All Articles Tagged "very smart brotha"
Hi Damon,My name is Tiffani, My question is…… My friend and I been friends for twenty years. I have always have romantic feelings for him up until now,he recently ended his relationship. Lately,our relationship have been more than friends. At first I was happy I had no worries but now I’m fearful. I guess, this is stemming from my own insecurities and over thinking. I wanted to know how can I overcome my own self doubt about our relationship. He is a great guy and he have a lot of qualities I want in a man. And how can I be supportive during his break up.
By Damon Young
We’ve all seen the story before.
Paparazzi catches some actress or entertainer known for her physical attractiveness — Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Rihanna, etc — on vacation or buying pickles in bulk at Costco. Since hundreds of thousands of professional and candid pictures of these women can be found on the internet at anytime, this doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal. What makes this time different, though, is that these pics happen to catch this beautiful woman “looking her worst.” She’s not wearing any makeup, her hair looks like she just finished working a shift at Trader Joe’s, and, if these are beach pics, you may even be able to catch some blemishes on her thought-to-be-perfect body.
Inevitably, these pics will be the subject of some woman’s tweet, blog post, Facebook status message, or message board thread, under the title “See!!! I told you that without her team of stylists, trainers, and midgets working 24/7 to make sure she’s beautiful, she’s basically a SAAB — “Slightly Above-Average Beyotch.” — a statement that will be co-signed by many of the women who see it. Eventually, though, some guy will also comment on the pics, but with a much different take.
“Hmmm. Don’t see what the big deal is. She still looks fine as hell to me.”
This statement sparks a back and forth, as the women try to convince the man that he can’t possibly still think she’s hot, and the man says something like “She looks the exact same to me in those pics as she did last week at the VMA’s,” further upsetting the women, who now think the guy isn’t being honest and is just pandering for panties.
Anyone who’s spent anytime on the internet has seen this scenario play out dozens of times, a phenomenon that has led me to draw the following conclusions
1. (Generally speaking) Women really have no idea about what men find attractive. (There’s a reason why guys never trust a woman’s opinion on another woman’s looks. If it’s any consolation, men really have no idea about what women find attractive in men, either.)
2. (Generally speaking) Women assume men are stupid.
Now, I realize that second point isn’t exactly ground-breaking. You can watch any sitcom family and see how men are usually portrayed as lovable lugs who wouldn’t even be able to tie their shoes if not for their unrealistically smart and attractive wives. But, in this sense, I’m specifically referring to the fact that (many) women assume that men allow weave, fake eyelashes, and foobs and footies (fake boobs and fake booties) to “trick” us into finding women more attractive than we would otherwise. While it is true that some men do go gaga for cartoonishly (and impossibly) dimensioned Rapunzels, the majority of us are turned off by things so obviously fake. In fact, if we do happen to find a women with a few store-bought parts attractive, it’s in spite of them, not because of them. Yes, Beyonce is both the current Queen of R&B and the current Queen of Yaki B, but she’s just as physically attractive with the weave as she would be if her name was Feyonce Bowles and she rocked a scrunchie to work everyday at Rent-A-Center. And that guy who saw the pic of Bey on the beach “looking a hot mess” was telling the truth when he said he still thought she was gorgeous.
With this being said, I don’t want to say that men abhor all “extras” and that women can’t do some moderate things to enhance their looks. Like how condiments can make an already great meal even better, tastefully done makeup, hair, and other accessories can do the same for women. But, there’s a reason why many women say that they tend to get approached more often (and by better quality men) when they’re dressed down at Target or running weekend errands than when they’re all fancy at the club with their freakum dresses on. If we like you, we like YOU — not the you who looks like she just came from an open audition for “Basketball Wives: Detroit.”
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
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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Cornise: How do I attract the mate I want? I keep getting hit on by guys I wouldn’t ever date?
DY: Before I answer that, you have to honestly ask yourself if the type of guys you want seem to be attracted to women like you. I’m bringing this up because, well, water seems to find its own level. And, if this is a problem you’re always having, you might need to change either the stuff you’re doing or the way you think about things. For curiosity’s sake, though, what type of guys usually hit on you, and what type of guys would you prefer to hit on you?
Pretty: When is a good time to discuss living together/marriage? I have been with my BF for 7 months and we are in love. Do you think it’s too soon to discuss these things?
