All Articles Tagged "Ask a Very Smart Brotha"
Al- Qumar: Can u express your understanding of how men are moving today. Seems, quite a few, not all, are resentful and scarred by past relationships, so badly, that it has effected/affected the chivalry, the gentle man, the provider, the doer??? He simply does not have the strength, commitment or mobility to fight for a real relationship. Thank you.
DY: I do think there is some real animosity between (some) men and women today. Both side are hurt, both sides lack trust, and both sides aren’t giving an inch. But, it’s also important to remember that this is “some” and not “all.” Not even “most.” It’s just that the unhappy/hurt people seem to be the loudest, and that ends up giving the impression that they represent the majority of us. They do not.
Raven: How would I know when the right guy has found me (I’m done.looking for love) ? I have my guard up and I definitely don’t want to miss my blessing nor do I want to open myself up to get hurt.
DY: “Knowing” happens a different way for everyone. But say that a good sign of it is the realization that you can’t envision a future without each other
Ashley: When you sleep wit a man and they don’t get completely nude does that mean they are not completely invested and they just want to hit?
DY: Not always. He could just be anemic. But, if you’re regular sex partners and the only thing he ever does is pull down his zipper, he’s probably not the one for you.
Washington: Advice for a mother of sons with No direct support from father. Lots of Great men family in Life but what truth to tell?!
DY: I’d just raise to be respectful, compassionate, productive, and contributing members to society. I imagine things could be very difficult as a single parent, but make sure to lean on those great men in your family when you can as well
Patty: What do you do if you are tired of waiting for a commitment? Are ultimatums a good idea? Everyone has patience but sometimes it runs out.
DY: Ultimatums are never a good idea. You want people to make decisions because they want to, not because they’re guilted/shamed into it. And, if you’re tired of waiting for a commitment, end the relationship.
Shantice: What is the best way to motivate a man? My husband no longer feels the need to contribute and our financial situation is being greatly affected by this. I am not sure what has caused this change in him but he has never been like this. He was always willing and ready to contribute; he was the first one ready to take care of most of the bills. We both worked and contributed but I am quite disturbed by this. He quit his job in April and now it has begun to finally sink in for him the reality of our situation and I have become tired of the constant need to talk about it. I just want him to do something and to take charge like he used to do.
DY: It sounds like he’s depressed. I know funds are low, but I suggest that he see a therapist. That type of behavior suggests that something is seriously wrong with him emotionally.
Tashina: My guy works a lot and its a new relationship. I want to spend time with him but am trying to be understanding of his schedule (he just got a promotion) . However, my feelings are hurt that even on the weekends when he’s free I’m still not getting the time I’d like. I know it takes time to adjust and add a person to your life but am I crazy to think that he could try a little more? I only see him like once maybe twice a week. Am I expecting to much to soon ? Or am I just not a priority?
DY: How long have you been together?
Tashina: Just over two months
DY: Have you asked why he doesn’t spend weekends with you?
Tashina: Originally it was his idea that we should have one weekend day to ourselves but that has not happened. Now he comes for dinner one night during the week and maybe a second. I tried to talk to him and he said that he’s working hard and is stressed but is trying to make the time I deserve. However this past weekend he had two days free, sat he was with his boys, and Sunday I didn’t see him until late then he stayed for twenty minutes and had to go to work. Which I know was legit cause he was calling around in front of me trying to get someone to cover. My thing is my brother always said men make time for what’s important and if they don’t your just not.
DY: Typically, I’d agree with your brother. But considering he has new job demands and kids and still manages to see you a couple times a week, I’d cut him some slack. For now. He may just be trying to adjust to his new schedule. But, if this behavior keeps up for a couple months, that would be a good time to bring up your lack of time
Tashina: Ok. Oh he has no kids by boys I mean friends. Lol. But I will give it time. Thanks
DY: Actually, friends instead of kids makes a big difference. That considered, I’m more inclined to agree with what your brother said about him
Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com. 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 Amazon.com.
I have been in a relationship for 4 years. We have a 1 year old and I have 2 other children from a previous relationship. He is awesome. He pays all the bills and rent, shopping money, trips for our family, he loves me and the kids like no one ever has. He bought me a house for Valentine’s Day last year in a really nice community…but another woman lives in his other house in LA… Should I give him more time to get rid of her or leave him now?
