All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I Let Him Hang Out With His Female Friends?

March 27th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Should I Let Him Hang Out With His Female Friends

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Dear Damon,

I met an amazing man 13 years ago. We dated briefly (no sex)! Last year we hooked up (had sex)! He asked me to live with him and basically live happily ever after. He constantly showed and told me he loves me. I was afraid and ran home. The sex was awesome and the kisses were magical. I think about him daily. He thinks that i only want to use him for sexual purposes. My question is, what can i do to show him that I’m not using him, that i wanna continue to enjoy him when he have this mental issue?

– Don’t Know What To Do

 

Dear “Don’t Know What To Do”,

Reading this reminded me that, for my own professional/personal growth, I need to find another show to reference besides The Wire. Because the first and only thing I thought after reading this was that your problem “sounded like one of those good problems.” (ht to Marlo Stansfield) You and your “friend” clearly like each other a lot, but you just haven’t found a way yet to communicate that to each other in a language you both understand.

Oh, and here’s another thing: You’re actually in the right here. As much as you both seem to like each other, he does seem a bit, for lack of a better term, “extra,” and you’re right to want to take things a bit slower. Especially considering that you had that long period of time between seeing each other. Just tell him that you really do like him, and wish to see how this progresses, but also wish to take things slowly. Basically, date each other. And make sure this connection isn’t just an infatuation.

 
Sincerely,
 
Damon Young
 
Check out another question and answer on the next page.

Where’s The Love? 12 Ideas That Will Get The Romance Back In Your Relationship

March 16th, 2015 - By Rochelle Burnley
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Relationships are a lot of work. Though nothing worth having comes easy, it can be pretty taxing to try to keep the romance exciting and consistent. Luckily, there are businesses that have made it a priority to help you keep the romance in your relationship alive. Let’s look at a few of the businesses that you can call on to show that special someone just how much they mean to you.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Did I Trap Him?

March 16th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Dear Damon,

I met my husband in high school. I had our first kid my junior year, as a result of a fling after we had left our high school sweet hearts.

We broke up right before I found out I was pregnant. While I was hospitalized (water broke prematurely) he called me everyday and asked if I’d take him back. He had went off to college to play football and we were together long distance.

During that time a lot happened, I was homeless at one point and moved to where he was for a better life. 4 years of marriage and a second child later, I found out he dated someone for about a month (they only went on one date) while I was away. And he still maintained an on and off relationship with his high school sweet heart.

Sometimes when we’re really going through it he would contact her and do the whole “what if” thing and then blame it on drunkenness. I feel like I was just the plan B girl, because of our child together, and because we’re so young I always hear comments about how I trapped him (which I would never do). I just want to know why he would stick around so long if he had feelings for his ex or wanted to see other people. Did I trap him without even knowing it? He’s a great looking guy and played football so he has no problems getting anyone he wants… Just wondered why he would stick around if he really wanted to be somewhere else, knowing I would let him go if that’s what he wanted. Sorry this was so long I felt I had to explain everything in detail.

Sincerely,

The high school fling that turned into the real thing

 

 

Dear High School Fling,

For several months last year, I was working on a side project with a few friends. I won’t go into any details, but we had a great idea, a great plan, and were committed to executing that plan. But, a couple months or so into the project, something just didn’t feel right. Didn’t know exactly what it was, but things didn’t feel the way we expected them to, and weren’t progressing the way we wanted them to. The simple decision would have been to just regroup and start over, but it was almost like none of us wanted to admit what was happening wasn’t working, because we had to much time and thought already invested in what we were doing.

In business terms, this is known as a sunk cost. This mindset, however, applies to many relationships, where good and well-intentioned people stay with each other just because they’ve already invested so much of themselves into it. What eventually happened with us — and what needs to happen with you — was a “come to Jesus” conversation where we finally admitted that things weren’t working and needed to change. Because as much as we wanted to respect the time we already put into that work, we were losing even more time — and wasting effort and energy — by not changing things. Fortunately you’re both young and literally have your entire lives ahead of you. And trust me, you don’t want to be having the same  shoulda/woulda thoughts at 45 that you’re having at 25.

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 I Get Him To Stop Looking At Me Like A Friend?

March 11th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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champ213Takara: Once a cheat always a cheat? Is it true

DY: No. I don’t believe in absolutes. People change. But, that change will more likely happen with someone else than with the person they’re currently cheating on.

Mary Mary Share How & Why You Should Forgive A Cheating Partner

March 5th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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During the last season of “Mary Mary,” most fans watched in horror as Tina Campbell dealt with the reality of her husband’s infidelity. Judging by this season’s trailer, it seems that the singer’s marriage is still suffering from Teddy’s decision, but she assures us that they have survived that storm. Now, both Tina and Erica are offering advice to women who may find themselves in a similar predicament. Peep their interview above.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: The Sex Was Wack Am I Wasting My Time?

