An Intimate Interview with Calynn M Lawrence
PHOTO CREDITS: Melvyn Windmon
Calynn M. Lawrence, Miss United States Universe Tourism 2021 is the 25-year-old known as “The Supergirl of Small Business P.R.” (New York Times Daily) who recently made history and was featured on the front page of The Washington Mail and TIME Magazine Paris for founding one of the largest pro bono marketing “agencies” in the world! Her initiative, The Fresh Faces Project, a nonprofit initiative that has provided free and discounted marketing and promotions services to nearly 500 participants from musicians to models to MD’s. Since its establishment in 2014 during her senior year of high school, The Fresh Faces Project has worked with many brands from creatives, entrepreneurs, public figures and more! They offer free and super discounted opportunities to be featured in the press by publications owned by the parent company, the Calynn Communications & Creative corporation, the opportunity to be an honoree at the annual Fresh Faces Project Awards for which they charge no nomination fees, ticket sales or mandatory sponsorships/donations, and the opportunity to be a cast member on their 5-star rated web series “Chicago Talent.”
With seventeen awards for her work ranging from her 4 Chicago Oscars and Woman of the Year to two National honors for philanthropy and community service, she’s got her career in the bag! However, there is one area of her life that she’s consistently referenced as her Achilles heel. LOVE! We got the chance to sit down with her and get her thoughts on love and relationships in an intimate interview for OjffCover Magazine!
Why do you reference love as a weakness of yours?
I cite love as a weakness of mine because it’s never been something that I’ve been able to get right, yet it’s one of my biggest desires. Having been in quite a few unfavorable relationships and having been deeply heartbroken many times, I’ve learned many lessons! Largely because I have such a huge heart and I am a very sentimental/compassionate person who can see the good in almost anyone which used to cause me to over excuse my previous significant others for behavior that shouldn’t have been tolerated. However, after being intentionally single for almost 2 years and taking new measures to ensure that the men I entertain are worth my time and energy, I’ve spared myself quite a bit of heartache over the past 2 years. So, I guess you could say that it’s a weakness I’m slowly conquering!
Congratulations on assessing the issue and valiantly working towards resolving it! What has been your biggest struggle with dating and relationships?
My biggest struggle in dating and relationships is finding a man who is not only worth my time, but finding one who won’t waste it. I have met a handful of men who were everything I wanted on paper, but they either weren’t looking for the same things in life or they weren’t ready to settle down. As someone who has always been marriage minded, I don’t date just for funsies and I don’t believe in causal relationships. Thus, finding a guy who checks all my boxes (or at least all of the important ones) and who is looking for real commitment has been a challenge for sure.
What do you mean by “checking your boxes?” What does a woman like you look for in a partner? What are your must-haves and deal breakers?
First and foremost, I need someone who is driven and hardworking because I’ve learned from previous relationships that being the only one careerminded doesn’t ever end well. I used to think it was shallow to not give guys a chance just because they weren’t a match for me secularly or financially, however, I saw from my last serious relationship that I was incorrect. It actually causes way more problems than it’s worth because that mindset attracted many men who were attractive and fun to be around to me, but who were lackadaisical or dependent on me to always handle things which I didn’t enjoy. You don’t have to be a 6 figure earner with a penthouse condo (because that’s not me currently), but you must have a liveable full time income that sustains you well enough to where you not only don’t rely on me financially, but you have something to contribute to the future I’m trying to build. Being a full time humanitarian is a goal of mine by age 35 (which requires me to build enough passive streams of income to live on that allow me the freedom to focus on my philanthropy and not always chasing money), and I can’t do that if I’m the one solely or mostly responsible for the financial status of my spouse and children.
Chivalry goes a long way with me. And while I’ve never been the type to depend on a man to “finance” me, I appreciate when a guy can afford to wine and dine me sometimes without me always having to reach for my wallet when the check comes. It just sends me strong Alpha male vibes that I appreciate as an Alpha female. That’s not something you can really do if you don’t have a liveable income.
Also, I need someone who is family oriented, a joy to be around, and has a heart for humanity and is willing to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to giving back to the community and making the world a better place in whatever way he sees fit. Everything else like being 6’2 with an Olympian’s physique and Colgate smile are just attractive extras, but not something I’d put at the top of my list. Obviously, I have to find you physically attractive for a long term relationship to work, but I’m not a supermodel so you shouldn’t have to be either!
Those are all very understandable requirements! It’s assumable that a lot of men would approach you because of your secular success and online popularity, so why do you think it has taken you so long to find your special someone?
I do get quite a lot of men approaching me, mostly online. But, I think that I’m looking for a very specific type of man so it doesn’t matter if I get a ton of inbox messages or hits on my profile if those men don’t meet the criteria I need for a long term partner. I’ve literally spoken to over 1,000 “prospects” throughout my singleness and, for one reason or another, none of them became my husband. They either had the looks but not the personality, had the personality but weren’t physically attractive to me, had both but just didn’t want commitment or had both but I didn’t check all of their boxes after getting to know more about me. So, the process has been long and heavy, but my patience and strong will to never settle for less than I deserve again will pay off eventually.
Do you believe once you find that special someone and settle down that life will be better for you? If love is your greatest weakness, would eliminating the void change you as a person?
I think that I’ll feel fulfilled romantically once I find that long term partner. But, not in the sense that a husband will “save” me from some lifetime of despair and distress. I learned a long time ago that “waiting for Superman” is nothing more than a Daughtry hit. I just think it will allow me to feel like I finally accomplished one of my major life goals, the same way that hitting major goals in my career gives me a sense of empowerment and joy. I guess the major difference with love, however, would be that I’d have another person to share in the happiness with!
That’s a great mindset! How long are you willing to wait for your special someone?
If I’m being honest, I would LOVE if 2021 could be the year I meet a great guy and fall in love. Then, maybe be engaged in 2022, married by 2023. But, because I want tJo make sure that my future husband is my ONLY husband, I am willing to just wait and see who comes along and play it by ear. As many times as I’ve been disappointed or even crushed by former love interests, I’ll never let the fear of striking out keep me from playing the game. I know my prince will come one day, and whether it’s next week or next year, I’m gonna keep my head up and keep chasing my dreams until he does.
Are there any strong contenders at this moment?
I have a few candidates that I’m talking to at the moment, but it’s too early to say whether or not it’ll be a long term thing with them. On paper, they seem great with thriving careers and good looks. But, as I explained earlier, it takes more than just that to keep me. I need a guy to really show me that he’s down for me and that he’ll be as loyal to me as I will be to him, and that he’s ride-or-die material in the same way that I am. That’s not something you can prove in just a couple dates or phone calls.
We wish Calynn the best on her search for Mr. Right! As someone who many would consider the “whole package” with beauty, brains, benevolence and a little bit of baddiness, we’re sure he’ll come around soon! After all, you don’t get to accomplish what she has by waiting inside the lines, and not bringing anything to the table.
Check out her website to learn more about her work