Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: Sleepy Tummies and Office Romances

March 14, 2012  |  
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Marie-Ange: Hi Damon, a lot of well-educated or successful single black women explain their singledom by being intimidating to men. I don’t buy it, do you?

D.Y.: Marie, I actually do buy it, seriously. And by “I actually do buy it, seriously” I mean “I don’t believe them. They need more people.”

Jessica: Hi Damon. What are your thoughts on Office romances? Is it a go or no go? Does it matter if the guy is in your department or not? [I know a lot of questions]

D.Y.: Two reasons why I suggest people not cake up with their colleagues

1. Let’s say the romance goes bad. Real bad. Now the entire office has to tippy-toe around, making 1000 different alterations to happy hour plans because the judge ruled that, if alcohol is present, your ratchet asses can’t be within 15 feet of each other

2. You might just have a bad case of “office goggles” — what happens when seeing someone every day at work makes them seem 10000 times more attractive than they would be anywhere else.

Shana: I wanted to see if you can help me out. I am kitchen supervisor who works with the guys. I’m finding it hard to try to keep them on top of things without being the beyotch. I’ve tried small meetings, small outings and even words of encouragement. I feel that as a woman they don’t respect me when I tell them to do things the right way and try to get over on me. I know letting them go comes to mind, or tell upper management but at the same time they are hard workers but at time like to half A$$ the work. What do you think?

D.Y.: Well, if you’re the supervisor, doesn’t being the “Itchbay” kind of come with the territory? Also, I wouldn’t take their actions as disrespect. It’s just that — and this is going to sound strange so stay with me — sometimes we (guys) gloss over the little things because, well, we feel like they really don’t matter, and we want to convince you by osmosis that they don’t matter too. Again, that’s not disrespect. It’s just “man logic,” lol.

To solve your problem, though, I’d try telling them that they’re making your job harder, and now upper-management is coming down on you. Basically, hit them with the one thing that women can always get (most) men with — the guilt trip.

Monica: Why do women love harder than men?

D.Y.: Women don’t love harder, actually. In most marriages/serious relationships, men actually fall in love first. And, once we’re there, we stay for a very, very long time. If a person thinks that women “love harder” it’s because many women fall in love with men who can give two shits about them.

Stephanie: I’ve been with a guy for about 5 years (half as a college student, half as an adult) and it’s taken him sooo long to mature. Now that he’s finally grown up, I’m burnt out on the years of mistakes he’s constantly made. It’s like if he does one thing wrong, I’m ready to pack my bags. I love him, but there is ZERO TOLERANCE now. Is that fair? Do you think I would run into the same guy/different body if I were single? Im tired of waiting on him ;-/

D.Y.: What type of mistakes has he made? If they’re of the “He always forgets our anniversary” variety, then you’re being too harsh. If they’re more like “He Fawked my cousin. Twice.” then it sounds like your relationship probably does need to end.

Bessie: Being Single and 53 and having been out of the dating game for a while , I would like some suggestions on how to reenter.

D.Y: I’d get out and get active. There are numerous ways to do this — church outings, gallery crawls, professional events, etc — and I’d just try to spend as much time out of the house doing things I enjoy as possible. Doing that has a funny way of “reintroducing” someone to dating. I’d also consider online dating as a viable option.

Yolanda:Is it wrong to ask your husband/boyfriend to change their wardrobe if you’re not crazy about it? #shallowquestion lol

D.Y: I’m going to say no. Asking and suggesting for him to make some changes is better than demanding and insisting.

I have to warn you, though, you’re opening a Pandora’s Box. Since you’re offering unsolicited constructive criticism, you can’t be mad at him if he starts offering it too. Today’s “Hey babe, would you mind if I bought you some new shirts” could be tomorrow’s “Hey babe. I think you need to start hitting the gym with me. I noticed that your tummy’s looking kind of sleepy lately.”


Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously 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

Do you want to speak to Damon in real time? Join us on our Facebook page, next Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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