Charles DeVeaux

Social Theorist | Cultural Creative

Writing, producing, and facilitating works & conversations about love, modernity, and humanity.

Filtering by Tag: marriage

Redefining Your Wedding Ring

I'm back, this time with vlogs.  Check out the latest, video player of your choice, plus transcript below if you can't play video:

LoveRules episode 1 - Redefining Your Wedding Ring from Charles De Veaux on Vimeo.

 

Many people are questioning the value of marriage these days.  And I get it.  They’re concerned about the divorce rates.  They’re concerned about the things that cause divorce rates.  Staying in love longterm.  Fidelity.  Finances.  Fears.  But what about connection?

Here’s a LoveRules definition: Marriage is not what you do, it’s what happens.  Don’t worry about society’s baggage.  With values and trust aligned, two people in love can’t be separated.  But Love isn’t as cerebral as we think, either.  It’s a chemical attraction and it’s the result of attracting the qualities you exude the most.  There’s a real chemical connection.  They enjoy each other’s company and are inseparable.  This process happens naturally, so don’t let fear erode your growth toward love and connection.  Time is too precious.

My wife and I use an analogy to describe life.  Your path in life is represented by a circle.  As you move along your life path you are drawn to other people moving along their paths.  Your paths might intersect just for a moment or run parallel for years. Or they might also overlap for a long time.  This is an example of connection, union, marriage; and this will happen regardless of rings, weddings, and witnesses.  Let’s get past the titles and old definitions for a second and be honest. Despite the scrutinizing eye of society, people will connect, or be in love, or have sex, or move in together, at various points in their lives, right?  Just be smart about what’s keeping you together.  If you’re about to have a wedding ONLY to satisfy your families or because you’re afraid you might not have another partner in life, then think again.  Where’s the real connection?  Remember, marriage is not what you do (have a wedding), it’s what happens.

And when you do have a real connection, don’t let negative concerns and stress keep you from enjoying your lives together.  Each moment is precious and we don’t know how many moments we get with our loved one, so live them fully.

Now.  Rings.  Rings are only decorative and symbolic, with no meaning of their own.  These little circles only have value when they reflect the bigger circles of our lives.  On our lives’ paths, are we loving our partners, encouraging each other, empowering each other, uplifting each other?  If, daily, that’s what’s happening, then that’s marriage.  I know, it’s hard not to be impressed by diamonds and gem stones.  But forget the rock.  What’s it worth if 72-days later one person is giving it back or the other person is pissed off for having bought it.  Forget the rock.  Let the foundation of your relationship be your rock.   You know, with the right person, even one of those little candy lifesaver rings will do, and that’s a fact.  Ain’t life sweet?  How simple it can be.

So, work on what moves YOU along the path of your life.   You’ll be surprised whose path you’ll cross.  Your connections will be deeper and more meaningful.  And this marriage idea will be a whole lot easier.  Make room for more.

Part 3. LoveRules #9 - Love, Self-Defined

Here we are with part 3 of LoveRules #9.  Have you found it funny that I haven't covered LoveRules #2-8 yet?  Remember, these aren't levels or steps, but more like principles and phases.  Besides, what the spirit or "trend" of the moment asks for, is what I share. So let's talk about how we define our loves.  What's important to us?  What does that important stuff look like, really?  Oh, but wait.  The trend was that everyone was talking about a certain woman celebrity, and being influenced by the abrupt ending of her ruse of a marriage.  It had everyone in knots, demanding marriage to prove to us that it is still worthwhile in 2011. While it created some good conversations about marriage, I think it's important to remember that we don't really know why this "celebrity" decided to get married in the first place. [On The Table of Truth Podcast, you might have heard me say, "marriage is what happens, it's not what you do." That's from LoveRules #7 - What is Love?  More on that later.]  Also, we don't know her definitions of love.  I can tell you this. She came to media prominence via sex tape.  Media stunt. Ruse. I'm not judging, but neither am I losing sleep over her actions.  I thought the following was the greatest quote I saw on Twitter last week:

"Kim K made a huge profit on her nuptials, then dumped the stock early and brought down the value of marriage. #occupykimkadashian."

Sad, but true.  But who knows? Maybe she is having a tough time shaping her definition of love, too. Or maybe she's just not ready for love, right now.  It's all good.  She's famous, but she's human.  If you know her, go ahead and share LoveRules with her.  She'll thank you.  ;)

To be continued...

