All Articles Tagged "Ask a Very Smart Brotha"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I’ve Been Crushing On The Same Man For The Past 15 Years

April 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hi Damon, 

I have an issue I need help with. I have this friend well when we were in H.S. we both crushed on the same guy but neither one of us ever did anything about it…crush and I kept in touch… cut to 3 years ago and my “friend” and I are at a wedding. I’m preggers with my son at this time.

My “friend” finds out that I kept in touch with our old crush and begged me to hook her up… I relayed the message and was told that she wasnt his type. I didnt know how to say that to my “friend” so I said nothing. She eventually let it go… well a year and a half after I had my son guess who comes sniffing around.

The crush! I couldnt resist maybe I should’ve said no but my “friend” knew that he was my crush as well. Long story short I ended up getting pregnant and having his baby. So now everytime I hear from my “friend” its always drama! Everything that he does via social media she comes back to report. Her favorite thing to say is “I dont mean to be a debbie downer but..”.. my question is what would be the best way to deal with her? Should I kick her to the curb? Should I just dismiss the hate and shade she throws my way because he was our mutual crush? (We are all over 30 now)… you’re really good with sorting things out and seeing the truth that lies beneath… even if I’m in the wrong I invite you to be brutally honest with me… will you accept the challenge??

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Dumped Me When I Told Him I Love Him Too Much?

March 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Alisha: Why can’t I find a boyfriend? Most men tell me I’m intimidating. How can I stop looking “intimidating” lol

DY: When a man randomly calls a woman “intimidating” it’s usually code for either “I’m not that attracted to you” or “you’re too attractive for me.” Either way, I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. Instead, work on enjoying life and being the type of person other people (men and women) enjoy being around.


Bella: Can a FWB (Friends with benefits) relationship turn into something more? I entered into a FWB relationship with a man and I developed real feelings for him. Your thoughts are welcomed.

DY: It can. But, it very, very rarely happens


Danielle When trust has been broken in a relationship, how do you fix it so trust can be fully restored? Or is that even possible?

DY: There’s no science for how to do that. Therapy/counseling helps, but neither of those are sure solutions. You basically have to figure this out on your own. And, if you can’t do it, you can’t do it.


T’wanda: Does a guy have to text/call you all the time to show valid interest in you and a possible relationship?

DY: No. But he does need to contact you regularly.


Angela: This married woman is hitting on me… How do I get her to stop? She’s 47. I’m 30…a nd she has kids my age….. WTH could she possibly want from me and she has a husband? Thanks for your help.

#2. Do you feel moving in together is a need in order to see if that person is marriage material?

DY: Did you try “Hey. Stop hitting on me.” yet? (And, for your second question, no. Some people might feel like they need it, but I don’t consider it to be a requirement.)

Why is it that men say they want a successful woman, then they get one that’s more successful than they are and there’s a problem?

DY: For some (not all, but some) men, wanting a “successful” woman basically means that they want someone who’s successful enough to take care of herself, but not so successful that she outshines him. Basically, it’s an ego thing.


Gina: Why do men feel they can be vulgar and inappropriate on dating sites knowing they wouldn’t make the same comments/introductions in person? Do they think intelligent women really respond to that?

DY: They do it because they know it wouldn’t fly in person. In person it might get you smacked. Online, though, the worst that can happen is an ignore.


Tracee: How can a woman get out,of,being friend zoned all the time?

DY: In my experience, when women are friend-zoned repeatedly, it’s largely due to them accepting the “accommodating/cool homegirl” role and hoping that’ll change. What you need to do instead is be honest — with men and with yourself — and upfront about your expectations. And, if someone isn’t interested in you like that, don’t “hang around” hoping they’ll change their mind.


Kgothatso: Is it normal for a man to dump a woman because he says “she loves him too much?”

DY: Normal? Yes. I’ve heard that excuse before. Thing is, it’s just a way of him saying he doesn’t love you without him actually saying it.


