UncategorizedHasani Pettiford, Relationship Expert

March 31, 2013by Frank Love0

Podcast Episode:
Want to know what it takes to achieve relationship success? Then my guest is just the man you want to hear from … Stay tuned for Frank Relationships.



Guests: Hasani Pettiford
Date: March 31, 2013

Frank: Want to know what it takes to achieve relationship success? Then my guest is just the man you want to hear from. Stay tuned for Frank Relationships.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide candid, fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.

Well, spring is in the air, the marriage month is coming and a love tune-up is just what my super duper co-host, Dr. Gayle ordered. So, I asked a married relationship expert with four children–I happen to be fond of brothers in that demographic–to join us and share his opinions, wisdom and experiences.

Our guest is the host of TV one show, Love Addiction, an award winning speaker, published author of two best selling books, Black Thighs, Black Guys and Bedroom Lies, and Pimping from the Pulpit to the Pews. He’s traveled all over the world, providing keynotes and seminars, relationship boot camps, coaching programs and individual and couples counseling sessions. He is Hasani Pettiford, and he’s here to help you acquire the tools for relationship success. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Frank Relationships.

Hasani: Thank you. How are you?

Frank: Great. How are you doing?

Hasani: I’m doing phenomenal. It’s a pleasure to be on your show.

Frank: Thank you. If you believe that your friend’s partner is controlling, what do you do?

Hasani: Well, I think that as friends, we all have a divine obligation to do anything and everything possible to bring these issues up with our friend. That’s what a friend would do.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have the mentality, “My name is Paul, that’s between y’all. My name is Dentit and I’m not in it,” and we don’t get involved in other people’s lives. And unfortunately, when we don’t do that, a lot of danger can enter into a person’s life that can lead to all types of abuse, manipulation, sometimes even death. And if we have a fear that by getting involved that may affect the relationship that we have with that person, in my opinion, it’s worth it, because if you love someone enough, you would do anything you could, even if it’s sacrifice your own personal relationship with them.

Frank: Is there anything wrong with being controlling, just simply on the surface?

Hasani: Well of course there is. Of course there is.

Dr. Gayl: What’s surface controlling?

Hasani: You never want to be controlling, because when you’re controlling another person, then that means you’re controlling their will, you’re controlling their destiny and that you leave them no freedom in that relationship to be who they are.

The problem is, sometimes people come into a relationship and they lose their sense of identity, they lose their sense of self and they feel trapped and everyone can see the change, but them.

Sometimes you can be so controlling, manipulated, but it’s done in such a subtle way that you don’t even notice, but subtle changes over the course of time begin to take place, which results in your change. So I think that there should be a freedom of expression that exists within a relationship.

The person you’re with, should help you become a better you, not keep you from being who you are and what you want to be.

Frank: What about those folks who want to be controlled in their relationship? Who’ll want their partner to tell them what to do and believe that that’s their role?

Hasani: I would need to have clarity on the person’s agenda. Sometimes we enter into relationships and we make choices out of our own deficits, our own idiosyncrasies, inconsistencies, contradictions, faults and flaws.

A lot of people make decisions out of their own weakness. People who are not whole and complete may look for someone to complete them and they enter into what I call “parasitical relationships,” which ultimately don’t do them any good, only keep them further trapped in their own existence.

I think that if you have issues from past relationships or family dynamics that give you a desire to be in a relationship where you’re controlled, then you’re not ready to be in a relationship.

Dr. Gayl: Right, and then it doesn’t make for a successful relationship either.

Hasani: Absolutely not.

Frank: Well-

Hasani: And usually, if I could say this, the person that winds up controlling the other person, usually has no respect for the person that they are controlling. And so, the love that think would grow in that type of relationship, really doesn’t exist. It becomes of a very parent-child manipulative, controlling relationship where nobody really benefits.

Frank: Okay, let’s back up a little bit. We stumbled on one of those big words that I have trouble with: parasitical. What’s a parasite?

Hasani: A parasite is a relationship where one person is giving and giving and giving and the other person is taking and taking and taking and giving nothing back in return. It’s a one-way transactional relationship where one person benefits and the other person does not.

Unfortunately, we find many people who are in those type of relationships, where they’re with, maybe narcissistic people, controlling people or people who simply don’t have couple skills to know what it takes to make a relationship work.

Many of us enter into relationships, asking a question, “What are you going to do for me? How are you going to make me feel?” But that’s the wrong perception. You enter into a relationship willing to give of yourself, willing to do for the other person. And so, if you enter with a selfish mentality, then it can wind up becoming parasitical in its nature.

Dr. Gayl: And I’ve heard too, that you enter into a relationship, giving 100 percent, whether you get 100 percent back or not, you should always give 100 percent. What are your thoughts on that?

Hasani: I totally agree with that, because this, my philosophy is that you may not reap where you sow, but you will reap what you sow. So, if you are a person who’s giving of yourself and loving and you have these wonderful qualities and you’re not getting it back from the person that you’re in a relationship with, you’ve got to be wise enough to know when that relationship must come to an end.

Don’t change who you are, continue to be who you are and eventually the law of reciprocity says, “You’re going to wind up getting exactly what you’ve given out.”

Dr. Gayl: Whether it’s from that relationship or another one?

Hasani: Completely.

Frank: I’m hearing that parasitical relationships are not good and one-way relationships are not good. Now merge that with the concept around, “If a relationship didn’t work for you, you wouldn’t be in it,” and tell me what you come up with there.