LoveRules on BetsyIce!

Hey Lovers - BetsyIce is one of my colleagues/mentors/most ardent supporters, and on her personal site, BetsyIce.com she has asked me to fill in the blanks to her thoughts below on why I married a Black woman, and share a little bit of LoveRules.

[The lady I know as BetsyIce has been a travel & culture writer for years, and has been featured in top magazines such as Essence & Uptown, among others.  She will be releasing a book of anecdotes/memoirs, soon, and has an amazing sense of humor.  So stay tuned!]

As the varying success of marriages between Black men & women seems to find its way into the press in dramatic fashion these days, she does ask me how I got together with my wife, and to share some ideas that Black folks (African-Americans, Caribbean, West Indian, African, et al) might want to know if they are determined to find love within "their race."  How could I say no?  So here are a couple LITTLE bits that I think are overlooked in a BIG way.

Why did I marry a Black woman?  My reasons didn’t have anything to do with not choosing white Black or White. More on that later.  But I came to understand that there were thousands of Black women who could potentially complement me, hundreds who were within network reach, but one who was best aligned with me at the time.

Now, let's dispel some myths!

A "good" Black man is the same as any “good” man.  He can be found anywhere, working hard right now. He takes care of his responsibilities, is kind, generous, and seeks to improve his life. He is at his best when “good” Black women believe he exists. Does any other race even wonder whether their men are good?

Men should know that "sisters" are more than just strong-willed. Contrary to media impressions, sisters are extremely giving and accommodating to men’s egos once they are being treated properly. For the right man, they will go through fire.

"Brothers" are getting a lot of attention today for marrying outside their race because Black people allow and perpetuate that conversation instead of how we can heal the challenges of our history. Black men choose to marry outside their race for various reasons.  Sometimes they live predominantly among other cultural groups. They may marry for love and shared values regardless of color. Other times they marry outside their race because it seems like less history of shaming, blaming, or gaming within the relationship. It may feel like a clean slate.

There are Black men who love and marry Black women.  Should you one day become a Black man and woman joined in matrimony, you will run into dozens of other happy Black couples. In fact, a bunch of us are having a party over at my house later. Everyone’s invited.

I knew my wife, a Black woman, was "the one" because when we had our first conversation, it was the most genuine conversation I’d ever had. Ever.  No pretense, no judgment, no posturing, no-nonsense, no over compensating, no seeking to impress, just being herself.  And that’s what impressed me. Permanently.

A sister who holds out to marry a brother will have a doubly happy life if she is first and foremost keeping her eyes open for the man who complements who she is.

Now a little LoveRules! Before we talk about marriage, let's talk about what happens in the dating stages. Try to date in a selfless manner, but inquire about what your potential partner values. Seek first to understand then be understood. Be the person you want to one day marry.  Date and treat the person with the same regard you would give your spouse.

Selflessness and consistent communication are crucial to the success of a relationship.  Sync your actions with your words to empower your partner as well as yourself.  Empowerment creates trust and security, which allows people to weather emotional storms.  The other days—the good ones—are a joy.

Love is not color blind. To be blind is to disregard or be unaware. Real love is unconditional. To love is to be aware of what is, to see reality, see the differences that exist, the challenges they might pose, and choose to love anyway.

At the end of the day, marriage is not something you do, it’s something that happens. People that truly connect cannot be kept apart. For marriages that do not last, there is no shame if both parties naturally grew apart, provided they understood each other, gave each other separate space to grow, and respect each other.

Make room for more.

LoveRules on The Table of Truth! Check it NOW!

Hey Everyone ! I am pleased to announce that the good fellas over at award nominated podcast The Table of Truth have released the second show in their 30+ Series.  It's called Dating Like An Adult, and yours truly is a featured guest.  Known for their comedic, entertaining, and candid style, there is nothing these guys don't discuss, but we take it to the next level in an interesting young men's discussion where I join Anslem Samuel of award-winning blog Naked With Socks On, Cameron "Cam", Pope, Duane, and Anthony "Ant" in a journey through the transformational phases of dating like an adult.  Is laughing and learning at the same time possible?  You bet.  Enjoy!

[tell me how you liked the show & it's content with a reply]

Dating Like An Adult - click to hear podcast

 

[Note: The conversation evolves, getting deeper in each 30 min section.  The breaks occur at 30:21 and 59:21.  But hear the whole show, don't miss a beat!]