Everybody is looking for something. And that something is love, whether we’re “looking in the all the wrong places” or not is always up for debate in the circles of other people’s opinions. But, what I have found is that my search for true love is truly a search for a sense of self-acceptance. I also learned that the search is neverending, because the more I seek to discover the boundless depths of all that I am, which is Love personified, my desire for more love continues to expand. After checking myself, I eventually attracted the man who shares that same virbrational desire to love himself as I do. It’s a challenge staying together, I soon discovered. But it’s worth it.

When I found out that a formercollegue of mine had written a  book about my life, I cracked it open with no hesitation. Author Lillian Prince and I studied at Morgan State University together as English/Journalism majors. We shared notes, stories, and laughter under the instruction of the legendary Frank Dexter Brown, investigative journalist, filmmaker and social activist. What I didn’t know was that she was going through the same thing I was going through in my 20-something-year-old “situationship” life until I read her Prince’s debut title 10 Dates Later. Even though we hung in different social circles outside the classroom, I felt like I was back in college, in my best friend’s dorm room for a ladies night. So when I caught up with her to talk about her latest endeavor, I learned that she too had attracted her vibrational match, and was living happily-ever after on her own terms. Here’s a few clips from our cyber conversation.

Baltimore Urban Spectrum: How and where did you meet him? Were you actively dating when you met your husband?

Lillian Prince: I met my husband, Tim, over 10 years ago at a mutual friend’s house for game night. We played against each other in spades and talked trash, but that was about it. We reconnected about four years ago via social media and it’s been love ever since.

BUS: Does your husband measure up to 19-year-old Lillian’s Must Have list?

Lillian: Well he is fly! LOL. But at 19 I didn’t know what or who I needed. Everything I thought I wantedin a man was so surface level and superficial…. there wasn’t really anything of substance on that list. He definitely lives up to my more current, and much shorter list of just being kind and caring… Those are the things that really matter.

BUS: What are your words of wisdom to offer oursista friends regarding the Must Have list?

Lillian: Think about the things that will matter to you 10 years from now… Not just what makes you feel good now. Being fly is cute now, but does he have a 401k? Is he educated? Is he a good person that you can imagine waking up to for the rest of your life? Those are things you need to consider.

BUS: How did the contents of it change over time? What changed your mind about what should be on your list?

Lillian: Life happened. My perspective on things changed. You go through enough in life and you’ll quickly learn what’s of value and what isn’t. After finding myself in a situation where I was absolutely miserable, I realized the most important thing to me was protecting my peace. Being happy. Having a God-fearing man in my life, that would reverence not only his commitment tome, but more importantly the one he made with God.

BUS: I’ve been following you on FB since our last days at Morgan State, and it looks like you have the Happily Ever After you always had in your dreams. I know the journey was not what you imagined, but was it worth the trek? What’s it like to have finally arrived?

Lillian: Whew!! WAS IT?!?!?!? Lol! Tim is amazing.Definitely a dream come true and honestly, though I didn’t know it or even feel it back then, all of those horrible experiences were preparing me for this. I love and appreciate him that much more because I already know what’s out there and I know I’m not missing anything. I have everything I need and more right at home.

BUS: What are the top 3 things a woman should be mindful of when on the dating scene? Should we be out there looking? Or should we see dating as an opportunity to learn ourselves, and get to know our likes and dislikes, what we can and cannot live with, tolerate and can’t do without?

Lillian: You know, when I was single I would HATE for a married person, or someone in a relationship to tell me “just be patient… as soon as you stop looking, he’ll find you.” So, I won’t say that but what I will say is, don’t be anxious for anything, especially not a relationship that is supposed to lastfor a lifetime. The Bible says in Phillippians, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in all things through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” I know, because I fell victim to it— when you’re anxious because of a deadline you’ve placed on yourself you don’t make wise decisions. Your mind isn’t clear, you’re not calm and you’re more focused on what you want, than the actual package. With any big decision, especially when it comes to matters of the heart, take a moment, say a prayer, ask for guidance because marriage is nothing to be rushed into. It’s a big deal… it’s much more than just the one day with the flowers and beautiful people. It’s a lifetime of sacrifice, and love, and trials, and rewards and so many other things. You have to make sure that the person you’re going to do life with can handle all those peaks and valleys with you.

Editor’s note: Lillian Prince, a District of Columbia native and Morgan State University alumni, is the author of title 50 Dates Later, available on Amazon.com.