Seattle, WA – Radio veteran, entrepreneur and life coach Reka Robinson knows what it feels like to not have a voice. Which might sound odd, considering the award-winning on-air personality’s voice has been permeating airwaves for more than 15 years. Still, in life away from music and entertainment, the Seattle native’s encounter with emotional abuse at the hands of a boyfriend forced her into a deep search for identity and self worth.
Now, her movement and podcast Single You is helping other women to discover their voices, to recognize that being single is not a crime, and that their relationships with men should no longer define them. Robinson offers advice and counseling to women who desire to free themselves from tying their identity to men, so they can finally discover their true value.
“When I was in my relationship, I thought I had to make it work because I didn’t want to go to the next wedding or baby shower and get these stupid questions – “Where is your husband and when are you having kids?” said Robinson, 37. “I thought; I have to get married by 30 because that’s what I’m supposed to do. If I am a Christian, I need to be married. All of those thoughts were swirling through my mind. No one ever thinks to ask, how are you doing? How is your journey towards your dreams going? Instead, it’s why don’t you have a man?”
However, Robinson’s last relationship was a nightmare, despite her giving the appearance to the public that everything was perfect.
“He was quick to anger and his temper was terrible,” she recalls. “I thought it was cute at first, like, aww he really likes me. That’s how they get you. At that moment, I became just a pawn in the game he was playing. The thing is, I saw the signs the first week and knew something was wrong. But, still I took the bait because I was attracted to him.”
During the two-year relationship, Robinson dealt with emotional and psychological abuse and excessive cheating by her ex-boyfriend, who, through her studies, would be classified as an extreme narcissist.
He frequently would engage in two acts that Robinson teaches her clients about – “gaslighting” and “love bombing.”
Gaslighting, for example, is when someone mentally manipulates their partner to the point where the victim questions their own sanity. On the other hand, love bombing initially appears to be positive, with many compliments, a lot of attention and professions of love. Yet, it quickly spirals into neediness, disrespect of boundaries, inappropriate demands and physical or emotional abuse.
“He would accuse me of cheating, tell me I disrespected him and how much he couldn’t trust me, to the point I would think, man, did I do that? All the while, I was the faithful and he was the one cheating the entire time,” she said.
Robinson remembers feeling ashamed because she had spoken so highly of her ex-boyfriend to others, but her relationship was opposite of what she had led them to believe. She had even had him on her show when she hosted mornings at Power 99.1 FM in Tri-Cities, Washington.
“When I finally was released from that, I had to walk myself backwards and ask, how did I allow this to happen? I felt like I was always a strong independent woman, but obviously in those two years, I wasn’t. It was me wondering, what makes me worthy? Because, I tied my identity to him and I had to undo that because I knew that wasn’t true.”
Through Robinson’s Single You podcast, she explores these scenarios, and many more while teaching her clients and listeners how to identify warning signs. She has helped and even saved many women. In 2021, she is releasing her book “Sis, Don’t Date that Guy”.
As the the holiday season, which coincides with the common term “cuffing season” continues on, many women feel the need to get into unnecessary relationships to avoid spending the cold months of winter alone. Also, so they can avoid the questions such as “where is your man?,” or “when am I getting grandchildren?,” during family gatherings.
“Far too many women feel pressured to be in a perfect relationship by a certain age for fear of judgement and for fear of people thinking that something is wrong with them,” Robinson said. “Women need to know that it is OK to be single – it doesn’t make you any less of a woman. “I just want women to know, you don’t have to have a ‘Love and Hip Hop relationship, because that’s not real. You have to learn how to love yourself so you can know what real love is,” she said.
To help women to embrace self-love in a positive and constructive way, and to survive the holiday season, she offers a “To Do List.” : And for Christmas to Valentine’s Day “What exactly is love”.3 movies to watch – Eat Pray Love- Girls Trip – The Break Up
3 Books to read – Truth about Men- We’re Gonna Need More Wine – Everything is figure-out-able
3 Questions to ask yourself – who am I?- How do I want to show up from now on?- who does God say I am
2 Holiday Activities – dinner party with friends and questions- what have you always Wanted to do but haven’t done yet?
Information on Reka Robsinson and Single You can be found on her website at www.single-you.com or by following her on Instagram at @justmereka.