Hasani: If a relationship doesn’t work for you, well unfortunately, many people stay in relationships or bad relationships for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes they could be so sexually caught up in the relationship, it’s hard to let go, sometimes there’s a child that brings us together and we feel that we have to be in that relationship, can’t let the person go. Sometimes we’re financially dependant upon a person and that’s the reason why we remain in a relationship. Sometimes the feeling of fear keeps us trapped in a relationship. So many people stay in relationships for all the wrong reasons, but oftentimes those relationships don’t work in their favor.

Dr. Gayl: Right and it doesn’t mean that they’re working. They could be working dysfunctionally.

Hasani: Exactly.

Frank: By whose definition?

Hasani: Well listen, if you grew up and there was dysfunction in your home and you identify that dysfunction as normal, you enter into adult relationships looking at that abnormal dysfunctional relationship as something that is good. And so, as I said, if you are not a whole and complete person or do not have the proper perspective of what healthy relationships work, you can be in a relationship that you think is good out of your own ignorance.

Dr. Gayl: Well, how do you know when you are ready for a relationship?

Hasani: How do you know that you’re ready for a relationship? Well, you know that you’re ready for a relationship when you have a clear understanding of who you are, number one. Number two, of what you’re looking for and knowing what that looks like.

A lot of times, many of us are in relationships that don’t work and we rush out of those relationships and rush into a new relationship and we haven’t had the time to heal from our past, we haven’t had the time to go through what I call, a “she-tox” or a “he-tox” and to get that person completely out of your system. And so, we bring the bitterness, the pain, the resentment, the animosity from past relationships into new relationships and we wind up holding our present partner hostage to past situations.

If I’ve not completely gotten over my past, then I bring my past with me everywhere I go. So, if I’ve had a bad relationship with Suzy and that’s over and now I enter into one with Mary, but haven’t gotten over Suzy, I’m bringing Suzy with me into my new relationship. And this is what I call “relational ménage a trois.”

When we’re bringing other people into these relationships and they ultimately destroy them. So now I start comparing Suzy to the other one. “She wouldn’t do it like that,” and “That’s not how that person would make me feel.” And so, we haven’t completely gotten people out of season. That’s why I think you have to embrace your season of singleness, where you become whole and complete and you have a singleness of heart and a singleness of mind and you’re clear on what it is that you’re looking for, before you actually get in it.

Frank: What does it mean to get over a relationship?

Dr. Gayl: And how do you go through that she-tox and detox or he-tox?

Hasani: That’s a good question. Those are one of the issues that we dealt with on the show, Love Addiction, because if you’ve been in a relationship so long, you become a part of that person. There’s certain things that you do, thoughts that you think, behaviors that you have that are tied to that person.

If you are entering into a relationship and you’re still thinking about that person, still dreaming about that person, still have articles of clothing of that person, you are not ready. I think that you can’t quantify about putting an amount of time on it, because some people’s process may take longer than others.

I think that the first thing you need to do, if you’re in a bad relationship is assess, “Is this relationship thriving or just surviving?” If it’s just surviving and isn’t growing, you have to end the relationship.

Frank: I got a pause you there. You said, “If you’re in a bad relationship,” but what about if you haven’t determined that relationship to be “bad” and you’re just in a relationship and you’re accessing it? In that case you haven’t determined that it’s bad.

Hasani: You know what I think? This is my opinion. There’s some people who think that, “If I’m in a relationship with somebody, that my relationship is just between me and that somebody and we don’t allow other people to enter in.” And that’s a good principle in part, because sometimes other people can wind up getting in and make our situation worse, but I personally believe that everybody should have a–if they’re married, a marriage mentor or if they’re dating or in a committed relationship, some type of mutual mentor that both individuals have in that relationship that they can go to for wisdom, that they can go to for counsel and advice, they can throw things off of, get opinions, because sometimes you could be so caught up in a situation that you can’t see.

It’s just like, if you’re standing right in front of a tree, you can’t see the rest of the forest.

Dr. Gayl: And when did–

Hasani: And so I think–go ahead.

Dr. Gayl: When do you know it’s a good time for you to inquire or ask other people to be your relationship mentors?

Hasani: I think that that has to be established before you even get into a relationship. I believe that in the dating season, it’s important for you to have people in your life that can see from a different perspective.

Think about a job, when you apply for a job, you go on an interview. You interview with say, the head hunter. The head hunter has a particular perspective of you. Then you may interview with a manager, then you may interview with a supervisor, then you may interview with somebody who’s head of the company and they then come together and have a conversation about you, because they’re all seeing you from a different perspective.

I think that when you’re dating somebody, it’s important that you have your own team, if you will, that can observe the person and look from different perspectives, because these are people who are not emotionally attached to that person–

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: And so they can often see things that you can’t see.

Dr. Gayl: You know, I took a class at church once and they stated that, typically what we like to do is keep the person to ourself and then–we like to date them to ourselves and go on movies and dinners and so forth and then introduce them to our family or friends. However, they stated that’s the wrong idea or the wrong principle.

We should invite him or invite her over with our family members or our friends first, so that– what you stated, so that they can get like a clear view of “Who is this person, let us check them out,” because oftentimes we have blinders on, especially in the “getting to know you” phase.

You think that he’s so special or she’s so special that you don’t even realize their flaws or that they aren’t compatible with you. What do you think about that?

Hasani: I totally agree with that in principle. I think that the application has to be clear, because even though you have family and friends and church members who you bring this person in contact with, that doesn’t mean that they’re whole, they’re complete, they know what a healthy relationship is and they know the proper selection process.