DY: This answer is dependent on your age. (Basically, if you’re 25 or below, it’s definitely too soon) With that being said, if this is something you’re seriously thinking about, I think you should let him know its on your mind.
Marie: How do you keep a man happy sexually when he wants it all day every day? I love my man and our sex but sometimes it’s a lot for me but I don’t want to keep him unsatisfied.
DY: You know, your question raises a point I’ve always made in discussions about couples and sex. People put too much stress on sexual chemistry/compatibility — something that can get better with time — and not enough stress on libido compatibility. Honestly, I don’t know what to tell you. If you start sleeping with him more, you’re going to eventually feel like he’s only with you for the sex. But, if you two slow down, he might start to feel like you don’t value him or his needs. It’s a tricky situation, and I think the best way to handle it is just for you to tell him exactly how you’re feeling.
Marie: That’s exactly what’s been happening. I talked to him about it.. Told him let’s try going a day or two without it. Omgnesss was he cranky and kept bringing it up. Like we can have sex for two hours straight he cums 6-7xs and still in a hour maybe less ask for more.
DY: Yikes, lol. He must have a lot of…energy. I mean, if you’re already doing it pretty much every day and he’s still pressuring you for more, I’d remain him that he could always put his hand, a laptop, and some Vaseline to use.
Jamilah: How soon should I tell a man that I am a woman that wants to be only in a committed relationship. I don’t want to scare a man off but at the same time I don’t want to waste my time or his.
DY: Information like that should be shared in the first couple of conversations. You don’t have to blurt it out, but I do think you should find a way to insert it into the discussion. Like you said, no sense in wasting your time or his. Plus, the only guys who’d be “scared away’ are ones who weren’t considering that in the first place.
Lisa: Why is it when a man has a good woman he still lives at home, won’t help her and doesn’t act like he cares but is always saying “it’s gonna get better, I love u and will do what is needed, in time???
DY: The good woman hasn’t given him any reason to do better. Why go fishing if fresh fish is delivered to your freezer every day?
Deidra: What do you consider a “serious” relationship? How do you know it’s serious?
D.Y: If you’re over 25, monogamous, have an official label, he’s allowed you to see him flaccid, and you’ve allowed him to see you with the head wrap, it’s probably serious.
Alissa: At age 26, should one be pressed if her boyfriend is too busy working and barely having enough time to see her?
D.Y: Eh, I want to say no, but just how flowers need water and ish to grow, a relationship does need time spent around each other to flourish. What’s the point of even being in a relationship if you never see each other?
Dolores: What is a good time frame in your relationship to move in with each other to see if the possibility of marriage can possibly exists ? Thank you.
D.Y: After you say “I do.” Not a fan of premarital co-habitation.
Chai: In a serious relationship, should there be an exchange of social media passwords? What do you when you refuse and later discover they tried to hack into your stuff?
D.Y: Question 1: No
Question 2: Call the police
Nathalie: Are some men actually afraid to ask a woman to date them? Especially if they met her while she was in a relationship (now single)?
D.Y: Yeah, some men (actually, most men) do get a little anxious/nervous when approaching/asking out a woman we’re interested in. Thing is, if he likes you enough, he’ll get past that. If not, well, he doesn’t.
I need some advice. I’m currently single and I’m thinking about being single for the next ten years. I’ve had my heartbroken really bad and it makes me want to give up on trying to have a boyfriend or a significant other. People say that seems highly unlikely since I’m only 23 years old and I have the rest of my life ahead of me. Yet, I feel like this is what’s best for me in this stage of my life. The last guy put me through so much I honestly can’t do it again. I wanted to know your thoughts. Do you think I should spend the rest of my life collecting cats and sitting at home alone? Or do you think I should give it another try?
Rochelle: Why do men entice games with women and when we don’t respond to it, get all mad?
D.Y: No one likes to be ignored. Well, no one outside of the woman who will eventually marry Tyler Perry
Toya: After going through a string of so-so relationships, I’ve decided to step away from the dating world to figure out if it’s all “worth it”. I know you don’t speak for all men, but in your encounters do you think men want to settle down and find someone or is it all about getting into a woman’s pants?
DY: Since you’re already aware that I don’t speak for all men, you should also be aware that men, like women, vary. There are some men who want to settle down. Some who just want to bag and beat. Some who are “sitting” out just like you said you’re planning too. And some who have no idea what the hell they want.
