“Relationships may be easy to get in, but they’re harder to maintain,” a great point from Certified Relationship and Professional Coach Stephanie D. McKenzie. “Coach Steph’s” background is in award-winning marketing and business, but assisting people to communicate and find lasting relationships has been her passion since the tender age of 10. Coach Steph completed her relationship, life and bereavement coach certification and has taken off ever since. Authoring two amazing books, “The Book of Bye” and “The Business of Dating” as well as founding WhatTheLove Coaching practice. There is no limit to what this phenomenal black woman can do.I had the chance to sit and have great “girl talk” about the state of African American relationships.
JJ: How long have you been assisting people with relationship advice and help?
CS: I have been helping people since I was ten (chuckles).
JJ: So you’ve been helping people since you were ten, but what really attracted you to helping people?
CS: It brings me back to a situation where I was in someone’s wedding and I was young. I was so excited about this wedding. I thought it was so awesome. A couple years after they were married, and mind you I was still young, I was told that they were getting a divorce. I was absolutely livid and I wrote her a letter like a four-page letter and remember I’m talking to an adult. I was explaining the virtues of marriage and I don’t understand why you all can’t work it out, what about your options, what about the child? It’s pretty much been downhill ever since. You would think I would be ‘oh okay well I liked my dress’, but I was mortified at the thought you know of these people getting a divorce. Like what made you so compatible before and what made you incompatible moving forward. I think that really pushed the button and I was the go-to girl for all things relational because it’s important.
JJ: As you know, I’m an African American relationship columnist and I talk to a lot of people. I noticed that in my generation we are lustful and we don’t value or have real relationships. What do you think is the state of African American relationships for this generation?
CS: Well, the thing of it is it’s not just about your generation it’s my generation as well. We have dropped a significant amount of balls as it relates to handing down wisdom and intellect as it relates to relationships. So what I see right now is the byproduct of the thought processes like “do you”, “It’s all about you”, “oh get yours” what we have become is very self-centered as it relates to our relationship. Of course, we’re lustful you will see a lot of lust because lust is selfish. I can lust after a thing and honestly once I acquire it I don’t want it anymore because it’s all surface. Nobody wants to be vulnerable and nobody wants to go deeper because that will expose you past the façade that you have so meticulously crafted for the world to see.
“What came to mind is that we as people don’t understand the consequences of our actions. You may just be doing you, doing him, or doing her, but there is nothing casual about sex. It’s always casual until someone is pregnant. It’s always casual until someone gets a STD. It’s always casual until someone’s heart is broken. There is no such thing as casual sex every sexual encounter you take your heart and health in hand and that’s real.”
JJ: Preach (chuckles) how can we change this state if it’s possible and not just be the statistics?
CS: We have to change it one by one. At best, what we can do is collaborate and sound the alarm and give the information so that people know that they have options. If we want to do something different we have to take control of our own life and ask if this is working and if it’s not, have the balls, yes I said it, to change it! It’s always a domino effect because people are always watching. But if people would be honest with their self and empower their self and take control it will help someone else change their life like a chain reaction. It requires everyone to become more accountable for themselves.
JJ: What would you tell a person reading right now about making a big change in their life and personal life?
CS: That’s an excellent question because at our core we don’t want to change. We keep hoping the situation will change if nothing changes nothing changes. The advice I would give them is that you got to get courageous because sometimes the decisions you make for your life will not make you popular. And so change dictates courage it is easy to keep doing the same thing and settles when you should be having more. But in order to make true change in your life you have to line yourself up and do something different and pray to a higher power to do so.
JJ: Coach Steph where can my readers find you or get in contact with you?
CS: Well, you can reach me at Fiverr where I answer one relationship for $5 and that’s not that much. You catch me on Whatthelove.org and Facebook and Twitter at WhatTheLove and @Whatthelove
“I’m really committed to getting the life and the love we deserve. That’s what drives me. I watch too many people settle and I can’t stand it. It’s time—for anyone that’s just deliberating on making a change. It’s time to say I’m in a position now to get everything I deserve. If you want that look me up because I am ready to help.”
This interview has been cut short, but you can read the rest on my personal blog: Pardon My Audacity.
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