All Articles Tagged "Ask a Very Smart Brotha"
I’m a 23 year old student and I started dating another student on campus, this guy is 29 and working on his bachelor’s degree like me. I know he’s a little older but we seemed to be in similar places in life, literally and figuratively, so I decided to go out with him.
Everything was fine but for our second date, I invited him to a spoken word event and I just so happened to invite my godsister to come along with us. Well, he didn’t like that at all. He made some lame excuse about something coming up and he left abruptly, didn’t even stay for the event. After that I couldn’t get in touch with him for weeks. Then I saw him during finals and he walked right past me like he’d never seen me before.
Finally, desperate for answers, I texted him a few days later asking “Why haven’t I heard from you? What did I do wrong?” I guess he felt sorry for me because he finally explained that he thought it was incredibly rude for me to invite him out when he knew someone else was coming.
So, that’s the first part of my question, was I wrong for inviting my godsister to come to the event with us? And then a few more weeks pass and I was in Miami with my friends. Naturally, we’re posting pictures of ourselves in bikinis on Instagram and all of a sudden he hits me up, asking how I’m doing and to send him a picture.
Of course I was wondering where he came from all of a sudden– and I asked him this but didn’t send a pic. My second question is do you think I should completely write this dude off or should I give him another chance?
- Was I Wrong
Joanswach: Can you have a relationship where you have never met your partner but you chat all day long?
DY: You have to meet eventually. Unless, of course, you want one of those relationships like in the movie “Her.”
Joanswach: What if we are not in tie same country?
DY: Then, you have to make plans to eventually be in the same country, or go your separate ways.
I met this man at a club about a year ago. Already this was probably a seedy situation but shortly after that night when we met up with each other I realized he’s a pretty decent guy. As we got to know each other he started to reveal more and more about himself. I knew early on in the relationship that he had children but with each month, he seemed to add another. By the sixth month we were exclusive and he dropped the bomb, telling me he had 9 children with 7 different women.
By this point I really liked him and had so much invested, I figured I shouldn’t judge him too harshly for this. It was all in the past.
The problem came in when I learned that sometimes he sleeps at one of the mothers’ home. He told me that after he spends time with his child over there, he feels that if he travels all the way back to his house, he’ll fall asleep at the wheel.
Obviously, I have a problem with this and I’m wondering one, do you think I’ve made a mistake off top dating a man with seven baby moms and secondly, how should I ask him to stop sleeping over at his ex’s house?
- Dating A Straight Shooter
Dear Dating A Straight Shooter,
Every once in a while, I’ll get a question that requires some very deep thought and a nuanced, multi-layered response. And sometimes, I’ll get a question involving a situation so complex and/or serious that I’ll admit I have no answers; no clue about what the person needs to do.
I just started dating this man three months ago. Initially, I thought it would just be a summer fling but my feelings grew very quickly and I started fantasizing about a life with him. He’s introduced me to his parents a month after dating and things just felt right when I was with him. He recently he decided to move to Dallas (we live on the East Coast) because he’s tired of the fast paced lifestyle. To say I am devastated would be an understatement. I’ve been crying pretty much everyday since he told me he was leaving. He’s tried to comfort me, suggesting that I’ll find someone else. But I just can’t see it. It may sound crazy but I’m really considering following him to Texas. I just don’t want to be unhappy for months or years down the line, wondering what could have happened.
And, to your ex’s credit, there is one thing he said that’s definitely right. Eventually, you will find someone else.
NaaQuaye: Why do some guys find it difficult to open up and how can you get them to do so?
DY: This is the thing: Guys who do actually care don’t have difficultly showing it. If he doesn’t seem to care enough, he either doesn’t care, or he’s too emotionally immature to be with.
A couple years ago, I was riding in a cab with a couple of friends of mine who had started dating, maybe about six months ago. The man was a colleague of mine but it was clear that the woman he had been seeing was making more money than him at the time. So once we reach our destination, I see the woman rifle through her purse looking for cash to pay the fare. But instead of handing the money directly to the driver, she hands it to my friend and then he gives it to the driver.
Now, I didn’t say anything that day but it was something I never forgot. Years later they’re married and the other day I ran into him, my former colleague. Now that he’s married, and also making about as much as his wife is now, if not more, he feels like he’s some type of relationship expert. When I mentioned that day in the cab and how bizarre I found it, he said that the reason I’m still single is because I emasculate men. Basically, because I felt her gesture said more about his own insecurity and didn’t feel the need to coddle that, I’d never be able to relate to a man, particularly if he made less money than me.
What do you think about that? Should women have to bend over backwards to make men feel like men when they don’t fulfill the traditional roles in a relationship?
-Was She Doing Too Much?
