Category Archives: Dating

The Homie Box

On Tuesday, I was a guest on Kareem Taylor’s live radio show “PillowTalk” discussing “The Homie Box,” that friends with benefits-type of situation women sometimes unknowingly get mixed up in without realizing that they’re not really benefiting from the pseudo-relationship at all.

On the show, I talked about what the homie box is, the difference between that and being friend-zoned, and how to avoid getting yourself caught out there in one of these types of situations.

Listen to the show here and tell me what you think!

Getting Out Of The Homie Box

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White Boy Fresh

It never dawned on me that a colleague asking to come to my hotel room to borrow chapstick might be trying to get fresh, although as I read that sentence I have to wonder where my antennas were that night.

When I got the text from my colleague who was attending the same meeting as I, I thought nothing of it, as we had recently parted ways after innocently having a few drinks in the hotel lobby with mutual associates. I did acknowledge what I saw as irony at the time—that if this was a black man I would’ve known he was up to something, but because he was white, I thought nothing of it.

Innocently, I opened the door to my room, let him in, and offered him what I thought he came for. Quickly I found him seated on the foot of the bed. Small talk on his agenda, I conceded, happy to have finally befriended someone in my age range at these conferences which I typically found boring.

Casual talk about post-college years turned to questions about whether I was dating, how my last relationship ended, and when I would get married because I’m “so great,” as he put it. I sat flattered in my unsuspecting naivety.

It wasn’t until a few compliments later, a stretch out on my pillows, and an invitation to join him that I became aware of other intentions. I declined, noting that I had an early meeting, although it was suggested that I wake him in the morning.

It was a struggle for me to conceal my laughter—not at his game, but at the fact that as a grown woman, I’d found myself in a situation more befitting of a high school girl. Read more @ Clutch.

Should Women Raise the Cost of Sex?

If there is one thing Americans have unrestricted access to regardless of gender, race, socio-economic status, age, or education, it’s sex.

It wasn’t a shocker to me when University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus said in a Washington Times article last week that the price of sex today is pretty low. Whereas men (allegedly) used to have to promise women marriage in exchange for sex, birth control allowed women to enter the sexual market with the same indiscretion as men. Now both genders bask freely in the sexual market before walking down the aisle.

So what’s the problem? If you ask men on college campuses and in urban cities, there isn’t one. Because these sexual markets are dominated by women, men can decide how much (or how little) they will exchange for sex because for every woman who decides that she wants to hold out, there are plenty more who are willing to put out. It’s the rule of supply and demand.

But while women have power when they are the minority in the sex market, allowing them to decide just how high the “cost” of sex will be for a man, women lose power as they enter their 30s—the marriage market—where women also outnumber men. Hence, Regnerus says that women “underestimate the long-term risk of sex-market behavior.”

While the underlying notion here is not to put the cart before the horse (or why buy the cow when you’ve already got the milk, et cetera, et cetera), saving oneself for marriage is seen as a high-risk strategy. Using an interesting analogy, Regnerus says, “You can’t just decide that your house is worth $500,000 if everyone else is getting $200,000. … You can try for that price, but it’s unlikely you will get it.” Well then. Read more @ Clutch.

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Black Women Are Drinking the Kool-Aid

If I had a dollar for every time a black man made a comment along the lines of, “That’s why I date white women,” or, “If black women keep it up, I’m going to start dating white girls,” I could probably retire at 30. But with the influx of women toting similar statements about how and why white women are “winning,” I might be able to reduce that number to 29.

I was over on the site Madame Noire (Bossip’s sister site) the other day when I came across the article, White Women Are #Winning, Step Your Game Up, based on a similarly titled article published in UPTOWN Magazine, Love: Why White Women Are Winning. Both articles address black women’s perceived attitudes, unwillingness to cater to our men, declining value in the institution of marriage, hesitation to date interracially, and lack of expectation for finding a man—basically stating white women are our polar opposites and are therefore not unlucky in love as we are.

