“I compliment my husband as his wife.”
I used to see this as endearing before realizing my Queens’ worth. When I sort out an outfit for a gala, I pick out the shirt, type of pant, shoe color and bow tie. Afterward, I focus on the accouterments, cufflinks, watch, ring, pocket square sunglass and luxury oils for the body. My Queen is not a cufflink to the wardrobe of my life. She is essential to my confidence and being.
Being married five years has turned me away from being a brute. In my past, I used women as a pleasure pillow to lay on for too many years. Meeting women was never a trivial pursuit, but searching for my sincere respect for their humanity took diligence. Men love their mothers by and large. We desire to love a woman the way we love our mothers. The year 2016 is about coming into an accurate, authentic and holistically improved version of yourself.
Here are some dating tips inspired by Toni Morrisson for you to bring into the new year.

1.“You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn — by practice and careful contemplations…”

Love does not have a magnetic field that through desire finds us. Being an author on a relationship book and tenured relationship coach, I have found many people seeking what they haven’t prepped for. I recently mentioned in a Periscope video that the beauty we reveal on the outside will capture similar beauty. But we cannot forgo the work on the inside. Leaping over our inner problems will magnetically bring to us people with similar needs of inner construction. Healthy people attract other healthy love. In my coaching experience, Unhealthy love always has traits of “outer beauty lust” rising like steam from a hot kettle. Hurt people eventually hurt people. The glamorous career and concierge perks cannot whisk you away to a healthy heart. Spend the time necessary to seek the painful places. Small groups, one on one counseling or ordering a workbook on emotional wellness will start the marathon to a cleaner more beautiful version of you. Loving the holistically improved version of you curbs loneliness. Nothing brings more peace than being fulfilled while alone.

2. “Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.”

Time and time again, men seek to devour. Men who are not fed in some spiritual sense tend to thirst and hunger for women. My experience with women was about being a false king. I spent time believing that being a lustful womanizer would thrust me into manhood. I used my promise to love as a means to satisfy my loins. Men promise to love in order to get sex. We all need the promise of tomorrow to get through today. No ring after a 10-year relationship? Probably not walking down the aisle anytime soon. Propelling him to move the relationship forward gives you the grip of confidence needed. In 2016, our Grandfathers antiquated reign over the home is out. Today, couples are in power positions together. My wife is the cornerstone of my success. Avoid a man who believes he is solely yours.

3. “He wants to put his story next to hers.” 

Committed is a word of continuous action propelled by love and passion. You can’t push human to be committed past their will. Your 2016 life of being single will be liberated the moment you desire a partner versus a prisoner. No more moments of convincing, praying, thinking, settling and giving up or in. He who stays forever decides out of love. Struggle plates, like struggle dates, cannot be tolerated. There became a point in my relationship when I was dating my wife that I made similar decisions. She wasn’t 100 percent sure I was the guy. Spending her time with me, my money and sharing intimate details wasn’t enough. I cried, prayed and thought on what to say to get her to commit. At some point, I became fed up and gave my relational resignation in sorrow. Eventually, she understood a decision must be made. Dating in purpose cuts the crap from the relationship. Be with me or flee is the motto. I believe a man knows in six months whether or not he wants to make it official or even marry. If you aren’t the married type, at least ensure he is committed. Don’t be tied to someone who is just dragging you along. The truth of the matter is most relationships without ties get tangled. Be a host of love and positivity, but be clear about expectations. Chill with those who want to build with you.
Life is imperfect and being single is more difficult than ever. Healthy love starts with a conversation. The words you speak to yourself heal or hurt from within. Beauty is her name, on the inside and outside.

Chris Marvel is a Relationship Coach/Expert and author of upcoming book Love Laws- Rules of Love and Relationships in the 21st Century. He has been seen or spoken of on ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports time Ohio, Yahoo, Huffington Post and HuffPostLive, also working with future NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Owens and other notable professional athletes and entertainers. He has also contributed to various radio shows around the country including a regular guest spot on Radio One in Cleveland. He also is known for offering commentary and insights on professional athletics, leadership, human development, and spiritual growth. He a columnist for the Call and Post Newspaper and a recent “Emerging Leaders” honoree in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. He has shared the stage with Iyanla Vanzant and Wendy Williams at the Empower One Conference in 2015 as well.