Not Satisfied with the Sugar Daddy
Kaliah: My fiancé works a lot I mean a lot we nearly never have time for us. I told him how I feel and he says he understands. But nothing has changed. I don’t want to keep nagging him about this because some men don’t do anything and here I have a man who works and provides for me and my baby which is not his. What am I supposed to do or say?
DY: Hmm. I have three questions for you:
1. Has he always been this way?
2. If yes to number one, why did you agree to marry him if you already knew you weren’t going to be happy about the amount of time you have together?
3. What does your screen name mean?
Colette: Should couples be friends on Facebook and should it be taken seriously when your other half makes side ways comments on other people’s statuses?
DY: Do I think it’s necessary that a couple be friends on Facebook? No. Do I think it is kinda weird if a couple isn’t friends? Yes. As far as the flirting goes, I don’t see much difference between offline flirting and online flirting. Basically, if he’s saying inappropriate things to other women, you have a right to be upset about it.
Mimi: My question is can a relationship work if neither person trusts the other after 13 years of cheating, one moving in with another lover?
DY: Why would you even want that relationship to work? There’s nothing you can do to turn a piece of sh*t into a steak, so why try?
Sunshyne: What do you think of a guy that tells you he doesn’t want to be with you but gets mad when you talk to someone else!
DY: Exactly that. He doesn’t want to be with you. But, doesn’t want you to be with someone else so that you’re always available to him.
Natacha: Yes! After being together 15 yrs (married 11) how do I get my husband to initiate date nights? I’m tired of ALWAYS making the plans and making the effort…. And I’ve told him so. I’m starting to get resentful.
DY: Perhaps he needs some stronger incentives. Also, have you asked him why he doesn’t initiate the date nights? What’s his reason for acting the way he does?
Schantel: What if you’re shacking, get engaged n then decide not to shack n live separate until we get married? Without making your partner feel like you don’t want them. A day has been set for the move but taking it hard and not taking it serious? I am on a spiritual journey n a single parent of 3 teens. Its just not adding up to who I want to be and thats a better mother n hopefully a great wife?
DY: Just try to explain to him exactly why you need to make that decision. Admittedly, if my girlfriend said something like that to me, I might first assume that she was having second thoughts about the marriage. So, when you have this conversation, you really have to stress the spiritual/religious aspect as best as you can.
Simone: Hi Damon, (Long distance relationship with an extremely busy man) when men know that things are well with their girl, they start to act chill (not responding to text messages within 24hrs, forgoing skype dates, phone calls) and then when the girl all of a sudden becomes too busy and does not reply because he’s used to her being available, he starts to freak out by sending back-to-back texts + phone calls…please explain.
DY: Do you really need an explanation for that? What you just described is human nature. We all have a tendency to take certain things we love for granted. And, once we’re threatened with losing that thing, we overcompensate to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Monique:I was in an extremely abusive relationship prior to the one I am in now. My new partner knows my past but I think he is putting too much pressure on commitment I not seeing anyone else I am just not ready to jump all the way in the fire. Why doesn’t he understand?
DY: I’m glad you were able to get out of that relationship. As far as your new man goes, he probably considers your reluctance to commit be a personal slight at him. Explain to him that while you’re definitely willing to move forward, it’s going to have to happen at a pace you’re comfortable with. If he’s still not cool with that, then maybe its time to reevaluate if you actually should be with him.
I have asked and expressed to her that we can’t be friends right now if she is entertaining other men. ie; texting, talking on the phone, going out on dates etc. I asked her if she was doing so and she says NO. She said she’s not doing ANY of the above. I know people. Sometimes we have platonic friends who need someone to talk to about our issues etc. I do, and I tell her. She even knows the names of the women I talk to. These are women/sisters/close female friends of mine over 15yrs+. So there is no need for me to be secretive about it with her. I ask her if she has male friends she talks to and still says no. But I know differently. She DOES have a male friend who she talks to but won’t be honest with me about it. Which makes me even more curious.