Now if you truly feel that you need insight into some possible reasons to explain why you are single (in case you haven’t heard enough already), then, by all means, take heed to the advice presented, as that is not necessarily where the problem lies. The issue is the fact that black women have jumped on the “white women are better because of x,y,z” bandwagon.

My first thought when I saw the article was that this was a case of irresponsible publishing. Why, as websites and magazines that are supposed to be a service to black people, and black women in particular, would you publish something that places white women on a pedestal?

None of the character traits mentioned in the article are true of all white women, just as not all of the negative stereotypes that are perceived to be holding black women back from finding their mate are true. Could either author not have written (another) article simply highlighting characteristics of women in effective relationships/marriages? It’s articles like these pitting black and white women against one another as two entirely different species that have the potential to revive black women’s ill feelings toward black men dating interracially—although we’ve been told time and time again to get over it or join the movement.

Read more @ Clutch

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Maintenance Men

“At what point in a relationship does it become my responsibility to pay form my girl’s hair and nails and general maintenance?”

This is a question I heard a man ask with all sincerity at a Romance and Finance forum I recently attended who further explained that in the past week his girl took things a step further and asked him for a Gucci bag.

I’m proud to report that all of the women sitting in my area, as well as the forum panelists, were like, “What? Your responsibility?  Never.”  But I’m not sure whether we are the exception or the rule.

There have been many times that I’ve overheard a woman ask a man for money to get her hair done, or complain to a girlfriend that her man refused to pay and therefore she had to ask her  dude on the side who gladly complied.

And I’ve come across men who actually thought they were wooing me by offering to pay for such things. I was lightweight offended, thinking, are you suggesting something, or even more so, do I look like I can’t afford to take care of those things for myself? But perhaps that was just the hyper-independent part of me speaking.

Still, the whole idea of it being part of a man’s role in whatever type of relationship we have to pay for a woman’s physical upkeep just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m wondering if this whole notion is one of those antiquated ideas that has been around since before, say, women were able to enter the workforce and it somehow just never died. But with the rise of what some deem to be independent woman overkill, and men gladly taking women up on that stance when it comes to shared responsibility, it doesn’t make sense that this attitude still holds strong.

I think the expectation that a man has to “pay to play” is nothing more than a bartering tool. For women, the mindset is that if a man thinks he’s going to get some, then it’s going to cost him X ,Y, and Z in the form of shoes, clothes, and whatever else she sees fit. And for men, a $20 wash and set at the Dominican shop and a $30 mani/pedi is a small price to pay for the booty, I suppose. If that’s all they want anyway, I’m sure they’d rather come out of pocket for that than take a woman to dinner or a movie. But even in serious relationships, there seems to come a point when women expect that a man will take care of these things, and surprisingly, when men seem to expect it to be required of them.

Is this the norm? Read more @ Clutch

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It’s Not Control, It’s Accountability

A few days ago I came across a two-year-old email of a quiz I’d taken that asked, “Are You Controlling?” I’d taken it after assertions from my boyfriend at the time that I was trying to control him because I actually thought that he should be at my house when he said he would, or call if he was going to be late, or call me period. Go figure.

I took his charge into consideration for all of about a three-day weekend before I realized it was total BS. I had absolutely no desire to control him, what I wanted was accountability. Control is wanting someone to do X, Y and, Z simply because you say so—it’s about power (and sometimes insecurity). Accountability is about respect for the other person and your relationship—it’s not putting your partner in a position to question the validity of where you say you’ve been or what you say you’ve done. But sometimes you can’t tell a man (or woman) that.

I’m not sure where or when the fear that all women want to control men first originated, but it seems to be the first thing a man thinks of when a woman asks for or suggests anything to a man. I’ve had male friends tell me that they won‘t do something their girl asks them to do out of spite for their assumption that she only asked them to do it to control them. Or they’ll purposely wait and do it later to prove it was on their time.

I can be wrong in assuming most women are like me, but I have no desire to control a man. There’s actually something very unattractive (to me) about a man who will jump whenever I snap my fingers. I prefer that a man do something out of love and concern for me, rather than because I said so. I don’t want a robot or a puppet. I want a man who takes care of business because he cares. 