February 25th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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The Sex Was Wack Am I Wasting My Time

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I’ve currently been talking to a guy who’s 20 yrs old. I’m turning 24 in a few days. 
We met at a get together in January and it started off as pretty clear that we were both still emotional unavailable. He was smitten with me and was very nervous to even talk to me. I felt like a cougar. He started texting me every day and wishing me good morning. I made it clear that we could only be platonic friends. But then we started getting close. Cuddling, kissing and eventually intercourse. He grew on me. 
Our first time was pretty bad because he’s only had 2 partners. I’ve had far more. I may have been too honest about my lack of satisfaction. We didn’t talk for 4 days after that and then I had to make the first steps to contact him. He was too embarrassed, we cleared it up in the end. 
So it lead to this: He says he’s afraid to get hurt and attached to me. That he doesn’t want to start anything, that sex makes him feel used and weird. He wants to stay friends but when we are together he gives me puppy eyes and is really nice to me. He worries about me if I say I’m sad and lets me vent. Kissing just always happens. He asks me if I’m seeing anyone, what I’m doing. We always talk. He’s coming over to mine on Monday for my birthday. First time we’re gonna hang alone since that night. 
I told him I don’t want to rush and I am only ready for casual stuff right now. We tell each other anything. 
WHAT IS HAPPENING? Am I wasting my time???
Dear What’s Happening,
There are four things going on here:
1. You like each other. This is clear. Perhaps it wasn’t love at first sight, but you seem to like being around each other and enjoy each other’s company.
2. He’s very young. Both in age and in relationship/sexual experience.
3. You are very young too. Perhaps you’re more experienced sexually, but going from “Hey, we’re platonic. Nothing is happening here” to “Ok, you can put the tip in” in less than a month is a sign of someone who might think they know what they want, but really don’t.
4. He likes you more than you like him.
Fortunately, none of these are bad things. What can potentially be a bad thing, though, is if you continue this ambiguity without any type of parameters or rules. Casual with occasional sex works in theory, but once feelings are involved — and, again, you both seem to like each other — “casual” has a tendency to lead to “hurt feelings.”
Basically, if you want to date each other, date each other. And, if you want to just be cool with each other and leave the sex alone, just be cool with each other and leave the sex alone. Either way, figure out what you want, have an actual conversation about it, and…follow through. Only then will you be able to gauge whether you’re wasting your time.
Sincerely,
Damon Young

Reclaiming My Favorite Love Songs

February 20th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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I have a very complicated history with music.  Like most people, I’ve always loved it, and been drawn to it.  However, my mother did what she could to keep music away from us.

It wasn’t because she was kill-joy.  It was the fact that she was a health educator for the school district that we went to, and there were too many times that some of the kids in the different schools (and even in my elementary class) would come to her facility with issues about intercourse.

So my mother put a moratorium on music, to the point that when she was driving, we couldn’t even listen to gospel music (because at that time, Kirk Franklin was turning old secular songs to Christian ones, and she was against it), we listened to sermons.

My father, not wanting us to be the “weirdo kids” who didn’t know what was going on in pop culture, but could recite a Kenneth Hagin sermon from beginning to end, would sneak us music (but if we got caught with it, we were on our own).

Though my mother is less strict on music (because we’re all grown, and what can she do?!) I hold certain music very close to me.  I don’t know if it’s because I feel like it might get taken away, or what, but once I have “a song,” I like to keep it.

The problem that came with that, is when I would date, I would share some of my favorite songs with my guys (and vice versa).  Those songs would be the soundtrack to late-night chilling sessions in dorms, cuddling moments, and cruising around in my small Hyundai because we didn’t have any money to go anywhere, but we wanted to hang out anyway.

But once those relationships ended, I couldn’t listen to those songs anymore.

This became even more evident when I had an urge to listen to Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” on Youtube and couldn’t even make it to the “turn the lights on” part.  I knew that that song in particular was going to be hard to reclaim, because that was the song my ex-husband dedicated to me, but geez-louise, I still wanted to hear it.

It wasn’t until I looked at the selection of “Suggested Videos” on the side of my Youtube browser that I was confronted with my “Love Song Graveyard.”

There were so many songs that gave me a pang in my heart just looking at their titles.  It wasn’t like I still had feelings for the guys who I listened to the songs with, but I guess I just didn’t want to be reminded  of what didn’t last.

However, I’m incredibly stubborn, and figured that I need to get over this.

