All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Too Independent?

April 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Dornice: Why are men intimidate d by a strong independent Black WOMEN

DY: Maybe they’re just intimidated by people who feel the need to capitalize WOMAN. I know I am.



Shannon: What makes a woman a wifey type? Or what makes a woman not?

DY: Don’t think there’s any such thing as a “wifey type.” Who a man decides to “wife” up depends on the man and his own likes, dislikes, and circumstance.

Shannon: Thanks Damon Young….one last question you think there is a such thing as a too independent woman?

DY: I really wish someone would bury this notion that a woman’s “independence” is keeping worthy men away from her. That just does not happen. I will say, though, that “single” behavior and “relationship” behavior are two separate things — the type of mindset that’s necessary when single may need to be adjusted when entering a relationship — but that goes for men and women.


Alicia: What do think of young women with older men? I’m 22 graduating next spring. I’ve been seeing men in their 30-40s?

DY: I’m not going judge. As long as you’re both adults, happiness is where you find it. But, I will ask you this: What would you think about a 27 year old man who dated nothing but 18 year olds?

Alicia: I do think it’s a bit odd. But why do men like younger women?

DY: There are tons of possible reasons why. But the main reason is that younger women are “easier” and, subsequently, easier to control. There’s a power dynamic there that their age and experience — and the income that often comes with age and experience — gives them.


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’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: 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.

Is This Open Letter From A Cheating Ex-Husband To His Former Mistress The Worst Thing You’ve Ever Read?

February 28th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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This letter, written by a lowdown and dirty anonymous cheating ex-husband, is giving me all sorts of ugly relationship/Vietnam War-like flashbacks.

I wish I could tell you this charmer’s name, but the byline on the Thought Catalog website says anonymous, which, by the way, is also the first clue that what you are about to read is some hot and messy bulls**t. Anyway, this 30-year-old bachelor of the year recently left his wife and children for his 20-year-old intern. Icky, right? Well that’s not all of it. Feeling guilty and maybe remorseful, the anonymous cheater decided to write a letter to share his feelings–not to his wife though. Rather, he addresses this finely-crafted nerve of a letter to his mistress, who after a year of dealing with the loser, wised-up and left him for more sane pastures.

Anyway, in the letter entitled, To The Millennial I Left My Wife For (And 8 Parting Words Of Advice), the cheating valentine said he did everything in his power to make it work with his mistress, not wife, including reading books and articles, contemplating therapy and doing anything he could “to make myself worthy of your love.” Despite his failed attempt to woo his mistress with promises of therapy and newspaper clippings, our sad and pathetic lover boy says that he is not at all upset about what has transpired. Although he admits to having moments of jealousy and neediness, as well as once threatening, “to expose how we got started when you threatened to leave,” our hopeless romantic still claims to be rather grateful for the experience.

He writes, “You finally had the courage to do what I couldn’t do, even after you were kissing and making dinners for your neighbor behind my back, when you got together with ex-boyfriends without telling me, and accepted dates from other men…,”

Nope, not bitter at all. In fact, to prove how un-bitter his fruit is, Romeo here gives his ex-lover eight unsolicited tips on how to not be a cold-hearted ice princess, including such timeless wisdom as:

2. Continue to value family and friends. While some friendships will fade, don’t give up on being the type of friend and family member worth keeping in one’s life.

Because a man, who left his family for a barely legal intern, would know something about family values. Speaking of grown men messing with young girls, he also advises her to do the following:

3. Continue to make your bed. I know you did it for me, but it truly made your day better. But remember too, that it doesn’t matter if you leave your bed unmade and your clothes all over the floor. You’re fantastic the way you are and those who love you don’t really care.

So outside of the paternalism of telling a grown woman, despite being 10 years his junior, to make her bed, he is also going to tell her how much she liked it, even though it was apparent she was only doing it to shut his controlling mouth up. Even more peculiar is that after feeling it necessary to include the bed-making chore on his list of wise words, he concludes the point by saying that making her bed is not important at all. Talk about gaslighting a chick…

And then there is this gem:

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Many of us are good at seeking help for our career, but too often we refuse to seek help for our personal life as well. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know everything about how to be a good friend, lover and partner.

I just can’t say anything nice here. But our romantic illusionist is not finished yet and wraps up his double-speak manifesto with this sentiment:

Despite our differences and our history, I hoped to give you the world. There’s a big part of me that still does. My friends and my ex-wife tell me that time will heal my wounded heart. I hope they’re right. I hope to once again wake up and not look for you next to me. I hope to be able to masturbate again without stopping because I can only see your body and your face. I hope I can once again think about being with another woman. I hope the loneliness fades. But for now, I still can’t fathom a future with anyone but you. Ending my marriage was hard; losing you has been even harder.

As I said, this letter will be all kinds of frustrating to those women (and men), who have ever dealt with a narcissist before. His ex-wife should be grateful to have him out her life – although I have no idea why she entertains him (enough to give him advice on the next woman) beyond finding out what time he plans on picking up the children for his scheduled visitations…

But in spite of how agitating this letter is, there is a great warning here, particularly about those potential partners who would rather place emotional burdens on the shoulders of their significant others than to do deal with their own flaws. In short, avoid them.

Likewise, this letter is a nice reminder of how silly it is when women fight each other over who is the main chick and who is the side jawn. Just remember that in between that drama between the two women being played is an emotional manipulator, who cowardly feeds off of the attention and energy he receives from both.

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.


‘I Was With Someone That Wasn’t Supporting My Growth:’ Melanie Fiona Discusses The Art Of Breaking Up

February 26th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

There’s tons of advice out there about how to attract a man, how to date and how to maintain a successful relationship. But rarely do people offer advice on how to break up, if and when that time comes.  During the second installment of Necole Bitchie’s “Girl Talk” chats, singer Melanie Fiona advised against being the wild and deranged woman who wants to destroy everything in her path following a breakup.

“Ladies, I know it’s so easy to fly off the handle and throw stuff outside, and burn stuff, but there is nothing good that comes from that,” she explained. “No matter how much you think he is the worst person in the world. There is nothing worse than for him to see than you strong, walking out, being like ‘You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.’ Not the “Oh my God, she was crazy. She burned all my sh**. She cut up all my stuff.’ ‘Yea, that’s why you can’t be with that chick, she’s crazy.’ That’s what dudes say!

The “It Kills Me” singer added that remaining calm is generally the best way to approach the situation.

“What I’ve learned is that there is so much strength and power in being calm and saying what you gotta say because you’ve done the work to know what is for you and what’s not for you.”

The 30-year-old Toronto native also advised against settling for less just for the sake of being in a relationship.

“I was with someone that wasn’t supporting my growth and it’s a question that you have to ask the partner you are with; ‘Do you love me for the girl that I am or do you love me for the woman I will become.’ And so, the truth of the matter is, you have to figure out who that woman is. And hopefully if you are with someone, they can love you through those things.”

Though her family continues to pressure her about marriage by reminding her that she isn’t getting any younger, Melanie says that she will not settle for anything less than what she feels she deserves.

“I talk to my mom and of course West Indian parents say, ‘You getting married? Are you getting married today! You are getting older!’ I had to remind my mom, ‘Mom, I’m not going to settle for less than I deserve.’ I’m comfortable and I’ve done the work to know that I’d rather be by myself than to be with the wrong person. And that’s okay. I want extreme love and I believe it can happen and I believe it’s for me.”

Read Mealnie’s full interview here.

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.

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