Sharigurl: We were dating and then he backed off then he said he wanted to just be friends so I took that to mean he didn’t want to see me anymore. However, he calls and or texts everyday to talk about nothing or really important things like his relationship with his kids and his life or to check in on me. I really like this man but do I need to move on ?

DY: Yes, you do need to back off. What he’s doing is a classic move where men keep you close while also freeing himself up to see other people.

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: We Could Be Great But After 7 Years He Won’t Commit

March 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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he won't commit


Dear Damon,

I have been dealing with this guy since we were 18, arriving at the same college at the same time. We have been carrying on this situationship for 6 going on 7 years straight. No signs of slowing down or stopping. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our lives, namely being in relationships with others, we always find our way to one another. Whether it’s cooking out, chilling and watching TV, spending the night or just being physical and going about the day. It’s our thing. We’re comfortable enough around each other that certain things come very natural for us. Think Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits.

Even though he has been in his own relationships and I have been in mine, we are each other’s weakness. I know that this is not normal but I am looking for a way out or through. We have discussed being involved in our own relationship, he always resists. I think it may have something to do with what he thinks I did in my past. However, when I ask him to elaborate, he won’t. I feel like there is something that is bothering him that he won’t tell me. The girls that he chooses always wind up being totally wrong or hurt him. I can’t but help to think that I would be the right choice for him simply because we are one in the same.

We have the same thoughts, like the same kinds of music, foods, clothes, we even are from Chicago and grew up not that far from each other as children. I have asked God to take him out of my life, but days, or weeks will go by and he shows back up; either it is by text, social media or phone call. I really don’t understand if it is meant for us to be together in the future or what? I am confused as to why he keeps coming back to me especially now that he is now seriously dating his best friend?  I feel like I am trapped in a bad cycle. I am so in love with him but I don’t know how to help myself out. We would be so perfect and compatible with each other if he would just trust it and open up more. He’s my dream. I just don’t know what to anymore. Can you please offer any insight on this?

Waiting on a Dreamlover

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Does A Woman’s Credit Score Matter To A Man?

March 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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In this week’s edition of “Ask A Very Smart Brotha,” Damon was back on our Facebook page taking relationships during our bi-weekly, hour-long live chat. He got some pretty interesting ones. And there are a couple that seem really complex that he makes quite simple. Check out his answers below.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Joanna: I do? If a man meets a woman who is single, no children, & has a 500 credit score, does that automatically disqualify her from the pursuit of a relationship??

DY: Depends on the man. Some are credit Nazis, some would be cool with it if they saw you were making better financial decisions now, and some don’t give a damn as long as you have a big booty.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Wrong For Still Loving Him?

March 5th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Dear Very Smart Brotha,

I’ve been having a hard time lately. I was recently in a long relationship with a guy that I really cared, and still do care about. He’s an athlete, is very smart and is loved by everyone. We were inseparable. When you saw one of us, the other wasn’t far behind.  Before I go any further, I want to stress the fact that those factors are NOT why I fell for him. They helped, but I would’ve loved him regardless of his social status. In fact, he had an injury from baseball that required a major shoulder surgery. I stood by his side, cancelled previous obligations the day of his surgery and made sure I was there with him that day. I stayed with him day in and out and even skipped out on my lunch break every day to check on him, made sure he’d taken his medicine, checked his blood pressure, changed his bandages, etc. etc. I treated him as if I were his wife; cooking for him, cleaning the house, ironing his clothes for him, the list goes on and on. In addition to all this, his family absolutely adores me (or so they say they do) and even after the break up we remain in contact with each other regularly.

