The Six Brown Chicks presented the 6th annual He Says/She Says Relationship Chat at the Black Women’s Expo. This year, eight Black men from all walks of life shared their truths about love and dating; here’s their list of DO’s and DON’Ts.
DON’T: Seek someone to complete you.
Pastor Chenier Alston, author of “Ladies Let's Talk! Relationship Real-Talk: From a Man's Point of View.”
"If I'm half of a man and she's half of a woman, and I use the mathematical equation of multiplication, a ½ X ½ is ¼. When we get into the relationship together, because I'm half a man, and she's half a woman, we end up with less than what we should have had in the relationship. Work on becoming whole first. Being whole, I can discern who's whole and who's not whole.”
Don’t convict the next man for the last man’s crime.
Ray, a human resources professional says: “A date is a choice, it's a chance it's a gamble. You can't go in, asking him to give you 100 percent and you only give 40. It's true you don't open up to everybody you meet. But you don't lie either. If you walk into the relationship saying, ‘well, Marcus didn't treat me right, so Ray [won’t] treat me right either,’ that's what you’ll get. You can speak things into existence.”
DO: Surprise him with acts of kindness.
A little kindness can go a long way says David, a chef and educator.
“After hours of working on my feet she rubs my feet with peppermint oil. She recognizes that, 'my baby is working hard, he has a party of 1,000 tonight, so tonight when he comes home I'm going to do something for him.' It keeps my ego in check.”
Don’t expect dating will lead to marriage.
Ray says “Some men like to date and are not interested in marriage at that time. I like to date because I enjoy a woman's company."
DO: Stay true to yourself.
If you’re celibate, know that men will walk away, but that’s okay says, Torri Stuckey, author of His Dough, Her Cookie: The Black Woman’s Guide to Love and Marriage in the Age of Independence.
"If you're dating someone and that person runs away after you say you're saving yourself, that's not the person you need to be with anyway. It’s a win-win for you; you can't LOSE in that situation. You CAN GIVE IT up and then have him run."
One of the biggest debates on the panel concerned who picks up the tab on the first date. Here’s what the guys said about that.
DO: Understand that dating is expensive.
Dating doubles his expenses says political analyst and WVON on-air personality Maze Jackson.
“When he picks up the check, it's double the tab. If he goes out for a steak, he's having two steaks and four drinks, I do think when you think about the check and the tab and chivalry-I believe we should pick up the tab-but [the decision about who should pay for the date] does have a lot to do with finance.”
DO: Understand his value system.
Know whom you’re dating; some men will never reach for their wallets, but others are quite traditional. For the traditional man, if a woman offers to pay for the date, it’s an insult to his manhood says Stephan of www.theaddisonandclark.com
"As a man I don't think a woman should ever be expected to pay for a date. But if she insists, it's kind of like role-swapping-as a man, you don't want to allow that to happen."
Conversely, if you’ve been dating for a while, at least offer to treat him, Jeff, founder of Black Box Creative says. "I don't allow the woman I'm dating to pay; that's just the way I was raised. My mom and dad have been married for 37 years, and my dad picks up the tab. I do appreciate when a woman does offer. Make the offer and make the attempt, and let the man decide.”
DON’T: Expect him to pay for the first date.
Let’s keep it real, these days you must meet at the coffee shop and work your way up to the dinner table-because some men just don't want to make that investment.
Rendel, an asset manager, BOLDLY explained: "I hate this concept of men paying for first dates I know it’s the chivalry thing and that’s where we came from- and I’ve done it and I’ll do it. My time is just as valuable as yours, in my humble opinion, and if I don’t know you, why should I spend my capital on you?"
(...And many men share this opinion.)
Oh well, happy hunting!