Dear Raven,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to send you questions for some advice.

Im 21 , Sudanese and I recently went through a tough breakup... I'm just picking up the pieces. However, there's this guy who has always cared for me and he always managed to stay in touch. He's a great guy and I think we  have a lot in common. Except that I don't want to rush myself into a relationship right now and would like to have a long break *sigh* —but we're talking. I honestly don't want to push him away because he's more than GREAT, BUT, I'm not ready to be a committed relationship. What should I do? Help!


African Queen


Hey AQ, 

First off I want to congratulate you on having such self-awareness to know that you don’t want to rush into a relationship. Maybe you need to heal, perhaps you aren’t ready to invest fully in someone else, or maybe it’s time for a — as Issa Rae taught us in Insecure this season— hoe-tation (#nojudgements). There is an infinite number of reasons why someone might not want to rush into a new relationship, they're all O.K! 

Sometimes, when the timing of a new potential relationship doesn’t seem right, people feel forced to pick between the potential of "us” and the need to put ”me” first. You shouldn’t enter any relationship on this foot, one where you sacrifice self-care for the potential of a good match. 

So here’s the good news, you know a guy and he’s special, more than special he is GREAT. I recommend that you let him know that while you know he is GREAT, you aren’t quite ready for a relationship. If he is smart he will give you space to heal, to breathe and to pick up the pieces. Ask him for what you need clearly and directly. If he isn’t able or willing to give you that space, and if you feel you might lose him as result of taking care of your emotional well being first... then ask yourself:

Ultimately, whats more important? “Me” or “Us”?

Always here,



Dear Raven,

I've heard my friends make back-hand comments about members of other communities and it makes me really uncomfortable — considering we're all Latina's and deal with the same things other marginalized groups deal with. I'm not sure how to call them out on it without messing the friendships up. Any help?


Conflicted One


Hey CO, 

You have the decision to make. Changing peoples minds is a difficult task, suggestions are often met with resistance, dismissal or anger. There's an incredible amount of emotional heavy lifting that you may or may not want to do. In the age of Google it's not your job or responsibility to educate anyone tbh. 

I feel for you, its tough to have friends who in 2018 still think its ok to insult other marginalized communities. In pointing this out you risk alienating your friends, or worse losing the friendships. 

Oppression relies on us to amplify our differences instead of focusing on what connects us. When we amplify these differences we are doing the work of the oppressors for them. As POC have been indoctrinated with the false concept of racial and cultural supremacy. The mentality of: "We might be this, but at least we aren’t as bad a them”.

These are the ties that bind us. Not to venture too deeply into hotep territory, but your friends have yet to "emancipate themselves from mental slavery". Which leads me to my next point. Humor is often an entryway into a deeper understanding of painful and complex issues. 

If you chose to take this on, I suggest that you seek out comedy, movies, poetry, or other media that would speak to friends and speak to the point you are trying to get across. 

If it gets to be too much, remember its not your job to do the heavy lifting on their behalf. 

Always here,


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Raven Burgos, MSW

is a Therapist and Native New Yorker. Learn more about her work and her, here hellohappiness