One of the things I’d like to do on this blog is not only share my personal experiences of trying to find and keep a loving, healthy, black, woman-centered relationship, but also share and dissect some of the ideas that have made a profound impact on my life. One of the concepts that I think about often is the idea of the nuclear family. All my life, mass media has told me that the ingredients for building a happy, healthy family involved a woman, a man, a church, a mortgage, a minivan and children. Oh and this perfect family model was generally white. This model was certainly prevalent in my neck of the woods in suburban Maryland. On my mother’s side of the family, everybody had done what they were supposed to do: get married and produced the requisite heirs to their middle-class fortunes (i.e. 401ks). On my dad’s side, people didn’t get married. They shacked up for like 20 years while the man had multiple children with multiple women. Some would call the primary relationships common-law marriages. I just called it my norm.