All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Doesn’t Take Care Of Our Daughter, Should We Divorce?

October 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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should we divorce

I am 20, husband is 21. We have a daughter together but I have 100% responsibility for her and getting her everything she needs and he won’t watch her unless forced to. He doesn’t want to be married anymore because it’s hard. He recently started smoking and. I refuse to be with someone like that. He’d rather be boyfriend and girlfriend. He parties, stays on phone 24-7 and doesn’t help raise my daughter. He’s barely around me but only for sex or money.He wants a divorce and has been distant for almost 6 months but swears he’s not cheating. I don’t know what to do. Let him go and move on or try to make it work?

Don’t Want A Divorce

 

Dear Don’t Want A Divorce,

The answer for what you should do is obvious to me, to everyone reading this, and probably to you too. If someone is acting like they don’t want to be in a relationship — and actually comes out and says “I want a divorce” — you do not need to be in a relationship with that person any longer. This is simple.
But, I’m aware that life has a way of making the simple seem difficult. That said, let me address and refute a couple possible reasons why this might be a difficult decision for you.
1. You’re in love
 
Love is only worth holding on to if the other person is also in love, and his actions are showing that he’s too immature to even consider loving someone
 
2. You want your daughter to have both parents at home
 
A noble concept, definitely. But do you really want to raise your daughter in a toxic environment where one parent clearly doesn’t want to be there?
3. You’re worried you won’t be able to find anyone else
You’re 20 years old. There will be literally hundreds of potential “anyone elses” in your lifetime.
In summary: Get the divorce, give him his “freedom,” and make sure he maintains his financial/legal responsibilities to your child. (And immediately stop allowing him to use you as a sex toy and an ATM)
Sincerely,
Damon Young

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.

Looking to Save Your Relationship? Avoid These Common Blunders.

October 28th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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Via ShutterShock

Via ShutterShock

Relationships are never easy to navigate because of the rollercoaster of emotions that come with trying to maintain that healthy balance of love, compromise and commitment. Some of us are better at juggling the elements than others but at the end of the day, like everything else in life, it boils down to hard work and dedication.

Being able to give yourself to someone in a selfless manner requires the most basic instinct that is inherently in all of us but sometimes gets buried in an attempt to exercise a level of control or because we don’t have the ability to be generously sacrificial.

If the “honeymoon” phase is over and things are rapidly disintegrating, you can either jump ship or stick around for the rebound. Living in an age that encourages flighty connections and disingenuous attachments thanks to the digital era, the ability to focus on one thing at a time has become a major challenge. We are now conditioned to always anticipate something better coming along, and that can affect our ability to commit to our relationships in a meaningful way.

But if you are truly in it for the long haul – there are ways to save your relationship as opposed to sabotaging it. You can start by finding a nicer way to point out your partner’s mistakes. Constantly barraging him with the things he did wrong tends to leave a sour taste in his mouth and will ultimately push him away. Nobody wants to be around someone who spends majority of the time making them feel inadequate. Constructive criticism is valuable every now and then, but if you are habitually judging your man, he will run into the arms of someone who validates him in ways you refuse to. Another major hindrance is the habit of mockery or relying on hostility as a form of communication. This is a very common feature in most relationships and it is also the most damaging. We get to a place where our frustrations give way to a growing contempt for the person we supposedly love. If we are unable to keep this at a minimum, it may be time for an extended break or you could both do the work in order to figure out why those feelings are consistent. Either way, you have to remove yourself from the unhealthy regimen of making your partner feel like his very presence makes you feel uncontrollably disgusted.

Another item on the list of queries is the instinctual need to be defensive. We can’t help but regulate the blame to someone else, especially when we feel cornered. If our relationship is unstable, the best way to get at the heart of the matter is to investigate your own contribution to the issue instead of heaping all the blame on the other person. If both of you are invested, that translates into a partnership. You both have to accept responsibility for the successes and failures. If you are unwilling to take ownership of your mistakes, you are basically making a bad situation worse which means there will be no resolve. In order to encourage a positive outcome to an ongoing conflict, you have to be open to the idea of giving your partner the respect he deserves by listening to his side. You have to be able to accommodate his concerns while also being equally expressive. That is the only way you can both reach a mutual agreement.

Lastly, the death of a relationship is encouraged by your disengagement. Often times, we get to a place where we have exhausted every option, and we are completely uninterested in being emotionally present or active. Once you have mentally checked out, that signals the beginning of the end. If you want to ensure that you both stand a chance, you have to make the effort to be open and emotionally available. Closing yourself off will make it difficult for your partner to re-connect with you and convince him that you are no longer interested in sharing your life with him.

Relationships can be rewarding and stimulating but in order to reap the benefits, you have to work hard and be diligent. Fairy tales are for dreamers, in the real world, nothing comes from nothing – and that’s a fact.

 

 

 

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I Give Him An Ultimatum

October 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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champ213

Shateria: I have a question I’m currently dating this guy but he’s always busy working and we only see each other once a week or every two weeks what should I do ??

DY: If you’re just dating, once a week is fine.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He’s Hurt Me But Should I Take Him Back?

