All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

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.

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

Source: Shutterstock

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.
Damon Young