However, I have been able to gain access to her phone/text logs. I noticed a new number over the last two months. But what really alarmed me is that over the last 8 days they both initiated texts between each other. They’ve texted each other over 175 times in the last 8 days. And still continue to text back and forth, but without actually talking on the phone. I’ve called the guy and asked who he was and of course, he wouldn’t say. I’ve repeatedly asked my girlfriend if she’s talking or TEXTING anyone and she says no. She also says that if she’s interested in anyone else she wouldn’t be dealing ME. But they still communicate daily. I can’t figure out who this person is, and she’s claiming she’s not talking to anyone else. What do I do? Why would a woman only talk to a man via text so much and not the phone? They text as much as she and I speak on the phone. And we talk about 2-3hrs a day. It sucks because I can’t tell her I’ve seen her call log. I can’t even use the excuse that I saw it on her cell phone. There is no way I can bring up the number. I just want the truth.
Vanessa: Who should bring up marriage first the man or woman?
DY: Don’t worry about “firsts” once you’re actually in a relationship. Keeping score of stuff is for dating. If you feel like talking about marriage, talk about marriage.
Rochelle: if someone were having an affair for 12 years and now both parties are now divorced what are your thoughts of a true relationship happening now……..generally and from a guys point too
DY: 12 years is a mighty long time to have an affair. If they were seeing each other for that long, and still stayed married to their spouses, I’m not so sure if they actually want to be together that badly.
Jasmine: I just met this guy no more than maybe 2 months ago and we met only for a brief moment but I live in Texas and he lives in Alabama. What can I do to keep– how shall I say this– to keep me and him in a position where we want to be more than just friends. I will be moving back home within a few months, how do I know he will still be there waiting on me? Am I being clingy if I want to talk to him everyday? One more question am i rushing it if I tell him that I feel as if me and him meeting is like love at first sight. A little insight about him he’s in the army, he goes to school, and he’s a pretty good down to earth guy .
DY: When first meeting someone that makes you smile, its easy to get carried away. And I think that has the potential to happen with you. My advice? Relax. Talk on the phone with each other. Take things slow. And, mostly importantly, let him reciprocate interest.
Janet: Why do guys breath smell so bad?
DY: Because we’re always kissing y’all
Arielle: Do you think that a 22 year female dating a 43 year old male is too big of an age gap to work?
DY: There are exceptions to every rule, and, who knows? You two might be the exception. But, let me say this. If my 22 year old brother told me he was dating a 43 year old woman, a red flag would go up. And, if my 22 year old sister told me she was dating a 43 year old man, an even redder flag would go up. 22 and 43 is just too big of an age and experience gap.
Erica Why don’t most men show their emotions? Why do they not want to talk about marriage, goals, children, only just sex? Everything is I’m not ready.
DY: Cause that’s all some men care about. Also–and this must be said—many men have been socialized to not show emotions and not want to “talk things out” for fear of being seen as “weak” or “soft.” If you’re dating a man who seems to feel that way, you have to let him know that its safe for him to open up around you.
Megan: I’ve been in a relationship going on four years now. My boyfriend has not proposed. Every time I bring it up he says let him be the man and stop trying to be in control. Ive given myself until the end of this year before I walk away. We have a great relationship but Im tired of waiting. Am I wrong?
DY: No, you’re not. You want to be married, and he hasn’t shown that he wants to marry you. So, you need to be with someone who does.
Angela: As a man, Have u ever said hurtful things, things u regretted later to a woman you were dating seriously?? If so, how did u get back on her good side. Verbal abuse vs. Just some thing u said out if anger
DY: Yes, I have. I apologized and let her know it wouldn’t happen again. And (most importantly) I didn’t let it happen again.
I’ve been in a string of relationships where infidelity has been our downfall. So naturally I have trust issues. Fortunately, I recognize this about myself and am usually upfront about this within a month or so of dating someone new. I tell the men I’m seeing that they have to earn my trust and that there may be times where I may have questions. Understandably, some men have an issue with this and feel like they’re paying for the mistakes of others and they bounce.
Now recently I’ve been reading Hill Harper’s book “The Conversation,” and a man in the book says that a “good man” won’t be dissuaded by your issues. He’ll work though them with you. In fact, he says that the men who leave are probably had ill intentions in the first place. I’m still on the fence about this. What do you think? If a man isn’t willing to work through trust issues with you or earn your trust does it mean he was probably going to dog you out?
