: would you open up to someone you just met about your financial woes? Would you take a loan from a guy or girl you’ve been out with once? Probably not, but a gold digger is looking for his or her next “sugar daddy/mama” at all times.

Warnings

  • If you find yourself dating gold diggers more often than you’d like, think about where you meet people, and how you present yourself. If you look like you could be somebody’s “sugar daddy” or “sugar momma” (successful, with a high standard of living) then guess what kind of crowd you’re going to attract?
  • Don’t become overly stingy in an effort to spot a gold digger. The above steps all involve getting to know the person, and observing their behavior. You don’t have to pretend to be a total cheapskate in order to judge someone’s character.
  • Anyone can be a gold digger, male or female, rich or poor.
  • Watch out for people who frequently change jobs, or go long periods of time unemployed. Be careful when there is always an excuse to explain their unemployment, especially when the reason is always someone else’s fault (I got laid off, my boss hated me, they wanted me to work all the time, there was no room for advancement, they kept shorting my paychecks, etc.) Stuff happens, but when it happens to that person over and over, it’s a red flag.
  • Many gold diggers won’t let go of one relationship until they have a more lucrative one on the line. Watch out for the guy or girl who grows close to you, and more dependent on you, but won’t let go of the unhappy relationship they are in. They may be working both ends against the middle, wringing the last drops out of their current relationship, while setting you up to be their next.

Tips For A Great First Date Impression (by YourTango.com)
Mar 2011 01

1. The way you dress for a first date says a lot about who you are and provides some important visual clues to your partner. A word of caution however. When it comes to a first date you may not really want to divulge the closet hippy or femme fatale lurking within. Don’t wear clothes that are very revealing or expose too much of your body. Leave that for when you get to know each other a little better.

2. How you choose to dress should show your date you respect him enough to make a good impression. It can also make you feel a lot more confident and relaxed on your first day or night out with the object of your affection. Don’t overdress in an effort to make an impression. A little black number isn’t famous for its over-the-top detail after all!

3. Don’t dress too casually or too formally. Go for a smart-casual look that is not too understated or too bold and daring. Add a touch or two that says “I am unique”. Never wear an item of clothing that is show-offish or obviously accentuates your body on a first date. Your date will notice that you work out under basic clothing too

4. Always dress for a first date in clothing that is both neat and clean. This says a lot about your personal hygiene, self-respect and ability to take care of yourself. Make a good effort to be as presentable as possible – wash and style your hair. Make sure your teeth are brushed and bathe or shower before your date. (I once had a guy come to a date with a ripped shirt and stained tennis shoes! Can you believe that!)

5. Consider wearing a favorite outfit if it suits the occasion. This will make you feel confident and comfortable and this translates into better self-esteem at a time when you are likely to be a tad nervous.

6. Choose your outfit based on the venue for the date. If you are going to a rock concert, you could go with ultra-trendy or semi-casual but don’t overdo it with a death-metal T-shirt (unless you know your date will be wearing one too!) or green streaked hair.

7. Accessorize! Accessories make an outfit. You could be wearing the most basic outfit, that becomes a show stopper with the right accessories. Men love accessories too! It shows you have style and are unique.

8. Don’t forget your shoes and stockings when you dress for a first date. Many a fabulous outfit has been ruined by forgetting to wear a good pair of shoes and stockings if appropriate.

9. Your shoes should be clean and polished if need be and suit the time and place, the outfit and the weather. If you are going to invest in anything new for a first date, a new pair of shoes would be it.

10. Leave your cell phone at home! Well, I know that won’t happen, but don’t stay attached to the phone. It is rude and inconsiderate to text and check your phone every 2 minutes. It will give the impression that you are not into him. When you dress for a first date you don’t want to appear to be tied to your work or anybody else either!

11. Pay close attention to your grooming and hygiene. ALWAYS bathe or shower before setting out for a first date and make sure that any after shave, cologne or mouthwash isn’t too overpowering.

