Straight Talk No Chaser Part 2


Pictured (L-R) Shawn Young, Erich Williams, Shawna Marie, Shawn Blanchard, Jarell "DJ CEO" Greene, Chris "Kazi" Rolle, Eyan Edwards, Shanel Cooper-Sykes, Eternal Bakr & Anthony "Tmor" Morris

I wrote How can a single woman stay positive about her potential to experience true lasting love? just a few hours after the incredibly inspiring event: Straight Talk No Chaser Part 2. This Together Apart event produced by Chris “Kazi” Rolle served as a follow-up to the original Straight Talk No Chaser event held back in February. Both events were  very powerful. As you read further, you’ll understand why Together Apart is one of my absolute favorite projects.

As background, Together Apart is a premiere relationship academy providing innovative events and products to enrich relationships. The LIVE CONVO events are a safe space for men and women to engage in open and honest conversation to support and promote healthy relationships. While some components are core to the event: 1 theme, 2 hosts (male and female), 3 or more experts and 4 rounds of conversation… every LIVE CONVO is unique.

Straight Talk No Chaser features a panel of men engaging an exclusively female audience about what is on the hearts and minds of men. Author, life coach and motivational speaker Shanel Cooper Sykes guided the convo and I served as in-house therapist. The men, who were all certainly very self-aware, introspective and evolved were: Anthony ‘Tmor’ Morris, Shawn Young, Erich Williams, Jarell ‘DJ CEO’ Greene, Shawn Blanchard, Eyan Edwards and Eternal Bakr. Sponsors for the night included Nefra Dabney ( and Single Black Male (

While I couldn’t possibly share everything that was revealed during the night (which is why you’ll want to scoop the DVD when it’s available), a couple of things stood out for me.

  1. The best way to effectively communicate with a man is honestly, respectfully (according to the rules of engagement you’ve agreed upon), as a friend (not a mother), asking clarifying questions (instead of assuming) and by listening carefully (before formulating your response.)
  2. Some of the key factors that cause men to lie are fear, the desire to avoid being judged and the fact that they’ve been conditioned to lie from early childhood. That being said, women would do well to both practice and encourage honesty. It serves us well to create conditions under which men feel comfortable telling the truth. One of the men put it like this: Men are honest when they have a reason to be honest. Hmmm….
  3. Men (at least these ones) do want to experience a truly loving committed relationship. They want to be accepted, understood, known, loved and appreciated. They want a best friend who’s their “match” and they don’t want to be pressured, chased or forced. They even have visions as to what they’d like their weddings to be like!

All of the men on the panel shared tremendously. Each were quotable in their own right. In an effort to actually write a blog post instead of a novella I will simply quote Erich Williams who said, “There is no greater strain on relationship than infidelity, but no greater proof of love than a relationship that survives it.”

Yeah, Straight Talk No Chaser was that deep!

My advice to the ladies in the room was to 1) relax and just be yourself, 2) take time to get to know him and let him get to know you… honestly and authentically over time, and 3)  make a commitment to continuously improve your communication skills, both listening and speaking. As an added bonus to all of the souls who follow my blog, I will also say that our greatest opportunity lies in our ability be authentic and cultivate honesty at all times.

For individual counseling and support specifically focused on love and relationships check out my special offer: LOVE NOW! (Expires 8/15/11.)

For more information about Together Apart visit

I look forward to seeing you  for my next LIVE show 8.1.11 @ 8PM Eastern at

Let your Light shine!


SHAWNA MARIE is a Spiritual leader, psychotherapist and author. She provides consultations, courses and speaking engagements integrating spirituality and mental health. Be inspired and connect with her at


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