All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He’s Hurt Me But Should I Take Him Back?

October 8th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Bersheba: Yes if a man I’m dating is a marine in the military an has two sons an ask me to be patient because he hardly has time for me what should I do?

DY: Usually, when guys say “I don’t have time for you” it means “You’re not important enough to me to make time.” What you do with that information is up to you.

Katrina: If my ex and I broke up 2 yrs ago and we still friends. We hang out and have sex at times. Can there be a chance of us getting back together? I broke up with him and every now and then he reminds me that I kicked him out of my life.

DY: If you’re still friends, still hang out, and still have sex, it sounds like you haven’t actually broken up.

Brandi: Is there a way to get men to ask you out? I don’t seem to be approachable

DY: In my experience, the women who are the most approachable tend to be the ones who look like they’re enjoying life. If you look like you’re having fun, people are going to want to have fun with you.

Rachael: In a situation where the Man leaves the wife. Especially if the wife puts up no resistance. Why would the Man be punitive and adversarial. He has his freedom what gives? (no cheating involved)

DY: Because he’s an asshole. A bit of advice: Don’t attempt to “understand” assholes. Some people are assholes for the sake of being assholes.

Ramona: How should I deal with a guy who gets upset for things that I deem as petty?

DY: It depends on what he’s getting upset about. Maybe they’re petty, and maybe they’re legitimately important things that you assume are petty. Either way, it sounds like you need to do a better job communicating with each other

Dwan: If you and a guy have been close for years, and he steady states that he wants to be with you, but he never makes any promising moves that say he is ready, but he still wants all the benefits of a relationship what do you do…should you let it go or wait it out….seem to me he has commitment issues….but idk

DY: I think you know the answer already. You just have to accept it and make a decision.

“I Trusted You And You Left Me” Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children What It’s Like To Be A Single Mother

October 6th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children

Source: OWN

After dealing with the women, the mothers of children from men who had fathered several, Iyanla turned her attention to the fathers. In this clip, Iyanla talks to another father, Nathaniel, who has 28 children from 16 different women. And what’s interesting about this conversation is that it involves four people. There’s Nathaniel, standing in front of him is Iyanla and behind Iyanla is Jeff Johnson (formerly Cousin Jeff). And behind Nathaniel is Jay Williams, the man we’ve been following for the past month and some, with 34 children, was standing with his back to him, supporting him, holding him up.

At first, she asks him what it feels like to wake up knowing he has this much responsibility on his plate.

Nathaniel: “When I think about my children, I feel helpless. I’m full of shame and guilt. I’m bitter.”

Iyanla: “Let me talk to you as a woman, as a single mother. I gave you the most intimate part of who as I am as a woman. I opened my soul to you when I allowed you to lay with me and I trusted you. I trusted that you would be there. I trusted that you were the promise that my daddy never gave me. I trusted you with my soul, with my body, with my being. I trusted you and you left me. Not only did you leave me, you left me here with this child. Just like you don’t know who you are, I don’t know who I am. And now I’ve got a child and I’ve got to figure it out. And you tell me, that you get to go off and figure it out and have other women and I’m here with your child? I don’t get to go figure it out. That’s where she is.

Nathaniel: All of them, though? Even that the ones that we weren’t in a relationship…

Iyanla: Doesn’t matter. 

Oprah called this moment one of the most powerful she’s ever seen on television. And judging by the audience reaction, she might have been right. Men and women alike were crying real tears, like twisted face tears.

If you’ve followed Iyanla’s career, you know this tidbit about her life. But rarely, have I ever seen someone so accomplished, someone who’s established themselves as a leader open up and share the raw, gut-wrenching truth about what it really feels like to be a woman who believed in a man and ending up having his child, only to have that same man leave. It was intense and so honest.

Did you watch this recap episode?

Watch the full interaction Iyanla and the man in the video below.


Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I End My Friends With Benefits Relationship?

October 1st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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"couple in bed pf"


Hi Damon,

I’ve asked so many friends and friends of friends about this situation. But I think I should get a man’s perspective on this. I met this man about three months ago and we immediately slept together. We both agreed we weren’t looking for relationships at the time. But these days, I find that I get really anxious when I don’t hear from him. I’ve asked my friends, and some married couples about whether or not I should continue “seeing” him. Some of my friends say it’s time for me to stop sleeping with him, so I can clear my head, and ask him about the trajectory of our relationship. I don’t know if I’m really ready to give up the sex. Some married women I’ve been speaking too keep telling me about all these timelines and I’m wondering what I should do. Should I keep seeing him? Am I setting myself up for failure?

– Friend Wanting More Benefits


Dear Friend Wanting More Benefits,

In a perfect world, the friends-with-benefits arrangement — where two adult parties agree to have a consistent relationship that consists of sex and nothing else — would be a perfect solution to both the “inbetween” relationship stage where people between relationships need someone to keep them, um, occupied, and the “I just don’t want to be in something serious right now” stage everyone between 25 and 34 seems to be in right now.

It is not a perfect world, though. Although the friends with benefits arrangement sounds great on paper and works well at the beginning, as 99.99999% of people who’ve entered one will tell you, the longer it lasts, the more awkward they become. As good as the sex can be, someone — and it can be the man or the woman — will eventually catch some sort of feelings, and when someone catches feelings, feelings get hurt.

This seems to be where you are right now. You’re not hurt yet, but if he decided to end things — or if he decided to share how much he likes this new chick he’s dating — you would be. The answer is obvious. Let him know how you feel. If it’s not reciprocated, end the relationship. It might be painful, but pulling off a bandaid hurts much less than putting one on a broken heart.


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’m Interested In My Daughter’s Teacher

September 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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champ213Relationship problems never stop. So it’s only right that Damon Young, from Very Smart Brothas stop by and offer his advice. This week Damon discussed issues of domestic violence, dating with HIV and more. See what he had to say on the following pages.

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.