Cast of Little Women LA Season Five

Celebrity Love Notes: What I Told One of the Little Women

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We heart Little Women!  Tonya Banks (aka “Little Boss) is one the big stars of Lifetime’s hit reality show, “Little Women: LA.”  Recently, Tonya became obsessed with marrying her longtime on-and-off-and-on-and-off live-in boyfriend Kerwin.  Kerwin and Tonya share an adult daughter, and after 20-something years of dating and mating, he moved from Texas to California to give Tonya the committed relationship she FINALLY figured out that she wanted from him.  Emphasis on FINALLY!

So what’s the issue?  Tonya wants to be a wife, but doesn’t act like one.  Period.  Little Women: LA is chock full of large personalities and Tonya is one.  As an independent woman (, she is used to doing things her way.  Okay, we get it, but you’re way is not the married way.  In fact, she said in a recent episode that she is not going to change her ways until she knows that this is forever.  In watching her, I see a self-centered individual who is afraid of true vulnerability because it hasn’t paid off in the past.  Self-protection makes sense, it’s a basic animal right, but it doesn’t quite make you wife material…sorry, “Boss.”

Thinking that you’ll magically become a wife when you get married is almost laughable.  And, it’s definitely the wrong attitude towards the situation.

TTonya Banks, star of Little Women LAonya, do you really think that this man is going to put a ring on your finger to incite you to change?  We caution women about this all the time, so why should a man not be entitled to the same stance on this issue?  If you want to be seen as a wife, then you should act like one.  You already live with the man, so clearly you have no problem with giving milk without being a cow that is owned–or however the saying goes–so don’t try to get belligerent about needing a ring in order to act like a wife.  “I’m not going to act all wifed up,” she says…hmmmmm…

Tonya is also not listening.  She is quick to tell her fellow Little Women stars that she wants to be married.  But she is not quick to listen to what Kerwin is saying on the matter.  Ultimately, Tonya is lucky to be with a man who is telling her what is lacking in their relationship pre-nuptials.  In doing so, he is giving them a chance to resolve their issuesssssss.  Additionally, while she is campaigning for wifedom, she tells the camera that she is still waiting for the shoe to drop (aka from them to break up…AGAIN).  So which is it?  Even Kerwin feels as if she is not fully committed…and that is a real problem.

As a client, I would talk to Tonya about her vision for being a wife, and what she hopes to gain from being married.  It seems that there are some very idyllic thoughts behind her desire to be married, (especially as the only Little Women: LA cast member who is not “all wifed up”) and it’s best to get to the bottom of those before you stroll down the aisle and say “I do.”

#StephHasSpoken

Celebrity Love Notes: FUSTERCLUCK! Three Couples that should NEVER be your Role Models

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Update: This list will continue in a another installment. 😉

It’s no secret, television impacts our relationships. When shows like “Donna Reed”, and “Father Knows Best” blessed the airwaves, people wanted strong marriages, nice houses and picket fences.  Even though we now know of the “Brady Bunch’s” off-screen antics, their saccharin-sweet show was a pioneer in showing people that a blended family could work.  Then came the iconic “Cosby Show” a family that many Americans at that time could identify with–and most wanted to be like.

AND THEN IT ALL WENT DOWN HILL!

Unfortunately, there are new shows every season, and some of my favorites, display some of the most dysfunctional relationships ever.  So, let me make it clear what doesn’t work by showing you at least three  (although there are soooooooo many more) that should never be your relationship role models.

Up first…Carrie Bradshaw and “Mr. Big;” To this day, I watch Sex and the City and wonder why we thought this was a good idea.  As the show progressed, we saw the pure dysfunction of this relationship, but since it ultimately ended in marriage, now many single women believe that if I just give it some time (even a decade), it will work out.

Why they cannot be your role models: Carrie and Big were never honest about their feelings.  When situations arose, they were not dealt with in a  mature manner.  If you remember, the first wedding ceremony was cancelled because of how Big was feeling.  This is not adult behavior.  While smoothed over by placing the blame on a statement by Miranda and Carrie’s selfish Vogue article, know that in real life, this relationship is probably not viable long-term.  No one has the time to constantly decipher what is going on with their mate.  And, if you do…it might be time to call me.

Next…Meredith and Derrick: Grey’s Anatomy has kept us intrigued for quite some with these two and their shenanigans.  Again, another dysfunctional relationship culminating with “I do.”  Another example of a relationship that doesn’t work unless someone is yelling cut and there’s a team of writers in a back room.

