All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

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


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.


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: 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 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 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?

Down About Dating

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Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Invited Someone To Our Date And Now He’s Mad At Me, Was I Wrong?

August 13th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hi Damon,

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

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Information Is A Privilege, Not A Right: When Should You Share Your Past In A Relationship?

August 1st, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Once a relationship is established, it can be hard to break from the norm.  However, in every relationship you have, there will inevitably be a power struggle of some sort.  Whether it’s a relationship that requires you to acknowledge an authority outside of yourself (like a parent, or boss), or a struggle to compromise with a significant other (where one might win and the other loses), the power struggle will remain.

But there’s a struggle that you might face that is going to be completely on you, and you have to either relent or stand your ground with it.  That battle is “information.”

When you’re a very nice and honest person this is going to be a continuous test, because people get very used to your honesty, and know that if asked, you’ll likely give them what they want.  Some people will use it against you, and in some cases might even demand to know things.  However, your information isn’t a privilege that everyone needs to have access to.

Now, I’m not saying to not be honest about important things like sexual history, but there are certain factors that should be examined when you’re about to give personal information.

1.)  How important is this information to them? – What I mean by that is, there are some people who will demand to know things about you when it won’t personally affect them.

As stated above, if the information is about sexual health with someone who you’re preparing to get busy with, that’s someone who deserves the entire truth.

If you’re in an abusive relationship and in the scuffle you make a mistake and pocket dial someone and they hear the melee, yeah, you should probably let them know and then seek help so you can get out of that situation.

However, if someone is trying to pry into an issue that the only benefit to them is the information itself, that’s when you have to start contemplating if it’s necessary for them to know.

2.)  Are you prepared to relive this? – Piggybacking off of the first point, sometimes people are so interested in knowing what’s going on, and wanting an answer just to have it that they might not realize how insensitive they are to your feelings.

The act of giving someone information can be very mentally straining, especially if the information that they want is connected to something that you might not be ready to talk about.

Granted, people might not know, but the important thing is, you know what lies beneath the surface of this coveted tidbit.  If revealing it is going to make you face an iceberg of emotion that you weren’t ready to  face, then don’t face it until you are ready.

3.)  Is there an advantage to telling them this?  – Now, I’m going to be honest here.  There are moments that we might have to hear the truth about our lives and our decisions, even if we don’t want to.  Living in dysfunction is one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself, and ignoring that dysfunction can hurt you in the long run.

Sometimes an outside party can see this clearer than we can, so they might ask for information to get a better assessment on whether or not they can help.

With that being said, try and figure out if there is an advantage to being transparent with them.  If you could benefit by getting assistance, then that might be a good reason to divulge.  But if it’s only going to leave you emotionally raw, exposed, and still in the same place, then give it some thought if that’s the direction you want to go down.

The important thing with all of these situations is that you ultimately have the power.  If someone is demanding to know something just for the sake of knowing it is when you should exercise your agency to decide if you want to let them in.  Just because someone is in your life, doesn’t mean that their need to know things should overpower your own sensibilities, and that’s a power struggle that’s worth fighting for.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: How Do I Get Him To Deposit His Check Into My Account?

July 30th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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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.

Are You Romanticizing Relationships?

July 30th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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work guilt



Having a healthy view of yourself is always a good thing, and sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader.  Other times, you have to fake your greatness until you become great.  However, there are times when you’re rose-colored glasses can work against you, and here’s how they screwed me over once.

For some reason, the thing to do your freshman year of college was to visit your former high school while it was still in session, and visit some teachers.  So, like I fool, I did it.  I went to all of my favorite teachers before their classes.  They would ask me to tell the students a few things that I learned since being in college, and then I was on my merry way to impart my wisdom, and presence on all of the lowly high schoolers.

I saved the best for last as I went to a teacher who I felt really cemented my pursuit to go into writing.  I’ll call her Ms. Smith.

