Empowerment Series: CEO & Founder of The Spicy Life, Relationship Expert and Matchmaker, Spicy Mari Shares her Best Spicy Tips for the Holiday Season with AW
The prominent expert is knowledgeable, strong, confident, and fearless when it comes to delivering the truth about relationships. Her expertise has been featured on ABC’s Tamron Hall Show, Access Hollywood, E! Daily Pop, NBC Access Live, VH1’s Basketball Wives, BuzzFeed, Essence Magazine, SoulPancake, People Magazine, Tastemade, LATV Network, iHeartRadio, just a few names on the list.
The journey to developing her method of fueling deep connections began with a B.A. in Communications from the University of California-Berkeley, and an M.A. in Communication from USC, along with certification from the International Dating Coach Association to complement her credentials. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.
AW sat down for an interview with Mari to strip down holiday dating to its gritty truth. Although the magical season is beautiful, there are millions of people struggling during the most wonderful time of the year. It comes with challenges that bring stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. The season also has plenty of relationships battling with finances, family toxicity, and differences in tradition.
In this episode, she offers spicy tips and insightful advice to get you through the season. Whether you are single, in a relationship, or about to break up with your boo, this is for you!
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 38% of the group surveyed, experienced increasing pressure during the holiday season that led them to emotional distress.
While a lot of people love the magic of the holiday season, there are others having difficulty. If you are without a mate, feelings of loneliness and abandonment are not uncommon around this time. What do you think about dating during the holidays? Is it a good time or should we be taking a pause, and staying single, instead? Is taking a break from love the best option? Great question! I am a firm believer that if there is something you want, for example, if you’re seeing yourself without the partner or love you desire and feel alone then isolating yourself is not going to make it better. However, as a coach, there is no way, I will be able to get you into a new belief that being alone is fabulous. I cannot change your mind. I say, do the behavior that serves you. Work on making behavioral changes to get you closer to your relationship goals. You may want to begin with these two actions:
- What is something right now that serves you and gets you within proximity of what you want? Have you done the personal work to heal childhood trauma and get over limiting beliefs? Have you done anything to get you to a place of appreciation, so you can recognize when that special person is in front of you? What practices are you adopting to improve self-growth and self-improvement? Create more awareness, evolve, and come to a higher level of consciousness.
- If it is a relationship that you want, then not dating won’t work. What are you doing to connect with people on a daily basis? If the ultimate goal is a relationship but you are not doing something daily to improve that situation then you don’t really want it. We have to do the actions. Whether, it’s swiping 30 minutes a day, going to a fresh location never visited, involving yourself in a passion project, attending a sporting event, or beginning a new hobby. Be in the vicinity of the person you want to attract. Go where there are a million men. You may find the type of person you would like to hang out with at the place. Do the behavioral change to help connect, this way you are not looking at 2023, again, asking yourself, where is she or he?
So, we have been doing the work. We find someone we like. It has now been a month or two since we are spending time together. Should we take him to the holiday office party as a date? Do we take him home for festivities with family? How long does one date before having him/her take part in our holiday festivities? I love the question! The “C” in spicy stands for communication. We don’t do enough of it, to communicate! We make a lot of assumptions based on previous experiences but not on the person in front of us. We should be talking about it and having these conversations.
If you are enjoying a person’s company, it shouldn’t be about is too soon to take them to your party or how long is the wait before bringing them, as a plus one. Do you want to see this person in a social setting? Are you vibing with this person? Will they get along with the family? It is not about time, instead see the value and intention behind the invitation. You both need to have a clear understanding and be on the same page as to what it means. “If I do this thing what does it mean to him/her? What does it mean to me?” It is empowering to know whether this person is into you or not, that way, you can save space for someone who will want the same special relationship, as you do.
A worthy mention, it’s okay to allow him to feel as if he is leading. But, I also believe that part of our comfort and security comes from clarity and understanding. If this person has not made you feel 100% secure then there has to be clear communication. Actions and words have to be in alignment for trust to take place.
