You’ve Met Your Perfect Match If You…

young African American couple happy(BlackDoctor.org) — Is your date good news or a bad story waiting to happen? Even better…is this new love The One?? How can you tell?

Below are some easy signs to tell if you two are meant to be…or meant to apart.

The Good…

1. You discover quirky things you have in common
It’s one thing to discover you both like the same album. It’s another to discover your tastes or habits jibe in more surprising ways. “What confuses people is that they think they’re a match because they have things in common that many people have in common, like favorite books or songs, so they’re fooled into thinking they’re on the same wavelength,” says Sam R. Hamburg, Ph.D., author of Will Our Love Last? “The more uncommon and surprising your similarities are, the better.” That was definitely the case for one Atlanta, GA dater named Patrick. “I have this weird habit of belting out what I’m doing in song, so when I started dating Angela, one morning I started singing ‘Here I am, in the shower…’ to a particular tune,” recalls the 29-year-old. “When she started singing back, making up more words to the same tune, I couldn’t believe it! I knew it would work out.” And it has — for three years so far.

2. Neither of you flinch when the future comes up
It’s a new-couple nightmare: One of you blurts out something like, “Ooh, next summer we should go to Hawaii” — and then freezes, fearing the other person will think, “Next year? We don’t even know if we’ll make it to next month!” But if you and your date don’t bat an eye — or better, smile and agree — you’ve successfully crossed a crucial divide. “It’s a sign that you both feel stable in the relationship,” says Sharyn Wolf, author of So You Want To Get Married: Guerilla Tactics For Turning A Date Into A Mate. So while we don’t suggest making plans with your date for next Christmas, take careful notes on what happens if you do mention some advance planning.

3. It’s very important that your friends like your new partner
You thought introducing your date to your parents was the ultimate test? On the contrary, introducing him or her to your friends is even more pivotal. That’s because while you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends, so they reflect the person you’ve become over the years. So if you find yourself prepping your pals about someone you’d “really like them to meet,” it’s a sign you’re seeing this relationship as more than just a fling.

4. You think in “we” terms even when the going gets tough
Sooner or later, all couples start transitioning from “Hey, what are you doing Saturday night?” to “Hey, what are we doing Saturday night?” Sure, that’s good, but for a real gauge on your relationship, see how you react to these scenarios: If your date wants to leave a party early, do you happily offer to leave as a couple rather than feeling annoyed or wanting to stay on your own? If your boss wants you to plan a business trip, do you wonder whether it fits with your sweetie’s schedule? These are signs you’re truly willing to merge lives, and it’s all the more telling if you weren’t into your date’s “thing” to begin with.

5. You constantly stumble across things you want to share
Most couples will exchange a few “thinking of you” phone calls or emails when they’re apart. But if you can’t walk down the street without tripping over some funny story to tell later or can’t leave a store without thinking at least once, “Oh, my sweetie would love that…” then things are rosy indeed. Basically, it’s a sign that while you may not realize you’re thinking about your date, you are and just can’t help it, explains Wolf.

The Not-So Good…

1. You roll your eyes at each other during an argument
You say potato, your date says… well, even if he or she says it the same way, it’s a given you’re not going to see eye-to-eye on everything. And that’s okay — your differences are what make things interesting! But while disagreeing is fine, it’s bad news if one of you rolls your eyes at the other during the argument. “The reason you roll your eyes at someone is because the other person is saying something you think makes absolutely no sense to you and you don’t respect what they’re saying,” says Hamburg. And since R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the cornerstone to any good relationship, take any eye-rolling you or your mate does as a bad omen.

2. You can’t handle the uncomfortable silences
Every date has its quiet lulls here and there when the dialogue runs dry, and if these moments don’t faze you, congratulations for reaching that comfort level. But if you find yourself squirming in your seat, trying to come up with things to say, checking your cell phone hoping to find a voicemail, or going back to the same old topics (“Have you talked to your sister lately?”) that could spell trouble, since it shows you’re not really relaxed when you’re around them.

3. Your dates are always full of distractions
It’s healthy for you and your love to fill your time together with fun activities and mutual friends — that is, as long as that’s not all you do together. “It’s not a good sign if the only things you’re saying to each other are, ‘Let’s hang with friends, or let’s do something like go to the ballgame or a movie,’” says Wolf. The reason: These things are buffers that help you avoid really getting to know each other, which may indicate that your one-on-one time isn’t so thrilling. If an offer of “Tonight, let’s just hang out together alone” doesn’t sound exciting, ask yourself: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with this person?

4. You find yourself criticizing little things about each other
Everyone tends to be positive to each other on the first few dates, “but if the other person starts making critical comments, like not liking what you’re wearing, that’s not good,” says Dr. Hamburg. Criticism, whether you realize it or not, is a way of pushing someone away — so if either of you are saying things that seem innocuous like, “That shirt looks weird” or “How can you stand living on this street?” you’re tapping into a bigger problem. “As time passes, you should find yourself wanting to treat your partner as well as you did at the beginning of your relationship,” says Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., a relationship expert in New York, NY. If not, consider this breakdown in polite behavior very bad news.