That’s why I think it’s wise that you find somebody who has that wisdom, who has that experience. I think your circle should be a small core of people, as opposed to bringing them before the entire world.

So, if it a parent, if it is a partner, if it is a peer that you’ve identified as trustworthy, who has your best interest at heart, who doesn’t seek only what your man or your woman, then that’s the core that you should bring them around and if they give you the green light–not to say that you can’t make independent decisions of other people, but it’s always good to have wise counsel from those that you do trust.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Frank: Where do you find these marriage mentors?

Hasani: Well, you can find them anywhere you go. They could be in your church, they could be in your family, they could be individuals that you’ve observed from a distance that you approach.

I mean, you just have to know where you see it and wherever you find it, you go after it. And these are relationships that you develop over time. Like for instance, my wife and I’ve been married for 10 years and there was a business relationship that I have with someone that observed their interactions with there spouse and their interactions with their children. And there were certain things that we saw in them that we wanted to glean in our relationship. And so, after the course of time, I asked them would they be marriage mentors to us. And we developed a close relationship, where we infused each other into each others lives and into each others families and when we enter into conflict or have certain questions, we go to them, because we know that we’re going to get a fair and balanced approach from them.

If you don’t have that, that’s what a good book is for. A good seminar is for, a good counseling session is for.

Unfortunately, in the black community, a lot of us don’t like going to counseling, because we think that there’s psychologically something wrong with us or we don’t want to admit that we have faults and flaws and problems and we don’t want other grown folks telling us what to do, so we figure it out on our own and we do this thing through trial and error and we make more mistakes than anything else and we hurt and harm our relationship.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Frank: Have you found characteristics in that mentoring relationship that you don’t like or that you–

Hasani: Of course.

Frank: Won’t adopt. Okay.

Hasani: Of course, because I believe that marriage is perfect, but it’s comprised of imperfect people. So you’re always going to see imperfections, idiosyncrasies and things that may not vibe and work for you.

Some couples, they have wonderful relationships, but they have certain philosophies that don’t vibe with you. So my philosophy is, you got to eat the meat and spit out the bone and the gristle. What works for you, take it, what doesn’t leave it away.

Dr. Gayl: And when you compare that to your parents too, your parents raised you, you have certain qualities with them or you see certain qualities in them that you love and you take and qualities that you don’t like as you get older, you leave those and you kind of tweak it for your own life.

Hasani: Exactly. I mean if your parents were good examples, then thank God and then glean from it. Unfortunately, so many of us, come from broken homes, dysfunctional relationships and we take what we’ve observed, because children learn not through lessons. “Sit down son, I’m going to teach you a lesson,” we learn from observation and participation.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: And whatever we see, that’s what we emulate.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Frank: What are the right reasons to be or to stay in a relationship– “right?”

Hasani: What are some of the right reasons?

Frank: Yes.

Hasani: Some of the right reasons are, like I said before, a person can only do four things into your life. They can add to your life, they can multiply into your life, they can subtract from your life or they could divide from your life. So, if a person is helping you to become a better you, then that’s an indication that you’re in a right relationship. If they’re pulling you away from your core, from your essence, from your purpose, from your goals, then that’s somebody you don’t want in your life.

They said that God brings people into your life to bless you. Satan brings people into your life to curse you, so it is your responsibility to identify from whom these people were sent and what their agenda is. And that’s why you have to be really careful, because in the–we talk about the four seasons of a successful relationship. Can I quickly talk about that?

Dr. Gayl: Certainly.

Frank: Why of course.

Hasani: It’s important that you understand these four seasons. Just think about earth. You have spring, summer, winter and fall. You’re in Maryland, I believe, so if it’s the summer time outside, August and 110 degrees, lets say, what would happen if you walked outside with a corduroy sweat suit on? You would burn up, catch heat stroke, may even die.

Frank: That sounds like how Dr. Gayle dresses in the summer time.

Dr. Gayl: Still fly though. Still fly all year round.

Hasani: If it is winter time and cold outside and you go out with a T-shirt and shorts on, you’re going to freeze, catch hypothermia, frost bite, you may even die. The point is you have to operate properly in the season that you’re in, in order to graduate into the next season. Well, in relationships, there are four seasons.

The first season is the dating season, the second season is committed courtship, the third season is engagement, the fourth season is marriage.

I often ask people, what you think the most important season is. There is no real answer, but I believe that the dating season is one of the most important seasons, because the origin of the thing oftentimes determines its nature.

A lot of us start off wrong and that’s why we have the foundation for a bad relationship. What we do is, we put on disguises, we put on masks, we lie our way through the dating season. We put our best foot forward, implying that we’re hiding the other foot with a crooked toe, the bunions and the corns, because those are the things we don’t want people to see. And so, if you don’t have discernment, if you don’t know how to perceive, if you don’t have certain instincts, you won’t know how to identify the red flags, the warning signs, when they do show up.

Frank: Committed courtships, what is it?

Hasani: Well, committed courtships, to me, that is the getting to know you phase. That is the time when you really take the time to get to know the person that you’re with.

The dating season is the selection process. So once you’ve made your proper selection, you enter into committed courtship. And once again, when it comes to these seasons, there’s no specific amount or time that you can put on it.

Some people can go through all four seasons in a month. I’m sorry, in a year, excuse me. Some people it may take several years, some people it takes less than a year.