12. Never chew gum.

10 Reasons He Won’t Marry You (by blackvoices.com)
Feb 2011 25

Ladies, have you been with your man for a while and you are wondering why he hasn’t brought up the “M” word yet? Are you wondering what is the hold up? Well, from a man’s point of view, here are Aolblackvoices.com‘s 10 reasons why men don’t commit

HE DOESN’T FEEL LIKE HE CAN AFFORD YOU: Believe it or not, there are plenty of men that would love to put a ring on it. Problem is said ring costs a heck of a lot. Even if a guy’s dealing with someone that says she doesn’t care about the size of the ring, deep down inside every woman wouldn’t mind stuntin’ on their friends with a big ol’ blood diamond rock on her hand. That’s a lot of unnecessary pressure–especially in a recession. There’s no way a man is going to propose to a woman he feels he can’t even provide for.

HE HAS TOO MANY OPTIONS: If what women say about there not being enough available men is true then the few that actually qualify as a “good” catch have way too many options. According to a 2009 American Community Survey, there are 131,548 more unmarried and divorced women than men in New York City. If you really want to crunch the numbers that means there are 263,096 more unclaimed boobs in the Big Apple alone.

HE HAS MORE TIME: Unlike women, men aren’t born with a set number of sperm so we can procreate well past retirement age without worrying about any complications the older we get. Since guys don’t have to go through the physical changes of pregnancy, there’s no biological clock ticking that puts us on a baby-making timetable. That said, most men prefer playing the field a bit longer before retiring from the game. Unfortunately, when we do decide to settle down we’ll probably pick a younger model of you.

HE KNOWS SOMEONE THAT LOOKS BETTER THAN YOU: Men are vain and visual creatures. We like women with curves and no wrinkles. So while it’s nice talking to a woman with a nice head on her shoulders, if that combination isn’t offset by some T&A there might be a time delay on that ring. The simple fact is if a man isn’t initially attracted to you he probably never will.

HE CAN’T SEE YOU RAISING HIS CHILDREN: When a man actually gets to the point where he wants a wife, there are a few things he has to consider. Namely, will this hot chick actually make a good wife and mother to his kids? A trophy wife is nice and all but if she doesn’t have a single domestic bone in her pretty body then there may be a problem. We need certain assurances that this woman can take care of the home on all fronts–kitchen, kids and bedroom.

HE’S SCARED: With nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce and disgruntled wives taking half a man’s cash in the process, it’s no wonder men are in no rush to jump the broom. There’s just too much at stake. In addition to losing some zeroes in their bank account should things fall apart, men also worry about losing their freedom. Once a man gets locked down he feels like he’s going to miss out on all the fun his single friends are having.

HE’S NOT REALLY ATTRACTED TO YOU: A man can pursue a woman and sleep with her regularly but that doesn’t mean he actually likes her. She might just have a bangin’ body or a cute face, and while those are both great qualities to have they don’t speak to the core of who that woman is as a person. Maybe she’s boring, has a bad temper or is annoying, whatever the case he’s not attracted to the actual person just the physical.

HE HASN’T MET ‘THE ONE’ YET: Just because you think you’re a good catch doesn’t mean he’s the one that’s supposed to catch you–or that you’re really as good as you think you are. When a man meets “the one,” though, it’s a wrap. He does everything within his power to lock her down. For whatever the reason Ms. Right always seems to be the woman right after you but don’t take it personal. It’s not about what she did differently, how you “groomed” him or whatever you say to make yourself feel better, you just weren’t the one for him. Get over yourself.

HE’S JUST NOT READY: Let’s be real, certain people don’t need to be married-at least not right now. They’re just not mature enough or too selfish to make a lifelong commitment to someone else at this point in their life. It takes a certain level of self-awareness to recognize that and decide not to waste someone else’s time. The key is for a woman to respect a man knowing himself better than she thinks she knows him.

HE WANTS TO FEEL LIKE IT’S HIS DECISION: Some women are marriage crazy. They obsess over it so much that they start mapping out seating arrangements for the reception dinner after the second date. Women like this usually have a timetable of when they’re supposed to be married. Not only is something like that wack it’s also unromantic. Wouldn’t a woman rather a man propose because he feels it in his heart and not because she boxed him in a corner?

So we ask…
Do these seem reasonable to you?

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