Dear Was She Doing Too Much,
I don’t know how this happened — maybe there’s a full moon tonight or something — but you managed to be 100% right and 100% wrong at the same time. This is like finding a unicorn covered in gold at the end of a rainbow. I’m impressed and perplexed. Basically, I’m implexed.
Let’s start with how you’re right:
I too would have thought that the cab gesture was odd. Because, well, it was odd. I get his point about about being emasculated. While in DC a couple months ago, I overheard a woman tell her man something like “…well, you aint got no money anyway, so why are you talking?”
THAT is emasculating. Paying a man’s cab fare is not, and the lengths your friend and his then girlfriend went through to put on that act are just plain extra.
But — and this is where the wrong comes in — everyone has their own unique relationship dynamic. And while that was definitely odd, it seems to be working for them. As far as you’re concerned, why even bring that up? What did you intend to get out of reminding him of a time years ago when he didn’t have enough money to pay for cab fare? Now, I don’t agree with his unsolicited (and somewhat insulting) relationship advice, but what did you expect? You insulted him, and he responded in kind.
Regarding your question, there’s no “should” or “shouldn’t” involved when it comes to this topic. If you’re comfortable fulfilling certain roles that are traditionally held by men, fine. If you’re uncomfortable doing that, it’s fine too. All that matters is that you find someone you’re comfortable with. Basically, find a relationship that works for you, and don’t concern yourself about the ones you’re not in.
Elexis: I’m 24,educated, and l prefer monogamy,but do you think I’m too young to be focused on something serious since I have STANDARDS when dating? Or do you think I should date around and weigh my options????
DY: I think you should keep living life and having fun. If you meet someone great? Great! If not, that’s great too. But, more than anything else, remember to enjoy your 20s.
Simone: What are your thoughts on giving the cookie then taking away the cookie for undetermined length of time. What kinda reaction would a boyfriend give?
DY: When in a relationship, sex should never be used as a punishment. Doing that creates a dangerous precedent. If you want to have sex, have sex. If you don’t, don’t. But don’t use it as a carrot.
2. Do me a favor. Please, never, ever, ever, ever refer to your vagina (or sex) as “the cookie” again.
Max: I am 40,educated, single parent of 1. My last relationship was with my child’s father,who passed away over 7 years ago. I am so scared to get into a relationship. I fear getting involved with a pedophile, abuser, or user. Yet, I long for companionship. I am not a very social person. I don’t know how to get out of this mindset. My child is 11y/o, and I keep telling myself to wait until she is an adult. Would this be the right thing to do?
DY: It sounds like you’ve never gotten over the death of your child’s father. If you haven’t already, I’d see a therapist. You might be suffering from depression.
Rochelle: I have been on and off with a guy for several years. Last summer when we were in a good place he said he couldn’t go any further…….I understood and took a step back and dated and no longer had sex with him……..he has never stopped pursuing and I don’t know whether to take him seriously “This Time” or not……..any advice?
DY: He’s had several years to show whether you should take him seriously. The answer obviously is “No”
Lynne: When it comes to relationship advice on social media- you often see men address women, women address women…. why do you think you think men rarely/almost never address other men when it comes to investing in a relationship?
DY: Two things
1. There’s a bigger market for relationship advice geared towards women. Women seem to be more willing to consume it, so that creates more people willing to give it.
2. There is a lot of male-to-male relationship discussion. The reason why you don’t see it is because…you don’t see it. Basically, these conversations don’t often happen when women are around. But, they definitely happen.
That said, I do think that the societal burden to “do better” with relationships/dating unfairly falls on women. It needs to be more balanced.
Samara: My ex of 4 years was planning on marrying me. He spoke to my parents got the ring the whole 9. Long story short he left because he found out I was having conversations with other men. Thats it conversation. There was never anything sexual our intentions of a relationship with these men. For me it was an outlet because my ex was no longer my best friend. We have been separated for 2 years yet he makes his presence know. He’s words exactly “you don’t see me all the time but I’m here at a distance. I’m still here” what is that about. Either you want to work together or you don’t I don’t get it.
DY: If you were making emotional connections with other men (plural), it sounds you may have been the one who didn’t want to “work together”. Which is fine. But, you should probably admit that to yourself.
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.
This is more of a general question, not anything I’m asking because of personal experience, just something I’ve observed. While there countless examples of women taking men back and forgiving them after they’ve cheated, why does it appear to be so hard for men to do the same? You may have heard the story of the 99 year old man who divorced his wife of 77 years after he found out about an affair she had 60 years ago or even more recently T.I. scolding his wife on Instagram for posing in a bikini or taking a picture with Floyd Mayweather when his own commitment to their relationship is…questionable. I understand men and women are different creatures but why is it so hard for men to forgive these type of offenses? Do you think they men do forgive more often than we know of and they just don’t talk about it like women do?
