Very Smart Brothas on Love and Self-Awareness
Wondering why your soul mate's so hard to find? Try looking in the mirror first, advise bloggers Damon Young and Panama Jackson, authors of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm at Night.
DY: Wanting their women to stay exactly the same from the first day they met her. Having the same libido, the same outlook on life, the same everything. It's unrealistic.
PJ: I would say overplaying their hand. I live in Washington, D.C., so I live in the home of the cocky Negro. D.C. is a city with an abundance of educated attractive women and an abundance of wack dudes in [fewer] numbers. These dudes are so arrogant, thinking they can do whatever they want and women are going to put up with it.
They approach relationships like the Kanye line, "There are thousands of you and only one me" mentality. And what's funny is that I know quite a few dudes who have done this and later told me, "Man, I never should have let that one go."
PJ: Yes. Guys have very honest conversations when women are not around -- we do have feelings. We are not having these emotional meetings every Tuesday, but it happens more often than women think.
TR: What are the things you talk about when women are not around?
PJ: You are around right now. I can't tell you.
TR: Fine. [Laughs.] With Valentine's Day coming up, can you give us single people some hope? Are we doomed?
PJ: No, there are a lot of people out there who are in relationships and are happy -- it's just about doing your due diligence. And for the ladies, aside from the cliché, "Just be yourself," please learn how to ask questions. Two years into the relationship, don't find out that your dude murdered someone back in the day. You are not going to be happy about that. And ask him if he has kids or if he's married.
DY: We aren't doomed, but we need to change the types of conversations that we're having. There are a lot of people who will make great mates; they just haven't met anyone yet. We hope our book can help them find each other.
Kellee Terrell is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based freelance writer who writes about race, gender, health and pop culture. Terrell is also the news editor for TheBody.com, a website about HIV/AIDS.