Talk To Me, Babe

The beginning of relationships are beautiful. We are all victim to the upward spiral and euphoric feelings we sense when we are courting someone or someone is courting us. The focus, attention to detail, exploration and general desire to understand each other can cause hundreds of butterflies to lift us into the air.

good smell GIF by WE tv

Unfortunately this euphoria dies down. The process and eagerness to get to know one another becomes slow. You may ask yourself, should I have him fill out a questionnaire? How do I ask him questions without sounding like a narcissist? The truth is, there is no one set way to accomplish this next phase. In fact, the outcome of your specific situation will depend upon what we lack most, proper communication skills.

self care cartel crew GIF by VH1

First off, do not type up and print off a questionnaire. Not only is that a red flag for the person you’re getting to know, it is also super lazy on your part. Secondly, to be an effective communicator you have to be an active listener.

To be an effective communicator you have to be an active listener.

Simple right? No. Many of us believe we are listening when the other person speaks but truly we are always preoccupied with something else. Thoughts about what could be, expectations on how the person should respond because you have the perfect reply in mind, a plan to escape the conversation if it doesn’t go your way and playing on our phones/watching television.

bored chloe x halle reaction pack GIF

That sister, is not active listening.

The key language of an active listener is the sound of mhm, hmph, wow, no way so how did ___? Etc. An active listener is hearing your words and watching your body language. Which is damn near impossible to do if you’re on your phone or watching TV. Active listening requires both sound and sight, and sometimes touch.

You will also have a better understanding about the things they are discussing. Which is important when you’re really trying to get to know someone.

Active listening will provide you with a better understanding of:

  • How something or someone makes them feel
  • How they respond to certain situations
  • How they deal with and manage stress
  • They’re coping mechanisms
  • How they need to be comforted or supported
  • The best way for you to respond and communicate with them
  • Other things not listed

As an active listener, we are provided with tools that allow us to communicate effectively with the person we are trying to understand or reach. In most cases, you’ll be aware and take caution to responding out of understanding instead of emotion.

jada pinkett smith listening GIF by Red Table Talk

“Emotional responses are the fuel to a fiery argument. Often times, an argument can be avoided if you create a basic level or moderate level of communication.”

– Star Candelaria

When you have these conversations they can lead into deeper dialogue that may answer the questions on your questionnaire. Except, this way is more connected.

valentines day love GIF by HULU

Now that euphoric feeling will continue at a steady rate and you will find yourself amongst the clouds each day.


Self-Dating Tips

A self-care day is either planned in advance or it crosses your mind during a long week. Mine happened to be the latter. I’d already taken myself to see a movie and I had not planned for anything else. The last time I went out, I spent too much. So, my first tip for you is for you to set a budget.


If you don’t have a budget for your monthly/weekly income already then this may be difficult for you. This budget should be realistic. You should take into account the tipping that may be involved, unexpected incidents (like throwing up on someone’s expensive jacket or posting bail), gas etc. You do not want to give yourself too much, but a bare minimum limit can have a negative impact on your spending. 

Schedule Your Appointments:

It can be disappointing and depressing if you are turned away at the door because you decided to ‘walk-in’ for your nail, hair or wax appointment. In an instance where you secure a spot, but you have to wait hours, the time for the remainder of your self-care date will dwindle. So schedule your appointments ahead of time and be on time! 

Reserve a table via Open Table:

This app is amazing! You can download it and reserve seats and make special requests for your dinner. The app also allows you to rack up points that result in various types of rewards. 

Train Your Drunk Self:

For those of you who take themselves to the bar or the club. You will want to make sure that you have control over your liquor and yourself. If you are that friend that gets carried out, kicked out or left out of the club or party then you shouldn’t make this part of your self care event until you tame yourself. 

On my last self-date event I ended up taking myself to Stella’s and then Monarch-Minneapolis. I threw up, because what idiot eats seafood and then drinks like a fish? Whatever the legal BAC is I felt like I went over it. Drunk Lex checked me into a hotel and when I fully came to there was a bottle of water, Gatorade and fruit cup in the mini fridge. 

When your drunk self is tamed you will surprise you. Even if you still make a dumber decision such as booking a room instead of requesting a Lyft. 

Analyze Your Vibe:

Who TF are you when you aren’t around people that know you or people you’re trying to know? Whoever you are at home, be that person in front of those strangers. Who is attracted to you? Sis, are you getting free shit handed to you? Are you nicer than you thought? How does it feel to be free from those perceptions and labels others have on you? Do you even care if those strangers are thinking the same thing, likely not? 

Treat Yo’Self:

What diet? Eat whatever you want sis. Drink as much as you wish! Flirt as much as you please! Twerk until you break your knees. 

