All Articles Tagged "Very Smart Brothas"
Eva: Should u get back with an ex that has grown out of whatever issue that caused him to be your ex?
DY: Depends on the issue. My theory though, is that re-exing is like re-gifting. Sounds like a good idea, but you gave it away for a reason
Nolundi: Is there hope for a man in his 50s with a Peter Pan Syndrome?
DY: Probably not. But, look on the bright side. With the advances in medicine today, he has a good change of making it to 100. That gives him a good 40-50 more years to figure things out.
Debra: Children’s father will only deal with his kids if he can be with the mother. Mother is unhappy but does not want kids to lose father’s presence. Stay or go?
Elexis: What does a man mean when he says he wants to be friends or he’s not ready for a relationship right now??? and what does the term “friends” mean
DY: Usually, this means “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you, but I would like to have one with your vagina.”
Tia: I am in love with someone who is extremely driven in his career and doesn’t want to marry unless he has completed a huge career goal. It is realistic for me to wait?
DY: Depends on how long, really. If it’ll take 12 months, fine. 12 years, probably not. Also, why exactly does he need to accomplish this goal before marrying you? Has he expressed that?
Tia: Thanks for replying Damon. He wants to complete his PHD which will take two years. It seems like women can multitask and do many things at one time, but he wants to do that first then eventually marriage.
DY: It’s not necessarily that men can’t multi-task. But, (generally speaking) men and women prioritize different things when it comes to relationships and marriage, and I can understand why I man would want to wait until after achieving a professional goal before he got married. Often, men aren’t “ready” for marriage until they’re “settled” professionally and financially, and that seems to be the case here
Joanne: Friend is in a new relationship with a guy who has left his wife 7 years ago but never got round to a divorce as kids were growing up. At what stage is it appropriate for her to ask him when he is going to get divorced?
DY: The “right now” stage.
Sarah: Husband seems to only want to do the fun, non- controversial things with kids, yet leaves me, the step mom, to be the disciplinarian. Despite pleas to be “on the same team”, he just doesn’t get it. Is it a matter of choice or lack of vision. Sidenote- the children’s mother is not find at all of me, saying it nicely, so has pretty much told them they do not need to respect me furthering the complications.
DY: You need to have a frank talk with him about the precedent he’s setting, and how uncomfortable it’s making you to always be the “bad cop”—especially when you’re a step parent. He’s putting you in a no-win situation.
Sonya: If a person tells you you have a beautiful heart and smile….you have integrity and you’re good person as a whole. Is it safe to say you are in the friend zone ?
DY: Unfortunately so
Vanessa: Do you believe in 50/50 relationships? I feel that this type of relationship demands giving something to get something in return and doesn’t come from the sincerity of your heart. Also a man supposed to be a provider.
DY: Please expound. Not clear what you mean by 50/50.
Vanessa: I mean do you believe in 50/50 in terms of financial aspect in a relationship? My friends think my standard to high b/c I don’t believing in paying my way 50/50 in a relationship. I think a guy that likes you shouldn’t mind spending cash and it should be natural.
DY: That’s a tough one. Lemme put it this way: There are men who are fine with being the sole provider and paying for everything, and women who prefer those types of relationships should do want they can to date/marry those men. Thing is, while being taken care of financially is a plus, I think some women fail to realize that men who want to control all of the finances usually also want to control everything else—including your body. Again, if this works for you, fine. But just realize that for every person (man or woman), every “plus” has a corresponding “minus.”
Erica: I just got into a discussion about what marriage is suppose to mean and I want a guy’s take on it. I say: Love is not unconditional and that everyone has dealbreakers in which they will leave a relationship or marriage. Including weight gain. Others say: If you’re married, then the only dealbreaker should be don’t cheat and don’t abuse me.
What say you?
DY: I say the best relationships/marriages are when you find someone whose dealbreakers match yours.
Denise: At what age do men grow up ?
DY: The age we realize “continuing not to grow up” means “dammit, the pool of women available to me will continue to shrink until I grow up.” Some of us make that transition, and some don’t because their pool never shrinks. There’s no incentive to make the change.
Kenyetta: How you tell your husband he is not pleasing you sexually?
Damon: State what you like/need, and suggest that he makes a greater effort in trying to do that. The key is to express that idea without trying to shame and/or embarrass him in the process. If you do this in an honest and reasonable way—and if he genuinely cares about you and the relationship—he should listen. (The bigger question is how does a couple get all the way to a marriage without being able to clearly communicate their sexual needs to each other?)