October 8th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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champ213

Bersheba: Yes if a man I’m dating is a marine in the military an has two sons an ask me to be patient because he hardly has time for me what should I do?

DY: Usually, when guys say “I don’t have time for you” it means “You’re not important enough to me to make time.” What you do with that information is up to you.

Katrina: If my ex and I broke up 2 yrs ago and we still friends. We hang out and have sex at times. Can there be a chance of us getting back together? I broke up with him and every now and then he reminds me that I kicked him out of my life.

DY: If you’re still friends, still hang out, and still have sex, it sounds like you haven’t actually broken up.

Brandi: Is there a way to get men to ask you out? I don’t seem to be approachable

DY: In my experience, the women who are the most approachable tend to be the ones who look like they’re enjoying life. If you look like you’re having fun, people are going to want to have fun with you.

Rachael: In a situation where the Man leaves the wife. Especially if the wife puts up no resistance. Why would the Man be punitive and adversarial. He has his freedom what gives? (no cheating involved)

DY: Because he’s an asshole. A bit of advice: Don’t attempt to “understand” assholes. Some people are assholes for the sake of being assholes.

Ramona: How should I deal with a guy who gets upset for things that I deem as petty?

DY: It depends on what he’s getting upset about. Maybe they’re petty, and maybe they’re legitimately important things that you assume are petty. Either way, it sounds like you need to do a better job communicating with each other

Dwan: If you and a guy have been close for years, and he steady states that he wants to be with you, but he never makes any promising moves that say he is ready, but he still wants all the benefits of a relationship what do you do…should you let it go or wait it out….seem to me he has commitment issues….but idk

DY: I think you know the answer already. You just have to accept it and make a decision.

“I Trusted You And You Left Me” Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children What It’s Like To Be A Single Mother

October 6th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children

Source: OWN

After dealing with the women, the mothers of children from men who had fathered several, Iyanla turned her attention to the fathers. In this clip, Iyanla talks to another father, Nathaniel, who has 28 children from 16 different women. And what’s interesting about this conversation is that it involves four people. There’s Nathaniel, standing in front of him is Iyanla and behind Iyanla is Jeff Johnson (formerly Cousin Jeff). And behind Nathaniel is Jay Williams, the man we’ve been following for the past month and some, with 34 children, was standing with his back to him, supporting him, holding him up.

At first, she asks him what it feels like to wake up knowing he has this much responsibility on his plate.

Nathaniel: “When I think about my children, I feel helpless. I’m full of shame and guilt. I’m bitter.”

Iyanla: “Let me talk to you as a woman, as a single mother. I gave you the most intimate part of who as I am as a woman. I opened my soul to you when I allowed you to lay with me and I trusted you. I trusted that you would be there. I trusted that you were the promise that my daddy never gave me. I trusted you with my soul, with my body, with my being. I trusted you and you left me. Not only did you leave me, you left me here with this child. Just like you don’t know who you are, I don’t know who I am. And now I’ve got a child and I’ve got to figure it out. And you tell me, that you get to go off and figure it out and have other women and I’m here with your child? I don’t get to go figure it out. That’s where she is.

Nathaniel: All of them, though? Even that the ones that we weren’t in a relationship…

Iyanla: Doesn’t matter. 

Oprah called this moment one of the most powerful she’s ever seen on television. And judging by the audience reaction, she might have been right. Men and women alike were crying real tears, like twisted face tears.

If you’ve followed Iyanla’s career, you know this tidbit about her life. But rarely, have I ever seen someone so accomplished, someone who’s established themselves as a leader open up and share the raw, gut-wrenching truth about what it really feels like to be a woman who believed in a man and ending up having his child, only to have that same man leave. It was intense and so honest.

Did you watch this recap episode?

Watch the full interaction Iyanla and the man in the video below.

 

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I End My Friends With Benefits Relationship?

October 1st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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"couple in bed pf"

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Hi Damon,

I’ve asked so many friends and friends of friends about this situation. But I think I should get a man’s perspective on this. I met this man about three months ago and we immediately slept together. We both agreed we weren’t looking for relationships at the time. But these days, I find that I get really anxious when I don’t hear from him. I’ve asked my friends, and some married couples about whether or not I should continue “seeing” him. Some of my friends say it’s time for me to stop sleeping with him, so I can clear my head, and ask him about the trajectory of our relationship. I don’t know if I’m really ready to give up the sex. Some married women I’ve been speaking too keep telling me about all these timelines and I’m wondering what I should do. Should I keep seeing him? Am I setting myself up for failure?

– Friend Wanting More Benefits

 

Dear Friend Wanting More Benefits,

In a perfect world, the friends-with-benefits arrangement — where two adult parties agree to have a consistent relationship that consists of sex and nothing else — would be a perfect solution to both the “inbetween” relationship stage where people between relationships need someone to keep them, um, occupied, and the “I just don’t want to be in something serious right now” stage everyone between 25 and 34 seems to be in right now.