What I mean here is that during your self date, be as free as possible. (Please don’t break any laws though. Unless you can get away with it. Did they really need that street sign?*) 

If you’ve contemplated doing something you have never done, this is the time to do it. If there is something you want to purchase, and it’s been on your mind for a while, buy it. 


Whatever you choose to do, reflect on it. If you regret something, figure out why. If you got into an argument, how can it be avoided in the future. If you had a great time, how can you make it better. If you got someone’s number, do you really want to call them? If you spent too much, re-do your budget. If you feel like it wasn’t your thing, spend more time alone in your home first. Compare your lonely self to your surrounded by people you know, self. 

Do It Again:

Well this is self-explanatory. 



Star Candelaria 

*I have never stolen a sign. Don’t break laws gals. 

Date Yo’self

The first date I went on alone was to see Cabin in the Woods, a creative telling of the how and why horror films are made with a sprinkle of spirituality. It was 5$ Tuesdays at the AMC theater in the Toledo, Ohio mall and I was nervous.

My first class of the day ended early and my second and last class of the day was cancelled so I decided to take the shuttle off campus.

the craft bus GIF

I watched people out of the window and with no one to talk to, I noticed little things like the bumps in the road and the dilapidated buildings in the surrounding area. I noticed that our campus and this mall were the only things thriving in this city. Upon arrival, I waltzed right by the concession stand to avoid the temptation of spending more than the 5$ I budgeted for this date.

When I walked into the screening room, people watched as I moved into my assigned seat. I wondered if they wondered if I was there alone or not. Nervous, I looked around to make sure no one gave me any creepy, ‘I have a gun to shoot the place up’ vibe. I didn’t see or sense anyone, so I kicked my feet up on the seat in front of me and waited until the lights went down.

Once the previews started playing I felt more anxious.

What else was there to do besides relax or think? I prayed for the previews to move along quickly so that I could take my mind off of all else. The first scene came on and it was uninteresting. The back story for the characters was dull and it just seemed like I was watching an Independent film and not a production. I’m thinking the producers could’ve saved this for Lifetime or any other TV station.

I was wrong.

The movie was amazingly creative, and it kept me guessing the entire time (if you haven’t seen Cabin in the Woods you should, it’s not scary either). Once the movie ended I sat in my seat until the lights came back on just in case they had a little snippet of something at the end. Then I left out to make it to the shuttle.

You could say my first date went well. I thought about taking myself out again because I’m good company and what not. So I made self-dating a regular event. I went to the movies every Tuesday. If there were no movies that sparked my interest, then I took myself out to a restaurant or to a party.

Eight years later, I still date myself on occasion. Not to weird people out or follow a trend but to really feel myself, alone.

Going out alone forces you to feel your own vibes and share that ingenuity with strangers near you. You may attract different energies and people that do not feel compelled to speak to you every day just because they see you so often. I encourage you to fully embrace the good ones.

In addition, we often lose sight of who we are as individuals when we are constantly connected to colleagues, friends or significant others. We try to meet them where they are or bring them up (or down) to where we are, unfortunately we lose a bit of ourselves in the exchange. Yes, it is beneficial to hang out with close friends and allow them to hype you up for for 20 seconds of a song. Likewise, it is beneficial to hang alone and hype yourself up for the full two minutes.

lisa simpson dancing GIF

Date yo’self properly and get to know you!

If you aren’t convinced yet, below are a few reasons why you should date yo’self!

  1. You get to dress up and go out, for no one and with none other than you. There is no waiting on the other person to be ready or being rushed by someone else for you to be ready on time.
  2. You do not have to be annoyed by the presence of another person talking your ear off and asking you questions about a movie that you have never seen. There won’t be anybody there to judge you for people watching or having to explain your private jokes to.
  3. You get to spend some time with yourself and acknowledge how your presence makes complete strangers feel. You will get to witness first hand just how many things you did not notice before because you were typically too busy trying to impress someone (or seem unimpressed by someone).
  4. There is almost a 74%* chance that you will receive something for free! Either from someone admiring your guts to be out alone, or you will discover that you can be a little nicer to people. Somehow you will be admired even more thus being rewarded with free things (this is also known as pretty privilege). We all know how tasty yet expensive those movie theater slushies are.
  5. Last, but not least you will get to go home and not have to give anyone a kiss goodbye. You won’t have to fight off any sexual urges or sexual advances. Nor will you have to contemplate going out to a party to spend more money. Take ya ass home and reflect!


Star Candelaria

*percentage is inaccurate. Baseless. Not a fact. Don’t quote me.

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