Ebb: How can a female go about asking a guy for just a sexual relationship without sounding like a hoe?
Damon: Easy. Just tell the guy that you want a no-strings attached relationship, and if he thinks you’re a “ho” for that, he’s obviously not the type of guy you need to be dealing with, anyway.
(Now, do no-strings attached type relationships actually work in the long run? Hmmm. That’s another question for another day)
Lechia: How can you handle your boyfriend of 5 years and the father of your child and one on the way having a baby by someone else?
Damon: Get tested for every STD known to man, leave immediately, wait six months, and get tested again.
Carol: Is it a good idea for an unmarried couple with no kids and not living together to be business partners?
Damon: No. What happens to the business if you break up? Also, even if you don’t break up, you run the risk of letting your business dynamic interfere with your relationship (and vice versa). If you were married, maybe my advice would be different, but from all angles “unmarried couple staring a business together” = “bad idea.”
Lydia: How can u tell your husband you’re not into sex like that(Adult Videos star type) lmao serious question?
Damon: What is “adult video star sex?”
Also, I don’t mean to be a package, but how did you be with someone long enough to marry them without knowing each others’ sexual likes and dislikes? I get these types of questions frequently, and I’m curious to know how that happens.
Lydia: I been with him for a while just didn’t mess around I’m a women of God and believed on waiting! That I did…
Damon: Ok. I definitely understand that. Well, I guess my next question would be what exactly do you mean by “Adult Videos star sex?”
Lydia: Adult Videos sex is everyday all day long hit it from the back and all that… I love sex but not every day I am a mother and I go to 2 schools. I don’t be feeling like having sex every day.
Damon: Moms can’t take it from the back? Learn something new everyday. Anyway, just tell him what you’re telling me. Not so much about the kids and school and all that, but that you really enjoy sex with him, but you may not be in the mood to do it every single day. Plus, when the, um, lovin’ is intense enough, you might need a day or two to heal, anyway. Remind him that consistent and persistent rabbit-banging has the potential of leaving you too raw/sore down there to enjoy it.
Blessings: I have a bed buddy that’s been acting like a boyfriend lately. Inquiring of my whereabouts and wanting to spend more time together. But he still hasn’t come out and asked to be exclusive. I may be open to it, if we discussed. I don’t want to initiate the conversation for sake of losing the benefits. Any advice?
Damon: This is a sticky situation (pun intended). There’s a chance that his change in behavior has nothing to do with him wanting someone more serious. Sometimes, we (men and women) just get a bit more possessive when sleeping with someone. Doesn’t always mean that person wants the relationship to go to another level, though. And, to be honest, I think if he wanted that bad enough, he’d just say it.
I still think you should have the conversation, though. Don’t come at it from a “So, do you want to be Facebook official now?” angle—since you’re not even sure that’s what you want. Instead, a “So, I noticed you’ve been kinda stalking me lately. What’s up with that?” angle gives you both the opportunity to clarify things without asking a leading question.
Michaela: What’s the best way to handle conflicts w/ a guy who is ‘no-confrontational’, or hates to argue?
Damon: Remind him that passive-aggressive behavior doesn’t actually get anything done. If anything, it makes things worse because minor issues continue to fester until they become major issues.
Also, you do have to ask yourself if some of the stuff you think is argue-worthy isn’t argue-worthy at all.
Sistar: When should kids be introduced? What’s an appropriate amount of dating time?
Damon: I don’t believe in arbitrary set times. In situations like this, the best thing to do is wait until you’re actually convinced that this person will be in your life for an extended period of time.
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.
Kat: Is it smart to put a thriving career and making money over finding a man?
DY: I don’t know which one is “smarter,” but I do know that it’s dumb to think that you can;t have both. I mean, how are you going to have any luck finding a man if you can’t see because you need glasses and you don’t have glasses because you don’t have any money?
This might be a little TMI; but I’m very curious to know how other men feel about this, so I thought I’d ask. Recently, I was cuddling/making out with my boyfriend in bed when he tried to initiate sex. Normally, that would have been fine but I was on my period, which he knew, and I told him I didn’t exactly feel comfortable. He went into this persuasive speech about fluids being a natural part of sex, how we could make sure it was clean as possible etc. He was making a lot of sense and hormonally, I’d definitely be down; but a part of me still feels like it’s just…dirty. So needless to say, it didn’t happen that night; but I guess my question is, do most men want to have sex with women when they’re on their period? Should I work on being more open-minded and try to see things differently?