I think it really is determined by how quickly you develop that relationship. Now this is the key. There’s a concept called, “developmental lag,” and what it suggests is this, if you’re in a relationship, let’s say for a year and sex enters into the relationship. I know this sounds crazy, but say month three, people say, “Three months? Wow, you mean the third date?” Say it enters into month three–

Dr. Gayl: That’s Frank’s–

Hasani: I know, right? But according to developmental lag, your relationship is technically only three months old, because they say when sex enters in, all of a sudden that becomes the main focus, the main form of your communication and you’re more concerned with how that person makes you feel and how you can make them feel and it’s all about the sensuality and sexuality of the relationship. And so, the core purpose of really getting to know each other through clear communication, that begins to wain. And so, when sex is removed from the equation, which allows your emotions to be balanced, you can really proceed and take the time to get to know that person in the way that you could not when your sexually caught up and involved in that relationship.

Frank: What about the fact that some people don’t want to get to know you without sex? How does that factor into all of that?

Hasani: Well, I think that’s a problem. I think that’s the problem with society. I think that we haven’t placed a significant value on our sexuality and we’ve become so carefree with it. And you have to know a person in their totality: their spirit, their soul, their body. I get that, but I think that we don’t take enough time to really get to know those other components and because we don’t, we enter into commitments and relationships not knowing who that person really was and then we wake up one day saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t even love you anymore. I don’t even know you anymore. You’re not the person I thought I knew.” Well no, all you were concerned about was our physical relationship.

We never allowed enough time for us to develop the emotional, the mental, the psychological part. See we participate in naked dating. According to the statistics, the average single person engages in sex anywhere between the third date and the sixth week of knowing someone. But it takes you several months to several years to really get to-I’m sorry, let me rephrase, the third date to the sixth month in order to engage in sex. That’s when we typically do it, right?

Third date to the sixth week to engage in sex, but it takes you much longer to know somebody and so if you’re not taking the time to really get to know somebody, then you have already changed the dynamics of that relationship and we don’t know our partners. We don’t.

Frank: I can’t go there with you, because I think you don’t get to know the components of a person in a vacuum. If you’re having sex with them, then you are learning about their emotional well being and their spiritual well being, because you don’t just walk into–well most people don’t just walk into an apartment and jump each other’s bones.

You have some degree of conversation; you have some type of interaction where you are actually learning each other on multiple levels. No matter where you’re focusing your energy.

Dr. Gayl: However, I kind of understand what you’re saying Frank. At the same time, when you do enter a physical relationship too soon, you often do think about sex way too much. That’s all you think about, that’s what you talk about, that’s what you text about and you kind of overlook the emotional aspect of, like you just stated, really getting to know the person, really getting to know, “What are your likes and what are your dislikes? What movies do you like to go see? What do you like to do out side of the bedroom,” because you’re so focused on the physical part.

Frank: That’s for a period of time where the sex is the focus. But in any relationship, wherever you jump in is going to run its course. It’s going to change and it changes into something else. So, even if you’re jumping in with your spirituality, at some point that may grow stale or it may change and you may find yourself more interested in something else.

Hasani: Well, Frank listen, there are no absolutes when it comes to relationships. We always have to speak in generalities, but in my travels, in my counseling, talking to many people, they said, when sex initiates the relationship, they didn’t have the amount of time it took to develop a true friendship and did not have that foundation going into their relationship and they wished they had started off differently, because it would have changed the nature and the dynamic of their interaction. And so, I just think that sex shouldn’t be used to initiate a relationship, it should be used to consummate that relationship.

Frank: Isn’t a relationship where two people meet on a given point and time? And the reason two people come together is, because there’s a need, there’s a desire to connect, wherever that connection is. Now if one of the people would have had a emotional focus and the other a spiritual focus, well then they wouldn’t have connected in the first place and so there would be no relationship. To look back on a relationship and say, “I wish we would have started some where different or with a different focus,” it is almost saying, “I wish we never would have met,” because you met initially based on where you were. So, if you would have had a different focus, one of you all wouldn’t have met the other. Does that make sense?

Hasani: And that’s true. That is true. Listen my wife and I had that conversations. We are not the people today that we were before we got married, right? So, she said listen, “If you knew me when, you probably wouldn’t even be attracted to me.” We would have never gotten involved in our relationship. And you’re right, a lot of times we meet people based upon where we’re at and that’s why a lot of times we go through hell, fire and brimstone, because we are broken, we are full of issues–

Listen, if you’ve ever been in a bad relationship before, full of issues, think about the word issues, issues, issues. It’s you, you’re the one with the issues and you’re bringing those issues into every single relationship and then you wonder why your relationships don’t work out. And that’s why I don’t think that we should be so quick to jump into sexual relationships or what we call, emotionally-connected relationships, because many of us are not ready.

And so, that’s what we’re seeing today, a pattern of broken people that are entering into parasitical relationships, intoxicating everybody that they attach themselves to. And there’s a whole lot of people who are broken that are looking for help, that are looking for relief, but they don’t have the proper skill sets to make their relationships work.

Frank: I’ve heard that in some form or fashion, we’re all broken, so to limit our desire or our willingness to connect with others, because we’re broken, would ultimately mean, we don’t connect.

Dr. Gayl: Well, it’s also a difference too, when you have insight. Some people don’t have insight to know that they’re broken or how to fix their brokenness. There’s a difference in saying, “Well let me jump from this. I just ended this relationship, let me go into another one, let me go into another one. This didn’t work, so let me try something different,” where in essence, all you’re doing is trying a different person with the same issues that you started with.