Read more @ Clutch

Pleading the Fifth

My best friend and I were debating the other day about how obligated you are to tell a person the whole truth when you first meet them. For instance, if you meet someone who interests you while you’re dating someone who’s sort of just there, do you have to tell them that you’re involved? BFF says no since you’re not serious with the other person and telling might scare off the new prospect. My philosophy says yes, the new person should be able to make a decision about dating me based on all of the facts. I don’t have the right to make that choice for them, by leaving out pertinent details.

But what about withholding even more serious information, like the fact that you have a serious illness, or you’ve been raped, or you have a criminal past. When are we obligated to tell these things and when is it considered dishonest if you don’t volunteer this information?

Fortunately, I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve had to reveal an unpleasant fact about myself that I was worried would scare someone off, but I have had occasion where a guy withheld facts about children, baby mamas, jobs, and the like for a rainy day in fear that if I knew the truth from the get go, I would run in the opposite direction.

Likewise, I’ve come across women with incurable STDs who never know when the time is right to tell someone they like or even want to be intimate with that their sexual health is compromised. Ideally, that time would be when you have “the talk,” but is it already too late at that point? Both parties are ready to escalate the relationship, feelings are strong, and this knowledge could be a huge blow to whatever connection has already been established. Read more @Clutch

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Men: Selfish or Misguided?

Saturday night I attended another Together Apart event–Straight Talk No Chaser—featuring a panel of six males (four single, two married) and an all-female audience.

The goal of the live convo was for men to give women some real answers to the questions they often ask their girlfriends about the men in their lives. There were four rounds of discussion, moderated by co-hosts Demetria Lucas of Essence Magazine and abelleinbrooklyn.com and Chris Kazi Rolle, the mastermind behind Together Apart. Famed Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere gave a clinical wrap up after each round.

While round 1 was pretty straight forward regarding what goes on in a man’s mind during the dating process—basically if you’d like the relationship to go beyond the first date, then its best you not give up the panties that same night–round two asked the question, why are men such selfish lovers? I wasn’t quite sure which of the many possible routes this discussion was headed down, but the focus was selfishness in the bedroom—as in why are men not concerned about pleasing their partner.

The question operated under the assumption that men don’t want to please their women, which the panelists, for the most part, said wasn’t true—except for one who noted that if he’s not really interested in the woman then he could care less whether she enjoys herself or not—but nevertheless, men actually receive enormous pleasure from knowing that they’ve satisfied their woman sexually. Call it ego or whatever you want, just be glad it works in women’s favor.

Now whether the man actually pleases the woman is a whole different story, and if the answer is no, it really may not be his fault. Something that’s been on my mind since the last Together Apart event, Divine Intercourse, is the fact that women don’t take responsibility for their own sexual pleasure.

The first issue is the fake orgasm, as one panelist pointed out. How is a man supposed to know that what he’s doing isn’t working if a woman is screaming in what is perceived to be ecstasy, when she’s really thinking, oh God when will this be over.

The second issue is not speaking up. This stems from the Divine Intercourse convo as well where the resounding message from women during the open forum was that they didn’t communicate their sexual needs to their partner. Truth be told, this seemed to have less to do with being scared to hurt the man’s feelings and more to do with a lack of comfort with verbalizing their own sexual desires.

Women have come a long way in terms of sexual liberation, but we’ve still got a ways to go. A man isn’t necessarily being a selfish lover if he’s been led to believe that he’s handling his business. If that’s not the case, then it’s time to let him know. One panelist suggested that discussions about sex actually be had outside of the bedroom, and of course, the male ego has to be taken into consideration, otherwise he’ll just hear that what he’s doing is wrong, and you’re not pleased, and all hell will break loose, and then he’ll go cheat—oh wait that’s round three. Anyway, the point is that women can’t only blame men if they’re not pleased. And if all else fails, Dr. Gardere shared this takeaway: men, always make sure the lady comes first (literally).

The last round of discussion before women were allowed to fire back dealt with commitment. Though the dialogue drifted from the ideas of being selfish and misguided, from my view, they still apply.

