D.C. native, author and Essence Magazine relationship editor Demetria Lucas chats with Niteside about her upcoming book, "A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life." She also sounds off on the D.C. dating scene -- and she might be more optistimistic than you.
There are thousands, millions of blogs out there -- what do you think it was originally that made yours stand out and has given it such longevity?
I think when I started in 2007, there were a lot of people with blogs, but nowhere as near as many as there are right now. I really started it because I couldn't find what I wanted to read. I was a huge fan of "Sex and The City" on HBO, but it bothered me that I'd always see so many fly white women, but no women of color on the show, especially as a resident New Yorker who knows how diverse it is here. So, I started to tell my story about my dating experiences, and life in the city. I think it caught on because it was original.
You're releasing your first book next month -- what will it be about and what one message do you hope readers take away from it?
It's a coming-of-age story that starts with me one week before I moved to New York and ends on my 30th birthday. I want women to take away that it's OK to be single. Your life does not begin and end with your attachment to man. There's so much life to be lived as a single women. There are a lot of great adventures; it's a beautiful stage in your life.
Use three words to describe "A Belle In Brooklyn."
Empowerment, choice and fabulousness.
Lots of people refer to you as a relationship expert. Do you think you are, and what makes one a an expert in relationships?
I have never referred to myself as a relationship expert, but I know some do. I think an expert like in most fields is someone who gives advice that works. If you're giving advice to people on a consistent basis and they see a positive change in their life based off of your advice, more than likely you're an expert.
Besides running a successful blog and writing a book, you're also an editor at one of the country's top magazines for women, Essence. What's a day in the life like for you?
No day is the same! For example last week we did our "Do Right Men" photo shoot and it involved scanning through the Internet, tracking down agents and doing all sorts of research to find great-looking men.
Do you still go on the famous "cutie runs?"
Well, not for myself, but I do with others, and it's always a good time.
Who inspires you?
So many women inspire me in my day-to-day life. My mom is always the first person to tell me "You can do it." She's been telling me that entire life. I was never one of those girls who felt like I couldn't go to an event by myself or travel out of the country alone, because I always had a mother that said, "Yes, you can."
My grandmother as well, she was a very strong woman who taught me that you don't have to be an angry black woman or a loud black woman to be a strong black woman. She never had to get out of pocket to get her point across and I admired that.
What advice can you give to the single ladies in D.C.?
D.C. women always say how hard it is, but I don't get it. There are a lot of men there. Go out, be proactive and smile. Be sure to have boundaries and goals. A lot of times women have guidelines, but when they meet a guy, he seems really cool and you find yourself going with the flow, then end up asking yourself, "How did I get here?"
Also, every man you go out with does not have to be your boyfriend or husband; it can simply be just a good time. Also, it's important to not feel bad about being single; you have to rise above it. A relationship status does not define you.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I would like for people to say, "She helped me make better choices." Knowing you have options can make an entire difference in your life.