We can’t leave out our couples. Men and women in relationships have their own set of troubles during this time of the year. Is it ever a good idea to initiate a breakup around this year? Actually, there is a high number of breakups around the holidays. Like with cuffing season, we want a partnership and to have someone to snuggle up with. The weather is changing and we’re not going out as much, we are not as accessible. Breakups before Valentine’s Day are common. People wind up ending relationships because they are spending more time coupling, and trying to figure out. Do I want to be this person?
If you are not crazy about where this is going or you are sensing an incompatibility, let them go. If you are planning to break up, do not drag it into the new year. This can offer a fresh start to re-energize and get ready to find new love. Instead of stalling that person, leaving him or her feeling bamboozled at the start of a new year, end it now. Become more clear with one another and stop ghosting!
Tensions with in-laws are a real thing! What advice can you give those people who have toxic in-laws? How can we manage to spend our special time with difficult in-laws? This is more around mindset and tolerance. Change your language and thought process to “I’m so grateful, I get to hang out with my in-laws and they are still alive.” We have to insert positive affirmations. Being mindful of how we make our partners feel about their families is important. We can make this enjoyable or contribute to the stress and lack of joy. Sometimes, it feels like you always have to be “on” around the in-laws. If you get into the mindset of “These are memories we are creating,” then you allow yourself to be present instead of anxious about the future. You will have a better time. Give yourself breaks while you are there, schedule calls, read your book, or do your workouts. You have to pour it back into your cup, too!
Can you offer the best advice to couples who have different traditions but want to celebrate and honor one another’s holiday? We all have our own memories and life experiences. We can appreciate our culture, celebrate it, and appreciate it without taking from our partners.
I am Black and Mexican, my husband is Jamaican. The way his family celebrated holidays is different than mine. His mom did all the cooking and they did not have gift-giving. He did not feel pressured to get the perfect gift. I, on the other hand, made gift exchange a big production. I remember, our first holiday together. My family brought a combination of gumbo, tamales, and jambalaya. In one instance, his family asked, “What is this or that?” I did not take offense, instead, I saw it as an educational opportunity. It became a moment to teach them about our traditions. We can learn from each other to create a legacy. This gives us a chance to build new traditions and make things more fun.
What advice can you give us about the gift-giving tradition? Over the years, it can become more stressful than fun. Spicy Tip: Give your partner a list of five things that you would appreciate with various price points, including the links. Then tell them to surprise you! Take your partner’s list to make sure you give something they are pleased by, as well. This takes the pressure off and will make us a lot more pleased.
AW likes to end interviews with a piece of advice, mantra, or quote to inspire our community. Can you offer your two best Spicy Tips for singles and couples going into this holiday season? My favorite scripture will be my spicy tips for both of them. “Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.” If you are not asking, seeking, and you’re not knocking, closed mouths don’t get fed. Communication is key, let your partner know what you need.
If you are single and want one, go get that partner. Go on, as many dates as possible, seek variety, taste the rainbow, and have different experiences! This can help get you closer to the person that is meant for you. Attend all the events that you are invited to because you don’t know who you are going to meet! You also have no idea how many friends you will make that may introduce you to that special someone!
To couples, this is a great time to plan dates and the New Year. Go cut a tree, see Christmas lights, and try ice skating. You can date, even if you’re married. Why not take advantage of the romanticism of the holiday?
The season can be taxing due to the nostalgia of it all. Love and joy fill the air, making us feel that anything is possible. Responsibility for our mate’s happiness may entice us to overindulge in presents that can cause a financial burden. Memories of holidays past, sometimes bring on feelings of sadness. Wherever you are in your journey, one thing is for sure, life is a gift. Every day you breathe life into your body is one more day you get a chance to make dreams come true.
If it is love you want, nurture it within yourself, first. If you have it, be grateful for the blessing. Tomorrow is not promised, open your heart this holiday season.
AW is incredibly thankful to Spicy Mari for sharing her story. This interview is filled with great advice that can only be captured by watching it in its entirety. Check us out on the AW Confidential YouTube channel and listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Anchor Podcasts.
Find out more about Spicy Mari by playing with her Twitter or stroking her IG @SpicyMari. The Spicy Life Podcast is now on all streaming platforms.
*This interview was condensed for clarity.
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