Confused by The Conversation
Me & this guy met right in the middle of our respective divorces. What was supposed to be a two week rebound for me turned into 4 months–we came to genuinely care for one another. I broke if off gently, saying we should give one another some time to heal. I go to therapy, he goes straight to the next girl (and therapy). However, we “hang out” regularly, and of this his gf is aware. I doubt she knows it’s every weekend. She definitely doesn’t know I sleep over (just sleep for now).
Months pass and for some reason, the chemistry’s still there. The old me woulda cut this off as soon as I heard about the new chick, but since I’d gotten so close to the family, I felt that would be wrong of me. Besides, his parents, brothers, and friends love me and I came to love them too-they were super supportive through my divorce since my parents couldn’t be.
More months pass and he’s still seeing the same girl, but the chemistry between us remains. I try to avoid him as much as I can. Now it’s been a year since he and I stopped dating each other. I’m still not dating by choice. he’s still dating homegirl, still calling me twice a week, and we’re hanging out almost every weekend. I’ve since moved outta state but like an idiot started sleeping with him right before I left. He still calls me twice a week without fail. I’ve been lying to get outta taking his calls for a couple weeks now.
I’ve finally accepted he has no plans to do any self-reflection any time soon, and I want out of whatever kind of relationship this is (side chick? Ex? whatever) and I thought putting a couple states between us would do it. Talking to him just causes me a lot of anxiety, but I still talk to his parents regularly. How do I gently convince this guy to leave me in peace, hopefully without alienating the fam? Or has this ship simply sailed?
- Bad with Breaking It Off
Kathleen: When asked to complete a task by a female (other than boss), why does the male ALWAYS do it when he is ready and not when asked…what is the rational?
DY: Obviously, this doesn’t apply to every man and woman, but generally speaking, men and women seem to have different standards of urgency. Basically, when you say “This needs to happen now!!!” we think “Eh. I’ll do it, but relax. It’s not that serious.”
(And yes, this has happened in every relationship I’ve been in—including the current one)
Wicole: If someone is protective of their cell phone, does it mean they have something to hide?
DY: No. They may just feel a certain way about people snooping around their stuff. Doesn’t automatically mean they have something to hide, though
Jessica: Why does a woman’s independence scare men out of a relationship?
DY: Saying a man is “scared” or “intimidated” of a woman’s independence is a just an easy way of saying “He wasn’t attracted enough to her.”
Kenosha: Do you think a man would give a second chance to someone who pushed them away due to insecurity and baggage?
DY: Depends on the man, obviously. But, I will say that men generally don’t give women “second chances” the way women do for men. It happens, sure. But, not often.
Lisa: Why do men always act is if they want a certain type.Turn around and choose the total OPPOSITE!
DY: Same reason some woman may say they want a certain type of man but only date the opposites. Basically, most people have no idea what they actually want until they get it.
Slim: Is crossing the “friendship line” ever ok?
DY: LOL, depends on what you mean by “Ok.” Seriously though, if you have a mutual attraction, go for it. Eff a “friend line”
Sugga: Why would your current man want to meet your ex’s?
DY: To measure wangs? Seriously, I have no idea.
Kelle: What are your views on friendship before a relationship? From your experience and counsel, would you say that relationships where both parties are friends first for a good period of time tend to last?
DY: What are your views on friendship before a relationship? From your experience and counsel, would you say that relationships where both parties are friends first for a good period of time tend to last?
Jamie: Why is it that when you meet guys initially they let their guards down to get you… After they start getting to know you and feelings start to progress they become guarded and sometime stubborn? Isn’t that backwards?
I believe as we become older we become more spiritually inclined and “some” connections we feel with another person don’t happen everyday.. Just like a parent can love their child before they are born…. and when they see them in the flesh it just connects the feelings that were already there…… Is it safe to say you can love somebody before you even know them but staying in love requires work?
DY: Although women are the ones who usually get called out for having trust issues, men have them too. And, when men act like that, it’s usually a way to guard themselves from getting hurt. And no, I don’t think you can love someone before knowing them. You can be in love with the idea of being in love with them, but that’s a completely different thing
Wendee: What would you say are the 3 most important qualities a man looks for in a woman when a man decides he wants to be married.
DY: Depends on the man. But, if I had to do a quick aggregate of men I know (myself included), I’d say that, once you get past prerequisites like physical attraction and compatibility, a sense of compassion, a sense of loyalty, and the ability to laugh and have fun are the three biggest things.