Hasani: There you go. And let me say this. Let me make this point. Listen. Let’s talk relationship mathematics. The lowest common denominator in every relationship you enter into is you.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: Because you take you everywhere you go and–

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: And oftentimes we have a problem of pointing the finger at everybody else, not realizing that there are three fingers pointing right back at us. So, you’ve got to look at yourself three times as hard as you do the other person. And if you are a person who’s entered into one bad relationship after another after another, when you begin to look at the patterns you would have to identify yourself and when you identify yourself that’s when you take the time to be alone, to get yourself together, to commit to becoming the best person that you can be to have emotional healings, spiritual transformation, go through some cultural relationship counseling, become the best you.

If you’re broken and you say, “You know what,” and just run into another. You run out of one relationship and you run right into the same situation, because of your own brokeness.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we are having a lively conversation with relationship expert and the host of TV one’s show, Love Addiction, Hasani Pettiford. Please tell our listeners how they can reach you.

Hasani: You can simply go to my website at hasani.com or you can go to our organizational website: couplesacademy.org.

Frank: When I was in high school, I had the plans to go to college and all that good stuff and I ended up going to college. I wanted a decent job and so I figured that, that was the track to get on.

Now, if you’re in a relationship or if you’re in several relationships that “don’t work out” or don’t turn into holy matrimony that lasts forever and you decide that you want to step up your game. You want to have a relationship that lasts for 40 years. Then, you sit down, you mediate, you get with yourself, you develop new skills and all that good stuff. Isn’t that simply indicative of someone who wants more and is willing to do what it takes to get what they want? And when they had the numerous smaller relationships or shorter relationships, wasn’t that indicative of them having what they want based on the skills that they had? So, in other words, I’m saying, don’t we just manifest what we want to manifest at a given period of time and I think none of it is wrong, bad and we’re not broken along the way, we just simply are where we are. Let’s hear what you have to say.

Hasani: Yeah, you simply are where you are, but I think that every one of us has strived to be the best that we can be and if you are a serial monogamist and you go from one relationship to another to another to another to another, you’re developing certain relationship patterns that if you don’t take the time to reflect, you will continue to allow these patterns to exist in your life.

You said if you’re in high school and you go through all of these relationships and then make the decision to want more, then you do more. The point is, a lot of us are adult men and women, but we still have that child in us and we haven’t properly developed. We develop in age, but not in emotions and maturity.

And so, at some point, you are going to have to make that decision to become better and so therefore, you will do better. And unfortunately, it seems that many people, not all, but some, within our community, don’t have a desire to want to do better. We don’t seek out help. We don’t participate in self-help types of things. We rather read books about drama and watch television shows that do us no good than becoming the best individuals that we can be.

We’re attached to people who are no good and so we remain no good. You’re a product of your environment. When I made the decision to become better, I had to change my circle, change my friends, change my habits and then I began to go in a forward direction. So until we do that, we’re going to deal with the same foolishness in our adulthood that we did as children.

Dr. Gayl: And oftentimes when those people that go from relationship to relationship in these small increments, it’s not like they consciously stated, “Okay, I’m going to do this one quick relationship and then this next quick relationship and then I’m going to have a long-term one.” They don’t often do that. It’s not like it’s a conscious decision. They often just fall into a long-term relationship.

Frank: So are we in the business of telling people what they should want?

Hasani: Well, isn’t that our job Frank? Isn’t that why you have a radio show, to inform people and educate people on what they do not know? Isn’t it your job to offer your influence and your intelligence and your information to help shape people’s decisions?

Because if we don’t have these things and people don’t tune in to your show, people don’t read books, people don’t go to conferences, they just don’t know. And so, that is the whole purpose of why we’re doing what we’re doing. That’s why I travel all over the country, that’s why I’ve written 10 books, that’s why I do seminars, that’s why I counsel, to tell people what they need to know to make their relationships work.

Dr. Gayl: I think you just checked Frank, Hasani. You should see the look on his face right now.

Frank: I’m so smiling. I’m happy to to listen to someone who’s got such fervor in what they have to say, yet no, that’s not my job. My job is not to tell people what they should want.

Dr. Gayl: But our job is to enlighten people like he just stated. We seek out people that are more knowledgeable than we are and that can provide more insight than maybe we have or maybe that the listening audience is lacking.

Frank: Well, my job–

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: Is to present information and present a given perspective and I do so with a couple desires in mind. And the main one or one of the main ones, being I wish to inspire thought and my listening audience or the audience that reads my book or my blogs, I just simply wish to inspire the thought.

I don’t want you to think what I think. I don’t want you to necessarily agree. I want you to engage. I want to have the conversation. So, no I don’t believe that I should tell you what you should want or think, I just simply am here to share information, share my perspective, share my journey and hear from you what you have to share.

My blogs would be nothing if I didn’t have a opportunity or a place for my readers to respond, tell me what they think. In fact, many of my blogs come from the responses that my readers give. And, in fact, many of the shows that we do come from the responses that listeners give and all of that good stuff, so there we disagree. Moving on, explain the the term, “intellectual foreplay.”

Hasani: This is a book, Intellectual Foreplay, questions for lovers and lovers to be. This is a book that I recommend that every single individual on the face of this earth purchase, because it helps them in their relationship, regardless of whatever season they may be in.

So the whole concept of foreplay is, you participate in foreplay to warm you up to prepare you to go all the way sexually, right? For women, foreplay is very, very, very important. Well intellectual foreplay is very similar to the concept. It’s something that you participate in to prepare you to see if you should go all the way.

It’s comprised of many, many questions that deal with a person’s past, their present and their future. Getting to know their likes, their dislikes, their past relationships, their sexual past, their family, their educational, how they feel about religion, how they feel about certain moral values and things of that nature. Because when you take the time to really read this book and ask each other the questions within it, it gives you more a well-rounded perspective of who that person is.

