NEW ORLEANS – We will always show love for Black women who are single and dating, have found love, or are in between. ESSENCE’s own Shari Nycole hosted a steamy conversation at the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture Food & Wine happy hour event, Unwine: Singles Mix & Mingle, and delved into all things dating, relationships, and self-love with entertainment personalities, Yandy Smith-Harris and Kendra G over wine, of course on July 1, 2023. Nicole kicked off the panel conversation with a question directed to Smith-Harris about how she balances love, life, and relationships, and the mogul’s response was surprising – instead of pressuring herself to establish balance in her life, instead, she prioritizes her to-do list and leaves room for her growing ambition. “Balancing is not a real thing. It is a myth. There is no work-life married-life balance. There’s prioritizing instead. So I’m very intentional about my time; that’s something I can never get back again. Time is very important to me, and I’m very particular about how I spend it. I block specific times for my family and business. You may have to limit some time on social media to prioritize your career, family, or relationship,” Smith-Harris stated on the ESSENCE Food & Wine stage.
Switching gears, Nicole asked Kendra G, radio personality and host of “Singles LIVE!” an Instagram Live talk show covering all things love and dating, the three non-negotiables for dating. Kendra’s response urged the audience to consider what they want in a partner. “I have to always vibrate on my highest vibration. Some women want a guy with money; however, that person might not energetically meet their vibration. My future relationship has to be authentic.” she said.
Nicole asked a poignant question about living in the digital age and dealing with delusion regarding dating and marriage. Smith-Harris answered, “We live in a world of delusion right now. People think because they’re famous on Instagram, they’re famous. I’ve looked at these relationships on Instagram and thought, Oh my God, they are so perfect, and that’s not the case, even when it comes to my marriage to my husband, Mendeecees” She continued, “One day, I put up a transparency post on Instagram, where it was my anniversary and Mendeecees, and I was beefing, about something he did to piss me off at my child’s graduation, and I wasn’t speaking to him. This is transparency because I want you to know every day will not be great with your partner. It doesn’t mean I love him less; I didn’t like him that day. You have to be real about the delusion on social media about relationships. Don’t think that every couple that posts or the bomb Reels, they’re in love or happy all of the time,” she stated.
Kendra G chimed in, “Some people want a perfect relationship. Many married people sometimes give you the beautiful picture, the Hallmark card, and you think, as a single woman, that’s what it is. Marriage is work.”
Smith-Harris also opened up about her prayer about qualities she wanted for her relationship when she was single, and how she didn’t have a list of traits for her desired partner but goals, and stressed the importance of coming to the table as your best self when dating. “God, I want consistency, I want to laugh, I want the person I want to do the things I like. I like to travel. I wanted to have children, so I hoped they wanted to have children. That’s what I wanted. But I came to the table with my best self first.”