5. You only want to deal with each other when the chips are up
It’s a red flag if the person you’re with gives you the cold shoulder when you’re not feeling hunky dory about something in your life. Happily ever after means loving — or at least liking — someone when life isn’t so sweet. And being able to weather the tough times — together — is definitely a quality that every good relationship needs.

 

What You Can & Can’t See: The Shocking Things In That Frozen Dinner

x-with-knife-and-fork(BlackDoctor.org) — Have you ever looked at the ingredients that appear on the back of your frozen dinner? Looks more like the components of a chemistry project than a nutritious meal, huh? Ever wonder why so many bizarre additives are in a Salisbury steak? Well, for one, they enable your microwave to transform an icy block into something that looks, smells, and tastes relatively similar to fresh food. Some also ensure that a box of spaghetti and meatballs always tastes the same, whether it was made in Nebraska or North Carolina.

While some ingredients sound scary, they’ve all been deemed safe to eat by the FDA. But to find out exactly what we’re eating, we asked a panel of experts to analyze a typical meal of chicken Parm with a side of broccoli and baked apples for dessert. You’ll be as shocked as we were to discover that a few of the items lead double lives – as condom lubricants and explosives.

What you can see…

Chicken Breast

Unless the box reads chik’n, rest assured it’s a real clucker, one that most likely grew up on a U.S. poultry farm. But that’s about all you can know for sure. The chicken probably feasted on conventional grains, and unless the label says otherwise, the bird may have been treated with antibiotics to keep it healthy. The breading and batter contain flour, yeast, and oil – nothing unusual so far. Oleoresin paprika (paprika that’s oil-soluble and easily dissolves in sauce) adds flavor and color. And while Grandma’s recipe calls for dredging your chicken breast in egg to make the breading stick, the food industry uses guar gum instead. (Eggs can become contaminated easily and are more expensive than guar gum.) Made from the guar bean, a major crop in India and Pakistan, it has thickening properties that also help make paper, oil-drilling fluid, and explosives. Bam!

Pasta and Sauce

Just like most pasta, these noodles are made of semolina flour, water, and egg whites. The sauce contains the usual: diced tomatoes and ­tomato juice, most likely from Ohio, Indiana, or California, which is where many tomato-processing companies are located.

Broccoli

The veggie’s birthplace varies depending on when and where it’s in season, freshest, and cheapest–if it’s July, it could be Maine; September, California; December, South America. Imme­diately after harvest, the produce is blanched and flash-frozen, which preserves nutrients.

Apples

Like broccoli, apples come from wherever they’re ripe. Because cooked apples turn a nauseating gray or brown color when frozen, they’re treated with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and citric acid (the chemical compound that makes a lemon sour). This prevents the apples from reacting with oxygen so they maintain their golden hue.

And now, what you can’t…

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

This preservative keeps the oil used to fry the chicken from going rancid. The FDA says it’s safe, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a U.S.-based advocacy group, recommends trying to avoid it because animal studies have produced conflicting results. Some have linked the chemical with increased cancer risk, while others have found a decreased risk.

Cheese Culture

A spin-doctor’s way of saying “bacteria.” Not the kind that could make you sick, but harmless types of this describes bugs, like lacto­coccus, lactobacillus, and streptococcus, which turn milk into curds, whey, and eventually cheese.

Disodium Inosinate/Guanylate

Flavor enhancers that work like MSG. While they have no flavor on their own, these sodium-based additives stimulate your taste buds, making them more sensitive to meaty and savory flavors.

Ethyl Alcohol

The same stuff in your chardonnay. A minuscule bit dissolves the vanilla flavoring in the apple dessert. (It works a lot like the alcohol in vanilla extract.)

Polysorbate 80

It pops up in shaving cream and cosmetics. In your dinner, it keeps oil-based flavorings from separating so your food doesn’t dissolve into greasy slop when you nuke it.

Propylene Glycol

A cousin of antifreeze (yes, antifreeze) that’s also found in condom lubricants (yum). But no worries: It’s nontoxic, and only a tiny amount is used. This FDA-approved chemical keeps the oils and fats used in frying, as well as other ingredients, from gunking up.

Sodium Aluminosilicate

A white powder mined from rocks such as feldspar and zeolite. It’s listed as an ingredient in the dried sweet cream, where it likely is used to stop the powdered cream from getting lumpy, although it’s hard to know for sure, as most product recipes are top-secret.

Soy Protein Isolate

A powdered product made from soy flour, it thickens the pasta sauce and enhances the texture so it doesn’t turn into a watery mess.

Sugars

Of the 75 different ingredients listed, 12 are a form of sugar: dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, maltodextrin, and high-fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Why so much sweet stuff? Sugar is part of several ingredients–the sauce, the apple crisp, etc., but the form of sugar used may vary, from sucrose to, say, corn syrup: The manufacturers list all of the possible ingredients so they don’t have to reprint the box if substitutions are made. For a real sense of how much sugar is in the total meal, look at the nutrition facts label, not the ingredients list.