I had her my final semester of senior for Creative Writing.  In fact, I had the option to graduate a semester early, but I opted to stay that last semester so I could specifically have her as a teacher.  Everyone said how amazing she was, and no one was lying.  She was a great teacher.   But my shining moment came when a few times she pulled me over to the side and told me how impressed she was with my writing and stressed that I needed to really go into this field.  Gaining her approval was so important to me, and I wanted to remind her of that.

I walked in and I wasn’t given the normal ecstatic greeting, so I just assumed that she was stressed.  But I went over to her, hugged her, and assured her that I was on my way to my goal.  I was majoring in English and I had her to thank for it.  She nodded politely, and I left, leaving one of my best friends who was still in high school and taking the class to find her seat as I went back home.  Later, my friend called me and told me that after I left, Ms. Smith went over to her and said:  “Who was that girl?”

Crushed is an understatement.  Mortified seems like a pretty good assessment of my feelings at the time, and then shame when I tried to rationalize her lack of remembering me.  After I couldn’t come up with an explanation I decided to stop trying to figure out why and appreciate what was.

The thing that I learned through this horrible ordeal was:

Romanticizing relationships can happen easily, especially if the person had a big impact on your journey in life.  But sometimes you have to separate the person from the experience to be able to keep things in perspective.

A positive experience doesn’t necessarily mean a relationship that is everlasting.  Take the powerful words and feelings that have been bestowed on you to help encourage you to be a better person.  However, don’t take it as a means to lay a foundation for a relationship that was never there.

Also, see things for how they are, not for how you want them to be.  A great relationship is built on more than a few positive interactions, and built on a myriad of factors.  Once you’re able to see how limited a relationship is, it helps to allow you to not romanticize it in your head.

I know that seeing things in black and white can remove the fun from seeing things through your rose-colored glasses, but it’s not fun when you falsely elevate your position in someone else’s life.  Trust me.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: My Man Still Sleeps At One Of His Baby Mommas’ House, Help!

July 23rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Dear Damon,

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.

This is not one of those situations.
So look. I’m not going to judge you for sleeping with the neighborhood seed spreader. And, I won’t judge him either. On the bright side, his semen philanthropy is helping to populate the community. Good for him!
But, if this relationship continues, I’m 99.999999% sure at least one of following will happen:
1. You will be baby momma number eight.
2. You will catch an STD.
3. He will continue sleeping with other women.
4. He will do prison time, because there’s no way he’ll be able to pay all that child support.
5. You will likely get into some type of altercation with either a woman he slept with or a woman he’s currently sleeping with.
6. When people in your neighborhood play “Who are these silly women who keep sleeping with this irresponsible and unemployable man???” trivia, you will be one of the answers.
7. You will regret your decision.
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: He’s Moving…Should I Follow Him?

July 16th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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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.

What do you think I should do?
Leaving For Love
Dear Leaving For Love,
I’m very sorry to hear that you’re heartbroken. From experience, I know that it can be a crippling pain — a mental, emotional, and spiritual ache that can even have physical effects. But, although you’re feeling down, I have some good news for you. It’s news that may not make you feel better any time soon, but please trust that it’s good news. 

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1. You’re going to feel better.
Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week. Maybe not even next month. But the pain you feel now will subside. This may sound cliche, but it is true. Time does not heal all wounds, but believe when I tell you it will heal this one.
2. Your “one” wasn’t “the one”
In your letter, you bring up the possibility of moving to Texas to be with this guy. This would be the worst possible thing you can do. Why? Well, you’d be chasing someone who doesn’t want to be with you. If he did he would have stayed…or begged you to come with him. And it’s not like he got deployed to Iraq or something. He’s leaving because he’s “tired of the fast-paced lifestyle” — which means he wants to be in a different city more than he wants to be with you.
I realize this might be a bit blunt, but once you make it through your post-break up depression, you’ll see the truth in what I’m saying.

And, to your ex’s credit, there is one thing he said that’s definitely right. Eventually, you will find someone else.

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: Should I Date A Man With A Newborn Baby?

July 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Should I Date A Man With A Newborn Baby

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.