Shannon: Is chivalry dead? Or is that if he’s truly interested he will be chivalrous?
DY: Chivalry definitely isn’t dead. It’s not even on life support. There are tons of chivalrous men out there. And, like you said, those who aren’t will change their tune if they meet someone they like enough.
Salena: If you’ve gotten into a committed relationship (living together, sharing expenses etc.) Marriage has come up in conversation however it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening within the next year or two, should you be discussing the possibility of children? Woman already has 4 from previous marriage.
DY: Personally, that’s not how I’d go about doing things, but if the couple is ok with having children before getting married—and if both parties are ok with putting marriage on the back burner for the time being—why not? That said, if one of the people in the relationship wants to get married sooner rather than later, having children is probably going to add some strain to that relationship.
Courtney: How does a woman who’s ready for marriage talk to get significant others about the seriousness of it without running him away or forcing him to marry?
DY: Tell him how you feel about marriage. If you don’t want to be in a long-term relationship unless marriage is in the future, you have to let him know. Don’t just assume that he’ll be able to read your mind.
And, as far as how he reacts to that, don’t worry about that. It’s out of your control
Mytyia: Yes- why does it seem like men tend to gravitate towards “Needy” women?
DY: Men gravitate towards women they’re attracted to and want to be with. Sometimes these women happen to be needy. Sometimes they happen to be less needy. But, for men who happen to be more drawn to needy women, the answer is obvious. Needy women make them feel needed.
Simone: What does it take for an emotionally walled/closed up man to open up?
DY: Could be any number of things. The right person, the right experience, therapy, etc. But, if this is a person you’re in a relationship with, you need to stress to him that he needs to eventually open up for the relationship to continue. Let him know you’ll be there with him on that journey, but stress that he needs to start on it.
Karla: How would you suggest I politely tell a man I’m not into him because of his weight?
DY: Unless you plan on getting with him if he loses weight, there’s no point in telling him why you’re not into him. Just tell him you just don’t feel a love connection there.
C: What do you do when he’s reluctant to make a commitment to be in a relationship ( keep saying I love you but not ready ? )
DY: Mirror his actions. If he’s not ready for or available to you, don’t be ready for or available to him.
Jakoya: How do you know if a man is truly feeling you?
DY: Does he consistently make time for you? Also, does he make (and keep) plans with you?
Nadiah: Why do men feel the need to play head games? Don’t matter if they’re 25 or 45… They wanna do mind tricks like we’re in Inception.
DY: Grown ups who still act like children do so because they’re able to. Basically, they don’t get enough negative reinforcement, so there’s no reason to stop acting the way they do.
Alicia”wrkincollege’girl”: How do feel about younger women dating older men? I am talking to a man 19 years my senior.
DY: If you’re a working college girl like how your name says, you don’t need to be seeing anyone twice your age.
Imani: We just got back together and he doesn’t do things he usually does. He’s taking his phone with him every where he goes around the house. He works nights and some nights he will come straight back to my house around a certain time and now he says he’s getting off later than what I’m used to. It’s a girl at church that likes him and he doesn’t want me to go with him [to church] anymore. But tells me another excuse on why he wants to go alone. He’s just not being consistent with our relationship.
DY: Ask him. Tell him point blank that you have certain suspicions and why you have them, and let him explain himself.
I know that’s not the most satisfying answer, but besides buying a ninja suit and following him around at night, it’s the best option right now.
Yalonda: I recently connected with a guy from high school thru Facebook. I don’t remember him from school at all. He has several stories about our interaction. None of which I remember. Anyway we have great phone conversations. We met today face to face. And now I think I remember him. He was annoying in H/S and he’s not really my type. Not sure what to do.
DY: Basically, you seem to get along now, but since you weren’t feeling him in high school, it’s affecting how you feel about him now? I mean, if you’re not feeling him, you’re not feeling him. But, you have to make sure you’re looking at him as an adult and not a 16 year old
I have an anonymous question: why is it my boyfriend thinks it’s cool to interact with his female friends on Facebook, and even make suggestive comments on some of their pictures/like them. But, if one of my male friends so much as says “hi” on my wall it’s a serious problem. Mind you, I don’t have any male Facebook friends that I’ve dated or have sexual history with. He does. Is this a problem or am I overreacting?
- Dealing with a Double Standard