In The Know and the women behind Black Girl Podcast have teamed up to bring you a special video series, Enter the Chat, where we’ll be discussing topics that range from dating and budgeting to self-care.
In this week’s episode of Enter The Chat, hosts Bexx Francois, Sapphira M., Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers and Alysha P. bring the topic of love and relationships to life with actress and television host, Khadeen Ellis. Married with three sons, Ellis gives her followers a peek inside her life at home on Instagram.
“We started it as actors trying to put some content out there just to try and see if we could build our resume and boost our ability to be seen,” Ellis explains. “Then it evolved into us creating content around what it’s like to be a Black millennial couple, working hard and raising these three boys,” she says.
Dating Trigger Words
Ellis hosts a popular podcast with her husband, The Deadass Podcast. Gia inquires about a controversial, yet viral moment discussed on the podcast in which Devale, Ellis’ husband, talks about pressure.
“In that particular clip, he was pretty much saying that I pressured him into marrying me,” Ellis explains. “I heard that we got dragged to and from. They was like ‘divorce him, sis.'”
Ellis explains that the full episode actually revealed how the word “pressure” can come off as a trigger word.
“Words like ‘allow,’ words like ‘pressure’ set off these red flags,” Ellis says. “I think sometimes as women we have this timeline in our head where we’re like ‘Okay, by 21 I’m going to graduate college and maybe I’ll do grad school or I’ll start my career, and then I’ll fall in love by 25, we’ll be happily ever after and having our first baby at 27, and then the rest will be history.'”
The word ‘pressure’ is common in relationships. However, Ellis says that it’s really about having intentions throughout the dating process.
“Have I invested eight years into a relationship that may not be going other places?” she asks. “And though I was confident in where we were at the time and in that space, he felt the pressure in turn because there were couples and they were also getting engaged.”
The pressures that come from other couples is just the start. Ellis says that pressure can also come from family members and close friends. Plus, she says that the word ‘pressure’ can be confused with not having options.
“I always want to make sure that I give you the choice and the option to know where I stand and then you can move accordingly,” Ellis explains. “Then at least I know it’ll be completely what you want in your happiness and what you want out of your life and then if we can coexist and do this together, then all the better.”
Figuring Out Love
Bexx offers up the idea to Ellis of whether or not she has love figured out. Ellis says the way she experiences love from her husband has evolved throughout the 18 years they’ve been together.
“Things that used to make my heart melt, they don’t necessarily work for me right now because Khadeen at 18 requires something different than Khadeen at 25 and now Khadeen at 30 something.”
Additionally, she talks about how love changes when children come into the picture. Becoming a mother and a nurturer helped her to understand the different ways to love each of her sons.
“Each child requires something different,” she says. “Some children require positive affirmation or affirmations of love. Some just want the touches and the feels.”
Next, Gia poses an age-old question to Ellis.
“If you were in your bridal suite, what piece of advice would you give to yourself about the journey ahead about marriage?” she asks.
In response, Ellis says that you have time. She also adds that she wishes she had spent more time understanding herself as a full person.
“One thing that I did not do prior to marriage and in my early 20s is that I did not establish Khadeen, the individual,” she says. “What makes you happy, Khadeen? What makes you happy outside of Devale? That was something I glazed over.”
Making Space For Yourself
Being that everyone is in quarantine, walking away from hard conversations isn’t as simple as it used to be. When Alisha asks how to deal with and resolve conflict, Ellis says that she either takes a drive or even sits in her parked car.
“I would walk out the house, get in the car in the driveway,” she spills. “Not even go anywhere, but just sit in the car.”
Watch Ellis star in “The Business of Christmas” on BET+ and follow Black Girl Podcast on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also shop any of the Black-owned pieces in the set design on Enter The Chat from THNWBLK, Signature Petals, LIT BKLYN, Crackflower, Modern Pearl Primus Poster and “Identity Crisis” Canvas Print.
If you liked this story, check out the hosts of Black Girl Podcast chat grief with Dr. Jessica Clemons.
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