Jolene: Does size really matter?
DY: Yes, the size of the skillet I used to fry eggs this morning definitely does matter. A smaller skillet wouldn’t have allowed the eggs to scramble the same way.
Felicia: Do you think it’s ok to put women in binders?
DY: Of course! That’s the title of my next book: “How To Put B*ches in Binders.” Paul Ryan actually wrote the foreword
Tonisha: Why do men take longer than women to commit to an exclusive relationship?
DY: Actually, you got it wrong. Men who are really into the women they’re with are usually ready to lock it down before she even is. The guys who are ambivalent are usually the guys who just are all that into you.
Dominique: Does the lack of a mother figure in a man’s life dictate how he interacts with women? If they had a bad relationship how do you develop a strong relationship with him?
DY: I can’t lie to you and say that it doesn’t matter, but, at the same time, a man can overcome that and have positive relationships with women. I mean, if we were going to start weeding people out because of the relationships they had with their parents, like 70% of Black America would be un-dateable.
Jamilah: I hope this is not an awkward question to ask. Should a man tell a woman he loves her first even though she knows she is in love with him but is afraid to say it to him first because of possible rejection that he might not feel the same way? Secondly if you are dating a man when do u think the talk about where is our relationship is going should begin, 3 months, 6 months after the relationship has kindly taken off in a good note. I would like to start dating again but I don’t want to spend to much time with a man if the relationship is not going to be long term.
DY: Hmm, I see what you mean about a man saying “I love you” first, but I’m also not a fan of playing a game of “I love you” chicken. I mean, if you feel like you love someone, just tell them. If this scares them away or if it’s unreciprocated then, well, that lets you know it wasn’t meant to be. As far as when to have the “talk” goes, I’m not going to give you an arbitrary date for when to do it. Bring it up when you feel like you might be ready to make that step
Crystal: I’m trying to come to terms with divorce and finally getting rid of a man with no motivation, no goals, and no job. Everyone is to blame for all his short comings. I kept holding on for over 16 yrs hoping my love was enough and eventually he would see he needs to get on track and support his wife and family. Unfortunately, a week after getting rid of him he moved in with another woman and her children. I can no longer save him. How do I come to the terms that I made the right decision to move on with the three children we have?? I still feel bad for the children, I never wanted it to come to this…
DY: After everything you said about him, just be happy and thankful that you divorced him after 16 years instead of 17.
Kat: Is it possible to help an insecure man that has low self esteem if he’s a really good person? Is he datable or should he stay in the friend zone?
DY: It is possible. It’ll take some work — and, you run the risk of building his self-esteem, and him bouncing on you, confident that he can do “better” — but if you feel like he’s worth it, then go ahead. Not all men are born full of swagger and assertiveness. Some need a little more help to get there than others.
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
You all know we love Very Smart Brothas, and we can tell you do too from the overflow of questions you all send in to Damon “The Champ” Young every Wednesday. Now the brothas are branching out beyond their popular blog and book to web projects with a new series simply titled, “Very Smart Brothas: The Series.”
As you know from the blog, Damon and Panama Jackson are all about sharing their experiences and opinions on the dating game and life’s other dealings, and the web series will be no different. According to Shadow and Act:
The series will revolve around two bloggers who fumble [through] their own dating mishaps while making a successful living as relationship experts.
The series is being produced by Earl Bolden Jr through his production company Solo Journey Productions, and stars David Hunter Jr. and Lou Breckenridge; and currently there’s an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds to finance the series’ pilot episode, with photography slated to begin on November 12th.
The brothas are already halfway to their goal of raising $20,000 to bring this series to life, but the campaign ends in eight days so you better reach into those pocket books ASAP if you want to see this happen. Check out the pilot for VSB: The Series below and a quick promo video of what the VSB movement is all about.
What do you think?
Patricia: Damon, what are some of the common mistakes that women make in a relationship that are detrimental to its success? I.E overplaying the ‘independent’ role, not understanding masculinity and the need to allow it, talking to their friends about their relationship too much, not opening up with their lover, listening to too much Steve Harvey/TD Jakes, etc?
DY: You’ve already covered a few of the main ones, but one I’d like to add is losing sight of the fact that men, are in fact, human. Basically, there’s so much discussion about what makes us different, that we tend to forget that we — men and women — have many of the same feelings, fears, and emotions. And, instead of looking at the opposite gender as a person with a few biological differences, we sometimes act like we’re dealing with an entirely different species