Why they cannot be your role models: This relationship was built on sex.  These people didn’t know a thing about each other.  But, the sex endeared them to each other.  If Meredith hadn’t slept with Derrick, (and these were real people), when she found out he was married, it probably would’ve been the end of the relationship.

Sex changes things, and usually it starts with your vision.

When you can see a relationship clearly, it cannot take over your life, and you stand a better chance of avoiding the “fustercluck” of it all.

I will save Scandal for another time–because some things go with saying…even if he is the President of the United States.

Lastly (for this part)…Tamara and Eddie: The way that reality TV has taken over our ability to think straight is horrific.  But, to be fair, I have to give a bit of attention to one of the most dysfunctional relationships on our small screens.  And, they too, are now married.

Why they cannot be your role models: Sadly, the foundation of this relationship doesn’t seem solid.  Unlike the previous couples, these are real people, and from the beginning, there was utter confusion.  Tamara chose to be with Eddie, instead of mourning the end of her marriage to Simon.  Eddie never exposed his machismo side…until recently.  Now, the reality (no pun intended) is setting in, and I am afraid that this marriage doesn’t have the strong foundation it needs to survive.

Ultimately, we should do our best to leave the sex out of our relationships until we know the person THOROUGHLY with their clothes on….or until he puts a ring on it (and not just an engagement ring).  But, most people don’t want to hear or do that, so many are doomed to deal with real issues after the I do…and they might start to think that they don’t.  Not only does the sex impact the relationship, but the inability to communicate difficulties or challenges is a red flag for your relationship’s future.  Communication can make and break any relationship–and has.  So, don’t be a victim.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them (Maya Angelou).

But that’s all for now…back to your relationships…Coach Steph Has Spoken!

All the #SingleLadies…

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I have held my tongue long enough!

After being repeatedly disappointed in the second season of the dollar-store version of Sex and the City, known to most of you, as “Single Ladies,” it’s time to make some things clear…

Single Ladies is doing its millions of viewers–who are largely female– a huge disservice.  Not only are these characters void of executive level careers, it seems that their every dating move, must culminate in some version of sex, which usually creates a even more dysfunctional relationship than what was occuring pre-sex.

In fact, all of the relationships on this show exhibit some level of dysfunction.  But, we continue to tune in because, for some, this is just life imitating art imitating life.

WTH?!

I was almost proud of the character played by Denise Vasi (Raquel) when she decided that she could date two different men.  However, my pride was dashed (no pun intended) to bits as she took the opportunity to bed one of them during the same episode.  Dating aint’ mating–consummating, that is–and as such is the case, should you follow the example of Denise’s character, you will end up just like she did…empty handed.

I won’t even go into the exploits of LisaRaye’s character, because the truth is that she is too old to be ungainfully employed, and driving the Ashton Martin her ex-signif bought for her.  While there are some of you reading this who think that is cute.  The truth is, she should be able to afford her own.  Her own Ashton Martin, her own house, and her own life.  But, that’s enough about that.

If you haven’t noticed, everytime one of these women engages in the sexual conquests, they are the ones that are conquered.  The lusts and passions of these characters are very true to life, and the outcomes of their decisions are very true to life, too.  If you continue to use sex as a toy, tool, plot, or powerplay, you will remain as these characters do: SINGLE.

It’s no secret that I don’t advocate for pre-marital sex–in my life, or in my practice; however, if you don’t want to ride that wave with me, at least be mindful of the fact that sex is nothing to play with.  It is nothing that you use to get or keep someone, nor is it something that is casual and without consequences.

Listen, relationships take time to build, and when you add sex before that foundation has been poured (and dried), then you leave yourself in a very vulnerable position.  I am not saying that you should implement a three-month rule, or some ridiculous RULE for when you will give your body to someone, I am saying that sex will change your relationship.  Done too early, it will change it for the worse.  Too early for me, if before there’s a hyphen in my last name; however, again, you may not want to ride that wave with me–that’s fine.  Just be clear about what you are doing when you are “doing it.”  And to make it clear, you are shifting the possibility of building a relationship on ROCK, to one that is built on SAND.  Have you ever seen a house built on sand? Nope–there’s a reason for that.

Bottom line…acting like a “single lady” will keep you a…(wait for it)

…single lady!

If that’s where you want to be, then carry on as your were.  If not, then perhaps you need to reroute the path that you are on, and let Raquel, April and Keisha be characters you watch, not people you imitate.

#CoachStephHasSpoken