The question was asked, why do men cheat if they have everything at home? It was pointed out that having everything at home is a big if since people tend to cheat because they’re relationship is not fulfilling. But just to let you know, not being fulfilled could involve something as simple as a woman starting an argument with her man, he leaves the house, another chic pushes up on him, and there’s nothing but space time and opportunity. In that scenario, there’s a good chance ol’ boy may just smash, hit, beat it up, etc and not feel guilty about it. Scary huh?

Then there’s this other issue of men always wondering if they’re missing out on something better by committing to one person. One panelist noted that one woman he was involved with sort of pushed him into a relationship that he wasn’t ready for, but since she was a part of his stable (I was praying he stretched that out to stability but no, stable) and he didn’t want to lose her, he just kept her in the rotation amongst other women. One vote for selfish please.

Luckily the married men had a little more insight into the fact that most times cheating doesn’t have anything to do with the woman. This is not to let women totally off the hook for their antics, but they recognized the fact that cheating is an internal issue. Even when things are right at home a man can still step out because of some inner demon that he doesn’t even realize or think is a problem (he’s just being a man) which is why I say the idea of being misguided applies to cheating as well. If men are looking for sexual satisfaction as a means to solve a deeper issue that they may not be totally aware of, the idea that they’re just “being men” is a false one that shouldn’t be given a pass.

It was added that the more things put at risk by cheating, the less likely a man is to cheat—his relationship with God, children, family ties etc. I struggle with this one because I’d like to think the commitment to the woman would be enough, along with the awareness of how hurt she would be, but here is where I have to bring in the ladies again. Only the married men said that they might be able to forgive their wife for cheating, while the remaining panelists vehemently said that they would leave. When the men were asked if they thought their woman would leave them if she found out he was cheating, without hesitation they all said no. Selfish and misguided. In response, Dr. Gardere used my favorite term—zero tolerance. When it comes to being cheated on, it’s up to women to have a zero tolerance policy for it. If a man thinks that there are no consequences to his actions, then there’s nothing to stop him from doing who he wants to do.

Moral of the story? Men are sometimes selfish and misguided (and need to stop writing books trying to tell women what to do and focus on themselves), and women also need to stand up for themselves and the things that they need in the relationship. Until we do that, we can’t point the finger at anyone else for our lack of satisfaction.

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Would You Date You?

They say physical attraction is half the battle when it comes to dating, so if a guy you’re interested in asks for your number, you usually feel pretty good about the outlook since women typically feel most insecure about their looks. The truth of the matter, though, is that looks won’t keep you around long if you don’t have much else going for you (or you’ve got a few major things you need to work on).

One day I was mentally rehearsing my answers to the typical first phone conversation questions a man asks (yes, I sometimes do this) like:

What do you do for a living? I work in medical publishing.

What do you do for fun? I don’t really get out much because I work a lot.

But when you do get out, what to you do? Happy Hour, shop?

That’s when I realized I was boring, plain and simple. I literally laughed out loud and thought, I wouldn’t even be surprised if I didn’t get asked for a date after that type of convo (did I mention that I’m also a pessimist? Read More

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Doing Too Much

I met a guy last week. He was beautiful—Puerto Rican and Columbian, gorgeous lips, perfect teeth–let’s just say my confidence nearly tripled when he approached me for my number, which I more than gladly gave up.

First convo was spent with him basically trying to make me laugh which I already found slightly annoying. A few jokes sprinkled throughout the convo is good, but when every statement is a punchline it can be a bit much. Still, I realize this is a popular male strategy so I proceeded with the normal questions you ask a man who is trying to get to know you—how old are you, what do you do, do you have kids, do you live alone, oh, and are you married (if you don’t ask, they won’t tell.)

His answers to every question were pretty much unfavorable (except for the married one), but he was fine enough to look past a few flaws for a casual liaison. Plus, he’s a personal trainer and yea, I could use those services ASAP. By day 3 I think I’d pretty much decided that his looks and what his training skills could do for my extra flesh no longer mattered. If there’s one thing I can’t stand from a man that I’ve just met, it’s doing way too much.

