All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

Twitter Dragged This Man Who Implied Barack Gave Michelle The World

October 7th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Chile, people love to say that Michelle Obama was down for Barack when he had nothing. They reference the worn soles of his shoes and the hole in the bottom of his car and take that to mean that he came to her as a pauper and she was patient and understanding and waited for him to climb the ranks to President of these United States.

The message is that if it worked for our beloved President and First Lady, then “regular” women should be willing to work with a man with potential because it’ll pay off in the end.

In celebration of the first couple’s wedding anniversary, earlier this week, one man created this meme.

And while I’m sure this “betting on potential” has worked for some people, somewhere, somehow, potential doesn’t often amount to a whole lot. We all have potential to be or do something. The difference is, do you have ambition to match? Are you moving, shaking, hustling and grinding to do something with your gifts?

For a lot of people, men and women alike, the answer is, sadly, no.

But that wasn’t the case when our First Lady met President Obama.

When she met him, she had already given herself the world. She worked hard to earn a spot at Princeton and then graduated to work at a law firm, where she was his boss. He was her intern. Perhaps because she was his superior, people seem to think Barack came to her busted and disgusted and she took a gamble on a man who seemed like he “might could” be something one day.

When she met him he’d graduated from Columbia. And was in law school at Harvard. Then, a year later, he served as the President of the Harvard Law Review, the first Black person- male of female- to do so. When you consider this, it’s not that much of a stretch to consider he could duplicate the feat with the Presidency of the United States. But even more importantly, there was the work he was doing for the community. I don’t want to gloss over that. It’s important. This wasn’t a man who was just after titles and prestige, he was willing to give back.

That’s much more than potential baby, that’s a man who’s put in the work. 

And thankfully, several people on social media were ready and willing to let this brotha know that it was deeper than standing by your man when he has nothing, hoping that one day he’ll have everything and be gracious enough to share it with you.

Then activist Shaun King took it to Facebook to make it plain.


Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook


The creator of the original meme explained that this wasn’t his intention and peace was restored in the kingdom that is Black Twitter.

I don’t know what the original tweeter had in mind. But I do know that there are tons of people in this world, particularly in the Black community, who think that Michelle had to sacrifice, struggle and wait for President Obama to get himself together. Nah. Hopefully now, people will have a better, more realistic understanding of the first couple’s story: they each had plenty to bring to the table. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ready For A Relationship? Skip All The Cliche Advice & Ask Yourself This One Question

September 22nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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I’m tired of relationship advice. I’m particularly tired of men telling women what they’re doing wrong…because we’re the only ones doing things incorrectly. I’m tired of women in relationships giving advice they’ve never used a day in their lives. And I’m particularly saddened seeing so many women devoting every inch of their conscious mind to the thoughts of being with someone else.

My sister and her friends are far from the women I’ve just described but they are single. And one evening they found this article on O Magazine. It was about questions you should ask yourself if you’re still single and want to find someone.

I’ve always considered the writing in the magazine to be quite good, so I was interested to see if the questions posed would be different than the trite ones I’d heard trotted out over and over again.

They weren’t.

While the rationale behind the questions was very well written, I’d heard the questions themselves time and time again. The author asked things like are you stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you go out unaccompanied? When you go out is your body language open and inviting?


Just reading it makes you tired.

What I’ve always observed is that when you ask women how they met their significant others, most of the time they weren’t following any of the aforementioned or other cliche rules we hear day in and day out. It just happened when it happened, most times when they were least expecting it.

If you ask me, when it comes to finding a partner or getting into a relationship, there’s really only one question you need to ask yourself: Am I really ready to be in a relationship?

I don’t mean do you really want to be in a relationship, I mean have you proven that  you are mentally, psychologically, emotionally mature enough to be in a fulfilling relationship?

Judging by the way you treat people are you ready? Are you friendships, past a present, a reflection that you’re ready? Do close friends and trusted confidants keep telling you you need to work on something about yourself?

When I was a little girl, more than anything I wanted a boyfriend. At five-years-old I told my godbrother that he was going to be said boyfriend. I just thought it was important. Interestingly enough that boyfriend I had at 5 would be the last one I ever had until I was 27, which is this year.

By the time I was in college, in my early twenties, I really started wondering what the hell was going on? Where was my boo? I don’t even think I was asking God specifically, it was just a thought, a question that had come to my mind so many times, that I guess God just thought now was a good time to answer it.

And He did so, very plainly.

“You’re not ready. You would be consumed by a boyfriend right now.”

Well, dang!

When you put it like that God maybe I should chill.

I wish I could say that’s what I did, 100 percent of the time. But that would be a lie. I tried, repeatedly to force one situation in particular that was never quite right. And although this person wasn’t officially my boyfriend, though he did ask on occasion, I still found myself consumed by our relationship. There were things I didn’t do for myself when I was communicating and investing in him. There were relationships I neglected when I was worried about him. There were more viable options I missed out on while I was making myself available for him.

And while I will never say that it was all for nothing, in the end, it didn’t work out because I wasn’t ready. But I knew that. God had already told me that.

