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As the sun sets on The Valley reflecting on a much needed 3 Day weekend, I find myself surrounded by people who have traded in their identities for their dreams. Even in this setting I still find a place where I can escape to for normalcy, my childhood. I look at the world we live in and I see clone after clone, from clothes and car to mindsets and television, our society is a marketing genius’ playground. The scariest thing for Americans today is to be individuals and this norm has found its way into the world of dating. Everyone wants to be what’s popular … One day its ‘Irreplaceable’ and the next its ‘Single Ladies’; The fellas ‘Throw It In The Bag’ then they want to ‘Make ‘Em Say Ahhh’ … Its like we’re kids watching Christmas advertisements all over again. I’m not even going to talk about the psychological damage HBO & Sex and the City left on our ladies dwelling in big cities.

I’ve been asked on a few occasions what the ‘perfect girl’ would be like ?! I honestly don’t know but I’m guessing she’ll exemplify what one believes is beauty, she’ll have the personality of a best friend, the humility of a philanthropist, self-worth of a survivor and a smile like the sunrise 🙂 – I was then asked to sum up my perfect girl up in two words and without hesitation I blurted out ‘Vanessa Simmons’, it wasn’t the two words you’d expect since they aren’t descriptive BUT I can’t lie, for me, they answer the question perfectly.

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When I think about perfect matches I think about times in life where I smiled more than I slept and that more than ever was childhood. Its an era where ‘we are who we are’ and everyone in our lives was there for precisely that reason. As I write this I’m listening Musiq Soulchild’s ‘Girl Next Door’ while mentally visualizing snippets of Sanaa Lathan in Love & Basketball and Taylor Swift’s VMA Award-Winning Video ‘You Belong With Me’. Its these examples that everyone can relate to yet the majority of us avoid being associated with, its like we’ve traded in the ‘girls next door’ for the images of Paris Hilton & Tiny Puppies, Kardashians Chasing Physical Perfection, Reality TV Personalities Looking For Love and other media-made idols. In the ‘real world’ its women that can grant you moments of bliss with just a smile that you’ll wish you had when the smoke clears, these media hyped icons will only feed your appetite as long as the media decides they’re relevant, so in essence when they become irrelevant so will your relationship because they are merely marketing mirages with expirations dates.

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So fellas next time you decide to date a girl because she looks like the one your ‘favorite player’ is partying with on TMZ, think about if she is the kind of girl that will be there through a career ending injury. Ladies next time you decide to mimic the songs verses of Beyonce, remember its just a song and its meant to create a mental vacation for a few minutes while you’re stuck in traffic, if it were relationship advice she’d be on Oprah and it’d come in the form a book.

With that said, relapse for a minute with me … Think about an era when you had crushes on the kid next door and all it took was an assorted pack of skittles on Valentine’s Day to make your heart melt, what happened to that kid ?! Maybe yo