To know is that somebody that is suitable for me in a relationship.

Frank: Okay. What’s the best way to quickly reveal the lack of compatibility in a relationship?

Hasani: I’m sorry, could you repeat that question?

Frank: The best way to quickly reveal the lack of compatibility in a relationship.

Hasani: By taking the time to communicate and really get to know. Let me just give you an analogy. Frank, you’re a well-versed man, you’re well read I’m sure. Your level of influence has taken you different parts of the country. Have you ever got a plane before?

Frank: Yeah.

Hasani: Okay, so what’s the first thing you do when before you get on that plane?

Frank: Rush?

Hasani: Okay.

Frank: Give them my ticket.

Hasani: Okay.

Frank: Check to see where the gate is.

Hasani: Okay, well before you do all of that, you have to check your baggage at the gate, right? Check your luggage at the gate, then you go through a radar system or device and they scan your person and make sure that there’s nothing on your physical body that will cause harm to the other passengers on board.

You may be randomly selected. They may open up your luggage, looking through all of your dirty clothes, just to see if there’s anything concealed within your baggage that can cause harm to other passengers. So they scrutinize you, they interrogate you, they question you, they really want to know who you are before they let you on.

Unfortunately, in relationships we don’t do any of that, we don’t ask any questions, we don’t do any investigating, we just allow everybody to just jump on board with all of their baggage, with all of their issue, with all of their drama, with all of their mess and they wind up destroying our relationships. And so, when it comes to the dating season, we oftentimes base our selection process on two things, physical attraction and emotional desirability. So as long as some one looks good and they make us feel good, then that becomes the qualifier. But that is not enough to sustain a good relationship.

If that’s the only thing that you’re looking at, you won’t know if there are potential problems in that relationship. So you really have to take the time to get to know through conversation, through observation and over the course of time.

Frank: Is it possible for a successful relationship to end?

Hasani: Sure, sure, because two great people who have wonderful relationships may just have different goals. Sometimes we have a different goal in terms of what we want and when we want it.

If I am pursuing my career and for right now I feel as if a relationship may get in the way, then I may have to part ways if you want commitment, family and children right now. And so, for whatever reason, sometimes we part, because we’re going in two different directions, even though we have a great relationship.

Dr. Gayl: And what should be most important? Should you put the relationship first or should you put yourself first?

Hasani: See, that’s the problem. See unfortunately–let’s just talk about our people. Black women for a long time, because I wrote a phenomenal book entitled, Why We Hate Black Women, and Why we Should Love Them.

Frank: And it was indeed phenomenal.

Hasani: Thank you sir and we talk about this whole issue of commitment and how men aren’t scared of commitment, they don’t fear commitment, they just want commitment at a different season of life. And so oftentimes, women desire it much earlier in life and then they are forced, unfortunately, to make a choice. “Do I pursue my man or do I pursue my mission,” and because many men at that time don’t want what they want, they pursue their mission a 100 percent, thus pursuing themselves until they find a man who’s ready to commit to them. hey’re forced to make that choice.

At the end of the day, if you want relationship, you should enter into that relationship as best as you can, with as many accomplishments as you can, and finding somebody if you’re still on the path of discovery and development, find somebody who’s going in the same direction.

There’s a scripture in the Bible that says, “Can two together unless they be in agreement?” Well they can’t, if they’re not in agreement. And so, if we’re going in different directions, it’s just not going to work. So that’s why it’s really important to know. To know a person’s future, to know their plans, to know their agenda, because if it doesn’t work with you, no matter how good they look, no matter how great they make you feel, no matter how great the sex is, it’s just not going to work.

Frank: Okay, I want to back up a second. You said in response to my question about two people splitting and still considering a a successful relationship, you said, “To great people who have wonderful relationship, may want different things, so yes in that case they split, but they had a successful relationship.” And did I capture that correctly?

Hasani: Yes.

Frank: Okay. I am looking at the term “two great people,” great as though these are outstanding, Pollyannish individuals. Well, why can’t individuals who are “not great” end or exit a relationship and it still be considered a success?

Hasani: I just use an adjective carefree. If they’re not great people, if they’re not “a power couple,” they’re just people. Good-natured people that decide that they are parting ways for whatever reason, though they had a good relationship, that’s fine. I’m just simply saying that many people leave relationships for different reasons.

As you mentioned earlier in the show, a lot of times there’s a different focus, there’s a different agenda and so we part based upon those things. Not that there was anything wrong with the dynamics of a relationship, not that there’s any major flaws in each other’s personality, we’re just going in two different directions. And you have to be adult enough to know when that is taking place and to make certain decisions that are best for the both of you and best for the both of you as individuals as well.

Frank: Isn’t what’s best for the both of you all as individuals–isn’t that automatically by definition factored into what’s best for you as a couple? Because we all, no matter who we are or what we do, we are all concerned about our personal well being first.

Hasani: Yes, that is true. But I will say, sometimes our own personal interest and desires can get in the way. Let’s talk about a married couple. They have family and so all of a sudden there’s a shift and change in terms of desire. You find many partners oftentimes sacrificing a certain season of life for the betterment of the relationship or because there are children involved. And so, the whole element of sacrifice enters into a relationship, which is important.

There are going to be times when you are the focus and there are going to be times when you have to make the other partner or the other children in that relationship the focus. And I think that you have to know when to and when not to do that for the betterment of both you and the relationship.