I’m the type of person to admit when I’m wrong and when someone asks me a question, I’m brutally honest and I expect the same from my significant other. I never complained about him spending time with friends or having his time to himself. My motto for a relationship is “If you wouldnt want me doing it, you dont do it either. Treat me good, and I’ll treat you better.” Well he was amazing at first. We’d sit back and laugh at the girls that were sending him “thirsty” text messages together and just sit back and enjoy each other’s company. Then he started getting distant after about 5-6 months. Around this time, rumors began surfacing about him and his ex. And until I had reason, I acted like I had never even heard them. There were three instances that I asked him about her, and the only reason I asked was because those three particular instances had details in them that only he and I knew about. He denied all three and the last time I asked, he broke off the relationship. We still were with each other however, just without a title. (Stupid of me, I know) Soon after, pictures of he and his ex began popping up, never on his social media, always hers. But he SWORE up and down that they were strictly friends. We still associated with each other, and he still fed me “You will be my wife one day lines” and a whole bunch of other bullsh*t. We had mutual friends and I decided that I was going to go visit with them one day. He found out and flipped shit. Now at this point we dont associate with each other except for on a sexual level. He was my first and only sexual partner. He began calling me out of my name and going back to not speaking to me at all but he still gets upset by the things that I do, even though I’m not with anyone on an emotional or sexual level. My question is, from  male’s perspective, what do you think is going on in his head? Why do you think he did all this and still gets upset?

Am I wrong for still loving him?

Read Damon’s response on the next page.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: When Do I Tell Him I Don’t Want Kids?

February 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Nia: What makes a man want to marry? I’ve been with my guy for 17 years got the ring but no I do.

DY: A man wants to marry when he finds someone he wants to marry. Basically, if you’ve been with him 17 years, and he hasn’t married you yet, he just doesn’t want to marry you. I didn’t mean for that to come out so blunt, but there’s really no other way to put it.


Mesha: Why do men follow their penis and not their heart?

DY: (Some) Men do that because they value the temporary pleasure from making their penises happy more than the long-term (but riskier) pleasure of heart happiness.

And, of course, there are also many men who value both equally.


Precious: Should a woman divorce her husband if he has not been providing financially? Job hopping.

DY: Depends on why he hasn’t been providing. Getting laid off in a tough economy — which is understandable — is different than being lazy/unemployable.


Deanna: Any advice on how to approach the subject of children? I don’t want any and I’m not sure how long I should wait (if at all) before I tell a guy I’m dating.

DY: You don’t have to divulge those details while initially dating. But, if it’s at the point where it may have the potential to turn into something long-term, it’s time to share that.


Tia: How do I get a guy’s attention that I like?

DY: Say “Hi. My name is Tia. What’s yours?” Or get naked and show up at his job. One of the two should work.


Lauren: Why are guys so fearful of committing to an awesome woman?

DY: “Awesome” is a relative term. Your “awesome” may not be his “awesome.”


Tabitha: My issue is that a strong independent black woman I find that I intimidate a lot of men. I don’t intentionally try to do it but it just seems that is how I come across. It’s true I don’t need a man, but I do want a companion. I’ve tried toning down my assertiveness but then I don’t feel true to myself. Damon, what advice can you offer me?

DY: Many of the women who make sure to refer to themselves as “independent” and “strong” women who “don’t need a man” also tend to be somewhat obnoxious. Not saying this is you, but if it is you, you don’t have to keep reminding everyone of how strong you are. Take off the “I’m independent!!!!” t-shirt and start rocking your “I’m Tabitha!!!” t-shirt instead.


Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Doesn’t Like My Natural Hair, Can We Make This Work?

February 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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doesn't like my natural hair

Hey Damon,

I recently decided to cut my hair off and go natural. I made the decision on a whim and I felt empowered doing it and I love my new TWA. But my boyfriend absolutely cannot stand it. This is who I am so I’m wondering whether or not our relationship stands a chance? What do you think?

-Newly Natural


Dear Newly Natural,

That’s a tricky question, for many reasons.

It’s possible that he doesn’t dislike your natural hair, just the particular natural hairstyle you have. Just as there are dozens of different things women can do with weave or relaxed hair, there are dozens of different “natural” hair styles — twists, afros, short dreads, long dreads, braids, etc.

