So You Want to Be a Relationship Expert!

Trivial advice and Twitter can turn you into the next Steve Harvey or Keith Sweat in no time.

Keith Sweat (Rick Diamond/Getty Images); Steve Harvey (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Keith Sweat (Rick Diamond/Getty Images); Steve Harvey (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(The Root) — Something amazing is happening today. Your favorite musical icons from the 1990s are putting down the microphones and picking up the pens (or paying someone to do it for them) and writing books giving relationship advice aimed primarily at black women. 

The success of Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is well-known, Keith Sweat’s Make It Last Forever has sold more than 4 million copies and Tyrese and Rev Run’s Manology is all over cyberspace. But these guys kind of cheated; they were already famous before they started peddling relationship advice, so it makes sense that their book sales would soar. How can you — mild-mannered, everyday citizen sitting at home at your computer — follow in their footsteps and become a relationship expert, too?

You’re in luck! I’m an expert on relationship experts, and it would be my pleasure to guide you through the process. Like Rev Run, Tyrese, Keith and Steve, you’ll need a flock to whom you can feed your infinite wisdom, and the best place to do that? Twitter. Timelines are literally clogged with tweets from self-made experts, and following in their footsteps is easy. The following tips and writing suggestions are sure to gain you a huge audience hungry for your bad advice in no time!

1. No experience necessary. Did you go to school to be a marriage counselor or life coach? Are you currently in a successful relationship? Have you ever had a relationship? Can you spell the word relationship? If the answer to one or all those questions is no, no problem! Not a single person will ask you for your credentials before jumping on your bandwagon and retweeting your wisdom from here to the moon. If it makes you feel better, you can twirl three times in a circle and say, “bippety boppity boo” before declaring yourself a relationship expert, but it’s not mandatory. All you have to do is tack the title onto your Twitter profile and/or stick it on some business cards. Ta-da! 

2. Point out the obvious. This is especially important at the beginning of your career as a relationship expert. In making painfully obvious statements such as “Love is great!” “Cheating is bad!” and “A man who loves you will not beat you,” you create the illusion that you know something. This will come in handy when you go off the deep end later in your career.

3. Blanket statements are your friend. A good relationship counselor would probably consider each individual on a case-by-case basis, realizing that all men, women and relationships are different. But do you want to be a good relationship expert or a popular one? Hint: There is more notoriety, infamy and money in being a popular one. 

So, remember: All women do this, all men do that. “All men want …” “When a woman does this, this is what it means …” Sure, it’s inaccurate and problematic, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, am I right?

Generalizations to live by: Men are the leaders, women who enjoy sex are “ho’s,” you’re not a woman if you can’t cook, women be shoppin’

4. Everything is totally her fault. Remember your cash crop: lonely, vulnerable black women. Their exploitation means lots of attention and hopefully some big bucks for you. In order to exploit them properly, you must let them know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that their loneliness is their fault. You can do this by focusing only on women, their flaws and what they need to do to keep their men, rather than advising men on how to be suitable mates. If he beats you, it’s because you let him. If he cheats on you, it’s because you’re not keeping his interest. If he won’t marry you, it’s because you gave up the cookie too quickly. No matter the angle you choose, the running theme should be “Black woman, what are you doing wrong? Here, let me tell you.” It’s proven pretty profitable for others.