I know a lot of times people feel trapped, they feel like they’ve lost their sense of self, because they’ve lived such a sacrificial life throughout that entire relationship, that’s an indication that that relationship isn’t necessarily healthy. But if you have two people that have had these conversations about expectations, about roles that are being played, about accomplishing certain goals upfront, then you can move and have a healthy relationship that works where both parties benefit, possibly at different times.

Frank: Let’s play with sacrifice. One of my favorite terms related to relationships. Well, I’ve written about just this and it’s my opinion that we don’t sacrifice in relationships. That it’s actually not possible and to use the term is actually manipulative, and the reason is the following, instead of sacrificing what we do is, we invest.

We say, “I’ll give this up today, because I believe there’ll be a payoff tomorrow.” Well that’s not sacrificing, that’s actually an investment in our personal futures. Your thoughts?

Hasani: I think that they’re one and the same. I think that it’s just a colloquialism for the same word. When you deal with personal sacrifice, think about an athlete. An athlete sacrifices certain foods and certain habits if they’re in training. So, in essence, you’re giving up one thing in exchange for something later of a greater desire. “So, I’ll give up potato chips, hot dogs, cookies, cake and sleeping only three hours a night. I’ll sacrifice that now, because I’m looking for a certain return on my investment later.” And so that speaks to what you just said, we do certain things expecting to get things back in return.

We make deposits; we make investments, hoping to reap from those investments. So, I think that your word and my word are exactly the same.

Frank: Okay, let’s keep this going. So, why wouldn’t you use the term I’m investing my sleep, I’m investing the lack of junk food in order to win the super bowl? And that was rhetorical. The reason I say we don’t use that word is, because we are attempting to sway or manipulate whoever we’re talking to.

Have you ever heard a person use the term “sacrifice” without trying to convince someone else of something? I can’t think of one single example where a person says, “I sacrificed this to someone when they weren’t trying to convince them to feel some degree of sympathy or to change their minds about something?”

Hasani: See Frank, that’s why I believe that we need to have working operational definitions for the terms that we use. That’s why I think that things should be put on the table and we should clarify our expectations and what we really want, because to your point, that does happen.

Everything that you just suggested is absolutely true, but with good communication and even greater understanding, we bring clarity to these words, whether they are investment or sacrifice, what that really means and how it’s played out in the relationship. So to your point and I agree, but that’s why I think, no matter what the word is, if we both have an understanding of that word, then we’re on the same path.

Frank: Very nice.

You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with relationship expert and the host of TV one’s show, Love Addiction, Hasani Pettiford. Once more, please tell our listeners how they can reach you.

Hasani: Please go to hasani.com or go to our organizational website: couplesacademy.org.

Frank: Tell us about the Couples Academy.

Hasani: Couples Academy is an organization my wife and I have co-founded. And really it’s a relationship-based learning institute and social organization. We believe in teaching classes. We provide counseling to help strengthen couples relationships. We create challenges to strengthen a relationship.

Think about it, if you’re in a relationship, you’re going to deal with all types of challenges, but we want to be intentional in the challenges that we give couples to help strengthen their relationship.

We have a community of people, like minded couples, who come together that glean from one another. We believe in creating dates and all types of these events to really help entertain that relationship, because a lot of times, normalcy sets in, boredom sets in and we don’t do what we used to do to maintain the relationship. So, we take a very holistic approach to helping couples be put back on the path to fulfillment.

Dr. Gayl: And how long is the academy?

Hasani: If you’re taking a course, it’s as long as that course is. Some courses may be a few weeks, it maybe a few months, but it’s more of a social organization that you’ve committed yourself to and it’s indefinite.

You can be in the organization for several years, for several months, depending upon your needs. And so, what we have found is that couples often feel like they’re on an island, that they’re the only ones going through their issues, but when they’re with other couples and can glean from it, they get a different perspective. And we believe in the principle that ion sharpens ion. See, if you’re around a whole bunch of people who are twos, threes and fours and you’re a five, those people around you are going to pull you down.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: So we believe in creating an environment with people who have healthy relationships that we can glean from that will take us on a path that we ultimately want to go.

Frank: What are your thoughts about written agreements in relationships before getting married?

Hasani: You know what? I kind of shifted my position on that. I’m beginning more and more to understand that concept. In essence it’s called, I guess, “marriage protection.” Just like you have a life insurance plan, just like you have certain plans in your life to protect you, I think that, that may be a good thing, because if you come into the relationship with assets and with money and certain accomplishments and you’re not quite sure about the intent of the person that you’re entering into a relationship with, you may want to have some type of protection. But that’s why even more, I think it’s important that you take your time and don’t race and rush into relationships to really test it. But for the sake of the person who has all of these assets, I’m starting to lean in the direction that it can be a good idea. I just don’t want it to be an excuse to say, “You know what? I don’t have to commit to this and if I see the first sign of something gone wrong, I’m out.” And unfortunately, some people are tempted to think that way.

Dr. Gayl: Right, and I although I get the principle of having something written down in an agreement, do you think that that’s kind of setting people up to say–as you stated, “I can bale out” or going into it thinking, “Well, this isn’t going to work or this may not work anyway, so let me just have a back-up plan, just in case.”

Hasani: Exactly, exactly and when you have a plan B, that plan B is deeply embedded in the recesses of your mind and you constantly go back to it.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Hasani: And so, if you have the philosophy that marriage is forever, and that’s my philosophy, I believe it should be the final frontier and, “Whatever we’re going through, we’re going to work our way through these issues to make it work, because we established a relationship, a covenant before God that should not be broken.”

