Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: Signing Papers & Dating Younger Men

May 16, 2012  |  
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Shari: As a slightly older female, how should I go about dealing with a guy who is younger than me?…The attraction is there, but I’m a little hesitant because I’ve always been into older men? Thanks.

DY: The answer depends on how much younger he is than you. If it’s a few years, I don’t think things would be much different than dating a guy a bit older than you. If it’s over a decade or so, though, you run an increased risk that the guy isn’t in the same “place” you are, and isn’t looking for the same things from a relationship. Either way, I’d advise you to proceed the same way you should with anyone else — with caution.

Letetia:  I was supposed to go hang out with my guy of six weeks last night. I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now and I’m running on overdrive. He suggested I stay home to get rest instead of hanging out with him. Is there something wrong with his suggestion? He said he just wants me to take care of myself.

DY: You know, I can’t even be mad at this question. I guess it’s (partially) our fault that many women are so cynical in regards to us that a kind-hearted and sincere gesture is met with skepticism. Anyway, I have absolutely no way of knowing exactly how much this guy cares about you, but suggesting that a person you care about take some time to rest and exhale suggests that he has nothing but your best interests in mind. He sounds like he could be a keeper

Nicole: Damon, my ex and I have been broken up since Oct. 2011. We lived together and have a 2yr old daughter together. When we broke up he instantly moved in with another woman. Last week, he broke up with her and moved into his own place, realizing he wants his family back. Now he and I are beginning to date while he works on himself, but I have this fear that he will continue to date this other woman. If he doesn’t answer his phone when I call, I think he’s with her. I have lost the trust I once had for him. I want our family to work, but until he is back in my house, living with me, I don’t know how to trust him. I believe that if he wants us to work, he should not be dating anyone other than me, as I stopped dating other men so we can work on us. And, I honestly cannot say that he is dating anyone else, it is just a fear that I have. Any suggestions?

DY: My suggestion is to stop dating him until you’ve regained trust in him. Let him know exactly how you feel, and why you need to keep your distance from him until the issue is resolved.

Also, I don’t think it’s as simple as “I’ll trust him when he moves back in.” Either you trust him or you don’t, and right now it seems like you’re quite a few miles away from that exit.

Lastly, if he’s only been broken up with the new chick for a week, don’t you think it’s a bit soon — trust issues or not — to start dating him again anyway?

Danielle: Hi Damon, I’ve been seeing a great guy for several months now. He treats me well, we spend a lot of time together, and we’ve both admitted that neither of us is seeing other people. Even though we don’t officially have titles, I think of him as my boyfriend/man. Based on his consistent words and actions, I think he sees me as his girlfriend/lady, but we have not talked about that specifically. Should I initiate a discussion to confirm this or just let it continue as is and not worry about titles?

DY:  As much as we like to pretend that they don’t, titles do matter — “ambiguity” and “good relationship” aren’t terms that belong together — so you should definitely initiate that conversation

Erika: Damon, could you please give your thoughts on the arrested development of black men today as it relates to relationships and what women are to do? If another man in his mid 30s tells me he’s not ready for a relationship as if he’s still in his 20s I’ll scream. I mean even a man in his late 20s I dated recently would speak in terms of what he wants to be/do when he “grows up. ” News flash: Ya BEEN grown, son! Smh. BTW I’m a professional black woman in my mid 30s trying to hang with y’all but you’re making it hard for a sista…

DY:  That, my friend, is the trillion dollar question all of Black America is trying to figure out.

The answer basically comes down to this:

“I’m not ready to be in a relationship right now” = “I’m not at a place in my life yet where I have enough status to have access to the type of woman I want to have a long-term commitment to” or “I’m doing perfectly fine right now. Why the hell should I commit to one woman?”

Also, I will say that the tenuousness of the economy has affecting how men look at relationships. Basically, if a guy doesn’t feel like he’s on solid career/financial ground, he’s probably not going to want to commit/start a family yet

J’ackson: How do u know a female luvs u?

DY:  She’s willing to give you money. You probably think I’m joking, but I’m so serious, lol. A woman can sleep with you and not be in love, date you and not be in love, introduce you to her parents and not be in love, and even say “I love you” and not be in love, but if she’s willing to just give you $200 dollars with no plans on you paying her back, she’s definitely in love.

Now, should you ask a woman you’re with for some money to “prove her love” to you? Hell no, lol. But, just take my word for it

Chanel: Damon…my bf and I are in love and I want to marry him one day. But he has recently said that we can have a ceremony and he will buy me a ring but will never sign a marriage license. He’s a great guy and treats me wonderful but should I just accept that and get what I can take? He is willing to sign all the needed paper work to leave me in charge of his medical needs and such but is determined to never sign a marriage license. Should I cut my losses and move on bc I believe in marriage or give in and settle bc he really is a good man to me?

DY: : Ask him why he refuses to sign a marriage license. If he says something like “I’m allergic to marriage licenses, and if I sign one, I’ll die on the spot. Also, California will fall into the Pacific” you can stay with him. If he says anything else, it’s probably time to move on. This is the type of issue — his weird refusal to do normal things, and his unwillingness to meet your basic needs — that will continue to haunt your relationship


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