First issue—constant compliments. Asking me for my number let me know you thought I was at least decent, texting me “I’m so fine” after we first meet lets me know you still think I’m attractive after our brief interaction, but telling me every day that you were mesmerized by my caramel complexion and my brown eyes and my long black hair and my nose, yes, nose, is doing too much. I see myself every day. I don’t need to be reminded of my features or how “amazing/captivating/extraordinary” they are every.single.time.we.talk. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. Like jokes, compliments should be dished out sparingly.

Which brings me to the issue of calling (and recap texts). There definitely was no opportunity to have a “he’s just not that into you if he’s not calling moment” with this one. Every morning I woke up to a text along the lines of “Good morning, I hope I get to hear your angelic voice tonight. Last night talking to you was sugar to my soul.” What? The level of overthetopness is just too much for me to handle. Thinking he was operating like most men who think they have to butter you up endlessly when you first meet, I texted him, “You do know that you don’t have to stroke my ego just to talk to me, right?” He replies, “Everything I say is from the heart. Muaaa.” (Gag me)

If these were isolated incidents, I may be able to write them off as “sweet” but when you call throughout the day and say you just had to hear my voice, I start to get worried. However not as worried as I was when he called seven times on Friday simply because I didn’t answer a random let me spill my artificial guts out text. Can I be busy?! (Truthfully I was just sitting listening to my ringtone and wondering how many times he was going to call, but he didn’t know that!)

He also didn’t know that after telling him I was out Saturday night, I put his number on my auto-reject-straight-to voicemail-list because one text saying “hey” is OK, although he hadn’t known me long enough to text me at 2:26a. But at 2:28a asking, “am I ok?!” followed by “JUST LET ME KNOW YOU ARE OK,” in all caps one minute later is just too much! Although not as much as the 12 missed calls I received between 3:46a and 515a. Please tell me one, why you think you can call me at those times; two, why you think you can call me with that frequency; and three, why you’re acting like my man (or is that just a pyscho).

The thought is nice but he doesn’t know me well enough to be that worried that I’m chopped up in a garbage bag somewhere in Bed-sty after leaving the club. Plus I‘m pretty sure the harassment had less to do with my safety than it did him thinking I was actually going to text him, as he requested, when I left the club so he could “just give me a hug” So glad I had the forethought to add him to that reject list (and that Samsung had the forethought to create it) I knew he’d be calling because he wanted to see me Sunday. No thanks.

And please stop acting like not seeing me is the equivalent of being tortured in a Japanese internment camp. “If I see you tonight I’m going to do cartwheels” excuse me? “I just really wanna see you. I’ll pay to see you, that’s how bad I wanna see you.” The school loan slave woman in me was dying to ask how much, but that whole statement was just wrong. Pay me? What do I look like? And if you want to see me how about you ask me on a date?! And preferably one that doesn’t involve watching Monday night football (which by the way we never made it to, funny how a man finds the perfect time to disappear isn’t it?).

A couple friends seem to think I’m just being mean and that he’s sweet and all that good stuff, but I disagree. The level of attentiveness screams Lifetime Original Movie, better yet it screams disengenuine. Why are you suffocating me, a complete stranger? That’s the real reason I’m so annoyed. There’s no reason (or way) that I could seriously affect his mood/day as much as he claimed talking to me did, it was non-specific BS, meaning he must act that way with every woman he meets because he didn’t know me well enough to seriously feel the way he said (unless he’s crazy) and I don’t even engage the conversation enough for him to think I have this amazing personality.

Bottom line, stop behaving the way you think women want you to or the way you should to keep me from talking to the next man I meet grabbing Chinese on my way home from work. If his goal was really to get to know me then he would’ve asked more than how old am I, what do I do for a living, and do I live alone? I need some substance here because so far this entire relationship is running on his photographic memory of me on a Tuesday night.

This is exactly why I can’t date for martinis-some men just do too much. Plus, I guarantee all this stalker-like behavior will fall off once he thinks he’s got me. I can’t deal with the antics. Here’s hoping Samsung comes up with a way to block texts soon.

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