First, I realized that I never really confronted my feelings on each situation.  Once the relationship was over, I just moved on with my life.  You should do that; but for me, that included ignoring my feelings completely.  I never had a time to just marinate in what I was feeling.  So, I gave myself some time to think it over.

It wasn’t in an attempt to wallow, but to acknowledge whatever feelings I’d been suppressing.

Second, by thinking about it, I realized that though the relationships didn’t work, it didn’t mean that I was losing out on anything.  For some reason, thinking back on the relationships allowed me to remove the emotions from them, and I was able to see them in black and white.  Relationships begin, and some of them end, but that’s just life.

Finally, once I had an objective view of those past relationships, I was able to reclaim some of my favorite songs!  Being objective helped me to able to separate the emotions that were tied to the song, and just enjoy them.

The end of a relationship can be hard, but that doesn’t mean that you need to end your relationships with your favorite music, restaurant, or gym.  Whenever you feel ready, you can reclaim your favorite things, no matter what the emotions are that’s attached to them.

Trust me, my world has become a lot more musical of a late, and I couldn’t be happier.

Kendra Koger is gently bobbing her head, while occasionally tweeting @kkoger.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Says He Won’t Have Sex With Me Until I Lose Weight

February 11th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Alawanda: I’m becoming more conscious and awake. My beliefs have changed alot, extremely pro black, black love, he takes it as racism. I trying to deprogram what has been brainwashed in my head for generations. Yes we are married. He is semi conscious should I keep my views to myself?

DY: You don’t have to see eye to eye with everything with your spouse. But, what’s the point of being married to someone if you can’t talk to them and be honest with how you feel about things?

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why Does He Leave Me Hanging Via Text Message?

February 4th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Why Does He Leave Me Hanging Via Text Message?

Niecy: Why do men try to hide their feelings from us? And you mean everything to them! And we show them ours…

DY: Sometimes it’s because men have been socialized to believe that showing feelings/emotions is a sign of weakness. And sometimes it’s because there aren’t any feelings to hide.

 

Denise: Why do men leave me hanging in a text message? No response for days… :(

DY: Sporadic communication is usually a sign that he’s not very interested in you.

 

Nicole: I’m 41 years old and looking to start dating again…any tips?? It’s been about 2 years since I’ve been out on a date and I’m nervous!

DY: Relax. Have fun. Enjoy life. I realize this seems like simple advice, but dating should be fun. And you won’t have fun dating unless you’re already having fun with your life.

Why Does He Leave Me Hanging Via Text Message?

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Rae: Is it ok to have sex on the first date and can it develop into a relationship?

DY: Yes and yes. Just remember, make that decision when you’re comfortable making it. Not when you feel like you “have to.”

 

Allisha: How long is too long to date someone with no commitment?

DY: Depends on you. From my own experience, though, I pretty much knew how I felt about someone — at least in terms of commitment — after a few weeks of consistent dating.

 

Taye: When you truly like someone, but can’t tell the guy because he said he is not ready for a relationship because he has been hurt in the past…What should you do?

DY: Believe that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why Did You Say 62 Percent Of People Shouldn’t Be In Relationships?

January 30th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Why Did You Say 62 Percent Of People Shouldn't Be In Relationships

Hello. In one of your recent writings, you said that most relationships (62%, I think) need to end. I know you were joking, but you’ve said similar things before. I don’t get it. I thought the point of advice was to help people in their relationships, not end them. Didn’t you just get married yourself?

Confused about your comments
Dear Confused,
You’re right. I did joke that 62% of people in relationships probably need to be single. And, like most jokes, it was rooted in truth. The percentage I used was arbitrary and maybe even far too high. But it stems from the belief that most of the relationship advice I give people is due to one of two overlapping things:
1. They don’t need to be in the relationship they’re currently in
2. They don’t know how to be single
You hear all sorts of reasons for why people stay in relationships. They’ve invested too much time to end it. Someone got pregnant. It makes financial sense. They feel like they’re too old to be single and start over again. The sex is great. The kids would be upset. But, only one question matters? Do you make each other’s lives better? If you do, stay together. If you don’t, don’t. When you get past all the extras, the main reason I married my wife is that I prefer the life I have with her in it than the one I had without her in it. (And I’m assuming she feels the same.)
Thing is, you also can’t expect a relationship to change your life. Enhance? Definitely. If you’re a cup of lemonade, a relationship should be a spoonful of sugar added to it. An enhancement that makes an already quality substance better. What some people expect is that a relationship will turn that cup of lemonade into a steak. It’s just not going to alter the properties of who you already are. Which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re good with who you are before you jump into one. Which is why I believe we need to stay single — even if that means ending the relationship you’re currently in — until that’s true.
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.