Since “Scandal” doesn’t air everyday and I’ve seen every episode of “Sex and the City,” I have to find some white noise on TV to zone out to. So like most viewers, I indulge in “The Real World: Portland” every Wednesday for the standard, shady, well-edited drama and catfights. In between Hurricane Nia spottings and Javerey makeouts and breakups, another character caught my eye – Jessica. The Southern princess’ sweet, homegrown accent and ex-boyfriend probz were instantly relatable. Her wish to “be single and have girlfriends that come over on Saturdays, drink mimosas, eat French pastries and talk about how big our asses are” sounds – hello – just like what me and my friends say everyday. Quiet as it’s kept, Jess drops gems of pageant girl-infused knowledge in every episode. Jess, who plans on creating a women’s ministry about relationships and body image, was gracious enough to answer a few questions about life and love in the real world – on and off camera.
No Boys in Bed!
The No Boy in Bed policy is something I came up with on spot. The bed is a very personal and very intimate place. I didn’t want to let some boy get that close to me because one, he was intoxicated. Two, I didn’t know him very well. And three, how respectful is that to myself to let a drunk man in my bed? And by doing that, he respected me even more. I actually took a purity oath because I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my past. If a guy doesn’t respect [your decision to abstain], you shouldn’t date him. If he enjoys your presence, values you as a woman and as an intellectual, he won’t get mad, call you names or make you feel prudish.
Like at First Sight
With Tyler, we got wrapped up very quickly because he was the nicest guy I’ve ever been around. I even said that he’s the kind of guy you marry. I was dating a guy that was a complete jerk and that kind of made Tyler even better…I’d never been with a guy that sweet. After you meet someone like that, you have to take it slow and guard your heart. Love doesn’t feel like a job and too many times, people force their relationships because they’re lonely. It shouldn’t be forced…it should just be.
If I could order the perfect guy online, he’d be a man of god, charismatic, adventurous, athletic and a gentleman. I think it’s very important to be with someone who treats you like a lady. [Being from North Carolina], there are some nice things about Southern guys – the yes ma’ams, the opening doors…Southern hospitality is just normal to them. I even had to teach Tyler to open my door!
How to Spot a Jerk
Some guys are better at pulling the wool over your eyes. Some are just very transparent. Personally, I tend to be a little bit clueless. My girlfriends are always like “you didn’t see that?!” It’s definitely hard. But guys do give telltale signs before they transform into douchebag mode. Women want love so bad that we ignore it. Just open your eyes…you see it. You know. I’m learning that you can’t be with somebody that you know is wrong for you just because you want your Prince Charming…and I’ve played dress up with many frogs in my life.
My first love and I dated for three months, but it took me years to get over him. I was so broken up over this tall, skinny, redheaded boy that I failed out of college. I’m bad at breakups. I do NOT like them. I don’t like feeling hurt, and I have a hard time letting go of things. My mom always said that it’s easier to mourn a death than it is to mourn a heartbreak. So after breakups, I pretend the guy is dead – I can’t call, text or email him. If you save a guy’s number in your phone after breaking up, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. That’s the way you have to do it to get over him…you have to delete everything. Take the time to deal with [heartbreak and rejection], but eventually you’ll grow from it.
Men Call, Boys Don’t
When you’re dating and he really likes you, he’s going to call you and say, “hey girl, what’s up.” Real men call. A guy friend once told me that it’s too easy to send a sweet text. He used to send a “good morning text” to nearly 16 girls…and they never even knew! A guy will call, open up car doors and do whatever it takes to make you happy, and not just because of sex. It’ll make him happy because you’re happy. Any guy can make a call to the florist or pick up a box of candy. And yeah, all girls love gifts. But the flowers, cards, candy, texts and iMessages are supplemental. Don’t let it fool you.
Love Starts With Loving Yourself
I woke up on my 21st birthday and told my mom that I felt like a woman. She looked at me like I was crazy, but I was serious! In the past, I let myself get hurt because I wasn’t completely secure. And I still have my insecurities in love and life. But I learned that you couldn’t be an incomplete person who completes someone else. I love God and I love myself and when I learned to do that, life instantly became better.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.