No amount of making myself available, after work mixers, or going out alone could have changed that. Only time and maturity.

Now, when I think of all the things I was willing, but ultimately didn’t have to sacrifice, it gives me chills. And I thank God for stepping in at the perfect moments to protect me from myself, even if I didn’t’ see it as such at the time.

When you ask yourself are you ready for a relationship, a part of that question is: Are there things in your life I know I need to do but have yet to accomplish?

When I saw that Adrienne Bailon and Lenny Santiago were no longer engaged, I was hurt. But then I watched the video where she explained the reason she called it off. She said she went on an “Eat Pray Love” journey and discovered the truth about herself and the fate of that relationship. Watching “The Real” pretty frequently, I couldn’t help but wonder if on that journey she discovered that there were some things she still needed to achieve before she was ready to be Lenny, or anyone else’s, wife.

On one particular episode, Tamar asked Adrienne why she doesn’t sing anymore. And she immediately burst into tears. Later on, in that same season, she was singing on the show. And her voice is quite nice. I don’t know the girl but I’ve heard her say things about not feeling like she had accomplished enough in her career.

That’s not insecurity, that’s her spirit telling her that there is more she’s supposed to do. And a part of me wondered if she wanted to do and achieve these things before she settled down into a marriage, where her attention would be diverted, once again, away from the road she knew she was supposed to be traveling.

I’m in a relationship now and I’m so thankful that it didn’t come along any sooner than it did. Now, at 27 and not 5 I’m more sure of who I am as a person and a woman. I’m not afraid to ask for what I want and my own behavior has proven that I’m not willing sacrifice things that are important to me in order to appease a man. Nothing could have prepared me for this place but life and learning.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: My Boyfriend Is Emotionally Dead

May 20th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Ask A Very Smart Brotha: My Boyfriend Is Emotionally Dead


Dear Damon,

I am 25 years old and I need help. My boyfriend is dead completely. In an emotional sense. He tells me he loves me, after I tell him I love him… When I ask him why isn’t he affectionate towards me, he gets mad, defensive or thinks I dont see his efforts. I do. I only say something when he reverts back to no emotional sense… I do not know what to do.

He says I know he loves me… why do his actions have to be based on it… he doesn’t get it…

Please help.
I love him but I refuse to settle…



Dear Ms. Warm-hearted,

So, I had a great response planned out to this question. I was going to mention how different people have different love languages. Some need physical affection, some need to hear “I love you,” some need their loved one to do things for them, and some people need it all. I was going to cite the famous book that came from, and I even planned on sharing a few things I heard when my wife and I took pre-marriage counseling.

But then I read your email again. And came to the conclusion that I’m 99.9999% sure you two just aren’t a good match for each other, and that it’s best that you leave this relationship while you’re still (very) young. Because while he might not be giving you the type of love you need in a relationship, I’m sure there are others out there who will.


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 Can I Ask My Friend To Hook Me Up With Her Ex?

April 15th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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How Can I Ask My Friend To Hook Me Up With Her Ex?


Shanetta: Hi Damon, I know it’s pretty common to hear about women who have a child with a man and can’t let them go afterwards but in my case, the roles are reversed. Between the constant strolls down memory lane, flirting, attitudes whenever I get male attention and the infamous weekly declarations of his love and desire to be with me, (literally almost every week since I became pregnant 3 years ago), it takes a toll. Now the problem is, the day I took the test, he left, packed his things and told me to get an abortion. I didn’t hear from him again until about 2 weeks later. By then, my trust in him was completely destroyed. So finally, my question is, is the fear of becoming a father THAT real to make you leave the one you supposedly love? Also, what do I do when a man goes above and beyond to prove his love for me, but rarely acknowledges our child without my pushing him to do so?

DY: Whether it’s because of nerves, anxiety, or just plain fear, it’s not extremely uncommon for men to freak out about a pregnancy. Of course, not all men do this. In fact, most don’t. But some hear that news and just don’t know how to handle it.

But, there’s a difference between “freaking out” and “breaking up with your girl and telling her to abort the child.” That’s just insane. And badgering you about getting together — while at the same time ignoring his child — takes the insanity to another level. At this point, you just need to tell him that while you’ll need his help in raising your child, the romantic relationship ship has sailed. One baby is enough. No need to be raising two.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why Doesn’t He Want To Tell Me His Age?

April 2nd, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Bad Habits That Women Can't Stand

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Dear Damon,

I’m something like a match-maker/event planner. And I’m organizing this speed dating event where I’m inviting a set group of men and women. To make sure that we get the right caliber of people I’ve had the men fill out a short questionnaire that asks basic questions. One of them is age. Interestingly, I’m coming across quite a few men who don’t want to share their age…which is odd to me. 

I’ve stumbled across this in the past and I’ve even asked one guy why he didn’t want to share. He said because when you tell people your age they start labeling. 

Who knows…the whole thing just seems weird to me. I mean, I don’t even know a whole lot of women who follow the ‘don’t tell your age’ rule these days. What do you think about this?


What do they have to hide?