Frank: Isn’t there always a plan B, C, D, E, F… whether I say it–

Hasani: Well maybe that’s the problem, Frank. Maybe that’s the problem, because if you really study psychology and if you study books on success and those who have made it, a lot of times they tell you, “Don’t have a plan B, put all your eggs in one basket and study those eggs.”

Dr. Gayl: And that’s the point in having 100 percent..

Hasani: Exactly, you burn the bridges behind you, you have no where else to go. And so, like I said, it’s all about the mental psychology that you go into the relationship with. If you have a plan A through Z, then you’re not fully invested.

Frank: Well, there’s several parts of psychology. One is commitment is 100 percent, another is there is no failure, so when you come to–I mean when–what is it–what is his name, Steve Case? When Steve Case is not successful starting nine companies, it was never a failure when he stumbles upon or when he creates America On Line, it’s just simply a succession of those nine companies that, “Did not succeed,” all the way up.

Hasani: Very true.

Frank: So, there are different ways of looking at it.

Dr. Gayl: There are always different ways of looking at it, but if you go into it–I’m certain that he didn’t go into each one of those companies stating that, “Well this isn’t going to work, because I have nine more times to try or eight more times to try. I’m just going to try this one out.” But if you go into it thinking, “I’m going full throttle, this is 100 percent, I can’t jump out the window or a side trap door,” that’s when you’re able to put more into it.

Frank: Well, given that way of looking at it, if he gave 100 percent, none of the companies would have failed.

Hasani: Not necessarily, not necessarily. You can give 100 percent of all of who you are and a relationship not work out, because you’re with the wrong person. And that’s why I said the dating season is critical to really getting to know, are you with the right person. And the other seasons that follow allow you to do it, but if we allow certain things to enter into that relationship that cloud our vision, that’s when problems begin to take place. That’s why you don’t rush. You take your time and you do it right.

Frank: Do you watch “Atlanta Housewives?”

Hasani: I do. I’m married. That’s my personal addiction, because I’m forced to, so I’ve come to enjoy the show.

Frank: Okay. Do you want to take this away?

Dr. Gayl: So, what do you think about the recent, I guess, things that’s going on that have surfaced in the media about Porsha and her husband–

Frank: Kordell Stewart.

Dr. Gayl: Right, and you know their possible divorce and how he was portrayed on the show as being controlling, And as he stated “He doesn’t control her, but he is the controller in the relationship, because he’s the masculine person in the relationship.” What do you think about that?

Hasani: First of all, being in reality TV, I know the formula for success and that formula consist of creating as much drama as you possibly can to keep people tuned in. And so, no matter what the reality is, a good editor can create 103 different stories, leaving a lot of stuff on the editing floor and you don’t know how they’re going to make you look.

So, if you’re in a good relationship, sometimes they can take just the right clip to make you look crazy and then when it goes up before the entire world, they have a different perception of reality. But we must admit, in this particular relationship, based on what we’re seeing, that he is a very controlling person and he did have her on lock and key and we saw that, And so, if you have a shaky relationship, reality will only make it worse.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Frank: Did she want to be under lock and key?

Hasani: I don’t know, Frank. I mean to your point, you say some people want to be controlled. I don’t think being a loving, supportive housewife is a bad thing. I think that her “girlfriends” on the show were the poison that got into her relationship and into her head and that’s what may have changed certain dynamics in terms of their interaction and in terms of what she really wanted.

I mean, listen, you’ve got to make it up in your mind what’s best for you, and that’s why I have a major problem with this whole strong black independent concept. I think it’s destroying relationships, because we’re married to the concept of being independent in our relationships and there’s no room for independence within our relationships.

Dr. Gayl: That’s good.

Frank: Okay, what about the girlfriends? You said that they poisoned it. I certainly agree. I’ve had the conversation with several people.

Dr. Gayl: Of course, you would agree.

Frank: Oh, boy.

Dr. Gayle But I will say that it appears that she changed the game up after they entered into marriage. It appears that way. It seemed like she went into it being the submissive housewife and she’s going to stay home and she’s going to cater to Kordell or whatever it is that he needs and wants with the children and so forth. And then, it kind of seemed like as time went on and as she did allow her girlfriends to kind of put their point of views into their relationships into her head. It kind of seemed like she wanted to do more and be a little bit more independent. And it kind of seemed like he was like, “Wait a minute, that’s not what we agreed on.”

Hasani: Exactly, you’ve got to know those roles upfront. You have to have conversations upfront about the future of your relationship. You don’t wait until you get on national television to discuss parenting and having a nanny verses pursuing a career. You don’t wait for that opportunity to do that. These are things that you have to talk about before “I do.” And if people do switch up, then that presents a problem. So like we said, we don’t truly know what the truth is, we just know what the show is telling us.

Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with relationship expert and the host off TV one’s show, Love Addiction, he is Hasani Pettiford. Tell us once more how our listeners can find you and find your services.

Hasani: At this time if you’re near a computer, I want you to go to hasani.com. If you’re in a relationship or desire to be in one, go to couplesacademy.org and find out what services that we provide and what classes we offer, so that you can place your relationship on the path to fulfillment.

Frank: I love it. Along today’s journey we’ve discussed controlling relationships, relationship mentors and the “Atlanta Housewives.”

Dr. Gayl: Your favorite subject.

Frank: Yeah. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had talking with Hasani Pettiford about love, romance and a whole lot of issues that come with them.

As always it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that will help you create a relationship that is as loving and as accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, keep rising. This is Frank Love.

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