I bring this up because it’s often implied that if a Black man doesn’t like a Black woman’s natural hair style, he’s really a self-hating slave to the euro-standard of beauty. And while that may be true in some cases, usually it just comes down to a man getting used to his woman with a particular hairstyle, and not immediately feeling the change. And this is something that happens with white women, Asian women, Latinas, whoever.

Also, although men are the ones who get criticized for being upset about a woman’s hair change, many women actually would feel the same way if their bf/husband made certain changes. For all the women attracted to and/or dating men with dreads, I’m sure you’d feel a certain way if you came home one day and he cut all of his hair off. Same with the women who attracted to and/or dating men with full beards. And, I personally know that my fiancee would have an issue if I grew out my hair and decided I wanted to look like Pusha T.

You also have to consider the fact that maybe it’s not about the hair. Perhaps he’s upset you made that decision without discussing it with him first. Not asking permission, mind you. But discussing it. Perhaps the hair issue is a symptom of a deeper communication problem.

Granted, if you’re the type of woman who changes hairstyles and hair colors four times a month, you don’t need to have that conversation because he likely knew before you even started dating that the multiple change thing was a part of your package. But, if you’re a person who has had the same look for a number of years, you should give your man a heads-up if you’re planning on making a drastic change.

That said, a situation like this can say a lot about your relationship’s health. Basically, if he’s truly into you, he’ll eventually get over it and get used to your new hair. Maybe he won’t ever love it, but it won’t be a deal breaker either.And, if the hair continues to be an issue, he’s not the one for you.


Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Like Him But He’s Too Short…

February 12th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Another week, another relationship question and answer session with Damon Young. There were some interesting questions this week that really illustrate the difficulties–or the perceived difficulties–women have with dating and relationships. Take a look at the selected questions below and let us know if you agree with Damon’s advice.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Disappeared. Now He’s Back, What Should I Do?

January 30th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Comeakco: A man tells a woman he needs space due to her consistent temper issues. They can talk on the phone but he wants space to figure this out. The woman seeks advice from two different men. One man says do not give him space. try to work it out. the other guy says give him what he ask for (space). Your thoughts?? Space or no Space? lol

DY: If the man asked for space, give him space. I mean, think about what you’re asking here. He has a problem with your anger issues. Wouldn’t you saying “No. I won’t give you space” be exactly what he was talking about?

Comeakco: Lmbo…I guess you’re right.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I’m Married But I Have This Crush…

January 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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I’ve been in a really bad relationship for 12 years with my husband. He cheated on me about a year ago and we separated because of it. Fast forward to 3 months ago. I have been having crushes on guys and I can’t say anything to them because I’m still miserably married. Some of these guys don’t even know that I’m interested in them. They all know that I’m married. Please help, what should I do?

Dear Constipated Crush,

Of the many latent themes present throughout the fifth season of “The Wire” — aka “the best American piece of art ever made” — the one that I’ve found the most applicable to my own life is the concept of “fresh eyes.” Sometimes you can get so bogged down in a situation or circumstance, that it’s hard for you to make good assessments, and you need to bring someone else to help you. Basically, you need “fresh eyes.”

For instance, a few months ago my car was acting strange. Making weird noises, riding awkwardly, and just not handling the way I was use to. First, I thought it was my engine. Then the brakes. Then the shocks. I couldn’t figure out what it was, so I made an appointment to see a mechanic. The day before the appointment, I drove to my parent’s house. My dad happened to be on the porch. The first thing he said to me when I greeted him? “Son, you need some new tires.”

He was right. And, not only did I need new tires, the tires were what was causing my car trouble. It seemed like an easy/obvious solution, but I was so focused on the engine and the brakes and the shocks that I couldn’t see the answer.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I remind myself of this when getting letters like yours. To me, the solution to your dilemma is obvious. But, because you’re invested in the situation, I can understand why the answer may not be as obvious to you.

You need to get a divorce. Immediately. You’ve been in an unhappy relationship for over a decade. And now it’s time to end it. Your tires are bald, and you need to throw them away and get some new ones if you ever want to be able to move on.


Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at 

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