Dear What Do They Have To Hide,

Last year, Iowa State point guard DeAndre Kane was one of the best and most electrifying players in NCAA basketball. He was first team All-Conference, third team All-American, and seemed to have the size and skillset that would make him attractive to NBA teams. But, when the NBA draft came around, Kane went undrafted. Why? Well, there are a few reasons you could cite for that, but it ultimately came down to one thing: His age. He was a 23-year-old college senior (and 24 the day of the draft). This might not seem that old, but, when it comes to college basketball today, it’s practically ancient, because most of the best players are already in the NBA by that age.

Basically, Kane was a full-grown man playing against 18 and 19-year-olds. When you factored in his age, his accomplishments just weren’t as impressive.

Although this was a basketball example, it translates to the real world as well. Whether fair or not, age is a consideration when judging a person’s accomplishments, goals, and trajectory. A 25-year-old living at home, or in some entry level position, or still making YouTube rap videos in his spare time is going to get more leeway than a 35-year-old doing the same thing. And, if a guy is hesitant about volunteering his age, it’s usually because he realizes that he’s probably not where society — or, better yet, the type of women he’s interested in — would expect a man his age to be.

Also, if you’re the type of guy interested in 23-year-old women, being “30-something” or some other vagary about your age might sound better than “37.”

Still, your age is the one thing about you you’ll never, ever, ever be able to change. And a man not embracing that part of himself because of some insecurity or trickery is a huge (Huge!) red flag.

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   

Should You Give Your Man Sex EVERY Time He Wants It…Even When You Don’t?

April 2nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Should You Give Your Man Sex EVERY Time He Wants It

Source: Power 105.1

Recently, R&B artist Sevyn Streeter sat down with her friends at “The Breakfast Club,” to talk about her career, her current tour, the music and her favorite topic these days: her romantic relationship with fellow artist B.O.B.

Angela Yee brought up the subject of her baby boo, revealing that Sevyn likes to get choked in the bedroom.

Sevyn responded:

Listen here, I don’t kill the fun. And I think that that is important. I think it’s sexy. When you’re with somebody that you love and trust or whatever…it’s important that you don’t kill the fun. 

If that’s her cup of tea, sip on boo. I’ve heard good things. But the conversation got particularly interesting when Sevyn shared her philosophy on sex in relationships. Here’s what she had to say.

I think that when you commit to somebody and you take them off the market, right? I think that it is your job as a woman or as a man to– I don’t think you should ever say no. Anal sex I’m not into, but I mean, if you’re tried–‘Oh, I’m tired, I don’t feel like it.’ No. Because at the end of the day, you took that person off the market. They can’t go and be with somebody else because they’re with you. So, don’t you ever say no.

Charlemagne argued that the statement actually opens the door for a man to cheat if she ever finds that she has to say no. Sevyn said that she actually agrees, homeboy should be able to step out, if the woman holds out.


I think Sevyn’s advice is…something. My first thought was that it sounds unrealistic. Life is unpredictable and while I agree you shouldn’t make a habit of telling your boo no; things come up. Hormones and sexual desires change for both men and women throughout life. Sometimes a “no” will be necessary. Then I thought, this is the second time I’ve heard someone talk about this market. Boris Kodjoe was the first person I heard say it, in reference to his marriage with Nicole Ari Parker. He too said that because they took each other “off the market,” they should both invest in making sure they stay right and tight, physically. And if either one of them slips on holding up their end of the bargain, the other would be within his or her rights to step out.

I don’t know about this market. It just makes the whole relationship seem like a business investment or decision. And the moment your acquisition isn’t performing as you expect, you’re ready to trade up, step out or kick them to the curb. Love doesn’t work like that. In love, you’ll be there when your partner gains a little or a lot of weight because while the body is nice, you, hopefully, feel in love with their spirit and soul–which remains. And that same love for the spirit should remain if your partner can’t break you off one night…or a few nights.

There’s also this bit about not being able to say no that troubles me. That’s a dangerous message to send to young girls and grown women when it comes to sex, particularly when so many girls and women feel pressure already. “No”, even within the context of a marriage, should always be an option. It is absolutely crushing to feel like your body is at the whim and disposal of another just because you’ve entered into a relationship with that person. Penny Wren, one of our writers, touched on the importance of women having their needs met in relationships as well; even if it’s the need for rest, it’s a need a compassionate partner should be able to respect.

And lastly, from a deeply personal standpoint, Sevyn’s advice just seems like entirely too much, entirely too soon. I’m not trying to pussy police anybody but the thought that she’s giving this man this much access so soon is a little alarming. I think I would be a bit more receptive to the advice if it came from a woman in a seasoned marriage…or something similar, like an Oprah/Stedman situation. If she’ll never say no to B.O.B now, what privileges does he get as their level of commitment to each other grows? I’d hate for this to turn into a “he won’t buy the cow” speech; but seriously, this is a lot for a dude you’ve been dating for a few months.

But that’s just me. Ladies, what do you think about the notion that you should never tell your man no when he asks for sex?

You can watch Sevyn Streeter explain in the video below.

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


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.

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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sabotage new relationships


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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Black woman thinking


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.


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.


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 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.