It is not a perfect world, though. Although the friends with benefits arrangement sounds great on paper and works well at the beginning, as 99.99999% of people who’ve entered one will tell you, the longer it lasts, the more awkward they become. As good as the sex can be, someone — and it can be the man or the woman — will eventually catch some sort of feelings, and when someone catches feelings, feelings get hurt.

This seems to be where you are right now. You’re not hurt yet, but if he decided to end things — or if he decided to share how much he likes this new chick he’s dating — you would be. The answer is obvious. Let him know how you feel. If it’s not reciprocated, end the relationship. It might be painful, but pulling off a bandaid hurts much less than putting one on a broken heart.

Sincerely,

Damon Young

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.  

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I’m Interested In My Daughter’s Teacher

September 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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champ213Relationship problems never stop. So it’s only right that Damon Young, from Very Smart Brothas stop by and offer his advice. This week Damon discussed issues of domestic violence, dating with HIV and more. See what he had to say on the following pages.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Doing Too Much At The Club?

September 10th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Ask A Very Smart Brotha

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Dear Damon,

I have been dating my current boyfriend for the past six years. When we first met, I was attracted to the fact that he was so different from me. I’m the more outgoing, party type and he’s more reserved. I never really considered it a problem until my friends brought it to my attention this past weekend. We were all out partying like we normally do. And on our way home that night they made mention of how much I seemed to be flirting with the other men on the dance floor.

They told me that I was dancing too suggestively for someone with a boyfriend. And admittedly, I was flirting but I never gave these men my number.

My boyfriend rarely goes out with me and when he does, I don’t get to dance and socialize like I want to.

I can’t say that unhappy with him but I’m wondering if my flirting was indeed excessive and maybe I was subconsciously expressing some desire to break free from his rigidity.

Do you think my flirting is inappropriate? Should I have a conversation with my man?

– Doing Too Much On The Dance Floor

 

Dear Doing Too Much On The Dance Floor,

So, after reading this, I have to admit I read a couple more times because I had to take an extra hard look at your word choice and syntax. Why? Well, wanted to make sure this wasn’t anonymously sent by my wife. She is that woman who enjoys going out and dancing, and I’m that guy who, while I do get on the dance floor at times, prefers to play the bar — or just stay home. She’s actually a bit more extra with the dancing than you seem to be, though. She loves dancing so much that she prefers dancing by herself than with other people. Which is…odd to me. But, I married her, so I must not think it’s that odd.

Anyway, when it comes to appropriate behavior, if other people are noticing that you’re being a bit too much of a social butterfly, it’s probably time for you to scale things back. Basically, if you ever have a doubt about whether your behavior is cool, ask yourself two questions:

1. Would my significant other be upset if they saw this?

2. Would I be upset if my significant other was acting this way?

Also, while I don’t think the flirting automatically means you want out, I do think being in a bf/gf relationship for six years is a bit of a long time. Maybe you two need to have a conversation about your future. Just promise me that when you do, you don’t do it at a club.

Sincerely,

Damon Young

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.

 

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: How Do You Know When It’s Time To Move On?

August 27th, 2014 - By Asha Boston
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Ask A Very Smart Brotha

Shanally: What does a guy means when he says “I want to be in a committed relationship with you but I’m not ready ”

DY: It means he doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship with you.

 

Porusuchi: I know this sounds silly but I’m dead serious. My guy watches twerk videos sometimes. No big deal but I told him as long as he watches them I will be posting my own. He gets angry. Am I wrong? Should he be mad about this? Or is it justified?

DY: You probably should have stopped at “I know this sounds silly…”. If you have a problem with your man watching twerk videos, fine. But “Well, I’m just gonna make one of my own” is a terrible response. I mean, if he had a porn habit, would you start “hanging out” with Brian Pumper?

 

Byanca: Why do guys think it’s okay to play with a girls feelings? How hard is it to be upfront and tell her that you’re not ready for a relationship instead of dragging her along?

DY: For many people (men and women) dragging out a lie is just easy than telling the truth. Thing is, it’s not actually easier at all. The lie takes more effort and energy, and leaves more broken hearts/collateral damage. But people believe it is, so they continue to do it.

 

Brittany: Thank for your advice in advance. How do you know when it’s time to just let a relationship go?

DY: When you find yourself asking that question over and over again. (And you’re welcome!)

 

Chanelle: Why do some men cheat, go through emotional panics when its over, just to do it again when given a chance?

DY: If you took them back before after cheating, why wouldn’t they think you’d take them back again?

 

Kris: Do guys who break up with a girl still have some feelings for her?

DY: Sometimes. But, usually, when a guy initiates the break-up, there’s no returning from that.

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. 

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Have A 1-Year-Old Should I Stay Out Of The Dating Game?

August 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Dear Damon,

I’m single, 25 and have a 1-year-old. Daughter. I’m currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree and have moved back in with my mother to focus on school instead of working full time. I’m holding off on dating because I feel like in my situation I’m unattractive to stand up guys or the type of men I find attractive. Even after I finish school and get back on my own I’m afraid being a mother is a big turn off. Am I being insecure or am I right to stay out of the dating game?

Signed,
Down About Dating

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