I have three somewhat connected but completely separate answers to this question. For clarity’s sake, I’m going to list them numerically.
1. I can’t speak for all men. But I can say with confidence that if you were to poll the men of America, asking them to name the number one relationship dealbreaker, physical infidelity would be at the top of the list. I realize (most) women don’t exactly love it when men cheat as well, but men (generally) are much more non-negotiable when it comes to that.
Why is this true? Well, some people will argue biology, that it’s an inherent quality we (men) possess. Some argue that we’ve been socialized to be less forgiving. But regardless of the base reasons, the emotional reaction is what matters, and when a woman cheats on a man, it makes him feel like his manhood has been taken from him. Basically, she cheated because the other guy was able to provide something physically that he wasn’t. Obviously, there are dozens of reasons — some that have nothing to do with bedroom prowess — that can contribute to a woman’s infidelity, but for (most) men, that “loss of manhood” is the immediate thought. And, for many men, there’s no getting over that.
2. That said…there are many men who welcome back cheating mates. They definitely exist. We just don’t hear as much about them because, well, lemme put it this way: (Generally speaking) Men tend to be less vocal about cheating mates than women are. Again, I’m speaking in general terms, but when a man cheats on a woman and she finds out about it, she’s going to tell everyone from her aunt to her hairdresser. If a woman cheats on a man, he’s going to tell….nobody. Because, right or wrong, he knows it’ll reflect badly on him. But yeah, there are a lot of men who know about their woman’s cheating, but take them back and keep things discreet.
3. This subject is often brought up from a “Why can’t men be more forgiving?” angle. Which is the wrong way to look at things. It’s not that men should be as forgiving with cheating as some women are. No, women should actually be less forgiving.
This — the idea of “cheating zero tolerance” — is one of the few instances where I think it would help women to be more like men. Basically, instead of expecting T.I. to be more forgiving of Tiny, we need to ask why Tiny is so forgiving of T.I.
Jessica: How do I react to a guy who is giving me mixed signals in a relationship?
DY: Give him a clear signal. Tell him to be straight with you or it’s over.
Crystal: Why would a guy take things of mine after I broke up with him? I mean shirts, sneakers, a bracelet, and other things…what is the point in that? And they weren’t gifts he bought for me
DY: Some people are vindictive. And some vindictive people are criminals. Stealing your stuff is a criminal act. If he doesn’t give it back, I’d file a police report.
Zsakosha: Is social media bad for a relationship?
DY: Anything can be bad for a relationship in excess — social media, going out. water drinking, whatever. If social media is ruining your relationship, it’s not social media’s fault. You just have a bad relationship.
Sarah: What does it say about a guy that has 4 children with 4 different women, but is a good Father, provides for all of them, and has a really good relationship with each child.
DY: In my opinion, the most important part of parenthood is modeling positive behavior. And, despite how doting of a dad he might be, I hesitate to give the “good father” label to someone that reckless.
Victoria: Why are so many men embracing feminine or childish characteristics? I understand the real men don’t cry notion is false but now a days men don’t care about showcasing their butts, they wear the pinkest clothing, and think allowing the world to see them in onesies is cute.
DY: You’re describing a small percentage of men. And, my question to you is why does it matter? Let me put it this way: As much as I’m irritated by the type of women who act like they’re on reality TV shows, they don’t affect my life at all. Why? Because I don’t date those types of women.
Victoria: Damon Young just because you don’t date that type of woman doesn’t mean your son won’t. Why am I concerned? Because I believe that as a group of people we are responsible for understanding and helping each other. Who’s to say you can’t speak to a group of these men or women and change their perspective on things? With all do respect, you didn’t answer my question and there’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” I came here for your perspective not a divine answer.
DY: Duly noted. I could have been less dismissive. My point remains, though, that you’re describing a small percentage of men. I’d imagine that less than .00000001 percent of straight men are walking around in onesies.
Also, the stuff you mentioned — pink clothing, skinny jeans, etc — are fashion related. Fashion and trends change with time. 40 years ago, men who were considered the most “masculine” wore form-fitting clothing that showed off their figures. 30 years ago, ultra-masculine NBA players still played in tiny shorts. 80 years ago, pink was considered a masculine color. 10 years ago, the popular trend was giant white t-shirts that almost came down to your knees.
I guess what i’m saying is that every generation has it’s strange and awkward fashion trends. But I wouldn’t allow a person’s acceptance of a trend or the current fashion make me assign a negative quality to his character.
Nubia: Family members aside Who are your inspirations?
DY: God and Rihanna’s dress
I’m 22 have one kid and have not had any luck with relationships period…. I guess because I’m a big girl guys think I’m insecure and only want me for sex. How can I get people to notice more than just my size and look at my inner beauty?
Big and Beautiful
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