As far as finding the guys who are more “LTR-minded,” since you can’t make a man want to commit, the best way to weed out the pretenders from the contenders is to let men you meet and date know that you’re not with the b.s./”Why don’t you come through and chill?” type of relationship. Trust me, women who carry that mindset — and stick to it — have a way of attracting like-minded men.
Dejonnee: I have a question that’s been pestering me for awhile now: How does one shake the label “just one of the guys” and move past it, into something more romantic? For example, I’m friends with a lot of guys, and we love doing the same things (most of the time), and I’m not considered unattractive, yet, if I were to show interest into one of them, how could I come across as sincere? (weird question I know).
DY: I’d give you the same advice I’d give a guy asking how to stay out of the dreaded, coitus-less abyss known as “the friend’s zone”: Don’t “befriend” guys you’re interested in dating. I’m not saying you can’t be cool with them, but if you initially present yourself as “the cool homegirl” instead of “the woman you need to court and date,” it’ll be near impossible to escape that box
Dear Very Smart Brotha,
I don’t have a specific issue per se but a general question about the behavioral physiology of men. I gotta know, where do men go to vent and talk about their issues??
My ex-boyfriend told me that we women talk too much. And when I thought about it, it is true. I am no holds barred when it comes to talking about relationships with my girlfriends and vice versa. Isn’t that what friends are for? I noticed that many of my guy friends are mum when it comes to discussing their personal issues with their friends. So what do men bond over? And who are they supposed to talk to when it comes to their issues in relationships and in life (if they don’t have a girlfriend at the time)? Is this healthy? I’m only worried because it seems like men like my ex have no one turn to when they’re not in a relationship…and I’m a bit nosy when it comes to how men work. Please give me some insight!
I’ve been doing this “Ask A Very Smart Brotha” column for about a year and a half now. That’s 70 to 80 weeks worth of questions. Some good, some bad, some making me reconsider my citizenship. Anyway, I’m bringing this up because your question just now may be the most important one I’ve ever been asked here. Not necessarily the best, but the most important.
This — the fact that many men are either unable or unwilling to discuss whatever relationship issues they’re having — is a root for many of the communication breakdowns between the sexes. We’ve been socialized to keep certain things in (feeling, pain, empathy, etc), leaving many of us unequipped to handle the types of emotions synonymous with serious relationships. This is why you see many of us either completely shut down or supernova when forced to face them.
This socialization is large part due to the fact that men, “manly men,” are supposed to be strong, stoic, and unflappable. These are the types of men we (rightly) assume women are most attracted to and other men admire and wish to follow, so many of us do what it takes to become that type of man. Part of that process is the suppression of things that make us, well, human. We still feel the same things, but may be scared to express them because we don’t want to come off as less manly and jeopardize our status with women and other men. This is especially true with Black men. For many of us, there is really no other way to be than this hyper-hetero, uber masculine human-less cipher, and that has grave effects on how we communicate. I mean, there’s a reason why the life expectancy for Black men is like 43. All those years of holding everything in rots your insides.
Obviously, not all men are like this. There are many who are perfectly ok with expressing themselves and allowing themselves to be “open.” Many of us have friends, fathers, ex-coaches, and even barbers we’re able to bond with. But, as long as “sensitive” continues to be thought of as a feminine trait, we’re going to continue to create dangerously vent-less men.
Let me give u a quick back story first, I was with a guy for 2yrs he got deployed and told me not to wait, live my life. I decided to wait anyway, a few months go by and I hear nothing. One day I bump into a mutual acquaintance and she says “Congrats, I hear you 2 got married.” I said no I didn’t. She said well he got married and I thought he married you. I was devastated. I do some digging and find out he did get married, saw wedding pics, the whole 9. We never spoke again. Fast forward to now he contacts me through Facebook to get together he needs to apologize.
I reluctantly meet him, he gives me the song and dance of what happened and apologized. I accepted and agreed we need to move on. We stay in contact over course of a year and start dating again and things are going well now all of a sudden he is saying he is going through something and needs space. I truly love and care for this man but I feel like there is more going on and he is not being honest. I try to talk to him and he is very vague and we have not spoken in a few days. I feel like a fool I should’ve known better. I want to make a clean break but feel like I would be giving up what could be a great future with someone. I need a second opinion, should I walk away or stick it out?